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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 5/9/2016

Guests: Amy Klobuchar

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: May 9, 2016 Guest: Amy Klobuchar

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

Rachel Maddow, being called by Michael Moore, starts now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I`m right here, I can hear you. Hi. Thanks, guys.

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Monday.

We`ve got some breaking political news tonight. You have not heard this anywhere else. This is exclusive to us. But we have just got our hands on some brand new national polling from Public Policy Polling, that everybody just calls PPP. This is just being released for the first time right this second.

And I have to assure you not only is this national polling new, I have to also assure you, you`ll understand why in just a second, but I have to assure you that it`s real. This is not an elaborate joke, like a big misdirection story I`m telling at the top of A block and it turns out to be an April Fool`s or whatever. This is real.

I`m not making this up to entertain you, even though I`m sometimes tempted to do things like that. This is real.

OK. New national polling from PPP finds that by a considerable margin, the Republican Party`s presumptive nominee for president, Donald Trump, is less popular than lice. Question 23 from the poll, and I quote, what do you have a higher opinion of, Donald Trump or lice? The proportion of Americans who say they have a higher opinion of Donald Trump is 28 percent, the proportion of Americans who say they have a higher opinion of lice when compared to Donald Trump, 54 percent. So, Donald Trump is losing to lice by 26 points.

And turns out, it`s not just lice giving Donald Trump a run for his money. Not to nitpick -- ha ha -- but this national polling also finds that he`s viewed less favorably than just not lice, but also traffic jams, used car salesmen, hipsters, the DMV, jury duty, the band Nickelback and also root canals.

Now, to be fair, Mr. Trump, he only loses by single digits to some of these. He`s running pretty close to Nickelback and used car salesman and hipsters.

But overall, I mean, this is a list of things you don`t want to be losing to. Now, that said, there is also a little sunshine for Mr. Trump in this new national poll, which we have exclusively got tonight. And the good news for him is that he does beat both cockroaches and hemorrhoids. It`s narrow, but a win is a win.

Donald Trump is held in higher esteem than hemorrhoids by a margin of six points and he`s held in higher than cockroaches by a margin of four points. That`s the good news.

Now, there is bad news about this good news, which is if you just asked women voters, turns out his win over cockroaches and hemorrhoids, the wins go away. Women voters nationwide actually prefer both cockroaches and hemorrhoids to Donald Trump. It`s weird. It turns out there`s a real gender split on those particular issues.

Now, there are limits as to how far this kind of information gets you in an election year. I mean, bottom line, hemorrhoids are not going to be on the ballot in November. So, we don`t have to do complex gender specific turnout modeling to figure out how this particular gender gap is going to play to figure out if we are going to get hemorrhoids elected president in the fall. But --


But this new polling, I`m sorry, I`ve always wanted to be more than eight years old. I stopped developing at that age. But this national polling does come from a stark and interesting and sort of unexpected place in the broader race for president. That is that all of the three remaining candidates for president, all of them, Trump, Clinton, even Sanders, all three of them are now viewed unfavorably by the American electorate. They are now all under water.

Bernie Sanders is three points underwater in terms of people viewing him more unfavorably than they do favorable. He`s three points under. Hillary Clinton is 19 points under. But Donald Trump is 27 points underwater. And none of that is good news for any of those three candidates.

But for Donald Trump, it is so phenomenally, so historically bad, that literally, big legitimate polling organizations are polling him now against lice and he`s losing by a lot.

It also means, incidentally, as you might expect, that both Sanders and Clinton in this new national polling, they both beat Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup. They both beat him head-to-head. They both beat him, even if you include a couple of minor party candidates, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, who are not appealing to anybody in large numbers at this point, but they do both chip away a little bit at either Democrats` prospectability to beat Donald Trump in November.

Still, though, with or without the minor candidates included, Democrats, both of them still beat Donald Trump in November.

Here`s what`s really, really interesting about this, though, and actually, this is why I fought to get exclusive access to this poll today before anybody else had it, because I wanted to break this news. I think this is interesting. I think it`s important, and I think it turns the prevailing spin in the beltway around 180 degrees in the other direction.

The prevailing narrative right now, the thing everybody is talking about in the beltway in terms of American politics, right, is Republican chaos. Republicans at wits` end about what to do with this nominee they have gotten themselves. You know, Donald Trump rending the very fabric of the Republican party. That`s the narrative. That`s what we`ve all been hearing.

