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Crowd at Trump rally chants "send her back". TRANSCRIPT: 7/17/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests: Hector Balderas

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  When Michael Collins is obviously very much alive, in fact, taking part in the 50th anniversary festivities this week. 

I`m very sorry for that.  Happy anniversary, Michael Collins. 

That is ALL IN for this evening.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  That was elegantly done.  You know, it`s never fun to have to correct --

HAYES:  The mistake was not elegantly done, but thank you.

MADDOW:  No, mistakes are inevitable.  Fixing it on the same show and doing it nicely and make a shout-out, that`s like TV host level 600.

HAYES:  Oh, thank you very much.

MADDOW:  I wish I could be there. 

HAYES:  Silver lining there. 

MADDOW:  Exactly.  You`re good at this.  All right.  Thanks, my friend.

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.  We`ve got a lot to get to in tonight`s show. 

It has been another can you believe it kind of day in the news.  For one thing, it has been another crazy day of the president doubling and tripling down on his latest racist outrage gambit, not only continuing, but now escalating his attack on four young minority female members of Congress, calling them un-American and anti-American, continuing to suggest they should leave the country, they should leave the United States, and go back to where they came from, even though they are all Americans.  They`re all proud American citizens.  They are duly elected members of the United States Congress. 

Just within the last few minutes, within the last hour, the president upped the ante fairly dramatically at this gambit, at a basically all-white rally that he held in Greenville, North Carolina, tonight.  Even though Greenville, North Carolina is about a third African-American by population.  This is basically an all-white or almost all-white rally that the president is holding. 

And at the rally tonight, he continued pressing his attacks on these young minority congresswomen, attacks that he is so delighted are being denounced as racist attacks.  But tonight, he escalated and this is what he whipped up in that crowd in North Carolina.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Obviously and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic creeds. 

CROWD:  Send her back!  Send her back!  Send her back!  Send her back!  Send her back! 


MADDOW:  Send her back.  Send her back is what they`re yelling.  And the president is standing before the all-white crowd, almost all-white crowd, basking in the "send her back" chants on a nonwhite member of Congress, a Muslim member of Congress. 

And it is probably not possible to know definitively if this is just the newest crazy to erupt organically from our erratic president or if it is deliberately crazy on his part and timed for a specific purpose, right?  Is this specifically designed to get everyone hanging on to and responding to his every word again because we feel like our moral fiber will be shredded if we let this go without protesting? 

The president today in an interview expressed satisfaction with how his go `back to your country" racist attacks are playing so far.  In an interview today with the conservative tabloid "The Daily Mail", the president, quote, excitedly recounted the recent accusations of racial animus flying between different factions of the House Democratic caucus and his own role in stoking the fire that ultimately resulted in Democrats vote to rebuke him last night in Congress for his racist remarks.  He expressed delight, he excitedly recounted that.

Which makes it seem like OK, maybe this is not an organic spontaneous thing emerging from the president.  This at least makes it seem like this is deliberate from the White House.  The president likes to do this.  He likes the way this is going now and so he`ll keep pushing it.

I mean, it`s also possible that this is just the new normal for the next year and a half.  Maybe this is just what the Donald Trump re-election strategy looks like, find something racist to say or do that stokes outrage, stoke the outrage every way you can, hope that it engenders a response that in -- that calls out an actual rebuke of the president which then keeps it going longer for him and gives him another lily pad to jump from which he can further escalate asking for another rebuke from which he could further escalate.

I mean, presumably, he`d just do all white rallies between now and November 2020, and it`ll be, you know, alternating between "lock her up" and "send her back" and whatever comes up next.  But if this particular iteration of racist demagoguery from the president is being done by him deliberately and deliberately right now because he is trying to distract from something else in the news, not just because he likes doing this now and this is always running for a reelection, if this is about trying to make us not pay attention to something else, that would not be an unprecedented thing from this president, right?  That would be on-brand, he does this a lot.

I mean, you might remember less than two months into his presidency, when news coverage suddenly snowballed about previously undisclosed meetings that Trump`s attorney general and others in his administration had had with Russian officials during the campaign, that they had lied about, that they had kept secret, when the news started snowballing into a crisis around that issue that`s when the president launched the infamous and debunked allegation that President Barack Obama had wiretapped him in Trump Tower.  Boom, news cycle hijacked.

Last week, he actually bragged at a White House event about what a rocket that was for him when he made that up.  That diverted everyone, it was great.  He lamented that he`s not able to send off rockets like that anymore.  Can`t -- can`t quite manage the exact same amount of distraction and outrage as he could in those early days, but, boy, those were the days.

There was another one when his lawyer Michael Cohen was about to give explosive public testimony to Congress.  At the time that happened, the president was in Vietnam, where he nevertheless embarked on an epic tweet storm claiming among other things that Democrats had just voted to execute babies at birth.  That was what he thought would be a better topic of discussion than Michael Cohen`s testimony. 

