ICE protests and 9th circuit decision. TRANSCRIPT: 8/15/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: All he needs is for blueprints to the words he
spoke in getting here. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you feel the need to get involved with the
two congresswomen`s trip to Israel?
VELSHI: The president demands a foreign government retaliate against
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can`t imagine why Israel
would let them in.
VELSHI: Tonight, the growing outrage over the President`s behavior and his
continued attacks on the first two Muslim women in Congress. Senator
Bernie Sanders joins me on the Trump attacks on the squad at a Trump
economy teetering on the edge of recession. Plus, why Democrats just
subpoena the man Donald Trump just endorsed for Senate.
TRUMP: He`s terrific on television you`ve seen.
VELSHI: And what we`re learning from leaked details of the Jeffrey Epstein
autopsy. ALL IN starts now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. It
was another extraordinary day in the era of Donald Trump. The president
wielding his power to push Israel to deny entrance to two American
citizens, two elected U.S. officials for that matter because those American
citizens, those two women are his political adversaries.
Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar had planned to visit
Jerusalem in the West Bank this weekend. The two lawmakers are vocal
critics of the Israeli government and its treatment of the Palestinian
people. But as of just last month, the visit appeared to be on track.
The Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer who`s extremely
close to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two members
of Congress would be allowed to visit “out of respect for the U.S. Congress
and the great alliance between Israel and America.”
This past weekend, the top Republican in the House Congressman Kevin
McCarthy appeared in Jerusalem alongside his Democratic counterpart House
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and said that the two women should be allowed
to visit Israel.
This is how the Israeli newspaper Haaretz covered those comments, “U.S.
House leaders backed Netanyahu`s decision to let Tlaib and Omar enter
Israel. So certainly it seems like a done deal as of this weekend. But
this morning the president tweeted, It would show great weakness if Israel
allowed Congresswoman Omar and Congresswoman Tlaib to visit claiming –
Trump claiming the pair “hate Israel and all Jewish people.”
It`s worth noting that Donald Trump once insisted that at least some of the
white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville Virginia, a
group who walked the streets carrying torches and chanting the Jews will
not replace us were “very fine people.” He also reportedly told the former
president of his casino “the only kind of people I want counting my money
are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
Well today, shortly after the president`s tweet, Netanyahu reversed course
and did Trump`s bidding officially barring Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar
from Israel. The move garnered strong criticism from Republican and
Democratic lawmakers and even the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC
called it a mistake.
After stating that it disagreed with the two lawmakers, AIPAC added, “We
also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and
experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand. It`s perhaps not so
surprising the Trump is wielding this power, by the way, to retaliate
against the first two women – Muslim women ever elected to Congress. And
don`t forget, one of the centerpieces of his presidential campaign was a
proposed ban on all Muslims entering the United States until we can “figure
out what the hell is going on.”
Trump has repeatedly targeted Tlaib and Omar specifically along with two
other congresswomen of color Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Presley,
even telling them to go – to “go back and help fix the totally broken and
crime-infested places from which they came.”
All four women are American citizens. Three of them were born in the
United States. The one who was not Ilhan Omar, I should note, has been a
U.S. citizen longer than the president`s – the president`s wife Melania.
Last month, after Trump attacked Congresswoman Omar at a rally, his
supporters chanted send her back and Trump did nothing to stop those
chants. In a statement today, Omar described the decision to ban her from
Israel as an insult to democratic values. “Trump`s Muslim ban is what
Israel is implementing this time against two duly elected members of
I want to get some reaction now from Democratic presidential candidate
Bernie Sanders, independent senator from Vermont. Senator, good to see
you. What`s your reaction to President Trump asking the President of
Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to do this and Netanyahu obliging?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I wish I could
tell you, Ali, that I am shocked, I am not. We have a president who
tragically is a racist, is a xenophobe, and who is a religious bigot. But
the idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation
which by the way we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars
is clearly an outrage.
And if Israel doesn`t want members of the United States Congress to visit
their country to get a first-hand look at what`s going on – and I`ve been
there many, many times – but if he doesn`t want members to visit, maybe he
can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we gift Israel.
VELSHI: Over time, in excess of $140 billion. Last year alone $3 billion
in various types of aid. You`ve actually suggested that might be used to
leverage some of Israel`s behavior that Representatives Omar and Tlaib are
critical of, as you`ve been critical of.
