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Live from Studio 3A Rockefeller. Thank you for being with us tonight. We are so happy that you are here. I'm Rachel Maddow here at MSNBC headquarters in New York, although at a safe distance from my colleagues, Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace. Fantastic to be back with you guys tonight. Brian Williams will be along later on this evening. Welcome to live coverage of night two of the 20 Democratic National Convention and all of its wonderful weirdness. Last night, we got our first look at how the Democrats are trying to do this, how they are tackling the task of holding a convention without actually physically convening together anywhere.
The night, of course, culminated with a speech for the ages by former first lady Michelle Obama, a speech that will be remembered not only as an important convention moment for the Biden Harris campaign, it may be remembered as an important moment, full stop from the Trump presidency. We're going to be talking more about that landmark address from the former first lady in just a moment. But tonight, it is a full dance card for the Democrats as well.
And an interesting mix, including Democratic Party star Stacey Abrams, who will deliver a keynote address early in the proceedings. But there's a little bit of a twist to it. She will not be alone for that keynote. We have a little preview of how that's going to work. Stacey Abrams and a large supporting cast from the Democratic Party looks like it's going to be very interesting tonight. We'll also see speeches from the very, very talented young lightning rod, progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
We will also hear from former President Bill Clinton. And we're now able to report that Republican former secretary of state and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell, will be speaking on behalf of the Biden Harris ticket tonight as well, his first ever appearance at a Democratic convention after serving in multiple Republican administrations. John Kerry will be speaking tonight. Sally Yates, a performance by John Legend, emceeing responsibilities taken on by Tracee Ellis Ross. The night's big closing speech, of course, will be from Dr.
Jill Biden, the former second lady, and the Democrats hope the next first lady of the United States. But of course, it has already been a big news day. One of the things we spent a long time talking about last night that was addressed in the first night of the DNC was the Postal Service and worries about sabotage ahead of the election. The Trump administration and President Trump's appointed postmaster general appearing today to cave to widespread public outrage and pressure.
Lewis Dejoy announcing today he will suspend the policies he put in place that have caused massive mail delays in the run up to the election. Question is, in part, do you believe him? Joy and Nicole, I got to ask you guys as we head into this, hey, how are you feeling about how night one went? And, B, what do you think about this news about the post office? Yeah, well, first of all, the night one, you know, I really ruminated on Michelle Obama, like for the rest of the night.
You know, I was trying to have a dream about her because that speech impacted me personally a lot, you know, because to have just the fact that we had a black first lady is still something that kind of makes me see. I just don't think that America accomplished that thing. You know, it was a good thing we accomplished.
But she has emerged as this moral voice on her own, apart from Barack Obama that is so phenomenal between her podcast and becoming the movie that I cried all the way through, I am not embarrassed to admit it. Even as a journalist, I ride through it because it's like the idea that she has this voice and this power and that she doesn't have to use it with Barack Obama.
She can just use it.
And she used the hell out of it last night. She spoke fire at Donald Trump and there's nothing he can do.
All the whining that he did in response can't touch what she did. I think that's a really important point about how distinct her role as a public intellectual, as a political force and as a moral voice is. Quite I mean, her husband is an aspires to be all of those things a long standing way, you know, because of his presidency always will be to a certain extent. But she has she is something different than he is in terms of her long standing.
She she reacquired her identity because remember, before President Obama, for then Senator Obama got into politics, she was a bit like she had a corporate career.
She had a huge career. She was at one point like Supervisorial, like she actually had her own thing. And then becoming first lady makes you subordinated. You have to subordinate whatever you are in order to be the first lady. She's reemerged in a way that we haven't really seen first ladies do.
They sort of stay back and she's reemerged as a separate entity. And so and I love that.
I think it's cool in who agrees to join our friends over at Fox News. I mean, I just think the political power of what she did transcended the personal and the profound and the the. Marriage and what they went through as the country's first couple and just the political power of what she did was something that even the folks over at Fox News acknowledged. Friends of Morning Joe put together a sort of a real of everyone there acknowledging most not all, but most of what he just said.
So there are very few people and I've been thinking about this around the postmaster story, who are the arbiters left in American life that could come in and say, you know, just darn it, like the post office deserves to be saved so that my, my my kids medicine comes in the mail, my letters go out, my ballots get in in time. There are so few. You mean who has the power to say this can't stand this week's referees?
