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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/10/15

Guests: Karen Tumulty, Robert Costa, Alicia Garza

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now with Ari Melber, in for Rachel. Good evening, Ari. ARI MELBER, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Good evening. Thank you, Chris. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. And, you know, in politics as in life, some things change and some things just don`t. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: This is what you told CNBC last year, which raised a lot of eyebrows. I`ll put it on the screen. "Can you imagine how controversial I`d be? You think about Clinton with the women, how about me with the women? Can you imagine?" DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Well, I mean, I think there is a certain controversy to me. I am single. I do go out with women. And I do respect and adore women. And some women love me and probably some women don`t. But I am certainly controversial. RUSSERT: But when you say if the president had had a fling with a super model rather than Monica, he`d be a hero. TRUMP: But I didn`t say that. I said there are those that say that if he had a fling with a supermodel, he would be everyone`s hero. I didn`t say I said it. RUSSERT: Do you believe it? TRUMP: It`s possible. RUSSERT: Let me show you what you said about women if your book and give you a chance to respond. This is helpful. Women have one of the great acts of all time. Smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside, they`re real killers. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye or perhaps another body part. TRUMP: Well, you know that. I mean, you`re married to an incredible woman and I`m sure she manipulates you beautifully. RUSSERT: When women see or hear that on the screen, don`t they say Donald Trump, isn`t that a little bit over the line? TRUMP: I`m saying women may be beyond us, you and I. I mean, they`re smart. They`re cunning. RUSSERT: They`re killers. TRUMP: They`re killers in many respects. RUSSERT: That`s what you said. TRUMP: Absolutely. I`m not saying all but I`m saying in many respects. I`ve seen women that are so tough they make us wimps (ph). RUSSERT: One of your former wives, Marla, had this to say. Let me put on the screen, give you a chance to respond. If Trump is really serious about being president and runs in the general election next year, I will not be silent. I will feel it`s my duty as American citizen to tell people what he`s really like. But I can`t imagine that they would really elect him with his drug is attention. TRUMP: Well, I mean, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And that was Donald Trump in 1999 discussing his views of women and claiming to mull a run for the White House. Back then, he was claiming to flirt with Ross Perot`s Reform Party ticket. The exchange with Tim Russert looks almost quaint today as a louder Trump has waded farther into presidential politics and deeper into a morass of commentary on gender. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: You`ve called women you don`t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women`s looks. You once told a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sounds like the temperament of man we should elect as president? And how would you answer a charge by Hillary Clinton who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women? TRUMP: I think the big problem this be country has is being politically correct. I`ve been -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I`ve been challenged by so many people and I don`t, frankly, have time for total political correctness and frankly, what I say and oftentimes it`s fun, it`s kidding, we have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don`t like it, I`m sorry. I`ve been very nice to you although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me, but I wouldn`t do that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That got pretty awkward. But it could have ended there as a clash between a brash candidate and a moderator. But no, because it`s Donald Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP (via telephone): I don`t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly. She`s a lightweight. She came out there ring her little script and trying to, you know, be tough and be sharp. And when you meet her, you realize she`s not vet tough and she`s not very sharp. She`s a zippo. She gets out and starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. But she was in my opinion, she was off base. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That personal and seemingly sexist attack on Megyn Kelly who is very popular with conservatives may have gone too far maybe even for Donald Trump. Several Republican candidates were moved to do what they largely failed to do during that debate, stand up to something he said. And Trump, unable or unwilling to apologize for what he said, argued instead, everyone just misheard him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I said blood was -- essentially blood was pouring from her eyes. And then I just wanted to get on with the rest of the sentence. Blood was pouring, I was going to say nose or ears and I just said, let`s just get on, so I said wherever. And there was nothing obviously. Only a deviant would have thought otherwise. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Now, this pattern has played out before. Right along, Trump has basically gotten away with it even as he`s shown himself to be incredibly thin-skinned. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: When you were talking about Bush who, by the way, is about ten points lower than me, you sort of mentioned like you know, can Kasich beat Bush? You know, excuse me, what about Trump? You know, we are ten points higher. What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don`t like it, I`m sorry. I`ve been very nice to you although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me but I wouldn`t do that. When people attack me, I -- you know, let them have it back. You say physical appearance, you know, it`s my hair. People are constantly attacking my hair. I don`t see you coming to my defense. You know, my hair is just fine. But I don`t see you coming to my defense. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Donald Trump has courted other controversies in this brief campaign, of course. His announcement speech smeared Mexican immigrants as rapists, which drew heat and boycotts. He criticized Senator John McCain`s war service because he was captured at war. But the current controversy does hit closer to Trump`s punitive political home because he`s personally attacking a FOX News anchor beloved by conservative base. It also stokes a conflict for the crucial message platform for the made for TV candidate. That`s why this is different. Anyone viewing this as just a simple spat between Trump, the businessman and a single TV anchor is mixing the bigger picture here. This is a battle now between Trump the reality show Republican candidate, and the conservative media which helped create his candidacy, the very channel with a lifeline to Republican primary voters that helped shift in this story from reality show to reality. It`s a battle about who actually gets to set the rules, FOX News or the candidate. It elevated so far, Donald Trump seems perfectly comfortable with offending the very people you might think he`d be trying to impress right now. Does this most recent controversy matter to Donald Trump anyway? NBC News just surveyed Republican voters over the weekend and found that even though they hated his debate perform, the most, he still leads all the other candidates, and that by a mile. That was a survey taken of after the debate. And late today, another piece of evidence emerged that this dispute goes way above one FOX News anchor`s pay grade. Today, the president of FOX News himself Roger Ailes reportedly intervened directly. Ailes reportedly calling Mr. Trump today, a conversation that was off the record. We don`t know the details although we`d really love to. But Trump immediately said on the Twitter that Ailes promised him FOX would treat Trump fairly going forward. And that promise will be tempted immediately tomorrow when Trump returns to FOX`s morning show. As Rachel has reported extensively for week the biggest question hung on FOX News`s decisions. That channel had the power to decide who the viable candidates were in the debate and then how to question them before largest voting audience in primary history. Up until now, the presidential campaigns have had to lobby FOX News. That`s the way it`s always been on the Republican side. Was it a bit of a role reversal for Roger Ailes to make that personal phone call to Mr. Trump? Does Donald Trump now hold more power here than anyone`s been giving him credit for? What does this mean for his campaign if it is a real campaign? And when the front-runner for the Republican nomination is getting personal phone calls from Roger Ailes promising reportedly nicer coverage, what`s everyone else in the race supposed to do? Joining us on a big day in politics is Karen Tumulty, political reporter from "The Washington Post." Thanks for joining us KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Great to be here. MELBER: Let`s start with those questions. Where is Donald Trump now the in a standoff that at least according to Donald Trump resulted in Roger Ailes` reaching out and playing nice? TUMULTY: You know, I think he is exactly where he wants to be. None of this was new information to people who are supporting Donald Trump. I think a lot of them decided it was pretty irrelevant. And FOX News understands that Donald Trump is good for the numbers. I mean, look at the ratings for that debate. So, again, I mean, he has proven that he is -- you know, invulnerable to a lot of things that would have been fatal to any other candidate. It just sort of makes him stronger with the people who support him. MELBER: Yes, and not only invulnerable but welcomed by a larger portion of the potential Republican electorate than even those who is say they support him. I want to put up this new Reuters/Ipsos polling which walks through not only do you like Donald Trump or not, but the specific to the debate, what role is he playing. And Republicans basically are saying by participating in the debate, they think that he challenged the establishment -- seen as a good thing -- that his participation allowed for more honesty about the problems facing America -- again by a wide margin, 56 percent -- and they think his participation in the debate opened the party to new ideas. That would suggest that after seeing him which as you mentioned seeing him by a large audience, there`s a bunch of Republicans who don`t back his candidacy but are glad he`s involved. TUMULTY: You know, the real question is what are the ideas, because in that debate when he was pressed on specifics, for instance, the specifics behind his charges that the Mexican government is dispatching murderers and rapists over the border, he got vet vague. Look, this is -- it is an easy thing to do in August to flirt with a candidate like Donald Trump. But I think for voters especially voters