All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/11/17 Trump & The Russians
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: July 11, 2017
Guest: Mark Warner, Dan Rather Michelle Goldberg, Asawin Suebsaeng,
Charlie Dent, Carrie Cordero
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This Russia thing
with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
HAYES: Donald Trump Jr. gives up the game.
TRUMP: There`s no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians.
HAYES: The President`s son releases a jaw-dropping e-mail showing
attempted collusion with the Russian government.
DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP`S SON: This is time and time again, lie
HAYES: Tonight, what did the President know and when did he know it?
TRUMP: Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000
e-mails that are missing.
HAYES: What this revelation means for all three investigations.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The e-mails, I think, made quite clear
that the Russian government had possession of damaging information.
HAYES: How the White House and Republicans are reacting to a story they
can no longer call fake news.
SEBASTIAN GORKA, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP`S DEPUTY ASSISTANT: This is a
massive nothing burger.
HAYES: And why this bombshell e-mail is already affecting the trajectory
of Trumpcare in the Senate.
TRUMP: I love e-mails. You can`t erase e-mails. When ALL IN starts right
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. After a year of
denials, tonight we know that the campaign of Donald J. Trump for President
at its very highest levels sought to collude with the Russian government to
damage Hillary Clinton and win the 2016 election. All of Trump world
routinely dismissed the very notion of collusion with Russia as insulting,
fake news, cooked up by the campaign`s enemies. But the release of e-mails
today by the President`s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. shows the campaign was
eager to accept Russian government`s help. That it now appears is how the
President`s son, son-in-law and Campaign Chairman ended up in a meeting
last summer with a Russian lawyer as the New York Times first reported,
hoping to collect dirt on their opponent Hillary Clinton. On June 3rd,
2016, Donald Trump Jr. received an e-mail from Rob Goldstone, a music
publicist and acquaintance of the Trumps who was acting on behalf of his
client, a Russian pop star with his own ties to both the Trump family and
to the Kremlin through his father. “Emin just called and asked me to
contact you with something very interesting. The crown prosecutor Russia
met with his father Aras this morning, and in their meeting offered to
provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information
that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be
very useful to your father.”
Now, there`s no crown prosecutor in Russia, that`s a British term, but
there is a Prosecutor General, a powerful position appointed by Vladimir
Putin himself. Goldstone`s e-mail continues. “This is obviously very high
level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government`s
support for Mr. Trump, helped along by Aras and Emin.” Part of Russia and
its government`s support for Mr. Trump. Keep in mind this e-mail came
before we had any idea about the extent of Russia`s election interference
and long before the U.S. Intelligence Community released its conclusion
that that was meant to help Donald Trump which means Donald Trump Jr. knew
what was happening before any than the rest us did. He knew the Russian
government was trying to get his father elected. His response, “Thanks,
Rob, I appreciate that. If it`s what you say, I love it especially later
in the summer.” Just a few weeks later in the summer, the first batch of
hacked DNC e-mails was released. It is now clear that Trump Jr. was lying
when he claimed not to know who the Russian lawyer was, the person he was
meeting with. She is described in an e-mail from Goldstone as a, and I
quote again, Russian`s Government Attorney. Donald Trump Jr. was lying
when he denied having contact with Russian individuals on behalf of the
campaign. And when he initially explained that he took meeting to discuss
a suspended adoption program, Donald Trump Jr. was lying last summer when
he ridiculed reports about Russia`s role in the DNC hack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Robby Mook, the Campaign Manager for Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, he seemed to be suggesting that this is part of a
plot to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Your response?