I mean, John McCain was one when when he was alive, he voted his conscience. And while he was a conservative Republican, he was viewed as an honest broker. I think Ted Kennedy was viewed as one of these referees in America. There's so few and there's so few people. Think about how many people are going to speak this week. They will even get a round of applause and accolades from from Fox News, which has become so hardened in the corner of Dunta.
And not that it matters what they're saying, but it matters with those viewers because that's where the Trump base is going for their information. And if the Trump base saw what we saw, there are very few examples left in American political life where both sides even see the same story. I mean, this is really where the whole thing is devolved that it used to be 10 years ago. Everyone had a different band and the same stories. You look at it at night and you look at your hour and you and you look at there was even covering the same news.
But last night, everyone watched Michelle Obama. That's the political potency of what she did. We're going to play some clips from Michelle Obama's speech from last night a little bit later on this hour, we're going to talk also about this, what you're saying about in terms of whether we're having the same conversation, this sort of both consternation and also earnest discussion within the Democratic Party, within the progressive movement about whether it's cool to have lots of Republicans speaking at the Democratic convention.
But that is happening in part because Trump ism and Republicanism are diverging to a certain extent. And Republicans like Colin Powell, like John Kasich, like Susan Molinari, like John McCain, I think we'll see tonight are on the Biden side of things, not a Republican. And Speaker Pelosi talked about that today on my show. She said I said, is it a nod to his broad appeal or is it a policy debate? And I think most Democrats at this point see it as the first as a nod to his broad appeal.
And I think it is important in terms of how Joe Biden and Senator Harris have to navigate that in the final days to keep enthusiasm up among their base.
Let's before we get too close to what's about to start at the top of the hour. I also want to make sure that we spend a little bit of time talking about the other big story that has been churning all day. And it is separate than the DNC, but it is totally fitting that this story broke during the DNC. You will recall last DNC twenty sixteen, four years ago, started in chaos. Right? It started with the first big public dump of Democratic Party emails that had been hacked by Russian intelligence.
The Russians were trying to hurt the Democrats chances and helped the Trump campaign. The resulting chaos at the start of the Democratic convention four years ago must have seemed like a lot of fun to the Kremlin, right? Protests by Democrats against Democrats on the first day of their convention, the shock resignation of the Democratic Party chair right at the start of the convention. Well, fast forward to now in the midst of the 20 20 Democratic convention. And today we got the most detailed report we've ever had on just how deeply engaged the Trump campaign was with that Russian operation.
In twenty sixteen, a thousand page bipartisan report from the Intelligence Committee in the Senate confirming a bunch of findings from the Mueller report, but also containing some alarming new findings. Here's just some of the some of the bottom line conclusions from this report today. First of all, they found that President Trump's campaign chairman was in direct, frequent and secret communication with a Russian intelligence officer throughout his time on the Trump campaign. That Russian officer had previously been described in the Mueller report as linked to Russian intelligence.
But the Senate investigation that's out today found that he actually was a Russian intelligence officer tasked by the Kremlin with running Russian influence operations abroad. President Trump's campaign chairman gave that guy internal polling, internal information about Trump campaign strategy against Clinton, all while Russian intelligence was running its own operation against Clinton. The committee says today that it found, quote, two pieces of information that raise the possibility that Trump's campaign chair himself was directly involved in the Russian operation against Clinton.
But whatever those two pieces of information are that they found on him, that's all blacked out and redacted. So we can't see it. The Senate investigation found the Trump campaign knowingly helped Russia in its hack and leak operation to mess with the election and actively sought to undermine attribution of the attack to Russia, sought to actively help Russia get away with it. The committee also found that Roger Stone and the president spoke repeatedly about the WikiLeaks part of the Russian operation, despite the president's.
Saying he remembered no such thing. Oddly, the Senate committee also found that Roger Stone is not the most important thing that stood out to me, Roger Stone drafted pro Vladimir Putin tweets for Trump to send out under his own name. Why was he doing that? Still, the committee literally published old fan mail written by President Trump to Vladimir Putin. Look at this now than see it in your dreams at 4:00 p.m. tonight when you wake up in a cold sweat from twenty seven, look what they just published.
He underlines. I'm a big fan of yours. Joining us now is the senior senator from Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the committee that is responsible for this mammoth and landmark report today, Senator Mark Warner. Senator Warner, it's a real pleasure to have you with us today. Thank you for taking the time. Rachel, thank you for having me. It's been a long three and a half years, and for your viewers, this is actually volume by the report and all of them have been uniformly bipartisan.
We've had 14 out of 15 votes on every one of these reports. And I think it's important that the American public read it, draw their own conclusions and make sure it never happens again.
