The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/2/2016

Guests:
Adam Schiff
Transcript:

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: June 2, 2016
Guest: Adam Schiff

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC GUEST HOST, “ALL IN”: All right. Jeff
Horowitz from “The Associated Press”, thanks for the time. Appreciate it.

That’s going to do it for “ALL IN” this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Steve. Thank you for
filling in for me earlier this week. I really appreciate it, my friend.
It was really nice to have you here.

KORNACKI: Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

MADDOW: Thanks as well.

Thanks at home for staying with us this next hour.

Boy, a lot happened today. Today, we saw the death of the beltway
media myth that there is any meaningful resistance whatsoever between
Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, he did wait a few weeks after Donald
Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. But that’s it.
He does not appear to have influenced Donald Trump to change in any way, by
waiting a few weeks to endorse him. Honestly, there was never any real
indication that Paul Ryan would end up withholding his endorsement from
Donald Trump.

But now that he has given Donald Trump his endorsement today, the
idea that the Republican Party has a leader other than Donald Trump, their
standard-bearer, I think we can comfortably finally say that’s over.

In today’s news, though, there was also a great reminder, a sort of
shoot coffee out your nose laughing reminder that although it took Paul
Ryan a few weeks to get there, it took Paul Ryan a few weeks to acclimate
to Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, took him a little
while to get there, not everybody had to wait. There were some people who
jumped on board with Donald Trump right at the beginning. Way before it
was even clear that he was going to win.

Like for example this guy. And I know, don’t judge a book by its
cover. I think it is safe to judge the guy posing on his Maserati, the
book cover. But that’s him.

His name is Wayne Allyn Root. I don’t know if that’s his Maserati.
He was the libertarian party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008. He’s now
a self help, get-rich-quick guy.

And he’s also become sort of a talk show conspiracy theorist. He
says he was at Columbia University when President Obama was supposed to be
a student there as well and he, Wayne Allyn Root, says he is quite sure
Obama never really went to Columbia University.

I mean, this is a variety of Obama conspiracy theory that’s a little
obscure but one that Donald Trump has really been enthusiastic about. It’s
a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama that Donald Trump was still peddling
less than two years ago. People for the American Way reposted this from
Donald Trump just the other day. Donald Trump initially posted this in
2014.

“Attention all hackers, you are hacking everything else so please
hack Obama’s college records. Destroyed? And check place of birth.”

This is 2014. This was after Donald Trump supposedly gave up on the
birther thing, right? He has always had the birther thing in reserve.
He’s never totally gone away from it. And he has always liked this fairly
obscure Obama conspiracy theory that President Obama maybe didn’t really go
to Columbia University, his supposedly destroyed records from Columbia.
Yes, right.

Lots of Obama conspiracy theories come from lots of places but that
particular one that Obama didn’t really go to Columbia, that particular
conspiracy theory comes from this guy, Wayne Allyn Root.

And Donald Trump has always liked that one. So much so that Donald
Trump blurbed Wayne Allyn’s book, the one with the Maserati on the cover.
His book is called “The Power of Relentless.”

And this was Donald Trump’s blurb for it. “Opportunity is knocking
and Wayne Root will show you how to seize it. You’re in the right place
with ‘The Power of Relentless’.”

Relentless is supposed to be all-caps with an exclamation point. The
power of relentless!

So, then, in January, at the start of the Republican presidential
primary this year, with the whole Republican Party supposedly so distressed
by Donald Trump’s success in the polls at that point, right? So against
him. Nobody endorsing him at that point.

In January this year, Donald Trump looked around for somebody who
would embrace him wholeheartedly, someone who might be able to introduce
him at an event in Nevada, ahead of the Nevada caucuses. And he turned to
his old buddy who he had written that blurb for, he turned to the guy from
“The Power of Relentless!”

At this January event in Nevada, Donald Trump had Wayne Allyn Root
introduce him. He did so in true Trumpian style, by using the occasion of
introducing Donald Trump at a Donald Trump campaign event with a plug for
his own book.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, THE POWER OF RELENTLESS: We must fight with the
power of relentless. We must never, ever action ever give up or give in.
We must fight to the end to save this country, the greatest nation in world
history.

