House votes to condemn Trump’s racist tweets. TRANSCRIPT: 7/16/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: As a peace corps volunteer in Africa,
thousands of miles from home, I had only a short wave radio and of course
the shared hope of mankind. 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you say Democratic Congresswomen should leave if
they`re not happy, where should they go?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s up to them.
HAYES: The president stands by his racist remarks.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): How shameful to hear him continued to defend
those offensive words.
HAYES: As Democrats use their power to condemn the president.
PELOSI: Every single member of this institution Democratic and Republican
to join us in condemning the president`s racist tweets.
HAYES: Tonight, as frustration boils over –
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): I abandon the chair.
HAYES: And White House spin continues.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: What`s your ethnicity?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is that relevant?
HAYES: The actual cost to us all as Republicans defend the president.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, the president is not a racist.
HAYES: Then –
REP. AL GREEN (D-TX): What do you do when the leader of the free world is
HAYES: Congressman Al Green on his push to impeach the president in the
wake of his racist attacks.
GREEN: You follow articles of impeachment.
HAYES: Plus, what exactly is the deal with Lindsey Graham?
SEN. LINSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): That can`t go where Donald Trump takes the
party and I think the country.
HAYES: And why new numbers out today suggest the massive Democratic field
could shrink to single digits soon, when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from Newark. I`m Chris Hayes. Just an hour ago, the
House voted to condemn President Trump`s racist tweets telling four
Democratic Congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from.”
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): I rise with a sense of righteous indignation to
support this resolution. I know racism when I see it. I know racism when
I feel it. And at the highest level of government, there`s no room for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Every single Democrat plus independent Justin Amash voted for the
measure. Only four Republicans voted to condemn the president`s remarks
though that does make it a bipartisan resolution.
What we saw today was the political representation the Republican Party for
a minority of the country, the base, that shows up in poll after poll
supporting the president going to work, to bend over backwards to defend
the president from public condemnation for his words. Even going so far as
I try to invoke parliamentary procedure in their battle, because it`s
apparently not polite to point out when the president behaves in a
blatantly racist manner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting
and these comments are racist. How shameful to hear him continue to defend
those offensive words, words that we have all heard and repeat not only
about our members but about countless others.
Every single member of this institution Democratic and Republican to join
us in condemning the President`s racist tweets. To do anything less would
be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath
of office to protect the American people. I urge a unanimous vote –
CLEAVER: The gentleman from Georgia.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): I was just going to give the gentle Speaker of
the House if she would like to rephrase that comment.
PELOSI: I had cleared my remarks as a parliamentarian before I read them.
COLLINS: Then take it – I make a point of order that the gentlewomanƒ_Ts
words are unparliamentary and request they be taken down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The petty nature of the ceaseless procedural whining from
Republicans led to a visibly angry Congressman Emanuel Cleaver who`s
presiding over the House to drop his gavel and leave in frustration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLEAVER: I came in here to try to do this in a fair way. I kept warning
both sides, let`s not do this hoping we could get through, but we don`t
ever, ever want to pass up it seems an opportunity to escalate, and that`s
what this is. I`ll dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if
there was any unfairness. But unfairness is not enough because we want to
just fight. I abandon the chair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here`s a thing we all know what`s happening right now over the last
few days in a divided polarized country where people don`t agree on
anything. Everybody knows what`s happening, all of us. The president is a
racist and he said a racist thing, and the majority of the country
recognized that. A minority of the country either denies it or they
recognize it and is in the President`s words fine with it.
(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)
HAYES: Many people agree with me. The crazy thing is that condemnation
from the House would be expected and basically any other workplace in
America. If any of us – one of us said to a co-worker like in a meeting
what the president said about those congresswomen, we would expect
In fact, get this, here`s what the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission which police`s workplace law and civil rights. Here`s what they
say about immigrants employment rights under federal anti-discrimination
laws. I`ll read it. Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include
insults taunting or ethnic epithets such as making fun of a person`s
foreign accent or comments like go back to where you came from, whether
made by supervisors or by co-workers.
That is how crystal clear cut this issue is. This is not, of course, the
first time the president has done something like this. We can probably all
recite the litany together. The president has praised white supremacist as
very fine people. He`s called Haiti and countries in Africa shithole
countries. Multiple people have alleged that Trump used racial slurs
including the n-word as the host of Celebrity Apprentice.
You may even remember that he began the entire campaign by saying Mexico
was sending drug dealers and rapists. Literally the first time, the first
time ever that Donald Trump shows up in the New York Times was when he and
his father weren`t renting to black people and got sued by the Department
of Justice for discrimination.
Here`s the article, “major landlord accused of anti-black bias.” That`s
Donald Trump. But the perverse effect of Donald Trump on this party in
this moment is that while he is a symptom of the underlying appeals to
white racial grievance that have increasingly defined the Republican Party
and indeed conservatism over decades, Trump is also in his aggressive
violation of polite taboos radicalizing the base and Republican officials
who then have to go out look into cameras and say ridiculous things like
it`s not racist to tell people of color to go back to your country.
Here`s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today twisting in the wind
when asked if it would be racist as someone asked his wife Secretary of
Transportation Elaine Chao who came to the U.S. from Taiwan as a kid the
very same question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re married to an immigrant as a nationalized U.S.
citizen. If someone were to say to her, she should go back to her country
because of a criticism of her federal policies, wouldn`t you consider that
a racist attack?
