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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 6/22/17 Healthcare Bill & ADA

Guests: Chris Murphy

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: June 22, 2017 Guest: Chris Murphy

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

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.

HAYES: You bet.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

July 4th is a Tuesday this year, which means some people who have generous bosses will get an extra, extra long weekend for Independence Day because you`ll get the 4th of July off on Tuesday, but maybe depending on how your boss feels about it, maybe you will also get the Monday off on July 3rd as well. That said, even if you`ve got a good boss who is giving you July 3rd, unless you`ve got a particularly great boss, even if you get the 3rd and the 4th off, you will probably be coming back to work on July 5th, on Wednesday.

That`s how that calendar shakes out this year, with July 4th on Tuesday. And by numerological magic, that is also the way the calendar shook out in 1978. Calendar fell the same way that year. July 4th was on a Tuesday. Lots of people got off the 3rd and the 4th. But pretty much everybody had to come back to work after an extra long weekend for the 5th and the 6th.

Except in Denver, Colorado, that year. Right after the 4th of July in 1978 in Denver, Colorado, everybody tried to come back to work on the 5th, but nobody could get to work, at least nobody could get there on time.

This was the headline from the "Rocky Mountain News" in Colorado on July 6th, 1978. The 6th was the day after everybody was supposed to get back to work, right? After the long Independence Day weekend. You see the headline there: Disabled, snarled traffic in protest.

Quoting from the article: About 25 disabled persons seized two buses during Wednesday morning`s downtown rush hour snarling traffic and daring police to make arrests. Quote: shortly after the 8:30 a.m. takeover, police arrived admitting they were not sure what to do. As police commanders came to assist on the scene, police officers decided not to arrest any of the handicapped protesters because, as one sergeant said, quote, we don`t want to be the fall guys on this.

Those protesters were from a group that had been negotiating with the city of Denver for years at that point. Even brought lawsuits to try to advance their cause but they were not getting anywhere through those other means. And they had basically a very simple demand. They wanted to be able to ride the bus in Denver just like everybody else, even though they used wheelchairs. They wanted to be able to ride the bus in town, especially because as taxpayers, they were paying for it.

And so, at 8:30 in the morning, on the first day back from a long weekend, they really did shut down Denver traffic by putting themselves bodily in front of and behind city public transit buses that were completely inaccessible to them because they used wheelchairs. And these protesters didn`t just do it for the first rush hour after the long weekend. They go out there at 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday after the 4th of July, but they didn`t leave. They stayed out there all day blocking the buses and then they stayed there for the evening rush hour, too, and then they stayed through that and they stayed overnight.

Look at this photo of people overnight sleeping in the street. This is them out of their wheelchairs. You can see one of the wheelchairs with nobody in it is on the right side of the picture. You can also they`ve got their signs propped up under the windshield wipers of the bus. Taxation without transportation. Right?

This group was not messing around. They stayed all night and all through not just the 5th but all through the 6th. They completely missed with Denver`s traffic.

And then you can see this headline from the late edition on Thursday, July 6th from "The Denver Post". You can just sense the relief here in the headline, quote, having made public aware, disabled end bus barricade.

The group that pulled off that militant protest in Denver in 1978, right after the 4th of July weekend, they first called themselves the Colorado Coalition of Disabled Citizens. Eventually, they changed their name to ADAPT.

And they were relentless in Denver. They kept at it. Those first protests as I said were 1978. This is from 1981 from "The Denver Post". The guy on the right looks a little bit like Jerry Falwell. He`s the chairman of the Denver Transit System. And you see, what he`s listening to there is this guy on the left in the wheelchair, the other guy holding the mike for him. The guy in the wheelchair is, you know, giving the transit director, what for? I would like to be able to ride the bus, please. I`m a taxpayer. I`m paying for a service that I cannot use. Make it so I can use it, not letting this guy off of the hook.

That was in `81. `82, there`s another woman who uses a wheelchair getting arrested at the transit system offices in Denver. You see all the cops surrounding her there.

And the tactics they pioneered in Colorado started taking off in places across the country as well. The week after that first protest in July 1978 in Denver, the very next week, same kind of protest happened in San Francisco.

