Crowd boos 2020 candidate Delaney. TRANSCRIPT: 6/3/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Devlin Barrett

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Yes, it is remarkable.  I mean, I come back to

this time and again.  The America first campaign, the America first

president, who is putting American interests behind the interests, quite

frankly, in front of all of us, of Mohammed bin Salman who runs the Saudi



Jennifer Rubin, thank you very much. 




HAYES:  That is ALL IN for this evening. 


“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now. 


Good evening, Rachel. 


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thanks, my friend.  Much



HAYES:  You bet.


MADDOW:  Thanks to you at home for joining us tonight.  Happy to have you

with us. 


This is the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East.  It is a logistics

hub for ongoing U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It is a key asset

for the U.S. military in terms of its air power, among other places in the

Syrian civil war and in every engagement and training mission in the

region.  This


is a huge base.  There`s like 10,000 or 11,000 American personnel.  And it

is all the more striking the size and the import of the space given what a

small place it is in, because this huge U.S. air base is located in the

tiny nation of Qatar.  This really big American outpost in that very small

country, which sticks out like a thumb into the Persian Gulf right off the

coast of Saudi Arabia, right next to the United Arab Emirates. 


And, of course, America has complicated and textured relationships with

every major country in the Middle East.  But with Qatar, we do have this

one very special thing, right?  In that we`ve got this huge air base there. 

There are a ton of active-duty service members, American service members,

who live there all the time, right? 


That special thing about us and Qatar was what made it a weirder than usual

moment in the Trump presidency when just a few months after he was sworn

in, President Trump summoned the courage to try to pronounce Qatar live and

in front of some cameras, I think for the very first time ever.  The reason

that he decided he would take the leap and try to pronounce Qatar was so he

could proclaim them to be a bunch of terrorists. 





unfortunately has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high





MADDOW:  And this was a somewhat random occasion for the president to bring

this up.  He was standing there in the Rose Garden.  You might not

recognize the flag behind president Trump there. 


He was standing there in the Rose Garden with the president of Romania when

that thing about Qatar, or as he calls it “ka-tawr” (ph) popped out of his

mouth like a loose denture. 


It was also strange, though, because that comment about Qatar appeared to

be completely disassociated from anything else going on in U.S. policy at

the time.  I mean, to put a very fine point on how weird it was, that the

president decided that day he was going to denounce Qatar as a bunch of

terrorists.  I mean, literally, less than a week later, the U.S. government

sold Qatar a whole bunch of F-15 fighter jets, $12.5 billion worth of

fighter jets. 


So where did that thing come from from Trump that day, with him apropos of

nothing denouncing Qatar, denouncing this country that has the largest U.S.

air base in the Middle East, this key U.S. ally in the Middle East?  Why

did he say that?  Well, who knows exactly and for sure?  But if you start

flipping through the rap sheets, literally the criminal history of some of

the people associated with this president and his campaign, you may get

pretty close to a story that explains it. 


Elliott Broidy was a top fund-raiser for Donald Trump during the campaign. 

He was then named deputy finance chair of the National Republican Party

after Trump became the party`s nominee for president.  Elliott Broidy also

narrowly avoided prison time when he became a cooperating witness back in

the day after he was caught paying an elaborate and brazen series of bribes

to financial regulators in New York state, along with their family members

and their mistresses.  That`s that sort of a record was apparently not a

barrier for entry into the upper echelons of the Trump campaign in 2016 and

into the upper echelons of the Republican Party in the Trump era. 


At the Trump inaugural festivities, Elliott Broidy, of course, was there

and at the inauguration, he reportedly hooked one another Trump-connected

ex-con who the “New York Times” reports would go on to take frequent

meetings.  Sorry, “The New York Times” reports had taken frequent meetings

throughout the campaign with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner and might

Flynn after the inauguration, during the first year of the Trump

administration.  This guy was also reported to have spent lots of time at

the Trump White House including multiple visits to Steve Bannon`s office

just off the Oval. 


His name was George Nader.  And his criminal history included multiple

convictions for child pornography and child molestation in two countries,

resulting in at least two prison sentences. 


So when Elliott Broidy, the guy who had narrowly avoided prison in the New

York state bribery scheme, and George Nader, the multiply convicted child

pornography and child molestation guy, when they met up at Trump inaugural,

that was clearly a match made somewhere other than heaven.  But they hit it

off and those two men after meeting at the Trump inaugural reportedly

decided they would go into a kind of business together.  Because George

Nader had long-standing connections to two gulf monarchies, to the united

Arab emirates and Saudi Arabia, those two countries quite near Qatar that

we just showed on the map. 


