Trump calls off military strikes against Iran. TRANSCRIPT: 6/21/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Barbara Boxer, Chris Lu, Elie Mystal

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST:  It was those debate performances that helped

him land on Barack Obama`s ticket as the V.P.  That Joe Biden, the strong

and effective communicator is inextricably linked to the Joe Biden who

talks his way into trouble.  And for his campaign, that`s a tough choice

because you can`t give up one without giving up the other.


That`s HARDBALL for now. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.







go subject to my approval.


HAYES:  About last night.


TRUMP:  How many people are going to be killed?  Sir, I`d like to get back

to you on that.


HAYES:  Tonight, what we know about how he got through the last 24 hours

without war and what it means to have the reality show president in charge

of war and peace.  Then what could be the most serious allegation of sexual

violence ever made against the president?


E. JEAN CARROLL, JOURNALIST:  I fought.  It was shocking.  It was against

my will.


HAYES:  Writer E. Jean Carroll`s cowering claim of sexual assault by Donald

Trump.  Plus, five days from the debates, Joy Reid on what could be the

most consequential event of the primary so far.  And what we learned when a

federal judge unsealed Sean Hannity`s text messages with Paul Manafort.



said.  That`s obviously what our position is.


HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  There`s one thing we

know for sure tonight and it`s something to be thankful for.  We did not

start a military conflict with Iran last night.  That is unequivocally good

news.  Now, the rest of the story including how close we came to launching

an attack remains unclear due to conflicting and accounts and an

administration whose word has absolutely no credibility.


Not long after we got off the air last night, the New York Times broke the

story that the president had approved military strikes against Iran in

response to the downing of an American surveillance drone, and then he

abruptly changed his mind.


According to the Times citing senior administration officials, the

president initially approved attacks on a handful of targets including

radar and missile batteries.  And planes were already in the air and ships

in position when the word came to stand down.


Today, the President gave his own account of what happened both on Twitter

and in an interview with NBC`s Chuck Todd.  And his version which frankly

sounds like the script for a bad action movie contains a couple of

suspicious details.


“We were cocked and loaded to retaliate last night on three different sites

– assuming he meant the other kind of sites – when I asked how many will

die.  150 people sir, was the answer from a general.  Ten minutes before

the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned

drone.  I am in no hurry.  Our militaries are built new and ready to go, by

far the best in the world, sanctions are biting and more added last night.”


OK, a lot there.  First of all, it`s very hard to imagine the Pentagon

waiting till the last second to brief the President on potential

casualties.  And in fact, the Daily Beast just reports that this is flatly

untrue that the President was fully informed before giving the OK.


Second of all, contrary to the President`s claim, the White House did not

impose new sanctions last night.  He appears to have made that up.  The

President also contradicted key parts of the New York Times report telling

Chuck Todd he never gave an initial go-ahead and the attack had yet to get





CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST:  So did you greenlight something or had you said if

we do it, I`ll do this.  What was – what was the order you gave?


TRUMP:  Nothing is green-lighted until the very end because things change,



TODD:  OK.  So you never gave a final order?


TRUMP:  No, no, no.  But we had something ready to go subject to my

approval.  And they came in and they came in about a half an hour before. 

They said, sir, we`re about ready to go.  I said, I want a better

definition –


TODD:  Planes in the air?  Were planes in the air?


TRUMP:  No.  We`re about ready to go.  No, but they would have been pretty





HAYES:  We may not know exactly what happened last night, we do know though

how we got to this point in a broader sense which is that the President,

that same president, the one who`s asking for us to thank him for not

ordering the strike, has taken a series of steps that are designed to

escalate tensions with Iran, his campaign of so-called maximum pressure.


He started by violating the international nuclear deal with Iran even

though his own government said Iran was in compliance and by surrounding

himself with top advisors who have for years been agitating for war against

the Iranian regime.


Now, faced with the incredibly highest of stakes consequences of those

actions, the president is firing off tweets about potential death tolls and

the U.S. being “cocked and loaded.”  And it`s almost like he doesn`t take

the possibility of war or his own responsibility for the safety and

security of the country all that seriously.


A source told The Times Maggie Haberman today, the President was pleased

with his own performance last night and loved being in command by ordering

the strikes and by then ordering to stand down.


I`m joined now by MSNBC Foreign Affairs Analyst Brett McGurk, former U.S.

Special Envoy of the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS.  Just first, Brett,

as just a basic technical matter, in terms of how something like this would

go, is it plausible in any way the president is first informed of casualty

estimates that close to the actual commission of the strike?



very – is very strange.  I think look, the first thing the military is

going to tell the president is probably a range of options on targets. 

There is always a battle damage estimate, meaning what we think the

casualty toll will be in a strike package.  So that would have been

initially briefed.  What I can`t say is when the president was briefed or

anything like that.


Well, we know though from his own account – I think we have to take his

own account at face value.  We were ten minutes away – from his tweets,

that`s what he said.  Ten minutes away from a series of American airstrikes

on Iran and soil that would have killed 150 Iranians.


So that would have been a very serious piece of business and the Iranians

probably would have responded in some way.  And the question then is what

would have our response be?  So it`s really important in making these most

deadly serious warranties decisions is thinking through the consequences.


