The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 8/15/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: August 15, 2016
Guest: Michael McFaul, Aisha Turner
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ari. Thanks, my friend.
And thanks to at home for joining us this hour. It`s good to be back.
In 1962, we came close to having a nuclear war with the Soviet Union over
the Cuban missile crisis. This was, of course, when John F. Kennedy was
president. And even though we got right to the brink in the fall of 1962,
obviously, nuclear war didn`t happen, the crisis was averted, through high
wire negotiations and diplomacy including, directly by the president of the
United States himself, we did get really, really, really close.
And after that global near death experience, because of that global near
death experience, one very important thing and interesting thing and kind
of creepy thing changed about the American presidency. Because of the
Cuban missile crisis, we got the nuclear football.
President John F. Kennedy found once global nuclear war between the U.S.
and Russia wasn`t some distant hypothetical insane possibility, once he was
in the middle of that maybe happening, once that prospect was real and at
hand, President Kennedy realized in 1962 that even though he was president
and he had incredible power and responsibility in that situation,
logistically, he didn`t exactly know how one would go about doing this?
How is a president supposed to start a global nuclear war if he decides
that`s what he wants to do?
I mean, the basic, the overall idea is clear, there would be a war room
convened as commander-in-chief, the president would be empowered to order
the military to start shooting nuclear missiles or dropping nuclear bombs
But beyond that basic idea, how do you actually do it? What are the
granular specifics how you do it? How exactly do you contact the war room?
What exactly should the president say to the war room over the phone? And,
by the way, who would answer that phone and how do they know it was the
president on the other end of the line.
If the president did decide it was time to launch nuclear weapons at
another country, that`s – I mean, as black and white as that sounds, it`s
not actually a black and white decision, not just yes or no. It`s just not
nuclear war or no nuclear war, once you decide you`re going to use nuclear
weapons – well, the president has options, right, about how many to use.
How many different options would a president have in that instance if he
called the war room and said, let`s start this thing?
I mean, presumably, at that point in time would be of the essence, and
presumably the only reason we`d be shooting nuclear missiles at Russia is
because Russian nuclear missiles were already in the way here and the
president would have to work quickly. How could he in that moment
granularly, logistically, efficiently convey to the military which nuclear
weapons he wanted fired, which targets he wanted destroyed. How would he
be able to convey how big a nuclear war he wanted to wage in that instance?
Now, by this point, of course, the United States had already used nuclear
weapons in war-time. We`re the only country that ever had, right? At the
end of World War II.
But since then, we have built thousand of them and by 1962, we had hundreds
of them on hair trigger alert. We had thousands of nuclear missiles and
nuclear bombs locked and loaded and ready to go.
But until Kennedy got that close in the fall of 1962, to potentially using
them, we never before had worked out these very specific granular details
about how a president would go about doing them. Those parts of this
system had never been organized and put in an understandable sort of user-
friendly way at the disposal of the president and that wouldn`t be
confusing or potentially hijackable in a moment of crisis.
Cuban missile crisis, October 1962. By May of 1963, we had the nuclear
football. Thanks to President Kennedy`s concerns how the logistics went
around that crisis, by the spring of 1963, there was a military officer
following President Kennedy around everywhere he went, carrying a heavy
briefcase/small suitcase. It`s come to be known as the nuclear football,
contains codes for the president to verify his identity. It contains a
menu of attack options in terms of how many nuclear weapons the president
wants to launch and at what targets he wants to aim then.
Also within the football, are the means by which the president is supposed
to convey those instructions to the military if he decides to do it. That
whole system, that whole suit case was invented in 1963. And that is still
the system. We still do it.
Quite famously, now, it is the job for every president that hopefully,
there is so low blood pressure style military officer available for the
job, because the job is to stay close to the president at all times
carrying what is officially known as the president`s emergency satchel.
And the whole prospect of the nuclear codes being physically close to the
president at all times, it`s a little – essentially unnerving and makes
you want to take seriously who gets to be president in this country.
I have to say, though, it is somehow additionally unnerving to remember
that there isn`t just one nuclear football, there isn`t just one of those
emergency presidential satchels, there are three of them. One, they keep
physically close to the president at all times. One, they keep as a spare,
ah! And the third one, they keep with the vice president, which makes
sense. But you forget about that when you think about the responsibilities
of being vice president, right?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He talks cavalierly
about encouraging other nations, as Hillary pointed out, to develop nuclear
weapons, as if a nuclear war is some trivial affair? Does he not
understand we wrote Japan`s constitution to say they could not be a nuclear
power? Where was he when – in school?
