IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Rudi Giuliani makes startling new claims. TRANSCRIPT: 7/30/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests: Emily Jane Fox, Tim O`Brien

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 30, 2018 Guest: Emily Jane Fox, Tim O`Brien



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just so you understand it, there`s been no collusion.

HAYES: Rudy Giuliani does it again.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S ATTORNEY: I don`t even know if that`s a crime, colluding about Russians.

HAYES: And again.

GIULIANI: He did not participate in any meeting about the Russia transaction.

HAYES: And again.

GIULIANI: I`ve been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime.


GIULIANI: Collusion is not a crime.

HAYES: Tonight, what we learned about a second meeting before the Trump campaign met the Russians in Trump Tower.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you`re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.

HAYES: Then, Robert Mueller brings his first case as the Manafort trial begins.

PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: That`s obviously what our position is.

HAYES: Plus, why the president is threatening a shutdown.

TRUMP: I would have no problem doing a shutdown.

HAYES: And 99 days from the election, are the Koch brothers really turning on Trump? When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. One day before President Trump`s former campaign manager is going to stand trial in federal court for money laundering and bank fraud in relation to his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

And one day after the president went on possibly his most aggressive Twitter rant yet about the Mueller investigation, which he called the operation an illegal scam, Trump`s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was out today wildly, desperately spinning to try to accomplish two very specific things.

One, move the goalposts to say that collusion is not a crime, and two, to get ahead of the emerging storyline of a Trump campaign strategy meeting that maybe occurred two days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting that had promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. In two interviews this morning, interviews that were often confusing, bewildering, and in which Giuliani often seemed confused, one goal of Mr. Giuliani was pretty evident.

GIULIANI: I`ve been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime.

DOOCY: It`s not.

GIULIANI: Collusion is not a crime.

I don`t even know if that`s a crime, colluding about Russians.


GIULIANI: You start analyzing the crime, the hacking is the crime.

CAMEROTA: That certainly is the origin of the --

GIULIANI: The president didn`t hack.

CAMEROTA: Of course not. That`s the original --

GIULIANI: He didn`t pay them for hacking.

CAMEROTA: And as you know, it has led other places than (ph) the meeting with the Russians.

GIULIANI: If you got the hacked information from the Russians here at CNN and you played it would you be in jeopardy of going to jail? Of course not.


HAYES: Okay. The president didn`t hack, and he didn`t pay for the hacking. So that`s an interesting thing to say. That, though, you that see there, is an idea that Trump`s allies have trotted out before. It doesn`t hold up to legal scrutiny at all, particularly when you consider that Mueller has already charged more than a dozen Russians with conspiring against the United States. The kind of conspiracy that could later be augmented with additional co-conspirators, be they Russian or be they American. But it is Giuliani`s second claim today that is the most tantalizing at, again, confusing because he says that Michael Cohen and/or Cohen`s lawyer Lanny Davis are claiming a strategy meeting of Trump campaign officials two days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians.


GIULIANI: Lanny Davis has added that there was a meeting two days before the meeting took place with Donald Jr., Jared, Manafort, and two others. Gates and one more person. Cohen also now says, because he says too much, that two days before he was participating in a meeting with roughly the same group of people, but not the president. Definitely not the president. In which they were talking about the strategy of the meeting with the Russians. The people in that meeting deny it. The people we`ve been able to interview. The people we have not been able to interview never said that about that meeting.


HAYES: Where was I? Do you got all that? And that was the clearest version of what Giuliani said. Again, he is talking about a meeting two days before the Trump Tower dirt on Hillary meeting. Giuliani did a shorter riff on this on FOX news in which he coins the phrase "the Russia transaction."


GIULIANI: He did not participate in any meeting about the Russia transaction.


GIULIANI: The president did not. And the other people at the meeting that he claims he had without the president about it say he was never there.


HAYES: And the important part to get here is the meeting that happened didn`t happen because I talked to people in the meeting and they said there was no meeting. An initial strategy meeting was not attended by Trump according to Giuliani. The timing here is key. June 9th, 2016, a Thursday, that of course is the infamous Trump Tower meeting following e- mails promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government`s effort to get Trump elected.

Now, two days prior to that, June 7th, a Tuesday, that is the day there may have been apparently a strategy session to prepare for the infamous meeting. A strategy session to deal with an offer that was again originally billed as "very high-level and sensitive information and part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump." Pretty crystal clear.

And crucially, on June 7th, that was two days before the big meeting actually happens, Don Jr. writes "Great, it will likely be Paul Manafort, campaign boss, my brother-in-law and me."

Now, who knows? But doesn`t that sound exactly like someone who has just held a strategy session with the top-tier of the Trump campaign staff to figure out who`s going to be in the big meeting? Also on June 7th, just three hours after Don Jr. writes that e-mail back saying let`s do it, in Bethpage, New York on Long Island candidate Trump said this.


TRUMP: I am going to give a major speech on -- probably Monday of next week, and we`re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you`re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.



