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Jarrett responds to racist Roseanne tweet. TRANSCRIPT: 05/29/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: McKay Coppins, Michele Jawanda, Linda Chavez, Cedric Richmond, Dan Rather, Jennifer Rodgers, Michelle Goldberg

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 29, 2018 Guest: McKay Coppins, Michele Jawanda, Linda Chavez, Cedric Richmond, Dan Rather, Jennifer Rodgers, Michelle Goldberg

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Philadelphia, I`m Chris Hayes. I`m here in Philadelphia for our town hall on everyday racism in America and that will be airing right here just one hour from now. Of course, it could not come on a more appropriate day. The news today dominated by ABC`s stunning decision to cancel the revival of Roseanne, the number one show on television after a star and co-creator Roseanne Barr`s overtly racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, the former Senior Adviser to President Obama. Barr writing, "Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes had a baby equals V.J." After an immediate backlash, Barr deleted the tweet and apologized but the blowback was swift. Her talent agent dropped her as a client and ABC`s Entertainment President Channing Dungey deemed Barr`s comments, "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values." By late this afternoon, ABC had remove all mentions of Roseanne from its Web site. As for Valerie Jarrett, well, she had been scheduled in advance to appear in tonight`s town hall before Barr`s tweet. And here`s how she responds to the attack.


VALERIE JARRETT, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I`m fine. I`m worried about all the people out there who don`t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense. The person who`s walking down the street minding their own business and see somebody cling to their purse or walk across the street. I want to the mention that Bob Iger, a CEO of Disney called me before the announcement. He apologized. He said that he had zero tolerance for that sort of racist, bigoted comment and wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show. And so, I appreciate that they did that --


HAYES: Jarrett went on to note that Barr`s tone comes from the top President Trump who is about to kick off a rally in Nashville this very night which we will be monitoring for any news or mention of Barr, of course fuels his political rise by relentlessly pushing a false and racist conspiracy theory about President Obama`s birthplace. Upon his departure from the Oval Office today, Trump refused to answer shouted questions about Barr or well, anything else.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you`re reaction to Roseanne? Your reaction to Roseanne?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the summit going to happen, Mr. President? What about immigration and Roseanne, Mr. President?


HAYES: Barr has long trafficked in racism and conspiracy theories. She`s been a vocal Trump supporter both in her personal life and of course on her show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How could you have voted for him, Roseanne?

ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: He talked about jobs, Jackie. He said, he`d shake things up. I mean this might come as a complete shock to you but we almost lost our house the way things are going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you looked at the news because now things are worse.

BARR: Not on the real news.



HAYES: After that, Roseanne revival debuted massive ratings in March and for the record, those ratings have declined subtly since then. The President celebrated Roseanne Barr has a kindred spirit.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at Roseanne. I called her yesterday. Look at her ratings. Look at her ratings.

They were unbelievable. Over 18 million people and it was about us.


HAYES: With me now to discuss all this, my colleague and Co-Host for tonight`s town hall Joy Reid, the Host of "A.M. JOY." Also with me the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Cedric Richmond, Democrat of Louisiana. Congressman, let me start with you. What is your reaction to ABC`s actions today?

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA), CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Well, I think it was appropriate, I think it was swift, I think it was warranted. So they made a quick decision, the right decision and applaud them for it.

HAYES: Joy, I have to say, I mean, you and I were talking about this today. Roseanne has quite a history. I mean, she -- it`s not just this tweet. She said something about Susan Rice back in 2013. She traffics in really deeply crazy conspiracy theories. You`ve really got to ask a question of like, what exactly did ABC think it was getting?

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Nostalgia. I mean, you know, part of the lore of Trumpism is that it does play to a certain nostalgia. And you know the data bears out that a lot of it is nostalgia for an imagined 1950s, right, when they were more orderly in a lot of people`s view relations between the sexes, between the races. And so there`s that nostalgia part of the Trump appeal and what the networks and I think what ABC was looking at is that there`s also just a nostalgia for a kind of sitcom, a kind of television experience that`s also bygone. And obviously, given it open to 22 million viewers or so, that is true. People want to look back to those past characters that they grew up with that they had affection for.

The difference with Roseanne of course is that you know, once after her show was launched, you had the incident with the doing the National Anthem, there was really controversial that the person that she is and the character of Roseanne are very different people and they`re now more in alignment. And I think for a lot of people it`s been jarring, but from the fans of Donald Trump it was affirming. It was saying here`s somebody who`s portraying who we are, who`s portraying our kind of people. So I can understand why the network said look, Trump just won an election, let`s try to get some of those 60 some-odd million people to watch this show.

