All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 6/29/2017 WSJ: GOP Opr. sought Clinton Emails from Russ. Hackers

Guests: Michael Isikoff, Dan Rather

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 29, 2017 Guest: Michael Isikoff, Dan Rather

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: When they don`t appreciate the rank of their own office. There`s not much more to say, is there? And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Russia if you`re listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.

HAYES: The first concrete evidence that Trump associates may have engaged in collusion with Russia.

TRUMP: I mean, it could be Russia but it could also be China, it could be lots of other people.

HAYES: Then,

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: I just don`t know why the Republicans, they can tolerate almost anything.

HAYES: Republicans try to distance themselves.

PAUL RYAN (R-WI) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Obviously I don`t see that as an appropriate comment.

HAYES: As President Trump once again shows -

TRUMP: Come here, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press. Where are you from?

HAYES: You got what you voted for.

TRUMP: I moved on her like a (BLEEP)

HAYES: Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders on the Secret GOP health care deal and a year and a half after this.

TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

HAYES: The ban goes into effect this hour.

REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: I believe there`s going to be a whole series of lawsuits that now happen.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Big breaking news tonight, the strongest evidence yet of possible collusion between a member of the Trump campaign and Russian hackers. The Wall Street Journal out with a story detailing how a GOP operative and fund-raiser sought to get Hillary Clinton`s stolen e-mails from Russian hackers while implying that he was connected to none other than Michael Flynn. The story says this Republican operative, Peter Smith embarked on a campaign before the election to get his hands Clinton`s e-mails, which were deleted which he believed had already been stolen by the Russians. Smith died in may but he discussed his effort on the record with the Wall Street Journal before he passed away. Now while seeking the e-mails, Smith reportedly intimated he was working with Michael Flynn, Trump`s former National Security Adviser who was a key figure in the Trump campaign and now a central target in the Russian investigation.

Flynn did not respond to a request for comment by the Journal but there`s another huge revelation to this story that may or may not be related to Smith. The journal citing U.S. officials reports and investigators, and this is the most important paragraph, have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain e-mails from Mrs. Clinton`s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary. We do not know if Smith was that intermediary or whether Flynn knew what was apparently going on being discussed. But The Journal notes, the reports detailing the Russian hackers` discussions were compiled during the same period when Mr. Smith`s group was operating. Last July of course, you might remember, the President Trump directly asked Russia to hack into Clinton`s e-mails.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Russia if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now, Yahoo! News Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff who has been all over the Flynn story. And I got to say, Michael, this story in the Wall Street Journal is both confusing and opaque in certain ways but also, and I would be curious to get your response to this, the closest reporting has come to detailing an actual nexus between the efforts by Russian hackers to hack into DNC computers and anyone in the order of the Trump campaign.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO! NEWS: Well, let`s see, a couple things. First, I think you`re right to play that clip from last July in which the President is encouraging the Russians to obtain e-mails because this story could put some additional context for why that statement was made. If indeed, Flynn was aware of what Peter Smith, the political oppo Chicago private equity executive was up to. But that said, you know, it is very murky like so much else is in this story. It`s not clear if Smith ever got any e-mails at all. There were some e-mails that he was - any real e-mails. These e-mails I can tell you were being shopped around -

HAYES: Right.

ISIKOFF: - and offered by folks who may have been connected with Russian hackers. And this dates back to even before Mr. Smith began this effort.

HAYES: That`s right.

ISIKOFF: I`ve done some reporting myself on this and you know people were aware. But nobody was really sure whether they were legitimate or not. And in fact, even in the story, it says that the e-mails that were - that Smith`s folks did get were then - they couldn`t verify them, they turned them over to WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks never used them. So this all could have been some sort of hoax by folks. I mean, that`s you know, sort of one cautionary note on this.

HAYES: Yes, and so, I want to be clear about what`s going on here. Mr. Smith who was - since deceased, he was an active figure in funding investigations of Bill Clinton back in the day that were quite frankly, wild goose chases. He`s a - you know, a conservative rich guy who is sort of doing freelance oppo here and thinks to himself, maybe the Russians have those e-mails that were deleted off of Hillary Clinton`s server because she said they were - they were pertained to personal things, goes on this fishing expedition. All of that aside, that paragraph in the Wall Street Journal article really made my eyes open that there are intelligence reports that Russian hackers are discussing providing them to Flynn through an intermediary. That`s significant development it strikes.

ISIKOFF: Right. And that caught my attention as well. That was a new formulation of multiple reports we`ve had about intercepts of people in Russia intelligence agency reports. But again, just want to put up some cautionary notes here.

HAYES: Sure.

