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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/14/17 Trump meeting plot thickens

Guests: Desmond Butler, Natasha Bertrand, Leonard Lance, Adam Davidson

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 14, 2017 Guest: Desmond Butler, Natasha Bertrand, Leonard Lance, Adam Davidson


DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: I`m more than happy to be transparent about it and I`m more than happy to cooperate with everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, as far as you know, as far as this incident is concerned, this is all of it?

D.J. TRUMP: This is everything. This is everything.

HAYES: It wasn`t everything. Shocking developments about who met with the Trump campaign last year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today we learned a former Russian counterintelligence agent was also present at the Trump meeting.

HAYES: Tonight, the latest revelations, as the story from Trump world keeps changing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s disgusting. It`s so phony.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Those conversations never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zero happened here.

HAYES: Then just who the Russian connections are and how they got close to the Trump family.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You`re a winner, you`re a champ.

HAYES: Plus, the Senate Health Care Bill clinging on and the President won`t let go. When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. A former Soviet counterintelligence officer was also in that meeting in Trump Tower we now know, and yet again, we`re learning that the story told by the President, his son, and their allies, and defenders about the meeting last summer at Trump Tower was not the whole truth. Not even close.

On Tuesday, after being forced to change his story about why the meeting was held, and after releasing the whole e-mail exchange leading up to the meeting, only upon learning the NEW YORK TIMES was about to publish it, the President`s son said he just wanted to lay all his cards on the table.


D.J. TRUMP: More than happy to cooperate with everyone. I just want the truth to get out there. And that`s part of why I release all this stuff today. I wanted to get it all out there.


D.J. TRUMP: They`re trying to drag out the story in all fairness. You know, they have -- they want to drip a little bit today, drip a little bit then, so I was like, here it is. I`m more than happy to be transparent about it, and I`m more than happy to cooperate with everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, as far as you know, as far as this incident is concerned, this is all of it?

D.J. TRUMP: This is everything. This is everything.

HAYES: No, no, it wasn`t everything. This morning, NBC News broke the story, there was another participant in that meeting who Trump Jr. had failed to mention, someone besides the Russian lawyer. That person has been identified as a Russian-born American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin. He`s the former Soviet counterintelligence officer who`s suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, and who was accused of orchestrating an international hacking conspiracy, though, crucially, those allegations were later withdrawn.

The lobbyist denies having any current connections to Russian spy agencies but he told the Associated Press, and in April, he received a letter from the Department of Justice telling him to register as a foreign agent. Along with the Russian lawyer who attended the meeting, this lobbyist, Akhmetshin has been part of an intense campaign against the Magnitsky Act, that 2012 law imposing sanctions on Russian human rights abusers, repealing those sanctions is a priority shared by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

So, we know there are at least five people present in that room in Trump Tower, the three close Trump associates, Trump, Jr., Manafort, and Kushner, the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the Russian-American lobbyist aforementioned.

Now, the New York Times just identified the translator who is in the meeting, someone who`s also done contract work for the State Department, bring the total up to six known attendees. And it`s not clear if Rob Goldstone, that would be the British-born former tabloid journalist turned music promoter, who help set up the meeting was actually there, or if there were other attendees we have yet to learn about.

While the lobbyist told the Associated Press, he recognized Kushner, Manafort, he said there were others who didn`t know them, so possibly still, some shoes yet to drop. Over the past few days, Donald Trump, Jr. and his defenders have argued that the meeting was inconsequential because nothing came of it. No dirt on Hillary Clinton or the Democrats, nothing. That`s what the President himself claimed in remarks yesterday.


D. TRUMP: In the case of Don, he listened. I guess they talked about -- as I see it, they talked about adoption and some things. Adoption wasn`t even a part of the campaign. But nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting.


HAYES: But crucially, that`s not what the lobbyist at the center of all this told the Associated Press. According to him, the Russian lawyer brought with her a plastic folder with printed out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. He said he thinks she left the materials with Trump associates.

I`m joined now by Desmond Butler, Investigative Reporter for the Associated Press and the first journalist to interview this Russian-American lobbyist today. Desmond, who is this guy?

DESMOND BUTLER, FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Rinat Akhmetshin is a lobbyist who has lived in Washington since the mid-90s. A lot of us in -- who report on international affairs know him. He has worked on a lot of issues as both a lobbyist and a P.R. guy, having to do with the former Soviet space. And he is a pretty talented operator.

HAYES: Yes. He`s -- my sense is he`s kind of a man about town in D.C. People know him, he knows the right people, he is at different functions, he`s not some obscure figure.

BUTLER: No, that`s certainly true.

HAYES: What did he say about how he ended up in this meeting?

BUTLER: He had been working for a Russian company run by an -- owned by an oligarch that was among other things, trying to water down the sanctions that were targeting Russian oligarchs. And one the of the people that he worked with was this Russian lawyer, and he said that he was in New York in jeans and a T-shirt, and she called him up and said that she had a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. And he said, wow. And she asked him if he could -- if she could talk to him about it. They had lunch and then she invited him in. It was a meeting he said he wasn`t prepared for but he was very interested.

