updated 4/1/2014 1:26:08 PM ET 2014-04-01T17:26:08

UP with STEVE KORNACKI
March 29, 2014

Guests: Brian Thompson, Bob Ingle, Holly Schepisi, Lis Smith, Brian Wice,
Gene Robinson, Irin Carmon, Elahe Izadi, Brian Beutler, David Burstein

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Things you may not have noticed from
yesterday`s Chris Christie press conference and what you really need to
know about that internal investigation.

This is the moment in the scandal when Chris Christie hopes to put
Bridgegate definitively behind him. On Thursday, the internal
investigation ordered by his administration, paid for by New Jersey
taxpayers, and conducted by the same lawyer hired to represent the
governor`s office on related matters, that review, not surprisingly,
cleared his name. And on Friday, yesterday, Governor Christie held a press
conference. But that briefing and the report itself still left many
unanswered questions.

We begin this morning with a moment in that Chris Christie press conference
from yesterday that probably passed by too quickly for most to notice.
When Christie was asked how he and his inner circle could not have known or
suspected there was something fishy about the George Washington Bridge lane
closures until months after the fact. He responded by presenting the time
line of the events from late last year that included this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The first time this came into my
consciousness is the "Wall Street Journal" of October 1 or 2, somewhere in
that neighborhood, when Executive Director Foye leaked his memo to the
newspapers that he had written weeks later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Again, he said that very quickly and then said more, a lot more,
over the next hour or so. So what you just heard didn`t really get much
attention yesterday or overnight. But let`s take a minute and dissect it
because there`s something very subtle and very interesting about what
Christie casually asserted there.

He said the manner of the lane closures didn`t enter his consciousness
until a "Wall Street Journal" story ran last October 1st. That`s the story
that revealed a bombshell memo from Patrick Foye, he`s the executive
director of the Port Authority. He`s someone not appointed by Christie.
The memo had been written on September 13th by Foye. In it, Foye stated
that he had just learned of the lane closures in Ft. Lee and he ordered
they be reopened. He called the closures, quote, "a hasty and ill advised
decision" that, quote, "undoubtedly had an adverse effect on economic
activity in both New Jersey and New York," and that, quote, "violates
federal law and the laws of both states."

That`s what the "Wall Street Journal" reported on October 1 and that`s what
Christie said yesterday first put the bridge issue on his radar. But now,
look closer at what he also said in that same sentence yesterday. That
that "Wall Street Journal" story that first got his attention, it got his
attention because, quote, "Executive Director Foye leaked his memo."
Christie asserted that as a simple fact. And you just judge from the very
casual way he said it, you might have thought it was just a simple,
undisputed fact. But it isn`t, because it has never been established by
anyone that Patrick Foye leaked that memo to the "Wall Street Journal".
And Foye has repeatedly and forcefully insisted that he had nothing to do
with the leak.

Here is what he said about it a month ago at a press conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICK FOYE, PORT AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: There are some believe
that I leaked it. I didn`t and I`m not looking for invitation (ph) to
Trenton to appear before the assembly, but if I get it and I`m sworn in, I
will testify I didn`t leak the e-mail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Nor does the internal investigation that Christie commissioned
and that was released in advance of that press conference conclude anywhere
in its 360 pages that Foye was behind the leak.

Here`s the section recounting the Journal story and you can see no mention
of Pat Foye. Yet, Christie stood in front of national television cameras
yesterday and accused Foye of being the leaker. So why would Christie say
something like that so casually and so confidently about Pat Foye?

Like a lot of things, when it comes to this story, we don`t know. But we
know one of Christie`s closest confidants also believes that Foye is a
leaker and was very upset because of it. This is what David Samson, the
Christie appointed chairman of the Port Authority, at least until yesterday
when he resigned, this is what David Samson wrote in an e-mail last
September when another "Wall Street Journal" story cited sources who said
the lane closures had, quote, "caused tension within the Port Authority,"
and, quote "come as a surprise to some high ranking officials of the
agency.:

"I just read it," Samson said of the story in an e-mail to Foye`s deputy,
"and it confirms evidence of Foye being the leak, stirring up trouble."
Samson wen on to write Foye was, quote, "playing in traffic. Made a big
mistake." And that e-mail was sent around the same time, this is last
September, that David Wildstein, one of Christie`s other now-former Port
Authority employees, same time that David Wildstein sent an e-mail to
Bridget Kelly, Christie`s now-former Deputy Chief of Staff, decrying Foye`s
order to reopen the lines.

Quote, "Samson helping us to retaliate," is what that e-mail read. So what
did that mean? Helping us to retaliate. Did Samson ever take any actions
to punish Foye or anyone else at the Port Authority after the e-mail was
sent? Well, we know Samson has denied any wrongdoing and, well, that`s
really all we know. Because David Samson has not talked to the press since
this saga began and he has also declined to cooperate with that internal
investigation that Christie commissioned. Samson declined to cooperate
with that internal investigation so no one from Christie`s legal team ever
talked to Samson about the e-mails he sent last fall and about the e-mail
that said he was helping to retaliate. And yet the man who heads up the
legal team dismissed questions about whether this makes the report
something less than definitive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDY MASTRO, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP: Again, what our report
reflects, it was not about David Samson or his conduct. He denied having
any prior knowledge in connection with the lane closures. So that was not
-- and he was not involved in the Hoboken issue at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And Christie took a similar approach yesterday. He said that
Samson had denied he had anything to do with the closures and that was good
enough for the governor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: That rang true to me at the time, not only because of David`s
reputation for honesty over the course of his entire career, but because of
the role the chairman of the Port Authority is not an operational role.
His role is a policy role. And so I wouldn`t expect that David would be
involved in any kind of day-to-day operational issue like a traffic study.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And David Samson has resigned as chairman of the Port Authority.
That was the announcement Christie also made yesterday, an announcement in
which he simultaneously reiterated his faith in Samson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I have every faith and trust and confidence in David`s
integrity, as do people on both sides of the aisle in this state, over the
course of the last 40 years he`s been involved on and off in public life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So look, it`s entirely possible that David Samson really didn`t
do any retaliating. That he really did play no significant role in the
lane closures. It`s entirely possible that as the report that the lawyers
he hired concludes, Christie really was in the dark about the true nature
of the closures for as long as he says.

But if you want to know about the 48 hours since that internal
investigation was revealed have been filled with so much skepticism toward
Christie, the David Samson story is a perfect illustration of why. Here is
a governor and here`s a report he commissioned confidently asserting that
Samson did no wrong even though Samson refused to cooperate with the
investigation and even though the man who wrote the e-mail that said Samson
was helping us to retaliate, that man, David Wildstein, he didn`t
cooperate, either.

And then there`s this. David Samson said yesterday that the timing was
right for him to resign, something he and Christie had been talking about
for months, adding that he`s, quote, "confident that the governor will put
new leadership in place to address the many challenges ahead at the Port
Authority." Christie, himself, said yesterday that Samson decided to
resign after reading the report and concluding that the reforms the Port
Authority needs should be overseen by a new chairman.

But why, if the report carried so much weight with Samson, if it affected
his thinking so profoundly, then why did he refuse to take part in it? To
answer questions, to share thoughts, to share his documents. And it`s like
this with so much in the report and so much of what Christie said
yesterday. The report purports to provide the definitive word on what
Christie knew and when he knew. It makes all sorts of assertions and
inferences, both positive and negative, about key players in both the
bridge scandal and the allegation that Christie officials threatened to
withhold Sandy aid for the city of Hoboken if it`s mayor didn`t move
forward on a development project represented by David Samson`s law firm.
The allegation they have firmly denied.

And Christie is trumpeting that as an authoritative exoneration of him.
But there are so many unanswered questions, so many key players we have not
heard from, so many paths the report failed to go down, wouldn`t go down.
Then we got to see the scene play out in Trenton yesterday, a press corps
aggressively expressing its skepticism about David Samson and about a lot
of other unresolved issues, and Christie combatively swatting questions
away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Well, why don`t you get to the question and cut the commentary
back a little. Can you get to it already? Christine, stop. The premise
of the question is so infirmed that I`m not answering it. This is my press
conference, not hers. I don`t know whether you can`t taking notes or
you`re not listening. I would love to say I missed you, but I didn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So let`s talk about that scene, how Christie handled himself and
what new questions were answered this week and what new questions were
raised and what happens from here? We`ll talk about it with Brian
Thompson, he`s a long time New Jersey reporter for WNBC in New York. He
was both listening and taking notes at the press conference yesterday. New
Jersey Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, she`s a Republican member of the
state`s investigative super-committee looking into the lane closures. Bob
Ingle, he`s a political columnist for the Asbury Park Press. And Lis
Smith, she`s a Democratic strategist who worked on then-New Jersey governor
John Corzine`s 2009 campaign and now works with the Democratic Governors
Association.

Thank you all for joining us. I`ll just throw this out there, anybody
respond. My main takeaway on this is that, as I said at the end there, it
may be that Christie, everything Christie is saying about what he knew and
when he knew it is true, and everything he`s asserting in this report is
true. But this report was done, to me, in such a heavy handed way, beating
you over the head with the conclusions it wanted you to reach, that it
ended up arousing more skepticism than answering any questions. That`s the
reason there was so much skepticism in the air yesterday.

