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Trump echoes Nixon: "I don't do cover-ups." TRANSCRIPT: 5/22/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Elizabeth Holtzman, Barbara Boxer, Katie Hill, Katie Porter, ChrisMurphy

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 22, 2019 Guest: Elizabeth Holtzman, Barbara Boxer, Katie Hill, Katie Porter, Chris Murphy

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Look at him looming over her like that.  You can say all this doesn`t matter but it does.  And by the way, keep telling yourself it doesn`t matter.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA):  We believe that the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.

HAYES:  The Democratic leader accuses the president of a cover-up.

PELOSI:  He`s engaged in a cover-up and that could be an impeachable offense.

HAYES:  And Donald Trump has his Richard Nixon moment.


HAYES:  Tonight why the president threw a tantrum at the White House.

PELOSI:  It was very, very, very strange.

HAYES:  Why even more Democrats are using the I-word.

TRUMP:  The I-word, the I-word.  Can you imagine?

HAYES:  And why Nancy Pelosi is appealing to a higher power.

PELOSI:  I pray for the President of the United States.

HAYES:  Then, a federal judge says Deutsche Bank must hand Donald Trump`s financial records to Democrats as the Treasury Secretary tries to explain why he won`t give Congress Trump`s taxes.

STEVE MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF TREASURY, UNITED STATES:  I have been advised I am not violating the law.

HAYES:  Trymaine Lee reports on the voters that could make or break 2020 Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If you want to win in Iowa, you have to deal with the black middle-class workers.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  The President came out to the Rose Garden today to declare before the press and the nation that he doesn`t "do cover-ups."  In other words, as Richard Nixon once said famously, I am not a crook.


TRUMP:  I`m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country.  I don`t do cover-ups.  You people know that probably better than anybody.


HAYES:  The parallel to Nixon`s infamous line was immediate and obvious to just about everyone watching it not the least because Nixon happened to be talking at that moment about releasing his tax returns.


RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I have never obstructed justice and I think too that I could say that in my years of public life that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.  Well, I`m not a crook.


HAYES:  The President`s claimed that he doesn`t do cover-ups is, of course, laughable because all he does is cover things up.  He`s covering up his tax returns right now.  He`s stonewalling even the most routine congressional oversight.  As the Mueller report describes in detail, he tried over and over again to shut down the special counsel`s investigation.

In fact, at this very moment, while I am speaking to you, the man`s former lawyer is sitting in a prison in part for illegally covering up the President`s alleged affairs during the presidential campaign.  And that cover-up was according to prosecutors, carried out at the direction of the President himself named as Individual One.

And after reports on that scheme that cover-up first came out, the President tried to come out and just cover up the cover-up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP:  No.  What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Then why did Michael Cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP:  Well, you`ll have to ask Michael Cohen.  Michael is my attorney, and you`ll have to ask Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you know where he get the money to make that payment?

TRUMP:  I don`t know.


HAYES:  No, no idea.  The President did, in fact, know where the money came from because he himself wrote Michael Cohen a check as partial reimbursement from a bunch of checks it appears.  And the President`s I`m not a crook moment was part of a broader temper tantrum stemming from a staged confrontation between the White House and Congressional Democratic leadership.

Before attending an infrastructure meeting at the White House this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with her caucus to discuss the various investigations since the president and the growing calls for the beginning of an impeachment inquiry.  Afterwards, she said this.


PELOSI:  We believe that no one is above the law including the President of the United States and we believe that the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up.


HAYES:  Then when it came time for that infrastructure meeting, no one had very high hopes about the outcome, but the President reportedly walked into the room and without sitting down, he told the Democratic lawmakers he refused to work with them on anything until they stopped investigating him and then he stormed out.

And then get this, minute later he goes outside for what was billed as an impromptu last-second press conference with a podium sign and printed materials that sure looks like they must have taken more than a few minutes to put together.

One astute Twitter user noticed the President`s Mueller by the numbers print out was cribs straight from ABC News graphic but it was missing some key details, for instance, the number of indictments, the number of Trump associates charged, the number of guilty pleas, and the number of people sentenced to prison.  Just kind of left that part out.

Now, for all the speculation that he welcomes an impeachment fight which you hear from some corners, the President today did not sound like someone who wants to be impeached.  He couldn`t even bring himself to say the actual word.


TRUMP:  They want to make this a big deal whether or not they carry the big I-word out, I can`t imagine that but they probably would.  All of a sudden I hear last night they`re going to have a meeting right before this meeting to talk about the I-word, the I-word.  Can you imagine?


