Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 26, 2017 Guest: Sherrod Brown, Francis Rooney, Julie Rovner, Philip Klein
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: -- deluge of untrue statements should have driven all of us into our boats like Noah waiting for the high sea level to drain from the city. And that`s the fact we haven`t been able to handle yet. What do you do with a President for whom basic human truth telling doesn`t actually click? That`s HARDBALL for now, thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ALL IN HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: What`s going to happen? People will die by the thousands.
HAYES: The clock is ticking on the Senate health care bill as the CBO estimates 22 million people will lose their insurance.
TOM PRICE, UNITED STATES HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE SECRETARY: The plan in its entirety will absolutely bring premiums down.
SEN. PAT TOOMEY(R), PENSYLVANIA: No one loses coverage.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S COUNSELOR: These are not cuts to Medicaid.
HAYES: Tonight, the lies being used to rush the bill through the Senate, and the chances of it actually passing this week.
Then, the Supreme Court rules on the travel ban and as the President lashes out against the Russia investigation, does this new talking point seem preemptive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What crime?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can anybody identify the crime? Collusion, it`s not a crime.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The Senate Healthcare Bill at this hour is in trouble. After being crafted in secret, the bill has finally been forced out into the open as Republicans try to pass it before they leave for recess at the end of this week. And every day the bill spends in the glare of public attention, the more criticism it attracts from just about every direction. Tonight, Democrats are planning to hold the Senate floor late into the night to protest the Republican bill which is headed for a vote with zero hearings and very little debate. But Senate Democrats are the least of the bill`s problems. Within the last hour or so, Republican Senator Susan Collins said she would vote against the bill in a crucial test vote. And after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its highly anticipated analysis of the bill, which finds that if this bill passed, 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 compared to current law.
That includes 15 million more people just next year, including 4 million with employment-sponsored insurance. By 2026, the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 million according to the CBO. Average premiums in the individual market would spike in the next couple years. And while premiums are projected to decrease starting in 2020, the crucial detail is this, deductibles and other out of pocket expenses would rise. The CBO score isn`t likely to comfort any of the Republican Senators sitting on the fence and the Senate bill`s problems don`t end there. The bill is meeting resistance at the state level with the bipartisan National Governors` Association calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to slow down what has been an astonishingly rushed process. The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a bipartisan organization of state Medicaid agencies, called the bill`s changes to the program, quote, "unworkable."
Meanwhile, a number of major health care industry groups have come out against the bill including the American Medical Association, which represents the nation`s doctors. AMA wrote in a letter to Senate Leadership, "medicine has long operated under the precept of first do no harm. The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels." The American Hospital Association announced its opposition to the bill, and according to the president of America`s Essential Hospitals, a coalition of hospitals that treat low-income patients quote, "this bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals. It will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. People will die." But after writing the bill in secret, proponents in the Senate and the Trump administration now appear to be trying to bluff their way through this one week of public scrutiny without having a real discussion about what the bill would actually do. Instead of defending the legislation on the merits, they`re attempting to mislead the public.
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PRICE: The system, the plan that we have, would put in place, would not allow individuals to fall through the cracks, would not - we would not pull the rug out from under anybody. We would not have individuals lose coverage that they - that they want for themselves and for their family.
CONWAY: These are not cuts to Medicaid, George. We don`t see them as cuts. It`s slowing the rate of growth in the future and getting Medicaid back to where it was. ObamaCare expanded the pool of Medicaid recipients beyond its original intentions.
TOOMEY: I have to strongly disagree with the characterization that we`re somehow ending the Medicaid expansion, in fact, quite the contrary. The Senate bill will codify and make permanent the Medicaid expansion.
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HAYES: Late tonight, Republican Susan Collins said she would not vote on the motion for the Senate bill to proceed citing the CBO score. And Nevada`s Dean Heller came out against the current version of the bill even before the CBO score came out specifically citing those Medicaid cuts. Four other Senators opposed the bill from the right, arguing it doesn`t go far enough in rolling back the Affordable Care Act. Some of those Senators could change their minds but Republicans can only afford to lose two votes and still pass the bill. And according to GOP leadership, that first test vote could come as soon as tomorrow. I asked Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown if he`s having conversations with his fellow Ohio Senator Rob Portman about where he stands on this Senate health care bill.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D) OHIO: Just a little bit. We talk about more about things we can work together to make happen in the state. We think very differently on this issue. I have strong support of the Affordable Care Act, he ran against it in both elections, he was elected to the Senate. So we talk about all kinds of Ohio-specific issues especially opioid treatment and addiction and what we need to do about it. And that`s - I met with a number of police officers and court officials and treatment people today, both in Youngstown today, in Cleveland yesterday, a number of people that have gotten clean from their opioid treatment, addiction and treatment and they think this is the number-one tool, Medicaid is, to fight back against opioid addiction. So, we`ll see how that goes, but I think this report today, 15 million people just like that lose their insurance, hundreds of thousands of those in Ohio. And - I mean, that 15 million is a combined population of my state and Senator McConnell`s state, Kentucky. That`s how many people will lose insurance immediately, not to mention the tax breaks to the insurance industry, the people that helped Senator McConnell write the bill. So it`s pretty outrageous, it`s pretty morally reprehensible what they`re doing.
