All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/5/2017 The Meeting; Trump & The Russians; The Secret is Out

Guests: Lawrence Korb, McKay Coppins, Nick Akerman

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 5, 2017 Guest: Lawrence Korb, McKay Coppins, Nick Akerman

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: His silence on this job will be viewed as weakness over there, unpatriotic, as it should be seen here at home. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thank you for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Putin has done an amazing job of showing certain leadership that our people have not been able to match.

HAYES: The President lands in Europe ahead of his meeting with Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP: No puppet, no puppet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s pretty clear -

TRUMP: You are the puppet.

HAYES: Tonight, new fears from inside the White House about what Donald Trump will say to Putin. Then,

TRUMP: Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails.

HAYES: New evidence that investigators are focusing in on alleged Trump world pursuit of hacked Clinton e-mails from Russia. Plus,

AMERICAN CROWD: Health care is a human right! Health care is a human right!

HAYES: Brutal new number for Trumpcare in the Senate as Republicans find new ways to avoid protesters.

And just how low can poll numbers go?

CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I think my poll numbers show that I don`t care about political optics.

HAYES: The new Chris Christie defense of his day at the beach. When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from Chicago, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, the President of the United States is in Poland where he`ll spend the day tomorrow before heading to a G20 summit in Germany. But it`s all counting down to the main event on Friday. And that`s the first face to face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin whom the President praised throughout the campaign and who according to the U.S. Intelligence Community, personally directed Russian interference in the 2016 election. The President`s high-stakes foreign trip, his second in office, comes at an especially tense time, right after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that according to analysts might have been capable of reaching Alaska. The President responding to the launch on Twitter over the weekend, "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer, perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all."

North Korea is just one item on the agenda for global leaders who are still adjusting to a very different American role on the world stage. And all eyes will be on the President`s first in-person encounter with Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent. Putin is known to be a skilled manipulator. He charmed George W. Bush who famously described looking Putin in the eyes and getting a sense of his soul. And he once brought his dog to a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who reportedly has a fear of dogs since being bitten by one decades ago. U.S. President, on the other hand, has proved an easy mark for Putin`s flattery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He called me a genius. He said Donald Trump is a genius and he`s going to be the leader of the party and he`s going to be the leader of the world or something. He said some good stuff about me and these characters that I`m running against had said, we want to you to disavow that statement. I said what? He called me a genius, I`m going to disavow it, are you crazy? Can you believe it? How stupid are they? We want you to disavow the statement. I`m not going to disavow. And besides that, wouldn`t it be good if we actually got along with countries? Wouldn`t it be actually a positive thing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Since taking office, the President has been swayed to take Saudi Arabia`s side and its dispute with Yemen and also Qatar following his lavish Saudi visit. He changed his mind about China`s ability to influence North Korea after a brief conversation with the Chinese President telling the Wall Street Journal, "after listening for ten minutes, I realized it`s not so easy." And then there was a time the President revealed highly classified information to the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister during a meeting in the Oval Office, a meeting we should note that was taken at the request of Vladimir Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It was set up a while ago and frankly I could have waited. But what difference does it make? When I spoke with Putin, he asked me whether or not I would see Lavrov. Now, what do I - should I say no I`m not going to see him? I said I will see him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That meeting, a day after the President fired FBI Director James Comey was where the President called Comey crazy, a real nut job, according to the reporting in the New York Times, telling the Russian diplomats, I faced great pressure because of Russia, that`s taken off. Putin goes into the meeting on Friday with a clear agenda that includes easing Ukraine- related sanctions and securing the return of two Russian compounds in the U.S. which were seized by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russia`s election interference. But on the American side, the goals are a bit mercurial. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters last week, "we have no specific agenda. It`s whatever the President wants to talk about."

And according to the New York Times, even the President`s top aides do not know precisely what he will decide to say or do. LA Times report that aides have written a list tweet-like sentences that summarize the main points Trump could bring up with Putin. The big question now, whether those points will include Russia`s efforts to disrupt the 2016 election to the President`s benefit. Efforts that are now the subject of a criminal investigation involving some of the President`s closest aides and associates. I`m joined by the MSNBC National Security Analyst Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine and Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense now Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress. I want to start with this Evelyn, describe how preparation would normally be going into a meeting of this first big face to face with Putin, given how thigh the stakes are, how strained the relationship has been?.

EVELYN FARKAS, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right, well, first of all, Chris, you would have a written document longer than tweet length. You know, giving the President some background on first of all the interaction between other presidents and Putin. Putin has been in office since 2000 although Medvedev took over briefly I would say in the middle there. But you would have a rundown of U.S. President interacting with Head of the State of Russia then you would go into what are key objectives? What are the Russian objectives and then what are the points that the President should make?

