The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/10/15

Karen Tumulty, Robert Costa, Alicia Garza

CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now with Ari Melber, in for Rachel.

Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Good evening. Thank you, Chris.

And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.

And, you know, in politics as in life, some things change and some things
just don`t.


TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: This is what you told CNBC last year, which raised
a lot of eyebrows. I`ll put it on the screen.

“Can you imagine how controversial I`d be? You think about Clinton with
the women, how about me with the women? Can you imagine?”

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Well, I mean, I think there is a certain
controversy to me. I am single. I do go out with women. And I do respect
and adore women. And some women love me and probably some women don`t.
But I am certainly controversial.

RUSSERT: But when you say if the president had had a fling with a super
model rather than Monica, he`d be a hero.

TRUMP: But I didn`t say that. I said there are those that say that if he
had a fling with a supermodel, he would be everyone`s hero. I didn`t say I
said it.

RUSSERT: Do you believe it?

TRUMP: It`s possible.

RUSSERT: Let me show you what you said about women if your book and give
you a chance to respond. This is helpful.

Women have one of the great acts of all time. Smart ones act very feminine
and needy, but inside, they`re real killers. I have seen women manipulate
men with just a twitch of their eye or perhaps another body part.

TRUMP: Well, you know that. I mean, you`re married to an incredible woman
and I`m sure she manipulates you beautifully.

RUSSERT: When women see or hear that on the screen, don`t they say Donald
Trump, isn`t that a little bit over the line?

TRUMP: I`m saying women may be beyond us, you and I. I mean, they`re
smart. They`re cunning.

RUSSERT: They`re killers.

TRUMP: They`re killers in many respects.

RUSSERT: That`s what you said.

TRUMP: Absolutely. I`m not saying all but I`m saying in many respects.
I`ve seen women that are so tough they make us wimps (ph).

RUSSERT: One of your former wives, Marla, had this to say. Let me put on
the screen, give you a chance to respond. If Trump is really serious about
being president and runs in the general election next year, I will not be
silent. I will feel it`s my duty as American citizen to tell people what
he`s really like. But I can`t imagine that they would really elect him
with his drug is attention.

TRUMP: Well, I mean, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.


MELBER: And that was Donald Trump in 1999 discussing his views of women
and claiming to mull a run for the White House. Back then, he was claiming
to flirt with Ross Perot`s Reform Party ticket.

The exchange with Tim Russert looks almost quaint today as a louder Trump
has waded farther into presidential politics and deeper into a morass of
commentary on gender.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: You`ve called women you don`t like fat
pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account has
several disparaging comments about women`s looks. You once told a
contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” it would be a pretty picture to see
her on her knees. Does that sounds like the temperament of man we should
elect as president? And how would you answer a charge by Hillary Clinton
who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on

TRUMP: I think the big problem this be country has is being politically
correct. I`ve been –


I`ve been challenged by so many people and I don`t, frankly, have time for
total political correctness and frankly, what I say and oftentimes it`s
fun, it`s kidding, we have a good time. What I say is what I say. And
honestly, Megyn, if you don`t like it, I`m sorry. I`ve been very nice to
you although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me,
but I wouldn`t do that.


MELBER: That got pretty awkward. But it could have ended there as a clash
between a brash candidate and a moderator. But no, because it`s Donald


TRUMP (via telephone): I don`t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly.
She`s a lightweight. She came out there ring her little script and trying
to, you know, be tough and be sharp. And when you meet her, you realize
she`s not vet tough and she`s not very sharp. She`s a zippo.

She gets out and starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And,
you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood
coming out of her wherever. But she was in my opinion, she was off base.


MELBER: That personal and seemingly sexist attack on Megyn Kelly who is
very popular with conservatives may have gone too far maybe even for Donald
Trump. Several Republican candidates were moved to do what they largely
failed to do during that debate, stand up to something he said.

And Trump, unable or unwilling to apologize for what he said, argued
instead, everyone just misheard him.


TRUMP: I said blood was – essentially blood was pouring from her eyes.
And then I just wanted to get on with the rest of the sentence. Blood was
pouring, I was going to say nose or ears and I just said, let`s just get
on, so I said wherever. And there was nothing obviously. Only a deviant
would have thought otherwise.


