All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 04/13/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m running for
HAYES: The Clinton campaign begins not with a bang, but more of a
HILLARY CLINTON: So I`m hitting the road to earn your vote.
HAYES: Tonight, the latest on Clinton day one, and a handy guide for
young voters. Our first installment of “Clinton for Millennials”.
Then, Marco Rubio throws his hat in the ring, promising a return to
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The time has
come for our generation to lead the way towards a new American century.
HAYES: Plus, breaking news in Tulsa. Manslaughter charges for a pay-
to-play reserve deputy who shot and killed a man.
And an exclusive interview with a man beaten by police following a
horse chase in the desert.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After they beat me, he whispered, “This is not
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
At this hour, Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, U.S. senator
from New York, and first lady, and now, newly minted 2016 presidential
candidate, is wrapping up a road trip having embarked on a roughly 16-hour
drive to the first of the nation caucus state of Iowa, where she has
campaign events scheduled tomorrow and Wednesday. Clinton hit the road in
a van which she has nicknamed her Scooby Van, along with long time aide
Huma Abedin, and spokesperson Nick Merrill, along with a light Secret
Yesterday, she tweeted a photo she took with a family she met at a gas
station in Pennsylvania, possibly – and this is just a theory – while her
crew was stocking up on corn nuts and Funyuns.
This afternoon meanwhile, ABC News Liz Kreutz posted a screen grab of
a sunglasses-clad Clinton ordering a chicken burrito bowl at a Chipotle in
Ohio. When Clinton announced her – I`m sorry, I thought I was going to
get through with a straight face.
When Clinton announced her presidential campaign on Sunday afternoon,
it was the culmination of years of buildup around a woman who has become
one of the most famous and obsessed older figures in American political
life. And while her entree into the race made official, something that had
been a foregone conclusion for some time, the way she did it was actually
pretty novel. A video lasting a little more than two minutes, the focus
not on the candidate herself but instead of Americans from all walks of
life going through transitions.
Clinton herself doesn`t appear in the video until a minute and a half
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON: I`m getting ready for something too. I`m running
Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But
the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.
Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Video stands in stark contrast to a video Clinton put out
eight years ago, announcing her first run for president, the exploratory
committee for the 2008 presidential campaign. That video you might recall
focused squarely on Clinton herself and no one else.
But, now, the iconography of Hillary Clinton, the idea of her as an
historic candidate, which, of course, she would be were she to win, is no
longer front and center. Her campaign manager expressly embraced modesty
in a memo to a staff this weekend, writing, quote, we are humble, we take
nothing for granted. For this, her second run at the White House, Clinton
is presenting herself as part of something larger than she is. Not as an
icon, but a vessel.
Joining me now, Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily`s List, and
MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of “The Majority Report”, and most
importantly, a man who revealed himself as some sort of prophet during our
ALL IN fantasy candidate draft.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I have our number five, it should
be Hillary Clinton, according to my rankings.
HAYES: This is a big moment. Dude, if this is actually – we are
going to call for an investigation. Number five. Oh, my God!
ANNOUNCER: Jackpot! She`s the Democrat to beat in this race. And
the consensus number one pick in this ridiculous draft.
HILLARY CLINTON: What difference, at this point, does it make?
ANNOUNCER: Former first lady, former New York senator and former
secretary of state, Hillary Clinton!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: All right, Sam. You must be feeling pretty good. Dust off
your shoulders, 100 points on the board.
SEDER: Well, I hope the results of that investigation show that when
it comes to fantasy drafts, you don`t want to mess with me.
No, I mean, look, it was – it was a matter of time at this point.
And so, yes, I`m excited. I`m going to run away with this thing.
HAYES: Stephanie, what did you think? There`s – there`s a way in
which it start of feels like the rules are constantly shifting for Hillary
Clinton. There`s the moment in which she has to prove she`s an independent
person. She`s not just the wife of Bill Clinton. Then she becomes this
massive icon and target.
So, the idea now is that to sort of reduce the amount of attention
around her herself. But it does seem to me at least in the initial period
a smart strategy, the way they have chosen to go about this.
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, PRESIDENT, EMILY`S LIST: This – Chris, this is a
great strategy. And it`s really something that Hillary clearly felt
strongly about. This election has to be about the American people. And it
is not about Hillary Clinton in any candidate – it`s got to be about the
HAYES: Stephanie, that`s crazy. Of course – every election is going
to be about the candidates, right? I mean, everyone says it`s about the
people and it`s not about the candidates, which is fine, as far as it goes.
But Hillary Clinton –
SCHRIOCK: There is a piece of this that it`s really – I mean, the
conversation that needs to happen, happens between the candidate and the
American people. And that is actually what happens here. And how the
folks get to know her again – we all think she`s really well-known.