HAYES: To help us with the forensic analysis of Rudy Giuliani`s defense strategy and the real import of what is going on here, I`m joined by MSNBC contributor Emily Jane Fox, senior reporter at "Vanity Fair," and MSNBC contributor Tim O`Brien, author of "Trump Nation."

OK. Again, I`m a little confused. He doubles back. He talked to Kristen Welker afterwards, our own NBC Kristen Welker, and he did a little more circumlocution. But let`s start with this idea of a premeeting, right? That he`s saying that Lanny Davis or maybe a reporter who`s calling in for comments, it`s unclear, is saying there was a meeting two days before the Trump Tower meeting. What do you know about that?

EMILY JANE FOX, SENIOR REPORTER, "VANITY FAIR": So he said both that Lanny Davis is saying this and Michael Cohen was saying this. I don`t know if this meeting happened. I don`t know if Lanny Davis has said this. I can tell you from my reporting today that Michael Cohen has no knowledge of a premeeting. So he is not going around saying that there was a premeeting because he did not know about that until Rudy Giuliani was on air today.

HAYES: I just want to be clear. If there was a premeeting two days before the meeting, which would be a big deal I think because it would blow up this idea of it`s all casual, come by Trump Tower --

TIM O`BRIEN, AUTHOR, "TRUMP NATION": Seat of the pants.

HAYES: Seat of the pants, right? If there was such a thing, you`re saying that did not originate with Michael Cohen.

FOX: From my reporting that is not something that Michael Cohen is saying which is what Rudy Giuliani has said in at least one of those interviews today. What I will say is that this seems to be a pattern for Rudy Giuliani. Is that -- we`ve seen this several times now, where there may be a story coming out about something like a premeeting and he gets ahead of it.

We saw it in the initial interview he did with "Fox and Friends" in which he said -- or with Sean Hannity in which he said there was a payment made to Stormy Daniels, I`ll tell you something you don`t know. We saw this when he relayed a narrative about what was on that leaked tape two weeks ago now, when in fact that narrative wasn`t exactly as Rudy Giuliani described it. And maybe that`s what we saw this morning, that there is a story that was bound to come out about a premeeting and maybe he was trying to get ahead of it.

HAYES: Does that scan to you?

O`BRIEN: Oh it totally scans to me. And it`s tricky because in Rudy you have the unhinged narrator. So there`s this mixture of sort of your nutty grandfather who might get loose and walk around the back yard late at night and you`ve got to pull him back in the house, and someone who`s specifically trying to do something.

HAYES: That`s the thing. I can`t tell. I`m a little bit like is this a bit or not? Like the hitting the head theatrically. Where was I? Is that a bit or is that like --

O`BRIEN: I think he`s very ill-informed on the fact pattern.

HAYES: Yes, that`s also key (ph), yes.

O`BRIEN: I don`t think he`s doing his own work.

HAYES: Right, or he`s being lied to by his client.

O`BRIEN. Or all of the above. It could be all of the above. What you have is he`s a sort of whirling dervish in the midst of this and what he`s doing along the way is he`s trying to smear people`s reputation. On CNN this morning he accused Mueller of having business conflicts with Trump. He went after Andrew Weissmann, one of the staff prosecutors on Mueller`s team, saying that he was a scoundrel.

HAYES: Called him a scoundrel.

O`BRIEN: Without offering any proof. It`s pure McCarthyite-kind of tactics. I think anybody in law enforcement or politics who`s watched Rudy`s career is seeing someone devolve into a fairly hateful operator who`s throwing a smoke-screen around this whole investigation in the service of President Trump.

HAYES: Is there also -- it seems to me also there`s maybe this attempt to try to like take away -- it`s like let`s say you`re being blackmailed by someone, right? And you just decide I`m going to tell the world what they`re blackmailing me about because I then take away all your leverage. I wonder if we`re seeing some strategy where Rudy just tries to tell everyone what Michael Cohen might know. You see what I`m saying? So Michael Cohen doesn`t have any leverage on him.

FOX: You are speaking the same kind of truth that people in Michael Cohen`s world have been saying for the past two weeks, that they`re trying to take cards systematically, one by one, out of his deck to prevent at the very best to prevent Michael Cohen from controlling the narrative around what`s on each of those various cards. Whether or not that makes him less likely to cooperate, less likely to be able to cut a deal, or just less likely to control what is said and how it`s spun. It is sort of an effective PR strategy. I don`t know that it`s working in this very instance. But the notion of trying to get out ahead of a bad story and control the narrative around it is not something that Rudy Giuliani invented. But I do think this is something that he is trying out now.

HAYES: I should also say this, that when Kristen Welker asked him about the collusion`s not a crime idea, that he denied it was a new strategy. He said it`s an old strategy, it`s in our first letter of the special prosecutor and then he says collusion`s not a crime and there`s no evidence that the president was involved in any collusion.

