The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/04/15

Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell`s interview with Hillary Clinton starts right now.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Since Hillary Clinton started running for
president, overall this time, with all that has happened so far in the
presidential race, she has done two – precisely two – national sit-down

She`ll occasionally do a press gaggle or short press conference here
and there, she`ll occasionally take a shouted question. But when it comes
to taking, though, a long haul series of questions from one reporter with
follow-ups and everything, an in-depth interview, that is the unicorn with
hen`s teeth jumping over a double rainbow of a blue moon of this campaign.
That`s impossible to get.

But Andrea Mitchell just got that and we`ve got the whole remarkable
interview tonight. It includes Secretary Clinton`s most comprehensive
comments on the e-mail controversy. It includes Secretary Clinton moving
beyond saying yes to the Iran deal, to the point where she starts taking
credit for the work it took to get that deal done, owning it, making it a
Hillary Clinton deal as well as a Barack Obama deal.

She also takes a shot at Donald Trump`s campaign slogan. She also
stands up against Donald Trump on behalf of her staffer Houma Abedin, but
also on behalf of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

And in the first portion of the interview we`ll show you now, she
gives a forceful defense of one of the thing she is gets criticized for a
lot, which is that she`s too careful. She`s too safe.

Andrea Mitchell asks Secretary Clinton here what she thinks about the
crowds that are flocking to candidates like Bernie Sanders on the left and
Donald Trump on the right. What she thinks about the praise for Joe
Biden`s authenticity, Andrea asks Secretary Clinton if that`s because, in
contrast, she`s too lawyerly.



ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Looking at the campaign now you see
huge crowds for Bernie Sanders and for Donald Trump, and people talking
about Joe Biden having an opening if he decides to make a difficult choice
on an emotional level, which we understand. They talk about how authentic
these campaigns are.


MITCHELL: Does it hurt you when people say you`re too lawyerly, you
parse your words, you`re not authentic, you`re not connecting?

experience, out campaigning. I feel very, very good about where we are.
We`ve built a terrific organization in the early States, and we`re
expanding into those States that will be after Iowa, New Hampshire, South
Carolina, Nevada. The level of support, the intensity of support that I`m
experiencing as I speak with people, and talking about issues that I, I
know are on their minds.

I want to be the president who deals with all those big problems that
are in the headlines, but also those problems that keep families up at
night, and that`s why I started out listening. Because I think you can
come with your own ideas, and you can, you know, wave your arms and give a
speech, but at the end of the day are you connecting with and really
hearing what people are either really saying to you or wishing that you
would say to them.

So, on everything from mental health issues to substance abuse to
college affordability to the continuing struggles that families face in
spite of the fact that we`ve got a recovery and unemployment`s down, people
aren`t feeling it. I am very excited, and very energized, by the campaign
that I`m running.

And you know, after Labor Day you kind of move more toward the laying
out of your plans and moving toward debates, and having the exchanges that
you expect in a campaign. That`s the next stage and I`m looking forward to

MITCHELL: Are there real differences, big differences, between you
and Joe Biden on domestic or foreign policy?

CLINTON: You know, I`m not going to address any of the political
questions around my friend, Joe Biden. He has to make a really difficult
decision, and you can see him struggling with it, and I just wish the best
for him and his family.

If he continues as Vice President, he will continue to serve with
great distinction. If he gets into the race, there`ll be plenty of time to
get into the debate and the back and forth.

But I think everybody should give him the respect and space that he
deserves to make what is a very difficult choice for him and his family.

MITCHELL: You`re going to be giving a big speech on Iran next week.
At the same time, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are going to be holding a rally
on Capitol Hill against the Iran Deal. What do you say to your friends,
many of them in the Jewish community, who think this is a terrible deal?

CLINTON: Right. Well, that`s why I`m giving a speech next Wednesday,
because I was involved in the preliminary work. I helped to put together
the sanctions that pushed Iran to the negotiating table. I was the person
who explored the early efforts to see whether there could be a negotiation.

So, I believe that the agreement is not perfect. It is by no means
some validation of Iran. You know, my view is, “Don`t trust but verify.”
But it is a very important step, and it is better than the alternatives.