It’s time to relentlessly defend America and American exceptionalism
before it’s gone forever. That describes the fight in Donald Trump.

(CHEERS)

You and I love Trump, because we know he’ll go to Washington and
break it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Oh, good. He’ll break it. With the power of relentless!

That was – that was January. That was the power of relentless guy,
when Donald Trump endorsers in the Republican Party were few and far
between. But this guy, Wayne Allyn Root, the conspiracy theorist with the
power of relentless, said President Obama didn’t go to Columbia, he was an
early adopter of the Donald Trump thing. He was an early Donald Trump
endorser.

And now, today, that guy got the making fun of you equivalent of a
moment in the sun at President Obama’s commencement address at the U.S. Air
Force Academy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need smart, steady,
principled American leadership, and part of leading wisely is seeing
threats clearly. Remember Ebola? That was a serious threat and we took it
seriously.

But in the midst of it, there was hysteria. Flights must be banned.
Quarantine citizens. These were actual quotes. Seal the border!

And my favorite: Remove Obama or millions of Americans die! That’s
an actual quote.

The thing is, when we panic, we don’t make good decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: President Obama speaking at the Air Force Academy today in
Colorado. When he said, “Remove Obama or millions of Americans die”, he
was quoting “The Power of Relentless” guy, he was quoting Wayne Allyn Root,
because in addition to “The Power of Relentless,” in addition to claiming
President Obama didn’t go to Columbia, he also said during the Ebola crisis
that if President Obama wasn’t somehow forcibly removed from office, we
would all die from Ebola, all of us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Remove Obama or millions of Americans die! That’s an actual
quote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That’s an effective technique in a speech. To just let the
other side’s words hang out there on their own, unembellished. As actual
literal quotes. While the audience laughs at them. That’s a very
effective technique.

And there has been consternation in the media, I think in politics as
well, as to whether it’s possible to hold Donald Trump accountable as a
presidential candidate for the more ludicrous and preposterous things that
he tends to say as a candidate. I mean, just because of the sheer number
of things he’s said that fit that bill, how do you hold him to account for
those things? How do you make him answer for those things?

I mean, it’s one thing for Mitt Romney to give one remark on how 47
percent of Americans are moochers and parasite and the media and
politicians chew on that for a month after Mitt Romney gets overheard
saying that. That one comment.

I mean, with Donald Trump, a 47 percent type comment would be a
welcome respite on a day that might more typically include berating a judge
for being Latino, calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”, saying he’ll meet
with Kim Jong-un, saying Saudi Arabia should have nuclear weapons, not
swearing off dropping nuclear bombs on Europe, banning all Muslims from the
United States, admitting he learns what he knows about national security
from the TV shows he watches when they put the generals on.

I mean, when it’s – when that’s like a typical day on the Donald
Trump campaign trail, when it’s just this tide of one thing after another
like that, do we get inured to it? There’s starting to be media soul
searching about that. I think there’s political consternation over that.
When you’re that ridiculous, that frequently, do people stop being shocked?
Do we get inured? Does nothing seem too shocking? Does nothing seem too
idiotic or dangerous or blatantly racist anymore?

How do you make a candidate answer for those things he throws out
there when he throws so much out there? How do you make it sink in for
voters that he really truly has proposed all of this stuff?

Well, today, in what was I think inarguably her best speech of the
presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton did that to Donald Trump. And she
did it the same way that President Obama handled the Trump conspiracy
theorist as well today, by letting his own words speak for himself. Just
putting them out there unembellished, unedited, and letting people laugh at
them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He says he doesn’t have
to listen to our generals or admirals, our ambassadors and other high
officials, because he has, quote, “a very good brain.”

(LAUGHTER)

He also said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe
me.” You know what? I don’t believe him.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Of course, she’s as serious as a heart attack as she’s
giving this speech but the crowd is cheering and laughing at Donald Trump.
I mean, the reason that works, both as a speech and as a lasting critique,
is that she is not caricaturing Donald Trump to get that reaction from that
crowd, she’s just quoting him directly, and that’s deadly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDAT: I know more about ISIS than
the generals do, believe me.