O`BRIEN: Well he is not wrong when he says collusion is not a crime. There is nothing --

HAYES: Right. Absolutely -- the federal code -- right --

O`BRIEN: -- nothing in the federal code that says collusion is a crime. And I think this is one of the effective things Team Trump has done -- is that they`ve made collusion the operating word that the media and other people use when examining what went on here. When probably a better word - - better terms to use are aiding and abetting --

HAYES: Right.

O`BRIEN: -- which is in the criminal code, or conspiracy to commit fraud. And if you step away from the notion of collusion which Rudy says correctly doesn`t exist, he knows full well aiding and abetting does. And that brings you back to the meeting at Trump Tower. It brings you back to the president inviting the Russians to hack Hillary`s e-mail. He doesn`t have to pay for the hackers. He doesn`t have to sit with them at the computers. If he creates an environment in which he`s facilitating the crime, that`s aiding and abetting.

HAYES: I mean this is also maybe irony here of course -- is Giuliani made his bones, right? Became famous by prosecuting the mob, right? Mob cases are RICO cases or conspiracy case. The whole thing is like talking to someone isn`t a crime. But if you talk to them to tell them to do something in furtherance of a conspiracy then you might be criminally liable. Right? I mean conspiracy is what`s at the center here. If you read that document --

O`BRIEN: Which is why he used RICO to go after the mob.

HAYES: That`s right. Right. Right

O`BRIEN: He used a conspiracy charge to take the mob down. And he relied on the testimony of made members of the mob, all of whom had their own agendas, like everyone in this case.

HAYES: That`s a great point.

O`BRIEN: Like Sammy the Bull Gravano.

HAYES: While the former U.S. Attorney for the southern district`s going around calling Andrew Weissmann, a federal prosecutor, a scoundrel.

O`BRIEN: A man who has an impeccable career and impeccable credentials.

HAYES: Emily Jane Fox and Tim O`Brien, thank you both. For more on the PR and legal strategy, if you can call it that, of the president and his attorney, let`s turn to legal analyst Ben Wittes, editor-in-chief at "Lawfare" and MSNBC national security contributor Matt Miller, former chief spokesperson for the Justice Department.

I want to play this sound for and you get your response to it, Ben. Him talking about sort of the call that went -- that Don Jr. made after he sort of has the exchange about setting up the meeting he calls a blocked number, House Intelligence Committee famously refused to find out what that number is. Listen to what he says about that.


CAMEROTA: The meeting with the Russians, how can you be sure that the president didn`t know beforehand? You`re saying it was just a he said he said --

GIULIANI: Nobody can be sure of anything. But the one who came in --

CAMEROTA: Or Russia.

GIULIANI: -- and allegedly told the president about it was Donald, which Donald denies, the president denies and there`s no corroboration of. And Cohen has never said this at any time up until now.

CAMEROTA: When Don-- Don Jr. made as you know that day before the meeting and I think after calls to a blocked number. Was that the president?


HAYES: Here`s my question for you, Ben. How important is it that clients share all the information with their lawyers? And do you think that is happening here?

BENJAMIN WITTES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "LAWFARE": Well, so one question is whether it`s happening and the other question is whether the lawyer can have confidence that it`s happening, whether or not it is. And I think the answer to the second question is clearly not. Nobody who interacts with Donald Trump can possibly be confident that they`ve been given all the relevant information or that they`ve been told the truth.

When you are -- particularly if you`re a lawyer who`s going out on television and making representations on behalf of a client, if you`re a remotely responsible lawyer, which here is a condition contrary to fact, you would want to know everything that could, you know, possibly rise up and bite you in the butt. Giuliani does not seem encumbered by that concern at all.

And in addition to the fact that he probably doesn`t have full information from his client or at least he can`t rely on the fact he does, he also appears to be making up facts as convenient to himself or at least getting very confused about them. And so I think there`s a compounding effect where the client is not being a good client and the lawyer is not being a good lawyer.

HAYES: And there`s also, Matt, there`s been a pattern about the Trump Tower meeting more than almost any single instance in this story of these disclosures that are just enough to get through the day. It`s like the e- mails come out and oh, yeah, it was about, you know -- it was about adoption. Then it wasn`t about adoption. Well, okay, they said here`s dirt on Hillary Clinton. Well, then we actually did talk about it after. So this seems to be part of the pattern, where every time you keep pushing on this one meeting you get more disclosure.

MATT MILLER, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, that`s right. And it`s not the only case they`ve done that. It`s been true about the relationship with Stormy Daniels where they had one story first and they came out with another one. I think it kind of goes to this question -- two things. One is you talked about the importance of telling your lawyer everything.

One of the reasons in a situation like this where your lawyer`s going to come out publicly and talk, you set the goalposts in the right place. And you don`t set the goalpost first at my client never did this only to later move the goalpost to, well, yes, he did it but it`s not actually illegal after all, which is what we see him doing.

In some ways -- you`re right in your analysis at the beginning they`re trying to move the goalposts. But I think in some ways they`re bringing him back not just to the first letter they sent to special counsel but what Donald Trump said at the very beginning, if you go back to 2016 at the famous press conference where he said Russia, if you can get Hillary Clinton`s e-mails I think you`ll be greatly rewarded. And you know, Katy Tur pushed him on it right then if it was appropriate to encourage a foreign government to commit a crime. He told her yes, absolutely, and asked her to be quiet. So I think what you`re seeing now is kind of the legal strategy, for lack of a better option, getting back to where Donald Trump`s take on this has been ever since the beginning.

