The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 8/29/2016

Zeke Emanuel, Colleen Hilton

Date: August 29, 2016
Guest: Zeke Emanuel, Colleen Hilton

CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening. We will be
back here live at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. You don`t want to miss that.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening to Chris. Thank you, my friend.

HAYES: You bet.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour.
Happy Monday.

We`ve got an unusual show tonight in this sense. It`s a big show. We`ve
got two exclusive stories tonight. One of them sort of run-of-the-mill
exclusive and one of them not at all a run-of-the-mill exclusive.

The more standard story that we`ve got although it is exclusive to us
tonight is some brand new polling. Brand new polling you`ve not heard it
anywhere else, we`re going to be breaking it on the show tonight.

You keep hearing this year how American voters dislike their candidates,
candidates have bad favorability ratings. Tonight we will be breaking news
on brand new polling that shows, I think, for the first time I`ve ever
seen, a favorability number for a candidate that registers as nil. It
registers so low it could not even be measured. So, we`ve got that sort of
astonishing new data ahead.

But the other exclusive we have tonight is a more unusual one, and it`s on
a story that just will not quite and that, honestly, is getting worse over
time and not better. And, honestly, this shouldn`t be the biggest deal in
the world. This should have been something done, checked off the list and
finished a long time ago, this should be standard stuff.

I mean, for relevant context here – in 2008, Barack Obama, running for
president, Democratic nominee for president, right, he released a summary
of his medical records. It was released by his physician, somebody
treating him since 1987, gave a summary of his overall medical history,
gave the date of his most recent check-up, gave Obama`s blood pressure,
pulse, body fat, you know, the basic lab results, cholesterol, prostate
test results. Nothing graphic, but it overall sums up, overall good
physical and mental health.

It was a page and half-ish from candidate Obama`s doctor. That was 2008.
That was very similar to the page and half-ish that we got four years later
from Mitt Romney`s doctor, when Mitt Romney was running for president in
2012. Nothing graphic, OK, he takes low dose aspirin and he takes Lipitor
for his cholesterol and we get his colonoscopy results and his EKG results.
We get a little family history in terms of heart disease.

That letter from Mitt Romney`s doctor, that runs a page and half. And in
the end, we get the bottom line, no physical impairments. Mitt Romney is

There have been candidates who have released more information than that
when they`ve been running for president. John McCain both when he ran in
2000 and 2008, he made a big deal out of releasing actually more than 1,000
pages of documents from his health records each time. I think that`s
because people had questioned his health.

Also because John McCain has an unusual medical history. He`s man who
survived prolonged and terrible torture as a prisoner of war for years.
He`s also a cancer survivor, had a lot of different kinds of skin cancer.

So, John McCain was a bit of exception. He really did produce reams of
very detailed health records. The reason he did that was to show he`s
fine. He`s been through a lot but he`s healthy.

Incidentally, I should say it`s Senator McCain`s 80th birthday today.
Happy Birthday, Senator.

I mean, the releasing your health records when you`re running for president
shouldn`t be a turning point in your campaign. It shouldn`t be something
people wait for and bigger news when they got them.

It`s like releasing your tax returns – ahem – if you have normal tax
returns, should be a one day story. You release that information. People
read it. They do their due diligence. We all read these reports to see if
there`s anything surprising or disqualifying, basically check the box and
move on. Should not be a story.

This year, it is definitely a story. On the Democratic side, Hillary
Clinton last July released a doctor`s letter very much in keeping with what
has become the modern standard, basically the same kind of information
released by Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. It was a page
and half-ish from her long time doctor.

We get the rundown of the concussion she had in 2012. We find out she
takes a thyroid drug. She takes antihistamines for allergies. We get the
date of her last exam, blood pressure, EKG results, cholesterol.

And we get a bottom line, a healthy female, fit to serve. That happened
last July. That`s in keeping with modern practice for presidential
candidates. Last July is when Hillary Clinton`s doctor`s letter was

Now, Friday night on this show, we played a little bit of an interview with
Donald Trump`s doctor. This is the doctor who wrote the medical letter
that was released on Donald Trump. And on Friday night when we played a
little squib of that interview, when we went back and compared to it the
timeline, we noticed something really strange about this part of the


NBC NEWS: What was the generation of this letter? How did that come
about? Just tell that story.

the Clinton organization was going to publish letter on her health. I know
her physician and I know some of her health history which is really not so
good, and I said, why not? I would do that for you, too.

