Republicans defend Trump’s racism. TRANSCRIPT: 7/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Carol Lam, Harry Litman, Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, Dorian Warren
Transcript:

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST:  It may end up looking like – well, it may end

up looking like a normal debate.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for

being with us.  Chris Matthews will be back on Monday, and “ALL IN” with

Chris Hayes starts right now.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

 

ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL:  If we had had confidence that the

president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.

 

HAYES:  If you`re the president, they let you do it.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you say whether the OLC memo that the president

cannot be indicted played a role in this as well?

 

HAYES:  Tonight, new reporting that suggests Donald Trump escaped criminal

charges because he`s the president for the second time.  Then –

 

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN):  When I said I was the President`s nightmare, well,

you`re watching it now.

 

HAYES:  Michelle Goldberg on the bizarre Republican defense of Donald

Trump`s bigotry.  And this weekend oversight of the Trump administration.

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  Did you see the images of officers

circulating photoshopped images of my violent rape?

 

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

 

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD):  What does that mean when a child is sitting

in their own feces, can`t take a shower?  Come on, man.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  It is twice now in the

last several months we have learned that there has been substantial

evidence of Donald Trump`s criminal conduct before prosecutors that would

have almost certainly resulted in this criminal indictment but for one tiny

little detail.  He is the President of the United States.

 

USA Today reports “federal prosecutors decision to end an investigation

into hush-money payments to women claiming affairs with Donald Trump relied

at least in part on long-standing Justice Department policy that a sitting

president cannot be charged with a crime.

 

We have that policy thanks to a man named Robert Dixon who was the head of

the Department of Justice`s Office of Legal Counsel way back in 1973 when

they offered a memo that says a president cannot be indicted while sitting

in office.

 

“We concluded that by virtue of his unique position under the Constitution,

the president cannot be the object of criminal proceedings while he is in

office.”  Now, at a press conference this morning, Deputy Attorney General

Jeff Rosen declined to say whether that 1973 Office of Legal Counsel memo

was a factor in the DOJ decision.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The government sentencing memorandum claimed that Cohen

committed two Campaign Finance felonies “in coordination with and at the

direction of Individual One identified as the President. 

 

With the case now being – with the investigation now being closed, does

that mean that Individual One, the president, was cleared of any

wrongdoing?

 

JEFF ROSEN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  Really the only thing

I can say about that is that it was handled by experienced prosecutors who

looked at the law and the facts and made their conclusions on the merits.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you say, Deputy Attorney General, can you say

whether you or the Department, main Justice pay a role in that final

conclusion?  And then secondly, can you say whether the OLC memo the

president cannot be indicted paid a role in this as well.

 

ROSEN:  I don`t have anything to add to what I just said.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That`s kind of interesting is it?  Now the chair of the House

Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings is demanding answers writing in a

letter to the U.S. Attorney`s Office for the Southern District of New York,

“the committee is seeking to determine whether the internal Department of

Justice policy against indicting a sitting president the same policy that

prevented Special Counsel Robert Mueller from bringing an indictment

against President Trump for obstruction of justice in the Russian election

interference investigation played any role in your office`s decision not to

indict President Trump for these hush-money crimes.”

 

And you may remember what former Special Counsel Robert Mueller had to say

not even two months ago about his decision not to bring obstruction charges

against President Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MUELLER:  And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we

had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we

would have said so.  Under long-standing department policy, a president

cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.  That is

unconstitutional.  Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from

public view, that too is prohibited.

 

The Special Counsel`s Office is part of the Department of Justice.  And by

regulation, it was bound by that department policy.  Charging the president

with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  So far, over 1,000 former federal prosecutors have said that they

would indict President Trump based on the evidence in the Mueller report. 

And somehow the hush-money case actually seems far clearer.

 

I mean, check this out.  According to Michael Cohen sentencing memo, that`s

the government`s writing, and his allocution before the judge, then-

candidate Trump directed a criminal conspiracy that results in the person

that he paid to do the crimes pleading to a fellow named doing jail time.

 

Donald Trump paid Michael Cohen to do a crime.  Michael Cohen is now in

jail for said crime.  Donald Trump is the president in the White House.  So

that`s the country we now live in apparently thanks to a legal memo written

in 1973 that basically says that if you`re the president they let you do

it.

 

Joining me now for more on the possible legal questions surrounding the

President are Carol Lam former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of

California and Harry Litman former U.S. Attorney for the Western District

of Pennsylvania, also the creator and executive producer of the Talking

Feds podcast.

 

Let`s start with just the sort of counterfactual here, Carol.  If Donald

Trump is just Donald Trump as the CEO of Trump Org and or he lost – let`s

say he lost the election, right after this exact same set of facts and now

he`s just a private citizen, it really – I mean, I`m not aware but it

really looks like he very clearly is indictable.