One thing I just don`t really understand on the timeline is the hastiness

of this.  This – there did not seem to be an imminent threat to U.S.

personnel.  They were not U.S. personnel in danger so it`s unclear even why

the rush timeline was apparent here over the last 24 hours.


I am not someone who has spent my life a career at all making these sorts

of calculations presenting this kind of advice to a president, but it

strikes me that 150 Iranians dead from U.S. strikes in response to the

downing of unmanned drone would be an extremely serious escalation that

would produce very serious results in consequences.


MCGURK:  Well, I think there`s no question.  Look, Iran is a seriously

problematic actors so we can all stipulate that.  They`ve taken now a

series of provocations and reckless acts over the last month.  But you also

have to ask why.  You have to ask why is your enemy making the calculations

they are.


They started to do this about a month ago really in response to our

decision in which we are going to take all of their oil off the

marketplace.  That`s really a campaign that they see as economic

strangulation.  They consider it an act of war.  So they are now taking

these provocative moves in which they see as defensive.


I am pretty sure – and I spent enough time around the Iranians here over

the last decade in one way or another.  I am pretty sure they have

calculated that should the Americans respond, they have a counterpunch

ready.  And it would probably be asymmetrical, it will be deniable, but

they would definitely do something.  And then the onus would be back on the

president the White House for what to do well.  So this can escalate very



HAYES:  Yes, I want to just be clear about the sort of where things stand

vis a vis the – whatever kind of punch would be or whatever escalation.  I

mean, you were the envoy for the coalition that was fighting against ISIS. 

We have I think around 4,000 to 5,000 American servicemembers in Iraq

still.  Iraq is a place that the government has a relationship with

Iranians.  There are Iranian backed militias that are very powerful in



I mean, those U.S. service members are on the front lines as targets,

right, in any kind of counter attack.


MCGURK:  Well, this is why I don`t quite understand the hastiness of the

timeframe.  Look, this is – this is deadly serious business.  I think if

you want to put together a campaign, a strategy here against Iran, you have

to ask what is your objective.  Number one, what are we trying to achieve,

and then you put together your resources and your means of deploying them.


It`s unclear first of all strategically what we are trying to achieve with

– against the Iranians through this maximum pressure campaign.  That`s

one.  But in this strike package, what are we trying to achieve and then

how would we make sure that our personnel are protected after the

repercussions of the strike.  Have we consulted with allies?  Have we done

the groundwork to make sure that if this escalates, that we will have

escalation dominance to control the aftermath?


It just seems like given the time frame, there`s no way that deliberative

process was really – was really done and that`s troubling.


HAYES:  All right, Brett McGurk, thanks for time tonight.  I appreciate it.


MCGURK:  Chris, thank you so much.


HAYES:  For more about how the Iranians might be perceiving the situation,

I`m joined by Iranian-American Journalist and Writer Hooman Majd, an MSNBC

Contributor who`s done a lot of reporting on Iran and on this regime

particularly in relations to its U.S. relationship.


How do you think the Iranians are and particularly the government are

viewing this, perceiving this, and gaming this out?


HOOMAN MAJD, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, I`m sure that they`re very concerned

about what happened last night and are concerned about the character of the

President of the United States and how he goes from one extreme to another. 

One day he`s calling the President of Iran a lovely man, the next day he`s

threatening to annihilate the entire country.  It`s confusing.


And I think that we have to really consider from the Iranian perspective

what`s happened in the last two years.


HAYES:  Yes.


MAJD:  From the Iranian perspective, everything was hunky-dory two years

ago.  They were abiding by the deal, they were getting – buying Boeings,

they were buying airbus planes, there are businesses, Mercedes-Benz,

Renault, all these companies were going at the Iranian.  People were very

happy because the economy was now getting back.


HAYES:  Yes.  There was – there was a win-win so to speak, that they were

complying of the terms of the nuclear deal, and it was good for the Iranian



MAJD:  There were some – there were some tensions.  For example, we didn`t

like the fact that they were supporting Assad in Syria.


HAYES:  Right.  They were doing other things that the U.S. government did

not like.


MAJD:  Yes, but they were – but we did like the fact that they were

fighting ISIS in Iraq.


HAYES:  Right.  That`s true.


MAJD:  So there were different things going on but there wasn`t a crisis. 

There was no crisis, none whatsoever.


HAYES:  In fact, probably the low point for crisis between those countries

since the 79 revolution.


MAJD:  Absolutely.  Between 2015 and between President Trump taking over. 

And I would say even the first six months of President Trump being

president, there was no – certainly no crisis.  So the Iranians are going

– everything was going well.  We were abiding by this nuclear deal that we

didn`t like.  We Iranians did not like because we had to give up a lot of

things in order to get this economic benefit.


And then Mr. Trump blows up the deal, blows up the deal, and then applies

this maximum pressure on Iran not really knowing what the endgame is.  I

mean, it`s not clear we know – as Brett says, we don`t know what the

endgame is here so the Iranians are going OK, you blew up this deal, you`re

the arsonist, and now you`re coming here and saying I want to put out the

fire so come talk to me.  Talk to you to do what?  From the Iranian

perspective, to get what?


HAYES:  We had a deal.