TRUMP JR.: Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I
mean, they will say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time
and time again, lie after lie. You notice he won`t say, well, I say this,
we hear experts. You know, His house cat at home once said that this is
what`s happening with the Russians. It`s disgusting. It`s so phony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Disgusting, so phony. It is not just Trump Jr. who is implicated
by these new e-mails. The whole chain appears to have been forwarded to
his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort then the Campaign
Chair. Under the subject line Russia, Clinton, Private and Confidential,
that`s the actual subject line showing up in everyone`s inbox. Both
Kushner and Manafort attended the meeting with the Russian lawyer and
Kushner, now a Senior Adviser at the White House maintained his high-level
security clearance. And in an exclusive interview with NBC News, the
Russian lawyer herself said she never intended to hand over any damaging
information of Hillary Clinton. And according to Trump Jr., he did not
receive any material. At this point, we had absolutely no way of knowing
what actually happened in that meeting on June 9th, 2016 but we do know is
that the Russian government`s efforts to help the Trump campaign did not
stop after that day. In a new interview tonight, Trump Jr. admitted again,
he wanted to hear what the Russians had on Hillary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP JR.: In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little
differently. Again, this was before the Russia mania. This was before
they were building it up in the press. For me, this was opposition
research. They had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all the
stories I`ve been hearing about that were probably underreported for - you
know, years, not just during the campaign. So I think I wanted to hear it
out. But really, it went nowhere and it was apparent that that wasn`t what
the meeting was all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We don`t know if that`s true, of course. Now, today the President
of the United States finally broke his silence on the controversy over his
son releasing a brief statement through his spokesperson.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I have a quick
statement that I`ll read from the President. My son is a high-quality
person and I applaud his transparency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A high-quality person. The big question now, whether the
President`s son, his son-in-law or his Campaign Chair ever told the
President, the candidate at the center of this campaign about the meeting,
or about the offer of government support from the Russian government. The
President was at Trump Tower on the day of the meeting. His office just
one floor up from where it took place. But according to his son and his
lawyers, he remained in the dark. I asked Democratic Senator Mark Warner,
Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee whether he already knew
about these new e-mails.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I`m not going to
talk about what the Committee knew or didn`t know before today but
obviously in the last 24 hours, the public for the first time has seen
clear evidence that officials from the Trump campaign knew about the
Russian efforts to try to interfere in the elections, to try to hurt
Clinton, and help in this case Donald Trump Jr.`s father. And it included
not only his son but his son-in-law and the Campaign Manager and the fact
that they somehow all managed to kind of forget this information when they
filed their appropriate reports, is fairly stunning to me.
HAYES: What do you say to folks that say - the defenders of the President
that I`ve seen basically that - you know, they fell for a bait-and-switch,
nothing happened, no crime, nothing to see here?
WARNER: What I`d say is, there is not anyone that I would know, Democrat
or Republican that would take an incoming from an agent of a foreign
government. In this particular case, a foreign adversary like Russia that
said, hey, this is part of the Russian government`s effort to try to help
in this case Mr. Trump and derail Hillary Clinton. No one would take that
kind of meeting. Most folks would actually turn that kind of information
over to the FBI before they`d take that kind of meeting on.
HAYES: Do you believe the accounts that have been given about-have been
given about the content of the meeting?
WARNER: Again, I think I`m not going to reach any conclusions - I know
some of my colleagues have - until we as a committee get a chance to talk
to Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Kushner, and Mr. Manafort. I think we owe them at
least a chance to offer some answers. But believe you me; I`ve got a
number of very serious questions to ask all three of them.
HAYES: Why do you think that Jared Kushner should retain his security
clearance, given the fact that we now have three examples of meetings with
Russian nationals connected to the Kremlin that he omitted from his
security clearance SF86 Form under penalty of perjury?
WARNER: I want again, give Mr. Kushner a chance to testify but what
bothers the heck out of me is, it`s not just Jared Kushner. You know, this
is now close to a dozen plus events where senior officials, either from the
Trump campaign, the transition, or the Trump administration have gone on
television and public media and constantly said no meetings with Russia,
nothing to look at here. But every one of them had said that until they`ve
seen the actual evidence. Then they`ve had to recant and either go amend
their filings or publicly apologize, or in the case of General Flynn, get
fired or in the case of the Attorney General, recuse himself from the whole
investigation. But this is a very, very disturbing pattern from this whole
group of individuals.
HAYES: The President of the United States, his lawyer today denied that
the President had any knowledge of either the e-mail or the meeting. Do
you take the President`s lawyer at his word?
WARNER: I would just say this, Chris. If you had your son and your son-
in-law received information that said hey, the Russian government has got
valuable information that is going to help you as a candidate and hurt your
opponent, Hillary Clinton, it strains my credibility to think that the son
or the son-in-law wouldn`t strain that information. Now again, the
committee is going to get a chance to ask those individuals directly those
questions, so I`ll reserve final judgment until we get a chance to ask
those questions but it`s peculiar, to say the least.
HAYES: Republicans on the Hill today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell said he`s going to push back the recess in full steam ahead with
the health care bill. I mean, what is your response to a GOP majority full
steam ahead on the legislative agenda as we are learning more and more
about what happened during this campaign?
WARNER: Well Chris, I`m happy to say that an awful lot of my Republican
colleagues have expressed a lot of dismay. Not all of them on camera, many
of them to me privately but we`ve had members of the committee like Susan
Collins and James Lankford who both said this is a very important
information that Donald Trump Jr. needs to testify. My job is to keep this
bipartisan investigation bipartisan moving forward. I`ll let others - you
know, jump to the extremes but I think it`s important we continue this. I
do think it`s going to take more than a couple more additional weeks of the
Congress being in session before anything close to that dreadful health
care bill ever gets passed by the United States Senate.