 

CAROL LAM, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  I think that`s right.  I think you

probably would have seen an indictment.  There are enough witnesses here

who probably would testify against him certainly.  Michael Cohen his close

lawyer in this situation.

 

I think that you know, the Southern District of New York sort of found

itself in a checkmate situation.  They had immunized David Pecker at AMI,

they had – you know Michael Cohen has already testified in front of – in

front of Congress.  They`ve already convicted him, and the end of this

story was written a long time ago, they cannot indict the president.

 

So at the end of the day, they`ve given immunity to some people, other

people have pled, that`s where it is.  And I think if the president were a

private citizen, I think they would probably be willing to roll the dice on

this one.

 

HAYES:  So we`ve got two situations it looks like, Harry, where there`s

indictable crimes or evidence of crimes that would be sufficient to indict

a private citizen.  What Carol just described in this case which actually

seemed just extremely clear-cut to me, like you`ve got the checks, you`ve

got – you got – you guys know it all.

 

Then there`s the obstruction that`s enumerated in the Mueller report, the

ten instances which 1,000 federal prosecutors, former federal prosecutors,

you among them I believe has said that would be sufficient for a charge. 

What do we tell the American people about the fact that there`s – it`s

like a video game where he got like some special shield called the

presidency and now he can walk around like doing crimes and not having to

do anything about it?

 

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  Right.  And I`ll add to the video game

that he`s got a special shield so we don`t actually even see what`s going

on.  It`s sort of like when there – when it`s the president, he`s got the

special rules when – but otherwise, he`s got the normal rules of a

criminal defendant that you don`t say things.

 

First, it`s not – it`s hardly a roll of the dice.  I agree with Carol, but

you`re coming up sevens on the obstruction which if you – that`s the main

reason for reading the Mueller report carefully as it details at least four

instances where the proof of culpable intent is clear.

 

And then here as you say, Chris, in many ways it`s simpler.  Cohen has

already pleaded guilty through these crimes.  Anyone who conspired with him

would absolutely be guilty.  Now, maybe they never consider charging Trump

but Individual One was already up to the line and what we`ve learned in the

last couple of days makes it worse for him, for Hope Hicks, and for others.

 

And the real rub here is we`re not sure exactly why it was closed down. 

The normal presumption of regularity is hard to adhere to under current

regime in DOJ.

 

HAYES:  So we`ve got – we`ve got the 1973 memo which is fairly long and

in-depth –

 

LITMAN:  Also 1999 repeatedly.

 

HAYES:  There`s a 99 memo or 1999-2000, and they both come to the same

conclusion.  And I guess I want to get both your feedback on it because

again it`s – I`ve read them and they seem – they`re actually fairly

persuasive I think.  I mean, it`s a – it`s a thorny issue right? 

 

And the Constitution does have a specific enumerated way to deal with high

crimes and misdemeanors by the president of the United States which is

impeachment and it`s very unclear what the Constitution feels about in

tithing the president though it clearly doesn`t explicitly bar it in the

text.  What do you think?  Is this the correct legal operating procedure,

Carol?

 

LAM:  Yes, you know, actually it is.  And you know, the unsealed FBI search

warrant affidavit was a little bit of a gift to us that the judge said no,

you`re going to release that and the American public deserves to see what

the details were here with respect to those phone calls that were made by

Michael Cohen and the president`s involvement and such.

 

That was a little bit of a gift but we are back now in criminal prosecution

– federal prosecution land where very little is said short of an

indictment.  And there are no more indictments coming that seems to be the

case.

 

So we`ve learned what we`re going to learn.  It doesn`t surprise me at all

that the Deputy Attorney General is saying no comment on anything else. 

You don`t get to see the processes.  You don`t – you don`t even get to see

something like the Mueller Report in ordinary criminal prosecution.

 

So you know, this is sort of it.  But what we did see in that FBI affidavit

was a lot more detail and this goes back now to the political realm.  I

think – I think that`s clear that this is where it resides.

 

HAYES:  Harry, what do you think about the constitutional finding and the

argument of both those memos?

 

LITMAN:  Yes.  So first, by the way, this is no ordinary criminal

prosecution and that`s why Congress will stay on the – on the trail.  It

actually, Chris, is fairly weak I think.  It`s a little hard to bottom line

on but OLC memos are rich in law and precedent and neither of these is.

 

They come down to a kind of a mucky policy argument that it would be really

distracting to the president as surely it would.  Of course, that`s the

argument that was rejected in Clinton v Jones.  And then when they come to

this extra step that model referred to about putting it under seal with

really no more reasoning, they just lump it in there too.

 

As OLC memos go, it`s I think pretty mucky and policy-driven.  I think the

weight of scholarly opinion is that it per se is not that – the bottom

line might be right, might not, but the memo itself is pretty threadbare.

 

HAYES:  All right, Carol Lam and Harry Litman, thank you both.

 

LITMAN:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  Joining me now Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters of California. 