HAYES: Congressman, you wrote a letter and it has a title sort of open a letter, Dear White People which is a name of a movie that had been out in theaters about kind of your experience. You`re the head of the Congressional Black Caucus. At this moment as we`re having this kind of bit of reckoning around a bunch of incidents that have piled up around the country that people, I think some people white people particularly are just sort of paying attention to. What do you want to communicate?

RICHMOND: Well, I just want people to know that one, you can`t judge a book by its cover. Normally when I`m on your show, Chris, I`m wearing a suit. Today, I decided to dress down because I`m that person that when I`m not wearing a suit, white people will clutch their purse across on the other side of the street or just assume that I have bad intentions because of how I look. And I think that we have to get past that. So let`s go all the way back to Trayvon Martin who had iced tea and skittles, what George Zimmerman perceived him as a threat and then it comes that interaction between black males, law enforcement, or want to be law enforcement and we end up with a young African-American male, unarmed African-American male that`s now dead.

We have to get past that. So you can look at the Starbucks incident, you can look at the four African-American women who were playing golf and people call the police on them because they were going too slow. So are the black family that was barbecuing in a park and they called the police on them. At some point, the police have to make better decisions. But then again, our white fellow citizens have to stop receiving African- Americans as a threat to them simply because of the color of their skin.

HAYES: And what`s striking Joy, to me with what the Congressman is talking about in terms of some of the kind of more implicit or at least unarticulated biases people have when they call the cops, in the Rosanne situation in both in her -- you know, how she has performed online, what she said about Muslims, Palestinians, all sorts of groups even before today, it`s just explicit rhetoric of bigotry and there`s a real question about how much that is the ground for that is shifting in favor of it certainly before today.

REID: Well, I mean, if you think about it --

RICHMOND: Absolutely. And --

REID: Oh, sorry, Congressman.

RICHMOND: No, go ahead, Joy.

REID: OK, no I was going to say that you know, the other part of the Trump appeal, that if you look at a lot of his followers especially online was this sense of political correctness, right, that the left was policing speech in a way that didn`t allow people to make jokes or comments or Facebook posts that they felt were inbounds and that people of color felt were out of bounds. And I think one of the results of the eight years of President Obama is that a whole group of Americans who felt straitjacketed in the things that they could say and get away with it and not get in trouble. And I think that one of the things that Donald Trump has done is sort of unleashed a sort of permission and said listen, you can be who you are. Let it fly. You`re allowed to do it because I can do it.

And I think he became the avatar for being able to you know, put forward a kind of speech that people felt had been stifled. You`re hearing the same debate about college campuses and they`re not allowed to speak. It is interesting that you know, people on that side of the line carve out the NFL as the one place where they don`t feel there should be that you know, open zone of free speech for the players who want to protest police brutality. But other than the players, there is this sense that you know the Trump era, you know, the Trump era means we can say it. We can say whatever we want and there aren`t going to be consequences because the President of United States has sort of said you can do it.

HAYES: Does it feel that way to you, Congressman?

RICHMOND: Well absolutely the President has brought bullying back into mainstream. And people see what he`s able to do and get away with, never apologizes for anything from mocking a disabled reporter to all of the things that he consistently does. So he`s an enabler for all of this hate speech in these actions that are going on because he`s feeding into it. You won`t hear him say anything about this incident. You don`t hear him really man up or act like the Commander in Chief and put -- have this conversation on race. I mean, it`s really -- the sad part of it all is that it stems right from the White House to Main Street and I`m just afraid that the division that he plays into purposely and strategically is going to create a bigger divide in this country between law enforcement, between white citizens and black citizens, and I think that it`s a dangerous game that he`s playing just for his political game.

HAYES: All right, Joy Reid and Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. Thank you both for being with me.

REID: Thank you.

RICHMOND: Thanks for having us, Chris.

HAYES: I`m joined now by a former Anchor of CBS Evening News Dan Rather, Present CEO of News & Guts, the Author of What Unites Us: Reflections of Patriotism. Maybe I`ll start with where the Congressman and Joy were just left off about the tone set from the top and a kind of perception that all bets are off now because of how the President behaves rhetorically.

