Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 9, 2018 Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Chris Lu, Harry Litman, Nancy Gertner, Sharice Davids, Barry Lynn, Rashad Robinson
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: If Sessions won unrecuse and Mueller won`t clear the President, we`re the only ones, which is really the danger.
HAYES: An admission from a top Republican.
NUNES: We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.
HAYES: The House is the last line of defense for the President.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s totally corrupt politics.
HAYES: Tonight, the clear need for oversight and investigation of a government completely run by Republican. Then, why the judge in the Manafort trial was apologizing today. Plus why Twitter is breaking with Facebook and YouTube on Alex Jones.
JACK DORSEY, CEO, TWITTER INC.: There`s a lot of nuance in everything that we`re facing.
HAYES: As the Trump Administration ramps up on immigration, the First Lady`s parents get citizenship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is very important dialogue that we`re having on immigration. This is an example of it going right.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The Republican majority in Congress is the only thing standing between the President embroiled in scandal surrounded by alleged and confirmed criminals and real scrutiny and accountability to the American people. That is according to the senior Republican member of House leadership with one of the most important oversight jobs in all of Washington. Congressman Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Intelligence Community leaked -- in a leaked audio from a GOP fundraiser obtained by Rachel Maddow, first played on his show last night. Nunes laid out for donors the high stakes in the Midterm Elections. It is all about protecting the President of the United States.
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NUNES: So therein lies, so it`s like your classic Catch-22 situation where we were at a -- this puts us in a tough spot. If Sessions won`t unrecuse and Mueller won`t clear the President, we`re the only ones, which is really the danger. That`s why I keep, and thank you for saying it by the way. I mean, we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.
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HAYES: If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away. MSNBC reached out to the Congressman`s office for comment, have not received a response but Nunes has a point. The President in some of his closest associates face a grave threat from the Mueller investigation which has already ensnared senior campaign officials and the President`s first National Security Advisor. And Nunes made it crystal clear all along that his priority is not to find out what the truth about what happened in 2016 or whether the President or his aides broke the law but rather to shield the President from any consequences. The same could be said for the better part of Republicans in Congress. It applies not to the Russia probe but expanding number of corruption scandals that demand investigation and accountability.
Consider the new developments in just the last few days. We just learned thanks to tremendous reporting from ProPublica that the Trump Administration has secretly farmed out leadership of the V.A. to three members of the President`s private club Mar-a-Lago and none of whom has any relevant experience. We learned that President`s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stands accused of misappropriating or outright stealing as much as a $120 million from former investors and business partners. That`s according to a new investigation from Forbes. And then just yesterday we learned that the first member of Congress to endorse the President`s campaign, New York Republican Chris Collins allegedly carried out an insider trading scheme last year from the South Lawn of the White House. Collins was arrested yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Meanwhile, the President has been spending his entire week at his Golf Club in New Jersey one of many properties from which he continues to profit while in office opening him up to bribery and all manner of conflicts of interest. In theory, it should not be that hard to find out whose interest the President is serving if only congressional leaders would say subpoena his tax returns. Now, polling suggests voters want Congress to exercise its oversight powers responding by 25 percent margin they`re more likely to support a candidate who promises to be a check on the President. And fresh off another round of encouraging election results on Tuesday, Democrats have a message of their own about the high stakes of the midterms that they are in the words of Nancy Pelosi committed to cleaning up corruption to make Washington work for the people.
I`m joined now by Democratic members of Congress Representative Hakeem Jeffries in New York who serves on the House Judiciary Committee. What does that mean cleaning up corruption? How do you do it?
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: well I think we`ve got to make sure that we can get big money out of politics in the aftermath of the terrible Citizens United decision, what we`ve seen is dark money flow into Washington D.C. fueled by lobbyists and mega-corporations who are buying off influence and essentially shaping legislation that this Congress has been pushing forward. The biggest example of it was the corrupt GOP tax scam where 83 percent of the benefits went to the wealthiest one percent. This was not done for the people. That`s what we stand for as Democrats. It was done for the lobbyists, for the mega-corporations, for the wealthy, the well-off, the millionaires, the billionaire`s to subsidize the lifestyles of the rich and shameless. This is corruption happening in plain sight.
HAYES: But that`s -- OK, but that is -- I would not disagree that`s corrupt but that`s everyday corruption, OK. That`s a system that is shot through with corruption. I don`t want to minimize that because I think the entire system, but we`re talking about very specific corruption which is this President has a whole host of distinctly corrupt you know relationships to his business and things like that that my question is what would Democrats -- what could Democrats do if they got the majority?