So on Wednesday, I will be outlining in great detail both why I
support the agreement, but equally importantly, what I would do as
president to enforce it, to hold Iran accountable, and to make clear that
no options were off the table. They can never, ever have a nuclear weapon.

So, this is not only about the agreement and what looks to be its
approval by the Congress. It`s about what comes next.

And I think the American people are going to want a president who
supports diplomacy, even with those who are our adversaries, to try to
reach the kind of understandings that we have, but who will also get up
every day and enforce that agreement, strongly and vigilantly.

And I think that`s a far better approach than some of the words you
will hear on the same day I deliver my speech from those who apparently
don`t believe in diplomacy, don`t believe in the hard work of putting
together international coalitions, don`t believe in trying to get the best
deal you can, that don`t believe it needs to be enforced the way that I
would enforce it.

MITCHELL: And Donald Trump, among other things he has done, has
really personally attacked one of your closest aides, Huma Abedin. What
was your feeling about that?

CLINTON: Well, he`s attacked so many people, including my close aide,
and myself, and many other people.

You know, I can take that. I mean, that`s just par for the course.

I do regret that he is going after so many people, many of them by
name, from great basketball players to people who express different
opinions from him.

I think it`s an unfortunate development in American politics, that his
campaign is all about who he`s against, whether it`s immigrants, or women
broadcasters, or aides of other candidates. He is the candidate of “being

The vision that I have for America is how we come together, how we
work together, how we set big goals again, whether it`s combating climate
change and getting moving on clean energy, or whether it`s making college

I have specific plans about what I think would be good for the
American people and good for us as a nation.

I think we are a great country, and I think that we are great because
of our values, because of our history, because of the way we`ve overcome
adversity, how we keep moving toward a more perfect union.

That`s what I`m running on.

And so, he can run his own campaign. He can, unfortunately, do what
he`s doing, which I think is a bad development for our American political

MITCHELL: Do you think he had a point in raising the question of
whether it was appropriate for her to be taking a State Department salary
and also be paid by an outside company closely associated with your
husband, by you?

CLINTON: Well, you know, I was not directly involved in that, but
everything that she did was approved under the rules as they existed by the
State Department.

And so, again, he can – you know, he`s great at innuendo and
conspiracy theories and really defaming people.

That`s not what I want to do in my campaign, and that`s not how I`m
going to conduct myself.

And I also believe the President of the United States does have to be
careful about what he or she says.

You know, I do know sometimes people say that I`m careful about what I
say. That`s because for more than twenty years, I`ve seen the importance
of the president of the United States, the leader not only of our nation,
but of our world, having to send messages that will be received by all
kinds of people.

Loose talk, threats, insults, they have consequences.

So I`m going to conduct myself as I believe is appropriate for someone
seeking the highest office in our country.


MADDOW: Front running Democratic presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton today asked once but looping back twice to this issue of her
speaking carefully. She`s keying off what she described as Republican
candidates Donald Trump`s innuendo and conspiracy theories and defaming
people. She says over the course 206 years one of the thing she is has
learned about the presidency is that loose talk, threat, insults, they have

And she also defended Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who Donald Trump is
attacking for having criticized Mr. Trump. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was here to
talk about that fight. Hillary Clinton is now defending Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar`s honor against Donald Trump.

And the whole thing gives me the best reason I`ve ever had to show you
one of the all time greatest photographs ever taken of Andrea Mitchell with
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I will direct your attention to the fact that in this
picture Andrea Mitchell is wearing heels.

We`ll be right back.


CLINTON: I do regret he is going after so many people, many of them
by name. From great basketball players to people who express different
opinions from him.



MADDOW: In February last year, the Bill Clinton Presidential Library
released some Clinton administration papers to the public for the first
time. The trove of stuff they released included this memo from 1995 which
was prepared for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and it was about the
notable qualities of the press corps that was going to be traveling with
the first lady on her big trip to China. Including someone named Andrea
Mitchell from NBC News about whom the first lady was warned in 1995, quote,
“She is a very aggressive and a very good reporter.”

