The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/23/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: June 23, 2016
Guest: Dahlia Lithwick
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour on what
has been an absolutely nuts news day.
I know I always say, oh, busy news day. Like no, today was off the
charts. Statistically speaking, if you are watching me live right now at
9:00 on the East Coast, you probably were not also watching TV all this
morning and through the lunch hour, statistically speaking. Even if you,
were just as a viewer and not as someone reporting the news, the pace of
the being news today during the day was basically exhausting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC HOST: And we have Brian Williams with
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Jose, forgive the interruption. Brian
Williams here with you from New York.
We`re going to go to Washington and the Supreme Court. And as the
graphic on the screen says, we have had a decision just handed down in what
was billed as the landmark affirmative action case of this term.
Pete, what is the decision?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: It`s upholding affirmative action at
University of Texas, Brian. It`s a 4-3 decision.
DIAZ-BALART: We have breaking news out of the Supreme Court, I am
told. Thank you very much for being with me.
And, Brian Williams –
WILLIAMS: Jose, sorry to interrupt your conversation, once again.
But we do indeed have more breaking news. Again, it`s out of the Supreme
Court. This one deals with immigration.
Ari, you got to break the news. How did it come down?
ARI MELBER, MSNBC LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: The news is 4-4 tie.
WILLIAMS: We have another legal front to go to. Also breaking
news, this has to do with the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore, Maryland, the
case that was at the root of so much of the urban violence there. The
driver of the police van in which the young man died has been acquitted on
all charges in the death of Freddie Gray.
Now somewhat unbelievably, we go overseas. Another front in our
breaking news. A gunman in Germany has opened fire in a movie theater.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: All of that news broke today within the span of 40 minutes.
In that movie theater shooting in Germany that Brian Williams is talking
about at the end, turned out the gunman in the movie theater did have a
rifle, he did take hostages in that theater. The man was killed by police
and he was not able to kill anybody else in that would-be attack.
The Supreme Court ruling against President Obama`s immigration
policies and the Supreme Court ruling for affirmative action, we`re going
to be talking about those later this hour with the great Dahlia Lithwick,
as well as looking ahead to the next big bombshell Supreme Court decision,
which we know will come in just a couple of days.
And in addition to all those breaking news stories all happening in a
40-minute span this morning, right after that, we got word of the immediate
resignation of a long time Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, Chaka
Fattah was just convicted recently of 23 corruption counts.
Congressman Fattah was already beaten in his own Democratic primary
to hold his seat this year. He initially said he still wanted to stay in
his seat, not just after his indictment. But even after his conviction.
Upon being convicted earlier this week, he initially said he wasn`t going
to resign from Congress and give up his seat until October, even though he
just got convicted on 23 corruption counts. Dude, you can`t stay here.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi apparently put the kibosh on that and
so, convicted Congressman Chaka Fattah, just after noon today, just after
all those other stories broke, he announced today that he will be resigning
from Congress effective immediately, which makes sense, 23 corruption
Polls were open on the critical British vote whether or not the U.K.
is going to leave Europe. Everybody thought this was going to be the
biggest news story in America today. It is a huge story but the news gods
had different ideas. Even before I got near my turkey sandwich lunch, it
was clear today was going to be a ten-pound news day in a five-pound bag.
But as we have gone through this incredible news day and into this
evening, the drama and the continually unfolding news still has quite a bit
of suspension to it. Obviously we are watching the data roll in, we are
watching the vote totals come in right now on the U.K.`s referendum about
potentially leaving the European Union. There`s no word yet on exactly
when there will be enough of that vote in to project a result. But the
polls are closed and that counting is happening right now.
In terms of the keeping an eye on that vote, that result, remember
that Britain is five hours ahead of American East Coast time. So they`re
already into the wee hours of the morning right now in terms of that count.
Here at home, after a lot of people stayed up into the wee hours last
night, there`s also ongoing news and reaction to what the Democrats
unexpectedly pulled off last night. With their remarkable all-day, all-
night sit-in to demand a vote on gun reform in Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: If we stay here today, tonight,
tomorrow, whenever it is, and we demand a vote, those cowards, they`ll
allow the vote and they`ll have to stand and up show where they really are.
