The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/20/2017
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: January 20, 2017
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: It`s inauguration night here and that is “ALL IN”
for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Happy inauguration, my friend. Nice to spend
part of it with you.
HAYES: To you as well.
MADDOW: Thanks for staying with us for the next hour. Happy inauguration
day to you as well.
For all Americans, it`s happy inauguration day because any time we have an
inauguration, it means that our republic still exists. And the continual,
you know, renewal of there being new presidents is a process that
continues. That have in itself formatically is a good thing.
Who`s with me? Come on!
All right. I have somebody to introduce you to on this fine inaugural
Friday. His name is Tim Araya. Tim Araya is the base player and lead
singer for the band Slayer, and being the lead singer of the band Slayer is
a job – actually being anybody in the band Slayer, it`s a job that has
specific requirements that don`t apply to all that many other jobs in life.
One of the things you have to do if you`re in the band Slayer is you have
to really wang your head around a lot. All the time. Every time you play
in public, any time you shoot a video, everything.
You know, it`s one thing if you`re, like, in a metal band for a year in
high 16 and you`re 16 and basically made of rubber, right? But the guys in
Slayer have been doing this for a very, very long time. They`ve been doing
this for decades. They`re a very successful band. They haven`t gone away.
But the guys in Slayer are now old guys and there are just these seven
little vertebrae in your neck in all of our necks. And once you`re no
longer in high school and you`re an awesome metal dude who has started to
turn gray, right? And you`re still wanging your head around as part of
your day job, those little vertebrae in your neck don`t like it when you do
that for decades.
And so – there is he is. In January, Tim Araya got cervical
radiculopathy, which is a bad thing. And in order to deal with his
cervical radiculopathy, he had to get surgery on his neck. And that was a
drag for him. It was also a drag for a bunch of other aging metal dudes in
his band and other bands.
It was also a drag for their fans because him having to get surgery delayed
the mega metal all-star tour that was due to start in January, 2010. This
was an incredible tour. This was not just going to be Slayers. This was
going to be Slayer and Megadeth and Testament all playing the same
concerts, all playing at the same night. This was an incredible tour.
And because of the surgery, the whole tour had to get postponed because the
Slayer guy had to get an anterior cervical discectomy to deal with all the
consequences of all of his decades of vigorous head banging. And, you
know, nobody knew if the show would be able to go on, but lo and behold, it
turns out the Almighty smiles even on bands named Slayer and Tim Araya
recovered and we did, in the end, get – this is the important part, look
at the top there, see the red banner at the top there, bloody background?
That`s right, the American Carnage Tour.
You can still buy posters, you can still by commemorative posters from the
American Carnage Tour.
It`s funny. By the time they got to their Canadian dates, they changed it
to the Canadian Carnage Tour. But when they were in America, it was the
American Carnage Tour. As you see on the poster there, it was the meeting
of metal titans, Slayer and, Megadeth and Testament and even though it had
been in doubt, it had to be delayed, it did happen. And for a certain
generation of metal fans, that was metal heaven on earth. Slayer and
Megadeth, same night.
And before today, if you were looking for American carnage in our national
cultural life, that is what it was. It was when Slayer and Megadeth toured
together in 2010 after the slayer guy had his neck surgery and nobody knew
if he`d be able to make it. That was American carnage before today.
Now, as of today, American carnage will be forever known as the theme for
the inaugural address of the 45th president of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mothers and children trapped
in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like
tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush
with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all
knowledge, and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too
many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: American carnage. Not the metal tour but the presidential
inaugural address theme. Bang your head.
A lot of Americans proverbially did that today.
This is an unusual presidential transition. The president who left office
today left Washington with among the highest approval ratings of any
departing president ever. The president who arrived in Washington today
arrived with lower approval ratings than any incoming president in the
history of U.S. polling. The incoming president who was sworn in today, he
lost the popular vote by the largest popular vote margin ever for an
incoming president. He lost the popular vote by nearly three million
votes. His party lost seats in both the House and the Senate even as he
won the presidency.
A lot of Americans as he takes office tell human pollsters they are
profoundly worried or pessimistic or even scared about what his presidency
will mean for our country.
