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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/31/15

Guests: Marc Morial, Frederick Williams

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Chris. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. You had a great week, my friend. HAYES: Thanks. MADDOW: That conversation you had with Congresswoman Edwards about the Pell Grants was the best coverage I`ve seen, the best story anywhere. HAYES: Thank you very much. MADDOW: Well done. Have a great weekend. HAYES: Have a great weekend. MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. We`ve got a big show tonight. Happy Friday. In 2012, in mid-December, just before Christmas, Andrea Mitchell was on the State Department beat at the Washington bureau for NBC News when Andrea Mitchell reported some unexpected news about then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: We learned today of a health scare for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. NBC`s Andrea Mitchell is in our Washington bureau with more -- Andrea. ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Good evening, Lester. Officials say that Hillary Clinton was never hospitalized but she has been home with a stomach virus all week, forcing her to cancel an important foreign trip. And now, tonight, her doctors say that extreme dehydration from that virus caused her to faint and that over the course of the week, they ultimately determined she had also sustained a concussion. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was really surprise news. That was December 15th, 2012. Shocking news, right? The reason Hillary Clinton had been out of the public eye, the reason she had had to cancel the trip as secretary of state was because she had fainted and she had sustained a concussion. Well, Andrea Mitchell, in that report, she was very careful to say that Secretary of State Clinton had not been hospitalized, that she was resting at home, but then more than two weeks later, more than two weeks after the fall, Secretary Clinton was hospitalized. This was New Year`s Eve 2012, two weeks after Andrea`s initial report that Hillary Clinton had been hurt but she was recovering at home, two weeks after that report, Secretary Clinton was in the hospital and this already worrying story looked like it was something more serious. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s start with that health scare for Hillary Clinton. NBC`s Andrea Mitchell has the latest for us. Andrea, good morning. MITCHELL: Good morning, Willie. Hillary Clinton was set to return to work later this week before her sudden hospitalization Sunday for what her spokesman called a blood clot stemming from the concussion she had sustained earlier. She`s the administration`s most high profile frequent flier, 112 countries, nearly 1 million miles, more than 400 days of travel. Now grounded under doctor`s care at New York Presbyterian, after her spokesman says physicians discovered a blood clot Sunday. In a whirlwind trip in early December, Clinton picked up a stomach virus, causing dehydration that led to fall, a concussion, and now, her aide says, a blood clot. SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: She`s had a real accident and she`s recovering from it and she will be back. JOHN KERRY, PRESENT SECRETARY OF STATE: Secretary Clinton is recovering from a serious virus and concussion. All of you who know Hillary know that she would rather be here today. MITCHELL: Clinton spokesman has not said where the blood clot is located. Doctors not involved in her case say if in her legs, it is easily treatable. If in the lungs or the brain, it would be potentially more dangerous. And doctors, of course, want to make sure there is no underlying condition that led to the clot. As she prepares to leave office, Clinton has not announced her future plans, but is widely considered the Democratic front runner if she chooses to make another run for the White House in 2016. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, that was in 2012. This health worries around Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with this news that she had had to be hospitalized. Doctors had previously said she could just rest at home with the concussion, then it turned into a blood clot and she did have to be hospitalized. Within a few days of that report, we had more information about her condition in terms of the location of the clot. It turned out that the blood clot they found wasn`t in her legs or another one of her extremities. It was in her head, which was very sobering news. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ERICA HILL, NBC NEWS: Doctors say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making excellent progress today as she recovers from a blood clot in her head. NBC`s Anne Thompson is at New York Presbyterian Hospital with the latest. Anne, good morning. ANNE THOMPSON, NBC NEWS: Good morning, Erica. This is day four in the hospital for secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, as doctors continue to use blood thinners to try and dissolve that potentially dangerous blood clot behind her right ear. The clot is in a vein on the surface of the vein that carries blood to the heart and the lungs. The fear is that if it grows large, blood could back up in the brain, causing a stroke. Using blood thinners, doctors hope to slowly dissolve the clot. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, that was just after the New Year. That was January 2nd, 2013. It`s all very serious news about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right? People were very worried about her condition. But then just a few days later, just a few days after that report, she was not only out of the hospital. She was back at work. And her colleagues at the State Department were giving her a football helmet asp a gag gift to welcome her back and to tease her about her fall. So, in the course of that three-week period from just before Christmas until the first week of January, as 2012 turned to 2013, there really were serious worries about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s health. Over that Christmas break period, she was out of office for about a month. She was hospitalized for several days. When she came back to work in her first public appearances, she attracted attention for wearing glasses that had a sort of prism effect. She seemed fine but she was wearing these therapeutic glasses that were used to deal with the consequences of her concussion. In one of his classier moments and I mean classy with a K, those glasses led Karl Rove to lie about how long Secretary Clinton had been in the hospital and to publicly suggest that she was unfit for the presidency because of her obvious traumatic brain injury, which she was able to diagnose because of those glasses. Karl Rove did not know what he was talking about but in his Karl Rove way, he echoed a lot of what other people were saying at the time about either concerns or conspiracies around her health. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karl Rove asked yesterday, or raised the question over the weekend, I guess, about whether Hillary Clinton is well enough to run for president in 2016 and whether, in fact, she had suffered a brain injury. Dr. Rove wants to know, as much as we do, whether that`s true and whether it will affect her decision making. WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I got to give him credit. You know, he did that -- that embodies the old saying the consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. First, they said she faked her concussion, and now they say she`s auditioning for a part on "The Walking Dead". I mean, you know, whatever it takes. Look -- she works out every week. She is strong. She`s doing great. As far as I can tell, she`s in better shape than I am. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was last spring. Secretary Clinton`s husband parrying these continuing jibes from the right that somehow Hillary Clinton`s health was going to be a disqualifying factor for her run for the presidency. Well, today, 2015, she stands as the prohibitive front runner for the Democratic presidential election. And today, in that capacity, she did something no other candidate has done at this point in the race. Her campaign today released a detailed narrative statement from her personal physician describing exactly what is going on with her health and what has happened with her health in the past. It`s so detailed I was thinking today as I was looking at it, it`s the sort of thing that would feel rude to know about another person if that person had not volunteered the information to you. And also if they were not running for president, in which case their health really is the nation`s business. But now we know, thanks to this unexpected release from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we know her physician believes that she is a, quote, "healthy 67-year-old female who is in excellent physical condition and is fit to serve as president of the United States. The statement today released from Secretary Clinton`s personal doctor, a doctor in New York who has been her doctor apparently for more than a decade. And in the doctor`s own words in this document today, we actually get a detailed description, I think it`s for the first time, of exactly what happened in that scary medical episode back in 2012 that led to years of both real worry about her and also politically opportunistic rumor- mongering about her physical fitness for office. Looking back at that time now, that sort of Christmas break time around 2012 and 2013, this is what her doctor now says happened. In December 2012, Mrs. Clinton suffered a stomach virus after traveling. She became dehydrated. She fainted and sustained a concussion. During follow-up evaluations, Secretary Clinton was found to have a transverse sinus venous thrombosis. That means you have a blood clot on the brain. Because of that, she became anti-coagulation therapy to dissolve the clot. As a result of the concussion, Secretary Clinton also experienced double vision for a period of time and she therefore benefitted from wearing glasses with a Fresnel prism. And here`s the part where the doctor says she`s all better 100 percent. It comes from this statement: Secretary Clinton`s concussion symptoms, including the double decision, resolved within two months and she discontinued the use of the prism. She had follow up testing in 2013 which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion, as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis, aka the blood clot. Secretary Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders. That`s the doctor saying there was no underlying condition that led her to get the clots. She`s not going to get more blood clots. But the doctor says as precaution, it was decided to continue her on daily anti-coagulation which means that Secretary Clinton now to this day still takes a daily blood thinner pill. So do most of my in-laws. She takes Coumadin. She takes a blood thinner. She also takes thyroid medication. She takes vitamins and she takes antihistamines when she has season allergies. The statement from Hillary Clinton`s doctor released by the campaign today even goes so far as to give us her exact blood pressure and all of her exact vital signs, like her respiratory rate and her exact temperature, 98.7, all from her last physical which apparently happened in late March. Cancer