Russian Lawyer bombshell & House Intel Report: TRANSCRIPT: 04/27/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Charlie Pierce, Christine Greer, Victor Cha, Tim Shorrock, Eric Swalwell, Joyce Vance, Renato Mariotti, Harry Litman

Date: April 27, 2018
Guest: Charlie Pierce, Christine Greer, Victor Cha, Tim Shorrock, Eric Swalwell, Joyce Vance, Renato Mariotti, Harry Litman



Russia. You can believe this one.

HAYES: As the President spins.

TRUMP: She probably can`t believe it. Who can?

HAYES: An NBC News exclusive.

DONALD TRUMP JR, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: The pretext of the meeting was, hey,
I have information about your opponent.

HAYES: New reporting that the Russian lawyer from the Trump Tower meeting
had much deeper Kremlin ties than we ever knew. Plus, what Paul Manafort`s
big loss in court today means for the Mueller probe. And why the sudden
pause in the stormy Daniels suit. Then, the growing firestorm over Paul
Ryan`s decision to fire the House Chaplain.

PAT CONROY, HOUSE CHAPLAIN: May their efforts these days guarantee that
there are not winners and losers under new tax laws.

HAYES: And as the President celebrates –

TRUMP: I get a big, big kick out of that.

HAYES: What to make of the historic peace talks between North and South
Korea. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. On the very same day
the President took a victory lap over a Republican report clearing him of
any wrongdoing in the 2016 election, NBC News revealed that that lawyer,
who met with the President`s son during the campaign has much closer ties
to the Russian government than previously known. Today, Republicans on the
House Intelligence Committee released their final heavily redacted report
on Russian interference in the election, which you`ll be shocked to hear,
the President hailed as total vindication.


TRUMP: Yes, we were honored. It was a great report. No collusion, which
I knew anyway. No coordination, no nothing. The report was very powerful,
very strong. There was no collusion between the Trump Campaign and the
Russian people. I was very honored by the report. It was totally
conclusive, strong, powerful. Many things said that nobody knew about and
said in a very strong way.


HAYES: Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as you might
imagine, strongly dispute the majority`s findings. I`m going to talk to
one of them just coming up in a second. And just as the President is
declaring basically case closed, we`re learning explosive new information
about that Russian lawyer, who met with his son and senior campaign
officials in June 2016. Now, we knew she had ties of some kind to the
Russian prosecutor general, who is more or less the Kremlin`s Jeff
Sessions. But now, that same Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya is admitting
those ties go far deeper than any of us knew. She sat down for an
exclusive interview with NBC`s Richard Engel.


asking these questions is because of the contacts that you`ve had with the
most senior people who are now in our government.


ENGEL: You said your relationship with the prosecutor general is what?


HAYES: She`s an informant, an informant to the prosecutor general. Think
about that for a second. This person who met during the campaign with the
President`s campaign chairman, his son, and son-in-law and now Senior White
House Adviser, met promising dirt on his opponent where they were expecting
to get that dirt on Hillary Clinton.

This person is an informant to a top Kremlin Official. While the House
Intelligence Committee has concluded its investigation, Special Counsel
Robert Mueller has not, and we know for a fact he is interested in the
Trump Tower Meeting, because just this week in a court filing on that
Manafort case, Mueller`s prosecutors revealed a warrant they obtained last
summer specifically authorize them to seek, “communications, records,
documents, and other files involving any of the attendees of the June 9th,
2016 meeting at Trump Tower from Manafort`s home.”

And months ago it was reported that at least one of the people who
accompanied Veselnitskaya to the meeting had already testified before
Mueller`s grand jury last summer. As of last weekend, according to the
Associated Press, Veselnitskaya herself said she had not been contacted by
the Special Counsel. I`m joined now from Estonia by NBC New Chief Foreign
Correspondent Richard Engel whose full interview with Natalia Veselnitskaya
airs right after us tonight at 9:00. Richard, it`s great to have you.
What`d you learn from this interview?

ENGEL: Well, we learned more about who she is, her background, and her
version of the story and about her connections to the Russian state. We
spent quite a bit of time with her. We actually interviewed her twice in
two different cities. And she told her – she told us that her purpose was
to shed light.

This is her official story, on what she believes is a grand conspiracy
being perpetrated against the United States of America and she believes
that sanctions on Russia are based on lies and false reporting and she says
she was simply there in Trump Tower to shed light on this matter to the
officials who were prominent Americans, meaning those people who were at
the Trump Tower Meeting. But she did say also, that as part of her own
investigations, she had come across damaging information about Hillary
Clinton, some of her donors that she wanted to share. Then, we also came
across some of this e-mail correspondence that you`ve been talking about,
that shows she has links to, or certainly, connections to the –and
influence over the Russian prosecutor general`s office.

