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Jeanine Pirro angling to be AG. TRANSCRIPT: 06/07/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Jeff Denham, Joaquin Castro, Dale Bryk, Mickey Edwards, Katrina Vanden Heuvel

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 7, 2018 Guest: Jeff Denham, Joaquin Castro, Dale Bryk, Mickey Edwards, Katrina Vanden Heuvel

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: He wants the phones turned over.

HAYES: The Special Counsel asks for cell phones.

HANNITY: Boom, boom, crack it up into little pieces.

HAYES: As the President auditions a new attorney general.

JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Jeff Sessions is indeed the most dangerous man in America.

HAYES: Plus.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: I`m sorry, I don`t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman.

HAYES: Why even the First Lady herself is rebuking Rudy today.

GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it`s not true.

HAYES: And Donald Trump`s fascination with asbestos.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And a lot of people could say if the world trade center had asbestos, it wouldn`t have burned down.

HAYES: And why it`s one of the reasons Scott Pruitt still has a job.

TRUMP: A lot of people in my industry think asbestos is the greatest fireproofing material ever made.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Instead of preparing for his nuclear summit with North Korea in just four days, today the President spent his morning tweeting truly wild conspiracy theories about the Mueller probe apparently watching Fox News. This as the cable channel`s hosts are advising witnesses on destroying evidence and reportedly petitioning to run the Department of Justice. Politico reports Jeanine Pirro a weekend host on Trump T.V. has been lobbying Trump advisers to take over as attorney general. Piro who`s known the President for years is one of the most rabid critics of the Mueller probe and senior DOJ leadership.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIRRO: Prosecutors and FBI agents working to change the course of political history, a shadow government whose agenda is to maintain their own power and control. A deep state we thought existed only on the pages of novels. The single most dangerous person to the agenda of President Trump, the Republican Party and ultimately to all Americans is the Attorney General of the United States himself, Jeff Sessions. Jeff Sessions is indeed the most dangerous man in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, at one point Pirro interviewed to be the Deputy Attorney General. That would be the number two job at main justice only to meet resistance from one Jeff Sessions. Funny that. Now, Trump advisers reportedly told Sessions that if he didn`t give Pirro a hearing, the President might end up giving her the Supreme Court. Politico reports the President raised the possibility last year of nominating Pirro to a federal judgeship though that may have been flattering, not a serious offer. Now, Pirro has been a leading proponent of so-called Spygate, the President`s latest made-up story aimed at discrediting the Special Counsel. That story has completely fallen apart over last few days as more and more and more Republican lawmakers have publicly told the truth which is to push back on the President`s baseless claim, including House Speaker Paul Ryan who is one of a small group briefed on the actual contents and facts of the matter last week. In response, another Trump T.V. personality, Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs is pushing for a coup d`etat in the House GOP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOU DOBBS, HOST, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Why -- I`ve got to just ask, why in the world are you putting up, not you, but your conference putting up with a man who could do what he did today at that leadership briefing and turn it against the idea, the very idea that evidence matters in his judgment of whether or not there was a spy.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: There is no defense today for Paul Ryan siding with the FBI and Department of Justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: How dare the Speaker side with the FBI and Department of Justice? Now there`s no Fox News host more central to Trump world and its battle against the Mueller probe then of course Sean Hannity who reportedly talks to the President on the phone before bedtime, little ketchup chat, is known around the White House as the shadow chief of staff. And he`s only one of only -- he`s one of only three as you`ll recall legal clients of the President`s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen. Hannity seems to have been pretty unnerved by a report from CNBC the Special Counsels team is asking witnesses to turn in their personal phones in order to inspect their encrypted messaging programs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I don`t know. If I advise them to follow Hillary Clinton`s lead, delete all your e-mails and then acid-wash the e-mails and hard drives on your phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer two little itsy-bitsy pieces, use bleach pit, remove the SIM cards and then take the pieces and hand it over to Robert Mueller and say Hillary Rodham Clinton, this is equal justice under the law.

HAYES: Now Hannity insisted -- I want to make this very clear -- insisted he was joking. You see, who is making a point about the supposed double standard for Hillary Clinton. But the thing is he kept making the same joke over and over and over again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I wonder if everybody that has phones if they did when Hillary did and that`s delete the e-mails, delete the app, acid-washed the phone, break it up to little bits and take the SIM cards out, how would that work out for all the people Robert Mueller is requesting phones from? My advice to them, not really, kidding, (INAUDIBLE) would be follow Hillary`s you know, lead. He delete them, acid-wash them, but them up, take out the SIM cards and say here, little pieces, here Mr. Mueller, here. I`m following Hillary`s lead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s making people nervous.

