The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/4/2016

Guests:
Penda Hair
Transcript:

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: November 4, 2016
Guest: Penda Hair

CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: That is “ALL IN” for this evening. We`ll be
right back here tomorrow night, that`s right, on Saturday, right after Joy
Reid`s bonus evening hour. We`ll be here, if my voice makes it, for a
special pre-election show from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Make sure to
tune in for that.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Do you know that I have magic throat lozenges
that cure everything, Chris?

HAYES: I`m going to go to your office right now and maybe steal a few of
them.

MADDOW: Thank you very much. They sell them at my bodega. I don`t know
where they come from. But they`re magic. I think they`re illegal.

All right. Thanks for being with us here this Friday night, this Friday
before the election. It`s very exciting. I`m very excited.

When John F. Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in 1960, that was really close.
The Electoral College numbers don`t look all that close, the electoral map
didn`t look all that close, but that election was very, very close. There
were basically 100,000 votes in total between Kennedy and Nixon across the
whole country. And election night, that night in 1960, it went on forever.

Nixon appeared at a hotel ballroom at 3:00 in the morning East Coast time,
and he kind of, sort of talked about conceding, but he didn`t actually
concede. NBC News didn`t end up calling the race for Kennedy until 7:00 in
the morning. And when they did make that call for Kennedy, they were
actually wrong about which states everybody had won at that point.

Kennedy did actually win the election and Nixon did formally concede around
lunchtime the following day, the day after election. But that race was
nuts.

And this is great. I`ve got something to show you. This is great.
Michael Beschloss tipped us off on to this stuff. We went into the
archives and found out today. It`s so great.

Part of what was nuts about watching the election returns that close, close
year in 1960, was that in addition to the drama of the close race, in
addition to the back and forth about who was winning and where and whether
or not that was really a concession, do you think that was a concession? I
mean, in addition to all the native, organic drama of that contest, that
night in 1960 was also the night that the TV networks chose to unveil their
brand-new mysterious, unknowable computing machines. That was basically
the TV side show act that year alongside the election. These gigantic
beeping machines that could somehow tell who was going to win.

Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In another part of the city, the RCA 501 computer is
beginning to whirl away, digesting these numbers faster than we can even
utter them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m down in Wall Street in mid-Manhattan with our RCA
501 computer. And very shortly, as soon as about, only one-tent of the
total vote is in, we`re going to have what we call projections. That`s
estimates on what the final vote will be in a popular and then what the
final vote will be in the Electoral College.

Here`s how that projection will be made. The RCA 501 computer is connected
with NBC`s vote gathering equipment up there with you in mid-Manhattan.
Down here in Wall Street, the computer takes in vote totals, punches them
out on tape. That tape is fed electronically into banks of magnetic tape
storage reels.

Now, the information can be called up with other information from the
electronic console. I think we can call it a wedding of political science
and electronic science. It achieves its projections of election results
which I`ll be reporting throughout the evening by doing some computations.
The political equations and the experts tell me to accomplish these
equations humanly would take the work of 60,000 clerks.

This is Richard Harkness (ph) with the RCA 501 computer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 501 to give you the last we have, it`s now about
ten minutes old. It puts them out pretty fast, projects the popular vote
for president like this – 51.2 percent for Kennedy, 48.8 percent for
Nixon. Which I believe is the same thing it`s been saying all night.

The odds it figures – I didn`t know electronic computers figured odds, did
you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I`ve never heard that before. That was new to me
tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We may be able to find some other kind of work for the
501 when the election is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: It can compute odds? Maybe there will be some other kind of work
for that there computing machine after this election is over, fellas.

NBC`s whiz bang RCA 501 computer. It did get the election results right
basically, on that election night in 1960. The NBC computer did pick
Kennedy.

I should tell you that ABC and CBS also unveiled their own computing
machines on their election night broadcast in 1960 and the ABC and CBS
computers were wrong. Both of their computers picked Nixon in a landslide.
Computers have gotten better since then. And they use less tape.

When election nights are big blowouts, they can sometimes be a little
forgettable. When Ronald Reagan just rolled Jimmy Carter in 1980, NBC News
called that election that night at 8:15 p.m. and, you know, however
consequently that election was in the long run, and it was consequently, no
one remembers all that much about the very end of that presidential race,
let alone what happened on election night. It`s when things are close.
It`s when things really go down to the wire when they tend to get a little
nuts and things tend to get memorable.

