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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 4/8/2016

Guests: Yamiche Alcindor, Shirin Sheybani

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: April 8, 2016 Guest: Yamiche Alcindor, Shirin Sheybani

CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. Have a great weekend, my friend.

HAYES: You too.

MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Happy Friday.

There`s lots going on tonight. We have great show planned for tonight. I`m excited about tonight`s show.

We, of course, are looking ahead to the Wyoming caucuses tomorrow on the Democratic side of the presidential race. Bernie Sanders has turned out to be really, really good at caucuses. Heading into Wyoming tomorrow, there had been 12 so far on the Democratic side. Of the 12, Hillary Clinton won the first two in Iowa and Nevada. Since then, Bernie Sanders has won ten straight caucuses.

So, Senator Sanders, for obvious reason is favored to win in the caucuses tomorrow in Wyoming. But we`ll be keeping an eye on that.

We have footage from SpaceX as they miraculously landed their rocket engine on a ship. The single best thing about the footage is how nuts they go over the fact that they did it. We`ve got that ahead tonight.

We`ve also got some interesting rock and roll news tonight. There`s good political news tonight for real underdog in Republican politics.

We`ve also got some unexpected Democratic political news tonight that`s actually making a lot of Democrats a across the country really happy, really relieved, including some news that derives from our Jane Sanders interview on this show last night.

So, as I said, lots going on. Lots ahead tonight. It is really nice to have you here.

But we start tonight with news that has what I consider to be a Grand Canyon effect. Ever been to the Grand Canyon? Everybody says it`s awesome, right? Everybody says it`s amazing. It will blow your mind.

You`ve seen pictures of the Grand Canyon like these pictures. Yes, the Grand Canyon looks very pretty. Very impressive.

Here`s the thing about the Grand Canyon, though: no matter how much you have heard about how great it is. No matter how prepared you are to be wowed or even overwhelmed by your first view of the Grand Canyon in person, when you actually go there for the first time and look at it in person, it turns out, I promise you, that you are not prepared for what you`re about to see.

There`s nothing you can say in any language to prepare a person for their first view of the Grand Canyon. It`s so much more amazing than anybody can describe to you in words or show you in a picture. It`s better than what anyone says, even if you believe people when they tell you it`s indescribably great.

Honestly, if you`ve never seen the Grand Canyon and you have any ability to get yourself there in your lifetime, just go see it. Make it a plan between now and the end of your life to go. It`s so much better than you think.

And, so, the Grand Canyon effect. Did you see these headlines today? This Paul Ryan video sure looks a lot like a 2016 campaign ad. Pall Ryan`s first national campaign ad. Is this a Paul Ryan for president ad? Paul Ryan for president? Election video spurs rumors. Does this video prove Paul Ryan is an undercover candidate for president?

You probably -- if you looked at the news today, you saw headlines and you get the story, right? It`s not a complicated thing. House Speaker Paul Ryan has done some kind of video that gives the impression he`s running for president. I get it. It`s simple.

You see headlines like this on mainstream news sources, on left wing blogs, on right wing blogs, you kind of think, OK, I got the point. Not even sure I need to see it.

But behold, for this news story, of all things, there`s a bit of a Grand Canyon effect. You actually do have to see it, because even if you do believe these headlines, even if you think you have absorbed this information and so you therefore understand that Paul Ryan has done something, having that information, believing that information does not do it justice. You actually have to look at it.

Just look at it. What is this? What is this for if it`s not someone running for president?

I`m going to show you the whole thing. Not editing it any way. It`s like 40 something seconds. Just stand on the rim of this and peer into this scenic abyss. Just watch this.



REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What really bothers me the most about politics these days is this notion of identity politics that we`re going to win an election by dividing people rather than inspiring people on our community humanity and our common ideals and our common culture on the things that should unify us.

We all want to be prosperous. We want to be healthy. We want everybody to succeed. We want everybody to reach their potential in their lives.

Now, liberals and conservatives are going to disagree with one another on that. No problem. That`s what this is all about.

So, let`s have a battle of ideas. Let`s have a contest of whose ideas are better and why the ideas are better.


MADDOW: That is not only obviously a presidential campaign ad, that`s one of the better presidential campaign ads we have seen from any Republican candidate this career.

Now, I guess here`s the supposed caveat. If you are speaker of the house, it`s not out of the question that you might make a video about you being speaker of the house. I get it. This isn`t the speaker of the House video anybody has ever put out. But speaker of the house videos usually are like this.