HANNITY: Boom, boom, boom, crack it up and have the little pieces and say here Mr. Mueller, courtesy of Hillary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: See it`s just a joke, but you say over and over about destroying evidence that just is a joke that you just talk about destroying evidence. For the latest on Trump world`s efforts to derail the Mueller Probe, I`m joined by MSNBC Justice Analyst Matt Miller, former Chief Justice Department spokesperson during the Obama administration and retired Federal Judgments Nancy Gertner, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Law School. Matt the conspiracy theories have gotten increasingly baroque and sort of hard to even track or follow and increasingly discredited but there seems to be later like a full-court press over there right now that only intensifies day by day.

MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE ANALYST: Yes, and you even have this weird thing where the President twice in the last couple of days has pulled conspiracy theories that are almost too crazy for Fox News or things that show up on you know, right-wing Web sites. They start on the kind of you know, depths of Reddit and he`s tweeted them out, some of the craziest conspiracy theories. I think what you see is look, the President and his allies know that they have to find a way to discredit this investigation one way or the other and you have this weird thing where you know, they you know, the President launches his attacks Fox media does what they -- Fox News does what they do, then you have allies in Congress who have a quasi you know, investigative procedure where they can drag documents out of the Justice Department. And I think they were very surprised to see that you know, that things blow up in their face before but it was -- must have been very surprising to see Paul Ryan come out publicly and say you know, this doesn`t really say what the President says.

HAYES: Right.

MILLER: And not just Paul Ryan, but Trey Gowdy who you know, before this had never really met a conspiracy theory he didn`t like. This is a guy who endorsed their work on the FISA application for Carter Page. He was the guy who pursued the Benghazi investigation for several years. So it`s a little bit -- you know, there`s a little bit of some of their theories falling apart on their right and what you see are these kinds of histrionics on the bat -- on the part of the President, on the part of his allies on Fox when that happens.

HAYES: Nancy, your former Federal Judge and you oversaw a courtroom in which people would have to turn over devices and things like that when compelled by subpoena. I just want to be clear about what your advice would be for anyone who was told to turn their devices over.

NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: Not to pay attention to it for a minute. I mean, not to pay attention to Hannity`s view rather of destroying evidence, not to pay attention to it. No, it`s really quite extraordinary. And the notion that the Hillary situation is the equivalent of this is really just astonishing. We have to keep on going back to first premises here right? The FBI and the intelligence community said that there was hacking in our election and it was done at Donald Trump you know, to benefit Donald Trump. That is a given. So the notion that there is any illegitimacy, that it isn`t appropriate to follow whatever leads with regard to that is absurd.

HAYES: There`s also now this -- the use of the -- there`s a sort of trick they`re trying to pull off, Matt, in which the President`s legal team Giuliani who I don`t know if you can call the President`s lawyer, he`s kind of like the President`s buddy, or surrogate, or guy. He seems more like the guy who`s organizing the President`s bachelor party that he seems like the guy who`s representing him in any legal sense but that said, Giuliani now is saying that -- he`s telling the Associated Press on Thursday that Trump won`t do an interview in Mueller`s investigation unless they see the documents, that are the documents at issue that have been briefed to the gang of eight themselves. He added we want to see the documents. This is confidential information about the investigation into his client, this matters far more of my client than to any member of Congress. What do you think of that?

MILLER: Yes, it`s absurd. I mean, obviously no subject of an investigation can make those kind of demands of a prosecutor or of the FBI when they`re under investigation. But I think you see Giuliani feel a little bit empowered to make these claims because you have allies in Congress who have made some of the same demands. Demand that these documents be turned over to Congress. That`s never happened before in the middle of the investigation. So once you`ve kind of crossed that threshold where the Department of Justice is doing things it doesn`t usually do, it gives you Giuliani the ability to come out and say this. I think you know we talked about how they`re trying to undermine the investigation, that`s obvious.

But I think there`s something else they`re doing here. It`s kind of the playbook they used in the Clinton investigation which is to heat pressure on the Justice Department. You know, pressure from the conservative media, pressure from the campaign trail, pressure from Congress, they know that that you know this investigation won`t be shut down. Bob Mueller is not going to be fired. That can`t happen. Rod Rosenstein can`t do that. But just as Jim Comey gave them little things that turned out to be big things like that press conference, like eventually that led to huge impact. They`re going to be big decisions he makes here that they want to go their way. Does he approve a subpoena to the President? Does the approval report being released to Congress? Other little things along the way, they want to put just enough pressure that maybe some of those decisions go their way.

HAYES: Does you -- does that make sense to you Nancy?

GERTNER: Well, I actually -- I think that more is going on here. I think that there is no way on earth that any credible lawyer would recommend that Trump give an interview to Mueller. Nobody would ever do that. I think that they`re creating a series of tripwires here so that they can say over and over again we really want to talk to Mueller, we really want to come clean. There`s no issue, no collusion, and I think that they`re setting -- they`re setting standards and requirements that they know Mueller can`t meet, that Mueller would not meet to justify no conversation with Mueller, to just -- to legitimize that. I can`t imagine -- I can`t imagine -- Mueller has all the cards here. He doesn`t have to agree to any of this.

