Log Cabin republican quits. TRANSCRIPT: 8/20/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Jennifer Horn, David Wasserman, Joshua Johnson, Jeff Merkley, Alyssa Ayres

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  From the looks of this case, people truly

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

with Chris Hayes starts right now.







that vote for a Democrat –


HAYES:  The Trump campaign of division leads to more subtraction.


TRUMP:  I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge for great



HAYES:  Tonight, new data on the president shrinking base and my interview

with a log cabin Republican who resigned after the group endorsed Donald

Trump.  Then –


TRUMP:  Kashmir is a very complicated place.


HAYES:  Is this the man the world needs mediating a standoff between two

nuclear power?


TRUMP:  We have the Hindus and you have the Muslims and I wouldn`t say they

get along so great.


HAYES:  And an NBC News exclusive –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey do you want to see something extremely interesting.


HAYES:  Ben Collins on the Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists behind the

most viewed news content on Facebook and YouTube.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And now you can try it yourself by clicking that button



HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  Back in 1971, Pat

Buchanan wrote a memo to President Nixon arguing that Nixon`s path to re-

election was via waging ruthless culture wars.  Nixon, Buchanan argued, had

to keep hammering the issues that most polarized the country and activated

Nixon supporters.


He said we will “cut the Democratic Party and the country in half.  My view

is that we would have far the larger half.”  Donald Trump now has the same

strategy but with an amazing wrinkle which is that he has a smaller half. 

Donald Trump is rerunning the Nixon playbook but instead of the silent

majority, he has a loud minority.


But – and this is the craziest part of all – it`s been successful so far. 

He is running the country despite receiving just 46 percent of the vote. 

He`d lost the popular vote by three million votes.  It just so happens the

coalition you put together is better distributed for the purposes of

Electoral College.


Never where you look, right now, Trump is digging into this strategy of

high-risk aggressive culture war that polarizes the country along these

lines where he has the smaller half.  The President though only remember is

that it worked the first time around.


The Atlantic`s David Graham writes “recent polling shows that Donald Trump

has managed to reshape American attitudes to a remarkable extent on a trio

of the key issues, race, immigration, and trade.  There`s just one catch. 

The public is turning against Trump`s views.


On a day that he continues to baselessly accuse Michigan Congresswoman

Rashida Tlaib of violence, he continued his stream of constant insulting

taunts with this.




TRUMP:  Where is the Democratic Party gone?  Where have they gone where

they`re defending these two people over the State of Israel?  And I think

any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total

lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, all right.




HAYES:  What?  I`m sorry?  80 percent of Jewish Americans voted for

Democrats.  Loyalty to whom exactly?  You`re with us or against us, Trump

likes to say it basically every turn.  And it is true and this is the

important part, it is working with one specific demographic astoundingly

wet, OK.


White men in this country without a college education of whom there are

millions distributed throughout the country particularly in the Industrial

Midwest, that`s key to Trump`s 2016 victory, they just happened to be in

the right place for him.  And Trump`s message is clearly working with them.


Look at these wild numbers from latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. 

70 percent of white men without a college degree approve of Trump compared

to 25 percent who disapproved.  He is 45 points above water with that

subgroup.  But the thing is, what pumps up support among that subgroup at

least in the ways that Trump does it also has the effect of alienating just

about everyone else.


First, are African Americans and Hispanics and Asians who didn`t vote for

him the first time and he`s losing them by enormous margins.  But if you

just look at white people, white voters in the quadrant opposite men with

high school education, women with a college education, they`re basically a

mirror image, 72 percent disapprove while 26 percent approved.


Now, that group only voted for Hillary Clinton by six points in 2016.  That

is a 40 point drop for Trump.  Now, there are white men with a college

education normally a Republican group.  Here Trump is underwater by seven



Finally, there are white women without – with a high school degree, OK. 

Now, in 2016, they went for Trump by almost 30 points.  Now he only has a

four-point edge.  Look at that.  And for all the talk about how the Trump

wedge is all about the white working-class particularly in non-urban areas,

keep in mind, these women who are almost split 50-50, they work for the

same companies.  They face the same challenges or worse as men without a

college degree.


They also live in factory towns who have been ravaged by the

industrialization and bad trade policies.  They also have watched loved

ones succumb to opioid addiction.  They`ve also seen rural areas hollowed

out, the also felt the contempt of liberal media.  All the same issues and

Trump is barely holding on there.  That`s the state of play right now.


Donald Trump thinks he can run this strategy that cleaves the country to

two chunks where he gets 40-plus percent.  He thinks he can win and he can

govern with that 40-plus percent.  And it is a wild test of American

democratic mechanics to see if that is going to work a second time.


