Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: June 21, 2017 Guest: Adam Schiff, Cecile Richards
MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Right. One of the real heart breaks of this, I mean, one of the heartbreaks is this could have derailed this terrible bill that`s going to --
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Right. I don`t think it`s immensive that it didn`t, but it would have been a really staggering blow if Ossoff had won.
Jonathan Chait and Michelle Goldberg, thank you for joining me.
That is "ALL IN" for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
There were apparently four hours of interviews all together, I will confess I have watched zero of those four hours. But I do keep watching the trailers every week to help myself decide if I might want to watch any of the interviews. It turns out that that itself is newsworthy, because the new trailer for the newest hour of interviews, there`s a problem in the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In hindsight, did you make a mistake in exiting Crimea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a new law in Russia that provides for mass surveillance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you want to join ISIS if you saw that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You wouldn`t want to join ISIS if you -- can we just stop there? Can we go back a couple of seconds and show that screen grab of what Putin is showing Oliver Stone there on the camera? Loop it, or put the screen back up.
It`s kind of a -- it`s a strange moment. It ends up being an important moment. That was in the trailer. We went to find that moment in the tape from the overall, you know, hours of interview that Showtime showed. We found that moment from the interview which they pulled this little bit from the trailer.
What Putin is doing here in this interview with Oliver Stone, it`s kind of an unusual thing. Even just the physical blocking of it is strange, right? There`s Putin holding up a smartphone, maybe it`s an iPhone, and on that phone, he`s showing Oliver Stone video, and what he`s telling him is that this video that he`s showing him on the phone is the Russian military. He said it`s Russian MI-28 helicopter bombing and shooting at ISIS guys in Syria.
And this comes up in context, part of the whole section of Oliver Stone`s interview with Putin where he`s basically praising Russia and praising Putin up and down for what good work Russia is doing in the fight against ISIS.
And in that little bit from the trailer, you can hear Oliver Stone say, you wouldn`t want to join ISIS if you saw that, right?
So, this is -- this is Putin showing off to an appreciative interviewer, what his military is doing to kill guys in ISIS. And Oliver Stone is essentially saying, wow, that`s really impressive. Boy, you guys are sure fighting real good against ISIS.
And they stick with this tape for a long time. It`s a big part of the interview. It makes it into the trailer and everything. They go over this over and over again. They talk about it in detail, what`s happening in the video, Putin is narrating it. The weapons you can see there, what the guys on the ground who are being shot are using in terms of their own weapons, the risk that the pilots are taking, in attacking these is guys this way.
It turns out what Vladimir Putin is showing Oliver Stone on that phone is not actually the Russian military attacking ISIS. It turns out what he`s showing Oliver Stone there is an old video from 2009 that`s actually American military pilots fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. And somebody apparently dubbed the audio from that tape, dubbed it over in Russian, and fooled the Kremlin into thinking this was brand-new tape of Russian military helicopters attacking is.
It`s not. It`s the Afghanistan. It`s the Taliban and it`s American pilots.
So, they fooled the Kremlin, or maybe they didn`t fool the Kremlin and Putin thought it would be fun to fool this American guy who came all the way to Moscow to interview him by showing him some fake footage.
But, you know, this is a weird time in relations between our country and Russia. Even knowing how weird things are, though, it is still bizarre to see Vladimir Putin personally showing somebody the wrong tape, bragging about something the U.S. military did in a totally different country, trying to pass it off as if it`s his military against ISIS.
So, Showtime just posted that trailer for the Oliver Stone-Vladimir Putin interviews. Just posted that in the last week.
The Kremlin is now very, very upset about the people who are pointing out what that video really is, pointing this out as Putin`s mistake. They`re very upset about that. They`re denying it up and down, but it`s clearly a mistake.
And that comes at a time that is tense, not just in political terms between our two countries, but specifically in military terms, too. A couple of days ago, U.S. military aircraft, big spy plane -- we have an animation of this thing, I forgot -- yes, U.S. military spy plane, it`s the larger plane there, with more than two dozen U.S. crew onboard, it was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet.
Now, U.S. and Russian aircraft intercept each other and fly around each other and try to scare each other in international air space all the time apparently. It apparently happens frequently. It sometimes happens now with the Chinese air force as well.
But this thing that happened on Monday, it was a little bit beyond the pale, because this Russian fighter jet flew up to the much larger American spy plane, flew up at a high rate of speed and apparently, it closed to within five feet of the American plane. Five feet.
