Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 19, 2016 Guest: Michael Goldfarb, Lawrence Korb, Seth Kaplan, Jeff Weaver, Tim O`Brien
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing we can rule in. Nothing we can rule out.
HAYES: What brought down an EgyptAir flight in route to Egypt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be a crash due technical or to a terror attack.
HAYES: What investigators are learning about the crash.
Plus, how Donald Trump is answering the 3:00 a.m. phone call.
ROBERT GATES, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: It`s always better to wait until you actually know what the facts are before you open up.
HAYES: Then, Trump is back on the trail tonight raising cash for a former rival.
And Hillary Clinton turns a corner.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be the nominee for my party.
HAYES: With Sanders reportedly ready to harm Clinton ahead of the convention.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people have stood up and help defeat the establishment.
HAYES: Sanders campaign is here to respond -- when ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
An Egyptian airliner that vanished from radar over the Mediterranean has set off a massive search for the wreckage, raised the prospect of terrorism after strong indications that the plane went down after an explosion, and has unleashed a new wave of concern are the strength of airport security.
The crash also inevitably made its way into domestic politics and the presidential campaign here in the U.S.
But first, here`s what we know. Early this morning, local time, EgyptAir Flight 804 en route from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport plunged from the cruising altitude of 30,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board, including 56 passengers, seven crew and three security personnel.
There are conflicting reports of debris being found in the search area which is about 190 nautical miles south of the Greek island of Karpathos. More on that in a moment.
EgyptAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320, put into service in 2003, departed Charles de Gaulle at 11:09 local time last night. At 2:24 a.m. the flight entered Greek air space. An air traffic controller clearing the jet`s flight path.
The plane was flying at 37,000 feet and the pilot thanked the air traffic controllers. About 20 minutes later, the plane made a hard left turn and a circle and plunged 50,000 feet. At that point, it dropped off radar, roughly an hour later at 3:27 a.m. Greek air traffic controllers called the emergency frequency after repeated unsuccessful attempts to reach the plane. Joint search and rescue operations were soon activated.
That search operation now includes ships and aircrafts. The U.S. aide in Egypt and Greece in that search, but the search was suspended at nightfall to resume in the morning.
President Obama was briefed on the situation and France President Francois Hollande confirmed the plane crashed at sea and that, quote, "no hypothesis was being ruled out".
As for the cause, the Egyptian aviation minister, when pressed by reporters, said that a terrorist act was more likely than a technical failure.
A former senior intelligence officials tells NBC News that a network of U.S. satellites called the space-based infrared system which is designed to automatically detective missile launches worldwide could have detected an explosion if one occurred on Egypt Air 804.
Meanwhile, analysts note that over the past two days, the plane had made stops in countries where there have been security concerns including North African nations of Eritrea and Tunisia.
Today, families gathered at Cairo airport and in Paris. The passengers included 30 people from Egypt, 15 from France, two from Iraq, as well as travelers from nine other nations.
We have reports from NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely in Cairo, NBC News reporter Claudio Lavanga in Greece, and NBC News anchor Craig Melvin who is live in Paris.
But Bill Neely starts us off from Cairo -- Bill.
BILL NEELY, NBC NEWS CHIEF GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, I`m at Cairo airport, where the families of the Egyptians onboard have been all day looking for answers, mourning their personal loss and deepened grief. They`re at the very center of this. This was an Egyptian plane. Most of the dead, Egyptian, and it crashed, it fell into the sea in Egyptian waters.
Whatever happened on that plane happened very quickly because there was no distress call and whenever a plane falls from the sky as this one did, twisting and plummeting very quickly without a mayday call, it does raise the specter of terrorism.
Normally, the Egyptians are very circumspect on this. They don`t say very much. But today, the Egyptian prime minister made the point of saying they weren`t ruling anything out as a cause, including terrorism. And indeed the transport minister here at the aviation ministry said terrorism was a more likely explanation for the missing plane than mechanical failure.
But as I said it is early days yet, we`ve had no claim of responsibility for ISIS -- from ISIS here, and remember, they were responsible for the downing of that Russian MetroJet airliner killing all on board and they boasted very quickly after the airliner went missing and said that they had used explosives in a soda can.
So far, no claim of responsibility, no proof that this was a bomb, and indeed, if you were to think about the motivations of a bomber in Paris, say, why would they choose to ignore an American plane, a Western plane, a Charles de Gaulle airport and instead bomb an Egyptian airliner.
As ever, Chris, lots of unanswered questions. Back to you.