HAYES: Matt Miller and Nancy Gertner, good to have you both. As we said House Speaker Paul Ryan`s admission yesterday that he`s seen no evidence of a spy planted in the Trump campaign has opened the floodgates for other GOP lawmakers to push back on the President`s claim including today Senator Lindsey Graham. But Ryan`s admission has also landed him in hot water with the far-right fringe of his caucus which has made noises about challenging his speakership. And so today, Ryan made clear he`s still a loyal member of the team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Let me say one more point. In all of this, in any of this, there has been no evidence that there`s any collusion between the Trump campaign and the President Trump and Russia. Let`s just make that really clear. There`s no evidence of collusion. This is about Russia and what they did and making sure they don`t do it again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I`m joined now by Mark Warner, Senator from Virginia, Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee. Do you agree with Speaker Ryan, there is no evidence whatsoever of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Chris I respectfully disagree strongly with the Speaker. Let`s just talk about what`s out in the public domain. The Mueller investigation has brought 14, 15 indictments, four guilty pleas. The indictments include the President`s campaign manager. We`ve got the one of the individuals Mr. Papadopoulos who clearly the Russians reached out to with information that was harmful to the Clinton campaign and he`s already pled guilty. There was a -- I think it was two years ago today where there was the infamous Trump Tower meeting where Russian agents were brought in to meet with Trump Jr., Kushner, the Campaign Manager with the idea of bringing dirt on Hillary Clinton. The President himself a week after that meeting, you know, went on national T.V. and basically said hey, if you`ve got dirt on Hillary Clinton, Russians bring it out. And you`re going to have the President go ahead and basically doctor a statement about the content of that meeting.

So, just those items you show an awful lot of intent to collude from the Russians and you have obviously see from Donald Trump Jr`s own e-mail traffic that he was anxious to have that information. And that doesn`t even get to the fact, Chris, just look at the President`s actions in the last ten days where he`s been constantly haranguing about the Mueller investigation regretting the fact that he had Jeff Sessions as in the Attorney General since Sessions recused himself from the Mueller investigations. This whole fabrication about planting a spy by the FBI which even his Republican colleagues had acknowledged the FBI acted totally appropriately. I just would ask your listening audience whether -- and viewing audience whether these are the actions of somebody who`s got nothing to hide.

HAYES: Well, you just mentioned something that speaker Ryan talked about that he said there`s no evidence of this, I think frankly preposterous playing with the spy in the campaign. You have Senator Lindsey Graham saying the same thing and yet the Department of Justice offering a briefing to the gang of eight of which you`re included next week for another briefing on this confidential informant. What is that about?

WARNER: Well, what was outrageous about the first meeting, I`ll get to what this next briefings about, what was outrageous about the first meeting was that originally, and this was so inappropriate, the White House and at least one of its allies were trying to force the Director of National Intelligence, the Head of the FBI, and the Deputy Attorney General to disclose classified information about an individual. Luckily, they didn`t. They also wanted to have that secret meeting with just partisans with just Republican members. That would have been totally against established norms and operations of how we share classified information.

Luckily, they stood strong and didn`t -- we got that briefing. Those documents were there in that briefing. We decided that we`d rather in the hour and a half plus that we were there hear from the actual heads of those agencies. Now if members want to go back and I`ll go back and look as well at the actual documents, I`m happy to do that. But I think what they will reflect is the absolute consensus that everyone except one individual who came out of those meetings who said FBI acted totally appropriately.

HAYES: Now, you`ll be in that meeting, a part of the gang of eight which includes your counterparts in the House including Devin Nunez who`s the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, am I correct that you and your Republican counterpart Senator Burr on your Senate Committee you have concluded that it was Nunez or someone in his orbit responsible for leaking texts of yours to the media?

WARNER: Let`s put it like this. The House Committee has not operated in within the established norms of how intelligence is kept secret, in terms of how investigations are ongoing. You know Richard Burr and I, I`m proud of our bipartisan investigation. We`re going to keep our eye on the ball. You know, we`d like to be done but we got to -- we got to follow --

HAYES: Wait a second -- wait a second. Senator, that`s very diplomatic and euphemistic of you and I understand why you`re saying that. But my question is, my understanding is the conclusion that you and Burr came to is that someone in that committee, in committee staff under the aegis of Devin Nunez leaked to your personal text messages to the media.

WARNER: That`s what I guess. If we were to have any of those conclusions, we wouldn`t share it with the media, we`d share it with appropriate sources.

HAYES: All right, Senator Warner, thanks very much for making time.

