Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 5, 2018 Guest: Julia Ainsley, Kristine Lucius, Tim O`Brien, Tim Ryan
STEVE KORNACKI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is HARDBALL for now. Thank you for being with us and "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we`re setting records.
HAYES: Scott Pruitt is out.
TRUMP: I`m not saying that he`s blameless but we`ll see what happened.
TRUMP: The EPA Administrator resigning in disgrace amid 15 ongoing investigation.
SCOTT PRUITT, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A.
HAYES: Tonight, what happens now and what tipped Scott Pruitt`s exit.
KEVIN CHMIELEWSKI, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, EPA: Not only did we not drain the swamp with this man, I think we put a bigger swamp creature in there.
HAYES: Plus, as the Mueller probe ramps up, SCOTUS decision winds down.
TRUMP: These are very talented people, brilliant people, and I think you`re going to really love it.
HAYES: Tonight the President`s three alleged finalists for the Supreme Court vacancy.
TRUMP: Such an important decision and we`re going to give you a great one.
HAYES: And meet the latest White House hire, Roger Ailes right-hand man.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: He`s one of the smartest people I have ever known and one of the nicest people I`ve ever known.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from Chicago, I`m Chris Hayes. And the last time that I was at this desk right before the 4th of July holiday which I hope you all enjoyed, I interviewed EPA whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski, a diehard Trump supporter who gave a devastating account of Administrator Scott Pruitt`s unethical and possibly illegal conduct.
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CHMIELEWSKI: I joined the Trump campaign even before his announcement and why that was is because of the whole message of draining the swamp. And not only did we not drain the swamp with this man, I think we put a bigger swamp creature in there.
HAYES: Today, less than 48 hours after that very interview and after Pruitt was spotted at the White House attending the annual Fourth of July Picnic, the President announced that he`d accepted Scott Pruitt`s resignation. Pruitt was facing 15 ongoing federal investigations according to NBC`s tally over allegations of abusing public funds, exploiting his office for perks and personal gain and cozying up to the industries he was supposed to be regulating. Pruitt`s extraordinary list of ethical scandals prompted debate among historians about whether he`s the most corrupt cabinet member in the nation`s history at least in recent memory. And it`s hard to think of any national politician with a record of misconduct more extensive or more hilariously venal.
There was the time he enlisted EPA staff to contact the CEO of Chick-fil-A to try to get his wife a franchisee. The D.C. apartment he rented for $50 a night didn`t have to pay when he wasn`t there from the wife of an energy lobbyist with business before the EPA. There`s, of course, the six figures he spent on first class air travel to avoid he said concerned citizens back in coach. The massive security detail he hired to the tune of $3 million who Pruitt pressed to use lights and sirens to get him to his dinner engagements faster and whom he enlisted for personal tasks like infamously picking up dry cleaning or getting his favorite moisturizer from the Ritz- Carlton. There were all the public funds that Pruitt spent on office supplies and other expenses including $1,500 for fountain pens 3,000 for tactical pants and polos, and $43,000 for a private secure phone booth in his office which was found to be a violation of law.
There`s also his practice of scrubbing his official schedule of meetings with industry representatives and other controversial figures, anything that might look bad. Just today we learned that Pruitt`s own scheduler was fired last summer after questioning whether the practice of scrubbing those calendars broke federal records law. In his resignation letter submitted to the President, Pruitt cited unprecedented and unrelenting attacks on him personally. For more on Pruitt`s tenure at the EPA and what finally brought it to an end, I`m joined by the Washington Post Juliet Eilperin who broken countless stories on Pruitt`s questionable conduct and MSNBC Political Analyst Robert Cost, a National Political Reporter for the Post. Robert, let me start with you. The big question I think everyone had is why now?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: This has been simmering for months as you just laid out, Chris, but Chief of Staff John Kelly working alongside President Trump based on my conversations with White House officials today and Trump advisers thought the bet just reached a breaking point story after story. And Pruitt himself had seen his time in Washington coming to an end. He still wanted to go to the fireworks yesterday at the White House. He enjoyed being EPA Administrator but the writing has been on the wall in bright red paint let`s say for at least five or six months.
HAYES: Juliet, I was I was struck by the tone of the letter that he wrote to the President. I want to read part of it because I think it gives a window perhaps into why he was able to stick around. He says truly your confidence to me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your administration. My desire is service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions to the American people. I believe you were serving as President today because of God`s providence. I believe that the same Providence brought me into your service. It`s striking to me that he does not view himself as serving the public but rather personally the President United States.