And the number one point, I mean, you said it, it`s got to be at the top of your block. It`s got to be the meddling in our elections, not just the cyber-attack and the spreading of information but fake news. Things that they`re probably still doing today using their bots, using Facebook trolls, troll factories they call them. So, first of all, the meddling in our election, second of all, he`s got to say stop invading the neighboring countries in Europe. We don`t want to destabilize Europe and you`ve got to make peace in Ukraine. And by the way, you have to stop the cyber-attacks in Ukraine and elsewhere, the meddling in the French and German elections, then you get to Syria and then you get to North Korea.

HAYES: So Lawrence, I mean, one of the things we`ve seen, it`s been a very clear theme. You know, we`ve seen (INAUDIBLE) we`ve seen it China, we`ve seen in in other places. The president will sort of hear something new for the first time and then turn around and sort of take his interlocutors framing of things as fact. So, you would imagine there`s a lot of potentials there for Putin to introduce a whole bunch of things that Donald Trump maybe hasn`t heard before that might make him that much more sympathetic to the Russian side.

LAWRENCE KORB, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There`s no doubt about it. And Trump is a very impulsive person so he`s liable to react in a way that - you know, his advisers would tell him not to. The other is, it`s not just a question of not being prepared. He does not understand international politics. And that`s very, very year with the statements he`s making, for example about, North Korea. Well, the Chinese should do it. No, the Chinese have different interests. They`re not worried about a North Korean missile attack because they don`t think it`s going to come against them. They`re worried about refugees pouring into their country if North Korea should collapse or the United States and South Korea being on their border.

So he doesn`t understand that and you hope that when they talk to Putin, Evelyn just mentioned a couple of issues, one, I hope they get to is Syria because we`re at a point now we`re going to have to decide. ISIS is about to be defeated, what happens next? Are we going to stay, how we and the Russians going to get along? Are we going to divide the country along the Euphrates? I mean, those are really, really key issues that need to be dealt with right away.

FARKAS: Yes -

HAYES: You know -

FARKAS: I think - sorry.

HAYES: Go ahead.

FARKAS: Well, I was just going to say, I totally agree with Larry. I mean, you need - he needs to - President Trump tell the Russian, we need to cut a deal on Syria and stop pretending that Bashar al-Assad can stay in power indefinitely because if he does, he`s going to have a terrorist insurrection that he`ll have to deal with until the end of his days. So, if you want a stable Syria-Russia, let`s come to the negotiating table and make a deal.

HAYES: But - so here`s my question. I mean, all of this seems like it would require a sort of degree of kind of staff preparation and strategic forethought that really does seem absent. I`m not saying this is as my characterization, I mean, the people around him basically say, look, he doesn`t do agendas, he goes to the meeting and sort of rolls with it however it`s going. One of the kinds of key staffers, and I saw you quote a piece about this, so I want to ask you. A woman by the name of Fiona Hill who sort of a noted hawk, I guess is the shorthand that use - she`s at the NSC. She has written a book very critical of Putin himself and his regime. And there`s a back and forth about whether she`ll be in the meeting. Partly I think it`s a signal about what exactly - where exactly this administration is.

FARKAS: Well, that`s the thing, Chris. I assume that was directed at me because I was quoted in that piece thing "she should be in the meeting." But I think it`s because we`re reading tea leaves. The administration has not put out a strategy on Russia. We don`t know what their objectives are. I believe that H.R. McMaster and Fiona Hill, the woman that you mentioned, they`re going to be putting together a very silver clear minded approach towards the Russia government. But we don`t know whether the President is going to take their advice or not.

HAYES: And Lawrence, I mean, you can imagine, this is part of the paradox in the heart of all of this, the sort of things moving in opposite directions. You could imagine you know, the National Security Council teeing up sort of a bunch of steps. And then the President getting in there and just kind of - you know, really liking Vladimir Putin and bonding over things and coming out and you know, next thing you know, next week, he`s telling people that you know, no one ever talks about it, but Crimea used to be part of Russia.

KORB: Why, I mean, just look what happened after the - when the meeting with Lavrov that you had in the run-up. He gives him information that we got from another country, that it`s classified. I mean, just things like that because the Russians, we don`t have the same interests that they do in a lot of parts of the world. So yes, you really have to worry that he`s liable and let something split. He doesn`t seem to know the difference between the various degrees of intelligence and classification. And he is no dummy, he knows exactly what he`s doing. And I think he will sort of egg him on to get - to get information.