That`s what we`ve been all hearing since Donald Trump took over the Republican primary process, right? All of the anecdotal reporting that we`ve been getting, that is the story of almost every famous Republican who is a big enough deal to get some reporter to write down what he or she says. That`s the narrative.

But look at the numbers, look at the actual data and tell me how that stands up to this data. Just -- let me give you this one piece of this new polling. Ask Democratic voters nationwide, would you be comfortable with Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president or not?

The proportion of Democrats who say they would not be comfortable with Bernie Sanders as their party`s nominee, 30 percent.

Asked the same question about Clinton, the percentage of Democrats who would not be comfortable with Hillary Clinton as the party`s nominee, that`s slightly lower, that`s 21 percent. That itself is interesting, right? Democrats are slightly more comfortable with the idea of Hillary Clinton being their nominee than Bernie Sanders being their nominee.

But there still is this interesting little chunk of the Democratic electorate that would not be comfortable with even Clinton being nominated, 21 percent. That`s the Democratic Party.

Now, here`s my point. Let`s look at the other party. Let`s look at the chaotic, torn apart, rending their garments, party collapsing Republicans. Let`s look at them.

Turns out it`s exactly the same number. And this is not bad news for Hillary Clinton. This does not mean that Democrats are freaking out about Hillary Clinton being their potential nominee. Democrats like the idea of her being the nominee more than the idea of Bernie Sanders being the nominee.

The news here is that Republicans are not freaking out about Donald Trump as their nominee. Only 21 percent of Republicans say that they would not be comfortable with Donald Trump as the nominee.

Republican voters are not uncomfortable with him. I mean, the Republican elite may be freaking out, but Republican voters are fine with him.

I mean, in general, the country may like him less than they like root canals. But when you ask Republican voters, they don`t care. Republican voters are getting in line. They are unconflicted about him, even though people generally like him less than lice, literally.

When you look at the preferences and the state of intentions of Republican voters, it`s almost like you`re looking at numbers for another Mitt Romney or some other totally typical Republican nominee. There`s this narrative that something totally new is going on with Donald Trump. The party is in a position that`s never been in with regard to its nominee, that`s the whole data.

But the makes him look like a normal Republican candidate. I mean, ask for people who voted for Mitt Romney last election who they`re going to vote this year, if you voted for Mitt Romney last time around, you say you`re going to vote for Trump this year by a margin of 84 percent to 6 percent. It`s almost exactly the same as the numbers for Obama voters in 2012. Obama voters from 2012 say they`ll vote for Hillary Clinton by basically exactly the same rate, as Romney voters will vote for Trump.

The whole political narrative is all about Republicans angst and Republicans stressing out not knowing what to do about this totally different kind of nominee. But that narrative is not matched by Republican voters, because Republican voters are all aboard with Trump.

We just did the numbers for Obama voters versus Romney voters, just look at Republican voters versus Democrat voters. As Republican voters, they`re going to vote for Trump 82-8. It`s basically the same margin by which Democrats say they`d be happy to vote for Clinton. I mean, Donald Trump may be a different kind of cat when it comes to politicians, but Republican voters have decided they really do not care about that. They`re cat people, no matter who the cat is.

And this means that no matter how much news is supposedly being made about this division in the party, right, in the beltway press, that`s all anybody can talk about. Republican voters are not listening to that. They`re not listening to the few supposed Republican Party leaders who say they`re against Trump.


BOBBY JINDAL (R), FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: We are flirting with nominating a non-serious, unstable, substance-free candidate. We cannot send this narcissist, we cannot nominate this egomaniac. Nominating Donald Trump is a certain way for us to ruin our opportunity to make America great again.

REP. CHRIS STEWART (R), UTAH: As a Republican, I`m telling you that Donald Trump does not represent Republican ideals to me. He`s our Mussolini.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Whatever you want to say and have said about me over the years in terms of things that have come out of my mouth, they`re a fraction -- I mean, I never said that I could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and I wouldn`t lose a voter. I never called Mexicans rapists and murderers. I never said ban all Muslims from the United States.

Donald has a lot of talents, he does. He`s been a very successful businessman. He has lots of talents.

He has absolutely no ability in this area. He has no experience, he has no ability in it, and it doesn`t make him a bad guy. I think he`s generally a good person. But you know what? He has no business being president of the United States. And if I thought he did, I wouldn`t be running, I`d be helping him.