Remember, things that Trump does to consolidate his base also alienate

other people.  After the Log Cabin Republicans and national LGBTQ

organization Republicans announced they were endorsing Trump`s reelection,

one of their board members Jennifer Horn decided it was just too much for



And she resigned from the board yesterday telling the Washington Post

“there is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and

explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president and

she joins me now.


Jennifer Horn, thanks so much for joining me.  First I guess your history

and Republican Party politics.  You have been a very active member of the

party and an avowed conservative for a while.



absolutely have been.  I was the nominee for Congress in the Second

District up here in 2008.  I served two terms as chairman of the New

Hampshire Republican Party and I very proudly was very honored to have been

recruited to serve on the board – the National Board of the Log Cabin

Republicans, an organization that I joined believing that it would be the

opportunity to engage in a principled fight to expand civil rights for all



And this is you know, one of the reasons I am so adamantly opposed to this

president and to this endorsement is because he does not support civil

rights for all Americans.


HAYES: What has he done that to you makes an endorsement from the Log Cabin

Republicans anathema?


HORN:  Well, listen.  He – the question is what hasn`t he done.  You know,

frankly, I made this decision a long time ago when I first got involved in

politics that I would never say or do anything that I could not explain or

defend to my own children.


When I was chairman of the party up here, I picked off a lot of Republicans

because when Donald Trump was running and he became our nominee, I had to

choose between defending our party`s principles or defending our party`s



And I defended our principles and I continue to try to do that too today

whether we`re talking about transgender rights, the recommendation coming

out of HUD, some of the actions being rolled back through DOJ, protecting

transgender students.  I mean the list goes on and on.


But it`s not just the LGBTQ community that this president targets.  When we

look at immigrants, when we look at people – anyone that he thinks that he

can somehow use to anger his base to – he doesn`t care if he has to divide

on racial lines, on ethnic lines, on educational lines.  He will divide and

damage and destroy this country in any manner he thinks he needs to advance

his own political power.


HAYES:  Did you vote for him in 2016?


HORN:  I did not.


HAYES:  Was that the first time you hadn`t voted for the Republican



HORN:  It was the first time in my life that I have not voted for the

Republican nominee.


HAYES:  Let me –


HORN:  I did vote Republican.


HAYES:  You voted for Republican other than Donald Trump.


HORN:  Yes, yes.  I wrote in –


HAYES:  Oh you wrote in someone.


HORN:  I did.  I did.


HAYES:  Is that your plan this time around or do you feel like given

everything you`ve articulated about him that you will vote for the

Democratic nominee?


HORN:  I can`t imagine myself voting for a Democratic nominee because I am

a Conservative.  I do believe in the core principles of the party of

Lincoln.  I don`t know what I`m going to do in 2020 other than I will not

be voting for Donald Trump.


HAYES:  Can I ask you this?  You know, it`s interesting because we were

just doing this whole you know, demographic analysis and demographics are

painting with very broad brushes and we`re talking about millions of people

and the millions of people are very diverse, they have all kinds of views

even within them.


HORN:  Right.


HAYES:  But you`re – but you have a college degree as I saw from your bio

I believe, and you`re a white woman, you`re a white woman Republican.  What

are the conversations you have with the people in your social circle who

are similar, who are lifelong Republicans and who are generally in the same

kind of social strata as you?


HORN:  Sure.  I don`t – I don`t – there are very few people in my social

circle, in my circle of true friends and family who disagree with my

position.  The introduction you gave at the beginning of the show going

through those numbers I think are very reflective not just of my circle but

of the electorate here in New Hampshire as well.


You know one of the things that people are not looking at very closely and

I think that they should is to how fewer people identify as Republican

today than they did on Election Day in 2016.  It`s enough to sway an

election in many states including New Hampshire.


So I think that those numbers that you referenced are very reflective of

what`s happening across the country.


HAYES:  All right, Jennifer Horn, thank you for making some time tonight. 

I really appreciate talking to you.


HORN:  Thank you for the invitation.  I appreciate it.


HAYES:  All right, joining me now is Joshua Johnson, host of One A on NPR

and David Wasserman House Editor for the Cook Political Report.  And Dave,

you know, there`s a weird kind of like almost demographic arbitrage that

president from pulled off that in which he was able to kind of like juice

this certain kind of voter that happened to be distributed in this way that

was able to sort of take a 77,000 vote margin throughout the industrial

Midwest and overcome a three million vote loss in the popular electorate,

and that same structure still exists, right?



Democrats have to be careful not to think of 2016 as a fluke because it is

possible Donald Trump could lose the popular vote by five million votes in

2020 and still win reelection.


Part of the reason is that most of the demographic change benefiting

Democrats nationally is occurring in states that are not near the tipping

point of the Electoral College particularly California and Texas where

Democrats could afford to add a million votes to their lead, their margin

in California when not a single additional electoral vote cut Trump`s lead

by 800,000 in Texas and still fall short there.