And we had known heading into this inaugural week end that there would be
large-scale protests against the new president tomorrow. Overall, we`re
told the Secret Service permitted more than 100 protest events for the
inaugural weekend but that women`s march permitted for tomorrow? That`s
expecting over 200,000 people. We knew to expect a lot of large anti-Trump
demonstrations tomorrow. We did not necessarily expect to see this much
anti-Trump protesting today at the inauguration itself between the
inauguration and the parade and alongside the route of the inaugural
In addition to those peaceful protests today, there were also violent
protests today in Washington, D.C. Violent protests of the kind that we
really haven`t seen before at presidential inaugurations. A lot of us old
people remember the large and rowdy protests that happened 16 years ago at
the first inauguration of George W. Bush. Following that very
controversial election result the Supreme Court ruling in Gore v. Bush, I
remember those 2001 protests being a big hairy deal at that inauguration.
We checked those records today from the 2001 protests, turns out those
protests in George W. Bush in 2001, they resulted in nine arrests, mostly
for disorderly conduct. Today in D.C., there were 217 arrests. And that
may not be a final number because some inaugural protest actions have
apparently continued into this evening.
Off the inaugural routes on the streets of D.C. today, at times, it was a
scary mess. Protesters setting fires, breaking windows, throwing newspaper
boxes, throwing bricks at police. Several D.C. police officers were
injured today. Reporters on the scene of those protests, including our own
reporters described the violent group among the protesters as basically a
persistent and committed but small minority among the much larger group of
anti-Trump folks who showed up in D.C. today just to hold signs and
peacefully make themselves heard or maybe argue with Trump supporters.
But because this small and committed violent minority did what they did
today, part of what the Trump inauguration will be remembered for ever more
is these scenes of violence and fire in the street created by the
relatively small group of people who went to D.C. today committed to
breaking stuff and hurting people instead of being heard.
MADDOW: Outside of D.C., there were other protests around the country
which again seemed to be larger than what had been expected. You see the
people along that banner? They`re covered up by the – there you go. In
San Francisco, people formed a human chain all the way across the Golden
Gate Bridge, apparently, all the way down and back, 2,200 people.
Thousands more people crossed the bridge as part of a demonstration against
the new president.
There are a bunch of different kinds of protests in San Francisco today in
addition to what happened on the bridge. The more disorderly protests
resulted in 29 arrests in San Francisco. There were also protests today
and into tonight in Oakland, California. In Colorado, there were large-
scale protests in Denver. Austin, Texas, saw good-sized protests today.
There were protests at the state capital building in Tennessee. There were
protests today in Kansas City, Missouri. There were big protests today in
Boston, Massachusetts. Also a number of different protest site today in
Philadelphia, in Los Angeles today and tonight there were protests that
resulted in dozens of arrests.
And here, I will stop talking for a second so you can hear my favorite
moment from the Chicago protest today, which is when the brass band at the
protest started playing the Darth Vader theme.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: That was Chicago today, one of the cities that saw protest around
the country today.
And, again, a very large protest is expected tomorrow in Washington, D.C.,
possibly the largest counter-inaugural protest ever. It`s the Women`s
March. It`s not all women but it will be substantially women. They`ve had
more than 200,000 RSVPs. There were be hundreds of other coordinated
marchers around the country, in sort of in alliance with that large women`s
march tomorrow in D.C.
In D.C. today, the protests were surprisingly big and at times surprisingly
disorderly, but even still, they did not seem to interfere very much with
the inaugural proceedings. That said, the inaugural proceedings ran very
off time today and at times, they also just seemed off. There was I think
it`s safe to say, there was light turnout for the Trump inauguration today.
The new president had promised he would break all records, that they would
have a bigger crowd turning out for his inauguration than any inauguration
Clearly, that did not happen. You`ve seen these pictures today, the
comparison pictures from the Trump inauguration with the first term of
President Obama. This is a view of the number of people who turned out in
the un-ticketed area on the national mall where anybody can come out to
watch the events.
Along the inaugural parade route, there are definitely were places where
there were crowds, both Trump supporters mostly and also some Trump
protesters. But there were large stretches of the inaugural parade route
that had nobody at all or very few people and there was this strange scene
of large blocks of risers right next to the White House, right next to the
reviewing stand, kind of prime seats for watching the inaugural parade,
that were basically empty.