MIKE BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Who are you consulting with
consistently so that you’re ready on day one?

TRUMP: I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very
good brain. And I’ve said a lot of things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: This speech today was the best speech yet of Hillary
Clinton’s presidential campaign – in part because I think she likes
pressing her case on national security issues, for one. But also because
it is just rhetorically deadly to be able to take your opponent’s record,
not embellish it, not dress it up, not make it seem worse than it is, not
rounded up to the nearest funny thing about it.

Just take it as it is, string it together word for word literally,
let it speak for itself, and let people respond. It’s hard to do. But
when it works, it is politically deadly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

CLINTON: This is a man who said that more countries should have
nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia.

TRUMP: We’re better off frankly if South Korea is going to start to
protect itself.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, definitely.

CLINTON: This is someone who has threatened to abandon our allies
and NATO.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL HOST: We don’t need NATO?

TRUMP: Do you think – no, we don’t really need NATO in its current
form. NATO is obsolete.

CLINTON: He has said he would order our military to carry out
torture and the murder of civilians who are related to suspected
terrorists, even though those are war crimes.

TRUMP: With the terrorists, you have to take out their families.
When you get those terrorists, you have to take out their families.

And don’t tell me it doesn’t work. Torture works, OK, folks?
Torture – I have these guys, torture doesn’t work. Believe me, it works,
OK?

DEBATE MODERATOR: What would you do as commander in chief if the
U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?

TRUMP: They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me, believe
me.

DEBATE MODERATOR: But they’re illegal –

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW: The Clinton campaign today simultaneously with this speech,
they released essentially an annotated guide to the speech with direct
quotes from Donald Trump. Proving that she wasn’t making it up, she wasn’t
embellishing, she wasn’t rounding up to the nearest thing that would make
an impact. She was hoisting him on his own words. And having done that,
she just let loose in a way we haven’t seen her do before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: The person the Republicans have nominated for president
cannot do the job.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different. They are dangerously
incoherent. They’re not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants,
personal feuds, and outright lies.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an
office that requires knowledge, stability, and immense responsibility.

He praises dictators like Vladimir Putin and publics fights with our
friends, including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the
German chancellor, the president of Mexico, and the pope.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss
Universe pageant in Russia.

I have to say, I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with
dictators and strongmen who have no love for America. He praised China for
the Tiananmen square massacre. He said it showed strength.

He said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him
an “A.” Now, I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection
for tyrants.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I just wonder how anyone could be so wrong about who America’s real
friends are, because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you’re
dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.

It really matters that Donald Trump says things that go against our
deepest-held values. It matters when he says he’ll order our military to
murder the families of suspected terrorists. During the raid to kill bin
Laden, when every second counted, our SEALs took the time to move the women
and children in the compound to safety. Donald Trump may not get it, but
that’s what honor looks like.

I remember being in the Situation Room with President Obama debating
the potential bin Laden operation. The president’s advisers were divided.
The intelligence was compelling but far from definitive. And the risks of
failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for our battle against
al Qaeda and our relationship with Pakistan.

Most of all, the lives of those brave SEALs and helicopter pilots
hung in the balance. It was a decision only a president could make. And
when he did, it was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve
ever seen.

Now, imagine Donald Trump sitting in the situation room, making life-
or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding
whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he had
not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry but America’s
entire arsenal.

Do we want him making those calls, someone thin-skinned and quick to
anger who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger
anywhere near the button?

There’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf
course deal. But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs.

Just like being interviewed on the same episode of “60 Minutes” as
Putin was is not the same thing as actually dealing with Putin.

So, the stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more
complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools Donald
Trump brings to the table – bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets.
I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Hillary Clinton today in San Diego giving what I think is
the best speech yet of her campaign.

And, of course, to that last point, Donald Trump was actually
tweeting at her at that very instant in her speech. He tweeted, “Bad
performance. Bad performance.”

If it is a performance that we’re watching, then truly – I mean, all
bets are off in terms of what happens, right? If it’s no longer politics
and it’s performing arts, I don’t know how to predict who wins that.