Hillary Clinton warned about Andrea Mitchell`s aggression 20 years ago
today. The warning still stands.


MITCHELL: Why did you wipe the server clean even after you knew that
a congressional committee or more committees were investigating? You`ve
said it was because it was convenient. Clearly from the e-mails released
it wasn`t convenient. Are you sorry? Why do that? Were you trying to
keep reporters or investigating committees away? Are you sorry? Do you
want to apologize to the American people for the choice you made? The
first words that came to mind when asked about you were “liar,
untrustworthy, crooked” – how does that make you feel?




CLINTON: You know, I have so many opportunities from this country. I
just don`t want to see us fall backwards, you know? So –



MADDOW: That was the 2008 presidential campaign after Hillary Clinton
had lost Iowa unexpectedly, and that tearful moment in New Hampshire that
day was both a rare publicly emotional moment for Mrs. Clinton. It was
also the start of a comeback for her that brought that race down to the
wire in 2008.

Andrea Mitchell today asked Hillary Clinton a pretty uncomfortable
question about that time then and the campaign she`s in right now.


MITCHELL: I think back to 2008. You were in the coffee shop in New
Hampshire, and people really saw a different side of you. Perhaps you
thought it might be slipping away after what happened in Iowa.

Do you think back about that, and do you worry that this could be
happening again? That what happened with your e-mail has created so much
controversy that you could be losing this opportunity a second time?

CLINTON: Well, I don`t feel that. I feel that I have questions to
answer, which I intend to do at every turn, with you and others about the
whole e-mail issue, and to keep saying the same thing.

And then also to keep making the case that I`m making for the
presidency, what I stand for, what I`ve always stood for, what I will fight
for, and how hard I will work to make sure that not just my granddaughter,
but every child, every grandchild in America has the same chance to live up
to his or her God-given potential.

And I know that we`re living in a time where there`s a lot of
skepticism about politics, even cynicism. People are angry, they`re
frustrated, they feel somehow that their lives are slipping away, you know?
And they want some answers.

Sometimes those answers are bombastic and very ideological, but I can
understand why people are looking for some way out of what they view as
their own problems, particularly their economic problems.

I mean, we`re beginning to see the fruits of the recovery, but
paychecks aren`t growing. People are not feeling that they are rising with
rising corporate pay and rising corporate profits.

That`s just wrong, and I have said that for many years, and even in my
campaign last time, I was very clear against some of the worst abuses that
I thought were, unfortunately, bad for our economy and not fair to the
American people.

I`m talking about the same things. I will continue to talk about the
same things.

And I really trust the American people.


MADDOW: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today rejecting Andrea
Mitchell`s suggestion that her campaign is in trouble particularly because
of the e-mail issue which brings us to the e-mail issue. That`s ahead.

Stay with us.


CLINTON: There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems
around the world. I didn`t really stop and think what kind of e-mail
system will there be. I just –



MADDOW: One of the ways in which presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton made news in this interview today with Andrea Mitchell is that she
went further than she`s gone before not just in saying she`s in favor of
the Iran deal, in this interview today with Andrea, Secretary Clinton now
started taking some credit for some of the diplomatic work that made that
deal possible. She is embracing the Iran deal. And there is still drama
about that Iran deal.

The Republican-led Congress, of course, wants to scrap it – they will
not be able to – but from among these five Democrats and maybe also
Republican Susan Collins of Maine, from among these five or six remaining
senators, President Obama still needs three more votes, if he wants to
avoid having to use his veto power to save that deal.

So, seeing Hillary Clinton really embrace that deal and make it her
own today that is news, that`s a pretty important new development in that
ongoing drama around the Iran deal.

And now next crisis. What would Hillary Clinton do about the
desperate human columns of refugees? Mostly out of Syria in Europe right
now, what would Hillary Clinton do to stop that terrible crisis and to fix


MITCHELL: As someone who has such a record in foreign affairs, what
do you think, what do you feel, when you see these thousands and thousands
of migrants, men women, and children, caught between two worlds, unable to
get to Germany and Austria, to open arms willing to receive them? Should
the United States raise its quotas and permit more people from Syria to
come here?