We were reporting on that scene live today as it was happening as the
inaugural parade was starting up, and we were just looking at the same live
pictures as anybody, you may have seen our coverage this afternoon when we
were talking about this. We couldn`t figure out how it was possible to
have so many empty seats, especially in what counts as the good seats right
next to the White House at the prime time and prime viewing position for
the inaugural parade.
We were wondering about that on the air. The inaugural committee got in
touch to say that what happened there is that they had a logistical snafu
when the inaugural lunch on Capitol Hill ran late they apparently couldn`t
figure out how to get ticket holders off Capitol Hill and into these prime
seats for the parade, so they couldn`t fill the risers, that`s why the
seats right around where the president and vice president and families were
were empty. Right in front of the White House on these metal bleachers.
So a little bit of a screw up there, and a lightly-attended inauguration.
And the parade ran very late, it ran until well after dark which it was not
supposed to do. It was supposed to be wrapped up by 5:00. Sunset was 5:15
in D.C., it went on for a long time thereafter, that`s why you see tractors
with their headlights on.
In fact, the parade ran so late it ran well into the start time for some of
the inaugural balls tonight, which means the inaugural ball schedule and
the president dancing with the first lady, all of that has been pushed back
But despite the screw-ups, they did get the important part right. There
was no error in the oath of office this time the way there was the last
time Chief Justice John Roberts had to do it for a new president. They did
the swearing in right and right on time, and that means whatever else went
wrong today the new president is in place. And this was day one.
And we had all been told what to expect on day one, right? This wasn`t a
mystery. We had been told over and over and over again with lots of
exclamation points and pointing, we had been told what would happen on day
one. It was not subtle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The changes will start immediately. On my first day in office, I
will direct my secretary of the treasury to label China a currency
manipulator, cancel every constitutional executive action memorandum and
order issued by President Obama.
Day one, my first hour in office, we are going to end tax and release. We
tax (INAUDIBLE) all go ahead.
Anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are
removed out of our country.
On the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately
pursue a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of
My first day in office – we will begin working on an impenetrable,
physical, tall, powerful beautiful southern border wall.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: On my first day in office. As far as we know, they did not start
working on a southern border wall today, let alone a southern border wall
that is impenetrable physical, tall, powerful and beautiful. What they did
do today was sign a waiver which allows the new secretary of defense to
take office even though the department is supposed to have civilian
leadership and General James Mattis, the nominee for that post, was only
recently retired from the military.
So, what they did today on day one was sign the waiver that would allow him
to serve. The Senate then approved his nomination, General Mattis was
sworn in as defense secretary. Also sworn tonight, another general,
retired General John Kelly to lead the mammoth Department of Homeland
Security less than a year after leaving active duty in the United States
The president also signed an executive order related to the Affordable Care
Act, related to Obamacare. Now, of course, he cannot repeal the Affordable
Care Act by executive order. But he is in this executive order, he`s
directing heads of the various agencies in the federal government that they
should sort of go soft on regulations that might be associated with the
health care law.
Nobody quite knows what this executive order means in practical terms. It
appears that he`s – I mean, in layman`s terms, he`s just telling his
administration to lean against it to the extent that they have power to
even though nothing about the law is changing, yet. As I said, it`s a
And in practical terms we`re not sure exactly what it means. We`re
consulting with health policy experts to figure it out. I have a degree in
health policy. I read the executive order. I do not know what it means.
But outside the White House, here`s something important that happened that
hasn`t gotten a lot of attention yet. Outside the White House, quietly, in
another administrative move, the new administration did take one other
action today and they didn`t announce it, they certainly didn`t announce in
advance they were going to do it, they also put out no announcement they
did do it.
The only we know they did do it is because people in legal circles noticed
they did this today without an announcement and without explaining why.
