The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 8/19/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: August 19, 2016
Guest: Dan Rather, Jake Anantha, Ramesh Anantha
JOY REID, MSNBC GUEST HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Rachel Maddow, how are you? Happy Friday, my friend.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Happy Friday, you get a reprieve from the 11:00
p.m. Eastern return just so you can get enough sleep or enough more work
time to be back here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow.
REID: I know. But you know what? I could have done it, if they`d given
MADDOW: You know where my office is. You know what I keep in that giant
chest that looks like it`s a work-related thing behind my desk.
REID: Oh, I do. Have a great show.
MADDOW: Wash the glasses when you`re done.
REID: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend. Thank you.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. It`s a happy Friday.
It`s nice to have you here.
Here`s an American entrepreneur story that`s quite remarkable. Really,
somebody who changed the world, self-made zillionaire. It was after World
War II, young American man, grown up in Michigan. He had worked at Bausch
& Lomb and he had worked at a big eye glasses a company called Univiz
But he decided after World War II in the late `40s, that he would strike
out on his own and he would found his own company, because he had an idea
about eye glasses. So, he founded a company called Armorlite.
What he did at Armorlite changed everything for that industry. It changed
everything for all of us who wear glasses. Because he invented
prescription eyeglass lenses that were not made of glass. They were made
of plastic. And that was genius, and it absolutely changed the world, at
least the world of glasses.
By 1978, when the founder of that company was ready to sell that company
that he had built, he found a very willing buyer in the giant company 3M.
And in 1978, 3M bought his company, bought Armorlite for $70 million at the
time. In today`s money, that would be about a quarter billion dollars.
And this was a privately held firm. So, basically all of the purchase
price, as far as I can tell, went to him. Almost all the purchase price
went to the one guy who had the idea and founded that company and made it
The founder of Armorlite, the inventor of plastic eyeglass lenses. He
obviously was doing well for quite some time running Armorlite. But once
he got bought by 3M in 1978, then he was doing well on the order of a
different magnitude. Then, he was crazily wildly rich, all of a sudden.
And that ended up being very good for “Saturday Night Live,” among other
things, because it turns out the guy who invented plastic eyeglass lenses,
when he got to be a zillionaire, he turned out to be one of those
eccentric, self-made, super rich zillionaire who has truly amazing ideas
about himself and what he wants to do with his money.
I mean, a lot of people have more or less insane self-aggrandizing
fantasies about themselves. But when it gets to be interesting, when it
gets to be like sci-fi on earth, or straight into the “Saturday Night Live”
skit, is when people who have crazy, self-aggrandizing ideas, also end up
having tons and tons of money to make their crazy visions come true on
We`ve got one of those right now in this week`s news. You might remember
the eccentric Trump-supporting billionaire, one of them at least, who spoke
at the Republican National Convention on behalf of Donald Trump. Peter
Thiel, you remember him from his speech, he`s the billionaire who`s been in
the news this week because he sued the website Gawker out of existence. He
didn`t like the way that Gawker covered him, and so, he funded a secret
legal campaign against Gawker and its founder to bankrupt them and put them
out of business, and he did that. As of tis week, Gawker closes next week.
So, Peter Thiel has been in the news because of that. But Peter Thiel is
also an illustrative idea, right, or example of this thing that we have in
America. He`s the latest in a long string of these guys who are richer
than god and a little kooky and once they`re richer than god, they decide
they can basically transcend the other bounds that hold us mere mortals
within what the rest of us think of as reality.
I mean, consider that both the Armorlite eyeglasses guy back in the day and
Peter Thiel right now, both of them, as super rich guys, with very
interesting ideas about themselves, both of them tried to found their own
countries. Peter Thiel tried to buy himself a new country made of shipping
containers that would be governed as a sort anarchic libertarian floating
utopia on the sea. That was his idea for a new country.
Back in the `70s, the eyeglasses guy, he wanted to found his own country
not by creating a new island out of shipping containers, but instead buying
an existing island somewhere which he would run not as a libertarian utopia
like Peter Thiel, but instead he would run his as an exclusive haven. It
would be a nation built by and exclusively for elite scientists, and those
scientists would invent stuff and their nation – and that`s how the
economy of their work. Scientists would invent stuff and that would
benefit a new country, and the reason they wouldn`t need to do anything but
invent stuff is because they were scientific geniuses.
And in this new world, they wouldn`t have any interference from all the
morons who populate other countries and get in the way. Just elite
scientists and so everything would be perfect.