JULIET EILPERIN, SENOR NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. And he made that clear you know when we started writing on at this early on, someone very close to him said he we know we have an audience of one and that is President Trump. And that is the approach that Scott Pruitt took from the very beginning. You know, it`s pretty unusual that someone who`s the EPA Administrator would be constantly in the Oval Office having personal phone calls with the President on a regular basis, talking not only about this but you know -- so we`ve been writing recently. President Trump had raised the prospect of him leading trade talks with Mexico on NAFTA and getting involved in leading the infrastructure push and just a whole range of policies and again personal discussions that they had which really give you a sense of that the rapport that the two men established was something that was key to Scott Pruitt serving as long as he did.
HAYES: You know, it`s interesting to me too, Robert, also that he had sort of lost key parts of opinion-makers in the President`s base. Laura Ingraham said Pruitt is the swamp drain it. We know the President is inordinately influenced by Fox News. I wonder how much that had in effect.
COSTA: All these different wings of the Republican Party in the conservative movement stuck by Pruitt for a long time because they saw him as an ally of industry. He was an EPA Administrator who they thought could destroy the EPA, a federal agency, many of them wish did not exist. At the same time talking of Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma and other House Republicans today in this week and in Senate Republicans as well, people like Jim Inhofe who`s been a longtime Pruitt proponent, they just say it`s enough with these scandals. Juliet and her colleagues have done such a great job in just painting a picture of power in Washington and corruption and even Republicans who like him have said over the past two weeks especially enough.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, there`s some sort of anti-anti-Trump voices today defending Pruitt saying this is essentially a witch-hunt to coin the term. Although we should note that the people that really surface this were people close to Pruitt who are political appointees of President Trump. I wanted to ask you, Juliet, about the new Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and former staffer to the most prominent climate denialist in Congress James Inhofe will now take over the EPA.
EILPERIN: Absolutely. And frankly part of the case that many Republicans were making to the President in recent weeks was the idea that once Andrew Wheeler got confirmed as Deputy Administrator, they had a skills you know, policy expert who could advance many of the same regulatory role backs that Pruitt had been working on and arguably could be more effective because he wasn`t burdened by these allegations of ethical misconduct. And so there`s no doubt that Mr. Wheeler will be well prepared to pursue a number of the reversals of President Obama`s policies which is what President Trump had tasks Scott Pruitt with doing and he served in the EPA, he served on Capitol Hill as you mentioned and he`s worked in the private sector for many of these same industries who are looking for changes. And so it`s not as if Scott Pruitt`s departure signals a real policy shift at EPA.
HAYES: Final question, Robert. There have been real problems filling this White House. They just the White House staff, people refer to the desperation they`ve had in filling the staff there and then also in the agencies. The personnel situation seems relatively dire in the administration.
COSTA: It`s a difficult time for the White House. They`re turning to people inside of the West Wing like Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive to come in as Deputy Chief of Staff but he has clouds of his own over his entry into the White House due to his relationship with the late Roger Ailes and all of his sexual harassment controversies over the years. And at the federal government level, remember this is an administration they said it wanted to deconstruct the administrative state so they don`t seem to mind too much that they`re not filling all of the federal jobs. This is a massive federal government. It demands people to fill those jobs so the government can function.
HAYES: Right. All right, Juliet Eilperin and Robert Costa, thank you both for joining me.
EILPERIN: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on Scott Pruitt`s long list of ethical scandals I`m joined by Dan Kanninen, he`s former White House Liaison to the EPA under President Obama and Kristin Mink who you may recognize as the mother and teacher who confronted Pruitt earlier this week at a D.C. restaurant asking him to resign. And Kristin, I`ll start with you. It worked. It worked.
KRISTIN MINK, ACTIVIST: That`s very generous. That was very generous, Chris. I think that I was one of a barrage of nails in this -- in this coffin that`s Scott Pruitt really built himself. Obviously, so much of this credit goes to you know, investigative journalists like I think it was Kaitlan Collins who broke the Sessions scandal story, you know, activist groups., environmental groups like the Working Families Party. So there are so many people who have been really, really working on getting Scott Pruitt out of this position and I`m glad that I could add to that snowball effect here in his -- in his final days.
HAYES: Dan, let`s talk about what the crossroads of the EPA here because you heard Juliet and the agenda there really is quite retrograde aggressively so. It was what kept him there. What do you -- what is your perception of where the EPA is right now on this day?
DAN KANNINEN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE LIAISON TO THE EPA: Well, you know, the multitude of scandals that we`ve talked about and the absurdity of them drove headlines and I think created this mounting pressure that eventually was too much for Scott Pruitt to bear but when Kristin Mink actually alluded to in her challenging of Mr. Pruitt in that moment was not about the scandals on the money and the -- and the absurdity of lotions but it was about the fundamental need to protect human health in the environment. And let -- that looks -- let`s go back to the original scandal for Scott Pruitt. It wasn`t about the absurd stuff, it was about the fact that as an Oklahoma Attorney General, he was penning legislation and letters for the federal government written by the coal Lobby and the oil lobby. And now we have an energy lobbyists running the agency for at least the next 210 days which you can do under the federal vacancies act without a confirmation. So in many ways, the original scandal that should have been enough in any other normal of climates to tank Scott Pruitt is now front and center even more so with Andy Wheeler.
