The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 5/25/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: May 25, 2016
Guest: Chris Ramirez, John Archibald
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
At the last Republican National Convention when they nominated Mitt Romney
in 2012, the big surprise celebrity showbiz moment of the RNC was a
previously unannounced, last-minute, surprise addition to the primetime
schedule and it was from actor, celebrity movie star Clint Eastwood. And
whatever the Mitt Romney campaign and the Republican Party thought they
were going to get out of that, I don`t think they thought they were going
to get this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINT EASTWOOD, MOVIE STAR: So, Mr. President, how do you handle – how do
you handle promises that you`ve made when you are running for election and
how do you handle – how do you handle it? What do you say to people? Do
you just – you know, I know people – people are wondering – you don`t.
I thought – I thought yes, does – I`m not going to shut up. It`s my
So, anyway, we got – we`re going to have – we`re going to have to have a
little chat about that. I wonder all these promises and I wondered about
when – when the – what? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can`t
tell him to do that. He can`t do that to himself. You`re absolutely
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It was so weird. You know, it was really weird in the moment. I
remember covering the convention that night and sitting there on set with
everybody else who was covering it and we started asking the camera people
and the people working the crew and the people randomly coming through does
this seem okay to anybody? Is there anybody in this room this is working
It was really weird. Clint Eastwood`s truly mystifying performance at the
Mitt Romney nominating convention for the Republicans in 2012. It was
probably the worst moment of that convention for the Republicans but it did
The official key note speech at the RNC the year they nominated Romney was
given by Chris Christie. It later emerged that Chris Christie apparently
threw a fit before going on stage that night and threatened that he would
use the “F” word live on prime time television in the middle of his speech
unless the RNC played an all hail Chris Christie introductory video that he
wanted to run on the JumboTron before he took the stage.
Now, think about this for a second. This was the convention to nominate
Mitt Romney for president but Chris Christie instead insisted that they
play a video about Chris Christie before he started his speech and when
they said they didn`t have time to do it, he threatened to “F” bomb the
whole convention live on prime time television so they played the video and
Chris Christie gave his speech.
And it wasn`t until 16 minutes into his speech that he mentioned Mitt
Romney, that he mentioned the guy who was actually the presidential nominee
of the Republican Party that year who was not Chris Christie. The first 16
minutes of the speech was all about him and that was after the movie.
That keynote led to some memorable headlines for Chris Christie including
this succinct one at Politico.com that I`ve always loved, Christie`s flop.
“USA Today” had this headline, Christie praises Romney about 16 minutes in.
At the great New York City blog Gothamist they headlined their recap,
“Governor Christie introduces President Christie with Christie 2016 RNC
speech.” It was just terrible. That was the keynote.
Mitt Romney`s acceptance speech for the nomination was better received but
it did have one big problem that really interfered with the reception that
the speech got overall. He gave this sort of sober speech, it was like a
stump speech, churning through the main points and all the things he
thought would be important to mention about his perspective presidency.
The big problem with it is that he left out entirely the fact that the
United States was at war. No mention at all of major national security
issues or the fact that he would be becoming a commander in chief for a
nation in war time. No mention at all. Which meant that at a moment he
was supposed to be maximizing his good press, maximizing his momentum out
of the convention, maximizing his favorables, instead part of the reaction
to the nomination was he got stomped on by veterans all across the country
who were upset about being snubbed in that high profile way.
So, in their big surprise celebrity moment and their keynote and the
acceptance speech and all the high points of the Republican convention in
2012, there were problems. But there was one lower profile moment at the
RNC, there`s one prime time speech at the Republican convention in 2012
which I think nobody had any great expectations for, it wasn`t a speech
that had a benchmark label like a key note or something.
But there was one speech, one moment in primetime at the RNC that was
great. I mean, whether or not you like the politician in question it was a
great speech, brought the house down. If there was anybody who emerged as
a star from that troubled convention it was a Republican governor from a
western state not widely nationally known. But whatever you think about
her politics, whatever you think about the points that she`s making her,
watch how good this was just as a political moment, just hitting the notes
right, bringing people along with you, bringing them to their feet.
Just watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ (R), NEW MEXICO: When I was a young prosecutor, I got
called to testify against my boss. I could have backed down, but I didn`t.
I stood up to him and he fired me for it.