SCHRIOCK: But the truth is, like, there`s a – is there is a lot that
folks maybe knew about her and have forgotten or get to know her again, and
that`s what`s so great about this tour, this trip, the Scooby Van headed to
Iowa. It`s really just a snapshot into who Hillary is herself.
HAYES: OK. So I think – again, I want to talk about – we are
talking about stage craft, because this is the mode we are in. These are -
- this is the presidential campaign. People are trying to sell that
campaign, which is part of the Democratic enterprise. I`m not judging it.
Let`s understand what we`re talking about here. As that, this strikes
me as incredibly smart, right?
SEDER: Right. What we`re talking about is theater. Particularly
now, because we`re not into any type of policy debates. Hopefully, we will
get to that point – hopefully, particularly on the Democratic side. But
the bottom line, from a theoretical standpoint, it`s very smart, very
reminiscent of the time she ran for Senate the first time where she enters
in humble, right?
HAYES: Listening tour.
SEDER: She`s not former secretary of state, she`s not former senator,
she`s not former first lady. She is entering humble. It`s a listening
She makes that video about everybody – I mean, that`s the subtext.
This is about other people. I think it`s brilliant. And what she is doing
with her van is also really smart too, because what it`s basically saying
is, like, look, I`m not ready to be scrutinized as the only candidate on
the Democratic side by the national media who want every opportunity to
dissect me, et cetera, this.
She is basically putting up a buffer, and that buffer is just – we
don`t know where she is.
SEDER: But she still has access to the media, because it goes out
through Twitter and goes out to Facebook.
HAYES: And on this stuff, Stephanie, you know, there`s a pretty smart
“Times” piece about her relationship with Barack Obama and his legacy.
Here`s one bit of data that I think will be as important as anything, any
video. This is the Gallup data with uninsured rate, dropping to 11.8
percent from 18 percent a year-and-a-half ago.
Like, that is part of the legacy of Barack Obama. That`s part of the
legacy I imagine you`re going to see her embrace. And even though she`s –
Barack Obama is not on the ballot, these tend to be referendums on
SCHRIOCK: Well, and I think that`s – I think that`s a lot of this.
But Hillary is her own person and her own leader. But she serves so well -
- and keep in mind, as secretary of state, incredibly popular secretary of
state and did a fantastic job in that role. And you`re going to hear about
that, and she really is a proven leader who has been a champion for middle
And the great thing right now is that the Democratic Party is a party
that`s focused on this economic opportunity message, equal – tomorrow`s
equal payday for women, and there`s a huge conversation about equal pay for
And there`s really a unity message coming out of this on issues and
where we`re going forward. And this is up against a Republican Party
that`s looking backwards, despite Marco Rubio`s new American century, his
policies want to send us back to the 1950s. And that`s really the contrast
we`re going to be seeing in the months to come.
HAYES: I think it will be interesting to see the degree to which it
was interesting, she chose to talk about the deck being stacked. Clearly,
that kind is gong to be the core of the message Stephanie and Sam Seeder,
congratulations on your points, Sam.
Hillary Clinton, as we`re saying, has been in the national spotlight
for over two decades. And there`s probably no other figure in public life
who is more battle tested or who has been through as many fake scandals as
the former first lady.
Now, she is running for president in a country where tens of millions
of people were toddlers or in grade school when she was living in the White
House. And those potential voters may not recall in vivid detail some of
the non-troversies of the 1990s.
So, as the public service, we bring you Hillary Clinton for
Millennials, a guide to all the ridiculous garbage she has had to put up
with over the years.
HAYES (voice-over): For eight years, during the 1990s, America had a
different kind of first lady. Her name was Hillary Rodham Clinton.
REPORTER: In some respects, Hillary Clinton may be the next
generation of political spouse – strong-willed, assertive, with her own
HAYES: When she was first introduced on the national stage, the
country didn`t know what to make of her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she a strong asset, the modern career woman,
wife and mother? Or is she a liability for those who think that a woman`s
place is still these days in the shadow of her husband?
HAYES: It seemed like everywhere she went, made-up scandals were sure
Tonight`s episode, cookie-gate. March, 1992, during a political
debate with Democratic candidates, it`s Hillary Clinton who finds herself
in the spotlight.
JERRY BROWN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is funneling money to his
wife`s law firm for state business. That`s number one.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: You ought to be ashamed of
yourself for jumping on my wife. You`re not worth being on the same
HAYES: Hillary`s response to that debate moment made news.
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and
baked cookies and had teas. But what I decided to do was to fulfill my
profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.
HAYES: The fallout was swift.
REPORTER: Worried she`d offended homemakers, campaign aides rushed
her outside to do some damage control.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to say, Mrs. Bush is such a lady. And I
think the first lady of our country needs to be a lady at all times.