HAYES: What do you make of the collusion is not a crime line, Ben?

WITTES: It`s a very silly line. Of course collusion is not a crime. But when you collude with some foreign intelligence entity there are many crimes you can commit along the way. And so the question has never been whether collusion is a crime. The question is whether -- first of all, whether some form of improper collusion took place and secondly, if it did, whether it would violate any of a number of different laws. By the way, death is not a crime either. That doesn`t mean murder isn`t.

HAYES: That`s well said. Matt, I don`t know what to make of this idea of a meeting on the 7th in preparation. The president`s lawyer seems to be sort of floating as a possibility. If it were to be the case that such a lawyer took place -- such a meeting took place, it would strike me as completely destroying the idea this is a seat of the pants ad-hoc, you know free-wheeling, freelancing thing Don Jr. undertook.

MILLER: Yeah, I mean if you believe that idea anyways. There aren`t a lot of free-wheeling seat of the pants meetings like this that involve the campaign manager, the candidate`s son, the candidate`s son-in-law. So I think that idea`s always been pretty silly they put out there and this would just completely destroy it.

And I think if you -- the clip that you played before of the president on the day that this premeeting would have happened if it did happen coming out and promising a big revelation about Hillary Clinton next Monday. In the immediate sentence after that he actually talked -- one of the things that he says about Hillary Clinton is he`s going to -- is he attacks her for her dealings in Russia at the State Department.

So it was the exact same thing that Don Jr. had been promised in the e-mail he got from the publicist Rod Goldstone, which were her dealings in Russia. So you have to believe in a lot of coincidences to think that they were promised that in an e-mail and then the president came out and talked about it publicly. And then of course never gave the speech, because maybe they had the meeting they didn`t get what they wanted.

HAYES: Yeah and there`s 20 times at least they said oh no, he didn`t know about it ahead of time and Rudy Giuliani still saying that now, although he may change his tune tomorrow.

MILLER: Or tonight.

HAYES: Or tonight. Ben Wittes and Matt Miller, thank you both.

WITTES: Cheers.

HAYES: Coming up the first trial in relation to the Mueller probe set to begin tomorrow morning. Federal court. The charges against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. What to expect from that trial in two minutes.


HAYES: The first trial from the Mueller probe starts tomorrow. The trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort starts with jury selection tomorrow. The charges include bank and tax fraud based on more than $60 million. Prosecutors say Manafort earned as a consultant for a Russia- friendly Ukrainian political party. Which he apparently spent on everything from multimillion-dollar properties to luxury cars and even a $21,000 watch. This trial`s expected to last about three weeks, but Manafort also faces separate charges in D.C.

And that trial starts in September. Even closer to the mid-terms. For more on what`s at stake for Paul Manafort and for President Trump former Watergate prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Nick Akerman and former federal prosecutor, also MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler. Let`s start with this. The basic core issues to me are fairly clear here. It`s basically that he had a lost income routed to foreign banks and paid stuff out of them without ever telling the IRS he made the money.

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: That`s right. Basically cheating the government out of probably $30 million worth of cash.

HAYES: I mean, a lot.

AKERMAN: Right. It`s a lot and what this is is it`s a tax case. So you have to understand that the proof that`s going to come in, they`ve got to do a couple things here. First, they have to show he made a lot of money, that he earned it, that it wasn`t a rich uncle in Russia or the Ukraine that died and left him $30 million. So you`re going to have Rick Gates lay out exactly what they did to earn that money.

HAYES: Rick Gates, who is his deputy, who we know is cooperating with federal prosecutors.

AKERMAN: Exactly. And then you`ve got to show that there were badges of fraud, that he deceived the government, that he hid the money, that he put in phony invoices, he created phony bank accounts and false names, that he did it through Cyprus bank accounts and other offshore accounts in order to hide that money. So that`s what this case is going to be about. And also in terms of the bank fraud showing that he lied about the value of various properties so he could get more money when he was really short on cash after the Ukrainian government fell.

HAYES: Paul, in terms of proving this case, I mean again, I think you called it a paper case before and because there should be records they have and people close to him can basically say look here`s money moving from x to y and the IRS never heard about it. It`s fairly straightforward if it in fact happened.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: It is a very straightforward case. In that sense the case the trial`s going to be long and kind of boring. There`s going to be a lot of e-mails, a lot of documents, a lot of bank records. The prosecutors will try to jazz it up with reports of the $3 million Brooklyn Brownstone, the estate in the Hamptons with the putting green, the million-dollar antique rug.

But at the end of the day it`s a tax case. The interesting thing is that Mueller has charged 32 people with crimes. Of those, 31 have either pled guilty or are Russians who won`t be extradited to the United States and brought to justice. So Manafort is the last man standing. He`s the highest-level official prosecuted by Mueller with the closest ties to Russia. And yet the prosecutor said he`s not going to say the r word at trial, he`s not going to bring up Russia, collusion, or Trump.

