President Trump vows to fight all Democrat Subpoenas. TRANSCRIPT: 4/24/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being
with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Houston, Texas I`m Joy Reid in for
Chris Hayes. And I am in the great city of Houston because today it was my
honor to co-moderate today`s She The People Candidate Forum which was held
at Texas Southern University where eight of the soon-to-be 20 Democratic
candidates had the chance to speak directly to and answer questions from
the women of color who make up such a critical part of the Democratic vote
in the primaries.
It was really an amazing event that featured Cory Booker, Julian Castro,
Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O`Rourke, Bernie Sanders,
and Elizabeth Warren. And if you missed any of it as it was live stream
this afternoon, you are in luck because tonight during this hour we will
bring you extended highlights that you will not see anywhere else.
But we must first begin tonight back in Washington D.C. where the President
of the United States continues to pull out all the stops to impede
Democratic lawmakers as they try to conduct investigations.
Last night Donald Trump told The Washington Post he`s opposed to White
House aides testifying before Congress and today he doubled down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re fighting all the
subpoenas. Look, these aren`t like impartial people. The Democrats are
trying to win 2020. They`re not going to win with the people that I see
and they`re not going to win against me. The only way they can maybe luck
out and I don`t think that`s going to happen, it might make it even the
opposite, that`s what a lot of people are saying. The only way they can
luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Trump`s comments follow several days of escalating confrontation
between the President and House Democrats. Today the DOJ told the House
Oversight Committee that a top official will not appear for a deposition
that`s scheduled for tomorrow. That came after that same committee moved
yesterday to hold the former White House official in charge of the security
clearance process in contempt for following Trump`s instructions not to
The Washington Post reported that the White House is planning to fight a
House Judiciary Committee subpoena for former White House Counsel Dan
McGahn. And the Trump Treasury Department simply ignored Democrats second
deadline for Trump`s tax returns.
Meanwhile, Republicans have been noticeably silent about Trump`s
stonewalling especially considering their strong feelings about President
Obama and their fantasies about his conduct of his office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President has taken actions that he himself has
said are those of a king or an emperor.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): The president has acknowledged that he is of a
king. So common sense tells means you shouldn`t act like one.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER GOVERNOR, NEW JERSEY: This president is a petulant
child. Whenever he can`t get what he wants because quite frankly the
American people have rejected his agenda. Now this president wants to act
as if he`s a king.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: But despite Trump`s best efforts to impede House investigations,
some are arguing this course of action could land him in even bigger
trouble. Greg Sargent writes today in a Washington Post piece “If the
White House continues down this path, it will make it still harder for
House Democrats to resist an impeachment inquiry. Because if they launched
one their legal case for doing things such as compelling McGahn`s testimony
and getting Trump`s tax returns will get even stronger than it already is.
Joining me now are Jennifer Rubin Washington Post Columnist and MSNBC
Contributor. Her column today is titled President Trump Constitutional
Menace. And Joshua Matz, Publisher of the Take Care blog and the co-author
of the book To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. Thank you both
for being here.
And Jennifer Rubin, let me play you what Elijah Cummings the Chairman of
the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had to say today. This
is a warning from Chairman Cummings.
Oh, let me actually read it. “Both President Trump and Attorney General
Barr are now openly ordering federal employees to ignore congressional
subpoenas in simply not show up without any assertion of valid legal
privilege. These employees and their personal attorneys should think very
carefully about their own legal entry rather than being swept up in the
obstruction schemes of the Trump administration.”
What could be the consequences of simply ignoring subpoenas, ignoring
demands to testify, and just pretending Congress doesn`t exist?
JENNIFER RUBIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, normally when this happens, you
have the contempt procedure. If you go down the road of a criminal
contempt procedure, the problem is that the Justice Department is now run
by obviously Trump surrogates. So you have a problem there. You might
pursue civil contempt and try to get a court to find them.
But really what we have here is a declaration of attack against the
Constitution. What is really going to be interesting is when a court
decides to enforce these subpoenas, what will the administration do then.
Are they going to defy a court order because it is at that point I think
that Republicans have no choice but to acknowledge that he is unfit for
office and has completely violated his oath.