She is chair of the House Financial Services Committee.  Your view,

Congresswoman, on this matter which is to say evidence the president has

committed crimes or at least sufficient evidence for an indictment were he

not the president but he is the president so there`s no indictment, and now

we just sort of wait I guess.

 

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA):  Well, as I have said for a long time, I think

that this president is eligible for you know, impeachment.  Now, after

you`ve said everything, you understand that the Constitution puts the

ultimate power in the hands of the members of Congress.

 

It doesn`t matter whether there is an opinion that talks about the

president is not indictable.  It doesn`t matter that the president has

committed crimes that we cannot tie-down.  If we feel that this president

has committed certain crimes, if we feel that he is not a decent president,

if he`s a dangerous president, if he`s not acting in the best interest of

the Congress of the United States, on and on and on we can make the

decision to override any opinion about whether or not he`s indictable. 

That`s what impeachment is all about.

 

HAYES:  Let me – I want to press you on that.  You just said – you just

enumerated three things.  Decent – if he`s not decent, if he`s dangerous,

if he`s not acting the best interests of the country, is that a kind of

rough guideline for how you think about that high crimes and misdemeanors

clause or does it have to be something with a more criminal bite to it in

the way that you think about?

 

WATERS:  No, that`s how I think about it.  I think it is a combination of

things that rise to the level of we cannot afford to have this person

representing us.  And I think when you take a look at the Mueller report,

if you take a look at the women whose claims that he has raped, that he is

basically taking advantage of them, if you take a look at the way he has

lied, if you take a look at all of these things, I think it rises to the

level of what we would consider high crimes and misdemeanors.

 

It is up to the Congress of the United States of America to determine

whether or not that president should stay in office.

 

HAYES:  You have from your perch as committee chair of Financial Services

Committee, I think issued document request if not formal subpoenas to

Deutsche Bank which is a bank with which the President did business.  I

think the last time I had you here you had said that Deutsche Bank had been

cooperative, and I wanted to check in on where those document requests and

document production were.

 

WATERS:  As you know, we had a good court decision that said they had to

comply with the subpoena, and then it was a matter of working out the time

with the court for the information to be put together and the court to

basically get around to the arguments on the merits.  We`re just getting

there.

 

In August, I think around the latter part of August, we will be hearing you

know, what each side is going to say and basically what amounts to a court

hearing, a court trial.  We do not determine you know, basically the

calendar of the court, and the courts are slow.  And this is vacation time

for judges.  All of that – yes, this is true.

 

And so what we`re doing is we`re doing everything that we can in the

investigations.  So far we are working well with the courts.  They`re

making good decisions enforcing the subpoenas.  But now you know, getting

through the court and getting past all of that and all of the motions that

can be put forth etcetera, it takes a lot of time.

 

HAYES:  I want to switch gears on the last question here just to talk about

what`s happened over the last several days with the president`s attacks on

your colleagues, the chants of “send her back” which the president sort of

very, very tepidly and weekly sort of disavowed yesterday but then

essentially re-avowed today.

 

We weren`t given an opportunity to talk about it.  He sort of re-embraced

his supporters who were chanting that.  What`s the effect on that on

Congress, on your caucus, on your fellow members, your ability to do your

jobs and be confident in your own safety and security?

 

WATERS:  Well, you know, some people were shocked that the president could

be so outwardly racist.  Other people were surprised and of course, you

know, there`s a lot of embarrassment as our colleagues and – as our

colleagues and allies look at us from you know, across the waters you know,

foreign allies.

 

So you know, the fact of the matter is we`re trying to do everything that

we can do to say that he really does not represent most of the people of

this country in what he is doing and the way that he`s attacking these

women and the racism that he`s putting forth.

 

However, I, you, and others know that he`s gotten worse from the time that

we first started to realize that he was identifying himself as an unworthy

person, not worthy of the presidency, he has consistently gotten worse

because guess what, he basically came to the conclusion that we were not

going to impeach him so he keeps going and he`ll get worse.

 

And he`s using these young women as the face of the Democratic Party

scaring folks, having folks believe that here you have these foreigners. 

He doesn`t even know that they`re citizens of the United States of America. 

Foreigners who are somehow using their power to take over the Congress. 

This is who the Democratic Party is.  They are not patriotic.  They are you

know, responsible for this anti-Semitism that`s going on with one of them,

etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

 

That`s his campaign.  That`s what he`s using.  He is divisive and he`s

dangerous.  And so all I can say is and I hate to keep saying it, I told

you so.  I started a long time ago.  He clearly identified himself.  He

should have been impeached.  He has not been impeached.  He`s out of hand. 

He`s going to keep going.  This is his campaign that you see unfolding

right now.

 

HAYES:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you for making some time on this

Friday night.

 

WATERS:  You`re welcome.

