Trump threatens to cut aid. TRANSCRIPT: 4/1/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Jamie Raskin, Rudy Mehrbani, Dara Lind, Bob Moore, Lachlan Markay, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Zephyr Teachout

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Thanks for being with us on this April 1st

day.  “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.







administration is a walking, talking, living, breathing threat to national



HAYES:  A White House whistleblower says the Trump administration is a

threat to national security.


IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP:  There were anonymous leaks about

there being issues.


HAYES:  Tonight the growing scandal surrounding security clearances inside

the White House as Democrats start the process to subpoena the Mueller

report.  Then is the president about to name an anti-immigration zealot as

his new immigration czar.  Plus –



in this building.


HAYES:  Why Jeff Bezos now says the Saudis did obtain his private

information.  How Joe Biden is answering allegations of impropriety.  And

why the President is trying to stop aid for millions of Americans.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ:  3,000 Americans died in Puerto Rico in the

aftermath of Hurricane Maria.  Where is our response?


HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  You can never take

anything utter by the Trump Administration at face value, and anyone who

does ends up looking like a fool later on because they lie about just about

everything.  We saw yet another example that today thanks to Democrats

first big push into the White House security clearance process.


House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings revealed today that a

whistleblower told the committee it wasn`t just Jared and Ivanka who had

their security clearance denials overruled, there were, in fact, dozens of

these cases.


A memo released by the committee today says according to the whistleblower

these individuals in a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving

foreign influence, conflicts of interest concerning personal conduct,

financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct.


The highest profile people that we know have benefited from this our senior

White House officials Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump, and it`s obvious

this was a special favor at least in part due to nepotism.


But remember and this is what`s important here, they lied about this

through their teeth, OK.  This is what the president said at the end of





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did you tell General Kelly or anyone else in 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



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You do have the authority to do it.


TRUMP:  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.




HAYES:  Just a complete lie, absolute lie.  He did get involved in that. 

We know that now.  And this perhaps even better, this is what Ivanka said

in February.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  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.


I TRUMP:  Absolutely not.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  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



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What were the problems early on?


I TRUMP:  There weren`t any.




HAYES:  That also a lie.  The anonymous leaks were in fact accurate.  The

New York Times reported “Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump both complained to the

President about the situation” current and former administration officials

said.  And it`s the context of this constant, ceaseless, frankly exhausting

deception, this inability and unwillingness to be honest about the simplest

things that`s good to keep in the front of your mind as we watch the drama

surrounding the Mueller report play out.


Attorney General Bill Barr released yet another letter on Friday saying

there are no plans to submit the Mueller report to the White House for a

privileged review but there are four categories that he, the man the

president hand-picked for the job will be redacting.


House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler seems to be following a don`t trust

and then verify strategy.  Nadler responded to Barr`s letter by standing by

his original deadline for Barr to turn over the full Mueller report, and

that deadline is tomorrow.


It seems likely Barr will missed that deadline but now this committee will

then prepare to vote the very next day on whether to subpoena the report. 

There is now at least one avenue for shaking loose the truth.


Joining me now a congressman who sits on two committees conducting major

investigations on the president and his associate Democratic Congressman

Jamie Raskin of Maryland.  He`s a member of both the House Judiciary and

Oversight Committees.


Congressman, with your Oversight Committee hat first, the news about a

whistleblower inside the White House.  How big a deal is this?


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND:  It`s a very big deal.  And she went to

six supervisors, she went to her immediate supervisor Carl Kline, she went

to his supervisor Mr. (INAUDIBLE), she tried to reach people in the White

House counsel`s office. 


She exhausted every possible avenue of trying to get the administration to

take this seriously saying that there were dozens of people, at least 25

people who got security clearances, who the professional security clearance

personnel thought should not have them in any way and they all gave her the

back of the hand.


And she came to our committee basically in desperation saying that this was

her last stop and her only hope and she`s terrified and frightened about

being retaliated against because already she`s seen them make moves to

retaliate against her.


HAYES:  Well, just to be clear about this individual.  She does not have –

I mean, my understanding, this White House staff don`t have whistleblower

protections.  She just was – she did this at enormous risk to her job.


RASKIN:  The tremendous risk to her job, her security, she said that she

basically couldn`t live with herself if she led her country down in this

way, and her family down and her children and her future. 


So what we`re talking about is people whose job it is to determine whether

someone presents a security risk to the country and there a series of

categories that they can use to say this person really should not be given

security clearance.  One of them is involvement with foreign countries,

foreign influence, another is a criminal record, another is business

conflicts of interest and so on.  But they have to be very serious and

substantial things.


She said that in at least three cases, two involving senior White House

staffers, one involving someone from the National Security Council, they

raised multiple problems in these cases, and were just overridden very



She protested that her superior certainly had the right to do it but they

should state precisely why they were doing and why they were overruling the

professional staff, said it forth, and explain what mitigating

circumstances there were to negate the findings of the professional staff

that these people presented a security threat to our country, and they

didn`t do it.