Someone who lacks this judgment cannot be trusted. There`s a guy that
follows me right back here, has the nuclear cod codes. So, God forbid
anything happened to the president and I had to make a decision, the codes
are with me.
He is not qualified to know the code. He can`t be trusted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Vice President Joe Biden today making the case against Donald
Trump and in so doing, reminding us that as vice president, he too has a
nuclear football. That if you are president or vice president, the nuclear
codes are never more than a few feet away.
Vice President Biden appeared today in his hometown of Scranton,
Pennsylvania, at this joint appearance with Hillary Clinton. This joint
appearance had been postponed a couple of different times for various,
sudden news events but it finally came together in Pennsylvania today. And
because of where it was, because this was hardscrabble Scranton,
Pennsylvania, which is both the hometown of Joe Biden and which is also the
hometown of Hillary Clinton`s dad. She spent a lot of time there as a kid.
Because Pennsylvania`s considered a background state, because Pennsylvania
is considered a background state in part because of blue collar white
people in parts of the state like Scranton, I think there was a lot of
expectation today this Biden-Clinton event would be a big sort of blue
collar white people event, that it would focus on what the campaign sees as
hard core middle class working class and economic interests, talking about
stuff like manufacturing and trade and bringing back good jobs, all that
There was some of that, but they also did a whole bunch of other stuff,
too, and there was interesting news made. First of all, Hillary Clinton
announced that the pure cancer moon shot that the Obama administration has
taken up in its second term, which Vice President Biden has been running
from the White House, Hillary Clinton said today that if she elected, her
administration will continue that effort and she will keep Joe Biden in
charge of it. That was interesting.
The vice president talked about that cancer moon shot effort some today.
But most of what he talked about was national security on this day that
Donald Trump was giving one of his few and far between policy speeches
where he actually reads from a teleprompter. Today`s Trump speech was on
terrorism and foreign policy, there in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was Joe
Biden, simultaneously talking about not letting the nuclear football get
anywhere near Donald Trump, talking about what he said is the damage Trump
has already done just as a presidential candidate to America`s alliances
and interests around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Putin`s determined to crack NATO and crack the European alliance,
that is his overarching, overwhelming interest. I`m heading from here,
getting on a plane and flying to Kosovo, then to Serbia, then I`m going to
the Baltic States.
You know one of the reasons I`m going? To make sure to reassure those
members of NATO in the Baltic states, we mean what we say. We mean what we
say, this sacred alliance of 60 years.
Because they`re worried!
This guy`s shame has no limits. He`s even gone so far as to ask Putin and
Russia to conduct cyber attacks against the United States of America. Even
if he is joking, which he`s not, even if he`s joking, what an outrageous
thing to say!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Vice President Biden ripping into Donald Trump today, and also
announcing that one part of his forthcoming European trip is designed
specifically for him as vice president to go reassure the Baltic states, to
go soothe their fears after Donald Trump repeatedly raised the prospect
that if Russia invades those countries, the U.S. won`t necessarily come to
their defense against Russia, even though we`re in NATO with them and we`re
treaty bound to come to defense.
From the perspective of those Baltic countries, it`s not an idle worry,
right? Russia has been pushing at its western border pretty aggressively
for the past several years, including taking over parts of Ukraine and
waging war throughout the eastern part of Ukraine, right?
Here`s Russia, the big behemoth on the right side of the map there, right?
You see Ukraine there on the bottom, which Russia has been clawing back
over the last couple of years. The Baltic states are up top. There you
see Latvia, Estonia, you see, those are the Baltic states.
Vice President Biden announcing he will be visiting Latvia to try to soothe
their concerns we won`t defend them against Russia.
Until 2014 in Ukraine, Russia apparently did not feel compelled to claw
away at its border with Ukraine, try to take over pieces of that country,
in large part because Russia had its own guy in charge of that country.
Russia installed a Russia-friendly, Putin-friendly, massively corrupt
leader in Ukraine named Viktor Yanukovych. And it was always this
interesting sidebar about Victor Yanukovych that this pro-Russia, pro-
Kremlin, pro-Putin dictator in Ukraine had as his top political advisor in
Ukraine an American, an experienced American political pro who kept an
office in Kiev, who moved to Kiev part-time. This American political guru
who basically orchestrated Yanukovych`s rise to power as Putin`s guy as
president in Ukraine.