HAYES: He was a counterintelligence officer in a sort of previous iteration of his career and says now that he does not have active links to Russian intelligence. That`s his contention.

BUTLER: Yes. I mean, what he says is that he was -- he had two years of military service as a young man, starting when he was 18. And in that service, he was in the -- in the Baltics, and he worked for a kind of military police unit that included counterintelligence work.

HAYES: Now, he also says -- and this seems really interesting to me that the idea was that this meeting was set up to exchange Clinton dirt as part of the Russian government`s efforts to help Trump as relayed in that e- mail. Then they got there and she just wanted to talk adoption, but he said she actually gave them some documents.

BUTLER: Yes. He says that the documents in some way detailed this elicit money transfers from Russia to the DNC, presumably.

HAYES: All right. Desmond Butler, thank you.

BUTLER: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now Natasha Bertrand, she`s Senior Reporter for Business Insider. You`ve been following this in a sort of granular sense. What do you make of today`s developments?

NATASHA BERTRAND, SENIOR REPORTER, BUSINESS INSIDER: Well, this is just another example of the Trump campaign seemingly not knowing how to manage a crisis. I think Donald Trump, Jr.`s story has changed roughly four or five times this week already. And it just raises a lot of questions about why he wouldn`t just disclose everyone who was in that meeting, immediately. I mean, Akhmetshin is not someone that you forget who was in this kind of meeting.

I mean, like your previous guest said, he was a very experienced political operative in Washington, D.C. He`s known for being a very fast talker, known for knowing exactly what he`s talking about, and he`s been working on this anti-Magnitsky Act legislation lobbying efforts for the better part of a year. So, this isn`t someone who would just blend into the background of this meeting. This is definitely someone who would have made his presence known.

HAYES: There was another really interesting development on the story today which again, you know, we`re trying piece together like what happened in this meeting and why were they there, right? It`s represents -- it is one thing which is an opportunity to collude in the joint project of the Russian government, the Trump campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton by the sharing of dirt on her. The attendees of the meeting sort of say that`s not quite what happened.

But one of the questions about -- is about the Russian lawyer at the -- at the center of this and the degree to which she is connected or not connected to Kremlin, she said she had no connection to the Kremlin, but today she says that she was in contact with the top Russian prosecutor, that would be Yury Chaika, and that individual is important because that is precisely the person who is mentioned, if I`m not mistaken, in that e-mail by Rob Goldstone saying, oh, this top prosecutor in Russia is part of the project to help your dad.

BERTRAND: And that was initially interpreted by people as being an error. People thought that what he was really talking about was Veselnitskaya and that he just -- you know, he referred to her as the top Russian prosecutor, not really knowing what her role was. As it turned out, Goldstone knew exactly who he was talking about and he seemed to understand that Veselnitskaya had this connection to this Russian prosecutor, who according to William Browder and what he`s told me, is that Veselnitskaya and this top Russian prosecutor have been speaking daily about him, and have been essentially working on behalf of the Russian government to try to undermine him so that they can try to repeal the Magnitsky Act. Because once you undermine Browder, you create a case to undermine the entire act.

HAYES: Just to keep everyone up to date with the dramatis personae that have been introduced early and Browder is an American financier who invested heavily in Russia. A fell -- afoul of Vladimir Putin, whose lawyer was -- he says, I think there`s good evidence -- murdered at the hands of the Russian state and who named the Magnitsky Act and lobbied for the Magnitsky Act in defense of him, right? That he is the sort of driving American force behind these sanctions, which just to be clear, the Russian government hates. They really freaked out when we passed them, Putin hates them, his inner circle hates them. It is a prime objective to get rid of them, correct?

BERTRAND: As soon as they were passed, U.S.-Russian elections hit the lowest point since the Cold War, essentially. Putin called them outrageous, and in retaliation, he actually banned Americans from adopting Russian children. Which is why whenever you hear people talk about Russia`s adoption policy, it`s usually just a way for them to refer to the Magnitsky Act.

HAYES: It is also notable here that even if the meeting went down the way that some of the participants have characterized, which again, we do not know and there`s no reason to believe because we`ve gotten five different stories, that the two things would be placed next to each other in the meeting. We have dirt on Hillary Clinton. Also, we`d like you to think about rescinding those sanctions, as kind of side by side agenda items in the same meeting.

BERTRAND: Right, exactly. So, even if you don`t believe, for example, that Veselnitskaya and this, you know, Akhmetshin were working on behalf of the Russian government, their objectives and what they were there to do were very much aligned with Russian government interests. So, you know, they came to the meeting with documents regarding the DNC and presumably the meeting went something like this -- we want to share these documents with you. And in return, we want to you consider lifting sanctions if and when Donald Trump is elected President.