MAJD:  We had a deal.  So you want a better deal than that.  Then if we

accept that – this is the Iranian perspective, I`m not defending –


HAYES:  No, no, no.  But it`s important in this context –


MAJD:  They`re saying if we do that, if we come and sit down and talk to

you, what we`ve done is rewarding you of violating a deal that you sign.


HAYES:  Correct.


MAJD:  And then how do we know that the next president is going to say

well, we could always just violate deals and say we will actually – you

know, actually we want a better one than that now.


HAYES:  Right.


MAJD:  So what they`re saying is we won`t be held hostage.  So if you want

to talk to us, you were talking to us, even the Trump administration was

talking.  Brian Hook was the coordinator for the – for their JCPOA and was

going to those meetings every six months with the Iranians.  They could

have talked to the Iranians there in those meetings.  Once the U.S.

withdrew –


HAYES:  There`s no channel.  There`s no official channel.  In fact, that

was one of the big things about the joint agreement was that it created for

the first time since the hostages in the embassy in 79.


MAJD: Exactly.  And resulted in John Kerry being able to get on the phone

with the Iranian Foreign Minister –


HAYES:  Right, for the first time.


MAJD:  And get sailors who were arrested in Iranian water released within

24 hours.  I mean, that`s never happened before.  So we – like I said, we

had problems with Iran, and Iran had problems with the United States, but

nothing like today.  So what did we think was going to happen from the

Iranian perspective?


I mean, I`m sure Donald Trump doesn`t know a lot of Iranians.  I mean, he

came of age after the Iranian Revolution, probably didn`t meet a lot of

Iranians, probably didn`t do a lot of real estate deals with Iranians,

probably doesn`t know the Iranian psyche, but there are people in the

administration would do.  And so now, you have to think to yourself who`s

advising Mr. Trump.


HAYES:  Well, it`s not just like – I mean, just – there`s no – what

you`ve just laid out isn`t something like mysterious, culturally, specific

perspective, it`s the basic ways that a nation-state would perceive a deal

in the aftermath.  Like –


MAJD:  Yes.  When foreign ministers are asked, why don`t you meet with

Trump?  And he says, well, we meet with him for what, to do what?  Let`s

say we have the meeting.  We shake hands, and Donald Trump says you know

what, I agree with you, I`ll lift these sanctions, and then he goes off on

Air Force One back to Washington and he says to John Bolton and John – and

Mike Pompeo to make the deal.


HAYES:  Exactly.


MAJD:  And the Iranians don`t trust because they`re hearing different

things.  You know, Trump says there`s no preconditions.  I`ll sit down and

talk to the Iranians anytime and then Mike Pompeo says when they start

acting like a normal country.  Well, what`s a normal country?


HAYES:  This is the key part is that there is not the credibility for

diplomacy for peace for de-escalation.


MAJD:  No, no.


HAYES:  There – it just doesn`t exist.


MAJD:  No, it`s diplomatic malpractice, actually, what`s happening right



HAYES:  All right, Hooman Majd, thank you.  That was illuminating.  I

really appreciate it.  Next, what it means to live in the reality of

President Trump`s incoherent approach to foreign policy, whether danger of

him leading us into a conflict with Iran is still ever-present.  The unfit

president next.




HAYES:  We thankfully got into the last 24 hours without a military

escalation with Iran but all the conditions that brought us to that brink

are still there, especially the nature of the commander-in-chief himself

including his other lack of moral compass or strategic vision.  All of

which are on display as he campaigned for the office but now his mass of

foreign policy contradictions on the trail is coming home to roost.




TRUMP:  I would just bomb those suckers.  That`s right.  I`d blow up the

pipes.  I`d blow up the – I`d blow up every single inch.  There would be

nothing left.


Unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be

my first instinct.


I`m going to bomb the (BLEEP) out of them.


I would be very, very cautious.  I think I`d be a lot slower.  She has a

happy trigger.


The other thing is with the terrorists.  You have to take out their

families.  When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their



We can`t be the policemen to the world.




HAYES:  Here with me now to talk about the President`s inconsistencies and

contradictions on foreign policy, Chris Lu who served as White House

Cabinet Secretary of the Obama administration and Barbara Boxer former

Democratic senator from the State of California and the co-host of the

Boxer Podcast.


You know, Senator, just in that little montage, you know, Trump was all

over the place.  It was – he was pro-war crimes, pro-torture, killing

their families, bombing the S out of them, taking their oil, and also you

know, we shouldn`t start new wars.  And all of those competing impulses are

now brought together in the situation with Iran and this is where we find



BARBARA BOXER, FORMER U.S. SENATOR:  We`re in utter chaos.  I served on

Foreign Relations Committee for many, many years.  I personally never went

to a briefing where we weren`t told what the expected casualties would be

and what the options were.  And I was in the United States, not the



But I have to say.  This is what happens when you have a clinical

narcissist as president of the United States.  Why do I say that?  Because

everything that Obama was known for, the great success he had on getting

close to universal health care, he wants to do away with Trump does.  And

then there was the Climate Accords, he wanted to do away with that.


And then, one of the shiny examples was this treaty, the treaty with Iran

to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon.  He walked out of that.  He

didn`t sit down with them before, now he wants to sit down with them.