And this little under-the-radar thing they did today, this afternoon, is a
very, very big deal. And that`s a story we`ve got straight ahead.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: President Trump has left the White House tonight on his way to the
first of the three inaugural balls that he is going to tonight. You know
how they always name the turkeys they`re going to pardon like Jingle and
Bell or Salt and Pepper or like they`ve got – the two inaugural balls that
he`s going to at the D.C. convention tonight, D.C. convention center are
the Liberty Ball and the Freedom Ball, which they could recycle as the
names of the first turkeys that he could pardon at Thanksgiving. I`m just
saying, they go together well.
He`s going the Liberty Ball first, and we think that at the Liberty Ball,
which you`re seeing on the left side of your screen, we think he and his
wife will dance, we also expect he will make remarks, when he talks, we`ll
go to it.
After he leaves the Liberty Ball, he`ll go to the Freedom Ball and then he
has one more and that is in a different building. That is at the National
Building Museum in D.C., that`s the armed services one. But we`ll keep an
eye on this. This is the end of the pomp and circumstance of the evening
and this part of the night we thought would be over by now, but it`s still
going, everything is running late.
We`ll keep you posted.
MADDOW: So, these things aren`t usually this blunt. They`re usually very
dry and the language is usually very elliptical. They don`t usually sound
Quote, “The evidence in the record demonstrates that proponents of the bill
were motivated at the very least in part because of and not in spite of the
law`s detrimental affects on the African-American and Hispanic electorate.
The record as a whole including the legislator`s knowledge the bill would
clearly impact minorities disproportionately and likely disenfranchise
them, the record as a whole shows that the bill was racially motivated.”
The bill was racially motivated, full stop. It`s not usually that blunt.
But it sort of had to be given what Texas did.
After the voting rights was gutted by the conservative majority on the
Supreme Court, Texas put in place a new voting restriction in that state
and the legislature knew that new law would disproportionately keep black
and Hispanic Texans from voting. Black and Hispanic Texans who were
legally able to vote but they wouldn`t be able to anymore because of these
new restrictions the legislature was putting in place and the legislature
knew that when they were putting the new law in place.
And a federal judge in Texas nailed them for that. Did an absolutely
comprehensive review of the creation of that law and the testimony the
legislators heard and what they studied and what they knew before they
passed that law and going through that legislative record, the trial judge
in Texas, federal judge absolutely nailed them for how deliberately racist
that voter ID law was. This was the strictest voter ID law in the country.
And the federal Justice Department sued Texas to stop it. And the judge in
that case found in favor of the Justice Department. Found against the
state of Texas in this blistering blunt comprehensive ruling that said,
yeah, when the legislature passed this law, it was deliberately designed to
keep minorities from being able to vote even though they were legally
entitled to vote.
And then after that ruling, two other three-judge panels, six more judges,
also found the law to be unconstitutional and then this past summer, the
most conservative appeals court in the country also found that the law had
a discriminatory affect. But the court said that they weren`t convinced
necessarily that the lawmakers had discriminatory intent, that they meant
it to be discriminatory even though it definitely was.
So, that part of it they sent it back to the original judge who had written
that blistering opinion condemning the law as racially motivated. And
lawyers from the Justice Department, lawyers from the voting rights
division of the Justice Department, were due back in that judge`s courtroom
on Tuesday, this upcoming Tuesday, to make their case again. They`re due
back on – they were due back on Tuesday. Now they`re not going to be
there on Tuesday.
As of 12:01 p.m. today, the Justice Department is run by a new
administration and the new administration for all of its disorganization
and failure to staff key government posts, they made clear today that
they`ve got a few priorities they`re going to be jumping on immediately –
or I guess actually they made clear they`ve got this one substantive
priority that they`re going to jump on immediately. They did not announce
anything about it.
But this is one of the very few things they actually did today on day one.
They filed a motion in Texas asking to postpone that hearing on Tuesday in
this voting rights case. The request – they asked the hearing be put off,
quote, “because of the federal government`s change in administration which
took place on January 20, 2017. Because of the change in administration,
the department of justice also experienced a transition in leadership.”
And new leadership in this case maybe means that Texas is going to be OK
with its voter ID law that all courts agree is racially discriminatory.
