tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 22, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
as a podcast. there is our brand new podcast "why is this happening." it's on the rule of law in the era of donald trump featuring kate shaw who also happens to be my wife. it is a fun one. that's all for this evening. good evening, rachel. >> greatest lawyer of her generation, endorsed by the entire prime time line-up. well done, my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. this has been another one of those days when news has been breaking in big crash iing wave. south korean president came to the white house today, whereupon president trump announced that the planned summit between him and the dictator of north korea might not happen now. supposed to happen three weeks from today, but now it may be won't happen at all. okay. the republican controlled
congress tonight has voted to repeal many of the regulations passed after the wall street collapse in 2008. ten years down the road from that disaster, the safety features put in place to protect the country from any similar wall street crash in the future, those safety measures will now in large part be stripped away. congress passed this repeal literally on the same day it was reported that the big banks in this country just had their most profitable quarter ever. so it's not like the banks needed relief from the onerous regulation here that was holding them back. they're doing better than ever. congress still felt the need to do even more. as a nation, we will saw the seat belts out of the cars and see what happens. president trump is expected to sign the bill, of course. the distant roar you hear is not
peepers looking for dates. those are champagne corks hitting the ceiling at every firm on wall street. hold onto your wallet for this one. the president's legal jeopardy may have taken a leap forward tonight with news first broken in the "new york times" that there is yet another new cooperating witness in the investigation that has been circling the president, his associates and his campaign. this new cooperating witness is someone who may be able to shine a light on some dark places the white house is probably not psyched to have illuminated. this is an important story. it's a short piece run in the "new york times." the "new york times" reporters were able to get this story because they were there at a courthouse in albany, new york, in a case that has not been on the national radar at all. what happened in that courtroom today in a 20-minute hearing has big national implications including for the president. the story is sort of incredible. the prevailing theory of the
president's legal jeopardy, the potential legal jeopardy for the president has long been driven by the prospects of who might eventually be induced by prosecutors to cooperate with them, to tell prosecutor what is they know about interactions and involvement between the president and russia before, during or after the time when russia was intervening in the 2016 presidential election to help trump win. paul manafort is obviously one bright link between the trump campaign and russia. he had been a pro russia lobbyist and consultant for more than a decade right up to the moment when he somewhat inexplicably started running donald trump's campaign for free. his personal financial ties to the former soviet union, the financial circumstances around his time on the trump campaign, the business dealings involving russians that appear to have overlapped with his tenure on the donald trump campaign, that is all potentially very rich territory for prosecutors who
are looking at the president and his campaign. but thus far, paul manafort is not cooperating with prosecutors. he has plead not guilty. he is fighting the multiple felony charges brought against him in multiple federal jurisdictions. he's due on trial in his first case in just a few weeks. manafort could potentially be a really big problem for the president if he flipped, but manafort hasn't flipped. the other person who is potentially an even bigger problem for the president is the president's long time personal attorney, a long time trump organization executive named michael cohen. unlike paul manafort, michael cohen has not been charged with anything, but there is an ongoing federal criminal inquiry involving mr. cohen which has been unfolding in plain view in the federal courthouse in new york city. michael cohen's office and home and hotel room and safety deposit box were all searched by federal agents. a special master has been reviewing boxes of documents