WARNER: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Next why the spokesperson for Melania Trump is slapping down comments from one Rudy Giuliani. What he said about Stormy Daniels in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: It may be that Stormy Daniels multiple lawsuits against President Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen are really rattling the Trump team or it may be that Rudy Giuliani is once again just kind of winging it. But in the matter of Stormy Daniel, Giuliani has taken it upon himself to say that the First Lady believes her husband and then some.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it`s not true. I don`t even think there`s a slight suspicion it`s true. When you -- excuse me, when you look at Stormy Daniels -- I know Donald Trump and look at his -- look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

GIULIANI: Yes, I respect porn stars. Don`t you respect porn stars? Or do you think they desecrate women? Do you think that porn stars don`t respect women and therefore sell their bodies? So yes, I respect all human beings. I even have to respect, you know, criminals, but I`m sorry, I don`t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance, or a woman who has great respect herself as a woman and as a person and isn`t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. So, Stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross-examine you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The First Lady`s spokeswoman said pointedly in a statement "I don`t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani." To discuss the escalating battle between Stormy Daniels and the White House let`s bring in Attorney Lisa Green and Attorney Elie Mystal, Executive Editor of legal -- of the legal blog Above the Law. What is he doing?

LISA GREEN, NBC LEGAL ANALYST: Whatever it is it`s not that classy so let me offer a classier alternative the next time Rudy is asked about his clients wife`s feelings than a long diatribe about classy women, pretty women, porn star reputations, how about I don`t know, you`ll have to ask her or wait, that`s my mobile ringing, I got to go get that call.

HAYES: The thing about this is this Rudy -- first of all, he`s having the time of his life.

ELIE MYSTAL, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ABOVE THE LAW: Clearly. He`s the wingman.

HAYES: This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Rudy Giuliani just coming off I think his third divorce if I`m not mistaken. Just as a factual matter. And he`s -- he never saw a microphone or an interview he didn`t want to do and he never got a question about anything -- I mean he`s talking, he`s opening about North Korea, he`s talking about the nature of sex work --

MYSTAL: He`s important again.

HAYES: Yes, exactly, which is not legal representation, just to be clear.

MYSTAL: Look, if -- Rudy Giuliani wants to have a respect off with Stormy Daniels, that`s fine because he`s going to lose. All right? Like, let`s look -- if we want to talk about how people make their money, let`s look at what Rudy Giuliani, how Rudy Giuliani has made his living for the past 10 or 15 years. You want to go through his client roster like I did today? All right, he`s represented Oxycontin. Their executives had to plead guilty for misleading the product about their drugs. He represented a shady (INAUDIBLE) who allegedly shield a terrorist including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He`s invest -- he`s represented -- what`s the other one -- (INAUDIBLE) who`s a billionaire who got his start running drugs into the Bahamas from Colombia, OK. Rudy Giuliani has no credibility, no -- I do not respect lawyers with a client roster of Rudy Giuliani.

HAYES: Well, here`s the other question. I mean, he keeps saying things that are going to -- it seems to me like if you`re the President`s lawyer, what you want to do is cabin him off from everything having to do with Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen as much as possible always, just rhetorically and legally, right? I mean, even asserted themselves into that because they`ve had assertion of privilege but they don`t -- you don`t want to get sucked further into that, right? Am I wrong about what the strategy would be?

GREEN: There`s so many other directions this could go. Here`s one way. If Rudy -- big if -- was trying to besmear Stormy Daniels` reputation on behalf of the defamation suit that Stormy is filed, there are about a million different ways to attack that lawsuit and probably last on your list would be complaining about the credibility of woman who I would say is a successful entrepreneur in an industry that`s dominated by misogynistic men.

HAYES: Right?

MYSTAL: But is it this view -- but isn`t this the old game -- and I really mean the old game -- this is the puritanical game. They`re trying to turn Stormy Daniels into Hester Prynne, right? And there`s only one person that needs to wear the Scarlet Letter, that`s Donald Trump. And that`s what -- that`s why the strategy is like I think for so many people is really deeply offensive.

HAYES: Yes. I think -- I mean him getting up there basically saying who are you going to believe, the President of the United States or this porn star? This trash basically. Like I think -- and here`s -- you know, here`s what Michael Avenatti of course who you know this is a softball lobbed across the plate from Michael Avenatti. This is what he has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: We have refocused our efforts as a result of Mr. Giuliani`s piggish comments. They are a disgrace. He should be embarrassed. He should immediately resign. And if he`s not going to resign he should be fired by the President. This guy is an absolute pig. I said it last night, I said it this morning, I`m going to keep saying it until a change is made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)`

GREEN: I`d like to suggest that there might be a better member of President Trump`s cabinet to speak on behalf of Melania and it would be a cabinet member who loves for example fancy hotel mattresses and high-end hotel bath products and you know he`s there --

HAYES: Scott Pruitt.

