Joy Reid’s new book on Trump. TRANSCRIPT: 6/25/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Raul Ruiz, Jon Tester, Maxine Waters, Philippe Reines, Cornell Belcher





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you concerned with the conditions of these border






HAYES:  Donald Trump`s migrant nightmare continues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  100 migrant children moved out of a Texas Border Patrol

facility described as appalling have just been moved back into that



HAYES:  Tonight, what we know about what`s happening with these children as

the House votes on an emergency funding bill and this guy just got a job

back at the Border Patrol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That is a soon to be a MS-13 gang member.


HAYES:  Then Maxine Waters on her plan to stop the President from launching

a war on Iran.  Joy Reid on Donald Trump and the unraveling of the American

story.  And how does a member of Congress who allegedly use campaign money

to fund extramarital affairs with lobbyists get to keep his job?


REP DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA):  Whatever she did on that`ll be – that`ll be

looked at too I`m sure, but I didn`t do it.


HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  The House is expected

to vote on emergency funding for the border within the hour even among

worries from some Democrats that the measure proposed does not do enough to

restrain the President`s immigration policies.


Donald Trump has already threatened to veto that measure even as his

administration`s mix of cruelty and incompetence continues day by day to

exacerbate a humanitarian crisis at the border.  We reported yesterday

about the more than 300 migrant children held in truly horrifying

conditions at a border station in West Texas, in Clint.  Last night an eye

witness to some of those conditions firsthand described an appalling






here are being forced to live in horrendous conditions that no child should

ever have to live in.  You`ve mentioned the Influenza outbreak where

children were put into isolation, you`ve mentioned the lice infestation in

one of the rooms that resulted in the border patrol guards removing all of

bedding from the – from the cell that the children were being kept in and

forced to sleep on the cement ground.


Many children reported that they regularly were forced to sleep on the

cement including infants, and toddlers, and preschoolers.  We heard about -

- we saw the children who were dirty and some of them smelled.  We saw

their clothes were stained.  There was no soap.  They were infrequently

allowed to brush their teeth or take a shower and even then it was only for

a moment or two.




HAYES:  Reports of those conditions spurred immediate outrage and soon came

word that 300 children were being moved out of that facility.  But then

came two pieces of news today, first that the acting commissioner of

Customs and Border Protection who`s overseeing this entire thing John

Sanders was stepping down, and second that some children had been moved

back to that facility in Clint, Texas.


New York Times reporting a CBP official said, “The agency was able to send

about 100 children back to the station because overcrowding there had been

alleviated.  The official disputed the lawyers accounts of conditions of

the facility insisting that migrant detainees housed by the agency were

given access to periodic showers and were offered unlimited snacks

throughout the day.


The Border Patrol station in Clint is not the only facility with problems,

let`s be very clear here.  There have been similarly terrible conditions

reported in McAllen, Texas where one lawyer said the water tastes like

bleach and we`re “It was so bad the mothers would save any bottled water

they could get and use that to mix the baby formula.”


In El Paso, men were left to bake in the sun for up – for weeks in a

makeshift holding area, the one University professor who witnessed it

firsthand described as a human dog pound.  The perhaps is not surprising

that this keeps happening when the people running our nation`s immigration

infrastructure constantly denigrate insult and dehumanize immigrants.


From President Trump referring to migrants as an infestation or invasion to

Mark Morgan who was briefly had a border patrol under President Obama and

will reportedly be named by President Trump as his new acting head of CBP.




MARK MORGAN, ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE:  I`ve been in the detention facilities

where I`ve walked up to these individuals that are so-called minors 17 or

under, and I`ve looked at them, and I`ve looked at their eyes, Tucker, and

I said that is a soon-to-be Ms-13 gang member.  It`s unequivocal.




HAYES:  Wow, amazing talents by Mr. Morgan.  He can unequivocally determine

the future culpability of a child.  Well, think about the entire worldview

that leads a person to say something like that about a child that they`ve

looked into the eyes of.


The chaos were out the Trump immigration infrastructure has gotten so bad

that even get this, agents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement typically

hardly the most sympathetic to migrants are now reportedly getting annoyed

with the administration`s incompetence.


The president has not succeeded in reducing border crossings nor is he

succeeded in saving taxpayer money on this issue.  Instead, he has only

succeeded in sowing confusion in punishing and traumatizing blameless

children and in casting fear over millions of immigrant communities

throughout the country.


Joining me now Julia Ainsley, NBC News Correspondent covering Departments

of Homeland Security and Justice, has broken a number of immigration

stories over the past year and a half and he`s been reporting this out as



So we got these two pieces of news.  Let`s focus on the kids for a second

in Clint, Texas.  What happened there?  Like do we have any indication of

whether they`re taken away and brought back?  Does the facility been

change?  What`s the deal?


JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  It was shocking today, Chris.  We

heard this on a press call with reporters that even though there were 300

children moved out of that facility yesterday to tents outside of a border

station, tents that were supposed to be air-conditioned and better equipped

and more sanitary to take care of these children, 100 were actually moved

back because they decided they didn`t have the space.