MELBER: Now, this pattern has played out before. Right along, Trump has
basically gotten away with it even as he`s shown himself to be incredibly


TRUMP: When you were talking about Bush who, by the way, is about ten
points lower than me, you sort of mentioned like you know, can Kasich beat
Bush? You know, excuse me, what about Trump? You know, we are ten points

What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don`t like it, I`m
sorry. I`ve been very nice to you although I could probably maybe not be
based on the way you have treated me but I wouldn`t do that.

When people attack me, I – you know, let them have it back. You say
physical appearance, you know, it`s my hair. People are constantly
attacking my hair. I don`t see you coming to my defense. You know, my
hair is just fine. But I don`t see you coming to my defense.


MELBER: Donald Trump has courted other controversies in this brief
campaign, of course. His announcement speech smeared Mexican immigrants as
rapists, which drew heat and boycotts. He criticized Senator John McCain`s
war service because he was captured at war.

But the current controversy does hit closer to Trump`s punitive political
home because he`s personally attacking a FOX News anchor beloved by
conservative base.

It also stokes a conflict for the crucial message platform for the made for
TV candidate. That`s why this is different.

Anyone viewing this as just a simple spat between Trump, the businessman
and a single TV anchor is mixing the bigger picture here. This is a battle
now between Trump the reality show Republican candidate, and the
conservative media which helped create his candidacy, the very channel with
a lifeline to Republican primary voters that helped shift in this story
from reality show to reality.

It`s a battle about who actually gets to set the rules, FOX News or the
candidate. It elevated so far, Donald Trump seems perfectly comfortable
with offending the very people you might think he`d be trying to impress
right now. Does this most recent controversy matter to Donald Trump

NBC News just surveyed Republican voters over the weekend and found that
even though they hated his debate perform, the most, he still leads all the
other candidates, and that by a mile. That was a survey taken of after the
debate. And late today, another piece of evidence emerged that this
dispute goes way above one FOX News anchor`s pay grade.

Today, the president of FOX News himself Roger Ailes reportedly intervened
directly. Ailes reportedly calling Mr. Trump today, a conversation that
was off the record. We don`t know the details although we`d really love

But Trump immediately said on the Twitter that Ailes promised him FOX would
treat Trump fairly going forward. And that promise will be tempted
immediately tomorrow when Trump returns to FOX`s morning show.

As Rachel has reported extensively for week the biggest question hung on
FOX News`s decisions. That channel had the power to decide who the viable
candidates were in the debate and then how to question them before largest
voting audience in primary history. Up until now, the presidential
campaigns have had to lobby FOX News. That`s the way it`s always been on
the Republican side.

Was it a bit of a role reversal for Roger Ailes to make that personal phone
call to Mr. Trump? Does Donald Trump now hold more power here than
anyone`s been giving him credit for? What does this mean for his campaign
if it is a real campaign? And when the front-runner for the Republican
nomination is getting personal phone calls from Roger Ailes promising
reportedly nicer coverage, what`s everyone else in the race supposed to do?

Joining us on a big day in politics is Karen Tumulty, political reporter
from “The Washington Post.”

Thanks for joining us


MELBER: Let`s start with those questions. Where is Donald Trump now the
in a standoff that at least according to Donald Trump resulted in Roger
Ailes` reaching out and playing nice?

TUMULTY: You know, I think he is exactly where he wants to be. None of
this was new information to people who are supporting Donald Trump. I
think a lot of them decided it was pretty irrelevant.

And FOX News understands that Donald Trump is good for the numbers. I
mean, look at the ratings for that debate. So, again, I mean, he has
proven that he is – you know, invulnerable to a lot of things that would
have been fatal to any other candidate. It just sort of makes him stronger
with the people who support him.

MELBER: Yes, and not only invulnerable but welcomed by a larger portion of
the potential Republican electorate than even those who is say they support
him. I want to put up this new Reuters/Ipsos polling which walks through
not only do you like Donald Trump or not, but the specific to the debate,
what role is he playing.

And Republicans basically are saying by participating in the debate, they
think that he challenged the establishment – seen as a good thing – that
his participation allowed for more honesty about the problems facing
America – again by a wide margin, 56 percent – and they think his
participation in the debate opened the party to new ideas. That would
suggest that after seeing him which as you mentioned seeing him by a large
audience, there`s a bunch of Republicans who don`t back his candidacy but
are glad he`s involved.

TUMULTY: You know, the real question is what are the ideas, because in
that debate when he was pressed on specifics, for instance, the specifics
behind his charges that the Mexican government is dispatching murderers and
rapists over the border, he got vet vague.

