Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 4, 2019 Guest: Michelle Goldberg, Neera Tanden, Elizabeth Holtzman, Michael Waldman, Anibal Romero, Sam Seder, Zerlina Maxwell
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: When your son looks at you and says mama look, you won, bullies don`t win.
HAYES: Impeachment talk takes center stage on day two of Democratic control.
TLAIB: I said, baby, they don`t. Because we`re going to go in there and we`re going to impeach (BLEEP).
HAYES: Tonight, the leadership response and why even the President has impeachment on his mind.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said, why don`t you use this for impeachment. And Nancy said we`re not looking to impeach you.
HAYES: Then --
TRUMP: If we have to stay out for a very long period of time, we`re going to do that.
HAYES: As the President promises a shutdown that could last years, how do you negotiate with this?
TRUMP: They drive out into the desert and they come on and they make a left turn. Usually, it`s a left not a right.
HAYES: Plus, incredible new details about the undocumented workers hired at Trump`s golf course. As a Republican attacks keep coming, how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez keeps on dancing. When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Well, it only took about 12 hours of Democratic control of the House for impeachment to become the most talked about issue in Washington. Now that`s due in part to Rashida Tlaib who along with her colleague Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women ever to serve in Congress when she was sworn in yesterday.
Tlaib is not new to confronting Donald Trump. Back in 2016, the former Michigan State Representative disrupted a Trump speech in Detroit only to be dragged out of the hall along with other protesters. She later explained that a President who was seeking to ban Muslims had let her sons to question their place in their own country. And now her place is in Congress.
Last night after her son`s dabbed on the House floor, Tlaib invoked them again and this time the whole nation took notice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TLAIB: When your son looks at you says mama, look, you won. Bullies don`t win. And I said, baby, they don`t because we`re going to go in there and we`re going to impeach the (BLEEP).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After the videos of her comment went viral, Tlaib tweeted I will always speak truth to power, unapologetically me. Her comments were criticized by some Democrats and also kicked off an outpouring of somewhat comical outrage from members of a Republican Party that has embraced and celebrated literally one of the most vulgar public figures in recent memory who responded with his characteristic lack of self-awareness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. Using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there, I thought that was a great dishonor to her and to her family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He just so dishonorable, really. Apparently, mangles like that is only appropriate for locker rooms and Billy Bush. Now -- well, Tlaib was on -- got all the attention. Plenty of people are talking about impeachment. Yesterday on the first day of the new Congress, longtime Democratic Representative Fred Sherman and Al Green introduced articles of impeachment against the President.
Even Bob Bauer, he`s a former White House Counsel under President Obama, a resolutely sober-minded and careful law professor and all-around establishment figure, if ever there was one, published a piece yesterday headlined, "Coming to terms with the impeachment process, the case for starting a formal inquiry."
Impeachment talk is all the rage both from the left increasingly among establishment figures and legal observers like Bauer and even the President and GOP seemed very eager weirdly to talk impeachment, there`s one crucial group that is not. Democratic leadership in the House which at least for now is trying desperately to hold on to the impeachment reins as tightly as they can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We will -- we have to follow the facts. We have to get the facts and we`ll see what the facts lead and maybe that`ll lead to impeachment, maybe it won`t. But it`s much too early.
TRUMP: We even talked about that today. I said, why don`t you use this for impeachment and Nancy said, we`re not looking to impeach you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`ve said it would be sad and divisive for the country to pursue impeachment. Are you willing to rule it out?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, we have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report. We shouldn`t be impeaching for a political reason and we shouldn`t avoid impeachment for a political reason, so we just have to see how it comes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now to help make sense of this internal divide within the coalition I`m joined by Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, Michelle Goldberg Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times. Michelle, there`s -- it was interesting to watch the reaction today because there was like some pearl-clutching from some folks, you`re giving him ammunition, there were some other people who were like --
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: The reaction has made me feel like I`m going insane, right? Like I actually cannot believe that this is a big deal, that this is scandalous or offensive in any way. I mean, first of all, there are a lot of Democrats who have called for impeachment. There are Democrats who have introduced resolutions of impeachment. Rashida Tlaib wrote a very good kind of sober-minded op-ed about all of the reasons why impeachment shouldn`t wait.
And I understand the arguments the contrary, I understand why some Democratic leaders want to hold off until we have the results of the Mueller probe, but it is manifestly obvious that he deserves to be impeached and that a lot of Democratic -- a lot of Democrats feel this way. So are we actually shocked that she has used a curse word about the President of the United States? A curse word by the way that Kanye West used in the Oval Office and nobody pretended to care one way or the other about. I mean, it`s so --
HAYES: I forgot about that.
GOLDBERG: It is blowing my mind. All these people say, oh this is so disrespectful. Disrespectful to Donald Trump?