Did you guys put out a thousand page report on the second day of the DNC because you're actively trying to kill MSNBC hosts with workload?
We put out a thousand pages because we finished this report back in May and it took the intelligence community that long to go through their redactions. What they would allow us to release or not, I would have hoped it would have been out earlier, but it is out and it is now part of the historical record that goes along with what we saw about Russian interference with social media. It goes along with what we saw about Russian interference into our election system.
And what's so important is not only what you went through, but the fact that the intelligence community 10 days ago said Russia and other nations are back in twenty 20 trying to do it again.
The Russian ongoing interest in this president and as the intelligence community has publicly said, their interest in making sure that he is re-elected has become kind of a theme song in terms of us trying to assess the president's motives for a lot of his harder to explain behavior, particularly with regard to Russia, but also around a lot of foreign policy and intelligence issues over time. I feel like from the biggest possible picture here, part of what the president has learned, part of what the president's political supporters have learned is sort of no matter what they get caught out for when it comes to Russia and knowingly assisting in Russia's efforts and accepting their help and asking for more of it and trying to capitalize on it, they never get in trouble for any of it.
And so I feel like they're just becoming more sort of more blatant about the fact that they're OK with Russia interfering on their behalf. Well, I do think it is unfortunate, to say the least, that three and a half years later, the United States Congress, the House has passed bills with the Senate and Mitch McConnell's not even voted on a single bill that said if Russia chooses or their agents choose to enter to put up advertisements on Facebook, there ought to be the same disclosure requirements that if they advertise on MSNBC or how about this, for a law, it shouldn't be a big stretch if a foreign government offers you dirt in a presidential campaign.
The appropriate response ought to be tell the FBI, don't say thank you. We couldn't even vote on those additional rules that I think makes us less secure. Now, we are safer because election officials of both parties across the state, across the country have stepped up. We are safer because, while not perfect, the social media companies are doing better at trying to ferret out some of the most abusive misinformation. We are better because literally hundreds of intelligence counterintelligence professionals are doing their job.
But the fact that this White House refuses to acknowledge what the intelligence community uniformly said 10 days ago, that Russia is back now, China and Iran are also trying to interfere in our democracy. Should give us all a little bit of pause when.
Seventy seven days before Election Center, the narrative in this, it's too bad it's a thousand pages because are sections of it that read like a thriller. Can you just take us inside the findings about how Paul Manafort, who in American presidential campaigns, the campaign chairman, is the most senior person? And to say it's not normal to be running plays for Russia is an understatement. I worked on three nobody nobody talked to any foreign government, but he's basically described in the text as either a winning or unwitting wetting agent of a now known Russian intelligence official explained how that operated and under Weissman of the Mueller campaign said there were things like that that maybe weren't even known to Mueller.
How did you get to that? What did that look like? And and how is that something that that that doesn't have everyone's hair on fire? Well, you know, this is three and a half years of work, a very bipartisan group of staff members, and I want to give a shout out to the former chair, Richard Burr, who stayed to this bipartisan agreement to try to get all the facts out. And Marco Rubio is trying to continue in that stead.
And we said we were going to let the American public decide how they want to read this. This is, again, volume five. We've done other reports, bipartisan social media on election security. And the amazing thing is the individual that Anacortes dealt with has been mentioned in the popular press as potentially being involved in some of the Russian disinformation efforts going on. So I think this should be about as Americans who do we want to have decide our elections?
It should be Americans. We may disagree with Mr. Trump and his supporters, but it ought to be Americans deciding amongst each other, not outside foreign entities trying to weigh in and tip the scales one way or the other. And I think we've still got a responsibility. I've still got a responsibility to push the intelligence community even more, to continue to educate the American public. Not so much about what happened in twenty sixteen, what happened in twenty twenty.
These other nations are still trying to interfere because in a sense, the soft underbelly of democracy is our is our systems. And if you can undermine people's confidence in our system and unfortunately out of the White House, we've seen this president talk about not being willing to perhaps go by the results of the election or as the earlier story pointed out, an unprecedented assault on the post office. So my hope would be that people of goodwill of both parties would look at what happened in twenty sixteen, look at this bipartisan report, read it, and then to make sure 20, 20 we don't have it happen again, I'll push the Intelligence Committee to come clean with all their information, and then Americans ought to make sure we decide this election not born into this.
Senator, one one brief last question for you. There's been public reporting that your committee believes and in fact referred to the Justice Department that a number of people associated with the Trump campaign may have lied to your committee over the course of your investigation. I know that you're going to be reluctant to talk about criminal referrals, but do you believe that there were people who lied to your committee and should they be prosecuted? Rachel, the chairman of the committee, said you shouldn't lie to our committee.