NBC NEWS: And so, the car was waiting outside?

BORNSTEIN: At the end of the day, they came to get their letter.

NBC NEWS: And so, just tell me about the time – the time crunch, like,
five – you wrote it –

BORNSTEIN: I thought about it all day and at the end, I get rushed and I
get anxious when I get rushed, so I four and five lines best as possible
that they would be happy with.

NBC NEWS: But it was based on your evaluation.

BORNSTEIN: It`s all true.


MADDOW: OK, a couple things here. Aside from him commenting on the health
of someone who`s not his patient by saying, I know some of her doctors, I
know her physician, I know some of her health history which is really not
so good, aside from the propriety of that, a couple of things, right? Why
did the Trump campaign need its medical letter in such a rush? On the
timing of this?

This part doesn`t make any sense.


BORNSTEIN: I guess he called and he said the Clinton organization was
going to publish a letter on her health.


MADDOW: That`s how he sets up by they`re in such a rush. It doesn`t make
any sense at all.

The Trump campaign released their medical letter from Trump`s doctor in
December. He says he wrote it all in a rush that day because they needed
it right away because the Clinton organization was going to publish a
letter on her health and so, they needed to come out with a Trump letter.
That makes no sense in December. Hillary Clinton had already published a
letter on her health five months earlier from her doctor.

So, why was it all of a sudden a rush when they had to finish it in five
minutes with somebody in a limo or a black car waiting downstairs, idling,
waiting on this letter, and they only had five minutes to do it and it was
such a rush when her letter had been out for five months?

Trying to get to the bottom of this, we have now obtained more of the
doctor`s comments to NBC News about the origin of his document attesting to
Donald Trump`s health. And again, this is the only document we`ve got
attesting to Donald Trump`s health. If elected, Donald Trump would be the
oldest person ever sworn in as president of the United States. We`ve just
got this one document and now we know a lot more about this document.

I think if the health of the candidates is going to be an issue in this
campaign, if Donald Trump is going to demand more health records be
released by Hillary Clinton, as if hers are somehow a scandal and a
departure from modern norms here, I think you should see this. We`ve got
extensive remarks here, this starts here with the doctor reading from a
letter he wrote to attest to Donald Trump`s fitness for the presidency.


BORNSTEIN: I`ve been the personal physician of Mr. Donald J. Trump since
1980. His previous physician was my father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein. For the
past 39 years, I am pleased to report Mr. Trump has had no significant
medical problem.

Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical exam that showed only positive
results. Probably not right, but written correctly but I got a D in
German. His blood pressure is 110 over 65 and his laboratory tests are
astonishingly excellent.


MADDOW: Trump`s doctor is saying there, he makes a joke about getting bad
grades in German, I don`t know. He says, when he gets to the part, Mr.
Trump has had a recent complete medical exam that show only positive
results, he gets to that part, he says, hmm, maybe didn`t write that, maybe
that`s not write. It`s written correctly but didn`t.

So, he shows a little regret at that statement when he says Donald Trump
showed only positive results, maybe that wasn`t right. Then he continues.


BORNSTEIN: He has no history of ever using alcohol or tobacco products.
And if elected, Mr. Trump, I can say unequivocally, will be the healthiest
individual ever elected to the presidency.

NBC NEWS: Dr. Bornstein, phrases like astonishingly excellent seem a
little over the top to some people. What do you think about that? Is that
the way you write most of your medical letters?

BORNSTEIN: No. But for Mr. Trump, I wrote that letter.

NBC NEWS: Did he ask you to describe it that way? Or to pick up his kind
of language by spending time with him.

BORNSTEIN: I think I picked up his kind of language and interpreted it to
my own.


MADDOW: The language used by the doctor who has again given us the only
documentation of Donald Trump`s health that we`ve got, he says he maybe
picked up that language from Donald Trump himself. And that is unusual for
a scientist, right, for a medical professional. It has also raised
questions about the circumstances under which this strange letter was
produced and that has now been explained a couple of different ways by
Donald Trump`s doctor.


NBC NEWS: Did Donald Trump write that letter for you? Or have any input
into that letter? I think that`s what people are curious about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Bornstein wrote that letter, OK? Dr. Bornstein
wrote that letter. It`s enough.