Last point is every action brings a reaction.  What did they think would

happen?  And the bottom line is there are (INAUDIBLE) who want war with you

know, Iran.  I`m glad the president pulled back, but the whole thing is not

gone.  It`s still there.


HAYES:  No, it`s not gone.  And you know, to the point that Hooman Majd has

made and that – and that Senator Boxer just referred to, Chris, is that

all of the kind of – the zigzagging of Trump about all this all over the

place actually matters tangibly to resolving things because there is no

credibility of any attempts for a deal or peace on the other side to the

Iranians because of who he is and how he has talked about this.



order, there`s no sense of process.  Chris, you described it well at the

top of the show.  This is like a really bad action movie.  You have a

president who has about 11,000 false or misleading claims during his time

and who`s now trying to make a case for war based on the reports of an

intelligence community that he`s derided for the past two years.


He`s being advised by one acting defense secretary who is about to be

replaced by a second one, and according to federal law may soon be replaced

by a third acting secretary.  There`s no discernible policy process that

anyone can make out, and he`s often being advised by his friends on Fox



And finally, this is a president who is glibly talking about serious and

grave matters of war on Twitter trying to fit all this in within 280

characters.  Look, he ultimately probably reached the right decision, but

he certainly is not handling in this in the deliberative way that his

predecessors have done.


HAYES:  I mean, to me, the outcome actually, in this case, mattered we`re

in the process insofar as like not starting another war with Iran which

just strikes me as insane.  But the problem is the process is what keeps us

in the status quo which is the possibility of escalation.


And Senator – and Senator, part of that also has to do with where – I

mean Senator Tom Cotton thinks we should have a strike on Iran.  There are

voices in the Republican Party.  It`s obvious and clear to me that you need

congressional approval even though he won`t get it.  But also, can you

imagine that there`s anyone – having lived through Iraq, there`s anyone in

the United States Congress who thinks starting another war in the Middle

East is a good idea?


BOXER:  Oh, there are a lot of people there, a lot of hawks on the right

and within the administration itself who have had their eye on Iran for a

long time.  I mean, when he pulled out of that treaty, we were alone.  Our

allies in NATO did not want that.  So now how do we look in the world?


We look weak.  We look odd.  It looks like we`re in chaos and that worries

me.  Because when this president as narcissistic as he is, looks like maybe

he`s a little cowardly or whatever, the Iranians are not good people. They

are vicious.  They have – they`re a terrorist country.


HAYES:  Let`s just be clear.  The Iranians – the Iranians are good people,

whatever you think of their regime.  There`s –


BOXER:  I meant the country.


HAYES:  – yes, 80 million, yes.


BOXER:  I meant the – I meant that the leaders of the country are not good

people.  They have terrorist cells all over the Middle East.  So we are

walking into a problem.  This isn`t a question of dealing with a country

that is very weak.  They are very strong.  And even though – I agree with

you – the people don`t want this, what we have done to the people is

punish them through this escalating series of sanctions.


And now the president says, I`ll meet with them anywhere anytime, fine, I

hope they do.  Trust me.  But if they don`t, I don`t think we`re out of

this mess.


HAYES:  I completely agree with you and I also, Chris, to the Senators

point, what seems very clear to me is that what Trump wants is what he did

with basically NAFTA which is that to rebrand the thing, say he pulled out

and have another one.  It`s what he wants in North Korea.


He would take the Obama deal or a worse deal if it has a name on it and he

thinks that this is the way he`s going to do it.  But the Iranians have no

incentive because of the way that he`s behaved.


LU:  Yes, look, we know Donald Trump is no student of history but he would

be well-served to remember that Colin Powell line from the Iraq war, the

Pottery Barn Line.  If you break it, you buy it.  So he`s broken this Iraq

– Iran nuclear deal, so now he owns this and he has no credibility to cut

a new deal, and he`s turned his back on the allies who pushed him to hold

on to this deal.


And he says – so now he`s stuck trying to fix this alone and there`s no

clear indication that he knows how to do that.


HAYES:  Yes.  I mean, at this point the only real out is get back in the

deal and extract some concession where they named it after Donald Trump and

everyone could just like go back to the status quo ante and maybe he`ll be

happy.  Chris Lu and Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you very much.


Next, the first-hand account of what is the most serious sexual assault

accusation against Donald Trump yet and how the president himself is

responding to what amounts to an allegation of rape.




HAYES:  Tonight, we find ourselves if not once again in the position of

having to warn you about the graphic nature of a story concerning the man

that we have made our president.  That is because in the pages of New York

Magazine today, a well-known writer has accused Donald Trump of raping her.


In a cover story featuring excerpt from her forthcoming book, E. Jean

Carroll says that 23 years ago after joking exchange with Trump in the

Bergdorf Goodman department store, he assaulted her in a dressing room. 

Carroll describes the assault in disturbing detail.  I quote here.


“The next moment still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit

jacket, overcoat.  He opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and forcing his

fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis, halfway or completely,

I`m not certain, inside me.  It turns into a colossal struggle.


I`m wearing a pair of sturdy black patent leather four-inch Barney`s high

heels which puts my height around 6`1, and I try to stop his foot.  I try

to push him off me with one free hand.  For some reason, I keep holding my

purse with the other and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him

out and off and I turn open the door and run out of the dressing room.”


