Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 25, 2018 Guest: Richard Blumenthal, Natalia Cornelio, Dan Rather, Dan Dicker, Nick Ackerman, Natasha Bertrand, Maxine Waters
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want judges, I want Border Patrol, I want ICE. We don't want judges.
HAYES: Donald Trump demands immediate deportation.
TRUMP: You ever hear of a thing like that, judges?
HAYES: Tonight, the President's latest call to eviscerate the rule of law and force asylum seekers to choose between their children or deportation. Then civil society responds to the Trump administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you consider it a civil policy to separate more than 2,000 children from their parents?
HAYES: Plus the classic American company that's now a victim of Donald Trump's trade war.
TRUMP: You can't lose a trade war.
HAYES: And why the top Senate Intel Democrat says buckle up for a wild summer with Robert Mueller.
TRUMP: Well, the phony witch hunt.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I'm Chris Hayes. Every day it seems the President of the United States sounds more and more like an authoritarian strongman from the country we no longer recognize as our own. Today's latest demonstration came as it so often does in a tweet "we cannot allow all of these people to invade our country. When somebody comes in we must immediately with no judges or court cases bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and law and order.
Now, you could write off Donald Trump's constant tweet storming as nothing more than some fury if not for what's actually happening this very moment in our country. The 2,300 immigrant children taken from their families, some of them toddlers, even babies the building of tent cities on military bases, camps to hold children inside which we might add we only have government provided images because media are not allowed to independently record what goes on inside there. The turning away of asylum seekers well documented by now at ports of entry against our own laws.
And now according the Texas Tribune, our government effectively holding many of these immigrant children who were taken from their parents, children our government ripped away from them holding them as hostages to then force people to give up their legal asylum claims and agree to be deported. This is the backdrop for the President's explicit call to deport people at will without any recourse to a legal system or any acknowledgment of the rule of law. But for anyone tempted to shrug off the President tweet this morning, he revisited the topic later in the day.
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TRUMP: And we have to change our laws. We have to make them sensible. They came in to see me last week, they said we'd like to hire 5,000 more judges, 5,000. You ever hear of a thing like that, judges? Well, we're appointing 145 judges here and everyone goes through this extreme vetting process instead of about 5,000. Where do you find 5,000 people to be judges? And you know what leads it? It leads to graft, it leads to a lot of other things.
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HAYES: The President is a little confused about immigration judges who are very different than the appellate and district court judges he's appointing but that's for another time. Now it has been a through-line of this president's rhetoric that he doesn't really even bother to pretend to care about the Constitution, makes no pretense of it. But we are currently getting a very bleak picture of what that worldview looks like when it is put into practice on vulnerable populations at the border. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut visited the tent city for immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas last week and maybe let me start by asking you what does it look like up close when you saw?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: As you have been reporting so well for the last weeks, Chris, it is a heartbreaking, deepening humanitarian crisis. And again, the through line here is in every one of these policies, the President is using children as pawns and hostages. First to try to pressure Congressmen to changing the law, he's now defying it, then to persuade some of these asylum seekers to leave the country if they are reunited there is no plan for reunification and there is deepening chaos and confusion even among the border agents, the Border Patrol agents and the United States Customs and Border Protection agents who say we need more judges. We need more resources to effectively and fairly enforce the law. So abandoning and abrogating due process has consequences not only financially but also morally.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. I mean you're a United States Senator and we have consistent reporting that CBP is turning people away at ports of entry when asking for asylum, that they even in some cases move their checkpoint to the median of the bridge so that no toe can touch American soil. That is a violation on its face of American law. What is Congress doing about that?
BLUMENTHAL: The Congress very sadly and unconscionably is doing nothing. And I believe, and I'm calling for it right now and in the next few days that Congress must have hearings. We have an oversight responsibility. The Judiciary Committee where I sit should be having hearings this week to hold accountable the officials for turning away those asylum seekers at the ports of entry, in effect denying them the credible fear hearing that they're entitled to receive if they're in this country and abrogating due process. Remember, due process is not only about fundamental fairness and the rule of law, it's also about making sure that determinations are accurate. Because in many instances, if we unfairly and inaccurately deny asylum, we are in effect very likely condemning these people to death, torture, and other forms of violence.
HAYES: Let's be clear, not just them. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong. What the President is calling for is an extra-legal unaccountable and non- reviewable deportation force that can take people out of the country with no judicial review. Is there any reason to believe that such a thing A, is constitutional or B, would not result in American citizens being deported?