When the Trump campaign originally scheduled this rally tonight with the all white crowd yelling "send her back, send her back" when they originally scheduled this rally for tonight, this was going to be the day that Robert Mueller was scheduled to give his first public testimony to Congress, right?  So, they -- as soon as Mueller got scheduled for today, that`s when they scheduled this rally for tonight, right? 

So, whatever happened at Mueller`s testimony, the president would be in place immediately afterwards at a big political rally live on Fox News to say whatever incendiary thing he thought was outrageous enough to bring the attention back to himself, to tilt the news cycle back his way.  Now that Robert Mueller`s testimony has been pushed back a week and it`s not going to happen until next Wednesday, we are all betting tacos on the fact that the Trump campaign will or the White House will find some reason to schedule another Trump rally for next Wednesday, for the actual day of Mueller`s testimony.  We shall see. 

I mean, we know that he cranks up the outrage and the crazy for distraction purposes when he thinks that there`s something that needs distracting from.  Here`s the thing tonight: there are two really good candidates for what might be freaking the president out right now, for what might be causing these radical distraction efforts on his part.  There are two good candidates for what might be driving that sort of panicked reaction in the president, for what he doesn`t want people to pay attention to, and both of those things are actually going to unspool within 30 minutes of each other tomorrow morning in the same building, in the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

One of them is going to happen tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.  That`s when we will find out whether the wealthy, well-connected pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is going to be granted bail, as he awaits trial on federal charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14 years old.  He could be bailed out or he could be staying in jail while he awaits that trial.  The judge is going to announce his decision on that matter at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Now, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have made the case to the judge in the Epstein case, that Epstein should not be granted bail because they say he poses an extreme flight risk, largely because of his means and his motive to flee the country and free process and flee prosecution.  I mean, in terms of motive, he`s looking at potentially spending the rest of his life in jail.  He`s looking at years in prison if he got the maximum sentence for these charges.  That`s motive enough.

In terms of his memes, his ability to flee prosecution -- well, he has at least one home abroad and he has his own private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands and he has access to two private jets and prosecutors have told the judge they`ve got records indicating that Epstein has $110 million sitting in one bank account alone.  On top of that, they say FBI agents found a safe at his Manhattan mansion that contained an expired foreign passport with Epstein`s picture on it but somebody else`s name, so he had the wherewithal to get himself a fake passport from another country.  He also had in that safe tens of thousands of dollars in cash. 

He also had in that safe a pile of four dozen diamonds which in addition to being a cartoon villain kind of thing to find in someone`s safe, it`s also if you think about it a very efficient way to carry around easily liquefiable major wealth, right?  A pocket full of four dozen diamonds is a heck of a lot easier to go on the lam with than multiple duffel bags full of hundred-dollar bills if you`re looking to move millions.

Epstein is also accused of witness tampering, by allegedly wiring large sums of money to potential witnesses in order to keep them quiet and witness tampering is one of the things that judges are often worried enough about that it weighs heavily on a bail decision in terms of whether somebody should be in jail awaiting trial or whether they can be at liberty.  If what they`re going to do while they`re at liberty is tamper with witnesses and pay them off, that`s the sort of thing that can so interfere with the fair trial that judges don`t look kindly on that.

So, you put all of that together.  You put together also the very serious crimes he is charged with, which come with them bring with them a presumption that a defendant for these types of crimes should not be let out on bail.  I mean you put all that together and it seems quite likely that Jeffrey Epstein is going to learn from the judge tomorrow that he`s not getting out that he is going to remain locked up awaiting his trial.  It is very possible that as of tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., Jeffrey Epstein is going to realize he`s maybe never going to see the outside world again, that he`s not going to see it between now and his trial and he runs a risk at his trial of getting sentenced to up to 45 years in prison which means he`d be you know, what, a hundred? 

As Jeffrey Epstein realizes that tomorrow when that judge probably tells him, no, you`re not getting out before this trial, Jeffrey Epstein may be more motivated than he has ever been in his life to try to change the circumstances of his case, to try to change the kind of relationship he has with prosecutors.  If he has anything to tell prosecutors about anyone else that could make an important case for them tomorrow morning is the time when Jeffrey Epstein may be more motivated than at any other time in his life to tell prosecutors that information, to provide to them whatever he is that he could provide about anybody else who may have been involved in his crimes, tomorrow morning.

I mean, the Epstein case has always been a word and nauseating case.  In our time, it is made more lurid by the fact that Jeffrey Epstein has ties to the president of the United States.  Those ties are pretty well-known but more about them is coming out every day, including some tape that was unearthed today by MSNBC that you might have seen.  That`s the president and Jeffrey Epstein socializing at a party with a crowd of young women at Trump`s Mar-a-Lago club in the early `90s.  