Carroll spoke with Nightly News correspondent Ann Thompson.




CARROLL:  I had a run-in with the president in a dressing room and

Bergdorf`s.  I fought.  It was shocking.  It was against my will.  From the

minute he closed the door, boom.  He threw me up against the wall and just

tried to kiss me.  It was so shocking to me.




HAYES: President Trump released a statement reading in part, quote, “I`ve

never met this person in my life.  She is trying to sell a book, that

should indicate her motivation.  It never happened.”


Point of fact, here is a photo of them together meeting.  It is in the New

York Magazine story that he is referencing.  It shows Trump and Carroll and

their spouses at a party in 1987.


Earlier today a senior White House official offered New York magazine a

statement calling the account, quote, “completely false and unrealistic,

although one has to note unrealistic is an interesting choice of words

considering the behavior described in the story is remarkably similar to

what Trump himself has bragged about.”  As noted by Carroll, Trump has also

denied accusations of sexual misconduct by 15 other  women. 


After the incident at Bergdorf, Goodman Carroll says she told two friends

at the time.  And New York magazine verified that.  A friend of Carroll`s

also confirmed to NBC News that Carroll told her about the alleged attack

the next day.


According to Carroll, one of those friends, quote, said he raped you.  He

raped you.  Go to the police.  I`ll go with you.  We`ll go together.  The

other friend said, quote, tell no one.  Forget it.  He has 200 lawyers. 

He`ll bury you.


Tonight E. Jean Carroll will join Lawrence O`Donnell for an interview on

The Last Word at 10:00 p.m.


Joining me now MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley, senior vice president for

social justice at The New School.


It`s a remarkable thing to read.


MAYA WILEY, THE NEW SCHOOL:  Oh, it`s disturbing on so many levels.  And

the way she writes about it in her own voice is a very powerful and direct

description of her side of events.


HAYES:  It`s also the case that I mean this is part of the issue for the

president in denying this, is that there are other women who have accused

him of doing things somewhat similarly, nothing quite as bad and violent as

this.  But also he has talked about doing things like this, grabbing them

by the privates, which is what she describes.  I just start kissing them,

that`s the famous line from Access Hollywood.  It becomes difficult for him

to deny it when those two things are there.


WILEY:  Absolutely.  And when she has one of the things that prosecutors

look for when there`s an absence of physical evidence in terms of

demonstrating credibility is the fact that she told people at the time, not

that you should consider someone not credible if they didn`t, because a lot

of people keep what happens to them secret for deeply psychological

reasons, because it`s traumatic, but the fact that there are people she

told at the time – if you remember, Justice Kavanaugh`s confirmation

hearings was one of the issues in the Ford case in terms of looking for

people who she told contemporaneously.


HAYES:  Contemporaneously, and she had not.


WILEY:  And she had not.  It had been a period of years, which as I said is

not uncommon at  all.  But in this case you have contemporaneous



HAYES:  I thought this was interesting.  She said I told two close friends,

the first a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning

shows, author of many books, begged me to go to the police.  And then

other, she says, was a New York anchorwoman, which I thought was

interesting in terms of her presenting the social capital and credibility

of the contemporaneous witnesses.


WILEY:  That`s right.  And the contemporaneous witnesses can talk about her

state of mind.  You know, when you`re talking about – and the way she

recounts, she is a writer.  She`s a very talented writer, obviously, by the

way this is written, that she can recount it in a way that`s very direct,

and while she – and in some respects clinical, right?  And that can be

used – that`s something that sometimes people use against someone who has

been the victim of a crime is if they are not emoting.


But if you told someone contemporaneously, then that person becomes a

witness to your state of mind.


HAYES:  There`s also the fact that – what`s remarkable to me is this is

the year 2019.  The president has started running for president four years

ago, and there was an avalanche of accusations against him on the record by

women, many of whom also told people contemporaneously at the time.


WILEY:  Some of whom have sued him.


HAYES:  Some of whom have sued him, Summer Zervos for defamation when he

called her a liar, that we`re still – this is a new accusation, and in

some ways the most serious yet.


WILEY:  Yeah.  And I think one of the things – one, I will say we don`t

yet know what happened.  We do know that she has some corroboration.  We

know the president has denied it.  But to your point, when you have a

pattern of behavior, because he certainly also has a pattern of womanizing. 

I would say that is in the public record.


HAYES:  Yeah, that`s I think self-admitted.


WILEY:  And self-admitted.  He has said in the public record, deny, deny,

deny and become aggressive in the face of accusation in order to get out

from under it.


So what that tells us is the fact of his denial is not sufficient either. 


But I think the question here, I have to say, New York State no longer has

a statute of limitations on first-degree rape.  That doesn`t mean that in

this case she is necessarily saying she would bring a rape charge, but this

would be a first – from what I understand of the fact, this was

potentially a first-degree rape case which doesn`t have a statute of

limitations and she has the coat.  So the other question I had is did she

get it dry cleaned or not?  And if…


HAYES:  There`s also the fact that in the case of Summer Zervos who you

mentioned, she has a lawsuit that will go forward as of now, it`s set to go

forward, in which in a court of law evidence is going to be presented

because she is suing him for defamation, because he called her a liar.  And

so what will be litigated are the underlying facts.


