Trump: people chanting “send her back” TRANSCRIPT: 7/19/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
Daniella Gibbs Leger, Tara Dowdell, Peter St. Onge, Jim Cavanaugh
Transcript:

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  And case after case, the companies allowed the

drugs to reach the streets of communities large and small despite

persistent red flags that those pills were being sold in apparent violation

of federal law and diverted to the black market.”

 

“The Post” has been reporting out the details of what they are learning

from this database that they have pried loose from the government. They`ve

also to their credit, released it now for every body to see and to search

for your own community.

 

You just click on your state, click on your county and see the exact number

of pills per person that have been unleashed on your community during this

time period. It`s just a remarkable tool. We`ve got it for seven years.

Hopefully, we`ll get it for every year.

 

A lot of powerful companies wanted to keep this secret, but now we all have

access to it thanks to the work of these journalists who kept fighting and

didn`t take no for an answer. Thanks to “The Washington Post” and West

Virginia`s “Charleston Gazette Mail.”

 

I don`t know if you love your local paper or you hate your local paper. If

you haven`t read it in so long you don`t remember, but regardless, do it

anyway. Subscribe to your local paper. Your country needs you to. That does

it for us tonight. We will see you again on Monday. And now it`s time for

the “LAST WORD.” The great Joy Reid, sitting in for Lawrence tonight. Joy,

I took your first 58 seconds. I`m very sorry.

 

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST:  No, it was very much worth it. An I have to tell

you, as I`m listening to you, Rachel, this is drug dealing, right? I mean,

if this was like the 80`s and you transport this back, these would be drug

dealers, you know.

 

And so we are treating it because it`s prescription drugs like it is

something other than drug dealing, but that is what it is, right. I mean

what you just described as massive national drug dealing rings essentially.

 

MADDOW:  At a corporate scale and with corporate data management to match

it. I mean, for Wal-Mart to know – Wal-Mart to have the information that

in a town of 4,000 people in Virginia, they shipped 3.4 million opioid

pills into a town of 4,000 people over the course of one year.

 

REID:  Yes.

 

MADDOW:  They knew that. They had that information and they did it anyway

and it got worse year after year after year.

 

REID:  Yes.

 

MADDOW:  All these companies knew it and they kept doing it. And we never

had the data to prove it before and now we do.

 

REID:  Yes. And now we do – and also you said Wal-Mart, I mean, they`re

preying on the poor.  I mean, I lived in Florida for 14 years. Massive,

massive epidemics that they kind of – like they extrapolate, right? Like

once people are addicted to one kind of pain medication, sometimes and they

go and migrate to other kinds of narcotics. And so you`re creating this

whole addictive nation.

 

It`s like a combination of the drug dealing epidemic of the 1980s, right,

or just, you know, constant, constant drug dealing, along with the tobacco

industry where they knew what they were doing and they knew it was killing

people, but they kept doing it. It`s like those two scandals combined.

 

MADDOX:  It is. It`s like, I mean – and actually the legal effort around

trying to hold the companies to account parallels the tobacco industry I

think more than it parallels anything else. The difference here is that the

pills that we`re talking about here as opposed to tobacco are all the more

deadly and (inaudible) at a shorter timeframe.

 

REID:  Yes. It`s insane.

 

MADDOX:  It`s stunning and it`s amazing work of public service journalism

for us to have this database now.

 

REID:  Yes. Keep journalism going, it`s very important. Thank you very

much.

 

MADDOX:  Subscribe to your local paper. Thanks Joy.

 

REID:  Absolutely. Absolutely. You are a godsend. Thank you so much,

Rachel. I appreciate you. All right, coming up – oh, no, not coming up,

right now. I`m Joy Reid in Lawrence O`Donnell. And tonight, here`s the

question. Is Hope Hicks in trouble?

 

The former White House communications director is being called back to the

White House Judiciary Committee to clarify “inconsistencies” in her

testimony about those illegal hush money payments made to silence women

during the 2016 campaign who claim to have had sexual affairs with Donald

Trump while he was married to his third and current wife. Now, we will

break down the legal troubles that Hicks might be facing.

 

And it was lock her up in a white hood. That`s how North Carolina`s largest

newspaper described the racist chants at the president`s rally this week.

We will speak to the editor who wrote those scathing words.

 

But first, that didn`t last long. Having read the talking points that was

scrambled into his hands by nervous Republicans for almost an entire day,

Donald Trump pulled a full Charlottesville today, praising his supporters

who chanted “send her back” to attack Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at his North

Carolina campaign rally as “incredible patriots.”

 

Yes, just 24 hours ago, Trump, per those nervous Republican talking points,

claimed that he disapproved of the racist chant about Congresswoman Omar

and he even tried to stop it, he says. He got some nice headlines that were

claiming that he was disavowing the chant from some of the news media who

indulged in the perennial false balance tick of pretending whatever the

president says is true and it`s a given fact. But not everybody fell for

the banana in the tailpipe.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  President Trump, you said you were unhappy with the

chant. However the chant was just repeating what you said in your tweet. Do

you take that tweet back?