BLUMENTHAL: It will be challenged, it will be found illegal and unconstitutional when and if it's challenged. But more broadly and fundamentally, this country is heading for a train wreck at the border because beyond those due process issues arising with respect to the asylum seekers at the ports of entry and the due process hearings were also threatening I say we, the President, is threatening to imprison tens of thousands of these individuals as he continues to prosecute them in camps that are very reminiscent of the internment facilities for the Japanese during World War II, on military bases at tremendous financial cost. In fact, I visit a facility very much like the one that the President is contemplating, the cost per person there, $2,000 per day. Think of it, $2,000 per day.
HAYES: Wait $2,000 per day per person?
BLUMENTHAL: Per person at the Tornillo facility in El Paso. So we're talking about financial cost but also moral and humanitarian costs.
HAYES: All right, Senator Richard Blumenthal, thank you for joining me.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
HAYES: Attorney Natalia Cornelio is Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project, and they've been representing a lot of the folks who have been detained by ICE and prosecuted. First, let's start with an update about what is happening on the ground because there's lots of confusion. Let me start with this. Is separation still happening or has that stopped to your knowledge?
NATALIA CORNELIO, DIRECTOR OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM PROGRAM, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: To my knowledge separation has stopped. As of Friday and Monday, we met no parents who had been separated from their children. So the last time we met with parents who had been separated from their children was last Thursday, the day after the executive order was signed.
HAYES: So there's confusion a little bit between CBP which is saying we're not recommending people for a prosecution. DOJ wants to keep saying we're prosecuting everyone because they have this zero-tolerance policy they adhere to. But what are you hearing about this idea that was reported in Texas Tribune of parents essentially being offered you can get your kid back if you sign this and agree to be deported immediately and waive your right to asylum. Have you heard that?
CORNELIO: We have heard from the relative of one of our clients that he was told that he would be reunited with his child if he signed a voluntary departure. We also heard from the majority of the people that we interviewed that they would do anything to be reunited with their child and so the concern is regardless of whether they're told explicitly by CBP that choice are not any decision that they would have to make regarding their immigration situation under the circumstances of not having their child with them by force is concerning. It's a coerced decision essentially so we're concerned about that.
HAYES: Is there progress being made in notifying clients of yours about where their children are and how they can go about reunifying with them?
CORNELIO: The process is very slow. It's essentially in Department of Homeland Security's hands. Of course, this all could have been avoided if parents had never been separated from their children. What we are doing now is scrambling as quickly as possible essentially racing the clock to try to assure that parents are unified with their children before something as serious as a deportation separate from one another. And we do know of at least one case where the children were deported while the parents remained in custody in the United States so that's a concern.
HAYES: The children were deported? Because we're going to be -- this is important we have tracked numerous cases of parents being deported while children remain in custody, you're saying the opposite. Children being sent back without their parents into a country they have fled because of danger?
CORNELIO: That's right. And at least one case, that's right.
HAYES: What do you -- what does it say to you or what do you here when you hear the President United States while building you know, going ahead with plans to build camps on military bases, keeping these children away from their parents say it's ridiculous, all these judges, all this law talk. We need to grab people and deport them. What do you say to that?
CORNELIO: I think that this problem of parents being separated from this children, this humanitarian human rights crisis if there were due process, if people were entitled to attorneys and were able to see judges, this would have never happened. So I actually think that this traumatic experience that America just went through could have been avoided if the opposite of what the President is saying had happened. So it's not only a violation of international human rights law and our laws but what just happened is proof of what could continue to happen if no due process is provided.
HAYES: Explain that. What do you mean?
CORNELIO: The lack of due process, the lack of access to courts or hearing officers, the lack of access to attorneys is what allows the government to have a non-transparent system making a sweeping administrative decision to separate parents from their children and it's only until you know, civil rights lawyers find out about it and scramble to try to talk to the parents that the information starts being tracked by anybody but the government. And so this type of behavior of a sweeping policy that's really concerning on a human rights level could happen if there's no due process, if there's no access to courts or hearings or attorneys, those things protect human rights violations, civil rights violations, law violations from happening. So those are an important check on that. And I think that everyone should agree that there's got to be space to agree that civil rights and human rights have to be included in any dialogue about policy. We should note, the only reason we know about this isn't because of the government, it's because of lawyers who are in courtrooms suing over it and telling and talking to reporters about it. They were the point of contact while this policy was happening behind closed doors in a black box and children are being ripped from their parents. So Natalia Cornelio, thank you for what you're doing. I appreciate it.
