Jeanine Pirro angling to be AG. TRANSCRIPT: 06/07/2018. All In with Chris Hayes
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: June 7, 2018
Guest: Jeff Denham, Joaquin Castro, Dale Bryk, Mickey Edwards, Katrina Vanden Heuvel
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: He wants the phones turned over.
HAYES: The Special Counsel asks for cell phones.
HANNITY: Boom, boom, crack it up into little pieces.
HAYES: As the President auditions a new attorney general.
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Jeff Sessions is indeed the most
dangerous man in America.
RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: I`m sorry, I don`t respect a porn
star the way I respect a career woman.
HAYES: Why even the First Lady herself is rebuking Rudy today.
GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it`s not true.
HAYES: And Donald Trump`s fascination with asbestos.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And a lot of people could
say if the world trade center had asbestos, it wouldn`t have burned down.
HAYES: And why it`s one of the reasons Scott Pruitt still has a job.
TRUMP: A lot of people in my industry think asbestos is the greatest
fireproofing material ever made.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Instead of preparing
for his nuclear summit with North Korea in just four days, today the
President spent his morning tweeting truly wild conspiracy theories about
the Mueller probe apparently watching Fox News. This as the cable
channel`s hosts are advising witnesses on destroying evidence and
reportedly petitioning to run the Department of Justice. Politico reports
Jeanine Pirro a weekend host on Trump T.V. has been lobbying Trump advisers
to take over as attorney general. Piro who`s known the President for years
is one of the most rabid critics of the Mueller probe and senior DOJ
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Prosecutors and FBI agents working to change the course of
political history, a shadow government whose agenda is to maintain their
own power and control. A deep state we thought existed only on the pages
of novels. The single most dangerous person to the agenda of President
Trump, the Republican Party and ultimately to all Americans is the Attorney
General of the United States himself, Jeff Sessions. Jeff Sessions is
indeed the most dangerous man in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, at one point
Pirro interviewed to be the Deputy Attorney General. That would be the
number two job at main justice only to meet resistance from one Jeff
Sessions. Funny that. Now, Trump advisers reportedly told Sessions that
if he didn`t give Pirro a hearing, the President might end up giving her
the Supreme Court. Politico reports the President raised the possibility
last year of nominating Pirro to a federal judgeship though that may have
been flattering, not a serious offer. Now, Pirro has been a leading
proponent of so-called Spygate, the President`s latest made-up story aimed
at discrediting the Special Counsel. That story has completely fallen
apart over last few days as more and more and more Republican lawmakers
have publicly told the truth which is to push back on the President`s
baseless claim, including House Speaker Paul Ryan who is one of a small
group briefed on the actual contents and facts of the matter last week. In
response, another Trump T.V. personality, Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs is
pushing for a coup d`etat in the House GOP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, HOST, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Why – I`ve got to just ask, why in
the world are you putting up, not you, but your conference putting up with
a man who could do what he did today at that leadership briefing and turn
it against the idea, the very idea that evidence matters in his judgment of
whether or not there was a spy.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: There is no defense today for Paul Ryan
siding with the FBI and Department of Justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: How dare the Speaker side with the FBI and Department of Justice?
Now there`s no Fox News host more central to Trump world and its battle
against the Mueller probe then of course Sean Hannity who reportedly talks
to the President on the phone before bedtime, little ketchup chat, is known
around the White House as the shadow chief of staff. And he`s only one of
only – he`s one of only three as you`ll recall legal clients of the
President`s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen. Hannity seems to have been
pretty unnerved by a report from CNBC the Special Counsels team is asking
witnesses to turn in their personal phones in order to inspect their
encrypted messaging programs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: I don`t know. If I advise them to follow Hillary Clinton`s lead,
delete all your e-mails and then acid-wash the e-mails and hard drives on
your phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer two little
itsy-bitsy pieces, use bleach pit, remove the SIM cards and then take the
pieces and hand it over to Robert Mueller and say Hillary Rodham Clinton,
this is equal justice under the law.
HAYES: Now Hannity insisted – I want to make this very clear – insisted
he was joking. You see, who is making a point about the supposed double
standard for Hillary Clinton. But the thing is he kept making the same
joke over and over and over again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: I wonder if everybody that has phones if they did when Hillary
did and that`s delete the e-mails, delete the app, acid-washed the phone,
break it up to little bits and take the SIM cards out, how would that work
out for all the people Robert Mueller is requesting phones from? My advice
to them, not really, kidding, (INAUDIBLE) would be follow Hillary`s you
know, lead. He delete them, acid-wash them, but them up, take out the SIM
cards and say here, little pieces, here Mr. Mueller, here. I`m following
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s making people nervous.
HANNITY: Boom, boom, boom, crack it up and have the little pieces and say
here Mr. Mueller, courtesy of Hillary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: See it`s just a joke, but you say over and over about destroying
evidence that just is a joke that you just talk about destroying evidence.