So, I took him on. Ran against him for district attorney and beat him by a
Before I ran for district attorney, two Republicans invited my husband and
me to lunch and I knew a party switch was exactly what they wanted. So, I
told Chuck, “We`ll be polite, enjoy a free lunch and then say good bye.”
But we talked about issues. They never use the words Republican or
Democrat, conservative or liberal. We talked about many issues, like
welfare. Is it a way of life or a hand up? Talked about size of
government, how much should it tax families and small businesses?
And when we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck
and said, I`ll be damned, we`re Republicans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Notice how she finishes that, she gets this huge applause. She
doesn`t even smile. She waits for it and then allows herself a slight
smile to recognize the response she`s getting. That was really good.
That was Governor Susana Martinez, Republican governor of New Mexico. She
just brought the House down.
Susana Martinez is a two-term governor of new Mexico. I will tell you, my
personal – my honest assessment of how she has done as governor, that she
hasn`t had distinguished a tenure. She`s had problems in that state,
including embarrassing personal problems, personal moments that she
wouldn`t have wanted to be caught on tape that were.
But you can tell from the fact that she had the one star performance at the
Republican Convention in 2012, you can tell she has real talent as a
politician. She did get elected twice statewide in New Mexico as a
Republican. She`s the only female governor that state has ever had. She`s
the only female Hispanic governor any U.S. state has ever had.
She`s the highest profile Latino Republican not just nationally now but
maybe ever, and she also right now has a really important job in Republican
politics. In addition to being the two term governor of New Mexico, she`s
also chair of the Republican Governors Association.
Last night as Donald Trump was heading to her state to do his first
presidential campaign fundraiser, because he`s no longer self-funding, and
then afterwards to appear at what ended up being a sort of scary and fairly
violent rally in New Mexico`s biggest city, in Albuquerque, more on that
later, in advance of that rally last night, we played a piece of tape from
the local news in Albuquerque in which Governor Susana Martinez explained
why exactly she was not planning to attend that Donald Trump event even
though he was coming to her state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Everybody of course wants to know if you will be attending
Donald Trump`s rally tomorrow.
MARTINEZ: No, I will not.
REPORTER: What`s your reason? Tell us why.
MARTINEZ: You know, I`m really busy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: She`s really busy. All governors are.
She did not go to that Donald Trump event last night in Albuquerque, but I
think it was a surprise to a lot of people when at that Donald Trump event
last night in Albuquerque, he decided to go right after Governor Susana
Martinez, and he did it in a way – I want you to watch this. We haven`t
edited it internally at all. You get at the way he delivered it.
I just want you to watch it because I feel watching this like this was this
very specific, and sort of emotionally unusual if I can use that term.
What I mean by that is that he tends to – Donald Trump trends to go after
his political target of the moment.
It`s always different depending on who the target is and depending on the
circumstances. But with Susana Martinez, he`s doing something I`ve never
seen him do before with anybody. He seems to be implying specifically that
she is slow or indolent or something. It was a strange thing for him to
attack her at all.
I think it was also strange the way he attacked her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to get your governor to
get going. She`s got to do a better job, OK. Your governor has got to do
a better job. She`s not doing the job. Hey, maybe I`ll run for governor
of New Mexico. I`ll get this place going.
She`s not doing the job. We got to get her moving. Come on, let`s go,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We`ve got to get her moving, let`s go, let`s go, Governor. We`ve
got to get her moving.
Like she`s lagging behind. She`s slow. She needs to be woken up or
That`s an attack that was Kented in a way I`ve never heard Donald Trump
attack another politician before, but the woman he was attacking is the
Republican governor of that state, the first female governor of that state,
the first Hispanic female governor anywhere, and one of the highest ranking
Hispanics of the Republican Party ever, chair of the Republican Governors
It`s hard to imagine how Donald Trump attacking her fits into any kind of
Republican presidential campaign playbook. But anybody who tells you that
Donald Trump has turned over some new leaf in which he`s now acting more
presidential these days, she`s now acting more like a mainstream
presidential candidate, that person has not been listening to Donald Trump
when he speaks into a microphone at his political events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So, I looked, you know, Hillary Clinton has somebody – did you
ever hear of Pocahontas, huh? It`s Pocahontas, Elizabeth Warren, she is
going out, she`s probably the senator that`s doing just about the least in
the United States Senate.
