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2020 Democratic field continues to expand. TRANSCRIPT: 4/15/19. All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Joaquin Castro, Katie Porter

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  -- burst into flames.  And the announcer (INAUDIBLE) seeing the victims and their agony can only say the unforgettable, oh, the humanity.  And today, we can only say together, oh, the civilization of a tragedy that killed no one, only history.  And that`s HARDBALL FOR NOW.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA):  All we need to do is see the Mueller report.

HAYES:  In the middle of Congressional recess, the Attorney General decides to release his version of the redacted Mueller report.

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  I`m landing the plane right now.

HAYES:  Tonight, what we can expect to see on Thursday and how the President will try to spin it.  Plus --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What`s your tax rate?  I don`t know.  I pay as little as possible because I`m an honest guy.

HAYES:  The latest excuse from a White House desperate to keep the President`s taxes under wraps.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  I don`t think Congress are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump`s taxes will be.

HAYES:  Congresswoman Katie Porter joins me tonight to respond.  Then --

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I am running --

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  -- for president --

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  -- of the United States of America.

HAYES:  Three more men officially enter the 2020 race.  Rebecca Traister is here to talk about that.  And awful scenes in Paris.  When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  We are of course following the breaking news out of Paris where firefighters are still at this hour battling a massive fire that threatened the whole structure of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.  We`ll bring you the latest developments ahead.  But first, after a special counsel probe lasting almost two years, we are finally, finally going to get some version of the 400-page Mueller report this Thursday.

After releasing a four-page summary within two days of Mueller ending the investigation last month, Attorney General William Barr has taken nearly four weeks to redact material falling under four different categories, classified information, grand jury evidence, information about ongoing investigations, and details implicating the privacy interests of individuals that Barr called peripheral third parties.

Now, Barr`s redacted version of the Mueller report which each of those categories color-coded will now come out on the eve of major religious holidays in the midst of a two-week Congressional recess effectively running out the clock until lawmakers are gone and Washington is more or less deserted.

We can expect the report to focus on Russian operations to manipulate the 2016 election, on efforts by different Russian agents and cutouts to reach out to members of the Trump campaign, and on evidence the President of the United States may have committed obstruction of justice.

It`s that last section obstruction that`s the one most likely to contain new information incriminating the man sitting in the White House.  Even Barr`s summary suggested as much claiming the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question.  And since then we`ve learned from the first ever leaks originating inside the Mueller team that some of his investigators feel the evidence for obstruction was much stronger than what Barr has disclosed.

Meanwhile, White House is publicly projecting confidence while preparing in private to undermine any new evidence that Mueller may have uncovered.  In public, the president`s aides and allies claim that Barr`s for page summary is the only report that matters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS:  We consider this to be case closed.  There was no collusion, there was no obstruction which I don`t know how you can interpret that any other way than total exoneration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Yes, except for the line about how it doesn`t exonerate the president.  But behind the scenes, the president`s lawyers are preparing a campaign to discredit Mueller`s findings meeting today to halt a strategy session and writing a 140 page so-called counter report according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to another report, the White House has now been briefed on the broad strokes and Mueller`s report and is worried about the testimony of one particular witness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There is significant concerns about what will be in here new information on the obstruction of justice question on what the President was doing regarding some of the big questions.  Was he trying to -- how much -- how far did he go down the line of trying to fire Mueller or talk about firing Mueller, the situation surrounding the Comey firing.  And what worries them most is what Don McGahn told the Special Counsel.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ANCHOR, ABC NEWS:  The former White House Counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Former White House Counsel Don McGahn has visibility on all of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Don McGahn spent more than 30 hours talking to investigators significantly more according to ABC News.  He was reportedly never debriefed by the President`s legal team leaving them in the dark about what he shared with the Special Counsel.  It appears that members of Congress are set to receive the same redacted version report as the public through the Attorney General testified last week he`ll work to accommodate lawmakers demands for considerably more information.

But if Democrats are unsatisfied, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has subpoenas ready to go for the unredacted Mueller report and all the underlying evidence.  For more on what we can expect to see this Thursday, I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney and former Senior FBI official, and Julia Ainsley NBC News National Security and Justice Reporter.

Julia, I`ll start with you on sort of the basic balls and strikes here.  I mean, how does a report gets transmitted?  Who gets it first?  Who gets to see it?

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER:  OK, so we know that on Thursday morning, the Justice Department is expected to give their version, the redacted version you laid out to the public and to Congress.  It should come roughly around the same time.  Congress may get about a 15-minute heads-up, we`re not sure some kind of window, but didn`t -- really we will see the same version and the public and Congress at that same time.

Some people have said well, shouldn`t Congress more because they`ve been pushing for that?  But really under special council regulations, we`re supposed to get the exact same thing because Congress doesn`t have power here.  Everyone here whether you`re a Member of Congress or not, we`re all being filtered through the Justice Department because the regulations give so much power to the Attorney General in this process which is different how it was in the 90s when someone like Bob Mueller would have gone directly to Congress.  We now go through that filter.