It seems that some of the children may have actually been new arrivals so

it`s not necessarily you know one-third move from here, to there, to there,

but there are unequivocally some children who are spending the night

tonight in the place that they wanted to escape from.


And it`s hard to imagine that they would have sanitized this place or made

it sanitary.  You heard all of those conditions, the lice, the flu, the

stench.  I can`t imagine how that would have gone away in 24 hours.


And what this reminds me of is some reporting from Jacob Soboroff a few

weeks ago about those children a year ago who were going to be taken to be

reunited with their parents and then they had to wait in that van – in a

van in a parking lot.


It`s that they try to come up with quick solutions when there`s pressure to

do so but the management isn`t quite there.  So that is why I think – and

we`ll get to that second piece of news but I think that`s why it`s

significant that what we`re now learning in the past 24, 48 hours is that

it`s not just a funding issue, it`s a management issue.


It`s not just they need more money, they actually need people in place who

know how to move children and take care of them.


HAYES:  So let`s get to that.  The acting head or CBP, again, as far as I

can, tell no one here has been Senate-confirmed.  It`s like all acting up

and down the chain of this entire thing.  The acting had announcing he`s

resigning today.  Do we know what prompted that and do we know what Mr.

Morgan`s plans are there?


AINSLEY:  So it looks like it was not something that he was forced to do

unlike some of the other resignations we`ve seen.  This seems like it

really came out of his own conscience.  He felt like he could not continue

to serve.  I saw a letter that he sent out to employees of Customs and

Border Protection trying to boost their morale and telling them to carry



But I could tell you one thing and that is that John Sanders was never seen

in the same way Mark Morgan was seen.  Not Mark Morgan who we expect to be

named to take that place.  Mark Morgan is a hardliner.  He was pushing for

those raids over the weekend, the ones that were pulled back at the last



And in this administration, that kind of talk gets you favoritism, not like

John Sanders.  So he did not have people to surround him and protect him in

this situation.


HAYES:  What – when you say – I want to return to this because there`s

going to be a vote later today and there`s a political dispute right now,

legislative dispute about funding.  Elaborate on your point about

management versus funding.  What is your reporting indicate about what

breakdown is happening here?


AINSLEY:  Yes, OK.  So about two-and-a-half weeks ago, we got these numbers

that were staggering that showed how many children were stuck in these

border stations across the border.  Most of the overcrowding was in the Rio

Grande Valley and El Paso where that Clint facility was and in Yuma.


And then at that point, we said OK, they`re overcrowded because yes, they

have a lot of unaccompanied children crossing the border and then there`s

not enough capacity for them to be sent to Health and Human Services where

they would be better taken care of.  It seems pretty straightforward it was

a sort of a backlog.


Now, it seems that OK, even if they do have more funding, if they can

expand capacity, there are some basic human needs that aren`t being taken

care of.  The maximum time they`re supposed to be there 72 hours, they`re

staying weeks.  That can be part of the backlog.  But even if you`re there

for 72 hours, a fresh change of clothes, a shower, toothbrush, soap, having

people take care of you, that`s something that needs to be managed.


The other thing is what made Clint so unique is that the chief there

decided to take his unaccompanied child population and separate them into

another facility.  You usually don`t have to separate a child from an adult

that they came with oftentimes a grandmother or someone else who was not a



You wouldn`t separate them until they moved to Health and Human Services. 

But for some reason this chief decided to move all of these children, take

your most vulnerable population and move them to a place where they have

very little adult supervision.


So it shows that not only did that chief perhaps act in a way he shouldn`t

have but that there wasn`t enough oversight to keep that from happening. 

An Inspector General of DHS is now looking into this but the fact that

there was so much autonomy that something like that bridge that you

described, that human pound for adult men, that was the same chief in El



There`s a lot that`s been happening in this sector and I think it`s the one

to watch and I think it also shows that the people at the top are not able

to control the people and these border sectors if they`re able to make such

sweeping decisions.


HAYES:  All right, Julie Ainsley, thanks for that great reporting. 

Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz of California has introduced a bill that

would set out basic standards from CBP to meet the humanitarian needs of

those in its custody.  He`s here with me now.


Describe your legislation and how it differs from the legislation that it

appears the leadership is backing that`s going to get a vote in about half

an hour.


REP. RAUL RUIZ (D-CA):  Thank you, Chris.  First of all, I`m a board-

certified emergency physician.  I am a public health expert trained in

medical pre-hospital command as well as humanitarian aid from Harvard and

the ICRC in Geneva, and this appropriation bill will not meet the

humanitarian needs of children and families.


This bill is a desperate measure for a desperate situation to fund items

into a dysfunctional system with an administration that doesn`t believe

that children are worthy of toothbrushes, blankets, or soap for personal



My bill the humanitarian standards for individuals in CBP custody will

change behavior and that it will change the protocol and the way the

individuals under their custody and responsibility are treated in

situations with health care.  For example, high-risk individuals, children,

pregnant women, elderly will get a health exam consisting of an interview,

vital signs, physical examination, assessment and plan with medical

consultation within three hours.


