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Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/30/21

Guests: Daniel Goldman, Ashley Jude


"The Wall Street Journal" matching reporting in "The New York Times" from last night and further advancing the story about what those search warrants executed at the home and office of Rudy Giuliani this week were reportedly focused on, and that the raid was connected to former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Mobile strike team in Minnesota is helping to administer vaccines in under-vaccinated communities.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Zerlina. Thank you, my friend. Much appreciated. Have an excellent weekend.

And thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. Happy to have you here, happy Friday night.

So, Mike Pence has a brother. His name is Greg. He looks just like Mine Pence. Well, he looks just like you would expect Mike Pence`s older brother to look.

I mean, you know, family resemblance, it`s a powerful thing. Same hairdo, really same cheeks, same teeth, same smile that kind of creeps up a little bit on the right-hand side. Their noses are so similar, it`s like they actually just share on nose. Greg, are you using the nose tonight or can I have it? Mike, check the sign-up sheet, it`s Tuesday, it`s my turn for the nose.

Greg Pence is now a Republican congressman from Indiana. Now, how did he get that gig? Well, he does share a nose with Vice President Mike Pence. And the seat that he holds is from his little brother`s old district in Congress.

Older brother Greg Pence honestly did not seem like he was destined for Congress before his little brother became Trump`s vice president. Greg Pence, like, ran gas stations and convenience stores in his previous life and some strip malls for antiques and stuff.

But when his brother went to the White House, that was his chance. So now, Greg Pence is in Congress.

And now, Greg Pence has just put out a multiple sign alert to his constituents back home in Indiana. It looks like this. Siren, siren! Hoosier small business owners, siren! Red alert! Help is on the way, he says.

Help is on the way for those in the food and restaurant industry. How nice. Congressman Greg Pence letting his constituents at home in Indiana know that he is delivering for them. Help is on the way.

If you run a restaurant in Congressman Pence`s Indiana district, he has important information for you, how you can register to get COVID relief, to get financial assistance from the Small Business Administration`s new restaurant revitalization fund. How nice of Congressman Greg Pence to do that practical work, to deliver that help home to Indiana so he can say help is on the way.

One problem. Congressman Greg Pence voted against it, voted against this thing that he is now touting. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is part of President Biden`s COVID relief bill. Greg Pence voted no on that. But that is not stopping him from telling all his constituents right now that help is on the way. The help that he tried to stop, that he voted against.

The number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said this in response. He said, quote, glad to hear you think the American people deserve some help recovering from the effects of COVID-19, Representative Greg Pence. Didn`t seem quite that way when you voted against the American Rescue Plan which created this restaurant fund.

But it`s not just Greg Pence. He is not alone. Here, for example, is Texas Republican Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne doing the exact same thing, touting to her Texas constituents how help is on the way to them, thanks to their hard-working congresswoman who herself voted no on these COVID relief funds that she`s touting as a valuable new program for people in her home district.

Steny Hoyer all over her, quote, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a program authorized and funded through the American Rescue Plan which you voted against.

Same thing from Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York, promoting these new COVID relief funds to her constituents in her home district as if she helped get them when actually she voted to stop them from happening. Congressman Hoyer with the big block shot there as well, quote, Congresswoman Tenney promoting this program now, does not erase the fact that you didn`t vote for this assistance. New Yorkers will not be fooled.

Same thing in Wisconsin. Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman. You guys, help is coming, help is on the way. And then the smack-down from the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic party, friendly reminder that Congressman Glenn Grothman voted against this relief that he is now promoting at home in Wisconsin.

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York, same deal. She even uses the Mike Pence`s older brother style siren once again to promote this great relief plan to her district. You guys, come and get it, I`m Elise Stefanik, here`s your COVID relief funds.

California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell in response with this one, quote, he says, ahem, quote, perhaps you should have voted for it if you wanted to take credit for it and try to convince your and try to convince your constituents they`re getting it because of you. They`re getting it despite your best efforts.

"Talking Points Memo" has been tracking these over the past couple of days. We`ve been following them too, particularly the Democratic responses, because it`s a peculiar sort of compliment and curse at the same time for the Democrats right now. I mean, if you are part of the party and in support of the administration that`s actually getting stuff done, passing things into law that are making a real positive difference in people`s lives, because of that, the law that made those programs and that relief possible, the law itself is really popular, the programs themselves are popular.