seized from mr. cohen and as many as a dozen electronic devices that the agents took as well. that special master is determining if any of those seized documents need to be kept away from prosecutors because they represent confidential attorney/client communications. thus far it doesn't seem like that determination has been this tough. the special master has already started handing over multiple boxes of documents to the federal prosecutors handing this investigation into michael cohen. michael cohen is known to have pursued hush money deals for the president for multiple women who have claimed to have had affairs with him. michael cohen is known to have spear headed the secret pursuit of a major russian real estate deal for the trump organization during the presidential campaign, one that reportedly included a financing deal with a sanctioned government controlled russian bank and direct communications with the kremlin to try to move the project forward. michael cohen is known to have been a conduit for years for money from the former soviet
union into trump real estate projects, both in new york and around the world. of all the people in trump world, michael cohen flipping to cooperate with prosecutors in an investigation into donald trump and his campaign's ties to russia, that would likely be a very harrowing prospect for the white house, maybe even more harrowing than the prospect of paul manafort flipping. michael cohen has loudly proclaimed himself to be impenetratably loyal to donald trump. he hasn't even himself thus far been charged with any crimes. that's important because that's the leverage prosecutors have to get a reluctant witness to cooperate with the prosecution. the way they get you to flip is by getting the good s on you, upping the amount of legal jeopardy you yourself are in. then they hoist you up on a
proverbial cliff, they dangle you over the edge, they show you the immense legal threat you are facing personally. then they tell you, but you know we can basically make that threat go away if you'll just agree to talk. tonight michael cohen started to dangle over the edge of that proverbial cliff. this is the headline in the times. michael cohen's business partner agrees to cooperate as part of plea deal. quote, a significant business partner of michael d. cohen has quietly agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure mr. cohen to work with the special counsel examining russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. under the agreement, the partner known as gene freedman will avoid jail time himself, but he will assist government prosecutors in state or federal
investigations. the taxi business in new york has been a foundation of michael cohen's business career for years. no offense intended, but the taxi business in new york is also a notoriously mobbed up business. and this man gene freedman who has just agreed to flip and cooperate with prosecutors, he was michael cohen's main connection to that notoriously mobbed up business. mr. feedman of late has been in a ton of legal trouble himself. mr. friedman has been michael cohen's partner in the taxi bids for years even after new york city regulators banned mr. friedman last year from continuing to manage medallions. mr. friedman was disbarred as a lawyer earlier this month, accused of failing to pay more than 5 million dollar in taxes. he faced four counts of criminal tax fraud and one of grand
larce larceny, all felonies, each carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 25 years in prison. he's disbarred. he is banned from the business. he was facing potentially 125 years in prison. now that he's taken this deal to cooperate, he has plead guilty to a single count of evading only $50,000 worth of taxes. if he fulfills the terms of his agreement, he's looking at no jail time at all, just probation as long as he tells them everything he knows. that kind of bargain makes it clear why mr. friedman is cooperating now. but mr. friedman is apparently in all that legal trouble, at least indirectly stemming from the years that he was in business with michael cohen. and there's a live federal investigation already against michael cohen. if michael cohen ends up deciding that his own legal
jeopardy is too overwhelming, if he ends up himself cooperating with prosecutors in the investigation into the trump campaign and president trump, then katie bar the door, michael cohen cooperating? that would be a very big deal. who could possibly pose a greater danger to president trump in terms of his own legal liability than michael cohen as a cooperator with prosecutors? is there anybody who might pose a greater danger to him in terms of what cohen's been involved in with trump? the possibility of him cooperating with prosecutors just got much more real tonight in an out of the way courtroom in albany, new york, with this plea deal with his partner. on top of all of that, there is james clapper.
