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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

Date: May 31, 2015
Guest: Katy Tur, Stephen Moore, Steve Clemons, Eleanor Clift, Sahil Kapur,
Brian Wice, Paul Butler, Amy Klobuchar

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Even more tragedy for the Biden family. Man,
good morning.

Thanks for getting up with us today, a sad Sunday morning in the world of
politics with the nation waking up to the news that Vice President Joe
Biden`s son, Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, a rising
political star in his own right has passed away at the age of 46 from brain

Much more on that in just a moment. Also new at this hour, Secretary of
State John Kerry has been taken by helicopter to a hospital in Geneve,

He is said to be in stable condition there. The State Department says
Kerry was hurt in a bicycle accident in France, likely suffering an injury
to his right leg.

He was in Switzerland to meet with Iran`s foreign minister, looking to
close that nuclear deal with Iran. We`re going to go live to Europe for
much more on this developing story in just a few minutes.

And meanwhile, here in the United States, people waking up this morning to
the staggering and incredibly sad news that Vice President Joe Biden`s son,
Beau Biden, died of brain cancer yesterday at the age of 46. Beau Biden
was a rising political star.

When Joe Biden left the Senate for the White House for the vice presidency
in 2009, Beau was considered for that seat. He was Delaware`s attorney
general at the time.

More recently, after leaving that office, Biden was said to be thinking
about a run for Delaware governor in 2016. In fact, he had said, he wanted
to run for governor of Delaware in 2016.

As a member of the Army`s JAG Corps, Biden was deployed to Iraq back in
2008. He spent one year there, returning only for a brief visit when his
father was sworn in as vice president, the vice president releasing a
statement last night reading in part (ph), quote, "Beau`s life was defined
by service to others.

As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn
Kosovo, a major in the Delaware National Guard. He was an Iraq war

He was awarded the bronze star. He`s Delaware`s attorney general. He
fought for the powerless.

He made it his mission to protect children from abuse. More than his
professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father,
son and brother.

Beau embodied my father`s saying that a parent knows success when his child
turns out better than he did." Beau Biden was the oldest of Joe Biden`s
three surviving children.

Beau`s mother and baby sister died in a 1972 car accident when they`ve been
out in the family station wagon shopping for a Christmas tree. Beau and
his brother, Hunter, survived that crash.

But they would spend many months in the hospital. Joe Biden was at that
time in Washington on that day because this all happened right after Joe
Biden had first been elected to the Senate at the age of 29.

It happened in those months after the election of 1972 when he won his
Senate seat but before he was actually sworn in as a Senator in January of
1973. Beau talked about that time in his moving introduction to his father
at the 2008 Democrat National Convention.


BEAU BIDEN, SON OF JOE BIDEN: One of my earliest memories was being in
that hospital, my dad always at (ph) our side. We, my brother and I, not
the Senate, were all that he cared about.

He decided not to take the oath of office. He said then Delaware can get
another senator but my boys can`t get another father.


However -- however, great men -- great men like Ted Kennedy, Mike
Mansfield, Hubert Humphrey -- men who have been tested in their own right
convinced him to share, to serve. He was sworn in at the hospital at my


KORNACKI: And throughout his three decades in the Senate, Joe Biden would
make the long commute from Delaware to Washington and back everyday by
Amtrak so he could see his family, he could see his sons every night. In
2012, just before Memorial Day, Vice President Biden talked to military
families who have lost their own sons and their own daughters, about how
difficult it is to go through something like that in life.


had been in an accident. And just like you guys know, by the tone of phone
call, you just knew, didn`t you?

You knew when they walked up the path. You knew when the call came. You
knew. You just felt it in your bones.

Something bad happened. And I knew. I don`t know how I knew. But the
call said my wife is dead.

My daughter was dead and wasn`t sure how my sons were going to make it.
For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously
decide to commit suicide.

And by the way, the moms and dads, no parent should be predeceased by their
son or daughter. I unfortunately had that experience, too.

I remember looking up and saying, God -- I was talking to God, myself. You
can`t be good. How can you be good? You probably handled it better than I

But I was angry.


KORNACKI: Now, earlier this month, Beau Biden was admitted to Walter Reed
Medical Center outside of Washington, no details on why were given at the
time in 2010, it was reported that Beau had suffered a small stroke. In
2013, doctors removed what they described as a small lesion from his brain.

Only two weeks ago, the vice president giving the commencement address at
Yale, now, he didn`t talk about his son`s fight with cancer, he did talk at
length about how proud he was of him. And he spoke once again about that
crash that nearly killed Beau Biden and his brother and taking the (ph)
lives of his wife and baby daughter.


J. BIDEN: Sixth week after my election, my whole -- my whole world was
altered forever. While I was in Washington hiring staff, I got a phone

My wife and three children were Christmas shopping. Tractor trailer
broadsided them and killed my wife and killed my daughter.

And they weren`t sure that my sons would live. Many people have gone
through things like that.

But because I had the incredible good fortune of an extended family founded
crowned (ph) in love and loyalty, imbued with a sense of obligation
imparted to each of us, I not only got help but by focusing on my sons, I
found my redemption.


KORNACKI: And knowing what we know now, that speech by Joe Biden just a
few weeks ago, even more powerful to listen to this morning. Joining me
now, Steve Clemons, "The Atlantic`s" Washington editor-at-large and an
MSNBC contributor, also a friend of the late Beau Biden.

And this morning`s panelist here with us, to Steve Moore, chief economist
at the Heritage Foundation, Eleanor Clift, Washington Correspondent at "The
Daily Beast" and Sahil Kapur, a reporter from Bloomberg Politics.

But we`ll start with you, Steve Clemons. So you knew Beau Biden. Tell us
about the man you knew.

STEVE CLEMONS, THE ATLANTIC: It`s hard to keep composure at a time like
this because Beau was really one of those extraordinary people. I don`t
mean this in a clich‚ in any way in which you see someone very much like
his dad who is committed to protecting people.

You`ve (ph) got (ph) whole family. They`ve got, you know, the kind of
corner (ph) the market on either protecting women of domestic violence or
children from child molestation, which Beau is a real gladiator on behalf
of kids inside Delaware. And he just served.

And you know, one of the things, when you meet people in politics today,
who you see clearly moving up the political ladder like Beau was, but not
as a nasty person or as a ruthless person, someone who has aspirations,
wants to do good things and yet, brings a kind of goodness to it. And it`s
hard to convey to people what we`re hearing in the news today is how
obsessed all those members of that family are with each other.

They`re very mutually supportive because the family has been hit with so
many different things, to see them tie together to be supportive, despite a
lot of hits, a lot of things -- we`re not talking about the news today,
that they -- they are just a very resilient, strong family. And Beau, I
remember I`ve talked to him, you know, many times.

You know, he -- he liked to blog. He would see (ph) -- be on MSNBC. We`d
run into each other in Dover -- Dover Wilmington (ph) or his dad`s house.

I remember one time in particular, where after his father had really -- on
a -- on a morning talk show, had kicked open the door on LGBT and same-sex
marriage, much to the consternation of some people in the White House. And
that created a week of -- of -- of havoc.

And both Hunter and Beau both made it clear to me that their father would
never apologize for stepping forward for the rights of people to marry and
love each other. He was a very powerful and wonderful man.

KORNACKI: Steve Clemons, please stick with us. The vice president`s
office was -- announced the -- the death of Beau Biden last night, getting
more reaction now also from the White House.

So let`s go live to the White House and bring in NBC News` Kristen Welker.

Kristen, what are you hearing over there?

a Capitol that is in mourning. Vice President Biden, as you said,
announced his son`s passing late Saturday night, writing (ph) in a
statement, quote, "It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley,
Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau,
after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage, and
strength he demonstrated every day of his life.

President Obama just moments later released his own statement, writing,
"Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours.

The younger Biden was diagnosed with brain cancer, just to recap, nearly
two years ago, Steve. But after aggressive treatment, he was given a clean
bill of health.

A lot of people were hopeful here. And then earlier this year, he suffered
a relapse. He was readmitted to Walter Reed about a week and a half ago.

Now, Beau Biden was a political rising star in his own right. He was an
Iraq war veteran who had earned a bronze star.

He served as Delaware`s 44th attorney general from 2007 t0 2015. He was
widely expected to run for governor of Delaware in 2016.

But those who knew Beau Biden say he valued family above everything else --
his wife Hallie, his children, Natalie and Hunter, those pictures just
heartbreaking to look at this morning. Condolences have been pouring in
from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle from former President Bill
Clinton, many noting that Beau was a lot like his dad.

Speaking for the entire family, Joe Biden said, quote, "Beau Biden was
quite simply the finest man any of us have ever known."

And Steve, I think, that captures what so many here are saying and feeling
this morning.

KORNACKI: Yes, and -- and Kristen, you mentioned some of the -- the
chronology now. I imagine we`re going to learn more about this in the
coming days.

But this one of those situations where we had sort of sporadic reports over
really the last few years that -- that maybe his health might not be, you
know, that great. But I -- I guess that -- that news last night was --
came as such a shock to people, in part, because not many people I think
recognized the -- the gravity of the situation, the severity of the
situation in terms of Beau Biden`s health.

