Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: April 1, 2016 Guest: Joel Sawyer
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: That is "All In" for this evening.
We`ll be back on Monday night, live from the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Come by and see us. Maybe we can take a selfie here, do some snap chatting.
"Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, RACHEL MADDOW SHOW HOST: Lakefront Brewery -- that sounds like an excellent idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s going to be great.
MADDOW: Well, maybe I`ll see if I can get there. Thank you my friend, have a great weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You too.
MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday.
In the spring of 2010, on April 27th, in 2010, a really bad thing happened. A very sad thing happened during the morning rush hour on the New York City sub way. It was on a G train. The train started in Queens that morning and was heading south. It was right at the heart of a rush hour, it was 8:08 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. And that train was full of people. It was traveling at speed and the man who was driving that subway train, that G train, he died. He died at the controls.
And this is not like train that has a whole crew operating it, right from a separate engine compartment, it`s not like an airplane where there`s a co- pilot who can take over if something happens to the pilot at the controls. This was one driver, one motor man driving the train and he had a heart attack and died at the controls with all of those rush hour commuters on board the train he was driving at speed.
You know what happened to all those people on that train? Nothing. I mean, it`s very sad that the motor man died, but the people on board the train were completely safe when that happened even though it was middle of rush hour and the train was packed and the train was moving at speed. And the reason they were all OK is because of one specific thing.
If you`re a motor man or a motor woman conducting a New York City subway train, you have to hold this handle down the way this person is holding it down in this picture. You see it tilting it back toward himself, right. If the person driving the train lets go of that handle on board the train, stops holding it down like that, that handle springs back up right and that brings the train to a stop. It`s called a dead man`s switch. If there`s nobody there to hold that handle down, that stops the train when the handle springs back. It`s literally designed to detect if the guy who supposed to be driving this thing has just turned into a dead man. So they call it a dead man`s switch.
And devices like this have existed for a very long time on trains, on street cars, on subways. Some airplanes actually now have something similar where the plane will kick into a form a of auto-pilot which lowers the altitude of the airplane automatically in the event the cockpit becomes totally now unresponsive. So if no -- none of the crew members in the cockpit give any response or whatsoever to any stimuli in the cockpit, if you can`t raise them at all, the fear is that means maybe the cockpit has lost its oxygen supply, right.
So the autopilot then kicks in and brings the cockpit -- brings the whole airplane down to a lower altitude, basically as a safety measure. And it`s done specifically as a response to the pilot or co-pilot doing nothing, it`s basically a dead man`s switch.
And there a lot of different kinds of used in a lot of different circumstances. But the basic idea of a dead man`s switch is that it kicks in if you don`t do something. If you don`t check in or somehow register your presence overtly, that itself is the trigger. And it can be a trigger to shut something down like a speeding G train in Queens on rush hour on a Tuesday morning or it can be a trigger to set something off, like, for example, a hand held detonator where maybe you have to keep some sort of switch depressed.
And if you let that switch go, if you release it, then that`s what sets off the explosion. That`s a common spooky plot twist in lots of thrillers and spy movies, right. But it`s also a real thing. It`s a sort of effective basic form of insurance. You know, if you hurt me, I will let go of this dead man`s switch and we will all blow up, therefore do not hurt me.
The reason I raise this point is because a sort of dead man`s switch has apparently been installed on this strange threat that is now becoming a truly strange subplot in the presidential race right now. We reported at the start of this week on the resurfacing of the D.C. Madam scandal in Washington. The D.C. Madam case was about an escort service which operated as a thriving business in Washington, D.C. for something like 13 years. Started in the early `90s and it was eventually shut down in 2006 when the government brought criminal charges against the woman who ran that escort agency.
The woman who ran the agency, she and her lawyer decided that they would fight back against those charges in part by releasing records from the escort service, releasing their phone records. And so by them releasing those phone records in 2006, 2007, we learned about high profile clients of this forgive me high end hooker service in Washington.
So that George W. Bush administration aid czar and a sitting U.S. Republican senator, family values, conservative senator, several other bold face names beside though in Washington basically got outed in that case about the escort service.
But it`s interesting they didn`t get outed as part of the legal proceedings in court that happened in that case. They got outed as part of a media and PR strategy that were run by the woman who ran this escort agency and her lawyer.