In terms of shelter, it would ensure that individuals get two meters

squared of space, that they will have lights off at ten, allow them to

sleep, keep the temperatures in a humane setting.  In terms of water,

they`ll get one gallon per adults.  In terms of food, they will get 2,000

calories per adult an age base and weight based appropriate food and

calories for children, pregnant women, and the elderly, so it`s very

different and – yes, go ahead, Chris.


HAYES:  So what I`m hearing from you is that your legislation will lay out

minimum basic standards of humane treatment, medical examination, care or

feeding and the like for the population detained by CBP, and that that is

totally absent now and essentially only governed by the Flores Settlement

and which seems to be honored in the breach as much as we`ve seen?


RUIZ:  Correct.  In this, the changes that have been made to appease some

members and to make an attempt to move as towards more towards my

legislation is to allow CBP to come up with those standards.


HAYES:  I see.


RUIZ:  Allowing CBP to come up with those standards is like asking the fox

to guard the chicken coop.  And they already have standards and those are

the standards that allowed six children to die under their responsibility.


HAYES:  So – I see.  So the current legislation – again, the leadership -

- the House Democratic leadership is backing, it`s going to be voted on and

maybe 15 minutes, it requires standards but delegates the CBP to come up

with it.  Your legislation would specify the bare minimum standards.


RUIZ:  Yes, correct.


HAYES:  Does that mean – does that mean that you`re a no on this – on

this bill that`s going to come up?


RUIZ:  No, Chris because we`re between a rock and a hard place here.  This

is a desperate situation and a desperate measure and we need to stop the

bleeding.  If CBP is saying, listen, we don`t have any food to give to

children or blankets, you know, we got to at least fun food and blankets. 

But this is an administration that has been serving frozen burritos to



You know, this is an administration that if we fund for example the trains

or soap, they don`t believe that children are worthy of using soap or

bathing once a day which my bill would allow them to do.


HAYES:  All right, so it sounds like though that you are a yes on this

which suggests to me that the dissenters in the caucus who are significant

– I talked to Pramila Jayapal and others that this is – that`s going to

pass then, and then the President is going to veto it anyway, right?


RUIZ:  You know, I – you know, you never know what the president says.  He

changes his mind all the time.  But that`s what he`s – that`s what he`s

saying right now.  But you know, we cannot be fooled that this bill is

going to solve the problem or meet the humanitarian needs of the children

and families.  We got to continue to push hard to get the humanitarian

standards for individuals, the CBP Custody Act into law.


HAYES:  CBP Custody Act.  Congressman Raul Ruiz, thank you so much for your



RUIZ:  Thank you.  I want to turn now to the other side of Capitol Hill,

Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana.  Senator, the House is going to

vote on legislation that the White House has already issued a veto threat

towards the Senate, has voted on something I think at least out of

committee that had bipartisan support.  Where do you stand on this?


SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT):  Well, I supported in committee, in Appropriations

Committee when this – when this bill was put up last week.  I think

Congressman Ruiz is correct.  We need to do something to take care of the

humanitarian needs on the southern border and the Senate bill is our best

effort to do that.


It`s a – it`s a compromise bill.  If I have written the bill, it would

look different but nonetheless, I think where we`re at right now this is

the best that the United States Senate is going to do.  And so I think it`s

a step in the right direction.


HAYES:  You know, you`re a member of the United States Senate, an august

body and trusted by the U.S. Constitution to provide advice and consent to

the executive in the filling of appointments in the executive branch.  Here

are the folks that are running DHS at least until today.


Kevin McAleenan who`s the head of DHS, acting, has not been confirmed by

the United States Senate.  John Sanders who resigned today is the Acting

Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, not confirmed by the

U.S. Senate to that position.  Mark Morgan, Acting Director of the U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, expected to be named Acting Director

of CBP also not confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the position he serves in. 

Is this a problem?


TESTER:  It`s a huge problem.  I mean, everybody in this administration

that deals with immigration or customs is an acting position.  That`s

crazy.  How can you get – how can you put forth – how can you enact



I mean Congress can put policy forth but the fact that these are all acting

and quite frankly can be kicked out at the whim of the president if they

want to try to do something right, as I told Kevin McAleenan when you got

appointed, I says you try to do something right, the president is going to

get rid of you.


So that`s a problem.  And the Constitution is such that they need to bring

these folks in front of the Senate so we can give them advice and consent

on whether the right for the job.  You`re exactly right, Chris, the

President is not – is not doing what he needs to do to try to get people

in a position in a permanent way so that they can be held accountable.


HAYES:  Well, so I actually don`t quite understand this.  Mitch McConnell

currently as the majority leader of the U.S. Senate where he has a

Republican majority that allows him to control much of what happens on the

floor of that body.  It`s not like if there was a Democratic majority who

said we don`t like Donald Trump and we`re not going to confirm these

nominees, this situation would make more sense.


I don`t understand how it is a crucial position after crucial position

particularly in the immigration and infrastructure of the United States the

president is so focused on doesn`t have anyone who said it confirmed.


TESTER:  I just don`t think they`re sending them over.  I mean, I`m ranking

member on the Veterans Affairs Committee.  We`ve been trying to get a

Director of the Health Administration confirmed for months many, many, many

months and the White House has yet to send the person over to the

committee.  The person they want to send over I think who could get

confirmed by unanimous consent but they don`t send them over, and I think

that`s the problem.


