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Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show, August 26, 2020

Guest: James Martin


Coverage of the Republican National Convention.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Nicolle, I was just -- before we jump back into this, just noting that, you know, even if this were -- and God, we hope there are successful peace negotiations to bring this out. Peace negotiations don't necessarily mean that U.S. troops come home automatically.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST, "DEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE": Right, I mean, in Iraq, I think President Obama -- you know, once you create an agreement with a country, it takes years to troops to come home, years.

MADDOW: Sometimes, it doesn't have to, but it usually does.

WALLACE: It usually does. The other thing is this is something they have tried at different point. This was what John Bolton who was the national security advisor before the current national security adviser left over. Donald Trump wanted to have the Taliban at Camp David to engage in these kinds of talks last September 11th.

MADDOW: Yeah, and promising this stuff and doing it at two different things.

Let's get back to the RNC in progress. This is a highlight on the issue of women's suffrage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It all started at a Tea Party, 13 years before the American Civil War, civil unrests and division separated countrymen into two opposing camps. One determined to keep African-American people enslaved, the other determine to see all people free.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott felt the call to fight for that freedom, when they were selected as delegates for an anti-slavery convention, but upon arrival were told they could not speak or vote at a male-dominated event.

On July 9th, 1848, Mott, Stanton and three other women met for tea. By the end of the day, they formed a coalition with the sole purpose of gaining the right for women to vote, so they in turn would be free to fight for the freedoms of others.

Women across America united, and formed activist groups working tirelessly to win the vote for American women. The incomparable Susan B. Anthony became one of the leaders of women's suffrage when in 1872, she registered and voted for every Republican on the ballot. As punishment, she was arrested for illegal voting. At the request of Susan B. Anthony, Senator A.A. Sargent introduced the 19th Amendment in 1878.

The Susan B. Anthony amendment was submitted and defeated four times but women continue to fight. Sojourner Truth and many other black suffragettes defied segregation, fighting for all women's voices to be heard and allowed to vote. For the two years prior to ratification, the silent sentinels quietly picketed the White House.

Finally, when Republicans regain control of Congress on August 26th, 1920, the Equal Suffrage Amendment was signed into law.

Women suffrage movement took 72 years, and would change the lives of women forever. The victory was achieved peacefully through the valiant efforts of women patriots and the democratic process.

One hundred years later, in a bold declaration of rights for women, President Trump granted a full pardon to Susan B. Anthony on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment's ratification.

Women suffrage was born from a desire to fight for the freedom of others. Now, we the great patriots of America will band together once again, and with one unified voice, we will vote for freedom.


You may know me as a supporter of President Trump, but tonight I'm here to share with you how he supported me both as a new mom and as an American with a pre-existing condition.

When I was 21 years old, I got a call that changed my life. It was my doctor informing me that I had tested positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation, a mutation that put my chances of breast cancer at 84 percent. It was the same mutation that my mom had compelling her to get a preventative double mastectomy, removing her breast tissue, but protecting her from a disease that has taken far too many of our mothers, our sisters, our friends.

In my family, eight women alone were diagnosed with breast cancer, several in their young twenties. I now faced the same prospect.

For nearly a decade, I was routinely at Moffitt Cancer Center, getting MRIs, ultrasounds, and necessary surveillance. During these visits, I crossed paths with brave women battling cancer and fighting through chemotherapy. They were a testament to American strength. They are American heroes.

On May 1st, 2018, I followed in my mother's footsteps choosing to get a preventative mastectomy. I was scared. The night before, I fought back tears as I prepared to lose a piece of myself forever.

But the next day, with my mom, dad, husband, and Jesus Christ by my side, I underwent a mastectomy, almost eliminating my chance of breast cancer, a decision I now celebrate. Breast reconstruction has advanced remarkably. While it is an individual's decision, my doctor and I chose a course of surgery that left me virtually unchanged. But more important than physical results, I developed a strength and a confidence that I carry with me.