 

HAYES:  Next, the convoluted Republican response to Trump`s racism using

claims of anti-Semitism as a shield for bigotry.  Michelle Goldberg joins

me next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  In defending the relentless racist attacks on Congressman Ilhan

Omar for the President on down, Republicans like to deny and he charges a

bigotry by accusing Omar of making what they say are anti-Semitic comments.

 

But in the New York Times today, Columnist Michelle Goldberg says this is a

ridiculous charade writing, “On Tuesday, an evangelical outfit called

Proclaiming Justice of the Nation`s accused the Anti-Defamation League, the

Anti-Defamation League of siding with anti-Semites after the ADL called out

Trump`s racism.  Republicans are only a short step away from such

shamelessness when they try to deflect from the president`s racism by

accusing his foes of anti-Semitism.

 

Joining me now is Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times and

an MSNBC Contributor.  It`s a great column.

 

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  I`m so glad you wrote it because it`s also been driving me crazy.

 

GOLDBERG:  Right.  It`s been – and it`s been driving like many Jewish

people I know crazy to see Judy – to see Jewish people dragged in as if

Donald Trump is somehow our protector in launching these racist attacks,

again, not just on these four women, but really on the foundations of the

United States as a multi-ethnic democracy where you don`t have to be a

white Christian to be a full citizen right, because that is so profoundly

threatening.

 

It`s profoundly threatening to people of color, it`s profoundly threatening

to immigrants, but it`s profoundly threatening to Jews, right?  The reason

that Jews have flourished in this country as they have in very few places

in the world at any point in history is because of this – is because this

country is you know, it`s kind of an idea as opposed to an ethnos state.

 

HAYES:  A creedal nation, a civic nationalism that we say like this is the

idea.  Like it`s not like are you French in your blood, right?

 

GOLDBERG:  Right.  You can become an American in a way that it`s much

harder to become you know –and this is something Ronald Reagan wrote

about.  It`s much easier to become an American than a Frenchman.  But –

and so you see this grotesque inversion where Donald Trump simultaneously

attacked that foundation that is made Jewish life in America possible while

claiming is doing it on the Jews behalf.

 

HAYES:  And there so – I mean, you also mentioned this.  I just think it`s

like really important to show this again.  This is – this is Donald Trump

back in April a few days after the Israeli election talking to the Jewish

Republican coalition, Jewish-Americans, Americans.

 

GOLDBERG:  Right.

 

HAYES:  Listen to how he addresses that which you raised in your column. 

Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  I stood with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu.  How is

the race going by the way?  How is it – who`s going to win the race?  Tell

me.  I don`t know.  Well, it`s going to be close.  I think it`s going to be

close.  Two good people, two good people.  But I stood with you Prime

Minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan

Heights.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Your Prime Minister.  Your Prime Minister.

 

GOLDBERG:  Right.  And it`s not the only – right, and it`s not the only

time he`s done that.  He`s also said you know, your country when speaking

to American Jews.  And so that is the exact same conception of who belongs

here.

 

HAYES:  Exactly.

 

GOLDBERG:  It might be that he`s sort of willing to accept use on

sufferance for now, but it`s just as a provisional conception of

citizenship as it is with Ilhan Omar, right, that like we really belong to

another country.  And as I get e-mails from time to time saying go back to

Israel which is the country I first visited in my 20s, but you know – and

it`s kind of Donald Trump clearly does not see Americans as full and

complete citizens.

 

HAYES:  I want to –

 

GOLDBERG:  And he clearly does not see Jews as full citizens.

 

HAYES:  Right.  And I want to play this.  This is – this is him back in

2015 talking to the Jewish Republican coalition again.  Again, Jewish

Americans and you also mentioned this.  And I want people to listen to this

and think about if it got up before a group of Jewish donors in the

Democratic Party and said exactly this to them.  Think about that as you

watch this.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  Some of us renegotiate deals.  I would say about 99.9.  Is there

anybody that doesn`t renegotiate deals in this room?  This room negotiates. 

I want to renegotiate – this room, perhaps more than any room I`ve ever

spoken to.

 

You`re not going to support me even though you know I`m the best thing that

could ever happen to Israel and I`ll be that.  And the real – I know why

you`re not going to support me.  And you know, you`re not going to support

me because I don`t want your money.

 

He raised $125 million which means he`s controlled totally, totally

controlled by the people that gave him the money.  That`s why you don`t

want to give me money, OK.  But that`s OK.  You want to control your own

politician.  That`s fine, good.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  He`s telling a group of Jewish donors, you want to control your own

money.  You`re not going to support me because I don`t want your money.  If

Ilhan Omar said those exact same words –

 

GOLDBERG:  Yes, absolutely.

 

HAYES:  – it would be the top controversy in America.

 

GOLDBERG:  Right.  Or if Ilhan Omar had sent out a tweet with the Jewish

star and then claimed no it was a sheriff`s star.  I mean, the catalog of

Donald Trump`s anti-Semitic remarks and an invocation of anti-Semitic

tropes is extremely long, far longer than Omar`s.