You may have seen that footage after it was first broken on MSNBC this morning.  We`re going to add to that tape this hour with more footage, including an interview with Donald Trump that accompanied that footage when it was first aired by NBC News.  That interview, I will warn you may curl your hair a little bit we`ve got that tape which you most likely have not seen that it`s coming up in a few minutes.

So, the Epstein thing is going to happen tomorrow and we don`t know how unsettled the president is about his relationship with Epstein and what may emerge from the Epstein case, especially as that case continues to attract what we`re told are more cooperating witnesses, more victims coming forward, more people talking about their time with Epstein in the initial non-prosecution agreement that Epstein benefited from in Florida.  You`ll remember that part of that non-prosecution agreement which was signed off on by Alex Acosta who just lost his job in Trump`s cabinet because the Epstein scandal, one of the elements of that non-prosecution agreement is that federal prosecutors also would not go after any alleged co- conspirators of Epstein. 

Well, this is a different prosecution now.  These prosecutors say they are not bound by that agreement.  If there are other people who were aware of involved in doing things adjacent to Epstein`s crimes, that would be of interest to prosecutors, the president`s long relationship with Epstein may be weighing on his mind.

So, bail announcement about Epstein tomorrow at 11:30. 

Thirty minutes before the Epstein bail announcement tomorrow, something else is coming in that same building, and the judge in that case also in the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan tomorrow morning is basically telling us, telling the whole country that we should brace ourselves for what we`re about to get out of his courtroom at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. 

In April of last year, the president`s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen had the FBI execute search warrants to search his house, his hotel room, his office, his safe deposit box, his cell phones and all his electronic communications.  The materials seized in that raid eventually became the basis of an eight-count federal felony indictment to which Michael Cohen pled guilty.  The crimes to which he pled guilty included two campaign- finance felonies in which Cohen admitted to setting up more than a quarter million dollars in payments to two women, to stop them from going public ahead of the election with their claims that they`d had affairs with then- candidate Donald Trump. 

Those payments by definition were intended to help Trump`s campaign, by keeping the women quiet ahead of the election.  But those payments were not disclosed as payments that were designed to help the campaign and so, those were campaign finance felonies.  You can`t spend that kind of money to benefit a campaign and not disclose it.  There`s all sorts of rules governing what you can spend on a campaign and who you have to tell about it. 

Those campaign finance felonies are part of why Michael Cohen is serving a several year sentence in present in federal prison right now.  Now, after Michael Cohen got raided last year and after he pled guilty late last year, a whole bunch of news organizations went to court in New York, in New York federal court, to ask the judge to unseal the search warrants for the raids on Cohen and to unseal like the FBI`s affidavits about what they found when they executed those search warrants.  The motion by the news organizations was basically that the court the judge in Cohen`s case should release the evidence that was collected in the Cohen case now that Cohen had pled guilty, now that he was going to jail. 

The judge in that case last spring ruled that yes, that material could mostly be unsealed.  The judge in the Cohen case ruled that there was still some material in the Cohen stuff that pertained to ongoing open investigations, so that stuff would have to be held back but he did release some other material.

Here`s what that looked like in practice we have lots of stuff about Cohen`s tax evasion, Cohen`s scams around his taxi medallions, more material than you ever might want to know about Michael Cohen`s own financial situation and whether or not he was honest with his banks, right?  But when I came to the campaign finance felonies that again he pled to and that he is in prison for, that was all blacked out.  You can see there there`s literally a heading in the document the illegal campaign contribution scheme.  Like here`s the section of this document that explains that and then after that heading, there are fully redacted pages.

Well, now, tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m., all of those black boxes are going to go away and all of this stuff is going to be released, which is fascinating, right?  Because -- I mean, Michael Cohen is already in jail for these felonies, and there have been lots of -- I mean, not just question marks but question marks with exclamation points after them about why Michael Cohen is the only person who ever got in trouble for those felonies that again were committed for the sole purpose of benefitting Trump`s presidential campaign. 

I mean, there was the media campaign, "The National Enquirer", the media company, "The National Enquirer" that was involved in concocting a fake cover story for the payoff so one of the two women.  There`s the president`s business, the Trump Organization, that was the pass-through for the money.  Michael Cohen made the payments to these women initially himself, then the Trump organization cut him a whole bunch of checks to cover his cash outlay, plus a nice cushion for his trouble on top of that.

Cohen has since publicly released copies of the checks that he got to cover those illegal hush money payments, which he made before the campaign the checks are made out to Michael D. Cohen Esquire, they are on Trump Organization funds, they are signed by there by Allen Weisselberg, he`s the finance guy at the Trump Organization or by the president`s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.  I mean, these guys are signing checks reimbursing Cohen for the illegal payments that he made. 