Now the woman run the agency has since died. She killed herself not long after she was convicted in 2008 after she found out she was facing a potentially long prison sentence. But the lawyer with whom she leased those early phone records from her agency is still around and he is now back in the news, because he`s long maintained that back when that court case was brought, those phone records that was released which were such a scandal and so politically devastating at that time, he`s long maintained that those weren`t the only phone records they had. He says there are hundreds of other names and addresses from the escort services client`s list. He said there are thousands of other phone numbers from the escort service. These are all records he says he had access to from his time working on that case, but he says, he can`t legally release those records to the public, because there`s a restraining order that was placed on him in 2007 by a federal court in Washington D.C.
So again, that court case was brought in 2006. And even as that case has started to fade in memory, there`d always been, you know, reminders that of it here and there, right the D.C. Madam Case came up when David Vitter tried to run for Louisiana governor this year its part of the reason he`s not the Louisiana governor right now.
And those unreleased records, there`s always been wanderings and whisperings about what other names might have been in the D.C. Madam`s black book, what other names and phone numbers were in those records that nobody has seen yet. Because of that restraining order from the court though, nobody is really ever thought those like names would see the light of day.
As we reported earlier this week, something seems to have changed on that front this year. in January of this year, the lawyer from the D.C. Madam Case, who again, he says he has those recorders, but he`s under court order not to release them, he says he came to the realization, came to a decision at the beginning of this year that he had a new reason to want to release those records. He says he now wants to release the records because they are a matter of national importance. He says what`s in those records is relevant to the 2016 presidential race, and no he won`t say what he means by that.
But over the last few weeks he has been trying to basically get released from that restraining order. He`s been trying to get permission from the courts to release those remaining records. He`s now made an application to the U.S. he is -- he`s made an application to the U.S. district court, which initially put in the restraining order. He`s made representation to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. he`s -- as of this week made a representation to the United States Supreme Court saying, "Time is of the essence."
He saying the Supreme Court must consider this case. They must give him permission to release the records. They must do it soon, because he says it`s a matter of national importance. He says it has to be now because it may affect who the people of the United States want to effect as their next president of the United States. So that`s where we left it on Tuesday of this week after he had delivered that application to the United States Supreme Court saying, please, let me release the records.
Well as of now, we`ve got news because now two more things have happened. First, the lawyer in this case has claimed he`s installed a dead man`s switch on these records. He says now that when he realized or he came to the decision that these records, these unreleased escort agency records were relevant to this year`s presidential race, he says that he took out what amounts to an insurance policy to protect himself, so no one would be threatened to harm him physically as a way of preventing the records being released. Montgomery Blair Sibley first told U.S. News report today and then later confirm to us, that he has hidden online in four different locations on four different servers, PDF versions of these escort agency records, but she says include the names and addresses of 815 alleged clients of the D.C. Madam.
He said he had set up a doomsday switch, a dead man`s switch, which is basically designed to automatically reveal the locations of the records online if he does nothing for a period of 72 hours. Remember, a dead man`s switch is not activated by you doing something. A dead man`s switch is activated by you unexpectedly doing nothing. The way he described it to us today is as a "72-hour clock". He told us, "The 72-hour clock releases the records if I disappear for 72 hours. I reset the clock daily. Stranger things have happened, so I am taking no chances.
He then further elaborated to U.S News and World report telling him today that the 72-hour clock is rigged so what it specifically does is that if it counts all the way down, all 72-hours without him acting to reset it, "dozens of reporters will receive a website link directing them where to find the documents online." "If I die, disappear, whatever, they will be out."
So that`s the first thing that`s happened today. There`s a dead man`s switch on the D.C. Madam unreleased records, at least the lawyer says there is. So, I don`t know, if you`re let just guess, let say you`re presidential candidate whose name is on the D.C. Madam phone list, better hope nothing happens to Montgomery Blair Sibley that prevents him from resetting his blesses 72-hour countdown clock or the else the way he explains it if that happens, you know, kapow, all the results come out, all the records.
Now, I mean who knows. This could absolutely by an empty threat. He`s shown no proof that he has done this. And of course, without access to the documents ourselves, we can`t verify his claim one way or another. But this is now what he is claiming on how he has acted to protect this information, how he`s acted to protect himself as the possessor of this information, so that`s one dead man`s switch.
The second thing that`s happened today is that is application to the United States Supreme Court, which says that they should release him from this restraining order and let him release the escort agency records, that application to the Supreme Court got put on the docket at the supreme court today. Look that`s the Supreme Court website, and yes, it is April fool`s day. And it does say it was docketed on April 1st, 2016. But apparently the Supreme Court does not make April fool`s jokes and this is real. And it really did get put on the docket.
