Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 6, 2016 Guest: Filemon Vela, Hilda Solis, Rebecca Traister, Kamala Harris, Francesca Chambers
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it`s inexcusable.
HAYES: Donald Trump taking fire from all sides.
INTERVIEWER: Why did you refer to his ethnicity, Donald?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, because his heritage is Mexican --
INTERVIEWER: So what?
HAYES: Trump now defending and expanding his bigoted remarks.
JOHN DICKERSON, ANCHOR, "FACE THE NATION": If it were a Muslim judge would you feel they wouldn`t be able to treat you fairly because of that policy?
TRUMP: It`s possible, yes. Yes, that would be possible.
HAYES: Tonight, new fears from Republicans about their own presumptive nominee, and new reporting from NBC News about a campaign off the rails.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m waiting for him to say, because of all the bigoted things he has said about women, that a woman judge couldn`t preside.
HAYES: Is it the eve of a historic victory for Hillary Clinton?
"New York" magazine`s Rebecca Traister on her blockbuster Clinton profile.
Plus, what we know about why the president called Bernie Sanders this weekend.
And my exclusive interview with California Attorney General Kamala Harris on her Senate race and you know who.
KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: This guy clearly has no respect for the judicial branch of government. That is extremely troubling.
HAYES: When ALL IN live from Santa Monica starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening. From the Santa Monica pier here in beautiful Los Angeles, California, I`m Chris Hayes.
Not only is Donald Trump refusing to withdraw his racist attacks on the judge overseeing a civil lawsuit against Trump University, he`s now expanding his argument about which people from which backgrounds are capable of ruling neutrally on his case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you are saying he can`t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?
TRUMP: No, I don`t think so at all. No.
TRUMP: No. He`s proud of his heritage. He`s a Mexican. We`re building a wall between here and Mexico.
INTERVIEWER: Why did you refer to his ethnicity, Donald?
TRUMP: Well, because his heritage is Mexican.
INTERVIEWER: So what?
TRUMP: Well, because I want to build a wall.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think you have to dial it back?
TRUMP: Look, I have to be what I have to be. I have to tell the truth.
DICKERSON: If it were a Muslim judge, would you also feel like they couldn`t treat you fairly because of that policy of yours?
TRUMP: It`s possible, yes. That would be possible, absolutely.
DICKERSON: Isn`t there a tradition in America we don`t judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?
TRUMP: I`m not talking about tradition. I`m talking about common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: No one of Mexican descent, possibly no Muslim judges, follow that logic, it`s hard to imagine any groups Trump would not consider biased.
But the presumptive Republican nominee has his defenders. This weekend, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who resigned in 2007 amid a scandal over politically motivated firings in the Justice Department, wrote an op-ed on "The Washington Post" asserting Trump`s right to ask if Judge Gonzalo Curiel is fair but still conceding, quote, "Curiel`s Mexican heritage alone would not be enough to raise a question of bias.
Meanwhile, Trump`s New York co-chair, Carl Paladino, former gubernatorial candidate who got in trouble forwarding racist and sexist e-mails questioned the use of the "R" word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL PALADINO, TRUMP`S NEW YORK CO-CHAIR: He`s not a racist, by far he`s not a racist. It`s incredible that you want to pull this word out and use it because it always pushes back on the white guy. That`s not fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: By and large, most top Republicans have publicly condemned Trump`s attacks on the judge, forcing those who support him into ever more agonized contortions.
In an interview today with a local news station, Trump`s former opponent, Marco Rubio, called the comments wrong but said he still stands behind his party`s nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: There shouldn`t be any sort of ethnicity, religious, or racial test for what kind of judges should hear what kind of cases. It`s wrong and I hope he stops.
I entered into an agreement, my view of a binding agreement, I gave my word I would support the nominee and I continue to live by that. And one of the reasons why is because in the end, this election`s a binary choice. If you are asking about Hillary Clinton, I`d have a lot of complaints about her. But this is not the choice I wanted us to have. It`s just the choice we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he, quote, "couldn`t disagree more" with Trump`s statements. He repeatedly declined to call them racist and had this response to a column by conservative commentator Erick Erickson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: "The Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist. Damn them for that." What do you say to Mr. Erickson?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I think the Party of Lincoln wants to win the White House. And the right of center world needs to respect the fact that the primary voters have spoken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate Foreign Relation Chair Bob Corker, often mentioned on Trump`s V.P. short list, was just hoping to change the subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I don`t condone the comments and we can press on to another topic. I think we need to move beyond that, and I think he has a tremendous opportunity to disrupt the direction that Washington is moving in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a vocal Trump supporter and another potential V.P. pick, said Trump has legitimate complaints against the judge but his ethnic background should never have entered the equation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: It goes against our whole model of being an American. We don`t judge you as part of being a group. That would be to suggest that blacks can`t get a fair white judge, whites can`t get a fair black judge, Asians can`t get a fair judge unless they`re Asian, and, by the way Asian means if you`re Chinese, it has to be a Chinese, because Vietnamese, while they`re Asian, aren`t Chinese. I mean, once you go down that road, you destroy America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Among the other prominent Republicans who denounced Trump`s comments, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is in a tough reelection fight in that state, and three more of his former rivals. John Kasich and Ted Cruz, both are whom are withholding their support, and Ben Carson, who endorsed Trump soon after dropping out of the race back in March.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who has been one of Trump`s most outspoken GOP critics, tweeted this afternoon, "Public service announcement, saying someone can`t do a specific job because of his or her race is the literal definition of racism."