SANDERS: Well, all that I am saying is that we need a Middle East policy
which is even-handed which protects the independence and the safety of
Israel but also shows respect to the Palestinian people. Many of whom in
Gaza and elsewhere are suffering incredibly, unemployment rate off the
charts. People cannot leave their community.
And I think what the United States should be doing especially with the
enormous amount of money we`re spending there is to demand that Israel and
the Palestinian leadership sit down and start working out their differences
and create peace in that troubled region.
VELSHI: Senator, you know, I`m never going to pass an opportunity when
you`re on with me to talk about the economy. I want to talk about what`s
going on this week, Donald Trump`s trade war, the effect that is having.
Look, he`s been roundly criticized for the way he`s handled this, not
critical of the fact that he and some of his supporters believe that China
needs to be dealt with differently, you too have had views, so – and so
many of your supporters have had views that we lose out to manufacturing
that comes from low-wage countries like China.
Watching what you`re watching now, how would a president Bernie Sanders
deal with trade issues differently? Because you were against the TPP. You
have come out against some of these trade agreements.
VELSHI: So how would you handle matters differently so that we don`t get
ourselves into the pickle we`re in right now?
SANDERS: Well, first of all, you don`t do trade policy by tweet. You
don`t have a belligerent policy toward our allies all over the world. What
you do is sit down with the stakeholders which is labor, which are farmers,
and you work out a trade policy which works for ordinary Americans and not
just large corporations which has historically been what our trade policy
Look, the truth is that if you looked at NAFTA and PNTR with China, that
has cost us some four million jobs. So I happen to believe in trade – I`m
a strong believer in trade but it cannot be unfettered free trade which it
really is not. It`s nothing free about it. But it has to be fair trade
which protects American workers and farmers.
VELSHI: Senator, when you got into government, trade – I`m making this up
but it was somewhere around 20 percent of global GDP. It`s now somewhere
around 60, in excess of 60 percent of GDP. The world got richer for it,
GDP is higher, corporate profitability is higher. The fact is there`s more
money because of trade. We haven`t used that money to train people, to
retrain people, to equip people for the future. Is trade really the enemy
or is how we deal with the profits from trade the problem?
SANDERS: Well, Ali, that`s – I think trade is one of the problems,
automation and artificial intelligence which are going to cost us many,
many jobs are another part of the problem. But to answer your question,
when we talk about the overall economy, it`s more than trade.
You have to look at a situation where today you have three people owning
more wealth than the bottom half of American society. That`s not just
trade, there`s a lot of factors involved there. You have major
corporations like Amazon not paying a nickel in federal income taxes.
You`ve got half of the American people working paycheck to paycheck. 87
million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured and tonight some
500,000 Americans are going to be sleeping out on the street when 49
percent of all their income goes lifted up one percent.
So the bottom line there is trade is one of the issues, not the only one.
We need an economy and a government that works for everybody not just the
one percent which is currently the case.
VELSHI: What does it look like to work for everybody? And I know we`ll
get to Medicare-for-all in a second because that`s one of the things you
say will work for everybody. But what does it mean for the rest of people
who are not employed, who it`s not a – it`s not a huge percentage of our
population, it`s a very low percentage but it`s stubborn?
There a number of people in this country, somewhere around 10 million
people who are not participating in this economy.
SANDERS: But Ali, it`s not just the unemployed. And you`re right, there
are more than we think and they`re hurting. It is, in fact, tens of
billions of people who are trying to get by today on $10.00, $11.00, $12.00
an hour, you can`t do it. It is people in Vermont and in California
working two or three jobs in order to put the – pay the bills that their
families are needing.
It is elderly people are trying to get by in $12,000, $13,000 a year Social
Security. It is people – one out of five people cannot afford the
medicines that doctors prescribed. So the truth is you got an economy
that`s doing really, really well for the people on top, but a lot of people
are hurting in the bottom fifty percent and that is an issue we`ve got to
VELSHI: All right, let`s talk about Medicare for all. You know, I like
talking about this with you.
SANDERS: Yes, I know.
VELSHI: I am coming from Canada. I understand what everybody having
health care looks like. However, one of the things you and I have talked
about is that there will be structural change with your plan. There will
be people put out of their jobs and there`ll be a transition and you`ve
talked about it taking at least four years to get done if not longer.
Now we have a different problem on our hands. We have a president, we`re
ten years and two months into an expansion. It`s a very long one. At some
point, there`s going to be a recession. There`s some people saying this
president might march us headlong into one with his trade policies. What
happens Bernie Sanders wins the election? President Bernie Sanders, are
you going to implement Medicare for all right off the top if you happen to
be in –
SANDERS: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, this will improve the economy.