HAYES: That is an interesting point. Here`s what Giuliani said about whether Manafort has anything on the president. Take a listen.


GIULIANI: He has no information incriminating of the president. I know that for a fact. They can squeeze him. Paul Manafort does not know anything. Nor could it be possible that he did. He was with him for four months.


AKERMAN: This is the exact same thing he said about Michael Cohen a few months ago.

HAYES: That`s true. That`s a verbatim --

AKERMAN: That`s the exact same words. I mean, it`s almost like he`s going to join the liar category pretty soon. Just like he`s called Michael Cohen a liar, he called James Comey a liar. Pretty soon he`s going to be calling Paul Manafort a liar.

HAYES: But yeah, here`s the thing. He hasn`t cooperated. To Paul`s point, he`s the only one who`s faced trial. I should note that not only Rick Gates but Tad Devine, who is a long-time strategist who worked for Bernie Sanders very prominently in 2016 and was a business partner of Paul Manafort`s is also going to be testifying presumably about the work they did in Ukraine.

I guess the question, Paul, is as a former federal prosecutor is your expectation here they`re just going to go through with this trial and they`ll do the other trial and if they win, Paul Manafort goes to jail and that`s the end of that or do you feel like there`s something else about this set of facts with Paul Manafort in relation to the larger investigation?

BUTLER: You know, Chris, I`ve tried cases that have settled, that is, the defendant has pled guilty sometimes the day of trial, sometimes in the middle of the trial. They hear the opening statement, they heard very strong witnesses for the government, and they think, wait a minute. So you know, it remains to be seen. If it goes to trial, it`s unclear what the defense will be. So far the public defense has been this case doesn`t have anything to do with collusion and therefore Mueller shouldn`t be bringing it. But that has not persuaded the judge.

HAYES: You know, there`s one other part of this that I find fascinating which is that he made a lot of money, $60 million, over this -- that`s a lot money. Political consultants make a lot of money but that`s a lot a lot of money.

BUTLER: It`s a lot more than I`ve seen.

HAYES: It`s also $60 million he didn`t pay taxes on. Which is well nice if it does work (ph) -- if you can get it. But there`s also the fact that he was broke apparently in 2016. He was broke and working for free and he owed Oleg Deripaska $21 million. It seems to me at the core of this there`s kind of a mystery of what the heck is up with Paul Manafort`s finances?

AKERMAN: Well I think what he was doing was living way beyond his means.

HAYES: Apparently.

AKERMAN: And when it came time to make more money, what he did is commit the bank fraud. The whole government theory of the case is he stole money from the government by not paying taxes and then when the Ukraine went bust and he lost his job --

HAYES: Right.

AKERMAN: -- and he still had to pay on all of these properties, all of these taxes, keep up his lavish lifestyle, what did he do? He borrowed money from banks based on these properties by inflating the value of the properties, inflating jobs that he was --

HAYES: Because he`s totally squeezed and he`s totally overleveraged and he`s got way too many expenses to make up for it.


HAYES: Nick Akerman and Paul butler, thank you both for that. Next, the president says he has no problem doing a shutdown. That is, shutting down the government over the immigration fight. Jess MacIntosh and Leon Wolf on calling the bluff before the mid-terms after the break.



TRUMP: I would certainly be willing to close it down to get it done.

As you know, we are already approving things in various bills including we`re going to be taking care of the military. We always put the military and law enforcement very high. But I would be certainly willing to consider a shutdown if we don`t get proper border security. Thank you.


HAYES: If you believe the president today, and the president follows through on the threat he just issued, the federal government, fully controlled by Republicans, could shut down just about a month before the midterm elections, which to be clear is the last thing the Republican leadership in congress wants.

We know that, because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell met with the president last week to "pitch him on a plan to avoid a government delaying a fight over border wall funding until after the election."

But now the president`s threats of a shutdown appear to fly in the face of any deal Republican leaders might have thought they had.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, Homeland Security won`t get funded before the mid- terms?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re not worried about a government shutdown before the mid-terms.

MCCONNELL: No, that`s not going to happen.


HAYES: That`s not going to happen.

To talk more about what the president is doing here, I`m joined by Jess McIntosh, executive editor of Share Blue Media, who also worked on Hillary Clinton`s 2016 campaign, and Leon Wolfe, managing editor of The Blaze.

Benji Sarlin, my colleague, made the point today that usually shutdowns are this annoying blame game where each side says the other side did it, but it`s refreshing to have the president just come out and say -- he also tweeted over the weekend -- that he basically wants a shutdown, that like he will be responsible for a shutdown.

JESS MCINTOSH, SHARE BLUE: Yes. Yes, absolutely. And I think it`s clear that he doesn`t understand how shutdowns work. He also doesn`t understand how the optics of a shutdown are supposed to work in Washington, which is kind of fun.