HAYES: NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely, thank you for that.
Claudio Lavanga has more on those conflicting reports about whether in fact debris found in the search area is actually wreckage from EgyptAir Flight 804.
Claudio, what do we know?
CLAUDIO LAVANGA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the mystery here in the island of Crete is deepening by the hour. Now, it is the middle of the night here in Crete as you can see and the search and rescue or search and recovery operation has been suspended for the day. We`ll resume of course tomorrow morning.
But still, it is unclear whether the two big pieces of debris that were found on Thursday afternoon, about 210 miles away from this island right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea where part of the missing plane. On Thursday afternoon, the defense minister said that they were part of the plane. Later on in the day, in the evening, the foreign ministry in Egypt and EgyptAir confirmed there was part of the plane.
But then later in the evening, the head of the air accident investigation and aviation safety here in Greece told state television that he didn`t believe so. That there were not parts of the missing plane.
They really will would have to hope that tomorrow they will have much clearer answers than what they had today if they want to locate, if they want to, first of all, once and for all, confirm that the plane has gone down in the Mediterranean Sea in the particular location and then they will have to hope that they recover the black boxes to find the causes of this terrible accident, Chris.
HAYES: NBC News reporter Claudio Lavanga -- thank you.
And joining me now, MSNBC news anchor Craig Melvin who is in Paris.
And, Craig, what`s the latest from Paris?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Behind me, of course, Chris, Charles de Gaulle International Airport. This is where that flight, Flight 804 took off, about 26 hours ago; 86,000, 87,000 employees roughly work at this airport. One of the major questions right now is who had access to the plane?
We can tell you officials are looking very closely at some of the employees who perhaps had access, but also the passenger manifesto as well. Who was on board?
We know among the 66 people, there were ten either, two pilots, ten folks who are working the plane or working security on the plane as well. There were 55 passengers. Three of them were children as you indicated. A lion share of those folks were from Egypt, 15 of them were from here in France.
So, they`re looking very closely at who is on the plane and who had access to the plane as well. You had a very interesting graphic, investigators earlier or they pointed out that within the past 36 hours, those plane was in Tunisia. We know that that is a part of the country that has seen a fair amount of terrorist activity over the past two years. There have been a number of concerns expressed about aviation security, specifically as it relates to flights that originate in that part of the world as well, Chris.
So, those are just a few of the things that officials are looking at here in Paris and beyond.
HAYES: All right, Craig Melvin in Paris -- thank you very much, Craig. I really appreciate it.
Joining me now, Michael Goldfarb, former FAA chief of staff.
And, Michael, the first thought to me here is two fold. One is, was this intentional? Was this accidental, mechanical? And the fact that it originated from Charles de Gaulle. I mean, this is a place that one would imagine has an incredibly rigorous set of security protocols.
MICHAEL GOLDFARB, FORMER FAA CHIEF OF STAFF: Right, Chris. And I think we`ll find out whether it was terrorism which is the leading theory right now or mechanical which is highly unlikely. But there are huge implications for aviation safety and passengers if it is in fact terrorism.
If it is mechanical, structural failure, we have the protocols. We can deal with an Airbus plane. We know how to fix it. It is probably not systemic.
If it, on the other hand, is terrorism, if it is other stops in Charles de Gaulle, we have a very large problem. And just to take you back, so in 1991, a PSA jet in California disaffected airline employee broke into the cockpit, this is before 9/11, shot and killed both pilots, and commander the plane in 90-degree angle into the ground, the plane was polarized. I heard the cockpit recorder, it was terrifying.
We spent 10 years getting airlines to put in a perimeter rule that would allow pilots and others to have to show ID, which no one wanted to do.
Then, we spend 15 years on explosive detection systems. They were bulky, they didn`t work. They had false alarms. There was over runs. It`s extremely difficult to do that.
So, we had the front end of the airport, quote/unquote, "relatively secure". It`s the backdoor. And we have nothing in the backdoor.
We`re in the dial up age in fixing the problem with potential terrorists and the terrorists are in broadband. They`re developing innovative technologies we saw on the Sinai Peninsula, small things in the size of a coke can. They had networks. We haven`t begun the process of dealing with the networks that maintenance workers and others have there.
