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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/21/15

Guests: Miguel Almaguer

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now with Steve Kornacki, in for Rachel. Good evening, Steve. STEVE KORNACKI, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks for that. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Rachel has the night off. We`re going to do something a little different tonight. We`re going to talk about a presidential candidate who is not Donald Trump. We`re going to talk about one that has nothing to do with Donald Trump, except -- well, except to the fact that it has everything to do with Donald Trump, because everything in politics right now has at least something to do with Donald Trump. Here is what I mean. Today, the Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, threw his hat in the ring. He`s getting into the race. He`s running for president. He made the announcement in front of a few thousand people today at his alma mater at the Ohio State University. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The testing is what makes you stronger. It`s the challenges that make you better. I have lived through them and I have become stronger for them and America has become stronger for them. And here is how we have done it: by staying together. Not by dividing each other, but staying together with the eyes on the horizon -- with our eyes on the horizon about the future. (APPLAUSE) I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president of the United States. (APPLAUSE) I`m going to take what we`ve learned here in the heartland, the band of brothers and sisters that I work with everyday, and we are going take the lessons of the heartland and straighten out Washington, D.C., and fix our country. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Now, here`s a thing about Kasich: there are a lot of Republican candidates for president this year. More that we`ve ever seen before. You already know that. But among all of those candidates who are out there right now, all 16 of them at this minute, among all of those candidates, Kasich actually does stand out, at least on paper. Think about this, he is the two term governor of a major swing state, maybe the key swing state of Ohio. It`s a state that`s going for the winning candidate in every presidential election since 1960. If Republicans are going to win back the White House in 2016, they need Ohio. And Kasich could get it for them. Last year, he ran for reelection, and he won by a landslide. His Democrat opponent basically imploded during that campaign. Kasich ended up winning it by 31 points. His approval rating in Ohio right now sits at 61 percent. Another poll shows that 72 percent of Ohioans feel that things are going in the right direction in their state. Now, think for a second here about another candidate in the presidential race. Think about Chris Christie for a second. Think of all those polls showing how deeply unpopular he has become in his home state back in New Jersey. Well, John Kasich doesn`t have that problem at all. He is popular in Ohio, and Ohio could end up being the state that decides who the next president is. There`s also electability. Republicans want to badly to win back the presidency and Kasich has a real case to make that he can over the swing voters who aren`t too nuts these days about the Republican Party. For example, he is one of the few governors who`s expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, under Obamacare. Many conservatives don`t like this, but it could be very attractive in a general election. That`s if Kasich could get to a general election. Look at how he talks about this issue. When a group of conservatives confronted him about his expansion of Medicaid, he said this to them. He said, "When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he is probably not going ask you much of what you did about keeping the government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer." You don`t hear them talking and especially when it comes to the key components and then the issue of immigration. Remember, the Republicans got clobbered with Latino voters back in 2012. And actually, it`s not just Latinos. How many voters of every strip have been turned off by the nativist noise that has been emanating from the Republican Party. But here is what Kasich had to say about the immigration today. He said, "I don`t believe we should be demonizing people who are law-abiding, hard working folks." And he sounds like a very different Republican than you`re used to hearing. Here is the thing -- you can argue that because of this, because Kasich says and does things like this, that he is doomed no matter what. The Republican base will never go for someone who talks like this and who does things like this. And maybe that`s true. Maybe that is. But Kasich said that he is the Republican that Democrats least want to run against, well, there`s probably something to that argument. He can tell Republicans, look, if you`re sick of losing, if you don`t want to lose your third straight election, if you don`t want to lose your fifth national election in the last seven, if you don`t want to lose the poplar vote for the sixth time in the last seven, if you don`t want all of that to keep on happening, then get on board with me. He can make that argument and it has something to back it up with, too. But here is the real problem, here`s the real