JEFFRIES: Well, you`re correct. They are lying, they are cheating, they are stealing and they are doing it with impunity and the reason is that this Congress has refused to do its constitutional oversight responsibilities. We are an independent branch of government, a separate and co-equal branch of government. The House of Representatives doesn`t work for Donald Trump, we work for the American people. But these guys on the other side of the aisle apparently have not gotten the memo and so basically they`re acting as co-conspirators, refusing to do oversight, refusing to subpoena documents, refusing to expose corrupt scandals to the American people and doing their constitutional duty, Democrats will do that.
HAYES: So every day I think to myself, well there should be a hearing on that. One example, this insane story about these -- the three Mar-a-Lago members, a Baltimore lawyer, a Palm Beach doctor, and the guy who runs Marvel Entertainment who are basically running the V.A. like should there be hearings on that?
JEFFRIES: Absolutely. And you know the Oversight and Government Reform Committee basically for years wasted millions of dollars on Hillary Clinton`s e-mails which was a fake scandal designed to undermine her presidency but refuses to do anything as it relates to you know, sort of the corrupt, after corrupt, after corrupt instance that has arisen as it relates to Trump`s cabinet secretaries. It`s shameful and you`re not going to get them to act like a constitutional check in balance as Devin Nunes disclosed to his donor.
HAYES: Yes -- no he`s very clear in that tape about what he views is his roles. I want to play one more bit of tape because he`s there with Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the number for in-house leadership. Before you guys went on recess, they file articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein and Paul Ryan said this is not going anywhere. Devin Nunes has a different take on this. This is a little like bait and switch maybe. I want you to take a listen and respond. Listen what he had to say.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But also, on things that came up in the -- in the House on Rosenstein impeachment thing and appears from an outsider that the Republicans were not supported.
NUNES: Yes, well, it`s -- so it`s a bit complicated right? And I say that because you have to -- so we only have so many months left, right? So if we actually vote to impeach, ok, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up. Well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time. Do you want then to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court Justice, the new Supreme Court Justice? So that`s part of why -- I don`t think you have, you`re not getting from, and I`ve said publically Rosenstein deserves to be impeached. I mean, so, I don`t think you`re going to get any argument from most of our colleagues. The question is the timing of it right before the election.
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), WASHINGTON: Also the Senate -- so the Senate has to start --
NUNES: The Senate would have to start -- the Senate would have to drop everything they`re doing and start to -- and start with impeachment on Rosenstein. And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed. So it`s not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein, it`s matter of -- it`s a matter of timing.
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HAYES: It`s a matter of timing. That sounds awful like what he is saying and what the number four we`re hoping the House is saying is they all support impeaching Rosenstein they just not going to do it now.
JEFFRIES: Absolutely. It`s very cynical but he exposed essentially what appears to be the GOP plot which is to go after Rod Rosenstein but to allow the Senate to jam the Supreme Court justice down the throats of the American people. Do that work and then return after the midterm elections to try to jam Rod Rosenstein. Most people can probably remember that the Clinton impeachment actually took place in the aftermath of a midterm election during what was essentially a lame-duck session. It appears that they want to go out and do the same thing.
HAYES: You know, I had forgotten that but -- and that was 1998 midterms breaking with history. There have been a sort of stunning rebukes the Republicans who`d actually lost seats in Congress and they continued in that lame-duck session with the impeachment. Do you really think that`s what they would do?
JEFFRIES: It wouldn`t shock me because nothing would shock me at this particular point in time.
HAYES: So you think it would not shock you if they`ve lose the House and they`re like well we got a few months left let`s impeach Rosenstein.
JEFFRIES: Of course, because this is what they do. In other words --
HAYES: I mean, that`s like sounds like what Nunes is proposing.
JEFFRIES: Yes. And at the end of the day -- listen, the so-called Chairman of the Intelligence Committee is a complete embarrassment but what`s worse is that you have the number four person in the House Republican Conference apparently signing off on this and we can`t necessarily believe what the leadership is saying when we know what Donald Trump wants to do is get rid of Rod Rosenstein because he wants to get rid of this investigation into the Trump campaigns collusion with Russian spies.
HAYES: Final question. Nunes is a special case in terms of the extraordinary lengths he`s gone to.
JEFFRIES: Very special.
HAYES: But is it your sense from being on the Judiciary Committee and your colleagues that that`s basically actually the way that most of your Republican colleagues feel about this?
JEFFRIES: Well, a significant number of House Republicans are part of what I refer to as the cover-up caucus. Their sole objective in life in terms of their current membership is to deny the fact that we have a criminal conspiracy that appears to have taken place to sell out our democracy to artificially place Donald Trump in the Oval Office, an ongoing serious investigation they want to turn a blind eye to that and distract the American people in part by doing things like going after Rod Rosenstein.
