IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Coronavirus tests TRANSCRIPT: 3/6/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Thomas Bollyky, Michelle Mohan

EDDIE GLAUDE, JR., MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I don`t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) if Joe Biden knows us. I want to know what the policies are.

I don`t want empathy. I don`t want folks hugging me. I want policy, policy, policy.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Eddie Glaude, Tara Dowdell, Dorian Warren, thank you. That was fantastic discussion. That is "ALL IN" this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel.

Good evening, Ali.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Excellent show. Have a great evening, and I will see you on Monday.

Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Rachel`s off tonight. She will be back on Monday.

What a week it`s been. This has been one of the wildest weeks in American politics in recent memory. And we`re going to get to that tonight.

It`s been an exceptionally wild week on Wall Street as well. We`ll get to that, too.

But just before we came on air tonight, the president announced via tweet that he`s ousting his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and replacing him with the far-right Congressman Mark Meadows, who is a staunch Trump ally. We`re going to have more on that as well in a moment.

But let`s start tonight with the latest on the coronavirus outbreak, which continued to spread around the country and around the world today. There have been 15 deaths in the United States from coronavirus, 14 in Washington state, one in California. And there are 326 confirmed cases nationwide.

The states of Oklahoma, Kentucky, Minnesota, Indiana, Connecticut, and Nebraska reported their first cases of the virus today, which means that more than half the states in the country now have confirmed cases.

New York`s governor announced today that his state now has 44 confirmed cases with five of them sick enough to be hospitalized and about 4,000 people in quarantine and being monitored for symptoms.

Fallout from the epidemic continued around the country as well. In Washington state, where there are now 58 confirmed cases in the Seattle area -- that`s the country`s worst outbreak -- the University of Washington canceled in-person classes today for its 50,000 students until at least the end of the month.

Johns Hopkins University announced that the men`s college basketball tournament there this weekend will be held without spectators. So, there will be some very quiet games this weekend. The city of Austin, Texas, canceled the giant South by Southwest Festival which was slated for next week. Lufthansa, the giant German airline that employs more people than any other airline, plans to cancel half of all of its flights.

In terms of how this virus continues to spread, AIPAC, the influential Israeli -- pro-Israeli lobbying group, announced this evening that two New Yorkers who attended its big annual conference this week have tested positive, which is especially concerning because the AIPAC conference is a who`s who of the American political establishment, particularly the Republican establishment.

For instance, Mike Pence, vice president pence was one of the speakers there this week. And speaking of the vice president, he held a press conference with federal health officials this evening and offered a few updates.

First, on the matter of this cruise ship carrying thousands of passengers that is being held off the California coast ever since a passenger on the ship`s previous journey tested positive for coronavirus and died this week in California, with 20 people onboard showing symptoms, coronavirus tests were -- you`re watching it. They were helicoptered to the ship and flown to a lab for testing.

Vice President Pence announcing this evening that 46 people on the ship were swabbed. 21 of them tested positive, including 19 crew members, a fact that the people on the ship reportedly learned about by watching Mike Pence on television.

Pence also said that the ship will come into port and that everyone onboard will be tested. But officials say they`re still trying to figure out where that would happen. They`re looking at several military installations in California as possible testing sites, but here`s the thing. In order to test people, you need tests. In order to test thousands of people, like the thousands on that cruise ship, you need thousands of tests.

And there seems to be some confusion in the Trump administration about how many tests they have and how many tests will be available, when, and who will be able to get one. In fact, earlier this week, the White House said there would be a million tests available by the end of the week, as in today. Then yesterday the administration said it was going to miss that goal by more than 900,000, having only 75,000 tests available by the end of the week.

Then, this evening, the vice president announced that the government will have shipped a million tests to various labs as of tomorrow, and then there will be more shipped out possibly early next week, but no one should worry because definitely tests will broadly be available to most Americans in a matter of weeks, which seems kind of long at this point in time.

"The Atlantic Magazine" today reported that, quote, through interviews with dozens of public health officials and a survey of local data from across the country, we could only verify that 1,895 people have been tested for coronavirus in the United States. Local officials can still test only several thousand people a day, not the tens or hundreds of thousands indicated by the White House`s promises.

And "Time" magazine reports today that this apparently sluggish response to the virus` spread in the United States may be the result of months of wishful thinking by the White House. Quote: Since January, epidemiologists, former U.S. public health officials, and experts have been warning that the administration`s insistence that containment was and should remain the primary way to confront an emerging infectious disease was a grave mistake. They warned that the unique features of this flu-like virus made it impossible to control and that the administration must use any time that containment measures might buy to prepare the country for an inevitable outbreak.

