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Woman climbs Statue of Liberty in protest. TRANSCRIPT: 07/06/2018. The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Margaret Stock, Lee Gelernt, Patricia Okoumou, JW Walker, Joyce Vance, Melanie Campbell

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: July 6, 2018 Guest: Margaret Stock, Lee Gelernt, Patricia Okoumou, JW Walker, Joyce Vance, Melanie Campbell

JOY REID, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Chris, and congrats on the podcast. That`s great.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks.

REID: All right, have a good one. All right, and thanks to you for joining us this hour. Rachel has one more night off but she will be back on Monday.

Now, it`s been a big week and a busy Friday. We have a lot to get to tonight, including someone who will be here in studio, who I am super excited to talk to.

You probably saw her over the holiday taking when they go low we go high literally. Patricia Okoumou scaled the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, to protest the Trump administration policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border. And she`ll be live here in studio for her very first TV interview in just a few minutes, so you do not want to miss that.

We`re also going to talk live with a lawyer who was arguing against this policy in court today. Who will update us on whether the Trump administration is complying with the judge`s timetable to put these families back together again.

But we start tonight with Frederick von Steuben. Frederick von Steuben was born in 1730 in the kingdom of Prussia, an area that is now modern day Germany. At 17, he joined the Prussian army and fought in the Seven Years War.

At that time, the Prussian It was one of the most sophisticated and powerful armies in the world. Steuben had a distinguished military career, eventually becoming a top aide to Frederick the great. He`s also believed to have been an openly gay man, which is no small thing in the 1700s in Prussia. Because back then, being gay was actually a crime.

In 1763, Frederick von Steuben was abruptly dismissed from the Prussian army. It was rumored at the time he was let go because he was gay. And so with no job and nowhere to go, Frederick von Steuben went to America. He arrived in the states in the throes of the Revolutionary War, in 1777.

The continental army was losing. They had just suffered through a bitter winter at Valley Forge. The troops were demoralized. They were living in filth. They were untrained. George Washington needed someone to whip his men into shape, to teach them how to properly fight a war. And it was right around that time that George Washington met Frederick von Steuben.

He was impressed with his military experience and with his strong personality. And so Washington hired von Steuben. Steuben was not given a military title, he was not even an American but he took the job anyway, to help secure the emerging new country`s independence.

He trained Washington`s army at Valley Forge. He taught them how to march, how to stay in line, how to reload their musket. He taught them how to pitch tent and build the trains and run kitchens. And he did it all in broken English.

When the troops failed to follow orders, he would curse at them in German and French. One of the only English phrases he knew was "squad halt." But in less than two months, this gay man from Prussia turned rug thug group of guys with guns into a professional army. He helped create an identity, an order, a learned skill, among this group of soldier trainees to teach them how to fight and win the war.

Frederick von Steuben served in the continental army until the end of the American Revolutionary War. He wrote a book to memorialized all the lessons that he`d thought the American troop. They called it the "blue book" because all von Steuben had to write on was blue paper, which has since faded a bit. The U.S. army still uses portions of the blue book to teach new recruits to this very day.

Frederick von Steuben from Prussia is credited with creating America`s professional army, which is now the most powerful fighting force in the world. And again, this little known hero of the American Revolution who volunteered to help this country win its independence, to help turn the tide of the war in America`s favor, was not actually American.

During the war, he wrote this letter to George Washington, explaining why he volunteered to fight for a country that was not his own. He told Washington, quote, "the object of my greatest ambition is to render your country all the services in my power, and to deserve the title of a citizen of America by fighting for the cause of your liberty."

In 1784, von Steuben got his wish. As a thank you for his service, as a reward for his sacrifices he made to America, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law that made him a U.S. citizen. Frederick von Steuben lived out the rest of his days in the United States. The immigrant soldier from Prussia who created the professional American army died at home, in New York, as an American citizen.

Ever since the revolutionary war, immigrants in this country have represented a significant vital part of our armed forces. They fought in every single war this country has ever engaged in. It`s been codified in our history, dating back to Frederick von Steuben and his blue book.

Deciding to risk your life for a country is a brave and incredible sacrifice, but risking your life for someone else`s country, that`s something else. Like other presidents before him, George W. Bush recognized that incredible sacrifice. In December 2008 at the very tail end of his presidency, he started something called MAVNI. It stands for Military Accessions Viable to the National Interest.