For the latest on Trump world`s efforts to derail the Mueller Probe, I`m
joined by MSNBC Justice Analyst Matt Miller, former Chief Justice
Department spokesperson during the Obama administration and retired Federal
Judgments Nancy Gertner, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Law School. Matt the
conspiracy theories have gotten increasingly baroque and sort of hard to
even track or follow and increasingly discredited but there seems to be
later like a full-court press over there right now that only intensifies
day by day.
MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE ANALYST: Yes, and you even have this weird
thing where the President twice in the last couple of days has pulled
conspiracy theories that are almost too crazy for Fox News or things that
show up on you know, right-wing Web sites. They start on the kind of you
know, depths of Reddit and he`s tweeted them out, some of the craziest
conspiracy theories. I think what you see is look, the President and his
allies know that they have to find a way to discredit this investigation
one way or the other and you have this weird thing where you know, they you
know, the President launches his attacks Fox media does what they – Fox
News does what they do, then you have allies in Congress who have a quasi
you know, investigative procedure where they can drag documents out of the
Justice Department. And I think they were very surprised to see that you
know, that things blow up in their face before but it was – must have been
very surprising to see Paul Ryan come out publicly and say you know, this
doesn`t really say what the President says.
MILLER: And not just Paul Ryan, but Trey Gowdy who you know, before this
had never really met a conspiracy theory he didn`t like. This is a guy who
endorsed their work on the FISA application for Carter Page. He was the
guy who pursued the Benghazi investigation for several years. So it`s a
little bit – you know, there`s a little bit of some of their theories
falling apart on their right and what you see are these kinds of
histrionics on the bat – on the part of the President, on the part of his
allies on Fox when that happens.
HAYES: Nancy, your former Federal Judge and you oversaw a courtroom in
which people would have to turn over devices and things like that when
compelled by subpoena. I just want to be clear about what your advice
would be for anyone who was told to turn their devices over.
NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: Not to pay attention to it for a
minute. I mean, not to pay attention to Hannity`s view rather of
destroying evidence, not to pay attention to it. No, it`s really quite
extraordinary. And the notion that the Hillary situation is the equivalent
of this is really just astonishing. We have to keep on going back to first
premises here right? The FBI and the intelligence community said that
there was hacking in our election and it was done at Donald Trump you know,
to benefit Donald Trump. That is a given. So the notion that there is any
illegitimacy, that it isn`t appropriate to follow whatever leads with
regard to that is absurd.
HAYES: There`s also now this – the use of the – there`s a sort of trick
they`re trying to pull off, Matt, in which the President`s legal team
Giuliani who I don`t know if you can call the President`s lawyer, he`s kind
of like the President`s buddy, or surrogate, or guy. He seems more like
the guy who`s organizing the President`s bachelor party that he seems like
the guy who`s representing him in any legal sense but that said, Giuliani
now is saying that – he`s telling the Associated Press on Thursday that
Trump won`t do an interview in Mueller`s investigation unless they see the
documents, that are the documents at issue that have been briefed to the
gang of eight themselves. He added we want to see the documents. This is
confidential information about the investigation into his client, this
matters far more of my client than to any member of Congress. What do you
think of that?
MILLER: Yes, it`s absurd. I mean, obviously no subject of an
investigation can make those kind of demands of a prosecutor or of the FBI
when they`re under investigation. But I think you see Giuliani feel a
little bit empowered to make these claims because you have allies in
Congress who have made some of the same demands. Demand that these
documents be turned over to Congress. That`s never happened before in the
middle of the investigation. So once you`ve kind of crossed that threshold
where the Department of Justice is doing things it doesn`t usually do, it
gives you Giuliani the ability to come out and say this. I think you know
we talked about how they`re trying to undermine the investigation, that`s
But I think there`s something else they`re doing here. It`s kind of the
playbook they used in the Clinton investigation which is to heat pressure
on the Justice Department. You know, pressure from the conservative media,
pressure from the campaign trail, pressure from Congress, they know that
that you know this investigation won`t be shut down. Bob Mueller is not
going to be fired. That can`t happen. Rod Rosenstein can`t do that. But
just as Jim Comey gave them little things that turned out to be big things
like that press conference, like eventually that led to huge impact.
They`re going to be big decisions he makes here that they want to go their
way. Does he approve a subpoena to the President? Does the approval
report being released to Congress? Other little things along the way, they
want to put just enough pressure that maybe some of those decisions go
HAYES: Does you – does that make sense to you Nancy?
GERTNER: Well, I actually – I think that more is going on here. I think
that there is no way on earth that any credible lawyer would recommend that
Trump give an interview to Mueller. Nobody would ever do that. I think
that they`re creating a series of tripwires here so that they can say over
and over again we really want to talk to Mueller, we really want to come
clean. There`s no issue, no collusion, and I think that they`re setting –
they`re setting standards and requirements that they know Mueller can`t
meet, that Mueller would not meet to justify no conversation with Mueller,
to just – to legitimize that. I can`t imagine – I can`t imagine –
Mueller has all the cards here. He doesn`t have to agree to any of this.