The eyeglasses zillionaire explored that idea in the early `70s. It didn`t
go anywhere. But when we got his giant quarter billion dollar windfall in
1978, he decided to move on instead with another of his mad scientist
genius ideas. It was a different idea. It`s a plan that he came up with.
He did actually put it into effect and it became very interesting news in
California in the late `70s and the early `80s.
And the idea that he came up with, not a new country, but his other idea
was about genius sperm. He founded a special, elite, millionaires sperm
bank, that was designed specifically to stock the sperm of Nobel Prize
Now, of course, mankind cannot live on sperm alone, but he had a plan to
solve that problem too. The way this bank would work, if you wanted to get
your hands or whatever on that sweet, sweet, elite Nobel scientist sperm,
the millionaire eyeglass mogul in charge of this private sperm bank, he
wasn`t going to let just anybody make a withdrawal from his vault.
Couldn`t let just any rag tag run-of-the-mill, off the street woman come up
to the teller, right, come up to the teller window in that particular bank.
No, he decided, according to the rules of his eccentric sperm project,
anyone who wanted access to this elite sperm repository would have to prove
that she was a member of Mensa. This really happened.
“The L.A. Times” did a great biography of the eyeglass zillionaire like ten
years ago. I read it at the time when it came out. I still have a print-
out of it in a physical file, just in case the Internet gets erased
sometime and I won`t be able to find it again. They call the bio “Darwin`s
Engineer”, and it really is a story of how this self-made millionaire, the
man who first ground-out prescription eyeglasses from plastic, then decided
what he was going to do with that fortune was grind out, not exactly a
master race, but sort of a genetic improvement program for a certain high
class of hand-selected, deliberately bred elite babies, the Nobel Prize
The problem, ultimately, with his project was that only one Nobel Prize
winner would publicly admit that he had donated his sperm. The only one
who went public with the fact that he was supporting this deal was named
William Shockley. That name may be familiar to you.
William Shockley is a legitimate scientific phenomenon. He invented the
transistor, right? He`s the real deal. Legitimately genius, he won the
Nobel Prize in physics in 1956. And he donated his sperm to the eyeglasses
The thing is, Shockley had been this physics genius, Nobel Prize winning
inventor. But by the time he was talking to newspapers in the `70s about
him happily making deposits in the eyeglass mogul`s elite sperm bank, by
then, William Shockley was kind of a different guy. He was a man who had
given up physics, in order to devote himself full time instead to spreading
the news about the inherent genetic inferiority and intellectual incapacity
of black people.
In his later years, William Shockley became devoted to the idea that
African-Americans were intellectually inferior to other Americans. They
were socially inferior to other Americans, that was immutable because their
inferiority was genetic. They were genetically inferior human beings
because of their race.
William Shockley said society should pay people with low I.Q.s to sterilize
themselves. I mean, yes, he was a Nobel Prize winning physicist. He did a
lot in science, but he was also, by the end of his life, a full on racist
eugenicist, who really was trying to propagate his own sperm at an elite
sperm bank, instead of all the inferior sperm that was out there in the
world messing up the gene pool.
And he ended up being the public face of the Nobel Prize sperm bank. And
therefore, the Nobel Prize sperm bank ended up being one of the weirder
California news stories of the late `70s and early `80s, which is really
saying something, because that was a weird time.
“Saturday Night Live” in 1980 did a skit about it, that they called Dr.
Shockley`s house of sperm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Shockley`s house of sperm. No. We`re open 24
hours. Just bring in a recent I.Q. test or an SAT test, something like
that. Thank you. Goodbye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. My husband and I would like to have a child,
but unfortunately my husband is sterile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. Good afternoon. Could I help you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You got any Paul Rosa (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I`m afraid we don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about Andrew Young?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Willie Mays?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m afraid Dr. Shockley may not have stocked exactly
what you have in mind. About the closest we could get for you is Tony
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tell you what, since you don`t have no brothers in
there, who is that white dude, the one that –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Rodney Dangerfield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you got him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, wait a minute, that`s what we`ve been waiting
for, the Rodney Dangerfield.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were here first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Rodney Dangerfield sperm, kind of a long story, kind of hard
to get there in the time we have available this evening.
But inevitably, because of the subject of the joke era, you have to wrap
the skit around to uniform Nazis showing up later on in the skit and
getting in line to get their genetically superior sperm as well.