HILLARY CLINTON: And to think that anybody would have believed that I
was in any way showing disrespect to full-time mothers and homemakers was a
big surprise to me, and I regretted that.
HAYES: The magazine “Family Circle” jumped into the fray, thinking
the best way to solve this crisis was a bake-off. It was Hillary Clinton
versus the current first lady, Barbara Bush. Clinton entered an oatmeal
chocolate chip recipe. Bush, the classic chocolate chip.
In the meantime, a Hillary re-branding effort from the Clinton
campaign was under way.
REPORTER: This is the image they want to project, a happy family on
the cover of “People” magazine. The campaign wanted to show off the wives
in a traditional setting in afternoon tea.
HAYES: At the tea, hosted by congressional wives, Hillary urged the
women to “try my cookies. I hope you like them. But like good Democrats,
vote for them anyway.”
Clinton`s journey from lead campaigner to cookie party hostess did not
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I think is fascinating is that in the year
of the woman when you have these candidates up on stage and we`re so proud
of the fact that we`ve got women running for Senate and House, they`ve
assigned Hillary Clinton to bake cookies for the duration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s all part of the remake. You understand.
HAYES: Two Clintons turned out winners that year. Bill Clinton won
the presidency, and Hillary Clinton won the “Family Circle” cookie bakeoff.
The rest is history.
HAYES: Joining me now, Michael Tomasky, columnist for the “Daily
Beast” and a biographer of Hillary Clinton.
Michael, I mean, we picked this to start with, because this is one of
those remarkable moments in which she essentially is forced to undergo a
kind of Maoist renunciation of gender equity on the national stage to bow
before these sort of traditional view. That episode doesn`t age well, but
if gives you a sense of what it must have been like for Hillary Clinton to
encounter the national press corps as the person she was when she
MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: It was really strange. In 1992,
you know, there had never been a first lady who worked outside the home or
for any great duration. Eleanor Roosevelt, of course, had her own profile.
But there had never been a professional first lady who was the main
breadwinner in her home.
So, this was I suppose to some segments of America kind of a shocking
thing and they didn`t know how to wrap their heads around it.
HAYES: And part of – you captured this, actually, well, when you
covered her Senate campaign in 2000. Part of the issue for her, of course,
she has this tremendously impressive resume, sterling credentials, all
these things that are independent of Bill Clinton but, of course, always
tied to him because that`s her husband and he`s an incredibly famous
individual, including an ex-president.
TOMASKY: Right. And, you know, that`s diminished now, Chris, I
think. Don`t you?
HAYES: That`s a good point.
TOMASKY: By now, that`s kind of gone. But now, she`s done enough.
You know, you win two Senate elections on your own, you become secretary of
state, and do all the things that a secretary of state does, whether her
record there was stellar or merely good. You know, I think she`s now, you
know – she`s got the CV now.
HAYES: Yes, but – that is true. And I totally agree and I think
voters basically judge her completely on her own merits.
HAYES: But there is the level of obsession with scrutiny. I mean,
even just the guacamole Chipotle security footage that we saw today.
HAYES: It`s just impossible to imagine any other candidate in America
having security footage of their guacamole purchase, their chicken burrito
bowl purchase, like, tweeted out being, like, basically driving a news
cycle and that, you know, she can`t unilaterally do anything about that.
TOMASKY: No, she can`t. And it`s never going to leave her. It`s
always going to be around her. I remember her saying one time she came on
the bus – she had a van in 2000, as well that she rode around in. We
called it the HRC speed wagon then.
And the reporters rode in a bus that went behind the speed wagon, and
every once in a while she would come back to the bus. I remember her using
a phrase – we were asking her about these kinds of things, the soap opera
coverage and so forth. She said it`s the background music of my life and
has been since I moved down to Arkansas and Bill got into public life. She
really – she blocks it off.
HAYES: Yes, it`s like living by a train track. You just stop hearing
it, at a certain point.
TOMASKY: Yes, exactly.
HAYES: Michael Tomasky, thanks for being here.
TOMASKY: Thanks a lot.
HAYES: Important quick update on our ALL IN fantasy candidate draft.
Four contestants are now tied. Each of them having drafted one candidate
who has formally entered the race, including Marco Rubio who we`ll talk
about in a moment.
Joy Reid is still waiting to get on the board as of this moment.
Though, here lineup includes Jim Webb, Chris Christie and George Pataki.
The points are sure to start rolling in soon.
Keep up on the twist and turns on our Facebook page. While there, be
sure to click on the like button.
Back in a moment.
HAYES: Florida Senator Marco Rubio made it official today, announcing
his bid for president in 2016 in a conference call with supporters, ahead
of his formal announcement speech this evening, at the Freedom Tower in
Miami, surrounded by signs bearing his campaign slogan, “A New American
Century”, which sounds perfectly fine as far as banal political slogans go.