During one of my most difficult times, I expected to have the support of my family, but I had more support than I knew. As I came out of anesthesia, one of the first calls I received was from Ivanka Trump. As I recovered, my phone rang again. It was President Trump calling to check on me. I was blown away.

Here was the leader of the free world caring about my circumstance. At the time, I had only met President Trump on a few occasions, but now I know him well, and I can tell you that this President stands by Americans with pre-existing conditions.

In fact, President Trump called me this morning. I spoke with him several times today and he told me how proud he was of me for sharing this story. The same way President Trump has supported me, he supports you. I see it every day. I've heard him say the hardest part of his job is writing to loved ones of fallen soldiers.

I've seen him offer heartfelt outreach to grieving parents who lost their children to crime in the streets. And I've watched him fight for Americans who lost their jobs. President Trump fights for the American people because he cares about stories like these.

I have a nine month old daughter. She's a beautiful, sweet little girl, and I choose to work for this president for her. When I look into my baby's eyes, I see a new life, a miracle for which I have a solemn responsibility to protect. That means protecting America's future, a future President Trump will fight for, where our neighborhoods are protected, where life is sacred, where God is cherished, not taken out of our schools, removed from our pledge and erased from our history.

I want my daughter to grow up in President Donald J. Trump's America. Choosing to have a preventative mastectomy was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but supporting President Trump, who will protect my daughter and our children's future, was the easiest.

KAREN PENCE, SECOND LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening. I'm Karen Pence. My husband is Vice President Mike Pence.

One hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment was adopted into the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Because of heroes like Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone, women today like our daughters Audrey and Charlotte and future generations will have their voices heard and their votes count. The women's suffrage movement was the gateway that led to women having the opportunities to achieve monumental milestones and accomplish significant achievements in both civic and governmental roles.

This evening we look at heroes in our land. As second lady of the United States for the past three-and-a-half years, I have had the honor of meeting many heroes across this great country.

The Pences are a military family. Our son Michael serves in the United States Marines and our son-in-law Henry serves in the U.S. Navy. And one of my key initiatives is to elevate and encourage military spouses.

These men and women like our daughter Charlotte and our daughter-in-law Sarah are the home front heroes. I have been privileged to hear so many stories of selfless support, volunteer spirit and great contributions to the armed forces and our communities.

You know, military spouses may experience frequent moves and job changes, periods of being a single parent while their loved one is deployed, all while exhibiting pride, strength and determination and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

To all of the military spouses, thank you.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have been supporting our United States armed forces, including our military families on a significant scale.

While traveling throughout our nation to educate military spouses about policy solutions that President Trump has promoted, involving real tangible progress in military spouse employment, I have been inspired to meet heroes like Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruise. These military spouses decided to start their own business R. Riveter, named after the Rosie the Riveter Campaign used to recruit women workers during World War II.

R. Riveter makes beautiful handbags designed and manufactured exclusively by military spouses. And many of those spouses live all over the country. They prepare and send their section of the bags to the company located in North Carolina where the final product is assembled.

Military spouse hero Jilan Hall-Johnson in Billings, Montana, is a culinary artist who had dreamed of starting her own restaurant. Working with the Small Business Administration's Development Center, Jilan started her restaurant, the Sassy Biscuit. And she just opened a second restaurant in Dover, New Hampshire.

And as the second lady, I've also been able to bring awareness to a form of therapy for our heroic veterans suffering from PTSD. Art therapy facilitated by a professional art therapist is especially effective with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Chris Stowe, a marine veteran I met in Tampa, who deployed for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, said nothing had helped him deal with the trauma from his service in the Marines, until he finally agreed to meet with the art therapist at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Chris credits art therapy with saving his marriage and his life. And Chris went on to establish a glass blowing workshop to help other vets.