I don`t know if the Senator McConnell is working with the administration on

this or not, but I can tell you that if they don`t send the people over, we

can`t have the hearings in committee and they don`t get to the floor.  And

so consequently, the President can do whatever he wants to do.  And he as

much has said that he`d prefer to have these folks in temporary positions.


Look, it is apparent to all of us that Congress`s a nuisance to this

president.  And quite frankly that`s not how the Constitution is written

and we need to be able to hold him accountable and we have yet to do that.


HAYES:  Well, it strikes me.  I mean, do you think there`s a cause and

effect here, right, between the kinds of conditions we`re seeing things

that are being managed by the executive insulated from congressional

oversight and the fact that they have treated Congress in the way they



TESTER:  What`s going on in the border right now didn`t just happen in the

last week or two.  We`re seeing numbers that are that are very, very high. 

When I was at the border three weeks ago and the facilities were jam-packed

then and I`m sure it`s gotten worse.


But the fact is every time the president talks about closing down the

border, every time he every time that we come up and talk about, well,

maybe we should give some aid to Guatemala and El Salvador and Honduras so

these folks can stay there because they`re starving to death whether it`s

from climate change or some other reason, it`s not even considered.


The fact is we talk about separating kids from their parents and that kind

of stuff.  That`s not what this country is about.  And quite frankly like I

said, Congress needs to be able to do their job.  We can but it`s going to

take Senator McConnell standing up to the President and saying no more. 

This is the way it`s going to be.  We`re going to – we`re going to act as

a check and balance on the executive branch.


HAYES:  All right, Senator Jon Tester, thank you much for making time.


TESTER:  You bet.  Thank you, Chris.


HAYES:  Next, Congresswoman Maxine Waters explains her efforts to prevent

an attack on Iran as the President steps ever closer and closer to armed

conflict.  Congresswoman Waters joins me in two minutes.




HAYES:  President Trump is yet again ratcheting up the rhetoric with Iran

taking every step possible to March us to the brink of war with that

country, and then to bask in the applause of not pulling the trigger.


He continued this morning on Twitter promising overwhelming force and

obliteration and ignoring the fact that not only is Iran the second most

populous country in the Middle East but the U.S. still has about 14,000

troops next door in Afghanistan and another five thousand next door in



One of the fundamental issues here is that Trump appears to think it is his

decision and his decision alone whether or not to wage war or Iran.




TRUMP:  I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast but I wouldn`t have to

do that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sure.  Nancy Pelosi actually said you must have

Congressional approval.  So you disagree with her on that?


TRUMP:  I disagree.  I think most people seem to disagree.  But I do like

keeping them – they have ideas.  They`re intelligent people.  They`ll come

up with some thoughts.  I actually learned a couple of things the other day

where we had our meeting with Congress which were I think helpful to me. 

But I do like keeping them abreast but I don`t have to do it illegally.




HAYES:  Well, no, he does.  It`s literally in the Constitution, Article 1,

Section 8, the Congress shall have power to declare war.  Now, some members

of Congress are pushing back unveiling an amendment to key defense

legislation today that will specifically prevent federal funds from being

used for military strike against Iran without congressional approval.


Joining me now is one of the lawmakers supporting that amendment,

Congressman Maxine Waters of California.  Congresswoman, explain to me how

this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would work.


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA):  Well, it`s very simple and it works this way. 

After September 11th attack on our country and what happened in New York,

the authorization for the use of military, that is AUMF came into being. 

And it was designed basically for what was going on at that time, giving

the president the authorization to do what needed to be done in order to

you know not only deal with the attack as it was taken.


But now this president wants to use that authorization in order to go into

Iraq – Iran, I`m sorry with the possible war without coming before the

Congress of the United States.  He wants to say that that authorization

gives him the right and the power to do that.  We absolutely disagree with

that and we are pushing back on it.


We have already organized that we`re going to have a caucus no war with

Iran caucus.  And some of us who created the push back on the Iraq war out

of Iraq are going to be engaged in this making sure that we do everything

that we can to get the true facts out, to push back on this president, to

disseminate information, to do speaking engagements, to rally, to do

everything that we can to prevent us from going into war with Iran.


HAYES:  OK, but all of that, speaking engagements, getting the facts out,

whatever, like you know, you`re a member of Congress, you – the Democrats

control the House, like you can – you can pass if leadership is behind it

right?  I mean, you can attach some riders to the Defense Authorization Act

which is needed as part of the appropriations process for the entire

military, right, that says, you cannot strike Iran.


WATERS:  That`s right, absolutely.


HAYES:  Like that – is that the plan to pass that rider or do you have

buy-in for that?


WATERS:  Well, as you know, Barbara Lee has already attached to the biggest

appropriations bill that in fact, that the authorization does not apply to

Iran.  In addition to that, we have some legislators with legislation to

make sure that that is clarified and he cannot use it to go into war

without coming before Congress.


So a lot is going on to try and make sure that we don`t allow this

president making unilateral decisions to go into war and to strike Iran. 