It was a program that allowed immigrants living in the United States to get a fast track to citizenship if they joined the armed forces. An attempt to recognize the extraordinary contribution and sacrifice they had made by enlisting. When the program first launched, it was built for is a thousand people. Right off the bat, more than 14,000 immigrants living in the country calls up army recruiting asking how they could be a part of the program, asking how they could serve the country and become U.S. citizens.

The immigrants who enlisted through the program scored significantly higher on their entrance exams. On average, they were more highly educated. They filled serious deficits in the army. Doctors and dentists and speakers of languages in far flung corners of the world, where American forcers were operating. During President Obama`s tenure, the program recruited psychologists to help with the severe emotional distress experienced by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The policy really has been bipartisan. In 2014, President Obama expanded the program to allow DACA recipients to participate. One immigrant who volunteered to serve was a dentist from Philadelphia named Amen Dhyllon.

He was born in India and moved to the United States in 2006. He was an Ivy League graduate with post-doctoral degree and two dental specialties. He told the New York Times he wanted to join the U.S. army because of the opportunity to treat a wide range of patients. He said he was not afraid of the risks of service. Quote, "this country does not differentiate between color or accent. Here if you`re good, people will put you to the front."

And that was the whole idea. Take these brave selfless immigrants who came to this country and enlisted in the army and reward their sacrifice with citizenship, putting them to the front.

Well, last year, the Trump administration suspended the MAVNI program. They stopped promising citizenship to immigrants, who agreed to risk their lives for this country. And then late last night, this was the headline at the Associated Press. U.S. army quietly discharging immigrant recruits. Quote, "some immigrant U.S. army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged", the Associated Press had learned.

We do not know how many people enlisted through this program had been booted from the army. But immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged and whose status -- or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their future. One of those 40 people is Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the army last week. He says it was his dream to serve in the U.S. army, to give back to his adopted country, a dream that had come true until they kicked him out.

So what does this mean and where does it go from here? Joining us now is Margaret Stock, an Alaska-based immigration attorney and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel who helped create the immigrant recruitment program. Colonel Stock, thank you for joining us.

MARGARET STOCK, RETIRED U.S. ARMY RESERVE LIEUTENANT COLONEL: Thank you for inviting me to be on the show. I`m really pleased to be here.

REID: Thank you. And so, do we know what is being told to these recruits who join under the MAVNI program and are now being essentially de-enlisted?

STOCK: Well, they`re getting text messages, e-mails, phone calls. I`m being told somehow they failed a background check. But no one will tell them why they failed or what the details of the failure are.

REID: And is there something in the background check, I mean, the form they filled out, that indicates that maybe there was something dishonest on the form they filled out? That maybe there something they did proactively to cause this? Or is this just part of winding down this MAVNI program, to your knowledge?

REID: Well, what`s happened is the Department of Defense a couple of years ago decided they wanted to do extreme vetting on all these recruits. And they ordered up a whole set of new background checks but had no capability to do them. So this resulted in delays of two and even three years they`re facing now before they can fully participate in the military and the military careers because they`re basically stuck waiting while they undergo these background checks.

And DoD, last year, had revealed a plot to simply cancel all the contracts because it didn`t want to spend the money doing background checks on them. There was a public uproar about that and DoD canceled those plans and went forward with the background checks. But it became clear that it was going to take many, many, many years before DoD would be able to complete them.

And so in the last few weeks, we suddenly have seen a surge in mysterious discharges, where they`re suddenly being told they`re being kicked out of the military and nobody will tell them why. They`re not given a reason. They`re not given any documents to prove they did anything wrong. They`re simply being told they failed their background check somehow.

One recruit, coincidentally, got a hold of some of the paperwork that purportedly supported the argument that he had failed his back ground check. The paperwork indicated he hadn`t really failed it. In fact, the only reason they were kicking him out was because he had, quote, "foreign ties."

Now, these are immigrants. So they all have foreign ties. And the documents cited that he got, coincidentally, said that he had a parent who lived in his home country who owned property and that when the parent passed away, he was going to inherit the property and he had told an investigator they plan to sell the property and use the money to invest in property in the United States. That was cited as some suspicious derogatory information.

And then the second thing they said that he had done was he had a girlfriend, a fiance, in his home country. Somebody he`d known since he was a child, and he planned to sponsor her to come to the United States to marry him after he became an American citizen.

