CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Keep thinking. The important thing is to pick a leader not just another protester like Donald Trump, a protester. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISOR FOR POLICY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The powers of the President to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.
HAYES: A full-scale purge at DHS.
MILLER: That is a major event.
HAYES: As the President reportedly turns over immigration policy to Stephen Miller and reportedly orders the renewal and expansion of family separation.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: This administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border.
HAYES: Tonight, 2020 candidate Kamala Harris on Kirstjen Nielsen`s departure and what comes next.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you dispute that separating a child from their parent will create and cause trauma?
HAYES: Then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe Democrats will never see the President`s tax returns?
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: Oh, no, never.
HAYES: The new tactic Democrats are using to get Donald Trump`s tax return. Plus, new outrage over remarks by the President to a crowd of Jewish Americans.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stood with the Prime Minister at the White House.
HAYES: And why Beto O`Rourke is standing by his description of the President`s dark rhetoric on immigration.
BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Calling human beings an infestation is something that we might have expected to hear in Nazi Germany.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Incited by his most militant anti-immigrant adviser, the President is right now purging the top ranks of the Department of Homeland Security in order to install officials who will obey illegal order from the president in order to inflict maximum cruelty on people seeking refuge here in the U.S.
The most prominent official out stood in that purged Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who became the face of the administration`s infamous and odious child separation policy. She carried water for the President, lied to Congress and the public insisting time and time again that no such policy ever existed.
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NIELSEN: This administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border.
Again, we do not have a policy to separate children from their parents. Our policy is if you break the law, we will prosecute.
You`re calling me a liar fighting words. I`m not a liar. We`ve never had a policy for family separation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: They did have a policy for family separation. It`s in a memo that Senator Jeff Merkley got his hands on. He`ll join me in just a bit. But despite strenuously defending Trump`s policies, executing them even then they were monstrous and advocating for his wall, Nielsen appears to been insufficiently despotic for this president.
According to the New York Times, the President called Nielsen at home early in the mornings to demand that she take action to stop migrants from entering the country including doing things that were clearly illegal such as blocking all migrants from seeking asylum.
Nielsen reportedly pushed back. NBC News report she also resisted efforts by the president to reinstate his child separation policy, the one that she said didn`t exist in time and time again and reminded him it was prohibited by a court order last year.
On the other hand Nielsen reportedly regained some footing with the president when Border Patrol agents used tear gas to repel large crowd attempting to break through a border fence, the kind of tough action Trump said he wanted in the DHS Secretary. It was not apparently cruel enough.
Nielsen joined several other senior DHS officials on their way out the door including the U.S. Secret Service Director and the Acting Director of ICE, and now more officials are reportedly expected to join them including the Department`s general counsel, the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the undersecretary for management who`s currently next in line to succeed Nielsen as Secretary.
All of that purging and there`s not really a better word, could pave the way for the President to install his chosen successor which appears to be the current head of Customs and Border Patrol Kevin McAleenan who according to NBC News has not ruled out family separation as an option.
The whole purge appears to have been engineered by one person, the President`s 33-year-old senior adviser Stephen Miller who has long and quite publicly dreamed of curving all immigration in the U.S., not just unauthorized immigration. And when the top ranks of the DHS cleared out, Miller now has free reign to run the administration`s immigration policy.
According to The Wall Street Journal, an administration official says the President recently told Miller you`re in charge. Now, this all comes against the backdrop of the genuine surge in the number of Central American children and families that are crossing the southern border, most of them seeking asylum.
But instead of coming up the plan to deal with the surge, Miller and the president choose to heighten their brutality.
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TRUMP: Whether it`s asylum, whether it`s anything you want, it`s illegal immigration, we can`t take you anymore. We can`t take you. Our country is full, our area is full, the sector is full. We can`t take you anymore. I`m sorry. It can`t happen. So turn around. That`s the way it is.
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HAYES: MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff has been all over the story of the President`s child separation policy since the beginning. He`s been covering what`s actually going on at the border as well. Jacob, Nielsen, whatever happened behind closed doors, she through her own volition publicly, repeatedly was one of the most vociferous advocates for some of the most notorious policies of this president on immigration.
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: The idea that she should get some credit today because she pushed back on President Trump`s reboot of family separation is a joke. I mean and I heard Chris time and time again after President Trump ended the separations which I saw with my own eyes down there at the McAllen Border Patrol processing station that within her group, her team, Team Nielsen.
