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Cohen parting ways with his legal team. TRANSCRIPT: 06/13/2018. All in with Chris Hayes

Guests: Christina Wilkie, Josh Gerstein, Ted Lieu, John Garamendi, Mark Meadows

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 13, 2018 Guest: Christina Wilkie, Josh Gerstein, Ted Lieu, John Garamendi, Mark Meadows CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: I`ll do anything to protect Mr. Trump.`

HAYES: The President`s lawyer at a legal crossroads.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Michael Cohen is a very talented lawyer.

HAYES: Tonight, could Michael Cohen sudden break with his own attorneys be a prelude to a flip or a pardon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you considering a pardon for Michael Cohen?

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Stupid question. `

HAYES: Then --

RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIRWOMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I will say proudly that the Republican Party is the Trump party.

HAYES: The Trump takeover of the Republican Party.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: It`s becoming a cultish thing isn`t it?

HAYES: And the candidates he`s bringing with him.

COREY STEWART, SENATE CANDIDATE, VIRGINIA: I`m proud to be here with this flag.

HAYES: And NBC News gets inside the detention facility that locked out Senator Merkley.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: Can I go in with you please?

HAYES: I`ll talk to the leader of the House Freedom Caucus about the Trump child separation policy when ALL IN starts right now


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The President`s longtime lawyer and consigliere is losing his own personal legal team and that could be really bad news to the President. Michael Cohen who is raided two months ago by federal investigators in Manhattan is about to part ways with his own attorneys according to multiple reports and is expected to hire new counsel to represent him in the ongoing federal probe. This comes ahead of a June 15th deadline this Friday just two days from now to review all the materials seized in those raise 3.7 million files including shredded documents that FBI agents had to piece back together. The legal scrutiny on Cohen has unnerved his former boss who lashed out over the raid memorably during an unrelated national security meeting.


TRUMP: So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, good man. It`s a disgrace. It`s frankly a real disgrace. It`s an attack on our country in a true sense. 0It`s an attack on what we all stand for. That is really now at a whole new level of unfairness. There are conflicting reports now about why Cohen is splitting with his legal team and what it means for his case. According to the Wall Street Journal, Cohen`s lawyers are the ones choosing to quit the case. ABC News reporting that a fee dispute is among the reasons which is interesting. New York Times citing payment illegal bills of one of Cohen`s lawyers Stephen Ryan, but the Times and ABC both suggest this development increases the odds that Cohen will cooperate with investigators and potentially give evidence against his old boss who happens to be the President of the United States. But I should say, it`s not clear yet that`s the case. A person close to Cohen told Vanity Fair`s Gabe Sherman that Cohen hasn`t flipped yet "he`s sending up a smoke signal to Trump I need help." And according to NBC News Cohen has not even spoken with prosecutors to discuss what he could offer them but based solely on the information that`s already public without access to those 3.7 million files Cohen may have a pretty interesting story to tell. We know he served as the President`s bag man in his hush money payments to Stormy Daniel`s which the President lied about before eventually admitting what happened.


TRUMP: Michael would represent me and represent me on some things. He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me. And you know from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.


HAYES: Now we know that Cohn used the same slush fund he set up to pay off Stormy Daniels to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations seeking access to the Trump Administration. And we know that Cohen may have key information related to Russia probe. One of the companies that paid Cohen is linked to one of Russia`s richest oligarchs Viktor Vekselberg who reportedly met with Cohen both during the transition and not the inauguration. Before that Cohen was actively pursuing secret efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow throughout the campaign in 2016. And he was identified by name in the Steele Dossier crucially as an intermediary from Trump world to Kremlin agents. I`m joined now by two reporters who have been covering the story of Michael Cohen, Josh Gerstein Senior White House Reporter for Politico and Christina Wilkie White House Reporter for CNBC. Christina let me start with you. What do we make of today`s news?

CHRISTINA WILKIE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, CNBC: We -- this is a new phase in the Cohen investigation. It`s important to say no charges have been filed. We don`t still -- we still don`t know what charges would be brought against Cohen. But any time someone under investigation switches -- changes lawyers, they -- the investigation enters a new phase and that`s what we`re looking at.

HAYES: Josh, what are you hearing from the folks that you`re talking to in Cohen circle or that know him?

JOSH GERSTEIN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: Well I understand that this has been expected for some time. Maybe it`s been in the works for about a month or so. What I`m told by sources that are familiar with his thinking is that there was never really an expectation that he would go into a serious criminal justice process with the legal counsel he has right now. The people he had on this team were basically brought on to deal with the congressional investigations and document production and not really to hash out either a plea deal or to go to trial on some kind of a criminal charge which I think Michael Cohen had no idea he would possibly face when this process started. And so I think what we`re seeing here is some movement in that direction which could lead to a plea deal and maybe flipping on the President and could just be part of the normal process leading to some criminal charges.

HAYES: So just clarify, these attorneys are retained by Cohen before he finds himself rated by the FBI?

GERSTEIN: That`s exactly right. They were involved in sending those documents up to Capitol Hill. They were being demanded by various committees investigating the Russia Trump affair.

HAYES: We should say that we -- what do you want to say, Christine?

