Barr to give Press Conference unveiling Mueller Report. TRANSCRIPT: 4/17/19. All In w/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: – cannot end with only a resentful cringe.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with
Chris Hayes stars right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no collusion,
there was no obstruction, everybody knows it.
HAYES: On the eve of the redacted Mueller report release –
TRUMP: Because people did things that were very, very bad for our country
and very, very illegal, and you could even say treasonous.
HAYES: The White House braces for what the Special Counsel`s report really
says as it goes to war footing with ongoing congressional investigations.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): I came out early talking about impeachment.
HAYES: My guest tonight Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Plus –
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I didn`t expect them to make total
fools of themselves.
HAYES: Why Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was invited, then
disinvited by Republicans in Kentucky. And just what`s going on with Jared
Kushner`s Middle East peace plan?
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: You also have some major
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. At this very moment,
we are right now awaiting a press conference from House Judiciary Chairman
Jerry Nadler on tomorrow`s release of the Mueller report. We`re going to
live as is it begins because tonight in what looks like yet another
transparent attempt to spin Mueller`s findings in the President`s favor,
Attorney General William Barr announced he`s going to hold his own press
conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 to unveil his redacted version of the
And the thing about that is the timing means reporters will not have a
chance to actually see any of the report before Barr puts his spin on it
just as he did and his now infamous four-page summary clearing the
President of any wrongdoing. It`s the latest sign of just how hard the
President and his allies including Barr are working to manage the reports
The President`s lawyers have meeting every day this week to plan their
response. The Times calls it a rebuttal. Reportedly – and this is also
important, with the help of the Justice Department itself. According to
the New York Times, Justice Department officials have had numerous
conversations with White House lawyers about the Special Counsel`s
conclusion in recent days according to people of knowledge discussions.
The talks had aided the President`s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to
the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.
Now, this comes amid concerns that the rest of us will have to wait for
hours after the Attorney General`s press conference to see the report for
ourselves. Chairman Nadler tweeting, I`m deeply troubled by reports the
White House is being briefed on the Mueller report ahead of its release.
Now, DOJ is important to us we will not receive the report until around
11:00 or 12:00 tomorrow afternoon after Barr`s press conference. This is
All of this desperate last-minute maneuvering would seem to show just how
much Trump world apparently fears about what`s in the report because
regardless of the redactions or any exculpatory evidence it may contain,
and there may be some exculpatory evidence in there, the full report will
not be better than Barr`s bare-bones four-page summary which let the
president declare an unqualified victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There was no collusion with the Russians. There was no obstruction
and none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Explicitly not what bars letter about the Mueller report said. It
said it didn`t exonerate him. In fact, it included a quote specifically
saying he wasn`t exonerated. But with Barr`s summary in the rearview
mirror, there`s now only downside risk to the President. I think they get
that in the White House because it can only get worse from here.
We know that a report contains at least some damaging information because
again Barr even in that bare-bones letter suggests it as much in his
section on obstruction. “The report sets out evidence on both sides of the
question. That would be the question of whether the President committed
obstruction of justice, and leaves unresolved what the special counsel
views as difficult issues of law, in fact, concerning with the President`s
actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”
Now, we`re not expecting any smoking guns, but the details of that evidence
will inevitably be worse for the President than what Barr has said in his
vague outline. And regardless of how much it`s redacted, the report will
return the public`s focus to the key event that prompted the investigation
in the first place, that is efforts by a foreign adversary to sabotage an
American election and put a candidate viewed as pliable and susceptible to
their interests inside the White House.
Barr`s four-page summary already resolved the narrow legal question Mueller
didn`t find evidence sufficient to conclude the President committed a crime
by conspiring with Russia. Now with that legal question off the table and
to the side, we can all take a broader look at the facts that are to a
large extent already in the public domain. Russia`s clear preference for
Donald Trump over his opponent, Trump`s affinity for Vladimir Putin and his
eagerness to accept help from a foreign adversary.
And tomorrow with the whole thing laid out in more detail we`ve ever seen,
we may be able to draw some new conclusions about the conduct to the
President of United States. Again, we`re waiting Jerry Nadler, but for
more on the stakes of tomorrow`s rollout, I`m joined by former Congressman
Elizabeth Holtzman who voted for articles of impeachment against Richard
Nixon when she was a member of the committee that Jerry Nadler now chairs,
the House Judiciary Committee. She`s the author of The Case for Impeaching
Trump, and Melissa Murray, a Professor at NYU School of Law who thinks a
lot about the Constitution and Constitutional Law.
Let me start with you, Liz, on just this rollout. I have to say, I was a
reporter in Washington for years and here`s standard operating procedures.
And this is true with prosecutor, it`s true with cabinet agencies. Some
big document is coming out, an indictment, a report. You get it 10 to 15
minutes before the press conference. It`s a little embargoed.
You sit there it`s going through to try to prep your questions. That`s
standard and like that`s a little hurry. Then it gives the people who are
unrolling it a little bit of a leg up because they know it better than you
do. But I have never ever heard of a press conference on a document that
no one gets to see until after the press conference is over.
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, they`re desperate to
control this news because this news is going to have something very bad in
it for the President of the United States and what we`re seeing sad, sad,
sad to use the Trump word, or three of his words is the Attorney General of
the United States who is the Attorney General for all the people acting as
a political hatchet man for the President of the United States.
Ultimately, this cover-up is not going to work. Ultimately the people of
the United States are going to see what`s in the report and what the facts
HAYES: Well, what`s weird about it, Melissa, is that it`s not – I mean
it`s not a cover-up. And that`s why I find this so strange. Like we`re
going to get to see the report. We can all read. Just give it to us. Is
that crazy? Am I making too much of this?