The administration was using all of its resources to blockade the doors, but the enemy was already in the house. I mean, today, several public health and disaster response experts from Johns Hopkins University went to Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff on the epidemic. This is what they sounded like.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the testing capacity is adequate in the U.S., and do hospitals with labs have access to everything they need to either package up and send or perform the tests?

LISA MARAGAKIS, INFECTION PROTECTION SENIOR DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH SYSTEM: Thank you for that question. I think the short answer is no. Testing capacity is not currently adequate, and we need more. We need this as soon as we can have it.

JASON FARLEY, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF NURSING PROFESSOR: Having more appropriate testing will ultimately lead to greater public calm. In a setting in which we know that testing was rolled out quickly and adequately and to a large number of people, we saw numbers of total cases that were having severe disease and/or subsequent death decline significantly. Clear, consistent, trusted messaging is extremely important.


VELSHI: So we very much do not have enough tests, and what we need more than anything right now is more testing as well as clear, consistent, trusted messaging. Well, how is that going?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anybody right now and yesterday -- anybody that needs a test gets a test. They`re there. They have the tests, and the tests are beautiful.

Anybody that needs a test gets a test. If there`s a doctor that wants to test, if there`s somebody coming off a ship like the big monster ship that`s out there right now, which, you know, again, that`s a big decision. They would like to have the people come off. I`d rather have the people stay, but I`d go with them. I told them to make the final decision.

I would rather, because I like the numbers being where they are. I don`t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn`t our fault.

As of the time I left the plane with you, we had 240 cases. That`s at least what was on a very fine network known as Fox News.

I told Mike not to be complimentary to the governor because that governor is a snake, OK? Inslee. I said, if you`re nice to him, he will take advantage, and I would have said no.

Let me just tell you we have a lot of problems with the governor, and the governor of Washington. That`s where you have many of your problems, OK?


VELSHI: A couple things interesting there. I`d like to see the numbers where they are. I don`t need them to double. I don`t need the numbers to double because of a ship that`s not our fault, and the governor of Washington state is a snake.

But put that aside for a second. According to the president of the United States, anyone in America who wants a test can get one yesterday. Also he would like to keep a few thousand people stranded on the cruise ship off the coast of California because he`s worried that them touching American soil would make our numbers look worse in terms of the number of cases, and as he said, that`s not our fault.

By the way, the president gets his numbers from watching Fox News even though he`s literally standing next to his two -- two -- top health officials. He quoted Fox News when stating the number even though the two people he counts on are next to him.

The governor of Washington dealing with 13 deaths and the worst coronavirus outbreak in the country, he`s a bad guy. He`s doing a terrible job. He`s a snake. Clear, consistent, trusted messaging.

Joining us now, Thomas Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations. He`s the author of "Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways".

Mr. Bollyky, thank you for joining us.

You and I spoke last week, and you emphasized what I`ve just emphasized, that more testing is probably the most important thing right now, more accurate testing. We`re not clear on where we stand with testing.

According to the president, everyone who wants a test can get a test. We seem to have information that suggests otherwise.

THOMAS BOLLYKY, GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM DIRECTOR, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: That`s right. So what we have seen to date from the U.S. government on testing is the exact opposite of what you want to see in an outbreak. We are overpromising and underdelivering.

As you mentioned, we had -- the promise coming from the federal government was that we would see a million tests this week. At best, we have seen 75,000, and as you`ve mentioned, there`s no indication and some media reports said it may be many fewer than that.

We have absolutely no idea what the real number of infected people are and where they are, and this is a huge problem because, of course, the countries that have successfully dealt with this outbreak -- forget China. Think of Singapore. Singapore had community spread. They tested. They tested every severe case of pneumonia they had to identify people and they found some cases with that.

They implemented social distancing policies to keep other people from getting sick. And most importantly, they did this with great speed, and that`s not how we`ve operated.

VELSHI: Thomas, let`s talk about this. We`ve discussed we don`t -- the point in determining the spread of an epidemic is not actually to test 100 percent of people, right? What does effective testing look like, and then what is this conversation we`re having about containment?

The president keeps talking about how great it was that we stopped people from coming in from China. But a lot of health experts say, actually, you have to think about this differently.

BOLLYKY: That`s right. So, of course, we can`t test everyone. You want to test people that have symptoms that might be indicative of somebody that has this disease. So, again, in the Singapore case, that meant testing patients with severe pneumonia. They tested them all, and that was something they had done with great speed in that instance.