HAYES: It`s not. You know, they`re spending a lot of time doing that. They`re not spending a ton of time legislating which is also notable. I mean, since they passed the tax bills it`s like OK.
JEFFRIES: Totally. And we want to lower prescription drug prices, we want to raise pay, and we want to clean up corruption in Washington D.C.
HAYES: All right, you got that in there. Congressman Hakeem Jefferies, thank you for your time tonight.
JEFFRIES: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: For more on the mounting corruption scandals and legal woes facing the President and joined by Chris Lu, former White House Cabinet Secretary under President Obama and former Investigative Attorney for the House Oversight Committee and former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman who also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Chris, let me ask you as someone who was the liaison two cabinet secretaries in the White House and also worked on that House Oversight Committee that does all this work, I mean, is it surprising to you how little investigatory work and oversight work has been done?
CHRIS LU, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CABINET SECRETARY: Yes, absolutely, Chris. You know, I`m old enough to remember when we had separation of powers and this wasn`t about partisanship, it was about being good stewards of taxpayer money. It`s about ferreting out waste fraud and abuse. And if you simply look at somebody like Scott Pruitt who had something like 14 different investigations ongoing although really only one of them was being done by the House Oversight Committee, any one of those things would have tripped him up if he were a Democratic cabinet member.
LU: There was no issue that was small enough that the Republicans would not investigate an Obama cabinet member for. You know, I remember back in 2011, you remember there was this thing about $16 muffins that were being used at a Department of Justice conference, that was an issue. Meanwhile - -
HAYES: That was a three-day story by the way. I mean, remember that story because it was a three-day story.
LU: And we`re now talking about $120 million with Wilbur Ross that likely will never be investigated.
HAYES: Harry, you know, one of the things that comes through in the -- in the Devin Nunes tape and I think is a context more broadly for the midterms is that control of House, the House is everything in terms of what happens, what`s exposed, what we can get to the bottom of independent of the Mueller investigation.
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It`s totally right. I mean, as Chris says, it`s there`s been a sort of sea change and it`s not simply that the shoe is on the other foot. There was a much stronger bipartisan tradition among both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that Nunes, in particular, has just completely demolished. And as Congressman Jeffrey says, by the way, remember that that fundraiser is for a member of the leadership of the -- of the House and who`s going along with the whole kind of program. It`s clear that they`ve placed themselves as vassals to the White House to -- as a protective kind of force for them and one corollary is it makes it all the more important that somebody -- the one force in town who is actually going after the truth without fear favor Robert Mueller be allowed to do his job. It`s particularly bad not only that they`re protecting the President but trying to demonize Mueller in the process.
HAYES: It`s such a great point because we`ve got this weird kind of broken government right now we`re the co-equal branch isn`t exercising any oversight at all. In fact, it`s sort of working in concert with the White House against a part of the executive with Special Counsel`s office. I want to get your response to Giuliani, Harry. Giuliani talking about this back and forth with the Mueller team which again take with grain of salt we get it from one side, I have no idea what`s actually going on. This is his concern about why he doesn`t want his client, the President testify about a perjury trap. Take a listen.
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GIULIANI: He knows the answers to every question that he wants to ask. He`s going to ask him did you tell call me too easy on Flynn. The President say, no I didn`t. Hey, Bob, you know it. Why do you want to get him under oath? You think we`re fools. You want to get him under oath because you want to trap him into perjury. We`re not going to let you do that.
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HAYES: What an astounding --
LITMAN: How great is this? And the other one, Chris, is even better. The other question that Giuliani says as the paradigm of a perjury trap is why did you fire Comey? Now, as to that we`ve heard eight different answers from the President of the United States. They`ve been shifting, they`ve been inconsistent, at least seven of them are lies. The notion that it would somehow be a kind of gotcha strategy by the prosecution to want to hear the truth about this question on which criminal liability and the sort of integrity of the government rests is ludicrous.
This is exactly the opposite of a perjury trap, this is Mr. President what were you doing and why, what was your state of mind, which by the way we do not know contra Giuliani, and we don`t know what he`s going to say. He said everything -- he said so many different things so far. This is down the center of what a legitimate prosecutor wants to find out not just for criminal conduct but for the country and history.
HAYES: Can you imagine, Chris, any pressure on the President from Congress for him to actually talk to Mueller.