So we`re expecting to see that version Thursday morning and then the -- let the subpoenas begin because we know we won`t see the full report and we know Jerry Nadler has says he`s willing to subpoena the Attorney General to get what he thinks is the full transparency of the report.

HAYES:  The -- one of the big question, Chuck, so there`s three areas here and what was the Russian effort and there aren`t a million unanswered questions just about.  That take out the president, take out obstruction, just what was the nature of the effort, when did it start, why did it start, how did it develop, how involved was the Kremlin and the GRU, and perhaps Putin himself in running the operation, etcetera.

Then there`s the interface between U.S. persons in Russia and then there`s obstruction.  I guess my question to you is what is your anticipation of how much of all that we`re going to see?

CHUCK ROSENBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  So not as much as we`d like which is the easy answer, Chris.  But I think there`s going to be redactions for different reasons in those different parts.  For instance, on the Russia part.  I could imagine a lot of that information would be redacted because it`s classified.  On the obstruction part, I could imagine a lot of that information might be redacted because it`s Grand Jury information, or that it pertains to ongoing investigations.

Those four categories you laid out at the beginning of your show are precisely right, but they will pertain in different ways to different parts of this stuff.

HAYES:  I mean, there`s a sort of maddening situation here, Julia, which is that this is as you said, this is guided by special counsel regulations and we`ve now got this situation in which Barr took it upon himself to release the bottom line conclusions.  He quoted 42 words.  Took another month to get us this, then there`s going to be another fight over that about the rest of it.  And at some level the sort of question of what is entered into the public record is the pressing one.

AINSLEY:  Right.  So again, we`ll want to get to those -- we want to be able to make our own bottom line conclusions.

HAYES: Right.  And so there`s some people have been critical of Attorney General for maybe putting his spin on this especially for making that decision on the obstruction case that Mueller did not make.  Barr did not have to make that but he went that far.  So what we`re hearing a lot from the Justice Department is that they`re very sensitive to what could be criticism that would come after this.

And so they keep wanting to reinforce the fact that it`s not just Barr working alone, that he`s working with people on Mueller`s team, he`s working with Rod Rosenstein who`s been part of this investigation from the beginning to go through what should be redacted and what shouldn`t.

But as you pointed out from that article you showed that we published a few weeks ago, there had been people on Mueller`s team who were not happy with the way Barr did this specifically and those bottom-line conclusions that they thought that he paved over a lot of the work that they did and they weren`t necessarily appreciative of him going ahead and making that decision on obstruction.

So, in the end, this is Barr`s report.  Even though he brings other people into the room, this is the power that has been given to him.  And we know from his testimony last week, he`s willing to go to court now to fight subpoenas to get more information if he doesn`t think it`s information that the public needs to know.

HAYES:  One thing I`m looking for those summaries, right.  So one of the things that we`ve learned from the reporting and I think leaks from the Mueller team is that they had prepared internal summaries to different parts of it which were not released which I think some of them anticipated would be, and one would assume that it will be hard to redact those.

ROSENBERG:  Possibly.  I mean, remember, the executive summaries -- and I`m not surprised that they wrote -- that the Mueller team wrote them are what, derived from the body of the report.  And the body of that report contains grand jury information.  So it depends on how they define matters occurring before a grand jury whether or not it falls within or without or outside the ambit of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6E.

Not to get too nerdy, but that rule controls what they can release.  And interestingly just earlier this month a court in the District of Columbia, Federal Appellate Court in the District of Columbia said that judges don`t have any inherent authority to release grand jury information.  If they`re going to release it, it has to be pursuant the rule into an exception enumerated in the rule.  So I`m expecting a lot of redactions.  I don`t know how many but more than I`d like.

HAYES:  There`s also the question of what the sort of public response is from the Mueller team, Julia, right.  I mean, that is the ultimate political check here.  I think honestly the binding condition is the fact that people that wrote the report are out there walking around and presumably can talk about it.

AINSLEY:  Right.  I mean, it wasn`t up to them to do speaking after this.  The main spokesperson from the Mueller team is back at the Justice Department doing the same job he was two years ago before Mueller`s job even existed.  So they have really taken away the capacity for that team to speak.

But that doesn`t mean that you won`t see some people from the Mueller team go to Congress or go find other ways to get to the media if they feel that the work that they did isn`t getting out in the best light or there`s some sort of filter if forest filters too strong and they don`t like what`s seeing out there.

And I think that was the most telling thing from that reporting a few weeks ago that we had at NBC and others had it too because they wanted to get a message out that`s something that we were seeing didn`t jive with the -- with the investigation that they did.

Now, in the end, they still did come to the conclusion that there was coordination or conspiracy but this obstruction question.  So that`s why I think when we`re going through this on Thursday, the key things to be looking for is the obstruction information that was not made public and why in the world Robert Mueller made the decision not to make a decision.

HAYES:  I will just say that quoting the conspiracy, the phrase exactly was the evidence failed to establish that I think was a specific phrase right?  The evidence failed to establish that.  Just to you the same question, do you view their presence, Mueller`s team as a sort of binding constraint on how much this can be filtered?

ROSENBERG:  Well, you know, maybe.  and the reason I`m waffling, Chris, is because the Mueller team -- and I know several of the people on it have been extraordinary --

HAYES:  Yes, decorous.