If you Google “New American Century”, the top result is the Wikipedia page
for something else. Project for the New American century.
Project for the New American Century is the now defunct neocon think
tank that started firing open letters about military intervention in Iraq
in 1988. Arguing in a September 20th, 2001 letter to President Bush that
any anti-terrorism strategy that did not involve toppling the Iraqi
government would, quote, “constitute an early and perhaps decisive
surrender in the war on international terrorism.”
In other words, these guys were really preoccupied and gung-ho about
going to work in Iraq. And you might think anyone trying to run for
president in 2016 would want some rhetorical distance from the group that
tried to browbeat us into a disastrous deadly war. But it can be hard to
stand out in a crowded GOP field. Maybe Mr. Rubio is trying to really own
the reactionary hawk demographic.
What Marco Rubio might do to try to distinguish himself, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for
president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over.
That is why tonight, grounded by the lessons of our history, but inspired
by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy for president of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, a U.S. senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, officially
became a presidential candidate. It seems like Rubio`s ambitions for 2016
have been bandied about since he was swept into the Senate by a Tea Party
wave in 2010. It`s that victory that made Rubio a rising star in
conservative circles – something that his political mentor, former Florida
Governor Jeb Bush, hinted at in 2005 when he bequeathed to Rubio a sword to
signify, quote, “a great conservative warrior.”
But then Rubio had some problems on the issue of immigration. In
2013, he basically became the conservative face of comprehensive
immigration reform in the Senate, helping to write a proposal put together
by a bipartisan group of senators called the “Gang of Eight”. It called
for a 13-year path to citizenship for the country`s roughly 11 million
That was something his Tea Party supporters opposed strenuously. And
so did Marco Rubio himself during his campaign for the Senate. As Nick
Cohen points out, in “The New York Times,” Rubio`s botched effort on
immigration reform puts him in a tough starting position.
Quote, “His ill-fated effort may not be on the minds of supporters
today but he lost the support of many on the right. And in later
renouncing his own reform effort, he lost credibility of much of the center
right. In the end, he was on the side of no one.”
Now, there`s no doubt that Marco Rubio is a star. But he has been
described as a rising star in the Republican Party long enough, you begin
to wonder whether it`s true.
Joining me now from Miami, McKay Coppins, senator political writer for
McKay, it struck me today that in some ways, he`s got one of the best
personal stories to tell – children of immigrants who worked their way up
from being a maid and bartender, and that was what he relied on today to
pretty good effect in his speech.
MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: Yes, this is basically the speech he`s been
giving ever since 2010 when he was running for Senate. It`s what made him
a rising star. And it was even central to the setting he chose to deliver
his speech here at the Miami Freedom Tower in the `60s Cuban refugees first
came when they came to the United States.
So, you know, the whole stage craft of the announcement today was
really infused with his biography. And it is powerful. I mean, sitting
there in the event today, people were fired up. He certainly is a very
There are shades of the Barack Obama circa 2008 message, and themes of
kind of my life as the American dream.
COPPINS: I`m kind of this upstart reformer taking on the political
establishment and these political dynasties.
So, you do have a lot of that going for Rubio and I think that that`s
going to be central to his pitch.
HAYES: Yes, two things about this are interesting. One, here is some
polling on his primary share, which is not headed in the right direction,
although ticking up there in the end. And a lot of that I think does have
to do with two things, right? The immigration move that he made that
alienated the base and he kind of renounced and left him with no one, and
the fact that he is a bit boxed in by Jeb Bush.
I mean, Marco Rubio, Florida poll, that`s where the base of his
support is, that`s where his donors are. And he`s got this guy who`s got a
bigger base than he does in the person of Jeb Bush.
COPPINS: Right. And doesn`t have a bigger base, has all the money,
all the donors – I mean, has the entire not just Florida establishment,
but vast portions of the Republican Party establishment already behind him.
What`s interesting to me, and I had a piece up at “BuzzFeed” this
morning reporting about this, is that you played that clip earlier of him
attacking Hillary Clinton by saying she`s the candidate of yesterday,
wanting to take our country back to yesterday.
What I`ve been told by the senator`s advisers and people on his
campaign team is that those attacks on Hillary Clinton, which are going to
continue all through the primaries, are in some ways proxy attacks on Jeb
Bush, right? Where he`s not just talking about Clinton, he`s talking about
the other member of the major American political dynasty, and member of the
establishment who comes from power and privilege. That`s another line that
he used a couple times in his speech today.