BRIAN THOMPSON, WNBC REPORTER: I was also at the Mastro news conference on
Thursday listening to that, and when we were starting to express
skepticism, where is the Samson talk in here? One thing that the governor
probably doesn`t appreciate or doesn`t want to acknowledge, and I don`t
know which one, he may be the only person with knowledge of the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey who believes that David Samson had no
operational role. Anybody who works for the Port Authority who might be
watching this show right now, Steve, they will know when I say this because
many of them have told me this -- David Samson was a hands on, in your face
every day, what`s going on chairman.

And that`s why Patrick Foye, Cuomo`s appointed executive director, one
reason why he hates David Samson so much, because David Samson was meddling
in so many affairs. Whether he was meddling in the Bridgegate scandal
before it happened, the lane closure decision, I have no idea about that,
but he was a hands on operational guy as much as a chairman can possibly
be.

KORNACKI: Well, hate is a very strong word there about his feelings toward
David Samson. But that --

THOMPSON: OK, I apologize. Despises.

KORNACKI: Thanks for clearing up. But that really gets to the question
though, because you have basically an accusation contained in an
contemporaneous e-mail from David Wildstein in September that David Samson
is part of this, he`s helping them to retaliate. And you have David Samson
in his own words confronted with the finding out about the -- or confronted
with Pat Foye finding out object the closures, not upset about the closures
but being upset that Pat Foye was upset about it.

BOB INGLE, ASBURY PARK PRESS: Right, well, you get the impression this
wasn`t an objective study by an outside group of lawyers. It was more a
report to throw under the bus the people we need to throw under the bus and
to support the things Christie said in the past. And I was trying to
figure out why that section was in there about how to redo the Port
Authority. I`m thinking, what the heck is that about? That wasn`t their
charge.

But you`ll notice Christie said that Samson, who resigned not because of
anything this but basically because he`s too old I think is what the
governor said in so many words. And he says that he realized after reading
this report that somebody new needed to come in and bring into being those
recommendations. So you wonder, did they put that in there so that Samson
would have an excuse for leaving?

HOLLY SCHEPISI (R), NJ STATE ASSEMBLY: One thing I find ironic, everybody
is beating up on the governor and the governor`s office. And the law firm
saying there`s this relationship that was a bought for report. But,
meanwhile, if you look at the special investigation committee and the
attorneys for that, Jenner and Block --

KORNACKI: The attorneys representing who?

SCHEPISI: Representing the committee, the legislative committee that is
supposed to be totally impartial. They received $760,000 in legal fees
from the New Jersey state Democratic Party over the past decade. So, it`s
something whereby everybody is going after the relationship that Governor
Christie may or may not have had with Gibson, saying that it`s impossible
to be impartial, that somehow this report was bought for. And meanwhile on
the investigation committee, the very attorneys that are doing the quote,
unquote, "investigation" into what transpired have received $750,000 from
the Democratic Party in the State of New Jersey.

KORNACKI: Just two questions I want to follow up with you on them. So you
are on the committee and some Republicans have begun to raise objections to
how that committee is handling itself. But are you making the case the law
firm that Christie hired was perfectly capable of making an independent
investigation and the law firm that`s been retained by your committee, no
problem there, the committee is doing fine?

SCHEPISI: I`m saying if you are comparing apples to apples and you`re
looking at the two things transpiring, you can`t be in a glass house and
say, OK, this report is not something that we should look at because there
is a relationship there, but yet the investigation and what our attorney is
doing notwithstanding the fact that that law firm receives $750,000 prior
to being hired to do this.

And even Chairman Wisniewski said Jenner and Block represented legislative
redistricting committee, I`m not sure how it`s remotely relevant to the
representation now. And, you know, it`s a partisan playbook by challenging
the messenger. And he said that just in January.

KORNACKI: Lis is inching to get in. Go ahead.

LIS SMITH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, I mean, we also have the U.S.
attorney`s report that`s going to come out, and I think we can all agree
that U.S. attorney Chris Christie would have laughed at the report that he
released the other day.

I think we can all agree, or some of us can agree, that this is a complete
farce. Doing an investigation into Bridgegate without interviewing
Stepien, Baroni, Samson, would be like doing an investigation into
Watergate without interviewing Earlichman, Haldeman, and John Dean. It`s a
joke. And it`s a very expensive joke for New Jersey taxpayers.

KORNACKI: Well, yeah, I guess -- let me give you an example. Because I
talked about -- I view this as a very heavy-handed report that uses a lot
of loaded language.

Let me give you an example of what jumped out at me. I got to page seven
and page eight in the report, and this is where they actually reveal one of
the new pieces of information, one of the bombshell pieces of information
here that Christie did have a conversation with David Wildstein on 9/11 at
this event at the World Trade Center site.

They put that out there in this context. They say that Wildstein was
meeting with Michael Drumiak (ph), Christie spokesman in December, and
that, quote, "Wildstein even suggested he mention the traffic issue in Fort
Lee to the governor at a public event during the lane realignment. A
reference to the governor does not recall and, even if actually made, would
not have registered with the governor in any event because he knew nothing
about this decision in advance and would not have considered another
traffic issue at one of the bridges or tunnels to be memorable."

That strikes me as a very heavy-handed passage. It`s not saying the
governor claims this. The governor told us this. This document supports
this. It`s just coming out and asserting and using confident language that
the governor doesn`t recall it. He wouldn`t -- it wouldn`t have registered
with him. He knew nothing about it, would have just considered it another
traffic matter. It`s very heavy handed.

INGLE: Well, it`s more like -- I do a radio show at five o`clock on
Fridays, and this was, as you can imagine, the topic. And somebody says,
"Well, this is like a work of fiction. This is like a novel. It`s not
like an objective report." And it really is. It`s the tone. It`s the
words that are used. It`s really hard to take it seriously as an objective
report trying to get to the facts.

KORNACKI: I guess I was surprised because I don`t think in Trenton, in New
Jersey, anybody on the planet expected that this was going to do anything
other than exonerate Christie. I thought it was going to be dressed up
more artfully. They were going to make more of an effort to make this look
like an independent investigation.

Anyway, that -- that point we just picked up there, though, about David
Wildstein and this meeting on September 11th, we`re gonna take a break and
we`re gonna get more into that. And we have some pictures to show you,
too, so stick with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: No matter who I chose to do this, questions would be raised by
some quarters as to those people`s objectivity. My answer to that is, look
at the report.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: They can`t make up facts. And -- and I`ve read the report.
Every one of the factual searches they make in the report is -- is
footnoted, endnoted, backed up by documentary evidence or testimonial
evidence that they got from interviews, I mean, that just can`t be
manufactured.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Well, again, now this -- this now brings us to this question of
the September 11th meeting that David Wildstein and Chris Christie -- and
encounter, however you want to characterize it -- at -- at the 9/11 site.
And there`s an assertion, as we`ve just read in the last block, a -- what
purports to be a factual assertion that Christie would not have registered
anything abut the bridge closures being mentioned, doesn`t recall the
conversation.

But there`s -- that has not been established fully because we haven`t heard
from David Wildstein yet. There`s a conversations that took between the
two of them, we probably ought to hear from both of them before we make
that judgment.

But -- so that`s the -- sort of one of the central questions that`s emerged
from this report.

And Brian, I know you actually have some pictures, some photographs you
actually provided us this morning from that -- that day. Can you just talk
about that little?

THOMPSON: Is this show and tell?

KORNACKI: It is! Show and tell when you`ve got pictures like this.

THOMPSON: You have to wonder if Randy Mastro knew about these pictures.
But here you see David Wildstein on the right, Governor in the middle, Bill
Baroni on the left, and these photos taken at 9/11, seen two days, three
days after the lane closures were underway, still in the middle of it.

And they`re obviously having a private conversation. You don`t see any of
these thousands -- and there`s David Samson hugging the governor. You
don`t see these thousands of people coming up and asking for autographs,
shaking his hand. I mean, it`s just these guys together. Now they`re
joined by a couple of other staffers or whatever. There`s the three.

And if the governor doesn`t remember that, that`s fine. But does Randy
Mastro know about these photos? Because he says there was never any time
other than a few seconds for David Wildstein, maybe, to have mentioned
this, if Wildstein is to be believed.

KORNACKI: And -- and that -- gets to an interesting -- so this is really -
- this becomes the central question right now. Because Chris Christie had
a lot riding on it never being established that there was anything more
than -- than what he`s saying taking place. But if we -- let me just

THOMPSON: Cause I want to make one other point. If we can go back to
those photos, the -- the third person in those photos is Bill Baroni. Now,
Bill Baroni was not really thrown under the bus in this Mastro (ph) report.
Yeah, he, you know, kind of sold them this -- this traffic study, but they
made it sound like Baroni believed it was a traffic study and it was all
Wildstein`s fault.

So now if you get him to a testimonial situation of my word versus his
word, me being Wildstein, his being the governor, or vice versa, who`s the
witness? Who`s the witness to what was said? Bill Baroni.

KORNACKI: Well, there`s Baroni, and there`s also this in a "New York
Times" story this morning that -- that looks at how this could ever be
substantiated, what happened in this conversation.

There`s two interesting things here. First of all, the "Times" reports
that Mr. Wildstein has told people on several occasions that he informed
Mr. Christie at the memorial the lanes had been closed, something Mr.
Christie has repeatedly said he did not know.

Then there`s this. But several people who were with the governor that day
or observed him said he and the people accompanying him, Mr. Wildstein, Mr.
Samson, Bill Baroni, all three of whom have now resigned from the Port
Authority and at one point the agency`s police superintendent. They had
ample opportunity to speak privately.