WELKER: I think you`re absolutely right, Steve. This was a diagnosis that
the Biden family had largely kept private, some in Vice President Biden`s
inner circle knew that the diagnosis was very serious.

But I think very few people grasped just how serious the diagnosis was. A
lot of people, though, when Beau Biden was readmitted to the hospital, just
over 10 days ago, knew that that was certainly not a good sign, everyone
sending their thoughts and prayers over the past several days, hoping that
this would not be the outcome.

So really, everyone here just in mourning today. Steve?

KORNACKI: All right, Kristen Welker live at the White House, thank you
very much for that report. We want to turn now to MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell,
also the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC news about all of this
morning`s breaking news.

Andrea, thank you for joining us. So we have.


KORNACKI: .let me start on the other headline and top of the show this
morning. That was about Secretary of State John Kerry.

What do you know about his condition this morning?

MITCHELL: Well, we know that he`s unfortunately broken his leg, his right
femur. And he is going to fly back -- he`d (ph) flown back to Boston,
interrupting his trip over there.

He has negotiating on the Iran talks because he had previously had a new
hip put in Boston. So he wants to see the same surgeon who did the hip
surgery to look at the leg.

So they are clearly x-rayed. And I don`t know what they set (ph) his leg.
But he was in France in the French Alps because he was in Geneva for those
Iran talks.

He bikes just about every morning that he can when he`s not in meetings.
That`s the way he keeps fit while on the road.

And as you know, he has been traveling -- traveling non-stop indefatigably.
He had previously been in Nigeria for the inauguration of the new president
there, Steve.

KORNACKI: Yes, and I mean, I believe the deadline for those -- those (ph)
-- to get that deal in Iran is -- was set for June 24 with the news, then
you`re saying that -- that Kerry is going to be coming back to Boston to
deal with this. Is that going to affect those negotiations, that timetable
at all?

Do you have any sense of that?

MITCHELL: Well, Steve, I think the -- the real effective deadline is June
30. And there was already talk of an extension.

The U.S. had said that they would not agree to an extension. But he`s got
Wendy Sherman, the Assistant Security for Political Affairs there who is
leading the talks along with Cabinet Secretary, Energy Secretary Ernest

And so they can carry on. There`s a big team there working with the
Iranians. But Kerry had had meetings yesterday with Foreign Minister Zarif
from Iran.

And clearly, this is going to go to the bitter end. As you know, these
things are never easy.

And there are lot of unresolved issues there, including the level of
inspections and the speed at which sanctions would be lifted.

KORNACKI: And I -- and I want to get your reaction to the news about Beau
Biden. And we played a clip here from -- from Joe Biden just a few weeks
ago at Yale, reliving that experience in 1972.

He lost his wife. He lost his daughter back then. He talks about the
tragedy of a parent outliving a child.

And now, his son, Beau dying at the age of 46. Obviously, you`ve covered
him and the Bidens through the years. Curious what your thoughts are right

MITCHELL: I am just heartbroken for the Bidens. Beau Biden was an
extraordinary man, a 46-year old man who was so dedicated to family, to
public service, his time in Iraq, clearly informed his dad and mom, Joe
Biden`s work and service for military families.

I traveled to Baghdad with both of them a number of years ago. And it was
just after he had completed his year of service in the National Guard.

He ended up with a bronze star and the rank of major in the Delray (ph)
National Guard. This is -- was a man who was really beloved by everyone.

There could not have been a closer father-son relationship. They shared so
much. But mostly, they shared family.

Joe Biden has been dedicated to returning to Wilmington every weekend to be
with his son as it became clear that this cancer diagnosis was not
resolving. They thought he was in remission.

But he had a recurrence this spring, we`re told. And it`s just so
incredibly sad. I`ve -- I`ve known him.

I`ve interviewed him over the years. I -- I know him as a -- a fellow
graduate of my university. The family has attended the University of
Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, children and nieces.

And it`s just the saddest thing that I can recall in politics in recent
years to see this young man, attorney general marking his own way. He
could have his father`s Senate seat on a silver platter, instead, was
attorney general, continued in that service and then was going to be
running for an open seat to be Delaware`s governor.

And it would have been an easy -- easy road politically for him. And it
just is a remarkable family, the most closed-knit family you can imagine in
or out of politics.

And I am just grieving for them.

KORNACKI: Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, thank you for joining us this
morning. Appreciate it.

MITCHELL: You bet (ph).

KORNACKI: We`re going to take a quick break here, on the other side, a lot
more we want to discuss this morning about Joe Biden, about Beau Biden,
forget the vice president`s remarkable career and national stage for a
moment. It`s Joe Biden`s devotion to his family that tops his list of



J. BIDEN: There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents as well,
when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a
smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen.


KORNACKI: That was Joe Biden three years ago talking to family members of
soldiers who had been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, talking about his own
experiences with grief, with personal loss, of personal tragedy and how he
endured through it. And obviously, in light of the news of his son, Beau`s
death at the age of 46 last night, worth taking another look at what Joe
Biden had to say back then.

Back now with the panel, we haven`t heard from them -- them yet. And Steve
Clemons joins us as well. Steve Clemons knew Beau Biden.

I -- I want to bring the panel in here just to talk about this. I know --
you know, we booked you, guys, a few days ago. We`re going talk about

We`re going to have, you know, political arguments and everything. But
then news like this breaks. And I think everybody just sort of hits the
pause button for a minute.

And I think, particularly, when you look at Joe Biden himself, Eleanor, I
mean, that -- that story, the -- the tragedy and Andrea Mitchell was
talking about this last segment, just to lose a wife and child 40 years ago
is more than anyone should ever have to deal with in life. And now, at
this end of his career, to lose his son, a son he was so close to.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, I was saying during the break that
it`s -- it`s that great scale in the sky of how much horror one should
endure in one`s. He`s had more than his share.

And I just recently wrote a piece about the Draft Biden Movement for
president. And the young men who were running that said, well, even if the
vice president doesn`t run, there will be a Biden on the ticket next year
because Beau Biden is running for governor.

They kept this fight with cancer very private, which is I think why it
comes as such a shock to -- to all of us. And hearing the vice president
speak about how he dealt with that initial tragedy, losing his wife and his
daughter and how angry he was and how he -- he made his peace with -- with
God, he`s a religious man. Maybe today, he`s thinking his son is joining
his mother and his -- his sister.

I -- I -- I hope he can think along those lines because this is really a
terribly tragic thing to have to deal with.

KORNACKI: And -- and I`ve always felt p8 -- see it (ph) as (ph) one of his
best -- one of the best achievements, you could say, he`s had as -- as --
as vice president of the United States, obviously (ph), what is that --
what do you do with that? Obviously (ph), one thing is you have -- you
have a platform.

And one thing he`s used that platform is we were playing that clip with him
talking to the families of the -- of the troops -- of the troops we lost
and sharing his experience, I think he connected with them and provided
something to them that -- of value.

STEVE MOORE, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: It`s the best speech I`ve ever seen Joe
Biden give. I mean, it was really amazingly, quite (ph) moving.
Beau -- Beau Biden was an American hero.

You know, he was a great American hero. And it`s just, he said about that
(ph) life is unfair, you know. And -- and for someone to go through what
Joe Biden has gone through is just undescribable (sic).

KORNACKI: And inside (ph), just in terms of Beau Biden as a political
force, we`re saying, he was coming into his own right, you know, going to
run for governor of Delaware. He had a -- he had such a bright future,

SAHIL KAPUR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Yes, he could have been on the stage for
the next 30 or 40 years. And he was widely described as a frontrunner on
the Democratic side, really the whole -- for the whole race for governor in

And the -- the really harrowing thing is to look back a few months and see
that he was getting criticism from some people for not being out in public
enough. They were saying, how can he run for governor, how can he be (ph)
governor if he`s not doing that.

Now, we know why.


KAPUR: To much tragedy for one lifetime.

KORNACKI: Steve Clemons, you know, again, you -- you -- you knew him. You
were talking about what his career might have been and -- and just the --
the relationship between Joe and Beau Biden, just getting a (ph) final
thought from you.

CLEMONS: Well, I think what he`ll (ph) said is that we would have seen
this man probably continue not to -- not to rise to big office but to
continue to tackle big challenges. I found him an optimistic, deeply
thoughtful, inquisitive person.

Whenever he met someone, he asked them questions about themselves. He
wasn`t a broadcaster. He was a humble and modest person.

But he was a lot of fun, very interested. And you know, not -- not -- you
know, someone that was so self-absorbed and -- and caught up with himself
that he became disconnected from the people he was trying to serve.

And -- and so he -- he brought a lot of those things that were part of the
DNA of the Biden clan to his daily interactions with regular people. And
it was an extraordinary privilege to watch.

KORNACKI: All right, Steve Clemons, thanks for joining us this morning.
Really appreciate that.

Here, still ahead, much more on the family that Beau Biden leaves behind, a
remarkable legacy for him. Also with Democratic presidential field (ph),
we will get back to some politics today.

It is starting to take shape, how the two newest candidates, Martin
O`Malley and Bernie Sanders stack up against Hillary. And next, Lindsey
Graham, presidential, hopes to take a hit just days before he officially
enters the race.