The Trump organization also agreed that they would call the purpose of these payments with legal expenses.  They would list this as legal expenses on their books, even though that`s not what these payments were for.  I guess they didn`t have a line item for hush money, so they decided to call it legal expenses.  I mean, don`t they also get in trouble for that?  Doesn`t the Trump Organization itself get in trouble for that if only for knowingly allowing its business records to be improperly falsified in order to cover up a couple of felonies, right?

And then there`s the man for whom the count the felonies were committed.  Prosecutors already told the judge in this case that there is an individual one who directed the commission of those felonies.  That`s the president.  So this is a crime that Michael Cohen did not commit alone and he did not commit for his own benefit at all, but so far, he`s the only one who has been punished for it, or even pursued.

Well, now, tomorrow, at 11:00 a.m., when these documents are unsealed, we are going to find out more about why that is.  But the even more interesting part about it is that we`re going to find out more about this case at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, well, for a very specific reason.  We`re going to have all this stuff about the campaign finance felonies finally unsealed tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., because the campaign finance felony investigation is ending as a criminal case, with only Michael Cohen getting in trouble? 

Yes, SDNY apparently isn`t pursuing this anymore.  Despite all of the other people who were involved, the SDNY, in fact, has said publicly were involved in this crime. 

This is from the judge`s order today.  Quote: The government, meaning the prosecution, SDNY, now represents that it has concluded the aspects of its investigation that justified the continued sealing of the portions of the materials relating to Cohen`s campaign finance violations. 

And here`s what`s amazing, the prosecutors have told the judge they`re done with this case.  SDNY now represents it has concluded the aspects of its investigation that justified the continued sealing of these materials related to Cohen`s campaign finance violations.

Again, the reason those things were sealed was ongoing investigation.  SDNY says that`s now done, you can go ahead and unseal this. 

But here`s what he`s even more amazing -- the prosecutors from SDNY have told the judge that they are done with this case, there`s no more ongoing investigation to justify keeping this materials from Cohen`s case redacted so the public can`t see them.  But the prosecutors also told the judge that nevertheless, they would still like some of this material kept under wraps for what they call third party interests.  Quote: Although the government agrees that the majority of the campaign finance portion of the materials may be unsealed, the government requests limited reactions to those portions to protect third party privacy interests.

So, this is a big turn in this whole -- the whole criminal law scandal around this president, right?  Today, we learned that the campaign finance felony case is coming to an end.  No one is apparently getting in trouble for it, except Michael Cohen who`s already in prison.  We are going to learn more from the court tomorrow about what happened in the commission of those felonies when all this stuff is unsealed at 11:00 a.m. 

But the judge is letting us know that prosecutors nevertheless still wanted some stuff held back because of third party privacy interests.  And here`s how the judge responds to that: it`s a -- it`s a legal maneuver, a legal dynamic in which the judge basically says, are you freaking kidding me?  No, no way, you are not getting that.

Look at this language from the judge.  Quote: After reviewing the government status report and proposed reductions, this court denies the government`s request.  In particular, the weighty public ramifications of the conduct described in the campaign finance portions weren`t disclosure.  The campaign finance violations discussed in the materials are matter of national importance. 

Now that the government`s investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize these materials.  Indeed, the common law right of access are right so enshrined in our identity that it predates even the Constitution itself derives from the public`s right to learn of monitor and respond to the actions of their representatives and representative institutions.

So, the government wanted some of the stuff held back.  The judge said, heck no. 

And so, we will find out tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. just what exactly it is that this judge thinks is a matter of national importance that has a weighty public ramifications that every American has the right to know about as part of our long-standing, even pre-constitutional right to learn off monitor and respond to the actions of their representatives.

Well, President Trump is the only representative of the American people who is involved in this case.  So, it sure sounds like this material that prosecutors wanted kept secret that the judge has ordered released tomorrow, it sure sounds like this material pertains to the president and his involvement in these felonies. 

I mean, what is slightly harrowing here is that -- I mean, the judge is having to order the stuff disclosed against the objections of the prosecutors in this case.  Why would SDNY prosecutors want to keep the material about the president from being publicly disclosed?  I mean, to the point where a judge overrules them and starts waxing eloquent about the public`s right to know and holding our leaders accountable?

CNN has been pursuing an interesting aspect of this for a few days now.  On Friday, CNN reported that something a little weird had happened with SDNY prosecutors and their investigation of the Trump Organization earlier this year. 

This is how CNN reported it.  Quote: For months, federal prosecutors in New York examined whether Trump Organization officials broke the law, including in their effort to reimburse Michael Cohen for hush money payments he made to women alleging affairs with his former boss, President Trump.  In recent weeks, however, the SDNY investigation has quieted. 

Quote: In January, SDNY prosecutors requested interviews with executives at the Trump Organization, but prosecutors then never followed up on that initial request, according to people familiar with the matter, and the interviews never took place.  In the more than five months since then, quote, there has been no contact between the SDNY prosecutors and officials at the Trump Organization.