HAYES: Here`s -- Neera, part of what I think the dynamic here -- and I was on Capitol Hill yesterday talking to people and that this was kind of palpable is that like there`s this sense I think among a certain kind of Beltway crowd and analysts and among the Democratic House leadership and among Republicans that like impeachment will backfire, it`s overreach and it`s bad and that`s going to somehow benefit Donald Trump in some boomerang fashion. And I`m just not -- do you agree that that is a kind of weird conventional wisdom that`s descended over Washington?
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I think the problem that a lot of people have is that they kind of live with the past experience of impeachment with Bill Clinton and I obviously think this is a night and day experience. And so obviously Donald Trump has done a lot of things that if other -- some other President did, there be an impeachment process started already.
On the other hand, I do think that the American people look at impeachment as through the lens of a criminal inquiry. And if that`s not, that may not be the right way to look at it constitutionally but I do think that`s how the public looks at it. And so I think a lot of the public is interested in waiting toward for Mueller.
Now, that doesn`t say -- that doesn`t mean that talking about impeachment or even starting the inquiry around the President`s gross misconduct should be stopped or we need to wait for that. I mean, people can walk and chew gum. There`s investigations flying about what seems to be illegal behavior on a regular basis and we shouldn`t poopoo that. But I think -- I think that -- I think what`s happening in the Beltway is a little bit of a reaction -- is a concern about the public thinking of impeachment as political.
Because truly we don`t want impeachment to be seen as political because Mueller will like may well have findings of criminal behavior and we need all political actors to look at those and take them seriously when it happens.
HAYES: I think -- I think you`re right on both those scores on the 1998 Clinton hangover and on this sort of idea of how the public perceives it. This is -- I want to just play what Rashida Tlaib said tonight in an interview with a local affiliate in her home district. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TLAIB: I -- no one have heard many of -- from many of my residents who are -- keep up the fight Rashida. We love your spirit. We love your passion. They love that I`m real and that I am very much focused on you know, getting the government back up and running but also making sure that held the President United States accountable. I very much hold dearly that I want to impeach this President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: She`s not backing down.
GOLDBERG: Why should she? I mean, and again, I would point out that yes, there`s a lot of good reasons to wait for the Mueller investigation, but as she points out in this very good I bet that she wrote in the in the Detroit Free Press, there are so many legal not political. There are so many reasons to impeach Trump because of the amount, because of his violations of the Emoluments Clause, because of his --
HAYES: He was named in a federal courthouse by a defendant as illegally instructing him to commit a felony.
GOLDBERG: A felony that was kind of crucial to his own election, right? That I mean -- so he has committed crimes, he has obstructed justice. He has ordered the Justice Department to investigate his enemies. I mean he kind of tweets something every other day that in and of itself would be an impeachable offense in a healthy society. And so what -- there`s a -- there`s a legitimate I think political debate about whether we should wait for the Mueller investigation but I don`t think there`s a legitimate debate about Democrats about whether he has done things that plausibly merit impeachment.
HAYES: You know, Neera, one thing I think that was interesting about this episode and yesterday just being on the Capitol in Washington is this sort of a little bit of a generational divide around how Democrats think about their role in the public sphere and who they`re talking to a little bit and worries about being a defensive crouch tonight. Do you think there`s a little bit of an interesting generational thing happening with some of the newer younger members who I think just feel a little less -- a little less burdened or unbridled about how they`re going to sort of go about things rhetorically?
TANDEN: I definitely think there`s a generational divide. I also think frankly there are a lot of people and this is a good thing. There are a lot of people who represent districts that are 80 percent regressive --
HAYES: Yes, good point.
TANDEN: -- and people want to impeach the president and then you know, the full spectrum of the caucus has a lot of people who just won election in swing districts where they relied on Republican votes. And that is the beauty of the Democratic majority which is it has a lot of people who represent you know, Liberals, and that`s fantastic and they should have a voice. I mean. I think -- I think this is an important discussion for the Congress to have.
I also think today the Democrats introduced sweeping legislation to reform political corruption in Washington. And that`s as important a debate with the public as issues like impeachment which are critical -- critically important issues as well.
HAYES: Yes, there`s --
TANDEN: So I think that`s some of the frustration with the discussion. But having said that, I deeply understand the need and desire and want to impeach Donald Trump. I definitely get that. Believe me.
HAYES: Neera Tanden and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both. Have a great weekend. For more on how the impeachment process would unfold I`m joined by former congressman Elizabeth Holtzman who voted to impeach Richard Nixon as a member the House Judiciary Committee and Michael Waldman, President the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School.
So I want to -- we were talking this word about the political dynamics here. I want to talk a little more about the legal and constitutional dynamics and the way they relate. Lawrence Tribe and Josh Matz wrote this book To End a Presidency: The Power the Impeachment, had been writing about it and Josh Chafetz who`s a law professor scholar sort of Congress in the Constitution.