Many of our veteran heroes struggle as they transition back into civilian life. And sometimes, the stress is too difficult to manage alone.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking with some amazing Americans who answer the veterans crisis line. One in particular, Sidney Morgan, especially impacted me. A veteran herself, Sidney said it is the highest honor of her life until they physically walk into a clinic to receive help they deserve, and she can pass their hand to someone ready to help.

In these difficult times, we've all seen so many examples of every day Americans reaching out a hand to those in need, those who in humility have considered others more important than themselves.

We've seen healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, mental health providers, law enforcement officers, grocery and delivery workers, and farmers, and so many others, heroes all.

One hundred years ago, women secured the right to vote. So let's vote, America. Let's honor our heroes. Let's re-elect President Trump and Vice President Pence for four more years.

God bless our heroes, and God bless the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hold these truths to be self evident, all men are created equally, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


MADDOW: White House's advisor, Kellyanne Conway, giving remarks there that we all know the context of. Kellyanne Conway sort of a remarkable figure, she's about to leave her senior role at the White House.

She's one of the originals. She's one of the people who's been there from the very beginning. There aren't many of those who aren't part of the Trump family.


MADDOW: She and her husband both announcing that they're stepping back from the public life in order to take care of family issues and spend more time with her kids.

WALLACE: This was an issue front and center in the Oval Office. The president is very active on social media, followed the attacks launched at him by her husband, George Conway. If you talk to her during these times, she spoke about the president being extremely supportive of her. Because it became so personal and so public that it is a weird thing to watch, but became almost a normal feature of life in the time of Trump.

REID: She was also the campaign manager just after Paul Manafort era, so she came on board to run the campaign and came into the White House and as you said, I mean, George Conway has called Donald Trump a racist and evil. So, they're quite a bit different --

WALLACE: And mentally unfit. I mean, George Conway first gave mainstream Republican conservative voice to the theory that Donald Trump is mentally unfit for presidency.

MADDOW: It is interesting to hear Kellyanne Conway gives those remarks about how she feels about the president, obviously making clear she's not being pushed out. She's leaving on her own terms, but we know about the family's drama that's behind it.

All right. We are going to take a quick break, we'll be right back with more of the third night from the Republican National Convention. Stay with us.


MADDOW: -- Republican National Convention.

We started off our coverage tonight by nothing what's going on in the inside world, which is as Mike Toreko (ph) put it, today is the largest day of sports activism in U.S. history as the NBA and now the WNBA and Major League Baseball called off games tonight in protest over racial justice issues.

Here is a former Notre Dame football coach speaking tonight at the RNC in that context.

LOU HOLTZ, LEGENDARY COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH: It is a pleasure, a blessing, and an honor for me to explain why I believe that President Trump is a consistent winner, an outstanding leader, and deserves to be reelected as our president.

First, I want you to know that I grew up in a one bedroom house in West Virginia. I may have been poor, but the lessons my parents taught me were priceless. They taught me that life is about making choices.

Wherever you are, good or bad, don't blame anyone else. Go get an education. Get to work. You can overcome any obstacles. And always remember that in this great country of ours, anyone can amount to something special.

I live by those principles of hard work and responsibility my whole life, living out the American story, and it works.

But there are people today like politicians, professors, protestors, and of course, President Trump's naysayers in the media who liked to blame others for problems. They don't have pride in our country, and because they no longer ask what can I do for my country, only what the country should be doing for them. They don't have pride in themselves. That's wrong.

When I was an officer third in the Army, I served with so many great Americans who embraced a responsibility to our country. I'm so proud of their sacrifices and the opportunity that is provided for so many millions. America remains a land of opportunity no matter what the other side says or believes.

You know, there's a statue up at Notre Dame. I guess they needed a place for the pigeons to land. But if you look closely, you will see these three words there: trust, commitment, and love.

All my life, I've made my choices based on these three words. I use the three rules to make choices about everything, my beloved wife of 59 years, athletes I coached, and of course, politicians, even President Trump.

I ask myself three things. One, can I trust them? When a leader tells you something, you got to be able to count on it. That's President Trump. He says what he means. He means what he says. And he's done what he said he would do at every single turn.