REID: Wow. You said that -- I think an important word there as you were describing what was going on, is contract. And presumably if the United States is making a contract with -- I mean, and you can maybe give me an estimate of how many people, how many thousands of people that might have such contracts in place. Is there anything in that contract that says that it is revocable at any time for any reason?

STOCK: Well, it`s a military enlistment contract so the army believes its binding on him. But of course the military services often decide that somebody`s not qualified to enlist in the military.

Normally, though, under army regulations, if a person supposedly failed a background check, they tell the person. They bring them in. They say, "It appears you failed a background check because you did the following things, what do you have to say for yourself?" This is a fundamental principle called due process.

But in these cases, none of these people are being told why they failed. And, in fact, their units, the commanders don`t know why they failed. Some of the people who supposedly failed these background checks recently received a promotion, got an award. There`s nothing in their back ground or history to indicate they did anything wrong. But mysteriously and suddenly, they`re receiving these discharge orders and being told they failed a background check.

REID: This is disturbing story, particularly so close to 4th of July. Margaret Stock, Alaska-based immigration attorney and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, thank you very much for being here tonight and giving us information on this.

STOCK: Thank you very much. And I appreciate you covering the story.

REID: Thank you. All right.

Well, the Trump administration meanwhile was back in federal court today trying to get an extension on the judge`s order to reunite children who were separated from their migrant parents at the border. The order issued last week requires the government to provide parents telephonic contact with their children within ten days.

That deadline for that was today. The judge also required the government to reunite children under five years old with their parents by Tuesday, and to complete all family reunions by July 26th.

Just yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters his agency will comply with the court`s deadline. And that HHS has a plan to get the job done.

However, last night, the Trump administration filed a motion asking for extra time. The government began asking for more time last night, citing, the time-consuming procedures the government has been using to verify parentage, including taking DNA samples from all the kids and doing background checks.

And today Azar`s agency told the judge that it can only get about half of the youngest children back to their parents by Tuesday. And that HHS cannot even locate the parents of 38 kids, because half their parents have been released to whereabouts unknown and the other half have already been deported. And so the Trump administration today asked for more time to get the kids under five back to their parents.

The judge said no. He told the government to turn in a list of the 101 children under 5 by tomorrow. And he will take up the matter again on Monday.

Joining us now is Lee Gelernt, one of the ACLU lawyers who brought this class action lawsuit against the government on behalf of separated families. He was in the courtroom today in San Diego. Mr. Gelernt, thank you very much for your time tonight.

GALLANT: Thank you for having me.

REID: I`m struck by the fact that the government is now saying that the process is complicated in getting these kids back together. Because Mr. Azar, the HHS secretary, was testifying publicly, I think just a week ago, that they could at the drop of a hat, he could reunite parents and children.

Was the government arguing in court today that they do not have a system that matches parent A with child A? Because if they had that system, why would they need DNA?

GELERNT: Right. Well, I think that came out today was that the government does not have a proper tracking system. The judge noted that in his ruling last week. And it was just reinforced today. It`s clear the government cannot match all the parents and all the children. And so they asked for the judge to extend the deadline.

As you said in your intro, the judge refused to generally extend the deadlines. What he did say is, if you have very specific concrete reasons why a particular family cannot be reunited by the deadline, let the plaintiffs know, let me know, because right now we`re in the dark. And then we`ll talk in concrete terms about whether we`re going to extend the deadline for a particular individual family.

But he refused to take up the government`s request to just generally extend the deadlines. But it was absolutely clear in court today that the government`s tracking system was not a good one, that they`re not sure where all the parents are. And so what I said in arguing our side of the case was, you need to give us the information.

There are thousands of volunteers who want to help. We will get down there and see all the parents. Ask them what their kid is like. What their kid`s name is. Try and help match. And do whatever we can. But these kids need to be reunified.

REID: I think it`s pretty extraordinary to hear that the government now says they don`t even know where some of these parents are. Let`s play HHS Secretary Azar. This was just last week, speaking with the Senate Finance Committee about what he then said that they know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: There`s no reason why any parent would not know where their child is located. I could, at the stroke of -- keystrokes, I sat on the ORR portal with just basic keystrokes, within seconds, could find any child in our care for any parent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: In court today when you were there, did they essentially take that back?