I'm not going to talk about referrals, what happened or not, that's not appropriate. And again, we turned it all.
Whatever happened, it was turned over to Justice Department vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Senator Warner, thanks for helping us understand this after the DNC is over. I think it's going to be a second round of focus on what you guys have done here. I look forward to talking to again about it then.
All right, we've got much more to come here this night in just a minute. We're going to be joined by our colleague Chris Hayes. His special guest tonight is going to be former Attorney General Eric Holder, who you are going to want to hear from. Also, as I mentioned, we've got some clips from last night's big speech by Michelle Obama. Big night, lots of folks joining us tonight. Stay with us.
Hey, it's Chris Hayes this week on my podcast. Why is this happening? I'll be talking with Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson about her wildly ambitious new book on cast.
What we view as established, almost natural law is in fact, a creation of man. It actually is not real. It is an artificial hierarchy that was used in this particular hierarchy, this particular caste system. In other caste systems, there might be religion that's used as a metric. There could be geography that's used as a metric other forms of lineage. But in this case, it was race as the tool race is the signal race is the clue as to where you fit in the caste system that was created with the founding of the country.
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Hi, I'm Chuck Rosenberg. This season on my podcast Theos, I spoke with 10 remarkable public servants, men and women who sacrificed for the common good, who do things that are hard, like former National Security Council official Fiona Hill. We can have a serious discussion about where we want the relationship with Russia to go, but we have to stop using Russia as part of our domestic politics. Civil rights activist Maya Wiley. When police officers are not protected, when they tell the truth, that creates a culture of silence that makes them accessories.
And Flight 15 49 pilot Captain Sully Sullenberger to know that we had been in the cockpit of that airliner over Manhattan at that low altitude when we had lost trust on both engines with so few options, it was just astonishing.
Catch up on season three of you with all 10 episodes now available, Search for the Truth, wherever you are listening right now to subscribe and hear all 10 episodes for free. The underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself.
Not only did we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof of this information and that created a compromised situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.
That was former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates giving that bone chilling testimony about the beard compromise and counterintelligence concerns at the very senior levels of the Trump administration. Well, Sally is going to be speaking tonight at the DNC. You'll recall she served briefly as acting attorney general at the beginning of the Trump administration. That's when some of the scariest stuff happened. She was shortly thereafter fired for refusing to defend the president's Muslim ban. Before that, she served as the number two at the Justice Department.
Deputy attorney general under Eric Holder during the Obama administration. Salivates ended up being a key player in the Russia investigation, which is again making big news on day two of the 20 20 DNC because of the Intelligence Committee, releasing their final report today, concluding that the Trump campaign knowingly cooperated with Russian efforts to try to elect Trump. Joining us now with more on all of this and a very big guest is our beloved colleague, Chris Hayes, the man from whom we are borrowing this hour of television.
Hey, Chris. It's great to see you. That report today, you mentioned this with Senator Warner, it was really remarkable and damning the fact that they say Konstantin Kalinich is a Russian intelligence official. Just as a statement of fact, we've been covering this for years and it's there in black and white. Once again, also puts a spotlight on just how truly untrustworthy the current attorney general has been throughout all of this. Right. It was William Barr's spin on the Mitchell report that gave us the framing that there was, quote, no collusion between Trump and Russia.
The president did not obstruct justice. Since then, that same attorney general, William Barr, has revealed himself to be fundamentally, more than anything, a loyal henchman for Donald Trump in his reelection campaign. And joining me now is someone who had William Barr's job under President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, who is now the chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. It's great to have you here tonight. I remember speaking to you in the hall back when we were doing that four years ago.
I want to start on William Barr. Obviously, I think anyone that read the whole report knew that initial spin from him was misleading, but that appears to have been a kind of indicator of things to come. What what is your assessment of his performance as attorney general in terms of the danger he poses both to the Department of Justice and to the kind of administration are free and fair elections this fall? Well, I think we need to be extremely concerned about the intelligence report from from the Senate, I mean, America needs to wake up.
The intelligence report indicates that the presidential campaign of Donald Trump at the highest levels was interacting with the Russians. And that should give us great cause. A neutral observer Justice Department would take appropriate action to try to probe and find out what that was all about. Hold accountable people who are involved in that. Hold accountable people who may have lied about their roles in that. I don't think that under this attorney general we're likely to see any of that occur.