HAYES: You know, what strikes me that the latest bill is, you`re someone that`s going to run in 2018 a state that Donald Trump won and the politics of this couldn`t be clearer for you. This is an easy call would be your beliefs aside because of what the bill`s going to do. I mean, it`s just remarkable to me that anyone thinks there`s political upside here.
BROWN: Well, I don`t - I don`t know. I think they - I guess they believe - they`ve been saying repeal and replace for so many years it`s become a mantra to them. The House did it, what, 55 times, something like that. I think you can - you can convince - human mind can convince itself of what it wants. And I don`t think many House and Senate members are getting out listening to the public. You know, Lincoln used to say, he wants to go out and get his public opinion best. The party of Lincoln hasn`t learned much from Lincoln going out and listening to voters but you go out, there`s overwhelming opposition. The young man that works the phones in my office said, he got one call today in support of the - of the repeal and literally hundreds against then. We`re seeing that all over the country. That`s why I ask people to come to sherrodbrown.com, sign my petition, we`re going to continue to organize against this right up until the vote on Wednesday or Thursday.
HAYES: All right. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thanks for your time.
BROWN: Chris, thank you. Thank you.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Francis Rooney, Republican from Florida, who voted for the House healthcare repeal bill. Congressman, I want to start on the process just because the House was criticized for a rush process. This is a bill that was written in secret, it`s going to have a lot of effects whether positive or negative and there`s one week of public debate. How is that justifiable given the stakes here?
REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R), FLORIDA: You know, there`s been so much thought written and talked about, about this disastrous ObamaCare for the past eight years that it`s kind of uniquely positioned to be acted on pretty quickly and simply.
HAYES: Right. But -
ROONEY: I can`t imagine there could be any new news about what to do here.
HAYES: Well, but then why would - why would you keep the legislative language secret and only show it to people for a week? If that`s the case, if you feel like you guys have the better part of this argument, you feel strongly about this, which clearly you do, you voted on it and there`s lots of people who feel that way. Why vote on it in a week? Why not have one hearing, a markup, or all the normal things that you folks do to legislate things?
ROONEY: I can`t really speak for the Senate and the - and the time constraints that they`re operating under. I don`t know what they`ve been talking about behind closed doors or otherwise before the bill got (INAUDIBLE) to print.
HAYES: But isn`t that - isn`t that strange?
ROONEY: Well, there`s a lot of strange things up here in this swamp, let me assure you.
HAYES: People are watching, they`re saying to themselves, look, obviously you feel strongly that the Affordable Care Act`s a bad deal for Americans; there are lots of people that feel that way on Capitol Hill. And you know, you just kind of show the cards, you have markups, you have hearings, you say this is legislation we`re going to produce, you go out, make the argument. That process has been so lacking on the Senate side, it leaves a lot of people scratching their head about what they`re hiding.
ROONEY: Well, I tell you, my job is to represent Southwest Florida and be the best Republican member I can be. And I think we did a good job of a transparent process, there were a lot of amendments, a lot of changes were made. There was no secrecy. And I`m fully comfortable with the work that the House did for the American people.
HAYES: The funniest part about this is that you - they`re going to make you vote on the Senate bill. You realize that, right? They`re going to bring that thing over and they`re going to jam it down the House caucus` throat and this process is then going to be your process because you and the House are going to have to own it.
ROONEY: Well, I don`t know - isn`t there something called a, like, a compromise committee or something when two different bills are different -
HAYES: Yes, the Conference Committee. They`re going to bypass it and they`re going to make you, Sir, they`re going to make you vote for this thing.
ROONEY: Oh, I didn`t know about that. I`ll check into that. I don`t do well with people trying to make me do anything. Let me assure you.
HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. On the substance of this legislation, the CBO report is out today and the reason that I think is relevant is the noises about evading a Conference Committee so this sort of ends up in your ambit, as it were. You know you got the CBO saying in the report, look, the problem that people point to about the Affordable Care Act, insurers leaving private marketplaces, non-group marketplaces, that problem will exist and continue to exist even if this bill is passed. It doesn`t seem to solve the fundamental problem that folks point to about the Affordable Care Act.
