Interview with Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). TRANSCRIPT: 4/29/19. All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Mehdi Hasan, Masha Gessen, Cory Booker, Beto O`Rourke, Mary Gay Scanlon

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being

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






UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Somebody was screaming, you know, hide yourself. 

Shooting, shooting, shooting.


HAYES:  Domestic terror in San Diego.


NOYA DAHAN, POWAY ATTACK SURVIVOR:  He`s like you have to hide so you don`t

get shot.


HAYES:  Tonight, the growing threat of white supremacist violence in

America and the president ill-equipped to stop it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you see white nationalism as a rising threat around

the world?




HAYES:  Then –



in his chair and said oh my God, this is terrible.  This is the end of my

presidency.  I`m (BLEEP).


HAYES:  2020 candidate Cory Booker on the Trump showdown with Congress over

the Mueller report.  And my exclusive interview with Beto O`Rourke on his

first big policy announcement.


BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  That means mobilizing $5



HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  Six months to the day

after the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and six

weeks after the massacre at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand it has

happened again.  A white supremacist opening fire at another place of

worship on Saturday, this time a synagogue in California killing one woman

and injuring three others with the goal of killing many more.  The suspect

citing the earlier attacks as inspiration.


We are witnessing a horrific outbreak and escalation of white Christian

supremacist violence.  Violence directed explicitly at Jews and Muslims and

perpetrated by suspects with a shared vision of eliminationist, ethnic, and

religious purity.  And it is happening under a president who is utterly

ill-equipped to handle the problem and who has in fact repeatedly traffic a

rhetoric that has been embraced and celebrated by the white supremacist



Donald Trump did offer a full-throated condemnation of anti-Semitism in

this latest outbreak of racist violence at a rally over the weekend.  But

the attack came just one single day after the President reiterated his own

defense of the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville.  The ones

who chanted Nazi slogans and menaced Jews at a synagogue and proclaimed

that “Jews will not replace us.”


Even as he has demonized Muslims and both his rhetoric and his policies

again and again and again, president has shuttered programs to counter

violent extremism from white supremacist and neo-Nazis.  And when he was

asked last month in the wake of that Christchurch massacre if white

nationalism is a rising threat, he responded like.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat

around the world?


TRUMP:  I don`t really.  I think it`s a small group of people that have

very, very serious problems.  I guess if you look at what happened in New

Zealand, perhaps that`s a case.  I don`t know enough about it yet.




HAYES:  Whenever a Muslim anywhere commits an act of ideological violence,

the president treats it as part of a global menace perpetrated by a

dangerous group of people he once called to ban from entering the country

in total, a billion Muslims worldwide.  After the nightclub Massacre in

Orlando to choose but one instance, he tweeted, appreciate the congrats for

being right on radical Islamic terrorism.


Yet despite a surge of anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic rhetoric, and evidence

that right-wing violence in the U.S. is on the ride, indeed despite three

horrific attacks on Muslim and Jewish places of worship in just the past

six months alone, Trump continues to treat each individual act of white

Christian supremacist violence as a fully isolated incident utterly

disconnected from any larger context.


Joining me now Masha Gessen Author and Staff Writer of the New York Times -

- The New Yorker, and Mehdi Hasan Columnist of The Intercept and Host of

the Deconstructed Podcast who wrote this month that Muslims and Jews face a

common threat from white supremacists.  We must fight it together.  And

Mehdi, let me start with you.


Something is happening here and I don`t want to be alarmist about it, but

this is enough now to say there is something deeply, deeply disturbing

happening underneath our feet.


MEHDI HASAN, COLUMNIST, THE INTERCEPT:  Oh massively disturbing.  And I

think we`ve known even before these attacks, these attacks are crystallized

in the sheer barbarism and the sheer death tolls that we`ve seen in

Pittsburgh and obviously at San Diego at the weekend and abroad in New

Zealand even though Donald Trump thinks it`s not a big problem.


The statistic I mentioned earlier this week, 70 percent of all terrorist-

related deaths in the United States over the past decade have come at the

hands of far-right wing extremists, not at the hands of

“jihadists.”  Every single one of the 50 deaths from U.S. soil last year,

terrorist deaths were at the hands of white nationalists or people

connected to white nationalists.


This is a massive problem and Trump, of course, has to keep downplaying it. 

And you were right in your intro to talk about the different ways in which

he reacts to different types of terrorist threats.  If this were ISIS or

MS-13, Chris, you know we`d be having a very different conversation.


If these were ISIS, we`d be talking about drone strikes in Guantanamo Bay

and you know, a bigger Muslim ban.  If this were MS-13, it`d be more

deportations, more money for ICE, to build a bigger wall.  But it`s white

nationalist so from Trump all you got on Saturday was thoughts and prayers. 

That`s what he literally tweeted and then he said the suspects been



No kind of anger or outrage or any kind of policy prescriptions here to

deal with this problem.  I wonder why.


HAYES:  Masha, how do you see the sort of ideology behind this and it`s

sort of historical or global context?


MASHA GESSEN, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER:  You know, the thing about

terrorism is that the violence is primary and ideology is always secondary.


HAYES:  Right, yes.  It`s a good point.


GESSEN:  But what we have is a president who delegates violence, who calls

on people to be violent, right.  And so the violence comes to the

forefront.  I don`t want to spend too much time talking about the ideology

because it`s actually not important.