So, he`s going to be attacking Clinton as will all the Republicans
through the primaries. But the – but what his specific goal will be, at
least in the short term, will be to kind of knock down Jeb a few pegs and
say, look, I`m the candidate of the future, I`m the guy who`s – I`m young,
Latino, you know, I`m the one who can inherit or at least make inroads into
Obama`s coalition of the ascendant. There`s no way Jeb Bush is going to be
able to do that.
HAYES: Final thought here from Jim Antle who`s with “The Daily
Caller.” “Good speech with good lines, especially generational contrast
with Hillary. On policy, a speech a Republican could have given in 1999.”
I thought that was pretty true, and it`s something ironic about him talking
about attacking yesterday, while he`s fighting to uphold the Cuba embargo.
HAYES: McKay Coppins, thanks for joining us.
COPPINS: Thank you.
HAYES: OK. In October, a teenager was shot 16 times by Chicago
police officer. He was pronounced dead an hour later. This story has
gotten almost no media coverage outside of Chicago, but we have been
tracking and investigating it here at ALL IN.
And today, in the wake of a federal investigation, the city is getting
ready to pay the teen`s family $5 million. Details on that, next.
HAYES: For the last several months, we have been tracking a police
shooting death in Chicago. It hasn`t received much national attention but
it was covered locally when it happened in October.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The independent police review authority is investigating,
but police say this was a clear-cut case of self defense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve got one squad car getting him toward the
sidewalk where they can get out and apprehend him. At that point, he stabs
the tire of the squad car. Then goes at the passenger door window, trying
to break the window.
REPORTER: Fraternal order of police spokesman Pat Camden says as
other officers approached to arrest him, he lunged at one of them, with the
knife, and as soon as that happened, they shot him.
The suspect has not yet been identified. Police say they believe he
was just 17 or 18 years old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He was 17 years old and his name was Laquan McDonald.
According to the local NBC station citing police, quote, “an officer shot
him in the chest when the teen didn`t drop the knife and continued to walk
toward officers,” police said.
But the Chicago Sun Times reported at the time that according to the
medical examiner`s office, an autopsy found he died of multiple gunshot
wounds. And when reporter Jamie Calvin later obtained a copy of that
autopsy through a freedom of information request, it showed that Laquan
McDonald had 16 gunshot wounds in his chest, neck, head, back, right leg
and both arms.
After that revelation, we here at All In filed our own freedom of
information request with the Chicago Police Department asking them for any
dash cam video that might show what exactly happened that night. CPD
denied our request, saying that to the extent that any video related to the
shooting of Laquan McDonald exists, the release of it or any other
records/evidence related to this
pending investigation would create a substantial likelihood or irreparable
harm affecting the integrity of the investigation and potentially depriving
the involved officers of an impartial hearing.
Now, we have been preparing other avenues to try to get that video,
and perhaps appeal the
decision. Then today several huge developments in the case. Chicago city
counsel finance committee endorsed a $5 million settlement for Laquan
McDonald`s family. Full council will take it up on Wednesday.
Now this comes as federal officials confirmed they are conducting a
criminal investigation into the shooting, the FBI`s leading a joint
investigation in coordination with the independent police review
authority, the U.S. Attorney`s Office and Cook County state`s attorneys
office. And – get this – the city`s top lawyer, Steven Patton, who
recommended the $5 million settlement, according to the Chicago Tribune
revealed that dashboard camera footage of the shooting was crucial to the
city`s decision to settle the case before a federal lawsuit was filed.
While what happened that night is disputed, Patton also told the
finance committee that although the officer said he was in fear for his
life, lawyers for McDonald`s family would argue that dashboard camera video
would show him walking away from the officers and that deadly force was not
Now the question tonight, if the family`s lawyers say the dash cam
video shows McDonald walking away from the police when he was shot, and the
city`s top lawyer himself says the video was crucial to the decision to try
to preemptively settle for $5 million, don`t you think the public has a
right to see that video?
HAYES: For first time in a half century, the leaders of the United
States and Cuba met for a
face-to-face talk. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook
hands and held an hour-long meeting Saturday in Panama City at the seventh
Summit of the Americas. They even offered conciliatory messages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can disagree with
the spirit of respect and civility and that over time it is possible for
us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two
RAUL CASTRO, PRESIDENT OF CUBA (through translator): I think that
everything can be on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The meeting was remarkable, not just because it made history,
but because the policy that kept this from happening: the American embargo
of Cuba, a policy kept in place for decades and throughout successive U.S.
administrations of both parties by a relatively small group of fervent
opponents of the Castro regime, mostly of course President Fidel Castro`s
The policy remained firmly in place, despite the fact it failed by its
own definition of success. It changed nothing, essentially, in the Cuban
regime. But that changed four months ago last December when President
Obama ordered a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and
calling the bluff of the anti-Castro regime contingent.