I mean, if you are part of that, if you`ve been conceiving that legislation, supporting it, working it through congress, voting for it, good, good for you, right? Good for you politically. That`s what politicians are supposed to be trying to do for their constituents and their constituents generally want to reward and keep voting for elected officials who are able to do that kind of thing for them, who are able to practically deliver important and appreciated help when it`s needed. That`s the complimentary side of doing your job well, getting popular, effective stuff done for the American people. Your constituents are probably going to like you for doing that.

The other side of it, though, is the imposters, right, the sort of curse that goes along with it, is that yahoos who had nothing with it or worst, who actively worked and voted against this thing you did, the most shameless among them will actually try to take credit for your work. The most shameless Republicans will try to take credit for what they tried to stop. They will try to take credit for these things the Democrats passed only because they had enough votes to overcome all the Republicans voting.

The Democratic Party I think has recognized that this was going to be a risk of them getting good stuff done in Congress, that Republicans would try to take credit for it even after voting no. The Democratic Party has been trying to fend it off with a number of different initiatives, all basically trying to remind Americans that the Republicans all voted no on this stuff they are now trying to claim credit for. They`ve been running TV ads recently.

They`ve been putting up billboards like this one, thanks to President Biden and congressional and Senate Democrats, we`ve been able to get all these things done, help is here. No thanks to these Republicans, in this case Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who voted no. Did you know they voted no? Are they trying to take credit for what we did? Don`t let them, they were against it, let them know.

It`s concerted, almost ham-fisted, but a concerted effort by the Democrats to make sure that the Republicans at least have a hard time trying to take credit for something they opposed and that the Democrats did.

But if you were Greg Pence, if you were Elise Stefanik or any of those other Republicans, what would you be trying to take credit for right now? I mean, if you felt like it`s about time, we`re 100 days into the new administration, 100 days since inauguration, reelection is coming up in not too long, I`ve got to talk to my constituents about something they`re going to like me for. What are your options?

I mean, you have to imagine Republicans, especially ones who are worried about getting reelected, are trying to find something to attack themselves to that seems popular, right? They don`t have very many options, because what Republicans across the country are actually working on and getting done are these huge, sudden, draconian rollbacks of voting rights in every state where the Republicans have control. Was voting easy and convenient this year for both Democrats and Republicans, with expanded early voting and drop boxes for your ballots and absentee ballots and vote by mail? Yes, actually, it was easier to vote in many places in the country.

COVID restrictions that made us worry as a country about whether or not people were going to be able to get out and cast their ballots made us think creatively and expansively about all the safe and secure ways that people could submit their ballots. And voters of all stripes took advantage of those conveniences. And we had great voter turnout even in the midst of the pandemic.

Republicans all across the country are working furiously now to make voting as inconvenient and difficult as possible, which they think they need to do because they think that will help them win future elections because they think poor people and people with fewer resources won`t be able to navigate the maze if they make the maze difficult enough. So those people will end up just not voting. The remaining electorate will be more Republican. That`s their calculus.

But in order to get there, they really are in many cases they`re making it harder to vote for everyone and taking away popular, convenient ways to vote. Even their own voters aren`t going to like that. That is a hard thing to brag on.

But that really is what they`re working on, policy-wise, coast-to-coast. A voting rights rollback has just passed the legislature in Florida today that is even more draconian than what the Republicans did in Georgia. That Florida bill is on its way to the Republican governor`s desk, Governor Ron DeSantis says of course he`ll sign it. Texas Republicans are on their way to pass a voting rights rollback that`s even more draconian than that. I mean, that really is what they`re working on.

If my party -- if I was an elected official in the party that only had that to brag on as our most concerted policy accomplishment right now? Don`t worry, we`re making it way harder to vote. Did you find it easy to vote this year? We`ll take care of that, that will never happen again.

If that were the concerted policy effort and set of accomplishments of my party this year, I too would try to take credit for somebody else`s work which is popular instead of what I`ve actually been doing which is not popular. But this is what the Republican Party is working on, both in terms of, we have all these divisions in terms of the way we talk about Republicans. It`s the Trumpy Republicans and the conspiratorial QAnon Republicans and it`s the paleo conservatives and it`s the traditional conservatives and it`s the establishment Republicans.