When you got 87 million people who can`t afford to go to the doctor, you
got 30 million – 30,000 people who are going to die this year because they
don`t get to a doctor when they should.
When you have 500,000 people, I mean, it`s unbelievable, half a million
people go bankrupt because they cannot afford the outrageous medical bills
VELSHI: The only country in the developed world where that happens.
SANDERS: That`s right. So if you`re asking me overall will it improve the
economy to have Medicare for all over a four-year transition, the answer is
absolutely yes. And I`ll tell you one of the things we don`t talk enough
about, it we`ll help home health care for the elderly. You can – don`t
have to go into a nursing home because my legislation covers home health
The other thing, it does which is pretty amazing, is that if you are in a
job right now and there are millions of people who are at a job that they
really don`t like but they`re there because they get decent health care,
when you have Medicare for all, suddenly you can see a whole lot of people
starting small businesses, going out and doing all kinds of incredible
things because they are not now chained down at a job which they have only
because they have decent health care.
VELSHI: Senator, good to talk to you. Thank you for joining us tonight.
SANDERS: Thank you.
VELSHI: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, presidential candidate. Ahead,
more on the president`s continued attacks on the first two Muslim women
ever elected to Congress. The divider in chief as campaign strategy ahead.
VELSHI: One consistent theme in Donald Trump`s political career has been
his systematic attacks on Muslims. It started in 2015 when he proposed
banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So remember this, so listen. Donald J. Trump is calling for a
total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our
country`s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: All right, that continued through 2016 when he attacked the Muslim
mother of a fallen U.S. soldier, a Gold Star mother who took the stage at
the Democratic National Convention. He suggested that she didn`t speak
alongside her husband because “maybe she wasn`t allowed to have anything to
say.” The mother later clarified she didn`t speak up because there was a
giant picture of her dead son projected on the screen behind her and it
made her too emotional.
Once Donald Trump became president, one of his first acts was to try and
make good on his Muslim ban. Donald Trump`s systemic attack on Muslims has
been a recurring theme in his campaign and his presidency. Just last month
he tweeted “why don`t they go back and help fix the totally broken in
crime-infested places from which they came.”
That was directed at for congresswoman, two of whom are Muslim,
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib. And three days after that
tweet, we saw him bask in the send her back chants that were directed at
those women at his rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMERICAN CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Now, it`s important to remember that this hateful rhetoric is
literally a campaign ploy. It began on a campaign stop in 2015, has
continued through his presidency, and he`s using it again as he seeks re-
election. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is a key part of Donald Trump`s strategy to
win in 2020.
Joining me now are two people with significant experience covering Israel
and the rest of the Middle East Rula Jebreal, a journalist and Foreign
Policy Analyst who grew up in East Jerusalem, Ayman Mohyeldin who has
reported on the Middle East extensively before becoming the co-host of
“MORNING JOE FIRST LOOK” right here on MSNBC every morning. Welcome to
both of you. Thank you for being here.
Rula you`ve had a few hours to digest this. What stands out to you as the
most egregious part of what happened today? And I remind people it was
Donald Trump tweeting about how Israel should block these two women and
then the Prime Minister of Israel acquiescing.
RULA JEBREAL, JOURNALIST: We`re both ethnically Palestinian and I`m
speaking obviously today as a journalist, as analysts. However,
Palestinian people, if you`re an Arab or Palestinian you`ve been banned
many times from entering Israel and even preventing from crossing one –
from one area to another, so we`re familiar with this.
What is new is Israel escalation in its war on every critic around the
world, and this is backed by the President of the United States. I don`t
know if there`s a president – any other leader in America that`s ever
lobbied to ban Congress –
VELSHI: I can`t – I can`t think of one.
JEBREAL: I don`t remember anyone. However, it`s – again, it`s Israeli –
the Israeli government and Trump, they`re united in defining their
countries, the relative countries along racial religious line. And now
they are taking it to the next level in the case of Israel and the case of
Trump where they`re saying, if you criticize us you will be banned.
These two women have a role as representative of U.S. Congress that`s been
by the way the biggest allies Israel ever, not even the White House or any
president has been Congress. They`ve been giving them aid for years and
they`ve been very generous with them.
So Israel is saying, if you want to visit Israel or the territories that we
control which is occupied territories, you have to go through AIPAC and
approve of what we are doing. If not, we don`t want you here.
