Joy Reid’s new book on Trump. TRANSCRIPT: 6/25/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you concerned with the conditions of these border
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I am. I`m very
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN BINFORD, PROFESSOR OF LAW, WILLAMETTE, UNIVERSITY: We saw children
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast but I wouldn`t have to
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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,
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?
PHILIPPE REINES, FRM. HILLARY CLINTON ADVISOR: Well, I think ideally your
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, we watched as one swampy Trump administration
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: My title for Hillary Clinton`s new book instead of What Happened
is, Living in Denial and in Need of a Lobotomy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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
So, whatever she did on – that will be looked at, too, I`m sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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
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”
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
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.
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.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the