HAYES: Yes, tell me about her relationship to Yuri Chaika because he is
mentioned in the e-mail approach that`s made to Don Junior. The e-mail
approach is that the you know, I forget the term that`s used – it`s the
crown prosecutor, I think which is the British term –

ENGEL: Crown prosecutor.

HAYES: That`s right. That he wants – that he`s the one that`s sort of
driving this. So what is her relationship to that man, Yuri Chaika?

ENGEL: So just to set up a little bit about what you`re saying. So this
meeting didn`t just happen overnight. There were calls back and forth and
e-mails back and forth trying to establish who was going to come, what kind
of meeting they should have. And there was this key figure, Rob Goldstone,
who was communicating with a family of Russian oligarchs, a Russian
oligarch, and his son. And in this communication, Rob Goldstone says that
the crown prosecutor`s office, apparently has – or the crown prosecutor
has apparently this information, damaging, incriminating Hillary Clinton
and is willing to share.

And then he describes that there will be a meeting set up with a Russian
government lawyer. Now, there is no crown prosecutor in Russia, so it is
widely presumed to mean the prosecutor general, who would effectively be
the crown prosecutor if there was a crown prosecutor. The meeting take
place, that government lawyer is Natalia Veselnitskaya, she says or
initially said she is not a government lawyer, only that she`s just a
regular lawyer who wanted to talk about sanctions and wanted to bring this
information to light about Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: There`s also e-mails that you got, if I`m not mistaken, from
Mikhail Khodorkovsky who is an oligarch who fell out of favor and was
prosecuted by Vladimir Putin. What are those e-mails show?

ENGEL: So on one track, you have this relationship where she called
herself an informant for the prosecutor general`s office and you have that
e-mail where Rob Goldstone says, we`re going to set up this meeting with
this government lawyer, who`s got dirt on Hillary Clinton. That`s one
track, which she makes the statement herself, which you just played,
describing her role. The other track are these e-mails. These leaked e-
mails that we received from this former Russian oligarch.

He was once the richest man in Russia then he fell out of favor with
Vladimir Putin, escaped the country, left the country, and is now living
abroad. He says he obtained these e-mails through an anonymous source and
these e-mails appear to show a back and forth exchange in which
Veselnitskaya is offering comments, did editing, and in some cases, it
appears to be dictating sections on an official Russian government response
to a request for information from the U.S. Justice Department.

So the fact that she would be able to do that, according to these e-mails,
suggests that she`s not just some private lawyer, a concerned citizen, who
happened to be meeting in Trump Tower. It would suggest that she says
she`s an informant, but these e-mails suggest that she has the ability to
work on the same document and exchange paragraphs with and in some cases
dictate the language of an official government response to a U.S. Justice
Department request for information.

HAYES: Richard Engel, I am going to be watching this in 51 minutes. It`s
great to have you with us. I can`t wait.

ENGEL: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. You can watch Richard`s full interview with Natalia
Veselnitskaya with a special edition of “ON ASSIGNMENT” with Richard Engel
tonight at 9:00 right here on MSNBC. While the President is touting the
report released today by the Republicans in the House Intelligence
Committee, the Democrats in the Committee say the report does not present a
full picture.

And they put up their own minority report laying out all the threads that
according to them, their GOP counterparts refuse to pull. It reveals some
very interesting new information about who Donald Trump Jr. was talking to
in the run-up to that Trump Tower Meeting. According to the report, Trump
Junior`s phone records show two calls to and from the same Russian number
on June 6, 2016, three days before the meeting take place.

That number appears to belong to Emin Agalarov, that would be the Russian
pop star, remember him, and also the Trump business partner who was the one
who helped initiate the meeting. And here`s the really interesting part,
right? The phone records also show a blocked numbered 4/27 between the two
calls to and from Emin Agalarov. Don Junior testified he did not know
who`s number that was, but Corey Lewandowski told the committee that Donald
Trump`s primary residence has a blocked phone line. The day after all
those phone calls, Candidate Trump made a big announcement.


TRUMP: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday or next week
and we`re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place
with the Clintons. I think you`re going to find it very informative and
very, very interesting.


HAYES: Congressman Eric Swalwell is a Democratic Member of the House
Intelligence Committee. Let`s talk about this first. There`s – there are
calls between Don Junior and Emin Agalarov. There`s a call in between.
Was the Committee able to determine anything about that call or whether Don
Junior talked to his father?

evening, Chris. No, the Republicans who held the subpoena power were
completely unwilling to subpoena Donald Trump Jr.`s phone provider, who
would have been able to tell us who that blocked number belonged to. We
have a lot of circumstantial evidence that suggests that we would want to
know whether or not Candidate Trump knew about the meeting. He was in the

He was just one floor above where the meeting took place. He was very
close with the Agalarov family, who asked to set up the meeting. So the
fact that he wouldn`t have been a part of it or had any idea, it just does
not make much sense. He was exchanging gifts at the time with the Agalarov
family, who were sending him a birthday painting just a couple of days
after. And then, of course, there`s the timing of what he was telling the
world would be coming and then, of course, just a couple days later after
the meeting, Julian Assange tells the world that there`s hacked materials
that will soon be released. We could have found out this information. I
don`t think the Republicans wanted to know the answer.