in places like Iowa and New Hampshire as we get closer to February, the question will be, imagining this person in the Oval Office. And so, you know, the reports tonight are that Trump himself is beginning to understand. He has got to actually have some policy ideas to be putting on the table other than just arguing that the answer to all of the problems in this country is the force of Donald Trump`s personality. MELBER: So, do you think then that the reception he`s getting in the Republican Party is despite or because of that? I mean he was just asked this morning about policies on equal pay and he literally just said, well, I`m not going to get into that right now. There will be a time for policy later. TUMULTY: The time -- and that time is coming. Right now, he is the vehicle, the vessel by which a lot of voters feel that they can send a big message both to the Republican Party and essentially into the political dialogue at large. And that is his role right now. But again, as we get closer to people actually having to go into the voting booth and cast a ballot for somebody they can actually imagine in the Oval Office, the dynamic is likely to change, and I think Donald Trump is smart enough to realize that that dynamic is going to changing MELBER: Why do you think he has been so brash and unapologetic after these clearly personal attacks on Megyn Kelly? I mean, it doesn`t seem that this is something that would help him in the long run. TUMULTY: Because you know, this has been part of his persona, part of his shtick for a quarter of a quarter century. I mean, this is a man who in 1991, told "Esquire" magazine that it didn`t matter what the media wrote about you, as long as you had a young and beautiful piece of anatomy and that, again, has been just very much a part of his public persona as a showman. You know, as a media personality. But again, there`s a role here that he is beginning to apparently understand as the reports tonight are that he`s interviewing serious policy people for his campaign. There is a role here that he is going to have to grow into at some point. MELBER: Yes, and we are going to get to some of those reports as well. Karen Tumulty, political reporter for "Washington Post" -- thanks so much for your time tonight. Appreciate it. TUMULTY: Thank you, Ari. We are going to have more on Donald Trump`s wild ride ahead, specifically can this become a real campaign and also the hottest ticket in Portland, Oregon, this weekend may have been the unlikeliest. And later two words, people, space lettuce. You heard me. Please do stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton did something a little unusual today. She held a press conference. Clinton stood at a podium in New Hampshire and took open questions from reporters on a day when she unveiled a new plan for affordable college and to encourage state funding of public universities. Yet, out of the ten questions posed to Hillary Clinton today, five of them were about one topic, Donald J. Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it`s entertainment. I mean, look it`s all entertainment. You know, I mean I think he`s having the time of his life. You know, being up on that stage, saying whatever he wants to say, getting people excited, both for and against him. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Clinton also was careful to say that Trump`s comments about FOX News host Megyn Kelly were indeed outrageous but that Kelly is a strong woman who can defend herself. Clinton also argued that the rest of the Republican field backs policies that impact women which are just as outrageous. She told NBC`s Andrea Mitchell that Marco Rubio`s debate statement that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest is in Clinton`s view more troubling than Trump`s brand of entertainment. Clinton clearly felt that public and media interest in Trump is overdone even though she spent half the presser having to react to the Trump campaign. And should we even be calling it a campaign? There is new reporting tonight about the inner workings of Donald Trump political organization and how it may be changing. The reporter who broke that story will join us next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: The big question about Donald Trump the candidate has always been, is he for real? Yes, he now plays a presidential candidate on TV. We all know that. But he`s spent very little time in key primary states and he rarely addresses voters in person. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: Why are we here in New York? Why aren`t we out on the campaign trail? TRUMP: Well, I`ve been to Iowa many times. I`ve been to New Hampshire many, many times. Love the people there and we`ve had tremendous success. We`ve had tremendous crowds. Nobody gets as many standing ovations. TUR: You`re not campaigning that much. How can anybody take you seriously if you`re not out there showing your face? TRUMP: Because I`m doing television with you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That was Trump`s basic answer to his campaign`s weak ground game, telling NBC`s Katy Tur he`s on the air. Of the many oddities in Trump`s candidacy is that he has convinced Republican leaders and voters and reporters to treat his activities as a full campaign all without much campaigning. Here are some numbers. Trump has held just three events in New Hampshire since declaring. Jeb Bush has done 10, Lindsey Graham 20 it, Christie 21. It`s a pretty glaring public sign of Trump`s thin presence to date. Behind the scene, the game looks even thinner. Trump may have billions of dollars, but he`s not spending millions on top political talent. The