 

But to me the point is not just what about-ism, it`s not just that he`s

being hypocritical, it`s something even more sinister in the way that they

keep using Jews as – first of all they are lying about a lot of these

accusations that they`re making against this poor congresswoman, and then

they are using those lies to justify their own racism.

 

HAYES:  And that racism is undermining the bedrock of our shared

foundational civic life.  Michelle Goldberg, thanks for joining us.

 

GOLDBERG:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  Coming up, Elizabeth Warren takes on the Raytheon lobbyist that

Donald Trump just nominated to run the Defense Department.  And the head of

Homeland Security answers to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for the behavior of

border agents in a secret Facebook group.  That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  One thing that Democrats in Congress are having to regularly deal

with is the intentional – attentional Maelstrom that Donald Trump creates

particularly when he does an odious thing like tweeting racist attacks on

members of Congress or inciting a crowd at his rally to make racist chants

against them.

 

But while this is happening, Democrats in Congress have been working

aggressively to conduct oversight of the administration to do the business

that you do was a member of Congress.  And here are some highlights that

you might have missed this week.

 

First, Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren

grilled Mark Esper, the president`s pick to be the Secretary of Defense

over his past as a top lobbyist for the third-largest defense contractor

Raytheon.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you`re confirmed,

will you do the same and commit to extending your recusal from any and all

matters involving Raytheon for your – the duration of your tenure as

Secretary of Defense?

 

MARK ESPER, NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:  You know, Senator, we had

this discussion in your office –

 

WARREN:  Yes we did.

 

ESPER:  – this discussion a couple of years ago.  You know, on the advice

of my ethics folks at the Pentagon, the career professionals, no, the

recommendation is not to.  The belief is that the screening process I have

in place, all the rules and regulations and law…

 

WARREN:  So, let`s just cut – you`re not going to do what secretary –

Acting Secretary Shanahan agreed to do, and that is agree not to be

involved in decisions involving your former employer where you were head

lobbyist for the duration of your time as secretary of defense?

 

ESPER:  Senator, I can`t explain why he made that commitment.  We obviously

come to the – he was…

 

WARREN:  But you`re not willing to make the same commitment.  Is that

right?

 

ESPER:  He was fulfilling a different role than I am.

 

WARREN:  You are unwilling to make that same commitment, is that right, Dr.

Esper?

 

ESPER:  He has a different professional background…

 

WARREN:  I`ll take that as a yes you are unwilling to make that commitment.

 

You detailed an exception to your ethics obligations by writing that you

can get a waiver to participate in matters that directly and predictably

affect Ratheon`s financial interests, quote, “so important that it cannot

be referred to another official,” end quote.  This smacks of corruption,

plain

and simple.

 

So here`s my question, will you commit that during your time as defense

secretary that you will not seek any waiver that will allow you to

participate in matters that affect Raytheon`s financial interests?

 

ESPER:  Well, senator, let me correct the record with regard to what you

said.  At any time in the past 20-some months to include the last three

weeks did I request or seek or receive or be granted any waiver?

 

WARREN:  I appreciate, Dr. Esper, that you have not in the past asked for

one, but you have – you`re the one who has detailed an exception to your

ethics obligation by saying that you can seek a waiver in the future.  And

so I`m asking if you`re confirmed will you agree not to seek such a waiver? 

I think it`s a fair question.  It`s a yes or no.

 

Will you agree not to ask for a waiver during the time you serve as

secretary of defense?

 

ESPER:  No, senator, I won`t, because I`m going to continue to abide by the

rules and regulations, and…

 

WARREN:  Thank you.

 

Will you commit not to work for or get paid by any defense contractor four

years of your government service?

 

ESPER:  No, senator, I will not.

 

WARREN:  All right.  So, let me get this straight, you`re still due to get

a million dollar payout from when you lobbied from Raytheon.  You won`t

commit to recuse yourself from Raytheon`s decision, you insist on being

free to seek a waiver that would let you make decisions affecting

Raytheon`s bottom line, and your remaining financial interest, and you

won`t rule out taking a trip right back through the revolving door on your

way out of government service or even just delaying that trip for four

years after you leave government.

 

Secretary Esper, the American people deserve to know that you`re making

decisions in our country`s best security interests, not in your own

financial interests.  You can`t make those commitments to this committee,

that means you should not be confirmed as secretary of defense.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  I should tell you, Senator Warren released a statement today saying

that she will

be opposing Mark Esper`s nomination.

 

Then, just yesterday, members of the House oversight committee, including

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the chair of that committee,

Congressman Elijah Cummings, questioned the acting homeland secretary,

Kevin McAleenan, they`re all acting secretaries these days more or less, on

everything from a racist Facebook group for border agents to immigration to

child separation policy.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK:  Are you aware of the

ProPublica report indicating that there were about 10,000 potential current

and former CBP officers in the violently racist and sexist Facebook group?

