THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
July 22, 2014
Guest: Nina Khrushcheva, Duvergne Gaines
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good morning, Chris. Thanks man.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. This is Friedrich
Engels. He was German. He lived in the 1800s. This is the more familiar
Karl Marx. We have Karl Marx? There he is. Yes, also German, also lived
in the 1800s.
And together, these two men, these two very, very hairy men, published
the "Communist Manifesto" in 1848.
Seventy years later, their idea of communism would spin into the
inspiration for the Russian Revolution of 1917, where Vladimir Lenin a
revolt against the czar and the czarist government in Russia. Within five
years of the Bolshevik Revolution, within five years of the Russian
Revolution, we had the USSR come into being, the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics. That was 1922.
And then communism basically had its heyday on earth thereafter. At
one point or another in the 20th century, the list of countries that ran on
a communist system of government was a really, really big list, right? The
Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Albania, Bulgaria, right on our doorstep in the western
hemisphere, of course, was Cuba. In Africa, the Middle East, and Central
Asia, there was Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea,
Mozambique, South Yemen, Somalia. In the far east, in Southeast Asia, of
course, there was Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, the big
Talk about red states, right? In the heyday of communism, there were
lots of communist countries not quite all over the world, but over really
big swaths of the world.
Turns out, though, that communism in practice is a pretty terrible way
to run countries. Send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In any event, the Soviet Union, itself, collapsed of its own weight in
the late 1980s. The Soviet Union was gone as an institution by the early
1990s. And today, there are only a handful of communist countries left in
the whole world.
There are, in fact, exactly five communist countries left on the face
of the Earth. Vietnam is still a communist country. And its neighbor,
Laos, is communist as well. North Korea is communist, among its many forms
of North Korean insanity. Cuba, of course, under Fidel and Raul Castro.
And still, the big one, China, the most populous nation on earth.
But that`s it. For the whole communist world, only five are left.
And the Soviet Union is no longer. There`s no longer an archipelago of
countries around the world for the Soviet Union to use to project itself as
a superpower the way it used to be. It`s just those five countries left.
And a funny thing happened on the way to the collapse of global
communism. Vladimir Putin was first elected prime minister of Russia in
1999. He became president soon thereafter, and then they made him prime
minister again, and now, he`s president again. Vladimir Putin has been in
power in Russia continuously for 15 straight years now.
And soon after he first came to power in Russia in 2001, Mr. Putin
declared that Russia could no longer afford to maintain its Soviet-era
superpower style-y system of outposts all over the world. Russia was
I mean, in what was left of the communist world, the old Soviet Union
had maintained spying posts. Electronic eves dropping bases in communist
Vietnam and in communist Cuba, spying on local radio traffic, spying on
local military actions, keeping in touch with their own spies that they had
working in those regions.
The base that they set up in Cuba, in outside of Havana, in Cuba, that
was only 150 miles from the coast of Florida, so it was particularly handy
for keeping an eye on, say, the U.S. space program at Cape Canaveral as
well as anything else they could pluck from the sky from the giant radar
rays that they set up just outside Havana.
But in 2001, 13 years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2001,
announced that the old Soviet, now Russian spying station in Vietnam, and
the one in Cuba, they would be closed, right? It`s a new world, right? A
new Russia. No reason to pay to keep something like that up and running
That was 2001. They announced those two would be closing down.
Then, this past week, Vladimir Putin took a trip to Cuba and
reportedly reconsidered that decision. This was the headline in "The New
York Times." "Russia plans to re-open post in Cuba for spying."
This was the BBC: "Russia to re-open spy base in Cuba." "Reuters" had
it as "Russia set to re-open Soviet era spy post on Cuba." Here`s "The
Miami-Herald", which takes this stuff very personally given their proximity
to Cuba and the large number of Cuban Americans in and around Miami,
"Russia will re-open spy base in Cuba." Here`s "The Guardian," not putting
too fine a point on it, "Russia to re-open spy base in Cuba as relations
with U.S. continue to sour."
Russia closed down two spying stations in 2001, the one in Cuba and
the one in Vietnam. Now, we get word that they are re-opening just the one
in Cuba, just the one that`s 150 miles off the Florida coast. Hmm. At
least that was the word that we got last week.