WILKIE: I want to just say one big unknown right now in the Cohen investigation is what his longtime business partner Gene Freidman, the so- called taxi king of New York told prosecutors he struck a deal on I believe May 22nd to have tax fraud charges reduced significantly. He did a lot of business with Cohen over many years and so I think that`s really a wild card right now into what Cohen could be looking at when he makes the tough decision perhaps about entering into a criminal situation or a plea deal.

HAYES: Josh, one of the things -- one of the questions I think here is, is Cohn facing exposure or interest from investigators for things unrelated to Russia or related to Russia and I want to read you this piece of BuzzFeed reporting. FBI agents investigating Russia`s interference in the election learned that Cohen was in freaking contact with foreign individuals about Trump Moscow, some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling according to two FBI agents. It would put him -- that sort of bit of reporting would put him more squarely in the kind of portfolio of Mueller than maybe had we`d initially thought based on those raids.

GERSTEIN: Yes, I think there`s definitely interest in having Cohen answer more questions about his dealings with Russia during the campaign and there`s no question if he cut a plea deal with prosecutors that Mueller`s team would want to debrief him on a variety of different subjects. But that said, we should remember that Mueller`s prosecutors laid this case off, essentially referred these issues up to New York for prosecutors in the Southern District to take over. And so it`s fair to assume that the thrust of what`s being investigated at the moment remains these sorts of fraud issues maybe the campaign finance issue involving Stormy Daniels and the Russia issue is maybe lurking there in the background.

HAYES: Christina, do we have any sense of the timeline here?

WILKIE: Well, we`ve heard numerous reports today that Cohen could be indicted or even people were tossing around that were arrested in the next week that. That seems to me premature as he -- we understand that he was interviewing other potential lawyers today as many as three different firms. So once you know, hopefully in the next week he`ll decide on his counsel and I think that`s the next step that we`re looking at. Josh, you know, if there`s a financial problem here for Cohen in terms of paying for these legal bills which are -- have to be mounting up very quickly.

GERSTEIN: Well I`ve heard from people close to the case that there is concern about the financial cost. Remember the big tasks they`ve been performing over the last few weeks involved maybe dozens of lawyers involved in going through all these millions and millions of pages of documents and e-mail messages and voice recordings that you mentioned as part of the search warrant related process so that`s a lot of legal hours being billed at a pretty significant law firm, must have run up a really large tab for Mr. Cohen. And one of the questions that`s lingering out there is that a tab that the Trump Organization or President Trump himself is helping pay or is Mr. Cohen simply on the hook for that whole bill.

HAYES: All right, Josh Gerstein and Christina Wilkie, thank you both.

GERSTEIN: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: For more on what losing his lawyers means for Michael Cohen`s case I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analysts Nick Akerman and Jill Wine-Banks, both former Watergate Prosecutors. Nick, I`ll start with you. It`s worth noting that Rick Gates who is in a similarly kind of torturous situation in which he was -- there was you know, in interest from investigators and then was he or was he not going to cooperate, he hired new lawyers right before he pled guilty.

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right, but that doesn`t necessarily mean that because Cohen is getting new lawyers that he`s cooperating. Because you have to look at what`s been going on in the last few weeks in the last month or so. He has been cooperating with Trump`s lawyers to go through all of those documents and all of those tapes that were seized in the search warrant. They`re getting pre-discovery, discovery that they normally wouldn`t get. Exactly what people saw Trump trying to get with respect to that informant that spoke to Carter Page, spoke to other members of his campaign staff. What they`re trying to find out is what`s in those documents --

HAYES: What do they have.

AKERMAN: What is -- what liability lies out there for Donald Trump? Cohen is cooperating with that. You`ve got Donald Trump who has the privilege, the privilege belongs to him. It belongs to Sean Hannity who`s also involved in this who`s telling people on national T.V. that they should destroy their evidence if they`re going in to see Mueller. So when you put all of that together you`ve got Cohen currently and over the past number of weeks cooperating with the Trump people to try and understand what is there. And so the fact that he`s going to new lawyers, there`s lots of reasons why people go to new lawyers. To give you an example, again, it`s speculation. Assume that he told these lawyers the truth about what happened, but now he intends to go in and lie, and lie under oath, those lawyers can`t represent them -- represent him if they know he`s going to lie so he has to get a new lawyer.

HAYES: It`s also -- it also strikes me that, Jill, that there`s -- it could be financial. I mean, it could be as simple as the fact that he can`t afford these people anymore. He doesn`t strike me as someone who`s particularly liquid. Having worked in prosecution, how do you bring in someone like this? Like what`s the process by which one works over someone you`re trying to get to cooperate?

JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, let me expand on something Nick just said because I think one of the things that`s going on in my mind is that Cohen may be being penny wise and pound foolish because the lawyers he currently has know all those documents. They have spent and they will be paid for all the time they put in understanding all the legal liabilities that he has. And if he gets new lawyers, they`re going to have to review all of those documents from scratch. So he`s doubling his legal fees. So it`s not such a good idea to have let them go. And in terms of what it means for a potential future prosecution, it`s simply that the government will now get all of those documents. Remember the Special Master Barbara Jones has found less than one percent, all the documents seized less than one percent. He`s not a lawyer.