Establishment Republicans and Trump Republicans and all Republicans have been working all along as one big unhappy family to pass voting restrictions everywhere. And where do you draw the line in terms of which types of Republicans are working on this scheme they`ve got going on now in Arizona?

I mean, this may come from a really kooky part of the Trump part of the Republican Party but Republicans in Arizona really are, all of them, continuing with this bizarre and at times, I`m sorry, sort of ridiculous, but to them dead serious effort to redo the 2020 presidential election count in Arizona.

The Republicans in the state Senate in Arizona hired a mysterious company run by a QAnon conspiracy theory guy with no experience at all in anything related to elections. They hired him to do it. And their big plan for how they would undo the travesty that Donald Trump lost Arizona to Joe Biden, their big plan to undo that is just to give millions of ballots from the Arizona presidential race, two-thirds of the presidential ballots cast in that election, they`ll give them to this firm run by the QAnon conspiracy guy and he won`t say exactly what he`s going to do with those millions of ballots. He won`t even say exactly who he has hired to handle all those ballots.

But trust him, he`s going to have a hard look, and after he has a good long look at all the ballots, after that he`ll tell Arizona Republicans what the real election result was. Never mind that it`s already been certified, it`s been audited professionally twice, a hand recount observed by both parties. It`s been certified at the state level -- at the local level, and at the state level, and the Electoral College votes from Arizona have already been tallied. But never more, they`re going to get the real result from the QAnon guy who they gave all the ballots to.

That`s really happening. We`re going to have more on that bizarre story coming up later this hour. Republicans are trying to establish this new founding myth of the American right that the real 2020 election results were somehow suspect and once they got their own hands, their own people looking at the battle, they were able to approve or at least assert meaningfully that Trump really won and Biden isn`t really president.

That new founding myth for the dis-authentication of American voting results, that`s what they`re working on right now. So yeah, I take credit for the restaurant relief fund too, even if I voted against it, I suppose, if those were my shoes.

But the story that keeps getting worse and worse and worse for them right now is the still-developing story of the active federal criminal investigation that led to FBI raids this week targeting former President Trump`s personal lawyer. This is "The Wall Street Journal" tonight, matching reporting in "The New York Times" from last night and further advancing the story about what those search warrants executed at the home and office of Rudy Giuliani this week were reportedly focused on.

"Wall Street Journal" matching "The New York Times" reporting that they were focused at least in significant part on this U.S. official, Marie Yovanovitch, career foreign service officer, widely respected, seen as a fierce anticorruption advocate. She was serving as U.S. ambassador in Ukraine. She was fired by the Trump administration after a relentless campaign by Rudy Giuliani and his associates to try to get her fired.

The story that is emerging, that seems to be at the heart of the criminal case against Mr. Giuliani, if the contours of the search warrants are any guide, is basically that while Trump was president and Mr. Giuliani was working as his lawyer, he marketed himself abroad. He marketed himself to various corrupt pols and oligarchs in Ukraine, advertising in effect that as President Trump`s lawyer, somebody with President Trump`s ear, he could deliver U.S. government action. He could in fact deliver something that corrupt pols and oligarchs in Ukraine would very much like. He could arrange to get rid of Marie Yovanovitch, known to be a fierce warrior against corruption.

The ongoing question in terms of Mr. Giuliani`s legal liability here is whether he was essentially selling that to these various guys in Ukraine for something in return. He would get rid of the anticorruption U.S. ambassador, she was always in the way of all these things these guys wanted to do, but in exchange these various dudes who wanted that in Ukraine had a sort of menu of things they could pay. They could hire or pay Rudy and company, including other American lawyers and Rudy associates who all fit into the clown car with him, they could pay, they could hire or direct money toward, bring on as a consultant, Rudy and his associates.

And these Ukrainian guys who wanted the U.S. ambassador ousted could also in effect pay by delivering to Mr. Giuliani anti-Joe-Biden political ammunition from Ukraine to benefit the Trump reelection campaign.

Now, in the case of one particular oligarch, the story told by Lev Parnas, one of Giuliani`s associates who worked with him on screen, now under indictment in the southern district of New York, in the case of this one particularly Ukrainian oligarch whose name has surfaced in a lot of these recent reports this week since Giuliani`s home and office were raided, in case of this one oligarch, the deal is a little different. This was an oligarch named Dmytro Firtash who himself is under U.S. indictment on multiple felony corruption charges. The U.S. Justice Department has for years been trying to extradite him to the U.S. to face trial on these multiple felonies.