The deal to re-open the spying post in Cuba was reported in a Russian
newspaper called "Kommersant." Forgive my Russia, I think that`s how you
pronounce it. The "Kommersant" article cited multiple Russian security
forces in their piece that said the spy base was going to re-open. When
"The New York Times" followed up on the reporting in the Russian paper,
former Russian military officials told "The Times" that the Russian
military was extraordinarily interested in reactivating that Cuban base.
"Reuters" did follow-up reporting, too. They got a Russian security
source to confirm the report, "A framework agreement has been agreed."
When "The Guardian" followed up, newspaper from London, a Moscow-based
defense analyst told "The Guardian" that Russia reestablishing the base was
one more way for Russia, to, quote, "show Washington the middle finger",
particularly because of the U.S. pushing Russia on the issue of Ukraine.
So, this time last week, it really looked like this was going to
happen. I mean, Russian news sources breaking the news, multiple sources
talking about the Russian reasoning behind the deal. Russian sources
confirming that the deal was in place. Vladimir Putin had been in Cuba
meeting with Raul Castro, right? I mean, Russia is re-opening its spy base
in Cuba. That news broke on Wednesday of last week.
And then on Thursday of last week, Vladimir Putin took it back. About
12 hours before the news broke of the Malaysian airlines plane being shot
down over the Russian/Ukrainian war zone in eastern Ukraine, 12 hours
before that shoot-down, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that
actually Russia wouldn`t be re-opening that spy base in Cuba after all.
It`s very weird thing. Very weird thing with very weird timing that
ended up later getting overshadowed by all the news about the plane. Still
looking back at it now, it`s weird. Maybe, yes, the initial story was
misreported and all the other confirming sources that all those other
newspapers were able to put together, those sources were just going along
to get along, I guess?
It doesn`t feel like that kind of reporting and it doesn`t feel like
that kind of story. It feels like this idea of re-opening that spy base
off the coast of Florida, spy base, a Russian spy base in Cuba, it feels
like idea was a trial balloon. Floated to see what kind of reaction it
Or maybe they had decided they were going to do it but Vladimir Putin
just decided to change his mind.
But to flirt with that openly, to sort of uncork the genie of the good
old Cuban missile crisis, right, and the Russian staging just off the
Florida coast in Cuba, to bring all that back this year in 2014, that is a
heck of a trial balloon for a world that is supposedly, you know, putting
the Cold War behind us. It no longer feels like we`re putting the Cold War
behind us, does it?
Today in Brussels, foreign ministers from the European Union met to
discuss potential sanctions on Russia, like the U.S., the Europeans want
Russia to basically stop their war against Ukraine, to leave Ukraine alone
to its agreed upon international borders. To stop supporting the pro-
Russian separatists who`ve taken over parts of that country and who the
west is largely blaming for the shoot-down of the Malaysian airlines
passenger jet last week.
The Europeans did expand their list of Russians who they want to make
subject to sanctions when they met today. But they also delayed for a
couple more days any final list of options for what else they might do to
Russia. It`s the government of David Cameron who`s basically leading the
hardline faction, arguing for the strongest against Russia.
And beyond just pushing other countries to go along with the British
and U.S. hardline approach diplomatically. The Brits also today pulled
their own version of maybe re-opening the Cuban spy base. This was an
amazing turn of events today.
In 2006, there was an amazing and bizarre and terrible radioactive
poisoning case in London. You probably heard about it at the time. It got
a lot of international attention. It was basically an assassination by
radioactive means of a former Russian spy, who had fled Russia for the U.K.
after he basically became a whistleblower against Russia`s spy agency, what
used to be called the KGB.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: Now to a genuine mystery that sounds like
something out of the Cold War era. The search is on to find out who put
poison in the sushi that was eaten by a former Soviet spy and will he live
to tell about it?
NBC News correspondent Keith Miller reports tonight on a spy drama
that involves politics and poison.
KEITH MILLER, NBC NEWS: At this London hospital, armed guards are
keeping watch over the former Russian secret agent, along with a team of
doctors. There`s speculation he`s the victim of the dark art of political
espionage. Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with thallium, describe as
the toll of assassins. Less than a gram is fatal.
MARTIN MCCAULEY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: A highly skilled specialist in
toxicology who could produce this poison then train the person to use it.
That would point to the security services.