In this case, it may be -- we don`t have tests, so it may be starting to test people for flu, starting to test people so we can exclude the possibility that they might have coronavirus. So that would be the way to go.

Look, for communities that could still possibly have containment, it is worth trying to contain cases to the extent possible. But it is clear, as you mentioned, 25 states have cases. Ninety-one -- at least 91 countries have cases. The idea that we would confine this to a small number of countries or a small number of cases and a small number of states is past us now.

VELSHI: Thomas, you study this a lot. You know a lot about it. What would you do if you got up in the morning and you felt like you had a cold or you started coughing? How would you think about this?

BOLLYKY: Great. So, on the individual level, it is everything that I`m sure your audience has heard before, which is of course if you feel sick, stay home. If you need to seek medical advice or you may think you have the condition, call.

Do not -- do not go in in person to a health care facility. Stay home. Call in to get that information and get advice.

The CDC website has excellent information for people out there. Of course, for the people that aren`t feeling sick, it`s still washing your hands, coughing into your elbow. Again, keeping distance from people that are visibly ill.

For communities -- I`m sorry.

VELSHI: No, go ahead, Thomas.

BOLLYKY: For communities, what we need to see is we need to see them surge their capacity safer. So it`s going to be really important that we protect health workers here. Our response to this outbreak is going to depend on keeping doctors and nurses safe. That means not buying masks unless you`re sick. That also means for residential care facilities, because these affect the elderly disproportionately, and for hospitals, they need to start planning in advance.

VELSHI: Thomas, you set it up nicely because I`m going to be speaking momentarily to the associate director of nursing practice at National Nurses United to discuss the health care side of things and the health care workers.

Thomas, good to see you again. Thank you.

Thomas Bollyky is the director of the global health program . The author of "Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why The World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways." Thanks for your help in continuing to understand this for us.

As we said earlier, the Trump administration keeps promising that more coronavirus tests are coming. Donald Trump himself says that anyone who wants a test can get one right now.

But if you want one stark example of how untrue that is and how behind the government appears to be on the testing front, take the case of one nurse in northern California who was quarantined because she became sick after caring for a coronavirus patient.

In a statement released by her union, the nurse says, quote: I`m awaiting permission from the federal government to allow for my testing, even after my physician and county health professional ordered it. The national CDC would not initiate testing. They said they would not test me because if I were wearing the recommended protective equipment, then I wouldn`t have the coronavirus. What kind of science-based answer is that? What a ridiculous and uneducated response from the department that is in charge of our health in this country, end quote.

She says she is now essentially on a waiting list for a test. Quote: Delaying this test puts the whole community at risk. Nurses aren`t going to stand by and let this testing delay continue. We are going to stand together to make sure we can protect our patients by being protected ourselves, end quote.

With me now is Michelle Mahon, the associate director of nursing practice at National Nurses United. That is the country`s largest nurses union, which released that statement from the quarantined nurse.

Ms. Mahon, thank you for joining us. We appreciate your time tonight.


VELSHI: Talk to me about, first of all, the situation about this quarantined nurse. It sounds amazing. I read what we know, and to regular people who are not health professionals, they`d say, that`s amazing, right? This nurse knows she was in touch with somebody with coronavirus and then started showing symptoms and can`t get the test.

I mean, if anybody should be getting a test, she should be getting a test.

MAHON: That`s right. That`s right. I mean, as your previous guest said, it`s really important that we are taking care of health care workers right now.

VELSHI: Yes. You`re the tip of the spear really for us, and there is a discussion about people who have been buying masks and things that health care workers need and not having enough for health care workers.

Where are you on this? What is your sense of how well-equipped nurses, who are the front line of all medical care in this country, are? How well- equipped are you to confront this?

MAHON: Well, nurses don`t have the things that they need on the front lines. We conducted a survey of over 6,000 nurses in every state, 48 states across the country, and only 30 percent of nurses say that they have the supplies that they need to safely care for their patients.

VELSHI: About 40 --

MAHON: So, it`s not just happening.

VELSHI: If I`m not mistaken, somewhere about 44 percent of your respondents said they`ve had some communication from their employers, which might be a hospital or clinic, about a plan to confront coronavirus. But more than 50 percent said they hadn`t had the communication of a plan let alone the idea they know what that plan is.

MAHON: That`s right. And that`s just alarming. You know, these are the kinds of preparations that hospitals and health systems should be doing routinely. This is -- shouldn`t be a surprise. The whole key of everything in health care is about being prepared, about knowing what to do, about having plans in place, performing drills, and being ready.