WILEY:  And the president can be deposed.  All of this conversation that we

have had in the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation does not apply

to state law, it does not apply to civil actions.  The other question is

whether we might see a civil action here.


HAYES:  Maya Wiley, thank you very much for coming in.


Next, a judge just released hundreds of texts between Paul Manafort and

Trump TV Host Sean Hannity.  What they said about the Mueller investigation

after this.




HAYES:s  A judge in Washington, D.C. today unsealed a document containing

hundreds of text messages between former Trump campaign chairman and

current inmate Paul Manafort and a person who is very clearly Trump TV host

Sean Hannity.


Prosecutors submitted the texts into the record during Manafort`s

sentencing.  The logs show the two chatted frequently for almost a year

before Manafort was sent to jail in June of last year.


They touched on a lot of topics, but perhaps most importantly Manafort made

it clear over and over to Hannity that he was not going to flip on the

president.  And Trump`s close friend Hannity encouraged Manafort to stay

strong.  Like on March 14, 2018, when Hannity texted, quote, “why don`t

you get a sweetheart deal like Gates?” 


Manafort replied, “they would want me to give up D.T. or family, especially

J.K.  I would never do that.” 


Hannity says, “I understand.  There is nothing to give up on D.T.  What did

J.K. do?


Manafort replies, “nothing, just like I did nothing.  They will want me to

make stuff up on both.  I will never do that.”


“OMG, our system is so messed up,” said Hannity.


I`m joined now by Elie Mystal, executive  editor of Above the Law, a

contributor at The Nation.


Well, I will say this about these texts, Sean Hannity is not two-faced.  He

is not duplicitous – no, I`m serious.  And he is not putting on a show. 

The Sean Hannity of the texts is the Sean Hannity you get every night. 

He`s basically performing his deep state monologues to Paul Manafort via



ELIE MYSTAL, EDITOR, ABOVE THE LAW:  Yes, which is why he should be fired

in any kind of reasonable world where journalism exists.


Like, I know regular viewers of this show don`t really need to be told

this, but this is just further proof that Sean Hannity is not a newsman, he

is a spokesman.  He is like the ShamWoW guy, only what he`s selling is

misinformation.  And you see it like rolling through all these texts.


Can you imagine what would happen to you – I don`t want to blow up your

spot, but like if you had these texts to Anthony Weiner saying stay strong,

bro, it`s going to work out, like I don`t think you would have your show.


HAYES:  Yeah, I think it would be bad.


MYSTAL:  Like you just aren`t allowed to do that.  That`s the one thing.


Then we have to remember the legal angle here, like the reason why these

got entered into the record is because there was a gag order, right, and

Manafort was violating the gag order.


HAYES:  Right.


MYSTAL:  By sending these texts to Sean Hannity.  There`s actually a bit of

the text where he`s like – where Sean is like come on, bro, you`ve got to

come on the show.  He`s basically like the Fyre Festival, like, come on,

let`s come on the show and let`s be legends.


And Manafort is like, oh, man, I can`t, man, because of the gag order,.

which he is violating throughout the texts.


There`s also a gag order applying to his lawyer, Ken Dowling, and Manafort


in these texts had showed that Ken Dowling, Manafort`s lawyer, is feeding

Sean Hannity information.  At one point Hannity says, oh, Ken is feeding

me.  He has to keep feeding me.  Ken Dowling was also under the same gag



So, this is – the reason why these got entered into the record in the

first place…


HAYES:  Is because they`re violations.


MYSTAL:  Is because they`re violations of the gag order.


HAYES:  The other thing here – I mean, so here`s just sort of a taste of

what this is like.  Like Manafort says, “you know, I won`t give up and I

won`t sell out.”  This is the distress signals text from August 11, 2017. 

“I won`t give up.  I won`t sell out.”


In November, he says we will win.  It`s going to be ugly, expensive and



He also says, “I live in a nightmare every day, but I won`t give in.”


The clearest thing that`s happening here is that he`s talking to Donald

Trump through Sean Hannity about whether he will flip or not.




HAYES:  That is like the obvious implication.


MYSTAL:  It`s not even subtext, it`s just text, right.  At one point he

says it`s just lonely out here, man.  It`s so lonely.  I`m very strong, but

it`s so lonely.  And Sean is like stay strong, brother.  Stay strong.  God

is your – it`s Sean Hannity being the go-between between Trump and

Manafort telling Manafort that it`s all going to work out. 


And Manafort is saying like, you`re right, you`re right, you`re right, I

have to stay strong.  And this is where we get into the J.K. thing, right. 

Because it`s seems very clearly like Sean Hannity completely in the tank

for Trump.  Nothing wrong with Trump.  But what did J.K. do, right? 

They`re very easy…


HAYES:  It keeps coming back to what did J.K. do?


MYSTAL:  And then Manafort – all Manafort says oh, nothing, just like me.


Well, see, the thing is Manafort did something, right?  It reminds me when

you see like a prison movie.  And you`re like, hey, what are you in for? 