DAN RATHER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEWS & GUTS: Well, there are two different parts of that. One is the tone set by the President which by any reasonable analysis is terrible particularly when it applies to race relations. The other is the perception somehow that he`s winning this battle for hearts and minds which I for one did not believe. But you know, the encouraging thing about what we`re seeing, Chris, there are all kinds of encouraging things. What ABC and Disney did today frankly surprised me and once the point is shocking me. They made a big money decision. It cost them a lot of money. They decided the right thing, they decided it quickly, they decided against their own monetary interest and I think I really give enough credit to the corporate leadership Iger, Sherwood, (INAUDIBLE) all of those people.

And this indicates to me that this perception that somehow Trump is winning the battle for it`s OK to say what you want, I don`t think you -- maybe that`s just a result of my optimism but I don`t think he is. And I think we may look back on this day, Chris, as another if not turning-point part of some wide turning points that we`ve seen. You know, back in the late 50s and early 60s, we had young people leading the (INAUDIBLE) and the Freedom Riders. We had young people who were predominant in large numbers following Dr. Martin Luther King. More recently on the issue of gun violence we`ve had what happened with the Parkland School in Florida that young Americans are not buying into this business of racism at all.

Now, I don`t believe and I don`t think most white Americans believe that the majority of Americans are racist but we can`t take any comfort in that because we obviously have deep and abiding problems with what you have called and I compliment MSNBC for this special tonight --special tonight about everyday racism. We obviously have some deep and abiding problems. But once again I say, Chris, we learn from our history that we go through these periods, the civil rights movement in the late 50s and early 60swas a period, we`ve seen several of these periods, I think this may be part of a turning point what happened today.

HAYES: It`s interesting you note the sort of -- the swiftness of the decision, the fact that happened against its monetary interest the network and to Joy`s point about the fact there was a market for this. You know, I wonder what you think about the fact that look, I mean there was all this talk about Roseanne representing authentically a group of Americans that feel unrepresented in pop culture, but in some ways it seems this is sort of the other side of that and that she really is authentically one of the people that she claims she is on the show.

RATHER: Well, exactly. I think that many people thought, well, she`s just an actress and she`s acting the part on the show, that`s not who she is, how she really is. I don`t know Roseanne Barr, I don`t know what a personality is in person. However, it turns out just as you say that the things she was saying in the program, what she reflected on the program where she is in terms of politics, ideology and particularly in race relations is pretty much who she turned out to be. And one important thing about this day, Chris, and I think we have to point out that this was a teaching moment as Valerie Jarrett said and says on the recorded program that follows this one, this is a teaching moment. Actions and words have their consequences. And Roseanne Barr had obviously reached the point where she saw that she was bulletproof because she was so successful particularly to this new program. Well, boom, she says the wrong thing and you know, awful things and there`s a quick and important consequence to pay for that. That is a very important teaching moment.

HAYES: Final question here. Just immediate thoughts about what the president would say anything about this. Obviously, he talked about calling her up and she kind of had a little bit of the record that she has about her public statements even back then. But there`s a real question in my mind about whether you -- what we expect to see the President away on this. What do you think?

RATHER: Well, I don`t think. I think given his record on the basis of what he said and let`s remember he praised Roseanne Barr, praised her to high heaven. You ran some of the clips as you opened the program when she was seeming on top having a great rating, success, and all that. I find it again a very instructive moment that now he has not denounced what she said, he hasn`t said this is wrong, he doesn`t say anything so far. We`ll see later on as the evening goes along. As you know in his record demonstrates President Trump is pretty good about trying to go with the wind. But thus far, I think it`s a very instructive about who he is, what he stands for, the essence said anything.

And there`s one other point, Chris, that I can`t leave without saying. You know, there was talk that always is talk about well, President Trump sets the tone and how influence he is. No PRESIDENT is more powerful than the country as a whole. And the country as a whole particularly the young people in the country are moving in the opposite direction from Donald Trump on race as well as some other things, but most importantly on race.

HAYES: It`s a great point. I mean, the President is one person and it`s a big country and citizens ultimately control the destiny of the nation. Dan Rather, thanks for your time tonight.

RATHER: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Next, new reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into a previously unreported meeting between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions about Sessions` recusal from the investigation. That breaking news happened just about ten minutes ago in two minutes.


HAYES: Breaking news tonight on the obstruction of justice probe targeting the President of the United States. New York Times reporting the Special Counsel is examining a previously undisclosed encounter between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March 2017 where the President urged Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. According to the Times, Sessions had flown to Florida because the President was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on the travel ban. When they finally spoke, the President who had told aides he needed a loyalists overseeing the inquiry berated Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision which The Times calls an unusual and potentially inappropriate request. Sessions, as we know, refused to comply.