In Lev Parnas` telling, the deal offered to Mr. Firtash was that in exchange for helping generate anti-Joe-Biden political ammunition to be used in the 2020 election to benefit Donald Trump, his reward would be help with William Barr and the Justice Department under Donald Trump to help keep him from being extradited to the United States to further delay or indeed derail his U.S. prosecution.

If that was the offered quid pro quo, that creates all sorts of interesting implications, both for Mr. Giuliani in terms of what he was offering, what he and his associates were selling to these guys in the Ukraine, but also what they said they could deliver in the exchange. If they could deliver action by the U.S. Justice Department, or lack of action by the U.S. Justice Department, and people inside the U.S. Justice Department were willing to effectuate that as part of this scheme, maybe they`ll be in the crosshairs too.

Everybody involved here, from Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Firtash on down, everybody involved denies any wrongdoing, suffice it to say. But the fact remains that some of these deliverables were delivered. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was in fact fired as a result of this smear campaign run against her by Rudy Giuliani and his cast of characters. She was fired by Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Pompeo, would you like to talk about your rule in effectuated that deliverable as part of the scheme?

I mean, the indicted oligarch, Dmytro Firtash, did have his case brought to the U.S. Justice Department at the highest levels for what appears to have been a sympathetic hearing and in fact, Mr. Firtash still has not been extradited to the United States to face trial on those multiple now long- standing felony corruption charges.

And in terms of deliverables, well, Mr. Giuliani did drag home a whole bunch of ginned up, agenda up fake allegations against Joe Biden and his family that were designed to hurt him in the election.

Interestingly, in a way, as part of the story that`s too often overlooked, where did Giuliani actually get those deliverables? There were people in Ukraine. They came forward to help Rudy with the anti-Biden political ammunition. That Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, certain members of Republican members of Congress and media outlets would in fact try to use to damage his chances in the election.

The people came forward in Ukraine to help Giuliani actually get that stuff. They developed that stuff. Creating TV shows about it, doing podcast about that stuff. they turned out to be Russian intelligence agents. It`s weird, right? What a coincidence.

Two of the people who worked with Giuliani on this scheme, two of the people who Giuliani got information from about the Biden family in Ukraine, two of those people have since been sanctioned by the U.S. government in the past year as agents of the Kremlin, as agents of the Russian Federation who were part of an active Russian intelligence directed effort to mess with the U.S. election in 2020, just as Russian intelligence messed with our election in 2016.

And it wasn`t like a bewildering surprise to Mr. Giuliani, at least. "The Washington Post" reported last night that Mr. Giuliani was warned in advance by the FBI that the people he was in contact with and trying to work with this on were connected to Russian intelligence. He was given a defensive briefing by the FBI in 2019 that he was being used or that he was part of a Russian intelligence operation targeting the U.S. election. After getting that defensive briefing, he went ahead with it anyway.

Also warned by the FBI, Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who was reportedly warned by the FBI, by counterintelligence officers at the FBI, that his role in this too was something that was orchestrated by the Kremlin. His efforts to surface this muck against Joe Biden, these ginned-up allegations against Joe Biden, to surface it in the U.S. Senate and in conservative media, he was warned that those efforts were the product of a concerted Russian intelligence operation targeting the U.S. election in which he was being used as effectively an operative. Nevertheless, he persisted with his efforts.

The thing that I think has been sort of lost here, and the reason I raise some of these issues in this context, is because the anti-Joe-Biden smear effort in Ukraine, this thing for which Rudy Giuliani is now in the crosshairs of the Justice Department, this thing that led to Giuliani`s home and office being raided by the FBI this week, this really was 2020`s Russian intelligence operation against our election on behalf of Donald Trump. It was just a variation on a theme of the anti-Hillary-Clinton stuff that Russian intelligence ginned up and pumped out in 2016, also intending to benefit Donald Trump and trying to get him into the White House.

Now, the way they did it in 2020, it did have the additional benefit to Russia that it was designed to weaken Ukraine while Putin is occupying part of that country and trying to eat more of that country and take it in to be part of Russia. But the basic theory was the same, and the basic operation was the same. In 2016, we could credibly claim to be blindsided by it. In 2020, not only it we know they had just done it in 2016, but the people who were at the tip of the spear in getting it done, in making sure that this Russian operation bore fruit in the United States, were personally overtly warned by the FBI that that`s what was going on, and they did it anyway.