Of course, this was a news story at the time, but it ended up on “SNL,”
because it was an elite, seemingly racist sperm bank, based on eugenics, on
improving the gene pool and that`s ridiculous and hilarious if you put the
right cast on it. But the Nazi is there for a reason too, right? It`s all
And it`s also an idea for which there are American die-hards. And the
zillionaire eyeglass mogul who got all this public ridicule for it in the
`70s and `80s and early `80s, all these terrible press and ending up on
“Saturday Night Live” and all the rest of it, while he was trying to found
his Nobel scientist sperm bank, and he was getting all this press about it
being a racist, eugenicist endeavor, he did get some support at the time
from some eugenics die-hards.
In 1996, in fact, he got a letter from a guy who founded something called
the Society for Genetic Education. This guy wrote to the Nobel Prize
winner sperm bank guy, the eyeglasses guy, to try to help him out with his
PR, to give him alternative strategies for how to talk about what he was
trying to do, that maybe wouldn`t creep people out so easily. He said the
way his group was doing it was that they emphasize said mankind`s use of
eugenic principles on plants and the lower animals, as a way to condition
the public for the idea of genetic manipulation and raise the question of
its application to the human race.
He told the plastic eyeglasses mogul that he found it helpful to do his
work, quote, “under the term genetics rather than eugenics.”
Stop talking about eugenics. I mean, eugenics is not a subtle idea now
matter how many Nobel laureates you get to make deposits at your sperm
bank. The whole idea of eugenics is always going to feel a little German,
But whatever you call it, the idea was clear in this case, the idea was the
same. This is from that same letter, from the Society for Genetic
Education guy to the eyeglasses mogul, who was trying to run the genius
sperm bank. Same letter. He says, quote, “Do we leave it to individuals
to decide they are the intelligent ones to have more kids? And more
troublesome, what about the less intelligent? Who logically should have
less? Who`s going to break the news to less intelligent individuals and
how will it be implemented?”
In other words, how are we going to get this breeding right for our race?
How are we going to get the elite to have lots of kids, and the lesser
humans to stop producing all these filthy offspring, which is so
genetically terrible for us?
Well, that guy who was writing to the Nobel Prize sperm bank, with the
advice, don`t say eugenics, worrying about how we`re going to break it to
the lesser humans among us that they can`t breed anymore, that guy was the
founder of the Society for Genetic Education. A few years earlier, he had
mused in print about creating an organization with a less subtle name.
He apparently kicked around the idea at one point of starting a group that
would be called LEADER. LEADER is an acronym. It stands for the League
for European American Defense Education and Research, the idea of “Leader”
would be to work to genetically protect a white majority for the United
States of America.
That group was never founded, but he`s on paper musing about creating it.
He`s on the record saying that is maybe what he wanted to do. He`s a guy
who has become pretty famous in the modern history of American racism and
eugenics, his name is John Tanton. He`s on record saying, quote, “I`ve
come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to
persist, it requires a European-American majority and a clear one at that.”
“The Arizona Republic” published his memos in the late `80s, where he
lamented a Latino onslaught in this country. He questioned the educability
of Hispanics as a race of people. Can they even be educated? Another one
of the organizations he founded was called U.S. English.
When those memos were published in the “Arizona Republic” and Tanton`s
racial views became known, a whole bunch of mainstream people, Walter
Cronkite, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Chavez, a Bush administration
official, they had all previously associated with this group, when those
memos came out showing Tanton`s racial views, they all bugged out, they all
quit, and disavowed any further association with him.
But John Tanton kept it up. It`s been his life`s work. He`s founded lots
and lots of different anti-immigrant groups over the years. And the two
that have really stuck and really succeed are a group called FAIR and a
think-tank originally founded as a project of FAIR, called the Center for
Immigration Studies. Ever that name before? Center for Immigration
If you heard that name today, it`s because that name, Center for
Immigration Studies, appears on screen in the brand-new Donald Trump ad
that came out today. Ten seconds into the 30-second ad, this is the first
ad that Donald Trump has run in the general election and right out of the
gate, he`s citing the Center for Immigration Studies.
The head of the Center for Immigration Studies has also met with Donald
Trump during his campaign. His campaign has also bragged about that in
print. Center for Immigration Studies is part of the anti-immigrant groups
that had been founded over the years by John Tanton that you see here.
