The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 05/29/15

Guests: Jeffrey Cramer, Alison Sanford

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Oh, look, you guys are in my front row! Awesome. Stay there. That`s awesome. So great. Well done. Thanks you guys. Thanks you at home for joining us this hour. The morning that the U.S. House of Representatives voted yes that they would impeach President Bill Clinton because of his extramarital affair, it was that same morning in the House that the man who had just been chosen to become speaker of the House he resigned, that same morning, the day of the impeachment vote. He resigned in a surprise announcement on the day of the Clinton impeachment vote. We now know that that happened was because of this man, Larry Flynt, the publisher of "Hustler" magazine. Larry Flynt ran this ad in the "Washington Post" a few weeks before that House vote on impeaching Bill Clinton. The ad said "Reward: Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine announce a cash offer of up to $1 million. Have you had an adulterous sexual encounter with a current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking governor official? Can you provide documentary evidence of illicit sexual relations with the congressman, senator or other prominent office holder? If so, Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine will pay you up to $1 million if we choose to publish your verified story and use your material." They ran that ad in "The Washington Post" in October of 1999, and by December of 1999, it paid. It paid off presumably for whoever tipped Larry Flynt and it played off for Larry Flynt when he got to claim the scalp of the next speaker of the House, Bob Livingston, by outing Bob Livingston for his affair and claiming a scalp actually on the day that the House of Representatives was voting to impeach President Clinton for his affair. Whatever you think of Larry Flynt and his life`s work, the man, frankly, puts on a good pageant when it comes to teaching everybody the meaning of the word hypocrisy. And so, it is one of those strange parts of the denouement, right, of the raging Republican years from the mid `90s, right? After Newt Gingrich and his Republican revolution and their great political overreach against Bill Clinton, the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the backlash against that, and Republicans losing the mid-term elections in 1998 in the middle of the impeachment thing, historically unprecedented losses for Republicans in those mid-term elections. And then they pushed Newt Gingrich out and they tried to clean up their mess. But the first guy they picked to replace Newt Gingrich was laid low by the publisher of "Hustler" magazine. American history. And when Bob Livingston had to go in that scandal, the man they picked instead was Denny Hastert. They picked Denny Hastert to become speaker instead. And Denny Hastert went on to serve eight years as speaker of the House, longer than other Republican House speaker before or since. And now, today, all these years later, another shoe dropped that frankly nobody was waiting for until it dropped. But now we know who and what brought to light the Denny Hastert scandal that didn`t end his political career but has resulted in a federal criminal indictment of Denny Hastert years after he left Congress. Last night in this federal indictment draft, we found out that Speaker Hastert was being charged with structuring large cash withdrawals from four of his bank accounts in a way that seemed designed to avoid the rules which say you have to federally report large cash withdrawals from your bank accounts. He was also charged with lying to the FBI about that cash, about what those cash withdrawals were for. So, the indictment spells out in detail the prosecutor`s view about what Denny Hastert was actually using that for, $1.7 million so far, less than half of what he apparently agreed to pay. What he was doing with all that cash was allegedly paying it to someone to compensate for and conceal his own misconduct toward this unnamed person sometime in years past. Now, as of last night, we didn`t know what the alleged misconduct was, nor did we know to whom Denny Hastert was allegedly paying this money. Tonight, we still do not know to whom Denny Hastert was paying that money, allegedly paying that money. But law enforcement sources now say, anonymously and unofficially, they now say that the person in question, the person to whom the money was being paid, was a male student who attended the Illinois high school where Denny Hastert taught and coached wrestling for years. According to the indictment, Denny Hastert taught and coached at this one high school in Illinois from 1965 to 1981. We don`t know when this student was allegedly there, what years. But anonymous law enforcement sources say that the alleged misconduct that led Denny Hastert to agree to pay out $3.5 million in cash was sexual misconduct with this student who he is now paying. There`s a few things to figure out here. One is how and why this came to light now after decades have gone by since the alleged misconduct, including many years in which Denny Hastert was one of the most visible and powerful and high ranking politicians in the country at a very, very partisan time. And honestly, even in not a very partisan time, when you got the kind of job that he had, it means people are constantly trying to dig dirt on you, constantly -- both the press and your political opponents. People are always going