Democrats announce new hearing. TRANSCRIPT: 02/28/2019, All In w. Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Rashida Tlaib, Jason Johnson, Sean Patrick Maloney, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Lu
Transcript:

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 28, 2019
Guest: Rashida Tlaib, Jason Johnson, Sean Patrick Maloney, Richard
Blumenthal, Chris Lu

STEVE KORNACKI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: – since 2012
and that certainly includes Republicans who now largely back a president
with a very different view of Putin than Romney had back then. But few of
them actually do what Albright did this week and admit it and grapple with
it in public. That`s HARDBALL for now. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts
right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We had a
long day but it wasn`t a long enough day.

HAYES: New hearings are announced.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Who else knows that the
President did this?

HAYES: As the Cohen fallout grows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.

HAYES: Tonight, how Democrats are expanding their investigation into
criminal activity inside the White House.

COHEN: I am no longer your fixer Mr. Trump.

HAYES: Plus –

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: What we have here Mr. Chairman is
criminal conduct.

HAYES: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on her stand against racism and the
president.

TLAIB: Donald Trump is setting a precedent. I reclaim my time.

HAYES: Then, breaking news from the New York time.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jared has done an
outstanding job.

HAYES: The President overruled his own intelligence agencies to grant
security clearance at Jared Kushner and then lied about it. And as Trump
defends the North Korean dictator over the death of an American.

TRUMP: He tells me that he didn`t know.

HAYES: A look at who the President decides to trust.

TRUMP: Roy Moore denies it. That`s all I can say.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes, we have officially
entered a new phase in the investigations – plural – into the president
after the first ever public testimony by a member of his inner circle. The
nation watched and presumably, the President watched as Michael Cohen
before Congress and the American people implicated the President in
numerous crimes also claiming the President had prior knowledge of the very
first WikiLeaks dump of the 2016 election.

Now Cohen was back on Capitol Hill again today for the third day in a row,
this time giving closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.
Afterwards, Chairman Adam Schiff announced more hearings to come.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIFF: We very much appreciate Mr. Cohen`s cooperation. He has obviously
had three very long days. He`ll be returning on March 6th for additional
testimony. The following week on March 14th, we`ll have an open interview
with Felix Sater on Moscow Trump Tower. I should tell you just to set your
expectations, not every hearing is going to be like the open here with
Michael Cohen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Cohen dropped a lot of names in yesterday`s testimony before the
House Oversight Committee, alleged accomplices or witnesses who could
corroborate his claims about the president including the president`s
children. The Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings told reporters today that
he wants to hear from every single person whose name shows up in the
hearing transcript.

House Intelligence is reportedly interested in the one whose name came up
the most, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. He`s been with the
company for decades and is said to know every last detail about the
business.

We already knew the president was implicated in the criminal scheme to
violate finance campaign finance law to which Cohen pleaded guilty last
year identified as individual one in those court documents. And Cohen`s
testimony now brings that scheme inside the White House.

Cohn presented what he said was a reimbursement check for the illegal
Stormy Daniels hush money payment signed by the President in dated August
1st, 2017 while Donald Trump was in office. But that is just one of the
many potential crimes of which Cohen accused his former boss. Besides the
campaign finance violations, Cohen implicated the President in tax fraud,
insurance fraud, bank fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice, false
statements to law enforcement, and self-dealing in his Charitable
Foundation.

That was just the stuff that Cohen was authorized to talk about and that
appears to be the tip of the iceberg.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: Is there any other wrongdoing or
illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven`t
yet discussed today?

COHEN: Yes, and again those are part of the investigation that`s currently
being looked at by the Southern District of New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Now, those potential crimes has anything to do at all with the
investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. And on that front, Cohen
dropped a bombshell that suggests Mueller could be sitting on much more
explosive information than he has disclosed thus far. In the prepared
section of his testimony, Cohen claimed that Roger Stone gave the president
advance notice of the first WikiLeaks dump in summer 2016, a revelation he
presumably made with authorization from the special counsel.

That doesn`t appear anywhere in Mueller`s court filings though it does fit
with the timing that the Mueller folks have already laid out. According to
Mueller`s indictment of Russian military hackers, WikiLeaks confirmed to
the hackers at the Russian GRU folks who had gotten the stolen material on
or about July 18, 2016, that it received the stolen DNC documents it would
release them shortly thereafter.

Cohen testified that stone spoke to the President on July 18th or 19th. As
journalist Marcy Wheeler points out in New York Times, if Mr. Mueller is
hiding similar examples of the president participating in the conspiracy,
it suggests that whatever he plans to release in a report may have some
unanticipated bombshells.

I`m joined now by one of the members of the House Intelligence Committee
who questioned Michael Cohen behind closed doors today, Congressman Sean
Patrick Maloney of New York. Congressman, do you learn anything new today?

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Yes. I learned quite a bit today.
I`m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the testimony but what I can
tell you is that Michael Cohen was credible. He was forthcoming and we
appreciate his cooperation.