They regretted that executive order being signed because they felt that they were close to the underlying policy goal which is still the goal that Kevin McAleenan supports which is number one, holding families in jail basically, in detention for the entire duration of their asylum process and then turning around immediately young, undocumented, unaccompanied minors and sending them home at the minute they set foot on U.S. soil.
HAYES: It`s worth taking a moment just to say that the child separation policy is not over and the moral and very human runes of it remain. This is from some of the headlines recently. The U.S. says it could take two years to identify up to thousands of separated immigrant families. These are in a class that started before the official beginning the policy. HuffPost with an article about the way that it discard the kids for life one year after Trump`s zero-tolerance immigration policy, families who say their children was drawn, depressed and self-harming.
SOBOROFF: So 65 kids that we know of from the zero tolerance period are still in federal custody and have been reunited. That`s on top of the thousands more that HHS is Office of Inspector General identified saying we`re potentially separated. And just like you said, on Friday we learned from this court filing in federal court that it could take up to two years to ultimately reunite all of those children or at least identify them and then figure out if they need to be reunited.
When you played that clip of the President saying, sorry we`re full. That`s just the way that is. Turn around. The idea that that`s some new tough talk from the President is also ridiculous. That`s been the message all along.
SOBOROFF: It didn`t work as a deterrent during separations, it didn`t work for the remain in Mexico policy which by the way was put on hold by a court today. And it`s not going to work again whatever preposterous extreme immigration policy they come up with.
HAYES: This is -- the basic dynamic you point to here which is -- which is the underlying problem here and you`re right that today a judge blocked the remain in Mexico policy is these people are fleeing genuine misery and despair and in some cases what you might describe his terror, just the homicide rates and things like that.
And so the President and Steven Miller want to scare them away and they`re locked in a battle of just you know, of fear with the most notorious street gangs in all the Western Hemisphere kind of hard battle to win.
SOBOROFF: And why is anybody surprised by this? President Trump said his first moment as a candidate, Mexicans are rapists and criminals. He`s not focusing on the number one source of undocumented immigration to this country, people that overstay their he says in fly into the United States. You don`t need a wall to block that type of immigration.
He talks about people that have brown skin that looked different from him they come across the southern border because he`s obsessed with it and he thinks that`s how he`s going to win elections. The real-world consequences are despicable frankly having seen them with my own eyes. And he just wants every to know that he`s a big fan of them.
HAYES: All right, Jacob Soboroff, as always, thank you. My next guest launched his own investigation, helped blow the whistle on the administration`s child separation policy Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Before we get into what happened today and what happens next, just for the record replaying those lies from Kirstjen Nielsen about we have no such policy. She said it under oath before Congress, before the American public time and time again. I mean, you got your hands on the document that showed that to be a lie.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Absolutely. It`s so disturbing to see an official the United States lying to the American people. Now, it`s not rare in this administration. We`ve seen it from Trump. We have seen it from official after official. But in this case, there`s a well-documented path. In fact, it was just two weeks into the administration when they first started publicly talking about child separation.
And as you noted, there were thousands, an estimated thousands of children who were separated from their parents even before zero tolerance was launched by Jeff Sessions. So she has lied to the American people. She`s been in charge of the darkest most evil policy we`ve seen in America in a very long time. I`m glad she`s gone. She should have resigned in protest long ago.
HAYES: What happens now? I mean, obviously, lots of people like yourself have called for her to leave that job. but how is today`s news landed on Capitol Hill? It`s very rare to see an outright purge against a federal agency like what we`re seeing a kind of decapitation of the political leadership. What`s the word on Capitol Hill as your colleagues and yourself watch this?
MERKLEY: Well, people are bracing for the battle to come because the president wants someone who will be even worse than Kirstjen Nielsen. And Kevin McAleenan, well, he`s been in charge of some of these policies. He`s been in charge of the blockade which prevents people from asserting their international right to ask for asylum on the border.
Children have often been absolutely unable to get any form of opportunity to ask for asylum. He`s been in charge previously of child separation. He now has this idea which I would call a chooser trauma because he`s saying well, maybe the families will have to choose, maybe I can make them choose between locked up in internment camps or being separated from their children. Which trauma do you want to inflict on your child is what he`s advocating for. We`re going to be in a big battle over this.
HAYES: Well, you might be in a battle or the president might attempt essentially an end run around the Constitution`s advice and consent provision insofar as he`s done in many other places which is what do you do if he just elevates essentially enacting which he appears intent on doing and then just never comes to the Senate with the nominees, something he`s done at the Department of Defense apparently.