HAYES: That -- right. Exactly. And even if that`s not said, you put those two on the agenda items, we want to help you, also, we`ve got this beef. You don`t even necessarily going to say in the meeting, one equates the other if those are the two things you`re talking about.

BERTRAND: Exactly. And this is, I think, why it`s so significant for a lot of people, as that it signals kind of the beginning of a potential quid pro quo. It signals that the intent was there to collude with the Russian government because it was there in black and white, it was there in the e- mail that this was an attorney working on behalf of the Russian government. Even if that was misinterpreted, even if that`s not actually who she was, that`s what Trump, Jr., and the rest of the campaign, or at least the high- level officials in the campaign, Kushner and Manafort, thought that they were going to be meeting with.

HAYES: All right. Natasha Bertrand, thanks so much.

I`m joined now by Republican Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey, whose district is home to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster where the President is currently spending the night. Are you going to get any face time with the President?

REP. LEONARD LANCE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t believe so, Chris.

HAYES: That probably wouldn`t help you in your district.

LANCE: I`m --

HAYES: Honest?

LANCE: I believe that the President is enjoying his weekend, and I hope that the golf tournament is a success.

HAYES: But it wouldn`t help you in your district.

LANCE: Secretary Clinton carried the district by 3,800 votes, and I was honored to carry it by 38,000 votes.

HAYES: OK. I am so glad you`re here because I`ve been thinking, I`ve been trying to create a mental model of a Republican Congressman during this week if I were a Republican Congressman. And, you know, you`re going -- you do your thing. You guys passed a Defense Authorization Act that health care pays. I would not -- I don`t like being lied to as a person. And if I were you, I would be angry about being lied to. Are you angry about being lied to?

LANCE: I certainly think we should get to the bottom of it. And that`s why I think it`s important --

HAYES: No, I`m asking you a personal question. Like, they have told a story that`s demonstrably false and we know they know it was false, and they`re telling everyone that, including you, Congressman, and all the people in their party who are being asked to hold the -- carry the water for them, that would anger me to be lied to. How do you feel about being lied to?

LANCE: I never liked being lied to. I hope that we get to the bottom of it, and that`s why I hope and expect that Donald Trump, Jr. and others will testify before an open committee of Congress, perhaps Senator Grassley`s committee and perhaps Congressman Goodlatte`s committee, the Judiciary Committee on both sides of the Congress.

HAYES: I`ve watched Republicans somewhat to my shock say, oh, anyone would take meeting. Would you take that meeting?

LANCE: No. I would not take that meeting.

HAYES: Why would you not take that meeting?

LANCE: Because I think that we should not be involved in that type of situation and I probably would call the FBI.

HAYES: You think they should have called the FBI?


HAYES: Here`s the question I also have, I don`t -- I think if I were a Republican Congressman or a staffer at the White House right now, my operating assumption would be that the President`s campaign did engage in some sort of coordinated systematic effort of collusion with Russian intelligence, and that would be my assumption that I would use to guide my behavior, hoping that isn`t true. Is that the assumption that`s guiding you at this point?

LANCE: I want to get to the bottom of the facts. I`m not there yet, but certainly, I think it`s important for the Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, to get to the bottom of it.

HAYES: Let me turn it around, can you definitively say -- can you look into my eyes, camera, your constituents and say, I`m 100 percent sure the President and his campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign intelligence apparatus?

LANCE: No, I cannot. And that`s why I want to get to the bottom of it.

HAYES: Think about how remarkable that is. I`m asking you, you cannot 100 percent say that the President of the United States definitely did not engage in a vast criminal conspiracy in coordination with a foreign intelligence apparatus?

LANCE: The President has said that he did not know about the meeting. And certainly --

HAYES: But you can`t be sure that`s true.

LANCE: I`ve tried to take people at their word, but certainly, we should get to the bottom of it.

HAYES: Do you take the President of the United States at his word when he says that he would not -- that he didn`t know about that meeting?

LANCE: I hope he`s being accurate and truthful. But certainly, Donald Trump, Jr. will be asked about that when he comes before the Congress in an open Committee hearing.

HAYES: Are you -- are people on Capitol Hill, are you in the cloak room talking on each other about this?

LANCE: We talk about a lot of matters and we certainly talk about the fact that we want to be an independent, co-equal branch of government and we want the Committees to get to the bottom of it. And also, I was the first Republican on Capitol Hill to say that the Attorney General should recuse himself in this matter and that is what brought about Mr. Mueller`s appointment. And I think Mr. Mueller should get to the bottom of it as well.

HAYES: So, at the same time that`s happened, the House has passed a health care bill that would dramatically change American health care, the one sixth of the American economy, 24 million would lose coverage. You voted against that, I should note. I`m correct in that, right? You voted against that.

LANCE: You are correct.