And we just think that any little incident could cause us to go in.


We think that he is not having the advice of advisers who would make sure

that he does not bumble and stumble into war because he doesn`t have

anybody around him.  He doesn`t have a defense secretary.  He doesn`t have

people – Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo, certainly their war hawks and we`re

really worried about the advice that they`re giving him.


HAYES:  Final question just to make sure I understand the later end.  Is

House leadership, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House

leadership committed to putting a rider in legislation, must pass

legislation before the floor that would explicitly bar the President from

using authorization to attack Iran?


WATERS:  Yes, absolutely.  Nancy Pelosi is committed to that.


HAYES:  OK.  So that`s going to happen.  OK, good.  Congresswoman Maxine

Waters, I want to clarity on that, thank you very much.


WATERS:  Well, you`re so welcome and thank you.


HAYES:  All right, still to come, in just 24 hours, the first round of

Democratic debates will be taking – the candidates will be taking the

debate stage.  We`ll discuss why it will be unlike any political event

we`ve seen over the last few years right after this.




HAYES:  We got the rules in hand for – we got the rules in hand for

tomorrow and Thursday night`s opening Democratic debates which will feature

a slate of 20 candidates over two nights and be hosted by MSNBC, NBC News,

and Telemundo.


Now, the rules make it clear that crisp answers will be of the utmost

importance because to make time for each of the ten people on stage, each

night there will be no opening statements and candidates will have a tight

60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups.


There`s another factor that will be central in this debate: it will really

be the first time since

Donald Trump came down the escalator four years ago, that a political event

does not really revolve around him, and the truly historic levels of

deception he`s inclined to spin off.  Instead, it will be a debate among a

lot of people with genuine, sometimes conflicting, policy substances who

are more or less in the main – tethered to the basic rules of reality and



Ace fact checker Daniel Dale looked at the Democratic candidates` speeches

this weekend in South Carolina, and while he did, to be clear, find some

exaggerations and manipulations, most candidates did not say a single thing

that was objectively false or misleading, quot e, “there was a lot of

subjective rhetoric about Trump and such, but the stats they cited, the

factual assertions they made, were either entirely correct or supported by

enough evidence not to call false.


In other words, tomorrow night is basically a whole new world.


Joining me now, Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher an MSNBC political

analyst, and Philippe Reines, who was former adviser to presidential

candidate Hillary Clinton who helped Clinton prepare for the general

election debates by playing Trump in debate prep.


Philippe, big question here, the early part of this primary really has

been, I think, characterized by a lot of policy proposals, substantive and

weighty ones, ambitious ones, how much do you focus on that, if you`re a

candidate up on that stage tomorrow night.  You have a limited amount of

time, and for particularly 15 out of 20 candidates, I think a lot of people

don`t even know you`re running.  How is that the thing you try to focus on

and breakthrough with?



game plan is to go up there and say what you would say on any other day,

whether it is in South Carolina, in Iowa, in Florida, because you have a

message, and the point is, you want to keep repeating it so that it

resonates and it actually people hear it and absorb it.


If you`re going up there tomorrow night or Thursday saying something

completely different than you do otherwise, you have a problem, because

either what you`re saying normally isn`t working or you can`t be

disciplined enough. 


And, look, you know, you made the comment before about time, I`m talking

right now longer than what most of the candidates are going to be able to

speak to tomorrow.  But it`s…


HAYES:  I know.  My producer is in my ear telling me that.


REINES:  And, you know, but it`s also important, you`re going to have five

moderators, you`re going to have at any given time Lester Holt and two

other moderators.  You know, the moderators don`t just say, OK, Julian

Castro, what do you want to say to the camera, they have a question. 


HAYES:  Sure, of course.


REINES:  They`ll say, what do you think about Iran?  So, you not only have

60 seconds, you`ve got to answer a question and then pivot to your message

in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  And here`s the other big the question, right, so the question of

your message and how sort of substantive, how much do you engage.  The

other question, Cornell, I think, is how much you talk about the president. 

And this has been a really interesting through line throughout the 25 plus

candidates on the trail, how much they talk about Trump or not.


You know, everyone in that room is going to be united in this feeling about

Trump.  It`s a place to go in this sort of emotional core of a Democratic

primary voting bloc that like everyone agrees on, but it also in some ways

strikes me as kind of a wasted opportunity, because everyone already agrees

on it, what do you think?


CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER:  No, if I were being paid to consult,

I would say, don`t talk about Trump.  I mean, you take a shot at Trump, but

most of this field, they`re at 2, 3 percent support, you have got to talk

about yourself.  You guys, you got to make the case, you have got to have a

moment there that breaks through, that`s about you, because most of the

Democratic primary universe, they have very little idea of you unless your

name is Joe Biden or Senator Sanders, they have very little idea of who you



So, if you`re one of those candidates sitting at 2 or 3 percent support, I

would not waste a moment of my time talking about Donald Trump, I`d be

talking about me and why I should be the  president.


HAYES:  Philippe, what do you think?