MILLER: Like Russia`s president, Vladimir Putin, Litvinenko was a
colonel in the KGB, then he defected, and worse, he talked. He wrote a
book linking Russia`s spy agency to domestic terror operation operations.
And recently, Litvinenko investigated the professional assassination of a
prominent Russian journalist.
November 1st at this sushi restaurant, Litvinenko met a contact who
gave him documents related to the case. Shortly afterward, he felt ill.
A Russian government spokesperson tells the allegations that it
carried out the poisoning nonsense, suggesting the former spy may have
Scotland Yard tonight launched an investigation that could take it all
the way to the Kremlin.
MASHA LIPMAN, CARNEGIE MOSCOW CENTER: Many of his former colleagues
probably have their personal scores against him, or may just hate him as
somebody who betrayed the agency and betrayed the country.
MILLER: Tonight, Litvinenko clings to life. His doctors give him a
50/50 chance of recovery.
Keith Miller, NBC News, London.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: That was the initial report on "NBC Nightly News" when the
story first happened in 2006. Turns out Alexander Litvinenko did not
recover. He died.
Turns out the radioactive poison that killed him was actually polonium
210, even weirder than the previous allegation there, and turns out it was
put in his tea, not in his sushi. And it turns out the Scotland Yard
investigation that could go all the way to the Kremlin -- well, it did no
such thing though he gave a death bed statement blaming Vladimir Putin
personally for ordering his assassination and even though British
authorities named a specific former KGB officer as the likely assailant and
said they wanted him extradited back to Britain.
That guy was never extradited from Russia, in fact, he`s a member of
parliament now in Russia. Vladimir Putin is still Russia`s president, and
the British foreign office just last year ruled that because of
international relations reasons, there could not be an inquest into whether
or not the Russian government had had a hand in that assassination on
British soil. They cited national security interests and just said that
the inquest into that assassination and whether or not the Russian
government ordered it, that just could not go forward.
And that decision was last year. But that was last year, and now,
what`s happening is the whole world is turning against Russia and against
Vladimir Putin. And so, today, the British government sent its foreign
minister to Brussels to try to talk Europe into the harshest possible
sanctions against Putin and his government and back at home, the British
government announced a reversal of that decision about looking into the
Litvinenko assassination and who did it and who ordered it.
The home secretary in Britain today announced, in fact, there will be
a new public inquiry into that killing on British soil, the one which the
murdered anti-KGB whistleblower said on his death bed that the man who
ordered his death was Vladimir Putin.
The world feels like it is turning on a slightly different axis when
it comes to Russia right now. The investigation of the plane shoot-down,
which the West has all but blamed on Russia now -- that investigation has
begun in earnest. The black boxes are going to Britain to be analyzed.
Refrigerated train containing bodies from the crash site has been moved
from the crash site. The Dutch say they will repackage the remains into
coffins and then load them on to a Hercules C-130 transport plane to fly
them back to the Netherlands.
The Dutch investigators on the ground, though, say they don`t have
nearly as many bodies as they expected to have. The pro-Russian
separatists announced they had shipped off 282 bodies on that train, but
the Dutch say they counted the bodies on that train and there were only 200
of them. Not 282 of them. And that means that the remains of nearly a
third of people who were on board the plane are still missing.
The White House said today that the U.S. intelligence community would
be releasing more information to back up their assertion that it was a
missile that took down that plane and it was a missile fired from territory
held by the pro-Russian separatists. They said they would release that
information. So far, actually, though, we just have more detailed versions
of that assertion from U.S. sources. We have no new data to help them
And as to the question of whether or not the plane crash debris is
going to prove at all useful to the investigation -- well, the on-the-
ground management of the crash site and the debris, itself, continues to
make that quite hard to believe.
Today, for example, we learned that for some inexplicable reason, the
cockpit of the crashed plane has been sawed in half while it laid there on
the ground in that field in eastern Ukraine. International monitors who
have finally gained full access to the Malaysia Airlines crash site in
eastern Ukraine said today that the Boeing 777`s cockpit inexplicably has
been sawed in half, while under the control of Russian-backed separatists.
Quote, "The cockpit apparently was cut in half with diesel-powered saws."
Sure, why not? Who could possibly object to that? Let`s make sure we
get to the bottom of this crime scene by sawing it in half before the
investigators get here.
Russia is widely accused of culpability in the downing of this plane.