GREEN: -- and apparently still on the --

HAYES: Speaking of Melania, I have to say I thought that statement was pretty interesting. I mean, let`s give the context here. Melania Trump married to the President of the United States, raising their young son has had to watch presumably -- she`s a sensitive human being engaged in the world, right? She`s watching all this coverage of her husband`s many alleged affairs including when her son was you know, a newborn. She then doesn`t make any public appearances for quite some time. She makes one, there`s some speculation about what that`s about. And then today a question that is met not with of course, she believes her husband, right? I mean you could take the opportunity to say that that is met with a very resounding I don`t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.

MYSTAL: Yes, I think again the indication here is that the dehumanization. It is -- it is one thing to poke fun, to have a little fun at stormy Daniels which is, of course, a character you know, that is an actually played by an actual single mother named Stephanie Clifford. And when you go so low as -- you know, Giuliani lives on the corner of like cheap and mean but this is -- this is so low. When you talk about -- when Avenatti talks about firing Giuliani, the poison you know, it rots from the top.

HAYES: Well, the other thing is Giuliani is in -- to me is in the Scaramucci zone which is it`s entertaining and to tell us not the President of the United States. It`s unclear what he`s doing that there`s actual legal defense. Let me ask you one more legal question which is that today -- so we know that Stormy Daniels has sued Keith Davidson who is a fascinating figure because he`s on the other side of Michael Cohen and there`s all these texts where they seem to be kind of colluding one could even say. Davidson has now countersued Avenatti for defamation. Do you have thoughts on that?

GREEN: Here`s what I think. I think it`s perfectly OK for your lawyer to talk to another lawyer if you`re working out an agreement as long as you know. So if Stormy Daniels is saying I didn`t know that I was being undercut by my own lawyer --

HAYES: Where was booked on cable news shows --

GREEN: Yes, without my -- you know, I don`t have a fundamental problem. And again it comes back to women`s respect.

HAYES: It`s also interesting to see the countersuit and see where that goes because the -- to me it`s just like all of the things the President is entangled and legally keep multiplying and that -- at a certain point, someone is going to roll the right --

MYSTAL: Roll the right number?

HAYES: Roll the right number, right? Like someone is going to get the guy into a deposition if you keep just multiplying the chances. Lisa Green, Elie Mystal, thank you very much. Still ahead, the real reason Donald Trump is keeping Scott Pruitt around as the scandals continue to pile up. And after the break as stories grow of immigrant children being ripped away from their parents at the border, confusion on the Hill about a tentative Republican immigration deal that may have happened or may have blown off. What happened, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We`ve been bringing you stories about the Trump administration`s horrific policy of tearing immigrant children away from their parents at the border, but it`s important to remember the U.S. immigration system is rife with everyday cruelty, as well, like what happened to pizza delivery man Pablo Villavicenzio (ph) who brought an order to an army an base -- he`s delivering a pizza on an army base on Friday in Brooklyn, and was detained by ICE. He`s now facing deportation to Ecuador as soon as next week, which would leave his U.S. citizen wife and two daughters, also Americans, without him.

You might think that fixing the U.S. immigration system would be a priority for congress, but you would be wrong. A closed door immigration meeting today ended in confusion with conflicting reports about a deal on the table, maybe or maybe not.

Politico reporting, quote, conservatives quickly denied that any such proposal was made confound centrist Republicans and quickly unraveling any good will built during the two-hour Republican conference meeting earlier in the day.

And here to help me understand what`s actually going on, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas and Republican Congressman Jeff Denham of California who was at that meeting and who has been running point on this issue, as far as I can tell, and can tell us exactlywhat happened.

OK, Congressman Denham, members of your caucus have gotten together what`s called a discharge petition, enough signatures, a majority of members of the House. You can bring something to the floor immediately to get a vote, in some respects on the DACA eligible folks to give them statutory protections.

You go into a meeting with Republican leadership today to work out some kind of deal and what happens?

REP. JEFF DENHAM, (R) CALIFORNIA: Well, we certainly had a very good discussion as we have in many of our different meetings. We had that same discussion with the entire Republican conference. I would say it was very productive. It was a good conversation. But ultimately, you can`t have an agreement until something is put on paper so that we can not only share that with the American public, but certainly know the parameters of any agreement.

HAYES: I`m just going to translate that for you. And you tell me if I`m translating it correctly. You went in and thought you had a deal, came out and then the House Freedom Caucus was like absolutely no way over our dead bodies?

DENHAM: Oh, we have had a number of different meetings with members of the Freedom Caucus there. Ideas were thrown out. I`ve been willing to agree to most of those ideas as long as we have a permanent fix for Dreamers. That was all laid out in conference today. And now we`re looking forward to seeing that in writing.

HAYES: OK, so you want to get something in writing.

I want to come to you Congressman Castro in a second, but I just want to bear down on this. So, is it your intention to -- I think you need three more signatures in the discharge petition. Do you have those locked up? And are you going to get over the magic threshold to actually force it?