HAYES: Matt Miller and Nancy Gertner, good to have you both. As we said
House Speaker Paul Ryan`s admission yesterday that he`s seen no evidence of
a spy planted in the Trump campaign has opened the floodgates for other GOP
lawmakers to push back on the President`s claim including today Senator
Lindsey Graham. But Ryan`s admission has also landed him in hot water with
the far-right fringe of his caucus which has made noises about challenging
his speakership. And so today, Ryan made clear he`s still a loyal member
of the team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Let me say one more point.
In all of this, in any of this, there has been no evidence that there`s any
collusion between the Trump campaign and the President Trump and Russia.
Let`s just make that really clear. There`s no evidence of collusion. This
is about Russia and what they did and making sure they don`t do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined now by Mark Warner, Senator from Virginia, Vice Chair of
the Intelligence Committee. Do you agree with Speaker Ryan, there is no
evidence whatsoever of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:
Chris I respectfully disagree strongly with the Speaker. Let`s just talk
about what`s out in the public domain. The Mueller investigation has
brought 14, 15 indictments, four guilty pleas. The indictments include the
President`s campaign manager. We`ve got the one of the individuals Mr.
Papadopoulos who clearly the Russians reached out to with information that
was harmful to the Clinton campaign and he`s already pled guilty. There
was a – I think it was two years ago today where there was the infamous
Trump Tower meeting where Russian agents were brought in to meet with Trump
Jr., Kushner, the Campaign Manager with the idea of bringing dirt on
Hillary Clinton. The President himself a week after that meeting, you
know, went on national T.V. and basically said hey, if you`ve got dirt on
Hillary Clinton, Russians bring it out. And you`re going to have the
President go ahead and basically doctor a statement about the content of
So, just those items you show an awful lot of intent to collude from the
Russians and you have obviously see from Donald Trump Jr`s own e-mail
traffic that he was anxious to have that information. And that doesn`t
even get to the fact, Chris, just look at the President`s actions in the
last ten days where he`s been constantly haranguing about the Mueller
investigation regretting the fact that he had Jeff Sessions as in the
Attorney General since Sessions recused himself from the Mueller
investigations. This whole fabrication about planting a spy by the FBI
which even his Republican colleagues had acknowledged the FBI acted totally
appropriately. I just would ask your listening audience whether – and
viewing audience whether these are the actions of somebody who`s got
nothing to hide.
HAYES: Well, you just mentioned something that speaker Ryan talked about
that he said there`s no evidence of this, I think frankly preposterous
playing with the spy in the campaign. You have Senator Lindsey Graham
saying the same thing and yet the Department of Justice offering a briefing
to the gang of eight of which you`re included next week for another
briefing on this confidential informant. What is that about?
WARNER: Well, what was outrageous about the first meeting, I`ll get to
what this next briefings about, what was outrageous about the first meeting
was that originally, and this was so inappropriate, the White House and at
least one of its allies were trying to force the Director of National
Intelligence, the Head of the FBI, and the Deputy Attorney General to
disclose classified information about an individual. Luckily, they didn`t.
They also wanted to have that secret meeting with just partisans with just
Republican members. That would have been totally against established norms
and operations of how we share classified information.
Luckily, they stood strong and didn`t – we got that briefing. Those
documents were there in that briefing. We decided that we`d rather in the
hour and a half plus that we were there hear from the actual heads of those
agencies. Now if members want to go back and I`ll go back and look as well
at the actual documents, I`m happy to do that. But I think what they will
reflect is the absolute consensus that everyone except one individual who
came out of those meetings who said FBI acted totally appropriately.
HAYES: Now, you`ll be in that meeting, a part of the gang of eight which
includes your counterparts in the House including Devin Nunez who`s the
Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, am I correct that you and your
Republican counterpart Senator Burr on your Senate Committee you have
concluded that it was Nunez or someone in his orbit responsible for leaking
texts of yours to the media?
WARNER: Let`s put it like this. The House Committee has not operated in
within the established norms of how intelligence is kept secret, in terms
of how investigations are ongoing. You know Richard Burr and I, I`m proud
of our bipartisan investigation. We`re going to keep our eye on the ball.
You know, we`d like to be done but we got to – we got to follow –
HAYES: Wait a second – wait a second. Senator, that`s very diplomatic
and euphemistic of you and I understand why you`re saying that. But my
question is, my understanding is the conclusion that you and Burr came to
is that someone in that committee, in committee staff under the aegis of
Devin Nunez leaked to your personal text messages to the media.
WARNER: That`s what I guess. If we were to have any of those conclusions,
we wouldn`t share it with the media, we`d share it with appropriate
HAYES: All right, Senator Warner, thanks very much for making time.
WARNER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next why the spokesperson for Melania Trump is slapping down
comments from one Rudy Giuliani. What he said about Stormy Daniels in two
HAYES: It may be that Stormy Daniels multiple lawsuits against President
Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen are really rattling the Trump
team or it may be that Rudy Giuliani is once again just kind of winging it.