Again, this simple demand. Let us ride the freaking bus. We`re taxpayers. We pay for it just like everybody else does. Make it accessible for us. We are citizens.

We also saw similar protests in New York City. You saw similar protests in Washington, D.C. You saw protesters in wheelchairs turn up at particularly relevant national conventions, like the American Public Transit Association Convention. Hey, meet your wheelchair using would be customers if you would freaking make it possible for them to get on and off the bus.

These were militant tactics with a very simple, very understandable demand. And police were oftentimes quite flummoxed with how to deal with this civil disobedience by people with disabilities, particularly by people in wheelchairs.

This is from 1984 at the Democratic National Convention which was held that year in San Francisco.



REPORTER: This city is pretty blase about demonstrations, but when 50 militant disabled people took to the streets in their wheelchairs demanding their rights and sometimes disrupting traffic, it caught people by surprise.

They feel they`ve been isolated from society for too long. They want more opportunity for education and jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping to accomplish access to the political system so our needs can be dealt with and met.

REPORTER: There are a lot of disabled people, about 36 million in this country, and they have a champion here for their cause.

TED KENNEDY, JR: We have come here to this convention to insist that we have a lot to contribute to America. If only America will give us a chance to make that contribution.

REPORTER: Eleven years ago, he lost a leg to cancer. Yesterday, his father was on hand in the hall to hear his son Ted Kennedy Jr.

KENNEDY: Franklin Roosevelt was a great president. Not a great handicapped president.

REPORTE: David Burrington, NBC News, San Francisco.


MADDOW: That was 1984, the Democratic National Convention. You know, by the year after that, by 1985, that protest movement that started in Denver, Colorado, would pay off in Denver, Colorado, with Denver becoming the first major city in the country to make its public transit system accessible to people in wheelchairs. That was 1985.

By the end of that decade, those hard won gains wouldn`t just be in places like Denver. They would be nationwide. In 1990, George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. And among the many things the Americans with Disabilities Act did, it did establish nationwide that public transit, buses need to have wheelchair lifts. They need to be accessible to people with disabilities.

That movement that they started in Denver, 1978, 1990 it paid off nationwide. And you know what? Two years after that in 1992, the city of Denver, which had been so freaking annoyed with the wheelchair activists, the city of Denver which was ready to boil over in frustration after the activists who had shut down rush hour after rush hour after rush hour starting in the `70s, in 1992 city of Denver put up a freaking plaque for them commemorating the achievements of their city`s activists on the streets of their city, on the streets of Denver that really ended up change the whole country.

That plaque is there today. And actually, they rededicated it, they put up a fresh one in 2005, to commemorate the American Disability Act turning 15 years old. They say that nobody is a hero in their hometown and that is usually true in the moment. But sometimes if you wait a couple of decades, down the road they say what you did at home that bugged them so much when you did it turned out to be the right thing to do.

Adapt still exists. And from the very beginning, they do not mess around. I will also say, though, as an activist group that is that pushy, they also have had a pretty good sense of humor. At the Denver Public Library website, they preserved this bumper stick from when ADAPT was pushing for the Americans with Disabilities Act. That`s their logo on the left hand side.

Americans with Disabilities Act. You see the slogan below. To boldly go where everybody else has gone before.

I love that because I love the slogan. I have to say, though, I also love that you can find that at the Denver Public Library because Denver is so proud of their activists now. They`re so proud of this part of the history of their city that changed the country. And so, you can go to the Denver Public Library to find a lot of this archival stuff.

And this is not just the history of people with disabilities in our country. This is part of our history as a country. And on days like today it ends up being very useful history to know in part because on days like today, we get an opportunity to follow leadership like that in a way we might not have expected if you didn`t know where those folks were coming from.

Do you know anybody who has ever had a baby? Have you ever had a baby? Do you yourself or your partner or your wife ever want to have a baby? Are you planning on having a baby? Heck, were you ever a baby? I hope so and I bet you were adorable.

But you know, babies come into the world through a process that is -- and I don`t mean the whole process. I mean just the end part about the baby, hello, baby. You`re here.

Babies come into the world with a process that is sometimes relatively simple, relatively easy, but it can easily get more complex. Having a baby can get to be very expensive, depends on how it goes. And you never know exactly how it`s going to the go until it goes.