HAYES: Were there things you discussed, I imagine, that we`re not
discussed in the open session before the Oversight Committee?

MALONEY: Yes. That`s true as well. And again, while I can`t go into the
specifics, I think this week will be remembered as a seminal week in the
investigation of these matters. I think the testimony of Mr. Cohen is
absolutely central to getting at the truth of what happened and we are
happy to see that big piece of the puzzle fitting in.

HAYES: Do you have a clearer sense of what happened after today`s
testimony?

MALONEY: Yes. That`s three yeses in a row. Again, this is because Mr.
Cohen has been incredibly forthcoming. He answered every question. He was
cooperative, generous with his time after you know doing this two days in a
row and now a third day, and he`s coming back next week.

So we are looking forward to his continued testimony. We`re not through
and again, this is just one witness with one set of evidence to provide,
but he has been very helpful.

HAYES: Was the March 6th return testimony always on the books or was that
because today went long and you had more stuff?

MALONEY: You know, I don`t know the specifics of that. I think – I think
I`ll leave that to the Chairman to discuss in detail. I don`t – I don`t -
- I didn`t know about it before today. I think common sense, to tell you
there`s a lot to discuss here and we are being very thorough.

HAYES: Felix Sater is going to be before your committee on March 14th.
He, of course, a person that exchanged e-mails with Michael Cohen about how
our boy can get elected president and we can build this Trump Tower in
Moscow. What is the thinking just in a general sense between what`s an
open session and in closed session before the committee yours?

MALONEY: Well, look our focus is more on Russia per se. Yesterday you saw
some eye-popping testimony. I thought you did a great job of summarizing
it. I mean, to have a witness come in with documents demonstrating that
the President was involved in a criminal conspiracy to evade campaign
finance laws and cover it – cover it up, I mean, that`s quite – that`s
quite a lot. That`s a pretty good day`s work.

But I`ll tell you, our focus is really on Russia. It`s on the interactions
between the Trump campaign and the Russians. There`s a lot we have not
learned before that you know, every day that goes by, every new fact shows
what a joke the Republican investigation was in the last Congress. So it`s
very important that we do a thorough job and we get the facts out to all of
you.

HAYES: You mention your Republican colleagues. I`ve always wondered this
because I`ve never been in a closed session because I`ve never been able to
sit on the House Intelligence or Senate committee. Is it the same vibe in
closed session as it is when the cameras are rolling?

MALONEY: Well, I`d say it`s a trade-off. I mean, there`s a real value to
having all of you see it in real time, but there`s also a benefit to being
behind closed doors where naturally there`s less of a temptation to
grandstand.

The fact is – the fact is that a lot of our Republican colleagues didn`t
attend today`s hearing or only attended for a brief period of time, and
that`s the kind of thing they can get away with when we`re in closed
session. But I will tell you what was –

HAYES: Wait, they weren`t in there?

MALONEY: That`s right.

HAYES: Like a lot of them?

MALONEY: What I can tell you is that it dwindled as the day went on. And
I think that`s – I think that`s pretty amazing when you consider what
we`re dealing with. But what I`ll tell you is that the value of a closed
session is that you can really go deep, you can be thorough, and you can –
and you can really take your time to get all the facts.

I have to say the staff of our committee you know, deserves a medal for the
work they`ve done and I really do want to commend Mr. Cohn for the level of
cooperation he`s provided. Obviously, he has credibility issues and we
need to take that seriously. Corroboration is really important to
everything he says. But look, it was a very – it was a very good day.

HAYES: All right. And he will be back March 6th, and also Felix Sater on
March 14th, and we will keep our eyes on both of those. Congressman Sean
Patrick Maloney of the House Intelligence Committee, thank you.

For more on the new phase the Trump investigation is launched by Michael
Cohen`s testimony, I`m joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut,
Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee an MSNBC Contributor Joyce Vance,
former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Alabama. Senator, let me
start with you. Do you feel like you we – are in a new phase after
yesterday?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: This week has been a very bad
one for Individual Number One, for Donald Trump. This has been a week of
truth felon telling and fact-finding, and I think that we`re in a different
faith because all of those crimes you indicated are in the investigation
not only by Robert Mueller but also in the Southern District of New York,
in the Eastern District of Virginia. These criminal investigations are
spread among them and Cohen has been a powerful and compelling witness.

HAYES: You believed him yesterday?

BLUMENTHAL: He has credibility problems because he lied to Congress
before. But –

HAYES: Yes. I mean, he has lied to Congress before but he has a long
record of lying all over the place.