through everything they can find about you to find any shadow of scandal. Nobody ever turned it up until now. From the indictment, we have some bread crumbs to follow in terms of how it came to be. And it was the cash. The feds say in their indictment that they started in 2013 looking into these large, suspicious cash withdrawals that Dennis Hastert had been making from his bank accounts since 2010. They said they started looking at those withdrawals to see if he was using the cash for a criminal purpose. In addition, because Dennis Hastert wasn`t just some average rich Schmoe, he was a former very high ranking politician, they also say they were looking to see if he was the victim of a criminal extortion related to, among other matters, his prior positions in government. It turns out, according to law enforcement sources today, he was not being criminally extorted because of something he did while he was in public office. He was allegedly being extorted because of something he allegedly did before he was ever in office. Isn`t that still extortion though? Wasn`t he still being shook down or blackmailed? Isn`t that itself a crime? Federal prosecutors believe and have explained in their indictment that Denny Hastert was being shook down basically for this $3.5 mil and he was paying it sloppily, which is why he got caught. But isn`t extortion itself a crime? Why is there no indictment for whoever was extorting him, shaking him down, blackmailing him? And then there`s this other matter of what he was allegedly being extorted for. And again, this is not in the indictment. This is according to unanimous law enforcement sources speaking with multiple press outlets today. But if federal prosecutors turned up evidence that Denny Hastert engaged in some kind of sexual misconduct with a student while he was a teacher and a coach, isn`t there an underlying crime there that we should expect to also be charged? "The Washington Post" says tonight, "No, that Dennis Hastert is not expected to face any charges related to the alleged misconduct because authorities don`t believe they have enough corroborating evidence to bring a case against him," end quote. So, there`s this one accuser, who he allegedly was paying off but that`s not enough to corroborate that the sexual abuse or sexual misconduct actually happened. OK. But then there`s this tonight from "The L.A. Times". Look, a top official who would not be identified speaking about the federal charges said investigators also spoke with a second person, who raised similar allegations that corroborated what the first student said. The second person, however, was not being paid by Dennis Hastert. "BuzzFeed" similarly reports tonight that federal prosecutors considered but did not pursue additional charges against the former speaker, which would have included reference to not just an individual A, but an individual B, one of potentially several alleged victims. Now, NBC News has not verified this aspect of the reporting, this second person who can corroborate the sexual abuse allegations. NBC has not -- has not corroborated this aspect of the reporting and is not testifying to it. That`s why I`m being specific in attributing it to the "L.A. Times" and to "BuzzFeed." But where we`re at now is that Speaker Hastert has paid bail, he`s out on his own recognizance, he`s due to be in court as soon as next week to face these charges. But if these reports from law enforcement sources today turn out to be accurate -- I mean, two big questions, right? If Dennis Hastert was being extorted, if he was being shook down by someone he allegedly sexually abused when that person was a teenager and he was a coach and a teacher, how is the decision made and is the decision now made as to whether or not to charge his alleged sexual abuse victim for shaking him down, for extorting him, for blackmailing him? Extortion is a crime. And, as another matter, how is the decision made and is the decision made as to whether or not to charge Dennis Hastert of the underlying crime of this alleged sexual misconduct with a kid or with kids while he was a teacher and a coach back in Illinois before he ever entered politics? Especially if prosecutors did talk to more than one kid, who says he or she went through that with him, even if only one of the kids decided to blackmail him for it decades down the road. Legally, how did we get here? And what`s going to happen next? Joining us is Jeffrey Cramer. He`s a former federal prosecutor. He`s now the senior managing director of Kroll Investigations in Chicago. Mr. Cramer, thanks very much for your time tonight. Appreciate you being here. JEFFREY CRAMER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Good evening, Rachel. MADDOW: Let me ask first about what appears to be extortion. Haven`t prosecutors alleged here in the indictment that former Speaker Dennis Hastert was essentially the victim of extortion, that he was being shook down for this money or by somebody threatening to go public with it? Isn`t extortion a crime? CRAMER: Extortion is certainly a crime. But just because individual A was not charged today, a couple of things: one, it doesn`t mean a charge might not be coming down the line. Or it could be a charge exists right now but is sealed, and we don`t know about it. But I don`t think just because there are no charges pending at least public live now, we don`t know what`s going to happen down the line. MADDOW: I guess -- I asked, too, keeping in mind other different types of criminal charges against public officials where