'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, June 20th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: June 20, 2015
Guest: Stephen Singleton, Alvin Tillery, Eliana Johnson, David Corn, Nan
Hayworth, Stanley McChrystal, Ben Jones, Jamelle Bouie, Nan Hayworth,
Simone Campbell, Bob Herbert
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Forgiveness in Charleston.
All right. Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday
morning. It has been only 60 hours now since a young man walked into the
Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, sitting with a group
during weekly bible study for a full hour before standing up and
brandishing a gun. He opened fire, he killed nine people. Sixty hours
since then, the wounds are still fresh this morning. But in a remarkable
scene yesterday afternoon, relatives of those victims confronted the
shooter to tell him that they forgive him. Much more on that in just a
We`re also on the show today going to be tackling on the controversy of
whether South Carolina should still be flying the confederate flag.
Americans more divided on that question than you might think.
Plus, turning away from the tragedy for a bit, it`s also been a strange
week in the world of politics, one that has the potential to have lasting
impact on the race for president. We`ll going to be getting into that
later in the show.
But, we begin this morning in South Carolina. That is where thousands of
people gathered at an arena in Charleston last night to remember those nine
victims shot and killed inside of a church on Wednesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JOSEPH P. RILEY, JR. (R), CHARLESTON: We all have one thing in
common, our hearts are broken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That service capping an emotional day in Charleston, a day in
which the gunman in that shooting, Dylann Roof appeared in court via
satellite for the first time. Roof appearing -- it`s a video conference
actually. He was formally charged with nine counts of murder. He`s being
held on $1 million bond on a separate gun charge, he`s not due to appear in
court again until October now. Authorities say that Roof confessed to the
killings shortly after being arrested on Thursday in North Carolina.
Sources telling NBC News that he told police he almost didn`t go through
with the shooting because everyone at the church was so nice to him.
Ultimately though he did decide to go through with that shooting. Chief
prosecutor in Charleston County says, he wants to talk to the victims`
family and review the evidence before deciding whether to seek the death
penalty. The South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called Wednesday`s attack
a hate crime and says she`s already made up her mind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We absolutely will want him to have
the death penalty. This is the worst hate that I`ve seen in this country
has seen in a long time. We will fight this and we will fight as hard as
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. We have two reporters live in Charleston this
morning. Adam Reiss is outside the Emanuel AME Church. That is where the
And we start by going to Trymaine Lee who is live at the Charleston County
Detention Center. That is where Dylann Roof is being held. So, Trymaine,
yesterday we got our first sort of formal proceedings involving Dylann
Roof. What is the road forward legally look like from here?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: Legally speaking, Steve, this is
just the beginning. Judge set a $1 million bond on the gun charge, but he
said he didn`t have the authority to set any bail on the nine murder
charges that Dylann Roof faces. Now, hours before a thousand of people
gathered outside that church, Dylann Roof -- he appeared via live closed
circuit television. And for the first time we heard the family members of
the victims -- of his victims speak. And they spoke of great pain and
great anguish saying that they welcomed him into their church for Bible
study, but he took from them so much more than they could ever get back.
And for the first time again that we saw that outpouring of grief from the
family. Now, Dylann Roof`s family also released a statement saying that
they are shocked and saddened by what happened. Yet still as this
community is still reeling, Dylann Roof will begin this process. Again,
there will be other bond hearings for the other charges. And still this
community is piecing together slowly everything that Dylann Roof has taken
KORNACKI: And Adam Reiss outside the church, let me bring you in. In
terms of what the reaction is from the community, can you set the scene for
what last night was like, what we can be expecting today and this weekend?
ADAM REISS, MSNBC REPORTER: Well, it`s a lot more of vigils, funerals,
more mourning. We`re seeing a steady stream of people come here by the
church to pay their respects. A lot of emotion here. I want to talk to
you also about the arrest warrant. What we`re learning from that. We`re
learning that he walked into this church behind me with a fanny pack. He
sat with the Bible study group, he sat right next to Pastor Pinckney.
After about an hour, he stood up, he opened fire, hitting the victims
And on his way out he stood over one of the surviving victims and uttered
some sort of a racist comment. We`re also learning the Pastor`s wife and
youngest daughter were in the church office at the time. They could hear
the shooting, they called 911. And the 911 operator told them to stay
inside. And finally it was the father and uncle of Dylann Roof who called
police and identified him in the photo and said that is Dylann Roof and he
has a 45 caliber handgun -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. Thank you to Adam Reiss and Trymaine Lee in
Charleston, South Carolina. I appreciate the time.
As Trymaine just mentioned despite viewing with the sudden grief and
sadness of losing loved ones, many of the victims` families have amazingly
been able to find forgiveness toward the gunman. They addressed him
directly during his appearance in court yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God for
gives you and I forgive you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have killed some of the most beautifulest people
that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts and I`ll never be the same. But
as we say in the Bible study, we enjoyed you but may God have mercy on you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are the family that love built. We have no room
for hate, so we have to forgive. I pray God on your soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: We`re joined by the Reverend Stephen Singleton, senior minister
at Grace Heritage Ministries. He was a pastor at Emanuel AME Church from
2006 to 2010.
Reverend, thank you for taking some time this morning. So, that scene
yesterday, I got to watch that live on television yesterday afternoon.
People who haven`t seen that, I encourage you to go watch the whole thing.
It`s extraordinary. One family member after another from these victims`
families getting up and speaking of mercy, of love and forgiveness. And I
think my reaction and the reaction of so many people watching this
yesterday, it was inspiring in a way, but also unfathomable in a way,
imagining our self in a situation like that, not being able to summon those
kinds of emotions.
REV. STEPHEN SINGLETON, GRACE HERITAGE MINISTRIES: I was so proud of them
yesterday. They led with their faith. And we have a passage in the Bible
that says, "Mothing shall separate us from the love of God." And they
lived that yesterday. They proved to the world that nothing can separate
us from his love, and I think they made a statement for the ages for the
world and for the faith that we profess. I felt like a proud father.
Because I knew all the voices that were speaking. And I was just happy.
And I`m so grateful that they were able to hold on to their faith. Because
it doesn`t matter what we say or do now. We can`t change what happened on
Wednesday night. So, I`m just happy for the faith, and I`m happy that they
held on to their faith.
KORNACKI: Yes. And the other sort of extraordinary thing about that scene
yesterday is that the shooter, he has to listen and he has to watch. He
has to listen and watch as these family members step forward and say these
things. What do you hope he heard? What do you hope he took from that
SINGLETON: I hope he learned that everybody who may feel the way that he
feels, I hope that they learn that they are agents of hate, but they cannot
overpower the ambassadors for love. And I hope that he understands now
that what he did was horribly wrong, that he attacked some wonderful people
with wonderful families. And if they want to change the world, they need
to change it in a positive direction. Because hatred never wins. Love
always wins in the end.
KORNACKI: You know, Adam Reiss was just reporting some more of the details
from what happened Wednesday night. And this is a church obviously you
know very well having worked there in the past. I`m wondering about an
event like this on Wednesday night. It looks like a relatively small
group, it`s a Bible study group, seems like a fairly close knit group. And
this guy just shows up, who`s never been there before, he has a fanny pack,
he walks in, he prays with them for an hour. Is this something that`s
common at a session like that, somebody who the group doesn`t know showing
up and saying, I want to pray with you tonight, or was that a warning flag
maybe in a way?
SINGLETON: No, it is very, very common for strangers to walk into Mother
Emanuel. That church is known internationally because of its history. And
we have people from all over the world that drop in at Emanuel, and
regardless of what`s going on, they join in. And I understand -- I can
picture in my mind how welcoming they were. The people who were in that
room that night were some of the most wonderful people you`ll ever want to
meet. I know they showed him kindness. They welcomed him, and his
presence was not unusual. Strangers are joining them at all times, and I
wish that he had listened to the voice of God. Because unofficially he
said that he gave it a second thought before he carried out his plan. And
I believe that that was God`s voice talking to him and he just didn`t
KORNACKI: And I wonder, Reverend, how this will affect you and your fellow
pastors out there going forward. I mean, that just sort of -- that
atmosphere of openness you`re describing at that church and other churches
when somebody takes advantage of it like that, to commit something as
horrible as this. Does that change your thinking? Does that change your
approach towards having a, you know, a Bible study group like that or just
having such an open door policy in the future?