DENHAM: We do. When we set out with this rule, and then thd discharge petition, we made sure we had the numbers lined up. We`re ready to discharge. And tuesday is the day that this has to get done.

But ultimately we`d like to see our conference come together on something that can be a bipartisan agreement.

HAYES: Congressman Castro, why do I feel like Lucy and the football here? Like is this happening? What`s happening?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, (D) TEXAS: Well, first, I`m glad that Jeff and 21 other Republicans I think, or 22 other Republicans, have signed on to a discharge petition to basically put this issue on the floor for a vote.

At the same time, I would say that they ought to give Speaker Paul Ryan about 12 hours or so to make a decision about whether there`s going to be anything in writing or not, because the country has waited too long to fix this broken immigration system and the people affected, as you mentioned one gentleman at the beginning, have been waiting too long also.

HAYES: Congressman Denham, what is the resistance in your caucus?

DENHAM: Certainly there are concerns from some about what the pathway to citizenship would look like. I`ve been very consistent and very vocal that this needs to be a permanent fix for Dreamers.

This is something that should have been done before March 5, but because we missed that deadline, I immediately started working with the parliamentarian to see how we can actually force a vote, force a new timeline. And that`s exactly what we have in front of us.

It`s forcing a conversation right now, but ultimately, we want to see that full debate on the House floor.

CASTRO: And Chris, I would also add because you brought it up earlier, I would ask for Jeff`s help and the help of other Republicans in ending the Trump policy of separating kids from their mothers and fathers at the border, which is an inhumane and cruel and brutal policy that even the united nations had to call out the United States on a few days ago.

HAYES: Congressman, do you support or oppose that policy?

DENHAM: I want to see a fixed to our broken immigration system. That is a policy that is current law. It was done under the previous administration, but ultimately yes, I agree, it needs to be fixed. You shouldn`t be tearing families apart.

HAYES: Factually, though, it was not done under the administration, sir.

DENHAM: That is not what ICE and border patrol are telling us. I have been down on the border. I`ve toured the border. In fact, we toured the border together a few years ago. We saw some of these detention centers. We saw people coming across the border seeking asylum.

HAYES: Right, family detention. But what the administration is doing right now, and they have announced it. They call it zero tolerance policy. I`ve read the order written by Jeff Sessions signed under his name in April. He`s given speeches about it is they are prosecuting everyone seeking asylum and in so prosecuting, separating children as young as 1- year-old from their parents. You think that`s a bad idea, though, I take it?

DENHAM: I do. I do think it`s a bad idea. I think it is one more reason why we`ve got to come together and fix this immigration system that`s been broken for far too long.

HAYES: So, is this going to happen? Is there going to be a vote?

Here`s my question, is there going to be a vote on something having some sort of permanent protection for DACA, some pathway to citizenship, from this congress is going to happen? Is that what you`re saying?

DENHAM: Absolutely. We will either have an agreement in writing here coming very shortly or we will be moving forward on a discharge petition that allow a full debate on each of the different issues. And keep in mind, Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the judiciary committee, has his bill. So the Freedom Caucus has a vote on their bill, as well. And the speaker, president they get a bill, as well.

HAYES: Congressman Castro, do you think that`s going to happen?

CASTRO: Well, again, you know, I`m eternally optimistic. And I think you have to be optimistic and hopeful, because we`re dealing with the lives of close to a million people. So, we`ve got keep pressing and pushing. I just hope that, you know, we don`t see the same thing that we`ve had in the past few years when John Boehner was speaker. He said that Republicans would do this thing, instead of doing comprehensive reform, they would do it piecemeal. And not a single bill was ever put on the floor.

So, I hope and pray that this time it`s different. And we`re just going to keep working on our end.

HAYES: Well, Congressman Denham, I`ve got to say, I`ve been covering this particular Republican congress since as long as it`s been constituted. I have seen the Freedom Caucus wield tremendous influence and leverage over the speaker forcing him to do all sorts of things. I have never seen it from the other side. Right now you`re doing something no one has done so far, so I`m -- this is quite an interesting thing to watch.

Joaquin Castro, congressman -- and Congressman Jeff Denham, thank you both for joining me.

DENHAM: Thanks for having me.

CASTRO: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, the bizarre Scott Pruitt headlines keep coming. But tonight, new evidence of why he has somehow managed to keep his job. And it has to do with Donald Trump`s fascination with asbestos. And that isn`t even tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two. We`ll show you that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing One tonight, Mike Pence, the radio talk show host who became vice president to the reality television host, has perfected the art of standing behind the president in every possible way. Like reek to Ramsey, Bolton, Mike Pence`s loyalty to President Trump knows no bounds.

You can even see it in his eyes. As Jane Mayer (ph) describes it, Pence looks at Trump with, quote, a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan.