HAYES: Mark Warner, thank you for your time tonight.
WARNER: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Dan Rather host of AXS TV`s The Big Interview,
former Anchor of CBS Evening News. It`s always great to have you here Mr.
DAN RATHER, AXS TV HOST: Good evening.
HAYES: You wrote this on Facebook today and it`s stuck with me. “The
questions are obvious, the answers are wanting. We the American people
deserve to know what in god`s name is happening.” Do you feel like you
have any idea what in god`s name is happening?
RATHER: I think the seeds of suspicion (INAUDIBLE) and we do have
suspicions. What we have are very few hard granite truths. But you know,
this situation is unprecedented in our history. We talked about that
before but I think it is worth italicizing and underscoring (INAUDIBLE).
This is jaw dropping and has never happened in our history before. You
know, we`ve had presidents who have lost all sense of credibility with the
people, Andrew Johnson after the Civil War, Richard Nixon deep into the
second time of his Presidency. But all these happened, Donald Trump has
been President for only six months.
HAYES: That`s a good point.
RATHER: And it just keeps on coming. Now, we need more facts. What I
call hard granite truths. But we got some of those hard granite truths
today, that what we were told by the President`s son and others in the
campaign before, untrue. Now, the potential for legal problems just grow
by the minute here because whatever he did or didn`t do in that meeting,
whatever his reaction to was or wasn`t, if he has, in fact, lied about it -
I know some would say, since he`s lied about it - but if in fact, he lied
about it, that`s a crime. That`s - that can be perjury. But at the very
least, whether he is legally accountable or not, there`s a real ethical
question involved here. There`s a question of patriotism involved here.
And it is an immense political problem for Donald Trump`s Presidency right
now because the hot breath of truth is coming down heavy on their necks
HAYES: As to the ethical problem, I really want to get your perspective on
what we have seen happen in just the last 24 hours. We`ve seen, OK, you
know, people that defended the President said, well, there`s no
interference, and then there was interference but no collusion, and now,
it`s basically, well, they tried to collude but really who wouldn`t? I
mean, as someone who has reported and observed American political life for
decades, what do you say to people who say any campaign would have taken
this meeting, this is totally normal, this isn`t an aberrant.
RATHER: I would say that`s not true and is demonstrably untrue. For
example, during the 2000 Presidential campaign, before one of the debates
between Al Gore and George W. Bush, George W. Bush briefing book was
delivered to the Gore campaign. The Gore campaign immediately called the
FBI and turned the book over to the FBI. Well, what should he have done?
I find people to say, well, what do you expect the President`s son to do?
On these circumstances, I expect him to call the FBI and say this is what
happened because when a foreign power gets involved with trying to affect
the sovereignty of the United States, it doesn`t get much more difficult -
more difficult than that. And you know, a president - the power of the
Presidency, which we often, so often talk about, a central power of the
Presidency has the power to persuade. In the military, they put it this
way. You have - down the ranks, they have to have faith in command. The
American faith in the command of Donald Trump overall and in domain was
never high and has been sinking ever since he got into office primarily
because of this business with the Russians. Now, as is so often as the
case, Chris, again, whatever happened in that meeting or didn`t happen in
that meeting, it`s the lies that have been told since then, the conflicting
testimony, the backtracking. They are in a word, they have been - and they
have been from the beginning even before the Presidency on this issue of
what happened and didn`t happen. They`ve been slipping and sliding,
peeping and hiding but now the game is closing in on them.
HAYES: You know, it`s important I think to sort of focus in on that.
Because I remember when we were first reporting on just this question
about, did Michael Flynn talk to Sergey Kislyak? (INAUDIBLE) is a little
story. I thought to myself, well, it wouldn`t really be that crazy. He`s
the incoming Security Adviser. He talks to the Russian Ambassador, says
look, the sanctions are going in effect, but they just started lying about
it. And I wonder, I mean, what does it do to your journalist`s brain in
here and your sort of experience, when you watch people tell a series of
repeated untruths about the same thing?
RATHER: Well, one of those has raised great suspicions about what is it
they`re hiding? And what we`re talking about tonight basically is what are
they hiding? They were hiding some things, some things are coming into the
light now. There are other things that they are hiding and we have to keep
in mind that the Special Prosecutor, Attorney Mueller, Kushner was in that
room, Manafort was in that room, the President`s son was in the room, what
he will do is get them individually and talk about it and compare their
stories, that you just - you can`t keep on lying, you can`t keep on telling
one story one day, then backtracking and reversing on it the next day. In
terms of the optics, in terms of public relations, you can get away with
it. In terms of the law, you can`t get away from that.