Russia is widely acknowledged to be the only entity on earth with
sufficient sway over the separatists that they could not only tell them
what to do, they could stop the whole war if they wanted to.
Russia is also now increasingly being thrust into a corner in the
world. Isolated, disbelieved, punished, and back in an "us against the
West/us against the world" kind of stance, except this time they are doing
it without superpower status and without a communist world out there to
back them up.
Within the next 24 to 48 hours, Europe is probably going to push
Russia and push them really hard. What will that accomplish? Will that
war end? How will Russia respond to being pushed when they`re in the kind
of crouch that they`re in right now?
Hold that thought. We`ve got lots to come tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Russia must recognize
that no move on the geopolitical chess board, no zero sum game with the
West can offset the pain being felt by the passengers` families worldwide,
or the pain that Ukrainians are experiencing daily as a result of this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, accusing Russia
in engaging in a zero sum game with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.
On the ground, the cockpit of the clashed Malaysian airliner has
reportedly been sawed in half for some reason by the pro-Russian
separatists who control the ground there. The black boxes from that plane
are going to Britain to be analyzed. And the European foreign ministers
met to start edging toward new sanction to try to make Russia control the
separatists, to allow the investigation to go forward, and not incidentally
to stop the war in that region.
Joining us, Nina Khrushcheva. She`s a professor of international
affairs at New School University. She`s author of "The Lost Khrushchev: A
Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind." She`s also, I should mention,
the granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Professor, thanks very much for being back with us.
NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, THE NEW SCHOOL: Thank you.
MADDOW: The meeting today of European foreign ministers to talk about
further sanctions on Russia, the U.S. has been willing to go further in
that regard than the Europeans so far. If the Europeans because of this
disaster decide that they are going to take a much harder line, how will
that affect Russia`s behavior?
KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, I think, I hope they do because so far we only
heard the sanctions are going to be against, again, individual people, but
not against various sectors of Russian economy which I think that should
go, if not further. We`ll see what happens on Thursday when they actually
find an outcome. The actual outcome would be announced.
I think it`s going to be very difficult for Putin to maintain very
kind of, as you very well-pointed out in your introduction, the KGB facade
he has, with his steely eyes and incredible stare, because the economy,
also, it`s the economy stupid. You know, Russians really, they`re no
longer living in (INAUDIBLE) -- once again, part of your introduction is
you showed communist countries. (INAUDIBLE) economy is good. North Korea
is great. You`re poor, but you actually, that`s what your life is because
it`s for the great state.
And Russia, a lot of it was for the great state. But, you know,
vacations, and skiing in Alps, something Russians are really accustom to in
the last 15, 20 years. So, we`ll see how far that goes. I`m personally
thinking that the further the sanction can go, the less gaze Putin will
MADDOW: In terms of his options and his room to maneuver, obviously
what the west wants here in some ways is very short-term gains. A lot of
reporting today about why the foreign ministers, the Europeans delayed
their announcement basically for a couple days is to hope that they can get
cooperation for two more days of good onsite investigation for the crash.
So, some of it is very short-term.
Some of it is long-term. Leave Ukraine alone. Let Ukraine have its
internationally respected borders, essentially telling Russia to get back
on the side of the rest of the world with regard to that conflict. Is that
even within the realm of possibility?
KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, that`s my point. I mean, it has been going on for
KHRUSHCHEVA: You know, there`s always this, oh, we`re going to do
this, but we first wait what your reaction will be. Well, we waited what
his reaction has been, and it hasn`t been. I mean, we think, on this show,
talked about his response to the tragedy. And his response to the tragedy
was almost nonexistent and Russians are so priding themselves in the great
spirit, and the great soul, so compassionate. Putin talks about the
Barack Obama went and signed the condolences book at the Dutch embassy
in Washington, D.C. Did Putin go and sign condolences book in Moscow?
So I don`t really know whether all this expectation sort of -- it`s
more of a case of wishful thinking because they still hope Putin is on the
side of the world. I`m not sure it`s reversible anymore. I think he needs
to be punished.
MADDOW: In terms of what would make the most difference to him, are
the Europeans looking in the right direction? Should the United States,
which I think has been a little bit ahead of Europe on these issues, be
pushing in a different direction or toward different types of things that
would have a bigger effect on him?
KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, I think, let`s talk about World Cup 2018. I mean,
after what happened, are we really seriously thinking that that`s really a
good opportunity for Russia to give that great international --
MADDOW: As a host, yes.
KHRUSHCHEVA: Let`s just start with this, then let`s start you
mentioned the sanctions, you know, the French actually still going on with
their selling, the two missiles to Russia, despite what happened. Russians
were involved directly or indirectly in the crash and the firing of that
missile. So, let`s sell them another one so they can fire it again.
So I think it`s a lot of inconsistencies that are happening, and I
think Putin thrives on that because, and once -- the point that you made
that on one hand, they`re opening a spy base in Cuba, but, oh, no, we`re
actually not opening. Putin is excellent in this because he makes the
world scattered while trying to figure out what it is he`s thinking while
he`s doing what he`s doing.
MADDOW: He stays the center and he therefore, stays in control.
Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at The New School
-- thank you for being here again. I appreciate it. Thanks.
KHRUSHCHEVA: Thank you very much.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more ahead tonight, including two
big and sort of confusing federal court rulings today.
We`ve also got a feature tonight on spy glasses. Not like these ones,
but like literally glasses that have hidden cameras in them and how they
are functioning right now in American politics. It`s really funny.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: There are two things going on in the courts right now that
First is about Arizona. We reported last night that a federal appeals
court for the first time in recent years had stopped a planned lethal
injection. The court told the state of Arizona that it could not go ahead
with their plans to kill an Arizona prisoner tomorrow unless the state
disclosed the source of the drugs they wanted to use to kill him and the
medical training of the team they were going to use for the execution team.
That was the first time a federal appeals court had tried to force a state
to make those disclosures if they wanted to kill a prisoner using those
kinds of drugs.
Well, today, the United States Supreme Court without comment
overturned that ruling, and that execution is now scheduled to go ahead at
10:00 a.m. tomorrow in Arizona. There`s no telling exactly what will
happen now in the increasingly chaotic lethal injection system in our
system. It`s chaotic both logistically and legally now.
But that Arizona execution is planned for tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. local
time, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, after the Supreme Court gave the green light
Also today, within a couple of hours, two different federal appeals
courts issued contradictory rulings today on Obamacare. A D.C. circuit
court ruling said that the whole federal exchange system, healthcare.gov,
the whole federal exchange system that`s in use in 27 states, basically has
to be dismantled. And that would throw the entire U.S. health care system
Then, two hours later, a fourth circuit court ruling out of Virginia,
so this is a court ruling at the same level as that earlier decision,
fourth circuit court just a couple of hours later ruled on the same issue
and ruled actually the law is just fine as it is. Ta-da! Clear as mud.
The potentially devastating ruling, the earlier one, that would be
appealed by the government in any case and an appeal is under way. But the
simultaneous and opposite ruling from another court that`s at the same
level, that also means that this is going to take a long while to sort out.
One clue that this is not at all settled today was that Wall Street
basically didn`t react at all to a ruling that on its face would have
dismantled the United States health care system.
Even if this thing doesn`t two to the Supreme Court, goes straight to
the Supreme Court, it`s going to take a while to sort its way out. We will
know more about the strategy on the appeals in that issue in coming days.
It`s going to be an important one.
Watch this space.
MADDOW: The great city of New Orleans is a singular thing. They have
their own traditions. New Orleans and the people who live there have a
certain way of doing things. Some of it involves parades. Some of it
involves full brass bands. Some of it involves those two things together.
You can probably recognize this as a New Orleans style jazz funeral.
It`s one of the things the city is known more. Jazz funeral is sort of
more celebration than somber. It`s basically a parade with a marching band
and dancers that escort the casket and the mourners to and from the funeral
And today in New Orleans` main square, in Jackson Square, which is the
French Quarter, there was a big funeral procession which itself is not
uncommon for the city. But this was a funeral procession that featured,
quote, "a casket with a real aborted baby." At around 10:00 a.m. this
morning, antiabortion protesters gathered in Jackson Square to hold a mock
funeral for a fetus.
A reporter with a magazine called "The NOLA Defender" described the
scene this way. "Protesters gathered around a small white box with a very
large fetus in it performing a wake with crying attendants forming a line
to place carnations around the casket."