LU: Well, no, not under this current environment. And I think that will be the issue coming down the road as to having a Democratic Congress that that conducts real oversight and doesn`t impede a lawful investigation which is what Robert Mueller is doing. I find the Giuliani statement pretty amazing and one of my favorite tweets of the day comes from John Dingell who himself knows a lot about oversight. John Dingell tweeted today it`s only a perjury trap if you`re a liar and that`s the thing. If you go up there and tell the truth, there`s no perjury trap.
HAYES: I think Giuliani -- I don`t -- again, I find Giuliani a slightly harder to follow, I will confess and maybe that`s just me. But I think he`s saying -- the subtext is there is that the President is going to lie. Like the whole premise of that thing is if the President is going to lie which is --
LITMAN: And lie about important material things not about was it a Tuesday or Wednesday which is what a perjury trap would be about.
HAYES: Right. Chris Lu and Harry Litman, thank you both.
LU: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, all right, the Manafort trial day eight, why the judge had to effectively apologize to the Mueller team in open court today and what we`re learning about how desperate Paul Manafort was when he entered the Trump campaign. That story in two minutes.
HAYES: Day eight of the Paul Manafort trial began with Judge T.S. Ellis admitting a mistake sort of. The Judge who is lately distinguished himself for his frequent criticism of the prosecution addressed the jury after they filed in the courtroom for the day, he said the following. You`ll recall yesterday I was critical of counsel for counsels allowing a witness Mr. Welch to remain the courtroom. You were to put that aside. I haven`t gone back to read the transcript but I`m satisfied I could well have been wrong about that. I may -- I was probably wrong in that.
Well, that`s big of him. The Judge had in fact been wrong. He told the prosecution at the beginning of the trial that an expert witness Michael Welch could attend the entire trial, unlike most witnesses who are allowed into the courtroom only for their own testimony. And then yesterday, he lambasted the prosecution in front of the jury for doing exactly that saying, I don`t care what the transcript says, maybe I made a mistake but I want you to remember don`t do that again.
For understanding of the testimony presented at Manafort`s trial today, I`m joined by NBC News National Security and Justice Reporter Julia Ainsley who was in the courtroom today and Judge Nancy Gertner a retired Federal Court Judge for the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. And Nancy, let me start with you because you have run trials and I have to say lots of people reacting to Judge Ellis` disposition in this case and I wonder what your read on it is.
NANCY GERTNER, RETIRED FEDERAL COURT JUDGE: Well, this particular one is very interesting. The trial begins with the government saying can we have this expert in the courtroom. The judge says yes. He puts them on the stand. When they put the witness on the stand, the judge then goes on and says you know, essentially criticizes the government in front of the jury for having Welsh in the courtroom during the testimony of other witnesses. The government did something very interesting which they haven`t done about his other comments. They literally filed a motion, filed a motion in front of him overnight showing him the transcript of what he had said and the motion that he had approved.
So when the judge gave this what`s called a curative instruction it wasn`t ambiguous, he was flat-out wrong. He was wrong to admonish the government but it`s never clear what impact that has on the jury. I mean ordinarily a judge -- you know, the jury looks to the judge as sort of their representative in a way. They`re the -- you know he`s the one who is the neutral in the case and so when the judge leans on one side in a critical way, that could wind up hurting that side. Sometimes it has the opposite effect. Sometimes it could be that the jurors would then look at the judge and say you know, you`re going too hard on one side. You can`t really -- you can`t really tell but from what I understand from ther reporting this wasn`t the first example is criticizing the government.
HAYES: Julia, you were in the courtroom today, what was it like?
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, I mean that`s absolutely right. It`s not the only example even today. There were times where there were some light-hearted moments from the prosecution. They had someone read an e-mail. They said what does that say at the end? She said sad face. She basically had to read an emoji. It was a moment ever. The jury laughed. Everyone had a good time and the judges just stage stone-faced. And any time the defense wasn`t ready, there was a lot of time where they were shuffling papers, they didn`t have things ready he would say go ahead take all the time you need even when the prosecution ended up handing their documents over to the defense so that they had what they needed.
So there`s clearly a heavy-handedness here in one direction and that is against the prosecution. I think it would be hard for the jury not to pick up on that and have that opposite reaction that we just laid out here. It seems to definitely be one-sided.
HAYES: So let me ask you about what the testimony was today in which they were -- they were focused on the sort of some of the bank fraud stuff, financial documents, representations about a property owned in Soho, but all that I want to focus on the timeline early 2016, is that right?