We`re going to ask "Meet the Press" moderator, Chuck Todd, what Graham has
to do to keep his White House hopes going.


KORNACKI: We`re following lots of news this morning, the death of Vice
President Joe Biden`s son, Beau Biden, from cancer at the age of 46, also,
Secretary of State John Kerry to be flown back from Switzerland today to a
hospital in Boston where he`ll continue treatment for a broken femur.
That`s the thigh bone -- a broken femur from a bicycle accident this

And there`s also a lot to get to in the world of politics today. We`re
going to turn to that now for a moment.

We`ll keep an eye on those (ph) other situations. But we`re going to start
with a new poll out this morning in the lead-off (ph) caucus state of Iowa.

And it shows a clear leader at the top of that very crowded Republican
presidential path. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is in first place in
the new Bloomberg Des Moines register poll, taking 17 percent.

Rand Paul and Ben Carson are the closest to him, each of them clocking in
at 10 percent, followed by Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee in the tie for
fourth. Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum are tied right behind them.

Now, absent from that Iowa leader board are two Republicans who appear to
be on the verge of jumping to the race. Senator Lindsey Graham is expected
to announce his candidacy tomorrow in his home state of South Carolina.

"The Washington Post" reporting that Ohio Governor John Kasich is putting
together a staff (ph) and will announce sometime after June. Now, all of
this comes with candidates scrambling to adjust to the controversial rules
that have been announced for the first Republican debate to be held in
early August.

Here to discuss all these latest developments, we have NBC News Political
Director and Meet the Press moderator, Chuck Todd. He joins us now live.

Chuck, thank you for taking a few minutes. Well, let -- let me start on
the state of the Republican race.


KORNACKI: Now, we have this new poll we mentioned in Iowa, at the same
time, the news of Lindsey Graham and John Kasich getting into the race.
I`ve -- I`ve been thinking for a while, Kasich is the one -- you look at
this entire field of 12, 15, 18, however many it is.

TODD: Yes.

KORNACKI: Kasich is -- is the one to me who makes the most sense on paper
as the sitting governor of a major swing state of (ph) Congressional
background, all of that. What is your -- what is your sense of his
potential as a candidate?

TODD: Look, I agree and I think had -- had Jeb Bush not gotten into this
thing, I think we would be talking about the establishment wing of a party
split maybe perhaps between a -- do they roll the dice with a Rubio or a
Walker. Or do they go with somebody like John Kasich, somebody that they
may know better, et cetera.

So look, I think in some ways, Kasich is squeezed a little bit by Walker
and by Jeb, Walker because he`s the other Midwestern two-term governor from
a swing state and then Jeb because they -- they share a lot of the sort of,
you can call them problem-solving conservatives. But they`re conservatives
that aren`t afraid to touch supposed third-rail (ph) issues like Common
Core, Immigration or even in the Kasich`s case, expanding Medicaid.

KORNACKI: In terms of Lindsey Graham, here is something I`m curious about
because a lot of people when he started making noise about running for
president, he kind of dismissed it. They didn`t think he was really that

Now, it looks like he`s going to go through with it. Well, his home state,
South Carolina, has loomed (ph) as this very important consequential early
primary, historically, the first in the south.

TODD: Right.

KORNACKI: .presidential primary. If he is still a candidate when the
South Carolina primary comes around next year, does South Carolina risk
losing some of that luster?

TODD: It does risk but more importantly, I think there`s nobody that hurts
more than Jeb Bush because when you look at the Jeb Bush strategy, they
don`t -- they don`t feel like they have a prayer in Iowa. New Hampshire is
going to be tough.

Rand Paul is going to have a -- a -- a good solid constituency there.
Frankly, this is a place that I -- you talk to some folks.

They worry that -- that the Bush people worry that a John Kasich could
actually play better in a New Hampshire with a lot of independent voters
than he (ph) would in Iowa. So the question is where does Jeb Bush find
his first victory in these early contests (ph).

And a lot of people point to South Carolina. The Bush family`s done well
there before -- George W. Bush of 2000, Papa Bush in 1988.

So there is -- but -- if Lindsey is sitting there, a Lindsey voter is more
likely to be a Jeb voter. So not only does it risk I think hurting South
Carolina`s chances of being influential.

But I think it really is a problem for Jeb Bush.

KORNACKI: I will also get you to weigh in on the -- the debate situation
right now. So the -- the controversy right now, the first Republican
debate`s going to be held in early August.

Fox News was sort of deputized by the RNC to set the rules.

TODD: Right.

KORNACKI: .where they said, OK, we`re going to basically cap it at 10 --
the top 10 in an average of national polls. Obviously, for instance, Rick
Santorum who got into the race this week, is raising a hell (ph) about that
because he probably will be left out.

TODD: True.

KORNACKI: .right now. Is there a possibility that that rule is going to
be revisited between now and the first debate?

TODD: Look, I would think so. Look, you know, I`m going to -- I`m going
to criticize the standards here but this is not to criticize either Fox or

I understand they are looking for some metric. And you sit there and say
to yourself, well, where is the most data (ph) available. It`s in national

But Steve, you and I both know this fact. Not a single delegate to be --
is awarded based on a national poll. So using national polls, I think, is
not a good idea.

I think you`re better off using the early state polls. I know a lot of
candidates are upset about this criteria.

They can`t talk about it publicly. They don`t want to offend Roger Ailes.
They don`t want to offend Fox.

But they sit there and say, if you make it about national polls, then it
alters the campaigning. That means less time in Iowa, less time in New
Hampshire, less time in South Carolina, by the way, that do award delegates
and more time in green rooms having to talk to a national audience.

And I think it -- that`s the part of this that is frustrating the
campaigns, that they seem to have to clay (ph) to a metric that doesn`t get
them a single delegate (ph).

KORNACKI: And it`s a good point, too, the distinction between the early
state polls and the national polls because we see it right there. Rick
Santorum is clearly in the top 10 in Iowa, not in the top 10 nationally
right now, very interesting distinction.

Chuck Todd, from NBC, thank you for joining us this morning. Really
appreciate it.

TODD: Yes, yes.

KORNACKI: All right, you can see his interviews with Bernie Sanders, John
Kasich and Rick Santorum, all of them today on "Meet the Press." That will
air at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time right here on MSNBC.

Now, still ahead in our show, more on our two big breaking news stories
this morning plus new entries into a suddenly interesting Democratic
presidential race. That is next. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: We`ll be returning to our two big breaking news stories of the
morning in just a little bit. For now, though, we want to take a look at
the race for the Democratic presidential nomination because that race is

Finally, two candidates stepping forward this week to challenge Hillary
Clinton in the primaries -- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Mayor
and Governor Martin O`Malley and a third candidate, former Rhode Island
Governor Lincoln Chafee, is set to join the race this coming Wednesday. So
what once seemed like a lonely debate stage for Hillary Clinton, is
suddenly blossoming with additional company.

Yesterday morning, in his home city of Baltimore, O`Malley taking the
podium to announce his bid for president.


MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), FMR. GOV OF MARYLAND: Today, to you and to all who
can hear my voice, I declare that I am a candidate for president of the
United States. And I am running for you.



KORNACKI: O`Malley is positioning himself to the left of Hillary, arguing
that he has a record of delivering on a progressive agenda as the governor
of Maryland and that his economic agenda lines up with the Elizabeth Warren
wing of the Democratic Party.


O`MALLEY: I see the faces of so very many who have helped so many people
in the life of our city and the life of our state. Together, we have made
our city a safer, healthier and better place for kids.

Together, we made our city believe again. And we invented a better and new
way of governing called CitiStat. And we got things done.

We need to prosecute cheats. We need to reinstate Glass-Steagall. And if
a bank is too big to fail without wrecking our nation`s economy, then we
need to break it up before it breaks us again.



KORNACKI: Now, what is going to make O`Malley`s strategy tough to pull off
is another candidate is also running hard to Clinton`s left. That`s Bernie

After holding his first campaign rally in Vermont on Tuesday, the liberal
fire brand has been drawing large turnouts in events this week in Iowa and
New Hampshire. And now, as we mentioned, there are reports of former Rhode
Island Governor Lincoln Chafee will be officially entering the race this
coming Wednesday.

Chafee has -- has been making the Iraq war his signature issue. He voted
against it as a senator. And he says that Clinton`s vote for it should
disqualify her from the presidency.

And also, eyeing (ph) the race is former Virginia Senator Jim Webb,
although he has not been very visible on the campaign trail so far. So
Hillary has some real challengers now.

Can any of them give her a real run? Let`s ask the panel that question.

So panel, who wants to take this one first? O`Malley is in. Sanders is
in. Chafee is getting in.

Can any of these guys make Hillary sweat?

MOORE: Can I ask a question? Is Hillary hand-picking the people.


Look at Chafee and Bernie Sanders. Just one quick thought on Martin
O`Malley. He is an extremely charismatic politician.

He is -- he is well-spoken. He reminds me a little bit of Bill Clinton in
that respect. But he`s got a problem, though.

And that is that what happened in Maryland in the governor`s race in 2014,
which is that.

KORNACKI: So his (ph) lieutenant governor lost the Republican right (ph).