So, in fact, airport security really starts way away from the airport, like in Israel, El Al. They have a huge human intelligence network and know what to look for. We don`t. And that part is frightening.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. This is a lot of discussion about what the path of the airplane was prior to this flight. People are talking about Eritrea and Tunisia. Is there a security protocol for an airplane itself when it lands in a new airport? Is there any kind of a sweep of it to make sure it is unencumbered by any devices from its previous --
GOLDFARB: Well, yes, there`s rules and there is the historical situation, of Paris under attack, of EgyptAir and the crashes they have there. So, yes. I mean, they sweep the planes and they did that at Charles de Gaulle.
The question is, is that sufficient? Would that pick up something homemade, hand device or something that perhaps got through that security and that is where -- that is really where the problem is right now.
HAYES: All right. Michael Goldfarb, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
GOLDFARB: My pleasure.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, MSNBC terrorism analyst, Malcolm Nance. He`s executive director of Terror Asymmetrics Project.
I think the big question now is we don`t have any claims of responsibility. The closest we have something like this is Sharm-el-Sheikh in October of last year, in which -- though there was not an official declaration, within 12 hours or so, you had ISIS folks popping up to say we did this.
What do you make of that?
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, you can`t really rely on a claim of a terrorist group. In the past, historically, terrorist groups didn`t take claim right away. They would evaluate to see just how much fear and terror that they put into the population.
Sharm-el-Sheikh was a little different. This air craft blew up over Sinai. They found the wreckage in a matter of hours.
By blowing up over the water, you have -- you go into the MH-370 scenario. You have no idea where or when you`re going to find that and that of course, extends this story out a long way. So, they may not want to take claim right away.
HAYES: You know, one of the things I keep thinking about is the distinction between a kind of attack you would do in which it required, a la 9/11, passenger willing or someone on the plane willing to kill themselves, versus some kind of onboard explosive device that can be remotely controlled. It strikes me -- the latter is much harder, right?
NANCE: Well, it`s harder in a way. It depends on actually the infiltration of the weapon system, the device that you`re going to use to destroy that aircraft. Of course, this is all speculative. We don`t know if that`s what was done.
We`ve had many examples where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula send a bomb that was supposedly inside of printer and we call that a drop bombing. That`s where you put the device on the air craft and you let the altitude or time explode the device.
But a suicide bomber, which we`ve seen many examples of, you know, in Russia. Russia had two simultaneous aircrafts blow up in the same hour by two female suicide bombers at altitude after they have gotten themselves and a weapon system onto the flight. This flight route that they took from Cairo to Eritrea, to Tunisia, to Paris, and then blowing up just as it entered the Egyptian airspace, it tells me somebody was manually watching for where this aircraft went from over Crete from check point as it connected into Alexandria control and wanted to send a message that the aircraft is going down into Egyptian control and is now in the water and can not be found right away.
HAYES: So, you`re interpreting significance of the location of where --
NANCE: Oh, absolutely. I mean, terrorists, you know --
HAYES: If again, and we don`t know. But your working assumption is that it is.
NANCE: Sure, because, you know, people say, oh, it just could be a matter of confidence. But, you know, we say coincidence takes a lot of planning. This requires, when you go to this far of an effort to where -- let`s say you exploded device on an aircraft, you have certain results, terrorist group has certain results they want from that.
And clearly, Egyptian fingerprints were all over this. It was an Egyptian liner. It flew around other parts of the Middle East and ended up in Europe, and as one of the correspondents said earlier, if it was a target opportunity attack of ISIS members in France, you would have chosen a much larger, more significant target like an aircraft going to the United States or blowing up over Europe.
HAYES: I`ve heard a lot of this all day that if you manage to defeat the Charles de Gaulle security measure, why would you use it for this as opposed to something --
NANCE: It`s a one-shot deal at Charles de Gaulle, but this is not going to happen again. They`re going to crackdown on level --
HAYES: Of course. Yes.
Malcolm Nance, thank you very much, sir.
NANCE: It`s my pleasure.
HAYES: All right. Our coverage of EgyptAir Flight 804 continues ahead.
But, first, we get another preview of how Donald Trump might handle that proverbial 3:00 a.m. call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I`m saying to myself, what just happened about 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky and if anything, if anybody thinks it wasn`t blown out of the sky, you`re 100 percent wrong, folks, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to express my condolences to Egypt and to all other countries impacted by the disappearance earlier this morning of the EgyptAir flight over the Mediterranean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Secretary of State John Kerry taking a moment at a NATO conference in Belgium to recognize the passengers of the EgyptAir flight 804.
At the White House, Press Secretary Josh Earnest offered his sympathy to those on board.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The uncertainty and creeping sense of loss that the loved ones of lost on the plane must be experiencing right now is painful to even contemplate.