Nader at various points appears to have been a paid emissary of some kind

of diplomatic go-between for the royal families of both UAE and Saudi

Arabia.  According to landmark reporting from “The Associated Press”, the

basic deal that Elliott Broidy and George Nader hatched after he had met up

at the inauguration was that Nader would use the connections he had with

the royal families in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he`d use

those connections to get huge contracts from those countries for Elliott

Broidy.  Broidy was operating some kind of defense contracting firm.  Nader

was planning to hook him up with a huge amount of contracting revenue, like

a billion dollars in contracts from UAE and Saudi Arabia. 


Was that because his defense contracting firm was the greatest one on earth

and ought to have those contracts?  I don`t know.  But this is what Broidy

was reportedly going to do in exchange for him getting those contracts.  In

exchange for those billion dollars worth of contracts Broidy, right, this

deputy finance chair for the RNC, leading fund-raiser for the Trump

campaign, Broidy would use his influence with the new Trump administration

to get the administration to do things that the U.S. government would never

otherwise be inclined to do, but that Saudi and United Arab Emirates



Specifically, in exchange for his company getting a billion dollars in

contracts, Broidy would reportedly try to persuade the Trump administration

that the president should start talking smack against Qatar, that the U.S.

government should turn against Qatar, that the U.S. government should

separate itself from and start denouncing Qatar, where we have that huge

air base, right?  Qatar, this crucial U.S. ally in the Middle East, the

biggest U.S. military outpost anywhere in the Middle East. 


Those other Gulf countries right next to Qatar, though, UAE and Saudi

Arabia, they see Qatar as their archenemy.  They want to turn the U.S.

government against Qatar.  How much would they be willing to pay for that? 

Almost anything presumably. 


Well, George Nader and Elliott Broidy reportedly teamed up after they met

at the Trump inauguration to try to give those countries someone to pay in

order to achieve that result.  And that result the president himself

inexplicably delivered in the Rose Garden standing right next to the

president of Romania on a fine June day in 2017, just months after he was

inaugurated, out of the blue inexplicably denouncing Qatar as terrorists. 


It`s almost like you could pick any day on the calendar, you could pick any

day the Trump administration has been in effect, just pick one thing that

happened that day.  If you then go back and tell the full back story as to

what led to that moment in the Trump administration and what cast of

characters made that moment possible – I mean, if you cast it really well

and you got like George Clooney or Ben Stiller to direct it, you could make

a movie about any day of the Trump administration that had a plot that was

more scandalous than anything that has happened in any other U.S.

presidential administration since there were cars.  Or like since there was

America.  I mean, just the president making those – anyway. 


But now these kinds of trailing ends and the fuller back story on these ex-

cons and these revealed schemes, they`re all starting to come to some

dramatic conclusions.  When it comes to that seedy little plot to

apparently pay for the U.S. government turning against our ally Qatar,

well, Elliott Broidy, he is no longer the deputy finance chairman of the

RNC.  He stepped down from that position after is it was revealed he made

hush money payments to a “Playboy” model with whom he`d had an affair. 

Oddly, his hush money payments were brokered by the presidents long-time

attorney Michael Cohen and another man named Keith Davidson, the two guys

who were involved in hush money payments before the election arrangements

for which Michael Cohen is now serving his own federal prison sentence and

for which he too had to step down as deputy finance chairman of the RNC. 


Broidy himself has also reportedly come under federal investigation for

among other things, offering to have the Justice Department investigation

into a huge international fraud case turned off.  Broidy was offering a

contract in which he said that he could get that investigation quashed if

the interested parties would pay him and his wife $75 million.  Now, why

Elliott Broidy believe that he could turn off a major Justice Department

investigation in exchange for tens of millions of dollars?  I don`t know. 

But that is one of a number of issues for which Elliott Broidy has

reportedly come under investigation. 


Nice folks from the Trump campaign.  Nice folks from the Trump-era

Republican National Committee. 


Now, as for Elliott Broidy`s business partner in that Qatar thing, well, as

of today, he has a new and newly serious additional child pornography

charge to contend with.  Devlin Barrett and Rachel Weiner at the

“Washington Post” were first to break the news today that George Nader has

been indicted again on new child pornography charges stemming from an FBI

search of his three iPhones at Dulles Airport in January of last year. 

These charges we now know have been pending against Nader for months.  But

apparently, he`s been out of the country and therefore out of the reach of

U.S. federal law enforcement despite this sealed criminal complaint against

him and a sealed warrant for his arrest that were filed with the court last



He fell back into the clutches of U.S. law enforcement today when he re-

entered the country.  He flew in to JFK airport in the New York City area

reportedly to seek medical treatment.  Upon landing at the airport he was

arrested and taken into custody.  Today, he made an initial appearance in

the eastern district of New York, which means in federal court in Brooklyn. 


The magistrate judge hearing his case said she believed that Nader is a

flight risk.  She would not give him bail today.  She ordered him held

overnight and reassessed tomorrow. 