MCCONNELL: Well, the Secretary of Transportation came here at age eight
legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American
dream. And I think all of us think that this is the process of renewal
that`s gone on in this country for a very long time and it`s good for
America. We ought to continue it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So we find ourselves once again with the fundamental reality of the
man in the White House Donald Trump. No matter what your interpretation is
of the Constitution`s provisions of high crimes and misdemeanors, what that
means technically, one thing is clear. It has been clear from day one.
The man is fundamentally unfit for the office that he holds.
Joining me now are Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political
Science at Fordham University and Josh Marshall Editor and Publisher of
Talking Points Memo. To me the most exhausting thing is the gaslighting
around. Like we all know and Mitch McConnell know, all these people know,
right. Like no one`s pretending – everyone who`s pretending they don`t
know is pretending they don`t know.
CHRISTINA GREER, PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: They know better but
problem is we`re dealing with the man who has no shame, and we`re now
seeing that the Republican Party and all the members of his administration
who support him don`t have any shame either. I mean, you know all the
You showed some of it with Lindsey Graham saying this man is absolutely not
qualified. He doesn`t respect the office. He cannot be president. And we
don`t know what this president has done to this senator because he has made
a direct 180 and he`s now calling for sitting members of Congress communist
and socialist and worse.
So, unfortunately, the norms of our institution that we`re supposed to
uphold and respect, this President has come and blown out – you know,
blown into the water, and the Republican Party is silent. I mean, this
vote with only four Republicans saying that this is inappropriate language,
behavior, unfit of the presidency. I mean, the fact that only four
Republicans have the –
JOSH MARSHALL, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, TALKING POINTS MEMO: And I think two
of those are retiring.
HAYES: Yes, right, exactly.
MARSHALL: So in practice, it`s like two Republicans.
HAYES: Exactly, yes.
GREER: Exactly. I mean, it`s shameful. And what really frustrates me and
angers me is that the level of fear that this president evokes in American
citizens, you know, their stories about local New York stories about parks
this weekend that were completely empty, desolate, you know, the anxiety –
I grew up under Reagan and I think I`m a political scientist now because he
frightened me as child. The Voice, the things he said, how my community
felt whenever he was on television.
There is a whole generation of children now who are going to look at the
role – the office of the presidency and have a certain level of anxiety.
He`s calling my relatives rapist and murderers. He`s saying that they
should be banned. He`s saying that the countries of origin, the flags that
they probably have on their walls in their homes don`t belong there.
They`re they don`t belong there.
I mean, he is a white nationalist and I don`t know when we`re going to
start sort of putting that out there and being very clear about like a
white supremacist vision of this country in 2019 cannot stand. And there
are far too many Americans who are saying well, I`m not going to vote for
him but I`m not going to tell my relatives that I vote for them and I`m not
going to you know say anything. That`s someone else`s private things when
they go into the voting booth. We cannot do that. I mean we – if this
man gets another four years, we will be lucky if the Republic stands.
HAYES: I think that part of it too is that the – it`s not just the
silence, it`s just complicity. And you know, at this point, the complicity
is an old story. But every time it gets ratcheted up a little bit to me
it`s a little like breaking someone into a criminal gang where you have
them do the theft. You`re like – they`re getting – so that they`re –
MARSHALL: Or that thing we`ve got to kill someone before you really –
HAYES: Yes. It`s like now Mitch McConnell – like everyone gets sort of
like jumped into the gang where it`s like, now you`re out there, even if
you`re a person who in private life, I`m sure there are Republicans who
voted today who in a private office, if someone said that to someone in
front of them when their staff would be like, what the hell are you doing.
I`m sure they exist.
GREER: Mitch McConnell –
MARSHALL: Among those hundreds –
HAYES: Mitch McConnell might be even that person.
GREER: – not being able to say a definitive statement when someone asked
about his wife.
HAYES: But now they`re – this is the way the radicalization works is now
they jump into the gang.
MARSHALL: Yes. Yes. No, it`s a wild thing because I was thinking about
this today. I think even as bad as things have gotten right now, I think
there are actually very few Republican elected – Republican members of
Congress who if they did that could survive it.
HAYES: Yes, that`s right.
MARSHALL: Even that you couldn`t –
HAYES: No, he`s Steve King –
MARSHALL: If some Senator did that, these people –
HAYES: Donald Trump is Steve King. He just happen to be in the White
HAYES: You know what I mean? Like Steve King is they have like – had to
kind of like quarantine a little bit and took him away his committee. But
there`s not that much big a difference between him and –
MARSHALL: It`s hard – it`s hard for me to think of anything Steve King
has said that is worse than that string of outbursts.
MARSHALL: I mean, the things –
HAYES: That`s a great point.
MARSHALL: Even as – or even as bad. Yes, yes.
HAYES: But here`s one thing I think it`s also important here is the
politics of this. Like there`s a sort of argument this strategic
mastermind by the president but I don`t think – like this is not a popular
thing. When they – when he after Charlottesville, he had a job approval
rating low of 34 percent.
This is not to say that the country doesn`t have a long history of white
supremacy and racism but like go back to where you came from, it`s not
appealing to a majority of Americans. Right, am I crazy?
GREER: But go back to where you came from is from the racist playbook.
HAYES: Right, right.
GREER: I mean, so I don`t think that this is some mastermind like that`s
just – that`s the old faithful, right.