ROONEY: Well, see, that`s where we have a bit of a philosophical disagreement. I believe in the free market system and that if we are able to isolate the extremely high risks off to the side, if we were able to offer tax credits that allow people that aren`t on group plans to buy coverage in a competitive environment, that they`re going to have terms and deductibles that are reasonable for them. That`s what the free market should do.
HAYES: Right. So the CBO says that the majority of folks will pay more out of pocket for health care if this bill is passed.
ROONEY: Well - sorry.
HAYES: That is not what the President of the United States promised people.
ROONEY: Yes, but the CBO is nothing but a bunch of voodoo economics. I mean, look how wrong they were on the number of folks that were going to be covered under ObamaCare. They missed it by 120 percent. They said we were going to be growing over 3 percent for the past 6 years and we haven`t even hardly -
HAYES: So you - wait, I just want to be clear here because it seems like there`s a tension between the arguments made for the bill. So first of all, Tom Price appointed the man who runs the CBO. I imagine you think he isn`t a shill, you just think they`re getting it wrong, right?
ROONEY: No, what I - what I`ve been led to understand, and the Wall Street Journal has written about this, is that Peter Orszag, when he was Head of OMB, is the guy that devised a model and the model is a status model that doesn`t give credit for any modification of behavior for a free market system.
HAYES: So, here`s my question, all right, because there`s two ideas that seem to be in tension. One is, look, we believe in a free market system. The free market system is going to have winners and losers like any market does, right, we all agree. Things are expensive, you can buy them, things are not if you don`t make enough money, you can`t buy them. So there`s that at one level, right? We believe in a free market system. And the other is this idea that everyone is going to better off, that`s the argument Tom Price has made. It`s the argument the President has promised, everyone will be better off. You would agree that can`t be possible, right? There`s going to be losers here.
ROONEY: Well, I would - I would agree that everyone is going g be better off that buys insurance that will be replacing the exchanges because the exchanges are a dismal failure. As far as the Medicaid expansion hits its roll back, it`s going to be up to the states to figure out how much the Medicaid they want to pay for.
HAYES: Right but I just - I just want to be clear on this. So I want to make sure I understand where you`re coming from on the CBO.
HAYES: The CBO says people - many people will pay much more money out of pocket for worse - for worse health insurance in the individual exchanges under this plan. And that is clearly the architecture of the bill. That`s not, like, voodoo economics. The bill is clear about that.
ROONEY: Well, no, what they`re not assuming is that the competitive market will work to drive down premiums and deductibles by bringing more insurers into these markets.
HAYE: Congressman Francis Rooney thanks for making some time tonight.
ROONEY: Thanks for having me on.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Philip Klein, Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner and Julie Rovner, Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News. And Julie, I want to start with you because you`ve been - you`ve been covering health care for a while on the Hill, you`ve covered several rounds of this. What is your impression of where the state of play is right now on this legislation?
JULIE ROVNER, KAISER HEALTH NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the one hand, I think it`s a very uphill battle as we`ve been hearing for Senator McConnell to get 50 votes for this bill. We`ve got a couple of firm no`s, one more would theoretically sink it. On the other hand, a lot of people should not underestimate Senator McConnell and the other thing he has to work with is almost $200 billion that the Senate bill would save over and above what the House bill would save. So this is sort of the beginning of the negotiating for some of these Senators who`ve been saying that they`re going to hold out but not necessarily going to vote no.
HAYES: Right. So there`s two wings here. There`s Heller and Collins who are the quote/unquote, "moderate." They both represent states in Medicaid expansion. Phillip, I want to talk about Lee and Rand Paul, particularly. Both of them are saying they`re not going to vote for the motion to proceed tomorrow which is a big deal. And what their demands are and how gettable you think they are?
PHILIP KLEIN, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER MANAGING EDITOR: I think it`s going to be tough because, remember, the House bill as passed made a lot - in that bill, conservatives made a lot of concessions on the regulatory front, on the spending front and the Senate bill moved further to the left and there`s - the CBO confirmed today that there`s more spending and more taxes in that bill. So as Julie said, right now, Mitch McConnell has some money to play with to try to woo centrists but pumping more money into the bill just risks alienating the conservatives.
HAYES: Well, and it also seems to me that they want something like the MacArthur Amendment that happened in the House, right, which was the sort of offer of a state waiver and that offer of a state waiver, to waive what are both ideologically central forms of regulation and also quite politically popular. Do you think that Philip, is what they`re looking for here?