He wasn`t acting as a lawyer. So nothing is really protected by attorney- client privilege. And so now the government is going to get all those and they will be able to determine how many crimes and of what nature those crimes are and some of them may be passed back to Mueller because they relate directly to his travel to Prague for example which McClatchy reports they have evidence that supports what was in the dossier. And so we need to see whether there are state tax charges that could be brought in addition to federal charges in New York Southern District or in the District of Columbia by Mueller.

HAYES: What do you think the process is now from the Mueller team in terms of what their strategy is with him?

AKERMAN: Oh, I think the strategy is pretty straightforward. I mean, they want to see him the vies closed squeezed. There squeezed big time. They want him to be indicted for as many different crimes as he can. Just as Jill said, if he`s indicted in the state, that`s great. It takes away the pardon power because Trump can`t pardon anybody who`s got state crimes. There are plenty of state crimes here, money laundering, tax evasion. If he was involved as the dossier points out with respect to the break-in with the e-mails into the Democratic National Committee, there are New York computer crime laws. I mean, he could be tied up all different ways and they`re certainly going to be looking for very specific evidence tying him into the Russian probe.

HAYES: Yes, we should say that this Ukrainian politician who gave testimony who was given a piece -- who gave a peace deal to Michael Cohen and gave to Michael Flynn that would essentially drop sanctions on Russia which is slightly suspect. He says that Mueller grand jury questions focused on Cohen, Jill, so there`s very recent evidence this piece just published a little while ago that Mueller is looking at Cohen for his role in that nexus.

BANKS: Absolutely. And it`s not being done just to squeeze him because he might have evidence -- well, not might, he surely has evidence about Donald Trump. But it`s being done because he committed crimes and he should be investigated. He should be indicted. He should be tried if those are the facts that turn out to be true. So it`s people are saying, oh he`s just doing this, Mueller is you know, doing this and having the Southern District do it so that they can squeeze him to testify against Donald Trump. And I would say that when you find crimes, they need to be investigated and you need to try the people who commit them.

HAYES: Well, I should clarify right? In this case probable cause, right? And the probable cause enough to reach the bar to be signed off at by DOJ, the number two at DOJ Rosenstein and the Federal Magistrate to raid a lawyer to the President of United States which you got to think of something. Nick Akerman, Jill Wine-Banks, great to have you both.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

BANKS: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, the President wrongly tells the world the nuclear threat from North Korea is over and calls the journalists who fact-checked him enemies of the state. Donald Trump`s attack on a free press after befriending the world`s worst dictator in two minutes.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What surprised you today about Kim Jong-un?

TRUMP: Really he`s got a great personality. He`s a you know, funny guy, he`s a very smart guy. He`s a great negotiator. He loves his people, not that I`m surprised by that, but he loves his people and I think that that we have you know, the start of an amazing deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he starved them, he`s been brutal to them, he still loves his people?

TRUMP: Look, he`s doing what he`s done. I mean, if you look at it, but I really have to go by today and by yesterday and by a couple of weeks ago because that`s really when this whole thing started.


HAYES: Donald Trump has looked back weeks into Kim Jong-un`s record and decided he really likes the cut of this dictatorship. It`s not particularly surprising. Trump has praised Kim before and has a well- established affinity for strongmen and human rights of users around the globe. And so after spending some quality time with another brutal despot this morning, the President has returned to America sounding more and more like one himself. Today he declared absurdly that there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea and that the true enemy is anyone who would tell you otherwise, namely the institutions which keep the American people informed. Our country`s biggest enemy is the fake news so easily promulgated by fools. Congressman Ted Lieu is a Democratic Representative from California and he joins me now. Congressman, your response to the president`s comments about the folks that are trying to keep Americans informed.

REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, today is Wednesday. That means the President is lying again. Clearly, there`s still nuclear threat from North Korea and the parallels to Watergate are striking because the last President that constantly attacked the free press was Richard Nixon. And what the press is actually doing is simply pointing out the facts about what happened at the summit North Korea which is that not very much. So we`re going to have to wait a while to see if it was a success or a total failure.

HAYES: What -- the phrase enemy of the people, what does that conjure for you?

LIEU: It actually conjures as Richard Nixon and Watergate in my mind because that is the phrase that Richard Nixon also used. But it`s very alarming for the President of United States to attack the First Amendment and a Free Press in this manner. And unfortunately, when you watch Fox primetime news it looks like it`s turned into state T.V. so thank you to MSNBC and other networks for not doing that.

HAYES: Well, you know, there`s another interview out today a largely a friendly interview in which the President sort of says about Kim Jong-un, look, you got to handed the guy. He got the job when he was so young. I mean, it`s hard to be that young and the interviewer says, well, he killed lots of people. He says, well, lots of countries do lots of things. Like he has spent the last two days ceaselessly praising the management style, the leadership abilities, the personality traits and the heart of Kim Jong- un.

LIEU: What Donald Trump is doing is totally bizarre. The leader of North Korea killed a relative with poison, he shot another loyalist with an anti- aircraft gun. He has labor camps. If someone does something wrong in North Korea, they could take three generations of their family and put them in the labor camps. All at the same time with the President now attacking Canada of all places. So what Donald Trump is doing makes no sense and I`m alarmed that more Republicans across the aisle are not speaking out.