It`s already bad enough because he is raising spurious charges. How can
Don McGahn be protected by the executive privilege when he spent 30 hours
with the special counsel who then wrote it all up in a report that was
released to the American people. This is how it took bad faith that they
are now operating.
Now I think Democrats are going to have to think long and hard about how
and when they pursue impeachment hearings, but certainly the public case
for his lawlessness, his abuse of process, his abuse of power, he`s
certainly making the case I think maybe better than some of the Democrats
REID: And Joshua Matz, it feels like Donald Trump is trying to make the
case for impeachment post-Mueller Report based on new activity. I mean,
Richard Nixon ultimately produced the tapes that were subpoenaed. He never
tested the constitutional strictures there. Donald Trump is rolling right
over them and telling his staff not to testify.
And yet today you had Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton wright in an op-ed, Congress
should hold substantial hearings that on the Mueller report and fill in its
gaps, not jump straight to an up or down vote on impeachment in 1998. The
Republican-led House rushed to judgment. That was a mistake then and it
would be a mistake now.
It`s hard to imagine a more clear-cut case for impeachment than a president
defying congressional subpoenas, but that is where we are. What is the
case for waiting, Joshua Matz?
JOSHUA MATZ, PUBLISHER, TAKE CARE BLOG: Well, you`re absolutely right that
the President`s defiance of Congress here is an extraordinary of use of
power and a departure from very well-established traditions and principles
of our constitutional system. And prior presidents have in fact faced
articles of impeachment for this kind of obstruction of Congress. Here I
have in mind one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon.
The dilemma though is that the president`s categorical resistance to any
oversight by Congress has invited this weird circumstance where the only
way for Congress to exercise its ordinary run-of-the-mill investigatory
powers may be to at least consider impeaching him.
And that would raise the – raise the cost of engaging in the core
congressional function figuring out what`s happening in the executive
branch and legislative accordingly to an intolerable degree. Because of
course an impeachment is an explosive undertaking and can ricochet in all
sorts of complicated directions.
And so here I think it`s important for the House of Representatives and for
the Congress as a whole to protect its prerogatives and to consider
impeachment as an absolute last resort. But there may be step shy of that
that could at least help ameliorate the current crisis.
REID: But how many denials of congressional subpoenas should Democrats
tolerate before they simply look weak, Jennifer Rubin? Back in 2014, one
Ted Cruz – he used to consider himself Mr. Constitution wrote the
following. Obama is not a monarch. It`s in his op-ed. When the President
embraces the tactics of a monarch, it becomes incumbent upon Congress to
wield the constitutional power it has to stop it.
Congress representing the voice of the people should use every tool
available to prevent the president from subverting the rule of law. When
the president usurps the legislative power and defies the limits of his
authority it becomes all the more imperative for Congress to act and
Congress should use those powers given to it by the Constitution to counter
a lawless branch or he will lose its authority.
Under Ted Cruz`s standard, how many more subpoenas should Democrats allowed
to be defied before they must act on the Ted Cruz model?
RUBIN: Well, first of all, I don`t think they should allow their subpoenas
to be ignored. They need to come up with a legal strategy whether it`s
contempt or other processes to insist that their subpoenas be honored
because that would be a horrible precedent going forward.
But I tend to agree with Hillary Clinton that what you need here is to
bring the American people along before you formally entitle hearings –
impeachment hearings. That was the Watergate model. We had the Watergate
hearings that went on for over a year before you actually had the
impeachment hearings in the House.
And by that model you could bring all the evidence in front of the American
people, the vast majority of who in this case have not read the 448 pages.
You can supplement that by all kinds of additional information. You can
bring Mueller to explain himself before the American people.
And as this process goes on, I think we will begin to solidify a view that
either the President is a menace and even Republicans are nervous about
sending by him, or that he is so toxic that he is unelectable. And then
Republicans are not going to have to make a decision to go down with the
ship or maybe go with Mike Pence or somebody else.
But I think that process can`t be skipped over because this is a political
process and the primary duty right now of Congress is to cut through all
the gibberish that Trump has been spreading around and explain exactly
what`s so bad about Donald Trump. And the only way they can do that I
think is in public hearings.