And in this case in particular with this coronavirus, we`ve had weeks and weeks where we should have been preparing for the imminent arrival in the United States.

VELSHI: I want to just read you another paragraph for the quarantined nurse`s statement. I`m appalled at the level of bureaucracy that is preventing nurses from getting tested. That is a health care decision my doctor and my county health department agree with. Delaying the test puts the whole community at risk.

I think the point she`s trying to make is if you take front-line workers off at this moment, you are risking the health of all Americans.

MAHON: Absolutely. The most important thing that can be done right now is to increase the standards of protection and unfortunately what we`re seeing is the CDC is putting out guidance that walks back the protection. The most important thing that we can do is control and keep our health care workforce safe and in service.

Nurses want to take care of patients. In fact, the nurse that we have in quarantine was a volunteer on a special team who made this arrangement just so that she could -- so that she could provide this care. Nurses are ready to go, and unfortunately, what we`re seeing is even after the very first exposures at UC-Davis, which got a lot of press, we`re still seeing that hospitals across the country aren`t doing what they need.

So, it`s really alarming, and it needs to change immediately.

VELSHI: Well, we`re deeply indebted to you and your fellow members of your profession for wanting to be on the front lines. Most people run the other direction, and you are looking to have your co-workers ready to help the rest of us in the hour that we need.

Thank you, Michelle.

Michelle Mahon IS the associate director of nursing practice at National Nurses United. We appreciate your time.

MAHON: Thank you.

VELSHI: Much more to get to tonight. Up next, the president appoints a fourth chief of staff. And later, the sense that something is amiss among many Democrats after Elizabeth Warren drops out of the presidential race.

We`ve got a lot to get to tonight. Stay with us.


VELSHI: As we mentioned tonight, the president has canned his third White House chief of staff. The president announced in a set of tweets that he is going to replace outgoing Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who has serves in that role for just over a year, with Mark Meadows, a North Carolina congressman and staunch ally of the president during his recent impeachment trial.

Why the president chose to dump Mulvaney now as the administration battles a spiraling coronavirus outbreak that has now claimed 15 lives in the United States remains unclear. Also unclear at this hour is who will take over as the head of the Office of Management and Budget where Mulvaney had continued as the director.

But his exit was not unexpected. As chief of staff, Mulvaney never managed to shed his acting title, and he was largely sidelined after falling out of favor with the president last year.

In December, a Republican close to the White House described his role this way, quote: He is there. I`ll leave it at that. He`s like a kid. His role at the dinner table is to be seen and not heard.

Well, one of the few times Mulvaney was heard was when he admitted, in front of a worldwide television audience that, yes, the White House had conditioned a meeting for the president of Ukraine on an announcement of investigations that were politically advantageous to Trump. That shock admission was followed by Mulvaney telling the American public to, quote, get over it.

While Mulvaney will now assume the plum title of special envoy to Northern Ireland, his position will be filled by Mark Meadows. The four-term North Carolina lawmaker who has cast himself as one of the president`s most aggressive defenders in Congress, announced that he would not run for re- election this November while hinting that he might serve in some future role in the administration or the president`s re-election campaign. The future apparently begins now.

Joining us now, Phil Rucker, White House bureau chief for "The Washington Post." He`s also the co-author with Carol Leonnig of "A Very Stable Genius: Donald Trump`s Testing of America."

Phil Rucker, good to see you. Thank you for being with us, sir.


VELSHI: Phil, what do you make of this? Mark Meadows, he -- the president has treated the position of chief of staff very differently than his predecessors. The chief of staff was at one point the most powerful position in America. That has not been the case for at least two of the last three of the president`s chiefs of staff and arguably with John Kelly wasn`t all that powerful either.

But the bottom line is the president has diminished the role. So what do you make of this decision?

RUCKER: Well, it`s been a long time coming and rumored for many months. The president has tired of Mick Mulvaney. He wanted Mulvaney to stay in this job throughout the impeachment proceedings and the impeachment trial. Remember, Mulvaney was a key figure in all of that in terms of his role in helping withhold that aid from Ukraine.

That said, once the impeachment trial was over and the president was acquitted, he felt like he had a green light to go ahead and make some of the staffing changes he wanted to make, and he wanted Mulvaney out. Mark Meadows has long had the president`s ear and arguably has been more influential in guiding the president the last several months than Mulvaney from the outside. Meadows is a real political animal and seen as somebody who is going to really have an eye towards the reelection campaign as he leaves the government over the next eight months.