But if it is a presidential race, then Hillary Clinton really did
just step up her campaign significantly. And she did it by tacking him to
the wall with his own unadorned statements. It’s really hard to do that in
politics, but she did it today over and over and over again, and that kind
of an assault from a candidate is hard to rebut and hard to beat. We will
see if Trump even tries.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: A week and a half ago, the U.S. military killed the head of
the Taliban in a drone strike in Pakistan. Last week, the Taliban named
itself a new leader. Now, today, asked about this new head of the Taliban,
the top U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan said, “I don’t believe we’ll
see peace talks any time in the short term with him.”

And the reason that is about to hit home like a ton of bricks is
because this week is when we are supposed to get the new recommendation
from the U.S. military about how many American troops are going to stay in
Afghanistan even after President Obama leaves office. We’ve been told that
it’s this week we’re getting that number. Today’s Thursday, so presumably
that means tomorrow we are about to be told that at a bare minimum, the
10,000 Americans who are still in Afghanistan 15 years into that war,
presumably tomorrow, we’re about to be told that they’re not coming home.
Not while President Obama is still president, at least.

So, that means that’s part what was the new president’s going to
start with: 10,000 Americans already deployed in what will then be year 16
of the longest war we’ve ever fought. Just in case you didn’t already
think stakes were high enough in this election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Now, imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room,
making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him
deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if
he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry but
America’s entire arsenal.

Do we want him making those calls, someone thin-skinned and quick to
anger who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger
anywhere near the button?

AUDIENCE: No!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff. He’s the ranking
Democratic member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
We should tell you, he’s also a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Congressman, it’s really nice to have you with us tonight. Thanks
for being here.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: So you are a person who’s deeply involved in matters of
national security in terms of policy and in terms of thinking about it as
your responsibility as a member of Congress. Does your thinking about this
presidential race track with the way Hillary Clinton painted the contrast
with Donald Trump today in this big speech?

SCHIFF: Absolutely. And I think you’re right, Rachel, this was one
of the most powerful speeches that the secretary has given yet because she
uses Donald Trump’s own words. So, the American people can understand with
all that catalog of horrors that has come out of his mouth just what we’re
talking about. He is probably a believer in the power of relentless
insults and ignorance. That ought to be the subject of his new book.

But just looking at some of the positions that he has taken that are
antithetical to our interests, and, of course, chief among them, a ban on
Muslims coming into the country, even though we are deeply dependent on our
Muslim allies, our Gulf allies in the war on terror, suggesting that we
would be benefited by a nuclear arms race in the Middle East or another one
in Asia, praising Putin, praising Tiananmen Square. I mean, it is just
unthinkable. And it had so much more power because these were in Trump own
words.

And I tell you a couple of things that really resonated. One was the
word “unfit”, because I’ve struggled for a description of just how unsuited
the man is for the office. And that I think is exactly the right word.
Unfit temperamentally, unfit for lack of experience, unfit with lack of
judgment. There is just no way to entrust that man with the leadership of
the free world.

And when Secretary Clinton talked about how those Navy SEALs brought
the women and children to safety and that how that itself was the very
appearance of honor, I thought to myself as she was speaking those words,
that is the appearance of presidential. Very proud what was she had to
say. It was a very striking contrast.

MADDOW: Congressman, we saw Secretary Clinton today make reference
to how Mr. Trump has talked about North Korea, the threat of North Korea,
the way he’s talked about our ally South Korea.

Simultaneously right now, we’ve got three Republican senators,
including Joni Ernst, who herself is an Iraq war veteran, who are in South
Korea right now. The media reports we have from those Republican senators
being in South Korea, that they’re doing media interviews over there
telling the South Koreans that Donald Trump doesn’t mean it, that he won’t
be able to do the things that he says he’s going to do, that he’s not going
to meet with Kim Jong-un, that he’s not going to make South Korea pay for
what he says he’s going to make them pay for in terms of spending more
money to keep U.S. troops in South Korea.

Are we at risk – without knowing whether or not he’s going to be
elected, are we at risk of damaging some of our closest alliances just with
what he’s proposed? Whether or not he’s going to win this election?