She`s a total failure. She said she was an Indian. She said because her
cheek bones were high she was an Indian, that she was Native American and,
you know, we have these surrogates people like her total failures and I`ll
tell you what, our country is getting wise to what`s happening, folks.
We`re getting wise to what`s happening.
It`s a big scam and we`re all being scammed together and we`re not going to
take it anymore, OK? We`re not going to take it anymore. Pocahontas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: In New Mexico, Donald Trump mocking Elizabeth Warren for having
Native American heritage.
Now, it`s not that she doesn`t have the heritage, she does. She`s part
Native American. Donald Trump just finding that disgusting and hilarious
and worthy of derisively calling her Pocahontas all the time.
He`s also now started describing Hillary Clinton as a, quote, “this low
life”. That`s what he calls Hillary Clinton now. That`s how he talks
about her now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I see this low life tonight, I see this low life. She puts on an
ad, did you know that Donald Trump was rooting against housing, because he
wants housing to go down because he wanted to buy and they have some clip
of me from many years ago where I`m saying, “Yes, if it goes down I`m going
to buy. I`m a businessman. That`s what I`m supposed to do. That`s what
I`m supposed to do.”
We have one person left. She`s a total lightweight, believe me. She is
not – you know, I watch her speaking. She always uses the teleprompter.
I watch her speaking. We are going to win north and south and east and
west, and I will never say this, but she`s screams. It drives me crazy. I
didn`t say it. I can`t listen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump last night saying
he cannot stand the sound of that woman`s voice, calling her that low life.
That`s what he calls her now. Calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, mocking
her specifically for being partly Native American, as if that`s something
she ought to be ashamed of.
It`s not like he threw out a script and ended up backsliding into that kind
of racist, sexist, name calling at his political events again. This is how
his events are structured now. This is how he`s running. It`s even how
other people on stage with him get their point across as well.
For example, here is the guy who introduced him last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID, INTRODUCED TRUMP IN ALBUQUERQUE, NM: I have heard people say, I
don`t know who to choose, Trump or Hillary. Even Bill Clinton chose other
women, so you should too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was the introduction to Donald Trump last night in
Albuquerque. That`s what it`s like now. That`s the Republican campaign
And with that sort of presidential campaign, I think it`s fair to say, the
Republican Party has this race sewn up, right?
There were interruptions of Donald Trump by protesters inside the
convention hall there last night. There were also some significant and
violent protests outside the event. I do think it`s worth differentiating
between the kind of violence we have seen inside Trump events earlier in
his campaign this year, and the kind of violence we`re now seeing by anti-
Trump protesters outside his events.
It`s not like there`s any one knowable group that`s organizing these
instances of violence outside Trump`s event. So, it`s hard to know how
they`re going to be curtailed. But at some point, the organized opposition
to Donald Trump is going to have to come up with a way to try to stop the
violence at anti-Donald Trump protests, to try the channel the legitimate
vitriol and upset that he has aroused into nonviolent and more constructive
And that may or may not be the responsibility of Democratic electoral
campaign against Donald Trump, but as the Democratic primary comes to an
end and the division becomes clearer between the two sides in this race,
Donald Trump and not Donald Trump, the Democratic side is going to start
getting blamed for these violent protests, and they are going to have going
to have to engage to try to stop this stuff from happening.
On the Democratic side of the race as it heads toward its closing, we did
have something weird happen last night in the latest primary campaign.
Something like what happened in 2008 but what happened last night really
was quite unusual and we`ve got details on that plus more, ahead. Stay
MADDOW: In the 2008 Democratic primary between Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton, there was a strange result that came out of the great state of
Washington. In 2008, candidate Barack Obama won the caucuses in Washington
state by a huge margin. He won the caucuses by 37 points. And he got a
ton of delegates because that was the binding results. That`s how the
delegates were allocated from Washington state.
But Washington is also one of those states in addition to holding their
caucus which is the thing that matters for delegates, they also thereafter
held a primary for no real reason, but they held a primary.
And after Barack Obama in 2008 won those caucuses by such a huge margin,
when it came time for the primary a couple of months later, he did win
again but he won the primary by a very small margin, he only won that by
So, in 2008, that change in Washington state, that was sort of an
interesting talking point. Actually it was an interesting point of worry
at the time for the Obama campaign in that 2008 race.