All this would amount to a pretty bad rough patch but in Donald Trump`s case it`s made even worse by the fact that as some of my MSNBC colleagues report today, he does not have an actual campaign. Instead, it`s a, quote, "bare bones effort debilitated by infighting, a lack of staff, minimal coordination with allies and the a message that`s prisoner to Trump`s momentary whims."
That was on full display during a conference call between Trump and top supporters reported by Bloomberg Politics in which the candidate urged surrogates to step up criticism of the judge and accused journalists who asked questions of being racist, overruling a memo sent out by his own campaign. Quote, "Take that order and throw it the hell out."
Joining me now, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur who covers Trump and who co-wrote the piece on his nonexistent campaign.
Katy, we`ve known for a long time he`s been running an operation that at least in numerical scale, sheer amount of staffers, is just minuscule by the standards of a modern presidential campaign. What is happening now that folks are willing to go and talk to reporters about what a mess it is internally?
KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think these Judge Curiel comments were a bridge too far for some of the folks inside the campaign and some of the folks who work closely with the campaign. They felt like this was an unforced error. Something that they did not need to be addressing at this point in the campaign when they should be going against Hillary Clinton and trying to tell the American people what their message is, what the party`s message is, what Donald Trump will be like as a president, not necessarily what`s going on with a business lawsuit in his - - essentially his personal life of Donald Trump.
So I think there`s a bit of frustration on that end. They don`t need to be getting into this and that`s why for the first time, you`re hearing campaign aides speak on background about frustration within the campaign. Much in the same way that Republican leadership is saying they`re frustrated with it, in so many words, on television.
HAYES: Part of what struck me in reading your excellent piece today that you did with Benjy Sarlin and Ali Vitali, and also that Bloomberg piece, here`s the candidate himself conducting a call with surrogates about messages. In most normal presidential campaigns that is not something the candidate, him or herself, would be doing, because there`s a lot of things to manage in a campaign of this size and you cannot have the candidate doing all of them.
But to me that was a window into just how preposterously flat, I guess you could call it, this organization is.
TUR: Well, I think that Bloomberg report of Donald Trump calling surrogates himself and NBC News confirmed the call is an example of the reporting. It proves, essentially, what anonymous sources were telling us on background, which is that there is not a campaign in place because Donald Trump doesn`t have enough people below him.
He doesn`t have the communications staff, Chris. And that is what is really hampering him when he`s going up against Hillary Clinton. He doesn`t have a messaging staff, he doesn`t have a true surrogate operation with talking points that they can go on.
And he proved this by telling the surrogates on this conference call, don`t listen to the talking points you`ve been given, listen to these talking points I`m giving you right now.
So, there is an issue at hand. It`s the fact that they don`t have a clear power structure in the campaign. Donald Trump does what he wants, says what he wants, he contradicts his staff. He says his staff gets things wrong. He`s openly said that Paul Manafort gets misquoted when Paul Manafort talks on the record to other journalists and says something he doesn`t like.
So, there`s an issue who`s in charge and who has the final say. Ultimately from covering this campaign, though, it is Donald Trump, and the issue with Trump -- this is what his aides say, this is what people who are working closely with him say -- he changes his mind on a whim.
So, you have to read the tea leaves with him. And that`s where it can be extraordinarily challenging.
HAYES: All right. Katy Tur, thank you for that report. Appreciate it.
TUR: You`re welcome.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC, MSNBC political analyst.
Michael, what is going on?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, hell. All hell`s breaking out, my friend. You know, this is crazy. It`s disappointing. It`s frustrating.
I know a lot of Republicans who have gone out on a limb with the campaign so far. A lot of Republicans who are sitting back in the cut waiting to see how this plays out, who are more and more saying, I just can`t get there. Donald Trump needs to help himself by letting others help him.
And he needs to recognize that this is not like you run the Trump enterprises. This is a very different responsibility. It`s the most important responsibility in the world and you`re treating it as if it`s just another deal. And that`s really I think hurting a lot of folks who want to be able to help him.
HAYES: Well, first of all, let me just note just as a sidebar, that`s a damning indictment of the management facilities of a person who`s trying to run the most complicated, powerful, and high-stakes enterprise in the history of human civilization.
STEELE: It is.
HAYES: That`s one thing to imagine.
But second of all, I mean, here is part of what I find baffling about this. I don`t think he`s speaking off the cuff, he believes this.
HAYES: There`s this talk about reining him in. This was not something where the press got him in a gotcha question, they started asking questions, what do you think about the judge? He started raising this. He started raising the man`s ethnicity. I don`t think it`s a slip of the tongue. He seems to believe the man`s ethnic heritage disqualifies him from sitting in judgment and bears him some kind of grudge and he`s not going to back away from that.