So they`re thrown, Democrats, under the bus and they`re aligning themselves
totally with Donald Trump and his vision of ethnoreligious project of
exclusion and purity. This is what`s happening today.
VELSHI: The interesting point, though, that in doing this, in blocking
these two women, these two members of Congress, whether they`re members of
Congress or not, Israel is sort of underscoring the point that criticism –
critics of Israel have, that you can`t get to the West Bank, you can`t get
to the occupied territories, you can`t get to Gaza but with the permission
of the Israeli government which they denied because these two women are
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Yes, there`s three components to this and
that is certainly one of them. I think one is this underscores the reality
of what occupation is. It`s that Israel controls the lives of these
millions of Palestinians that live there. Anyone who wants to access them
to see for themselves what that reality is on the ground whether it be
human rights activists, whether it be a sitting member of Congress, whether
it be a politician or even an entertainer, they would be limited because
the Israel ultimately controls who goes in and out of the territories.
Two, it also for the first time marks a slight and dangerous potential
shift for what Israel has done and that it is – it`s exporting its policy
of silencing those who want to support BDS beyond its borders, this time to
an American congresswoman. We have seen them try to do that internally
within Israel. There have been Israeli activists and Palestinian activists
who have been banned from traveling out of Israel. But not to see them
denying this, it takes it to an international level that we have not yet
And finally, it undermines the so-called special relationship between
Israel and the United States. You had a lot of members of the Democratic
Party just last week or in the week before standing in Israel saying the
Israeli prime minister is not a racist, vouching for Israel being an open
and secular and free democratic society, and saying all the things that
we`re hearing are bad.
They have egg on their face today. They vouched for this Israeli
government and today that Israeli government has essentially not only
disrespected the institution of Congress but has also disrespected members
of the Democrat party. It is now incumbent upon the Democratic leadership
to correct that and stand up for that.
VELSHI: You`re talking about BDS, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions
rule. The Ambassador David Friedman, the ambassador to the – to Israel
said this today. The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, BDS movement
against Israel is not free speech, rather it is no less than economic
warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.
JEBREAL: I think South Africans would disagree. I think what really
brought down apartheid South Africa was only economic sanctions and a
pressure for the international community. It`s a non-violent. So what
path does Friedman give to the Palestinian?
And by the way, it`s good to mention that. Ambassador Friedman has been
financing the settlement enterprise that is illegal, that`s been stealing
people lands. And this is not the first time, by the way, that they block
a U.S. official. They blocked Jimmy Carter.
President Carter was supposed to go a couple of years ago from Jordan, from
Allenby Bridge to visit the territories, occupied territory, and the
Israeli prevented him from going, and they prevented other people. But
what this administration is doing is basically say to the world, the
America we want is basically an America for white people, for people who
are evangelical, and Christian, and white people.
Israel has been doing that for a while. They even enshrine in laws,
discriminatory laws, the nation-state bill law. What does it say? That
people like you Ali, like me, like Ayman who are American first and
foremost and then we can be Muslim or Sikh or whatever, they will define us
always and see us only through the prism of one thing.
So we have they – which is our ethnicity, our religion, which is really a
betrayal of the Declaration of Independence of Israel that talked about
equal rights. So when Bibi Netanyahu stand there and say Arabs are
arriving in droves and then Congress – the Congress give them basically a
pass on BDS and tell them no, no, no, we will condemn BDS on your behalf,
you`re basically licensing him and giving him a pass to do what he did
So the way to fight this is to stand up to Israel for what they are doing,
not what they are saying, what they are doing. And what they did today is
a clear declaration for all Congress itself especially Democrats.
VELSHI: Rula, Ayman, thank you for joining us tonight.
JEBREAL: Thank you for having me.
VELSHI: Rula Jebreal and Ayman Mohyeldin. After this, new reporting on
the cause and effect of Donald Trump`s divisive campaigning, and New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo on his state`s new initiative to combat domestic
VELSHI: We`ve now got hard numbers about how this president and his
rhetoric have been inspiring violence across the country. In a new
nationwide review, ABC News found 36 criminal cases invoking Trump in
connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.
Seven of those cases involved anti-Trump acts but that still leaves 29
cases where according to court documents or police statements, there was a
link to the president. ABC News reporting that “in nine cases,
perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically
attacking innocent victims.”