ROSENBERG:  -- decorous in the way that they have handled this.  And so I don`t expect the Mueller team in any form or fashion to you know, descend on Congress with a bunch of publicly aired complaints.  This will have to come out over time through court orders and court litigation and perhaps leaks from Congress.  We`ve seen that before.

HAYES:  Chuck Rosenberg and Julie Ainsley, thank you both.  Speaking of Congress, my next guest has access to classified information as a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Democrat from Texas.  And I will just follow up with you about the degree of satisfaction you have or where this process stands now with Thursday, the release of the redacted version that Barr has filtered the Mueller report.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX):  Well, I`m glad that we have -- finally have a date.  We know when it`s going to come out.  But look, we need to see all of it.  And I understand they`re going to be redactions that will -- when the report is made available to the public, but Congress needs to be able to see the full thing.

Remember, especially those of us on the Intelligence Committee are routinely looking at classified information and oftentimes we`ll have special sessions where all of Congress is invited to come look at classified information.  So there`s no reason that the Special Counsel shouldn`t make this available or I`m sorry, the Attorney General should make it available to all of Congress to see.

HAYES:  What -- I want to talk about the first third of this report or at least one part of its portfolio which is just what the Russian efforts were.  You`re on a committee that punitively investigated all that, although there`s a lot of criticism about the nature of that investigation.

I guess what are your -- like how curious are you on that part of the report?  Take away the conspiracy with U.S. persons and obstruction, do you feel like you have a full sense of what the Russians were up to and is that something you are looking forward to learning in the report?

CASTRO:  Yes.  I mean that is one of the most important pieces of this report because it will tell us basically the methods that they use to try to infiltrate the Trump campaign or influence the Trump campaign.

And we know that they`re probably -- in the future are going to be other attempts to do the same thing not just with the Trump campaign but with other political campaigns, and that it won`t just be Russia but that will be other nations especially if other countries feel as though there`s no penalty to interfering with American elections and trying to make inroads with particular campaigns.

So the reason that it`s so important we need to devise as a congress the best ways to prevent that from happening.

HAYES:  I want to play for you something that your colleague on your committee Devin Nunes who of course is the ranking member, was the chair of that committee had to say about what he sees that the value of the report.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA):  I don`t really care what the Mueller report says because the Mueller -- Special Counsel should have never been appointed.  So the Mueller report, you know, a lot of people, oh, what does it say?  You know, we can just you know, burn it up.  I mean, it is a partisan document.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  What do you think of that?

CASTRO:  Well, you know, I hadn`t heard that clip.  That -- it`s just amazing that somebody that was the Chairman of the Intel Committee for a few years basically is completely dismissing a report on Russian interference in our elections and the possibility or the involvement of anybody in the Trump circle.  It`s amazing.

HAYES:  What do you think -- what do you see is the sort of willingness for battle on your side in terms of fighting these four categories of redactions and what the sort of processes of thinking about how much and how intensely Chair Schiff and Chair Nadler and others will seek the full underlying body of evidence underneath the report?

CASTRO:  Well, many of us have always believed that this is a report that is owed to the American people most of all, before it`s owed to Democrats or Republicans or anyone in Congress.  So I think what you`re going to see is Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and others fight to make as much of that report available to the public as possible and they`re going to do everything they can to make that happen.

HAYES:  Do you have conversations -- I mean -- or do you do you have conversations with Republicans in the House who ostensibly favor transparency as well?  I mean, Devin Nunes himself paired with Adam Schiff to write a letter.  Like is that still the operating conceit of your Republican colleagues in the House that like everything should come out because a lot of other folks seem to have moved away from that in the intervening three and a half weeks?

CASTRO:  You`re right.  I mean, my sense is that now that they -- that some people, some Republicans think that the report may have let the President off the hook, it seems like more willing to just kind of put it aside and you know, the words of Devin Nunes consistent with that, and just let bygones be bygones and move on unfortunately.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro on the House Intelligence Committee, thank you so much for joining me.

CASTRO:  Thank you.

HAYES:  It is, of course, tax day.  You`ve got a few more hours.  And Donald Trump`s team is doing everything they can to keep you from seeing his returns.  Congresswoman Katie Porter joins me in just two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  The President`s lawyers are celebrating tax day today by sending a defiant pugilistic letter to the IRS arguing why Donald Trump`s tax returns should not be furnished to the House Ways and Means Committee despite the legislation to the contrary.  The President`s lawyer argues that his client is just a humble citizen facing a possibly unconstitutional inquisition from Congress playing dress-up as a quote junior varsity IRS.

The letter even compares Donald Trump to leaders in the civil rights movement writing what if during the height of the civil rights movement, the Democrat-controlled House tried to intimidate African American leaders by requesting their tax returns.  Yes, what about that?