JOHN BOEHNER, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This sits in my office on my coffee table because this is neat. That`s what I do all day. They wind me up about everybody 15 minutes.

No, I got to go to work.

My staff gave it to me. Every 15 minutes, 30 minutes they come in and wind me up and I do my thing.


MADDOW: So, yes, people who hold the job of speaker of the house in modern times, they make little videos about themselves to humanize themselves and tell you what they like as a speaker. But it`s like the symbol monkey thing and there was the long video John Boehner did about he brines his turkey. That`s a video.

What Paul Ryan just did today is an "I`m running for president" or "wouldn`t it be awesome if I was president" video. And Speaker Paul Ryan overtly says he is not doing that. He says he`s not running for president.

He told John Harwood in March, on March 16th, he told John Harwood, quote, "I`m not running for president." His spokesperson backed it up. Quote, "The speaker is grateful for the support but he is not interested."

Then, Paul Ryan went to Israel. He was in Israel last week. Again, from Israel, he told reporters, quote, "I decided not to run for president." He then repeated it on talk radio. Quote, "I think you need to run for president if you`re going to be president, and I`m not running for president. Period, end of story."

If that sounds familiar from Paul Ryan, it`s because saying stuff like that is exactly how he got his current job, which is speaker of the house, which is something he also said he didn`t want.


REPORTER: Are you going to run for speaker?

PAUL: I`m not.

REPORTER: Why not?

PAUL: Because I don`t want to be speaker.


MADDOW: That`s the day that John Boehner, the monkey guy, quit as House speaker. He gets asked by reporters, "Paul Ryan, are you going to run for speaker?" He says, "I`m not." "Why not?" "Because I don`t want to be speaker."

People nevertheless kept asking. A couple of weeks later he followed up with a formal statement. Quote, "While I`m grateful for the encouragement I have received, I will not be a candidate." His spokesperson underlined the written statement by saying thereafter, quote, "Chairman Ryan appreciates the support he`s getting from his colleagues, but he`s still not running for speaker." Definitely not running for speaker just like he`s not running for president now that he is speaker.

But after saying no, after writing no, right? After his spokespeople say no on his behalf, back in the time when he was absolutely not wanting to be speaker of the House, no interest wouldn`t do it. On October 20th of last year, the answer actually from him ended up being yes. Yes, I will be House speaker.

By playing hard to get for so long, by saying he didn`t want it, he basically maneuvered himself into enough political capital to say, yes, he would do it with conditions. He would only reluctantly agree to serve as speaker since he made it so clear that he didn`t really want to job, he would agree if he didn`t have to lobby for it, any negotiating, if he didn`t have to meet with anybody and talk to them about, if he didn`t have to have a hard fight for it.

He literally said he wanted all the House Republicans to agree, to consent on the fact that they would make him speaker, without him having to actually have a fight for it. So, he basically got to be speaker by saying, no, no, no, no, no, no. Well, if you beg me then yes. Now beg me.


RYAN: What I told members is, if you can agree to these requests, and if I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve. And if I`m not unifying, that will be fine as well. I`ll be happy to stay where I am at the Ways and Means Committee. Should they agree with these requests, then I am happy and I am willing to get to work.


MADDOW: Nice work, right? I mean, that is how he became speaker of the house, third most powerful position in the United States government, third in line to the presidency.

He gets to run Congress. He got that gig by setting up his own party to beg him to do it and to choose him unanimously without him having to fight for it.

And it`s not like they weren`t other people running for the gig. We ended up with a list of 26 people not named Paul Ryan who were actively campaigning or putting their hat in the ring or trying to make sure they were mentioned in discussions about who might be speaker, or trying to round up support behind the scenes.

Lots of people were running and trying to be speaker. But for whatever reason, this giant field of Republicans who wanted the speaker job, they were somehow dissatisfying to the broader Republican Party.

Sound familiar? Giant field of candidates all vying actively for the job at the Republican Party, finds none of them to be acceptable? Paul Ryan`s name constantly being floated as a Republican who would be very acceptable to almost everyone, but he keeps saying he doesn`t want the job and that makes him all the more attractive, right? He`s not really running. He keeps saying he`s not running. He`s not sullying himself with this contest.

But with antics like this video that his office put out today, he`s clearly, if not keeping himself in contention, putting himself in contention. This is a presidential campaign ad. It`s designed to make him to look like a presidential contender even as he says he`s not running.

