Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 15, 2017 Guest: Stephen Vladeck, Barbara McQuade, Betsy Woodruff, David Cay Johnston, Nick Akerman
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I said, if it`s possible, would you let me know am I under investigation?
HAYES: President Trump is under investigation.
TRUMP: First of all, when you`re under investigation, you`re giving all sorts of documents and everything.
HAYES: And now he`s attacking the investigator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in American political history led by some very bad and conflicted people.
HAYES: Tonight, as the Vice President lawyers up. Is the President still considering firing the Special Counsel? Plus, new details on where the investigation is going and why potential money laundering is part of the picture. Then, Democrats continue to turn up the heat as the secret health care bill move as long.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: The President has called Trumpcare bill from the House mean and a son of a B. Do you agree with the President that the House bill was mean and a son of a B?
HAYES: And we`ll go inside the ballpark as Republicans and Democrats come together when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. This is the scene at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., where the Congressional Baseball Game is now underway one day after a mass shooter attacked Republican practice for this very game, leaving five wounded including Representative Steve Scalise, who remains in critical condition. Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, 36 hours after being injured in the line of duty, threw out the game`s ceremonial first pitch. That`s him there. We`ll speak with two members of Congress from the game later in the show. Meanwhile, President Donald J. Trump is being investigated for possible criminal obstruction of justice. And today he attacked the integrity and character of the man who is investigating him. This as his Vice President, Mike Pence, is lawyering up. And this just in The Washington Post reporting that the Special Counsel is now investigating Jared Kushner`s business dealings. More on that in a bit.
We begin of course with the President, who appeared to go after Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the Justice Department`s Russia investigation, in a series of official statements today in the form of tweets. They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice. There`s no evidence to support the President`s claims. Indeed, new reporting suggests Mueller`s investigation is zeroing in on possible money laundering by Trump campaign officials, more on that shortly. Back to the President`s statement, however, which continued. "You are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in American political history, led by some very bad and conflicted people. #MAGA." Late Tuesday, The New York Times reported that shortly after Mueller was named Special Counsel, the President soon began entertaining the idea of firing Mr. Mueller even as his staff tried to discourage him from something they believed would turn a bad situation into a catastrophe. Asked during an off-camera briefing if the President has confidence in Mueller, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said quote, "I believe so." Adding that quote "he has no intention to make any changes whatsoever in that front." But as conservative media has started aggressively calling for Mueller to be fired, some electoral Republicans are actually defending the probe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LEONARD LANCE (R), NEW JERSEY: I support Mr. Mueller in his investigation, and I think that he will do a fine job and a thorough job and let the chips fall where they may.
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: He`s a man of integrity Mark, and he needs to be able to do his work and I think it`s better for all of us if that work continues.
MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: So it`s not a witch hunt.
THUNE: It`s not a witch hunt. No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Mueller`s probe a witch hunt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t view it that way. It`s - look, the President is going to have to go through this unfortunately because it`s going to take some time and be a distraction in some ways. But ultimately, I think at the back end of this, he and the country will be better served for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On Capitol Hill today, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified in a closed session before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the same committee where in open session eight days ago, Coats pointedly refused to say whether President Trump had asked him to press former FBI Director James Comey to back off his investigation into the President`s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. NBC News has confirmed that Mueller has requested an interview with Coats as part of his obstruction of justice investigation. Mueller also wants to talk to the Head of the National Security Agency, that`s Admiral Mike Rogers, about his conversations with the President as well as Rogers` former Top Deputy Richard Ledgett, who wrote a memo documenting a phone call between Rogers and the President in which The Wall Street Journal reports the President questioned the veracity of the intelligence community`s judgment that Russia had interfered with the election and tried to persuade Mr. Rogers to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.
Meanwhile, amidst the swirl of investigations, Vice President Pence today announced he has hired an outside counsel named Richard Cullen, a seasoned federal criminal attorney to represent him in the investigations. In a statement, Pence`s office said, quote, "the Vice President is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the President agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter." Joining me now, Barbara McQuade, who is U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan until she was ordered to resign by the President and Stephen Vladeck, Professor at University of Texas School of Law. Stephen, let me start with you. I know this is a thing that lawyers have to deal with, with clients particularly in courtrooms where you get an adverse ruling from a judge and the client wants to yell at the judge or say insulting things about the judge. And generally, my understanding is the advice lawyers give to clients is to not do that. You would imagine that`s the same advice the President`s getting from his legal counsel.
STEPHEN VLADECK, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW PROFESSOR: I think that`s exactly right, Chris. And I think especially in the case of Bob Mueller, if President Trump really thinks that trying to intimidate him in the press or through tweets or other public statements is actually going to have an impact, I think he has badly misjudged his man. I mean, this is someone who was FBI Director for you know, more than a decade. This is someone who has been around the block more than a few times. If the goal is to actually knock Bob Mueller off his game, it`s a pretty silly way to try to do it.
HAYES: Do you think, Barbara, that when you think about obstruction and you think about that framework, I imagine it`s something you`ve dealt with as a federal prosecutor. Do you feel like it makes sense, it scans to you as plausible that the facts in evidence that have been entered, the ones we know reported would lead one to at least investigate that?
BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN: Sure. I think the information we have already from Jim Comey is enough to merit an investigation, and now we`re hearing reports that maybe Dan Coats and Mike Rogers also were asked by President Trump to intervene in the investigation. And so, you know, when you have just one witness telling a story, you have made a he said/he said situation that`s difficult to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But if you can get additional witnesses all telling the same story, now you`ve got a he said/they said story which is certainly much more powerful evidence.
HAYES: You know, there`s also the tremendous irony here. And I want to play a little bit of sound here. The President at other points today was sort of reaching back to the Hillary Clinton - to Clinton in the campaign, to President Clinton`s appearance on Loretta Lynch`s plane. And you could forget the degree to which investigations and the sort of looming investigations was a core theme of the President`s campaign down the stretch. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There`s virtually no doubt that FBI Director Comey and the great, great special agents of the FBI will be able to collect more than enough evidence to garner indictments against Hillary Clinton and her inner circle despite her efforts to disparage them and to discredit them. If she were to win this election, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis. In that situation, we could very well have a sitting President under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, Stephen, to the point of constitutional crisis, I mean, what does that term mean in this context? And I mean that in terms of if there are really concrete findings by Mueller that a crime was committed here by the President.
VLADECK: Yes, I mean I think, Chris, then the question really becomes what`s the next step? You know, there`s a big debate among constitutional law scholars about whether it`s even possible legally to bring a criminal indictment against a sitting President. Historically we`ve never had to answer that question because when we`ve gotten that far, the remedy historically has been for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional obligation to pursue impeachment charges. You know, there`ve been two impeachments, neither succeeded. President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton. There was almost a third, but President Nixon resigned. Chris, I think the real question at the end of the day is not how much this actually how much this criminally implicates President Trump. The real question is as the Special Counsel investigation unfolds, at what point do the politics become so toxic for the President that Republicans in Congress begin turning against him and start talking about impeachment.
HAYES: Barbara I want to ask you, did you get an opportunity to see some of the comments Preet Bharara who`s a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York made about his interactions with the President?
MCQUADE: I did.
HAYES: You know, you were in that cohort of people that were asked to resign en masse, and we should say that that`s not totally unusual. These are appointed positions. They`re positioned by the President. They serve at the pleasure of the President. But I wonder what you made of the interactions of Preet Bharara described insofar as they seemed to track very similarly to what James Comey - James Comey described. That`s to say the President reaching out multiple times to talk to Preet Bharara apparently in ways that Bharara found inappropriately. Ultimately Bharara not calling him back and then finding himself essentially fired the next day. You were part of that cohort that was fired. What did you make of that chain of events?
MCQUADE: Well, those calls were absolutely inappropriate. I think what Preet Bharara said was the President called him a couple of times just to shoot the breeze and seemed to be trying to cultivate a personal relationship with him. When I was U.S. Attorney, we were all told there was a very strict protocol for communicating with the White House. If we were requesting some special event or something like that, there was a White House liaison, and we were to talk only to that person because we wanted to avoid any conflict whether actual or the appearance of a conflict by having direct communications with the President because there should never be any conversation whatsoever, especially about cases. So it struck me as odd. It made we wonder whether Preet`s office, the Southern District of New York had any pending investigations that might implicate the Trump business interests. And whether that was the reason he was trying to cultivate that personal interest. But nonetheless, just making those contacts was inappropriate.
HAYES: All right, Barbara McQuade and Stephen Vladeck, thanks for joining me.
VLADECK: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined by Betsy Woodruff, Political Correspondent for the Daily Beast who like almost everyone else in Washington is at the Congressional Baseball Game tonight, and Sam Seder, MSNBC Contributor, host of the Majority Report. Betsy, let me start with you. I can hear the crowd cheering there. I believe the GOP is winning at this point if my internet is correct. Here`s my question for you. Stephen Vladeck just made this point about the sort of politics of this ultimately, and I think the key question now before Republican members of Congress is would they abide the firing of Mueller? I mean Mueller does seem to me to represent a threat to the Presidency. He is actively investigating the President for the commission of a crime. We know that now.
BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, exactly. And regardless of how it seems to you, it obviously seems that way too many of the President`s allies, including Judge Jeanine Pirro, a Fox host who over the weekend had a significant monologue about how she thought - she thought that Mueller and Comey were in cahoots, trying to take down the President. So that`s definitely a perception that exists among the President`s allies.
HAYES: And do you think, I mean you`re fairly well sourced among Republicans on Capitol Hill. You`ve been interviewing them. What sense do you get about how far they`re willing to let this go in either direction? Would they stand up to the President firing Mueller or attempting to do so, or would they let it go?
WOODRUFF: You know, it`s a really good question. I think part of it depends on the way that Mueller gets portrayed, the way that he is able to defend himself, his allies defend him, over the coming weeks. You know, at this point, the White House is clearly aware that if the President were to fire Mueller, it could have tectonic political consequences. That said, I think one of the larger questions here might be, does 2018 become the impeachment election? That`s extremely plausible right now, that it comes down to do Democrats seize control of the House simply so they can try to go after the President? That`s a political calculation that`s very present in the minds of both sides on Capitol Hill right now.
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And you know, and I think the attacks on Mueller are not just about trying to get Mueller to back down in some way. I mean, I think if you start to play this out, Mueller can`t do anything except for make a recommendation to the Acting Attorney General. And then the question becomes -I mean it`s the political -
HAYES: The legitimacy of that.
SEDER: Exactly. And it`s all political, right? I mean there`s only one judge, and that the Republican Party, the Caucus in the House, assuming this happens before 2018. And so this is - I mean there`s a reason why Maga is tagged on a slag of Mueller. I mean it is to activate his base and to say basically -- I mean he is threatening those Republican House members as much as he is Mueller, it seems to me.
HAYES: Right. That - the key there, Betsy, does that make sense to you? I mean, the key here, right, is to sort of coalesce a vision of Mueller as a fundamentally illegitimate actor in the minds of core supporters as the kind of final and ultimate fallback the President has.
WOODRUFF: Right, and the challenge with that is that Mueller has been around for so long. He knows so many people, particularly in the federal law enforcement community. He has so much bipartisan support that taking him down would just be really difficult. I`ve been talking to a lot of former federal law enforcement officials over the last few days. The consensus is even though Mueller is the leadership of the FBI generated some controversy, he was seen as some rough around the edges, one person I have talked to said he would actually berate employees in front of each other. Some of the agent despite that, he`s very well regarded, very highly respected within the bureau. If Mueller were to be sort of deliberately humiliated or attemptedly humiliated by the White House, that would have major law enforcement repercussions, and with the Republican party as we know it is very, very intimately supportive of and connected to federal law enforcement community. So it`s important to remember that piece of all this.
SEDER: I mean, they may be, but I don`t think the question is whether or not taking down Mueller. I think the question is, when - if he is in a position of bringing certain charges to the Attorney General`s office, the question is do the Republicans have the space to say, I`m not so sure.
HAYES: This guy was - this guy was conflicted. He`s a bad guy. I mean, there`s a few other bits of data to add here, right? Mueller was - we learned today, interviewed at the White House the day before.
HAYES: Right, to be the FBI Director. So in terms of what they thought of him before he got appointed to this, clearly -
SEDER: And we already got a preview of what Paul Ryan would say, right? It`s OK, Mueller has made the decision that his intent was to obstruct, but maybe President Trump just didn`t realize that`s not the way things worked. I mean, there`s - they`re creating wiggle room, so - and they`re doing it on all different sides of this.
HAYES: We should - we should also say this, Betsy.
WOODRUFF: Additionally, though, President Trump realized that there are certainly controversial conversations between law enforcement officials and the White House during the campaign when he lambasted Loretta Lynch for the conversation she had with Bill Clinton.
HAYES: Exactly. Right. Which he again did today in a tweet. And we should also note - I don`t want to get ahead of the facts here like there`s an assumption that Robert Mueller is going to return a recommendation of charges they`re finding, in fact, he may well say, look, there was nothing here and the President, I want to clear his name and this the definitive of doing it. The thing that makes that hard to envision is simply the behavior of the White House, which instead of behaving in a way that says, I`m glad it`s Robert Mueller. They guy, I trust that this person will find the truth which is that there was no obstruction of justice and no collusion and I`m clean as whistle and I look forward to him saying that. That is not what they`re saying.
