House Democrats sue Treasury Department. TRANSCRIPT: 7/2/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Rashida Tlaib, Aura Bogado, Greg Sargent, Arthur Delaney, Charlie Pierce, Ryan Grim
Transcript:

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

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

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

 

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY):  All the people in the administration who have

done this, who have permitted it, are guilty of child abuse.

 

HAYES:  New details on the terrible conditions inside detention camps

brought to light in a government report as the House Oversight Committee

prepares to investigate what`s happening to migrant kids.

 

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI):  This is really urgent.  This is a real crisis. 

I tell you, it`s a broken America.

 

HAYES:  Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joins me tonight.  Then –

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I think it`s totally

ridiculous that we would have a census without asking.

 

HAYES:  A huge victory as the White House backs down on a citizenship

question on the census.  Plus –

 

TRUMP:  He said, tax bracket?  I don`t know.  I pay as little as possible

because I`m an honest guy.

 

HAYES:  How Democrats are finally going after Trump`s taxes.  And as tanks

arrived in Washington D.C., new concerns for the President`s big military

shindig on the 4th of July.

 

HOGAN GIDLEY, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE:  This is all about a

salute to America.  The president is not going to get political.

 

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from Chicago I`m Chris Hayes.  Every day we learn more

about the conditions in Trump detention facilities and every day it is

worse.  These latest details come not from Democrats or from immigration

lawyers but from the government itself.  In the form of yet another report

from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General describing what

can only be called a human rights disaster.

 

Inspectors visited five border patrol facilities and two ports of entry in

the Rio Grande Valley last month and described the kinds of conditions for

which we would typically sanction other countries including photos of

absolutely horrific examples of overcrowding. “At one facility, some single

adults were held in standing-room-only conditions for a week.  And another

some single adults were held in more than a month in overcrowded cells.

 

Take a moment to consider what it would be like to live in a standing-room-

only space for a full week, nowhere to lay down and sleep or sit. 

Inspectors noted the lack of showers most single adults not – had not had

a shower while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection despite in

some cases being detained as long as a month.

 

At some facilities, migrants got wet wipes for personal hygiene.  Even

children were subjected some of these conditions.  I quote again. 

“Children at three of the five border patrol facilities we visited had no

access to showers.  At these facilities, children had limited access to a

change of clothes.  We observed that two facilities had not provided

children access to hot meals until the week we arrived.  Instead, the

children were fed sandwiches and snacks for their meals.  Many single

adults also got sandwiches, in some cases a diet of only baloney sandwiches

resulting in medical issues.”

 

Inspectors repeatedly emphasized that conditions were so bad they were a

danger to everyone involved, migrants, station workers and others who might

be present.  One senior manager called the situation a ticking time bomb.

 

“At the time of our visits, border patrol management told us that had

already been security incidents among adult males of multiple facilities. 

These included detainees, clogging toilets with Mylar blankets and socks in

order to be released from their cells during maintenance.”

 

In fact, at one facility inspectors cut their trip short because their

presence was making things worse with detainees banging on cell windows

shouting and holding up signs including one that read help, 40-day here. 

 

There were protests today again against this ongoing inhumane situation. 

According to moveon.org over 184 events planned across the country

everywhere from Alaska to Florida.  Next week, the House Oversight

Committee plans to hold a hearing on the treatment of migrant children. 

None of that, however, is stopping the president for making still more

threats against immigrant communities.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  After July 4th, a lot of people are going to be brought back out. 

So people that come up may be here for a short while but they`re going to

be going – they`re going back to their countries.  They go back home.  ICE

is going to be apprehended them and bringing them back.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Here with me now House Oversight Committee member and Democratic

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan who`s among members who toured

several border facilities yesterday.  Congresswoman, how does what`s

described in that IG report compared with what you witnessed firsthand

yesterday?

 

TLAIB:  I think many of my colleagues when we walked in, we had heard the

rumors, we had saw the media reports, but we actually saw firsthand some of

the conditions, but we actually were able to speak to women some up to 40

days that have been in the facility not access to showers and so forth, but

also the trauma that has been created.

 

Many of them not knowing what`s going to happen, not knowing where their

children is.  I talked to a grandmother who`s been there for 40 days, had

not seen her grandchild she came with, doesn`t know where she – where he

is.  And another woman who`s 30 years old found out she was pregnant while

she was there, has not seen an OB/GYN.  She`s been there for 27 days.  She

doesn`t know how far along she is.

 

But you also – what you saw in the eyes of many of them is fear, is the

sense of loss, just glassy eyes, they look exhausted.  And one of the

things that I noticed is just holding their hands in those moments of

realizing that even that moment that human contact made them feel at least

a little bit more whole because of the treatment that they are enduring

while in custody while in our care in the United States of America.