HAYES: There`s also this report which I thought was interesting that there`s a Trump appointee who is now looking at the loyalty of federal employees. These are civil servants right, not appointees. Senior advisors of the State Department appointed in just two months ago has been quietly vetting career diplomats, again, career diplomats. These are parts of the civil service and American employees of international institutions to determine whether theyare loyal to President Donald Trump and his political agenda. Is that appropriate?

LIEU: Not only is that not appropriate, that also strikes me as it could be illegal because federal employees only take one oath and that`s an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And it`s gotten so bad with Trump administration that on the House Judiciary Committee I now will ask witnesses that appear sometimes if they`ve taken a lawyer the oath to this President. That should never be a question that any elected official needs to ask because everyone needs to understand they did not take an oath to an administration or a party or a particular person, it`s all in ode to the Constitution.

HAYES: I`m confused. People -- you ask that because people have taken a loyal - like an explicit loyalty oath to the President?

LIEU: The public reporting is that some officials have taken loyalty oaths to President Trump or at least he`s demanded a loyalty oath from them.

HAYES: All right, well I would love to see them. I wonder who wrote the loyalty oath. Do you think ultimately that the President -- that the President`s performance in North Korea is going to endure in terms of how he thinks about what happened there and has people on Capitol Hill think about it?

LIEU: I previously served on active duty under U.S. Pacific Command and it`s very clear to me the U.S. has no good military options. So I supported this summit. I support diplomacy. So honestly it`s too way too early to tell if North Korea is going to denuclearize or if they`re going to do the same thing they do with previous administrations and break all their promises. But what we do know is as of today, North Korea has not gotten rid of a single nuke, a single missile or any of their chemical or biological weapons so I have no idea how the President can try to tell the American people that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.

HAYES: I don`t think this story can end without Kim playing around at Mar- a-Lago. I think that`s absolutely what happened. Congressman Ted Lieu, thanks for joining us.

LIEU: Thank you.

HAYES: After the break, primary voters rejecting candidates that have crossed Donald Trump they`d rather nominee anyone else like say someone that owns and runs a brothel. That story and Donald Trump`s hostile takeover, maybe not solve a hostile takeover the Republican Party next.


HAYES: Last night brought another round of primaries and the overarching lesson for Republicans from the yesterday`s primaries was this. You can do just about anything and still win so long as you don`t dare utter a negative word about Donald Trump. Consider the man who won Nevada State Assembly nomination Dennis Hoff, longtime brothel owner, author of a book titled The Art of the Pimp. Hoff and his brothel were the subject of the HBO adult reality series called a Cat House and he took home a Republican victory last night proclaiming, "it`s all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me. He found the way and I jumped on it." In Virginia, despite the best efforts of mainstream GOP leaders to the extent they exist anymore, Republicans chose as their Senate nominee far-right hardcore Trump supporter Corey Stewart, a man who fervently defended monuments of the Confederacy and wrapped himself in the Confederate flag.


STEWART: I`m proud to be next to a Confederate flag. That flag is right. It is not about racism, folks. It`s not about hatred, it`s not about slavery, it is about our heritage.


HAYES: Heritage of treason and slavery. Corey Stewart`s heritage, by the way, is from Minnesota where they didn`t have the Confederate flag or if they did, it was as a thing that their boys were fighting. He`s made a habit of piling around with some of the worst people in America. On the day Trump was inaugurated, Stewart described outspoken anti-Semite Paul Nehlen as one of his personal heroes and he repeatedly appeared with the guy who organized the racist Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville that ended up killing a woman. Now Stewart has since disavowed both men and said their most incendiary comments came after he appears with them.

On the other side of this equation is former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. A man who managed to win a House seat five years ago after overcoming a scandal involving his affair with an Argentine woman, his infamous attempt to cover it up by falsely claiming to have been hiking the Appalachian Trail, there was the whole press conference, he resigned as Governor or left as Governor. I guess he never resigned. What Sanford could not overcome was his criticism of the President. He lost his primary yesterday to a relative unknown who made Sanford`s anti-Trump comments the centerpiece of her campaign. According to the head of the RNC, there is now no daylight between Trump and the party he leads.

MCDANIEL: Well, there was a shift with President Trump and I will say proudly that the Republican Party is the Trump party.


HAYES: For more on Donald Trump`s take over the Republican Party, MSNBC Contributor Jennifer Rubin, Conservative Columnist for The Washington Post and Leon Wolf Managing Editor of the conservative Web site The Blaze. Jennifer, the Sanford story is fascinating to me because here`s someone who I guess, ideologically is very conservative, extremely conservative, the kind of tea party guy who was once talked about as a presidential nominee before the affair fall from grace. It`s not like he voted the wrong way. He just basically said some moderately truthful things about how he felt about the President, that`s it.

JENNIFER RUBIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, one of his grave offenses was asking for the President to release his tax returns, the horror of it you know. This is the problem and this is why you see in the words of people like Bob Corker that you have a cult-like party at this point. They simply follow Trump wherever he meanders because he`s incoherent and he`s inconsistent, they`re incoherent and inconsistent. And the problem with this comes when you hit the general election. Are these people who are now so tightly wrapped around Donald Trump and his tax plan and his effort to take away protections for pre-existing medical coverage, are those people electable in a general election? In some places, they will be. It may be in South Carolina you can get away with that kind of stuff, but not in a lot of places. And there are going to be a lot of competitive seats where all that Trump hugging comes back to haunt these people.