BLUMENTHAL: He has a long record of lying and he worked for a gentleman
who has a record of allegedly lying. But remember this. I used to make
arguments with the jury and I used to tell them you know, we don`t make
these drug cases or these organized crime cases with choir boys. We make
them with people who were involved and they have criminal wrongdoing in
their background, and he directly linked Donald Trump to very serious
criminal wrongdoing which is corroborated by other witnesses and documents,

HAYES: Joyce, the one person who I thought must have been pulling their
hair out yesterday or calling their lawyer or enzyme some sort of shelter
was Allen Weisselberg. I mean, the guy must have been mentioned two dozen
times. What do you think his future is both in front of Congress and in
front of Southern District?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think you`re right. It wasn`t a
very good day for Mr. Weisselberg. We know he`s already spent a little bit
of time with prosecutors. We know he was given some form of limited
immunity for testimony but we don`t know what it related to.

HAYES: Limited immunity which is key right? He came before a grand jury
and prosecutors sometimes will say look, whatever you say in this you`re
immune for it, right?

VANCE: Presumably that`s what happened. And that`s different from being a
cooperating witness. A cooperating witness works out a deal that they
won`t be prosecuted or they`ll get less time and they will fully cooperate.
That`s not what happened with him. It`s a little bit risky for him to
testify up on the Hill. If he asserts the Fifth Amendment privilege, folks
up on the Hill won`t get the testimony they want.

If they give him immunity to compel that testimony, there is a risk, a
strong risk that it could immunize him from whatever charges Southern
District of New York might be contemplating.

HAYES: Let me – let me ask you about the Southern District. When you say
Southern District and you mentioned East District, those are things you
know from public press reports, right? There`s no like back-channel
communication to you on the Judiciary Committee or anyone that those
investigations are happening, correct?

BLUMENTHAL: We know that the Southern District is investigating campaign
violations of a possible financial crime because they have returned
indictments there.

HAYES: Right. But I mean you know that based on the public record, right?
There`s no secret – there`s no secret knowledge about what`s happening in
those places you have access to, correct?

BLUMENTHAL: That`s correct.

HAYES: There`s a bunch of other people who are named yesterday including
the president`s children, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. Rhona Graff was
the President`s personal assistant, David Pecker at AMI, the chief
operations officer Matthew Calamari also named yesterday who has one of the
all-time greatest names of anyone I`ve ever encountered in years I`ve been
doing news. do you anticipate seeing those people up on Capitol Hill?

BLUMENTHAL: Very definitely. I would anticipate. For example, Donald
Trump Jr. hopefully coming back before the Judiciary Committee. He
testified before the Judiciary Committee in our interview that his father
had no advanced knowledge about the Trump Tower meeting on June 9th.

HAYES: He told you that under oath in closed sessions?

BLUMENTHAL: He told us that under potential penalty of perjury. Michael
Cohen yesterday described in some detail a meeting where the President was
told by Donald Trump Jr. about that meeting in advance. He also –

HAYES: He thinks – Michael Cohen is making a deduction there. I just
want to be scrupulously fair about it.

BLUMENTHAL: And he told him also about the conversation with Roger Stone
where the President encouraged and approved Roger Stone talking to
WikiLeaks about the dump of stolen, I emphasize, stolen e-mails.

HAYES: What do you make – I mean, you`re a prosecutor. You ran the U.S.
Attorney`s office. I mean, put yourself through the head of whoever`s
running that shop down an SDNY with – between what Michael Cohen said,
whatever they have from the (INAUDIBLE). I mean, you know, insurance fraud
is a crime, tax fraud is a crime. All that stuff is crimes. I mean, don`t
they have an obligation to go digging on that pretty hard?

VANCE: Absolutely. You know, if you`re investigating a bank robbery and
you stumble across a murder, you don`t just ignore the murder and say well,
we`re here to look at bank robbery. And prosecutors and agents and you
know that`s just like I do, they`re like curious four-year-old children.
So anything that doesn`t fit, anything that you have more questions about,
that`s what you investigate and you go until you`ve investigated an answer
to every last question that you have.

It`s not a complicated process in that sense. It`s using your common sense
to follow and answer all the questions that you have about what happened.

HAYES: There`s also the question yesterday about taxes and the degree to
which this has been swirling forever. Obviously, your colleagues in the
House have the power to subpoena them, to get their hands on them, do you -
- how important is that to you after yesterday`s testimony generally?

BLUMENTHAL: Profoundly important. And we are investigating also in the
emoluments lawsuit that we brought. We hope to get tax returns because the
President has benefited by the payments –

HAYES: Oh you`re going to try to get them through discovery.

BLUMENTHAL: Exactly right.

HAYES: Interesting.

BLUMENTHAL: Now, one more point about Donald Trump Jr. and Joyce said it
very well. Once these threads are established, once the connections are
made, Donald Trump Jr. in effect lying to a congressional committee, Donald
Trump Trump Jr. signing those reimbursement checks, Donald Trump Jr.
implicated in other criminal activity, you have the connections that are
the hallmark of a conspiracy.

HAYES: You seem to have your eyes on Donald Trump Jr. You think he lie to
your committee?

BLUMENTHAL: I think he lied to our committee at least so far as we can
tell right now.

HAYES: All right, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Joyce Vance, thank you
both. Ahead, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on her takeaway from the Cohen
hearing yesterday and why she decided to speak truth to power as she put it
when it came to racism and the president.