For years, Trump and his allies have basically grabbed whatever argument they can to try to prevent access to his taxes, he`s under audit, it`s not legal, it was litigating the campaign, but this weekend Sarah Sanders tried out a new one, points for novelty, Congress won`t be able to understand Trump`s taxes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS:  I don`t think Congress particularly not this group of congressmen and women are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump`s taxes will be.  My guest says most of them don`t do their own taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California responded "Our freshman class includes intelligence analysts, nurses, veterans, and ahem law professors.  I think we can handle it."  That Congresswoman Katie Porter joins me now.  Congresswoman, Sarah Sanders basically said you`re too dumb to understand these taxes.  What do you think?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA):  I know that I am ready to take a look at Donald Trump`s tax returns and for Secretary -- Press Secretary Sanders information, I do my own taxes and every year.  And I think it`s really insulting that we`re not being treated as a co-equal branch of government.  The law here is pretty clear that the President needs to turn over his tax returns and this is the job that the American people have taxed us -- taxed -- I can`t say taxes -- taxed us to do and it`s our job to do it.

So I really hope the President complies with the law.  I hope he quits dragging this out.  And I have every confidence in my fellow men and women on both sides of the aisle to be able to review these tax returns.

HAYES:  How do you interpret -- the letter today was really quite provocative.  It was quite aggressive about constitutional -- the Congress`s authority both under statute and the Constitution.  And it does seem like they have gone very nuclear very quickly.  How do you interpret that?

PORTER:  I think it suggests the reluctance of the President to comply with the law.  He truly is exhibiting the attitude that the rules that apply to the rest of us don`t apply to him.  He`s not an ordinary citizen, he`s the president of the United States, an office that he ran for and he has considerable power.

And the American people deserve to know if Donald Trump is working for us.  If there`s nothing to see in his tax returns, there`s nothing to see, but that`s a question that needs to be answered and that`s why I wholeheartedly believe the American people need to see these tax returns.

HAYES:  You know, there were subpoenas today from Congressional investigators of Deutsche Bank and other lenders the President, part of the sort of rounding up the financial picture.  What`s your response -- the President`s lawyers and some of his defenders are trying to make sort of an interesting argument which is basically yes, he`s president but he`s also simultaneously private citizen Donald Trump, and this is some kind of invasion, an encroachment into that sacrosanct sphere of privacy.

PORTER:  It just doesn`t work that way.  Anyone who runs for office including folks who run at the local level, for school board, for City Council, we all give up a great deal of our privacy.  As a member of the House of Representatives for example, I have to make financial disclosures.  And so he can`t have it both ways.  If he wants to be President of the United States, then he needs to follow the rules and be forthcoming about any business dealings that may call into question what he`s doing as president.

If he wants to return to being a private citizen, I personally would be just fine with that.  But if he wants to have the Office of President, then he needs to follow the rules.  He can`t make his own rules.  This is a tripartite government.  There`s a role for the courts, there`s a role for Congress, and there`s a role for the president.  He doesn`t get to control the rest of us.  We each have an important job to do.  I respect he has to do and it`s frustrating that he doesn`t respect the job of Congress.

HAYES:  You know, the president and Republicans and their allies spent the day touting the big tax cut which was in sort of a numerical sense largely a corporate tax cut.  But the New York Times ran this headline which I thought was interesting.  Face it, you probably got a tax cut.  Studies consistently find that 2017 law cut taxes for most Americans, most of them don`t buy it.

There does seem to be a divergence of reality which that most people did seen their tax liability be reduced even if most people don`t feel that way.  What do you think of that?

PORTER:  I think one of the things about the Trump tax law is that it`s having very disparate effects around the country.  So I represent Orange County California and the limit in the Trump tax law on state and local tax deductions is a huge issue for us.  I was working on my taxes today and every time I would put in a deduction, it would pop up you`ve already hit your $10,000 state local deduction cap.

HAYES:  Yes.

PORTER:  I`d put in something else, it pop back up, you`ve already hit your $10,000 state and local deduction cap.  So for folks here in Orange County, we`re hearing from a lot of them that they owe $5,000, $7,000, even $14,000 in additional taxes, and a lot of folks are having to turn to credit cards to try to find that money to pay those extra taxes.

So by singling out states that have expensive homes or that have significant state and local taxes, Donald Trump is really making the effects of his tax plan felt -- is being felt unevenly around the country.  So folks here in Orange County are not happy.  I`ve co-sponsored legislation to reverse the limit on state and local taxes and I`ve co- authored a bipartisan letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority -- I`m sorry, Minority Leader McCarthy asking them to bring that legislation up for a vote on the House floor.

HAYES:  There`s also news today about how corporations have fared under this regime.  Twice as many companies paying zero taxes under the Trump tax plan.  The theory of the case there was that that reduced liability would lead to increased investment and better job growth, and the president`s defenders say, hey, look at just - look at the job numbers.  Look at the growth numbers.  Everything is going great.  What do you say?

PORTER:  Look, the economy is doing fine.  It was doing fine before this tax plan.  What we`ve seen primarily as a result of the tax plan is companies are taking their money and they`re engaging in stock buybacks.  And that`s exactly what we saw with JPMorgan Chase.  You know, earlier this week in a hearing, I asked the CEO Jamie Dimon, will you, you know, look at this worker working full-time in your bank, they couldn`t afford to make ends meet.  How about raising worker pay?