And the prisoner is like the lawyer got me.  That`s what I`m in for.  And

everybody is like yeah.  Like that`s Manafort and J.K. right now.


And let`s remember, Mueller didn`t go through the process of forcing J.K.

to sit down.


HAYES:  That`s right.


MYSTAL:  To testify under oath in his investigation, which to me kind of

rolls us all the way back into the congressional investigations and

impeachment.  These texts show there`s clearly still more to uncover about

Jared Kushner.


HAYES:  Here`s the thing I would say, also, what these texts show to me.  I

mean, this is  Manafort – your monologue tonight was the best summary

ever.  The case against Mueller and his  team.  This is December 27, 2017. 

Hannity, F him, disgrace.


He calls Weissmann a POS.


Again, this is – again, this is what he says on the show every night. 

This is not some – But here`s what it shows to me.  Manafort was never

cooperating.  He was never going to cooperate.  We know he broke his

cooperation agreement, according to the government.  And we also know that

the president`s lawyers are constantly monitoring who is and who is not

cooperating in ways that border

with witness tampering if not crossing over into that explicitly.


And this certainly makes it seem plausible that Sean Hannity is a party to



MYSTAL:  We thought that Rick Gates was cooperating, right?  But in these

texts, Manafort says, no, Gates is with Trump and me.  He`s strong just

like me.  And then, as you pointed out, Hannity says like why don`t you get

a sweet deal like Gates?  They clearly don`t feel like Gates is a threat to

them, which suggests once again that Gates wasn`t actually cooperating this

whole time.


HAYES:  All right, Elie Mystal, thank you so much for coming in.


MYSTAL:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Still to come, less than a week from the first Democratic debates,

candidates are

preparing for the biggest primary event yet.  Joy Reid is live in South

Carolina.  I`m going to talk to her about  that ahead.




HAYES:  One of the more maddening aspects of President Trump`s policy of

ripping immigrant

children from their parents by the thousands was the complete denial that

that was what they were doing.  Even after they announced it and talked

about it, even bragged about it, there were those in the administration who

not only refused to admit it, but just blatantly lied about it taking



The best example of that is probably former Homeland Security Secretary

Kirstjen Nielsen.  She was one of the people who would go out and lie and

lie and lie.  She`d lie to congress, and she`d lie to the people.




SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA:  Have you been directed to separate

parents from children as a method of deterrence of undocumented




do that for purposes of deterrence, no.  This administration did not create

a policy of separating families at the border.  There was no parent who has

been deported to my knowledge without multiple opportunities to take their

children with them.




HAYES:  Lies.  All of that.  Obviously a lie when she first said it.  It

became even more obvious after the agency`s inspector general said

thousands more children than previously thought had been taken from their

parents, and memos surfaced outlining the policy itself.


Now, after that lie – we all know it`s a lie – and Kirstjen Nielsen can

do whatever she wants with the rest of her life with that on her conscience

– after that has been so clearly debunked, the president is lying about it

now today in the most insane gaslighty crypto-totalitarian way imaginable.


Here he is speaking to Telemundo`s Jose Diaz-Balart in his first interview

with a Spanish  language broadcaster.




JOSE DIAZ-BALART, TELEMUNDO:  The zero tolerance policy, was that a



TRUMP:  It`s not a mistake.  We want to have strong borders.  It`s not a



DIAZ-BALART:  Zero tolerance…


TRUMP:  Let me just explain something.


DIAZ-BALART:  …separation of children from parents on the border…


TRUMP:  No, no, let me explain.


DIAZ-BALART:  Thousands and thousands of children separated.


TRUMP:  When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy. 

I didn`t have it.

He had it.  I brought the families together.  I`m the one that put them



Now, I said something when I did that, watch.  Many more people will come

up, and that`s what happened.  But President Obama is the one that built

those prison cells.


DIAZ-BALART:  I understand.  2,800 children w ere reunited with their

parents in the last year.  We don`t even know.  The government doesn`t even

know how many children are still not with their parents.  They don`t know,

which I find incredible.


TRUMP:  Ready?  Are you ready?  Under the Obama plan…


DIAZ-BALART:  Sir, we`re talking about your plan.


TRUMP:  No, we`re not, because I`m the one that put people together.  I

just – they separated.  I put them together.


DIAZ-BALART:  You did not.  2,800 children were reunited with their parents

in this last year

after the zero tolerance policy.


TRUMP:  Excuse me, because I put them together.  That`s because I put them



Under Obama you had separation.


DIAZ-BALART:  Under a court order, I might add, right?


TRUMP:  No, I put them together.  I`m the one that changed the plan.


I inherited separation.  And I changed the plan.




HAYES:  No, no, no, no, no.  All of that is wrong, completely wrong,

completely backwards.  There was no child separation policy.  He did not

inherit it.  He did not put the children together.  He implement it.  He

ripped those children away.  They were put together by a court order.


So everything the president said was an outright lie.  And as Trump tries

to lie his way to a second term, the nearly two dozen Democrats vying to

replace him are all heading south for the weekend.  We`ll get more from our

own Joy Reid after this.