HAYES: Those really - the pictures of that moment, it`s just almost too surreal to sort - given the context of everything that`s gone around in this relationship. The President once referring to Vladimir Putin as his stable mate because they appeared on the same program although it never meant. Evelyn Farkas and Lawrence Korb, thank you.

KORB: Thank you.

FARKAS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Joining me now, Joan Walsh, MSNBC Political Analyst, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, McKay Coppins, Staff Writer for the Atlantic. Already rolling your eyes John. McKay, I want to start with you because you know, part of this - the psychology here is so easy in some senses to read. It`s not that complicated. You`ve written about it which is just basically the idea that he likes - the President likes people that say nice things about him. And he has interpreted Vladimir Putin in saying nice things about him although a lot of that is actually not-he sort of exaggerated in his own mind. The degree to which Putin himself is going fuse up a lot of the things I`ve read, it hasn`t actually been real cheerleading but you can imagine like an actual pointed approach of flattery does seem to be quite effective.

MCKAY COPPINS, THE ATLANTIC STAFF WRITER: Absolutely. I remember when I interviewed him a few years ago. One of the things that stuck out to me most was he started talking about how he judges whether a reporter is a good reporter and it came down to whether they say nice things about him or not, whether they write nice things about him or not. And he basically sorts the world, he sorts the press, he sorts world leaders, politicians, whoever into two categories. There are pro-Trump people and anti-Trump people.

HAYES: Right.

COPPINS: And the pro-Trump people are winners and noble and heroic and the anti-Trump people are losers and haters. And so, Putin was one of the very few world leaders who kind of staked out territory in the pro-Trump area pretty early on. And so, in his mind, like you said, he`s kind of whipped up this kind of extravagant idea of what Putin has said about him. And Putin has clearly been flattering him but he hasn`t gotten to the extremes that Trump thinks. But yes, they`re going to be in a room together. I mean, if Putin wants to get things out of Trump, he clearly knows the way to do it. He just has to flatter him.

HAYES: And Joan, part of what so crazy here is just there`s this wide divergence between the interest of Donald Trump, the individual and possible - you know, presumably candidate again for the elected office and his party being running in the midterms and the sort of national interests of a country that had you know, multiple state election agencies compromised by what appears to be a very sophisticated effort by the Russians. And they`re just like, there is no way to push those two things together. It appears in the mind of the President.

JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Of Donald Trump. No, you`re right. I mean, I think, there are two major differences between Trump and Putin that pertain to this meeting. One starts with Putin is very smart. He`s a student of Psychology. I`m not talking about textbook psychology, he`s a student of people. He`s a great manipulator. He spent a lot of time thinking about Donald Trump, obviously. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a student of nothing and nobody. He acts from instinct and a lot of it is driven by what he`s heard someone says about him good or bad. So that`s one difference.

And then the second thing, I think you know, you really referred to in your question Chris, which is that Putin, although he`s kind of a kleptocrat, let`s say that, he definitely has a sense of his national interests. He wants the more of an arena of power in the former Soviet states. He wants to push back on NATO. He wants to hold on to Crimea and possibly grab Ukraine. And Trump - and he also wants to establish, I believe, a kind of push back on the liberalism worldwide and establish a real, kind of backlash, authoritarian backlash to that. Donald Trump really doesn`t have a worldview. He doesn`t have a sense of our American interests. He has a sense of Donald Trump`s interests. And right now, those interests are making nice with Vladimir Putin because of his fears of what may or may not be known, what happened during the election. He has no curiosity. I mean, people seem to think he`s not even going to bring up the election meddling.

HAYES: Well, that`s - that is remarkable.

WALSH: I know.

HAYES: In fact, it doesn`t have an end. And McKay, I thought this - I found this to be actually a pretty chilling sentence, given the context. It`s the New York Times saying that two people close to Mr. Trump said they expected the men to bond over their disdain for fake news. I mean, you know, Russia is a place where journalists end up murdered with not infrequently. And the thought of that, I don`t know, what do you make of that? McKay?

COPPINS: Yes. I mean, that is - that is striking and unnerving. I mean, Trump would not be the first President to bond over - bond with kind of autocratic leaders. Nixon famously meeting with the Leader of China, saw him edit the front page of the national newspaper in China and said, I wish I had that power. It is one of the kinds of - the many parallels between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. But the fact is, I mean, I am struck that in the lead-up to this trip, which is - and a major part this Presidency, he spent the lead-up to this trip picking crazy feuds with morning talk show hosts, tweeting you know, insane gifts about beating up CNN. This is clearly on the top of his mind. And I would not be surprised if he opted to forsake the conversation about the election meddling to kind of revel in their mutual disdain for the media. I think that that`s unfortunate but I would not be surprised by it.