So the key is really do Democrats nominate a candidate who can break

through particularly – and this is the group that I`m most focused on

white women without college degrees who don`t attend church regularly.  I

think that`s the key demographic in the Midwest.


HAYES:  Joshua, there`s a broader question here just like the basic

structure of Democratic politics that were sort of confronted with, right. 

The weird inversion of the Buchanan play which is look, cut the country in

half will get the bigger half, and you know, in the `72 election they did,

right.  They famously trounced McGovern even though they`ve committed some

illegal crimes on the way to doing that.


There`s a question about like what does it mean for Democratic legitimacy

and representational legitimacy in a country in which there`s a decent

strategy to govern with 45 or 43 percent of the country.


JOSHUA JOHNSON, HOST, ONE A:  Well, I think that`s part of why Democrats

have been trying so hard to shore up every little piece of the base, right. 

I mean, the analysis that we just heard is very well put and I think it`s a

lesson that Democrats need to take very seriously because that`s what

happened in 2016.  There were just enough people and just enough of the

right places that President Trump could eke out a victory.


I mean, he could if I`m not mistaken from the analysis, he could lose

Michigan and Pennsylvania, keep all the other states that he won and win

reelection.  I think that part of what I`ve been seeing from the Democrats

particularly on the campaign trail at some of the events like the union

forum with AFSCME in Nevada, the forum for Native American voters and

others, you know, having three of the candidates speak at the National

Association of Black Journalists convention in Miami this month or near

Miami this month, is to try to Telegraph that the Democrats are building

this broader coalition across the country.


And it feels like the messaging is we really do want everybody to the

polls, not just to have voter access but to recognize that we`ve the

Democrats are the party of all the people.  And if that message is

effective, then maybe Democrats who chose to stay home in 2016 enough

Democrats who would have flipped the election will say no, no, no, this is

a party that speaks for me and all Americans.  I better show up.


HAYES:  You know, it`s a great point because there`s sort of two different

pockets of voters, right?  There`s the iconic Obama-Trump voters which

people talk about a lot, and there`s also voters that voted for say Barack

Obama in 2012 and then did not show up in 2016 at all.  Those are – those

are generally different sets of people.


But it`s also the case, David, and I think it`s important that when we talk

about these subgroups, like the margins everywhere matter, right?  I mean,

if you do a little better every group which is a possibility, that enough

can be it.  You`d certainly have to pick some like subcategory.


WASSERMAN:  Yes.  The question that I hear a lot is do Democrats try and

turn back the clock and win a higher share of working-class whites or do

they try and revert to turning out more African-Americans and young people

who didn`t show up in 2016.  I think the answer is it has to be a little

bit of both.


And in order to do that, I think Democrats can use a few issues in

particular to drive wedges in into the Trump coalition.  I think background

checks and abortion rights, in particular, are issues that divide elements

of Trump`s base, particularly in those Midwestern states.


HAYES:  You know, I think you`re particularly – I think you`re right on

both of those.  And I think particularly in the wake of the specter of Roe

being overturned, you know, Joshua, it`s interesting because we hear so

much about issues that have come forward in the primary in the Democratic

primary like for instance decriminalizing a unauthorized entry or Medicare

for all.


And there`s some polling that support the contention that for instance

decriminalizing unauthorized entry isn`t particularly popular in the

broader populist, but overturning Roe is like a 30-70 issue.  When you look

at those gender splits particularly among white women and white men without

college degrees, it suggests to me there are some ground to be – there`s

some hay to be made there.


JOHNSON:  There`s hay to be made there and frankly as I looked at that

poll, it`s worth noting that men with college degrees and white women

without college degrees are within the margin of error.  Men with college

degrees are about a point – a percentage point outside.  Women with no

college degrees are basically within the margin of error.


There are plenty of Americans including some we talked to on our show and

some that have been reported on since the president got elected who were

kind of voting for Trump while holding their nose.  And now they`re looking

at the election and they`re looking at their lots and licence and saying

well, my lot in life is better.  I don`t like how much he tweets and I wish

he would be a little nicer, but based on what I asked him to do for me and

for the country I`m good.


I`m not sure yet if the Democrats have made enough of the case to make

those voters go I need to reconsider, but if they can`t, they will lose

because we already know how they lost the last time.  And if they can`t

pull enough for those voters there side who are like, OK fine, Trump,

they`re going to lose in 2020.


HAYES:  Or – I mean, Jennifer Horn, the woman that we just interviewed is

an interesting case, right?  I mean, she wrote in someone else, right.  So

that`s a vote that`s essentially like a blank vote in terms of the – in

terms of the ledger.  But the question is like if she does that again, how

many of those people, right, are motivated to actually make the affirmative

choice like I can`t do this anymore, I`m voting for where the Democrat is.


JOHNSON:  Well, and also, I was interested with what Jennifer Horn said. 