They`ve been all making this point that like it really does matter to not put the cart before the horse for the legitimacy of the process right? That like it has to not be preordained what the outcome is authorize us to show trial and it doesn`t have legitimacy. What do you think of that?
MICHAEL WALDMAN, PRESIDENT, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE, NYU LAW SCHOOL: Well, I do think that to have any legitimacy there has to be a case made to the public in a real tangible, visible, dramatic way about what has gone wrong. And this Congress is one day old. We have not had a minute of public testimony from Michael Cohen, from Donald Trump Jr., from the witnesses who can tell the story that maybe they told to Mueller`s grand jury. I do worry about the idea that this silent G-man is going to deliver the facts.
All the scandals that have made the history in the country, there`s been a real congressional investigation. They have power and they need to use it and that`s what sets the stage for what might be a very legitimate impeachment.
HAYES: Having gone through this yourself, one of the-- not that many people have done it, what do you think?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN (D), FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN, NEW YORK: Well, I think first of all, the statement that the leadership and many Democrats particularly Democrats have been around for a while are caught in the Clinton impeachment process is correct. People have to get past it.
HAYES: Yes. I totally agree that that is on everyone`s mind.
HOLTZMAN: It`s not just -- it`s not just that they have to -- they have pass it to go forward, they have to go over it and backwards because there was one impeachment that did work in the history of this country and that was the impeachment against Richard Nixon. First of all, it was not divisive. In the end, the American people overwhelmingly supported it. Number two, most Americans supported Richard Nixon when he was elected in 1972.
HAYES: Right. By an overwhelming margin, in fact.
HOLTZMAN: By an overwhelming margin. I think he go as one states not like Donald Trump.
HOLTZMAN: By the end, they had to change their minds. They changed their minds, that was amazing.
HAYES: OK, but that`s -- here`s the question. This gets --
HOLTZMAN: And they did that because of the process that was fair, because as Michael said, the facts were brought publicly and they understood the constitutional requirement.
HAYES: OK, but here`s the question. Is that -- do due process and facts matter in 2019 the way they mattered in 1974 and 1975? Because there is a reason to believe they don`t. The persuasion is impossible. The hermetic sealing of certain portions of population are such that no matter how fair you are, no matter how damning the facts are, they cannot penetrate people`s mind to get to level consensus.
HOLTZMAN: Well, you`re not going to penetrate all people`s minds. Even when Richard Nixon resigned was the House Judiciary Committee unanimous.
HAYES: You had 20 --
HOLTZMAN: 20-somewhat percent of the American people support him. We don`t have to persuade all the Americans but you have to persuade a majority of the Americans and that`s got good happen just by slogans. And it`s not going to happen because you don`t like his policies. That`s not the way it`s going to work.
WALDMAN: And remember, the day Bill Clinton was impeached in the Gallup poll, he was at 73 percent.
HAYES: The impeachment in the lame duck. For the love of God, they just lost.
WALDMAN: Well, they lost seats because they were going to impeach him.
WALDMAN: So the politics matters a lot. But here`s an example of something. Rudy Giuliani as you know in his bizarre-pretend lawyer phase says, oh you can`t -- you can`t prosecute a president for obstruction of justice for things that he can do like firing somebody. You certainly can impeach a president for abuse of his power. That was one of the counts against Richard Nixon. And the very kinds of things, the incredible reaching into the independent law enforcement violates people`s sense of the Constitution. It violates people`s sense of right and wrong and they haven`t yet heard it from the mouths of the people who were what blocked.
HOLTZMAN: That`s -- and that`s critical. In Watergate, we did that. The Senate committee did that. But just take one example. The dangling of the pardons. Richard Nixon dangled pardons in front of the burglars. That was one of the ways of keeping them quiet. That was an obstruction of justice. In fact, we used it in two on two counts of impeachment for Nixon. We don`t know all the facts about Donald Trump and the pardons. We know that he appears to have dangled them but those facts have to be brought out.
If you bring out those facts, if you bring and they show that the President actually authorized it, was involved in that, and tried to stop the investigation by offering pardons, you show the American people the precedent with regard to Nixon. You show them what the Constitution says which is high crimes and misdemeanors, egregious misuse of powers, then you begin to persuade the majority, the overwhelming majority to support.
WALDMAN: And there is a link I think to what Neera Tanden mentioned which is the introduction today of really sweeping democracy reform legislation, campaign finance reform, public financing, automatic voter registration, ethics rules, people see this all as a response to the attack on our democracy. And again, it`s part of building a public case that has a broad consensus --
HAYES: About Democratic integrity, about fighting corruption. Right.
WALDMAN: And that not only makes things go smoother, it helps build a public argument for a different approach across a whole bunch of different areas.
HAYES: Is there timing question in your mind? Like part of -- part of what`s strange here is I mean to what Michelle was saying and what Tlaib is like there`s a bunch of stuff already up there. Like put Mueller aside, right?