REINES:  You know, I actually disagree, and I`ll tell you why.  Yes, 100

percent of the audience

both in Miami and at home are going to agree that Donald Trump is terrible

and needs to be removed.  But 38 percent of them think it should be Joe

Biden, 15 percent think it should be Elizabeth Warren, 1 percent thinks it

should be Jay Inslee.


So, while there`s vigorous unanimity in the goal overall, you still want to

show that you can go toe to toe, the way people are assuming that some of

the bigger names – it seems that Joe Biden, I mean, it seems that Joe

Biden is really benefiting from this notion that he has what it takes to

take on

Trump.  And you want others – other people want to show, hey, I can do it



And you don`t need to do that by fighting with Joe Biden, you can do it by

looking into the



BELCHER:  Right, but here`s…


HAYES:  I want to make sure I understand that.  You are saying that the way

you show you can take on Trump is to take him on in absentia, that that`s a

way – there`s a marker to people who are looking to someone who can do



REINES:  For all intents and purposes there`s going to be an 11th person on

stage both nights,

it`s going to be Donald Trump.


HAYES:  Cornell.


BELCHER:  But I don`t think that distinguishes you.  I think what

distinguishes you is how you contrast yourself from other people on the

stage, because you`re not running against Donald Trump  right now.  At some

point you have to contrast yourself from the people who are in front of you

and whoever is in your lane.  If you centrist Democrat, and one of those

other centrist Democrats that`s in your lane, you better be contrasting

yourself to one of them or even to a certain extent Joe Biden, because you

have to take away support from him and you`ve got to figure out sort of who

is in your land to come at you from who is in your lane.


REINES:  And Chris, the mini-debate that Cornell and I are having is going

on right now in 20

different campaigns.


HAYES:  Yes, exactly right.


BELCHER:  That`s exactly right.


HAYES:  Well, here`s the interesting thing, you said the lane thing.  I

think I learned – so, two things, I think I learned the lesson from the

Republican race, don`t think about lanes.  Because I think that in some

ways, the electorate – here`s my basic idea, is you should be really good. 

And what I mean by that is, essentially – no, no, what I mean here is that

my way I think voters will see this is show don`t tell, which is as opposed

to say, like here`s why I could beat Trump, it`s if you sparkle, if you`re

good, if you`re compelling, if your message is strong, that shows that

you`re a good candidate.


Like to me, much more important than almost anything else is to perform in

such a way that you

are memorable and impressive, above anything else you do, because

everything flows out of that, what do you think, Philippe?


REINES:  I do.


I mean, you know, for all intents and purposes, you should answer questions

as if the moderator said, OK, just speak for 60 seconds, because…


HAYES:  It drives me insane when people do that on my show.


REINES:  Because I think that`s why Elizabeth Warren is in great position

tomorrow night, because whatever she`s been doing out on the campaign trail

has been working, and she has a – this is just another audience.


But you know there`s also a part of this we`re not discussing, which is the

totality of the whole thing.  When it comes up at 9:00, we see 10 people,

only five of them are going to be white guys.  There are going to be three

women on stage.  I don`t think there`s ever been more than one woman on a

stage.  You`re going to have, I think, five people of color.  I mean, this

is – it`s going to energize the Democrats.  And people are going to say,

you know what?  And I think the point earlier about people are going to

hear that we have ideas.  The contrast to what`s going on with Trump, you

know, listening

to Senator Tester talking about immigration, or listening to Congresswoman

Waters talk about Iran, people are going to be just so worked up and ready

to go.


HAYES:  Yeah, I remember the first at the House swearing-in of the new

class, just the striking visuals of the contrasting coalitions in American

political life at this moment.


REINES:  They should all wear all white tomorrow night.


HAYES:  Yeah, we`ll see. 


Cornell Belcher, Philippe Reines, thank you both for being with me.


Remember, right here – right here tomorrow night, the first Democratic

debate of the 2020

cycle.  Yours truly will be part of the coverage starting at 7:00 p.m.

eastern.  Be sure to tune in.


Still to come, some shocking new details about one of the sitting

Republican congressmen facing felony charges, one of the two.  As his

lawyers argued, he should only be tried in a district won

by Trump.


Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.




HAYES:  Thing One tonight, we watched as one swampy Trump administration

official after

another has gotten the boot mired in scandal.  Now, Axios has obtained

nearly 100 leaked Trump transition vetting documents that show red flags

about some officials who have gone on to get some of the most powerful jobs

in U.S. government.


The list of red flags may sound very familiar – for example, here is one,

former EPA administration Scott Pruitt, quote, “allegations of coziness

with big energy companies.”  Huh, it`s not like the Trump administration

needed a private detective to tell them that, they just needed the Google.


The red flag on Rex Tillerson?  His Russia ties go deep.  Huh, you think? 

Well, maybe they saw the picture of Rex getting Putin`s Order of Friendship



Rudy Giuliani`s foreign entanglements red flags they were so vast, they

required a 25 page business research dossier. 


All this was known, it`s just that they didn`t care.  So, it`s really no

wonder the president has had the least Senate confirmed nominations of any

president going back to George H.W. Bush, has withdrawn twice as many

nominees as President Obama at the same time point in his administration. 

