Democrats respond to racist Trump attack. TRANSCRIPT: 7/15/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Tim Alberta, Christine Quinn, David Price, Aimee Allison, Casey
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Unfortunately for us and our country`s

history, Donald Trump`s idea of being president is being Donald Trump.  And

that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  “ALL IN” right now

with Joy Reid sitting in for Chris Hayes.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  So the first note that I want to

want to tell children across this country is that no matter what the

President says, this country belongs to you.

 

REID:  Four freshmen Congresswomen respond to racist attacks from the

president.

 

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN):  It is time for us to stop allowing this president

to make a mockery out of our Constitution.

 

REID:  Tonight, the political firestorm over Donald Trump`s racist politics

and policy.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as

racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you

on that point.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  It doesn`t concern me

because many people agree with me.

 

REID:  And how Democratic leadership is responding to the president`s

attacks.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Weak minds and beaters challenged loyalty to our country in

order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.

 

REID:  Then –

 

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC):  We all know that AOC and this crowd are a

bunch of Communists.

 

REID:  Tim Alberta on his new book American Carnage, on how Donald Trump

took over the Republican Party.  An exclusive reporting from NBC News on

the 70 current and former border protection employees now under

investigation, when ALL IN starts now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Good evening from Washington D.C., I`m Joy Reid in for Chris Hayes. 

Well, for the last three years, there`s been this agonized national debate,

is Donald Trump a racist?  Does he realize that the thing he just said is

exciting racist and white nationalist?  Does the thing he said this time

finally proved he`s a racist?  But you know has not been having this big

debate, Donald Trump.

 

After decades of clear evidence of racism, Trump clearly knows exactly what

he`s saying and to whom.  And as president, he has consistently backed up

his racist talk with policy.  He`s putting real racist policy on the table

designed to excite racially anxious white Americans and to terrify people

who aren`t white.

 

So yes, Donald Trump is really racist. (INAUDIBLE) This weekend Trump added

to the ledger targeting for black and brown Democratic Congresswomen

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and

Rashida Tlaib to punish them for criticizing his hideous immigration

policies including locking Central American men women and children in

crowded cages where they are told to drink water from the toilet.

 

Trump pulled the ultimate Barbecue Becky telling them they don`t belong

here.  Trump in a tweet storm told these four American Congresswomen to go

back to the countries they originally came from even though all four are

American born in the Bronx, Ohio, Michigan, and one naturalized from

Somalia as a teenager.

 

Today, Trump was asked if it bothered him that white nationalists were

high-fiving what he said.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as

racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you

on that point?

 

TRUMP:  It doesn`t concern me because many people agree with me and all I`m

saying, if they want to leave, they can leave.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Right.  I mean, why would it bother him?  His people loved it.  And

to be clear, this was the man who called America a loser and trashed

everything about this country while he was running for president,

everything.  But now if you don`t like Donald Trump`s version of America,

self-deport.

 

Well, today, the four women got their chance to respond and they made it

clear, they will not be intimidated by Donald Trump, and they will keep on

fighting for the country that they love.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

OMAR:  Every single statements that we make is from a place of extreme love

for every single person in this country.  Now, when people say – if you

say a negative thing about the policies in this country, you hate this

country, to me it sort of speaks to the hypocrisy and Alex and I were

talking about this.

 

When this president ran and until today he talked about everything that was

wrong in this country and how he was going to make it great.  And so for

him to condemn us and to say we are an American for wanting to work hard to

make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it`s complete

hypocrisy.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Weak minds and leaders challenged loyalty to our country in

order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.  This president does

not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve health

care.  He does not know how to defend his policies so what he does is

attack us personally and that is what this is all about.

 

He can`t look a child in the face and he can`t look all Americans in the

face and justify why this country is throwing them in cages.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  What the Congresswoman was referring to of course was put on display

on Friday when Trump sent Mike Pence and three Republican congressmen to

the border to do some P.R. for the internment camps.  But what America saw

instead was visual proof of what Democratic Congress members have told the

country the Trump administration is doing in our name.

 

Nearly 400 men caged with no cuts in a space so crowded they could not even

lie down on the concrete.  They were hungry, dirty, and said they`ve been

there for 40 days or longer with not even a chance to take a shower.

 

The guards wore facemasks, a reporter described the stench as horrendous. 

And today Trump took it a step lower moving to prevent most Central

American migrants from even claiming asylum in this country.  The move

coming after he promised for the second time large-scale immigration raids

to begin this past weekend.

 

Now like most promises, the reality fell far short of the hype with fewer

raids than promised.  But the message got through loud and clear to his

base that he is scaring and hurting the right people.  It`s the same

message that he sends when he locks children and adults in cages and

questioned the birthplace of the nation`s first black president and attacks

Democratic women of color not just what they believe but for who they are.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA):  Despite the occupant of the White House

attempts to marginalize us and to silence us, please know that we are more

than four people.  We ran on a mandate to advocate for and to represent

those ignored left out and left behind.  Our squad is big.

