The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/21/17 Putin/Oliver Stone Video
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: June 21, 2017
Guest: Adam Schiff, Cecile Richards
MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Right. One of the real heart breaks of this, I mean,
one of the heartbreaks is this could have derailed this terrible bill
that`s going to –
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Right. I don`t think it`s immensive that it
didn`t, but it would have been a really staggering blow if Ossoff had won.
Jonathan Chait and Michelle Goldberg, thank you for joining me.
That is “ALL IN” for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
There were apparently four hours of interviews all together, I will confess
I have watched zero of those four hours. But I do keep watching the
trailers every week to help myself decide if I might want to watch any of
the interviews. It turns out that that itself is newsworthy, because the
new trailer for the newest hour of interviews, there`s a problem in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In hindsight, did you make a mistake in exiting Crimea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a new law in Russia that provides for mass
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you want to join ISIS if you saw that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You wouldn`t want to join ISIS if you – can we just stop there?
Can we go back a couple of seconds and show that screen grab of what Putin
is showing Oliver Stone there on the camera? Loop it, or put the screen
It`s kind of a – it`s a strange moment. It ends up being an important
moment. That was in the trailer. We went to find that moment in the tape
from the overall, you know, hours of interview that Showtime showed. We
found that moment from the interview which they pulled this little bit from
What Putin is doing here in this interview with Oliver Stone, it`s kind of
an unusual thing. Even just the physical blocking of it is strange, right?
There`s Putin holding up a smartphone, maybe it`s an iPhone, and on that
phone, he`s showing Oliver Stone video, and what he`s telling him is that
this video that he`s showing him on the phone is the Russian military. He
said it`s Russian MI-28 helicopter bombing and shooting at ISIS guys in
And this comes up in context, part of the whole section of Oliver Stone`s
interview with Putin where he`s basically praising Russia and praising
Putin up and down for what good work Russia is doing in the fight against
And in that little bit from the trailer, you can hear Oliver Stone say, you
wouldn`t want to join ISIS if you saw that, right?
So, this is – this is Putin showing off to an appreciative interviewer,
what his military is doing to kill guys in ISIS. And Oliver Stone is
essentially saying, wow, that`s really impressive. Boy, you guys are sure
fighting real good against ISIS.
And they stick with this tape for a long time. It`s a big part of the
interview. It makes it into the trailer and everything. They go over this
over and over again. They talk about it in detail, what`s happening in the
video, Putin is narrating it. The weapons you can see there, what the guys
on the ground who are being shot are using in terms of their own weapons,
the risk that the pilots are taking, in attacking these is guys this way.
It turns out what Vladimir Putin is showing Oliver Stone on that phone is
not actually the Russian military attacking ISIS. It turns out what he`s
showing Oliver Stone there is an old video from 2009 that`s actually
American military pilots fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. And somebody
apparently dubbed the audio from that tape, dubbed it over in Russian, and
fooled the Kremlin into thinking this was brand-new tape of Russian
military helicopters attacking is.
It`s not. It`s the Afghanistan. It`s the Taliban and it`s American
So, they fooled the Kremlin, or maybe they didn`t fool the Kremlin and
Putin thought it would be fun to fool this American guy who came all the
way to Moscow to interview him by showing him some fake footage.
But, you know, this is a weird time in relations between our country and
Russia. Even knowing how weird things are, though, it is still bizarre to
see Vladimir Putin personally showing somebody the wrong tape, bragging
about something the U.S. military did in a totally different country,
trying to pass it off as if it`s his military against ISIS.
So, Showtime just posted that trailer for the Oliver Stone-Vladimir Putin
interviews. Just posted that in the last week.
The Kremlin is now very, very upset about the people who are pointing out
what that video really is, pointing this out as Putin`s mistake. They`re
very upset about that. They`re denying it up and down, but it`s clearly a
And that comes at a time that is tense, not just in political terms between
our two countries, but specifically in military terms, too. A couple of
days ago, U.S. military aircraft, big spy plane – we have an animation of
this thing, I forgot – yes, U.S. military spy plane, it`s the larger plane
there, with more than two dozen U.S. crew onboard, it was intercepted by a
Russian fighter jet.
Now, U.S. and Russian aircraft intercept each other and fly around each
other and try to scare each other in international air space all the time
apparently. It apparently happens frequently. It sometimes happens now
with the Chinese air force as well.
But this thing that happened on Monday, it was a little bit beyond the
pale, because this Russian fighter jet flew up to the much larger American
spy plane, flew up at a high rate of speed and apparently, it closed to
within five feet of the American plane. Five feet.