And so we`re not seeing corporations reinvest that money.  In fact, if you read a lot of shareholder letters, what these CEOs are saying is we have excess capital, we have excess cash, we`re looking for ways to invest.  And I think the obvious answer is to invest it back in your workers, to invest it back in the American people who help make your corporation profitable.

HAYES:  Do you -- do you think there will be appetite should Congress -- Democrats retake Congress to just reverse these tax cuts or to raise taxes in other areas?

PORTER:  I personally think we have to tackle tax reform.  We need fair tax -- fair tax plan.  And the fact that more and more corporations are paying zero is heading in the absolute wrong direction.  So whether it`s reversing Trump`s tax plan entirely or trying to improve upon the tax plan, we definitely have to do something.  We can`t keep asking Americans, individual workers, single moms like me to shoulder the tax burden while large corporations get off literally scot-free.

HAYES:  You do your own taxes.  You mentioned adding in deductions.  Did you get that filed before he came on today?  Are you -- are you in underwire?

PORTER:  I am on my way to the Post Office.  I have the check written.  I do owe federal tax this year despite my income being much lower so I`m going to get it in by the deadline.

HAYES:  All right, well, good luck with that.  I`ll let you go.  Congresswoman Katie Porter, thank you very much.  One of the most iconic structures in the Western world in flames today.  The fire at Notre Dame, what`s lost and what has been saved next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  The world watched in horror and disbelief today as one of the most iconic buildings in the west, the famed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, was engulfed in flames on live television. 

This was Notre Dame before the fire, erected in the 12th and 13th Centuries.  It has survived revolution and wars and ransacking over the past 850-plus years. 

Tonight, Paris police say the structure of the cathedral has been saved, but the damage is  overwhelming. 

The fire began in Notre Dame`s roof in the early evening.  Even as tourists were still trying to enter before the cathedral closed for the day.

Thousands gathered on the streets to watch, some of them crying as the fire quickly spread, fueled by scaffolding erected for renovation.  Within just an hour or so, the fire reached the cathedral`s giant spire.  A few minutes after that, the spire collapsed.

Around 8:00 p.m. local time, Notre Dame`s entire roof collapsed and the island on which the cathedral sits was evacuated by police amid fears the entire building could fall.

At first, responders worked to salvage the priceless art.  Parisians sang hymns as they watched their cathedral burn.

(SINGING)

HAYES:  Joining me now from outside Notre Dame with the latest on today`s devastating fire, MSNBC and NBC News foreign correspondent Matt Bradley.  Matt, what is the latest?

MATT BRADLEY, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Chris, what we`re hearing now is that the fire is basically contained, or all but extinguished.  The latest here is that 60 percent of that roof has been burned up.  The spire you saw that now famous footage of the spire collapsing, that fell into the nave of the church. 

And some of the early photos we`re getting from inside the church showed the spire and the damage inside amongst the pews in front of the alter really dramatic images of some of the light coming in and showing in to the center of the church as firefighters have doused the entire place with water.

Now, this iconic church is really a symbol of the center of Paris and of catholics throughout the world, so it`s a devastating blow not just to Paris, but, really, to the entire church.

And so, you know, looking back on this, this was something that a lot of people have been -- they`re trying to see what exactly was -- went wrong here. 

And of course there was extensive renovations.  There are a lot of things that did go right.  16 of the statues that were on top of this cathedral were removed for the renovations only days earlier.  Now, that was important because that means that a lot of the artwork was spared.

Now, two of the main relics, some of the major relics that form the foundation of this church.  And, you know, a lot of cathedrals and catholic churches, they are built around relics from the time of Jesus Christ`s life.  They were spared.  A lot of the artwork was spared.  Some of these beautiful rose windows, the circular windows that you can see around the church, they were also spared and a lot of the stained glass windows, we`re still waiting to hear on the status of them.  Some of these truly hundreds of years old, these windows.  A lot of them have seemed to have come out OK.

So, really, a lot of this renovation work was timed just right for this fire, so that a lot of this stuff had been removed or had put into safe keeping, because of the extensive work done on the exterior of the cathedral and that meant that a lot of the most important artworks, some of the most important architectural treasures that are here were saved -- Chris.

HAYES:  Matt Bradley, thank you very for that update.  Now for some historical context on today`s tragedy, I`m joined by John Stamper, professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, and Craig Considine, professor of sociology at Rice University.

John, let me start with you, I guess we should start on the silver lining, which is that there was a point today where both the images we were seeing and the authorities` very bleak prognosis made it seem that it may be the case the entire church would be reduced to rubble, and that seems to have been avoided.

JOHN STAMPER, NOTRE DAME:  Yes, Chris.  I was concerned this afternoon that while the wooden roof structure on of the top of the nave and the transept arms that was clearly being completely destroyed, I was hoping that the stone vaults that are inside -- the vaults that you see when you look up inside the nave, I was hoping that they would be secure, but your report suggests that at least some of those stone vaults have collapsed as well with material and debris falling into the nave itself, so that`s a real tragedy.

The other thing I was worried about were the two great rose windows on the north and south transept arms.  And I think the largest of those two rose windows, the most historic from the 1250s, it looks like they have been saved, fortunately.