Look, this is – it is an easy thing to do in August to flirt with a
candidate like Donald Trump. But I think for voters especially voters in
places like Iowa and New Hampshire as we get closer to February, the
question will be, imagining this person in the Oval Office.

And so, you know, the reports tonight are that Trump himself is beginning
to understand. He has got to actually have some policy ideas to be putting
on the table other than just arguing that the answer to all of the problems
in this country is the force of Donald Trump`s personality.

MELBER: So, do you think then that the reception he`s getting in the
Republican Party is despite or because of that? I mean he was just asked
this morning about policies on equal pay and he literally just said, well,
I`m not going to get into that right now. There will be a time for policy

TUMULTY: The time – and that time is coming. Right now, he is the
vehicle, the vessel by which a lot of voters feel that they can send a big
message both to the Republican Party and essentially into the political
dialogue at large. And that is his role right now.

But again, as we get closer to people actually having to go into the voting
booth and cast a ballot for somebody they can actually imagine in the Oval
Office, the dynamic is likely to change, and I think Donald Trump is smart
enough to realize that that dynamic is going to changing

MELBER: Why do you think he has been so brash and unapologetic after these
clearly personal attacks on Megyn Kelly? I mean, it doesn`t seem that this
is something that would help him in the long run.

TUMULTY: Because you know, this has been part of his persona, part of his
shtick for a quarter of a quarter century. I mean, this is a man who in
1991, told “Esquire” magazine that it didn`t matter what the media wrote
about you, as long as you had a young and beautiful piece of anatomy and
that, again, has been just very much a part of his public persona as a
showman. You know, as a media personality.

But again, there`s a role here that he is beginning to apparently
understand as the reports tonight are that he`s interviewing serious policy
people for his campaign. There is a role here that he is going to have to
grow into at some point.

MELBER: Yes, and we are going to get to some of those reports as well.

Karen Tumulty, political reporter for “Washington Post” – thanks so much
for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

TUMULTY: Thank you, Ari.

We are going to have more on Donald Trump`s wild ride ahead, specifically
can this become a real campaign and also the hottest ticket in Portland,
Oregon, this weekend may have been the unlikeliest.

And later two words, people, space lettuce. You heard me.

Please do stay with us.


MELBER: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton did something
a little unusual today. She held a press conference. Clinton stood at a
podium in New Hampshire and took open questions from reporters on a day
when she unveiled a new plan for affordable college and to encourage state
funding of public universities.

Yet, out of the ten questions posed to Hillary Clinton today, five of them
were about one topic, Donald J. Trump.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it`s entertainment.
I mean, look it`s all entertainment. You know, I mean I think he`s having
the time of his life. You know, being up on that stage, saying whatever he
wants to say, getting people excited, both for and against him.


MELBER: Clinton also was careful to say that Trump`s comments about FOX
News host Megyn Kelly were indeed outrageous but that Kelly is a strong
woman who can defend herself. Clinton also argued that the rest of the
Republican field backs policies that impact women which are just as

She told NBC`s Andrea Mitchell that Marco Rubio`s debate statement that
abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest is in Clinton`s
view more troubling than Trump`s brand of entertainment. Clinton clearly
felt that public and media interest in Trump is overdone even though she
spent half the presser having to react to the Trump campaign.

And should we even be calling it a campaign? There is new reporting
tonight about the inner workings of Donald Trump political organization and
how it may be changing.

The reporter who broke that story will join us next.

Stay with us.


MELBER: The big question about Donald Trump the candidate has always been,
is he for real? Yes, he now plays a presidential candidate on TV. We all
know that. But he`s spent very little time in key primary states and he
rarely addresses voters in person.


KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: Why are we here in New York? Why aren`t we out on the
campaign trail?

TRUMP: Well, I`ve been to Iowa many times. I`ve been to New Hampshire
many, many times. Love the people there and we`ve had tremendous success.
We`ve had tremendous crowds. Nobody gets as many standing ovations.

TUR: You`re not campaigning that much. How can anybody take you seriously
if you`re not out there showing your face?

TRUMP: Because I`m doing television with you.


MELBER: That was Trump`s basic answer to his campaign`s weak ground game,
telling NBC`s Katy Tur he`s on the air. Of the many oddities in Trump`s
candidacy is that he has convinced Republican leaders and voters and
reporters to treat his activities as a full campaign all without much

Here are some numbers. Trump has held just three events in New Hampshire
since declaring. Jeb Bush has done 10, Lindsey Graham 20 it, Christie 21.
It`s a pretty glaring public sign of Trump`s thin presence to date.