HOLTZMAN: Only some of it is active. That`s part of a good example. We have tantalizing tidbits about this. Do you have enough of a case? In my opinion, not quite yet. So somebody wrote an article in The Times saying that impeachment was inevitable. I don`t know that impeachment is inevitable but the prelude to impeachment has to be inevitable and that is full investigation --
HAYES: Inquiry and investigation.
HOLTZMAN: And this Michael said, they had -- a lot of this has to be in a public eye because it`s a public education function. That has not been performed.
WALDMAN: Donald Trump finally has investigators. He can`t fire or threaten to fire and there`s a T.V. camera watching. Let`s see what happens.
HAYES: Liz Holtzman and Michael Waldman, great to have you both. Thank you. Have a great weekend. Next, with no end in sight for the Trump shutdown, the President says he`s prepared to keep the government closed. This is serious, he says this, for months or even a year. A look at the potential breaking points in two minutes.
HAYES: The President is now threatening to keep the government shut down for months or even years. He said it himself at his press conference this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, Senator Schumer came out and said that the meeting from his point of view and Speaker Pelosi`s is contentious. He also said you said in the meeting, this is him quoting you, I just want to check, that the shutdown could go on for months or even a year or longer. Did you say that --
TRUMP: I did. I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that your -- is that your assessment of where we are?
TRUMP: Absolutely I said that. I don`t think it will but I am prepared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, remember, this shutdown is all over funding for a mythical and perhaps metaphorical, though not clear, border wall with Mexico that Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for so we wouldn`t have to, and he offered no details today about how Mexico would pay for it. When he was specifically asked about it, he filibustered about the trade deal. It`s now been two weeks since Trump initiated the shutdown. The pressure is building.
The partial shutdown of the IRS means there could be delays sending out tax refunds across the country which is going to become very relevant very soon. Experts are also warning the shutdown of the SEC could hurt company`s ability to raise capital and conduct mergers. Now, a new report says hundreds of TSA officers who`ve been working without paychecks, I talked to one over the weekend, have begun calling in sick at major airports. Even though according to Trump, the hundreds of thousands of people going without paychecks are some of the strongest supporters of his shutdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Many of those people, maybe even most of those people that really have not been and will not be getting their money in at this moment, those people in many cases are the biggest fan of what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And joining me now Democratic Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota. Senator, after the -- after the meeting today with what Schumer and Pelosi had to say, what the President to say, how long is this going to go?
SEN. TINA SMITH (D), MINNESOTA: Well, this is just such a waste and it needs to not go on any longer. The President needs to end this. Think about what a waste this is for American taxpayers, the farmers that are waiting to get in touch with the Department of Agriculture, and think about what it means for the federal employees who are public servants and can`t work. And I`m very focused along with some of my colleagues on the impact that this has on contract federal workers.
These are the almost invisible people who clean federal office buildings, work in the cafeterias, and they are contract workers and they have no way of getting paid, and they are living paycheck to paycheck just like most Americans do, and it`s just wrong that they`re being used as a bargaining chip here.
HAYES: So but that they are. I mean, I guess the question is what changes the equilibrium right? Because that -- what you have described has been true for two weeks by and large. What changes that when we`ve started to see news about TSA employees calling in sick because they are now on week three so airports having a hard time staffing, IRS tax refunds in the future, like is there some breaking point?
SMITH: Well, I mean -- I think we are at a breaking point. And when I hear the President say that this could go on for months or even years, I am thinking just how clueless he is about the impact that this having on people`s lives. And the bill that I`m working on with my colleagues in the Senate would be working to address the impact of contract workers by making sure that they get the backpay that they deserve.
But meanwhile, what ought to happen is the bills that have passed the House and have passed the Senate, they ought to be passed by the Senate again and sent to the president and he should sign them into law.
HAYES: Did you notice today that it was weird. Senator Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Senator Thune, none of them were in the White House Rose Garden as far as I can tell which was strange because the last I checked there are two houses of Congress and the ball is sort of in your court over there in the Senate.
SMITH: Well, that`s exactly right. And the Republicans are in charge of the Senate, and they should be working with the President to end the shutdown as quickly as they can. It`s strange to me that they sort of have stepped back from this. And we all need to be stepping into this and resolving this, and we know what to do. We have a solution for getting us out of this mess.
And I think that is so important for the President to understand that the people that are impacted most directly by this right now are -- they`re not retreating behind their ten-foot walls and living the life of Riley. These are people that live as somebody said this woman who is a federal contract worker, 71 years old, a grandmother she says if I don`t get paid, I don`t pay my bills. And the impact that has on people`s lives is immediate and a big deal.