John Tanton has kept watchdogs like the Southern Poverty Law Center and
people for the American way very busy for several decades, as they keep
trying to point out his background, right, as they keep trying to remind
people who he is, as he drifts in and out of white supremacist circles and
eugenics groups and continues to found and serve on the board of groups
that advocate anti-immigrant policies.
And a lot of – the reason those watchdog groups are so busy about him,
some of these John Tanton groups make a point of trying to make themselves
seem very mainstream, normal Republican and conservative organizations, but
honestly, they`re all part of the same network, they`re all founded by the
same guy and they never stay camouflaged for all that long. They end up
reverting to form.
The Center for Immigration Studies, for example, will distribute essays
from Holocaust deniers every now and again. Oops. They keep finding
themselves digesting and sending around work by white nationalists.
I mean, you get back to that dark side. You slip back into that really
fast when you`re circulating arguments like, “The native ethnic stock that
founded and built the U.S. is systematically being replaced through massive
third world immigration.” Native ethnic stock.
For the first national Donald Trump ad of the presidential campaign to be
overtly citing the Center for Immigration Studies, the John Tanton group,
A lot of people have noted today that the content of the first Donald Trump
ad which came out today looks nothing so much like this famous ad from
California that you see on the left, around the time that John Tanton was
writing helpful “don`t say eugenics” letters to the Nobel Prize sperm bank
This was an ad from 1994, it was run by California Republican Governor Pete
Wilson in support of rabidly anti-immigrant legislation that California
passed that year and that he supported. And that anti-immigrant stuff in
California, it did pass in the mid `90s, but the effect of that and the
advertising campaigns like Pete Wilson ran for that policy, those have had
a longer term effect on California politics that`s now legendary in
political science. I mean, when people talk about that Pete Wilson ad in
1994 as the swarm ad, basically showing immigrants as a sub human swarm.
That tends to leave adorable impression on people you`re trying to scare
about immigrants and Latinos.
In California, Republicans did do very well with that issue at the time, in
the mid `90s. But imagery like that doesn`t just have an impact on the
people you`re trying to scare. The people you`re depicting is basically
cockroaches, right, are also not likely to forget how you`ve depicted them,
and the way that you have used them to try to scare other people into
thinking of them as a sub human threat.
California used to be a red state. Will you put up that picture again of
Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson? There. Ronald Reagan was a republican
governor of California for a reason. Pete Wilson was Republican governor
of California for a reason. California was a swing state or a red state.
But you know what? Every since under Pete Wilson, they went hard-core
anti-immigrant in the mid `90s. Every since then, the Republican party in
California has gone extinct. There hasn`t been a Republican elected
statewide in California in a decade and counting. So, yes, Pete Wilson won
on that issue for a minute. But look what it did to the Republican Party.
Donald Trump ran his first ad in the general election campaign today. If
it feels familiar, that`s for a reason.
MADDOW: It`s great to have you with us here tonight. Happy Friday. We
have a great show.
The great Dan Rather is here with us live tonight, which I sorely need.
Dan Rather will be joining us next.
Plus, we have a young man here tonight who had a very unusual experience
that he did not expect at all last night in Charlotte, North Carolina, at
the first political rally he`s ever been to in his life. He`s 18 years
old. He`s a supporter of Donald Trump. He went to Donald Trump`s rally
last night in Charlotte, and something absolutely unthinkable to him
happened to him at that event.
He`s here with us tonight, along with his dad. They`re here for the
interview tonight. That`s coming up.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Today, we got the third Donald Trump campaign shake-up in the last
five months. After throwing out the campaign leadership once in April and
once again in June, they did it again today. Trump campaign chairman Paul
Manafort officially out of the Trump campaign after one too many headlines
concerning his lobbying connections to a pro-Russia political party in
Those headlines, which seem to be increasing in number by the day, as well
as Donald Trump`s continued bad performance in the polls, it`s one thing
that maybe would let you predict a shake-up at the top. This is the third
one in five months, though. Is it weird, is it important, to have that
much turnover at the top this close to a general election to choose the
next president of the United States?
Joining us now is Dan Rather, long-time anchor of “The CBS Evening News”.
He`s the host of “The Big Interview” on AXS TV.
Dan, it`s great to see you. Thank you for being here.
DAN RATHER, AXS TV: Great to see you. Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Is it unusual to have this much turnover, this frequently and this
close to the election?