HAYES: Dan Rather, thank you for joining me.
RATHER: Thank you, Chris, always good to be with you.
HAYES: Next, now that we know top members of the Trump team knew that the
Russian government was trying to influence the election, it paints a very
different picture to the 2016 campaign, that today`s big news changes the
context of everything the Trump campaign has ever done and said regarding
Russia, in two minutes.
HAYES: We now know that three people at the very top of Donald Trump`s
campaign for president, his eldest son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law and
close aide Jarred Kushner and his former Campaign Manager Paul Manaport
took a meeting with the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer last June after
being promised, “information that would incriminate Hillary,” information
that was “part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump.” And
that e-mail was sent to John Jr. who forward it to Manafort and Kushner,
they all knew and they all attended the meeting. Yet a month and a half
later, after the release of the hacked DNC e-mails, Manafort explicitly
denied any ties to the Russian government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you and your
campaign, and the Putin and his regime?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, there are not. It`s
absurd and you know, there`s no basis to it.
HAYES: Absurd, no basis. That same day, John Jr. responded angrily to a
Clinton campaign claim that the Russian government was seeking to help
Trump something he knew at the time to be true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP JR.: It`s disgusting. It`s so phony. I watched him bumble through
the interview; I was able to hear it on audio a little bit. I mean, I
can`t think of bigger lies, but that exactly goes to show you what the DNC
and what the Clinton camp will do. They will lie and do anything to win.
I don`t mind a fair fight but these lies and the perpetuating of that kind
of nonsense to try to you know, gain some political capital is just
outrageous and he should be ashamed of himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That man who was quite evidently passionate and exorcised about the
outrageous claims being made, that man has now admitted he tried to get
damaging information on Clinton from the Russian government. Then there`s
Jared Kushner. Now, Kushner is not on tape a lot. Kushner who would
reportedly later attempt to set-up a back channel with the Russian
government possibly in their facilities to evade detection from U.S.
Intelligence Agencies, he did not disclose the meeting with the Russian
lawyer on his security form. And that was one of at least three meetings
with Russian citizens linked to the Kremlin that Jared Kushner did not
disclose. We don`t know if President Trump himself was aware of the
meeting. The White House says he wasn`t but we know it took place in Trump
Tower. We know that the future President was in Trump Tower on that day.
We also know the man who sent the e-mail promising Russian government dirt
to John Jr., offered to, and I quote again, “send this info to your father
via Rhoda - that`s Trump Personal Assistant, longtime trusted and
gatekeeper - Rhoda Graff, though we do not know if he did so. If the
President did know that the Russian government was actively seeking to help
him, it puts everything he`s done regarding Russia from his repeated
charges of fake news all the way to the firing of James Comey into a whole
new context, not the least which this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000
e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be reward mightily by
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Michelle Goldberg, Columnist at Slate and Asawin
Suebsaeng who`s Politics Reporter at the Daily Beast. And Asawin, you have
some great sources in the White House who are always good for incredibly
colorful quotes. What is the mood over there in the wake of this
ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, THE DAILY BEAST POLITICS REPORTER: Well, a lot of this
does rather feel like burn after reading but starring the Trump family now,
doesn`t it. Well, what we do know based on my reporting by me and my
colleague Lachlan Markay over at The Daily Beast, is that people within
Trump`s inner circle, including top officials in the White House, for
months and some over a year now, do not have a very high opinion of Donald
Trump Jr. at all. And if anything, that opinion has cratered even further,
given the revelations of the past few days. Quite frankly, many of them
think he`s an idiot. That`s not my word. That`s from two sources Lachlan
and I have in the piece. And during the campaign, there were people at the
top levels of the Trump campaign who would gossip about him behind his back
and called him Fredo, which is a direct reference to Fredo Corleone which
anybody who`s seen the Godfather series knows that when you say that,
you`re referring to a weak and insecure and failure of a son who does harm
to the family and contributes very little.
HAYES: I keep thinking about - so I keep thinking about what happened
after this meeting. OK. So here`s the thing I think about. I want to get
your - what your thoughts. So let`s say meeting goes down exactly the way
that they say, right? They go and it turns out to be a kind of this con.
This woman is talking about adoption, Magnetsky, she leaves, you think -
six weeks later, when you`re watching the news, and these hacks start
coming out and there`s reporting the Russians are behind it, you then know.