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson was the chief launderer of the anti- Biden junk that Giuliani cobbled together in Ukraine from Russian intelligence sources. He and Mr. Giuliani were personally warned in 2019 and 2020 by the FBI that they were being used by a Russian influence operation. Didn`t apparently give them pause at all.

And so, you know, where are we as a country? Where are we as citizens looking at this? It`s one thing, after what they did in 2016, to realize what Russia did, to come to terms with what Russia did, and to realize that the guy who benefitted from it and arguably colluded with it, had just been elected president of the United States and was going to serve for four years as president of the United States after benefiting from this effort to install him in office by the Russian Federation.

And then he spends his four years in office towedying to Vladimir Putin publicly and taking all sorts of policy steps to help Russia and help Putin, right, weakening NATO, undermining Ukraine, taking U.S. troops out of Germany, ordering U.S. military exercises out of South Korea, trying to get Russia back into the G-8, making no response to Russia`s efforts to assassinate Alexei Navalny, no effort to respond to Russian agents assassinating another critic of the Russian government in broad daylight in a park in Berlin. No response to Russian support for a dictatorship cracking down on its people brutally in the streets in Belarus.

Trump telling Ukraine to announce an investigation into Ukraine interfering in our 2016 election as if it were them and not Russia.

And all of these things Trump did as president to benefit Russia after Russia intervened in the election to install him, I still can`t believe we lived through it. It was nuts. That was nuts. That was honestly nuts. It aged me 25 years in five years, as you can tell.

But now, here we are, right? 2016, we know what they did. We lived through four years of consequences of the beneficiary of that attack being in the Oval Office. But four years after 2016, they did it again. And now it`s different, right?

First of all, you know, forewarned is forearmed. We knew they did it in 2016. We expected they would do it in 2020. We now know how they would do it in 2020.

But now there`s somebody else in the White House, the U.S. government will respond without somebody at the helm of the U.S. government who appears to have been both the beneficiary and the happy beneficiary of those interventions by a hostile foreign power.

And so now, the question is, you know, what`s the proper response to this from a president who isn`t in on it, who is not sympathetic, who was the target of the Russian efforts this time and not the beneficiary of them? What does he do in response?

Well, we`ve got 101 days of watching that response thus far and so far, their response is basically much tougher talk at every level, diplomatic levels and also at the head of state level from the U.S. toward Russia. We`ve also seen a couple of U.S. Coast Guard cutters circuit through the black sea, which was meant to be a bit of a brushback. We`ve also seen some sanctions from the Biden government.

But mostly, and interestingly, it has been handled as a law enforcement matter and as a matter of public disclosure, to have the director of national intelligence tell us, yes, this is how Russia interfered in the election, to have the Justice Department and Treasury Department announce Russian agents who were a part of it and sanction them and declare exactly what it was they did.

But in terms of the law enforcement response, if the former president`s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is indeed prosecuted, for his role in facilitating the 2020 Russian attack to try to keep Trump in office, that really would be something.

But in terms of Giuliani and Senator Ron Johnson having been told ahead of time that what they were doing was benefiting another Russian attack on our election, knowing an informed collaboration by a sitting U.S. senator with an attack like that by a foreign adversary, I mean, I don`t know if that`s the sort of thing anybody gets prosecuted for. I don`t exactly know what the crime would be there. But should we expect consequences for Ron Johnson now that we know, he`s actually confirmed that the FBI did warn him in advance and he went ahead with what he was doing anyway?

What kind of consequences are ahead for Mr. Johnson? What kinds of consequences are ahead for Mr. Giuliani? In his case, can we tell anything about that from the investigation so far and from what we know was in these search warrants effectuated on his home and office in raids this week?

Hold that thought.


MADDOW: Besides the federal prosecutors who got a search warrant executed at Rudy Giuliani`s home and business this week, there`s maybe no person more qualified to talk about what those investigators may be looking for than my next guest.

Dan Goldman was senior investigator for the intelligence committee in the House when they examined Giuliani`s efforts to gin up anti-Joe-Biden scandals in the Ukraine and President Trump`s participation in that effort. Goldman subsequently served as the lead counsel for the House Democrats in the first impeachment of President Trump. He`s also a former senior prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, which is the U.S. attorney`s office now investigating Mr. Giuliani.