For more on the President`s campaign against the Mueller probe, I`m joined by Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for The New York Times and former Federal Prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. And Jennifer I`ll start with you of this news. I mean, you`ve got a situation which Sessions refuses because he says he might be implicated in the -- in the investigation. The President freezes him out for two days. Sessions flies to Mar-a-Lago to talk to the President, and the first thing the President wants to talk about is to berate him and tell him you should un-recuse. What`s your reaction to that?

JENNIFER RODGERS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, my reaction is that this kind of goes in the bucket of things that we already knew happened but didn`t have confirmation of. I mean, we knew the President was so unhappy. We knew that he berated Jeff Sessions. We knew that he didn`t want him to recuse and he complained about it constantly. So you know, I think this is just confirmation of what we already know. But Sessions was very clear to say that he had consulted with ethics, the ethics folks at DOJ and that this was something that they told him he had to do. So he didn`t really have a path to undo that. So you know, I mean, again it`s just the President ranting and raving, I suppose, but you know, Sessions did the right thing and then stuck with the decision.

HAYES: Michelle, you know, it seems to me that the -- what`s clear here is there is now explicitly a political campaign against the Mueller probe. It`s not really a legal one. And that`s probably been clear from the beginning. Here`s what Giuliani said on Sunday about the President sort of increasingly baroque conspiracy theories he`s been spinning about the probe. Take a listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: We`re defending -- to a large extent remember, Danna, we`re defending here, it is for public opinion because eventually, the decision here is going to be impeached not impeach. Members of Congress Democrat and Republican are going to be informed a lot by their constituents. So our jury as it should be is the American people and the American people, yes, or Republicans largely, Independent pretty substantially, and even some Democrats now question the legitimacy of it.


HAYES: Sort of giving away the game.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, and I think to some extent I think that Democrats have made it a little bit too easy for them because there`s no question at least in my mind that Trump has done manifold things that are impeachable, right? That like if he has done even a third of the things that we think he has done in the Russia investigation, never mind emoluments, never mind you know, compromising American intelligence, of course, he should be impeached. And Democrats -- Democratic leadership has decided for what might be very sound politically or strategically political reasons to take impeachment off the table. They`ve decided that this is an issue that they don`t want to fight on. They have the example of impeachment sort of backfiring on Republicans during President Clinton`s administration. But what it means is that the goal posts have shifted so that you don`t have a lot of strong voices out there anymore saying that this is an absolutely unprecedented scandal, this is an intolerable level of corruption. And you know we don`t we don`t need kind of to keep raising the bar. We already know enough to know that this President should be removed from office expeditiously.

HAYES: Jennifer, what do you think about the latest from the Giuliani folks about the sort of will he or won`t he with sit down from Mueller to Michelle`s point you know that they`re sort of obviously whipping up a kind of predicate, pretext here to not actually do the interview. Giuliani says he won`t sit for the interview now unless he gets to review the documents that are associated with the active investigation into him. Is that a reasonable request?

RODGERS: It`s not a reasonable request but you know, I don`t even believe that if he saw the documents he would sit for the interview. You know, all of this back and forth is it`s just a way to pitch to the base that this is unfair. I don`t think he`s ever sitting for this interview. You know, seeing the documents are not seeing the documents doesn`t have anything to do with it. You know, I think we`re not going to do that interview no matter what happens with the document.

HAYES: So what do you think he`s going to do then?

RODGERS: I think he`s going to refuse to sit down and wait and see what Mueller does and then they`ll fight a subpoena if they get one. You know, look, after the subpoena comes, of course they can always back down and say, OK now we`ll sit for the interview. And Mueller might take that given how long the litigation would drag out. So I think he feels like he still has that in his back pocket so he might as well push hard now and see how it goes.

HAYES: Do you think -- Michelle, there`s two theories. One is the President has been increasingly lashing out at Mueller because he`s panicking or he`s unable to control himself. He`s been restrained and now not. And the other is this is an extremely thought-out kind of tactical attack to sort of raise the temperature, see what he can get away with. Which do you think it is?