In terms of this race we`re in now, the polls have definitely tightened in
these last few days. There are people who say that the polls are less
useful now at this point in this race than they might have been in previous
elections because early voting is so popular now because so many people
have taken advantage of absentee voting and cast their ballots already,
more than 37 million Americans have already voted. So because of that,
because such a huge chunk of the vote is in, there`s an argument to be made
that looking at the early vote totals, that tells you a lot more about who
is going to win than looking at polls for these last few days.

Steve Schale out of Florida last night told us that he thinks by the end of
the weekend, 70 percent of the vote might be in in Florida, ahead of
election day which doesn`t come around until Tuesday. I mean, election
forecasters rely on all the various data they have to work with. They have
been moving states from lean Democrat into toss-up or from toss-up to lean
Republican. You`re definitely seeing the polls tighten in the estimation.

The polls and the prospects for each candidate you`re seeing those tighten
in the eyes of the people who make projections about these things. One
very blunt but indirect sign that the election is getting closer is that
the markets have been freaking out a little bit. Since Donald Trump`s
numbers started going back up last week, the stock market has been a little
nauseous. And you are seeing this interesting correlation throughout the
general election campaign.

Markets have tended to react negatively whenever things perk up for Donald
Trump. All over the last nine days, the stock market has been very
negative. It has dropped every single day of the last nine days.

Market analysts are attributing those drops town easiness with the prospect
that Donald Trump might have a shot at winning this election. Nine
straight days of losses on the stock market is the longest uninterrupted
decline in the market in more than 30 years. So, from lots of different
angles, you can see the tightening of the race. But Hillary Clinton is
still favored to win the race in the end by all the 21st century iterations
of the RCA 501.

At fivethirtyeight.com, they`re giving Hillary Clinton a 64 percent chance
of winning the presidency on Tuesday. “The New York Times”, they`ve got a
rosier number for the Democrats in the Clinton campaign. “The New York
Times” gives Clinton an 84 percent chance of winning. And a lot of other
analysts make election projections like this and they have Hillary
Clinton`s chances of winning higher or lower depending on who you ask.

I mean, looking at them real quick, “The Huffington Post” as a polling
aggregator, they`ve got Clinton`s chances at 98 percent. The Princeton
Election Consortium actually has her at 99 percent. The Predict Wise
betting market, they`ve got her at 85 percent. The professional
prognosticators like Cook and Roth and Larry Sabato, they`ve got the
presidential race forecast as either likely Democratic or leaning
Democratic.

So, there`s a range of projections out there depending on the methodology
of the different forecasters and what they consider to be the relevant data
at this point. But all of the nationally recognized forecasters, all of
them, are now predicting that it`s more likely that Clinton will win on
Tuesday night than Trump will win. But if you have been feeling a little
tension in the air, that`s real, and it`s for a reason, it is tightening
up.

And as we get down to the wire, as we get down to the very end, in a close
race getting down to the very end, we`re getting a lot of dramatic news.
Today was a lot of dramatic legal news. Actually today down the line
uniformly was a good day of legal news for the Democrats. There have been
in all these various states, there`s been various legal fights to stop
voter intimidation tactics by the Republican Party and by the Trump
campaign.

Also, there have been a lot of legal efforts to block Republican efforts to
make voting harder by various means. Today in Kansas and in Ohio and in
Arizona and in North Carolina, Democrats won legal battles over voting
rights and voter intimidation in all of those states today. Democrats
basically ran the table in terms of their big legal fights in the state.
We`re going to have updates on all those legal battles coming up later on
in the show with one of the lawyers who has been spearheading that voter
rights fight in the courts.

The other legal battle that I think was a legitimate shock to the system
today at this late date in the race, the Friday before the election, was
the Bridgegate trial. Guilty on all counts. New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie, of course, came very, very close to being Donald Trump`s vice
presidential running mate. He did not get the vice presidential job but
Trump then gave Christie instead arguably the other most substantive job he
had to offer in terms of shaping what the Trump administration would be
like if he wins. Donald Trump put Chris Christie in charge of his
transition effort, which means he`s basically choosing staff, choosing
personnel for Donald Trump`s federal government.

Well, today back home in New Jersey, two of the senior people who Chris
Christie chose for his own administration were both convicted on all of the
federal felony charges for which they were being tried. This is the
scandal involving political retribution on Christie`s behalf using the
George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey as the means of
punishment.

The Clinton campaign has already called for Trump to drop Chris Christie as
his transition chief given these guilty verdicts today. We don`t know
whether to expect that might happen but the Trump campaign did announce
that Christie`s planned trip to New Hampshire to go campaign for Donald
Trump at three separate New Hampshire events tomorrow, that whole trip has
been called off. No explanation as to why.

We`re going to have more on that ahead tonight as well. But as we head
into these final days, one thing is starting to seem very clear, and I`m
trying to think about this from sort of a 30,000 foot perspective. Looking
back at that archive footage from 1960, looking at archive footage from
some of the other races and stuff that happened three and four days out,
four days out in the 2000 election when the George W. Bush dui was exposed,
for example.

Looking back at the kind of things that happen at this point in the race, I
think it`s clear that we do now know for this race that when the history of
this year`s election is written, the standout nutty thing that surprised
everybody at the end, that historians and journalists will talk about
forever when they talk about this election, we now know what they`re going
to talk about. What they`re going to talk about will be the political
intervention, the brazen multifaceted, political intervention into this
election by the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NYC MAYOR: He`s got a surprise or two that
you`re going to hear about in the next two days. I mean, I`m talking about
some pretty big surprises.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I heard you say that this morning. What do you
mean?

GIULIANI: You`ll see.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay tuned. Rudy Giuliani, you`re lucky because we
got to go. I`m out of time. I want to keep pressing you. Good to see
you.

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI: We`re not going to – we`re – we`re not going to go down and
we`re certainly not going to stop fighting. We`ve got a couple things up
our sleeve that should turn this around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: We`ve got a couple of things, some pretty big surprises. What did
you mean? Maniacal laughter.

That was Rudy Giuliani rubbing his hands together in glee, giggling
maniacally, saying something was coming. That was him on FOX News two days
before the FBI director, in fact, sent a letter to Congress last week about
Hillary Clinton, a letter that made no specific allegation of any
wrongdoing but because it was from the FBI director and it was about
Hillary Clinton, it nevertheless shook the politics of this presidential
race right to its core. Rudy Giuliani said two days ahead of that that he
knew something was coming.

Last night on this show, we asked was it possible that Rudy Giuliani was
tipped off to what the FBI director was about to do? How did he know? Did
the FBI tell him?

This morning, he answered that question. This morning, he bragged that,
yes, in fact, he had gotten advance word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: I did nothing to get it out. I had no rule in it. Did I hear
about it? You dam right I heard about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: One of Donald Trump`s top advisers, Trump campaign, now bragging
four days from the presidential election that yes, they`ve been getting
heads up from the FBI, they`ve been getting tip offs from inside the FBI
about Donald Trump`s political opponent. They`re given a heads up on stuff
over at the Trump campaign before anything is released to the public, let
alone to Congress.

The ranking Democrats on the Judiciary Committee and the Government
Oversight committee in Congress today asked the Department of Justice
inspector general to look into these bragging claims by the Trump campaign
that they had advanced word asking the inspector general at the Justice
Department to find out if in fact there were people in the FBI who were
trying to influence the election in that way, who were trying to help the
Trump campaign in that way by feeding them insider information ahead of the
public. That happened today.

The FOX News Channel today itself also made a remarkable retraction today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All the time but especially in the heated
election on a topic this explosive, every word matters. No matter how
well-sourced, which brings me to this. I explained a couple of types
yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday
night, saying it was inartful, about saying how the investigations would
continue after the election. I answered that, yes, our sources said it
would, they would continue to likely an indictment.

Well, that just wasn`t inartful. It was a mistake. And for that I`m
sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That`s the reporter and anchor Bret Baier at FOX News Channel
today.

I don`t usually do this on stories like this, but I`m going to take a point
of personal privilege here. I will tell you in my view, in my personal
view, I think that Bret Baier is a good reporter and a good anchor. I also
think he is a good person.

He made a mistake on this story. In this business, that is a very hard
thing for people to admit. But not only did Bret Baier admit that he made
a mistake, he explained the mistake and I think this is important, he
didn`t talk around it. He had the courage and decency to use the word
mistake in saying what had gone wrong and then saying he was sorry.

And that`s really, really hard to do in this business. There`s a reason
you don`t hear a lot of on-air corrections in this business, but that was a
real one, and it was well done and the right thing to do and I think it`s
worthy of respect.

