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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/16/15

Guests: Kasie Hunt, Ayman Mohyeldin

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you very, very much. HAYES: You bet. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. So, today was amazing in the news. In just the news about politics today, we changed the stories that we were going to cover and the order of everything. We changed the show like 300 times did you say today because new things kept happening all afternoon and into the evening, each of which was more amazing than the things that had come before on this amazing news day. Up to and including Jeb Bush slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon on the "Tonight Show" tonight which has just happened. We actually just got the tape of it. We will have that for you in just a moment. It`s mind bending. In addition to that, we`ve got Donald Trump announcing that he is running for the Republican nomination for the president of the United States today. You obviously heard about that, got lots of press today. But did you also hear that Donald Trump since he announced that he`s running for president this morning, he has since then announced who he wants his running mate to be. It`s the first day he is running for the nomination for president, but he`s already announced his running mate, who he`s running with, and he says he and this running mate, unbeatable combination. They will definitely win. Now, since he made that announcement today, we have been trying all afternoon and all evening to reach that person, to reach Donald Trump`s would-be running mate to find out if she`s into the idea. Yes, she. We will have that for you in just a moment. Today is just nuts. Today is one of those days that is just nuts. Too much stuff is going on and it is all interesting. Even the stuff that`s going on about Scott Walker is interesting. And Scott Walker is a politician about whom it is sometimes hard to get viscerally excited. It`s nothing against him. He just has this very laid- back Midwestern manner. Apparently part of him getting ready to run for president was that he started doing classes with a speech coach to make him sound less Midwestern, less Wisconsin, because I guess it was too calming or something. He`s trying to be more exciting. Excitement tends to be one of Scott Walker`s challenges. But today, oh, yes. One of the quirkier things to know about Scott Walker is that he says that some of the major events in his life have been pegged to milestones in the life of Ronald Reagan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I often joke that I know Ronald Reagan`s birthday because it`s my wedding anniversary. But truth be told, Tonette would tell you, I know my wedding anniversary because it`s Ronald Reagan`s birthday. She`d fill you in on that, but it`s the truth. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Scott Walker and his wife got married on Ronald Reagan`s birthday. So, their wedding anniversary is Ronald Reagan`s birthday. He has the old told reporters that on Ronald Reagan`s birthday, which is his wedding anniversary with his wife, he told reporter he and his wife go out of their way that day to eat Ronald Reagan`s favorite foods. Happy anniversary, here is a jelly bean. Not long ago, Scott Walker also spoke at the Ronald Reagan Library and it sent a shiver down his spine when he realized that not just his wedding anniversary, but another super important day on his life happened on another Ronald Reagan milestone day. This was truly spooky. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Nothing on that day that`s already as I anticipated saying this, it`s going to give me action bit of a shiver, but not only did we share the wedding anniversary with the birth, that we just celebrated our 20th and his 102nd anniversary of his birth, but as we approach the recall election last year, it dawned on me -- it hasn`t dawned on me right away as they said it. But as we got closer, it dawned on me that June 5th just happened to be the date that President Reagan was born into eternal life back in 2004. It`s the day he passed. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Scott Walker thinks it is maybe not a coincidence that the anniversary of Ronald Reagan`s death fell on the day that Scott Walker had his recall election as governor of Wisconsin, and he and his wife were married on Ronald Reagan`s birthday. And now, with Jeb Bush getting in the race for president and Scott Walker and Chris Christie remaining the last super obvious candidates who are very obviously running for president but who have not yet admitted formally that they are running for president -- well, today, "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" published this report saying there are three insiders close to Governor Walker who are now apparently leaking to "The Journal Sentinel" the closely guarded secret that Scott Walker has finally picked the date to announce formally that he is running for president. He had his wedding on the anniversary of Ronald Reagan`s birth. He had his life-changing, career-defining gubernatorial recall election on the anniversary of Ronald Reagan`s death. And we now know, at least according to "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel", that Scott Walker will formally announce that he is running for president on July 13th, which will be the 30th anniversary of the exact day that Ronald Reagan had a benign noncancerous polyp removed from his large intestine. I know, right? I know. Wow. So in terms of who else is going to get in, we still don`t have a date -- I`m sorry, Jackie. I think I hurt Jackie. We still don`t have a date for Chris Christie. Bobby Jindal actually looks like he will be the next one in. He is getting in next Wednesday. We spoke with Jim Gilmore`s campaign in waiting