MELISSA MURRAY, PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW: I don`t think you`re making
too much of this. I think you have to think about the way things play out
in Trump world and I think the only person who comes out looking worse than
this and the President is Bob Barr who is really stained his reputation.
He came to the Senate and said he was going to be confirmed as someone who
is interested in transparency. That`s not what this is. This is about
getting out as far as you can with this narrative letting it get embedded
and entrenched, and then it doesn`t matter what people read and what
questions they come to or what conclusions they reach. You`ve already set
up the narrative.
HAYES: Yes. This is something Bill Barr said that I want to play because
it was like it – when he was talking about why – why`d you just give us
when he was asked for congressional meeting. Why`d you just give us the
four-page letter when there at these apparently summaries ready to go? And
here`s what he said. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: In my view, I was not
interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize because I think
any summary regardless of who prepares it not only runs the risk of you
know, being underinclusive or over inclusive but also you know, would
trigger a lot of discussion and analysis that really should await
everything coming out at once. So I was not interested in a summary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Should – it would trigger – this is the problem. It would
trigger a lot of discussion analysis that really should wait until
everything coming out at once. It just is so transparent, I`m almost
shocked by how transparent it is because they`re not – like they`re not
getting away with it, right? We all see what they`re doing.
HOLTZMAN: Right. We see it. Well, the whole public see it. The public
is going to see headlines. They may not read the report and that`s exactly
what they`re counting on. That`s why I call it a cover-up. It`s an
attempt to manipulate the American people, to befuddle them, to confuse
them, and to try to avoid having them understand all the facts.
The American people can read the facts, can understand the facts. This is
a way to try to force-feed them and shape the facts and it`s wrong.
HAYES: I want to talk about propriety and DOJ independence for a second.
So one of the things I found strange here from the beginning is in talking
to different people who worked in the White House counsel`s office in the
past who said look, it wouldn`t be – it would not be improper to send the
report to the White House Counsel`s office for a privileged review. That
would be – like they get – they have inequity there. They get a shot at
looking for privilege review.
Barr has insisted they didn`t do that, and then he got squirrelly about
whether the White House has seen it. And now we get word that they`re
briefing them in preparation to rebut it. Is that proper?
MURRAY: I don`t know if it`s proper. It definitely is unorthodox and it
certainly comports with the President`s vision of a unitary executive. The
idea that the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch and he
is the executive branch which means he`s essentially reviewing this
material on himself by himself. This is his Department of Justice.
I don`t know if that`s what the entire American public thinks but that`s
the theory that`s being issued here and I think it`s absolutely
inconsistent with what we`ve expected from the Department of Justice and
the insulation of the Department of Justice from partisan politics.
HOLTZMAN: But Barr has a history here which has just come out recently.
Ryan Goodman, a professor at NYU like my colleague here has shown in a
recent report that Barr issued a “summary” about a legal opinion and he
told Congress what he thought was going to be the important things, but
that turned out to be really deceptive. He left out the critical parts.
And so I think the thing we have to look at is not only how Barr is going
to spin this but we have to look at the fact that I believe they`re going
to be redactions in this report –
HAYES: Of course, yes.
HOLTZMAN: – a very inflammatory material that`s going to be damaging to
the President of the United States. And that`s a big problem that we have
HAYES: Two things on those redactions that we should note. One is that
the Justice Department I think in a filing – a U.S. Attorney has said that
there will be reductions about Roger Stone which makes some sense because
Roger Stone is a case that`s going to go in the fall and you think that
checks out right? That`s –
MURRAY: There`s a gag order there.
HAYES: Right, there`s a gag order. And also the Justice Department plans
to make available for review by a limited number of members of Congress and
their staff a copy of the report without certain redactions including
removing the redaction of information related to charges set forth in the
Roger Stone indictment. So Congress will get some unredacted version
according to a Department of Justice filing today –
MURRAY: Lightly redacted.
HAYES: What`s that?
MURRAY: Lightly redacted.
HAYES: Right, exactly. It`s not going to be unredacted. And they have a
claim – I mean, again, you served on that committee. They have a claim to
the whole thing. I mean, this idea of lowest-common-denominator we`re
going to make something that releases to the public and also give it to
Congress is crazy. They can just give Congress a congressional version.
HOLTZMAN: They could, and they could go to – the thing that to me is the
key is if they have any concern about the 6E, the grand jury material, Barr
could have gone to the district court in D.C. and said please release this
report as was done in Watergate. He`s refused to do that. So he does not
want transparency, he does not want Congress to see everything. He wants
to keep secrets. He wants a cover-up, he wants to protect the President of
the United States and it`s outrageous.
HAYES: What do you think – what are the recourses here right? So there`s
public pressure and there`s congressional subpoena. I mean those are
basically what there is right?
MURRAY: So all of those things I think are long game kind of propositions.
There`s no sort of immediate answer here. There may be a subpoena from the
Judiciary Committee. That will play out. It will probably be series of
negotiations between the Department of Justice and Congress. And if the
Department of Justice is unwilling now to release this information, it`s
unlikely that it`s going to release the whole thing as a result of the
They`ll just go through these protracted negotiations. And then if it
winds up in court, that too will be a protracted battle and raise questions
about whether it`s even an issue that the courts can hear.