And what the "Times" is saying there is there was a -- a -- like a camper.
It was a very hot day. There was an air-conditioned camper, and all of
them were in there together for an extended period of time.

So we have the pictures and we have --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of those pictures shows the camper, too.

KORNACKI: Yeah, so they were in there for a while.

SMITH: While the pictures are great and wonderful, and good job in taking
them --

THOMPSON: I didn`t take them, but --

SCHEPISI: -- we don`t have anything. I mean, for all we know, they were
standing around talking what they were having for lunch. And so, even with
respect to statements that Wildstein has made to others that it somehow,
someway he conveyed to the governor that day about lane closures, there has
been no allegation whatsoever that anything was ever said about the
ulterior motive or that, you know, this was done intentionally, or that it
was anything other than a traffic study where they closed some lanes.

KORNACKI: The one thing, though -- this is -- this is why I say I feel it
is a heavy-handed report that aroused suspicion that it maybe didn`t have
to arouse, because the report is so emphatic in saying that this
conversation didn`t register on Christie`s radar. This conversation, you
know, he doesn`t remember, didn`t -- you know, with Wildstein brought it
up, it only would have been a local traffic thing.

How, if you didn`t interview Wildstein, if you didn`t interview any of the
other people who were seen in those pictures, how can -- how can a report
confidently assert something like that?

SCHEPISI: Well, it`s very possible, if not plausible that nobody will ever
interview Wildstein. Nobody will ever interview Stepien, and nobody will
ever interview Kelly because the Fifth Amendment issues.

The one thing that people keep missing this here, Governor Christie has
essentially waved his Fifth Amendment right. Governor Christie, himself,
has been interviewed. Governor Christie himself has given unfettered
access to his iPhone, to his personal e-mails, to his text messages.

So, you know, there`s a certain level of credibility that you do have to
give him because, you know, 70 interviews, 250,000 --

(CROSSTALK)

SCHEPISI: But then again, the legislative committee that`s investigating
him has a law firm that was bought and paid for by the Democratic party for
three quarters of a million dollars.

KORNACKI: I understand your point, but can you -- can you understand why
people would be skeptical about a report that, you know, it`s not just a
law firm that Christie picked. It`s also a law firm that Christie`s office
retained to represent it in the investigation that the U.S. attorney`s
office is conducting. So simultaneously, this law firm is charged with
investigating the Christie administration and representing it. And I think
(inaudible) those are two hats you can`t wear at the same time.

SMITH: Well, I think -- I think what`s interesting about the "Times" story
is, yes, it raises more questions about -- about Christie`s conversations
with Wildstein. But you can`t tell me that this very hands-on governor
had no prior knowledge of this. I`ve talked to other governors and asked
them, "If this had happened in your state, what would you have done? Would
you have known about it?"

And they said, one, absolutely they would have known about it. And two,
they would have acted within hours to rectify it. So either Christie knew
about it and did nothing, or he`s completely incompetent.

KORNACKI: All right, we will have more on this. We`ve gotta take a quick
break here. I want to talk about, you know, Chris Christie`s out and about
on his way to Nevada right now, and talk about what this -- what this means
for him going forward. How did he do yesterday in the very combative mood?
How did that play here and nationally? Get back with that after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I don`t know whether I`m having a private meeting with Sheldon
and Miriam or not. I haven`t looked at my schedule yet for tomorrow. The
only thing I know I`m doing for sure in Las Vegas is I`m speaking to the
Republican Jewish Coalition, which I`ve done before. That`s the reason for
going to Las Vegas is I was invited to give a speech there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So, I mean look, maybe Chris Christie didn`t know and doesn`t
still know if he`s going to meet with Sheldon and Miriam. He`s on a first
name basis with them, though. But that`s one of those moments - it`s a
small thing, but it - people - it`s so hard to believe he doesn`t know if
he`s meeting with Sheldon Adelson at this weekly (ph) cattle call for
Republican presidential candidates --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- 93 million reasons to speak to him.

KORNACKI: (INAUDIBLE) -- one of the richest Republican donors. That`s a
small thing. Bob, I wanted to ask you, the tone of that press conference
yesterday - we played that montage at the start of the show -- this was
combative Christie, back in January when he have the first one, he was
trying to be contrite Christie. You have seen a number of press
conferences over the past few years. What did you make of that tone? How
different is that from what you have experienced before and what do you
think he was trying to accomplish with that?

INGLE: Well, it looked like to me like it was going back to the good old
days. He got a good deal of publicity and support when he would take on
reporters and sometimes justifiably, actually. But it looked to me like
that`s what he was doing. He wanted to say hey, everything is back to
normal. I`m not concerned about this, that was a stupid question that I
said.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Do we all agree the timing of this had something to do with the
Las Vegas trip? He`s going out there with the presidential candidates.

(CROSSTALK)

(INAUDIBLE)

SCHEPISI: His mojo is back. He is back. Yesterday, at the press
conference was -- it was the Christie people fell in love with. I think
that his confidence is back. He now looks at this as let`s move forward.

KORNACKI: Bob has a point, Brian, you are one of the reporters he took a
few swipes at yesterday.

THOMPSON: I used the term snake oil. I don`t get it.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: In some ways --

THOMPSON: I`m very tactful.

KORNACKI: You characterized him more kindly than Christie has. The point,
though, is kind of valid. It`s easy to beat up on the press and score
points with the conservative base. Christie, unless somebody can come up
with a piece of paper to contradicts anything he`s saying, is maybe in a
good position to make this a press against me.

THOMPSON: Holly is right, it was his mojo is back. I liken it to him
taking a victory lap here. He`s declaring, like in Vietnam, we declare
victory and leave. That`s what many said we should have done years ago.
He declared victory and left, for Las Vegas in this case.

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: That`s, to me, that`s the impression that he gave you and yes,
it`s the old Christie, the mojo Christie. He`s trying to put this behind
him.

SMITH: I completely, completely disagree, respectfully disagree with all of
you. I don`t think his mojo is back. I think he was bluffing and I think
he was trying to bring back his old act to signal to people, hey, nothing
to see here. I think everyone should look at that act skeptically.

KORNACKI: He acknowledged, too, he`s calling this his exoneration and he
definitely wants to have it proceed. He acknowledged at one point in the
press conference though that this report would be tested and the U.S.
attorney is looking into this. Talk about the legislative committee. I
keep saying the ball game is the U.S. attorney`s office.

We talk about how incomplete this investigation was, who they didn`t get to
talk to, what they didn`t get to see. The U.S. attorney is not going to
have any problem talking to who he wants to talk to, seeing anything he
wants to see. So that`s sort of a - we have an authoritative statement that
is coming, probably.

INGLE: He`s right, it`s going to be tested, that right.

SMITH: It would be fatal to him in the event a different conclusion came
out. And I think that`s why, to come out and be so confident as a former
prosecutor, he has to have the confidence of what was in this report is
correct because it`s absolutely fatal to him otherwise.

INGLE: If there was another conclusion, it would be fatal to him now.

SMITH: Right.

KORNACKI: If you say it now, you are done now. If you take a chance - I
mean that would be the case with (INAUDIBLE)

(CROSSTALK)

THOMPSON: There`s one more test this has to go through. He danced around
it. That is, will all of the raw material that Randy Mastro got involved
with, including the transcripts of the hours and hours with the governor,
will those be made available to your group and the U.S. attorney? I talked
to Attorney Joe Hayden (ph) the defense attorney tells me, you know, he`s
essentially given up privilege now by turning all this material to Randy
Mastro. Mastro is not his lawyer/client relationship lawyer. He was
somebody hired to investigate. On behalf of the governor. So -

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: His firm was also retained -- it is in the report and the record
- was also retained to represent the governor`s office in dealings with the
U.S. attorney`s office. And there was a I think The Bergen Record ran a
chart a few months ago of all the principle players in the governor`s
office, they were all represented by Mastro`s firm. So it raises the
question if, you know, will they claim, could they claim some kind of
privilege here?

INGLE: Well, that`s the question.

THOMPSON: He`s not representing an individual.

KORNACKI: We are going to have much more on this later in the show, also
tomorrow. For now, I want to thank Bob Ingle of the Asbury Park Press,
Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, Brian Thompson and Lis Smith will
be back to talk with more about the charges of sexism being leveled against
Christie report. But coming up, the Democrats found their weapon for
November. That`s after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Today off the coast of Australia, a Chinese aircraft has spotted
three suspicious objects floating in the south Indian ocean. An Australian
plane also seeing possible debris from Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
Yesterday the search for the missing passenger jet moved nearly 700 miles
closer to the coast of Australia. This, after investigators determined the
aircraft had been traveling faster than previously thought and therefore
ran out of fuel much sooner. In that new search zone, five different air
crews yesterday thought they spotted what could be debris of various sizes.
Photos are now being analyzed. None of the debris that`s been spotted has
yet to be recovered to be recovered by ships moving into the search area.
What will be an important next step in the recovery of flight 370.

We`ll keep you updated here on MSNBC as more details become available.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Barack Obama rose to power in part by connecting with young
Americans like few presidents have before him. Groundswell support he
received on college campuses across the country helped shoot his fledgling
campaign to prominence in 2007, and maybe you`d think a president who has
so captivated young voters wouldn`t have much trouble convincing them to
get to the polls once every two years to support his agenda, even when his
name isn`t on the ballot. But the exact opposite is actually the case.