CLINTON: Well, the pictures and, well, the stories – we`ve been
watching this terrible assault on the Syrian people now for years - are
just heartbreaking. And I think the entire world has to come together. It
should not be just one or two countries, or not just Europe and the United
States. We should do our part, as should the Europeans, but this is a
broader, global crisis.

We now have more refugees than we`ve had in many years. I think since
the Second World War.

And as we`ve seen tragically, people are literally dying to escape the
conflict in Syria. I think that the larger Middle East, I think Asia, I
think everybody should step up and say, “We have to help these people.”

And I would hope that under the aegis of the United Nations, led by
the Security Council, and certainly by the United States, which has been
such a generous nation in the past, we would begin to try to find ways to
help people get to safety in other lands.

However, that does not solve the problem, and the problem is one that
the entire world now sees doesn`t just affect the Syrian people. It
affects all of us. That`s what I`ve been saying for years.

That`s why I advocated for a more robust response when Assad began his
onslaught on the Syrian people, and I think that we have got to come to
grips with the fact that this is not going away, and the millions of people
who are fleeing need safe places to be, but the conflict needs to be
brought under control.

MITCHELL: Is this a failure of the president`s policy?

CLINTON: Well, it`s the world`s policies. I mean, it`s not only the
United States. I advocated for, as I say, a more robust policy, but
sitting here, I can`t say that that would have, on its own, made a
difference, because this had to be an international effort. Of course, we
know, the Russians were standing in the way.

And I negotiated the agreement in June of 2012 in Geneva, which the
Russians signed off on, and then immediately began to renege. So, we know
that this is not just a problem that the United States can solve.

We have to do what I did with the Iranian sanctions. I had to get the
Russians on board. I had to get the Chinese on board. It was not easy.
But that`s the kind of intensive diplomacy that is going to be required in
order to stop the flow of refugees, and to try and bring some peace and
security back to the region.


MADDOW: “I had to get the Russians on board, I had to get the Chinese
on board, that`s the kind of intensive diplomacy that will be required.”

Hillary Clinton speaking with Andrea Mitchell about the crisis of
refugees in Europe. This very rare sit down interview with Secretary
Clinton today hitting multiple foreign policy issues.

And, next, the one domestic issue from her time as secretary of state
that her campaign just can`t seem to get away from.


MITCHELL: Text or e-mail. I`m not sure that`s appropriate but –


MITCHELL: We asked Jeb Bush, so we`re asking you.



MADDOW: Have you had a conversation with a Hillary Clinton supporter
lately, then you know about the anxiety. There`s this palpable worry among
even her most ardent fans that usually manifest itself in this question –
but what about the e-mails?

Today, Secretary Clinton had the longest and most substantive exchange
ever about her private e-mail account she used at state. Andrea Mitchell
just grilled her on it relentlessly and there are two simultaneous ways to
watch her response to that grilling. One, is Hillary Clinton proving her
case that there`s no substance to the concerns about her private e-mail
server at state.

Two, is Hillary Clinton soothing the anxiety among her base? Is she
convincing her supporters that she`s going to weather this as a political



MITCHELL: You said recently that using your personal e-mail while you
were Secretary of State was not the best choice, and that you take
responsibility. Are you sorry?

CLINTON: Well, I certainly wish that I had made a different choice,
and I know why the American people have questions about it. And I want to
make sure I answer those questions, starting with the fact that my personal
e-mail use was fully above board. It was allowed by the State Department,
as they have confirmed. But in retrospect, it certainly would have been

I take responsibility. I should`ve had two accounts - one for
personal, one for work-related - and I`ve been as transparent as I could,
asking all 55,000 pages be released to the public, turning over my server,
looking for opportunities to testify before Congress. I`ve offered for
nearly a year.

Finally, the committee will give me a chance to testify in public
toward the end of October. And I`m going to answer these questions, and
I`m also going to continue to talk about what`s important to the people
that I meet about this presidential campaign, because it really is critical
that we renew the basic bargain of America, so that if you work hard, you
do your part, that you can get ahead, and pay for college. And have equal
pay for equal work, and all the other important issues that are on people`s

MITCHELL: But this has created what even your own campaign manager
said are some headwinds and a lot of noise out there. So, let`s get
through some of it.