 

And I can tell you seeing the children through glass door – and they knew

we were coming.  I mean, we went to a facility Clint, Texas where there was

700 children in this facility two months ago.  We get there, there`s only

25 children.  We`ve been told that they move people around consistently

maybe to avoid any kind of further inspection but I`m wondering how do you

move 675 children in two months.  Where did they go?

 

You know, the current administration continues, continues to deny access to

information.  The subpoena bipartisan supported through oversight that we

issued to the administration has yet to be abided by.  They completely

obstruct any kind of access to information.  And that`s the problem is I

don`t want to wait a year or two years to find out about the other horrors

that we yet to have to know about where the children are.

 

And we`re not talking about a few hundred, we`re talking about thousands. 

I`ve heard up to 16,000 to 20,000 children have been separated from their

parents.  The other thing too is really important as I was there and it was

my colleagues all agreed is we`ve been focused so much on the children,

that meeting the parents, meeting the abuela, meeting the father, they

looked right in the eye.

 

I mean, we are also not giving justice to this travesty that is happening

at the border if we`re not also understanding the human impact on the

parents.

 

HAYES:  I just wanted – that number 16,000 and 20,000 children, those –

I`ve never heard that number as the number separated.  The number they gave

the administration was 2,000.  It could be thousands more.  Do you mean

unaccompanied minors?  What do you mean by that?

 

TLAIB:  Unaccompanied.  So they said up to 14,000 at the last time I heard

from Oversight Committee staff of children that again we don`t have

accessed the information.  These are rumors that we understand from the

fact that the policy when it was put into place, how many children were

directly impacted.

 

Again, in this one facility, there were 675 more children that were there

two months ago, now we don`t know where these children are.  I don`t know

how you move that many children, again, without their parents.  Even the

CBP agents that we`re giving us a tour did not know where the children

went.

 

Many of them couldn`t answer some basic questions of when`s the last time

they`ve seen a doctor, how long have they been in the facility.  That alone

tells you that there is complete chaos.  And many of them, all of them

actually, every single one I asked specifically from the chief town that

gave us the tour said throwing money at this is not going to fix the

problem.

 

And that`s one of the key things that needs to be really pushed forward is

when the administration asks us to continue to fund the separation of

families, continue to fund these camps at the border, I`m asking many of my

colleagues, many people to say enough.  We need real policy change to

actually bring humanity back into this situation.  We need immigration

reform.

 

HAYES:  All right.  So if money is not the solution, clearly something`s

broken here.  What is the solution?

 

TLAIB:  I mean, the solution is to talk about discontinuing, completely

abolishing the camps.  So that means no separation of families.  That means

let`s go by the legal process of asylum.  If you`re coming to the border

and you seek asylum, let`s go through those legal processes.

 

Let`s talk about the fact that there are standards and those Flores

standards.  Each place that has any child should go through these what they

call the Flores standard where they have to be processed, they have to see

care, that they actually are given the basic standard of human rights that

any person should be given.

 

These are the things that are not happening.  The for-profit industry has

their teeth into this.  You know, 75 out of 100 detainees are going to for-

profit agencies and companies.  To be honest, these are for-profit

corporations, many of which support this current president, many of which

supported an inauguration committee.

 

We have to follow the money and show that that`s what`s fueling the

continuation to look the other way, and that`s something that many of my

colleagues when we got there we said we`re not going to look the other way. 

We`re going to expose the fact that this is broken system and throwing

money at it is not the solution.  That is something that it needs to be

very, very clear to my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the – in

the Congress.

 

HAYES:  But respectfully just on the final – the final point here, but

respectfully the private contractors that are – that are dealing with some

of the housing the immigrants are coming through, that`s not the CBP

facilities.  I just want to be clear like the facilities that you`re

touring, those are the government ones that where – it does see the most

acute and worst humanitarian crisis is taking place.

 

TLAIB:  Absolutely.  And that`s one of the things the agent said to us as

they went through is you know go see these HHS facilities, go find out

where those children are because they don`t know.  But what they do know is

that they are given this problem, this crisis – literally handed hundreds

and thousands of people all at once and the facility that we were even in,

they said we can only really house – it`s only built for 106 and it wasn`t

built to house children.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

TLAIB:  It wasn`t – you know, they said look, we weren`t trained to be

social workers or medical care workers.  We were not trained to deal with

the situation.  And that`s the problem is that we haven`t actually dealt

with the thing that created the crisis which is this continuation of the

separation policy that is un-humane and un-American.

 

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Rashida Tlaib, thank you for making the

time.  I want to turn now to Aura Bogado, an Investigative Reporter Reveal

News, has been covering immigration for years, and the Greg Sargent an

Opinion Writer at the Washington Post, recently asked where are the

Democrats on the new cruelties that have emerged.

 

Aura, let me – let me start with you because you have covered this for

years.  And one of the things you`ve been sort of writing about is the

abuses by CBP before the Trump administration, then also just the basic

conditions in things called (INAUDIBLE) which are ICE boxes or remote

locations where migrants are often detained, the combo sink and toilet.  I

guess I want to start with what is new here that we`re seeing and distinct

and what is not?

