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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 8/15/2016

Guests: Michael McFaul, Aisha Turner

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: August 15, 2016 Guest: Michael McFaul, Aisha Turner

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ari. Thanks, my friend.

And thanks to at home for joining us this hour. It`s good to be back.

In 1962, we came close to having a nuclear war with the Soviet Union over the Cuban missile crisis. This was, of course, when John F. Kennedy was president. And even though we got right to the brink in the fall of 1962, obviously, nuclear war didn`t happen, the crisis was averted, through high wire negotiations and diplomacy including, directly by the president of the United States himself, we did get really, really, really close.

And after that global near death experience, because of that global near death experience, one very important thing and interesting thing and kind of creepy thing changed about the American presidency. Because of the Cuban missile crisis, we got the nuclear football.

President John F. Kennedy found once global nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia wasn`t some distant hypothetical insane possibility, once he was in the middle of that maybe happening, once that prospect was real and at hand, President Kennedy realized in 1962 that even though he was president and he had incredible power and responsibility in that situation, logistically, he didn`t exactly know how one would go about doing this? How is a president supposed to start a global nuclear war if he decides that`s what he wants to do?

I mean, the basic, the overall idea is clear, there would be a war room convened as commander-in-chief, the president would be empowered to order the military to start shooting nuclear missiles or dropping nuclear bombs on Moscow.

But beyond that basic idea, how do you actually do it? What are the granular specifics how you do it? How exactly do you contact the war room? What exactly should the president say to the war room over the phone? And, by the way, who would answer that phone and how do they know it was the president on the other end of the line.

If the president did decide it was time to launch nuclear weapons at another country, that`s -- I mean, as black and white as that sounds, it`s not actually a black and white decision, not just yes or no. It`s just not nuclear war or no nuclear war, once you decide you`re going to use nuclear weapons -- well, the president has options, right, about how many to use. How many different options would a president have in that instance if he called the war room and said, let`s start this thing?

I mean, presumably, at that point in time would be of the essence, and presumably the only reason we`d be shooting nuclear missiles at Russia is because Russian nuclear missiles were already in the way here and the president would have to work quickly. How could he in that moment granularly, logistically, efficiently convey to the military which nuclear weapons he wanted fired, which targets he wanted destroyed. How would he be able to convey how big a nuclear war he wanted to wage in that instance?

Now, by this point, of course, the United States had already used nuclear weapons in war-time. We`re the only country that ever had, right? At the end of World War II.

But since then, we have built thousand of them and by 1962, we had hundreds of them on hair trigger alert. We had thousands of nuclear missiles and nuclear bombs locked and loaded and ready to go.

But until Kennedy got that close in the fall of 1962, to potentially using them, we never before had worked out these very specific granular details about how a president would go about doing them. Those parts of this system had never been organized and put in an understandable sort of user- friendly way at the disposal of the president and that wouldn`t be confusing or potentially hijackable in a moment of crisis.

Cuban missile crisis, October 1962. By May of 1963, we had the nuclear football. Thanks to President Kennedy`s concerns how the logistics went around that crisis, by the spring of 1963, there was a military officer following President Kennedy around everywhere he went, carrying a heavy briefcase/small suitcase. It`s come to be known as the nuclear football, contains codes for the president to verify his identity. It contains a menu of attack options in terms of how many nuclear weapons the president wants to launch and at what targets he wants to aim then.

Also within the football, are the means by which the president is supposed to convey those instructions to the military if he decides to do it. That whole system, that whole suit case was invented in 1963. And that is still the system. We still do it.

Quite famously, now, it is the job for every president that hopefully, there is so low blood pressure style military officer available for the job, because the job is to stay close to the president at all times carrying what is officially known as the president`s emergency satchel. And the whole prospect of the nuclear codes being physically close to the president at all times, it`s a little -- essentially unnerving and makes you want to take seriously who gets to be president in this country.

I have to say, though, it is somehow additionally unnerving to remember that there isn`t just one nuclear football, there isn`t just one of those emergency presidential satchels, there are three of them. One, they keep physically close to the president at all times. One, they keep as a spare, ah! And the third one, they keep with the vice president, which makes sense. But you forget about that when you think about the responsibilities of being vice president, right?