Dan Goldman, thank you so much for joining us tonight, I appreciate you being here.


MADDOW: So I tried to put in some context, at least in terms of my personal understanding of all this stuff, how important it is that the investigators in the Giuliani case are taking these public facing steps right now, these steps that can`t be hidden, going to his office, going to his home to collect electronic devices.

What do you think is most important for people to understand about this case and what point the case is at?

GOLDMAN: Well, I think it`s an indication, once you go overt, and it kind of went overt last fall when there was reporting about Bill Barr and the Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen squashing the southern district`s efforts to get this search warrant. But when you go overt, you know that this is sort of dotting the I`s, crossing the T`s, in a situation like this.

Giuliani himself has acknowledged, he`s at least been told or his lawyer has, that the southern district and the FBI got his iCloud account pursuant to a search warrant in 2019. I would imagine there have been other search warrants along the way for his emails. There have been warrants for bank records and for other contracts or other agreements he may have had.

We also heard reporting that the FBI was in regular contact with Ukraine officials while those Ukrainian officials were working with Giuliani. So this is the end of this investigation. And I think that given the sort of sensational nature of a 6:00 a.m. raid on his apartment and his office, I think it`s unlikely they would do something like that if they didn`t feel like they had enough evidence to charge him already.

MADDOW: Mr. Giuliani has vociferously denounced the investigation and said that the warrant was unwarranted and illegal. Substantively his defense seems mostly to boil down to his claims that he wasn`t paid to do the work that he did and therefore it can`t be construed as criminal.

What do you make of that defense and does that actually make sense as a defense to the kinds of charges he may be facing?

GOLDMAN: Giuliani`s best defense is that he was working in support of Donald Trump`s political reelection efforts, and that`s why he wanted Yovanovitch to be removed and that`s why he was digging up dirt on Biden and that`s what everything was about. Because if he was working on behalf of Donald Trump solely then he didn`t need to register with the DOJ.

If, however, he was working on behalf of any Ukrainian officials, whose interests may be aligned with Donald Trump`s interests, but if he was working on their behalf, then he needs to register with the Department of Justice and for a very important reason, so that the U.S. government knows if there`s any bias or if there`s any conflict of interest, or where Giuliani`s interests lie.

And so if he actually wasn`t paid, that`s not enough to absolve him, because you don`t have to be paid under this law. But in this situation where he has a viable defense that this was all political, I would suspect that the Southern District wants there to be some exchange of something of value, likely money, either directly to Giuliani or to him through other associates.

And we saw some of that during the impeachment investigation, Rachel. It`s not far-fetched at all. There were retainer agreements between Giuliani as well as lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova with these same Ukrainian officials who were supposed to pay them in order to do the same thing that is being investigated in the impeachment investigation.

MADDOW: Dan Goldman, lead counsel for the Democrats in the first impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, which was on these matters, on these matters and related matters. Thanks for joining us. I have a feeling we`ll be to go you again more quickly than we might expect as this story continues to develop, Dan. Thanks for being here.

GOLDMAN: Any time, thanks.

MADDOW: All right. We`ve got much more to get to here this Friday night. Stay with us.


MADDOW: This happened. This is real. And he was apparently serious with this question. This was the board of supervisors meeting in Orange County, California, earlier this week.


DONALD P. WAGER, SUPERVISOR, 3RD DISTRICT: Is there any intention of tracking folks? Is there any, in the vaccine, we heard about an injection of a tracking device. Is -- is -- is that being done anywhere? In Orange County?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, I just have to compose myself. There is not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that I know of that exists in the world. Period.


MADDOW: In the vaccine we heard about the injection of a tracking device, right?

No. The COVID vaccine does not implant into you a secret government tracking device. And I know that is one of the truly nut ball conspiracy theories floating around about the coronavirus vaccine. But, A, there`s a lot of them.

And B, there`s a whole contingent of people in this country who for a laundry list of reasons don`t want the COVID vaccine, are too scared about what might happen to them if they get it and it may be they`ve heard something crazy like that, it may be they heard something less crazy sounding that came from somebody they trust. It may be they`re just scared, it may be they just want to put their head down and avoid the whole thing.

We`re returning up against that vaccine hesitancy sort of ceiling in this country in terms of people who can get the vaccine, can easily access it if they want to, but they don`t want it.