While she was speaking, I looked at the Log Cabin Republicans statement and

they talked about President Trump putting more money into fighting HIV/AIDS

which is true.  He also has been fighting against the Affordable Care Act

in Medicaid where he`s one of the primary ways that low-income LGBTQ people

especially women of color get access to prep.


They talked about how the president`s employment plan, the job programs

have been good for LGBTQ people.  But last week the president propagated a

proposed Labor Department rule and a statement to the Supreme Court that

would make it easier for businesses federal and private to discriminate

against LGBTQ people with impunity.


So it may come down to people reading between the lines and saying what is

there everything that the administration has done and does it behoove me to

vote for him again.


HAYES:  All right, Joshua Johnson and David Wasserman, thank you both. 

Next, a Trump administration that has seen multiple migrant children die in

its custody is now decided to stop providing flu vaccines at border

detention camps.  Senator Jeff Merkley calls a decision barbaric and

nonsensical and he joins me right here in studio next.  Don`t go anywhere.




HAYES:  We learned today the Trump administration will not be providing the

flu vaccine to immigrants held in its detention centers.  Neither CBP nor

its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody. 

They claim they are doing this because immigrants are only supposed to be

in their custody for 72 hours or less, but we know that is usually not the

case.  In some cases in 30, 40 days.


Now, aside from the egregious cruelty here, one would think that perhaps

the very strong CBP union that so vociferously supports the president would

maybe, I don`t know, want to have working facilities where there isn`t the

constant threat of flu epidemics, maybe.


This comes on the heels of news yesterday of a sweeping class-action

lawsuit filed against the Trump administration over the absolutely horrible

medical care in immigration centers.  And this is all the latest in a

constant series of policy announcements and actions designed to deter

people from migrating to the U.S. to seek asylum by convincing them that

our administration hates them, will make their lives miserable and perhaps

endanger their health.


Joining me now is Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon who was

instrumental in shining a light on immigrant detention centers more than a

year ago.  He`s the author of the book America is Better Than This: Trump`s

War Against Migrant Families.  Great to have you here.


SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR):  Good to be here.


HAYES:  First, your reaction to this policy decision that they will not

provide flu vaccines to migrant families that border detention camps.


MERKLEY:  Is this America that we have refugee children three of whom have

died of flu over this last year and is being –


HAYES:  Specifically of flu.


MERKLEY:  – of a flu, that was a contributing factor to their death.  And

here we have folks who are just absolutely packed into tight spaces.  I`ve

seen maybe 150 packed into very small rooms, and disease travels enormously

in that situation.  So why would we not provide a vaccine when people come



They say because they don`t do them.  Well, change your mind and do them. 

This is the same factor when I was confronting the administration over the

lack of medical care for children coming across the border and they said

well, we don`t do that.  Well, change your policy and do that.


HAYES:  I mean, part of it seems to me is that these facilities are

designed to hold people for less than 72 hours where they don`t have

programs in place to do these kinds of things are now holding people for 30

and 40 days.  So there`s this crazy mismatch between what the facility is

designed to do which is like basically an overnight holding cell and a jail

that becomes a long-term place where people have to get you know, the

basics of life.


MERKLEY:  Well CBP facilities, they have held people for several weeks. 

They do attempt to move people out in three to five days.  But three to

five days is plenty for flu to spread among the population.  And this is

just part of this ongoing strategy, for example, this law – this mass

action lawsuit that says that Trump appealed to say well, we don`t want to

be held to the law to provide hygiene and nutrition.


Are you kidding me, for Refugees, for children, for people fleeing

persecution, we`re not going to provide just the basics when people come

into this country?


HAYES:  There`s news tonight that they are planning on trying to tear up or

change the Flores Settlement.  The Flores Settlement, of course, is a civil

suit and a consent decree entered into by the plaintiff`s parties and the

government that guides the detention of minors particularly in families. 

And it will permit family detention beyond the 20 days that is currently

the limit by Flores.  What do you think of that?


MERKLEY:  Well, if we go back a year, the last June in 2018, the Trump team

held a press conference with the president and a whole bunch of senators

and said we`re ending child separation.  But the fact is the document that

was in front of the president didn`t in a child separation, that was done

by a judge.


What it did was have three strategies in it to terminate the limit on

holding children.  We want to be able to hold children and FAMILIES

indefinitely in family internment camps.  They`ve been at this through a

strategy of overturning a former court decision, of passing regulations, or

passing a law.


And this by the way, this aspect of passing a law, this shows a vast

difference between Democrats and Republicans.  There are 40 Republican

senators who signed on to a bill that Senator Tillis had for indefinite

detention of migrant children and their parents and that could go on for

years being held in prison in America like World War Two with the Japanese-



There are 40 Democratic senators who have signed on to my bill to stop the

cruel treatment of migrant children and not one Republican.  So what a

divide we have that the president has created.