james clapper has written a new book called "facts and fears kwktfears." quote, the time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. that's the time to listen to every fear you could imagine. when you have collected all the facts and all the fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead. clapper uses that quote and takes it as his title for his book in part to explain why he has chosen to write a book. he says as i left government service i had a decision to make. i had not planned to write anything. but after experiencing the election, the unprecedented russian interference in our political process and the behavior by and impact of the trump administration, i changed my mind. he says, quote, i think the catalyst was the stark visceral realization of seeing the fundamental pillars of our country being undermined both by
the russians and by the president. this shook me. i should tell you james clapper then goes on to say some absolutely remarkable things about the sitting president of the united states. i will quote you what he says about president trump in just a moment. it will curl your hair. the news that james clapper makes in this new book is remarkable not just because of the position he's taking and the observations he's making. what's remarkable about the news that he's making in this new book is remarkable because of what he is in a position to know. clapper was director of national intelligence under president obama. he's only the fourth person to have ever held that job created after 9/11. he took that job in 2010 and held it until january 2017. jim clapper held the intelligence director job for longer than all three people who had it before him combined. clapper was there at the head of the intelligence community for all of the intelligence scandals
and stories you remember for most of the last decade, edward snowden and chelsea manning and the raid that killed osama bin laden and nsa spying. you get a detailed explanation from clapper as to what went wrong when he said the nsa wasn't collecting data on millions of americans when in fact it was. he gives his whole explanation about what went wrong there. before he was director of national intelligence, james clapper was running a different intelligence agency which put him in a position to be involved with the disastrous failure of the iraq war bush said there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq when there aren't. when clapper was head of the intelligence agency, that agency
was caught up in a huge national scandal in pursuit of prisoners of war and service members long listed as missing in action long after the vietnam war. james clapper has been there for all of it. he is a controversial figure in lots of different circles for lots of different reasons because he's been at least tangentially and centrally involved in just about every intelligence story that has made the news in the last 30 years. but in this new book, james clapper is scathing about president trump, which is remarkable itself coming from a career nonpartisan military and intel guy who has serve ed unde every president since john f. kennedy. listen to this. this comes right at the end of the book. the last giant intelligence story and scandal that clapper
was right in the middle of things for was the russian attack on the predictielection. the book explains in great detail what the intelligence community new about the russian attack, how they responded, what decisions were made while the attack was underway while president obama was still president. clapper left the job as national intelligence director on the day of trump's inauguration. in the intelligence community assessment that clapper released in january before trump was inaugur inaugurated, you'll remember that russia had attacked the election specifically to try to help donald trump win, but the intelligence community didn't try to assess whether or not the russian attack worked, whether they actually succeeded in gi g i -- giving trump the win when he otherwise would have lost. that's where the intelligence
community's official assessment left off just as james clapper was leaving office. now that he is out of government service and a private citizen, james clapper is ready to say what he really thinks on that front and what he saw happen. check this out. by may 2017 when james comey was fired as fbi director, we had learned that the russian operation had been even more expansive than the intelligence community had assessed in january. we knew now that the russians had thousands of twitter accounts and tens of thousands of bots that posted more than a million tweets. they posted more than a thousand videos on youtube with days of streaming content. facebook said russian contact reached 126 million of its american users, which is an astonishing number considering only 139 million americans voted. i testified that the i.c. did not attempt to assess whether the russian influence campaign impacted the results of the
election. as a private citizen, i have no doubt they influenced at least some voters. looking at the savvy ways russians targeted specific voter groups, for instance buying ads on facebook promoting clinton's support of the black lives matter movement but ensuring the ads ran only on the pages of white conservative voters in swing states. clapper concludes, of course the russian effort affected the outcome of the election surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a trump win. to conclude otherwise stresses logic to the breaking points.
less than 80,000 votes in three key states swung the election. i ha the immediate past director of national intelligence who was director of national intelligence during the russian attack on the election says he has no doubt that the russian attack, quote, swung the election to a trump win. that means that the immediate past director of national intelligence believes that donald trump is only president because of a successful foreign intelligence operation to make him president. as for the question of whether or not the president's campaign benefitted from that operation just by dumb luck or whether they were in on it in some way, here's what james clapper says now. quote, as the investigations have advanced the specter of collusion has dominated the
discussion. when i left office, i'd seen no smoking gun evidence that the russian government and the trump campaign were in substantive coordination of their efforts. i didn't learn about the june 9 trump tower meeting to discuss dirt on hillary and sanctions against wealthy russians. i didn't learn about that until i was firmly retired. what i did see as dni is that the russians and the campaign seemed to employ strikingly parallel messaging in social media posts and public statements, effectively complementing each other to great effect with no attempt to hide it. that combined effort seemed to go well beyond candidate trump's calling on a foreign power to find 30,000 missing e-mails belonging to his political opponent or his praise for wikileaks. the russians would repeat, amplify and embellish that claim. when the russians promulgated a
conspiracy theory about her, trump would repeat it at campaign rallies and on twitter. whether secretly coordinated or not, this parallelism constituted a putative team effort by the russian government and the trump campaign. he served as director of national intelligence for 6 1/2 years including for the duration of the russian attack on the 2016 election. he says that the russian attack did sway the election, that donald trump would not be president but for that attack. and he says the trump campaign helped in the attack. he calls it a putative team effort. james clapper joins us next. can make you feel unstoppable. but mania, such as unusual changes in your mood, activity or energy levels, can leave you on shaky ground.