 

AURA BOGADO, INVESTIGATIVE IMMIGRATION REPORTER, REVEAL NEWS:  Hi, Chris,

it`s great to be back on your air.  There is a lot of new discussion but I

do think that something I`ve noticed a lot is that there`s a rhetoric

that`s really poisoning this immigration debate, unfortunately.

 

I`m so happy that there`s so much attention being drawn to these different

facilities but if you think about the term like concentration camp for

example, I think you know, most recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using

that term.

 

You know, that term conflates as you sort of brought up in your in your

last segment or suggested perhaps in your last segment, we have a lot of

different kinds of facilities.  They`re run by three different agencies

under two different departments.

 

And when we use terms like that we not only conflate things that are

distinct from one another but we also ignore what people who actually

experience these policies call them, right.  So Hielera, these are ICE

boxes.  These are what people often refer to when we`re talking about the

Border Patrol facilities because they are freezing.

 

People know from countries away that they`re going to come to a place where

they feel like they might freeze to death.  People are put in (INAUDIBLE)

right.  These are dog kennels because they`re caged up right like animals.

 

And so I think that while I`m really happy that there`s so much attention

and that this debate really is happening, a lot of times you don`t hear

from people who are actually immigrants and you frankly don`t hear a lot of

times from people like me Latinas that have been covering this for a long

time, people from immigrant communities.

 

And I hope that that is something that does begin to change that we are

able to again talk to people who are actually affected.

 

HAYES:  Let me follow up on that and then Greg, I would come to you on a

sort of what you wrote about solutions.  But just to follow up, the – one

of the things – this is a tweet from the border union of CBP back in 2014,

and they were angry at the Obama administration because they felt like they

were being pressed into doing things they shouldn`t be doing.

 

It says new annual job rating areas babysitting, diaper-changing, burrito

wrapping, cleaning cells.  Law enforcement?  What`s that?  Hashtag low

morale.  It seems to me that there`s a situation here where you`ve got

people that view themselves as law enforcement officers who are now

entrusted with the care of children and adults for long stretches of time.

 

In your reporting, has it ever been the case that you`ve got hundreds and

hundreds in places for 40 days in a CBP facility designed to hold people

for 72 hours?

 

BOGADO:  You know, I don`t have the specific numbers of how many children

or adults were kept over a matter of you know, more than three or four days

or definitely 40 days, but I have definitely in previous years certainly

during the Obama administration spoken with children who had been there

weeks in some cases longer than a month.

 

I don`t know if it was exactly 40 days but it did happen.  I think

anecdotally it`s probably happening a lot more under the Trump

administration.  But this idea that this is unique to Trump, I mean, the

conditions are absolutely horrid.  And again I am very happy that people

are paying attention.

 

But to assume that this didn`t happen with the prior administration is

again lazy thinking.  It`s a lot of assumptions.  A lot of people think

about immigration now that we have this president.  And it`s unfortunate

that we weren`t thinking about it back in 2014 when it was a blip.

 

You know, there was that particular summer, some people did pay attention

and then it sort of went away until the last year or so.

 

HAYES:  Well, Greg, you wrote a piece today about the sort of opportunity

here to sketch out a vision of an alternative.  What do you see as the role

that Democrats are playing here on that front?

 

GREG SARGENT, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST:  Well, look, right now

Democrats are caught up in some big divisions that are driven by the

presidential primaries over immigration and with some of the moral left-

wing candidates pitching things like decriminalized migration and so forth.

 

What I argue is that the asylum crisis actually creates an opportunity for

the party to coalesce around at least some consensus solutions in response

to that.  There are a number of things that I think the party – that many

factions in the party would support.  Aid to Central American countries to

address the root causes of the migrations, a lot more investments in judges

to speed up the legal process, and especially investments in legal services

for the migrants.

 

You know, one thing that really is missing from this debate is that you

know, there`s a lot of criticism from the Trump administration and

conservatives who say oh look, they`re all trying to scam the system,

they`re just trying to blend into the interior.

 

Well, really good data collected by TRAC at Syracuse and these guys are

some of the best out there at this, found that large percentages of asylum

seekers actually turn up for their hearings.  But even larger ones turn up

when they have lawyers.

 

And so one guiding and I think unifying idea Democrats could get behind as

the idea that if you make it easier to win your cases, if you make it

easier to qualify for asylum, you`ll actually start to manage the problem

better because people will show up for their hearings.

 

Now, there`s an important difference here that needs to be focused on

right, the bottom line is that Trump and Stephen Miller and the

restrictionist don`t want people to qualify for asylum.  That`s the –

that`s the really divide here, right.  And so what Democrats should stand

for is making it easier to qualify.  If you qualify, you know, we`ll take

you in.