SCHIFF: Oh, absolutely. He’s already done significant damage,
certainly done damage as I mentioned earlier with our Muslim allies. The
Muslim countries that we’re trying to work together in this war on terror,
but also really rattled our allies like South Korea that is now wondering
whether it needs to question the American commitment to the security of
South Korea.

It has rattled our NATO allies for Trump to talk so glibly about,
well, we don’t need NATO anymore. NATO is really a relic. You can imagine
how the Baltic countries threatened by Russia, watching Russia invade its
neighbors, must feel when it hears those kinds of sentiments. It is
already damaging to the country, and causing profound questions among our
allies.

When I travel in my intelligence capacity and meet with leaders of
our sister agencies around the world, they have profound questions about
the campaign, about is this real, is America really moving in this
direction? All of this is antithetical to our interests.

MADDOW: Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Select
Committee on Intelligence, thank you for being with us. I know you’re busy
with everything going on in California right now. Thanks for being with
us.

SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: All right. We’ve got much more ahead. Very busy news night.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: In March, the highest-ranking African-American staffer at
the National Republican Party quit her job. She was the African-American
outreach director for the Republican National Committee and in March, she
quit. That came right after the RNC’s second-highest-ranking African-
American staffer also quit. Their communications director for black media
also quit working at the RNC in March.

And that came right after the other two highest-ranking African-
American staffers at the RNC also quit. Their deputy press secretary and
their senior strategist for media engagement also quit at RNC this year.
NBC was first to report on the exodus of top-level black staffers at the
RNC this spring. But soon, it was hard to ignore.

This is from “The Root.” Quote, “Something unprecedented is
happening at Republican National Committee, the RNC is losing its black
staffers, all of them.”

So, that was in March and April. Then came May and June. As Donald
Trump became the de facto Republican nominee on May 3rd, he followed that
up promptly on May 5th by this celebration of Cinco de Mayo. His I love
Hispanics happy taco bowl tweet.

Then, he started attacking the highest-ranking Latina in the
Republican Party, the only Latina governor ever in the history of this
country. He started attacking Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico as
lazy and slow-moving while he was campaigning in her home state.

Then, he re-upped his attacks against a judge who’s overseeing his
Trump University fraud case. He started saying ominously to his rally
audiences that the judge is a Mexican.

Tonight, in “The Wall Street Journal,” they’ve broken the dispiriting
news Mr. Trump is redoubling his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curial. Mr.
Trump told “The Wall Street Journal” tonight that the judge has an absolute
conflict in the case because, specifically, he is of Mexican heritage. Mr.
Trump went on to explain, quote, “I’m building a wall, it’s an inherent
conflict of interest.” So, Latino judges aren’t allowed to judge Donald
Trump because –

Then last night the RNC lost another top staffer. Her name is Ruth
Guerra, and she had been the head of has panic media relations for the
Republican National Committee.

As of last night, she too has quit. So, this is an awkward time for
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to be endorsing Donald Trump today. Just as
all the highest-ranking staffers for the Republican Party are fleeing in
the face of Donald Trump being the party’s nominee. There’s also a report
in the “New York Times” tonight that Karl Rove has taken a private meeting
with Donald Trump. (AUDIO GAP) his tissue-thin resistance to Mr. Trump
will also dissolve soon.

Then, all the white guys in the Republican Party will settle into
supporting Donald Trump as their nominee, even as the party even at their
own headquarters bleeds itself of all the ranking nonwhite people who the
Republican Party literally pays to work for them.

But not to worry. They have found somebody new who the Hispanic
media outreach side of things. They have found somebody new to replace the
Hispanic media outreach coordinator who quit last night. I have to say I’m
not sure how it’s going to work out in the long run but they have somebody
new.

Do you remember that Donald Trump lost really badly in Wisconsin? He
lost the Wisconsin primary really badly. A lot of people attributed that
to conservative talk radio hosts in Wisconsin being really, really against
him there.

And one of the anti-Trump radio hosts in Wisconsin is a guy named
Charlie Sykes. As far as I know, Charlie Sykes is still anti-Donald Trump
even as everybody else in the Republican Party seems to be folding.