HAYES: Did that catch your eye as well, Joan, that line in the Times?

WALSH: Absolutely. Yes, you know, they`ll also probably bond about their disdain for Hillary Clinton as well. You know -

HAYES: That`s - you know, that`s a joke but also an entirely possible -

WALSH: Absolutely.

HAYES: - thing for them to talk about. No, I mean, 100 percent, that is an absolutely possible long topic of conversation for the two of them.

WALSH: And when you looked at the body language in his meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, I mean, it`s just like they really seemed to be bros, like really having a good time. And I anticipate the same kind of chemistry with Putin, especially because Putin is going to put a lot of time and thought into creating it.

HAYES: All right, Joan Walsh and McKay Coppins, thank you both.

WALSH: Thank you.

COPPINS: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, new evidence that investigators are now looking into allegations that people in the Trump world sought out hacked Clinton e- mails from Russia, the latest details after this two-minute break.

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HAYES: Tonight, ALL IN can report that a source for last week`s Wall Street Journal article about a Republican operative`s attempt to obtain Hillary Clinton`s 33,000 deleted e-mails from Russian hackers has been contacted by investigators. Matt Tait, Cybersecurity Expert who once worked for British Intelligence stated that he was an unnamed source in the first Wall Street Journal article and identified and provided documents for the follow-up story. After those articles were published, Tait posted a piece on the national security blog, Lawfare titled, The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians. I can lay out what happened, he wrote facts from which readers and investigators can draw their own conclusions. Well, Tait`s piece is in his words, a fuller accounting Shane Harris` reporting at the Wall Street Journal. Harris reported that wealth, now deceased Trump supporter names Peter Smith had initiated and effort Clinton`s deleted e-mails from Russian hackers, believing they were in possession of them.

And while doing so, he implied he had a direct line to Michael Flynn and to the Trump campaign. It is in those efforts, one of the people Smith reached out to for was Matt Tait, seeking help from an information and security expert. Now, Tait recounts feeling deeply uneasy about Smith`s project and ultimately parted ways. And we reached out to Tait today in the hope of having him to discuss what he wrote, he responded with an e- mail that reads in part, "Since publishing the article, I have been contacted by a number of investigators and Congressional Committees requesting that I provide them with additional information relating to the article and it would not be appropriate to provide further comment until I`ve had the opportunity to meet with them and provide them with a complete account of the events of last year."

Joining me now, Nick Akerman, former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor, and there`s a bunch of deals in that piece Nick, that really jumped out at me. And I want to read a few of them and get your reaction. One of so many cases the Cybersecurity Expert gets this entreaty from Peter Smith who`s getting all these e-mails and trying figure out if they`re actually Clinton`s deleted e-mails from Russian hackers. And one of the things that Tait has is this. It was immediately apparent that Smith - speaking of Peter Smith - seemed to know both Lieutenant General Flynn and his son well, that Flynn have been persuaded the Senate confirmation process would be prohibitively difficult. He would instead, therefore, become National Security Adviser should Trump win the election. Smith said. That`s a - that`s a pretty remarkable piece of inside information to have about a campaign that at that time no one thought Donald Trump is going to win.

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: No, I totally agree. And in fact, it`s also a pretty insightful statement. The fact that they were concern that Flynn would have problems being confirmed as somebody from the Senate, that someone would have to actually - Senators would actually have to confirm him and there would be a hearing. So I think there was a concern clearly that they didn`t want Flynn actually in front of a Senate Committee being asked questions. I mean, again, all roads seemed to lead back to Flynn. I mean, it`s the same person that Donald Trump wanted to have the investigation dropped on. It`s the same person who lied on his National Security Clearance. It`s the same person that worked with Jared Kushner on a number or items relating to the Russians. So I think, Flynn is becoming more and more a central figure in this entire Russian investigation. All of which could lead right back to the President.

HAYES: And to that point about leading back to the President, I mean, to me, what`s so notable is that you got this guy Peter Smith, and I think it`s a little hard for folks to get their head around the story because in drops this new character right into the drama. Who is this guy? He`s a deceased and Republican wealthy guy who sort of did this kind of stuff. But again, another part where Tait says indicates that Smith appears to have deep knowledge of the campaign. The possibility he was working with the campaign. I wanted to get your reaction to this. The combination of Smith`s deep knowledge of the inner workings of the campaign, the multiple references, to needing to avoid campaign reporting suggested to me the group was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign. It reminded me a little bit of some of the groups that Richard Nixon used that were these sort of arms-length vehicles.