GELERNT: Well, they didn`t mention the secretary`s comments, but it was very clear that they could not match a parent -- all the parents and child with a stroke of a keyboard. The judge asked very pointed questions. We originally went in there to talk about all 3,000 or so kids that have been separated. But that deadline is not until July 26th for kids five and older.

What ultimately happened was the judge, I think, made the correct decision to focus the hearing today on the children under five. And so that we could fix that problem. And he said I want the government to submit to the plaintiffs a list of all 100 kids and explain for each individual kid why you cannot unite them and if you cannot find the parent.

So the government did essentially admit today that they do not have the ability to track all the parents and kids and match them.

REID: And we`ve seen now that before deportation, ICE is giving parents who are separated from their kids, a form to fill out before -- there`s only two options. I`m requesting to reunite with my children for the purpose of repatriation, meaning reunite and deport, or I`m affirmatively knowingly and voluntarily request to return to my country without my minor children who I understand will remain in the United States pursue available claims of relief.

The parents they say have already been deported. Are they now saying they don`t know where they deported them to or where they are?

GELERNT: Well, we will see what that list shows. They have to give us that list by 5:00 pm on Saturday. We`ll see what the list shows whether they are -- I`m assuming it will at least say what country the parent went to.

But there`s no question that those forms that they`ve been distributing are misleading. And so what I`ve said in court today was that we want the government to cease using that form. We want to substitute a form that we`ve created that makes it clear that parents are entitled to get their children back and it`s not contingent upon them waiving their right to seek asylum in the United States. So --

REID: And very quickly, we`re running out of time. I want to just get this in. I know a lot of people have been talking about it today. NBC`s Peter Alexander did tweet this from the moment in court when the Department of Justice attorney mentioned she could now -- she was not going to be around this weekend because she was dog sitting.

Just to clarify, was there going to be any action in court this weekend or does it make a difference that this DOJ lawyer is in Colorado dog sitting?

GELERNT: I did not understand the judge to say he wanted us in court this weekend. In fairness to her, I think she said that. But it didn`t mean that she wasn`t ready to work this weekend. And the judge I think didn`t want us to be in court till Monday morning. So --

REID: Right, so just to clarify that.

GELERNT: Yes.

REID: But the bottom line being, you didn`t walk away from that hearing confident that the government could at the drop of a hat reunite these kids?

GELERNT: We did not. What we said was give us as much information as you have, because we will help find the parents.

REID: OK. Lee Gelernt, ACLU attorney, thank you so much. Really appreciate you being here tonight.

GELERNT: Right. Thank you for having me.

REID: Thank you. We`ll have much more coming up on the Trump administration`s migrant family separation crisis next, including the first TV interview with the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July, to protest the Trump administration`s immigration policy.

Patricia Okoumou will be here with me next on set. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: It seems fitting that on the fourth of July, the Statue of Liberty might get a bit more attention than usual. After all, there`s really no more enduring an instantly recognizable symbol of America.

But this 4th of July was a bit different. This 4th of July, Lady Liberty garnered attention for what a single gutsy protester did, scaling the statue, live on TV. That is Patricia Okoumou, personal trainer, Staten Island resident and apparently not very afraid of heights.

Ms. Okoumou told police that she was protesting the Trump administration`s policy of separating migrant kids from their parents. A policy that has left nearly 3,000 children scared and alone in detention centers a cross the U.S..

Ms. Okoumou is herself an immigrant. She moved to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1994 and is now a naturalized American citizen. So this is Trump administration policy she`s protesting. Ms. Okoumou says that it was another former White House occupant who actually inspired her to take action.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

OKOUMOU: Michelle Obama, our beloved First that I care so much about said, when they go low, we go high. And I went as high as I could.

REID: After more than three hours standoff with police Mr. Okoumou finally came down. She`s since been charged with three misdemeanors, including trespassing and she has pleaded not guilty.

Joining us now is Patricia Okoumou, in her first TV interview since her big climb And JW Walker, an organizer with the activist group Rise and Resist. Thank you both for being here.

OKOUMOU: Thank you for having us.

JW WALKER, ORGANIZER, RISE AND RESIST: Thank you for having us.

REID: (Inaudible) I`m going to start with you. You were at the statue ostensibly to protest the administration policy, but what made you scale the statue?