Well, this year, now, in 2016, something like that but more dramatic has
just happened. When Washington state Democrats held their caucuses back in
March, Bernie Sanders won by a landslide. He won 73 to 27, just a huge
win. One of the biggest wins he has had all year. That win netted him a
gain of 41 delegates out of the state of Washington which is one of the
biggest chunk of delegates he got anywhere.
But last night, like they did in 2008 Washington again, after they held
their caucus and that`s binding and that`s where the delegates came from,
they`re after a couple of months later held a primary and the primary was
last night. It doesn`t allocate delegates. It`s kind of meaningless.
Nobody knows why the state of Washington does both of these anyway but they
And this time, unlike in 2008 when Barack Obama just won the primary by a
significantly smaller margin, this time in the Washington state primary,
Bernie Sanders didn`t just win the primary by a significantly smaller
margin than he had won the caucus. Last night in Washington state, Bernie
Sanders actually lost the primary. He won by a huge margin in the
caucuses, but in the primary, Hillary Clinton won. The results were
reversed from what happened in that state two months ago.
Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders last night in the Washington primary by
six points. For what it`s worth, if you want to compare the turnout in
those two contests, the primary last night, the meaningless primary last
night had about double the turnout as compared to the caucus that Bernie
Sanders won back in March.
Now, like I said, it was a meaningless primary. It doesn`t make any
difference in terms of delegates. Bernie Sanders still gets all those 40-
plus delegates he earned out of Washington state because he did so well in
But psychologically, that`s a weird thing to process in the Democrat race.
At least that`s how it was discussed last night by the NBC affiliate in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, the more interesting story of the night might be
on the Democratic side where Hillary Clinton has won the primary. She lost
the caucuses in a landslide, but here, during this primary, this beauty
contest primary, she is winning over 20 counties. What do these counties
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it tells you it`s much easier to mail in a ballot
than to go to a caucus and a much greater number of people turned out and
you`re seeing that reflected in her numbers. So, a lot of complaints from
the Sanders voters that the super delegates in Washington should be going
towards Sanders instead of Clinton, that argument is now coming back on
social media, to me, where people say, actually they should go to Clinton
and I`m seeing those claims from former elected officials in that state.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Symbolically, psychologically, this is a big night
for Hillary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Symbolically and psychologically, it was also a bad night for the
Sanders campaign argument that particularly in Washington state where he
had that huge win, the super delegates in that state should flip to him in
order to reflect the will of the people in that state.
It looked like the will of the people, the will of the Democrats in
Washington was very pro-Bernie Sanders when they held that caucus. But
after last night`s primary which Hillary Clinton won, that`s much harder to
If the Sanders campaign is saying that it still has a chance at the
nomination because it can flip the super delegates, their argument for
doing that in states like Washington took a big blow last night.
The Democratic race, of course, is not yet over but it is getting there.
And while Sanders versus Clinton rolls on towards California, Trump versus
Clinton rolls on through the mud in New Mexico and California and all
across the country.
We`ve got a live report on that ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Governor, what is your response to Donald Trump`s criticism that
you`re not necessarily doing your job here?
MARTINEZ: You know, it`s politics. I mean, it really is. It`s just
politics. It doesn`t bother me what he says. It is – it just doesn`t
I was a prosecutor for 25 years, you know, and have heard names that I`ve
been called for a long time. It`s not something that`s going to affect me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: New Mexico`s Republican Governor Susana Martinez speaking just a
little bit earlier this evening, responding for the first time after Donald
Trump went after her at a rally in her home state of New Mexico last night.
Joining us now is Chris Ramirez. He`s an investigative reporter in KOB-TV
Mr. Ramirez, it`s really nice to have you here. Thanks for joining us.
CHRIS RAMIREZ, KOB-TV INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, thanks, Rachel. Thanks
for having me.
MADDOW: So, from a national perspective, it`s interesting to look at what
Governor Martinez there just called the politics here. She`s this very
high profile Republican governor, chair of the Republican Governors
Association, now at war with the Republican presidential nominee.
I mean, from your perspective in the state, could you see this coming?
RAMIREZ: Yes, I think this is sort of the Martinez that New Mexico has
come to know. She`s not afraid to go against her own party. I cover the
statehouse quite a bit, and in the statehouse, we`ve seen that the governor
has aligned herself with some key Democrats in our statehouse, and has made
some enemies with some key Republicans.