One of the important reasons he has my trust is because nobody is but a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump. The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump.

The second question I ask is are they committed to doing their very best?

President Trump always finds a way to get something done. If you're wanting to do something bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse, and excuses are a lot easier to find than solutions. President Trump finds solutions. President Trump is committed.

And the third question I ask is do they love people? Do they care about others?

To me, this is very clear. President Trump has demonstrated through his prison reform, advocating for school choice and welfare reform, and he wants Americans from all walks of life to have the opportunity to succeed and live the American dream. President Trump loves our country and our great people. Trust, commitment, and love.

In President Trump, we have a president we can trust, who works hard at making America greater, and who genuinely cares about people. If I apply this test to Joe Biden, I can't say yes to any of these three questions.

I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame, if you did not show up, who would miss you and why? Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for president? I'm so glad he showed up. Thank you for showing up Mr. President.

I encourage everyone who loves this country, who loves America, to show up in November for President Trump. Thank you.

MADDOW: I'm just going to interject here just for a moment to talk about one specific thing that made us all sit up quite straight here at the desk when he said -- that was Lou Holtz who is the beloved former Notre Dame football coach. He said a lot there. But he said he and other politicians are Catholics in name only, which is a serious thing to say about a person in their relationships with their god and their faiths.

It sticks out in particular when you say that about somebody like Joe Biden, who is the nation's first Catholic vice president and will be the first Catholic president in more than 50 years.

Just to put a finer piece of understanding on that point, we've called tonight Father James Martin, who is a Jesuit priest. He's editor at large of "America Magazine".

You may remember him from delivering the benediction at the Democratic National Convention last week. Father Martin said at the time that he would have been happy to do so at the Republican convention as well had he been asked.

Father James Martin, it's a real honor to have you with us tonight, sir. Thank you so much.


MADDOW: It strikes -- it struck all of us here, I know it struck me, to hear Vice President Biden there to call a Catholic in name only. I want to get your reaction given of what you know of Vice President Biden and what that kind of an epithet means.

MARTIN: I don't think you should say that about anybody. You cannot -- I mean, Lou Holtz may be a terrific football coach but he can't look in the soul of Joe Biden. Catholics are also not one issue voter. Certainly, Joe Biden disagrees with the church teaching of abortion. But, you know, the Trump administration disagrees with church teaching, all sorts of things.

So, I think it is a terrible thing to say. He has no clue what's going on inside of Joe Biden's heart.

MADDOW: Can I ask you, sir, if the vice president's public profession of faith, his willingness to talk about his Catholicism, "The Washington Post" actually did an interesting sort of follow-up about Joe Biden's faith and how it plays a role in the presidential campaign after the president said about him recently that Joe Biden wants to hurt the bible and hurt God, he's against God. It's a sort of a profile about how Vice President Biden has been opened about his Catholic faith over the course of his public life, including holding rosary beads and being seen to hold them and talk about them.

Among Catholic voters of all ideological stripes, is it significant that Vice President Biden has been so opened about his faith and it would be a landmark election for him if he became president.

MARTIN: It could be for Catholic voters. But most Catholic voters do not vote according to who's Catholics or who's not. They -- you know, they vote Republican and Democrat. They're voting more for the issues.

But this idea that he needs to be judged based on one particular stance that he's taking is kind of ridiculous. I mean, you know, I would imagine that the Trump administration would not want President Trump called Christian in name only, with a whole list of all the things that he's done against the church on.

We should not be getting into a sort of, you know, divining whether or not someone is a good Christian or not. It's just, you know, judge not, as Jesus said, and I think he's a pretty good authority.

MADDOW: Nobody is going to argue with you on that here.

Father James Martin, the editor at large of "America Magazine", thank you so much for being with us tonight, Father. It's an honor.

MARTIN: My pleasure.