OKOUMOU: Well, Rice and Resist had been planning this action as far as distribute banner the way we did. Some people were wearing t-shirt that says, "Abolish ICE" and I figure, OK, I`ve never been to the Statue of Liberty. I don`t know -- I would love to climb up there with the signs, the banner. But it wasn`t something I was willing to discuss with the group, because I didn`t want to be discouraged.

REID: You didn`t want them to stop you.

OKOUMOU: Yes.

REID. Yeah. And what do you think, JW, when Patricia started heading up the statue?

WALKER: Well, the truth is that, no one in the group realized that it was Patricia when people first notice that there was a person up there, and originally, since it wasn`t a part of our planned action, we`re like, oh that`s somebody else that`s some daredevil. We had no idea.

And it wasn`t until there`s some of the photographers that were with us used their telephoto zoom lenses and really got a good look at the person that we like, oh my gosh, that`s Patricia. We had already issued a statement that said that has nothing to do with us, that`s just some other person and then once realized, it was Patricia, well obviously, the first thing was concern about her safety.

REID: Sure.

WALKER: And concern that -- knowing that she was going to be engaging with law enforcement. She`s woman of color that was going to be engage in law enforcement, so we were concerned about the, you know, the possibility that she might be injured when she was brought down.

REID: Yes.

WALKWER: So we just immediately started trying to find legal assistance for her.

REID: Yes. Well on that point and, of course, you know, as a woman of color engaging with law enforcement, I`m glad you made that point, because some of the criticism that observe you is that you endangered yourself, you know, that if put police in danger. But also as a woman of color, you wouldn`t creating an engagement with law enforcement it could have compounded, tragedy upon tragedy. How do you respond to those criticisms?

OKOUMOU: Ms. Reid, (inaudible) should call you Joy.

REID: Yes, of course, call me Joy.

OKOUMOU: I like to call you Ms. Joy.

REID: Yes.

OKOUMOU: I wasn`t worried about that. That`s wouldn`t the first in my mind. My concern was for the kids, being in a cage, it was -- this is just cruel and inhumane. I couldn`t live with that. I had to do something.

REID: And what was the message that you wanted people to take away from what you were doing?

OKOUMOU: That children don`t belong in cages and they needed to be immediately reunited with their families, their mom and dad.

REID: And JW, you know, as far as the group is concerned, does this fit with sort of the overall Rise and Resist message? Is this what you want, direct action?

WALKER: That`s what we are, we`re a direct action group. That says how we were formed. That`s what we do, you know, obviously, we were planning like a very specific action with the banner drop, with folks with the t-shirts. We generally built plan, things where people are going to be in any sort of peril or danger. But we absolutely support Patricia in what she did.

In fact is that we were there to call attention to ICE, to call attention to how much ICE is subverting and perverting all the ideals that America holds, holds dear. And Patricia just took it to the next level.

Once we realized that she was safe when was down. She was safe and there was nothing you know, endangering her, all we could do is celebrate the success, the attention, to ICE and these issues that she brought.

REID: Let`s talk a little bit about, you know, how the Trump administration policies have hit you as an immigrant can we share something in common? I have Congolese roots. You are from the Republic of Congo.

When you first started hearing the way that Donald Trump talks about immigrant as whole country, in fact referring to some African countries, the changes in the migration policy and now the detention children. Just tell me how that hit you as an immigrant?

OKOUMOU: Well first of all, Donald J. Trump is a distracter in chief, and no way I`m going to focus my attention talking about his insult to immigrants. I think he`s a dog whistler. He`s trying to divide the country.

We are a democracy. We stand for peace. And the constitution protect everybody, including immigrant. There is a process, something called the due process and he`s ignoring unfortunately. So I would not normalize his behavior. It`s unprecedented.

REID: And what is Rise and Resist sort of plan? I mean, there has been a fair amount of people feeling disconcerted, not sure what to do. There are people who feel angry, frustrated, scared, you know, what is the plan that Rise and Resist have?

WALKER: The plan is just to constantly call attention to the -- just to the sort of crimes against our very nature as Americans that Donald Trump and his administration are committing regularly on a daily basis. You know, it`s not just -- it`s obviously not just ICE it`s the customs and border patrol.

