Acting White House Chief of Staff speaks. TRANSCRIPT: 8/9/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Kristen Clarke, David Fahrenthold
Transcript:

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  All right.  Robinson Meyer thanks a lot for

joining us. 

 

That is ALL IN for this evening. 

 

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. 

 

Good evening, Rachel. 

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Have a great weekend, my

friend. 

 

HAYES:  You too. 

 

MADDOW:  Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.  It`s good to have

you here.  Happy Friday.

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning “Washington Post” reporter David Fahrenthold is

going to be here tonight with another jaw-dropping scoop in what has now

been a couple of years of jaw-dropping scoops from David Fahrenthold,

particularly about this president and the president`s business record. 

 

What`s always amazing about David Fahrenthold`s series of scoops about

President Trump and bad behavior and misbehavior in the president`s

business is that whatever David Fahrenthold newly reports about them,

whatever it is, and there have been a long series of these stories,

whatever it is, the president`s business, the president`s family, the White

House itself, they never have anything to say about it.  They are always

completely blindsided, they always have had no clue as to what it is that

David Fahrenthold is about to report about them next.

 

Well, David Fahrenthold will be with us here live tonight to talk about his

latest scoop, which, again, both the Trump White House and the Trump

Organization appear to have no response to whatsoever, at least thus far. 

 

Today in El Paso, Texas, authorities publicly released the affidavit filed

by an El Paso police detective about the arrest of the shooter who killed

22 people this week in El Paso after apparently posting online a diatribe

about why he was doing it and how he wanted to stop what he saw as an

Hispanic invasion.  He wanted to target immigrants.  He wanted target the

Hispanic community, because he thought he was, you know, saving the white

race or whatever. 

 

I say that man “apparently” posted that diatribe online, because while that

appears to be sort of statement of purpose from this mass murderer, no law

enforcement authorities have definitively said that it was he who posted it

online, although it seems like it probably was.  If there was any doubt,

though, as to the motivations of the El Paso killer, this police affidavit

about his arrest that was released today would seem to lay any such doubts

to rest. 

 

This is from the affidavit.  Agents and police officers at the intersection

observed a male person, the defendant, to exit out of the vehicle with his

hands raised in the air and stated out loud to the agents, “I`m the

shooter.”  The defendant was placed under arrest and transported to police

headquarters. 

 

The affiant, meaning the detective who was filling out this affidavit and

another detective, met with the defendant inside interview room number 4. 

They read him his Miranda rights.  He waived his right to remain silent. 

He agreed to speak about the incident. 

 

Quote: The defendant stated he drove to the listed location in El Paso from

Allen, Texas, which is like nine or 10 hours away.  He entered the store

with an assault rifle/AK-47 and multiple magazines.  The defendant stated

once inside the store, he opened fire using his AK-47, shooting multiple

innocent victims.  The defendant stated his target was Mexicans.  Mexicans. 

 

There has been a little ripple that you can start to see growing on the

right.  A little ripple of denialism about the El Paso attack.  Anti-

immigrant groups in particular have been sort of softly, softly suggesting

that maybe race and immigration wasn`t the motivation for the shooter at

all.  Maybe he was just some crazy kid. 

 

I mean, beyond what appears to be the online statement from the shooter

explaining his motives and now what the El Paso detectives say, he said to

them, as soon as he was arrested, having volunteered that he was the

shooter, it does seem like his motive, the racially specific nature of his

motive should now be considered a settled issue. 

 

This weekend will mark the two-year anniversary of what is now just

shorthanded in this country as Charlottesville.  The neo-Nazi/white

supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, during

which neo-Nazi and white supremacist protesters marched around holding

torches, saying things like “you will not replace us.”  That`s another

paranoid white supremacist theory that was cited by the El Paso gunman this

weekend, incidentally. 

 

The day after the torch lit, anti-Semitic white power rally in

Charlottesville, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who had driven to

Charlottesville from Ohio specifically for this racist rally, he killed a

counter protester named Heather Heyer and injured dozens of more people

when he deliberately drove his car at speed into a crowd of anti-racist

protesters in Charlottesville. 

 

This weekend being the anniversary of that murder and that big proud racist

white power display in an American city, that anniversary coming this

weekend, so closely on the heels of our country`s worst-ever terrorist

attack targeting Latinos and immigrants, this self-proclaimed racist

massacre in El Paso just this week.  You know, if the president of our

country were so inclined, because of this anniversary and because of what

just happened in El Paso this week, this would be kind of the obvious

moment – this would be a propitious time, one might imagine, for the

president to finally take back what he said about Charlottesville in the

immediate wake of that riot and murder. 