But last month, as an anti-Trump guy, Charlie Sykes tweeted this.
See the text of his tweet there, it says, “Not a parody, Trump attributes
Russia knowledge to hosting Miss Universe pageant there.”

And that’s true, Donald Trump really did claim that as one of the
things Hillary Clinton slammed him for in her big foreign policy speech
today. Radio host Charlie Sykes tweeted this.

This was one of the people who retweeted him on that, saying the
Charlie Sykes tweet is below, not a parody. The retweet says,
“Unfortunately, Donald Trump believes this.”

She also once tweeted that Donald Trump bore responsibility for the
violence that happened at his Chicago event in March. She also tweeted
just a few weeks ago that Donald Trump would drive Cuban-Americans from the
Republican Party. She also tweeted that with Donald Trump as the
Republican presidential nominee, quote, “Hispanic Republicans are caught in
a 2016 meat grinder.”

And that person, the “Trump is putting Hispanic Republicans in a meat
grinder,” that person is who the Republican Party just hired to be their
replacement Hispanic media relations person after the old one quit because
she reportedly could not stomach working on behalf of Donald Trump.
They’ve now hired this woman after she deleted all those things she said on
Twitter about Donald Trump even as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
She’s scrubbed her history as best as it can be scrubbed.

It’s good they found somebody new. Hard to imagine how long this is
going to last, though. But at least with Paul Ryan on board, all the
controversy will end now about what it really means to be a Republican
these days with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. At least with Paul
Ryan endorsing Donald Trump now, at least that’s settled.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Every year with the Air Force Academy commencement, the
Thunderbirds do a flyover during the ceremony. F-16 fighter jets scream by
overhead as the graduating officers throw their hats in the air. They did
it again today, just like they do at commencement every year. President
Obama was there to do the commencement address this year, they did it
again, it was exactly as impressive as you would think.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Class of 2016 – dismissed!

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That was today, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, at
their graduation.

But today, shortly after that flyover, one of the jets, one of the
Thunderbirds, one of the F-16s, crashed as it prepared to land about 20
miles away at Peterson Air Force Base. Now, thankfully, the pilot was able
to eject from the plane safely. He walked away unharmed. The pilot was
later identified as Air Force Major Alex Turner.

Major Turner actually was able to meet quickly this afternoon with
President Obama at the commencement after this pilot had just gone through
the trauma of having to eject from his F-16 before it crashed. He was
okay.

But that was not the only serious accident involving service members
today. It’s an incredible coincidence but in a totally separate incident
today, a pilot in the Blue Angels was killed today. The U.S. Air Force has
the Thunderbirds. The U.S. Navy has the Blue Angels.

And, today, a Blue Angels FA-18 crashed just outside Nashville,
Tennessee. The flight team was practicing for an upcoming air show in
Tennessee this weekend. That Blue Angels pilot has not been officially
identified by the Navy at this point, that’s pending notification of the
next of kin.

And in addition to that, tonight we’ve also had late word of yet
another deadly accident involving U.S. service members in Texas. The army
says tonight that three U.S. Army soldiers were killed tonight in Texas
after the military truck they were in overturned near a flooded creek on
the Ft. Hood military base. We do not know the exact circumstances of that
incident. But obviously three fatalities is a lot.

And even worse, six more Ft. Hood soldiers are still reported missing
after this same incident. Search efforts are under way to find the other
six.

So, just an incredible near miss at the Air Force Academy today, and
two very tragic fatal accidents elsewhere in the country at the same time.
It’s terrible news. We’ll let you know more as we learn more.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: New polls just in from the Democratic primary in California.
Senator Bernie Sanders has been saying confidently he thinks he can win in
the Golden State. Two recent polls, the NBC poll yesterday, the field poll
today, both showed Hillary Clinton up by 2 points in California, which is
basically a statistical tie.

Well, now, tonight, these new top line numbers from the “L.A. Times”
poll show the race as a virtual tie. But this “L.A. Times” poll shows
Bernie Sanders actually leading Hillary Clinton in California by 1 point.
That is among registered voters in California.

That said, if you look at likely voters, the news is not as good for
senator Sanders. You see among likely voters Hillary Clinton leads him by
10 points.