HAYES: You were there for the markup. You were on board during the markup but you voted against it. It`s now in the Senate, it`s on the precipice of being passed. It seems to me that if it were to pass amidst what`s happening with this investigation, and we later find out the worst, that public would be facing a kind of legitimacy crisis, like a genuine one. If it were to be the case, since you as a Congressman cannot tell me definitively the President did not engage in vast criminal conspiracy with a foreign intelligence apparatus, that were -- he decides a piece of health care legislation for us only to find out after would produce a legitimacy crisis in the country.

LANCE: I don`t think that the health care bill in the Senate is likely to pass the Senate in its current form. I think it`s in great difficulty.

HAYES: Not dead yet.

LANCE: That is accurate but certainly, I think that the bill mirrors much of what is in the House bill and I would not support it. I do not believe. I want to see what the final result is but I did not vote for the House bill.

HAYES: But do you see my (INAUDIBLE) point here, that there`s -- you know, a majority of the country did not vote for Donald Trump, he obviously lost the popular vote although he won the electoral college at the constitution but there`s a huge chunk of voters who are sitting and watching all this play out, right? And they`re watching us and saying, OK, well, there`s Leonard Lance, he seems like a decent Republican member from New Jersey and he tells me that he just isn`t quite -- he`s not 100 percent sure that the president and his campaign did not engage in conspiracy. While that`s hanging over everyone`s head, we`re going to go ahead and pass this health care bill. Do you understand why that might make people frustrated?

LANCE: I just think we have a responsibility to govern and the Congress has a responsibility to govern and the President has a responsibility to govern not only on health care issue but for example on the national defense authorization act which I think is a critically important piece of legislation. That`s the substance of what the House of Representative did this week. I`m very proud of it. And it sends a message incidentally to Russia. And as you know, the Senate passed significant new sanctions against Russia and I hope that we in the House will do so as quickly as possible.

HAYES: Apparently the White House and Paul Ryan though are not so keen on that. Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey, it`s always pleasure for you to come by. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

LANCE: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, just who are the people that coordinated the meeting between top members of Trump campaign and the Kremlin connected lawyer? A closer look at Donald Trump, his friend, the oligarch, and his son, the pop star after this two-minute break.



TRUMP: Emin. I can`t believe you`re turning 35. You`re getting older all the time but you`re winner, you`re a champ, you`re great at real estate and boy, can you entertain.


HAYES: We`re learning more about the relationship between President Trump and the father and son pair who offered to provide the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton straight from the Russian government. Emin Agalarov is a Russian pop singer who says he first met Trump about four years ago when he traveled to Las Vegas to discuss hosting the Miss Universe Pageant at his family owned concert hall in Moscow. Traveling with him, his father Aras, an oligarch and a real estate developer with close ties to Vladimir Putin who`s built an estimated $2 billion fortune thanks in part to Russian government funded construction projects. The Agalarovs certainly appear to have grown close to Trump and his family. That`s them partying together at Miss Universe in Moscow in 2013. Though Donald Trump Jr. sought this week to downplay the relationship.


D.J. TRUMP: There are successful real estate developers over there so you know, that`s the extent of -- you know, my knowledge with them. I met them once or twice and you know, maintained a casual relationship there, talked about some potential deals and meant to that -- the extent that didn`t go anywhere.


HAYES: That`s not the story that Emin Agalarov is telling. He says he`s very close to Trump family, even exchanged messages with Don Jr around the time of the inauguration. The President himself appears particularly close to the Agalarovs. He`s regularly heaped praise on Emin, even appearing in one of his music videos. That`s Trump and Emin at Trump Tower shortly before Trump announced his presidential candidacy. There Trump and Emin at Trump`s golf resort after Emin performed on stage and there`s Emin with Ivanka Trump in 2014 when she flew to Moscow to check out sites for Trump Tower Moscow which was to be built with the Agalarovs. When Trump won the general election, the Agalarovs sent along their congratulations.

The President Elect, Emin claims responded with a hand written note of gratitude. Joining me now, Adam Davidson, Staff Writer at New Yorker. The reason I want to talk to you is because the last time that you and I talked, we`re just hanging out talking shop and you were telling me about this -- you were like, this is pop singer and his dad. And then (INAUDIBLE) that`s kind of a weird sort of thing. Like what -- who are these people and why are they close to the Trumps?

ADAM DAVIDSON, NEW YORKER STAFF WRITER: So the Agalarovs are -- they`re fascinating because they unite two of the worlds of Russian oligarchy. So Aras Agalarov is from Azerbaijan from Bako Azerbaijan and as one political scientist told me, Azerbaijan is almost like a caricature of Russian oligarchy -- thoroughly corrupt, fully deeply profoundly openly nakedly corrupt nation with I should say, close -- some people there have close ties to Donald Trump and his company. And Aras Agalarov left there in I think 1998 to go to Moscow where he became really a top tier Russia level oligarch.