Behind the scene, the game looks even thinner. Trump may have billions of
dollars, but he`s not spending millions on top political talent. The
manager of his entire campaign has only run one losing campaign previously.
It`s hard to imagine a business executive landing atop the Trump Company
with that record.

The campaign co-chair in Iowa, well, they`re not even from the state. She
linked up with Trump by appearing on his TV show “The Apprentice.”
“Politics isn`t my expertise”, she conceded. Quote, “There would be no way
I would talk to Donald Trump about how to run a presidential campaign
because this is my first time at this.”

A few other advisors to Trump publicly identified are known most for
serving his corporation like his lawyer Michael Cohen who holds a job with
the Trump Organization but was speaking on behalf of the campaign or Roger
Stone, a controversial operative who had a break with the GOP but advised
Trump`s business interests, and he actually just split with the campaign
announcing that he quit or if you ask Donald Trump, I was fired. Either
way, Mr. Stone saying he came to the conclusion that Trump lacked the
discipline to be an effective candidate.

So, there isn`t much evidence that Trump wants to build or pay for the type
of professional organization that`s needed to run a national campaign.
Now, look, maybe there is a secret staff in the wings. Or maybe the best
indicator that this very surreal candidacy isn`t very real at all is the
behavior of Donald Trump himself. Does this shrewd student of human
behavior really think he will win over the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire
by avoiding them? Does he think he can run a real campaign without leaving
his apartment?

I don`t mean that as hyperbole. When he hit all the Sunday talk shows
yesterday, he insisted on doing the interviews all by phone as he does for
so many of his TV interviews.

So, maybe Trump isn`t really running a campaign or didn`t begin this
project as a real campaign. Today, even he seems to concede that in a way,
telling “Washington Post`s” Robert Costa starting now, he does want to
build a real fully staffed presidential campaign operation. What an idea.

And joining us now with more is Robert Costa, national political reporter
for “The Washington Post.”

Good evening to you.


MELBER: What did Donald Trump tell you? And does any of this suggest that
at least previously he was not looking to run a full national campaign?

COSTA: Trump and I had a conversation on Sunday morning. And you get the
sense that most campaigns for the presidency, they surround themselves, the
candidates with messaging consultants, people who tell the candidate what
to say and what not to say. These are young people usually right out of an
episode of “The West Wing.”

Trump, he is the message. That`s what he really believes. He does not
need Karl Rove or David Axelrod around him.

But at a certain point, he needs people to do the things he`s not going to
do. Best message in the world doesn`t get you on the ballot in every
state. It doesn`t keep your leverage, as he`s referred to it open, if he
wants to be third party. Who does he have on staff to do some off the real
work even if he`s his own top message guru?

COSTA: For the majority of the time he wants to be the candidate out there
taking interview after interview, being an outside presence in the field.
Behind the scenes, there`s a campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the one
from New Hampshire you mentioned. He doesn`t have much experience.

But Trump is letting him have full authority now with stone out to make
hires, Michael Glassner, former Sarah Palin, Bob Dole aide, he`s been
brought in as political director. You have Chuck Laudner, who led Rick
Santorum`s campaign in 2012, he`s on board. So, the team is getting

This week, Lewandowski in Nevada, Michigan with Trump trying to get more
people on board.

MELBER: I also want to be fair to Trump and play a little more of his
version of these events. We`ve been reporting on what you can read into
some of his choices. I don`t think any professional political advisor
would tell him to do all the interviews from his apartment. It`s weird at
a certain point.

When he has occasionally gone out and done voter events, though, he does
make an argument, as you`ve been alluding to, that this is a good thing
that his approach is different and he`s not wasting the time nor doing the
money grubbing that we see from traditional candidates.

Let`s play that.


TRUMP: I get calls from senators, could we come and see you? You know,
you have these campaign finance limits, which are a good thing because you
can just give to – I even tell them senators call up, I said send them a
check. They want to fly from Washington to New York. I mean, how long –
come to my office and I`m allowed to give them, what, $2,600 or something.
I mean, like a whole day is wasted.

I say, this is what they do? That`s what they do, from morning until


MELBER: What he`s referring to there is something that Common Cause or
other critics of government could also make that argument.

Do you think that his critique and his disdain for how campaigns work today
actually is appealing?