In another ten cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting
or threatening others. And in another ten cases, Trump and his rhetoric
were cited in court to explain a defendant`s violent or threatening
The latest case cited by ABC News happened in El Paso where a gunman
murdered 22 people after parroting the president`s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Other incidents happened across the country from Florida, to Michigan, to
California, to Utah.
There were even several cases right here in New York including one in which
the FBI arrested a 55-year-old man for threatening to kill Democratic
member of Congress Ilhan Omar. The very next day after that arrest, Donald
Trump was back attacking Congresswoman Omar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And a special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota – oh, I
forgot. She doesn`t like Israel, I forgot. I`m so sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: I want to bring in someone who just launched a brand new effort to
fight domestic terrorism here in New York and who`s pushing Congress to
follow suit. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State joins me
Governor, good to see you. You and I spoke in the immediate aftermath of
the shootings in El Paso and Dayton about things that were happening in
New York, because we got a brand new law in New York dealing with gun
violence. But you have introduced something specifically dealing with
domestic terror. How do you think this helps?
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: Well, first I think, Ali, we have to
acknowledge what`s happened in this country today. We talk about
terrorism. We`re talking about terrorism normally from a foreign entity,
right? New York`s anti-terrorism law was written after 9/11.
There is a new type of terrorism, it is domestic terrorism, but domestic
terrorism meaning homegrown terrorism, terrorism by Americans against
Americans, motivated by hate. And I`m proposing a statute that defines
domestic terrorism as mass murder plus a hate crime. Hate crime means the
motivation was against the person`s race, color, creed, sexual orientation,
That is terrorism. You know, if you kill – what happened in El Paso, if
you kill Latinos because they are Latinos, that is a hate crime. And I
believe that`s terrorism. That`s a mass murder hate crime. If you walk
into a synagogue to kill Jewish people, that is terrorism.
Let`s acknowledge it for what it is, and let`s punish it for what it is.
VELSHI: What is the statute that you propose? What does it change?
CUOMO: It establishes a new law, a new crime defining domestic terrorism
as having nothing to do with a foreign entity, just a hate-based crime by
an American against other Americans based on
race, color, creed, sexual orientation, et cetera. So you can have a
radicalized American, not radicalized by a foreign ideology, but
radicalized by hate, who sets out to kill a certain religion, sexual
orientation, et cetera, and is successful in killing people that is
El Paso was terrorism. Tree of Life Synagogue was terrorism. And let`s
call it what it is, and let`s treat it that way. And the penalty would be
the same as a foreign actor in terrorism.
VELSHI: You know, when you combine the idea of domestic terrorism,
particularly that that`s fed by white nationalism, with the availability of
guns and the ammunition that can go with it and the high capacity
magazines, those two things are what has proved to be lethal. Domestic
terrorism throughout the world is an issue, but availability of weaponry in
the United States tends to make it that much more lethal.
You`ve already got a new book, a new law on the books. Does that work with
this? Or will that work with this in terms of dealing with the guns and
CUOMO: Yes, exactly. You`re exactly right.
It`s not just hate, we`ve always had hate, let`s be honest, right? In the
American DNA is diversity and diversity can create fear and anxiety and
hate. It`s hate plus guns that create the problem. That is the toxic
cocktail. Hate alone picks up a rock, picks up a club. Hate plus an
assault weapon, 22
dead in three minutes. That`s the combination.
So we have the anti-terrorism law and the new terrorism law, and New York
has the best gun
control law in the United States of America, passed six years ago. We
still need the nation to pass it. Ban assault weapons, ban high capacity
magazines, mental health background check, universal background checks, and
a red flag law. That is – that combination, real smart common sense gun
which by the way, Ali, we`ve had for six years, and all the NRA arguments,
none of them came to fruition – the slippery slope, government will take
your gun, none of that happened. Six years, nobody walked up to me and
said, you know, governor, I`m supposed to have a gun legally, and I can`t
But people are safer. So you can have common sense gun laws, a real new
look at terrorism based on hate, and you need to address both of those
issues. That`s El Paso. That`s the synagogue shootings. That`s the
Orlando nightclub shooting. That`s the common denominator. Hate plus guns
in the wrong hands or extraordinarily dangerous guns.
VELSHI: Governor, I`ve got a minute left. We`ve got two presidential
candidates in this show. You`ve got a view on how Democrats can deal with
these particular issues on a national level in the presidential race.