STEELE: Which is -- which is hard to believe, since if you go back and look at this case as it has unfolded over the last few years, particularly the last few months. This judge has actually ruled in his favor a lot more than ruled against him. This judge has actually helped move Donald Trump`s case along in a way that his attorneys I`m sure would consider to be beneficial. Not to mention the fact that if you understand who this Judge Curiel is, he was a noted prosecutor who fought against the very thing that Donald Trump wants to build the wall for. He prosecuted those drug lords and went after them.
So, in some sense, he kind of aligns himself with the idea that we need to stop this, that the U.S. needs to protect itself, and as a prosecutor he fought to do that. So, this idea that somehow his heritage is working against Donald Trump or working against this idea is just ludicrous. And the fact that you would bring it up in a presidential campaign regarding a civil matter, a personal civil matter, is just outlandish. Those Republicans from Newt Gingrich to others who have spoken to that are right to do so.
HAYES: Well, I mean, that point I think is a key one. The comments on immigration the day he announced to my mind were demagogic, they were bigoted, but they were about a topic of American immigration policy, same with the Muslim ban. About a possible topic in American policy.
There`s no constituency for this. This is not an issue in American political life. Like, what are we doing about the judge who`s overseeing the lawsuit against me?
HAYES: There`s nothing here but personal animus.
STEELE: So -- and that`s the problem. It has become a personal matter that`s been pushed into -- it is a personal matter that`s been pushed into the public sphere in a way that Americans are scratching their heads. Even ardent Donald Trump supporters are going, why? I mean, what does this have to do with anything?
So, the only advice that I can be given I think at this point is, stop it, back off of it, let the process unfold. But he`s doubling down.
HAYES: Michael, he is -- first of all, he`s not going to take the advice and move on to something else. The question for me is the look on the face of Bob Corker --
STEELE: I know.
HAYES: It was like he had just seen -- like he had looked at his own demise, like he was staring his own fate in the mirror. And that rictus grin. That is going to be five months of that for every single elected official in cycle, not in cycle.
STEELE: It`s not good. It`s not good. It`s going to be very damning.
HAYES: Quickly, if you`re Reince Priebus, Reince Priebus saying he`s going to evolve, that he understands he has to evolve on the way that he talks about Hispanic voters, what do you do if you`re Reince Priebus? Try to find an island to go to and sit this out?
STEELE: Well, you evolve into figuring out what you`re going to do after this job is done, because I don`t know what else there`s going to be to think about between now and November, because Donald Trump is going to suck the air out of that opportunity. It makes it much more challenging for the chairman to put on this convention. It makes it even more challenging to protect the candidates who are going to be running down-ballot going into the fall.
HAYES: I`m predicting at this point, each night of the Republican National Convention will be devoted to a specific criticism of Judge Curiel, like the way they do those theme nights, you know? Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, work ought the way through.
Michael Steele, thank very much.
STEELE: All right, buddy.
HAYES: Still ahead, Hillary Clinton weighs in on potentially making history. I`ll talk with Rebecca Traister about her phenomenal new Clinton profile and what the candidate is like behind the scenes.
But, first, just how ugly has this campaign gotten? A sitting congressman released a statement saying this about the presumptive Republican nominee. "Mr. Trump, you`re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it." That congressman joins me next.
HAYES: On the eve of the primary here in California, a state that Donald Trump has actually made noise about winning or at least contesting in a general election, a state with one of the largest percentages of eligible Latino voters in the entire country, the GOP continues to raise concerns about what Trump`s rhetoric is doing to the party`s relationship with Latinos.
Today, Congressman Filemon Vela of Texas, a Democrat whose great-great- grandfather came from Mexico in 1857 sharply criticized the candidate in an open letter which reads in part, "Your ignorant anti-immigrant opinions, your border wall rhetoric and your recent bigoted attack on American jurist, are just plain despicable. Mr. Trump, you`re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it." As you can see from the graphic, Vela used more colorful language.
Joining me now, Congressman Filemon Vela of Texas, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, former congresswoman, former labor secretary in the Obama administration.
Good to have you both.
Congressman Vela, let me begin with you. What prompted the letter?
REP. FILEMON VELA (D), TAXES: Well, I would have liked to have spoken in a much more diplomatic fashion but I felt like I had to speak to Donald Trump in language that he understands. The fact is since I`ve become of voting age, from President Carter to Reagan to President Bushes, President Clinton, President Obama, we`ve had presidents who have celebrated diversity, not demonized it.
What this really is about is about America, because every American, whether they`re the first generation, fifth generation, tenth generation, comes from other countries. And in my particular case, there are 55 million Americans of Hispanic descent in the United States. Thirty-five million of those are of Mexican descent. And there are hundreds of thousands of stories just like mine.