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He talks cavalierly about encouraging other nations, as Hillary pointed out, to develop nuclear weapons, as if a nuclear war is some trivial affair? Does he not understand we wrote Japan`s constitution to say they could not be a nuclear power? Where was he when -- in school?

Someone who lacks this judgment cannot be trusted. There`s a guy that follows me right back here, has the nuclear cod codes. So, God forbid anything happened to the president and I had to make a decision, the codes are with me.

He is not qualified to know the code. He can`t be trusted.


MADDOW: Vice President Joe Biden today making the case against Donald Trump and in so doing, reminding us that as vice president, he too has a nuclear football. That if you are president or vice president, the nuclear codes are never more than a few feet away.

Vice President Biden appeared today in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, at this joint appearance with Hillary Clinton. This joint appearance had been postponed a couple of different times for various, sudden news events but it finally came together in Pennsylvania today. And because of where it was, because this was hardscrabble Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is both the hometown of Joe Biden and which is also the hometown of Hillary Clinton`s dad. She spent a lot of time there as a kid.

Because Pennsylvania`s considered a background state, because Pennsylvania is considered a background state in part because of blue collar white people in parts of the state like Scranton, I think there was a lot of expectation today this Biden-Clinton event would be a big sort of blue collar white people event, that it would focus on what the campaign sees as hard core middle class working class and economic interests, talking about stuff like manufacturing and trade and bringing back good jobs, all that stuff.

There was some of that, but they also did a whole bunch of other stuff, too, and there was interesting news made. First of all, Hillary Clinton announced that the pure cancer moon shot that the Obama administration has taken up in its second term, which Vice President Biden has been running from the White House, Hillary Clinton said today that if she elected, her administration will continue that effort and she will keep Joe Biden in charge of it. That was interesting.

The vice president talked about that cancer moon shot effort some today. But most of what he talked about was national security on this day that Donald Trump was giving one of his few and far between policy speeches where he actually reads from a teleprompter. Today`s Trump speech was on terrorism and foreign policy, there in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was Joe Biden, simultaneously talking about not letting the nuclear football get anywhere near Donald Trump, talking about what he said is the damage Trump has already done just as a presidential candidate to America`s alliances and interests around the world.


BIDEN: Putin`s determined to crack NATO and crack the European alliance, that is his overarching, overwhelming interest. I`m heading from here, getting on a plane and flying to Kosovo, then to Serbia, then I`m going to the Baltic States.

You know one of the reasons I`m going? To make sure to reassure those members of NATO in the Baltic states, we mean what we say. We mean what we say, this sacred alliance of 60 years.


Because they`re worried!

This guy`s shame has no limits. He`s even gone so far as to ask Putin and Russia to conduct cyber attacks against the United States of America. Even if he is joking, which he`s not, even if he`s joking, what an outrageous thing to say!


MADDOW: Vice President Biden ripping into Donald Trump today, and also announcing that one part of his forthcoming European trip is designed specifically for him as vice president to go reassure the Baltic states, to go soothe their fears after Donald Trump repeatedly raised the prospect that if Russia invades those countries, the U.S. won`t necessarily come to their defense against Russia, even though we`re in NATO with them and we`re treaty bound to come to defense.

From the perspective of those Baltic countries, it`s not an idle worry, right? Russia has been pushing at its western border pretty aggressively for the past several years, including taking over parts of Ukraine and waging war throughout the eastern part of Ukraine, right?

Here`s Russia, the big behemoth on the right side of the map there, right? You see Ukraine there on the bottom, which Russia has been clawing back over the last couple of years. The Baltic states are up top. There you see Latvia, Estonia, you see, those are the Baltic states.

Vice President Biden announcing he will be visiting Latvia to try to soothe their concerns we won`t defend them against Russia.

Until 2014 in Ukraine, Russia apparently did not feel compelled to claw away at its border with Ukraine, try to take over pieces of that country, in large part because Russia had its own guy in charge of that country. Russia installed a Russia-friendly, Putin-friendly, massively corrupt leader in Ukraine named Viktor Yanukovych. And it was always this interesting sidebar about Victor Yanukovych that this pro-Russia, pro- Kremlin, pro-Putin dictator in Ukraine had as his top political advisor in Ukraine an American, an experienced American political pro who kept an office in Kiev, who moved to Kiev part-time. This American political guru who basically orchestrated Yanukovych`s rise to power as Putin`s guy as president in Ukraine.