Popular uprisings in Ukraine ultimately threw Yanukovych out in 2014.
After those uprising, he went scurrying back to Russia, he publicly thanked
Vladimir Putin for taking him in and rescuing him after he was thrown out
of power in his own country.
After that, that American political advisor reportedly kept working with
Viktor Yanukovych`s old party in Ukraine to try to remake themselves and
rebrand themselves. They gave themselves a new name and help get them back
So, you know, if you care about Ukraine politics, if you care about Russia
busting out of its western borders and taking over parts of neighboring
countries and whether or not there is going to be a NATO and Russia war
because they`re going to push into some Russian countries on the western
border that are technically prevented by the NATO alliance and will be
treaty bound to defend them, if you care about this stuff, it has always
been this sort of juicy, interesting creepy American sidebar that there`s
this involvement of this American political consultant and what happened
This American political consultant who basically created Yanukovych, the
pro-Putin guy in Ukraine, right? Once Yanukovych was run out of town, the
same American guy helped Yanukovych`s chief of staff and former allies,
helped the Pro-Putin forces, helped Yanukovych`s chief of staff and his
former ally, helped his party regroup and try to get back in power.
So, here`s the question, is that American guy still working for those
folks? Is there still an American political advisor, working the pro-Putin
side in Ukraine?
How has been creepy American question about this international news story?
But now, it ends up being a very important American news story, because
that important political consultant with an office in Kiev and brought the
pro-Putin dictator back into power, who is reportedly been fighting to
bring him and his people back into power, now it`s really important to know
whether he is still doing that work, whether he still represents those
folks and still works on their behalf, because that political consultant is
the chairman of the Donald Trump for president campaign now, Paul Manafort.
“The New York Times” reporting today that Paul Manafort`s name has turned
up 22 times in a handwritten ledger the Ukrainian government believes to be
a record of Viktor Yanukovych`s off the books secret payments to hundreds
of different individuals and entities. Over a period of five years, “The
Times” reports that Manafort`s name is in the so-called black ledger 22
times, alongside payment amounts that add up to $12.7 million. They don`t
say that Manafort definitely received $12.7 million, but he appears to be
slated to receive that money according to this ledger.
When Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014, you might remember one of
the interest things that the Ukrainian demonstrators did was they got into
his palatial presidential estates and they recovered thousands of documents
that exposed all sorts of unsavory stuff about Yanukovych and how he ran
the country and what nice stuff he bought for himself and his entourage
with the Ukrainian people`s money.
I remember we covered at the time how protesters and regular Ukrainians
went diving in the lagoon on the property of this presidential palace and
recovered all of these documents and partially burned documents that they
had tried to sink and burn and destroy, as Yanukovych was running back to
Putin and fleeing the country and they laid them out in the warehouses and
they dried them in his presidential sauna and tried to recover these
These documents featured today on “The New York Times” reporting, they were
not taken from Yanukovych`s presidential estate, they were reportedly found
in an office of his political party in central Kiev. It`s a ledger that
reportedly runs to about 400 pages.
Tonight, I can tell you that NBC News has obtained 22 pages of this ledger,
22 pages which do not apparently describe any reported payments to Paul
Manafort, to Donald Trump`s campaign chair, but they do give you some sense
of the kind of documentation that is the basis for “The Times`” reporting.
These documents were obtained by Ukrainian investigative reporter from an
anonymous source, the Ukrainian government`s anti-corruption bureau did not
provide us with these documents but they did confirm their authenticity.
Again, we contained these 20 pages of the so-called black ledger tonight.
We`re posting them online tonight. They won`t be too much use to you
unless you know the Cyrillic alphabet, but maybe you do. Knock yourself
For his, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says he has never received a
single off the books cash payment in his work as a campaign professional
overseas. He also says he stopped working in Ukraine in the fall of 2014,
which would be seven to eight months after his client, Victor Yanukovych
got thrown out of office by angry mobs and went and hid in Russia. And
that may well be true.
But the “New York Times” reporting from Kiev today says that Paul
Manafort`s office, his very nice office on a leafy street in central Kiev,
it`s a lovely office, and it was all there and stuffed with Paul Manafort`s
personal stuff as recently as May of this year.