REID: Joshua Matz, it`s pretty simple. Congress called people to come and
testify before them and the people said no or didn`t even answer. Then
Donald Trump told them keep saying no, you don`t have to listen to these
people. What can Congress do? If impeachment isn`t the way to compel
compliance, what can they pragmatically do to make these officials comply
with their subpoenas?
MATZ: Well, I agree with everything that Jennifer said and that really
does lead to this question of how does the House make a case to the public
that the President is a menace. How does it articulate the problem that`s
happening here in a way that really matters to people?
You know, I think there are a number of steps that they can take. Jennifer
referred to a potential criminal contempt though that`s tricky because the
U.S. Attorney for D.C. probably wouldn`t act on it. They can initiate
civil contempt proceedings and try to go to a federal court and seek
emergency relief to get quick access to the documents and witnesses that
they need to carry out their constitutional function.
Going a bit broader, a Congress also has some other creative remedies
available to it. The House could link some key funding for federal
agencies on compliance with its requests. It could consider stripping the
salary away from executive branch officials who refuse to comply with its
In an extreme case, Congress might not impeach the president but instead
could consider impeaching members of his cabinet who are the instruments
and orchestrators of this campaign of defiance. Ultimately I do think –
RUBIN: And that`s exactly –
MATZ: I`m sorry. I think impeachment does have to be on the table but it
should be the last resort and not the first resort.
RUBIN: To Joshua`s point –
REID: Yes, we are – I wish we had –
RUBIN: I would just say –
REID: Very quickly because we`re out of time.
RUBIN: I`ve been an advocate of impeaching Mr. Barr for some time and I
think my assessment has been borne out.
REID: Yes. Well, we shall see what they do next. Jennifer Rubin, Joshua
Matz, thank you both very much. I really appreciate your time. And still
ahead, a crowded, a crowded Democratic field. Eight presidential
candidates took part today in a special forum with She The People answering
questions from women of color about everything from immigration to women`s
health, to white nationalism.
Tonight we are going to blow out the whole rest of the show to bring you
the highlights from every candidate as they make their case to win the
nomination. So settle in because you are not going to see this anywhere
else and it starts next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEAH DAUGHTRY, FORMER CEO, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION COMMITTEE: And
we say to the candidates, you can overlook us, dismiss us, demean us, and
patronize us if you want to, but you do it at your own peril. You put us
last on your list, we put you last on our list, because our votes matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I am in Houston tonight for a very special reason. This afternoon I
joined Aimee Allison to co-moderate the She The People presidential forum
which was held at historically black Texas Southern University for all you
Beyonce homecoming fans. It was the first ever candidate forum hosted by
and focused on women of color. And a reminder that black women, in
particular, are a key voting bloc for any candidate who hopes to claim the
Eight Democratic presidential candidates took to the stage, Cory Booker,
Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O`Rourke,
Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. They answered questions from the
moderators and members of the audience. And tonight exclusively on ALL IN,
we are bringing you the best moments starting with Senator Kamala Harris`
response to an 18-year-old immigration activist named Lucy.
LUCY PULIDO, ACTIVIST, UNITED WE DREAM ACTION: I have family members who
are undocumented and live in danger every day now. As President, what will
you do to stop deportation agents from tearing more families apart?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So first of all, we
need a president of these United States who understands that we are a
nation of immigrants and instead of vilifying folk because he`s trying to
scapegoat folks to distract from the fact that he hasn`t done nothing.
We need to have a present United States who understands that if we are
going to be true to the values of who we say we are, if we are going to be
true to the actual history of what created us and who we are, then we will
have a commitment from the President of the United States which is the
president United States I will be that will pass comprehensive immigration
reform that will stop allowing the United States government to commit a
human rights abuse at the border which is what this this family separation
policy has been.
I will be a President of the United States that keeps our word to those
DREAMers that we gave DACA protection instead of pulling it out. I will be
a president who understands that those young people who are DACA recipients
and DREAMers did not just fall out of the sky onto the earth. They have
parents who also deserve protection.
And we just need a present United States who uses her bully pulpit in a way
that understands that if we are going to be strong as a country, we must be
committed to our stated values. That`s part of what has given us strength
on this globe. And right now we are ceding that power when we have a
president in the United States that is using that bully pulpit to divide
and to sow hate. We`ve got to end that. Thank you. Thank you very much.