RATHER: It`s not usual. I hesitate to say it`s unprecedented, because
somewhere back in the 19th century maybe it happened, but not in modern
presidential campaigns has it happened this many times, this close to
But what it tells you is that Donald Trump reads the polls like everyone
else. He may be saying, as I sometimes say, don`t pay too much attention
to the polls this time of year, but, look, this is the way it is in losing
teams` locker rooms. Coaches get fired. And as a matter of fact, as
others have noted, this is what Trump does best, if you keep in mind “The
Apprentice”, his television program. People come in, they get a tryout,
they get fired.
MADDOW: Get fired in a theatrical way. Right.
RATHER: But what he`s trying to do, we see how hard he tries and whether
he succeeds is once again reboot the whole campaign, that he says to
himself, losing momentum, and clearly has he been since the Democratic
convention. I think part of what happened with the convention and the Khan
family and how Donald Trump mishandled that whole thing. That he says to
himself, I can`t continue with this team this way and expect to win.
So, he makes a change. And I`ll tell you something, I wouldn`t be
surprised to see him change again before the campaign goes over.
MADDOW: Some people say that the one really good thing about the fact that
our presidential elections are so long, and get so much attention, get so
much saturation coverage, is that you can`t sort of get away with anything.
It does end up being a full body MRI in terms of how you operate. It`s
very hard to do anything in secret or do anything that everybody doesn`t
But it also shows how well you operate in terms of running an organization
over a long period of time with unrelenting scrutiny on you and that we
should see management skill in running a campaign as a good way of
foreshadowing what you`d be like as a president. Do you think there`s an
RATHER: I think that analogy holds up well. Donald Trump has never been
through this, and he would say that`s an advantage, he`s not a life
politician. But you`ve hit on it, the campaigns are long, and there`s no
place to hide. He`s just not used to that kind of scrutiny.
But I`ve said before, I don`t count him out, at least not yet. But what
he`s attempting the last say, 24 to 48 hours, maybe longer than that, with
his appearance before the group in a white suburb, and somebody remarked,
that`s no place to talk to African Americans.
MADDOW: Right. He gave a speech in which he kept saying he was talking to
African Americans, in an all-white room.
RATHER: It`s easy, the point, he knows that he`s not going to get many
African American votes. That African-Americans see him, they see him as a
threat and overwhelmingly he`s going to lose.
What he was attempting to do in that appearance was to appeal to
independents and swing voters, mostly white, who might be inclined to go
for him, saying, look, I`m really not a, quote, “bigot”, I`m really not a
racist, I`m reaching out these people.
They were his audience, not the African American audience. The African
American audience is smart. They`re been through a lot and they`re almost
impossible to fool. So they take the attitude, I don`t mind you asking me
to eat broccoli half as much as trying to convince me that it`s a biscuit.
RATHER: They`re not buying that and he knows he`s not –
MADDOW: So, that`s why you get him twice in one week where he`s talking
about African Americans, but supposedly from the podium, to African
Americans, there are none or a very small number of African Americans in
the room. But you`re saying that`s actually targeting white people to make
them think he`s less of a bigot and if you support him, you`re not a
RATHER: Exactly. Donald Trump knows that his path to win, and he knows
it`s narrow, it`s to get higher percentages of white people who voted in
past elections to vote. That`s number one, and a higher percentage of the
ones who do vote to vote for him. That`s his audience. It`s not African-
Americans he`s talking to.
I will say, we`re talking about the campaign switches, that Kellyanne
Conway, the woman who is now the manager, she`s terrific on television.
Whether you like Donald Trump or not, this woman can talk the legs off a
table. And she`s all over the place and she`s presenting in the last, I
would say, 48 or 75 or 80 hours, the best case for Donald Trump that has
been put forward thus far, with the possible exception of the candidate
MADDOW: Do you think, Dan, that we`re going to continue to see, one of the
things I`ve been highlighting is the way these references and use of
material from the very far right. The reason I did that center for
immigration study at the top is because that ought to be a nuclear
reference in presidential politics, at least in terms of racial extremism.
And we`ve seen that a bunch of different times from the Trump campaign, if
they`re trying to maximize the white vote.
Do you think we`ll get some of this fringe, racial stuff?
RATHER: I think you may get a lot of it, perhaps subtly put, perhaps not
But, look, the campaign is being run by Donald Trump. He`s taking aboard,
candidate, people, workers who are from the fringes. They are zealots from
the fringes of the party, who are now helping him run the campaign. And
they`re going to say the kinds of things they were previously saying on
right-wing radio, because they think if you say it often enough, they`re
convinced that will get Donald Trump the white votes he needs, the big
white turn-out that he needs. I think you`re going to see an awful lot of
The best political analyst strategist I know, Mike Murphy, run many
Republican campaigns, brilliant guy.