 

HAYES:  One more follow up on that.  I mean, there`s some polling out today

suggesting that the politics of this are terrible, that huge percentages of

the American public disapprove, only this is interesting.

 

Approve of how government treats migrants crossing the border Democrats

only five percent, Republican 62 percent.  But that`s 62 percent for

Republicans is actually lower than you get on almost all of the other

policies which suggests to me, Greg, that you know, there – the people are

paying attention and are having by and large the reaction that I think you,

and Aura, and I are having.

 

SARGENT:  Yes, I mean, I think if you`re talking about the CNN polling, I

think that`s absolutely awful for Trump and the – and the nativists

because large majorities support allowing people to apply for asylum.  And

look there was some division over what constitutes the crisis.

 

But the bottom line was I believe about a third said that the crisis was

that people were crossing the border alone.  And so that`s sort of the

Trump base that thinks that migration is bad.  And so the Democratic

position should be that you know, migration can be managed.  That if –

that if we treat these problems with you know, with humanity and sanity

that we can deal with them.

 

HAYES:  All right, Aura Bogado and Greg Sargent, thank you both so much for

being here.

 

SARGENT:  Thanks, Chris.

 

BOGADO:  Thanks, Chris.

 

HAYES:  If you – if you`re following our coverage of this story, you might

be familiar with Andrea Pitzer, who we had on the show a few times to talk

about the historical context of what`s happening at the border and how

connects to her research on the history of the term that Aura Bogado was

just talking about, concentration camps.

 

Pitzer brought such a deep perspective of the topic.  I want to have a

chance to really give the conversation the time it deserves.  So in this

week`s episode of the podcast “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING,” I take an in-depth

look at the global history of concentration camps.

 

I learned a lot in the course of that conversation, some of things that

stopped me and my tracks.  I encourage you to take the time if you can to

listen the whole thing as always you can find it wherever you get your

podcasts.

 

Next, House Democrats respond to getting the brush-off from Steve Mnuchin

now taking the Trump administration to court for the President`s tax

returns.  Why it took so long in a preview of the fight ahead coming up in

two minutes.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Finally, today, six months after Democrats took control of the

House of Representatives, the Ways and Means Committee is suing the Trump

administration for the President`s tax returns.  Back in April, Chairman

Richard Neal wrote a letter to the IRS Commissioner requesting six years of

Trump`s tax returns both his personal and business returns pursuant to a

provision of the Internal Revenue Code known as the Committee Access

Provision which became law way back in 1924.

 

It says in part “the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return

or return information specified in such requests.  Now, Treasury Secretary

Steve Mnuchin balked at that request then rejected a subsequent

congressional subpoena.  And it`s been a long standoff since with mounting

questions from both members of Congress and other observers as to why

exactly the Chairman of Ways and Means Committee wasn`t pulling the trigger

on a lawsuit.

 

Well, today, he did.  To talk about what we can expect next, I`m joined by

Arthur Delaney Senior Reporter for The Huffington Post who literally

published an article yesterday titled Democrats had no hurry to get Trump`s

tax returns and Nick Akerman MSNBC Analyst and former Assistant Special

Watergate prosecutor.

 

And Arthur, let me start with you who I credit with shaking this loose

because you`ve been covering this and you had a bunch of quotes in that

piece of people being like what`s the hold up here?  We`re six months in,

what`s the wait?  What is your understanding of why it did happen today?

 

ARTHUR DELANEY, SENIOR REPORTER, HUFFPOST:  Well, they didn`t say.  That`s

why we kept questioning it and you know, other than that, we`re just

working on the language that we`ll use in our lawsuit which was a sort of

confusing explanation because in the back-and-forth letters that went

between Secretary Mnuchin and Richard Neal, all the legal arguments were

there and those are the same arguments that have wound up in the briefs

that they filed today.

 

So it`s leading to some more provocative questions like do you even want to

win this in six months is significant because you only have two years at

the end of this.  Congress after the next election, the Congress ceases to

be a legal entity and the subpoena disappears.

 

HAYES:  So I mean, what – Nick, what happens now?  They seem unfairly

strong legal ground in my you know, non-expert hidden I guess, but this is

good to go to a federal judge and what`s the – what`s he going to decide

or she?

 

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I think it`s going to be pretty

straightforward.  I mean, this should be low-hanging fruit and a slam dunk

in the sense that there is no way that the judge shouldn`t immediately

order that these returns be produced.

 

I mean the statute as you read is extremely clear they have to turn these

over.  So I think this is going to go pretty fast.  What`ll happen after

the federal district court orders them released, the Trump administration

will appeal that to the D.C. Circuit which will most likely affirm, and I

think it`s very unlikely the Supreme Court will even hear this case because

the statute is so crystal clear as to what the obligation of the Treasury

Department is.