He is expected ultimately to be conveyed to Virginia, to the Eastern

District of Virginia, where he will face these new child pornography



But as I said, these types of charges are not a novel thing for George

Nader.  In 1985, he was charged with importing child pornography into the

United States.  He ultimately had that charge dismissed on a technicality. 

A few years later, in 1991, he was again charged with importing child

pornography from overseas.  In that case, he was convicted.  He was given a

six-month sentence. 


Years later in 2003, he was sentenced again, this time in the Czech

Republic, this time not for child pornography but for child molestation. 

That conviction also resulted in a prison sentence in the Czech Republic. 


Despite that extensive record, though, George Nader did become some kind of

adviser to the government of the United Arab Emirates and the government of

Saudi Arabia.  And he did then attach himself like a barnacle to the Trump

campaign and the Trump White House, where he really made himself one of the

guys.  He was apparently around a lot. 


In August 2016, during the presidential campaign, George Nader organized a

meeting at Trump Tower which ultimately became the subject of this

blockbuster report in the “New York Times”, this time last year. 


At the Trump Tower meeting where George Nader, Donald Trump Jr., Erik

Prince, and a man named Joel Zamel who was reportedly offering at that

meeting an off the shelf foreign election interference effort that would be

run by Mr. Zamel`s Israeli company and would be financed by some of these

Gulf monarchies that Mr. Nader worked for, all to benefit the Trump

campaign by flooding American social media and what amounted to a giant

psy-ops campaign to turn off Clinton voters and boost Trump.  That`s what

he was offering.  The Trump campaign, of course, says they weren`t buying. 


“The Times” reports that after that meeting, George Nader became a frequent

presence around the Trump campaign, he took multiple meetings with Jared

Kushner and with Michael Flynn and with Steve Bannon.  After Trump got

elected in November of that year, George Nader reportedly made a $2 million

payment to one of Joel Zamel`s companies.  Again, Zamel was the guy who had

been offering a foreign election interference effort for sale at that Trump

tower meeting back in August.  And again, the Trump campaign says they

didn`t buy what he was offering.  But still, Nader paid him $2 million

right after the election, and that payment has still never been explained. 


That same month, December 2016, George Nader is the one who organized

another meeting, this one involving Jared Kushner, Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon

and the crown prince of United Arab Emirates who`s usually described in the

west by his initials, MBZ.  That meeting took place in New York at the Four

Seasons Hotel.  Again, this is right after the election, December 2016. 


And that meeting became a flashing red light for the Obama administration

at the time because it was a big breach of protocol.  It was a strange

thing for the crown prince of this U.S. ally, the senior government

official, in fact the de facto ruler of that country, to come visit the

United States without telling the current administration that he was going

to be paying a visit.  It`s a very unusual thing.  It`s not the way these

things are usually done. 


But in fact, that meeting that George Nader organized in December 2016, it

involved the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates there in person plus

all of those Trump transition officials.  It was conducted as a secret

thing.  United Arab Emirates did not notify the Obama administration that

he was coming in.  They found out anyway that MBZ was here and that he took

that meeting; but knowing that he had secretly come into the country to

take that secret meeting set off alarm bells for the Obama administration. 


A month after that in January 2017 just before the inauguration itself,

George Nader set up another meeting.  And this time it was in an exotic

locale.  It was in the Seychelles islands.  George Nader is the one that

organized that strange encounter where Erik Prince, the brother of Betsy

DeVos, who`s the education secretary, the founder of the controversial

security firm Blackwater, a man who`s described in the Mueller report as

essentially being an informal representative of the Trump transition. 


He met with the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund in Seychelles

islands in a meeting that was set up by George Nader.  That meeting is now

believed to have been yet another effort by the Russian government between

the Russian government and the Trump campaign to try to set up some sort of

back channel secret communications between the two.  Nader set up that

meeting in the Seychelles as well. 


The crown prince of the UAE was there.  MBZ was there.  Erik Prince was

there, the guy from the Russian sovereign wealth fund was there as an

emissary of the Kremlin.  Nader is the one who brought them all together. 

That`s January 2017. 


Later that month, Donald Trump is sworn in and becomes president.  “Axios”

goes on to report that George Nader becomes a frequent visitor in the Trump

White House.  During that first year that Trump is in office, that`s when

Nader and Elliott Broidy are apparently trying to pull off this scheme

where Broidy will get paid a million dollars of contracts in exchange for

him using his influence to turn the president, to turn the U.S. government

against Qatar, despite the fact we have this big air base there. 


And then as we are rolling up on the one-year anniversary of Trump being in

office, in January of 2018, George Nader apparently makes plans to travel

to Mar-a-Lago to attend what were expected to be over-the-top festivities

at the president`s private club in Florida to celebrate his first year in

office.  On his way to Mar-a-Lago, George Nader has to transit through

Dulles Airport just outside Washington.  Now, whenever he does that he

probably has prison sentence flashbacks because back in 1991, one of the

times he was prosecuted on child porn charges, the way he got caught in

1991 is that customs officials found child pornography on reels – on reel

to reel tapes that were concealed in candy containers in his luggage while

he was flying in from Germany and trying to pick off his luggage in Dulles. 