HAYES:  Although we should note that President Barack Obama did experiment

essentially with family detention during the big crisis in 2014.  There

were periods of time in which the Obama administration did try to hold

families together for long periods of time before they abandoned that

partly under judge`s pressure.


MERKLEY:  And a recognition that it was just absolutely wrong for the

children because of so many child psychologists and therapists have come

forward to say when you imprison a child, you are doing deep damage.


HAYES:  I want to ask you a question about the economy – this today, JP

Morgan put out a forecast that the tariffs currently that are part of the

president`s sort of unilateral trade war – of course he hasn`t gotten

congressional authorization due to this, he`s doing it through executive

action on somewhat dubious natural security grounds – could cost us

families up to $1,000 a year.  That`s $1,000 Trump tax.


MERKLEY:  That`s right.  And the same analysis says that if the tariffs go

up to 25 percent, it might be $1,500 to a family wiping out any little few

dollars that the working-class families might have benefited from the 2017

tax bill.  They never noticed an improvement.  They will notice when

they`re losing $1,000 to 1,500 out of their annual income.


HAYES:  What is it – how does it play in Oregon?


MERKLEY:  Well, I must – I must say it`s chaotic.  There is the

relationship that we have with Asia so we are trading state, so that

reverberates a great deal.  You have groups like Columbia Sportswear or

Nike that will be profoundly affected by these tariffs.  We do not have the

same agricultural commodities as the Midwest –


HAYES:  That are exporting, right.


MERKLEY:  That are exporting so that changes that dynamic.  But what people

really see is why this is a chaotic enterprise.  It doesn`t seem like

there`s a coherent plan to actually bring manufacturing back.  It`s

basically a stone-throwing contest.  We`ll throw these stones, they`ll

throw back at us and who gets hit?  Well, we`re all waiting to see who`s



HAYES:  Today there`s news that Congressman Ben Ray Lujan was the highest-

ranking House Democrat to come out to support an impeachment investigation

has come out in support of it.  Laura Underwood who was in a front-line

district in the Illinois suburbs where she switched – she flipped a seat

that had been held by a Republican, she came out supporting the current

inquiry which was called an impeachment inquiry recently in court filing.


The count of Democratic House members supporting impeachment 126.  Do you

support an impeachment inquiry?


MERKLEY:  Absolutely.  Before I would have said I`m waiting for the Mueller

report, let`s see what he says.  But what did he say?  He laid out four

cases of obstruction of justice in which he said all three essential

components have substantial evidence and this included witness tampering.


And if we are going to truly have above our Supreme Court those words

“equal justice under law” then we can`t have a situation where the evidence

is all laid out that the president committed crimes and we don`t even have

a conversation about it in the House of Representatives.


HAYES:  Do you and your colleagues anticipate this is something that you`re

going to be dealing with on your side of the – of Capitol Hill when you

come back in the fall?


MERKLEY:  Well, we only deal with it if the House acts.


HAYES:  Right.


MERKLEY:  And so we`re waiting to see what happens there.


HAYES:  Do they tell you?  Like are there – I was wondering if you guys

talk to each other in the House and Senate, not that much.


MERKLEY:  Well, a fair amount.


HAYES:  It`s sort of a separate conference.


MERKLEY:  It is and sometimes it seems like a half a world away.  But on

this topic, there is a lot of conversation.  And I think there`s a growing

understanding that while Trump is damaging our institutions, he`s damaging

the court, he`s damaging the presidency, Mitch McConnell is damaging the

Senate, but there`s other institutions like principles, like equal justice

under law.  And for the House not to act deeply damages that principle.


HAYES:  All right, Senator Jeff Merkley, it`s great to have you here in

studio.  Thank you for coming through.


MERKLEY:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Coming up, what is sometimes the most viewed news creator on all of

Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter also believes that Donald Trump was sent

from heaven to destroy the Communist Party.  That unbelievable exclusive

reporting after this.




HAYES:  All right, so this morning my friend sent me a link to a clip of a

Dr. Steve Brule bit on YouTube.  And before I can enjoy the comedy stylings

of John C. Reilly, which I recommend, I was served this absolutely bizarre

ad for a newspaper.




UNIDENTIFIED M ALE:  Hey, do you want to see something extremely

interesting well take a look at this.


While Jeffrey Epstein has been in the news a lot over the last week, how

many newspapers do you find reporting this?  His questionable source of

wealth as well as his ties to the Clintons as well as how Trump actually

barred him from Mar-a-Lago many years ago.


The Epoch Times is one of the only sources you can get information like

this, because we do our investigations without any hidden agendas, and we

don`t have any false narratives to push.  We give you the facts and let you

make up your own mind.




HAYES:  Yes, clearly, no agenda tying into the Clinton and excusing Donald

Trump`s connection to him.