 

HAYES:  There`s a question Arthur, on the timing right.  So we`ve seen now

the House has gone to court to enforce subpoenas and they`ve gotten fairly

quick decisions by district court judges.  That`s the lowest level of

judge, the trial court that Nick was just referring to.  And then there`s a

question of how long it takes to play through the system.  What do you

think they`re gaining out on the house side in terms of the timeline?

 

DELANEY:  Well, they haven`t said anything about exactly when they would

like this to shake out.  But Richard Neal told me earlier this year that he

could not substitute a political timeline for the courts timeline which is

an interesting thing to say considering that in previous administrations

under both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

 

The Congress won lawsuits but it took so long that when the victories came,

it was irrelevant.  So it`s – we really don`t know what exactly they`re

thinking with the delay though to be fair in the – go ahead.

 

HAYES:  Well, let me just – between the lines of your reporting and what

you`re saying now is like, I get the sense that you think they don`t

actually want the tax returns.  What – why do you think that or what why

is that something that you consider based on your reporting?

 

DELANEY:  This is not necessarily what I think but it`s a sort of

provocative possibility and it could be that the legal case is so strong,

this is stronger than all the other subpoenas because it`s the only one

where they`re saying hey, we just want you to enforce the law as it`s

clearly written so they could really win.

 

And Nancy Pelosi doesn`t want to deal with impeachment.  She just wants to

win the election.  Well, if they win the case and then the Trump

administration is faced with a court order that Donald Trump to himself has

said that he never wants to disclose his tax returns, that could present a

real constitutional crisis.

 

We haven`t had the Trump administration for all its scales.  We haven`t

seen him defy a lawful court order so it definitely could precipitate the

sort of crisis that everyone`s been wondering will that happen.

 

HAYES:  Nick, given your history investigating Watergate, what do you think

about that scenario.

 

AKERMAN:  Well, I think this is going to go much quicker.  I mean, it took

only seven months to get the Watergate tapes in the Nixon era.  I think

this is going to go fast.  I think this is Trump`s Achilles heel.  This is

the thing that he`s worried about most.

 

If you look – we`ve been all focused on the Mueller report.  What we

really haven`t put enough focus on is the New York Times reporting on

Trump`s taxes and what he did in the past.  And what that shows is a long

history of tax evasion, tax crimes, that goes right up until June of 2016

when he wound up selling two properties to his son Eric for half the price

that the Trump Organization had put those down for $350,000 in apartment

when the Trump Organization was claiming they were worth 800,000.

 

I mean that is tax evasion.  It`s a gift tax evasion.  You`ve got our

earlier history that goes beyond the six-year limit where Trump did all

kinds of things including low-balling his father`s estate and his brothers

estate by hundreds of millions of dollars, also taking out a loan from his

father for $11 million that he didn`t repay, claimed that was a loan, paid

back his father with an interest in a property that he later brought back

from his father for $10,000.  All of that $11 million was evaded.

 

What hasn`t been focused on is that the reason that Trump doesn`t want

those returns released is because it`s going to show a long pattern of

income tax evasion and criminal activity.

 

HAYES:  Well, that I think comport to the theory that there`s worried that

he wouldn`t turn them over and will precipitate some kind of crisis. 

Arthur Delaney and Nick Akerman, thank you both for joining us.

 

Still to come, the growing evidence the President`s Fourth of July

spectacle will be a massive campaign rally paid for by public money.  New

details about his VIP seats for high dollar donors after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why is the Republican National committee giving out

tickets to supporters of the president?  Why aren`t those going to members

of Congress?

 

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADIVSER:  This is a public event.  It`s open

to the public.  The public is welcome to come and celebrate our great

country, the greatest democracy.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Donald Trump has hijacked the nation`s previously nonpartisan

Fourth of July celebration, and the Republican National Committee and Trump

campaign are confirming today that, yes, they are distributing special

tickets to top donors and other allies who will have access to prime 

cordoned off areas that will be closed to the general public.

 

Trump has also ordered tanks to the streets of Washington to mark the

occasion.  You can see them there.  There will also be fireworks.  There

will be troops.  A military flyover complete with fighter jets and of

course a speech by Donald Trump.  In short, on a day the nation is suppose

to be celebrating its independence, the president is using basically the

full force of the U.S. government and the military in his role as

commander-in-chief to throw what sure looks like a partisan reelection

rally on public space complete with VIP seats for his high dollar donors.

 

Joining me now, long-time political reporter Charlie Pierce, writer at-

large for Esquire.

 

You know, Charlie, Nixon did something someone similar, tried to do

something similar.  It was a flop.  But since then have you – this is not

– we don`t do this,right.  I`m not crazy that this is very,

very, very weird?

 

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE:  No, not at all.  This is vaudeville with depleted

uranium shells.  I mean, the guy has been the tackiest person in public

life for about 40 years now.  And now he`s got his hands on the U.S.

military.

 

So, yeah, we`re going to have this incredibly tacky spectacle in front of

Abraham Lincoln, who

may very well get down off his chair and walk out of the memorial rather

than be a part of this.