AINSLEY: Yes, that was a lot of this time. This is right when Paul Manafort is kind of been in his biggest financial crunch and he is starting to lie on loan applications. He`s trying to refinance his mortgages, he`s trying to take out another loan for $5 million out of a bank in California with his son-in-law at the time, now former son-in-law. That was eventually written down to $1 million when it was found that they really couldn`t use a house in Bridgehampton because it wasn`t in Paul Manafort`s name, it was in his wife`s name and it had -- it took some investigation on the account of the bank to figure that out. That`s both the bank in California and the bank in New York to figure out the Paul Manafort wasn`t being forthcoming.
But in some cases, they couldn`t figure that out because Paul Manafort actually had people lying for him. That was one person Cindy Laporta who we heard from earlier in the week. She has immunity because she knowingly lied for Paul Manafort. So we`re able to see the repercussions of that but I have to say it was one of the drier days being in the court just because the prosecution really did go over a lot of the same evidence they`ve done before particularly on this Howard Street residence in New York and you could see the jury at times kind of yawning and stretching in their chair.
HAYES: Nancy, let me ask you this. I think about the psychology of a district judge, a trial judge in a case that you know is a huge deal, right? I mean this is -- the nation is watching this and also from the sort of appeals perspective like you know there`s going to be appealed like how does that affect how you run a courtroom when you`re dealing with a very, very high stakes, high-profile trial?
GERTNER: It`s hard to say in general but usually what you would do if you -- if you are concerned that one side was you know, going too slowly or concerned about the scope of the evidence, what you would do is wait until the jury leaves the room and then admonish one side or the other. But what you don`t do is do this in front of the jury. But let me put the shoe on the other foot. I have no doubt -- this is for after my years as a lawyer and my years as a judge that if the defense were the focus of these kinds of comments they would be moving for a mistrial in a nanosecond.
If it had been on one side on their -- against them, I believe they would have moved for a mistrial. And so typically you avoid that by making comments if you have to it you have to control the proceeding out of the presence of the jury. I understand today that he also said that he thought attempted bank fraud wasn`t very important and that`s a direct comment on the evidence which are not allowed to do.
HAYES: Yes. That`s --
GERTNER: If -- you know, you`re just not allowed to do that.
HAYES: Yes, yes.
AINSLEY: That`s even point I`d love to go back. There was a part where the prosecution had just finished questioning a witness and then the defense got up for a cross-examination and he said, well, I hope that you focus on a loan that was actually approved. In other words why did we just waste our time listening to that witness and that whole 25, 30 questions that the prosecution laid out? I mean, he is essentially kind of discrediting the whole case that they just laid at least with that one witness.
HAYES: I think Judge Ellis needs --
GERTNER: But it`s not just --
GERTNER: But it`s not just a question -- it`s a not only question of doing. Whatever you`re going to do, don`t do it in front of the jury, number one. And then what you do has to deal with legal issues and not your comment on the evidence and this sounded very much like commentary on the evidence.
HAYES: Yes, he should get an anonymous Twitter account and invent his opinions like that like the rest of us.
HAYES: Julia Ainsley and Nancy Gertner, thank you. Coming up, she is a candidate for Congress who is unlike any of this ever run before.
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SHARICE DAVIDS (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, KANSAS: It`s 2018 and women, Native Americans, gay people, the unemployed and underemployed have to fight like hell just to survive. And it`s clear Trump and the Republicans in Washington don`t give a damn about anyone like me or anyone that doesn`t think like them. Enough.
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HAYES: Sharice Davids just won her Democratic primary in Kansas and she will be my guest right here next. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report ranks 27 House seats this year as toss ups in the midterm elections, and 25 of those are currently held by Republicans, including the third district of Kansas, which was ranked leaning Republicans until it was changed yesterday. And that race pits incumbent, Republican Kevin Yoder, against Democrat Sharice Davids, who won a primary on Tuesday night.
Davids is a Native American woman, a member of the Ho-chunk nation, a Native American tribe in Wisconsin.
Yoder wasted no time in attacking her even as she and another candidate were still vying for hte Democratic nomination.
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REP. KEVIN YODER, (R) KANSAS: They have been battling out to see who is most out of touch with this district, who has lived here the shortest amount of time, and who has voted here the least amount of times. It is amazing. They don`t know Kansas. They don`t know our values. And neither of them should be our voice in Washington, D.C.
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HAYES: And here with me now, Sharice Davids, Democratic nominee for the third congressional district in Kansas.
I would like to get your response -- Kevin Yoder, once you won, your opponent, continued with a whole spiel on this front. And I`d like to read it to you and get your response. Sharice Davids moved here a few months ago to try to help Nancy Pelosi win back the House majority. She doesn`t share our values, because she doesn`t even know what they are? She`s the most radically liberal nominee for congress in the history of the third district. What do you say?