CORNELIO: That's exactly right.
HAYES: I have with me a legendary newsman Dan Rather, the Author of What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism. And you know, there's an instinct sometimes I think for a kind of a historicism in this moment. You know, oh it's never been this bad. This is not normal. And I always like to check in with you about that because you have witnessed a long arc of American history. What do you make about the President United States publicly stating we don't need laws and we don't need judges and we need -- and we don't need due process?
DAN RATHER, JOURNALIST: Well, thanks for having me here, Chris. First of all, we need to see clearly and not have what I call outrage fatigue. There have been so many outrages one on top of another. There's a tendency just to get so fatigued that you've been saying what -- can he make it? But we need you see clearly that President Trump's both his rhetoric and his policies, they're reckless, they're divisive, and they're doing serious damage to our core national values, what hold us together.
Now, there is this that it's already been demonstrated that a political response centering on the ballot box saying don't forget we have the ballot box and that will be decisive in the end. Beyond that is the idea that a president in effect what he's saying not in effect what he's say is I am the law. Something was said earlier with the senator who said there's no pretense. He's not even pretending that the Constitution matters. He's not even pretending that law and precedent matters. This is something new. Yes, we've had presidents before who have tried to go beyond the Constitution. President Roosevelt was stacking the Supreme Court, a number of examples, but we've never had a president who openly and without apology as a matter of fact with some arrogance says I don't care about the Constitution, I don't care about the laws.
HAYES: That is exactly what strikes me. I mean, you had -- let's be clear, Eric Holder basically said that that that you could kill a U.S. citizen without judicial review and that -- I mean, that's a very -- that's an incredibly expansive claim made by the Obama administration, extremely expansive claims made by the Bush Administration during me the post 9/11. But in all cases, you had a rhetoric, Reagan, George W. Bush that was about why this worked within the constitutional boundary. It does seem to me a new way of talking from this president to just sleep it aside and say this is this is ridiculous.
RATHER: It's not only a new way of talking, it's a new way of acting and that's a critical thing. And if we ever accept this that not just the President says it but he acts on the belief that the Constitution matter and he's above the law. This is a clear hallmark of an advance of authoritarianism. We have known that the Trump administration represents an authoritarian-leaning regime.
HAYES: It melts at least.
RATHER: Now it's moving into with having all the hallmarks of an outright authoritarian regime with all what we know from history that leads with that. By the way not to forget at the same time happening he's conducting the trade war, raising tariffs, isolating us from not only our friends and allies but undercutting the economy. And we know from history what happened that trade wars in the 1920s led to the Great Depression of 1930s which in turn led to Nazism. This is -- I'm not saying we're near Nazism, I'm saying we have to learn from history because you know history's judgment tends to be slow but once it settles in, we know what happens when you combine with authoritarianism, I am above all kind of leaders with the trade war, high tariffs, and isolationism. The history that is very clear and we forget it at our peril.
HAYES: One thing that strikes me is the question of what will restrain these kinds of impulses. And the courts have I mean, the courts you know, they knocked down two versions the travel ban. They enjoined the DACA provision. Congress has provided a bit of a check if say ACA repeal. What is your understanding of what we -- what we've seen now in sort of people organizing and resistance to this policy outside of the channels of the courts or Congress?
RATHER: Well, very important that people resist and resistance is taking on somewhat broader meaning with resistance to every turn from. What resistance to specific policies and people organizing in the interim between the ballot boxes is very important. The press and not to be self- serving, but my profession and yours, what the president says is especially heavy responsibility not to get the fatigue and move on to the next story to keep the pressure on. The idea that we still at this late date have no pictures, no really pictures from inside one facility after another is absolutely outrageous.
HAYES: I want to -- I want to make this point. This is Tom Namako I think it's how you pronounce his name at BuzzFeed, he showed this. This is a photo of the government put out that depicts a child making a call from Tornillo the Tent City. You can clearly see on the screen no call is being made, right? There's no actual call.
HAYES: The photo was shot on the 21st, four days ago. It's clearly staged. But it gets to your point which is that we don't we can't -- this is a black box. We cannot see in independently as the fourth estate and that should be really, really troubling and worrying to everyone. Dan Rather, thank you very much for your time.