My great-great-grandfather came in 1857 to this country. His grandchildren fought in World War I, World War II, and members of our family have fought in every war since then. And so, when Donald Trump racially attacks Judge Curiel, who was born in Indiana, had Mexican parents, was well-educated, was a United States prosecutor, and has been a distinguished and honorable federal judge, it`s just not right and I felt like it was something that had to be addressed.
HAYES: Ms. Solis, you`re in California, we`re in California now. If I`m not mistaken, you were in the state legislature during the Pete Wilson years, Prop 187, which was intense anti-immigration proposition that Wilson backed.
HILDA SOLIS, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Right.
HAYES: That in some ways definitively changed the state`s politics forever, right?
SOLIS: Of course, absolutely.
HAYES: I mean, it fundamentally severed the connection between the Republican Party and the rising crest of Latino voters. Are you worry watching something happen again here like that?
SOLIS: Absolutely. I think our young people, Latinos are at that age where the largest segment has come on line to register to vote. We`re going to see total numbers, 7 million Latinos voting in California. While there are 11 million here, 7 million will vote. Millennials have signed up in record numbers in L.A. County. They`re younger than 30 years. They`re going to come out.
But all of them are also paying very careful attention to what Trump`s rhetoric is, which is about racism, which is about just instilling more discrimination and false stereotypes. And I believe it is driving a wedge in the Republican Party that`s saying, you know what? No more. Seventy percent of Latinos now are voting Democrat. And we intend to stay in that party.
HAYES: Congressman Vela, it was striking to me, you`re from Texas. And there`s a real difference in some ways between the way the Texas Republican Party has handled this issue and the way the National Republican Party is talking about it now.
I mean, there are all these dreams Democrats have had forever of making Texas a battleground state largely because of the demographic composition of the state. The fact of the matter is Latinos in Texas vote for Republicans in much higher margins than in national ballots and in other places, and partly that`s because of the nature of the Republican Party. Do you see that changing in your home state of Texas with Trump on the ballot?
VELA: Well, let me say this. I mean, to the extent that the Republican Party has made gains amongst Latino in the state of Texas, that`s because there have been some Republican leaders in Texas that have reached out to Hispanic voters. I think that with this kind of racist rhetoric that we`re hearing from Donald Trump, that many of those Latino voters who have previously voted Republican are going to vote for the Democratic candidate in this case.
And beyond that, I have spoken to friends on the other side of the aisle, in fact, just today received several emails from friends of mine and people that I don`t know that are Republicans that believe this rhetoric is just anti-American, there`s no way they would vote for Donald Trump.
HAYES: This election in many ways is shaping up to be almost kind of this a referendum about the sort of future of the American citizenry and electorate. I mean, the way that it`s being waged. From the first moment of coming down the escalator and talking about Mexico sending rapists, talking about building a wall, deportation force.
What does that mean? Should Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders be the president in January for the priority and the pressure on the Democratic Party to get immigration reform done immediately?
VELA: Well, those two candidates in particular, Hillary Clinton, has had a record supporting immigration reform. On every proposal that I remember when I was in the Congress, she`s not going to continue to fall back on that. She knows the work has to be done --
HAYES: But support is different from prioritization. I mean, to me --
SOLIS: Oh no, she --
HAYES: -- if this election goes down the way I think it`s going to be very hard for Democrats to do anything but lead with it if they are --
SOLIS: Well, she has already made a commit in the meantime her first 100 days, she was going to get immigration reform done.
HAYES: That was at the NBC town hall --
HAYES: -- in Las Vegas.
Congressman Filemon Vela and Hilda Solis, thank you both. Appreciate it.
SOLIS: Thank you.
VELA: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Still ahead, I spoke with Kamala Harris, California attorney general running for Senate in the state of California, says Donald Trump has no respect for the judicial branch. That`s coming up.
HAYES: We have some breaking news to report at this moment. "The Associated Press" has just reported that Hillary Clinton has reached the number of delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. That is according to their count and including, of course, those superdelegates. A historic moment tonight as she becomes the first woman ever to top a major party ticket in this country, at least by the "A.P.`s" count.
Now, once again it`s time for an update to our Trump`s last ten list. Our running tally of things that if any candidate other Trump had said or done them most likely would have ended their campaign. When we last checked in, the board looked like this. The top spot occupied by Trump`s missing donation to veterans which he promised but did not actually give for four months, only relenting after intense media scrutiny.
At the bottom of the board, in the 10 shot, are Trump`s comments to Chris Matthews that if abortion were made illegal, women who get abortion should be punished, a stance he reversed after massive outcry. But that one is now getting bumped, pushed of the board for our new albeit hampering number one, revelations from a class action lawsuit that former employees of Trump University describe it as a, quote, "fraudulent" scheme as one of them put it.
The bottom spot now occupied by Trump`s insinuation that Ted Cruz`s father may have helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate John F. Kennedy. But that one too falls by the wayside for our new number one, Trump`s attacks on the judge presiding over the Trump U. lawsuit, over the judge`s Mexican heritage, an attack by extension on the entirety of the American justice system.
That`s an end to our changes on the board for now, though, it`s worth noting it`s only about 5:30 local time in California and who knows what the rest of the night will bring. We might have another update before the end of the show.
Repeating our breaking news, "The Associated Press" reports Hillary Clinton has reached the number of delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. We`re going to talk about that ahead. So, stay with us.
HAYES: As Donald Trump refuses to back off from his racist attack on the judge overseeing one of the lawsuits against Trump University, who better to ask about the issue than California`s own attorney general Kamala Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, currently running for a seat in the U.S. senate.
I had the opportunity to talk with Harris on the campaign trail at the light rail station right here in Santa Monica ahead of the California primary tomorrow. We discussed everything from criminal justice reform to the presumptive Republican nominee to the looming fight in the Senate over the Supreme Court.
KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: So let`s be clear. The president of the United States has certain responsibilities, including appointing a nominee to the United States Supreme Court. And this guy has shown that he is unable to do that if the nominee for consideration happens to be Latino or Muslim. That`s outrageous.
And let`s talk about the significance of the United States Supreme Court. Had Earl Warren, a former attorney general of California, not led the unanimous court to decide Brown v. Board of Education, Chris, I would not be standing here with you right now. I would not be here right now.
Let`s also talk about another point about our government and our democracy, and the beauty of the design. Three co-equal branches of government. This guy clearly has no respect for the judicial branch of government. That is extremely troubling, not just out of the ordinary.
HAYES: I mean, you probably -- I mean, I guess, in a normal -- again, like, let`s just take away running for president. It`s like you`ve had judges, I`m sure, where you go home that day and say to yourself, like, that guy. That was wrong and you`re frustrated.
HARRIS: Of course, of course.
HAYES: I mean, that`s part of the thing. But like people just don`t go to microphones...
HARRIS: No, but this is -- it`s not -- people do from time to time go to a microphone and say, I disagree with what the judge did. I think the judge`s decision was outrageous. I think the judge`s decision was not founded in good legal analysis.
HARRIS: That happens. Whether it`s good to quorum or not is debatable, but that happens. This guy is saying that this judge is unqualified because of his ethnicity. Wow. Outrageous.
HAYES: Is it good for the Democratic Party of California that this primary has been contested all the way to the end?
HARRIS: I would debate -- I mean, I think that, yes, it`s good. It is absolutely good. It is good in that -- here`s the thing...
HAYES: It took you a second to get to absolutely.
HARRIS: Well, because there are different ways of thinking of it. But this is the way I think of it. I think of it as this, it is always good when more people decide that they want to register to vote and they want to vote and they actually vote. I think that is healthy and good for our democracy. And I`d prefer that.
Let`s just talk about the alternative. The alternative being that we have low voter turnout. That`s not good for anybody. That`s not good for people running for office because then they`re not held accountable by the people they actually are supposed to represent. But it`s also not good for us as a democracy because it means that people believe that their voice doesn`t matter, that their vote doesn`t matter.
So when people turn out, that`s a great thing.
HAYES: You`re attorney general, you`re sort of tasked with enforcing the law here in the state.
HAYES: There`s a big New York Times profile about sort of how you are thinking about criminal justice reform.
HAYES: First of all, just how much of a priority is that? I mean, when you think about the portfolio if you were to be elected to the Senate, how high is that on your list?
HARRIS: It`s a very high priority. It`s my life`s work.
I mean, I`m the daughter of parents who were active in the civil rights movement in the `60s. I chose to become a prosecutor because my feeling was that law enforcement has a profound impact on the most vulnerable voices among us and I wanted to be part of that work of being a voice for those voiceless and vulnerable people.
But our criminal justice system in this country needs to be reformed. I wrote a book back in 2008. It`s called Smart on Crime. You can buy it for about $2.99 on Amazon. But talking about -- let`s reject the false choice in criminal justice policy that suggests you`re either tough on crime or you`re soft on crime. Instead let`s ask, are we being smart on crime?
Let`s look at the public health model that tells us most effective way to deal with an epidemic is prevention first, not reacting. And let`s apply what our friends in the private sector do so well. In asking whether or not we`re being effective and efficient, let`s ask a question captured by three letters. What is the ROI, return on our investment?
Because we are not in this country getting a good return on our investment. Just in terms of the dollars we`re putting into a criminal justice system that has such high levels of recidivism, that is not dealing with substance abuse as an underlying issue, mental health and illness as an underlying issue.
We have to be smarter. We have to look at what we need to do around sentencing reform. We need to ban the box. We need to end federal bans on former offenders being able to have access to student loans and housing and voting.
HAYES: Which some of that comes from the crime bill. Some of those bans were in that `94 crime bill. Bill Clinton has been on the trail, and he`s been having these sort of very intense back and forths with hecklers about that bill. Was that bill a mistake?
HARRIS: I think even he has said that there were mistakes made in the process of arriving at that bill and passing that bill. And I think history has shown us that there were significant flaws in that bill.
So the question I think becomes what do we do about it? And that`s where I enter the conversation. Let`s talk about what we need to do to reform this system, what we need to do to undo those things that did not work and actually were -- had a lot of unintended consequences.