HAYES: Kristin, you strike me as someone who`s a pretty avid news consumer at least based on litany you were able to recite to Scott Pruitt. I`m just curious what you think -- I mean, how front of mind is something like the EPA to you?
MINK: Oh this is fundamental. I mean, there`s a lot of issues that are really hugely important right now. You know, I mean, there are parents being separated from their children and as a mother you know, it`s hard to think -- you know, nothing is more urgent than that. At the same time, the environment is a nonpartisan issue. This literally has to do with the future of you know humanity and the future of the earth and having a safe place for our kids to grow up and for them to have families and so on. So this is a huge issue, a huge issue for me.
HAYES: Yes, Dan, that strikes me as -- it`ll be interesting to see the degree which the Pruitt, the lotion and the insanity of this guy who by the way was -- he was really serially abusing the public trust in a way I think that required his removal. So I don`t want to -- I want to be very clear about that. That -- the agenda that he has been pursuing that (INAUDIBLE) presumably were presumed doesn`t strike me as a, particularly popular agenda if sort of given the publicity it deserves.
KANNINEN: I think that`s right. And I think that there`s two things that are important here politically. One is that it shows the activism of the progressive part of our country even without having Democrats controlling any of the branches of government can still be effective in taking out a truly morally bankrupt individual even in this moment and that`s mobilizing and enabling and that`s an important thing for us. And I think you`re right. I think now the question is about core values, clean air, clean water. In every poll we tested when I worked in the in the Obama campaign, polling I saw at EPA, it`s always one of the highest polling laws in the country both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. People understand the basic need for that. And Andy Wheeler is now going to represent policies that fundamentally run counter to what the American people want.
HAYES: Let me follow up on that. Just as a kind of sort of end to all this if you`re just sort of write the epitaph for the -- for the Pruitt era. When you saw these stories as someone who used to be liaison with the EPA, I mean, were you just astounded as the rest of us who were watching this from the outside?
KANNINEN: Yes, I really was. I mean, I think there`s this great line from Shawshank Redemption that geology is a study of pressure and time and if Scott Pruitt ever consulted a scientist he would have known he was in big trouble with all the pressure on this amount of time that he was dealing with but we know he didn`t. But to your point, Chris, I was completely astounded. I was one who thought Scott Pruitt would be from our perspective at least as an environmentalist, a competent villain in destroying the EPA and that was really worrisome. It was buffoonery that I really did not expect from that guy, someone who had been a fairly significant political player in Oklahoma. Andy Wheeler strikes me as more dangerous because he has kept a low profile. He`s a Washington insider. He knows how to play this game and he probably has been behind as much of the work at EPA even in an acting capacity as Scott Pruitt was. So in many ways, it`s a victory for folks to get Scott Pruitt who really is morally reprehensible out of the government but don`t rest our laurels here. We need to go after Andy Wheeler just as hard in the rest of the administration`s policies.
HAYES: Kristin, you`re nodding your head.
MINK: Yes, I mean, you know, we got this guy out and he`s being replaced by somebody who`s possibly worse. So on the one hand, I think a big takeaway is that our voices matter, that everybody can be part of the critical mass, everybody can be part of making change even when we don`t have as much representation or hardly any representation in government that`s effective right now. At the same time when we look at who`s got Pruitt`s being replaced with is somebody who has the exact same goals and is potentially going to be better at accomplishing them and we`re not -- you know, potentially not going to be able to get him out on corruption charges. He might not make that as easy for us as Scott Pruitt did so I think what it all comes down to is that the midterms are really going to matter. Everybody needs to get to the polls this November because we`re not going to get somebody who`s going to protect our air, protect our water, make the environment safe for our kids if we don`t have a flipped Congress. We need to go Democrat in Congress this November 2018.
HAYES: Well, what I will say here, Kristin, is that unlike almost every other scandal that`s happened in this administration, this was the rare one where Congressional Republican did exert some oversight. There was a little bit. He ran afoul of them and we saw how that played out. I mean, a big part of the sort of pulling the threads was the fact that there was some little bit as mattering of congressional oversight, Dan, that happen here.
MINK: Yes, but you know, we can`t give them -- we can`t give them credit for that. They put him in office. You know, they put him -- somebody who had sued the EPA for their efforts to regulate the environment. You know, this Congress approved putting him in charge of the EPA. You have to know that he`s going to be dismantling it from the inside. You have to know that this man whose title literally has environmental protection in it is not going to be doing the job. They put somebody in the position who they knew was not going to do the job.