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  You know what I`m unhappy

with? You know what I`m unhappy with? I`m unhappy with the fact that a

congresswoman can hate our country. Those people in North Carolina, that

stadium was packed, it was a record crowd and I could have filled it 10

times, as you know.

 

Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots. But I`m unhappy

when a congresswoman goes and said I`m going to be the president`s

nightmare. She`s going to be the president`s nightmare. She is lucky to be

where she is. Let me tell you.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  And Donald Trump didn`t even stop doing the underlying thing and

just kept on fanning the flame that to be clear, put her in danger by

continuing to attack Congresswoman Omar. Trump has provided zero evidence

that Congresswoman Omar ever said that she hates the United States.

 

And earlier this week, she in fact said “I probably love this country more

than anyone that is naturally born.” But for Trump supporters, who cares

what the actual facts are since whatever he says or tweets is the news.

 

Hours later, Trump broadened his attacks to include all four members of the

squad, Omar as well as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna

Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  You can`t speak about our country the way those four congressmen.

They said garbage. They say things about Israel that is so bad I`m not even

going to repeat them right now. They can`t get away with that act. Not the

right thing.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  They can`t get away with it. Trump`s statement as a “Washington

Post” points out, is at odds with the Constitution, which grants every

American the right of free speech – but details.

 

But continued attacks on the support for people who shouted a racist chant

is becoming standard Trump playbook where the Republican Party now faces

the daunting possibility of having to own as the theme of the 2020 campaign

that kind of rhetoric.

 

Meanwhile, real leaders are speaking up. And they are not offering the

mealy mouthed both sides rhetoric that avoids confronting Donald Trump like

we`ve heard from Mitch McConnell and other wobbly-kneed Republicans.

 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama issued a rare rebuke on twitter saying,

“What truly makes our country great is its diversity. I have seen that

beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek

refuge here, there is a place for us all. We must remember it`s not my

America or your America, it`s our America.”

 

And the condemnation, the disgust aimed at the president of the United

States is not just global, I mean, isn`t just local. It`s global. Here`s

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA:  I think the comments made were

hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable. And I want everyone in Canada

to know that those comments are completely unacceptable and should not be

allowed or encouraged in Canada.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a stronger criticism of the

president`s racist attacks on four American congress women.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation):  Do you personally feel solidarity

with the women who were attacked?

 

ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY:  Yes. Yes. I distance myself firmly

from this and feel solidarity with the three women who were attacked.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  The world is watching. And today, it is the United States of

America, the former beacon of the free world that is the subject of global

revulsion and disgust because of the raw ugly racism and ethno-nationalism

of our president.

 

As for the congresswomen at the center of Donald Trump`s racist attacks,

they are showing the strength and the resilience that actually is what this

country is supposed to be about and refusing to back down in the face of

Trump`s ugliness.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  It`s taken us 240 years for us to

have this unique composite of a Congress in this moment, and we will not go

back.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

We will not go back.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

We will not go back to the days of injustice. We will not roll back our

rights. We will not deny liberty to our trans brothers and sisters. We will

not deny our own humanity at the border. We will not go back. We will go

forward.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

But we sure as hell will not stand still.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Leading off our discussion are Daniella Gibbs Leger, former special

assistant to President Obama and she`s the executive vice president of

communications and strategy for the Center for American Progress.

 

And Tara Dowdell, Democratic strategist and the president of the Tara

Dowdell Group, and she was a contestant on the third season of “The

Apprentice.” I`m going to start with you Tara her at the table. I mean, you

have been very open even during the campaign of saying Donald Trump is a

racist.

 

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Right.

 

REID:  OK, full stop. We know that from his history. But where he is going

now is separate from racism. It`s white nationalism, right. And that is

defined as wanting to have a country that is for white people, right. And

that kind of rhetoric, that`s not something I think even a Republican Party

was prepared for, but did it surprise you that he is now openly going in

that direction?

 

DOWDELL:  It doesn`t surprise me at all because he has been escalating,

he`s been testing the waters all along. He saw that he got away with saying

Mexicans are rapists. He saw that he got away with attacking Congresswoman

Maxine Waters saying she was low I.Q.

 

His consistent attacks against women of color, women generally, but in

particular, women of color. We saw that with April Ryan. Remember that

whole episode?

 

REID:  Yes.

 

DOWDELL:  We saw that with Abby Philipps. We saw that with a number of a

black female journalist. And so I think that he`s tested the waters. He`s

saying that his base has not only responded well, but responding extremely

well and are parroting back those things that he is saying.

 

So because he has escalated his behavior, it was no surprise to me that he

will continue to do it until he stopped.

 

REID:  Yes.

 

DOWDELL:  That`s what – to me that is what this is indicative of. Until

someone stops Donald Trump, until he is held accountable, he`s saying that

he`s not going to be held accountable by his own party.

 

REID:  Yes.