But that is weird, right?  What the Epoch Times.


Well, strangely enough I happen to know what it is, which is a small

newspaper that spent more  money on pro-Trump Facebook ads in the last six

months than any organization outside the Trump campaign.  It is a non-

profit organization that dwarfs all of these other media outlets in page

views running and engagement running essentially a massive, full-time pro-

Trump propaganda operation. 


That`s just the tip of the iceberg, our own Ben Collins and Brandy

Zadrozny, have this jaw-dropping exclusive look into this publication and

its background.  And Ben Collins joins me right here to explain us all

about it.


So, first, let`s talk about the scale, right.  So, there`s lots of

different publications out in the world.  They don`t all have a big reach,

like it`s not a big deal.  But this has a very big reach.


BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS REPORTER:  We`re talking billions of view, with a B. 

That`s where we are at.  This is larger than any – in April it was larger

than any traditional news outlet, period.  In fact, it was larger than any

but 10 other people make videos in the whole world on Facebook, YouTube and





COLLINS:  Yeah.  It`s true.


And they do – OK, here`s the thing, though, it sounds impossible and

you`re like I haven`t heard of this thing, ask somebody over 50, ask

anybody over 50, because they`ve probably seen an ad from them.  They spend

$1.5 million just in the last six months putting this stuff out there.


HAYES:  And pushing it particularly to people…


COLLINS:  They target it to people over 50 on Facebook.  And that`s

something that we know.  And also they send physical fliers to people in

the mail, mostly to elderly people that show how Hillary Clinton is running

a cabal that`s ending the world.


HAYES:  OK, so the editorial slant is, you know, pro-Trump kind of right

wing conspiratorial, yes?  Who runs this thing?


COLLINS:  It is – it sounds unbelievable, but it`s true.  It is run by a

group called Falun  Gong is an anti-Chinese Communist group – anti-

Communist Chinese group – that believes that the world is coming to an end

soon.  In fact, they think that judgment day is 30 years late and that all

Communists on this judgment day will go to hell and everybody else will go

to heaven, and anybody who is sympathetic to Falun Gong, and they believe

that Donald Trump was sent in part to bring about this judgment day.


HAYES:  So part of their spiritual belief, and it is a sort of spiritual

practice, right, spiritual group, is that Donald Trump is like a key figure

in delivering the final judgment and victory over Chinese Communism that

they so anxiously wait for.


COLLINS:  That is 100 percent correct.  That`s, we talk – look, when we

heard this story – a guy walked into our office, he told us this stuff and

we`re like you`re nuts, man.  And for five months we reported this story

out, and that`s exactly what we found from various different ex-employees.


HAYES:  Now, I want to be clear here, if you know anything about the Falun

Gong, like they really have been the subject of horrible treatment by the

Chinese government – torture, imprisonment, it`s an incredibly repressive

regime, and I don`t want in any way make light of, like – like, they come

by their hatred of the Chinese state honestly, let`s just be clear about



COLLINS:  Two things can be bad at once.


HAYES:  Right.  But what is like the – when did this thing start?  And how

did it grow?  It`s such a bizarre thing for them to take on as a thing

they`re doing?


COLLINS:   T he Epoch Times?


HAYES:  Yes.




HAYES:  I mean, there`s lots of people with spiritual beliefs and practices

all over the world.  I mean, it`s not anyone that`s running like largest

publisher of like pro-Trump right wing news in the U.S.?




They have this – they have the leader – the leader of is spiritual group

is named Li Johnzhi, and he has said like we need to become normal media. 

Like they have this thing kicking around, which was just about spreading

the gospel of this thing.  And they said we need to become normal media. 

And this is a few years ago.


And ever since then, they try to hire western journalists and they would

bring them on and

they would learn how to sort of talk like Americans, and then they would

fire them.  And that`s what happened here, too.  They had a whole staff of

American journalists and they fired them 10 days before the election in

2016.  And now they have people who sound like that guy who`s, you know,

really close to sort of like sounding the part, but it`s not all the way



HAYES:  So they – they have now published – I`ve been sort of looking at

them, they say this is hit piece.  And that you`re…


COLLINS:  We`re Chinese spies.


HAYES:  And you`re Chinese spies and you`re towing the Chinese Communist



What is the – I mean, what`s end game here?  Like they just keep growing

and spreading their message and they hope that like Donald Trump delivers

some final victory over the Chinese Communists?


COLLINS:  Yeah, sure.  Look, they are deeply entwined with the

administration.  They`ve – you know,  I had a 40-minute sit down with

Laura Trump a couple of weeks ago in Trump Tower.  The president`s Facebook

page has shared their content six times.  Donald Trump Jr. has shared it



When they sent a letter back to us with responses, they actually published

it as an article, and

Devin Nunes tweeted that response as like, ha, they got you NBC.