MADDOW: All right. We are going to take a quick break and we'll resume our coverage -- oh, I am not taking a quick break. We are back. I'm sorry, completely my fault, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is about to start her remarks I believe. I thought they were in break there. No, here she comes -- Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I'm Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and I am honored to represent New York's 21st congressional district, the cradle of the American Revolution.

It's where almost 250 years ago, brave patriots fought in the Battles of Saratoga to turn the tide of the Revolutionary War. It's where forty years ago in Lake Placid, a team of amateur hockey players out-hustled, out-skated, and defeated the Soviet Union, stunning the world and giving us the unforgettable Miracle on Ice.

And today, it's home to Fort Drum and the historic 10th Mountain Division, the most deployed unit in the U.S. Army since 9/11. Where I saw firsthand President Trump graciously thank and honor our men and women in uniform and sign the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade.

Since our nation's founding, generation after generation of everyday Americans served and sacrificed to preserve and strengthen the American Dream. The vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- and the idea that if you work hard and dream big, you can achieve anything you imagine.

I believe in the American Dream because I've lived it. Like millions of Americans, I grew up in a small business family where I learned the values of hard work and determination. I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, ran for Congress to serve Upstate New York, and am proudly the youngest Republican woman ever elected to Congress in history.

I am honored to support President Trump for re-election because I know that he is the only candidate who will stand up for hardworking families and protect the American Dream for future generations.

Since his first day in office, President Trump has fought tirelessly to deliver results for all Americans, despite the Democrats' baseless and illegal impeachment sham and the media's endless obsession with it. I was proud to lead the effort standing up for the Constitution, President Trump, and most importantly the American people. This attack was not just on the President, it was an attack on you - your voice and your vote.

But the American people were not swayed by these partisan attacks. Our support for President Trump is stronger than ever before. We know what's at stake in this historic election. Americans from all walks of life are unified in support of our President. It's why more Republican women than ever are running for office this year. We understand that this election is a choice between the Far-Left Democratic Socialist agenda versus protecting and preserving the American Dream.

President Trump is working to safely re-open our Main Street economy. He understands that the engine of our country is fueled by the ingenuity and determination of American workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Joe Biden wants to keep them locked up in the basement and crush them with $4 trillion in new taxes.

We face a critical choice: Joe Biden's far-left failed policies of the past 47 years or President Trump who will stand up for the American people and the Constitution. I believe in the wisdom and spirit of the American people to elect the only candidate who is capable of protecting the American Dream, President Donald J. Trump.

Thank you to the North Country for the opportunity to serve as your voice supporting his re-election.

God bless the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.

MADISON CAWTHORN (R), HOUSE CANDIDATE IN NORTH CAROLINA'S 11TH DISTRICT: Good evening. I'm Madison Cawthorn, and I'm running to represent North Carolina's 11th congressional district.

This is a time of great adversity for our country. And I know something about adversity.

At 18 years old, I was in a horrific car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed. I was given a one percent chance of surviving.

But thanks to the power of prayer, a very loving community, and many skilled doctors, I made it.

It took me over a year to recover. My first public outing in a wheelchair was to a baseball game. You know, before my accident, I was 6'3". I stood out in a crowd. But as I was wheeled through the stadium, I felt invisible.

At 20, I thought about giving up. However, I knew I could still make a difference. My accident has given me new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. God protected my mind and my ability to speak. So, I say to people who feel forgotten, ignored, and invisible: I see you. I hear you.

At 20, I made a choice. In 2020, our country has a choice. We can give up on the American idea, or we can work together to make our imperfect union more perfect.

I choose to fight for the future, to seize the high ground and retake the Shining City on a Hill. While the radical left wants to dismantle, defund, and destroy, Republicans, under President Trump's leadership, want to rebuild, restore and renew.

I just turned 25. When I'm elected this November, I'll be the youngest member of Congress in over 200 years.

And if you don't think young people can change the world, then you don't know American history.

George Washington was 21 when he received his first military commission.