ISIKOFF: You know, we don`t know who they`re talking about, was having these conversations. We don`t know how valid or strong the intelligence is. What the - you know, if these were intercepts, what people were actually saying. I mean, I think the most significant part of that is that they were specifically talking about getting them to Flynn and that takes me back to - you know, an observation I think, you know, we`ve talked about before. Which is that Flynn is such a central character in this whole investigation.

HAYES: That is right.

ISIKOFF: And you know, he has invoked his fifth amendment rights, he`s asking for immunity, he hasn`t gotten immunity but until Flynn is put under oath and forced to testify or reaches a deal that gets his testimony, we may never get the answers to a lot of this.

HAYES: Yes. Although what this - and I completely agree that and the caution I think is well noted. Again, there was sort of - we`re always sort of waiting for this fog here. But the significance of Flynn has strikes me as precisely what you say. I mean, this is someone who we know has some possible criminal liability exposure in terms of what he said to FBI investigators about his conversations with Kislyak. He`s the one who was fired, he`s the one who lied about his conversation with Kislyak, he`s the one who you know, who omitted disclosures about all of this. So he is - he`s always at the center of this - of this sort of story. And he is also - we should note, the person that the President of United States wanted to protect according to multiple reports and into the under oath testimony of James Comey that the President asked him to lay off Flynn which also strikes as significant.

ISIKOFF: Right, exactly. Go back to the obstruction investigation which is read all the President was you know, that he - the President talks to Comey, asks him to go - let Flynn go. You know, Comey doesn`t agree, Comey gets fired. That is - any way you cut it, is a suspicious set of circumstances. Bob Mueller is absolutely right to be questioning to everybody. But it does raise the question, what did the President know about Flynn -

HAYES: Michael Flynn?

ISIKOFF: - or Flynn have on the President.

HAYES: That is the central, Michael Isikoff, thanks for being with me.

ISIKOFF: Sure now.

HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC Contributor, former FBI Double Agent Naveed Jamali, and MSNBC Terrorism Analyst Malcolm Nance. And so there`s two striking things about this story to me that seem clarifying. And again, what we know is what Peter Smith told this reporter which is on the record, right?

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORIST ANALYST: Right.

HAYES: I mean, he was digging this dirt. He was basically thinking to himself, maybe we can expose Hillary Clinton having lied about what was personal and what was official in those e-mail she deleted and the Russian hackers have it because you know, they got into the DNC, right? What it made me think was, well, maybe other people had that idea and maybe people like the President of the United States who explicitly said it or people in his circle have that idea.

NANCE: Well, I thought that his July 27th statement of Russia, if you`re listening, please release Hillary Clinton`s 30,000 e-mails.

HAYES: Which is a profoundly bizarre statement that he then reiterate with an interview with Katy Tur.

NANCE: But it appears that it was informed - it may be in part by this. There may have been multiple track teams trying to run this down but there`s an interesting little fact I wrote in that book --my book, The Plot to Hack America. In April, Judge Napolitano of Fox News talked on air about Russia having an argument at the highest levels of the Kremlin because they had hacked Hillary Clinton`s 30,000 e-mails and were debating releasing them. And I thought from April to July, that conversation going around between you know, dirty tricks political operatives and dirty tricks political operative went to stone but I thought it was all in the stone`s camp. It appears that there were multiple people that were looking for that.

HAYES: But we should -

NANCE: And now we have Flynn named by Russian - maybe Russian cyber militias, Russian criminal militia hackers or even Russian intelligence hackers as having been a nexus to get this information.

HAYES: As impossible intermediary. We should say these are (INAUDIBLE) reports, we can`t verify the

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: Right. But - and Naveed, this also goes to something we`ve been talking about. Because to me, there`s so much reporting about the sort of degrees to which there are these Russian connections, there`s been this bizarre pattern of deception frankly about contacts with the Russians. But this very simple idea that maybe people were just thought, oh, we can expose Hillary Clinton. They got into the DNC server, maybe they got in there, maybe we should figure out that we could go talk to them about getting these e-mails. That`s a much clearer set of sort of - a much kind of clearer causal theory than anything that is been on the table previously.

NAVEED JAMALI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER FBI DOUBLE AGENT: I completely agree with you, Chris. I mean, this isn`t opaque to me. And I think as Malcolm can attest to, look, in the intelligence world, most people, you sometimes wear a uniform. And I think when you start looking in this, you`re going to find connections that are not so clear. When it comes to plan an intelligence operation, there is obviously the mission but then there`s the second part of it which is protecting attributions. So you always want to have this compartmentalization. You always want to have this level of non-attribution. And what we`re seeing here Chris, is exactly how that works out. You have hackers that potentially could be connected to Russia may not be. And the trail on one level, from an evidentiary standpoint, may be murky but from an intelligence perspective, that is - boy, that is the fingerprints of an intelligence operation. You purposely use people or assets to cut-outs -

HAYES: Cut-outs, right.

