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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/13/15

Guests: Karen DeYoung, Greg Whiteley, Adjoa Adofo

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Ron Insana and Raj Patel. Ron Insana does not agree with that last point. INSANA: No. HAYES: Let the record reflect. Thank you, gentlemen, both. That is ALL IN for this evening. The "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: How did you only lose four nuggets to the crew? (LAUGHTER) HAYES: Well, I yanked (ph) it back because it disappeared and then I was, like, no, no, I wanted it on the set for a second and they came back a little lighter. MADDOW: It was almost impossible for me to not abandon my illustrious make-up job and run into your set and take one. So anyway, thank you. HAYES: Man, that`s old. OK. MADDOW: That would have been bad. Sorry. Yes. Yes, that. You know what, I don`t feel like I need one. HAYES: You don`t. MADDOW: You cured me. Thanks, man. HAYES: That is so gross. Good night. MADDOW: Terrible. Thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. Happy Tuesday. All right. Three days after 9/11, on September 14th, 2001, Congress voted on an authorization to use military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Again, it was just three days after 9/11 happened. The vote in the Senate on that resolution was 98 to zero. The vote in the House on that resolution was 420 to one. Those one number of Congress who dissent it, and she was brave enough to not just vote no quietly, when everybody else voted yes, she also was brave enough to stand on the floor of the House and give a speech explaining why she was voting that way when nobody else was. She rose. She is a strong person and a very clear speaker, and has been throughout her career. But when she stood up to give that speech, that day, three days after 9/11, her voice shook with emotion and with recognition of the seriousness of what she was about to do. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. TOM LANTOS (D), CALIFORNIA: The gentlewoman from California is recognized for a minute and a half. REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. And I want to thank Ranking Member and my friend for yielding. Mr. Speaker, members, I rise today really with a very heavy heart. One that is filled with sorrow for the families and the loved ones who were killed and injured this week. Only the most foolish and the most callused would not understand the grief that has really gripped our people and millions across the world. This unspeakable act on the United States, it`s really forced me, however, to rely on my moral compass, my conscience, and my God, for directions. September 11th changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, three days after 9/11. Through the emotion in her voice there, she was the one single vote in Congress, in either House of Congress, against using military force as our response to 9/11. She said she didn`t believe that war would be the way to stop terrorist attacks. She was the only one. Today, six days after terrorist attacks hit the nation of France, today this happened in the French Parliament. They were holding a moment of silence for the victims of last week`s attacks. And then about 30 seconds into the moments of silent, you`ll see in the footage here, it`s interesting. You see members of parliament all turned their heads to the side as they start listening. As first one member of parliaments starts singing and then they all join in. They`re singing the French national anthem. The last time this happened, the last time the parliament of France spontaneously started singing the national anthem was 1918 when they announced the armistice that ended World War I. That is the last time that happened in France before it happened today. And after that remarkable patriotic moment today in the French Parliament, they took a vote. They took a vote on military force against ISIS. On re- upping their country`s authorization to use military force to fight against ISIS, specifically in Iraq. And what happened in that vote today was shades of Barbara Lee. The vote to reauthorize French bombing raids against ISIS today was 488 in favor and one opposed. The one member of parliament who voted no said he voted no because he didn`t think that bombing in the Middle East would reduce the likelihood of more terrorist attacks at home. He said what happened these past weeks -- this past week showed that France could not protect itself at home and that`s what France should focus on. He was the one against 488 to one was that vote today. Well, that happened in the French Parliament today. Online today, the terrorist group ISIS released a video that appears to show a young boy. He`s maybe 9 or 10 years old. It appears to show that kid executing two men. The video was about seven minutes long, seven and a half minutes. It`s in Russian language. The men who appeared to be killed in the video, it appears that they are shot in the head by this young kid wielding a pistol. The kid is sort of tapped on the shoulder and urged to go ahead with the apparent execution by the adult bearded ISIS guy who you see in this freeze frame here. The two victims in the video appear to be Russian-speaking men. They`re accused to be -- being Russian spies. This appears to be -- the kid who shows up in this ISIS video that was released