GREER: If I had – if I had a dollar for every time someone told me to go
back to Africa, I could buy this building twice over, right. Like that`s
just – and the second part of the playbook is I don`t have racist bone in
my body. It`s like OK, well, that not the definition of racist.
HAYES: One following the other.
GREER: They go – they go hand in hand.
GREER: And so I don`t think that he`s you know, trying to distract us from
the fact that he was accused of rape two weeks ago. I don`t think he`s
trying to distract us from the fact that Iran deal is falling party and
he`s trying to invite dictators to the White House. I don`t think he`s
trying to distract us from that. Sometimes a racist is just the races and
they have a rant. Like the have a moment.
And we know that strong women especially strong women of color have a
certain ire in him that he just goes off the rails.
HAYES: It is – it is earnest what he`s coming across. Christina Greer
and Josh Marshall, thank you both.
GREER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now, the former Republican governor and congressman from
South Carolina Mark Sanford who`s considering a potential presidential run
against Donald Trump. Mr. Sanford, would you have voted – how would you
have voted today if you were still in the House.
MARK SANFORD (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I don`t know. I`d have to look at I
didn`t look at the resolution. I`ve heard the commentary in terms of what
you all were just saying on air. I would put it – again, I have not seen
the resolution so I don`t know.
What I`d say is the obvious, which is the comments made no sense, period,
end of story. But what I`m trying to do in hypothetically looking over the
next thirty days as to whether or not I should challenge the president is
on the discussion that`s not taking place.
And the discussion that`s not taking place is on debt and deficit and how
much our government is spending and whether or not that sustainable.
Whether you`re from the left or from the right I think what we`d all agree
upon is whatever government we have, we wanted to stick around for a little
while so that indeed it can pay Social Security benefits or can pay for
children`s health care go down the list.
HAYES: Do you – do you think that`s – do you think that`s the most
pressing issue the country faces?
SANFORD: Positively. And it`s the least discussed.
HAYES: Wait, hold on a second. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. The
account balances in the various accounts of the United States government in
20-year projections is more pressing to you than children at the border and
or the carbon in the atmosphere that is on track to warm the planet above
four degrees or five degrees centigrade?
SANFORD: We`re talking about both of those. But we`re not talking about
those account balances that you just mentioned. Think about this. In just
one year, we will spend more on interest than we do in children in terms of
all federal programs, and that`s education, that`s welfare, that`s aid to
HAYES: Let me ask you this. l would like your theory. I would like your
SANFORD: Wait, well, one other thought here. One other thought here
though. In three years, we will spend more on interest than we do on our
entire national defense budget.
SANFORD: And so we can talk about border security, we can talk about a
whole plethora of different issues, but we`re not talking about our ability
to pay for any of those different issues.
HAYES: OK, but why – so let`s talk about why that is, right. Because
I`ve – this has been my life in politics and I want you to explain to me
how – why this is the case. Republican Party under Ronald Reagan
massively expanded spending on the military and increase the deficit
because of tax cuts. George W – so that was one.
SANFORD: Wait, let me just interject. Let me just interject. Thus, it
was David Stockman who wrote the book the Triumph of Politics at that time.
HAYES: That`s right. That`s right. So then George H.W. Bush comes in.
He votes for tax hikes. Famously the Republican Party basically revolts
against when he gets booted out. Bill Clinton reduces the deficit, George
W. Bush comes in.
Now, all the time Republicans are saying deficit, deficit. George W. Bush
comes in we get trillions of dollars in war and we get huge tax cuts, huge
deficits, right. And then Obama comes in, the Republicans say deficits,
deficits, deficits, and then we get Donald Trump and what do we get
increased military spending, increased domestic spending, and also tax
So every time Republicans control the government, we get huge deficits and
they stop caring. And then when Democrats come back into power, they start
caring. How do you explain that?
SANFORD: Well, welcome through the world of politics. We both know it`s
always pin the tail on the donkey or pin the tail on the elephant. So
whoever is not in power–
HAYES: Wait, so wouldn`t the problem solve itself? Wait, but why do you
have to run for president? The problem will solve itself when Democrats
get power again. Then everybody that is in your caucus, and in your
family, and in your party is going to get very excited about deficits
SANFORD: Well, your simple analogy is a little bit more complex than
you`re laying out. I hear you.
HAYES: No, that`s literally how it works.
SANFORD: But as we both know – no, give me a break. There was plenty of
blame to go around on both sides.
HAYES: No, no, but republicans get extremely fired about the deficit and
debt when the Democrats controlled the government. We could agree on that.
SANFORD: Wait, wait, wait. Tell me the Republicans are extremely fired up
about it right now.
HAYES: What`s that?
SANFORD: Tell me the Republicans that are extremely fired up about it
HAYES: No, I know because you guys controlled the government. The point
is that if there`s a Democratic president, I will bet you everything – I
would make – whatever friendly wager, some New York food versus some
Charleston food, whatever you want, but the second there`s a Democratic
president your concerns –
SANFORD: Let`s go with Charleston food.