 

Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable in

just the world and that is the work that we want to get back to.  And given

the size of this squad in this great nation, we cannot, we will not be

silenced.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Joining me now is MSNBC Political Analysts Anand Giridharadas who is

the author of The True American and a journalist who has traveled the

country exploring the roots and manifestations of xenophobic racism. 

Anand, thank you very much for being here.

 

So let`s talk about this because you know, it`s so typical for us now to

talk about Donald Trump is a racist, is he not.  Yes, he is.  OK, we know

that`s the case.  But the question is not about him at this point.  It`s

about the people who this impact and who this works so strongly with.  What

do you know having – you know, being around the country and talk with

people about them?

 

ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  We are so in a day to day

dumpster fire alert mode with this president that I think we sometimes

forget the longer term shift this country is in the middle of which is a

shift of identity of a kind that frankly very few superpowers in history

have ever gone through.

 

And we are seeing the racial identity of this country shift, the coming

eventually of a white minority, of people of color majority.  We are seeing

gender relations thrown up in ways that I think are fantastic but are

discombobulating for a lot of people.  And Donald Trump with just further

inflammatory confirmation this week has clearly decided that his movement

in the Republican Party he leads is going to be the movement of resentment

against the future.

 

It is going to be a movement of people who don`t want to live in the

future.  It is going to be a movement of people who want to cling to

whatever white power can be clung to with a Senate that allows a majority

people to rule and with a Supreme Court that reps their interest.  It`s

going to be an America that allows men to cling to whatever opportunities

they have to be locker room boys as he talked about.

 

And there is no attempt – this is a break even from Republicans of a few

years ago who at least were interested if not so effectual and winning some

Hispanic votes, reaching out to the black community, thinking about how

they could win women.  This is now a movement.  And I think it`s a very bad

long-term strategy, but unlike a lot of people out there I think it`s a

better short-term strategy than a lot of us realize.

 

This the movement to preserve and speak to the resentful and preserve the

last vestiges of their power for as long as possible has essentially become

the purpose of this sad man who doesn`t seem to love himself much and seems

to need to belittle so many people to feel the barest vestiges of anything

to be proud of.

 

REID:  Well you know, and this history – and when you talk about that

because Republicans going all the way back to Nixon, right.  This is the

strategy of telling people who are resentful of the future, that they don`t

want that next black family moving into the neighborhood.  They`re

resentful of the idea that their kids have to go to school either be

busting – to be bussed out or have bussed in, that`s not a new thing.

 

Donald Trump has just taken the you know, the sheet off of it.  He doesn`t

– he says it very clearly.  But what you just talked about, you know, I do

think about W. E. B. Du Bois because he`s also somebody who isn`t willing

to give white Americans anything.

 

He`s saying I`m not giving you tax cuts, those go to the rich.  I`m not

giving you help with your farms.  You might lose your farm because I`m

doing tariffs.  To hell with you.  I don`t like China.  You`re getting

tariffs you might lose your farm.

 

So I take away the things that maybe government could give you but I`m

giving you this white privilege.  I`m giving you this power.  I`m saying

you are the only Americans.  That`s all he`s got to give them at this

point.

 

GIRIDHARADAS:  And it`s such a remark – it`s so correct that it`s such a

remarkable thing because as you say, there was at least in the past some

gestures of offerings of – to regular people.  Here the entire offering is

chauvinism.  The entire offering is men can continue to be locker room boys

and white people can continue to receive more than they deserve and other

people can will continue to be locked out of opportunities.

 

And what I actually appreciate about Donald Trump is that he has eliminated

subtext in American life.  It is all text now.  This is explicit, right. 

This is the thing I have heard a handful of times in my life, go back to

your country.  This is the thing I heard at a 4th of July picnic in Boston

some years ago.  Go back to your country.

 

But now the president is saying it.  Now, this is go back to your country-

ism.  This is the national ideology as expressed from the White House.  And

I want to say, when I was – when it was said to me some years ago in

Boston, go back to your country by a man who was angry about who could see

the fireworks and who couldn`t.

 

Right after he said that, a white man, a tall white man, another white man

standing not far away stepped forward.  We hadn`t seen the second man.  He

stepped forward ran he looked like what you might imagine a Trump voter

looks like.  Tattoos everywhere, bandana, American flag bandana, big beefy

guy, and he steps forward he looked at the guy who had said to us go back

to your country.

 

He looked at him and said stop it.  These are my people too.  That phrase I

think has a lot of redemptive power.  That`s the phrase that those four

women were acting on in the previous tape.  These are my people too.  That

is their counter-tradition that we must find in this moment.