BORNSTEIN: I wrote that letter in a very good frame of mind sitting here
and smiling as I wrote it, too, to be quite honest.

NBC NEWS: The letter does sound peculiar. I know there were the physician
on television on another network who is saying, no one would say positive


BORNSTEIN: How much time do you have to sit here in five minutes? I had
five minutes to write that letter.


BORNSTEIN: And proof it.


BORNSTEIN: Five minutes to write that letter while the driver waited for

NBC NEWS: So you got a request from Mr. Trump to please have a letter –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody needs a letter. Everybody needs a letter.
Hillary needed a letter. Donald needed a letter.

NBC NEWS: So he came to you to call –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He needed this letter and we got his letter. My
husband does have a sense of humor and so the “astonishing” word can sound
however you interpret it. Dr. Bornstein wrote that, with his long hair and
his earrings.

It`s not who he is. He is a brilliant diagnostician and he`s brilliant in
his craft.


MADDOW: Dr. Bornstein`s wife really standing up for him, work business at
his office. Dr. Bornstein himself saying the letter was unproof read, he
said it was never proofed, it was such a rush. He previously said that he
finished it in a frame of mind he wasn`t rushed at all, he was happy
sitting there smiling.

The circumstances of this letter being produced to attest to Donald Trump`s
health, they still don`t make much sense. Why was there such a rush to
creating anxiety, or a very relaxed frame of mind, depending which part of
the interview we did? Why was there such a rush five months after Hillary
Clinton published her letter?

The timing of this, it makes – it makes no sense at all. And here`s the
larger issue. What does this doctor actually think about Donald Trump`s
health? I mean, we just heard there from the doctor and his wife, when he
called Donald Trump astonishingly excellent, the doctor`s wife said, that
was meant to be funny, that was meant to be a joke.

OK, well, what are his lab test result, if they`re not astonishingly
excellent, if that was hilarious, how are his lab test results?

Watch what the doctor says in detail how healthy he thinks Donald Trump is.


NBC NEWS: So you think Donald Trump is healthy enough to be president?

BORNSTEIN: I think he`s physically healthy enough.

NBC NEWS: Do you have any medical concerns about him?

BORNSTEIN: Medical concerns about him. I guess you have the same average
medical concerns you have for a 70-year-old man.

NBC NEWS: Te only other question I think people are curious about he would
be the healthiest person ever to take office.

BORNSTEIN: Well, I think most of the list of presidents from the United
States like Woodrow Wilson walking around with a hemorrhage in his brain
and Eisenhower, one after the other we have not had very – I mean, these
people are older and develop adult illnesses. I don`t think there`s a
healthiest person who elected, you didn`t elect a 22-year-old.

NBC NEWS: How could you know he would be in the best health of any
president in the history of the United States?

BORNSTEIN: I like that sentence. I like that sentence, to be quite honest
with you. All the rest of them are either sick or dead. We`ve had
everything as president, dementia and people with tumors. We`ve had
everything as president. We`ve had psychotic and paranoids and we`ve we`ve
had all in my own little lifetime. We`ve had plenty of very disturbed
people and fortunately they were held in check.

NBC NEWS: So you`ve been treating him for 30 years and what`s your
assessment of his health?

BORNSTEIN: His health is excellent, particularly his financial health. It
works out just fine. He said to me at the door, hey, Harold, you think I
should run for president. I said, I don`t know. He said, but I think it
it`s a good idea.

NBC NEWS: Do you think he would be fit to be president of the United

BORNSTEIN: Yes, I think he would be as fit as all the rest of them.
There`s an incidence and prevalence of disease. The incidents of disease
was out there. I think the prevalence is what walks into the office and
you identify. Who knows?


MADDOW: Who knows? Who knows? He`s a 70-year-old man. You have the same
average medical concerns you have for a 70-year-old man. Also who among us
is fit to be president? Who knows what people are walking around with?

Besides, all the other presidents are sick or dead. By the way, Eisenhower
didn`t have polio.

So, yes, who knows? Who knows? Who knows? Is he fit?

That actually is the medical assessment of Donald Trump`s health, according
to the only person who has ever publicly attested to it and who did so in a
half page letter he now says was partially a joke and who knows, really,
about Donald Trump`s health? Previous presidents are all sick or dead.
So, of course, he`s better off.