HAYES: Don`t you worry, Mr. Sanford, I just promise you – and I
understand you. You don`t think it`s being talked about enough. But if
you want people to talk about the deficit and debt, I have a piece of
advice, get a Democrat elected president. Because nothing will make people
talk about the debt and deficit faster than a Democrat being in the White
SANFORD: No, no, no, I would – again, what you`re really saying is when
Republicans in control Democrats, will talk about it, when Democrats in
control, Republicans are talking about it. And what I`m saying is I just
got through watching two presidential debates on the Democratic side and
there was not one question from the moderator side or from a panelist side,
candidate side, on deficit ad government spending.
And I listen to the president who says I will not touch any of the things
that drive our debt and spending. And so I`m simply saying, oh my
goodness. If you look at the numbers, this problem is not our grandkids
problem or our kids problem. This is our problem and it`s going to come in
the next couple years. And if we don`t tackle it before the next
presidential race, debate, and cycle, we`re in trouble.
HAYES: So – all right, but you don`t have a feeling one way or the other
about whether the president`s tweets are racist?
SANFORD: No, but I just think you – there been thousands of hours of
commentary. You`re making my point on again, I said it`s a dumb comment.
I mean –
HAYES: But that`s not racist.
SANDFORD: And you have ten other folks – wait, wait, wait, you`ll have
ten other folks talking about it, condemning it –
HAYES: I`m asking you. I`m just asking Mark Sanford who was – you used
to be a member of Congress, a governor of the state, an incredibly talented
politician who was ticketed for a possible presidential run for years. If
you, the man who has a very large public profile think the tweets were
SANFORD: I think the tweets – the tweets are racist. I don`t – as to
whether or not Trump is a racist, I don`t know. I can`t –
HAYES: I`m not asking about that. I`m just asking the tweets. I`m just
asking you about the tweets.
HAYES: OK, good. Well, I`m glad we did that. Hey, I want to talk more
about the deficit. I have to go now but I want to talk more about the
SANFORD: Bring it back all right.
HAYES: We`ll do this again. I got a Rush Limbaugh quote I`m going to play
for you. Mark Sanford, thanks for your time. Next up, he`s the Republican
senator who said Donald Trump`s election would lead to the slaughter of his
party. Today that Senator is providing cover for the president in the wake
of his racist tweets. The Curious Case of Lindsey Graham in two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And joining us right now, we`ve got Senator Lindsey
Graham Republican from South Carolina, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary
Committee. Looked like a fun day.
GRAHAM: It was a fun day and Trump is the best golfer. You`re the best
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One of the questions people ask me all the time is just what`s the
deal with Lindsey Graham. Now, I can`t look into the man`s heart or read
his mind but the plain publicly observable fact is that there is no single
political figure who has done more of an insane 180 on Trump than Graham
who is currently one of the President`s greatest champions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: I just can`t go where Donald Trump takes the party and the
These policies are really bad for the country.
He`s not fit to be president in United States.
He is empowering radical Islam.
He`s becoming a jackass.
I think he`s a kook. I think he`s crazy. I think he`s unfit for office.
Donald Trump is not strong. He`s actually weak. He`s a bully. He`s a
I think Donald Trump is a political car wreck.
Trump`s foreign policy is a complete disaster.
He`s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.
I don`t know if anybody`s worse than Trump.
If he continues to do what he`s doing, he`s destroying the party.
We would get slaughtered as a party if Donald Trump is our nominee and
quite frankly we would deserve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, some has speculated that Graham`s evolution is merely a
cynical political calculation. The South Carolina senator is up for
reelection 2020 and Trump`s approval rating among Republicans is hovering
around 90 percent.
So Graham has fended off any serious primary challengers, but he does now
face a legitimate challenger from the Democratic Party. Jamie Harrison,
the first black Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party who`s been
building a small donor army in his race against Graham. And Harrison faces
an uphill fight.
Trump won South Carolina by 14 points in 2016 and no Democrat has won
statewide there since 2006. Jamie Harrison insist he has a winning message
and he joins me now. Mr. Harrison, what is your understanding of the
evolution of the man that represents your home state of South Carolina
JAMIE HARRISON (D-SC), SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, Chris, thank
you so much for having me. I`m actually not in South Carolina right now.
I`m visiting a family. But listen, George will put it perfectly. Lindsey
Graham is a political windsock. This is a guy who cares more about keeping
his own job than the jobs of the people in South Carolina.
And so what he has done is he has evolved. He`s a chameleon. He`s
changing his colors just to benefit himself. He epitomizes what people
hate about politics. This is somebody that I used to think had some type
of moral compass, some type of background. But we have found in South
Carolina – the question that you said that you`re hearing from tons of
people what happened in Lindsey Graham, I hear that all the time in the
grocery stores, and restaurants, walking on the street.
People have said this is a guy I used to look up to but now he has no
backbone. He`s just doing what`s in his best interest. And that`s sad and
that`s why we`re building an army, jamieharrison.com to send Lindsey Graham
HAYES: Let me – let me ask you – let me give you the devil`s advocate
defense of the political windsock here that you know, it`s a state that the
president won by 14 points. He represents a Republican Party in which the
South Carolina Republicans, I`m sure, of an approval rate of what 90
percent or something for Donald Trump.
He`s just representing his constituents, South Carolina`s – South
Carolinians in the main like Donald Trump. So Lindsey Graham is there to
defend Donald Trump. What`s wrong with that?
HARRISON: Listen, yes, I know a lot of people in Washington and New York
and everywhere think that South Carolina is so ruby red that a Democrat
could never win there but they`re wrong. And we showed that in 2018.