problem, here is the real problem for John Kasich. He is getting in this race awfully late, later than everybody else. He is the 16th candidate in the race, and it`s the end of July. Look at the calendar for a second here because he faces an immediate and crucial test. It`s a critical test that could end his candidacy before it even gets going if he fails it. And that test has to do with this date, August 6th. It`s just over two weeks from now. It`s the date of the first Republican debate. FOX News is going to be televising it, millions are going to be watching it. It`s taking place in Cleveland. That is in John Kasich`s state. And here`s a rule for this debate you probably heard about it. Only ten candidates are going to be allowed to take part. The top ten candidates in an average of the five most recent polls right before the debate. And right now, if that debate were being held tonight, right now, John Kasich wouldn`t make it. He wouldn`t be allowed in the room. The whole political world would be watching, all of the heavy hitter Republican candidates on stage in Kasich`s home state and Kasich would be nowhere in sight. It would be a huge blow to his campaign. It would be a blow to his credibility as a serious candidate. John Kasich really, really needs to get in that debate. And now, he has just two weeks to bump up his poll numbers and to make that top ten. That is his challenge. Make the top ten or face the humiliation and being denied a ticket to a debate in his own backyard. So, Kasich got in the race today and normally, the big, splashy campaign announced he made today, the one we showed you a minute off at the top of the show, normally, that would be good for a bump in the polls -- the kind of bump that John Kasich desperately needs right now. But here is the real problem for John Kasich, and here`s where you know who comes in. Because while he did everything that he possibly could to get the political world`s attention today, it isn`t John Kasich and it`s not his campaign announcement that the political world is talking about tonight. Instead, it`s this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was coming up and I see your senator. What a stiff, what a stiff. Lindsey Graham. By the way -- by the way, he is registered zero in polls. Zero. He`s on television all the time. And then I see Rick Perry the other day, and he`s so -- you know, he is doing very poorly on the polls, he put glasses on so people would think he`s smart. It just doesn`t work. You know, people can see through the glasses. But he`s got the glasses, the whole deal. Oh, oh, oh, Trump, oh, oh, oh. And these politicians, they run and they run and they win and sometimes they lose and they keep running. That`s all they do is run. Most of them don`t know what they`re doing. They just run. They`re like -- you know, like you wind them up and they run for office. They don`t do anything when they get there. I know them better than anybody. So, they say that they didn`t like the way that the little -- I`m a little loud, I`m little too strong. But they don`t like it. And then I watch this idiot Lindsey Graham on television today and he calls me a jackass. He`s a jackass. I`m suppose to be -- guys, I`m trying to be nice. You know, I`m working hard to be nice. But every time that I turn on, I have some guy that is hitting me like hard. Now, the reason they`re hitting me in all fairness is that when you register zero on the poll, what the hell, they have nothing to lose, right? But this guy Lindsey Graham, he calls me a jackass this morning. And I said to myself, you know, it`s amazing. He doesn`t seem like a very bright guy, OK? He actually probably seems to me not as bright as, honestly, as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is probably smarter than Lindsey Graham. But what do I know? You know, have many millions between Facebook and Twitter, it`s great. It`s like owning a newspaper without the lawsuits. It`s incredible. Incredible. So, I treated that Rick Perry should have to have an IQ test before getting on the debate stage. People said that was tough. Today, I get called a jackass by this guys. And then I said to myself, hey, didn`t this guy just call me like four years ago? Yes. He called me four years ago -- three or four years ago. Lindsey Graham, I didn`t even know who he was. He goes, Mr. Trump, this is Senator Lindsey Graham, I wonder if it would be possible for you to call FOX because until I ran, I had that little thing I do just for fun. "Fox and Friends" are so great. Brian and Steve and Elisabeth, they`re great people, right? They`re great. And he wanted to know whether or not I could him a good reference on "Fox and Friends", OK? He wanted to know. Would I do that? And, then, of course, he wanted to know whether or not he could come and see me for some campaign contributions. So, Lindsey Graham says to me, please, please, please whatever you can do. What is this guy a beggar? He is like begging me to help him with "Fox and Friends". So, I say, OK, and I`ll mention my name. He said, could you mention my name? I said, yes, I may. And he gave me his number, and I found the card. I wrote the number down. I don`t know if it`s the right number, let`s try -- 202 (AUDIO DELETED). I don`t know maybe it`s three or four years ago, so, maybe it`s an old number. 202 (AUDIO DELETED) So, I don`t know, give it a shot. Your local politician, you know, they won`t fix anything but at least they`ll talk to you. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Donald Trump today in South Carolina, Lindsey Graham`s home state, giving out Lindsey Graham`s cell phone number to hundreds of people who are at that rally, also to anyone who was watching on TV, to anyone who`s seen that clip online, that happened today, and that`s taking up a good chunk of the news today. And not just that, today was also the day that Donald Trump went after "The Des Moines Register" after it wrote an editorial calling on him to drop out of the presidential race. Trump said that the paper, quote, "will do anything for a headline in this poorly written non-endorsement got them some desperately needed ink." It`s hard for this not to be news if for no reason, because it`s just such a bazaar spectacle. Here you have a major national figure. It`s a guy who is running for president and now a guy leading in the polls in the Republican Party for president, that guy standing up and giving out the phone number of one of his opponents. It`s the kind of thing that gets notice if nothing else. It`s the kind of thing that gets buzz, it`s the kind of thing that drowns out someone like John Kasich, who`s making a much more traditional speech, detailing all the reasons that he wants to run for president. And everyday, something like this is happening, something like this keeps happening. There`s a new Donald Trump headline, a new Donald Trump controversy, or just some new bizarre Donald Trump spectacle. It is a new poll that has him leading. Maybe it`s comments about John McCain not being a war hero. Maybe it`s comments about immigration. It`s anything. It`s everything. Donald Trump has grabbed control of the news cycle for weeks now and he is drowning out everyone else. And the stakes in all of this are actually very real. Whenever you think about John Kasich, he is a serious and credible candidate for president. He has serious credentials. Two decades in Congress, two terms as governor of a major state. He has shown the ability to appeal across party lines. He is promising to talk about issues in a way that many of the others don`t. But it won`t matter. None of it will matter at all if no one hears them. If he is not on the debate stage two weeks from now, then no one is going to hear him and his candidacy could essentially wither on the vine. So, Donald Trump is much more than a sideshow right now. It may very well be that we are watching him right now destroy someone else`s candidacy, someone who could be a one of Republican Party`s best shots of actually winning in 2016. Joining us now is John Harwood, chief correspondent for CNBC, and a political writer of "The New York Times". John, thanks for joining us tonight. JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: Sure. KORNACKI: So, this Trump phenomenon, there was a lot of talk over the weekend that maybe he finally crossed the line with what he said about John McCain, here he is a few days later. At least the initial polling we`ve seen, and I know that`s subject to change, but there`s no immediate price that he is paying for this. How -- the laws of politics say that someone making it up as he goes along like this can`t last forever -- how long can this last? HARWOOD: I think that it will last longer. Look, we saw in the 2012 cycle, a serious of Republicans climb up the mountain and then fall down a mountain, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich for a while. I think that`s highly unlikely to happen to Donald Trump, and when it does, the loose vote that`s going to be out in the field is going to be available to people perhaps John Kasich, and, you know, I think everybody has got to figure out what they`re going to do to buy their time and then be prepared, try to take advantage when he falls. Now, you`re right to say that Kasich doesn`t have a lot of time. He`s got a debate in a couple of weeks. He needs to be on that stage. But that`s not the last debate. There`s going to be others. We`re going to have one in October and in Boulder, Colorado. They`ll be a CNN debate, which will be the second one. I mean, John Kasich is going to have other opportunities. I don`t think it`s all make or break on the first one. But he does have time to make up and he got to start hustling. KORNACKI: So, have you see -- I`m just curious. When you think back to presidential races you have covered or you just know about from history, have you seen a candidate quiet like this before? Because they have been bombastic candidates who go out there and say outlandish things. What I think might be different with Trump that I can really remember is somebody who -- when he is called on it by so many people in his own party is completely unapologetic, completely defiant, doesn`t miss a beat and throws it right back in their face. I think there`s a variable here we haven`t seen before. HARWOOD: I think that`s right. I think the other combination is the bombastic rhetoric from Trump combined with the fact that he is leading in the polls. You know, Herman Cain prospered for a while and talked about a tax plan. Donald Trump is not really talking about policy, but he`s going after people serially. John McCain, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, all sorts of people, and yet he has not come down. In fact, you know, there is a new poll out today suggesting that the bloom had not come off that rose. I think it`s going to. It hasn`t yet. It`s a bazaar spectacle. I`ve got to say. That was -- that was a comedy routine