What`s important is that we have a president who is essentially calling for

violence and who keeps narrowing the circle of us, right.  And all others,

all who are not us, all who are not in that magic circle, you know, they

are subject to violence.


HAYES:  You know, it`s – you bring that up and I wanted to note something

from this weekend in that same – in that same rally he said and this is

not related to white supremacist violence, but when you talk about you

know, the circle of us and not us.


Mehdi, the president talking about abortion and he – and I`m going to read

this quote because I don`t want to play him saying it.  But he basically

says this, that the baby is born the mother meets the doctor, they take

care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully and then the doctor and

mother determined whether or not they will execute the baby.


He is saying that his opponents are literally murdering newborn children as

they are taken from the mother.  This strikes me as this is the kind of

rhetoric that`s out past anything conceivably the kind of rhetoric you

engage in in democratic dispute and something darker.


HASAN:  Much darker.  And the fact is he said it before, he always tries

out these lines, always at rallies and then he escalates.  And what`s so

depressing is Daniel Dale and other reporters have pointed out is that when

these rallies happen now, we`ve become almost numb both to the calls for

violence, the fascistic language, the entire spectacle is fascistic, and

therefore you know it`s reported on as oh, Trump takes a dig at his

opponents, Trump makes provocative remarks.


But as you say, it`s much darker than that.  This is a president who`s

willing to incite violence against Democrats, against minorities.  He`s now

talking about having purged scum from the FBI and a CIA which is something

I never thought in my lifetime I would hear a Republican president not just

say it but get cheered for.


I`ve said it before in print and elsewhere, I worry that when time comes

for him to lose, if he loses the next election he was leaving because he

spent years inciting violence creating an atmosphere we has this culture

movement behind him.  He`s nudged, and winked, and nodded towards all these

white nationalists who are heavily armed.


It was only a few weeks ago, I think I was on the show, Chris, I talked to

you about – do you remember I was talking about I`ve got bikers for Trump,

and they`re much tougher than your guys.  This all fits as the same

language when he`s asked about white nationalist, he says I don`t think

it`s really a big threat.


Put it all together, join the dots together, this is a massive threat to

American democracy which really makes me worry when I hit Democrats and

Congress say well, you know, we`ll beat him in 18 months.  Well, hopefully,

we`ve got 18 months.


HAYES:  It`s the boundary testing, Masha, that I keep returning to and keep

finding pushed out, right.  I mean, even just that quote about you know our

opponents are executing children.  I mean, that`s completely fantastical

grotesque libel, but he keeps moving it out further and there`s real

concern about where that goes.  What`s happening now?


GESSEN:  It`s not even just the libel right?  It`s that it`s this picture

of the world.  In Trump world, we live in an incredibly violent society. 

We kill in a society in which people kill people all the time.  On the

other side, you know, everybody is a murderer, everybody is a rapist. 

Everybody – you know, our enemies were in grave danger and our enemies are

always executing babies.


And so part of the reason that he responds to these terrorist attacks as

though there were nothing is because in his world, they`re normal, right. 

At this point, he has totally normalized it as part of the – of the world

view that he`s – that he projects.


HAYES:  Masha Gessen and Mehdi Hasan, thank you both for being with me

tonight.  I really appreciate it.


GESSEN:  Thank you.


HASAN:  Thanks.


HAYES:  I want to bring in now NBC News Reporter Ben Collins who`s been

tracking white supremacist hate online, been doing great reporting on this,

and zero in a little bit.  I think what ends up having these conversations

that get mapped onto like the arc of American politics which doesn`t quite

work I think in certain ways.  What is the sort of world out of which this

murderer emerged?




HAYES:  Alleged murderer.


COLLINS:  Right, yes, exactly.  So he posted this thing on 8chan before he

went in there which is exactly by the way what the Christchurch shooter

did.  And he led people to a manifesto, white nationalist manifesto.  And

the talking points in that – I think there are some people, some

politicians this weekend who tried to say that Ihan Omar may have inside of

this or a New York Times cartoon may have inside of this.  It`s not what



This guy planned this.  He said it in the thing.  He said, I started

planning this like minutes after I saw what happened with this attack for

about six weeks ago.


HAYES:  In Christchurch.


COLLINS:  In Christchurch.  So he had this idea that there needs to be a

white ethnostate.  And the way to start it is to divide our democracy by –

this is – this is what – this isn`t the Turner Diaries which is a white -

- like a white nationalist book.  The way you started is to have these

little conflicts that make American society completely split apart.  And

then from there, the white ethnostate can come in and just save the day. 

That`s how – that`s what they believe.  And the only way they can do it is

through murder.


HAYES:  You know, you just said this before about there`s a depressing and

distressing reliability to the pattern that we`re seeing particularly this

– in 8chen posting forum of people radicalizing each other in the way that

you know, the ISIS magazine that was being sent to sort of lone wolves

about like this is how you can go out and kill a bunch of people.  It seems

like it`s starting to play that function.


COLLINS:  Yes.  And by the way, it started – it always starts as a joke on

4chen, and then it became 8chen which is double in every way what 4chen is. 

It starts as trolling.  You know, we`re just joking around about being

racist.  We`re just joking around about murdering people.  We`re just

joking around about the race war.


But then eventually, people come in, jump into the middle of the

conversation, and have no idea of the context, no idea that you`re joking. 

And then eventually, the people who were joking aren`t even joking anymore.