So far the White House has not turned over a single document or granted a

single interview that Chairman Cummings in the committee have asked for. 

And we`re going to demand that we get this information and we`re going to

get to the bottom of it.  It`s of the utmost seriousness and importance to

the American people.


HAYES:  I mean, the president has the authority to grant security clearance

to basically anyone he wants, at least under the sort of understanding we

have of the National Security Act and the system that set up.  What does it

indicate to you that they`ve lied about it repeatedly?


RASKIN:  Well, we don`t know why they`re lying about it.  It doesn`t look

good that they`re trying to basically pack the administration with people

who can`t pass a basic security clearance process.  And these are expedited

so it`s not like they`re waiting around for years.  They do a very serious

intensive search but they go right to the front of the queue.


I mean, I`ve got a lot of constituents in the 8th District of Maryland who

wait months or more than a year to get their security clearance.  These

people got attention right away but they came back and they said we did the

background check and these people don`t pass it and the administration, the

White House just flipped it over.


HAYES:  Final question on Judiciary Committee.  It seems that the Chairman

wrote back to Barr and it looks like your committee will move forward with

– to subpoena the Mueller report is that right, this week if they do not

get it delivered which it looks like it will not happen.


RASKIN:  Well, I believe that majority of our committee will vote to grant

the Chairman subpoena power whether or not it issues this week or not, I

just don`t know.  I mean, that`s going to be within the discretion of the

Chairman to determine when it goes out.  But this too goes right to the

question of we`re going to – whether we`re going to allow ourselves to be

stonewalled by the administration.


We are the Article One lawmaking branch of government.  We have a right to

all of this information that we`re asking for, and they have no right to

play games with us and to play hide-and-go-seek for example with the

Mueller report.


I mean, you know, we`ve been waiting more than two years for this and it`s

just a scandalous situation that the Attorney General would interpose

himself in the situation, declared that the president is not guilty of

obstruction of justice when the special counsel wouldn`t do that after two

years of investigation, and then withhold the critical document in the

case.  We want the report.


HAYES:  All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you very much.


RASKIN:  Delighted to be with you, Chris.


HAYES:  Joining me now for more on the significance of the Trump

administration security clearance lies, Rudy Mehrbani, who`s a former

Assistant to President for President Personnel under President Obama and

he`s now a Spitzer fellow, Senior Counsel of the Brennan Center for

Justice, and Jason Johnson who`s a Politics Editor at The Root, has been

covering this administration and their habits with the truth.


Rudy, let me start with you.  For people that aren`t familiar with this

process, like how big a deal is what we are learning about the process

inside this White House?



this is more than just a bureaucratic process.  This is a system that has

been developed and supported by both Republican and Democratic presidents

over an extended period of time that`s meant to protect some of the most

sensitive information that our government officials handle, and the

president him or herself from embarrassment when issues arise with those

people who are handling it.


So the fact that we now have allegations that there`s been repeated

deviations from the process in favor of partisan interests and nepotism is

something that should concern frankly all Americans.  And I`m pleased to

see that the Oversight Committee is looking at this.


HAYES:  Jason, you know, there`s two aspects to this.  There`s the conduct

and then there`s a way they`ve dealt with the conduct, right?  I mean, what

is strange is that they could have forthrightly say look, it`s the

president`s prerogative to do this and he felt it was important to have

Jared Kushner – I don`t know, coming up in the Middle East peace plan, and

his own daughter to be a senior advisor but they didn`t do that they lied.


And they lied on camera into the camera, into recording devices right at

everyone like they weren`t lying.  Then they got busted and they`re like oh

yes.  And that to me is a striking part of dealing with these folks on

everything including the Barr report.


JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THE ROOT:  Well, yes, Chris.  Because the

issue is that the Trump administration, they lie so consistently and they

lie in ways that everyone can catch them.  And you remember, Jared Kushner

lied on his application about who he was in contact with.  Ivanka lied. 

You`ve had so many different people in this administration lie when it

comes to issues of national security.


And I want to really focus on this, Chris.  I have members of my family

who`ve gone through security clearances.  I know other people have gone

through security clearances.  We`re not talking about you can`t get a

clearance because you had a wild weekend in Rio, right?  We`re not talking

about you know, you did drugs in college a couple times it got a bit wild.


These are things like you can`t account for vast periods of your life.  We

don`t know where you were.  We don`t know where you got this money.  Your

debt ratio is in a way that`s so destructive that you might be liable to

bribes.  These are the kinds of things that people have legitimate concerns



And the fact that this administration is basically handing out security

clearances like Oprah on her show, you get one, you get one, oh I like how

you gave me coffee, that is a danger to all of us.  And so when we hear

about these stories of is Jared selling information it, is China getting

special deals, or all these countries cutting deals is it coming from

inside information.