 

REID:  Yes.  And unfortunately, we won`t find it in the White House.  Anand

Giridharadas, thank you so much.  I really appreciate talking with you

tonight.

 

GIRIDHARADAS:  Thank you for having me.

 

REID:  Thank you.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile, has said something

– has had something of a fraught relationship with the same Democratic

women who Trump attacked this weekend.  And in a tweet yesterday in

response to Trump`s comments, Pelosi said the following.

 

“I reject Trump xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation.  Rather

than attack members of Congress, he should work with us for humane

immigration policy that reflects American values.  Stop the raids. 

Hashtag, families belong together.”

 

I`m joined now by MSNBC Political Analyst Michelle Goldberg who`s a

columnist at the New York Times and MSNBC Political Analyst Jason Johnson

who the politics editor at The Root.  Jason, I`m going to start with you

here at the table because – so I think of the W.E.B. Du Bois like wages of

whiteness conversation, right, where you know, they`re not – Trump doesn`t

have anything to offer his base.  There`s nothing economic on the table for

them at all.  As a matter of fact, he`s taking from them.

 

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Yes.

 

REID:  But he is offering them this thing that`s more powerful.  I think

about the Democrats now.  They seem to have an offer as well which is we`re

going to somehow find the past where we could do policy and go back to an

era when we had normal politics.  Is that a stronger – I mean she said

let`s do policy on immigration?  Is that a stronger argument than what

Trump did?

 

JOHNSON:  No, no, it`s not a stronger policy.  It`s like you can`t give me

– I want real coke, not Diet Coke.  I don`t want the real thing.  There

are people who hunger for racism.  There are white people in this country

who`ve wanted this all along.  There are people – I have to say this too. 

There are people in our industry that have wanted this, that have wanted

this sort of validation from the president.

 

And part of the failure of the Democrats is a failure of message, it`s a

failure of our discussion of these issues.  Look, at the end of the day,

this discussion – you said this brilliantly at the beginning.  It`s not

about Donald Trump being a racist, right.  I mean, like everybody today

who`s finally moved from racially tinged and racially –

 

REID:  Racial charged.

 

JOHNSON:  Racially sauteed to finally say, hey, welcome to the party,

right.  Diehard day.  Welcome to the party.  You finally figured it out,

right.  But the issue isn`t just that he is racist in what he has said,

it`s the fact that failed to discuss and integrate that into how we look at

his policy.

 

REID:  Right.

 

JOHNSON:  The Democrats don`t do that.  The census, it`s racist.  ICE

raids, it`s racist.  All of his immigration policy, it`s racist.  We have

to attach these words to policies.  And as long as the Democrats don`t do

that, as long thing to pretend if we can turn back the clock to 1998, we`ll

continue to fail.  That`s the danger of this.

 

REID:  You know, Michelle, it is interesting to me that you know, I thought

it was you know, on the one hand people were saying well, Trump brought the

Democrats together.  They you know, got Speaker Pelosi to defend these four

women.  But it did strike me that at the end of her defense of them, she

goes then into a plea to do immigration policy whose immigration policy is

to lock up brown people in cages and not feed them.

 

So it`s like it`s a weird turn to say that the answer then is to somehow

compel him to you know, for Jason`s point, to do something other than

racist immigration policy.  What is the moderation between racist

immigration policy and what she wants to do?

 

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think that you know,

you see this split in the Democratic caucus because between those who want

to really take on this president directly, make his unfitness, his

corruption, his disloyalty to this country make that kind of the

centerpiece of democratic politics right now and put him on trial every day

in the House of Representatives.

 

And then you have Nancy Pelosi and other people in Democratic House

leadership who believe that they need to be the “adults in the room,” that

they need to be the face of normality in this country.  And so they`ve been

passing all of these message bills – you know, some of which are perfectly

good pieces of legislation.

 

And then they seem surprised that these bills that have no chance of ever

becoming law don`t kind of dominate the agenda or don`t change the

conversation.  And I think that because Nancy Pelosi has tried so hard to

tamp down the anger of the Democratic caucus and the Democratic base that

should be directed at Donald Trump, instead it`s been directed internally.

 

And so you have this outbreaks of really, really counterproductive fighting

and sniping within the caucus.  And it`s true I think that Donald Trump has

brought them together for now but it was this dissension in this discord

that he`s been exploiting in the first place by going on this racist

rampage.

 

REID:  Right.  And I mean – I mean, Jason you had some Democratic

officials circulating a poll that white – that you know, white working-

class people don`t like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Well, yes, no kidding,

right.  And I`m not sure whether that means it should worry us that they

realize that there are more Trumpists than we think, that in their mind

they`re saying that wait a minute we`re worried that there`s a broader

electorate for these racist policies so we need to somehow appease those

people in advance.