COSTA: It`s certainly appealing. People are frustrated with the political
system, seem to connecting with Trump. He recognizes that he needs to do
more. You have Lewandowski and other advisors working to get position
papers out to talk to policy experts in the conservative movement, because
this is a key transition for the Trump campaign. It`s been a huge summer
for them, a summer where they`ve ascended in the polls unlike they thought,
and now, they have to start to build – build and survive.

MELBER: You`re saying from your reporting you think he`s faring better
than he expected?

COSTA: I think so. The thing about Trump is, I`ve spent a lot of time
with him on the campaign trail. Watching him in action, I`ve never seen a
politician monitor Twitter more, read the bylines of news articles, really
understand the media to know he can call into certain programs, because he
has a certain status, to know who the writers, to know who the
photographers are, to understand the stage craft of running for president,
to understand the power of celebrity. It`s a politician unlike we`ve seen
before in recent cycles.

And he thinks he can work this process to his benefit and maybe end up as
the nominee. We`ll see. But that`s his belief.

MELBER: And finally then, looking at that sophistication as you put it or
that ability some would call manipulation, how do you explain where the
debate and scuffle here with FOX News goes tomorrow morning when as we`ve
reported, he will appear and he says Roger Ailes has given him these
assurances? Where does this end?

COSTA: Well, Trump, his M.O., is he often this people avoid confrontation.
By being a confrontational person, his way, I`ve seen this in interaction
after interaction, he rattles the whole situation. So, with FOX News, by
going after them, he – I think when you talk to his advisors, they
expected FOX to come back. And FOX did, Ailes and Trump connected today.

So, you see Trump using confrontation and the power of his personality to
try to create situations that work for his use in the campaign. He doesn`t
back away. Usually, most politicians back away from confrontation.

MELBER: Robert Costa, as always, appreciate your reporting and joining us

COSTA: Thank you.

MELBER: It has been one year since Michael Brown`s killing by police in
Ferguson, Missouri. The memories and the movement galvanized by that death
have become part of the presidential campaign in both parties.

Details straight ahead.


MELBER: The biggest arena in the city of Portland, Oregon, is called the
Moda Center. The giant arena hosted Trailblazers basketball games, plus
other sporting events, music concerts.

But on Sunday, there was a political gathering so big, with so much
grassroots interest, that organizers needed the Moda Center.


done it better than anyone else. This is, by far, the largest crowd,
20,000 people. Thank you.


MELBER: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has already drawn the largest
crowds of candidates in both parties this year, but yesterday, he broke his
own record – 19,000 people, you see him there, packed into the arena, the
largest crowd that any 2016 presidential candidate has drawn so far. And
get this – that 19,000 was just the people you see inside. Another 9,000
people who couldn`t get in there listened to that speech from outside the
arena just on loud speakers.

This was the just the latest in a spring of record crowds that Bernie
Sanders has been drawing across the nation – 3,000 people in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, a thousand showed up in tiny Keen, New Hampshire, 9,000 in
Portland, Maine, 10,000 over in Madison, Wisconsin, and more than 11,000
people out in Phoenix, Arizona.

And before this stop in Portland yesterday that drew that impressive 2,000
number, Bernie Sanders packed another 15,000 into an arena in Seattle.

But that campaign stop, that was not the one that`s been getting all of the
headlines. It was a campaign event he held there a little earlier in the
day that just didn`t go according to plan. What happened at that event and
why it matters. That story is next.

Stay with us.


MELBER: Here`s the front page of the “St. Louis Dispatch” newspaper was
planning to run with this morning. “In This Together”, a thousand marchers
converge on Ferguson to mark one year since Michael brown`s death. That
was the young unarmed black man killed by local police.

Unfortunately, though, the paper ultimately had to later print this cover
you see here after yesterday`s peaceful demonstrations did have a violent
turn with gunfire breaking out late last night on the city streets. The
suspect who authorities say opened fire on police was critically wounded
when officers returned fire. Despite last night`s flash of violence,
today, the story out of Ferguson was peaceful protests and civil

On Interstate 70, protests joined hands, shutting down the highway in both
directions, you see. Earlier today, dozens also arrested outside of a St.
Louis courthouse, it was trying to draw attention to what they call racist
law enforcement practices.


PROTESTERS: If we don`t get no justice!

Then you don`t get no peace!

If we don`t get no justice!

Then you don`t get no peace!

If we don`t get no justice!

Then you don`t get no peace!


MELBER: On both of those instances, many of the demonstrators identified
as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign, or movement, which has been
gaining a lot of traction beginning last year, directly in Ferguson
following that shooting death of Michael Brown.