GOLDBERG: I mean, it`s a combination of both, right? I mean, Donald Trump is a repulsive person but he does have this sort of lizard brain genius. This you know, this inability to kind of channel the impulses or prejudices to basically know what will go over with his face. So, on the one hand, I think he -- it`s something that he understands intuitively what he has to do to get out in front of this. On the other hand, everything that -- he`s acting like somebody who is clearly guilty and cornered understands even if nobody else will say it that the legitimacy of his presidency is very much in question.

HAYES: That last point, just to reiterate and underline that. I mean, the President launching into Jeff Sessions berating him and saying you should un-recuse so that you could control this inquiry is yet another data point to Michelle`s point of a person acting like they`re guilty. I don`t know if he`s guilty but he acts like he`s guilty all the time, every time. Michelle Goldberg and Jennifer Rodgers, great to have you both. Up next, the Trump administration`s use of children as pawns in their immigration policy. The latest escalation next.



HAYES: The government is doing something they haven`t been doing before which is to separate children from parents, right?

LAURA ST. JOHN, LEGAL DIRECTOR, THE FLORENCE PROJECT: That`s correct, Chris. I mean, what`s happening right now is really unprecedented. What we`ve seen here in Arizona is actually since January over 200 cases of parents being separated from their children and some of these children are extremely young as you mentioned. We`ve actually seen children who are two years old regularly. And just last week we saw a 53-week old infant in court without a parent.


HAYES: Last Friday on this very show our guest shared horrifying stories of immigrant children, in some cases babies being torn from their parents on the border. Now the Trump Administration has been reluctant to actually admit this is what they`re doing even though White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called ripping apart immigrant families "a tough deterrent." But the administration is now making things harder even for children who show up alone. Those unaccompanied minors on the border with new plans to require that parents, parents get fingerprinted in order to claim their migrant children despite fears that undocumented parents will be too scared to come forth. Here to help me understand what this administration is doing, NBC News reporter Julia Ainsley who wrote that story about immigrant parents being fingerprinted and Michelle Brane, Director of Migrant Rights and Justice at the Women`s Refugee Commission. Julia, let me start with you. This, I want to be clear here because these two things have been conflated, it`s important people understand the difference. This new policy on fingerprinting as unaccompanied minors, these are children who showed up at the border who are minors without a parent and what is the new policy?

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So in this new policy, Chris, children who come unaccompanied across the border and are then taken into HHS custody when someone tries to claim them and that person is the parent, they will now be fingerprinted. And the fear, of course, is that parents will be afraid to come forward because they don`t want to give their information over to the government particularly if they`re undocumented as many of these parents are. They also would not want ICE to be able to deport them right there. They -- even though it`s HHS, it`s technically a different branch that`s under Health and Human Services, not Department of Homeland Security. This is the federal government, and the two work very hand in hand when it comes to these undocumented children. That is, of course, separate from parents who are crossing the border with their children, but it`s very common for parents to come to the U.S. first, try to establish things, make that treacherous journey and then send for a child to be brought up, perhaps through a sponsor, perhaps through a family friend or someone else and then there`s a reunification here.

I actually reported on this very proposal when it was being pushed by some career officials at DHS in 2016 that did not go forward under the Obama administration, principally because people at HHS said no this will deter parents from coming forward and it will take longer for family reunification.

I asked that same question to officials today. And they said any parent who is afraid to come forward would be unfit to be a parent.

HAYES: They said that today, HHS said that?

AINSLEY: On a conference call, yes, that`s in our story.

HAYES: Michelle, let`s talk about the separation policy. So these are parents who are coming with their kids, they`re showing up at the border. A lot of times in the case of one of the plaintiffs, the ACLU lawsuit, a woman from Congo who is declaring at a port of entry for asylum, the government is taking the children away from parents. And the president tweeted this on Saturday, "put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from their parents once they cross the border into the U.S." Then a lot of other sort of immigration mad libs.

Is there a law that is requiring the president to do this?

BRANE: Absolutely not. There`s no law that requires this. This is pure and simple a policy of the Trump administration that is intended to discourage parents from seeking asylum in this country.

And let me make that clear, they have a legal right to seek asylum, and the administration`s policy is intended pure and simple it deter them from doing that.

HAYES: Meaning if you come here and you try to seek asylum in this country, which again that is not illegal, they have a legal right to seek asylum. There`s a process in place for that, then you are just going to have your 1-year-old ripped from your arms and put into some facility you might not know where it is and that will make it less likely you do that?

BRANE: That`s the theory. As hard as it is to believe that that would be the intent, that is exactly what the administration is trying to do.