I don`t know, I`ve been walking in the back of the room. We`ve said there
aren`t any Republicans on the floor? There are Republicans on the floor.
They`re hovering in the back. They`re hovering in the doors. Come out,
come on out.
REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Speaker Ryan, wherever you may
be, whenever hiding in your office or doing interviews on camera right now,
do your job. Remember this. You are the speaker of the House. Not the
speaker of the NRA. You are the speaker of the entire House, Republicans
and Democrats alike. It is time that you do your job and let us have our
REP. WILLIAM KEATING (D), MASSACHUSETTS: America`s sending out a 911
to the only first responders that they have. That`s us. That`s Congress.
There`s no one else to answer that call. That`s our job. That`s our duty.
Speaker Ryan, answer the call.
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: If you don`t think the bill is
right, come down here and tell us why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s right.
GARAMENDI: Tell us why. You have no answer? You have no response?
Except to run away in the middle of the night?
That`s precisely what you`re doing. Look at the clock, 2:00 in the
morning. And you deem it to be a new legislative day. This is the same
issue as yesterday, as the day before, as the year before.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: That was 2:00 a.m.
What Congressman Garamendi was talking about when he was talking
about it being 2:00 in the morning there, he was talking about the plans by
Republicans that they were going to basically break into that Democratic
sit-in for the third straight time overnight last night. It happened three
times that the Republicans came in and basically did House business in the
middle of the Democrats holding the floor in this sit-in.
The first time the Republicans came in and gaveled the House back
into session in the middle of the sit-in was at 10:00 p.m. last night.
That was pretty dramatic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: House will be in order.
The chair wishes to make an announcement regarding the decorum in the House
chamber. The chair appreciates that members will differ on matters of
policy and will seek to express those differences.
But the chair would hope that the business of the House could be
conducted in a fashion that represents – that respects positively on the
dignity and the decorum of this institution to which we all belong.
The unfinished business is further consideration of the veto message
of the president on House Joint Resolution 88. The clerk will report the
title of the joint resolution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was at 10:00 p.m. last night. Those are real cameras.
C-Span cameras momentarily came back to life because Paul Ryan had gaveled
the House back into session. Not to talk about anything related to guns
but to do unrelated business.
That part where the House was in session took a couple of minutes.
Then he put the House back into recess. Then we went back into watching
what was going on thanks to these pirated video streams that are against
House rules. These live streaming videos shot by members of Congress
themselves on Periscope or Facebook Live or other streaming services. Then
1:00 the Republicans came back in and started a session again and again, we
got the real cameras turned back on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the House is officially back in session.
These are the House cameras.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Resolution provided for consideration are of
the Bill HR 4768, to amend Title V, United States Code, with respect to the
judicial review of agency interpretations of statutory and regulatory
provisions provided for proceedings during the period from June 23rd, 2016,
to July 4th, 2016, and providing for consideration of motions to suspend
the rules –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion is not debatable. The question is on
the motion offered by the gentleman from Texas. All those in favor, say
aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was 1:00 a.m. this morning. Then the Republicans came
back in and did it again, at 2:30 in the morning, which is when technically
the Republicans decided they were starting a whole new day of Congress.
And interestingly, when they came back at 2:30 in the morning, they
did effectively shush the Democrats for a little time. The way they did
that was by having the chaplain lead the House in prayer. And they
followed that up with saying the Pledge of Allegiance together, and the
House Democrats did both of those things quite respectively. But as soon
as the Pledge of Allegiance was over, watch what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: House resolution 797, that upon adoption of
this resolution the shall be in order to consider the conference report to
accompany the bill HR 2577 making –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Look at the time stamp, 2:32 in the morning. This was just
a remarkable thing. Democrats took over the House floor before noon
yesterday. They held it all through the day, all through the afternoon,
all through the evening, and overnight, even through these three very
difficult times when the Republicans came in and tried to do other business
on the floor and scenes like we`ve never seen on the House floor.