 

HAYES:  This is the new reporting today, the park service is going to

divert $2.5 million in park fees, which are meant for the – primarily

intended to improve park access across the country, to cover the costs,

which I think won`t be the total costs, it will be more than that.  But I

can`t quite – I can`t

quite think that the RNC donation part is OK in any way.  Like how it is

that you use a public event and then make it essentially a donor perk for

the RNC?

 

PIERCE:  Well, I wonder how many of the people who are getting the VIP

tickets will be staying in the Trump Hotel, if they`re coming from out of

town.  I would not be surprised if it was a special donators – you know,

donors rate for – holiday donors rate at the Trump Tower or the Trump

Plaza or the Trump whatever it is, the Trump Xanadu.

 

No, this is extraordinarily cheap and tacky and grifty.  And the speech is

going to be dreadful.  And there are all kinds of catastrophes.  They`re

not sure if the bridges over the Potomac can handle the  tanks.  They`re

doing a flyover of F-35s which have god knows how many problems, including

the inability to eject without beheading yourself. 

 

Plus, it is apparently going to rain.  So, I mean, we could be looking at

one of the great clusters of all time.

 

HAYES:  Well, and the other thing about it to me is, I think there has been

a sort of slowly donning awareness, as we got an announcement this week,

the president raised $105 million in the quarter of just what it means for

him to run this time as an incumbent.

 

And his – you know, Kellyanne Conway, the rare rebuke of her for Hatch Act

violations and the special council saying she should be fired.  The

president using his role as commander-in-chief to order up tanks for this

event that sure looks like a campaign rally.

 

It`s, to me, a little bit of a preview of what he can do with the power

incumbency to essentially run the presidency as a reelection shop.

 

PIERCE:  Well, he has already been running the presidency as a profit

making device, running the presidency as – you know, using the American

military as set decoration for your reelection campaign.  That`s a walk in

the park compared to what he has been doing.

 

You know, this is what happens when everybody abdicates their

responsibility.  Where are the fiscally – the scions of fiscal discipline

in the Republican Party?  They`re all on MSNBC making angry noises, but

nobody in real power is doing anything about this.

 

HAYES:  Well, there is also – there is also clearly been push back from

the Pentagon, I will say, behind the scenes, because this is the second or

third time he has tried this.

 

PIERCE:  Well, not just that, but I`ve talked to some people who have been

in the military, not at a very high level, but at grunt level.  Soldiers

hate this stuff.

 

HAYES:  Yeah.

 

PIERCE:  I mean, you`ve got to get inspection ready.  You`ve got – it`s

the Fourth of July.  They should be home with their families, instead

they`ve got to get inspection ready.  They`ve got to stand out in the

uniform.  Even if it rains, it`s going to be 90 degrees.

 

HAYES:  I`ve been reading…

 

PIERCE:  It`s a miserable experience.

 

HAYES:  Yes, I`ve been reading some complaints online.

 

Charlie Pierce, thanks for meeting with me tonight.

 

Ahead, absolutely monumental news tonight as the Trump administration

announces they will

not try to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.  The latest

coming up.

 

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

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, a strange situation unfolded this afternoon when

reports came in that the vice president`s plane, en route to New Hampshire,

had been turned around in midair.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS:  We have some breaking news, and we`re sorting

this out right now, Vice President Pence was en route to New Hampshire for

a previously scheduled opioid

event.  There were people there waiting in Salem, New Hampshire.  Air Force

Two turned around,  returned back to Andrews – Joint Base Andrews.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Well, that was concerning.  What could possibly be so urgent the

vice president would

have to race back to the White House?  Reporters of course started digging,

but all we got was a

series of denials.  The White House said there was, quote, no cause for

alarm.  No medical issue with either the president or vice president, not a

national security issue, not a personal or family issue, and my favorite,

someone will not be fired soon.

 

Eventually the VP`s press secretary posted to Twitter that Pence never

actually left D.C., but her only explanation was that, quote, something

came up.

 

During this whole time, the president`s Twitter account was dark, six hours

and no tweets.  People were worried.  What was happening?  Where was the

president?

 

Finally 6:05:00 p.m. eastern time, Donald Trump surfaced with a big

announcement, quote, “thanks to Phantom Fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci

for their generosity in donating the biggest fireworks show Washington,

D.C. has ever seen,” exclamation point.

 

Well, I guess he`s OK.  Trump fireworks are Thing Two in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  As we mentioned earlier, President Trump is very busy planning his

big Fourth of July

bash, but there has already been a fireworks display on the National Mall

this year.  It`s of course the annual Consumer Product Safety Commission

fireworks safety demonstration.  It`s the yearly reminder of important

rules like sparklers are really hot, and you should be careful when giving

them to children.  Also, don`t fire rockets tied to a string at the face of

a friend or family member.