And next, breaking news at the New York Times, new reporting tonight that
the President of the United States lied flat out about overruling his own
intelligence agencies to get national security clearance for his son-in-
law. That story in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Well, they lied again. This time about how Jared Kushner got his
top-secret security clearance despite all kinds of red flags like for
instance telling the Russian ambassador during the transition he wanted to
use Russian facilities away from the prying eyes of American intelligence
to set up a secret back channel with the Kremlin and not reporting that
wildly sketchy meeting on his own security application.

Or the report from Washington Post that officials from at least four
countries discussed ways to manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his
complex business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign
policy experience. And yet despite all those honking red lights, Kushner
was upgraded to top-secret security clearance over the objections of career
officials who had rejected his application.

And so the question is how did that happen? Who had the power to give
Jared Kushner top-secret appearance?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you tell General Kelly or anyone else at the
White House to overrule security officials? The career veterans?

TRUMP: No. I don`t think I have the authority to do that. I`m not sure I
do. But I wouldn`t – I wouldn`t do it. Jared is a good – I was – I was
never involved with his security. I know that he – you know, just from
reading I know that there was issues back and forth about security for
numerous people, actually, but I don`t want to get involved in that stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So flat denial there. Did you do it, no, and then a long
hypothetical, I don`t want to get involved? OK, the president said no.
That denial then echoed by none other than Ivanka Trump a week later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABBY HUNTSMAN, CO-HOST, ABC NEWS: There were some issues early on and
there are a lot of people that question whether you were given special
treatment by the president overriding other officials.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: Absolutely not.

HUNTSMAN: Can you speak to that?

I. TRUMP: There were anonymous leaks about there being issues but the
President had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband`s
clearance, zero.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Just a lie, just a flat-out on-camera lie by Ivanka Trump right
they`re looking at Abby Huntsman and lying. Just the words coming out are
lies. They`re untrue things, lies. The New York Times reports tonight
that it was President Trump – oh shocker – who ordered then-chief of
staff John Kelly to give Kushner top-secret clearance.

Joining me now Chris Lu former White House Cabinet Secretary and Assistant
to President Obama. OK, Chris, mystery solved. Not that surprising but
how big a deal is it?

CHRIS LU, FORMER CABINET SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Oh it`s a big deal. And
I say that and it`s hard to get shocked by anything these days, but let`s
take a look at the process. This is a process that is run by career
security officials who evaluate not only your travels, your financial
dealings, your contacts, and they weigh it in terms of the national
security risk.

And these career officials said that Jared Kushner posed a security risk.
And this was so serious that this got bumped up to the White House chief of
staff and the White House Counsel. And to both of their credits, they said
Jared Kushner did not deserve a clearance.

And yes, the president can override this but I would say it`s disingenuous
for him to say he doesn`t know about this process. If you`ll recall, he
revoked John Brennan`s security clearance so he knows full well how this
process works. So this is a big deal.

HAYES: Yes. And one thing to keep in mind here is when you`re thinking
about both the career officials who are human beings who work embedded in
an institution and they know you know which side the White House is pushing
on, and also the White House Counsel Don McGahn and the chief of staff, no
one wants to be the one to say no to the boss`s son-in-law getting security
clearance to do his job.

The fact they did that in like based on the factual record makes you think
it must have been pretty bad.

LU: Well, and exactly right. I mean, we know that from his financial
disclosure form. He had to do it – redo it 40 times along the way. You
have seen the reporting about health foreign officials thought that they
could potentially compromise Jared Kushner as part of his dealings.

Let me put this in context. I work for Barack Obama for 11 years, I had to
get a security clearance three different times. I had to go through the
process as did everyone who serves at the highest level and has access to
this information.

If I could not have qualified for clearance, Barack Obama would not have
overridden the recommendations. He would have found another place for me.
And you don`t need to believe me. James Clapper, the former DNI went on
T.V. today and said he`s not aware of this ever happening before.

HAYES: Yes. So here – what you`re saying is there`s no special favor
there. Maybe you get a job in you know, HHS or something where you don`t
have to have clearance. But it`s just not done that you override in this
way?

LU: It is just not done. And Chris, let`s put this in the broader context
of how this president handles security matters. We know that he has used
an unsecured phone. We know that he`s held national security meetings in
front of Mar-a-Lago guests. He`s disclosed classified information to the
Russian Foreign Minister, to fundraisers, and we know that he`s revoked the
security clearances of his political opponents.

And on top of all that he ran an entire campaign based on the baseless
allegation that his opponent had misused in for classified information. So
this is hypocritical in the extreme.

HAYES: Plus, we should note that Don McGann and John Kelly were both so
alarmed by this issue or so determined to cover their own reputations that
they both wrote contemporaneous memos being like, this is Donald Trump
doing this.

Here`s my final question to you. What is weird about this is the president
you know, the national security state that we have erected basically post-
1945 and the classification system which is metastasized, it all sort of is
run by the president at the top. The president is the ultimately the
person who gives or takes away clearances almost like a king in certain
ways. He could have just granted this. Why the lies? Why do they lie
about it?