MERKLEY: The battle will go to the appropriation bills on how the president spends money. It`ll go to the court. So we`ll be in a battle no matter what strategy the president chooses to enhance internment camps in America or enhance child separation. These do so much damage to children. And there`s a great alternative called the Family Case Management Program that costs less and people chew up their hearings and that`s what the president says he wants.
HAYES: I want to read you what the report of what the President said to border agents behind the scenes during his visit last week. He told border agents not to let migrants in, tell them we don`t have capacity. If judges give you trouble, say sorry judge I can`t do it. We don`t have the room.
The President appears quite openly to be searching for people that will quite literally disobey and break the law for him. What are you going to do about that?
MERKLEY: Yes. Well, this is why it`s going to be battle in every tool we have, the funding battle, the court battle, and the public relations battle. I`ve been down on the border a few weeks ago in Tijuana. I went to seven of the shelters across the border. I met with families who had been rebuffed at the border time and time again.
They were allowed to enter their names into a book in which after a number of weeks they might possibly get a credible fear hearing. But those under 18 were not allowed to even put their name in the book. They were stranded on some of the most dangerous streets in the world at various border town across our southern border and it`s a horrendous thing to do.
And the result is eventually they have to choose from being in danger on the streets with the sex industry, with the gang industry, with kidnappings, with brutality, with rapes or go cross the border illegally. And so the President is actually incentivizing people by blocking the ports of entry. He`s incentivizing people to cross between the ports of entry, the exact opposite of what he`s told the American people.
HAYES: Right. Senator Jeff Merkley who has been focused on this issue quite a bit from the beginning, thank you very much.
MERKLEY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Congresswoman Nanette Barragan of California. She sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, just returned from her trip to the border in El Paso Texas, not her first trip to the border. What is your reaction to what happened today and what it augers for what this administration is about to try to do?
REP. NANETTE BARRAGAN (D-CA): Well, I think it shows how much chaos is going on in the Department of Homeland Security, how disorganized and how chaotic it is. My concern is certainly what is to come. I was just at the border as you mentioned this weekend and what I saw down there was heartbreaking.
We saw photos of families being held under this bridge and everybody thought the problem was fixed. That`s not the case. What I saw there were families were simply moved to another location. They have three tents instead of one, but you still have four-month-old children living outside in these tents with the same clothes for days on end. It`s completely unacceptable.
HAYES: Well, here`s the argument that the administration makes and not just the administration I`d like you to respond to it which is basically we do not have the present systematic capacity to process the number of families particularly with small children we have. We have a system that was designed to essentially apprehend and process single men who are attempting to cross without authorization. We`re now getting families and asylum applications. We need to do something. What do you say?
BARRAGAN: Well, Congress just allocated $415 million in humanitarian relief and I don`t know where that money is gone. I`d certainly didn`t see it in action down there at the border this weekend. And that`s a question we need to ask making sure that we follow up on because we`ve given them money. And look, we`re in the United States of America. They need to find a way to humanely treat people at the border, and that`s the bottom line.
HAYES: Do you -- I want to -- I want to play -- read you something -- some reporting about Stephen Miller`s are all in all this that he has recently been telephoning mid-level officials at several federal departments and agencies to angrily demand they do more to stem the flow of immigrants in the country, according to two people familiar with the calls. It`s caused several officials have sometimes included discussions about poor work performance among colleagues according to a source briefed on one such conversation.
How much do you think he`s driving this and what does it mean if he is?
BARRAGAN: Well, I think it means that we`re in for a big fight to come. I think it means that Congress has to continue to have oversight hearings and we have to keep up the fight because if he`s leading this and that is what we`re all hearing, there -- we`re in trouble.
I mean, this is a guy who doesn`t believe in the value of immigrants and we`re seeing firsthand and hearing accounts. If they try to re-implement this policy of zero tolerance, we`re going to have to go full on with this administration certainly when we passed appropriations bills and the Department of Homeland Security, rather the Committee for Homeland Security has to keep these oversight hearings coming.
We were scheduled to have Secretary Nielsen`s to come before our committee again on May 1st to talk about the budget. It looks like maybe we`ll still see the new Acting Secretary come and we`ll have to ask those tough questions.
HAYES: Are you concerned that the administration might try to do things illegally and were not actually be forthright about what they`re doing?
BARRAGAN: Absolutely. We`ve certainly had the Secretary lie to Congress. We`ve had officials lied to me when I go down to the border. And I`ve been at the border enough times to see what is happening and people being turned away at the ports of entry even though we hear otherwise.