RATHER: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, Maxine Waters on her calls for condemnation of Trump officials, crowds to push back in public and then the President's attack on her. Congresswoman Waters joins me exclusively ahead. And after the break, the President's trade war starts cleaning its first victims. How one company went from a symbol of American job growth to now shifting production and jobs overseas in two minutes.
HAYES: It was a few short months ago that Donald Trump tweeted "trade wars are good and easy to win." And he is not the first world leader to believe this and then be disabused of that very idea. And tonight in the middle of an actual trade war that is now unfolding, that he launched, the President is finding out winning is not as easy as he perhaps thought. Harley- Davidson is an iconic American brand, a company Trump brought to the White House last February to prop up as a beneficiary of his policies. Today Harley-Davidson announced it will be shifting production of its motorcycles sold in Europe from the U.S. to factories overseas. The company says the move is to avoid higher cost from the tariffs imposed last week by the E.U. Cost that would add about $2,200 on average to every motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the European Union.
Now, why would the E.U. do such a thing? Well that tariff comes as a response to the tariffs President Trump ordered on steel imports against America's core allies including the E.U. and Canada and the retaliation doesn't end with motorcycles, all kinds of manufacturers and farmers are feeling the pain of retaliatory tariffs. According to one Wisconsin cheese maker, if export markets get shut off I could see us getting to the point where dumping our milk in the fields talk more about the impact of Trump tariffs will have in the American companies. I'm joined by Dan Dicker, licensed Commodity Trader, markets expert who's been writing to me about this. As you're watching it, we had you on to talked about the steel tariffs when they first announced. What is happening right now?
DAN DICKER, COMMODITY TRADER: Well when I was on with he within March, we talked about this first round of tariffs and in fact Trump kind of backed away from that notion. He saw the stock market dive on those announcements and in fact, he backed away from it tremendously both from the Chinese and both from our allies. But since then he's kind of doubled back down on this whole process, and since then the markets kind of been standing around kind of calling B.S. on the whole process saying you know, we don't believe that he can actually do this unilaterally and start a trade war for absolutely no good reason whatsoever and spiral the global economy into a recession. Remember, the economy is one of the few truly assets, true assets that the Trump administration has to bring to the midterms and he's about to throw that all away for what reasons no one can really fathom.
HAYES: I find this dynamic so fascinating because I think you're totally right. You know, there's line of a sort of Trump sympathetic journalists said that you should you know, take him seriously but not literally and that's what his supporters do. And I think you know, Wall Street was taking him not literally. They were basically doing that. They were saying now come on, he's not actually going to start trade war.
DICKER: He's not actually going to go through with it and the markets have been pretty steady, actually been doing pretty well. Unemployment has been at a low, the economy has been kind of rumbling along but as we get closer to July when these first tariffs are supposed to go into effect and in fact as the White House continues to threaten more tariffs on top of the ones they already have as the E.U. and China starts to call out retaliatory methods about measures that they're going to take, finally we've gotten some Wall Street analysts particularly today from Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan saying hey maybe he's not kidding, maybe he's actually going to go through with this and that's what started the avalanche on Wall Street.
HAYES: And we should be clear. My understanding is that this isn't just people pricing the future, it's happening now. The SEC filing from Harley- Davidson today says that the E.U. tariffs have had increased from six percent to 31 percent. Like that's not a fictional view.
DICKER: Our tariffs are week and a half away. July 4th or the first time July 7th for the first time that they will be imposed the Chinese tariffs on various computer and electronic goods, and from the other Chinese will start to ramp up their tariffs. It's going to be four billion from Mexico, four billion from the E.U. 17 billion from Canada, and the Chinese are threatening somewhere in the 20 billion area.
Now, Trump surprisingly thinks he can win this war with the silly idea that since we imports so much more from China than they import from us that he can just ramp up more tariffs and therefore the end number will be larger and that to him be winning. But unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way and he's going to find this to be a true like a game of chicken we're the only truck that's moving is the one towards him. That's really how this is going to work.
HAYES: You know, that's -- I mean, the question all along right, has been as people watch that this is a negotiating posture, it's a negotiating posture, it's a negotiating posture, and I should say there's a school of thought that in -- that taking a tougher line with China as a negotiating posture particularly China was not a crazy idea, it's something rational people have urged.