HAYES:  Wow.

Craig, give us a sense of when this was built and what it has endured and survived over the last 850 years.

CRAIG CONSIDINE, RICE UNIVERSITY:  Well, the history is remarkable.  It actually goes back to the site itself where the cathedral is built.  It actually goes back to Roman times.  The Parisians, the catholic Parisians, actually fought a battle against the Romans and then over time the catholic church got involved around 1163 and Pope Alexander III had consecrated this church, and in 1345, 200 years roughly after this original consecration, the church was finally finalized.

And the amount of history that we see in this church, it literally gives us a glimpse not only into French history, but also to European history, into Christendom history, and also even the United States, because a lot of sectarian issues that were happening between Protestants and Catholics at the time were actually playing out in France at that time.

So, literally, you cannot understand the history of all of these entities without exploring the long, long tradition of Notre Dame cathedral.

HAYES:  John, you mentioned the roof, and I was reading today about the roof which, you know, various parts of the cathedral have been ransacked.  They`ve been damaged in wars.  That roof, though, is the original roof, right?  I mean, thousands and thousands and thousands of I think oak trees, that now will have to be rebuilt.

STAMPER:  You know, it`s built in a Gothic manner with very heavy timbers.  And I`m sure they will attempt to restore it exactly the way it was built originally.  So they`ll have to find timbers.  They`ll have to build it in the same kind of structural manner, hopefully not with steel or concrete, but, you know, really recreating it as it was originally.

HAYES:  We have some images I think we were showing from inside the first sort of images of inside the sanctuary.  And, again, there is obviously significant damage.  That spire, which is about 150 years old, which collapsed into the cathedral itself.  As you can see from these images, it is not a destroyed structure, Craig.  There is -- there is much work that will have to be done, but this -- it has been spared.  What do you foresee as the -- the horizon for rebuilding Notre Dame?

STAMPER:  Well, thank goodness all of the historic relics were saved -- the crown of thorns and the fragment of the cross were saved.

Now, I think this is a great opportunity for the people of Paris, of all faiths, of all religions, of all races to come together and to unite in order to build -- to rebuild this structure, which isn`t simply a symbol of the French and Christendom, but it`s a symbol of humanity, of our hope, of our struggle, of the glorious achievements that we can achieve in terms of architecture.

So, this is actually an opportunity, and I have little doubt that the people of Paris and the people of France will unite and build an even bigger and even stronger cathedral.

HAYES:  John, there had been some back and forth about the costs of these renovations, and about concerns about some of the structural integrity of the church, of course, maintaining something like this is extremely expensive and some jurisdictional battles between the nation of France, which owns it and leases it to the Catholic church.

We got word today that it appears to be an accident.  But what what do you foresee as the kind  of recrimination or fallout from from what happened today?

CONSIDINE:  Well, if it`s an accident, you know, related to the renovation work that`s going on, hopefully there will be some insurance involved.  And don`t forget in Venice just a few years ago, La Fanice, the great opera house in Venice, had a very similar construction fire and had to be totally rebuilt.  And you know, I`m sure they`ll do that here with Notre Dame Cathedral.  And there will be a number of players -- the French government, the city of Paris, and presumably insurance, and private donors as well.

HAYES:  Well, it`s amazing that the firefighters of Paris were able to rescue that building today.  It really did look touch and go there for a large stretch of today.  John Stamper and Craig Considine, thank you so much for being with me tonight.

CONSIDINE:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  If Stephen Miller is running President Trump`s immigration policy, including the proposal to release migrants in sanctuary cities, then Democrats say Stephen Miller should be called to testify before congress.  That`s next.

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HAYES:  Key Democrats in the House are now looking to bring Stephen Miller, the president`s top adviser on immigration, in front of their committees to testify about his role in a proposed plan to release immigrant detainees into sanctuary cities as a form of retaliation against President Trump`s political enemies.

Joining me now is McKay Coppins, staff writer at The Atlantic, who profiled Miller last year calling him, quote, Trump`s right-hand troll.

Since you wrote that profile, McKay, I think it is fair to say that Miller has more power than he  did then.  Do you think that`s accurate?

MCKAY COPPINS, THE ATLANTIC:  Yes, absolutely.

\He, you know, at the time -- one of the things I was told is that, look, Stephen Miller`s power comes from the fact that his instincts on immigration align with the president`s, so he`s often a sounding board for the president.

Now it appears in talking to people in the president`s orbit confirms this he is really taking the lead on immigration policy, and in a way that no one else in the White House is really set up to  challenge him on.

HAYES:  There is also, I mean, your piece was called "His right-hand troll," and, you know, this idea of, like, oh we`re going to bring the -- you like migrants so much, we`ll bring them to your city, which, OK, fine.  That`s fine.  Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, there`s all these places that migrants all over the place all the time.  They`ve done well.  That is more trolling than policy, and it`s sort of remarkable to watch that you attempt to be married through Stephen Miller via the president.

COPPINS:  And, and this has been kind of the pattern of Stephen Miller`s time in the White House, and to a certain extent Donald Trump`s whole presidency, right?  It`s been governing and policy making as a form of trolling and provocation. 