Each time the Republicans did that, I think the Republicans felt they
were really making their point about them being the responsible adults here
and the Democrats being terrible barbarians. I think the Democrats each
time those things happened, they really felt like they were making their
point that they were demanding a principal vote on the thing the American
people believe in and Republicans were talking nonsense and making noise
just to make noise, and not to do anything that the American people need
done. I think both sides felt like they got their traction.
There were real individual confrontations. A few different occasions
there were individual Republican members who got into shouting matches with
the Democrats. Congressman Louie Gohmert did that. Steve King from Iowa
said he physically interceded between Louis Gohmert and some of the
Democrats because he said he thought it was going to turn into a fist
And then Steve King immediately got on twitter and said he was so mad
he was going to go home and buy a gun, which was a slightly disconcerting
There were also reports last night the legendarily hot-tempered
Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young had to be physically restrained
from going after Democrats on the floor of the House.
So – yes. This was not business as usual. This was not what we`re
used to seeing. This was dramatic. It was loud, it was chaotic, it was
confrontational. It was also occasionally profound and moving.
Last night we showed footage of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio
telling her colleagues on the floor of the House how her brother, her only
brother, her only sibling, was killed in an act of gun violence. Much,
much later in the night, well after midnight, another congresswoman came to
the floor and told a different but also remarkable and chilling story about
her own life and her own connection to this issue.
It was Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan in the yellow dress
on the right. And she is a known sort of character on the Hill. She is
really amiable, really high energy. She`s really personally popular. I
can tell you personally, we`ve had a number of interactions over the course
of news-gathering for this show, in which she and her office have not just
been helpful and forthcoming. She`s often been really witty and really
funny. She`s great character, great personality.
She`s married to former Congressman John Dingell, who is one of the
funniest people to have ever served in Congress. John Dingell is 89 years
old now. He served longer in Congress than anybody in the history of the
United States. He served nearly 60 years in Congress.
John Dingell is still kicking. He`s a huge Detroit Tigers fan. He`s
got the funniest Twitter feed of any congressman or former congressman by a
mile. John Dingell is also famously an old-school, pro-gun rights
Democrat, from back at a time when that was a much less controversial thing
in Democratic politics than it is right now.
So, his wife, Debbie Dingell, now hold is his old seat. When she
rose to speak last night, knowing what you know about her personality,
knowing what you know about her relationship to John Dingell, I don`t think
anybody knew this is what she was going to say. But it absolutely made the
hair on the back of your neck stand up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: I feel this House is torn in a
way that I feel torn. I`m married to a man you all know how much I love,
John Dingell. He`s the most important thing in my life.
And yet for 35 years, there`s been a source of tension between the
two of us. He is a responsible gun owner. He believes in the
Constitution. I respect – I don`t want to take his gun away or anybody
But I lived in a House with a man that should not have had access to
a gun. I know what it`s like to see a gun pointed at you and wonder if you
were going to live. I know what it`s like to hide in a closet and pray to
God, do not let anything happen to me.
And we have never – we don`t talk about it. We don`t want to say
that it happens in all kind of households. And we still live in a society
where we will let a convicted felon who is stalking somebody of domestic
abuse still own a gun.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
I have a million thoughts as I sit in front of you here today. I
have constituents who get labeled, who are on a do not fly list and may not
be white. I do not want a terrorist to have access to a gun. But –
How can we protect somebody`s civil liberties if you won`t come to
the table and have the discussion about how you keep us safe?
The point of this discussion is sadly stop going to our corners.
We`ve got to stop talking points. We`ve got to come and figure out how
we`re going to make this nation safer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan talking about what
it was like to grow up in a House where her father abused her mother and
the family and sometimes that involved threatening them and terrorizing
them with a gun.
It was an intense thing for Democrats to have done, to disrupt
Congress the way they did with this flagrant and confrontational tactic,
with this sit-in. What they did led to intense confrontation between the
two parties. At times, it led to intense personal confrontation between
individual members of Congress.