I mean, you got to remember at that moment, oh, right, they said -
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE COLUMNIST: Yes, and oh yes, I said it would be
great if something came out later in the summer. I mean, it`s just, it`s -
but it`s not credible, the idea that they had no idea that this was coming
and certainly that they had no idea who was behind it once it began to
emerge. And one of the things that`s been so bizarre and I think kind of
psychologically debilitating for those of us who are forced to live through
the terrible period is that so much of what they`re doing is on the one
hand completely out in the open and on the other hand completely
implausible, right? So there`s been all of these bizarre coincidences,
lies, scandals, you know, the Kushner backchannel, the Flynn firing, the
money that`s already emerged, you know, that Donald Trump`s ties to all of
these oligarchs. It seems a lot like there was something so profoundly
corrupt going on that you could scarcely grasp it. But because it`s so
crazy, it`s hard to even - right, it`s - there`s this believability hurdle
that it doesn`t surpass. And so, when they say things out in the open, on
the one hand, it`s - he just said that he just asked for collusion on live
television. On the other hand, they`re so blatant that it almost seems
exculpatory because you think well if they were actually colluding with the
Russians, why would they do it on live television?
HAYES: So, when do people - I mean, the thought that I had today, I never
thought an e-mail like this existed. It`s possible that this didn`t lead
to anything further although I think at this point we have to be skeptical
about that idea. It seems to me that everyone in the White House and
everyone in the Republican party is tied to a potential cover-up that they
don`t know what`s being covered up, I mean, right? The people - there must
be a lot of people working in that White House who are just waiting for the
next bomb to drop like the rest of us.
SUEBSAENG: Correct. And that might even include the President himself.
Again, it strains credulity somewhat that President Trump was kept in the
dark entirely over this. But if you look at the President`s statement
today, which came after several days of silence on Twitter and elsewhere,
where he wouldn`t defend his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., it is a very
brief one-sentence statement that defends his high quality son and he
praises him for his transparency and it wreaks of a statement that doesn`t
seem full-throated or enthusiastic.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, I noticed that as well. Vice President Pence as well
sort of coming up with a statement that was very tepid. I`m focused on
what we`re trying to do here. You know, you can almost watch people, it
seems like in real-time we are watching Trump Jr. be turned into the fall
guy for this story.
GOLDBERG: Right. But I think - I mean, it seems like that`s what they are
attempting to do, right? But that cannot be allowed to happen and I don`t
think it will be allowed to happen. I mean, it`s a scandal that will -
Jared Kushner even might still have a security clearance. I guess that
Sarah Huckabee Sanders won`t answer one way or the other. But it clearly
was far deeper than Donald Trump Jr. And the other thing, if somebody says
to you - they kind of say part of the Russian government`s support for your
father and interest in helping you get elected or whatever the exact
language is. That`s presented as not a new revelation.
HAYES: A known fact. Something already entered into office.
GOLDBERG: But - right, exactly. And if - and if it wasn`t and something
like that comes across your desk, you know, even Donald Trump Jr., I can`t
imagine him saying with a straight face that he decided not to mention that
to his father.
HAYES: It is also a scandal. I just want to say that no one called the
FBI when this e-mails starts coming out. I mean, that just seems like the
obvious thing that you`re obligated to do if you have any moral compass
whatsoever. Michelle Goldberg, Asawin Suebsaeng thank you so much.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, in the days after the Watergate break in the Nixon White
House famously tried to minimize the fallout by calling it a third rate
burglary. Today, it`s all about nothing burgers, nothing burgers, coming
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Reince Priebus called it a nothing burger on
the weekend. I have a real problem with this. This is an insult to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump Jr. is not part of the administration.
And so this is a massive nothing burger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know burgers. And I`ve got a gut to prove it. And
this is a nothing burger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would fall in the nothing burger category on this
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far a nothing burger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m one of those people where it says it`s a nothing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess that would be the condiment that you`re adding
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALEL; But is that just mustard on the burger or is that a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like to talk about (inaudible) or would you
like to continue talking about a nothing burger story?
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: So put Brit Hume down as nothing burger.
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: Well, that`s a phrase that has gotten so common I`m
kind of – I kind of hesitate to use it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now the emails are out, at least one of those people has evolved.
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin today declaring the story is now, a,
well, a something burger tweeting, “I
voted for POTUS last November and want him and the USA to succeed, but that
meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no.”
Mitch McConnell had a very different response in the wake of news the
president`s son sought to collude with Russia, the senate Republican leader
renewed his push to get a GOP health care bill passed, possibly before it`s
The fallout from the Trump emails on the Hill right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Someone close to the president needs
to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the
time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named
Boris, you list every single one of those and we`re going to turn them over
the special counsel, because this drip, drip, drip is undermining the
credibility of this administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Congressman Trey Gowdy on the Don Junior emails. His was
one of a range of Republican reactions today, including Utah Senator Orrin
Hatch who called the emails, quote, overblown.