SEDER: No, they`re not acting that way. I mean, one explanation could be just that Donald Trump feels so insecure still about the election, which -
HAYES: Which is totally plausible.
SEDER: Plausible and in many respects, just as disturbing. And it could also be there are other things that are out there. It may not be about collusion for the White House.
HAYES: I will say this, Matt Yglesias had a line today where he said, everyone who is looking at the President, looks like - it looks like why are you incriminating yourself and clumsily covering things up. But Yglesias made the point. The President is the only person that knows what he did.
HAYES: So, that`s an important thing to keep in mind when reading his behavior. Betsy Woodruff and Sam Seder, thank you, both.
SEDER: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Sure thing.
HAYES: We`ll be returning back to that game in a bit. Ahead, the widening scope of Robert Mueller`s investigation that started with potential collusion with Russia, expanded to possible obstruction of justice by the President, and now the words money laundering are being invoked. The latest on where this investigation is headed after this two-minute break.
HAYES: We already knew that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Russia`s interference in the 2016 election and any potential ties to U.S. persons in the Trump campaign. Now we Know Mueller is looking at whether the President himself broke the law by trying to obstruct that Russia probe. But this is key, that`s not all. Buried in the final paragraph of The New York Times report on the obstruction inquiry was the following revelation. A former senior official says Mr. Mueller`s investigation was looking at money laundering by Trump associates. The suspicion is that any cooperation with Russian officials would most likely have been in exchange for some kind of financial payoff and that there would have been an effort to hide the payments, probably by routing them through offshore banking centers.
There`s already been a lot of reporting on some unorthodox financial dealings by the President`s one-time Chairman - Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and on the undisclosed foreign payments received by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Both men have been described by key figures in Mueller`s investigation. Some of the President own ventures have been known to run afoul of money laundering laws. In 1998 for example, the Trump Taj Mahal had to pay a $500,000 fine to the Treasury Department after breaking anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation according to the IRS in a settlement agreement. Special Counsel Mueller has been putting together a crack team of investigators, many with experience handling financial crimes including - according to Wire Magazine - a Justice Department Trial Attorney named Lisa Page, who has deep experience with money laundering and organized crime cases.
And now, top this all off. According to The Washington Post, Mueller is investigating the business dealings of the President`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well. I`m joined by Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist David Cay Johnston, Columnist for the Daily Beast, founder of dcreport.org and Nick Akerman, former U.S. Attorney and Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor. David, let me start with you. I should read the Kushner attorney statement just to get this on the record. We do not - "we do not know what this report refers to. It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russia. Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about Russia-related matters. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry." What do you make of this reporting? Real estate is a business that lends itself to complex financial transactions that often can be quite easy to hide from prying eyes.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, THE DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Yes. Understand that Donald has a long, long history of being involved in transactions that are hard to trace and to understand what he`s doing. When Trump tower was built, it was one of only two buildings in Manhattan of its kind where anonymous wealth could buy into them. Now it`s all over the place. But back then - and he was able to charge premium prices. And there have been a number of transactions with Russians, and I think it`s financial actions where Donald has always been much more vulnerable. Right now there is a case going on in which he`s alleged to have authorized what is described as a quarter billion dollar tax fraud. That money disappeared from New York to Iceland into a bank that was under the control of a Russian oligarch.
HAYES: So, well, that`s interesting. Nick, I wanted to talk to you. I thought of having you on tonight because, you know, when we go back to Watergate, and again there`s no perfect template for what`s happening now, but there is the famous follow the money line. And people do tend to forget that that was really the thread, right? That Nixon had to get this money and get it to the people that were up to the high jinx as it were. And that was sort of the key part to cracking the case.
NICK AKERMAN, WATERGATE ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: That was part of the case, all right? But I think what`s interesting here is that you can`t look at the obstruction and the following the money as two separate items. You`ve got to ask yourself, people who obstruct justice, they do it because they`re trying to hide something. And so what you`ve got to ask yourself here is what is Trump trying to hide? Do you really he was asking Jim Comey out of the goodness of his heart because he loves Michael Flynn to just drop the case on Michael Flynn? There is something that Michael Flynn knows about Donald Trump that has President Trump extremely nervous.
