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Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show, August 24, 2020



Coverage of the Republican National Convention.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people said they're going to leave America if Donald Trump is elected. They are still here and they're not going anywhere because we are in the land of the free.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll never, ever sign bad trade deals. America first. Again, America first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America's great (ph) USMCA trade deal. That's a big win for United States of America. It is a great trade deal.

TRUMP: We are going to lift the restrictions on the reduction of American energy. We will create millions of more jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hope to me is the believe in a better tomorrow and create a better future for our children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I look in the eyes of my grandchildren, I want to them to know that their papa was not.

TRUMP: We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice. We will completely rebuild our depleted military, the countries that we are protecting at a massive cost to us will be asked to pay their fair share. We will take care of our great veterans, like they have never been taken care of before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This place is safe. He's saving. Thanks to him I am here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, he's giving people hope of what he's doing for the people, what he's doing for everybody.

TRUMP: We are going to appoint justices of the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By supporting law enforcement, it's important for keeping America great.

TRUMP: As long as I'm president, I will never defund your police, that I promise you.

It's time to deliver a victory for the American people. We are going to start winning again.

It's called promises made, promises kept.

AMY FORD, REGISTERED NURSE: My name is Amy Ford, and I've been a Registered Nurse for 17 years.

I'm from the small town of Williamson, West Virginia, where I've lived my entire life, the daughter of a nurse and a coal miner.

Even though I was the youngest of four children, I was always somewhat of a caretaker. It came natural for me.

So it felt right to follow in my mother's footsteps and become a nurse.

And this March, when COVID19 sent our country into crisis, I knew I had to help any way I could.

I deployed to New York in April, and then to San Antonio, Texas, working as a COVID relief nurse in both states.

As I contended with the challenges of treating our patients who had their worlds turned up side down, I noticed a positive change in their health care system.

President Trump recognized the threat this virus presented for all Americans early on, and made rapid policy changes. And as a result, telehealth services are now accessible to more than 71 million Americans, including 35 million children.

Prior to COVID, telehealth was not covered or reimbursed under Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP. This left our most vulnerable populations with no other choice but to have an in-person, office visit with their physicians, increasing their risk of exposure to COVID 19 exponentially.

The expansion of telehealth services has also resulted in the integration of video visits between patients and their families, allowing loved ones to have contact and visualization, as well as a better understanding of care.

Telehealth has been essential during this pandemic.

I don't want the media taking my personal story and twisting it, so let me clear, as a healthcare professional, I can tell you without hesitation, Donald Trump's quick action and leadership saved thousands of lives during COVID19. And the benefits of that response extend far beyond coronavirus.

Telehealth will continue to aid many that are just unable to find transportation or a way to the doctor for regular checkups.

This is especially true in rural America. I live in a town of about 2,000 people. We do not have buses, trains, trolleys or Ubers available to us. In addition, the unavailability of services can also hinder treatment for many.

So the increased accessibility of telehealth for millions of Americans has truly been lifesaving and we have President Trump to thank.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the very beginning, Democrats, the media and the world health organization got coronavirus wrong. The World Health Organization said authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.

DR. JOHN TORRES, NBC NEWS: Overall, most people should not be terribly concerned about it.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Everything is fine here. We want to say to people, come to Chinatown. Here we are. Come join us.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We don't even think it's going to be as bad as it was in other countries.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D, NEW YORK CITY: Go about your lives, go about your business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One leader took action to save lives. President Donald Trump, banning travel from China and coronavirus epicenters. Biden charged xenophobia. But President Trump was right, signing the CARES Act, providing immediate relief to American families, workers and businesses, declaring a national emergency, tapping into $42 billion in existing emergency funding, quickly getting crucial, personal protective equipment to the states, signing the families first coronavirus response act, ensuring that American families and business impacted by the virus receive the strong support they need launching operation Warp Speed to fast track a vaccine in record time.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): He said everything that I could have hoped for. Promise made, promise kept.

CUOMO: He is ready, willing and able to help.

He's been responsive. He's done a lot of good things.

What the federal government did was a phenomenal accomplishment.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): In our hour of need, you are literally helping us in a big way. We were at the edge. This is life or death stuff. And we're forever thankful for that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Soon we will emerge safer, stronger and greater than ever.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I'm just going to break in here for a second as they continue to talk about COVID-19 and the national response to that.

I want to bring in the discussion here of Dr. Vin Gupta, who's a pulmonary and critical care physician in Seattle and a global health policy expert. MSNBC made a decision to put up on the screen there some context as the speaker claims that the president's quick actions save thousands of lives during COVID-19. Obviously, America leads the world in COVID-19 cases and in deaths and we have one of the worst outbreaks on Earth and have for months.