But the Trump campaign for president has tried to make a scandal of Hillary
Clinton`s health. They have tried to make a scandal of Hillary Clinton`s
health letter from her doctor. They`re demanding that she release more
medical records because she hasn`t done it right.

It`s astonishing. It`s just amazing.

We`ve got more ahead tonight. Stay with us.


BORNSTEIN: We`ve had everything as president, we`ve had psychotic and
paranoids and we`ve had all in my own little lifetime. We`ve had plenty of
very disturbed people and they`ve usually been fortunately held in check.

NBC NEWS: You like Donald Trump. Would you vote for Donald Trump?

BORNSTEIN: I like Donald Trump because he likes me. That`s what my mother
would say. They like you, Harold, so you like them.




NBC NEWS: So, when did you first see him?

BORNSTEIN: When my mother said, I have a new patient.

NBC NEWS: When was that?


NBC NEWS: So you think Donald Trump is healthy enough to be president.

BORNSTEIN: I think he`s physically healthy enough.

NBC NEWS: Do you have any medical concerns about him?

BORNSTEIN: Medical concerns about him. I guess you have the same average
medical concerns you have for a 70-year-old man.

NBC NEWS: When`s the last time you examined him?


BORNSTEIN: I don`t know. You could look. It`s recently.

NBC NEWS: Within a year?

BORNSTEIN: Yes. Certainly within a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not – it`s a HIPAA violation.


MADDOW: Donald Trump`s physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein in an interview
with NBC News. Dr. Bornstein is seemingly more circumspect about Donald
Trump`s health than he was in writing a letter attesting to Donald Trump`s
perfect health especially on the issue whether Donald Trump would be the
healthiest individual elected to the presidency, Dr. Bornstein basically
qualifies that in this follow-up interview saying a lot of really sick
people have been president. That`s part of why he feels confident in
making that assertion.

Join us now is Dr. Zeke Emanuel. He`s a former White House advisor of
health policy and chair of medical ethics and health policy at the
University of Pennsylvania. I should tell you, he`s also now an advisor to
the Clinton campaign on health care policy although not on Secretary
Clinton`s personal health.

Dr. Emanuel, it`s nice to see you. Thank you for being here.


MADDOW: So, is there an accepted standard of what we should get in terms
of private health information about presidential candidates? Do you feel
there`s a reasonable expectation about what we should get?

EMANUEL: Yes. I mean, look, the presidency is a very grueling job. Just
look how President Obama has changed over the last eight years. We do know
that some presidents have suffered serious illness. I mean, Eisenhower did
have a heart attack. President Kennedy had Addison`s disease, which is the
disease of the hormones of the adrenal gland.

So, we know that you do need some reassurance that they don`t have cancer,
that they can perform the job and they can take the stresses of that job.
We have had that standard, as you pointed out at the start of the show.
We`ve had these doctors give us a rundown including some detailed
laboratory tests and detailed screening tests and overall assessment. And
I think that has been the standard.

One other thing that has been the standard is for doctors not to comment on
other people whom they haven`t examined. That`s called the Goldwater
Standard. That was established when lots of people were commenting on
President Goldwater`s mental capacities in the 1964 election and that was
ruled unethical and unprofessional by doctors who never examined him.

MADDOW: When we played a little bit of this interview that we got from NBC
News on Friday night, we played that portion of the tape that you also just
heard a moment ago where Dr. Bornstein, Trump`s physician says he knows
Hillary Clinton`s physician and he knows about her medical history and it`s
not good. And that was notable to our audience in the sense that we got a
flood of feedback from our audience on Friday night, describing that as a
very unethical or untoward or unprofessional thing for Dr. Bornstein to
have done.

EMANUEL: Correct. And it violated the so-called Goldwater standard, which
I think is an appropriate standard. You haven`t examined someone and you
don`t have the information and don`t have the data, you don`t go by
hearsay. That`s not an evaluation, that`s not the way we practice
medicine, and to comment is unprofessional, especially in public.

MADOW: We`ve got now Dr. Bornstein making different kinds of assertions
about Donald Trump`s health than he made in this letter. When pressed by
NBC News he says he has the same kind of medical concerns you would have
for – average concerns you would have for a 70-year-old man when asked
about his assertion Donald Trump unequivocally would be the healthiest
individual elected to the presidency. He seemingly qualifies that by
talking about – by saying in his words that all previous presidents are
sick or dead, which I think that some previous presidents who are among us
might disagree with.