it`s more typically what we`re looking at is something like bribery or an alleged quid pro quo, and one of the questions for those of us who aren`t lawyers, who aren`t involved in the justice system, is how can there be a bribee without a briber? Shouldn`t people always be charged on both sides of the crime if prosecutors can prove that the crime occurred? CRAMER: I understand that, but I was making -- distinguish between the bribe situations that you just gave. And certainly in Chicago, in Illinois, we have our fair share of officials who have gone that line. And this office, U.S. attorneys office in Chicago, it`s frankly one of the best offices in the country, and pursuing this kind of cases, although this seems to have taken a pivot. But here, you don`t have a bribee and a briber. You have individual A, if it plays out, was a victim of sexual abuse at one point, who is then turned into presumably an extortionist. And you have Dennis Hastert who did the flip. At one point, he abused his position, if this plays out, and is now the victim of an extortion. So, it`s not a simple two people involved in a conspiracy. You have the person who is looking for money, millions of dollars at one point, if it`s true, was the victim of sexual abuse. MADDOW: On the abuse allegations -- and again, I want to be clear the sexual misconduct, sexual abuse allegations, I`m sourcing them to anonymous leaks from law enforcement officials who are not putting their name on the record. It is not part of the indictment. But if those leaks today are accurate, that the underlying past misdeed here is some sort of sexual conduct, some kind of sexual abuse between Denny Hastert and a student or students when he was a teacher, when he was a coach -- what does go into the determination about whether or not that conduct should be charged as a crime? CRAMER: It`s a calculus. And, you`re right, we don`t know exactly what the misconduct was. However, if you look at the indictment, the wording of where it lists he was a teacher and a coach at the high school in a certain period of time, federal prosecutors don`t put in language of that kind unless they`re relevant. So, that had to be relevant to the misconduct. And therefore, you have, one could argue, misconduct from what we know now that was worth millions of dollars to Mr. Hastert to keep quiet. So, there is a logic to what people are saying right now. And if it was sexual abuse at that time, you can see why he would want to keep it secret. But it`s a calculus prosecutors will look at into how to bring these charges and equally important what language to put in the indictment. I think they appropriately did not include that language in there because it`s not relevant to the charge, which is structuring. It`s in and of itself a pretty boring charge -- structuring transactions so the banks don`t alert the federal authorities that something over $10,000 is going in or out. It`s that misconduct part right now that obviously has people`s interest. MADDOW: Is there a statute of limitations issue if these things did happen sometime between 1965 and 1981, which is when he was at that school? CRAMER: Certainly. I`m not sure what the statute of limitations was for sexual misconduct or sexual abuse, or whatever it might be called at that time. But now, we`re talking 25 years later. So, not only it`s the corroboration factor that you discussed earlier, but there`s a statute of limitations problem I would think. MADDOW: Jeffrey Cramer, former federal prosecutor, now senior managing director of Kroll Investigations, thanks for helping us understand this. Very clarifying to talk to you about this. Thanks. CRAMER: Certainly. MADDOW: All right. Coming up, a thing I learned in today`s news that surprised me so much that I`ve physically fell over. And that`s not hyperbole and I can show you how it happened. Plus, we`ve got, coming up tonight, a plan to defeat ISIS, courtesy of President Trump. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUBTITLE: This week at the TRMS production meeting -- NAZANIN RAFSANJANI, TRMS SENIOR PRODUCER: I e-mailed him because we have all his information. I didn`t call him because it`s like midnight where he is. MADDOW: I thought he was in Salt Lake City. NAZANIN: It`s Salt Lake City in India. MADDOW: Oh. That was so -- (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: I don`t understand. NAZANIN: Yes, there`s a Salt Lake City in Calcutta. Well, I mean, I don`t think that`s what they call it. (LAUGHTER) SUBTITLE: What Salt Lake City, India, has to do with a huge national story here in America. That`s coming up. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This next story is a genuine mystery. It is a mystery that has national significance. We exclusively -- we think we exclusively have solved parts of this mystery. And it begins in a place called Salt Lake City. Now, when you think Salt Lake City, you think Utah, right? You think Utah. You think, may be you think Mormon Church. You think beautiful scenery, mountains. Salt Lake City equals Salt Lake City, Utah. But this is what knocked me off my feet from sheer wonder at our news meeting yesterday. The Salt Lake City at the center of this story is not the Mormons and mountains one in Utah. This Salt Lake City is here just outside Calcutta in India. Salt Lake City is the westernized name for a suburb of Calcutta. It was an area that was built. You can see some water there on the map, it was built quite near of Salt Lake, hence the name Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City, India, is