Popular uprisings in Ukraine ultimately threw Yanukovych out in 2014. After those uprising, he went scurrying back to Russia, he publicly thanked Vladimir Putin for taking him in and rescuing him after he was thrown out of power in his own country.

After that, that American political advisor reportedly kept working with Viktor Yanukovych`s old party in Ukraine to try to remake themselves and rebrand themselves. They gave themselves a new name and help get them back in power.

So, you know, if you care about Ukraine politics, if you care about Russia busting out of its western borders and taking over parts of neighboring countries and whether or not there is going to be a NATO and Russia war because they`re going to push into some Russian countries on the western border that are technically prevented by the NATO alliance and will be treaty bound to defend them, if you care about this stuff, it has always been this sort of juicy, interesting creepy American sidebar that there`s this involvement of this American political consultant and what happened over there.

This American political consultant who basically created Yanukovych, the pro-Putin guy in Ukraine, right? Once Yanukovych was run out of town, the same American guy helped Yanukovych`s chief of staff and former allies, helped the Pro-Putin forces, helped Yanukovych`s chief of staff and his former ally, helped his party regroup and try to get back in power.

So, here`s the question, is that American guy still working for those folks? Is there still an American political advisor, working the pro-Putin side in Ukraine?

How has been creepy American question about this international news story? But now, it ends up being a very important American news story, because that important political consultant with an office in Kiev and brought the pro-Putin dictator back into power, who is reportedly been fighting to bring him and his people back into power, now it`s really important to know whether he is still doing that work, whether he still represents those folks and still works on their behalf, because that political consultant is the chairman of the Donald Trump for president campaign now, Paul Manafort.

"The New York Times" reporting today that Paul Manafort`s name has turned up 22 times in a handwritten ledger the Ukrainian government believes to be a record of Viktor Yanukovych`s off the books secret payments to hundreds of different individuals and entities. Over a period of five years, "The Times" reports that Manafort`s name is in the so-called black ledger 22 times, alongside payment amounts that add up to $12.7 million. They don`t say that Manafort definitely received $12.7 million, but he appears to be slated to receive that money according to this ledger.

When Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014, you might remember one of the interest things that the Ukrainian demonstrators did was they got into his palatial presidential estates and they recovered thousands of documents that exposed all sorts of unsavory stuff about Yanukovych and how he ran the country and what nice stuff he bought for himself and his entourage with the Ukrainian people`s money.

I remember we covered at the time how protesters and regular Ukrainians went diving in the lagoon on the property of this presidential palace and recovered all of these documents and partially burned documents that they had tried to sink and burn and destroy, as Yanukovych was running back to Putin and fleeing the country and they laid them out in the warehouses and they dried them in his presidential sauna and tried to recover these documents.

These documents featured today on "The New York Times" reporting, they were not taken from Yanukovych`s presidential estate, they were reportedly found in an office of his political party in central Kiev. It`s a ledger that reportedly runs to about 400 pages.

Tonight, I can tell you that NBC News has obtained 22 pages of this ledger, 22 pages which do not apparently describe any reported payments to Paul Manafort, to Donald Trump`s campaign chair, but they do give you some sense of the kind of documentation that is the basis for "The Times`" reporting. These documents were obtained by Ukrainian investigative reporter from an anonymous source, the Ukrainian government`s anti-corruption bureau did not provide us with these documents but they did confirm their authenticity.

Again, we contained these 20 pages of the so-called black ledger tonight. We`re posting them online tonight. They won`t be too much use to you unless you know the Cyrillic alphabet, but maybe you do. Knock yourself out.

For his, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says he has never received a single off the books cash payment in his work as a campaign professional overseas. He also says he stopped working in Ukraine in the fall of 2014, which would be seven to eight months after his client, Victor Yanukovych got thrown out of office by angry mobs and went and hid in Russia. And that may well be true.

But the "New York Times" reporting from Kiev today says that Paul Manafort`s office, his very nice office on a leafy street in central Kiev, it`s a lovely office, and it was all there and stuffed with Paul Manafort`s personal stuff as recently as May of this year.