Tonight, the Texas court granted the new – request from the Justice
Department. That hearing will be delayed by more than a month by which
time presumably, Jeff Sessions will be running the Justice Department as
What do you think the Jeff Sessions Justice Department is going to say when
it gets back in that courtroom in Texas? Do you think the U.S. justice
department will still be on the side of the plaintiffs arguing that Texas`s
voter ID law is intentionally discriminatory and should be shut down. Do
you think the Trump Justice Department will continue to push the case of
black and Hispanic voters in Texas who have been disenfranchised by this
We`ll see. But here`s a clue. It has been reported in the last 24 hours
that President Trump`s pick to head the Justice Department`s Civil Rights
Division is a man named John Gore. We don`t have official confirmation of
this from the Trump administration, but we know who John Gore is and we
know that last week he withdrew as the lawyer in charge of defending the
North Carolina bathroom bill, the anti-trans bathroom bill, he withdrew
from that case because he said he would, quote, “imminently be departing
from this law firm and thus will be no longer able to represent the
And the other thing we know about John Gore is that when he`s not defending
anti-LGBT discrimination bills, his real expertise is defending electoral
redistricting plans against claims of civil rights violations. That
apparently is going to be the guy in charge of civil rights in the Trump
That apparently, that reportedly is their pick to chair – to head up the
civil rights division in the Department of Justice. You can tell a lot
about a new administration`s priorities by what they do on their first day.
In this case, they promised the moon and the stars and they`d be building
What they did was put the brakes on a voting rights case. That was pretty
much act one.
MADDOW: Let`s put up that split screen that I was just looking at in the
commercial break. Can you guys pop that up from the control room? Do we
have either of those images?
What we`ve been watching tonight is a couple different things unfolding.
On the left side of your screen, you can tell immediately what that is,
right? That is an inaugural ball where the new president is expected to
appear very shortly. He`s arrived at the D.C. convention center.
On the right side of your screen, that`s one of the many protests going on
against the new president. That`s the scene in Portland, Oregon. You see
a lot of protesters in the street and a lot of police are in riot gear and
We`re continuing to watch both of these things unfold in parallel tonight.
We`ll be right back.
TRUMP: – to me were saying that we did a really good job today.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
They hated to do it but they did it and I respect that. I respect that.
But I have to say the crowd was unbelievable today, you know? I looked at
the rain which just never came.
Do you know we finished the speech, went inside, it poured, then we came
outside the helicopter scene was an incredible scene, an incredible scene.
So beautiful. Like from a movie set, so beautiful.
And then, amazingly, it rained and then we went out – it`s like God was
looking down on us. I will tell you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
I want to thank all of our supporters. My number one supporter Melania,
what she puts up with, ooh.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Thank you, honey.
Now, we really – we really did something that`s so special and this
evening is so special. And this whole day and yesterday, so incredible, so
many people made such a difference.
Vice President Mike Pence – no more elect – who is incredible.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
All of the – you`re going to see things happening over the next few weeks.
Oh, you`re going to be so happy. You`re going to be.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Because, you know, they`re very elegant people tonight but they`re also
very political people, right? We want to see great things happen for our
country. We want to make America great again and we will.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And we will.
So, now, it`s a tremendous honor to have the first dance with Melania.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And we`re going to be joined by our vice president. We`re going to be
joined by some very wonderful, wonderful children as we go along. They
happen to be my children and Mike`s children, and I just want to again – I
want to thank everybody.
We always felt we were going to do it. It`s a movement like they`ve never
seen anywhere at anytime, anywhere in the world. This was a movement. And
now the work begins. Now, the work begins.
There`s no games, right? No games. Right? We`re not playing games. The
I want to thank everybody, we love you. We`re going to be working for you
and we are going to be producing results. Thank you, everybody. Have a
great night. Thank you. Thank you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
ANNOUNCER: And now the president and first lady of the United States will
take their first dance. Ladies and gentlemen, the first couple, Donald and
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: That`s going to happen a couple more times tonight.
I think the most inaugural balls any president has ever held were the 14
balls that were held for Bill Clinton when the Democrats got back in power
after 12 years out of office and there was some pent-up demand for some
We will have only three inaugural ball appearances tonight by the new
president and the new vice president and their families. That was a nice
touch the way they not only had the first dance themselves, as sort of
first, the president and the first lady, and then the vice president and
his wife Karen Pence, but then they brought up all their adult children to
join them as well. Kind of a big display of adult Trumps and Pences.