 

JOHNSON:  Well, it`s because a lot of them still subscribe to it.  I`ve

said all along.  Many Democrats, not all, they don`t hate Donald Trump as

much as they love white supremacy because it still benefits them.  So

they`re going to do a hit poll on their own person.

 

But I say this about anybody who`s in leadership right now whether it`s

Nancy Pelosi or anybody who`s running.  When you were running against

Donald Trump, you`re running against this administration.  You can make an

argument about his moral failures and you can make a policy argument.

 

Like for 2020, give me a candidate who can do both or who could do both. 

Like that`s what we actually need right now.  And so the degree that they

want to do this circular firing squad, I personally don`t care that the

president is a racist, OK?  I don`t care that he hates brown people. We`ve

always known that.

 

What I care about is a party that seems to not understand how that

manifests itself in an immediate danger.  And I`ll say this above and

beyond policy, Joy.  We`ve had two members of Congress get shot in the last

ten years, a Republican and a Democrat.  This kind of violence, this kind

of rhetoric from this president is not just about we can clean it up with

policy.  These women are in danger.

 

REID:  Right.

 

JOHNSON:  We have a party that doesn`t seem to realize that.

 

REID:  I mean, is that the point?  Do they not – I don`t – I don`t know

what the disconnect is.  Did the leadership in the Democratic Party, do

they genuinely view Donald Trump as just sort of a normal maybe a little

outre Republican and not as a danger not just to these women because Jason

is right.  When he speaks, he calls upon a group of people who include very

violent people but also to the Constitution.  Do they not see the danger of

him and they just think these women are an irritant?

 

GOLDBERG:  I think they know.  I actually think they do see the danger but

they also see these women as an irritant.  I mean, my sense is that their

perception of the electorate is you know, was very much shaped by many,

many decades of Democrats being constantly on the defensive and constantly

having to run away from any association with radicalism.

 

And so there are people like Ocacio-Cortez and other people on the left who

look at the Trump election and think that a base first strategy, a strategy

of being forthright about your values and saying things that didn`t use to

be permissible in the public discourse can also work for progressives.

 

And I think fundamentally a lot of people in the Democratic leadership

don`t believe that.  They still think that the only way back from this

nightmare is to get some portion of those – I think it was nine million

people who voted for Obama and then voted for Donald Trump, rather than the

people who voted for Obama and then stayed home, or the – or the people

who voted for Jill Stein who are frankly you know Trump`s margin of victory

in a lot of the swing states.

 

REID:  Yes, absolutely.  I think seven million people didn`t vote at all,

like they`re out there too.  Michelle Goldberg and Jason Johnson, thank you

both.  I really appreciate you both.  And up next, Donald`s complete and

total takeover of the Republican Party with his most vocal opponents

eventually falling in line behind their racist leader.  Author Tim Alberta

chronicles Trump`s rise in his new book.  He joins me next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  Way back in 2015, well before Donald Trump was president or even the

Republican nominee.  Back when Senator Lindsey Graham still had a spine and

something of a conscience, this is how he described Donald Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GRAHAM:  He`s baiting xenophobic religious bigot.  He doesn`t represent my

party.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Fast forward four years and Lindsey Graham is up for reelection. 

And so there`s no more conscious, just hail Hydra all day every day.  In

the wake of Trump`s racist tirade against four Democratic Congresswomen of

color, senator Graham reached way back in his response to bring back an

oldie but a goodie from the 1950s, 1950s conservatism.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GRAHAM:  We all know that AOC in this crowd are a bunch of Communists. 

They hate Israel, they hate their own country.  They`re calling the guards

along our border, the Border Patrol agents the concentration camp guards. 

They accused people to support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. 

They`re anti-Semitic, they`re anti-America.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Commies, perfect.  Lindsey Graham running to the president side once

again.  He must be an exceptional caddy.  And while Graham might be the

worst offender, he is hardly alone in his complete subordination to Donald

Trump.  At this point only a handful of congressional Republicans have

voiced any opposition at all to the president`s comments or in defense of

common decency.

 

Joining me now for more on the Republican embraces Donald Trump is Tim

Alberta, Chief Political Correspondent at Political Magazine, author of the

new book American Carnage on the front lines of the Republican Civil War

and the rise of President Trump.  Tim Alberta, thanks for being here.

 

So the piece of your book that everyone`s been talked about this week is

Paul Ryan and this sort of you know, sort of agonized – you know,

subsequent explanation of his life I guess in politics.  This is the quote. 

I`ll read it back to you.  It says, “We`ve gotten so numb to it all, says

Ryan, not in government, that where we live our lives, we have

responsibility to try to rebuild.  Don`t call woman a horse face.  Don`t

cheat on your wife.  Don`t cheat on anything.  Be a good person.  Set a

good example.”