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that's a good one. [ chuckles ] download the xfinity my account app and set a password you can easily remember. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. the director of national intelligence for nearly seven years under president obama was james clapper. director of national intelligence is a very important role. it's not always a high profile one, though. it's not a great way to get famous. the reason james clapper has become quite famous since leaving that job is because, at
least i think it's because he's not a diplomat. that's the title of one of the chapters in his new book. not a diplomat. in his public remarks and congressional testimony since leaving that very important behind the scenes job, jim clapper has made a habit of saying important and surprising things in a blunt way, in a way that sometimes surprises the people who are asking him questions. >> let me start with the president's tweets yesterday, this idea that maybe president obama ordered an illegal wiretap of his offices. at this point you can't confirm or deny whether that exists? >> i can deny it. >> there is no fisa court order. >> not to my knowledge. >> of anything at trump tower? >> no. >> that's an important revelation at this point. >> over the spring of 2016, multiple european allies passed on additional information to the united states about contacts between the trump campaign and
russians. is this accurate? >> yes, it is. and it's also quite sensitive. >> okay. let me ask you this -- >> the specifics are quite sensitive. >> i think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case office vladimir putin is. he knows how to handle an asset. and that's what he's doing with the president. >> you're saying russia is handling president trump as an asset? >> that's the appearance to me. >> joining me now is james clapper, the former director of national intelligence, the author of "facts and fears" which is just out tonight. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> let me ask you about what i see -- the part where i got to in your book where i felt like i had to rush out and go into the
pu bullpen where my staff works and read it out loud. that assessment does not say whether the russian interference had any impact on the election's outcome. the intelligence community has been very clear they didn't try to assess that. but in your book you say that the russian attack did affect the outcome of the election. it did, in effect, elect trump. why do you feel like you can say that? >> well, first of all, the intelligence community is is not formally chatt lly chartered to public opinion or voter decisions or anything like that in the united states. that's beyond our charter, beyond our capabilities, beyond our authority. we didn't assess that. the only thing we said that even touched on it was that we saw no evidence of meddling with voter tallies. not to say there wasn't any, but we just didn't see any evidence
of it. after we did this assessment and i left the government and having understanding of the magnitude, the massive evident that the -- effort that the russians made to interfere and influence the outcome of the election, and as you outlined in your opening monologue on the book, when you consider the fact that the election was settled in less than 80,000 votes in three key states which the russians targeted, it just stretched logic to me that it didn't have a huge impact on the election. the second point i should make. this is not an indictment of anyone who voted for president trump. what this is an indictment of and what i think should be the focus here is the threat posed by russia, who is bent on undermining our fundamental
system. they were eminently successful, i believe, in the election of 2016. >> you say, page 349 of the book, as summer led into fall, 2016, i'd begun to meet with a small group of security leaders, the cia director, homeland security secretary and white house staff. we agreed that russia was behind an aggressive multifaceted influence campaign using all the largest social media platforms and an influx of russian money at least for buying advertisements, perhaps even haund laundered and funneled into campaigns. i was following you all along working on the largest social media platforms. this idea that russian money was part of the attack and was potentially significant is new to me. what do you mean by that? >> well, the money they
invested, although in the scheme of things not huge amounts, but the advertising they purchased and this kind of thing wasn't money like bribing people or that sort of thing. i meant it in terms of the money they expended to promulgate their views and to focus on specific targeted groups in this country, which basically exploited the polarization that existed. we were a ripe target for this. the amounts weren't huge. but they were effectively employed. i think you get another insight into that. i sort of felt like the indictments that were made public in february by special counsel mueller about the 13 russians and what the internet research agency did gives you another vignette into what this was about and what the russians were doing. >> the reason that the idea of
money being part of the campaign is of particular interest now is because of the idea that money is one of the things that prosecutors are very good at tracking. that we've gotten good as an intelligence community and as a law enforcement community in this country is following dollars. >> that's a favorite slogan in intelligence, is follow the money, whether it's for terrorists, which ultimately rely on money or lots of other nefarious activity that goes on in one way or another are going to be buttressed by financial support. >> we'll be right back. paying too much for insurance you don't even understand? well, esurance makes it simple and affordable. in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved an average of $412.