So like they are – this is – they really wrapped up in this.  They are

very deeply tied into conservative media.  You may not see it if you`re,

again, you`re under 50, if you`re in some different filter bubble…


HAYES:  Look for it now, though.


COLLINS:  The second you say it out loud you`re going to get an ad for it.


HAYES:  I saw it this morning right before Steve Brule. 


Well, it`s a fantastic piece of reporting and really a fascinating look

into the sort of current ecosystem of the media.  Ben Collins, thanks a

lot, man.


COLLINS:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Ahead, the president weighs in on some of the world`s most fraught

conflicts including a standoff between two nuclear powers.  We`ll talk

about that.


Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two will blow you away.




HAYES:  Thing One, tonight, over the weekend an exciting new pop up

experience debuted in Denver, Colorado, it`s called the Bed Cinema, and it

is an outdoor movie night under the stars where everyone watches from the

comfort an an actual bed – inflatable mattress, complete with blanket,

pillows, even LED lit bed side tables.  There are food trucks and free

popcorn, although the tickets don`t come cheap, $50 to $70 depending on the

size of the bed.


The venue for this four nights only event was Runway 35 Park in northeast

Denver, the site of the old Stapleton Airport.  Denver resident Robb Manes

was at the park Saturday afternoon lounging with his fiancee and a friend

at the pool right next to where the Bed Cinema was setting up for a 7:00

p.m. showing of Back to the Future when all of a sudden the sky darkened,

the wind started  blowing and he saw this coming towards him.


The great mattress migration of 2019 is Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  So there were 150 inflatable mattresses setup in a Denver, Colorado

park on Saturday for an outdoor movie night and then the wind picked up

creating a strangely mesmerizing scene of

mattresses roaming free.




HAYES:  We`ve got two exciting updates for you, our dear All In viewers. 

First, in case you missed it last night, we announced a new series of

Friday night special editions of the show done in front of a live studio

audience.  Now the seats for this Friday`s show are already gone.  A huge

thank you to those who rushed out to get them.  If you missed them this

time around you can still tune in

this Friday for inaugural show.  We`re going to show it on the TV machine

as well at 8:00 p.m. just like always.


Plus, we will have free tickets for next Friday`s show soon, and I`ll let

you know when those  become available.  The other news I have tonight is

about our podcast Why is This Happening because it is Tuesday.  That means

we have a new episode.


And this week`s interview, I think, is unlike any that we`ve ever done. 

Here on All In, we`ve dedicated a lot of time to covering the humanitarian

crisis at the southern border and the impacts of the migration policy of

the Trump administration.  And often the way we talk about those seeking

asylum is through numbers and statistics.


We try to convey the extent of the crisis by showing images of crowds of

people caught in

limbo.  And it can start to feel like this undifferentiated mass of

humanity that is fleeing some faceless misery.  But each individual human

being that is seeking refuge has a unique story, and each story has its own

depth and its own trauma and its own heart.


So on this week`s episode of WITHpod, we interviewed one person who sought

asylum in the United States.  His is name is Luis Mancheno.  And his is one

of the most emotionally powerful stories that I`ve ever heard.  It was an

honor to have him share his journey with me and with our listeners.


The response to our conversations has already been overwhelming, so if you

have not yet, make

sure, go check it out now.




HAYES:  All right.  I`m going to show you some headlines of the Trump

administration`s foreign policy pronouncement in the world`s hot spots, and

they essentially amount to Donald Trump

sauntering around a barn with dry straw tossing matches, hither and yawn. 


On the Brexit question, which among a slew of serious issues, involves one

of the most contested and, for awhile, violent borders in the world for

decades, that`s the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is

of course part of Great Britain and what to do about that border if

there is a hard Brexit with no deal.  Donald Trump essentially says just go

do it.  See what happens.  Just figure it out.


Then on Russia`s continued occupation of Ukraine`s Crimea, which is what

got Russia kicked

out of the G8, it`s the subject of an ongoing, sometimes violent, conflict

in eastern Ukraine, President Trump says let Russia back into the group. 

Should be the G8.  Sorry, Crimea.  Sorry, Ukraine.


And meanwhile, there are 1.7 million people in the streets of Hong Kong

protesting the Chinese

government, and Donald Trump has said all sorts of things, sometimes

contradictory.  He said the Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation,

which I guess is true.  And just yesterday he said it would be hard to make

a trade deal with China if Hong Kong became another Tienanmen Square, which

I guess was a warning, but it`s unclear what exactly he`s trying to say.


And then there is literally possibly the single most dangerous and

contested piece of land in the

entire world, Kashmir, which is simultaneously claimed by two nuclear

powers, Pakistan and India, who have fought numerous wars over it, have

gone to hair trigger terrifying brinkmanship in the past.