VELSHI: He`s an affable fellow. He`s very friendly, but their backgrounds are similar. They`re both Southern congressmen who were Tea Party, Freedom Caucus, fiscal hawks, constitutionalists.

RUCKER: Yes. That`s right, and you don`t have to go back that far frankly to the Obama years when Meadows was a real fringe figure in the Congress among the House Republicans. He was a rabble-rouser. He was a rabble- rouser, the head of the House Freedom Caucus. He was that thorn in the side of Speaker John Boehner.

But with Trump`s presidency and Trump`s ascendancy in Washington, Meadows got on that train pretty quickly, became one of the president`s top defender or one of the top defenders in Capitol Hill, a major presence on Fox News and in conservative media, and has really carved out an enormous amount of influence with the president.

VELSHI: Do you make anything of the timing? There are some, if you don`t follow this too closely, who might say there`s this coronavirus thing and the White House is not handling it particularly well. Are they bringing this guy in to handle it, or is this a Friday night distraction, or is it something else?

RUCKER: Well, one timing thing that is noteworthy -- apparently, Trump offered the job -- this has been reported by "The New York Times" on Thursday evening and did not announce it, of course, until tonight after the markets closed on Friday for the weekend. So, clearly, Trump was trying to not have a story of turmoil and shake-up in his West Wing while the markets were still open. So, that`s notable.

You know, it could be some sort of an effort to distract from the coronavirus problem. I don`t know. It`s not clear that Mark Meadows is going to be able to do anything to resolve this crisis that Mick Mulvaney couldn`t do. Meadows is not an expert in infectious diseases or public health crises. That`s something that, you know, they have Mike Pence in charge of, the vice president, and, of course, all of the experts in the various scientific and health departments.

VELSHI: Most people who have studied White House chiefs of staff have sort of marked the erosion since the beginning of the Trump administration in the power of that role. Do you think that changes under Meadows? Do you think he`ll sort of resurrect the role a little bit, or is that job what it is?

RUCKER: I think the trajectory continues. You had in Reince Priebus and John Kelly, the first two chiefs of staff, figures who tried to some degree to be guardrails against the president, to try to steer his course of action to prevent the president from following through on his more reckless and dangerous impulses. Then you had in Mick Mulvaney an enabler, a chief of staff who saw his job much more as trying to answer the president with a yes, to follow the president`s orders, do what the president wanted done, not get in the way, not say no as often as Kelly and Priebus did. And I suspect Meadows is probably going to be more in the Mulvaney mold than the Priebus and Kelly mold.

VELSHI: Yes, one of the things that Trump and Meadows have in common is in 2012, Meadows made a comment about sending Obama back to Kenya. He subsequently said there`s no racist bone in his body, but he got associated with the birther movement.

I like to point out from time to time, Phil Rucker, I`m actually from Kenya. So that`s a topic close to my heart.

Good to see you, my friend. Phil Rucker is the White House bureau chief for "The Washington Post", thank you for your reporting tonight.

Much more to come tonight including the highest, hardest glass ceiling still remains firmly in place. Stay with us.


VELSHI: Before Hillary Clinton, before Shirley Chisholm, there was Margaret Chase Smith. She was a Republican senator from Maine, and she was the first woman in history to serve in both the U.S. House and the Senate. Margaret Chase Smith was elected to Congress in 1940, first to fill the seat left vacant by her husband`s death and then on her own merits.

In January of 1964, Margaret Chase Smith announced that she would run for president. She became the first woman in this country to run in a major party primary for president. Now, take a look at this.

This is a universal news reel from 1964 when she announced her campaign. Look at how they titled the segment, because Margaret Chase Smith was a woman, they called it "Bonnet in the Ring", not hat in the ring. Bonnet.

OK. Roll the tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine makes the announcement that she will seek the Republican presidential nomination.

SEN. MARGARET CHASE SMITH (R-ME): Because of these very impelling reasons against my running, I have decided that I shall.



VELSHI: Her announcement was greeted with laughter, and that was just the beginning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where will your Washington headquarters be, or where shall you begin to receive campaign contributions?

SMITH: The chair of the Republican National Committee his office will be headquarters for the campaign contributions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you be willing to debate Rocky and Barry and Harold in New Hampshire?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who will be your running mate?


SMITH: None of the announced candidates have indicated any desire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would you do as a candidate to break down discrimination against women?

SMITH: Well, if I -- if the people of this country don`t know what I would do from what I have done, I don`t think I could add any information to that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, if you can`t make it yourself, which candidate would you support for president?