Abe Lincoln, 22, when he first ran for office.

And my personal favorite, James Madison, was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

In times of peril, young people have stepped up and saved this country abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled the cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps and cracked codes.

Yet, today political forces want to usher in the digital dark ages -- a time of information without wisdom and tribalism without truth.

National leaders on the left have normalized emotion-based voting and a radicalized identity politics that rejects Martin Luther King's dream.

MLK's dream is our dream -- for all Americans to be judged solely on their character. Millions of people risk their lives every year to come here because they believe in the dream of MLK and the American Dream.

Join us, as we, the party of freedom, double down on ensuring the American Dream for all people.

We are committed to building a new town square. It welcomes all ideas and people. Here, we will have freedom of speech, not freedom from speech.

To liberals, I say let's have a conversation. Be a true liberal, listen to other ideas and let the best ones prevail.

And to conservatives, I just say, let's define what we support and win the argument in areas like health care and the environment.

In this new town square, you don't have to apologize for your beliefs or cower to a mob. You can kneel before God but stand for our flag.

The American idea my ancestors fought for during the Revolutionary War is as exciting and revolutionary today as it was 250 years ago. I say to Americans who love our country -- young and old -- be a radical for freedom. Be a radical for liberty. Be a radical for our republic.

One nation. Under God. With liberty and justice for all.

Thank you and may God bless America.

JACK BREWER, FORMER NFL PLAYER AND MEMBER OF BLACK VOICES FOR TRUMP: I'm Jack Brewer, a former three-time NFL captain, college professor, coach, husband, son and father. I'm also a lifelong Democrat but I support Donald Trump.

Let me be clear, I didn't come here for the popularity or the praise, the likes or the retweets, I'm here as a servant to God, a servant to the people of our nation and a servant to our president. I grew up in Grapevine, Texas, a town that my great grandfather was the first black man to settle as a sharecropper in 1896. My early high school experience included fighting with skinheads and being a witness in an attempted murder trial after my friend shot a skinhead in self-defense.

I remember my dad's bravery when he personally stood up against a KKK rally in my town. In my house, my father taught me to back down from no one. I know what racism looks like, I've seen it firsthand.

In America, it has no resemblance to President Trump. And I'm fed up with the way he's portrayed in the media, who refuse to acknowledge what he's actually done for the black community. It's confusing the minds of our innocent children.

Before I left to come deliver this message, my energetic eight year old son, Jackson, stopped me and said, dad, can you please just tell everyone that all lives need to matter and that God loves everyone? In that moment, I realized that my eight year old had figured out what so many adults have seemed to forget; we are not as divided as our politics suggest.

At some point, for the sake of our children, the policies must take priority over the personalities. So because you have an issue with president Trump's tone, you're going to allow Biden and Harris to deny underserved black and brown children school of choice?

Are we so offended by the president's campaign slogan, make America great again, that we're going to ignore that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have collectively been responsible for locking up countless black men for nonviolent crimes? Are you going to allow the media to lie to you by falsely claiming that he said there are very fine white supremacists in Charlottesville? He didn't say that, it's a lie, and ignore the so-called Black Lives Matter organization that openly on their website, called for the destruction of the nuclear family.

My fellow Americans, our families need each other. We need black fathers in the homes with their wives and children. The future of our communities depend on it.

I'm blessed to be able to run inner city youth programs and to also teach in prisons across America. The inmates in my federal prison program literally receive days off their sentence just for attending my class.

And that's thanks to President Donald Trump in his First Step Act.

President Trump cared about these Americans and their families, even when so many others had left them behind and had written them off. I'm forever grateful for President Trump for that. He endures relentless attacks, and so do many of us like myself who support him.

But my momma always told me, when the Lord starts blessing, the devil starts missing. This convention marks a time to celebrate our history. Republicans are the party that freed the slaves and the party that put the first black men and women in Congress. It's the party of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, and now, Tim Scott and Donald Trump.