They went through his luggage, they found the child porn that led to those

1991 charges and the prison sentence thereafter. 


This time, January 2018, again he`s going through Dulles.  And this time

child porn was not on reel-to-reel tapes that he had to secret somewhere

inside his luggage.  This time, his newer stash of child porn was allegedly

stored on his multiple iPhones.  And unluckily for George Nader, when he

was transiting on his way to Mar-a-Lago in January 2018, the FBI agents who

stopped him at the airport had a search warrant, to look into his luggage,

to search his person and to search his electronic devices. 


Now, it appears that those search warrants related to the Mueller

investigation, to Mueller looking into foreign interference in the 2016

election.  Today`s FBI affidavit filed in the new criminal case against

Nader describes those search warrants as being unrelated to child

pornography.  So child porn is not what they were looking for when they

stopped and searched George Nader at Dulles Airport last January when he

was on his way to Mar-a-Lago.  But child pornography is nevertheless what

the government says they found. 


And so, to the already absolutely sordid and somewhat terrifying tale of

George Nader, you can now add this new twist.  I mean, we know from the

context provided by the Mueller report that basically immediately after the

FBI agents stopped Nader at Dulles Airport in January of 2018, immediately

after that contact where they stopped him on his way to Mar-a-Lago, George

Nader almost immediately became a cooperating witness for Mueller.  Nader

is all over the Mueller report, particularly when it comes to the section

of that report that describes efforts between the Russian government and

the Trump campaign to use various intermediaries to create secret back

channel communications between the two entities. 


Even this weekend in “The Times”, there was new reporting about how

prosecutors are still investigating whether MBZ and the United Arab

Emirates might have been involved in some kind of illegal influence

operation concerning the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.  But what

does this mean that George Nader has now been arrested?  I mean, it had

been widely reported in multiple reputable news sources that when Nader

started cooperating with Mueller`s investigation he was doing so under a

grant of limited immunity, he was getting immunity in exchange for his



Mueller`s report says in black and white that all but one of the interviews

that Nader did with the special counsel`s office were under the umbrella of

some sort of proffer agreement, meaning that Nader would have had some sort

of immunity in exchange for the testimony that he was giving to Mueller. 


But if that all is true, if Nader had worked out some sort of deal with

prosecutors to avoid being charged for his own crimes, why did they draw up

a sealed criminal complaint and arrest warrant for him in April of last

year?  That`s the complaint, an arrest warrant they acted on today when he

re-entered the country. 


If he had some sort of immunity deal with prosecutors, what was the

immunity for?  I mean, what was he not charged for if he was charged for

this?  I mean, these child pornography allegations he`s facing, prison time

for this is a range of 15 to 40 years.  He didn`t get immunity for this but

he did get immunity for something else? 


Or was he awarded immunity for these alleged crimes too but for some reason

that immunity deal that he had has now been called off either because of

something that he did or because of some change in the way the Justice

Department is looking at it? 


George Nader has been one of the most unnerving characters and ex-cons in a

Trump campaign that frankly is full of them.  He was also a crucial witness

for the Mueller report, including on a number aspects of that investigation

that as far as we can tell have not yet been wrapped up. 


News of his arrest today is horrifying in many ways.  It is also kind of a

shock.  The reporter who broke the news first joins us next. 




MADDOW:  The day after the election in November 2016, the morning after the

election, we now from Robert Mueller`s report that somebody whose name is

redacted sent a text containing this phrase.  The phrase, quote, “Putin has

won.”  That phrase was texted to a Russian businessman, to the head of a

Russian sovereign wealth fund, a guy by the name of Kirill Dmitriev. 


Soon after Kirill Dmitriev received that message about the U.S. election

result, Putin has won, that same businessman, the guy who`s the head of a

sovereign wealth fund, Kremlin-connected, sort of Kremlin emissary business

guy, he responds to that “Putin has won” text by turning around and texting

somebody else.  He texts a guy named George Nader to say, hey, I want to

meet all of the key people in the incoming Trump administration given the

great result. 


Quote: Later that morning, Dmitriev connected Nader who was in New York to

request a meeting with the, quote, key people in the incoming

administration as soon as possible in light of the, quote, great results.


So, here`s a guy who`s working for the Kremlin running a Kremlin-backed

Russian sovereign wealth fund.  He gets this message, “Putin has won.” 

That`s the response to Trump winning the election.  He is super psyched

that Trump won the election. 