AIMEE ALLISON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, SHE THE PEOPLE: Senator, as a brief
follow-up to the last question, what would be your immediate action in the
first 100 days related to tent cities and detained migrants and the whole
infrastructure that`s been set up at the border.
HARRIS: So first of all, what we have to do is that there needs to be real
resources that are put into allowing these families to have their process
for determining their status in terms of – in particular asylum. And
again we need to – this is the problem – part of the problem with the
issue is that it as been mischaracterized by very powerful people.
Let`s understand what`s happening. We have families that are fleeing
murder capitals of the world. They – most people don`t want to leave
their home. Like – just think about the nature of it. Most people don`t
want to leave the place where they were born, where their parents were
born, where their grandparents were born, with the place that is familiar
to them, the culture that is familiar to them.
When people leave, it is usually because they have to. So let`s first of
all understand the nature of what we`re talking about. OK. So then we are
talking about what have been documented to be murder capitals of the world.
Then let`s talk about the fact that there are families who have made a
decision, parents who have made a decision to put their children in what
they know could be a perilous journey of traveling through the entire
country of Mexico to come to the United States because those parents
decided the fate that they are now facing if they stay at home is worse
than what they may endure.
And then what happens when they arrive at our borders? We who have erected
the Statute of Liberty, they arrive at our borders and we say go back to
where you came from. That is inhumane and it is immoral. And so I come at
– I come at the subject from that perspective.
REID: Another member of the audience Destiny Lopez asked candidate Julian
Castro, the former HUD secretary and Texas native son, how he would counter
steps taken by conservative lawmakers to limit access to abortion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESTINY LOPEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, ALL ABOVE ALL: Bans on insurance coverage of
abortion often create an insurmountable barrier to women of color already
struggling to get affordable health care. How will you ensure that
everyone can get insurance coverage for abortion in your first term as
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you very much
for the question. Let me begin by saying that what I believe in is that
everybody in this country should get health care not just health insurance,
right. That too often in our nation health insurance is you getting a
denial letter that tells you the two or three reasons why you can`t
actually get the procedure or the treatment that you need. Health care is
actually getting that treatment.
I also believe in a woman`s right to choose that is an issue of
reproductive freedom and justice. And so I don`t think that whether a
woman has the resources to cover her reproductive health care needs should
determine whether she`s able to get that health care. And so I would
absolutely support and work for the opportunity that everybody have to
exercise their choice.
And you know, I disagree with measures that have been taken to essentially
stymie the ability of some women to not have that choice. Here in Texas
that`s a – this is a tremendous example of what happens when people with a
right-wing ideology take hold and they`re able to keep some people out,
right. As president, I will ensure – do everything that I can to ensure
that everybody has that right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: There are so many candidates still ahead. We will hear from Senator
Elizabeth Warren, Beto O`Rourke, and Senator Bernie Sanders who had – who
had the love of the crowd. We will show you next.
REID: In our She The People presidential forum today here in Houston, we
addressed a wide range of issues with the eight Democratic candidates
including how they will win over a broad Democratic base. I asked Senator
Bernie Sanders about a particular challenge that he might face if he were
to win the nomination this time around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: But in order to consolidate the nomination, you have to win over
Hillary Clinton voters.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
REID: What are you doing to try to win over those voters which includes a
substantial share of the women of color, of the black women who voted in
SANDERS: Let me make – good question. Let me – let me answer it – let
me answer it in a couple of ways. First of all obviously, we are working
really hard to win the Democratic nomination. And if I do that we`re going
to work really hard to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern
history of this country.
And to your point, the Democratic Party has got to be united, all right. I
hope to win the nomination and I hope to have my fellow candidates, people
who are seeking the nomination, many of whom are personal friends support
me if I win.
But my pledge to you is if I do not win, I will do everything that I can to
make sure that that Democratic candidate becomes the next president of the
We are – this is no time for petty divisiveness, this is a time to stand
together in the fight not only to defeat Trump and his racism, and his
sexism, and his homophobia, this is a time for the American people to come
together in the fight for economic justice, social justice, racial justice,
and environmental justice. And that is what this campaign is about
REID: And for black women specifically?