HAYES: That`s a really interesting and important point. And we already
saw this play on once which was that there – Robert Mullen wanted to
interview the President of the United States. And there was protracted
negotiations and they stood firm and said no, you can`t, you`re not going
to talk to him, and they won. They didn`t talk to him because – and I
think partly because they were worried about what the courts would rule.
Liz Holtzman and Melissa Murray, thank you both. I appreciate it.
My next guests have been covering the Mueller investigation at every step
along the way. MSNBC Contributor Natasha Bertrand, now National Security
Correspondent for Politico and MSNBC Political Analyst David Corn,
Washington Bureau Chief from Mother Jones, Co-Author Russian Roulette: The
Inside Story of Putin`s War in America in the election of Donald Trump.
What do you make of all this Natasha?
NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I don`t think that we should be
surprised in the least because we have to consistently remember how Bill
Barr got here. He got here because he wrote that memo and he submitted it
to the Justice Department completely unsolicited, outlining the reasons why
Mueller`s obstruction inquiry was fatally misconceived. And that should
have been – well it was, that was a huge red flag but that should have
been our very first indication that this wasn`t necessarily going to shake
out in a legitimate way.
But the idea that he`s going to hold a press conference before anyone is
able to see the report is really maddening to Democrats on Capitol Hill as
I`m sure you know, they`ve made it very, very clear over the last couple
hours, and it`s also totally unexpected. And I think that we can also you
know, read a lot into the fact that Mueller and his team won`t be there
I don`t necessarily think that that was you know, because Mueller declined
but you – it`s certainly it`s going to be – we`re going to be missing a
lot surely by the fact that they`re not going to be there and that Barr
again is going to be issuing a summary of the report even though his first
indication to the – to the press and to the public was that he didn`t want
to be summarizing Mueller`s report for him.
So here we are again kind of back at square one and it`s just very, very
clear that they`re trying extremely hard to control the narrative. And
Democratic aides are saying, what are they trying to hide here? If the
report is a complete exoneration of the president, then why are they trying
so hard to rein this in.
HAYES: Well, that`s what – I mean, that is what is sticks out about all
this right, David? I mean, that word in the New York Times article,
they`ve been working on a rebuttal, a rebuttal to you`re not guilty verdict
right? I mean, the whole idea was you run – they run around for a week
gloating in their enemies faces like take that you idiots, nothing there,
you`re dumb. David Court, get out of journalism, yada-yada yada-yada, the
whole thing. And now they want to rebut the report that gave them that.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think their rebuttal was
probably aimed at what Trump has been saying that this is an illegitimate
investigation which of course it wasn`t and try to keep that narrative
going because they`re likely to get some bad news out of this report. And
I am as outraged as anyone about what`s happening tomorrow morning, but I
think we should all you know, at least – at least take a deep breath and
focus on the thing itself.
CORN: The thing itself is the report. And yes for two hours they`ll be
out there spinning away and what Bill Barr is doing is pretty despicable
and pretty unfair and illegitimate. But nevertheless, we`re going to look
at that report and see what the evidence is for obstruction and also see if
Robert Mueller gets into this issue of the interactions that did occur, we
know they occurred, between the Trump campaign and Russians and the way
Trump reacted to the news of the Russian attack which was to deny it and
get back to the thing itself, how we were attacked by the Russians, and how
Trump in his campaign did everything they could to aid and abet that attack
even if they didn`t directly conspire with them in a criminal manner.
So everybody please you know, the Bill Barr outrage is about one percent of
the outrage that we should have about what happened 2016 which might be
further illuminated by the report that comes out tomorrow depending on
HAYES: Right. I mean, that`s the “might” right? I mean –
CORN: Yes, “might.”
HAYES: But to your point there, I mean, this I think is part of what
explains the flop sweat that`s visible on the brow of everyone working in
the White House, Natasha, is that let`s say there`s –again, it did not
determine there was sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy with any
U.S. persons. That`s quoting again from the report. There`s no collusion,
right, in this sort of general term. But Donald Trump hates it when people
talk about the Russian effort to get him elected. He hates it.
And there was always two options which is that they were doing something
they were part of a criminal conspiracy in which they were collaborating
with a foreign adversary or that they were basically useful idiots and
willing dupes. And if it`s the latter, they don`t like talking about that
BERTRAND: Right. And see, this is the thing. Just because Robert Mueller
said that there was not enough evidence to establish that a criminal
conspiracy had occurred, doesn`t mean that there was no evidence, right.
And so I think that is what people are looking for in the collusion aspect
of the report because surely there`s going to be some explanation of some
of the weird interactions that members of the campaign who might have been
considered central like Paul Manafort for example, had with Russian
nationals that weren`t necessarily members of the Russian government.
And I think it`s also very telling that in that partial sentence that Barr
quoted from in his report, he said that Mueller defined this as a
conspiracy between the campaign and the Russian government which is very,
very narrow. And with regard to the obstruction aspect of this you know,
from the moment that ABC reported a few days ago that the White House was
concerned about what they were going to stay about obstruction, it just
struck me that that indicated that they were not fully confident in the
fact that Barr had effectively exonerated him of that. That they are now
scrambling to get ahead of what Barr has already come out and said.
HAYES: Well, and I would also say this. I mean, one of the things, David,
about this is for so long there`s a sort of sense of like is there some
smoking gun out there, was there like some actual conspiracy in which
someone like texted someone else. Like yes, we will work with you Vladimir
or whatever. That didn`t appears not to have happened right? No sort of
smoking gun obvious sort of back and forth. That –
CORN: Well, except that Don Juniors said we`re willing to work with you.