And this is not a crazy gambit. I mean, among the people who are running on the Republican side, we now know the way their contest is going to end. It`s starting to be a foregone conclusion. Yes, there are more statewide contests in New York and Pennsylvania and California and some other big states. But regardless of almost any conceivable scenario in the remaining states, we know what`s going to happen on the Republican side. Nobody is going to get a majority of pledged delegates before the convention, almost assuredly. We know that.

And we also know that Donald Trump will assuredly be in the lead when the convention starts, in terms of pledge delegates, in terms of the number of states won, in terms of the popular votes cast, almost assuredly, Donald Trump will be in the lead heading into the convention but neither he nor anyone will have enough delegates to win.

In a normal year, in a normal party with a normal slate of candidates, one might expect the clear leader of the race to be just anointed the presidential nominee once the convention started. But there are two reasons why it looked like the Republicans are not going to do that for Donald Trump. And one is just the issue of who he is personally and how badly he rubs people the wrong way.

And I don`t mean this as an ad hominem criticism. I mean it in terms of what`s empirically testable about him. If you absorb nothing else about Donald Trump as a potential presidential nominee, just look at this are from "The Associated Press" this week. Look at the headlines, "Americans view Trump negatively."

The lead in their write up on this poll is devastating. Seven in ten people, including close to half of Republican voters, have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump. It`s an opinion shared by majorities of men and women, young and old, conservatives and moderates and liberals, whites and Hispanics and blacks. Even in the south, a region where Trump has won GOP primaries decisively, close to 70 percent view him unfavorably. Quote, "More than 60 percent of all registered voters, 31 percent of Republicans say they definitely would not vote for Donald Trump in the general election.

Oh, by the way, all of that is getting worse over time. Quote, "The number of Americans that view him unfavorably has risen more than ten percentage points just since mid-February."

So, if, for no other reason, they do not want to pick him, if they don`t have to, and if he doesn`t win a majority of pledged delegates, they really don`t have to. So, that`s reason one.

Reason two, we`re going to talk a little later in the show, which is the delegate selection process. It`s turned out to be a complete fiasco for Mr. Trump and his campaign, including an ongoing fiasco that is happening right now as we speak in one important state. We`re going to have a live report from that in a moment.

So, mathematically, it`s a foregone conclusion that the Republican Party is going to have to pick their nominee at the convention. Ted Cruz apparently thinks the Republican Party will go through the violently disruptive and potentially suicidal process of throwing out the leading candidate from their primary so they can pick Ted Cruz instead who, let`s be honest about it, is even more likely to get shellacked in a general election than Donald Trump is.

What they`re going to go through that terrible upheaval and do that themselves as a party to pick Ted Cruz? Reasonably speaking, you`d think the Republican Party would only do that, would only not just give it to the leader in grin and bear and take the loss. They`d only go through that if they thought they would end up after that upheaval with a candidate who they believe could win in November.

The guy they believe could win in November has always been Paul Ryan for the Republican Party, speaker of the house. The difference now, the difference today, is that with this video Paul Ryan is obviously campaigning now for that gig. And, of course, he says he`s not running, but that`s how he campaigned for speaker as well.

It`s nice work, if you can get it, right? We`ll be right back.


BOEHNER: Take a bucket, put a bag in there. Put the turkey in there after I`ve rinsed it off. Pour the brine over it. Brine has to be cooled. Put it outside, put in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Take it out, rinse it off. First half of the cooking time, cooked it breast down.



MADDOW: If you`re a guy, and you`re going to spend a good portion of your life entertaining videos straight to camera where you hold forth on variety of subjects and post them to YouTube. One way to spice it up, give it a little interest, is to make sure you have very interesting facial hair.

Another way to make it for visually interesting is to wildly vary your headwear. Wear lots of different funny hats. That is the online strategy of this sometimes shirtless but always YouTube star who was, until this week in the running to be a Donald Trump delegate in Colorado. He was one of four people that the Donald Trump campaign put forth today as a potential delegate for the fifth congressional district in Colorado, which was picking its delegates today.

The Trump campaign wanted him, that guy from YouTube to one of their Colorado delegates. But when they put out their slate of possible delegates, they spelled the guy`s name wrong. They misspelled his name. He`s number 53 there on the list. They gave him an extra N. I won`t tell you which one is the extra one.

But that`s actually a step up from the way the Trump campaign has otherwise been failing in trying to get its delegates. In Colorado`s congressional district number seven, they put out a slate there with three names on it telling people to find those three names and vote for these three Donald Trump people on their ballot. Problem is, two of those three names were not actually on the ballot.