EMANUEL: I would cut this man a little slack. He`s a practicing
physician, a gastroenterologist and I think he`s now thrust into the
national media in this midst of a presidential campaign and he`s behaving
in ways he shouldn`t behave because he`s not used to the circumstances and
not used to the media.

And I think it would be better if he just gave us the 1 1/2 letter with
details of medications Donald Trump is taking, his actual laboratory data,
his physical findings, screening test he`s had and not try to play media
expert, which I think he`s just out of his league, frankly, and I think
it`s not doing him any credit and it`s not enlightening the public about
Donald Trump`s health and fitness for the job and reassuring us.

You know, it`s always crazy in this campaign where Donald Trump asks
Hillary Clinton to release more information, and she`s been one of the most
transparent candidates in history, including on the medical history. You
do have to wonder a little bit about what Donald Trump, why he won`t get
the same kind of letter, if there`s anything we need to be concerned about.

MADDOW: In terms of what you just said there, just to pin you down, you`re
saying that you would expect or you would hope that the Trump campaign
would release more detailed clinical information about Trump. It doesn`t
have to be reams of data but a page and half, the kind of lab results you
were just describing.


MADDOW: That standard, has Hillary Clinton met that standard? Has she
released enough health information?

EMANUEL: Well, we got her July – her physician releasing that page and
half in July. We know her cholesterol level. We know she`s on thyroid
medications. We know she has a little alcohol, doctors think is a good

So, it`s – I think we got it from Hillary Clinton and I think we have –
as you pointed out, McCain gave us 1,000 pages. Not sure we need that.
What we do need is an accurate summary with a set of data about labs,
medications, screening test and physical exam, and then a conclusion.

That would be – it doesn`t take much. We send these letters frequently
about patients. If you`re sending someone to a specialist, that`s the kind
of letter you expect the primary care doctor to dictate.

MADDOW: Dr. Zeke Emanuel, chair of medical ethics at Penn, Clinton
campaign advisor on healthcare policy – Dr. Emanuel, thanks for being here
tonight. Appreciate having you here.

EMANUEL: Thank you.

MADDOW: I just think – that last point, it feels weird we all feel
entitled to have medical information about other people, right? I mean,
like instinctual as humans, you feel that`s private. Once you`re running
for president there is a standard in terms of what we`re supposed to know
about your basic physical fitness for the job, Hillary Clinton has met it
and Donald Trump has not.

And that`s not to cast aspersions on Trump, does mean looking at that
letter released and especially now looking at this interview, explaining
that letter, we definitely don`t know the first thing medically about
Donald Trump and I think the Trump campaign is going to have to remedy

Be right back.


MADDOW: The day after tomorrow, on Wednesday, President Obama is expected
to arrive in Hawaii to speak at an environmental summit to dedicate that a
new national marine monument he just designated. But watch that timing
because also due to arrive in Hawaii on Wednesday is Hurricane Madeline.

That storm has now been upgraded to a category three hurricane, sustained
winds of 115 miles an hour. Current projection show Hurricane Madeline
making landfall at the big island late on Wednesday.

Unfortunately for Hawaii there`s more badness behind that. Right now,
there are two hurricanes on the path toward the big island. Hurricane
Lester is right behind Hurricane Madeline. Lester is a category 4
hurricane with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. It`s currently
projected to hit Oahu early Saturday morning.

Now, all of these are projections. The strength of these storms is very
much subject to change, along with their tracks. But as of right now, one
of the things to watch is how these storms are going to affect President
Obama`s planned trip to Hawaii and everything else in Hawaii.

Keep an eye on that this week. Watch this space.


MADDOW: Got some breaking political news tonight that you will not hear
anywhere else. This is exclusive to us hot off the presses. Literally,
it`s warm.

We have brand new national polling data from the polling group PPP, which
is Democratic-leaning pollster that uses robocalls to do its polling.
They`ve also got a great track record. I can report here for the first
time that based on this new national PPP poll that I am breaking right
here, I can now report this year`s Republican presidential nominee is less
popular than middle seats on airplanes.

They asked that specifically, question 24, quote, “What do you have a
higher opinion of, Donald Trump or middle seats on airplanes?” The
proportion of Americans who say they have a higher opinion of Donald Trump
is 42 percent and the proportion of those who have a higher opinion of
middle seats on airplanes is 45 percent. So, he loses out to getting stuck
in a middle seat. Interestingly enough, a full 13 percent of Americans
interestingly say they don`t know, they`re not sure which they have a
higher opinion of, Donald Trump or being stuffed between two people on an
airplane. So, that means there`s room to grow.

There is some sunshine in this poll for Mr. Trump, though. The American
people have exactly as good of an opinion of Donald Trump as they do of
personal injury lawyers and Donald Trump does beat bedbugs rather
resoundingly. Americans prefer Donald Trump to bedbugs by whopping 22
point margin.

Earlier on the campaign, you might remember he lost to lice. So, in this
case, him beating bedbugs is very good news for him and his campaign. The
bedbugs for their part, they want a recount.

So, I mean, honestly, on the bedbugs thing there is bad news nor the Trump
campaign or bedbugs, the bedbugs are winning. They`re beating Donald Trump
in popularity when you just ask African-American and Hispanic voters what
they think. Among those groups, Donald Trump loses to bedbugs. Donald
Trump, in fact, loses all the would-you-rathers.

African-Americans and Latino voters have a higher opinion of mosquitoes,
junk mail, middle seats on airplanes, carneys, personal injury voters, Ryan
Lochte, public restrooms, bedbugs, and the bubonic plague than bedbugs.
They would greatly prefer the bubonic plague to Donald Trump.

And when a significant chunk of the country would prefer the bubonic plague
to you, you end up having problems in the bottom line. That`s what we see
in the latest presidential head to head matchup in this national PPP poll,
Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points, 48-43. She maintains
that five point lead if you factor in the other third party candidates.

You know, the whole story isn`t just the top line result, right? Obviously
the demographic breakdowns are interesting as well. And I think her –
bedbugs? Bubonic plague?

I will say when you do polling like this, you sometimes find whole new
demographics you didn`t even know existed beyond just like age and party
affiliation and who did you vote for last time and race and all that stuff,
sometimes you find demographic groups you didn`t know could exist in
nature. So, for example, in this new PPP poll, 4 percent of Donald Trump
voters say Donald Trump could not be trusted with nuclear weapons.

Think about that for a second. He could not be trusted with nuclear
weapons and they are going to vote for him. Hold on a second. I mean,
like, I mean, every year you have a new demographics, sometimes it`s soccer
moms and this year the suicidal. I don`t think he can be trusted with
nuclear weapons, so I`m going to give him all the nuclear weapons.

How do you simultaneously say he can`t be trusted with them and then you
will offer them to him?

Even more rare though, than those voters, 4 percent of Donald Trump voters
who say he can`t be trusted with nuclear weapons, but they`re voting for
him anyway, even more rare than that are the 2 percent of African-American
voters who say they believe Donald Trump cares about black people and
Latinos, 2 percent.

And when you see data like this, you know that Donald Trump`s favorability
rating among African-Americans is going to be really bad? What`s his
favorability rating among African-Americans? What`s that number going to
be? Well, 97 percent of African-Americans have an unfavorable view of
Donald Trump. You know it`s going to be bad. But it`s really bad.

His favorable rating is, see that little dash, it`s not even a number, it`s
a scratch. Three percent of African-Americans say they don`t know.
Ninety-seven percent say uh-huh and scratch say, yeah, I like him.

But the election is a long way off. If you`re wondering if that number
could get any better, certainly there is room to grow for Donald Trump and
African-Americans. It is not likely that he will see a major spike among
African-American voters all that soon, so long as there are new headlines
like this popping up every day. Quote, “A robocall from white nationalist
and former Klan leader David Duke urges voters to vote for him for U.S.
Senate in Louisiana and for Donald Trump for president.”

The new David Duke for Senate and Donald Trump for president robocalls, how
is that going to go for appealing to black voters. David Duke is telling
vote others to send him to Washington, D.C. so he can work along the Senate
with Donald Trump.

Tonight, the Trump campaign disavowed this David Duke robocall on his
behalf. But still, I don`t know if it`s possible for Donald Trump to
actually poll lower than a scratch mark with a demographic in this country,
but we may be about to find out.


MADDOW: We just got some breaking news out of the great state of Maine
where that state`s governor is under tremendous political pressure right
now. He had a profane and slightly insane outburst in public last week
that has members of even his own party now questioning, publicly
questioning his sanity, questioning whether he might possibly be on drugs,
and suggesting that he needs to get professional help. We`d just had brand
new news breaking this hour on that story. And that`s next.


MADDOW: On Friday morning, the people of Maine woke up to the sound of
this phone message published by “The Portland Press Herald” after it was
left by the state`s Republican governor on a voice mail of a Democratic
state legislature. I will warn you that this recording contains aggressive
and untoward language.


GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard
LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a
racist, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker. I want to talk to you – I want
you to prove that I`m racist. I`ve spent my life helping black people and
you little son of a bitch socialist (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker. You – I
need you to – just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public
because I`m after you. Thank you.


MADDOW: Thank you. Governor of the state of Maine.

Now, we know what happened after that. We now know hours after leaving
that message for State Representative Drew Gattine, Governor Paul LePage
called back, called that same legislator back again, after the threatening,
swearing “I`m after you, thank you” message, he called back again and left
another message for the same state rep this time inviting him to meet the
governor in person. He said he wanted to debate him in person.

We then learned that town hall meet writing they could meet in person, the
governor announced he would hold that meeting in that state
representative`s hometown. We would go to his hometown of Westbrook,
Maine, the city Drew Gattine represents in the statehouse. Having left him
that jaw dropping phone message and then calling back to say you better
meet me in person, then calling in the press thereafter to tell the
reporters in the state of Maine that he would actually like this shoot that
state rep in the face, right between the eyes, then he announced where he
was going go was the city where this Democratic lawmaker lives.

Well, that city, its mayor and other city leaders, they wrote an open
letter to the people of Maine about their governor, supporting their local
state rep, said in part, quote, “LePage`s voice mail to Representative
Gattine is so outrageous, it is beyond our ability to know how to respond.
His threat to want to shoot him between the eyes would be reprehensible
coming from anybody but from the individual holding the position of
governor of our state, it`s insanity.”

State Representative Drew Gattine said on Friday that it was too early to
think about whether he really wanted to be in the same room with the
governor after receiving the violent threatening message from him. But
Paul LePage did not plan on giving him any space, today he said he was
going to Gattine`s hometown, going to Westbrook for that town hall on
Wednesday and expected him there.

Well, tonight, he said a little bit of breaking news on that. That town
hall may not happen after all. Top Republicans in this Maine state
legislature were finally able to meet with Governor LePage this evening and
reportedly told him he needs to take some kind of what they called
corrective action.

This tape is just in from top Republicans in the Senate and House after
that meeting with their governor.


was totally shocked that we`re concerned about what`s going on. I think we
were pretty clear in our disappointment and expectation for some changes.
Again, he`s going to talk to some folks he trusts and he knows and reach
out to some folks. And then we will have a conversation.

REPORTER: What are your thoughts on his town hall meeting scheduled for
Wednesday at Westbrook?

THIBODEAU: I don`t know if he will follow-through and have that or you
know? I mean –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the reality is that meeting is going to be


MADDOW: You think that meeting is going to be cancelled? Governor LePage
will be talking to his friends and family how to move forward as Maine`s
governor. We`ll get back to the legislature tomorrow, at least according
to those Republican state leaders, though, that in person continuation of
his fight with the state rep, that town hall in this state rep`s hometown,
that apparently has been cancelled. Are you sure?

We`ve got more on that in a moment. Stay with us.



LEPAGE: When you go to war you know the enemy the dresses in red and you
dress in blue. You shoot at red. Don`t shoot. You`ve been in uniform.
You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy and the enemy right
now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or
people of Hispanic origin.


MADDOW Last few days governor of Maine have been escalating series of
specifically racial comments, culminating in a tirade of swearing threats
that the governor unleashed toward a state representative who he perceived
to be critical of him on the issue of racism, that State Representative
Gattine represents the town of Westbrook, Maine.

Westbrook, Maine, as a city and its hometown leaders have basically stood
up for their state rep issuing an open letter to the state of Maine
concerning their governor and his attacks on their local state rep.

Joining us now is the mayor of Westbrook Maine, Colleen Hilton. She`s one
of the signers of this open letter.

Mayor Hilton, thanks very much for being with us. I`m sorry we`re meeting
under sort of difficult circumstances here.

MAYOR COLLEEN HILTON (D), WESTBROOK, MAINE: Thank you, Rachel, for having
me. I wish we were talking about some of the other great things happening
in the state of Maine.