But in the matter of Stormy Daniel, Giuliani has taken it upon himself to
say that the First Lady believes her husband and then some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it`s not true. I don`t
even think there`s a slight suspicion it`s true. When you – excuse me,
when you look at Stormy Daniels – I know Donald Trump and look at his –
look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women, classy women, women of
great substance. Stormy Daniels –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
GIULIANI: Yes, I respect porn stars. Don`t you respect porn stars? Or do
you think they desecrate women? Do you think that porn stars don`t respect
women and therefore sell their bodies? So yes, I respect all human beings.
I even have to respect, you know, criminals, but I`m sorry, I don`t respect
a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance, or a
woman who has great respect herself as a woman and as a person and isn`t
going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. So, Stormy, you want to
bring a case, let me cross-examine you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The First Lady`s spokeswoman said pointedly in a statement “I don`t
believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr.
Giuliani.” To discuss the escalating battle between Stormy Daniels and the
White House let`s bring in Attorney Lisa Green and Attorney Elie Mystal,
Executive Editor of legal – of the legal blog Above the Law. What is he
LISA GREEN, NBC LEGAL ANALYST: Whatever it is it`s not that classy so let
me offer a classier alternative the next time Rudy is asked about his
clients wife`s feelings than a long diatribe about classy women, pretty
women, porn star reputations, how about I don`t know, you`ll have to ask
her or wait, that`s my mobile ringing, I got to go get that call.
HAYES: The thing about this is this Rudy – first of all, he`s having the
time of his life.
ELIE MYSTAL, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ABOVE THE LAW: Clearly. He`s the wingman.
HAYES: This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Rudy Giuliani
just coming off I think his third divorce if I`m not mistaken. Just as a
factual matter. And he`s – he never saw a microphone or an interview he
didn`t want to do and he never got a question about anything – I mean he`s
talking, he`s opening about North Korea, he`s talking about the nature of
sex work –
MYSTAL: He`s important again.
HAYES: Yes, exactly, which is not legal representation, just to be clear.
MYSTAL: Look, if – Rudy Giuliani wants to have a respect off with Stormy
Daniels, that`s fine because he`s going to lose. All right? Like, let`s
look – if we want to talk about how people make their money, let`s look at
what Rudy Giuliani, how Rudy Giuliani has made his living for the past 10
or 15 years. You want to go through his client roster like I did today?
All right, he`s represented Oxycontin. Their executives had to plead
guilty for misleading the product about their drugs. He represented a
shady (INAUDIBLE) who allegedly shield a terrorist including Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed. He`s invest – he`s represented – what`s the other one –
(INAUDIBLE) who`s a billionaire who got his start running drugs into the
Bahamas from Colombia, OK. Rudy Giuliani has no credibility, no – I do
not respect lawyers with a client roster of Rudy Giuliani.
HAYES: Well, here`s the other question. I mean, he keeps saying things
that are going to – it seems to me like if you`re the President`s lawyer,
what you want to do is cabin him off from everything having to do with
Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen as much as possible always, just
rhetorically and legally, right? I mean, even asserted themselves into
that because they`ve had assertion of privilege but they don`t – you don`t
want to get sucked further into that, right? Am I wrong about what the
strategy would be?
GREEN: There`s so many other directions this could go. Here`s one way.
If Rudy – big if – was trying to besmear Stormy Daniels` reputation on
behalf of the defamation suit that Stormy is filed, there are about a
million different ways to attack that lawsuit and probably last on your
list would be complaining about the credibility of woman who I would say is
a successful entrepreneur in an industry that`s dominated by misogynistic
MYSTAL: But is it this view – but isn`t this the old game – and I really
mean the old game – this is the puritanical game. They`re trying to turn
Stormy Daniels into Hester Prynne, right? And there`s only one person that
needs to wear the Scarlet Letter, that`s Donald Trump. And that`s what –
that`s why the strategy is like I think for so many people is really deeply
HAYES: Yes. I think – I mean him getting up there basically saying who
are you going to believe, the President of the United States or this porn
star? This trash basically. Like I think – and here`s – you know,
here`s what Michael Avenatti of course who you know this is a softball
lobbed across the plate from Michael Avenatti. This is what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: We have refocused our efforts as
a result of Mr. Giuliani`s piggish comments. They are a disgrace. He
should be embarrassed. He should immediately resign. And if he`s not
going to resign he should be fired by the President. This guy is an
absolute pig. I said it last night, I said it this morning, I`m going to
keep saying it until a change is made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)`
GREEN: I`d like to suggest that there might be a better member of
President Trump`s cabinet to speak on behalf of Melania and it would be a
cabinet member who loves for example fancy hotel mattresses and high-end
hotel bath products and you know he`s there –
HAYES: Scott Pruitt.