DICKER: We have to be fair and it's been a thirty-year problem of the Chinese stealing intellectual properties from United States. Unfortunately this is so Trumpian and that it's a very complex problem that he's trying to fix in a very simple way. Just like the immigration, you know, I have a problem with immigration I'm going to build a wall. It's a simple solution. Tariffs are a simple and in fact a wrong solution for what is a very nuanced and complex problem.
HAYES: Part of it too is that they are able in retaliating to target populations that they want to target. So farmers in Iowa for instance export a tremendous amount of their agricultural product to China. China could cut that off.
DICKER: Yes and in fact, there are specific companies that depend, almost rely completely upon China in order to support them. For example General Motors, they would be lost they would go immediately bankrupt if China decided to target General Motors. Apple phones, their best market is in China. If they decided to target Apple, if the Chinese decided to do that as a retaliation, they could literally send Apple stocks out spinning downwards to nothing.
HAYES: Yes. The question now becomes like this dynamic we seen before in world's history right? I mean, trade wars happen for a reason. The question is like who hits the eject button and how you get out of it and that remains extremely unclear at the moment. Dan Dicker, thanks for joining us.
DICKER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, the president targets Congresswoman Maxine Waters after her call for protests in person of Trump Administration members when they're out in public. Congressman Waters is standing by joins me to respond right after this.
HAYES: The Trump Administration's cruel decision to separate children from their parents at the border prompted a backlash against Trump administration officials and allies. And not just online, in Virginia protesters played a recording of crying detained migrant kids outside the home of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen while she appeared to be home. Both Nielsen and Senior Adviser Stephen Miller were also confronted by protesters verbally while trying to eat in Mexican restaurants. In Florida, meanwhile, Attorney General Pam Bondi left a movie theater where she'd come to see a documentary about Mister Rogers as citizens heckled her, yelled shame on you and asked if Mister Roberts would take -- Mister Rogers would take children away from their parents.
And most famously, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant called the Red Hen over the weekend when the owner objected to her role in pushing and defending Trump administration policy prompting a debate over whether members of the administration should be able to lead a public life without facing public consequences. My next guest representative Maxine Waters made her feelings clear.
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REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.
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HAYES: Those comments precipitated a significant backlash from members of both parties and from the president who, we should note, lied what Waters - - what Waters had said and appeared to then threaten her with violence: "Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extremely low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the face of the Democratic Party. She has just called for harm to supporters of which there are many of the make bank of America great again movement. Be careful what you wish for, Max."
As you just heard, Maxine Waters did not in any way call for harm to Trump supporters, the president lied.
Joining me now to respond, Representaive Maxine Waters of California.
Congresswoman, let me start with this. You did not call for physical harm or attacks on people, but you did say create a crowd and push back on them. And so I wonder, do you worry the people interpret that as a call to essentially mob intimidation, to use a sort of mass of people to physically threaten people in public spaces Is that what you're calling for? And what do you think of that?
REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA: Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, you're absolutely correct, I did not call for harm for anybody. The president lied again. As a matter of fact, I believe in peaceful protests. I believe that protest is at the centerpiece of our democracy. I believe that the constitution guarantees us freedom of speech. And I think that protest is civil protest.
And so I don't know why the president chose to stretch that out and try to imply that I was causing harm. As a matter of fact, the president calls for more violence than anybody else. But let's not talk about that.
Let's focus on the children, that's what this is all about. It is about the fact that children have been snatched from their parents' arms. They're in cages. They're in jails. They're in prisons. You name it. The parents don't know where they are. And this administration can't tell us where they are.
These parents want to know where their children are. Any parent would want to know where their children are. Most parents in this country seeing what is going on where children have been separated from their mothers and their fathers would feel absolutely outraged about the fact that that is happening, that's what we've got to focus on. This administration had better come up with a plan by which to connect these children and their parents. That's what I'm talking about.
HAYES: So I hear you on that, and I want to sort of follow up the question that was posed by The Washington Post editorial board. But first, I also want you to respond to your Democratic colleagues who have sort of distanced themselves from your comments. And these are people, I should be clear, that I think that agree with you fundamentally on the policy, right, they are against the child family separation policy. They think it's outrageous and morally abominable, but we had Nancy Pelosi said that, strive to make America beautiful again and calling for civility. You had Chuck Schumer who has not been particularly vocal or visible on this particular issue, but says I strongly disagree with folks who advocate harassing folks if they disagree with you.
What is your response to your Democratic colleagues who say you are out of line? And why are they telling you that?
WATERS: They don't really say what I'm out of line, what they do is try to find a way talk that about civility without attacking me or anybody else.