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this is from the new book "facts and fears" by james clapper, former director of national intelligence. this is page 399. i served 34 years in the military, 16 years as a civilian in government, six years in industry, virtually all of it in the profession of intelligence. i always considered this a noble calling. because i believe in this country. part of this was a profound respect for president as
commander in chief. so speaking critically of our current president is counter instinctive and difficult for me to do but i feel it is my duty. we have elected someone as president of the united states whose first instincts are to distort truth to his advantage, to generate financial benefit to himself and his family. he has caused damage to our socie societial and political fabric. and he has besmirched the intelligence community and the facebook. sir, i wanted to quote that to you, because i am -- i know a hot fr lot from reading the book about your decades of service. it is striking to hear the strength of your critique there
of the president. was that a hard decision to make? >> yes, it was. my collaborator trey brown and i labored over that to make sure that we captured what i really wanted to say. it was very difficult for me. i come from a military family. my father was a military intelligence officer in world war ii and through korea and vietnam. even before i became a part of the military, it was instilled in me about this. so i have a long family and experience tradition for respect for the presidency and commander in chief. this president makes that difficult for me. >> the president is the subject of a long running now counter intelligence and potentially
criminal investigation related to the russian attack on the election and the intelligence community and the fbi have come under sustained attack by him and his political allies because of that. do you feel like, having been through what you've been there, there are lessons learned, there's advice you want to give in terms of how law enforcement and intelligence should be handling this investigation while enduring those attacks? >> i think the first point i'd make is today there's, i think, a special burden placed on the leaders of these organizations. dan coates is dni. now gina haspel is director of cia and director christopher wray to provide to the top cover so that their organizations can function in as nonpolitical an environment as possible. that is a tall order these days. this is a burden that i don't think any of the predecessors -- certainly i didn't have to worry about. they do.
it's important that the rank and file, the great men and women that compose our intelligence services and the fbi continue to tee up, serve up the truth to power whether the power listens to truth or not. that places a huge burden, i think, on the leaders to ensure they continue to do that. that's going to be a real test, i think, of the resilience of our institutions, which are kind of under stress right now. >> as part of the counter intelligence investigation into what russia was doing, it's now been reported that a confidential informant was used to speak with members of the trump campaign. the president has described that as a huge scandal and has ordered the justice department to investigate that aspect of the counter intelligence investigation. did that happen? and was it improper? >> well, i wasn't aware of it
contemporaneously, nor was i aware of any informant, nor should i have been. one of the things that's important about this program which is quite legitimate and is a very valuable source of information for the fbi is confidentiality. so if someone is going to cooperate and help the fbi, they need to know that their identity is going to be protected. this is going to have, i think, a chilling effect. regrettably the identity is out there in the media. it's going to have a chilling effect on other informants who already help the fbi and make it more difficult to recruit other informants. the damage from this potentially is quite grave. it's deliberately shielded from political officials. i am sure no one in the white house -- i certainly didn't know
about it. it would be approved at, i'm sure, a very high level within the fbi. this is a rigorously overseen program that had rules and protocols that have to be adhered to the manage an info informa informant. i just worry about the damage here. >> i have one last matter that i want to ask you about, which is about your contact with president trump after the election and a request he made of you, which you describe for the first time in the book. james clapper is our guest.