Now, this weekend we had a CBP basically admit they were turning people away at the port of entry, talking about the list. They also -- Border Patrol told me that they were implementing the remain of Mexico policy started the week before. And I got to speak to one of the guys who was the architect of that from D.C. was on the ground there.
And so I was certainly glad to see a court today say no you`re not going to do this. But no doubt this is an administration who`s doing whatever they can, not -- just a basic disregard for the law, and this is where the courts are so critical and where the oversight for Congress is critical, and we have to continue and not let up on this.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Nanette Barragan from California, great to have you.
BARRAGAN: Thank you.
HAYES: After the break, she was the very first senator to call for Homeland Security Nielsen`s resignation, Kamala Harris on today`s big developments and what happens next in two minutes.
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HARRIS: Your agency will be separating children from their parents and I would --
NIELSEN: No. What we`ll be doing is prosecuting parents who`ve broken the law just as we do every day in the United States of America.
HARRIS: I can appreciate that. But if that parent has a four-year-old child, what do you plan on doing with that child?
NIELSEN: The child under law goes to HHS for care and custody.
HARRIS: They will be separated from their parents.
NIELSEN: Just like we do in the United States every day.
HARRIS: And so the question is and the request has been to give us the information about how you are training and what the protocols are for separating a child from their parent.
NIELSEN: I`m happy to provide you with the training information.
HARRIS: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: About a month after that exchange in which then HHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claimed the Trump administration was not separating families at southern border as policy, California Democrat Kamala Harris became the first Senator to call for Nielsen resigned citing among other things her record of misleading statements about the Trump administration`s separation of migrant children from their parents at the border.
Joining me now is 2020 presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris of California. Senator, great to have you.
HARRIS: Great to be with you, Chris.
HAYES: Well, you asked for this back in May or I guess June of 2018 and you got it today, but I`m curious how you`re feeling on the day that she actually lost her job.
HARRIS: Well, listen, I`d that called for her resignation. I still believe that she should not be in that position and obviously she`s not there anymore, but Chris, it`s really important that we understand this is -- this is a policy of the administration`s that she implemented and was clearly prepared to do so, but it is the administration`s policy.
And there`s a -- you know, it`s not any one person only to blame or to require accountability, it`s the entire administration and all of the people that are complicit with this administration`s policy which is about separating children at the border. It`s about perpetuating untruths lies frankly, around what is the nature of the issue, and it is about really just a political game that this president is playing inciting fear within people in our in our country around what is otherwise really a humanitarian issue.
And we`re going to have to address it on every level but there are -- it`s not just about whoever it was or will be the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. This is about an administration that has failed to project the morals and the -- and the values of our country and instead is engaged in political gamesmanship around an issue that is having real consequence for very vulnerable people.
HAYES: I want to talk about how to address it because he said we`re going to have to address it. But just sort of follow-up question, I mean, Nielsen according reporting was essentially fired because she was not willing to facially break the law. The President was ordering to do things that would be in violation of the law. He got rid of her. There`s an anticipation that the President will push for that.
And I guess the question you know, as a lawyer yourself, as a former attorney general and prosecutor, like how do you think about what to do if and when the moment comes when they do just attempt to facially violate the law?
HARRIS: Well, there needs to be consequences. Obviously, first of all, the courts are acting and kicking in in terms of the constitutionality of these various policies from the administration. There needs to be also some consequence and accountability exerted by the United States Congress.
I am truly hoping that my Republican colleagues will agree that we cannot continue to have policies coming through that Department that are really violating people`s human rights. When we talk about the issue of asylum, we are talking about people fleeing murder capitals of the world. And we are prepared according to this administration, to turn our backs on those who are seeking help and refuge.
You look at the lies that are being perpetuated and the -- and the misdirection of priorities. This visit that the administration paid down to Calexico, Chris, I`ve been to Calexico, California. And let me tell you something they`re talking about building this fence that he`s calling a wall which is a vanity project.
Can I tell you, when I went to Calexico, what I saw were tunnels. So how are they going to deal with the tunnels, with the fence, or the wall, or whatever they`re calling it. It`s just -- it is a complete distraction from what needs to be productive approach and good public policy around an issue including the fact that part of what we need to do if we want to focus on prevention if we think about it at short term and long term, is the humanitarian aid and the aid that we were giving the Northern Triangle this administration is now cut off.