AKERMAN: Sure. I mean, it was a way to have reasonable deniability that they could set up these groups and claim absolutely no connection no knowledge, no idea how this all happened. But again, all of the roads lead right back to the same people. You know, unfortunately, Mr. Smith is not going to be a witness in this case.

HAYES: Right.

HAYES: Final question for you. Robert Mueller has hired a whole bunch of extra folks for that office. They`ve been getting scrutiny about who they donated to. And I wonder if this was a thing happened during the Watergate process in which obviously the reporting requirements hadn`t been passed because they were passed as a result of Watergate. But if there was scrutiny and sort of questions about the political motivation to the folks that staff the office you worked at.

AKERMAN: Absolutely. This is history repeating itself all over again. Archibald Cox as you recall the Special Watergate Prosecutor, was the Solicitor General for John F. Kennedy, a Democrat. There was always this discussion and claims that Cox was hiring Kennedy Democrats even though there were a number of Republicans on the staff, just like Rob Mueller is a registered Republican. I mean, let`s face it. you have one or two choices. If you`re in any way an interested citizen and active politically, you`re going to be either a Republican or a Democrat. So the idea that this is something horrible, that half the people might be Democrats, that are prosecutors on Bob Mueller`s staff is really ludicrous.

But it`s the exact same charges, the same thing that we heard during the time when Archie Cox was appointed, the same kind of criticism, all relating back to Ted Kennedy. It all seems to stop after the Saturday Night Massacre when Cox was fired and Leon Jaworski came in and kept the entire same staff together. I think, after that point, there was never any question about political standing, political affiliation. I think everybody in that office just moved ahead just like they are in Bob Mueller`s office, doing their job. I think what you`ll find remarkable about the staff that was under Archibald Cox and also the staff that`s under Bob Mueller is you don`t see anybody leaking, you don`t hear any kind of leaks coming out from that office. It is a very well professionally trained group.

HAYES: That`s interesting. All right, Nick Akerman, thanks for joining us.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, new dismal polling numbers for the Senate Health Care Bill causing some Republicans to hide from their constituents possibly to avoid the kind of reception Ted Cruz received, that`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: On Monday, the Indiana Republican party post a question on Facebook and Twitter, "what`s your ObamaCare horror story?" The query back-fired big time because while there was a few concerns about the cost of premiums and other facets of the law, most of the comments appeared fully supportive of the Affordable Care Act. One person summed the law this way "I am actually able to finally afford health insurance. It`s awful. I have a doctor I like. My co-pay`s affordable, I`m healthy, it`s the worst. Another tweet that "her sister was able to get HUMIRA for her rheumatoid arthritis, save her ability to walk." Another person that when her husband had a brain tumor, they didn`t have to "worry about losing their house."

Those sentiments reflect the growing popularity of ObamaCare in poll after poll. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll last month, 41 percent of people said ObamaCare was a good idea compared to 38 percent who said it was a bad idea. In contrast, Republican efforts to repeal and replace the law are consistently unpopular. One USA Today-Suffolk University Poll last month found that only 12 percent of Americans support the Senate`s health care plan which explains why the Republicans are trying to keep their efforts to dismantle the ACA shrouded in secrecy. But as Ted Cruz just learned, Senators can only hide so much. We`ll show you how his Fourth of July went when protesters showed up to greet him at an event just after this break.

AMERICAN CROWD: Health Care is a human right. Health care is a human right. Health care is a human right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Cruz was not the only Republican senator to hear from concerned constituents over the long holiday weekend. Senator Susan Collins told the Washington Post that a Fourth of July march in Eastport, Maine, quote, there was one issue, that`s unusual, it is usually a wide range of issues. Adding, quote, I heard over and over again encouragement for my stand against the current version of the Senate and House health care bills.

Collins, of course, is one of the Republican senators who helped sink the health care bill last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to push the bill through with a minimum of public discussion. Today, Senator Roy Blunt who had supported McConnell`s bill got to see what his constituents think about his positions on health care. Protesters pretended to be dead outside the senator`s Springfield office, complete with mock tombstones and a Grim Reaper.

That protest is just one of many.

Jeff Stein of Vox who has been doing great reporting on this, reporting that progressives are planning health care sit ins at a, quote, 21 Senate GOP offices. And with that kind of reception, it is no wonder many Republicans are trying to avoid their constituents all together during this recess week.

New York Times reporting that, quote, many lawmakers seemed to have given up on town hall style meetings and parades. And the congressional budget office, meanwhile, is now scoring two separate versions of a health care bill for when lawmakers return to Washington next week. The text of both those bills remain hidden from the public.