So then eventually you have this whole forum of people who may have started

off joking off about the race war.


HAYES:  No, but they`ve all radicalize each other –


COLLINS:  But they`ve radicalized each other to be like actually, you know

that they were joking about, maybe it was right.  And that`s where it

happens on 8chen.  They send each other same YouTube videos, they sent

they`re saying literature, and they come together and they coalesce around

this idea that the only way to get the white ethnostate we need is murder.


And that`s – we see this, it was a copy came out in that manifesto.  It

was the same exact tone.  It took the same exact thing.  It was like a

little screed and then a Q and A, and then another screed.  It`s the same

exact thing that Brenton Tarrant did six weeks ago.


So they have developed sort of like a course.  They`ve developed a like a

blueprint for this at this point, and that`s the scary part is what – I`ve

covered this all the time and this one scared me more than the other ones.


HAYES:  Why?


COLLINS:  Because it showed me that you know, these people don`t even need

creativity, they don`t even need it for themselves.  They don`t need it to

be – you know, they don`t need their name out there.  They`re going for a

cause.  This is a – this is a movement in itself.  And the idea that – do

not let anyone say this is a lone wolf concept.  These are a bunch of

people radicalizing themselves in the same space over and over again –


HAYES:  Along the same lines of you know, essentially sort of Nazi

eliminationist, ethno-nationalists –


COLLINS:  Accelerationism.


HAYES: Accelerationism that they are feeding to each other with the real-

world consequence.




HAYES:  I mean, we – there is a death – there is – there is a body count

at this point.


COLLINS:  Right.  By the way, we can take this seriously with law

enforcement.  Law enforcement wants to take this seriously, but we`re not

funding that right now.  All of our – all of our stuff is focused on the

border, it`s focused internationally.  But we have a domestic terror

problem that`s not being taken seriously.  And we need to take that

seriously now.


HAYES:  Ben Collins who has like I said, done a great reporting on this for

us here at NBC, thank you very much.


COLLINS:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Tonight, ALL IN 2020 first, Senator Cory Booker on the President`s

response for white nationalist violence and his stonewalling on the Mueller

report, and then Beto O`Rourke debuts his first big policy announcement in

his first primetime interview since announcing his run.  The candidate

doubleheader starts in two minutes.




HAYES:  The very first Democratic presidential debate was less than two

months away right here on NBC.  And with the entry of Joe Biden, it is

crazy considered as many as 20 candidates could be on stage over the course

of those two nights vying for the party`s nomination.


Well, these debates will be the first big opportunity to really shape the

race and move voters from one candidate to another.  Right now, the two

people with the broadest name recognition are the frontrunners, but the

majority of voters have not made up their minds yet.


One of the contenders we haven`t gotten a chance to speak to since

announcing his candidacy back in February is Senator Cory Booker.  And

Senator Booker joins me now.  Senator, it is great to have you.  You`ve

spoken a lot about your sort of moral vision for America and faith as well,

and I wonder when you look at what happened in San Diego, what happened in

Christchurch, what happened to the Tree of Life Synagogue, how you think

about the relationship between that and the way the president talks about

Muslims and speaks more broadly.



him now.  It`s no illusions.  From – he`s a failure to condemn white Nazis

marching in Virginia too even the way he seems to have different standards

for different groups in America.  The way he talked about African-

Americans, the way he talks about women, and clearly the language he`s had

from shithole countries to you name it that has in many ways been

contributing to what we see is a rise in hate crimes.


But I think there`s something even deeper going on than just about him. 

And I worry about a Democratic Party that makes this all about one guy in

one office when we don`t pay attention to the deeper tribalism in our

country, the urgent needs for moral you know, grace and decency and a

healing in our country because a lot of the problems I deal with in my –

you know I live in an inner-city neighborhood that`s at and below the

poverty line, black and brown community, a lot of the challenges we have.


To me are a subject of a lack of empathy for the pain and struggling going

on with so many – I`ve said many times the opposite of justice is not only

injustice, it`s also apathy, indifference, and inaction.  And we as a

country need to have that revival of grace and empathy so that we could

begin to come together and deal with persistent and justices that were

existing even before Donald Trump.


HAYES:  What does that mean though as politics, right?  I mean, I – as a

sort of spiritual calling or community calling, I can hear that.  But what

does that actually mean in politics given the structural realities of the

way that American politics works at this moment?


BOOKER:  Well, to me – to me it`s very clear.  Look, I always say

patriotism is love of country and you can`t love your country unless you

love your fellow country men and women.  And love is not a sentiment, it`s

not a feeling, it`s sacrifice, its struggle.


And when your kids don`t have access to clean water, when someone else`s

kids don`t have access to clean water, it`s a threat to your children. 

Your children would be bereft of their genius, of their artistry of their

successes, and so what I say is when a policy is creating that beloved

community that we think that if you`re an American, we are invested in each

other, therefore you have a right to clean water, a right to healthcare,

then you should have jobs that pay a living wage so your parent – family

doesn`t get evicted every few months because you can`t meet basic rental



And so you know, there`s a person I respect that once said, what does love

look like in public, it`s justice.  And the fact that we have so many

Americans struggling – like I live in a community with two Superfund sites

right around us as many low-income Americans do, as many African Americans



And the fact that we don`t have an urgency when we now have longitudinal

data that shows that children born around Superfund sites have dramatically

higher rates of birth defects, dramatically higher rates of autism.  And so

for us to not have a sense of common purpose to deal with these and

Justices, that is a tangible policy problem.