That tragedy might not have made national news at all in and of itself as
an incident that occurred locally, but the activism and the protests that
spring out of it, especially the Black Lives Matter movement is demanding
that that issue could not be ignored anymore.

At the end of the day, the protesters in the streets of Ferguson and
elsewhere around the nation argue that inequities which have long existed
in our criminal justice system are too great to gloss over. Take for
example this is statistic – African-Americans are almost four times more
likely to be arrested for pot possession even though they use pot at the
same exact rate as white persons and in large part because of the war on
drugs our prison population has skyrocketed over the years, more than
quadrupled since 1980 alone.

And against all those inequities, we often are seen as operating in a
system where police are simply not usually prosecuted for any kind of on
duty shooting. Now those are facts, facts that can be debated. But the
Black Lives Matter campaign has been saying that those issues must be a
larger part of the national discussion.

And today, it now has 23 U.S.-based chapters, as well as two abroad. Just
this past week that, hashtag used online #blacklivesmatter, reached as many
as 22 million people on the platform Twitter alone. By sheer reach, the
conversation is changing. It`s also changing perceptions and politics in

Look at this. In 2009, only 26 percent of people thought racism was
basically a big problem anymore. Now in 2015, half of Americans say racism
is an issue the nation must deal with. It is not going away.

And over and over again, this new movement, this Black Lives Matter
campaign appears to be forcing the issue into the discussion whether people
want to have it or not. In fact, it`s a discussion that even made it
briefly into the first GOP debate as well as into that Bernie Sanders event
this weekend in Seattle.


PROTESTERS: Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!
Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!

SANDERS: Thank you, Seattle, for being one of the most progressive cities
in the United States of America!

PROTESTER: If you do not listen to her, your event will be shut down right

SANDERS: You know what? “Wall Street Journal” poll –

PROTESTERS: Say her name. Say her name. Say her name.

MODERATOR: One second. One second.

Hold on.

SANDERS: I will answer your question but I`d like to speak for a few
minutes. I was told that that –

MODERATOR: A couple more minutes and then we`re going to get.

CLINTON: Yes, black lives matter.


KELLY: Many in the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond believe that
overly aggressive police officers targeting young African-Americans is the
civil rights issue of our time. Do you agree?


MELBER: So, for a movement that`s not formally funded, it doesn`t have a
big headquarters in Washington, D.C. or registered lobbyists, it`s a lot of
momentum and surely a lot of this campaign is propelled by tragedies. But
it is also moving the needle a lot. So where does Black Lives Matter go
from here?

Joining us tonight is Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter

Thank you for joining us tonight.


MELBER: When you look out here during the anniversary and cross some of
the impact I just showed, how would you assess the impact of the movement
and speaking for yourself as one of the organizers, is part of the goal to
shape electoral politics and what the candidates are saying?

GARZA: Well, I think first and foremost, we just have to acknowledge that,
you know, if it wasn`t for young people standing up in Ferguson as they`re
doing right now, this conversation would be very different.

To be honest with you, Black Lives Matter both as a network and I think as
a growing movement across the world that is demanding the respect and
dignity for black people in this country so that all people can live better
lives is really at a turning point. And frankly, we are here to make sure
that our communities continue to be safe. We are here to make sure that
our communities have the things that we need and we are here to make sure
that anti-black racism is eliminated once and for all.

And certainly, you know, just a few months ago, you weren`t hearing
conversations about race in America and in fact, we were being told that we
lived in a post-racial society and what has been exposed is that`s
certainly not only not true, but that the lives of black folks both black
Americans and black immigrants and black people all over the country have
been unfairly targeted for demise. That`s what we`re aiming to stop.

MELBER: And looking at those candidates for president then, what should
they say and do in your view to meet the demands and the concerns of this

GARZA: Well, certainly, it`s important that they acknowledge first and
foremost whether or not they believe that Black Lives Matter. We`ve seen
all of the major candidates at least on the Democratic Party side saying as

But the reality is, we have to go a lot farther. We don`t want to hear a
fancy slogan. We want to know, what will you do to ensure that black live
matter? What are you willing to risk? What are you willing to implement
and what are you willing to change to ensure that no longer will we live in
a country where every 28 hours a black person is murdered by police
vigilantes or security guards – according to the Malcolm X grassroots

MELBER: In your view, is it incumbent on those candidates and leaders to
answer those questions as you put it, or is this ultimately a model that
will have explicit demands in the same way that groups like the NRA or APAC
(ph) are scoring votes and making explicit demands?