RICK PERRY (R), FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Donald Trump the candidate is a sower of division. Donald Trump is the modern day incarnation of the know- nothing movement. My fellow Republicans, beware of false prophets. My fellow Republicans, do not take that poison.

I will not go quiet, when this cancer on conservatism threatens to metastasize into mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican Party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854, the graveyard.


MADDOW: You know, all of those people we just showed you, all those people, including the Utah congressman who said Trump is Mussolini and Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie, they`ve all now endorsed Donald Trump.

Think about what that does for Republican voters, right? I mean, say you`re like a Rick Perry Republican or a Chris Christie Republican, and you`re not sure exactly how you should feel about Donald Trump. You keep hearing this Beltway press narrative that there`s all this division in the Republican Party. Well, then, you know, who`s lead do you follow?

Do you believe the old Chris Christie who was saying Donald Trump is like a 13-year-old and manifestly unfit for the job? Do you believe Rick Perry when he was saying Donald Trump is a cancer on conservatism and must be stopped at any cost? Do you believe them then or now, when they`ve made very clear that they`d love to be Donald Trump`s vice president and they`re endorsing him? They`d love to do everything possible to get him elected.

Who do you follow? The Trump campaign announced today that Chris Christie will be leading the transition efforts for president-elect Trump if he wins the November election. That`s a little awkward, because of things that Chris Christie has said about Donald Trump in the past.

It`s also a little awkward in the short term because a few days ago, the Trump campaign announced that the young man who is married to Mr. Trump`s daughter, Ivanka, would actually be leading the presidential transition. What`s awkward to have these announcements just a few days apart is it Chris Christie or is it Jared, Mr. Trump`s son-in-law? If it`s going to be both of them, that`s particularly awkward, because Jared`s dad was sent to federal prison for tax evasion. The federal prosecutor who sent him to prison was Chris Christie. Awkward staff meetings.

But I guess we let bygones be bygones, right? I mean, got to put aside, all the stuff aside. It`s all one big happy Trump family now.

If you`re looking for any more evidence of a happy Trump family in the Republican Party now, consider a very politically connected, very rich Ricketts family, which is probably the single largest source of funds for the anti-Trump advertising campaigns that run in several states during the primaries. The Ricketts family has TD Ameritrade. The Ricketts family has the Chicago Cubs. The Ricketts family also has the governorship of the state of Nebraska.

And even though the Ricketts family did spend millions of dollars on TV ads attacking Donald Trump, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts on Friday just introduced Donald Trump at a campaign in Omaha, ahead of tomorrow`s Nebraska`s Republican primary.

So, you know what? Narrative be darned. For Republican voters, the Trump issues appeared to be settled. For Republicans, so-called leaders, even though most enthusiastically and loquaciously, vituperatively opposed to Donald Trump -- I`m looking at you, Rick Perry -- they`re over that and they`re looking for Trump administration jobs. People who spent millions of dollars against Trump are now saying they`ll spend millions for Trump.

I mean, when Rick Perry told a CNN reporter that he was endorsing Donald Trump a few days ago, he went out of his way to mention in that conversation that if many Trump needed a running mate, quote, "I wouldn`t say no." Which makes Rick Perry technically the crowned prince of the Whig Party.

Now, there were some exciting signs that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan might lead a resistance to Mr. Trump becoming the uncontested head of the Republican Party. There were some signs that maybe there might be an effort there, there might be some actual split there when Paul Ryan declined to offer his endorsement to Mr. Trump late last week. That led to threats this weekend from Mr. Trump that he would have Paul Ryan removed as chairman of the Republican convention this summer.

So, it finally started to feel like there might actually be a fight within the Republican Party. This fight we`ve been hearing so much about within the Republican Party that we see no evidence of, maybe it`s finally coming to pass. It`s on, right? It`s on.

He says, I`m not going to support him and there`s the threat to remove him. It was on, it was a fight. It was on, it was a fight, it`s off already. Paul Ryan telling "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" late this afternoon when he was asked about that threat, quote, "He`s the nominee. I`ll do whatever he wants."

Actually, I should be clear, before he says, "He`s the nominee, I`ll do whatever he wants," Paul Ryan says, I`ll do whatever. So, he says I`ll do whatever he says twice. Do we have the sound of it? (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

QUESTION: If he asked you to step down from the convention, would you?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I`ll do whatever -- he`s the nominee. I`ll do whatever he wants.


