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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 02/26/15

Guests: Mo Brooks, Brian Darling, Malcolm Nance, Jack Hanna, Clarence Page,Jesus Garcia

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ARI MELBER, MSNBC GUEST HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: When I make decisions, I will let you know. MELBER: The Republican House prepares to shut it down. Then, the CPAC royal rumble begins. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I went to my parish priest and said to him, I`m giving up "The New York Times" for Lent. MELBER: The highlights from day one and the plan to walk out on Jeb Bush on day two. Then, a massive surprise for Democrats in Chicago. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody thought we would be here tonight. MELBER: Meet the candidate who forced an upset runoff on Rahm Emanuel. And meet the two live animals that captivated the nation today, the runaway llamas. LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: But, it was a desperate chase today for two fugitives that have gripped the nation as it played it out live on TV. MELBER: Jungle Jack Hanna is here with some good news. This is live footage you can`t make up. ALL IN starts now. (END VIDEOTAPE) MELBER: Good evening to you from New York. I`m Ari Melber, in for Chris Hayes. Funding for the Homeland Security Department is still set to run out tomorrow, and this evening, congressional Republicans have been meeting to find some way out of the standoff. The House GOP met this evening and discussed a sort of a band-aid measure to provide funding for three weeks. Now, that would prevent the partial government shutdown tomorrow. That is a contrast to what Senate Republicans proposed just yesterday when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed a clean bill to fund DHS through the end of the fiscal year in September. And the Senate signaled support for that approach yesterday in a nearly unanimous vote to move forward with the bill. Now, the Senate has today reached an agreement to hold votes on a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security that will start at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. In other words, basically, Senate Republicans are now over this fight, while House Republicans still want to hold security funding hostage in exchange for a vote overriding President Obama`s executive action on immigration. Now, less than an hour ago on the House floor, tensions mounted as Congressman Steny Hoyer called the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy a coward. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MAJORITY LEADER: Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time. I have been very clear about the schedule for tomorrow. We will end our work by tomorrow evening. This House is taking action to make sure the DHS is fully funding. We did our part and I yield back. REP. STENY HOYER (D), MARYLAND: You coward. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without objection, two-minute voting will continue. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That is somewhat unusual, what you saw there. And joining me now from Capitol Hill, with the latest on this whole fight, NBC`s Luke Russert. Luke, we wanted you on here at the top of the hour because there`s so much going on. What`s happening right now? LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Well, here`s the latest, Ari. The House GOP conference just concluded their meeting about an hour ago, and Speaker Boehner presented a plan, which is going to be the plan so far as we know, where, in fact, it will be a three-week funding of the Department of Homeland Security. They hope that pass that out tomorrow morning mid- morning or perhaps the afternoon. It could take that long. That will then be followed by a motion to go to conference with the United States Senate over that bill they passed back in January, which was pretty far to the right, if you talk to some members, in the sense that it repealed DACA, the 2012 Obama executive action on immigration, as well as the most recent one in 2014. So, that`s their plan. As far as whether or not the Senate can abide by that, our own Frank Thorpe, producer for NBC News over there, asked Mitch McConnell if that is, in fact, what the Senate was going to do, and he said on an elevator as the doors were closing, he nodded his head as yes, that is the plan that the Senate would take up this House three-week bill. So, what we`re going to see is the House move on this bill. They`re going to try and pass it with Republican support. I can tell you, the Democrats are whipping against it, and the idea is that this buys Boehner some time to be able to come up with a better way to allow the conservatives in the House GOP Conference to express more anger toward the president over those executive actions on immigration. Now, what happens in the Senate is very interesting question, because as you mentioned, they were moving forward on that clean funding of the Department of Homeland Security through September, the rest of the fiscal year. It remains to be seen how Mitch McConnell is going to change up the parliamentary procedural process, Ari. So, John Boehner buying himself some time, but I got to tell you -- you and I can be on television on March 20th having this same exact conversation, because as far as the overarching way to get out from this, the way to get out from this to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and stand up to the president over immigration, what Republicans want to do, no clear way how they do that over the long term, Ari. MELBER: Right, and that`s the problem with some of those short term band-aids. Luke Russert, thank you for your reporting. To reset here, how did we get to this point? Well, Republicans have been emphasizing they could not let the president`s action on immigration stand. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: We need to do this by passing the house measure that ensures spending at an important time with the critical needs of Homeland Security, but it would also stop the president`s illegal amnesty. We should not let that stand. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Not let it stand. That was the stated reason for this fight right now until just under two weeks ago when a federal judge ruled that Obama`s program would not stand. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLT: Little more than 24 hours before President Obama`s executive order was set to take effect, which would stop the deportation of some undocumented immigrants, a federal judge ruled that the president overstepped his authority. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And that is where we are now. The president`s entire executive order has been suspended by the courts. It`s not in place today. It will not be in place tomorrow, and that was the one thing Republicans were fighting to stop in this funding bill. That thing has been stopped and that change it appears was enough for Senate Republicans to move on, but it`s not enough for many House Republicans. They have made it clear they would right fight than win. Joining me now, Congressman Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama. Thanks for joining us on this busy evening. Let me start with that question to you. Since this executive action has been stopped by the courts, what are you fighting against now? REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: Well, you`re assuming that that`s a final order. It`s not a final order. It could be stayed tomorrow. MELBER: It could be stayed if it could go to the Fifth Circuit. Why not do something where you say we`re not going to fight over this unless it is reinstated? BROOKS: Because the principle here is one of the biggest principles we`re ever going to face in Washington, D.C. What do you do when a United States president violates federal law and disregards the United States Constitution? We`ve got the majority of the Representatives who believes that President Obama has done just that. Majority of the United States Senate that has said the same thing. Two federal court judges have said the same thing. One in Pennsylvania, and one in Texas. And for that matter, the president has said at least 22 times that his conduct is illegal and unconstitutional, yet he then did it. This is a major principle. It needs to be fought and addressed as quickly as possible in order to minimize the risk that there will be further illegal conducts spreading beyond what was seen so far. MELBER: What would you be defunding, though, if the program is not operative? BROOKS: Well, that`s the big if, OK? Tomorrow, it may be operative. It may be on Saturday or Sunday, because again, the federal judge`s decisions are not final. And until they are final, there is a risk that at any point in time, an appellate court or Supreme Court may decide to go ahead and enter a stay of the district court order in which case Barack Obama, as he`s shown in the past, is going to immediately implement what we believe and what he himself has said is illegal and unconstitutional conduct. (CROSSTALK) BROOKS: I took an oath of office to defend the Constitution. That`s what I`m going to do. MELBER: Sure. And to be fair to your point, the Justice Department is seeking that, so that could happen. Specifically on this vote tomorrow, are you going to be with John Boehner? Did you support this short-term step? BROOKS: Well, the vote tomorrow is a little bit like being a little bit pregnant. Either you are or you`re not. And if you vote tomorrow for this continuing resolution, and if the stay is lifted, then you will have voted to fund illegal unconstitutional action, and I`m not going to take that risk. I can only speak for myself. I can`t speak for other House members. I cannot speak for the United States Senate. We`ll see how it plays out. MELBER: Let me play for you some new sound from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on this debate. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: Have money, terrorists appear to have money. Why shouldn`t our homeland have the ability to protect itself? What is going on in the House? We have two leaders who haven`t talked to each other in two weeks. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And he mentions them not speaking two weeks, your leader Speaker Boehner there reportedly, in newspapers we`ve seen, said he hadn`t talked to McConnell in two weeks, which is weird. Your response? BROOKS: Well, I agree with Harry Reid. The Department of Homeland Security ought to be funded, and I wish Harry Reid would quit blocking that funding, by instead of funding the Department of Homeland Security, insisting on protecting illegal and unconstitutional conduct by the president of the United States, conduct which the president himself has admitted is illegal and unconstitutional. If those 61 Democrats who have publicly -- excuse me, 61 senators, Republicans and Democrats, who have said it is illegal and unconstitutional and an overreach, would have actions that are in accord with their words, then this would all be resolved in the United States Senate and resolved quickly. What we really need is the American people to decide whether they want to support America`s illegal conduct by this president and if they do not want to support illegal conduct, then they need to contact their House members and their senators and say enough is enough. First and foremost, we have to protect American jobs for American workers, American wages for American workers. MELBER: So, Congressman -- BROOKS: And quit putting illegal aliens on a pedestal above illegal aliens. MELBER: Well, that goes to the final question. I understand you say you`re speaking from principle on these issues. Final question, you mentioned the American public. Do you think that after these midterms and with basically a 60-vote edge in the House, controlling both chambers, that if the Homeland Security Department isn`t funded long term, this is something where you`re going to have to public behind you as one of the first moves at this Republican Congress? BROOKS: Well, with respect to the shutdown in 2013, the public remembered that we fought Obamacare. And as it was laid out, the polling quickly shifted because we fought on a matter of principle. If we`re going to fight tomorrow on protecting American jobs and putting American citizens first and foremost, struggling American families first and foremost, for the seeking of those jobs and obtained higher wages instead of uplifting illegal aliens as for some unfathomable reason the president of the United States wants to do, putting illegal aliens superior to American citizens, if that`s the ground that the Senate Democrats want to fight and defend on, I challenge them to do so and I welcome the 2016 election outcome. MELBER: All right. Sir, Congressman Mo Brooks, on a busy night, thank you for your time. President Obama also weighed in on what he wants Republicans to do last night on MSNBC. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we said to Republicans is, instead of trying to hold hostage the Department of Homeland Security, which is so important for our national security, fund that and let`s get on with actually passing comprehensive immigration reform. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And now, I`m delighted to bring in, Steve Kornacki, host of "UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI" on MSNBC. Your thoughts on the congressman`s view there? STEVE KORNACKI, UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI: Well, it`s very interesting what he`s telling you, that he plans to vote against this tomorrow. And this raises the question of how many Mo Brooks are there on the Republican side, because basically, the margin of error that Boehner and the Republican leadership are going to have tomorrow is about 30, about 30 Republicans they could afford to lose and still get this passed, assuming that every Democrat votes against it. They might be able to pick up a few sort of conservative Democrats. But, basically, if Mo Brooks is representative of several dozen Republican congressmen, that`s an open question right now. MELBER: Yes. KORNACKI: But if he is, there`s the possibility that this does not even get through the house tomorrow. Now, if it does get through the House tomorrow, as Luke is telling you, then there`s the question of what happens in the Senate. You have Mitch McConnell indicating some level of support for bringing this to the Senate floor. How do Democrats handle that? Is this DOA for the Democrats? Is this something they choose to fight on and say, we don`t want to pass a temporary extension? And, of course, if they do do the temporary, there is still no indication right now about how this gets resolved any other way than the impasse we have right now. MELBER: Right. And to your point, Steve, McConnell has held his caucus together, right? It`s the same old Boehner problem here, although he has a huge edge that he can work with. We wanted to hear from Mo Brooks because he`s the kind of member that may determine all of this. But there are other views in the House Republican caucus. I want to play for you Congressman Peter King, some remarks that have gotten a lot of attention. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: We are the ones that are the party of the homeland security. That`s why these people who say they are conservatives, who say they`re Republicans, they`re the ones who are really going to ruin the Republican Party. And so, we have to end this and the speaker has to bring this to a vote. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And the vote he is talking about is a clean vote. Fund this and move on. And so, the congressman`s point, Mo Brooks was saying, we want to disagree with this as a matter of precedent, you don`t have to do that on a funding bill. KORNACKI: Sure. I mean, this gets to the makeup of the Republican conference in the House. There are a lot more Mo Brooks in the Republican conference than there are Peter Kings. Peter King is sort of an outlier in the Republican conference, a Long Island Republican, up here from New York. Twenty years ago, Peter King made his name fighting against Newt Gingrich. He`s always been sort of the guy that separates himself from the national party, with things like this. So, the question again is, we know Peter King is going to be here. But where the Mo Brooks, the Ted Yohos from Florida, where these sort of very conservative, Huelskamp from Kansas, where are these people when it comes to this question? Look at the Boehner, the John Boehner is in constantly. This is the 20th time we have seen this since 2011, is he just -- he needs to get to a point with this, almost certainly. This is going to end at some point in the next few weeks, maybe the next few days, maybe the next few hours, with full funding for the Department of Homeland Security with basically no strings attached. The question is, when can Boehner safely push for that and not risk having an insurrection on the Republican side? When can he look at the Ted Yohos and the Mo Brooks and tell them and have them believe it, I went as far as I possibly could on this? MELBER: Well, and tell them as we have been reporting that the thing they`re trying to stop has been stopped. I understand the congressman`s point that it could restart. A lot of things could change in life and politics, but this is a phantom fight at this point. And one that we`re seeing may go down on to the wire. Steve Kornacki, as always, thanks for your analysis. We appreciate it. Now, what else was happening in Washington today? We`re going to check in on CPAC. That`s next. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Obamacare is a train wreck. SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Our lead-from-behind president. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Sometimes, people need to be told to sit down and shut up. (END VIDEO CLIPS) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Today was also the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC, the annual gather of thousands of conservative activists outside Washington. It has become a key test for the party`s presidential candidates. And most of the big names in the GOP presidential field are giving speeches or taking questions at CPAC this year, along with some of the party`s performer and pseudo-celebrities like Sara Palin, Donald Trump, and controversial "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson. They`re giving him an award, honoring him as a defender of the First Amendment. Now, speakers today took aim at Hillary Clinton, the media, and, of course, President Obama. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) UNDIENTIFIED MALE: Hello, CPAC, how you all doing? Give it up, Senator Cruz. CRUZ: Obamacare is a train wreck and that`s actually not fair to train wrecks. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: President Obama has disqualified himself and shown himself incapable of being our commander-in-chief. CHRISTIE: I went to my parish priest and I said to him, I`m giving up "The New York Times" for Lent. PALIN: Lecturing Christians to get off our high horse about radical Islam won`t stop the Islamists from killing Christians. Stop blaming the victim and wake up, Mr. President. JINDAL: Mr. President, I`ve got a deal for you. I`ll keep an eye for the medieval Christians. Why don`t you do your job and win the war against radical Islamic terrorists that we face today? CARLY FIORINA (R), FORMER U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity not an accomplishment. LAURA INGRAHAM, TV HOST: Sit down and shut up? I mean -- CHRISTIE: Yes. Well, sometimes, people need to be told to sit down and shut up. (END VIDEO CLIPS) MELBER: Now, we have a live report from CPAC when we come back, including an interview with an insider who knows the current presidential field, and a speech from the man who could be the new Republican frontrunner. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Chris Christie was among the GOP presidential hopefuls who spoke in front of thousands of activist at CPAC today and he was quick to argue that any boomlet for Jeb Bush is actually a bad thing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTIE: If the elites in Washington who make back room deals to decide who the president is going to be, then he`s definitely the frontrunner. If the people of the United States wanted to pick the next president of the United States and they want someone who looks at them in the eye, connects with them and is one of them, I`ll do OK if I run. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Now, consider will hear directly from Jeb tomorrow. He`s appearing in a discussion session with FOX News` Sean Hannity, that`s meant to burnish some of his conservative credentials before a crowd that may suspect he`s a secret moderate. Now, Bush is not expected to be a big favorite at CPAC. In fact, some attendees are now planning a walkout during his appearance. Bush`s allies reportedly already working to pack the room with supporters. Now, today, attendees also heard from a governor who didn`t need to take any special crowd-packing measures, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who put his domestic clash with organized labor in stark international terms. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not show up on American soil. We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Like many governors who have run for president before, there you see Walker testing out ways to build his foreign policy credentials and the GOP has spent both of Obama`s turns fixated on domestic fights, on health care, on jobs, on border patrol. But it looks like politics moves pretty fast and these primaries increasingly waiting into America`s role throughout the world. Joining me now, a GOP insider who is at today`s conference, Brian Darling. He recently left his post as senior communications director for Senator Rand Paul, and he`s now with Third Dimension Strategies. Good evening. BRIAN DARLING, FORMER RAND PAUL SR. COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Good evening. MELBER: So, Brian, you were there today. How did Scott Walker do and specifically, what did you think of his attempt to talk foreign policy? DARLING: Well, I thought he was very well-received. I think the crowd loved his energy and the fact that he took some shots and he was throwing out some red meat. I think that`s what these guys want to hear. That`s what the conservatives that come here, they want to hear a fiery speech with a lot of red meat. And on foreign policy I think, as you well know, conservatives like to hear the tough talk. MELBER: Yes. I mean, there`s something facile about the analogy of union organizers to whatever he was trying to get at, threats abroad, although I think to be fair, plenty of candidates use rhetoric especially when they`re trying to build up that toughness. It doesn`t tell when and how he`d actually deploy force. What do you think politically of the idea that he`s actually some sort of middle ground between Jeb and your old boss Rand Paul? DARLING: Yes. Well, maybe. I mean, what it`s going to come down to is these guys are all going to be pushing to be the alternative to Jeb Bush. I mean, they`re going to want this to put themselves out there, become that alternative just in case Jeb Bush has a hard time getting across the finish line, doesn`t have a good rollout, doesn`t have a good speech. And just stumbles on the way. He`s untested, so I think a lot of these guys are talking really tough now, and they want to be that candidate. Now, obviously, Rand Paul has got a different view on foreign policy. He`s going to be pushing against many in the Republican Party, but most of the American people I think agree with Rand Paul, that the endless wars, the nation-building, it has not been a good idea. And he`s looking to break down a lot of the traditional lines that we have seen and be a different kind of candidate and win the Republican primary and then move on and have this outreach effort to many constituencies that haven`t been favorable to Republicans in the past. MELBER: Yes. And Rand Paul has won this straw poll at previous CPACs. Do you think that Rand Paul -- we have seen there in 2014 and 2013, Rand Paul`s father, of course, doing well earlier. Do you think there`s any kind of emerging libertarian consensus at CPAC this year, and specifically on the president`s proposal for new war powers against ISIS on a three-year