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the kayak explore tool shows you the places you can fly on your budget. so you can be confident you're getting the most bang for your buck. alo-ha. kayak. search one and done. we're back with james clapper, the former director of national intelligence whose now book facts and fears is out right now. i said i would ask you one thing. i lied. it's two. the first one is you say in september 2016, you say by
september 2016, we knew that putin was personally involved in the russian attack. can you tell us anything about how you came to that conclusion? >> i really can't. this gets into, you know, pretty sensitive sources and methods. but we had, i thought, very, very solid evidence of that. >> with two months before the election? >> yeah. >> you also -- i played a clip just before you sat down where diane feinstein asked you in an open senate hearing about multiple european allies reporting to the u.s. intelligence community about contacts between the trump campaign and russia. you confirmed to senator feinstein that that happened but said the details are sensitive. is there anything that's happened since that point that would allow you to elaborate? >> no. >> i have to ask. you describe a phone call that you made to president trump after he had publicly derided
the u.s. intelligence community as nazis. you said i thanked him for taking the call and said he had gotten my attention when he referred to the intelligence community as nazis. i tried to appeal to his higher instincts. he thanked me. he said he valued the intelligence community and the intelligence he'd been receiving. he then asked if i would put out a statement refuting what was in the steel dossier. the request felt very transactional, that he would play nice if i would do him a favor. i declined, saying couldn't refute or affirm what was in the dossier. he sounded disappointed. he made you an offer that would make palliative statements about the ic? >> i don't know. that's probably the implication. that part of the conversation felt transactional to me. that seemed to be his focus, was the dossier. i might say respect to the dossier, a very important point
to make is we did not use that as a source for our intelligence community assessment. it was based on traditional intelligence sources. our whole point, though, in briefing then president-elect trump about it was, i felt strongly and i think we all did that we owed it to him to warn him that it was out there, without respect to the content. jim comey was particularly concerned from a counter intelligence standpoint, because rush russians will use compromise whether it's real or contrived, if they can, to exert levera leverage. jim felt we should at least warn him about that. that was the whole point, no ascribe veracity, confirm or deny or rebut what was in the dossier. that said, some of it we did corroborate in the ica. of course, it appears that more of it has been corroborated with
ensuing developments and what we've learned. >> is there anything in the dossier that has been disproven? >> no. some of it hasn't been proven. no. i guess the shot answer to the question. the salacious stuff, absolutely no corroboration of that, to my knowledge. >> thank you for serving the country in so many different capacities for so many years. your writing this book is it a service. thank you. >> thanks, rachel. much more ahead tonight, including the results of some big primary elections that have been coming in while we have been on the air. stay with us. thma. yes. it's a targeted medicine proven to help prevent severe asthma attacks, and lower oral steroid use. about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many
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polls have closed in four southern states holding primaries tonight. arkansas, georgia, kentucky, texas, each coasting congressional races. governor's race in georgia has been getting the most attention on both sides. on the republican side, it's a five-candidate field that has been in a race to the bottom, particularly on one nicely divisive issue. >> i got a big truck. just in case i need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself. yep, i just said that. i'm brian kemp. if you want a politically incorrect conservative, that's me.