OK. What Bret Baier initially reported and has now retracted and called a
mistake and apologized for was this claim on FOX that there was an active
FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton that was likely to lead to
indictments. That was a FOX News claim from earlier this week. But to be
clear, what Bret Baier did today is he took that back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Indictment obviously is a very loaded word, John, especially in
this atmosphere, and no one knows if there would or would not be an
indictment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Nobody knows if there would or would not be an indictment. It was
a mistake when FOX said there would be.

Hope it didn`t create a false impression. Hope that didn`t affect the
race.

At the end of a presidential race, especially when it`s close, things go a
little nuts. And the FBI director apparently trying to influence the
election, FBI sources leaking false information to generally pro-Trump news
outlets. FBI sources giving advanced notice about politically damaging
information to the Trump campaign. One FBI field office reportedly using
materials created by the head of the Trump campaign and funded by Trump`s
biggest donor, using that as their FBI research, as their FBI evidence to
try to open up new investigations on Hillary Clinton which they then leak
about to the Trump campaign and to pro-Trump news outlets.

Yes, stuff always goes nuts at the end of a presidential campaign,
particularly a close one. But this is not just political actors behaving
in a nuts way, this is an unsettling way for it to go nuts, right? I mean,
it`s been intense enough to know that in the U.S. intelligence community
the Russian government has been trying to disrupt our election through
deceit and disinformation and political operations. It`s another thing to
think that parts of the FBI are doing the same thing.

There`s a lot to cover tonight. There`s a lot just to watch in terms of
what`s happening in the last flurry of activity in this election.
President Obama is full time on the hustings now, two events, two big
events in North Carolina today. Hillary Clinton is at a Jay-Z concert in
Ohio tonight with Beyonce and Big Sean performing as special guests.

Donald Trump was in New Hampshire and in Ohio and in Pennsylvania today.
Trump`s doing Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin
this weekend. Clinton`s doing Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire,
more Ohio.

On Monday night, on election eve, we now know that Donald Trump will be in
New Hampshire with his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence. On
election eve, Hillary Clinton will be in Philly with President Obama and
with Michelle Obama, and with her husband and daughter.

Basically, no one sleeps between now and Tuesday. But do past close
elections give us any advice, do they give us any useful understanding for
knowing what to expect in these last few crucial nutty days?

Joining us now is our friend Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential
historian.

Michael, are you eating protein? Are you sleeping? Are you adequately
hydrating?

(LAUGHTER)

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I`m not eating at all,
and I don`t think I`m going to breathe for the next four days.

MADDOW: I`m turning to you for historical context. I raised the prospect
of 1960 because I wanted to show that great footage you reminded us of in
terms of NBC unveiling its computing machine.

BESCHLOSS: Right.

MADDOW: But also it was a close race and it`s starting to feel like this
is, at least the polls say that this is going to be a close race, too.

Is that sort of the right historical context in terms of understanding what
we`re going to be looking at in the next few days?

BESCHLOSS: I think it is. And I like what you said about the fact that
it`s almost become the rule now that these things happen in the last days
and weeks affect public opinion. And it`s very hard and measure public
opinion in the last couple of days before an election when things are
moving.

I mean, very good example of that was, 2000, when the week before the
election, the fact that George W. Bush had been arrested for a drunk
driving charge in 1976 was released. Some of Bush`s aides said they felt
that that moved as many as 20 million votes from Bush, away from him,
perhaps to Al Gore, things in a way that was very hard for pollsters to get
in those last few days.

MADDOW: In terms of late breaking stories like that, we talk about them as
October surprises. This year, they`re like November surprises.

BESCHLOSS: Right.

MADDOW: And they come in very –

BESCHLOSS: Like the World Series is creeping into November now.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s exactly right. I mean, we`ve seen the Bridgegate
story itself is a bit of a November surprise given the importance of Chris
Christie and the Trump ticket.

BESCHLOSS: Right, the transition director.

MADDOW: Yes, we`ve got the FBI intervention which is – turns the out to
be not just one story but sort of an ongoing story.

Is there a way to look at historical context to understand which kind of
late breaking stories do tend to influence the ultimate outcome of an
election and which end up being trivia?

BESCHLOSS: The problem is that when it happens this close to an election,
it`s very hard to separate what is important from what is trivial. One
example is 1968, Lyndon Johnson on Halloween announced a bombing halt of
North Vietnam in an effort to start peace talks.

So a lot of these Democrats were angry at Johnson and Hubert Humphrey who
was running as his heir, came flooding into the Humphrey camp, couple of
days later, for the first, Humphrey was running ahead of Richard Nixon
because people thought there might be peace. At that point, the South
Vietnamese said, “We`re not coming to the peace table” and millions of
voters moved away from Humphrey back to Nixon. Nixon won the election.

