Interview with Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). TRANSCRIPT: 4/29/19. 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
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
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
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t really.
HAYES: Then –
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The President slumped back
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
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
BEN COLLINS, REPORTER, NBC NEWS: Sure. So he was –
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
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.
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 –
HAYES: Accelerationism that they are feeding to each other with the real-
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
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.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know what we have in
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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.”
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
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
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa. Like wow. Like they was not lying. All the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pizza.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pizza. Fries.
OK, Donny, cool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM MULKEY, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY WOMEN`S BASKETBALL COACH: We would like to
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
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, Donny. Cool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
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.
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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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