KLEIN: I think there`s more to that. I mean, keep in mind that this is a bill where to conservatives the big pitch is that it reforms Medicaid but the big Medicaid changes don`t really start to happen until the next decade and it`s not until the middle of the next decade that they`re phased in. So I think a lot of it is going to want to be - what is going to happen to really lower premiums and to try to give more assurance to them that entitlement reform is going to happen? And I think that`s the biggest central problem here is that conservatives such as myself have been arguing with sort of less conservative Republicans for years about trying to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and the argument that we always get back is, well, you know, it`s not going to be politically palatable if we get a crappy CBO score that says we lose all sorts of coverage and people are going to get thrown off of Medicaid. Well, to me -
HAYES: That`s where you are.
KLEIN: Yes, they`ve spent a trillion dollars of ObamaCare money and that`s where they are.
HAYES: This is a - this is a -
KLEIN: So the - if I could just - yes.
HAYES: A great - a great point about this is Philip, just to go to Julie on this, right, which is that the bill is, it`s sort of a weird Frankenstein monster that doesn`t do anything that either sort of wing really likes and still has generated all these extremely negative headlines and I think real substantive risks. I mean, can you imagine Julie, them, voting for something that`s going to have 50 million people kicked off insurance next year, and raise premiums next year in 2018?
ROVNER: It is kind of amazing that this is what they`ve come up with. You know, they`ve been saying for seven years that they want to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but until now, we had never seen how they would do it. And that`s because they haven`t been able to agree amongst themselves. That`s been kind of the dirty little secret all along, is that the only thing they all agreed on is they all wanted to repeal and replace ObamaCare. But when you actually get down to doing it, you discover that the Republicans have just as many divisions among themselves as the Democrats do.
HAYES: Philip, don`t you think there`s a problem for Republicans, too, with the process? I mean, it seems to me that the reason that you have a public process around this is precisely because the politics of it do matter, they matter, the substance of the creation of the thing. This idea that you`re just going to kind of, like, pull one over by like getting through the week seems like you are laying land mines for your future self.
KLEIN: Absolutely. I think if you go back and look at the Republicans` takeover the House in 2010 and their subsequent Senate victory, in areas in which maybe ideologically it wasn`t as much as a slam dunk in terms of the arguments against ObamaCare, the way that they were able to win off in was by getting the votes of independents on the process ground. The idea that -
KLEIN: - it was, you know, Scott Brown was able to win in a state that Obama had carried by 26 points a little over a year earlier in early 2010 and a lot of the focus was the idea of the sort of Washington behind closed door backroom dealing.
KLEIN: They`d be able to kind of say, of course, I want to, you know, ensure that everyone has decent health coverage but I want to do it in a bipartisan way with real open process, and that was, I think the Democrats are probably going to be able to do the same sort of thing against Republicans next year.
HAYES: And Julie, every time that anyone recalls anything from the ACA when you talk about Scott Brown, that was in November, when you talk about those angry speeches that happened on the floor about the process, those were in January, in February and March. A year and - I mean, have you ever seen legislation of this magnitude on this subject area undertake this trajectory process wise ever?
ROVNER: No, never. I mean, I`ve stood out - I`ve saw a lot of closed meetings in the Capitol and office buildings but I`ve never seen a bill that`s been done this way and I think that`s primarily because I`ve never seen a bill that actually creates more losers than winners. Often you get bills that create winners and losers but this really is a bill that helps far fewer people than it would hurt and I think the Republicans know that that`s what they`re resulting in.
HAYES: Yes, that is the fundamental issue here. Phil Klein and Julie Rovner, thank you, both.
ROVNER: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, why Republicans are being so secretive about what should be their biggest legislative achievement. Steve Schmidt on the unprecedented hidden process of the Senate Healthcare Bill after this two- minute break.
HAYES: The Republican process to pass their healthcare bill is almost impossible to properly characterize because it is so deeply bizarre. The Affordable Care Act was championed loudly and publicly by President Obama. The bill`s passage preceded by dozens and dozens of hearings, amendments, debates. The New York Times noted that quote, "the Senate Finance Committee worked on the legislation for eight days, its longest markup in two decades. They considered more than 130 amendments and held 79 roll call votes." And quote, "the full Senate debated the health care bill for 25 straight days." President Barack Obama even went to the Houses Republican Conference in January 2010 and answered questions about the bill.