Even that, though, was a step up from Colorado`s first and sixth congressional districts last weekend, in which the Donald Trump campaign did not get it together enough to give anybody any names or run any slate of delegates whatsoever. So, at least that took care of the spelling errors problem.

But even that, running no delegates and having no slates, even that was a step up from the Washington state organizing the Trump campaign did today in which they sent an e-mail to delegate candidates not in Washington state but in Washington, D.C., 3,000 miles away. Oh, one last thing about that email, the filing deadline to be a delegate candidate was two days ago and they only sent the e-mails telling people to sign up today. Tada!

Turns out the Donald Trump for president campaign is terrible at this. And Colorado has been case study in just how terrible they are at it. And tonight, just within the last hour, we have learned that Donald Trump, who before today had already lost 18 of 18 possible Colorado delegates to Ted Cruz, just in this past hour, we have learned that Donald Trump has just lost three more which means in all of Colorado`s congressional districts, the Trump campaign has gone 0 for 21.

Colorado does have more delegates yet to go, but Ted Cruz has won the majority of delegates on offer in Colorado. May, let me say, that Ted Cruz has won all of the delegates on offer in Colorado thus far. So, Ted Cruz has won another state. NBC News is calling Colorado tonight for Ted Cruz.

Joining us now is this network`s very own delegate hunter, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, who`s in Colorado Springs tonight covering this Republican race.

Jacob, what happened here? It sounds like the Trump campaign like set itself on fire and couldn`t find a pool of water to jump into to put it out.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: The -- I guess the official sports terminology is an O for, Rachel, O for everything for Donald Trump here. And I don`t think it`s much political malpractice as perhaps not a keen understanding of what`s going on out here.

And in fairness to the Trump campaign, listen, the Cruz campaign was very well-organized out here. They have one more shot at this tomorrow to win the entire thing and not let Trump win of these things. As Chuck Todd said earlier today, it has been decades since a presidential candidate showed up here for the Colorado congressional district or state level assemblies, because this thing didn`t matter before this year.

Don`t forget, the 1,237 delegates Donald Trump needs to clinch this nomination on the first ballot will most likely require some of these unbound delegates coming out of this state, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota, which Ted Cruz cleaned up last week, and I was there for that as well. And the bottom line is, Cruz is doing a way better job of organizing. If you can say what the Trump campaign is doing is organizing in these states.

MADDOW: Watching them get O for in all of these congressional districts in Colorado over these last few days has been remarkable. I mean, 0 for 21, that`s called shooting the moon. You know, it`s almost hard to do.

But tomorrow, there is another big bunch of delegates. It`s 13 being selected at the state convention. That`s also in Colorado Springs. Any signs of any improved effort or organizing presence for tomorrow or is it possible Trump will go 0 for 34?

SOBOROFF: As you said, what happened last night -- I`ll just answer, 0 for 34 seems like it could be likely. In fact, the campaign told our colleague Benjy Sarlin that if they get one delegate in this state, that`s an over- achievement for the Trump campaign.

What we`re going to see tomorrow is 6,000 delegates on the floor of a hockey arena, 600 candidates running for the 13 remaining delegate slates. And unbelievably, they`re all going to go up for ten seconds and make a pitch.

And again, Ted Cruz is -- I don`t know what you can learn in 10 seconds, but they`re all going to go there for 10 seconds. Ted Cruz is going to come up there. He`s going to talk to the assembled 6,000 and, of course, he`s going to put down a slate like they`ve been doing today, yesterday and in the previous congressional district, conventions out here.

And again, all expectation is the Cruz campaign will clean up like it did in North Carolina.

MADDOW: MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff covering this stuff in fascinating detail -- Jacob, enjoy the rubber chicken. Thanks for keeping us apprised tonight.

SOBOROFF: You got it, Rachel.

MADDOW: It is kind of amazing to think 600 people are going to be vying for those remaining delegate slots tomorrow he said, and they each get ten seconds at the microphone. If you only have 10 seconds to become a political star, what would you say?

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: So, here`s an incredible thing that happened today. You just kind of have to see it. It`s just amazing.

Elon Musk`s company SpaceX successfully launched a spacecraft to the International Space Station today. It was carrying about 7,000 pounds of equipment and food and experiments for the astronauts who were already up there on the space station.

But that was not even the exciting, amazing thing that happened today that I want to show you. The other big question, other than the success of that mission to the space station was whether SpaceX would be able to send a rocket into space and then bring it back down and land it safely and securely a ship, on a drone ship, a remotely piloted ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

And the reason they want to do this is because SpaceX could reuse the rocket and reusable rockets are the key to making space travel affordable.

So, SpaceX has so far struck out trying to stick the barge landing. They`ve been close. This is the first attempt January of last year, the rocket came hurdling into the ship instead of landing on it.

In April, almost exactly a year ago, they tried again. They got a lot closer this time. You can see the rocket the rocket came in a lot slower and more controlled and managed to actually touch down on the barge. But you can see it`s not quite straight. It`s at an angle that doesn`t look good. And then, oh, yes, the big explosion.

And then, just a couple of months ago, it looked like they had done it. It looked like success which is why this video is just gutting. Watch.


MADDOW: So close. It landed pretty much up right but one of the legs didn`t latch properly. Just that one little thing. Then there was another failed landing just last month. We don`t have tape of that one because the hard landing apparently blew out the camera feed.

So, you can imagine at SpaceX today, as the Falcon IX was coming in for its landing, it was a lot of tension, a lot of excitement, a lot of oh God, not again.

But here it is. Here`s the SpaceX live broadcast as the landing happened. The best part about it is how psyched they are. Just incredible.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Waiting for it. There`s the engine.



MADDOW: That is the sound of some very, very happy SpaceX employees. The bar across the street from SpaceX headquarters are in a very brisk business right now. And part of the reason I know I work in the right news room is that made everybody in our news room teary.

Elon Musk says he thinks SpaceX should be ready to ferry American astronauts to the space station next year and NASA will not have to pay the Russians to take them anymore.

So, the dream lives. Good news all around. And if that is not enough to make your day, let me tell you one more thing. That barge, that football field size ship where the rocket successfully landed today, that barge has a name. It`s called, quote, "Of course, I still love you."

The first barge is for the first couple of landing teams is called just read the instructions. These all apparently references to something. You Sci-Fi fans I`m looking at you.

But most of all, they are just great names for giant drone ships that are designed to catch space rockets and now they do.


MADDOW: On Wednesday night, on this show, we were live on the air when the Democratic presidential primary took what felt like a sharp rhetorical turn to a place it had never been before. That`s when Bernie Sanders unveiled a new line of attack when he said his opponent Hillary Clinton was, quote, "not qualified to be president."

As nasty as things got in 2008 between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they never went there, you`re not qualified for the job. So, that turn in the race, Wednesday night call caused a lot of consternation against Democrats, both when it broke out that night and in particularly when it continued into Thursday on the campaign trail.

But now, as quickly as it started, it appears to have ended.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz any time.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On Hillary Clinton`s worst day, she`s a hundred times better than any of the Republican candidates.

JANE SANDERS, WIFE OF SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Bernie has moved on. I mean, he`s said, OK, let`s not use the word unqualified. Let`s use the word contrast.

B. SANDERS: She would be a better president than either of the Republican candidates.

REPORTER: She`s qualified?

B. SANDERS: Of course.


MADDOW: That turn in the Democratic primary had worried a lot of Democrats midweek. It seemed like it would damage the party`s prospects in November. That did happen this week, but it is very clearly over.

And now, a second big worry for Democrats in terms of the Democratic primary process, which also come to the fore in the last few days. It, too, may also have ended. That possibly sigh of relief for Democrats across the country is next.


MADDOW: This is interesting. New information, look at this. We`re still waiting on numbers from some of the candidates, but we know this is how much some of the 2016 presidential field raised in terms of money in the month of March.

That`s Ted Cruz` number. He`s very proud of that number. Biggest number he`s ever had.

This was Hillary Clinton for the same time period, month of March.

And this, boing, that`s Bernie Sanders, miles above the rest of the field. Bernie Sanders raised $44 million last month, more than any other candidate in either party, at any point in this election. Nobody has come close to Bernie Sanders when it comes to fundraising in 2016 and his distance ahead of everybody else is getting bigger and not smaller.

Bernie Sanders is killing it. He`s been killing it, fundraising-wise, specifically for the Bernie Sanders campaign though. And one issue that`s come up on the Democrat side of the race, not the Republican side is the question of how much these two Democratic candidates are willing to use their power, their pulling power as presidential candidates to also financially help their fellow Democrats who are further down the ticket than they will be if they`re the nominee.

Hillary Clinton has raised a lot of money, millions of dollars for national and state level Democrats, while she has been running for president. Senator Sanders has been raising a ton of money, but he has not raised for anyone other than himself, amid criticism now that he`s not doing more to help the party that he wants to lead.

Senator Sanders told me recently that he would consider raising money for Democrats other than himself at some point, but he isn`t ready to commit to that yet. He told me, quote, "We`ll see."

Last night, I asked his wife, Jane Sanders, about that.


MADDOW: I talked to him a few days ago about whether or not his prodigious fundraising may result in his raising money for the DNC and the state parties the way Secretary Clinton has. He said, we`ll see.

JANE SANDERS: Well, I guess he just wasn`t thinking about it. He`s written a letter already that is going out. And his letters to the DSCC have brought in more money than anybody else`s letters and he`s done it every year.

MADDOW: OK. So, he plans to continue to do that now as --

JANE SANDERS: Yes, and he gives money from his campaign to the right candidates.


MADDOW: That answer from Jane Sanders, she touched on fund raising letters which she described, I think she meant direct donations from his campaign.

Obviously, there`s a couple of different things going on now. We have asked the Sanders campaign for more information on the record about Senator Sanders` final help for particular candidates. None of that is immediately apparent in his recent campaign records. We asked what that reference was to.

But Mrs. Sanders also suggested that Senator Sanders might be more open to helping down ticket Democrats than he`s made a point of publicly.

Does the signal a change of heart? Is the Sanders campaign about to start doing something in terms of helping other Democrats in the Democratic Party that they have not done yet in this campaign which emerged as both a point of contention and a point of some consternation in the Democratic primary?

Joining us is Yamiche Alcindor. She`s a national reporter for "The New York Times". She`s been following the Sanders campaign. She was at a big Sanders rally earlier today in the waterfront in Brooklyn.

Yamiche, great to see you. Thanks for being here.


MADDOW: Was it very cold at the rally?

ALCINDOR: Well, I`m from Miami, so I`m always cold.

MADDOW: You`re always cold. You`re cold now?


MADDOW: OK. I`m sorry.

On this issue about spreading the wealth, about funding other Democrats, what are you hearing from the Sanders campaign about his support for other Democrats?

ALCINDOR: So, I talked to the Sanders campaign senior campaign strategist today, and he said unequivocally that Bernie Sanders is ready and will always kind of raise money for other Democrats. He said he`s been doing this for years and kind of echoed what Jane Sanders told you, which is that he`s been writing these letters and been going out for the DSCC and that he`s going to continue doing that.

But when I asked him a little bit more about what are you doing right now? What are your plans for right now? We said, well, we have our hands full right now. We`re trying to win an election.

They have a lot of work to do. So, a lot of money they are spending on is on their own campaign to get his name out there and to really kind of get what was really not a national candidate at the time. So, it`s trying to focus on getting people to know who Bernie Sanders is, that`s what they`re telling me.

MADDOW: So, the fund raising he`s doing for other Democrats is the same fundraising he did as a senator before he was ever running for president. He`s just continuing the same efforts signing letters for the Democrat campaign committees?

ALCINDOR: That`s what I`m being told. I`m being told that that`s what he wants to do. That -- and he feels that`s kind of supporting the party. He feels like that`s him doing the best he can do. As soon as he has a nomination or maybe has a bit further down the line, maybe if he kind of knows what`s going to be happening in the general election, he might change and figure out what he`s going to do there.

I kind of pushed his campaign strategist to tell me a little bit more about what he would do if he didn`t nomination and while, of course, they don`t like talking about that, he said and they said he`s Democrat. He`s running as a Democrat and willing to help Democrats in fall. So, I think that`s their answer about what`s going to happen if he doesn`t win.

MADDOW: It`s still sort of we`ll see.

ALCINDOR: It is --

MADDOW: It`s still we`ll see.

ALCINDOR: It`s we`ll see in terms of we`ll see what happens with this kind of (INAUDIBLE) and how we learned to fund raise. The numbers you put up there are from six million donations from two million people.


ALCINDOR: So, really, they have gotten this strategy that`s got them a lot of money. And that strategy, I`ve been told, they`re trying to figure out how they will help the party with that strategy. He said to me, the campaign strategist I should say, said to me that he`s willing to always help Democrats get money. It`s a we`ll see and kind of how he`s going to help Democrats with this specific thing he`s learned how to do and the specific thing that`s getting him all this money. They say they`re willing to help Democrats raise money.

MADDOW: And you can`t begrudge somebody who`s running for president, and you ask them to do an addition thing, but because Hillary Clinton has been raising millions of dollars for the Democrats along the way while she`s been running, and now she`s making it an issue between them, I think it`s going to be a point of political pressure. We`ll see. Like they said, we`ll see.

Yamiche Alcindor, national reporter for "The New York Times", following the Sanders campaign -- Yamiche, thanks. We`ll get you a little Snuggie to take with you when you go.


MADDOW: All right.

All right. So, it`s not every day that you get your news delivered in a pink Cadillac (INAUDIBLE) riding in the back. But this is Friday night and so, that is how your news is going to arrive metaphorically in your mind, where you were born to run.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: The Boss is not coming, not anymore. Bruce Springsteen had been scheduled to play a concert this week Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina. But today, Mr. Springsteen cancelled in protest of North Carolina`s new law just signed by the state`s Republican governor, which OKs discrimination in that state against North Carolinians that are gay or transgender.

Mr. Springsteen said in a statement, quote, "Some things are more important than a rock show. And this fight against prejudice and bigotry which is happening as I write is one of them. It`s the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

He also said, "Where there`s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air, look for me mom, I`ll be there. Wherever somebody is struggling to be free, look in their eyes, mom, you`ll see me."

That wasn`t his statement. That was him quoting Tom Jones.

If you did have tickets to the Springsteen show in North Carolina this weekend, you are going to need a refund. But hold that thought. We`ve got some exclusive news on that subject, coming up, next.


MADDOW: We have got some exclusive news tonight related to a story you may have heard about in the past few days out of great state of Mississippi. The Republican governor in Mississippi, Phil Bryant, this week, he signed a new law that says if you`re a business in Mississippi, it is legal now for you to advertise that you will not serve anyone who is gay or transgender. You can put up a sign in your business that says, "We don`t serve gays here."

Under this new Phil Bryant law it will be legal to refuse to serve even a straight person if you believe that straight person is living in sin with another straight person without a license to do so.

In signing that new law, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant became the second governor in the past couple of weeks to approve a new law like this, a new law to roll back rights to overtly discriminate against gay people.

And we have some idea how this thing plays out now since North Carolina`s Republican governor signed that state`s discrimination law two weeks ago. Some of the biggest companies that do business in North Carolina have called on that state to repeal the law. The company PayPal cancelled a plan to open a new global operation center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Those hundreds of new paying jobs will now not be coming there because of that new law. Film and TV companies have been cancelling plans for filming their shows in North Carolina. This new discrimination law is going to end up costing North Carolina actual money, real dollars.

And maybe not just from the private sector. Over the week, "The New York Times" reported that federal agencies are now reviewing North Carolina`s new discrimination law to see whether the state is in violation of federal anti-discrimination rules. If so, the state of North Carolina could lose not just millions but billions of dollars in federal funding, billions of dollars, because of this new discrimination law. That`s North Carolina.

Well, now, we can report here, exclusively, that at least two federal agencies are looking at Mississippi`s new discrimination law to see if Mississippi might also be in violation of federal nondiscrimination rules.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development told us directly, quote, "We are aware of the Mississippi law and are reviewing it." We`re also told that a second agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation is also reviewing Mississippi`s new law. If the federal agencies find that Mississippi is in violation of federal non-discrimination policies, then Mississippi, too, like North Carolina, they could lose billions of federal dollars, which North Carolina cannot afford, but which Mississippi desperately cannot afford.

And, yes, Mississippi`s Republican governor continues to defend this law as right and fair and constitutional and not discriminatory at all, but laws do have consequences, including consequences that governors might not have imagined when they signed these things. As we hear back from more agencies, more of the federal government concerning Mississippi or North Carolina and how many billions of dollars they may be about to lose for their states, we`ll let you know.

Watch this space.


MADDOW: If you listen closely, I think you can tell it`s coming from a distance. I think it`s -- there it is. Yes, there it is. Friday Night News Dump Time, yes.

Nick Tuths, who`s tonight`s lucky player?

NICK TUTHS, MSNBC PRODUCER: Today`s lucky player is Shirin Sheybani from Bethesda, Maryland. She was born in Iran. She has eight siblings, and she`s married to a professional poker player.

MADDOW: Wow, Shirin, it`s really nice to meet you. Thank you for being here.

SHIRIN SHEYBANI, BETHESDA, MD: Very nice meeting you.

MADDOW: Is it nerve-racking to be married to a professional poker player because of the inherent risk of the income associated with that kind of job?


MADDOW: But you`re a very calm person who learned how to be calm from having eight siblings, right?

SHEYBANI: But he`s good at it.

MADDOW: Obviously. Well, welcome. Really nice to have you here.

You probably know how the basics work. You`re going to get three questions about this week`s news. If you get at least a couple of them right, you will win this piece of junk.