HAYES: I just want to make sure I`m tracking this because it seems
important and it seems important in sort of fairness to the President here,
to make sure we know what`s going on. Don Junior talks to Emin Agalarov,
he makes – there`s a call with a blocked number and then he talks to Emin
Agalarov again. What you`re telling me is that the committee had the power
to subpoena the phone records to just figure out what that phone call was,
and to show that it wasn`t to say his father, if it was to his father, and
they refused to do that?

SWALWELL: They absolutely refused to do that. And we asked Donald Trump
Jr. to provide those records to us or to ask himself who the blocked number
was. He refused to provide that as well. So there are a number of ways
that we could have done that. And also, just remember that in the e-mail
thread on June 6th, Donald Trump Jr. is talking to Rob Goldstone, who says,
let me connect you in a few minutes, 20 minutes, with Emin. And so the
timing matches up and Donald Trump Junior told us in our interview that
meeting that he believed the call was to Emin. So it`s a mystery as to who
was called in between but it would make a lot of sense if it was Donald
Trump Sr., considering everything else that was going on.

HAYES: I mean, am I crazy to think that if it wasn`t Donald Trump Sr.,
they would have been eager to provide that information to you?

SWALWELL: You would seem – it would seem that they would be very, very
eager to rule Donald Trump Sr. out, but again, in every time we got close,
and there were so many other circumstances like this, the Republicans were
unwilling to take that next step, where we could use our Committee`s
subpoena power, to get bank records, phone records, travel logs, the same
thing with Michael Cohen. Now, remember, he adamantly denied that he was
in Prague, and all we asked was us, just give us one record to show that
you were somewhere else when you were over in Italy or over in London,
which we know you were in those places in the summer and Fall of 2016, and
the Republicans refused to subpoena that and he refused to turn over any

HAYES: Wait, I want to be clear about this again. This big question was,
Michael Cohen in Prague. You said, hey, just show us some stuff so that we
could rule it out and asked the Republicans to say, hey, let`s subpoena
some records so we could rule it out, so we could just match your alibi,
and they declined to do both.

SWALWELL: That`s absolutely right.

HAYES: All right. Let`s – there`s a new piece of information in this
report as far as I can tell about the NRA. And I haven`t known what to
make of this story. It`s a really interesting one. It`s skirted around
the edges of this story about whether, essentially, someone connected the
Kremlin, a man by the name of Alexander Torshin was sort of using the NRA
as a back channel. I`m going to read a portion from the report and ask for
you to explain it. The e-mail, there`s a reference to an e-mail that`s
recently uncovered. It goes on to say that Russia plan to use the NRA`s
annual convention to make first contact with the Trump Campaign and that
Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.
We know that Don Junior did, in fact, meet a Russian politician at the
convention. What should we make of this?

SWALWELL: Well, the subject line of that e-mail which was not in the
report was Kremlin back channel and we saw that type of subject line or
approach –

HAYES: Wait, what was – what was the subject line?

SWALWELL: Kremlin back channel. So we saw that so many times through
other witnesses who were also approached. And so you had different people
making approaches to Trump Campaign members or family members, where that
subject line or the essence of that message was being conveyed.

HAYES: Sorry, I just want to make sure. Who received the e-mail line with
the subject line, Kremlin back channel and who did it come from?

SWALWELL: So, Erick Erickson – I`m sorry Rick Dearborn was – who
received the e-mail and it came from Paul Erickson.

HAYES: Paul Erickson who was connected to the NRA. Rick Dearborn got it.
And was Jeff Sessions, did he get a wind of this e-mail?

SWALWELL: So Rick Dearborn had been the Chief of Staff to Jeff Sessions.
And so, of course, Rick Dearborn was questioned. And Chris, now, I`m
limited in what I can talk about as far as witness testimony because the
transcripts were not released. I have to stick within the parameters of
what`s in the report. But, you know, Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump,
his father, did go to the NRA convention where Alexander Torshin and Maria
Butina, two Russians, also attended in Kentucky in May of 2016.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks for laying that out
for us.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

HAYES: Still ahead, a major legal setback for Trump`s former Campaign
Manager. The new gaping hole in Paul Manafort`s defense strategy and what
it means for both his upcoming criminal trials, next.