HAYES: You know, Leon, I thought the two responses to Corey Stewart`s win, to Jennifer`s point, I think a lot of people feel that he is not a very strong candidate. Corey Gardner, who runs the sort of senatorial campaign says it`s not on our map.

So you`ve got you`ve got former lieutenant governor of Virginia, Bill Bowling, Republican, "I`m extremely disappointed a candidate like Corey Stewart could win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Clearly not the Republican Party I once knew, loved and proudly served. Every time I think things can`t get worse, they do. There is no end in sight." Cheery.

And then here is the president of the United States, "congratulations to Corey Stewart for his great victory for Senator from Virginia. Now he runs against a total stiff, Tim Kaine, weak on crime and borders," that`s meaningless, "wants to raise your taxes. Don`t underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning. That sort of sums it all up, doesn`t it?

WOLF: Well, I mean, the last part I think is wrong. I mean, Corey Stewart is probably going to lose by double digits in Virginia and I certainly won`t be sad about that result.

I would point out, just to throw a little bit of nuance into this. I mean, we did have Barbara Comstock won in Virginia against a guy, and Trump was kind of loyalty to Trump was the focal point of that race. Comstock was accused of being insufficiently loyal to Trump.

Mike DeWine did win a Republican primary in Ohio recently where loyalty to Trump -- he was the less loyal to Trump.

And I think probably Martha McSally will win in Arizona over two people who are much more Trump.

So, it`s a little less monolithic.

RUBIN: But to the point about Barbara Comstock, she only got 60 percent of the vote against this guy who is a extreme Trumper. And she got less votes, or in the Republican primary they got less votes than the Democrats, so she is a prime target and she has tried to walk this tight rope. She doesn`t want to offend Trump and Trump voters too much, but on the other hand, she is -- that`s considerably to the left of her. And she is one of the top targeted seats in the country.

HAYES: Yeah, and I would also say to Leon point, which is I think it`s good, it`s good to introduce that and it`s definitely the case that not every race has been a referendum on how loyal you are to Trump has broken the president`s way.

But all you have got to do to instill fear in politicians, right, is win a few of those. I mean, that`s the point, right. I mean, it`s hard to challenge incumbents anyway. What you are seeing is enough of a pattern, wouldn`t you say Leon, that everyone who understands where the political incentives are understands there`s no upside in going against the president.

WOLF: Right, and to that point, I don`t think that in and of itself is all that unusual. I mean, you think of George H.W. Bush, in his first term raised taxes, appointed a liberal justice to the Supreme Court. I went and actually did some research on this a couple of days ago, I couldn`t find a single elected official who endorsed Pat Buchanan in 1992 even though a large part of the voting base was very opposed to him. It`s very unusual to find that, at least among elected officials, going publicly against their president.

I do get what you`re saying, though, because Trump is so far outside of presidential norms you would maybe like to see that a little bit more, but I don`t think it`s unusual to not see it more.

HAYES: Although, that`s an interesting example, right, Jennifer, because the point there is that Buchanan in some ways, it is Buchanan`s party now, right. And in some ways, Buchanan understood the base better than George H.W. Bush did or understood the future of the Republican Party. And right now it really is Buchanan`s party.

Here`s Steve King. Here`s Steve King tweeting, "Europe is waking up. Will America in time"

And that is a link to British Neo-Nazi Mark Collett, that is an actual Neo- Nazi. He is an admirer of Hitler, self-avowed. That is a U.S. congressman tweeting out Nazi propaganda.

RUBIN: Yeah, it really is amazing. Pat Buchanan`s problem was that he was too early. He saw the wave rising, but he was a decade or two early.

And the problem is that there isn`t a Republican Party that Bill Bowling and Jennifer Rubin can look at and say all right those are a bunch of decent people with some good policy ideas. It is the party of Trump. And I think suspecting or hoping or wishing that it were different is simply not realistic.

HAYES: By the way, I also want to make clear, Leon, that the calculation to stick with Trump is the correct one politically. Like that is -- like from a diagnostic perspective like that is correct in the short-term. In the long-term, it may all end in tears. But we`ll see.

Jennifer Rubin, Leon Wolf, thank you both for being with me.

WOLF: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, an exclusive report on what life is like inside a detention facility holding over 1,000 immigrant children.

Plus Scott Pruitt`s residency continues in Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: It`s hard to remember a time when anyone has ever seen a major government official as brazenly unethical as Scott Pruitt. He`s really a sight to behold. And yet there he is still employed.

Today, another edition to his list of scandals. You`ll remember last week we learned that Pruitt enlisted one of his EPA employees to set up a meeting with the CEO of Chick-fil-a to try to land a sweet franchise for his wife. Mmmm, chicken.


SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Look, my wife is an entrepreneur herself. I love, she loves, we love -- Chick-fil-a is a franchise of faith and it`s one of the best in the country. And so that`s something we were very excited about.


HAYES: Now, the Chick-fil-a gig didn`t pan out likely because the lawyers at Chick-fil-a were like there`s no way you can give this gig to his wife.

Today we learned from The Washington Post that Pruitt kept the job search going, this time with Republican donors.