Later on, we discovered that Nixon`s people backstage had been encouraging
Saigon not to go to these peace talks saying, you know, help Nixon by not
going, we`ll give you a better deal. Johnson was furious. Johnson thought
this was treason.

But in those five days, those things were happening so fast, it was very
hard to find out what was going on.

MADDOW: And the cross current dynamics with the early vote and so much of
the absentee vote being in.

BESCHLOSS: Right, it`s even more hard nowadays.

MADDOW: That`s right. Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian.
I beseech you, my friend, eat protein, adequately hydrate, try to sleep
over the weekend. Please.

BESCHLOSS: Thank you, my dear. I give you the same advice.

MADDOW: Thank you. I need it.

BESCHLOSS: Thanks, Rachel. Be well.

MADDOW: All right. Secretary Clinton is apparently getting ready to go on
stage in Cleveland. There you see her with Jay-Z and Beyonce.

President Obama just wrapped up in Charlotte. Donald Trump just finished a
rally in Pennsylvania. There`s a lot going on right now.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: On the hustings in North Carolina today, President Obama drew
attention to this voter suppression phenomenon that`s been happening
specifically in North Carolina this year. Republican activist groups have
campaigned in North Carolina to get thousands of people kicked off the
voting rolls in the lead-up to the election.

Well, today in North Carolina, President Obama told the story of one of
those people who got purged off the voting rolls. She`s 100 years old.
She`s a North Carolina resident named Grace Bell Hardison. Weeks ago she
found she`d been purged off the voter list.

She got some attention to her case, thanks in part to Ari Berman`s
reporting at “The Nation”. Grace Bell Hardison was able to get herself
reinstated after a fight. She`s lived and voted in North Carolina her
entire life. She`s 100 years old.

She apparently wrote a letter to President Obama about her experience which
the president read aloud on stage today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yesterday, yesterday, Grace
Bell Hardison sent me a letter. I want you to know what she wrote.

Dear Mr. President, at 100 years old, you can believe I`ve seen it all. It
is by God`s grace that I`m still able to be here with my family. I lived
through the civil rights era. I know the blood that was shed in the name
of the right to vote.

I can assure you, Mr. President, that I will keep fighting on. If I
haven`t stopped fighting at 100 years old, then neither can you.

(CHEERS)

Now, Ms. Hardison got her voter registration reinstated. You better
believe she`s going to vote. They targeted the wrong woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: They targeted the wrong woman.

There was a really interesting ruling today in North Carolina in the
Democratic effort, in the civil rights effort, to stop that purge of
thousands of people off the voting rolls right before Election Day. It was
one of the states today in which Democrats and civil rights groups actually
had huge victories in the court. It could be a very big deal for Election
Day.

Those stories are coming up soon. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: If Donald Trump is elected president, the put who would staff up
his administration, the person who`s deciding, who gets hired, who gets put
in charge of what, is Chris Christie. Just yesterday, Chris Christie
hosted a meeting where for the low, low cost of a $5,000 donation to the
Donald Trump transition, you can get the privilege of hearing Chris
Christie describe what staff will be brought on board to run the federal
government under President Donald Trump.

That said, Chris Christie, of course, also has a day job. He works as the
governor of the great state of New Jersey. And as of today, four of the
people he hired for his own administration have been convicted of federal
crimes, corruption charges and political retribution schemes carried out on
behalf of Chris Christie for his political benefit.

Say what you will about Chris Christie as a politician and a public
servant, but his ability to find the right people and put them in the right
jobs, that might not be construed as his greatest asset right now with four
of his top aides and appointees looking at prison time. But that`s what
he`s in charge of for the would-be Trump administration. Four of his own
top staffers are looking at prison time. The two people convicted today
are looking at the possibility of 20 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Chris Christie is picking all the new top staffers for President
Trump.

After the conviction on all counts today of Christie`s deputy chief of
staff and one of his top appointees, now, we`re going to be looking at
sentencing for those figures so we will see how much time they`re going to
do. But Christie himself may be taking the stand himself, himself,
Christie in person, 2 1/2 weeks from now, in a related criminal complaint
that was brought about in the Bridgegate scheme.

And the timing on that is interesting. That means if Donald Trump is
elected on Tuesday, Chris Christie will presumably be taking the stand two
weeks later to talk about his own role in the criminal Bridgegate scheme,
while he is simultaneously serving as the head of the transition team for
the president-elect.