So, that was the Liberty Ball, I believe. One is called the Liberty Ball,
one is called the Freedom Ball. Forgive me if I`m mixing them up. They`re
But they`re going to be going to the second ball which is either Liberty or
Freedom, which ever one that wasn`t. Wait, which one was that, Corey?
That was Liberty? Now they`re going to Freedom. See? You can see how I
might mix this up. If I tried to say it again now, I`d still get it wrong.
They`re going to the next one that is also in the D.C. Convention Center,
in the same building. It doesn`t even really have a different theme. It`s
kind of like ball “A” and ball “B.” They move to ball “B” where they will
do the same thing.
There are different performers there, obviously a different crowd. It`s in
the same kind of room and the same building and they will dance to the same
song and presumably, they will pull the same trick where it`s first the
president and first lady, and then Mike Pence and his wife and then lots of
Trumps and Pences and we will see them.
Obviously, everybody is dressed beautifully. Men all in tuxes and the
women all wearing incredibly nice gowns. The consensus here among the
floor crew and myself is that the Ivanka Trump gown with the sort of sheer
thing with the studded things on it is a crowd pleaser. I like the first
lady`s gown very much. I like that structural element. Obviously, me
talking about fashion is – yes.
It`s a little bit like Popeye the sailor man talking about astrophysics.
Funny and might come out with an intriguing accent, but nothing that you
should count on. In any case, we`ll keep an eye on the Freedom Ball, which
is in another corner of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in
Washington, D.C. and we will bring you that as soon as they get there.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: I know there`s inaugural balls and stuff. I know. I know. And
we`ll cover it, I promise.
But here`s a piece of news that I cannot believe we got today. I can`t
believe we gotten a answer to this story today given what day it is. But
we gotten an answer to the story today and it`s amazing.
All right. Day one of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump of Donald
Trump was like a year and a half year, June 16th, 2015, day one of his
campaign. That was the escalator ride down to his big announcement speech
and him calling Mexican immigrants rapists. You remember.
But you might remember, there was also another strange logistical thing
that happened on day one of that campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Wow, that is some group of people. Thousands. So nice. Thank you
very much. That`s really nice. Thank you.
It`s great to be at Trump Tower. It`s great to be in a wonderful city, New
York, and it`s an honor to have everybody here. This is beyond anybody`s
expectations. There`s been no crowd like this.
And I can tell you some of the candidates they went in and didn`t know the
air conditioner didn`t work. They sweated like dogs. They didn`t know the
room was too big because they didn`t have anybody there. How are they
going to beat ISIS? I don`t think it`s going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was day one, wow, whoa, look at all of those people.
Thousands. There`s been no crowd like this. This is beyond anyone`s
expectations for a crowd, right? None of the other candidates – that is
day one, OK?
By day two of the Trump campaign, that crowd started to become a story
because it started to maybe seem like that Trump crowd wasn`t a normal
crowd. By day two of the Trump campaign, this was the “Hollywood
Reporter”. Quote, “Donald Trump campaign offered actors $50 to cheer for
him at presidential announcement.” “Hollywood Reporter” of all places,
they got ahold of an e-mail from a casting company, casting company called
the extra mile that hires extras.
According to that e-mail, they the casting company had been hired by a
political consulting company to provide a cast of extras, to provide paid
actors, for, quote, “an event at an upcoming and exciting announcement he
will be making at this event. We understand that this is not a traditional
background job.” A background job means you are an extra, but, quote, “we
believe acting comes in all forms”, was the end of that announcement.
So, that was day two of the extraordinary campaign of Donald Trump. That
big crowd from day one at his announcement, at least some of them
reportedly paid 50 bucks a pop to stand there with signs and pretend to be
an enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter people there as paid extras. That
was how his campaign started.
