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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 07/01/15

Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, John Stanton, Rick Wilson, Arne Duncan,Casey Davis

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: After the email went out, we knew we had to change the venue. HAYES: First, Colorado, now Wisconsin. As we go live to another massive rally for Bernie Sanders. Does Hillary Clinton have an actual electoral challenge on her hands? Plus, the Republican problem with more great polling news for Donald Trump. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The illegals are pouring into the country. It`s far worse than anybody knows. HAYES: Then, Joy Reid reporting live from the scene of the South Carolina church fire. And as the resistance to marriage equality continues in pockets around the nation, my interview with the Kentucky county clerk who would rather to go jail than issue same-sex marriage licenses. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they have the right to choose however they choose. But I do too. I have the same right. HAYES: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. At this very hour we are anticipating what is likely to be the single largest noncompulsory campaign event of the 2016 presidential election. I am speaking, of course, of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appearing as you see in a packed stadium arena in Madison, Wisconsin. Sanders, of course, coming fresh off of a massive event in Denver, 7,000 people in attendance for that. They had to move the venue as you see the camera pan across. Bernie Sanders going to speak from this venue in Madison tonight. Event organizers anticipating possibly as many as 10,000 people. That, of course, would make it the largest event of the campaign cycle so far with the notable exception of the 11,000 who showed up for Ted Cruz` event at Liberty. Of course, attendance there was mandatory. Bernie Sanders is now polling within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. The latest polling having him only 8 points behind. He is fundraising from the grassroots at a clip very few other candidates in the race can match. Although he will be deluged by the $45 million Hillary Clinton is expected to post in this quarter. But people are starting to ask whether Bernie Sanders represents a quite serious challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Joining me now from the Sanders rally in Madison is MSNBC political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald. And, Alex, it looks like -- it looks like quite a crowd. ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. This is definitely quite a crowd, Chris. They are chanting, "feel the Bern" behind me. This is the venue that you expect for a major party nominee in October of a general election. Not in June or July of the year before an election, and certainly not for a candidate who is a self-described socialist running against the strongest nominee in any party`s history that`s not an incumbent, not vice president. So, there`s something happening here. I mean, people are very fired up. They say Bernie is the only guy who`s talking -- the only one talking about their issues. And the name that I`m reading a couple of times, Barack Obama -- saying that maybe, just maybe Bernie Sanders can do the same thing that Obama did to Hillary Clinton in 2008. HAYES: Yes, one of the early indicators of Barack Obama`s potential in that nominating contest was that he was drawing massive crowds. I remember covering his announcement in a freezing cold day in Springfield, Illinois, which drew thousands. There were thousands who came out. I remember one event specifically in Austin, which again, it wasn`t on the campaign trail per se at that point. It wasn`t on people`s radar screen. But when 8,000 or 10,000 people showed up, it got the political world thinking, something is going on. The reason we`re looking at back to back 8,000 plus rallies for Bernie Sanders, there is -- we don`t know how big it is. We don`t know whether they show up, there`s a long way. But there is some base that is very, very committed to this candidate. It is still very early. SEITZ-WALD: Yes, that`s right. And Hillary Clinton has yet to prove that she can generate this kind of massive grassroots support. She had about 5,500 people at her kickoff rally on Roosevelt Island in New York, her home town, her home state. The crowd was fired up. They were very excited. But this is a little bit different. This is something that is totally grassroots, uncontrolled, people just coming together. This event was coming together. We`re seeing it across the country. He did it in Burlington with his kickoff rally, 5,000 there at the lake. In Denver, another 5,000 there, 3,000 in Minneapolis, 1,000 people stood outside. They couldn`t even get in. And on Monday, he`s got an event in Portland, Maine. They just yesterday announced they had to move it because there were too many. They`re moving to a bigger arena. So, there`s definitely a lot of enthusiasm out here. I think none of us would have expect this a few months ago. I mean, the fact we are here in a giant venue for Bernie Sanders running for president speaks to the level of interest there is, an enthusiasm to an alternative to Hillary Clinton in the grassroots of the Democratic base. HAYES: All right. Alex Seitz-Wald live there in Madison where Bernie Sanders is scheduled to speak in just a little bit -- thank you very much. Joining me now is Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of "The Nation" magazine. "The Nation" featuring on its fourth coming issue -- KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: We have -- HAYES: -- a cover interview with Bernie Sanders. VANDEN HEUVEL: "Bernie Sanders Speaks". HAYES: All right. So let`s put all this in perspective. VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes. HAYES: I do think, look, even if wasn`t Bernie Sanders, if there was a Republican candidate whose politics I had