SINGLETON: I think that we`ll definitely give it some thought. I think my
colleagues and other congregations and, of course that one, we will have
some discussions. We`ll talk about it. But I do know that the kingdom has
to remain open. The kingdom will always be open to others. So we`ll deal
with it accordingly. I have an event at my church this morning. I`ve
already gotten a couple of calls about that as to how we`re going to
approach it. But we`re open to God`s people and we have to do that. But
I`m sure we`ll be very, very aware of new faces. But we have to welcome
them in any way.
KORNACKI: All right. Reverend Stephen Singleton, thank you for taking a
few minutes this morning. Appreciate it.
SINGLETON: Thank you for having me. God bless.
KORNACKI: All right. We will have much more ahead this morning from
Charleston, also from the world of politics. But before we get to that,
we`ve heard a lot in recent days about the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, he`s
the pastor at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church who was killed
on Wednesday. A state senator, someone President Obama himself knew, among
the nine people shot and killed during Bible study at Emanuel AME.
Now, we are learning more about the other victims of Wednesday night`s
massacre as well. People like Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a reverend at
the church and a mother of three. Most people though calling her coach
Singleton, she coached track and field team at Goose Creek High School
outside of Charleston. She was also a speech therapist at that school. In
the field at Goose Creek yesterday, a landscaper drawing the initials SS in
the field, SS for Sharonda Singleton. She was 45 years old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: As much as we grieve this
particular tragedy, I think it`s important, as I mentioned at the White
House, to step back and recognize, these tragedies have become far too
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President Obama last night making reference to Charleston and
other frequent incidents of mass violence in this country, what he termed
this week a uniquely American phenomenon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I`ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities
like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scene has been all too familiar, the president of
the united states stepping into the White House briefing room and
addressing a mass shooting. After Newtown.
OBAMA: Each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as
anybody else would, as a parent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After Aurora.
OBAMA: My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been in
the theater. As so many of our kids do every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After Tucson.
OBAMA: We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama commenting in the wake of mass
shootings at least 14 times since he took office.
OBAMA: The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is
becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent,
are terrifying to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The statistics backing up the President. Data shows
that mass shootings have become more frequent. In the last two years a
mass shooting occurring on average every 64 days. While in the previous
three decades, that average was every 200 days. So why does this keep
happening? Have we become immune to the scenes of grief and destruction?
What can we do, what can anyone do to stop it?
OBAMA: Let`s be clear. At some point we as a country will have to reckon
with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other
advanced countries. It doesn`t happen in other places with this kind of
frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that
recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues
right no now, but it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. Joining me now to talk more about what the President
had to say this week, Alvin Tillery, he`s an associate professor of
Political Science at Northwestern University. Allen, thanks for taking a
So, I want to say, first of all, obviously, guns are a big part of this
discussion, and that`s a discussion we`ll going to be having in a segment
later in the show. So, for right now, I want to try to move this away from
the issue of guns and talk more about the President`s role here when these
mass shootings, when these episodes of mass violence happen. Because as we
say, this is 14 times now. And when we go back and look at the tape we
just showed there, it almost seems like he`s running out of things to say.
What is the role of the President in moments like this, do you think?
ALVIN TILLERY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Well, the
presidency is an awesome responsibility, as you know, Steve. And, you
know, we often comment about how significantly presidents age over the
course of their terms. And we tend to sort of think about that. In terms
of the politics that they`re dealing with, international crises, national
security. But frankly, it`s the weight of baring the responsibility for
being the sort of mourner-in-chief for the nation that is also a real part
of that. And, you know, I feel for President Obama and for anyone who has
had the responsibility that he has had. And this partly explains why
former presidents across the partisan divide often have a level of intimacy
that we think would be normal -- I mean abnormal in their political
careers. Well, it`s because former presidents can relate to the sort of
incredible weight that such incidents take on the office and on the man
that`s holding the office.
KORNACKI: Is there a lesson here do you think about -- we always talk
about the cliche is the power of the presidency. Part of the power of the
presidency is the bully pulpit.
KORNACKI: And when we go back -- it`s striking for me to go back and look
at the tape after all these previous incidents where the President comes
out and he seems in a way to try to make sense of it, to console the
nation, but also to try to change the tone. It seems sometimes like he`s
struggling to find words that might change the tone to prevent something
like this from happening in the future. And then it keeps happening in a
way. Is there a lesson here about the power or the lack thereof of the
TILLERY: Well, I mean, you know, presidential scholars sort of often refer
to the presidency as having real negative powers. Right? The real power
of the presidency is the power to nullify laws from Congress that he or she
doesn`t like. But the bully pulpit is supposed to be about mobilizing us
around ideas, a vision of who we are as a nation. And it`s clear in all 14
of these instances, President Obama has tried to mobilize us through the
bully pulpit. The problem is that we`re in an era, Steve, of
hyperpolarization, we`re in a post-Citizen United, post-McCutchen world
where money groups have tremendous influence.
And, you know, the level of resignation of President Obama expressed to
the fact that despite the fact that this keeps happening, he will not be
able to make the changes that he believes are necessary through gun reform
because of, as he called it, the politics of the town, Washington, D.C.
And that must be a sort of incredible sense of frustration for President
Obama and any president.
KORNACKI: And he says, the words there in one of these clips was this is
becoming the norm. And we put those statistics up. The number of or the
frequency of mass shootings, the frequencies of mass violence does seem to
be something that`s increased markedly in the last generation, in the last
decade really during his presidency. It`s something no president in a way
has had to deal with on this scale before.
TILLERY: Yes. Well, I think, you know, starting with President Bush, we
do see -- President George W. Bush, we see an up take in these sort of mass
shootings. And there`s got to be a correlation between the expiration of
the assault weapons ban in 2004. People say, oh, you know, there were mass
shootings before that. Certainly, but gun technology has changed
significantly in the last 30 years. And so that coupled with the sort of
expiration of the assault weapons ban, it is mass sort of chaos with these
shootings. And subsequent presidents will have to deal with this sadly in
a way that President Obama and President Bush have had to deal with unless
we change as a culture and unless we change our laws. And that`s sort of,
you know, pretty clear by the data.
KORNACKI: All right. Like I said, we will be getting into that question
of guns, that debate over guns a little bit later in the show. But for
now, thank you to Alvin Tillery, professor at Northwestern University.
TILLERY: Thank you, Steve.
KORNACKI: I appreciate it. We will have much more as we`ve been telling
you from Charleston throughout the morning including how some of the
presidential candidates are reacting to the tragedy.
But first, we want to tell you a little bit about DePayne Middleton Doctor,
another one of Wednesday night`s victim. Middleton Doctor was a minister
who loved to sing. One family member calling her beautiful song bird.
Middleton Doctor had retired from her job with the county government and
recently started work at her former school, Southern Wesleyan University as
an admissions coordinator. She was 49-years-old.
KORNACKI: Turning now to the big political event of the weekend,
republican 2016 hopefuls gathering in the nation`s capital over the past
few days to participate in annual Washington conference held by the Faith
and Freedom Coalition. This is the latest cattle call for the crowded GOP
field. And this one featured a man who appears to be on the verge of
making a late entry into the race, Ohio Governor John Kasich. And this is
a gathering over religious conservatives and so the candidates focused on
cultural issues like abortion, and religion and same-sex marriage. An
issue of particular interest right now as a Supreme Court decision is
expected within days that could legalize it nationally. Former Florida
Governor Jeb Bush who did not talk about same-sex marriage during his
formal campaign launch earlier in the week did address the topic yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In a country like ours,
we should recognize the power of a man and a woman loving their children
with all their heart and soul as a good thing, as something that is
positive and helpful for those children to live a successful life. And
while there are people that disagree with this, we should not push aside
those that do believe in traditional marriage. I, for one, believe it`s
important and I think it`s got to be important over the long haul
irrespective of what the courts say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. For more, from the Faith and Freedom Summit, let`s
bring in Eliana Johnson, a Washington editor for the National Review.
Eliana, thanks for taking a few minutes. So, let`s start on Jeb Bush.
Because conventional wisdom would say this is not necessarily his crowd.
This is more -- he`s sort of the more establishment candidate, the more
moderate candidate. These are the religious conservatives. He`s making a
pitch to them there on same-sex marriage. At the same time, he has talked
openly about being a little bit more mindful of the general election
audience which is more moderate on these issues. How did he strike that
balance yesterday and how does he going forward?