GREEN: – and apparently still on the –
HAYES: Speaking of Melania, I have to say I thought that statement was
pretty interesting. I mean, let`s give the context here. Melania Trump
married to the President of the United States, raising their young son has
had to watch presumably – she`s a sensitive human being engaged in the
world, right? She`s watching all this coverage of her husband`s many
alleged affairs including when her son was you know, a newborn. She then
doesn`t make any public appearances for quite some time. She makes one,
there`s some speculation about what that`s about. And then today a
question that is met not with of course, she believes her husband, right?
I mean you could take the opportunity to say that that is met with a very
resounding I don`t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on
anything with Mr. Giuliani.
MYSTAL: Yes, I think again the indication here is that the dehumanization.
It is – it is one thing to poke fun, to have a little fun at stormy
Daniels which is, of course, a character you know, that is an actually
played by an actual single mother named Stephanie Clifford. And when you
go so low as – you know, Giuliani lives on the corner of like cheap and
mean but this is – this is so low. When you talk about – when Avenatti
talks about firing Giuliani, the poison you know, it rots from the top.
HAYES: Well, the other thing is Giuliani is in – to me is in the
Scaramucci zone which is it`s entertaining and to tell us not the President
of the United States. It`s unclear what he`s doing that there`s actual
legal defense. Let me ask you one more legal question which is that today
– so we know that Stormy Daniels has sued Keith Davidson who is a
fascinating figure because he`s on the other side of Michael Cohen and
there`s all these texts where they seem to be kind of colluding one could
even say. Davidson has now countersued Avenatti for defamation. Do you
have thoughts on that?
GREEN: Here`s what I think. I think it`s perfectly OK for your lawyer to
talk to another lawyer if you`re working out an agreement as long as you
know. So if Stormy Daniels is saying I didn`t know that I was being
undercut by my own lawyer –
HAYES: Where was booked on cable news shows –
GREEN: Yes, without my – you know, I don`t have a fundamental problem.
And again it comes back to women`s respect.
HAYES: It`s also interesting to see the countersuit and see where that
goes because the – to me it`s just like all of the things the President is
entangled and legally keep multiplying and that – at a certain point,
someone is going to roll the right –
MYSTAL: Roll the right number?
HAYES: Roll the right number, right? Like someone is going to get the guy
into a deposition if you keep just multiplying the chances. Lisa Green,
Elie Mystal, thank you very much. Still ahead, the real reason Donald
Trump is keeping Scott Pruitt around as the scandals continue to pile up.
And after the break as stories grow of immigrant children being ripped away
from their parents at the border, confusion on the Hill about a tentative
Republican immigration deal that may have happened or may have blown off.
What happened, next.
HAYES: We`ve been bringing you stories about the Trump administration`s
horrific policy of tearing immigrant children away from their parents at
the border, but it`s important to remember the U.S. immigration system is
rife with everyday cruelty, as well, like what happened to pizza delivery
man Pablo Villavicenzio (ph) who brought an order to an army an base –
he`s delivering a pizza on an army base on Friday in Brooklyn, and was
detained by ICE. He`s now facing deportation to Ecuador as soon as next
week, which would leave his U.S. citizen wife and two daughters, also
You might think that fixing the U.S. immigration system would be a priority
for congress, but you would be wrong. A closed door immigration meeting
today ended in confusion with conflicting reports about a deal on the
table, maybe or maybe not.
Politico reporting, quote, conservatives quickly denied that any such
proposal was made confound centrist Republicans and quickly unraveling any
good will built during the two-hour Republican conference meeting earlier
in the day.
And here to help me understand what`s actually going on, Democratic
Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas and Republican Congressman Jeff Denham
of California who was at that meeting and who has been running point on
this issue, as far as I can tell, and can tell us exactlywhat happened.
OK, Congressman Denham, members of your caucus have gotten together what`s
called a discharge petition, enough signatures, a majority of members of
the House. You can bring something to the floor immediately to get a vote,
in some respects on the DACA eligible folks to give them
You go into a meeting with Republican leadership today to work out some
kind of deal and what happens?
REP. JEFF DENHAM, (R) CALIFORNIA: Well, we certainly had a very good
discussion as we have in many of our different meetings. We had that same
discussion with the entire Republican
conference. I would say it was very productive. It was a good
conversation. But ultimately, you can`t have an agreement until something
is put on paper so that we can not only share that with the American
public, but certainly know the parameters of any agreement.
HAYES: I`m just going to translate that for you. And you tell me if I`m
translating it correctly. You went in and thought you had a deal, came out
and then the House Freedom Caucus was like absolutely no way over our dead
DENHAM: Oh, we have had a number of different meetings with members of the
Freedom Caucus there. Ideas were thrown out. I`ve been willing to agree
to most of those ideas as long as
we have a permanent fix for Dreamers. That was all laid out in conference
today. And now we`re looking forward to seeing that in writing.
HAYES: OK, so you want to get something in writing.
I want to come to you Congressman Castro in a second, but I just want to
bear down on this. So, is it your intention to – I think you need three
more signatures in the discharge petition. Do you have those locked up?