MOORE: Right, and -- and basically, Republican Hogan ran against the
O`Malley record. He said, look, I`m going to repeal all these tax

And I think they could really hurt O`Malley`s chances of saying, it`d be
one thing if the voters, you know, validated his record. But they
basically rejected it.

But -- but I would not count this guy out because he does have a lot of
charm and he`s very likeable.


KORNACKI: Well, let`s put it -- put this in some perspective. Let`s just
put the -- the polling we got this week in the Democratic race up (ph) so
you can see how they stack up.

Hillary, not surprisingly in first place, 57 percent, look at that, Bernie
Sanders getting a little traction at least at 15 and -- and nobody else
really registering, Eleanor.

CLIFT: Yes, I must say that`s the first time I`ve heard Martin O`Malley
being called charismatic because most Democrats look at him and think that
he is, you know, too white-bred that he doesn`t seem to be inspiring
anybody. But I think you`re right in that he`s basically fashioned himself
after the Clintons.

He`s their prot‚g‚. And so to some extent, it`s shocking that he`s
challenging her. But I think he really wants to be part of the Clinton
team if they -- if they get to the White House.

And so it`s going to be difficult to -- for him.

KORNACKI: An interesting way to -- to get there, huh?

CLIFT: Well, yes. Well, he`s -- he`s - he`s got to criticize her but not
too much, you know (ph).


CLIFT: .and get that more mileage (ph) is right (ph). And I think Bernie
Sanders is the one that Democrats look at him. He`s pure.

You realize he`s -- he`s always about the issues. This isn`t -- he`d like
to be president but it`s not about personal ambition at his age.

And he`s really out there, championing these issues. And so there`s an
authenticity about him that people find very appealing.

And they may -- I think he`ll do well in -- in New Hampshire. And he`ll be
seen as ascended (ph) message to Hillary candidate.

People who vote for Bernie Sanders are going to be voting for Hillary
Clinton in November, assuming she`s the nominee.

KAPUR: The interesting thing about O`Malley there is that he is the only
candidate in the Democratic field right now announced at least who has
actually been willing to go after Hillary Clinton, kind of painting her as
an opportunist for moving on same-sex marriage and moving on immigration
and drivers` licenses and so on. The -- the point about -- the knock on
O`Malley is that nobody knows who he is.

And his own, you know, people close to him, his own aids (ph), if you talk
to them, they will admit this privately, they want -- they believe that
once he gets out there and once he gives more speeches like that, he helped
himself a lot yesterday by firing up the base in a way that a lot of people
had doubted that he was able to do. If he does more of that, the bet (ph)
-- the hope that -- that the campaign team is making is that people will
like him a lot more.

And people will see him as not only the authentic progressive in their ace
(ph) but someone who can actually win, someone who can draw a generational
contrast with Hillary Clinton in a way that Bernie Sanders clearly cannot -
- someone who has the resume, who`s been, you know, a mayor and -- and a
governor for two terms. To Steve`s point, though, I think the 2010
election`s going to matter more.

He won in a very, very Republican year in Maryland. He was reelected.

MOORE (ph): I -- I think -- but I -- I.

KAPUR: But there are (ph) arguments to make (ph).

KORNACKI: I wonder, though, like the -- the idea of firing up the base,
coming at Hillary from the left, see -- it feels to me like.

MOORE: Work (ph) before (ph).

KORNACKI: .well, it appears to me like how are you going compete with
Bernie Sanders for that?

MOORE: Right, right.

CLIFT: Right.

KORNACKI: Because Eleanor is saying, I mean, this is -- this is purity.
This is -- whether you like him or not, you have to say.

CLIFT: Right.

KORNACKI: .this is a guy who`s telling you everything he believes. This
is pure. This is authentic.

And Martin O`Malley seems to me a much more conventional politician who is
now trying to convince the base, oh yes, I`m one of you.


MOORE (ph): But Senator (ph).


KAPUR: Bigger problem -- his bigger problem with that is that there is
little space to Hillary Clinton`s left, this notion that -- that the left
is angry at him, that`s not really true. There`s some activist that want
her to say more and be louder.

But she`s got more support among self-identified liberal Democrats and
self-identified moderate or conservative Democrats.

KORNACKI (ph): Yes, there (ph) was not.

CLIFT: Not that much true (ph) substantively. It`s really a matter of
tone. And that`s where Sanders again captures the tone.

O`Malley at this point, you feel like he`s going to practice in front of
the mirror trying to rev it up.

KORNACKI: Yes, I`ve got -- I`ve got to say like this will (ph) sound mean
(ph), I have been saying Martin O`Malley to me does seem like the Tim
Pawlenty of the Democratic race.

MOORE: Oh, that`s mean (ph).

KORNACKI: It made -- it made sense on paper. It never caught on. And
I`ve been.

MOORE: But you know, here is the thing -- two -- two interesting things
about this is one is the -- this is all about whether Hillary falters, you
know, whether his (ph) camps (ph) will pick up.

KAPUR: Right.

MOORE: And -- and what I found most interesting about this whole
discussion is the name that you brought up a little bit earlier is Joe
Biden, you know, that -- that if Hillary falters, I think authority (ph)
migrates to -- to, you know, a leader like Joe Biden.

And -- and it`s interesting to me that he hasn`t really even been in the

KORNACKI: Well, that`s -- it`s true. That`s the thing I`ve heard as well.
Look, the doomsday scenario for Hillary Clinton, if she were to lose in
these early primaries, I mean (ph), that`s (ph) a big leap to say, but if
that were to happen, then maybe it`s not the current field that the.

MOORE (ph): Right.

KORNACKI: .nominee emerges from, that it`s somebody from the sidelines,
Elizabeth Warren, Biden, somebody like that. Anyway, this race, as we say,
it is on.

We weren`t sure there`d be a Democratic race. There is one. OK, still
ahead, more reaction on the passing of Beau Biden plus in the wake of
stunning allegations this week against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert,
how solid is that legal case against him?


KORNACKI: A quick update now on the condition of Secretary of State John
Kerry. We are being told that he broke his femur this morning in a bicycle
accident in France.

He was then airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland.
He is now going to be flown back to the United States, back to Boston we
receive treatment of care.

He was in France to complete negotiations to work on negotiations --
negotiations for that nuclear deal with Iran. We`ll continue to monitor
that situation and bring you more as we learn it.

Meanwhile, here in the United States, there`s actually some good news this
morning for people in Texas and Oklahoma, who have been dealing with some
of the worst floodwaters they`ve ever seen. Forecasters now say they
expect clear weather for the next week, which should help crews who are
searching for 10 people still missing in Texas flooding.

At least 31 people have died because of severe weather since Memorial Day.
NBC`s Sarah Dallof joins us live from Wimberley, Texas, which has been one
of the towns hardest-hit by those floods.

So Sarah, good news in the forecast and I guess some badly needed good news
for the search and rescue teams.

SARAH DALLOF, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is what people have been
waiting for a long stretch of good weather. Of course, they didn`t get it
without getting some of the bad -- first.

Rains swept through Wimberley last night, saturating the ground and just
bringing up these memories of those violent Memorial Day weekend storms.
But this morning, the rain had stopped.

The river levels have actually dropped. And crews are able to get back out
there working. That was dropping river levels, exposing new ground and new
debris for people to cover.

Now, rain did pause some of the recovery efforts yesterday. But thanks to
a huge turnout of volunteers, they were able to accomplish quite a bit.

We visited one of the churches that`s being used as a command post, truck
after truck just pulling up with donated supplies -- food and personal
items, also a number of Texas restaurants and non-profit kitchens providing
food, one volunteer telling me they prepared lunch yesterday, Steve, for
1,200 people. That gives you an idea of the support this community is
receiving. Back to you.

KORNACKI: All right, Sarah Dallof live in Wimberley, Texas, thank you for
that. Appreciate it.

And still ahead, the resilience of Joe Biden -- he`ll be relying on that
strength once again with the death of his son, Beau. How strong also is
the case against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, that`s next.


KORNACKI: In just a few minutes, we`re going to be returning to our
biggest stories of the morning, the death of Vice President Joe Biden`s
son, Beau, at the age of 46, Secretary of State John Kerry heading back to
the U.S. this morning to continue treatment for a broken femur. That`s a
broken thigh bone from a bike accident in France.

But first, we want to try to clear up some of the confusion that exists
right now surrounding the burgeoning (ph) case against former House Speaker
Dennis Hastert, for instance, law enforcement officials tell NBC that
Hastert had a sexual relationship with a student back when he was a high
school teacher decades ago. The sexual abuse charges are off the table
because of statute of limitations.

For more on exactly what`s in the government`s case and how strong that
case is, let`s turn to legal experts, Criminal Defense Attorney, Brian
Wice, successfully worked to overturn the money laundering conviction of
former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. In fact, Dennis Hastert
was a witness at DeLay`s sentencing hearing, and Paul Butler, a former
federal prosecutor who at the Department of Justice specialized in public

And he was part of the team that indicted Senator David Durenberger back in
the 1990s. He`s now a professor at Georgetown University.

Welcome to both of you.