LU: You know, I don`t know why the lies. I mean, I`d like to think that
they tried to run the normal process but I suspect you know, as you see
from the New York Times reporting, he kept thinking somebody below him was
going to take care of this and he finally got so frustrated and he
overruled it.

HAYES: Right, yes, exactly. He didn`t want it to be him reaching in to do
it for his son-in-law by the way who has this portfolio and is running
around the Middle East talking to MBS right now making – putting a peace
deal together. Chris Lu, thank you very much.

LU: Thank you.

HAYES: Yesterday, we all watched his Michael Cohen testified that the
president is a degenerate racist. North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows,
a close ally the president objected to this fact and he did so by
displaying a woman next to him named Lynne Patton, an African-American
Trump supporter who happens to now work for the Trump administration. She
used to work for the Trump Org.

It wasn`t too long before Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan calls him
out on this strange display. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joins me to talk
about it next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TLAIB: Just to make a note Mr. Chairman. Just because someone has a
person of color, a black person working for them does not mean they aren`t
racist. And it is insensitive that some would even say it`s – the fact
that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber in
this committee is a lone racist in itself.

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: My nieces and nephews are people of
color. Not many people know that. You know that Mr. Chairman. And to
indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family
who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual that she`s
coming in to be a prop, it`s racist to suggest that I asked her to come in
here for that reason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So that exchange happened yesterday at the very end of the Cohen
hearing. And today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Congressman Mark
Meadows had a brief conversation on the House floor during some other House
business and that ended with a hug. In the interim, Meadows outburst
prompted some searching through the man`s archives and not one but two
videos surfaced showing Meadows during his first congressional run in 2012
engaging in birtherism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEADOWS: 2012 is the time that we`re going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya
or wherever it is. We`re going to do it.

If we do our job from a grassroot standpoint, we won`t have to worry about.
You know, we will send him back home Kenya or wherever it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Meadows was asked earlier today about those comments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEADOWS: It was early on in a primary. And certainly it didn`t indicate
any personal malice that I would have towards any president, previous or
sitting president. Anyone who knows me knows that there is not a racial
bone in my body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Not a single racial bone in there.

Joining me now from Detroit, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of
Michigan, a member of the House Oversight Committee.

Mr. Meadows has spoken about your exchange today on the floor. I wanted to
hear your side of what that exchange was today.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, (D) MICHIGAN: Yeah, I was – I looked up and there he
was, thanking me for being gracious. We had an exchange about what
happened in committee. And we went our separate ways.

It was really, you know, thoughtful of him to come up to me and to thank me
that way. I think some of my colleagues were around were also kind of
watching the exchange, but I did appreciate that he did that.

HAYES: Do you – are you, do you regret saying what you said yesterday in
the hearing or do you stand by what you said yesterday in the hearing?

TLAIB: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, I really do stand by it. And folks
need to know, I come
from a community that I was raised in, which is the most beautiful blackest
city in the country, and
fully around us in what`s happening, I think, in the country right now,
with this sitting president of the United States. Very much, I wanted to
be heard. I wanted to be seen. And for me, at that moment, watching this
young woman stand up behind Congressman Meadows in that way was very
hurtful and it was very disrespectful.

HAYES: Did you – what is the bigger lesson here? Because I think one of
the things that
happens every day in congress now, the House minority, the Republican
Party, is overwhelmingly white and male. I mean, you know, you really see
it. The majority is a much more diverse coalition of folks from different
ethnic backgrounds, different races. It`s female representation is higher
and it kind of seems like we`re watching these sort of two Americas
interact tensely with each other in every single committee hearing.

TLAIB: Yeah, I mean, I can tell you, so many of us – I mean, this is the
most diverse class, the largest class since Watergate, but I think many of
us didn`t run to be the first of anything, many of us, especially the women
of color that are there, really ran because they had a desire to do right
by their communities and their families that they represent. But also, you
know, we didn`t come just to make congress look differently, which I think
is important, but also we, you know, want to speak differently, we want to
feel differently, we want people back home to be able to relate to this
congress, to feel like it is a people`s congress and reflective of who we
are.

HAYES: I thought that moment was an example of that, I have to say. I
mean, if you had not said that – a lot of people remarked about that, a
lot of people remarked about that moment on social media, a lot of people
we work with remarked about it. Had you not said it, I don`t think it
would have gotten said in that room, so that was – it was a striking
moment for that reason.

Did you – I want to pivot to the substance, because you were in that
committee to talk to Michael Cohen and hear his testimony. Did you find
him credible, did you feel like learned new things yesterday?

TLAIB: You know what I did find is – I mean, this is a man that
represented and was a
personal lawyer for the sitting president of the United States for 10
years, but all of his criminal acts, his lies, all of it is related,
interconnected, to the president of the United States, the man that sits in
the
Oval Office right now.