HAYES: So, I mean, this gets to the key point, right, which is it always has seemed to me the case that it`s possible that the President`s campaign and no one in his orbit colluded with the Russians on this and also the President of the United States does not want someone with subpoena power investigating his business practices, right? I mean, can`t that also both could be plausible here?
AKERMAN: It`s plausible but not totally because if you look at what Flynn was doing, he was meeting with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign. He was meeting with the Russian Ambassador after relating to the sanctions on Crimea.
HAYES: And lying about it.
AKERMAN: And lying about it.
AKERMAN: And it`s amazing how they all came down with this amnesia at the same time. But the question is, do you really think that Flynn was going to the Russians, talking about these sanctions without Donald Trump knowing about it?
AKERMAN: I mean here`s a guy who grew up in the cold war as Russia was the arch enemy. Do you think he would do that without Donald Trump`s knowledge and consent? And if that`s so and he was doing criminal acts relating to the Russians and it all related to all of these financial dealings that Donald Trump had in Russia, which we don`t know anything about, I mean maybe, maybe that is what he`s trying to hide.
HAYES: And he also - David, it also strikes me he has now a Ken Starr problem. Andi say that with all of the - all of the sort of political valence that has, right, because Ken Starr famously starts on an Arkansas land deal and ends up with an intern with whom the President of the United States had a sexual relationship. And the two had nothing to do with each other but for the fact that Ken Starr was digging around. The President, it would seem to me, given the vastness of the - of sort of holdings he has and the complexity, now really does have a Ken Starr problem.
JOHNSTON: And he`s got as his pursuer in Mueller, someone who, because he ran the FBI longer than anybody except for J. Edgar Hoover, has deep knowledge of how you can see the entanglements between financial matters and the Russian efforts to influence and disrupt Democracy in the west and in the U.S. and put those together in a way that will make sense. Clearly, there`s something deep and dark that we do not fully understand. Maybe something we don`t understand at all that Donald feels must be kept under wraps.
HAYES: I will respectfully dissent from that judgment. There`s not clearly something deep and dark at least to my - to my mind. I remain agnostic and open about it. But I will ask you this, Nick. What is the time frame here? The President - the talking point circulated by the President is this is a witch hunt. They`ve already been going at it for so long. They`ve come up with nothing. Do you think it`s evidence of the President`s innocence and the people around him that they have not found anything definitive yet?
AKERMAN: Not at all. Just take what happened with Watergate. The burglary happened on June 17th, 1972. Cox was appointed as Special Watergate Prosecutor May 23rd of1973.
AKERMAN: Nixon didn`t resign until August 8th of 1974. There may be a 24- hour news cycle now, but there is not a 24-hour legal cycle. The legal process takes time. It takes effort and a lot of dogged determination and work.
HAYES: David Cay Johnston and Nick Akerman, thank you, gentlemen.
Coming up, Republicans and Democrats are right now playing their annual Congressional Baseball Game. I love how professional it all looks. It looks like an actual baseball game. In the wake of yesterday`s horrible attack, we`ll have the latest on that after this quick break.
HAYES: Tonight at Nationals Park, Democrats and Republicans are facing off in one of the last great bipartisan traditions in Washington, the Congressional Baseball Game. Tonight`s game taking on special meaning, of course coming one day after a shooter attacked a Republican team practice. Among the wounded, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who remains in critical condition but according to the hospital has improved from yesterday. The Congressman will need additional operations and will remain hospitalized for a while. Representative Cedric Richmond, pitcher for the Democratic team and a friend of Scalise said the Republican is doing well so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: It`s no secret that it hit us, it`s no secret that the bullet split up and that vital organs were hit. The good news is that all of the surgeries so far have been successful. Steve is under heavy sedation, and he`s been in surgery, I think, all of the three times that I`ve been there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Two U.S. Capitol Police Officers were also hurt. Special Agent Crystal Griner was shot in the ankle, and Special Agent David Bailey, seen here throwing out the night`s first pitch tonight. It was reportedly struck by shrapnel. Yesterday, lobbyist Matt Mika remains in critical condition after being shot several times, his family said today. And Congressional staffer Zack Barth was treated for a gunshot to his leg, and he thankfully is now out of the hospital, as is Congressman Roger Williams of Texas, who injured his ankle during the shooting. When we come back, we`ll go live to Nationals Park where Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, Republican Representative Lee Zeldin will join us after the break.
HAYES: The congressional baseball game is in full swing at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. tonight where you don`t need the CBO to tell you -- who wrote that? Where you don`t need the CBO to tell you the score is 7-2. Democrats are ahead.