 

He was probably, Paul Ryan, the biggest capitulated to Trump of all.  He

completely – he would hide when Donald Trump would say something bad.  But

he`s he sort of the kind of you know, patient zero of what happened to

Republicans.  Are they just scared of Trump?  What is it?

 

TIM ALBERTA, AUTHOR, AMERICAN CARNAGE:  Boy, look it`s a combination of

things, obviously.  And Ryan I think obviously does carry the burden in

terms of his legacy as being one of the chief enablers of Donald Trump

given that he was the most powerful man in the coequal branch of

government, the branch of government that has given primacy under the

Constitution Article I. 

 

Paul Ryan you know, told me that and I could sort of see on his face and

hear in his voice that this was almost his way of apologizing or you know,

justifying or maybe a little bit of both, you know, what had gone on the

last couple of years, Joy.  I think it`s really interesting.

 

When Paul Ryan is talking about this idea that outside of government now,

we have a responsibility to try and rebuild.  He`s basically saying, you

know, forget about government.  We can`t count on Washington D.C.  We can`t

count on the president.  We can`t count on Congress to try and solve these

problems and to try and calm things down and bring this country back

together.  We need to do this outside of government.

 

And a lot of people would say, well, that`s rich you know, coming from a

guy who made very little effort to try and you know, rein this guy and

well, you were in government.  And I again, so I think it`s almost his way

of trying to rationalize his exit and say look, I`m kind of washing my

hands of this place.

 

Paul Ryan is not alone though, to your point about Lindsay Graham and

others.  At least Paul Ryan will now in retirement say what`s really on his

mind.  I don`t know if we`ll even get that from many of these other folks. 

And that`s not to be any sort of an ad hominem insult, it`s just an

observation of reality.

 

Look, you had Rick Perry a cabinet member called Donald Trump a cancer on

conservatism during the campaign.  That`s something that we all very

conveniently forget.  Ted Cruz, we all know the saga.  I mean, we could go

check reverse and do a whole rolling list of all of these folks who have

sort of come to Jesus and made their peace with Donald Trump, but there`s a

reason for it it`s because they`re terrified of him.

 

They understand that this is Trump`s party, that his base is fully behind

him, that as unpopular as he may be with the broader electorate with

moderates and independents, but he has a chokehold on the Republican base,

and if they`re on the wrong side of him, they`re going to lose their jobs.

 

REID:  Well, I mean, you know, but Paul Ryan first of all, it`s rich of him

to say. Doesn`t he sitting on the board of Fox?  Is that where he`s going

to change the country for the better?  So is it fair?  What is it?  Is it

that Donald Trump is speaking a sort of vehement kind of racist invective

that they can see that the base likes?  Are they shocked by that and

thinking oh my god, I better subordinate or is it just a lack of conscience

they`re getting what they want?  They`re getting the judges and the tax

cuts they want, so is it that they just don`t care because they`re

benefiting?

 

ALBERTA:  So I actually do think it`s both frankly.  So think of it this

way.  If you`re a Republican, you understand that for a stretch of time

after George W. Bush left office, the party was in this wilderness phase

and its identity was really being fought over on ideological grounds.  You

know, are you part of the outsider insurgency class, are you one of these

inside or establishment guys?  Are you a tea party conservative or are you

a Washington moderate?

 

The playing field has completely changed, Joy.  The fault lines are

completely different now.  It is essentially are you with Trump are you

against Trump?  And politics is self-preservation.  We know that.  You

spend five minutes on Capitol Hill and you come to understand that very

quickly.

 

If you`re a Republican right now, you look around and you see what happened

to Mark Sanford, you see what happen to Jeff Flake.  You see that Justin

Amash had to leave the party because he wasn`t going to win a Republican

primary after being the only Republican in Congress to advocate for

impeachment hearings.

 

REID:  Right.

 

ALBERTA:  The point being, most of these folks look around and they not

only want to protect their own hide but they can also rationalize it and

say look, I can handle Trump.  I know that I can at least by sort of not

speaking out against him publicly – and this was Paul Ryan`s approach all

along.

 

If I don`t speak out against him publicly, I can retain my influence in

private.  I can help to shape these legislative priorities and I can put

points on the board for the party and for my constituents.  That`s how they

rationalize it.

 

REID:  Yes.  They get – well they`re getting stuff and a lot of it is

stuff for the very, very rich.  So I guess congratulations.  Tim Alberta,

fascinating book.  Your book is called American Carnage: On the Frontlines

of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.  And it is on

sale tomorrow so pick it up, everyone.  Thank you very much.