 

KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY:  I am aware of the

ProPublica article, yes.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see any of the posts in the report?

 

MCALEENAN:  I did.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the posts mocking migrant children`s deaths?

 

MCALEENAN:  I did.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and

Congresswoman Escobar?

 

MCALEENAN:  Yes, and I directed an investigation within minutes of reading

the article.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the images of officers circulating Photoshopped

images of my violent rape?

 

MCALEENAN:  Yes, I did.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Are those officers on the job today and responsible for the

safety of migrant women and children?

 

MCALEENAN:  So there is an aggressive investigation on this issue

proceeding.  You`ve heard the chief of the border patrol, the most senior

female official in law enforcement across the entire country say that these

posts do not meet our standards of conduct and they will be followed up

aggressively.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  But those officers…

 

MCALEENAN:  We`ve already put individuals on administrative duties.  I

don`t know which ones corresponding to which posts, and we`ve issued cease

and desist orders to dozens of more.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  OK. 

 

Do you think that the policy of child separation could have contributed to

a dehumanizing

culture within CBP that contributes and kind of spills over into other

areas of conduct?

 

MCALEENAN:  We do not have a dehumanizing culture at CBP.  This is an

agency that  rescues 4,000 people a year, that`s absolutely committed to

the well-being of everyone that they interact with.  I don`t believe there

is a dehumanizing culture.

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  And Mr. Secretary, do you don`t think that having 10,000

officers in a violent racist group sharing rape memes of members of

congress points to any concern of a dehumanized culture?

 

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Congresswoman, those posts are unacceptable.  They`re being

investigated, but I don`t think it`s fair to apply them to the entire

organization.

 

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND:  I guess you feel like you`re doing a

great job, right?  Is that what you`re saying?

 

MCALEENAN:  We`re doing our level best in a very challenging…

 

CUMMINGS:  What does that mean?  What does that mean when a child is

sitting in their own feces, can`t take a shower.  Come on, man. 

 

MCALEENAN: (SIGHING)

 

CUMMINGS:  What`s that about?  None of us would have our children in that

position.  They are human beings.  And I`m trying to figure out – and I

get tired of folks saying oh, oh, they just beating up on the border

patrol.  Oh, they just beating up on homeland security.  What I`m saying is

I want to concentrate on these children, and I want to make sure that they

are OK.

 

I will say it, and I`ve said it before, and I`ll say it again, it`s not the

deed that you do to a child, it`s the memory.  It`s the memory.  And so –

and I told head of border patrol the other day, I said I want to know

what`s happening in the meantime. 

 

We are the United States of America.  We are the greatest country in the

world.  We are the ones that can go anywhere in the world and say to people

make sure that they have diapers, make sure that a they have toothbrushes,

make sure that they`re not laying around defecating in some silver paper. 

Come on, we`re better than that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, there are a couple of tried and true evasive

maneuvers a politician can take when they don`t want to deal with tough

questions from the press.  One such strategy is to repeat your non-

responsive answer over and over again.  For example, back in 2012, former

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman stuck to the script after he was caught

on tape spewing birther nonsense about President Obama.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENITFIED MALE:  After your comments about the president, do you feel

that voters are owed a better explanation than just “I misspoke”?

 

MIKE COFFMAN, FORMER CONGRESSMAN COLORADO:  I think that – as I stand by

my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  And who are you apologizing to?

 

COFFMAN:  You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I

apologize.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I apologize.  We talk to you all the time, you`re a

very forthcoming guy.  Who is telling you not to talk and to handle it like

this?

 

COFFMAN:  I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you have, and I

misspoke, and I apologize.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is there anything that I can ask you that you`ll

answer differently?

 

COFFMAN:  You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I 

apologize.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  It`s the last one that takes it up to art.

 

So, that`s the repetition model.  Mo Brooks has another method.  Two years

ago the Alabama  congressman didn`t really want to field questions on the

sexual misconduct questions against his fellow Alabaman, Roy Moore, and he

pulled the good old  run away as fast as you can routine.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you believe Roy Moore over the women?

 

SEN. MO BROOKS, (R) ALABAMA:  I believe that the Democrats will do great

damage to our country.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you still believe Roy Moore?

 

BROOKS:  I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country

on a myriad of issues.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  So, there is the running and repeating.

 

But is any politician dexterous enough to use both disciplines of reporter

avoidance?  We give you Rand Paul avoids 9/11 first responder funding

questions in Thing Two in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Senator Rand Paul has been facing firestorm of criticism after he

and Utah Senator Mike Lee temporarily blocked a bill this week that would

reauthorize the 9/11 victims compensation fund.  And Senator Paul is

dealing with it in a couple of ways.