It seems like he is hellbent on sticking the Republican Party with something just awful right before the mid-terms. It`s like we had the Putin meeting. He was going to bring Putin to the White House just as we`re all going to go vote in the mid-terms and remind everybody that he`s beholden to a Russian dictator. And then that got scrapped, and we`re going to do that next year instead maybe.

Now he wants to shut down the government over border wall funding, which is just going to remind everybody what Donald Trump is doing at the border, which is keeping children in cages.

HAYES: Well, -- and this strikes me, Leon, as something about the politics of this. I think the White House thinks, and Stephen Miller thinks this particularly, I think Donald Trump, that like immigration is their strong card to play, that they want immigration front and center.

But the data on this is not necessarily with them. I mean, you have 58 percent of people disapprove of his handling of immigration. There`s a record high 75 percent of Americans saying immigration is a good thing. I think Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell do not want this fight in the fall.

LEON WOLFE, THE BLAZE: You know, well, I think probably if you look at this from the most rational standpoint it probably isn`t political. You would have to think for him to really do this that for once this is really something that Donald Trump means when he says, which is that he wants the wall. And he knows that this is probably the last chance he`s going to have to get it.

I mean, the best probable case for the GOP is they`re going to lose some seats in the House, but not enough to lose full control of the House, and probably they`re not going to be able to maintain full control of every GOP member after the election for this wall.

So, I mean, I think the calculus really is that if the wall doesn`t get funded before these elections it`s not going to get funded at all.

And it always is kind of an open question with Trump, does he mean what he says that he wants the wall, that he`s really going to force the issue on the wall, and I think we`re about to find out.

HAYES: Well, that -- see, that`s a good point, actually. I take him at his word that he wants the wall. I take him at his word that he -- the other thing is it`s not just the wall, which by the way, remember Mexico is going to pay for, which gives the Democrats a layup in terms of fighting a shutdown because Mexico is supposed to pay for it.

But he`s also basically saying there`s 11 legislative days until the government runs out of money. Today, he was also talking about like all -- changing all of immigration policy for the U.S., like get rid of what he calls chain migration and get rid of all this, totally redo immigration in the U.S. in the next 11 days before the shutdown.

MCINTOSH: Well, he doesn`t know that he only has 11 days. He doesn`t know what chain migration means. He doesn`t understand what any of the things that he`s talking about when it comes to this policy are, except perhaps building a wall. It is a very simple concept. It is related to real estate, which is a thing that he tangentially is aware of in a meaningful capacity.

HAYEs: True.

MCINTOSH: It`s why we like -- he likes to see those demonstrations in San Diego where everybody brings up the different kinds of walls. How many times has he walked through or had cameras walk through? We could have it look like this. We could have it look like this. I mean, this is clearly something that he feels a personal connection to.

I am going to argue, because it`s one of the only things before him as president that he has a basis of knowledge for wall building.

HAYES: There`s reporting actually Steve Bannon came up with the wall idea to make him remember to talk about immigration.

MCINTOSH: Oh, of course. And then they chanted back. It was his big rally thing. If he thinks that the crowds want this, and other than -- I mean, draining the swamp never got as big a crowd reaction as building the wall. So, if he thinks this is what the crowd is going to go wild for, there`s no chance he doesn`t very desperately want it.

HAYES: You know, there`s nothing interesting, too, Leon, to me about the relationship between Ryan, McConnell, and the White House.

Mcconnell in that statement where he says it`s not going to happen, there`s no -- he doesn`t pretend to care what the president thinks about any of this. He clearly basically thinks the president is an idiot when it comes to this stuff specifically and he`s going to run his chamber how he runs his chamber.

WOLFE: Right. And, you know, that only goes so far. But I think for the most part McConnell has been -- he`s been death on shutdowns for a long, long time. And I would argue look -- and I`m not in favor of the wall, but I would say, look, the last two shutdowns we had were in 2009 and 2013. The 2010 mid-terms and the 2014 mid-terms didn`t turn out so terrible for the GOP.

I think he`s more scared of a shutdown than is actually merited. Now, that having been said, I do think that for the most part the Senate is going to ultimately follow what McConnell wants to do, at least those who are not up for re-election or have primaries coming up.

HAYES: The timing here is important. I think a shutdown right before the mid-terms, which we haven`t had in a while -- a small one last year, which lasted about a weekend -- is very different.

But I`m with you in the sense of -- I mean, bring it to a head, right. I mean, have a referendum on what the fight`s about so that voters know.

Jess McIntosh and Leon Wolfe, thanks for joining us.

Coming up, with under 100 days to go, are Republican mega donors really turning on President Trump ahead of the mid-terms? Color me skeptical. Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, if you`re wondering how people keep falling for the Sacha Baron Cohen pranks on his new "Who is America" show, it is because they were all taped before the first episode aired. So someone like, say, Roy Moore would have no reason to suspect that this guy he was meeting with wasn`t really an Israeli anti-terror expert.


SACHA BARON COHEN, COMEDIAN: Why Alabama have this strong connection with Israel?