First of all, are you sorry? Do you want to apologize to the American
people for the choice you made?

CLINTON: Well, it certainly wasn`t the best choice. And I have said
that, and I will continue to say that. As I`ve also said many times, it
was allowed, and it was fully above board. The people in the government
knew that I was using a personal account.

But it would`ve been better if I had two separate accounts to begin
with. And certainly I`m doing everything I can now to be as transparent
about what I did have on my work-related e-mails. I think, you know, they
will be coming out. I wish it were a little bit faster. It`s frustrating
that it`s taking a while.

But there`s a process that has to be followed.

MITCHELL: Well since 1995, the State Department Foreign Affairs
manual said that all e-mails, all records had to be preserved. In 2005,
the manual was updated to say, quote, “Sensitive but unclassified
information should not be transmitted through personal e-mail accounts.”

Eight months after you took office, the U.S. Code of Federal
Regulations was updated to say that agencies that allow employees to send
and receive official electronic e-mail messages using a system not operated
by the agency must ensure that federal records sent or received on such
existing systems are preserved by the appropriate agency recording system.

So there were a lot of advisories. No laws, correct. But a lot of
advisories, including White House guidance, against using personal e-mail,
and especially using personal e-mail exclusively.

You say that – just now, you said – people in the government knew
you used personal e-mail. The recent e-mails that were released indicated
the help desk at the State Department didn`t know. They couldn`t recognize
what your e-mail address was.

CLINTON: Well, the people I was e-mailing to on the dot-gov system
certainly knew, and they would respond to me on my personal e-mail. But I
do think it`s a fair question. It was allowed and I chose to do it, as
other who had been in high official positions had as well.

And I believe, and it`s turned out to be very much confirmed, that the
vast majority of everything that I was sending to a dot-gov, the official
government account, would be captured.

And I have gone the extra step, and I have gone through all of the e-
mails I had from those four years in the State Department – to make sure
that anything, even being overly inclusive, that could possibly be work-
related, was made available to the State Department.

MITCHELL: Well, a few quick points. There was an Inspector General`s
report last March that in 2011, only 61,000 e-mails out of a billion at the
State Department were preserved because the archival system for five years
was so bad. People didn`t know how to use it. People weren`t trained
properly. So things weren`t captured at the receiving end.

CLINTON: Well, that isn`t the case with my e-mails. I know that our
government, and this is an issue we must address, is not up to speed
technically. And there`s a huge amount of information – I can just speak
about the State Department, certainly – but the entire government, as we
have seen with the White House and every other agency, is struggling to
keep up with the onslaught of e-mails.

MITCHELL: But does it concern you that people don`t trust your
answers on this? I mean, there was a Quinnipiac – and I know this poll
was everyone, Republicans and Democrats – but the first words that came to
mind when asked about you were “liar,” “untrustworthy,” “crooked.” How
does that make you feel?

CLINTON: Well, it certainly doesn`t make me feel good.

But I am very confident that by the time that this campaign has run
its course, people will know that what I`ve been saying is accurate. And I
will have the chance to do that in front of the entire world with the
congressional committee hearing. They may disagree, as I now disagree,
with the choice that I made, but the facts that I have put forth have
remained the same.

But more importantly, the American people will know that they can
trust me when it comes to standing up for them and fighting for them and,
you know, being their advocate and their champion.

And I think that`s what this election, when it`s all said and done,
has to be about.

Who has the vision for America. Who will be there every single day
trying to renew the basic bargain that Americans should expect from our
country. Who will get results. Who has the tenacity and the skill to do

And I`m very confident that the American people will believe that I
do, and will support me for president.

MITCHELL: A couple of other quick points. Why did you wipe the
server clean, even after you knew that a congressional committee, or more
committees, were investigating? And why delete the 30,000 or so e-mails
that were deemed personal? How did you decide what to delete and what not
to delete?