HAYES: Former Donald Trump Campaign Chair, Paul Manafort, failed today in
an attempt to block further criminal charges against him. As a judge
tossed out Manafort`s civil law suit to challenge the authority of the
Special Counsel Robert Mueller writing, in a 24 page ruling at a civil case
is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has
done in the past or where he might be headed in the future. Manafort, a
man who is wearing an ankle bracelet on each leg will have to face a bevy
of existing charges in his first of two public trials beginning in July
unless he flips.

To help figure out what this means for Manafort, I`m joined by former U.S.
Attorney from Northern District of Alabama Joyce Vance, former U.S.
Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Harry Litman, and former
Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti. Joyce, let me ask – start with you.
The judge`s ruling today, what`s your take away from that?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It`s the correct ruling. In a criminal
case, there are a variety of mechanisms for a defendant to judge the
validity of the lawsuit. He can file a motion to dismiss. He can
challenge jurisdiction. What Manafort did was to go outside the confines
of the criminal case and to file a separate civil lawsuit. He tried to
challenge Mueller`s legitimacy, really, as a special counsel in that
lawsuit and the judge properly dismissed that.

HAYES: Renato, right now it seems like the path is cleared for a trial
sometime in the fall. What would that trial look like?

me – it would be a lengthy trial. There would be many, many witnesses, a
lot of documents and records. There are – there are many cases that –
excuse me, there are many charges against Manafort, complex charges like
money laundering, for example, charges relating to his disclosures, various
bank records.

So you would literally have witnesses coming in from various — you know,
from various entities, talking about how their records are kept, talking
about his – you know, talking about where he kept his bank accounts, for
example. You would have his associates talking about how he ran his
operation. You know, his lobbying efforts, for example, and what he was
doing there. So it would be a pretty lengthy trial that would focus on
some arcane, you know, sorry arcane financial transactions.

HAYES: Harry, there are also some developments happening in the Michael
Cohen seizure that happened in the Southern District of New York. That`s -
- he was raided by the FBI, his lawyers and the President`s lawyers teamed
up to say that the government shouldn`t be able to review the files and
sort out the privilege from the non-privileged. Today, a federal judge
appointed what`s called a special master to review materials seized from
Trump Lawyer, Michael Cohen. What does that mean?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It means it`s an officer of the court.
So somebody who works neither for Trump/Cohen nor the government, someone
who will be able – communicating with the parties to reviewing the
documents in the first instance and try to call out which are privileged,
which seem to be the – which seem to have indicia, advice from a lawyer
which we`re told by the United States are fairly few. They expect and have
represented to the court that Cohen really wasn`t so much a lawyer as a
kind of businessman, fix -it guy. And if they`re right, there won`t be
that many documents that the special master will identify. But the special
master will have the first – she`ll have the first crack at it and will
report to the court in the collaboration with the parties.

HAYES: And Joyce, it seems like the President agreed. I mean, yesterday
on Fox & Friends, he said there`s not that much there because he said he`s
barely represented me as a lawyer.

VANCE: Yes, that`s exactly what he said. And that`s exactly what he said
and it`s really interesting, Chris, because originally, there was some
equivocation. Was Cohen acting as a lawyer? Was it just a business deal?
But the President put that the rest saying on this one small piece, at
least on this Stormy Daniels mess, the President said that Cohen was acting
as his lawyer.

And that opens a whole host of questions because we know that that $130,000
payment was made very close in time to the election, was probably made to
influence the election. And so there will be an inquiry possibly in the
Southern District of New York into whether that payment violated campaign
finance law, either as an illegal contribution or because it was an
unreported payment. A lot more – a lot more shoes to drop on this one.

HAYES: And then, meanwhile, Michael Cohen, who`s got a whole bunch of
different legal issues he`s got to deal, he`s got the civil suit from
Michael Avenatti representing Stormy Daniels. Now, today he got what
appears to be a win. The court finds there`s a large potential factual
overlap between the civil and criminal proceedings that would heavily
implicate Mr. Cohen`s Fifth Amendment right granting a 90 days delay,
basically a pause in the civil suit being brought by Avenatti against
Cohen. Renato, what does that mean?

MARIOTTI: Well, when somebody has a criminal investigation and a civil
lawsuit about the same matter going on at the same time, judges try to way
the prejudice against – in this case – Michael Cohen with the prejudice
of Stormy Daniels. So for instance, Michael Cohen has a constitutional
right to take the Fifth. He ordinarily would be doing that in the criminal
investigation. But in the civil lawsuit, in the suit by Stormy Daniels, if
he took the Fifth, that could be used against him. The jury or the judge
could assume that the answers to his questions would have hurt him. So,
going forward with the Stormy Daniels lawsuit would have put him in a
pickle. And that`s why the judge weighed that versus the harm to Stormy
Daniels, which, frankly, she`s telling her story on T.V. and her lawyer is
all the time. So, you know, there was not much of a harm on her end of the

HAYES: Michael Avenatti, the lawyer there, is quite a character in his
Twitter feed, I would recommend you which in every post ends in #basta,
which means stop in Italian. Harry, it seems to me that one of the
subtexts of the judicial rulings in the civil case against Michael Cohen
is, this dude is going to get indicted. Like that is very much between the
lines my sense from reading what this – the judge in that civil suit say.