Well, so Brian Wice, let -- let me ask you, just the -- the basic -- take
the sexual stuff out of this and just look at -- they got them on
structuring, this idea that -- that Hastert was taking deposits out in a
way that if you go over $10,000, the bank has to disclose it to the Fed.
So he`s trying to take these -- take these withdrawals at a lower level so
it doesn`t arouse any suspicion.

Then the FBI catches wind of it. They come to him. They ask him and he
makes up a story about being scared about the stability of the banking

Is that a clear-cut case that the Fed`s have against him on those grounds?

things. I don`t think clear cut is among them. Apparently, there is not
enough legitimate federal crime in the northern district of Illinois where
these guys are going take a statute -- the structuring statute that you
just explained that`s designed to lock up dope dealers, gang bangers and
terrorists, to ring up a guy who is a distinguished public servant in the
twilight of his years.

This is something -- I love going to cocktail parties where people talk to
me about legal technicalities. This is a technicality and the strongest
sense of the use of the statute.

And the fact that he may have lied to an FBI agent, look, he probably
should have told the Fed, go bang your head against the wall. It`s none of
your business.

At the end of the day, what Denny Hastert did guise (ph) was something he
could have done with a lawyer and a form release from legal zoom, making
reparations to a complainant in the case that apparently dates back to the
Nixon administration.

KORNACKI: Well, so -- so Paul, what about that, the idea -- I mean, this
is Brian saying basically a technicality now -- from what I understand is a
technicality that comes with potentially 10 years in jail. But at the same
time, the idea that these -- that this structuring statute is usually
invoked as part of something much bigger than just structuring.

But they`re getting in just on structuring is that that is unusual?

prosecutor, you go after the case that you can prove.

So make no mistake, Mr. Hastert is being prosecuted because of what the
indictment euphemistically (ph) called is prior (ph) misconduct. They can
get him on these technical cover-up charges.

But it`s kind of like charging Al Capone (ph) with tax evasion.

KORNACKI: So you think that the Fed`s interest here is to try to find some
sort of backdoor way to prosecute something that the statute of limitations
is expired on?

BUTLER: Exactly. Look, this is the big deal. Mr. Hastert is the first
speaker of the House to be indicted.

Others have resigned under clouds (ph) getting richer all right. But look,
this is a guy who was close in line in succession to the president.

So they want to send a message. If you`ve got a skeleton like this in your
closet, don`t be speaker of the house.

KORNACKI: All right, we should say that we still don`t even -- we have
sort of sketchy details here about what exactly that -- that sexual
allegation is. That`s something that -- that might come (ph) anyway.

This is an abbreviated segment. I apologize to both of you because of all
the breaking news this morning.

But Brian Wice and Paul Butler, I appreciate you both joining us this
morning. And I`m sure we`ll have you both back again soon.

Another full hour of news in politics is ahead including Joe Biden`s
history of bouncing back from tragedy. That is next. So stay with us.


KORNACKI: Tragedy for the vice president.

All right. Thanks for staying with us this Sunday morning. We are keeping
an eye on the airport in Geneva, Switzerland with word that Secretary of
State John Kerry already helicoptered to a hospital in Switzerland from
France is going be flown back to the United States to continue treatment
for a broken femur, that`s the thigh bone, following a bicycle accident in
France this morning.

Now Kerry was in the region for the next stage of nuclear talks with Iran.
We`re going to have lots more on his condition and what that means for
those negotiations in just a bit.

We have also been talking this morning about the tragic news that Vice
President Joe Biden`s son, Beau Biden, has died of brain cancer at the age
of 46.

And for the latest reaction to the passing of Beau Biden we want to go to
NBC`s Kristen Welker who is live now at the White House. Kristen.

pouring in from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle overnight, many noting
that Beau was a lot like his dad.

Vice President Biden announced his son`s tragic passing late Saturday
night. He wrote in a statement, quote, "It is with broken hearts that
Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill, and I announce the passing of our husband,
brother, and son Beau after he battled brain cancer with the same
integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life."

Now President Obama also released a statement. He wrote, quote, "Michelle
and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours." The
president then went on to say, quote, "I have believed the best of every
man, wrote the poet William Butler Yates, and find that to believe it is
enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his
lantern higher. Beau Biden believed the best of us all. For him and for
his family we swing our lanterns higher."

Now the younger Biden was diagnosed with brain cancer nearly two years ago
but after aggressive treatment was given a clean bill of health. And then
earlier this year, Steve, he suffered a relapse and he was readmitted to
Walter Reed about a week and a half ago.

Biden was a rising political star in his own right. He was an Iraq war
veteran. He`d earned a Bronze Star. He served as Delaware`s 44th attorney
general from 2007 to 2015 and he was widely expected to run for governor of
Delaware in 2016. But those who knew Beau Biden say he`s valued family
above everything else.

And his wife Hallie, his children Natalie and Hunter, were his top
priority. Speaking for the entire Biden family, Beau Biden wrote -- Joe
Biden wrote, quote, "Beau Biden was quite simply the finest man any of us
have ever known." Steve?

KORNACKI: All right. Kirsten Welker live at the White House. Thank you
for that. Appreciate it.

Now the news of Beau Biden`s death would obviously be very sad under any
circumstance. But what it makes it especially poignant and difficult is
the fact that the Biden family has been through tragedy before. Beau Biden
and his brother Hunter survived a 1972 car accident that killed their
mother and their baby sister. Their father Joe Biden was only 29 years old
at the time. He`d be sworn into the Senate from his son`s hospital room.

That loss may have defined Joe Biden and the Biden family but they never
let it destroy them. They would continue to build their family in a
remarkable political legacy on the national stage. In 2012, just before
Memorial Day, Vice President Joe Biden talked to military families who had
lost their own sons and daughters about just how difficult that time in his
life was.

We played some of those power remarks in our last hour. We`d like to take
the time to listen to more of what Joe Biden had to say specifically where
Biden talks about how you overcome such a personal tragedy.


occurred two years ago. Some of you maybe two months ago. And just when
you think maybe I`m going to make it, you ride down the road and you pass a
field, and you see a flower and it reminds you, or you hear a tune on the
radio, or you just look up in the night and you know, you think maybe I`m
not going make it, man. Because you feel at that moment the way you felt
the day you got the news.

In a bizarre way, it`s almost harder for the parents of our fallen heroes
because parents never expect to have a child predecease them. Never.
There will come a day, I promise you, and you parents as well, when the
thought of your son or daughter, or your husband or wife, brings a smile to
your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen.


KORNACKI: In 2009, Joe Biden spoke at the wake of a longtime Senate
colleague and friend, Ted Kennedy. And he spoke in part about how crucial
that friendship was in getting through the loss of his family in 1972.


BIDEN: When my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident,
and my two boys were badly injured and hospitalized, one of them is with me
here today, Hunter, the other is in Iraq. I got a call from your dad. And
I didn`t know your dad too well. I mean, I just met him that one time. He
was the prod and convinced me to go to the Senate. And it was your
brother, James, to see me to tell me that I owed it to my deceased wife and
my children, at least to be sworn in and stay for at least six months.

And when I got to the Senate, he would literally come by once or twice a
week to my office in the middle of the afternoon. And I didn`t want to be
there. I wanted to get the hell home. I didn`t want to be around. He
sort of took on the role of being my older brother. He just -- he just was
there all the time. And I never asked.


KORNACKI: I want to re-introduce this morning`s panel. Back with us,
Steve Moore with the Heritage Foundation, Eleanor Clift with the "Daily
Beast" and Sahil Kapur with Bloomberg Politics.

One thing that just occurred to me listening to that here and seeing on the
screen the age of his son, of Joe Biden`s son, Beau, 46 years old. There`s
another story of near tragedy for Joe Biden and Eleanor, and that was -- I
think it was in 1988. He suffered an aneurysm. He almost died at
basically the same age of his son. He`s probably 45, 46 years old at the

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes. And he suffered that aneurysm after
he was forced out of the presidential race over charges of plagiarism. And
he later said that if that incident hadn`t happened he probably would have
ignored the headaches that he was having. And instead of seeking medical
treatment. So he came to recognize that that very embarrassing episode in
his life actually turned out well.

But listening to him, he captures the nature of grief. This feeling, you
think you`re over it then something reminds you of it. And I mean, that
brought tears to my eyes and tears of recognition. And he also explained
how you can find your way forward. I think -- and reminds us that this is
a man of really great depth and intelligence and sensitivity. You know, we
think of him as kind of good old Joe and we make fun of him.

But everybody in Washington loves Joe Biden. Anybody he`s ever come in
contact with and he thinks he`s everybody`s friend. And I think, you know,
that comes across and it comes across in part because he has suffered the
kind of tragedies that most of us hope we can avoid in our lives.

STEPHEN MOORE, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I don`t have any idea how he --
how he holds it together. Even those speeches, it`s really amazing. It`s
Joe Biden at his -- at his very, very best. And the thing is a parent of
three that really strikes me about this whole story is here`s a man who
lost his wife and daughter in a car accident and Beau Biden almost died,
and then he goes off into the military and serves his country. I mean,
it`s an incredible story as I said earlier. He`s a great American hero.
Both of them. And it is -- it is really just a tragedy.