Ticket sales for the annual fundraising event skyrocketed following yesterday`s shooting at a Republican practice with over 20,000 tickets sold as of this afternoon raising more than a million dollars for several charities including the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
And joining me now from Nationals Park, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Democrat from California, and Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York.
It`s great to see you there, and I imagine it`s an extremely emotional atmosphere there, Congressman Zeldin tonight, we watched the moment of silence. We saw David Bailey, the Capitol Police Officer, throw out that first pitch. What`s it been like?
REP. LEE ZELDIN, (R) NEW YORK: Absolutely. And it`s bringing everyone together. You know, singing the National Anthem, seeing David Bailey come out for the first pitch, there`s a tremendous amount of pride for our country. We were all tested yesterday morning in ways we`re tested every day, but we`re all coming together here for our national pastime. Unfortunately, the Dems are beating up on the Republicans pretty badly on the field.
REP. BARBARA LEE, (D) CALIFORNIA: That`s OK, Lee.
ZELDIN: I think the Dems are up 7-2, as you mentioned. Not good. Not good at all.
HAYES: Congresswoman, you know, it was such an awful scene yesterday and so shocking, I think, to everyone. I just wonder how you`re processing it tonight and whether you feel like since you started this -- and you`ve been doing this for a little bit now -- do you feel more threatened personally than you used to?
LEE: Well, first let me just say everyone, of course, is on an emotional roller coaster right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve, are with all of those who were hurt in this horrific tragedy yesterday, and also coming from the Bay Area, I have to really again remember and pray for those who lost their lives in San Francisco.
HAYES: that`s right.
LEE: And so, you know, it`s a moment to reflect, it`s a moment to really remember who we are as a country and that, in fact, we can have different points of views, but hate speech and actions that lead to violence are just unacceptable. Violence should not be an option. We should engage in our debate in a way that`s healthy and stay true to who we are, but also understand that we must stay unified as a country and really make sure our democracy works.
HAYES: You know, that line, to me, is really important, right, because people talk about the tone, they talk about - but at some level, part of what makes a country great and has from its very beginning, which some of the most brutal rhetorical political fights from John Adams and Jefferson on was, you know, we mix it up in the public sphere in America.
And Congressman Zeldin, how do you sort of understand holding on to that and, at the same time, looking for sort of a vision of civic purpose and unity that isn`t quite as toxic as the one we have now?
ZELDIN: Well, I think disagreement is beautiful, and it should be encouraged, it`s part of what makes our nation the greatest nation in the world is when we debate ideas and we have a better solution because of it.
But there is a way to disagree. and Barbara Lee and I might disagree on issues. We might be able to debate what we think is the way to solve problems facing our constituents and our country, but I would be -- my heart would be torn if something happened to Barbara Lee.
We`re all a family here. You know, there are liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans, and many people in between, but we care about each other. We talk to each other. We know about each other`s families and we know each other`s passions on issues.
What`s not to answer is to advocate for violence against someone, to tolerate violence against someone, or to actually obviously as we saw yesterday morning, carry it out.
HAYES: Barbara, I want to just take a moment. We got to see David Bailey throw out that pitch, which was a surprise. He was on crutches. You know, Crystal Griner (ph) and David Bailey, who are the two Capitol Police Officers who happened to be there who put themselves in the line of fire, I mean, I just think about the scope of the even greater catastrophe that those two saved all of us from not just in terms of people being killed, but just what could have happened if not for them.
We all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.
LEE: The Capitol police officers go way beyond the call of duty, and we have to salute their heroic efforts. They protect us each and every single day. I have personal experience with the Capitol police, and it`s really an unbelievable experience because you see each and every day these men and women living up to their oath of office, living up to their duty.
And the courage they display -- hopefully we can learn a lesson from their bravery and their courage and be better members and be more courageous members and really understand that we have to do our job based on the oath of office that we took in a way that honors our democracy.
HAYES: Yeah, David Bailey, Crystal Griner, we all of us owe you just an unbelievable debt of gratitude. Congressman Lee Zeldin and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, or I like to call them, Barbara Lee Zeldin, thank you very much for joining me together. Enjoy the rest of the game.
ZELDIN: Thanks, Chris.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, still to come, Senate Republicans continue to craft their health care bill in complete secrecy. How their plan to move forward and what the resistance is planning in its wake coming up.
Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two after the break.