Do you want to know how far five feet is? I measured. It`s this far,
between these two. Five feet. That`s how close it got.
I got a tape measure. That`s my wing span.
The U.S. military called that five-foot approach from the Russian fighter
jet, quote, unsafe and unprofessional. They actually said the Russian
pilot did not appear to be in complete control of his fighter jet when he
closed to within that far of that larger American plane. So, that happened
That itself was a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian fighter
jet and killed a Syrian pilot. That was the first time in more than a
decade that the U.S. military has shot down a manned aircraft from another
country`s military. Russia, of course, is one of Syria`s closest allies.
Russia responded to the U.S. shooting down that Syrian fighter jet by
saying basically that they would shoot down American aircraft over specific
parts of Syria from here on out.
The U.S. military reportedly repositioned some aircraft in response to that
threat from the Russians.
Then, today, on top of all that, there was this. And this is not an
animation. This is the real footage apparently. This is footage
apparently taken from inside a Russian airplane, a plane in which the
Russian defense minister was reportedly traveling.
Now, this happened also – it happened today over the Baltic Sea. The
aircraft that you see off the wing of the plane there, very nearby, is a
NATO F-16. It`s apparently flown by a Polish pilot. That`s a Polish F-16
flying a NATO mission.
As you can see, that F-16 is very close to the Russian defense minister`s
plane. But then look at this. Another plane appears, even closer.
Similar size, but a different shape to the F-16 out there.
That`s a Russian SU-27 fighter. That`s the same kind of Russian fighter
that got to within five feet of that big American surveillance plane just a
couple of days ago, also over the Baltic Sea.
So, this is this remarkable scene. You can see shot from the window of the
larger Russian aircraft. The Russian fighter jet pulls up in that tiny
space between the F-16 and wing tip of this larger Russian plane. The
Russian jet squeezes in between the two of them.
And the reason the Russian plane, the Russian fighter jet, you can see it
at one point in this tape, you can see it tilting its wings, that`s
apparently to show the F-16 that it is armed with air-to-air missiles. See
that tilt right there? That`s him showing off his missiles underneath his
That SU-27 is apparently armed with the kind of missiles that fighter jets
use to shoot down other fighter jets. That`s what that showing off is.
And then the NATO F-16 hangs in there for a few more seconds and ultimately
it moves away.
So, this is not an abstract thing, right? Relations between Russia and the
West, relations between Russia and us, it`s not just a conceptual thing.
Relations are obviously a little fraught right now, and the chest pounding
and physical shows of force that we`re getting from Russia and Vladimir
Putin just over the past few days, they range from, frankly, ridiculous,
and funny, to legitimately threatening and scary.
While all that stuff gets acted out in some new way every day now, today in
Washington, there was a serious effort to try to nail down the exact scope
of how Russia attacked our presidential election last year. And this
wasn`t so much about the attack on the Democratic Party`s servers and on
the Clinton campaign staff. We`ve heard a lot about those attacks.
Today on Capitol Hill, it was a lot more detailed than we`ve had before
about how the Russian government hacked into and tried to mess with
election systems all over our country last year. And even if you`ve been
paying close attention to that part of that story, to what we know about
that part of the Russian attack, you would be forgiven for not having a
terribly clear sense of how big that attack was, where Russia attacked,
what specifically they attacked and how effective those attacks were.
Now, our government had previously announced that U.S. election systems in
the state of Arizona and the state of Illinois had been hacked by the
Russians. Last week, “Bloomberg News” had a report citing three people
with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. They had
a report that said the Russian attack hadn`t just been about against a
couple of states, it actually had been against 39 states. Russian cyber
attacks much wider than previously known.
Then, today, there was this testimony in Congress, and homeland security
officials, testifying in Congress today. They had a whole new number. And
a whole new description of how big that attack was, and what the Russians
actually went after. They said today that it`s 21 states that the Russians
attacked. OK. OK then, sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we prepared today to say publicly how many states
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We – as of right now, we have evidence of 21 states
– election related systems in 21 states that were targeted.
SAM LILES, DHS CYBER DIVISION DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: By late
September, we determined that internet related networks in 21 states were
potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: OK. That was the word from homeland security officials today, 21
states. Bloomberg a few days ago citing three sources, said it was 39
states. There`s been that public statement from the government already
about those two states that were named states, Arizona and Illinois.