But ICE is taking people who have been living, and working, and paying taxes, and raising their families here for decades and storming into their homes and removing them over poorly filled out paperwork in their early immigration process. It`s disgusting and --

REID: And just before we go, what the status of your legal case now? When are you expected to be in court?

OKOUMOU: August 3rd.

REID: August 3rd. All right, well hopefully you`ll update us on what`s happening with your legal situation. Glad that you made it safely to the ground.

OKOUMOU: Thank you.

REID: Thank you very much. Patricia Okoumou and Jay Walker, J.W. Walker, activist with Rise and Resist. Thank you both for joining us tonight.

WALKER: Thank you, Joy.

OKOUMOU: Thank you.

REID: Much more ahead tonight, including some late news that could change the trial for President Donald Trump`s campaign chairman.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) = REID: We got news late this evening in the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort is currently facing a long string of charges in the Russia investigation from conspiracy to launder money to failing to register as a foreign agent.

A federal judge in DC had Manafort jailed last month because prosecutors newly allege that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses in his case. He`s also on trial in the DC suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. And in that part of the case, Mr. Manafort`s lawyers last week tried to argue that press coverage had leaks to the media were adversely affecting his defense.

Rachel brought you the transcript on Friday, starting with defense attorney Kevin Downing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: We`d like to do -- we don`t have to take too much time, but we`d like to do some supplemental briefing with you, your honor, about the nature of the leaks that occurred here. I mean, we have higher level government officials that have said to the press that Mr. Manafort. And then the judge intervenes.

|Well, have you filed? Let`s assume for a moment you`re right. What is the remedy that you would seek?"

And then Downing says, "Well, the question becomes how can you have a fair trial when the press and media have been so saturated with false statements about the evidence?| The judge says, "All right, so what`s the remedy, assuming you`re right?" Downing, "Well, given the pattern of conduct, one remedy is certainly dismissal."

The judge, no, Putting that one aside. Mr. Downing, "I`d like to stick with that one briefly." The judge, "No. Go on."

But then Mr. Downing says, "Your honor, what I`m trying to deal with is I think you kind of glossed over this issue in terms of you talking to somebody and asking them some questions in voir dire. I think we can do some supplemental briefing to just show how this court how satiated the populous."

The judge, "Will you listen to what I`m saying to you. What remedy would you`ve asked for it if you`re right that it has been satiated, as you put it?" Mr. Downing, "It would have to be a change of venue?"

The judge, "Ah, finally, finally."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: I live for the Rachel stage reading update. But judge gave Manafort`s attorneys until today to file a request for a change of venue.

And late today, that request arrived. The defense would very much like to move his trial from liberal Alexandria, Virginia, to a part of the state that by complete and utter coincidence just so happened to have voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Manafort`s lawyer saying, quote, "Mr. Manafort submits that a fair trial will be impossible without a change in even venue to Roanoke, Virginia."

Joining us now is former U.S. attorney, Joyce Vance. Ms. Joyce Vance it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.

JOYCE VANCE, FMR U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me, Joy.

MADDOW: So let`s talk about this change of venue that they`d like to have, shall we. We have a map here of Alexandria and Roanoke, Virginia. Lets -- there we go.

And just by coincidence, the potential pool of jurors in Alexandria went Clinton by roughly 70/30. Whereas in Roanoke, they went for Trump by nearly the reverse, something like 68/32. Is that common to try to move the trial to a more politically favorable climate?

VANCE: I`m sure it`s what every defendant who believes politics would help him or her would like to do. But typically these transfers are authorized under the federal rules only in cases where there would be such extreme prejudice to a defendant that he or she could not get a fair trial if they remained in place.

So you think of these big high-profile cases like the Oklahoma City bombing which was moved from Oklahoma City to Denver because of pretrial publicity. That`s where these sorts of transfers usually take place.

MADDOW: Yes. So in this case, do you think that that`s likely, that it`s likely to succeed?

VANCE: You know, I think that this motion has a very slender chance of success. One factor here is it`s not just the cities that we should be looking at. Jurors are pulled from what`s called a division inside of a judicial district.

So Manafort has been indicted in the Eastern District to Virginia, which is Alexandria. But, in fact, the jury is pulled from surrounding counties. And the same is true in Roanoke, where the poll is from about 10 counties around Roanoke.

It`s deeply red except for metro Roanoke which tends to vote Democratic. But it is as a friend told me earlier this evening Trump county and this thinly disguise effort by Mr. Manafort to get a jury pool that`s more to his liking. I don`t think he`ll be successful.