What the president and country discovered was that a huge backlash
simply didn`t materialize. A lot has to do with the fact that even among
Cuban American`s opinion has shifted. A March poll of Cuban-Americans
found that 51 percent agree with President Obama`s plan to normalize
relations with Cuba, only 40 percent of Cuban-Americans disagree.
Saturday`s face-to-face meeting was the next logical step in the
process and a very high-profile symbol of change.
Joining me now Peter Kornbluh, lead correspondent on Cuba for The
Nation magazine who covered the 2015 Summit of the Americas, also co-author
of “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between
Washington and Havana.”
Peter, you have worked on this issue for years. Did you ever think
that it would just kind of end with the whimper that it is – that he has
ended with? I`m amazed that we`re doing this story at 8:37 and not the
lead story, president sits down with Castro.
There was a time where that would have been the biggest wall to wall
news in the whole country.
PETER KORNBLUH, THE NATION: Well, Cuba policy is kind of the emperors
has no clothes type of issue. It`s been exposed as a canard and just
basically a whipping boy for a few hard-liners in the US congress in the
Senate and the House.
And President Obama, to his credit, has gone a long way to exposing
that. He announced a radical change in U.S. policy last December. He`s
followed through to the Summit of the Americas just this past weekend where
I was covering the story there. He has called Raul Castro. He has sat
down now, become the first U.S. president to sit down with the Cuban
president since the Cuban revolution, all in an effort to build momentum to
institutionalize a policy of engagement with Cuba, as opposed
to perpetual hostility all his predecessors have pursued.
HAYES: There is a sense in which I think when the December
announcement happened you saw from the folks you characterize at hard-
liners – there was a variety of criticism from chiefly Republicans, from
some Cuban-American members of congress. The question now is, how much
bite is there – you know, behind that bark? I mean, what do we expect
congress to do? And are they going to be able to mount a challenge to this
shift in policy?
KORNBLUH: There`s a couple of tests of the strength of Obama`s
supporters to change the policy and opponents of the policy in congress.
The first one may well be in a few days when President Obama is expected to
send congress a report saying he`s taking Cuba off the state sponsored list
The State Department maintains this list of several countries: Sudan,
Iran, Syria. Cuba is coming off that list. It`s just a matter of time.
And congress is going to have kind of 45 days to respond. And we`ll see
what kind of response there is.
And then there`s the issue of travel. President Obama has opened up
travel for American citizens, but there is still limitations for us all
traveling to Cuba. We can`t simply go there on vacation and go see the
people we want to see. So there`s a bill going to be introduced to
congress by a Republican Senator Jeff Flake. This is about U.S. citizens`
rights to travel. That may well test also the kind of strength that Obama
has to kind of push this policy forward in the coming months.
HAYES: And I think we`ll probably also see this in the campaign a
bit. I mean, obviously, Marco Rubio had a line about Cuba today. We will
see some opposition to it, I imagine, from Republican candidates. And I
imagine Hillary Clinton, I would imagine is going to embrace this. And
that`ll be an item to be resolved in some ways in 2016.
KORNBLUH: Well of course, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have kind of
staked there stars to the hard-line anti Castro Cuban community in Miami,
but that is a dwindling community. There is some money there for them, but
the demographics, the politics are changing there radically.
President Obama opened up travel for Cuban Americans. They can freely
go back and forth to Cuba. Now they`re invested in the changes that are
taking place on the island, particularly the economic changes.
So the votes are not there for the hard-liners as much, and the money
may well be there for a candidate like Hillary Clinton, who is already said
she wants to see the embargo lifted.
HAYES: That`s a really good point.
Peter Kornbluh, thank you very much.
KORNBLUH: Thank you.
HAYES: Last week we brought you the story of a man who was beaten by
sheriffs deputies in San Bernardino County, California, after leading them
on a chase for more than two hours through the desert while riding a stolen
horse. An exclusive interview with that man, ahead.
HAYES: After this show aired Friday night, the South Carolina law
enforcement division released more dashcam video from the incident
involving Walter Scott. Scott was shot at 8 times, four of the bullets hit
him in the back, one hit him on the ear, while he was fleeing from an
officer after a
traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina.
That officer, Michael Slager, has been fired, is now being charged
The new video appears to have been recorded after the shooting, and
seems to be an officer telling Slager what`s going to happen to him next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Once they get here, it will be real quick.
They`re going to tell you you`re going to be off for a couple days and
we`ll come back and interview you then. They`re not going to ask you any
type of questions right now.
MICHAEL SLAGER, FORMER NORTH CHARLESTON POLICE OFFICER: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: They`re going to take your weapon. And we`ll go
from there, that`s pretty much it.
(inaudible) you get home. It`d probably would be a good idea to jot
down your thoughts of what happened… once the adrenaline quits pumping
SLAGER: It`s pumping.