In 2008 and 2012, presidential election years, about half of all young
voters went to the polls. It`s actually a high percentage historically. But
in the 2010 midterm elections, the share of young people voting plummeted -
just one in four 18-29 year-olds exercised their right to vote, and that
hurt the Democrats. Midterms are a problem that every modern president
faces, no matter what their party affiliation. Win the White House, lose
the midterms is pretty much the rule. And this year, conditions are
particularly difficult for Democrats. But could the youth vote still help
Democrats somehow turn that tide? Is there a generational shift underway, a
shift toward the left among the nation`s youngest voters the Democrats
could somehow exploit to help them hold on and win key Senate races and
hold onto that chamber?

A recent study by Pew Research shows a dramatic change in voting patterns.
Age did not used to effect who you voted for all that much, but, as you can
see here, the young and the old voted pretty much the same ways. But
starting in 2004, 18 to 29 year old started voting much more Democratic.
And voters over 65 gradually voted more Republican.

This partisan voting gap between the young and the old is the biggest in
the modern era. Millennials, those 18 to 29-year-olds, are also more
likely than any other age group to call themselves liberal. But there`s a
catch with that. While young voters are increasingly in sync with the
Democratic Party`s ideologies, they don`t see themselves as Democratic
partisans at all. They are less likely than other generations to identify
with any political party.

So if they don`t see themselves as party loyalists, how can Democrats get
them out to vote in an off year election? Well, one idea, the age old idea
for appealing to the youth I guess, is marijuana. A new poll out this week
found that ballot initiatives about legalizing pot would make 69 percent of
likely voters more inclined to go to the polls, even more likely to go to
the polls, as driven largely by young voters. Marijuana legalization is
poised to be on the ballot in Oregon this year and also Alaska. There are
efforts in several more states to put it to voters in 2016. So could
marijuana be a motivating force that helps drive youth turnout or are there
more effective strategies the Democrats should be exploring?

Here to help to answer these questions we have David Burstein, the author
of the book, "Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our
World" and founder of the youth voter engagement organization, Generation
18; Elahe Izadi, she`s a politics writer at "National Journal"; MSNBCs
Krystal Ball, co-host of "THE CYCLE" and last week`s guest host of this
show making an encore appearance; and Brian Beutler, critical writer at
salon.com. Catch him there while you can. I think he has something else
in his future, but he`s still at Salon for right now.

So, look, we`re talking millennials here, trying to get them to the polls,
what appeals to them. I guess the first question is we`re trying to figure
out -- I looked it up before the show, what exactly is a millennial in
terms of what was the first year that it starts and what`s the cut off? And
the Wikipedia page said there`s no actual exact date; it`s basically
somewhere in the early `80s and somewhere in the `90s it kind of cuts off.
So I`m a Carter kid, I was born at the end `79. I`m not a millennial, I
found out. But is anybody here a millennial?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m like right on the bubble, born in `81.

KORNACKI: You are a millennial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I am. I`m in there.

KORNACKI: You`re a millennial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m definitely a millennial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m `82 so, yes, I guess I am.

KORNACKI: I`m the old guy here. I just want to say how old and frail I
am. I feel really glad I asked that question.

David, I`ll start with you. So you`re -- you are involved in the work of
trying to get people like around this table but not me, trying to get
millennials out to the polls. So that turnout gap we talked about, that
off-year election turnout gap, realistically, is there anything the
Democrats could do to make that go away or at least eat into it?

DAVID BURSTEIN, GENERATION 18: Well, first of all, I think it`s important
to note that it`s not just young people who don`t turn out for midterms;
it`s people of all ages. So young people typically get a bad rap on this,
but it`s people of all ages who have a bad rate of turnout in midterms.

I would say that I think one of the most key elements, the thing that`s
been proven to turn out young people better than anything else, is for
politicians to actually go ask them for their vote. And time and time
again, politicians complain that young people don`t vote but very rarely do
they actually make a big concentrated effort to actually go appeal to them
and talk to them about the issues that matter to them.

We were talking here about marijuana but young people actually want to be
talked to about all issues, about education, about jobs, about health care,
about any issue on the table. And I think that politicians often say oh
young people are interested marijuana, they`re interested in talking about
student loans. And when you see people actually take young people and
their concerns seriously, that actually leads to high turnout. President
Obama spent an incredible amount of time, more than any presidential
candidate in recent history, reaching out to young people, going to talk to
young people, and it really paid off for him. So I think that a lot of
these contenders have to look at, are you willing to make that investment?
And if they do make that investment, it`s actually pretty rewarding.

KORNACKi: It`s interesting to me because every time the question of the
millennials and the youth vote comes up, and how to motivate them, I
invariably hear people bring up marijuana. They think all you kids smoke
pot.

(LAUGHTER)

KORMACKI: But there`s conflicting data actually on the impact of this. So
in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, this was on the ballot last year. And
youth -- it was on the ballot in 2012, excuse me -- and youth
participation, millennial participation, rose 5 to 12 points from its 2008
levels compared to one point nationally. So that suggests maybe it does.
But of course there`s the example in 2010 in California, marijuana was on
the ballot and it went down, and youth vote was actually down from its
level in the previous midterm.

So Brian, do you have any sense -- is this an animating issue that would
actually get them to the polls?

BRIAN BEUTLER, SALON.COM: Yes, I think that what`s happening is that
Democrats have a long term problem that they`re trying to fix in the short
term. They feel like they need to do something to get youth out to vote
now. I think what`s going to happen is, as millennials get older and this
liberal identification thing that you talked about sort of shapes them as
they vote in the future, that`s, you know, the other half of this
generational thing, the demographic issue, is that Republicans` base is old
and dying and the liberal base is young and going to become an age where
they vote more. And then the problem will kind of take care of itself.
But in the meantime, I think they`re kind of flailing to come up with
something to get these people to the polls.

KORNACKI: I guess the other question, Elahe, is if you come up with
something, if it`s marijuana or anything else to get young people out to
the polls, is it guaranteed that they`re going to vote Democratic up and
down the ballot? Because I mean, there`s this Pew study that came out
recently, been looking at a lot of the data in that, and overall it paints
a picture of millennials as liberals but it also paints a picture of them
as really kind of disaffected from institutions, from political parties,
very distrustful.

There`s one stat we had in here that jumped out, they want universal health
care. This is the attitude of every generation, it seems. They love the
idea of universal health care, think we should have universal health care,
but their actual attitude toward the Affordable Care Act is just as
negative as the older generation, only about 4 in 10 saying they approve of
the law. So is there a guarantee that they actually would vote Democratic?

ELAHE IZADI, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Not necessarily. I mean, they don`t have
that strong party identification. They might lean Democratic or self-
identify more as liberal, but the fact that they`re also saying they are
independent really means that those votes are kind of up for grabs.

And I wonder within that millennial generation, there`s a divide between
the older half who were able to vote in 2004 and remember the Iraq War and
were very much politicized by that and were able to vote in 2008 in that
presidential election and were also politicized by the possibility and then
the presidency of Barack Obama, whereas you have a younger generation, who
the first time they voted for a president was in 2012. And you saw
millennial turnout actually dipped.

Now what`s interesting is if you look in 2013, the Virginia governor`s
race, which is not really an example for Republicans on how to run a
campaign, but if you look at the millennial turnout in that election, the
younger half, the 18 to 24 year olds -- Cuccinelli, the Republican
candidate, actually beat the Democratic candidate by six points. If you
look at the older half, the 25 and up to 30, he didn`t beat the Democratic
candidate.

KORNACKI: That`s interesting. There`s a split there.

IZADI: There could be.

KORNACKI: Yes, then there`s the older generation whose formative political
experience was the Clinton-Dole race in 1996. We`ll pick us up right after
this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: So, here is a piece of data that really jumped out at me. This
is from this Pew research, Pew study about millennials and voting. It said
in 2012, millennials accounted for 18 percent of the electorate. In 2020,
just six years from now, they are projected to represent 38 percent,
basically 4 in 10 voters in the 2020 presidential elections. I mean, this
is a generation that`s really going to become the heart of the electorate
pretty soon.

And, Krystal, this is also a generation -- it`s really the first generation
in modern history that is not getting a better standard of living than the
generation they inherit from. How is that sort of economics of the
millennial generation affect how they`re going to vote?

KRYSTAL BALL, "THE CYCLE": I think that does -- is a big part of what has
pushed them to be more liberal. And I also think that there`s this thing
happening where there`s no longer this Cold War overhang to the political
conversation for younger voters. They`re not afraid of being called
socialists or communists, so that opens them up to being more willing to go
further left than maybe their parents were.

But there`s another important trend here that indicates that the sort of
liberal and Democratic nature of young voters is going to continue into the
future, which is the fact that not all of it, but a part of why they vote
more Democratic is because it`s a much more racially diverse group. So,
not only do the white voters who are young vote more Democratic than their
white parents, but overall the cohort is much more racially diverse, which
skews them much more Democratic.

KORNACKI: 43 percent nonwhite. David, let`s get to the question of we`re
talking about the Democrats. So from a Republican standpoint, what do you
think, if there`s one thing, or one or two things the Republican Party
could do to really appeal to millennails, what do you think that would that
be?