SAHIL KAPUR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: What really struck me about -- you know,
about Joe Biden watching that is, as Eleanor pointed out, we all have this
idea or people have this caricature of Joe Biden, Uncle Joe, whatever, the
onion caricature, and looking at all the tragedies and near tragedy that
he`s faced in his life, it`s amazing that he`s been able to maintain a
sense of humor and a positive outlook throughout all of that. I think it
just puts him in a whole new life.

KORNACKI: Absolutely. And you know, as Kristen Welker was reporting there
at the top of the hour, so apparently we`re now hearing that there was a
relapse. That`s what it was. We`ve seen these reports in the last couple
of years of mini stroke, I think it was, back in 2010 and a procedure in
2013. And now it sounds like just in the last few months things really
took a turn for the worst.

CLIFT: Yes. I don`t think they ever said the words brain cancer.

KORNACKI: Until last night. Right.

CLIFT: That`s right. So this was a very private battle which is why it
came as such a shock to the political world. And it`s a terrible personal
tragedy for the Bides. But it`s a tragedy for Democrats in particular saw
him and he was doing all the right things. And he served in Iraq. He`s
attorney general then a run for governor. I mean, this was presidential
material. He may -- you know, I think there was this thinking he had a
chance to make it to the Oval Office. Perhaps his father tried a couple of
times and didn`t -- at least not yet.

KORNACKI: Right. Well, no, and that seeing -- what we`re putting up on
the screen, I remember being there in 2008 at the Democratic convention.
And that was such a triumphant moment for Joe Biden because he had been
through so much. And you know, his presidential campaign, he`d run two of
them. They`d gone nowhere.

Obviously he had his personal tragedy. And there he is, 64, 65 years old
in 2008, and he gets this incredible moment and there is his son who
survived the accident and they hug each other. It was a very emotional
moment at that convention. And you think back to it on a morning like

Anyway, as we say Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, now is
dead at the age of 46. We will have more on this as we get more reaction,
but still ahead we are going to also be returning to Europe for more on the
condition of John Kerry. We heard this morning if the secretary of state
has suffered a broken femur. He`s expected to be flown from Geneva to
Boston to receive treatment for that. The secretary of state has been
involved in the next stage of high-level negotiations with Iran trying to
close that nuclear deal.

And next we will turn back to politics. The Senate today gearing up for a
rare Sunday session. With just hours left to save key provisions of the
Patriot Act. Will the Senate save those provisions? Should the Senate
save those provisions? Well, we`re going to ask Senator Amy Klobuchar when
she joins us next.


KORNACKI: In just a few minutes we will be going to Europe for the latest
on the condition of John Kerry as he prepares to be flown back to the U.S.,
back to Boston from Geneva, Switzerland. This after suffering a broken
femur during a bike ride in France this morning. Now this is file tape of
a similar ride Kerry took back in March.

Boston talking this morning about the news that Joe Biden`s son Beau Biden
has died at the age of 46 from brain cancer. And joining us now is a
former Senate colleague of Joe Biden, Democratic senator, Amy Klobuchar of

Senator, thank you for joining us this morning. So obviously you served
with Joe Biden. You`ve known him now in his capacity as vice president.
Just want to get your thoughts this morning on the news we`ve been talking

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Well, Beau Biden as you`ve talked about
all morning was an American hero. Iraq veteran, Bronze Star, great
attorney general, family man. But when I think about him, I always think
about his dad. Joe Biden was there for his children when his wife suddenly
died. And he took that grief, as Eleanor was saying, and had consoled so
many people throughout his life.

There are stories of him going to meet with every cops` family when a
police officer would be killed. In my own life he came out to Minnesota
once for an event and a friend of mine had worked on it and a week later he
suddenly died. And when I called the Vice President Biden to thank him for
coming out, I told him a story and he said I want his widow`s number, and I
said you don`t have to do that.

Two weeks later he called her on her first day back at work. There were
three -- three teenage daughters and he talked to her for 20 minutes. He
didn`t even know her. She wasn`t in politics and she said, pull over,
Kathleen, I want you to write my cell phone on your hand. So you have it.
Do you have paper? No. Just write it on your hand. And he gave her all
kinds of advice of things that people had said to him that didn`t make
sense about how he would write down every day, how he felt after his wife

And that`s just one story. He did that over and over again to perfect
strangers. And I just love what Eleanor said about how he not only has,
you know, taught us how to be a public servant, he also has helped so many
people learn how to grieve with tragic losses.

KORNACKI: That`s a great story. That is a great especially on a morning
like this.

Well, while you`re here, Senator Klobuchar, we also do want to discuss the
reason we originally asked you to join us this morning, and that is, those
provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at midnight tonight.
Now the Senate is holding a rare Sunday session tonight, a Sunday night
session to try to get something passed before the deadline. Now one
scenario would be to pass the compromised bill, the Freedom Act, it`s

Passed the House easily. It promises to reform the Patriot Act by placing
restrictions on things like the NSA`s bulk data collection program. The
other scenario is that you try to renew the Patriot Act. In which case,
the House would still need to pass something and they`re not due back in
session until tomorrow. Now on either scenario, the Senate would need to
buck the opposition of Rand Paul who`s playing to force the expiration of
these provisions no matter what.

So, Senator, I mean, there`s a lot of moving parts and a lot of granular
details here. But basically there is this bill that passed the House, that
came to the Senate a week ago, and it came three votes shy of getting the
60 votes that it needs that would move this bulk data collection program
from the government to the phone companies.

Is there any chance of that bill or something very similar to that emerging
tonight or in the near future?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I sure hope there is, Steve. I am a co-sponsor of the
similar bill in the Senate led by Senator Leahy and Senator Lee. It has
support from privacy experts from the left to the right. 338 members of
Congress voted for it in the House including 200 Republicans. It has
solved a lot of these problems. It has reforms of having privacy experts
being able to call before the FISA court.

It also has more transparency so that these orders can become public and
some really good things. And the FBI director, Jim Comey, who is my law
school classmate and I trust, so he needs at least this Freedom Act in
place because the FBI -- aside from the NSA, the FBI has used this 200
times last year.

You know, we have cases in Minnesota where ISIS is recruiting people and
there`s indictment. So when Rand Paul is standing up and running super PAC
ads for his Sunday showdown in order to raise money off this, I really do
find that offensive. I am very hopeful that we`ll be able to come
together. I have no idea why Mitch McConnell let this go so long. But I
am more than happy to come back and I hope there`s some kind of compromise.

If there isn`t, the Patriot Act will expire. And it will take at least 60
hours under Senate rules to be able to get the USA Freedom Act passed. I
would predict that we will at least be able to do that but I would prefer
not to have this expired tonight.

KORNACKI: So if it does expire, because that does seem the most likely
outcome right now even for a brief window of time, practically speaking for
people out there watching this and then paying attention to this debate,
what is that going to mean? If these provisions expired, and it`s not just
this bulk data collection program, it`s also this lone wolf provision, it`s
called, also there is a provision that allowed for wiretappings of suspects
who are switching phones, who are switching to different phones, there`s a
couple of different pieces here that would expire.

I mean, practically speaking, if that happens, what will happen? What
would that mean for the American people?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, the lone wolf provision hasn`t been used
and so while I think that`s important to have in there in case that
happens, I think the bigger concern is on the sort of winding this down
instead of having a methodical way to move forward which we have with the
USA Freedom Act. It triggers all kinds of things when you let it expire as
oppose to just letting this new program go in with some planning ahead.

Remember, the data collection has to stop. There`s interaction with the
FISA courts. And while we can start up a new program it would be much
better to have a transition between the two and have this bill passed which
has been worked on for years and years. Instead of just letting it expire.
And so there`s good reason to try to get this done before midnight tonight.
And it is pretty crazy situation when you have two Republicans, Senator
McConnell and Senator Rand, one wanting -- McConnell -- the Patriot Act to
stay in place, Rand Paul wanting to have no bill at all in place.

Both from the same state. It`s like a two-man Kentucky derby and the rest
of us in the country are sitting in the middle. So I`m very hopeful that
some kind of cooler heads will prevail tonight and we`ll be able to get
this done.

KAPUR: Senator Klobuchar, Sahil Kapur with Bloomberg Politics. I just --
sorry. I just wanted to ask you, knowing everything we know now, do you
think -- would you say with some level of confidence that we`re likely to
see the Patriot Act expire given that there is this sort of logjam and
we`re not going to look at, you know, a quick vote? And what do you think
it would take to get Senator McConnell to consider the USA Freedom Act
because he`s been very against it so far?

KLOBUCHAR: Exactly. Well, I think those are great questions. I can`t
predict what can happen at the very last minute as the night goes on and
the clock ticks toward midnight. We have pulled off things before at that
time. I think Senator McConnell who wants to keep some version of the
Patriot Act in place is going to have to look at the facts here. He
already has 12 Republicans including everyone from Senator Cruz to Senator
Mikulski who have voted for the USA Freedom Act.

And I know there are other Republican senators that would like to do it as
well. They are just three votes short of joining all Democrats in ending
the filibuster and so I am very hopeful that he will find some way to
decide we don`t want this to expire.