But in terms of figuring this out, and figuring out how big this attack
was, how effective it was, what they were going after, I mean, if it was
more than those two states that they named, whether it was 21 states, or it
was 39 states or some other number of states, I think the important thing
here is we don`t actually know where they attacked. Even if they`re
telling us definitively it was 21 states, they haven`t given us a list of
those states. We don`t know where these attacks happened. We don`t know
what type of attacks they were.
Even in these 21 states, we don`t know if that meant that 21 state election
systems were attacked, or maybe it was individual cities or counties, or
even precincts within those states. We don`t know. It`s hard to tell, and
that is in part because our election system is decentralized. I mean, yes,
every four years in November, we all as Americans go vote for who we want
as the new American president. But technically, we don`t participate in
one big national election.
When we all vote for president every four years, we participate technically
in about 9,000 different simultaneous elections that happen in about 9,000
different jurisdictions all around the country. And all of those different
jurisdictions, all 9,000 of them, they more or less have control about
exactly how their election is going to be run. That`s sort of a blessing
for us as a country and a curse.
I mean, as we try to grapple with what the Russians did to our election
last year, as we try to figure out how ambitious and how damaging their
attacks were on our election system, part of the reason it`s hard to get a
handle on it is because there`s no one person in charge of defending our
whole election system. No one person in charge of defending and monitoring
the safety of all the zillions of different little local election systems
we`ve got all over the country. So, it makes it hard to figure out.
That`s kind of a downside of the decentralization.
Who`s in charge of keeping this safe? Well, lots and lots and lots of
different people all around the country.
That said, there`s also a benefit of us having this decentralized system,
for a determined adversary who is trying to affect the technical side of
our election infrastructure. No one attack will do it. You can`t just hit
one spot. You`ve got to hit a whole bunch of different places, maybe ones
that you`ve chosen quite strategically.
Take, for example, Dallas, Texas. Texas, of course, famously is a very red
state. But Dallas County is a very blue county. Dallas County voted in
the November election 2-1 for Clinton over Trump. Clinton won by like a
25-point margin in Dallas County.
We now know in retrospect that Hillary Clinton wasn`t going to win Texas.
She ended up losing the state overall by I think it was about nine points.
But there have been plenty of discussion during the presidential campaign
leading up to the election that maybe Hillary Clinton might have a shot in
Texas. Some people thought it was a pipe dream, or that it was Clinton
But there was a case to be made for it. And she really did campaign in
Texas. And the Democratic Party didn`t really work hard there. And they
spent money there.
And, you know, if they weren`t just bluffing, if they ever really were
going to have a shot at winning Texas, it would come because they really
ran up the vote totals as big as they could in the blue counties in the
state. In the places like, you know, Dallas County. The two most
concentrated places in that state for Democratic votes were Harris counties
where Houston is, and Dallas County where Dallas is. There were hundreds
of thousands of Democratic votes cast in just those two counties.
Well, in October, before the election, Department of Homeland Security sent
out an alert to local election officials around the country telling them
that they, the Homeland Security Department, had identified a concerted
effort to hack into election systems around the country. And Homeland
Security distributed a list of about 600 suspicious IP addresses, specific
computer addresses, basically, from which these attacks were being
And they told election officials all over the country that they should scan
their systems locally to see if there was any evidence of these IP
addresses, to see if there had been any attempts at intrusion or hacking
from any of these specific IP addresses and they sent them out in a big
long list, 600 of them.
Last week, Dallas`s election administer said that they did that, they
followed that advice. She said when she and her staff scanned Dallas
County`s systems in October to see if they had been hit by any of those IP
addresses, on that list of 600 sent out by Homeland Security, they got 17
hits. Seventeen of those IP addresses made an effort to attack the Dallas
County voter rolls.
They worked with federal authorities. Federal authorities apparently told
the county that at least 17 of those addresses from which hacking attempts
had been launched against Dallas County`s voter rolls, at least some of
those 17 definitively were computers in Russia.
Now, what the hack attempt was there was not on computer systems that were
used to tabulate the vote, but if you think about it, that doesn`t
necessarily matter, right? That specific doesn`t matter, right? These
particular hacking attempts in Dallas County, they were apparently g going
after the voter file, county`s database of registered voters.