It also led to intense confessional and personal moments on the House
floor from a lot of these Democrats who participated in this totally
unprecedented event and it went on for more than 25 hours. When it was
over, the Democrats marched out of the Capitol to be greeted by something
members of Congress are not used to. A crowd of cheering supporters? For
members of Congress?
A crowd of people psyched and enthused and inspired by something that
just happened in congress? People psyched and cheering for what their
member of Congress decided to participate in on the House floor? This is
an unusual thing in this day and age.
Congress has worse approval ratings than sinus infections and flat
tires. And when individual members of Congress have tried to gin up some
partisan peak in their approval ratings in recent years, it`s been some
individual stunt where some member of Congress tried to stop something or
tried to appear to stop something. It`s been Ted Cruz with his fake shut
down the government thing. It`s been Republicans fake voting 60 times that
they`re going to repeal Obamacare when they`re not actually going to do
anything of the sort.
But what Democrats did last night was throw a totally unexpected,
dramatic, personal, confrontational wrench in the works and it was
riveting. It was riveting because it was unexpected and unprecedented. It
was also riveting because it was for a simple cause. They weren`t trying
to stop something. They weren`t making a symbolic stand.
They were actually asking for something that it seems like they ought
to be able to get. They were asking for a vote, on very, very, very
popular, like 90 percent popular, modest, targeted gun reforms.
And no, they didn`t get it. But it was an outbreak of spine in the
Democratic caucus. It was something that happened in Congress that gave
Democrats and liberals something to get up on their feet and cheer for.
That`s been a long time.
And Paul Ryan at 2:30 in the morning, he really did gavel the House
of Representatives into recess until July in order to get away from these
Democrats and their terrible political sit-in which he denounced as a
You know what? All demonstrations at root are publicity stunts.
That`s what they are. Demonstrations are meant to dramatize a problem and
play out publicly the emotional intensity, the emotional side of this real
and now newly energized effort to right that wrong, to fix that problem.
I don`t know if the Democrats are ever going to get their vote on
these bills as long as the Republicans are in control, but oh my God, did
the Democrats throw a lightning bolt last night.
MADDOW: So, the data is coming in fast right now. Polls closed at
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time in the U.S. which was 10:00 p.m. in the U.K. So,
it`s been over four hours now where they have been doing this very
deliberate, very labor-intensive hand count of the votes – these votes
that will affect so much about our closest overseas ally and Europe and the
global economy of which we are a very large part.
And with this vote whether or not the U.K. is going to leave Europe,
it`s all hanging in the balance right now. We`ve got a live report and
live results next.
MADDOW: The biggest political story in the world is unfolding as we
speak in the United Kingdom. More than 46 million people were eligible to
vote in this referendum today. It`s only the third time in British history
that they`ve ever had a nationwide referendum.
This one is very, very important, very far-reaching. But what it
comes down to, it`s simple.
This is the ballot. This is it. It says, “Should the United Kingdom
remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.” That`s
Put an “X” whichever one moves you. Whichever one floats your boat.
Whichever side gets more votes, remain or leave, whichever side gets more
votes wins. That`s it.
Tonight, we`re going to find out if the U.K. is leaving the E.U. We
won`t know for a long time what exactly it`s going to mean.
Currently, in terms of the results, this is what we`ve got. You see
that bottom – the bottom number, 42/382? The denominator, 382, that`s the
number of basically districts that are going to be reporting the vote.
They`re all different sizes. They`re not all the same size, so I can`t
give you a percent of the vote that`s in.
But 42 of 382 districts have reported in their vote totals so far.
So far, “leave” is leading as you can see, nearly 53 percent of the vote,
to just over 47 percent of the vote.
Joining us now is Kelly Cobiella, who`s an NBC correspondent out of
London and she`s been following today`s vote.
Kelly, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate you being up
at this terrible hour.
KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS: Sure, no problem. It`s a real nail biter
watching results come in, Rachel, and actually, we have some updated
numbers for you. About 50 districts of those 382 are now reporting.
And for the first time in quite a while this evening, the remain side
has taken a very slight edge in the vote count, about 51 percent to 49
percent. Up until just a few minutes ago, the leave campaign looked to
have quite a bit of momentum.