And it`s starting to get weird, like this scene yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just had a strategic plan. And it`s not just a plan for FEMA, it`s a plan for the whole community, it`s a plan that I`d like to unify the federal government response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What was that about? Did you see that? The bizarro water bottle situation with Mike Pence and Donald Trump? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: So, yesterday afternoon this happened. In the middle of a meeting with FEMA, President Trump took his water bottle off the table and inexplicably put it on the floor only for Mike Pence to immediately pick up his water bottle and do the exact same thing.

It`s unclear why the president did that and really unclear why the vice president immediately picked it. But it was definitely strange and slightly creepy.

But we know President Trump has a weird thing about water. We`ve seen it many times. There was this is performance in the campaign trail mocking his primary opponent Marco Rubio who famously had his own difficulties with water bottles. Then, of course, was the time Trump paused for a drink in the midst of a speech on national security and needed both hands to lift the tiny cup from the lectern, or this other time he -- this other time he had to pause a speech for a sip and somehow it went even worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: 17,000 jobs. Thank you. They don`t have water. That`s okay. What? That`s okay. Oh Oh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: He did one-hand that one.

But all that is better than what happened when the president`s throat was dry, or so the White House said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds.

God bless the United States. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: So here`s a fun fact about the president of the United States, he has a thing for asbestos. Not a thing against asbestos, that would be normal. No, Trump appears to be a fan of the stuff that environmentalists say kills 12,000 to 15,000 people a year in the United States alone.

In a 1997 book, Donald Trump claimed asbestos is, quote, "100 percent safe once applied," even suggesting the push to remove the known carcinogen from buildings was just a mob scam.

I`m quoting here "led by the mob because it was often mob related companies that would do the asbestos removal." Trump`s stance is almost certainly related to the cost that real estate developers, like himself, might have had to pay for asbestos`s removal.

But defending the honor of deadly asbestos appears to be something of a life`s work for the man. We unearthed this testimony before congress from 2005, and you really have to hear it to believe it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In New York City, we have a lot of asbestos buildings. And there`s a whole debate about asbestos. I mean, a lot of people could say that if the World Trade Center had asbestos, it wouldn`t have burned down, it wouldn`t have melted, OK? A lot of people think asbestos, a lot of people in my industry, think aspestos is the greatest fireproofing material ever made.

And I can tell you that I`ve seen and tests of asbestos versus the new material that`s being used and it`s not even a contest -- it`s like a heavyweight champion against a lightweight from high school.

But in your great wisdom, you folks have said asbestos is a horrible material so it has to be removed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The World Trade Center might still be standing if only asbestos? So, what do you think happened when the guy who absolutely loves asbestos and wants to defend its honor from the insults of environmentalists, what happens when he becomes president of the United States? I`ll a give you a hint, it involves the cartoonishly corrupt head of the EPA Scott Pruitt. That story right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: There is yet another Scott Pruitt scandal today, because it is a day ending with a Y. In the list of scandals around the EPA administrator is now getting too long for one page of this graphic. We are literally working on something bigger, like we can`t fit it into a graphic on your TV screen.

Today, we learned he sent his security people to get his dry cleaning, or something. It almost doesn`t matter, because there seems to be no low he can reach that would be enough to shame anyone into action.

And why is that? Probably because the president is quite happy with the work Pruitt is doing on his behalf.

Last week, Pruitt quietly announced the agency has decided it will not study negative health impacts of asbestos that is already in the environment. And that`s the sort of thing that probably pleases the president who once said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In New York City we have a lot of asbestos buildings. And there`s a whole debate about asbestos. I mean, a lot of people could say that if the World Trade Center had asbestos it wouldn`t have burned down, it wouldn`t have melted, OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now Mickey Edwards, former Republican congressman from Oklahoma; Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation; and Dale Bryk, senior energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

All right, let`s put all -- I mean, today we had like he had assistants going to get him a special kind of lotion he liked from the Ritz Carlton. He had his government funded assistant make him make him pour over coffee, which like even in the world of TV talent who are notoriously insane and impossible to work with, is over the top.

All of that aside, what has the agenda in a regulatory sense been like?

DALE BRYK, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: All of that is a disgrace, but the real crime is what he`s doing to the environment and the public health. You know, you cannot say that you care about clean water, clean air, or getting toxics out of our food and our lifestyle and support Scott Pruitt.

So from day one he`s been dismantling the Clean Water Act, clean power plan, clean car rules. And these are things that -- common sense safeguards that the American public supports.

HAYES: The clean car -- the mileage safety standards is my favorite, because like all it means is that they have to make cars with better -- you that get better mileage out of the cars. And no one is being like please, I want less gas mileage out of my car, but he has gone after that, right?

BRYK: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: No, I mean, the corporations want that.