 

And you never stick your face above a mortar tube.  And of course, exercise

caution when manufacturing illegal fireworks in your home office.

 

Luckily, the big display on the fourth will be handled by professionals,

Phantom fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci, shouted out by the president

today.  Fireworks by Grucci seems like the real deal.  They set world

records, produce shows for huge events like this one in Saudi Arabia a few

years ago.  They posted a message on their website saying they`re donating

their time and talents to the Fourth of July celebration calling it a time

when we put aside our differences and celebrate our common dreams.

 

Phantom Fireworks appears to be supplying the actual fireworks.  And

they`re a big retailer, stores all over the country.  No word yet on

exactly which fireworks they`ll be providing for the show, but just

browsing the website we`re getting very excited about the possibilities. 

We will we get the Untamed Retribution or the Pyro Cumulus Cloud?  The Geo

Magnetic Storm looks fun, but beware the Wicked Pissah.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  A huge and unexpected victory today for the plaintiffs suing the

Trump administration

to stop them from adding a question about citizenship to the census.  The

Justice Department announcing in an email that the printer has been

instructed to begin printing the 2020 census questionnaire without the

citizenship question.  It is a truly surprising turn, especially since it

comes just a day after the president himself lawlessly threatened to delay

the census all together until he

got his question on it.  And he was very clear about his motivations for

wanting the question in the first place.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Will you be delaying the census, the Supreme Court

ruling on the

census?

 

TRUMP:  We`re looking at that.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why do you think it`s so important that that question

be asked?

 

TRUMP:  I think it`s very important to find out if somebody is a citizen as

opposed to an illegal.  I think there is a big difference to me between

being a citizen of the United States and being an illegal.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  OK.  First of all that, is not at all an accurate characterization

of what the citizenship question would do, because it wouldn`t ask

immigration status.  T here is lots of folks who are legal and not

citizens, just whether people are citizens.

 

But more crucially, Trump`s own words right there completely undercut the

official cover story that his administration has been telling publicly both

in court under oath and to congress under oath about its motivations for

adding the question.

 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, among others, insisted the idea for the

question came from the Trump DOJ, which supposedly wanted the question

added to, get this, better enforce the Voting Rights Act. Yes, you heard

that right.  The Trump administration under Jeff Sessions was so intent on

maximally enforcing that Voting Rights Act, they needed the citizenship

question.  That is what they tried to sell, anyway.

 

The real story is that with input from Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach, and at

the behest of

Wilbur Ross, the DOJ concocted a pretext to cover up what documents suggest

is the true motivation, to reduce levels of response from immigrant

communities.  An undercount of immigrants would have enormous consequences

for apportioning of congressional representation, state redistricting, and

federal appropriations, hurting chiefly, but not exclusively, the political

power of blue states and cities.

 

In the stark words of GOP gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller, adding

the question would, and I quote, “be advantageous to Republicans and non-

Hispanic whites.”  The bad faith of the Trump administration was so

egregious that two different courts found actions in violation of the law. 

And when the question got up to the Supreme Court, conservative Chief

Justice John Roberts couldn`t bring himself to ignore just how flagrantly

the Trump administration had lied, he joined the four liberals in blocking

the question.  But Roberts gave the administration an out, go back and, you

know, come up with a better reason. 

 

Many expected them to take another run at it.  But alas, today, it looks

like the Trump administration basically had to admit it was all a ruse and

wave the white flag.

 

It is an exhilarating and improbable victory for fair counting, democratic

representation, government transparency about its motives and the rule of

law.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  New poll numbers show the race among the Democratic presidential

contenders is

incredibly fluid, as it should be this far out.

 

Senator Kamala Harris essentially tied with former Vice President Joe Biden

in this Quinnipiac survey, given the margin of error, with Senator

Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders rounding out the top four.  I

should note that Senator Sanders` numbers in todays poll are on par with

the numbers in CNN poll we highlighted yesterday.  We had a graphical error

when we displayed it. 

 

But on the question of which Democrat is most likely to beat Donald Trump,

he also comes in at 13 percent.

 

It`s more clearer than ever the debates did make a big impact, but there

really are, as I keep saying, two primaries: there is the candidate

primary, and the ideas primary.  And people like former Democratic Senator

from North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp and others are warning Democrats that some

of the positions that candidates have taken like, for instance,

decriminalizing border crossings, health insurance for undocumented

immigrants, and replacing primary private insurance with Medicare for all

are all going to come back to bite them.

 

But there are others who argue the progressive policies are exciting the

base and pushing the party out of its defensive crouch.  It`s a debate that

is going to be absolutely central as the primary campaign continues.

 

For more on the question, I`m joined by Joy Reid, host of MSNBC`s AM Joy

and author of

“The Man Who Sold America,” and  Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief of The

Intercept and author of the great new  book called “We`ve Got People.”