MADDOW: So that`s your big Republican fight.

Republican voters plan to support him by a margin of 82-8. All the Republican`s supposed tough guys who denounced him in the primaries, they have all eaten those words with salt and pepper.

The other guy who arguably could claim to be leader of the Republican Party right now, seems like he was going to dig in and stand against Mr. Trump right at the top levels of the Republican Party hierarchy, his revised position is and I quote, "I`ll do whatever -- I`ll do whatever he wants."

And so the big pushback, the great resistance to Donald Trump and the Republican Party appears to be manifest basically as the Bush family not going to Cleveland in July. And I mean, I guess that`s still something for any normal major party presidential nominee, but it`s really something for a guy who loses to lice, who loses to root canals, who loses to traffic jams, and who among women, even loses to both cockroaches and hemorrhoids.

I have no idea if the Republican Party and its voters have picked a winner here, but the beltway narrative that they`re all torn up about this is really, really not born out by the facts. I mean, like him or loathe him, and most Americans loathe him, Republican voters are very, very clearly with him, unequivocally. He`s who they want.



PERRY: Donald Trump is the modern day incarnation of the know-nothing movement.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Rick Perry just told me in a phone call from his home state in Texas that he does support Donald Trump and he`s going to do everything he can to help Donald Trump get elected.


MADDOW: The great coming together.

Joining us now is Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post."

Robert, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here, my friend.


MADDOW: So, you`ve done some very detailed reporting tonight, today and tonight for "The Post" about things that are happening to bring the Trump campaign and the Republican Party closer together, at least to get them talking to each other over the next couple of days.

COSTA: What we`ve learned at "The Washington Post" in the last couple of hours is that Ben Carson, the Trump ally, former rival of the GOP nominee, will be trying to meet with Paul Ryan, the House speaker in a pre-meeting before the big Thursday meeting to lay the ground work for a conversation to warm the room a bit.

MADDOW: In terms of what is expected between Speaker Ryan and Mr. Trump, I said a moment ago that it felt like that was the first real potential resistance that any overt level of the Republican Party that might be consequential in terms of a vivid split in the party, it now feels like Speaker Ryan is backing down from any confrontation. Mr. Trump has softened his sewn.

Do we expect anything to be decided between them this week?

COSTA: Based on my reporting, we don`t expect much to be decided. What we do expect is for some type of amicable conversation. Talking to people close to Ryan and to Trump, Ryan is not going to make demands of Trump as the presumptive nominee. He`s not going to say, you have to have this position on trade or that position on immigration. This is going to be a conversation to see if they can have any kind of consensus on just what the Republican Party stands for broadly, in terms of the economics and foreign policy. But there`s not going to be any kind of litmus test.

I think what we`re watching, Rachel, is the Republican Party electorate, the base, is more populist and less ideological. It`s so striking to watch these videos of former rivals hammer him, because going into 2016, these candidates thought the electorate was going to be conservative, movement conservative, and that`s just not the case.

MADDOW: Exactly. And that means their calculations what makes an effective attack, was just off key. We think of all those ads that went after Trump for not being a true conservative, and you could just feel the collective shrug in the Republican polity.

Now, there are some specific decisions that will have to be made, including whether or not Paul Ryan is going to be the chair of the convention. Is it your understanding that`s a serious threat from Trump that they`ll replace Ryan?

COSTA: Trump, there`s a rooming question, but people close to Ryan tell me the only reason he became chairman of the convention was to try to remain in a neutral position during the Republican primary. This was never a position he coveted and he would gladly step away, because the last thing he likes is drama with someone like Donald Trump.

MADDOW: If he steps away, who will do it instead?

COSTA: It`s going to someone close to the campaign. Paul Manafort, Trump`s new strategist, is already running the convention strategy. Reince Priebus had a meeting today with the Trump high command in Washington to go over the convention. Ryan even at this moment is a figurehead and without a contested convention, he really doesn`t have a formal role to play.

But I think Trump wants to perhaps keep him on. People close to him say he doesn`t want to have a public battle with Ryan. But if Ryan is so uncomfortable with it, it`s OK if he steps away.

MADDOW: Wow. Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post" -- Robert, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

COSTA: Thank you.

MADDOW: So, this is a big night for political news. First, we had that new polling data on Republican presumptive nominee polling behind lice and traffic jams. But now, we have some more exclusive political news. This time, it`s from the Democratic side of the presidential race and that is next. Stay with us.