Dr. Gupta let me just ask you as you are hearing this, what should people understand in terms of a bit of a reality check here?


A lot of that was hard to listen to, and this is not as a partisan but as a clinician. Number one, for many weeks in or the last six months, COVID-19, which we didn't even know existed towards the end of 2019, it was the number one cause of death for Americans. Last week was the second leading cause of death for Americans behind ischemic heart disease.

So, to say 120,000 souls lost in our country up to now a success of any measure is fantasy. It's disrespectful to families who lost loved ones, to frontline clinicians who put their lives at risk, it's just fantasy. It's propaganda. So, that's number one.

Number two, I would say, the reality here, is let's talk about PPE. We had to import insufficient and adequate PPE and KN95 masks that did not need any recognizable U.S. standard from China, from other places overseas because we didn't have enough PPE in our strategic stockpile.

So, for all your viewers out there listening to this, for anybody listening to what the RNC is doing right now, it's all propaganda. There's no truth to it. We didn't have enough PPE for our nurses, our respiratory therapists, our physicians to care for COVID critically ill patients across the country.

What about testing? We still don't have enough testing, Rachel. The right tape of testing and rapid care test. That's why we're seeing testing number goes down. That's one of the lowest points it has been in weeks, about 600,000 new tests a day, down from 900,000 towards the end of July. That's important to keep in mind as well.

And then, finally, this notion of telehealth, the nurse that was just speaking of telehealth and progressive policies of telehealth, let me -- let me fact-check that very quickly. This is -- the administration did not invent telehealth and telehealth reimbursement strategies in the last few months. That's false. That is absolutely false.

Up until the beginning of May, well into this pandemic, you needed a smart phone, you needed broadband Internet access to actually communicate with telehealth providers, someone like me, to order a test for a patient. It was not until the middle of May that they allowed, they loosened restrictions so that you can get a test, so you can communicate with a provider by phone. So let's be clear of what's true and not true.

MADDOW: Dr. Gupta, thank you for helping us, keeping reality in sight here as we continue to watch this program. I think we'll be back with you as the evening progresses.

Again, we are watching the first night of what is essentially an RNC TV show produced by the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, the convention part finished up this morning. But we'll be back into the program now we are expecting over the course of this evening, culminating speeches by the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

And it looks like the headline of the evening is going to be South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott.

Let's get back to the program now.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When the China virus invaded our country, we launched the great greatest mobilization of American society since World War II. Patriots of every race, color and creed rallied together to defeat the invincible enemy and save the lives of their fellow citizens.

Today, our hearts overflow with appreciation for the incredible front-line workers who risked their own health and safety to keep America strong and safe.

When crisis came, millions of everyday Americans rose to the challenge. In their actions, we see true greatness of the American character. We always find a way to victory. History will remember and celebrate the heroes of 2020 for as long as our great American flag waves over the land that we love. To every front-line worker, I offer the salute of a nation that is forever in your debt.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.

These are my friends. These are the incredible workers that helped us so much with the COVID. We can call it many different things, from China virus -- I don't want to go through all the names because some people may get insulted, but that's the way it is.

These are great, great people, doctors, nurses, a fireman, a policeman. We want to thank you all. You've been incredible. And we want to thank you, and all of the millions of people that you represent.

Thank you all very much. Great job. Thank you. Thank you all very much.

So, tell me a little about your stories. How about we'll start with you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a postal worker. I delivered to the senior communities during COVID-19.

TRUMP: Good, and we're taking good care of our postal workers.


TRUMP: That I can tell you. We're not getting rid of our postal workers, you know? They would like to sort of put that out there.

If anybody does, it's the Democrats, not the Republicans. I want to thank very much and thank everybody in that whole beautiful post office system. We appreciate it.

How about you?


TRUMP: Good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I own a small business in Ohio.

TRUMP: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hauling steel mostly. You know, some of our customers actually made hospital beds with the material.

TRUMP: That's fantastic. Well, congratulations. I love the truckers. You know, they're on my side.


TRUMP: I think all of them, frankly. I think pretty much all of them.

How about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a custodian at the post office as well.

TRUMP: What do you do exactly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clean up everybody's mess and germs and all that.

TRUMP: That world, that profession will never be out of business. You know that, right?


TRUMP: Thank you very much for being here. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for having me.

TRUMP: And how about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a registered nurse, President Trump.

TRUMP: Good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work at a New Jersey hospital. It's called Virtua Libero (ph) hospital.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also represent an organization of professional nurses. It's called the National Association of Catholic Nurses.

TRUMP: Very good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I want to tell you, sir, as a nursing supervisor, I am so in awe of your leadership honestly. I know many people have said often interesting things, but it takes a true leader to be able to ignore all that stuff and do what's right and not be offended by all the words being said.