As the leader of the Democratic Party, I expect that she would do everything that she could to make sure nobody believes that Democrats are out here harassing anybody or causing any violence. And I think that she was very responsible in the way she said that.
They're not attacking me, they're trying to make sure that people understand that we're focused on the children and that we're not focused on this diversion, particularly the way the president would have it sound and make it out to be.
And again, let me just tell you this, I am focused on the children. I've had sleepless nights about the fact that these children do not -- we do not know where they are. The parents don't know where they are. Why can't the administration come up with a plan to connect them and make it public so that we can all get more comfortable with the fact that they are going to be reconnected.
They should not have been separated in the way that it was done in the first place. This president will try to do everything to divert attention. He calls me names. He calls everybody names. As a matter of fact, we expect that from him.
But we expect -- we have come too close to normalizing this president. Listen to some of his statements during his campaign and since he has been president. His violence statements are, I'll quote, "I'd like to punch him in the face. Another violent statement, "knock the crap out of them." Another one, "maybe he should have been roughed up." And then he goes on to say, "try not to hurt him, but if you do, I'll defend you in court. Don't worry about it."
Now if that's not creating violence and supporting violence, what is?
I've said nothing about that. I've talked about peaceful protests.
HAYES: Right. And I just want to be clear, though, you don't think that's a good idea. Like, you don't approve the president's language there. You wouldn't call for people to physically threaten, intimidate, or to attack anyone? I just want to be crystal clear on that.
WATERS: Absolutely not. I would not in any way support any violence, anybody being hit or beaten or then say to them I'll have to get you out of jail. This president is guilty of all of that.
Don't forget that they created some of the most violent protests that we've ever seen led by a president of the United States of America.
I'm for the children. I'm for the parents. I want those children connected back to their parents. I want this president to come up with a plan where he can make us all comfortable that this is going to be done.
Now on the entire question of immigration, he is coming off even in another place. He has confused people. But he has not guaranteed us that he is going to get these children back to their parent.
HAYES: All right. Representative Maxine Waters, the president addressing a crowd tonight apparently talking about you. He seems to talk about you a tremendous amount. I thank you for taking some time to be with me tonight.
WATERS: Well, I expect Don the Conman to say anything. He's a liar. He's deplorable. He cannot be trusted. The American people should be accustomed to that now and know who we have for president, someone who does not deserve to be president of the United States of America. Thank you so very much.
HAYES: Thank you, congresswoman.
WATERS: You're welcome.
HAYES: Ahead, is Robert Mueller preparing to wind down his investigation? The latest on what the special counsel is up to ahead.
Plus, hopefully you already had dinner, because tonight's Thing One, Thing Two is next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, of all the abuses of power committed by the president, using Twitter to give angry negative reviews of a local restaurant in Lexington, Virginia might not seem like something to get too worked up about, except he is most powerful person in the world, deploying his power to intimidate a private citizen for exercising their constitutional right to dissent from government policy.
"The Red Hen restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows. Badly needs a paint job. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it's dirty on inside."
That's a pretty detailed review for someone who only saw a photo of the place on the news.
And, hey, sorry to all those unaffiliated restaurants with similar names. Our president isn't always so precise. But it's an interesting attack line going after restaurant's cleanliness. It reminds me of an old saying, people with filth flies shouldn't throw stones.
That's Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So when restaurant owner and current president of the United States Donald Trump bashed the little Red Hen restaurant on Twitter today for being dirty, journalists started looking into the obvious question, and the answer was 15.
15 health code violations in 2017 for Trump's famous Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, including sushi that wasn't treated for parasites, hot dogs placed on the ground in a walk-in freezer, faulty refrigerator with meat stored above the required 41 degrees fahrenheit.
During a three-year span Mar-a-Lago received 78 health code violations. Vice News compiled a list of the hundreds of other violations at other Trump properties nationwide based on public records, including health code violations, but also building code violations from live roaches and filth flies -- eeks -- to water code and fire code fines and environmental damage.
So the dirty on the outside, dirty on the inside test that Trump proposes, well, not looking so good for him.
As for the food, Vanity Fair once reviewed the Trump Grill which featured flaccid gray Sichuan dumplings with their flaccid gray innards, steak slumped to the side over the potatoes like dead body inside a t-boned minivan, the Fifth Avenue tasted like vodka mixed with Crystal Light, which actually doesn't sound terrible. As soon as I got home, I brushed my teeth twice and curled up in the bed until the nausea passed.