But again, you have to look at which districts are reporting. A lot
of these districts reporting early are very working class. They were
expected to go toward the leave side.
One early indication as to how close this could be at the end is the
fact that some of these working class district in the northeast of England
have gone much stronger toward leave than expected, a much higher vote
count toward leave than expected. If you listen to the pundits tonight in
the U.K., everyone is saying that this really is hanging on a knife edge.
A lot is going to depend on what happens in London, what happens in
Edinburgh, the rest of Scotland, what the turnout numbers are like in those
Rachel, so far we`ve only heard from I believe two districts in
London, and they, of course, as expected are voting very heavily in favor
of remaining in the European Union.
But we`re not going to hear really the bulk of the results for
another hour and a half to two hours yet. So this could by several
percentage points, it could flip yet again as we watch these districts come
in and report. I mean, Rachel, essentially all we know at this point is
that it`s going to be close. And we may not have a result until what
they`re saying is breakfast time here in the U.K. It may well be brunch
time depending how close it is.
MADDOW: I love that they`re defining it in terms of what meal you
might be enjoying when the results come in at this point.
NBC`s Kelly Cobiella in London for us tonight – it is going to be a
long night. Thanks for helping us understand what`s going on, Kelly.
As we get more results from this election in Britain, MSNBC`s going
to bring them to you. We`ll keep updating this tally as we get more
results in. Again, as Kelly was saying, one of the crucial things is going
to be watching for when the bulk of the London vote comes in. London is
expected to be a very, very heavy center for those who want to remain in
the European Union. So the question we`re going to be watching over the
course of the night in terms of the drama is when does the London vote come
The bigger question is going to be how big was the turnout in London?
Bad weather in a significant portion of Britain may have dampened turnout.
But it looks like this is going to be close.
We`ll be watching this all night long. Stay with us.
MADDOW: When I first started reading British spy novels, I developed
a mnemonic device for remembering which British security service is which.
Ready? You`ll never forget this.
If you don`t know this already, you will never forget it after I tell
you how I remember.
MI-5 has a “Fa” like the FBI. Five, FBI. Their MI-5 is like our
FBI. MI-6 has a “Sa” for six, us a – CIA. So, MI-5 is FBI. MI-6 is
basically Britain`s version of the CIA. It`s the British foreign
intelligence service, and technically, it is a secret service.
MI-6 is the James Bond one. He`s not FBI, right? He`s more like
CIA. And all foreign intelligence services, all spy services, are by
necessity secret. But in the U.K., that secrecy extends to no one
officially saying the name of the agency.
MI-6`s official name is “The Secret Intelligence Service” and it is
treated like it`s a secret, officially. Nobody says the name. At least
nobody is supposed to officially say the name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I appreciated the
insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and
opposition here, as well as the head of MI-6, as we discussed Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The head of what? That was not appreciated in Britain,
That meeting was supposed to be top secret. The existence of MI-6 is
something that is not talked about. The specific agenda item on a meeting
between the nameless head of the secret agency and a foreign visiting
politician? You are not supposed to talk about that in like 70 different
But Mitt Romney really screwed that up. That was four years ago in
the summer of 2012. Mitt Romney was the Republican candidate for
president, to make himself look more like a leader of global stature, he
took a trip to London and it went very, very badly. Very badly.
Mr. Romney at one point forgot the name, appeared to forget the name
of the majority leader of the Labour Party while he was meeting with him,
but Mitt Romney kept calling him “Mr. Leader”, which is definitely not a
thing in English politics and everybody in Britain thought maybe he thought
Mr. Milliband was a North Korean dictator or something.
Mr. Leader? We don`t say that here.
Mitt Romney also got all of England furious with him when he said it
didn`t look to him like London was all that ready to host the Olympics.
“The Sun” headlined their article about his visit, “Mitt the twit.” A
British official who actually met with Mitt Romney on his trip told “The
Daily Mail” that Mitt Romney was “a total car crash.” and “worse than Sarah
The U.K. is supposed to be an easy one. The U.K. is supposed to be
an easy overseas trip for American politicians trying to look vaguely
global in stature. But Mitt Romney blew it badly in 2012. The British
press called his overall visit in the end #Romneyshambles. Just terrible.