no affinity for who was drawing crowds like that, I would say, well, something is going on. You know what I mean? VANDEN HEUVEL: Alex just said there is something. HAYES: Right. VANDEN HEUVEL: There is something going on in this country. It`s five, six years after the financial crisis, a few years after occupy, there is a hunger in this country, Chris, I think, for a passionate populist message. Bernie Sanders has attempted into that. I don`t think even he understood what he would unleash, the buzz, the polls, the crowds. But he is speaking to something in the psyche of Americans when he talks about how billionaires are controlling our politics, the inequality, you know, that we want to take back our democracy. HAYES: Let me say, we`re looking now at people standing in line. I have worked as a political adviser and tried to get people to come to stuff, OK? I saw footage earlier of, earlier in this cycle when Rick Santorum was at an event with one other person. I`ve been in rooms with politicians with one other person. It is hard to get people to come to stuff, OK? So, this is -- VANDEN HEUVEL: That he`s been able to do this. One thing that strikes me, you know, Bernie Sanders, many people are meeting Bernie Sanders for the first time. He didn`t do "Meet the Press" until after Chuck Todd became host recently. McCain lives on that show. He has a cot there. The national media has ignored Bernie Sanders for many years. People are learning there`s a voice that deserves to be heard and they`re looking beyond the labels. HAYES: So, here`s the question, right? For a long time, people wanted Elizabeth Warren to run. There was this activist base that wanted her to run. It became clear she wasn`t. Then it became clear of who`s going to inherit that mantle? And in some ways, Bernie Sanders makes perfect sense. He was talking about those issues before Elizabeth Warren was ever elected, right? VANDEN HEUVEL: I think one strength he will draw upon and he does in "The Nation" interview is the consistency. Whether it has been opposition to DOMA or it is opposition to unfettered surveillance for the fight against inequality, for participatory democracy in a real sense. Bernie Sanders`s been there. And I think he can give it a 21 century message. He also in "The Nation" interview, there`s talk about how he doesn`t have relations in the African-American community. He hasn`t been speaking out. Until now I would say in "The Nation" interview, he talks about policing. He talks about civil rights issues. He of course comes back to the fact, 50 percent unemployment among young African-Americans. But he is tough on the militarization of policing in this country and speaks forcefully to that. HAYES: Well, if you look at this crowd, this is the issue he faces. It is an issue that many candidates in the Democratic primary who have captured a certain part of the liberal grassroots, which is forging the multiracial coalition that can really catapult them. Barack Obama was a very special kind of candidate, because he was both the kind of insurgent candidate but he was able to expand out, right, stitch together this coalition. Bernie Sanders has to do that if he`s going to be serious, because right now, let`s just keep this in mine. He is 60 points behind the national polls of Hillary Clinton. She is a massively formidable candidate. VANDEN HEUVEL: But, Chris, he is a classic insurgent candidate. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Right. But they tend to rocket up and then down in -- VANDEN HEUVEL: I think we will see a continuing surge. More and more people will get to meet him and know him. I will say on another issue which is so vital for the 21st century, the climate crisis issue. "The Nation" has launched something called the climate pledge. A lot of universities` pension funds, companies are divesting from fossil fuel companies. We`ve asked candidates in 2016 not to accept or solicit any money from fossil fuel companies. Bernie was the only Democrat running, Martin O`Malley and Linc Chafee said they`re against climate crisis -- HAYES: But he sign on. VANDEN HEUVEL: He signed on. HAYES: All right. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, always a pleasure. Thank you. VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you. HAYES: All right. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got some good news and bad news today on what is his first full day of campaigning since he officially announced his presidential run yesterday. The good news was that Christie became the first GOP candidate to win an endorsement from a sitting Republican governor. The bad news, the endorsement came from this guy, Maine`s Paul LePage who "Politico" dubbed America`s craziest governor. LePage, like Christie, is one of the most unpopular governors in the country. He is now facing possible impeachment proceedings for allegedly withholding state funds from a school for at risk children unless it withdrew a job offer to a political foe. The endorsement came at Becky`s diner in Portland where he described Christie who campaigned hard as a blunt straight talker. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: For me in the first full day of my presidential campaign, to be able to come up here and receive an endorsement from somebody who knows what it is like to run a blue state, knows what it is like to make tough decisions, knows what it is like to engage in hand to hand combat to get thing done for the people that elect you, to get an endorsement from Paul LePage today is an incredible honor today. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, John Stanton, Washington bureau chief for "BuzzFeed News". John, I have to say from a branding perspective, I guess it is kind of a peas in the pod, like we`re tough talking eastern Republican governors in blue states. But I mean, this guy is absolutely as politically toxic, Paul LePage as politically toxic as they come in the gubernatorial ranks right now. JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED NEWS: Yes. And they`re kind of peas in the same pod of being nailed for having scandals and trying to go out against their political foes, you know? So, I think that`s a bit of a problem. And politically, it makes me question, I don`t know, do these people do any vetting of him? Did they figure out he`s got this problem before they decided to take Chris Christie with bridgegate faced similar accusations? He is now getting an endorsement from a guy who`s -- it is all very weird to me. I don`t understand. HAYES: This is a really important point. They`re basically parallel in the sense of, in both cases, in the case of Paul LePage with threatening to revoke funding from the school, unless a political rival had a job offer withdrawn. That is precisely the same asymmetric misuse or allegations of the gubernatorial office`s power to pursue a petty political vendetta that is precisely the issue that Chris Christie faces in bridgegate. STANTON: Yes. I mean, even if you give them both the benefit of the doubt and say none of this happened, they never did anything bad, the fact that they`re both facing these accusations, you might say why don`t we wait to have this endorsement six months down the line or a little further into the campaign. But, you know, his campaign seems to be, for a guy who has seemed to be running for however many years now, it seems a little bit rush asked off the cuff maybe, you know? Now, we`re going to announce we`re going to run. We got this guy giving us an endorsement who`s got scandal problems. I think it is all very odd. I don`t understand why they`re doing this. HAYES: Well, it also strikes as this, it strikes me that at a certain point, they had pick of the litter. They had everyone clamoring for them, knocking down their door. Donors begging him to run, he could have gotten a ton of endorsements. This is where he is now. I mean, this is just like he`s got to start building on what he has. And what Chris Christie has right now is a governor that he campaigned hard for who won twice with less than 50 percent of the vote who might be facing impeachment, that`s where he is in terms of who he has to rely on politically at this point in his career. STANTON: I mean, you know, when you put it like that, I guess there`s nowhere but up to go. So, it`s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess. But yet, it`s odd. It`s very odd. HAYES: Do you think that Trump is a problem for him? Having Trump in this race? STANTON: You know, I think it could be. He certainly is the guy who wants everyone to think of him as the straight shooting blunt guy. And Donald Trump is nothing but straight shooting and blunt. And, you know, so, he takes up some of the oxygen. He is also the sort of brash northeastern persona which is definitely Christie`s thing. He eats up that persona little bit. And then it draws attention away, having -- you know, the one thing that it could help him with is that the bigger the field, potentially that could help Christie push himself back into the top ranks. You know, in a couple of months, if there`s 30 people running. HAYES: My dream is to moderate an all eastern seaboard dialect competition debate with Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Chris Christie. That`s just putting this on the record if anyone -- if you people want to call me, I`ll moderate any time, any place. John Stanton, thank you very much. STANTON: It`s good to be here. HAYES: Still ahead, an unsung victory in one of the most successful weeks in the Obama administration history. Plus, the one thing that unites Jeb Bush, President Obama, and the Republican Party of Texas. And the runaway liability of Donald Trump on full display as he loses yet another company`s support for comments like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The border is a disaster, Bill. People are pouring in and I mean illegal people, illegal immigrants. They`re pouring in, 300-some-odd thousand are in your state jails right now, according to Homeland Security. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: There`s a scandal brewing that has crossed all partisan divide. It started when "The New York Times" told its Twitter followers to add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us, the reaction was swift and blunt. Presidential candidate Jeb Bush who had already voiced his dislike of peas and guacamole on Jimmy Fallon last month succinctly tweeted, "You don`t put peas in guacamole." While the Texas Republican Party accusing "The New York Times" of declaring, quote, "war on Texas" when they suggested adding green peas on guacamole. Possibly although hyperbolic. Even President Obama weighed in during a #askPOTUS Twitter chat today. When asked, "Do you agree with the NY Times about putting peas in guacamole? If yes, why?" The president responded, "Respect the NYT, but not buying peas in guac, period. Unions, garlic, hot peppers, classic." Now, I`ve never tried peas in guacamole. It could be delicious. I don`t know why people are so upset or obsess with it. But we`re going to try to settle this controversy tomorrow. During the first ever "All In the USA" cookout, we`ll be serving up both kinds of guacamole, peas and peas free to our guests to see which is best. You do not want to miss it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: More huge news for Donald Trump`s presidential aspirations. Two new polls put him in second place both nationally and in Iowa where he is tied at second with Ben Carson. Those are at least the fourth and fist polls since he announced, either nationwide or in an early primary state. They pretty much make it official. Donald trump is as of this moment, at the front of the pack in the Republican presidential race. He made a pretty colorful campaign stop last night in New Hampshire where he is now polling at 11 percent, just a few points behind Jeb Bush. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The American dream is dead but I`ll make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before. Oh, would China be in trouble. Oh. Oh, the poor Chinese. Who has done more than me? I`ve employed tens of thousands of people over my life. It is hard to believe I`m second to Bush, because Bush is not going to get us to the promise land, folks. We`re stupid. Our leaders are stupid people. They are incompetent. Did you know I had an uncle who went to MIT who was a top professor? Dr. John Trump, a genius. It`s in my blood. I`m smart. I see people at NBC and other networks that are so bad, I would be a great programmer. I know what sells. Sleepy eyes Chuck Todd, you know, "Meet the Press" dying, going down the tubes. They won`t say what a big crowd this was. This was a record setting crowd for a house. Like record. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Performances like that are exactly why the Republican National Committee tried to rein in the primary process for 2016. After the 2012, when a long and open debate season fueled some of the most marginal candidates and turned into a kind of sort of firing squad among the front runners, the RNC moved to reform the debate rules. The first debate hosted by FOX News over a month from now is being limited to the candidates who place in the top ten in the most recent national poll. As of this moment that includes Donald Trump who is spending most of his brand new campaign alienating the exact constituency the GOP set out to woo after its last defeat, Hispanic voters. In an interview last night on FOX News, Trump continued to defend his incendiary assert that many Mexican immigrants in the U.S. are rapists, who bring drugs and crime into the country. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Would you take any of that back? Or rephrase any of it if you could? TRUMP: No, because it`s totally accurate. The border is a disaster, Bill. People are pouring in and I mean illegal people. Illegal immigrants and they`re pouring in, 300 some odd thousand are in your state jails right now according to Homeland Security. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Responding to a Move On petition that`s gotten over 700,000 signatures, Macy`s announced it is discontinuing its work with Trump and phasing out his men`s wear line which is an actual thing. In a statement, Trump effectively claimed that he dumped them first. Quote, "I have decided to terminate my relations with Macy`s because of the pressure being put on them by outside sources. Later tweeted, for all those who #, want to #makeAmericagreatagain, boycott Macy`s, they are work on border security and stopping illegal immigration." Joining me now, Republican media consultant Rick Wilson. OK, Rick. RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN MEDIA CONSULTANT: How are you, Chris? HAYES: I don`t know. I`m Reince Priebus or Jeb Bush, I hire you. This is what you do. You dispense political advice to Republican politicians. What do you tell them to do about this situation? WILSON: Day drinking. (LAUGHTER) WILSOIN: No. Look. You`ve got to bring Donald Trump into this process in a way that takes him out of the celebrity mode and into the political mode, because this is a guy who right now believes that he can float above the mechanics and the grit and the grime of regular campaign and rely on the press being lazy and being easily baited into covering ridiculous statements every day. And you have to drag hill to the point where he has to go do the work, where you have to do the mechanical things in a campaign, show up to town hall meetings and show up to sit down with some guy in New Hampshire at a diner for an hour to ask for his support. HAYES: But how do you make him do that though? WILSON: Look, this is not an easy question. This guy right now, because of a very, look, I get that he`s good television. I get that he`s fun you guys to cover. HAYES: No, no. Come on. That`s not, come on. WILSON: On the other hand, Chris, the minute you guys start complaining that, oh, we never talk about big issues, we never get on substance, we never talk about policy, Donald Trump exhibit A on why this country never has serious discussions about meaningful issues. HAYES: Let me tell you something. WILSON: So, this is the media`s fault in a lot of ways. You guys have to take some credit for this, or some blame for this, rather. HAYES: Let me say two things about this. One is, what he said about Mexican immigrants was I thought pretty odious. What he is saying about the border and illegal aliens pouring into the country, that is a fairly standard view among a lot of people in the Republican Party. It`s a view that is a big obstacle to getting immigration reform through, the belief that there is an influx. That influx is fundamentally a kind of invasion that people bring crime with them. I`ve had Republican principals like Jan Brewer, other folks, say precisely that. I mean, this is not a crazy view. So, in that respect he does have tangible effects in terms of how immigration policy goes. The second thing I`ll say is this. One of the unintended consequences of this cut-off rule is that you now have to maintain a certain national level in the polls to get on the debate stage which ends up, yes, essentially giving him a kind of celebrity premium as opposed to doing nitty-gritty work in an early state. WILSON: Look, the debate rules were the correct decision but you have an outside force now that has built-in name ID from 20 plus years on television as a celebrity. And this is the sort of thing where at some point, there`s going to have to be some leadership at the national level where they look at this thing and say is this person a serious candidate? Or is he here as a fluke and an outlier and do we really want to turn national debates. You may not agree with their philosophies but you have to say, Chris, there are four or five very, very substantive serious people in this race who are the "A" tier candidates who want a serious national discussion and Donald Trump is never going to be one of them. This guy as I put it today. This is like the spittle fleck populism, and this is leadership by bellowing. I`m sorry, as a Republican that`s not the sort of thing that I want to post up against Hillary Clinton. If write Hillary`s team and I had a billion dollars to throw at somebody, I would pay Donald Trump to do exactly what he`s doing now. HAYES: Yes, and you`re right. I mean, the fascinating thing to me, when he does get on the big debate stage which seems all but inevitable, can you pull him into doing what you`re go saying, right? Which is, what`s your tax plan? Like, do you know anything? Have you read anything? Is there an actual agenda here and will that matter in the debate? No, I`m serious. It seems like that he can really be exposed in that moment. WILSON: Well, this is the kind of moment where my friend Hugh Hewitt and some of other folks at these first debates are really going to have some stones and hold Donald Trump to account, and not let him get away, I`m sure the Chinese -- I`ll make a huge difference. They`re going to have stop him, they`ll have to check him hard and make sure that the debate doesn`t turn into the Donald Trump clown show, and is instead where he has to response to the substantive criticisms of other Republicans who have actually thought about these issues. HAYES: All right. Rick Wilson, I reiterate my desire to moderate a Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Bernie Sanders debate. Thank you very much. WILSON: Thanks. HAYES: Up next, amid the celebration of last week`s Supreme Court decision comes news that some county clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I will talk to one of those clerks, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is Linda Barnett`s last day as circuit clerk in Greneda county after 24 years. She is resigning over the Supreme Court`s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. LINDA BARNETT, GRENEDA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK: I would be the one issuing the license. So, it would be like I would be approving of this lifestyle and I do not. I just believe that the bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I stand on that no matter what man says, that what`s god`s word and that`s the final authority. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Grenada County in Mississippi still awaits its first same-sex couple to get married, but the circuit clerk Linda Barnett would rather resign than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Five days after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, there are several counties in the country still refusing to follow the court`s order. In Alabama, where a federal judge ruled today that Alabama counties must abide by court decisions allowing gay marriage, where the governor said following the Supreme Court decision that, quote, we will follow the rule of law, there are still, according to Freedom to Marry, an advocacy group for marriage equality, 17 counties not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Things appear so muddled in Alabama partly because the Alabama Supreme Court on Monday issued an order that said Alabama judges are not required to issue same-sex licenses for 25 days. According to a report from today, a lawyer who works for Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore wrote a letter seemingly directed at the governor, essentially scolding Governor Bentley for saying that Alabama will obey the law. It reads in part, quote, "public official, what will you do? Will you stand up for the law of Alabama or for the people, for the law of god? Or will you capitulate? Will you become complicit in the takeover by the wicked?" In Kentucky, the Courier Journal, the largest newspaper in the state, reported Monday that clerks in at least five Kentucky counties are refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couples to avoid having to grant them to gay and lesbian couples to avoid having to grant them to gay and lesbian partners. By this morning at least two Kentucky county clerks who refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone will resume handing them out, those Counties are Lawrence and Montgomery County. But clerks in Rowan, Owsley and Casey County are still holding out with Casey County clerk, a man named Casey Davis saying his conscience will not allow him to issue a same-sex marriage license, that he would rather go to jail. Joining me now is Casey Davis, the Casey County clerk in Kentucky. And Mr. Davis, thanks for joining us. I wonder what you think of the example set by Ms. Barnett in Mississippi which is, her conscience says she doesn`t allow her to do her job. Her job is to issue marriage licenses and so she resigned. Isn`t that the honorable way to proceed? CASEY DAVIS, CASEY COUNTY CLERK: Not in my mind`s eye, Chris. HAYES: Why not? DAVIS: I think that if quit at this point, then I`ve quit my belief. I`ve quit my heart. I`ve quit what I have deeply, deeply rooted inside. And I can`t go that direction. HAYES: But your belief isn`t really the issue here. I mean, you play an official function. Right now there are people gay and straight who can`t get married. The law has been pretty definitively established. And your job, if your conscience doesn`t allow you to do your job, you have to get out of the way. DAVIS: Well, my conscience will not allow me to do this. I believe that my job when I took it and the oath that I swore to, the law said that marriage was between one man and one woman. That`s what I held my hand to in the oath. I`ve always tried to treat people the same all my life. I don`t want to ever be discriminatory to anyone. And if I`m not able to because of my belief, my heart, my conscience, issue a same-sex marriage license then I don`t think that I should issue to anyone. And I think that`s being fair to everyone. Now... HAYES: Mr. Davis, let me stop you there. Let me first say that I agree that it is in some senses noble that you`re not issuing to anyone. But what isn`t fair to the people -- what isn`t fair -- your county, it strikes me, is that there are people who want to get married in your county. This is an important event in their life. They are dependent on the state. DAVIS: They can still get married in my county, Chris. They can still get married in my county. They just have to go to another county and get a marriage license to do that. I am asking at this point and I`ve asked this since Monday. Actually I`ve asked this since the 26th, Friday, when the governor sent the letter that he sent. I`ve asked simply that he show me the same consideration that he showed our attorney general, Jack Conway when Jack Conway said about a year ago that what he wanted to do was because of conscience` sake, step aside from his job and let someone else do it or put it in the governor`s hands. And the governor at that point, he hired outside representation to defend the state`s constitution, which says marriage is between one man and one woman. HAYES: Mr. Davis, let me ask you this. DAVIS: And I believe that I and the rest of the county clerks should be granted the same consideration since our conscience which is on the other side of the coin in this matter, has not allowed us to issue a marriage license. It seems to me... HAYES: It`s quite a different situation with the attorney general. DAVIS: It`s a very unfair thing by a governor that has allowed the attorney general this kind of leeway. He ought to give something to us county clerks. HAYES: Mr. Davis, let me ask you this, who do you answer to if people in your county can`t get married, if you can`t do your job, who do you answer to? DAVIS: I have done my job for five and a half years. And in the last three days, I`ve answered to people from all over this country. And my answer to them is at this present time, I cannot issue any marriage license. The governor, I would like to add this, too, Chris, the governor just a few days ago said that I along with the other county clerks took an oath that I would lay down my personal beliefs to do my job. That`s not true. That is entirely not true. HAYES: You took an oath to the United States constitution, didn`t you? DAVIS: That would deny my personal feelings for anything, anything, and I did not take an oath that said I would lay my personal feelings down, my personal beliefs down to do this job nor will I ever do that. That oath did not, as a matter of fact, that oath said that I would do this job to the best of my ability, so help me god. And the best of my ability does not go beyond what my conscience will allow me to do. Do you understand that? HAYES: I do -- I understand what you`re saying. I think that the secular authorities will have something to say about that. And I think that was it Jesus who said render to Caesar what is Caesar`s and to god what is god`s? This seems to me like the domain of Caesar. Casey Davis, thank you very much. When we come back, breaking details on a devastating church fire in South Carolina. We`ll go live to the scene for the latest. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: We have breaking news tonight on a fire last night at Mount Zion AME church in Greeleyville, South Carolina. Historic black church that was burned down in 1995 by two members of the KKK. In an interview tonight with NBC`s Craig Melvin, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said unequivocally the fire was caused by lightning strikes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIKKI HALEY, GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: We actually saw that there were four lightning strikes, and one of them hit the steeple of the church. And so it burned from the top down. CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDETN: So at this point, there`s no reason to believe... HALEY: There is absolutely none. No. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now that tracks with radar images of a thunderstorm in the area last night with lightning strikes peaking around 6:30. It corresponds to the church pastor`s first reaction when he heard what happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. JOHN TAYLOR, PASTOR AT MOUNT ZION AME: I was coming from Florence, South Carolina. And we were in a storm over there, me and my wife, and we had to kind of wait it out to get back, a bad lightning storm. So actually when I heard that the church was on fire, I kind of really thought that wow, the lightning must have hit it, because they were talking about storms all afternoon. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: But a source close to the investigation tells NBC News, he`s not sure where the governor got her information. While there was lightning in the area, he says, there is no confirmation it actually hit the church. Now, last night`s fire was the seventh to occur at a predominantly black church in the south since the attack on Emanuel AME in Charleston. Now only three have been determined likely arsons at this point and none has been ruled a hate crime. Joining me now from South Carolina, MSNBC national correspondent Joy. And Joy, what is the scene like down there? JOY REID, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially, Chris, you just kind of encapsulated it. There is a huge disconnect tonight between governor Nikki Haley and the local officials that we`ve been talking to here at Mount Zion AME Church. The governor definitively saying we saw that it was a lightning strike. Number one, we`re not sure who the we is. We haven`t been able to get an answer to that. And the mayor of Greeleyville as well as the state senator representing this area and the fire chief, all of whom we spoke with here tonight, all said the investigation is still open. It`s ongoing. In fact the fire chief told me because of the extensive damage to that building, because the roof literally fell in, there`s so much debris inside of it they can`t really determine yet what the cause is. And in addition to that, the lead investigation, the lead investigators both state and federal ATF are all saying that it is undetermined. So, I think Nikki Haley may be way ahead. It is not clear that there is anybody marching behind her in terms of her definitive statements. HAYES: Now, obviously the context here for this is both the fires that we`ve reported on which again in the south, predominantly black churches, it very hard at this point to determine whether we are seeing something happen that doesn`t normally happen or whether the microscope of national media attention means we are sort of he creating a category between a bunch of particular circumstances. Some of those fires that people have been talking about on social media were pretty clear are not arson. We just got to be clear about what we know and don`t know. At the same time, obviously, this church has a real intense historical history. REID: Absolutely. This church was burned to the ground in 1995 by a Ku Klux Klan group here along with a second church, that second church wound up sewing Macedonia Baptist and got a $37.8 million settlement. But as you said, Chris, the context is that we have three fires that are known to be arson. One in Macon, Georgia, one in Knoxville, Tennessee, and one in Charlotte, North Carolina one. Those three have been determined to be arson, not necessarily hate crimes. Then you have three more which are undetermined, one here in South Carolina in Warrenville, not far from Charlotte. A second fire that`s also in Tennessee. And then one in Tallahassee, which the Tallahassee one is thought to may be electrical. But the question that some people are asking is when is the last time any church you heard of is burned to the ground? It`s such an unusual circumstance. Even the ATF official who spoke with our NBC colleague said, yeah, this is not normal. There`s one additional fire in Ohio that has been ruled -- arson has been ruled out, But because there were so many disparate causes, because all of them happened within a very confined space of time between the 22nd of June and the 27th of June, two of them on the day that President Obama eulogized Clementa Pinckney, the state senator and reverend from here, there`s a lot of anxiety and that anxiety is playing out here on the ground. Church members are nervous. People are worried. And I think that`s a feeling that goes across the country, because again, it is unusual. HAYES: Yeah, Joy Reid live at site of the fire at Mount Zion AME in Greeleyville, South Carolina. Joy, always so great to have you at the site on the road doing the reporting. Thank you very much. REID: Thank you, Chris. HAYES: Up next, the quiet war between New York`s governor and New York`s City`s mayor explodes out into the open. Details ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: You are looking at pictures of the newly renamed Comcast building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the building I`m in right now. And you can`t quite see it in this shot, but there`s a really sweet little spot with a nice patch of grass down there. And tomorrow night, we are going to have the first ever All In the USA cookout show. Be sure to tune-in. We`re going to have special guests, hot dogs and burgers. And we`re going to spend the hour talking about the very best of America on this 4th of July week. Please join us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So, yesterday the nastiest fight in all of politics exploded out into the open in an unprecedented way. The long simmering tension between Democratic mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio and the Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been building for a while. Recently the governor knocked down the mayor`s number one priority, an affordable housing expansion, and not only that, around the same time as the battle was brewing in Albany, anonymous sources close to the governor started bad-mouthing the mayor saying for example, the mayor was, quote, "bumbling and incompetent." Another example, speaking of mayoral control of the school system, which after more than a decade was only extended one year for this mayor, quote, "how did the mayor think he was going to get mayoral control? Well, the Assembly will support me. They didn`t. The Daily News quoted a top Cuomo administration source as saying I think he puts himself in these situations." Now, some reporters were reading these quotes, and they surmised that, well, this sounded a lot like the Governor Andrew Cuomo himself. So last week the governor was confronted with a series of questions about whether he, himself, was talking to the press off the record as a Cuomo official about the mayor. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, are you the top administration official who yesterday questioned the mayor`s Albany strategy? ANDREW CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: I said a lot of things yesterday. I don`t know exactly what, which one you`re referring to. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you anonymously criticize him? How does that help? CUOMO: If I don`t believe a proposal makes sense, I say that it doesn`t make sense. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you say anonymously as opposed to on the record? CUOMO: Sometimes we talk on the record, sometimes we talk on background. You know, there`s just a variety. It depends on the context. Sometimes it is a little faster to talk off the record as you know. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: So pretty clearly not in denial that he was in fact the Cuomo source. Pretty clearly an implicit nod to the fact that the top Cuomo administration source badmouthing the mayor was, you know, Cuomo himself. Well, now Mayor de Blasio has decided to cut the games and go on the record in front of a camera to blast Governor Cuomo. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: What I found was he engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machinations, and what we`ve often seen, is if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows. And I think too many people in this state have gotten used to that pattern and thrown a bit by it. But I think more and more of us are saying we`re just not going to be party to that anymore. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right, he didn`t do just that, though, De Blasio then summoned other reporters to a city hall office and said among other things, that there`s been an ramp-up of state inspections of city homeless shelters with a vigor we have never seen before that was clearly politically motivated, Mr. de Blasio said. That revenge for some perceived slight. Now, this is one of those cases of a political gap that consists entirely of Mayor de Blasio telling the truth that everyone knows on the record. As the mayor indicated, many others have put up with it. The mayor is willing to take it no longer. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The Obama presidency has been on such a roll over the last two weeks, certain landmark achievements like changing a failed 54 year policy with Cuba perhaps doesn`t get attention it might otherwise garner. Today, the president announced American and Cuba will open embassies in each other`s capitals later this month. Here`s another example far more under the radar. Today, the Obama administration has clamped down on a practice in college education that has often turned into a big scam. In the last 10 years, for profit higher education exploded in growth and a significant portion of that has been akin to taking the predatory lending model and turning it into a predatory education model. Here`s how the scam works, you go recruit people to enroll in your for profit college. You walk them through the loan process. You get the federal government to loan them the money, which is immediately paid to you. So, then you, the for profit college, have the money and the student. And what happens after that is no skin off your nose. I mean, if you educate the person well, if they get a job afterwards, who cares, you`ve got the federal dollars. So, your incentive once you`ve signed that person up is not to educate them, no, no, your incentive is to go to the next student and the next student, because if there`s one thing stockholders of for profit colleges want to see is growth. And that is exactly the ethos that infected too much of the for profit college industry where student loan default rates have hit astronomical levels. You can see there that for profit enrollment is 13 percent of all private and public college, but for profit`s share of defaults is a whopping 46 percent of all defaults. And billions of federal dollars continue to flow through these places and into the pockets of their management and shareholders as those defaults pile up. Now in 2009, the Obama administration proposed a pretty simple fix to this problem, which basically said we`re going to cut off your access to federal funds if you don`t actually have your students employed after they graduate. But they`ve underestimated the power of the deep pocketed for profit college industry. That industry went to war against those regulations. Now, six years later, and after some critics have said the Department of Education hasn`t acted forcibly enough to curtail the worst practices, the administration enacted new regulations in which schools must demonstrate their students are earning enough money upon graduation to pay for their student loans or else risk losing federal aid. Today, I asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan how that will change the for profit college landscape going forward. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ARNE DUNCAN, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: It is very simple. We`re saying the debt can`t be wildly in excess of your earnings going forward. And if the debt is manageable, that means that you`re able to pay it back, it means you probably are doing better economically. You were able to get skills, new skills that led to new job. But when you just drown in debt, when it`s disproportionately high relative to your income, again that`s untenable for the students, and that`s untenable for all of us as taxpayers. It`s been interesting for so long, Chris, taxpayers were on the hook, students were on the hook, but these colleges had no skin in the game. There is no sense of accountability there, there`s no matter about outcomes, it was all just about enrollment, getting more students in the door. And far too many vulnerable folks who were trying to do the right thing, trying to climb the economic ladder, get to the middle class, were taken advantage of. HAYES: The Department of Education has announced a loan forgiveness program. But people who have been advocating on behalf of students say that it requires onerous steps to jump through. Why not just offer the students of Corinthian a blanket debt forgiveness? DUNCAN: So first of all, we were thrilled to be able to close down Corinthian. Again, no administration has done more to challenge the status quo despite stiff opposition from congress and some real battles in the court. Chris, we`ve been working on this since 2009. What we have done is we`re working with a number of students in Corinthian through closed school discharge. We`ve also brought in a special master. The process is not onerous to be clear. But this is new work for us and we want to be as thoughtful as we can with students. At the end of the day, Chris, all of this is cleaning up a mess after it happens. And we want to do the right thing, but we have to prevent, we have to stop this ahead of time so more students don`t end up in this situation. And that`s what these regulations that are going into effect today are all about. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: You can find the full interview with the education secretary on our Facebook page, All In with Chris. You can also go there, or Twitter @AllInWithChris, or Chris L. Hayes, and tell us what you love about America, because tomorrow on this July Fourth week, we are devoting a special show to what makes this country great. I think a lot of people are feeling pretty damn good after the last two weeks, the last 10 days at least. So we`re going to do that tomorrow. It`s going to be a lot of fun. That is All In for this evening. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END