SANDERS: For black women will be an integral part of what our campaign and
what our administration is about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Also during the conversation, my co-moderator Amy Allison, asks
Senator Sanders about the rise of white nationalism in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY ALLISON, CO-MODERATOR: As president, what would you do with the rise
of white supremacist violence to protect our communities?
You know, as somebody who – I know I date myself a little bit here, but I
actually was at the march on Washington with Dr. King back in 1963. And as
somebody who actively supported Jesse Jackson`s campaign as one of the few
white elected officials to do so in `88, I have dedicated my life to the
fight against racism and sexism and discrimination of all forms.
And as president of the United States at the very top of our agenda will be
the understanding that discrimination of all forms has got to end. Period.
And you do that using the bully pulpit and you use that doing legislation.
If someone wants to go around perpetrate hate crimes, that person will pay
a very, very heavy price indeed.
ALLISON: Thank you.
REID: I think what the questioner is getting getting at is a phenomenon
that is actually global. We are seeing it throughout western Europe as
well as influxes of immigrants from the Middle East com in. You are seeing
the same kinds of rises of white nationalism.
SANDERS: Well, let me just say a word on – that`s correct.
REID: Yeah, so as president, what would you do to return the U.S. to
global leadership on that issue?
SANERS: Well, you reverse exactly what Trump is doing. Trump is a
cowardly authoritarian president. He is trying to throw 30 plus million
people off health care who is trying – he hides the reality that he has
tried to throw 30 plus million people off health care, give huge tax breaks
to billionaires, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid and education. You can`t win
an election doing that. So what do you do? You do what demagogues in
Europe and in this country have always done, you scapegoat, you go after
immigrants, you go after people of color, you go after minorities. You say
those people are the problem. It`s not Wall Street, it`s not the drug
companies, it`s not the insurance companies, it is undocumented immigrants.
That is demagoguery.
You are right. It exists in this country, it exists all over the world.
As as president of the United
states, our foreign policy will not be as the current one is to support the
authoritarian bigots all over the country, it will be a policy of
supporting democracy and human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Health care was also a big issue for the She the People crowd at
Texas Southern. It came up multiple times today, including in a question
to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in the form of a question from an elder
care giver from Miami.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How would you lead the creation of an inclusive care
system that ensures that everyone can have access to quality care and care
– care givers who do this work can live with dignity?
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D-MN) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
That`s a great question.
My dad is in assisted living, so I see firsthand how hard care givers work
every single day. So, let me start with this, first of all you should have
good pay, and that means a $15 minimum wage at a
minimum, all right. Secondly, unions should be able to organize and not
cut down on those rights.
And we have an administration in place right now that seems to try to talk
the talk of standing
up for workers, but then every time there is a choice for a judge, they
pick one that is anti-union, right? Any time there is a choice for
legislation, or someone they put in the National Labor Relations Board,
they go with someone who is anti-union. That`s wrong.
The third thing is your health care. Everyone in this country should have
a right to affordable health care. And right now we have something that we
worked on very hard to get in place and that is the Affordable Care Act.
That was President Obama`s signature work. But that was the beginning and
not an end. And I believe we have to do more.
The first thing I would do is immediately put in place and put forward
legislation for a public option so that we don`t, s o we have an option
that is either Medicare or Medicaid-based. The second thing I would do is
take on the pharmaceutical companies. They think that they own Washington.
They don`t own me. They don`t own me. And that means negotiation for
Medicare prices, it means bringing in less expensive drugs, it means
stopping this practice where they keep their competitors off the market.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: After the break, you will hear from Beto O`Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard –
and later on, a remarkable story from Senator Elizabeth Warren about how
her family kept their home. Stay with us.
REID: We are back with more of today`s She the People presidential forum
from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, a candidate forum
centered on women of color.
I got the chance to ask Beto O`Rourke the question that was central to this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: With so many people running, 20 and counting, we don`t know, there
could be 40 by next week. And with so much diversity among those who are
running – women, people of color, why should women of color choose you?
BETO: So – it`s…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ll wait. We`ll wait.
REID: Take your time.