Right after receiving the “Putin has won” text, he turns around that same

morning and thereafter he decides he needs to be connected to the key

people in Trump`s world ASAP.  Who does he call to make those connections

to introduce him to all the key Trump people?  He calls a guy named George



George Nader is the guy who was just arrested today on child pornography

charged as he landed at JFK airport.  That`s one of the threads involving

George Nader that`s described in the Mueller report and in open source

reporting.  His arrest today is in keeping with his previous criminal

record.  But given what else is going on in terms of the Mueller

investigation and the Russia scandal, the news of his arrest today at JFK

airport was a shock. 


“The Washington Post” reporter who broke that story today is Devlin

Barrett.  He joins us now. 


Mr. Barrett, it`s great to have you with us today.  Thanks very much for

your time. 



for having me. 


MADDOW:  So you and your colleague Rachel Weiner were first on this story



Do you – do you have any understanding of whether or not Mr. Nader knew

that traveling back to the U.S. today would result in him being arrested? 


BARRETT:  It`s pretty clear that from everything that`s happened in the

last 24 hours, that he did not know this was coming.  This wasn`t some sort

of arranged surrender or, you know, negotiated deal between Nader and the

government because what happens is he`s arrested at the airport and then

they proceed to have a bail hearing in which he very clearly is trying hard

to come up with some conditions to get released on bond.  And so far, that

hasn`t happened but there`s going to be another hearing tomorrow. 


But my point is if there had been some arrangement or some expectation that

this could be even possible, it wouldn`t have gone down like this.  It

would have gone down in a much different way. 


MADDOW:  So there`s been previous reporting that, obviously, Mr. Nader was

a Cooperating witness with the Mueller investigation.  He is described

including his multiple discussions with special counsel`s office and FBI

agents described and footnoted throughout volume 1 of the Mueller report,

there`s been a lot of reporting that he cooperated with the government,

with those prosecutors, with some sort of immunity deal, at least a limited

immunity deal. 


Does our understanding of that previous reporting change at all now that

he`s been arrested? 


BARRETT:  I don`t think it changes a lot but there`s still some gaps that

we haven`t been able to fill in.  But, basically, I think the simplest

answer is he cooperated under some sort of proffer terms and we`re told,

gave testimony to the grand jury and technically – and basically most of

the time when you have a proffer, what you`re talking about is you agree to

tell your story to prosecutors with the understanding that you`ll only be

charged if you are caught lying to them. 


And so that is the basic premise of most proffer sessions.  And so, at that

point, we have every reason to believe that was sort of the general

condition of the Nader conversation, although we`d certainly like to know

more and get the particulars of this.  But my point is, it`s entirely

possible and what it looks like so far is that Nader had some sort of

understanding with prosecutors to talk about things like the meeting in the

Seychelles, but not necessarily in a way that would expose him to any sort

of criminal charges unless he lied to them. 


MADDOW:  So, forgive me for being dense.  In part I`m distracted because

Nader is part of so many different plots and so many storylines here, not

many of which we feel like we`ve gotten to the end of.  But is it possible

that Nader would have done the type of immunity deal where he was not going

to be prosecuted, where they agreed to not prosecute him for any of the

things that he was describing to them related to the subject of their

investigation, but this child pornography stuff was totally outside the

realm of what they were talking to him about?  They obviously had evidence

of this from their first contact with him in January of 2018. 


Is it possible that he would have done a cooperation deal without this –

with this stuff carved out knowing that he was still liable to be

prosecuted on this stuff? 


BARRETT:  It`s a great question.  I think the parts we can answer are this. 

It basically appears that by February of – so Nader arrives – let`s back

up.  Nader arrives in the United States January of 2017.  I`m sorry,

January 2018.  He is questioned by NBA agents working for Bob Mueller`s



In February, the following month, those agents realized that one of the

phones they`ve seized has this child pornography video on it allegedly,

several videos according to the chart, the criminal complaint.  So, in

February of that year, they have some sense there`s a problem here that

goes way beyond just the Mueller issues.  But they don`t have a full

chargeable case on him until April.  And what seems to have happened is he

seems to have left the country by April. 


And now, because he came back, apparently thinking as best we can tell that

he had no – he was no longer in danger, then he gets charged. 


MADDOW:  OK.  So, he did his cooperation, he testified to maybe the grand

jury, certainly talked to Mueller`s investigators, between the time that he

was initially picked up in January and when they brought that criminal case

against him in April. 


BARRETT:  Right. 


MADDOW:  So he may have thought enough time had passed that he was out of

the woods.  Let me just ask you one other piece of this Devlin.  Obviously,

part of the intrigue about Mr. Nader is that he appears to have been a

little bit of a go-between for some Kremlin connected figures like Kirill

Dmitriev and the campaign.  He also directly appears to have been directly

working on behalf of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi government in

terms of some other kind of overtures they were making to the Trump

campaign and later the Trump administration. 