BURSTEIN: I think it really starts for them on how they talk about social
issues. I mean, they don`t have to necessarily change their position on
social issues, but they have to start talking about it in a different way.
And I think just that alone could go even a little bit a long way with
young voters. I mean, obviously, young people are the most in support of
same-sex marriage and these issues of any generation, so it`s not going to
move the needle that much, but at least trying to avoid the kind of words
and language that they`ve been using in the past. I think that would make
a big difference.

I think also marijuana is an opportunity, potentially, for some Republicans
who are more Libertarian where they actually are in line on that issue. So
you see Rand Paul going after Berkeley on the NSA issue in particular. I
think there are a lot of positions that Rand Paul that has that don`t align
with a lot of young people, but there is potentially an opportunity.

KORNACKI: So the theory is (ph) we do have somebody saying that kids like
pot.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: All right, my thanks to David Burstein of Generation 18. The
rest of my panel will be back. At the top of the hour, more on Governor
Chris Christie and the role of gender in his defense.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: There was some late breaking news last night. Another pretty
loud call for immunity from one of the key players in the Bridgegate
scandal that`s been rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie`s office.
And attorney for his former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly,
issued the statement yesterday that said "the only credible investigation
into the lane closings is being conducted by the U.S. attorney`s office.
So, Ms. Kelly will provide the appropriate procedural safeguards. She will
be fully cooperative and provide truthful and complete answers to any
questions asked of her by the appropriate law enforcement authorities."
Now, last night Governor Christie appeared on Fox News to address the
prospect of Kelly testifying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Bridget Anne Kelly will back up your
story when she`s under oath?

CHRISTIE: I have no idea. All I can tell you is, it`s the truth. And
certainly, if I think she`s telling the truth she will. Because we never
had any conversations about this, ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, there`s not going to be any e-mails, no phone
records, no tape recordings that come out that establish you knew about
this?

CHRISTIE: No. Cause I didn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: But, one reason Bridget Kelly might now feel compelled to
testify is because of how she is portrayed in the internal report to the
law reform retained by Christie`s office released this week. Although
Kelly was one of the people reports authors did not talk to, reporting
nonetheless made various conclusions about her mental state and it`s
possible role in the George Washington Bridge lane closures. And recalled
that the only four people to lose their jobs in the scandal have been
Kelly, Port Authority appointee`s Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, and
Christie`s former campaign manager Bill Stepien. And actually you can add
a fifth now to that with Christie`s announcement yesterday that David
Samson has resigned as the Port Authority`s chairman.

The report says of Kelly, quote, "like the others involved in the lane
realignment, events in Kelly`s personal life may have had some bearing on
her subjective motivations and state of mind. Her first known
communication to Wildstein about The lane realignment in mid-August 2013,
for example, occurred around the time that her personal relationship with
Stepien had cooled. Apparently, at Stepien`s behest. And Stepien and
Kelly have largely stopped speaking." Now, this is in reference to the
August "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" mail that surfaced in
January after which Christie fired Bridget Kelly. We`ve talked a lot about
this e-mail over the last few months, but we and no one had until now
talked publicly about the purported relationship, the personal relationship
between Kelly and Stepien. It took the reports to get that into the news.
Not surprisingly, some people took strong issue with this depiction. Like
Bill Stepien. His lawyer in the statement called the reference to the
relationship gratuitous and noted that they were both single at the time.
And he called this conclusion a, quote, "regrettable distraction that has
no place in this report." "The New York Times" also spoke with friends of
Kelly under condition of anonymity with one of them saying, I wanted her to
commandeer the ship through the storm. That`s just how sturdy she is."
Another said, "If you are going to throw her under the bus, she shouldn`t
be alone under the bus." For his part, the governor was asked yesterday
about how Kelly and Hoboken Mayor Don Zimmer`s emotions were characterized
in this report. When men`s potential emotion motivations didn`t seem to
receive quite as much scrutiny.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that this report was fair to the women
it`s got to talk about? Because it kind of shows the different side of
them that we don`t see in some of the men they are talking about?

CHRISTIE: I assume that the only reason for that is that they didn`t get
testimony or have any documents or evidence, which gave them a window into
the emotional side of those folks. I don`t think there was any other
reason why that would have occurred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And after that press conference, Michael Critchley, he`s the
attorney for Bridget Kelly, he released the statement that we mentioned
earlier, "the reports of venomous, gratuitous and inappropriate sexist
remarks concerning Ms. Kelly have no place in what is alleged to be a
professional and independent report."

There appear to be two distinct versions of the George Washington Bridge
lane closings. On the one hand, Mr. Wildstein through his counsel has
taken one clear position. On the other hand, Mr. Mastro has staked a
different view. Thus, Mr. Kelly`s evidence could be critical to their fine
even of the two competing versions of events. A pre-emptive strike that
isolating Miss Kelly and impugn her credibility is not surprising. The
statement concludes by asserting that Kelly is not a liar and suggests that
if she is granted immunity, she will provide complete answers to the U.S.
attorney`s investigation.

Back now to talk about all of this is WNBC reporter, Brian Thompson,
Democratic strategist Lis Smith who worked on Jersey`s Governor Jon
Corzine`s 2009 campaign and in Houston, we have Brian Wice, a criminal
defense attorney, a friend of the show.

Brian Thompson, I`ll start with you. Because this really got interesting
yesterday for me yesterday when the statement from Bridget Kelly came out.
Because we have had David Wildstein`s lawyer out there basically pleading
for a deal with the feds. Now it seems there`s a competition here with
Bridget Kelly`s lawyers saying, on the one hand, you have got the report.
On the one hand, you have got Wildstein, I can break the tie. I can be - I
can, you know, tell you who is telling the truth or not. I guess one of
the questions is in the Trenton world. Does anybody believe the idea that
this was Wildstein acting with Kelly`s approval, that no one else would
have been involved? How credible is that idea?

THOMPSON: It`s not totally credible, I admit. I mean the belief, if you
ask, if there had to be somebody else involved in this chain. Not
necessarily, the governor, I have to say. There is absolutely no evidence
that the governor knew in advance about this that I have seen. But, it`s
hard to believe that just these two people cooked it up. A lot of the
belief is that, and I have to be careful here, because unlike Brian Wice,
I`m not a lawyer.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMPSON: But a lot of the belief is that Bill Stepien may have had a role
in this. And indeed, their relationship could have something to do with
it. The problem with the report that Mastro put out is that he just
speculated, which, you know, suggests it`s a report that`s used by a lawyer
in summation, but that it`s not necessarily a fact finding report of the
rigor that you would expect the governor would have asked for here. So,
but yes, to get to the best, the point of your question, it is hard to
believe that Bridget Kelly, who is high up in the governor`s office had no
contact with anybody else about this other than David Wildstein.

KORNACKI: There was -- the report did say of Bill Stepien`s role. They
call the information that comes to life concerning. That was as far as the
report goes. And it doesn`t implicate him. And that was as far it goes in
casting judgment on him. Lis, I want to get you. Because you - your
personal life recently intersected with your professional life in a way
that sort of sounds a little familiar with - it sounds a little similar to
what Bridget Kelly is going through right now. For people who don`t know,
can you take us through what you went through recently and if what Bridget
Kelly is going through right now, if you can relate to it, in any way.

SMITH: Sure. Well, I mean it`s not really apples to apples. Because my
situation didn`t involve professional conduct. But mine just involved me
falling in love with someone who is high profile and, I guess, a lightning
rod. And some people in the political and media community taking issue
with that. But more broadly, what she`s going through, what any political
woman who has gone through this will tell you, is that women in politics
have to work ten times harder than men to get where they are. It`s a boys
club. It`s a man`s world. And whether you are a female journalist, a
political operative or a female journalist or operative, you have to work
ten times harder to get to where you are. So, when all of your work is
then distilled into a headline insinuating that you are somehow
promiscuous, it`s really hurtful. And I think it affects you on a personal
level. For me, I didn`t really see much of a professional effect. But
personally, I think, it is very taxing.

KORNACKI: Let me just play, Christie was asked at the press conference
yesterday about the state of mind of Bridget Kelly and also David
Wildstein. Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Anything you ask me, which asks me to speculate on what David
Wildstein was thinking or what Bridget Kelly was thinking, I`m not going to
answer because I don`t know. And I`m not going to get into a speculation
game, because it will just put me in a spot where I`m throwing stuff out
there up against the wall when I don`t have the factual basis for it. So,
I`m not going to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So, he won`t do it, but the report that he`s trumpeting as
exonerating him, seemed to have no trouble speculating about or getting
inside Bridget Kelly`s head. Brian Wice, I want to bring you in because we
have the lawyer for Bridget Kelly basically characterizing that the way
this report treated Bridget Kelly as an opening salvo to try to sort of
discredit her in advance of any potential deal with federal prosecutors.
You have her, lawyer, now basically saying, hey, we will cooperate it with
the Feds if we get a deal. From a legal standpoint, putting this in the
report like this, does it accomplish anything for Christie`s side?

BRIAN WICE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, I`m a huge Randy Mastro
fan. This guy is the real deal. You look at his resume and I can`t think
of anyone of a handful of lawyers who are more compelling in the courtroom
or outside of it than Randy is. But including this kind of information in
this report, in my estimation was Bush league. It`s all about credibility.
If you want to talk about how Bridget Kelly lied on a job resume or had
overdue library books, or got off this detention in this fifth grade, all
of that is fair game. And make no mistake, they are going to continue to
ramp up their attacks on her creditability. But to resort to something as
innate as her being emotional or the fact that she had a relationship with
one of the other players in this, from a legal standpoint and from a PR
standpoint, and make no mistake, your viewers are the jurors in the court
of public opinion, I really think was bush league.