In Dallas County, that`s over a million people in that database. It`s got
your name, your date of birth, the address at which you`re registered to
vote. They check you against the database when you show up to vote. If
you think about it, you wouldn`t have to mess with the counting of the vote
in Dallas County, or Texas as a state, if you could screw up the voter file
in the one or two counties where there was really crucial vote that was
going to be determinative of how that state ultimately went in the
For example, if you wanted to hurt Democrats` chances in the election, you
would target one of those two counties where most of Texas` Democrats were
going to vote, right? If you could screw that up, if people couldn`t vote
the way they wanted to, there were too lines, stuff was messed up in those
counties, that might affect how Texas went, even if you didn`t mess with
“Dallas Morning News” reported on this last week. Dallas County
Commissioner John Wiley Price telling the paper that it wasn`t just one
attack on Dallas County`s voter database. It was multiple attempts. He
told the “Dallas Morning News,” quote, the fact that there were that many
attempts means that they expected to disrupt. If you disrupt the voter
file, when people are trying to validate voter information at the polls,
you would get mass confusion.
“The Dallas Morning News” reported on these attacks a few days ago, they
contacted a couple of Republican-leaning counties just outside Dallas
County to see if they went through the same thing. They contacted the
election administrators in Collin County and in Tarrant County which are
right next door to Dallas County. Election administrators in those
counties said, as far as they could tell, they didn`t get attacked.
Tarrant County, which is right next to Dallas County but votes Republican,
the election administrator there said that he, too, scanned his county
system to see if any of those 600 IP addresses had tried to mount any
attacks, or try to attack their system in Tarrant County. Said he didn`t
get a single match.
Why did these Russian hackers only target the Democratic County and not the
Republican counties next door? Is that the kind of thing that happened
nationwide? Is there a pattern of that kind of thing? Is it because
Dallas is a famous county that you might have heard of if you only speak
Russian? We don`t know. That was just a spot check. That was spot check
reporting from the “Dallas Morning News” about what happened in their
And that`s kind of what we`ve got so far. “The Wall Street Journal” has
also been trying to report out the scope and the shape of the Russian
attack to see whether this Russian attack last year could conceivably have
affected our ability to vote, in addition to the stuff that we understand
better now, like the Russian propaganda, and Russian leaked documents and
the rest of it. Could it have affected the way we voted technically?
The Journal said they started surveying election officials in nearly every
state in the country to start asking these questions. They now started to
report out their findings, and here`s what they report out of North
Quote, the North Carolina state board of elections investigations unit is
led by a former FBI agent. They`re investigating the reported attempts to
compromise VR Systems Incorporated, a Florida firm whose electronic poll
book software was used on Election Day in 21 of North Carolina`s 100
counties. Quote, the software deals with checking voters in, not with
counting their votes. Quote, but on Election Day last year, that system
failed in Durham County, North Carolina. And Durham County, North
Carolina, holds the state`s most reliably Democratic voters.
That forced the county to issue ballots by hand, meaning longer lines and
delays, factors that can often depress turnout.
So, again, this was not an attack on the way you count the votes, but it
may have been an attack on the most Democratic county in the state, where
Hillary Clinton was going to get her biggest margins on election night in
North Carolina. And for whatever reason, things did go wrong in that
county on election night when it came to their poll book software.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the election HQ on election night. I`m
Tricia Powell (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, everyone. I`m Steve Daniels. We`ll be here all
night watching the big races on air.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The big news at this hour, eight Durham precincts
extending voting hours, some 15 minutes, others extending a full hour to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This comes after several precincts had problems with
the check-in system. The computers didn`t work right. So, they went to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Because of the decentralized nature of our American election
system, it is hard to get a nationwide sense of exactly which parts of our
election system got hacked, got attacked in this Russian effort last year,
and how successful those attacks were. I mean, the anecdotal information
we`re starting to pull together so far doesn`t give us any sort of
systematic look at how the Russians targeted their attacks, or whether
there was any method to their madness.
Maybe they were just lucky to target that one very Democratic county in
Texas and not the Republican counties next door, we don`t know. I mean,
maybe the failing of the poll book software in Durham, North Carolina, that
poll book software that was made by a Florida company, reportedly attacked
by the Russians last year, maybe the Russians just got lucky, that where it
failed was in the most Democratic county in North Carolina. We don`t – we
don`t know. Those are little spot checks.
But until we get a systematic comprehensive assessment of what happened
with those attacks, how well-targeted those attacks were to achieve what
our government said were the Russians` intentions, we will not know if they
just got lucky here and there, or if it really was just a scattershot
attack and they`re just seeing what they could get and trying everything.
It does appear now, though, that the investigators who were trying to
figure this stuff out for our country are zeroing in on these questions
about whether or not anybody may have helped the Russians target their
We`re going to be speaking with a top Democrat on the House Intelligence
Committee in just a moment. Few days ago, it was reported that the guy who
was in charge of digital, the guy who was in charge of data analytics and
voter targeting for the Trump campaign is going to be asked to appear
before the house intelligence committee on just these questions.