HAYES: Julia, one thing that`s maddening here, and (inaudible) Ernest (ph) said this the other night when we had him on, he`s litigating against the government in this case, is the government is being very dodgy about whether this is the policy or not. I mean, Kelly sort of copped to it in that interview with NPR. It`s clear Jeff Sessions, I think, on May 7 said, look, if you come with your kid, we`ll separate your kid and prosecute you, but they seem unwilling to actually admit it.

What is your sense from your reporting of what they say the policy is.

AINSLEY: Chris, I got a kind of strange call from DHS later today hours after we had the story out is that I just want to clarify we`re not separating children. And I said what? You must be having to make a lot of calls in Washington if that is the case, because that`s been so reported through anecdotal evidence and through what John Kelly has said and through what the attorney general said. And they said what we`re really doing is we are increasing the number of referrals for prosecution of parents. And anytime a parent is prosecuted, just like if you were a parent dealing drugs on the streets of Chicago, you would be separated from your child.

So they`re kind of piecing this apart here to say it`s not a new policy, because parents would have been separated from their children in that case earlier. But it is different in a very categorical way because they`re forcing more parents to take that path. They would push back on the fact that these are asylum seekers, but that is because they are raising the bar on what it means to claim asylum. They are making it harder to pass that initial definition, exactly.

HAYES: Yeah. Michele, does that justification scan to you as someone who knows the law and the policy here?

BRANE: No, it`s absurd.

First of all, as we`ve already said, it is perfectly legal to come to our border and seek asylum. That is written in U.S. law. The U.S. immigration law says you can come to our border and ask for asylum and you have to be put through a process.

People who are coming to the border, even at ports of entry, as you reported the other day in the ACLU case, even people coming at ports of entry and presenting themselves and saying here I am. I throw myself at your mercy, I`m asking for asylum and protection for my child, are being separated or, in many cases, turned back at the border.

HAYES: All right, Julia Ainsley and Michelle Brane, we`re going to stay on this story. Thank you both for your help tonight in understanding it.

Coming up, as we count down toward tonight`s big town hall, the president`s rhetoric and his record, crucially, his record when it comes to people of color. Some absolutely galling new numbers out of Puerto Rico and much more ahead.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s been clear ever since the 2016 campaign that Texas Senator Ted Cruz doesn`t have the firmest grasp of basketball.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: You know, the amazing thing is that basketball ring here in Indiana, it`s the same height as it is in New York City and every other place in this country. And there is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do.


HAYES: That`s like one of my favorite campaign moments, the pandering to Indiana voters and managing to call a basketball hoop a basketball ring.

But OK, at least he`s enthusiastic about the sport. Cruz tweeted this picture of himself last night at game seven between his hometown Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors. And boy was he fired up, tweeting in the final quarter, Rockets it`s now or never. Houston is #clutchcity. It`s Q four. Get her done. Go Rockets.

But all that passion from Senator Cruz couldn`t save the Rockets from imploding, making NBA history with 27 excruciating missed three-pointers in a row. Some people unfairly placed the blame for the loss on Cruz.

"Thanks for cursing the Rockets," says one.

Others got the hashtag #Cruzcurse going.

But if you thought Ted Cruz had a rough day at the ball game, wait till you see what happened to Rudy Giuliani on his birthday. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: Rudy Giuliani could have spent his retirement enjoying himself, playing some golf, taking in some baseball games, but instead he decided to join the Trump legal team, and now he goes on TV nearly every day to antagonize the Mueller investigation.

So, how do you think that`s going on in his hometown of New York City? Well, we got one indication yesterday. It was the former mayor`s 74th birthday, so he took the day off from politics and went to a game at Yankee Stadium. But his day went a bit sour when they starred announcing fans` birthdays.


ANNOUNCER: Happy 33rd birthday to (inaudible).

New York Yankees wish a happy birthday to Mayor Giuliani.




HAYES: As we have mentioned tonight, just 15 minutes from now, we are airing the town hall event hosted by Joy Reid and myself, Everyday Racism in America. We are broadcasting this not only on the day that Roseanne Barr news happened, but also on the day that Starbucks all around the country closed to provide their employees with anti-bias training.

For tonight`s Town Hall, MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee reported from across the country on exactly what everyday racism in America looks like.


ERIC ROGERS, STUDENT: As soon as we entered the door, we were a target. I knew we were being profiled. And I was just shocked, because I knew we were doing (inaudible).