HAYES:  The I-word.  Now, for her part, the Speaker does not appear to be reconsidering her approach to confronting the president.


PELOSI:  The fact is something happened there.  So I pray for him and I pray for the United States of America.  This president is obstructing justice and he`s engaged in a cover-up.  And that could be an impeachable offense.


HAYES:  For more on the President`s I`m not a crook moment, I`m joined by former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman who voted for articles of impeachment against Nixon when she was a member of the House Judiciary Committee.  She`s the author of the case for impeaching Trump as well as former Senator Barbara Boxer whose co-host of the Boxer Podcast.

Liz, let me come to you first.  Did it strike you -- I mean, I just -- I saw John Dean saying this.  I mean, that moment I don`t do cover-ups, there was this sort of immediate rush of everyone watching it that this was like that infamous Nixon moment.

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN OF NEW YORK:  Absolutely and it`s kind of -- I think it`s very troubling.  I mean, it`s funny.  It`s like -- I can`t believe that this is really happening.  The president says I don`t do cover-ups and Nixon said I`m not a crook.  But the seriousness of it is that this president does do cover-ups, has done cover-ups.  Someone has gone to prison for covering up for him.

In essence, he`s been named the equivalent of an unindicted co-conspirator for the effort to cover-up hush payments to affect the outcome of the presidential elections, hush payments to Stormy Daniels so you know, it`s very, very troubling.

And it`s troubling that he`s stonewalling Congress.  It`s not surprising.  Like Richard Nixon, Nixon also didn`t want to give a material to Congress and he didn`t but ultimately Congress was able to get around that.

HAYES:  Senator Boxer, one thing that is clear in these interactions, there`s a lot of sort of back-and-forth about where Pelosi is at and some sort of tumult in the caucus about moving forward impeachment inquiry.  What is clear is that she has a strategy for dealing with the President and is extremely effective at getting under his skin.

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER SENATOR OF CALIFORNIA:  Well, I`ve always been a very big Nancy Pelosi fan.  She`s very smart, she`s very strategic, and she loves this country.  And when she said she`s praying for the president and she`s praying for the country, I think she is so stunned that man is president and she was up close and personal.

Clearly, he is was in a rage.  He took his teddy bear.  He went outside.  He sent them backpacking.  And you know something, they never would have done an infrastructure bill, the Republicans.  I worked with Mitch McConnell on it, the Grim Reaper now.  He stops everything.  And I worked with him on infrastructure and we were done.  We did a five-year bill that lasts another two years.  He said I`m finished.  I don`t want any more.

So that never was going to happen anyway.  But the fact that a president would say I don`t like what you`re doing in your oversight side of your responsibilities so don`t talk to me about legislation.  That`s a slap at the American people.  There is a vacancy at the White House right now.  Presidents have to do both things.

Look, I was there for Bill Clinton`s impeachment.  It was a horror show, really.  It was awful.  I sat there at the trial.  He never stopped working for the people.  You know, you got to do both things.

HAYES:  Yes.  There`s a new statement from the speaker tonight saying that sadly the president continues to defy Congress` authority, engage in unprecedented cover-up campaign of the facts which you know, using that language again.

To Senator Boxer`s point here, I mean, they`re -- I`ve asked you this about this before and you`ve made reference to it.  It always seems sort of strange.  You know, a few weeks ago when they went to the White Hous, the infrastructure meeting.  It`s like really, you`re going to deal with an infrastructure amidst all this.  And you said, well look, Congress Nixon iron bills out together.

They govern the country while Watergate was proceeding.  That`s kind of what you have to do.  What he`s saying now is nothing.  There`s no -- we`re not going to talk until you stop these investigations.

HOLTZMAN:  Right.  Basically what he`s saying is that you Congress, you can`t do your job.  And if you`re going to do your job, then I`m just going to walk out of the room.  I`m not going to do mine.  Well, he can`t walk away.  If he wants to walk away, let him resign.  We can have the vice president take over.

But he`s president now and he took an oath of office to take care that the laws were faithfully executed.  He can`t walk away.  He can`t bully Congress.  He can`t threaten Congress.  He`s really holding the American people hostage.

The Constitution also gives Congress a specific power over impeachment.  Why`d they do it?  They didn`t say the president controls that power or can bully Congress out of that power.  What they said was Congress, you have the responsibility ultimately to preserve this democracy and you better do it.