That`s aid that has many purposes including focusing on the potential for economic development in those countries, aid that has as a focus and a potential focus reduction of corruption in those countries. But we`re cutting that off and rejecting and turning our backs on people who are fleeing. So there`s -- it doesn`t seem to have any logic in addition to being a humanitarian crisis.
HAYES: So when you talk about the aid and that is that is 100 percent true. We have -- we have reduced every year, I think of the Trump administration aid to those three countries El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala on the Northern Triangle.
If you were president right now let`s say or we`re president the future when something like this presented itself -- because it does seem the administration`s rhetoric aside the numbers are going up and there is a genuine capacity issue in terms of the current bureaucracy`s ability to deal humanely with families and young children, what should be done? What is the -- what is the program that you would like to see pursued here?
HARRIS: Well, there has -- it`s a multi-pronged approach that is required. So it is both about reinstituting that aid so we can deal with the long- term effects of the crisis and hopefully mitigate or reduce them and -- which is that the reason that people are fleeing these countries. Through aid we can potentially reduce the that they have to flee.
There is short term what we need to do which is to have a robust approach to processing asylum claims so that we give people a meaningful process by which they can tell their stories and describe the harm their fleeing.
We should talk about also this policy that they put in place to say that the people should be processed in Mexico. Well, many of them have also experienced harm through the travels through Mexico but yet we`re turning our back and saying, go back to Mexico while we`re processing your cases and that`s misinformed and misdirected as a policy.
So there are many things that that must be done that are both around prevention in the long term but also addressing the current issue which is a humanitarian issue, and requires a humanitarian response. That`s not what we`ve seen. We`ve seen an administration that is engaged in a very punitive approach to people who are vulnerable and are seeking help from us as a country.
This is not reflective of who we are or who we should be as a country who has said that we will accept and receive those who are fleeing harm.
HAYES: The administration contends and I understand why there`s reason to be skeptical of their good faith, but their contention is not that it`s punitive but rather its deterrence, right. That essentially they are attempting to send a signal down the line to the Northern Triangle you cannot do this. What do you think about the logic of deterrence generally in this kind of situation?
HARRIS: People are fleeing homicides, murders. People are fleeing circumstances that present greater harm to them than what they experiencing when they come to the border. It`s just -- it actually is just it`s wrong. They`re there they`re wrong to say this. It`s just actually there will be no deterrent equal to the deterrent that is to stay in a country where they might be killed. That`s the biggest deterrent on the map right now.
And so they are fleeing those places, hoping that they can have a meaningful process by which they can receive some kind of refuge and safety and we ought to give it to them.
HAYES: Right. Senator Kamala Harris, thank you so much for making the time. Come back -- come back again. We`d love to have you.
HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, the White House drops the charade of ever releasing the President`s tax returns but Democrats have a new plan and that`s next.
HAYES: The White House isn`t even pretending anymore they have any interest in complying with the law when it comes to Donald Trump`s tax returns. With the Mueller report, there is at least as act of, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, you`ll get it, you`ll get it, it`s coming. But this weekend acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was very blunt that is not the case when it comes to Trump`s taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe Democrats will never see the president`s tax returns?
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: Oh, no, never, nor should they. Keep in mind, that`s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns. They knew he didn`t, and they elected him anyway, which, of course, is what drives the Democrats crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. Point of fact, it was not litigated in the election, because the law of the United States of America is not litigated in the election and the law is clear and unambiguous. And I quote from him, upon written request from the chairman of the committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, "the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request." "Shall. Any return."
The Trump administration will now try to fight this in the court and count justices on the Supreme Court, so now the state of New York is stepping into the breach with a new plan to allow congress to access Trump`s state taxes.
Joining me now, the man sponsoring the bill to get Donald Trump`s taxes, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. Senator, thank you for joining us. What is the plan here?
STATE SEN. BRAD HOYLMAN, (D) NEW YORK: Well, the plan, Chris, is that we`re creating a parallel route that the House Ways and Means committee has with the federal government with the state of New York, whereby they can request that information from the state of New York, including Donald Trump`s tax returns and his corporate tax returns and receive that information.
HAYES: So you would pass a law that says the committee chair of the Ways and Means can request any tax return from the state of New York? It would be a state law. And then turn them over should the chair make that request? Is that how it would work?
HOYLMAN: That`s right, Chris.
You know, this is really not a big deal. The state of New York does this all the time. The state provides the tax filing information of New Yorkers to the IRS. They provide it to other states. So this would just be another version of that, but instead it would be with the three committees that can request this information at the federal level.