The Clinton campaign, for weeks now, including today with Joe Biden, they have been making this intense multifaceted campaign push on national security to try to say Donald Trump is unfit, to try to convince voters that specifically if what you care about is the safety of this country, Donald Trump cannot be trusted to handle international relations and foreign policy on behalf of the United States. He cannot, for example, be trust with the nuclear codes.

Well, thanks to the "New York Times" reporting today, they`re also able to hit him with something very, very, very specific. As soon as this "Times" piece went live online last night, the Clinton campaign responded after 11:00 p.m. with a statement demanding to know whether the Donald Trump for president chairman or any other Trump employees or advisers are currently representing or being paid by Russian entities or pro-Kremlin entities, because we don`t know.

In that political thriller you`ve been thinking about writing, when you get to the plot point where the campaign chair for one of the major party presidential candidates is allegedly on the payroll of a hostile foreign government to the tone of millions of dollars and conceivably, he might still be on the payroll while he`s running an American major party presidential campaign, when you get to that part of your screenplay, you have to throw it out because it`s too ridiculous, it could never happen -- because truth is stranger than any fiction you could invent.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now because of their military, and, frankly, Putin has built up the nuclear again and again and again. Their military is much stronger, he`s doing nuclear, we`re not doing anything, our nuclear is old and tired and his nuclear is tippy top from what I hear.

I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS and it`s going to be ISIS. I`ll tell you what, Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin doesn`t want ISIS coming into Russia.

I respect Putin. He`s a strong leader, I can tell you that, unlike what we have. We have a pathetic leader. Pathetic.


MADDOW: It`s been one of the weirder dynamics in the Trump campaign for a while. But now, it`s taking on a new cast. The "New York Times" reports today that Donald Trump`s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, his name turns up 22 times in a secret Ukrainian ledger that appears to detail cash payments or at least planned cash payments in excess of $12 million to Paul Manafort from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. As we say, truth stranger than fiction.

Joining us now is the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. He`s now professor of political science at Stanford.

Mr. Ambassador, it`s nice to see you. Thanks for being with us tonight.


MADDOW: Is the Clinton campaign asking the right question here? They`re demanding to know whether Donald Trump`s campaign chair or any of his other advisors are currently on the payroll of Russian interests or pro-Kremlin interests. Is that the right question to be asking, do you think?

MCFAUL: Well, it`s a reasonable rhetorical question. I mean, I highly doubt any of them are on the payroll. But I do think we deserve to know when they were being paid, how much they were being paid and who paid them, because let`s be clear -- I worked in that part of the world for decades and studied and written about it. Things are not so clean cut there. It`s not like you give to the campaign and the campaign pays the consultants. Sometimes there are murky deals done to pay campaign consultants.

I just think the American people need to know what he received, when he received it, how much he received and make clear, of course, that he`s no longer working for Mr. Yanukovych or his allies.

MADDOW: Is it conceivable people working for Yanukovych and or his allies who are working for other over pro-Putin forces who would be both doing that work, they`d be on the payroll. They`re getting paid, they`re involved in deals somehow and they could be operating in U.S. politics simultaneously, with the interests of those clients in mind, without ever having to disclose it here? Don`t we have the kind of disclosure requirements that would mean that couldn`t be done in secret?

MCFAUL: You know, I`m not a legal expert on that. But we do not, to the best of my knowledge, have those kind of laws. We have something could FORA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires you to register if you`re representing a foreign government, a foreign entity in the United States.

I think Mr. Manafort, in fact, I know Mr. Manafort`s company from time to time has registered under FOR A because they were representing Mr. Yanukovych and his party in political matters here in the United States.

To work abroad as a consultant and domestically as a consultant, to the best of my knowledge, we don`t have laws that force you to disclose that and maybe we should. I mean, I think it`s a very important question.

MADDOW: In terms of Putin`s strategic thinking and Russian strategic thinking generally about the United States and our leadership, what would they most want from an American president that`s within the realm of possibility within American politics? What would their -- what would they hope to get out of their chosen presidential candidate?

MCFAUL: They would love a guy who would say, I`m going to look into recognizing Crimea is part of Russia. They would love a guy that said, we need to rethink our relationship with our NATO allies. They would love somebody to say, you know, I don`t really care about democracy and human rights anymore.