HAYES:  But it isn`t there – I mean, but that analysis seems to ally a

description of where power is, right.  I mean, there seems like two things

happening in America.  One is that there`s certain people don`t want to be

in community with you, Cory Booker or others right.  I mean, there`s some

divide about what – you know, who the country is for and who gets to call

it.  But there`s also powerful interests that don`t necessarily want to

have their Superfund site cleaned up.


BOOKER:  Yes, but look, I`ve seen throughout our history.  We cannot forget

the instruction of history.  You know, we know that the power of the people

is greater than the people in power WHEN we have leaders and I mean, lots

of leaders that can expand the moral imagination of our country.


We`ve seen demagoguery, we`ve seen hate before.  How did we beat Bull

Connor?  By bringing bigger fire hoses and bigger dogs or by doing the kind

of protest, the kind of demand that expanded the moral imagination of the

whole country, got people off their couch in in New Jersey, in New York,

and Iowa, and got them to get on buses and do freedom rides or join



We are at a moment right now with a poverty that really is the biggest

threat to our country.  It`s not the material poverty which is a sin in

society, but the poverty of compassion, the poverty of empathy.  And we

need leadership that doesn`t just condemn the minority of our country that

might be doing bad things, but awakens the consciousness of the majority of

our country to get good things happening in our country when good people

come together and act on behalf of the whole.


HAYES:  Is that your – is that your theory of why Cory Booker should be

the president of the United States at this moment?


BOOKER:  Look, I`m going to tell everybody that we cannot be in a moment

where we`re looking for one savior to get rid of one guy from office.  This

cannot be about one election, it`s got to be about a larger campaign

because if we get rid of Donald Trump, and put a really great person in and

then go back to what we were doing in the 2012, 13, 14, the problems of my

inner-city neighborhood are still going to be there.


I`m running for president not just for an office in one election, but

because I want to awaken a moral movement in this country again where we

begin to see the suffering and the inadequacies of our country that`s

hurting people in farm town, and factory towns, in inner cities, where we

can be the nation who we say we are a nation of liberty and justice for



That`s the kind of leadership I`m interested in providing for America, not

that everybody looks to me for leadership that ignites the leadership, the

activism, and the engagement of the whole.


HAYES:  What is the proof of concept for that being successful?  Like what

– if someone – if a cynic – a cynic says to you, look, Mitch – I have

seen Mitch McConnell.  I know the way the polarized politics work.  I know

there`s a filibuster, all that sounds nice but show me where that works.


BOOKER:  Well, look, I`m – you know, I`m the guy that led with Dick Durbin

on the Senate side, the criminal justice reform bill.  The only major

bipartisan bill that got passed under this president that liberated people

in communities like mine that have been waiting for criminal justice reform

since 1980 when our prison population started going up about 500 percent.


I`m the guy in Newark, New Jersey that brought together unusual coalition

to produce unusual results.  And now if you`re a black kid in Newark, your

chances of going to a school that beats suburban schools went up 400

percent.  I`ve had a career of people telling me what we couldn`t – what I

couldn`t do in positions of leadership and my counter to them as well,

watch what we do together to counter people`s cynical beliefs and really

ignoring American history which is a perpetual testimony to the achievement

of the impossible when good people come together and demand the

consciousness of the whole.


HAYES:  What would be your first priority as president of the United States

say you`re elected and let`s say that the Democrats were to take the House

and the Senate so you have a teed up domestic policy legislative, you get

to move one big bill first, what`s the first bill?


BOOKER:  Well, you say my first priority.  If I get elected in November,

I`m not waiting until January to turn to the Democratic Party and say

enough already.  We need to go back to being a 50-state party.  Texas is a

blue state, Georgia is a blue state, and the next time minority communities

Latino, Black, next time low-income communities should see people coming

into their neighborhoods should not be when we`re next asking for a vote in



If I`m going to be elected, I`m going to be the bleeder of a party that`s

not interested in defining itself as beating Republicans but it`s going to

define itself by uniting Americans for the cause of justice and we`re going

to start building in the grassroots because that`s how you win.


And so I understand that we`re going to – I have a legislative agenda. 

We`re going to start doing things from just common sense things, from

raising the minimum wage, to rejoining the Paris climate accords.  I can

give you a lot of things we can do, and many of them I can do with the

stroke of a pen and not have to wait for even Congress.


But there`s got to – this has got to be understanding this is a moral

moment.  This next election is going to affect the next generation of

Americans.  And we`ve lost something.  We`ve become a society where people

mistake wealth for worth, celebrity for significance, where folks are

struggling for a sense of meaning in their communities and fee like they`ve

lost that sense of community.


And so this is a great country from our history and from the kind of things

we`ve done to beat demagogues.  And look, there`s – you know the history. 

There`s an entire political party once.  It was about anti-immigration

called the know-nothings.


And every time those demagogues fell, when we created larger more rainbow

coalitions that have helped our country get back on track, to see each

other, to see the vulnerable to see the left behind, to see the left out,

and reaffirms our common bonds to each other.  Enough of this deep

tribalism that`s getting worse and worse in our country.  We need

leadership that`s going to start talking about our common bonds, our common

pain and return us to a sense of common purpose.