LITMAN: That`s not the subtext, that`s the text. The text says I think an
indictment is coming. And you know, something that`s really telling about
both the Otero opinion and the Berman opinion, as Joyce says, the Berman
opinion was very straightforward. There no way Manafort could win that.
And as Renato said, this was the right – the right call also in the Cohen
Case. Yet, both of these judges were extremely comprehensive and thorough.
Berman, this 24-page opinion, as you say, and Otero saying an indictment is
likely. It`s the President`s attorney. There`s real consciousness on the
part of both of these judges that could what otherwise look like pretty
pedestrian matters are, in fact, really freighted with history almost but
certainly consequence because of the Trump overlay.

HAYES: Did it read the same to you, Joyce?

VANCE: It did. I think Harry`s analysis is exactly right. Neither one of
these rulings was a surprise. They were both pretty straightforward
matters of law. But the judges do understand that these lawsuits are going
to shape the course of history in a significant way. They were very
careful. And it`s important to note that Judge Berman was very clear that
although she was ruling in the civil case, that the civil case wasn`t the
correct vehicle for this decision to be made. She wasn`t in any way
intimating what her ruling would be on the criminal motions challenging
Mueller`s ability to indict Manafort. That`s still to come.

HAYES: You know, in both of these rulings, and all the stuff I`ve been
parsing, it`s like, you can see the shadow of the shoes yet to drop sort of
cast over the entire proceedings. It`s really, really ominous in the
language. Joyce Vance, Harry Litman, and Renato Mariotti, thanks for
making time.

LITMAN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: All right, Paul Ryan makes history by firing the Chaplain of the
House. The outrage bipartisan reaction to that, next.


HAYES: Democrats and Republicans in the House are outraged after Paul
Ryan`s unexplained dismissal of the Chaplain about the House. 148 members
today send a letter requesting information about the forced resignation of
Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, the first ousting of the House Chaplain in
Congressional history.

Ryan`s office won`t say on the record why Conroy was effectively fired.
The chaplain pointed to a prayer he gave on the House floor during the
debate over the GOP tax cuts.


REV. PATRICK J. CONROY, HOUSE CHAPLAIN: As legislation on taxes continues
to be debated this week and next, may all members be mindful that the
institutions and structures of our great
nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great
success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days
guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but
benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.


HAYES: Conroy told The New York Times after that prayer, a Paul Ryan
staffer came down and said we are upset with this prayer. You are getting
too political. And that Ryan himself then told
him, padre, you just got to stay out of politics.

Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large at Esquire, and Christina
Greer, a fellow at NYU`s McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy, and

Charlie, already shaking your head. Why?

CHARLIE PIERCE ESQUIRE: I just don`t think there`s anything more Paul Ryan
can screw up in this job. Firing the chaplain? I this is unprecedented to
me. I mean, I go back, by the way, in event of episodes like this, I go
back WWJD, what would Jimmy do. Mr. Madison didn`t even want
congressional chaplains. I`m starting to think he had a pretty good idea.

HAYES: There is a question about what exactly is a congressional chaplain

But let me give the devil`s advocate argument here, and Jonathan Chait made
this case today, and I thought it was fairly persuasive, which is, you
know, it should be a nonpartisan position. That does seem like a pretty
clear kind of like needling. And if you think that the House chaplain is
using his position to kind of like subtly, you know, orate against your
legislative priorities, like, I can understand being angered by that.

PIERCE: Are you asking me this question?


PIERCE: I think it`s the silliest thing I`ve ever heard. The guy is a
priest. He`s there to pray. He`s drawing his prayer, as near as I can
tell, strictly from the gospels. You know, there`s an old saying among we
former altar boys, if a sermon makes you uncomfortable, figure out why it
makes you uncomfortable, don`t blame the person delivering the sermon.

HAYES: There`s been a lot of bipartisan sort of angst over this. Here`s
what Peter King had to
say, Republican from New York, on the chaplain. Take a listen.


REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: I have seen no evidence as to why he should
be removed. And it`s such an unprecedented action to me, it would only be
taken if there were very, very serious issue. And the speaker said it was
just because certain people felt he was not complying with their requests,
so he was not giving good counseling. I never heard that from anyone.
Anyone I know who deals with him has the highest regard for him.