CLINTON: Well, let me tell you the process here, because I`m glad you
asked that, Andrea, because I think it is one of the questions that people

In the fall, I think it was October of last year, the State Department
sent a letter to previous secretaries of state asking for help with their
record-keeping, in part because of the technical problems that they knew
they had to deal with. And they asked that we, all of us, go through our
e-mails to determine what was work-related and to provide that for them.

The letter came to my lawyers. I asked my lawyers to please do that,
and it took weeks, but they went through every single e-mail.

MITCHELL: So the lawyers did that.

CLINTON: Yes, every single e-mail. And they were overly inclusive.
They thought anything was connected. In fact, so inclusive that the State
Department has already told us they`re going to return 1,200 e-mails
because they were totally personal.

At the end of that process, again following the request of the State
Department, they had to print out all of those e-mails that were work
related, and it ended up being 55,000 pages, those were delivered to the
State Department. They kept a thumb drive that was delivered to, or kept
by, my lawyers under lock and key.

That left all of my personal e-mails, and I was asked, “Do you need to
keep all of your personal e-mails?” And I said, “No, I don`t. You can
delete those.”

And they were.

But that doesn`t change what we were asked to do, how carefully we did
it, and how even the State Department said we sent them things that they
don`t believe that they should have gotten.

MITCHELL: Do you know what lot of people are asking? “Why? Why have
just a personal system?”

You`ve said that is was convenient.


MITCHELL: Clearly, from the e-mails that have been released, it
wasn`t convenient. There were a lot of, you know, confusing things. There
were breakdowns. There were outages.

Why do that? Were you trying to keep reports or investigating
committees away? What was the defensive mode?

CLINTON: Well, I had a personal email – I had a personal e-mail when
I was in the Senate, as the vast majority of senators do. It was very
convenient. I did all my business on my personal e-mails.

MITCHELL: But you were a member of the national security cabinet.

CLINTON: Well, that`s why I am so careful about classified

And has been confirmed repeatedly by the inspectors general over and
over, I did not send or receive any material marked classified.

We dealt with classified material on a totally different system. I
dealt with it in person. I dealt with it on secure phone lines. I had the
traveling team, the technical team, that went with me and they set up
tents, so that when I was traveling, anything that was classified would be
protected from prying eyes.

I take classified material very, very seriously, and we followed all
the rules on classified material.

Now what happens when you ask, or when a freedom of information
request asks, that information be made public, all the agencies get to
weigh in. And what you`re hearing from other agencies is, “It wasn`t
classified at the time, but now we think it should be.”

And that is not uncommon. In fact, if I`d had just a government
account that was on the unclassified system, they would go through the same

So, again, it`s confusing, and that`s why I`m trying to do a better
job explaining it to the American people.

MITCHELL: You have said that Colin Powell did the same thing. He
actually had a personal e-mail and a official e-mail system. So
he didn`t just rely on a personal system. I don`t think there`s any
precedent for anyone just relying on a personal e-mail system at your level
of government.

CLINTON: Well, I can`t speak for him. That has certainly been
portrayed differently, depending upon how it`s considered.

But this was fully above board, people knew I was using a personal e-
mail. I did it for convenience. I sent e-mails that I thought were work-
related to people`s dot-gov accounts. The vast majority were captured by
the system, and now we`ve made sure that everything that could be
considered work related is in the system of the State Department.

MITCHELL: Did anyone in your inner circle say, “This is not a good
idea. Let`s not do this”?

CLINTON: You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was
so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world. I
didn`t really stop and think, what kind of e-mail system will there be?

MITCHELL: Does it raise judgment questions?

CLINTON: Well, I don`t think so. I think that the facts are pretty
clear that we had a lot of work, hard choices to make in those four years.
And I`m very proud of the work I did. I`m very proud of all the people
that I worked with. I think we really served our country well. And now,
the State Department has everything that they could have.

So, at the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to
people and has raised a lot of questions. But there are answers to all
these questions, and I will continue to provide those answers. And those
answers have been confirmed and affirmed by the State Department and by
other government officials, and eventually I`ll get to testify in public,
and I`m sure that it will be a long and grueling time there, but all the
questions will be answered. And I take responsibility and it wasn`t the
best choice.


MADDOW: It was not the best choice.