So, she really hasn`t shown herself to us in the last six years as somebody
who is a party lined person. She really does forge alliances with those
who share her views, sometimes they`re Democrats. Sometimes they`re
Republicans. So, this to New Mexicans isn`t a huge surprise.
MADDOW: That said, given her national role as RGA chair, for a while as
far as I could tell, trying to follow this from here, it seemed like she
had wanted to not to go to the Republican National Convention this summer,
but then it occurred to her that as Republican Governors Association chair,
she would have to go.
It seems like she`s trying to keep her distance here but she does have a
national role. So how does that factor into this for her?
RAMIREZ: Well, the term she used with us was obligated. She told us on
the record that she did not want to go to the RNC, and then a few months
later, she changed her mind and then she used the word “obligated”. As RGA
chairwoman, she was obligated to go.
And so, I think that word “obligated”, Rachel, is a keyword that she`s
using because I feel like that`s her real sentiment. She doesn`t want to
go. I think she`s made it no secret that she does not support Donald Trump
in anyway. She endorsed Marco Rubio days before Marco Rubio dropped out of
the campaign and so like she says, she`s obligated to go to the RNC as the
MADDOW: Chris, let me ask you about one specific thing about the way that
Donald Trump attacked her last night at this event in Albuquerque. He
doesn`t always use notes. He doesn`t always use a teleprompter. You saw
him pick up a piece of paper and start to read from notes when he started
to go after her.
And the specific way he went after her is by implying that she`s lazy,
saying that she needs to get going, come on, governor, come on, governor.
It`s just – to me, it struck me as an odd emotional tone that had a
strange tenure to it. It`s not exactly the way that I`ve heard him attack
Is that resonating for a specific reason in New Mexico? Is that – do you
know what he`s getting at there?
RAMIREZ: Well, the context of that, and I was in the room with him last
night. And so, the context of that was he was reading off of his notes
like you mentioned that in the state of New Mexico, since the year 2000,
people who are on food stamps has increased three times today than it was
in the year 2000. And so, he was saying, come on, governor, like we should
do better as if using food stamps or using welfare assistance was some sort
of a bad thing for New Mexico.
The governor`s office was really quick to respond to the fact that that`s a
little bit of an unfair comparison because as we both know, Susana Martinez
was not governor between the years 2000 and 2010. Eight of those years was
Democratic Governor Bill Richardson. And so, the governor`s office was
quick to point out that this particular comment isn`t necessarily a fair
one by Donald Trump.
MADDOW: Chris Ramirez, investigative reporter of KOB-TV in Albuquerque –
Chris, thanks very much for helping us report this. I really appreciate
All right. We`ve got much more ahead tonight. Busy night. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We got a big important story coming up for you next that involves
this evidence and this is just the part that came from my desk alone. It
involves nuclear bombs. It involves Hillary Clinton, and it involves a lot
of really expensive toner and recycled paper. It`s a big one. That`s
MADDOW: We`re waiting on a Freedom of Information Act request right now to
the governor`s office in Maine. The last thing they told us is they`re
going to put the data we want on a CD and mail it to us. I don`t know why
they can`t e-mail it but it`s coming on a CD.
This is a CD. Before we had CDs, we had floppy disks. Remember those
guys? Little thing that slides over, right?
Before that level of floppy disk, remember, there was a floppier floppy
disks. Before that, and I don`t even remember these, but it`s even older.
Before that, there was an even floppier disk that was eight inches square.
Who remembers that those existed?
I mean, the drives for those you had to get them wheeled on a rack. An
eight-inch floppy disk? Hard to believe we ever used those for anything.
What`s harder to believe ask that we are still using those today and what
we`re using them for? The Government Accountability Office today released
a new report saying that those eight-inch square floppy disks, they are
still to this day the means by which we as a nation operates our nation`s
intercontinental ballistic missiles, the ones with the war heads on top.
Yes, it`s astonishing. The strategic automated command and control system,
quote, “coordinates the operational functions of the United States` nuclear
forces such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and
tanker support aircrafts, it runs on an IBM series one computer era 1970s
computing system and uses eight-inch floppy disks.”
This report today from the GIO, it`s not just a report on nuclear weapons
systems, it`s on swaths of the federal government that are for a variety of
reasons still using super antiquated technology.