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I think I just misspoke, and said eighteen times. Walter Scott
was shot at eight
A few minutes later, it appears Slager takes a personal phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[ phone ringing ]
SLAGER: Hey. Hey, everything`s okay, okay?
I just shot somebody. He grabbed my Taser, yeah. Yeah. He was running
from me… I`m fine.
HAYES: Yesterday events were held in North Charleston to memorialize
Walter Scott. His funeral was held on Saturday.
Back in a moment.
HAYES: Last week we showed you yet another video appearing to show
disturbing violence carried out by law enforcement. The beating of Francis
Pusok by sheriff`s deputies in San Bernardino County, California, after a
two-and-a-half hour chase.
Pusok, who authorities say has a lengthy criminal history, allegedly
fled deputies who were serving a search warrant, taking off by car and then
on horseback, before law enforcement eventually caught up with him.
This was Francis Pusok`s mug shot after that encounter. According to
the sheriff`s department, he was treated at the hospital for abrasions and
bruising and transferred to a detention center.
The ten deputies identified in that video are now on administrative
leave, and the incident is under investigation by both the county and the
Francis Pusok posted bail last night. And as of tonight, has not been
I spoke with Pusok and his lawyer, James Terrel, and asked him what
happened in the first moments after deputies caught up with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCIS PUSOK, BEATEN BY SHERRIFF DEPUTIES: They handcuffed me
immediately, around my wrist and ankles.
HAYES: So you were 100% restrained for the duration of that beating.
HAYES: And, my understanding is that one of the deputies whispered
something to you while it was happening, or you say he did?
PUSOK: After they beat me, he whispered “this is not over.”
HAYES: Did you say anything back? I mean, what did you – did you
understand what was happening or why it was happening?
PUSOK: No, I said nothing back.
HAYES: Mr. Terrell, can you give us a little bit more about how this
whole thing started?
There has been conflicting reports. Some have said a warrant was
served on your client. Others said a warrant was being served in the
surrounding area. What is your account of how this whole thing started?
JAMES TERRELL, ATTORNEY FOR FRANCIS PUSOK: Yeah, my understanding is
this. Is that the police were out serving a warrant, a search warrant at a
house that had nothing to do with my client whatsoever.
My client was in the vicinity at the time when the police officers
rolled up to execute that search warrant. When they saw my client, they
approached him and tried to ram him – ram his vehicle that he
was driving. He was in a motor vehicle.
And at that time, he believed that he was in danger, and he continued
on. And he tried to get away from the police officers, especially the one
that tried to ram him. And this is what starts this whole thing with the
HAYES: Mr. Pusok, I know this is not the most important detail in
this story by any means, but it is striking that you`re on horseback.
How did that happen?
PUSOK: I drove up to the nearest mountain. I got out of the car. I
ran down the mountain on the other side. I came to a large body of water.
There was a horse drinking water. I jumped on the horse
and immediately started climbing up the other side of the mountain with the
horse until we got to the top.
HAYES: Do you have any reason –
TERRELL: Chris, if I may –
HAYES: Yes, please.
TERRELL: Chris, if I could just say, is that my client has an
enormous fear of the San Bernardino County sheriff`s department members. An
enormous fear. And, from the very beginning, he
was under the belief that he was going to be beaten, if not killed, by
them. And –
HAYES: Can you explain why that`s the case? I mean, was there –
before this incident, was there reason to believe that they bore him some
TERRELL: There absolutely is. There`s two other incidents that we
know of. Where they came over and had beaten him in the past. They were
extraordinarily physical with him, and they had beaten him severely in the
So, this kind of history – he`s extraordinarily frightened, as he
should be. He knew this was going to happen, he believed it was going to
happen, and by god, it did happen.
And so, his trying to get away was self preservation.
HAYES: Final point, Mr. Terrell.
Am I right your client has not actually been charged for anything.
TERRELL: That`s exactly right.
Right now, we`ve got a date coming up in June, I believe it`s June
14th, and on that date, they`re going to go ahead and file whatever charges
they`re going to file.
And, the last thing if I can just say, Chris, is if it wasn`t for that
tape that they have, I believe the headlines would be, that my client
attacked 11 police officers.
TERRELL: That`s what the headline would be.
HAYES: Francis Pusok and Jim Terrell. Thank you very much, appreciate
TERRELL: Thank you very much, Chris.
PUSOK: Thank you.
HAYES: Another disturbing video appearing to show police misconduct.
Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma where a reserve deputy shot and killed a
man he apparently meant to taser instead.
We have some late-breaking news to report on that story, next.
ANDRE HARRIS, BROTHER OF ERIC HARRIS: It`s awful hard, without me
getting emotional, to really understand how he felt, laying there with a
knee to your head, people sprawling you out. A 74-year-old man comes, boom,
guns you down. And he`s hollering out for help. And there`s no aid.