today, he appears to be the same kid who appears multiple times in a very high production values ISIS video that ISIS -- that they released in November. In that video the kid says that he was from Kazakhstan. He does a pretty extensive interview about his enthusiasm for ISIS. He shows up his riffle skills and he explains that he looks forward to killing the infidels as he grows up. This is not the first time that ISIS has showcased kids in their propaganda. It is part of how they aim to terrorize. I mean, obviously part of it is this idea that they will be a multigenerational threat, all these kids grow up to be liked, but part of the threat is also that they`re so fervent, right? That they have no qualms about using kids as fighters. That their moral sense doesn`t prevent them from using kids this way. And then, you know, they are not alone. Boko Haram in Nigeria is said to have used a girl as a suicide bomber this weekend who is possibly as young as 10. this week ran an assortment of ISIS photos of kids that have been posted online and on ISIS social media accounts. The use of kids in their propaganda and indeed, at least they want to be seen in their fighting. And this is part of how they want to be viewed, it`s part of why they want to be feared. Up to and including this video today that at least purported to show a child being used as a gunman, being used as an executioner of two men. Today in Chicago, though, one mother of an American teenager, a mother of a 19-year-old boy who tried to leave the United States reportedly to go fight with ISIS. Today Zarine Khan, this Illinois mother, made a public plea to ISIS, made a public plea to ISIS, to the leader of ISIS, to Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, to please stop targeting kids as ISIS recruits. Zarine Khan`s son was 19 years old when he was arrested in Chicago`s O`Hare Airport in October. He was reportedly attempting to fly to Istanbul, and then allegedly on to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic states. He left behind the long letter explaining to his parents why he wanted to join ISIS, why he was leaving the United States. He`s also accused of having recruited his own 17-year-old sister and his own 16-year-old brother to go with him, to go join the Islamic State. Federal authorities caught him at O`Hare, they charged him with attempting to provide a material support to a terrorist group. Today in Federal Court in Chicago that 19-year-old plead not guilty to those federal charges. His parents, his mother, specifically then made this public plea condemning specifically the terrorist attacks in France this past week, but then also pleading with ISIS, pleading with the leader of ISIS, calling him by name, pleading that ISIS should stop at trying to attract young people and children into their ranks. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZARINE KHAN, MOTHER OF TEEN IN ISLAMIC STATE: We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. We condemn the brutal tactics of ISIS and groups like it. And we condemn the brainwashing and recruiting of children through the use of social media and the Internet. And we have a message for ISIS, Mr. Baghdadi and his fellow social media recruiters, leave our children alone. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: "Leave our children alone," she says. But her son, both of her sons, and her daughter are alleged to have tried to leave this country to go fight with ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Even though the eldest son got caught and none of them ever made it there. Whether or not it`s working, the fight against ISIS is in part a military fight that`s being waged both in Iraq and Syria. France today voted overwhelmingly to re-up its own authorization for the French component of the military fight against ISIS in the Middle East. For our part, the United States government has never bothered to even debate this issue, let alone vote on it. President Obama met with top Democrats and top Republicans from both Houses of Congress today. The White House gave a written readout; they call it readout to the press afterwards, describing what happened at that meeting. The White House readout said that one of the things the leadership talked about -- talking about with President Obama was the prospect of a debate, and maybe even a vote about whether to authorize the U.S. military fight against ISIS, in Iraq and Syria. But apparently, there is no rush and no immediate expectation of any action. Let alone even a debate. For all of the chest pounding and concern and expressions of outrage and sympathy about ISIS, and what they have done about what just happened in France, why is that there is no real inclination in Washington to debate what our country is doing to fight against ISIS? I mean, we do have a policy for fighting ISIS. Literally fighting them using the U.S. military. It`s a policy that is on autopilot and that has been on autopilot for five months while our elected officials have said nothing about it and they apparently have no urgent plans to do so. It`s remarkable in context, right? I mean, maybe nobody in Congress cares. Maybe, maybe benefit of the doubt here, maybe they think that the U.S. military bombing campaign against ISIS has nothing to do with ISIS` ability to carry out or inspire terrorist attacks around the world. Maybe they believe that. But if that`s the