But there are like 10,000 babies born in the United States every single day. And out of all of the births in the United States, and there are 10,000 of them a day, out of all of the births in the United States, there is a single insurance provider that covers the cost of 49 percent of all births in America. One health insurance provider provides the health insurance that covers 49 percent of all births in this country, 10,000 births a day, half of them covered by one insurance provider.

And that insurance provider is busy with other things too. If you`re an adult in America that has any kind of disability, I mean, theoretically, having a disability doesn`t mean you have to have any one type of insurance. You might theoretically have your health insurance from anywhere.

But as it turns out, out of all adults who have disabilities in the United States, again, there is one insurance provider who provides a huge amount of those people`s health insurance. There`s a single health insurance provider who provides the insurance for fully 30 percent of all American adults who have disabilities.

If you`re a kid who has a disability in the United States, there`s one insurance provider that provides the health insurance for 60 percent of all kids in America who have a disability. It`s the same insurance provider that that insurance 30 percent of adults. It`s the same insurance provider that insures 49 percent of all births in America.

It is the same insurance provider, incidentally, for nearly 40 percent of all kids in America. It`s the health insurance provider for more than 75 percent of kids whose families live under the poverty line. It`s the single largest health care, health insurance provider in the United States by a mile.

You think Medicare is big in terms of covering all of the old people in the country? This is bigger.

If you want to get a sense of how many people have their health insurance through this one provider in our country, it`s the population of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, New Mexico, Kansas, Nevada, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah, Iowa, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Minnesota and Colorado combined, plus some.

Seventy-five million Americans all have the same health insurance. And the big health bill that the Republicans in the Senate unveiled today takes a meat ax to that health insurer. More than anything else it does, if you want to know one thing about it.

Let`s say you want to know one good thing and one bad thing. The good thing for rich people is that it`s a huge tax cut for rich people. That`s one really good thing. The bad thing is it takes, as I said, a meat ax to that one health insurance provider, biggest health insurance provider in the country. Singles it out above everything else related to health care in this country, cuts more than $800 billion out of that health insurer.

That insures more than 75 million Americans in this country. And we don`t know if the Republicans` bill is going to pass, without it even trying to get a single Democratic vote for it. There`s drama that will be covering tonight as to whether or not they can get enough of their own votes to pass this thing. But today, they unveiled it and because of what it does to Medicaid, the largest health insurance provider in the country by a mile, this is part of what happened in response.

At around 11:30 a.m. today, about 60 people, a lot of them in wheelchairs, turned up at the offices of the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell`s office. They blocked the entrance to McConnell`s office. They were chanting no cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty.

One of the protesters held a sign over the entrance to McConnell`s doorway, capping Medicaid equals death for the disabled. A number of the protesters got at of their wheelchairs and laid down on the floor in Senator McConnell`s office in the hallway right outside. No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty.

Capitol police started getting their zip ties ready so they could start their arrests, so they can start handcuffing people and taking them away. You can see here one of the protesters who were lying on the floor in Senator McConnell`s office was picked back up and placed back into a wheelchair to be removed off the premises by Capitol Hill police. Other protesters were literally picked up without their wheelchairs and carried out while still chanting.

This one young woman who is seen here wearing a breathing tube, she was also arrested by Capitol Hill police. You can see her being directed out of the build by the police. Another activist was pushed down the hallway in her wheelchair only to later be removed from it by law enforcement.


PROTESTER: No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid! No cuts to Medicaid. No cuts to Medicaid!


MADDOW: We later got this picture of that same woman. We think this is a disability rights activist named Stephanie Woodward. And here, what you`re looking at here, as you can see if you look closely, that`s her in her wheelchair obviously with her hands zip tied behind her back. Handcuffed.

She was later loaded on to what appears to be a police bus, as was this other demonstrator seen raising her fist in protest even as she was being loaded on to the police bus for processing.

The group that organized this protest posted this picture on social media, with the caption: some are out of jail, still waiting on others. All in all by the end of the morning, 43 people arrested in today`s demonstration outside of Senator McConnell`s office. It was over early this afternoon.