MADDOW: Right. And one of the other issues that`s brought up by Paul Manafort`s attorneys is the publicity in the case, adversely affecting his client. None probably more high profile than the president of the United States who had a lot to say and had a lot to say on Twitter about Paul Manafort.

Here`s one sample tweet. Wow what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn`t know Manafort was the head of the mob. What about Comey and crooked Hillary et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

The idea that the President tweets and that kind of publicity could adversely affect the trial. Didn`t we just have the Supreme Court litigate a case in which they said nothing Donald Trump tweets matters?

VANCE: You know, they said it legally. I think what really comes into play here is Manafort`s motion is very cavalier in terms of its willingness to believe that juries can follow the instructions that they`re given by judges and set aside their personal beliefs.

And I`m going to tell you, after 25 years of trying cases in federal court, jurors do that remarkably well. In fact, in the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Brinkema was able to try one of the 9/11 cases without needing to move that very heavily publicized case to another district.

Manafort makes this very superficial argument with very little law and no real reason to believe that a jury in Alexandria can`t do what they`re told by the judge and make a decision based on the facts and the law.

REID: All right, sounds like a swing and a potential miss. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, thank you very much for being us tonight. Have a great weekend.

VANCE: Thanks.

REID: Thank you. And just ahead, when you come for anti-Maxine, you`d best be ready for the backlash, from her biggest supporters, more on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Today was the last day on the job for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He resigned yesterday. His week did not start off any better. On Monday, Pruitt was confronted at a Washington, DC restaurant by a woman holding a toddler. She told him he should resign over his environmental policies, "Before your scandals push you out."

Yesterday, a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia reopened its doors after its owner was forced to shut down for nearly two weeks by protesters who were upset that she asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and her family to leave the premises.

And then there`s Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz who complained in an op-ed in the Hill that because he goes on Fox News to support Donald Trump, his former friends on Martha`s Vineyard, "are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life."

Those are just a few examples of folks from the left letting the Trump administration and its supporters know that they vehemently disagree with the current administration and its policies and letting them know to their faces. And that is a tactic that Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, openly embraced at a rally a couple of weeks ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they`re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: But while her calls for nonviolence direct action has now given the congresswoman a permanent slot in the President`s rally stump speeches complete with plenty of personal insults. Her feisty calls for civil disobedience have endeared even more to resistance, to the progressives and the millennials of the Democratic Party, the ones who call her anti-Maxine. However, the Congresswoman`s call for action did not please Democratic Party leadership.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted last week, "In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump`s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea."

And Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said this on the Senate floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHEMER (D), SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That`s not right. That`s not American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: While that response is not going over well with nearly 200 black women leaders and allies who wrote a letter directed at Leader Schumer and Pelosi. They say, "Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford, that it does not respect Black women`s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters. We call on the Democratic Party leadership to step up and publicly support Congresswoman Waters."

"We further believe Congresswoman Waters has owed an apology for public comments insinuating she is uncivil and un-American for challenging the Trump administration."

And joining us now is one of the people who signed that letter, Melanie Campbell. She`s the chair of Sisters Lead, Sisters Vote and President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Thank you so much for joining us.

MELANIE CAMPBELL, CHAIR OF SISTERS LEAD, SISTERS VOTE: Glad to be here, Joy.

REID: So tell me why the women -- you yourself, there`s more than 200 members of this the signatories to this letter, wrote that letter, and have you gotten a response from these leaders?

CAMPBELL: First of all, it`s gone up to 500. Over 500 black women and others, and allies, men and women from all races quite frankly. But we were -- it wasn`t just myself but it was a group of us who worked together, our civil rights and social justice issues, who were outraged and very concerned when we saw Congresswoman Waters being attacked and even more concerned when the leadership did not stand with her. As she was speaking truth to power about what was she speaking about at the end of the day, about the 2,000, now 3,000 children who have been separated from their families.

And so we knew as black women, black women of leadership, that we needed to speak up and really challenge the leadership to stand with Congresswoman Waters and get focused again on why she was speaking and why she put herself out there. And so that`s why we spoke up.