CUOMO: Yes. Look, people say well, it may be after El Paso there is a
tipping point and change will happen. Ali, there is no magic moment, there
is no spontaneous combustion, change doesn`t just happen. Leadership
causes change. And what I`m saying to the Democrats is they should form a
clear juxtaposition with this president. He`s not going to do anything on
guns, neither will the Republicans in the Senate.
The Democrats should have one clear position where they can stand together,
put their own personal politics aside and say every Democratic presidential
candidate, the House, the Senate, here`s the Democratic position: a real
comprehensive, no baby steps, gun control law, hold that up for the
American public and say here`s the clear choice. The Republicans will do
nothing. We will do this. We`re all unified, and give the American people
I believe they will choose common sense gun reform, because they are ahead
of the politicians. But the Democratic Party has to lead and put your
internal politics aside and stop jockeying against the other candidate.
Come up with a uniform position.
I`ve told them don`t come and campaign in this state unless you have a
control proposal, because you`re not going to sell in New York if you don`t
have a real thorough comprehensive gun law.
VELSHI: Governor Andrew Cuomo, thanks for your time tonight. Good to talk
CUOMO: Thanks. Good to talk to you, Ali.
VELSHI: Andrew Cuomo is the governor of New York.
Ahead, updates in the Jeffrey Epstein investigation, including revelations
about his autopsy. That report next.
VELSHI: The autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein`s body was completed last weekend
on Sunday, just one day after he was found hanging in his cell at the
metropolitan corrections center in Manhattan. But the results of the
autopsy were inconclusive, and the medical examiner listed the cause of
death as pending.
So that`s all the information we had for nearly a week following Epstein`s
death until The Washington Post published a new revelation about the
autopsy this morning, now confirmed by NBC News that, quote, among the
among the broken bones in Epstein`s neck was the Hyoid bone. The post
explains, quote, “such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves,
particularly if they are older, but they`re more common in victims of
homicide by strangulation, according to experts.”
The New York City chief medical examiner responded in a statement saying,
quote, “in all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized
to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent.
No single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum.”
Joining me now one of the reporters who broke that story, Carol Leonnig, an
investigative reporter for The Washington Post and an MSNBC contributor.
Carol, I know nothing about medicine or biology or all this stuff, but the
Hyoid bone is sort of around the Adam`s apple. It`s a very small bone.
And tell me about what this finding means. In some percentage of cases
when it`s broken, it will happen because of a suicide and some cases
because of a strangulation. Tell me a little about this.
CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST: So I wasn`t an expert in this either.
I`m the beneficiary of a bunch of forensic pathologists who have lent their
time to school us at The Post about what this means.
Most studies find that it`s unusual, atypical, for the Hyoid bone in men,
right above the Adam`s apple to break during a suicide by hanging. It`s
usually associated with homicidal strangulation.
LEONNIG: And some of those medical examiners who have been consulting with
us about this
have warned me that the New York chief medical examiner in this case likely
ruled that this death of Epstein was pending for cause of death was
pending, because that bone sticks out as a sort of sore thumb in your facts
in your case. And she wants to possibly rule out any other possibility of
For example, there are other indicia that would recommend that this is
suicide, such as if he committed suicide, there would be no scratches at
the neck, no skin of his own in his fingernails. There would be no
defensive wounds that he incurred himself. There would be a kind of
furrowing around his neck from the strangulation.
There are other indicia that would say he committed suicide. It`s not
impossible that he broke this bone while trying to commit suicide, it`s
just not typical. And that`s why it stands out.
There was one examiner who called me today and said I just think this is
really rare. I don`t see a Hyoid bone breaking in a suicide by hanging
almost ever. So it doesn`t mean that we know for sure how he died, it just
means it raises more worrisome questions about the cause.
VELSHI: Right. Those questions wouldn`t be there if he was checked on as
much as he might have been, or we`ve got video – the medical examiner has
work to do as a medical examiner in a morgue. How does that fit in with
the fact there are others who have to interview guards, and they have to
check video and they have to see what`s going on? I imagine in this
particular incident those things need to come together to make a
determination of what happened on Saturday.
LEONNIG: Absolutely. And I`m so glad you raised that, because there are
many facts still outstanding, right? Tape, videotape of the jail. We now
know that no tapes were pointed directly into Jeff Epstein`s cell. We know
some tapes existed, because the Department of Justice and the Bureau of
Prisons were able to determine that the staff who were on duty were asleep
and didn`t check on him for more than three hours during the middle of the
night before he died, the very crucial hours before he died.
So there is some video that`s worth looking at.