ELIANA JOHNSON, WASHINGTON EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: You know, Jeb Bush was
interesting in that he threw his stump speech aside and made a pitch
directly to the Christian conservatives in the room. He`s not a tremendous
podium speaker, but he has to remind these voters that he was a guy who
fought to keep Terry Schiavo alive. And I think that`s probably his most
effective case to these people. But he has a tough case to make when he,
you know, is a little bit slower in coming out against the Supreme Court --
the pending Supreme Court decision and things like that. And it`s not
quite as forceful as people like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz.
So, I think it`s going to be a tougher case for him to make.
KORNACKI: And if we could curiously play that out a little bit. If the
expectation is this ruling is going to legalize it nationally, maybe the
Supreme Court will surprise us, but let`s say that`s what happens. What
does that do to somebody like Bush going forward in the republican primary?
Because as you say, he`s going to have this pressure from his right, from a
Ted Cruz, from a Mike Huckabee, sort urging him to take a more hard line
stand. And at the same time he`s going to have people around him saying,
look, you don`t want to go too far in this because if you`re the nominee,
you don`t want to be too far to the right on this one.
JOHNSON: Jeb Bush has already made it clear he`s not going to -- he`s not
going to -- he`s willing to lose the primary to win the general, as he
said. And he`s not somebody who is going to pander to any one group of
voters. And so, I think that will make it tough for him in any one niche
crowd, like he was speaking before this weekend at the Faith and Freedom
KORNACKI: I`m curious too. We said in the teaser, this was one of the
debut performances I guess you could say of John Kasich, John Kasich, the
Ohio Governor who looks like he`s going to be getting into this
presidential race. How was he received there?
JOHNSON: You know, I`m always surprised at these conferences, everybody
gets a warm reception. And so, it`s the people who really electrify the
room I think that you have to look for. And John Kasich didn`t electrify
the room though he spoke strongly about his faith. The person I was really
surprised by was Ted Cruz, he totally tossed his stump speech out. And he
is the person who is making a strong play to be the second choice for the
people who are already committed to these groups, favorite candidates like
Santorum, Huckabee, even Ben Carson. And that`s the guy to watch for this
group. It`s very clear.
KORNACKI: All right. Very interesting. Eliana Johnson of the National
Review, thank you for taking some time this morning. I appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Of course.
KORNACKI: All right. Coming up, some of the 2016 hopefuls using the Faith
and Freedom Summit to talk about the deadly shooting in Charleston. What
they had to say right after this. And the candidates continue to hammer
President Obama for his handling of ISIS and other foreign policy
decisions. We`ll talk to the man who once led the U.S. effort in
Afghanistan. Retired General Stanley McChrystal about those decisions
later this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just can`t explain
this. I go to the Middle East a lot. I`ve seen hate up close, I`ve seen
communities, you know, where everybody has been killed because of a
different religion and you think, well, that`s just over there. Well, and
sometimes it`s not just over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was South Carolina senator and presidential candidate
Lindsey Graham paying his respects to the victims of Wednesday night`s
church shooting in Charleston. He`s canceled his trip to New Hampshire
this weekend so that he can remain in his home state instead. Jeb Bush was
supposed to campaign in Charleston on Thursday right in the wake of that
attack. But when the attack happened, he then canceled that event.
Numerous reports indicating that the attack was racially motivated, that
the young man targeted the church specifically because it was a black
church. At the Faith and Freedom Summit in D.C. yesterday though, Bush
seemed hesitant to make that connection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R-FL), PRESIDENTICAL CANDIDATE: I don`t know what was
on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes,
but I do know -- I do know what was in the heart of the victims. They were
meeting in brotherhood and sisterhood in that church.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Last night at a speech in Florida, Bush not skirting around,
calling the attack racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just breaks my heart that someone, a racist would do
what he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: As we expected, the Faith and Freedom Summit that we were just
talking about, most of the remarks focusing on the religious angle of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The idea that anyone, that any human
being would walk into a church and sit there for an hour and pray with
people that he intended to murder is depraved. It`s unthinkable.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And if we don`t pay close
attention to the hatred and the division that`s going on in our nation,
this is just a harbinger of what we can expect.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Father, Lord, we just grieve deeply for
our brothers and sisters who lost their lives studying your Holy Scripture
in a sanctuary, in a church and a house of God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Meanwhile, democrat Martin O`Malley striking a more outraged
tone in his response, e-mailing supporters yesterday that he is, quote,
"pissed about what happened in Charleston." Quoting O`Malley, "I`m pissed
that we`re actually asking ourselves the horrific question of what will it
take." How many senseless acts of violence in our streets or tragedies in
our communities will it take to get our nation to stop caving into special
interests like the NRA when people are dying?"
Here now to talk about the 2016 candidates, how they are handling it and
what it means. We have MSNBC contributor David Corn, Washington bureau
chief at Mother Jones Magazine. The former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth,
republican from New York. Thanks to both of you for being here.
So, let`s start on Bush. Because I think there was this, we see where it
ended up last night. And it seemed almost like he got the memo during the
day. Because when he was -- he had that line in the speech where he said,
"I can`t get into the guy`s mind and heart," reporters followed up with him
afterwards. He seemed, David, hesitant, to go there on this question of
race. But by the end of the day, he wasn`t.
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: It was kind of mind-
boggling to those of us who follow the minute-by-minute news of the day
because by the time he spoke, it was quite clear that Dylann Roof had had a
racial motivation. He`d even said so himself. And the witnesses had said
that he had used racial epithets and that he wanted to start a race war.
So, there was no question about it. So, it seemed as if Jeb Bush did not
want to acknowledge that. And then when he gave that speech later the
night, it seemed like he`d very purposely used the word racist. Make sure
you get that word out tonight Governor because he had gotten some bad press
And it raises a question whether the Republicans or conservatives are often
kind of slow or reluctant to acknowledge racism. A lot of people on the
Left feel that`s often the case. And they find reasons. And not that
they`re racist themselves, but often they`re anti-racism. They don`t like
to talk about racism. Perhaps because they`re courting southern
conservative votes. They`re courting people who do believe in flying the
confederate flags. Some do. Some Republicans and services don`t want to
keep it up in South Carolina. And so, they don`t want to look like they`re
siding with people who are strong advocates of critics, of racism. So, it
seems from the outside that he fell into that very traditional republican
strategy and then realized, his advisers realized that he had to sort of
pull himself out.
KORNACKI: So, yes. Nan Hayworth, this was in South Carolina in 2000 that
Jeb`s brother, you know, George W. Bush, really came down with people who
wanted to keep flying with the confederate flag in South Carolina. So,
there`s that sort of Bush family history there. How do you interpret how
Jeb Bush handled this yesterday? Did it seem to you that he maybe was
reluctant to get into the racial aspect of this?
FMR. REP. NAN HAYWORTH (R), NEW YORK: I thought Governor Bush handled it
in a very statesman-like way. And I think his initial response reflected a
profound sense that he has about how -- of course this was an act of evil
and hatred, whether motivated by racism. Certainly as the day unfolded
more and more, I think it was usable not to jump to that particular
conclusion perhaps. As the day unfolded it seems to become clear that this
young man obviously had, you know, a fairly significant racist background,
if you will. But he was statesman-like and he was recognizing rightly so.
The extraordinary qualities the faith of the people against whom this evil
young man who does haven`t a conscience committed. You know, these people
were so gracious and so incredibly inspiring. And I think Governor Bush
was quite right to bring them to the forefront as well.
CORN: You know, the interesting thing is, you showed the list of all the
other people speaking, too. Ben Carson, Governor Christie. And they all,
you know, went right to the religious angle. Now, everything we know from
this so far is that he did not kill them because they were Christians. I
don`t know what his religious background was. He killed them because they
were black people.
KORNACKI: We should say though, in fairness. They were at a religious
events and these were people killed in a church. So, there`s a reason to
be focusing on that.
CORN: No. But I understand that. But to focus only on that and not, you
know, take on the fact that, you know, we have racism in this country.
This fellow, you know, was, you know, we don`t know how he became a racist.
His family seems to be completely beside themselves and upset with this.
And I spoke to somebody who knew the family in doing some reporting
yesterday who said that there was no indication. He didn`t come from an
environment of hatred or racism or anything. So we don`t know how this
came. But it really gets to the issue, like, why we do have, you know,
whether it`s latent racism or explicit racism in the country and whether
we`re going to acknowledge that and deal with it.