It's all subjective, of course, but facts are important like this one, the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, which Trump attacked as dirty, actually just passed its recent health inspection with, you guessed it, zero violations.
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TRUMP: Very importantly, I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That's a big statement. We are going to have the air force, and we are going to have the space force, separate but equal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I will admit, I'm tempted sometimes to say that was a big statement after I get through a big prompter sentence. That public -- the public and the press were apparently not the only one surprised by that announcement from the president last week, that big statement. According to a report from NBC News, the creation of an entirely new branch of the military was also news to the person who runs the military: Defense Secretary James Mattis. He has been characterized by some as one of the few so-called adults in the room able to constrain some of the president's worst instincts. But NBC reports that in recent months the president has cooled on Mattis, in part because he has come to believe his defense secretary looks down on him and slow walks his policy directives.
In the case of Space Force, the president may have cared more about the reaction from a different audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're reopening NASA. We're going to be going to be going to space.
CROWD: Space force, space force, space force, space force.
TRUMP: Space force.
CROWD: Space force.
TRUMP: Space force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Space force. Space force.
In point of fact, NASA was never closed, so they're not reopening.
But, Mattis is not just being left out of the loop on the president's big plans for future space travel, according to NBC's reporting, the defense secretary was also excluded from a historic decision about one of the world's most dangerous conflicts: nuclear standoff with North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money. I think it's inappropriate to be having war games. So number one, we save money, a lot. And number two, it really is something that I think they very much appreciated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That's been a point of contention for 60 years, and the president reportedly decided to suspend those joint military exercises with South Korea, a major concession to Kim Jong-un without even informing his secretary of defense, much less consulting him.
And with that, James Mattis becomes the latest figure, widely respected before joining the administration, to lose his dignity to Donald J. Trump.
Next, House Republicans now requesting information on every person to ever work on the Mueller probe. The latest on the plot to stop Mueller, after the break.
HAYES: So, there was an item in Politico yesterday that piqued a lot of people's curiosity. Mark Warner, a top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee overheard saying this on Friday night at a dinner at his house on Martha's Vineyard, quote, "if you get me one more glass of wine Ill tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you've seen wild stuff so far, buckle up it's going to be a wild couple of months."
It's unclear how serious that comment was. Warner later described it as, quote, "a bad joke." And for the record, no word on whether anyone actually got him that glass of wine.
What we do know is that Mueller investigation appears to be on a kind of precipice. Paul Manafort now sitting in jail, Michael Cohen having been raided by the FBI openly flirting with cooperating with investigators, and the president's allies making what appears to be a last ditch effort to discredit the investigation before the hammer potentially drops.
Nine House Republicans today demanded that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein give them a list of everyone who has worked on the Mueller investigation presumably in an effort to attack their credibility one by one.
For some analysis of where things now stand, I'm joined by MSNBC contributor Natasha Bertrant, staff writer for The Atlantic covering national security and the Mueller investigation; and MSNBC legal analyst Nick Ackerman, a former assistant special Watergate prosecutor.
And let me start with you.
NICK ACKERMAN, FRM. ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Sure.
HAYES: I was listening to a new podcast about RFK called The RFK Files, I think, and you're transported back to 1968 and the Nixon enemies list. And it occurred to me that we talk a lot about the Saturday Night Massacre. But were there other things -- when you read about congressional Republicans trying get the name of everyone on that team, you were on the team.
HAYES: Was there pressure brought to bear in other ways by Nixon's people or his allies on you guys when you were doing your work, or is this a new tack?
ACKERMAN: there was some of the similar kind of tact. I mean, we were all labeled as Kennedy democrats.
HAYES: Really? The very same thing.
ACKERMAN: Oh, exact same thing, absolutely. But not with the same, you know, viciousness and the same sort of persistence that you have here.
I mean, this is really an effort to undermine the entire investigation. Look at what happened last week. Mueller had to file a special jury questionnaire with the court in Virginia in order to have a voir dire, questions of the jury, in order to determine who has been prejudiced against the prosecution by what Trump and Giuliani have been doing the last few weeks.
HAYES: There's a woe if true question I have for you, Natasha. I saw you tweet this article and I saw it and I read it and I've read it a few times, and it's Paul Wood writing in The Spectator. And I remember, he's broken a few stories, and I can't tell what to do with the sourcing.