 

First, he turned to some friendly faces at Trump TV to try to explain it

away.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY:  No matter how good the cause is I say if you

want to spend new money, find waste elsewhere in a $4.2 trillion spending

budget.  It`s everywhere.  How about the $300,000 we spent on Japanese

quail to see if they`re more sexually promiscuous on cocaine?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That`s sort of an interesting question.  But then the New York

media came calling, asking the tough questions, and Senator Paul reacted,

well, like this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, what is your objection to the 9/11 bill that you

had on the senate?  Are you going to vote in favor of this bill, senator? 

Senator Paul, do you agree with the assessment that Senator Gillibrand was

making, that you`re standing in the way of first responders receiving their

benefits?

 

Senator are, you going to do any further blocks or amendments or objections

to this bill?

 

Senator Paul, is there anything you can say to the first responders who

came yesterday?

 

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News, we just did an interview on Fox News, and

there is a lot of good information on there.  If you`ll tell your viewers

to tune in to Fox News, we have some great stuff on there.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  With all due respect, sir, I`m not Fox News, but can

you clarify…

 

PAUL:  If you`re a professional outlet, you could call and get an interview

like they did.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, we tried multiple times.

 

PAUL:  Yeah, I don`t know who you are.  Who are you with?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m with New York 1.  Sir, what is your objection…

 

PAUL:  Here is a suggestion, if you would like to be sort of a professional

reporter.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  With all due respects, sir, what is your objection to

the 9/11 first responder bill?

 

PAUL:  If you call and get an interview, that would be a great idea.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I understand you have issues with the national debt.

 

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is that your objection, sir?

 

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News, you will see that we explain exactly what the

lies were, so watch Fox News.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you mind clearing that up, sir?  What do you mean by

the lies?  Is there anything else you can tell us, sir? 

 

All right.  Thank you, senator.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Piece of work.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  We`ve got a new nominee for secretary of labor.  We`re going to

tell you all about him in just a bit.  But before we do, it occurred to us

that you could tell the entire story in a manner of speaking, the Trump

administration and what they`re doing to the federal government and what

they

value and who they want running the place, the story of the four people who

became or were nominated to become Donald Trump`s secretary of labor.

 

We begin with a guy infamous for using scantily clad women to hawk cheap

hamburgers.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

ANDREW PUZDER, CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS:  I don`t think there is anything wrong

with a beautiful woman in a bikini eating a hamburger or washing a Bentley

or a pick-up truck or being in a hot tub.  I think there is probably

nothing more American.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  There is nothing more America, that is fast food CEO Andy Puzder. 

He was Trump`s first pick for labor secretary.  He was a huge critic of

minimum wage increases, Obama era worker protections, and paid sick leave

policies, the very things the Department of Labor is supposed to enforce.

 

Ultimately, he withdrew his nomination after a tape surfaced of his ex-wife

on Oprah Winfrey  in 1990 in disguise.  The show was titled high class

battered women.  She went on to makes allegations of spousal abuse.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Remember, my ex-husband was a public figure. 

Everyone knew him and knew what he was doing. And once I made that public,

he vowed revenge.  He said I will see you in the gutter.  This will never

be over.  You will pay for this.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  I`ll see you in the gutter.  That`s Andy Puzder, the nominated

secretary of labor she`s talking about.  Of course Puzder denied the

allegations.

 

So then the next guy up, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of

Florida, Alex Acosta.  He did manage to get confirmed, but ultimately just

had to resign after he came under fire for his sweetheart plea deal to

wealth sex predator and long-time Donald Trump pal, Jeffrey Epstein.  Today

is Acosta`s last day.

 

The new guy is acting secretary of labor Patrick Pitsela (ph). Pitsela (ph)

and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked together in the late1990s to

prevent congress from imposing basic labor protections in the northern

Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, so the products made in the factories

were labeled made in the USA but were produced in horrifying sweat shop

conditions.

 

Amazingly, the latest guy might be even worse.  He`s got a famous last name

and a history of fighting protections for workers whose jobs require them

to perform the same task again and again.  and that story is after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  The president has announced his nominee to become the secretary of

labor: Eugene Scalia.  If that name sounds familiar, it is because he is

the son of that Scalia, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

 

Eugene, himself, is a big deal conservative lawyer, well-known doing work

like defending Wal-Mart when it faced lawsuits accusing the company of

illegally firing corporate whistle blowers.  He`s most known, however, for

helping kill what`s called the ergonomics rule.  It was a Clinton

administration regulation designed to protect workers from injuries

resulting from repetitive stress.  That could be carpal tunnel syndrome if

you`re typing all day, or an Amazon warehouse worker who has to load the

same box in the same way over and over and over.

 

As Scalia portrayed the rule, a nefarious union plot to slow production and

force companies to hire more workers and wrote that there was no way to

prove whether an ailment was caused by work or genetic factors or other

activities such as sports.

 

His aggressive opposition to a regulation designed to prevent on the job

injuries helped make him a hero of the corporate  right.  And now Donald

Trump has nominated him to lead a department whose ostensible function is

to protect workers.