Now, that doesn`t mean the Supreme Court is necessarily going to hear this case. But it does mean that chief Justice John Roberts will take a first crack at deciding whether or not the Supreme Court should take it up. And honestly, I`m not lawyer just a layman`s observation, it seems very unlikely that the Supreme Court would take up this case, but it is now on the docket. They will now at least consider taking it up. It is a possibility. And now here is what you need know about what this may or may not mean for the U.S. presidential race. Because if what the lawyer saying is true, if there is something in these unreleased D.C. Madam phone records, which is relevant enough to the presidential race that it could affect the way people are going to vote or may affect something else important about the race.
If that`s true, then speed matters, right, timing matter. These records is getting published now will have a manifestly different effect on our country then this records getting publish and say December after the election. Right, if they really are something significant, the timing matters. You got to go fast.
And, so, the D.C. Madam lawyer is going through the channels now. He`s applying all these different courts, he`s asking for permission to be released from the restraining orders so he can release these record legally, but he`s also explicitly threatening that if it`s the only way to get them out, he`ll release them illegally if he has to.
Montgomery Blair Sibley, the lawyer gave us this statement today, "Trusting that the chief justice will promptly make his rulings and allow me to file my request to modify the restraining order, which prevents my release of the D.C. Madam`s reports, I will be taking no action with those records until he rules", that said, "If I am denied the right to file and receive a hearing on my motion to modify the restraining order, then yes, I will release the records of the D.C. Madam relevant to this presidential election."
So, what he`s saying is, maybe the Supreme Court will take this up. Maybe the Supreme Court will say, yes, and take this up, in which case he will wait until they rule and he will not release the records. But if they say no, if they are not going take up this case they are not going to clear him to release those records, he says unequivocally he will release them any way.
So, that`s one way they might get released. The other way they might get released is if something happens to him that prevents him from clicking his 72-hour countdown clock in which case he says they will be released automatically by virtue of the fact that he has not shown up to click reset, at least so he says. And maybe this is all a cock and bull story. Maybe there`s nothing in the records. He`s the D.C. madam lawyer who released all the other records. There was a lot in those records and he says not only are these records extends, not only that these records exist, not only does he have access to them, but he says they are relevant to this election.
And if he is right, we`re all about to find that out soon, because one way or another, these things are about to come out. Tick tock, everybody freak out.
MADDOW: I have an addition to make to your political science textbook. So please get out your red pen, maybe a sticky note, what we`re adding will go in the section that starts with W. What we`re adding is a theory we`re going to call the Willy Wonka. In the Willy Wonka theorem of political science, you can win the contest and then lose your prize for the simplest of reasons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How he broke the rules.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What rules? We didn`t see any rules, did we Charlie?
WILLY WONKA, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Wrong, sir. Wrong.
Under Section 37b of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if, and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy, I the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained, et cetera, et cetera. Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera. Memo bis punitor delicatum!
It`s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: One presidential candidate broke the rules this year in the same way, fax mentis incendium gloria cultum et cetera. Memo bis punitor delicatum. He broke the rules. He was a presidential candidate he sure, but he broke the rules, whatever those were.
But he really might now get nothing because of it. It`s an amazing story. And that`s next. Good day, sir.
MADDOW: OK, April fool`s day is almost over, just a few more hours ago so hang in there keep your head down, but the serve this a reminder though, that just because theirs is a day we call April fool`s day doesn`t mean you`re immune from any other cruel jokes the rest of the year. Take the University of South Carolina men`s basketball team. The Gamecocks. Great name.
The Gamecocks have appeared in the NCAA tournament eight times since 1971. But the last time was over a decade ago, since 2004. A couple of weeks ago though the Gamecocks got a word that they were about to make their big comeback. They`re back in the NCAA tournament after a 12 years hiatus. The coach and the athletic director for the team both got a text message on selection Sunday, saying you`re in, congratulations this is a huge deal for them, a huge deal for the University of South Carolina for about 10 minutes, because 10 minutes after they got that, Yay, you`re in text, they got a follow-up phone call saying, whoops text was wrong. Never mind, you`re not in. Pretend you never got it.