This is why we have these concerns because security clearances have been

given to people who we don`t know who are probably not qualified to get it.


HAYES:  And of course, Rudy, in the – in the – in terms of Jared Kushner,

I mean, he is centrally involved in American foreign policy.  In fact, he

is so involved in American foreign policy with the Saudi regime which of

course recently hacked to death and murdered an American journalist or a

Saudi journalist who`s working for an American paper, The Washington Post.


He essentially runs point on that and up a whole bunch of other things. 

Lord knows what – you know, what folks have on him.


MEHRBANI:  I think that`s right.  And there have been reports that some of

our adversaries in other countries have actually already targeted Jared as

somebody who might be potentially vulnerable to manipulation or coercion.


And I think that the Trump administration has lost sight as to the purpose

of these kinds of rules.  And I don`t know what it`s going to take,

frankly.  I mean, I saw the report today that Carl Kline simply said that

this conduct and the problematic behavior shouldn`t be concerning because

it occurred prior to the person`s White House service.  Now that cuts

against the entire purpose of the background investigation process.


HAYES:  I mean, it`s literally definitional.  Everyone goes into the White

House and gets evaluated on their prior – things they did before they got

the White House.  There`s also I think, Jason – I mean, as we think about

the Mueller report and the Barr letter on it, as people try to think about

how to evaluate what is in front of us.  I think everyone agrees we need to

see the actual full thing.  But you know, the degree to which you should

take in good faith actions by say someone like Bill Barr appointed by the

president, to me at least is colored by watching Ivanka look into that

camera and sort of you know, say that the people are lying when she, in

fact, is lying.


JOHNSON:  Yes.  There are no articles of good faith with this

administration, Chris.  I mean, they lied about babies and cages and we had

video of it.  So why would we ever believe that anything that Barr says

about a report that at one point was 700 pages, then it was 400 pages, now

it`s 300 pages, now we don`t know?  There is nothing that can be believed

from this administration.


And this is one key thing that I think is encouraging in some ways about

this report.  This is why elections matter.  Because this woman has been

seeing this going on for two years in this administration –


HAYES:  With no one –


JOHNSON:  And she had no one she could complain to.  Now that Democrats run

the Oversight Committee, there`s at least someone that can investigate this



HAYES:  What`s the – Rudy, is there an avenue of redress here?


MEHRBANI:  Well, I think that the process is just getting started with the

Oversight Committee beginning to use their threat of subpoena more

seriously.  They`ve talked to one whistleblower who by the way I think

needs to be commended for her courage and coming forward.


I mean, this is somebody who also has been identified as having a physical

disability and will be the target of a lot of hate for what she`s doing. 

And the fact that she`s a nonpartisan career professional who has served

for 18 years in her position has what has been reported to be a sterling

reputation in doing her job.  People that I know worked with her directly

and have said nothing but positive things about her.


And so the fact that she`s coming forward should make all of us concerned

and it may actually result in other people coming forward.  So I think that

we`re at the beginning of this process and we`re going to learn a lot more.


HAYES:  Yes.  She`s clearly pretty freaked out if she`s doing this.  It`s

really – it`s striking to me knowing a little bit about how this process

works, knowing how sort of loyal and behind-the-scenes those career

officers are.  It just – it would really take a lot to get to this point. 

Rudy Mehrbani and Jason Johnson, thank you both.


MEHRBANI:  Thank you very much.


HAYES:  Next, as more asylum seekers reach the southern border, the

President ratchets up the threats like cutting off aid from three Central

American countries and potentially installing a hard-line anti-immigrant

official to oversee immigration.  That in two minutes.




HAYES:  Faced with an increase of migrant families seeking asylum at the

southern border, the Trump Administration has continued to rack up its

actions, its rhetoric, and its threats.  The President has now vowed to cut

off aid to three Central American countries in retaliation for what he

called their lack of help in reducing the flow of migrants at the U.S.



Those countries include El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, or as Trump

T.V. described them instantly iconically this weekend three Mexican

countries.  The president is also saying he will close the U.S.-Mexico

border, that`s with actual Mexico next week.  That`s a threat he`s made at

least seven times since last October and has never made good on likely

because it`s so idiotic and would be economically danger – disastrous,


And now the President is toying with the idea of adding an immigration

czar.  The Associated Press reporting tonight two potential candidates for

the post include former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, two far-right Conservatives with

strong views on immigration.


To help explain what`s actually going on I`m joined by Dara Lind who covers

immigration as a Senior Correspondent for Vox and journalist Bob Moore who

writes about the southern border for both the Washington Post and Texas

Monthly.  Dara, let me begin with you on the idea of cutting off aid to

what are called the northern triangle countries, the Central American

countries, a good idea, a bad idea, what would that mean?