KORNACKI: And just quickly, when you see that statement from Bridget Kelly
yesterday, from her lawyer, you know, their case for getting a deal with
the feds. And we`ve had David Wildstein`s lawyer repeatedly making sort of
his case, does one of those jump out to you as a more compelling case for a
deal?

WICE: Boy. It`s like anybody who`s ever watched "Law & Order" understands
the first guy or gal to the courthouse, Steve, ultimately gets the best
deal. It`s going to be interesting to see who does get the keys to the
kingdom. But, at this point and nobody has been placed under oath, this
report hasn`t tested anybody in the crucible of cross-examination and
unless and until that happens, I really think that vindication is really a
Yiddish word for whitewash.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: You always come when it goes with a new line for this show. I
really appreciate that. It was new to us, at least, maybe - for a while.
But Lis, I want to get back to the way Bridget Kelly was treated. Because
I was picking it up - it seemed to touch a nerve among women.

SMITH: Yes.

KORNACKI: I heard a lot of reaction to it and saw a lot of commentary
about it. I wonder if Randy Mastro even anticipated it - if the lawyers
even anticipated that.

SMITH: Right, well, these are all the sexist slurs that are used against
women in the workplace. They are the same sexist slurs that were used
against Hillary Clinton when she was running for president. That women are
emotional, that they can`t deal with breakups. And I`m sorry, but I mean I
think we have all probably gone through bad breakups. It doesn`t lead you
to close down two lanes on the George Washington Bridge. And so, I think
we should see it this for what it is. It was a cynical ploy to distract
from the many holes in this report. And, you know, the Christie people
were smart because what did the tabloids unwrap the next day? This sex
angle of all.

KORNACKI: Yeah, and that was the thing that really jumped out at me.
Because I mean you call around the New Jersey political world and it`s sort
of - on the grapevine the idea, in the grapevine, whatever the term is, the
idea that there was some kind of relationship here, but it was never aired,
you know, in a formal public sitting, in a formal publication or anything.
And they`ve got in there.

Brian, quickly.

THOMPSON: See, real quick - just a couple of qualifiers. One, the report
did talk about Chris Christie tearing up in that staff meeting. So we have
to give a little bit of cross emotional counter point. And then Holly
Schepisi, the Republican assemblywoman who was on your panel an hour ago
told me afterward that the Republicans on the investigation committee were
concerned about some of this salacious material coming out in all of the
subpoenas that were being issued and the tone of the subpoenas. And she
says that a couple of Democrats on the committee says bring it on. So,
there could be some .

KORNACKI: But they were okay with the, you know ..

THOMPSON: Cross salaciousness here that it`s not necessarily a one-sided
let`s go for the sexy stuff.

KORNACKI: That is an interesting - That is a very interesting possibility
that this study was going to raise. I wonder if it will be pursued. I`d
be curious about that. I want to thank Democratic strategist Lis Smith,
WNBC`s Brian Thompson and attorney Brian Wice. Thank you all for joining
us. There is one big part of the Christie story that very surprisingly was
mentioned by no one at his press-conference yesterday. It`s a subject that
first came to light because of an interview on this show. And guess what
I`m talking about? We will have a lot to say about it. And we`ll share
that all with you tomorrow.

But next, Texas abortion ruling and Hobby Lobby case this week, through the
lens of how, why and when the evangelical right began fighting so hard
against contraception and abortions. The answers may surprise you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Before Wendy Davis put on a pair of pink sneakers and tried to
block a law restricting access to abortion that ultimately passed anyway,
there were 36 women`s health care clinics in the state of Texas that
performed abortions. And already since that law passed, a third of them
have closed. And soon, the next requirements of that law go into effect,
the number will be down to six or maybe seven. It`s the number of places
in the entire state of Texas, the second biggest state in the country by
area, the number of places in the Lone Star State where women who will have
access to abortion will drop by more than 80 percent, because of that law
that Wendy Davis tried to stop. It looks like things in Texas could stay
that way. A panel of federal judges ruled this week that the law "on its
face does not impose an undue burden of the life and health of a woman."
That`s the standard impose by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. And in
November, the current Supreme Court weighed in. The majority refusing to
stop the law`s implementation. The Supreme Court also heard arguments this
week in the case, in which the plaintiffs, corporations in this case,
believe certain forms of contraception end pregnancy. And because they do
that, because they believe they do that, they don`t want to have to provide
some or potentially all contraceptive surveys in their health plans that
they offer their employees, even though the Affordable Care Act now
mandates that they do so.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Hobby Lobby. This is a chain of 500 arts
and crafts stores with 13,000 employees. And its owners are a conservative
Christian family. And the lawyers argue before the court this week that
their religious rights are being infringed upon by asking them to do
something that is against their conscience. No one is surprised that they
feel this for all this issue, of course. No one is surprised that
Republicans in the Texas legislature were sincere in their desire to
restrict women`s access to abortion. What might be surprising, though, is
how long the Christian right as a movement has cared so much about these
beliefs and sought to implement them in policy. Because this is actually
and surprisingly a relatively recent political phenomena. It`s a matter of
decades. And for that, it seems, you have Jerry Falwell to think. Slate`s
Jamelle Bouie made a compelling case this week that it wasn`t until the
Televangelist mobilized Evangelical Christians around cultural issues
nearly 1908s. That abortion found a prominent spot on the agenda. It was
only after Falwell made alliances with catholic groups that anti-abortion
as a political position, found its way into the Christian right. In the
late 1960s, there seem to be an agreement among social conservatives, that
abortion, well, a sin, was justifiable in cases of rape and incest. But
good luck finding those kinds of exceptions today in the vast number of
Republican state bills now looking to restrict access to abortion.

Even more recent has been a shift against contraception. In a 2009 poll by
the National Association of Evangelicals, 90 percent of those surveyed said
they approve of contraception. But the fight against the Affordable Care
Act`s contraception has once again transformed the debate, raising the
question of whether, just like opposition to abortion, opposition to
contraception may ultimately become part of the Christian rights for
religious dogma in its political litmus test. Joining me now to discuss
all of this, we have Bishop Gene Robinson. He`s retired from the Episcopal
Church of New Hampshire. He`s the first openly gay bishop to serve in the
Episcopal Church. He`s now a senior fellow at the Center for American
Progress. We have Irin Carmon, a national reporter for msnbc.com who has
been covering these issues. And MSNBC`s Krystal Ball is back with us at
the table.

And Irin, I want to start with you on the Hobby Lobby case this week. So,
both sides made their argument before the court. The Obama administration
trying to defend this contraception mandate. Representatives of Hobby
Lobby basically making the case that hey, you know, the family that owns
this are devout Christians. It`s a company, but they are Christians as
people and therefore, they shouldn`t have to provide something that they
believe violates their faith. Covering those arguments, what jumped out at
you? We are always trying to project the head like, you know, who won the
day. Everybody was enrolled in the health care.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: So, go ahead and make a position you will regret in a few
months. But haven`t had it yet.
(LAUGHTER)

IRIN CARMON, MSNBC.COM: Well, OK, I would say what a week to think about
how much judges matter. And judges, as we know, are appointed as a result
of elections. So, this is a deeply politicized process. I think one of
the things that we also have to remember, you talked about this sort of
changing views on contraception and abortion. I would actually put it even
earlier. It was actually Pat Buchanan and Nixon who said after Roe v.
Wade, we have an opportunity to peel off Southern evangelicals from the
Democratic Party. It was another form of a Southern strategy to use
abortion as a wedge issue to capitalize on the kinds of anxieties that
people had about changing gender roles. As for Hobby Lobby, like those
moved goalposts that we saw in contraception and abortion, you know, when
this was first introduced by the Obama administration, when they said, we
are going to have all insurance plans cover contraception, the concern that
the bishops raised were religious nonprofits, right? They were churches.
Churches were exempt. There were charities, hospitals, universities.
Nobody was talking about for-profit corporations. All of a sudden now, the
greatest infringement on religious liberty is that a for-profit corporation
cannot deny insurance coverage for these methods of contraception.

KORNACKI: And this - but the idea --

CARMON: This has changed so fast.

KORNACKI: Right. And the idea, I think, to just reinforce, the idea of
the slippery slope, from - if this is tossed out, if this contraception -
it`s tossed out.

CARMON: Right.

KORNACKI: The idea then becomes what can`t people assert on religious
grounds to deny anything?

CARMON: And so, I was sitting in the courtroom. And it was fascinating to
hear what, you know, the three female justices immediately came out
swinging. Paul Clement who also argued the Affordable Care Act case
immediately brought up that contraception is religiously sensitive. Sonya
Sotomayor immediately interrupts his and says, wait a minute. What about
things that are not "religiously sensitive" to you such as vaccinations,
such as blood transfusions. These are all things that if we say that a
corporation, one has religious liberty and two, that if that religious
liberty is violated by this kind of insurance coverage for its employees,
not even anybody being forced to do anything, just being part of an
insurance pool, where is this going to lead?

KORNACKI: And bishop, I wonder if you could talk about that? We mention
reinventions of there. There`s a sort of politicization of the Christian -
the rise of the Christian right, basically. I mean I always remember, it
jumped out at me in the 1970s, after Roe versus Wade, John Paul Stevens was
confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, and not a single question about
abortion was asked in his confirmation hearings. Today, that would
obviously be unthinkable. Is contraception sort of going the same way?
That it`s going to be - this is sort of a new issue - or a new issue for
the Christian right to promote and incorporate into their faith?