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC: So you walk in the store. You are looking for some stuff and then what happens?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two older gentlemen that work in the store come act like they fixing racks. And what made it bad, it was like the rack`s already neat. So I told them that they`re watching us and then we was confronted by an older lady who asked me were my grandparents proud of what I was doing. I was like you don`t know me. What are you talking about? She said stealing.

DIRONE TAYLOR, STUDENT: And I asked to speak to the manager and the workers say no, you can`t speak to the manager, but you can talk to the police.

ROGERS: Stop us in the store and make sure we weren`t stealing it.

TAYLOR: We immediately see like three squad cars pull up.

ROGERS: They told dispatch there were three black man in a store. They say we were stealing several items.

LEE: Were you afraid at any point?

ROGERS: I was afraid at the point when they were still inside the cars because I didn`t know what type of police we could be dealing with. Police are killing young black men, so you`re scared in this situation.

TAYLOR: I was scared, so I just let them do their job. And I was thankful they let us speak our mind and talk about the situation.

LEE: How do you process any of this? How does any of this make sense to you or does it not make sense?

ROGERS: It`s still kind of hard to process. I think about it every day.

LEE: All these days later, you`re still thinking about it?

ROGERS: Still thinking about it every day I wake up.


HAYES: This is a must see town hall, it`s coming up in just 15 minutes at 9:00. And President Trump`s rhetoric on issues of race have had concrete detrimental effects on his policy. That`s next.



TRUMP: Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was totally overpowering, nobody`s ever seen anything like this, and what is your death count as of this moment, 17?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 16 certified.

TRUMP: 16 people certified. 16 people versus in the thousands.


HAYES: Well, today we have a far, far better idea of the real tragedy and its depth and scope of Puerto Rico. A new Harvard study published in The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that at least 4,645 deaths can be linked to the hurricane and its immediate aftermath, that`s thousands, not the 64 deaths so often reported as the official tally of that hurricane.

It`s the biggest disaster of the Trump administration so far, one of the deadliest natural disasters most likely in American history, and honestly you would be forgiven for wondering if it might have something to do with how the administration felt about the people who lived there.

Donald Trump began his candidacy talking about Mexicans as rapists, and as president both in public and behind closed doors, he has expressed his bigotry and contempt at every turn. From his reaction to a racist rally in Charlottesville to his complaining about s-hole countries in Afrida, to his repeated insistence that immigrants from Mexico and Muslim countries are the root of our problems.

And it is not just the rhetoric, it is the policy that flows from it when you`re president of the United States. McKay Coppins is staff writer for The Atlantic, just filed this piece on President Trump`s highly influential senior adviser Steven Miller; Linda Chavez, a former director from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the Reagan Administration and former chair on the National Commission on Migrant Education under President George H.W. Bush; and Michele Giwando is a vice president of the Center for American Progress and a co-host of the Thinking Cap podcast.

Linda, let me start with you, Puerto Rico number is shocking. And it shocks the conscience. And I think it`s not unfair for Americans to wonder how that relates to the president`s views on the people that live on that island.

LINDA CHAVEZ, FRM. DIRECTOR, COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS: Well, for one thing, I`m not sure that he considers them fully American. I think there are a lot of people who don`t understand that if you were born on the island of Puerto Rico, you were born as an American citizen, you are every bit as American as you are if you`re born in iowa or new york city.

And I think there is an element of that. And I mean when you saw him on the island when he went there, his sort of cavalier attitude, the way he was throwing rolls of paper towels to people, he wasn`t there ladling out food and commiserating as he did in Texas and Houston after the hurricane hit there, it was as if he really didn`t feel that these people were part of the American society.

HAYES: You know, McKay, you have this great profile of Stephen Miller. And in some ways he is -- he sort of represents the kind of vision that I think the president has in kind of an inchoate sense. You write this, "inside the White House, Miller has emerged as a staunch ideologue, an immigration hawk, championing an agenda of right-wing nationalism. Miller represents a rising generation of conservatives for whom melting the snowflakes and triggering the libs are first principles." What do you mean?

MCKAY COPPINS, THE ATLANTIC: Yeah, so this is the thing that`s interesting about Stephen Miller is that while he does clearly believe in these right wing nationalist ideas and these ideological principles he champions as a matter of policy, he also believes as a first principle, a first value, in the idea of advancing his agenda in the most kind of offensive or outrageous or controversial provocative way possible.

He enjoys getting a rise out of his political opponents and his critics. He tries to do things when he`s writing speeches for the president or even enacting policy like the travel ban last year. He`s doing in the most provocative way, calculated to create kind of hysteria on the other side of the aisle because he counts that anger on display in his critics as a political win.