Hillary Clinton after she did this interview, that have interview came
out today, Hillary Clinton got thrown all this shade in the press that she
didn`t properly apologize.

If you watch that whole exchange between her and Andrea and you think
Secretary Clinton is not expressing regret about the e-mail system, you are
watching that discussion through very thick glasses. So thick they could
possibly be warped.

We`ve got more coming up, including Andrea Mitchell here live. Stay
with us.


MADDOW: So this clip I`m about to show you is amazing. It happened
20 years ago tomorrow. It`s then-Health and Human Services Secretary Donna
Shalala physically fighting her way past a blockade set up by Chinese
security forces. Note the reporter waiting for her on the other side of
the fight.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop pushing! Stop pushing! Stop pushing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all right?


MITCHELL: Was it their police? Was it police or military?

SHALALA: Not sure.

MITCHELL: What happened when you tried to get through the gate?

SHALALA: They were lined up with their arms locked and they were only
letting a handful of people through but more importantly people were
pushing them back.


MADDOW: Andrea Mitchell and Secretary Shalala in Beijing 20 years ago
tomorrow for super controversial address by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton
on the topic of women`s rights. They were there even though lots of
members of the U.S. government and the Chinese government did not want them
to be there – 20th anniversary of that Beijing speech is tomorrow.


MITCHELL: We`ve got the President of China coming later this month,
in a few weeks, for a state visit, and 20 years ago – 20 years ago,
tomorrow - you were leading the delegation and gave a speech that accused
China of human rights abuses, implicitly.

You said that women`s rights are human rights and human rights are
women`s rights.

And I`m wondering whether you feel twenty years later that women have
any more rights, have made progress in China and indeed around the world?

CLINTON: You know, Andrea. It feels like it was yesterday. You were
there. You were there in Beijing.

MITCHELL: We were just kids.

CLINTON: And I was very humbled and proud at the same time to
represent the United States, and to make that speech, and to set forth a
platform for action.

Twenty years later, I would say this: Women and girls have made
progress in health and in education. In health, we have done a lot to
improve women`s health, particularly lower maternal mortality. In
education, we have closed the gap in primary education, so that girls are
attending at about the same rate as boys.

But the gap then comes back in secondary education, so we have work to
do. But if you look at economic rights and participation, political rights
and participation, security and conflict, we have a lot to do.

So it`s a glass half filled kind of scenario. And as a senator, as
secretary of state, I argued strongly for putting women`s rights at the
center of foreign policy because when women have rights, you`re more likely
to have a middle class, you`re more likely to have more stable families, we
are more likely to have the opportunity for democracy to take hold and

So, this for me was not only a moral issue, a humanitarian issue, a
rights and equality issue. It was a security and strategic issue.

And I`m going to continue to make that case.

There has been progress in China. They have a long way to go, as so
many other countries do.

But even in advanced economies like our own, we don`t have equal pay
for equal work. The minimum wage is what – 2/3 of the people on minimum
wage are women. That`s not a way to get yourself out of poverty.

We still have our own challenges. And, you know, clearly, my running
for president is a way of sending a message that we have unfinished
business in America, and we have an opportunity to lift up everyone –
women, men, girls, and boys – at the same time.

MITCHELL: And I didn`t know this at the time, but you kept that
speech very secret, because you knew that the State Department and the
White House national security advisers did not want you to deliver that
strong a message. Never before had a First Lady taken the world stage and
shaken things up.

Did you get a lot of blowback? Did your husband or others respond –

CLINTON: No. Before I went, there was a lot of hand-wringing, in the
Congress as well as the administration.

MITCHELL: I remember that well.

CLINTON: But I made it clear that I was going to go. We had an
excellent delegation. It was bipartisan in those days, both Democrats and
Republicans, and Madeleine Albright, then our ambassador to the U.N., was
the official head of the delegation. I was the honorary chair of it.

And I made it clear that this – even though it was twenty years ago -
this was a critical issue about America`s values and our interests and our
future security. So, I made the case, and I went. And I was very pleased
that after the speech, some of the naysayers contacted me and thanked me
for doing it.


MADDOW: I love the part about the naysayers.