We saw some organizers say one of the demands would be independent
investigations of police brutality rather than local D.A.s do it
themselves. What is your view on those two approaches?

GARZA: You know, I think what`s important to be mindful of is that here
have been demands for a long time now. And it`s just now that folks are
kind of turning their attention to asking, well, what are the policy
solutions? What are the policy implementations we`re going to be leading

And I think what we need to be mindful is that both requires that
candidates are proactive in thinking about what is it that they plan to
move in the same way that they give us you know, the package of issues that
they`re going to be working on when they take office. This issue needs to
be one of them. And they need to be putting forward proactive proposals.

At the same time –

MELBER: What do you say to the – let me ask you, what do you say also to
the concern that shutting down a candidate`s event or disrupting a Bernie
Sanders event is not politically effective?

GARZA: Well, what I would say is that power concedes nothing without a
demand. It never has and it never will. So, it`s important that we push
to ensure that our issues are at the forefront. And certainly had we not
been disrupting, had we not been pushing, had we not accepted business as
usual, we wouldn`t be having this conversation now.

MELBER: Alicia Garza, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement, I want
to thank you for telling us about some of your work.

GARZA: Thank you so much for having us.

MELBER: There has been a rash of arrests and indictments in this country.
They`re happening to a specific and somewhat disturbing demographic. That
story and a heaping helping of some ironic mug shots is straight ahead.



NARRATOR: Man`s destiny lies somewhere in the stars. Two things will help
him keep that ran day view. The space shuttle takes off like a rocket,
lands like an airplane. And gigantic space stations completely self-
sustaining in earth orbit.

Destined to be on board, Tang instant breakfast drink with its delicious
natural orange flavor and full day`s supply of vitamin C in every glass.
Good nutritious tang for spacemen and earth families.


MELBER: OK. So a thing that has never, never happened before happened
today. And it happened in space. And it was actually pretty remarkable
even more remarkable, folks, than Tang – as if that is even possible.
This incredible story is coming up. Stay with us.


MELBER: The top law enforcement job in every state is the attorney
general. There is one in every single state and most states make it an
elected position, meaning someone runs and campaigns for it and you vote
them in and when you vote that person in, he or she is the top chief legal
officer of that whole state. They`re in charge of upholding the law.

So, in the state of Utah, this is the current attorney general. He assumed
office in December, 2013, after the guy holding the office before him, this
guy, resigned after serving less than a year in the post. And that is
because of this.

Now, that`s not a passport photo you`re looking at. That is a mugshot.
The guy on the right is the former A.G. John Swallow and the guy next to
him is the previous Utah A.G. who served as attorney general in Utah for 12

Now, last summer, both were arrested and booked in a salt lake county jail
in connection with a ginormous FBI investigation into bribery from their
time as the top law enforcement officials. As former attorneys general in
the state of Utah, the state is not charging that they both – is now
charging they both took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and
contributions all in exchange for some favorable treatment.

Now, they pled not guilty last month. If convicted they could face a
prison term up to 30 years. Two A.G. in a row. Thanks, Utah.

But they`re not alone here. In the great state of Colorado, there is a
really weird story circulating about the sitting Republican attorney
general. She`s reportedly by being accused by the head of the Colorado
Republican Party of blackmail.


REPORTER: Did you blackmail or in any way threaten him?


REPORTER: He`s lying.


REPORTER: Steve House says Coffman, former Congressman Tom Tancredo and
Pueblo GOP chair Becky Mizel told him if he didn`t resign, they would out
him for cheating on his wife, something he denies.

COFFMAN: He had done things that exposed the party to potential liability,
legal liability. And that was the context in by the relationship came up.

REPORTER: Coffman says they confronted House about a pattern of lies but
she repeatedly refused to give examples.

Do you feel like you`ve lost credibility to the point that in the wake of
all of this, you should resign?

COFFMAN: No, I don`t.


MELBER: “No, I don`t”, she says there. This is where the story gets even

Days after the head of the Republican Party reportedly accusing the
attorney general of blackmail he changes his story.


REPORTER: A week after accusing party leaders, including the state
attorney general of threatening to tell everyone he cheated on his wife if
he didn`t resign, state Republican Party Chair Steve House says all`s good.


STEVE HOUSE, COLORADO GOP CHAIRMAN: I`m absolutely affirming my support
for Cynthia Coffman as our attorney general.