MADDOW: Yes. Well, let me ask you about this breaking news that we`ve
just reported in the last few minutes. Governor LePage made this voicemail
to your local state rep on Friday. He followed that up by saying he was
coming to your town on Wednesday for a town hall meeting.

Other Republican leaders in Maine are now saying that they believe that
will be called off and there will not be some sort of showdown between your
state rep and the governor on Wednesday night in your town. Do you know
anything about that?

HILTON: I certainly do. And it`s quite disturbing, all of that language
about shooting and coming to get you and, and I want to take you down.
It`s disturbing. And we certainly have heard from our local police
department that`s been put on alert for different functions to be
available, so it is concerning for our community. It`s very concerning.

MADDOW: Has the governor`s office worked with you to try to plan this town
hall, at least until earlier this evening we thought was going to be
happening in your town?

HILTON: Well, no, Rachel. I have not heard from the governor`s office nor
has anyone in my office heard directly from the governor`s office. We did
hear about needing police detail. Our understanding was he did have a
scheduled town hall, which he holds periodically in another community, but
he decided he would switch that up and come to Westbrook. And that`s
mainly what I heard was from the media, that he was coming to Westbrook, no
one from my office heard directly from the governor`s office.

MADDOW: Can I just ask you about this decision you have made, you made
this decision to write an open letter about the governor. You said that
his behavior in terms of making these threats from anybody would be
unacceptable, but from somebody in his position in the state, you describe
it as insanity. What went into your thinking about why did you do that
letter and why you do it in that way?

HILTON: Well, Representative Drew Gattine is a very valued member in our
community, as of all are our elected officials in Westbrook. When people
serve the community, they serve them well. Drew Gattine is just a really
outstanding gentleman and he is the chair of the health and human services
committee. He advocates on behalf of so many individuals in our community.

And to have that sort of hateful violent language directed at a respected
member of our community, we felt compelled to take some action, but what
can we do. Well, we can at least let the community and the greater state
and the governor`s office know that will not be tolerated in our community
and we will not stand for it.

MADDOW: Mayor Colleen Hilton of Westbrook, Maine, who unexpectedly found
herself in the middle of this – Mayor, thanks so much for being with us
tonight and good luck over the next few days.

HILTON: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Appreciate it.

All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.


MADDOW: Why is this happening? What explains this? If you have been
donating money to Donald Trump`s presidential campaign, why do you think
he`s spending your money on this?

Tomorrow, Donald Trump is going to campaign in a state where he trails in
the latest poll by 19 points. He`s going to hold a rally in a state where
his odds of losing that state are considered to be north of 96 percent.
He`s going to be campaigning tomorrow, not just fund-raising, but holding a
big rally and renting the venue and everything in the state of Washington.

During the primary, you can make an argument for sending the candidate
everywhere, right? You may never know, or you might couple together a
majority. But that`s the primary.

In the general election, there are some states where it doesn`t make any
sense at all, right? There are some states where there`s no reason for
your candidate to go there whatsoever, one of those states would be
Washington state. Another one of those states would be Texas where Donald
Trump also spent money to rent a venue and campaign last week. Another one
of those states would be Mississippi where he went right after he went to

Texas and Mississippi are not in play for the general election, neither is
Washington state, but that`s what he`s doing. That`s what he spending his
donor`s money on.

On the news that Donald Trump was coming to Washington state, the
Washington state Democratic Party put out a statement that sounds sort of
stern, but I think it`s stern masquerading as glee. Quote, “Donald Trump`s
xenophobic, Islamophobic and downright scary campaign has no place in
Washington state. Washington values diversity, inclusion and respect and
compassion for others, everything Donald Trump disregards and abhors.
Donald Trump`s presence drags down the entire Republican ticket.”

For the record, there`s not much polling done in a state like Washington in
a presidential election. The scant polling we do have for Washington
suggests that Trump really is kryptonite for down-ballot Republicans in
Washington state. Half of all Washington state voters say they would vote
against any candidate who endorsed Donald Trump.

But nonetheless, he`s on the way to go spend time at a state he cannot
possibly win, but he can do additional damage to any Republican who might
be trying to hold on to any seat in Washington state this November.

Money well spent? I don`t get it. Trump rally in Everett, Washington, is
tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. local time, whether down ballot Washington
Republicans like that or not.

That does it for tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time
for “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O`Donnell.

Good evening, Lawrence.


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