 

And up next, the new investigation into 70 current and former members of

Customs and Border Patrol.  What we know right after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  Seventy current and former Customs and Border Protection employees

are under investigation tonight for participating in a secret Facebook

group where members of the group mocked the deaths of migrants and posted

racist and sexist content.

 

While the current head of the border patrol called the posts, quote,

“completely inappropriate” when they were revealed.  We learned just last

week that not only was she aware of the group, she  appears to have even

been an active member of it.

 

Here with me now Democratic Congressman David Price of North Carolina.  The

congressman helped lead the effort to prevent the use of  federal funding

to keep migrants in Mexico while they seek  asylum.

 

Congressman, give us the status of the investigation into this group.  Is

there anything congress, by the way, is going to do about it?

 

REP. DAVID PRICE, (D) NORTH CAROLINA:  Well, the immediate responsibility

is the Office of Professional Responsibility in – in CBP in the Homeland

Security Department.  They do have an investigation under way.  It`s very

alarming.  I mean, the evidence of what was posted very

recently, but then this has been going on for a long time, making fun of

the plight of migrants, going after their political critics, and I`m not

sure what else.

 

But this is completely unacceptable as they now belatedly acknowledge.  And

I expect this will be taken up in the congress, but the first line of

investigation is the Office of Professional Responsibility.

 

REID:  And is – given all that we`ve seen, the Facebook groups where

people are mocking

migrants, the scene that we saw when the vice president and three members

of congress, including Lindsey Graham, went down and saw men, you know,

packed into cages and the president`s comments today mocking members of

congress, is there any reason to believe that the money that was approved

by congress to give to  ICE, to CBP, is going to be used in any way

properly.  Is there any reason that congress should have trusted the

administration to do the right thing with that money?

 

PRICE:  Well, with a normal administration, one would not have to do too

many legislative additions to the appropriation to make sure it`s properly

spent, but we don`t trust this administration for  very good reasons, for a

lot of the reasons you cite.  So we in the House passed a version of that

appropriation, which was much more constrained, much more – much better

defined, exactly what the money was to be used for and a lot of standards

in that bill as to the treatment that migrants were

going to receive.

 

Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell stiff-armed that version of the bill, but it

– it remains our  responsibly, I think, now that the money has been

appropriated, and goodness knows the money`s  needed, but it needs to be

spent in the right way.  Now it remains our responsibility to do very

vigilant oversight, much, much more than we`re used to, just to watch them

like hawks  and make sure this money is not – is not badly spent.

 

REID:  And how do you do that?  How do you do that?  I mean, is there a

potential of, you  know, impeaching officials at ICE?  Is there something

that congress can do right now?

 

PRICE:  Well, I was just part of a congressional group that went down to

Brownsville and McAllen on Saturday.  That`s one thing we do is to insist

on being admitted to these facilities and go in there and talk to the

migrants themselves, look for ourselves as to what`s going on, and there

needs to be repeated vigilance of that sort.  And, of course, we have a

committee structure here where we can hold oversight hearings and call in

the responsible officials and call in other groups.

 

I mean, there are lots of people concerned about this situation, lawyers,

others in NGOs and so

forth who are there trying to help and who have – who have important

things to say about what they`ve observed.

 

So I just think even if we had been able to get those safeguards in the

appropriations bill, I just think this is a time to really, really be on

our toes in terms of oversight.

 

REID:  Congressman David Price, thank you very much, really appreciate your

time tonight.  Thank you.

 

PRICE:  Thank you.

 

REID:  All right.  And ahead, Jeffrey Epstein`s first day in court where

prosecutors say that they found, get this, piles of cash and a fake

passport in his safe.  Incredible details from today`s hearing after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  Jeffrey Epstein made an appearance in a federal district courthouse

today in Manhattan,

where prosecutors urged a judge to deny bail to the accused sex trafficker. 

And one of the things that we learned from the hearing today is that when

FBI agents raided Jeffrey Epstein`s Manhattan mansion, they found a safe

with piles of cash, diamonds and an expired passport issued from a foreign

country listing Saudi Arabia as Epstein`s place of residence.  The passport

appeared to have Jeffrey Epstein`s picture, but was registered to a fake

name.

 

The other big moment from that hearing was when two women, who accused

Jeffrey

Epstein of sexual abuse, testified in court asking the judge to deny him

bail.  One of them who alleges Epstein assaulted her when she was just 14

years old told the judge, quote, “he`s a scary person to have

walking the streets.”

 

The judge said that he would not rule on whether Epstein should be granted

bail until Thursday.

 

And joining me now is Casey Frank, senior editor of investigations at the

Miami Herald.  Casey Frank, you were in court today.  Can you give us a

little of the other color that went on?

 

CASEY FRANK, MIAMI HERALD:  I was not in court today.  Julie Brown, our

reporter, was in court today.  But it was very interesting. 