HAYES: The President had this to say. He`s been floating this idea. It`s like many things the President floats. I don`t know if it`s real or not, but he did -- has floated the idea of employing emergency powers to unilaterally order wall construction. Take a listen to what he had to say. I`d like to get your reaction to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you considered using emergency powers to grant yourself authorities to build this wall without congressional approval. And second, on Mexico --
TRUMP: Yes, I have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have.
TRUMP: Yes I have. And I can do it if I want to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don`t need congressional approval to build --
TRUMP: No we can use them. Absolutely, we can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. No, we do it. I haven`t done it. I may do it. I may do it. But we could call a national emergency and build it very quickly and it`s another way of doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Is that true to your mind?
SMITH: I think the President should be reading the Constitution and watching the cable news less. He is claiming that he has unilateral powers to -- and he doesn`t. This is a -- this is a democracy. This is a republic and I am distressed to hear him not understand what powers he has.
HAYES: I guess my final question is you`re a senator from Minnesota and I guess you know, what are your constituents -- what do you hear from constituents about how badly they want the border wall to be built down in Texas, in Arizona, in New Mexico?
SMITH: My constituents in Minnesota understand something really fundamental which is that we need strong border security, we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need a path to citizenship for people who`ve been here working hard for a long time, and we need an immigration system that works, and the border wall accomplishes none of that. They want to hear real solutions. They don`t want to just hear political talk about political symbols. And I think that`s why they are so turned off by the discussion that is coming from the President right now.
HAYES: All right, Senator Tina Smith, thank you very much.
SMITH: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Coming up, new details about the length one Trump golf course went to hide the fact that they employed undocumented immigrants. That story next.
HAYES: While the President continues to shut down the government over his and rail against unauthorized immigrants as diseased criminals and terrorists, he`s apparently happy to employ them at low pay on his various properties. The New York Times has previously brought us stories of women who say they worked at the President`s Bedminster golf club without documents and with, crucially, the knowledge of management.
Now, we have an even more striking example. An Ecuadorian woman named Emma Torres saying not only did she work there without authorization, the club actively helped conceal her from the Secret Service when Donald Trump was a candidate in 2016. Here with me now, Attorney Anibal Romero who represents five women who say they worked at Trump`s Bedminster Golf Club as undocumented immigrants including Emma Torres. Good to have you here.
ANIBAL ROMERO, ATTORNEY: Thank you. Thank you so much.
HAYES: So what did the club do to conceal her from The Secret Service according to your client?
ROMERO: Sure. So Emma worked there in 2016 and what she says is that there was a day where someone walked into the kitchen. She was working as a housekeeper at first, was transferred over to the kitchen. She cooked for the President, and someone asked her to put her name, her social security number on a piece of paper.
Obviously, she knew that this could possibly be a problem so she walked over to human resources and said I think we have a problem. I`m undocumented, my friends are undocumented, you guys know this. What are we going to do about this, and they said you`re right. Give me the names of the people who are undocumented, we`re going to strike them from the list.
HAYES: So you -- so what you`re saying is the management at the President`s own club when he`s -- when he`s on the campaign in 2016 and he`s running on Mexico sending rapists on the wall on all of the ways in which immigrants are destroying the country, is his management at his own Club is actively concealing from the Secret Service the identities of unauthorized immigrants who work there.
ROMERO: Yes. So I represent five women now. I have spoken to eight people who claim to have worked there in the past. One of my clients worked there in 2010. My client Victorina Morales has worked there recently until a couple of weeks ago. So apparently this is a pattern in practice. Some of them claim that management helped them obtain these fraudulent documents in order to work there. These are serious crimes and that is why we have been calling for a federal investigation, a state investigation, and I think now with the Secret Service incident, I think, congressional investigation.
HAYES: I guess, to argue on the other side of this, I mean, are you an immigration lawyer?
ROMERO: I am an immigration attorney.
HAYES: Right, so I don`t think you would want the takeaway for people to be like we need to crack down on these businesses that are employing people like my clients, right?
ROMERO: Well, here`s the problem, it is not illegal to work in the United States, but it is illegal when an employer takes advantage of a person because they`re undocumented. That`s a crime. And, look, we all know they`re here. There are 12 million people who are here. They`re good people. They`re decent people.
Miriam Jordan did something extraordinary for The New York Times, she got a woman to speak and come out of the shadows. She represents 12 million people in the same situation who are asking for some sort of help.
HAYES: This woman who came forward and said we are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us (inaudible), when he knows that we are helping him make money. Do you think the president knows that? Do you think he knows?
ROMERO: We have no evidence, but what I could tell you is that Victorina Morales (ph), Sandra Diaz (ph), worked in his house. They had direct contact with the first lady, with the president. They were managed by a woman who was described by them as personal assistant to the first lady. That is why we`re asking for a federal investigation and state authorities investigation to decide who knew.