Again he enlisted a government paid aide, an employee of the federal government, and eventually through some of those wealthy supporters, Mrs. Pruitt got herself a job. She started with a conservative political group called the Judicial Crisis Network, it`s the sort of thing, like the previous dozen Pruitt scandals, that would normally result in investigations or firings or indictments, but Pruitt is safe as long as no Republican cares.

Well, some developments on that front are Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: The list of Scott Pruitt`s scandals keeps on growing, and today maybe some on the right have had enough, maybe?

Right wing radio and Trump TV host Laura Ingraham put it bluntly on Twitter this morning, writing, "Pruitt bad judgment, hurting POTUS. Got to go."

And even Pruitt`s friend and fellow Oklahoman, Senator Jim Inhofe, the guy who brought a snowball on the Senate floor to prove global warning isn`t real, is having some doubts.


SEN. JIM INHOFE, (R) OKLAHOMA: I`m afraid my good friend Scott Pruitt has done some things that really surprise me. And I`m the one to say this, because frankly, he`s a good friend of mine. I see these things. They upset me as much as they upset you. And I think something needs to happen to change that. One of those alternatives would be for him to leave that job.


HAYES: But maybe the worst sign for Pruitt comes from his own EPA spokesman who is no longer even trying to defend the administrator, instead referring all questions to Pruitt`s outside counsel.

I just hope Pruitt had the good sense not to hire Michael Cohen.



SEN. JEFF MERKLEY, (D) OREGON: I haven`t been asked to leave the property, but I`m guessing that`s about what`s to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, sir, I think that`s what they`re going for. What was your name again. I`m sorry...

MERKLEY: Senator Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.

I`ve now been asked to leave the property and so I`ll comply with that.


HAYES: Two weeks ago, Senator Jeff Merkley tried to get a tour of an immigrant detention center at an abandoned Walmart building in Brownsville, Texas that houses children. Senator Merkley was not allowed inside. No one would grant him an interview, but today for the first time since Senator Merkley was asked to leave the premises, our own Jacob Soboroff finally did get a tour and he joins me now just outside that facility in Brownsville, Texas.

Jacob, you were with a few other journalists let into that facility. What did you see?

JACOB SOBOROFF, NBC NEWS: You know, Chris, I have been inside a federal prison before, I`ve been inside several county jails. This place is called a shelter, but effectively these kids are incarcerated. There are over 1,400 of them, over 1,400 of them, that are spending not weeks, months inside this place. They`re not actually literally in cages or in cells, but I kid you not, one of the first things an employee of the shelter said to me is when we walked inside, can you try to smile at these kids, because it`s weird to see people from the outside. They feel like animals locked up in cages being looked at. It was an extraordinary thing to see.

HAYES: Well, what -- so talk me through what`s it look like. I mean, it`s a Walmart that`s been refashioned. Is it open air rooms with beds, like...

SOBOROFF: It is. These kids are free to move around. There are four -- it`s basically a dormitory structure. You know, it`s not nice by the standards of a place to be incarcerated -- you know, it`s fresh paint everywhere. There`s a cafeteria for kids to go to, about 300 at a time. There are four beds per room, or at least there`s supposed to be, but right now there are five. They have a variance in here from the state of Texas since May, because of this overcrowding crisis that`s been created, manufactured basically It`s a self-inflicted crisis -- our colleague Julia Ainsley was saying earlier today on MSNBC, because the Trump administration is taking children from their parents and effectively making them unaccompanied minors.

This place used to be just for kids that would walk across the border for the most part virtually 100 percent on their own. And now you`re get more and more kids, up to 30 percent as of right now, according to one official inside, that have been separated from their parents over the last couple of months.

They have recreation, but allowed outside where we are in the fresh air for two hours a day and the 22 hours a day, they`re inside a former Walmart.

HAYES: So -- all right, you have 1,400 kids in there and maybe 70 percent -- again, we should be clear -- unaccompanied minors is something that started and the government struggled to figure out what to do with them. You`ve got a 15, 16-year-old walking across the border.

Now, you`ve got kids that are being rendered unaccompanied, because they`re going to be taken from their parents who tend to be younger. So, do we have a sense of the age range of these 1,400 kids in there?

SOBOROFF: Yeah, and they`re all boys, I should say, and they`re from age 10 to 17. So, the thing that strikes me, you know, as a parent of a 2-and- a-half-year- old boy is what about from zero to 10? You know, where are those kids?

I mean, this is one of a hundred facilities like this in the United States across 17 states. This is the largest facility of its kind in the country. But there are 99 other ones. And we`re only talking about 10 to 17-year- old boys in here.

HAYES: OK, 10 to 17-year-old, you -- I`ve got one boy, two girls. You got a 2 and-a-half-year-old boy. You got 1,400 boys aged 10 to 17.

Now, the ideal ratio would be 2,800 adults to look after 1,400 between those two ages. What -- how many adults are watching after that many boys?

SOBOROFF: One to eight is the ratio, so there is one staff member for every incarcerated shelter resident is what they call them, and it`s organized chaos in there. I mean, it`s hectic, but it is organized. And like I said, 300 kids at a time are going to the chow -- that`s why I say, it`s like looking at a prison or a jail.