That`s weird, right?  I mean, why would prosecutors at SDNY pursue this case, right?  This is the month after Michael Cohen got sentenced to prison, right?  So, they know they`ve got him.  The month after that, they were looking at the business entity that reimbursed him for the payments which happened to be the president`s company. 

SDNY prosecutors go to that business and they request interviews with executives at that business, and then they just forget about that request?  They just drop it?  They never say another word to the Trump Organization? 

That`s odd, right?  Why would they do that?  What happened after SDNY prosecutors made those requests to Trump Organization executives in January?  What happened to make them just drop it without another word?

I do not know and neither do you, but I do know that William Barr was sworn in as attorney general in February, which is the month after they made those initial requests to the Trump Organization that they never followed up on. 

Barr was sworn in February and Barr, of course, is not recused from anything having to do with Cohen`s case or any of its offshoots.  And honestly, even before William Barr took over, we know from "New York Times" reporting that Trump had interceded with the acting attorney general who preceded him, Matt Whitaker, to try to get Whitaker to install Trump`s preferred prosecutor to oversee the Cohen case. 

Whitaker is quoted by "The Times" as telling other DOJ personnel that SDNY needed adult supervision on the Cohen case, but it`s not known if Whitaker actually did anything to get that case diverted.  Matthew Whitaker was soon replaced by Bill Bar and now we know the case apparently was diverted.

But those requests to Trump Organization executives that they should submit themselves to FBI interviews, those requests were just dropped into thin air, and no follow up.  And now, today, we learned that the case is being closed by SDNY and it`s SDNY who is asking for all the Cohen case materials to stay redacted to protect third party privacy interests.  And we know as of today that the judge is somewhat outraged at that and is saying, no, prosecutors, I`m not going to keep that stuff secret.  It`s a matter of national importance, a matter of weighty public import, it`s something that every American should see this material that you wanted kept secret as you close this case.

So, thanks to that judge, we will all get to see it, whatever it is, tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.  Brace yourself.

But then once we`ve got that stuff, we honestly will still be left with the question of whether or not the investigation and the potential prosecution of the president and/or his company and/or his eldest son who were all clearly involved in the commission of this crime -- I mean, we are left with the question of whether that investigation and potential prosecution was shut down from Washington by new Attorney General William Barr, right, as prosecutors left these interview requests dangling with no follow-up, as they`re now telling a judge to protect someone whose involvement in this criminal matter.  The judge believes is a matter of national importance -- why is that happening? 

Hey, SDNY, are you OK?  We`ve all been led to believe you would squawk if you were ever pressured to drop something to protect the powerful.  We`ve all been told that you`re the sovereign district of New York and there`s no way the attorney general or the White House could ever cut you off if you are pursuing public corruption or criminal matters involving powerful people. 

SDNY, you would squawk if that`s what`s happened here, right?  Wouldn`t you? 

At least for now, it`s only the judge overseeing this case who is squawking that there is something wrong here, and we`re going to find out why he thinks that tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. 

Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So, who are your friends and who are your enemies?

TRUMP:  So I`ve learned a lot, I have to tell you.  I mean, part of the book we`re going to -- I`m going to be writing a book, I don`t know why I`m even on the show except we want to get you good ratings.  I said to Faith, I said to Faith, we`re going to get some major, major ratings.  And you are, you`re going to get big ratings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Tell the rest of the story though.

TRUMP:  I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I saw you at the show at "Celebrity Chef" dinner here in New York.

TRUMP:  And what a kiss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You kissed me on the lips in front of the paparazzi and I said, that`ll cost you, I`m booking you on the show.

TRUMP:  I know.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  True story, correct?

TRUMP:  The kiss was so good, and it was so open and nice.  She is a fabulous woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So open and nice?

TRUMP:  And her husband, her husband is a handsome devil, I`ll tell you, he`s a good guy, but I think he had his back turned at the time.


TRUMP:  So, we had a good time.


MADDOW:  That was the man who is now president of the United States bragging in 1992 to a studio audience about the nice open kiss -- I think he means open mouthed kiss, that he unexpectedly planted on a married woman while her husband`s back was turned.  That interview aired on a syndicated daytime talk show called "A Closer Look". 

That was hosted by a longtime news anchor and reporter named Faith Daniels.  That back and forth we just aired that bit about Trump`s sneaking up on Faith Daniels and kissing her when she at least expected it, that was not a one-off sort of creepy comment in an otherwise run-of-the-mill interview.  That`s basically what the whole thing was like.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You are seeing in the company of lots of beautiful women, Donald.

TRUMP:  I like beautiful and you`re very beautiful.  This is really beautiful.

I really do sleep well and I think -- 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You don`t lie awake at night and chew your nails and worry about this.

TRUMP:  No.  And some people some people have an ability that they really don`t worry about things too much.  I would say that I have that ability.  If I did, I probably would have been in a corner with my thumb in my mouth and just going, you know, mommy, take me home, I want to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, you certainly are going now (ph).  We saw evidence of that. 