today. Jim Gilmore, the former Republican of Virginia, very nice guy -- his folks told us today that he is still considering a run for the presidency. They sent us this press release today, letting us know that Jim Gilmore is making his seventh visit to New Hampshire. Seventh. The Jim Gilmore folks told us that they can pretty much see the writing on the wall, that there`s no chance that Governor Gilmore is going to make it into the top ten candidates in national polling right now, which means there`s no chance he`ll be allowed into the first nationally televised Republican debate which will be hosted by FOX News on August 6. I mean, so there`s Jim Gilmore, he`s got that issue. It`s also Bobby Jindal who`s got that issue. Nobody when Bobby Jindal announces, it seems pretty clear that he`s not going to make the cut to make it into the first debate either. But even with that, right, even with Rick Santorum maybe not making it in, Rick Perry maybe not making it in, Rick Santorum maybe not making it in, Carly Fiorina, definitely not making it in. With all -- John Kasich, forget about it, first debate is going to be in Ohio. John Kasich is the governor of Ohio. He`s probably not going to make it. With all of those people not going to make it into the debate, more likely not going to make it into the debate, it does seem pretty clear that this man will make it into the debates. Donald Trump had made noise about running for president in 2000, but he didn`t run. He had made a lot of noise about running for president in 2012, but he didn`t run. Today, though, at the Trump Tower in New York City, he announced that this year, he is actually going to run. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will tell you, I love my life. I have a wonderful family. They`re saying, dad, you`re going to do something that`s going to be so tough. You know, all of my life I`ve heard that a truly successful person, a really, really successful person and even modestly successful cannot run for public office. Just can`t happen. And yet, that`s the mindset that you need the make this country great again. So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: It was real estate developer Donald Trump speaking today in New York City. Interestingly, though, when he was going to run for president in 2000 on the reform party ticket, people took that potential candidacy then at least as seriously as they`re taking this candidacy now, and around that lead, after that presidential election in 2000, Mr. Trump was asked in an interview on the "Today" show, this is back in the fall of 1999, he was asked on the "Today" show whether or not he had a running mate in mind for his presidential bid then. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) INTERVIEWER: Running mate. If you decide to go with this, who would be the ideal running mate for Donald? TRUMP: Oh, I think Oprah would be great. INTERVIEWER: Seriously. TRUMP: I think that probably that would be serious, actually. There are numerous people that would be good running mates. I think that you`d have five or six people that would be actually great running mates and I think I could convince them to run. If I decide to do this, I will have a great running mate. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: When he was going to run for president in 2000, Donald Trump said the first thing that popped into his head. He wanted Oprah Winfrey to be his running mate. Oprah Winfrey at the time said, no, she was not interested. Today, now that Donald Trump is not just flirting with the run but actually running, he apparently still likes the idea of a Donald Trump/Oprah Winfrey ticket. He says that they would win easily, actually. That`s a quote. That`s how he puts it. "We would win easily, actually." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I like Oprah. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? INTERVIEWER: No. TRUMP: No, I like Oprah. INTERVIEWER: Who are the kind of people you`re going to run. TRUMP: Oprah would be great. I`d love to have Oprah. I think we would win easily, actually. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: I think we would win easily, actually. So, we have put in a call to Oprah Winfrey`s enormous company today to see if they would give us a statement to find out if over the course of these past 16 years, that he`s been floating the idea, whether or not she has warmed to the idea of being Donald Trump`s vice presidential running mate. Whether she would like to be vice president to Donald Trump. So far, we have not heard back from Ms. Winfrey. I`ll let you know. I`m going to be sitting by the phones all night in the hopes that she might call. Obviously, she`s probably not going to call. I would guess, if she does call, that she`s going to say no. But what if she did call and she said yes? What if Oprah is the first person, she said yes to about that? I will be up all night. I will have the ringer on. Oprah Winfrey, please call. That was awesome. Today has been an amazing day in the news. There were a few bumps today for Mr. Trump`s big launch. They did apparently have to put barkers out on the street in Manhattan outside Trump Tower to lure in random pedestrians and passersby in order to fill the room for Mr. Trump when he made his announcement. That was reported by CNN today. Also, Mr. Trump chose to play Neil Young`s song "Rockin` in the Free World" for his hype music for the event. Since "Rockin` in the Free World" is basically a song about the Republicans screwing the poor, you can imagine that Neil Young was not all that excited about it becoming the Donald Trump for president anthem. After that happened at this event today, Neil Young released a statement to "Mother Jones" magazine saying, quote, "Donald Trump`s use of `Rockin` in the Free World` was not authorized." And then the very next sentence, there`s no like ellipses