KANNINEN: Chris, I agree with Kristin. You can`t give their credit but last time we talked about this very issue a few weeks back you know, we have to talk about the OIG, the investigator general in the agency, that report is coming out. I suspect that had something to do with the timing of all this. There`s probably more that we don`t know yet at this point so there is some hope that the federal oversight checks can work as long as their significant public pressure people like Kristen who bring that to bear every single day.
HAYES: Yes, we should say OIG announced today they will continue with those investigations. Dan Kanninen and Kristin Mink who I don`t know who represents you in Congress or your statehouse but if you ever run against them, they should be -- they should be worried. Thank you both.
MINK: That`s very kind of you.
KANNINEN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, next the former co-President of Fox News who left amid allegations about his involvement the cover-up of sexual harassment of the network is now employed in the White House. Bill Shine Assisted to the President in two minutes.
HAYES: The White House made it official today. Bill Shine, right-hand man to the late Roger Ailes at Fox News is joining the Trump Administration as a newest Communications Director. Shine you`ll recall was ousted from Fox last year following a series of lawsuits alleging he was responsible for covering up the cultural harassment that Ailes created at that network, a culture that allegedly included retaliation even blackmail against women who made harassment claims and paying out at least -- at least $50 million to settle sexual harassment and discrimination allegations in just one year. But none of that is disqualifying in a White House that`s run by a man who said this.
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TRUMP: You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (BLEEP). You can do anything.
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HAYES: Joining me now Betsy Woodruff Politics Reporter for The Daily Beast and Angelo Carusone who`s President of Media Matters. And Betsy I got to say, you know, the President just did a rally and he made a joke, a sort of diminishing joke about #MeToo at that rally and I have to say it is sort of astounding for lack of a better word middle finger to anyone that takes seriously sexual harassment, workplace sexual harassment, accountability to hire this guy who was basically unemployable at Fox News.
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICS REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: The President actively opposes the #MeToo Movement. He thinks it`s troubling and bad for American culture when women come forward with allegations against men who are in positions of power and he doesn`t even seem to be particularly troubled by whether or not those allegations are true. His concern is women bringing forward allegations against powerful men. And let`s remember the nature of the allegations that some of these women brought forward against Bill Shine. Laurie Lund was formerly a top booker at Fox News. She alleged that Shine facilitated sexually predatory behavior against her by Roger Ailes and then that when she confronted him about it and was looking to get some sort of mental health help, she alleges that Shine actually reached out to her father as part of an effort to get her involuntarily put into a mental health facility. I mean, this isn`t - this isn`t simple right. This is like complex, wide-ranging strategic facilitation of alleged sexual misconduct. Bill Shine was too dangerous for Fox News and now he`s installed in the position of enormous influence in the White House.
HAYES: Yes, this is -- this is what it`s -- I`m glad you told that story because it`s one of many horrifying allegations that have been leveled against Bill Shine and his behavior here. This is a former Senior Fox News executive to BuzzFeed. It`s extraordinary the President of United States could hire someone like this. This is someone who is highly knowledgeable women being cycled through for horrible and degrading behavior by someone who was an absolute monster. Angelo, what was Shine`s role at Fox News?
ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS: So he was with Roger Ailes from Fox News`s inception and he was basically his right-hand man as you pointed out but he did something really, really significant at Fox News that I actually don`t think he gets enough credit for. When he became co- president of Fox News back in August of 2016 he sort of oversaw and led the transformation of Fox News from just being sort of a conservative political operation that was pretty far out there to a pro-Trump propaganda arm. And so what that essentially means is that he really had developed the skill set of being able to manage a very wide array of personalities and at that point some internal competing interests but being able to drive through a relatively -- a relatively right wing extreme agenda but wrapped around a cult of personality. And I think that is largely one of the big reasons why he`s coming on board not just as Comms Director but as Deputy Chief of Staff really to signify the fact that he has a much wider footprint than say previous constructors would have had.
HAYES: Yes, what do you think of that, Betsy?
WOODRUFF: I think it`s true. And then it`s important to remember that Bill Shine is going to have significant influence in large part because this is the Fox News administration not just the White House which is peppered throughout with people who are alums of the network many of whom likely owe some of their television success and then the resulting political success that they`ve seen to people like Bill Shine who brought them into Fox, who gave them positions of influence within that network. But additionally, in other cabinet agencies, Tony Sayegh who`s the top deputy to Steve Mnuchin at Treasury we`re told that Bill Shine personally recruited him for Fox, personally installed him for a Fox contributorship before he went on to join the administration. So Shine is going to find lots of people in the White House who owe him something who are going to be very supportive of him, who were going to want to be his allies. Remember, Shine is also close friends with Sean Hannity who is essentially also a senior adviser to the President and he was very supportive and thrilled about Shine getting this White House position so he`s -- of course it`s really important to recognize he`s not just going to be a communications adviser, he`s going to be a key adviser to the President.