That story got a bunch of attention this week. So much so that the NCAA has issued a public apology for the screw up. University of South Carolina still mad about it though and rightly so, right, a super disheartening thing to have happened even if they only perceived for a moment that something was being taken away from them, right. Even if they never really had a spot in the tournament to begin with.
If they actually had earned the spot in the tournament and then had it taken away after the fact, now that that would really be something to complain about. And that would be what`s apparently happening in South Carolina in the presidential race right now.
On February 20th, South Carolina held their Republican primary. It was pretty much a blow out. Not only did Donald Trump win by double digits but he won by such a large margin and he ended up getting every single delegate in the state. Since then he`s gone onto be the national frontrunner, although even though he was the national frontrunner, he doesn`t look like he`s got the race completely locked up in terms of delegates for the Republican convention this summer.
Enter obscure rule of the South Carolina Republican Party. Starting this year for the first time South Carolina Republicans decided they`ll have a rule that says, that in order to get on the primary ballot in South Carolina as a Republican, you have to pledge your loyalty to the Republican Party.
Well, Donald Trump did pledge his loyalty to the Republican Party early in the campaign. Here he is holding up the actual pledge. But this past week, he reneged on that pledge. He now says he doesn`t believe that anymore. He will no longer pledge to support the Republican Party`s nominee this fall, because he said he`s not being treated fairly by the party.
So he is uncommitted to that pledge and there is the question of South Carolina, if Donald Trump by his own admission is no longer royal to the Republican Party, does that mean he`s now retro actively ineligible to have competed as a Republican in the South Carolina primary? This is not just some esoteric argument. The chairman of the state`s Republican Party told "Time Magazine" today, "Breaking South Carolina`s presidential primary ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions. However a court or national convention committee on contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy."
Really? I mean Donald Trump is now out right saying that he no longer stands by that Republican Party loyalty pledge he took. Legally those or legally, within the Republican Party rules, I mean those 50 delegates that he earned in that primary, are they really going to say those aren`t his anymore? Are they going to take them away because he no longer believes his pledge? Really.
Joining us is Joel Sawyer, he`s a Republican strategist, he`s a former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party. Joel, it`s really nice to see you. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.
JOEL SAWYER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: hey, thank you for having me tonight.
MADDOW: So, is this a sort of thing that happens like all the time in South Carolina politics, and we`re just noticing it for the first time because of this red hot presidential race, or is this weird in South Carolina too?
SAWYER: This is weird even for South Carolina, I think you meant to say. But, you know, that it`s interesting because if you look at the way South Carolina conducts down ballot races. If you know anything outside the presidential race, we actually what are called sore loser laws in South Carolina and they`re not unique to South Carolina you have another places too that actually say, if you lose the primary, if you are not your party`s nominee, then you cannot run for another party, or for another, you know, for a petition candidate. You cannot do take any other pro-active action to get your name put back on the ballot.
So, it`s a law in place for sore losers if they happen not win the nomination. That was always the fear with Donald Trump, is that, you know, if he ran, he was a popular candidate. If he ran and he did not get to that magic number of 1,237, does he run as an independent? So that`s why there was this big push to have him sign this loyalty pledge in the first place.
MADDOW: The way that he has renege -- I mean the pledge itself seems unenforceable. The way that he has renege on the pledge is not by ripping it up or unsigning it or just by saying he no longer considers himself bound by it.
I mean is -- is that the ...
MADDOW: ... sort of thing that would be seen as determinative in terms of his eligibility in the state? Is that what they would adjudicate?
SAWYER: It`s hard to say. I mean Donald Trump, in this cycle where he is the pick up your marbles and go home candidate, you know, when he doesn`t like something, when he doesn`t like the way the rules are playing out, he, you know, he makes a threat and in this case, you know, the threat was, well, you know, maybe I`ll run as an independent after all which is a threat he has been making throughout this process.
You know, I will say that, you know, party conventions and party nominating contests are not what when we learned about 10th grade civics. It`s not whoever gets the most votes wins. It`s what you eluded to earlier is this, you know, Willy Wonka type contest with a lot of different rules and a lot of different subsection, so, you know, if I were Donald Trump and I saw Reince Peibus coming out in a purple suit trail about of the loop is I start to worry a little bit.
MADDOW: It sounds like, you don`t expect that Donald Trump is going to get all the delegates out of South Carolina, I mean if you had to bet on this, what kind of slate do you think South Carolina is going to send to the convention?