here, there`s no other thing that I`m editing out. The first sentence is "Donald Trump`s use of `Rockin` in the Free World` was not authorized." And the second is, "Mr. Young is a long time supporter of Bernie Sanders." So endorsement for Bernie Sanders and you can`t use my song. That wasn`t great for Mr. Trump`s launch. Also, the number crunchers at took a look at not just the current crop of people who are running for president in 2016. They actually looked at all major president candidates dating back to 1980. It turns out there are roughly 106 people who have run for president dating back to 1980, at least people who are major enough candidates that there`s publicly available data on their approval ratings and their disapproval ratings. In that universe of data, out of all the more than 100 people who have run for president in this modern era, Donald Trump beats them all. Donald Trump has the highest disapproval rating of anybody on that list by quite some distance. And there have been some really unpopular people who have run for president. I mean, no offense to my Uncle Pat, but Pat Buchanan was really unpopular when he ran in 2000. Forty-three percent of people had a negative view of Pat Buchanan when he ran for president in 2000 election. That was the worst ever. Donald Trump is worse than that by 14 points, 57 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump and he is running for the Republican nomination for president. So, that`s a challenge. Now, it should be noted that Mr. Trump has not filed his official paperwork to run with the FEC. You can check who has filed very easily on the FEC Web site. It`s fun. There`s a gazillion people running. Now that he has said out loud that he`s running, though, and he has 120 days before legally he has to file the paperwork. A lot of people believe that even though he made this announcement that he`s running and he has staff in Iowa, in New Hampshire and South Carolina and it looks more like he`s running like he has in the past, a lot of people believe he will never file the paperwork and mount a legal official run in part because conceivably, that`s the sort of thing that might affect whether he`s able to keep doing his reality TV slow appearances. If Mr. Trump rides out the full 120 days from his announcement today, though, let`s say he goes 119 1/2 days, which is the window that he`s got before he actually has to file the paperwork and he gets out at the end of that time so he doesn`t have to file, within that window, he`s still on track to take part in these first Republican nationally televised presidential debates. And to be in the second nationally televised presidential debate, and possibly depending on when they schedule it, he will also be in the third nationally televised Republican presidential debate. Nobody thinks that is going to put him and Oprah Winfrey any closer to the White House. And it is likely to have a powerful effect on what the Republican debates in there for the Republican primary process is going to be like this year. Even during his announcement today, he was already throwing absolute flaming trash at the other Republicans in the race, particularly a bunch of the mainstream substantive candidates who might have a real shot. He started off right at the top of his remarks, throwing mud at Rick Perry specifically because during Rick Perry`s announcement, it was really hot remember, and Rick Perry looked a little sweaty. That`s unlike Mr. Trump who`s today was perfectly air-conditioned. He said it right at the beginning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: It`s great to be at Trump Tower. It`s great to be in a wonderful city, New York. And it`s an honor to have everybody here. This is beyond anybody`s expectations. There`s been no crowd like this. And I can tell you, some of the candidates, they went in, they didn`t know the air-conditioner didn`t work. They sweated like dogs. They didn`t know the room was too big because they didn`t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don`t think it`s going to happen. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Dogs don`t sweat. But imagine a nationally televised Republican presidential debate which doesn`t include people like Rick Perry, maybe, or Rick Santorum or Bobby Jindal or any of these actual high level politicians, but it does include this guy, up there on stage with, say, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: But all of these politicians that I`m running against now, they`re trying to distance -- I mean, you looked at Bush, it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn`t answer the question. He didn`t know. I said, is he intelligent? Then, I looked at Rubio. He was unable to answer the question. Is Iraq is a good thing or a bad thing? He didn`t know. He couldn`t answer the question. How are these people going to lead us? How are we going to go back and make it great again? We can`t. They don`t have a clue. They can`t lead us. They can`t. They can`t even answer simple questions. It was terrible. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Welcome to the Republican primary for president of the United States. This is now, for a long time what it`s going to be like. And by putting FOX News in charge of the criteria for who`s allowed to compete for the nomination, the Republican has just locked themselves into a deal where for at a minimum, for one of their debates and for two for their debates, maybe for three of their debates, maybe for all of their debates the he files, this guy is going to be on stage. And the guy who came in second to Mitt Romney in 2012 and a bunch of Republican governors of major states will not be there in part because he is there. It`s just amazing. But as promise, we do have a little something from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush announced yesterday. Today was his first official day, full day as a candidate. In terms of his announcement, he did not have a big online response to his announcement. A lot of the candidates have had a big online response. Now, the lack of response to him online may be in part because Jeb Bush doesn`t really have an online presence of any kind. So it`s hard to know if the kind of flat response he got in social media and on the Web in general, it`s hard to know that`s something you can hold against him in terms of his campaign or if he`s just not even trying in terms of the web. But tonight, in terms of big media, Jeb Bush will be appearing on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon", and that will involve some slow-jamming of the news by Jeb Bush. We have got our hands on that clip and that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for president. Tonight, he took his first step in appearing presidential. It involves a late night talk show and a microphone and the legendary Roots. That`s right after this. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: All right. Here it is. Tonight on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," Jeb Bush slow-jams the news. I swear. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m looking forward to hitting the campaign trail and discussing the issues that are important to all Americans. And having spirited debates with my fellow Republicans about how to solve them. JIMMY FALLON, TONIGHT SHOW: You don`t want to mess with Little Jebby. Because when it comes to debating, he`s a master. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a master debater FALLON: Now, that we`re talking about the issues, where do you stand on immigration? BUSH: Well, Jimmy, we`re a nation of immigrants and I believe everyone should ever the chance to achieve the American dream. And to translate that for all your Spanish speaking viewers (SPEAKING SPANISH) FALLON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the telefono. I know I just got back from Miami, but I didn`t think I was interviewing Governor Pitbull. (MUSIC) BUSH: Fire ball. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Jeb Bush on "The Tonight Show" tonight. That`s real, amazing. Today was Jeb Bush`s first full day as an official candidate for president. He was the 11th candidate to declare yesterday when he made his big announcement in Miami. Governor Bush`s first big day, first full day as a candidate was somewhat stepped on by the 12th candidate who entered the race, a man who did to is on in New York City with a splash. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Sadly, the American dream is dead. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Running for president on the American dream is dead ticket, former real estate (INAUDIBLE) Joining us now, MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt who attended Donald Trump`s presidential announcement earlier today. Kasie, thank you. How was it? KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Colorful. MADDOW: He gave out prepared remarks and then did not give the prepared remarks. HUNT: And then blew through every prepared word that there was to blow through. Yes, it kept going and going. It was Trump-tacular, I guess. If you know well everything about Donald Trump, his personality, his hair, his flamboyance was on display at Trump Tower. MADDOW: I had Chris Matthews on the show last night because I feel like I need help in understanding this. It`s like I can`t -- I can`t tell if this is politics or if this is just PR from a celebrity -- the PR from a celebrity thing that I don`t understand, right, because I don`t really understand his celebrity. I can`t tell if this is real politics. Is there a way to figure that out? HUNT: Look, I think it`s a little bit of both. And it`s a lot of PR obviously. It`s a lot of celebrity. I think Donald Trump wants to be seen as someone would is a player. He knows in a field where he is the 12th candidate, he can`t just talk about running if he wants to be in the conversation. He has to actually take another step, he has to actually do it. But do I think there is an element of Donald Trump that appeals to a certain segment, particularly the Republican base. There`s a reason why Mitt Romney ran Donald Trump robo calls in Michigan primary. I mean, that happened for a reason. And actually, after his announcement, the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, got on the phone with Donald Trump when he was up in his office later on. So, I mean, there are definitely Republican figures he has in his office, a framed front page newspaper that Scott Walker, you know, framed to him, signed and mailed to him after he won his gubernatorial election most recently. So, I mean, this is somebody who, you know, is connected to a lot of people in the Republican -- (CROSSTALK) MADDOW: So, you`re saying the upper echelons of the Republican Party have been feeding him for a long time, making him feel like he`s a player, and so now, he believes he is. I mean, well, I`m the reason put it that way. He really is likely going to make it into the debates. HUNT: He definitely could make it into the debates and he could push off something like John Kasich, who is the sitting governor of Ohio. MADDOW: Or Bobby Jindal, or Carly Fiorina, or potentially Rick Perry, definitely Lindsey Graham. I mean, he`s not hard to be pushed. HUNT: Right. MADDOW: I mean, if he`s going to be there in the debates, even if he doesn`t file, he`s be -- I can still be, depending on his polling in the first debate, the second debate, maybe even the third debate, do the other candidates have to strategize about that? He`s going to be on stage. HUNT: Well, if, in fact, the media organizations do allow him, they don`t change the criteria. I mean, I`ve talked to some Republicans who say, you know what, the RNC made a big mistake in feeding these criteria to media organizations -- MADDOW: Ding, ding, ding, yes. HUNT: -- precisely because of this issue. But yes, I mean, they are going to have to figure out a way to deal with it. Maybe they all collectively decided to ignore him. But, you know, if possibly you can put them in a position where they can`t. I mean, I`m not exactly sure if you`re a political operative, experienced political operative, how you strategize around Donald Trump. It seems like a problem that no one has ever had to solve before. MADDOW: Let me ask you about one other thing. This is just one special moment from the announcement today. We`ll play it and you tell me what this means. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I`m using my own money. I`m not using the lobbyists, I`m not using donors. I don`t care. I`m really rich. I`ll show that in a second. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: If this is a real campaign, A, he can really self-finance if he wants to. He could be sort of his own billionaire, right? We talk about these guys, everybody gets a billionaire. He could be his own. This is like Foster Friess running, right? This is like Sheldon Adelson actually running. HUNT: It strikes me that maybe Donald Trump has the most bones to pick with the new campaign finance system because suddenly, he`s potentially he`s on an equal playing field with all of these people who haven`t made as much money. His favorite past time seems to be trashing Mitt Romney for only having a few hundreds of millions of dollars, instead of having apparently now he says $9 million in assets. We haven`t exactly seen the full paperwork to back it up. But that`s the claim. MADDOW: That was part of his speech, was announcing that he`s very, very -- amazing. Amazing. MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, I don`t usually envy you your job. I usually think my job is better. Today, your job was better. HUNT: Thank you, Rachel. I love my job. MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots ahead. And I got to tell you, Kasie actually got to sit down with Donald Trump for an interview today. You`re going to be able to see it tomorrow morning on "MORNING JOE", which means mandatory viewing All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I don`t know what it is with liberals and their bicycles, but this is getting to be a thing in politics now. Secretary of state and 71-year-old human man John Kerry is fresh out of the hospital after he crashed his bike just outside Geneva, Switzerland, and broke his right femur recently. Before John Kerry, it was Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer who suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs when a car hit him on his bike, the year before he joined the court. And then he crashed his bike again and broke his shoulder in 2013. Well, now, it`s Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. Secretary Pritzker was training for a triathlon this weekend when her bike apparently hit some loose gravel and she fell down hard. Her office says she did not break any bones, but the bruising on her hip is severe enough that she will need at least a month to recover. And because of that, she has had to cancel an official commerce secretary trip this week to Brazil. And this is the part where I am supposed to make some joke about lefties not being able to steer right, but honestly, I`m just worried about you guys. Seriously, everybody, wear your helmets, go slower, try to stop falling down and crashing into things. Your country needs you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The founders of al Qaeda were these guys, right? Very well known. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and the number two leader of the group was Ayman al-Zawahiri. When bin Laden started sleeping with the fishies, there was no question about who would takeover al Qaeda now that he was gone, because Ayman al-Zawahiri had always been bin Laden`s second in command. So, in 2011, bin Laden gets killed, right? SEAL Team 6 kills bin Laden in 2011. He`s gone. Zawahiri takes over. But that means a job opening, right? I mean, when Zawahiri stepped up to become number one in al Qaeda central, they needed a new second in command. The guy who eventually got tapped for that job, second in command to Zawahiri, second in command for all of al Qaeda, running al Qaeda central, that guy who got that job was this guy. And today, the U.S. government announced that they just killed him. There is a $25 million bounty on Zawahiri`s head, just like there was for bin Laden when he was still alive. That $25 million bounty still stands. But there was a $10 million bounty on this guy`s head. I don`t know if anybody is going to get paid that $10 million, but according to this video released today from al Qaeda and according to the National Security Council at the White House, the guy is dead, killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. Now, there`s a reason why everybody is calling this the biggest blow against al Qaeda since the death of bin Laden. This is a really high ranking guy. This is a huge deal, second in command to Zawahiri just got killed. Here is the thing, though, here`s a thing about what`s next -- October 28th, 2010, John Brennan, President Obama`s top counterterrorism adviser gets a call about some very, very suspicious packages that were heading to the United States. Saudi Arabia`s intelligence chief was apparently the man who called him that Thursday night in 2010 to tell John Brennan that they needed to go on high alert in the United States to find two specific packages that were heading to the U.S. Now, handily, the Saudi intelligent chief gave John Brennan specific tracking packages and the specific destinations for where they were headed. He said what they need to look for specifically were printer cartridges. These printer cartridges, it turned out, were