The White House says it is getting close to a deal.

Joining me now, Matt Fuller, Congressional report for The Huffington Post.

Matt, I`m reminded the most fallow period in the health care negotiations was when people weren`t paying attention and that`s when the deals got struck, and that it was sort of fait accompli. As someone who has been following this so closely, how would you describe the state of play right now?

MATT FULLER, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, everything old is new again. It does have the same sort of feeling to it, I guess, in the House where it seemed a little bit dead. Obamacare is the law of the land. And then very suddenly we had some deals coming.

Now, the only difference, I would say, between the House and the Senate was you really did have Mark Meadows and you had Tom McArthur, so you had conservatives really working with, you know, on the other side of -- not the other side of the aisle, certainly, but on the other side of their own conference. They had these people working with each other trying to figure out how to get themselves to yes. And I think there was a little bit more pressure for guys in the House. They really did want to get to yes.

Certainly people like Mark Meadows, and a lot of guys in the Freedom Caucus didn`t want to be the ones who sort of spoiled this party about repeal. They really did want to get there. And there were a lot of moderates actually who, you know, wanted that same thing. I`m not sure that dynamic is the same in the Senate.

HAYES: That`s a great point, right, that the psychology of those players was of much more concern about the sort of internal dynamics among conservatives and among the caucus and among the party, whereas I don`t think that`s th calculation being made by, say, Dean Heller in Nevada or Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, or Susan Collins in main.

Do you think the combination of the terrible polling and the sustained constituent pressure is having an effect?

FULLER: Yeah, I mean, absolutely it`s having an effect.

It is certainly not an even effect, right. You mentioned Ted Cruz. I don`t think Ted Cruz is going to be persuaded by protesters in his district -- or, I`m sorry, his state. Certainly Heller, I think has made a calculation at this point that it just doesn`t make sense for him politically to support this bill. Susan Collins I think was always going to be challenged, but again she`s just being reinforced.

I mean, if you were against this bill and you`re hearing from constituents coming out so forcefully against this I think it does reinforce that.

The only thing I would say is that this is something I heard a lot of times in the House, actually, was, you know, they`ve gotten -- all these outside groups have gotten so good at protesting and this iea of fake news, actually -- I think I heard a few congressmen refer to the town halls as fake news and that, you know, this is part of the resist movement, the organizing.

So, they`re taking -- some -- I think some lawmakers are going to take this with a grain of salt. Certainly the sense when you have senators hiding out, right. You have Cory Gardner who is not doing town halls or they`re not going through July 4th parades. I think that`s indicative of the fact that they know this is sort of bad politically for them. And just the image of, you know, if we`re Ted Cruz in Texas having that image is -- that`s worth something in 2018. For Cory Gardner, he`s up in 2020, I think he`s saying, you know, I can maybe weather this storm of two years of not being the most successful Senator out there so I prevent that image from being ingrained into this debate.

HAYES: But the Gardner thing is such a perfect example of the bizarre sort of through the looking glass politics of this. You`ve got a bill that`s not polling very well. People don`t like it. It`s unpopular across the board. Huge amounts of constituent pressure. Huge interest group mobilization from everyone from doctors to AARP. Corey Gardner in Colorado is going to go to to July 4th parade, that`s like a -- every politician from dog catcher to everyone goes to the July 4 parade where you go and you walk and you shake people`s hands and you talk about how much you love America. He`s going to not go to July 4th parades to avoid having to talk to constituents about what will be the most important high risk signature vote that he takes. That calculation is just remarkable to me.

FULLER: Yeah. And I think -- you know, there`s -- not to reduce this as an intro to politics course, but there`s something the David Mahieu (ph) lawmakers are single-minded seekers of reelection. That`s sort of changing I think a little bit, and certainly in the Senate. In congress, members are trying to work their way up. For Cory Gardner, he`s someone who sees leadership opportunities for him in the future. And I think that if he can get away with not being outwardly for this bill, or outwardly for it, that`s all well and good for him, so the lower profile he keeps at this point, the better for him.

HAYES: That phrase is perfect, I think: get away with. Because that`s been sort of the entire MO for the whole process here: can we get away with it? Matt Fuller, thanks for joining me.

FULLER: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, Governor Chris Christie testing his own precedent to see just how low he can get his poll numbers to go. Hear his unique defense ahead.

Plus, Twitter beefing with the founding fathers in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, on Independence Day a whole bunch of apparent Trump supporters on Twitter trained their anger on NPR with replies like "defund NPR. Let the Hollywood elites pay for your biased propaganda." "Please stop. This is not the right place." Or even so, "NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound patriotic. Your implications are clear."