HAYES: You know, there`s a question that -- as I think about Scott Pruitt who goes from Oklahoma politics to national politics ends up sort of today being fired or resigning voluntarily. I wonder Shine as someone who the -- most of the -- you know, most of the coverage of Fox is around Ailes and Shine is now someone who American taxpayers are paying the salary of and is going to be under a tremendous amount of scrutiny. He`s going to have to get his clearance, his SF-86, Angelo. I mean, he has never had to face this level of scrutiny before I would imagine.
CARUSONE: No, he`s never had to face this level of scrutiny before. He always had Roger Ailes. But the one thing that I would point out is that he was able to sort of do his job being an extraordinarily effective implementer and that is what Bill Shine is. That is -- he is a really, really effective deputy and that means that he`s not going to do the kinds of stupid things that Scott Pruitt did that made him headlines. And the one thing that I think underscores that and it sort of relates to what Betsy was getting to before is that Scott -- that Bill Shine really understands influence and soft power and how to move things. One of his principal roles at Fox News even before he was co-President but a role that he kept when he was co-President is that he wanted to handle all the contributor contracts both on the left and the right. He was the one that was doling out contracts to individual -- to both the left wing talkers and the right-wing talkers at Fox News.
And that`s built him a relatively wide stable of talking heads across all of cable news these days and much deeper into the larger media atmosphere. And so, I think it`s a combination of those relationships. He understood the importance of that role and I think it indicates the fact that he`s not going to be the person popping his head up there doing kinds of ridiculous stuff and I think you`ll see him doing more and more behind the scenes work just like tonight. I mean, he is in the fourth day on the job and he was traveling with the President you know, to Montana for that event because he`s really thinking about the production and sort of like the television optics side of it. And because he`s an optics minded person and he put -- and you put it all together, he`s going to be very, very careful and I think he`ll be able to weather the scrutiny and that`s why I think this is just the beginning of his career at Fox News -- at the White House.
HAYES: Well, is it -- is it desperate looking for the sort of bright side of things, Betsy, for me to hope that Bill Shine can politely tell the President not to take seriously or believe some of the thing she watches on Fox News.
WOODRUFF: I think it`s -- I think it`s unlikely that Shine is going to be a countervailing force to the influence of Fox. And I think even if he try to, the President would likely not take any sort of criticism of its programming seriously. And remember, the President very much with this Shine hire is presenting himself as the decider. Shine remember was too controversial for Fox News. Clearly, there are people of the administration who were likely troubled by the fact that he was hired. And remember, the first comms crisis that Shine is going to have to face is the one that he himself is producing by virtue of being in a communications position.
HAYES: Well, he should come out and answer some questions from the podium. The man who is a deputy for someone who describes him as an absolute monster who used intimidation and blackmail to essentially kind of imprison people within his organization, women that he preyed upon. That`s who Bill Shine is. That`s what he`s alleged to have done and that`s the man who was just hired by the President. Betsy Woodruff and Angelo Carusone, thank you both for joining me.
WOODRUFF: Sure thing.
HAYES: Next, the President narrows his decision for the potential next Justice Supreme Court. The reported front-runner next.
HAYES: The president says he will announce his pick for the Supreme Court at 9:00 p.m. on Monday night. And told the press on board Air Force One today that, quote, "I think I have it down to four people. And I think of the four people I have it down to two or three or two -- the three, are widely reported to be Bret Kavanaugh, of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit, and Raymond Kethledge of the 6th Circuit, all appellate jurists.
The odds on favorite appears to be at this moment at least Judge Kavanaugh. He is a former Kennedy clerk himself. CNBC reporting Trump has already privately indicated he prefers Kavanaugh. Politico reports that Kavanaugh is also the preferred choice of White House counsel Don McGahn, according to two Republicans close to the White House.
But despite White House support, there are still right-wing concerns about whether Kavanaugh is ideologically conservative enough.
Here to help figure out where things stand, I am joined by Tim O`Brien, MSNBC contributor and author of Trump Nation: The Art of Being Donald Trump; and Kristine Lucius, who spent 14 years on the top legal and policy adviser to then chairman of the Senate judiciary committee Senator Patrick Leahy.
Christine, let me start with you. What is your read on these three finalist?
KRISTINE LUCIUS, FORMER ADVISER TO SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: Thanks, Chris.
My read is that all three of them come from the same toxic short list. This president has broken all precedent when looking at Supreme Court nominees by using two outside Washington interest groups, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, to carefully select 25 people that passed all of his ideological litmus test. That is what is so different about this process.