The event required a sizable police presence. It was put on today by
a group called Operation Save America. There`s lots of antiabortion groups
in this country, but the Save America folks are known for personally
targeting and basically terrorizing people who work or volunteer at
facilities that provide abortions.
This group has descended on New Orleans this week for basically a
week-long antiabortion series of actions. On Sunday, they interrupted
services at a local Unitarian church, shouting at the congregation in the
middle of a moment of silence.
Weirdly, the day they stormed in on the Unitarians to disrupt their
church service, that same day, Operation Save America was honored by the
city of New Orleans. They posted an image on their Facebook page showing a
certificate from the mayor`s office recognizing them for outstanding
service to the city of New Orleans. As you can see, the certificate is
made out to the Reverend Flip Benham.
Why is the city of New Orleans welcoming and honoring this guy? In
2011, I should tell you, Flip Benham was found guilty of stalking a doctor
in North Carolina after distributing wanted posters that publicized the
doctor`s name and address, a local abortion provider.
And those are the same kind of tactics his group brought to New
Orleans this week. On Saturday, protesters from the Flip Benham group
targeted the home of a local abortion provider. The home, again, they
handed out wanted posters with doctor`s photo and name on it. Again, they
were at his home.
In addition to going after people and their families at their houses,
the group has also been protesting outside of two different health centers
in the New Orleans area. The group has also targeted the location and
construction company that`s working on a new clinic in the city to be run
by Planned Parenthood.
The group says their goal is to make sure that that clinic is never
able to open and they hope to harass the contractors enough to make that
New Orleans Police Department has naturally been on high alert this
week, putting in lots of overtime, putting more officers on patrol to
monitor the group. It`s not like officers in New Orleans don`t have better
things to do, but they`re in part protecting the people whose homes are
being targeted by these protesters.
After news broke today about the city of New Orleans officially
welcoming the convicted stalker and his wanted poster protest group, we
spoke with Mayor Mitch Landrieu`s office today, and the mayor`s office told
us that actually that certificate had been issued in error. They regret
On the ground in New Orleans, it`s not just the cops who have geared
up, the Feminist Majority Foundation has also been training volunteers to
be legal observers and to act as escorts for patients who are getting --
trying to get services at these targeted clinics.
Joining us now from New Orleans is Duvergne Gaines. She`s the
national clinic access project director the Feminist Majority Foundation
who`s been doing that work.
Ms. Gains, thanks very much for being with us. Pleasure to have you
DUVERGNE GAINES, FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION: Thank you for having
MADDOW: So what have you seen? I know you`ve been in New Orleans
this week as an observer. What did you expect to see and what`s actually
GAINES: Well, as you said, it`s really more of the same. They`re
targeting this physician, local physician, at her home. They`ve targeted
her private OB/GYN office outside of Tulane`s campus. They`ve also
targeted the clinic where she works. This is stalking.
They`ve also targeted the clinics, one in Metairie, one here in New
Orleans. Their neighborhood campaign on Saturday at the doctor`s home here
in New Orleans was really outrageous.
The neighbors were enraged. It was loud. It was disruptive. There
were children playing on the lawn, and then these outsiders from out of
state, these extremists come in, import these really terroristic tactics to
intimidate providers out of providing comprehensive reproductive health
care for women here.
MADDOW: I know at the Feminist Majority Foundation, you sort of
monitor these groups and try to stay on top of what they`re doing and their
tactics and who they`re targeting. Do you have any sense of why they`re
targeting New Orleans this week, specifically, and if this is part of a
series, if they`re going somewhere else after this?
GAINES: Well, they are going to Jackson after this. One of them is
going to be standing trial in Jackson for interference with lawful
business, the clinic there.
I think the state legislature and governor provided an open invitation
to this group by signing a rash of you -- passing a rash of legislation to
restrict women`s reproductive rights in this state and I think the
archbishop here that`s personally targeted and led a campaign against
Planned Parenthood and any contractor or business that does business with
this clinic and building site in New Orleans, I think they`re both
responsible for really helping pave the way and invite this kind of an
extremist group to come to this town and hold these disruptive
MADDOW: Duvergne, seeing the protesters as you said not just go to
the clinic but also to the private OB/GYN office of this doctor, to go to
the doctor`s home, makes me think about the buffer zone law that was struck
down by the Supreme Court. Obviously, people don`t have the kind of
protection at their homes, but has that been making a difference in terms
of the way they`re targeting clinics, facilities, specifically?