The Clinton campaign, for weeks now, including today with Joe Biden, they
have been making this intense multifaceted campaign push on national
security to try to say Donald Trump is unfit, to try to convince voters
that specifically if what you care about is the safety of this country,
Donald Trump cannot be trusted to handle international relations and
foreign policy on behalf of the United States. He cannot, for example, be
trust with the nuclear codes.
Well, thanks to the “New York Times” reporting today, they`re also able to
hit him with something very, very, very specific. As soon as this “Times”
piece went live online last night, the Clinton campaign responded after
11:00 p.m. with a statement demanding to know whether the Donald Trump for
president chairman or any other Trump employees or advisers are currently
representing or being paid by Russian entities or pro-Kremlin entities,
because we don`t know.
In that political thriller you`ve been thinking about writing, when you get
to the plot point where the campaign chair for one of the major party
presidential candidates is allegedly on the payroll of a hostile foreign
government to the tone of millions of dollars and conceivably, he might
still be on the payroll while he`s running an American major party
presidential campaign, when you get to that part of your screenplay, you
have to throw it out because it`s too ridiculous, it could never happen –
because truth is stranger than any fiction you could invent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now because of their military,
and, frankly, Putin has built up the nuclear again and again and again.
Their military is much stronger, he`s doing nuclear, we`re not doing
anything, our nuclear is old and tired and his nuclear is tippy top from
what I hear.
I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS and it`s going to be
ISIS. I`ll tell you what, Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin
doesn`t want ISIS coming into Russia.
I respect Putin. He`s a strong leader, I can tell you that, unlike what we
have. We have a pathetic leader. Pathetic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It`s been one of the weirder dynamics in the Trump campaign for a
while. But now, it`s taking on a new cast. The “New York Times” reports
today that Donald Trump`s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, his name turns up
22 times in a secret Ukrainian ledger that appears to detail cash payments
or at least planned cash payments in excess of $12 million to Paul Manafort
from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. As we say, truth stranger
Joining us now is the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul.
He`s now professor of political science at Stanford.
Mr. Ambassador, it`s nice to see you. Thanks for being with us tonight.
MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Thanks for having me,
MADDOW: Is the Clinton campaign asking the right question here? They`re
demanding to know whether Donald Trump`s campaign chair or any of his other
advisors are currently on the payroll of Russian interests or pro-Kremlin
interests. Is that the right question to be asking, do you think?
MCFAUL: Well, it`s a reasonable rhetorical question. I mean, I highly
doubt any of them are on the payroll. But I do think we deserve to know
when they were being paid, how much they were being paid and who paid them,
because let`s be clear – I worked in that part of the world for decades
and studied and written about it. Things are not so clean cut there. It`s
not like you give to the campaign and the campaign pays the consultants.
Sometimes there are murky deals done to pay campaign consultants.
I just think the American people need to know what he received, when he
received it, how much he received and make clear, of course, that he`s no
longer working for Mr. Yanukovych or his allies.
MADDOW: Is it conceivable people working for Yanukovych and or his allies
who are working for other over pro-Putin forces who would be both doing
that work, they`d be on the payroll. They`re getting paid, they`re
involved in deals somehow and they could be operating in U.S. politics
simultaneously, with the interests of those clients in mind, without ever
having to disclose it here? Don`t we have the kind of disclosure
requirements that would mean that couldn`t be done in secret?
MCFAUL: You know, I`m not a legal expert on that. But we do not, to the
best of my knowledge, have those kind of laws. We have something could
FORA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires you to register
if you`re representing a foreign government, a foreign entity in the United
I think Mr. Manafort, in fact, I know Mr. Manafort`s company from time to
time has registered under FOR A because they were representing Mr.
Yanukovych and his party in political matters here in the United States.
To work abroad as a consultant and domestically as a consultant, to the
best of my knowledge, we don`t have laws that force you to disclose that
and maybe we should. I mean, I think it`s a very important question.
MADDOW: In terms of Putin`s strategic thinking and Russian strategic
thinking generally about the United States and our leadership, what would
they most want from an American president that`s within the realm of
possibility within American politics? What would their – what would they
hope to get out of their chosen presidential candidate?