And just in the last couple of days, we have seen this bizarre story of
what appears to be the largest leak of voter information ever in the
history of this country, or any other country – a file including detailed
information on more than half the people in our country, 198 million voter
files, including, like, everything about you, your first name, your last
name, your birth date, your address, your phone number, any other phone
number you use, the party you`re registered in, your political preferences
on everything from abortion to gun rights to ExxonMobil, the stem cell
research, detailed personally specific information on 198 million
And it was just found online on an unsecured server that required no
password to access it or anything. It was just sitting there, for anybody
to take it, sitting there on a web address. If you knew the web address,
you could just go get it. I mean, my God, if you ever wanted to help
somebody target American voters in the most specific way possible, it
wouldn`t be a terrible strategy to just quietly post that data online for
200 million Americans. Just tell somebody where they could find it online,
come collect it, it`s there.
That massive trove of personal data about basically all the registered
voters in the country, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everybody,
that data was apparently left online, unsecured by a subcontractor that
worked at the Republican National Committee in last year`s election. Most
of the data appears from the main analytics contractor who worked at the
Republican Party last year, a firm called Data Trust.
And this isn`t old data. This is stuff that was updated apparently right
up until the time that Trump was inaugurated. The guy who was in charge of
Data Trust, right up until the time Trump got inaugurated, is a guy named
Johnny DeStefano. John DeStefano does not run Data Trust anymore, though.
Now, he`s the director of personnel in the Trump administration, working in
the White House.
Well, we have learned today and over the last few days about the scope of
the Russian attack on our election last year. It`s spooky. But it`s also
very scattershot understanding. And that`s unsettling, if you want to have
confidence that our country is getting a handle on this thing.
The top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee joins us next to talk about
whether in fact we are getting a handle on this thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: In 2016, the Russian
government at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself orchestrated
cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election.
That is a fact, plain and simple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think that President Trump will not state
that Russia meddled in our elections?
JOHNSON: You would have to ask him, sir.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: You
mentioned that a message you would have for the states would be that their
voter registration databases are vulnerable to exfiltration. If they`re
vulnerable to exfiltration, are they also vulnerable to the manipulation
within the voter registration database such that there could be uncertainty
whether someone was eligible to vote?
JOHNSON: Yes, and yes. To both your questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified today in
Joining us now is the man who just saw asking him that last question,
Congressman Adam Schiff, who`s the top Democrat on the Intelligence
Appreciate your time being with us tonight, sir. Thanks for being here.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Do you have clarity – does our government have clarity on how
widespread the attack was on our election systems last year, on things like
voting roles that you were asking about there?
SCHIFF: You know, I think we – to this day we continue to learn more
about the Russian hacking, about the extent of it, about what they were
probing, not only in terms of state, but also local elections
infrastructure. But also other techniques that the Russians may have been
experimenting with, or probing to prepare, if not that battlefield, but a
future battlefield for ways that they could sow discord, create
uncertainty, call it a question of the results of the elections.
And what we`re really trying to do is fully understand that picture, but at
the same time understand how the Russians used paid social media trolls,
whether they used data analytics, whether they obviously had help of U.S.
persons or entities in that to marry voter information, along with social
media information, along with information about particular states or
precincts or voter preferences. Was there an effort by the Russians to put
that together in a way to influence outcome?
So, that is very much one of the issues that we continue to look at, and
investigate, and ultimately, need to get to the bottom of.
MADDOW: You know, I`ve been trying to answer this question just for myself
in terms of being able to conceptualize exactly what exactly happened last
year and get a handle on what they were aiming at, how ambitious they were,
how effective it was, what they might come back with in the future. And I
feel like I`ve been able to follow it in a spot check sort of way, as
different journalistic enterprises around the country, papers like “The
Wall Street Journal” or the “Dallas Morning News” or other regional papers
figure out what happened in their jurisdictions, what happened in their
Is anybody in charge of investigating that for the whole country? Are we
going to have a nationwide audit that we eventually get the results of in
terms of what the Russians did attack, what they didn`t attack, whether
there was any rhyme or reason to it, or whether it was a scattershot thing?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, ideally, if we`re successful in taking these
investigations to their conclusion, we will be making a public report that
will cover, you know, each of these wave fronts, including what was the
Russian attacks on our election`s infrastructure, what did they do, what
did they accomplish. It may be that the Russians, in addition to trying to
sow discord, we`re also in the same way they might probe our hydroelectric,
our power grids, or other critical infrastructure, essentially looking to
see what they could accomplish if they decided to escalate to the next
So, it may be as much about the last election as it is about the next
election. So, we hopefully will be providing a report to the public on
just these things. It is in a predominantly a responsibility, though, of
the Department of Homeland Security to help our states with best practices,
to secure their elections infrastructure, to inform them in a timely way of
threats to that infrastructure. And they probably have the primary agency
responsibility in this area.