So a multi-billionaire obviously with deep ties in Central Asia. He built this mall, fairgrounds, real estate business, with very close ties to the Putin administration. His son claims, it is amazing how many of these folks say, I just happened to call Donald Trump. I just happened to meet him. His son Emin as you know, because I told you socially, I went and interviewed him a few weeks ago -- a few weeks ago, he was in the U.S. on a concert tour where he was basically hanging a large P.R. staff to promote him as a major American -- potential American singer.

HAYES: It is also funny that happened before all this came out because he would have had a very different press tour now.

DAVIDSON: It probably would work better.

HAYES: Right. Yes.

DAVIDSON: He`s not -- he`s a solid singer. Like it`s -- you know, Poppy.

HAYES: I watch some of the videos.

DAVID: Yes, all right. I mean, it`s fine. Anyway, so I went to interview him and as you know, I pretended to be a pop music journalist. I mean, I was asking sort of -- I asked someone at the New Yorker who knows about pop music to write some questions for me and then I asked him about the relationship with the Trumps. And he said, he just love Donald Trump so much when he was young and he read his book and he dreamed of being like Donald Trump. This is Emin, the son. And so he reached out to Donald Trump through the Miss Universe Organization. I`m skeptical simply because the Agalarovs are close to so many other people. Like --

HAYES: Yes, so wait. I just want to be clear. The story here about the origin of this relationship is that just like plucky Emin having read Donald Trump`s book just reaches out of the blue.

DAVIDSON: Right. Exactly. Like I just love the guy, I reached up out of the blue. It comes up again, again and again. And often the same group of Russian names, Russian emigre names appear in the story. So there`s a guy Tamir Sapir who is another wildly wealthy Russian who lived in Brooklyn and in Manhattan who seems to be at the center of a lot of this has close ties to Agalarov and close ties to Trump for many years as well as close ties to probably to Russian mob officials. There`s also a guy names Lev Leviev, another Russian ex-oligarch who made a fortune with diamonds in Israel. So there`s a group of people who appear often over the last decade or two in Trump`s orbit who are also in the Putin orbit.

HAYES: OK, so this is why it`s so significant to me because we`ve seen so much reporting. Like, he has these Russia ties and he did Miss Universe in Moscow. And I kept watching all these stories and reporting some of them and thinking like, OK, yes. And then there`s another thing happening which is the Russians -- you know, hacked the DNC and John Podesta`s and they wanted to get Trump elected. But you know, it`s possible those two things, both are just true as independent parallel channels. That e-mail is the first evidence of a nexus between the two.

DAVIDSON: Exactly.

HAYES: Which strikes me as a big deal.

DAVIDSON: Yes, it`s a very big deal. And as you know, I`ve been arguing for months now that that will be the nexus. That somehow, if you think of who Donald Trump was in 2012, 2013, he was somebody very desperate for deals with people who were not going to ask too many questions about, will you actually pull off this deal. And Donald Trump had proved himself very eager to work people who have a lot of money, willing to spend the money, who others might not be willing to work with. And I think that mess of stuff is where he this nexus came.

HAYES: All right. Adam Davidson, thank you for your time tonight.

DAVIDSON: Thank you much Chris.

HAYES: All right, coming up, just one no vote away from another failure. Did Ohio Governor John Kasich just seal the fate of repeal and replace? That`s just ahead.


HAYES: Two weeks ago, we led our show with a Wall Street Journal report about Peter Smith, GOP operative who reportedly sought e-mails he believed have been stolen from Hillary Clinton`s e-mail server by Russian hackers. The story was a big deal. And while Smith told the Journal -- on the record, he was working independently -- he had also reportedly intimated to others that he`d been working with Michael Flynn, President Trump`s disgraced former National Security Adviser. And the Journal reported that U.S. investigators have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain e-mails from Miss Clinton`s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary. It wasn`t clear whether or not Smith was that intermediary but until this week, and the disclosure of Trump Junior`s e-mails, that Journal report was the very first concrete evidence of a Trump ally seeking to collude with Russian hackers.

Now, the story has taken a strange (INAUDIBLE) twist. The Wall Street Journal had reported that Smith died just shortly after he was interviewed. But yesterday, Chicago Tribune revealed that his death was not from natural causes. Smith reportedly killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room just days after talking to the Journal, leaving a suicide note in which he said that no foul play whatsoever was involved in his death. Police say there`s evidence to corroborate that claim and you can read all the details in Tribune but there`s a lot about this story of Peter Smith`s operation to obtain those Clinton e-mails that remain very unresolved. What connections he may or may not have had with the campaign and there`s a good chance we`ll be hearing about that in the future.



GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) VIRGINIA: I thank Vice President Pence. He showed true back bone himself in Indiana when he expanded Medicaid for his citizens.


HAYES: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe taking a sort of dig at Mike Pence at a National Governors Association when he was governor meeting when he was governor of Indiana, Pence expanded Medicaid. Now, as vice president, he`s pushing a Senate health care bill that includes hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts to the program and a permanent alternation of how it is funded.