This year in the presidential primary, it was Wisconsin Governor
Scott Walker`s turn to become a British laughingstock. The Wisconsin
governor went to London. The winter before he announced he was running for
president. Everybody saw it as sort of him gearing up to look like a
global leader. February 2015. And his trip did not go well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MODERATOR: Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you
believe in it, do you accept it?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: For me, I`m going to punt on that
one as well.
MODERATOR: No. Really?
WALKER: That`s a question politicians shouldn`t be involved in one
way or the other. I`m going to leave that –
MODERATOR: Any British politician, right or left wing, would laugh
and say, yes, of course, evolution`s true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When Governor Scott Walker got back from that trip, some of
the mess of his foreign trip followed him home, because when he got back he
also tried to brag about his international connections. At one point, he
told reporters that in his meeting with British Prime Minister David
Cameron, David Cameron had expressed concerns to him, to Scott Walker,
about President Obama`s leadership. That earned this immediately from 10
Downing Street, quote, “The prime minister did not say that and does not
That was around the same time that the FOX News Channel,
interestingly, they had to apologize for putting a self-proclaimed
terrorism expert on the air who falsely said on their air that there were
parts of England where only Muslims were allowed, that non-Muslims were not
allowed to go in them. He said there were no-go zones for non-Muslims.
Literally the day after FOX had to apologize for that, former
Louisiana governor and Republican presidential hopeful, Bobby Jindal,
himself went to London and insisted these no-go zones he heard about on FOX
News, he insisted they really existed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOBBY JINDAL (R), FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Look, I`ve heard from
folks here there are neighborhoods where women don`t feel comfortable going
in without veils, that`s wrong. We all know there are neighborhoods where
police are less likely go into neighborhoods –
REPORTER: You need to have proper facts to back that up. I`ve lived
here a long time, I don`t know of any no-go zones –
JINDAL: I did say so-called no-go zones. I think the radical left
wants to pretend this problem`s not here. Pretending it`s not here won`t
make it go away.
REPORTER: But exaggerating it into a no-go zone is also going too
JINDAL: Look, there are people here in London that will tell you
there are neighborhoods where the women don`t feel safe walking through
those neighborhoods without veils, there are neighborhoods where the police
are less likely to go, that`s a danger –
REPORTER: You make an assertion like that, you need to give me the
area, so we can look at it, because I haven`t heard of one.
JINDAL: I will look.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I will look. I did say they were so-called no-go zones, are
they not actually no-go zones? Let me get back to you.
It is pretty normal for presidential candidates or would-be
presidential candidates to take trips abroad. And when presidential
candidates take foreign trips, particularly to our most important allies,
it`s supposed to make them look like they could be president. They do
politician-ish events, they get interviewed by the foreign press, they have
meetings with world leaders.
In Britain, they particularly try to be seen in front of cameras
taking meetings at places like number 10 Downing Street. Well, this year,
it`s different. This year, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump
has gone to Scotland. He went to Scotland today. Now, this is while
Scotland and all of the U.K. are at the actual apex of their hugely
dramatic vote on whether or not they`re going to stay in the European
Is he going for that? Apparently not. He`s apparently going in
complete disregard of that even happening. Mr. Trump, recently as this
past month, appeared to have no idea that the U.K. was even taking that
vote or what the vote was about.
His plan while he`s there in the middle of this huge vote appears to
be just to check on his golf properties. He`s going to a ribbon-cutting
ceremony at one of his golf courses tomorrow. And then he`s going to
travel to his other golf course there after that.
And that`s it. This is his first foreign trip as the Republican
presidential candidate this year. And he has no plans to visit any foreign
leaders and they have no plans to meet with him.
It`s weird. But maybe it`s for the best.
MADDOW: One more thing about Republican presidential candidate
Donald Trump going to Scotland right now. You may remember that Trump was
initially supposed to go to Ireland on this trip as well. Well, the Irish
prime minister told reporters there that if Donald Trump did come to
Ireland, he, the prime minister, looked forward to telling Donald Trump to
his face what a racist he thought he was.