almost, that speech he was giving. It was -- there was something funny about it unless you`re John Kasich or one of the other candidates whose messages is getting bloated out. KORNACKI: And also, I wonder though if its says something listening to that extend Trump riff we just did there. What I am noticing is that he is ridiculing these politicians by name, but also the idea of -- we always have those polls up that show Congress` approval rating that`s at 6 percent now, politicians in general held in such a low regard. Washington held in such low regard. I mean, there`s a sort of decorum that exists in politics where you don`t do what Trump is doing and there`s an assumption that you can`t survive in politics doing what he`s doing. But he is probably connecting with an awful lot of sort of popular disgust out there with the political system. Lindsey Graham maybe isn`t that sacred of a figure outside of Washington. HARWOOD: There`s no question about it. Look, every single candidate in the race is dumping on Washington. He is just doing it much more vituperatively and much more personally. But the audience that`s listening to him loathes Washington, doesn`t like politicians. They don`t see it as necessarily, oh my gosh, he is insulted the senator from South Carolina -- no, not at all. So, the other thing about him that I think is unique is the nightmare of a politician who has been embraced by a party who`s been solicited for donations by a party, all of a sudden turning on them as exemplified in that cell phone thing. Look, Mitt Romney had a press conference in 2012 to tout the endorsement of Donald Trump. This is something that the Republican Party has been apart of. The Donald Trump phenomenon is something that the Republican Party has some ownership of and now, they`re reaping the whirlwind. KORNACKI: Yes. You got to wonder, how many of those Republican candidates are saying, did I ever call him? Did I ever leave a voice mail? (CROSSTALK) HARWOOD: A bunch of them did. KORNACKI: Yes. So, maybe more to come. John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, thanks for the time tonight. Appreciate it. HARWOOD: You bet. KORNACKI: So, with Donald Trump in this race and taking up all the oxygen, the question for all those other Republican candidates is about how you can get any attention for yourself. How do you drag the spotlight away from the Donald and how do you put it on yourself? Well, how about this for a suggestion? How about a wood chipper. The rich history of a very particular kind of political stunt is next. (COMMERCILA BREAK) KORNACKI: So, let`s say you`re a long shot Democratic candidate running for Congress in a comfortably red Republican district. You`re probably going to lose, but you`re going to go forward anyway. So, how do you set yourself apart? How do you get some attention? What can you do? What can you do to get some of that attention? Well, we have one option for you here. Check this out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They call me a long shoot. They say that I can`t win in this district. What happens to an elephant that stands around doing nothing for too long? (GUNSHOT) (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: So, what do you do? I guess you shoot an elephant shaped pinata in the middle of the desert. That campaign ad last year for Democratic congressional Estakio Beltran didn`t exactly bring about the desired affect. After that ad went up, the gun control group founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Giffords put out a blistering statement that called Beltran`s ad, quote, "irresponsible and offensive. This kind of misguided imagery and rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum just furthers the lack of balance in our nation`s debate about guns." The campaign then decided to take the ad down. Nevertheless, political candidates showing off their stellar marksmanship or just their ability to destroy things, this is actually a long standing tradition across the political spectrum. And the newest example -- the newest example just out today is a doozy. More on that coming up next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEWGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAMELA GORMAN: Nobody knew that I was a Second Amendment gal, you know, that I actually enjoying the shooting sports. There a lot of kids out there that`s taking pictures and so we shot a home video and put that online. Finally, it came together and I threw it on YouTube and it`s thanks to MSNBC, and the people that hate it the most is the ones that help it go viral. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: She was probably no one you`d ever heard of, and you may not remember her now. But for a brief moment during the 2010 run for Congress, this Arizona Republican was kind of everywhere, thanks to a campaign ad, she made it seemed designed to trigger liberal outrage. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNFIRE) AD NARRATOR: Meet Pamela Gorman, candidate for Congress in Arizona 3. Conservative Christian and a pretty fair shot. Raided 100 percent by the NRA, conservative Pamela Gorman is always right on target. GORMAN: I`m Pamela Gorman, and I approve this message. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Now, Pamela Gorman didn`t win that race for Congress in 2010. She actually lost the Republican primary to Ben Quayle. He`s the son of a former vice president. He beat Pamela Gorman in that race in 2010, but Pamela won a place in the hall of fame for politicians shooting at stuff. That same year in 2010, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia had better luck with an ad that showed him shooting up a copy of the cap and trade bill. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE MANCHIN, THEN-SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: As your senator, I`ll protect our Second Amendment rights. That`s why the NRA endorsed me. I`ll take on Washington and this administration to get the government off our backs and out of our pockets. I sued EPA and I`ll take dead I am at the cap and trade bill -- because it`s bad for West Virginia. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Manchin made it to the Senate in 2010. He won his election that year. Who knows how much he owes his victory to this taking out of a helpless piece of paper. First lesson of those ads is that voters remember them. The second is that candidates repeat them. In the Kentucky Senate race last year, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes made a pitch for herself as an able marksman, a skeet shooter. It didn`t work, though. She lost that race. In the Iowa Senate race last year, Republican Joni Ernst went to the firing range and came how with the Senate seat. She won her race. Here is something that caught people`s attention last year. This was from Republican Dan Sullivan, running for the Senate in Alaska. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAN SULLIVAN: Millions of dollars of negative ads are flooding into Alaska, paid for Washington special interest. Pretty soon, you`re going to want to do this to your TV. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Dan Sullivan probably needed a new TV after that, but he is also now a United States senator. Also last year in Montana, a Republican running for Congress went after some bigger prey. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATT ROSENDALE: I`m Matt Rosendale, and this is how I look from a government drone. And this is what I think about it. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Candidates shoot targets, candidates shot clay pigeons, they shot TVs, they shot the Affordable Care Act -- Will Brook of Alabama shot the Affordable Care Act a half a dozen times. It didn`t quite work. He finished fifth in the Republican primary. Ron Gould of Arizona shot the Affordable Care Act out of the sky. He also lost his Republican primary. Democrats shoot stuff too. Republicans shoot stuff. A big booming gun is one way that candidates try to make themselves stand out. In today, though, a new twist on the genre, a candidate who doesn`t shoot stuff at all. Republican Rand Paul, he is running for president, his poll numbers lately have been pretty middling, so middling in fact that his campaign is quite down in the press and began to ask everything that happened to him. Well, it turns out Paul ahs been off practicing with a chain saw. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, I`m Rand Paul and I`m trying to kill the tax code, all 70,000 pages of it. (MUSIC) (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: Paul actually has three extended play videos, so you also, you can burn the tax code with it if you want, or you can put it through a wood chipper. It`s your choice. Paul put these videos online last night, and so far, the main video has about 14,000 views, only one of the extended play methods clips is showing above a thousand and the chain saw one the clear favorite there. So, this is not quite a viral hit yet for Rand Paul. Maybe it will take off or maybe by now the shock value has worn off these things. Or maybe just another thing that no one is noticing because they`re too busy staring at Donald Trump. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KORNACKI: Still ahead tonight, did you have a poster of this on your wall when you were a kid? This photograph right here known as the blue marble was taken from space by an American astronaut in 1972. It was then reproduced about a zillion times over. And you can see why. There`s Planet Earth basically a dot swimming in the infinity of space. When we think of Earth, this is what we think of. For 40 plus years now, there has never been another photograph quit like this one -- at least until now. It too is a breathtaking image. It`s coming up at the end of the show in tonight`s best new thing in the world. There`s a lot more to come tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KORNACKI: This evening in Marietta, Georgia, the community gathered to remember Lance Corporal Skip Wells. He`s one of the U.S. marines killed in last Thursday`s shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That memorial tonight was held at Lance Corporal Wells` old high school. Georgia actually lost two men in last week`s shootings in Chattanooga. A sailor, Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith was also killed and we learned today that Randall Smith will be buried not in Georgia, but in the city where he died, in Chattanooga National Cemetery. Another victim of that shooting, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt of North Carolina will also be buried in that Chattanooga. Sergeant Wyatt`s family says they want him to be buried there, quote, "because of his love for the Chattanooga community and their outpouring of support during this time." President Obama ordered government flags to be flown at half staff today to honor the fallen