Do you have any understanding from your reporting as to what happened to

Mueller`s inquiries related to the Emirates and Saudi Arabia and whether or

not they may have also been involved in any sort of improper foreign



BARRETT:  Well, they certainly – they certainly looked at this.  And what

you see from the report is the investigators are really focused on the

Seychelles meeting and the Russian official, Dmitriev, and how that played

into it.  But obviously, that`s probably not Nader`s main focus considering

who he works for and where he lives. 


But I think what`s interesting about that whole sequence of events is what

seems to happen according to investigators is at some point, that meeting

in the Seychelles happens and then after that meeting, basically the

meeting doesn`t go well.  It`s an attempt to establish a back channel as

far as we can tell that just falls apart because the Russian official

Dmitriev doesn`t seem to much like Erik Prince and doesn`t seem to trust

him as a good go-between and it all sort of falls apart from there. 


So, the relationship seems to go sour and go south pretty quickly after



MADDOW:  Devlin Barrett, national security reporter at the “Washington

Post” – thank you for helping us understand this, and congratulations on

the scoop today. 


BARRETT:  Thanks for having me. 


MADDOW:  All right.  Much more to get to tonight.  Stay with us. 




MADDOW:  This is one of those days when in addition to everything that has

happened in the news, there`s also a bunch of stuff that is about to happen

that we`ve been sort of watching for and waiting for all day and into this

evening.  One of the things we`ve been watching for involves the criminal

case about Trump`s national security adviser Mike Flynn. 


A couple weeks ago, the judge in the Flynn case ordered prosecutors to

produce specific documents and make them public, including the transcripts

of Mike Flynn`s calls with the Russian government during the presidential

transition.  These are the calls about which Flynn later pled guilty to

lying to the FBI about them.  Well, the dealt for federal prosecutors to

have complied with that order and released the transcript of Flynn`s

conversations with the Russians was this past Friday. 


Sort of amazingly, prosecutors didn`t comply with that court order.  They

didn`t release the transcript of Flynn`s conversations with the Russian

government.  Judges don`t tend to like it when lawyers don`t do what

they`re told to do by court order. 


The judge in Flynn`s case in particular, Emmett Sullivan, beyond I think

the way judges would typically feel about their orders not being followed,

Judge Sullivan in particular has a reputation for not suffering any

shenanigans in his courtroom or in his cases. 


But since the prosecutors hit that deadline on Friday and refused to

release that information about Flynn despite the court order, we have been

expecting a response from Judge Sullivan.  Thus far we have not yet seen

one.  But we`re sort of on tenterhooks waiting for that to happen. 


Another thing we`ve been watching for today is whether Roger Stone could

soon be going to jail.  Roger Stone is awaiting trial on charges that

include lying to Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks during the

2016 campaign when they were releasing information stolen by the Russian



You might remember that after his indictment, Roger Stone decided it would

be a good idea to post online a picture of the judge in his case with a

crosshairs next to her head.  At which point that judge imposed a very

strict gag order on Roger Stone about his – barring him from talking about

his case and the overall investigation from which his case sprang. 


Well, nevertheless, this weekend, Roger Stone decided he had a new good

idea.  He decided to go online and call for the death of former CIA

Director John Brennan.  He called for Brennan to be hanged for treason,

claiming that the entire Trump Russia investigation that led to Roger Stone

being charged was illegitimate and ought to result in its perpetrators

being killed. 


And I am not a lawyer, but boy, does that seem like a straight down the

middle violation of that gag order prohibiting Roger Stone from talking

about the investigation or his case.  So, again, with that one we are

watching to see whether or if the judge in the Roger Stone case will react

to that online posting and whether or not the judge might view that as

having violated that gag order, in which case Mr. Stone could be up against

the risk of going to jail while he awaits his trial rather than waiting it

out at home. 


One last thing we are keeping an eye on this evening is not in a courtroom

but in Congress.  Last month, former White House counsel Don McGahn, you

may remember he defied a subpoena from Congress.  Congress ordered him to

show up and testify.  The White House ordered him to not show up and

testify.  He decided to go with the White House instruction. 


But the Judiciary Committee pressed ahead that same day, issued two

additional subpoenas to other important Mueller investigation witnesses,

former White House communications director Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson

who was Don McGahn`s chief of staff and who reportedly kept voluminous

notes of all her time in the White House. 


The subpoenas to Hicks and Donaldson require them to turn over documents to

the committee by tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m.  Now, as of tonight, we have

not heard whether those two witnesses intend to comply.  We are expecting

that the Trump White House will presumably order Hope Hicks and Ms.

Donaldson to not turn over documents, just like they`ve ordered other

witnesses to not comply with other congressional subpoenas.  So, tonight,

we are awaiting word on whether the White House is going to block them from

hanged over those documents or whether they will just defy them on their

own, whether there will be additional contempt charges here. 