TRUMP:  No.  Somebody else`s thumb in my mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Could you ever see yourself pulling a Perot?

TRUMP:  I don`t necessarily think so.  I mean, I`m so controversial, I love beautiful women, I love going out with beautiful women, and I love women in general, and people would say, oh, that`s a horrible thing.  You know, somebody would say, what would they say if you said you love women, I`d say I agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  In your case, I mean, we`ve already gone through all the scandals, there`d be nothing left uncovered.

TRUMP:  Well, you might be right, you might be right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You have a question you`d like to ask the Donald?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, if you can have your choice, who would be one person you`d date?

TRUMP:  Wow.  How about -- 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The three most beautiful women -- 

TRUMP:  Well, how about Lady Di?  That would be an interesting one.  She`s going to be available.


TRUMP:  Why not? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That would be it, that`s your choice?  What kind of women do you like?

TRUMP:  I think my choice might be you.  Look at the legs on her, boy -- 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think it would be safe that you take beauty over brains?

TRUMP:  No, no, no.  I like beauty coupled with brains.  I do like -- I mean, I prefer a beautiful woman to a non-beautiful woman and I know that`s discriminatory I know people will say how horrible, he`s a horrible human being to say that. 

But I`ll tell you what, men raise your hands, does anybody disagree with me?


MADDOW:  Anybody disagree with me?  Yes, I know that`s discriminatory.  Come on, men.

In the lead-up to that interview, the team at "A Closer Look" actually sent one of their camera crews to Mar-a-Lago to shoot a profile piece on Trump that preceded that interview, showing a -- showcasing his life as a newly divorced man, having just split from his wife Ivana. 

In the footage, a lot of the women here apparently were cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills.  Turns out they were in town for a game against the Miami Dolphins.  Trump is the host of the party.  There`s footage of him at one point, grabbing one woman by her waist and then later patting her on the rear end. 

But one of the reasons this footage is appearing now, one of the reasons that MSNBC dug it up all these years later is because one of the guests who can be seen in this footage is Jeffrey Epstein, the same Jeffrey Epstein who just this past week was charged on charged in federal court on child sex trafficking charges.  That`s Epstein there in the jeans shirt.

In this newly uncovered tape, Trump is seen personally welcoming Epstein and some other guests as they arrived at the party.  Later, Trump and Epstein are seen on camera sort of gawking at the women on the dance floor.  Trump appears to tell Jeffrey Epstein, look at her back there, she`s hot.  Then thereafter, Trump whispers something into Epstein`s ear that causes Epstein two to double over and laughter while they keep looking at the women.

And it would be one thing if there was just this one newly rediscovered piece of tape showing our current president ogling women with a man who is now a convicted sex offender who`s on trial on very serious sex trafficking charges.  But there is more. 

And if you`re wondering if the president`s recent ramped up if his racist provocation stuff that he`s been doing these last few days might at all be driven by the fact that Epstein was just arrested in his case is now sort of rapidly exploding, it is worth understanding the president`s standing in the Epstein matter and we have more on that next. 

Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Today, MSNBC aired this footage of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein together at a party that President Trump hosted at his Mar-a-Lago in Florida.  The two men appeared to be appraising the assets of a bunch of women who are dancing at the party.  This is in early `90s.

In the same year that Donald Trump hosted that party, a Florida businessman says he was tasked with organizing an exclusive calendar girl competition at Mar-a-Lago.  That organizer told "The New York Times" that he was surprised to learn that there were only two extra guests who were invited to attend a party with the more than two dozen girls who were in the competition.  It was the 28 girls, 28 women from the competition and only two other people at the whole party, Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

Over the past few weeks, pictures have emerged of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein hanging out at Mar-a-Lago.  Here`s them in 1997.  Here`s them in the year 2000.  In this later photo, you see Donald Trump standing alongside Melania who was his girlfriend at the time and would become his wife next to them are Jeffrey Epstein and a British socialite who now stands accused by several of Epstein`s alleged victims of having recruited the underage girls who were basically groomed to have sex with Epstein.  She has denied any wrongdoing.

There`s also "The New York Magazine" profile of Jeffrey Epstein from 2002, in which Donald Trump talks about what great pals they are and how great Jeffrey Epstein is as a buddy. 

Quote: I`ve known Jeff for 15 years.  Terrific guy.  He`s a lot of fun to be with.  It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.  No doubt about it, Jeffery enjoys his social life.

"Golf Magazine" has also published an article recounting the time that Epstein showed up late for a ride on Trump`s private plane.  Epstein`s infamous black book, essentially a rolodex of all his contacts, shows no fewer than different ways he had to get in contact with Donald Trump, 15 different numbers he had for Trump and people who worked for Trump that could put him in touch with him. 