case, then still we`re back to the rather important question of why we`re doing it then. The vote on that issue in France today, after singing the national anthem in parliament for the first time in 100 years, that vote in France today was again shades of Barbara Lee, right? It was one vote against and 488 votes in favor. The vote on this same issue so far in Washington is zero to zero to zero. So far our politicians do not even care enough to ask the question. Even with everything else they want to talk about happen to do with ISIS and terrorism and all the rest. Joining us now is Karen DeYoung, senior international security correspondent and associate editor at the "Washington Post." Miss DeYoung, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your time tonight. KAREN DEYOUNG, "WASHINGTON POST" SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: My pleasure. MADDOW: So we got this readout tonight following the president`s meeting with congressional leaders. They continue to say that an authorization for the military, use of military force against ISIS targets will be discussed perhaps in coming weeks. Do we have any meet on the bones in terms of how that`s going to proceed or at what phase? DEYOUNG: Well, I think you have to go back to where this discussion started. A year and a half ago, the president gave a speech and said -- before the war against ISIS started. And said that he felt that this 2001 authorization that you spoke about, which is specifically against al Qaeda, and has been used to target not only al Qaeda but what the administration has called associated groups which are groups in Yemen and Somalia, in Pakistan. President Obama said this is outdated. We have decimated the leadership of al Qaeda, and yet there are new groups rising up. And so we need a different authorization to match the new threats that we have. And so he said, I`m ready to work with Congress to do this. And then he said it again kind of in the middle of last year, he said again, we really need to work on this, and then said it again when he announced the airstrikes on Iraq and on Syria. Congress says they`ve been waiting for the president so send over some language on this. The president says he`s waiting for Congress to propose something on it. I think that on both sides they see it as a bit of a trap. The administration believes that if they propose something, it will be used by Republicans who like to attack whatever the president proposes in order to attack his policy in some way. Those in Congress who want a new resolution are divided over what they wanted to say. There was actually a small debate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December. MADDOW: Yes. In the lame-duck period. That`s right. Yes. DEYOUNG: Right. Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Menendez from New Jersey. There are people who have tried to push a resolution and they actually wrote up a couple of them and they had a debate and they got John Kerry to come and testify. He didn`t particularly like the resolution that they were proposing. Number one, because it said, the president was prohibited from putting any boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Obviously, the president himself who said he doesn`t want any boots on the ground. And then he`s not going to send them. But John Kerry said, don`t tie our hands. It said that -- they eventually passed a resolution. It said that it would expire after three years. Well, the administration is not too happy about that. But look at the way it passed. It passed with all Democratic votes and no Republican votes. And the reason the Republicans said they didn`t vote for it was with one exception, they thought it was too narrowing. They wanted the president to have more power. The one exception was Senator Rand Paul who said that he thought it was too broad. He wanted the president to have less power because he said just as the administration has used the al Qaeda resolution to go far field in the world that by saying the president can fight ISIS wherever he finds it. That would allow the president to go into all different kinds of places that we can`t even foresee right now. So I think what happened today is it came up and both sides again said yes, we really want to get this done. But it`s a sort of Alphonse-Gaston routine. Nobody wants to be the first one to actually propose any wording that could be debated. MADDOW: Karen, you`re so experienced and so well-sourced on national security issues and having seen these things play out in different context over time, if you had to take a guess as to whether or not the Congress is going to vote on that, and when it would happen, when do -- when would you guess it would happen given those constraints that you just described? DEYOUNG: I think -- I think it probably will happen. You know, the administration, while it has said it wants to get rid of the resolutions it has, it says that they are enough to give it the power to do what it`s doing now. So it really -- you know the president has been a little schizophrenic about this, he said, "Well, I don`t really need a new authorization, but it would be nice to have a new authorization. MADDOW: Right. DEYOUNG: And so I think eventually they will come up with one. I think this bill that the Senate voted, the White House will quietly make it clear what parts of it, it doesn`t like. Interestingly