 

DOWDELL:  He`s saying that the base is going to reward it and he`s

rewarding it. And he`s saying that the Democratic Party hasn`t really done

much to hold him accountable. So why would he stop?

 

REID:  Yes. And Danielle, you worked for one of Donald Trump`s chief

triggers, right, President Obama. And when Donald Trump led the birthierism

crusade, that crusade produced a lot of threats to President Obama, who

already had the most threats of any president before him because he was

black and a black man, you know, serving as the president of the United

States.

 

Well now what we`ve seen is that Democrats, fellow Democrats are afraid –

they are actually afraid for the lives of these women particularly Ilhan

Omar.

 

“Politico” is reporting that senior Democrats are now calling for

authorities to evaluate security for Ilhan Omar as well as the three others

lawmakers who Trump called out by name at his Wednesday night rally in

North Carolina, warning that Trump has escalated the risks of threats or

even acts of violence toward the four minority freshmen.

 

Let me quickly play Amy Klobuchar who is from – is Representative Omar`s

state. She is a senator from that state and here she is.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN):  One, is what he is saying to the people of this

country about the nature of immigrants. Well, we all come from immigrants.

The second is that he is actually putting her in a threat situation. He`s

putting her at risk.

 

If I were her, I would, you know, immediately call the FBI and say, what do

I need for protection? Do you think I need more protection? Are there

threats? It`s hard to believe she is not going to get threats` coming out

of a rally like that that was on every T.V. station in our country this

morning.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  I mean, Danielle, have you ever thought that you would see the

president of the United States become a physical threat to a member of

Congress let alone any American citizen?

 

DANIELLA GIBBS LEGER, EXECUTIVE V.P. OF COMMUNICATIOSN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN

PROGRESS:  You know, honestly, I never thought I would see the day. You

know, I have a podcast that I co-host for CAP and I was ranting this week

about how, you know, I used to hear the “go back to Africa” and things like

that when I was a kid growing up and I never thought that I would hear

those words from the president of the United States.

 

And it is clear that he does not care that his words are potentially

putting these women`s lives in danger. Congresswoman Omar was walking down

the street the other day and I was legitimately worried and concerned about

her safety because it didn`t appear that she had any security around her.

 

And you know, I just want to echo something that Tara said, like the reason

why Donald Trump is doing this is because he can, because he`s getting away

with it, because nobody is checking him, because his party, they have

decided that they are OK with white nationalism. They are OK with racism

because it will allow them to what, get their tax cuts passed. It will

allow them to stack the courts with right wing judges.

 

They don`t care about the safety of their fellow members of Congress. They

don`t care about the decorum of the president of the United States. They

just care about protecting the wealthy few. And I don`t know if you can

hear it in my voice, but it really is upsetting and irritating.

 

REID:  Yes. I mean, I`ve read (ph) a little bit of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(inaudible), two questions for you, Tara. So, the St. Louis Pos-Dispatch

editorial board called out Republicans who haven`t condemned Trump`s and

given the bright red line that Trump is so enthusiastically crossed.

 

This week, the question of whether to continue supporting him, either

assertively or through inappropriate silence, is no longer merely an

indicator of party loyalty or party priorities. It has become a test of

courage, character, and fundamental decency. All of these elected officials

have failed it.

 

Two questions on Republicans. They could have gotten tax cuts for the rich,

you know, walked (ph) up the rivers with pollution and let the polluters

pollute. All those policies that they want, the judges, same judges would

have been Jeb Bush`s judges, Marco Rubio`s judges. They could have gotten

the same policies.

 

So what does it say about the party that they would rather have this guy

who specifically using an ethno-nationalist a set of tropes in order to

remain in power?

 

DOWDELL:  It says what – I said this yesterday. I was asked by one of your

colleagues on “Hardball.” I was asked if Donald Trump was going to stand

behind what he disavowed, right. And I said he was not going to stand

behind this disavow. I said he was going to back track.

 

And I was right. I said just like he did in Charlottesville like you said

at the top of the show. That`s what he was going to do. Donald Trump saw

and I will say this again and I`m going to keep saying it. He saw the

writing on the wall with the Republican Party. He saw that reaction that

the Republican Party had to President Obama`s presidency. People literally

lost their minds over this black man becoming president.

 

REID:  So did he.

 

DOWDELL:  And he did too, but I wanted to point something out. When

President Obama was first elected, Donald Trump praised him at the very

beginning. But when he saw how the party responded to President Obama,

people calling him all kinds of racist names who were party officials

across this country –

 

REID:  Yes.

 

DOWDELL:  – not just any old people.  These were party officials who were

calling Michelle Obama a monkey, and ape in heels, all of that stuff. He

saw that and he knew the Republican Party, they wanted to do their racism

through dog whistles. They wanted to do it through a whisper where they

could have plausible deniability if someone called them out.

 

Trump saw that the base wanted it out front.

 

REID:  Yes.

 

DOWDELL:  He saw that and so he rode that wave through birtherism and has

continued to ride that wave, but he did not incite the party or bring the

party along. The party was already there.

 

REID:  They were already in. Very quick before I go back to Danielle? Does

he care if one of these women gets hurt, do you think? You know him.

 

DOWDELL:  I don`t think he cares because the only thing Donald Trump cares

about is himself.

 

REID:  Is himself.

 

DOWDELL:  He would talk about having people riot if he wasn`t – if he

didn`t win the election.

 

REID:  Yes. I mean, this was a guy who also wanted to have a black versus

white apprentice to have literally a race fight on “The Apprentice.”

Daniella, before the Democrats then, you know, the response so far I think

has been smart. It`s been unity. It`s been sticking together saying it

doesn`t matter what your differences are, what these women`s policies.

 

The policies don`t matter. Trump did not attack the policy. He attacked

them and their bodies. He attacked them because they are brown and black,

period, that`s it. But is there some other action that Democrats in your

view should be taking that is stronger than condemnation?

 

LEGER:  Yes. You know, I think that, you know – but first of all I just

want to say I am glad at least that they all stood together and they did

pass that resolution out of the House. But I think they need to keep

talking about this, but they also need to tie it to the fact that this

president is an ineffective, awful president.

 

That he made a bunch of promises to people that he has broken and they need

to tie it all together because I think the American people understand that

he`s a racist. They understand the words that they are saying.

 

But I think they also need to understand that they are tied to racism with

his policies and what he`s not doing for the American people. And they need

to also highlight the fact that while he`s doing all of this, he`s trying

to take away their health care.

 

While they`re doing all of this, they`re being inhumane treatment is

happening at the border. So they need to tie it all together and make

people understand that like Donald Trump is a vortex of awful and this is

why he needs to be voted out of office.

 

REID:  Yes. It`s the shiny keys of racism while he is essentially picking

the American`s pocket and giving it all to the rich right in front of his

supporter`s faces in shiny keys of racism. It`s pretty incredible. Daniella

Gibbs Leger and Tara Dowdell, thank you both very much.

 

And coming up, the newspaper in the largest city of North Carolina has

issued a stinging rebuke of Donald Trump and his party after the

president`s racist rally in the state. The author of those editorials joins

me next.

 

And today was the last day on the job for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. But

his departure doesn`t mean the Jeffrey Epstein story or any of the other

legal perils encircling this president will go away any time soon.

 

And later, fears that Donald Trump`s ugly attacks are inspiring people who

would like to see America become a white nation.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  Thirteen seconds, that`s the amount of time Donald Trump paused

during his speech at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to take in and

to bask in his supporters` racist chant – “Send her back. Send her back.

Send her back.” Thirteen seconds.

 

While Trump tried temporarily to clean it up later by claiming that he

didn`t support the chant, he even tried to stop it by jumping in with more

of his speech. Some members of the media called BS and pointed to that 13

seconds of smug silence during the racist chant.

 

The day after that North Carolina rally that shocked so many people in this

country, including people who thought they could no longer be shocked by

Donald Trump and including people living in North Carolina, a state that

Trump won with 50 percent of the vote and it is represented by two

Republican senators.

 

The editorial board of “The Charlotte Observer” in North Carolina published

an editorial entitled, “Send her back: A dark reminder of who we are.”

Here`s a piece of the editorial, “The chant rose quickly from a handful of

voices to a chorus of bigotry. It was a chilling moment. It was lock her up

in a white hood. It was despicable. It was both a reminder and a warning

that here in North Carolina, in America, going back is not that far of a

journey.

 

“The Charlotte Observer`s” editorial board also called on Republicans to

condemn Donald Trump`s racist comments in an editorial entitled, “Are you

OK with a racist president, Republicans?” The editorial says, “Our leaders

need to stand up and say something. The Republican Party is firmly Donald

Trump`s party now. It`s the party where insults and other ugliness are just

being rough around the edges instead of standing up for who we should be,

they`re bowing to the worst of who we are.”

 

And joining us now is Peter St. Onge, an associate editor on the “Charlotte

Observer`s” editorial board. And Peter, thank you so much for being here.

So, the pieces that were written in the paper today, very scathing. I

wonder, first of all, have you gotten a lot of response to them already?

 

PETER ST. ONGE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER:  We have. You know,

the response probably mirrors what you are hearing and what people in

Washington are hearing. Democrats and moderates were outraged at the

president`s tweet and Republicans for the most part either jumped to his

defense or didn`t want to talk about it.

 

I think the Greenville thing was a little bit different. I think more

people were kind of troubled by it including Republicans, but I think that

they were able to point to the crowd and say that this doesn`t reflect our

values and ignore the fact that the president pretty much said the same

thing three days before.

 

REID:  Yes. I mean, Tom Tillis was one of the defenders of Donald Trump who

went with him to see the men in the cages. He was sort of in the back where

he is walking along with Donald Trump and two others. There you can see

him. He is sort of in the back pack there, seeing these men who were in the

cages with the vice president. What do you make of his response because

what Republicans have been trying to do is say, well the crowd might have

been not great, but the president, wonderful.

 

ST. ONGE:  Well, you know, with Republicans, I think that we know what

Donald Trump is and we know what he always has been, and it may ratchet up

a little bit as 2020 approaches. But the Donald Trump that we`ve seen is

the Donald Trump that we`re going to get and always have gotten.

 

The difference that we see – spoke about it in the editorial, is the shift

in Republicans and how they speak to that decency question, you know, that

back in 2016, they were willing to raise their hand and say this doesn`t

represent our party and doesn`t represent our country.

 

And this week, we have seen exactly how much of a shift we`ve had. You

know, Tom Tillis pretty much decided that he was going to pretend that he

hadn`t read twitter and didn`t even know that Donald Trump had a tweet. It

just shows that this party has fully become Donald Trump`s party now.

 

REID:  Yes. And he was actually there at the rally. We should make that

point. Stewart Stevens wrote this for the “Washington Post.” “Southerners

like me know the game Trump is playing. We have seen it sadly time and

again. Trump is the rightful heir to Lester Maddox`s ax handles and George

Wallace standing in the school house door. This open racism will never be

forgotten. Trump long ago made his choices. The question for Republicans is

simple. What choice will you make?”

 

You know, I had a guy that I interviewed for my book say to me that if

Donald Trump had a southern accent, every thing that he`s doing will be

immediately have been (inaudible) as racism long ago. He wouldn`t have

gotten this far politically. What do you make of the fact that Donald Trump

is the person who now in 20 years, will be the Lester Maddox potentially of

our time?

 

ST. ONGE:  You know, it`s interesting, when we were writing about the 2016

election and we said, and a lot of other people said too, that this is a

decision about where our country was going go and what we wanted our

country to be. And I don`t know that we knew exactly how true that was.

 

And we see that so often now, and in Greenville we saw so much and so

starkly that I think that as we head to 2020, you know, people are going to

have eyes wide open. They`re going to know what choice they are making even

more so than they did in 2016.

 

REID:  Yes. No one`s going to be able to pretend it was economic anxiety.

If you vote for him again, you know exactly what you`re doing and we will

know what you are doing as well. Here`s Lindsey Graham, what he said. He

says in a tweet today and this was rich.

 

Lindsey Graham says, “Something I have learned, if you are a Republican

nominee for president or president, you will be accused of being a racist.

John Lewis compared John McCain`s campaign to being like that of George

Wallace. It comes with the territory unfortunately.” Well, here`s one

person who did what Lindsey Graham said in terms of calling a guy running

for president named Donald Trump a racist. Here he is right now.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):  He`s a race baiting xenophobic, religious

bigot. He doesn`t represent my party.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  What do you make of the fact that Republicans seem to know that

Donald Trump was racist three years ago, suddenly I don`t remember that and

now are accusing the people who are horrified by Donald Trump of being

unfair to him?

 

ST. ONGE:  I think this is the shift that we`re seeing and not only with

Lindsey Graham but, you know, Mr. Tillis as well. Back a couple of years

ago, he was at least willing to waiver a bit on Donald Trump. He was

willing to stand up to him before backed down.

 

And now we see that he is not really even willing to engage on the

question. I think we are seeing that throughout the party, that the

Republicans are seeing that it`s just not worth it for them, in their

minds, to take the heat when it comes to even talking about the president

and decency.

 

REID:  Yes. I do have to say that Mayor P.J. Connelly, who is the mayor of

Greenville, North Carolina, did issue a pretty strong statement on the

racist chants so, kudos to him. Some people are trying to speak up. Peter

St. Onge, thank you very much for your time. Really appreciate it.

 

ST. ONGE:  Thank you.

 

REID:  Thank you. And coming up, if you think the president caused a lot of

political chaos this week, what do you think will happen on Wednesday when

Americans hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller? That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID: On Wednesday Americans will finally get to hear Former Special

Counsel, Robert Mueller. The Democrats are working to make sure that his

day of testimony leaves an impression on people who have not read his

report.

 

A staffer on the Judiciary Committee told NBC News the Democrats are not

expecting dramatic new revelations from Mueller`s testimony. But what`s

important is there is truly shocking evidence of criminal misconduct by the

President - not once, but again and again and again that would result in

any other American being criminal charged in a multiple count indictment.

 

Mueller highly anticipated hearing comes as a former Trump aide could face

legal jeopardy. Yesterday that House Judiciary Committee demanded that Hope

Hicks return to clarify what it called inconsistencies in her June

testimony about her knowledge of illegal hush money payments to silence

women alleging affairs with Trump in the final weeks of the 2016 election.

 

Unsealed documents in the Michael Cohen case revealed repeated contact

between Hope Hicks, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump, and others during the time

these payments were being arranged. Joining us now is Joyce Vance Former

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and MSNBC Legal Analyst

and Matt Miller Former Spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder and an

MSNBC Contributor.

 

Joyce I have to come to you first, these are the five things that Democrats

want to focus on in their probe of Mr. Mueller. Donald Trump repeatedly

directing Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller him telling Don McGahn to deny

that he had been ordered to fire Mueller asking Corey Lewandowski to direct

Jeff Sessions to limit the investigation telling Lewandowski to let

sessions know that he is fired if he doesn`t meet with Lewandowski and

potential witness tampering with Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. Is that

that the right place for them to go to focus on the obstruction?

 

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA: It is

absolutely the right place. Mueller identified 10 potential incidents of

obstruction in Volume II over the report. These five pieces actually are

three of those issues that Mueller looked into and they are the strongest

arguments for obstruction. I think that they are all meritorious for

prosecution.

 

REID: You know it is interesting Matt, that you have a President here who

but for being President would probably have been prosecuted for obstruction

on these 10 different counts. And who now has his former lawyer sitting in

prison for committing a crime that we now know he actively participated in

orchestrating.

 

Are we now at the point where the Justice Department - well, this Justice

Department won`t do it but maybe a future Congress should look at the memo

that says that a President essentially is above the law?

 

MATT MILLER, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR A.G. ERIC HOLDER: I think the Congress

ought to look at it and I would hope it the future Justice Department ought

to look at it. You have seen some of the Democratic Presidential Candidates

say that they would expect their Attorney General to look at that OLC

opinion and potentially issue a new one.

 

I think it is one thing to have an OLC opinion like that that basically

puts the President above criminal law, but when you pair that with a

Justice Department that seems to be unwilling to tell Congress what it

finds at the end of investigations, then you have this system where the

President is ultimately above the law.

 

Where he cannot be investigated and charged by the Justice Department, but

where the Southern District of New York can end an investigation into his

conduct as they did earlier this week. And the Justice Department won`t say

how that ended they won`t say whether the Attorney General was involved in

the decision and it won`t answer questions to Congress.

 

So I think they`re going to have to look at the next Attorney General is

going to have to look at either one, withdrawing that memo putting

something stronger - putting something different in place. Or two, making

it very clear that if DOJ is going to have this no indictment policy, they

are going to cooperate 100 percent with Congress at the end of any criminal

investigations they conduct into a sitting President.

 

REID: And what about - I mean his staff. Hope Hicks may have lied to

Congress. What even might happen to her because William Barr is running the

Justice Department which is essentially Donald Trump`s defense agency?

 

VANCE: Right, that`s true and there is also the prospect that she could be

pardoned by the President if she were charged now. So I think

Representative Nadler is running very smart strategy here by re-subpoenaing

her or at least asking her to come back and testify. She will either have

to double down and repeat the lies in which case she could be prosecuted

she could be indicted as late as July of 2024 that`s how long -

 

REID: That`s long.

 

VANCE: –it would be before the statue run or maybe there is some chance

that looking at the many years of life she has ahead of her and this

President`s diminishing term in office, maybe she`ll decide it`s time to

tell the truth.

 

REID: What would you want to ask Mueller?

 

VANCE: I think the most important thing for the Democrats is to make sure

that they let Mueller tell the story of his conclusions. The information in

the report is so damaging, it got lost in the middle of Barr`s early

summaries. Now is the time for the American people to hear it fresh.

 

REID: What do you think of - for the Democrats to consider a successful

hearing with Mueller should they be trying to get out of him in your view

now?

 

MILLER: So I think they ought to try to elicit an answer to the big

question everyone is have which is if Donald Trump were not the sitting

President of the United States, would he be under criminal indictment

today? He`s not going to directly answer that question, so you have to have

some very smart creating ways of doing that.

 

One way is to ask about certain conducts and whether that conduct merits

criminal behavior for example, is asking a witness to create a false

document contradicting his sworn testimony. Is that criminal behavior? The

answer is yes. And then asking if the President`s conduct fits that

pattern? Did the President asked a witness to create a false document? The

answer to that question is yes.

 

And then I think the second thing I would want to do is to ask him some

very specific questions about statements made by the Attorney General and

by the President. Did your report confirm that there was no collusion as

the Attorney General said? Did your report find no obstruction of justice

as the President has said?

 

Elicit yes and no answers I think they are going - the questions are going

to be crisp and ought to be not meandering. You`re going to ask yes no

questions that take him kind of on a walk to answer things to give clear

answers to questions that he answered very obliquely in the report.

 

REID: Yes, indeed all right. Stay with us because before Robert Mueller

testifies on Wednesday, tune in Sunday night as MSNBC looks at the Mueller

report`s biggest revolutions in the Mueller report. What you need to know

with Ari Melber Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. Up next how the Jeffrey

Epstein case could continue to haunt Donald Trump?

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID: Today was Alex Acosta`s last day as Donald Trump`s Labor Secretary.

He resigned last week amid controversy over the sweetheart deal that he

brokered for convicted sexual predator and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey

Epstein a decade ago.

 

It was a deal negotiated in secret without the victim`s knowledge and it

allowed Epstein to serve just 13 months in prison, a sentence during which

he was able to leave prison for hours nearly every day to be driven to an

office “To work”.

 

Well now the deal is under new scrutiny. Earlier this week we learned that

at least one woman has come forward to say that she was sexually abused by

Jeffrey Epstein, wait for it, while he was on his day out of prison work

release. So he literally left prison with government permission and used

his time outside to keep committing the crime he went to prison for.

 

Today the “Miami Herald” is reporting that the Palm Beach County Sheriff`s

Office has opened an internal affairs investigation into whether it

properly handled Epstein`s case. Joyce Vance and Matt Miller are back with

us. This deal that allowed a sexual predator to go to work every day and

still somehow get access to children, I assume that`s unusual.

 

VANCE: This is really a shocking deal that Epstein had. I mean this is just

unprecedented to be in prison on these kinds of changes to be in jail in

this case and to have this ability to go out and access more minors?

Someone who was asleep at the switch and I`m not particularly impressed at

least by these early reports that indicate that the Sheriff who is in place

during Epstein`s very generous conditions of release that he will be

conducting this investigation apparently into his own conduct.

 

REID: It`s strange. Matt Miller, let me read a little bit of the Epstein`s

accusers lawyers Brad Edwards on what Epstein had women - how he had women

over to the office during his work release. Remember he is in prison; he is

out on work release. According to Mr. Edwards, he was in the office most of

the day and what I can tell you is he had visitors, female visitors. I

don`t know that any of them were underage age and the female visitors were

there not for business. It was sexual in nature. Which is not just conduct

that I think should be described as that of a model citizen when you are in

jail.

 

I mean the idea that somebody could literally be on a work release from

prison presumably being guarded while he is in a public space at his office

working and still be able to have access to women or maybe girls your

thoughts?

 

MILLER: It`s absolutely appalling and the thing that appalls me the most in

the aftermath of all of these coming out is the way that everyone involved

in the deal that Jeffrey Epstein got his pointed the finger each other. And

no one is willing to take responsibility.

 

You`re seeing the state prosecutor or the local prosecutor point fingers at

the U.S. Attorney. The U.S. Attorney that point fingers back at the local

prosecutor and - then U.S. Attorney Acosta is also pointed fingers at the

local Sheriff for the conditions under which Epstein was held.

 

And I think the actual truth is every person responsible or every person

who should have been responsible for holding Jeffrey Epstein accountable

failed. They failed the victims in this case they failed the interest of

society.

 

And there is not one of them that ought to be conditioning to hold their

positions of public trust, especially when they as the local Sheriff and

the local prosecutors still are - are still charged with policing and

investigating and prosecuting these kinds of cases going forward.

 

REID: Yes, I want to read a little piece from the Palm Beach post of you

Joyce. And this is what Palm Beach post wrote. The Palm Beach post revealed

that daily probation laws show Epstein was once accused of violating the

terms of his house arrest when police found him wandering along a boulevard

and sweating profusely one afternoon.

 

Epstein claimed he was taking a secured route to work. Another time when

probation officers knocked on the door of Epstein`s Palm Beach Mansion no

one answered and the officers are Epstein`s car drove off. When the officer

returned later Epstein appeared at the door since the officer said he

couldn`t confirm Epstein was driving the car. He concluded no violation

occurred.

 

It is the reason - is it potentially true that the reason that this

investigation is in the Public Corruption Unit of SDNY because there may

have been corruption involved in the way Epstein was allowed to be

essentially free to continue to commit crimes while on probation or could

it be the deal itself?

 

VANCE: I think it`s difficult to know why it`s in the Public Corruption

Unit. For one thing the U.S. Attorney said not to read anything into it,

but being suspiciously minded I`m willing to read a lot into it. It`s more

likely that it involves people that were involved with Epstein and his

conduct as opposed to how these conditions of punishment played out.

 

But frankly, the more we learn, the more suspicious it looks and every

aspect of this needs to be reinvestigate and reassessed and as Matt says

the people who were involved need to be held accountable.

 

REID: Yes, indeed and should we trust William Barr to be in charge of this?

 

VANCE: I think it`s difficult to do that because we have seen him protect

this President over and over again. We have to be concerned if that

investigation were to come close to the President or to his interests that

Barr might intervene.

 

REID: Yes, and the fact that he has no shame doesn`t help. Joyce Vance and

Matt Miller thank you guys very much. Coming up, the fear that Donald

Trump`s racist rhetoric intended to insight white voters could excite white

nationalists. That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID: Okay, what you saw there and didn`t necessarily hear was Illinois a

Democratic Congresswoman Robin Kelly talking about the fear that she has

for the safety of her house colleague Ilhan Omar in the wake of Donald

Trump`s racist attacks on Omar and three other freshman Congress women over

the past week.

 

Congresswoman Omar said this week that her concerns are for the safety for

everyday people around the country who look and pray like her. But

Congresswoman Kelly is not alone in her concerns for the safety of her

colleagues.