HAYES: So in New York, right, it`s been really interesting to watch this play out, right, because someone ran for office on ending stop and frisk and sort of police reform, there`s tremendous political pressure from all sorts of different places on what that will look like. Do you think the politics have changed enough or it`s just that crime dropped?
HARRIS: So, let`s be clear, what has not changed is all people want to live in safe communities.
HARRIS: That has not changed.
And in fact, there are a lot of myths that have informed that discussion. There`s a myth that suggests that African-Americans or Latinos or people of color or poor people don`t want law enforcement. They do. They don`t want excessive force. They don`t want racial profiling, but they want law enforcement.
So, the question is not a zero sum game, it`s really about how can we be smart with criminal justice policy in a way that we distribute resources, in a way that makes sense and gets us what we want, which is public safety. That means doing a number of things. It means investing in prevention. It also means addressing another issue, which is very big and very important to be discussed, which is the issue of the crisis of confidence between law enforcement and the communities they police.
HAYES: My great thanks to California attorney general and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Kamala Harris. She`ll be on the ballot tomorrow with a bunch of other folks running for that seat that will be vacated by Barbara Boxer. You can watch my full interview with her on our website at AllIn.MSNBC.com. We talked about a lot of stuff.
Coming up, so the Associated Press is now reporting Hillary Clinton has reached the number of delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. We`re expecting Hillary Clinton to do an event momentarily. And it is unclear whether they will or will not address that, but we are going to keep our eye on that for you. We`re also going to discuss the implications of this new number from the AP, figure out what it all means right ahead. So don`t go anywhere.
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TRUMP: We had a case where we had an African-American guy who was a fan of mine. Great fan, great guy. In fact, I want to find out what`s going on with him. You know? Look at my African-American over here. Look at him.
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HAYES: Fresh off calling out, quote, "my African-American" on Friday, Donald Trump retweeted this tweet thanking, quote, "Mr. Trump for standing up for our country" which included a picture of an African-American family next to the words "American Families forTrump."
The original tweet came from pro-Trump Twitter user Don Veto, who Trump has retweeted before. In march, Trump retweeting a meme from the same account mocking the appearance of Ted Cruz`s wife, Heidi.
Now, when the new tweet went up people were obviously pretty curious who exactly was this African-American family the tweet clearly implied was giving Trump its enthusiastic endorsement? It turns out that, and brace yourselves for this one, what Trump chose to retweet was not exactly accurate, far from it.
So, who is this family? And where was this picture really taken? We`ll bring you the incredible back story in 60 seconds.
HAYES: OK, so here`s the story behind this retweet from Donald Trump which suggested the African family on the left is enthusiastically backing the presumptive GOP nominee. Turns out picture came not from, say, a Trump rally but from -- wait for it -- the Midwest black family reunion at Sawyer Point, which took place in Cincinnati last summer. The same people, same picture.
So, how did they end up on Donald Trump`s Twitter feed? As BuzzFeed points out, that picture is one of the first that comes up when you search "black family" in Google images, so it`s likely someone just grabbed it after there after that search.
The picture features Eddie and Vanessa Perry who posed at the Midwest Black Family Reunion with some family friends. Eddie Perry told BuzzFeed that he hadn`t, in fact, endorsed Trump and that the use of the picture to imply his support for Trump amounted to, quote, political propaganda.
"I`m not saying there aren`t black families who endorse Trump," he said, "however, this black family didn`t endorse anyone."
Up next, why President Obama spoke with Bernie Sanders this weekend. We`ll discuss that after the break.
HAYES: All right, this is a big bit of news we have.
NBC News is now declaring that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee. Meanwhile, Clinton is about to take the stage in Long Beach, California, which will be the first public remarks since being declared the presumptive nominee. And I want to explain why this call is being made at this moment as we`re sitting here in Los Angeles, California, Santa Monica Pier on the eve of the big penultimate day of voting in the Democratic primary.
There are of course in the Democratic Party two kinds of delegates. There are pledged delegates that are earned through votes in primaries and caucuses state by state by state, those are awarded proportionately and then there are those so-called superdelegates, those are party leaders, party elected, influential members of the party, about 15 percent of the total delegates. And they can vote for whatever they want.
We know that Hillary Clinton started with a 400 superdelegate padded lead. Yesterday there was an election in Puerto Rico that gave Hillary Clinton more delegates. What has happened in the interim, and the reason the AP has made this call and NBC News is now making this call, is that additional superdelegates have been interviewed who have pledged and committed to reporters, to our news agency, to AP, they will indeed be supporting Hillary Clinton. Those additional superdelegates are what are pushing Hillary Clinton above the 2,383 needed in total to get to the nomination.
That said I should be very clear, nothing has changed with respect to pledged delegates and there are still a lot of those at stake. And tomorrow we expect she will clinch the lead in pledged delegates, which if you`re someone who worries mostly about what the voters in the Democratic Party say, as opposed to the leaders, that is the number that has been key. It`s the number that makes it almost impossible to overturn. But right now, NBC News, due to interviews with superdelegates, is declaring that she has reached the threshold about 2,383 to be the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.