 

Joining me now Dorian Warren, president of the national community

organizing group Community Change, and former Democratic Senator Barbara

Boxer of California, co-host of The Boxer Podcast.

 

Senator Boxer, I have got to think he`s not going to get many Democratic

votes.

 

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER SENATOR, CALIFORNIA:  I can`t imagine that he would

get

even one. 

 

You know, what Trump does is picks people who want to destroy the mission

of the agency he appoints them to.  He`s done it over and over.

 

And if you read what the Labor Department is supposed to do, it`s pretty

easy, Department of Labor is supposed to support workers, help workers.  I

don`t know if he could have found anyone worse.  I don`t know who could

have been worse.  This guy is a champion of killing important regulations. 

And the one that stands out to me is he got involved with, there was a rule

to make sure that when stock brokers were helping retirees, that they put

the needs of the retirees before their own commissions.  He helped to water

that down, to kill that.  I mean, that`s a disaster, an absolute disaster.

 

HAYES:  The fiduciary rule, which was passed by the Obama administration

and was – basically says you have got to act in the best interest of

client, you can`t just basically like swindle them or cut yourself in

without telling them.  And he went to town against it.

 

DORIAN WARREN, PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY CHANGE:  Well, there was a joke among

SEC commissioners and staff that the Dodd-Frank regulation that reeled in

the financial sector after they crashed the economy in the Great Recession,

the joke was that Dodd-Frank was really the Eugene Scalia full employment

bill, because he has…

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

WARREN:  …has spent his entire career, right, attacking workers and

working people and essentially being a hit man for corporations and

corporate power.  That`s his entire career.  And with this pick, Trump

actually gets a twofer.  He gets to appoint someone, if he`s successful,

and I do hope there will be Democratic opposition to this, but he gets to

appoint someone who will, as Senator Boxer said, try to eviscerate the

Department of Labor, try to kill all regulations that protect workers.

 

But it`s also – the other part of the twofer is, this is red meat to his

base.  And by his base I mean means Evangelicals who revere his father and,

right, corporations and employers who will benefit financially.

 

HAYES:  Yes, the donor class loves this.

 

And, you know, it also occurred to me, senator, that this is not – you

know, Donald Trump is suigeneris in many ways.  Scalia was a possible

Department of Labor secretary in I think any Republican administration,

quite honestly.  Like, this is just what the Republican Party looks like,

right?

 

BOXER:  Well, I think when you really look at all of this, what you see is

a Republican Party that really is against most of the people in the

country.  And they try to do these shiny objects over over here and over

there, but when people realize, if they work for a living, and it`s most

people who work for a living, whether they are non-union, whether they`re

union, they need someone in the Department of Labor who is going to stand

up for them, otherwise let them go work for the – you know, be the

Secretary of Commerce, for gods sake.  And I would even argue they should

be good to working people, too.

 

But I think there`s going to be a wake up call here.  Because the

Republican Party is the real

story here.  We know what Donald Trump is, now we are learning what they

are.

 

HAYES:  I think that`s a great point.  And I think when I was watching the

first sets of debates, it was interesting to me how much Democrats did

focus on the economy and basically like who is this administration fighting

for.  And it strikes me that in some ways, counter intuitively, one of the

most

true attacks on Donald Trump is that he`s just a normal Republican, in many

ways.  I mean, in many  ways he is not, let`s be very clear about that. 

The send her back chant and all of that stuff.  But in these ways, the guy

at the Department of Labor who want to overturn things, he is a normal

Republican and you can attack him as such.

 

BOXER:  You can attack him as such, and actually a campaign to oppose his

nomination would shine the light on what the Republican Party has been

doing for the last 40 years.

 

Donald Trump is just the Frankenstein monster they created.  But this could

shine a light on what is the role of government in terms of working and

ordinary people in this country.  How is this party that is enabling the

president advancing the interest of the very rich and of folks that don`t

care

about people like you and me.

 

So, this is a perfect opportunity to actually go after the enablers of the

administration, and everyone has been opposing Trump for three years now,

but there are millions of people, and especially powerful people who are

enabling him and opposing this nomination as a way to shine a light on

them,

too.

 

HAYES:  And I think those…

 

BOXER:  Yes.

 

HAYES:  Senator…

 

BOXER:  Yes, I was going to say with health care such a big issue, I can`t

wait for people to see when he went to fight for Wal-Mart and said that

Wal-Mart didn`t have to really spend money on the  health care of the

people.  That`s going to hit home.  Those people are our neighbors.  We see

them every day.  So, I think it`s an exciting opportunity, but it`s a

terrible nomination.  And if I was in the senate, I would be helping to

lead the charge against this guy.

 

HAYES:  All right, Barbara Boxer and Dorian Warren, thank you both for

being with me on this very hot summer Friday – oh, it`s hot out there. 

Please be careful if you are in the heat zone this weekend.

 

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

now. 

 

Good evening, Rachel.

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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