MADDOW: So, here`s some further breaking news that we have exclusively tonight. This is about the Democratic presidential primary. After Hillary Clinton won four out of the five states in the Northeast two weeks ago, her campaign made a fairly dramatic decision. They decided to stop running any more ads in the Democratic primary. So, that meant that the Clinton campaign did not advertise at all in the great states of Indiana, which Secretary Clinton lost last week to Bernie Sanders. They also did not advertise at all in West Virginia, where the Clinton campaign is signaling that they expect to lose in tomorrow`s primary.

But we`ve got word exclusively tonight that is about to change. The Clinton campaign is telling NBC News tonight exclusively that they have changed their minds about not advertising anymore in the Democratic primary race against Bernie Sanders. The campaign says they are now likely going back up on the air with ads for the Democratic primary.

Now, we don`t know what states they`re planning on spending in, but we can narrow it down, the only states left are Kentucky and Oregon next week. And then the week after that there`s six states that all vote on the same day. California, Montana, New Jersey, new Mexico and both Dakotas.

But again, the news tonight that we have exclusively here, after effectively ending their ad spending in the contest against Bernie Sanders from the Democratic nomination, the Clinton campaign now says they are rethinking that and they will likely get ads back on the air.

Which if nothing else will make a lot of local TV stations happy for their budgets. We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: Today was the deadline, so we knew it was going to be the day, but we didn`t know how exactly it was going to happen.

Today, North Carolina decided that their response to the Justice Department`s deadline, their response to the federal Justice Department crying foul over North Carolina`s new discrimination law, their response would be that North Carolina would sue the federal government. And once we learned that, we got word right away from the Justice Department that we would hear something from them very soon in response.

By the time Attorney General Loretta Lynch got to the podium in Washington, everybody basically knew what she would be announcing was a countersuit by the federal government against North Carolina for discriminating. So we expected that.

North Carolina`s suing the federal government. The federal government is suing North Carolina. We knew those were going to be the basic details.

What we did not expect when she got to the podium was the force with which she made that announcement, and the kind of clarion call that she turned it into.

This was something we thought we knew what to expect. What it became a major civil rights statement that was direct and impassioned and personal.


LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation. We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the emancipation proclamation.

We saw it in the fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education (AUDIO GAP) and the proliferation of state bans on same-sex unions that were intended to stifle any hope that gay and lesbian Americans might one day be afforded the right to marry. And that right, of course, is now recognized as a guarantee embedded in our Constitution. In the wake of that triumph, we have seen bill after bill in state after state taking aim at the LBGT community.

Let me speak directly to the people of the great state, the beautiful state, my home state of North Carolina. You have been told that this law protects vulnerable populations from harm. But that is just not the case. Instead, what this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that`s already suffered far more than its fair share.

This law provides no benefit to society, and all it does is harm innocent Americans. Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state sanctioned discrimination never looks good and never works in hindsight. It was not long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains and on public accommodation, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference.

Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades and others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives that you were born to live. No matter how isolated, no matter how afraid, and no matter how alone you may feel today -- know this -- that the Department of Justice, and indeed the entire Obama administration want you to know that we see you. We stand with you. And we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. And please know that history is on your side.


MADDOW: We see you. We stand with you. We will do everything we can to protect you.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch with that dramatic public response to North Carolina`s discrimination law. Just in case you thought the Obama administration might go soft on this, I think that means think again.


MADDOW: Travis County, Texas, is a blue dot in deep red Texas. It contains the capital city of Austin, a very liberal place. But Travis County, Texas, does have a local Republican Party and the Travis County Republican Party now has one month until its new chairman takes office. And then things are going to get interesting, because the new chair is this guy.


ROBERT MORROW: My focus as the chair of the Travis County Republican Party is more so political truth telling than Lyndon Johnson murdered John Kennedy, and that George Herbert Walker Bush murdered Barry Seal, and that Hillary Clinton murdered everybody in Waco. The reason I`m wearing the jester`s cap and the joker`s hat is to say I`m not the joker, I`m not the jester. You are.


MADDOW: His name is Robert Morrow. And he is preparing to take over as the duly elected chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. Will he wear the hat when he presides over meetings? He does wear it on his Twitter profile. So, maybe.