The bill is holding on for now, but one single solitary Republican defection and it`s dead. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won`t have enough votes if he loses just one more. And among Senators who could scuttle the bill are the relative, so-called, self-identified moderates like Nevada`s Dean Heller and Ohio`s Rob Portman, both from states with Republican governors who have been opposed to the absolutely drastic Medicaid cuts in the bill.

Now, Ohio Governor John Kasich today came out on the record blasting the bill, calling it unacceptable, which would put significant pressure on Portman not to support it. At that same governor`s meeting today, Vice President Pence took his own shot at Kasich.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obamacare has put far too many able bodied adults on the Medicaid rolls, leaving many disabled and vulnerable Americans at the back of the line. It is true. And it is heartbreaking.

I know Governor Kasich isn`t with us, but I suspect he is very troubled to know in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists.


HAYES: Joining me now, Jim Manely, the former chief spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

I should note the disability rights groups are dramatically and almost unanimously opposed to this bill. And they`ve been protesting for anyone who thinks this is going to help those folks.

All right, I saw someone today basically say it`s encouraging to McConnell that he got two quick nos, but the damn as helled, but if it leaks it`s going to break, basically. What do you think of that?

JIM MANLEY, FRM. CHIEF SPOKESMAN TO SEN. HARRY REID: I pretty much agree. You know, quite frankly, I`m pretty sure I said a couple weeks ago that I didn`t think Senator McConnell has the votes then and I`m not convinced he has got the votes now.

Based on everything I`ve seen so far, we have got at least a handful of members that are waiting for the CBO score to come out. As you are only well aware of, Chris, and many of your viewers are, this bill has changed very little, especially when it comes to the dramatic cuts in the Medicaid program, number one. Number two, in the number of people that are going to lose access to health care.

So, when that report is released next week, I expect Senator Heller, among others, to quickly get into the no column.

In the meantime, he has boxed himself in the corner in a bad, bad manner. And he`s going to get beaten up all weekend.

HAYES: You`re talking about Heller or McConnell?

MANLEY: Heller.

HAYES: Yeah, so here`s two ways -- the people that I talked to who think that the last -- there are people I talk to who say the last 24 hours are a positive development for McConnell and the people in the leadership are spinning it that way, because they got those two quick noes.

MANLEY: Oldest trick in the books.

HAYES: What do you mean by that?

MANLEY: You need to show positive momentum going into the weekend. If not, this thing is just going to die a quick painful death.

HAYES: And in fact what I was hearing was that McConnell was pleading with people just don`t -- just make it until Monday before you come out if you`re going to come out against it, and giving people of the opportunity of the plot point of the CBO score to say, look -- that`s your read that basically you think the folks who are going to defect on this are waiting for that as their sort of -- the thing they can point to.

MANLEY: Correct, yes.

I think by most estimates, it will show that somewhere between 15 and 22 million Americans are going to lose the health care. And I think for at least one, if not more, that is going to be be the final straw. And they`re going to bail quickly.

HAYES: Yeah, but I -- and to play devil`s advocate, right, I mean, you have got -- McConnell is good at this.

MANLEY: Oh, very good at it.

HAYES: You sat across -- you were chief of staff for Harry Reid. You sat across from him in these sorts of chess matches, right. I mean, he`s held them together. He`s got -- and he can lean on these folks to basically -- if he isolates them, it strikes me, no one is going to want to be the one. If for instance, Heller and Portman and Capito and Murkowski got together, they could just come out as a block and absolutely destroy it. But if he can keep them separated and deal with them individually and they don`t get enough pressure on the other side from constituents, it does seem to me there`s a narrow path.

MANLEY: Yes. I would put it slightly differently. I think also what he`s telling them is that, hey, folks, I really, really need you on this procedural vote, on the motion to proceed to the bill. Stick with me there, give me your vote. And we`ll try mollify your concerns throughout the amendment process.

And if they believe that, they should get a new line of work, because they`ve just been conned bigly, because what McConnell is going to do at the end, and we`ve talked about this before is, after all the amendment process is over with, and after all these dozens of amendments have been dealt with, he is going to swoop in in the end and offer one big amendment that is going to subsume everything that--

HAYES: And jam them.

MANLEY: And why? Because he is going to make that bill more conservative in the end so he can quickly get through the House.

HAYES: That`s exactly right. And that`s totally true. And he`s already done that, because the moderates didn`t like the Medicaid cuts, and what he did was the new version has a Cruz/Lee amendment in it and it has got nothing for the moderates on the Medicaid, because he is just betting, I can roll you because you`re basically a coward and don`t believe what you say you believe.

MANLEY: Absolutely. And so that`s where -- that`s where the pressure from these governors coming from are going to be so important.

HAYES: Jim Manley and constituents, thanks for joining me.