This report was officially released from the GIO today. On the same day
that the State Department didn`t release but did widely leak its own report
on how that huge crucial agency in our nation`s government conducts its
business and specifically how the State Department complies with the laws
that says public officials should be accountable to the people, that public
officials should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act request in
terms of their official communications, their actions should be kept on
record, their stuff should be kept on file in case anybody ever wants to
And so, because of that report leaked today, now we know officially how it
works if you are, say, the head of a State Department, if you are the
secretary of state. Now, by the end of the year, the State Department says
they plan to have purchased an off the shelf software package somewhere
from someone, they`ll see what`s on sale at best buy. They`re going to try
to have something by the end of the year that will allow them to preserve
their records the way normal people do, you know, online, electronically,
basically as a backup created as those files are made.
But until then, until they get that off the shelf system in place by the
end of this year, until then, this is what you are supposed to do. This
was the system that was in place when Hillary Clinton was secretary of
state. Here is how she officially was supposed to conduct her business as
secretary of state in order to stay in compliance with all the rules about
recordkeeping. Here`s how it goes.
Send e-mail on any subject that might be conceivably be related to
government business, print e-mail, take printout off of paper, put it into
a box. Do not label it, don`t file it in any way, don`t index it. Just
print it out and put it in a box.
OK. Now, receive e-mail, print e-mail, take it off the printer and put it
in the box. Send another e-mail, print that e-mail, remove it from
printer, put it in a box. Receive another email, print that email, take it
off the printer, put it in the box.
Every single e-mail sent or received needs to be printed out and taken off
the printer and dropped into a box. And I`m not exaggerating. That`s the
exact system and it`s the only approved system for a secretary of state to
stay within the rules. This is from the I.G. report today.
Look, quote, “The only method by which e-mails could properly be preserved
within the office of the secretary and in full compliance with existing
foreign affairs manual guidance was, quote, “printing and filing.”
And printing and filing is not a term of art here. That`s not one of those
things that means something more complicated than it sounds, that literally
you are supposed to print out every sent e-mail and every received e-mail
every single one on a piece of paper and stuff it in a box. The State
Department acknowledges this is not a great system, quoting from the
report, “Almost 3,000 boxes each filled with hundreds of pages of documents
would have to be reviewed manually on a page by page basis in order to
identify and review all printed and filed e-mails from the office of the
secretary since 1997.”
So again this system produces no index, no searchable thing, it`s just
boxes of unsorted paper. I mean, if you want to imagine what that looks
like on a day to day way, these are all of the e-mails that I sent and
received this working week. It`s Wednesday. In three days, I have printed
them out per State Department regulations.
This is three days` worth and I`m not the secretary of state. I`m not
secretary of anything. But this is what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
was supposed to do for four years of e-mail. And that is some of what she
did. She handed over 55,000 pages of e-mails on paper from her time as
secretary of state from the sever she kept in her basement.
The report that`s out today says that Colin Powell, like Secretary Clinton,
he didn`t use an official Department of State e-mail address instead he
used a personal address as well. The only difference between Colin Powell
and Hillary Clinton is that he didn`t turn over any of his e-mails while
she turned over 55,000 of hers. Not only that he did not print and file
all of his e-mails, he didn`t keep them at all. He never handed over one.
The report says when the State Department contacted Secretary Powell to see
if some of his e-mails might be findable in his personal email account, the
department never heard back from him on that. He just blanked them all
So, this is the latest chapter in the oh my God, Hillary Clinton e-mail
scandal. If you are diametrically opposed to Hillary Clinton as a
politician, this report will be somewhat gratifying and mostly frustrating.
If you are a supporter of Hillary Clinton as a politician, this report will
be somewhat gratifying and mostly frustrating.
If you are not a Hillary Clinton partisan in either direction, you will
mostly find this whole topic excruciatingly boring, especially the more
time you spend on it.