HAYES: Well, that`s the point.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean, this is an administration which is pay to play. And the real scandal as we were talking about is not the dry cleaning or the lotion, it`s the utter contempt for the EPA, an agency that is supposed to protect air, health, water, food. And instead they`re selling it off to the big corporations.

The savage rollbacks of civilizing advances are going to take a long time to repair. But this is across the industry. And it`s not just Trump, it`s a Republican habit, Chris, because they`ve put people in charge, industry people, in charge of agencies that they want to gut and they`re doing it across the Consumer Financial Protection Board, the EPA, a whole slew of agencies.

HAYES: It`s a great point, Mickey, because there`s -- Pruitt`s sort of a Trumpian figure in some ways in terms of the kind of like weird pettiness of the corruption. Like, it just seems like there`s no grift too small for him or his pride, but he also -- he`s a mainstream Republican guy, like he`s from your state of Oklahoma.

MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Thanks. You didn`t need to bring that up.

HAYES: Well, look, the history of Oklahoma and fossil fuels in Oklahoma is a tawdry, tawdry, tawdry history. And you know, he is a mainstream Republican Party guy. He`s defended and liked by mainstream Republicans.

EDWARDS: Yeah. He is. And one of the things that has been really bothersome is the fact that so many -- it`s not just Scott Pruitt but it`s so many Republicans in congress will put up with almost anything in order to get the policies they want.

So they do it with Trump. They`ll do it with Pruitt. If he`s doing things that fit what their agenda is, they will swallow any kind of corruption, any kind of ridiculousness. It doesn`t -- nothing will bother them as long as they get the policy they want.

Now, I spent 12 years on the appropriations committee. And what we would have done with what Scott Pruitt is doing now is the next budget would have prohibitions against spending money certain ways or it would have stuff cut from the budget, you know, to make up for what he has been spending this way.

So, the congress is complicit in this by its silence.

VANDENHEUVEL: : I was struck, I think today CBS News had a story that Republicans are ready to ditch Scott Pruitt because of the scandals, though they stand behind his deregulatory agenda. And I think that`s what -- listen, when Steve Bannon, who`s coming closer back into this administration, talked about dismantling the administrative state, or drain the swamp, they`re talking about dismantling the protections that have made this a healthier country.

There are two institutions interestingly, the Pentagon, a conservative institution, understands the crisis that climate is and stands with those who are fighting Pruitt in many ways. And I think city and state, Chris has followed this, the divestment movement. New York City sold its fossil fuel stocks. This is happening across the country. And 500 candidates have signed a pledge not to take a cent from oil, gas, or coal money. That is vital to fight for.

HAYES: Well, and he also is getting -- I mean, part of the thing about Pruitt, right, is they like his agenda. The energy industry likes his agenda, the sort of regulatory rollbacks. That`s the big one he`s done on climate, which is rolling back the kind of clean power plant plan, right, that hasn`t gone into effect yet, because he`s getting sued all over the place in courts, right.

BRYK: Right. So what do you have? You have the rule of law. You have science. And you have public interest. These three things together are what are going to enable us to win in the end. And you`re right, the states and the cities and even private industry elsewhere, other than the fossil fuel industry, are leading the charge on all the issues people care about.

HAYES: But specifically on this, like he has not been able to roll back the clean power plant stuff.

BRYK: They have not won a single case in court, because...

HAYES: This is key. I want people to understand this, because there`s all this talk about how Scott Pruitt is so successful. It`s like, he is being fought in the court, and he has not won yet.

VANDEN HEUVEL: There`s judicial eco resistance.

BRYK: Absolutely.

HAYES: Yes. The judicial eco resistance.

The one funny thing about the political resistance, you say as they`re standing by -- Mickey, this cracks me up -- if there`s one thing to bet on that`s going to be his undoing is he`s basically trying to gut ethanol in the renewable portfolio standard. No, seriously. All of a sudden Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst -- I watched Joni Ernst on Chuck Todd`s program -- they are aghast. They are outraged.

Not really about the scandals, though they are about that, but because he`s going after ethanol. And I think that probably puts him in more political peril than anything else he`s done.

EDWARDS: Yeah, one of the things -- well, it also goes with what Trump is doing on tariffs. You know, what they`re doing is hurting their own constituency. And it`s just nonsense. I mean, it`s not like they`re winning. They`re actually doing harm to what they say is their own agenda.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But I think it`s important to look at the real scandal, because if people look at just -- I mean, it`s kind of fun and ugly and odious to look at these grotesqueries, but there`s a deeper scandal here. And I think when people go vote, they care about clean air, safe food and those issues for their kids.

HAYES: You`re going to pry Ritz Carlton lotion scandals from my cold dead hands and used Trump mattress. I wake up every morning praying for the news gods to deliver something even more cringe-inducing than yesterday`s. And so far the news gods have delivered.

Mickey Edwards, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, and Dale Bryk, thanks so much for joining us.

That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

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