ROY MOORE, FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: It`s just Alabama has always been a state that valued freedom, valued liberty.

COHEN: Of course.

MOORE; And appreciated what people went through to get it. And I think that...

COHEN: Alabama has always been a place for equality.

MOORE: It has. And we`ve celebrated throughout our history things like this.

COHEN: In Alabama, people have always been free, whatever the religion or race or sexuality...

MOORE: Well, it`s part of our heritage.

COHEN: Of course.


HAYES: It`s part of our heritage.

That little back and forth was just the preamble to the real pranking featuring a demonstration of a brand new fictional Israeli security device.

That is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: If Sacha Baron Cohen`s new show has taught us anything, it`s that wow, there are a lot of Republicans who are really eager to meet with a hyper-macho Israeli anti-terror character.

Disgraced former Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama is the latest. And this is the moment the anti-terror expert character demonstrated a new marvel of Israeli technology: the pedophile detector.


COHEN: It is very, very simple to use. You just switch it on, and because neither of us are sex offenders then it make absolutely nothing. You just put it on, you put it nearby.


COHEN: Wait. There`s obviously a problem. Hold on.


COHEN: It must be faulty. Sorry. Is this your jacket?


COHEN: Did you lend the jacket to somebody else maybe?


I`ve been married for 33. I never had an accusation of such things.

COHEN: I am not accusing you at all.

MOORE: Well, then if it is an instrument then certainly I`m not a pedophile. OK?

COHEN: No, but the machine...

MOORE: Well, I don`t know -- maybe Israeli technology hasn`t developed properly.

COHEN: This is 99.8 percent active. It is not saying that you are a pedophile, of course not.

MOORE: I am simply cutting this conversation right now. Thank you.

COHEN: No, no, no. Have you been.

MOORE: It`s been nice. I support Israel. I don`t support this kind of stuff.




TRUMP: Mr. Prime Minister, I want to begin by congratulating you once again on your tremendous victory in Italy. It was something that all the world was watching.


HAYES: That`s how the president started off his joint press conference today with the Italian prime minister. The Italian prime minister, on the other hand, began his remarks with an expression of solidarity with the victims of the deadly wildfires in California.

And while the White House declared a state of emergency in California over the weekend, the president, as far as we can tell, not spoken publicly about the tragedy at all.

At least eight people have died in California. Wildfires have torched more than 200,000 acres. They are so strong they`ve even created their own terrifying weather system.

And let`s be clear, California`s not alone. In Greece, wildfires drove thousands into the sea, killing 91 people. In Sweden 60 fires are raging as far north as the Arctic Circle. In Siberia of all places, nearly 800,000 acres have burned and the smoke has drifted all the way over to Washington State. It is very, very hot right now, and it is deadly out there this year.

There have been record temperatures all-time in dozens of cities across the world from Ireland to Iran. In the U.S. we saw a record-breaking 117 degrees in Van Nuys, California, 114 degrees in Waco, Texas. That`s all happening right now.

And it`s happening with an administration and a Republican machine that fights tooth and nail to ignore the problem of climate change or to make it worse, and none more so than the Koch Political Network, which has already spent tens of millions of dollars fighting action on climate change over the years.

And get this, they`re reportedly going to drop another $400 million in the upcoming 2018 mid-terms. What that looks like, next.


HAYES: We are just 99 days until November 6, election day. And the Koch Political Network wants everyone to know this time they`ll be holding the GOP accountable.

They announced over the weekend at their exclusive invite only Colorado summit that not only do they oppose the Trump White House`s, quote, divisiveness and trade policies, they would even support pro-growth, whatever that means, Democrats who are willing to stand up to Elizabeth Warren.

But, to be clear, despite whatever minor beef the Kochs have with Trump, there are two political coalitions in this country, and the one that includes the Trump White House also very much includes the Koch organization, which has pledged to spend $300 to $400 million in the 2018 mid-terms alone. And that is not changing any time soon.

Joining me now, Jason Candor, former Missouri Secretary of State, current president of the voting rights organization Let America Vote; and David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of "Its Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America."

Jason, you know, I think the Koch brothers have gone out of their way to create headlines about how they don`t like the trade policy, they`re breaking with the White House, but I don`t really quite buy it when you look at the structural investments they`re making and continue to make. What do you think?

JASON CANDOR, PRESIDENT, LET AMERICA VOTE: I think the fact that they use the dark money system pretty well illustrates the fact that while they may be very unhappy with what`s going on, they know that their ideas are not very popular. So they funnel a bunch of dark money into the system every couple years, and then they say to Republicans, who they`ve helped elect, go out there and convince people that all these ideas that we have are good ideas.

And then when the ideas are still really unpopular a couple years later, they say, well, you did you a bad job convincing people that these ideas are good ideas. When in reality, perhaps they should just consider the possibility that their ideas are bad in the first place.

HAYES: Well, here`s the thing. I mean, when you look at the Koch Brother agenda, there was a great item today in The New York Times, David, and this is up your ally, which said that the Treasury Department is considering essentially tweaking the way they calculate the sort of expenditure capital gains that would amount to a unilateral executive agency-led $100 billion tax cut for the rich just without congress.