HAYES: Is -- do you worry at all about this being abused, right? You can imagine all sorts of nasty reasons that politicians across the political spectrum would want to single out a particular individual, not necessarily in perhaps the president, and try to go after their tax returns to embarrass them. You can imagine a Tea Party congress trying to get George Soros, et cetera. Do you have concerns about that as a broader principle?
HAYES: Well, of course, you know, I guess no one trusts the IRS, but I think we do trust our congress and we do trust the fact that we`ve built in a protection in this legislation that at the request of one of these congressional committees, the State Department of Taxation would have to sign off, and I believe that that would hopefully put an end to those kinds of fishing expeditions that you suggest might happen.
HOYLMAN: I want to play for you what Mitt Romney said about the enterprise to get the president`s taxes as a fundamentally a partisan enterprise. You are a Democrat yourself. Take a listen. I want to get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY, (R) UTAH: I think the Democrats are just playing along his handbook, which is going after his tax returns through a legislative action is moronic. That`s not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that?
HOYLMAN: Well, I think he`s wrong on a couple of counts. One, I don`t think it`s moronic, it`s about getting at the truth. And secondly, I think it is going to happen. Just tonight, Governor Cuomo announced his support for my legislation. So we`ve got a lot of support building for this legislation up here in Albany.
HAYES: What are the stakes? I mean, there is one level at which obviously the kind of partisan stakes are clear. I think Democrats suspect that there is bad, incriminating information in the president`s taxes.
In a broader Democratic sense, what do you see the stakes? Why is it important to facilitate this?
HOYLMAN: Well, the stakes are the rule of law. And the rule of law needs to apply evenly to everyone, even the occupant of the highest office in the land. And we, as New Yorkers, have a special role, after all, Donald Trump lives in New York State and conducts his business here, but also a special responsibility, Chris, to ensure that our congressional representatives are able to exercise their oversight.
HAYES: So you see it as essentially also aiding the congress in its sort of co-equal struggle with the first -- with the second branch?
HOYLMAN: Indeed. I mean, you could argue that we`re perhaps averting a constitutional showdown by stepping in the breach and having New York do what the IRS won`t.
HAYES: All right. New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, thank you very much.
HOYLMAN: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Ahead, Beto O`Rourke stands by his comparison of the president`s rhetoric around immigrants to the rhetoric of the Third Reich. We`ll discuss that ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, one big part of the reason that Donald Trump is our president is because a good number of people believe that the TV character Donald Trump was a real thing, thanks to the years he spent on national television on our parent network, of course, building up a reputation as a successful self-made tough tycoon, not afraid to make the tough calls when the tough calls needed calling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You`re fired.
You`re all fired.
You`re fired. Go.
Sinbad, you`re fired.
Goldberg, you`re fired. Epi (ph) I have I have to say, you also are fired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sinbad, you`re fired.
Most of us now know that the reality show Trump is not quite the reality we got. And as saw yet again today, when it came time to deploy that famous tag line, there seems to be some stage fright. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: There has been so much turnover in just over two years of the Trump administration that The Washington Post was compelled to produce this graphic, which looks like a game of chutes, ladders and people who will never get their reputations back. It`s actually a timeline of all the departures from inauguration in 2017 through the canning of Secret Service Director Randolf "Tex" Alles just today. Now many of these people were, quote, fired, but not many of them got to see the reality show president deliver his signature catch phrase in action, "you`re fired," because the guy who said that all the time was a TV character, invented.
In real life, as a senior administration official told New York Magazine, Trump`s a conflict avoider. He hates firing people. He knows he`s got to fire every one of them but he can`t bring himself to do it. Which is why former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned he was being fired from a tweet announcing his replacement as did VA secretary David Shulkin after a heads up from John Kelly, White House Counsel Don McGahn also got the message via Trump tweet, and Kirstjen Nielsen was reportedly preparing to announce her resignation when Trump beat her to it with, you guessed it, a tweet announcing she`d be leaving.
Trump had an assistant fire Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates over email, very tough. Preet Bharara was fired by Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente on the phone. After a year of tough talk on Twitter, it was John Kelly who Trump got to fire Jeff Sessions for Trump, and same for Anthony Scaramucci, same for Omarosa.
James Comey and Andrew McCabe both found out about their firings when they saw it on the news. And then perhaps the most dramatic fashion of all, Reince Priebus, remember that guy? I forgot that guy. That guy, he got the message when everyone else jumped out of the SUV he was in and the presidential motorcade just went on without him.