SHARICE DAVIDS, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR CONGRESS, KANSAS: Well, I definitely would say that, you know, having really seen so much opportunity in my life because of the third district, you know I started out at Johnson County Community College, which is right here in the third district and is actually one of the best community colleges in the country -- you know, going from there to Cornell for law school -- you know, I feel like the third district has given me a lot of opportunity and is a great foundation, so to say that I don`t know the third district or I don`t know Kansas is laughable.
HAYES: You have a sort of interesting bio. You were in MMA for a while, is that right?
DAVIDS: Yeah, yeah -- well, I have been a martial artist for a number of years since I was 19 and I did compete in mixed martial arts. I`ve had six amateur fights and two professional fights, so it has been a big part of my life.
HAYES: And then you went to Cornell. You were a White House fellow in the Obama administration. What prompted you to run for congress?
DAVIDS: You know, frankly, it was the fact that I don`t feel like the third district has been represented very well in D.C. And I want to see someone represent our voice and really have a decision maker who wants to listen to people in the third district and not just the special interests that are making sure that he stays in office.
HAYES: If you win, what are you going to do when you get there? Say, you get to work on three things your first day in congress, let`s say you have a Democratic majority, what do you want to do?
DAVIDS: You know, the key thing that I am consistently hearing over and over every time I talk to people, is that the people in the third district are very concerned about access to affordable quality health care. That is the number one thing that I constantly hear from folks here on the ground, so definitely that has to be part of what I work on. And, then, you know, education, education, eduction. Public education has, one, given me a great foundation and then, two, it has for so long in this district been the reason that we have been able to thrive.
I think that that is something that, of course, all of Kansas is concerned about. But, you know, that`s secondly education.
And then, you know, on the third one, there are quite a few things that people are concerned about. The environment is one. Certainly, tax, you know, the tax implications of the last bill are another thing, and then immigration issues consistently come up.
HAYES: Do you see yourself -- they are going it try to make this race about Nancy Pelosi. He`s already made that clear. What is your response to you are going to be a proxy for a Nancy Pelosi speakership?
DAVIDS: Well, my response is, look, my entire life has been about trying to make progress and opening doors that have not been made open to people like me, people with the kind of lived experience that I`ve had. And to say that I am doing this so I can be a proxy for someone else when I come from a background that hs not been represented in congress before is, again, laughable. I just -- I`m not running for congress to be a proxy for anybody. I`m running for congress so that the third district can have a strong representative.
HAYES: All right, Sharice Davids, thank you so much for your time tonight.
DAVIDS: thank you.
HAYES: All right, still ahead, tech giants reckoning a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Why Twitter is defending its decision on Alex Jones coming up.
Plus, turns out the chain migration was coming from inside the house. Tonight`s, Thing One, Thing Two, it is a good one, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump really seems to hate the policy of family reunification, or chain migration as he disparagingly calls it, which allows an American citizen to sponsor their spouse or child or their parents for immigration to the U.S., and he sure brings it up a lot.
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TRUMP: Need to end chain migration.
Ending chain migration and cancelling the visa lottery.
We will get rid of chain migration.
I started talking about chain migration.
Chain migration is one of the disasters.
Chain migration is a disaster.
A total disaster.
We have to end chain migration. We have to end chain migration.
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HAYES: You know, he talks about it so much that we started wondering if maybe there was an ulterior motive. Because, well, as it happens, Melania Trump`s parents reportedly have been able to remain in the United States thanks to what their own son-in-law calls chain migration, which does make you wonder whether Donald Trump`s war on so-called chain migration is some kind of passive aggressive thing against his in-laws.
Well, if it was, then it`s probably a good thing he was in the golf course and not watching cable news today.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Citizenship was just awarded to Viktor and Amalija Knavs.
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HAYES: The ironic saga of Donald Trump`s in-laws is Thing Two in just 60 seconds.
HAYES: Melania Trump`s parents were sworn in as U.S. citizens today. The native Slovenians attended a ceremony in lower Manhattan where they took the oath of allegiance, swearing to support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States of America.
It`s a momentous, proud occasion. And for Viktor and Amalija Knvs, a slightly awkward one considering how it came to be. You see their daughter, Melania, already a U.S. citizen, though herself an immigrant, sponsored her parents as part of a policy called family reunification, which their son-in-law, President Donald Trump, has railed against for years. He refers to it as chain migration, a phrase that the Knavs own lawyer today called a dirtier word.
Dirty word or not, it doesn`t seem like Donald Trump is going to stop repeating it any time soon. They must have some fun family dinners in the White House.