You know, they`re all led to chow. There was a group of kids doing -- again, I kid you not, Thai Chi or recreation or a group of boys sitting in the former loading dock of the Walmart in a theater watching the Disney movie Moana.

They are just trying to keep these kids busy. They go to class for six hours a day and learn about American history. And honestly, one of the most striking things that I saw when you go in there is that this place has a lot of American history all over the place, quotes, inspirational quotes, I guess, from former presidents. And the first one that you see when you walk in is Donald Trump.

HAYES: There`s a mural of Donald Trump.

SOBOROFF: It`s a mural of Donald Trump with a quote from Donald Trump, I`m paraphrasing, talking about if you don`t win the battle, there`s a way to win the war.

It is very -- I mean, strange does not do it justice what it`s like in there, it`s...

HAYES: Let me ask you this, so you`ve got -- this is a non-profit that has been contracted with the federal government to run this facility. What is the level of training of these grown-ups who, you know, watching eight boys per grown-up for 22 hours a day, that`s very serious work that requires very serious training.

SOBOROFF: Yeah. And I want to be really clear, I think that there is very serious work and very serious training that goes on. These are accredited, licensed professionals, not just by the state of Texas, but again, this is a licensed facility. And it brings up the much larger issue, because you have teachers in here, licensed teachers, licensed clinicians, it`s three on-call doctors that are in this facility or around this facility at any time, a 48-person medical staff that`s inside here.

But what`s being talked about with the administration is moving -- or bringing children away from facilities like this, licensed facilities, and on to tent cities on federal property. And what I was told tonight is that those tent cities that are being looked at here in Texas and throughout the state of California are unlicensed facilities. It won`t require necessarily on federal property, because it`s an emergency situation, the level of training, the types of professionals.


SOBOROFF: That are taking care of the kids that are in this facility tonight when they go lights out at 9:00 p.m.

HAYES: So final question, do you know -- have these kids -- the ones -- now unaccompanied minors are one thing, right, but of the 30 percent, the ones who traveled with a parent or a guardian or a grandparent and were taken away from them, have they -- are there regular contacts they get to have with that person?

SOBOROFF: They wouldn`t say regular, but they said it`s basically up to the penal institution where they are. Because, again, remember these kids, before this policy was announced, most of these kids would end up in ICE family detention with their families which is, whatever you want to think about it, they were together with their families.

HAYES: Right.

SOBOROFF: Now they`re being separated from their parents. They`re being taken to the federal courthouse here in South Texas. Their parents are being remanded to the U.S. Marshall`s custody and they go to federal prison.

So if the federal prison or the department of refugee resettlement in HHS says that that parent can call the child, the parent is allowed to call the child. But it`s up to the penal institution. They said it happens, but it`s not happening on a regular basis.

HAYES: All right, well, Jacob, this is fantastic reporting. Thank you for giving us a glimpse inside. I really, really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SOBOROFF: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for staying on this, man.

HAYES: As the Trump administration continues separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, the House could finally be voting on immigration next week, Republican leadership, including speaker Paul Ryan, are allowing two bills to come to a vote. One, a compromised bill that is still being hammered out, but which is expected to include a provision to end family separation as well as offer protection for Dreamers, and one hard line bill that promises to clamp down even more forcefully on legal immigration.

Here with me, two members of the House, Republican Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is also the chairman of the Conservative Freedom Caucus, and Democrat John Garamendi of California.

Congressman Garamendi, let me start with you on the compromise bill. You would be excused for thinking the whole thing is a sucker`s bet, given that there`s nothing actually concrete yet. Why are people who think it is a sucker`s bet wrong?

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, we`re hopeful. We`re hopeful. We know there is a problem.

HAYES: I heard a lot of suckers say they`re hopeful in my time.

GARAMENDI: Well, I`m going to be hopeful because we know we have a serious problem. You just talked about a very serious problem that`s occurring in Brownsville. I know that Mark and I both would agree it`s a problem. We have got to find a solution. And it`s our job to do that.

Right now Mark and his team are working on a compromise, and I`ll let him talk about it from his perspective. From our perspective on the Democratic side, we`ve not been involved yet in that process. That would really be a true compromise.

But some of the things that we have heard that may be discussed, and perhaps Mark will share some of that with us, is in a positive direction. Details we don`t know, but I`m hopeful. I`m hopeful we can solve this kid problem that is a very serious thing, one that I know I hate and I`m sure Mark and I were discussing this earlier.

HAYES: Congressman, let me -- Meadows, let me ask you on that. And I think...


HAYES: I think there is a way in which this shocks the conscience. A lot of people, almost unanimous -- and I saw a story today about a breast- feeding mom who had her child literally taken away from her. She was nursing a 4-month-old baby. What is your position on the current U.S. policy of taking children away from their parents across the boarder?

MEADOWS: Well, obviously, I`ve been vocal on making sure that families stay together. And Chris, let me just say this, my good friend Matt Fuller with Huffington Post said this is the smartest cable TV, and I had to come on tonight just to figure that out. So, I...

HAYES: Well, thank you, Matt. It`s only because we`ve had him on, and I paid him for that, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

MEADOWS: Well, he did. But John is actually a good friend. And we`ve been actually working on this. We represent two very separate districts, very distinct differences, North Carolina, California, and yet we can come together on the fact that families need to be unified. So the decision that really has complicated things along with a 307 percent increase in what I would say fraud, you know, trafficking, human trafficking, are they families, are they not? We`ve got to get to the bottom of it and make sure families stay together.