And so I think people need to understand something very fundamental. Our democracy, our democracy is on the ballot this November. Both regard to how this administration has dealt with was the acquisition of power, interacting with a foreign power and also with the way in which this administration has tried to hollow out the protections that we have internally, whether it is not opposing gerrymandering, whether it is closing down the postal service, whether it's supporting the purging of voters on both ends, on both ends, we are seeing an attack on our democracy that has to stop in the way it has to stop is for the American people to simply say that's enough and to change the presidency, to change the people who work for the president put in place an attorney general who's going to do his job or her job, which is to protect the American people, serve the American people and not serve the president of the United States.
There's a popular component in terms of popular resistance that that you're speaking to, which I agree with, frankly, but there's also an institutional component. I wanted to zero in when you talk about the threat to this election, both from perhaps foreign adversaries, but also from the people that are administering the mechanisms of justice here. I mean, we've seen this Department of Justice put in statements of interest in Alabama, for instance, making it harder for people to vote.
We know that Attorney General William Barr has been going around repeating the same insidious falsehoods about absentee balloting. President, as do you have concerns about the role the Department of Justice plays, actually, as a litigant in possible election litigation and the check of the people in that building against its misuse? Yeah, I'm very concerned about that there could be cases that will be brought in court, we would expect the Justice Department to, at a minimum, be on the side of people who were trying to stand up for our democracy.
I don't think you'll see the Justice Department doing that if it means that the Justice Department has to go against the wishes of the Trump campaign. And then beyond that, the Justice Department should be leading these efforts. You know, the Voting Rights Act was gutted in the Shelby County decision, but the Justice Department still has enormous amounts of power that can use to bring on behalf of the American people to try to make sure that their rights are protected. This administration, this Justice Department has given no indication that they are about that.
The attorney general talks about, you know, the possibilities of all kinds of fraud and abuse with regard to the use of voting by mail. And yet there is no proof of that. There's absolutely no proof of that. And yet he spouts these kinds of things more as a political operative than as the chief law enforcement officer of this country. That is a very dangerous thing to have the attorney general of the United States be a political operative and have the Justice Department on the sidelines or taking part in an inappropriate way.
This is something that I think we need to be focused on. I mean, to concentrate on. We just push back on in every way that we do, we possibly can.
Attorney General Holder, it's great to see you. I have a question just to circle back for a moment to the Senate intelligence report. We've already seen Donald Trump blink when it came to a full pardon for Roger Stone. He commuted the sentence. But now that we have these new revelations about Paul Manafort, if you could just project forward, let's say there is a new attorney general under a President, Joe Biden. What recourse might his attorney general have if Donald Trump maybe on the advice of William Barr, who's done this before, in the past, pardons Manafort and places him out of the reach of the Justice Department?
What recourse might the next attorney general have to actually seek some sort of justice, really, for the American voter based on what these men did to our election?
Yeah, I mean, I would expect that with a loss in the election and maybe even if he wins, that the president is going to probably pardon Paul Manafort. I think we need to gird ourselves for that. That doesn't mean, however, that Paul Manafort is done. The next attorney general, the next Justice Department, you know, in an appropriate way, can convene a grand jury, put Paul Manafort before that grand jury. You would not have a Fifth Amendment privilege and ask him questions about all the things for which he has been pardoned.
Now, he can't be prosecuted for those things, but he certainly can be asked about them. And if he lies about he can be prosecuted for perjury, for not telling the truth before that grand jury and through that interaction, through that interrogation, we can find out exactly what happened in his interactions with the president with regard to the subject matter, what happened to his in his interactions with other people in the campaign. So he can't be charged if there is a pardon for the underlying conduct.
But he can certainly be put before a grand jury and they can then held accountable if he if he lies. Attorney General Eric Holder, thank you so much for joining us on this evening, it's a great to see you again. And maybe at the next convention, everyone will be back in person again. That would be great. Thanks so much.
OK, good to see you. Rachel, I think the through line here to think about it is that the president got away with cheating in twenty sixteen. He was the beneficiary of two illegal conspiracies on his behalf and wants to cheat again, has been very public about that. And that is one of the key through lies, obviously, as we head towards the final stretch here.
I mean, I think the other thing that we're also learning is that life isn't a West Wing plot or an otherwise civic minded movie plot where once bad things get found out, people get in trouble for them, are so ashamed to be exposed that the thing corrects itself effectively by public scandal. We've just lived through all of the scandal caused by all of that continuing exposure of all of this stuff. And the president doesn't pay a price for it. And so it becomes something that he not only has benefited from, it's something that's de facto endorsed.