But one man in Washington had a more immediately pragmatic reaction. Mitch
McConnell appeared to recognize that a clock is likely now running on this
administration with hours of the release of the emails, he pushed back the
August recess so as to jam through as much business as possible as quickly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: We`ve got the defense authorization.
We`ve got the debt ceiling. We`ve got the FDA user fee, and other important
legislation that we need to address and we simply, as a result of all this
obstructionism, don`t have enough time to address all of these issues
between now and the originally anticipated August recess.
So we`ll be here the first two weeks of August.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mitch McConnell may be blaming Democrats who are of course in the
obstruction, but the calendar suggests that this is about passing health
care reform before more Trump scandal erupts and closes McConnell`s window
to pass legislation, this, despite hard evidence today that President
Trump`s campaign sought to collude with a foreign power during the
With me now, Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.
Congressman, how would you characterize senior members of the campaign
taking a meeting with someone described as a foreign agent of a foreign
power to provide derogatory information about
their campaign opponent? How would you characterize that?
REP. CHARLIE DENT, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: At the very least, problematic. It`s
DENT: Problematic, damaging. I would say, it`s not something I could ever
defend or explain, and I won`t even try.
I think it is a very serious problem and that`s why Bob Mueller is out
there investigating and he will make a determination if any laws were
broken, or if there was any collusion. So, I think it is a very serious
matter. I`m not going to whitewash this by any means, Chris.
HAYES: Is there anything – I don`t know how the ask this, but it`s the
question that everyone
wants to know, is there literally anything that could happen that would
just say – that would make you, Charlie Dent, say I cannot support Donald
Trump as president of the United States? I can`t vote for his agenda. I
can`t be on board with him.
DENT: Well, Chris, let me answer it this way, I think when we get beyond
the day to day news on Russia, the drip, drip, drip, I think we have to
look at this on a much broader context on Russia.
Russia is a hostile foreign power. They are an adversary. They are a
threat. They want to break up NATO. They want to unravel the European
Union. They want to undermine American power and influence anywhere they
can. They behaved badly in Ukraine. They behaved badly in Syria, in
Europe, in our elections of course. We all know that. They`re bad actors.
and we should not be entering agreements with them on cyber security, for
example. We should be doing that with our friends and our partners and our
allies to protect ourselves against threats like
Russia, and not expose our methods and our intelligence, our knowledge,
with a hostile actor.
So, I don`t understand why this administration is so he conciliatory and
accommodating to Putin`s Russia.
HAYES: Congressman, wait a second, but you don`t understand, but I mean,
there is a plausible theory given today`s email, perhaps they`re
accommodating because they know that that government helped them get
elected, and could presumably help them in the future. Isn`t that a theory
DENT: I guess a fair point, Chris. Fair point. But my view on the
administration is, I work with the administration on issues when I think
they`re moving in the right direction. I will support them. When they are
doing things not in our nation`s interests, I will serve as a check and I
them when I have to.
So, I think it is not an issue of a zero sum game that because of an issue,
I can`t support them on anything or I have oppose him on everything. I
think that`s – I think we have to all be a little bit more balanced and
nuanced in how we deal with this administration.
HAYES: I get that. And one of the things that you did not support them on
is the AHCA, which is the name of the health care bill in the House and you
voted against it.
DENT: And the travel ban. I was the first Republican to speak speak out
against the travel ban.
HAYES: But I guess the question I`m trying to get at is, at what point do
you approach something that looks like a legitimacy crisis? And here`s an
example. You know, right now, Mitch McConnell is going to try push through
through a bill crafted in secret and then rewritten in secret that would
reorder 1/6 of the American economy. 22 million people lose health care,
$800 billion cuts to Medicaid, and do that in a two-week window in the wake
of finding out concrete evidence the president`s campaign sought to collude
with a foreign entity and the president himself under criminal
investigation for obstruction of justice.
Under those conditions, isn`t it fair for Americans to say, wait a second,
hold up. Shouldn`t we find out first if the president definitively is not
a criminal before we pass this health care legislation?
DENT: Well, let me say this, we have important work to do here, whether
it`s on tax reform, health care, infrastructure. And, you know, I have to
operate under the presumption of innocence. All people are presumed
innocent under proven otherwise. And so I think what we have to – we have
business to attend to.