HAYES; What is it like to watch the president shut down the government over the wall, to go around talking about the grave security threat that is posed by undocumented immigrants, particularly those who are actively seeking asylum, trying to turn themselves in, while it is the case that his own business apparently habitually is violating immigration law?
ROMERO: Right, that is the hypocrisy here. That is why these women have done is brave, they are courageous. I am shocked the news is not all over this, because quite clearly...
HAYES: Its the core premise of his entire presidency.
HAYES: The first thing he said was, if there`s one thing I`m going to do as president is shut this down and make it hard to come here without papers.
ROMERO: In the case of Emma Torres (ph), she was cooking for him. Victorina Morales (ph), she was cleaning his toilet.
HAYES: You know, there`s another irony here, which is that part of the shutdown is actually shutting down the eVerify system, which is the digital system that is used to essentially try to prevent companies from hiring folks who are undocumented.
ROMERO: Right, so in New Jersey it is not mandatory, but immigration courts are also shut down. I have not -- my clients have not been able to appear in front of an immigration judge. There are 750,000 people right now in removal proceedings who are not going to court. So you cannot remove them from the United States while the government is shut down.
HAYES: Wait. So what you`re saying is, the government is shut down punitively over border security and the construction of the wall. The shutdown means that you actually cannot issue an order of removal...
HAYES: ...for an unauthorized immigrant who`s been found to violate the law.
ROMERO: Yes. And that includes criminal aliens. So on Monday, there is no immigration court all over the country. And we`re just sitting here waiting.
HAYES: How long do you think that can go on?
ROMERO: As long as the shutdown is.
HAYES: What is it doing to the system?
ROMERO: It`s really a problem. It really is. Because when you think about it, 750,000 people in removal proceedings. Now, there are 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We all know it is impossible, virtually impossible to remove them. That is why I think Republicans and Democrats should sit down and talk about what is the real solution here?
HAYES: What would it mean if the president knew? What would it mean if he or his advisers or his family knew that they were doing this, that they actively hiring folks who were not documented?
ROMERO: It is a federal crime to knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.
HAYES: Anibal Romero, thank you for your time.
ROMERO: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Still ahead, the president`s desperate grab for attention and how to make sense of anything he says. I have a theory about that. I`ll explain ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it has been quite a thing indeed to watch how all the boys in the GOP are behaving around the new girl on campus, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They are obsessed. They are obsessed with her outfits, apparently too nice for an advocate for the working class to wear. One conservative writer even tweeted a stuck her (ph) photo of the congresswoman taken from behind in the halls of the Capitol with a snide comment about her jacket and coat. She`s been mocked in right wing circles for saying that she couldn`t afford to rent an apartment in Washington until she started receiving her congressional salary. Median rent in D.C. is $2,700, by the way.
And then yesterday the first day of the new congress, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex stood up and voted for Nancy Pelosi as speaker, a bunch of those boys on the Republican side booed at the sight of her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ocasio-Cortez.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK: Nancy Pelosi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pelosi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You can see her mouth an exaggerated "sorry guys" there. And later in the day she clapped back on Twitter writing over 200 members voted for Nancy Pelosi today, yet the GOP only booed one, me. Don`t hate me `cause you ain`t me, fellas.
Now that was a pretty sad display by the grown men of the Republican Party, and a weird one, I will note. But now somebody has unearthed an old video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in college, and people have truly lost their minds. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is living rent free in the minds of many conservatives. And so when an old video of her as a college student emerged, some of them darned near lost their minds. Prepare yourself, we`re going to show some of it here. Oh, my god, she`s dancing. She is dancing.
The silly video was made by a group of student ambassadors at Boston University. They showed it at a hockey game that season and during orientation. Ocasio-Cortez and her classmates were playing homage to the classic `80s movie The Breakfast Club, doing all the same famous dance moves from the famous scene in that movie.
This was supposed to be an attack on the congresswoman, a humiliating leaked video. The Twitter account that first published the clip wrote, quote, "here is America`s favorite commie know it all acting like the clueless nitwit she is."
But most people, I should say right and left, have had a very different reaction. Charlotte Alter (ph) writes, "I keep rewatching the AOC dancing video and can`t find the problem. She`s having fun, has friends, likes music."
And this from Elan Gail (ph), "it`s hard for me to figure out why AOC would or should feel embarrassed about videos of her having a good time and dancing in high school" -- it was actually college -- "when Paul Ryan took these photos while running for vice president."
AOC herself seems to have taken it all in stride. "I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous, wait till they find out congresswomen dance too."
HAYES: Since literally the first day of his campaign, Donald Trump has been smearing undocumented immigrants as criminals and terrorists. And since becoming president, he has marshaled the authority and weight of the federal government to continue to slander immigrants.
A year ago, the Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions, along with the Department of Homeland Security, released a report attempting to tie immigrants to terrorism by making the case that foreign terrorists were essentially invading the country. It contained a whole variety of official statistics that close observers quickly pointed out were either wildly misleading or downright bogus.