Still ahead, keeping track of the constantly shifting explanations for the failure to disclose a meeting with the Russian lawyers. Jared Kushner`s lawyers give the least believable excuse yet.

And a record breaking Thing One, Thing Two starts after this.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, we`ve been documenting President Trump`s odd overly aggressive style of shaking hands, the so-called yank and pull that he`s deployed on members of his team, world leaders, and others. That`s not the only technique the president often uses. There`s also the power clasp, seen here most notably with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, holding him tight to the vest, an embrace that went on and on and on.

There`s the hand pat, which was on display during last weekend`s awkward greeting with the president of South Korea at the G20, a hand hold followed by a few taps.

But what if I told you there`s new video of a supremely transcendently awkward handshake that incorporates all of those techniques and is so long you almost need to speed it up with music. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: President Trump attended the Bastille Day celebration with President Macron in Paris, but during the parade there was this very strange handshake that amid hand pats, some yank and pulls, awkwardly continued, even as it looked like President Macron was trying to wrap it up. You`re watching this in real time. The shake kept going and going, morphing into a power claps and roping in the first lady of France in a greeting that turned into a group hand holding session. See that there. It lasted nearly 30 seconds.

We didn`t -- this is not edited at all. It just keeps going. And then oh, uh, but it seemed -- whew, done -- like it could use some editing. So, we`ll play it again just a little faster.



HAYES: New revelations have come so quickly on Russian involvement with the election and confirmed attempts at collusion. It`s worth stepping back and noting just how the story has come, beginning with the person at the center of it all: Donald Trump Jr.

On July 24, 2016, about a year ago, Donald Trump Jr. was asked specifically about a claim by Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook that Russians were behind the hacking of the DNC as part of a plot to help Donald Trump get elected. We now know that question was asked just weeks after Don Jr`s meeting following an email promising information that, and I quote here, would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would very useful to your father, part of Russia and its government`s support for Mr. Trump.

But a few weeks after that June 2016 meeting, Trump Jr`s fanned outrage at the notion of Russian involvement.


TRUMP JR.: Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they`ll say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time and time again lie after lie.

I mean, I can`t think of bigger lies. But that exactly goes to show what you the DNC and what the Clinton camp will do.


HAYES: Big, big lies. Before and after Trump`s election as president, there were further questions about any meeting or contact with Russian officials and the denials.


GEORGE STPEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?

PAUL MANAFORT, FRM. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, there are not. It is absurd. There`s no basis to it.

JOHN DICKERSON, ABC NEWS: Did anyone involved in the Trump campaign have any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE TRUMP ADVISER: Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: I`m asking you a direct question, was there any contact in any way between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin or cut- outs they had.

PENCE: I joined this campaign in the summer, and I can tell you that all the contact by the Trump campaign and associates was was with the American people.

WALLACE: I`m just trying to get an answer.

PENCE: Of course not.


HAYES: Senator Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, failed to disclose his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak which ultimately led him to recuse himself from the Russian investigation.

And now, to bring it back to Donald Trump Jr., there are his untruths and rapidly evolving characterizations about that June 2016 meeting. From an initial claim of no meetings, that`s what told The Times back in March, which he represented the campaign in any way, to a meeting about Russian adoption, to meeting in which opposition research about Hillary Clinton was promised but not delivered, to a meeting with eight people instead of just a few.

Also, the president`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, attend that had June 2016 meeting. The very special problem of Jared Kushner ahead.


HAYES: Under the possible penalty of perjury, Jared Kushner, the president`s son-in-law and senior adviser did not disclose on his initial security clearance form, any of his foreign contacts including his meetings with Russian officials.

And this account by Yahoo News` Michael Isikoff is eye opening. Listen to this, he initially filed his SF-86, that`s security clearance form, on January 18, leaving out any mention of meetings with foreign government officials during the transition of the campaign. His lawyers has said this was inadvertent and that a member of his staff prematurely hit the send button for the form before it was completed.

Within 12 hours, they have said, Kushner notified the FBI he would would make amendments and disclose his meetings with foreign officials. This follow by a revised security clearance submission on May 11. OK, first off, submitting the form is not as simple as a single accidental mouse click, as managing editor of Lawfare Susan Hennessey notes you have to click, enter password 28 times in order to e-file.

Secondly, it took four months from the allegedly inadvertent filing to submit a revised form listing foreign contact?

And thirdly, that revision, the one that four months later didn`t include the meeting Kushner attended at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 with Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and the Russian nationals, the meeting, you know, where they said the Russian government wants to help you out with Hillary Clinton dirt that at the center of the news for the past week.

That revision, his second to the so-called SF-86, that was done on June 21st.

Joining me now, Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter for The Guardian, MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, former RNC chairman.