GAINES: Absolutely. I think they are more emboldened than ever
before and they see that Supreme Court decision and one of the leaders here
even said something as if, you know, I`m not a protester, almost sounded
like it came from the McCullen decision which we obviously don`t agree
These aren`t just sidewalk counselors, unfortunately. These are
extremists. We know that Scott Roeder targeted the clinic in Wichita
acting as a sidewalk counselor before he plotted and carried out the murder
of Dr. Tiller.
In this case, that decision, they feel as though nothing can stop them
now from doing whatever they want. Luckily, the New Orleans Police
Department who has such precious resources that should be devoted to
addressing the real crimes here in this community, has kept law and order
here and been very responsive to the facilities. The same is true of
MADDOW: Duvergne Gaines, Feminist Majority Foundation, who`s been on
the scene this week in New Orleans in the middle of all these protests --
Duvergne, thanks for helping us understand. I appreciate it.
GAINES: Thank you so much.
MADDOW: All right. Much more ahead, including the importance of a
1980s white sports car that turns into a submarine.
MADDOW: Don`t worry, when he says, "can you swim in", it turns out
she doesn`t really need to know how to swim. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you swim?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: See, she`s very scared. They`re into the water. But don`t
worry because he flips over the thing on the dash.
What`s that? And the car turns into a submarine. Yep. So
If there was anything at all redeeming about the Cold War in 50 years
of Cold War standoff between West and the Soviet Union, it had to be the
spy fiction of the era, specifically fictional spy craft. James Bond
movies, alone, gave us watches that shot out grappling hooks from "The
World is Not Enough." The same one that had the bag pipes that turned into
a frame thrower.
In "Diamonds are Forever," he had fake fingerprints. In
"Thunderball", he had a jet pack. In "License to Kill", they even had the
gadget maker, himself, in a fake mustache and start talking into a corn
broom that was a walkie-talkie.
The battle days of East versus West, spy craft in the movies.
But now that we`ve all lived long enough on earth, some of that spy
craft gadgetry is not only real, but you can pick it up at the local mall
and own it yourself. Specifically, spy glasses with a hidden camera
mounted in the hinge, and they win. And they`re being used, it turns out,
by young Republicans in a way that you would have never imagined.
We have the evidence next. Naturally, on tape, and it turns out it`s
really funny. And that story`s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over from stop to "rec". It`s going to vibrate
multiple times, about three times. Once it does that, once it does that,
if you look at the screen, you`re going to see a red dot and you`re going
to see the time stamps moving. That means it`s recording video right now.
And whatever you look at it, it`s going to record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That`s a staffer for the Michigan Republican party teaching
somebody how to use these. Super secret, they will never catch you eye
glasses that have a video camera hidden inside the hinge. Record away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s ready to record. You put it in your pocket.
Then you -- well, you get out of your car and you go up and you go to
whatever event you`re at and say hi, you just give some story and you just
try to blend in and say yeah, I saw it on Facebook, I`m interested in
seeing the next governor, blah, blah, blah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: OK, young Michigan Republican, move the button over to
record, stroll into the Democratic campaign event, tell everybody you heard
about it on Facebook, blah, blah, blah. What could go wrong, right?
Turns out one of you could leave behind a memory card containing your
super secret spy video at a Democratic Party meeting that you tried to
Last week, Michigan Democrats put out a meeting showing the state`s
Republican spies at work, wearing their spy glasses deep undercover at
fund-raisers for the Democratic candidate for Michigan governor who`s named
Mark Schauer. The Democrats said they discovered this spy footage on a
memory card from the spy glasses camera that the Republican spies
accidently left behind at a Democratic meeting they snuck into.
Once their eye glass camera-wearing spies were outed, interestingly
the Michigan Republican Party didn`t deny that they had been doing this.
Michigan Republican Party will not return our calls but did tell the
Detroit News, people use different ways to get the footage of candidates.
This is just a newer approach.
So, they`re basically saying, of course we`re spying, politics isn`t
And in Michigan, if you`re a Democratic candidate for office, the
Republicans are apparently going to send James Bond and Jane Bond
undercover to your events to eat your pineapple. Watch this. This is spy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel weird because, like, no one else is
eating. I just want pineapple.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We went to an event last weekend actually, and
they were talking at it then.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We literally went online and we both wanted to
go to a Mark Schauer, we just Googled it and it came right up.