That can`t be the end of the story, though. As a country we can`t give up and consider that all people not vaccinated just never will be. We`re not anywhere near close enough with having enough people vaccinated to be able to give up now. So how do you approach that?

You have to innovate. You have to be persistent. You have to think outside the box. You have to think of new things.

West Virginia announced if you`re between 16 and 35 years old and you get a vaccine, they`ll give you a hundred bucks. That`s something to try.

Here`s something from Minnesota. In Minnesota, they call this a mobile strike team, and I know it looks like other vaccine sites around the country, but this is a pop-up vaccine site. The Minnesota Health Department partnered with the health care system called CentraCare. And what they do is they talk to people all over the state of Minnesota, particularly in rural areas, to try to find little pockets of people who are slow or reluctant or too worried to get the vaccine.

And the important thing is that once they find communities with folks like that, they go there. They go to that community, to whatever site in that community makes the most sense. And they bring nurses and syringes and vaccine and patience and a willingness to answer any question and talk you through anything you want to talk through about it.

And, you know, if you`re looking at just sheer volume, you may end up vaccinating fewer people at a clinic like this than if you bribe people with cash or open up an arena. But when we`re running up against people`s multi-variant reasons for not wanting to take this, there`s no substitute for to go people in the community, sussing out specific reasons people don`t want to be vaccinated.

For one thing, it helps you find the people for whom it`s hardest to change their minds. You can put real information in their hands. These mobile clinics will set you up one on one with a nurse to answer all your questions, however many you have.

And they make it convenient. These mobile strike teams come to your school, they come to your work, they come to the place you go to church or mosque. They come to your local foundry.

Yeah, that is where the strike team was this week, a foundry in St. Cloud. And we have some fascinating footage from that. We talked to the plant manager there about why he wanted this mobile clinic set up for his workers at the foundry. We talked to a few of the employees and their families who ended up getting a shot there. Watch this.


JOHN HAAS, GREDE`S ST. CLOUD PLANT MANAGER: We were trying to see what we could do to entice people to actually get the shot, get the vaccine. We had a little bit of a surge last fall. And it almost crippled the plant. So, we didn`t wanting to through that to go through that again. We started looking for options.

QUESTION: Were you looking for a vaccine previously?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they emailed us from work and I thought it was a good idea to represent family out.

ROOSEVELT AUSTIN, RECEIVED VACCINE AT ST. CLOUD FOUNDRY: I haven`t been looking for it. It hasn`t been around very long, I don`t know if all the side effects have been noted yet.

QUESTION: What in you decided that it`s better to do it than not do it?

AUSTIN: Well, you know, I have loved ones who I don`t want to pass it to them if I were to get it.

HAAS: Ii think we have 82 to 90 people signed up for this. We still have a number of people that are afraid of getting the shot, the fear of the unknown. However, my personal opinion is, you should fear the known. And the known is people get sick, people die from this. So we`ve got to protect ourselves and our loved ones.


MADDOW: This is a very different approach than opening up a giant convention center, right, opening up a baseball stadium and asking and expecting people to come by the thousands. Some of that is still happening in our country.

But to find people who need to talk it through, who need to sit there with a health professional and talk about why they haven`t wanted it, to people who aren`t going to get it unless it`s super convenient, this is the way we`re going to get there. This is the way we`re going to get to what they call herd immunity in this country.

This one clinic at this one foundry, they got to more than 80 people, that pop-up clinic. That`s the way we`ll get there. They`ll move on to another part of Minnesota and keep doing it. Every shot helps.



ASHLEY JUDE, CENTRACARE MOBILE VACCINE TEAM PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Some of the things that we hear are that people just prefer not to get it. Maybe they just don`t have enough information. Maybe they have a personal belief. And so really the -- you know, we`re trying to provide education and outreach, answer any questions they have without providing pressure.

Ultimately, it`s getting past those personal questions and beliefs that we`ve been most effective. Coming to them, meeting them where they are, that`s been very helpful in getting people vaccinated. And that`s really what our mobile team is about is meeting people where they`re at, going to them where they might not go to a traditional clinic.


MADDOW: That`s Ashley Jude. She`s a program coordinator for a mobile vaccine program in Minnesota to find unvaccinated pockets of that state wherever they can to try to get a shot, try to get a vaccine to every single possible person they can. Hearing people out one-on-one, coming to people where they are as you heard her say.