 

As you no doubt recall, the president described people on the neo-Nazi side

of those protests in Charlottesville two years ago as very fine people.  If

the president wanted to, this weekend might be a symbolically appropriate

time.  If it`s ever going to happen, this might be the symbolically

appropriate time for the president to say, he didn`t mean to say that.  He

takes back what he said about there being very fine people on the neo-Nazi

side in Charlottesville.  He could do that. 

 

I mean, it`s interesting, as we head into this weekend, I have felt this

Charlottesville anniversary looming more than I do most things.  And as

that has been approaching, I have been stuck all week on something sort of

big-hearted and I think wise that was said by the congresswoman from El

Paso, the congresswoman whose district includes the site of the massacre

this past weekend. 

 

It was said by Veronica Escobar.  It was actually said here on our air on

our on MSNBC in the immediate aftermath of the El Paso massacre, on Monday

night, after the massacre had happened on Saturday. 

 

I didn`t expect Congresswoman Escobar to say this at all or anything like

it, but since she said it on Monday night, I have to tell you, I have not

been able to get this out of my mind all week long. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX):  We need the president to accept

responsibility, apologize, and take back those words, so that his

followers, the people who cling to his every word, who follow his rallies,

who get riled up and excited about the bigotry that comes from his speeches

at those rallies, they need to hear that the president acknowledges that he

was wrong.  And that his words were wrong, and that every human being has

value. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  That was Congresswoman Veronica Escobar on Monday, the

congresswoman from El Paso, so soon after the El Paso massacre in her

district and in her community.  And she was answering a question there

about why she had say that she didn`t think it was appropriate for

President Trump to come to El Paso in the wake of the massacre, given his

own words about an invasion at the border, words that were echoed, if not

quoted, by the shooter. 

 

The way he had talked about immigrants, the way he has talked about people

from Mexico in particular, the way he has talked about border communities,

including El Paso.  She was asked to explain why she thought, given the

president`s remarks of those kinds.  He shouldn`t come to El Paso after the

shooting. 

 

But that idea that she expressed in response to that question, that the

president actually could do something here, that he could help, that he

could redress some of what`s wrong, that he could apologize for his hurtful

words, that he could take them back, that he could say he knows those words

are wrong and that they cause harm and here`s why they`re wrong and here`s

why I take them back – I mean, that is not a huge and unimaginable thing

to ask for from a national leader at a time like this, especially if you`re

in a position of moral – if you`re in the kind of moral position that the

congresswoman from El Paso is in after what just happened in her town. 

 

And I don`t know that Congresswoman Escobar expects that from President

Trump, you know, that he`ll, you know, take back the things he said about

El Paso.  That he`ll take back the things he said against immigrants.  But

this weekend, on the anniversary of Charlottesville, on the two-year

anniversary of Charlottesville, on the one-week anniversary of El Paso, if

the president wanted to, this would be his chance to take back his words,

to apologize, to express that he understands the hurt caused by, among

other things, his compliments to the very fine neo-Nazis who, among other

things, killed someone in Charlottesville immediately before he made those

praising remarks. 

 

I`m not holding my breath.  I`m just saying. 

 

One of the things we have been keeping an eye on this week as we approach

this Charlottesville anniversary this weekend is an effort by the victims

of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville to try to get

justice for what was done to them.  10 people who were hurt by these

violent white supremacists in Charlottesville two years ago, including

three people who were hit by the car that killed Heather Heyer, are now

plaintiffs in a lawsuit that is designed to go further than the individual

criminal charges that were brought against individual rioters and killers

among the white supremacists from that weekend.  This lawsuit by the

victims from Charlottesville targets the leaders of white supremacist

organizations. 

 

And in fact, it targets the organizations themselves and the Websites that

they run, basically, to try to dismantle them.  To hold them to account for

having not just organized that white power event, but specifically for

having planned and organized the violence that took place at that white

power event. 

 

So, we`ve been watching that suit by the Charlottesville victims really

closely.  And today, as we head into this weekend`s anniversary of

Charlottesville, today, a federal judge decided to hand down a little bit

of an anniversary present.  Today, a federal judge ordered sanctions

against some of the primary organizers of the white power violence that

took place in Charlottesville two years ago. 

 

One organization, a group called Vanguard America, the guy who killed

Heather Heyer was seen at the Charlottesville riots holding a shield that

had the Vanguard America logo on it, that organization and two other white

supremacist leaders who took part in organizing the violence in

Charlottesville, today, they were all – that organization and those two

people were ordered by a federal judge to pay the attorney`s fees of the

plaintiffs.  To pay the attorneys` fees of these 10 victims who were

injured by the violent white supremacist in Charlottesville. 

 

That organization and these two white supremacist leaders are among two

dozen individuals and groups who are defendants in the Charlottesville

lawsuit.  They have been flouting court orders and ignoring the judge in

this case from the very beginning.  Well, today, the federal judge hearing

that case had had enough, saying, quote, defendants have continually failed

to fulfill even their most basic obligations to this court.  Their behavior

has, quote, stalled the litigations progress for months on end. 

 

The judge said today, quote, this behavior is unacceptable and will be

sanctioned.  Quote: Ordinary defendants must participate in the ordinary

process of litigation, even if they do not want to. 

 

According to the nonprofit group that is supporting this litigation against

the neo-Nazi groups and the white supremacist groups that organized the

violence in Charlottesville, their called Integrity First for America, they

see these sanctions today as basically a wholly appropriate way to mark the

anniversary of what happened two years ago in Virginia. 

 

Quote: These sanctions – excuse me.  Quote: Over and over and over again,

these defendants have defied court orders in an attempt to avoid

accountability for the racist violence they planned and caused in

Charlottesville.  These sanctions make clear, that time is up.  Today marks

one more important step forward in holding these neo-Nazis, white

supremacists, and hate groups accountable for their actions. 

 

So, like I said right at the top there, happy Friday.  Just a little

something to hold in your heart this weekend.  Literally, the neo-Nazis and

the white supremacists who did what they did in Charlottesville, not only

are they being sued by the people who got hurt there, but those white

supremacists have just been ordered by a judge to pay the victims` attorney

fees, which means the neo-Nazis are now being ordered by a court to pay for

the privilege of themselves being sued and to pay the costs of the

attorneys who are suing them. 

 

Hold that in your heart a little bit.  Let that keep you warm this weekend. 

 

Because of President Trump`s attitude toward this particular type of

violent extremism, because of his public indifference or even indulgence of

this type of extremism and even this type of violent extremism, there is

now this super unsettling prospect that we`re confronting now as a country,

particularly in the wake of El Paso, that the federal government, which

Donald Trump controls, might not be the best place to turn to for our

country to try to address this specific type of terrorism.  Because of

that, because of the president`s sotto voce alliance with white nationalism

in this country, it has been interesting to look at the civil cases where

it`s the victims themselves taking it upon themselves to try to identify

the terrorist groups that have encouraged and organized this violence,

finding them out, identifying their role in promoting this stuff and

through these lawsuits, disrupting them as organizations, potentially

bankrupting them as organizations. 

 

It`s a really interesting tactic right now, in large part because it

doesn`t depend on Donald Trump`s Justice Department doing the right thing

about these kinds of crimes and this kind of organized terrorism.  And as

we head into this weekend and this anniversary, I think it`s worth noting

that these types of cases are really on a roll right now.  It`s not just

the Charlottesville case, where they got that bang up order just today from

that federal judge.  It`s also a new ruling today from a different federal

judge involving the country`s most long-standing and frankly most putrid

online neo-Nazi gathering place. 

 

It`s a website called “The Daily Stormer”.  It`s named as homage to a Nazi

newspaper from the Third Reich. 

 

You might have heard over the last couple of months that “The Daily

Stormer” has been on the receiving end of some really expensive lightning

bolts thrown at them in court by some of their past victims. 

 

In June, it was comedian and commentator Dean Obeidallah.  A couple of

years ago, Dean Obeidallah had written a column for “The Daily Beast” in

which he had described a bunch of murders that had been committed in the

first year of Donald Trump`s presidency by killers who had expressed white

supremacist beliefs or motives.  The column said in part, quote, Trump

refuses to call these acts what they are, white supremacist terrorism. 

 

Well, the neo-Nazis at “The Daily Stormer”, a Website that, it should be

noted, endorsed Donald Trump for president, they did not like that

criticism against President Trump in that column by Dean Obeidallah and

they responded the following day by making up some fake tweets that they

attributed to Mr. Obeidallah, and they published those fake tweets online,

which made it look like Mr. Obeidallah was actually a terrorist. 

 

They had these fake tweets made that – where he appeared to be taking

credit for various violent terrorist attacks around the globe, using this

false information that they put online.  They then directed white

supremacist trolls and neo-Nazis around the country and around the world to

go get Dean Obeidallah and to go threaten them, to which, of course, they

did to massive and terrifying effect. 

 

Well, you can`t necessarily do that.  And in June, a federal judge handed

down a $4.1 million judgment against “The Daily Stormer”, against that neo-

Nazi Website and the guy who runs it, ordering the website and its

publisher to pay $4.1 million to Dean Obeidallah. 

 

Now, it is a good question as to whether or not they`re going to be able to

get that money and how, but Mr. Obeidallah told “New York Times” in

response to that judge`s ruling that he full-on plans to pursue all of

their assets in the United States.  Quote: We want to collect some money,

because that`s a more powerful message than just a judgment on paper. 

We`re going to give their money to organizations that fight white

supremacy, run by the very people that these guys hates, like Muslims,

African-Americans, Jewish Americans and the LGBTQ community. 

 

That was June.  Then in July, last month, it happened again.  The same neo-

Nazi outfit and its same publisher was hit this time with a $14 million

judgment for having directed an anti-Semitic terror campaign against a

Jewish woman in Montana who ran a business in the hometown of white

supremacist leader Richard Spencer. 

 

That $14 million judgment was ordered by a magistrate judge.  It`s now

being reviewed by a federal district court judge.  But you`re starting to

get a sense of how these things are going. 

 

If you are ever motivated in your life, God forbid, to make a donation to

“The Daily Stormer”, your donation will now be garnished, will now be taken

by the court and instead given to these victims of online racist and anti-

Semitic attacks waged by “The Daily Stormer” and its adherence.  It`s nice. 

 

And now today, again, happy Friday!  It`s happened again.  There`s a new

one.  Again, this just happened today.  It`s been kind of a bang-up day. 

 

This time, it concerns this young woman, seen here in this footage we`re

about to show you in a very happy moment after winning an election.  This

is footage from then campus TV station at her school. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  President, Taylor Dumpson!

 

(CHEERS)

 

REPORTER:  Crowds cheered when Taylor`s name was announced.  We caught up

with Taylor and here`s what she had to say. 

 

TAYLOR DUMPSON, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY:  I don`t have words for this.  I just

– I don`t have any words.  I`m shocked.  I`m so ecstatic.  Honestly, like,

I can`t help but thank God for this. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Her name is Taylor Dumpson.  And in the spring of 2017, she won. 

March 2017, she was elected student body president at American University

in Washington, D.C., the first African-American woman to ever be elected to

that position.  Great day. 

 

The day after she actually took office as student body president, though,

somebody on campus took it upon himself to tie up a bunch of little nooses

to hang up all over the American University campus.  There were nooses made

out of black cord and they were holding bananas, in case the racial

implications weren`t quite clear enough.  Also on some of them were written

the initials “AKA” for Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is the sorority to which AU

president Dumpson belonged. 

 

So this was this shocking racist incident at American University in

Washington.  It got some news pickup when it happened.  But what happened

after that is what brings us to the judge`s ruling today. 

 

Because when news articles appeared about this racist taunting at this

college, these nooses and bananas that had been posted on campus in

response to this young woman`s election as president, when those news

articles started circulating, they were seized on by this neo-Nazi online

hub, by “This Daily Stormer” Website, where the founder of the website

thought this harassment campaign against the new university president was

excellent news.  And he thought that what all the neo-Nazis and white

supremacists on his site should do in response is ramp up their own kinds

of harassment and attacks on her as much as they could. 

 

They posted personal information about her.  They explicitly encouraged

their members to attack her, and that unleashed a torrent of neo-Nazi abuse

and violent threats against this kid, right?  Against this young woman, who

had done nothing whatsoever, other than to be an African-American woman and

to be recognized by her peers, by her fellow students, by the student body

of American university as the one best suited among them for the top

leadership role that they had. 

 

Well, today, a federal judge in the United States district court for the

District of Columbia awarded that young woman, Taylor Dumpson, more than

$700,000 in damages and attorneys` fees to be paid by the Nazis.  To be

paid by “The Daily Stormer” and its founder that directed this tirade of

abuse and violent threats against her. 

 

That case was brought on Taylor Dumpson`s behalf by the Lawyers Committee

for Civil Rights Under Law.  The lawyer who led that case joins us next. 

 

Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Today, a lawsuit brought by the National Lawyers Committee for

Civil Rights Under Law made a lot of people`s day.  It couldn`t have come

at a better time.  Their lawsuit today resulted in a federal judge ordering

a neo-Nazi Website publisher to pay more than $700,000 to an African-

American college student body president, who had been attacked by those

same neo-Nazis. 

 

Joining us now is Kristen Clarke.  She`s president and executive director

of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

 

Ms. Clarke, thank you so much for being here.  I really appreciate you

coming in. 

 

KRISTEN CLARKE, LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE

DIRECTOR:  Thanks for having me. 

 

MADDOW:  Let me first ask you.  I tried to summarize the case, what

happened to your client and what happened today in court, did I basically

get that right? 

 

CLARKE:  You did. 

 

And let me just say that Taylor is a remarkable young woman.  She is a

courageous young woman, but she suffered tremendously because of the

incidents that you described – the noose that was hung on campus, the

banana peels, racist trolling.  And Anglin and “The Daily Stormer” indeed

unleashed people on her and instructed them to go out and racially harass

her and they did. 

 

She`s suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder.  She`s suffered

tremendous weight loss, anxiety, depression.  She was fearful walking

around campus.  She feared for her life. 

 

So, she truly suffered.  But she found the courage in her to fight back. 

And that`s why we filed this lawsuit on her behalf.  So, today is indeed a

good day.

 

A federal judge, Judge Collier, found that “The Daily Stormer” violated the

law and violated her rights.  And in particular, found that by unleashing

this racist troll storm, they essentially denied her the right to enjoy

equal access to her campus, American University. 

 

So, it`s a groundbreaking win.  No federal court has issued such a ruling

before, and so this essentially provides a road map that can now be used by

other litigators across the country who want to fight back and find other

ways to hold white supremacists accountable. 

 

MADDOW:  Part of what is obviously so compelling about this case is story

of your client, who is this remarkable and blameless young woman, who had

this brought down on her for absolutely nothing that anybody could have

ever associated with her, nothing imaginable.  Part of it is that story and

her getting this redress in her story, as you described is her strength in

deciding to pursue it in this way. 

 

It`s also fascinating as a civil rights tactic, and as an anti-terrorism

tactic.  And we are seeing – I`ve been sort of following over the course

of this week, looking at different civil suits and other ways that

activists and attorneys and civil rights organizations and people trying to

get justice for these victims have basically been trying to dismantle the

groups that are the pillars of the white supremacists terrorist movements

in this country.

 

I don`t know that you`re ever going to get this money from these guys. 

 

CLARKE:  So, that`s right.  Anglin is on the run.  But, look, if he steps

foot in this country, his lawyer claims he`s out of the country and on the

run.  If he steps foot on U.S. soil, he cannot resurrect this operation

again, because we now have a judgment that`s been issued by a federal court

that he has to pay up. 

 

So it`s all about kind of ripping the heart out of these operations and

dismantling this infrastructure of white supremacy that is unleashing

terror on people like Taylor Dumpson all across our country.  I`m really

proud of the work that we are doing here.  You know, online hate, I think,

is a crisis in our country right now. 

 

We have white supremacists who are marching hoodless in the streets, but

then there are the white supremacists who are operating behind their

computer screens.  And that`s how they are fund-raising and recruiting new

members and doxxing victims and unleashing troll campaigns like what

happened to Taylor Dumpson here. 

 

We are using the law to say that we`re going to hold you accountable.  You

are not above the law.  We are going to paralyze your operations and bring

them to grinding halt.  We`re not going to wait on the Justice Department

that, you know, is just simply not doing enough, we`re going to use every

tool in our arsenal to fight back and let victims of hate crimes across our

country know there are civil rights lawyers who are prepared to stand up

for them and fight back. 

 

MADDOW:  Let me also just ask you as last question, how`s your client

doing?  You opened here by talking about what she went through here.  It

happened to be heartening to her to be affirmed in her fight here by this

judge.  Obviously, she`s in a different place in her life now.  This has

been a very difficult couple of years.  How does she feel about this? 

 

CLARKE:  She feels good.  The court found that what she experienced was

based on her race and gender and that`s important to her.  And she`s in law

school now and wants to fight for justice some day.  We`re tremendously

proud of her. 

 

MADDOW:  That is a perfect coda to this story tonight, although I know this

an ongoing story.

 

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers Committee

for Civil Rights Under Law, keep us apprised.  I`m really interested in as

a tactic, I`m really interested in this success.  Thanks for coming in.

 

CLARKE:  Thank you so much.

 

MADDOW:  All right.  Much more to get to tonight.  As I mentioned at the

top of the show, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Fahrenthold will be

here in just a moment with his latest scoop, which the White House has zero

answer for. 

 

Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  Immigration and Customs Enforcement handcuffed hundreds of

immigrant workers and loaded them on to buses, as coworkers and family

members watched in disbelief. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Por favor. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Pease, can I just see my mother, please? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please. 

 

REPORTER:  Kids left not knowing where their kids were being taken.  This

11-year-old says her father was among those detained. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I need my dad. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADOW:  After the chaos and the visceral upset of the huge anti-immigrant

raids the Trump administration carried out in Mississippi this week,

stranding little kids without their parents, stranding families, it was

interesting to see this report last night in “The Washington Post.”  U.S.

defends secretive Mississippi ICE raids as local state officials decry

effect on children. 

 

But it was amazing to see way down in that story the reporting that

officials at ICE specifically and deliberately did not tell the president

before they carried out that raid.  Right, of course, you can`t tell him. 

If you tell him, what will he do?  He`ll tweet about it in advance, like

he`s done before.  And apparently, they did not want that to happen this

time. 

 

But then on top of all of that, it was super amazing to see this in “The

Washington Post,” which has spent months uncovering the Trump

Organization`s, the president`s businesses` own hiring of undocumented

employees across all of Trump`s properties. 

 

Along with his colleagues at “The Washington Post,” reporter David

Fahrenthold has spent the last several months interviewing more than 40

undocumented immigrants who have been employed by the president at his

various clubs.  That reporting turned up at least eight different Trump

properties where the president is employing undocumented workers, even as

he travels around the country inveighing about how terrible they all are. 

 

This reporting in “The Post” has already shamed the Trump business into

saying that they`ll stop hiring and stop using undocumented immigrants at

their – at Trump properties.  But according to Fahrenthold`s latest

reporting, which was just out this afternoon, the Trump Organization is

still going on with hiring undocumented immigrants. 

 

Here`s the lead to Fahrenthold`s latest story.  Quote: For nearly two

decades, the Trump organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin-

American employees to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock

walls at the company`s winery, and its golf courses from New York to

Florida.  Other employees at Trump clubs were so impressed by the laborers

who did strenuous work with heavy stone that they nicknamed the Spanish

word for the Flintstones. 

 

Their ranks have included workers who entered the U.S. illegally.  Another

employee still with the company said that remains true today.  That remains

true today – despite the Trump Organization`s promises that they wouldn`t

do that anymore. 

 

And today`s report is not just that Trump`s golf clubs are continuing to

employ undocumented workers, even as the president makes his vitriol and

hatred of undocumented immigrants the centerpiece of his re-election

campaign.  The centerpiece of this reporting today is that the managers at

Trump`s clubs not only hired people who were undocumented immigrants, they

explicitly told these employees, these ultimate immigrants, that they

should get illegal papers to fake their status. 

 

One undocumented worker named Edmundo Morocho told “The Post” that his

manager, a man named Frank Sanzo, quote, instructed the crew to buy fake

Social Security cards and green cards in New York so they would have

something to put in the Trump Organization files.  The employee said he

bought his papers for $50 in 2002. 

 

Frank said, you can go buy a social, meaning a Social Security number in

Queens, they sell them in Queens, then come back to work, it`s no problem,

said Mr. Morocho.  He knew.

 

In a phone interview this week with “The Post”, Frank Sanzo, the manager,

said he didn`t remember Morocho.  When asked whether he told employees to

buy fake documents, Sanzo said, they can get them on the street, too.  He

did not directly address the question. 

 

Joining us now is “Washington Post” reporter David Fahrenthold, who shares

the byline today with his colleague Joshua Partlow.

 

Mr. Fahrenthold, thank you very much for joining us tonight.  Appreciate

you being here. 

 

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTER:  Great to be here. 

 

MADDOW:  What is the Trump organization`s response or the Trump White

House`s response to your reporting at this point? 

 

FAHRENTHOLD:  The White House`s response was nothing.  We sent them

questions asking how much contact has President Trump had with this

company, has he had contact with ICE to push them away from enforcing the

immigration laws at his company.  The response was nothing.  They declined

to comment. 

 

The president`s company responded very briefly.  We`d sent them a lot of

questions about this.  As you can imagine, there are a lot of complexities

here.  We wanted to make sure we understood their side of the story. 

 

The Trump Organization just sent back a few – a paragraph saying, we`re

doing our best to identify any workers who have given us false documents. 

And if we find them, we`ll terminate them. 

 

MADDOW:  Is there any difference in terms of potential liability for the

president and his business here, that there are these allegations, and

we`ve now seen repeated allegations from multiple Trump properties that

Trump employees, Trump managers, Trump supervisors didn`t just hire people

who they knew to be undocumented, they explicitly directed those

undocumented immigrants that they should go get fake papers?  Is that a

different type of misbehavior?  Is that a different level of potential

liability for the president or the business that he owns? 

 

FAHRENTHOLD:  Well, it`s certainly a different level of liability,

potentially, for his company.  As you said, this is not just – it`s a step

beyond just looking the other way, which they seem to have been doing on a

pretty broad scale. 

 

In those cases, and you`re right that there`s more than one we documented,

the Trump supervisor said, go get a Social Security number or this document

you gave me is bad, go get a better one.  That is taking in the knowledge

that their workers are here illegally and asking the workers to sort of go

out and further the fraud. 

 

If this ever comes a legal liability for the Trump Organization, the

question will then be who knew about?  How high up the chain did that go

and did it go to the president? 

 

MADDOW:  One of the other developments here that seems important to me is

that after previous reporting by you and your colleagues at “The Post,” the

Trump Organization, having been exposed publicly for all of the

undocumented workers they have been using at all of their properties for so

many years, they have made a sort of quasi-public affirmation that they

don`t want to do this anymore, that they maybe did this in the past but now

they`ll stop or try to get a handle on it.  This new reporting from you

about what they`re now calling the Mobile Payroll Construction firm, right,

this company that Trump is operating, that`s using these undocumented

workers, this seems to be not only current, but it seems to post-date the

affirmations from the Trump Organizations in the past that they wouldn`t do

this anymore. 

 

FAHRENTHOLD:  It does, you`re right.  In January, which was three to four

years after President Trump had sort of built a political career on the

idea that undocumented immigrants were a threat to American jobs, American

lives, the Trump Organization at that point, three or four years later,

they undertook an effort to sort of purge their ranks of undocumented

workers and they found a lot of them.  Many of whom had given – they had

been working for them for 10 years or more. 

 

So they said at the time, look at us, we`re now doing the right thing,

we`re enrolling our business in E-Verify, we`re auditing their documents

and getting rid of the folks that shouldn`t be here.  What we learned with

this story is that that was not a complete, thorough purge. 

 

For these folks who work for this in-house construction crews, these are

valuable workers, they know how to build stone rock walls, they know how to

build everything to the Trump Organization`s specifications.  These

valuable workers, to them it`s like nothing ever happened.  As workers were

being purged at other golf clubs, to them, nothing had changed.  They just

kept working. 

 

MADDOW:  Fascinating.  David Fahrenthold, “Washington Post” reporter, thank

you so much for joining us, particularly appreciate you being here on a

Friday night, David.  Thanks a lot.

 

FAHRENTHOLD:  Thank you. 

 

MADDOW:  All right.  Lots more to come tonight.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mr. Meyer, your first census was when? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  In 1910, April, 1910. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How do you feel about doing all the climbing in the

apartment houses? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, I`ll tell you, I don`t climb as fast as I used

to.  After 50 years, you slow down, here, there, everywhere. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Any other changes you`re seeing? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, years back, we used to take the horses and the

cows to the stables.  We used to get paid for that.  Today, we don`t find

any around.  In fact, years back, I found where they kept a horse in the

house, and I had to designate a number on another street where the horse

was grazing, so I could get a dime.  We got two and a half cents those

years and 10 cents for the stable.  And that dime, I needed 50 years ago. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  They kept the horse in the house!  I gave the horse a fake address

so I could get the dime, because I otherwise wouldn`t count as a stable, it

had to be a house and a stable.  The horse was right there in the house. 

 

That was the late, great, WNBC correspondent, Gabe Pressman, my friend,

Gabe, interviewing a U.S. census worker back in 1960.  That employee, you

know, lamenting the fact that he no longer got paid for counting horses as

part of his census work, whether they were in the house or in the stable. 

Not like the good old days, back in 1910, when we got paid for counting the

horses. 

 

Decades from now, when we are looking back on old news packages about this

census, the 2020 census, one of the big takeaways will be about this

census, that the Trump administration tried to rejigger it.  They tried to

hotwire it, basically.  They tried to turn this year`s census into a

political weapon by changing it in ways that would undercount Latinos and

immigrants, which would undermine their voting power. 

 

Now, that effort by the Trump administration was, of course, stopped by the

Supreme Court earlier this year, when the court in part upheld a lower

court ruling from the Southern District of New York.  That ruling had found

that the Trump administration`s decision to add a citizenship question to

the census to change the census, it was against the law, because the

decision to add that question was, quote, arbitrary and capricious. 

 

Basically, the Trump administration decided they were going to change the

census and add that question for their own reasons, only later they tried

to shoehorn a false rationale on to it for why they needed to do it.  The

Supreme Court didn`t buy it.

 

Well, now a similar situation seems to be playing out at the U.S.

Agriculture Department.  For the past few weeks, we have been covering the

way the Agriculture Department under President Trump has been trying to

decimate science at that agency.  Presumably because scientists at that

agency keep producing work that has inconvenient scientific findings that

this administration doesn`t want to confront. 

 

Scientists at USDA were given a month to decide whether they would move

halfway across the country for no good reason at all or else be fired. 

About two-thirds of the scientists chose door “B.” 

 

Well, today, those employees started receiving their termination letters,

telling them that they will officially be out of a job come the close of

business on September 27th.  The union representing the workers at USDA

today announced that they have won a few concessions from the agency for

employees who have decided to accept this forced transfer. 

 

But at this point, the move would seem to be a done deal, except for the

fact that there are two important data points worth keeping an eye on here. 

The first is that on Monday, the USDA inspector general released a report

concluding that the agency didn`t actually have this authority to pay for

relocating the science departments without budgetary approval from

Congress, which they absolutely do not have and will not get. 

 

People like Virginia Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton have been waving the

flag on this point, calling into question the legality of the move.  But

then there`s also this from the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF:  You`ve heard about drain the

swamp.  What you probably haven`t heard is what we`re actually doing.  I

don`t know if you saw the news the other day, but the USDA just tried to

move or did move two offices out of Washington, D.C., I think to Kansas

City, Missouri. 

 

Yes, you can applaud that one, because that`s what we`ve been talking about

doing.  Guess what happened?  Guess what happened?  More than half the

people quit. 

 

Now, it`s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker.  I know that because

a lot of them work for me and I`ve tried, and you can`t do it.  But by

simply saying to people, you know what, we`re going to take you outside the

bubble, outside the Beltway, outside this liberal haven of Washington, D.C.

and move you out into a real part of the country and they quit.  What a

wonderful way to streamline government and do what we haven`t been able to

do for a long time. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  It`s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker unless you pull a

move like we just did.  Isn`t this awesome?  They`re all quitting.  This is

how we`re going to get them to quit. 

 

You just said that out loud.  You got that big round of applause.  You know

what else you got? 

 

Throughout this relocation, the Agricultural Department had stressed it

only wanted to do this sort of thing because it had the best interests of

its staff in mind.  They want to improve USDA`s ability to attract

qualified staff.  They said the whole reason for moving was simply to move

the federal workers closer to the farmers the agency serves.

 

Also they`d be saving money, an argument that has already been disproven. 

This is not saving money. 

 

But now, the White House chief of staff trying to get a big round of

applause at a conservative event has let the cat out of the bag.  They did

this not because they wanted to do everything by retaining their staff but

they wanted everybody to quit, by doing this as onerous a way as possible.

 

The question is now that Mulvaney has made this admission, does this change

anything?  We`ve already seen the Trump administration get slapped down for

making up bogus pretextual reasons to justify what is bald-faced political

move.  Isn`t that just absolutely exactly what`s happening here as well? 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  This time next week, we will no longer have a director of national

intelligence.  The current DNI Dan Coats is out effective next week. 

 

The president`s first choice to replace him was a rapidly pro-Trump Texas

Republican congressman named John Ratcliffe.  That imploded when it turned

out the congressman bragged about lots of things on his resume that were

not actually things he had done. 

 

Given the humiliation of what happened with Ratcliffe, you`d think the

president would be careful about his second choice for this job.  Ha, ha!

 

Now, actually, one of the names they`re floating for the job is a man named

Pete Hoekstra.  Remember him? 

 

Mr. Hoekstra`s name started popping up in press accounts last week as a

potential new director of national intelligence.  This morning, reporters

asked the president about Hoekstra.  From the White House transcript, what

the president said is, quote, I like Hoekstra a lot.  I want to get

somebody that everybody can really come together with.  I like Hoekstra a

lot.  He is great.

 

It`s possible there`s a different Pete Hoekstra than the one we`re all

thinking of, I hope so.  Because the Pete Hoekstra I`m thinking of, the one

I think the president is talking about for director of national

intelligence is the man who earned himself the nickname the human sieve

because of his terrible track record of leaking like a sieve and being

unable to keep even the most basic secret. 

 

Like the time in 2009 he went on a congressional delegation to Iraq, a trip

that he was supposed to keep secret for operational security reasons and he

ended up live tweeting it all in real time.  The Pete Hoekstra I`m thinking

of published an op-ed in “The New York Post” to complain that leak Tuesday

the news media have seriously undermined anti-terrorist intelligence

programs, and then two paragraphs later in the same essay Hoekstra himself

leaked classified information about that year`s budget for human

intelligence programs, in print. 

 

The Pete Hoekstra I`m thinking of in 2006 convinced the Bush administration

to post a whole bunch of documents seized from Iraq on the Internet.  These

documents must be posted publicly.  It turns out the documents included

instructions in Arabic for making an atomic bomb. 

 

The Pete Hoekstra I`m thinking leaked classified information to “The

Washington Post” about the ties between the Fort Hood shooting suspect and

a radical Yemeni cleric, and on and on and on.  The man is a colander. 

That`s the Pete Hoekstra I am thinking of. 

 

If the president is seriously thinking of the same guy specifically to be

director of national intelligence, I should be Miss America.  I mean, that

guy? 

 

But watch this space. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Thanks for being with us tonight.  Before I go I just want to put

one little item on your watch list for Monday.  On Monday, one of things

we`re going to be watching is the start of the criminal trial for former

White House counsel in the Obama administration, Gregory Craig. 

 

He`s the only Democratic administration official who`s been caught up in

any of the prosecutions that derive from the Mueller investigation. 

Mueller`s team passed on the Greg Craig prosecution to other federal

prosecutors.  That trial is going to start on Monday. 

 

They had initially charged him with two felony counts.  A judge this week

threw out one of the two felony charges so he`s just going forward one

felony count related to work he did in conjunction with President Trump`s

campaign chairman Paul Manafort.  It should be a fascinating trial that`s

going to start on Monday.  We`ll be watching that before we get back to you

here on Monday night. 

 

Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD.”  Ali Velshi is in for Lawrence tonight. 

 

Good evening, Ali.

 

 

END

 

 

 

                                                                                                               

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