I mean, even without Mueller investigation witnesses, the Judiciary

Committee does say they are moving ahead with hearings on the Mueller

report.  Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler today announced a series of

hearings in response to the report, starting with someone who knows

something about presidents obstructing justice.  Richard Nixon`s White

House counsel John Dean whose congressional testimony blew the Watergate

scandal wide open, he`ll be the Judiciary Committee`s first witness a week

from today because history doesn`t repeat itself but it does rhyme. 


The Judiciary Committee, again, trying to get witnesses who are people who

provided evidence to the Mueller report directly.  So far, the White House

has either blocked those witnesses from complying with subpoenas or we are

expecting them to.  That includes documents we`re waiting on from the White

House this night.  We`ll let you know over the course of this hour as we

hear more. 


Stay with us. 






JOHN DELANEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We need as Democrats to build an

economy that works.  But it`s got to be with smart policies.  Medicare-for-

All may sound good.  But it`s actually not good policy nor is it good





I`m telling you.  I`m telling you.  A hundred – 






MADDOW:  John Delaney finally gets his moment in the sun.  Now, you will be

forgiven if you do not know who John Delaney is, given the enormity of the

Democratic presidential field this year.  I mean, heck, John Delaney is not

even the only moderate Democrat named John who is in the race this year. 

So there`s that. 


But Mr. Delaney has now made national headlines for the first time for

getting all but booed off the stage at the California Democratic convention

this weekend. 


Mr. Delaney was one of just 14 Democratic presidential candidates who spoke

at the California Democratic convention this weekend, 14 of them.  This was

the biggest event.  This was the largest collection of Democratic

presidential candidates in one place in the whole presidential primary

season thus far. 


The reason they all went is because the state is so important in the

primary this year because of its huge haul of delegates.  But in particular

because of the combination of its huge haul of delegates and the state`s

new position in the earliest weeks of the primary. 


There`s those four early states, right?  It`s Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada,

South Carolina.  They each get their own week.  Three days after South

Carolina is this gigantic Super Tuesday event that includes California,

which has the largest delegate haul of all. 


California has not had this kind of importance in choosing a Democratic

nominee in forever.  And California voters I think are kind of feeling it. 

California Democrats are recognizing that they`re sort of in the catbird`s

seat they haven`t been before. 


And they had no problems letting candidates like John Delaney know what

they thought of his criticism of Medicare-for-All.  And Delaney was not the

only one roundly booed during this weekend`s events. 


Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper got his share as well. 





want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is

not the answer. 




I was re-elected –




MADDOW:  Honestly, though, that wasn`t the worst of the reaction for

Governor Hickenlooper.  At the end he was forced to kind of like scream

into the void as he got played off stage by the music when his speaking

time was up. 




HICKENLOOPER:  I will once and for all take on the NRA and have universal

background checks on all gun sales.  I will stop ignoring the two thirds of

Americans – 




Thank you very much. 




MADDOW:  The hug was probably worth it.  At the end, you need to have a

final moment there. 


It`s worth – for a taste of what this was like, it`s worth comparing that

to the reception for Senator Elizabeth Warren and her speech in California. 





need to be a party of big plans to make this country work for everyone, a

party that has the courage to fight for those plans, then join me.  Text

the word “change” to 24477.  Help us organize, volunteer to dream big! 

Let`s win!








MADDOW:  See, she doesn`t need the hug.  You see that? 


I mean, if they`re going to start the music when your time is up anyway,

you are going to get played off the stage.  But if you`re going to get

played off the stage, there are better and worse ways to do it.  There`s a

hero`s way to go out, right? 


But honestly, watching the events this weekend in California, maybe the

biggest hero of all, at least for those of us watching from home, was not

one of the candidates who were speaking at the main events, not one of the

invited candidates.  It was actually a moderator at a forum for the

progressive group Move On. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Next question, Senator.  On implementation of your

first big idea on the gender pay gap, not everyone works for corporation.




KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, MOVEON.ORG:  Hey!  Hey, hey, hey, hey. 






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, hi.  Hi.  Wait a minute, sir. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just a few minutes ago asking for your attention to a

much bigger idea than. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you so much, sir, for your big idea.  But we

want to make sure that we are able to get through this. 




MADDOW:  So that young man decided that this was his moment.  But there was

somebody else on stage who took control of the situation in an instinctive

and very brave way.  That is a boss move putting herself immediately

between Senator Harris and the heckler who just walked up and took the

microphone out of her hands.  Not escalating things but also not having it



The boss moderator was honestly the one in control up there until security

augmented by the senator`s husband hauled the guy off stage.  But that will

moderator, that as I said, that was a heroic move.  I want to talk to her. 

She`s here next. 






AUDIENCE:  Kamala!  Kamala! 