JAMALI: - exactly right - to make it difficult to sort of pinpoint back to you. That`s what you do. So I see this much more in the lines of - this is a clear operation. And the Russian look, that troll factory, the New York Times reported back on it on 2015. So this something the Russian have been thinking, as Malcolm have on his book have been thinking along for quite some time. And I think we`re starting to see - sort of see how those pieces start to come to play.

HAYES: Well, and Smith - I mean, Smith - what appears to be the case - and this is Smith talking to Shane Harris at the Wall Street Journal - that Smith is representing in this four rays into the sort Russian hacking underworld and maybe he`s getting rolled by hucksters. That`s possible. He`s representing to them that he is in communication with Flynn, right?

NANCE: Right. And you know, when a person talks like that, and this is old - you know, NSA analysis, when we - when there`s a conversation, your conversation tells me the conversation you had before us. Either he was in communication with Michael Flynn at some point or felt he was empowered enough that he was working for Michael Flynn. Also off to the side, you have these -

HAYES: Or let me just say, or he`s a liar and he - and he`s trying to make himself seem like a bigger shot than he is.

NANCE: Well, he is but is apparently been corroborated by other U.S. intelligence or foreign intelligence which may have intercepted like I said, these militia hackers or criminal hackers or actual GRU, FSB intelligence officers discussing how do we flood the field with this. Now, you got to remember something between that report in April and July, we had Guccifer 2.0. which was determined to be a Russian intelligence entity pretending to be a Romanian hacker. And then you have - but you have all these people it appears as certainly now, we have a very solid one - people flooding the field to get that information and to find the source so that they could use it against Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: Yes. And we note that Flynn has - his lawyer has asked for immunity, has said that he has quite a story to tell. He remains it appears the Lynch pin here. And you know, he is also the only person again during this whole campaign, he`s the single, Naveed, sort of nexus point of anyone with any kind of national security, real national security experience and chops who`s close to candidate Trump.

JAMALI: That`s exactly right. And just to sort of foot stomp on that non- attribution point, that can go both ways, right? I mean, potentially this idea, I sort of laugh at it that you know, Donald Trump or you know, the future President is going to sit down with the GRU officer. That probably didn`t happen but it doesn`t mean that you know, if you`re going to have connections as Malcolm very eloquently stated, the fact that the President announced this 30,000 e-mails, asked Russia to release them, there seems to have been some forethoughts, some knowledge that this potentially could be an avenue. I think that what you`re going to start seeing is it`s not a direct 1-2 step. There may be a one, two, three, four and we`re now starting to see the cast of character that`s come from the President -

HAYES: That might - he`s involved in that.

JAMALI: That`s exactly right.

HAYES: I remember stories back in 2008. There was an apocryphal "Whitey tape" in which Michelle Obama was alleged to have set on tapes something about Whitey. And I heard stories about operatives from every single direction looking for this thing like the arc, OK? And I can imagine, if you think that someone`s got 30,000 of Clinton`s e-mails, that`s the game changer. You can imagine the motivation you would feel if you could get your hands on that. Naveed Jamali and Malcolm Nance, thanks to you both.

JAMALI: Thank you.

HAYE: Next, Republicans are quick to distance themselves from the President after this morning`s tweets but his behavior is nothing new and he is exactly the person they voted for. Joy Reid and Dan Rather is here to talk about the party enabling President Trump after this two-minutes break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: No one who does not work for the President of the United States is defending what did he today. The nation woke up to this pair of tweets by Donald Trump or as the White House calls them official statements from the President of the United States. "I heard poorly rated Morning Joe speaks badly of me, don`t watch anymore. Then how come low I.Q. crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row around New Year`s Eve and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no! MSNBC responded a sad day for America when the President spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job. Now the President`s comments drew condemnation from all ends of the political spectrum including from Republican lawmakers. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse tweeting, "please just stop. This isn`t normal, it`s beneath the dignity of your office". Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski a key swing voter on the health care bill, "Stop it. The Presidential platform should be used for more than bringing people down." House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked about the President`s comments at a briefing earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: This morning`s tweet? Yes, I just saw it a little bit ago. Obviously, I don`t see that as an appropriate comment. I think - look, what we`re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate and this obviously doesn`t help doing that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Yes, obviously. The one person defending the comments today was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a government employee paid to argue that this behavior was perfectly appropriate for an American President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I think he`s been very clear that when he gets attacked, he`s going to hit back and I don`t think it`s a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire. When the President gets hit, he`s going to hit back harder which is what he did here today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So the White House officially disagreed with any suggestion the President had done anything wrong. Sanders even disagreed that the tweets were sexist in any way. And then, the thing she said that was right on the money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: But the American people elected a fighter. They didn`t elect somebody to sit back and do nothing. That`s what -- they knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: They knew what they are getting when they voted for Donald Trump. That is true and it applies to every single Republican on Capitol Hill who was lamenting to the TV cameras and tweeting their outrage today because we have seen this movie before. Of course, the President`s history of vulgar treatment of women is no secret.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I`ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I`m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don`t even wait And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do you anything.

BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (BLEEP), do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: In the wake of the publication of that video, at least 12 women came forward, one by one on the record to tell stories of unwanted sexual touch and sexual misconduct by the president who is - the man who is now the President of the United States. Many of those stories were remarkably similar. The President denies them all, even threaten to sue some of them - though he never did that. For many Republican lawmakers, the access Hollywood tape was the final straw until it wasn`t. One congressman, Utah`s Jason Chaffetz did a full media tour to announce he was abandoning his party`s candidate.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I`m out. I - it`s sad really but I can`t endorse Donald Trump for President after those comments? I can`t look at my 15-yea-old daughter in the eye and tell her I endorse this person to become the President of the United States. I just - I just can`t do it.

I`m out. I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for President. You know, my wife, Julie and I, we got a 15-year-old daughter. Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump for president when he acts like this?

I`m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. You know, my wife and I, we have a - we have a 15-year-old daughter. And if I can`t look her in the eye and tell her these things, I can`t endorse this person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But the Congressman`s outrage, his despair, his concern, his conscience were apparently short-lived. This was Chaffetz just a few weeks later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHAFFETZ: Well, my wife and I did vote for Donald Trump last week. I think we`re going and through a lot of the discussions that people all across this country are doing. I never, ever, ever want to be able to say it`s President Hillary Clinton and that`s the choice. There`s only two people that have a chance of becoming a President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Tomorrow is Chaffetz` last day in office before he leaves Congress to become a Fox News Contributor. The top ranking Republican in Washington, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has not been much more courageous. Days after the access Hollywood tape came out, Ryan told his GOP colleagues on a conference call, he could no longer stand by their party`s nominee.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RYAN: His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party`s principles and values. There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself, as your Speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump. Not now, not in the future.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAYES: Not now and not in the future. Fast forward into the future a few months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: The President`s new at this. He`s new to government. And so he probably wasn`t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI, and White Houses. He`s just new to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That was concerning the potential obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation. Perhaps Paul Ryan found that more defensible than the sexism. Today in the wake of the President`s tweets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi raised a question that`s likely gone on many Americans minds throughout the President`s rise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: It is so beneath the dignity of the President of the United States to engage in such behavior. I just don`t know why the Republicans, then can tolerate almost anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy also a Democrat suggested a possible clue. Many Republican will condemn this tweet in strong moral terms and then they will spend the rest of the day trying to end insurance for 22 million Americans. I`m joined now by Joy Reid host of "A.M. JOY" right here on MSNBC and Dan Rather, host of AXS TV`s The Big Interview, former Anchor of CBS Evening News. Mr. Rather, it does seem to me that there is two definitely things here, uniform and unanimous condemnation by everyone and no sense that it will change anything in the relationship of the Republican Party with the President.

DAN RATHER, ASX TV HOST: No. Unfortunately, I think that`s true. What the President did today, it`s very harmful to him, very harmful to his Presidency, very harmful to the Office of the Presidency and very harmful for the country. But will it change many if any attitudes within the Republican party power leadership? I fear the answer is no. Is it going to change his support with his base? I fear the answer is no, at least not at the moment which is one reason he keeps doing it.

HAYES: That`s right.

RATHER: Because he thinks it plays well with his40 percent of the electric base. And the empirical evidence is that so far it does play well. However, this things, things like this, outrageous, really harmful conduct -- I`m going back a long way - when Senator Joseph McCarthy was on a rampage in the early 1950s, time after time, people would say, listen, is this ever going to end? But eventually, it reached to the point where shortly the fever broke. Now whether that will happen to President Trump or not but I do think that there are people who are supporters of Donald Trump, supporters of his policy and position and like his coming on as a strong man. Who someone in the back of their mind must be saying to themselves, I remember when he was critical of President Obama saying, he and other Republicans were saying, President Obama, is demeaning the Presidency by the way he walked off the plane. You compare what Donald Trump did today and what he has been doing in his five months in the office with the Obama Presidency. And by any reasonable analysis, you have to say there is a lot of hypocrisy going on here.