MADDOW: Great guy.
RATHER: He thinks it`s suicidal in political terms for Donald Trump. But
Donald Trump does not. He`s turned himself over to a lot of zealots from
the fringes of the party and we`ll see how that goes.
MADDOW: We`ll see how long that lasts with Kellyanne Conway putting a
shine on it. It`s good to see you. Dan Rather, thank you very much for
being here, sir. It`s great to see you.
RATHER: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you.
Dan Rather, former “CBS Evening News”, he`s now the host of “The Big
Interview” on AXS TV, which you should watch because it`s freaking Dan
All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: My dear, dear bad-lip-reading, I have loved you for so long.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pressure to put on weight is one of the reasons we`ve
got the red sweat suits. There`s no way we couldn`t. We`re creeping
between the bull frogs.
UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: I went from being two banana plants, up to a thrill-
seeking shark who sold pictures of different toys I wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m bored by famine. I cannot wait for a medieval
cookie, a Cinnabon, hot yellow Kool-Aid and save a pretzel for the gas
jets. Thank you. I wrote that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The man behind the bad lipped ring videos has been anonymous since
the videos first started appearing five years ago. We know he got started
actually lip-reading in real life after his mom became deaf and she learned
to read lips. So he tried as well. He said he was terrible at it. And
that may be true in a conventional sense, but I say he was perfect. Just
not in the expected way.
Well, tonight, I`m very pleased to tell you, we have a new one from my
anonymous love, bad lip-reading from the Democratic convention. That`s so
great, it`s coming up at the end of the show, because it`s Friday and I
love you. That`s straight ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Save a pretzel for the gas jets. Thank you. I wrote
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: As far as we know, no one has done an official census of Donald
Trump rallies. We don`t have hard numbers on the demographics of his
But if you`ve been to Donald Trump rallies or if you talk to reporters who
have been to a lot of them, they will tell you that the crowds are pretty
white – so much so that the candidate himself has been known to get
visibly excited when he sees someone who is not white at one of his events.
There was the time he saw a woman hold up a “Latinos support D. Trump” sign
at a rally in Tucson. He invited her up on stage for a hug and a kiss.
It was also the time Donald Trump pointed out an African American man
holding a Trump sign at a rally. And he said, look at my African-American
Like it or lump it, racial homogeneity in the crowd is just part of what
the Trump campaign has been like. And maybe that`s the context for
understanding an upsetting story about something that happened last night
in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jake Anantha.
This is Jake. He`s on the left there. He`s 18. That`s him with his dad
Ramesh. Ramesh`s parents emigrated to the U.S. from India. Jake was born
here. Jake is a college freshman in North Carolina.
Because Jake is 18 years old this year, he has a chance to vote in his
first election. It`s exciting when you turn 18 in a presidential election
year and the first time you get to vote is for president.
Jake has been a huge Donald Trump supporter. He tells us he has a Trump
“Make America Great Again” t-shirts that he wears to school on a weekly
So, when the Trump campaign announced their charlotte, North Carolina
rally, Jake Anantha and thousands of other Trump supporters, they turned
out and that meant waiting in the hot sun outside the Charlotte Convention
Center to get in. And Jake waited more once he got inside. They`re all
waiting for Trump to arrive.
Jake said he was listening to music on his headphones. He was super
excited to finally see his candidate. But then something unexpected
Before Donald Trump even appeared on stage, Jake said a member of Trump`s
security team tapped him on the shoulder and told him they recognized him
from previous Trump rallies. This despite the fact that Jake says he`s
never been to any previous Trump rallies. They told him he had to leave.
He said he tried to explain that he had never been to a Trump rally before.
He tried to say he was a huge Trump supporter, wasn`t there to protest by
any means, but they threw him out.
“Charlotte Observer” picked up the story today. Quote, “Anantha says he
stood outside the convention center, watching a stream of white people
enter.” Quote, “I thought Trump was for all the people. I don`t believe
he`s for all people anymore. Why are all these white people allowed to
attend and I`m not?”
Jake also told “The Observer” that after this experience, his first
political rally for the first election he can vote in, he now says he
doesn`t think he can support Trump anymore.