CHRISTINA GREER, NYU: So a few things. One, I mean, aren`t we exhausted?

HAYES: I know. I almost – and when this first story – I was like, I
don`t – there`s so much going on. But now I`m just like, I just want to
know. I literally just want to know the reason. Just come out and tell me
the reason.

GREER: But we know this entire administration just lies, so we`re not
going to get that.

HAYES: Well, OK, but this is the House. This is a different place. I
mean, this is Paul Ryan`s domain.

GREER: Yeah, and these are the same sycophants that have been co-signing
Trump`s agenda for 16 months.

But as someone who has attended Jesuit institutions, and Catholic
institutions, someone who is a faulty member at a Jesuit institution in New
York City at Fordham University, we also know that the Jesuits are the
social justice wing essentially of the Catholic Church. I don`t think see
what`s wrong with this sermon, considering the Republicans, when they were
trying to sell us this tax bill said
that this was something that would help all Americans.

So now, his sermon, which I would say mimics some of what the Republicans
were trying to sell to the American public, you`re now saying is too

HAYES: I just want to be clear here that the official – this is – I want
to read the Ryan
office statement, because I want to give them their due here. They are
saying, “the speaker made the decision he believes to be in the best
interest of the House, and he remains grateful for Father Conroy`s many
years of service.” That`s on the record.

Officials in that office will say this had nothing to do with the prayer,
this is all getting blown out of proportion, yadda, yadda.

GREER: But then we also have to look at the Republicans who are following
up saying, well, you know, maybe we need to find someone who is a religious
person, but has a wife, which is very interesting, so that means you will
not be looking at women, for the most part. It will be a heteronormative
male that you are – you know, it`s like someone who has kids who
understands the job.

And also, why do we just have a Christian chaplain? I`ve been a part of
many universities where they`ll have a Buddhist chaplain, they`ll have a
Catholic chaplain, they`ve have a christian, a Muslim, and all the
different faiths, sometimes they`ll have up to 12 to 20 –

HAYES: Yeah, various chaplain offices in the university. And it`s nice.

GREER: But I mean, what`s really frustrating is that Paul Ryan can never
get his lies straight. But this one is, when you sold that tax bill to the
American public, or, you know, sort of pitched it, before they voted, it
was ostensibly to make everything equitable for all Americans.

HAYES: Right, no winners, no losers.

GREER: No winners and no loser, right, and especially the down trodden.
So, that`s essentially what the chaplain was saying and now it`s too

HAYES: If it`s true that – yeah, there is something revealing if it`s
true, in fact, what the father says, which is that they came to him after
that prayer. You mentioned the comments of Representative Mark Walker. He
is helping lead the search for the next chaplain. He`s the co-chair of the
prayer caucus. And Charlie, I would like you to respond to what he says
he`s looking for in his next chaplain. Take a listen.

He says, I`ll read it for you, “I`m looking for somebody who has a little
age, that has adult children, that kind of can connect with the bulk of the
body here, Republicans and Democrats, who are going through, back home, the
wife, the family.”

PIERCE: Uh, well, first of all, that leaves Jesus out, just to name one.

But, I mean, this sounds like the Republicans want to have a primary for
the next chaplain. It really does. That sounds like something – you
know, the next chaplain is a good family man and here he is, you know,
playing with his grandchildren, and you know, standing in front of the flag
at the little league game.

I`m telling you, I`m starting to get more – I`m starting to move more and
more towards James
Madison`s position, no chaplains at all. When you pray, please close the
windows and doors and go pray in your office.

HAYES: Yeah –

GREER: Well, I think they`re mimicking, also, what we`ve seen from this
administration. When we look at all the various nominee, the vast majority
are heterosexual white men.

HAYES: Which we should be clear, as far as I know, the case with the fired

GREER: Yes, that`s true.

HAYES: This is not a blow against diversity.

GREER: But he`s setting it up so he`s not even opening a window to
possible diversity, right?

And I do think that it`s moving obviously in a Protestant direction, not a
Catholic direction.

So, I mean, I think if we knew the reason why the chaplain was dismissed,
beyond, you know, some members of the body felt uncomfortable. Well,
which ones? I mean, I thought that this was a democracy. Are there
certain complaints? Is there something we should know? Should there be a
committee that looks into what these sort of uncomfortable situations that
members supposedly had?

HAYES: Yeah, insufficient pastoral care, apparently.

Charlie Pierce and Christina Greer, thank you both for being with me.

Still ahead, the impact of this president on the history being made right
now in the Korean peninsula.

But first, tonight`s A plus Thing One, Thing Two, next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, President Trump`s phone-in interview on Fox &
Friends is
still creating a buzz. Last night, I was on Late Night with Seth Meyers
talking about the sheer bizarreness of it all.