HAYES: Thingt One tonight, the White House has had a complicated relationship with the Prime Minister of Australia and not just with pronouncing his name, Malcolm Turnbull.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president had a very cordial conversation with Prime Minister Trumble (sic). While he has respect for the Australian people and respect for Prime Minister Trumble (sic), we have a tremendous amount of respect for the people of Australia, for Prime Minister Trumble (sic).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Sean Spicer in early February answering questions about a reportedly aggressive phone call President Trump had with Prime Minister Turnbull, allegedly telling America`s ally, this was the worst call by far that day as well as badgering, bragging, abruptly ending the call with him less than halfway through.
Now, their relationship seemed much improved by last month when the two met just hours after the president celebrated the House health care bill in the Rose Garden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: Well, congratulations on your vote today.
TRUMP: thank you very much. That was great. Big day.
TURNBULL: big day. A big day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: How did the prime minister really feel during that meeting?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TURNBULL: It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting me at ease ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: More of that new leaked audio of Prime Minister Turnbull is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Today, an Australian news network released leaked audio of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaking to journalists in what was supposed to be an off the record dinner. In his remarks, the prime minister offered a bit of parody of President Trump.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TURNBULL: The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls.
We are winning so much. We are winning like we have never won before. We are winning in the polls. We are. We are. Not the fake polls, not the fake polls, they`re the ones we`re not winning in. We`re winning in the real polls, you know, the online polls. They are so easy to win. Did you know that? I know that. Did you know that? I kind of know that. I know that. They are so easy to win.
I have this Russian guy. Believe me, it`s true. It is true.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: In a radio interview today, Prime Minister Turnbull called the leaked audio a breach of protocol, but added it was a good-humored roast.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TURNBULL: The butt of my jokes was myself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Donald Trump.
TURNBULL: Oh, I wouldn`t -- well, I wouldn`t say that. I think it was more a -- it was more good-natured than that, I think. But, listen, it`s fun. You`ve got to have a laugh. We`ve got to lighten up. Stressful business, politics, Tom. Got to be cheerful.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate Democrats held a press conference today attacking the Republican health care plan, and after senators detailed some of their complaints, the very first question and answers were telling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The secrecy with the Republicans bill, you don`t know what`s in there right now (inaudible) is that right?
SEN. RON WYDEN, (D) OREGON: We were discussing this yesterday, and there was discussion about there was a partisan divide with respect to this issue. And I said, you don`t have a partisan divide when you`re talking about being able to read a piece of legislation.
SEN. MAGGIE HASSAN, (D) NEW HAMPSHIRE: And what we know is what we kind of read in the press about what some of our Republican colleagues are telling all of you, but that`s what we`re really reacting to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And therein lies the brilliant deviousness of the Senate strategy. Senate Republicans are negotiating entirely in private, because if their bill is anything like the House version, it will be full of very unpopular provisions, and they don`t want those provisions public before a vote.
In fact, it`s unclear who does know what`s in the bill since the Senate finance committee chairman, Orrin Hatch, a member of the Senate health care working group of 13 Republican Senators claims he doesn`t even know.
Bloomberg News reporter Saquil Kapour (ph) tweeting, "reporter asked what`s in Senate health bill, saying public doesn`t know. Well, join the crowd. I`m in the same category," says Orrin Hatch.
This morning, Senator John Thune, another one of those 13 Republican Senators was almost equally vague.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE, (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: Right now it`s discussions. It`s policy options, and I think, getting to the point where we`ll reduce it this to legislative language, at which point it will obviously openly shared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, just to be clear this is insane and unprecedented. They`re talking about the sixth of the economy and no one knows, apparently not even the 13 people negotiating it, what they`re doing.
So, it appears to me the strategy that Senator - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has cooked up, craft the bill in secret, drop it on the public, try to jam it through. The movement to resist that effort is now ringing the alarms as loud as they can. Naomi Klein and Heather McGee join me next.
HAYES: Joining me now Naomi Klein, author of the new book "No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump`s Shock Politics and Winning the World we Need;" and Heather McGee, president of the public policy organization DEMOS.
I don`t often use public policy as an adjective.
So, the book, which I have started, which is basically the thesis of which I think in a broad sense the stuff of politics, right, like it`s not enough just to say no, you have to sort of give people an alternate vision, a world to aspire to. But it also sort of seems to me like my lesson of the Republican Party from 2010 to 2016 was like no was enough. Like, they just said no and they won and won and won and won and won, so like maybe no is enough.
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR: enough for what?
KLEIN: You know...
HAYES: Winning power.