And I saw that and I thought, well, if you`re the Koch brothers, right, OK, you don`t like the trade stuff, but that`s sort of what you`re in for.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, JOURNALIST: Well, the Koch brothers -- and, Chris, you might be like them if you had their father. They very much believe that the federal government should have a military, a police force and nothing else. They don`t want to pay taxes. They don`t believe in regulation for the public safety, they believe that we can do this through contracts because we all have principles.

Now, it is very important to remember, the Kochs are serious people. They are good managers of their capital. And anyone who thinks like it`s a Wonderful Life, they`re going like Mr. Potter, let`s take homes from poor people, is making a big mistake. You need to challenge them on their ideas. And as Jason said, exactly correctly, they are very popular on ideas -- unpopular ideas, but they are figuring out how to market them so people are deceived.

HAYES: Well, one of the things they`ve done very effectively -- and, again, they`re going to be investing a huge amount in this campaign. It is going to be hard to trace, because of Citizens United and dark money, as you said, Jason, they put a lot of money into state legislatures and into creating infrastructures in states to push their ideas. We saw this in Kansas.

I wonder what your experience has been in Missouri. I know you`re running for local office and mayor if Kansas City, if I`m not mistaken this cycle, how that plays out locally.

CANDOR: I`ll tell you a story from 2012. So, this is not a new phenomenon, right. Six years ago I was running for secretary of state in Missouri. And we have an individual, maybe part of the Koch network, I don`t know, but who put almost $900,000 into my opponent`s campaign for secretary of state.

Now the last four -- and this is a secretary of state race. The last over $400,000 of that did not go directly. We didn`t have limits on contributions then, but it didn`t go directly to my opponent`s campaign, it went through a PAC and was funneled and nobody knew who the money came from until after the election.

And the reason that he did that was because we had called him out on what he was doing, and it appeared in The New York Times just a couple weeks before the election.

My point is I think that they know that their ideas are unpopular, their ideas are bad, and so what we saw in Missouri -- and this is again when we didn`t have contribution limits on what you can give on a campaign, and yet they still chose a dark money route. They could have directly given it. And that`s because they feel that they`re not winning the argument and the only way they can is if they conceal the messenger, because the messenger has an inherent credibility problem.

HAYES: I just to be clear so people are not confused, this donor, this -- I forget his name. He`s a big Missouri donor. What`s his name again?

CANDOR: His name is Rex Sengfeld (ph).

HAYES: Yeah, right. And he`s a huge guy. He`sl also like a chess maven. Sort of an interesting guy, but he is sort of the...

CANDOR: He`s the Koch guy -- I mean, he`s not the Kochs right, but he plays that sort of role in Missouri. And, of course, David, one of the things I think is very interesting in tipping the hand of the sort of donor class more broadly than the news of the Kochs is the Koch brothers are not going after Heidi Heitkamp, they`re saying, in North Dakota. They`re not giving to her opponent. And the reason is because she voted for regulatory roll backs on Dodd-Frank. She`s one of a handful of Democrats that did that. And that to me shows where they`re focused.

JOHNSTON: The Koch brothers are not Republicans, they`re libertarians, big L libertarians, and you know they want to get rid of regulation. They really believe, wrongly, but they really believe that if we would just get rid of all this regulation, we would all be richer and we`d all be healthier, the skies would be cleaner, the water would be cleaner, and of course the Koch brothers would be fantastically richer than they already are.

HAYES: There seems to be -- Jason, you -- last time you were on this program, we talked about trade and how it was hitting some folks in Missouri. It seems to me like you can choose to be a Jeff Flake here and like make some speech, or you can put your money where their mouth is. And I`m curious to see the Koch brothers doing anything like that. They can spend $20 million trying to run against these terrorists.

CANDOR: Absolutely.

The Koch brothers are the most powerful -- I mean, they may not be actual Republicans like David said, they`re libertarians -- they are the most powerful people in the Republican Party other than I guess President Trump. And that`s the thing, like you asked, how does it compare to my experience here. In Missouri, when I was in the state legislature, when I was secretary of state, it was always amazing to me how when people would come up with a legislative idea, an agenda that they thought might be bipartisan, people didn`t say go see the speaker, go see the president of the senate, they said go see and insert a major Republican donor.

And it is the same deal here with the Koch brothers.

If they`re serious about standing up for the country and putting the country ahead of their party, they can do it better than most of the senators, frankly.

HAYES: Jason Candor, David Cay Johnston, thanks for joining me.

One last thing, if you`ve listened to our newest episode of our podcast, "Why is This Happening," with Giorgio Angelini, he has a new article that goes along with the episode. If you haven`t listened to it, download it now, because tomorrow, a new episode up. I`ve been looking forward to this, with Nichole Hannah John, about school segregation more than 60 years after Brown V Board of Education. You can download it wherever, and you can get Giorgio`s piece at

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.


Copy: Content and programming copyright 2018 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.