MADDOW: And on the point that you raised a moment ago about whether or not
the Russians were targeting different parts of our election infrastructure
in a strategically cogent way, in a way that might reasonably be seen to
further what we believe were their aims overall in the election, to help
Trump and hurt Clinton. It`s been reported in the last few days that your
committee wants to talk to a man named Brad Parscale, who was basically in
charge of digital for the Trump campaign. He was in charge of their voter
Is that true? And if so, is this what you want to talk to him about?
SCHIFF: Rachel, I can`t confirm particular witnesses, but I can certainly
tell you that we are very interested in finding out whether there was an
effort to make use of data analytics, whether there was Russian funding or
support for that, or Russian assistance in any way with gathering data that
could be used by the campaign or any associates of the campaign.
So, that is one of the issues that we are exploring. We want to see
whether there was an effort to, by manipulation, for example, by the use of
bots, push negative stories about Hillary Clinton, or positive stories
about Donald Trump to the top of people`s social media feed in a way that
would help influence outcomes.
So, this is very much one of the issues that we need to wrestle with. You
know, I will say this, too, though, that in the broader scheme of things,
it is going to be vital obviously to protect the elections` infrastructure.
It does have that inherent safeguard you mentioned of decentralization.
But the greater defense I think is ultimately informing the American public
about what the Russians did, what they might do the next time, and somehow
inoculating ourselves, somehow arriving at a consensus whether it hurts or
helps one party or the other, we all condemn it. That ultimately is the
MADDOW: Yes, we condemn it and we`re aware of it, and we take steps to
stop it from happening.
MADDOW: Yes. Congressman Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House
Intelligence Committee – thank you, sir. Appreciate it.
SCHIFF: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We got much more ahead tonight. Busy night. Stay
MADDOW: Today, protesters showed up at Republican Senator Susan Collins`
office in Portland, Maine. They`re her constituents. They said they were
there to protest the Republican effort to kill the Affordable Care Act, an
effort that Senate Republicans are so far keeping secret, but we`re
expecting it to start going very fast as of tomorrow.
You see the sign that the protesters are holding there. What are they
Folks also showed up at Senator Collins` offices in Augusta, Maine, today,
similar message. No score, no hearings, no bill. No score means no score
from the Congressional Budget Office saying how much the Republican plan
will cost in terms of money, how many millions, or tens of millions of
people will lose health insurance because of it.
At her Bangor, Maine, office, Senator Collins` constituents were there,
too, today, protesting outside. Eventually, they were let in a few at a
But it`s not just Senator Collins. These are demonstrators from Ohio who
drove halfway across the country, from Ohio, to Washington, to show up at
their senator`s office in D.C., Rob Portman`s D.C. office, because they say
he won`t meet with them back home. They staged a sit-in in his D.C. office
today saying they want the health care reform process brought out into the
Well, there`s increasing amount of activism on this every day now. We do
have reason to believe this may be drug out into the light as of tomorrow
morning. What`s likely to happen then is coming up next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: If you`ve been calling, Senator Lee has been very sorry you have
not been able to get through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: I`m Senator Mike Lee. If any of you ever called
into my office, chances are pretty good you`ve spoken to one of these hard
working interns in my office who were helping me (AUDIO GAP). We`ve gotten
calls in the last few days from people throughout Utah and across America
expressing concerns in one way or another (AUDIO GAP) health care bill
(AUDIO GAP) by the Senate.
I`ve had a lot of people ask me specifically when the health care bill is
going to be released to the public, why it isn`t public? The short answer
to the question is, I haven`t seen it yet either. Even though I`ve been a
member of this working group among Senate Republicans, assigned to help
narrow some of the focus of this, I haven`t seen the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Don`t ask me what`s in it. I have no idea.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah is in fact one of the Republicans who was publicly
assigned to write the bill. To write the Senate Republican bill to repeal
the Affordable Care Act. But he says even he has no idea what is in it.
Who`s writing it, then? We don`t know. But, apparently, it`s going to be
done and public by 9:30 tomorrow morning. And then we`ll at least know
what it says. If not, who came up with it?