If that is what you said, I love it.
HAYES: That`s true. That`s true. I mean –
CORN: They`re actually – there been several smoking guns but Donald Trump
has – and his acolytes and spinners and mob lawyers like Bill Barr have
tried to define the term near the terms of the debate as he didn`t conspire
directly with the Russians in the attack. But there were interactions that
certainly encouraged the Russians and of course Trump after being told by
the intelligence community that Russia was attacking came out and said no
they`re not doing this. And that way gave cover to the Russians.
Roger Stone did exactly the same thing while in contact with the Trump
campaign and while trying to get WikiLeaks to do whatever he wanted it to
do. So never – so you know, this is the frustration here. We have not
one but like several smoking guns. But Trump has only said this – the
only one that counts –
HAYES: That`s right.
CORN: – is that you find that text between me and Vladimir. But if you
don`t find that, nothing else matters.
HAYES: But here`s my – here`s my point though. That that threshold being
removed, right. The Barr letter says look, you`re not going to – that`s
not there, right. One of the things the report does is just occasion us to
re-examine what we already know that`s in the public domain and again
assess the behavior of the president and his members as to whether it was
honorable or praiseworthy or defensible. Three words that you know, no one
ever baddies around because for so long it`s like are they going to be
CORN: Right, right. Well, wrongdoing, as you know, is not always illegal.
And Paul Manafort did collude with Russians and maybe Trump didn`t.
HAYES: Well, I`m going to – let me stop you right there, David Corn.
We`re going to take Jerry Nadler, Chair of the Judiciary Committee who is
holding a hastily scheduled press conference at this hour. Let`s listen
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): – and Hakeem Jeffries of New York who is also
the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus. The Attorney General appears to be
waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump, the very subject of
the investigation at the heart of the Mueller report. Rather than letting
the facts of the reports speak for themselves, the Attorney General has
taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller`s nearly two-year investigation.
One, he summarized the report and cherry-picked findings in his March
(AUDIO GAP). Two, he withheld summaries (AUDIO GAP) consumption. Three,
he has briefed the White House on the report before providing Congress a
copy which has helped them prepare a rebuttal response for the president.
And now the evening before the report scheduled release, the Department of
Justice has informed the committee that it will receive a copy between
11:00 a.m. and noon well after the Attorney General`s 9:30 a.m. press
conference. This is wrong. It is contrary to the Attorney General`s own
words to the committee. “I do not believe it would be in the public`s
interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in
cereal or piecemeal fashion.”
It now appears the Attorney General intends to once again put his own spin
on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team.
The fact that the Attorney General is not releasing even the redacted
report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in
the report being presented through his own words rather than through the
words of special counsel Mueller.
The central concern here is that the Attorney General Barr is not allowing
the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but it`s trying to
bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House.
And of course he`s doing this just before the holiday weekend so it`s
extraordinarily difficult for anybody to react. This is wrong. It is not
the proper role of the Attorney General.
I should add one other thing. The Department of Justice in a court filing
in the Roger Stone case today said that some members of Congress may get
access to some of the redacted information only for use in secret. The
Judiciary Committee has no knowledge of this and this should not be read as
any agreement or knowledge or as sent on our part. Thank you very much.
Oh, we`ll take a couple of questions.
HAYES: It looks like there`s going to take a few questions. Let`s see
what they has to say.
NADLER: We are certainly not satisfied with that. We`ve repeatedly said
what is demanded by the situation and that is that the Judiciary Committee
be given the entire report and the underlying evidence so that we can make
those judgments for ourselves. And the Judiciary Committee can as has been
the case in prior situations decide which limited portions of the report
might have to be kept secret so as not to reveal sources and methods of
intelligence or for some other legitimate reason. But that`s a decision
for the committee to make not for the Attorney General or the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll take one more question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Mueller or anyone else for that matter?
NADLER: Well, we`ll have to take the time over the next couple of days to
carefully read the redacted report so that we – so that we don`t find out
that in fact there`s very little left out. But on the assumption that it`s
heavily redacted, we will most certainly issue the subpoenas in very short
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask Mueller to testify?
NADLER: I`ll answer that. We probably – I assume we`ll probably find
that useful to ask Mueller to testify and I assume we may ask members of
his team to testify. But we`ll have to make those decisions after reading
what we get as inadequate as that may be. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
HAYES: Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler there holding a hastily scheduled
press conference in response to the news that we got today that the
Attorney General United States Bill Barr who`s already summarized a four-
page summary of the Mueller report that the President said vindicated him
completely wrongly claimed, it was a total exoneration despite the fact
that explicitly said it wasn`t an exoneration, that Barr is tomorrow
morning going to have a 9:30 press conference about the report on the day
And then after the press conference, the report is going to go there. They
don`t have access to anything. They don`t know what`s in the report. Barr
is going to tell them. And then at 11:00 after that`s all over, then
Congress is going to get the report and the public presumably after that.
Jerry Nadler you see they`re not happy with that, also saying that he may
issue subpoenas and make all Mueller members of his team to testify before
their committee in the judiciary.
Joining me now, one of the Democrats who`s leading the oversight on the
Trump administration House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine
Waters, Democrat of California. What do you make of all this?
WATERS: Well, let me just say that I just listened to Mr. Nadler`s –
Chairman Nadler`s statement and of course he`s unhappy about the fact that
Barr is going to hold this press conference at 9:30 in the morning, and you
know a few hours later the members of Congress will have the report. He
thinks that`s not right, on and on and on. But I never expected Barr to do
anything that would be respectful to the members of Congress or to include
us in any real way.