servicemembers. The president offered his own eulogy for the men, taking time during a speech to a VFW convention to remember each one of them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Back in Massachusetts, Tom Sullivan cheered for his Boston teams. In battle, said a comrade, Sully was just everything that a marine should be. In two tours in Iraq, he earned a combat action ribbon, for his wounds, two Purple Hearts. When he was warned that a gunman was there in Chattanooga, he ran in so that others could live. Today, we echo the words of his community, Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan was our hero, and he will not be forgotten. Thank you for protecting us. (APPLAUSE) Growing up in Georgia, Skip Wells was a true, serving leader. Devoted to God and to his friends. Quick to lend a hand or put you on his prayer list. During his hometown`s 4th of July parade, he was so proud to be a Marine, he went in his dress uniform. Just 21 years old, a year out of boot camp. Easy-going, always smiling, even during the hardest drills. A friend said, "Skip is the kind of kid you want on your team." As Americans, we are forever grateful that Lance Corporal Squire K. Wells was on our team. As an Eagle Scout in Arkansas, David Wyatt would race up a mountain to be the first on top. He was determined to do his part for our country, found his calling in the Marines. He led with courage in Afghanistan and Iraq, and with compassion, as a mentor to comrades with post-traumatic stress. It`s said he was a gentleman and a gentle man. No one knew that better than his wife Laurie and their two young children. Today we see as they did why a friend would say that Staff Sergeant David A. Wyatt was the kind of man this country needs more of. Back home, Carson Holmquist was an embodiment of the spirit of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, population 1,300. Loved country music, loved to fish, to hunt, to play football. And he loved the Marines, showing up at his old high school in his dress blues. He`s too served in Afghanistan, was devoted to his family. His wife Jasmine, their two year old son. Said his old coach, "Carson always did the best he could." Today, our nation is stronger because America saw the best of Sergeant Carson A. Holmquist. And in his hometown in Ohio, Randall Smith is remembered as the high school baseball star with a fierce pitch. He was a fun and outgoing guy, and a guy they said you just wanted to be around. His buddies in the Navy knew it. He had just reenlisted. And his family knew it too. His wife Angie would call -- who he`d like to call the most beautiful woman in the world. Their young daughters, who he called his little princesses. Today, we join the people of Paulding, Ohio, including VFW Post 587, with five flags flying, in honor of Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall S. Smith. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: That was President Obama today, remembering the victims of last week`s shooting at the Chattanooga naval reserve center. Now, in Chattanooga, meanwhile, a spontaneous memorial to the fallen service members has been growing. People have been leaving flags, balloons and flowers outside of the other shooting site, a military recruiting center. In the wake of the attack, some are now calling for the recruiters to be armed in going forward, something that is actually prohibited. Across the country, armed volunteers have been showing up to stand guard outside recruiting centers, though the Defense Department has asked them not to. Meanwhile, investigators try to figure out the why and the how -- of how the Chattanooga shootings happened in the first place. Officials say that they are focused on shooter`s mental health troubles and substance abuse, and also a recent trip to Jordan where we learn today the shooter`s uncle has been detained for days as part of this investigation. Joining us now is NBC News national correspondent Miguel Almaguer, who is in Chattanooga. Miguel, thanks for being here tonight. So, if you could, just take us up, the latest we know from the ground in Chattanooga, and also the latest we know about the gunman here and whether anybody else knew about this head of time. MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS: Hey, Steve, good evening. Yes, it`s certainly a two-prong investigation happening on two different continents. Let`s start in Jordan, where the gunman`s lives. He`d apparently been living there for about five years. Federal officials telling us that the gunman`s uncle was taken into custody a couple of days ago. He was questioned by Jordanian officials where he continues to remain in custody tonight. Our law enforcement officials tell us that investigators have questioned him for several hours. They are concerned about his potential role while the suspect, while the gunman Mohammad Abdulazeez was living there. Of course, as you know, he spent about seven months there earlier this year, returning just a few months ago here to the States. We were told that while Mohammad Abdulazeez was living with his uncle, there were periods in which he came and went freely and where his movements weren`t always watched. So, that`s certainly a big part of the investigation that`s happening over in Georgia. Here in the state side, FBI officials will only say that there`s no motive for the shooting. They have not linked the suspect to any type of terror group or organization. So far, that`s what their investigation