manager of his entire campaign has only run one losing campaign previously. It`s hard to imagine a business executive landing atop the Trump Company with that record. The campaign co-chair in Iowa, well, they`re not even from the state. She linked up with Trump by appearing on his TV show "The Apprentice." "Politics isn`t my expertise", she conceded. Quote, "There would be no way I would talk to Donald Trump about how to run a presidential campaign because this is my first time at this." A few other advisors to Trump publicly identified are known most for serving his corporation like his lawyer Michael Cohen who holds a job with the Trump Organization but was speaking on behalf of the campaign or Roger Stone, a controversial operative who had a break with the GOP but advised Trump`s business interests, and he actually just split with the campaign announcing that he quit or if you ask Donald Trump, I was fired. Either way, Mr. Stone saying he came to the conclusion that Trump lacked the discipline to be an effective candidate. So, there isn`t much evidence that Trump wants to build or pay for the type of professional organization that`s needed to run a national campaign. Now, look, maybe there is a secret staff in the wings. Or maybe the best indicator that this very surreal candidacy isn`t very real at all is the behavior of Donald Trump himself. Does this shrewd student of human behavior really think he will win over the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire by avoiding them? Does he think he can run a real campaign without leaving his apartment? I don`t mean that as hyperbole. When he hit all the Sunday talk shows yesterday, he insisted on doing the interviews all by phone as he does for so many of his TV interviews. So, maybe Trump isn`t really running a campaign or didn`t begin this project as a real campaign. Today, even he seems to concede that in a way, telling "Washington Post`s" Robert Costa starting now, he does want to build a real fully staffed presidential campaign operation. What an idea. And joining us now with more is Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post." Good evening to you. ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good evening. MELBER: What did Donald Trump tell you? And does any of this suggest that at least previously he was not looking to run a full national campaign? COSTA: Trump and I had a conversation on Sunday morning. And you get the sense that most campaigns for the presidency, they surround themselves, the candidates with messaging consultants, people who tell the candidate what to say and what not to say. These are young people usually right out of an episode of "The West Wing." Trump, he is the message. That`s what he really believes. He does not need Karl Rove or David Axelrod around him. But at a certain point, he needs people to do the things he`s not going to do. Best message in the world doesn`t get you on the ballot in every state. It doesn`t keep your leverage, as he`s referred to it open, if he wants to be third party. Who does he have on staff to do some off the real work even if he`s his own top message guru? COSTA: For the majority of the time he wants to be the candidate out there taking interview after interview, being an outside presence in the field. Behind the scenes, there`s a campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the one from New Hampshire you mentioned. He doesn`t have much experience. But Trump is letting him have full authority now with stone out to make hires, Michael Glassner, former Sarah Palin, Bob Dole aide, he`s been brought in as political director. You have Chuck Laudner, who led Rick Santorum`s campaign in 2012, he`s on board. So, the team is getting bigger. This week, Lewandowski in Nevada, Michigan with Trump trying to get more people on board. MELBER: I also want to be fair to Trump and play a little more of his version of these events. We`ve been reporting on what you can read into some of his choices. I don`t think any professional political advisor would tell him to do all the interviews from his apartment. It`s weird at a certain point. When he has occasionally gone out and done voter events, though, he does make an argument, as you`ve been alluding to, that this is a good thing that his approach is different and he`s not wasting the time nor doing the money grubbing that we see from traditional candidates. Let`s play that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I get calls from senators, could we come and see you? You know, you have these campaign finance limits, which are a good thing because you can just give to -- I even tell them senators call up, I said send them a check. They want to fly from Washington to New York. I mean, how long -- come to my office and I`m allowed to give them, what, $2,600 or something. I mean, like a whole day is wasted. I say, this is what they do? That`s what they do, from morning until night. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: What he`s referring to there is something that Common Cause or other critics of government could also make that argument. Do you think that his critique and his disdain for how campaigns work today actually is appealing? COSTA: It`s certainly appealing. People are frustrated with the political system, seem to connecting with Trump. He recognizes that he needs to do more. You have Lewandowski and other advisors working to get position papers out to talk to policy experts in the conservative movement, because this is a key transition for the Trump campaign. It`s been a huge summer for them, a summer where they`ve ascended in the polls unlike they thought, and now, they have to start to build -- build and survive. MELBER: You`re saying from your reporting you think he`s faring better than he expected? COSTA: I think so. The thing about Trump is, I`ve spent a lot of time with him on the campaign trail. Watching him in action, I`ve never seen a politician monitor Twitter more, read the bylines of news articles, really understand the media to know he can call into certain programs, because he has a certain status, to know who the writers, to know who the photographers are, to understand the stage craft of running for president, to understand the power of celebrity. It`s a politician unlike we`ve seen before in recent cycles. And he thinks he can work this process to his benefit and maybe end up as the nominee. We`ll see. But that`s his belief. MELBER: And finally then, looking at that sophistication as you put it or that ability some would call manipulation, how do you explain where the debate and scuffle here with FOX News goes tomorrow morning when as we`ve reported, he will appear and he says Roger Ailes has given him these assurances? Where does this end? COSTA: Well, Trump, his M.O., is he often this people avoid confrontation. By being a confrontational person, his way, I`ve seen this in interaction after interaction, he rattles the whole situation. So, with FOX News, by going after them, he -- I think when you talk to his advisors, they expected FOX to come back. And FOX did, Ailes and Trump connected today. So, you see Trump using confrontation and the power of his personality to try to create situations that work for his use in the campaign. He doesn`t back away. Usually, most politicians back away from confrontation. MELBER: Robert Costa, as always, appreciate your reporting and joining us tonight. COSTA: Thank you. MELBER: It has been one year since Michael Brown`s killing by police in Ferguson, Missouri. The memories and the movement galvanized by that death have become part of the presidential campaign in both parties. Details straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: The biggest arena in the city of Portland, Oregon, is called the Moda Center. The giant arena hosted Trailblazers basketball games, plus other sporting events, music concerts. But on Sunday, there was a political gathering so big, with so much grassroots interest, that organizers needed the Moda Center. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Portland, you have done it better than anyone else. This is, by far, the largest crowd, 20,000 people. Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has already drawn the largest crowds of candidates in both parties this year, but yesterday, he broke his own record -- 19,000 people, you see him there, packed into the arena, the largest crowd that any 2016 presidential candidate has drawn so far. And get this -- that 19,000 was just the people you see inside. Another 9,000 people who couldn`t get in there listened to that speech from outside the arena just on loud speakers. This was the just the latest in a spring of record crowds that Bernie Sanders has been drawing across the nation -- 3,000 people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a thousand showed up in tiny Keen, New Hampshire, 9,000 in Portland, Maine, 10,000 over in Madison, Wisconsin, and more than 11,000 people out in Phoenix, Arizona. And before this stop in Portland yesterday that drew that impressive 2,000 number, Bernie Sanders packed another 15,000 into an arena in Seattle. But that campaign stop, that was not the one that`s been getting all of the headlines. It was a campaign event he held there a little earlier in the day that just didn`t go according to plan. What happened at that event and why it matters. That story is next. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Here`s the front page of the "St. Louis Dispatch" newspaper was planning to run with this morning. "In This Together", a thousand marchers converge on Ferguson to mark one year since Michael brown`s death. That was the young unarmed black man killed by local police. Unfortunately, though, the paper ultimately had to later print this cover you see here after yesterday`s peaceful demonstrations did have a violent turn with gunfire breaking out late last night on the city streets. The suspect who authorities say opened fire on police was critically wounded when officers returned fire. Despite last night`s flash of violence, today, the story out of Ferguson was peaceful protests and civil disobedience. On Interstate 70, protests joined hands, shutting down the highway in both directions, you see. Earlier today, dozens also arrested outside of a St. Louis courthouse, it was trying to draw attention to what they call racist law enforcement practices. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PROTESTERS: If we don`t get no justice! Then you don`t get no peace! If we don`t get no justice! Then you don`t get no peace! If we don`t get no justice! Then you don`t get no peace! (END VIDEOTAPE) MELBER: On both of those instances, many of the demonstrators identified as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign, or movement, which has been gaining a lot of traction beginning last year, directly in Ferguson following that shooting death of Michael Brown. That tragedy might not have made national news at all in and of itself as an incident that occurred locally, but the activism and the protests that spring out of it, especially the Black Lives Matter movement is demanding that that issue could not be ignored anymore. At the end of the day, the protesters in the streets of Ferguson and elsewhere around the nation argue that inequities which have long existed in our criminal justice system are too great to gloss over. Take for example this is statistic -- African-Americans are almost four times more likely to be arrested for pot possession even though they use pot at the same exact rate as white persons and in large part because of the war on drugs our prison population has skyrocketed over the years, more than quadrupled since 1980 alone. And against all those inequities, we often are seen as operating in a system where police are simply not usually prosecuted for any kind of on duty shooting. Now those are facts, facts that can be debated. But the Black Lives Matter campaign has been saying that those issues must be a larger part of the national discussion. And today, it now has 23 U.S.