>> not a joke. in this georgia republican primary, the round up big truck was not even a clear favorite for the most intentionally offensive on this subject. >> we've got the deportation bus. that's right, you heard me, the michael williams deportation bus. we're going to implement my 287-g deportation plan that is going to fill this bus with illegals to send them back to where they came from. we're not just going to track them and watch them roam around our state. we're going to put them on this bus and send them home. >> ah, republican party 2018. that's been on the republican side in georgia. on the democratic side, the race for governor has been build nationally as a strategy fight over how to win in a red state that's been looking less red year after year. state lawmaker stacey evans argued democrats can turn georgia blue by quartering moderate republicans. but stacey evans on the left, and stacey abrams, that's the
stacey on the right, she has said that democratic hopes instead should be in turning out disengaged democratic voters who stayed home in 2016. tonight stacey abrams has now won that primary, meaning she will be the democrats' gubernatorial candidate in georgia in november. and it looks like she has won that race by a ton. for more we are joined by the great steve kornacki, who is the man you want the talk to on nights like this. steve, what can you tell us? >> not much of a contest. we know what democrats in georgia are in the mood for now. put this in some perspective. well talked about how georgia is changing demographically. in 2016 the margin here for donald trump, it was five points. in 2012, mitt romney won this by eight points. this is one democrats think is on the horizon with the democratic changes and with the influx of folks, especially the atlanta area. and i mean abrams, really, she just cleaned up everywhere. nothing geographically here really stands out. the far northern part of the state where there is very northern counties here, there are almost no black residents. even there we see abrams winning
counties tonight. so not each much of a racial divide. who she case? casey cagle, the lieutenant governor, he is leading. georgia is a runoff state. he look likes he is going to be well short of 50%. i think we're going have to wait until july to have a runoff between brian kemp. casey cagle looks like a runoff. one other race to tell you about, the surprise of the night. this is -- what a story this is. jim gray, this was the dccc's recruit. he is the mayor of lexington, kentucky. the dccc recruited him to run for congress in the one district in kentucky democrats think they might be able to flip. this woman, amy mcgrath put ad up. she talks about hey, when i was a girl, i wanted to fly planes. i was told i couldn't do it. look at me now. the ad went viral. she raised two million. she became an online sensation. tonight she has upset jim gray, won the democratic nomination in
kentucky. she will face andy barr, the republican. this has been a double-digit republican district lately. just before that, though, it was represented in congress by a democrat, ben chandler. and the very interesting thing about the performance tonight of mcgrath, this is the district. lexington is about 40% of it. she lost lexington. that is where gray was the mayor. she won the rural areas outside of lexington big. and it looks like turnout there double from the 2016 clinton/sanders primary on the democratic side. so there might be some energy behind mcgrath in some areas where democrats have struggled. the dccc didn't want her. she might be the stronger candidate, though. >> fascinating night. steve, i have one question for you back to the governor's race. stacey abrams the democratic nominee. totally unrelated before she was running for governor, i found her to be one of the most charismatic politicians of her generation from any state. i think she is an incredible talent. what are her prospects statewide for that governor's race? >> that's the thing. we talk about democrats are
probably in a neutral year a few cycles away, the way the demographics are changing. this is one of the fastest growing states in the country, especially this atlanta area right here. and the folks who are moving back to the state of georgia, you're talking a lot about nonwhite voters, younger voters. the population of single women is going up there. a lot of ingredients that democrats see. what they hope is that in 2018 that it proves to be a wave election and it basically speeds up what they see as a longer term trend. 2014 they had high hopes early in the year that was michelle n nun, jason carter. they each lost by about eight, nine points. but 2014 proved to be republican wave year. if you get the reverse of, that a few more years of demographic changes, this is a very interesting test here. the theory of the abrams campaign is a departure from what we're used to hearing about. we'll see. we're going to get some evidence this year about how that theory plays out in an atmosphere like this. >> steve kornacki, i tell you, i'm terrible at making prediction.
no matter what else happens in that state and the rest of the country on november 2018, i would always expect stacey abrams to outperform expectations. i think she is that good just on a personal level. msnbc national political correspondent steve kornacki is the greatest in the business. we'll be right back. stay with us. just like us. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. feeclaritin and relief fromwsy symptoms caused by over 200 allergens. like those from buddy. because stuffed animals are clearly no substitute for real ones. feel the clarity. and live claritin clear.
♪ better than all the rest ♪ applebee's new bigger bolder grill combos. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. very quick note on primary results which are still coming in, last month thousands of kentucky teachers held protests at the state capitol for more education funding. big uprising by kentucky teachers. some of those teachers then decided to run for office. both as democrats and republicans. tonight in a republican primary, the house majority leader in kentucky who was backed by mitch mcconnell, he just lost his seat to a high school math teacher named travis prenda. turf him out in the republican primary. that's it for tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "