Trump cancels Denmark plans. TRANSCRIPT: 8/21/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, Cristina Beltran, Adam Serwer, Nayyera Haq, Eric Swalwell, Carol Leonnig, Mazie Hirono

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNC HOST:  That`s right.  He is the one who sees the world

out there as it is.  He`s the one who sees the monster behind the door. 

He`s the rest of us who don`t.  He`s the sane one.  It`s the big, bad world

that doesn`t understand.  And all the time that really scary stories that

the man who believes all of this is sitting in the Oval Office as he likes

to day calling the shots.


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

Chris Hayes starts right now.







do it.  I am the chosen one.


HAYES:  The President anoints himself on trade, endorses the idea that he`s

quote the second coming of God, and attacks Jewish voters in America for

being disloyal to Israel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Isn`t that anti-Semitic to say?


TRUMP:  No, no.  It`s only in your head.  It`s only anti-Semitic in your



HAYES:  Then –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s Flores day.  We fixed the Flores rig.


HAYES:  What we know about the new Trump plan for indefinite detention of

migrant families.  Plus, the international incident caused by the

president`s whim to buy Greenland.  And how did the NRA that is seemingly

falling apart forced the president to flip on background checks?


TRUMP:  And all of a sudden you`re on that slope.


HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  The President is at

pains to make it exceedingly clear that he thinks that the more than five

million Jewish Americans who live in this country, secular and religious,

Orthodox, Reform, proudly and ardently Zionists, and not Zionists are

fundamentally, essentially foreign citizens of the State of Israel whose

primary loyalties are to that state.




TRUMP:  Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either

a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, all right.




HAYES:  Disloyalty.  OK.  Well, that was down from yesterday and many

Jewish groups condemned Trump including the Anti-Defamation League and the

American Jewish Committee, but some Jewish Republicans insisted the

comments were not as bad as they sounded.  You know, dual loyalty

accusations being a hallmark of anti-Semitism going hundreds of years back.


A Washington Post reporter interviewed the executive director of the

Republican Jewish coalition Matt Brooks who claimed that Trump was talking

about and I`m quoting here, being true to yourself like a – like of an

internal loyally rather than being loyal to Israel.  He went on a limb to

defend the President today.  Trump just completely saw that limb off.




TRUMP:  In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you`re being very disloyal

to Jewish people and you being very disloyal to Israel.




HAYES:  Very – he said it, very disloyal Israel, pretty clear.  He`s

saying that any Jewish American that votes for Democrat which by the way is

about 80 percent of Jewish Americans are disloyal not to America but to a

foreign government.  The Republican Jewish coalition was then left to claim

they “take the president seriously, not literally” which I guess is just

about all they have left.


This charge of loyalty to foreign government is one of the oldest anti-

Semitic tropes there is.  The idea that Jews aren`t really Americans,

they`re a fifth column, a fundamentally foreign and disloyal populist

within our borders.  Many of the same people who are defending Trump today

attack Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her comments after she

questioned the political influence in the U.S. “that says it`s OK to push

for an allegiance to a foreign country.”


Yet they deny that Trump is anti-Semitic even though his latest comments

aren`t just some slip of the tongue.  I mean, Trump talks to Jewish

Americans as though we were talking to Israelis, not Americans.  And he

repeatedly traffics an anti-Semitic trope.  Listen to how he talks to

American Jewish Republicans.




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

You want to control your own politician.  That`s fine.  I stood with Prime

Minister Netanyahu.  I stood with you Prime Minister at the White House.




HAYES:  OK, wait, do you hear that?  I stood with your Prime Minister at

the White House.  Your Prime Minister.  You guy`s as Prime Minister.  To a

group of Americans, American Jew.  The President views Jews as a foreign

entity that he`s a kind of weird transactional relationship with.  He seems

to believe that because he`s moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, that they

made him a big party with Ivanka present, that all American Jewish should

support him now.


Never mind that only a small percentage of American Jews ever wanted or

cared about that.  Trump acts as though because he has ceded to the

requests of the most right-wing elements of the Israeli government, Jews

should well treat him like the second coming, really.


This morning in what was – I mean even by the standards of our era a truly

bizarre moment, Trump posted a transcription on Twitter of a quote from an

infamous right-wing crackpot conspiracy theorist who claimed that Jews in

Israel love Trump and I`m quoting here, “like he`s the king of Israel, they

love him like he is the second coming of God.”


There was no first coming for the Jews.  That`s the point.  That`s kind of

the whole thing.  By the way, the crackpot who said that – has suggested

that President Barack Obama was hell-bent on killing all Americans, the

mass shooting in Las Vegas was coordinated by Muslims and the Democrats

were behind murders of Seth Rich and Heather Heyer among other many lies.


That`s who the President of the United States was quoting.  After that,

whether intentional or not, Trump finished his morning by grumpily yelling

at the White House hedges along with the assembled press corps about a

trade war he`s trying to distance himself from and he looked at the sky and

declared the following.




TRUMP:  Intellectual property theft, add that to it, and add a lot of other

things to it.  So somebody – excuse me, somebody had to do it.  I am the

chosen one.




HAYES:  I`m joined now by Jeremy a, a President of the Jewish advocacy

group J Street which calls themselves the political home for pro-Israel,

pro-peace Americans.  Well, Jeremy, what do you think about the contention

that 80 percent of American Jews who happen to vote for Democrats are



JEREMY BEN-AMI, PRESIDENT, J STREET:  Well, good evening, Chris.  And it

just so happens that I`m speaking to you tonight from Pittsburgh.  And as

much as we tend to view these things through the prism of politics and

there`s even at times a comedic element to it, what drives at home to me is

that I`m sitting in a town where six weeks from now they`re going to mark

the death of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue who were incited,

who were the victims of violence that was incited by rhetoric like this.


When the President engages in this kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric, and the

racism, and the bigotry, and the incitement towards hatred of groups and

pitting groups against each other, there`s a cost.  There`s a human cost. 

And we are seeing that carried out in our synagogues.  We see it in the

streets.  We see it in our mosques.  And this is not just a political

matter.  This is a dangerous moment in America.


HAYES:  How do you understand how the president understands his

relationship to Jewish Americans?


BEN-AMI:  Well, he`s just so completely ignorant and wrong about what

motivates the overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans.  The irony is that

Jewish Americans are extraordinarily loyal, were loyal to our values,  were

loyal to the lessons that we`ve learned from history.


And we`ve been the victims of oppression.  We`re used to being the

minority.  And we understand what it`s like to fight for justice, to fight

for equality.  And we`re going to look in our politicians for those who are

going to stand up for communities of color.


We`re going to look for those who are going to stand up for the little guy. 

We`re going to look for those who stand up for protection, of free speech,

and freedom of religion.  And everything that Donald Trump does, and every

piece of his political agenda runs counter to what the overwhelming

majority of us are loyal to.


HAYES:  I mean, we should also note, and I`d like to hear your feedback on

this because you know, we end up in these sort of Democratic categories.  I

think there`s around five million Jewish Americans.  I mean, that`s a lot

of people.  It`s like saying like what would Iowans think about something.


Well, you know, Iowans got a lot of different views on a whole bunch of

different topics.  There`s not like one like I wouldn`t believe, right.  I

mean, we`re talking about millions of people who have different views and

different politics and run the gamut and their views on everything from you

know, the tax cut to Israel.


BEN-AMI:  Right.  Well, what`s ironic of course is if you have five or six

million Jews, you have at least five or six million different opinions

because we all disagree on everything all the time.  But one of the things

that does unite Jewish Americans is our overall distaste for Donald Trump.


You know, the level of disapproval for the president in the Jewish

community is higher among Jews than possibly any other subset of the

American population.  And there is no political benefit to the President or

to the Republican Party from going down this Avenue and to tie the notion

that you get political support from American Jews for being a hard-line

right-winger on Israel, is also one of the fundamental fallacies of

American politics and constantly disprove an election after election.


HAYES:  Are you surprised that there has not been more comments on this by

fellow Republicans.  Obviously, we saw – we`ve seen Republicans very

anxious both Jewish Republicans and non-Jewish Republicans anxious to call

Democrats anti-Semite often, right, particularly over the last six months.


I have not seen a lot from folks like Kevin McCarthy or Lynne Cheney who

was going after Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.  Does that surprise you?



BEN-AMI:  Well, I mean, nothing can possibly surprise us at this point. 

We`re more than two and a half years into this presidency and we`ve watched

the Republican Party lose any shred of its dignity that it used to have on

some of these issues so nothing is surprising.


It`s disturbing.  And you know the next time that there is the slightest

hint of controversy coming from a Democrat, you can be sure that those

exact same people are going to be leaping all over it.  And it`s really

disturbing.  It`s the moment that we`re at.  And there`s an agenda in 2020. 

We`ve got to change the direction this country is headed.


HAYES:  Jeremy Ben-Ami, thanks for being with me.


BEN-AMI:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Joining me now for more on this, Adam Serwer Staff Writer at the

Atlantic and Cristina Beltran Associate Professor at New York University. 

Adam, let me start with you because you`ve been writing a lot about this,

about the sort of discourse around anti-Semitism and pluralism, and

basically the sort of relationship a little bit of what Jeremy Ben-Ami was

saying about the political constitution of American Jews again, who are a

very diverse group, but how high the stakes are for American Jews and Jews

traditionally throughout the world in the Diaspora to have functioning

pluralistic and diverse democracies that are in many ways very oppositional

to what Trumpism stands for.


ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC:  Right.  Well, I mean, what we`ve

learned today is that Trump in a fundamental way sees Jews much the same

way as he sees black Americans or Arab Americans or Hispanic Americans

which is that they are fundamentally not American in the same way that

white Christians are.


HAYES:  Right.


SERWER:  And that belief understandably alarms the majority of American

Jews because we understand that when citizenship is tied to ethnic

background in that way that eventually people are going to look at us as

suspect, as foreigners, even though the President believes.  And I have to

emphasize this.  The president`s philo-Semitism is not incompatible with



As Yair Rosenberg wrote in The Washington Post today, it`s not that Trump

doesn`t believe anti-Semitic stereotypes, it`s that he believes that those

qualities are positive.


HAYES:  In fact –


SERWER:  And the fact is that we don`t like that.  I mean, it`s not – it`s

not actually a compliment when someone tells a Jew oh you know, I`ve heard

that you people are great with money.  It`s not something that makes us

feel safe.  And some people are understandably alarmed by Trump essentially

repeating a long term – a well-known anti-Semitic canard even though he`s

doing it as though it`s a positive thing.


HAYES:  You know, you say that – I want to read this quote which I think

is actually a really important one.  This is from John R. O`Donnell who`s

the former president at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and he wrote a book

about his experience.  He wrote that Trump said this.  Black guys counting

my money, I hate it.  The only kind of people I want counting my money are

short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.  It`s exactly what Adams is

talking about.



it`s amazing.  And I mean, it`s so common and constant with this – with

this president.  It`s funny I`m Mexican and Jewish and a Progressive

Democrats so I`m like – I`m like a racial trifecta tonight.  I`m like –

it`s just insane.


But I think that – I think that one of the things that that is so

interesting that I think about is the way that Adam reference as well as

the fact that all these groups for him like Mexicans, Jews, they are

fundamentally in but not of the United States, right?  They`re

fundamentally not of this country.


And so that – and so we had that would Judge Curiel, right, where he was

saying well, he`s Mexican so he can`t adjudicate fairly for me because he`s



HAYES:  Right, exactly.  His loyalties are to – right.


BELTRAN:  His loyalties aren`t to this country.  And so in this whole –

and I mean, the attacks on birthright citizenship right now, so this whole

idea of trying to literally expel and to see these groups as perpetually

other.  But I think the other point that`s really interesting is what Trump

allows the right to have is they have their Israel and their anti-Semitism



Because think of all the attacks that were on the Progressive Democrats

right now.  Progressive Democrats, what are they?  They`re socialists. 

They`re urban.  They`re in cahoots with African Americans, and Muslims –


HAYES:  Well, they`re part of an international globalist conspiracy to

bring immigrants in.


BELTRAN:  Right, exactly.  And that was the Pittsburgh shooting, right?  It

was all about their support of refugees and their support of migrants.  So

the logics here about this is sort of white nationalism plain yourself out

that allows them to be anti-Semitic while also using their support of

Israel as a way to hide that way.


HAYES:  Well, and I think the sort of pro-Israel part of it, Adam, part of

what`s being revealed here is a kind of con that`s been run for many years

which is this strange alliance that`s been created between sort of pro-

Israel forces, Jewish pro-Israel forces and particularly right-wing Jewish

pro-Israel forces and the kind of evangelical right for sort of strange

theological reasons in which it`s like we`re pro-Jewish, we`re Pro-Israel,

if those are the exact same things.


SERWER:  Yes.  I mean, the geo-strategic interests of the State of Israel

and the values and interests of American Jews are not necessarily the same

thing.  And I think that for Trump who fundamentally because he is an

ethnic nationalist, he only understands loyalty in two terms.  He only

understands loyalty to Trump and loyalty to what he perceives to be your

larger ethnic group.


So for him, you know, this is simply an expression of his worldview that

Jews are loyal to other Jews, black people are loyal to other black people,

and it`s fundamentally an American in the sense that all Americans

regardless of background are no more or less American than anybody else.


HAYES:  You know, Adam made this comment earlier today that you know, it is

not – it has been the case throughout Jewish history in various

experiences that high levels of assimilation can also coexist with high

levels anti-Semitism and also targeting for violence.


And on Monday – and to a point of Jeremy Ben-Ami was saying from

Pittsburgh, there`s a U.S. man arrested over an alleged threat to an Ohio

Jewish center.  We have seen a number of these arrests.  You talk about

getting the white nationalism part of this as well.


BELTRAN:  Yes, yes.  I mean, the synagogue I went to in Sacramento was

firebombed a few years back.  I mean, this stuff is increasingly

intensified.  And I think – I think the other thing that`s important to

think about here that relates to Adam`s work as well is thinking about the

relationship between for authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and white

supremacy because one of the things that were that we`ve seen historically

is that the groups people who are seen as non-citizens can be excluded from

our civic life.


So the anti-democratic impulse is going on right now is a fundamental

disagreement with the idea that the majority rules because – or it`s a

weird view of the majority rules because it`s not really the majority –


HAYES:  One particular majority rules.


BELTRAN:  If you – if you can voter suppress African Americans, if you can

keep urban centers, if you can get places where people of color and Jewish

folks exist in large numbers and you can pivot to the rural and to the

predominately white areas, that`s real America so you could disenfranchise. 

So the white supremacists exclusions are now becoming – it`s a multiracial

form of white exclusion.


HAYES:  Adam Serwer and Cristina Beltran, thank you both for being with me. 

Next, how the President`s musings about buying a whole country or a part of

one that is not for sale turn into an actual international incident.  The

details in two minutes.




HAYES:  OK, I`ll be honest.  When I was on vacation, I saw the story

floating at the margins of my attention that Donald Trump wanted to

purchase Greenland from Denmark.  I thought it was A, obviously hilarious,

B, plausible that it was true that he wanted to do that, C, preposterous

but also probably one of those occasional eruptions in some meeting at some

point from our mud brain president like you know, not any staff worked on

it, no paper, no real plans, just you know, let the guy at the bar leaning

in saying you know what we should do, buy Greenland.


Well, now, I`m back from vacation.  Here we are a week later, and the

president has caused like a genuine and outright international incident

over this abruptly canceling a state dinner which by the way is a really

enormous deal that he himself had asked for over the apparent refusal of

the Danish government to sell him.  And again, unclear whether him

personally or the nation, Greenland, which is of course not a thing that

they could even do.


Today, Trump called the Danish Prime Minister nasty which is a word he uses

for all kinds of women that he can`t control.  And the Danish PM trapped

suddenly in the weirdest news cycle an international crisis of her career

issued this statement in English.




METTE FREDERIKSEN, PRIME MINISTER, DENMARK:  It is with regret and surprise

that I received the news that President Trump has canceled his state visit

to Denmark on the second and third of September.  I`ve been looking forward

to the visit.  Our preparations were well underway.  A discussion has

however been raised about a potential sale of Greenland.  This has clearly

been rejected by Kim Kielsen, a position that I share of course.




HAYES:  For more on the president causes an international incident on a

whim, I`m joined by Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report, MSNBC

Contributor and Nayyera Haq who`s former White House Senior Director and

State Department Advisor, now a Sirius XM talk show host and political



Nayyera, again, this seems like not a big deal until the president abruptly

canceled the state dinner.  Like what – how often does that happen?



are highly coordinated visits, planned weeks and if not months in advance,

and usually built around having to strengthen a relationship.  So Denmark

is part of the NATO alliance.  We have military base on Greenland.  It is a

key strategic point for coordinating with Europe and against Russia.


So I think there`s a cloud broadly writ large about Trump doesn`t like NATO

and has blamed the Danes for not paying their – what he considers to be

their fair share.  So, unfortunately, this abrupt cancellation of a visit

certainly doesn`t help anything on the strategic military front, but it

also signals that this is a president whose foreign policy is rooted in

like the 1800s when we used to either invade places to get territory or

outright buy them the way we did with Alaska.


And that doesn`t speak very well for what he thinks about how to deal with

the people who already live in these countries like the 50,000 indigenous

folks of Greenland.


HAYES:  I mean, he`s – I mean, once a real estate developer, always a real

estate developer I guess.


SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Right.  I mean, I`m not sure that`s 1800s or

maybe like closer like the 14 where you just sort of feels like I`m going

to – I want it, why wouldn`t I take it.  I mean, I think, you know,

there`s obviously increasing geostrategic relevance to it because the

Arctic is melting, and people are using it as a base to go and strip



HAYES:  The great irony here is that its strategic value increases every

year because of the global warming the president says is a hoax.


SEDER:  Exactly.


HAYES:  Because it`s becoming a warmer place.


SEDER:  Exactly.  But you know, I think of all the really crazy things that

has come out of his mouth and decisions really just in the past 24 hours or

so, this is the most bizarre in some way.  Like you can come up with

explanations for the other things like it appeals to is base –


HAYES:  Right.  There`s some political strategy.


SEDER:  Yes.  I mean, I don`t know if it`s actually going on, but you could

– you can pose it on it.  I don`t know where the constituency is for like

we really need to show Denmark who`s boss, but it is my understanding that

Obama is going to be in the country.


HAYES:  No, the white working-class industrial Midwest famously hates the



SEDER:  Of course.  I mean, he may think he can get away with it because

she`s a woman and he`s not going to be you know, rejected by a woman in

that way but Obama is supposedly visiting in three or four weeks and so

maybe he feels like I don`t want the baby blimp and then the next week

they`re throwing roses on Obama.


HAYES:  Yes.  He did – I mean, like, you said this before to me when we`re

in the makeup room.  Like maybe he just doesn`t want to go.


SEDER:  Yes.


HAYES:  Nayyera?


HAQ:  Well, it`s just an easy excuse but an age-old question.  Why buy when

you can rent or lease?  We`re already – we`re effectively renting the

military complex –


HAYES:  That`s right.  We already have the base there.


HAQ:  Like, what else do we need in the next – in the next couple of

months or years?


HAYES:  I also think like – he went back on this like NATO rant today

where he`s like talks about NATO as this protection racket and they sort of

Mafiosi terms, it`s always like super weird, and he has like the most

caustically cynical like extreme leftist Marxist view of world affairs

except it`s like a good thing.


SEDER:  Right.


HAYES:  Right?  Like everything – like that`s like his model for how it

all should work.  But it is the case that like he does have to deal with

international leaders.  And I keep thinking like we keep going along and

it`s like there`s the Kashmir tinderbox, and like this is the sort of funny

stories but it is the case that there are high stakes problems in the



SEDER:  – on the border Syria.  I mean, there`s all – there`s a lot of

different sort of tinderboxes.  And look, you know, this is sort of funny

for us and I think for many people in this country we see like oh this is -

- we`re going through a period – this is – you know, this is – this is

just a blip and we`re going to return to normalcy.


But if you are from a different country, if you`re the leadership of

another country, you don`t see Donald Trump as some type of outlier, you

see this is indicative of a highly unstable country and in the future we

cannot rely on them for even things like meet me for dinner.


HAYES:  Yes.


SEDER:  Never mind big you know, agreements like the Paris Accords or

anything else.  Like it is going to undermine and rightfully so because

this country is very unstable.  We could get someone like Obama and then

four years later, eight years later, we could get someone like Trump again.


HAYES:  Right.  Even if the next person is different.  Nayyera?


HAQ:  Yes, not even just about the eroding of trust in American leadership

abroad, but it does signal to people that the United States is itching for

something, right.  It comes on the heels of these love letters with North

Korea, you know, unclear about the back-and-forth with China.  I mean, we

are a country that literally went to war in the Persian Gulf to protect the

territorial integrity of Kuwait, right.


So if that`s what we used to do, the question now is what does the United

States now?  Are we going to turn back the clock and try to take another

piece of territory like we did Texas?  So these are parts of American

history that people around the world have wrestled with for quite some time

and clearly aren`t getting a good answer from Donald Trump.


HAYES:  I want to read this last line from the Danish PM just from two days

ago when she said, “Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other

countries and populations is over.  Let`s leave it there” which is well

said.  Sam Seder and Nayyera Haq, thank you very much.


Next, the Trump administration announces plans that would allow them to

hold migrant children indefinitely.  Senator Mazie Hirono and what this

move would mean for thousands of families after this.




HAYES:  Today, the Trump administration officially announced they are going

to seek to indefinitely detain migrant children with their families for the

duration of their immigration proceedings.  It`s a move that is very likely

in violation of a federal consent decree that according to a judge, limits

detention time to 20 days.  And that perhaps the most audacious turn they

tried to make a humanitarian case arguing that they`re doing this out of

sheer compassion for the children they`re going to detain.





child should be a pawn in a scheme to manipulate our immigration system

which is why the new rule eliminates the incentive to exploit children as a

free ticket whereas one gentleman in Guatemala told me a passport for

migration to the United States.




HAYES:  Here with me now, a reporter who has broken a number of scoops

about this administration`s immigration policies and who`s been following

this latest news very closely Julia Ainsley who covers the Department of

Homeland Security and the Department of Justice for the NBC News

investigative unit.  Julia, what does the administration want to do?  What

are they announcing today?


JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, what they`re announcing today

is that on Friday they`re going to publish this rule, this is a final rule,

they already proposed this about a year ago.  And they say that within

sixty days they will be holding migrant families in detention indefinitely,

that they will no longer abide by this 20-day rule that`s been in place

since 2015 that says that children can`t be held any longer than that,

because a judge said that they were state – that you couldn`t a child in a

facility that didn`t have a state license.


So, what they want to do is say, well, ICE has licensed them.  It doesn`t

matter if the state has, they want to hold them.  They run into two really

tough points there.  One is logistics.  They don`t have enough space. 

There`s only about enough space for 3,000 families to be kept and over

400,000 family members have crossed the border so far this fiscal year. 


So, you`re talking about affecting a small population, especially holding

if you`re going to be holding them and taking up those beds indefinitely. 

And then, there`s a legal challenge, very likely they will end up in court. 

In fact, administration officials I talked to said they are expecting that

and do not

expect this to go forward in October, because they have to wait for those

legal challenges to be resolved.


HAYES:  So they – I mean, this is a consent decree, and we should say the

original lawsuit was about the mistreatment of migrants in detention in the

United States.  And this settlement that happened in 2015 when the Obama

administration was on the other side of the litigation, a judge is going to

have to OK this at some point, right?


AINSLEY:  Oh, yes, so this has been under the purview of Judge Dolly Gee,

she`s in the Ninth Circuit.  She said in 2015, she looked at a 1997 ruling

about children being held in immigration detention that said they had to be

processed within 5 days.  And she said, look, this also applies to children

being held with families.  The reason she had to weigh in on this is

because in 2014, the Obama administration started to detain families

together when they saw the rise of families coming across the border.


And she says, about how long does it take for you to process them – the

asylum claims, give them medical attention.  And at the time, the Obama

administration said, about 20 days.  And that`s how we got that limit.


So,  what the administration wants to do here, and there`s no parsing

around this, they just want to get this out of this judge`s hands.  They

want this to be appealed.  They want this to go up higher.   They want this

to be  brought in different circuits.  They have found that have just run

into a roadblock with this particular judge.  And if they ever want to get

around this they need to get into something big and bold even though they

know within a day they will already end up in court.


HAYES:  All right, Julia Ainsley, thank you for that reporting.


I`d like to turn now to Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, who sits

on the border security and immigration subcommittee.


My sense is that you`re strongly opposed to this proposal, why?


SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, (D) HAWAII:  You got that right. 


Look, we already know from so many child specialists that detaining

children in these kinds of  facilities does irreparable damage to them. 

There are alternatives to family detention that this administration could

care less about.  So, as Julia said, the only way that they get around the

Flores consent agreement is by getting around it by proposing or having

this rule, which will be immediately

challenged, by the way.


So they want to detain families indefinitely, children indefinitely, held

in situations that do them absolutely no good when there are alternatives.


HAYES:  We should say that the facility where a lot of this detention is

happening is in Dilley, Texas.  It is where Ken Cuccinelli posed today. 

Dilley, Texas is somewhat notorious.  It was where family detention was

done under the Obama administration.  It`s subcontracted to a private

contractor that runs it.


This is one headline from 2015, “Soul Destroy: one migrant mother`s story

of life at Dilley detention Center,” recently another mother who had been

there testified about her daughter – her baby daughter dying of illness

after being there.


You`ve been to Dilley.  What do you think about the conditions there?


HIRONO:  Not good.  In fact, these families should not be detained, and

that`s the bottom line.  And so we`re not contemplating thousands and

thousands of migrant families being detained, doing irreparable harm to

little children.


When I was in Dilley, you know, we can`t forget seeing was there, a little

boy just silently crying.  Heaven knows what was going through his mind,

but not good.


And so there are alternatives, as I keep mentioning.  And I did have a

shadow hearing what happens in these facilities and what happens to the

children.  Clearly, they are harmed irreparably.  Our country should not be

imposing this kind of cruelty on children.  But I think that the Trump

administration, people sit around every single day thinking up new ways to

be cruel to these migrants.  That`s what they do.


And tomorrow, they will probably come up with something else.


HAYES:  You were one of the senators that voted – I think there were 88 of

them, for the $5.5

billion, more or less, in supplemental funding for DHS, this was amidst a

sort of showdown over whether DHS needed more money for capacity.


Given what they`re doing now, do you still stand by that vote?  There were

those at the time who said, look, you`re giving money others saying you are

giving money to this agency with insufficient strings attached.


HIRONO:  I did not vote for that, as a matter of fact, because it didn`t

have sufficient parameters. 


But, yes, of course I realize that these facilities need more support.  And

this is why I`m very much in support of a number of bills that lead to fair

treatment of migrant families, because they have every right to seek

asylum, so a fair process, humane treatment, and really addressing the root

causes of what`s going on in the countries they are fleeing from.


So, I support those kinds of measures that truly do something to change the

equation in terms of what`s happening with these migrants and their

families.  Of course, that`s not where the Trump administration is coming



HAYES:  Finally, you have co-sponsored legislation with Senator Merkley who

was a guest on the program this week, that would sort of reorient the whole

way in which DHS is dealing with these families, sort of monitored release,

case work, things like that.


Is there any universe in which Mitch McConnell moves on that?


HIRONO:  No.  And that`s why you know what the bottom line is the people

who are making decisions on these kinds of bills, including by the way, we

should not have for profit entities running these facilities.  They have

absolutely no incentive to do the right thing.  And so the only way that

we`re going to change the people who will be voting on these measures is to

change the people, the decision-makers.  And that`s why everyone has to be

aware what our country is doing in our name supposedly, certainly not in my

name or yours, that the people who vote have got to change.  And that

certainly starts, in my view, with Mitch McConnell, who is one of the most

ruthless people that I know, and he`s proud to call himself the Grim

Reaper, who will never bring any of these bills to the floor of the senate

for a vote.


HAYES:  All right, Senator Mazie Hirono, thank you for your time.


HIRONO:  Thank you.


HAYES:  Ahead, how a deteriorating NRA is still strong enough to push

President Trump around.  Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.




HAYES:  Thing One tonight, can you imagine if we had a president of the

United States who went around claiming he was also Michigan “Man of the

Year,” even if he wasn`t.




TRUMP:  Five or six years before I even thought about running for whatever

reason, they named me “Man of the Year” in Michigan.  I said, how come?  I

didn`t even understand it myself.  But I was named man of the year.


In Michigan, they gave me an award, six, seven years ago, I had no idea. 

It was the “Man of the Year” in Michigan.


About six years ago, I wasn`t even running, and they gave me an award, the

Republican of the year.  And I made a speech in Michigan thanking them for

the award.


I got the award, the “Man of the Year” five years ago in Michigan.


It`s true, about five or six years ago I was given the “Man of the Year” in



I was “Man of the Year” in Michigan a number of years a go.


I was honored five years ago, “Man of the Year” in Michigan, that was a

great honor for me.




HAYES:  Donald Trump is lots of things, but Michigan “Man of the Year” is

not one of them.


It`s not even an award that exists in real life, just in Trump`s brain.


And in Trump`s brain, he has won lots of awards and has graced the cover of

big-time magazines, like this fake one he had PhotoShopped and hung in his

country clubs.  That`s just a thing he does.  That`s Thing Two in 60





HAYES:  So, one of my favorite writers these days,  David Roth, wrote a

piece for Dead Spin at The Concourse this week about the strange reality in

which Donald Trump seems to live, an alternate universe in which he`s the

star and a big winner in a never ending televised awards show.




TRUMP:  Five or six years before I ever thought about running for whatever

reason, they named me “Man of the Year” in Michigan.


You know, the Cubans, they gave me award, Bay of Pigs award, last week.


I just got an award, an endorsement yesterday, from a – the exact group,

there`s a Log Cabin Group.


And I`m an environmentalist, I will tell you.  I`ve received many

environmental awards.


Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter

that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel prize.  He

said, I have nominated you.


That was from the Emmys.  I sang Green Acres and received a very nice award

that day.




HAYES:  So, none of that is true.


But the real question is does Donald Trump believe it`s true or does he

just think we`re all stupid?




TRUMP:  I hear good things about the way Australia is being run and

running.  And you know you just had some – your financial genius just got

a nice award.  He was voted the best in the world at this time.


Now, I don`t know who gives him that award, maybe he does.  No, I don`t



I do that, I give myself awards all the time.  I give.  And then I announce

I have just received an award, and there`s nothing deceptive about it

because I did, but I gave it to myself.




HAYES:  You remember back in March 2014, when little green men started

popping up in Ukraine.  The pro-Russian Ukrainian government had just

fallen because of these anti-corruption protests.  Ukraine`s then

president, Viktor Yanukovych, Paul Manafort`s one-time boss, by the way,

had to flee to Moscow after the parliament voted to remove him from office. 

And Russia responded by sending these irregular army guys without flags on

their uniform, into a part of Ukraine called Crimea where they did a thing

that in the history of Europe is an extremely dangerous provocative thing,

they went in and they took a big chunk of somebody else`s land and called

it theirs.  They just annexed Crimea.


That`s a real, real, real red line.  The history of that happening in

Europe has been the history of blood,  world war and genocide.


And because Russia is a nuclear power, and because nobody is going to go to

war with Russia over that, the question then became, well,  what can you

do?  Sanctions. 


The U.S., along with the world`s other powers, leveled sanctions against

Russia and booted them out of the G8 saying this is unacceptable behavior

for a country that wants to be a part of this elite club of nations.


And that is why Russia is not part of the G8 today.  They still occupy

Crimea.  They still have people there up to no good.  And after that, they

downed a passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, killing almost 300 people. 


Just this past June, international prosecutors charged three Russians with

shooting down that jet, which resulted in more international outrage and



The Russians went after European elections.  They got involved in the

Brexit vote.  And then they undertook  this incredible campaign to sabotage

the U.S. presidential election in 2016. 


In fact, part of why Russia went after our election was to find a president

who would remove those sanctions that emanated from them taking them over

Crimea.  There is nothing Russia would love more than to have Crimea

officially recognized and to have those sanctions removed.  That is why it

is music to their ears when the American president, who they worked very

hard to elect illegally, says this.




TRUMP:  They were taken out because Putin outsmarted – on Crimea, on the

red line, on other

things, totally outsmarted Obama.


Obama was upset.  They took him out.  I think Russia should be a part of

it, because we`re looking for world peace and other things, trade and other

things, and it would be a lot easier to have Russia in where they have

always been.




HAYES:  Right, so Barack Obama was upset, so they were kicked out of the

G8.  That what Donald Trump just said is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants:

a U.S. president that will look past their military aggression in Eastern

Europe and legitimize his international crimes.




HAYES:  Continue to be fascinating in a grim kind of way to watch Donald

Trump wriggle around, pinned in place by the power of the NRA, an

organization that is in near ruins, beset by corruption and scandal and

falling apart day by day.


And yet the NRA and more importantly the gun owner identity politics it has

unleashed on to our nation are strong enough to make the president cower

and slink and moonwalk away from positions

that he knows very well are popular.


Meanwhile, compare the wilting insanity of the current NRA where everyone

is suing each other to the power of the continued organization and the

moral witness of the Parkland survivors who today released a truly sweeping

gun control proposal that calls for a multi-step gun licensing system,

nationally, overseen by a federal agency, that would include in person

interviews and a 10-day wait before gun purchases are approved, a ban on

assault weapons and high capacity magazines, a mandatory gun buy back

program, and a national director of gun violence prevention.  And they plan

to continue focusing on the youth vote for 2020, which pits the potential

power of gun control on electoral politics against the seemingly sustained

power of the NRA.


For that I`m joined by Congressman Eric Swalwell of  California who has an

eight part plan to end gun violence, and Carol Leonnig, Washington Post

national investigative reporter and an MSNBC contributor.


Carol, let me start with you just on the sort of blow by blow of what is

going on over at the NRA, which you have been reporting about.


CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Well, it`s an ugly blood feud, and the

blood is kind of running down the streets for all to see.  Basically the

quick and dirty of this is in the spring when it`s – the NRA president was

trying to privately warn board members that they needed to look at the

financial decisions, the financial spending, the deficit that the NRA was

in and also some unusual and curious legal fees that were in the tens of

millions of dollars, when that president was urging that, Wayne LaPierre,

who is really the chief executive of the NRA pushed to have the board oust

that president, Ollie North.  And the two are now suing each other as is

the key vendor that really defined the NRA`s image for 30 years.


They are in a war over who knew what, whose financial decision-making might

have been corrupt or illegal, who was in charge, and really now two

different state AGs are investigating what the truth is.


HAYES:  Congressman, what`s striking to me is that the Wayne LaPierre, the

person who is at the center of the battle, that Carol`s been reporting

about, has made a few calls to the president, and with a few calls has

gotten him to back off what he said he was going to support some kind of

universal background check, legislation which by the way is just

overwhelmingly popular in poll after poll after poll.  If it came up, I

think there would probably be the votes to pass it, frankly, in both



What do you attribute that too?  How do you understand the politics of this

moment when the

institutional NRA is so beset by scandal and so weak?


REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) CALIFORNIA:  The president is never going to

abandon the NRA, Chris. And so we have to just act accordingly, and win the

White House and win the Senate.


But we gave the NRA the benefit of the doubt for too long, which is they

had a perverse  interpretation of the Second Amendment when in reality, as

Carol`s reporting has shown, it`s worse, it`s greed and grifting.  And

perhaps the red flag, if you will, on this, should have been that the

Russians were funding the NRA and they allowed it to happen anyway.


There are no gun rights in Russia.  This wasn`t Russia extolling some

virtue that they care about at home that they want to spread around the

world.  And so fact that the NRA would just take all of that money shows it

was about greed and Mr. LaPierre`s hotel stays, his trips and his suits.


I think they`re on the ropes.  And so what we should do is put our foot on

the pedal and not just have future bans, and we`re going to see future bans

on assault weapons and large capacity magazine, we should have present

bans, because these weapons, if you grandfather them in, assault weapons

and the magazines, they`ll be around for decades when the public wants them

all gone now.


HAYES:  Carol, here`s an interesting thing about the NRA, it did very well

in the Obama years.  Under a Democratic president, the idea that there

would be gun control was a very sort of like adjacent threat to its

members.  It can go around and say, look, we`re what stand between that, in

the era of Trump it kind of had to reinvent itself in some ways.  They had

wept for there were no more worlds to concur, right?


Part of what its crisis is, is that it really became this almost kind of

cultural organization.  I mean, I watched NRA ads that had nothing to do

with gun that looked indistinguishable from other right wing media you

might see.


LEONNIG:  Well, you know, it`s interesting because I totally agree with

you, Chris.  I mean, when you have a Republican president NRA has a hard

time rattling the sabers and banging the gong and saying we are in

desperate need of your funds and help and we have got to protect the Second



What`s almost more eerie in the era of Trump, though, is that now all of

this material about what was going on behind the scenes, as the congressman

has alluded to, about the spending, the effort to buy a $6 million house

with NRA funds for Wayne LaPierre, the $500,000 AMEX bills for suits and

private jet planes to Italy and the Bahamas, while that`s going on and the

NRA membership is sort of getting fed up, and Wayne LaPierre genuinely is

on the ropes and under investigation, the president is also under a lot of

pressure – two shootings, 31 people dead, and one of those shootings, the

president was essentially the first president of the United States accused

of helping enable or encouraged that shooter.


HAYES:  Quickly, congressman, national gun registry or licensing as called

for I think in your plan and also the Parkland survivor`s plan, do you see

that as becoming a Democratic consensus point?


SWALWELL:  Yes, and responsible gun owners are going to come around to

this.  The more they see doing nothing will only lead to more and more

calls for reforms, I think getting them on board to have responsible gun

ownership and alienate those that are not responsible is the future here.


HAYES:  All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Carol Leonnig, thank you



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

now.  Good evening, Rachel.







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