basis? Is that getting talked about in the hall? Did you hear anything about that today? DARLING: A little bit. I mean, I think your libertarian-minded people that are here, they are really worried about opening up a new front on the war on terror because they are worried about an endless war. They understand, I mean, Rand Paul himself has put forward the war resolution, saying that, you know, we need to declare war against ISIS. But the concern is, you look back at Afghanistan. You look back at Iraq. And the endless wars, the fact that we still have those AUMFs on the books, I think people have concerns about that. They were against the idea of nation-building during the Clinton years. They`re against the idea of nation-building, and using our forces for that purpose. I think also, Rand Paul is going to have a lot of sympathy for his push for criminal justice reform. I think people are -- they`re looking at that in a different way. You look at the polling data. The American people are moving towards the idea that criminal justice reform is a popular, popular idea and even conservatives are coming around. MELBER: Brian Darling, live from CPAC, thank you for joining us tonight. DARLING: Thank you. MELBER: Still ahead, the breaking news this afternoon that brought offices around the country to a standstill that killed productivity. Yes, the great llama chase of 2015. You don`t want to miss this, it`s straight ahead. (COMMERCIA LBREAK) MELBER: People all over the world have seen this man, Jihadi John. That is the masked executioner in those ISIS propaganda videos. He`s taunted Americans and President Obama in his distinct British accent. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIHADI JOHN: We are an Islamic army and a state. I`m back, Obama. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: We`re not going to show you too much of those propaganda videos. And at the same time that the FBI arrested three Brooklyn men accused of a plot to join ISIS this week stoking concerns about recruitment at home. Now, intelligence sources are confirming the identity of Jihadi John. He is Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old British citizen born in Kuwait. Authorities believe he went to Syria around 2012. One British human rights worker who knew him believes he embraced radicalization after interacting with British security. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASIM QURESHI, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CAGE: Mohammed is a person I have spent a great deal of time with, a period of over two years, because he came to me complaining initially of harassment that he had faced at the hands of security agencies, that every single time, the U.K. security agencies were there blocking him, stopping him, without ever bringing any kind of criminal case against him. And eventually, after this extremely long period of time, Mohammed leaves his family and the next thing they hear is that he`s ended up in Syria. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Broadly, 600 foreign fighters have left the U.K. to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria. That`s just since the end of 2013. Just last week, three British schoolgirls, age 15 and 16, were stopped at the London airport boarding a plane to turkey. They are now believed to have also crossed in Syria. For disaffected young Westerners who do want to join ISIS, you can see two paths here. They can end up like Jihadi John, harden terrorists working with ISIS to murder people. Or they can end up like one of these suspects in Brooklyn, pulled off of the jetway, arrested, now awaiting their fates in an American courtroom. Joining me now, counterterrorism intelligence expert, Malcolm Nance, author of The Terrorists of Iraq. Good evening to you. From a security perspective, what is the difference in those two fates for young people in the west who want to join these kind of groups. MALCOM NANCE, COUNTERTERRORISM INTELLIGENCE EXPERT: Well, the best difference is that U.S. intelligence and FBI manage to intercept these gentleman before at least two of them made their way over to ISIS, which is precisely where they wanted to go. They wanted to fly to Turkey and then go onto Syria and join the Jihad, which would have made them full blown members of the organization, and they would be fighting as terrorist combatants against the United States and it`s interest. So, pulling them off the jetway is the way that we want to do it, rather than have to expend a laser guided bomb to do the solution for us. MELBER: Right. You mentioned bombing them, trying to take them out if they do make it over there. The other issue that we see with Jihadi John is the idea that there may be some sort of propaganda benefit to addressing and demystifying him. I want to read to you one view on that. Saying that "Emwazi`s unmasking could dent the effectiveness of the beheading videos as an ISIS propaganda tool," that`s according to Ross Frenett, who works against violence extremist at a part of a network in London. He says, "This will demystify Jihadi John, make him less of a scary character. He`s become almost like a super-villain character, a hero in the eyes of jihadists. Know who he really is strips away some of his power." Do you agree? NANCE: Well, I agree that it will strip away a little bit of his power, but the thing that empowered Jihadi John was the news media, and the news media making him this super character. This is not the first time that we`ve ever seen a beheading. We`ve had Nick Berg in Iraq beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zargawi. There are hundreds of people within the Al Qaeda organization and now ISIS, the follow on, who do this. So, what you may do, what you may see, is that the ISIS organization may move away from their star pupil and may start doing mass executions to get your attention. MELBER: Let me follow the thread of your criticism. We have, of course, standards. We don`t show very much of these videos, but we do cover it a lot. Do we, in the media, broadly speaking, American media. Are we covering this the wrong way? Are we giving them too much attention? NANCE: I think