HAYES:  I want to ask you a final question about a piece that was on today

in New York Magazine.  It was called Wall Street Democrats are absolutely

freaking out about their 2020 candidates that was expressing some

consternation among folks on Wall Street.  They`re worried about Bernie

Sanders, they`re worried about Elizabeth Warren.  Is it good or bad if Wall

Street is freaking out about Democratic candidates?


BOOKER:  You know, look, again, I think the headlines like that are

distractions.  They`re distractions from the purpose we need to do which is

to have a tax code that reflects our values.  People who work for hedge

funds have to pay less of a percentage of their income and taxes than

people who teach our children in public schools.


I think when you step back and start talking about a moral economy, that a

lot of the things that we have right now just don`t hold.  And by the way,

when you start talking about a moral economy that empowers struggling

families, empowers seniors who are trying to retire with security, I think

those are actually unifying themes where you`re going to find folks who

often get painted with broad brushes who buy into that.


You might be surprised when King talked with a moral voice, when Susan B.

Anthony talks the moral voice.  They created unusual coalitions and

ultimately produce the unusual results.  We again need to be a party that

states clearly what our values are and our standards are, and then calls

the whole country together to support those values.


We are in the majority.  Those people who want an economy that is a moral

economy.  We are in the majority those of us who believe in health care and

great public education being in a right.  It`s about time we start talking

and leading with our values and calling America to come together around

them.  And those people left out on the margins, we will – we will either

leave them behind or they`ll eventually join us.


HAYES:  All right, Senator Cory Booker 2020 Democratic presidential

candidate, Senator from New Jersey, thank you for making time.


BOOKER:  Thank you, sir.


HAYES:  Next, will Attorney General Bill Barr skip his congressional

testimony over the Mueller report.  The showdown between Barr and House

Democrats, and later Beto O`Rourke in his first primetime interview.  Stick





HAYES:  Among the many things that Attorney General William Barr has done

for the president, he waited to release the redacted Mueller report until

congress was conveniently out of town on recess.  Lawmakers just came back

today, and now they`re headed for a showdown with the White House over that

report.  Barr is threatening to back out of testimony before the House

Judiciary Committee on Thursday, citing plans for the committee`s lawyers

to ask more extended questions.


The Chairman Jerry Nadler is moving ahead with those plans anyway,

scheduling a vote tomorrow to allow committee staff to participate and

effectively daring Barr not to show up.




REP. JERROD NADLER, (D) NEW YORK:  It`s not up to the attorney general to

tell the committee how to conduct its business or – we will decide what

the most effective way of asking questions are, and that`s what our

decision is.  We`ve told him we expect him to show up on Thursday and we`re

going to conduct the inquiry as we said we would.  If he doesn`t show up on

Thursday, we`ll have to go to subpoenas.




HAYES:  Barr`s maneuvers, the latest escalation in the administration`s war

against congressional oversight, refusing to comply with the most even

routine requests.  In fact, White House, get this, has yet to turn over a

single document, not one, to the Oversight Committee.


They`re telling officials to defy congressional subpoenas.  And they`re

threatening to block every witness in the Mueller probe from appearing on

Capitol Hill.


My next guest is the vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee,

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat from Pennsylvania, who has a new

piece for The Atlantic “No options off the table, Mueller`s report is not

the end of the story, it is a road map to guide congress` next steps.”


Congresswoman, welcome.


Let`s start with the questioning that Barr is objecting to.  Spokesperson

for the Department

of Justice today saying, look, we were invited by the committee.  He`ll

talk to the committee, meaning the members of congress, no one else.  They

say it`s dirty pool.  What do you say?


REP. MARY GAY SCANLON, (D) PENNSYLVANIA:  I say that`s ridiculous.  The

committee`s rules have always provided for questioning, either by a single

member of the committee, by committee staff.  It happens all the time.  Of

course we all say it most recently over on the Senate side with the

Kavanaugh hearings.


HAYES:  Oh, that`s right, of course.


Do you think he just doesn`t want to talk to you guys?


SCANLON:  Well, it certainly seems like he`s been a little tight-lipped,

whether it`s his four-page summary of the 434-page Mueller report or now

being a little bit shy about coming to talk to us.


HAYES:  How do you understand the path here if he does, in fact, just say

he`s not going to come?  I mean, how far is the committee willing to go?


SCANLON:  Well, I think Chairman Nadler`s already said that if the attorney

general of the

United States won`t voluntarily come to speak to us then we may have to

subpoena him.


HAYES:  But the may there seems like a wiggle room, like usually the way

these things work is there is a negotiation in somewhat good faith, even

when contested between members of congress, congressional committees and

the White House.  There is always sort of fraught tension there.


I guess my question is, is this in in a different space yet?  Are you still

in a negotiating stance or has it moved out past what the normal friction



SCANLON:  Well, I think we got into it by an abnormal friction.  I mean, we

have an attorney general who seems to be siding with the president as

opposed to representing the United States of America.  So he`s not defense

counsel to the president.  There are some really disturbing things about

the fact that he saw fit to supply the Mueller report to the president so

the president could provide a –

have time to concoct some kind of defense to it before it was even given to

congress.  So we`re already in a very unusual territory here.


HAYES:  Your colleague, Ted Liu, said this, which I thought was interesting

in an interview with The Washington Post.  He said if it turns out we can`t

investigate, because the White House is not complying with anything that

congress requests, then I think the caucus would support an article of

impeachment on obstructing congress in order to maximize our court

position.  What do you think of that idea?