So, the group that organized this protest today was ADAPT. That same group founded way back in the day in Colorado who did this radical stuff back starting in the `70s and who ended up changing everything about disability rights in this country. And one of the things that ADAPT and other disability rights groups fought for and chained themselves to police cars for and snarled traffic for and door stopped their senators for, over all of these years, one of the things that they have fought and fought and fought for was for the right to not be locked up. Not to be confined for their whole lives to nursing homes and other closed institutions for the disabled just because of their disability and specifically for want of the ability to afford help with certain things that could keep you living in your own home.

Medicaid does a million things. Medicaid is literally the health insurance that covers one out of every two births in this country. But is for people with disabilities, it`s also the single largest source of funding, primary source of funding for services that help people with disabilities stay in their own homes so they do not have to live in freaking institutions. And if they`re going to cut more than three quarters of a trillion dollars out of Medicaid, so they can pay for this big tax cut they want to give the richest people in the country, that is going to have a radical effect on American`s access to health care on tens of millions of Americans` ability to have health insurance coverage in this country.

But for people with disabilities, if this happens, this is going to be a catapult hurdling them into a brutal past, into battle days which are not that long ago, and which people remember. And so they made themselves the tip of the spear today. That`s why they were saying save our liberty, save our liberty, right? Think about your liberty if you`re talking about the difference between having to live in an institution because you can`t pay for a home health aide to come check on you or have somebody help you get dressed to go to work in the morning.

I mean, think about that difference in your life. That`s what Medicaid pays for millions of people in this country. And so, today, that`s what this was about. And, you know, there`s -- it`s this story obviously we`ve sort of known this was coming. This is a wave we`ve seen building in terms of what`s gong to happen.

And alongside health care, there`s a ton going on in American politics, there is a ton that is bizarre and riveting about this new presidential administration obviously. But one of the important things to know about this administration for everything that`s gone on so far, is they have yet to pass any substantive legislation at all. They have not passed any major legislation. This stuff they have actually passed as a bill that`s gone through both houses of Congress and signed by the president and became law is like renaming post offices and stuff, like they really haven`t done anything.

This is the first actual policy, the first legislation they`re going to try to pass. And the politics of it are so horrendous that they`ve tried to pass it very fast, and with zero public hearings and without saying anything about what`s in it until today, but now it is out, and I`m not sure they`ve quite appreciated the strength and the capacity and the tenaciousness of the people who have every reason to fight them the hardest on this.

Much more ahead. Stay with us.


MADDOW: In a normal political season built to overhaul the multitrillion dollar American health care system would mean a ton of time spent in hearing rooms, arguments over endless drafts, considering official estimates of the costs and the benefits. You remember how this was when they created Obamacare, right?

That`s not how this is going this year, to say the least. But what can be done about that?

Well, as long as the Republicans have decided there will be no official hearings on their overhaul of the health care system, as long as there are not going to be official hearings in the actual Congress, our next guest has decided that maybe he can try to do it for them. Next best thing maybe?

He`s going to hold what they`re calling an emergency field hearing tomorrow with voters in his home state, which I guess is technically the next best thing to real hearings being held about the bill in Congress. It`s at least as close as you can get if you`re a Democratic U.S. senator.

Joining us now is Senator Chris Murphy. He`s a Democratic senator from Connecticut. He`s a member of the Senate Health and Education Committee.

Senator Murphy, thank you for being here. I know this is -- this is a critical time.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, thanks for having me tonight.

MADDOW: What do you think is the practical consequence of the fact that there are not going to be hearings, that the time period for considering this is so compressed that even at this late date, which we`re told is less than a week now before they will vote on it, there`s no actual language of an actual bill. For people who don`t care about congressional procedure and don`t know how these things are normally done, why is the way they`re doing its so materially important here?

MURPHY: Well, I think there`s two answers to that question. The first is, you know, there is actually a practical benefit that comes from having open hearings. You hear from experts, you hear from people in the field. You have the chance to bounce your ideas off of the public. And you get a better product in the end.

I mean, one of the things that is so maddening about the bill that was released today is that it is just intellectually and practically bankrupt. It doesn`t work. It doesn`t solve a single problem that Republicans have identified. The number of people without insurance will go up, premiums will go up, costs will go up.

So, you know, the hearing process is a process that gets you a better product. But for Republicans, this is really about a bet. A bet that if they rush this through as quickly as possible, people won`t get to the bottom of how truly evil this bill is.