 

Remember that these accusers never had the chance to face Mr. Epstein in

court.  Well, today they did.  And I think the judge surprised the

courtroom when he said if there are any accusers here, I`d like to give

them the opportunity to say something, and these two young women, Annie

Farmer and Courtney Wild, stepped forward and had their say.

 

They didn`t go into great detail about the nature of the alleged crimes,

but they did say, as you

noted, that he`s a dangerous man and they would be very uncomfortable if he

were allowed to go free on bail. 

 

They stood just three or four feet away from Mr. Epstein when they were

doing the talking, and

at one point as – as Courtney Wild spoke, Mr. Epstein was noticed shaking

his head in the negative.

 

REID:  Yeah.  And let me play just a little bit of David Boies, the very

famed attorney, very renowned attorney, who represents three of Epstein`s

accusers.  He talked about – about that testimony and how courageous it

was.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DAVID  BOIES, ATTORNEY:  The most powerful testimony was not from any of

the lawyers in there, it was from these two brave women who were prepared

to step forward and talk, and they told the story about how as young

teenagers they were abused by Mr. Epstein and asked the court not to

release him pending trial.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP0

 

REID:  We also now know that Jeffrey Epstein wired $350,000 to two people

who are potential

witnesses against him at a previous trial.  Did that come up much in court

today and could that maybe be the reason that he is deemed too much of a

flight risk to allow out, in addition to the horror of his alleged crimes?

 

REID:  Well, it certainly did come up in court today, and the attorney for

Mr. Epstein said  just because he wired $350,000 to friends of his – or

one was a friend, one is a former employee – two or three days after the

Miami Herald did its reporting on – on his case doesn`t mean that there is

anything wrong with that.  Perhaps he just sends money like that because

he`s a very wealthy man.

 

It seemed like the judge was skeptical of that suggestion and, yes, that

did come up and could come up again on Thursday when the judge makes his

ruling.

 

REID:  Yeah, probably the most outrageous part of it, Epstein lawyer

arguing that Epstein has been crime-free since he was out of jail, telling

the judge it`s not like he`s an out of control rapist.  Well, that ought to

be a powerful argument on his behalf. 

 

Casey Frank, thank you very much, really appreciate your time.

 

FRANK:  You`re welcome.

 

REID:  Still ahead, the fight for the future of the Democratic Party. 

That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  As we mentioned earlier, all eyes this afternoon were on the four

young Democratic freshmen who many people see as the future of the party,

and who as women, women of color, of multiple religions, physically

embodied the opposition to Trumpism.

 

The four congresswomen held a press conference firing back at the president

after he  launched a racist attack on them over the weekend, telling them

to go back to their countries despite the fact of

them being American.

 

So, are we witnessing – we are witnessing this ugly fight about what the

future of America is going to look like, but when you look at the state of

the 2020 race among Democrats, it`s the  man in many ways who represents

the Democratic Party`s past who is leading in the polls, particularly in

the polls regarding who could do best in the battle to replace Donald

Trump.

 

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Joe Biden beating the

president by the  largest margin, by 9 percentage points, 51  to 42

percent. 

 

The former vice president sat down with Mika Brzezinski today for an

interview airing tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. on Morning  Joe, and talked about

how he thinks the congresswoman who have been nicknamed The Squad, fit in

with the party.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOE BIDEN, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  AOC is brilliant and the other

three women we are talking about are really smart, but they are the

exception rather than the rule.  If you listen to the guys and women in

your business they think that`s the majority of people who got elected.  We

need that kind of energy, but that`s not the majority of the Democrats who

got elected last time.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEX, (D) NEW YORK:  Weak minds and leaders

challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating

the policy.  This president does not know how to make the argument that

Americans do not deserve health care.  He doesn`t not know how to defend

his policies, so what he does is attack us personally.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP0

 

REID:  Despite everything that we have seen from this president, there

remains a large contingent of the Democratic Party that still seems to

believe that somehow they can work with Trump

and Republicans on policy issues.  The challenge here is that part of the

party, that part of the party, is looking backwards and another part of the

party says that that era is actually over.

 

Let`s talk about this with our guests, Aimee Allison, who – from She the

People, as well as Christine Quinn who is, sorry, president and CEO of the

nonprofit – sorry, I`m grabbing it – I`m sorry, we have a bit of a

prompter freeze situation, so I have to get your titles right.

 

CHRISTINE QUINN, PRESIDENT AND CEO:  No worries.

 

REID:  So Amy, let`s talk to you first.  You did the She the People forum,

which is actually pretty powerful, and it was sort of a future look.  There

were all of these women of color there were there in the audience listening

to these voters.

 

In your view, the women that you talked to through the She the People

network, do they want a

party that is going to look backwards to sort of a past when things were

sort of more – had more comity or to a future that has pretty significant

change?