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BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This is a big problem and all of us are called on to solve it. And that`s why from the start I sought out and supported ideas from Republicans. I even talked about an issue that has been a holy grail for a lot of you which was tort reform and said that I`d be willing to work together as part of a comprehensive package to deal with, creating a high-risk pool for uninsured folks with pre-existing conditions. That wasn`t my idea, it was Senator McCain`s and I supported it and it got incorporated into our approach.
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HAYES: Now, contrast to that, with the secrecy in which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell`s cloaked this health care bill and then the mad rush to pass it in a week. Every President, every politician at every level works to sell their policies. They want, usually, attention for their policy priorities because they believe the more people learn, the more people will agree with them. When George W. Bush wanted to partially privatize Social Security, he went out and he talked to voters at a string of events about his proposals. Republicans now are doing the exact opposite. They are doing this because they know that this bill is massively unpopular but they`re doing it, anyway. Joining me now, Republican Strategist and MSNBC Political Analyst, Steve Schmidt, and Steve, I want to talk to you because you`re a veteran of this sort of thing. And it really is remarkable and I`ve never seen anything like it in covering politics from Aldermen in Chicago up to the President of the United States you know, generally you go and you tell people, we`re going to try to do this and then you want to have an argument, you know you`re going to get criticized and make your case. It just seems to me that in a very deep, fundamental way, the Senate Republicans are not even attempting to make the case. They are running away from the case.
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, very clearly their strategy is that this is very unpopular, and, therefore, the less we talk about it, the less public process there is discussing it, the better off we`ll be in the long run and people won`t know about it. And I think, though, given the magnitude of the parts of the economy that this touches, a sixth of the economy, that health care affects everybody, you know, this strategy is based on a flawed premise. People will know about it. Not talking about it, not having hearings, trying to pretend that it`s not going on, isn`t effective to remedy the unpopularity of it.
HAYES: It also seems to me that there`s just so little focus on the - on the substance of the matter in terms of what that will mean. So CBO comes out to say, 15 million people are going to lose health insurance next year, you know, and premiums are going to go up, what`s the Republican plan for the what then, right? So you pass this thing, you have a big ceremony, you made good on your repeal and replace promise, but then you got to go tell people why they don`t have insurance anymore.
SCHMIDT: Look, any complex piece of legislation requires a communication strategy that`s able to break down the complex components into simple themes that express to the American people this is why this is good, this is why this is going to make your health care better. And if you watch television on this network, on other networks, there`s not a single Republican -
HAYES: That is right.
SCHMIDT: - who`s able to articulate clearly why is this going to make the American health care system better? What`s in it for you? How is this going to make your health care better? Your sick kids` health care better? And the reality is, it`s going to make health care worse and it`s going to cost a lot of money to a lot of Americans, and so because there`s no good answer, they`re hiding out on the process heading into a midterm election year where when you look at all of these special elections, I think the conventional wisdom that says, hey, Republicans have been on a streak misses the point. The Republicans have been underperforming very badly. Their historical vote returns in these special election districts. And so Republicans should tread very carefully here on something so unpopular affecting so many people heading into the midterm election where there`s likely to be a consequence.
HAYES: So here`s the $64,000 question for me. I covered the ACA and I knew, I talked to Democratic legislators who knew they were voting for something that was at the time not popular and could cost them re-election and they basically did it because they believed in the project. You know, for all its flaws, they basically thought, look, this country needs to expand coverage and get toward something of universal health care, I`m willing to do it for that purpose. What is your understanding of why Republicans are doing this? What`s the core motivation here to do something that they know is politically unpopular?
SCHMIDT: I think it`s that same genetic impulse that pulls the lemmings over the cliff one after the other. It`s not logical, it`s difficult to understand. I mean, when you look at the Democratic side and you`re exactly right about this, this was the work of generations inside the Democratic Party -
SCHMIDT: - trying to have a national health insurance plan. And many Democrats who voted for this laid down their political careers because that`s what they believed the right thing to do was and they understood the consequences going in. I think that you could go one by one through these Republicans, I don`t think any of them could tell you what`s actually in the legislation. I don`t think they can go particularly deep on it and that`s because I don`t think anybody`s gone particularly deep on it. I think there`s a real lack of understanding. I mean, how can anybody, House side, Senate side, vote to reorganize a sixth of the American economy without having a CBO score, without knowing what the cost is?
HAYES: A hearing.
SCHMIDT: How is that conservative? It`s positively radical.
HAYES: Yes. Steve Schmidt. All right, thanks for making time tonight, Steve.
SCHMIDT: You bet.
HAYES: Next, the new line of defense against possible Russian collusion, not that the President didn`t do it, but that even if he did, it isn`t illegal anyway, that after the break.