They know this is an embarrassing product. They know this is going to hurt millions of Americans and they hope that if they rush this thing through people won`t have the time to figure it out. But they will. They already have.

They know that this is a big -- bill that is essentially a cost shift from all of those people that you just showed, the disabled, the poor, middle class Americans who have gotten insurance through the Affordable Care Act through drug companies and millions, $800 billion of cuts in health care to pay for $600 billion dollars in tax cuts for people that don`t need it.

I don`t think they`re going to be able to pull this over on the American public, but that`s what they`re trying to do by rushing this through.

MADDOW: You`re a senator from Connecticut. You`re a Democrat. You`re a fellow senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, is also a Democrat. You are both opposed to this bill.

I imagine at your emergency field hearing tomorrow with your Connecticut constituents, you`re going to hear support for your position, public -- I say that statistically speaking because public polling on what the Republicans have pulled together here is very, very poor. It`s very unpopular.

But public opinion doesn`t necessarily drive things directly. It`s individual senators that are going to have to make the decision on how they`re going to vote on this. What do you think about the susceptibility of your Republican colleagues to public opinions, to pressure, to their constituents complaining, to protests and activism of the kind we saw today?

MURPHY: So, I don`t think that Mitch McConnell has the votes tonight. I bet you he`s really close. But I think there are a handful of, you know, the relative moderates in his caucus, people like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and Dean Heller who, you know, A, I think are legitimately worried about the humanitarian catastrophe that this bill is going to wrought on the nation. And, B, are worried that they`re going to lose their seats over it.

There was a lot of kerfuffle today over the fact that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Mike Lee said they weren`t ready to vote for it yet. Trust me -- those guys aren`t going to save the country from the disaster of the health care bill. It`s going to be the folks that are to the sort of center of that caucus.

And I think they`re listening right now. I think they`re listening to their constituents. And to the extent that we can drag this process out over the weekend, as long as we can next week, it will give their constituents more time to tip the balance. I think he`s close to having 50 votes but I don`t think he`s there yet.

MADDOW: Is the time flexible here? Those of us looking from outside are assuming that Senator McConnell wants to do this next week at the latest because he wants it done and cooked before the senators go home for the Fourth of July break and get an earful from their constituents, and face a lot of protests if they try to do public events over the recess.

If he doesn`t have the votes by this time next week, do you think the thing is over or do you think that they just push it and keep working it?

MURPHY: I think that`s a great question. I imagine that Senator McConnell doesn`t think that he gets more votes over the 4th of July break, and he would be right. I mean, if this thing is still out there stinking in the American public over the course of the break, he`s not coming back with more than he started with.

So, I imagine we`re having to vote one way or the other next week which means that the next four or five days are mission critical. That if you have any time to spare to try to influence these members, now is the time to do it. I think we`re going to have a vote one way or the other.

We`ll try to extend that process as much as we can with amendments. But he`s even telegraphed that he may shut down or ability to do that. He`s going to give us two minutes of debate on every amendment. And, you know, that will mean that the bill gets a vote sometime next week whether we like it or not.

MADDOW: People focused on this. You know, this is no longer, as you`re saying, an abstract thing. This is going to happen right now basically, that this is the time that anybody has been strategizing about it. It`s game time now, in very short order.

Senator Chris Murphy, member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate, senator from Connecticut -- appreciate your time tonight, sir.

MURPHY: All right. Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: All right. Thanks. Much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.



BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. Once again, it will be hard. The cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and our conscience long enough. So, let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year.



MADDOW: President Obama, not one gray hair. Barely one month into office as president. He said he understood the political perils but he would not wait. His administration would push ahead and they did despite what they knew would be political headwinds and what ended up being a huge boost to an otherwise demoralized political right in this country.

They were so psyched for health reform because it gave them something concrete to push back against from this popular new president who has whooped them and the whole Republican Party in the 2008 election. When President Obama and the Democrats pushed health reform, Republicans went pretty nuts against it, and they grew a whole new variety of fired up conservative activists in opposition to President Obama`s health reform.

Because of that, the Democrats knew that their efforts to pass health reform were probably going to cost them at the polls. They knew there would be an electoral cost to it, and they knew there would be an electoral test of those efforts.