 

Yesterday, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson sent a letter

to the Sergeant at Arms calling for an emergency meeting of the U.S.

Capitol Police Board to discuss potential threats to members of Congress.

Congressman Al Green who earlier this week led the effort to impeach Donald

Trump over his racist statements has introduced a measure to provide more

security for house members.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. AL GREEN (D-TX): These are dangerous times. Every member of this house

needs additional security. I`m going to file a bill asking for more

security for the members of this house. I want to thwart the efforts of

those who might want to harm members of this house.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID: So what does it mean when members of one branch of government fear

for their safety and the safety of their colleagues because of the actions

taken by the head of another branch of government? I`ll ask Security Expert

Jim Cavanaugh about that next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): The President put millions of

Americans in danger last night. His rhetoric is endangering lots of people.

This is not just about threats to individual member of Congress but it is

about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent

rhetoric that puts anyone like Ilhan anyone who believes in the rights of

all people in danger. And I think that he has a responsibility for that

environment.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID: Joining us now is Jim Cavanaugh, an MSNBC Law Enforcement Analyst and

Retired ATF Special Agent In Charge. Jim, a couple of things here a new

report from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows there has been a surge in

white nationalists were flocking to a messaging app called Telegram.

 

“Neo-Nazi`s, white nationalists and antigovernment extremists are

publishing volumes of propaganda advocating terrorism and mass shootings on

Telegram, a Hatewatch review of hundreds of channels in app shows”.

 

I want to let you listen to the Capitol Police Chief regarding the number

of threats that are happening to Congress. Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About two years ago, we received a briefing that the

threats against the members of Congress were at a historic high. Where are

we today as far as the threats against members of Congress? Has it subsided

some or is it still growing?

 

STEVEN SUND, UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: We continue to see the

threat assessment cases that we are opening are continue to grow. We are on

par to probably break last year`s record.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID: So those threats beginning about two years ago, increases in white

nationalist activity. Have you ever heard of these kinds of increases in

hate and potential hate crimes being tied to a President of the United

States?

 

JIM CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE (RET.): That`s very, very

unusual, Joy, to have that happen. You know, when you get more power, your

words carry more weight. When you get into this undercurrent of the Nazis

and the white nationalists, and the clans I mean I this ill, they feed off

of this.

 

They feed off of public figures, on regular media in the government,

Congressman, Senators, the President saying the things that they always

say. It bolsters them. It gives them strength and power. And they`re always

talking as the Southern Poverty just they`re Hatewatch team just uncovered

recently about the messenger now.

 

They`re calling for a murder of lawmakers in the last 30 or 40 days. Now we

have on top of this, our four Congressmen who are under direct attack. So

the Capitol Police, I have worked with them. They`re great. The time for

talk is over. These four Congressmen have to get protection. They have to

get security briefings right now. Letters from the Congress to the Capitol

Police, that`s too slow. They need to take this on now, because the hate

groups are there. They`re active and they`re foaming at the mouth.

 

REID: Yes.

 

CAVANAUGH: It is very, very dangerous moment.

 

REID: And we know that Donald Trump`s rhetoric has been linked to these

hate groups, catching on to it, calling him the dear leader and glomming on

to him whether he wants to be or not, he is seen as sort of a leader and

they sort of catch on to him.

 

Are you concerned as a security expert that because we have already seen

people who spout Pro Trump identities then turn around to be charged with

threatening - people threatening to bomb people, threatening to kill people

that literally Donald Trump is himself a vehicle for igniting potential

hate crimes?

 

CAVANAUGH: Sure. It gives them a license. It gives them fuel. It gives them

energy. It makes them feel they`re wanted. They have support. Even the

President when challenged by a reporter about saying this said I have many

people who agree with me, many people who agree with me. See that`s the

problem. That`s where they draw the strength.

 

The Republicans and Congress needs to stand up to the racial bigotry. The

country needs to stand up. People need to stand up. It`s a political rally.

It shouldn`t be akin to a clan rally where we`re yelling that people should

go back. That`s what you hear at clan march.

 

Joy, I was struck the other night by that I just I have associated to see

it`s like we`re back in `63. Is it Bull Connor again has he waited 15

minutes to let the Freedom Riders be beaten at the Birmingham Bus Station

until he sent the police.

 

He didn`t do anything he just waited, he just waited and the clans beat to

freedom riders. We don`t need Bull Connor we don`t need him leading

anybody, we don`t need that kind of talk. We don`t need anybody doing that.

This should be randomly condemned.

 

But the Capitol Police need to step up quickly on these four Congressmen.

And there are some Republican Congressmen there was four that voted against

racial hatred and there was Justin Amash who has stood up himself and been

ousted by his caucus. So they need to look at them too. That`s the first

thing. And as a broader feel they got to look at all of them.

 

REID: Yes, absolutely. Jim Cavanaugh, thank you very much. I really

appreciate you joining us. Please be sure to join me tomorrow and every

weekend morning from 10:00 a.m. to noon Eastern for my show.

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END

 

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