KORNACKI: Well, so Nan, Dave was saying what he`s calling the mindset of
the anti-anti-racism he`s saying on the right, in the Republican Party. Is
that something you see? Is that something you feel? This idea that it`s
not saying that Republicans are racist or they harbor racial animus. It`s
saying, they just really don`t like talking about race in saying that race
is a factor in anything.
HAYWORTH: No. I certainly -- look, I have not experienced that, nor
witnessed that in my party, on the inside of the Republican House
Conference, I did not see nor hear any evidence of that. I think the
challenge we have here is to assure that we address every issue that this
hideous incident brings to the fore. And there has rightly been a
discussion started about whether or not the confederate flag should be
flown over South Carolina. Although this young man, whatever he did,
racism may have been a pretext for his violence. But let`s not neglect the
fact that this is clearly a very sick mind, and we have a serious issue
with mental illness in this country that motivates people like this to do
what they do. And that, too, has to be addressed. So these are all parts
of the --
KORNACKI: Right. It does seem that there`s room in the reactions here --
we`re all at a certain level reacting as human beings as well. I mean,
when I look at this too, I mean, the racial aspect is obvious and
undeniable. At the same time, you still sit there saying, even allowing
for the fact that this guy is just a vicious racist. Any human being to
walk into a room and sit with people for an hour and then get up and do
that, that part -- I won`t start saying I can`t understand it either. You
know racism is there but --
HAYWORTH: This is a psychopath, he has no conscience. And that is the
fundamental lesion here.
CORN: And so, what`s his plan? What`s he trying to get out of this? I
mean, he maybe psychopathic but even psychopaths sometimes have reasons and
ideas. I mean, this seems to be particularly stunning. And what Christie
said, and it`s moral depravity, that he would go in and do this. And, you
know, it wasn`t an impulse thing. He sat there for an hour and then
started killing people. But, you know, it does raises the question that
the President was getting to get at. You know, the easy access to guns.
It does gets to the question that you and I have talked about. What do we
do about mental illness in this country, still not covered or treat it the
way that we deal with other illness. And our medical system still allows
too many holes for people to fall through.
CORN: And you know, whether there is any, you know, the racism that does
exist, whether it ends up empowering psychopaths in a way. So, you`ve got
three levels of very profound problems here, and whether we can deal with
it as a society politically remains a question on all those three fronts.
KORNACKI: And as we say, it is something we are going to get into a little
bit more. Some of the stuffs we`ll show you later in the show. But for
now, David and Nan, we`ll see you later in the show. But thanks for being
here in this segment.
And we will shift gears a bit in just a minute when we`re joined by the man
who led the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal
is going to be here.
But first, we want to remember another victim in Wednesday night`s
massacre, the Reverend Daniel Lee Simmons, the retired pastor of another
church who like stop by Emanuel AME for Bible studies. He was the only
victim to die at the hospital. Reverend Daniel Lee Simmons was 74-years-
KORNACKI: The Pentagon announcing just a few minutes ago that it carried
out more, 22 more air strikes yesterday targeting ISIS strongholds in Syria
and Iraq. Just last week, President Obama ordering the deployment of 450
more U.S. troops to Iraq, tasked with advising Iraqi forces working to
retake territory lost to another jihadist terror group, ISIS. The House
voting on Wednesday to keep U.S. troops in Iraq Syria amid debate over
Congressional authorization of military force. Now, meanwhile on the
campaign trail, republican presidential hopefuls regularly describing in
Obama foreign policy that they say is in crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leaving a legacy of crises
uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended and
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The deterioration of our
physical and ideological strength has led to a world far more dangerous
than when President Obama ended office.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To defeat a determined
enemy like ISIL, you have to have the capability and the will. President
Obama is not providing the capability and he doesn`t have the will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Add it all up and we as a nation are still fighting al Qaeda,
still debating U.S. military efforts abroad, now nearly 14 years after the
terror group first entered the American consciousness with the 9/11
attacks. With the added challenge of taking on ISIS and the other
decentralized terrorists` networks, rushing to fill the power vacuum in a
weakened Iraq and Syria.
Joining me now to try to discuss all this. Make some sense of it is
retired General Stanley McChrystal who was at the helm of the U.S. effort
in Iraq and Afghanistan for seven years. He details the lessons he learned
in his new book "Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex
World." General, thank you for taking a few minutes and joining us this
morning. I appreciate it.
I want to start with you, we have this news in the last few weeks of more
U.S. troops being sent over to Iraq to train, maybe to recruit more Sunnis
into the effort. It comes this week, what struck me and I want to put this
headline up there. It was the Defense Secretary Ash Carter was testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. And he said that
the goal of getting 24,000 -- recruiting 24,000 new members of the Iraqi
Security Forces, Iraqis to fight for their own country, that goal had
fallen short by 17,000 groups. Instead of getting 24,000, they got 7,000.
Carter said, we simply haven`t received enough recruits. I read that,
General, as a sign -- we`re always talking about when will the Iraqis step
up. And it begs the question to me, are they ever going to step up?
GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL (RET), U.S. ARMY: Well, it`s hard to say. On
the eve of the 2003 entry into Iraq, there had been an effort on the part
of the U.S. to create a free Iraqi forces organization. At the end of the
day, it ended up being like 76 people. And so, when you`re trying to do
something like this, if there`s not political will in the group that you`re
working with, it`s very difficult.
KORNACKI: So, the idea then, this increase of 450 troops is supposedly
tied to this recruitment failure, do you think they`re sending 450 more
troops, advisers, you know, military trainers, they`re sending them into
the heart of Sunni country apparently to try to recruit more Sunnis. Based
on what you`re saying, do you think that will have any effect?
MCCHRYSTAL: Well, I personally think it`s a necessary step. If we look at
what threat ISIS actually represents, it`s not an existential threat to the
world. It`s frightening and it`s frustrating and it`s dangerous. But it`s
not existential. And so, it doesn`t force amongst us the same kind of
unity and over-resolve that we need. Inside Iraq we certainly hope that
occurs. Now, the problem is we can`t solve this problem, we can`t drop
enough bombs. We don`t want to put enough troops on the ground.
Eventually it`s going to have to be solved by Syrians, Iraqis, gulf state
members, Turks and whatnot. Those people who live in the region. And they
are going to have to come together, they`re going to have to build the
capability, they`re going to have to get enough unity and alignment on the
objectives so that they can defeat ISIL or they`re going to have serious
problems. The problem is less ISIL than it is the chaos in the region
KORNACKI: So, ultimately you`re saying it has to be solved by the locals
but the U.S. has a role in this. What is the message to the American
people in terms of what is it that we should be prepared for over the next
few years, maybe decade or however long it is, what is it specifically we
should be prepared for in terms of an American commitment to allow that to
MCCHRYSTAL: Well, in my personal opinion we have to stay engaged in the
region and we have to show resolve in that engagement. But we have to be
patient because it`s going to take a long time. If, for example, we poured
in military force and were able to crush ISIL, I don`t think we crush the
idea. We would crush the force initially. But then if we pulled out, it
would likely to come back. The only fix for this region is to get some
kind of a political framework that is legitimate enough and credible enough
to the people in the region that they`re willing to work in that direction.
That`s absent right now. They are not the statesman like leaders that have
stepped up. Now, we`re going to have to take a leadership role in doing
that. It`s going to be heavily diplomatic, it`s going to be painful
because it`s going to take a long time in shaping this and there`s not
going to be a quick military solution to it. But I think it`s essential.
We can`t pretend that the region doesn`t exist, turn our back and say
because the last 15 years have been painful, that we don`t want to be
engaged. The world is just too small for anyone to do that right now.
KORNACKI: All right. General Stanley McChrystal, author of the news book
"Team of Teams." Thank you for joining us this morning. I appreciate it.
MCCHRYSTAL: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead. We`re going to go back to South
Carolina and the symbol of the past that many hope will no longer be a part
of that state`s future.
But first, a possible break in the search for two convicted killers who
have been on the loose for two weeks now. That is next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: New clues this morning in the search for two convicted murderers
who escaped from a New York state prison near the Canadian border now
nearly two full weeks ago. Police say that someone in Steuben County, New
York, that`s near the Pennsylvania border may have spotted two men who fit
the description of fugitives David Sweat and Richard Matt. Witnesses say
they saw a two men walking near a rail yard in the town of Irwin a week
Next day, two men with a similar description were spotted in the nearby
town of Lindley. Sweat and Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional
Facility two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, late last night NBC News learned that a corrections officer has
been placed on administrative leave as part of the investigation.