Do you want to know how far five feet is? I measured. It`s this far, between these two. Five feet. That`s how close it got.
I got a tape measure. That`s my wing span.
The U.S. military called that five-foot approach from the Russian fighter jet, quote, unsafe and unprofessional. They actually said the Russian pilot did not appear to be in complete control of his fighter jet when he closed to within that far of that larger American plane. So, that happened on Monday.
That itself was a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian fighter jet and killed a Syrian pilot. That was the first time in more than a decade that the U.S. military has shot down a manned aircraft from another country`s military. Russia, of course, is one of Syria`s closest allies. Russia responded to the U.S. shooting down that Syrian fighter jet by saying basically that they would shoot down American aircraft over specific parts of Syria from here on out.
The U.S. military reportedly repositioned some aircraft in response to that threat from the Russians.
Then, today, on top of all that, there was this. And this is not an animation. This is the real footage apparently. This is footage apparently taken from inside a Russian airplane, a plane in which the Russian defense minister was reportedly traveling.
Now, this happened also -- it happened today over the Baltic Sea. The aircraft that you see off the wing of the plane there, very nearby, is a NATO F-16. It`s apparently flown by a Polish pilot. That`s a Polish F-16 flying a NATO mission.
As you can see, that F-16 is very close to the Russian defense minister`s plane. But then look at this. Another plane appears, even closer. Similar size, but a different shape to the F-16 out there.
That`s a Russian SU-27 fighter. That`s the same kind of Russian fighter that got to within five feet of that big American surveillance plane just a couple of days ago, also over the Baltic Sea.
So, this is this remarkable scene. You can see shot from the window of the larger Russian aircraft. The Russian fighter jet pulls up in that tiny space between the F-16 and wing tip of this larger Russian plane. The Russian jet squeezes in between the two of them.
And the reason the Russian plane, the Russian fighter jet, you can see it at one point in this tape, you can see it tilting its wings, that`s apparently to show the F-16 that it is armed with air-to-air missiles. See that tilt right there? That`s him showing off his missiles underneath his left wing.
That SU-27 is apparently armed with the kind of missiles that fighter jets use to shoot down other fighter jets. That`s what that showing off is.
And then the NATO F-16 hangs in there for a few more seconds and ultimately it moves away.
So, this is not an abstract thing, right? Relations between Russia and the West, relations between Russia and us, it`s not just a conceptual thing. Relations are obviously a little fraught right now, and the chest pounding and physical shows of force that we`re getting from Russia and Vladimir Putin just over the past few days, they range from, frankly, ridiculous, and funny, to legitimately threatening and scary.
While all that stuff gets acted out in some new way every day now, today in Washington, there was a serious effort to try to nail down the exact scope of how Russia attacked our presidential election last year. And this wasn`t so much about the attack on the Democratic Party`s servers and on the Clinton campaign staff. We`ve heard a lot about those attacks.
Today on Capitol Hill, it was a lot more detailed than we`ve had before about how the Russian government hacked into and tried to mess with election systems all over our country last year. And even if you`ve been paying close attention to that part of that story, to what we know about that part of the Russian attack, you would be forgiven for not having a terribly clear sense of how big that attack was, where Russia attacked, what specifically they attacked and how effective those attacks were.
Now, our government had previously announced that U.S. election systems in the state of Arizona and the state of Illinois had been hacked by the Russians. Last week, "Bloomberg News" had a report citing three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. They had a report that said the Russian attack hadn`t just been about against a couple of states, it actually had been against 39 states. Russian cyber attacks much wider than previously known.
Then, today, there was this testimony in Congress, and homeland security officials, testifying in Congress today. They had a whole new number. And a whole new description of how big that attack was, and what the Russians actually went after. They said today that it`s 21 states that the Russians attacked. OK. OK then, sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we prepared today to say publicly how many states were targeted?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We -- as of right now, we have evidence of 21 states -- election related systems in 21 states that were targeted.
SAM LILES, DHS CYBER DIVISION DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: By late September, we determined that internet related networks in 21 states were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: OK. That was the word from homeland security officials today, 21 states. Bloomberg a few days ago citing three sources, said it was 39 states. There`s been that public statement from the government already about those two states that were named states, Arizona and Illinois.