But if you are a person who thinks that some of what the government does is
important and you would like it to work well and not be run like a cross of
a video game from 1982 and a hospital where they cooked with pee and use
leaches for blood transfusions, this report is kind of alarming. This is a
Separate and apart from Hillary Clinton running for president, this is a
bad system. The fact that this is how our State Department runs is
MADDOW: This is one of those rules that you should not have to spell out
as a rule. This is one of those rules that if you get to the point where
you`re in high elected office and you`re like the governor of a state or
something, you think we could assume that you would know this rule. You
wouldn`t need to be instructed on this being a rule for you as a
But apparently we have to say this one out loud, apparently this is a rule
that a lot of politicians don`t know. Here`s the rule: if you are under
federal investigation, if the FBI is investigating you, don`t then
immediately go do a photo op at a prison. High level elected officials,
particularly governors, they do sometimes have to go do photo ops at
prisons, or a parole offices or probation offices. It`s part of what they
have to do as governor, right?
But if you have one of those photo-ops on the books, if you have a
scheduled trip to a prison or a probation office or a parole office, you`ve
got that on your calendar, and then in the interim the FBI starts
investigating you and the public knows you`re under federal investigation,
don`t go ahead with the prison photo op. Call in sick. Because if you go
ahead with the prison photo op then photographers will take pictures of you
literally behind bars, because you invited them to go with you to see you
at a prison, right?
Just in case the people of Alabama couldn`t paint a metal picture of their
governor in jail, here you go. In case any other governors out there needs
a refresher on this rule, there`s Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama at a
prison commissary, reminding us why this rule is so important. But
apparently that news did not travel all the way from Alabama where their
governor is under federal investigation, to Virginia where their governor
is under federal investigation because yesterday, in the great state of
Virginia, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, a politician who`s also know
being investigated by the FBI, he decided to conduct official state
business yesterday at the local probation and parole office.
Why he chose to go ahead with the event at the parole office while he is
under very public federal investigation, it`s anybody`s guess. It did lead
to this excellent “A.P.” photo caption today, “Virginia Governor Terry
McAuliffe speaks to reporters. McAuliffe questioned about a federal probe
of donations to his campaign says he is confident he followed the law.”
He`s confident he followed the law. If not, the parole officers he just
met seemed very, very nice.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Do you live in the great state of Alabama? If so, are you a
decent and honest person? If so, would you please consider running for
office? Your state needs you.
I mean, honestly, everybody out there even if you don`t live in Alabama, if
you have decent and honest and patriotic friends and relatives who live in
Alabama, would you please do Alabama a favor and call that person who you
know in that state and tell them to run for office?
Alabama needs help at some very high levels. Alabama is in this bizarre
situation right now. I don`t think I`ve ever seen another state in a
situation like this, but the head of the legislative branch, the head of
the executive branch, and the head of the judicial branch are all in super
deep water all at the same time.
The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has been removed from the
bench for ethics concerns. The speaker of the House in Alabama – not the
past speaker of the House, not some guy who used to be in the legislature,
but the guy currently speaker of the House, he`s on trial as of this week
on 23 felony corruption charges.
Yesterday, there were opening statements in that trial. It was reportedly
a packed house, a who`s who of Alabama politician all turned out to go see
the speaker of the house on trial. One of the things, they got to see is
the defense lawyer giving his opening remarks in the trial while, quote,
“occasionally reading from notes scribbled on a napkins.”
So, apparently, that`s going to be a fun trial. And now in terms of the
guy in charge of the executive branch, well, now the Birmingham News has
broken what appears to be pretty big news about the potential criminal
prosecution of Alabama`s Republican Governor Robert Bentley. Over possible
abuse of state resources following his alleged affair with a woman who was
his top aide at the time.
“Birmingham News” is reporting today that a grand jury investigation is now
under way for Governor Bentley. We had know – or at least it had been
previously reported that the FBI and other federal authorities were
investigating the governor, but this grand jury thing, this appears to be a
new phase in that process. “The Birmingham News” obtained a letter sent to
the lawyer of the individual who has been questioned regarding the Robert
Bentley affair. That letter was written under the subject line, “grand
jury investigation.” So, I guess that means there`s a grand jury
investigation. This is how we`re learning it.
Does the grand jury`s investigation mean that new information will come to
light in this case? What exactly would a grand jury be looking for? Does
this mean that we`re closer to a potential indictment for Alabama Governor
Robert Bentley? If he is indicted, does he stay governor? Speaker of the
house stayed speaker of the house when he was indicted.
Joining us is the reporter who first broke the story about the grand jury
investigation. John Archibald is a columnist for “The Birmingham News.”
Mr. Archibald, it`s nice to see you. Thanks for being here tonight.