Let me start with you, Michael. I found the existing publication of that email has altered the way that I think about this whole thing. And I had Congressman Leonard Lance, and I asked him about this, I`ve got to think the senators and Republican congressmen on Capitol Hill are know that -- are watching themselves being lied to. I know that.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: They do. They`re nervous about it. They`re angry about it. But they realize that there`s very little they can do about it. Why? Because the cement that has blocked in them in around their feet are the very voters who are running 80 percent, 90 percent still in support of President Trump. So they can`t do any chipping away at this at all.

HAYES: I mean, they could. It would just cost them politically. Let`s be clear, we are free agents as human beings.

STEELE: My attitude is are you willing to take the risk? I mean what matters most. You`ve now got on the table the country, the party and a whole lot of other stuff that could be a real mess if this is allowed to play itself with Mueller coming down the pike a year from now saying, oh, by the way, this is a litany of things that are problematic. What do you do? Where do you go?

And so that`s their reality right now.

So, you want to get to the legislative agenda, which is as about as messed up as it possibly could be.

HAYES: Although, they`re plunging ahead. I mean, it`s sort of remarkable to watch this all happen, right. You know, it`s just like, well, we`re going to have a vote on health care next week.

STEELE: Whether we win it or not, we`re going to do something that`s not talking about this. And that where McConnell wants to be, that`s where a lot of the senators want to be. They don`t want have to carry this baggage of health care into 2018. They don`t. But, OK. We`re stuck at that door, because they don`t know what all this other baggage is going to contain.

HAYES: But that`s the thing. I mean, Sabrina, I have -- you know, it`s a satisfying thing as a reporter when you catch someone in a lie and it happens -- you know, it definitely happens a lot. It`s a great feeling when you email or call back saying actually, I have that record of the meeting you said you weren`t in.

But I have -- I don`t think I can remember the last time that I saw something lied about this brazenly and unravel so quickly. I mean, usually like one or the other happens, but it`s just -- it`s been head snapping.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER: Well, yes, this is a White House that has a credibility problem and it starts from the very top. And even if you take the administration out of the equation for just a second and you look at Donald Trump Jr.`s version of events, day by day he`s been caught in one lie after another.

And what`s important about that, Chris, is that the assertion via the White House as well as Donald Trump Jr. is that, yes, this meeting did take place, and fine, here are the actual circumstances around which this meeting was set up, but nothing actually came of the meeting.

And when you look at the fact that there is a version of events unraveled each day, you have no reason to take Donald Trump Jr.`s word at face value. There`s in way to actually prove that nothing came from that meeting. And again, it`s the totality of the meetings as you mentioned earlier on in your show. This is not one isolated meeting. We know that there have been multiple occasions where there were communications between Trump associates and members of the campaign and the Russians.

HAYES: Yeah. I want to read just to remind everyone what the story was. This is the official statement by Don Jr. when The Times breaks the news about the meeting that is signed off on by the president on Air Force One.

"It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by," that`s not true, they were copied on the email. It was more than stopping -- "we primarily discussed the program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago. It was since ended by the Russian government. It was not a campaign issue at the time. There was no follow up."

Well, that`s not really true, that was not the reason was.

"I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance," it doesn`t say who, though we now know who it was, "but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting." Well, maybe not the the name but Russian government lawyer representing the Russian state in the efforts for your father to win.

I mean, that was five days ago. And so, now when they say oh, nothing came of the meeting or when Jared Kushner`s people try to tell us they accidentally hit send.

STEELE: But you know what this plays to--

HAYES: Come on.

STEELE: This doesn`t play to the narrative that they want you to embrace.

HAYES: Oh, of course not. I know that.

STEELE: This plays to the narrative that that 85 percent of GOPpers and 40 percent of all Americans who stand behind Trump as one Trump supporter put it to me just yesterday, why don`t you just let him do his job?

And as long as the president knows that that perspective about him is out there--

HAYES: And not only that, he is -- what`s very clear I have watched them over the last -- Sabrina, I have watched them in the last, I would say three to four weeks get their sea legs in making sure they could hold that 40 percent.

It is very clear to me now their entire strategy, the ministers praying over him, the interview with Pat Robertson, the Fox News, the Don Jr. sort of fighting on Twitter, they understand they`ve got to keep that 40 percent and everything is now targeted to that.

SIDDIQUI: Yes. There`s actually a recent poll that`s very telling of the Republican electorate and it found that one in four Republican voters do not actually view Russia as a serious threat. So there is this reorienting of the Republican Party that we already know has happened under Trump`s watch.

And the real question is are the Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have been for years bemoaning the Obama administration`s response to Russia and are now sort of turning the other way when Donald Trump is showing such a great affinity toward Vladimir Putin and, you know, when they`re being presented with evidence of at least a willingness by the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians, are they going to at some point say enough is enough.

Yes, they want health care. Yes, they want tax reform, but are they willing to go against what they claim, you know, is the backbone of U.S. democracy and all of these institutions that they claim that they revere.

HAYES: Spoiler alert: no. Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael Steele, thank you.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.