In other words, all those positions are positions that Mr. Trump has taken. That`s why Putin and the people around him like Trump, you don`t need Paul Manafort to be involved in that. They like him because of the policies he supports.

And, by the way, they don`t like Secretary Clinton because she supports the exact opposite of all those policies I just described.

MADDOW: Michael McFaul, thank you so much for your time tonight, sir. It`s good to see you.

MCFAUL: Thanks for having me.

MADDOW: There`s some late breaking news tonight on President Obama. His efforts to try to finish off one item on his presidential to-do list that he has described as one of his greatest sources of frustration as president. President Obama tonight making a big chunk of progress toward meeting that goal. We`ve got that story coming up next.

Plus, we`ve got the new electoral map tonight that will not please Donald Trump or his campaign, whether or not it`s put in Cyrillic.

It`s really nice to be back. Stay with us.


MADDOW: We have some late breaking news to report. The Pentagon tonight has just announced that 15 prisoners were just transferred out of Guantanamo. They were transferred on Saturday. They announced it tonight. All 15 of them apparently went to the United Arab Emirates.

Now, they`ve never done 15 transferred out at once before. This is the single largest transfer of Guantanamo prisoners of the entire Obama administration. The 15 are 12 men from Yemen, three from Afghanistan, all the 15 had been held at Guantanamo for in excess of 14 years. None of them were ever convicted of anything, most never charged with anything.

Apparently six of these 15 transfers were unanimously approved by the Guantanamo review task force. The nine remaining prisoners were cleared for release by periodic review board, which is that big group of representatives from like six different U.S. government agencies. That`s the group that reviews each of prisoners` cases one by one to see if any part of the U.S. government objects to their being released.

So, they been approved by those various boards and all 15 went this weekend. With these 15 gone, the Pentagon says that they`re down to 61 remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. They`re 61 left, that`s down from 242 when President Obama took office. They want that number down to zero by the time the next president takes over because they still want to close Guantanamo. But -- tick-tock, time is getting short.



TRUMP: I will win New York against Hillary Clinton. I think I`m going to win New York.

I think I have a chance to win New York. That`s not in the playbook. Can you imagine if you win New York? If we beat Hillary Clinton, I think I`m going to win New York actually. You know, if I win New York, no Republican will even campaign.

I think I`m going to win New York, I really do, I mean in the general election. If somebody ever won New York, it totally -- you know, with the Electoral College, it totally changes the map. I think we will win New York, I really do.


MADDOW: You`re not going to win New York. I`m not like saying like I don`t think you`re going -- you`re not going to win New York.

The latest statewide poll just out today in New York shows Hillary Clinton crushing Donald Trump in New York. I`m not being hyperbolic, she`s crushing him. She`s beating him by 30 points in New York. Obama beat Romney in 2012 by 28 points, which is insane and unstoppable, except for the fact that Clinton is pulling ahead of Donald Trump more than that.

So, Donald Trump keeps saying, "I`m going to win New York in the general election", it`s gong to change -- New York is a fantasy for any Republican candidate in a year. It is particularly a fantasy for Donald Trump. He`s not going to win New York. A far bigger Trump -- a far bigger Trump -- a far bigger problem for Trump is states that he might really have a shot at, states that he needs to conceivably be competitive in if he really wants to find a realistic path to winning.

New York is not part of a realistic path. I mean, there are a lot of different ways to predict which way the election is going to turn out. To me, it always seems like an electoral map projection is the clearest and most honest way in predicting the election outcome. It`s not a national poll, it`s not looking individual poll result somewhere and extrapolating from that.

An electoral map projection takes into account all the recent polling in all the states and then based on that polling, you put the states into categories. So, in this one, dark red, likely Republican states. Slightly paler red, kind of salmony colored, those are leaning Republican states.

Then, you`ve got the equivalent on the Democratic side, solid dark blue, likely Democratic states and lighter blue is leaning Democratic states. Then you`ve got the really interesting ones. Then you`ve got the battle grounds, right? The toss-up states, the ones where reasonably speaking, you can`t say who`s going to win.