JOHN ARCHIBALD, THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS: Thanks, Rachel. Appreciate it.
MADDOW: So, we seen reports of a federal investigation at least one
investigation alongside the state investigations that we know about. How
much – how much further does it tell us about the kind of hot water that
Robert Bentley is in, to know that a grand jury is investigating?
ARCHIBALD: I think it tells us a lot, and has to make him a bit nervous as
well. We`ve talked to people who have been interviewed by the FBI, by the
Postal Service, by the IRS, the attorney general`s office, by the Ethics
Commission, but seeing that grand jury is taking place is important. It`s
also important that we learned of it when the U.S. attorney for the middle
district here was announcing his own recusal.
And that`s important, because he is pretty close to the governor`s lawyer.
So it makes a lot of people who want to see justice done feel a little
better about that matter.
MADDOW: With that U.S. attorney being recused from this case presumably
because of that kind of potential involvement with some of the players
here, the Justice Department has assigned a different U.S. attorney from
out of state to be involved in this case instead. Do you have any sense of
what that might mean? Or any sense of the reputation of that U.S.
ARCHIBALD: No, I don`t know that U.S. attorney. I take that as a pretty
good sign, because none of the players that I have talked to have a clue
about him, which seems to me he`s not well known here, which we can only
take as a good sign.
MADDOW: Part of what has been remarkable is watching this is how
intertwined all these scandals are, imagining Robert Bentley replacing the
chief justice, he`s been pushed off the bench, who might be hearing an
appeal if the speaker of the house is indicted, who might call the governor
as a witness. I mean, the intermingling of all these scandals can be
confusing, but mostly it`s just remarkable.
I wonder, John, if there is a sense of crisis in the state, to have
everything falling down in this ways at the same time?
ARCHIBALD: Well, there is. We kind of call that a target-rich environment
around here, I think. But there is that sense, but there`s also a real
fatigue with it. I mean, a lot of people have just kind of turned off
particularly from the speaker of the house matter. And throwing their
hands up, saying what can we do?
And like you said earlier, somebody run.
MADDOW: If – last question for you, John. If the governor were indicted
by this grand jury, would he have to resign? Would you expect him to
resign if he didn`t have to?
ARCHIBALD: Yes, I would expect him, if he`s indicted on a felony charge.
MADDOW: John Archibald, a columnist with “The Birmingham News”, a guy
who`s had a bunch of scoops in this story and very kind to help us
understand them here. Thanks, John. Appreciate it.
ARCHIBALD: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you.
A situation this Alabama almost unbelievable. All three branches of
government blowing up at the same time, all from the top. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Well, that was quick. It`s Wednesday today.
On Monday of this week, just two days ago, President Obama confirmed
reports from the weekend that a U.S. military drone had targeted and killed
the head of the Taliban. The drone strike happened on Saturday, then on
Sunday individuals of Taliban started telling journalists that their leader
was dead. On Monday, President Obama confirmed it publicly.
And now, today, the Taliban as an organization has confirmed it themselves.
They put out this statement officially proclaiming the martyrdom of their
leader, the guy who this U.S. drone just killed in Pakistan.
Their last leader, you might remember, was dead for two years before we
learned about it, so this one, between this weekend and learning about it
today, officially, from the Taliban. This was quick, as was their
announcement about their new guy.
Now, the Taliban in Afghanistan, they`ve only had two leaders in the past
two decades. Mullah Omar was the first guy, when they took over
Afghanistan, Mullah Omar was their leader. He`s the guy who was dead for
two years before we knew he was dead.
After him, we got the guy who took from Omar after Omar secretly died. His
name was Mullah Akhtar Mansour. He`s the guy who was killed this weekend.
Now that both Mullah Omar and his successor are dead, the Taliban right now
is getting only their third leader in 20 years. This is him. The Taliban
announcement also names Mullah Omar`s son and the guy from the Haqqani
Network as the new top deputies in the Taliban now.
But one senior Taliban source tells “Reuters” that the reason they didn`t
put the Haqqani Network guy in charge overall is because the United States
has a $10 million bounty on the head of the Haqqani Network. So, they
didn`t want to deal with the risk of putting that Haqqani Network guy in
charge of the Taliban when the U.S. is offering $10 million to anybody who
can serve up his head.
At times like this, with guys like these, it`s nice to know they`re
thinking of us.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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