-based chapters, as well as two abroad. Just this past week that, hashtag used online #blacklivesmatter, reached as many as 22 million people on the platform Twitter alone. By sheer reach, the conversation is changing. It`s also changing perceptions and politics in America. Look at this. In 2009, only 26 percent of people thought racism was basically a big problem anymore. Now in 2015, half of Americans say racism is an issue the nation must deal with. It is not going away. And over and over again, this new movement, this Black Lives Matter campaign appears to be forcing the issue into the discussion whether people want to have it or not. In fact, it`s a discussion that even made it briefly into the first GOP debate as well as into that Bernie Sanders event this weekend in Seattle. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PROTESTERS: Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter! SANDERS: Thank you, Seattle, for being one of the most progressive cities in the United States of America! PROTESTER: If you do not listen to her, your event will be shut down right now. SANDERS: You know what? "Wall Street Journal" poll -- PROTESTERS: Say her name. Say her name. Say her name. MODERATOR: One second. One second. Hold on. SANDERS: I will answer your question but I`d like to speak for a few minutes. I was told that that -- MODERATOR: A couple more minutes and then we`re going to get. CLINTON: Yes, black lives matter. (APPLAUSE) KELLY: Many in the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond believe that overly aggressive police officers targeting young African-Americans is the civil rights issue of our time. Do you agree? (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: So, for a movement that`s not formally funded, it doesn`t have a big headquarters in Washington, D.C. or registered lobbyists, it`s a lot of momentum and surely a lot of this campaign is propelled by tragedies. But it is also moving the needle a lot. So where does Black Lives Matter go from here? Joining us tonight is Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. Thank you for joining us tonight. ALICIA GARZA, BLACK LIVES MATTER CO-FOUNDER: Thank you for having me. MELBER: When you look out here during the anniversary and cross some of the impact I just showed, how would you assess the impact of the movement and speaking for yourself as one of the organizers, is part of the goal to shape electoral politics and what the candidates are saying? GARZA: Well, I think first and foremost, we just have to acknowledge that, you know, if it wasn`t for young people standing up in Ferguson as they`re doing right now, this conversation would be very different. To be honest with you, Black Lives Matter both as a network and I think as a growing movement across the world that is demanding the respect and dignity for black people in this country so that all people can live better lives is really at a turning point. And frankly, we are here to make sure that our communities continue to be safe. We are here to make sure that our communities have the things that we need and we are here to make sure that anti-black racism is eliminated once and for all. And certainly, you know, just a few months ago, you weren`t hearing conversations about race in America and in fact, we were being told that we lived in a post-racial society and what has been exposed is that`s certainly not only not true, but that the lives of black folks both black Americans and black immigrants and black people all over the country have been unfairly targeted for demise. That`s what we`re aiming to stop. MELBER: And looking at those candidates for president then, what should they say and do in your view to meet the demands and the concerns of this movement? GARZA: Well, certainly, it`s important that they acknowledge first and foremost whether or not they believe that Black Lives Matter. We`ve seen all of the major candidates at least on the Democratic Party side saying as much. But the reality is, we have to go a lot farther. We don`t want to hear a fancy slogan. We want to know, what will you do to ensure that black live matter? What are you willing to risk? What are you willing to implement and what are you willing to change to ensure that no longer will we live in a country where every 28 hours a black person is murdered by police vigilantes or security guards -- according to the Malcolm X grassroots movement. MELBER: In your view, is it incumbent on those candidates and leaders to answer those questions as you put it, or is this ultimately a model that will have explicit demands in the same way that groups like the NRA or APAC (ph) are scoring votes and making explicit demands? We saw some organizers say one of the demands would be independent investigations of police brutality rather than local D.A.s do it themselves. What is your view on those two approaches? GARZA: You know, I think what`s important to be mindful of is