SAWYER: You know, it would be tough for me to envision a scenario where they were not bound to Donald Trump on the first ballot, which is where they are now. They have to be bound on the first ballot. Unless somebody sues or create a court controversy out of this, I have a tough time believing that it wouldn`t play out that way.
The real worry for Donald Trump is going to what, is going to be what happens after that first ballot if he doesn`t get to the magic number of 1,237. If he goes to a second ballot and a third ballot, you know, he better sure up or make some effort to make sure his folks are going go on there and be with him after the first ballot if he expects to carry the sort of contested, if it does go do a contested convention.
MADDOW: Joel Sawyer, former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party. Thanks for being here Joel, I feel like you`re a South Carolina interpreter. It`s always nice to have you here.
SAWYER: Yeah, anytime, anytime.
MADDOW: You know, it`s funny when you talk to people about what`s going to happen in this race, what Joel said there about how, you know, I expect this will happen unless something crazy happens like court action or somebody sues. You know, what that is becoming less and less crazy all the over the country right now.
There`s already court proceedings over who the delegates are going to be in the Virgin Islands right now and you can bet that it`s going to be happening in more states other than that. Boy, is this going to be fun.
All right, we`ve got more and more coming up next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WONKA: Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera. Memo bis punitor delicatum!
It`s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So here is something as yet unexplained, but it`s something to watch. The National Republican Party made a big hire today. His name is Telly Lovelace. He`s the new National Director of African-American Initiatives and Media at the Republican National Committee. Congratulations to you, Mr. Lovelace. That is a big exciting new job.
Now, this was an important move for the National Republican Party not just because I`m sure Telly Lovelace is a fantastic hire, but because Republican Party headquarters has had kind of an awkward exodus lately of all their top black staffers.
In the past month alone, the RNC`s African-American outreach director left. The communications director for black media left. Over the past year, the RNC has lost four of their top black staffers. Before the addition today of Mr. Lovelace, the National Republican Party was looking at the prospects of having virtually no African-Americans in any prominent jobs at all.
Now, the RNC is not commenting publicly on its black staffer exodus. So, as far as we know, all the staffers just left of their own accord in order to take great jobs elsewhere. It`s all a big coincidence. Maybe none of them have no issue with the RNC and no issues with the Republican Party, whatsoever. Maybe, we`ll see, but awkward timing, right?
MADDOW: In all of God`s great state of Nevada, there are about 2.9 million souls, almost all of them live in this little peaky so corner of the state. 2 million of the 2.9 million people in the states live in Clark County, which is Vegas and its suburbs.
Now, nearly half of everybody else in the state lives up there, upper left corner, basically in Reno, Northwest corner of the states, that`s Washoe County.
Well, tomorrow that gets to be the unlikely center of the American political universe, because tomorrow the Washoe County Republican Party is holding its little county convention to elect delegates to the state convention, which will then elect delegates to go in national (ph). It`s usually as boring as it sounds.
But this year, that unassuming sounding event in Washoe County, it might get a little crazy. The local paper, the Reno Gazette-Journal is predicting turmoil at this event. They say they are seeing, "Serious chaos and friction," between the Ted Cruz faction and the Donald Trump faction in the county as they scrap for every last possible delegate who could potentially end up at a contested national convention flinging for proverbial Brussels sprouts in what is expected to be the giant proverbial food fight there.
Happy Saturday Washoe County, Nevada. We will be keeping an eye out for you.
Today, North Dakota Republicans kicked off their state convention which is also usually boring. North Dakota Republicans are not holding a primary this year. They`re not holding a caucus either.
Instead, state delegates at the convention in Fargo this weekend will be choosing among themselves which 28 of themselves, which 28 lucky folks are going to get to go to Cleveland to represent North Dakota.
The delegates from North Dakota also have the extra joy of being unbound when they get to the national convention, which means they can vote for whoever they want even on the first ballot, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, your mom, Chris Hayes, anyone. That makes North Dakota delegates extremely, extremely valuable and makes the prospect of being the North Dakota delegate, extremely fun.
Ted Cruz himself will make the trip to Fargo tomorrow to court these folks in person. Donald Trump will be sending Ben Carson to do the romancing on his behalf. Whether you fall in love with Ted Cruz or you fall in love with Ben Carson representing Donald Trump. These guys really need those delegates to fall in love. They have not got a delegate to spare.
We learned this week that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both lost delegates when Marco Rubio came back from the dead for a handful of delegates that he had probably, seemingly, maybe left behind.
Senator Rubio, of course, suspended his campaign. After he did that, the Republican Party of Alaska decided they would essentially give away the five delegates to Marco Rubio had won in the state of Alaska. They reapportioned them to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz since they after all were still in the race.
Alaska Republicans figured, listen, "Why not? Macro Rubio is no longer running. Let`s give away his delegate. No big deal." Wrong. After the Alaska Republican Party did that, Marco Rubio sent this letter to the Alaska Republican Party demanding his delegates back saying his decision to suspend his campaign for president of the Untied States -- that`s what he said, the Untied States.
He says that decision was not intended to release any national convention delegates. So this is intriguing, right? Marco Rubio is no longer running for president. He had suspended his campaign. He will never be president of the Untied States, but he has determined to hold onto his delegates any way and it`s not just in Alaska.
He`s done this in Alaska and he`s now doing this 20 other states. He sent that same letter with the same Untied States typo in it to all 21 states in which he won delegates demanding his delegates back even though he`s out of race. Interesting, right?
Asked about the senator`s motivation for doing this, spokesperson for Marco Rubio said the candidate "Wants to give voters a chance to stop Trump." Because by holding on to his delegates, Senator Rubio makes it harder somehow for Donald Trump to win the nomination.
Not into that only having a few delegate in his back pocket, make if Marco Rubio a chance of being a player himself. I mean the chaos that could break out of that big convention, right? If it becomes a jump ball for the nomination, why not pick a guy who already ran and who a bunch of delegates.
And so then, Marco Rubio waits around and sends out mistype`s letter telling states not to give his delegates away. He appears unlikely to endorse anybody else any time soon and he does still have some sway in this thing.
Marco Rubio is nowhere near the leaders but 172 delegates is not nothing. Marco still has 29 more delegates than John Kasich who is technically still running. Marco Rubio in for the long haul, for the jump ball, for whatever he thinks he can do with 172 delegates.
In my lifetime, I could not have dreamed of a race that would be this bonkers, binoculars, untied, whatever. Wow.
MADDOW: Eric Cantor was promoted by his party to the number two job in Congress, majority leader when Republicans took over Congress in 2010. And that was a great honor.
It was also a little bit of a surprise for a guy who`d never really got much done in his time in Congress. During his 13 years in office, he sponsors only six bills that became law. Six bill in 13 years. One of them renamed a very nice post office in Mr. Cantor`s district in Virginia. Another Eric Cantor bill cleared the way for a new design for the U.S. nickel.
Eric Cantor got stuff like that done. But, he had sort of a bigger job than his list of accomplishments might suggest when he was in Congress before he eventually got turfed out by a primary, thanks to a Tea Party challenger in his home district.
Shortly before he got turfed out though, Eric Cantor did have one big success. It happens in 2014. Congress was voting to fund health research for kids with the federal money that used to pay for Democratic and Republican presidential conventions. Eric Cantor didn`t sponsor that bill, but he was basically congratulated as its champion in the House. He was very proud of that bipartisan success.
He had steered federal money to health care for kids. And he had done it without raising taxes or anything. He had done it by taking the money from public funding of party conventions. Who needs the people? Who needs public money to pay for the party conventions? Corporations can pay for the party conventions, right? Of course, they will.
That was Majority Leader Eric Cantor`s biggest legislative success, 2014 weeks before he lost to his primary challenger and resigned before his term was over.
His Republican colleagues made him a lovely farewell video about his time in Congress. He went off to a new and very lucrative job as an investment banker and that was that for Eric Cantor`s political career, his legislative legacy. Corporations would pay for presidential conventions.
No more public funding for the conventions. The corporations will pay. His work was done, until now because now, the one thing that Eric Cantor really managed to do while he was in office besides give us a new look for that nickel, of that one Eric Cantor big accomplishment is coming back to haunt his old Republican friends, because now in this election when the Republican mainstream is faced with the front-runner they can`t abide or stop, no in this election Eric Cantor`s plan for having corporations fund the conventions.
It`s really coming back to haunt Republicans because it turns out corporations would maybe not like to be the sponsor of a convention where the front-runner is Donald Trump and where Mr. Trump has said there could be riots. Corporation should maybe not like to sponsor the Donald Trump crazy town riot convention this summer.
From the "New York Times" this week, "Some of the country`s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention given, they likely nomination of Mr. Trump whose candidacy has alienated, women, blacks and Hispanics.
Coca-Cola for example give the 24 Republican convention over $600,000, this year it`s cut that by almost 90 percent. Last time around Walmart gave a $150,000. Walmart does far has not sent a single penny or a nickel.
This will be first set of presidential convention since Nixon was president that won`t receive any federal funding where the burden will fall directly on the shoulders of corporations or the party, thanks to Eric Cantor`s pet projects. And it happens to be the same election where Mr. Cantor`s Republican Party has a likely nominee who is scaring off corporate sponsors in droves.
Republicans really do need to pay for this convention somehow. Maybe they can persuade Mr. Cantor`s investment bank to kick in a couple of mill. I mean, it might be the least he can do with the legacy he left them.
MADDOW: Something is about to happen. Oh, truck`s here, Friday Night News Dump time. Wendy McNeal (ph). Hello.
WENDY MCNEAL: Hello, Ms. Rachel. We have Lucy Gray from Boston, Massachusetts is playing with us tonight.
MADDOW: Hi, Lucy.
LUCY GRAY, KNOWN ON TWITTER AS JESSIDRES: Hi.
MCNEAL: She`s a long time fan of the show. She is known on Twitter as Jessidres. Teaches fourth grade and she`s studying to teach Special Ed. Rachel, please meet Lucy.
MADDOW: Lucy, I know you as Jessidres. I feel like I`m crossing the space time Twitter continuum.
GRAY: Don`t worry, most people called me Jess who know me on line.
MADDOW: OK. Well, it`s very nice to have you Lucy Jess. Thank you. It`s great to have you here.
I know that you know how this works so we`ll cut right to the chase. You`re going to get three questions that are of this week`s news. If you get at least two of them right, you will win this piece of junk, Wendy?
MCNEAL: This piece of junk, the amazing really cool "Rachel Maddow Show" cocktail shaker.
MADDOW: Not at all guaranteed to work and if you get the extra credit, Lucy. What is our random office swag tonight?
MCNEAL: For the random office swag .
MADDOW: Oh, yeah.
MCNEIL: . these really cool, grand, large, paratroopers that really cool. Like you throw them and they fly down and -- yeah, they`re really cool.
MADDOW: These are my responsibility. There are things that have non- working parachutes that you can throw and hurt a small child if you`re not careful. They`re definite choking hazard, but tons of fun. So, hopefully .
GRAY: So, I`m not going to bring these to my fourth graders.
MADDOW: Don`t bring them to your fourth graders and don`t use them around the cat, I would say. Let`s also bring in -- there`s somebody voice of Steve Benen from MaddowBlog. Steve will determine whether or not you got the right answer. Steve, Lucy, Lucy Steve.
STEVE BENEN, FROM MADDOWBLOG: Good evening to you both.
MADDOW: Good evening.
MADDOW: All right, here we go, question one.
Although Hillary Clinton leads overall in the Democratic presidential contest, on Monday show we reported on one aspect of the campaign in which Senator Bernie Sanders is totally cleaning Hillary Clinton`s clock. What is that?
Is it, A, his Super PAC is 10 times the size of her Super PAC? B, he has won 10 in a row among states that hold caucuses. C, he has won 10 in a row in a states that hold primaries? Or D, he is way ahead in the polls in the next 10 states that are scheduled to vote?
GRAY: Well, I know he`s been having trouble with the primaries, but he`s been doing really well with the caucuses, so I`m going to go with B.
MADDOW: Steve, did Lucy get that right?
BENEN: Let`s check Monday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He lost the first two caucuses by barely in Iowa and by a little bit in Nevada, but since then, of all the caucus states, he has won 10 straight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yep, the correct answer is B and Lucy is one for one.
MADDOW: All right, question two. This week we paid uncomfortably close attention to the scandal involving Alabama`s Family Values Conservative Republican Governor Bob Bentley.
Before a phone sex tape of the governor and his alleged mistress was released publicly, the governor apologized for what he called inappropriate comments. But even after the phone sex tape surfaced, what has the governor insistently denied?
Has he denied, A, that he was governor when the affair happened? Has he denied, B, that his wife had any issue at all with the affair, because they`re in an open relationship? Has he denied that the affair had any physical component? Or, D, has he denied that he enjoyed the affair? He said it was, "Strictly business."
GRAY: Well, I know that from those multiple playing of those tapes, he seemed to enjoy it quite a lot and that wife obviously minded, because she went and left him. So I`m going to go with C.
MADDOW: Denied that the affair had a physical component. Mr. Benen, what is the right answer here?
BENIN: Let`s roll the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He insisted, emphatically, that he never had an affair. He said he never had a physical relationship with the staffer, never had a physical affair with his senior adviser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, the creepy, creepy correct answer is C and Lucy is right again.
MADDOW: What is physical, really? All right, OK. Last question, Jess -- Lucy, Jess, you know, how it goes, all right.
Tuesday`s show, we reported that an old lurid Washington scandal that we thought was dead and gone has come back all of a sudden to potentially affect the presidential race this year. Which scandal is back from the dead in Washington?
Is it, A, Abscam, the fake, sheikh bribery scandal? Is it B, the D.C. Madam Escort service scandal? Is it, C, the Iran-contra scandal. Or is it, D, that time where George W. Bush`s domestic policy adviser got caught shoplifting from Target?
GRAY: I didn`t -- I have never heard of anybody getting caught shoplifting from Target.
MADDOW: I`ll send you a link.
GRAY: And I know it`s not the Iran-contra affair. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to remember it, it has to be B, D.C. Madam Affair.
MADDOW: Escort Service. Steve, you got the answer for us?
BENEN: Let`s check Tuesday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: In court filings, which we obtained today, the lawyer from the old D.C Madam Case, whose name is Montgomery Blair Sibley, he claims that at the start of this year, January 2016, he quote, "Came to believe that information contained in the sealed from the public records from the D.C. Madam Case, "Contain information relevant to the upcoming presidential election."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yup, correct answer is D.C. Madam Scandal and Lucy is right once again.
MADDOW: Lucy, you are an absolute winner. You are spectacular. Wendy, did Lucy win absolutely everything?
MCNEAL: Yes. Lucy, you are the new owner of some really cool new swag.
MADDOW: Lucy, thank you very, very much. If you do bring the parachutists to your fourth graders, we will want pictorial proof of that, please.
GRAY: I will. And at some point, you need to come up to Boston and come to my former workplace. This little museum called the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
MADDOW: Oh, my God, the best heist of all time.
GRAY: Every time you mention it on the show, I internally groan, because it meant that I`d have at least five visitors the next day ask about, is this the place where the theft happened? And I have to spend a very long time explaining it.
MADDOW: I am a sucker for a good heist. Lucy, great to meet you. Thanks for being here. Well done and congratulations.
GRAY: Thank you.
MADDOW: If you want to play the most awesome game in cable news, send us an e-mail, Rachel@msnbc.com. Just tell us who you are, where you from, why you want to play.
Now, at this point of the night, I usually enjoy playing judge and jury and sending you to prison. Tonight, I am not doing that because tonight, look at the clock, we`ve still got something else coming up. We`ve got something kind of amazing coming up next and you must stay for it. Stay here.
MADDOW: So tonight here on MSNBC, we are debuting something brand-new that has never been seen before, and it`s a serious thing, but I`m telling you, it is also riveting.
It`s part of news standards here and at other news organizations that we try to not help terrorists. We try to not help terrorists in any way, including spreading their propaganda.
So when terrorists groups commit atrocities of some kind, attacks of some kind and the way we know they`ve done it is because the terrorist themselves have filmed it, and they want that film to be circulated. We, as a matter, of course, don`t do that. We try to never do them any favors.
You know, we will report what we know and what we can confirm. We may take stills or very short clips from terrorist propaganda if we need to, but we take the minimum. We take only what we can responsibly use without doing their work for them of actually terrorizing and intimidating people.
And as a general rule, I think that makes a ton of sense. As news organizations, we need to report what has happened, but we need to do it on our own terms. And in the case of terrorism, that means we do not re- circulate terrorist propaganda.
But now we`re at this interesting point, where the independent circulation of their own propaganda by the terrorist group ISIS that is the news story about them that is probably the most important one of all. That is the offense, right? That is the attack from them. That is the way in which they are making themselves a global threat.
And there`s no way to tell that story, honestly, without showing what it is that they`re doing. And so what we`re about to do here is something different than you`ve ever seen. In the course of watching normal news footage, you have not seen what we`re about to show you. You have not seen what they have done, how they have been selling themselves internationally.
It`s really serious stuff, but it is riveting. It`s really newsworthy.
It`s not what you`re expecting. It`s a huge story, and it starts right now, here on MSNBC.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END