Well, today was how his administration started. Today is day one of his
administration and how weird is it that today that story finally got
explained. That story got resolved. And again, it`s courtesy of “The
Hollywood Reporter.” Here`s the new headline in “The Hollywood Reporter”,
quote, “Donald Trump escapes FEC punishment over paid actors at
After the initial reports came out they had to pay people to pretend to be
Donald Trump supporters at his first announcement, the Trump campaign
denied it. They denied they ever had any paid actors. But the Trump
campaign did ultimately pay a particular political consulting company
$12,000 for its services for that launch event, and that political
consulting company is apparently proud of the work they did there. They
made a YouTube video about it and everything and just announced they are
opening up a D.C. office now there is a Trump administration in Washington,
But that political consulting company, they had to answer an FEC complaint
that was filed about whether or not the Trump campaign properly accounted
for its payment to that consulting company. And in its response to that
complaint, the consulting company admitted that, yes, it paid for the
Quote, “As part of the staffing of the event, Gotham did retain Extra Mile
Incorporated,” which is the casting company for extras, “to provide
assistance in providing administrative staff for the campaign`s
Now, administrative staff, OK, maybe that`s how – Extra Mile Incorporated
does not offer administrative staffing on their list of services. They
don`t provide administrative staffing. They don`t provide like typists.
What they provide is actors. They provide extras.
Quote, “Extra Mile is an ideal resource for casting directors and producers
looking to book background actors in feature films, television commercials,
music videos, industrials, promotional videos and print jobs.”
And that brings us to day one of the Trump administration. Because now,
the FEC has announced that it has closed the complaint from 2015 about the
payment to that consulting firm and whether or not it was properly
accounted for and so, now, we know on day one of the Trump administration,
that on day one of the Trump campaign, they really did pay a company that
appears to have hired paid extras to pretend to be Donald Trump supporters
at his initial presidential announcement.
He eventually got real supporters, of course, and real numbers at his
events. But the first is the sure fire knowledge that at least when they
started, they had to pay for it. That`s what we learned on day one. What
will day two bring? Exciting times.
MADDOW: You have to watch the end here. This is really good. Late last
year, the Hall of Presidents Museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania closed
down, closed the doors for the last time. Since the 1950s, it`s a museum
that has displayed wax figures of all of our past presidents and first
This month, for all 44 wax presidents were sold at an auction and as I have
told you on the show, we bought one of the wax figures. We bought
President Dwight Eisenhower in casual clothing in a seated position. It
seemed like a great idea at the time until we looked at the map and
realized that our offices in New York City are more than 200 miles away
from where Ike was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. And you can`t put a few
stamps on his forehead and put him in a mailbox. He`s in a seated
So, road trip. Producer Nick Tutz, producer Kelsey Desiderio (ph) took
off, it was a sunny day, perfect conditions. They pulled up to the museum
in Gettysburg and when they got there, he was waiting for them. There he
was, sitting patiently, ready to feel the breeze, hit the open road. Very
It should be noted: he is old, he`s delicate, he`s made of mostly of wood,
fiberglass and wax coating. President Eisenhower has been serving his
country indoors in a seated position for a long time. His joints aren`t
very bendy anymore. Getting him in the car was not easy. We didn`t want
to strap him to the roof. He`s the 34th president of the United States.
That would be disrespectful.
So, ah, with the upmost care, in order to fit, Kelsey and Nick had to take
his head off, so that they can then jimmy him into the front seat. He was
tall for our rental car. He didn`t seem to mind. They were able to get
the head back on. Still, it`s weird.
With traffic, it is a five hour drive from Gettysburg to New York City.
But, hey, with him no bathroom break needed. That said, because he`s made
of wax he`s sun sensitive. Just after sunset, though, tada, we carried
dear Ike over the threshold of his new home. He had some admirers checking
him out as we carted him through the lobby.
And now, behold, here he is. Our very own Dwight Eisenhower in his new
habitat. Not at all creepy. Not at all. He`s nice to have around.
Today is a lot of things. Today is the 64th anniversary of the
inauguration of Eisenhower as president of the United States and, frankly,
we feel lucky to have him. We want to learn how to clean him next, but we
feel lucky to have him.
We are kind of thinking of taking him on a road trip sometime soon. Maybe
with a bigger car so you don`t have to remove his head, but, Ike, thanks
for being here, sir.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Monday.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL.”
Good evening, my friend, Lawrence O`Donnell.