The president, as you are aware, received multiple updates from his national security team on the situation.
It is too early to definitively say what may have caused this disaster. The investigation is under way and investigators will consider all of the potential factors that could have contributed to the crash.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On Capitol Hill this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed it is too soon to determine what went wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Regarding Flight 804, I`ve been getting updates throughout the day. We do not now know just what happened. We will withhold judgment until we have all of the facts. But right now, I think the thoughts of the whole House are with the families of those who are on board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There was a very different response however from the presumptive Republican nominee who tweeted before 6:30 a.m., "Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airport departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant. Great hate and sickness!"
Hillary Clinton was asked about Trump`s response during an interview this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: He says a lot of things that are provocative that actually make the important task of building this coalition, bringing everybody to the table and defeating terrorism more difficult.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Why?
CLINTON: Well, for example, when he says bar all Muslims from coming to the United States, that sends a signal to majority Muslim nations, many of whom we have to work with in order to defeat terrorism, some of whom who are already among our strongest allies in this fight. It sends a message of disrespect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Moments ago Trump struck by during a fundraiser for Chris Christie in New Jersey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Bernie Sanders said that Hillary really isn`t, essentially not fit to be president. She is not qualified to be president, you know why? He said, because she suffers from bad judgment.
So, today, she made this statement, you know, she won`t use the term radical Islamic terrorism. And I`m saying to myself, what just happened about 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky and if anything, if anybody thinks it wasn`t blown out of the sky, you`re 100 percent wrong, folks, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined now by Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, former assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan.
What is your reaction to watching someone who is the leader of the Republican Party, presumptive nominee spouting out about this as someone might, you know, at the water cooler in the office or at the bar stool next to you?
LAWRENCE KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Well, I think anybody in the position he is, and he is going to be the nominee of one of our two major political parties, basically has to act like Paul Ryan did or Josh Earnest or John Kerry, because one of the things you learn when you`re in government, I remember my own experience in the Pentagon under Reagan and when active flight as a naval officer, the first report from the field is usually wrong. And so, if you overreact, then you -- it is going to be tough to walk it back or if you act on that you could be making a big mistake. You may remember the Gulf of Tonkin.
I remember when I was a young naval officer. My commanding officer, that doesn`t make sense. We went to war in Vietnam. It turned out it wasn`t what it was, pardon the phrase, trumped up to be.
HAYES: Yes, that is a really important point. The president of the United States is constantly making decisions based on incomplete and imperfect information that is being relayed through different channels. I mean, how crucial is it to their role and top avoiding general mayhem, destruction and disaster for us and for others that they be good at that specific skill of sorting information and applying it judiciously.
KORB: Well, I mean, that`s really what you need when you`re in a position of authority, whether it`s in, you know, in the executive branch or, obviously, president of the United States. And even if you say it was a terrorist attack, does that mean it was ISIS? It could be people who are unhappy with the military people running Egypt and they`re cracking down on all of the people that it could be that. We just don`t know.
And the idea that some how this is related to the struggle against ISIS is very, very far from being proven.
HAYES: We saw, obviously, the way that American politics and the trajectory of the nation can change in the wake of a terror attack after 9/11, everything from the Patriot Act to the longest war in the history of this nation of ours, to hundreds of thousands who have died in Iraq, to thousands of our own men and women who have died. Donald Trump tweets after every terrorist attack it seems.
This is him in Pakistan playground attack. "Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women and children, I only alone can solve."
He tweets after the Brussels attack, "Do you all remember how beautiful and safe place Brussels was? Not anymore. It`s from a different world. U.S. must be vigilant and smart."
When you think of some sort of attack in this country and Trump is president, what do you think of?
KORB: Well, I hope he won`t overreact and do like we did after 9/11, which was horrible. We were right to go to Afghanistan, but then to try to transform the Middle East is why we`re still living with these problems today, and it`s very easy to overreact.
It takes an awful lot of what President Obama I think correctly called strategic patience not to overreact and play to the popular appeal at the particular time because once you do it, it`s very hard to walk back as we found out in Iraq.
HAYES: All right. Larry Korb, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
KORB: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Still to come, while investigators try to figure out what goes on. It does raise questions about what the current standards are for global airport security. We`ll talk about that after the break.
HAYES: At this moment, international investigators are working around the clock to piece together what exactly happened to EgyptAir Flight 804. It the second civilian aviation disaster in Egypt in the past year alone.
The disappearance of the flight, which left from Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport is yet another grim reminder that we function with an international air security system, as the U.S. learned with Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed underwear bomber who flew from Amsterdam to Detroit. U.S. TSA security is not enough. There needs to be, of course, comprehensive global security standards.
The loss of EgyptAir Flight 804 raises new questions about those standards.
And joining me now, Seth Kaplan, managing partner at "Airline Weekly".
Seth, let me start with this, the Egyptian government has been very cagey about what happened in October with the explosion of the flight in Sharm el-Sheikh. Have there been global security changes in the wake of that and what appeared ISIS was able to actually get an explosive device on board that airplane?
SETH KAPLAN, AIRLINE WEEKLY: Yes, Chris. There are new protocols for flights departing directly for the U.S. in particular and other. I mean, there is a patch work around the world of this sort of thing.
But yes, if you think back to, let`s say, Flight 103 which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. There are things that happened there that could still happen today and things that probably wouldn`t. You know, we`re talking about could this bomb have been loaded a board the airport, perhaps not in Paris, perhaps somewhere else.
Eritrea, a nation on the list of red flag countries according to the United Nations ICAO, the agency for over seeing aviation safety. What happened aboard Pan Am 103, for example, the bomb by all appearances got aboard in Malta, which transferred to the Pan Am flight in Frankfurt, exploded after taking off from London. That would be much more difficult. The bag wouldn`t have been screened again.
But, yes, could you load something a board a flight somewhere else and this plane, although it would have been swept to some degree, have this happen later -- yes.
HAYES: So, you`re saying, it is conceivable. And again, we do not know at this moment whether it is mechanical failure. There is a variety of indications from various officials that seem to be pointing in the direction of terrorism. That has not been definitely established.
That when you talk about, Michael Goldfarb talked about the sweeping that happened. I hadn`t thought about this, right? So, if you`re managing a security system, you want to make sure you`re checking every person that comes in and out. You want to check everyone that has any interaction with the aircraft. You also got to check the aircraft itself, right?
KAPLAN: Right. And we don`t know yet what exactly happened with this aircraft. There would be some protocol exactly, particularly if it is inbound from a place where the French authorities have concerned. It is going to be treated differently than had it come, let`s say, from the U.S. or a nation like that. But that will be something that we`ll all want to hear.
I mean, look, if you, granted the fact that obviously the explanation isn`t going to change the reality for these poor people and their families, you know, I guess, for lack of a better way to say it, you would root for this not to be that, that this got a board at Paris, because that that would do for the world in terms of confidence in security, not only in a place -- well, not even Cairo but places, more questionable than that, would have a rather devastating impact.
HAYES: I think that -- so that is a key point. What you`re saying is the implications, where were it to be an intentional device or an intentional attack, carried out by this airplane, the implications of what that would mean for global airline security and also sort of geopolitical ramifications would be very different if it somehow defeated the Charles de Gaulle Airport security rather than somewhere like Eritrea or Tunisia.
KAPLAN: It would be almost unprecedented.
Now again, whatever the reality is, clearly that is a huge vulnerability, Chris. But I mentioned a minute ago Lockerbie. You know, that is the last time, and that`s 1988, that we can think of an aircraft leaving a developed world airplane and exploding midair. And again, even then, the bomb was loaded somewhere else.
So, there really -- there really would be very little precedent for penetrating an airport with security as reputable as that at Paris, even despite the well-documented issues, the other people whose security clearance was revoked and so forth there.
HAYES: Interesting, Seth Kaplan, thanks for joining me. Appreciate it.
KAPLAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, there`s also a major day in presidential politics, with Hillary Clinton ratcheting up her words with Donald Trump. She also for the first time is dismissing any hope that Bernie Sanders has a chance of winning the nomination. We`ll show you what she said, and get a response from Bernie`s campaign manager ahead.
HAYES: Tonight, Donald Trump appeared in New Jersey with rival-turned- supporter Chris Christie at what sure looked like a typical Trump rally only it wasn`t, it cost a whopping $200 to get into the event with the money going to, get this, retire Christie`s presidential campaign debt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`m not eating Oreos anymore. You know that. But neither is Chris. You`re not eating Oreos anymore. No more Oreos for either of us, Chris. Don`t feel bad, for either of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is what you get for endorsing Trump.
Trump is also appearing at a separate, far more exclusive fundraiser, this one for the New Jersey Republican party as a whole.
Tickets for that event reportedly went for a cool $25,000.
Now, Trump spent a decent chunk of his speech tonight hammering Hillary Clinton, was asked at an interview this afternoon if she thought Trump was qualified to be president and she had a pretty emphatic response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I know how hard this job is. And I know that we need steadiness as well as strength and smarts in it and I have concluded he is not qualified to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Clinton is currently fighting on two fronts, although today she said that one of those fights, the one against Bernie Sanders is effectively over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAL: So, you get into the general election, if you`re the nominee for your party.
CLINTON: I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done, in effect. There is no way I won`t be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sanders campaign sees things very differently, despite needing to win more than two-thirds of the outstanding pledged delegates to catch Clinton, which is an extremely difficult task, Sanders has vowed to fight all the way to the convention.
The New York Times reporting that Sanders is, quote, willing to harm Hillary Clinton in the home stretch if necessary, quote, "while Mr. Sanders says he does not want Mr. Trump to win in November, his advisers and allies say he is willing to do some harm to Mrs. Clinton in the short-term if it means he can capture the majority of the 475 pledged delegates at stake in California and arrive at the Philadelphia convention with maximum political power."
Joining me now, Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver. Jeff you were just shaking your head in he monitor when I read the Times headline.
Do you think the Times headline is an accurate, fair characterization of the attitude of your campaign?
JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Look, Chris, you know, campaigns are sometimes in a position where they criticize the media. I don`t think it is any -- a great shock to you.
But look, that New York Times piece was the most sloppy piece of journalism I`ve seen in awhile. They talked to a few low level people and some disgruntled former low-level people. It is an absolutely ridiculous piece of the worst journalism we`ve seen in this entire campaign.
HAYES: OK, let`s just focus on the sort of key claim, right?
WEAVER: Of course.
HAYES: Which is that Senator Sanders and your campaign are willing to do political damage, harm is the word that`s used there, in the next month or so as the nomination battle ensues, despite the fact that the odds are that she will be the nominee.
WEAVER: An absolutely ridiculous claim. Bernie Sanders has carried out a campaign that has been focused on the issues -- issues like the minimum wage, dealing with the corrupt campaign finance system, trying to deal with a rigged economy.
As you know -- you may remember -- one of the most memorable lines of the campaign, Bernie Sanders said I don`t want to hear more about your damn emails.
Bernie Sanders has carried on this campaign with dignity, with integrity, and a focus on the issues.
HAYES: What I`m hearing from you, though, is there a balancing -- is there a balancing act? I men, inside when you guys are speaking to each other, right, an evaluation of what kinds of attacks will do what to Hillary Clinton at this stretch in the campaign, is that a different evaluation than, say, six months ago?
WEAVER: No. Look, this has always been a campaign focused on the issues.
Are there issues differences between Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton? Of course there are. He supports a $15 minimum wage, she supports $12 minimum wage. He supports a universal single-payer health care system, she does not. He supports a dealing with a trade policy which is sending jobs over seas, she has supported most of those trade deals.
So, there are fundamental substantive differences between the candidates. Those are being discussed.
But, look, the truth of the matter is, is that this Democratic primary process is keeping those issues, which are issues important to Democrats on the table and in the media.
As soon as this primary process is over, whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is the nominee, we`re going to have the Donald Trump food fight and the sort of business imperative of the media is going to cause most of them to spend most of their time covering shocking and repulsive statements by Donald Trump, let`s be clear about it.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, there has been a lot of talk about the system being rigged in terms of the Democratic National Committee and you and Debbie Wasserman Schultz have exchanged barbs on that and whether there is finger on the scale.
Let me ask you a fundamental question, taken as a whole, has the process, thus far been legitimate, which is to say when the outcome is determined after June 14th of who has the most pledged delegates, do you accept this fundamentally as a legitimate election that has taken place?
WEAVER: Well, that is not the end of the election, frankly there, because there are a bunch of super delegates at the convention who have to vote. So, the election is not over when the primary caucus voting is over.
HAYES: Yeah but I think you and I would agree that those folks are different, because they are not bound through the actual votes of voters who are showing up to the polls.
WEAVER: They certainly are different. The process as a whole is a legitimate process? Of course it is. Absolutely. And Bernie Sanders is participating in it and is very competitive in it.
But the truth of the matter is, is as you know there are a number of structural impediments and they vary from state to state that are designed in some cases to keep out insurgent campaigns like Senator Sanders that discourage young people from voting, those include the closed primary sytstem. I mean, young people disproportionally register as independents, even though the vote Democratic consistently. Those people are excluded from the process of choosing the nominee. That seems like a very unfair, and unwise in the long-term policy.
HAYES: Is that something that you are looking from a process standpoint; is that something you`re looking to reform, is that what you want to see the changes be going forward?
WEAVER: Oh, absolutely. When Bernie Sanders said recently that the Democratic Party needs to open the door and let the people in, you know that`s one of the examples of it.
You know, we don`t need a policy like closed primaries where you have an older and older base in the party that gets smaller and smaller and smaller because young people are kept out of it. It is a ridiculous policy that`s designed to protect the prerogative of local political leaders in the Democratic Party.
We`ve got to open up the process. We need open primaries. We need same- day registration. We can`t have a situation like you had in New York where if someone wants to switch from an independent to a Democrat for an election, a late election, they have to do it by October.
I mean, it is an absolutely ridiculous policy.
HAYES: What about getting rid of caucuses, which obviously require a tremendous amount of time for folks, particularly people who are working shifts that make it impossible for them to come?
WEAVER: Well, I certainly think we need to look at the caucus -- we certainly need to look at the caucus system. Bernie Sanders obviously did very well in caucuses, but I think we need to look at that process, and in some cases, these caucuses have become so large in many states that it is impossible to run them. You can`t get rooms big enough. You had people who were barred in some places from participating in the caucus. So, we actually helped one state with funding so that they could rent bigger rooms, because the state party didn`t have enough money to run the caucus.
So, yes, certainly we need to review the caucus system. I mean, Iowa for instance, they don`t report how many votes each person got in the caucus. I mean, that is ridiculous.
HAYES: All right, Jeff Weaver. Thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
WEAVER: Thank you.
HAYES: Right after this break, a remarkable story about a former senator`s wish to right a wrong from this 2016 campaign.
I`ll tell you about it next.
HAYES: You will remember that in the summer of 2010, a wave of Tea Party protests swept through the country. Republican senators long thought to be safe in their seats were suddenly vulnerable and one of those people was Utah senator Bob Bennett.
Tea Party activists, angered particularly by his vote for TARP, mobilized against the 18-year incumbent uniting behind the insurgent Tea Party, thought highly establishment credentialed candidate Mike Lee.
Lee ultimately defeated Bennett in the contest in that state and became the senator.
Five years later, the former senator was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Earlier this year, he suffered a stroke.
Bennett spent some of his last days in a Washington D.C. hospital surrounded by family and friends. It was during those final days, according to his son who spoke with my colleague Andrea Mitchell, the former sentaor became fixated on one thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM BENNETT, SON OF SENATOR BOB BENNETT: In the last days of his life, but it was very startling to me when in the hospital he was talking to me and to my mother and he said are there any Muslims in the hospital? And I said I`m sure there are, dad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why a former Republican senator was asking his family if they were any Muslims in The George Washington University hospital, the answer coming up in 60 seconds.
HAYES: As former Republican Senator Bob Bennett lay in his hospital bed towards the very end of his life, his family says his thoughts turned to the Republican Party`s current presumptive nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: In the last days of his life, he was concerned about a number of things but it was startling to me when in the hospital he was talking to me and to my mother and he said are there any Muslims in this hospital? And I said I`m sure there are, dad, and he says, well, I would like to go up to every single one of them and apologize on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bob Bennett, former Republican senator, passed away on May 4th. He was 82 years old.
HAYES: A first today in the history of American abortion politics since the Roe v Wade decision: a legislature in Oklahoma has passed a bill that would make it a felony to perform or induce an abortion, punishable by a minimum of one year in prison.
Joining me now with more, MSNBC national reporter here Irin Carmon, who has been covering women`s diminishing access to reproductive health care in Oklahoma and around the country. Can they do this?
IRIN CARMON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Right now, they cannot. Even if Governor Mary Fallon signs this bill, it is on its face most likely unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly said for 43 years you cannot ban abortion before viability. You can put all kinds of roadblocks in women`s ways, including in Oklahoma which has done so I believe eight different times since Mary Fallon became governor, not to mention before then.
That said, should this be challenged in court, and it is almost most certainly going to be challenged in court, it is not enforceable, unless, perhaps, Donald Trump becomes president and if he is able to confirm some of those justices or justices like them like the ones he floated yesterday, it really only takes flipping two seats to eventually where states can decide whether to ban abortion or not.
HAYES: Meaning, it`s 4-4 now, if Merrick Garland were not seated on the court and Trump were to be elected and have someone confirmed to replace Scalia, if another justice were to leave the court and that was replaced -- I mean, the Row -- the upholding of Roe is that thin is what you`re saying.
CARMON: Yeah. It has already been chipped away at very much.
So, we should say practically speaking it is extremely hard to get an abortion in many states, including Oklahoma. Banning outright has been the wall that the Supreme Court has laid for 43 years.
HAYES: So, why are they doing this? They have been effective at eating away at the right in all of these procedural ways, through all these sort of accumulation of hassles, why do the thing that is facially unconstitutional.
CARMON: So, part is a publicity stunt. You know you lose nothing as a quote, unquote pro-life legislator choosing to lay your marker in the most extreme places, particularly in a place like Oklahoma where I`ve done a lot of reporting and you also say to the Supreme Court, I don`t care what you think and the moment I`m allowed to, this is where I`m going to go.
HAYES: Right. You`re sending a message.
Irin Carmon, thanks for your continued reporting on this. Appreciate it.
CARMON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the controversy over Donald Trump`s taxes continues to grow with new questions about his financial disclosure. Up next, the reporter who has actually seen Donald Trump`s tax returns. Why he says you should, too. You don`t want to miss that. Ahead.
HAYES: Trump National Golf course in Westchester, New York with its waterfalls and championship greens and regal clubhouse is objectively speaking a stunning piece of property.
Now, how much do you think that is worth? While, Trump`s 2015 financial disclosure listed his golf club in Westchester as one of his most valued properties, worth more than $550 million, his lawyers initially argued it was worth, wait for it, $1.35 million, which is considerably less than this five bedroom house in the same zip code we found today on Zillow.
That`s discrepancy in value, according to reporting from ABC News, would have cut Trump`s tax burden by 90 percent. And now Trump`s attorneys have raised a proposed value of the golf course to a cool $9 million.
It is these kinds of disputes that reiterate just how interesting it would be to see Trump`s tax returns.
And joining me now is Tim O`Brien, executive editor of Bloomberg Gadfly and Bloomberg View, someone who actually saw Trump`s tax returns and thinks you should too.
You can`t talk about what you saw in them, you`re enjoined by the court.
TIM O`BRIEN, BLOOMBERG VIEW: I`m enjoined.
HAYES: Why should we see them?
O`BRIEN: Because it offers some very clear roadways in understanding who Trump is -- obviously how much income he has, it`s an indicator of how robust his businesses actually are, he`s campaigned on the notion that he is a great dealmaker and a very adept business person, even though his track record suggests otherwise.
So, the taxes would give you a window into his income. The taxes would give you a window onto his charitable giving. He`s made things like his support for war veterans one of the emblematic statements he always makes at his campaign appearances, but again there is not a lot of evidence that he`s been a generous backer of war veterans. So, you`d see that.
You know, he`s criticized U.S. companies for operating overseas at the expense of American works. We`d get a window onto where his own investments reside.
And then I think last and probably foremost is this is a 40 year tradition and American voters should be able to see what potential financial or business pressures are going to come to bear on whoever occupies the White House.
HAYES: And particularly to me it goes back to that first one, the guy has got no record in public life, because he`s never been a public servant, so his record is his business record. And as far as I can tell, that business record is completely shrouded in secrecy.
We know there are four bankruptcies...
O`BRIEN: Court corporate, almost one personal.
HAYES: Almost one personal -- and a ton of stuff failed. It`s unclear even if the basic question of has he been a successful businessman if the answer is yes.
O`BRIEN: He`s eeen a successful self-promoter and that should be seen as something quite apart from being a successful businessman.
He is a brand licensing machine, but he didn`t run his real estate holdings very well, his big ones from the 80s and 90s, and he certainly blew his casino holdings up.
HAYES: Do you think we will see them given everything we know about him?
O`BRIEN: I don`t think he is going to release them. I don`t think he sees any upside in it and obviously there is a lot of potential down side.
HAYES: The tradition you talked about I think which is key here, obviously. You know, Nixon released even during an audit. Does that norm get eaten away if we don`t see them? I mean, does it mark a new turning point if he doesn`t release them?
O`BRIEN: I mean, I think if he doesn`t release them, then we should start to think about making it a requirement and an obligation and not something that is voluntary, because I think it`s too important.
HAYES: Yeah, there`s been some talk about congress passing a law to do exactly that.
Tim O`Brien, an amazing journalist and it`s great to have you here.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END