DARA LIND, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, VOX:  Certainly very few people other than

Donald Trump and Mick Mulvaney think it`s a good idea.  The Trump

administration lined that it`s kind of a response for them not doing enough

to stop people from coming isn`t exactly how governance works. 


The line before Trump and even some Trump administration officials have

used is that this is actually the only long-term solution to getting at the

root causes of migration, you know, getting economic development and better

security in place so that people don`t feel a need to leave their home

countries as often.  So it`s very least getting a tool – a solution out of

the toolbox that the president could be using.


MELBER:  Bob you`ve been covering on the ground in El Paso what`s been

happening there with CBP.  They say they`re overwhelmed.  Kirstjen Nielsen

says they`re overwhelmed.  There is statistical evidence to suggest that

more and more families, again families which is the key here are coming

over the border seeking asylum.  What does it look like down the border? 

How do you understand what`s happening there?



clearly evidence of you know, ignored warnings for five years about the

changing face of migration.  We still have a border enforcement system

that`s designed to stop single Mexican men from sneaking over and finding

work and we`ve done nothing despite this these repeated surges to adjust

our strategies to either interdict or care for families coming over to seek



HAYES:  So that means that those facilities that are designed to process

basically young single men seeking work and trying to evade authorities are

ill-equipped it appears and increasingly ill-equipped to handle these

families with young children?


MOORE:  Absolutely.  You have 40 or 50 people crowded into these small

cells with a single toilet that doesn`t have a door on it for example, very

cold conditions, very unhealthy conditions.  Felipe Alonso Gomez, the

little boy who died in December in New Mexico was at a highway checkpoint

being held in a cell there when he was desperately ill.


HAYES:  Dara, part of the issue it strikes me is there is clearly a need

for changing and increase in the capacity of CBP at the point of

apprehension with these families seeking asylum to expand the capacity for

them to process them and house them humanely.  And yet the administration

that wants to do that as having a very hard time I think understandably

convincing anyone that that`s what they would do.


LIND:  Right.  There was some money in the funding bill that Congress put

forward that they passed in February.  It was not by any means on the order

of say the billion dollars that the Pentagon has just reprogrammed for the

border wall.  And the other problem of course here is that it takes time to

stand up facilities especially facilities that are actually equipped to

deal with the needs of young children.  And that time isn`t really

something that we have right now.


We`re seeing huge increases even from January, to February, to March in the

number of people coming in.


HAYES:  Did you – do you have a theory of that – does anyone understand -

- I remember back in 2014 when this first became an issue.  It was largely

unaccompanied minors.  There was this idea that somehow the president`s

DACA order had trickle down to Central America and people thought that

their kids could come over.  That proved largely to be a myth and not the

case.  But does anyone have a handle on the cause and effect here of why

there are more people crossing now, Dara?


LIND:  There`s definitely some innovation in tactics, the use of high-speed

bus routes to go just five days without having to do a lot of the trekking

at night through Mexico has made people feel more comfortable going.  But

it`s really at a level that we haven`t seen and it`s probably going to take

a certain amount of time to sort out just what people are being told and

how that interacts with facts on the ground.


HAYES:  Bob, I know you`ve been interviewing the folks that often in sort

of either faith organizations or social service nonprofits that are often

dealing with the people that have come over particularly when they`re

released by CBP.  What are they seeing about what they`re hearing?


MOORE:  The big issue lately was you know the keeping people under the

bridge and just keeping them in these horrific conditions.  But you know,

one of the things that`s really clear is the President`s own rhetoric winds

up driving some of this because the smugglers are able to convince people

hey, look if you don`t go now, something bad is going to happen.


And so these sort of on-again-off-again policies that the administration

keeps trying which are all punitive and have all failed so far actually

wind up driving more migration than would have occurred otherwise.


HAYES:  Wait, I want to make sure I`m clear on that.  What you`re saying is

that smugglers can say to people in making their pitch essentially to take

their money to move them to the southern border through Mexico, look the

doors closing basically.  They`re going to – they`re going to build the

wall, they`re going to do whatever – you can hear what Trump says.  You

got to go now.  That`s what you`re hearing.


MOORE:  Absolutely.  And combined with what Dara was talking about with

these much more convenient routes right now that the message is going out,

you got to go now, the weather`s nice.  We can get you there quickly.  And

if you don`t go now, hey listen to what that guy in Washington is saying.


HAYES:  Yes.  What – does that – is that sync up with some of your

reporting, Dara?


LIND:  That – I mean it sounds absolutely correct.  It`s generally true

that smugglers will use any available information, and if there isn`t any

available information they`ll make stuff up.  But absolutely the kind of

off-again-on-again policy regimes that the administration is putting out

there make it very hard to say for sure that they won`t be allowed into the

U.S. or that they should wait another couple of months.