BETO: I will. You know, not something that I`m owed, not something that I
expect, something I fully hope to earn by the work that I do on the
campaign trail, by showing up and listening to the people that I want to
I was just talking to Sheila Jackson Lee backstage, extraordinary leader
and mentor to me when I was a member of congress. We talked to reparations
and her House bill 40 that is so important to the future of everyone in
this country to ensure that we know our history, our true story, so that we
stop visiting injustices on future generations and begin the work of
I remember meeting with Counsel member Amanda Edwards, again here in
Houston, Texas on access to capital for communities that have been excluded
from capital from the very foundation of this country. Talking to Elisa
Simmons (ph), who heads up the NAACP in Arlington, Texas. This state is at
the epicenter of a maternal mortality crisis. Three times as deadly for
women of color. She explained to me that in a community like Arlington
that does not have a mass transit system, even if you`re covered, try
getting to a clinic or a hospital. And then someone else interjected, even
if you get to that clinic or hospital, there is disparate treatment for
women of color in this country that also helps to explain a disparity in
infant mortality that is greater now between white America and black
America in 2019 than it was in 1850, 15 years before the abolition of
So, showing up, listening, incorporating what I hear everyone`s experiences
into this campaign, into our service is how I hope to earn the support and
the vote of the people of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Former Congressman Beto O`Rourke is one of two Texans in the race.
There was also one current member of congress there, Representative Tulsi
Gabbard of Hawaii. The congresswoman is known for her controversial stance
on Syria. And I asked her about that as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Do you believe that the U.S. should stop engagement militarily in
Syria? And what would be your posture as president toward Bashar al-Assad.
REP. TULSI GABBARD, (D-HI) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our troops
deployed to Syria initially to work with the Kurdish forces on the ground
to go after and defeat ISIS. That mission has largely been accomplished.
Unfortunately, as this was happening since 2011, covertly
initially with the CIA, there is a regime change war that was lunched
during that time. As part of that war, and many of you may not even be
aware of this, but our taxpayer dollars were being used to provide both
direct and indirect support to terrorist groups in Syria like al Qaeda and
others in order to go in and topple the Assad government.
I had a chance to go to Syria where I heard from the Syrian people. I
heard from religious leaders who pleaded and begged for the United States
to stop this support, because they knew whether there were some who
supported the Assad government, others wanted to see him go and they knew
if the United States countries were successful in this regime change war,
the most powerful force on the ground would fill that vacuum, and the most
powerful force were these terrorist groups like al Qaeda whose sole mission
was to wipe out Christians and other religious minorities in Syria. Anyone
who did not adhere to their extremist ideology.
So, this is the reality that we face. There are unfortunately a lot of bad
people in the world. Some of them dictators and leaders of these other
countries. The United States cannot continue to be to
be in a position thinking that we can be the policeman of the world,
spending trillions of taxpayer dollars coming out of our pockets, coming
out of our communities, to go and launch these wars that we
have seen in Iraq and Libya and Syria, have caused so much suffering, taken
countless lives. This cost is something that we cannot accept.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And still to come, we will hear from Senator Cory Booker. And the
candidate who may have had the best reception of the day, Senator Elizabeth
Warren. Stay with us.
REID: We are back from Houston, Texas. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker got
a nice reception from the crowd of Democratic primary voters, particularly
when he answered a question from the audience about freshman Democratic
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the attacks that she`s faced from Donald Trump
and other Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARISMA DARDEN (ph), STUDENT: My name is Charisma Darden (ph). I am a
student at the illustrious and notable Texas Southern University. My
question is about Ilhan Omar. She was recently critical of the outsized
influence of AIPAC in determining U.S. foreign policy, including funding of
Israel. Subsequently, she has received condemnation from the president and
members of her own party as well as death threats. What will you do as
president to protect the right of courageous women of color to criticize
U.S. policy even when directed at allies?
SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D-NJ) 2020 P RESIDENT CANDIDATE: Charisma (ph), thank
you for you question.
The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Donald Trump has been saying
about her is reprehensible, it is trafficking in Islamophobia, and it
should be condemned by everyone. This kind of selective condemnation
should be a chorus of people condemning.