And are you going to get over the magic threshold to actually force it?
DENHAM: We do. When we set out with this rule, and then thd discharge
petition, we made sure we had the numbers lined up. We`re ready to
discharge. And tuesday is the day that this has to get done.
But ultimately we`d like to see our conference come together on something
that can be a bipartisan agreement.
HAYES: Congressman Castro, why do I feel like Lucy and the football here?
Like is this happening? What`s happening?
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, (D) TEXAS: Well, first, I`m glad that Jeff and 21
other Republicans I think, or 22 other Republicans, have signed on to a
discharge petition to basically put this issue on the floor for a vote.
At the same time, I would say that they ought to give Speaker Paul Ryan
about 12 hours or so
to make a decision about whether there`s going to be anything in writing or
not, because the country has waited too long to fix this broken immigration
system and the people affected, as you mentioned one gentleman at the
beginning, have been waiting too long also.
HAYES: Congressman Denham, what is the resistance in your caucus?
DENHAM: Certainly there are concerns from some about what the pathway to
citizenship would look like. I`ve been very consistent and very vocal that
this needs to be a permanent fix for Dreamers.
This is something that should have been done before March 5, but because we
deadline, I immediately started working with the parliamentarian to see how
we can actually force
a vote, force a new timeline. And that`s exactly what we have in front of
It`s forcing a conversation right now, but ultimately, we want to see that
full debate on
the House floor.
CASTRO: And Chris, I would also add because you brought it up earlier, I
would ask for Jeff`s
help and the help of other Republicans in ending the Trump policy of
separating kids from their mothers and fathers at the border, which is an
inhumane and cruel and brutal policy that even the
united nations had to call out the United States on a few days ago.
HAYES: Congressman, do you support or oppose that policy?
DENHAM: I want to see a fixed to our broken immigration system. That is a
policy that is current law. It was done under the previous administration,
but ultimately yes, I agree, it needs to be fixed. You shouldn`t be
tearing families apart.
HAYES: Factually, though, it was not done under the administration, sir.
DENHAM: That is not what ICE and border patrol are telling us. I have
been down on the border. I`ve toured the border. In fact, we toured the
border together a few years ago. We saw some of
these detention centers. We saw people coming across the border seeking
HAYES: Right, family detention. But what the administration is doing
right now, and they have announced it. They call it zero tolerance policy.
I`ve read the order written by Jeff Sessions signed under his name in
April. He`s given speeches about it is they are prosecuting everyone
seeking asylum and in so prosecuting, separating children as young as 1-
year-old from their parents. You think that`s a bad idea, though, I take
DENHAM: I do. I do think it`s a bad idea. I think it is one more reason
why we`ve got to come together and fix this immigration system that`s been
broken for far too long.
HAYES: So, is this going to happen? Is there going to be a vote?
Here`s my question, is there going to be a vote on something having some
sort of permanent protection for DACA, some pathway to citizenship, from
this congress is going to happen? Is that what you`re saying?
DENHAM: Absolutely. We will either have an agreement in writing here
coming very shortly or we will be moving forward on a discharge petition
that allow a full debate on each of the different issues. And keep in
mind, Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the judiciary committee, has his bill.
So the Freedom Caucus has a vote on their bill, as well. And the speaker,
president they get a bill, as well.
HAYES: Congressman Castro, do you think that`s going to happen?
CASTRO: Well, again, you know, I`m eternally optimistic. And I think you
have to be optimistic and hopeful, because we`re dealing with the lives of
close to a million people. So, we`ve got keep pressing and pushing. I
just hope that, you know, we don`t see the same thing that we`ve had in the
past few years when John Boehner was speaker. He said that Republicans
would do this thing, instead of doing comprehensive reform, they would do
it piecemeal. And not a single bill was ever put
on the floor.
So, I hope and pray that this time it`s different. And we`re just going to
keep working on our end.
HAYES: Well, Congressman Denham, I`ve got to say, I`ve been covering this
particular Republican congress since as long as it`s been constituted. I
have seen the Freedom Caucus wield tremendous influence and leverage over
the speaker forcing him to do all sorts of things. I have never seen it
from the other side. Right now you`re doing something no one has done so
far, so I`m – this is quite an interesting thing to watch.
Joaquin Castro, congressman – and Congressman Jeff Denham, thank you both
for joining me.
DENHAM: Thanks for having me.
CASTRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, the bizarre Scott Pruitt headlines keep coming. But
tonight, new evidence of why he has somehow managed to keep his job. And
it has to do with Donald Trump`s fascination with asbestos. And that isn`t
even tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two. We`ll show you that next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Mike Pence, the radio talk show host who became
vice president to the reality television host, has perfected the art of
standing behind the president in every possible way. Like reek to Ramsey,
Bolton, Mike Pence`s loyalty to President Trump knows no bounds.