TRUMP: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you really do show that positive spirit to us. And as nurses, I appreciate that. But just as an individual, I'm grateful for that.

TRUMP: Well, I'm for the nurses, I'm for the doctors. I'm for everybody. We just have to make this China virus go away, and it's happening.

Please, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm also a nurse. I represent Genesis Healthcare, which is a skilled nursing facility company. I want to thank you and your administration for all the supplies and support --

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- and funding that you've given the skilled nursing units. Without that, we couldn't do as well as we have done.

And I spent some time in New Jersey. I lived in West Virginia. Went to New Jersey and did some work there. And we finally started to see things change and turn around.

TRUMP: I appreciate what you said. We have delivers billions of dollars of equipment that governors were supposed to give and in many cases they didn't get. So, the federal government had to help them and all of the people that did this incredible work, they never got credit for it.

But you understand where it came from. Thank you very much. Thank you both. Truly nice.

Please, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a police officer in Englewood, Colorado. I contracted COVID in late March and recovered.

TRUMP: That means we don't have to be afraid of you at all, right?


TRUMP: Once you recovered, we have the whole thing with plasma happening.

That means your blood is very means your blood is very valuable. You know that, right? Thank you very much. Great.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a detention deputy at the Kern County Sheriff Department in California.

TRUMP: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I also contracted COVID, end of March, and recovered from that also.

TRUMP: How long was your problem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sick about ten days really bad, and I got everything besides a cough but recovered and I was off work for a month and a half. I work in our local county jails.

TRUMP: Did they do anything specifically to help you recover?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They gave me Z-Paks, medication, cough syrups.

TRUMP: OK, and I won't even ask you about the hydroxychloroquine --


TRUMP: -- because it's a -- it's a shame what they've done to that one. But I took it, I took the Z-Pak also and zinc.

I want to thank you very much. It's an honor to have you on the White House. You are fantastic people and the people you represent. You represent an incredible group of people, and we love you all. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.


MADDOW: We're just going to jump in here for a second in terms of some of the president's claims there, mostly about COVID but also about the Postal Service. The president talking about his caring about the postal service and workers and wanting to take care of them. The reason that's in the news and that's in this Republican show tonight is because of president's -- President Trump's postmaster general had changes in the post office that have created real problems, not just threats but material delays for mail service all over this country in terms of people not being able to get their medications on time, live animals that usually get shipped through the mail ending up dead in postal serving facilities inside mail packages that didn't get shipped in time, those changes to delay mail delivery times are things that happened during the Trump administration and for them to be bragging about taking care of postal service and it's the Democrats are out to get it is backward.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And the new -- the information that comes within the postal office, whistle blower inside the postal service are letting people know are crying out and say look at these packages, you know, piling up. All over this country, people are suffering, particularly in rural areas, people are desperate to get their social security checks, their Medicare.

And, you know, I am struck by the fact that he's doing this, caring for forefront line workers. It is a version of what Joe Biden did when he would interview real people. But Trump is doing it inside the White House using it as a set which I can't -- I mean, he's the only person who can't violate the Hatch Act, so he's doing that, and just using the White House in that way. Again, it's quite monarchical and no masks on, no masks.

MADDOW: No, they are a little bit apart from one another. Presumably they all had to be tested together.

REID: Yeah.

MADDOW: But to that end, one of the people who just told the president she had COVID and she recovered and the president said, we don't have to be afraid of you then.

REID: Yeah.

MADDOW: The president is advancing their theory of COVID immunity, which is very much in flux in terms of the scientific knowledge. I should also said the president said, your blood is very valuable, we just did that plasma thing. This again is also the president is not talking about in a way that is copasetic with the science.

The White House did pressure the FDA to approve convalescent plasma into emergency use. It's against the recommendation of FDA scientists and the head of the NIH and Dr. Fauci that they did that. There isn't any strong scientific evidence that suggests that convalescent plasma and antibodies actually is a sound therapeutic that's going to be a value for treating people with coronavirus.

I should also tell you that the president talked about sending billions of dollars to skilled nursing facilities because the governors would not. The federal government have sent very little in terms of supplies. That's something that has been over-promised and under-delivered and was misconstrued there in the way the president explained that. We hope that we don't have to keep doing this all night.

Football great Herschel Walker is up next at the RNC, let's get back to it.

HERSCHEL WALKER, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Most of you know me as a football player. But I'm also a father, a man of faith, and a very good judge of character.

I've known Donald Trump for 37 years. And I don't mean just casually ran into him from time to time. I'm talking about a deep personal friendship.

I watched him as the owner of a professional football team. Right after he bought the team, he set out to learn. He learned about the history of the team, the players, the coaches, every detail. Then he used what he learned to make the team better.