And that is going to be particularly awkward, not just in the abstract but
because it`s not like Donald Trump himself can plead ignorance or can take
Christie`s side in this. He can`t. He can`t. Not with this on the
record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look. Here`s the story. The
George Washington Bridge, he knew about it.

Hey, how do you have breakfast with every day of your lives, they`re
closing up the largest bridge in the world, the biggest in the United
States, traffic flowing, during rush hour, people couldn`t get across for
six, seven hours, ambulances, fire trucks? They`re with them all the time
can the people that did it. They never said, hey, boss, we`re closing up
the George Washington Bridge tonight, no, they never said. They`re talking
about the weather, right?

Then, so he knew about it. He knew about it. Totally knew about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Totally knew about it. Donald Trump speaking in December.

Governor Christie put out a statement today in response to the guilty
verdicts insisting that he never knew about the scheme while it was
happening despite all of the testimony to the contrary at the trial. Keep
in mind, at the trial, both the defense and the prosecution said that
Governor Christie knew about the lane closure scheme while it was happening
in September 2013. He knew about it before the media started to pick it
up. First in a traffic column by “The Bergen Record”, then in “The Wall
Street Journal” which was the first newspaper to link that mysterious days`
long traffic jam to a political scheme that was aimed at winning political
endorsements for Chris Christie.

Here`s the thing, though, here`s the amazing kicker in this story in terms
of our democracy. As the Bridgegate scandal that those papers broke, as
the Bridgegate scandal first went to trial, “The Bergen Record”, first
paper to report anything about it, they were told by their corporate owner
that their newsroom is getting gutted, cut nearly in half as Bridgegate
went to trial. This week as the Bridgegate case went the jury, “The Wall
Street Journal” announced that it`s gutting the greater New York section of
the journal that broke the political side of Bridgegate.

The two papers that broke this story wide open both got gutted while it was
in the courts. Chris Christie is still the head of the Trump transition
team, at least for now. Tonight, Christie called off his Trump appearances
in New Hampshire this weekend.

But four of Chris Christie`s aides and appointees are federal convicts now.
The two convicted today are facing 20 years in prison. Chris Christie`s
own political career is likely toast because of this. And all that
happened because of smart, dogged, local beat reporters, not pundits like
me, not cable news people, local beat reporters working for newspapers
following leads, digging up dirt, cultivating sources, not giving up, not
taking no for an answer, not believing Chris Christie when he said, no, I
never heard about it.

In all of this, at the end, it turns out the endangered species the local
beat reporters without whom we`d have never known that this abuse of power
happened.

Subscribe to your local paper. Pay to join the website of your local
paper. Seriously. Your country needs you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Late Tuesday night, the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in
Greenville, Mississippi, which is a black church in a mostly black
community, that church was hit by an arson attack. It was deliberately
burned, was also defaced with vote Trump spray paint graffiti. This is a
200 member church, it was 80 percent destroyed in that fire. Look at that.

Authorities still don`t know who is responsible for burning that black
church, but today, they say they are talking to a person of interest in the
case. So, at least there`s that.

Now, on Wednesday night`s show when we first reported on this church fire,
we also reported that a Go Fund Me page had been set up with the goal of
raising $10,000 for repairs at that church. That $10,000 goal was met in a
matter of minutes.

When we report on that Wednesday night, that Go Fund Me page for the
Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church was way past its $10,000 goal that had
been set that morning. All the way up to $90,000.

Well, tonight, I can tell you that they`ve now raised over $200,000, which
is awesome. And they`re going to need it given the amount of damage they
went through. But still no arrest, still no explanation. And that
congregation will be without a home church this Sunday.

I`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Here`s what election day will look like in Green County, Missouri.

This is the front page of today`s “Springfield News Leader”, “On Guard”.
Papers reporting that for the first time ever, Green County, Missouri, is
going to be posting armed sheriff deputies inside all the polling places on
Election Day.

And there`s a couple ways to look at this, right? I mean, this election
season does seem to have brought out more than its fair share of unhinged
people. Having law enforcement, having deputies at polling places to keep
the peace is maybe not a crazy idea.

But the other way to look at this is we don`t have a great history in this
country with armed law enforcement stalking around the polls. Right now,
Republicans are waiting to hear any minute from a federal judge who`s going
to issue a ruling on whether the National Republican Party has violated
legal restrictions, legal restrictions that`s been under for over three
decades now, restrictions that were put in place because they sent
vigilante poll watchers into minority precincts during a governor`s race in
New Jersey in the `80s.