And then there are the more serious allegations connecting the two men.  In a deposition in a 2010 lawsuit that accused him of child trafficking, Epstein declined to answer a question about his relationship with Trump and whether they had ever socialized together, quote, in the presence of females under the age of 18.  When Epstein was asked about that, this is how he responded, quote; Though I`d like to answer that question, at least today, I`m going to have to assert my fifth, sixth, 23rd and 14th Amendment rights.

In 2016, an anonymous woman sued Donald Trump, alleging that she was 13 years old when Trump raped her at a party hosted by Epstein.  That lawsuit was later dropped just before the election.  Trump denied doing anything wrong.

All of that has been hanging out there in the public record for years, but it was catapulted back into our consciousness last week when federal prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking charges in federal court in New York.  And now, anybody with ties to Epstein, Epstein may be freaking out a little.

At Monday`s bail hearing for Epstein, prosecutors made it abundantly clear that their case is, in their words, only getting stronger.  Quote: After seven days of this case being public following months of a covert investigation, the evidence is already significantly stronger and getting stronger every single day, many individuals identifying themselves as victims and witnesses have contacted the government and we are in process of receiving and corroborating this additional evidence.

As I mentioned at the top of the show, tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m., the judge and Epstein`s case will rule on whether or not Jeffrey Epstein should be allowed out of jail on bail as he awaits trial.  There is no way to predict what the judge will do in terms of this decision but there is good reason to think it`s not going to go Epstein`s way.  I mean, in federal law, there is a presumption against granting bail to defendants accused specifically of sex trafficking.  It`s rare in federal law, but it does apply here.

And on top of that, prosecutors have made this striking case for Epstein`s means and motive to flee if the judge lets him out.  The hundred and ten million dollars in a bank account, tens of thousands of dollars in cash and a safe in one of his houses.  The 48 diamonds, right, which is an efficient way to carry around huge amounts of easily liquefiable wealth.  He has at least one home in a foreign country.  Prosecutors and the defense have been back and forth over the past about this odd fake passport which is a picture of him under it but it`s a fake name.

I mean, all of that on top of prosecutors` allegations that he`s been tampering with potential witnesses in the case.  I mean, all that adds up to very low expectations that the judge will release Epstein rather than keep him locked up in federal detention in Manhattan.  And if Jeff Epstein learns tomorrow morning he`s about to spend months in federal lockup before he goes on trial and he may never get out of custody again -- I mean, we don`t know what that might do to Epstein`s approach to his defense and what he might want to talk to prosecutors about. 

There is a general sense that the blood pressure in the White House has been running higher than normal since Epstein was arrested, and it is not possible to know if this is just the new crazy, this is just newly how it is, or if it`s a deliberate effort to try to distract from something, right?  Could this be the president hitting the panic button to distract from something else that is coming down the pike?


TRUMP:  Some people have an ability that they really don`t worry about things too much.  I would say that I have that ability.  If I did, I probably would have been in a corner with my thumb in my mouth and just going, you know, mommy, take me home, I want to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, you certainly are going now.  We saw evidence of that.

TRUMP:  No. Somebody else`s thumb in my mouth.



MADDOW:  The decision by federal prosecutors in New York to charge Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking of minors last week has already led to the resignation of a member of the nation`s cabinet, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has resigned.  The exploding case has also turned radioactive for celebrity friends and politicians and Epstein`s orbit who could find themselves in proximity to some of his crimes, given the social circles in which he in which he acted.  That that may include the president himself who often socialized with Epstein, including at Mar-a-Lago in this new video unearthed just today by MSNBC.

Investigators -- investigations into Epstein`s conduct are also widening now to other states.  The attorney general in the state of New Mexico has an announced that his office is now actively investigating whether Epstein might have committed similar crimes at a ranch that Epstein owns in New Mexico.  That property is on hundreds of acres, it`s basically a gigantic palace in the desert.  It includes a private airplane hangar and a landing strip.

New Mexico`s Attorney General Hector Balderas says his office has interviewed Epstein`s potential victims who visited the ranch.  He also says that his office has been in contact with the U.S. attorney`s office in the Southern District of New York, which, of course, is bringing -- is prosecuting this case against Epstein right now.

Joining us now is New Mexico`s Attorney General Hector Balderas.

Mr. Attorney General, thanks very much for making time to us -- for us.  Appreciate you being here.


MADDOW:  So you have said that you are actively investigating whether crimes were committed at Epstein`s ranch.  When did you start investigating and what led to that decision?

BALDERAS:  Well, we actually became concerned.  We were monitoring the Florida case, and so when the federal judge determined that victims were left out of the -- of the matter in the plea agreement relating to Florida, we became concerned because we were aware early on that there was a nexus related to a New Mexico ranch.  So, in March of this year, we began to kick up the investigation.