This one you`re looking at here isn`t just sample. This is the new electoral map that`s out today from NBC News based on current polling. And one big problem you can see here on this map for Donald Trump is some of the usual toss-up states, some of the states where usually the pollsters say we have no idea who`s going to win, states like Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, they`re no longer considered toss-ups, those states aren`t yellow on this map anymore.

After looking at current polling, NBC moved all five of those toss-up states, what are usually toss-up states, move them all over into the blue column, made them all lean Democratic column.

Another cause for alarm for Donald Trump with this map is that NBC has moved Kansas and South Carolina from dark red to light red. From likely Republican to lean Republican. You`d think with South Carolina and Kansas, you`d think they were not just likely, likely slash slam-dunk guaranteed/obviously this is ruby red, South Carolina and Kansas. But instead, they`re light red, they`re just lean Republican now. South Carolina leans Republican, Kansas leans Republican?

In terms of what`s still a toss-up, there`s only five states that are still considered toss-up right now. Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, Georgia, five states, plus one single electoral college vote and one congressional district in Maine.

And if those are the toss-up states, if you do the math associated with all the electoral votes from all of the states, if they go that way, if they lean Republican and likely Democrat go red, and the lean Democrat and likely Democrat go blue, if you sign those out that way, and then you say that Donald Trump has the best day in the entire world and completely outperforms expectations and he wins all the toss-up states, he wins all five of those states plus that Electoral College vote in Maine that he`s after, he wins all of the toss-ups, which would be insane because nobody wins all the toss-up states, even if Donald Trump did win all the toss-up states, he would still lose. Hillary Clinton is that far ahead right now.

The lean Democrat and likely Democrat are plenty for her to get there. Lean Democrat and likely add up to 288 electoral votes. You need 270 to win. So, even if she loses all the toss-ups, he`s still toast.

And with a map like that you would think Donald Trump would spend every waking second in states he needs to win or he needs to flip. Instead, Donald Trump spent his weekend in Connecticut.

President Obama won Connecticut by 18 points in 2012. Connecticut has a governor who is a Democrat, has two United States senators, both Democrats, has five members of the House, all five Democrats. It has a state assembly, Democratic controlled, has a state Senate, Democratic controlled.

I mean, it`s not like there are no Republicans in Connecticut, they did last elect a Republican to Congress a decade ago in 2006. He was a Republican congressman named Chris Shays. Chris Shays has now endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

So, ah, what`s Donald Trump doing in Connecticut with an electoral map like he`s facing right now? Maybe he had to be there for a fund-raiser? reports today that Trump`s spokeswoman didn`t respond when asked if he would be doing fund-raising during this swing through the state. We know Donald Trump did attend a fund-raiser in the Hamptons in New York the afternoon before he went to Connecticut for a really on Saturday night.

But with 85 days left to go in the campaign, with the battleground map looking as absolutely desperate as the way it does, what the hell is he doing in Connecticut?

Watch this space.


TRUMP: You know, we`re making a big move for the state of Connecticut, just so you understand.



MADDOW: Twenty-three-year-old Sylville Smith was shot to death by a police officer in Wisconsin this weekend after reportedly a traffic stop and refusing to drop his handgun when the police told him to. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is currently investigating his death. There are independent investigations of all police involved shootings that result in deaths in Wisconsin.

In the two days since that shooting, the city of Milwaukee has had protests, some of which have turned violent. There were peaceful protests during the day, throughout the day yesterday, but last night, things did take a turn and several protesters handcuffed and taken into custody for unlawful assembly and four police office officers were injured last night after some protesters three rocks and bricks and glass bottles, one police last night was shot and hospitalized.

On Saturday night, there was gunfire in Milwaukee, cars were overturned, six local businesses, including a gas stations were burned out. So, it`s been a couple tough nights in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Saturday night and last night, Sunday night.

As of right now, at least, this is what the scene has looked like this evening, this was tweeted by a local reporter not long ago.


MADDOW: Extra points for cuteness. Free cupcakes and hugs and music near Milwaukee Sherman Park earlier tonight. For the protest and violence and sadness and upset that have was washed over Milwaukee in the past couple of days, this little ray of sunshine with the toy trumpet is very much needed for residents looking for peace.

Tempers were already high between police officers and residents in Milwaukee, particularly since the death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in 2014. You will likely remember that name.