MCFAUL: They would love a guy who would say, I`m going to look into
recognizing Crimea is part of Russia. They would love a guy that said, we
need to rethink our relationship with our NATO allies. They would love
somebody to say, you know, I don`t really care about democracy and human
In other words, all those positions are positions that Mr. Trump has taken.
That`s why Putin and the people around him like Trump, you don`t need Paul
Manafort to be involved in that. They like him because of the policies he
And, by the way, they don`t like Secretary Clinton because she supports the
exact opposite of all those policies I just described.
MADDOW: Michael McFaul, thank you so much for your time tonight, sir.
It`s good to see you.
MCFAUL: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: There`s some late breaking news tonight on President Obama. His
efforts to try to finish off one item on his presidential to-do list that
he has described as one of his greatest sources of frustration as
president. President Obama tonight making a big chunk of progress toward
meeting that goal. We`ve got that story coming up next.
Plus, we`ve got the new electoral map tonight that will not please Donald
Trump or his campaign, whether or not it`s put in Cyrillic.
It`s really nice to be back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We have some late breaking news to report. The Pentagon tonight
has just announced that 15 prisoners were just transferred out of
Guantanamo. They were transferred on Saturday. They announced it tonight.
All 15 of them apparently went to the United Arab Emirates.
Now, they`ve never done 15 transferred out at once before. This is the
single largest transfer of Guantanamo prisoners of the entire Obama
administration. The 15 are 12 men from Yemen, three from Afghanistan, all
the 15 had been held at Guantanamo for in excess of 14 years. None of them
were ever convicted of anything, most never charged with anything.
Apparently six of these 15 transfers were unanimously approved by the
Guantanamo review task force. The nine remaining prisoners were cleared
for release by periodic review board, which is that big group of
representatives from like six different U.S. government agencies. That`s
the group that reviews each of prisoners` cases one by one to see if any
part of the U.S. government objects to their being released.
So, they been approved by those various boards and all 15 went this
weekend. With these 15 gone, the Pentagon says that they`re down to 61
remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. They`re 61 left, that`s down from 242
when President Obama took office. They want that number down to zero by
the time the next president takes over because they still want to close
Guantanamo. But – tick-tock, time is getting short.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: I will win New York against Hillary Clinton. I think I`m going to
win New York.
I think I have a chance to win New York. That`s not in the playbook. Can
you imagine if you win New York? If we beat Hillary Clinton, I think I`m
going to win New York actually. You know, if I win New York, no Republican
will even campaign.
I think I`m going to win New York, I really do, I mean in the general
election. If somebody ever won New York, it totally – you know, with the
Electoral College, it totally changes the map. I think we will win New
York, I really do.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: You`re not going to win New York. I`m not like saying like I
don`t think you`re going – you`re not going to win New York.
The latest statewide poll just out today in New York shows Hillary Clinton
crushing Donald Trump in New York. I`m not being hyperbolic, she`s
crushing him. She`s beating him by 30 points in New York. Obama beat
Romney in 2012 by 28 points, which is insane and unstoppable, except for
the fact that Clinton is pulling ahead of Donald Trump more than that.
So, Donald Trump keeps saying, “I`m going to win New York in the general
election”, it`s gong to change – New York is a fantasy for any Republican
candidate in a year. It is particularly a fantasy for Donald Trump. He`s
not going to win New York. A far bigger Trump – a far bigger Trump – a
far bigger problem for Trump is states that he might really have a shot at,
states that he needs to conceivably be competitive in if he really wants to
find a realistic path to winning.
New York is not part of a realistic path. I mean, there are a lot of
different ways to predict which way the election is going to turn out. To
me, it always seems like an electoral map projection is the clearest and
most honest way in predicting the election outcome. It`s not a national
poll, it`s not looking individual poll result somewhere and extrapolating
An electoral map projection takes into account all the recent polling in
all the states and then based on that polling, you put the states into
categories. So, in this one, dark red, likely Republican states. Slightly
paler red, kind of salmony colored, those are leaning Republican states.
Then, you`ve got the equivalent on the Democratic side, solid dark blue,
likely Democratic states and lighter blue is leaning Democratic states.
Then you`ve got the really interesting ones. Then you`ve got the battle
grounds, right? The toss-up states, the ones where reasonably speaking,
you can`t say who`s going to win.