To discuss this, joining me now, Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for The Daily Mail, and we have Rebecca Traister, writer at large for New York magazine who wrote that incredible profile of Hillary Clinton.
Rebecca, I want to start with you, because this seems like the perfect example of the strange complexity of this campaign that you`ve talked about. I think the Clinton campaign probably doesn`t want this to happen right now.
REBECCA TRAISTER, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Who would want it to happen? It`s disrespectful. I mean, with respect to NBC News, it`s kind of a big troll. It`s the day before a major primary. California`s voting tomorrow. New Jersey`s voting tomorrow. They`re two big contests. I think that if you go to 2008, Hillary Clinton and her supporters would be incredibly infuriated if this had been -- if the call had been made before the final contests.
I think that there has been some care, despite the fact that it`s been contentious, to be respectful of Bernie Sanders` desire to stay in the race and the tremendous support that he`s garnered and the tremendous support he`s likely to garner in California and in New Jersey.
I mean, and also, from Hillary Clinton`s -- from the perspective of Hillary Clinton`s supporters, I think there`s something about winning through votes, which she`s doing. She`s winning the popular vote. She has won through pledged delegates so far. But there`s something about waiting for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a big day. If she does clinch the nomination, which she is expected to, and I guess we can say now she`s clinched it tonight. But this is a -- this is a historic moment in the United States. We have never nominated a woman for president before from a major party.
This is history. And I think that history is going to be made tomorrow. And it`s kind of disappointing on every side to have it sort of, you know, pulled out from under us by announcing it tonight.
HAYES: Well -- and Francesca, I want to get your thoughts on that. But I actually have on the phone now NBC News`s Andrea Mitchell who maybe can explain, Andrea, what the sort of methodology that has produced absent any voting happening today this announcement.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Well, the methodology is a conversations that are being held with superdelegates. And, frankly, the Clinton campaign did not want this to happen. This only reinforces Bernie Sanders`s arguments that the superdelegates system is rigged and unfair. She wanted it to happen on the stage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard tomorrow night, which is what she would hope to be her big victory celebration after New Jersey`s polls close.
They, in fact, didn`t want it to be announced very early, because they don`t want to suppress the vote in California where it`s a very, very tight single digit race.
So, the concern was all along that California supporters, once she nails the nomination and is the presumptive nominee, would stay home, would not come out. And obviously with Bernie Sanders looking for any advantage here, with very enthusiastic and passionate supporters of his, the concern would be that if she loses this California vote tomorrow to Bernie Sanders, he will be less inclined to drop out as President Obama, our reporting today indicates today, has argued he should to him in a phone call on Sunday.
So this really does turn things upside down. It was obviously a possibility this would happen. The Associated Press has had a very good catalog of superdelegates. We`ve been working on it as well. And they have been the gold standard for all of the networks and the other news organizations. Once they did we went back to all our superdelegates. And once you come up to this magic number of 2,383, she is the presumptive nominee according to our decision desk.
She also, by the way, I should point out, she has the majority of the pledged delegates as well.
MITCHELL: But what she has been arguing all along is that unless she has 2,383, not including superdelegates, she should not be awarded this title in a race that should continue.
HAYES: Now, just to be clear, sort of -- just so I`m clear and we`re all clear watching this methodologically here, when we say -- when we put up that screen that says 572 superdelegates what we are saying is inside NBC News organization there`s a spreadsheet that has names of 572 superdelegates who will be attending the convention who have been contacted by our news organization and who have told our news organization they will be voting for Hillary Clinton at the convention. Is that right?
MITCHELL: That is absolutely correct. And there were a number of them who did not confirm or did not want to confirm that because at the behest of the Clinton team didn`t want to go over the top tonight or earlier today, not until, later tomorrow night when she presumably won New Jersey.
HAYES: If I could just address the people watching this for a moment, including I`m sure the state director for California for Bernie Sanders campaign and the Hillary Clinton campaign, Buffy Wicks who is probably throwing things at the TV right now, if you`re watching this and you live in any of these states and you care about this, you should vote. Because the total vote number matters. Fundamentally the Democratic Party has created a system with these bifurcated delegates. They stand in strange relationship to each other in terms of small d democratic legitimacy. Ultimately, the person with most votes is going to be the nominee. It`s been pretty clear for a while that person was going to be Hillary Clinton. That is clear right now. And it will be clearer I think probably tomorrow.
But people should vote. They should participate.
HAYES: I just want to be clear about that because ultimately...
MITCHELL: The District of Columbia, Chris, should vote and their voting isn`t until the 14th of June, next week.
HAYES: That`s right, the 14th. Clinton -- I should say Clinton`s campaign manager Robby Mook just released this statement: "this is an important milestone, but there are" -- saying the same thing -- "but there are six states that are voting Tuesday with millions of people heading to the polls and Hillary Clinton`s working to earn every vote. We look forward to Tuesday night when Hillary Clinton will clinch not only a win in the popular vote but also the majority of pledged delegates."