That first year of the Obama presidency, a series of tough special elections. But in the three hardest fought special elections that happened right at the start of Obama presidency, these are elections that happened before the midterms in 2010, despite the prevailing political winds, despite the conservative backlash to the Democrats trying to pass this big health reform that Republicans were so mobilized against, even with all that, in those first special elections, the first year of the Obama presidency, Democrats won all three. And these were tossup districts, one of which New York`s 23rd congressional district had been held by a Republican dating back to the 19th century, dating back to the 1870s.

Three competitive special elections in the House and three victories for Democrats. That was right after Obama was elected. If you were a Democrat, you might have been forgiven for thinking, wow, maybe Democrats are immune to the way the pendulum always swings back after big national elections. Maybe they could pass this huge transformative health care bill and maybe they won`t get punished for it. They might be awarded for their bold agenda.

Of course, seven months after the special elections, they learned they were not immune. They were not rewarded for their bold agenda in passing health care reform. They got absolutely crushed in the 2010 midterms.


JOHN BOEHNER (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Let me just say this: it`s clear tonight who the winners really are and that`s the American people. While our new majority will serve as your voice in the people`s house, we must remember it`s the president who sets the agenda for our government. The American people have sent an unmistakable message to him tonight and that message is change course.


OBAMA: This is something that I think every president needs to go through. Now, I`m not recommending for every president that they take a shellacking like I did last night.


MADDOW: Democrats got wiped out in the first midterm election of Obama`s presidency. 2010 midterms, they got shellacked. They lost 63 House seats, the biggest romp in over half a century. They gave up control of the House to the Republicans. They lost six Senate seats too. They did in fact get a shellacking. That is now a technical term.

And that is one of the things that can happen when you use up a ton of political capital to pass huge legislation, particularly when it is galvanizing to your opponents and to their base.

Well, now, a new administration and a new majority in Congress are trying to make their own sweeping changes. So far, Republicans this year, like Democrats in Obama`s first year, they`ve been holding on to their House seats in these special elections. They`re 4 or 4 this year, despite President Trump`s unpopularity and despite outcry over the Republican plans to try to repeal Obamacare.

This administration thus far has passed and I don`t mean it in a mean way but they have passed zero meaningful legislation. They`ve passed no significant legislation at all. What they`re going for their first big effort is a health care bill that is enormously, enormously unpopular right now and one that they may nevertheless pass through the Senate within the next few days.

What will happen then?

Joining us now NBC News presidential historian, Michael Beschloss.

Michael, it`s great to have you here in person. Thank you for being here.


MADDOW: Big legislation is something that we think of as having political cost, big legislation particularly on the things that galvanize big opposition. Is there any way from a historical perspective to weigh the political winners and losers, the political benefit -- cost-benefit of pushing something really big? How does the president decide whether or not it`s worth it?

BESCHLOSS: Well, you`d think that, you know, a president is moved to pass big legislation, so it looks as though he`s doing something important.

But Lyndon Johnson, for instance, in 1965 passed this hugely important Voting Rights Act allowing everyone to vote. You know, important constitutional protections. And he probably paid for that big time in the 1966 midterms. He lost dozens of seats. It wasn`t quite as bad as 2010.

But after Election Day when they lost all of those seats, southern governors came down to the LBJ ranch and they begged him saying, no more civil rights legislation. We can`t stand any more of this, this is going to make us lose. And to Johnson`s credit, he didn`t listen.

MADDOW: But Johnson knew that was coming, right?


MADDOW: Famously, he sort of he knew when he signed the civil rights legislation, that it was going to have a devastating effect on him and his party at the polls.

BESCHLOSS: He famously said when I sign these bills I`m giving the south to the Republicans for a generation. He was wrong. It was a lot more than that.

MADDOW: In terms of the procedural stuff that`s going on here, one of the things that is interesting, and that we`re -- we don`t know what the political impact will be, is how secretive the Republicans have been about trying to do this very big thing.


MADDOW: I mean, in -- back in 2009, back in 2010 when President Obama was passing Obamacare, it was consuming. It went on for months and months and months and months and months. And they had hearings after hearings after hearings and they tried forever to bring these Republicans along, and everybody knew what was in the bill and that`s part of why there was such a big fight about it.