Beyond this new polling in California, there’s also the question of
money. Yesterday, the Clinton campaign announced its new fund-raising
numbers from last month. They say they raised $27 million in May. That’s
up $2 million from the previous month. They report having a healthy $42
million cash on hand.

As for Senator Sanders and his May fund-raising numbers, we don’t
know. Sanders campaign tells NBC News they have no immediate plans to
release those numbers. They do say their may total will come in below
Hillary Clinton’s numbers. They say they have not been aggressively e-
mails their supporters until the past several days when they say, quote,
“several million dollars came in.”

But the Sanders campaign is not normally this quiet about fund-
raising. More typically, the Sanders campaign likes to Trumpet new fund-
raising numbers on the first day of the month. Sanders’ historic February,
followed by Sanders’ monster March. First day of the month, month after
month, they tell you exactly what they raised.

But as of yesterday, first day of the month, nothing. And now,
today, second day of the month, nothing. When reporters asked Senator
Sanders today about his fund-raising, his response lacked his usual Sanders
swagger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: How was your fund-raising last month?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:
Actually quite well. Remember, when you have 30 or 40 states ahead of you,
you need a lot more money than when you have six states and three non-
states. So, we have absolutely the financial resources that we need to run
a very, very strong campaign.

We’re feeling pretty good. We’re putting most of our resources into
grassroots efforts. We have tens of thousands of volunteers in the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Feeling pretty good. We don’t have too many states left.
We have grassroots support. We have volunteers.

This is a new tone from the Sanders campaign. And at this point in
the race, yes, we are getting close to the end, but it does raise a
viability question for how it’s going to end, a viability question about
money.

Senator Sanders says he has plenty of money but his campaign won’t
say how much. We do know they started the month of May with just $5.8
million, which is couch cushion money for a presidential campaign,
particularly heading into the most expensive state in the country,
California.

We know they’ve spent at least $1 million of that $6 million on ads
so far in California. But that’s really all we know about their financial
health.

So, in terms of knowing how the Democratic race is going to wrap up
and win, can Bernie Sanders still raise money like he used to, how much has
he got right now, and is it enough to let him stay in this race the way he
says he intends to do through June, and into July and beyond?

Joy Reid, the great Joy Reid is here next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Joining us now in studio is my friend Joy Reid, MSNBC
national correspondent, host of “A.M. JOY” on weekends.

Great to see you, my dear. Thanks for being here.

JOY REID, HOST, “A.M. JOY”: Always great to be here, Rachel. Thank
you.

MADDOW: Is it significant that the Sanders campaign is not releasing
any information about how much money they have or how much money they have
raised?

REID: Yes, it is, because the Sanders campaign has been among the
most aggressive and quick on the draw to tell you how much they raised.
They’re usually the first to let you know that Hillary Clinton people just
lagged and the Hillary people usually under pressure to show that they’ve
got enough small donors to look similar to the Sanders campaign. So, if
they’re not telling, it probably means that it did not meet their
expectations.

MADDOW: They said, as of this month, 30 days ago, that they had less
than $6 million cash on hand. The Clinton campaign says today they’ve got
$42 million cash on hand.

REID: Yes.

MADDOW: First of all, do you think that is a respectable number for
Hillary Clinton as a likely nominee at this point, because she is
obviously, looking towards the general. Do you we have any way of knowing,
if Sanders is getting viability problems with being tight on money?

REID: Yes, it is actually fine, at the moment because Hillary
Clinton cash on hand far exceeds anything that any of the other candidates
have. Remember, the supposed self-funding Donald Trump, right only
probably 2.5 million cash on hand. He claimed he wasn’t going to
fundraise. He’s now got super PACs trying to raise for him.

MADDOW: Right. But he won the primary with like 14 cents.

REID: Right, because he had all that free media.

MADDOW: Yes.

REID: The Sanders campaign, because their burn rate has been so
high, they’ve actually raised the equivalent of the Hillary Clinton, but
because they don’t have super PACs, she has probably $80 million, $84
million raised by super PACs. This is a big problem in California.
Eighteen million voters, of those 18 million voters, about 20 percent of
those voters are independents.