KLEIN: Well, I disagree. I mean, I think the Democrats have a problem with galvanizing their base. I think we just saw with the British elections that what really turned things around was an exciting vision of the future that made people register to vote in record numbers, 75 I think youth voter turn out, because they were voting for something tangible, a future that was better than the present.
But, look, one of the reasons why no was not enough under Trump is that if we are fighting purely defensive battles all of these years and even if we were to win every single one, which we won`t. We know that`s not going to happen, then the best case scenario, we end up where we were before Trump, which was the ground that produced Trump, which was dangerous. It`s dangerous on many, many fronts.
I mean, the crisis - these crises predate Trump. You know, I`m very involved in the climate issue. And we can`t afford these lost years of just holding where we were before Trump. There needs to be a yes woven into the no. I`m not saying no...
HAYES: Right. No, of course.
KLEIN: No is absolutely necessary, but I think you can do two things at once.
HAYES: Well, and part of it, so I think in terms of like the galvanizing question, right, and I think Corbyn is interesting because in some ways it`s such a different system in a lot of ways and the levels of turn out there are higher anyway.
But in the context of American politics one of the things we saw during the Tea Party and we are seeing now is there is something galvanizing to opposition itself. It`s part of the structural nature of the sort the polar pendulum in American politics that it`s like when you feel like your people aren`t in power that`s when you`re paying a lot of attention, and that can also be a problem for exactly the reasons Naomi said, right, because then it`s hard to carry people through other than opposition.
HEATHER MCGEE, DEMOS: Well, I think at least what we are seeing right now is the real need for what DEMOS is calling a visionary opposition, one that is saying what we are against, but also at the same time saying what we are for.
And the reason why is that if we look at the formula, the path to power for Democrats, it goes to through the base. It goes through frankly 100 million people who stayed at home. It goes through the people who right now are saying that the status quo in our economy and our politics is simply not serving them, and the people that is most operative for is the progressive base, single women, young people who are drowning in debt, economically struggling families of all races, people of color, and immigrants.
So, the idea that in 2016 we could have had a status quo message, at a time of record economic inequality, was folly. And the idea that the sort of current political confines of the Beltway are enough to really solve the problem of record economic inequality is even more folly.
HAYES: I think also like you talk about this and some of you write about and I`m sort of disposed to believe this anyway from where my politics come from, but I think descriptively is like there is this huge ideological exhaustion at the center of all kind of western OECD projects, which is like what`s the project we are building here? There was this sort of neoliberal and the sort of Reagan/Thatcher Revolution, and now you can just see it.
I mean, Donald Trump just had work force development week, OK? This is a guy who went around the country being like I will bring back your jobs, Youngstown, because that was a good message, like I`m going to to crack down on trade, and in 145 days he`s been reduced to work force development. It`s like that to me this symbolizes this ideological exhaustion. It`s like what`s the solution to make people`s lives better?
KLEIN: But I mean, this is a real problem if the strategy as we heard earlier in the show for 2018 is just run on impeachment, vote for Democrats so they can impeach Donald Trump, because that is pretty much the same message. I mean, it`s digging in deeper on the message of fear. Vote for me because I`m not him, you know? And I don`t see how that`s going to turn out any better.
And I think people want to be inspired. Sure, the UK is a different system, but turns out people are still worried about wanting good health care and young people are still worried about graduating in massive debt and being inspired by green jobs and getting to 100 percent renewable energy, it`s not a different system.
HAYES: It is interesting, though, it`s also interesting that in Georgia right now where there is this election, right, and John Ossoff is running in this Republican district, and he`s like a moderate, right he`s sort of self-sized interest. He really is hammering health care above the Russia stuff.
Like even in that context from the feedback he`s getting, that to him is what he`s leading with.
MCGEE: Well, health care is something that feels very, very tangible, because 23 million people could lose their health care.
HAYES: Which is why they are hiding it. It`s why they`re hiding it.
MCGEE: I do want to go back to this point, though, about the jobs question, because there is actually a vision that the congressional progressive caucus has put out in the congress and then actually in the Senate, Sanders and Schumer, for actually a good version of a jobs and infrastructure plan that would create millions of jobs. So, they are saying no to Trump`s phony Wall Street give away of an infrastructure plan and yes to a Democratic vision.
HAYES: Yeah. People in politics have to think you are going to improve their lives. And what I think is interesting right now is Trump did make that promise, right.
KLEIN: I would argue that no really does matter.
KLEIN: And the no just around Russia as opposed to the no of this whole giveaway...
HAYES: All right, Naomi Klein, Heather McGee, thank you.
That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END