And so much of these criminal schemes continued on into the 2017 year, not
only from the money he paid back, the bribery he paid back to Mr. Cohen but
also this constant just a reflection of
what he is as a president, I mean from the fact that he used fraudulent
schemes, the fact that he`s lied in the past. All of the different
terminologies that I think Mr. Cohen presented to all of us was very much
eye opening.

But at the same time a lot of us knew this was happening, but I think at a
moment, I remember sitting there and when he was saying that as he was
leaving the Oval Office, Mr. Cohen
looked back and President Trump says to him, you know, you`re getting your
next payment, it just takes a little bit longer because the White House
mailing system. I mean, at that moment, it`s just the gravity of the fact
this is a sitting president of the United States, sending, you know, I
don`t even call it hush money, it`s bribery, to continue that scheme while
he sits in the Oval Office. What else do we not know as an American
people?

HAYES: Well, I guess the question, that example you just bring up, that is
something that`s already been charged and pleaded to as a felony crime in
the Southern District, in the jurisdiction of
the Southern District. Did you hear anything impeachable yesterday? What
has it done to your thinking about impeachment?

TLAIB: From day one, and everyone knows this, from the number of public
statements, but also op-eds I`ve written and statements that I`ve made
publicly throughout my district and even in D.C., I can tell you it is so
much interconnected, but most importantly for me as an attorney, as
somebody that even just took the oath of office and upholding the United
States constitution, it is my duty and responsibility to hold every single
person to the rule of law, to the United States constitution.

And I can tell you, the biggest fear, and what makes many of us upset is
the fact that he hasn`t divested in any of his domestic or international
businesses. Much of the decisions he`s making right now is so much in
conflict in what is the best interest of the American people.

And this is the emolument clause of the United States constitution. This
is in there and it`s very clear, because this is not going to be our last
CEO, folks. I mean, America needs to wake up and understand that if we`re
going to let this president not provide and be transparent about not only
his taxes, but the fact that he hasn`t completely cut ties with the Trump
organization.

We`ve already seen leases that have been entered into between the White
House and the Trump organization. We`ve seen over 1,000 illegal contacts
from Saudi Arabian government to a number of other entities with the Trump
organization. That alone is so dangerous and threatens our democracy in
this country.

HAYES: Illegal contacts? What do you mean by that?

TLAIB: I mean, for instance, the Saudi Arabian government spending
$270,000 at the Trump Hotel in D.C. To me, that`s an illegal act. I mean,
you`re spending…

HAYES: I see. In terms of the emoluments. I got you.

TLAIB: Yes.

HAYES: I wanted to make sure that there wasn`t some huge news story I
missed.

TLAIB: No. I would tell people if there was.

HAYES: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, thank you so much.

TLAIB: Thank you so much for having me.

HAYES: Still ahead, Matt Gaetz`s witness intimidation and the desperate
lengths Republicans will go to to win the favor of the president.

Plus, meet Mattie Calamari (ph). That`s tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, Michael Cohen named several people yesterday who
may have
known about dirty deeds inside the Trump organization, but one name in
particular really stuck out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK: To your knowledge, did the
president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?

COHEN: Yes.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Who else knows that the president did this?

COHEN: Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman, and Matthew Calamari (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I`m sorry, who? Is that a real person? Matthew Calamari? As this
Twitter user so accurately put it, Matthew Calamari sounds like the made up
name by the screenwriter of a mafia B-movie who doesn`t know any actual
Italians. But he is real, and he is spectacular.

This is Matthew “Matty” Calamari, executive vice president and chief
operating officer of the Trump organization. If he doesn`t really look
like the executive type to you, well he`s not. He reportedly caught Trumps
eye back in the 80s when the future president saw him roughing up some
hecklers at a tennis tournament where Calamari was working security.

Trump hired him as a bodyguard and sometimes chauffeur, which is what
Calamari was doing when this exchange occurred as described in a 1993 Trump
biography, “`You`d do anything for me, wouldn`t you Matty,` Donald called
out from the rear of the limousine. `Yes, sir, Mr. Trump,` Calamari
assured him. `Would you kill for me, Matty?` Donald pressed. `Yes, sir.`”

Loyal, but how do you think Matty Calamari might fare under questioning by
members of congress live in front of the entire nation? Hard to say. We
can only go by what we`ve seen before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW CALAMARI, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Um,
because, wow, because, wow, I`m not doing too good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Michael Cohen painted a compelling portrait yesterday of the Trump
organization as a criminal operation. The more characters we meet involved
with the company, the more they look like a bunch of Pallies (ph) in a bad
crime movie. Consider his right-hand man and long time bodyguard Keith
Schiller, seen here punching a protester in the face. Schiller went on to
become director of
Oval Office operations in the White House, because operations is a whole
different kind of meaning for Mr. Trump.

And then the COO of the Trump organization, Matthew “Matty” Calamari, who
once reportedly told the president he`d kill for him and allegedly
terrorized the family of a Trump employee who is planning to reveal
evidence of financial misconduct at the company.