For instance, the Department of Justice asserted between 2003 and 2009 immigrants were convicted of 69,929 sex offenses, which, quoting the report, "in most instances constitutes gender based violence against women," except that wasn`t true at all. The Washington Post points out that the nearly 70,000 offenses spanned a period from 1955 to 2010, 55 years, not six. Again, not six years like they claimed, 55 years. Oh, and also, the data was arrests, not convictions. There`s a very big difference.
The report also listed 402 foreign born individuals convicted of terrorism related offenses, but what the report did not mention is that about a hundred of them had only come to the U.S. because they had been extradited here to face trial. Those are not immigrants.
So shocking was this blatantly false propaganda that several government watchdog and civil liberty groups in May sued the two agencies in two federal courts seeking a retraction or correction under the little known Information Quality Act.
After a protracted back and forth, the DOJ refused to issue an official correction, but it is now saying in future reports the department can strive to minimize the potential for misinterpretation.
Oh, well, thanks, I guess.
But here`s the thing, using official government entities to deceive and mislead and to slander has become so commonplace, and has so infected the the brain of the president and his allies that slanderous zombie statistics keep roaming the Earth, like this one from this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This isn`t just about stopping people from coming across, it`s about stopping terrorists from coming across, it`s about stopping drugs from flowing across the border of our country.
Last year alone, there were nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists that CBP picked up that came across our southern border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. Think about that manifestly and obviously fake statistic for a second. Do you think that even sounds in the ballpark of right? Just, you know, nearly 4,000 terrorists apprehended at the southern border we didn`t know about? Of course not.
The data was provided to the Department of Homeland Security,and apparently refers to suspected terrorists that were prevented from traveling to the U.S. from across the globe, all of the countries in this great blue Earth of ours, mainly at airports.
That, of course, hasn`t stopped Trump TV, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the House minority whip from parroting that statistic when talking specifically about border security and the wall.
And just how long until it`s coming out of the president`s mouth? Because if there one thing we know is that no bigoted fake fact is ever very far from permanently embedding itself into the president`s brain. That`s how his mind seems to work. Something that`s been on disturbing display this week. We`re going to talk about that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They want to be able to see through it. You can`t really see through a concrete wall. They want to be able to see whose on the other side of the wall. They want to be able to see through the wall. A see- through wall made out of steel is far stronger than a concrete wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nothing`s stronger than see-through steel, I guess?
For the second time this week, the president spoke at length and extemporaneously. And the thing about when he does that is that he makes absolutely no sense.
Setting aside the lies and the demagoguery, you just cannot follow what the president`s saying.
So here`s how I`ve come to understand the way his brain functions. It`s like a heavily polluted stream with little bits of detritus that other people have thrown in there, whether a Fox News pundit or random Mar-a-Lago member that successfully button-holed him at an event, or some adviser whispering in his ear. And when the president talks, you can just like watch these little bits of flotsam and jetsam floating by. See if you can spot any for yourselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They get off the road and they drive out into the desert and they come in. They make a left turn, usually it`s a left, not a right. These coyotes and these human traffickers, they make a right turn before they get to the port of entry, they go as far as the wall is or as far as the barricade is, and then they make a left. Welcome to the United States.
Now what they`ll do, if we have the protection and we have strong ports of entry with this incredible drug-finding equipment, I don`t know what they`re going to do, because they`re not coming in past the steel gates or the steel walls, or the concrete walls demanding on what`s happening.
So when they make that turn, they make it, and now all of the sudden they can`t go any further, and they have to go back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If someone if your workplace or your family started talking like, you would probably be kind of worried, but somehow we`ve all come to accept it from the most powerful man in the world.
For more on the president`s broken brain, I`m joined by MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell, co-host of Signal Boost on Sirius/XM Progress; and MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of The Majority Report.
Zerlina, am I wrong? I watched all 90 minutes of the cabinet meeting. I watched the bulk of this today, and I literally just can`t follow big parts of it.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, CO-HOST, SIGNAL BOOST: Well, no, you`re not wrong, Chris. But this has been happening for the past three years. And I don`t know if it was because I was on the campaign in 2016, but, you know, while you`re working on a campaign, you can`t always watch everything the president is saying live, or then candidate Trump, was saying live. So you`re left reading transcripts. And I`m telling you, Chris, when you read the transcripts of what President Trump is saying, it makes no sense.
So, I have felt for the past three years that he has been completely incoherent. And the battle that we normally see in politics between Republicans and Democrats is really been a three-year battle between Donald Trump and reality. And he is not living in the same objective reality as the rest of us, and that is concerning when you`re dealing with serious public policy.
So, while it`s humorous, it`s also very serious and it could be potentially dangerous.