You can go all the way back to the very first week of Trump`s presidency when the travel ban was instituted in a really chaotic way and Steve Bannon who was later quoted bragging that he -- they tried to make it chaotic so that, quote, the snowflakes should show up at the airports and rally, right?

HAYES:  Right.

COPPINS:  So for years, really, policy making has had kind of this trolling twinge, but to me the sanctuary cities policy is especially indicative of that sensibility.  This idea that we`re not going to use policy just for sound governance, we`re not going to advance an agenda to solve problems, and we`re not going to and advance a message to try to win over our opponents, we`re going to literally try to provoke and agitate the other side, whatever the human consequences are along the way.

HAYES:  There is also something I thought was important in this New York Times profile of him, which I want to read you, because I think it settles a question, or lends some evidence to a question about Miller`s motivations.  This is him basically berating the acting head of ICE,  "you ought to be working on this regulation all day, every day.  It should be the firs thought you have when you wake up and it should be the last thought you have before you go to bed, and sometimes you shouldn`t go to bed," and that`s him talking to Ronald Vitiello, who is the acting head of ICE in the last month in the White House situation room about regulation to deny welfare benefits to legal immigrants.

Whatever the political calculation here, Stephen Miller  genuinely feels this way, and has felt this way his entire adult life, that he does not like immigrants.  He wants to get rid of them and keep them out and that is a cause to which he is absolutely to the bone marrow dedicated.

COPPINS:  Yeah, so this is one of the important points that we have to make when we talk about this trolling as policy making, that doesn`t mean that he doesn`t believe anything.  In fact, Stephen Miller is a hard-right restrictionist ideologue on this issue.  It`s an -- immigration has been an issue that has obsessed him since he was in high school, at least.  So, yeah, he definitely has an agenda  here, and frankly, in a way that a lot of people in this White House don`t, he has a fully formed worldview that he brought into the White House and now he`s using his perch to kind of advance it.

The one thing that I would note, though, is that I`ve heard from some people in the president`s orbit who say Stephen Miller`s power in large part has always come from the fact that he`s stayed behind the scenes.  Now he`s up front, he`s in the spotlight, and he seems to be acting out of at least, what I have heard from one source seems like an emotional place.  He`s genuinely very frustrated that they haven`t made more progress on this issue that he cares about and that`s why he`s being so kind of belligerent and aggressive.

HAYES:  Well, and there is also a constitutional issue here, which is that when you`ve got the White House running a cabinet agency essentially from the White House and defying the basic spirit of advise and consent, if not the letter, there is reason to have him come before congress, as Democrats are now saying they want him to do.

McKay Coppins, thank you very much.

COPPINS:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Coming up, three new candidates join the crowded Democratic field as four men top the polls.  We`ll talk about the state of the race with the one and only Rebecca Traister ahead.

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HAYES:  I got to say, I follow politics for a living and even I can`t keep track of who is actually declared and who is just exploring a run in 2020.  So, it was sort of news to me that Pete Buttigieg only officially announced his candidacy yesterday, because it seemed pretty clear for awhile that he was running for president.

He has been riding a wave of media attention and  fundraising and positive polling recently.  The latest numbers have him polling third at 9 percent.

And Cory Booker also made his official announcement this weekend, Saturday, in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.  And even though the announcement was two days ago, Cory Booker has obviously been running for months as well. 

Relative newcomer Congressman Eric Swalwell also officially joined the party this weekend, announcing his candidacy at his high school in Dublin, California.

At least 18 Democrats have declared that they are running, including candidates like spiritual book author, Marianne Williamson, who had a town hall on CNN this weekend.  And of course there is one undeclared candidate who casts a long shadow over the field, former Vice President Joe Biden.  The latest Emerson polling shows a tight race between Biden and Bernie Sanders. 

And if you look at the top five candidates, something else jumps out at you.  I will talk about that with Rebecca Traister right after this.

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HAYES:  2018 was the best year for women candidates in the history of the American republic. A record 117 women getting seats in congress.  And this year there are nearly as many women running for president on the Democratic side, the major women candidates, in the history of presidential politics combined.

And yet when you look at the top five 2020 candidates in the latest Emerson polling, something jumps out -- four are white men.

So, what has and hasn`t changed in the way gender structures how we cover and perceive women candidates for president?  I`m joined by Rebecca Traister, writer at-large for New York Magazine, author of "Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women`s Anger."  Good to have you back.

REBECCA TRAISTER, WRITER AT-LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE:  It`s good to be here.

HAYES:  What do you think?

TRAISTER:  Well, I think we are in a very early stage.  I think that people are incredibly terrified post-2016.  A know a lot of women, a lot of feminists, who have lived their whole lives wanting to see a woman president who are like, after Hillary, I do not think a woman can win, and even though they might prefer Warren or Gillibrand or Harris, they`re saying I`m not going to -- you know, I`m not going to go there, it`s too terrifying.  We have to got to pick a safe white guy.  So, there`s just your plain, old preference for a familiar kind of figure, in any flavor, really.

HAYES:  Presidential as an adjective.

TRAISTER:  Presidential.

HAYES:  They`re presidential.  It`s like what does that mean exactly?