And there was one person the president really wanted on the team that he

just couldn`t get, and her red flags were on display for everyone to see.




JANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS:  If the devil called me and said he wanted to set

up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I`d be on the

first trolley to hell to get it.




HAYES:  Jeff Sessions spiked Judge Janine is Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  Now, Donald Trump we know loves Trump TV.  But his favorite shows

are the truly excellent ones: Hannity, Trump TV & Friends, and, of course,

Justice with Judge Janine.




PIRRO:  My title for Hillary Clinton`s new book instead of What Happened

is, Living in Denial and in Need of a Lobotomy.




HAYES:  Now, I`m convinced that`s an Andy Kaufmann-esque bit that she`s

doing, but Trump and the Judge actually go way back.  And Pirro has visited

the White House several times since Trump took office.


And according to The Washington Post, Trump was interviewing her for a top

Justice Department position under Jeff Sessions, which she lobbied hard to

get.  But when it came down to it, Jeff Sessions blocked the appointment. 



Judge Janine reportedly did not take this well, and so she went back on TV

and said this.




PIRRO:  The man who has the honor to carry the prefix, United States

Attorney General before his name, Jeff Sessions, is indeed the most

dangerous man in America.




HAYES:  Pirro also met privately with Trump in November 2017 reportedly to

discuss investigating Hillary Clinton, which Sessions opposed.  And soon

after that meeting, Trump again publicly attacked Jeff Sessions.


In the end, of course, Sessions lost his job, but Pirro didn`t get hers

either.  Reportedly, the White House felt she`s more effective for him on

the outside.




PIRRO:  What was he supposed to do?  Take a gun out and shoot Putin?  Putin

said I didn`t meddle in your election, so the president should say, hang

on, let me execute this guy?  Did it get Trump elected?  No.  Did it change

one vote?  No.  Everybody needs to snap out of i t.






HAYES:  In the era of Trump, it`s so very easy to forget there are there

are actually two sitting Republican congressmen who are, right now as I

speak to you, facing a bevy of federal felony criminal charges.  One of

them is Chris Collins of New York State, who is charged with insider

trading.  And he`s set to face trial next year.  And the other is none

other then the vaping congressman.  I speak, of course, of Duncan Hunter of

California who has, truth be told, has had a pretty bad run of things in

terms of his case the last few weeks.


You`ll recall that Hunter, seen here stepping over a vehicle barrier he was

pretending marked the U.S.-Mexico border, even though it is squarely within

the United States, was indicted last year, along with his wife, Margaret,

and accused of using more than a quarter million dollars in campaign funds

for personal expensive.


When the charges were filed, and there`s no really polite way to say this,

Hunter promptly threw his wife under the bus.




REP. DUNCAN HUNTER, (R) CALIFORNIA:  When I went to Iraq in 2003 the first

time, I gave her power of attorney, and she handled my finances throughout

my entire military career.  And that continued on when I got into congress,

because I`m gone five days.  I`m home for two.  So – and she was also the

campaign manager. 


So, whatever she did on – that will be looked at, too, I`m sure.




HAYES:  That perhaps, not surprisingly, has come back to bite him. 

Hunter`s wife pled guilty and struck a cooperation deal with prosecutors. 


And it looks like she had plenty of incentives to do so.  In a new court

filing the Justice Department says Congressman Duncan Hunter conducted

several extramarital affairs, five of them, actually, in total, which might

have been something to deal with, privately in the context of his marriage,

but for the fact that he was, one, using campaign finance funds to conduct

the fairs.  Two, that three of the affairs were with lobbyists, one was a

staffer, another was a woman who worked for House leadership.


So why did prosecutors reveal the affairs, well, quote, precisely because

each of the women worked as lobbyist or congressional professional

staffers, Hunter may suggest he was justified in spending campaign funds on

all of his meetings with these individuals.  Evidence of the intimate and

entirely personal quality of Hunter`s specific encounters with these women

is essential to demonstrate that his spending to facilitate those

encounters was improper.


Oh, but there`s more.  In a particularly tantalizing passage, prosecutors

say there`s some other unspecified activity that is so bad they can`t

disclose it because doing so would risk improperly taint the jury pool.


Now, this would normally be the point at which the party leadership would

call Congressman Hunter up and say, probably time to go, buddy.  But it`s

Donald Trump`s Republican Party and Duncan Hunter knows it.  His lawyers

even want his trial moved out of San Diego and into an area where Trump got

more votes than Hillary Clinton, because in Trump`s Republican Party, you

can get away with pretty much anything.


My colleague Joy Reid has just published a new book about how the president

remade the party  and the country`s political culture.  And she joins me





HAYES:  There`s a case to be made that literally the most successful con

job in history, and I mean all of history, was carried out by the man who

got himself elected president even he lost by3 million votes.


In her new book “The Man Who Sold America,” my colleague and friend Joy

Reid takes a look at the strains of American history that Trump has pulled

together to manage the con, a con that is built on the nation`s oldest con:

selling prejudice and bigotry on behalf of entrenched power, quote, “Trump

seemed to normalize a public display of thuggery and open racism by white

Americans who felt empowered to assert themselves as the arbiters of

cultural legitimacy in his name.  Donald Trump was indeed waging a new

American civil war.”