Authorities aren`t saying who that officer is or why he or she is on leave.
Still ahead, as we continue this Saturday morning, we`ll going to return to
Charleston to ask, why the confederate flag still flies in that state.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Charleston and the Confederate flag.
KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning as we continue.
Charleston, South Carolina church shooting has renewed the Confederate flag
debate in that state. Should it be taken down for good? More on that in
just a moment.
Plus, the many different things that the 2016 presidential hopefuls are
saying about that massacre. That is ahead.
We`ll also be talking to the man who has interviewed more of the Republican
field than anybody else. That and much, much more is coming up this hour.
But we begin in South Carolina where the family of the gunman who killed
nine people inside a Charleston church is reaching out to the victim.
Dylann Roof`s family releasing a statement late yesterday that reads in
part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed this
week. We have all been touched by the moving words from the victims`
families, offering God`s forgiveness and love in the face of such horrible
That forgiveness came during Dylann Roof`s first court appearance
yesterday, an appearance in which the victim`s loved ones could address
Roof directly through a video conference link. Roof was formally charged
with nine counts of murder, also a weapons charge.
NBC News`s Mark Potter joins us from Charleston.
Mark, what did you find out?
MARK POTTER, NBC NEWS: Well, I found out in talking to actually several of
his friends that there are mixed feelings about him, you get mixed
accounts. The one you`re referring to is a young man named Christon
Scriven, who is 20 years old. He`s African-American. And he said that he
was a friend of Dylann Roof. And he makes the point that he does not think
that he was a racist, that he had black friends.
Others, however, have said that they heard him make racist comments and
talk about the separation of races. So, those are some of the differences
that we`re hearing about.
But this young man, Mr. Scriven, did say that he became weary of Dylann
Roof at some point after Roof bought a handgun in April. He talked about a
night when they were driving around when Roof predicted or announced that
he was going to go shoot up a local college.
Let`s hear a little bit from that conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTON SCRIVEN, FRIEND OF DYLANN ROOF: We were all out here drinking one
night. He said he was going to the college, to shoot the college up.
POTTER: When you heard that he had been implicated in the shooting at the
church, what did you think?
SCRIVEN: That he really -- he was serious and he really actually went and
down all this stuff he said he was going to do and he wasn`t joking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POTTER: And Scriven said, what was really interesting about that and
tragic about that is that this occurred a week and a half ago on a
Wednesday, and that Roof predicted he was going to do this or announced he
was going to do the shooting at the college the next Wednesday. That
Wednesday was the day he went and fired into the church and killed the nine
people according to authorities. That`s what shook everybody up, that
there was warning.
And so, one of the moms of one of the friends told me yesterday that the
moral of this story that people who hear these sort of statements being
made, who hear threatening statements need to take responsibility and
report that to someone who can do something about it. She said,
unfortunately, this was something that maybe could have been prevented.
Nobody believed him, they didn`t think he was serious, they didn`t think it
could actually happen. They were concerned enough to remove his gun from
him one night when people had been drinking, but he got it back.
And then, you know, as fate would have it, he was involved in this horrible
tragedy here in Charleston. And so, people are saying, we`ve got to pay
attention when we get word that something like this might be up, any
indication needs to be investigated.
KORNACKI: All right. NBC`s Mark Potter in South Carolina, thank you for
that. Appreciate it.
Now, on "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" last night, South Carolina Republican
state representative named Doug Brannon said he plans to introduce
legislation to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State
Capitol once and for all. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. DOUG BRANNON (R), SOUTH CAROLINA (via telephone): I had a
friend die Wednesday night for no reason other than he was a black man.
Senator Pinckney was an incredible human being. I don`t want to talk
But I`m going to introduce the bill for that reason. I`m not a politician
tonight. But I do have access, and I will introduce that bill in December.
I will pre-file that bill in December before we go back into session.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Again, that`s State Representative Doug Brannon in South
Carolina, saying he will introduce the bill in December when the
legislature is back in session to remove the flag from the statehouse
grounds in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, the controversial flag still flying above the South Carolina
state capitol this morning. The American flag and South Carolina state
flag flying at half staff, outside the state house in Columbia, but the
confederate flag flying nearby not at half staff.
Governor Nikki Haley directing the flags she could to remain at half staff
for nine days to honor each of the nine victims. But the South Carolina
general assembly need to sign off on any movement of the Confederate flag.
A spokesman for President Obama saying yesterday that the president believe
the Confederate flag belongs in a museum, a position Obama himself stated
in 2007 before he became president.
Jon Stewart adding his thoughts on Thursday night`s "Daily Show".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, DAILY SHOW: Nine people were shot in a black church by a
white guy who hated them who wanted to start some kind of civil war. The
Confederate flag flies over South Carolina and the roads are named for
Confederate generals, and the white guy is the one who feels like his
country is being taken away from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And joining us now, Jamelle Bouie, staff writer at "Slate," and
former Congressman Ben Jones, a Democrat from Georgia, who`s also an actor
on the show "The Dukes of Hazard."
Congressman Jones, let me start with you. I -- I know your position at
least in the past on this issue has been that you favor retaining the
Confederate flag as a symbol of heritage. I`m wondering if -- excuse me --
if in the wake of the events this week and in the wake of what you heard
from Doug Brannon, for instance, in South Carolina, has that changed your
thinking on this issue at all?
FORMER REP. BEN JONES (D), GEORGIA: Not really. It`s far more nuanced and
complex than that to me, Steve. I don`t think -- I`m glad the
representative is bringing this thing. That discussion is needed and it
needs to be a sober and thoughtful and compassionate bridge building
conversation among Southerners, black and white of good hearts and caring
and sensitivity to each other.
I`m glad it`s coming up in December. It shouldn`t -- we shouldn`t be
having this fight right now. I don`t think we should be making any of
these hot political issues in the aftermath of this terrible, unspeakable
This was a disturbed young man who wanted to make a name for himself. I
think he had been drugging a lot. He got online with all these white
supremacist Web sites and things. Their flag is the American flag, the
Klan and all those people. When they use the symbol of the Confederate
battle flag, they desecrate it if my opinion.
I`ve spent my life in the South fighting for civil rights for everybody and
understanding between the races. I won`t stop doing that.
But there`s 70 million Americans who are also descendant from the
Confederacy. And many of us see it in a much different context. We don`t
like it being used in those ways.
The flag was taken down, and I`ve seen reporting this week that says the
stars and bars flies atop the capitol in South Carolina. It doesn`t. It`s
not the stars and bars, by the way, which was the official -- first
official flag of the Confederacy states, the government flag.
The battle flag is the -- the Confederate battle flag, the St. Andrews
Cross is what we`re talking about. It`s a symbol that means different
things to different people in different context. And we must be sensitive
to everybody`s feelings about it and understand that. It means something
Let me finish quickly if I may, Steve. To say, it now flies on the
grounds. That will be taken up soberly and thoughtfully in December by the
South Carolina legislature. But it`s not the flag that caused this act.
We must make that clear. As a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans,
everybody in my family fought for the South.
KORNACKI: I want to get Jamelle Bouie in here to respond to that.
Jamelle, first let me just to put some context to this, I also want to
include polling numbers that I think might surprise people, American
opinions on the Confederate flag. This is from -- it`s an online survey
conducted by Survey Monkey. It actually -- it`s a fairly reputable way of
collecting data. It says 49 percent see it as a symbol of racism, 49
percent as a symbol of southern pride. It`s sort of a split right down the
middle, at least according to this.
So, Jamelle, Ben Jones is making the heritage argument. He`s saying 70
million Americans trace their ancestry through the confederacy. This means
something important to them.
What`s your response to what you just heard?
JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: You know, films and books and movies can have
multiple interpretations, but I think historical symbols and I think
particularly standards for armies tended -- their meanings are rooted in
the histories behind them.
The Confederacy was founded on the basis of preservation and expansion of
slavery. The Confederate army fought to defend those ideals. While I
have, you know, I have no problem and in some ways respect people and honor
their ancestors and their valor, we can`t actually just erase history. The
history of the Confederate battle flag is part of the history of the
Confederacy. And the history of the Confederacy as a movement, a political
movement, is to preserve slavery.