Here's what he said, and I want to get your feedback on this story. He says, "an American lawyer I know told me he was approached by Cambridge Analytica employee after the election. They had had the Clinton emails more than a month before they were published by WikiLeaks. What should I do? Take this to Mueller, the lawyer replied."
I mean, obviously, that would mean an enormous deal, if true, but I have no idea what to make of that item. What do you make of it?
NATASHA BERTRAND, THE ATLANTIC: Right, so Paul Wood is a very good reporter. The only issue is that few people, if anyone, are usually able to corroborate the explosive things that he does report. But it makes sense if you think about it, because if you'll recall, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, he did reach out to Julian Assange in the summer of 2016 and offered to catalog the Hillary Clinton emails that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks had. And that seemed -- you know, decontextualized that seemed very, very random because how did Alexander Nix know that Julian Assange had Clinton emails if this was before the DNC document dump and was this referring to the DNC hack and subsequent leak or was this referring to separate Clinton emails? Was it referring to the Podesta emails?
So, this has always been kind of fuzzy. And that email from Nix to Julian Assange seemed just very, very random and we've never really gotten a good explanation for it.
So if a Cambridge Analytica employee did approach a lawyer in the United States and asked him, hey, am I facing any potential criminal liability here because I knew at the time that Cambridge Analytica did have these emails and did give them to WikiLeaks, what should I do, and to that the reporter Paul Wood allegedly says he replied, well, you should take this information to Bob Mueller.
HAYES: Yeah, and that's a great point. I had forgotten the Alexander Nix part of that. The CEO of Cambridge Analytica reaching out to Julian Assange to be like, hey, can we help you with these, that is confirmed. Like that is a thing that we know, that is an established fact.
So you're saying if this were to bear out it would make some sense of that aspect of it. So that's one part of this, right? We keep looking for the sort of nexus, Roger Stone, Cambridge Analytica, WikiLeaks.
There's also this -- there has been a crazy Eric Prince-related side plot to this. And I'm curious about this piece of news today which just, again, keeps showing how wide a net and how many documents and things Mueller has access to. Prince says the special counsel has obtained his phones and computers, that he's cooperated and handed over all sorts of files and information to Mueller's team.
ACKERMAN: Yeah, but I think there are things what they're looking at are really kind of what he said to the House committee and the other evidence that proves he was lying.
HAYES: Which is almost an open and shut case just in terms of what is known publicly.
ACKERMAN: Right. This is a guy who claims he was in the Seychelles and just happened to run into this Russian oligarch who happens to be...
HAYES: Hedgefund manager, yeah.
ACKERMAN: Right. I mean, if you look at where the Seychelles are, I mean, take a map, it's like in the middle of nowhere. You don't just go into a bar in the Seychelles and run into a friend of Vladimir Putin's without planning that, it's just totally nonsense.
HAYES: So you think they may be trying to like in the same way that they've gotten other people on sort of false claims and sort hung them up on that, you think that might be a line of inquiry from Mueller on Eric Prince?
HAYES: Oh, I think they're moving in on all sides here. You're looking at a situation where I think by Labor Day you're going to see a major indictment drop down.
Mueller wants to get this done in time so he's not accused of interfering with the midterm elections. He's got now the Cohen documents, which he's going to be able to look at, go through, catalog. He's got a possibility of turning Cohen. He's got two major witnesses. He's got Flynn. He's got Gates. He is in the process of building a case that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
HAYES: We should also say people other than the Senator mark Warner have said that they expect things to happen July and August.
Finally, Manafort being in jail really does present an obstacle for his defense and also in terms of the timing of this whatever Mueller does there's going to be a trial of the president's former campaign manager like in the fall.
BERTRAND: Right, exactly. Paul Manafort's trial is scheduled for July. You have Padopoulos's trial scheduled for September. We still don't know what's going to happen with michael Cohen. There are just so many different factors at play here that are all going to take place before the mid-terms, so any kind of idea that this is going to wrap up before then kind of fantasy.
I mean, we also have everyone except Roger Stone being interviewed about Roger Stone, so he's obviously going to be a very big part of this.
HAYES: That's -- the Roger Stone shoe is a shoe that a lot of people are waiting to drop as well, including possibly Roger Stone.
Natasha Bertrand and Nick Akerman, thank you both for your time.
Some fun news before we go, I will be on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" tonight. Be sure to check it out. It airs tonight on NBC at 12:35 eastern. It was a blast.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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