But in terms of figuring this out, and figuring out how big this attack was, how effective it was, what they were going after, I mean, if it was more than those two states that they named, whether it was 21 states, or it was 39 states or some other number of states, I think the important thing here is we don`t actually know where they attacked. Even if they`re telling us definitively it was 21 states, they haven`t given us a list of those states. We don`t know where these attacks happened. We don`t know what type of attacks they were.
Even in these 21 states, we don`t know if that meant that 21 state election systems were attacked, or maybe it was individual cities or counties, or even precincts within those states. We don`t know. It`s hard to tell, and that is in part because our election system is decentralized. I mean, yes, every four years in November, we all as Americans go vote for who we want as the new American president. But technically, we don`t participate in one big national election.
When we all vote for president every four years, we participate technically in about 9,000 different simultaneous elections that happen in about 9,000 different jurisdictions all around the country. And all of those different jurisdictions, all 9,000 of them, they more or less have control about exactly how their election is going to be run. That`s sort of a blessing for us as a country and a curse.
I mean, as we try to grapple with what the Russians did to our election last year, as we try to figure out how ambitious and how damaging their attacks were on our election system, part of the reason it`s hard to get a handle on it is because there`s no one person in charge of defending our whole election system. No one person in charge of defending and monitoring the safety of all the zillions of different little local election systems we`ve got all over the country. So, it makes it hard to figure out. That`s kind of a downside of the decentralization.
Who`s in charge of keeping this safe? Well, lots and lots and lots of different people all around the country.
That said, there`s also a benefit of us having this decentralized system, for a determined adversary who is trying to affect the technical side of our election infrastructure. No one attack will do it. You can`t just hit one spot. You`ve got to hit a whole bunch of different places, maybe ones that you`ve chosen quite strategically.
Take, for example, Dallas, Texas. Texas, of course, famously is a very red state. But Dallas County is a very blue county. Dallas County voted in the November election 2-1 for Clinton over Trump. Clinton won by like a 25-point margin in Dallas County.
We now know in retrospect that Hillary Clinton wasn`t going to win Texas. She ended up losing the state overall by I think it was about nine points. But there have been plenty of discussion during the presidential campaign leading up to the election that maybe Hillary Clinton might have a shot in Texas. Some people thought it was a pipe dream, or that it was Clinton looking cocky.
But there was a case to be made for it. And she really did campaign in Texas. And the Democratic Party didn`t really work hard there. And they spent money there.
And, you know, if they weren`t just bluffing, if they ever really were going to have a shot at winning Texas, it would come because they really ran up the vote totals as big as they could in the blue counties in the state. In the places like, you know, Dallas County. The two most concentrated places in that state for Democratic votes were Harris counties where Houston is, and Dallas County where Dallas is. There were hundreds of thousands of Democratic votes cast in just those two counties.
Well, in October, before the election, Department of Homeland Security sent out an alert to local election officials around the country telling them that they, the Homeland Security Department, had identified a concerted effort to hack into election systems around the country. And Homeland Security distributed a list of about 600 suspicious IP addresses, specific computer addresses, basically, from which these attacks were being launched.
And they told election officials all over the country that they should scan their systems locally to see if there was any evidence of these IP addresses, to see if there had been any attempts at intrusion or hacking from any of these specific IP addresses and they sent them out in a big long list, 600 of them.
Last week, Dallas`s election administer said that they did that, they followed that advice. She said when she and her staff scanned Dallas County`s systems in October to see if they had been hit by any of those IP addresses, on that list of 600 sent out by Homeland Security, they got 17 hits. Seventeen of those IP addresses made an effort to attack the Dallas County voter rolls.
They worked with federal authorities. Federal authorities apparently told the county that at least 17 of those addresses from which hacking attempts had been launched against Dallas County`s voter rolls, at least some of those 17 definitively were computers in Russia.
Now, what the hack attempt was there was not on computer systems that were used to tabulate the vote, but if you think about it, that doesn`t necessarily matter, right? That specific doesn`t matter, right? These particular hacking attempts in Dallas County, they were apparently g going after the voter file, county`s database of registered voters.
In Dallas County, that`s over a million people in that database. It`s got your name, your date of birth, the address at which you`re registered to vote. They check you against the database when you show up to vote. If you think about it, you wouldn`t have to mess with the counting of the vote in Dallas County, or Texas as a state, if you could screw up the voter file in the one or two counties where there was really crucial vote that was going to be determinative of how that state ultimately went in the presidential election.