REPORTER: How do you say that after you accused her essentially you have
extortion, just last week?

HOUSE: Actually, if you really read the concept of what was written, I
never accused anybody of extortion.


MELBER: OK. I guess you can call that the conceptual defense. It`s an
odd development.

The Republican Party chair accusing the A.G. of blackmail which she then
denies and he recants just a week later. So, who knows what happened
there. In the great state of Texas, we do know what happened to the A.G.s.
This is the sitting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He`s sort of
smiling or is that a smirk in that was for a mugshot last week. He was
arrested on felony charges booked in the Colin County jail in Texas where
he was jailed briefly, then released after posting a $35,000 bond. He is
facing three criminal charges pertaining to what he did before he became
A.G. Two are first degree felonies for securities fraud, one not
registering as an investment advisor but trying to act as one.

Now, his lawyers said he will plead not guilty and is, quote, “looking
forward to the opportunity to tell his side of the story.”

Another notable thing about the case is that the Texas A.G.. is nine months
into his gig. And so at the end of last week, it seemed like that was
enough attorney general scandals for a while, until we got this.
Pennsylvania`s A.G., Kathleen Kane, she`s the first Democrat and first
woman to who told that position in the state and it`s also her beginning
first term in the position.

Last week though, she was criminally charged in a leak case. There`s her
mugshot from her arraignment this weekend. She`s accused of illegally
giving grand jury documents to a newspaper. The allegedly goal being to
make a political rival look bad and trying to cover up her actions with
false testimony given allegedly to another grand jury. Now, she maintains
her innocence, adding she will not be stepping down because doing that
would be an admission of guilt.

But it doesn`t seem like her fellow Democrats are as confident.
Pennsylvania`s Democratic governor, along with some other Dems in the
state, calling on her already to step down.

Now, in all these cases, it`s important to remember, each and every one of
these attorneys general are innocent till proven guilty. That said, it is
pretty amazing so many people tacked with upholding the law are facing
charges that they broke it. While it`s no defense to these charges to
blame the political process or the pay-to-play culture of modern campaigns,
they are part of a system that tells prosecutors to be part-time
politicians and full-time apolitical public servants.

We obviously need high standards for all attorneys general today no
question. But we may need a debate whether to change some of those
standards to create a law enforcement role devoid of politics or fund-
raising. Elections do have consequences and not all of them are a good fit
for the one job that must be completely independent of politics.


MELBER: We have one more story for you tonight that is very important. It
begins like so many big stories with lettuce.

In April, Space X launched a shipment of supplies towards the International
Space Station. Among the cargo was a system called Veg 01 which astronauts
call Veggie. Veggie is a collapsible and expandable unit designed to grow
food with red, blue and green LED lights. Having astronauts double as
farmers and being able to raise a sustainable food source is a critical
step for deep space mission like going to Mars because it takes astronauts
so long to get there.

And for years, scientists have been working on working on the most basic
problem, plants need water. How do you water a crop without gravity?
Veggie design stores the plants in sealed pillows which keep the roots and
water contained. For the last 33 days, members of the space station have
been tending to the pillows which contained red Romaine lettuce, taking
pictures, next to it, eerie pink low. In fact, red and blue lights or more
specifically their wavelengths, are all that`s needed to grow these plants.

But the veggie designers opted to include the green LED, as well to make
sure the plants kept their green color making them more appetizing for our
intrepid astronauts.

Today, 33 days after activating the seeds, you can see they harvested the
plants. Members of the space station ready to be the first people to eat
something grown in outer space.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Yoo-hoo.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s awesome. Good.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind I have like arugula.



MELBER: Like arugula. That was American astronaut Scott Kelly and Kjell
Lindgren you heard there, auditioning maybe for the next season of
“Chopped”. That`s also about as excited as you`ll see some astronauts get.
That was their ecstatic.

Now, for those wondering, the astronauts used a little bit of olive oil and
some vinegar to dress the lettuce leaves. Yes, folks, lettuce. Not wholly
exciting on its own but lettuce in space is still a pretty big deal and one
of the keys to long distance space travel.

Sixty years ago, we were trying to figure out how to get a person into
space. When we did, we were sending this up there as the astro meal plan.
Today, they`re cherishing these freshly grown red Romaine from their local
farm stand. And, look, if they can do this – well, lettuce consider the
possibilities. I`m so sorry.

All right. I am out of puns. And, luckily, that is our show tonight.



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