I have to say, I`m still a little scarred from looking at this Twitter feed on election night in March, when he was elected to chair that county Republican Party. That night, he decided to use Twitter to promote his most recent book. Those tweets included him calling Rick Perry a, quote, "rampaging by sexual adulterer." There`s also this one about Hillary Clinton, which I`m just going to skip again.

There was this one about presidential timber. And it`s self-explanatory. It doesn`t need my help.

But you can still buy the book from the guy newly elected to run the Republican Party in the part of Texas where the governor lives, in the state capital. And that would be very exciting for Texas Republicans.

But he`s apparently reaching way beyond Travis County, and way beyond Texas. One of Mr. Morrow`s favorite insane rant topics is what he calls Hillary Clinton`s terror campaigns on Bill Clinton`s sex victims. His book claims to reveal, quote, "For the first time, how Bill and Hillary Clinton systematically abused women." Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Morrow as a co-author in this book, Roger Stone, who`s a long-time friend and adviser to Donald Trump, he`s been making the rounds of right wing media recently saying that Hillary Clinton`s supposed advocacy for women is bogus. Quote, "When women voters learn how Hillary has bullied and intimated Bill Clinton`s various sexual assault victims, I don`t think there`s going to be a lot of sympathy for Hillary Clinton."

To help these women voters learn about these allegations, Roger Stone has formed a political action committee called -- this is true -- called Rape PAC. He`s promising an all-woman swift boat action against Hillary Clinton.

And you know what? A palpably insane conspiracy theorist in Texas and Roger Stone wrote a book and they`re just trying to promote it. It`s like two unhinge people just screaming into a paper bag, right? Until it`s not.


TRUMP: She`s married to a man who is the worst abuser of women in the history of politics. She`s married to a man who hurt many women and Hillary, if you look and see a study, Hillary hurt many women, the women that he abused. And Hillary was an enabler and she treated these women horribly, just remember this.

And some of those women were destroyed, not by him but by the way that Hillary Clinton treated them after everything went down. So just remember that, folks. So just remember that when you`re watching these phony ads put out by Hillary Clinton.

Just remember, when you`re watching these phony, paid for by Wall Street ads, put out by Hillary Clinton about Donald Trump, and just remember I said it, there is nobody that has more respect for women than me.


MADDOW: Donald Trump has been the presumptive Republican nominee for less than a week. So far, it appears that his first line of attack for the general election is taken directly from a book by Roger Stone and a conspiracy theorist who wears a jester hat, whose tweets are jaw dropping even by Donald Trump standards.

This is where we thought the campaign was going to end up. I`m not sure I expected it would start here. But this is where it`s starting.

Join us now is Amy Klobuchar, Democratic U.S. senator from Minnesota. She is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Senator Klobuchar, thank you for being here, for this creepy topic.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Thank you, Rachel. Wow. It should be good.

MADDOW: Yes. Sorry about those tweets.

But I feel like talking -- the story that Donald Trump is not telling on the stump is weird. It`s weird not just to people who don`t remember the Bill Clinton presidency, it`s weird to those of us who do remember the Bill Clinton presidency, and it comes from a specific place, it comes from a very dark and weird place, in the far, far edges of Republican thought. And so, therefore, should it be ignored, named? What do you do with stuff like this?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think, first of all, we`ve seen Donald Trump do this over and over again, whether what he did to -- some of the things he said about Hillary Clinton, what he said about Heidi Cruz, what he has said about Elizabeth Warren. He recently called her a basket case, which is as far from the truth as you can get. He brands people, he labels them, he test drives these things, instead of talking about the issues.

So, while Hillary Clinton is going to Lexington, Kentucky, tomorrow to a daycare center to talk about real economic issues that are facing this country, he`s calling her names. He`s calling everyone names.

So, I just think once we get into that general election, and it`s not far away, and she can show -- I was looking at the early part of your show with -- some of the Republican voters and where they were, they haven`t heard all these things he`s said about women calling them pigs and dogs and other things. They`re not all in primary states. And not only that, his opponents were hands off for the first half of the election.

So I think it`s going to make a big difference. I know people in my state have heard this stuff. And they say, you know what? He doesn`t just diminish her, but he diminishes all elected officials who are women. And further, they`ve all had experiences in their own workplace. This is what surprised me last week, they can relate to this kind of talk, because they`ve seen it and they don`t want to be diminished that way.