And all of the short-listers that you just mentioned passed those tests. They are all -- and we should believe the president when he assures us that he will only nominate people who pass that test -- so we must believe that they are all hostile to overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for millions of Americans who rely on health care through it, and attacking Roe V Wade as longstanding precedent.
He has said that these are part of his tests, and that his justices to the Supreme Court would automatically overturn that precedent. And that should be really troubling to anyone no matter which of the ones we focus on.
HAYES: So, Kristine points out, Tim, part of what is so strange about this. He says on the campaign trail, we`re going to have pro-life justices. They`re going to absolutely overturn Roe V Wade. Here is a list. And what has sort of guided Trump throughout is this amazing transactionalness about this whole thing, right. He clearly doesn`t care. He understands it`s important to conservatives. He`s basically said you guys do it, just give me people, and I will make you guys happy.
And what is striking to me, Tim, as someone who has covered Trump for a long time is, in this one area he has actually been tremendously disciplined about how he has gone about this whole thing.
TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: He has. It`s one of the -- you know, because it`s obviously we know the president is not a student of public policy. He`s usually, through most of his career, try to figure out how to subvert the law and not uphold the rule of law. We`ve seen that in abundance during his presidency thus far. Yet he has tried to stay around certain issues that he knows are important to his base when he is putting these appointments in play.
I think one of the interesting fault lines on this particularly appointment is that it starts to show some of these divisions within the GOP itself. Obviously, you know, Barrett is far to the right, Kavanaugh is somewhere on the right, and they appeal to different factions within the GOP. So he could end up having a tricky needle to thread here.
HAYES: I want to follow Kristine on that just because of these sort of fractures, right. So, there`s -- obviously this is a real Game of Thrones situation. Everyone has been looking for this vacancy forever. They thought it would be Kennedy. There has been fighting behind. You`ve got different factions. This is a very high stakes thing.
But I wonder, Kristine, whether you -- what is interesting to me is on one level conservatives want to say, look, this is just about rigor, procedures, calling balls and strikes, your approach to the text, and then the other -- they are fighting with each other about like how they are actually going to rule on stuff, because really that`s really what it comes down to.
LUCIUS: Well, I think they have dropped the facade that they are just calling balls and strikes. I think that the president has guaranteed what these people will do. And he`s had the help of these two outside interest groups in putting that together.
But one thing that distinguishes the three short-listers that you mentioned is two of them have long judicial records. Judge Coney Barrett has a much shorter judicial record. So, I`ll be interested to see how that factors in.
But they -- but she still does have very strong record of hostility to access to contraception and hostility to Roe and a hostility to the Affordable Care Act. She has said that it is unconstitutional. She has also said that judges do not need to set aside their personal views in all instances, and when you put those things together, that is a pretty frightening thing for someone who could be put on our highest court to say, because what it shows is that it is not a leaning into impartiality, it`s not leaning in to being fair-minded or calling balls and strikes, it is clearly signaling an outcome of how she would rule.
HAYES: Right. Although honest, more honest than the disingenuousness about balls and strikes.
There is also this, Tim, and I keep thinking about this. I mean, we are headed towards an almost certain collision course at some point between the Mueller investigation and the Supreme Court. It seems inevitable, right. I mean, the president is or isn`t going to be subpoenaed or he is going to refuse to sit down and talk. They`re going to have to take it up with the court as the court did with the Nixon tapes. And I`ve got to imagine, he wants nothing more than to give the Comey treatment to these people in the one-on-one meetings.
O`BRIEN: I would assume of course he does. You know, remember, should Mueller pursue this to the full extent of the law, he is going to test some of the constitutional protections around the executive, including whether or not you can indict a sitting president.
It is very possible that a lot of the issues that tended to his investigations are going to go before the Supreme Court and be tested in front of the Supreme Court. And one of Trump`s own litmus tests in every appointment he`s made thus far is loyalty. We saw that in spades around Jim Comey. He`s been willing to sort of degrade public institutions and the wheels of government in the name of a sort of cult of personality. And I think that`s definitely going to come into play here.
HAYES: You know...
LUCIUS: And especially relevant for Judge Kavanaugh, because he has written that he believes the president can be above the law and fire anyone who is investigating him.
HAYES: I keep imaging Leonard Leo who is the man -- I think he`s the vice president at Federalist Society who is sort of largely seen as orchestrating this entire process and sort of vetting the nominees and putting them to the White House, that basically he has to kind of like stick himself to these nominees like he is guarding Steph Curry when they get into the White House, because you absolutely cannot risk them being one-on-one alone with the president of the United States because of what of what the president will almost certainly say to them if given the opportunity.
Tim O`Brien and Kristine Lucius, thanks so much for joining us.
O`BRIEN: Thanks, Chris.