So far, one of the only details about it that has leaked in advance is that
it contains very, very, very large cuts to Medicaid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not going to cut Social
Security like every other Republican. And I`m not going to cut Medicare or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`m not going to cut Medicaid. The one thing we`re told to expect
for sure tomorrow morning is it`s definitely going to cut Medicaid.
Joining us now is Cecile Richards. She`s president of Planned Parenthood.
Cecile, it`s nice to see you. Thank you for being here.
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT: Good to see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Obviously, your organization has a huge stake in what`s going to
happen. It`s going to affect a sixth of the U.S. economy.
MADDOW: What`s your expectation for what`s about to happen here?
RICHARDS: Well, and, of course, we`re having to rely on rumors and leaks
like everybody else. Since nothing`s been public, but I think this is
going to be a bill that is going to mirror the House bill, which is
incredibly unpopular. Obviously, ended health care – would end health
care for millions of Americans.
I think it will include language to end access to Planned Parenthood. And
it`s going to cut millions of folks on Medicaid now. So, I think the
president thought the last bill was mean. This is going to be even meaner.
MADDOW: The Planned Parenthood issue specifically has been named by at
least one Republican senator, as being a real deal breaker for her.
MADDOW: Senator Collins.
RICHARDS: That`s correct.
MADDOW: Had said that she`s not going to vote for a bill if it cuts off
access to Planned Parenthood. Are there any other senators you`re having
constructive conversations about that with, any other Republicans who are
basically with you on that?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. I mean, Senator Collins has been great. She`s been
a strong supporter of women`s health and of Planned Parenthood. Senator
Lisa Murkowski from Alaska as well, has expressed over and over again her
concerns about the bill.
And again, I think partly as well, because as you noticed, the folks who
are behind closed doors making this bill, and writing it, there are no
women in it at all. In fact, if you look at what happened in the House,
this is a bill that would be devastating for women in America in every
single state, but certainly including their states.
MADDOW: Well, we know who`s in the working group that was supposedly
writing this thing.
MADDOW: That the Republican men`s chorus. But apparently, the guys who
are in that working group say they don`t know what`s in it, and they
haven`t been writing it either. We actually have absolutely no idea where
it comes from.
RICHARDS: Don`t you think it`s because they know how bad it is and nobody
wants to take responsibility? I mean, we`ve never seen a bill that is
going to be – have this dramatic an effect on millions of Americans,
losing women their maternity benefits, cutting off their access to Planned
Parenthood, losing them birth control benefits. It`s going to be so bad,
that`s why they`re trying to jam it through and why everyone`s claiming
they have no responsibility. It`s really incredible.
MADDOW: Ultimately, though, they`re going to have to take a vote. They`re
likely on this schedule that we think they`ve got, they`re likely to be
making a vote a week from tomorrow –
RICHARDS: That`s the plan. That`s the plan.
MADDOW: – on this bill.
Do you –
RICHARDS: Rachel, too, no public hearings, no public input. And when you
saw the folks – look, thousands and thousands of people are calling
Congress, as you know. They`re shutting down the switchboard day after day
after day because people are so alarmed, trying to get to town hall
meetings. Senators aren`t even holding them.
There has to be public input on a bill that would make this much impact on
MADDOW: Do you think the activism makes a difference? I mean, they know
how unpopular this bill is. Having it made material in front of their eyes
by people showing up at their offices, people, you know, standing outside
the parking lot outside their district offices. Do you actually think it`s
going to move votes?
RICHARDS: It absolutely does. In fact, I`m on the Hill all the time, and
they`re counting the calls that come in. They`re paying attention to
what`s happening back home.
Republicans are saying, this is incredibly unpopular. That is the message
they`re giving to Mitch McConnell. It`s Mitch McConnell who`s saying,
we`re going to jam it through without any public input because they know
how unpopular it is. I think that folks can still have a huge impact on
whether this bill passes next week.
MADDOW: Do you think that is what`s driving not just the urgency around
it, the secrecy around it, but the specifics of the calendar? I mean,
we`re talking about them taking a vote a week from tomorrow. What happens
the day after a week from tomorrow is a recess where all these members of
Congress and senators have to go home and face their constituents.
Do you think the calendar on this is being driven specifically to have it
done, and the vote over by the time all these senators have to face their
RICHARDS: That`s right. I mean, that`s what they`ve continued to try to
do. But remember, Rachel, you know, the president and Congress pledged
January 27th, this bill is going to be passed on the president`s desk and
We`re now nearly five, six months later. It hasn`t been. That`s because
it`s incredibly unpopular.
These senators, many of them are up for reelection. Every single member of
Congress is up for reelection. They`re paying attention to what people are
saying back home.