He thinks that it's all right because he survived it. And that's that's I mean, that's this. But that's everything. That's all right, thanks. It's good to see you, my friend. We've got lots more to come here tonight. We're about 30 minutes out for the start of the second night of the DNC, the speech of the convention so far, of course, as First Lady Michelle Obama's speech last night. We're going be talking about that, plus some of the unusual things we're going to be expecting to see from the Democrats tonight, including a very different take on the sort of roll call of states to give their nominations formally to the Biden Harris ticket.
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That's r e i o u t one word wherever you're listening right now and subscribing for free. Thanks for listening. Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me when others are going solo is going, I still really work. My answer. Going high is the only thing that works, but let's be clear, going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God.
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First Lady Michelle Obama basically ruining it for everybody last night, proving that with no audience in a room, with nobody reacting to you and a single camera looking at you, you can look that good delivered speech that good and make the whole country cry, which means everything we've all been doing on Zoom In from Remote Studios is now F for failure. Back with us again, my good friends Nicolle Wallace and Joy Reid Joy. We've been talking already about the impact of that that speech.
You were talking last night, though, about her message about the country and not just about our message about Donald Trump, which was deep, but her message about the country and not being what kind of stuck with you? It did because again and you have to repeat myself, but because she was sort of set out as this well, she hates America. She really isn't to make the Obamas not be American. That was part of the strategy against the Obamas and against her in 08.
But she embraced the idea of American goodness in a way that I think, in a sense, a black woman with a history of enslavement in her roots could do to say that I believe in goodness.
Right. That's kind of profound, right? Because there's a lot of there's a lot of reasons why black folks don't really believe in American goodness. Right. But the election of the Obamas gave you a window into the possibility, the possibility of full citizenship, of being really embraced, that people look like me could actually be first lady and be president. So that was one piece of it she saw beyond that intellect.
And so I'm trying to pick between which soundbites that I that I really want to play. And I was thinking at first three, but this is number five for those of we're taking no behind this soundbite. Number five, I apologize. This is what she's talking about, empathy. I think this this gift to it is.
Empathy, that's something I've been thinking a lot about lately, the ability to walk in someone else's shoes, the recognition that someone else's experience has value to most of us, practice this without a second thought.
If we see someone suffering or struggling, we don't stand in judgement. We reach out because there. But for the grace of God, go I. It is not a hard concept to grasp.
It's what we teach our children, but right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another.
They're looking around, wondering if we've been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value, you know, and Hillary Clinton kind of made that same argument in twenty sixteen.
Don't elect him. Our children are watching. And it didn't work because people had an experience trumps president.
But now you've experienced him Cajun kids throwing people who are RONNEBY, who are refugees coming to our golden doors and throwing them out. The Muslim ban witnessed the cruelty, the cruelty with it. He doesn't seem to be bothered by one hundred seventy thousand people dead. It is what it is every day. I think we're all devastated just seeing the numbers. And so when she says this, she's offering the country the chance to be good again. And I think people like to have the opportunity.
Well, and to that point, I think she's also giving them permission, even if they liked him once, to reject him now because he was more of a he benefited from being a mystery basket a little bit. He was just this eccentric and he was crude and he was a racist and he'd done racist things as a TV guy. But he hadn't, as you said, institutionalized racism. He hadn't stood there protected by the auspices of the Oval Office to get out of Robert Mueller, indicting him for six instances of obstruction of justice.
He hadn't been named an unindicted co-conspirators by the Southern District of New York and a campaign finance scam. He hadn't sat by tweeting about baloney and ratings. One hundred and seventy thousand people's families were devastated by the loss of a loved one. So I think she gave and this is, again, to her political power. It's in even if you fell for it last time, OK, it's OK. We know more now and we can be better and we can do better.
But for me again, and this is sort of the political staffer and me, she also gave word and gave elegant word to the warning that the worst is yet to come. Yeah. And so this was this. How about that? No. One control room.
If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this. If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can and they will. If we don't make a change in this election, if we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.
I mean, if I worked on the campaign, I would close that up. I would cut that and I would send it and I would air it every day because it's the truth. Our lives depend on it. Our family's lives depend on it. Anyone with kids is deciding whether to go back to school, is looking at people in their in their little quarantine cube that may not survive. And we don't know. The kids are going to I mean, she is so on the moment and on the bubble of what everyone is feeling.