HAYES: When you`re interviewing the president of the United States, you
push that as long as you can, right. I mean, you have got a million
questions. You keep them there, keep them there. It`s like a scene in the
movie where they`re tracing the phone call.

But it was the opposite. They treated him like he was a crazy caller on
their call-in show and they had to get him off. So, by the end of it it`s
they`re like, well, you know, you`re probably busy. And he`s like, no, I`m
pretty good. I`ve got all day, really.


And while Fox & Friends were having a hard time wrapping the president of
the United States, their body language was a sight to behold.


HAYES: You can see on their faces that they are slightly horrified. Steve
Doocy does a patented grimace grin where he like slaps his knee and he`s


HAYES: Doocy really is a pro at the hand-to-knee motion.

And after ellyanne Conway`s big announcement on Fox & Friends this morning,
Steve Doocy better get ready for some more grimace grins. That`s Thing Two
in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So, today, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway gave a big
thumbs up to President Trump`s performance on Fox & Friends.


cover so much ground with you yesterday and appreciated the platform,
because it connects him with the American people, not just on Fox News, but
that really was the buzz around the globe yesterday, in large part because
everybody had to replay your clips.


HAYES: Yep, the president`s phoner certainly was the buzz, though the buzz
it generated was, let`s say, not entirely positive. But never fear, the
president plans to check in with those Fox & Friends hosts, according to
Conway, again and again.


CONWAY: The president has said that he would like to, perhaps, come once a
month and, as news breaks, he`ll –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come to – wait, come to Fox & Friends” once a month?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be great.

CONWAY: Pretty much a monthly basis.


HAYES: The most powerful TV show in the world.

We`ll have to wait until the next edition to see if the president really
does have a million things to do.


TRUMP: There is no collusion with me and Russia, and everyone knows it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone. We could talk to you all day, but it looks
like you have a million things to do.

TRUMP: Well, you could –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I hope you can join us again –



HAYES: For the second day in a row, thousands of teachers and their
supporters in both Arizona and Colorado walked out and converged on state
capitals. And then just hours ago, the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey
tweeted, “it`s official, we have a deal.”

But here is the thing, the main plank of that, which is a promise to raise
teacher salaries 20 percent by 2020 had already been on the table. But
teacher`s demands had already included raising
education funding in total to 2008 levels and the teacher`s union tweeted
just moments ago, the governor says he has a budget deal with the
legislature, but we have been down this road before. He makes promises he
can`t keep. We just can`t trust him.

And then Colorado today, again for the second day, educators engaged in a
similar walkout and they are asking for more money for schools. They also
want the state to freeze the corporate tax breaks
that it has passed until funding is restored.

Colorado and Arizona are the fourth and fifth states to rise up in a
teacher`s protest movement, Red for Ed, that is currently sweeping the
nation. You`ll remember, West Virginia teachers walked out last month,
then educators in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

And the demands across all states have been remarkably similar: higher pay,
but also crucially,
higher spending on kids` education.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not what I expected, my legislators. And I
helped to elect these legislators. This is not what I expected them to do
when we voted to fund education, so that classrooms don`t have computers
and they don`t have basic science textbooks. What the heck is this about?
Having a science textbook is not a partisan issue.



HAYES: For the first time ever, the leader of North Korea stepped into
South Korea. Just over 24 hours ago, Kim Jong-un met his South Korean
counterpart Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone between those two
countries. The two then sat down to talk, planted a tree together, and
agreed to work toward peace on the peninsula.

It is frankly amazing that this summit happened at all, and not just
because of the history between the two Koreas, but also because of the
bellicose rhetoric around North Korea coming out of the White House for
months. Remember fire and fury? That rhetoric has tempered recently, in
no small part thanks to the deft hand of President Moon, who has been
cajoling and flattering President Trump all year.


TRUMP: I think President Moon of South Korea was very generous in saying
that we helped make the Olympics a great success, because of the fact that
as you know there was a tremendous animosity, there was a tremendous
problem going on, and all of a sudden people started buying tickets because
whole different feeling when North said we`d love to go to the Olympics.


HAYES: To help figure out what this means for North and South Korea and
what President Trump`s role might be in any possible peace process, I`m
joined by NBC News Korean affairs analyst Victor Cha. He`s a senior
adviser and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies; and Tim Shorrock a writer for The Nation who was raised in Japan
and Korea and has been writing about
Korean politics for several decades.

Victor, let me start with you. The question, why did yesterday happen?

VICTOR CHA, NBC NEWS: Well, I think it happened for a variety of reasons,
Chris. One is that the Trump administration has had a sanctions campaign
along with 10 UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea that`s been
pinching the economy.