that here have been demands for a long time now. And it`s just now that folks are kind of turning their attention to asking, well, what are the policy solutions? What are the policy implementations we`re going to be leading here? And I think what we need to be mindful is that both requires that candidates are proactive in thinking about what is it that they plan to move in the same way that they give us you know, the package of issues that they`re going to be working on when they take office. This issue needs to be one of them. And they need to be putting forward proactive proposals. At the same time -- MELBER: What do you say to the -- let me ask you, what do you say also to the concern that shutting down a candidate`s event or disrupting a Bernie Sanders event is not politically effective? GARZA: Well, what I would say is that power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. So, it`s important that we push to ensure that our issues are at the forefront. And certainly had we not been disrupting, had we not been pushing, had we not accepted business as usual, we wouldn`t be having this conversation now. MELBER: Alicia Garza, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement, I want to thank you for telling us about some of your work. GARZA: Thank you so much for having us. MELBER: There has been a rash of arrests and indictments in this country. They`re happening to a specific and somewhat disturbing demographic. That story and a heaping helping of some ironic mug shots is straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NARRATOR: Man`s destiny lies somewhere in the stars. Two things will help him keep that ran day view. The space shuttle takes off like a rocket, lands like an airplane. And gigantic space stations completely self- sustaining in earth orbit. Destined to be on board, Tang instant breakfast drink with its delicious natural orange flavor and full day`s supply of vitamin C in every glass. Good nutritious tang for spacemen and earth families. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: OK. So a thing that has never, never happened before happened today. And it happened in space. And it was actually pretty remarkable even more remarkable, folks, than Tang -- as if that is even possible. This incredible story is coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: The top law enforcement job in every state is the attorney general. There is one in every single state and most states make it an elected position, meaning someone runs and campaigns for it and you vote them in and when you vote that person in, he or she is the top chief legal officer of that whole state. They`re in charge of upholding the law. So, in the state of Utah, this is the current attorney general. He assumed office in December, 2013, after the guy holding the office before him, this guy, resigned after serving less than a year in the post. And that is because of this. Now, that`s not a passport photo you`re looking at. That is a mugshot. The guy on the right is the former A.G. John Swallow and the guy next to him is the previous Utah A.G. who served as attorney general in Utah for 12 years. Now, last summer, both were arrested and booked in a salt lake county jail in connection with a ginormous FBI investigation into bribery from their time as the top law enforcement officials. As former attorneys general in the state of Utah, the state is not charging that they both -- is now charging they both took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and contributions all in exchange for some favorable treatment. Now, they pled not guilty last month. If convicted they could face a prison term up to 30 years. Two A.G. in a row. Thanks, Utah. But they`re not alone here. In the great state of Colorado, there is a really weird story circulating about the sitting Republican attorney general. She`s reportedly by being accused by the head of the Colorado Republican Party of blackmail. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Did you blackmail or in any way threaten him? CYNTHIA COFFMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, I did not. REPORTER: He`s lying. COFFMAN: Yes. REPORTER: Steve House says Coffman, former Congressman Tom Tancredo and Pueblo GOP chair Becky Mizel told him if he didn`t resign, they would out him for cheating on his wife, something he denies. COFFMAN: He had done things that exposed the party to potential liability, legal liability. And that was the context in by the relationship came up. REPORTER: Coffman says they confronted House about a pattern of lies but she repeatedly refused to give examples. Do you feel like you`ve lost credibility to the point that in the wake of all of this, you should resign? COFFMAN: No, I don`t. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: "No, I don`t", she says there. This is where the story gets even weirder. Days after the head of the Republican Party reportedly accusing the attorney general of blackmail he changes his story. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: A week after accusing party leaders, including the state attorney general of threatening to tell everyone he cheated on his wife if he didn`t resign, state Republican Party Chair Steve House says all`s good. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE HOUSE, COLORADO GOP CHAIRMAN: I`m absolutely affirming my support for Cynthia Coffman as our attorney general. REPORTER: How do you say that after you accused her essentially you have extortion, just last week? HOUSE: Actually, if you really read the concept of what was written, I never accused anybody of extortion. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: OK. I guess you can call that the conceptual defense. It`s an odd development. The Republican Party chair accusing the A.G. of blackmail which she then denies and he recants just a week later. So, who knows what happened there. In the great state of Texas, we do know what happened to the A.G.s. This is the sitting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He`s sort of smiling or is that a smirk in that was for a mugshot last week. He was arrested on felony charges booked in the Colin County jail in Texas where he was jailed briefly, then released after posting a $35,000 bond. He is facing three criminal charges pertaining to what he did before he became A.G. Two are first degree felonies for securities fraud, one not registering as an investment advisor but trying to act as one. Now, his lawyers said he will plead not guilty and is, quote, "looking forward to the opportunity to tell his side of the story." Another notable thing about the case is that the Texas A.G.. is nine months into his gig. And so at the end of last week, it seemed like that was enough attorney general scandals for a while, until we got this. Pennsylvania`s A.G., Kathleen Kane, she`s the first Democrat and first woman to who told that position in the state and it`s also her beginning first term in the position. Last week though, she was criminally charged in a leak case. There`s her mugshot from her arraignment this weekend. She`s accused of illegally giving grand jury documents to a newspaper. The allegedly goal being to make a political rival look bad and trying to cover up her actions with false testimony given allegedly to another grand jury. Now, she maintains her innocence, adding she will not be stepping down because doing that would be an admission of guilt. But it doesn`t seem like her fellow Democrats are as confident. Pennsylvania`s Democratic governor, along with some other Dems in the state, calling on her already to step down. Now, in all these cases, it`s important to remember, each and every one of these attorneys general are innocent till proven guilty. That said, it is pretty amazing so many people tacked with upholding the law are facing charges that they broke it. While it`s no defense to these charges to blame the political process or the pay-to-play culture of modern campaigns, they are part of a system that tells prosecutors to be part-time politicians and full-time apolitical public servants. We obviously need high standards for all attorneys general today no question. But we may need a debate whether to change some of those standards to create a law enforcement role devoid of politics or fund- raising. Elections do have consequences and not all of them are a good fit for the one job that must be completely independent of politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: We have one more story for you tonight that is very important. It begins like so many big stories with lettuce. In April, Space X launched a shipment of supplies towards the International Space Station. Among the cargo was a system called Veg 01 which astronauts call Veggie. Veggie is a collapsible and expandable unit designed to grow food with red, blue and green LED lights. Having astronauts double as farmers and being able to raise a sustainable food source is a critical step for deep space mission like going to Mars because it takes astronauts so long to get there. And for years, scientists have been working on working on the most basic problem, plants need water. How do you water a crop without gravity? Veggie design stores the plants in sealed pillows which keep the roots and water contained. For the last 33 days, members of the space station have been tending to the pillows which contained red Romaine lettuce, taking pictures, next to it, eerie pink low. In fact, red and blue lights or more specifically their wavelengths, are all that`s needed to grow these plants. But the veggie designers opted to include the green LED, as well to make sure the plants kept their green color making them more appetizing for our intrepid astronauts. Today, 33 days after activating the seeds, you can see they harvested the plants. Members of the space station ready to be the first people to eat something grown in outer space. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Yoo-hoo. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s awesome. Good. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tastes good. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I like that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind I have like arugula. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It`s fresh. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Like arugula. That was American astronaut Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren you heard there, auditioning maybe for the next season of "Chopped". That`s also about as excited as you`ll see some astronauts get. That was their ecstatic. Now, for those wondering, the astronauts used a little bit of olive oil and some vinegar to dress the lettuce leaves. Yes, folks, lettuce. Not wholly exciting on its own but lettuce in space is still a pretty big deal and one of the keys to long distance space travel. Sixty years ago, we were trying to figure out how to get a person into space. When we did, we were sending this up there as the astro meal plan. Today, they`re cherishing these freshly grown red Romaine from their local farm stand. And, look, if they can do this -- well, lettuce consider the possibilities. I`m so sorry. All right. I am out of puns. And, luckily, that is our show tonight. It is time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END