That flag, that battle flag and the Confederate flag, the flag of the CSA
itself, went into hibernation for quite a while. Two times when it came
back out of hibernation and back into public view were doing Reconstruction
when anti-Reconstruction ex-Confederates used terrorism to try to
disenfranchise newly enfranchised blacks, and during the civil rights
movement when opponents of integration and supporters of Jim Crow brought
the flag back out to show their opposition to civil rights.
In the -- the flag`s position in the South Carolina capitol, for example,
only shows up in 1962. It`s possible that it showed up because in 1962, a
group of white South Carolinians wanted to show their heritage. But my
sense is it`s there as a symbol of defiance.
Now, on Wednesday, nine people were killed by a young man who was steeped
in white supreme sift imagery, had the flags of apartheid states on his
clothing, who had Confederate symbols on his vehicle, who expressed his
desire to start a race war, who talked about black people in the same exact
terms as Confederate leaders did.
Regardless of whether or not something is your heritage, feel free to honor
your heritage however you like in your private space, but the South
Carolina capitol is a public space and it is insulting, frankly, to have
that flag fly when nine people were killed by a person expressing the
ideals that that flag flew for 150 years ago, 100 years ago and 50 years
KORNACKI: So, Ben Jones, I`ll get you to respond to that. The idea that -
- ultimately at a certain level a Confederate flag and slavery, they`re
inseparable. And you can talk about the descendants of the confederacy.
There are the descendants of slavery in South Carolina.
Ultimately, how can a state honor a symbol that means slavery to
descendants of slaves?
JONES: I`ve always had a problem with the state use of any symbol. You
know, the American flag -- slavery was brought here in 1619, the American
flag flew over slavery in every state in the early unions and in all the
colonies which became states, there was slavery there.
Slavery was a northern enterprise that built Wall Street, built American
capitalism. The profits went north, the cotton went north to the mills.
And so, it`s a more complex issue to us.
I remember Lincoln`s first inaugural address where he said slavery is
constitutionally protected. I won`t touch it, and suggested that the
Corwin Amendment which had been passed in the Buchanan administration be
supported which would have protected slavery perpetually.
So, that`s where Lincoln was in his first inaugural address. A year and a
half later he says to Horace Greeley, Greeley, if I could save the Union
with slavery, I would do it. If I could slave it without slavery, I would
that, too. It`s about union.
So, the slavery issue was a horrible thing, a horrible, horrible, but it`s
the American sin, not the southern sin. With a government thing, I`m not
sure -- I think, you know, it should have been taken down from the top of
the capitol and it was placed as a memorial to the Confederacy. Next to
it, I think -- if we`re going to do anything on state grounds, there should
be a memorial to those who suffered in slavery.
KORNACKI: Let me, let me --
JONES: I think that -- Dr. King said let us -- the sons of former slaves
and the sons of former slave owners sit together -- that was his dream, to
sit together at the table of brotherhood. These horrible incidents like
this inflame these passions again.
And, you know, the Confederate flags aren`t going to disappear, they simply
aren`t. Those of us who honor our ancestors understand why they did what
they did in their time. But to blame slavery on the South is I think a
KORNACKI: We`re on short on time, but, Jamelle, I want to get you in for
the last word here. Just go ahead and respond to what you just heard.
BOUIE: OK. So, two things -- first, it`s absolutely true the American
flag flew over slavery. The American flag, the symbol of the United States
also has multiple other means. The United States at its best is a country
dedicated to the ideal that all men are created equal, that representative
government is the way we ought to run our country.
Confederacy does not have that dual meaning. The confederacy as expressed
by Alexander Stephens, as expressed by Jefferson Davis, as expressed by
every state that seceded from the Union was founded in defense and
preservation and the expansion of slavery.
The second thing, it`s also true that slavery wasn`t a Southern innovation.
It`s certainly true that slavery profited the entire nation. But that is a
separate issue than the states that left the United States to preserve that
It`s sort of a limit disingenuous to bring that up to say, well, the
Confederate flag doesn`t mean that. No, it does. This is what the history
Again, people can honor their ancestors however they like, in their homes,
in their communities. But the idea that we have to give public sanction to
it, the idea that Black Southerners like myself to have consent to this
symbol being flown on public land I think is ridiculous.
We wouldn`t do that for any other symbol like the Confederate flag. So, I
don`t see why we ought to do that for the Confederate flag unless I guess
we want to start flying all sorts of crazy symbols.
KORNACKI: All right. Jamelle Bouie from "Slate," former Congressman Ben
Jones from Georgia. I appreciate both of you joining us. I really
appreciated that, that conversation we just had there.
Much more to come this hour from Charleston. We`re also going to be
venturing into the strange, strange world of the 2016 race for president
But, first, continuing our look at some of the victims of and Wednesday
night`s mass shooting at Emanuel AME.
Tywanza Sanders died standing between the shooter and his elderly aunt,
Susie Jackson. When the shooter aimed his gun at Ms. Jackson, Tywanza
Sanders stepped in between them and tried to talk the young man into
putting down the gun. Susie Jackson would also die in the shooting as
would her cousin Ethel Lance. It should be remembered that Mr. Sanders
tried to save them both along with everyone else inside that church.
Mr. Sanders graduated last year from Allen University and was working as a
barber hoping to go to graduate school. He was 26 years old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP: My father, Donald J. Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: In order to become president, you don`t just enter the race to
the beat of a the song the singer will soon be asking you to stop playing
at you`re events, down in escalator to the lobby of the building with your
name on it. There are concrete measures you have to take if you want to
run for president, steps you need to check off of a proverbial to-do list,
including a financial disclosure report you`re supposed to file within 30
days of formally becoming a candidate.
So, Donald Trump made it seem like he completed this step this week. He
released a one-page summary showing assets of about $9 billion. That was
just a little peek of the complete documentation that`s actually required.
The mandatory financial disclosure, the full one, the full report is how we
found out, for instance, about Hillary Clinton`s paid speeches that cause
so much controversy this year, also how Marco Rubio raided his IRA
retirement account. It`s where all the potential good stuff is usually
We`re still waiting on that document from Donald Trump, and we might be
waiting for a long time because after 30 days are up, he will still be
allowed to final a 45-day postponement. He can also file a second
postponement after that, starting the clock on another 45 days for a total
of 90 days, basically three months.
Donald Trump says he is going to do all this sooner rather than later. But
until he does, it`s conceivable three debates will have come and gone.
How do we treat Donald Trump in the meantime? Do we say he`s a serious
Back with me at the table, we have MSNBC contributor David Corn and former
Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth.
I think this is a dilemma for people covering politics, thinking about
politics, because on the one hand, they look at the "New York Daily News"
cover this week when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, they put a
picture of a clown up there. This is just a sideshow. This is just a
Why are you talking about this?
And a lot of people say the thing Donald Trump will never put out the
detailed financial disclosure. However, if he`s in these debates, he`s
making noise, someone else is not getting on the stage because of it.
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: I mean, I have to say -- you know, we come on
the shows and people like you, Steve, often ask us to make predictions. I
always thought Trump wouldn`t run because he has to reveal all these
internal finances. We know from biographies and investigative reporting in
the past that he never seems to have as much money as he says he does.
That seems to be a point of pride for him.
So, you know, if he gets high enough and close enough in the debates, he
will he continue to run while giving out financial disclosure information.
I don`t know. But he, I assume, has a good shot of making it above that
level to get into debates.
KORNACKI: Right now, he would be in the debates, yes.
CORN: So, if that`s the case, why not give him coverage as opposed to
Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich who are all in single digits.
So, he has as much a claim on coverage at least as anybody else.
KORANCKI: How -- as a Republican, how do you feel about it?
CORN: She`s delighted about it.
KORNACKI: Democrats this week were lighting up the idea of Donald Trump
running. Do you just -- are you like, just look the other way.
FORMER REP. NAN HAYWORTH (R), NEW YORK: Mr. Trump has now put his hat in
the ring. And, by the way, he`s not bragging about being rich, David.
Let`s just make that clear. He`s not bragging about it. It`s just fact.
But "Forbes" had an interesting dissection of some preliminaries that have
become available, and one of the bones of contention regarding finances,
his $9 billion, is how much he values the Trump brand or the Trump name
versus the way some others might.