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TRUMP: Chain migration is bringing in many, many people with one and often it doesn`t work out very well. Those many people are not doing us right.
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(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: If I were to stand here on this broadcast and tell you that a foreign power had bombed a school bus full of American children, there would be no bigger story. We would be in a state of panic, horror, and mourning, and certainly a media war.
In fact, the thought experiment doesn`t even work, because if that had happened, you wouldn`t need me to tell you about it at 8:45, you`d know minutes after it happened.
Well today a foreign power did bomb a school bus full of children, only it was Yemeni children, and the Saudi-led coalition that did that bombing is backed by us, by the United States.
The images you`re about to see are extremely disturbing, and it`s because a school bus bombed in a crowded market was left utterly destroyed, resulting in the deaths of at least 50 people, and most of them are children. And injuries, scores more according to the authorities in the Houthi governed Sana region, those are the rebels who are fighting that war in Yemen. The Red Cross says its medical team has received the bodies of 29 kids, all under 15-years old, and is treating dozens more injured children and adults.
This attack is part of a U.S.-backed Saudi-led war in Yemen. And it began during the Obama administration. It has intensified under the Trump administration. It has prompted what NGOs call the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, and I quote here, "with indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians, denial of access to humanitarian aid, and the use of starvation as a weapon of war."
Now, the horror of this specific attack prompted a howl of outrage from Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. He wrote U.S. bombs, U.S. targeting, U.S. midair support and we just bombed a school bus. The Saudi/UAE/U.S. bombing camapign is getting more reckless, killing more civilians, and strengthening terrorists inside Yemen. We need to end this now.
He is right. Our government, our public dollars are paying to kill Yemeni children and it`s our government and our representatives that can stop it.
HAYES: As you probably know by now, Alex Jones is a notoriously vile figure who has gained a disturbing level of prominence on the right. A supplement hawking conspiracy theorist who has accused school shooting survivors of being actors, claimed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are literal demons, pushed the conspiracy theory that John Podesta was running a child sex trafficking ring out of a D.C. pizzeria, and suggested that chemicals from the Pentagon`s, quote, gay bomb, have leaked into the water supply and turned frogs gay.
Well, that sounds funny.
But Alex Jones is not a joke. He is now being sued by some of the people that he has targeted, including the families of the victims in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which Jones claims was staged. As a result, those families have faced harassment, they say, and abuse from Jones` fans.
And that didn`t stop Donald Trump from appearing on Jones` show in 2015 where the birther turned president praised the 9/11 truthers`, quote, amazing reputation.
And Jones has depended on media platforms like YouTube, and Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and Twitter to get his message out. His main YouTube channel alone has more than 2.4 million subscribers and earned more than 17 million views over a 30 day period.
But that was before this week. After months of equivocating first Apple and then Facebook, YouTube and Spotify booted Jones from their platforms, prompting cries of censorship from many of Jones`s supporters as well as expressions of concern from some critics who were not fans of Jones, including one of my next guests.
Now notably, Jones was not banned by Twitter with CEO Jack Dorsey saying Jones had not violated Twitter`s rules. He elaborated on Twitter policy on Sean Hannity`s radio show.
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JACK DORSEY, CEO, TWITTER: Any sort of violent speech, encouragement toward violence, harassment is directly against our terms of service and we take immediate action on it.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: What if somebody -- now it gets more nuanced. Oh, IU wish somebody would just punch Hannity in the face. What do you do then?
DORSEY: Well, we have to -- in all these considerations, not to get into specifics, we have to take the context. We have to really understand what the context of the conversation is.
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HAYES: Late today, Oliver Darcy of CNN posted a story noting that content that appears to violate Twitter`s rules does, in fact, appear repeatedly on Jones` Twitter page, including targeted harassment and attacks on gays and Muslims. Less than an hour later, more than a dozen videos and tweets from Jones` account were deleted, though Jones` account remained.
Joining me now to discuss the role of media companies in policing content from Alex Jones and his ilk, Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute who has expressed concerns about who is deciding which content should be allowed, and Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, whose group has led campaigns to get far right commentators off the air.
Rashad, as someone who has led these kinds of campaigns, like how do you think about what the lines are? Who is on one side of it and who isn`t?
RASHAD ROBINSON, COLOR OF CHANGE: Actually, you know there`s right and left. There`s a range of political debate, some of which I may agree with, some of which I may not, some of which are organization may disagree with, but there is right and wrong and there`s content that both promotes violence, there`s that content that sort of drums up -- that passes white nationalism and white supremacy as sort of legitimate political rhetoric.