And to the extent that we are, you know, talking about, you know, in this
case the Russian matter or some other tweet that really has nothing to do
with anything substantive, you konw, it`s distracting us from dealing with
these very real and serious policy issues that the country expects us to
HAYES: Let me just – and you`re right, of course, and presumption of
innocence is something that I think is incredibly important, a central
tradition in our judicial tradition.
It is different with the president, though, right, because the president of
the United States doesn`t have – he isn`t tried in normal courts, right?
The president is a citizen who has a very different set of legal
accountability, which is the powers under Article 1 of impeachment of the
United States congress.
And so you ultimately, you ultimately, sir, are sitting on – you know, you
are sitting in judgment, because there is no other process that doesn`t
involve one Charlie Dent and his colleagues in determining what is too
DENT: Well, I don`t think that – look, Chris, you`re using the term
impeachment. I think that is not something we should be talking about at
all. I mean, again, there is a threshold for that, you know, high crimes
and misdemeanors. And, again, there is a presumption of innocence.
Yes, there is an ongoing investigation by Bob Mueller and the House and
Senate committees. This is being investigated. I think it is premature to
be jumping to the next step about what should happen in the event something
I mean, we simply don`t know if there was collusion or not. Obviously
these emails don`t look good, but that`s up for the special prosecutor to
make that recommendation not for you or me.
HAYES: Fair enough. And final question, should Mitch McConnell have at
least one hearing before they vote in the Senate?
DENT: Well, I think there should be more transparency on the health care
issue. I`ve always felt that way. I felt the Democrats…
HAYES: So, just that one question. Should he have a hearing?
DENT: Yes. We should. And the Democrats shouldn`t have muscled Obamacare
through the way they did and I don`t think we should make the same mistake
the Democrats did trying to reverse it.
HAYES: Congressman Charlie Dent, always a pleasure. It`s always a
pleasure for your time. I really do appreciate it.
DENT: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, did Donald Trump Jr. commit a crime? I`ll talk with two
former DOJ lawyers about that and where the Mueller investigation goes from
here just ahead.
And members of the Trump orbit lawyering up in tonight`s Thing One, Thing
HAYES: Thing One tongiht, lawyering up. With public focus on the Russia
probe rising, so are the billable hours as the Trump orbit continues to
hire personal outside counsel.
President Trump`s legal team currently consists of Mark Kazowicz (ph), Jay
Sekulow, Mark Bow (ph), and most recently John Dowd (ph), a high profile
D.C. criminal defense lawyer.
Vice President Pence called it pretty routine when he hired a lawyer last
month around the same time Attorney General Jeff Sessions retained legal
Now, President Trump`s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has
hired two personal lawyers. And even Trump`s long time personal attorney
Michael Cohen hired a personal attorney of his
Now, following revelations of Don Jr.`s meet at Trump tower with a Russian
lawyer, we`ve been introduced to several new characters in the unfolding
investigation, including this guy who is now shelling out cash for a lawyer
for himself. We`ll show you the legal hires in the last 24 hours,
including one with a history of defending mobsters. That`s Thing Two in 60
HAYES: Today we learned that three of the people allegedly connected to
Don Jr.`s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer have hired lawyers
themselves. Rob Goldstone, the publicist and
former British tabloid journalist with a penchant for posting Facebook
videos like this one and who emailed Don Jr. to set up the meeting, he
confirmed today he`s hired a New York-based attorney to handle inquiries
related to the Russia probe.
Meanwhile, the father/son duo with ties to Kremlin, that would be Russian
real estate developer
Aras Agalarov and his son Emin, the pop singer, the ones who are allegedly
involved in setting up the meeting with Don Jr., they also retained an
American attorney today.
But perhaps the most significant legal hire made this week was this guy,
that is criminal defense
attorney Allen Fudifoss (ph) who made a name for himself by defending high
profile mobsters, including the alleged head of the Lucchese crime family,
and defendants accused of working with the Gambino and Genovese crime
That lawyer was retained yesterday by none other than Donald Trump Jr.
HAYES: The revelations of Donald Trump Jr.`s meeting, along with Paul
Manafort and Jared Kushner, with a Russian lawyer, came to light through
dogged reporting and leaks. Now, imagine for a moment what kind of
information this guy can get his hands on.
Since being tapped for special counsel in late May, Robert Mueller has
quietly been leading a Justice Department investigation into Russian
interference in last year`s election. And as part of that, the
investigation of the president himself for possible obstruction of justice.
And doing so with an army of investigators in what is widely considered an
all-star roster of
lawyers known for their work in national security, public corruption, and
But what we`re hearing from a lot of the president`s defenders today is
that even if his oldest son
crossed the line on collusion, he didn`t commit a crime. Are they right?