HAYES: To Dan`s point, I mean, I do think there`s some polling that indicates even his hardcore supporters hate the tweeting and that shows a panic, totally nervous. But I want to talk about the adjacent people like Ben Sasse to me is a perfect example, Nebraska Senator who took up quite courageous stand. I think actually if I remember from a Republican Party who did not endorse Donald Trump during the campaign. But since then, he is part of Donald Trump`s agenda. He celebrated Neil Gorsuch being nominated and confirmed to the court. And when he`s asked about the health care bill just a few days ago, Ben Sasse asked about the health care at Koch summit: This session is on the record, right? There`s press here? I have nothing to announce." You can`t get him to say anything about the health care bill.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Right.

HAYES: But today, Ben Sasse rises to Twitter to condemn the tone here.

REID: Of course

HAYES: And then would go about probably voting for the health care bill.

REID: Exactly.

HAYES: Which is basically the two-step that we`re seeing from everyone.

REID: There`s no cost to them coming out today and pretending they still have a moral conscience after endorsing Donald Trump. But the reality is Donald Trump thinks of himself as a king. Obviously, his children are part of the family business of running the country, right? He`s the king. So you could think of Republican in Congress as the courtier to the king.

HAYES: The court, yes.

REID: Right? And so, the courtier to the king may despise the king. They may think the king is vulgar -

HAYES: That they the often do.

REID: That they often do. And they may talk about the king (INAUDIBLE) that his sort of graceful behavior. But there are things the courtier want to do to the commoners. And they don`t necessarily respect the commoners, there are things they want to do to the commoners. And the king helps them do it because the king is the guy who has to deal with them. If the king that`s got to sell to the commoners, they don`t need to deal with them. Remember, the people who elected Donald Trump can`t stand Paul Ryan and his friends that wanted to take their health care. They never liked them. Donald Trump is a means to an end. Donald Trump is the guy who`s going to go out there and sell to the people because these Republicans couldn`t give a damn about. He`s going to sell them on losing their health care and make is sound good. That`s all his purpose is for them.

HAYES: And at a certain point, I mean, you do - the sort of - long last having the decency moment of course famously with McCarthy, there has been from the beginning that there`s going to be some moment like that. There is no moment. But then you also going to wander like, is there a line, is there any line that the President overstepped?

RATHER: It usually - the McCarthy for example, is the past prolog or have we changed so greatly as a people as our values has been change? The world is watching and history is watching. How this plays overseas by any reasonable analysis is devastating. So the image of our country and the standing by our country, not only Americans but around the world, people expect the United States President to be high-minded and good hearted. And you look at his tweet today, it`s very hard to make the case that there is anything high-minded or good hearted in it. And let`s say, to straight out for what it is, you know, this is beneath contempt what he did today. It`s (INAUDIBLE) as to reach out to bottom. But he has gotten away with it up to now, it continues to play well with his base, and as we said earlier, there`s no sign that the fever is yet breaking. So history may not be an indicator of what is ahead that right now Donald Trump is in a pretty good position to hold on to the House of Representatives next year in 2018. I know there`s a lot of Democratic talks, we`re going to retake it but in Las Vegas, (INAUDIBLE) American election. But it`s still odds against the Democrats taking the House in 2018 much less the Senate. And Donald Trump as of this moment is a pretty viable candidate for 2020.

HAYES: I agree with all that and I agree because it continues to hold together. And I think that`s because everybody recognizes that the moment it busts apart, they`re all - they are all (INAUDIBLE) that actually their only hope, right? And they realize this - and I don`t think they`re making the wrong calculation. I have to say in a - in a more political term, I think they are correct, I think that Mitch McConnell is correct, I think that Paul Ryan in a more political terms are correct. That the only way this whole thing works is if people - if there`s no break.

REID: They have to hang together. And you have to remember to where Republicans were on November 7th of last year. Pretty much all of them thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. They pretty much thought Donald Trump had destroyed the Republican party and that they would be the ones in a desperate rebuilding, that their brand had been wrecked by having this guy be their nominee. So they see that the same demographic factors that were played, that made them and most of us in the pundit world believe that they were going to lose are still there and they haven`t gone away. For somebody like Paul Ryan who sees a three million deficit in Hillary Clinton`s favor in the last election, a one million deficit in favor of Democrats is just redistricting didn`t give them the House. That actually one more raw vote. They understand this may be their last chance to destroy Medicaid, to destroy Medicare. The things Paul Ryan has been dreaming about since he was a frat boy is really to undermine the great society, to undermine new deal, to take away the underpinning and the belief in Americans that they`re entitled to health care and entitled to a dignified retirement. They want that gone. And the only person they think can deliver it is that guy. That vulgarian in the White House.