And last month when the Pakistani prime minister came to the White House,

the president just out of nowhere, apparently just lied and said that the

Indian prime minister had personally asked Trump to solve the Kashmir



And then India had to say, no, no, that`s not true.  No such request has

been made.  And then in turn, the hyper-nationalist Indian leader who, in

some ways, is a kind of Trump-like figure in Indian politics, just imposed

this really disturbing crackdown and curfew on where they have gone

completely radio silent.  We don`t know really what is happening there,

which brings us to where we are right now.


This is our president`s insight on the topic today.




TRUMP:  It`s Kashmir, and Kashmir`s a very complicated place.  You have the

Hindus and the

Muslims, and I wouldn`t say they get along so great.  And that`s what you

have right now.  A lot has to do with religion.  Religion is a complicated





HAYES:  Joining me now, a true expert on the subject, Alyssa Ayres.  She

served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to

2013.  She`s now a senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia for

the Council on Foreign Relations.


Alyssa, I guess I first want to start with what do we know.  I`ve sort of

been watching reporting on this.  I`ve been watching folks on social media

who have relatives in Kashmir.  What do we know about what the Modi

government, the Indian government, has done to kind of curfew on Kashmir in

the last, say, week or two.



thank you for spending time on this issue, because it doesn`t get the level

of attention that it deserves.  This is really important.


There are three components to the Kashmir that India administers – there

is the Jammu region, there`s the Ladakh region, and there`s the Kashmir



Now, the administrative changes that the government of India made were

accompanied by a communications blockout – a blockade – and by the

preventive detention of a number of politicians, particularly in the

Kashmir region.


It seems that many of these restrictions have been lifted.  They were

lifted earlier in Jammu and in Ladakh.  The communications are gradually

being restored to the Kashmir region, but many of the

politicians are still detained and that`s a real concern.


HAYES:  OK.  Two things.  So there are Kashmiri politicians who are in

Indian-controlled Kashmir who have been detained.  And the communications

blackout was what sort of sent chills up my spine.  Did they just like

knock out people`s Internet service or their cell phones?  Like what was



AYRES:  All of that above including some land lines.  The government of the

territory have joined Kashmir created some emergency lines that people

could use, but it did create, you know, basically no ability to have normal

communications with loved ones.


HAYES:  So what is Modi`s play here?  Like what – there is obviously a

very tense status quo.  It is not a settled status quo.  It has not been a

settled status quo for a long time.


AYRES:  Right.


HAYES:  Modi is a very nationalist figure.  And what is he doing here?


AYRES:  The idea, and first I should note that removing the autonomous

status of Jammu and Kashmir has long been a priority for Modi`s party.  So

the fact that they wanted to implement something like this is not a

surprise.  It was the timing that actually was a surprise.  And as you

alluded to earlier in the segment, some people in India attribute this to a

real fear in India that there might be a lot more international attention

to the region and the time to act was now.  They are also fearful of a

region signal security situation that may worsen following the presumed

withdrawal of international troops.


But the way the Indian government has explained this to the public is that

they hope to bring down terrorism and militancy by amping up development,

economic development, and that it will be

easier to encourage investment by having this administrative change in the



HAYES:  So, they`re changing the fundamental way in which the politics are

administered there.


AYRES:  Yes.


HAYES:  There was sort of a kind of autonomy that was granted there.  The

BJP party that Narendra Modi represents has had kind of like reacquiring it

as a goal for a while as part sort of part of the nationalist project and

now they`re just sort of gone and doing it.


AYRES:  Yeah.  And, in fact, the way that this has been done, there are

actually some cases that have been filed before the supreme court.  So

there is a judicial process that will unfold in India, questioning whether

this was in fact the correct way to do so.


HAYES:  You know, I don`t think that – obviously the American president

isn`t the thing that  triggers – this is a longstanding point of

contention that precedes Donald Trump, but does it matter what the American

president does or says about this kind of extremely delicate issue?


AYRES:  It is delicate.  I mean, I think the government of India was

concerned about feeling like all of a sudden there was going to be some

effort at U.S. mediation, particularly coming on the heels of the visit of

Pakistan`s prime minister.


Now, remember, Pakistan also administers portions of what is the former

princely state of

Jammu and Kashmir.  And Pakistan also has a number of terrorist groups that

have been fomenting and sending terrorists across into Kashmir.  There was

a terrorist attack just in February that escalated tensions.


So this is a very unstable combination of issues here.  And I think the

best role that the United States can play would be, first of all, to

encourage Pakistan to really crack down on these terrorists and to continue

encouraging both countries to have a dialog with each other, have some

safeguards there.


HAYES:  And not just have Donald Trump make the deal himself, as he floated

the idea.


Alyssa Ayres, thank you so much for that.


AYRES:  Thank you.


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

right now. 


Good evening, Rachel.







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