MADDOW:  What can you tell us about the investigation?  Obviously, it`s an ongoing matter, but if there anything that you can tell our viewers in terms of its scope or whether or not you`ve had communication with women who say they were victims of the type of behavior from Epstein that we`ve seen charged in New York?

BALDERAS:  Well, I can confirm that it involves individuals that were underage.  And so, that`s a major concern.  It`s involving area that was very secluded and high-risk.  And most importantly, it`s a course of conduct that really needs a thorough accounting because Florida didn`t thoroughly investigate and handled this case, initially, it`s important that we go back many years and we secured a thorough accounting of the facts because we have confirmed that there are survivor victims that we want to make sure that we refer this evidence to the New York prosecutors.

MADDOW:  One of the reason I wanted to talk to you tonight, Mr. Attorney General, is that you you`ve said your investigation is also going to include review of Epstein`s business dealings related to his New Mexico ranch.  It`s been reported that your office has acquired hundreds of pages of documents from the state land office, and I just didn`t know how that -- how that might relate to this overall investigation or if you could explain that here tonight.

BALDERAS:  Sure.  You know, in New Mexico, we have a high portion of public lands and they are supposed to be leased to ranchers and other business leaders through a process.  And so, we just discovered recently that he also had very important land leases surrounding his private property.  And so, we want to make sure that all rules and laws were followed and it does raise a concern in this investigation, we want to make sure that his dealings in his business life were aboveboard as well, concerning that we have an active investigation going on.

MADDOW:  Now, there have been local reports that Epstein actually purchased the land for this ranch from the former governor of the state.  Obviously, with you looking into the business aspects of this, and with this newly active investigation in terms of Epstein`s conduct at the ranch and the -- you know, the one of the things that has been one of the great tragedies of the Epstein case is that it`s he seems to have been able to do these things for years and get out of it again and again and again.

Is there any question that Epstein might have avoided scrutiny in New Mexico before now because of his political connections, because he was doing things like buying this gigantic tract of land from the former governor?

BALDERAS:  Absolutely.  One thing that`s very regrettable about this case is there were multiple system failures both in local prosecution and investigations, state and federal prosecution and investigations failed these many victims who are really children.  So this was never really handled as a proper child abuse investigations as it should have.  So, we`re going to make sure that we understand that further laws or rules were not bent in favor of the powerful.

MADDOW:  Hector Balderas, attorney general for the great state of New Mexico, sir, thanks for making time to be with us tonight.  Please keep apprise.  We`d love to have you back as this proceeds.

BALDERAS:  Thank you.

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


MADDOW:  Over the course of the Trump administration, the treatment of immigrants on the border has been at times just unimaginable, just unbelievable.  Babies deliberately taken away from their parents for no good reason at all but to punish them.  Kids kept in cages and people dying in the custody of the federal government. 

The latest example comes s courtesy tonight of NPR, a story of a little girl originally from Honduras.  A 3-year-old girl who ended up in custody of the Trump administration along with her parents.  Listen to how NPR reporter Bob Moore described what happened there. 


BOB MOORE, NPR REPORTER:  The border patrol agent they were with said, OK, one parent will go back to Mexico then and the other parent will keep the kids and be allowed to stay in the United States.  The agent then turned to 3-year-old Sofi and told her to make a choice.  Which parent did she want to go with? 

NOEL KING, NPR HOST:  I can`t stress this enough.  This is a 3-year-old child.  This is a toddler.  We saw her.  She is tiny.  She`s being told to pick a parent? 

MOORE:  Yes.  She is very close to her mother so she picked her mother, and then when it became clear that they were going to separate them from Joseph, their father, Sofi and her brother and sister freaked out.  They grabbed on to the father and the Border Patrol according to the family told Sofi, why are you crying, you told us you picked your mother. 


MADDOW:  Reasoning with the 3-year-old that she shouldn`t be crying because they gave her a choice. 

The reporter goes on to say after arguing with Border Patrol agents over several hours, the family was ultimately allowed to remain together in the United States.  I should tell you, that little girl Sofi, the 3-year-old, has a serious heart condition, has a big scar from open heart surgery.  And her medical condition should have made it so the family is not diverted to Mexico at all why they applied for asylum. 

When you put kids in this kind of circumstance, you are evoking some sort of ancient and fundamental human notions of good and evil.  And one of the things you are therefore going to get is a religious response which maybe explains why recently formed activist movements called Never Again Action who are foreground a Jewish identity, they block the entry to the Washington, D.C. headquarters of ICE yesterday.  They were shouting, quit your jobs.  Ten protesters who went inside the building were arrested.

Tomorrow, more than 200 Catholic clergy and lay people are planning a Catholic day of action for immigrant children outside the U.S. Capitol.  We will be watching, of course, and maybe not just us.  The outrage against what the Trump administration is doing to people in the border is getting sort of biblical at this point. 

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


Good evening, Lawrence.

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