HAYES:  With five days until the first Democratic debate, the biggest event

in the 2020 primary so far is happening this weekend.  IT is the legendary

Jim Clyburn`s world famous fish fry.  It`s in South Carolina.  Which is the

third state to hold his primary election in the Democratic primary.  It is

also the first really genuinely diverse multi-racial state, which matters a

ton because the Democratic Party is a diverse party and a multi-racial



Not coincidentally, nearly every Democratic candidate will be there.  And

so will some of our colleagues.  Joy Reid and Reverend Al Sharpton are live

tomorrow from the South Carolina Democratic Party convention.  Senator

Kamala Harris talks with Joy live on A.M. Joy tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Eastern.  And, former Vice President Joe Biden joins Reverend Sharpton live

on Politics Nation tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern all right here on MSNBC.


And joining me right now from South Carolina is Joy Reid.  It`s great to

see your face, Joy. 


That looks like a fun event to be at.  What`s the atmosphere like?  What

are you expecting?


JOY REID, MSNBC:  Well, the music is great.  They just played Mary J. Blige


The crowd is huge.  It took forever to get in here, Chris, because there

are so many people here.  I don`t know that I`ve ever seen this many people

in one place, other than like a football game, huge.


And a lot of people who are passionate, too.  As we were coming in, you can

hear cheering – this before any of the candidates got here.  The people

are here for their candidates, and obviously here

for the politics and the fish.  Fried fish, it`s good.


HAYES:  You know, so here`s one way of thinking about the Democratic field,

particularly as sort of the Joe Biden story this week, about him talking

about the relationship that he had with Democratic segregationist senators,

him getting some criticism for that. 


I think a lot of people have talked about sort of racial cross tabs, you

know, what black voters in the Democratic primary versus white voters, et

cetera.  One thing I`ve really been noticing are the generational lines.  I

almost feel like…


REID:  Yes.


HAYES:  …white and black young voters are closer to each other,

particularly those who are post college, you know, graduate degrees, than

older voters black and white, particularly on these kinds  of issues.


REID:  That`s right.


HAYES:  What do you think of that?  I think the generational stuff ends up

having more salients

on these kinds of questions than the racial ones do. 


REID:  Yeah, I mean, absolutely.  I mean, on the surface level, right, what

Joe Biden said about James Eastland and Talmadge who, by the way, were

segregationist Democrats.  So, he was not talking about bipartisanship, OK,

let`s just be clear, he wasn`t talking about bipartisanship, because they

were also Democrats – at the time they were right wing conservative

Democrats, but what he said resonated so differently with older people that

we`ve spoken with here, white or black. 


And when you think about it, six in 10 South Carolina Democratic primary

voters last time were

Democrats.  This is a heavily black primary, right.  And older black voters

view those kind of comments through a completely different lens.


I just had a guy come up and explain why he likes Joe Biden.  And he`s

probably in his mid-40s, early 50s, something like that.  And he said,

look, this is the way it is.  This is South Carolina.  If you want to get

anything done, you had to work with people like Strom Thurmond.  You had to

work with people like James Eastland, that`s the way it works.  And Biden,

as a white older man is from that generation.  And we get it, right.


So, you have a lot of older black voters that are just writing those

comments off and saying that it shouldn`t be something that you judge Biden



Now when you talk with younger voters here, what we found – what I found

just talking to people is that they`re for Kamala Harris, or they`re for

Cory Booker, or they`re for Elizabeth Warren.  There`s a few Yang gang

people here.  But they`re for someone other than Biden.


So, it`s heavily generational.  And Joe Biden is benefiting from the fact,

as one political  strategist extraordinaire here told me, this primary is

almost so lopsidedly over age 50, that`s his advantage.  It`s older black

voters who are carrying Joe Biden right now.


HAYES:  Well, that`s a great point.  And, you know, if you`re going to have

a generational cleavage and you`re a candidate in a crowded field in the

Democratic primary, you want the older voters because that`s where the most

of them are.  That`s where most of the votes are, not just in South

Carolina, but if you look at who turns out to vote in primaries, it`s

largely voters over 50.


And a big question I think we`ll see going forward, if that changes for

those voters, who their allegiance to is, but also other people can

motivate more younger voters to come out to kind of balance that.


REID:  Well, that`s the thing.  And I spoke to another strategist down here

today.  I was speaking with politicos as well as regular folks who made a

really good point.  The way that you shift that generational divide and get

younger people in the game – numerically Millennials actually are equal

and even with Baby Boomers, or maybe even a little more –  but the problem

is is that those older church voters, they vote.  Younger voters need



And so the question is can any of those 23 other Democrats ignite the kind

of just base level rock star kind of passion that you saw in `92 for Bill

Clinton, that you saw in 2008 for Barack Obama?  Is there a Barack Obama in

that field? 


Because to be honest with you, Chris, having great policy ideas or great

ideas, or a great profile or a great background isn`t going to do it

because the older voters are Biden voters.  Who takes them away?  Somebody

who ignites passion among younger voters.  That`s what`s going to happen.


HAYES:  Really interesting.  We`re going be watching all your programming. 

Stay tuned to MSNBC tomorrow for more of Joy`s outstanding coverage for

South Carolina.  Thank you, Joy, for making time tonight.  Have a great



That is ALL IN for this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts now with

Ali Velshi in for Rachel.  Good evening, Ali.







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