SCANLON:  Well, I do think that the administration needs to think very

carefully about how obstructive is wants to be.  We are co-equal branches,

although we in congress, of course, routinely mention the fact that we`re

Article 1, but if the administration is going to stonewall congress at

every every step of the way, then they may invite impeachment.


We`re not looking for it. 


HAYES:  Rod Rosenstein finally resigned today, and his resignation letter

was an odd one, for a number of reasons.  He`s – he says – he says in the

– among other things that he is grateful to the president for the

opportunity to serve for the courtesy and humor you often display in our

personal  conversations, for the goals you set in your inaugural address –

patriotism, unity, safety, education and  prosperity.


Do you think Rosenstein dispatched his duties properly ultimately when you

look at his full tenure?


SCANLON:  You know, it`s really hard to tell.  Mr. Rosenstein has gotten

abused from both ends of the spectrum throughout this Mueller report, so

it`s pretty hard to tell.


I do have to agree with you, it was sort of an odd letter, talking about

their personal relationship, but then talking very strongly about the need

for the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law.


HAYES:  Well, there`s a question now I think ultimately about, given Barr`s

performance on the job so far, do you feel that the independence of the

Department of Justice has been already eroded and

compromised?  And what can you do about it?


SCANLON:  Well, it certainly seems to have not been independent, at least

in Attorney General Barr`s summary of the Mueller report.  I mean, it

flatly is contradicted by much of the Mueller report, whether you`re

talking about the fact that Mueller actually did find evidence that there

was cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and the fact

that, you know, the – that there is good solid evidence, conclusive

evidence, actually, in Mueller`s view, that there was obstruction of



HAYES:  All right, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, who is on the Judiciary


which is expecting Bill Barr to testify this week – we will see if that

happens – thank you very much.


SCANLON:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Still to come, our exclusive primetime interview with presidential

candidate Beto



Plus, a Thing One, Thing Two for the record books next.




HAYES:  A special Thing One, Thing Two tonight without the break in the

middle.  If there is one defining feature of our current president, Donald

J. Trump,  it`s that`s he`s a huge liar.  You don`t have to take my word

for it, The Washington Post has been tracking his lies for the past 2 1/2

years.  He`s been putting up some big numbers lately, recently passing the

10,000th lie of his presidency.


We`re pretty sure that`s a world record, although there is really nothing

or no one to compare it

to.  Trump has definitely accelerated his rate from misleading statements

per day, from an average of eight per day back in September to nearly 23

per day in this last-seven month period.


At this point, practically everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. 

It pretty much has to be if you`re going for the record. 


It`s the kind of thing the White House usually likes to celebrate with a

big lukewarm pile of  garbage food, which brings us to Thing Two.  Another

championship team visited the White House today, the very first women`s

team to  visit during the Trump era, in fact, NCAA Division One champs, the

Baylor Lady Bears.  The players were treated to a catered affair in the

state dining room with food from all the best nearby fine dining

establishments like Chick-Fil-A, McDonald`s, Pizza Hut and the King.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Whoa.  Like wow.  Like they was not lying.  All the

barbecue sauce.






OK, Donny, cool.




HAYES:  I guess they got some warmer lights on the fries.  It`s a nice 



It`s really not clear why the president keeps serving fast food to our 

nation`s elite athletes, but even that wasn`t as awkward as the Oval Office

visit the Lady Bears endured after lunch.





present you with one of our jerseys.


TRUMP:  Wow, I love that.


MULKEY:  And – it may not be the right size, but maybe Melania will wear



TRUMP:  I`ll give it to Melania.


You know, I love those short sleeves, such beautiful arms.  Great, great









HAYES:  Beto O`Rourke occupies an interesting place in the Democratic

primary.  Where he has a massive small donor list, pretty amazing

grassroots fund-raising operation and a huge amount of name recognition,

because of his narrow loss in the 2016 Texas senate race.


But O`Rourke is still only a former three-term U.S. congressman.  He`s

taken an interesting approach to the campaign so far, where he`s gone out

and done a lot of in-person campaigning while largely avoiding national



He`s also not revealed many policy specifics, which has gotten him some

criticism, particularly as other Democrats have rolled out big, ambitious

policy proposals, that is until today.




BETO O`ROURKE, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Muy buenos dias from the

Yosemite Valley here in California where we are announcing the most

ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States.


We will ensure we`re at net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050,

and that we are

halfway there by 2030, a little more than 10 years from now.




HAYES:  Democratic presidential candidate and former Congressman Beto

O`Rourke joins me now exclusively in his first primetime cable news

interview since announcing his candidacy.  He`s in Sacramento, California.


It`s good to have you on. 


Let`s start with today`s proposal.  Why this – why was this the first big

policy agenda you



O`ROURKE:  Thanks, Chris, for having me on. 


It`s hard to argue that there is anything more important facing this

country, this generation

today and more importantly every generation that follows.  Here we are in

California that has seen record droughts, record wildfires, in my home

state of Texas record flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, 58 inches of

rain – it was the third 500-year flood. 


We just saw along the Missouri River in Nebraska, in Iowa, in Missouri,

record flooding.  In fact, the greatest flooding since we`ve been keeping

records on the Missouri River.  And this is not caused by god, this is not

an act of mother nature, this is due to our own emissions, our own excesses

and our own inaction in the face of that.  And these fires, these floods,

these droughts, these storms are just going to get exponentially worse

unless we change course now. 