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TRUMP: You ready?
You want me to do like -- you`re fired?
Ready? You`re fired, okay?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
TRUMP: You`re fired! Probably can`t use that, but that`s...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Earlier this year, you might remember, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, got a ton of criticism for pointing to what she called, quote, "the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country."
Omar was talking about Israel. And she was condemned by members of both parties for allegedly playing into anti-Semitic mythologies about Jews being fundamentally disloyal citizens. Omar, after a day or two, unequivocally apologized.
Now, there has been no such apology from Donald Trump who was quoted all the back in 1991 in a book saying, quote, "black guys counting my money, I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."
For the record, Trump later said the content of the book was, quote, probably true.
Back in 2015, Trump had this to say to the Republican Jewish Coalition.
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TRUMP: You`re not going to support me, even though you know I`m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel. And I`ll be that. And I know why you`re not going to support me, you know, you`re not going to support me, because I don`t want your money.
You want to control your own politician. That`s fine. Good. But I -- think about that, folks. Don`t worry about it.
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HAYES: You get it? You Jews won`t support me, because I don`t want your money and you Jews, you like to support and control your own politicians.
This weekend, Trump was back in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition and back at it. He started -- he criticized Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as a hater of Israel just one day after one of his supporters was arrested for threatening to kill her.
And more than once, Trump suggested that the American Jews in the audience are loyal to a foreign country.
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TRUMP: I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
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HAYES: You caught that, right? Your prime minister. Your prime minister. He`s talking to American Jews. He`s their president. It`s an explicit charge of dual loyalty. Trump is literally telling American Jews they consider Benjamin Netanyahu to be their head of state.
But that`s not the most offensive thing he said in the last 72 hours. The president`s ugly rhetoric and the darkest chapters of history it recalls is next.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beto, you compared the Trump administration to Nazi Germany. Can you elaborate on that? Why did you make that comparison?
BETO O`ROURKE, 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I compared the rhetoric that the president has employed to rhetoric that you might have heard during the Third Reich, calling human beings an infestation is something that we might have expected to hear in Nazi Germany, describing immigrants who have a track record of committing violent crimes at a lower rate than native born Americans as rapists and criminals, seeking to ban all Muslims, all people of one religion, what other country on the face of the planet does that kind of thing, or in our human history, or in the history of the western world?
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HAYES: Presidential candidate Beto O`Rourke is sticking by his comparison of the president`s rhetoric, particularly around immigrants, to the rhetoric of the Nazi regime. And while Nazi comparisons are treacherous territory, it is simply a fact that the Nazis talked Jews talked and other groups they were persecuting as infestations, as vermin and as animals.
President Trump has tweeted that immigrants are pouring into and, his words, infesting our country. Trump has talked about an invasion. He`s called people animals generally in the context of MS-13, but usually with just enough ambiguity to allow the word`s dehumanizing poison to taint immigrants more broadly.
And there is further historical resonance in this moment as we watch the policies of the border unfold. Modern asylum law is largely a reaction to the moral disaster of World War II when Jews fleeing the Nazi regime trying to get into America as on the ocean liner the St. Louis in 1939 were told essentially the country is full. Go away. And then sent back to Europe, many to their slaughter.
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TRUMP: The system is full. Can`t take you anymore. Whether it`s asylum, whether it`s anything you want, it`s -- illegal immigration, can`t take you anymore. We can`t take you. Our country is full. Our area is full. The sector is full. Can`t take you anymore. I`m sorry. Can`t happen. So, turn around, that`s the way it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For more on the insidious effect of this kind of rhetoric, particularly in conjunction with the president`s policies, I want to bring in MSNBC political analyst Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The New York Times who has a new column on Kirstjen Nielsen; and Erica Andiola, she`s the chief advocacy officer at RAICES, an immigration advocacy and legal services organization.
Erica, as someone who works with these populations through -- I know RAICES represents many of them. I`ve been to the border and talked to the lawyers there, what is this rhetoric do? What does it mean for what happens to the actual people at issue?
ERICA ANDIOLA, RAICES CHIEF ADVOCACY OFFICER: Yeah, I mean, this goes beyond rhetoric. This has really changed policies. I have heard a lot of people at the border, as you have mentioned. And for us, you know, it`s been an increasing number of people who are either being returned to Mexico through the return to Mexico policy, or children who are still being separated from their parents or more children being in detention centers with their mothers and fathers. I mean, you name it.