And that I think is the key after tomorrow, after six states have voted, including the biggest state in the union here in California, Hillary Clinton, Francesca, will have almost certainly the most votes, people actually casting votes, and the most pledged delegates, will have clinched that because the D.C. primary won`t be big enough to overturn that lead.
And I think what I`m hearing from Robby Mook right now is that we`re going to see a Hillary Clinton speech tomorrow night that says, I am your nominee.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: We`re essentially stealing her thunder right now. This is the big speech that she wanted to make, as Andrea was saying.
HAYES: And she will tomorrow.
CHAMBERS: ...and she still will.
HAYES: Now, the question to me, though, is - and Andrea referenced this -- and Rebecca, you`re still there and I want to come back to you -- Andrea referenced this, so we`ve got this reporting that on Sunday the president of the United States calls Bernie Sanders. They have a phone call. We think it`s basically the president saying, so what`s your thinking, Bernie?
What does your reporting say about what the thinking is in that camp about what happens after tomorrow?
CHAMBERS: In the Bernie Sanders camp?
CHAMBERS: They`re saying they`re going to go all the way to the convention. And I would expect them in response to this to still say the same exact thing. They`ll say that she is not the nominee that doesn`t happen until the July convention, and they`re going to go all the way.
As far as the White House is concerned, I wouldn`t expect them to actually come out and endorse Hillary Clinton quite yet. I think that they`ll wait at least until the District of Columbia votes, until everybody votes. But after that point, even if at the White House today they kind of started to suggest that after that point when the primary is over, you could see the president come out and say, OK, Bernie, you`re done.
HAYES: and Rebecca, the 14th is the last day -- the day that the last bit of voting is done in this very, very long and hard-fought primary process. And one of the things you got at your piece, and it`s playing out right now, right, is the sort of the complexity of the Clinton campaign navigating, particularly the last six weeks, I would say, of this campaign of not wanting to appear to be throwing elbows at Bernie Sanders, crowding him out, alienating his extremely fervent and numerous supporters who are not a majority of voters, but are significant, and that very kind of complicated dynamic as a kind of microcosm of the larger dynamic that she`s faced in some ways from the moment she got in the race.
TRAISTER: Yeah, I think it`s really important to remember that though we`ve seen her now in two very hotly contested, passionate primary contests -- the first in 2008 against Barack Obama, and now against Bernie Sanders in 2016, we have never seen Hillary Clinton as a general election candidate. And, you know, we got our first taste of it this week with that Trump speech that I think went over very well.
But she`s been in this position where her natural base of support, Democrats, the left, whatever you want to call it, has been divided in primary contests. And she`s been running against extremely inspiring politicians who are much beloved and against whom she hasn`t really been able to hit as hard as Hillary Clinton might like to hit, because it makes her lack bad, it makes her look overly aggressive, it makes her look mean. The optics are all wrong if she gets too loud, if she gets too mean, if she goes too negative, all those things are going to rain down poorly on her if she hit the good guys -- Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.
And so we`ve never seen her in full competition mode. We`ve never seen her sort of off the leash, really going after an opponent. And we can`t be sure about what that`s going to look like, but I feel pretty certain it`s going to look pretty different from what we`ve seen of her presidentially so far, which has only been in primary contexts.
HAYES: Yeah, that is an excellent point.
You also make this point about in your piece, you talk about sort of, of course, that the opponent that it appears she will have -- again, NBC News is saying she has enough superdelegates to be the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. The writing on the wall with respect to that has been fairly clear for a bit now. I think it will probably further clarify tomorrow when six states are going to vote.
The person that she is going to likely face is almost a caricature of kind of the sort of opposite of feminism, if you can call it that. I mean, you say of course the first woman president is going to have to beat someone who literally boasted about his penis size during a debate.
TRAISTER: Yes. Donald Trump is like a parody of everything white, male, resentful and angry in the United States. And you have this historic candidacy in terms of Clinton coming on the heels of the historic presidency of Barack Obama, our first African-American president.
And I think that it`s just remarkable and seemingly sometimes inevitable that this next hurdle before Clinton gets the White House is going to be this guy who seems to be channeling not only he himself as like a Muppet of like white male anger, but his support is stemming from so much anger and so much resentment and so much fury, and some of it seemingly -- and very obviously -- about the increased opportunity and inclusion of women, of people of color. It creates this kind of civil war atmosphere around this election. And it`s just so startling, especially since Hillary Clinton`s story in the public eye and in politics has extended for so long, really over decades, it just seems so sort of narratively inevitable and perfect that this is going to be -- obviously, if she becomes president it won`t be her final hurdle, there will be many hurdles in front of her, but before taking this historic leap to the White House, should she do it, it will be over this guy, this guy who is like a cartoon of exactly the forces she`s been up against through her career.
HAYES: Bobby Riggs for president.
TRAISTER: Right, exactly.
HAYES: All right, I want to get this in. The Bernie Sanders campaign has just released this statement: "it is unfortunate that the media in a rush to judgment are ignoring the Democratic National Committee`s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not have, and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She`ll be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton..."
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