screenings are all negative. She eats well. She does yoga. She lifts weights. Just reading this thing made me eat salad for dinner. Actually, that`s not true. I had fried chicken for dinner. That is true. But this release from the Clinton campaign today -- you had it too. It was good, right? Yes, it was good. This release tonight from the Clinton campaign was unexpected. Nobody knew this was coming. And no other candidate has done this this year. But the Clinton campaign alongside this very detailed review of her health, both current and past, they also released at the same time for good measure, 38 years of her tax returns. I mean, technically, from 1977 to 2006 was already released. From previous runs for office by both her and her husband. But tonight, they released the rest of it. They released 2007 through 2014. That means in total, Secretary Clinton has got 38 years of her tax returns available for your prying eyes if you are interested. That`s a lot of years of tax returns. But she`s not alone. Among this year`s presidential candidates and releasing those returns, even though she`s the only one releasing health information, Jeb Bush has also released 33 years of his tax returns this year. You`ll remember in 2012, there was lots of controversy over a long period of time over how many years of tax returns Mitt Romney would release and exactly what he would let people know about his very considerable family finances. Leading candidates in both Democratic and Republican Party this year are trying to avoid that kind of Mitt Romney controversy this year even though they`re both very, very rich, they`re trying to seem very transparent, very open, very undefensive about their personal information. Honestly, mostly what we are able to tell from their tax returns, at least so far, is that they`re both really freakin` rich. That said, this year Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, it kind of feels like, at least contextually, the universe gave them kind of a break on that issue, right? Because this year isn`t the year that Mitt Romney is running. When people are talking about candidates who are really rich, it`s not an epithet anymore. It`s not a criticism. It`s not seen as a weakness in the campaign the same way it might have been in the past. This year, it`s a campaign slogan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not using the lobbyists. I`m not using donors. I don`t care. I`m really rich. (END VIDSEO CLIP) MADDOW: Having Donald Trump as the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination really has sort of changed the dynamics around candidates and the way they talk about their money this year. Republican voters seem to love that about him, though. It`s the basis on which he`s running. Look at how rich I am. Doesn`t that tell you how much I should be president? And that dynamic in the Republican presidential race led by their frontrunner turns out it`s having an unexpected effect very locally for the show. It`s making our mail much more fun to open on a daily basis. Uh- huh. Uh-huh! So we started to give you ways to end us stuff that you see in the world that might be newsworthy. Today, we opened our mail, and we got, it is the original 1989 edition, there we go, of "Trump: The Game". We got this from Beth in Frederick, Maryland. She mailed this to us today as a gift. Thank you, Beth. She says she got it from her local thrift store in Baltimore which is the Value Village on Collins Avenue. Shout out to the Value Village. I don`t know how much Beth paid, but this is a steal. As far as I can tell, it`s never been played before. It`s pristine. It`s for up to four players. It is a board game. There`s a lot of Donald Trump`s face on the board, right? There you go. You end up having a dice. The dice is great. The dice is a regular -- looks like a regular six-sided dice except it goes one, two, three, four, five, Trump. The six is a T. And everybody gets as their game piece, everybody gets a capital T game piece to move around the board. That`s what you are. Everybody is Trump. It`s just what color Trump you are. The money all has Donald Trump`s face on it. It`s 10 million Donald Trump dollars, or 50 million Donald Trump dollars, or 100 million Donald Trump dollars. It`s all with his little face on them. I think this makes him the second presidential candidate I have heard of that has minted fake money with his own face on it. The other, of course, being David Koch when he ran for vice president on the libertarian ticket in 1980, he minted gold dimes with his own head on them. "Trump: The Game". It has long and complicated instructions. They do boil down to what you think they would boil down to. They boil down to the player with the most money wins. But the single best part of this, the part of this that definitely should make this classic in the long haul, that should hold true as long as we have Donald Trump to deal with as a public figure, truly, the deep contribution of this archeological find which we got from Beth in Frederick, Maryland. Go up a little bit. Scan up a little bit. Look. It`s the game has a subtitle. Who subtitles a game? But "Trump: The Game" is the big game, right? And then look at the subtitle. It`s not whether you win or lose but whether you win. Isn`t it, though? It`s amazing. It`s amazing. There`s a lot going on in the news and a lot to get to on the news. There`s a presidential poll out today, a Rasmussen poll that shows Donald Trump leading by a mile in the Republican race for president. He`s 26 percent. Second place is Scott Walker 12 points behind Donald Trump. Jeb Bush is at 10. Everybody else is in single digits. The Democratic side today, Hillary Clinton gave one of the best speeches she has given in ages today on a super provocative and interesting topic. We`ve got tape from that coming up in just a moment. There`s big news -- in members of prison going to Congress or members of Congress going to prison. Sometimes it`s easy to mix them up. There is a lot to get to tonight, but honestly, it`s Friday, and there`s joy in Mad Ville about having "Trump: The Game" in our hot little hands. This actually exists. We`ll be back in just a moment with lots more news. What I`m going to leave you with here now, though, is the ad that our friends at "Mother Jones" dug up today, the television ad that first ran on TV to try to sell you this game when it first came out in 1989. Oh, my God. I can`t believe this is actually the presidential campaign this year, but it is. We`ll be right back. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is set for tonight, Mr. Trump. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wonder what Trump`s game is this time. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump`s got a new game. Trump`s got a new deal. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your game, Donald? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump has a new game, what is it? (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: My new game is "Trump: The Game". ANNOUNCER: "Trump: The Game", where you deal for everything you want to own because it`s not whether you win or lose, it`s whether you win. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. ANNOUNCER: Play "Trump: The Game" from Milton Bradley. TRUMP: I think you`ll like it. ANNOUNCER: Mr. Trump`s proceeds from "Trump: The Game" will be donated to charity. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I think you start -- I think you start on his face and then you have to like win the property. You have to buy a property in order to move off his face onto the board. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. OK. MADDOW: We`ll start with him. All right. All right. I`m going to give you all your money and then I`m going to steal it all back. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m pleased to see other candidates here as well -- Secretary Clinton, Governor O`Malley, Senator Sanders, and a good man who`s bringing a lot of wisdom to the Republican side, Dr. Ben Carson. By the way, I`m glad he`ll make it into the top ten for next week`s debate. Before that thing is over, we might just need a doctor -- just saying. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That is an official Jeb Bush funny statement. Ben Carson, he`s a doctor making it to the debates. The debates are going to be crazy, maybe even dangerous. Jeb Bush, official joke. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush back in his home state today speaking at the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale. This is a big annual gathering of the Urban League, of African-American activists from all over the country. Governor Bush spoke there today. Also, as Governor Bush mentioned, the only African-American candidate from either major party this year, Dr. Ben Carson, he spoke today. He was politely received. None of the other Republican candidates spoke at the Urban League event today but all three major Democratic candidates made it to Fort Lauderdale. Martin O`Malley spoke with passion on the issue of racial justice, talking about his time as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland. He laid out presidential agenda on criminal justice reform specifically. Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, he also spoke today. His remarks stood out today for giving a very specific list, a very specific policies that he`d pursue as president if he were elected and how he would pursued them. It was everything from how he would run the Justice Department to his proposal for free public college tuition for everyone. And then the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, she also spoke today at this event. Hillary actually had two major speeches both in Florida today. One of them was at Florida International University. She gave a serious speech about Cuba. It was kind of a hard-edged speech on an issue that is more controversial in Florida than it is anywhere in the country. She said that Congress should follow up President Obama`s overtures to normalize relations with Cuba by passing a law to get rid of the American trade embargo on Cuba. And part of the reason the speech was a big deal for Secretary Clinton today and that proposal is a big deal coming from her is because it was the Clinton administration, it was her husband, President Bill Clinton who signed that law that she now wants Congress to undo. He signed the bill that put the Cuba embargo into U.S. law and made it something that Congress has to overtly repeal if it`s ever going to go away. Well, today Hillary Clinton said Congress should repeal that law. Which she supported and in which her husband signed. So, really interesting proposal and that was a very serious speech, and Secretary Clinton, of course, can give a serious speech. She`s good at public speaking. She`s done it for decades. She`s not known as the soaring orator that President Obama is. Her Cuba speech sort of reflected that today. It was just the facts. It was newsworthy. It was not overly exciting, though. But when she went to the National Urban League conference today to give her other major speech of the day, Hillary Clinton, dare I say it, was kind of exciting. This was one of the most rollicking speeches I`ve seen her given in a long time, and I`ve seen a lot of her speeches. She was fired up today. Honestly, this was -- it was a great speech. And all of the presidential candidates speaking there today, of all of them speaking, the only one of those candidates who received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Urban League today was Hillary Clinton. And I think that may have been because she pushed the envelope a little bit. She really -- she pushed it in terms of what top tier politicians are usually willing to talk about when it comes to not just the issue of race in the abstract, but the divergent experience of black people and white people in this country, and what it means to live on either side of that racial divide. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The opportunity gap that America is facing is not just about economic inequality. It is about racial inequality. Now -- (APPLAUSE) That may seem obvious to you, but it bears underscoring because some of the evidence that backs it up would come as a shock to many Americans. A lot of people don`t realize that our schools are more segregated today than they were in 1968 or even that African Americans are sentenced to longer prison terms than white people for the same crimes. (APPLAUSE) Or that political operatives are trying every trick in the book to prevent African-Americans from voting. (APPLAUSE) Race still plays a significant roll in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. And yes, while that`s partly a legacy of discrimination that stretches back to the start to the start of our nation, it is also because of discrimination that is still ongoing. I`m not saying anything you don`t already know. You understand this better than I do, better than anyone. But I want to say it anyway because I`m planning to be president and anyone who seeks that office has a responsibility to say it. (APPLAUSE) And more than that, to grapple with the systemic inequities that so many Americans face. Anyone who asks for your vote should try their hardest to see things as they actually are, not just as we want them to be. So, I want you to know I see it and I hear you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking today at the National Urban League, giving one of the best received speeches and best delivered speeches I`ve seen her given in a long time. Hold that thought, though. There`s more on this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, we`re at a time in our politics where there are two different political things happening equally intensively and at the same time but they`re happening on separate tracks. We`ve got this presidential campaign which is absolutely in full swing and yet, it looks early on the calendar but a lot of the Republican presidential candidates are going to be basically out of the running and out of the race next week when the debates start without them. So, we`re really into the campaign. It is as intense as ever. That`s on one level. At an equally intense but totally separate level, though, we`re also having a remarkable political moment around race and most specifically around race and policing. The wave of protests and organizing and national clamor around this issue of how African-Americans are treated by American law enforcement, that issue spiked, obviously, around the case of teenager Trayvon Martin when he was shot and killed in Florida in 2012. But since then, it has spiked and spiked and spiked and spiked again with each new killing, with each new outrage. And this week in Cincinnati for the third time in recent months, we got news that was previously almost unheard of. This week in Cincinnati for the third time in recent months, we got word that a police officer would actually be criminally charged for shooting a black driver who he pulled over for a missing license plate at the University of Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati police have only been wearing body cameras since late last year, and it was the body camera video from the officer who did the shooting, the officer who was charged, which that video led inexorably to the prosecutor`s decision to bring charges in that case. I mean, it started with dozens and then it became hundreds and now it is thousands of American police departments that are issuing body cameras to their police officers. And that policy, that technology has been around. It`s been available to police departments as a sort of good government option for years now. But police departments, by and large, didn`t feel the need to use body cameras, didn`t feel any pressure, until literally street protests and the organization that sprung from street protests forced the issue. Angry communities and the local talented organizers and leaders and activists who were able to channel that anger and grief into demands and expectations of change, they have really brought about change. It is the start of change, but it is change. And that is a really powerful current in American politics right now that has basically been flowing alongside but separate from big time presidential electoral politics, which is happening at the same time in the same country. And so, today, at the Urban League, these five candidates, three Democrats, two Republicans agreed to speak at the Urban League. They tried to, in different ways, each of them tried to cross that divide between those two political currents in our country to bring big time national politics and this real powerful grassroots movement at least a little closer together and none of these candidates have any claim to be leaders in that grassroots movement that`s accomplished so much already. But it was powerful today so see all these candidates if not join that movement, at least show that they know what that movement means, credit them for what they`ve accomplished so far and say they know it`s a big deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: We`ve arrived at a moment when all these challenges are in sharp relief and we have to seize it. Too many times now, Americans have come together in shock and horror to process a violent, senseless tragedy. Like Trayvon Martin, shot to death, not in some empty desolate street somewhere but in a gated community. He wasn`t a stranger. He had family there. Or Sandra Bland, a college-educated young woman who knew her rights, who didn`t do anything wrong, but still ended up dying in a jail cell. Together, we`ve mourned Tamir Rice and Erik Gardner, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray and most recently, Sam DuBose. These names are emblazoned on our hearts. Young people have taken to the streets dignified and determined, urging us to affirm the basic fact that black lives matter. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now is the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial. Mr. Morial, it`s a real pleasure to have you here tonight. Thanks for your time. MARC MORIAL, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGU PRESIDENT: Hey, Rachel. Good to be with you. Thank you. MADDOW: It`s nice to see you. You know, having five presidential candidates including leading candidates from both parties must be important to you at the Urban League in terms of what you want this annual convention to accomplish. What did it mean to have them there? MORIAL: I think it meant these candidates are not going to either take us for granted or ignore us, and that is the constituency of the Urban League. The African American community and communities of color, and to have them there, not only there but their addressing racial justice issues in economics, in police violence and criminal justice and voting rights, I think is a watershed moment for this campaign because these issues have not been fully aired. And today I think was the beginning of these issues becoming a part of what the conversation about who is going to be the next president really ought to be about. MADDOW: We have are having a moment in this country, it started with street activism has become a big, powerful, consistent force in this country that`s really change expectations, particularly around race and policing, race and criminal justice, but I think around some issues more broadly. Is that -- is that putting candidates more on the spot to be more specific, to not just do platitudes, to actually come up with more specific yes and nos that they can give you on what they`d do? MORIAL: You know, you`re right, Rachel. Today was about an opportunity by giving each candidate 15 or 20 minutes to expand their thinking, to lay out their thoughts, to, if you will, bear their feelings a little bit on these issues. I think we contributed a lot. A lot of presidential campaigns are about talking points, sloganeering, you know, sort of well-worn messaging. Today, we, I think, pushed, encouraged, and indeed forced this conversation. But this is only the beginning. All of the candidates are going to get a detailed questionnaire from us. That questionnaire will ask them to expand their thinking on the issues contained in the twenty-first century agenda for jobs and freedom. One of the Urban League`s important rules in the civil rights and social justice community is to point to the policy recommendations and the solutions that activists and activism want to see take place. And I think this presidential campaign is going to be one of the things that`s going to spur this broader debate. So, today was a start. Today was a beginning. Today was a good way. People heard from, of course, Hillary Clinton who has been to the Urban League many times. They also heard from candidates like Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson, that they hadn`t heard from before. So, the idea and the thought that we had a nice array of candidates there I think speaks to the power not only of the Black Lives Matter movement, but the continuing influence of urban voters and the African-American voters in this upcoming election cycle. MADDOW: Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, a big success today in terms of getting attention to your agenda in terms of this -- the policy agenda that you are wanting to nail these candidates on, but also a big success in terms of just this showcase tonight for these candidates. Thank you, sir. Thanks for being here. MORIAL: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: It`s nice to see you. All right. It will be interesting, you know, just talking about that kind of questionnaire, that he`s describing, with those specific policies, getting candidates on the record on that sort of thing. That doesn`t just go to the people who show up. That goes to them all. The right has mastered that. The left and the center do that much less, but I think particularly on race issues, you`re going to see candidates getting pinned down more than previous years because the street movement, because the actual grassroots movement is making that both possible and necessary. Direct action matters. It annoys everybody, but it always gets the goods. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Do you know any college kids looking for a major? You might want to encourage them to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney with a specialty in defending members of the United States Congress. Because in that field, business is really, really booming. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL SCOTTA, NY1 REPORTER: So, Congressman Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances. We wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw refused to talk about that. Back to you. REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I`ll throw you off this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) balcony. SCOTTA: Why, why, I just wanted to ask you -- GRIMM: If you ever do that to me again -- SCOTTA: Why. Why, it`s a valid question. GRIMM: (INAUDIBLE) No, no. You`re not man enough, you`re not man enough. I`ll break you in half. Like a boy. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Break you in half, like a boy. Whatever he meant by that, we may never no but we should have known. At the very start of this year, that 2015 was going to be an excellent year of business for criminal defense attorneys who specialize in defending members of Congress. 2015 started with the resignation of Mr. Break You in Half Like a Boy, Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of New York resigned in January after pleading guilty to tax evasion. He then got eight months in prison. But he was just the start of what has been a spectacular year in criminal investigation and prosecution of current and former members of Congress. After him, it was Republican Congressman Aaron Schock. He resigned in the face of an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign finances. A month after that, it was Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, indicted on 14 counts of federal corruption. A month after that, former Republican Speaker of the House Denny Hastert indicted on charges of violating banking laws and lying to the FBI about it. And now, the latest, announced by the Department of Justice this week, it`s Congressman Chaka Fattah, an 11-term Democratic congressman representing the second district of Pennsylvania. In 2007, he ran for mayor of Philadelphia against Michael Nutter. He lost to Michael Nutter. But not long after that loss, the IRS and BPI announced they were investigating him. So, the indictment is not a total surprise, even though the scale of it is. He and four other people are now charged with 29 counts of all different forms of corruption, including just plain stealing and bribery. His former chief of staff and another advisor have already pled guilty in this case. The whole thing seems very serious, but Congressman Fattah appears to be taking it in stride. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Are you confident all the funds they`re talking about having been moved around were moved around appropriately? I mean, do you even know what -- REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I`m not the one making an allegation. We haven`t had a chance to review it yet, but I`m confident in my state and we`ll see how it goes from this point on. REPORTER: And is it too big of distraction after nine years, eight years of allegations? FATTAH: I`ve not been distracted yet. I`m going to keep doing my work. Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Thank you. Saved by the elevator. Congressman Fattah has one really important job. He`s the top Democrat on appropriations, which means he deals with the matter of what to do with all your money. He`s now stepped down from his role in that crucial committee, but he says he`ll stay in his seat as he fights the charges. But this really has been a banner year for criminal investigations and indictments against current and former members of congress. It`s been a huge year for that already. And it`s only July. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUBTITLE: Today at the TRMS production meeting -- ANNOUNCER: Due to mature and graphic subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. MADDOW: What`s happening at 8:00 and 10:00? TRICIA MCKINNEY, TRMS SR. PRODUCER: Ten o`clock is, I`m assuming, Lockup. KELSEY DESIDERIO, TRMS PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Tonight`s Lockup is from season one. North Carolina women`s prison. CORY GNAZZO, TRMS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Oh, my God. That`s the best one. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: Really? Is it really? SUBTITLE: Executive producer Cory Gnazzo says tonight`s Lockup is the best one. Really. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It`s coming. It`s coming. Get ready. Woo-hoo! "Friday Night News Dump" time. Kent Jones, who`s tonight`s lucky player? KENT JONES, TRMS: Tonight, Rachel, it`s Frederick Williams from Clarksville, Tennessee. He`s retired from the U.S. Army with a rank of sergeant first class. He was deployed to Iraq four times. MADDOW: Wow. JONES: And was awarded the Bronze Star. He`s currently a student and raises sheep. MADDOW: Sheep. JONES: Rachel, meet Frederick. MADDOW: Frederick, Sergeant Williams, very nice to see you. Thank you for being here. FREDERICK WILLIAMS, CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE: Nice to meet you, Rachel. MADDOW: Four deployments over how many years? WILLIAMS: Not enough. I can`t recall. Since 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011. MADDOW: Wow. Thank you for your service and welcome home. That`s a lot of deployments. I also have to ask you about -- I have even though I don`t know them I have concern for your sheep. Are they very hot? WILLIAMS: We shave them. MADDOW: You shave them. WILLIAMS: Yes, ma`am. MADDOW: Which helps them this the hot weather. WILLIAMS: Correct. MADDOW: We should try that with the interns. WILLIAMS: Yes. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: All right. OK, I`m going to give you three multiple choice questions. Super happy to have you here. All of the questions are about this week`s news, all stuff covered on the show this week. If you get at least two of these questions right, you will win a tiny piece of junk we`re a little embarrassed about. Kent, will you show everybody what he wins? JONES: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW cocktail shaker. Except no substitutes. MADDOW: It`s very small. JONES: Very small. Yes. MADDOW: If you get them all right, though, and you need extra credit, if you need a consolation prize, we also have something else. That has been cluttering up our office, which is way nicer than the usual junk. JONES: This is good. This is a U.S. women`s soccer team t-shirt, three stars, three World Cup titles. And -- MADDOW: And used as a backdrop of our online thing. JONES: Yes, indeed, very special. And just because they were sitting around these 3D glasses. MADDOW: Which go with nothing. JONES: Yes, exactly. MADDOW: But you never know how they would work with the sheep. So that`s what you are playing for. Let me introduce you to the disembodied voice of Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. Steve will determine whether or not you got the right answer. Steve, Frederick. Frederick, Steve. STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both. WILLIAMS: Good evening, Steve. MADDOW: All right. Are you ready for your first question? WILLIAMS: I am. MADDOW: OK. It`s from Tuesday`s show, I believe. Yes, Tuesday. On Tuesday, we reported that convicted spy, Jonathon Pollard, is going to be set free this November. He was arrested 30 years ago for spying against the United States. Here`s the question -- when Jonathon Pollard was first arrested, he phoned his wife and he used a coded phrase to tell her to get rid of some of the evidence. What was the coded phrase Jonathon Pollard used in that call to his wife? Was it A, John has a long mustache, B, a wet bird doesn`t fly at night, C, go see our friends and give them our cactus, or D, go see your friends and give them our ficus? WILLIAMS: The answer is C, give them our cactus. MADDOW: Steve, did Frederick get that right? BENEN: Let`s check Tuesday`s show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: He told his wife to go see our friends and give them our cactus. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Woo-hoo! BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is C, Frederick is 1-1. MADDOW: Well done. All right. You`ve got to get two right to win the really lousy prize. Question two: oh, this one you have a choice. They are both from last night`s show. And you can have a politics question or a not politics question. Which would you prefer? WILLIAMS: I`m going to have to go with politics. MADDOW: All right. The answer to the not politics question was a guy on a paraglider. WILLIAMS: OK. MADDOW: Here`s the politics question now. All right. Last night`s show, we reported on the latest gambit by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry to try to get some headline to boost his poll numbers before the debates next week which looks like he won`t make. Which of these things did Rick Perry do this week to try to get some attention for his campaign? A, he challenged Donald Trump to a pull-up contest, B, he challenged Hillary Clinton to a one-on-one debate on the Iran deal, C, he took a paper printout of the tax code and cut it in half with a chainsaw, or D, he wore his Texas A&M yell leader uniform at a campaign event and wouldn`t you know it still fits? WILLIAMS: The answer is A, challenged Trump to a pull-up contest. MADDOW: Steve, is Frederick right about that? BENEN: Let`s check last night`s segment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Let`s get the pull up bar out there and see who -- (END VIDEO CLIP) BENEN: I`m glad he didn`t challenge me to a pull-up contest. But any event, the current answer is A, and Frederick is right again. MADDOW: I think it is funny he thinks the brain power issue can be resolved with chin ups. WILLIAMS: Can`t everything. MADDOW: Yes, I guess, I`m really, really dumb. OK. On last night`s show, it`s your last question, last night`s show, we reported on news from the Iowa state fair. The Iowa state fair put out a statement last night saying that although one Republican presidential candidate had promised to give Iowa children a very special treat at this year`s state fair, the state fair would not allow the candidate to do it. Who was the candidate and what was the treat that that candidate had promised to give Iowa kids a at the state fair? Was it, A, Dr. Ben Carson, promising to personally give kids free check ups at the state fair? Was it B, Scott Walker promising to give kids free rides on his Harley at the state fair? Was it C, Donald Trump promising to give kids free rides in his helicopter at the state fair? Or was it D, Jim Gilmore promising that him just showing up at the state fair would be a real treat and thrill for the kids of Iowa? WILLIAMS: All of them are awesome, Rachel, but the answer is C, Donald Trump, helicopter. MADDOW: Steve, is that right? BENEN: It`s a fun one. Let`s check the segment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: But the state fair has now had to put out a statement saying Mr. Trump is welcome to land his helicopter anywhere outside of the grounds and take people on rides or what he would like to do, but that will not happen on Iowa state fairgrounds. (END VIDEO CLIP) BENEN: Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, the answer is C, but Frederick is correct again. MADDOW: Kent, give the good news. Did Frederick win the prize? JONES: Sergeant, these are yours and everything else. He did, indeed. MADDOW: You are perfect in every way, Frederick. Thank you so much for playing. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thank you and say hi to the sheep for me. WILLIAMS: I will. Bye. MADDOW: Bye. That was awesome. If you want to play, whether or not you have sheep to shave and talk about on television, send us an e-mail and tell us who you are, where you are from, why you want to play. We`d like to send you junk from our office that we no longer need. But now, adventure and unexpected relationships await you -- in prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END