So, what did NPR tweet that triggered these responses? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hold these truths to be self evidence, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAYES: 29 years ago, NPR began a tradition of having its journalists read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th on air. And this year added a new component tweeting out the historic text in 140 character snippets. Apparently, some people didn`t get it. For instance, to this section, "a prince whose character is thus marked by every act, which may define a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people," a user, who has since deleted the account replied "propaganda. Is that all you know how?" Taking on the hashtag #drainingtheswamp.

After a section reading, "totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation," a user who later deleted the tweet wrote, "yes, NPR journalists with a mission."

But others who cleraly knew NPR was citing the words of our founding fathers, still took issue with it. One user replying to an NPR tweet, linking to the audio, wrote "this is why you`re going to get defunded." Adding, "seriously, this is the dumbest idea I`ve ever seen on Twitter. Literally no one is going to read 5,000 tweets about this trash" with trash apparently being used to describe America`s founding document.

And another user suggested the Declaration of Inependence itself is somehow partisan, responding to tweet "explaining NPR July 4th tradition with a photo of the original document, this user wrote, "glad you`re being defunded. You have never been balanced on your show."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Even if you are mostly cut off from news over the long Fourth of July weekend, which I tried to be, you probably saw these photos of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his family enjoying a day out on an otherwise empty beach on Sunday, a beach that Christie himself had ordered closed to the public along with other state beaches amid a budget standoff.

Now, later that same day, Christie held a news conference and was asked if he got any sun.

"I didn`t," he said. "I didn`t get any sun today."

Told that photographic evidence showed otherwise, Christie`s spokesman came up with a novel explanation, quote, he did not get any sun, he had a baseball hat on.

The governor himself elaborated in remarks to reporters yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I don`t count going out on the beach after I`ve been working all morning to sit and talk with my wife and our guests for 40 minutes before I had to leave to come back to work as getting sun. That wasn`t what I was out there to get. What I took question was, hey, were you like out laying out getting a tan today? That wasn`t what I was doing. And that`s not what those pictures show. I wasn`t sitting next to a 25-year-old blonde, I was sitting next to my wife of 31 years, surrounded by my children and some of their best friends. If that`s a scandal, that`s a scandal I`m guilty of every day of my life, being committed to my wife and to my children first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: After the budget stand-off ended overnight on July 3rd, state beach did reopen for Independence Day and New Jerseyians promptly got to work making sand sculptures of the governor relaxing on the beach.

Now, you might think all this would hurt Chris Christie poll numbers, but the thing of it is, there isn`t far to fall. Even before the beach incident, Chris Christie was polling at just 15, that`s 1-5, percent approval making him under of the most unpopular governors in modern polling history. Only two governors embroiled in scandal and one who appointed his daughter to his seat, has hit lower marks than the man once thought to be the future of the Republican Party.

Up next, journalists are getting death threats after reporting on the media attacking meme that President Trump tweeted over the weekend. That story right after this break.

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HAYES: On Sunday, the president of the United States tweeted a video showing him body slamming and punching a man at a professional wrestling event with the CNN logo superimposed over the man`s face. The president did that.

Reporters understandably wanted to know who had created the video the president sent out to the millions of people that follow him. You`ll be absolutely shocked to learn it came from a reddit user with a vulgar name and a history of racist anti-Semitic and Islamophobic posts.

One of the people who uncovered that history, Jared Sexton (ph) says he received a slew of death threats for his trouble. "I was told people would want to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter," he wrote on Twitter, adding,"over on Facebook I`m getting messages from strangers about goyim and talking about what happened to the Jews in the 1940s."

And CNN uncovered the identify of the person who posted the meme, but declined to make it public, noting the poster had publicly apologized and deleted his offensive post, though CNN added in the final it reserves the right to publish his identity if his behavior changes.

That did not prevent neo-Nazis` vows to hunt down the children of CNN staffers over their reporting. And soon, personal information from multiple CNN staffer and their family members alongside images and gifs of individuals of CNN superimposed over their faces being shot in the head were being posted online.

The person who posted the meme is reportedly a middle aged man, but Trump`s online allies falsely claimed it was 15-year-old boy. It is not. And that claim was subsequently repeated by none other than the president`s adult son, Donald Trump Jr. who tweeted, "so I guess they weren`t effective threatening the admin so they go after an bully a 15-year-old."

These attacks on the press are part of a White House strategy. Last week, you`ll recall, President Trump targeted this network going after Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that, and you`ve got to hear this quote to believe it, "some white house advisers said they were frustrated that the Brzezinski`s feud overtook the president`s fight with CNN, which seemed in their eyes to have a clearer villains and heroes."