Nick, please show it off

TUTHS: We have the mini RACHEL MADDOW SHOW drink mixer.

MADDOW: Drink mixer, not guaranteed not to leak.

And if you get extra credit, which I can guarantee you will, what`s the random office swag tonight, Nick?

TUTHS: So, we have a combination, we have this shot glass.

MADDOW: Oh, yes, that was mine.

TUTHS: It is significant. It`s a double.


TUTHS: And we also have our sign from the Nevada caucus.

SHEYBANI: I love that.

MADDOW: All right. So, we had to act out how the Nevada caucuses went. That was when we had sneaky Wendy.

TUTHS: That`s right.

MADDOW: Right. All right. It`s pretty good stuff, weird but good.

All right. So, we need to bring in the disembodied voice of Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. He is the man who will determine whether or not you got the right answer.

Shirin, meet Steve. Steve, meet Shirin.

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you both.

SHEYBANI: Good evening. Nice to meet you.

MADDOW: All right. You ready for your first question, Shirin?

SHEYBANI: I`m ready.

MADDOW: On Monday, two of the biggest states in the country simultaneously adopted one of the most progressive new laws in the country. The two states were California and New York. What did they both just do this week?

Did they, A, legalize the possession of marijuana for personal use? Did they, B, ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity? Did they, C, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour? Or did they, D, enact single payer universal health care for household pets, dogs and cats?

SHEYBANI: I am sure it is c.

MADDOW: Raising the minimum wage.

Steve, did she get that right?

BENEN: She sure did. The correct answer is C. And they both raise the minimum wage, and Shirin is now one for one.

MADDOW: That said, well-done. I think single payer universal health care for pets is not a bad idea.

All right. Second question, this is from last night`s show. Last night`s show, we reported on Ted Cruz and the hard time that he`s been having campaigning in New York City after he derided what he called New York values earlier in the campaign, the city of New York this week has greeted him with heckling and threats of a walk out at one of his events and a specifically a set of insults served up on the front pages of New York City tabloids.

Which one of those was "The New York Daily News`s" front page headline yesterday welcoming Ted Cruz to New York City. Was it, A, Cruzin` for a bruisin`? B, uninteres-Ted? C, Forgetabout-Ted? Or D, take the F-U train, Ted?

SHEYBANI: Take the F-U train, Ted.

MADDOW: I can`t believe we made you say that.

Steve, what is the right answer?

BENEN: Let`s check last night`s show?


MADDOW: The inset headline in red there at the top here says, "Honey, how do we get out of the Bronx?" And then the big headline is, "Take the F-U train, Ted." For the record, I take the F train all the time, I can verify that there is an F train in New York City. As far as I know, though, I don`t think there is a U train.


BENEN: The right answer is D and Shirin is now two for two.

MADDOW: All right. You are a ringer. Well done.

All right, Shirin. For your last question I`m going to give you a choice do you want another Ted Cruz question, because you`re demonstrably good at those, or do you want a John Kasich question?


MADDOW: Another Ted Cruz. The answer to the John Kasich was all of the above.

All right. Here is the Ted Cruz question. During Tuesday night`s election coverage, the Donald Trump campaign released a statement following Trump`s double digit loss in Wisconsin to Ted Cruz. In that Donald Trump statement, what did the Trump campaign say about Ted Cruz?

Was it, A, that Ted Cruz is quote, "a soft weak little baby"? B, that Ted Cruz is, quote, "worse than a puppet, he is a Trojan horse"? C, that Ted Cruz is "the biggest liar I have ever dealt with in my life"? Or D, that Ted Cruz is quote, "shorter than you`d think"?

SHEYBANI: I think it`s B, a Trojan horse.

MADDOW: Steve, do you got the answer for us?

BENEN: I do. The correct is answer B. She`s three for three.

MADDOW: Shirin, you did it. You nailed it.

Nick, did Shirin win all the prizes?

TUTHS: She did.

MADDOW: The soapstone shot glass and cocktail shaker and the thing from the props.

Shirin, you`re amazing. It`s great to meet you. Thank you so much for being here.

SHEYBANI: Nice to be here. Thank you.

MADDOW: If you want to play the Friday Night News Dump, send us an e-mail We answer our email. Just tell us who you are, where you`re from and why you want to play the news dump.

There are more soapstone shot glasses where those came from, I just have to find them. And now you actually don`t have go to prison because you`ve been so good. You get to go play "HARDBALL" with the great Chris Matthews. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END