Joining me now is Joy Reid, host of MSNBC`s A.M. Joy.  Congratulations on

the book.


JOY REID, HOST, AM JOY:  Thank you very much.  And you caught the Bowie

reference.  I heard you almost catch it.


HAYES:  Yes, yes, I did.  I stopped myself.


You know, to me, the book is wrestling with these competing ideas, which is

there is something new and different about Donald Trump and what he is in

this moment and there is something deeply

old and as American as apple pie about him.


REID:  Yeah, they`re both.  Because Donald Trump, the newness and the

novelty of him, the fact that he`s a celebrity whose real expertise is

pretending to be something he`s not – pretending to a successful

(inaudible) who could date Princess Diana, pretending to be rich when he

lost $413 million and gone $1 billion in the hole.


You know, there is anecdote in the book about when The Apprentice first

started, the crew goes to Trump Tower to set up the boardroom and the place

looks, like, shabby.


HAYES:  That`s a great passage.


REID:  Yeah, the lack of current wealth is obvious.  But, you know, Mark

Burnett helped to build this character that seemed like this incredibly

posh and successful man, and he sold that to the public, and to people who

thought that not that he could get them rich, but that he could restore in

America where white Christian men had primacy and where women had to sit

down, where black athletes had to sit down, and where immigrants would be

deleted from the population so that they would not overwhelm the population

of the United States.


So the newness and the novelty of this celebrity allowed that old ugly

thing that`s been living with our country from the beginning, he can sell

that thing.


HAYES:  Right.  And you talk about – there is a chapter about – you just

call The New Civil War where you talk about the sort of strains of white

backlash, white reaction that he`s playing on.  He`s taking his sort of –

and he is – the one thing he is genuinely talented at being a con man.


REID:  He is.  He`s George Wallace.  I mean, George Wallace was really good

at this, too.  He was glib and he could tell a joke and a story.  He starts

out being pro-black and then he turns all the way anti-black.


HAYES:  He loses an election and famously says I will never get out “n”

worded again.


REID:  And Donald Trump used to sort of play at being sort of friendly with

black people, but only black celebrities.  And there are two kids of black

people to him, right, rich and famous black people who he wants to take

pictures with, and every other black person who he thinks live terribly, if

they ever got hold of the country would ruin it.  And he thinks, in a way,

Barack Obama is that second type.  Why the hell is he president?


HAYES:  But you can also see him using the kind of like con man sensibility

starting in 2011 to put his finger on what`s the most powerful con in

American history?


REID:  That`s right.  And he understood better than anyone else in the

Republican establishment what would actually trigger base Republican

voters, because he is a guy from Queens who thinks that way, right.


Sam Nunberg in the book likens him to like a retired cop who thinks the

neighborhood is going to hell because all these black people moving in. 

He`s that guy.


HAYES:  He 100 percent in every way has the politics of a certain kind of

like retired New York City suburban white cop.


REID:  Right.  And so he`s not – you know, I quote a guy in the book who

is from Alabama who says, look, if he had been a southerner with a southern

accent he wouldn`t have gotten away with it so easily, because he would

have been tagged with the kind of racism…


HAYES:  That`s really interesting.


REID:  You`d think he`s racist.


HAYES:  That`s very interesting.


REID:  But he`s got a New York accent. He`s from Queens.  The New York

media understands  him and is friendly with him.


HAYES:  That`s the key, too.  They had given him – he had been fetted…


REID:  He`s their guy.


HAYES:  He had been fetted and tolerated – and, you know, Frank Rich wrote

that great essay, and you write about this a bit in the book, that he had

been someone who was part of the New York establishment, even if he was

always a little bit on the outside and always looked down at.


REID:  And people looked down on him a little bit but found him

entertaining.  And I think they continue to find him entertaining right up

until he started caging children, right.  And he has it over the media –

you know, I was talking this morning – I was on Morning Joe talking about

the fact that Donald Trump doesn`t read briefing books.  He isn`t very

smart about policy, and he doesn`t read books books, but he does read what

he wants to read.  I guarantee he understood what the lineup was going to

be in South Carolina when those Democrats were speaking at that convention

and fish fry, and he interrupts the speech by Kamala Harris by just walking

out to say nothing.


HAYES:  Right.


REID:  But he`s constantly trying to reprogram the media.  Look at me, look

at me, look at  me, and to tell his base I got your back.


HAYES:  Joy Reid.  The book is called “The Man Who Sold America.”  You can

get it wherever you get your books.  And you should go get it.  It`s



A.M. Joy airs of course weekends here on MSNBC at 10:00 a.m.  Thank you so

much for coming by.


REID:  Thank you so much, Chris.


HAYES:  If it`s Tuesday, that means there is a new episode of our podcast

Why is This Happening out now.  New York Congressman Max Rose, freshman

Democrat who flipped a Trump district in the 2018 mid-terms, I think one of

the most interesting members of this freshman class, someone to watch

especially going into 2020.  Went ahead and dropped that interview in your

podcast feed, safe and sound, so go check it out.


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



Good evening, Rachel.







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