Matty Calamari may now be called before congress as a witness to crimes at
the Trump org, and
we can only imagine how he`ll do under the harsh spotlight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And another man who`s done a great job for me is Matthew Calamari,
my chief operating officer – Matthew.

CALAMARI: Donald, you know I don`t care for Jen very much, got to be
honest with you, because, wow, because, wow, I`m not doing too good.

REGIS PHILBIN, TALK SHOW HOST: Why are you looking at me?

CALAMARI: I don`t know.

TRUMP: You`re doing great, Matt. Who do you like? Who do you like of the
two?

PHILBIN: Who do you like of the two, Matt? Which one?

CALAMARI: All right, Kelly. I think, wow, OK.

PHILBIN: Donald, what he`s trying to say is he likes Kelly.

TRUMP: Hey, Regis. People think this stuff is easy, right Regis? It`s
not so easy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: It`s always interesting to see whom the president trusts, who he
attacks, and who he
defends. He called Hillary Clinton a liar. He called the women, many
women who accused him of inappropriate sexual contact and sexual assault
liars, but Kim Jong-un, who runs the world`s biggest gulag state, that
imprisoned American tourist Otto Warmbier and returned him with such
extensive brain damage that he died soon after?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people, and some
really bad things
happened to Otto, some really, really bad things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you?

TRUMP: But he tells me he didn`t know about it and I will take him at his
word.

(end video clip)

HAYES: Take him at his word. Because if you are a certain kind of
powerful man, Donald Trump takes you at your word. Like Russian President
Vladimir Putin and his denial of U.S. election
interference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: My people came to me, Dan Coates came to me and some others, they
said they think
it`s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it`s not Russia.

I will say this, I don`t see reason why it would be. I will tell you that
President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Strong and powerful denial. Donald Trump also defended failed
Republican senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Roy Moore denies it. That`s all I can say, he denies it. And by
the way, he totally denies it. He denies. I mean, Roy Moore denies it.
And by the way, he gives a total denial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Not just any denial, a total denial of being a child molester.

He also gave the benefit of the doubt to former White House staff secretary
Rob Porter, who is accused of abusing both of his ex-wives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He also, as you probably know, he says he`s innocent and I think
you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he`s
innocent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Well, if he said it very strongly, I mean he`s probably…

The president even defended Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia,
whose henchmen brutally cut up and murdered a Washington Post journalist
inside a Saudi consulate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I spoke with the Crowned Prince yesterday, and he strongly said
that he had nothing to do with this, this was at a lower level.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES; Those are the kind of men that Donald Trump trusts, those are the
kind of people he puts his faith in, which might not be surprising given
those who blindly give their own loyalty to Donald Trump. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz found his way into the
hearing room for
Michael Cohen`s explosive public testimony yesterday, which was a little
odd, because Gaetz is not on the oversight committee, and then told
reporters he was there to ask questions, a remarkably bold
move given that he`s not on the committee, and also that Gaetz appeared to
explicitly threaten Cohen shortly before his testimony in what many took to
be a blatant attempt at witness tampering. Gaetz did ultimately apologize
for his threat admit an investigation by the Florida State Bar Association
for potentially violating professional conduct rules.

But the apology may not have been very sincere. Today, Edward-Isaac Dovere
reported that President Trump called the congressman last night from Hanoi
to talk about the Cohen testimony and the threats (since rescinded) Gaetz
made about Cohen. “I was happy to do it for. You just keep killing it,”
Gaetz was heard telling him.

Now, Gaetz is a particularly special flower, but nearly every Republican in
the house is to some degree a version of Matt Gaetz devoted not to
Republican policies or a conservative ideology, but to Donald Trump above
all else.

Joining me now, Joy Reid host of MSNBC AM Joy, and MSNBC political analyst
Jason Johnson, politics editor at The Root.

Gaetz is – Gaetz is at the avant-garde, right? He`s like – that`s like
everyone is trending in the direction of Matt Gaetz in the House.

JOY REID, HOST, AM JOY: Absolutely. Matt Gaetz is basically Michael
Cohen without the salary, or with the taxpayer paying his salary. And so
the irony is that they didn`t get the irony, well Michael Cohen says I`ve
been doing what you all have been doing, I did it for 10 years. They`re
literally still doing it. Matt Gaetz is the new Michael Cohen.

HAYES: I find – I actually find the psychology of that bizarre, because
to me the president seems like such a – in some ways, like absurd and
ridiculous figure, he seems like a deeply not psychology but kind of a
broken person in certain ways, like in a deep way, and this certain kinds
of
person, the Matthew Calamaris of the world, the Michael Cohens of the
world, the Matt Gaetz`s of the
world who are like that, I will do anything for you.

JASON JOHNSON, THE ROOT: Look, it`s Devin Nunes. There are tons of them,
right.

HAYES: No, there are tons of then.