And she just to your point about her unique space and her unique role, she had the words to say it and she has a standing that people believe it. And you do not envy anybody having to go after Michelle Obama.
I mean, it's good that they put her on the first night of the convention. And it's fitting in terms of the way these things are structured. But it is it's setting things up tonight with a really, really high bar in terms of how effective that was. I think there will be less curiosity tonight in terms of how this is technically going to work, although there is still a lot of technical innovation I think we're going to see tonight. But I mean, maybe that's maybe that's going to be the end of this convention no matter what happens.
Maybe that lessens the pressure to some to some extent. But I wouldn't I wouldn't want to after that.
And look, I mean, I think they they made the calculation that the medium would become part of the message. And and that was a gamble. That to me is a risky thing. They've done the put it first. Yeah. Yeah, I know.
And the thing is, I think other than Kristen or Tina, who also gave, I think, a powerful test that was the same testimony. Right. It was the same test.
And she's like, look, my dad, listen to him. He's dead. Our lives depend on it. That's the same message. Yeah. All right. Brilliant.
We are about fifteen, sixteen minutes from the start of the convention tonight. We've got some new reporting just in on what we may hear tonight, including from tonight's big headline, End of the Night, culminating speaker. That's straight ahead. Stay with us. Just a few minutes away from the start of the second night of the Democratic National Convention, tonight's big headline speech, which will be the culminating speech tonight, will be Dr. Jill Biden, the former second lady of the United States, perhaps the next first lady of the United States.
We've got a few little excerpts from her speech. No clips or anything. She's going to deliver it live, but we do have a few lines. She says, for example, there are times I couldn't imagine how he did it, how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going. But I've always understood why he did it. He does it for you. Something it's going to be an emotional personal speech from Jill Biden tonight.
We'll also tell you, as we mentioned earlier, Colin Powell is a sort of piece of late breaking news. We didn't expect General Powell to be speaking tonight. He, of course, served in two Republican administrations. He spoke at the Republican convention in 96 and in 2000, in 2008, 2012, in twenty sixteen, he endorsed a Democratic ticket for the presidency, but he has never before spoken at a Democratic convention. He will we can now report he will be speaking tonight on behalf of Biden and Harris.
And we're going to bring into our conversation our friend Claire McCaskill, former Democratic senator from Missouri and a veteran of several Democratic conventions. Claire, I think it's so interesting in the context of what has happened, Donald Trump putting the military in this untenable and really hideous position of standing alongside Attorney General Barr and ultimately Donald Trump clearing Lafayette Square. General Milley, of course, going out and apologizing, but not before Secretary Mattis likened Donald Trump's tactics to those used by the Nazis.
I mean, I don't know that the military is really as available or open to Donald Trump as a part of the electorate as they were four years ago. But do you think?
I don't think there's any question about that. I served on the Armed Services Committee for my entire Senate tenure, and it was an oasis of bipartisanship. And and the idea that a president would try to use the military politically, the way he has politicized speeches in front of military audiences, that makes all of the military leadership cringe. They know that is not the way this is supposed to work. And the idea that he would show up in camo on that day, I mean, you wear camo when you're going to war.
You don't wear camo when you're clearing a street. So the president can do a political photo op. He was, in a way, declaring war against peaceful protesters that were Americans. That was wholly he should have apologized. But example after example, he has really tested the very huge binding thing between the commander in chief and the military, because a lot of the military, especially the leadership, just doesn't respect this president.
Senator McCaskill, what do you expect from Joe Biden tonight? How well did you get to know her when you serve alongside when you're serving in the Senate and when Biden was vice president, what do you think should expect to hear from her tonight? Well, you know, one of the things I think that Joe Biden is one thing that Michelle Obama said last night, I wrote it down because I thought it was important that the Bidens have lived a life the rest of us can recognize.
That, I thought, was a very poignant thing to say about the Biden family. I don't think a lot of people realize that Joe Biden kept teaching community college when she was first lady. I don't think they realized that she was there at the not that long after the crisis that broke up the Biden family, the horrific accident that killed his wife and one of his children. And she saw his commitment to his kids, him going back. And, you know, this is a guy who didn't go to cocktail parties in Washington.
He wasn't a swamp creature. He was a trained creature. He got on the train and went home every night to be with his children. And she came into that family, created a whole family, as many American families do. So I think what she'll do tonight is put a mirror up to America and say, see, we look like you. Do you know, Claire, the Obamas were obviously a very new kind of first couple. If, in fact, Joe Biden, Joe Biden wins, what do you think kind of a first lady, Jill Biden would be?