This one you`re looking at here isn`t just sample. This is the new
electoral map that`s out today from NBC News based on current polling. And
one big problem you can see here on this map for Donald Trump is some of
the usual toss-up states, some of the states where usually the pollsters
say we have no idea who`s going to win, states like Colorado, New
Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, they`re no longer
considered toss-ups, those states aren`t yellow on this map anymore.
After looking at current polling, NBC moved all five of those toss-up
states, what are usually toss-up states, move them all over into the blue
column, made them all lean Democratic column.
Another cause for alarm for Donald Trump with this map is that NBC has
moved Kansas and South Carolina from dark red to light red. From likely
Republican to lean Republican. You`d think with South Carolina and Kansas,
you`d think they were not just likely, likely slash slam-dunk
guaranteed/obviously this is ruby red, South Carolina and Kansas. But
instead, they`re light red, they`re just lean Republican now. South
Carolina leans Republican, Kansas leans Republican?
In terms of what`s still a toss-up, there`s only five states that are still
considered toss-up right now. Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, Georgia, five
states, plus one single electoral college vote and one congressional
district in Maine.
And if those are the toss-up states, if you do the math associated with all
the electoral votes from all of the states, if they go that way, if they
lean Republican and likely Democrat go red, and the lean Democrat and
likely Democrat go blue, if you sign those out that way, and then you say
that Donald Trump has the best day in the entire world and completely
outperforms expectations and he wins all the toss-up states, he wins all
five of those states plus that Electoral College vote in Maine that he`s
after, he wins all of the toss-ups, which would be insane because nobody
wins all the toss-up states, even if Donald Trump did win all the toss-up
states, he would still lose. Hillary Clinton is that far ahead right now.
The lean Democrat and likely Democrat are plenty for her to get there.
Lean Democrat and likely add up to 288 electoral votes. You need 270 to
win. So, even if she loses all the toss-ups, he`s still toast.
And with a map like that you would think Donald Trump would spend every
waking second in states he needs to win or he needs to flip. Instead,
Donald Trump spent his weekend in Connecticut.
President Obama won Connecticut by 18 points in 2012. Connecticut has a
governor who is a Democrat, has two United States senators, both Democrats,
has five members of the House, all five Democrats. It has a state
assembly, Democratic controlled, has a state Senate, Democratic controlled.
I mean, it`s not like there are no Republicans in Connecticut, they did
last elect a Republican to Congress a decade ago in 2006. He was a
Republican congressman named Chris Shays. Chris Shays has now endorsed
Hillary Clinton for president.
So, ah, what`s Donald Trump doing in Connecticut with an electoral map like
he`s facing right now? Maybe he had to be there for a fund-raiser?
Politico.com reports today that Trump`s spokeswoman didn`t respond when
asked if he would be doing fund-raising during this swing through the
state. We know Donald Trump did attend a fund-raiser in the Hamptons in
New York the afternoon before he went to Connecticut for a really on
But with 85 days left to go in the campaign, with the battleground map
looking as absolutely desperate as the way it does, what the hell is he
doing in Connecticut?
Watch this space.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, we`re making a big move for the state of Connecticut,
just so you understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Twenty-three-year-old Sylville Smith was shot to death by a police
officer in Wisconsin this weekend after reportedly a traffic stop and
refusing to drop his handgun when the police told him to. The Wisconsin
Department of Justice is currently investigating his death. There are
independent investigations of all police involved shootings that result in
deaths in Wisconsin.
In the two days since that shooting, the city of Milwaukee has had
protests, some of which have turned violent. There were peaceful protests
during the day, throughout the day yesterday, but last night, things did
take a turn and several protesters handcuffed and taken into custody for
unlawful assembly and four police office officers were injured last night
after some protesters three rocks and bricks and glass bottles, one police
last night was shot and hospitalized.
On Saturday night, there was gunfire in Milwaukee, cars were overturned,
six local businesses, including a gas stations were burned out. So, it`s
been a couple tough nights in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday night and last
night, Sunday night.
As of right now, at least, this is what the scene has looked like this
evening, this was tweeted by a local reporter not long ago.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Extra points for cuteness. Free cupcakes and hugs and music near
Milwaukee Sherman Park earlier tonight. For the protest and violence and
sadness and upset that have was washed over Milwaukee in the past couple of
days, this little ray of sunshine with the toy trumpet is very much needed
for residents looking for peace.
Tempers were already high between police officers and residents in
Milwaukee, particularly since the death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in
2014. You will likely remember that name.
Dontre Hamilton had a history of mental illness. He was unarmed when he
was shot 14 times by Milwaukee police officer in broad daylight.