MADDOW:  That was Senator Kamala Harris making her triumphant return to the

stage after a protester jumped up on the stage, took her microphone away

from her at the Move On Big Ideas Forum this weekend. 


The star of this moment ended up being the woman in the pink dress. 


I wish – we all wish that we would have that kind of presence of mind and

calm, cool collected bravery in that kind of a strange moment. 


Joining us now is Karine Jean-Pierre.  She`s chief public affairs officer

at  She`s an MSNBC contributor. 


Ms. Jean-Pierre, I appreciate you being here.  This is weird circumstances

in which to be talking to you. 


JEAN-PIERRE:  Yes, it is.  It`s been a wild 48 hours, for sure.


MADDOW:  Yes, obviously, this is something nobody had any idea was coming. 


JEAN-PIERRE:  No, absolutely not.  I mean, you know, just to explain.  We

did have security plan in place.  You know, we thought, you know, it`s a

kind of, you know, progressive space and you know, people are very messy. 

It`s not surprising there would be a protester, but in the audience, not on

the stage. 


And there was a breach.  And it didn`t work out to plan.  And I was shocked

when it happened.  We all were.  And it did not play out the way that we

thought it would, obviously. 


MADDOW:  You know, the reason I wanted to talk to you about today and I

recognize this is not your work.  This is a thing that happened.  You had

this admirable and brave response. 


When – like I saw this first on Twitter was the first place I saw it.  I

instantly burst into tears.  I am a softie and I cry at weird moments all

the time.  But I – other people I talked to about this moment also had a

similarly very emotional response not just to the fact that this happened

to Senator Harris, but the way that you bodily put yourself in there. 


Is that – have people been bringing that to you?


JEAN-PIERRE:  Yes, people have brought that to me.  They`ve actually said,

you know, it was great that I was there protecting Kamala Harris and I

stood up to do that, but who was protecting me.  And I think that`s

something that really touched people.  It`s like wow, you put your body in

between her and this person you had no idea what he was doing and what was

he about really. 


MADDOW:  Instinctively. 


JEAN-PIERRE:  It was totally instinctively.  I saw him kind of on the

previously and I saw this person just hurl their body onto the stage and I

thought to myself, OK.  Virginia Beach just happened yesterday, where we

lost 12 souls.  We have an increase in hate crimes.  Things are not safe

for women of color, people of color, in this climate that we`re in



We have a senator who is a woman of color running to be president of the

United States.  This is not good.  And I just jumped into I guess into

action and I thought, no, he`s coming for her and I can`t let that happen. 

Not today.  It will not happen. 


And so, that`s just where my heart went.  That`s where my instincts went. 

And I can`t explain it.  It`s just – I just jumped to it. 


Even when I watch it, even sometimes I`m like that`s not a big deal.  I

just stood up because the guy was coming.  Everyone was like no, this was a

big deal. 


I do want to say, Rachel, I do want to thank Kamala Harris, because she

came back on stage as you saw.  And when she was done answering the

questions, I gave her a hug and apologized. 


And you know what she said to me?  Instead of saying, oh, don`t worry, it`s

OK.  She said, you know what, Karine, I`m proud of you.  I`m proud of all

the work that you`re doing. 


I looked at her and I`m like that`s the response you`re giving me?  Thank



And then she called me yesterday and she – I think it`s OK that I say

this.  She called me to check on me and to make sure that I was doing

something normal for myself.  And thanked me. 


And I thought to myself, Rachel, this is what we`re missing in this moment. 

I`m not endorsing Kamala Harris.  I`m not endorsing anyone.  But I thought

this is what we`re missing right now is someone who cares about people and

shows that they do care where not just a certain sector of the population

but everyone. 


And I think that`s the fear people have been having for the last three

years is that they feel their marginalized, their rights will be taken away

and they`re fearful.  A friend of mine said to me today, they texted me and

said, you know what, Karine, you just gave me watching that – gave me –

encouraged me to do more.  And I`ve been so fearful, I`ve been so scared,

and now, I`m realizing I need to fight and stand up.  What can I do in



And I think if that could come out of this, that`s fantastic. 


MADDOW:  Obviously, as an organizer of this event as the moderator of the

event, you had no intention for this to happen. 




MADDOW:  It has catalyzed the kinds of conversations you`re describing and

I think also it`s put Move On in the spotlight in a way that`s going to be

important as California and these other states decide what their role in

the primary process. 


Karine, thank you for doing it. 


JEAN-PIERRE:  Thank you so much. 


MADDOW:  I`m sure it has been a really weird 48 hours since then.  But that

instinctive behavior that you modeled there is inspirational. 


JEAN-PIERRE:  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Appreciate it.


MADDOW:  All right.  Karine Jean-Pierre is chief public affairs officer at 


That`s going to do it for us tonight.  I will see you again tomorrow.




Good evening, Lawrence.







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