Goldwater, Rockefeller, Nixon, Scranton, or who else?

SMITH: Well, again, I must answer that I`m a candidate for president, and I`m not supporting anybody else.



VELSHI: Margaret Chase Smith never got past the first ballot at the Republican convention. More than 50 years later, we saw the exit yesterday of the last competitive woman left in the Democratic field. Senator Elizabeth Warren suspending her campaign following the departures of Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar.

Tulsi Gabbard is still running but for all intents the race for the White House is down to two white men in their 70s vowing to challenge another white man in his 70s.

We`re past the point of laughing when a woman says she wants to be president. But if we`re not there anymore, where are we now?

Joining us, Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino.

Ms. Kumar, thank you for joining us tonight.

What are your thoughts on this? We have had a woman win the nomination of the Democratic Party, run for president, get more votes than the current president, and then we`ve had several women vie for the nomination this time around. What`s your sense of where we are?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO PRESIDENT & CEO: Let`s remind the American people that the last time a woman headed the Democratic nomination of a major party, she won. Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Trump, and now that we`re seeing a lot of this other evidence of whether or not he won fair and square, that leaves it for us to remind ourselves that anything is possible in America.

The fact that four women came up right after her and said that they were going to run and they were prosecutors, they were senators, they demonstrate our possibility, and I think sometimes what happens with the American people is that we get a little bit shy of actually breaking the glass ceiling.

VELSHI: Mm-hmm.

KUMAR: But let`s not forget, Ali, the reason that the Democrats won the House last midterm was because women`s fury decided not only were we going to run for office. And I sat on the board of Emily`s List, let me give you an idea.

In 2016, 600 women decided they were going to run for office through Emily`s List. After the president`s inauguration, 43,000 women decided that they were going to run for some sort of office, whether it was today, tomorrow, or last year. And that tells us that we`re creating a pipeline of diversity of thoughts. When look at -- go toe to toe on the policies, it was women who had the most exception the policies when it came to that debate stage.

And so, what we have to remember is, yes, one step forward and two steps back. That`s exactly what we saw. But the women that are leading the charge, the ones holding strong to our Constitution, making sure that we are following the rules have been led by women. I`m thinking of Speaker Pelosi. I`m thinking of the young women that are now on the progressive side of the Democratic Party encouraging people to think broader and bigger.

So, this is not a -- this is not a we cannot do it. It`s a matter of what is the trust that the American people can remember within themselves because we have already elected a woman president. Let`s do that again.

VELSHI: Let me ask you about the criticisms about why Elizabeth Warren didn`t win. Some people maybe just didn`t like her policies. Others said that there was some degree of sexism or different treatment because she was a woman and the way she put out her policies. Some people have called it misogynistic.

What do you think is true?

KUMAR: I think it`s a mix of all of it, right? We had a national poll where she was actually number -- she was number four, and she didn`t even appear on that national poll towards the end. I think that there was a huge misstep in Iowa because no one -- she never got the gravitas that she came out number three in the Iowa caucuses but it was because of that Iowa caucus debacle. It was almost as if it was a perfect storm.

There was also a big body of the Democratic Party that funds a lot of electoral campaigns that were quite afraid of her. They didn`t want to fund her for what she represented, and that was making sure that everybody paid their fair share into society so that we could have a functioning government.

So, there was a lot of factors, but she was brave and she showed us how we have to think big once again. I have to tell you when I would listen to Elizabeth Warren, she was reminding people we had already done and made these hard choices about making sure we would close the gap on income inequity. He with did this 100 years ago. She was reminding us we need to do that refresh.

VELSHI: So, here`s the question. I get the whole issue of the pipeline and the number of women who are running, the idea that there will be more women hopefully running each time, but at some point, when you compare apples to apples, Elizabeth Warren did have a plan for everything. She did have a policy for everything. She outlined the policy for everything.

She put it out there like a scientist would put it out in a journal to be evaluated by their peers. She got criticism for her plans and her price tags on things.

At what point do we as voters need more from a woman candidate?

KUMAR: I would say that, look, I would actually -- it wasn`t that we needed more from a woman candidate. I think it was more what the times were calling for. Just as she had a plan for everything, so did Al Gore, and we had trouble with that. And I think our challenge is really saying who right now, when people were casting a ballot, it was like who could actually beat Donald Trump.