hope to a company called Harris Pharma, LLP, what you see there marked on the map. Now, one available export from Harris Pharma in Salt Lake City into the United States is a drug that they can manufacture or obtain that`s called sodium thiopental. Sodium thiopental isn`t anesthetic. It has also been a drug of choice for a number of states in this country when it comes to killing people, killing prisoners by lethal injection. The trouble is, the supply of sodium thiopental in the U.S. dried up years ago. In 2011, the only company in the U.S. that made sodium thiopental stopped manufacturing it. Since then, there is no approved U.S. manufacturer or distributor for that drug. And so, naturally the states that were relying on that drug to kill their prisoners, they had to come up with plan B`s and plan C`s or plan D`s to find either that drug somehow or find some other means of killing people. And that`s where Harris pharma in Salt Lake City, India, comes in. Specifically their CEO, a guy named Chris Harris. He tried to step in to save the day. Look at this. From Chris Harris to the Nebraska Department of Corrections. It`s dated May 11, 2011, 6:02 a.m. Subject: supply. Quote, "Hi, Steve. This is to state that my company is willing and capable to supplying the required pharmaceutical products to the Department of Corrections Nebraska, specifically sodium thiopental, for a period of five years. Regards, Chris Harris, CEO, Harris Pharma." Now, the date is key because in May 2011, Nebraska was gearing up to kill someone using lethal injection for the very first time ever. Nebraska at the time had just switched from the electric chair to lethal injection. They wanted to use it to kill this guy on June 14, 2011, but they didn`t have enough sodium thiopental on hand to kill him -- until Chris Harris reached out from India and told Nebraska, no problem, I can sell you that stuff, and he did. Now, he was not a pharmacist, but he wanted to be the business guy in middle of this arrangement. He wanted to be the middle man. So, he arranged for Nebraska to import sodium thiopental from India, from Salt Lake City India. It ended up being a disaster because the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency, found out what Nebraska was up to, and they came in and formally admonished the state and they took the sodium thiopental away, and they destroyed it. This is a memo that a Nebraska Corrections employee wrote around the time, around that time after a conversation with the DEA. "The DEA is going to come and collect the drugs away. The drugs will be destroyed. The DEA could issue us an admonition." And that`s exactly what happened. Nebraska paid Chris Harris for those drugs back in 2011. It doesn`t make it legal to send that drug from India into the United States, and the DEA seized those drugs. And Nebraska got in trouble and didn`t get to keep the drugs. That prisoner, his name is Kerry Dean Moore, by the way, he was never executed. He still lives on death row in Nebraska. And this week, of course, the Nebraska legislature made international headlines when their legislature voted to repeal the death penalty altogether, and they did that in part -- if you look at the reasoning of this conservative lawmakers who voted to repeal, a lot of them explained that part of their reasoning around this is that logistically speaking, Nebraska couldn`t actually do it. Nebraska couldn`t get the drugs they need to kill people. I mean, they tried with Chris Harris and India. They failed and got in trouble. But when the pro-death penalty side in Nebraska, including the governor, when they were trying to convince the legislature that they shouldn`t repeal it, they should keep the death penalty on the books, the governor, the pro-death penalty side, argued that they would get the drugs. In fact, finally, they had arranged to get the drugs. This whole idea that it was impractical to carry out the death penalty in Nebraska, that argument was over because they had the sodium thiopental. This was the political statement from the Omaha police officer`s union. "Nebraska will soon have the drugs necessary for lethal injections." Where did Nebraska get those drugs in the last month? Want to guess? They got them once again from Chris Harris, Harris Pharma, LLP, Salt Lake City, India. Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Subject, hi. Quote, "Hi, Patrick. Just wanted to let up know we have a few states who have already ordered sodium thiopental. Would Nebraska be interested as I will have a few thousand vials extra? Regards, Chris." Chris Harris was maybe using his 2011 contact there because he was emailing the wrong people. This was response he got. "Hey, Chris. I`m not sure where Corrections stands on this subject anymore, as I`m no longer with them." It took a while for Chris Harris to figure out who to email now and how to reach the right people. But he eventually did. And it turns out, Nebraska was super psyche to try with him again, to buy sodium thiopental again from this guy, Chris Harris, in India, four years after they tried and failed to do it the first time. Chris Harris, by the way, from what we can tell, has no training as a pharmacist. He`s been a middle man selling these drugs, but he is not, as far as we know, trained in this field at all. Harris Pharma LLP does not have a web site. This is the site they list but it is under construction. We`ve e-mailed and called Chris Harris, he has not responded, but we do know that Chris Harris has tried to sell