That`s interesting. The Trump campaign is sticking by their assertion that
they were basically right to throw Jake out. They put out his statement,
quote, “We were informed last night that security identified those
individuals, asked to leave, as individuals who have been removed from
Trump`s spokesman then named a former FBI agent as the Trump security
director, who was responsible for determining that Jake Anantha was a
protester who had been kicked out of previous events and that`s why they
kicked him out in Charlotte last night.
In his speech last night at that event, as he`s been doing all week, Donald
Trump made a verbal attempt at least to reach out to minority communities,
saying he promises fair and equal representation to African Americans,
Hispanic Americans, and all Americans. That is what Donald Trump said from
the podium last night, but by then, Jake had been kicked out and he didn`t
get to see the speech.
Jake and his dad are here for the interview, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Fair and equal representation.
This is what I promise to African-Americans, Hispanics, Americans and – of
all types, of all colors, of all religions. This is what we promise, we
all promise, everybody in this room promises. This is what we have to do.
MADDOW: Speaking of who was in the room, a young man from North Carolina
named Jake Anantha went to that Donald Trump rally last night in North
Carolina. Jake`s 18, voting in his first election this year. He went to
that rally in Charlotte last night to see the candidate who he has
enthusiastically supported, Donald Trump.
But Jake was ejected from the rally by Trump security. He says he believes
he was racially profiled.
Joining us now for the interview are Jake Anantha and his father Ramesh
Welcome to both of you. It`s really nice of you to come on the show to
talk about what happened. I appreciate you both being here.
JAKE ANANTHA, EJECTED FROM TRUMP RALLY IN NC: Yes, and thank you.
RAMESH ANANTHA, FATHER OF YOUNG MAN EJECTED FROM TRUMP RALLY: Thanks,
MADDOW: Jake, let me start with you. Can you just – first of all, tell
me if I got anything wrong, in terms of how I explained what happened last
night and just put it in your own words. Just tell us what happened.
J. ANANTHA: You were pretty much correct. I showed up uptown maybe around
2:00, 2:30. I got in line around 3:00 or so. I was waiting in the hot
sun. Until about just before 4:30, they opened the doors, they let me in.
I went through security.
Everything was fine. I was there fairly early, so I was fairly close to
the stage. You know, I had to wait for a while. Probably waiting for
about an hour and a half, just listening to music, minding my own business
and I get a tap on my shoulder from I guess Donald Trump`s head of
security, basically telling me that he knows who I am, that I am a
protester, I am someone who has been kicked out of previous rallies for
disrupting, which isn`t true at all.
I was shocked to hear this. Any – everything he was saying, I was
completely shocked. I`ve never been to a Donald Trump rally before that.
And I would never protest against Trump, because, you know, I was a Donald
MADDOW: And you explained that to the head of security, and he just said,
I don`t care, or did he rebut you, or did he –
J. ANANTHA: Well, what happened was he claimed that three people, three
individuals, I guess, had pointed me out, while I was standing there. I
don`t know if these were security guards or just random people that were
attending the event. But, I guess there matters were more important than
mine, holds more weight. I really don`t understand.
MADDOW: Jake, can I just ask you how you feel about it? Not to explain
their motivation or where you think it was coming from, but how it made you
feel in the moment and how you feel about it now.
J. ANANTHA: You know, what I will say, I am definitely not a Donald Trump
supporter anymore. I believe that – when I was there, everyone welcomed
me. Everyone there was great. The people I was waiting in line with, who
was standing next to.
It was a great day until Donald Trump`s head of security just essentially
is making up a lie about how he knows who I am, about how I`m a protester,
who has protested at previous rallies and the most frustrating thing, he
doesn`t give me a name of who he thinks I am, no picture, nothing. He
could have fabricated all of this and I was left in the dark. No matter
what I said, I – he wouldn`t have believed me.
MADDOW: Mr. Anantha, let me ask you a question. I understand that you`re
a Republican as well. You have not necessarily been as enthusiastic about
Donald Trump as your son. What did you think about your son going to this
event and what do you think about how it worked out?
R. ANANTHA: It`s incredibly disappointing, discouraging, and really
heartbreaking. The irony is pretty much unbelievable because Jake was the
biggest Trump supporter, wearing his shirt, you know, just really Trump`s
message resonated with him. He loved the guy.
And this is a supporter that Trump should be falling over himself to
celebrate, to get up on stage. I mean, he`s young, you know, he`s
minority, mixed race. I mean, Trump should be celebrating him. Instead,
he kicks him out.