Dontre Hamilton had a history of mental illness. He was unarmed when he was shot 14 times by Milwaukee police officer in broad daylight.

The following year, the Milwaukee police agreed to work with the Justice Department to investigate all aspects of their police force. That agreement that is still in place today, but that partnership with the Justice Department has not ended violence in the city, obviously, and has not stopped incidents like the death of Sylville Smith on Saturday night.

Local radio producer Aisha Turner has been reporting in Milwaukee. She reports that the violence over the weekend shouldn`t be seen as coming out of nowhere, tension she said had been building up for months now. That local BP gas station that was born to the ground Saturday night was not she says a random location.

Earlier this summer, altercations between kids and police officers reportedly spilled over into that gas station. The kids threw rocks, broke some of the windows at that particular gas station in July. The gas station operated reportedly fired a gun to disperse a group of teenagers who were hanging around outside the station. The owner of the station was later charged with disorderly conduct in that incident. After this protest in violence, that this is gas station that now has gone, burned out.

That`s where Milwaukee is right now. The entire county is under state of emergency imposed by Governor Scott Walker. He`s also activated the National Guard in Milwaukee County in case it is needed, and local law enforcement wants them to be deployed. The city also says it will strictly enforce a 10:00 p.m. curfew for everybody under the age of 18.

And that will be the state of things in Milwaukee tonight and that will be the state of things in Milwaukee tomorrow when Donald Trump`s campaign arrives.

Tomorrow, the Trump campaign has two fundraisers scheduled in Wisconsin, one in Milwaukee and the other across the state in lacrosse. He`s also scheduled to tape an interview with a FOX News host at a theater in Milwaukee tomorrow, that will be followed by a big campaign rally in West Bend, which is about 45 minutes away.

No word yet tonight on whether the Trump campaign might amend any part of this schedule tomorrow in the wake of protests and violence that Milwaukee has been dealing with the last couple of days. But the timing in this cases is something.

Joining us now Aisha Turner. She`s a producer of "Precious Lives," which is ongoing radio series about guns violence and young people in Milwaukee.

Ms. Turner, thanks very much for being here. Really appreciate it you being here tonight.


MADDOW: The context I tried to provide the last few days but where Milwaukee is at heading into this current crisis, does that seem right or important parts I`m leaving out?

TURNER: Sorry. Could you repeat the last part of your question?

MADDOW: Oh, I just said, does that seem right to you? A, did I get anything wrong, and is there -- are there important parts of that story that we`re leaving out, that we should understand in order to get what`s happening right now in Milwaukee?

TURNER: No. I think it was smart of you to go back to the case in 2014 when Dontre Hamilton was shot downtown in a park here. I think the tensions that we`re seeing, that we saw over the weekend have really been building for some time. And what`s important is not just think of it in the context of police shootings or police violence, but really the fact that we`re talking about a community that has felt ignored for a really long time.

So, when we`re seeing the violence that happened over the weekend, of course, it`s not the majority of people but I think people are expressing an anger and discontent that has really been building. These are people saying, you know, we`ve been ignored for this long and so now, we finally have your attention.

MADDOW: It`s been interesting to see people assert positions of authority in Milwaukee. Obviously, the governor and the mayor and sheriff and police chief are all people who you can tell what they`re in charge of by their job title or uniform. But things like this curfew and appeals for calm and appeals for peaceful and constructive protests and with the hopes that there can be sort of mutual trust to get through this investigation, that`s often not just the people who say they`re in charge, people who have leadership roles in the community.

Are there -- is the Milwaukee situation right now sort of blessed with community leadership where there is any trust and leaders can talk to each other?

TURNER: I think -- I would say it`s split. I think, certainly, when we`re talking about leadership, there is a desire for people to come together and work together. But when you`re talking about people more on the ground living their lives day-to-day in this Sherman Park community, I think there is a lot of skepticism towards what change can actually come from this and there is even a lot of mistrust from the leaders that are sort of supposedly from the community because a lot of people are now saying, now that there have been these fires, now that there`d been this big protest, now, you`re coming into the community and wanting to hear from us but you weren`t really here before.