JOHNSON: They are willing to be that guy. They are the guy who would
steal candy from the store they worked at to give to the popular kids in
high school, because they think maybe then I`ll be invited to the party.
What Michael Cohen was saying the whole time is the party is not that good,
and you end up in jail at the end. But Gaetz doesn`t care. And he`s
denied that he made that statement to the president, but if you didn`t say
it then, you`ll say it at some other point, because that`s what you are
about.

HAYES: But this is a different theory I think then a theory I often hear,
which is very popular, which is they are afraid of their base and they have
to do this, and so they are doing it.

I think there are those Republicans, but I thought when you saw – mostly
what you saw in the
hearing yesterday from the Paul Gosars and your Congressman Higgins and
your, you know, and from Mark Meadows, this is them. This is their belief
system. They are genuinely loyal to the president because they genuinely
admire him.

REID: And the thing is, is that Matt Gaetz is not at risk for his base.
That is a deep, deep red district that he`s running in. I`ve been talking
with Florida, you know, folks in the Florida political world, particularly
on the Republican side, since this stuff happened, and it`s very clear.

You know, Matt Gaetz is – he`s a true believer, he`s drunk all the Kool-
Aid, gulped it down, but
the reality is, is these people, who are – let`s be clear, some of them
Trump supporters, have said what Matt Gaetz doesn`t understand that Michael
Cohen understands, if he were to lose reelection, he would be a loser to
Donald Trump. Donald Trump would cut him off. He will not be hired by
Donald Trump. Donald Trump will consider him a nobody.

HAYES: The wildest thing about this is that the memory hole that we will
ultimately enter into, because right now CPAC is happening. I saw Dave
Weigel (ph) and a few people being like George W. Bush does not exist at
CPAC, he does not exist. The guy never existed. People are like, oh,
finally a Republican president who is against abortion. It`s like, eight
year – and why? Because he ended in essentially disgrace and ruin. He
was extremely unpopular. He was a bad president. The historical record I
think shows that pretty clearly. And George W. Bush is gone.

But there was a time when there were people running around ready to carve
the guy`s face into Mount Rushmore.

JOHNSON: And you`re going to see the same thing with Trump.

And let`s say he looses in 2020. I mean, look, they`ll just find a new
person that they want to worship, but they`ll say that he was the greatest
person, he was taken out by the liberals and all the other terrible people
out there.

But I think the other thing to remember is this, it`s the fact that the
president, even though he`s not loyal to you, and even though he won`t
protect you, the sort of patina of shamelessness that he is
presented has helped other people.

Jim Jordan, given his own scandals, given some of the scandals of some of
the people on the
committee, you know, but they are able to say this because I`m under
penumbra of President
Trump, and that`s what these guys are doing.

HAYES: Jim Jordan was a wrestling coach at Ohio State University where
there was a doctor who repeatedly and routinely and apparently
systematically molested, groped and sexual assaulted the wrestlers there,
multiple wrestlers have come forward on the record to say there is no way
that Jordan did not know about this, it`s something we talked about all the
time. Jordan, of course, has denied that. But, yes, for him to be up
there launching the character assassination…

JOHNSON: …conspiracies everywhere, but apparently couldn`t see them when
he was a coach.

REID: But the reality is, is that Donald Trump has empowered a certain
kind of DGAF manhood, a kind of right-wing I can do it meanness. Like he`s
– this is what people want to indulge in. He gives you the ultimate
permission to indulge, it`s like being in a gang. I hate to use another
mafia – and a lot of people are connecting to sort of the mob, but it`s
the same kind of thing, you know this is
a dangerous, you know this can actually get you killed, but there is
something intoxicating about
being in the mob.

HAYES: Yeah. I think that`s it`s it, right. And I think the reason I
think that has more explanatory power, particularly on what`s going on in
the House side, is like that`s all it is, really, on the House side. I
mean, more and more, there are people…

REID: They`re gerrymandered. They`re not going to lose.

HAYES: For some people – right, the ones that are sort of…

JOHNSON: They`re not in danger.

HAYES: And the people that are conflict – there is people I think in the
Senate who are conflicted. I think there are lot of people – I think
there are still people in the House who behind closed doors and off the
record will say things, but I think a thing that people don`t reckon with
is they like – they genuinely like Donald Trump. They love him. They
admire him. They think he`s great. They want to defend him. That`s like
– no one is, you know, extorting them.

JOHNSON: It`s Roger Stone with Nixon now. But I promise you, there will
be Trump tattoos on the backs of these guys by 2020 – of Trump, of
Melania, of anybody in this administration.

And you see it – look Lindsey Graham is the perfect example of this. It
is intoxicating. And they don`t care that they`re hated by other people.
Now I`m part of the team, now I`m one of the cool guys.

HAYES: Yeah, we should Justin Amash stood out yesterday for not being like
that, who asked some really good – just straight forward questions.

REID: And you know how many Justin Amash`s are? One.

HAYES: Joy Reid and Jason Johnson, thanks for being with me tonight.

REID: Thank you.

HAYES: 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
BE UPDATED.
END

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