I watched him in the board room. He could be in the middle of a big meeting, but if one of his kids was on the phone, he dropped everything to take the call. He taught me that family should be your top priority.

I watched him treat the janitors, security guards, and waiters the same way he would treat a VIP. He made them feel special because he knew they were. He understands that they are the people who make this country run.

They clean. They cook. They build. They drive. They deliver.

He told me, Herschel, make an effort to get to know people. Remember their names. That stuck with me.

One time, I had planned to take his kids to Disney World with my family. At the last minute, Donald said he'd like to join us. So there he was, in a business suit, on the "It's a Small World" ride. That was something to see.

It just shows you what a caring, loving father he is.

It hurts my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald. The worst one is "racist." I take it as a personal insult that people would think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist. People who think that don't know what they are talking about.

Growing up in the Deep South, I have seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn't Donald Trump.

Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our National Anthem, and our country doesn't mean they don't care about social justice. I care about all of those things, and so does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice and the black community through his actions. And his actions speak louder than any stickers or slogans on a jersey.

He keeps right on fighting to improve the lives of black Americans and all Americans. He works night and day. He never stops. He leaves nothing on the field.

Some people don't like his style -- the way he knocks down obstacles that get in the way of his goals. People on opposing teams didn't like it when I ran right over them either. But that's how you get the job done.

I pray every night that God gives him some more time. Give him four more years. He has accomplished so much, almost all by himself and under constant attack.

But there is more work to be done. If you love America and want to make it better, Donald Trump is your president. He's my president and I'm blessed to call him friend.

MADDOW: Football great Herschel Walker with his endorsement of the president. We're going to take a quick break, we'll be right back on the other side with more of the Republican National Convention-ish.


MADDOW: -- one of the Republican National Convention. We are broadcasting this, of course, by choice. However, it is our responsibility to not unquestioningly broadcast potentially dangerous misinformation especially of the medical variety. That's why we need to bring in one more time, Dr. Vin Gupta. He's pulmonologist and global health policy expert with the University of Washington Medical Center.

Dr. Gupta, there is something that the president said a few moments ago that I feel like we need address in order to be responsible here. The president once again raised the fact that he personally says he took hydroxychloroquine as well as zinc, as well as something called Z-Pak, seeming to suggest that those things may have protected him from getting COVID since he has never known to have had it. I just want to ask if you can give your viewers more context as to why -- what it means, and what they should hear when the president brags about taking those drugs.

GUPTA: You bet, Rachel. For all your viewers out there, anybody listening, there is no pill you can take, hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin and antibiotic or a vitamin like zinc to protect you from infection with COVID-19, and what I'll quickly say is that these hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin have been studied among in-patients with COVID-19, and actually those that get the dual -- both of those drugs do worse than nothing at all.

So, you actually have worst outcomes if we get both drugs, versus nothing at all. So, we worry this could be a harmful regiment that's why the president should not be joking about it.

MADDOW: Talking about taking it, especially when everybody knows that he hasn't had COVID, that he said publicly that he hasn't COVID. So, he's talking about taking it as essentially a preventive, not even just as a therapeutic, which is essentially inviting people to try to do that themselves, which again could be dangerous. This is why we are cutting in.

And we're grateful to you, Dr. Gupta. Thank you very much.

Again, I hope we do not have to do it very much tonight, but we'll do it if we need to. We're going to go back now to the convention, Georgia State Senator Vernon Jones, who is a Democrat who has endorsed President Trump and he's speaking now. Let's listen.

VERNON JONES (D), GEORGIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Joe Biden has had 47 years to produce results. But he's been all talk and no action -- just like so many of these Democrats who've been making promises to the black voters for decades, we've been their captive audience.

When President Trump sought to earn the Black vote, the Democratic Party leaders went crazy. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer literally started wearing Kente cloth scarves around the U.S. Capitol. As if that pandering were enough to keep us quiet.

Let me tell you why I'm supporting our President.

I grew up in the South, in Laurel Hill, North Carolina, Scotland County, the Green Pond community to be exact. My parents, Robbin and Rupert (ph) Jones, built with their own hands a four room cinder block home with no indoor plumbing. They had very limited education.

But they instilled in us a strong work ethic that drove me from those tobacco fields of North Carolina, to hallowed halls of the Georgia General Assembly.

My parents taught me if I believed in God, worked hard, and treated every person fairly, there was no limit to what we could achieve.

I attended North Carolina Central University, a historical black college. For generations, HBCUs have been the incubators that developed black scholars in math, and science, and religion, engineering and politics. They have been important springboards for black success. But Democrats haven't treated them that way.

When President Trump took office, he changed everything. He delivered historic funding to HBCUs. And he guaranteed it for 10 years, something that's never happened in the history of this country.