HAYES: Well, and the other thing is, in American governance, it is rare to get the White House and both houses of congress for either party. It is like a really good hand. And so when you get it, Democrat or Republican, when you get it, you have your shot. And so the idea that you`re going to waste that away no matter what he does.

RATHER: But that still begs the question in where in the Republican Party are there any profiles in courage? As a name for what we`ve been talking about here of playing both sides when a bad tweet comes out, say, oh, that`s terrible. But then go back to supporting the president. And the words are, they`re tough words. One of the words is hypocrisy, another of the words is cowardice. Nobody wants to go that strong, but we need to see things clearly. That`s what we`re seeing. And until we have some profiles in courage within the Republican Party itself, then this situation is not likely to change.

HAYES: All right, Joy Reid and Dan Rather, thank you both for making time tonight.

REID: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, still short of the votes to pass their health care bill, reports that Senate Republicans are turning to a new strategy: bribery. It`s not my term.

Senator Bernie Sanders on what`s happening behind closed doors ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: A brand new CBO analysis tonight says the Republican Health Care bill will just get worse with age, because Medicaid spending will be 35 percent lower by 2036.

Numbers like that and the deadline to write a revised bill by tomorrow, small wonder leadership has reportedly come up with a new strategy to jam the bill through: bribery. It`s not my word. It`s from an unnamed source in the administration who told Axios, quote, "I think we`re going to pass this. I really think they`ll bribe off the moderates with opioid money. And then actually move policy to shore up Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. If it was going to fail, McConnell would have put it on the floor."

Joining me now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, member of the Senate Health committee.

There is reporting, indicating that behind closed doors today, McConnell has been working his caucus. And this idea that they`re going to use money for an opioid fund to woo back moderates and folks like shelling more capital to West Virginia. What do you make of that?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Well, what I make of it is, they have about 17 percent of the American people supporting their legislation. What I make of it is they happen to have the courage to hold one hearing in the United States Senate to hear from doctors, to hear from hospitals, to hear from insurance companies.

And what I do know is their current proposal would throw 22 million people off health insurance, give huge tax breaks for the very wealthiest people in the country and large corporations, and that is perhaps, Chris, the worst piece of legislation that I have ever seen, that passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

So I challenge them to do something pretty simple. All of us recognize that the Affordable Care Act has problems. Deductibles are too high, co- payments are too high, premiums are too high, prescription drug costs are way too high. Put it out on the table. Have hearings. Let`s see how we can go forward together to improve the Affordable Care Act, not throw 22 or 23 million people off health insurance.

HAYES: You know, part of the CBO chart is key I think in terms of understanding what this bill really does, because it -- do you think people grasp that this is a fundamental permanent transformation of Medicaid in a way that is really changes what Medicaid is forever and ever and ever, and the cuts get deeper the longer you go.

SANDERS: Chris, do I think people know that? No, I don`t. There was a poll that came out, you may have seen it a couple of days ago, 60 percent of the American people didn`t even know that there were going to be significant cuts in Medicaid.

And I`ll tell you something else which I find a bit disturbing. Just yesterday, Politifact reviewed kind of reviewed a statement I made on Meet the Press on Sunday. And what I said on Meet the Press is that if this legislation is passed, many thousands of Americans will die, because you can`t throw 23 million people off health insurance, people who have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and not see increased deaths.

Politifact studied the issue, and they looked at about a dozen different studies. And do you know what, all of the studies concluded? Thousands of people will actually die. That`s not Bernie Sanders, that is doctors, that is scientists who look at this issue. That is the kind of outrage that we`re looking at, seeing up to 28,000 people die each year if you throw 23 million people off health insurance in order to give $500 billion in tax breaks to the richest 2 percent, insurance companies, and drug companies. That is beyond obscene. And that is something that cannot be allowed to pass.

And I think the American people all over the country are rising up. I was, as you may know last weekend, I was in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, tremendous opposition there to this legislation.

HAYES: Senator, I want to ask you about some news recently that you`ve been involved in and your wife about you retaining counsel in an investigation that has been ongoing, an FBI investigation of the now defunct college that your wife is the president of, Burlington College. There`s some serious allegations. You have counsel, obviously. And I know that you`ve said this is politically motivated.

But I do want to ask you on the record, face to face, the most serious allegation is that you improperly used your office to help secure financing for loans for Burlington College. And I want to ask you if that`s true.