loaded into working laser jet printers and those printers were, in fact, being shipped to the United States. Specifically, they were addressed to destinations in Chicago. They were shipped from Yemen. And although from the outside they looked like normal printers, stuffed with normal printer cartridges, even if you X-rayed these packages, they just like normal printers with printer cartridges inside. In fact, those printer cartridges were really powerful bombs. The first package had left Yemen, on a passenger flight. The printer cartridge bombs weren`t detected. That flight landed in Dubai where the printer cartridge bombs weren`t detected. After Dubai, the cargo was moved on to a UPS cargo plane headed for Germany. The printer cartridge bombs weren`t detected. That plane landed in Germany, the cartridge bombs weren`t detected. The cargo from that plane was then loaded on to another plane headed for the U.K. Still, no one detected the bomb. The U.K. was going to be the last stop for that plane before it headed to America. That plane was due to stop in Philly and then go on to Chicago. But when that cargo plane arrived in the U.K., they caught it. They found the bomb, because of that tip to John Brennan. At East Midland Airport at 2:13 a.m. local time, British police and bomb experts boarded that cargo plane. They found the box with that tracking number on it. They opened it up. They found the printer. They opened that up and found the cartridge. They found the bomb. Scotland Yard said that bomb was fully operable. If that flight had taken off for the U.S., that bomb would have blown up midair over the Eastern United States. The second package also left Yemen, bomb undetected, that one was bound for Newark and then Chicago, but thanks to that tip to John Brennan, they caught up to that package at a FedEx airport depot. By the time they caught that bomb, it was 17 minutes from exploding when they finally found it. Both bombs were basically completely undetectable had it not been for those tips. Those bombs were made to evade all the anti-explosive technologies, the x-ray detection, the bomb sniffing dogs, everything. And they weren`t being detected until think got those tips with the tracking numbers. If it wasn`t for that tip to Saudi Arabia, those packages, those bombs would have made their way to the United States and they were big and powerful enough and well-built enough to take those planes out of the sky. That plot was put together by the al Qaeda chapter that`s called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. It`s al Qaeda in Yemen, basically. And truth is that that plot is basically the closest we have come to a 9/11- style attack on American soil since 9/11. The other time we came really close to a 9/11 style attacks since 9/11 was when this guy got a significant quantity of live explosives onto a U.S.-bound flight in 2010, less than a year before the printer cartridges. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for him, he failed in trying to detonate those explosives, but that plot, too, was al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Same group. They haven`t brought a plane down yet, but three times they have successfully smuggled significant quantities of live explosives unto planes bound for the United States, when nobody else has managed anything like that. So, here is the thing. The number two guy in al Qaeda central, the number two guy to Zawahiri, the guy whose death the United States government announced today, he was the number two guy in al Qaeda central. He was also the leader, the number one guy of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He was the leader of those groups until now. He was the leader of those groups when they pulled off those bomb plots. For years, U.S. officials have judged that branch of al Qaeda to be the biggest threat in the world in terms of a potential large scale terrorist attack in the United States. And their leader is now dead. But just like al Qaeda had to replace bin Laden, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is also going to have to replace this guy. They`re going to have to move up their second in command. And in turns out their second in command who al Qaeda announced today would be taking over for the guy who just got killed, their new leader of the most dangerous branch of al Qaeda is apparently the guy who personally masterminded the printer cartridge plot, which is the plot that was the closest we`ve ever come to a 9/11 since 9/11. That guy, the one who organized that attack is ascending the ranks. I mean, for all the right reasons, right? The man is dead. The man who has moved the more effective than any other terrorists in the world at planning post-9/11 large scale attacks against Americans on American soil, he just got a big promotion. Joining us now is NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, it`s great to see you. Thanks for -- AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Great to be here, Rachel. MADDOW: Is that family tree right in terms of the al Qaeda hierarchy? MOHYELDIN: Oh, absolutely. In fact, there are even more pieces in that puzzle that we -- and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, perhaps you remember the name Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen whose also killed by U.S. drone strike, but also a very central figure in the recruiting and the messaging particularly to Westerners from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. MADDOW: The biggest part of this story is that this is the highest level killing of an al Qaeda operative. This is the highest level of the al Qaeda hierarchy that the U.S. has struck since bin Laden. One of the things that was surprising to me is that there was this huge U.S. Special Forces presence in Yemen until March. And then because of the Yemeni civil war and everything going on