The following year, the Milwaukee police agreed to work with the Justice
Department to investigate all aspects of their police force. That
agreement that is still in place today, but that partnership with the
Justice Department has not ended violence in the city, obviously, and has
not stopped incidents like the death of Sylville Smith on Saturday night.
Local radio producer Aisha Turner has been reporting in Milwaukee. She
reports that the violence over the weekend shouldn`t be seen as coming out
of nowhere, tension she said had been building up for months now. That
local BP gas station that was born to the ground Saturday night was not she
says a random location.
Earlier this summer, altercations between kids and police officers
reportedly spilled over into that gas station. The kids threw rocks, broke
some of the windows at that particular gas station in July. The gas
station operated reportedly fired a gun to disperse a group of teenagers
who were hanging around outside the station. The owner of the station was
later charged with disorderly conduct in that incident. After this protest
in violence, that this is gas station that now has gone, burned out.
That`s where Milwaukee is right now. The entire county is under state of
emergency imposed by Governor Scott Walker. He`s also activated the
National Guard in Milwaukee County in case it is needed, and local law
enforcement wants them to be deployed. The city also says it will strictly
enforce a 10:00 p.m. curfew for everybody under the age of 18.
And that will be the state of things in Milwaukee tonight and that will be
the state of things in Milwaukee tomorrow when Donald Trump`s campaign
Tomorrow, the Trump campaign has two fundraisers scheduled in Wisconsin,
one in Milwaukee and the other across the state in lacrosse. He`s also
scheduled to tape an interview with a FOX News host at a theater in
Milwaukee tomorrow, that will be followed by a big campaign rally in West
Bend, which is about 45 minutes away.
No word yet tonight on whether the Trump campaign might amend any part of
this schedule tomorrow in the wake of protests and violence that Milwaukee
has been dealing with the last couple of days. But the timing in this
cases is something.
Joining us now Aisha Turner. She`s a producer of “Precious Lives,” which
is ongoing radio series about guns violence and young people in Milwaukee.
Ms. Turner, thanks very much for being here. Really appreciate it you
being here tonight.
AISHA TURNER, PROSPEROUS LIVES RADIO SERIES PRODUCER: Thanks for your
MADDOW: The context I tried to provide the last few days but where
Milwaukee is at heading into this current crisis, does that seem right or
important parts I`m leaving out?
TURNER: Sorry. Could you repeat the last part of your question?
MADDOW: Oh, I just said, does that seem right to you? A, did I get
anything wrong, and is there – are there important parts of that story
that we`re leaving out, that we should understand in order to get what`s
happening right now in Milwaukee?
TURNER: No. I think it was smart of you to go back to the case in 2014
when Dontre Hamilton was shot downtown in a park here. I think the
tensions that we`re seeing, that we saw over the weekend have really been
building for some time. And what`s important is not just think of it in
the context of police shootings or police violence, but really the fact
that we`re talking about a community that has felt ignored for a really
So, when we`re seeing the violence that happened over the weekend, of
course, it`s not the majority of people but I think people are expressing
an anger and discontent that has really been building. These are people
saying, you know, we`ve been ignored for this long and so now, we finally
have your attention.
MADDOW: It`s been interesting to see people assert positions of authority
in Milwaukee. Obviously, the governor and the mayor and sheriff and police
chief are all people who you can tell what they`re in charge of by their
job title or uniform. But things like this curfew and appeals for calm and
appeals for peaceful and constructive protests and with the hopes that
there can be sort of mutual trust to get through this investigation, that`s
often not just the people who say they`re in charge, people who have
leadership roles in the community.
Are there – is the Milwaukee situation right now sort of blessed with
community leadership where there is any trust and leaders can talk to each
TURNER: I think – I would say it`s split. I think, certainly, when we`re
talking about leadership, there is a desire for people to come together and
work together. But when you`re talking about people more on the ground
living their lives day-to-day in this Sherman Park community, I think there
is a lot of skepticism towards what change can actually come from this and
there is even a lot of mistrust from the leaders that are sort of
supposedly from the community because a lot of people are now saying, now
that there have been these fires, now that there`d been this big protest,
now, you`re coming into the community and wanting to hear from us but you
weren`t really here before.