HAYES:  All right, Dara Lind and Bob Moore, that was a edifying.  I really

appreciate it.  Thank you.  Ahead, what to make of the new explosive

allegations that the Saudis hacked the phone of Washington Post owner Jeff

Bezos.  Trump, Bezos, and the Saudis next.




HAYES:  Jeff Bezos` security chief Gavin de Becker is now on the record in

The Daily Beast alleging that the Saudis had gained access to Bezos` phone

and stolen private information.  This is a huge development because you

probably remember that back in February, Bezos the Amazon founder believed

to be the world`s richest person revealed that the parent company of the

National Enquirer AMI had threatened to publish intimate photos of him.  In

fact, he had e-mails of them doing that in what Bezos called an attempt at

extortion and blackmail.


AMI, of course, is the Trump friendly media company that once upon a time

paid Karen McDougal to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with the

president, also played a pivotal role in temporarily buying the silence of

Stormy Daniels.


And AMI threatened to publish Bezos` intimate photos unless, unless

Washington Post which Bezos owns dropped an investigation into how it was

that the Enquirer had attained text messages exposing Bezos` extramarital



So Bezos goes public with all this.  And after he goes public, The Enquirer

insisted that its source had in fact been the brother of Bezos` girlfriend

Lauren Sanchez, and that that man Michael Sanchez was indeed paid by AMI.


But Bezos` security chief now says no, no, no.  The original source was not

Michael Sanchez.  No, it was the Saudis who had targeted Bezos in the wake

of the Washington Post`s aggressive coverage of the killing of Jamaal

Khashoggi, The Post columnist brutally murdered by the Saudi government.


AMI insist the Saudis had nothing to do with all this but it`s worth noting

that the two already in a cozy relationship.  Last year AMI published and

placed on American newsstands a slick magazine celebrating Saudi Crown

Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Joining me now Daily Beast Reporter Lachlan Markay who has been covering

the Bezos story.  So Lachlan, Gavin de Becker is a guy with a very good

reputation in the world of this sort of security stuff.  He was hired by

Bezos to sort of sniff out what was going on.  What is he saying now?


LACHLAN MARKAY, REPORTER, DAILY BEAST: Yes, so he`s actually been in

Bezos`s employ for about 22 years now, they have a longstanding

relationship.  And Bezos basically turned to him and said find the people

who did this. 


So he now has conducted this very wide-ranging probe.  He`s consulted with

a lot of sort of security experts, and has determined that, you know, it`s

not clear whether it was hacking, but that through some means, could have

been hacking, could have been, you know, the interception of 

communications, he even leaves open the possibility of physically

possessing Bezos` phone, that the Saudis somehow gained access to this



There are still plenty of dots that he didn`t connect in the column that he

published in The Daily Beast over the weekend and those are leads we`re

running down now.


HAYES:  OK, so i just want to be clear here, right, so what happens is the

National Enquirer has a big scoop.  Jeff Bezos is in the midst of an affair

and we have text messages about them.  Then Bezos starts to investigate and

that`s when this weird blackmail thing goes down, right.  They say call off

your dogs or we`re going to publish these photos of you.


MARKAY:  Yeah.  And one of the new bits of information in his column that

we didn`t know previously was a few lines of text in this statement that

AMI wanted Jeff Bezos and Gavin de Becker  put out in their names, and it

essentially said that, you know, we affirm that AMI did not use any

material that was hacked or intercepted by any state actor in the course of

reporting this out.


HAYES:  Huh.


MARKAY:  Obviously, they refused to put that in any sort of statement.


HAYES:  So, they`re explicitly saying you got to take us off the hook for

possibly being in cahoots with the state actor that acquired this in your

public statement as a condition of this sort of what appears to me like

attempted blackmail.


MARKAY:  Right.  And, you know, you can give them the benefit of the doubt

and think, well, maybe they thought that this theory would be floated at

some point and they were sort of trying to preempt it.  But obviously this

was a theory that was on their minds.  They were concerned that that

information, or that that claim would get out, whether through Gavin de

Becker  or someone else

and they wanted to have that statement available to be able to sort of

preempt that.


HAYES:  There is another part of this, which is basically after this whole

thing blows up, right, so like the Enquirer goes after Bezos.  Everyone is

like, whoa, what`s the deal here?  A lot of people are thinking that the

president has attacked Bezos and the Amazon Washington Post, are they doing

it for



The Saudis are not happy with Jeff Bezos, because they murdered one of his

columnists, and then Washington Post covered that aggressively. 


Michael Sanchez, who is the brother of the woman in question, right, AMI 

basically pins it on him in a kind of weird way more or less, right?


MARKAY:  Yeah.  I mean, this whole saga has been very bizarre, but one of

the most – I think interesting aspects from a journalistic perspective,

you know, obviously every news organization will sort of go to the mat to

protect their sources, especially on such a massive story like this. 