They sent armed off-duty law enforcement officers to polling places to
supposedly protect the ballot. But they stalked around minority polling
places wearing guns and intimidated the heck out of voters on those
minority precincts. The Republican Party has been banned from election day
poll watching stuff ever since because of that thing they pulled off in the
`80s in New Jersey with all the guys with guns.

A federal judge is expected to rule, we think, maybe late tonight, maybe
tomorrow on whether the RNC actually violated that ban with the stuff
they`ve been doing this year. Again, we`re expecting that as late as
tomorrow. There will be a national ruling on the National Republican Party
and poll watching, but there are similar lawsuits targeting six specific
states with similar complaints.

In one of those states, in Ohio today, a federal judge issued a restraining
order against the Trump campaign, restraining order against the Trump
campaign and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone who`s been hyping the
campaign`s voter protection efforts. This judge has issued the restraining
order, has ordered the campaign and its supporters to avoid, quote,
“harassing or intimidating conduct at polling places.”

And now, tonight in North Carolina, a federal judge has ruled that
thousands of voters who were illegally purged from the voter rolls in a
process that she called insane, those voters have to be reinstated. We
reported on this case, this purge in North Carolina earlier this week.
Reported on the NAACP suing over those thousands of people being thrown off
the rolls.

Well, the judge in that case has now issued a ruling, has ordered that
those thousands of people in North Carolina need to be reinstated right now
in time for the election.

Joining us now is Penda Hair. She`s the lead attorney representing the
North Carolina NAACP. She`s also the legal director of Forward Justice.

Ms. Hair, thanks very much for being here. Congratulations on this win
today in North Carolina.

PENDA HAIR, LAWYER FOR NAACP IN NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you for having me.

MADDOW: So, how many voters are reinstated by this ruling? Is it
instantaneous? Will they definitely be able to vote on Tuesday?

HAIR: The judge ordered that they will be able to – they will be
reinstated in time to vote on Tuesday, and I believe that the counties are
already working to carry that out and it will be carried out. And it is –
the injunction applies to three counties and it is probably around 4,000
voters. One of the counties, they haven`t ascertained the exact number,
but we think it`s around 3,000 in that county alone.

MADDOW: There`s always this flurry of legal activity right before every
election. And I think particularly those of us who aren`t lawyers, who
don`t necessarily know how the courts, what the power of the courts is in
this, sort of hear this. You hear about that Ohio restraining order
against the Trump campaign and Trump supporters that they can`t intimidate
people.

And you wonder if it`s too little too late. You wonder if with the
election four days away that a legal order like this can and will be
enforced and people can have confidence in that. What`s your view of that?

HAIR: I believe that it will be enforced and the courts do become more
vigilant in the days before an election because last-minute activities are
difficult to police, but the federal government has the power to enforce
court orders. I believe that they will be enforced.

MADDOW: In your professional view as a person who has been very active in
voter protection, voting rights law over the years, with what we`ve seen
specifically in North Carolina, so much heat on North Carolina this year,
do you think that there`s potentially enough voter suppression activity by
the state, by local governments, by local officials or potentially enough
voter intimidation plans by people around this election that it really
could affect the result in that state? Is it a big enough problem that we
should worry about the result there?

HAIR: Well, Rachel, I do believe that North Carolina is Ground Zero for
voter suppression, going back – it goes back decades. The type of
activity that you describe that resulted in that New Jersey nationwide
consent decree was also engaged in by Senator Jesse Helms among others in
North Carolina in the past decades.

But yes, in addition to – and then the voter suppression law that actually
North Carolina represented North Carolina NAACP in that case where they
tried to do the most restrictive photo ID in the country and tried to take
away same-day registration and take away a week of early voting and take
away the wrong precinct ballot county. And the court stepped in.

So, I`m hopeful that with this latest victory that just came out today with
the federal court ruling and the monster voter suppression law and with
continued vigilance and also the fight back empowers voters. So, we`re
telling voters do not be intimidated. Intimidation is illegal. And the
people who do it should be arrested and they should be prosecuted.

MADDOW: People should be vigilant about it and also determined that
nobody`s going to pressure them out of exercising their right.

Penda Hair, lead attorney representing the North Carolina NAACP and the
legal director of Forward Justice – a real activist on this subject for a
long time. Ms. Hair, thank you. Thank you for your time tonight. I
appreciate it.