TRAISTER:  And the amazing thing when you look at that list of the guys who are sort of at the top, it`s Biden, it`s Bernie, it`s Beto, it`s the "B" team right.  And they`re not united by anything except their white guyness.

I mean, you have old, you have young, you have left, you have center, right, you have establishment, you have new outsider, it`s just like this one thing they`ve all all got in common.

HAYES:  I mean, I should say they top two -- like Bernie was the runner up in the last primary.  Biden was the vice president for the most popular Democratic president in years.  And so those -- and one of the dominant figures in Democratic politics.  Like, those two I think are in a sort of different category.

It`s when you`re getting the Beto and the Buttigieg next to them that I think actually where that category it starts to look like interesting...

TRAISTER:  Right.  And that`s also what I say, this is really early.  There is a lot -- if I believed that this was going to persist through the primaries, I would be completely desolate and hopeless.  and I do not believe that.  I do not believe that.

HAYES:  I want to -- so you talked about the sort of once bitten twice shy kind of feature of this.  I thought this quote was interesting, this back in January in The New York Times, that`s Joyce Cusak (ph), who is a former DNC member, Florida -- would see a woman president in her lifetime -- "too many Americans may want to take another chance on a female candidate," Ms. Cusak said, "after Hillary Clinton met with mistrust, and even hostility, in swing states."  There is this Politico headline from last December about Warren battling the ghosts of Hillary, which is a thing.

I hear anecdotally from people who have good feminist politics, but in a descriptive sense.  And I guess my question to you is like, part of the double-edged sword here is that the articulation of the way sexism cost Hillary Clinton, which you were part of making, and many others, was quite persuasive post-2016, but persuasive to a point that I think a  lot of people were like, you are right.  But that is -- yes, women have an uphill battle, and maybe we shouldn`t do that.

TRAISTER:  It`s interesting because -- look, this is something that Elizabeth Warren actually talked to me about last summer when I profiled her in a subtle way, because she talked about how when was got into the race for Senate in Massachusetts, she was coming on the heels of a historic woman candidate, Martha Cockley (ph), who lost very badly in Massachusetts, and she told the story, just as a  side story, of how lots of people told her the state is not ready, don`t do it.  Look what happened to Martha Cokley (ph), she has already had that experience of coming in as a candidate when a major female candidate has flamed out previous and all of the sort of anxieties about it.

I think it`s also important to remember, if we think back in 2007, there was a lot anxiety about whether Barack Obama could -- a amongst of Democrats.  No, remember.

OBAMA:  No, my facial expression is like, oh yeah, among black Democrats.

TRAISTER:  Among black Democrats in particular, until he won in Iowa when it was like, oh wait, and then you saw the move of black voters from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.  A lot of this, we have to get further into this debates, listening to how people respond to each other, before we can really take the temperature.

HAYES:  We should -- I should also note -- you know, because we`re putting this category of white men and Buttigieg is in it, that an out gay man, who is like shouting out the love of his life, his husband there, like, is totally barrier breaking and new and sort of remarkable, and I don`t want to minimize that.

TRAISTER:  And he is young.  I mean, there`s a lot of stuff -- you know, there is within that category of white men, again, there`s diversity.  There`s ideologically diversity, you have Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in that category of white men.

HAYES:  Do you think, though -- I mean, I guess my question is, like what is the connection between what we saw in 2018 and now?  That`s the thing I think I`m having a hard time solving in my head.

TRAISTER:  Well, in part, it`s voters.  Listen, as somebody who writes about women candidates, I heard a lot of this in 2018, including from feminists, from women at organizations that support women candidates who are like, look, a lot of these women aren`t going to win.

Covering these races throughout, I was told again and again, a lot of these women candidates aren`t going to win.  It`s great that they`re out there, but we have got to be prepared for the narrative, which is when they lose either in their primaries or in the general.  The story line is going to be women can`t win.

And then they started winning.  They were winning primaries.  And then won they won their generals in many cases.

And so this this isn`t that dissimilar to me.

HAYES:  Oh, that`s interesting.  We are just early enough that...

TRAISTER:  We haven`t had any voters, right.  One of the things that I think a lot of...

HAYES:  It`s a great point.

TRAISTER:  ...pundits get wrong is they are basing this a lot on prior voting patterns, which have been completely all over the place.  And here is the secret, no one knows anything.

HAYES:  I mean, I know everything, but, you know, aside from that.

TRAISTER:  ...to the television audience that is currently watching us speak with expertise, we don`t know anything.

HAYES:  All we know what people are -- what kind of money people are raising, what kind of operations they have, what kind of attention they are getting.

TRAISTER:  And as you point out, that has -- there are a couple of structural reasons, a former vice-president, a man who ran a very successful campaign two, three years ago, right, it`s natural that they are going to be ahead.  And it is also the structural impulses around gender and race that make a lot of voters and a lot of media comfortable covering white men.  That`s part of what we`re looking at.

HAYES:  All right.  Rebecca Traister, thank you so much for joining us.

That is All In for this evening.  The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.  Good evening, Rachel, with the aforementioned Mayor Pete Buttigieg on your program in just a few minutes.

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END