SANDERS: And do you know where that allegation came from? That allegation came from the vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, and Donald Trump`s Vermont campaign state director. That is an absolute lie. But, you know, that`s what you expect from the Trump administration and people associated with Donald Trump.

These people do not choose to debate the real issues facing the American people, whether it is their disastrous health care bill, whether it`s climate change, whether it is their attack on women`s rights or so many other issues, the way they think they can win elections -- and by the way, there was an article today, I think it was in the Hill magazine, where the Republican National Committee, not even the Vermont Republican Party, was kind of goading and pushing the Vermont media to talk more about this issue.

And, you know, that`s what they are into. But it`s not only public officials and candidates, it is even family members and children. I mean, that is just beyond the pale.

HAYES: Well, let me ask you this, because it`s been interesting to me to watch Republicans talk about single-payer. It seems they actually obviously are very -- you`re a quite prominent supporter of single-payer. They keep trying to make the argument that the Obamacare is dead, that the only choice is between single-payer and their alternative. They seem to actually want you to be the face of it. I wonder what you make of their political calculation on that?

SANDERS: Well, let me make two things. Let me be very clear. I believe it is an outrage, it is a disgrace, that the United States of America, our great nation, is the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right. And yet we end up spending far more per capita on health care and prescription drugs than any other country.

So I`m going to introduce single payer Medicare for all legislation. I`m going to fight for it. There`s more and more support for that among the American people. Obviously with Donald Trump as president, and with Republicans running to the House and the Senate, I`m not holding my breath about single payer pass. So what do we have to do? Short-term, I think you have to approve the Affordable Care Act, that means among other things, making sure that we have a public option in 50 states in this country, making sure that we can lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 55, and taking on the drug companies, lower the cost of prescription drugs. That`s short-term. Long term, of course, we need a Medicare for all single-payer program.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for making time.

SANDERS: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, as of this hour, parts of the president`s infamous travel ban are now in effect. Linda Sarsour, and attorney Gadeir Abbas are here to talk about what happens next.

And about last night, Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

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HAYES: For Thing One tonight, we go deep into the All In vault all the way to last night`s show when Thing One, Thing Two presented the newest villain on Kentucky`s Appalachian Mountain Wrestling Circuit, the Progressive Liberal, who taunts the crowds in coal country with offers of jobs and clean energy and has a finishing move called the Liberal Agenda.

Dan Richards is a 36-year-old real estate agent by day who moonlights as the most hated man in Appalachian wrestling. One time he told the people of Sabin, West Virginia, quote, I hope Trump doesn`t build a wall around Mexico, instead, I hope he builds it around this town so none of you people can infiltrate the population.

Last night`s Thing One, Thing Two was one my all time favorites. And we have the behind the scenes video to prove it and that`s in Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So, last night we introduced you to the Progressive Liberal who has taking Appalachian Mountain Wrestling by storm by antagonizing fans in deep red states with his over the top liberal politics. Ironically enough, in Mexico, there is a wrestler called Sam Adonis who revels in being a Donald Trump supporter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

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HAYES: There appears to be a market in the Trump era for antagonizing wrestling fans with political persona. But for me as far as pure entertainment and comedy goes, no one beats the Progressive Liberal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Pro wrestling has already drawn from real life, including whatever the political climate is at the time, which is why during the Cold War, wrestling villains often looked like this. And so in the Trump era, this is the newest heel: the Progressive Liberal is Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: The Speedo is just too perfect. It is so brilliantly conceived.

(END VIDEO CLP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: As we went on air tonight, a travel ban on six Muslim majority countries went into effect. Lawyers are now standing by at airports to help any affected travelers. And as to who it affects, the Supreme Court on Monday, you`ll remember, approved a limited version of President Trump`s infamous travel ban for now, but with one major caveat: the government could not ban visitors who have, and I quote the Supreme Court here, a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Supreme Court adding that, and I quote, "for individuals a close familial relationship is required."

And on the heels of that decision, the State Department released new guidelines on Wednesday to determine which travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are now eligible for visas, including who they think close family is and is not.

Originally on the not list, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brother-in-laws, sisters-in-law, fiances and other extended family members. But now, the State Department has different guidelines on their website, putting fiancee in the close family column.

Now, it`s unclear if that change has gone out to all those diplomatic posts that are in charge of actually issuing the visas.

Then, late tonight, the state of Hawaii challenged the ban in court, arguing that the government`s definition of family is too restrictive. Linda Sarsour and Gadeir Abbas join me next.