And all of our campaigns are really rooted in this message of the First Amendment. Alex Jones has a First Amendment, Spotify and Twitter have a First Amendment, and at Color of Change, we have the First Amendment. And they have the right to put Alex Jones on the air and we have a right to mobilize our people and hold them accountable and to tell corporations that if you play footsie with Alex Jones, you support his content. We are going to hold you accountable.
And for folks who believe in the marketplace, free speech, this is very much in the best interests of that, of us holding those institutions accountable.
HAYES: You know, Barry, you did an interview where you`ve talked a lot about the sort of threat of monopoly power in tech. And I think that we`re seeing that in lots of different places, whether it`s, you know, it`s YouTube and Facebook, and in some ways they`re wrestling with what to do with all their monopoly power.
But Alex Jones seems like a kind of easy case, or low hanging fruitful, like he realy is in a kind of special category, isn`t he?
BARRY LYNN, OPEN MARKETS: He is kind of in a special category. You`re absolutely right, Chris. I mean, he is a pretty vile human being. You know, personally, I would pray that Alex Jones sort of burns in hellfire.
But the question is, like how -- now that we have these corporations like Google and Facebook, that have become essential facilities, a sort of essential communications networks within our nation, we really have to have a conversation that goes beyond sort of asking Google and Facebook to shut this guy -- you know, people like Alex Jones down. And we have to have a conversation about the power of these corporations to create an Alex Jones in the first place, because we have to remember, you know, he was to a very large extent a product of the power of Foogle and Facebook.
HAYES: That`s such an important point, Rashad, because I mean, part of what happens is you`ve got now YouTube, Facebook, Twitter to a certain extent, Google, they have this setup where they basically like, you can watch anything on there and we`re going to take some of that profit money, and we don`t have to really police it, we don`t to hire editors. We don`t have to deal with all that. We`re just a neutral platform. And that`s the deeper problem created here, right. I mean, Alex Jones is one example
ROBINSON: Yeah, and these platforms are not neutral. As someone who has campaigned for years to force these corporations to actually adhere to their terms and services, they use all sorts of algorithms to serve up information. If I go in right now and Google, for instance, things about white nationalism or David Duke, I will be served up at some point maybe more information on that.
And so these platforms are not in any way neutral. And when they tell you that they are, they are lying to you. We go back and forth. We spent a long time going back and forth with Spotify about Alex Jones, in particular, and was successful at them pulling some of his shows, by actually poiting to their terms of services.
And I will agree, these platforms have made Alex Jones, just like some TV networks have made some really vile people in our society as well. That does not mean that we should tolerate it or play hear no evil, or speak no evil about it.
HAYES: Yeah, Barry, you know, the thing that I was struck by in this -- and I think getting rid of Alex Jones, he violates the terms of services, is perfectly defensible, but also, like you, have a little uneasiness about like how these big tech giants are going to navigate this going forward.
Was the sort of collectiveness of it, like they sit around. They take no responsibility. Alex Jones is making all of them tons of money. They`re sell ads against him. And then Apple sort of leads the charge and then boom they all kind of fall like dominos, and you wonder like when will that dynamic rear its head again?
LYNN: And that`s actually why we need to make a decision now collectively about what do we do with these corporations? We now know what they can do. We don`t know who they`re going to do it to next. And this is really, it has been something, this is not the first time that we`ve seen this problem in America. We saw this back in the 19th Century with the telegraph system, the owner of the telegraph, Jay Gould, tried to game it for his own profit.
But time and again we`ve seen this problem and time and again the American people have figured out how to deal with these communications platforms and make them truly neutral and make sure that they`re actually serving us as opposed to serving up vile propaganda to us.
HAYES: Yeah -- please.
ROBINSON: Yeah, before press people, black folks, women, LGBT, these platforms are not neutral. They`re not neutral just like society is not neutral.
But four years ago, folks in Ferguson were tweeting stories that the mainstream media was not covering, and they raised their voices, and America focused its attention on Ferguson while at the same time Twitter has not been able to get itself together around how it deals with all of the attacks on Black Lives Matter activists.
There is a long way to go. I absolutely agree. But every day people standing up and pushing back against these platform is what we need in this moment.
HAYES: Barry Lynn and Rashad Robinson, thank you both for being with me.
One last note, you know we have a podcast, it`s true. Every Tuesday you can get a new episode why this happening here. I talk to really smart and thoughtful people about all the deeper stories influencing the news. This weekend I had a conversation with Nancy Northrup about the history or Roe and whether President Trump`s Supreme Court pick could be its undoing. You can download, subscribe anywhere like on TuneIn. Tweet us with #withpod to let us know what you think.
That is All In for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
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