And more than this, the kind of language our president uses, especially
about black women in
power, the kind of language this president uses, it is toxic. It fuels the
kind of hate we see in our communities manifesting itself in the kind of
terrorism that has been most seen in our nation since 9/11.
Most of the terrorist attacks in our nation since 9/11 have been right-wing
extremist attacks, the majority of those have been white is supremacist
And so when you have a president uttering such bigotry and uttering such
racist attacks, talking about nations where black and brown people have
come from in this nation as shithole countries, that is giving license to
hate and to violence that we should not be tolerating.
And so it`s not just important to be an ally, as one of our great black
women has said in the past, it`s not enough just to say I`m not a racist.
We must – where racism exists, all be anti-racist. Because if we are not
dealing with this issue in our country, we will continue to see these kinds
of attacks and we will continue to see the kind of vicious violence that
has been affecting our nation from black churches to synagogues to Muslim
mosques as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That moment with Cory Booker was one of the big moments of today`s
She the People forum. And then there was the performance by Elizabeth
Warren who really had the room in the palm of her hand during her
appearance, including when I asked her about the tough calculation a lot of
voters are making after Hillary Clinton`s loss in 2016.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: When I talk with women of color in my own life, they`ll say, wow,
that Elizabeth Warren
has great plans. She`s got specific plans. She`s got great ideas. But
there is a fear in a lot of people of color, and a lot of women of color,
that say after the experience of 2016, they don`t have the confidence in
the electorate of this country to elect a woman president. They want to
vote one way, but their fear says they may need to flee to the safety of a
white male candidate.
How do you address…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s called side eye.
REID: How do you address people who are not confident, they`re not
confident the country is willing to elect a woman. How do you address
people who maybe interested in voting for you, but maybe afraid?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D-MA) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, let me just
say this about confidence. You bet.
Look, this is the heart of it, it`s how are we going to fight, not just
individually, but how are we going fight together. Are we going to fight,
because we`re afraid? Are we going to show up for people that we didn`t
actually believe in, but because we were too afraid to do anything else?
That`s not who we are. That`s not how we`re going to do this.
Here`s how I see this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell us how you see it.
WARREN: I`ll tell you how I see it, we got a room full of people here who
weren`t given anything. We got a room full of people here who had to fight
for what they believe in. We have a room full of people here who had to
reach down deep, and no matter how hard it was, no matter how scary it
looked, they found what they needed to find, and they brought it up, and
they took care of the people they love. They fought the fights they
believe in, that`s how they got into these seats today.
You know, this is how I see it from where I sit. I was in middle school
when – it`s just my mama and my daddy and my – me. The boys are gone, my
three older brothers. They`ve all gone off to the military. My daddy has
a heart attack. Everybody thinks he is going to die. He comes back home.
He can`t work. My mother has never worked outside the home. We lose our
family station wagon. My mother is terrified. I hear at night, I hear her
cry. I learn words like mortgage and foreclosure from my parents late at
night while I`m supposed to
And I do remember the day I walk into their bedroom – I`m just a kid –
and I see the dress laid out on the bed. You all know the dress, the one
that only comes out for weddings, funerals, and graduations. And my mother
is standing there in her slip and her stocking feet, and she`s crying, and
she`s pacing. And she`s saying we will not lose this house. We will not
lose this house. We will not lose this house.
She was 50 years old, and she had never worked outside the home, and she
was terrified. I watched her face while she looked at that dress and she
looked at me and she looked back at that dress, and finally she reached
over and she pulled that dress on. She blew her nose. She put on her high
heels. She walked to the Sears, and she got a minimum wage job answering
the phones. The minimum wage job saved our home and it saved our family.
Now let me just say about this, that day my momma taught me three lessons -
- it took me a while to learn them – but the first one was it doesn`t make
any difference how scary it looks, how hard it is out there, you reach
down, you find what you have to find, you pull it up and you take care of
the people you love.
I learned over time that wasn`t just what my momma taught me, it`s what
millions of people across this country have taught their daughters and
their sons through the years. You do what has to be done to take care of
the people you love.