That gave our HBCUs stability, the chance to grow and produce the next generation of black leaders.

That's right. Donald Trump did that.

He also supported school choice initiatives to ensure that no child -- no matter their race or zip code -- is left behind. Every child should have access to a quality education.

But education is just the beginning.

The President also built the most inclusive economy ever, with record low unemployment for African Americans and record high participation in the workforce.

He put Opportunity Zones in the Trump tax bill that will drive investment into our communities for decades to come.

He put the interests of American workers -- and especially black workers -- first. That's right. Donald Trump did that.

He delivered historic criminal justice reform. He ended -- once and for all -- the policy of mass incarceration of Black people, which has decimated our communities caused by no other than Joe Biden.

Democrats wouldn't do it. Obama didn't want to do it. And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris definitely wouldn't do it.

But Donald Trump did. He's also working every day to make our communities safer.

As a former County Executive of DeKalb County, Georgia, I directed one of the largest public safety departments in the southeast.

I've seen tragic shootings on both sides -- officers killing citizens and citizens killing officers in the line of duty.

Police officers are our fellow citizens. They live in our country. They have families. They live in our communities. Unfortunately, Democrats have turned their backs on our brave police officers. They call it "defunding." And it's a danger to our cities, our neighborhoods, and our children.

Isn't it ironic that the Democrat politicians have personal security to protect them? So, why don't they forgo their security and replace them with social workers, especially since that's what they want for you and me?

Our police need more funding, not less -- for frequent psychological examinations, for "non lethal" remote restraint technology, and for more de-escalation and use of force training.

These are the common sense solutions that President Trump supports -- true, sincere police reforms. That's right. Donald Trump did that.

Education. Jobs. Safety. Security. On issue after issue, and in just a single term, he destroyed these negative forces that have victimized the Black community for decades. He gave us the opportunity to rise.

Now, you know when I made the public announcement of my support for President Trump, all hell broke loose. I was threatened, called an embarrassment, and asked to resign by my own party. Unfortunately, that's consistent with the Democratic Party and how they view independent thinking black men and women.

But I'm here to tell you that black voices are becoming more woke and louder than ever.The Democratic Party has become infected with a pandemic of: intolerance, bigotry, socialism, anti-law enforcement bias, and a dangerous tolerance for people who attack others, destroy property, and terrorize our communities.

That's what this election is all about. And that's why right now, more than ever -- more than ever before, America needs Donald Trump in the Oval Office for another four years.

God bless you, and vote Donald J. Trump. Thank you.

ANDREW POLLACK, DAUGHTER DIED IN SCHOOL SHOOTING: In 2018, a gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and changed my life forever.

My name is Andrew Pollack. His name isn't worth saying.

One of the seniors walking in the hallways that day was my beautiful daughter Meadow. She was just months away from graduating and beginning a new life. We were so proud of the woman she had become.

But in the hallway on that third floor, the gunman saw Meadow and shot her down the hallway, hitting her four times. After she was shot and on the floor, she crawled over to another student, a freshman girl to protect her. She draped her body over her, and then the scumbag gunman shot my daughter at point-blank range five more times, killing Meadow and the girl she was shielding.

She had her whole life ahead of her, and in that life, she could have done anything and been anything. So many moments that I waited so long for were taken from me. I didn't get to drop her off at college. I didn't get to walk her down the aisle. But every moment was taken from her and for what?

I never wanted this to become a political spectacle but it did. I never wanted to meet the president like this, but I did.

I was invited to the White House. The truth is, I had just buried my daughter that week, and I really wasn't interested in public events like a tour or a photo-op, I was interested in answers and solutions. So, the president wanted to meet me personally, I said I'd go. They said, of course, that was his plan.

At the White House, my family and I sat with the president in the Oval Office and told him about Meadow. I too old I told him what we knew. I told him that his administration needed to take a closer look at what went wrong and why.

And I got to see who President Trump really is. He's a good man and a great listener. And he cuts through the B.S.

Then, the president did what he said he would do, he took action. He formed a School Safety Commission that issued dozens of recommendations to make schools safer. But I'll bet you never heard about that, instead the media turned my daughter's murder and went into a coordinated attack on President Trump, Republicans and our Second Amendment.

In fact, when President Trump asked me and other parents of children that were murdered in school shootings to join him as he announced the commission's findings, the media's first question wasn't about protecting kids. Shockingly, they asked about the government shutdown.

President Trump turned to me, appalled and said, Andy, can you believe these people? We're trying to talk about school safety and this is what they do?

But I could believe it. After my daughter's murder, the media didn't seem interested in the facts, so I found them myself. I learned that gun control laws didn't fail my daughter, people did.

The gunman that threatened to kill his classmates before, he had threatened to rape them, he had threatened to shoot up the school -- every red flag you could imagine. But the school didn't just miss these red flags, they knowingly ignored them.