What do you think that she would zero in on? Well, first of all, I think she sees Michelle as a role model. I think she and Michelle were very close when they were hanging out as the lady and the first lady. And I think she admires Michelle greatly for the way she handled her responsibilities. I think you'll see her stress education. You know, she teaches at a community college and is as as you all well know, our community colleges are many times the first chance someone has in that family and higher education.
A lot of kids that go to community college are the first in their families to ever go to school beyond high school. And so she really has a very strong feeling about entry into the education system and making sure it's fair for everyone. I would see her emphasize that is first lady. And the other thing she'll do is she will be present in a White House that abides by the norms of integrity and and character and telling the truth in some of those old fashioned things that the crumps have kind of put out of fashion.
Senator Claire McCaskill. Claire, it's great to see you. I know you're going to be watching alongside with us tonight. Thanks for being here. You bet. All right. We're going to take just one more very quick break and let's show time. We are just a couple of minutes away from the start of night, two of the Democratic convention, including its very novel approach to the opening keynote address. We'll talk about that. And that's going to look like when we come back.
Stay with us. I'm advised I should return and call the state of Iowa and let's be sure we get the microphone and get the right vote recorded, because I'm doing this with a pen and I don't like a scratchy, messy roll call.
Nobody wants a scratchy, messy roll call. That was 1980. The roll call where everybody actually submits their delegate votes to put the nominee over the top is my I'm it's my favorite part of the convention. We're going to have that tonight. And it's going to be on my bingo card. That that was your favorite? Yeah, I had that.
I know a human calculator, but tonight they're going to do it. So there's a bunch of different weird things that are going to happen tonight because of the different format and the one we're going to. Stacey Abrams, give the keynote address right off the top and like two minutes. But then it's going to be like 17 other Democratic officials who are interspersing doing this tightly edited, intense around the country, including like six different state reps and state senators and mayors.
And that's going to be interesting. But then pretty soon we're going to have the roll call and like 30 something of the states are going to be on tape and they're already cut and edited together. But there's a bunch of live ones thrown into the middle, too.
OK, things the way that they pull that off next week, I mean, they may pull it off tonight.
But this and this is again, I always revert to my campaign staffers. So the logistics of this are not nothing now.
I mean, the roll call itself goes wrong when everybody's in the room just yelling at each other. I can use hand signals what it's going to be like. And I don't want a messy roll call, but the 17 person keynote that Stacey Abrams right off the top is going to be interesting. It'll be interesting to see how they integrate the whole MCE thing. Last night with Longoria last night like that seemed kind of different than everything else. They're going to use Tracy Ross tonight as an emcee, but it seems like it might be slightly structured different with some reporting that suggests that's a piece of it.
That's the most fluid. They're trying to figure out what's to make sure it's too little. Yeah, I mean, the celebrity at the top, Marco Rubio hates it, but they are going to do it because they've got celebrities.
They've got celebrities. Well, the the other thing that we are expecting is, I mean, we know there's a little bit of there's been some late breaking news, Colin Powell being part of it. It's not something that was broadcast in advance. We also expect that there is I mean, there's going to be more of a presence in terms of Republicans endorsing to, to a certain extent, endorsing Biden. We've seen the clip in advance of Cindy McCain narrating the video about the friendship between her late husband and Biden.
That should be really interesting. Should also ignite more intra Democratic fights about whether or not there should be lots of Republicans at the Democratic convention.
What do you think? I think there's something that, you know, when I get it and this is a Biden thing, Biden is the bipartisanship guy. You just not going to take that away.
It is. He is. It is what it is. Right.
And he's committed to this idea that he wants to work across the aisle. And look, there are a I know a lot of Republicans that at this point are refugees from the party. I have friends who they don't know what to do because they are Republicans, but they can't stand Donald Trump there on an island. Where are they supposed to go to? The Democratic convention hopes to answer that question.
Hey, everyone, it's mainly MSNBC correspondent and host of the podcast Into America, the presidential election is less than three months away. So this week on Into America, we're looking at some of the biggest factors at play as Americans get ready to vote. Black women are one of the most important voting blocs for the Democratic Party, but they face decades of exclusion at the polls. This week marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment. So we're looking at the role of black women in the suffrage movement then and now.
Plus, we'll dive into some of the more subversive forces influencing voters like Kuhnen approach from conspiracy theory that is gaining influence in this pandemic.
And as the Democratic National Convention rolls out, virtually. We'll talk about what the DNC signals about the party strategy for November. I hope you'll join us for these conversations.
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