He has proven himself. He auditioned for this job. He was chosen to
protect the President of the United States. And that`s exactly what he`s
doing. So I`m not surprised, I`m not even disgusted because I knew that
once he came out and he said there had been no obstruction of justice and
that there`d been no collusion, that he absolutely stepped out early to
defend the President, to protect the president.
I don`t expect any reversal of that. I expect him to continue to play the
role. He is basically a lackey and a sycophant for the President of the
United States of America, and that`s all it`s got to be. This report is
going to be overly redacted and I don`t know if we`re going to get anything
new or important out of that.
I just wish that the Mueller team would come forward and I hope that
Mueller will come before the committee and have a chance to tell his side
of what he has done and have the questions given to him by the members of
the Judiciary Committee that will help us to get at the truth about this
president. I mean, this president and his minions are absolutely
ridiculous and they disrespect the members of Congress. And you (AUDIO
GAP) involved with each other. His lawyers and (AUDIO GAP) talking with
the White House about what`s in the report already.
And they are going to push back, they have advanced information,
information that the members of Congress don`t even have. And so members
of Congress better know he`s going to keep doing this, he`s going to keep
disrespecting us, the Constitution of the United States of America. And
there is no answer to how we should be dealing with him except impeachment.
I`ve been saying it all along.
HAYES: OK. Well, you have been saying it all along, although that talk
got tamp down for a bit. I want to follow up on that but first let me ask
you this question. You have served in the United States Congress for a
bit, and you`ve been through various administrations Democrat and
Republican. You`ve watched the interplay between Congress and the White
House often can be tense even within the same party definitely when it`s
This White House`s posture towards Democratic House (AUDIO GAP) stack up in
your experience in terms of how resistant they have been?
WATERS: (AUDIO GAP) say this and I`m glad that you brought this up because
we have the responsibility to do oversight and investigations. That is a
role that is given to us by the Constitution of the United States of
America. This President does not like that. He would simply try and have
the American people believe that somehow we`re on a witch hunt, that we
don`t like him, that we`re unhappy because he won the election. He doesn`t
believe in oversight at all.
But I and other members of Congress who are attempting to do our job are
not going to back up despite all of the tricks and all the maneuvers that
he`s putting into play, I and the other five members committees that have
responsibility to weigh in on this investigation, we`re going to subpoena.
I know that his lawyers are going to fight us on subpoenas. As a matter of
fact, we have subpoenaed, as you know, from my committee, finance services,
Deutsche Bank. And his lawyers have already been in
touch with Deutsche Bank telling them not to respond to us, don`t give us
the documents. If they do, they will fight him every inch of the way.
And so this president obviously has a lot to hide. He has been hiding ever
since he has been in office. The kind of involvement he had with Russia
and with Putin and with the oligarchs, et cetera, et cetera, all of the
indictments and the convictions that have been gotten on the people around
him, including Manafort, et cetera, et cetera, the president is guilty of
so many things. And of course we
should be outraged, and the members of congress should represent their
constituents and stand up against this president and demand that he is
impeached, because he doesn`t deserve to be the president of the United
He is overseeing a criminal enterprise. We have never seen anything like
this. And so many of Americans are unhappy. The Republicans, evidently,
are frightened in speaking up, woke do anything. And Democrats, this man
is not going to work with us. He`s not going to cooperate with us. He`s
going to keep going raising money, getting prepared for the elections, and
basically undermining all of us and putting all of the dirt, all of the
information, everything that he can put together to be able to promote
himself. And we `re going to be up against it in 2020 trying get rid of
him, as he should have been gotten rid of already.
HAYES: One final and follow-up question, and it`s about impeachment, there
was a period of time – you have been talking about impeachment, and you
think it`s justified, high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitution
demands it. You have been saying that for a while. Leadership has tamped
that down. Nancy Pelosi said he is not worth the effort. You are part of
Am I hearing a kind of pris de court that you are breaking with leadership
on this? I mean, I`ve – less enthusiastic about impeachment, you sound
quite gung ho about it right now.
WATERS: Well, here`s what, I absolutely sympathize with the speaker and
the job that she has
to do trying to hold all of the factions of our party together, whether we
are talking about new Democrats or progressives, et cetera, she has to try
in every way to move our caucus forward and to try and continue to deal
with the issues that the American people would like to hear us, you know,
making, you know, absolutely moving forward on.
They want health care. They want to deal with infrastructure and all of
that. That`s what she is trying to do. I absolutely understand that. But
I believe very firmly that he should have been impeached by now. I believe
that despite what she has to do and what others may think, I stand exactly
where I started out early on with this president. That he is not worthy of
the presidency of the United States of America, that he is not worthy of us
trying to even work with him at this point.
He has called us all names. He has lied thousands of times. It has been
documented. He has put together a memo. If you are talking about
obstruction of justice, when he sat on that airplane after his son, Junior,
had been at Trump Tower basically trying to put together information
against Hillary Clinton, he lied in a memorandum and said it was about
something else. It was about I think…
WATERS: Yeah, adoptions, that`s what he said, when, in fact, it was not
about that. And we know what Junior has said. And so when we lineup all
this, his basic defense of Putin, his wrapping his arms around him, even
saying he is going to bring him to congress, he`s going to bring him to the
United States and he`s going to put him in our face. And we should be
outraged by that.
So, I would just say, you know, I appreciate again what Nancy Pelosi has to
do, but I`m not with that. I am for impeachment. I`m for getting rid of
HAYES: Making that very clear. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you
very much for making some time.