sodium thiopental to other states in the past, like Indiana and South Dakota. And states are buying this from his company because there`s nowhere else they can get it. And really, they can`t get it from him either. At least they can`t legally get it from him. The FDA told us, exclusively, last week, that it is against the law for the state of Nebraska to import sodium thiopental into the United States, which brings to this -- last month, when Chris Harris got in touch with Nebraska and convinced them to try to important sodium thiopental from his company, he mentioned that two other states have placed an order with him. Two other states have placed an order. Well, if it`s not legal for Nebraska to do it, it`s not legal for anybody to do it. I should tell you, we have these documents thanks to the ACLU of Nebraska filing a Freedom of Information request with the Nebraska Corrections Department. But it raises this really interesting question, because if it is illegal for Nebraska, it is illegal for anybody. So, when he says, I got two other states importing from me, you want in on it? Which two other states? Which two other states are right now in 2015 trying to get this drug into this country illegally? He says two more states are doing it. Which ones? Which states? If Chris Harris is telling the truth and his company is in the process of making this drug for several American states, which ones? We know about Nebraska, although it`s moot there now because they don`t have a death penalty anymore as of this week, but who are those other states? Law school at U.C. Berkeley says they are in the process of finding out which states Chris Harris has maybe sold these drugs to. They`re filing Freedom of Information Act requests in states all over the country and trying to find out which states besides Nebraska are waiting right now for their illegal sodium thiopental shipments from Salt Lake, India. We spoke with the FDA again today. We asked them, could any state legally import this drug to use for killing people. Maybe just the ban applies to Nebraska. Can any state get around the ban on importing sodium thiopental? They told us again tonight exclusively, they told us no. Quote from the FDA, "Sodium thiopental is unlawful to import for the purposes of lethal injections and that applies to all states who intend to use it for that purpose." So, genuine mystery, right? This is a live mystery right now. Who right now, which state government right now is trying to get this drug illegally imported into this country from Harris Pharma in Salt Lake City, India? The Nebraska attorney general said today meanwhile he plans to challenge the repeal of the death penalty in his state. He says Nebraska he wants to make sure it should still be able to kill the 10 people on death row it promised to kill before this change in policy was enacted. If he wants to go ahead with that, that means the shipment of illegally imported sodium thiopental from Salt Lake City, India, can`t arrive soon enough -- I don`t know how they`re going to get it past the feds. This is a weird crime and punishment story. This is a weird laws story. But part of the law here is not just about the crimes committed that earned these guys a place on death row. Part of the law and the criminal behavior here may very well be the state governments that are trying to evade the feds and illegally get these drugs shipped in from a foreign country that can`t legally sell it here, and this is a crime that is apparently underway right now, and we are trying to figure out who the culprits are. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One thing to keep an eye on this weekend is that the U.S. Senate is coming back to work this weekend on Sunday. They`ve been off for a whole week for Memorial Day, don`t feel bad, but the Patriot Act is set to expire on Sunday night. They`re back to try a last-minute vote to keep the Patriot Act on the books. I think the thought is forcing senators to work on a Sunday, pushing them right to the very end of the deadline before the law expires, that will just pressure them into passing the extension. But Mitch McConnell wasn`t able to do that last week when he tried the same thing before the Memorial Day break and so far there`s really no concrete reason to think it`s going to be any different this Sunday. I mean, if it were anyone other than Mitch McConnell trying to pull this off on Sunday, I would say bye-bye Patriot Act, it`s gone as of this weekend. But Mitch McConnell does have a habit of pulling rabbits out of a hat at times like this. So, we will see. Sunday`s going to be weird for a couple of reasons. I mean, first, obviously, it`s weird to have Sunday be a work day in the Senate, but also it is weird to have any day in Washington be suspenseful at this point. But this Sunday is really going to be both. Nobody knows what`s going to happen on this thing and it could be a very, very big deal. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could have here in Hebrew 666 on the can, but my interest is the word Monster. What do you see in the "O"? There`s a cross. You cannot deny that that is a cross. And what is witchcraft? When the cross goes up side down. Bottoms up and the devil laughs. Something to think about. This is how clever Satan is and how he gets into the Christian home and a Christian`s life and it breaks God`s heart. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That is how clever Satan is. That lady, the Monster energy drink is the work of Satan lady, when she is not warning people about the sign of the beast in their soft drinks, she has a side gig as a disrupter of peaceful events that involve Muslim Americans. (BEGIN VIDO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jesus Christ died on that cross over there. He is the reason why we are to worship only him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We have built -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me explain the call for the prayer. The call for the prayer, it is in Arabic. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It was a Muslim service being held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. last November, and that`s the Monster energy drink lady disrupting it. This is kind of the way she spends of days of her one and only life on earth. She has told reporters she lives out of her car, she travels around the country explaining to people that Satan is in their soft drinks and she threatens and insult Muslim Americans wherever she can find and tries to disrupt their peaceful events. Aside from that, at National Cathedral event this year, she also showed up in Texas at annual Muslim Day at the state capital, where Texas Muslim kids come to the capital to learn about civics and their state government. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stand against Islam and the false Prophet Mohammed! Islam will never dominate the United States, and by the grace of God, it will not dominate Texas! (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, it`s one thing to think this is the thing that the crazy energy drink lady does alone, right? But at that Texas event, just outside that tightly shot footage of her screaming, there was actually a bunch of other people holding these we hate Muslim signs and screaming at the Muslim kid there for civic day because of their religion. And, you know, individual nuts or bigots showing off is gross enough. It`s not like we haven`t seen this before in our country, right? But we are in a modern American moment when it comes to prejudice and hate in that it`s American Muslims who are now having to deal with this kind of thing to a greater or lesser extent all the time. So, this was in Texas. This is how those Muslim kids were taught about Texas civics that day at their state capital. This week, it was also this older couple in the Minneapolis suburbs who were waiting in their car to pick up their teen-age son from a party when a lady walked up and started screaming at them and pounding on the windows of their car and told them that they were suspicious and she held them at gunpoint. Here`s your not totally gratuitous mugshot of the lady in that story in Minnesota this week. And, you know, it is one thing for regular American Muslims doing nothing wrong to have to deal with this kind of folks, of this kind of hate and threat and harassment and bizarreness from individual nut balls. It is another level of terror when it not just individuals doing it, it`s some kind of organized effort. And that is what`s happening tonight, right now actually, outside of the Islamic community center in Phoenix, Arizona. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TV ANCHOR: The man behind the event openly admits he hates Islam and wants protesters to ride in on motorcycles, bring their firearms and make a statement as Muslims actually head in for prayer service. REPORTER: The guy who is setting up this protest has been known to walk these sidewalks in front of the mosque wearing a t-shirt with a curse word followed by the word Islam. He`s encouraging those coming here to show their support for the Second Amendment as well, come armed and prepared. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Come armed and prepared as people funnel into that mosque to pray. That`s reporting by NBC`s Phoenix affiliate KPNX. The reporter there was referencing this, an "F Islam" shirt that the organizer regularly wears when he walks outside of this Muslim community center and harasses and verbally attacks Muslims who are just trying to go to prayer peacefully at their Islamic center. The head of the Islamic Center where the protests are being held tonight has responded to this planned event, telling those who are coming to the mosque, people who are coming to try to pray, telling them not to engage with the protesters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to tell our members what we told them before, not to engage them and they`re not looking for an intellectual discussion, they`re looking to stir up a controversy and we`re not going to be part of it. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, again, this is a live shot right now from that protest tonight in Phoenix. There is a group of anti-Muslim, "we hate Muslim" protesters and they have been met tonight by counter-protesters, people who are angry about that message and it happening in their community. The police, you can see them in a very organized line there in the middle. They have separated both sides. We`re told tonight there have been tense moments and some people have brought weapons, as instructed by the organizer of this event. That`s happening in Phoenix, Arizona. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We got new news on 2016, exclusive coming up here next. We`ve got exclusive news tonight about two new potential contenders for the presidential nomination because there just aren`t enough. That`s next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This winter, I learned ice fishing in New Hampshire. I learned it on Lake Winnipesaukee. Look, got him! Ha! Lake Winnipesaukee is a legendary ice fishing, fishing, boating, vacationing outdoor wonderland in central New Hampshire. And tonight, Lake Winnipesaukee has a boat floating on it that contains not one, not two, not three, but four possible presidential contenders all in the same actual boat. It is a sunset cruise for one of the county Republican Party in New Hampshire. And tonight, that sunset cruise has on it, Scott Walker, who hasn`t announced yet, but everybody knows he`s running, and George Pataki, who announced last night that he is running. And also two other guys, who have been lurking anonymously down toward the bottom of our chart of Republican candidates, Bob Ehrlich, former governor of Maryland, and Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, who you might remember also made a run for the presidency in 2008. Those two guys have been lurking at the bottom of our candidates chart for 2016, not the most recognizable pair I know, but there they are. There they are. There, they have been on our chart and they both tonight are on the Lake Winnipesaukee sunset cruise with George Pataki and Scott Walker tonight. And both of their offices told us today that we should count neither of them out for 2016. They are both still actively considering a run for the presidency, even though neither one of them is ready at this point to make an official announcement. So keep your fingers crossed. We also got word that this man has scheduled his announcement, June 16th, he says. And who knows what he will announce on June 16th, but he has planned a trip to New Hampshire for the following day. And in the lead up to that June 16th announcement, this man is preparing fertile ground for his possible presidential run by making important and deft foreign policy pronouncements like this one that he made this week with my friend Greta Van Susteren on FOX News. This is one of the best things that has been on TV so far for the 2016 race. This is so amazing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: I know how to bring ISIS to the table quickly, or defeat ISIS very quickly. And I`m not going to tell you what it is tonight. You know, one of the problems that we have -- GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: Why won`t you tell? TRUMP: I tell you, because I don`t want to, Greta. I`ll tell you what, because I -- VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, why won`t you tell? We need all the help we can get. We need a dialogue on this. TRUMP: I`ll explain. If I win, I don`t want the enemy to know what I`m doing. I don`t want the enemy to know what I`m doing. I don`t want the enemy to know what I`m doing. Unfortunately, I`ll probably have to tell at some point, but there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory. All I can tell you is that it is a foolproof way of winning, and I`m not talking about what some people would say, but it is a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS and it will be absolutely 100 percent -- they`ll at a minimum come to the table and actually they`ll be defeated very quickly -- very, very quickly. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It`s a secret plan but it is foolproof and only he knows about it. If kind of goes like this -- ISIS, you`re fired! But that man says he will make his announcement June 16th. We`re also definitely going to get an announcement from Martin O`Malley, former Maryland government tomorrow. We were also told today that we`re going to get an announcement from former Rhode Island Governor Linc Chafee on Wednesday. And now we know to wait with baited breath on these two guys, Bob Ehrlich and Jim Gilmore, who are definitely these two guys I`m just not totally sure which is which, but I swear I will look it up and memorize it with flash cards before they actually formally jump in the race. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Watch out! Truck! Yay, Friday night news dump time. Producer Julia Nutter, who is tonight`s player? JULIA NUTTER, TRMS PRODUCER: Tonight`s player is Alison Sanford. She`s from Easton, Maryland. She`s a marine scientist. She`s been to Antarctica three times. And she has two kids, one in tenth grade and one in sixth grade. MADDOW: Alison, welcome. ALISON SANFORD, EASTON, MARYLAND: Thanks. Thanks so much. MADDOW: Is it Easton, Maryland or eastern Maryland? SANFORD: Easton. MADDOW: Easton but not Eastern. SANFORD: Easton. MADDOW: OK. Very good. Your kids in tenth grade and sixth grade, have they ever seen this TV program? SANFORD: Are you kidding? Yes. MADDOW: OK. I was going to say, if we need to keep it a secret from them that you`re here, that can be arranged. SANFORD: No, not at all. MADDOW: All right. Well, we`re really glad that you`re here. If you`ve been to the end of the earth three times, this is obviously going to be very easy for you. As you know, probably you`re going to get three multiple choice questions about this week`s news. If you get two of the questions right, you will win this piece of junk -- Julia. NUTTER: This adorable tiny TRMS cocktail shaker. MADDOW: Very small, very teeny, we don`t even guarantee that it doesn`t leak. The bonus tonight is a little weird. It is something random for you that until tonight has been cluttering up our offices. But tonight, we need your help. We are offering you a choice between two options. So Julia, can you explain this? NUTTER: The first option is this can, which inside contains many puzzle pieces that create a puzzle and we`re not quite