Far left Democrats in our school district made this shooting possible, because they implemented something they called restorative justice. This policy which really just blames teachers for students' failures, puts kids and teachers at risk, and makes shootings more likely. But it was build as a pioneering approach to discipline and safety.

I was just fine with the old approach of discipline and safety. It was called discipline and safety. But the Obama/Biden administration took Parkland's bad policies and forced them into schools across America.

When President Trump rescinded Obama's guidance on restorative justice policies, he put an end to that, and that meant the world to me.

It's tough to tell how much Mr. Biden understands about what happened at Parkland. Mr. Biden has campaigned on bringing back restorative justice as part -- as part of his unity platform with Bernie Sanders and has pledged to implement it in school districts across America.

But he doesn't even seem to know when the shooting happened. He said that he was vice president when it happened. But he wasn't.

Mr. Biden may not know when my daughter was murdered, but I do. February 14th, 2018. Mr. Biden may not know that these policies make shootings more likely, but I do.

Mr. Biden may not know who was vice president that day, but I do. It wasn't Joe Biden. It was Mike Pence, thank God.

And I know who the president was too, it wasn't Barack Obama, it was President Donald J. Trump. And he took action.

I truly believe the safety of our kids depends on whether this man is re-elected. I hope you'll join me in helping to make that happen.

Mr. President, myself and millions of Americans appreciate you and love you.

God bless America, and God bless our President Donald J. Trump.

Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A curfew now in effect in the city of St. Louis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protests in St. Louis turned violent.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark McCloskey says he and his family have been threatened with violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under the Missouri law, you have a right to defend your home and the lives of your family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A search warrant has been executed at the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The husband and wife attorneys charged with pointing guns at protesters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were simply trying to protect their home.




MARK MCCLOSKEY, ST. LOUIS RESIDENT: Good evening, America. We are Mark and Patty McCloskey. We're speaking to you tonight from St. Louis, Missouri, where just weeks ago you may have seen us defending our home as a mob of protestors descended on our neighborhood.

PATTY MCCLOSKEY, ST. LOUIS RESIDENT: America is such a great country that you not only have the right to own a gun and use it to defend yourself, but thousands of Americans will offer you free advice on how to use it. At least that's what we experienced.

What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country. And that's what we want to speak to you about tonight.

MARK MCCLOSKEY: That's exactly right. Whether it's defunding the police, ending cash bail so criminals can be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, or encouraging anarchy on our streets, it seems as if Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.

Not a single person in the out-of-control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime. But you know who was? We were. They've actually charged us with a felony for daring to defend our home.

On top of that, consider this: The liberal activist leading a mob to our neighborhood stood outside of our home with a bullhorn screaming, "You can't stop the revolution!" Just weeks later, that same Marxist activist won the Democrat nomination to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the city of St. Louis, that's the same as winning the general election. The Marxist revolutionary is now going to be the congresswoman from the first district of Missouri.

These radicals are not content just marching in the streets. They want to walk the halls of Congress. They want to take over. They want power. This is Joe Biden's party. These are the people who will be in charge of your future and the future of your children.

PATTY MCCLOSKEY: They're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities, hey want to abolish the suburbs all-together by ending single-family home zoning. This forced rezoning would crime, lawlessness and low quality apartments in the now thriving suburban neighborhoods.

President Trump smartly ended this government over reach. Joe Biden wants to bring it back. These are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you. So, make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family is not safe in the radical Democrats of America.

MARK MCCLOSKEY: At this moment in history, if you stand up for yourself and for the values our country was founded on, the mob -- spurred on by their allies in the media-- will try to destroy you.

You've seen us on your TV screens and Twitter feeds. You know we're not the kind of people who back down. Thankfully, neither is Donald Trump.

President Trump will defend the God-given right of every American to protect their homes and their families.

But more than that, Trump's vision for America is a country where you have an opportunity to work hard and build the life you dream of. With a job you love, with your children being educated in great schools. In a community where your family can play in the backyard without fear, worship in a church without shame, and express your beliefs without retribution.

Trump brought us the greatest economy our country had ever seen. The Democrats have brought us nothing but destruction.

PATTY MCCLOSKEY: When we don't have basic safety and security in our communities, we will never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children, and for our country.

That's what's at stake in this election. And that's why we must re-elect Donald Trump.God bless you, God bless the President, and God bless these United States.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST, "DEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE": That was the McCloskeys. Here to here to help us digest some of the blatantly false comments they had to say there is our friend Claire McCaskill who also hails from the great state of Missouri.

Claire, what did you think?


CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: OK, I don't know where to start. Let me start with the law.