HAIR: Thank you.

MADDOW: All right. We`ve got much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: You know, at the end of a week like this, the end of a campaign
season like this, I think we can all agree that we can all collectively use
a quick trip to Antarctica. It`s cold. It`s quiet. Ice. Penguins, no
attack ads, no push polls, no robocalls, your uncle can`t reach you.
There`s just this.

You don`t really need a news hook to go to Antarctica but we`ve got one, oh
yes, we do. It`s coming up at the end of the show. Get a hat. Get your
gloves, grab a blanket.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: Probably thought the election couldn`t get any other weird little
twists and turn in it at this point. Well, here`s something to watch in
case this election really goes down to the wire on Tuesday night.

Today, a Democratic member of the Electoral College, so one of the people
who actually casts the vote that elects the next president, Democratic
member of the Electoral College said he will not vote for Hillary Clinton,
even if she wins his state. He`s from Washington state. Hillary Clinton
is expected to win that state on Tuesday, but Robert Satiacum, he was a
Bernie Sanders supporter in the primary.

And today he told the “A.P.” that he believes Hillary Clinton is a criminal
and that she doesn`t care about American Indians. Mr. Satiacum is Native
American himself. He told the “A.P.” today, quote, “She will not get my
vote, period.”

Millions of us vote for president. But it`s really only the 538 people who
are the members of the Electoral College who ratify that choice and
actually pick the president. The Electoral College will cast its votes
after the election on December 19. We expect them to be bound by the way
their states voted, but expectations.

I mean, it is unusual, it is exceedingly rare for an elector not to vote
the way his or her state voted, but technically, there`s nothing in the
Constitution that would block that. And in fact, Mr. Satiacum in
Washington says he`s perfectly happy to bear the one penalty in law that`s
supposed to stop him from doing this. Apparently, under state law, there`s
a thousand dollar penalty if he doesn`t cast his Electoral College vote the
way his state votes. He says he`s perfectly happy to pay and he`s not
voting for Clinton.

It`s a far off possibility he could personally throw the election here,
though. At 270towin.com, there are 97 different permutations in which this
election could end in a 269-269 tie in the Electoral College. If he
doesn`t vote the way his state votes, if he says he`s not going to do it,
269 minus 1 gets you to Donald Trump is president. That could happen.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: What does John Kerry know that we don`t? The State Department
just announced Secretary of State John Kerry`s immediate post-election
plans. Right after the election, at the end of next week, Secretary of
State John Kerry is going to Antarctica.

He`s the highest ranking U.S. official to ever go to Antarctica, and then
after he goes to Antarctica, he`s going a further 980 miles south to the
freaking South Pole. John Kerry is going to the South Pole to ride out the
aftermath of the election next week. Does he know something that we don`t
know?

When we got to that news story in today`s staff news meeting, the reaction
in the room was not what I would have expected. Everybody was like,
Antarctica? Take me with you, John Kerry!

Everybody is stressed out about the election. Whether you support Trump or
you support Clinton or whether you`re the last collar county soccer mom low
information polling cliche hideout in the country who has not decided who
you`re voting for, everybody is stressed out.

If you`re worried your chosen candidate isn`t going to win, the best way to
alleviate that stress is to act, to do something about it. Call the
campaign you like. Volunteer to phone bank. Volunteer for whatever else
they want you to do in this last weekend. Do that. You will feel better.

I don`t recommend that you spend the weekend fantasizing about fleeing the
country, about running off to Antarctica, unless you`re John Kerry, that`s
not happening.

But might I also suggest spending a little time with an Old Pal. An Old
Pal is a classic drink, it`s only got three ingredients. It`s been around
since the 19 – sorry. Been around since the 1920s. You only need three
things and some ice.

You need two ounces of rye whiskey. Oh, cartoon pouring sound. Two ounces
of rye whiskey.

And then there`s only two other ingredients, and they both get the same
amount. You get three quarters of an ounce of Campari, which you should
have on hand anyway for making Negronis and 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth.
Sweet vermouth is the red one, dry vermouth is the white one. You want the
white one.

And all you do is stir it, strain it into a cocktail glass, call it your
old pal, and don`t stress out.

Remember, on Tuesday, this will all be over and done. Be nice to yourself.
Be nice to other people in your life.

Don`t worry. Don`t stress. It will be okay. Cheers.

That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Sunday night at 9:00,
Sunday night at 9:00.

Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL.”

Good evening, Lawrence.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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