WATERS: You`re welcome.
HAYES: Still with me, Natasha Bertrand and David Corn.
Well, congress is hot. You can see it, right. I mean, there is – this is
fundamental stuff, right, David? I mean, fundamental constitutional
questions here, and they have been kind of taking it from this White House
for the first four months. I feel like you are seeing a little break point
CORN: Well, I think you do. I think the Barr machinations just really
offend their sensibilities. We have had the breakdown of norms and the
bipartisan courtesy over the last few years and Trump has certainly
accelerated that. But I go back to the point I made earlier, Chris, and
that is to the degree to which Democrats get mad about the process and how
things are happening, you know, that will
detract and in some ways help protect Trump from what I think is the
original sin of his presidency, which is aiding and abetting this Russian
So, while they have a right to be upset, they still have to find a way to
focus on the things before
us, whether it`s the Russian scandal, the Deutsche Bank stuff that Maxine
Waters is doing, the emoluments case. I mean, we have talked about this –
those are the things – they need to show the public there, they can –
while they can be passionate, they need to do the oversight in a reasonable
and effective way and tell the public what the public needs to know.
HAYES: Well, Natasha, when we meet again, maybe you, maybe David,
certainly me and the viewers tomorrow night, we will have some new facts.
That`s undeniable. All the machinations, all the process aside, all the
redactions aside, all the manipulations aside, all of the massaging that
Bill Barr is doing to this, we will have new facts tomorrow night.
BERTRAND: Yeah, no, I think so. I mean, obviously, hard to say for sure,
but the fact that it`s nearly 400 pages long makes it impossible that we
are not going to learn something new unless it`s just a complete recitation
of the indictments that have already been put out there, but again all
indications point to that not being the case.
So, whether it`s new facts about, you know, conversations the president had
surrounding efforts to, you know, fire Jeff Sessions or fire Bob Mueller or
engage in some other kind of obstruction, or whether it`s, you know, more
evidence that members of his campaign were actively trying to coordinate
with Russians in 2016. I think that, you know, a lot of this narrative is
probably going to get filled in. And just with regard to the impeachment
talk, you know, there`s also a real school of thought out there that in
order to even get the grand jury material if, for some reason it`s not,
you know, able to get resolved in court, then congress is going to have to
launch impeachment proceedings in order to have that predicate to get the
material. So, that`s a very real possibility that Democrats are exploring
right now, and they`re facing a reckoning with regard to having to make
that decision to get this very important material.
HAYES: All right, Natasha Bertrand, David Corn, great to have you both on.
HAYES: All rig ht, more to come here tonight, including the lesson
Republicans are learning about what happens when you pick a fight with
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That amazing story right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANDDY BARR, (R) KENTUCKY: I would invite the gentlelady to come to
eastern Kentucky and meet the coal miners who will tell you what the Green
New Deal would be – what mean for their families, their paychecks…
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last month, Republican Congressman Andy Barr, seen there, invited,
or at least publicly performed a facsimile of inviting, Alexandria Ocasio-
Cortez, to come to Barr`s home state of Kentucky. He said he wanted AOC
to, quote, go underground with me and the coal miners who would school her
on why the Green New Deal is a bad idea.
And despite the fact that there are actually not any active coal mines in
Barr`s district, Ocasio-Cortez, immediately said let`s do it.
Now it appears Barr`s invitation was not exactly sincere. On Friday, Barr
alighted on a torture justification for withdrawing the offer, which
somehow involved Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw and Representative Ilhan
Omar. And the short version is, he doesn`t want her coming after all.
Republican Congressman James Comer, also from Kentucky, suggested that Barr
feared getting p0wned (ph) in his own back yard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES COMER, (R) KENTUCKY: I don`t see any upside to bringing Ocasio-
Cortez in. I think she is very intelligent. I think a lot of Republicans
are making a mistake picking on her.
She is smart. And I think that we need to be very prepared when we debate
her on issues that we are having a hard time with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I just want to say it`s awesome that Kentucky apparently has a PTI-
style politics show.
Today, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in reference to the incident that, quote, GOP
thought they could catch us with a bluff, now we`ve got them on the back
foot stutter-stepping. She still may go to Kentucky to meet with the coal
miners, despite Barr rescinding his invitation. Her communications
director, Corbin Trent telling the Courier-General, quote, “luckily,
Kentucky has open borders.”
And joining me now is Corbin Trent. Good to have you here.
CORBIN TRENT, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Good to be
HAYES: You`re from that part of the country. You`re from eastern
Why do you think the offer was rescinded?
TRENT: I think that they understand that the policies that Alexandria is
advocating for are extremely popular, not just in the Bronx, not just on
the coast, but all over the country. And I think they also understand,
some of them at least, that she is a fantastic and talented communicator
and that if she goes into their backyard and starts talking about Medicare
for all, federal jobs guarantee, and a Green New Deal, that maybe they will
have a problem come 2020.
HAYES: Is the bet here that you can – I mean, bet here, right, is that
like the actual policies matter and the policies will out in the end,
right. If you`re coming to people and saying I want to actually – we want
to make your life better and here is how we`re going to do it, that that
can cut through the kind of layers of cultural anticipation that`s been
TRENT: Yeah, and Andy Barr was saying that, you know, he wants to bring
her down to Kentucky and let the coal miners tell her what is going to
happen with the Green New Deal and how it is going to hurt their community,
how it`s going to destroy jobs.