The death investigation will absolutely look at that. The pathologist is
going to look for toxicology results. Was there anything in his system to
suggest that he was actually killed by someone injecting him with
something? I know that sounds nutty, but you`ve got to rule that out.
The death investigation will also interview guards and inmates. Some of
the guards are going to want lawyers and not answer questions, because it
goes to the heart of, you know, are you going to be able to keep your job
after you explain what happened.
There are a lot of unanswered questions. But the body itself gives a lot
of clues. We only know at The Washington Post about this one that doesn`t
answer the question, but raises more.
VELSHI: This entire story, since the Miami Herald initially did that story
last fall has had more questions associated with it than answers from the
beginning to the end. Carol, thank you for your great reporting on this.
Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post.
LEONNIG: Thank you.
VELSHI: Still ahead, a second 2020 Democrat drops out of the race. A
former Trump campaign manager flirts with a senate bid, plus my interview
with presidential candidate Jay Inslee, all in 2020.
VELSHI: Today, President Trump all but endorsed his former campaign
manager Corey Lewandowski for a possible senate run in New Hampshire, then
just hours later the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Lewandowski.
The committee wants to compel Lewandowski to testify publicly on September
17 about his role in Trump`s attempt to limit Mueller`s investigation, a
possible obstruction of justice.
The summons came just after the president himself sang Lewandowski`s
praises, saying that if Lewandowski did run for the senate against
Democratic incumbent in New Hampshire, he`d be a great candidate because
he`s so good on TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, first of all, I have to tell you that I think he would be
fantastic. He`s got great energy. He`s got – he`s terrific on
television, you`ve seen.
I don`t think he`s made that decision yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump praised Lewandowski again just moments ago at a rally in
Hampshire, urging him to make a decision soon.
Now, on the other side, Democrats are eager to field candidates who can
boost their chance at taking back the senate. They`ve got their eyesight
on former Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who today ended his
presidential run and said he is considering a run against incumbent
Senator Cory Gardner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HICKENLOOPER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF COLORADO: I`ve heard from so many
Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me
how much is at
stake for our country and our state. I intend to give that some serious
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is also a push for presidential candidate Beto O`Rourke to
run for Senate in
Texas instead as the Houston Chronicle editorial board advocated last week.
But O`Rourke is reportedly restarting his presidential campaign in the wake
of the mass shootings in El Paso with a focus on gun violence.
Democrats have also pleaded with Montana governor and presidential
candidate Steve Bullock to run for the senate there, but he told me
definitively yesterday that he`s not going to run for the senate.
There are high stakes for all the remaining Democratic presidential
candidates who have less remaining Democratic presidential candidates who
have less than two weeks to qualify for the third presidential debate. And
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, one of those candidates, determined to
make his case, joins me straight ahead.
MAYOR JIM KENNEY, (D) PHILADELPHIA: It`s aggravating, it`s saddening and
something we need to do something about. And if the state and federal
government don`t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let
us police ourself. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control
Our officer don`t deserve to be protected and they don`t deserve to be shot
at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited
supply of bullets. So, it`s disgusting and we`ve got to do something about
VELSHI: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is urging new action on gun violence
after six police officers were shot and injured last night in an eight hour
standoff with a heavily armed suspect who is now in custody.
My next guest, presidential candidate Jay Inslee, governor of Washington,
has unveiled a plan
to address gun violence. Governor, thank you for being with us. You and I
have talked many times. We often talk about climate, a centerpiece of your
campaign. But this is a very serious part of your campaign. Talk to me
about your plan.
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we have a very
comprehensive plan. I think we were one of the first candidates to roll
out an attack both on white nationalism and on gun violence. We know that
they are related.
We know that we have heard too much of white nationalism out of the White
House. We know that the president has actually shredded our ability to
attack this domestic terrorism. And we need to reinstate a very
comprehensive assault by the federal government on that domestic threat
that the FBI has said is one of the most serious threats in the country.
And we know we also have to do what the mayor said, which is to bring
common sense gun safety legislation to the fore.
We have the NRA on the run in Washington state, now we need to get them on
the run in the nation. We need a president to do that.
VELSHI: How do you separate the NRA, which has really set itself up to be
the organization that is supposedly speaks on behalf of gun owners, from
gun owners who don`t want to go down this road that the NRA is going down,
this dark road in which any common sense gun legislation is an
attack on your second amendment rights. That is not what a lot of these
common sense regulations are meant to be.