We`ll talk about that and where
Robert Mueller`s investigation is headed in the wake of the Trump emails,
HAYES: Joining me now, Carrie Cordero, former Justice Department lawyer
who now teaches at Georgetown Law; and Paul Butler, former federal
prosecutor at the Justice Department, MSNBC legal analyst, who also teaches
All right, so, Paul, let me start with you. Just, there`s a question
today, and it`s not clear one way or the other, what we know today, does
that constitute criminal activity. What`s your read on that?
PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Chris, when Donald Trump Jr. did this
email dump today, he provided probable cause for Robert Mueller to charge
him with a crime, specifically, campaign fraud.
It`s a federal offense to solicit a campaign contribution from a foreign
national. The statute`s clear. The contribution doesn`t have to be cash
money, it can be anything of value, including opposition research.
Now, do I think Mueller is going to charge him tomorrow? No. When you
have probable cause, you don`t have to do it that day. But make no
mistake, Mr. Trump Jr. is in deep trouble of his
own doing at some point, at some point he will be charged.
HAYES: Carrie, do you agree?
CARRIE CORDERO, GEORGETOWN LAW: Well, here`s what I think the emails that
were released today show. First of all, it showed that the Trump
campaign`s senior individuals like Donald Trump Jr. and the other senior
leaders of the campaign knew that there was a Russian influence that was
supporting their – his father`s campaign. And second of all, the emails
provide more opportunity for the investigation to follow up on certain
So, for example, it said that there was Russian government support. And so
the question that is
raised is what is that other support that might exist? Was it only
opposition research, or I think, the investigators are going to look at,
were there other types of support, whether it`s financial or something
else, and i Ihink that`s going to be another area that the investigators
can look at now.
HAYES: Yeah, Paul I mean – the thing that I want to read are the emails
after this meeting. Because if the meeting goes down that the way that
people – Don Jr. says it went down, which is came – the lawyer came in
and kind of hand waved and then got into this adoption Magnitsky Act, you
would imagine there might be further emails or conversations with Rob
Goldstone saying, hey, what
was that? I thought you guys had real good dirt/what`s the deal? Can you
ask Aras and Emin about what – all of that, presumably will be accessible
to investigators if any documentation like that exists, correct?
BUTLER: I think that`s right. So, this is just the beginning of a paper
trail. If this is what incredibly able reporters are getting, and all they
have is the power of persuasion to get people to talk. Bob Mueller has the
power of subpoena. So, I think we can guess that he has a lot more
information that we wouldn`t know about.
And one thing he`s going to be looking at on these emails is the CC. And he
wants to know if the Big Kahuna, Donald Trump Sr., was in on any of this.
Chris, I`ve talked to a bunch of my former prosecutor friends, I don`t know
anybody who believes Donald Trump Sr. when he says he didn`t know about
this meeting. It just belies credibility if you think his son was there,
his son-in-law, the chief of his campaign, talking about something Trump is
obsessed with, Hillary`s email, and he knows nothing about it? Give me a
HAYES: Carrie, I also thought that today`s revelations colored the case
for obstruction, or the question of obstruction, which is being
investigated. You know, it does seem to me that if it is the fact that the
president of the United States knew, and we haven`t established that at
all, but if it were the fact that it was established that he knew that the
Russian government was seeking to aid him, that his son and other aides had
met with them, that would give them a very clear motivation to make sure
that people didn`t do too much digging around into the issue, with right?
CORDERO: Look, he`s known. The things – whether he knew about this
particular meeting or not is one thing, but what this one meeting will lead
to is an uncovering of whether there were other similar types of meetings
His efforts have been to stop this investigation. He fired the chief
investigator. He has tweeted repeatedly, trying to discredit the
investigation. He`s tried to discredit the FBI, he`s tried to discredit
intelligence community. He`s wanted this investigation stopped.
And so, there has to be a reason for that.
HAYES: Paul, if you were an investigator, if you were working in the
public corruption unit in the Department of Justice, and you saw something
like this, just a local race, where a campaign aide met with a foreign –
the promise of a foreign attorney, to provide oppo, I mean, what would go
through your head?
BUTLER: I would think, this is really weird. Why is this guy meeting with
a Russian national? And then I would do what Bob Mueller is going to do,
which is to bring Trump Jr. in for a little sit down with crack FBI agents
and his best prosecutors.
And he`s in a difficult position. If he tells the truth, he just
implicates himself in campaign fraud. If he lies, he`s going down for
perjury. If he takes the fifth, then his dad, the president, has some
explaining to do.
HAYES: All right. Carrie Cordero and Paul Butler, thank you both for your
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts now. Good
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