LUCIUS: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, the Trump administration is finally coming clean on the number of children they ripped away from their parents, and it might be larger than we thought.
Plus, tonight Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, on his very first trip abroad as president, Donald Trump got a hardy welcome in Saudi Arabia, a country where all forms of protest are banned, something no one seems to have told his commerce secretary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: There was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there, not one guy with a bad placard. The mood was a genuinely good mood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Can you imagine that? Not a single protester in Saudi Arabia? A genuinely good mood.
It`ll be very different mood in Britain next week where tens of thousands are expected to protest Trump`s first UK visit since taking office. Ppposition to the president in Britain is so robust, nearly 2 million people signed a petition opposing an official state visit. And Trump canceled a planned visit earlier this year, amid fears of mass protests. But as of he will be showing up in London next Friday for the long overdue visit and one Brit has prepared a special form of protest designed to get under Trump`s skin, which he says is specifically tailored to bother a man who feels no shame. That is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So, Donald Trump is headed to the UK for the first time as president next week, and today London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave the go ahead to a unique form of protest, a 20 foot tall inflatable orange baby with the face of the president, which will float over Britain`s Parliament during Trump`s visit as tens of thousands taking the streets to protest his presence.
The balloon was specifically designed to get under Trump`s skin, organizer Leo Murray saying, quote, "moral outrage has no affect on Trump because he has no shame. He is immune to it, but he has a tremendously fragile ego so ridicule is an effect of former protest. So we want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him."
It could be a rude awakening for a president who doesn`t really seem to understand how he`s viewed by our friends across the pond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think I am very popular in your country.
PIERS MORGAN, ITV: Let`s not be too hasty, Mr. President.
TRUMP: I know, but I believe that. I really do. I get so much fan mail from people in your country. They love my sense of security. They love what I am saying about many different things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This hour, 8:00 p.m Eastern on this network, MSNBC, has been anchored by some pretty towering figures in the cable news world. One of those figures was Ed Schultz who died today at the age of 64. Ed Schultz was a college football star who began his broadcasting career as a sports caster in Fargo, North Dakota.
It was in Fargo where Ed will begin a successful talk radio career. In 2004, the Ed Schultz Show became nationally syndicated. In 2009, Ed Schultz was hired to host the Ed Show on MSNBC where he used his platform and his distinctive and passionate voice to channel a world view massively under represented in the media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to the Ed Show from Madison, Wisconsin tonight at the front lines workers fighting for their rights and their livelihood here in the great state of Wisconsin.
I have to tell you, folks, that I have never been more connected emotionally to a story in my entire career. There`s something about the heartland, there`s something about the voices that I heard today, there`s something about Wisconsin.
This is ground zero for labor in this country. We are on the front line for the ideological fight for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At the time of his death, Ed Schultz was hosting the News with Ed at 8:00 p.m. on the RT network. We are told he died of natural causes in his home in Washington, D.C.
He leaves behind his wife, who he loved so, so much, Wendy, and a large family that will miss him terribly, and that includes a lot of former colleagues at MSNBC and right here on the staff of this show, of All In.
Ed Schultz will be missed. He is dead at the age of 64.
HAYES: A court ordered deadline is rapidly approaching for the Trump administration to reunite immigrant children taken from their parents. But in an update with reporters today, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was frustratingly imprecise.
According to the secretary, under 3,000 separated children remain in custody, a vague number, potentially more, get this, than previous department data. And he said that`s partly because the court order for reunification goes from before the administration began its so- called zero tolerance family separation policy.
But it is also because the government doesn`t seem to be sure who was separated from a parent or not with the a review of, quote, multiple data sets from various agencies, identifying those nearly 3,000 kids who, quote, may have been separated, that`s a quote from their parents.
Joining me now, Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat of Ohio, who today visited a Michigan facility where some migrant children are being held, and NBC`s Julia Ainsley who has done stellar reporting on this issue.
Julia, I want to start with you, and come to you congressman to hear what you saw today. But Julia, I just -- here was my takeaway sort pouring through this, HHS does not seem to know for certain which of the children in their custody, and there`s 11,000 or so, were taken from their parents and which were unaccompanied. Is that your read of it as well?
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS: Yeah, that`s exactly right, Chris. It was really strange. We kept pressing them on their -- reporters on this call kept trying to press for more information around this 3,000 number. And they said that this is taken from interviews with children in their custody who say that they were separated from their parents, but a quote from the secretary Azar said, but you know children can be unreliable.
We all know children may be unreliable. They may not understand who separated them -- was that a border agent, was that someone before they got to the border, but what I can`t believe is why there isn`t already a database, something in place, so that we`re not relying on the interviews of children, some of whom are younger than 5, to find out whether or not they were separated from their parents.