INSLEE: Sure, what we`re finding over the last 20 years is a very rapid
shift in the American public, including gun owners to understand that
common-sense gun legislation makes sense. They`re still going to keep
their hunting shotguns. And that is changing dramatically.
Look, in 1994 when I was a freshman congressman, I voted to ban assault
weapons knowing I`d lose my seat. And I lost my seat in congress, but I
never regretted that vote for a nanosecond. It was the right vote then,
it`s the right vote now.
And now so many thousands of gun owners believe as I do we have got to have
this common-sense measures.
The American people have had a bellyful of this violence. They`re tired of
their children going to school having to worry about gun shootings as
opposed to math tests. I talked to a guy the other day – I was at the
Iowa State Fair. He said, you know for the first time I went to the Iowa
State Fair and I thought about gun violence at the state fair.
So this country is ready for action, but we need a president who will stand
up to the NRA. And I can`t wait to do that.
VELSHI: So, Governor Cuomo was on with me a little earlier, and he made an
interesting point. And I think his suggestion was there`s not a lot of
space between democratic candidates on
this. For most Americans, they would say Republicans aren`t really doing
much about this. Democrats want to do similar things.
And his take – let`s listen to it together. This is what he said the
Democratic presidential candidate should do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: The Democrat should have one clear position where they can stand
together, put their own personal politics aside and say every Democratic
presidential candidate, the House, the
Senate, here`s the Democratic position, a real comprehensive, no baby
steps, gun control law. Hold that up for the American public and say
here`s the clear choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Interesting point. It`s kind of the view you`ve taken with
climate, right, that let`s just all be on exactly the same side of this.
Let`s use the highest bar and let`s all jump it.
What about doing that with guns?
INSLEE: Well, we have the highest bar, it`s my plan, right, it`s the
highest bar on white nationalism, it`s the highest bar on gun safety, in
part because the actual experience of doing it is one of the advantages of
being a governor, of having executive leadership, where we`ve actually
accomplished this goal and more.
Look, we`ve had some of the strongest laws, because I was able to pass
them, some of which through – in a bipartisan basis. So, we need that
kind of leadership.
And so I`m glad that Governor Cuomo has endorsed my position, how`s that?
VELSHI: Fair enough.
I want to talk to you about a Ninth Circuit court ruling upholding the
ruling that children held at the border must have adequate food, bedding
INSLEE: What a radical thought.
VELSHI: Right. But I think a lot of our viewers may not know is that the
Trump administration argued that it is not obligatory for them to provide
soap and toothbrushes and things like
It`s weird that we need a court ruling to tell them that, but this is kind
INSLEE: Well, listen, we know this happens all the time with the
administration. Our state has now sued Donald Trump and won 21 times in a
row. We won on the Muslim ban. I was the first governor to stand against
the Muslim ban. We`re going to win some environmental measures and
already have. And today he tried to shred our air pollution laws and our
clean air laws.
And this is ridiculous for him, and it`s a window into the vacuity of his -
- the vacuum of his soul that he is willing to expose children to these
Now, one of the reasons we won is we`ve got a good AG, Bob Ferguson, but
the other thing is
is we still have a democracy and that is worth fighting for and that
includes in the judicial system.
Listen, this reminded me of – I was just talking to someone before I came
here, what Ben Franklin said when they signed the constitution. He walked
out of the hall and somebody asked him, what is it, a monarchy or a
republic? And he said it`s a republic if you can keep it.
Now, we`ve got to fight to keep that. And that means going to court and
beating this guy.
VELSHI: I never actually – I never understood what he meant by that until
you live in
these times and you actually have to fight for it.
INSLEE: Now you see it.
If you become president, you might be there in the midst of the effort to
buy Greenland, you know, about Donald Trump is apparently investigating
INSLEE: Well, we prefer that he not continue down this path of allowing
unchecked climate change to melt Greenland so he can make his new golf
course. We would prefer to keep the ice cap.
As you know, I think this is a – should be the first job of the next
president. I`m certainly saying that. If anybody agrees with me, by the
way, they can make sure I`m not next debate stage and go to JayInslee.com
and send a buck to make sure I`m on the debate stage.
We need to keep the ice in Greenland rather than the next Mar-a-Lago.
That`s what I believe.
VELSHI: Governor Jay Inslee, good to see you in person. Thank you for
being with us. We will see you September 19 and 20 at the climate forum.
INSLEE: Thank you.
VELSHI: Look forward to that.
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the