 

Joy, let me start with you on this question.  There`s been a lot of

interesting discussion about this.  At first, I was sort frustrated with

it, but I think it`s played out in a much more sophisticated,  nuanced way

over the last few days about, you know, what are the things that Democrats

should be

focusing on, what are the ways in which promises they`re making now would

put them in politically untenable positions, and what are the ways you can

buck conventional wisdom, as Donald Trump did in his own  way, and still

prove to be electable.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

JOY REID, MSNBC:  Well, my thought is that essentially a re-elect campaign

where you already have an incumbent in office is a change election, 100

percent.  And so if you think about what

Barack Obama was for, the idea of universal health care was also considered

way too far to the left, but what Barack Obama was smart about doing in

2008 was saying here is something that is important to you just as an

individual person.  And we`re going to get out not just the regular people

and try to convert people from the other side, but we`re going to bring new

people in.

 

And so I think democrats are smart to take positions that are broadly

popular, even Republicans like them, and go in on them and show that you

are willing to change.  The whole point is you want a

change from what`s there now. 

 

So I don`t think it`s a not smart idea for Democrats to go for a change

message.

 

HAYES:  You know, Ryan, there is an interesting piece in New York magazine

that syncs up with a lot of your reporting and some of the stuff you write

about in the book, which was about the kind of insurgent left grassroots of

the Democratic Party.

 

Eric Levitts (ph) writes the Democrats aren`t a left wing party, they just

play one on TV.  Liberals may set the pace in Democratic discourse in

presidential debates, but on Capitol Hill the centrists often take the

wheel.

 

I think that`s true and I think it sort of leaves a weird worst-case

scenario for everyone involved

for the Democratic Party.

 

RYAN GRIM, THE INTERCEPT:  Yeah, that`s right.  Institutions have a lot of

choke points.  And, you know, centrists have, you know, been dominating the

house from the Democratic side and the senate as well for a very long time,

and they have their hands around that choke point.  And they are a

different generation.

 

As I write about in the book, a lot of them were formed in the, you know,

they were traumatized

by the 1980s by witnessing Ronald Reagan kind of wipe them out.  And

they`ve been in this defensive crouch for the last 30 years.  And people

like Ocasio-Cortez, who are born in the late `80s after Reagan had already

left office, don`t even understand what this fear is all about.  They don`t

fear Republicans the way that they fear climate change or the way that they

fear kind of cowardice from centrist Democrats.

 

And so when they see this it`s just confusing to them.  Why aren`t you

fighting?  There are children in cages at the border.  And so you have this

huge tension boiling over on Capitol Hill, which like you said is

juxtaposed against this 2020 campaign that is playing out on

extraordinarily progressive terms, so the whole thing just looks very

strange to people.

 

HAYES:  Well, and that, Joy, I think is one of the questions here.  I mean,

when you talk about Obama `08, I always think back to the decision that he

and the campaign made on marriage equality in which the president, who, you

know, previously had supported it when he was a state senator in a

questionnaire.  I think probably personally did support it, you know,

choose to make the public decision that the better part of valor was to not

in that campaign because he didn`t think it would be politically  expedient

and wanted to get elected.

 

And you wonder, like, where are those decisions going to be made as we head

towards this election?

 

REID:  I mean, to be honest with you, you know – and maybe, I don`t know,

maybe it`s being

an African-American voter, you know black voters are very pragmatic, right? 

And let`s just be really super pragmatic about the next election. 

Democrats are constantly looking backward.  And they`re fighting the last

election.  If Democrats are still thinking about the kinds of Democrats who

voted in 2008 and 2012, they`re looking in the wrong direction.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

REID:  Let`s just do the data.

 

The largest group of voters going forward from today on are people who are

now Millennials.  There are actually already more voters who voted in that

group than voted for – that are voted among, you know, Bill Clinton`s era. 

That`s just the math.

 

And so if you want to go toward the voters in the future who are going to

vote a lot, it`s people

who are like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Not saying they`re necessarily with

her on policy, but that they don`t view the kinds of caution that Democrats

are constantly showing.

 

HAYES:  That`s a great point.

 

REID:  …as a good form of politics.  They think it`s frustrating.  You

might want to show that you have some guts.

 

HAYES:  Ryan, and I think there is overlap there, you know, between – in

different wings of the party about energizing and mobilizing.

 

GRIM:  Right.  And a thing that nobody ever talks about in Washington are

third-party voters.  Everybody looks at these people that switched from

Obama to Trump, but in 2018, people who voted  third party in 2016

overwhelmingly switched to Democrats.  So that means if you – if you craft

a message that appeals to people who were turned off by Democrats in 2016,

but clearly are willing to vote for them because they voted for them in

2018, then you`re probably also just incidentally going to

capture a bunch of those Obama to Trump people as well.

 

So that right there gets you your majority.

 

HAYES:  Joy Reid and Ryan Grim, thank you both.

 

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

now. 

 

Good evening, Rachel.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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