You can even see it in his eyes. As Jane Mayer (ph) describes it, Pence
looks at Trump with, quote, a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of
And it`s starting to get weird, like this scene yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just had a strategic plan. And it`s not just a plan
for FEMA, it`s a plan for the whole community, it`s a plan that I`d like to
unify the federal government response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What was that about? Did you see that? The bizarro water bottle
situation with Mike Pence and Donald Trump? That`s Thing Two in 60
HAYES: So, yesterday afternoon this happened. In the middle of a meeting
with FEMA, President Trump took his water bottle off the table and
inexplicably put it on the floor only for Mike Pence to immediately pick up
his water bottle and do the exact same thing.
It`s unclear why the president did that and really unclear why the vice
picked it. But it was definitely strange and slightly creepy.
But we know President Trump has a weird thing about water. We`ve seen it
many times. There was this is performance in the campaign trail mocking
his primary opponent Marco Rubio who famously had his own difficulties with
water bottles. Then, of course, was the time Trump paused
for a drink in the midst of a speech on national security and needed both
hands to lift the tiny cup from the lectern, or this other time he – this
other time he had to pause a speech for a sip and somehow it went even
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: 17,000 jobs. Thank you. They don`t have water. That`s okay.
What? That`s okay. Oh Oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He did one-hand that one.
But all that is better than what happened when the president`s throat was
dry, or so the White
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds.
God bless the United States. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So here`s a fun fact about the president of the United States, he
has a thing for asbestos. Not a thing against asbestos, that would be
normal. No, Trump appears to be a fan of
the stuff that environmentalists say kills 12,000 to 15,000 people a year
in the United States alone.
In a 1997 book, Donald Trump claimed asbestos is, quote, “100 percent safe
once applied,” even suggesting the push to remove the known carcinogen from
buildings was just a mob scam.
I`m quoting here “led by the mob because it was often mob related companies
that would do the
asbestos removal.” Trump`s stance is almost certainly related to the cost
that real estate developers, like himself, might have had to pay for
But defending the honor of deadly asbestos appears to be something of a
life`s work for the man. We unearthed this testimony before congress from
2005, and you really have to hear it to believe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In New York City, we have a lot of asbestos buildings. And there`s
a whole debate about asbestos. I mean, a lot of people could say that if
the World Trade Center had asbestos, it wouldn`t have burned down, it
wouldn`t have melted, OK? A lot of people think asbestos, a lot of people
in my industry, think aspestos is the greatest fireproofing material ever
And I can tell you that I`ve seen and tests of asbestos versus the new
material that`s being used and it`s not even a contest – it`s like a
heavyweight champion against a lightweight from high school.
But in your great wisdom, you folks have said asbestos is a horrible
material so it has to be removed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The World Trade Center might still be standing if only asbestos?
So, what do you think happened when the guy who absolutely loves asbestos
and wants to defend its honor from the insults of environmentalists, what
happens when he becomes president of the United States? I`ll a give you a
hint, it involves the cartoonishly corrupt head of the EPA Scott Pruitt.
That story right after this.
HAYES: There is yet another Scott Pruitt scandal today, because it is a
day ending with a Y. In the list of scandals around the EPA administrator
is now getting too long for one page of this graphic. We are literally
working on something bigger, like we can`t fit it into a graphic on your TV
Today, we learned he sent his security people to get his dry cleaning, or
something. It almost doesn`t matter, because there seems to be no low he
can reach that would be enough to shame anyone into action.
And why is that? Probably because the president is quite happy with the
work Pruitt is doing on his behalf.
Last week, Pruitt quietly announced the agency has decided it will not
study negative health impacts of asbestos that is already in the
environment. And that`s the sort of thing that probably pleases the
president who once said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In New York City we have a lot of asbestos buildings. And there`s
a whole debate about asbestos. I mean, a lot of people could say that if
the World Trade Center had asbestos it wouldn`t have burned down, it
wouldn`t have melted, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now Mickey Edwards, former Republican congressman from
Oklahoma; Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation; and
Dale Bryk, senior energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense
All right, let`s put all – I mean, today we had like he had assistants
going to get him a special kind of lotion he liked from the Ritz Carlton.
He had his government funded assistant make him make him pour over coffee,
which like even in the world of TV talent who are notoriously insane and
impossible to work with, is over the top.
All of that aside, what has the agenda in a regulatory sense been like?
DALE BRYK, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: All of that is a disgrace,
but the real crime is what he`s doing to the environment and the public
health. You know, you cannot say that you care about clean water, clean
air, or getting toxics out of our food and our lifestyle and support
So from day one he`s been dismantling the Clean Water Act, clean power
plan, clean car rules.
And these are things that – common sense safeguards that the American
HAYES: The clean car – the mileage safety standards is my favorite,
because like all it means is that they have to make cars with better – you
that get better mileage out of the cars. And no one is being like please,
I want less gas mileage out of my car, but he has gone after that, right?
BRYK: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: No, I mean, the corporations want that.
HAYES: Well, that`s the point.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean, this is an administration which is pay to play.