But that`s where change is going to happen. It`s not going to happen in
Washington. It`s going to happen in Arizona and Nevada and Ohio and the
places where people are turning out in numbers I`ve never seen before.
MADDOW: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, I appreciate you
being here. Stay in touch with us over the next few days as this thing
finally drops. It will be – there is some suspense as to what`s going to
MADDOW: I appreciate it. Thank you.
RICHARDS: We`re watching.
MADDOW: All right. I have quick correction. When I showed that video of
Utah Senator Mike Lee a few minutes ago, it said on the screen that he is a
Democrat. I`m near sighted enough that I did not notice that in real time.
But I`m told it said Democrat on the screen.
Senator Mike Lee is many things. He is definitely, definitely, definitely
not a Democrat.
Senator Lee, I apologize (AUDIO GAP). And I couldn`t even really see it.
MADDOW: We have an answer. We have an answer. We have an answer. I told
you we would eventually get an answer on this, and we have now got it.
All right. Since last week, we have been asking what on earth is Vice
President Mike Pence doing in this picture? This single picture which he
tweeted has been the only glimpse we had of a fund-raiser that he held in
Indiana on Friday, a fund-raiser for his brand-new PAC. Now, it`s strange
enough for a sitting vice president to have a political action committee of
his own. That is very unusual.
But what does Mike Pence intend to do with the money his PAC has, the money
that he`s now raising for his PAC?
The reason I`ve been asking is in part because of the timing. Because on
Thursday last week, that`s when Mike Pence announced that he had hired a
top-shelf, A-list, private lawyer to personally represent him in the
Then the very next day on Friday, there he was in Indiana very quietly
holding a top-dollar fund-raiser not for the Republican Party or for any
active candidates in the elections, but for his new PAC, with tickets going
for $1,000 to $5,000 a plate.
What`s that money for? Is the vice president conceivably going around the
country quietly raising money to pay for his own legal bills? That`s an
expensive lawyer he just hired.
Nobody from the vice president`s PAC would tell us. The vice president`s
own spokesperson would not say one way or the other. All we had was this
one picture and a whole bunch of our unreturned e-mails.
Today, we tried again. At 1:18 p.m. Eastern Time, we wrote to Mike Pence`s
personal lawyer, explaining that we really would like an answer to this
Then, at 3:45 p.m., a couple hours later, “The Wall Street Journal”
published an answer to our question. No, Mike Pence will not be paying his
legal bills with money from his PAC. That sort of seemed to be the plan as
of last week, but it is apparently officially not the plan anymore.
So, now, we`ve got an answer. It still leaves the question of how Mike
Pence, who is not Mr. Money Bags, how he is going to pay for the powerhouse
new lawyer he just hired, who`s got experience incidentally in Watergate
That lawyer, Richard Cullen, told us very politely today that he doesn`t
like getting into the details about how his clients are going to pay his
firm. Nobody else will say.
We also heard from an expert in these matters, Craig Holman, a public
citizen. He says the vice president has a couple of clear choices for
getting the money he`s going to need to pay for his expensive lawyer. He
could start a legal defense fund the way Bill Clinton did, or he could ask
permission from the FEC to use Trump/Pence campaign money.
It may be worth noting here that the president not only funded much of his
campaign last year, though not to the extent he promised, he also re-upped
the campaign on inauguration day. Donald J. Trump for President Inc. is
open for business. The president`s re-election campaign already exists,
and that campaign did announce a new fund-raiser this afternoon at the
president`s own Trump hotel in D.C. That`s set for Wednesday, a week from
tonight, a high-dollar donor fund-raiser.
If anybody happens to notice a tip jar at that fund-raiser for Mike Pence`s
legal fees, please let us know.
MADDOW: This was nice to see tonight. It was kind of heartbreaking but
still nice to see. That is Special Agent Crystal Griner of the U.S.
Capitol Police. She threw out the first pitch at tonight`s congressional
women`s softball game despite having to do so from that wheelchair that she
is in. She`s in the wheelchair because she`s recovering from a gunshot
wound she sustained during last week`s shooting that targeted Republican
members of Congress at their last practice in advance of the annual
congressional baseball game.
I should also note some other good news today after that shooting. The
House majority whip, number three Republican in the House, Steve Scalise,
he, of course, was very seriously injured in that shooting. But today the
hospital that`s been treating him upgraded his condition from serious to
fair, which is an improvement.
MedStar Washington Hospital where Congressman Scalise is recuperating, they
announce today that he continues to make good progress, which, of course,
is heartening to hear.
That does it for us 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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