Hillary Clinton sounding Donald Trumpesque there, right? I mean, all
those people who criticize in public, they call me privately and tell me
they are sorry. It`s very Trumpesque of her in the best possible way.

All right. We`ve got one last thing to show you, which Andrea
Mitchell catches her off guard so much she does this.

That`s next. Stay with us.



MITCHELL: Early bird or night owl?

CLINTON: Unfortunately both.


CLINTON: I`d like to be one or the other.

MITCHELL: Work out of choice?

CLINTON: Swimming but that is not always available to treadmill, and
weights and walking.

MITCHELL: And the food you crave most?

CLINTON: Probably chocolate.

MITCHELL: I`m with you on that.

What are you binge watching?

CLINTON: Right now, we were so late in watching “House of Cards”, we
are nearly done with the season.

MITCHELL: Text or e-mail? I`m not sure that`s appropriate.


MITCHELL: We asked Jeb Bush. So, we are asking you.

CLINTON: E-mail.

MITCHELL: And one with thing you can not live without?

CLINTON: Sleep. Don`t get enough of it. Always want more of it.

MITCHELL: Thank you again.

CLINTON: Thanks.


MADDOW: Andrea Mitchell has covered Clinton, Hillary, and Clinton,
Bill for more than two decades now and that record includes this landmark,
aggressive far-reaching interview with the front running Democratic
presidential candidate who`s usually notoriously unavailable for comment.

Andrea Mitchell is joining us here now.

Andrea, congratulations on this.

MITCHELL: Thank you, Rachel. I can take a deep breath now, can`t I?

MADDOW: Yes, well, I don`t want you to interview me.

How did you get her to talk to you? This is the longest interview
she`s done since she`s been running. The third sit-down national interview
she`s done in this whole cycle.

MITCHELL: I think there are a lot of parts to it. Perhaps because
they realized they needed to reset. The campaign needed to do a serious
interview on the subject.

And the one they did a couple of weeks back with CNN was before a lot
of other things had happened. They had been answering questions
periodically my on the campaign trail, but shouted questions or rope lines.
It was not a serious response. They tried to joke about it with Snapchat.
They tried to be aggressive and defensive.

You know, what did I wipe the server clean with a cloth.


MITCHELL: You can`t joke about this stuff. Once the FBI is involved
and then once just 24 hours ago we learned that one of her former aides who
set up the server is going to tell the committee next week he`s taking the
Fifth. You can`t joke about this stuff. It`s going to be around for a
while. So, deal, try to be as transparent as you can.

MADDOW: You pressed her so relentlessly on the e-mail. She has never
had to answer so many follow-up questions from the same person on the
subject. You`ve got really deep with her.

Did you come away with a new understanding of the scope of the problem
and how she is handling it?

MITCHELL: I have come away with the fact that on the subject of why
and how she got rid of those 30,000 e-mails she had the lawyers do it.


MITCHELL: That was interesting.

MADDOW: Yes, that was new.

MITCHELL: In talking to intelligence and state department officials,
as recently as this week, intensively, it is true. There was no such thing
as a classified portable Blackberry or device.

So, if you are an assistant secretary of state and traveling to a
foreign capital and speaking to a foreign leader, and need to report back,
you have to go to an embassy, you have to go to a secret place.

MADDOW: Oh, wow, yes.

MITCHELL: Even if it weren`t on the private system there are all
sorts of glitches in how information is transmitted. People are
communicating back by elliptically saying I was with so and so, and
everybody – all of the bad guys know who it is and the Chinese and
Russians are hacking them any way. So, there is that.

But White House officials are pretty upset because they are told by
the chief of staff and national security adviser on a weekly basis, what
are you doing on your private, official system? Don`t mix the two. And
the fact she only had private is what they find inexcusable.

MADDOW: Andrea Mitchell, the host of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS” here
on MSNBC – congratulations on the scoop today. You are a very good
interviewer. Only you could have got this interview. And you made a ton
of news today. Thanks. Thanks.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

MADDOW: Thanks.

All right. That does it for us tonight. We will see you again next
week. Until then, both Andrea Mitchell and I are sending you to prison.


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