AMI, over the last two or three weeks, has fully burned their what they

claim is their sole

source on this.  So that I thought, you know, when that began happening a

couple of weeks ago with their lawyer going on the Sunday shows and all but

naming him, I thought that was very odd.


When The Wall Street Journal came out with a story last week, they said, or

they suggested, that

there were actually two stories on this.  And this is what really – this

formed a lot of Gavin de Becker`s (ph) theory on this is that Michael

Sanchez was the source of text messages, the text of which ended up in the

Enquirer story, but that someone else actually tipped them off to this

affair ahead of time.


He`s now saying that that was very likely the Saudi government.


HAYES:  I just want to be – I mean, this is – it`s complicated, but I

want to be clear about what the core sort of allegation by de Becker  is,

that The Washington Post, a First Amendment protected

newspaper in the United States, has a columnist who is murdered by the

Saudi regime, largely because of the things we think that he published in

The Washington Post.  The Saudi regime attempts to cover it up and they are

caught.  The Washington Post aggressively covers the cover-up, and in


retaliation this regime, protected by the Trump administration and defended

by the Trump administration at every turn, turns to a vendetta against the

owner of the Post as a kind of recrimination because they aggressively

covered their murder of a Washington Post columnist.


MARKAY:  Right.


And de Becker  even goes further than that and says that there were these

sort of online trolling campaigns and boycott campaigns that were meant to

look sort of grassroots that took place in Saudi Arabia that he alleges

were actually the actions of a state sponsored Saudi sort of information

warfare apparatus, very similar to what we saw in the 2016 election

sponsored by state actors in Russia.


So this is, you know, as de Becker  is telling it, a very wide-ranging

campaign that goes  beyond just this one National Enquirer story and

involves sort of a full spectrum of information warfare essentially against

Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post and Amazon.


HAYES:  I mean, if it`s true, and I don`t know if it is, but if it`s true,

it`s as real and immediate

a threat to free speech in the U.S. as one could possibly imagine if a

foreign government that doesn`t like dissidents speaking out of turn so

much it murders them, then attempts to blackmail and destroy the publishers

of newspapers who cover it.


MARKAY:  Yeah, and not just the first amendment, but we have to remember

that Amazon  right now is bidding on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud storage

contract, so there are tremendous national security implications here as

well, and that`s something that, you know, can`t be ignored when Bezos`s

top security guy is making these sorts of allegations.


HAYES:  All rig ht, we`re going to follow this story.  Lachlan Markay,

you`ve been doing great reporting on this.  Thank you for your time



MARKAYE:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Still to come, the accusations of inappropriate behavior against

Joe Biden as he weights a 2020 run.  We`ll talk about that ahead.


Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.




HAYAES:  Thing One tonight,the president is back in D.C. today following a

relaxing weekend in Florida.  And this weekend marks the record breaking

165th golf outing of his presidency.


The president hit the links Sunday morning at his own Trump International

Golf Club in West

Palm Beach.  It`s a course the president happens to have won the 2018 men`s

club championship despite

never playing in the tournament. reported last month the president challenged the actual winner of

the club championship to a winner takes all nine-hole playoff.  The

president somehow won the playoff and he`s now the champion with a little

plaque on his locker to prove it.


The question is, did the president cheat?




SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR:  I actually played golf with him with Anthony

Anderson one  day.




JACKSON:  And we were all playing together.  We clearly saw him hit a ball,

hook a ball into a lake at Trump National in Jersey.  And his caddie told

him he found it. 


MEYERS:  And was the caddie soaking wet when he said this?


JACKSON:  No, he was not.  He just took off running and the next thing we

know –  I got it, Mr. Trump!


Did you see a splash?  We saw a splash.




HAYES:  We`re learning a lot about just how much Trump cheats at golf, and

that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  President Trump gets very upset at any accusation he cheats at

golf.  After actor Samuel L. Jackson told Seth Meyers a story about the

president hyjinks on the links, Trump fired back on Twitter, quote, “I

don`t cheat at golf, but Samuel L. Jackson cheats with his game.  He has no

choice.  And stop doing commercials.”  Burn.


Well, in the new book, “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” author

Rick Riley describes the president as a prolific cheater.  Shocking, I



“To say Donald Trump cheats is like saying Michael Phelps swims,” Riley

writes.  “He cheats at the highest level.  He cheats when people are

watching and he cheats when they aren`t.  He cheats whether you like it or



In one instance, playing with veteran PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon (ph), Trump

dunked a shot into the lake, but as his opponents weren`t looking he simply

dropped another ball and then hit that into the water, too.


Former ESPN announcer, Mike Tirico recounts another shot with Trump.  When

he hit a shot towards an elevated green he couldn`t see, but when he got to

the putting green, Tirico`s ball was nowhere to be seen.  Instead it was 50

feet left of the hole in a bunker.  Tirico was baffled until Trump`s

caddie came up in him and said you know shot you hit on par 5, it was about

ten feet from the hole, Trump threw it in the bunker.  I watched him do it.