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HAYES: At 8:00 eastern time tonight, a partial version of President Trump`s travel ban officially went into effect. With me now, Linda Sarsour, Muslim American civil rights activist, and Gadeir Abbas, senior litigation attorney at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Gadeir, let me start with you, because I am confused, as I think many -- basically everyone is, about what is actually happening right now. Am I correct that the White House and the State Department, no one has actually issued official on the record guidance about what is happening and how this will be enforced?

GADEIR ABBAS, CAIR SENIOR LITIGATION ATTORNEY: Well, there is a cable that the State Department issued to embassies across the world that does provide some guidance of what is a close familial relationship.

But you are right in the broader sense that no one really has a good sense of how this going to play out. It`s not -- it has not been the case that a person that`s seeking a visitor visa has to establish some type of connection to the United States previously. And the language that the Supreme Court used is not really language that`s grounded in jurisprudence or in prior cases, and so we are in an unprecedented situation here, because we have the Trump administration engaging in unprecedented bigoted actions.

HAYES: Just to follow up, you know, Clarence Thomas, who is one of the people who dissented, again he wanted to implement the entire ban, but he said -- I think this is going to prove to be correct -- "the compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits as parties and courts struggle."

It does seem like this bona fide standard basically came out of nowhere.

ABBAS: It did come out of -- as far as I can tell absolutely nowhere. And it probably reflected a very technical concern about who can seek an injunction for -- you know, can they seek an injunction that`s national, that apply to everybody in the world, or does it have to be limited in some sense?

But the bottom line here is we can`t lose sight of what`s actually happening. Why can`t I, with uncles in Iran, why can`t I invite them to come see my daughter that`s going to be born in a month? And that`s what this ban is doing. It`s separating -- why can`t an American citizen with citizens in Yemen.

HAYES: You cannot invite your uncle in Tehran to come meet your daughter or a grandmother in Yemen who was scheduled to go to a wedding in Los Angeles cannot go. Like that`s done.

ABBAS: Yes. And how is America made more safe if I can invite some relatives from Iran and not others?

And it highlights the cruelty of this policy, which has become a hallmark of the Trump administration action.

HAYES: Linda, you tweeted how are fiancees -- which has now been changed apparently -- and grandparents not bona fide relationships? This makes no sense. So ridiculous.

What do you -- my interpretation is that the administration made this narrow ruling, because they still want to fight about this. Like, they enjoy fighting about this. They think this is good politics for them.

LINDA SARSOUR, CO-FOUNDER HPOWERCHANGE.ORG: It`s not just good politics, it`s making on the promise that President Trump did during the elections. He said he wants a complete shutdown of the Muslims. So, they`re trying to go around and find loopholes and do whatever it is.

This is a Muslim ban any which way you put it. This is a particularly a Muslim and refugee ban, the very people that need to come here, like people who want medical care, critical medical care, you know, grandparents coming to graduations, you know, weddings, like -- I mean, the fact that -- what is a familial relationship have anything to do with national security? So, just because I have a parent here I`m less likely to be a jihadi or whatever the hell these like racist people are saying.

Like the whole thing is illogical. And we`re going...

HAYES: It`s a great point, right. Like if this actually had to do with any rational standard, like, whether you were an uncle or a brother would have no relationship to what...

SARSOUR: And I don`t want the American people to forget the roots in this, this is rooted in xenophobia and islamophobia, this is not about national security, this is about a president who has hired every islamophobe in the country. They specifically has been targeting our communities, and we`re going to keep going back to court.

But it`s not just about court, it`s about public dissent. We need the American people to say this is outrageous and we will not stand for it.

And we also have to remember who is not coming? Yemeni refugees who are victims of a proxy war that we`re funding, for example.

HAYES: Who are starving to death, because we`re essentially funding the Saudis to hold them under siege.

SARSOUR: Basically, or Syrians who literally have seen torture and violence and are running away from ISIS. We`re telling them we don`t want them here. Babies who might have cancer, or terminally ill, we`re telling them you can`t come get medical care here. Like inhumane can we be as the American people?

HAYES: That`s the other part of this, Gadeir, which is that the refugee part of the executive order basically has gone into effect. That was not part of what was stayed by the court. And that means to Linda`s point, people that are fleeing some of the worst savagery in the world right now are just barred. That is now in effect.

ABBAS: Yeah, even conservative leadership years ago used to be proud that the U.S. was a country that welcomed refugees. The Bush administration had a refugee program for Iraqis fleeing the war that unfortunately we started there. But it`s just a sign of the times that the Trump administration, the Republican Party, have abandoned this idea that America is a place for refugees to come to the United States and benefit from the opportunities, the freedom and the security that this country enjoys.

HAYES: All right, Linda Sarsour and Gadeir Abbas, thank you both.

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