HAYES: Yeah, the point about the transcripts is great, because if you ever read the transcript, it just doesn`t scan, like it just needs to be edited. It literally does not scan. But it`s also -- to Zerlina`s point, there actual tangible consequences. There`s like right now ostensibly the government is shut down over a wall, although it`s not a wall, although it`s border security, although it`s concrete, although it`s steel, like it matters in the sense that because there is no like operating coherence inside his mind, we don`t know what the government`s shut down over.
SAM SEDER, CO-HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: Well, yeah. No, look, I think -- and again, there is really no way to know for sure, but he -- you know, there has been this pattern with the wall. Early on there was transcripts released about his conversation with the last president of Mexico saying like just say you`re going to pay for the wall.
HAYES: Right. I remember that. That`s right.
SEDER: The wall is some talisman for him. And, you know, look I`m not -- I don`t know what`s going on with the president. I`ve come across people who talk like that. Usually they`re heavily medicated. I have no idea what`s going on with the president, but the wall is stuck in his head. And he is convinced his audience wants a wall. And it almost seems like he is trying to like negotiate with the Twitter followers.
HAYES: Yes, with them. That`s right.
SEDER: You know, it`s a wall. You know, there is really no difference between concrete and steel and a fence and maybe like these other things. And that`s what it seems like, there is some process going on in his mind that he thinks it`s working in some fashion. I don`t know that it is.
HAYES: That is right. But the thing you said is what strikes me all the time, it`s just he`s stuck in his head. Right, Zerlina? Like, one of the things that a president does more than any other thing they do is have to process a lot of information. And there are incredible processes put in place to get information to the most important decision maker in the American government and make sure that information is vetted and he makes decisions or she makes decisions based on it. And that`s the thing, like the information in that guy`s head, lord knows where it comes from. But a thing gets said to him somewhere and it is stuck in there.
MAXWELL: Right, he only half pays attention, so he only gets half of the information correct, that`s why he says crazy things about Andrew Jackson, for example.
And so I think that the bottom line is that you need to vet the information getting to the president, not because you don`t want people placing things on his desk like Omarosa was placing Breitbart articles and all kinds kinds of other things, you need the information to be vetted because like Nancy Pelosi said, you need to operate from the same set of facts.
MAXWELL: ...when you`re dealing with public policy.
And so the big issue I think that we`ve been dealing with from the beginning is that he is not living on the same planet. He is not living in the reality where you have a certain set of facts and then we can work through the details. We`re talking and trying to negotiate with somebody who is literally living in an alternate reality where there are terrorist flooding over the border, where there are folks I guess throwing drugs over the wall.
HAYES: Turning left and then right.
MAXWELL: Hitting people on the head. I mean, you know, sometimes it`s funny, but on the other hand, it`s not because we`ve shut down the government over this alternate reality.
HAYES: To Zerlina`s point of that, he said this thing, Rachel did this amazing piece about this last night, but he said this thing about the Russians invading Afghanistan the other day, just busted out the cabinet meeting, which I want to play. And it`s like take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight, and literally, they went bankrupt. They went into being called Russia again as opposed to the Soviet Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. You want to talk about an esoteric view that is not widely shared across the ideological spectrum or globally, like the Soviet Union was right to invade Afghanistan because terrorists were incurring. Like, where did he get that?
SEDER: Well, I don`t know. I mean, you know, it could have been anybody. It could have been -- I mean, anybody around him that he just heard it because I don`t think he`s actually going out and trying to find out these answers.
HAYES: That`s the point. That`s the point. If you get to him and you put something in his head, it will stay there.
SEDER: And the amazing thing too, is that he`s sitting in a room with presumably, right, everyone in that room is an expert.
MAXWELL: The people.
SEDER: Well, theoretically.
SEDER: Has some expertise...
HAYES: In an ideal world, yes.
SEDER: On, you know, like sort of these broad questions of geopolitical history.
SEDER: And he is telling them as if he`s describing it to a 5-year-old. Like literally, like it turned from Russia, you know, the Soviet Union into Russia. Like, they get it. They know this stuff. And it`s unclear who he thinks he`s explaining it to, it`s almost as if he`s trying to sort of express, like, look, see? I wrote my name by myself. I mean I`m just relating this to my own 6-year-old.
HAYES: Well, this is the thing is that we all now deal with this level of cognition and analysis and like logical sequencing. It`s so funny, Zerlina, because when you see another Republican,even like Lindsey Graham, right, like when Lindsey Graham comes away and he makes an argument that the president is making, it`s like, oh, that`s -- I don`t agree with that argument or I think it`s a bad argument or it`s like a little logically duplicitous, but it`s a coherent set of sentences strung together.
You always wake up to the fact of like what exactly is going on when you watch another politician ride in to make an argument on behalf of Trump.
Zerlina Maxwell, and Sam Seder, thank you very much for joining me. All right that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. I hope I`m not too early. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END