HAYES: And that -- it strikes me, Michele, that that is one prism to understand sort of everything in the kind of news arc today, right? From the stories that we`re writing about what`s happening on the border to what happened with Roseanne Barr that the idea that if you just sort of think about what your enemies will hate -- like they`ll hate the fact you separate children -- and then you`ll like that, that you could end up in some pretty morally dark places.

MICHELE JAWANDO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRES: Well, you know, so much of the Trump administration is performance theater. And I think Stephen Miller and Donald Trump have this thing in common where this is the sense of how can I disturb and offend and hurt and attack as many people as possible with either a policy pronouncement or rhetoric at a rally. But what we forget in the midst of these kind of conversations is that there are real people who are hurt, whether we`re talking about the thousands of people who lost their life in Puerto Rico or whether we`re talking about the increase in hate crimes that we`ve seen across this country since the beginning of this administration.

There are real tangible consequences for the type of evil that we`re seeing from this administration and I really don`t think we can call it anything else but that because when you step back and you look at the policies, you have to ask yourself what else is the motivating factor.

HAYES: You know, Linda, there`s this -- go ahead, please.

CHAVEZ: Well, I was going to say, one of the ways in which this administration, and Stephen Miller is a prime example of it, the way in which they galvanize people on these issues is the way in which they dehumanize the people they`re talking about. I mean, they`re rapist. They`re criminals. They`re drug dealers. Even the phrases unaccompanied minors. We`re talking about children here, we`re not talking about unaccompanied minors.

There is a sense that we try to put them into a box and categorize them so that we don`t feel they`re part of us, we don`t feel like they`re our brothers and sisters.

HAYES: You know, this relates to this incredible anecdote, McKay, in The Washington Post, and it involves Stephen Miller and the president, which goes to Linda`s point and shows the president knows what he`s doing, "the night before Trump delivered his first speech to congress in February, 2017, he huddled with senior advisor Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller in the Oval Office to talk administration.

Trump reminded them the crowd loved his rhetoric on immigrants along the campaign trail. Acting as if he were in a rally, he recited a few made-up Hispanic names and described potential crimes they could have committed such as rape or murder, then he said the crowds would roar when the criminals were thrown out of the country as they did when he highlighted crimes by illegal immigrants at his rallies.

What do you think of that, McKay?

COPPINS: It totally made sense. I saw that anecdote as I was finishing the piece. Stephen Miller loves to egg the president on with stuff like this.

When I was interviewing Miller, he talked about this thing that Trump always does at his campaign rallies where he reads the lyrics to "The Snake" this old soul song where he basically compares Syrian refugees and illegal immigrants to poisonous, deceitful snakes who will bite us because we let them into our country.

And it`s clearly demagoguery, but what`s funny is that when I talk to Miller, he thrills at this. He spent several minutes describing the performance art of it, how theatrical it was, how the crowds love it. How -- he compared it to the opening chords of "Free Bird."

And I think your other guests got at it, which is that to Miller, a lot of this is performance ar, it is theater. And he has a way of turning the people in the crossfire, the people who are affected by this, into kind of an abstract side issue rather than the actual point of all of these policies and governing.

HAYES: Michele, what`s so striking to me, though, is that while Roseanne found consequences today for sort of engaging in this kind of overt bigotry, they`re still doing thing in the White House.

JAWANDA: You know, what`s interesting about the Roseanne situation -- because we kind have have always known who Roseanne is, and we`ve seen her tweets before she had the ABC show, so we should not be that surprised, is that there are consequences for other people, but we still don`t have consequences for the person who occupies the most important job we can say in the world.

And that should disturb us all, that we have greater consequences for a made up television show host than we do for the president of the United States.

HAYES: McKay Coppins, Lidda Chavez, and Michele Jawanda, thank you all.

Before we get to tonight`s big town hall, I want to alert you, there is a brand new episode of our new podcast Why is this Happening out today where we ask a question that obsesses me, "who broke the internet? And why something with such promise turned into something so ugly."

Tim Wu, author of "The Master Switch," the man who coined the phrase net neutrality, has some incredible insights. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts.

All right, that`s it for ALL IN tonight. Stay tuned right now for a special MSNBC Town Hall event hosted by Joy Reid and myself and featuring our special guest Valerie Jarrett, Everyday Racism in America starts right now.


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