sure what that puzzle is or if we have all the pieces, even. MADDOW: Right. But we`re pretty sure it`s nothing dirty. NUTTER: Yes. We`ve checked for body parts. MADDOW: It might be offensive in some other way, but we can`t find any body parts. So that`s a puzzle. NUTTER: That`s the puzzle. And the second option is this awesome piece of junk in our office, which reads "Herman Cain is an art project". MADDOW: Yes, and hopefully, Herman Cain won`t be an art project again soon enough that we will need it back, but in which case we`d have to call to get it back, Alison. SANFORD: Yes, OK, I would give it back. MADDOW: All right. We`re also going to need to bring in a disembodied voice to judge your answers. Now, usually that is Steve Benen from Maddow Blog, but Steve has a cold. He is so too ill tonight to sit in judgment upon you. So we`re going to have one of our producers in the control room do it. Your judge this evening is the all powerful and omniscient Tricia McKinney. Say hello, Tricia. TRICIA MCKINNEY, TRMS PRODUCER: Hello, Alison. SANFORD: Hey, Tricia. MADDOW: There we go. All right. Ready for your first question? SANFORD: Yes, I`m ready. MADDOW: OK. Last night`s show, we reported on the surprise federal indictment of the long time speaker of the house Denny Hastert. Denny Hastert first became House speaker during which national political scandal? Was it, (A), the impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton, was it (B), the Iran Contra affair, (C), Watergate, or (D), Abscam? SANFORD: I am going to go with (A), the Clinton impeachment. MADDOW: Tricia, did Alison get that right? MCKINNEY: Well, you know, I`m going to have Rachel from yesterday give the answer to Rachel from today. MADDOW: Creepy. OK. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: All that turmoil in `98, after losing the midterms, the middle of the impeachment, recognizing it`s a political disaster, Republicans decided they needed to play it safe. (END VIDEO CLIP) MCKINNEY: So the answer was, in fact, (A), the impeachment against President Clinton and Alison was right. MADDOW: Well done. One in the bag. All right. Got to get two right to win at least the first prize. Let`s go to question two. This one is actually going to be a visual one. This week, we had not one but two candidates -- two additional candidates formally declare that they`re running for the Republican nomination on 2016. On Tuesday, you will remember it was my friend Rick Santorum. And then, yesterday, it was my friend George Pataki. Which of these people were George Pataki? Is it this man, (A)? Is it this man, (B)? Is it this man, (C)? Or is it this man, (D)? Alison, what do you think? SANFORD: Well, C is the former governor in the state where I live now. A is Bolton. He`s not -- definitely not D. He is B. MADDOW: Tricia, is that the right answer? MCKINNEY: You know, I am going to defer to Alex Trebek. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALEX TREBEK, JEOPARDY HOST: He took New York into the 21st century. Elliott? CONTESTANT: Who is Bloomberg? TREBEK: No. Who is George Pataki? MADDOW: Who is George Pataki? (END VIDEO CLIP) MCKINNEY: Who indeed is George Pataki? The choice was B and Alison was also right. MADDOW: Well done. Alison is on a roll. Ready for your last question now. This is from Tuesday`s show. Tuesday`s show, we reported that the country that already have a statue of their dictator wearing a fantastic cape and already has a statue of their dictator standing on top of a tower rotating so he always faces the sun. That country has a 69-foot tall statute of their dictator atop a giant marble mountain riding a horse while carrying a dove. Which country? Is it (A), Azerbaijan, (B), Turkmenistan, (C), Uzbekistan, or (D), terrible-self-esteem-istan? SANFORD: Wow. I`m pretty, I really -- I`m a little less sure about this one. It`s definitely not d. MADDOW: Damn it. (LAUGHTER) SANFORD: It`s between B and C. MADDOW: Jump in. Go with your gut. SANFORD: B. Turkmenistan? MADDOW: Tricia, do you have the answer for us? MCKINNEY: Well, I think we really need to see that statue again. Let`s watch. MADDOW: All right. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Turkmenistan got a new dictator statue that makes all the older ones that went before it look like hemmels. The new one is 69 feet tall. It shows the country`s current dictator carrying a dove and riding a horse. It`s covered in 24 karat gold leaf and it`s perched on top of a giant cliff of white marble. It`s very subtle. (END VIDEO CLIP) MCKINNEY: So as much as we were hoping she would go for terrible- self-esteem-istan, it was actually Turkmenistan, choice B. She got it. MADDOW: Alison, you swept. You swept. All right. You`re definitely getting the leaky creaky cocktail shaker. Do you want the "Herman Cain is an art project" banner or do you want the puzzle that we don`t know what it`s a puzzle of? SANFORD: Oh, I totally want the banner. MADDOW: All right. Herman Cain is still an art project somewhere. You get the banner. If he turns back into an art project, we`re going to call for it back. Alison, thank you so much. It was great to meet you. Great to have you here. SANFORD: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: Well done. Whoo-hoo! If you want to help us de-clutter our offices while playing at least the most hoopty game in cable news, please send us an email,, tell us who you are, where you`re from and why you want to play. First, though, the warden would like a word. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END