You know, Joe Cunningham won a seat that your previous guest Mark Sanford
held for a long time. And most pundits and most people I talked to in D.C.
before that election said there`s no way that a Democrat is ever going to
win that seat. Well, we did.
We also won a state House seat that was – a state Senate seat that was
held by Republican for 30 years. Things are changing in the south. Yes,
there`s this evolution of Renaissance, a new South that is being created.
And so it`s about investing in those people, investing in the diversity in
those areas, and just bringing hope back to these communities that have
lost all sense of it.
You know, Lindsey Graham just doesn`t do anything. I can`t recall the last
time he had a town hall. But I can tell you he probably was on Fox News
last night or if not last night the day before. I mean, he does more there
than he does for the people in South Carolina. Our hospitals are closing,
kids are saddled with thousands and thousands of dollars of student loan
debt. We need someone who will just fight for us. And that`s not in
Lindsey Graham right now.
HAYES: If you had – if you got to decide the one issue this election
would be decided on, what would it be?
HARRISON: Well, you know, character matters and I think character really
infuses everything that we do. It`s the values that we bring to the table
as we look at policies. And I would say the number one policy right now is
In South Carolina, we have had four rural hospitals. I grew up in a rural
community in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Our next-door neighbor Bamberg,
their hospital closed. There have been for rural hospitals that have
closed in South Carolina.
So if you live in those communities, Chris, it doesn`t matter if you voted
for Trump or Hillary Clinton, it doesn`t matter if you vote for Lindsey
Graham or you vote from me. It doesn`t matter if you`re a Democrat a
Republican. But if you have a heart attack or you have a stroke or
diabetes complications and you have to go to the hospital, instead of it
taking you 15 minutes or 10 minutes, it takes you 35 or 45 minutes, that`s
a death sentence.
And we have to look at this as right and wrong. It`s wrong for rural
hospitals to close and to have Lindsey Graham propose a bill like Graham-
Cassady that makes even impossible for more hospitals and in rural
communities to close. That`s wrong and that`s why he`s going to lose this
election and we`re going to send him home or send him to Mar-a-Lago or
HAYES: Jamie Harrison is a Democratic Senate candidate challenging Lindsey
Graham in South Carolina. Thanks for being with me.
HARRISON: Thank you, Chris. Next, what the Trump administration does
reflects what he says. The continued outrages at the border and racist
policies in action next.
HAYES: The president`s bigotry isn`t just evident in the things he says or
tweets, it`s evident every day in the actions and the policies of his
administration, it`s evident in the systematic targeting immigrants and the
horrifying conditions those that are detained are kept in for weeks at a
time, evident in the child separation policy in which children, sometimes
babies, are ripped from their parents` arms, sent to camps. Every day it
seems we get another official Trump administration policy that effectively
dehumanizes entire groups of people that the administration and the
president personally does not like, like this ghastly story about how a
border patrol agent asked a 3-year-old Honduran girl with a heart condition
to pick a parent, to choose one in an attempted family separation.
The child`s name is Sophia, or Sophie, for short. One parent was going to
be sent back to Mexico, the other would stay in the U.S. It`s not just an
attack on immigrant populations, critics say the president`s civil rights
record is abysmal as well. Today, we learned that Attorney General William
Barr reportedly overruled his own civil rights division in deciding not to
file federal charges against the NYPD officer in the death of 43-year-old
As you may remember, the grand jury failed to indict that officer who is
seen in this video with his arms around Garner as Garner desperately
repeats over and over, “I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe” shortly before
Here with me now Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director counsel NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
I want to start with on that last bit of news. The Eastern District of New
York recommended no charges. The civil rights division of the Justice
Department recommended charges. The attorney general personally intervened
to make sure that no charges were filed. What`s your reaction to that?
SHERRILYNN IFILL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Well, if this
was to be a civil rights prosecution, the people who have the expertise on
these kinds of claims are in the civil rights division. This had dragged
out for five years, that`s also problematic, and very painful for the
family. But here we see Attorney General Barr, you know, an attorney
general who basically received basically no questions about civil rights,
of what he would do with the civil rights division during his confirmation
hearing, but who also has essentially cosigned the priorities of Jeff
So we`re not entirely surprised by this outcome. It is deeply dismaying.
And it tells us, it confirms for us that this Justice Department is not in
the business of vigorously enforcing the nation`s civil rights laws, and
We should remember that the man who shot and killed Walter Scott in South
Carolina, Michael Slager, would not be in prison today were it not for the
federal prosecution. He was tried on state charges and the jury was hung.
IFILL: You know, the officers who beat Rodney King would never have served
any time had it not been for the federal prosecution. They were acquitted
at the state level.
We count on the Department of Justice, that`s the place that you go when
the state and local system has failed African-Americans traditionally. And
it`s been very clear since the Trump presidency, and since Jeff Sessions
and now cosigned by Attorney General Barr, that that resource is no longer
available to us.
This is – this is a very important moment that we have to recognize. And
so this is true with policing. Sessions announced he`ll do no pattern and
practice investigations of unconstitutional policing, that means the
Baltimore investigation would have never happened. The Ferguson
investigation would have never happened.
We`re seeing the incursions in the Department of Education. We`re seeing
what Ben Carson is
allowed to do in HUD. We`re seeing across the board a full-on retreat from
the federal government being involved in enforcing civil rights law.
HAYES: Someone says, well, there is the president`s words and his tweets
and then there is the
actions of the government, and – what is your understanding of the action
between the worldview
the president articulates and a tweet like “go back to your country” and
the way he has run the federal government?
IFILL: Well, you can find exactly what we think in two lawsuits we filed.
We were first out of the gate suing the president and charging the
president of the United States with racism when he created that election
integrity commission and claimed that 3 million illegals had voted.
And we also sued him, challenging the recision of Haitian TPS. And there
we laid out all of his
statements about shithole countries, all the ways in which attempted to
demonize this particular population.
This has not been an easy thing to do. It`s an unusual charge to make.
HAYES: How so. Explain that.
IFILL: Well, most of the time when we think about civil rights, we think
about challenging state and local governments who are engaged in
discrimination or even private parties. The Department of Justice is very
often your partner in making those challenges. Since this Trump
administration, we`ve sued six cabinet secretaries. This is unheard of in
the history of the Legal Defense Fund.
And the fact that the federal government is actively engaged in violating
civil rights laws, in demonizing populations in the way that we see at the
border, in creating a narrative, and that`s what the president does with
this language that dehumanizes people and allows people to be targets, it`s
actually dangerous. It`s dangerous when he says it about women sitting in
the United States Congress, it`s dangerous when he says it about
immigrants, it`s dangerous when he talks about people in African-American
communities and who they are, it`s dangerous when he calls NFL players sons
of bitches. It`s dangerous when he uses language, because he`s sending a
signal, no matter whether you like him or not, he is the leader of this
country, he is the see the president of the United States, and there is a
consistency that listens to him and takes their cues from him.
HAYES: You know, one of the things that is striking to me about the era of
immigration law and what`s happening at the border, is there is a place
where there is just a tremendous amount of
IFILL: Yes. Yes.
HAYES: So, you know, when you are talking about DOJ, how affirmative or
not affirmative they are in pursuing things. In the area of this like
50,000 people detained, it`s like the executives running the entire thing.
And that latitude is precisely what you`re seeing play out in the lives of
the people that are detained.
IFILL: Yes. And you`re seeing it in the behavior and the conduct of the
border patrol officers who believe that they can engage in this conduct and
who have this Facebook account and who are
talking to immigrants in this way. This is the signal that he is sending.
And when we see the vice president, as we saw this weekend, standing in
front of the cage with Lindsey Graham and with others and viewing human
beings as though they were animals in a zoo, and then coming out and
describing something that is completely contrary to what we all saw, this
is part of what Trump brought to this country.
And it`s really important that we recognize what it is and that we not play
this game as though we don`t know what racism is. We know what it is. We
know it when we see it.
HAYES: Sherrilyn Ifill, thank you as always.
IFILL: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, Congressman Al Green today filed impeachment articles against
the president. And he will join me next. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: Immediately after the House passed the resolution condemning the
Democratic Congressman Al Green took to the House floor and once again made
his case for impeaching President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. AL GREEN, (D) TEXAS: In all of this, the aforementioned Donald John
Trump has by his statements brought the high office of the president of the
United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute, has sown seeds
of discord among the people of the United States, has demonstrated that he
is unfit to be president and has betrayed his trust as president of the
United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And Congressman Al Green of Texas joins me now.
Congressman, my understanding of the articles that you talked about today,
they are new and in response to the tweets themselves. Is that right?
GREEN: Well, thank you for having me on, Mr. Hayes. Yes, they are new in
the sense that we took on the condemnation resolution. We believe that the
resolution condemning the president is in tandem with our articles of
impeachment. I think this is – the condemnation was a first step,
impeachment is the next step. And I trust that my colleagues will find the
same reasons to vote to impeach that they found to condemn.
HAYES: Well, so I guess let me ask this – I mean, Andrew Johnson was the
first presidential impeachment. There was an article of impeachment, among
many, that talked about intemperate things
he said – he had talked about hanging members of congress angrily. He was
an out and avowed racist
Do you think presidential words, racist invective like he has dealt itself
constitutes a high crime demeanor worthy of impeachment?
GREEN: Well, Andrew Johnson was impeached for a high misdemeanor in
Article 10 of the articles impeachment against him in 1868. I think the
president does more than speak words. These words are very harmful. Your
previous guest was quite accurate in assessing the harm that can be caused.
You might recall in Charlottesville that a lady lost her life at the hands
of bigotry. She was there protesting lawfully. And she was killed,
murdered, in fact, in my opinion.
So I think that the president is sowing the seeds of discord, but he is
also sowing the seeds of anger to the extent that people are being harmed,
and we have no way of knowing to the extent that people have been harmed.
HAYES: OK. But I guess let me just return to that question, like as just
a constitutional matter, and this president has said lots of things I think
that are blatantly racist and bigoted, I think you and I would agree on
that, does that itself, to you, constitute an impeachable offense? Is that
the kind of thing you think the president should be impeached for?
GREEN: I think that the president`s words are more than simply condemning,
the president incites and his words are insightful to the extent that they
cause others to act. And sometimes these actions have been harmful.
I have been accosted by people. In my office now when you walk in, the
first thing you see is a person with a gun. We never had this problem
before the president started his rants.
I believe that we must check him now or we will find someone being harmed,
perhaps a member of congress.
HAYES: There was an article today about members of congress who favor
impeachment, but who are worried about, quote, your rogue go at it. This
is something you`ve been out front about impeachment. You`ve drafted
articles. You`ve talked about privileged resolutions to get them to the
floor, et cetera. Do you have response to concerns of others in your
caucus who actually support the eventual goal, but think it has to be done
in a more managed process that begins with an inquiry formally to do fact-
GREEN: Well, the framers of the constitution did not require this. This
outsourcing of impeachment is something that we decided to do. The Justice
Department should not be the agency to investigate the executive branch of
government. We decided to do this.
So managing it through the Justice Department, which is an agent of the
executive branch, allows the president to do exactly what he has done, to
deny us access to witnesses, to demand that people not appear, to make sure
that we can`t even get Mr. Mueller to cooperate with us to the extent that
we`d like to, in my opinion.
So my belief is that each member has this right. I have only done what the
constitution allows. And my hope is that members will understand that it`s
not about me, it`s about democracy, it`s about the republic, it`s about
maintaining liberty and justice for all, and this president`s words are
stoking the fuels, the fires, the flames of confusion such that people are
HAYES: Do you think that in your caucus – I mean, it seemed for a while
there was a kind of growing groundswell, and the leadership was working
very hard to tamp that down. I`ve seen a few new members come out in favor
I think in the last day or two. Where is the caucus in terms of momentum?
What direction do you see it moving at in terms of support for immigration
GREEN: Well, my hope is that this vote to condemn him is an indication
that the caucus is
willing to take the next step. We voted to condemn. Those same votes can
be used to impeach. There will be no appeal of the impeachment votes.
There is no standard that has been imposed upon us. Each member decides
based upon his or her conscience and casts that vote
If 218 members decide, assuming that 435 are voting, then the president
will be impeached, only a majority of those voting is required.
HAYES: All right. Congressman Al Green, thank you for making some time
GREEN: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll be right back. Don`t go anywhere.
GREEN: Thank you.
HAYES: We have some sad news that just broke just moments ago. John Paul
Stevens, the third longest serving United States Supreme Court Justice, has
died tonight. Stevens joined the Supreme Court in 1975. He retired in
2010 when he was 90 years old. In that time I was fortunate enough to
meet him personally. My wife, Kate Shaw, clerked for him in the year of
2007. He was just an exceptional human being among everything else he was
He was appointed by the Republican President Gerald Ford. He often voted
with the court`s liberal wing. NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete
Williams looks back at his life and legacy.
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: The Supreme Court`s only Gerald Ford nominee,
Paul Stephens, arrived as a moderate conservative.
JOHN PAUL STEVENS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I thank the president for his
expression of confidence in me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the nomination.
WILLIAMS: But he quickly headed in his own direction, becoming an
independent-minded justice and the court`s most prolific dissenter. He
insisted he never varied and said the court shifted around him.
STEVENS: I really don`t think I have changed, and I still consider myself
WILLIAMS: At first skeptical of affirmative action in government
contracting, he eventually supported it in college admissions. He voted
with the court`s liberals to restrict police powers, give prisoners greater
rights, keep a high wall between church and state and support the right to
choose an abortion.
And though he never voted to declare the death penalty unconstitutional, he
became one of the court`s most vocal skeptics about its fairness.
STEVENS: The fact that most of the judges who preside and often make the
final life or death decision must stand for reelection creates a subtle
bias in favor of death.
WILLIAMS: But Stevens sometimes voted with the conservatives. A decorated
World War II navy code breaker, he dissented when the court struck down
laws that would have banned flag burning and he led a unanimous court in
ruling that a president could face a civil lawsuit while in office,
allowing a sexual harassment suit to proceed against President Clinton.
Stevens underwent heart bypass surgery and treatment for prostate cancer
but maintained a vigorous life off the bench. He had four children and
nine grandchildren and divided his time between Washington and a home in
Florida, communicating with his law clerks electronically.
STEVENS: It`s enabled me to spend more time on the golf course.
WILLIAMS: He remained fiercely loyal to his native Chicago, even throwing
out the first pitch at a Cubs game as an 85-year-old right-hander.
At age 90, Justice Stevens retired in June of 2009, after 34-and-a-half
years on the court.
In 2012, Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
in recognition of his lasting effect on the law as the third longest
serving justice in U.S. history.
Pete Williams, NBC News, at the Supreme Court.
HAYES: A few months ago I was fortunate enough with my wife, Kate, to
attend the 99th birthday party and clerkship reunion of John Paul Stevens
down in Florida. And I can just say it is a testament to the kind of man
he was, both as a public figure and in private, the integrity and wisdom,
kindness and grace with which he led his life. The people around him, you
cannot find a single person who would say anything but that he was one of
the finest human beings that they ever had the pleasure of being around.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the third longest serving justice,
died tonight of complications following a stroke. He was 99 years old.
HAYES:l There are at least 24 people on the Democratic side running for
president. And tomorrow we`ll find out which of them have qualified for
the debate stage in Detroit in two weeks. And then it`s on to the third
debate in September where stiffer qualifications will likely result in far
What`s always been pretty clear to me, at least, is that for all the jokes
about the size of the field, and it is indeed unprecedented, there is just
not enough money out there to keep these operations going all the way to
February 3, which is when the Iowa caucuses are.
The second quarter individual contribution fund-raising numbers are in for
most of the candidates. And while the top contenders are getting the cash
needed to keep in the competition, others are actually spending more than
they are raising.