I can go on and on on all the different policies he has changed, not necessarily just talking about this as if -- you know, of course coming from this completely racist perspective, but his words have gone beyond that. And people are definitely feeling the results of the administration being hateful towards people of color.
HAYES: You know, I someone picked up the original Beto O`Rourke line, which was in an exchange about something else in Iowa, I think it was -- I forget where, somewhere on the campaign trail -- and they blew it up as like a gotcha, like he compared Trump to -- and I thought that O`Rourke did a pretty good job there saying...
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: And what he said was inarguably true. And inarguably true not just Nazi Germany, but sort of of the precursor to most genocides that we`re aware of is kind of comparing people to animals, to vermin, like you said to an infestation. And, again, I think the very fact that conservatives are trying to make a scandal out of this, I mean, part of it is just bad faith, and I think part of it is just that the conventional language of American politics is not up to describing what this administration is and what it`s doing.
HAYES: I also think -- Erica, I wonder, you know, I`ve heard a lot of stories -- and I know there are lots of folks who work in Customs and Border Patrol who are very good people and with good values, but there are stories you hear of some members of CBP who really use dehumanizing and racist language with the folks that they`re dealing with, and I do wonder how much that trickles down, how much that give license to the folks that are on the front end of implementing this policy to sort of play to some of maybe one of their worst prejudices might be?
ANDIOLA: Absolutely. I mean, he has a huge impact not only on CBP and on Border Patrol, I mean, just in general -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, and just in general Trump followers have really taken his narrative into action.
And, you know, we have unfortunately have seen how this has played into not only immigrants getting treated the way they`re being treated, you know, being put into cages, being put into parking lots overnight for many days with children, but also just over and over again we have seen more deaths that are happening at the border, deaths that are happening in the hands of border patrol. And so like I said, you know, it`s not just a narrative.
And I completely agree. This president is using, you know -- really his words, I would agree with Beto. He`s using a lot of white supremacist narrative and words to describe our community, and it`s not only changes policies it`s also changes minds and unfortunately a lot of people are hurting because of that.
HAYES: I also feel like we have forgotten the lesson of World War -- I mean, modern asylum law, both domestically as statute and international, is borne of what happened in World War II.
GOLDBERG: Right. And I think that what we forget is that the people that happened to in World War II were sort of powerless, it was just happening to those people, right.
If you were an average German, you were going about your life for most of that time, and it didn`t seem to be like that big of an emergency, right? The sort of like atrocities were happening far off to the side to marginal populations and, you know, there were plenty of people that, you know, that would have been considered hysterical if they raised too much of a fuss about it.
HAYES: Or in the U.S. If you go back and read about the St. Louis, the -- it was covered at the time and there were people saying, we should let these people. They`re desperate. And there were people saying, well, maybe there are subversives in there, maybe there`s criminals. And do we really want these people? Do we really want these people in?
GOLDBERG: Right. And one other thing I mean that we forget the Nazi newspapers did repeatedly is they would always have special sections on Jewish crime. This obsession -- you know, like the same thing that Trump does with this like risible construct of the Angel Moms. You know, they would basically say that this is a special category, Jewish crime, even though, you know, it`s not as if Jewish people were known for being particular criminals. But it`s this sort of demonization and dehumanization as a precursor to atrocity.
And just today, the news has broken that Trump is desperate to now just reinstate family separation, but to you expand family separation to populations that it hadn`t previously affected. You can only do that to people if you don`t think of them as fully human.
HAYES: Is there, Erica -- I mean, there`s two ways I think of seeing this rhetoric, right, one is that it creates further dehumanization, another is that it creates reaction, a kind of moral revulsion, I think, that we saw with child separation.
And if you look at polling among the American populace it`s probably more pro-immigrant now, at least in the polling that it has been in years. I wonder how you see it.
ANDIOLA: Yeah, well, the thing is right now Trump is speaking to his own audience. Trump is trying rally his, you know, his base. And making sure that they come out and vote, and that they`re t here for him in 2020.
All of what he`s doing right now is political. It really is. I mean, it happened in 2018. This was the big caravan coming. Oh, my god, people should be scared. And then after the election was over, he stopped speaking about the actual caravan.
So this is going to continue to happen. And what I really hope is that we can get more and more of our base, of our it voters, of people in the middle who don`t really understand the issue to come to the side of humanity and making sure that we have a different 2020 election and that we have a different country after 2020.
HAYES: All right, Michelle Goldberg and Erica Andiola, thank you both.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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