But the third thing I learned eventually about that story is it`s a story
about government and how no matter how hard you work, the rules that are
made by the people in government will still make the big difference in your
life, because when I was a girl, a full-time minimum wage job in America
would support a family of three. It would pay a mortgage. It would cover
the utilities, and it would cover food. Today, a minimum wage job in
America will not keep a momma and a baby out of poverty. That is wrong.
It is worth fighting for. And it`s why we`re all going to stay in this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Elizabeth Warren!
WARREN: Thank you, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And for more on what we heard today, I am joined by Democratic
strategist Tara Dowdell and Democratic Strategist Aisha Moody-Mills, a
fellow at Harvard University`s Institute of Politics.
Ladies, I`ve been saying to friends that this – what this race needed was
sort of a Lord of the Rings moment, an Arya Stark moment, a moment when one
of these candidates breaks out and rallies the troops to say that
Democrats, darn it, can win this.
Elizabeth Warren had that moment in front of that crowd. The crowd loved
her from the moment she walked out until the moment she left that stage.
That story was riveting. I thought that she had the strongest day. What
did you guys make of it? Let me start with you, Aisha.
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, FELLOW, HARVARD INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Yeah, so we
have long known that Elizabeth Warren was the smartest person in the room,
and that Elizabeth Warren has a plan. Today, she showed us that she also
has deep empathy and a real deep grasp of the structural inequalities that
are race-based that affect our communities. I think that she hit it out of
the park. I feel her. I feel like she can hold us in the palm of her
hand. She can fight for us, because she feels us, and that is why everyone
there was so thrilled and excited to hear from her.
Everyone else at that forum, particularly the men, in my opinion, missed an
really connect with people. And she connected with our souls. It was
REID: And, you know, Tara, it`s interesting, because it`s a She the People
forum, right. And so the obvious kind of natural advantage went to the
women. Kamala Harris also as soon as she walked out, all of her soarors
(ph) were in the audience, you know, could hear them skee weeing (ph) in
audience. So, she had like a natural base in that crowd as well. And I
think did really well.
Of the guys, Beto O`Rourke got a warm reception, so did Julian, the two
hometown guys. And I thought Beto really – he did a good job in saying he
has to earn that vote. I thought that was a very smart answer.
On the other end of the spectrum, tough day today for Bernie Sanders. A
lot of jeering. A lot of people in the crowd even sort of cat calling him.
He had a little bit of heckling going on in the crowd when he gave answers
like he marched to the march on Washington and didn`t give specific answers
on questions of race.
Tulsi Gabbard, a lot – you know, had a tough time with that crowd too, but
I think she held her own, answered her question. But those two I think had
the toughest day. What did you make of the performances?
TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I agree 100 percent with Aisha.
I think that Elizabeth Warren was electrifying. And we do know that she
can be electrifying, because in 2016, I think people forget how she rallied
crowds, how she was one of the great surrogates out there on behalf of
So I think that people forget that she has the ability to do that. She
just hasn`t gotten the news
coverage I think that she is deserving of, and that`s why we haven`t been
able to see her really shine in the way that I think that she in fact does.
I do think it is a challenge for Bernie Sanders because he still seems to
be reluctant to really tackle race-based issues head-on. And so I think
that`s going to be an ongoing challenge with him, because what you see
from the Democratic Party, particularly from black voters, is a want for
candidates to come out and speak forcefully, unapologetically on an agenda
for black people who
are disproportionately affected by any issue, any economic issue is even
more acute if you are
African-American in this country. And we know that race is playing a big
role in hindering the progress of the black community, and people want to
whatever that what the solutions are.
Tara Dowdell, Aisha Moodie-Mills, I wish we had more time. We`ll talk
about this more. Thank you for joining me tonight.
You can hear a lot more from Senator Warren this weekend when we`ll have my
interview with her AM Joy. You can tune for that on Saturday morning at
10:00 a.m. Eastern.
And Saturday night, Reverend Al Sharpton sits down with the leading 2020
contenders to talk inequality in America. Watch Not Just Black and White:
Race and the 2020 Election, Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
And my final note on this today, I think all these candidates really did a
great service to the electorate by showing up today, talking about issues,
bringing their A game. I think everyone acquitted
themselves in fine fashion just by being there. It`s an important
electorate, and they had to be there.
That`s it for ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the