For example, if you wanted to hurt Democrats` chances in the election, you would target one of those two counties where most of Texas` Democrats were going to vote, right? If you could screw that up, if people couldn`t vote the way they wanted to, there were too lines, stuff was messed up in those counties, that might affect how Texas went, even if you didn`t mess with the county.
"Dallas Morning News" reported on this last week. Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price telling the paper that it wasn`t just one attack on Dallas County`s voter database. It was multiple attempts. He told the "Dallas Morning News," quote, the fact that there were that many attempts means that they expected to disrupt. If you disrupt the voter file, when people are trying to validate voter information at the polls, you would get mass confusion.
"The Dallas Morning News" reported on these attacks a few days ago, they contacted a couple of Republican-leaning counties just outside Dallas County to see if they went through the same thing. They contacted the election administrators in Collin County and in Tarrant County which are right next door to Dallas County. Election administrators in those counties said, as far as they could tell, they didn`t get attacked. Tarrant County, which is right next to Dallas County but votes Republican, the election administrator there said that he, too, scanned his county system to see if any of those 600 IP addresses had tried to mount any attacks, or try to attack their system in Tarrant County. Said he didn`t get a single match.
Why did these Russian hackers only target the Democratic County and not the Republican counties next door? Is that the kind of thing that happened nationwide? Is there a pattern of that kind of thing? Is it because Dallas is a famous county that you might have heard of if you only speak Russian? We don`t know. That was just a spot check. That was spot check reporting from the "Dallas Morning News" about what happened in their locality.
And that`s kind of what we`ve got so far. "The Wall Street Journal" has also been trying to report out the scope and the shape of the Russian attack to see whether this Russian attack last year could conceivably have affected our ability to vote, in addition to the stuff that we understand better now, like the Russian propaganda, and Russian leaked documents and the rest of it. Could it have affected the way we voted technically?
The Journal said they started surveying election officials in nearly every state in the country to start asking these questions. They now started to report out their findings, and here`s what they report out of North Carolina.
Quote, the North Carolina state board of elections investigations unit is led by a former FBI agent. They`re investigating the reported attempts to compromise VR Systems Incorporated, a Florida firm whose electronic poll book software was used on Election Day in 21 of North Carolina`s 100 counties. Quote, the software deals with checking voters in, not with counting their votes. Quote, but on Election Day last year, that system failed in Durham County, North Carolina. And Durham County, North Carolina, holds the state`s most reliably Democratic voters.
That forced the county to issue ballots by hand, meaning longer lines and delays, factors that can often depress turnout.
So, again, this was not an attack on the way you count the votes, but it may have been an attack on the most Democratic county in the state, where Hillary Clinton was going to get her biggest margins on election night in North Carolina. And for whatever reason, things did go wrong in that county on election night when it came to their poll book software.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the election HQ on election night. I`m Tricia Powell (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, everyone. I`m Steve Daniels. We`ll be here all night watching the big races on air.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The big news at this hour, eight Durham precincts extending voting hours, some 15 minutes, others extending a full hour to 8:30.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This comes after several precincts had problems with the check-in system. The computers didn`t work right. So, they went to paper books.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Because of the decentralized nature of our American election system, it is hard to get a nationwide sense of exactly which parts of our election system got hacked, got attacked in this Russian effort last year, and how successful those attacks were. I mean, the anecdotal information we`re starting to pull together so far doesn`t give us any sort of systematic look at how the Russians targeted their attacks, or whether there was any method to their madness.
Maybe they were just lucky to target that one very Democratic county in Texas and not the Republican counties next door, we don`t know. I mean, maybe the failing of the poll book software in Durham, North Carolina, that poll book software that was made by a Florida company, reportedly attacked by the Russians last year, maybe the Russians just got lucky, that where it failed was in the most Democratic county in North Carolina. We don`t -- we don`t know. Those are little spot checks.
But until we get a systematic comprehensive assessment of what happened with those attacks, how well-targeted those attacks were to achieve what our government said were the Russians` intentions, we will not know if they just got lucky here and there, or if it really was just a scattershot attack and they`re just seeing what they could get and trying everything.
It does appear now, though, that the investigators who were trying to figure this stuff out for our country are zeroing in on these questions about whether or not anybody may have helped the Russians target their attacks.
We`re going to be speaking with a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee in just a moment. Few days ago, it was reported that the guy who was in charge of digital, the guy who was in charge of data analytics and voter targeting for the Trump campaign is going to be asked to appear before the house intelligence committee on just these questions.