After the prime minister said that in the Irish press, Donald Trump
canceled the Irish part of his trip, so he will just be going to Scotland.
But Vice President Joe Biden has been traveling in Ireland all this week.
And look at this, while Vice President Biden was in Ireland yesterday –
no, this was today – no, this was yesterday. His motorcade got stuck in
the middle of this. Its post-game celebrations for the Irish national
Joe Biden was just driving through but then the boys in green beat
Italy in the big European soccer championships. So, the Secret Service is
like standing there a little nervously and the Irish soccer fans are going,
we won, we won, we won!
It`s almost the best new thing in the world. We have something even
better coming up, stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know a lot of people
are going to be disappointed today, but today`s decision is frustrating. I
think it is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who made their
lives here, who have raised families here, who hope for the opportunity to
work, pay taxes, serve in our military, and more fully contribute to this
country we all love in an open way. So, where do we go from here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Where do we go from here? President Obama today lamenting
the Supreme Court`s decision on one of his immigration policies. But that
decision was a 4-4 tie, because we`ve only got eight Supreme Court justices
now. If the Senate does approve President Obama`s Supreme Court nominee,
Merrick Garland, or if Hillary Clinton is elected president and she gets to
appoint an even relatively progressive justice to the court, a version of
that same immigration policy or that case could essentially come back to
the court and that policy could yet be upheld once the court is at full
The court also had a surprise ruling today in fair of affirmative
action with swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy writing his first-ever
opinion in support of affirmative action, sort of stunned everyone.
So, what are these two things mean in a larger sense? And aren`t we
about to get a really big ruling on abortion rights as well?
Joining us is Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at “Slate,” and our
Supreme Court whisperer.
Dahlia, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.
DAHLIA LITHWICK, SLATE: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Here`s part of the reason I wanted to talk to you, when you
wrote, this makes me quite grumpy about the 4-4 decision on immigration.
Why does it make you grumpy?
LITHWICK: Well, you know, I was thinking at the top your show when
you were showing what was going on in the House, the same thing is going on
in the court. It`s just that there`s less screaming and singing and waving
around of banners. But the same level of obstruction and stubbornness and
freaking nihilism that leads us to such gridlock. It`s happening in court,
it`s just that the justices don`t get to sing about it.
And so, I think part of what`s frustrating is if you think about this
immigration case, I think you have to think about it as the most
consequential challenge to executive power certainly in this term, maybe in
years. And it gets resolved with nine words, “we affirm the lower court`s
We don`t even know which way the justices voted, just a summary
affirmance of a district court judge in Texas who enjoined an entire
program. I mean, this is dysfunction at its peak. And yet, because it`s
happening in this sort of upside down world of we have a non-hearing for a
person that`s not in the newspaper, and we don`t have a vote, and it`s all
upside down, so there`s in sense that it is not consequential.
And that`s what makes me a little grumpy. Short of setting myself on
fire on your show, I don`t know how to explain that what`s happening,
breaking down at the court is as important as any other piece of breaking
down we`re seeing in government.
MADDOW: And do you see any – do you see that same grumpiness, that
same concern, for matters of such consequence essentially being punted, not
being decided by the court, because the court only has eight members, do
you see that growing anywhere? Are we now settling into a new normal where
we only have eight justices and maybe we`ll have that indefinitely?
LITHWICK: Yes, it feels as though we`ve all just kind of settled
down to the reality that maybe the court won`t decide some big stuff.
Maybe that`s good because the court was way too involved in our lives
anyway. So, I do think on the one hand you have Chuck Grassley and
Republicans in the Senate saying, you know, hey, nobody cared, we won this.
And I think at the same time it`s really impacting the way we think
about the court, because we think, maybe they can limp along with eight
justices, make they can limp along with two. It does start to inflect on
how we think about what a functioning judiciary looks like. Like I say, I
think because the cameras are off and it`s not exciting, we don`t
necessarily have a sort of temp plate to fit it around, but it doesn`t mean
it`s not happening and it doesn`t mean that it`s not quite worrisome. I
think even to the justices, they`d be hard pressed to admit it.