Well, at least the president doesn`t go around bragging about his golf game

or anything.




TRUMP:  Jeff actually watched me make a hole in one.  Can you believe that? 

I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people to be exact,

and then I got a hole in one, so it was sort of cool.  Thank you very much.








REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK:  On the events of September

11th, 2001, thousands of Americans died in one of the largest terrorist

attack on U.S. soil.  And our national response, whether we agree with it

or not, our national response was to go to war in one and then eventually

two countries.  3,000 Americans died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of

Hurricane Maria.  Where is our response?




HAYES:  Our Green New Deal special on Friday, Congresswoman Alexandria

Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that despite the horrific death toll of Hurricane

Maria and its aftermath in Puerto Rico, our

government has done almost nothing to figure out what happened and how to

prevent it in the future.


To my mind, it`s one of the most egregious, indefensible failings of this

administration, perhaps

the worst.  Not only the incompetence that apparently led to thousands of

deaths, but worse than that, the lack of curiosity about what happened, the

cruel indifference in the wake of that suffering.


Now, 18 months later the reality is that Puerto Rico still needs a lot of

help.  The notoriously unreliable utility company PREPA still is in

control, as journalist Jonathan Katz (ph) has reported in recent

dispatches, there are still blackouts in entire towns, kids going to dark,

hot schools.  Traffic lights not fixed since Maria.


Instead of helping, we know the president is basically pursuing a perverse

vendetta against the  people of Puerto Rico, actively trying to block

federal aid and telling Republican senators that Puerto Rico`s getting too

much hurricane relief.


Today, a Republican disaster relief bill failed to advance in the senate. 

It provided millions of dollars less than what Democrats say is needed.


The Daily Beast also now reporting that Puerto Rico is a sore spot for

Trump.  He`s bitter and angry over people who suffered and whose family

members died because apparently they have the gall to make him look bad.


And the White House is now stonewalling attempts to find out what happened. 

Oversight subcommittee Chair Jerry Connolly telling The Daily Beast that he

still hasn`t seen key documents from the administration detailing its

response to the hurricanes, and he may use the committee`s  subpoena power.


But administration incompetence and a president`s perverse narcissism

aside, we as a country need to understand what happened in detail in Puerto

Rico, because the era of climate disaster will surely bring more Marias,

more extreme weather events, not just in Puerto Rico but throughout the



And it is just inexcusable.  There still is 18 months later no committee or

body of inquiry to

get to the bottom of the basic questions here.  No 9/11-style commission to

find out what happened.


We need answers, whether the president wants them or not, why those 3,000

Americans died, and how do we make sure it doesn`t happen again when the

next extreme weather event comes bearing down on us.




HAYES:  For years, people have noticed the somewhat strange and often,

let`s say, overly familiar physicality of one Joe Biden, specifically with



Numerous photos have shown Biden in close contact with various women,

prompting headlines like “Joe Biden, we need to talk about the way you

touch women.”


Late last week, former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Candidate Lucy Flores

wrote about her own experience with Biden, writing that at a campaign event

in 2014 Biden put his hands on her shoulder`s, quote, “inhaled my hair and

proceeded to plant a big, slow kiss on the back of my head.”





suggesting that I felt in any way sexually assaulted or sexually harassed,

I felt invaded.  I felt that there was a violation of my personal space.




HAYES:  Today, a Connecticut woman relayed a similar experience of Biden at

a 2009 fundraiser.  Amy Lampos (ph) telling The Hartford Current “it wasn`t

sexual, but he did grab me by the head.  He put his hand around my neck and

pulled me in to rub noses with me.  When he was pulling me in, I thought he

was going to kiss me on the mouth.”


NBC News has not verified either of those incidents.  Biden said in

response to both allegations, he does not believe he ever acted

inappropriately, adding “if it is suggested I did so, I will listen

respectfully, but it was never my intention.  I may not recall these

moments the say same way and I may be surprised at what I hear.”


Now, the discussion has occasioned a debate about both Biden`s past, in

total, and his record heading into a possible presidential run, as well as

how to deal with this type of behavior, an invasion of personal space that

is highly gendered, even if it doesn`t fit into the category of sexual



Joining me now, Democratic strategist Aisha Moodie-MIlls, a fellow at

Harvard University`s institute of politics, and Democratic political

consultant, Zephyr Teachout, who is also an associate

professor at the Fordham University School of  Law, and a former candidate



Zephyr, let me start with you.  You`ve run for office.


I`ve gotten a wide spectrum of feedback on this just from emails and

conversations with people.  What is your – how are you thinking about




this incredibly exciting moment where the norms are changing.  And they`re

changing in private or

private quasi public, but legal norms are changing.  They`re changing when

it comes to how men in power interact with women, and that`s an incredibly

important and good thing.