BISHOP GENE ROBINSON, EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF NEW HAMPSHIRE (RET.): You know,
we have seen this kind of development and expansion of these calls for
exceptions. I mean as a religious person, let`s face it, faithful
religious people disagree about these issues. The greens and I both claim
to be followers of Jesus. But the Jesus I know in my own life and follow
always stood on the side of the poor and the marginalized. And here we
have the spectacle, which is quite offensive to me, of Christians using
their religious beliefs to deny people their rights and to try to deny them
the contraceptive methods that would actually prevent abortions. I mean
why aren`t these antiabortion people gun ho for providing contraception to
anyone who wants it? Because more than anything else, it will prevent more
abortions.

CARMON: And it`s not the same as abortion. I`m sorry to interrupt you,
but I just - you know, just to be very clear here. And they say it ends a
pregnancy, but it`s not scientifically true.

BALL: Scientifically not true.

ROBINSON: Scientifically, there`s no question about that. But that
doesn`t seem to matter to people who want to see it that way. And it`s
just - it`s just very upsetting to see so-called religious liberty used in
this way.

BALL: Yeah. I think one of the animating forces here is the fact that
there`s a mythology that`s been created on the right that white Christians
in particular are under assault. That they are being persecuted. That
they are the victims of a heavy handed state and there`s no - there`s
tolerance granted in all these areas, but there`s no tolerance granted for,
in this case, the corporation that wants to deny their employees popular
methods of contraception. So, I think that`s an animating piece. And you
can`t separate it from the laws for example, that have been introduced to
allow businesses to deny services to gay couples. I think they are very
much related. They are trying to carve around these narrow exceptions for
themselves, so that even as the society goes in a direction they are not
comfortable with, they can keep their own piece of what they consider
religious liberty intact. The part of it that doesn`t make any sense is,
if you believe in liberty and you believe in people being free to do what
they want, then you would come down on the side of the 13,000 employees of
Hobby Lobby being able to choose their own health care versus having it
dictated to them by their employer.

KORNACKI: You`re raising interesting point there, though, about sort of
the direction the politics of cultural issues seems to be going with
society moving in one direction and, you know, Christian conservatives,
Evangelical conservatives basically now asserting, you know, religious,
this is our religious beliefs, we want exemptions. But basically, the idea
is hey, we`ll leave you alone, you leave us alone. I want to pick it up in
the next segment just sort of to ask if there`s any feasible way that could
work. We`ll talk about it after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: So, we`re trying to figure out where politics is going and where
culture is going if the Christian right now sort of decides that these
personal religious liberty and religious liberty for corporations in some
cases, you know, they are sort of saying with bills like this, with
lawsuits like this, they are sort of saying, you know, hey, you can have
what you want in broader society, but you have to leave us alone, let us,
you know, let the individual wedding photographer, if he doesn`t want to do
gay marriage, doesn`t have to do it, let the florist not, you know, do the
gay wedding. Is there any room for that, Irin, for this idea of
individuals making some, drawing some kind of a line and saying, hey, my
small business, my personal service, I`m just not going to provide to
something I don`t believe in on religious grounds. Is there any room for
that?

CARMON: Well, I think the metric has to be who else is harmed, right? So,
it`s not just their individual refusal. You could argue that the harm in a
person refusing to serve somebody in a general, open for business kind of
situation, there is a harm. Because it`s saying that that person, you
know, is not as valuable as another wedding. In the case of Hobby Lobby,
the harm is pretty substantial, which is that, you know, the reason the
Obama administration put these regulations in place was because we have a
very high rate of unintended pregnancy in this country. We don`t have good
access, regular access to effective contraception. So, the harm there and
Anthony Kennedy raised this in oral argument, the harm there is that women
who work at Hobby Lobby are going to have different access to health care
because of their bosses` beliefs. They are literally going to have to pay
more because of their bosses` beliefs. So I think yes, the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act was crafted so that individuals could opt out of
things that violated their beliefs, but I don`t think that it was intended
to kind of enshrine the harm to other people.

KORNACKI: What do you think about that idea, bishop? Take the corporation
aspect even aside. But the individual aspect, like we have this - the bill
in Arizona that Governor Brewer ultimately vetoed that was basically saying
individuals could refuse services based on their own individual religious
beliefs. What do you think of that, the idea that individuals should be
able to sort of opt out? You know, you - they provide a service or
something. Is that -- what is your take on that?

ROBINSON: Well, certainly, those of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community know where this is headed. I mean the executives and
affiliate companies of Hobby Lobby fund most of these efforts, including
the one in Arizona to get this bill that would be used against LGBT people.
So, and we know about this connection between abortion issues and
contraception issues and LGBT issues. Because right after the fall of the
Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a meeting was held.
And a decision was made that the next way for us to raise money are on
these issues. And so, it won`t work. And those of us in mainstream
religion are not asking for this kind of protection. We live in a society,
we participate in a democratic society. We don`t need and we don`t want
these so-called protections and exemptions made for us.

KORNACKI: And it`s socially - to watch the positives that play out within
the Republican Party, with just as such a heavy concentration of
evangelical Christians. And if you have that big of a segment of your
party sort of resisting, insisting on laws like this and the broader
society, the broader election moving in the different direction .

BALL: Yeah.

KORNACKI: Really, the Republican Party has to resolve something kind of
fundamental here.

BALL: Well, and it`s a microcosm of the problem with the Republican Party
as a whole. Because what their base wants and what animates them and
what`s going to get them excited into the polls, is so dramatically
different from what a majority of America thinks is appropriate and
acceptable and the direction that the country should be going in. So, you
have this real clash where basically the solution has been thus far, let`s
try not to talk about gay marriage as much. Right? Let`s try to not focus
so much on abortion, but at the state level, you see the same policies, the
same really extreme out there policies to most of America percolating and
making their way up. Because this is what`s popular with the base and this
is ultimately what a lot of the base elected these legislatures to do.

KORNACKI: Right, and we were seeing that. Right. The state legislature
is really the place to look right now all over the country.

BALL: Right.

KORNACKI: I want to thank Bishop Gene Robinson, and Msnbc.com`s Irin
Carmon for coming in this morning. Krystal Ball. Do not go anywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: But coming up, first of all, we`ll have an update on the missing
airline Flight 370.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: There are breaking news this morning about that missing
Malaysian Airlines flight. Two ships have recovered items in the search
for Flight 370. The Australian officials in charge of the search say those
ships have retrieved a number of objects from the Indian Ocean. They are
pointing out here that so far, none of the objects recovered have been
confirmed to be related to Flight 370. A flurry of increased sightings
from recoveries come in the wake of a shifted search zone yesterday.
Officials moving the search 700 miles closer to the coast of Australia,
this after deciding the flight had been traveling a lot faster and was
burning more fuel than it previously had been thought. We will keep you
updated here all day on MSNBC as more details become available.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center USA, it`s
time for a special tournament of champions` edition of "Up against the
Clock."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know, she`s not just a shrewd political
reporter by day, but also one of D.C.s funniest stand-up comics by night.
Elahe Izadi. As a kid, she didn`t have to read a book called "My Pet
Goat," because she had a pet goat named Crystal. Say hello to Krystal
Ball.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he`s the number three overall seed in the
tournament who already had won $50 in Pierogies, and (INAUDIBLE) watch out.
It`s Brian Beutler!

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, the host of "Up against the Clock," Steve
Kornacki.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KORNACKI: Thank you, Bill Walsh. Thank you studio audience and thank you
for tuning in at home for what will be our third and final semifinal
Saturday in our tournament of champions. Already, Alex Seitz-Wald from
"National Journal" has qualified for a spot in next Saturday`s first ever,
"Up against the Clock" national championship game. And so is BuzzFeed`s
Kate Nocera. In the third spot on contestant throw in that big game will
be decided right here, today in just a few seconds. Will it be Elahe
Izadi, Krystal Ball or Brian Beutler? All strong players during the
regular season, all deemed worthy by our selection committee. The rules
for tournament play remain the same. We have three rounds of play, they
are 100 seconds each. The questions will get harder as we go along.
Contestants, you can ring in anytime. But as you know, you will be
penalized for a wrong answer. Of course, there are instant bonuses
scattered throughout the game. As always, I will remind our live studio
audience, so please remain absolutely silent. No outbursts, please. And
with that, I`ll ask our contestants are you ready?

IZADI: Yes.

BALL: Sort of.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Good enough for me. Hands on buzzers, 100 seconds on the clock.
The first round begins with this: Allegedly accepting a bribe for $12,500
from an FBI agent and demanding the money be used to invest in the line of
feminine hygiene products, the mayor of .

KORNACKI: Elahi.

IZADI: Charlotte?

KORNACKI: The mayor of Charlotte resigned on Wednesday, that`s correct.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KORNACKI: 100 point question. In somewhat ironic move, plans for a super-
PAC designed to facilitate the elimination of all super-PACs were announced
this week by the son of what prominent .

Krystal.

BALL: George Soros.

KORNACKI: George Soros. Well, prominent Democratic billionaire, 100 point
question here. On Thursday, the Obama administration announced that this
many Americans have now enrolled in .

Elahi.

IZADI: 6 million.