we are covering them in the wrong way. The first criticism that have on the media, is the very fact that when ISIS carried out it`s operations last June, the news media has, from that time and today, have been reporting as if this group never existed before. This is Al Qaeda and Iraq. The same group that was formed in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq. They changed their name, they have changed their organizational structure to bring in Iraqis on as the leadership as far back as 2006. They had this name, Islamic State of Iraq. And, suddenly, because they take terrain, which was significant but it was built up over several years, as I describe in my book, this group we have fought from 2003 to 2011 using U.S. forces and now, what we`re doing is fighting them again. MELBER: And to your point on the antecedence, I want to put up on the screen a RAND study since 9/11 that shows where these fighters are going from the west. They`re going to Somalia. They`re going to Pakistan. They`re going to Afghanistan. Syria does not even lead the charge there. And that goes to, I believe part of your point, which is as a quantitative and historical matter, there is nothing absolutely new or special about some people in the west going into the Middle East to join these fights. NANCE: Well, for some people it is a necessary evil to now describe Syria as, you know it is, in fact, a new Jihad zone for the Al Qaeda organization and, now, ISIL. But, these Jihad zones have existed since 1988 when Osama Bin Laden created this global Jihad in order to establish an Islamic caliphate from Morocco all the way out to Indonesia and then, eventually, on the rest of the world. So now what we`re seeing is we`re seeing this play out in Syria, they have taken terrain, and now you have fighters who will start filtering in from various different areas. And you`ll also see these affiliates come in and dedicate themselves in the name of Isil instead of Al Qaeda, but it`s all the same ideology. MELBER: Malcolm Nance, appreciate your expertise and your criticism tonight, thank you. NANCE: My pleasure. MELBER: An election result shocker in Chicago as President Obama`s own candidate failing to avoid a runoff, and the man who made it happen will be here. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Obama says Emanuel is the mayor we need. BARRACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`s making sure every Chicagoan, in every neighborhood gets the fair shot at success that they deserve. Before Rahm Emanuel was Mayor of Chicago, he was a key part of my team at the White House. And let`s be honest, at times the guy can be a little hard headed. But there is a reason that Rahm fights as hard as he does. He loves our city. MELBER: Rahm Emanuel had more than a leg up in his campaign for reelection this year. He had the backing of the most powerful Democrat in the nation and the most beloved Democrat in Chicago. You saw it their, Barrack Obama. But that wasn`t the only president that Rahm had behind him. There were a lot of Benjamins. He raised four times as much money as his challengers combined, and just this week Emanuel thought it wasn`t enough as he failed to earn enough votes to win a second term outright. Now he finds himself headed for an April 7th runoff against the second place finisher, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. It is the first time Chicago has even seen a runoff for mayor since the city switched over to nonpartisan elections back in 1999. So, we begin with a question. Why is an incumbent with so many advantages having so much trouble. Joining me, someone who knows all about it, Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize winning, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Literally, no better person for the story. What is going on there in Chicago? CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Well, both a shocker and also a certain inevitability to it. The fact is is that the city is broke, deeply in debt, so is the state, and that was true when Rahm was elected. The biggest surprise here is that he was elected by such a tremendous landslide four years ago against three opponents. And this time, four years later, it was a low turn out election. He wasn`t able to get, well barely more than 40% of the vote, let alone the 50% plus one that he needed for reelection. And that`s largely because fundamentally, the city is in such a bad shape that a mayor can only do unpopular things, like raise taxes and fees, or cut budgets, and, in Rahm`s case, closing schools proved to be kryptonite for his mayoral office, and now he has to try to fight his way back. MELBER: And do you think the schools and the sort of feeling that he went too hard against basically poorer, minority communities is the problem here, or is it a lot more complex because of the larger economic trends you mention. PAGE: Well, I compare it to a Washington DC and their former mayor, Adrian Fenty. You recall the nationally famous, he and Michelle Rhee, his school superintendent, he had to close schools too, and just the way that it was done riles people up. That happened in Chicago, too. I don`t care if you`re 40 years out of high school, you don`t like to see your old high school close down. Even if you don`t live in that area any more. And that`s the kind of thing that happened in Chicago. That combined with the mayor, Mayor Emanuel, getting into fierce battles with Karen Lewis, head of the teachers union, and resulted in the first teacher`s strike. MELBER: Yeah, Clarence you mention that fight, and that is the other thing I want to ask you is, okay, you got to do hard things, sure. But is he doing them in a soft, or compassionate way? Because for those of us who interacted with Mr. Emanuel for awhile, that has never been a strong suit of his. PAGE: That`s right. That was what was the hidden message. Not terribly subtle in that campaign add where President Obama said hey, the guy can be a little headed. He was not -- what everybody knows already. But the people knew that when they elected him. This is what`s interesting to me because, the Chicagoans knew that he could be an S.O.B. sometimes, but