But what people in my neck of the woods, and in Kentucky know, is that
their jobs are being destroyed already – factories are closing, mines are
laying people off, you know, we have seen that happen over the last several
decades. And what they want to see a plan for the future. And Republicans
don`t have one and they know that the progressives in the Democratic Party,
that wing that is at least five people, that if we go out there and push
that narrative out there that they`re afraid that they`re not going to have
a rebuttal for it.
HAYES: But I guess the question always here is like is – can you overcome
those sort of cultural fears, right? I remember – remember when Hillary
Clinton went down to West Virginia, right, and that was her attempt to do
that. I mean, she went down to West Virginia. There`s the famous in which
the context of it, she was talking about job retraining and job efforts…
TRENT: But also talking about the pain you are going to have to bear,
right. That there is going to be this realization that those jobs are gone
and we are going to have to move on with our lives and figure out something
else to do.
HAYES: But that`s true.
TRENT: …not really have a great answer for what that`s going to be.
HAYES: But the first part of it is true.
TRENT: The first part of it is true, yes, that we are going to have to do
something new. But I think, you know, we launched a video today that is
talking about the future after a Green New Deal is embarked upon and
launched. And it`s got 2.5 million views in the first day.
I think people want to see the big, bold ideas, right. And the Green New
Deal that we are promoting when we put this resolution out, I think talks
about that and I believe the Republicans know that in their whole – in
their heart and soul, and when when they see us going around the country
and talking about that, it makes them a little bit nervous with basically
zero policy ideas to fix this problem. They`ve just (inaudible) a problem,
right, and that`s only a few of them. And then they`ve got a president
that`s out of control, and maybe in bed with the Russians. Who knows.
HAYES: Well, it`s interesting to watch the evolution on climate, which is
that it does seem to be something changed where they at least feel now they
have to say something about it. Do you think that corner has been turned?
TRENT: Well, we are starting to hear, you know, a little bit of the
muttering from the Republicans about cap and trade and things like that.
So, yeah, I think we are turning the corner a little bit, but I think there
is still more to do and we have got to continue to push them over to the
window to make sure that what people get is a fair shake.
HAYES: Are you guys going to go down there?
TRENT: I sure hope so. I think so – I think, you know, whether it`s east
Tennessee or Louisiana or Kentucky, I think this is a message that people
need to hear, that we can do more if we put our minds to it – you know, I
think if people hear that their government is going to get behind them,
help them build businesses, help them, you know, rebuild their communities,
whether it`s Medicare for all, whether it`s federal jobs guarantee, or a
Green New Deal, and I actually support the opportunity the Americans have
to build a better life, I think they will get excited about that.
HAYES: Final question, how did Corbin Trent from Tennessee end up working
for the congresswoman?
TRENT: She is an inspirational person. I think she`s drawn us in from all
I mean, it was a long journey that started on the Sanders campaign in 2016
and then went to a brand-new congress, Justice Democrats.
HAYES: And now here you are.
TRENT: And here we are.
HAYES: Corbin Trent, thanks a lot for making time.
TRENT: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Still ahead, Jared Kushner has got a carefully crafted Middle East
plan, why the first son-in-law is telling world leaders to keep an open
mind back in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NITA LOWEY, (D) NEW YORK: When do we, or when should we expect, the
Jared Kushner peace plan that has been talked about and worked on? I hope
we don`t have to wait another 20 years. Could you tell us when we will see
the Jared Kushner peace plan?
MICHAEL POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Yes, ma`am, I think we can say in less
than 20 years.
LOWEY: How about being more precise?
POMPEO: I just prefer not to be more precise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was America`s top diplomat last month literally laughing at
the idea of an Israel-Palestinian peace plan getting done any time soon.
Then last week, a tweet from the policy director for the Israel Policy
Forum caught my attention. He said this, we are going to see the Trump
peace plan. Bibi,” meaning Benjamin Netanyahu`s priority, “is to pass an
immunity law, or extract promises from his partners to back him once
indictments come. This won`t happen if they think Bibi is flirting with a
And then today came news of the much hyped, but little anticipated Jared
East Peace Plan won`t be unveiled this month after all, holding off until
at least June.
Of course, no one has really has been that invested in this extra credit
project taken on by the
president`s son-in-law on one of the world`s thorniest issues for which he
has exactly zero experience and expertise. But that never stopped Trump
from believing in him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you can`t produce peace in the Mideast, nobody can, OK. All my
life, I have been hearing that`s the toughest deal in the world to make.
And I have seen it. But I have a feeling that Jared is going to do a great
job. I have a feeling he is going to do a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He`s got a feeling.
The decision to hold off on the peace plan likely as part of a political
calculation to help Netanyahu shows just how much the America first
administration`s foreign policy has been more or less farmed out to foreign
actors, and not just to Netanyahu. Despite the Saudis apparently hacking
to death a columnist for an American newspaper, the U.S. remains in
lockstep with that regime, even continues to bomb and starve the people of
And after an unprecedented bipartisan vote by both houses to finally end
American support for the humanitarian nightmare that is the Saudi war on
Yemen, the president went ahead and vetoed the resolution yesterday,
meaning that Saudi Arabia`s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, buddies with
Jared Kushner, gets to continue to call the shots. And the people of Yemen
will continue to starve and die and suffer.
Now,w if Jared Kushner wanted to actually make himself useful, he should
talk to his father-in-law about that.
Don`t go away, more breaking news about the Mueller report just coming in.
We will have Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post on her exclusive report
HAYES: Breaking News from The Washington Post, which reports the Justice
Department plans to release a lightly redacted version of special counsel
Robert Mueller`s 400-page report Thursday, offering a granular look at the
ways in which President Trump was suspected of having obstructed justice,
people familiar with the matter said.