REID: And we -- the producers of the show reached out to Nancy Pelosi`s office, the leader Pelosi`s office in response to the question about whether or not she would apologize to Congresswoman Waters and this is what we got back. Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a valuable leader whose passionate call for family reunification should be heard without any threat to her safety. That`s referring to some of the sort of negative and in some cases threatening sounding comments about her.

And Leader Pelosi further added, "Donald Trump has sullied the bully pulpit with reckless disregard for the safety of others. He should stop his attacks on Congresswoman Waters and on all Members of Congress, the free press, and all Americans who have the right and the responsibility to speak their minds." Does that response satisfy you?

CAMPBELL: I think that it was good for Minority Leader Pelosi to make those comments. We do feel, however, that there needs to be more of it. We have not heard from Senator Schumer.

We also plan, Joy, to engage the GOP leadership. Speaker Paul Ryan who`s calling for her to apologize and many Republicans who are also calling for her to be censor, and when she speaking the truth we think something that she said out of context and moving away from what this was is about. And so we all need to ask ourselves, are we all going to be civil about 3,000 children being separated from their parents? And so that`s really what this is about and what`s been going on at that border, is unjust and inhumane.

REID: And there has been a companion online open letter to Nancy Pelosi that`s now also out there that`s been signed by about 4,500 people and here is one quote from it. It says, "When you attack a black woman for speaking out about injustice and when you call for civility in the face of blatant racism, you invoke a long history of white supremacist power.

We sincerely hope that you can take a moment and learn from this, that you offer an apology to Representative Waters, and that, in the future, you stand shoulder to shoulder with her as we work together to fix what is so clearly broken in this country. White supremacy is wrapped on the roots and branches of our story, and it is up to us to remove it.

And the people who put this letter together pointedly are multiple races, a letter that comes from people of multiple races. Do you feel that the future of the resistance is in nonviolent direct action or is it more in electoral politics or is in your view is it a mix?

CAMPBELL: It`s a combination. Black women, we know we are the secret sauce to the Democrat Party winning elections, have been for decades. So we know the power of our vote. We also know the power of black women`s leadership.

We are changing the power dynamic in this country. Just look what happened in Alabama in 2017 and black women are winning in places that are not majority black. And we know what happened for President Obama who was elected twice because of black women. We know black women voted 98% for Hillary Clinton and try to tell America to pay attention to what was going on. So we know we have electoral power, but we have leadership power. And so it is important that we utilize that for the good, not just for ourselves but for our families, our communities and really our nation.

REID: Melanie Campbell, Chair of Sisters Lead, Sisters Vote and President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Thank you so much for your time tonight. I really appreciate it.

CAMPBELL: Thank you, thank you Joy.

REID: Thank you. Much more ahead right here. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: I hope we all get rest this weekend because we are in for a ton of news next week.

FBI agent, Peter Strzok is the FBI agent, the target of so much scorn on the right. And he is set to tell his side of the story about why he thought the investigation into Russian meddling was more urgent than the investigation into Hillary Clinton`s e-mails.

His lawyer says, Strzok will testify in public Thursday morning before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, which include a full armada of the President`s top allies in Congress.

Also next week, watch for a Senate vote on confirming this Lawyer Brian Benczkowski to lead the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice, which would give him insight into the ongoing Mueller probe.

Benczkowski is a former staffer to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Last year he represented a Russian bank closely tied to Vladimir Putin called Alfa Bank.

Several Senate Democrats have called for the withdrawal of his nomination with the number two Democrats in the Senate Dick Durbin warning that this vote could be a pivotal moment in the Russia investigation.

So definitely keep an eye on that. Also a reminder, the President is going to announce his Supreme Court pick Monday at 9:00 pm Eastern. You can watch full live coverage of the announcement right here on the RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. More ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: We have a big night of live programming ahead here on MSNBC. Up next on the LAST WORD, new reporting about the President`s legal strategy and whether he will sit for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Rachel will be back here in the tier on Monday, and I will be back here in just a few hours for AM Joy. Tomorrow morning we`ll be talking a deep dive into the Trump immigration policies. And now it`s time for THE LAST WORD. Ali Velshi, he is in for Lawrence tonight.

Good evening, Ali V.?

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening to you, my friend. It is a pleasure to see you on a Friday night before we see you on a Saturday morning, enjoy the little rest you get this evening.

REID: I will. I know, I probably just listen to you on my way home in the car, and then I`ll go home and go to bed.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END

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