enough, it`s probably the Republicans that are going to give him the most support on it because they`re the ones who`ve been most talkish and want to kind of expand the authorities for this, and of course they`re in the majority now. MADDOW: Karen DeYoung, senior national security correspondent and associate editor at the "Washington Post." It`s a real honor to have you here, Karen, thanks very much for being here. DEYOUNG: Thanks. MADDOW: I have to say, you know, people talk sometimes, particularly on the left, and I`ve been guilty of this myself, to talking about Washington being a post policy place. Washington being a place where essentially there is pure politics, freed from any friction of actually having any real consequence in the world. The one place where you can see that more clear than anything in the world is the amount of words, the contrast between the number of words and the number of political allegations made around issues like terrorism and the absolute lack of any substantive interest in passing any policy or even debating any policy, that has any meaningful effect in what we do about it. It`s says if Washington has nothing to do with the world at large in terms of how America acts on this issue that they supposedly care so much about. If it -- it happens in the next six months I`ll be surprised. Stay with us. We`ll be back. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEE: However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, "Let`s step back for a moment. Let`s just pause just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the matter with him? (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Pearson, what`s wrong? Is that a tie-dye shirt? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. That`s just like an act for the authorities. ISAAC-DAVY ARONSON, TRMS PRODUCER: I don`t even want to see the photo. I just want to imagine it. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: There is some strange breaking news to report tonight about the top Republican in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner, and a threat that was allegedly made against his life. As I said this is a strange story and it`s one that is still developing. But there is a man in custody tonight, there is a grand jury indictment in this case that has just been filed and the story starts right here. This is the Weatherington Golf and Country Club in Westchester, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. This is the country club that John Boehner is a member of back home in Ohio. Several days ago, federal prosecutors indicted a former bartender at this country club in Ohio. They indicted him for threatening to kill John Boehner. According to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI, this past October, the bartender called 911, he gave the 911 dispatcher his first name, Mike, and he told the dispatcher to tell his father that he was sorry. Then he hung up. Police unsurprisingly checked it out. When police arrived at his home, he told them that he`d just been fired from his job at the aforementioned country club. He also told police that he was going to kill House Speaker John Boehner because Mr. Boehner, he said, had been mean to him at the country club and was somehow responsible for the man being fired. For context of those remarks, though, consider also that the man told police that John Boehner is the devil. That specifically John Boehner is also responsible for Ebola. Police say he also told them that he, himself, is Jesus Christ. Now the suspect in this case has been hospitalized for a psychotic episode in the past. That apparently was not enough to keep him from obtaining at least two guns. The man told police after that 911 call that he was in possession of a loaded Berretta 38 handgun and that he was going to shoot John Boehner with that handgun. A police search warrant of the suspect`s house ultimately did turn up a 38 Berretta handgun as well as a bunch of different kinds of ammunition. An ammunition magazines for an SKS assault rifle, three boxes of different types of ammunition, as well as a bunch of loose rounds of ammunition and a speed loader, presumably for the assault rifle`s magazine, although I don`t know that for sure. They later visited the man`s mother in Hebron, Kentucky. She says she took her son`s assault rifle out of his house while he was away because she was worried about his state of mind. Thank God for his mom, if not the law. When they did find the handgun that the man still did have in his house, the one he said he was going to use to kill John Boehner, the handgun was apparently stored alongside a notebook, containing the words "John Boehner" and "Ebola" as well two envelopes that contained lists of members of the country club. Now after the man told police that he -- after the man called 911, he told them that he called police in the first place because he believed that evil people were going to come chop him up. He said he was trying to expose the devil, AKA John Boehner. The man then volunteered to be taken to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation once more. As I said this is a strange case. And it seems like this is a guy who`s got mental problems. But the man did have longstanding and repeated access to John Boehner at that country club where he worked and where John Boehner was a member and apparently a frequent attendee. When the