there, all the special operators pulled out -- and I thought that would mean the drone strikes and all the other counterterrorism stuff in Yemen would basically stop. It seems like it hasn`t stopped. MOHYELDIN: Not at all. And the U.S. has certainly demonstrated the capability. I don`t think anyone ever doubted it has the capability to carry out these air strikes. I mean, not only is it operating in Libya where they carried out that strike against the purported leader of al Qaeda in Libya, in West Africa. MADDOW: Right, this past weekend. MOHYELDIN: Yes, Mokhtar Belmokhtar. But they also took out, as we just saw, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They`ve also recently gone into Syria with Special Operations Forces where they don`t have any presence on the ground inside Syria, but still managed to kill Abu Sayyaf, who is the chief financier, if you will, of ISIS. The U.S. definitely has the military capability. The question is, does this strategy work in deterring the next generation of al Qaeda or ISIS leaders from coming up? MADDOW: Right. MOHYELDIN: And what we`ve seen is that every time one of these leaders is killed, the next generation is more dangerous, more lethal, more -- much more aggressive in trying to come after the United States and its allies. MADDOW: And you keep cutting off sort of the head of the snake and a new head grows or a different snake pops up somewhere else. I guess the other question, though, operationally, is whether or not it is a surprise that very senior level al Qaeda leaders are still vulnerable to this type of American military action. I mean, one of the things we learned and sort of the bin Laden raid is the extreme stuff that they take, especially at the highest levels to avoid being susceptible to any of those sort of things. This guy who was killed, is he more brazen? Was he more out in the open than your typical al Qaeda? Is that much of a surprise they were able to nail him? MOHYELDIN: Well, these guys have to communicate. They live in some remote parts of the world where it works to their advantage and their disadvantage. There are remote places in Yemen and in Libya, and it`s difficult for them to perhaps be the subject of a raid. But at the same time, they have to communicate with their operatives, with people that are sending the money and that`s where I think the biggest, if you will, leak comes from. But -- MADDOW: Traceability, right, yes. MOHYELDIN: Traceability, exactly. And the U.S. at this point has been fighting this war for 15 years. They`ve certainly developed an infrastructure of informants within many of these groups, within intelligence agencies in the region. And they`re using that information. It`s easy to kill individuals. It`s harder to kill the ideas. MADDOW: Yes. MOHYELDIN: And I think the biggest challenge right now is that 15 years later, the idea still exists. We`ve killed bin Laden. Many people thought that was going to be a massive blow to al Qaeda, and what we are seeing is al Qaeda is thriving in some parts of the world. We did the same thing with Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq, we killed him, but then we saw the rise of ISIS. MADDOW: ISIS, out of what remained of his organization. MOHYELDIN: Exactly. MADDOW: Fascinating. NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin -- Ayman, it`s always good to have you here. MOHYELDIN: My pleasure. MADDOW: Particularly because you are doing double duty, hosting way too early as well. I will buy you something -- MOHYELDIN: You`re going to have to wake up tomorrow morning at 5:30 to watch with me. MADDOW: All right. I`ll beg some sleep for you at least. Thanks a lot, Ayman. All right. Lots more ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Programming note, it`s about the show and also not about the show. First of all, the not about the show part, very important, is that it`s my mother`s birthday today. Hi, mom. Happy birthday! And here is the about the show part -- mom, tomorrow, on the occasion of your birthday, I have planned for you tomorrow a really excellent story for about the pope because I know you love the pope. And I know in most families that would be a really weird birthday present to give your mom, but not in mine. In my family, that`s perfectly normal, isn`t it? I think it is. Happy birthday, mom. I love you. Pope tomorrow. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RONNIE FLOYD, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION PRESIDENT: I want to say to every pastor today of the United States who believes the word of God, this is a Bonheoffer moment for every pastor if the United States. While some evangelicals -- while some evangelicals may be bowing down to the inception of the inclusiveness of same-sex marriage, or marriage in their churches, we will not back down, nor will we be silent. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He`s the leader of the Southern Baptists at their convention today. He`s talking about the forthcoming ruling from the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. When he said this is a Bonheoffer moment for every pastor in United States, what he is referencing, of course, is the German Lutheran pastor that was part of a plot to kill Hitler during World War II. So, the head of the Southern Baptists today saying American pastors are going to have an assassinate Hitler moment if the Supreme Court says that gay people can be married. This is Reverend Ronnie Floyd from the Southern Baptists convention, speaking today at their convention in Columbus, Ohio. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FLOYD: I want to remind everyone today, humbly, the Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority. As for me, I declare to everyone today as a minister of the gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies. I completely refuse. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Imagine who`s going to be disappointed by that. Who would want him to officiate? More on this ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Two years ago, police in Waterloo, Iowa, got a call from a local resident. When the police arrived, they found a woman who had called them. She was standing on her porch. And she was hammered. She was drunk. And the Waterloo police decided to arrest her for public intoxication at her own house, on her own porch. The woman has argued ever since that her front porch is not actually a public space, and if she was drunk she may have been intoxicated but she was not publicly intoxicated. She was at her house. The drunk lady on the porch in Waterloo, Iowa, took her case all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court and now, the Supreme Court has ruled on her case. Justice Daryl Hecht writing for the court, quote, "If the front stairs of a single-family residence are always a public place, it would be a crime to sit there calmly in a breezy summer day and sip a mojito, or celebrate a professional achievement with a mixed drink of choice, or even baste meat on the grill with a bourbon infused barbecue sauce unless one first obtained a liquor license. We do not think the legislature intended Iowa law to be so heavy-handed." She won. The drunk lady on the porch won. You can be drunk on your own porch in Waterloo, Iowa. And the word mojito finally has made it in to a Supreme Court decision. When it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court still on mojito watch and there is nothing so pressing as the can`t a girl be drunk on her own porch case. But this is supposed to be the end of the Supreme Court`s term for this year, it`s June. And there are a ton of cases of which they still haven`t rule. In fact, they have so many cases still to roll on that they have just announced that instead of just releasing rulings on Monday, like they usually do, from here on out, they`re going to hand down rulings both on Mondays and on Thursdays until they are all done. One of the remaining cases about whether a church in Arizona should be able to put up signs on the side of the road like this, another case about this Spiderman web blaster toy where you shoot webs out of your wrist like Spidey. There`s a really boring patent claim on this toy. Hopefully the justices got silly string shooters to play with while making their decision. Another case is about this charming neo-Nazi who`s upset about his sentence. Also, there were apparently tyrannical federal raisin regulations that are finally getting weighed on the scales of justice. We`re waiting on raisin justice. We`re on rulings on all of those cases and a bunch more. They are all due within the next two weeks. And in addition to all of those, we are waiting on what happened to be some of the highest profile Supreme Court cases in years. The case that might decide whether lethal injection is constitutional, the case that may determine the fate of Obamacare and whether millions of people lose their health insurance all in one fail swoop, and the big gay marriage case which is generating a huge amount of anxiety on both sides of the issue. As a measure of that anxiety, consider this full page ad that just run on "The Washington Post". A pledge to resist if the court says states have to recognize same-sex marriages. It says, "We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court that will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage." The guy organizing this pledge said he expects the conservatives that sign it will be fined and forced to go to jail for their objections to gay people being allowed to get married. This pledge has been signed among others by two Republican candidates for president this year, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, have both signed it. Rick Santorum was supposedly not going to run on the anti-gay stuff this year but oh, well, can`t resist. On Obamacare, on the death penalty, on this marriage case, and all this pending big, big, big cases, it`s been pushed so late in the term. I mean, it`s the second half of June already. People are going nuts trying to figure out how the justices are going to rule on these really big cases. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took part in a public event on Saturday night. "The Washington Post" sent a reporter to this event. On the verge of hearing about all these cases, "The Washington Post" sent a reporter to see how Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed at the event in case that may offer a clue. "Washington Post" reporter was able to provide this important information. Quote, "She seemed in a good mood." What? You guys, she smiled. Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed happy. Does that mean gay marriage is about to be legal coast to coast? Does that mean millions of people will keep health care or not? She did smile. We really do just have to wait for the justices to release their decisions on the days they choose at the pace they choose. Usually, when world-changing Supreme Court cases are pending or even cases about raisin law and neo-Nazi sentences and church road signs and Spiderman patents. I mean, usually, when Supreme Court cases are pending and people are counting on the outcomes, it`s all about Mondays. In this case, there are so many rulings large and small pending between now and the end of the month, now, it is not only about Mondays, it`s about Thursdays. So, rulings on Mondays and Thursdays for the rest of this month until they are done. We don`t know which case are going to come out on which day, but watch this space as usual and maybe twice as often as you otherwise would, and call me immediately if you see Clarence Thomas smiling because that might be very, very important news. That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END