We just Googled "Mark Schauer event", and there`s a Facebook event,
too. So you guys sure make it easy, which is awesome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, that lady is freaking me out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
I think she`s on to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so, too, but I don`t think anyone else
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yes, that lady is on to you. The entire state is on to you.
When the news broke last week about Michigan running a Republican spy
ring with eye glass mounted hidden cameras, when the news broke of that
last week, we only had the video of the Republican spies going to a single
Democratic event. Since then Michigan Democrats sent us the tape from all
of the footage from the camera.
And you can tell from the video these Republican trackers have been
laboring away at the spying thing for months. They didn`t just go to one
event for one candidate. They went to event after event wearing their spy
gear for Democratic candidates all across the state. They`ve been working
really hard at this. The spying ring is taking up a lot of the state
Republican party`s time. A lot of effort.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t believe how long it took you guys to do
that transcribing the other day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s very meticulous. He wants to get every word.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that`s annoying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was also very hard because the sound quality
wasn`t very good because he did it on his phone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This cord thing is really hot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Spying is hard. You think it`s just make up some story about
Facebook. It`s hard work. You have to take special care to ask your
gotcha questions in just the right way. It`s hard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know if I want to ask it past tense or
present. Like he wants me to ask the Obamacare one again. But he wants me
to ask, like, Mike Rogers voted against it, would you?
Should I put it like "Would you have" or "would you"?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And then, after you saw the whole past tense, present tense,
would-you-have/would-you dilemma, then you have to stand there and wait for
the candidate to answer for like a hundred years, then after all that, you
have to second guess yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did I sound, like, not staged? I tried to make
it sound like, oh, like, it`s little me, like, you`re just representing me,
like. I was like, hey, what`s up? I`m not press. Do you think they knew?
Do you think they knew something was up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: On the one hand, you look at this footage and think wow,
Michigan, you really are the weirdest Republican Party in the country and
you keep proving it again and again. On the other hand, you kind of have
to feel for the Republican kids basically who are being told this is the
important work of politics that their Republican Party needs them to do.
Instead of doing normal political work, they have the youngest
staffers out on the frozen sidewalks of Michigan, not trying to convince
anybody to join the Republican Party or register to vote or something, they
have them acting, right, trying to get the right tense for the questions,
trying to ask the questions so they don`t sound staged. And they`re out
there dog paddling in the water holes of suburban Detroit, staring down a
wall of men in blue blazers, pretending to not be a spy. They`re making
fake small talk with the guy that is only the candidate`s friend.
And oh, wait, here comes the candidate himself. Now, now, ask him the
tough question now. Get it right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing this summer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am actually working up north in a marine office.
And I go out in July. I go to school in Scotland next year. So busy
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to help us at all, (INAUDIBLE), my
campaign manager. I`m sure like even a couple of weeks that you`re here in
the summer. We`d love to have you on board (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, fantastic. I would love to help, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very cool.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to meet you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Nice to meet you? Nice to meet you? That`s all you got out
This is what Republican political work is like in Michigan now. It`s
embarrassing and it ends with you having to run away, cursing yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See you man, I got to go.
Hi, there. I got to go. Bye-bye. Good night.
What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You young Michigan Republican worker, walking around with
those spy glasses on your face, blending in, talking with guys in blazers,
chickening out when you do meet the candidate. Then, there`s that lady in
the kitchen who`s so onto you, you can`t even say you want to bite a
pineapple without ending up in some Democratic ad somewhere. The cord
thing is hot, your wires are showing, the cards are all the video is
falling out of your pocket and you`re leaving it behind and you`re busted.
Young Michigan Republican Party workers, we too wish you could turn
off those spy glasses and say something. We have one more clip of them
where she says she really wants to turn off those glasses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re like, how did you know? Facebook? I
really want to turn this off so I can say something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just turn it off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Just turn it off.
Young Michigan Republican party workers, we too wish you could turn
them off and say something. That`s why we called you for comment about
1,853 million times over the past few days. We can tell that this is sad
work and you have your own side of the story to explain about what it`s
like to be asked by the Republican party of Michigan to strap on a spy
camera and do this stuffs your political work. We can tell you have your
own side of the story. We would love to hear it.
That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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