So very happy to announce today the most ambitious plan on climate in this

country`s history, ensuring that by 2050 we get to net zero greenhouse gas

emissions and that we are halfway there by 2030, which is just a little bit

more than 10 years from now.


But on day one of our administration we are going to be cutting pollution,

not just rejoining the Paris climate agreements, which is important, but

ensuring that we reduce methane, which is many times more dangerous as a

greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  We`re going to restrict any future

drilling on public lands and public waterways, and we`re also going to

ensure that existing drilling leases reflect the cost of pollution and the

price to our planet of the release of carbon dioxide.


We`re also going to ensure that there is certainty for this country, for

our economy on our goals to make sure that not just energy, not just

electricity, but every sector of the economy is contributing towards those

2030 and 2050 goals, and then lastly, and maybe most importantly, having

just visited the Central Valley of California, which is bearing the brunt

of climate change consequences, we`re going to make sure that those

communities, very often low income and communities of color, are able to be

lifted up in this plan, to be made more resilient against future fires and

floods and droughts and

storms, and to have a leading role in making sure that this country meets

this challenge with the most ambitious aspirational response possible.


HAYES:  So two questions on the plan.  The first is interesting, one part

of the plan is about

things you can do executive action, right?  So some of the things you talk

about in terms of the leasing  policies or procurement policies of the

federal government that won`t need congressional approval.


O`ROURKE:  Right.


HAYES:  On that, you`re probably going to get a lot of fights from oil and

gas industry.  You`re from Texas.  You had once said you`re a supporter of

the oil and gas industry.  Do you consider yourself a supporter of the oil

and gas industry?  And can you be a supporter of the oil and gas industry

and meet the targets that you have set out, that the IPCC have set out?


O`ROURKE:  Chris, if you look at my record as a city council member working

with my community to shut down the Asarco copper smelter that was releasing

toxins in our community, successfully able to do that, opposing oil and gas

drilling on the Otero Mesa, pristine Chihuahuan Desert grasslands that

would have been disrupted by drilling, we were successful in that effort as

well; preserving 7,000 acres of Castra Range (ph) in the Chihuanhuan Desert

wilderness in El Paso, and then I believe in 94 or 95 percent League of

Conservation Voters` lifetime score in my six years in congress.


I`m a friend of this planet.  I`m a friend of the environment.  And I`m

going to be a fierce advocate for this and every future generation in our



So we will do the right thing by people, not corporations, not oil and gas,

not anything else.  All that matters at the end of the day are the people

of this country.


HAYES:  Let me just sharpen this a little bit, though, because I think this

sort of gets to kind of the nut of the issue, right?  I mean, we haven`t

done this yet.  We have been standing idly by while we`ve been emitting

more and more carbon into the atmosphere.  We`ve made it harder.  We now

have to undertake some kind of crash program.  And I guess my question to

you is, do you see the oil and gas industry as an opponent in that?


Won`t you have to fight them?  Won`t you have to declare yourself in

opposition to their  interests?


O`ROURKE:  Well, I think the short answer is yes in some significant way. 

We know that certain oil and gas corporations have been fighting public

policy on this issue, have been hiding their own science and research at

the expense of our climate and human life.  So wherever those two things

come in contrast, or in opposition, I`m always going to choose the people

of this country.


Having said that, I want to make sure that those who work in the oil and

gas industry, those who  work in the fossil fuel industry, are brought

along as partners to make sure that we make this transition in the 10 years

that we have left to us, as the science and scientists tell us, to make the

kind of bold change that we need. 


We cannot afford to alienate a significant part of this country, and we

cannot do this by half measure or by only half of us.  It can`t be

Democrats versus Republicans, big cities versus small towns.  We all have a

shared interest in a cleaner future for this country.  So, I`m going to

work with, listen to everyone anytime, anywhere to make sure we advance

this agenda and get to zero net greenhouse

gas emissions by 2050.


HAYES:  Those are – by the way, those are the IPCC goals.  They are goals

that track with the Green New Deal – half by 2030 and net zero by 2050. 


But that brings me to the second question, which is once you get out past

part one of your plan,

you start talking about legislative action, which is almost certainly

necessary, right, to actually tackle the problem, is there a single

Republican vote on the table for any of it?


O`ROURKE:  I think so.


But I think you only earn those votes when you go to red, rural communities

that have been left

behind, frankly, by the Democratic Party historically.  We bore firsthand

witness to the consequences of that in Texas over the last 30 years – in

2017 and 2018, ours was the first in campaigns, in some cases in decades,

that had shown up to some of the rural communities in Texas.


When you do, you find the common ground that allows you to pursue the

common cause.  Republicans care just as much about their kids as Democrats

do.  They want to make sure they`re  breathing clean air in a country where

47 percent of Americans live in communities where the air may  not be safe

enough to breathe, where there are hundreds, maybe thousands of water

systems where the water is not safe enough to drink.


This is something that can bring us together, but we got to make sure that

we`re not divided on the basis of partnership or geography or any of those

smaller differences that do not matter at this moment.


In congress, every one of the six years I was there, I was in the minority

to pass legislation to expand mental health care access for veterans, to

protect public lands, to invest at our ports of entry

and secure our border, but improve our quality of life.  I need a

Republican partners.  And I always found them by finding the common ground. 

I will do the same when it comes to climate.