HAYES: There is a strange and notable new line of defense on the Russian election investigation. For months, the line from the President`s defenders has been there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but recently there`s been a turn toward, well, what if there was collusion?
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GERALDO RIVERA, ATTORNEY, REPORTER, AUTHOR, TALK SHOW HOST: I`ve been scratching my head about this for months. What is the crime? If the Russian KGB Chief is talking to Paul Manafort and the chief says, you know, I`ve got this dirt here that says Hillary Clinton was this and that -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there`s no evidence -
RIVERA: - and Paul Manafort says, next Wednesday, I want you to release that, that`d be great for us, that`s not. I don`t know that that`s a crime at all. What`s the crime?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve said it before, and I`ll say it again, collusion is not a crime, only in antitrust law. You can collude all you want with a foreign government in an election, there`s no such statute.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they might say as the Trump campaign representative, wow, you have that? Tell the American people the truth. Let them see it themselves. Release it. Is that a crime to release it to show the truth, to show damaging information?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Collusion, while it`s obviously would be alarming and highly inappropriate for the Trump campaign, of which there`s no evidence, by the way, of colluding with the Russians, it`s not a crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If that sounds convoluted, just wait until you hear the latest from the president, himself. That and Congressman Jim Himes of the House intelligence committee next.
HAYES: President Trump still routinely refuses to acknowledge Russian interference in the election, unless he can blame former President Barack Obama for it.
President Trump tweeting this morning, "the real story is that President Obama did nothing after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With four months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero tapes of "T" people colluding. There is no collusion and no obstruction, I should be given apology.
Setting aside for the moment the far from finished special counsel investigation into possible collusion and possible obstruction of justice, the president, despite his tweet, is apparently still not convinced that Russia interfered in the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: He believes that Russia probably was involved, potentially some other countries as well could have been equally involved or could have been involved not equally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And just to bring it full circle, that stance is reminiscent of candidate Donald Trump during the first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
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TRUMP: I don`t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She`s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don`t -- maybe it was. I mean, it would be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: ah, yes, the 400 pounder.
Candidate rump had already received a classified briefing about cyber security and the Russian attempts to interfere when he said that. And now the president is reportedly eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles when the two are in Germany for a multinational summit next month.
The idea is exposing deep divisions within the administration.
Joining me now, Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut, a member of the House intelligence committee.
Let me start with the question of collusion. When people say, oh, well, if it were the case that Paul Manafort talked to someone at the FSB about releasing damaging information of Hillary Clinton that had been criminally acquired by Russian intelligence, it`s no crime there. Do you think that`s true?
REP. JIM HIMES, (D) CONNECTICUT: Well, let me say a couple things about that, Chris. First of all, that`s, of course, a Fox News panel, and, you know, trying to evaluate whether a Fox News statement is true is like the snipe hunts that we did in Cub Scouts, you know, they`re not going to lead anywhere.
I can`t help but think that this story is here partly because we`re in the midst of learning that 22 million Americans could get thrown off their health care if the Senate bill passes. And the other thing I would say is, of course, of course it would be a crime. I mean, I listened to the Fox News statement, you know, conspiracy is a crime, maybe collusion is not, but conspiracy is a crime. Meddling in a United States election is a very serious crime.
I mean, the -- again, I almost hesitate to respond to the Fox News report, because it`s both, you know, absurd and counterproductive. But, you know, of course, if any of this turns out to be true, and let me be very clear, there are investigations underway that will determine whether there were any links or collusion. If they are, it is pretty clear that that would be some form of crime.
HAYES: You know, I want to play for you something Mike Pompeo said that was striking to me. Here`s the director of Central Intelligence, it`s his agency, of course, that was the first to sort of acquire the intelligence to say that at the highest level, that Vladimir Putin was doing this and the scope of what the Russians were up to. Here`s what he had to say about how big a deal it is or is not. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE: We have, the intelligence committee has said that this election was meddled with by the Russians in a way that is frankly not particularly original. They`ve been doing this for an awfully long time. And we are decades into the Russians trying to undermine American democracy.
So, in some ways, there`s no news, but it certainly puts a heightened emphasis on our ability to figure out how to stop them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s the director of Central Intelligence. He says it was frankly not particularly original. In some ways there`s no news. Do you agree with that?
HIMES: Yeah, I was really dishearted to hear Mike say that. Mike`s a friend of mine. I worked with him on the intelligence committee. I mean, everyone who has testified in front of our committee, including most recently Director of National Intelligence Coats, has said, yeah, you know the Russians have sort of poked around on the sidelines over time, this is not something that is unusual for them, but that this was a radically different thing, breaking into networks at places like the DNC, taking that information, timing the release of that information through organizations like WikiLeaks and D.C. Leaks, pretty much everybody who`s taken a look at this thing - first of all, there`s unanimity that it happened, which is not true, you know, that`s not a belief that`s necessarily held inside the White House.