I would argue this election has little to do with policy and everything about making sure we change the White House, and that`s what voters were going in from. That maybe -- she was ahead of her time, but it`s a very different election. Had Elizabeth Warren perhaps run in 2012 or 2000 -- you know, in any other time when people were looking for real solutions because it was the economy stupid, she may have had an easier path.

Right now, the majority of people casting a ballot was like, how do we make sure that we replace Donald Trump? For good or worse, I would actually argue that folks are actually not looking for big ideas. They`re looking to make sure to retain the course of some sort of normalcy when it comes to our democracy.

VELSHI: Maria Teresa Kumar, always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for joining us.

KUMAR: Thank you, Ali.

VELSHI: Maria Teresa Kumar is the president and CEO of Voto Latino.

Coming up, the aftershocks from Super Tuesday are still reverberating. What Warren supporters and Bloomberg`s dollars mean for 2020. That`s next.


VELSHI: It is, of course, Friday everywhere, but out on the West Coast, it`s also still Super Tuesday.

Results continue to trickle in from California`s Democratic primary election. Right now, Bernie Sanders leads Joe Biden by about 273,000 votes statewide. Now, in the national delegate count, Joe Biden continues to lead Bernie Sanders by 68 delegates, making him the national front-runner. That`s before we`ve got all the numbers in from California.

But all eyes are focused right now on another candidate who is no longer in the race, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who ended her campaign yesterday and has yet to indicate whether or whom she plans to endorse.

Last night, Senator Warren sat down with Rachel on this show to talk about her presidential campaign, the narrowing field, and a major development in the election for which she takes credit.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Senator, you outlasted Mike Bloomberg in this campaign.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Oh, yes. Was he still in that race?

MADDOW: He was still in that race, but nobody could tell after you destroyed him on the debate stage that way.

A lot of postmortems on his campaign credit you basically with single handedly tanking his candidacy with the way you took him apart in that debate. Do you -- is that what you were trying to do?


MADDOW: Do you take credit?



VELSHI: Elizabeth Warren made short work of that question. Yes, she was trying to end Mike Bloomberg`s candidacy when she after him in the Las Vegas debate, and it worked. He tanked on Super Tuesday.

Now another six states will vote this coming Tuesday in a sort of a mini Super Tuesday. I wonder what will happen then.

Joining us now, David Plouffe, former campaign manager and senior aide to Barack Obama -- President Barack Obama. He`s also an MSNBC contributor and the author of a new book, "A Citizen`s Guide to Beating Donald Trump."

Mr. Plouffe, thank you for joining us tonight.

Elizabeth Warren is out of the race. Short of her endorsing someone, Morning Consult suggests that her supporters would be split almost evenly between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Does that make sense to you? Is that about right?

DAVID PLOUFFE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It does. I mean, I think there was a conventional wisdom that they would skew heavily Sanders but if you look, Joe Biden did extraordinarily well on Super Tuesday in a lot of suburban areas where Elizabeth Warren also had strength. Biden has the momentum now. He looks like he could win. He`s still got a lot of work to do.

So I think for those reasons, it probably will split. I think those -- you know, Bloomberg didn`t do well on Super Tuesday as you pointed out, but he still got a lot of votes. And so, if you split the Warren vote roughly 50- 50, let`s say, and give Biden 75 percent of Bloomberg, you know, that is going to give him, I think, a pretty advantageous position heading into both March 10th, the states you just showed. But we have massive states on March 17th like Illinois, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona.

VELSHI: She sort of picked a lane and it seemed to be a lane that was occupied mostly by Bernie Sanders. But, in fact, you know Elizabeth Warren, and you know her history.

She could actually fit comfortably into either lane. She could compete -- she could have competed with Joe Biden. She could have competed with Bernie Sanders. If you were advising her about whether she should endorse someone, what would you suggest she do?

PLOUFFE: It`s such a personal decision, Ali. So I think we see that her supporters are probably relatively balanced. You know, she probably wants to see how the next couple weeks ago, take some time to figure out what her role is going to be going forward. So, you know, other candidates made a decision to endorse. This is the right decision for her.

Like picking a vice president, you know, whoever our nominee is, that`s the most personal decision they make. You know, whether you endorse or not is a very personal decision. But looking at those numbers, you know, maybe if 90 percent of her supporters are going one way or the other, that might tip the scales. But her people are relatively divided.

And, listen, there`s a chance this race may not be formally over, but if Joe Biden does as well on the next two Tuesdays as he did on Super Tuesday, his delegate lead is really going to grow.