But nonetheless, he`s out there now. He`s made a lot of statements. Now,
he has to back them up. And this is an opportunity --
CORN: No, no, but he doesn`t. That`s the thing.
KORNACKI: He can buy -- he can buy himself three months basically.
HAYWORTH: But he is within a field, he is within a field of very serious
thoughtful Republican presidential contenders like Carly Fiorina, like
Governor Bush, Governor Walker, to name a few.
CORN: This is where I think the problem is for the Republican field with
him in the race. He will say things -- like he said at his speech, he will
dump on Mexicans or say, we`ve got to get tough on China. When he starts
doing this on the debate stage and he`s playing to the -- sort of the
demagogic crowd, part of the Republican Tea Party base, he`s going to force
Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush and others to respond to him and his extreme
remarks. On the debate stage, you can`t say I have nothing to say about
HAYWORTH: I`m sorry.
KORNACKI: Go ahead.
HAYWORTH: I was just going to say, I think this is a great opportunity --
we have to look at it that way. We have to -- you know, we are -- as
Republicans we have this challenge. Let`s rise to it.
We now have an opportunity for all the other folks who are going to be on
that stage or who aspire to be on that stage to say, look, here are the
serious policies that we actually have to develop. Here are the serious
issues and here is how we tackle them.
KORNACKI: And there`s the potential dilemma for Republicans and we`re
going to talk about this in a minute. But right now, all the other folks
on the stage, there`s a cap of ten. If Trump is on there right now, the
governor of Ohio, John Kasich, not on the stage, Rick Santorum not on the
stage, some interesting decisions there facing Republicans. We`ll get to
that in a minute.
But thanks for right now to our panel, David Corn and Nan Hayworth.
Appreciate you joining us this morning.
Still ahead, President Obama restarts the conversation on gun laws.
And next, the pope makes history.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Pope Francis sending shock waves across the globe this week,
calling for dramatic action to combat climate change, becoming the very
first pope in history to issue a top level Catholic teaching on the subject
of the environment. Now, in his 192-page encyclical, Pope Francis saying
human activity is responsible for warming the planet, also calling for
dramatic action to protect those who will be hardest by rising
temperatures, the world`s poor.
President Obama, among the many Democrats to welcome the Pope`s foray into
climate change politics, with not quite as much excitement across the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope I`m not going to get
castigated for saying this by my priests back home, but I don`t get
economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or from my pope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But how will the pope`s climate change manifesto impact rank and
file Catholics? Will they rally behind the pope and force politicians to
take more aggressive action to slow the planet`s warming?
"The Washington Post`s" Janell Ross pointing out that evangelical leaders
have been calling their parishioners to action on climate change for
several years, but they have little to show for it. White evangelical
Protestants are still 18 points less likely than the general public to say
that global warming is occurring.
Break down the polling data and it`s political affiliation, not religious
affiliation that seems to shape people`s opinions about climate change.
So, what impact will he have on the rank and file members of the Catholic
Church? Will he have any impact?
Joining me now, Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network,
which lobbies on issues of Catholic social justice.
Sister, thank you for joining us.
So, let me just start with that basic question. I mean, the pope obviously
the leader of the Catholic Church, Catholics a huge voting bloc. He issues
this encyclical. What do you expect the response to be from rank and file
Catholics in America?
SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NETWORK: Well, I think what
we`re seeing is a lot of enthusiasm. I think one thing that really needs
to be seen is what the pope says is there`s the intersection of all the
issues. We don`t have just a single crisis of environment and a separate
crisis of economics and income and wealth disparity in our globe. They`re
a united crisis. And we need to work on them together, and seeing the
unity both of the people of the earth as being in one common home and the
unity of these crises means that we`re explaining the common sense
experience of ordinary everyday folks.
So, I think folks are going to take this and run with it.
KORNACKI: Let me put some numbers up here, a Pew Research Center poll
opinion of U.S. Catholics on climate change, 71 percent say that it`s
occurring, 47 percent say it`s caused by humans, 48 percent say it`s a very
If you ask Catholics, if they have a positive opinion of their pope,
politicians would kill for these numbers: 86 percent favorable, 4 percent
The one thing I wonder about there, Sister, is we are just saying, the
political science research we cited in the intro says, how much political
affiliation, party affiliation, ideology drives people`s opinions of
things. Is there a risk here for the pope at all on this issue and maybe
if he speaks out on other issues, in making himself like a political
figure, maybe a character of the left, a figure of the left and then
conservatives and Republicans in the Catholic Church will say, no, I`m not
so sure about this guy because he`s saying things I disagree with?
CAMPBELL: Oh, here is the challenge. Whenever any one of us is called to
conversion, we resist it. And we know that in the spiritual life, the edge
-- that resistance is the edge of spiritual growth.
But we know the pope has this interrelated view of creation. And so, he
says that we`ve got to value human life, but human life seen in the context
of the environment. We`re not to dominate the Earth. We`re to collaborate
with the Earth, to work in an ecosystem which then also supports the
Catholic Church`s position on abortion, because the value of human life is
so sacred, so important. So, that`s going to make the left nervous, while
the right gets nervous at this fact that we owe each other a duty of care
for our planet and we are equally responsible. So I call him an equal
But the important thing is we can work on these issues in a variety of
places, perspectives. We work on the economics more than we do on the
environment. But what the pope says is because we work on the economics,
we`re healing the rift in our society, like we were talking about in
Charleston, that`s really important and it heals our environment also.
It`s a both-and, not an either-or.
KORNACKI: All right. Sister Simone Campbell, thank you for coming on this
morning. Appreciate that.
CAMPBELL: Thank you.
KORNACKI: And still ahead, which GOP candidates will make the cut for the
first debate. Poll numbers just out giving us a new top ten.
And next, will the shootings in South Carolina finally lead to tougher gun
laws or a debate over that, or will history repeat itself?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to feel a sense of
urgency. Ultimately, Congress will follow the people, and we have to stop
being confused about this. At some point as a country, we have to reckon
with what happens. It is not good enough simply to show sympathy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President Obama last night once again calling for stricter gun
laws in the wake of the Charleston shooting. A similar call he made 2 1/2
years ago after a gunman killed 20 young children and six adults in
The gun control bill drafted after that tragedy died in the Senate,
defeated by Democrats in red states who are up for re-election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington. But
this effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people --
we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence so
long as the American people don`t give up on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Two years later, America is coping now with yet another mass
shooting, and the question of whether the response this time can be any
We`re joined now by Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow at Demos.
So, Bob, here`s what I wonder about this. If the opposite of what we
expect to happen is happening here, and that is with every mass shooting
you might expect the momentum for some kind of legislative change on guns
is going to increase.
Oh, this is terrible, this is even worse. Now, we really need to do
And I`m starting to wonder if the opposite is happening, with every one
we`re becoming more numb to it and it`s less likely there`s going to be a
BOB HERBERT, DEMOS: I think the latter is the case. I don`t think that
we`re going to make any meaningful steps toward meaningful gun control any
But I don`t think we should give up on the fight. People who want to have
-- who want to restrict access to guns should continue the fight, because
I`ve seen so many generational changes. I think that`s what`s going to be
I think you`re going to get another generation of politicians. It takes a
long time. You`re going to get another generation of voters. That takes a
while. I think it`s an important fight because it`s such a horrendous,
So, I think that what happens is maybe you bring more people -- you don`t
get legislative changes with these terrible tragedies, but you bring more
people to the issue. That`s what I hope. I hope there`s some kind of
momentum from the bottom up rather than the top down.
KORNACKI: I mean, you`re talking a sort of a real big picture, long term -
HERBERT: Yes, I`ll tell you how long term I`m talking about. I`ve seen
the generational changes we`ve seen in cigarette smoking, for example, or
the kind of changes with regards to gay rights. These things took years
and years and decades in some cases. That`s what I think is going to be
But I think the issue is so important that it`s necessary to put in that
kind of an effort.
KORNACKI: Is it worth it given what you`re saying and just given the
futility -- in the wake of Newtown, if Congress couldn`t pass anything in
the wake of that, is it even worth it for a member of Congress right now
who says I want stricter gun laws to put legislation forward?
HERBERT: Oh, I think they should. I mean, I wish they should -- the
president makes his comments frequently about the need for gun control
legislation. But he doesn`t put the weight of the White House behind it
because he sees it as a losing issue. I`m sure that it is. But I wish
that he would put the weight there.