HAYES:  I haven`t gotten a chance to talk to you since you did announce you

were running for president.  We talked before in your senate campaign and

as a member of congress, but I want to

ask you a question I`ve asked every candidate I`ve had on the program,

which is of the 10 of millions of adults constitutionally eligible to be

president of the United States, over 35, natural born U.S. citizens, why

should you, Beto O`Rourke, be the president of the United States?


O`ROURKE:  I think the series of challenges that we have before us, the

gravest of our lifetimes, millions unable to get health care, millions

livingin the shadow of deportation, including more than a million Dreamers

in this country, who should be made U.S. citizens, an economy

that works for well for too few, and not well enough for the vast majority

of our fellow Americans, and then this existential threat of climate

challenge – climate change.


If you think about how divided this country is, we need someone who can

unify people across the differences towards these common aspirations and

goals.  On the El Paso city council, not as a Democrats or a Republican,

but as an El Pasoan, getting things done, as a member of congress in the

minority working across the aisle to accomplish things for those whom I

represented, campaigning in every single county in the state of Texas for

the U.S. Senate, and though we didn`t win, getting more votes than any

Democrat in history, winning 500,000 Republican votes.  On the same ballot

they voted for Greg Abbott, helping two new U.S. members of congress, Colin

Allred and Lizzie Pannill F letcher, win what were thought to be safe

Republican seats, 17 African-American women elected to judicial positions

of public trust in Harris County, changing the face of criminal justice

reform in our most diverse city.


I`ve shown that I can go everywhere, talk to everyone with the courage in

my convictions, on a proud progressive agenda, but win the votes not just

of Democrats, not just of independents, which we did, but also of

Republicans to find that common cause to advance this country`s agenda.


HAYES:  Let me just say, though, that is maybe a good persuasive argument

about your skills as a politician, but I mean, running the – governing the

country.  I mean, this is the hardest job probably in the world.  It`s

probably too hard for any single individual, truth be told.


O`ROURKE:  Yeah, I agree with that.


HAYES:  Why are you ready to do that, right?  I mean, maybe that`s why you

would be good on the stump and obviously you campaigned extremely well in

Texas, but to actually be president of the United States, particularly when

we have a president now who had no real experience for the job in many ways

and many people think that has been a huge part of the problem.


O`ROURKE:  Yeah.


I`ll tell you, beyond the campaign that we ran in Texas, beyond my service

in congress, on the city council, being a small business owner creating

jobs in a city that was really desperate for them, I live on the

U.S./Mexico border at a time that this president has trained the focus of

the country on the

U.S./Mexico border, with other community leaders led the march on Tornillo

to bring attention and

to change policy, though we were not in the White House, we were not part

of the administration,

we got the administration to stop separating kids from their parents, along

with the people of El Paso helped to shut down the Tornillo tent shelter.


And I can tell a profoundly positive story about immigrants and their

contribution not just to our  economy, not just to our culture and our way

of life, but to our safety and our security.  El Paso, one of the safest

cities in the United States of America 20 years running, not despite the

fact that we are city of immigrants, but because we are a city of



We can go toe to toe and then some with Donald Trump on this issue, based

in the facts, but

tell the compelling, emotional story about who we are as a country.  And

that`s not based on fear or  meanness or racism, it`s based on our common

identity, our ambitions, our aspirations, the work, the service, and

sacrifice that we will employ to get them done.


HAYES:  You know, I think among Democratic candidates and among folks in

the Democratic Party and broader the center-left, there are sort of two

different ways of thinking about Donald Trump.  One is a kind of anomaly,

right, the kind of this is not normal, this is some vast departure from the

sort of main through line of what the American political system had been.


And the other is a kind of culmination, right, the symptom, not the cause. 

And people I think come down in different parts on this.  And I think Joe

Biden has been – says he sort of sees him as a kind of anomaly, Elizabeth

Warren more of a symptom.  Where do you come down on that?  How do you

understand this president and this moment?


O`ROURKE:  I`ll tell you just from listening to people across Texas and now

across the country, more than 110 town hall meetings, have answered more

than 650 questions.  People understand their  government no longer

represents or reflects them, that members of congress are beholden to

political action committees, and corporations, and special interests, that

their voices are drowned out, if they`re ever heard at all, coming from a

state that ranked 50th in voter turnout, because people based on race and

ethnicity were drawn out of a reason to vote.


I understand their anger, and I understand the frustration at not

addressing high drug prices or the need to work two or three jobs just to

make ends meet.  Things are not getting better despite people`s

participation in elections. 


And so going everywhere, listening to everyone, showing up in every single

place both with the

courage of our convictions, never trimming our sails, saying what we mean,

but also listening to and learning from people and reflecting that in how

we campaign and how we deliver, that`s the key to

getting this government working again.


This democracy is under attack unlike any other time in the history of our

country, both from without the country of Russia, from within from a

president who does not acknowledge these attacks, and a corruption of our

institutions by those who can purchase influence and increasingly outcomes,

this campaign that does not accept PAC money, that does not write anybody

off, that does not take anybody for granted, this is the answer to more

democracy that can come up with the solutions to the challenges that we



HAYES:  All right, Beto O`Rourke, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate,

thank you so much for making some time tonight.


O`ROURKE:  Yes.  Thanks for having me on, Chris.


HAYES:  That is ALL IN for this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts

right now.  Good evening, Rachel.






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