MADDOW: Dahlia, as we get to the end of this Supreme Court, which is
unusual for all the reasons that you`re talking about there, even maybe
crisis level unusual, we are still expecting a couple of big rulings,
aren`t we? And we`re sort of running out of time. I have been watching
the Bob McDonnell case, the Virginia governor`s conviction.
But there`s also a big abortion case still to be decided, isn`t
LITHWICK: That`s right. It looks like that`s going to come down on
Monday. Everybody is watching to see what is going to happen there. I
think a 4-4 split in that abortion cases. It is a challenge to the HB-2,
the big omnibus from Texas. I think if the court were to split on that, it
would be quite disastrous for women in Texas who may only have a handful of
But it will not set precedent around the country. But, you know, we
don`t really know what`s going to happen in that case, and as Anthony
Kennedy proved today, boy, he sure can move. He`s not quite the Anthony
Kennedy we thought he was yesterday. So, I think all eyes are on him
MADDOW: Dahlia Lithwick, the senior editor at “Slate`s,” I don`t set
yourself on fire here or anywhere else. But thank you for explaining to us
why you want to.
LITHWICK: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate it, Dahlia.
All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Checking in on the latest in the vote in the United Kingdom,
about whether or not the U.K. is going to leave the European Union. Coming
up on five hours since polls close there.
And the count is well underway. The number that we got right now,
look at that at the bottom of the screen right now, 50.0 to 50.0. That
In terms of what vote has come in, what we`re told is that votes in
the northeast of England, the industrialized northeast of England, those
votes are mostly in. Now, that region was mostly in favor of leaving,
getting out of the E.U.
What we`re being told about the way the vote came in in the
northeast, they were in favor of leaving the E.U., but they were strongly
in favor of leaving the E.U. The leave margins were expected to be in the
parts of the country that were expected to vote in that direction. So,
strong lead vote coming in from the northeast.
London and south of England are expected to be more in favor of
staying in the E.U. London in particular. Most of the vote from those
regions is not yet in. But as you can see right now, remain ticking just
up slightly above the lead vote. But this is very, very close, as the vote
continues to come in.
Vote is coming in pretty quickly now. We will bring you live updates
as we get in more information.
Watch this space.
MADDOW: OK, best new thing in the world today. This one especially
for my friend Tom.
All right. Hi, Tom. You`re going to like this one.
All right. There is a bit of a soccer problem around here. Half of
staff of the show was late to work, and foggy all day long, the day they
threw a victory parade in the New York City for the U.S. soccer team. We
have interns on this show who do full scale, almost full time reporting on
World Cup Games, not for money for college credit possibly.
Today, one of our producers led out for yearly vacation, which is
taking at the gigantic 51-match European soccer championships, Euro 2016.
Matthew, please have fun. Please remember to come home when it`s over.
So, there is a bit of a soccer problem around here, I will admit it.
But even if you don`t have the same problem, you don`t care about soccer,
this is still the best thing in the world today.
The tiniest nation in the entire giant tournament that`s going on
right now, the tiniest nation in Euro 2016, just scored the biggest and
most dramatic goal in the history of that country playing soccer. It is
the team from freaking Iceland, they beat Austria.
And when Iceland beat Austria, they not only did so in incredible
style. It also was really consequential. It advanced them to the knockout
And you know what? You don`t speak Icelandic and neither do I. But
you and I are about to learn it. Just watch this. Just watch.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Do you need me to translate? I`m told the rough translation
is, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. We are winning this. We
are in the round of 16. Never, ever, ever have I felt this good.”
The best thing in the world, that guy losing his mind like that. The
best – except for this. Because we also found the other camera angle!
The other angle of the Iceland commentator making that call.
I don`t care how you say anything in Icelandic. I know how this is
how you say unhinged joy, and anything that makes a grown man explode with
happiness like that is obviously the best new thing in the world. Was that
totally worth it? Yes. That`s good.
All right. That does it for us tonight. We will you see again
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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