HIMES: But of course, this is very, very different from anything that we`ve ever seen before in both its intensity and in the effect that it had.
HAYES: There`s also discussion about the sanctions bill which - it has sanctions on Iran and Russia, There`s criticism substantively on those sanctions, particularly on the Iran side, although it has had large bipartisan majorities. And there`s word that Paul Ryan and House GOP leadership is seeking to water down the Russia-related portions of the bill for the Trump administration. What do you make of that?
HIMES: Well, I mean, it`s another trip behind the looking glass, right? I mean, you know, you`ve heard the president, I guess, in one of his tweets, you know, suggest that this is no big deal and then criticize president, former President Barack Obama for not doing enough.
By the way, I happen to agree with that, you know, I think that the Russians walked away from this experience thinking that the expulsion of a bunch of their diplomats and intelligence officers and the shuttering of those two so-called diplomatic facilities was actually no big deal, kind of a slap on the wrist.
And so as somebody on that committee, I had no doubt that they are, you know, going to do something in the German election which is upcoming, and that they`re looking forward to doing this again in 2018.
HAYES: Do you really think that? Do you think they`re geared up for 2018?
HIMES: I absolutely think they`re geared up for 2018. I mean, and that`s not because I have any particular inside knowledge, but I do think that they -- if nothing else, they have created a great deal of uncertainty in the American political system for these now four months or so and I think they would love nothing better than to keep this conversation going well into and through the 2018 elections. And they can do it.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Jim Himes, thank you.
HIMES: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Still to come, the Supreme Court reinstates parts of the presidential travel ban, but they do make one big exception. Congressman Keith Ellison joins me to talk about that ahead.
Plus, first impressions in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two after this break.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, an update on the presidential power grab. We`ve chronicled President Trump`s odd and aggressive style of shaking hands. The yank and pull he uses on members of his staff as well as world leaders. But today, he welcomed a leader with his own preferred style of greeting, that would be India`s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a habit of hugging either out of personal choice or what may be his own kind of power move, Modi often opts for the embrace.
So, what happened when Prime Minister Modi met with President Trump at the White House today and what did not happen? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: President Trump welcomed India`s Prime Minister Narenda Modi to the White House today, and in keeping with the prime minister`s penchant for hugging, well, there was an abundance. Two bear hugs before cameras in the Rose Garden instead of President Trump`s typical yank and pull handshake. While the leaders of the largest democracies in the world comfortably embrace each other, notably declined to meet with the press, refusing to take questions and ignoring shouted questions.
President Trump did address the media during his remarks saying he and prime minister share a preferred method of communication with the public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am proud to announce to the media, to the American people, and to the Indian people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media. We`re believers giving the citizens of our countries the opportunity to hear directly from their elected officials and for us to hear directly from them.
I guess it`s worked very well in both cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the final day of its term by taking a somewhat strange middle path on the president`s much contested travel ban, that`s on citizens of six majority Muslim countries. The court did decide to take up the full constitutionality of the ban this fall in oral arguments as two lower courts blocked implementation of the ban on the grounds it was motivated by unconstitutional discrimination.
In the meantime, Trump`s ban will now be allowed to take effect beginning Thursday with one important exception. The court said the ban may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. These are likely people of U.S. family members or college students like foreign medical students applying for residence here.
Yet, it remains somewhat unclear how that exception will be interpreted, which is an issue that could lead to more litigation over the summer.
Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas cited that potential confusion in his dissent saying he would have let the entire ban take effect as written, and argued the court`s decision will lead to a flood of litigation over what constitutes a bona fide relationship.
Thomas was joined in his dissent by Samuel Alito and the court`s newest justice Neil Gorsuch who in his first 10 weeks on the court looks to be a very, very reliable conservative.
The president claimed victory after today`s announcement even though he didn`t quite understand it. Tweeting out, "very grateful for the 9-0 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. We must keep America safe."
Representative Keith Ellison, the country`s first Muslim member of congress, joins us next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You don`t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you? No. This ruling makes us look weak. We`re going to fight this terrible ruin. We`re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We`re going to win. We`re going to keep our citizens safe. And regardless, we`re going to keep our citizens safe, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the president back in March on the same night his revised travel ban was blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii. The Supreme Court will now be taking it up in October.
Joining me now, Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, deputy chairman of the DNC. And congressman, I wanted to get your reaction to the court`s ruling today.
REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: Well, it is set back for the cause of liberty and justice for all. There`s no doubt. I know it is a partial decision, but the right decision would be to simply not, simply uphold the lower court decisions and stand up for the right of all people to have whatever fate they choose.
I mean, there`s no doubt that these countries were picked because they`re Muslim majority countries. And it is interesting when Trump goes to places like Saudi Arabia, he seems to not want to ban everybody, you know, if they have a hotel, or if they`re rich or something, he seems to be okay with those Muslims, but the other ones who are fleeing tyranny like people in Syria, he wants to ban. And I think that`s sad and disappointing.
HAYES: You know, there`s part of that, the original formulation of that campaign statement, of course, we need a temporary pause on all Muslims coming to the U.S. so we can figure out what the hell is going on. That`s the president`s words when he was campaigning.
The figure out what the hell is going on part has been stayed by lower courts until June 12. They can now do that. Are you confident that this executive branch will in good faith undertake any kind of actual review, or do you think that will be a sham as well?
EILLISON: Well, I`m confident it will be a sham. I mean, first of all, he says that he wants a Muslim ban, then he says later on that Muslims were celebrating 9/11, which is completely untrue. Then he says that he thinks Islam hates America. All the - he has built a body of information indicating his hostility and I think it is real clear that it will be a sham and I have no confidence in it.
But here`s something even worse, though, Chris, you know, this last weekend, there were two white supremacist rallies, one was at the White House, the other was at the Lincoln Memorial. I believe that the rhetoric of the president is fueling some of the ugliest, most pernicious elements in our society. He is green lighting ugly and hate and some of these folks are getting aggressive. And we know about what happened in Portland just a few weeks ago. My take is that there is more than simply this ban at stake, it is the culture and climate of our society.
HAYES: Let me ask you, because we obviously had this horrible attempted assassination of numerous members of congress, Republican members of congress, and the person who did that had been openly espoused liberal politics, center-left politics, whatever you want to call them. And there are folks who want to make the connection between that rhetoric and violence as well.
And I - you know, I wonder do you feel like it applies in both directions, or is the president doing something unique?
ELLISON: What I think is that when the president says punch them in the face, carry them out on a stretcher, he creates a culture of incivility which sort of lets anybody who is loosely hinged to reality go off the rails. So I think...
HAYES: And he said those things as a candidate, I should note, right.
ELLISON: Yeah, did he. But you know he has not really renounced them in office, either.
So I do think that, look, I know Steve Scalise and I pray for his family every day. But I will tell you that the head of state ought to counsel civility, ought to tell people that we`re not going to allow problems to be solved with guns and with street violence. And that`s what the president should be doing, that`s not what this president is doing.
HAYES: You know, Neil Gorsuch was one of the people that wrote in dissent today. He is someone who has emerged quite a strenuous right conservative voice like Scalia. And I wonder whether Republicans must be looking at Gorsuch`s role in his first term and thinking, well, it worked out what we did with Merrick Garland, and maybe that`s the model - you`re shaking your head, but maybe that`s a model for the future.
ELLISON: Well, it is a model for lawlessness, right. I mean, look, the president of the United States has a right to nominate and the Supreme Court - and the Senate is supposed to give advice and consent based on that person`s qualifications.
The United States Senate under the leadership of Mitch McConnell failed to do that. They literally stole a Supreme Court Justice from Barack Obama.
And, you know, to me this is lawlessness, it all part of the fear that I have that the basic adherence to respect of the press, respect of judicial independence, just basic civility, we`re losing that in this era of Trump.
HAYES: So here`s my question to you, do you think right now Republicans on Capitol Hill seem to be operating with the sense that there will be no political consequences for this? They`re pushing health care bills that inordinately unpopular.
And I guess my question to you is, do you think political gravity still exists at this moment when you think about what is going to happen to these folks when they have to talk to their constituents and face voters, or can it be papered over with super PAC money and attacks on Nancy Pelosi?
ELLISON: Well, I think that they`re going to try. I think they`re in a short-term thinking they`ll get what they can from the moment they can get it and then deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. That`s what I think that they`re doing.
And I`ll tell you this, when you think that you would consider that 200,000 or so people did not have photo ID and and could not vote in Wisconsin, I mean, that kind of gives you some insight into what they think they can do here, right. I mean, if they can suppress votes around, elections are often won by one two or or three points. And, you know, they have - they - and they`ll continue to just push these programs and super PAC money. I think that they`re going to try to make - take it one day at a time and pocket every advantage they can in the meantime.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Keith Ellison, thank you.
ELLISON: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END