that`s what they wanted because they knew some tough decisions had to be made. So that didn`t hurt him four years ago. But now that they`ve been, in many cases felt the brunt of it, especially the teachers union and a number of other people out in the neighborhoods, now Obama -- rather Rahm is coming out at the losing end on that. And we can`t forget, of course, the serge in violent crimes that occurred over the last four years. He has yet to get a real good handle on that, so that didn`t help him either. MELBER: Yeah, I want to get to that, but to your point, Clarence, people knew this man so there may be buyers remorse but there wasn`t really false advertising. I want you to stay with us because the man who could give Mayor Rahm Emanuel the run of his political life will be here with Clarence. That`s straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MURIEL BOWSER, MAYOR OF WASHINGTON D.C.: We believe that we`re on very strong legal ground where we stand. We believe that we`re acting lawfully, so I have a lot of things to do here in the District of Colombia and me being in jail wouldn`t be a good thing. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: The Mayor of Washington D.C. there, facing the threat of potential jail time because two congressmen are accusing her of engaging in a quote "knowing and willful violation of the law" because a new law, now approved actually by two-thirds of Washington D.C. voters last November that legalizes pot. As of midnight last night in Washington D.C., if you were 21 years old, you could posses up to two ounces of pot, you can give away up to an ounce, and you can personally grow up to six seedlings, including three mature plants. So will those two congressmen get their wish? Will they actually find someway to throw the mayor of D.C. in jail for violating the city`s marijuana laws in this federal intersection? Well, the mayor herself will actually respond in 15 minutes on the Rachel Maddow show. So stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Back to our coverage of the Chicago mayor`s race. Joining me now, club county commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who will face Rahm Emanuel in an April runoff for mayor, and, still with us, Chicago expert among many other things, Clarence Page. Thank you both. Jesus, let me start with you. Did Rahm Emanuel fail Chicago? JESUS "CHUY" GARCIA, CLUB COUNTY COMMISSIONER, CHICAGO: Yes he did. When he ran for mayor he said he would make the city safer, fix it`s schools and put it`s fiscal house in order. That sounds like a strike three. Not only did he fail to live on those commitments, but he also engaged in, or course, in favoring many friends and amassing a huge war chest, having collected over 32 million dollars over the past five years that he used to get elected and reelected. He spent 14 million dollars in the last four months. He ran ads nonstop since Thanksgiving, and still came up short. This is an incumbent with lots of money, you know he`s got a serious problem. MELBER: Yeah, you mentioned money and the impact there in this race. Did you review that he was incompetent in his reforms in the city or that he was simply too focused on what might have been good for downtown, or wealthier parts of the city and not the whole city. GARCIA: I think he was out of touch, not having grown up in the city of Chicago. His priorities were essentially investing mostly in the downtown area, which comprises, coincidentally, 1% of the city`s land mass, and, as we learned in a series that the Chicago Tribune did, he spent most of his time meeting with honchos, going to D.C. and, essentially engaging in taking huge donations from out of towners with hedge fund managers, large corporations, giving them, in return, contracts, appointments, a variety of benefits, and I think when people learned about this they really took note that of the fact that this is a mayor who rarely comes to the neighborhoods, doesn`t engage people, and his priorities are out of touch with ordinary Chicagoans. When the school closings were announced -- MELBER: Let me interject. I want to interject. Turning from that critique to also some of what you did in bringing Clarence back in, the Chicago Tribune talked about, Jesus, how you did in your runoff, in the runoff race here, unofficial results showing that you eclipsed Emanuel in 15 of the city`s 50 wards, despite being outspent, including 11 or 12 overwhelming Latino wards. Clarence, how much of this in such a diverse and evolving city like Chicago is about Rahm Emanuel failing to hold together his sort of multiracial coalition. PAGE: Well, I think that`s a very significant, so was the low turnout. If people weren`t turned against Rahm Emanuel, they lost a lot of faith in him. Meanwhile, Jesus Garcia, I have been covering him since the early `80s. At least back when you were with Harold Washington`s campaign, "Chuy", and you have a lot of goodwill that you`ve built up over the years in the neighborhoods. At the same time, it is going to be an uphill race, of course, because not that many Chicagoans these days know "Chuy" Garcia. Never the less, I think he picked up where Karen Lewis left off. She was a teacher`s union head and she had to drop out of possible contention in this race because of health reasons. And, in many ways, "Chuy" Garcia picked up many of those union people and other folks there in Chicago who wanted an alternative to Rahm Emanuel. MELBER: Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Clarence Page, thanks for joining us. I will mention that Rahm Emanuel has an open invite if he wants to respond to anything. Still ahead why all productivity came to a grinding halt in the office today. Jack Hanna is here to talk yes, llamas on the lamb. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Here we go. There was a real, live, wild goose chase this afternoon that captivated the nation, or at least a wild llama chase. You can see it there. Two escaped llamas galloping across Sun City, Arizona, and sometimes just sort of walking around as they lead police on an unusual, and yes, at times adorable chase. The llamas escaped a trailer that was near a retirement center where they were scheduled to do sort of a good will visit. People called the police about an hour after trying to capture them and the local news sent out the helicopters and soon, every animal lover with T.V. or an internet could watch the spectacle live. People saw neighbors trying pitch in and contain the animals by blocking off roads but the llamas were too agile. And, on the internet and social media sites commentary and celebration of the event overflowed. In fact, the NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers posted that with their first pick in the draft they wanted the white llama. And the Arizona Cardinals quickly dispelled the rumor that the llamas would be moving to Florida, tweeting that the team had agreed to one year deals with the two. And the chase did come to an end. The llamas were recovered all without major injury or incident, but questions remain like why are llamas so fun to watch on the loose? And how fast are they for real? Well, we called in our next guest, Jungle Jack Hanna, director of Meritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and host of the show, Jack Hanna`s Into the Wild. Your thoughts on this amazing little chase today that a lot of people were watching? JACK HANNA, TV MELBER: Well I`ll tell you one thing, what I worried about watching all this was in the traffic, all the cars. What would happen if these animals got hurt or something. But I found out something several hours ago you won`t believe. They had already signed up for ollama care, can you imagine that? Ollama care, they didn`t have to worry about getting hit by a car. MELBER: I had not heard that. HANNA: Isn`t that amazing to you? MELBER: Not only is it amazing, that`s one of the -- HANNA: I know. I just got on the news. MELBER: It`s one of the only llama puns I hadn`t heard today. Tell us, though, about how this works. I mean, let me start with a simple question of why are they so hard for humans to catch? HANNA: Well, I raised llamas in Tennessee as a young boy, a young man, at 21 years old when I was first married. And llamas, I had like 10 of them. I love llamas. But everyone, you have to understand something. These animals are animals. They`re great pack animals. By the way, in Montana where I hike a lot, but the one thing that happened to me in -- I love llamas, so don`t anyone write letters. I`m telling you that my wife, we were feeding Ole Leary, my favorite llama, he was a male. She walked away from him, the llama turned around, all of the women, the females were in cycle, and jumped on her back like -- they take the front legs and go like this. Hit her right in the kidneys at seven months pregnant. And I thought for sure, we lost something. I`m not saying every llama does that. I`m just saying that these animals, that you know their beautiful animals just be careful of them. MELBER: No, well that`s a harrowing story. And I got to ask you then, when you looked at this incident which of course did end fine and everyone enjoyed it and had a lot of fun online, but to the serious point you are raising, when civilians or untrained people were trying to help out, is that a bad idea? HANNA: I don`t think it`s a bad idea as long as they understand that these are animals that are upset, they`re running like this. Thank god everybody did try to help out. But remember something, llamas can also bite, like I do a lot of camel safaris, just like any animal, a horse, whatever. They are all great animals but you put a horse in a situation like this, out there traffic flying all over the place, you know I really was worried, in all seriousness, about something happening, or somebody getting bitten by the llama. Getting spit on -- somebody said oh my gosh a llama will spit on you. Yeah, I`ve been spit on so much, it like, tobacco going in your face or something. Chewed up, you know, whatever. It smells, it`s slimy and green, but you know, you`re not going to die from it. But they -- you only get spit on, that, I`m surprised that nobody got spit on or bitten, you know, trying to get the animals. But, thank god they did get them because you get an animal riled up like that and there is no telling what could happen. MELBER: What is the big difference, this came up today as well, between llamas, alpacas, and camels? HANNA: David Letterman called me a walking encyclopedia of misinformation. Now, a llama is a great pack animal. An alpaca is also different type of coat on the animal. A lot of people today are raising alpacas. They`re beautiful little creatures, they really are. And then you have the guanaco as well. So, all of them are in the same family, just different looks, different hair type of situation and that type of thing. Actually, the alpacas seem to big business in this country right now. As a matter of fact, in Montana where I live part time in my little farm, I want to start raising alpacas and maybe a llama or two because that`s how I got started in 1960`s raising these creatures. And I love them. I was fascinated watching this whole thing, making sure that these animals were -- they did everything they could to make sure they weren`t hit by a car or something and it was amazing they weren`t. MELBER: Now if they had escaped completely, and evaded capture, could they just live and make it like stray dogs? HANNA: Oh, yeah. You know -- out there, as long as they have grass or even weeds to eat, that`s the least of my worries. They have some water, you know, they can go quite a -- it`s not like a camel, but they can go quite a long time. These animals would have survived quite longer than maybe a horse or other animals is my personal opinion, if they got out there and they couldn`t catch them. MELBER: Well I know you know a lot about this and people have relied on you throughout the ages for this, so thank you for giving us all the info tonight, Jack Hanna. HANNA: Thanks a lot. HOTS: You bet. Alright, that is it for All In this evening. I hope you enjoyed all of our stories including our special report on the llama coverage there. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now. Good evening Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END