Politico pointing out that Beto O`Rourke and Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker
Gillibrand all saw more money go out than in.
Now, if that kind of thing keeps up, and there is pretty good reason to
think it will, at least for some of the candidates in the field, we are
likely see the field winnow down pretty quickly.
Joining me now to talk about this is Tiffany Cross, co-founder and managing
editor of The Beat D.C. and Chris Kofinis, who is a Democratic strategist.
Tiffany, what do you think these FEC quarterly filing numbers, particularly
for the folks that are not in the top five or six, mean for the durability
of a field this big, say, in four of five months?
TIFFANY CROSS, MANAGING EDITOR, THE BEAT D.C.: Yeah, so I think it`s
really dangerous to call people the front-runner when we are quite a bit a
ways away from the first round of voting. So I`m always hesitant to use
Listen, I think a lot of what we see about the top five candidates who are
fund-raising well, you
have to look at the amounts and the number of donors contributing. So,
when you see people contributing $5 or $10, that`s a vote. I mean, a lot
of people who are maxing out, that`s a check in the box. They`re
contributing to everybody to make sure they have a friend in the White
House no matter what the outcome. When somebody is giving you $5 or $10 or
$20, that`s someone who supporting you and believe in your candidacy.
I do find it fascinating, though, that, you know, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as
we know, he struggled with communities of color, and I think a lot of his
ground swelling that initially kicked off his campaign was due to a media
incredibly lacking in diversity who was excited about his candidacy. And
you just are not electable if you cannot resonate with communities of
I will say, though, I think Pete has definitely – Mayor Pete has
definitely – definitely done his work and tried to make an attempt to
reach out to communities of color. He`s introduced policy that speaks
specifically to communities of color, but we have to see how that ends up
And with us being so far away, I`m not sure that we can necessarily call
any one of these top five candidates of the fund-raising wing the front-
runner at this point.
HAYES: Well, I would agree about the front-runner. But it`s – to me, the
issue with the fundraising is less who is the front-runner and more who can
CROSS: Yeah, right, that`s fair, totally.
HAYES: Because if the polling changes – the poll is going to change. But
Chris, at a certain point, unless – you know, John Delaney has a personal
fortune. He loaned himself $7.75 million after only raising $284,000 in
individual contributions. So he can do that and he can stay in the race,
but there is going to be – not a viable financial path forward for
candidates if they continue to spend more than they take in.
CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There is nothing that kills a
campaign quicker – or faster than if you run out of money. And this
becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy.
You know, you have a bad debate or you`re not in the debate, you don`t get
the poll bump, if you don`t get the poll bump, you don`t get the donor bump
and then you basically make less money.
And so the one thing about campaigns, especially for folks who have never
done one, the money is always going out, especially when you`re running
essentially for a lot of these campaigns two, three, four-state types of
KOFINIS: So there is always going to be a problem with money. But if it
doesn`t come in, it gets worse real fast. I think that the problem for
some of these candidates is going to be really simple, you know, your going
to have 20 in these next two debates. That third debate in September where
the criteria changes is going to be a really tough one for some of these
campaigns. And if they don`t get in, at some point you have to ask the
tough question, how do you stay in if you don`t have the money and you
don`t have the poll numbers?
HAYES: Which I think – yeah, go ahead, Tiffany.
CROSS: Well, I just don`t think we can discount the role the media plays
in this. I mean, look, I think Julian Castro had an incredible
announcement. He`s introduced several initiatives that resonate with a lot
of communities across America, but he doesn`t get the coverage that maybe
Joe Biden gets or maybe Bernie Sanders gets.
And so I think we have to acknowledge that. And we also have to look at
polling. Who is responding to these polls? A lot of the polls they go
through land lines, people who are answering their phones in the middle of
the day from an unknown number. Well, how many younger people do you know
who does that?
And when you look at…
HAYES: Well, there`s – we should say, there is a variety of
methodologies. There are folks who do cell phone. There are folks who do
CROSS: Well, I`ll just say, though, Chris, that I have been voting for
over 20 years and I`ve never been polled. And I think there are a lot of
But, look, I used to work for Cornell Belcher, so I`m sure – you know,
he`s a great pollster and I`m sure he cringes every time I say that. But I
do think that we have to consider some of the sourcing of thee polls.
I also know other voters who have never been polled. So, I think it`s a
very relevant question. We can`t let polls dictate who the front-runner
is. And I think that a lot of – when we even see the coverage, again,
that some of the – too many people over depend on how people are covered
news echo chambers and we have to encourage people to look at the policies
that these candidates are introducing and what resonates with them.
HAYES: Well, and there`s – I wonder, Chris, if there is a difference
between folks doing grassroots fund-raising and those who are doing more
high-dollar max out stuff. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, who
are all doing sort of more traditional, both grassroots and big high-dollar
max out. And then Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who have more money
just from grassroots fund-raising.
KOFINIS: I mean, listen, here is the cruel reality about politics today,
you have to have some type of campaign that gets media attention, gets
social media attention, something that gets attention to spur and spark
those donations to come in.
I think there are some campaigns that clearly have done a really good job
of it. I would say Warren has been at the top of that list. I think
Harris has actually done that.
The others are struggling, especially the second and third tier candidates.
If that doesn`t change, how do they stay in for long?
HAYES: Tiffany Cross and Chris Kofinis, thank you so much for joining us.
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
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protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
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