Joining me now, Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief at The Chicago Sun- Times; and Ben Howe, contributing editor at Red State.

First, let`s start on this question of the sort of origins of this video. Lynn, I am of the opinion that it is newsworthy who created the video the president sent out to 30 million people showing him beating up a stand-in for CNN. And it`s newsworthy under any circumstances. Do you think that`s right?

LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: I agree with you, Chris, because people, when something is repeated by a president, that gives a stamp of approval that that person can go out and use in the marketplace of ideas and of context and of networking their reprehensible anti-Semitic background that you mentioned that is an offshoot of this. It`s something that the office of the president and the president himself should be aware of to consider before just blithely retweeting something.

And that is part of an issue here with this particular bit of video. It`s not just funny on the face, because you have to consider, or you don`t have to, I would like to hope that some day the president will, consider the origin of the material that he`s retweeting before he does it, because in this case, it has consequences.

HAYES: Ben, I am of two minds about how these feuds with media entities play out. At one level, it was ironic to me he tweeted out a wrestling video, right, because at one level it`s violence, but at the other level it`s fake. And a few weeks ago, I`d even tweeted that the ongoing briefing nonsense from the White House about the briefing room seems like very strange kayfabe (ph) to me, which I imagine they will continue in front of the cameras." Kayfabe (ph) is a term for wrestling, for like staged conflict between figures, right.

So, at one level it was funny that it`s a wrestling video, because it sort of gives up the game in that respect. At another level, there are people right now as I speak to you who are not in their homes, because they`re being stalked and they`ve been outed -- CNN staffers who are getting threatening phone calls nonstop, and their family members, and they have young children. And that is very, very much not fake or amusing.

BEN HOWE, RED S TATE: No. And actually I experienced this, mostly in 2015-2016, just by virtue of the fact that I`m a conservative and I was against Trump. A lot of other people who are in my same position, same thing happened.

I`m not Jewish, but I got a lot of anti-Semitic memes sent at me and videos made of me that said Jewsplaining every time I was talking, pictures of me saying that I was going to be put in the gas chamber. I got emails, theatening email. They published my address online. They doxxed me. They did all the things that today crying and screaming and rending garments over with this Reddit poster.

I don`t personally think his specific identity matters as much -- it doesn`t matter as much to me as it does that the president thought it was OK to tweet it. I was very interested to know whether or not he had made it, or if anybody in his staff had made it. But just the fact that it came from that area and given the user`s name is enough to question the judgment of -- I mean, he is just like these people. And I think that that`s something that should concern everyone.

HAYES: Ben, let me just follow up on that, because you talked about the doxxing, which is an internet term for you posting your real information. I mean, did you feel -- did you feel threatened? I mean, you know, I know people -- Julia Ioffe had people calling up saying, you know, of the homicide cleanup organizations have been sort of contacted for her apartment. I mean, really nasty stuff. Did you feel -- I mean, did it work to sort of spook you?

HOWE: I mean, it didn`t stop me because at some point there was so much out there that there was nothing else to reveal. But I know that friends of mine, Dana Lash same thing happened to her, she got doxxed last year. David French wrote about it at National Review. And some conservatives, like Byron York came out and said, oh, what`s the big deal, it`s a bunch of memes. Well, it is a big deal. These are -- this is threatening behavior.

And, you know, you don`t know -- OK, so the guy who tweets your address, maybe he`s never going to do anything, but who sees this? And anybody can act on it. It is a frightening situation.

I have four kids. And it`s not something that I`m comfortable just sitting out there on the internet for anybody to see.

HAYES: Lynn, you`ve got this situation, you can watch the White House -- I mean, that tweet to me is so revealing. They were frustrated, that quote, they were frustrated about the Mika and Joe stuff, because it was distracting from CNN.

They want to fight about this nonstop. This is all they actually want to talk about.

SWEET: This fascination with cable show and cable show hosts is unparalleled in American history, that started with the advent of cable news shows. I mean, this is doesn`t go back to George Washington having a fight here, this is relatively, what, in the last 20-something years since the rise of MSNBC and Fox and CNN.

So, the fascination of the White House, just think, to even have any energy not just to say we want to get a message out on MSNBC, or we want to make sure that the energy secretary gets booked on the show, that`s not it. It`s pitting Mika and Joe against Cuomo. Really?

And that would be Chris Cuomo. I mean, and it goes without saying that this is unparalled.

HAYES: Lynn Sweet and Ben Howe, thanks for being with me tonight.

HOWE: Thanks.

HAYES: That is All In for evening.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END