So, I definitely think there`s a push at an official level for people to come together and think of bigger solutions to the problem. But I am still a little concerned about the skepticism that exists among community members.

MADDOW: Aisha Turner, a producer of "Precious Lives" which is an ongoing radio series about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee and in depth look at that subject -- Aisha, thank you for being with us. It`s really nice to have you on the show.

TURNER: Thanks so much, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks.

All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.


MADDOW: We have some further breaking news tonight out of the state of Pennsylvania. The state`s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, who is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to tht position in Pennsylvania, tonight, she has just been convicted on criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy.

Kathleen Kane has had a fairly tumultuous in office. Soon after she took over as A.G., she was accused of leaking secret grand jury testimony in order to smear a former top state prosecutor. Then she was accused of lying to cover it. In this case, it`s just been an ongoing saga throughout her time in office, in part because she stayed on all this time as attorney general. She did not step down as A.G., even though her law license was suspended because of the charges pending against her.

And it was also the moment last fall when in an attempt to vindicate herself, an attempt to strike back at her enemies, Kathleen Kane decided to release hundreds of sexually explicit and racist and crude e-mails that were sent between a number of Pennsylvania public officials on their government accounts. She released those documents and re-threatened to release more. None of that was enough to clear her of these charges.

Again, Pennsylvania`s serving attorney general tonight convicted on nine criminal charges, including one felony charge that could carry up to seven years in prison. Sentencing is expected in 90 days.

We`ll be right back.



RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NYC MAYOR: I`m not talking about September 11th because it`s September 11th. September 11 is part of our debate. What I did on September 11, not just September 11, not September 11, nothing to do with September 11. Nothing to do with September 11. September 11. Put in the hand in the sand if we took September 11 out of the debate. I`m going to have crisis, September 11 is the obviously, the biggest one. Crisis and under pressure like September 11.


MADDOW: That`s from Rudy Giuliani`s presidential run in 2008. That run had a particular focus, some might say. A noun and a 9/11 became the famous summary of Rudy Giuliani`s efforts on the campaign trail that year.

Well, today, Rudy introduced Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence, ahead of Donald Trump`s foreign policy speech in Ohio, and then this thing happened. There`s this segment we do on the show periodically whenever the news cycle calls for it, the segment is called, "Now Here is the Thing". In this case, today`s now here`s a thing comes to us courtesy of Rudy Giuliani, now here is the thing.


GIULIANI: By the way, under those eight years before Obama came along we didn`t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.


MADDOW: Those eight years before Obama and Clinton got into office, that`s when we got our first radical Islamic -- that`s the thing that happened today.


MADDOW: Last night, members of the Brazilian men`s gymnastic team took home the silver and the bronze in the men`s floor routine. Brazil has never won a medal in that event, let alone two medals. But the medal winners` reaction was maybe even better than their performances. It was so awesome I could hardly hold it together.

One of them started sobbing while draped in the Brazilian flag, the two of them sobbed together while they both held the flag. Then once they got up to the podium, there was the collective ugly crying between the two of them. It was so genuine and so awesome.

Sometimes, it is not about win the gold, sometimes it`s about getting on to the podium and winning anything, that brings us to these two men, Paul and Gary O`Donovan, rowers on the Irish Olympic team. Paul and Gary O`Donovan are brothers. They took home a silver medal in Rio.

It was Ireland`s first medal of the Rio Olympics. It was the country`s ever medal in rowing and that`s great. These two brothers they are greater. Take it away, guys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, good afternoon, congratulations, you did us proud today. How are you feeling?

PAUL O`DONOVAN: What`s the crack?

GARY O`DONOVAN: We`re in Rio. The background may look superimposed, but it is very real.

PAUL O`DONOVAN: It is, yes. That`s all there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lads, listen, Paul, what has the last few hours been like for you?

PAUL O`DONOVAN: We`re shock enough now, to be honest, since the race A little bit tired now and the legs are like jelly, but, yes, I suppose we did a bit of celebrating and did the podium thing and got put on the podium. It was quite nice.


MADDOW: They are just happy they got to put on their podium pants. If you`re wondering, these are their podium pants. The O`Donovan brothers wearing their podium pants and most coveted medals in the world. It doesn`t take much to make them happy. So awesome.

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


Good evening, Lawrence.