Yes, it was not Donald Trump himself who pointed to my son and said, get
out of here, but it was his head of security, Eddie Deck, former FBI agent,
who runs the show for security. And, you know, the way Trump has been
changing campaign managers quicker than his socks, I think he ought to
think about changing his security team, because they`re not making the
rallies a very welcoming or open, inclusive place.
MADDOW: Jake, let me ask you before we go, you said you don`t feel like
you can support Trump anymore. Do you want an apology?
J. ANANTHA: I would like an apology, for sure. I like them to acknowledge
that they made a mistake, as well as – I guess they`re sticking to the
story that I am a known protester, which obviously isn`t true. And I would
like for them to essentially just say, we`re sorry, we made a huge mistake,
we profiled you, and we realize what we`ve done is wrong and we`re sorry.
I would definitely like an apology.
MADDOW: Jake Anantha and Ramesh Anantha of North Carolina, thanks for
talking to us about this. I know that it`s probably not fun to talk about.
I imagine it wasn`t fun to go through. But you explaining it in your own
terms is really helpful for us knowing what happened. Thanks to you both.
J. ANANTHA: Thank you. You too.
MADDOW: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
All right. We`ve got much more to come tonight, including a best thing in
the world which you need and I`m really happy we`ve got.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: President Obama has been on vacation on all week with his family
in Massachusetts. As we talked about on the show last night, the president
is taking a little bit of grief from the Louisiana press for not leaving
his vacation and going to see the devastating flooding in Louisiana, but
given everything that law enforcement and first responders are dealing with
there, given that as the governor told us last night, they are still in
active rescue mode in Louisiana.
Last night here on the show, the governor of Louisiana told us that it
might be better for President Obama to wait a bit before coming down so
that they wouldn`t have to divert resources to his visit. That kind of
concern did not stop Republican presidential Donald Trump for deciding that
he would Trump in on Louisiana today, along with his running mate Mike
Pence. They reportedly did not coordinate their visit with the governor`s
office of Louisiana.
Today, the White House announced that President Obama will go to Baton
Rouge next week. He`ll go on Tuesday. The American Red Cross, of course,
is there already in great numbers. They tell us as of today they got a
thousand volunteers on the ground from all 50 states, plus tons and tons of
local volunteers who pitched in, many of them flood victims themselves.
This disaster in Louisiana has not been covered in the news on the same
scale you might expect, given the size of – the size and scale of the
devastation. I think largely because of the presidential campaign and the
But the Louisiana governor last night said because of that lack of press
coverage, relatively speaking, the Red Cross is an organization, is the
kind of group that might not be getting the national support it might
otherwise get if there were wall to wall coverage of this disaster.
Well, if you do want to donate to the Red Cross`s relief efforts in
Louisiana, it`s really easy to do so. You can go online to redcross.org.
You can get on the phone 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Or you can do it by text. Just text LAFLOODS, all one word, LAFLOODS to
this number, 90999 if you do that instantly you make a $10 donation.
We`re going to post all this information to MaddowBlog.com tonight.
All right. Lots more ahead tonight, including the best new thing in the
world. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Best new thing in the world, all right. Personally, I watched
about 500,000 hours on the Democratic national convention this year, you
did too. The speeches, balloons, protesters, movie stars, all of it. It
was a ton of fun to watch. But it was not nearly as fun to watch it as it
is. Too bad, lip read it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, wow! This really sucks, like all you people who
are here tonight. Shout out to my crew, my girlies, Brit-brat, Spider
Bomb, Beat Bop, Bunniper and Virgin Karen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two cheers for all the tears of my man servants.
They sort of can smile and always get me the sugar packet, they`re like
property of mine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s an accepted way to plan for puberty. The weird
things didn`t have to get your comics together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One list a few words that sound like real words but
aren`t real. Hondish. Coddlesip. Eubillacant. Respeciment.
Complectogram. These words ought to mean something. Toellingis. That
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes people that like to smoke the pot use an
etch a sketch. As you know, I`m tied to one of those people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, I`m wearing my three hemp bracelets and just
rapping at you, fun times, right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know who ought to run this country, easy, it`s
that girl Kalisi, I saw her on the TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like a dragon or two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Char mander, char mander.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, remember that time when I was president, how could
you not, all that time I had sparklers in a keg, they were out in the woods
near the dumping area.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s beautiful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Bad lip ripping does the Democratic national convention, best new
thing in the world, again, this weekend, in the backyard.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Monday.
Now, it`s time for HARDBALL with Chris Matthews.
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