If we`re ever going to beat this epidemic this kind of we`re going to have to in every state all over the country to get there even at a small scale like they sometimes have to do it.

Ashley Jude with the CentraCare Health System joins us live now.

Ms. Jude, thank you for being here. I appreciate learning about your work and you taking time to be here.

JUDE: Thanks for having me to talk about it.

MADDOW: So given what you`ve seen on the ground, what you and your team have been doing, what`s working? When you drop into these communities, your team comes face-to-face with people who have been unsure if they wanted to get vaccinated or maybe they thought they didn`t want to get vaccinated. What works?

JUDE: Yeah, so engaging the community before we go out has really been the most effective practice. What we`ve done is if we`re going to a local community we talk to people who have a footprint there or have some influence. Maybe they`re a member of the church. Maybe it`s a business.

And we really just want to engage them, their trusted people in the community and we`re making waves. When we get out there, sometimes it takes a pass or two. We might go a couple different times to see how many we can get each time, but we`re building trust. We`re building, you know, relationships and -- but engagement from the community, from those that are willing and interested to talk to us.

MADDOW: Does that mean when you go to different types of communities and you go to different sites, maybe in one community you`re going to go to a mosque, one community you`re going to go to a foundry like your team did this week. One community you`re going to go to a church or community center. Does that mean you essentially kind of tailor and reinvent the exact approach for each new place you go, for each community that you visit?

JUDE: Exactly. When we stand up a clinic it`s the same at every single site. How we practice is the same. What`s different is how we address and work with the people beforehand.

You know, we do go to mosques. We go to businesses. We go to churches.

We vaccinate on the fly because that`s what`s needed. And we adapt as we go. But ultimately, you know, we`re kind of a jack-of-all-trades, and we can go anywhere to do this service.

The outreach is what`s a little bit different, you know, whether you engage them multiple times beforehand, whether you send a team for education beforehand, whether you just have a local location that`s helpful. We`ve seen that, you know, it`s a church in their community, and that makes them comfortable enough to come in and have the conversation.

And that`s what we need to do is get people in to start the conversation. We answer questions that they have. We provide data and facts and have that personal connection at a place that`s familiar to them.

MADDOW: We`ve done so much -- started such a sort of scary discussion as a country about whether or not there is a ceiling on the number of Americans who want to get vaccinated, whether we might not be able to beat this pandemic ultimately because there will be so many Americans who will always reject the vaccine and who won`t want to go there for various reasons.

Do you believe that? I mean, having done this work on the front lines do you think that if you approach this nimbly enough we can get enough people vaccinated that we as a country sort of get across the finish line?

JUDE: You know, that is the hope. We know there`s always going to be a population that don`t support vaccines, and that`s their right. That`s their belief. We`re there to give those people open enough to have a conversation or ask questions about their health or loved ones and about the vaccine safety. And those are the ones we`re trying to reach.

And it does get harder and harder. You know, people are -- they have their beliefs. And so if they can come in the door, that`s a win that we can get them in there to ask their questions so that they`re not resorting to, you know, the inundation of information online or social media. We`ve heard lots about too much information on there. So having that personal conversation with a nurse has really been effective.

MADDOW: Ashley Jude, program coordinator for CentraCare`s mobile vaccine teams in Minnesota, thank you for helping us understand your work. And thanks for your time tonight. I really do feel the work you and your colleagues are doing is the future. More places are going to have to do work exactly like this in order for us to get there as a country. So thanks for your work.

JUDE: Thank you so much.

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


MADDOW: This weekend, there`s a big special that`s going to run on MSNBC and on NBC and on Telemundo and on Peacock. That`s something that never really happens, but this is big deal. It`s called "Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List."

It`s got people like Becky Hammon, the first woman to coach an NBA team. Chef Jose Andres, who served 25 million hot meals to people in need this year. Even Lin-Manuel Miranda. It`s a big deal. You can catch it here in MSNBC this Sunday, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Inspiring people doing inspiring things, sort of -- I`m at the time in my year when I`m ready to be inspired in that way. Again, 10:00 Eastern here on MSNBC.

That`s going to do it for us tonight. See you on Monday.

Now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" where Ali Velshi is in for Lawrence tonight.

Good evening, Ali.