And just in the last couple of days, we have seen this bizarre story of what appears to be the largest leak of voter information ever in the history of this country, or any other country -- a file including detailed information on more than half the people in our country, 198 million voter files, including, like, everything about you, your first name, your last name, your birth date, your address, your phone number, any other phone number you use, the party you`re registered in, your political preferences on everything from abortion to gun rights to ExxonMobil, the stem cell research, detailed personally specific information on 198 million Americans.
And it was just found online on an unsecured server that required no password to access it or anything. It was just sitting there, for anybody to take it, sitting there on a web address. If you knew the web address, you could just go get it. I mean, my God, if you ever wanted to help somebody target American voters in the most specific way possible, it wouldn`t be a terrible strategy to just quietly post that data online for 200 million Americans. Just tell somebody where they could find it online, come collect it, it`s there.
That massive trove of personal data about basically all the registered voters in the country, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everybody, that data was apparently left online, unsecured by a subcontractor that worked at the Republican National Committee in last year`s election. Most of the data appears from the main analytics contractor who worked at the Republican Party last year, a firm called Data Trust.
And this isn`t old data. This is stuff that was updated apparently right up until the time that Trump was inaugurated. The guy who was in charge of Data Trust, right up until the time Trump got inaugurated, is a guy named Johnny DeStefano. John DeStefano does not run Data Trust anymore, though. Now, he`s the director of personnel in the Trump administration, working in the White House.
Well, we have learned today and over the last few days about the scope of the Russian attack on our election last year. It`s spooky. But it`s also very scattershot understanding. And that`s unsettling, if you want to have confidence that our country is getting a handle on this thing.
The top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee joins us next to talk about whether in fact we are getting a handle on this thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: In 2016, the Russian government at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. That is a fact, plain and simple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think that President Trump will not state that Russia meddled in our elections?
JOHNSON: You would have to ask him, sir.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: You mentioned that a message you would have for the states would be that their voter registration databases are vulnerable to exfiltration. If they`re vulnerable to exfiltration, are they also vulnerable to the manipulation within the voter registration database such that there could be uncertainty whether someone was eligible to vote?
JOHNSON: Yes, and yes. To both your questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified today in Congress.
Joining us now is the man who just saw asking him that last question, Congressman Adam Schiff, who`s the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.
Appreciate your time being with us tonight, sir. Thanks for being here.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Do you have clarity -- does our government have clarity on how widespread the attack was on our election systems last year, on things like voting roles that you were asking about there?
SCHIFF: You know, I think we -- to this day we continue to learn more about the Russian hacking, about the extent of it, about what they were probing, not only in terms of state, but also local elections infrastructure. But also other techniques that the Russians may have been experimenting with, or probing to prepare, if not that battlefield, but a future battlefield for ways that they could sow discord, create uncertainty, call it a question of the results of the elections.
And what we`re really trying to do is fully understand that picture, but at the same time understand how the Russians used paid social media trolls, whether they used data analytics, whether they obviously had help of U.S. persons or entities in that to marry voter information, along with social media information, along with information about particular states or precincts or voter preferences. Was there an effort by the Russians to put that together in a way to influence outcome?
So, that is very much one of the issues that we continue to look at, and investigate, and ultimately, need to get to the bottom of.
MADDOW: You know, I`ve been trying to answer this question just for myself in terms of being able to conceptualize exactly what exactly happened last year and get a handle on what they were aiming at, how ambitious they were, how effective it was, what they might come back with in the future. And I feel like I`ve been able to follow it in a spot check sort of way, as different journalistic enterprises around the country, papers like "The Wall Street Journal" or the "Dallas Morning News" or other regional papers figure out what happened in their jurisdictions, what happened in their states locally.
Is anybody in charge of investigating that for the whole country? Are we going to have a nationwide audit that we eventually get the results of in terms of what the Russians did attack, what they didn`t attack, whether there was any rhyme or reason to it, or whether it was a scattershot thing?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, ideally, if we`re successful in taking these investigations to their conclusion, we will be making a public report that will cover, you know, each of these wave fronts, including what was the Russian attacks on our election`s infrastructure, what did they do, what did they accomplish. It may be that the Russians, in addition to trying to sow discord, we`re also in the same way they might probe our hydroelectric, our power grids, or other critical infrastructure, essentially looking to see what they could accomplish if they decided to escalate to the next level.