Independents are what they call NPPs, no party preference, they can
vote in the Democratic primary, but they’ve got to be educated to know they
need to get a Democratic ballot, because if they don’t, that takes directly
away from Sanders’ margins.

And there’s a company called political data that just did a surgery
of people who voted by mail. They’ve been voting by mail since May.

MADDOW: Right.

REID: Of the people, of the 40 percent of those vote by mail voters
who said they wanted to vote for a Democrat, only 15 percent actually asked
for a Democratic ballot. Of those who didn’t ask for a ballot, six and 10
were Sanders’ voters. They needed the money to do that kind of voter
education so that they can be viable.

MADDOW: But those no party preference voters in California can show
up on election day, and requests Democratic ballot in person. They just
need to know to do that.

REID: But they need to know to do it, and there was a lawsuit filed
by Bernie Sanders supporters, trying to get more time to do that voter
education, but that’s what the campaign was supposed to be doing since May
or even April. You’ve got to do that voter education. That is a ground
game problem, and you need money to do that ground game, or you need a big
air war, you need a big TV campaign. Not to say the America ad, but to
say, hey, if you are an independent voter who prefers me, this is how you
have to get it out.

MADDOW: This is what you have to do, this additional hurdle you have
to jump.

REID: Yes.

MADDOW: A state with 40 million people and education effort is a big
deal.

REID: Yes.

MADDOW: Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent, the host of “A.M.
JOY”, which you can you watch it right here on MSNBC, Saturday and Sunday
morning at 10:00 Eastern, but you already know that because you have been.

Joy, thank you. You’re doing an amazing job with this weekend show.
Congratulations.

REID: Thank you for your great support. You’ve been so wonderful.
Thank you.

MADDOW: That’s very nice thing of you to say. OK.

We have to go now, good bye.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Donald Trump is speaking tonight as we speak, in San Jose,
California. He has been responding to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy
speech today, among other things. We’re gong to have live report from that
event coming up shortly after the top of the hour.

Of course, Madeleine Albright is going to be here with Lawrence
O’Donnell, right after me.

Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: 2007, a professor of Virginia Tech was in trouble. A few
years earlier, he uncovered a lead poisoning disaster in Washington, D.C.’s
drinking water. It prompted the city to replace its lead pipes. But now,
he was bogged down in a fight with the Centers for Disease Control.

They felt like they weren’t being out front about how much damage the
lead had done to kids in D.C., and he was determined to prove it. He spent
tens of thousands of his own money, on his investigation. He turned down
other work. He put his family into debt. It wasn’t clear just
financially, how much longer he can keep up the fight.

And then, out of the blue, he got a call. Professor Mark Edwards,
prepare to receive a check for a half million dollars to use however you
want. It was a genius grant from the McArthur Foundation.

Nobody really knows who picks the recipient for those, or how they do
it, they just call you up, send you the money, no strings attached. The
Professor Mark Edwards used his genius grant to win that fight with the CDC
over D.C.’s drinking water. And with that win, with that vindication,
because Mark Edwards was able to continue his work on America’s drinking
water, last year, a mom in Michigan, who knew that something was wrong with
the tap water, she decided when nobody else would listen to her, that Mark
Edwards was the person she could call.

And Mark Edwards took her call and then he drove 15 straight hours
from Virginia Tech, to start testing water in Flint, Michigan. And that is
how the country learned that state of Michigan lead poisoned that city.
And that is one example of what one McArthur genius grant can do.

Today, the McArthur folks announced they are starting to think
bigger. Beyond the genius grants for individual people, they’re going to
do a new, bigger thing. Once every three years, they’re going to award
$100 million to a, quote, “single proposal designed to help solve a problem
for people, places or the planet.”

So, not a grant to a genius, but a grant to a genius idea. The first
$100 million winner will be chosen next fall. And unlike the genius
grants, the whole process of selecting finalists and critiquing and
workshopping these proposals for these big prizes, that whole process will
be public.

So, even the proposals that don’t win might attract backing from
somewhere else. What problem could you solve with $100 million to solve
it? Applications are due October 3rd. Get thinking.

That does it for us tonight. Now, it’s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL.”

Good evening, Lawrence.


END


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