KORNACKI: 6 million Americans enrolled in health insurance exchanges,
correct. 100 point question. Former president, George H.W. Bush threw his
support this week behind the candidate for superintendent of South
Carolina`s education system, who`s also the widow of this man, who was the
notorious architect of Bush`s 1988 campaign.

We`ll call tie, that name was Lee Atwater. His widow is running for
office. 100 point question. According to hi spokesman, Massachusetts
gubernatorial candidate, Steve Grossman was in the throes of intense .

Elahi.

IZADI: Oh, god - kidney stones.

KORNACKI: He was in the throes of intense physical pain during a debate
this week, because he was dealing with kidney stones. 100 points for
Elahi. Back with this. Despite the team`s creation of a new foundation .

Elahi.

IZADI: Redskins?

KORNACKI: Incorrect. I`ll complete the question for Krystal and Brian.
Despite the team`s creation of a new foundation to support the Native
Americans this top Washington leader predicted on Thursday that the
Redskins will change their name within three years. Krystal

BALL: Harry Reid.

KORNACKI: Harry Reid is correct. Very confident answer.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: 100 point question. Familiar with political battles in the
arena known as Washington D.C., President Obama on Thursday visited this
iconic Roman sporting venue. Brian?

BEUTLER: Coliseum.

KORNACKI: The coliseum. Correct. Brian`s on the board, the first round
is over. And we have a close one here, Elahi, with, 200, Krystal with 200
and Brian just 100 points behind. And these is where things start to get a
little wild, because these are the 200 point questions. A little harder, a
lot more valuable. We`ll put 100 seconds on the clock. And round two
begins with this. Holding a seat in Congress for 14 years this prominent
House Republican announced Thursday. Krystal.

BALL: Mike Rogers.

KORNACKI: Mike Rogers announced Thursday that he will retire to be a radio
talk show host. 200 points question. Quote, "Obviously we were
horrified." Was the reaction from - Elahi.

IZADI: Mitch McConnell`s campaign over Duke - and, sorry.

KORNACKI: Well, judges quick. We cannot credit you with that. I`m sorry,
I`ll repeat the question. Was the reaction from Mitch McConnell`s
reelection campaign after an ad released this week mistakenly featured this
university? Krystal.

BALL: Duke University.

KORNACKI: Duke University is correct. Instant bonus, Krystal. It doubled
your winnings on this question. In 1992, the most famous matchup between
Duke and Kentucky ended with a buzzer being turned around jumper by this
Duke basketball legend.

BALL: I have no idea.

KORNACKI: No answer. It`s Christian Laettner. 200 points question.
After citing a family conflict, this leading Republican presidential
candidate will not take part in meetings being held this weekend between
top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson and many of the party`s 2016
prospects.

Brian.

BEUTLER: Chris Christie?

KORNACKI: Incorrect. Elahi? Krystal, you want to guess? No guesses?

It`s Senator Rand Paul. 200 point question, for his 74th birthday this
week, Nancy Pelosi received several boxes of chocolate from House Speaker
John Boehner made in what- Elahi?

IZADI: She`s on lent, she gave it up.

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: It was made in what Ohio City?

IZADI: Oh.

KORNACKI: Brian?

BEUTLER: Cincinnati.

KORNACKI: Cincinnati is correct. 200 points for Brian. Squeeze one more
here. Bill signed by its governor on Thursday will give this state the
highest minimum wage in the nation when it is raised up to $10 - Elahi.

IZADI: Connecticut.

KORNACKI: Connecticut is correct. In 2017, a $10.10 minimum wage. Elahi,
that gets you out of debt. You are at zero. Krystal. 600 Brian there at
100. But things can go crazy. Because this is the Ph.D. level, 300
points, this is where the winner will be crowned. Or a spot at least, and
- 300 point round begins, 100 seconds on the clock with this. Held this
past Wednesday night, financial Republican congressional committee`s annual
dinner set a fund raising record for the group while featuring this former
high ranking Bush administration official as its keynote speaker. Time.
It`s Condoleezza Rice. 300 point question. After his turn in the role of
Frank Underwood in Netflix`s `House of Cards," it was reported this week,
that Kevin Spacey will portray this legendary European political leader in
an upcoming film. Time. It`s Winston Churchill. Kevin Spacey will be
portraying back with this. The House Ethics Committee announced Monday
that it would extend its investigation into this top ranking Republican.
Elahi.

IZADI: Kathy McMorris Rodgers.

KORNACKI: Kathy McMorris Rodgers for allegedly using official staff in
reelection campaign. 300 points for Elahi. 300 point questions. A
cabinet officer in three presidential administrations, this Harvard trained
economist who became better known for his work in national security passed
away this week at age 85. We will call time. It was James Schlesinger.
300 point question.

The prime minister of this British Commonwealth country announced this week
that he`s bringing back knighthoods from the queen as a national honor. It
is earning its reputation as the Ph.D. level. We call time. It`s
Australia. 300 point question. In their first meeting Thursday, Pope
Francis presented President Obama with a copy of the book, "The Joy of
Gospel." What did President Obama present to Pope? Krystal?

BALL: A box of seeds from the White House garden.

KORNACKI: We accept that. 300 point question. A vocal proponent of gun
control, California state senator Leland Yee was arrested on Tuesday for
allegedly trafficking firearms along with Raymond Chow, a notorious
gangster from San Francisco`s Chinatown. Better known by this memorable
nickname. And once again, I will call time. It`s Shrimp Boy. Round is
over. The game is over. And the one left standing is Krystal Ball with
900 points.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KORNACKI: Congratulations, Krystal. You have survived and you will play
in the "Up against the Clock" national championship game next Saturday
against Kate Nocera and Alex Seitz-Wald. That will be one whale of a
fight. And Bill Wolf will tell you what you and the others will be playing
for next week.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations. As today`s winner, you`ve earned a
spot in the "Up against the Clock" finals next month where you will face
off for the Tournament of Champions grand prize. Not one, but two amazing
dinners for two at New York City`s renowned restaurants (INAUDIBLE).
Thanks, Tom. Enjoy your fine fine dining experience, why, we`ll throw in a
bottle of wine. Back to you, Steve.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KORNACKI: All right. We have one more game left next Saturday to crown
our champion. Krystal. You`ve gotten a look at the competition so far.
Any fighting words you want to offer for Kate or for Alex?

BALL: I just hope that I don`t embarrass myself.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Again, that is the confidence we have come to expect from
championship contender Krystal Ball. She, Alex Seitz-Wald and Kate Nocera
will square off at these podiums next Saturday. We will crown a champion.
Be with us for that. What do we know now that we didn`t know last week?
Our answers are after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: And it`s that time where we find out what our guests know now
that they didn`t know when the week began. We know that Krystal is going
to be a contestant next week. But Krystal, what do you know?

BALL: We know that he Chris (INAUDIBLE) is - is a new daddy again, his
second child David Emanuel was born this week. Congratulations to Chris
and his wife.

KORNACKI: And with a newborn child he will be reintroduced to the joys
that I now know for getting up at about 4 a.m.

BALL: Yes. Sleeplessness.

KORNACKI: Good morning, so.

BALL: Welcome to my world.

KORNACKI: He`ll get a taste of that. Brian, how about you?

BEUTLER: Brian, thanks to watching MSNBC I now know that the Pennsylvania
chapter of Americans for prosperity despite vicious anti-Obama care
advocacy doesn`t know a whole lot about health care policy.

KORNACKI: That`s right. The -what were you saying, the poverty line in
Pennsylvania has been $94,000?

BALLL: Turns out that`s not true.

KORNACKI: Let`s go over there. Elahi.

IZADI: We now know that bipartisanship in Washington is alive and well.
Republican and Democratic House leaders on Thursday conspired to basically
put up doc fix for a voice vote unbeknownst to many rank and file members.
So, they puts it on the floor, just voiced it and it went through without
people getting a chance to vote on it.

KORNACKI: We have a new way of passing legislation.

IZADI: Exactly. Let`s do it with everything.

KORNACKI: All right. So, well, hey, you know, if I look like I don`t have
much sleep this morning - because I don`t. I sit up watching Kentucky
Louisville and .

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: I was trying to watch. I was happy I fell asleep at halftime. And
when I woke up this morning, I was like OK, I`m glad.

KORNACKI: Chris Christie was at the Madison Square Garden last night.
That`s where people - at the Iowa State/UConn game ..

BALL: How`s your bracket doing?

KORNACKI: Three final four teams went down yesterday. So, that`s it for
me. In the last two days. Anyway, I want to thank Krystal Ball, Brian
Beutler and Elahi Izadi. Thank you for getting up and thank you for joining
us today for "UP." On Sunday. I will be talking with David Brock. He`s
the man who once tried to bring down the Clinton, but now he wants to make
Hillary president. Tomorrow morning, and also, one big glaring thing that
no one mentioned at Chris Christie`s press conference yesterday. We will
tell you what it is if you haven`t guessed by now. And we will share some
new information about it. That`s also tomorrow. But stick around now
because up next is MHP and Melissa Harris-Perry is back on her show today.
The Obama`s on the world stage, both the president and the first lady are
on a sort of global campaign framing the role of the United States and the
world in a very particular way. Is it working? Stay here, Nerdland is
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning my question, did you miss
me, Nerdland? Plus, the pope, the president and the politics of the poor.
And, how college football just might save the American labor movement.
But, first, the president and the first lady take the globe by storm.

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

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