Joining me now one of the reporters who broke that story, Washington Post
national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.
Carol, what can you tell us about the scope of redactions that we`re
CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, Chris, I have to tell you, I have
been expecting heavy redactions, so this was a surprise to me and to my
colleagues I think when we learned from sources that they`re getting
information that the redactions will be fairly light, especially as it
pertains to information about the investigation of the president`s actions
and potential obstruction of justice evidence.
And we are also told that the most important redactions will be those,
which implicate people in ongoing investigations, which is interesting in
and of itself.
But we are also told that there will be granular, to quote the source
exactly, granular layout
of the evidence that Mueller`s team reviewed trying to determine whether or
not the president of the United States was trying to thwart a criminal
investigation of his campaign and ultimately of himself.
HAYES: It seems that`s the area where the most – there is the most agita
(ph) from the house on this. I guess what do we know about how much of
what`s contained therein is already publicly known and how much will be
LEONNIG: That I wish I could answer for you. If I could, I would have
posted that story.
But what we do know will be laid out are things like the president`s
tweets. There is a view that some of his tweets had the appearance of
trying to threaten the probe, threaten prosecutors, threaten the FBI, the
idea that some of his tweets suggested a narrative that he believed to be
the case. You know, One of the things investigators often look for in an
obstruction probe is does it appear that a witness is trying to get other
people to saddle up for the same story or compare stories. And we know
that there will be some discussion of that.
There will also be key witnesses who spoke to Robert Mueller`s team and
gave testimony about
their personal interaction was the president. You can imagine that some of
those will obviously involve
former White House counsel Don McGahn, former White House Communications
Hicks, conversations they personally had with the president about the probe
and how much it vexxed him, how much he wished it would be over.
HAYES: There is also this – in the story you talk about this sort of
debate that appears to be
taking place about this press conference tomorrow and Barr`s approach to
that, what did you learn about that?
LEONNIG: You know, there is a lot of – that`s not really my area, but my
Devlin Barrett and also Matt Zapatoski (ph) who cover the Justice
Department have been covering
that very well, and it focuses really the controversy is really over why
are you going to have a
press conference at 9:30 in the morning for a report you`re not going to
release until some time later.
I`m remembering kind of fondly when a special counsel investigating the
potential leak of a CIA operatives name gave us a few hours to review his
final report, this was Patrick Fitzgerald.
HAYES: That`s right.
LEONNIG: Before we all gathered in a main conference room at the Justice
Department to ask questions. That was, you know, I think a public service
in addition to being easy on reporters.
HAYES: Giuliani is said to be preparing a counterreport to the findings.
There was some back and forth about whether they`re going to go ahead with
that, presumably that would focus on these obstruction issues?
HAYES: Presumably. I know that the White House team from other sources
to is preparing at least some public statements about the wisdom or lack of
wisdom of investigating a president for potential obstruction of justice.
So they`ve got a briefing that`s deep enough for them to feel that they can
start crafting their response to Mueller`s report.
As for a full counterreport, I have not confirmed that that`s going to be
pursued at this point.
HAYES: T here is a paragraph in the story that really caught my eye. I
want to read it and get your reaction to it – “a senior White House
official said Trump has praised Barr privately for his handling of the
report and compared him favorably to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions
who Trump grew to loathe over his recusal from what would become Mueller`s
It seems like there is a thumbs-up for the new guy in the White House.
LEONNIG: Well, you know, Chris, one thing that we`ve all learned in this
roller coaster of the last two years is that the president likes people
that he views as fighters for him, people he views as loyal to him. And
that`s certainly his impression of the attorney general.
Now we don`t know whether or not the attorney general is coming out
fighting for Trump or not in the way he`s handled this, but the public
impression is not that good about the objectivity of the attorney general
based on two things he`s done. It doesn`t mean that he`s not objective.
LEONNIG: …it just means that the impression and the optics are pretty
bad when you say you`re going to summarize Mueller`s report and your first
bullet out of the gun is to say there is no case here.
You may remember that we and The New York Times reported – The New York
Times reported it first, and we followed them quickly after, we reported
some time ago that people on Mueller`s team were grousing rather loudly to
their friends and allies that Barr`s summary was unfair and misleading. So
that was the first strike.
The second strike in terms of optics – again, we don`t know about the
objectivity of the attorney general, only how it appears.
LEONNIG: And the second strike is obviously this pre-press conference
before you get to see
the report. It`s unclear to me why the attorney general would need to
explain it if we could read it.
HAYES: Yeah, let me just – a sort of technical reporter`s question since
you brought this up with Fitzgerald, I have not – I`ve gone to a lot of
press conferences that centered on a document of public import, I`ve never
had this particular experience where the press conference happens with no
one having access to it at any time, then it ends and then people are
going to get it afterwards. Have you?
LEONNIG: I`ve had so many different variations on the press conference and
actual document that it`s going to be hard for me to have a total recall.
But I actually think that this probably has happened to me before, probably
not in this high profile a case.
HAYES: All right.
Carol Leonnig, whose got breaking news reporting at this hour. The Mueller
report will be
lightly redacted, which as Carol said, was something of a surprise. A lot
of people were expecting
heavy redactions given that there are four separate categories that the
attorney general has already said he will be redacting, that they will be
reviewing detailed look at the obstruction of justice investigation. Carol
Leonnig, thank you very much.
That is All In for this evening. Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
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prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
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