So, it may be as much about the last election as it is about the next election. So, we hopefully will be providing a report to the public on just these things. It is in a predominantly a responsibility, though, of the Department of Homeland Security to help our states with best practices, to secure their elections infrastructure, to inform them in a timely way of threats to that infrastructure. And they probably have the primary agency responsibility in this area.
MADDOW: And on the point that you raised a moment ago about whether or not the Russians were targeting different parts of our election infrastructure in a strategically cogent way, in a way that might reasonably be seen to further what we believe were their aims overall in the election, to help Trump and hurt Clinton. It`s been reported in the last few days that your committee wants to talk to a man named Brad Parscale, who was basically in charge of digital for the Trump campaign. He was in charge of their voter targeting efforts.
Is that true? And if so, is this what you want to talk to him about?
SCHIFF: Rachel, I can`t confirm particular witnesses, but I can certainly tell you that we are very interested in finding out whether there was an effort to make use of data analytics, whether there was Russian funding or support for that, or Russian assistance in any way with gathering data that could be used by the campaign or any associates of the campaign.
So, that is one of the issues that we are exploring. We want to see whether there was an effort to, by manipulation, for example, by the use of bots, push negative stories about Hillary Clinton, or positive stories about Donald Trump to the top of people`s social media feed in a way that would help influence outcomes.
So, this is very much one of the issues that we need to wrestle with. You know, I will say this, too, though, that in the broader scheme of things, it is going to be vital obviously to protect the elections` infrastructure. It does have that inherent safeguard you mentioned of decentralization.
But the greater defense I think is ultimately informing the American public about what the Russians did, what they might do the next time, and somehow inoculating ourselves, somehow arriving at a consensus whether it hurts or helps one party or the other, we all condemn it. That ultimately is the best defense.
MADDOW: Yes, we condemn it and we`re aware of it, and we take steps to stop it from happening.
MADDOW: Yes. Congressman Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee -- thank you, sir. Appreciate it.
SCHIFF: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We got much more ahead tonight. Busy night. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Today, protesters showed up at Republican Senator Susan Collins` office in Portland, Maine. They`re her constituents. They said they were there to protest the Republican effort to kill the Affordable Care Act, an effort that Senate Republicans are so far keeping secret, but we`re expecting it to start going very fast as of tomorrow.
You see the sign that the protesters are holding there. What are they hiding?
Folks also showed up at Senator Collins` offices in Augusta, Maine, today, similar message. No score, no hearings, no bill. No score means no score from the Congressional Budget Office saying how much the Republican plan will cost in terms of money, how many millions, or tens of millions of people will lose health insurance because of it.
At her Bangor, Maine, office, Senator Collins` constituents were there, too, today, protesting outside. Eventually, they were let in a few at a time.
But it`s not just Senator Collins. These are demonstrators from Ohio who drove halfway across the country, from Ohio, to Washington, to show up at their senator`s office in D.C., Rob Portman`s D.C. office, because they say he won`t meet with them back home. They staged a sit-in in his D.C. office today saying they want the health care reform process brought out into the light.
Well, there`s increasing amount of activism on this every day now. We do have reason to believe this may be drug out into the light as of tomorrow morning. What`s likely to happen then is coming up next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: If you`ve been calling, Senator Lee has been very sorry you have not been able to get through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: I`m Senator Mike Lee. If any of you ever called into my office, chances are pretty good you`ve spoken to one of these hard working interns in my office who were helping me (AUDIO GAP). We`ve gotten calls in the last few days from people throughout Utah and across America expressing concerns in one way or another (AUDIO GAP) health care bill (AUDIO GAP) by the Senate.
I`ve had a lot of people ask me specifically when the health care bill is going to be released to the public, why it isn`t public? The short answer to the question is, I haven`t seen it yet either. Even though I`ve been a member of this working group among Senate Republicans, assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this, I haven`t seen the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Don`t ask me what`s in it. I have no idea.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah is in fact one of the Republicans who was publicly assigned to write the bill. To write the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he says even he has no idea what is in it.
Who`s writing it, then? We don`t know. But, apparently, it`s going to be done and public by 9:30 tomorrow morning. And then we`ll at least know what it says. If not, who came up with it?
So far, one of the only details about it that has leaked in advance is that it contains very, very, very large cuts to Medicaid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I`m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I`m not going to cut Medicaid. The one thing we`re told to expect for sure tomorrow morning is it`s definitely going to cut Medicaid.