But let me just say this, in the compromise bill, there is distinct -- and legislation that will address this very issue, and it`s something actually that John and I have talked about a number of times.

HAYES: OK. But I just want to be -- first of all, I want to be specific here.


HAYES: In terms of are they families, are they not? And there has been some sort of post talk or actualization even in federal court has argued those concerns about trafficking. That can be resolved with a DNA test, right. So, if that`s the concern...

MEADOWS: Well, I mean, that`s part of it. But Chris, you got a bigger problem. You`ve got 1,400 people in a rehabbed Walmart. Obviously, we`ve got a problem at the border that we have to address, and we have to hopefully do that in a bipartisan way.

HAYES: But let me ask you this, I don`t want to concede that frame. Problem at the border. What is the problem? People are coming here because they`re fleeing horrible persecution and want the come to this amazing country that you and I both love.

MEADOWS: Listen, I love the American way. There is a legal way to get here. There is a way that`s not legal to get here. And as we look at that, if we let everyone in who wanted to come here, I can tell you that`s just not a sustainable path that we can do.

HAYES: But wait a second. Asylum is legal, right?

MEADOWS; Right, right.

GARAMENDI: Well, there is a couple of different pieces of this. You just hit upon upon of them. Asylum is legal, and they present themselves and seek asylum.

HAYES: That`s right.

GARAMENDI: That is one set of issues.

There are others that sneak across the border illegally, and we need to differentiate there.


GARAMENDI: For those who are coming from asylum, there is no way that they should be separated from their kids. Similarly, if they`re coming here illegally, they shouldn`t be separated, but that is a different question than is the asylum issue.

HAYES: Wait, congressman, you just nodded your head. So, I want to get this on the record. He just said if they`re coming seeking asylum, there is no way they should be separated from their kids. You agree with that?

MEADOWS: Yeah, legitimate asylum, certainly I would agree with that.

HAYES: Just seeking it, right? They don`t know in advance whether they clear the review.

MEADOWS: Well, sometimes they do. And, Chris, you`re smart enough to know that there are a number of people who game the system. And I`m not saying that the vast majority of them do, but you can go on the internet and find it right now.

But real asylum, am I supportive of that, keeping families together? I think you`re making history, John and I agree on it.

HAYES: OK, well, that`s good -- but I just want to be clear, because this is actually like -- I know this sounds procedural, but it`s important, right.


HAYES: What`s happening right now, as far as I understand, things are murky, and I`ve talked to different lawyers.


HAYES: The prosecution is happening before an asylum review. So my point is when you`re talking about real asylum, right, these people are coming. They are being prosecuted as criminals for entry. Their children are being taken away before an asylum review.

MEADOWS: Yeah, I don`t know that I would agree with that, Chris, but go ahead. I know...

GARAMENDI: This is something that is clearly procedural. If somebody comes to the border and seeks asylum.


GARAMENDI: They`re not sneaking in.

HAYES: Correct.

GARAMENDI: They`re presenting themselves in what is an international legal way seeking asylum.

Now, they may be cheating, but that can be adjudicated.


GARAMENDI: Later. Don`t separate the kids from the parents. Go through that legal adjudication, their hearings. And there is a whole series of questions about the hearings. That needs to be resolved also.

But we should never separate. Even if somebody is coming across illegally, you shouldn`t separate them. I understand you`ve got to deal with those who have presumably broken the law. Again, you have a legal process that you have to go through. I think part of our task is to make sure that the resources are available not just with the police at the border, the agents, but also in the legal review process, that there is sufficient resources, not only human resources, but also the physical resources for the kind of care that we should as human beings offer to another human being.

HAYES: Well, so so far this is encouraging on this issue.

GARAMENDI: That`s a good thing.

MEADOWS: It sounds like you find it encouraging.

HAYES: Well, yeah, because I really do think -- I do think there is sort of unanimity on this. I do think there`s a kind of...


HAYES: ...intuition people have morally that you don`t take a 4-month-old away from her mother.


HAYES: Final question here for you Congressman Meadows is, there is some confusion about whether this is being done as deterrent. Do you understand this as a policy explicitly to deter people from seeking asylum here?

MEADOWS: Yeah, my understanding, in talking to the secretary of department of homeland security as recent as a couple days ago is that it`s not being done as a deterrent, that was a direct phone conversation I had with her, because I was concerned. But in the end, we`re going to have to come together, Republicans and Democrats, to try to make sure that what happens is we find a solution.

GARAMENDI: I might add something to that, Chris, whether it is or is not a deterrent or meant to be, it certainly is. But the real solution here is to deal with the problems in those countries from which they come.

HAYES: Well, that is true.

GARAMENDI: And that is something that the United States needs to pay attention to.

HAYES: Congressman, I`m going to invite you both back on the day that you pass compromise legislation next week to end the practice. I`m really serious about that. I would love to -- for you to take a collective victory lap here.

Mark Meadows and John Garamendi, thank for being with me.

MEADOWS: Thanks, Chris.

GARAMENDI: Thanks, Chris.


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