MADDOW: The Republicans are trying to do the exact opposite of that. Does that change -- is that likely to change the political impact of what they`re trying to pass in.

BESCHLOSS: Well, I think it should, because, you know, going back to the founders, the founders` idea was this country is not going to be England. The decisions are not going to be made secretly and at the top and by the king. They wanted as much transparency and as many fights in Congress as possible because they thought that brought the best bills.

You know, I hate to say if the founders came back and saw this they would cry. But if the founders came back and saw this, they would cry.

MADDOW: Speaking of the founders coming back and seeing things and crying, could you stay here for a second because I have something to ask you about President Trump.

BESCHLOSS: My pleasure. Can`t wait.

MADDOW: Presidential historian Michael Beschloss is our guest. We`ll be right back with him right after this.


MADDOW: Question: Mr. Trump, did you ever tell him you were tape recording conversations with him?

Trump: I`m not equipped to tape record. I may have said it once or twice to him to just to -- on the telephone because everything I said to him, he`d write incorrectly. So, just to try and keep it honest. I don`t remember that, but I may have said to him I want to tape this conversation.

Question: I want to tape or you were taping?

Trump: I think I might have said I want to tape. I`m not equipped to tape. I`m not set up to tape-record conversations on telephones but I may have said to him -- I think I said I want to tape this conversation, as opposed to -- but I`m not sure that I did say it to him.

But I knew he was so sick, he was such a degenerate in the way he wrote. And he`s just a very dishonest person. So, I figured the only way I could have him write what I was actually saying is to have him at least think that he was being tape-recorded. End quote.

That was Donald Trump a decade ago in 2007, when he was still just a New York real estate guy. And at the time of that deposition, he was caught up in a lawsuit that was going bad. He was suing his biographer because he didn`t like what ended up in the biography.

And in the course of the lawsuit the biographer -- incidentally reporter Tim O`Brien who was a guest on our show two days ago -- Tim O`Brien said Donald Trump had told him in the course of their conversations for that biography, he`d said over and over again that he was tape-recording their conversations.

So, then, in the course of this lawsuit, Trump gets asked about that under oath, on the record, in an official deposition. Mr. Trump, you told Tim O`Brien over and over again that you were tape recording your conversations with him. Did you actually tape-record those conversations?

And despite all of the times that he had previously said it, when he had to answer that question at risk of perjury if he lied, the future president said, I just wanted him to think I was recording him. Of course, I didn`t actually record him. Tapes? What tapes? I`m not equipped to tape anybody. Who tapes people?

So, this is a thing he does. He has done this for years. There it is, black and white in a court deposition.

That is why it was not totally out of left field when the president raised the specter last month that there might be tape recordings from his one-on- one meetings with James Comey at the White House. It`s right after a report in "The New York Times" that the president had asked James Comey to pledge his loyalty to the president in one of those one-on-one meetings. For weeks, the president and the White House itself has been fueling speculation about whether these tapes might exist.

The House Intelligence Committee sent a formal letter demanding that the White House turn over those tapes over to the committee. They set a deadline of tomorrow and so, now, today the president admitted that, no, of course, there are no tapes.

This is, of course, not the first time a White House taping system has been a point of interest, cause for drama in our national history. We`ve never quite seen it play out like this.

Back with us again is the great Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian.

Michael, I have to -- this is not history, but I just have to ask you. When -- he better hope there are not tapes thing, when that happened, did you think there might be tapes?

BESCHLOSS: Not in a million years.

MADDOW: Really?

BESCHLOSS: Because I knew a little bit of what you`re talking about. And also, it`s classic Donald Trump. He`s a bluffer.

You remember the way he claimed that he was sending these investigators out to Hawaii to investigate, you know, Barack Obama`s birth and you wouldn`t believe what these investigators were finding. There were no investigators

MADDOW: I`m going to make it public very soon. In a very short period of time.

BESCHLOSS: And the question is, is this the way the leader of a great nation behaves?

MADDOW: You had talked on the issue of taping, you talked about the fact that while Nixon`s tapes were the most famous, a lot of presidents made tapes. We were just talking about LBJ. There were some famous tapes of LBJ in the White House that are fascinating.

BESCHLOSS: Yes. Absolutely.

MADDOW: Because he was an incredible talker and such an incredible character.

Nixon, of course, was the final act. The thing that really pushed him out of office was the disclosure of the tapes where he all but admitted to trying to obstruct justice in Watergate. After that, do we believe that any president since then has had a taping system in the white Nixon of course was the final act, the thing that really pushed him out of office was the disclosure of the tapes where he all but admitted to trying to obstruct justice in Watergate.

After that, do we believe that any president since then has tape -- has had a taping system in the White House?

BESCHLOSS: We think nothing as comprehensive as Nixon`s. There`s a possibility that on rare occasions, there might be a call with a foreign leader which is taken down in some way, but that has nothing to do with Nixon`s system, which as you know, recorded absolutely everything. Nixon was such a klutz, you know, his people had a switch that turned it on, and it was voice activated because they figured he didn`t have the physical dexterity to turn this thing on and off.

And so as a result, that smoking gun tape was made, and as it happens, it was made 45 years ago today.

MADDOW: It was made 45 years ago today?

BESCHLOSS: Indeed, in which he said to Bob Haldeman, his chief of staff, I want you to use the CIA to stop, block the FBI investigation of Watergate.

MADDOW: That was 45 years ago today?

BESCHLOSS: Everything old is new again.

MADDOW: It`s like you create historical reference points as a force field around you, as you move through the world. You`re like, I`m going to be here. I`ll arrange for something to have happened 45 years ago today that`s relevant.

BESCHLOSS: See what I can do.

MADDOW: Michael, thank you very much.

BESCHLOSS: Thank you. Wonderful to see you.

MADDOW: Great to have you here.

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


MADDOW: We`ve got one more story coming up for you tonight. New details, intriguing details on a new line of inquiry in the Trump/Russia investigation. This is something that we were onto a little bit with last night`s show. Today, that story broke open considerably more. We`ve got that story coming up for you right at the end of the hour.

I do want to preview something, though, before we get to that, which is that you might have heard that Paul Ryan has a very interesting new challenger, a guy who`s running against him in his district in Wisconsin. This guy has done the political ad that is being described as the best political ad by any Democratic candidate in the last couple of years, and he`s going to be Lawrence`s guest right after our show ends at the top of this hour.

So, that`s coming up but we`ve got one more story for you next. Stay with us.


MADDOW: On last night`s show, we reported on one of the biggest and bluest counties in Texas, Dallas County, and how they got hit by Russian hackers ahead of last year`s presidential election. Homeland Security had sent out a list of suspicious IP addresses from which hacking attacks had been launched against U.S. elections systems at the state and local level. The Dallas County election administrator scanned her county`s system to see if they`d been hit by any of those IP addresses. She found 17 matches, 17 of those IP addresses had hit their system.

Federal authorities then told Dallas that at least some of those 17 IP addresses that had hit them were definitely from computers in Russia.

Hacking doesn`t have to mess with the actual tabulation of votes to impact an election, to have an effect on the results of an election, right? If a hacker screws up the voter file, voter registrations, that too could have an impact, particularly if it creates chaos on Election Day.

We talked about that on last night`s show. Today, "Time" magazine moved the ball forward on that. They`re reporting that the hacking of state and local elections databases was, quote, more extensive than previously reported. They say there was, quote, at least one successful attempt to alter voter information and the theft of thousands of voter records that contained private information like partial Social Security numbers.

So, "Time" is sourcing this to current and former officials. They say in one case, investigators found that there had been manipulation of voter data at a county level. But the manipulations were discovered ahead of the election, and they were rectified. That`s according to two sources who they say are familiar with the matter.

Now, "Time" isn`t saying what was stolen. They don`t say what county this data was stolen in. They say that investigators have not necessarily identified if the hackers were Russian. But they do say the data was stolen on the county level.

It`s unclear how many more instances of this there are given that there are 9,000 different election jurisdictions in this country. But now, both "Time" magazine and CBS News are reporting that congressional investigators have opened a new line of inquiry here, and they`re looking into whether any stolen private information on voters made its way to the Trump campaign during last year`s presidential election. New stuff every day. Watch this space.

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


Good evening, Lawrence.