And the real scandal as we were talking about is not the dry cleaning or
the lotion, it`s the utter contempt for the
EPA, an agency that is supposed to protect air, health, water, food. And
instead they`re selling it off to the big corporations.
The savage rollbacks of civilizing advances are going to take a long time
to repair. But this is across the industry. And it`s not just Trump, it`s
a Republican habit, Chris, because they`ve put people in charge, industry
people, in charge of agencies that they want to gut and they`re doing it
across the Consumer Financial Protection Board, the EPA, a whole slew of
HAYES: It`s a great point, Mickey, because there`s – Pruitt`s sort of a
Trumpian figure in some ways in terms of the kind of like weird pettiness
of the corruption. Like, it just seems like there`s no
grift too small for him or his pride, but he also – he`s a mainstream
Republican guy, like he`s from your state of Oklahoma.
MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Thanks. You didn`t need to
bring that up.
HAYES: Well, look, the history of Oklahoma and fossil fuels in Oklahoma is
a tawdry, tawdry, tawdry history. And you know, he is a mainstream
Republican Party guy. He`s defended and liked by mainstream Republicans.
EDWARDS: Yeah. He is. And one of the things that has been really
bothersome is the fact that so many – it`s not just Scott Pruitt but it`s
so many Republicans in congress will put up with almost anything in order
to get the policies they want.
So they do it with Trump. They`ll do it with Pruitt. If he`s doing things
that fit what their agenda is, they will swallow any kind of corruption,
any kind of ridiculousness. It doesn`t – nothing will bother them as long
as they get the policy they want.
Now, I spent 12 years on the appropriations committee. And what we would
have done with what Scott Pruitt is doing now is the next budget would have
prohibitions against spending money certain ways or it would have stuff cut
from the budget, you know, to make up for what he has been spending this
So, the congress is complicit in this by its silence.
VANDENHEUVEL: : I was struck, I think today CBS News had a story that
Republicans are ready to ditch Scott Pruitt because of the scandals, though
they stand behind his deregulatory agenda. And I think that`s what –
listen, when Steve Bannon, who`s coming closer back into this
administration, talked about dismantling the administrative state, or drain
the swamp, they`re talking about dismantling the protections that have made
this a healthier country.
There are two institutions interestingly, the Pentagon, a conservative
institution, understands the
crisis that climate is and stands with those who are fighting Pruitt in
many ways. And I think city and state, Chris has followed this, the
divestment movement. New York City sold its fossil fuel stocks. This is
happening across the country. And 500 candidates have signed a pledge not
to take a cent from oil, gas, or coal money. That is vital to fight for.
HAYES: Well, and he also is getting – I mean, part of the thing about
Pruitt, right, is they like his agenda. The energy industry likes his
agenda, the sort of regulatory rollbacks. That`s the big one he`s done on
climate, which is rolling back the kind of clean power plant plan, right,
that hasn`t gone into effect yet, because he`s getting sued all over the
place in courts, right.
BRYK: Right. So what do you have? You have the rule of law. You have
science. And you have public interest. These three things together are
what are going to enable us to win in the end. And you`re right, the
states and the cities and even private industry elsewhere, other than the
industry, are leading the charge on all the issues people care about.
HAYES: But specifically on this, like he has not been able to roll back
the clean power plant stuff.
BRYK: They have not won a single case in court, because…
HAYES: This is key. I want people to understand this, because there`s all
this talk about how Scott Pruitt is so successful. It`s like, he is being
fought in the court, and he has not won yet.
VANDEN HEUVEL: There`s judicial eco resistance.
HAYES: Yes. The judicial eco resistance.
The one funny thing about the political resistance, you say as they`re
standing by – Mickey, this cracks me up – if there`s one thing to bet on
that`s going to be his undoing is he`s basically trying to gut ethanol in
the renewable portfolio standard. No, seriously. All of a sudden Chuck
Grassley and Joni Ernst – I watched Joni Ernst on Chuck Todd`s program –
they are aghast. They are outraged.
Not really about the scandals, though they are about that, but because he`s
going after ethanol. And I think that probably puts him in more political
peril than anything else he`s done.
EDWARDS: Yeah, one of the things – well, it also goes with what Trump is
doing on tariffs. You know, what they`re doing is hurting their own
constituency. And it`s just nonsense. I mean, it`s not like they`re
winning. They`re actually doing harm to what they say is their own agenda.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But I think it`s important to look at the real scandal,
because if people look at just – I mean, it`s kind of fun and ugly and
odious to look at these grotesqueries, but there`s a deeper scandal here.
And I think when people go vote, they care about clean air, safe food and
those issues for their kids.
HAYES: You`re going to pry Ritz Carlton lotion scandals from my cold dead
hands and used Trump mattress. I wake up every morning praying for the
news gods to deliver something even more
cringe-inducing than yesterday`s. And so far the news gods have delivered.
Mickey Edwards, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, and Dale Bryk, thanks so much for
That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2018 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2018 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the