In Missouri, you can sit on your front porch with a gun and watch the parade go by. And that's perfectly legal. If you get off your porch and you go down and pointing people at the parade, that's called brandishing.

Now, substitute peaceful protesters walking in the street to a parade, and the same law applies. So, the jury's question will be, was their fear reasonable? The facts are in dispute but we know this, we know that they brought the guns out and the people were not on their property. They were in the streets and on the sidewalks.

We know that this is not a private street because you can drive-in on these streets any time you want. And so, it is really and the other thing you should know about these people, they sued everyone -- everyone and their brother, for their entire legal careers, their neighbors, their employers, their tenants. They even destroyed a beehive of the Jewish children at the Jewish temple next door because they thought it was too close to their property, took an ax out, these children had beehives so they can make honey for Rosh Hashanah.

That's the kind of guy these folks are, in addition, they owed thousands of dollars of back taxes. So, that's the McCloskeys.

MADDOW: Claire, is there a distance between what they just explain about their case and what their lawyers have maintained in court about their case?

MCCASKILL: Well, they haven't been to court, and the prosecutors already offered them diversion, saying that if they just acknowledge they brandish the gun when they were not in reasonable fear, you know, there were in reasonable fear because there were a lot of black people walking down their streets. They knew they were going. They knew they were going to the mayor's house around the corner. They know the mayor lives in their neighborhood. It was all over the news that this group is going to be protesting the mayor.

So, this wasn't a big surprise that these protesters were in their neighborhood. So the issue really is, will a jury agree if they decide to contest this, will the jury agree if they are in reasonable fear from peaceful protesters walking down the streets.

MADDOW: Senator McCaskill of the great state of Missouri, former Missouri senator, importantly tonight, Missouri district attorney, Claire, thank you. I imagine we'll be coming back to you over the course of the evening.

Again, we are not trying to do, you know, live analysis as this is rolling out. But we do feel the responsibility to make sure that we are not unquestioningly broadcasting things that are both -- that are false, that are deliberately false and potentially dangerous false.

To that end, we also want to bring in our colleague, Trymaine Lee, MSNBC correspondent and host "Into America" podcast.

Trymaine, I wanted to ask you about the claim that we just heard, again, from Mark and Patty McCloskey, they want to -- by Democrats. They are not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities, they want to abolish the suburbs all together. The idea that the Democratic Party wants to abolish the party, what is the accusation there that they're actually making and what is -- what is the reality?

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: So, as the McCloskeys mentioned is that Donald Trump had repealed laws that would allow multi family dwellings in the suburbs, which were an effort decades-long to try to desegregate the suburbs. Like we know, like deed of covenants and all these kinds of things that were put in place in housing policies to make sure to maintain segregation.

So, the accusation is that, you know, Joe Biden and the Democrats will come in and once again desegregate the suburbs.

And I want to go back to one other thing that the McCloskeys mentioned, they painted pictures of Democrats wanting to allow criminals and (INAUDIBLE) to run the streets, they actually benefit from Kim Gardner, the circuit attorney, her reform as policy. And so, because they were convicted of a felony, under many other circumstances, they would have been in order to surrender for arrest. But they were now eligible for diversion program because so many times in that -- in cities like St. Louis and across the country, they says you're nonviolent first time offender, you shouldn't do time.

As for everything we heard, painting this utopian picture of Democrats hoping to usher in the end to the suburbs -- which means the end of the dream, the end of the white dreams, ushering in black and brown and poor people to end the dream as we know it, where criminals will run amuck.

Meanwhile, the most cynical among us might say, of course, the Trump administration, perhaps the first in the history, would have speakers under indictments speak at the opening night of the convention. But this is a different world we live in.

REID: I would like to have a long conversation with you about these private streets and places like St. Louis with restrictive covenants where black people are not allowed to live. But we can -- we're going to -- I'm going to move on and go back to the presentation on HBCUs. I remember you and our good friend Stephanie Cargill (ph) did a whole piece on HBCUs.

This claim that Donald Trump rescued HBCUs is made a lot. It's made a target to black voters. Walk us through the reality of that. I know there is a piece of legislation called the Futures Act that passed and Donald Trump signed it in December of 2019.

But Donald Trump didn't write it. He signed it. It was a bipartisan bill, Democrats and Republicans.

But beyond signing the Futures Act which gave a lot of money for STEM to HBCUs, and about $85 million of it went to HBCUS. Specifically what -- what has Donald Trump done for HBCUs that's so specifically that makes him the savior in his mind?

LEE: There really hasn't been much in the way of saving or rescuing HBCUs. There has long been this relationship from the beginning of this reconstruction era where many of these historically black college and universities were established, this relationship. Howard University actually has more of a binding relationship with the federal government than many others.