The House has said they`re not going to do an extension. So that is just
not one of the things that`s in the mix here. What`s in the mix is passing
this compromised bill that has brought support.

MOORE: Hi, Senator. Steve Moore here. I just have to defend Rand Paul
for a minute if I may because I think you may have taken a little bit of a
low blow at him. I mean, there is real concern and there`s a real debate,
at least on the Republican side of the aisle between this issue of national
security versus privacy and versus the protection of civil liberties. And
look, I don`t always agree with Rand Paul, certainly not, but I think there
is a -- to say that he is just doing this for political or fundraising
purposes, do you really think that`s what he`s doing here?

KLOBUCHAR: I`d just ask you to watch that super PAC ad, Steve, and I just
think what he`s --while his views are real, I believe that he strongly
believes in privacy, so I want to make that clear.

MOORE: Right.

KLOBUCHAR: It`s a good point that you made. But when you look at what
he`s doing with this crisis or this crisis that he is causing, I think that
that is a different matter. And I just take this as a serious national
security matter. I think it`s something we should be debating and I
believe that we have a bill now that has brought people together. And as
you know, with the Heritage Foundation, the Heritage Foundation has issued
a report.

MOORE: True.

KLOBUCHAR: Favorable to the USA Patriot Act. And so it is a bill that was
a compromise that brought people together. And he can oppose it. That`s
fine. And he can try to filibuster if he wants. Those are all things that
you`re allowed to do as a senator. And I don`t for a minute question his
views on privacy and how hard he has fought for that. What I do question
is using this controversy to raise money and do what I consider to be an
offensive ad, given the fact that I`ve just had a number of people indicted
out of Minnesota for trying to go to help ISIS against our country.

CLIFT: Senator Klobuchar, Eleanor here. What are the odds that that the
USA Freedom Act will pass in the next, what, 72 hours, 90 hours? Next
week? We`re not looking at this legislation going completely dark, are we?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think that there are a very good chance, Eleanor, that
it will pass in the next few days just given the strong support and how
really strong Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi have been in terms of
saying we are not going to do another extension here. We want to get this
compromised bill passed. And the Senate Democrats have said the same
thing, as well as Senator Lee who I just spoke to about this yesterday
who`s been working very hard to try to get some kind of agreement with
Senator Paul so we can move forward on this.

So yes, I think something like it. In fact this bill will have to pass so
it matches the House if we don`t want this to go on beyond a few days. But
I still think that it is -- it makes no sense to not get it done tonight,
to let this expire and to sort of start all these procedural problems in
place when in fact I believe the votes are here to pass it.

KORNACKI: Senator, I wonder if you think the debate on this, both sides of
the debate in this, might in some way be overblown. And what I mean is
this, when you look at the bulk data collection program from the standpoint
of privacy concerns, we`re still talking about something that is
theoretical. There`s no evidence that`s emerged that this has been used
against anybody politically, any of this information has been used against
anybody personally.

On the flipside of it are the people who raised concerns about how this is
so vital to our national security, so vital to fighting terrorism, can`t
point to an example where this has stopped an active terrorism or this has
thwarted some kind of a plot. So both sides are sort of dealing in various
sort of heavy rhetoric of the theoretical sort. Is this an overblown
debate in some way?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, there is evidence that when you combine the
use of this program with this other section of the law which allows the --
our intelligence officials to track people from foreign countries and
engage in terrorist activities that it has been helpful. Secondly and let
me make this clear, Jim Comey has said last week that this has been used
nearly 200 times just last year for FBI purposes, for tracking down
business data.

So this is separate and apart from the use by the NSA that this data
collection is helpful. That being said, I think from a civil liberties and
a privacy perspective, it is important to change this law. And the way
we`re doing it, which our intelligence officials have said worked, is to
allow the phone companies to keep the data as they do now and then have a
much more specific search term so that if the government wants to find some
data from this metadata they have to actually go the phone companies with
an account number, with a specific mobile device, with some kind of

So they`re specifically searching. And it`s a targeted search as opposed
to just going through all of the data and housing it in the government.
It`s a much different approach, the intelligence officials say it will
work. And I think it`s a much better to protect civil liberties so we have
struck that balance between protecting civil liberties and going after
these evil doers and terrorists.

KORNACKI: All right. Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, really
appreciate you taking a few minutes this morning. Thank you very much.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, it`s great to be on. Thank you.

KORNACKI: All right. And coming up next, the latest on Secretary of State
John Kerry, breaking his femur in a biking accident. His condition, how
this will affect his schedule and the negotiations on Iran. That`s right
on the other side of this break.

And later turning back to domestic politics in a state that could decide
the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton.


KORNACKI: All right. An update on one of the breaking news stories we
have been following this morning. Secretary of State John Kerry cutting
short his trip to Europe for the Iran nuclear negotiations after breaking
his leg in a bike accident.

NBC`s Katy Tur joins us live from London with the latest. Katie what do
you know about the condition of the secretary of state.

KATY TUR, MSNBC NEWS, LONDON: Steve, the State Department confirms
Secretary Kerry broke his right femur this morning while biking in France.
Kerry was air lifted to a Swiss hospital. We are told he never lost
consciousness and is now in stable condition.

The accident near Scionzier, France, about 25 miles from Geneva where Kerry
had has been ongoing nuclear talks with Iran`s foreign minister. The
"Associated Press" reports that a paramedic traveling with Kerry`s
motorcade examined the secretary of state after his bike apparently hit a

X-rays show he broke his right leg, but officials stress his life is not in
any danger at this point. Kerry was supposed to be traveling to Madrid
later today for meetings with Spain`s king and its prime minister.

After that, two days in Paris for an international conference on ISIS.
Kerry`s spokesman says because the break is close to where he had hip
surgery, he will be flying back to Boston today to see the doctor who did
that surgery at Mass General.

Kerry has been an avid cycler and cycling fan since childhood and Steve
this should become as no surprise. We all know he is on the outdoors.
Remember this wind surfing pictures of him from the 2004 election. Also,
he is in good spirits right now.

KORNACKI: All right, Katy Tur in London, appreciate the update. Thanks
very much for that. And as we have covered this morning the breaking news,
developments we`ve also been keeping an eye on the busy political world,
new numbers out of Iowa, a lot of news on the Republican race for
president. The panel is going to chew over all of that next.


KORNACKI: All right, we have been juggling a lot this morning with all the
news about the death of Vice President Joe Biden`s son, Beau Biden at the
age of 46. Also the news that Secretary of State John Kerry had broken his
femur in a bicycle accident in Europe. He is being flown back to the
United States, a possibility that might affect the Iran nuclear

With all of that going on, keeping an eye on that, we are going to pivot
back to domestic politics right now. We had just talked to Senator Amy
Klobuchar from Minnesota today, a rare Sunday session in the United State

This is something certainly that Rand Paul has been pointing to, the
expiration potentially of these key components or some key components of
the Patriot Act.

We had Amy Klobuchar on. Steve, I will start with you. You had an
interesting exchange with Klobuchar there about the motives for Rand Paul
in picking this fight.

Rand Paul has this video that`s out there. He talks about Obama could be
reading your e-mails and I want to put a stop to that. Join me in this
Sunday showdown. You are an informal adviser to Rand Paul, OK, so just put
that on the table, but you don`t see any politics in this today?

MOORE: Look, there is politics in anything because you know, he is running
for president. But I think this issue is what kind of defines Rand Paul.
That was kind of the point that I was making.

Look, I thought more on the national security side of the debate than the
privacy/civil liberties side of the debate, but you know, this is an issue
that people really care about and I would simply say this, for people who
say, well, you know, this information isn`t going to be misused.

I mean, we have seen agencies misuse information. We`ve seen the IRS
scandal that has a lot of Republicans like myself really nervous.

KORNACKI: A lot of Democrats say that was not a scandal at all.

MOORE: I don`t know about that. I mean, look, I mean, there is no
question that the IRS was targeting groups on the right.

KORNACKI: I don`t want to litigate that one now.

MOORE: Information can be misused.

CLIFT: This is a great issue for Rand Paul. I think he can genuinely
believe it. His father would have been on the same side this case. I
think it really strengthens him with the libertarians --

MOORE: That`s for sure.

CLIFT: -- and certainly with young people. I would also point out on
Tuesday, Rand Paul is doing a press conference with supporters of releasing
the 28 pages that were retracted in the 9/11 investigation, which
apparently implicates the Saudis in the lead-up to 911.

And former Democratic Senator Bob Graham will be there, a couple of House
members, Democrat and Republican, and now they have gotten Rand Paul to
join them.

So this is another issue, I think, more transparency, playing on this
notion that the government isn`t always on your side and they are covering
something up and a lot of people believe that in this country.

KORNACKI: I wondered, talk about the presidential politics of this for
Rand Paul because he is running for president. We talked so much on this
show and elsewhere in the last couple of years about how maybe in the wake
of Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of what a lot of people across the
spectrum said was maybe overreach militarily by the United States.

In the wake of that, the Republican Party might be moving more in Rand
Paul`s direction on foreign policy. But now in the last year, in the age
of ISIS with the beheading videos you have seen attitudes start to shift.