It`s also changing, by the way, it`s the same weekend this happened, you

saw this big story

about presidential candidates hiding their donors.


HAYES:  Yes.


TEACHOUT:  Instead of trumpeting their donors, so the norms about legal

fundraising behavior is changing, too.  And we`re calling out candidates

for spending time talking to big donors. 


So, I think that`s incredibly important.  It`s incredibly important to be

part of demanding that we change – change our expectations for how

powerful men treat people.  And at the same time, we have to remember that

for the vast majority of Americans who are living with, you know, real

insecurity, more and more contingent workers, dying because they can`t

afford insulin.  They are desperate to hear about policies, and that

policies have an invasive – can – policies are violent, policies invade

people`s lives. 


You know, I was just talking to somebody about this today, about, you know,

for a lot of voters – primary voters and general voters, Joe Biden`s vote

on the war in Iraq, leading to the death of 500,000 Iraqis, you know,

that`s real violence that matters to voters.


And I think the puzzle as a candidate is like how do you both be out front

in making sure that you`re part of leading this change in the norms, which

is a really good thing, and continue to consistently speak to the, you

know, anxiety that  voters are feelings.


HAYES:  What do you think, Aisha?



what Zephyr is saying about actually being a candidate who leads on the

fact that the norms are changing is what Joe Biden needs to lean into.


I think we`ve had a last several days of having conversation about whether

he`s creepy, whether this is acceptable, I think we`ve gone beyond like

questioning whether it`s OK for him to nuzzle his nose against somebody

else`s, particularly a woman, or kiss the back of somebody`s head.


I appreciate his statement.  I think that he always shows up with a bit of

dignity and says I`m willing to listen if people think that I`ve wronged

them.  But I want to see is more of a leaning in to the fact that this is

not OK.  And some affirmation that moving forward, he will be more

conscious of the personal space that he takes up and the way that he

invades other people`s, and doesn`t just say, well, you know, I`m being a

nice guy and I didn`t think I was hurting anybody`s feelings, but to say,

you know what, I get it and I`m  backing off, and I`m going to  change my

posture, and let me be a model, then, of behavior change and of

understanding, where we are now where women deserve to be heard, and

certainly I deserve – you know, I need to back up so that women don`t have

to, you know, kind of like look at me and push me away.


HAYES:  Yeah, I should note that Stephanie Carter, who is the spouse of Ash

Carter, who was the Secretary of Defense wrote this piece today that I

thought was interesting.  There is this iconic photo of Biden sort of with

hands on her shoulders, which is often been included in the round-up of

like, oh„ he is being too personal.  She wrote a piece today being like,

that was actually welcomed.  And I had a really tough day.  And I had this

horrible – I had fallen and sort of defending him saying like the picture

doesn`t tell the full story of whatever is happening in this specific



But in the broader question of norms, I want to give you an argument that

people have made

to me.  It`s not my argument, but I hear it from lots of Democratic voters,

which is that Democrats are crazy, and they`re cannibals, and they`re going

to just like eat each other alive finding things wrong with everyone.  And

because the norms are shifting, they are going to look out of touch with an


still clinging to older norms, or not even clinging, just inhabiting older

norms.  What do you think about that?


TEACHOUT:  Yeah, I think one of the things about in particular this sort of

whole array of ways in which men can be creepy with women, we know it`s

ubiquitous, and we saw with #metoo how even more than creepiness is

ubiquitous, that it`s a story that everybody experiences.


And that sort of – not a double-edged sword, but has two different

implications.  One is that everybody can relate to it.  And the other is

that a lot of these behaviors you`re seeing are behaviors where, you know,

maybe my ex-husband did that or maybe my brother does that.


HAYES:  Right, they`re really common.  And I know people that do them.


TEACHOUT:  And I don`t want to sort of cancel them from my life, so that I

both don`t like it, I  want to change it, but just because I want to change

it doesn`t mean I`m quite willing to cancel folks.


HAYES:  Well said I think.




MOODIE-MILLS:  Yeah, so I`ll say this, Chris, is that, you know, I`m tired

of this conversation  about whether nervousness of whether candidates

aren`t going to appeal to or are going to isolate people and they`re going

to be out of step with where the people are.


What I`m looking forward to is having a candidate that`s actually a little

bit more forward thinking and aspirational around where we want to be.  And

so I want people to show up with the kind of values and the kind of posture

that is actually the way that we want to be and who we aspire to be and not

regress to some, like, social norms that we should just kind of like take

on because people just do it that way.


HAYES:  Yes, I think that`s well said.  Aisha Moodie-Mills and Zephyr

Teachout, thank you both for being with me tonight.  That is ALL IN for

this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.  Good evening,








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