VELSHI: Yes. So, in fact, Bernie Sanders was supposed to have a rally in Mississippi, instead went to Michigan. He won Michigan very narrowly last time around. Joe Biden is polling very strongly in a lot of states. This Tuesday looks like it`s Joe Biden`s to lose more than it`s Bernie Sanders` to win.

PLOUFFE: Well, you mentioned Mississippi, so I`m going to nerd out on delegates like I like to do.

VELSHI: I love that.

PLOUFFE: So, Joe Biden is going to win Mississippi probably by a large margin. Bernie Sanders skipping his event probably gives some clue of that from their side, too. So, you know, Mississippi, if I recall, has got 36 delegates. I mean, Biden could net 25 or 30 out of that state alone. So that`s important.

Let`s say Michigan is close. Bernie wins it by a few. Biden wins it by a few. Roughly split delegates. Same thing with Missouri. I think Bernie Sanders might do quite well in North Dakota and win some delegates but it`s a really small state.

So then you`ve got to look at the 17th. There was a poll yesterday showing Bernie Sanders not viable in Florida. Now, I actually believe by the time the vote happens, I think he`s going to get above 15 percent. But if he`s losing Florida, Joe Biden will net 200 out of that alone.

VELSHI: Let`s talk about the states that are voting on Tuesday. There will be Mississippi, there will be Montana, there`ll be North Dakota, there`ll be Michigan, there`ll be Idaho, there`ll be Washington state.

How do you -- what are you -- what are you looking for on Tuesday night?

PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, does Biden maximize his delegate yield out of Mississippi? If he does there like he did in other Southern states last Tuesday, he will.

In Michigan, even though I think the delegate situation will be relatively balanced, given Bernie won last time, if Biden is able to win that, it shows his momentum continues. Same thing with Missouri, a state that was super close with Clinton and Sanders, if Biden wins there, I think it says a lot.

And then, can Bernie -- so last time, Washington state, Sanders just clobbered Clinton there, but it was a caucus. I still think it`s a good state for Bernie Sanders, but in a primary, what kind of margin can he build there because he`s now behind in the delegates.

VELSHI: It`s a mail in and hand in your ballot type of primary now, so that will be interesting, because Washington is really suffering from coronavirus. There were some concern about how that`s going to work, but, in fact, it`s the one state that can continue with its primary regardless.


VELSHI: David, good to see you. Thank you for joining us.

PLOUFFE: Thanks, Ali.

VELSHI: Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, author of the new book "A Citizen`s Guide to Beating Donald Trump".

All right. Up next, a federal judge cries foul over Attorney General`s Bill Barr handling of the Mueller report.

More ahead. Stay with us.


VELSHI: Tonight, the Justice Department is pushing back after a federal judge excoriated Attorney General Bill Barr over his handling of the Mueller report. Yesterday, the judge who was overseeing a freedom of information act request for the full and unredacted Mueller report called the attorney general`s handling it of, quote, distorted and misleading.

In a scorching 23-page opinion, D.C. federal judge Reggie Walton wrote that, quote: The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr`s statements and portions of the Mueller report that conflict with those statements caused the court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller report in favor of President Trump.

These circumstances generally and Attorney General Barr`s lack of candor specifically call into question Attorney General Barr`s credibility. Judge Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, now wants a copy of the full, unredacted version of the Mueller report by the end of the month so that he can decide whether Barr`s Justice Department was justified in blacking out various sections and keeping them from public view.

And now, tonight, the Justice Department has responded with a statement saying, in part, quote, the court made a series of assertions about public statements the attorney general made nearly a year ago. The court`s assertions were contrary to the facts. The original redactions in the public report were made by department attorneys. There is no basis to question the work or good faith of any of these career department lawyers. The department stands by their work as well as the attorney general`s statements and efforts to provide as much transparency as possible.

Of all the open tabs in politics in the moment -- and there are lots of them -- you might want to bookmark this one.


VELSHI: As Rachel likes to say, programming note. She will be back in this chair on Monday and joining her will be the governor of Washington state, the state at the heart of the current coronavirus outbreak. Governor Jay Inslee has seen 14 of his state citizens die after contracting the new strain of coronavirus. And in the meantime, he`s incurred the wrath of President Trump for criticizing the federal government`s messaging about the crisis.

Today, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the president took the time to insult the governor, calling him a, quote, snake.

He will be here Monday night with his latest on the state`s response to coronavirus. Don`t miss it.

That does it for me tonight. You can find me tomorrow morning and Sunday morning on MSNBC from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Eastern.


Lawrence, I -- this is awkward, this is just a little bit weird, me handing to you on a Friday night.

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