That again, you`re building a foundation, and the president could be an
important part of that foundation.
But there`s another point that I think about as well in the shorter term,
because I`m talking about it a long time. In the shorter term, we have to
address the idea of violence in this country. This country is so insanely
violent that we really need a conversation about how to address important
issues non-violently, that a bullet is not the answer to one`s problems,
whether we`re talking about personal interactions or whether we`re talking
about big issues, you know, like war and peace.
And so, I would like to see that kind of a conversation get started as
KORNACKI: So, it can proceed maybe on parallel tracks.
KORNACKI: Bob Herbert from Demos, thanks for taking a few minutes this
morning. I appreciate that.
When we return, the man who has interviewed more of the 2016 field than
But, first, continuing our look at the victims of Wednesday night`s
massacre at Emanuel AME church. Cynthia Hurd is being remembered as the
glue that held everyone in her family together -- a big sister who stepped
into the role of family might arc after her mother died. She loved to read
so much that she became a librarian. Her husband who serves in the
merchant marines is expected back in South Carolina this weekend from Saudi
Cynthia Hurd was 54 years old.
KORNACKI: We`ve already talked this hour about the very real possibility
that Donald Trump will be at a podium when ten Republican candidates --
that is the cap right now -- ten candidates hit the debate stage later this
summer for the first time.
There`s also a chance that Ben Carson could be up there as well. A new
poll from Monmouth University showing Carson with a very slight lead in the
Republican field. And Monmouth is a polling outlet that could prove
crucial to figuring out just who makes the cut for the first Republican
debate now only six weeks away.
Remember, it`s those candidates who finish in the top ten of the average of
the five most recent polls who are going to make it onto this stage. So,
as we did at this time last week, let`s take a look at the big board over
here to see where the candidates stand right now.
So, just to give you a sense of this, right now, if you average the five
most recent polls together, this is your top ten. These are the candidates
who would make the cut. You can see Donald Trump would be among them.
These candidates would be on that stage.
What does that mean for who is not on the stage? These are the candidates
or possible candidates people say they`re interested in running potentially
who would not be in that top ten right now.
We can focus a little closer right around the bubble, right around the cut
line -- the last ones in, first ones out. What you see is the average for
Donald Trump, we did this last week. One new poll this week, he didn`t do
quite as well. So, his average score fell by 0.4 of 1 percent.
But look at what we`re talking about, the difference between being in the
debate and not being in the debate is the difference between 3.2 percent,
that`s Rick Perry`s average, he`s tenth place, and Rick Santorum at 2.2
percent. Santorum would not be in. Perry would be in.
One other thing to keep an eye on right here, is this guy, right here, John
Kasich, the governor of Ohio right now would not be in the debate, sitting
there in 13th place in the polls. But John Kasich has not announced
And when John Kasich announces his candidacy, assuming he doesn`t get a lot
of attention, a lot of press coverage, there`s a chance he`ll get a bump.
Maybe that will move him into the top ten, maybe that will knock somebody
else out of the top ten.
So, again, we`re going to be looking at this every wee week. Right now,
Christie, Trump, Perry, they`re the lucky ones who just make it. Santorum,
Fiorina, Kasich, they would be out right now. This is very fluid over the
next few weeks.
To talk more about this situation also right now, I want to bring in Hugh
Hewitt. He`s a conservative radio host who is going to participate in the
second Republican presidential debate in September. He is also author of a
new book, "The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a
Second Clinton Era." And he joins us now.
Hugh, thank you for taking a few moments with us this morning.
So, you`re going to be on the stage for the second Republican debate later
this year, similar criteria there -- top ten candidates, polling average,
that sort of thing. I wonder, in general, these rules, we`ve never seen
these before in debates. They`re causing some controversy.
Do you think it`s fair to cap the number at ten?
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HOST: Well, the Reince reforms on the debate for the
party and how the networks handle the debates supp for grabs to the
networks. I don`t think the party is going to stand by and make sure
I think you`ll see a lot of fluidity, for example, at the Reagan Library
debate where I`m debates, a first debate and a second debate, based upon
size of stage.
What I think matters, Steve, is it`s so early, as I write about in "The
Queen", we won`t know who has the momentum until very late. Anyone of the
people that you just mentioned, with the exception of Peter King, quite
obviously, he`s not a serious candidate, could get momentum and could win a
lot of delegates in February. Anyone could get the nomination.
I think if you look at the Irish booking odds right now, Jeb Bush is a 7-1
favorite to win the presidency, Marco Rubio is 7-2, Hillary Clinton is the
prohibitive favorite at 10-11. That`s why I wrote "The Queen" because I
don`t want her to win and she`s really very much positioned to take
advantage of the splintered Republican field at this point.
But the Reince reform will bring everything together by Cleveland
convention next summer.
KORNACKI: But I wonder, there`s been objections from Republicans in these
early states. In New Hampshire, the traditional lead-off primary state
sending a letter to the Republican national committee two weeks ago saying
this is going to threaten our traditional role. It`s supposed to be New
Hampshire Republicans who thin the field, who look at the field who look at
this massive field and say, these are serious ones, these aren`t the
There is a new letter from 140 South Carolina Republicans, they wrote to
FOX News to RNC chairman Reince Priebus. They said that these rules would,
quote, "undercut the historical role of South Carolina and other early
states in the nominating process".
I wonder, do you think -- is there an issue here about, we always say that
the shift may be taking place from state-based primaries to a national
primary. Is that what these debate rules, what we`re seeing play out here?
It`s no longer so much about these individual states as it is about how the
candidates do in national polls?
HEWITT: You know, Steve, what the reason Reince Priebus is probably going
to be remembered as the most effective Republican National Committee
chairman in 50 years, there were some other good ones, is because of these
rules. They brought order out of chaos.
We know it`s going to go Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
We know on March 1st, Mike Huckabee is going to get a big pop, he`s going
to do very well in Arkansas. They moved their primary up, but it will be a
proportional allocation of delegates.
We know that John Kasich is going to win Ohio on March 15th. The Ohio
legislature moved it back to March 15th because that will be a winner-take-
all primary, the same day as Florida.
What Priebus brought was order and predictability so people like you and I
can analyze not the date on which events are going to happen, but who is
Now, I had Carly Fiorina in my studio for "The Hugh Hewitt Show" this past
Monday. She`s 1.8 percent in the polls. She`s going to be on a lot of
stages and a lot of people are watching Carly and saying thumb`s up.
Donald Trump will join me from Denver where I`m doing the Western
Conservative Leadership Summit, and the young conservative leadership
summit for a week.
I think they`re all going to be all over talk radio. And you`re right, you
mentioned in my intro, I`ve interviewed every one of these candidates.
They`re all impressive.
Dr. Carson, amazing story, inspiring man. Rand Paul has got the highest
floor, maybe the lowest ceiling right now, but the highest floor of any
I think as Ted Cruz pointed out today, we could be headed to an open
convention in Cleveland and as I write in "The Queen" Ted Cruz could beat
Hillary Clinton or he could lose 43 states. As I write in the Cruz -- in
"The Queen", Marco Rubio is Hillary Clinton`s worst nightmare. Jeb bush
has got affability plus.
It`s a great year for you and I in this business and I think the RNC is to
be commended for not making the process the subject, but in fact, the
people the subject. And that they`ll be able to focus on those stages, on
the crucial issue of Hillary`s server and national security, it will go
KORNACKI: Well, you mentioned the brokered convention, the dream I`ve had
for about 25 years now. We`ll see if this is actually the year.
Anyway, my thanks to radio host and one of the primary debate participants,
as we say, Hugh Hewitt -- appreciate you coming on this morning. Thank
HEWITT: Thank you, Steve. Good to be with you.
KORNACKI: All right. And coming up, a look at what is on the schedule in
South Carolina today. That is next.
KORNACKI: A busy weekend ahead in South Carolina. Among the events
scheduled, Emanuel AME`s first Sunday services since the shooting. More on
that here tomorrow morning.
And also much more straight ahead from Charleston, Melissa Harris-Perry,
she is coming up next.
Thank you for getting UP with us. Join us tomorrow morning, Sunday, 8:00
We`ll also be joined by South Carolina State Representative Doug Brannon.
He`s the Republican who says he is going to introduce legislation to take
down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol. We look forward
to talking to talking to him about that. Until then, have a great
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