But there isn't much special. When you think about his kind of support, not unlike many other presidents for HBCUs, and then the First Step Act which was actually enacted -- the Obama administration attempted to get it through but it was blocked by Congress, signing that bill which allowed some prisoners early release and the HBCUs. That's the go-to favorite from many black Republicans especially. But many others who say here he is rescuing black people. He's not the enemy.

When in fact there isn't anything necessarily remarkable about his record with HBCUs in particular, part of the tale.

REID: He made this statement over and over again that before he signed that bill, the Futures Act, HBCUs were going to go out of business. Is it true that HBCUs would have gone literally out of business if it weren't for Donald Trump? Because that's what he's claiming.

LEE: That is without question not true, but with a bit of a caveat. There are -- all HBCUs are not on equal funding they get from donorships or with their relationship with the federal government. There has been some HBCUs who have long struggled, really storied institutions who have been struggled. But the idea that without the signing of the signature on that paper that the collapse of these storied institutions like Howard and Spellman and my wife's Southern University, Moorehouse would have gone crumbling into the either is just a falsity.

REID: Thank you.

MADDOW: Trymaine Lee, it's good to have you with us, again. We're dipping in and out of coverage tonight when things are being said that aren't factually backed up and that potentially have major implications. We hope we don't have too much of that over the course of this evening.

We're going to get back now. The number three Republican in the House, Steve Scalise is speaking, Congressman Scalise of Louisiana.

Let's listen.


SEAN PARNELL (R), COMBAT VETERAN/PA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I'm Sean Parnell, and it is an honor to be here.

In 2006, the Army sent me to Afghanistan as a young platoon leader, placed in command of Americans from every corner of our planet.

Our platoon reflected the diversity of our nation, every race, creed and religion. Despite those differences, we were bound together as brothers from the same American family.

On June 10, 2006, our platoon was attacked just after dawn. Outnumbered ten to one, we endured mortar and machine gun fire as hundreds of Taliban charged us from three sides. We had 24 men that day.

Wave after wave of Taliban advanced up the hill, I was wounded three times in the fighting. Nearly all of my platoon was wounded within the first minute. But the enemy kept coming.

We fought to our last rounds of ammunition and when it was over, we held the hill.

In the face of death, I saw ordinary Americans become heroes. In our darkest hour, when our survival depended on each other, my men and I learned an important lesson -- we all bleed red.

Our differences did not define us. United we were unbeatable. After 485 days of combat, I came home eager to enjoy the freedoms that I risked my life to defend. But I watched with alarm as the party of my grandfather, a life-long union Democrat, turned against the very people that it professed to represent.

I watched as Joe Biden spit venom as an auto worker that dared to question Joe's intent to dismantle the Second Amendment and take your guns. Where Democrats once stood for law-abiding Americans who displayed our flag with pride, this new Democrat Party considers these people uneducated racists, clinging to guns and bibles.

The party of Harry Truman became the party of hedge fund managers, Hollywood celebrities, tech moguls, and university professors, all bloated with contempt for Middle America. I look across the aisle and I do not see a party that wants you to pursue your dreams. I see a Democrat Party that wants to dictate what the dreams are.

I don't see a party that wants you to be free. I see a party that wants to chain you to conformity and will destroy anyone they deemed heretic. I swore an oath to defend my country and its Constitution. President Trump has sworn to do the same.

That's why he's advanced freedom despite savage political attacks to overcome the agenda of the radical left. President Trump has unleashed the economic might of this nation like no other president in our history. He triggered the rising tide of working families, brought us energy independents, reclaimed jobs from overseas that, you know, Democrats said would never return.

He's fiercely defended the besieged First and Second Amendment. That is just a start. With four more years, imagine what we can achieve by simply working with our president.

I believe in our president's vision for the future. I stand here tonight calling on all Americans to join us. It doesn't matter what you look like, who you love, how you worship, your gender or your job.

If you're a traditional Democrat who's become disillusioned with how radical your party has become, then stand with us. You are most welcome. America needs all of her patriots to rush to her defense.

My fellow Americans, I promise you this: In our tent, you are free. Free to speak the truth. Choose your journey. Define your life.

You have the power to go as far as you aim, and aim higher and keep going because that is what Americans do.

We are idealists and dreamers, lovers of adventure, who are rugged and independent. We don't make excuses. We make the impossible a reality. Think about it. In a century, we went from ground bound dreamers gazing to the stars to doers who created the means to reach them.

This is not the time to stand on the sidelines. If you love our country as we do, as our president does, join the chorus of patriot voices that will preserve this exceptional union.

Mr. President, lead the way. Millions in our American family believe in this path of destiny. Guide us to that horizon.

Thank you and may God bless the United States of America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We come together to imagine a future determined by the shining light of our hopes and values and faith.


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