 

AIMEE ALLISON, SHE THE PEOPLE:  It`s pretty clear women are color are

looking to the future.  We want a different kind of leadership out of the

Democratic Party.

 

What has been so interesting about the press conference today and what has

revealed this last week is that it`s very clear that this squad, which is

actually more than just four votes, has captured the

hearts and the souls for the majority of Democrats, that`s where the

momentum is.  We know that because the candidates in the campaigns who

actually embrace this broad-based justice agenda around all the issues that

we heard Alexandria Cortez and the other congresswoman articulate that are

pushing legislation, those are the things that are most inspiring, and

those are the things that women of color, the millions of them that

represent a fourth of the vote in a lot of those swing states that are

looking for.

 

REID:  Well, let me play a little bit of Joe Biden`s interview for you,

Christine, because he is pushing on this idea this that he would try to

bring Republicans over if he became president on his agenda.  Here he is

talking to Mika Brzezinski.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BIDEN:  I campaigned in 24 states for 69 people.  I campaigned for

virtually every member who won – who beat a Republican to win back the

House.  They have come to me over 20 of them and saying please, please keep

us moving forward.  I didn`t run saying I would never talk to a Republican.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  So, I mean, Christine, there is the Joe Biden – he`s saying that

that is moving forward, that he sees a future in which there is a

Republican Party they can do deals with even if it`s the same party.  Is

that a realistic view?

 

CHRISTINE QUINN, FOUNDER AND CEO OF WOMEN IN NEED:  There was a time in

American politics when that was the reality, you know, and you really could

get things done, look at Senator Ted Kennedy, the lion of the senate, he

was able to get things done in a bipartisan way with

Republicans.  Those times are far gone.  And I don`t see them coming back

in the near future.

 

And when a Democrat is president, I think the Republicans are just going to

dig their heels in even more and not give in on anything.  So, I think

what`s living in the past is think that what once was can come back

quickly.  And it may never come back, which I don`t think is a good thing,

but it`s not coming back any time soon.

 

REID:  What about, Aimee, this thing going on between Democratic leadership

and these four women called the squad?

 

You know, each of them in their district represents more people than the

whole state of Wyoming, the whole state of Vermont, the whole District of

Columbia, all of Alaska, all of North Dakota, all of South Dakota, so they

actually represent like 2.8 million people combined.  What is the idea of

issuing a poll, or circulating a poll that shows that one of them,

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is not popular.  What do you think is behind

that? And do you think an effective way to move the party?

 

ALLISON:  Well, I have been very disappointed in Nancy Pelosi, and earlier

in the last few days trying to minimize and even vilify the voice of the

squad, those are women of color who has been in office 6.5 months, and have

brought so much energy and focus to the Democratic Party.  They do

represent where the Democratic Party is going, which is the base really

wants a clear set of policies that run counter to what Trump is trying to

do, in particular, the humanitarian crisis on the border.  And by trying to

whip votes, Nancy Pelosi is really undermining the best thing the

Democratic Party has got.

 

And so I think when Trump agreed with Pelosi, that was when it was very

clear that Democratic Party leadership had to stop and really change

course.

 

It`s the Squad, which actually includes a lot more than the four.  I was at

– I was in Philly at the Netroots conference, which is about 4,000 of the

country`s top  progressive leaders, and I was on stage with Ilhan Omar and

Rashida Tlaib and Deb Holland.  And in that conversation, that was a

standing ovation.  When they walked in, everyone was on their feet.

 

These are the people that have captured the heart and the minds and the

souls of those who will

go out and register voters and knock on doors.  That`s the spirit of the

party, that`s what we are going to need to actually win the White House in

2020.

 

REID:  But I mean, Christine, very quickly before we go, but there also are

moderate Democrats in lots of the parts of the country and a lot of

Democrats who won the seats that are red

states, so which of the Democratic Party do to balance those seats, where

they don`t want to lose those, but they want to harness the energy of these

new and younger voters of color?

 

QUINN:  And that`s true, right, the Democratic Party has always been very

diverse in ideology, and in the district where a lot of people beat

Republicans are more conservative.

 

But what we need to be as a Democratic Party is progressive, is forward

looking, and is supportive of each other.  I just don`t understand why

singling out these four women, and others, as bad or to this or to that is

anybody`s benefit in the Democratic Party.

 

REID:  I hate to wrap you – I hate to wrap you – but we are done.  Aimee

Allison and Christine Quinn, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

Appreciate it.  And that is it for this evening.

 

Chris Hayes will be back in the anchor chair tomorrow night and as always

you can find me on “A.M. JOY” this weekend at 10:00 a.m.

 

“RACHEL MADDOW” starts right now.

 

Rachel?

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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