man first called police, the FBI affidavit that we`ve seen today says that the man complained in his initial interaction with police that because he had just been fired from the country club, he, quote, "did not have time to put something in John Boehner`s drink." He was a bartender at the club. Apparently, investigators interviewed John Boehner back in October about the case. He stated that he did know the bartender from the country club, but he said he`d never recall any negative interactions with the bartender. A spokesperson for the House Speaker says tonight that the speaker is aware of the situation. He thanks investigators for their efforts in the case. But again the very strange breaking news tonight from the FBI is that an Ohio man has now been charged with threatening to murder a U.S. official specifically the top Republican in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner. That grand jury indictment against the man apparently filed tonight. We`ll bring you more on the story if and when we learn more. But important bottom line here is that the man in question is in custody right now. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: A quick but important update today, potentially a life-changing update on the case of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia. As you know, he was sentenced last week, two years in federal prison, after being convicted on multiple counts of public corruption while in office. An important part of the sentencing faze in that case was that Governor McDonnell ask the court to let him stay out of prison, out on bail, while he appealed his conviction. Well, today, the federal judge in his case said no, request denied, which means that absent some kind of future reversal of this decision, former Governor Bob McDonnell will start serving his time in prison very, very soon. He`s due to start his prison sentence in prison February 9th. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: On December 13th, 2000, after a grueling month of counts and recounts, and lawsuits and hanging chads and near-riots, Al Gore conceded his presidential race against George W. Bush. And, of course, it`s always hard to lose a big election, let alone a presidential election. But Al Gore`s loss in those circumstances was extra bad, right? I mean, he got a half million more votes in the country. Ultimately, it seemed like he did win even in Florida, but the Supreme Court inserted itself into the case, and then everybody wanted to tell al gore how he could have waged a better campaign and how he lost it because of a fault of his own. It`s just a tough time for him you can imagine. And after the Supreme Court weighed in to basically pick not Al Gore to be president, after all that happened, Al Gore finished off his last few weeks as Bill Clinton`s vice president, and then you might remember, he kind of disappeared from public view for awhile. By the following summer, he had gone up to Europe for a couple months. Kicking back, learning to relax some, and famously he grew a burly beard. And that beard, the Al Gore beard basically in our modern fake political science was the ultimate confirmation that Al Gore was done with politics. And we just don`t have national political leaders in his country with considerable facial hair anymore, not since William Howard Taft had we had a beardy president. And William Howard Taft`s beard is not what we remember him for. So, the Al Gore beard in all its triton glory, that became the ultimate symbol not just that Al Gore had lost, and lost big, but that he was done. Al Gore was clearly done with politics because he could not run for anything now, not with all of that stuff on his face. The dashed presidential aspirations beard has made a few appearances in American politics since then. Famously, there was also Bill Richardson. Bill Richardson ran for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. After disappointing primary results in his decision to drop out, Bill Richardson too grew the telltale beard. He could let loose now that the campaigning was over. Also that year, Republican Fred Thompson got into the presidential race, people expected him to run away with the nomination. But I think he did too, but ultimately he didn`t do very well. And as soon as he dropped off, bam, beard. Perfect look for cable news commentating and memoir-writing, it`s just not a very presidential look. Then, just last week, 2012 vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, arrived on the first day of the new Congress, and he told America all we needed to know about whether or not he was running for president when he turned up on the first day of school with a sort of adorable hipster length junior beard. That was last week in Washington. Yesterday, when Paul Ryan formally announced that he would sit out the 2016 presidential race, it was basically redundant. The beard had already been all the announcement that anyone needed. But one multiply failed presidential candidate, who has survived all of those "I`m not running again" beards, one multiply failed presidential candidate who has never himself grown a beard at least that we know of is Mitt Romney. It seemed like he was making it very clear at least after his last loss in 2012 that he would never run again, he never did the beard thing. Maybe now we should know that that was important. It seemed like he was not going to run. He was asked by "The New York Times" in January 2013 if he would consider running again after failing to get the nomination once in 2008, and failing in the general election in 2012, Mitt Romney responded to "The New York Times", and I quote, "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. No, no, no." If you`re counting, that`s no 11 times, with no other words between the no no nos. And, you know, it`s not that strange of a decision for him to have made. I mean, historically, presidential candidates who have lost the general election, they rarely run again. And when they do, they basically never win. The last time somebody who lost a general election and run for president again was 1984. George McGovern had been the 1972 Democratic nominee. He didn`t even come close to getting his parties nomination when he ran again in `84. The last time someone who lost a general election went on to actually win the presidency it was Richard Nixon in 1968. The only other time that has ever happened in all of U.S. history other than Nixon was Glover Cleveland in 1892. That`s it. Nixon and Grover Cleveland, two times in all of American history. Mitt Romney would be trying to be the third one in history if he ran again. So, it doesn`t seem like he was going to run again. Beyond all of that, Mitt Romney and his family were quite overt about the fact that they didn`t want to run another campaign. Again, not to belabor the point, but quoting again from "The New York Times, "Oh, no, no, no. No, no no, no. No, no, no." That seemed very clear. And then here was Mitt Romney`s wife, Ann Romney, amount before the 2012 election. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that you feel that your husband is going to win. ANN ROMNEY: I do. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he does, because there is a chance he might not, is that the end of politics for you and your husband? ROMNEY: Absolutely, he will not run again, nor will I, or do anything like that again. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He will not run for anything again, if he losses. In the documentary that was called "Mitt" that came out last year about the last campaign, one of the themes that runs through all the behind the scenes footage of the Romney family during the campaign was their deep ambivalence about dad running for president, right? And their really expressed determination that he should never do it again. In that film, in "Mitt" on election night, when it became clear that Mr. Romney had, in fact, lost the election, the Romney could not have been more clear that they were done and they would never do this again. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (CROSSTALK) ANN ROMNEY: It`s finished. CRAIG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S SON: Can you be gracious, and still say what you think? MITT ROMNEY: I hope so. CRAIG ROMNEY: I don`t -- what`s -- I don`t know the story, obviously you don`t want to look like a jerk, but he is in the race because he is passionate about what he believes in. Why not say this is what I believe. CAMPAIGN AIDE: No one thinks he just spent two years because he doesn`t believe in it. And there`s tomorrow, and there`s the next day, and there`s -- CRAIG ROMNEY: For what? CAMPAIGN AIDE: To go out and make the case. I mean -- CRAIG ROMNEY: He`s not going to run for anything. MITT ROMNEY: That`s for sure. CAMPAIGN AIDE: -- to make a case for the country. MITT ROMNEY: How do I make a case? Where? My time on the stage is over, guys. I`m happy for the time I had there, but my time is over. (CROSSTALK) MITT ROMNEY: To do what? ANN ROMNEY: We`re done. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We`re done. My time on the stage is over. I`m happy for the time I had there, but my time is over. It turns out maybe not. It`s now being reported by multiple sources that he has changed his mind. He reportedly is telling people in multiple states, people who worked at multiple levels on his previous campaign, that he is going to run again, 2016, seriously. I would not have believed it, but apparently it`s happening. Joining us now is Greg Whiteley. He`s a writer and director of the documentary film "Mitt". Mr. Whiteley, thank you very much for joining us. It`s nice to have you here. GREG WHITELEY, DIRECTOR, "MITT": Thanks for having me. MADDOW: Given what you shot, are you surprised by the news that he is really apparently going to run again? WHITELEY: Yes. I have been knee deep finishing a movie, editing a completely different documentary, and I haven`t been watching the news, and in the last two days, I just start receiving texts after texts and e-mails, and I`m shocked. I -- in watching kind of what he went through, I was really surprised they ran the second time. And to be fair, I`m still not sold that he has decided to run the third time, I don`t believe it. MADDOW: We saw -- we`ve seen the film, played a clip from the film from that very difficult moment around writing the concession speech and realizing that he lost the election, from your perspective, and all of the time that you spent, can you describe what at least seemed the hardest for him and his family about him running? Why they had such deep ambivalence about his running that second campaign in 2012? WHITELEY: Well, I don`t think there should be any surprise there is ambivalence on anyone`s part when trying to run for president. The gauntlet that we put people through when they go through that process is so intense and severe, and it takes a toll on the family that I think having second thoughts, or misgivings, or ambivalence would be natural. I think you`d be crazy not to have it. So, if you`re asking me to pick a particular moment in which people would second guess it, I don`t know, I -- when I imagine, and Mitt was very gracious with me and allowing me to film him and his life. When you view his life outside of politics, it is a great life. He`s got a beautiful family, an amazing wife. He`s got -- you know, he`s got the means to really enjoy himself. So, why he would choose to do this, I would imagine you wouldn`t do it, unless there was -- there was something tugging you. And I think most people they talk to that didn`t have the perspective that I had, they, when they -- most of them I think are going to attribute this or any of his past runs on personal ambition. And I know it sounds crazy, but I don`t think he is wired that way. I don`t think that`s the reason why he does these things. MADDOW: Greg Whiteley, writer and director of the documentary film "Mitt", got such an incredible amount of access to Mr. Romney and his family during that campaign -- I agree with you that I think it`s worth being a little skeptical about whether or not he`s really going to run. I think there`s a lot of reasons to say you`re going to run, even if you`re not going to, but the latest reporting is both convincing and bewildering. Thanks very much for helping us understand your take on it. Thanks for being here. WHITELEY: Thank you. MADDOW: Thanks. All right. Why it`s always smart to obey the one rule in politics about what you can`t say no matter how tempting it is. There`s only one rule in American politics about the thing you can say. There`s one. Why it`s important to abide by it, coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Every so often, there is something in the news that is a thing. No comment needed. No explanation needed, you should just know that this is a thing. This happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUBTITLE: And now, here`s a thing: Last night during the pre-game festivities for college football`s national championship, something was missing. (CHEERS) SUBTITLE: O HI! O! And that is a thing that happened. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Where is the O? That is the thing that happened. More to come. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: On a map of train lines, the subway lines in Washington, D.C., the lines are all labeled by color, red, yellow, blue and so on, six in all in the metro system in D.C. Among the busiest station in the whole system is the station that`s called L`Enfant Plaza. L`Enfant Plaza is down the street from the National Mall. It`s on the way to the Pentagon and the airport and ultimately out to the Virginia suburbs. If you want to head out that way, you just jumped on the yellow line train out of L`Enfant Plaza. And that`s what dozens of metro riders did yesterday afternoon just before rush hour, around 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Moments after the train pulled out of the station at L`Enfant Plaza, the cars on the train jerked to a halt inside the tunnel and then this happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a doctor in the house? Shut the door. Let me see the train`s door number. Let me see the number. Let me see the number. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a medic! UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make a hole. Make a hole. Make a hole! (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: For about 40 minutes yesterday afternoon, passengers were stuck on that train inside the tunnel as both the tunnel and the train itself filled with smoke. Some passengers fell unconscious. One person apparently had a seizure. Up to about 40 minutes, fire and rescue teams finally reached the train and tunnel. They led passengers on foot through the smoky tunnel and back out into L`Enfant Plaza, the station. I should tell you that one passenger who was stuck on the train yesterday died. Her name is Carol Glover (ph). She worked as a federal contractor. The exact cause of her death is still unknown. Eighty-four more people were hospitalized after this incident, including one D.C. firefighter. In the plenary report, the National Transportation Safety Board already said that the source of the smoke was not a fire, but rather some sort of electrical malfunction. They say electricity basically arced from the high-voltage rail that powers the trains. The cause the tunnel to fill up with smoke. The NTSB investigator last night said the cause of that arcing is still being investigated. Today, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, where that yellow line train was headed, Senator Warren wrote a letter to the general manager, the D.C. Metro Transit Authority, requesting a full briefing on the response plan for incidents like this. He said, quote, "Passengers and witnesses reported a chaotic situation with little evidence of metro employees operating under established protocols or implementing training procedures that should have been self-evident from preparation made for this type of event." As of this morning`s rush hour commute, the smoke had cleared. The metro system mostly back up and running, but after this very scary incident in the nation`s capital, questions remain as to exactly what happened and how to be sure it`s not -- it`s not going to happen again and how to be sure that D.C. is prepared in case something like this does happening again, does happen again? Joining us now is _. She was a passenger on that D.C. metro train when it started to fill with smoke. She took some of that video we showed you earlier of the chaotic scene on the train. She`s a public relations consultant in D.C. Ms. Adjoa Adofo, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your time. ADJOA ADOFO, TRAPPED IN D.C. METRO: Thanks for having me, Rachel. MADDOW: I understand, my producers tell me that you went to the doctor earlier this evening basically to get checked up after what you went through. How are you doing? ADOFO: Well, I just got out of urgent care about a couple hours ago. I wasn`t feeling too great this morning when I woke up. Shortness of breath, pains in my chest, nausea, headache and feeling light-headed. I thought I definitely needed to get checked out. So, they did a bunch of tests, X-rays and, you know, made sure to give me a full workup. MADDOW: In terms of what it was like how you and your fellow passengers cope, the thing that seems so scary for those of us looking at the footage that you shot and the descriptions we`ve read, apart of what`s scary obviously is the incident, in part of what`s scary is how long it took for rescuers to get there. Did you guys have any clear indication of what you should do or what had happened or how you would be getting out of there? ADOFO: Absolutely not. Credit to the train operator, I think he tried his best to keep us calm and just keep talking to us every five minutes. But you could tell that he didn`t have a lot of information to share. We really didn`t know if there was a fire, if there was not a fire, where the smoke was coming from, if we were going to be rescued, if the train was going to move us out of there, how we were going to escape. We were told to stay still and not try to open the doors. There was a bit of a debate whether or not that was the proper thing to do, because the smoke kept on coming in and coming in. And, you know, your survival instincts kick in and you wonder should I just try to break what didn`t seem to be established protocol and just open the door and escape or do I lay here and hope that someone comes or something happens to save us. And as your mind is racing and you`re wondering what to do and you`re losing breath, you know, the smoke is just everywhere and it`s pitch black and you see people passing out, you just don`t know what to do and you don`t know at that point if you`re going to make it. MADDOW: With the footage that you shot and what we`ve heard, it`s heartening the way the passengers tried to help each other and keep each other calm and help -- and try to give each other direction in this moment. The fact that you had to resort to that though is really scary. Thanks, Adjoa Adofo, for helping us understand what you went through. I`m sorry you went through it and I hope everything works out OK for you. Thanks for helping us understand. ADOFO: Thank you. And prayers to the family of the woman who passed. MADDOW: Absolutely. Thanks for being with us. All right. Lots more still to come. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Texas Congressman Randy Weber is the Republican who took over Ron Paul`s congressional seat after Ron Paul retired from Congress. And Congressman Weber`s been busy distinguishing himself since he got the job. Last year, for example, when President Obama announced to Congress his executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, Randy Weber live-tweeted his experience. Quote, "On floor of house, waiting on `Kommandant in chef`," Kommandant with a K, in chef. "The socialistic dictator who`s been feeding the U.S. a line, or is it a-lying?" This is a congressman. This guy doesn`t live in the YouTube comments. And now, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France, Congressman Randy Weber decided to work his magic once again on the Twitter machine. This is from him on Monday night. Quote, "Even Adolf Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris, for all the wrong reasons. Obama couldn`t do it for right reasons." Kind of has everything, right? Hitler, misspelling Hitler`s first name. The president, of course, a parenthetical. It has everything. For what I hope are obvious reasons, Congressman Weber has now offered up an apology for this today. He wrote in his apology statement, quote, "It was not my intention to compare the president to Adolf Hitler". Though it`s hard to see what else he might have intended by comparing the president to Hitler. Congressman Weber then continued, "I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the authorities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate." He now realizes that, as in he now realizes that, as in before today, Tuesday, that had never occurred to him. Also he never meant to compare the president and Hitler in the tweet that consisted almost entirely of him comparing the president and Hitler. He has since deleted the tweet. We reached out Congressman Weber`s office for further clarification today and to test him on how to spell Adolf. If we hear anything back, we`ll let you know. But now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END