Our president has made incredible strides to end mass incarceration and give unprecedented opportunities for black in America to rise.

America, let this election be a call for all God's people who are called by his name to humble ourselves and pray together, and to seek his face and to turn from our wicked ways. Then he will hear us from heaven and he will forgive our sins and he will heal our land. Amen, and God bless America.

REID: OK, we're going to take a quick break. I want to do a fact-check. That person you just heard was ex -- former NFL player, he was a journeyman player named Jack Brewer who played for a number of teams throughout the year. He's now part of an organization called Black Voices for Trump. You may remember him for calling Donald Trump the first black president back in February. That's what he was known for, sort of in the social media world.

He made a statement, are you going to allow the media lie to you by falsely claiming that Donald Trump said there are very fine white supremacists in Charlottesville, he did not say that, it's a lie, it's a lie. So, this is one of those examples where the framing of it makes it true-ish, right, because Donald Trump never said there were very fine white supremacists.

MADDOW: He did not use that phrase.

REID: He didn't say, oh, these were fine white supremacists. He certainly did not say that, but I think it's important to remind ourselves what he actually did say following the Charlottesville riot which were whites by supremacists in Charlottesville on one side, and Black Lives Matter supporters, including Heather Heyer who was a young who was white who was killed by a car hit and ran by a car and killed and she was marching with Black Lives Matter. That's the framing.

Let's just play what Donald Trump actually said. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.


REID: OK, so he said they're both fine people on both sides.

MADDOW: The anti-Nazi protesters, some of them are very fine people also, the people who were protesting against who were --

REID: Yeah, just to be fair, Donald Trump did not literally say well, they were fine white supremacists in Charlottesville. He said the people who were marching on the white supremacist side who were neo-Nazi and who did tiki torch marches that looks like Klan march, that among them were some fine people.

WALLACE: The way we know Jack Brewer is not correct is where he says because we still hear stories of people who wanted to leave at the moment. Gary Cohn was the one who said I almost left after he said they were good people on both sides. So --


REID: -- who said that not only he's saying, has made a video saying that Donald Trump, you know, that he encourages white nationalists and that's why she had to leave, but I did ask her, did she believe white supremacy, you know, within the ranks and she said yes. So, just to be clear.

MADDOW: We should also note, a little bit of controversy about Mr. Brewer given those remarks. "The Associated Press" reported today that it was up in the air until very last minute whether or not they were going to allow Brewer to give these remarks. He was charged with insider trading early this month, which was widely known about him, even though he's running for Congress as a remember of the Republican Party. Those federal charges made it awkward in addition to the fact that we need to jump into the RNC and fact-check this obviously thing that he said. But there he was.

REID: Yeah.

MADDOW: We are expecting Congressman Lee Zeldin speaking just a moment, Senator Joni Ernst is on deck, Lara Trump who's married to one of Trump's son is on deck.

Let's get back to the Republican National Convention.

REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): I'm Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Tonight, as we celebrate America as a land of heroes, I'm here at a VFW Post of Heroes in West Hampton Beach, New York.

I've seen amazing Americans in action, raised in a law enforcement family, deployed to Iraq as an 82nd Airborne paratrooper and serving today in the Army Reserve. My generation, of post-9/11 veterans, has huge shoes to fill, following our greatest generation that fought tyranny, and saved the world.

All over our country, every day heroes serve and sacrifice for the greater good. Farmer, truckers, craftsmen, these heroes keep America running. And President Trump fights for them every day.

This year, we've especially relied on one particular group of heroes, frontline medical workers.

My twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna, were born over 14 weeks early. They weighed just a pound and a half. At two weeks, Mikayla went into septic shock, had a stroke, and underwent brain surgery leaving a third of the left side of her brain a hole. Her doctors didn't believe Michaela would survive, fearing dire permanent consequences even if she did.

Through the miracles of modern medicine, power of prayer, and her will to live, my daughters are now starting high school and doing great, with no long-term effects from those frightful months in the NICU.