Joining us now is Cecile Richards. She`s president of Planned Parenthood.
Cecile, it`s nice to see you. Thank you for being here.
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT: Good to see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Obviously, your organization has a huge stake in what`s going to happen. It`s going to affect a sixth of the U.S. economy.
MADDOW: What`s your expectation for what`s about to happen here?
RICHARDS: Well, and, of course, we`re having to rely on rumors and leaks like everybody else. Since nothing`s been public, but I think this is going to be a bill that is going to mirror the House bill, which is incredibly unpopular. Obviously, ended health care -- would end health care for millions of Americans.
I think it will include language to end access to Planned Parenthood. And it`s going to cut millions of folks on Medicaid now. So, I think the president thought the last bill was mean. This is going to be even meaner.
MADDOW: The Planned Parenthood issue specifically has been named by at least one Republican senator, as being a real deal breaker for her.
MADDOW: Senator Collins.
RICHARDS: That`s correct.
MADDOW: Had said that she`s not going to vote for a bill if it cuts off access to Planned Parenthood. Are there any other senators you`re having constructive conversations about that with, any other Republicans who are basically with you on that?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. I mean, Senator Collins has been great. She`s been a strong supporter of women`s health and of Planned Parenthood. Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska as well, has expressed over and over again her concerns about the bill.
And again, I think partly as well, because as you noticed, the folks who are behind closed doors making this bill, and writing it, there are no women in it at all. In fact, if you look at what happened in the House, this is a bill that would be devastating for women in America in every single state, but certainly including their states.
MADDOW: Well, we know who`s in the working group that was supposedly writing this thing.
MADDOW: That the Republican men`s chorus. But apparently, the guys who are in that working group say they don`t know what`s in it, and they haven`t been writing it either. We actually have absolutely no idea where it comes from.
RICHARDS: Don`t you think it`s because they know how bad it is and nobody wants to take responsibility? I mean, we`ve never seen a bill that is going to be -- have this dramatic an effect on millions of Americans, losing women their maternity benefits, cutting off their access to Planned Parenthood, losing them birth control benefits. It`s going to be so bad, that`s why they`re trying to jam it through and why everyone`s claiming they have no responsibility. It`s really incredible.
MADDOW: Ultimately, though, they`re going to have to take a vote. They`re likely on this schedule that we think they`ve got, they`re likely to be making a vote a week from tomorrow --
RICHARDS: That`s the plan. That`s the plan.
MADDOW: -- on this bill.
Do you --
RICHARDS: Rachel, too, no public hearings, no public input. And when you saw the folks -- look, thousands and thousands of people are calling Congress, as you know. They`re shutting down the switchboard day after day after day because people are so alarmed, trying to get to town hall meetings. Senators aren`t even holding them.
There has to be public input on a bill that would make this much impact on --
MADDOW: Do you think the activism makes a difference? I mean, they know how unpopular this bill is. Having it made material in front of their eyes by people showing up at their offices, people, you know, standing outside the parking lot outside their district offices. Do you actually think it`s going to move votes?
RICHARDS: It absolutely does. In fact, I`m on the Hill all the time, and they`re counting the calls that come in. They`re paying attention to what`s happening back home.
Republicans are saying, this is incredibly unpopular. That is the message they`re giving to Mitch McConnell. It`s Mitch McConnell who`s saying, we`re going to jam it through without any public input because they know how unpopular it is. I think that folks can still have a huge impact on whether this bill passes next week.
MADDOW: Do you think that is what`s driving not just the urgency around it, the secrecy around it, but the specifics of the calendar? I mean, we`re talking about them taking a vote a week from tomorrow. What happens the day after a week from tomorrow is a recess where all these members of Congress and senators have to go home and face their constituents.
Do you think the calendar on this is being driven specifically to have it done, and the vote over by the time all these senators have to face their constituents again?
RICHARDS: That`s right. I mean, that`s what they`ve continued to try to do. But remember, Rachel, you know, the president and Congress pledged January 27th, this bill is going to be passed on the president`s desk and signed.
We`re now nearly five, six months later. It hasn`t been. That`s because it`s incredibly unpopular.
These senators, many of them are up for reelection. Every single member of Congress is up for reelection. They`re paying attention to what people are saying back home.