I think your point earlier about Trump and fire and fury and threats of war
also compelled both the north and the south to think about trying to find a
diplomatic solution. And then I think Kim Jong-un also felt like it was a
good time for him to pause in terms of his testing – testing of nuclear
weapons, testing of ballistic missiles. He`s already stated he`s
completed his program and is ready now for dialogue. So I think for a
combination of all those reasons, that`s why the North was interested in

And in South Korea, President Moon has been waiting for this moment when
the north would open the door so that he could then engage with them.

HAYES: Tim, what`s your read on it?

TIM SHORROCK, THE NATION: Well, I agree with Victor. I think that the
impetus for this came from President Moon, though. I was in Korea a year
ago when he was running for president, and I saw him at several campaign
rallies in the city of Qiangju (ph) in the southwest, and he always held up
a picture of himself with his predecessors who had the engagement policy
called the Sunshine Policy, Kim Dae-jung (ph) and No Tae-woo (ph). And he
spoke about the need to deescalate tension with North Korea and end the
crisis, the nuclear crisis, between the U.S. and North Korea. And that was
the gamble he took. And I think he`s won his gamble.

And I think he played an incredible role in getting – getting these
parties together and actually getting the summit with President Trump
together. And, you know, he spoke last year about the need not to have a
war. The U.S. should not launch an aggressive unilateral strike on North
Korea, and he really moved to encourage diplomacy.

And when Kim Jong-un finally answered him in January of this year and said
he was willing to
talk, he immediately responded and we saw what happened in the Olympics.

So I give enormous amount of credit to President Moon and the movement, the
political movement in South Korea that backed him for his run for

HAYES: Victor, what do you read as what the U.S. does next now?

CHA: Well, I think this summit has really set up this U.S.-North Korea
summit. The two leaders of North and South Korea have pledged themselves
to peace, to a peace treaty, but all of that is not really going to be
realistically possible unless there is denuclearization. And while there
were some
statements about denuclearization at the summit between the two Korean
leaders, there still are lots of
questions about whether the North Korean leader is really ready to give up
their weapons.

So this summit has had the effect of even increasing even further the
expectations that are put on Donald Trump to see if he can convince the
North Korean leader to give up his weapons. And so that`s the next step in
all this. And the United States is going to have to work hard prior to
that meeting to try to pre-negotiate the terms of some sort of nuclear
deal, because right now it doesn`t really appear evident based on what
we`ve seen from the inter-Korean meeting that just concluded yesterday.

HAYES: Tim, am I wrong that to victor`s point it seems like here`s where
you start to get
some daylight between the U.S. position and Moon`s position, which is the
U.S. seems intent on denuclearization as a sort of threshold issue and then
any kind of staged, managed process of normalization afterwards. I`m not
clear that`s where President Moon is, right?

SHORROCK: Well, I think President Moon wants denuclearization just as much
as President Trump does, but I think he sees it as more part of a staged
process. And I think the really critical
issue also, not only what will North Korea do or what will North Korea
agree to, but will the United States end its decades of hostility toward
North Korea?

The North Koreans constantly say they want the U.S. to end its hostile
policy toward them, and
that`s when they will negotiate. I think the U.S. has to really take that
seriously and move forward and take steps to convince North Korea that it
is not interested in regime change, that it is not interested in
attacking North Korea, and really does support a peace process.

And the other thing I would say is that this agreement, which the Panmunjom
(ph) statement which came out this morning in Korea is very, very
important, and I really encourage your viewers to actually read what the
two Koreas agreed to because they decided – they state very clearly they
want to determine the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord.
This means they want to do it without pressure from other countries,
without involvement from other countries. And I think that`s really

So there is some difference. I think there may be some difference.

HAYES: Victor, it seems to me also that – I guess I feel like maybe the
cat`s out of the bag
on the nuclear issue. Is it crazy to think that they`re not going to give
up the nuclear weapons that they`ve completed the testing they need to do
and essentially the window`s closed on that?

CHA: Well, I think that`s certainly the North Korean preferred strategy.
I mean, I think they would prefer not to give up all of their weapons, to
be able to keep some, to negotiate down some of their capabilities, but in
return get normalization, a peace treaty, and recognition as a nuclear
weapons state.

I mean, I think they want to have their cake and eat it too. For 25 years
the U.S. and the position of all the other powers has been if you want
those things, peace treaty, normalization, you have to give up the weapons.
And the North Koreans thus far have talked about denuclearization of the
Korean peninsula, which is a nice phrase and it sounds good, but it`s a
step much shorter than what they agreed to in 2005 and in 1992, which were
much more definitive expressions of an intent to denuclearize.

HAYES: Although they`ve got – they`re further along. So their bargaining
position has changed.

Victor Cha and Tim Shorrock, that was a great conversation. I really
appreciate it.

SHORROCK: Thank you.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening, and now here is Rachel Maddow.


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