HAYES: Andre Harris, reaction to the video just released that shows
the moment hit brother, Eric, was fatally shot by a reserve sheriff`s
deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It happened April 2, according to the county
44 year old Eric Harris was the subject of a sting operation to catch
him selling guns and drugs.
In the middle, as you see in this dash cam video, Harris bolts from a
car operated by undercover agents. Another officer who is wearing a body
camera, catches up to Harris, tackles him to the ground.
What happens next may be disturbing. According to police, one deputy
says Taser, we hear a gunshot and then a voice says, I shot him, I`m sorry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I shot him. I`m sorry.
[ bleep ].
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop fighting!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot me! He shot me! I`ve been shot! He shot
me, man! Oh, my god.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t do (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You hear me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m losing my breath.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In case you missed that last part, Harris says I`m losing my
breath to which the deputy
responds, “f your breath.” Harris was pronounced dead about an hour later.
The man who pulled the trigger, has been identified as Robert Baits, a
73-year-old insurance broker who volunteers for the Tulsa County sheriffs
dep office as a reserve deputy.
Baites has reportedly donated thousands of dollars of equipment to the
department, and served as chairman of the committee to reelect the current
sheriff back in 2012. According to the sheriff`s
office, Baits mistakenly fired his handgun instead of his Taser. And citing
Eric Harris`s extensive criminal record and the alleged danger he posed to
deputies, an internal investigation recommended that Bob Baits not be
Nevertheless, the Tulsa County district attorney charged him today
with second degree manslaughter. If convicted, he could face a maximum of
four years in prison, a fine of no more than $1,000.
I`m joined now by Kimberly Kindy, she`s investigator reporter for The
Washington Post, co-author of Thousands dead, few prosecuted, a special
report on fatal shootings by police.
Kimberly, thanks for joining me. That`s a great piece that you guys
KIMBERLY KINDY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thank you so much.
HAYES: You basically go through thousands – there are a lot of
police shootings. I think it`s something that we`re kind of coming to grips
with as a nation. As a number, compared to places like Germany or Japan or
other places like that, and England, there are a lot of them. And very,
very few result in convictions.
What are the reasons for that?
KINDY: Well, it just takes an extraordinary amount of evidence in
order for an officer to face
So, a number of things that we looked at were the criteria. What we
found was that in most cases, there had to be at least two criteria.
Usually it was something like an autopsy report that showed that the person
was shot in the back, because they were running away. Ballistics reports
that showed that the officer was chasing them down and shooting them back
at the same time. And usually it was more than just that. It could be like
a video and that. But it took layers and layers of evidence in order for
them to actually charge them.
And then, what we found was that even when they were – had layers and
layers of evidence, at the end of the day, most of the time they were not
HAYES: That`s – so once you have gotten over these hurdles, you get
something before a jury, most of the time they are not convicted.
KINDY: That`s right. Most of the time they`re not.
Jurors tend to want to believe the officer`s story. I think we`re
hearing this over and over again.
As these incidents kind of seem to roll out day by day. They typically will
say, I was afraid, I was afraid for my life. I thought they were going for
a weapon. And that seems to be enough for juries.
HAYES: This gets to something I think pretty profound, right?
I mean, we understand that police officers are entrusted with the
power by the state to use force in ways a civilian can`t. It makes sense
that we have a higher threshold that we judge them by. Whether it`s
justified use of force.
And so, the question I guess is, what is the legal standard? If an
officer says I subjectively am telling you the truth, I was scared, and I
used force because of it and it turned out he was pulling out a wallet and
not a gun, what does the law say about what I as a juror do with that?
KINDY: Well, basically, what jurors are asked to do is to determine
whether what the officer did would be the same as what any other reasonable
officer would do under those circumstances.
KINDY: So, at the end of the day, if they believe what the officer is
saying, I believed that he was reaching into his waistband and that when he
was doing that, he was reaching for a gun, they –
if they believed in any other reasonable officer would think the same as
they saw somebody reaching into their waistband, then they are not supposed
to convict them.
And – but it does really get down to, yes, there`s a high legal
threshold. But, at the end of the day, you`re really being asked to – do
you believe what the officer is saying, or do you believe the other story?
Now, you have no other story if the other person is dead.
KINDY: Unless you have a video.
HAYES: Right. And in this case, in Tulsa, you`ve got a police officer
who says, I`m sorry. I shot him – at the point he drops the gun. I mean,
it seems quite plausible that he didn`t – that it was an
accident, and yet there still may be criminal liability, and there still
are criminal charges.
Kimberly Kindy, thanks so much. Great reporting.
KINDY: Great. Thank you so much.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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