MADDOW: So, Mr. Trump isn`t a different type of person now than he was during the Republican primary campaign and the name calling and the sexist insinuation allegations, and the stuff that people thought were too rude to reprint, that`s part of how he won in the Republican primary. Are there any lessons learned in terms of how not to lose to him when he plays that dirty?

KLOBUCHAR: I would say so, some of the Republican candidates have said it out loud, is that they just let him go for so long, they didn`t respond back, they were afraid of being attacked, afraid of pissing him off and you have a different situation now.

You have someone who is incredibly strong, when you`ve seen her in these debates. She`s ready to hit back and she`s going to do it. You can`t let people get labeled like that.

What I seen being home for the last week is that people want to talk about these economic issues. They want someone who is going to stand up for them, create an equal playing field for the workers of this country. Once they see the kinds of things he`s done, to me, those things are against equality, whether you`re talking about economic equality and fairness to women, fairness to people of color.

There`s a lot of people voting outside of a very narrow base that has been out there for Donald Trump and they are moderate Republicans that are independents. They are Democrats. And they just have a different view of what they want to see in a president and who they want to control foreign policy and to potentially make enormous decisions about risking men`s and women`s lives at war, making decisions about our economy.

And I just end with this, just this weekend he talked about risking America`s full faith and credit, about not being true to our obligations. Economists on the left and right went crazy because they saw what happens when they were near letting our debt ceiling go and what happened when we head into a shut down.

The American people don`t want someone in charge of the country that will make rash decisions.

MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar, can I ask you a personal question?


MADDOW: Do you have to be somewhere like in the next six minutes?

KLOBUCHAR: No, I`m all around.

MADDOW: I know we all need you for one segment, but could you stay for just a second because I have another thing to ask you?


MADDOW: OK. Thank you. It will be just a second. We`ll be right back with Senator Amy Klobuchar. Whoo, two segments. Hold on.


MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has stuck around with us because I unfairly ask her to stay while she was already there on TV. Sorry.

KLOBUCHAR: Can you imagine me saying no? That wouldn`t have been lovely.

MADDOW: I was expecting you to say no. So, yes, I imagine it.


MADDOW: All right. The reason I asked you to say, and throw out my other segment I was going to do here, is because you and I talked about the vice presidential possibility, the possibility of you being picked as Democratic running mate before and you said you weren`t interested and you love being a senator. And I know you`re still going to say that.

But two things have happened since then. Number one, Hillary Clinton said she`s very open to the prospect of an all-female ticket, which a lot of people thought was impossible but she says she`s for that. And number two, Donald Trump has become, in effect, the Republican nominee, and I sense in you a little joy and eagerness and enthusiasm to be part of the campaign against him.

Do you feel any different about that prospect now?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, as you know, it`s always an honor to be mentioned for this. She has many good people to pick from and I really think that`s going to be her decision. But put me aside, I will say there`s ample historical evidence that a single gender ticket has gotten elected to the White House before, in fact, in every single other case.

But let me tell you why I`m so focused on this, having been at home, having been with workers that were laid off in the mines of northern Minnesota and thinking about how important this is that you have someone that`s going to stand up for these people. The other part of it is that I also was able to meet with some of our Muslim community. We have a big Somali community.

I heard a story that a family who had never had anyone saying discriminatory to them. They were sitting at a restaurant and a guy walked by and said, "Parents to little kids, you go home, you all go back to where you came from." The little girl looked at her mom, and she said, "Mom, I don`t want to go home. You said we could go out to dinner tonight."

And when you think of that innocent child, that she had never heard anything like this before, it`s because of the kind of rhetoric that we`ve been hearing. Whether they basically are telling people, you just go after people just because they look different, just because they may be of a different background. And to me, this is going to be a very big deal for our democracy.

We are a country that has been built in on people coming in, coming in from other place and we love that about America, and we have to continue to love that about America.

So, the negative rhetoric you hear about women, the woman card, the same thing you hear about people of color, I just see it as an attack on our very democracy and very country, and that`s why I feel very strongly in addition to the economic issues in this campaign.

MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar, I should say a Hillary Clinton supporter and a good sport, who let me pin you to the chair. I appreciate that, Senator.


MADDOW: If you start getting vetted for this vice presidential thing, please send me a text. I won`t tell anybody.

KLOBUCHAR: Oh, OK, that`s the deal. I`m sure that will work. Bye.

MADDOW: Yes, I`m sure it will, too. Bye.