They are going through as many databases as they can, trying to match things together, but that doesn`t change the fact that there is no comprehensive system to systematically match these children back together, and that completely undermines what we`re hearing from the administration at the beginning of that policy that this was only temporary.
When we reported, Chris, that this could be a permanent separation, they said that is ludicrous. They`ll be back together in days. Now it has been almost a month since they ended this policy and they still don`t know how to do this.
HAYES: So, just to be clear, the court deadline, children under 5, July 10, that`s just a few days away, children 5 to 17 July 26.
I want to say that quote from Alex Azar, it`s important to remember that information from children can, at times, be unreliable. They seem to be saying they are getting the information from interviewing kids, because they don`t independently have it and didn`t keep track of it.
Congressman Ryan, you were in a facility today in Michigan you visited. What was your impression of what you saw there?
REP. TIM RYAN, (D) OHIO: Well, there wasn`t a lot of transparency with the number, the 3,000 number or whatever the number may be. And we know it is very, very complicated. I mean, we can`t be critical of these case workers who end up with the case because they`re trying to sift through all of this themselves and they`re doing a lot of really hard work.
But clearly the administration was not prepared for this initiative, and so now you`ve got kids who you don`t even know where their parents are. I mean, this is ridiculous, Chris, I`ve got to tell you it was heartbreaking to think why are these kids in Grand Rapids, Michigan? It`s not what we saw, but it`s what we heard, these stories of why these kids are leaving Guatemala. They`re getting threatened if they don`t join a gang, they`re going to get killed. If these gangs don`t get paid a ransom, they`re going to get killed. There are kids being sold into sex slave -- sex trafficking. And they flee to the United States.
One story, a father jumped in front of a bullet that was going for his kid, got killed. The kid got shot. He eventually made his way to the United States.
These aren`t people trying to game the system. If we send them back, we`re sentencing them on death in some of these communities, that`s the reality of it that we need to all understand as Americans, and say to ourselves, we`re better than this.
HAYES: And I want to follow up with you, congressman on that, and then I`ll come back to you in a second, Julia. But you represent a blue collar district in Ohio, and I feel like there is this perception that sometimes that, you know, the president is, you know, this is a wedge issue in his favor and people want, like they like the president`s rhetoric on immigration. And I`m skeptical that`s true. And I wonder just what your read on what your constituents is on something like this.
RYAN: We`re all for border security. We`re all for controlling the border. We`re all for - you know, we have an opiate epidemic in Ohio. We`re all for making sure that those drugs don`t get here, whether they`re coming through the mail or they`re coming over the border. We`re all for border security, but we`re also for a compassionate, responsible immigration system, not ripping kids from their mom`s arms. This is state sanctioned child abuse.
I mean, you lose your kid in a store -- Chris, you`ve got kids, if you`re grocery shopping and you lose your kids for two or three seconds, you freak out a little bit, like where`d the kid go. Can you imagine for months and months at a time, this is state sanctioned child abuse.
And so people in Ohio aren`t for that. They`re for making sure these families are together. And if they`re going to go back home and they`re going on get killed, we have a compassionate and kind-hearted state here that would say let`s figure out a way.
And Youngstown, Ohio, Akron, Ohio, we`re a community of immigrants here, you know, that came to work in the steel mills and the rubber factories in Akron, we`re a community of immigrants.
HAYES: Julia, let me ask you one more thing on that call today, because it seemed to me like the head of HHS, Alex Azar, was laying the groundwork to miss these deadlines, basically. I mean, he was basically saying we`re going to comply with these artificial deadlines, but it also sounded like he was starting to lay the groundwork for them not complying.
What was your impression of whether they are going to actually comply with what is a federal court order?
RYAN: My impression, Chris, is that he wanted the reporters who had left that call to go back and talk about how incredibly dangerous it would be for them to meet those deadlines.
He said that are a lot of processes that they want to go through to make sure that the children go to their rightful parents, and that they go to safe homes, and that they were going to have to truncate or more than truncate all of those processes just to get these children to parents to comply with these just extreme deadlines. He called them extreme.
I think he wanted to us go write about the safety of the children and maybe to try to shift public opinion in some way to say that they shouldn`t to have meet these deadlines. But he did say they would comply. So, I know we`ll be checking in again on Tuesday night for sure.
HAYES: Yeah, absolutely.
Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you so much for you making some time tonight, and Julia Ainsley as well. Thank you both.
RYAN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Before we go, I wanted to remind you there`s a new episode up of our podcast Why is This Happening? I learned so much from special guest Eliza Griswold, a phenomenal intrepid reporter that tells the story of what took place after frakking came to the rural towns of Amity and Prosperity in southwestern Pennsylvania. You can download the episodes anywhere, like Apple Podcast, and don`t forget to subscribe.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
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