But that`s where change is going to happen. It`s not going to happen in Washington. It`s going to happen in Arizona and Nevada and Ohio and the places where people are turning out in numbers I`ve never seen before.
MADDOW: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, I appreciate you being here. Stay in touch with us over the next few days as this thing finally drops. It will be -- there is some suspense as to what`s going to happen here.
MADDOW: I appreciate it. Thank you.
RICHARDS: We`re watching.
MADDOW: All right. I have quick correction. When I showed that video of Utah Senator Mike Lee a few minutes ago, it said on the screen that he is a Democrat. I`m near sighted enough that I did not notice that in real time. But I`m told it said Democrat on the screen.
Senator Mike Lee is many things. He is definitely, definitely, definitely not a Democrat.
Senator Lee, I apologize (AUDIO GAP). And I couldn`t even really see it.
MADDOW: We have an answer. We have an answer. We have an answer. I told you we would eventually get an answer on this, and we have now got it.
All right. Since last week, we have been asking what on earth is Vice President Mike Pence doing in this picture? This single picture which he tweeted has been the only glimpse we had of a fund-raiser that he held in Indiana on Friday, a fund-raiser for his brand-new PAC. Now, it`s strange enough for a sitting vice president to have a political action committee of his own. That is very unusual.
But what does Mike Pence intend to do with the money his PAC has, the money that he`s now raising for his PAC?
The reason I`ve been asking is in part because of the timing. Because on Thursday last week, that`s when Mike Pence announced that he had hired a top-shelf, A-list, private lawyer to personally represent him in the Trump/Russia investigation.
Then the very next day on Friday, there he was in Indiana very quietly holding a top-dollar fund-raiser not for the Republican Party or for any active candidates in the elections, but for his new PAC, with tickets going for $1,000 to $5,000 a plate.
What`s that money for? Is the vice president conceivably going around the country quietly raising money to pay for his own legal bills? That`s an expensive lawyer he just hired.
Nobody from the vice president`s PAC would tell us. The vice president`s own spokesperson would not say one way or the other. All we had was this one picture and a whole bunch of our unreturned e-mails.
Today, we tried again. At 1:18 p.m. Eastern Time, we wrote to Mike Pence`s personal lawyer, explaining that we really would like an answer to this question.
Then, at 3:45 p.m., a couple hours later, "The Wall Street Journal" published an answer to our question. No, Mike Pence will not be paying his legal bills with money from his PAC. That sort of seemed to be the plan as of last week, but it is apparently officially not the plan anymore.
So, now, we`ve got an answer. It still leaves the question of how Mike Pence, who is not Mr. Money Bags, how he is going to pay for the powerhouse new lawyer he just hired, who`s got experience incidentally in Watergate and Iran-Contra.
That lawyer, Richard Cullen, told us very politely today that he doesn`t like getting into the details about how his clients are going to pay his firm. Nobody else will say.
We also heard from an expert in these matters, Craig Holman, a public citizen. He says the vice president has a couple of clear choices for getting the money he`s going to need to pay for his expensive lawyer. He could start a legal defense fund the way Bill Clinton did, or he could ask permission from the FEC to use Trump/Pence campaign money.
It may be worth noting here that the president not only funded much of his campaign last year, though not to the extent he promised, he also re-upped the campaign on inauguration day. Donald J. Trump for President Inc. is open for business. The president`s re-election campaign already exists, and that campaign did announce a new fund-raiser this afternoon at the president`s own Trump hotel in D.C. That`s set for Wednesday, a week from tonight, a high-dollar donor fund-raiser.
If anybody happens to notice a tip jar at that fund-raiser for Mike Pence`s legal fees, please let us know.
MADDOW: This was nice to see tonight. It was kind of heartbreaking but still nice to see. That is Special Agent Crystal Griner of the U.S. Capitol Police. She threw out the first pitch at tonight`s congressional women`s softball game despite having to do so from that wheelchair that she is in. She`s in the wheelchair because she`s recovering from a gunshot wound she sustained during last week`s shooting that targeted Republican members of Congress at their last practice in advance of the annual congressional baseball game.
I should also note some other good news today after that shooting. The House majority whip, number three Republican in the House, Steve Scalise, he, of course, was very seriously injured in that shooting. But today the hospital that`s been treating him upgraded his condition from serious to fair, which is an improvement.
MedStar Washington Hospital where Congressman Scalise is recuperating, they announce today that he continues to make good progress, which, of course, is heartening to hear.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END