So, I definitely think there`s a push at an official level for people to
come together and think of bigger solutions to the problem. But I am still
a little concerned about the skepticism that exists among community
MADDOW: Aisha Turner, a producer of “Precious Lives” which is an ongoing
radio series about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee and in depth
look at that subject – Aisha, thank you for being with us. It`s really
nice to have you on the show.
TURNER: Thanks so much, Rachel.
All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We have some further breaking news tonight out of the state of
Pennsylvania. The state`s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, who is the
first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to tht position in
Pennsylvania, tonight, she has just been convicted on criminal charges,
including perjury and criminal conspiracy.
Kathleen Kane has had a fairly tumultuous in office. Soon after she took
over as A.G., she was accused of leaking secret grand jury testimony in
order to smear a former top state prosecutor. Then she was accused of
lying to cover it. In this case, it`s just been an ongoing saga throughout
her time in office, in part because she stayed on all this time as attorney
general. She did not step down as A.G., even though her law license was
suspended because of the charges pending against her.
And it was also the moment last fall when in an attempt to vindicate
herself, an attempt to strike back at her enemies, Kathleen Kane decided to
release hundreds of sexually explicit and racist and crude e-mails that
were sent between a number of Pennsylvania public officials on their
government accounts. She released those documents and re-threatened to
release more. None of that was enough to clear her of these charges.
Again, Pennsylvania`s serving attorney general tonight convicted on nine
criminal charges, including one felony charge that could carry up to seven
years in prison. Sentencing is expected in 90 days.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NYC MAYOR: I`m not talking about September 11th
because it`s September 11th. September 11 is part of our debate. What I
did on September 11, not just September 11, not September 11, nothing to do
with September 11. Nothing to do with September 11. September 11. Put in
the hand in the sand if we took September 11 out of the debate. I`m going
to have crisis, September 11 is the obviously, the biggest one. Crisis and
under pressure like September 11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)(
MADDOW: That`s from Rudy Giuliani`s presidential run in 2008. That run
had a particular focus, some might say. A noun and a 9/11 became the
famous summary of Rudy Giuliani`s efforts on the campaign trail that year.
Well, today, Rudy introduced Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence, ahead of
Donald Trump`s foreign policy speech in Ohio, and then this thing happened.
There`s this segment we do on the show periodically whenever the news cycle
calls for it, the segment is called, “Now Here is the Thing”. In this
case, today`s now here`s a thing comes to us courtesy of Rudy Giuliani, now
here is the thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: By the way, under those eight years before Obama came along we
didn`t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United
States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Those eight years before Obama and Clinton got into office, that`s
when we got our first radical Islamic – that`s the thing that happened
MADDOW: Last night, members of the Brazilian men`s gymnastic team took
home the silver and the bronze in the men`s floor routine. Brazil has
never won a medal in that event, let alone two medals. But the medal
winners` reaction was maybe even better than their performances. It was so
awesome I could hardly hold it together.
One of them started sobbing while draped in the Brazilian flag, the two of
them sobbed together while they both held the flag. Then once they got up
to the podium, there was the collective ugly crying between the two of
them. It was so genuine and so awesome.
Sometimes, it is not about win the gold, sometimes it`s about getting on to
the podium and winning anything, that brings us to these two men, Paul and
Gary O`Donovan, rowers on the Irish Olympic team. Paul and Gary O`Donovan
are brothers. They took home a silver medal in Rio.
It was Ireland`s first medal of the Rio Olympics. It was the country`s
ever medal in rowing and that`s great. These two brothers they are
greater. Take it away, guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, good afternoon, congratulations, you did us proud
today. How are you feeling?
PAUL O`DONOVAN: What`s the crack?
GARY O`DONOVAN: We`re in Rio. The background may look superimposed, but
it is very real.
PAUL O`DONOVAN: It is, yes. That`s all there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lads, listen, Paul, what has the last few hours been
like for you?
PAUL O`DONOVAN: We`re shock enough now, to be honest, since the race A
little bit tired now and the legs are like jelly, but, yes, I suppose we
did a bit of celebrating and did the podium thing and got put on the
podium. It was quite nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They are just happy they got to put on their podium pants. If
you`re wondering, these are their podium pants. The O`Donovan brothers
wearing their podium pants and most coveted medals in the world. It
doesn`t take much to make them happy. So awesome.
That does it for us tonight. I`ll see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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