shows. Now, a family spokesperson has also spoken at length to us and told us that gunman suffered from some mental health issues and also have some substance abuse problems. He said that since the age of 12 or 13, the suspect had been diagnosed with being depressed. He had been seeing a child psychologist for several years, that he had highs and lows in his life over several eyars. And then we go back to about -- we go back to Tuesday. The shooting as you know happened on a Thursday. Back on Tuesday, the suspect has the last interaction in which he argued with them at a family home. He had recently gotten a DUI. The family spokesperson says that`s the last time that the parents and gunman were in contact, the 24-year-old were in contact. He then apparently rented a Mustang, spent a day driving around town with friends. What we`re told was the beginning of a three-day drug binge in this area. He picked up his friends, he dropped them off, they were speeding through the town going 80 to 100 miles an hour as early as 3:00 in the morning. And then on Thursday, we have that rampage, first the shooting here in this location, and this just a few minutes later, seven miles away at the second location, as you know, those five service members killed. KORNACKI: Yes. And, Miguel, also there had been reports about this gunman possibly downloading recordings from an al Qaeda cleric. What do you know about that? ALMAGUER: That`s something that officials -- law enforcement officials did identify for us today. They said they had been poring over his computer records, as well any web searches he had done on his mobile phones. They say he had downloaded some audio recordings from a former al Qaeda recruit officer that he had been listening to those downloadings. He may have also downloaded an audio CD, certainly part of the investigation. That raises many red flags for the FBI. That`s all part of the bigger investigation. But at this point, what officials had been telling us is that they seem to believe that he may have been listening or interested in some type of, quote, "jihad movement", but wasn`t taking orders from a group. That`s where the investigation stands out. They say, they warned it`s still very early and there could be anymore twists and turns in this investigation as the days go forward. KORNACKI: All right. NBC News national correspondent Miguel Almaguer, reporting from Chattanooga, thanks for your time tonight. ALMAGUER: Sure thing. KORNACKI: All right. Lots more to come tonight, including a surprise guest who`s going to be on the show tomorrow night. I think that you need the set the DVR right now for that show. I will give you all the details, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KORNACKI: If you spend any time geeking out on space and geeking out on all of the various NASA flight missions over the years or the amazing pictures of Pluto, maybe if you cannot get over the fact that we landed a man on the moon. If you geek out on space at any point over the last six decades, then there`s a good chance that you done so with the help of this guy. This is veteran NBC News space correspondent Jay Barbree. Some things happened in space while you have been alive, Jay Barbree has been there to tell you about it, to explain to you why it matters and how it happened. Jay Barbree`s legendary run as chief explainer of non-Earth stuff, well, that run has hit another milestone. That milestone is the best new thing in the world. That`s coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KORNACKI: OK. A quick and important programming note for you: tomorrow night on this show, Rachel is going to be back, and she is going to have a big interview with a Republican presidential candidate. Rick Santorum beat out just about all of the other Republican candidates back in 2012 when he came in second place to Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president. Santorum won the Iowa caucuses back in 2012. He won 10 other states. He came very close to winning more than that, maybe beating out Romney for the nomination. That was in 2012 and now Rick is running again. Santorum, of course, is a staunch social conservative and tomorrow night is going to be his first sit-down interview with Rachel right here on the show. It should be noted, though, that although this is Rachel`s first sit-down interview with Santorum, this will not be the first time she`s tried to interview him. During that 2012 race, you may recall that Rachel went to New Hampshire where she managed to squeeze in this quick question to him while he was doing an entirely different interview. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: On the contraception issue, you said you have been mischaracterized on that. Do you think the country would be better off if there was less contraception use? You talked today about what people -- the liberty that people should do what they ought to do, not what they want to do. RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I talked about a Brookings Institute study that said that, that`s a 2009 study, it said, if you do three things, you are almost guaranteed not to be in poverty. And those three things are: number one, work, right? It makes sense, work. Number two, graduate from high school. And number three, if you are a man, get married. If you are a woman, get married, but don`t have a child before you are married. Get married and don`t have a child before you are married. Of course, engaging in sexual activity even with contraception, there`s a good chance -- or there`s a chance, not a good chance, a chance to become pregnant. MADDOW: So if contraception was more effective, wouldn`t have an opinion? I`m sorry. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: He never got a chance to answer the follow-up question but maybe tomorrow night he will. That is tomorrow night right here. Rachel is going to have a live sit-down interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. I don`t think I need to tell you this is one you are not going to want to miss. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: There`s a segment on this show that Rachel likes to do called best new thing in the world. And today, we have a milestone edition, a landmark moment. Here we go. Earlier in the show we showed you this photo, the original blue marble taken in 1972 by the crew of Apollo 17, from about 28,000 miles from Earth. This was the first and only photo of the whole earth ever taken by a human. It`s one of the most widely reproduced photos in history. And because it`s in the public domain, because no one can make a copyright claim on this photo, this image has made its way unto t-shirts, in ties, in book covers, in dinner plates, posters, bumper stickers, everything you can imagine ever since it was taken. And now, today, almost 43 years later, after that photo was first taken, we have a new, updated version of it courtesy of the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite also known as the Discover. The Discover satellite currently lives about 1 million miles from Earth and responsible for monitoring and alerting the U.S. to changes in solar winds, which was actually a pet project of Vice President Al Gore. It was brought back to life by the Air Force and NOAA. But Discover is up there now and just sent back this. This is the first photo from the satellite. It shows a full view of North and Central America at solar noon. No shadows, just a dead-on shot of the planet. So, this week we have fresh images, not only of earth but pictures of Pluto and its moon Charon, both up-close and from afar. And today, MSNBC learned of this critical space and time discovery. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY BARBREE, NBC NEWS: Fifty-seven years ago today, I did my first report for NBC News. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. BARBREE: I have been with them ever since. (END VIDEO CLIP) KORNACKI: That`s right. Legendary NBC News correspondent Jay Barbree did his very first report 57 years ago today. He has covered every single manned space mission in the United States, every single one of them, 135 space shuttle launches. The man has been there every single time to report on it for us. He`s not just a great journalist but his humor and character make him one of space`s great advocates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARBREE: I was working for our affiliate Channel 10 in Albany, Georgia, and had a run in with the Ku Klux Klan there. My crew and I had been out, and we were filming a meeting they had in a pasture and they found us in the woods doing this film, and, you know, roughed us up, our equipment and all. It was suggested to me by the police in Albany that it would be wise if I would relocate, that these guys were really after me. And so, any way, I relocated at Cape Canaveral, Florida, came down here. I was very interested in the space program. TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Fifteen years ago, Soviet Union launched Sputnik in to space and the space war was launched. One man has covered every American space launch. His name is Jay Barbree, and I am honored that he works for NBC News. Jay, good morning. On May 5, 1961, the first manned space flight by an American, Alan Shepard, tell us about that day. BARBREE: That was a day you`ll never forget. We saw the rocket climb above the tree line, everybody, everywhere stopped. They stopped their cars, fell on their knees, fell in prayer. Asked his associate administrator for manned space flight appointed top space officials, scientists and a veteran astronauts to a board of inquiry this morning to investigate the country`s first spaceship disaster. Beautiful here. Everything is on course. She is climbing beautifully. Jim in mission control reporting she is 46 miles off of Daytona, 17 miles high. This picture is from a camera on board an external fuel tank. There goes the (INAUDIBLE). They are now separating. There they are. Just want to say you were talking about those two, what were they beauty queens you were talking about a while ago. UNDIENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir. BARBREE: Tamron, you beat both of them. Don`t worry what their names are. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m blushing. Don`t do that. OK. (LAUGHTER) BARBREE: What we have learned from the space shuttle and flights today is we have learned how to live in space. That`s very important that we keep doing that. (END VIDEOTAPE) KORNACKI: So, thank you to Jay Barbree. Here`s to another 57 years. Your devotion to following and explaining and plain loving what used to be so far beyond our mortal reach. More than a half century of work, best new and everlasting thing in the world today. That`s does it for us tonight. Rachel is back tomorrow night. You can catch me this weekend on "UP" at Saturday and Sunday morning, 8 a.m. Eastern Time. 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