Yes, we learn to that, too. I didn`t get it.

All right. We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: First of all, I want to say thank you again to Senator Amy Klobuchar for letting me just do that thing to her on TV. I never do that. I never like try to box people in and trick them into doing a thing that they`re not allowed to get out of and I hope she didn`t feel like it was too awkward. Anyway, thank you for indulging me. Thank you to the senator.

Also, for the first time ever on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, next, we have Celine Dion and you think I`m kidding, but no, it is Celine Dion and it`s for a really good reason, and that`s next.


MADDOW: As promised, Celine Dion. She has won five Grammy awards. She has recorded Oscar winning songs. She`s won Billboard Awards. She`s won American Music Awards. She`s got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She`s also got kind of a Maple Leaf star thing on the Canada Walk of Fame.

But on top of all of that, Celine Dion is also an honorary Alabamian. Shortly after the end of his 50 year long marriage last fall, Alabama`s Governor Robert Bentley brought his alleged mistress from Alabama to Las Vegas to see a Celine Dion show.

After the show, according to the Birmingham News, the governor, quote, post for pictures with Ms. Dion, which she showed around office, along with backstage passes for which he was ungubernatorially proud.

While backstage, the governor also did whatever it is you need to do in order to proclaim Celine Dion as an honorary Alabamian, which I doubt has ever happened that much backstage at Las Vegas shows, but it happened that night. And that`s what Alabama politics is like now under Republican Governor Robert Bentley. So, now, like the Alabama press has to figure out why the Republican Governors Association reimbursed Alabama governor about 10 times the amount they reimbursed any other Republican governor who came to Las Vegas that week for the Repulican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas that week, whether or not those other governors also got to meet Celine Dion during their stay.

Since allegations of abuse of power and covering his affair were made by Alabama law enforcement figures since the sex tapes of the governor and his alleged mistress were made public, Governor Robert Bentley in Alabama, he has not resigned from office but he is now under investigation by multiple state agencies. There are reports that federal investigators are also looking into his possible misconduct and the Alabama house has also now gotten enough signatures to start the impeachment process against the governor.

But here`s the other thing about Alabama and the Republicans who run that state right now, the big road block to impeaching the Celine Dion loving love guv, is that impeachment proceedings would have to be brought up for a full vote by the speaker of the house, and that`s not likely to happen because the Republican speaker of the house in Alabama is currently himself under indictment on 23 felony corruption charges. So, he might need the governor for his defense. So, it wouldn`t be politic to go about impeaching the governor, now would it?

So, the executive branch is under investigation, the head of the legislative branch is under indictment, now Alabama is going for the trifecta with its judicial branch. The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, has just been suspended from the bench. He risks losing his seat on the bench for not just the first but the second time in his career.

In 2003, he was ousted after refusing to remove a religious monument he had installed in the state`s judicial building in Montgomery. That was 2003. Since then, Mr. Moore has been reelected to the state Supreme Court, but he`s also now just been removed from the bench again, this time because he directed judges throughout the state of Alabama to ignore binding higher court rulings on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Once he did that, protesters started rallying all around the state for months now, calling for Judge Roy Moore to be removed from his post. Among the Alabamians leading that charge has been a delightful, an Alabama born and bred drag queen performer called Ambrosia Starling.

And the fact that a homegrown Alabama drag queen is among his most outspoken critics has apparently been driving Roy Moore nuts. After he got suspended from the bench on Friday night, Roy Moore couldn`t help himself. The judge put out an enraged statement accusing the judicial commission of, quote, "chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which suprot their agenda.

He also gave a press conference where he singled out Ambrosia Starling by name, saying because she was a drag performer, she must be mentally ill. Her response was priceless, quoting,, quote, "Being called crazy by Roy Moore doesn`t seem to have bothered Starling. `I`m crazy for democracy,` she said. `I`m insane for civil rights and better behavior. I`m out of my mind when I see people losing their manners and disrespecting people they don`t know.`"

She then said, "Every bully always picked on the weakest kid in the room. He thought that was going to be the drag queen. A lot of people make that mistake."

Alabama is falling apart and Alabama`s state government could have three potential job openings very soon -- governor, speaker of the house and chief justice. As far as I`m concerned, Ambrosia Starling can have her pick of the three.

That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow.

Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD". Ari Melber is in for Lawrence tonight.

Good evening, Ari.