And I wonder Rand Paul, does he risk just becoming version 2.0 of his
father? The whole idea was he could expand his father`s base, but is he
just sort of confirming to Republicans now I am just like my father?

KAPUR: A couple of points about that, Steve, on the surveillance front,
this is an issue he has been consistent on, on privacy, on pushing back
against big government spying by the government, and whatever that is.

What Rand Paul has shifted on are issues like defense spending. He`s
wanted to cut it before and now he wants to increase it on ISIS. He was
skeptical and now he is for, you know, a more stronger and a more a robust
military response.

But on this issue, there is real enthusiasm I think among civil
libertarians within the Republican base, some of them his dad`s voters,
some of them other voters.

But he`s the only candidate who is really taking the side and taking the
side strongly so I think there is a base to be captured. I think he is
playing the sub because as Steve pointed out central to who is.

MOORE: And what makes him so important to Republicans in this race whether
you agree with him or not is Republicans are going to win the presidential
race. They are going to need those Rand Paul voters. They will need the
libertarians and the young people.

Actually Rand Paul does decently with minorities as well so Republicans to
need to add them to the big tent coalition they are trying to put together

KORNACKI: The other interesting thing today, the politics of this, the
other story we`ve known for the last three years, it always seems like
there is so much drama in the House. In this case, here it is. The
compromise bill got through the House and it`s the Senate who is the hard
liners versus --

KAPUR: That`s a very good point because there is an amazing tendency for
every time the House gets it together. The Senate is out there

KORNACKI: They can`t stand both being functional at the same time.

Anyway, coming up next, the other 1 percent that tiny sliver of America
that is never heard of, Hillary Clinton, who are they? Stay with us. We
will tell you.


KORNACKI: There`s a lot going on this morning. We are going to have more
developments in Switzerland. Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled the
rest of his European trip to fly back to the U.S. after breaking his femur
in a bike accident. We`ll have more on that in just a minute.

But first we are going to get caught up on some of the other headlines that
are also making news out there today with the panel today. Let`s start in
"Politico" with this headline, "One percent of Americans say they have
never heard of Hillary Clinton." Who the heck are they?

So this is a tiny sliver of registered voters who tell pollsters when they
asked that they actually haven`t heard of the former secretary of state,
senator and first lady and presidential candidate.

"Politico" had a hard time actually tracking down this 1 percent. The
closest they came was a 21-year-old from Boston, who told "Politico,"
quote, "Hillary Clinton is white female woman running for some political
position, I think, president."

I love this story because I always wonder that, in these polls when they
test name recognition. It seems like nobody can ever get to 100 percent
including Hillary Clinton.

KAPUR: The 1 percent is within the margin of error and that poll is I
think is 3 percent so that`s point number one. Secondly this reminds me of
the fact that sometimes people tell pollster things just to act up when
they don`t believe in it.

There is a 2013 poll where 13 percent of the country told the pollster that
they believed President Obama was the antichrist. Did they really believe
that or are they just acting out?

KORNACKI: Or are they messing with the pollster say?

CLIFT: Well, we know the 1 percent is not the 1 percent that is wrecking
in the big bucks --

KORNACKI: This is the other 1 percent.

CLIFT: And if in fact it is the other 1 percent, maybe they are just so
tuned out of politics that the don`t pay attention to anybody.

KORNACKI: So tone deaf for 25 years now.

MOORE: I doubt the 1 percent never heard of her would never going to vote,
but there is a very famous story. Muhammad Ali was once told by a reporter
that someone living in Illinois that we had never heard of him and he said
tell me who he is, I`ll have him deported.

KORNACKI: Dangerous when a future president, but anyway, other headline
here, NBC News, U.S. officially removes Cuba from the state sponsors of
terrorism list. This decision, of course, follows the historic meeting
between President Obama and Raul Castro last month.

There are still some sticking points before the two sides can agree to
opening embassies. The Obama administration is going to give Congress 15
days` notice before reopening the embassy. Congress would not have the
power to block that decision. So we are moving pretty much full speed

MOORE: I think the question on the right is, you know, what -- it seems
like everything that we have done in this deal with Cuba has been to their
benefit and not ours. I think that`s what gives a lot of Republicans some
misgivings about this is that we keep giving and they haven`t really made
any change to steer human rights violations.

CLIFT: What we get is common sense. Embargo that is not having the effect
we wanted. It`s having the reverse effect. I think it`s ridiculous to
have continued it. So I think there is not going be an outcry in Congress.
They don`t have the votes.

KORNACKI: That`s the thing that struck me the last few months since this
got -- I have not heard a concerted backlash to this. Some concerns to the
right. You look at the polling on this and it`s 2-1 in favor of it. So
even a fair number of Republicans are saying they are for this.

KAPUR: Most of the country in support of I think of at least moving toward
normalizing relations with Cuba, but Congress is nowhere close to lifting
the embargo, which I think is the bigger thing that has to happen. So you
know, this is something the president wants to make part of his legacy. If
he takes the first step towards it and it happens later, I think --

MOORE: What about getting their property back that was confiscated by the
communists, the Castros, I mean, those kinds of issues, there`s been no
progress whatsoever.

CLIFT: I don`t like the right of return in the Middle East too. There are
some things that get rhetorical -- they have got lip service, but people
understand that that`s not going happen.

KORNACKI: I remember when this first broke, the move towards
normalization, we had somebody who I think it was her father had been
imprisoned by Castro. You still certainly plenty of people who have a
perspective like that.

There are still political -- there are still political prisoners too in
Cuba. We probably shouldn`t sugar coat that. This is from the "Associated
Press. What would happen if western powers boycotted the World Cup?

Sepp Blatter was elected to a fifth term as FIFA president on Friday. Of
course, the U.S. opposed him. Much of Europe opposed him in that vote.

So the AP is suggesting that these nations could exit the organization and
form their own tournament. Blatter down played that possibility yesterday.
Europe, South America, these are the anti-Blatter countries.

CLIFT: He did empower the third world countries and that`s where his votes
are. It`s hard for me to see how the west withdraws and starts their own

KORNACKI: He gave South Africa the World Cup in 2010.

MOORE: This is a scandal that may be almost impossible -- the bribery
payments look very real -- FIFA may have to be blown up and a new
organization take its place.

KORNACKI: I still whatever emerges they will probably be unified
international soccer.

CLIFT: Something for Mitt Romney to do.

KORNACKI: The Olympics -- there you go.

Finally, we have this one, NPR, CBS`s Bob Schieffer retire Sunday as the
last of the old school TV anchors. He`s been anchoring "Face the Nation"
for 24 years on CBS.

He`s leaving after 46 years. He`s interviewed every president since
Richard Nixon. His first big story was the assassination of President
Kennedy. At the age of 78, he`s decided to hang it up. We wish him good
luck in retirement on that.

MOORE: You`re the new Bob Schieffer, right?

KORNACKI: I should hope for a career this long or one a tenth of that. Up
next, Secretary of State John Kerry breaking his leg in a biking overseas,
a new report on the latest on his condition. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: All right, we are keeping an eye on the hospital in Geneva,
Switzerland that`s been treating Secretary of State John Kerry this morning
after he crashed his bicycle and broke his femur during a bike ride through
France earlier this morning.

We are going to return now to NBC`s Katy Tur, who is in London with the
latest. Katy, I understand, everyone has been keeping a close eye on every
helicopter that takes off from the rooftop of the hospital there. What do
you know about where exactly Secretary of State Kerry is right now?

TUR: We know a helicopter took off from the roof of the Swiss hospital
where Secretary Kerry was being treated. We don`t know if he was in that
helicopter. It could be just another dire emergency for somebody else.

According to the State Department he`s returning to Boston today. He broke
his right femur. He`s going back to Boston because it`s close to the place
where he had hip surgery. They want to go to the same doctor who did that
surgery at Mass General.

He`ll be on his way today. Unclear if he`s already not on he is way. He
broke his femur on the French border between France and Switzerland, 25
miles from Geneva where he`s been in ongoing nuclear negotiations with the

He was supposed to go to Spain later today to talk to the prime minister
and the king there and then on to Paris for an international conference on
ISIS. Both have obviously been cancelled. Despite the injury and the
femur is a bad break. He is said to be this good spirits now -- Steve.

KORNACKI: All right, Katy Tur in London, thank you for the up update.
Appreciate that. Now to wrap up, Secretary Of State John Kerry cancelling
the rest of his European trip. He`s expected to return to the United
States from Switzerland today, possibly any time now after breaking his
femur in a bicycle accident in France this morning.

It will be important to keep an eye on how Kerry`s broken leg will impact
this delicate stage of negotiations with Iran as the parties try to reach
a final nuclear deal by the end of June.

Also we have been following all off of Washington, all of the country
mourning the death of Beau Biden this morning. The vice president
releasing a statement last night that his son, the former attorney general
of Delaware, a rising political star has died after a battle with brain
cancer at 46.

I want to thank the panel for being with us today. Steve Moore with the
Heritage Foundation, Eleanor Clift of "The Daily Beast" and Sahil Kapur
with "Bloomberg Politics."

I want to thank you for getting UP with us today. And up next is "MELISSA
HARRIS-PERRY." So stay tuned and we will see you next weekend. Have a
great week.



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