So, when I learned my county's PPE stockpile was depleted, I immediately thought of those healthcare workers who saved my baby girls. Jared Kushner and I were on the phone late into that Saturday night. The very next day, President Trump announced he was sending us 200,000 N95 masks. He actually delivered almost 400,000.

That number quickly grew to 1.2 million, masks, gowns, and more. The president sent thousands of ventilators to New York. He deployed the USS Comfort and converted the Javits Center to a field hospital. His administration authorized our lab testing requests at blinding speed.

During the once in a century pandemic, an unforeseeable crisis, sent to us from a far away land, the president's effort for New York was phenomenal.

For our nation, to emerge even stronger, more prosperous, freer, and more secure than ever, to make our country greater than ever before, we must re-elect President Trump.

We are the land of the free because of the brave. And we are the land of opportunity because we have a president who wants to empower the best of who we are to be the best of what we can be. There's never been a nation greater than ours, never a people more resilient than ours, and never a future for America more promising than ours right now.

Keeping America great is up to us. And losing is not an option.

WALLACE: So you just heard Congressman Zeldin there talking about the, quote, phenomenal job that President Trump and his administration did when it came to securing PPE or as Don Jr. would say PPND for frontline health care workers fighting coronavirus.

Now, just get a reality check on that, we want to turn to Dr. Vin Gupta, pulmonologist and global health policy expert with the University of Washington Medical Center.

Dr. Gupta, your reaction?


Let's be clear here, nearly 1,000 of my frontline health care workers have died since the beginning of this pandemic because of cCOVID-19. So, dishonesty and misrepresenting the truth, no one is going to tolerate it on our end, nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors.

Let's be clear on the magnitude of PPE shortages. Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 1st said we need at least a minimum of 2.3 million N95 masks among other items, gowns, you name. What -- 200,000 was a small fraction of what New York City actually needed. That's why you had nurses and other health care staff in trash bags as their main form of PPE multiple times throughout the worst of it.

That's why on the regulatory side, the CDC on March 18th actually said if you can't get an N95 mask, docs and nurses, you can wear a surgical mask. I myself on March 18 was in the ICU had to switch to a surgical mask caring for COVID critically ill patients. So the CDC massaged guidance based on existing realities.

Finally, what did they do with response? They imported KN95 masks, 60 percent of which were flawed, did not protect individuals or 30 percent not as good, N95 masks built here in America. So there is no truth to any of this. Honesty matters.

WALLACE: Dr. Vin Gupta, thank you so much for helping us fact check that. We're going to dip right back into the convention where Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is speaking right now.


MADDOW: Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst.

I will just note very briefly for the record that there is no indication -- we all burst out laughing. There is no indication that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to ban farm animals and cars that they will once they seize power.

REID: Regulate puddles.

MADDOW: Well, they will regulate the hell out of those puddles, but they will leave you your farm animals and your cars.


MADDOW: I wasn't planning to interject, but there it is. I'm sorry.

All right. We have to actually interject for another reason because we want to check in with Bill Karins, as we said we would earlier this evening, who is watching hurricane Laura as it is bearing down on the Louisiana/Texas coast.

Bill, what is the latest?

BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Well, winds are now up to 150 miles an hour. This is only 10 miles an hour shy of being a category five. It may not make it to category five. It doesn't matter. This will still be incredibly strong and destructive storm.

And the storm surge is now moving onshore and the northern eye is only 45 miles from Cameron Parish, Louisiana. That's where land fall is likely in about three hours from right now. As we go through some of the maps and graphics, the storm moves on shore just to the right to the Beaumont area. Looks like Lake Charles to Cameron, that will be the high highest storm surge and wind gust, and that storm surge will be moving on shore over the next 8 to 10 hours.

We are approaching high tide here after midnight. And along with it will come the storm surge. They'll get the double whammy of that, 15 to 20 feet of water, a wall of water going all the way through the swamplands, 30 to 40 miles inland.



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