HAYES:  You know, this gets to the deeper issue which I think the speaker and the caucus are facing, Senator Boxer, which is -- which is basically you know Pelosi I think in these standoffs that was true about the shutdown and with Chuck Schumer has sort of gotten the upper hand, right?  They -- she is able to come away looking like the adult in the room, like the person who wants to actually govern while this person`s throwing -- the other person is throwing temper tantrums.

But ultimately, that only gets you so far right?  I mean, the opinions here are pretty settled.  The question is this basic deeper question of power and what do you do if the president continues to tell Congress that they get nothing and he doesn`t care about their power authority.

BOXER:  Well, he`s walking down the impeachment road.  And you know, when I saw those 900 former federal prosecutors, Republicans and Democrats say he clearly obstructed or tried to obstruct the Mueller probe, that was to me the ultimate point that you have no choice but to go down this impeachment route.

But now he`s not only you know, keeping material away about the Mueller probe, he`s keeping all materials away from all the committee`s in all the investigatory work that they`re doing and that`s obstruction of Congress.  And as I reread my Constitution I carried around, it sounds weird but I do that, you know, you see that article one is about the Congress.

And by the way, impeachment is right up there, right up there.  And it`s not a road anyone wants to go down but we have a vacancy it seems to me at the top.  We have a president who 900 bipartisan former prosecutor said obstructed the Mueller probe, absolutely did that, and now he`s obstructing Congress and he throws a hissy fit and walks out of a meeting and says I`m never doing any legislating until you stop your investigations which Congress can`t stop because that`s their constitutional job.

HAYES:  Barbara Boxer and Liz Holtzman, thank you both for joining me tonight.  For more on the impeachment question, I`m joined by first-term Congresswoman Katie Hill who is a Democrat representing a swing district in California.

And Congresswoman, you know, I`ve been thinking about you and other members of the freshman cohort who are in what are called front line districts, in other districts that are you know, they`re not Dem plus ten or Dem plus six, they`re hard-fought districts.  You got a lot of Republicans, Conservatives, Independents in your district.  What are you hearing from the folks in your district about this question of the President and Congress and impeachment?

REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA):  Well, listen, it`s really tough and I`ve been talking a lot with my staff about this because they`re the ones who are getting the phone calls constantly.  I`m going to be going back to the district for this work period and I`m leaving to go back home tomorrow.  But our calls, our phone calls coming into the office have reversed in the trends.

So we were getting you know, about two to one in terms of the number of calls that were opposing impeachment and telling us to stop the investigations, and now we`re getting three or four to one saying we need to be moving forward.  This is -- this is getting to two out of hand.

And so the balancing act that I`m facing and that my colleagues are facing is that we do need to move as deliberately as possible.  We need to exhaust every single option that`s on the table before we actually move towards impeachment, before we move towards a you know even formalizing and impeachment inquiry because we don`t want it -- we want to make sure that we`ve done everything that we possibly can outside of impeachment.

But it`s you know, we are -- we are I would say, not unlike the previous guest that we`re getting closer and closer to that point.  However, the court rulings this week have been in our favor and I think that`s a positive indicator that we`re going to see more and more progress on that front.

HAYES:  I should note from folks that had -- did not track the same, we`re actually going to do this the next segment that there was a court ruling today, the second federal judge in a district court opinion saying that they do have to turn over subpoenaed documents, this case in Deutsche Bank.  This is after a federal judge ruled the same on the accounting firm that President Trump had worked with so that`s over to now for the White House they are ruling in the Houses favor.

But let me zoom in on a question you just said.  Do you see -- there`s some people who are saying look -- and David Cicilline sort of laid this out today.  Look, the formal beginning of an impeachment inquiry is just to process.  It`s part of the process.  It`s how we gather facts.

But what I heard you say is you need to exhaust everything before you get to the formal invocation of an impeachment inquiry, right?  You -- so you see that as kind of a hard line that you want to exhaust every option before you even do that?  Am I reading that right?

HILL:  Well, I mean to me -- and we`ve talked a lot about this within the caucus.  I think that there`s -- there are a number of different cases to be made and they`re all valid.  The legal authority, if you read the judge`s rulings on these cases is that we don`t have to have an inquiry and impeachment inquiry to have the legal authority to request this information, that that`s part of the job that we`re supposed to be doing.

Many are saying that you know, having an official inquiry would give us a stronger legal case.  But again, I don`t believe based on what we`re seeing right now that that`s necessary.  So you know, I also think that we have the Committees of jurisdiction that are doing their work.  What I really want to see play out is you know, what`s happening over the next several weeks.

We`ve got the Justice Department that`s working with the Intelligence Committee now.  We do have these -- you know, we`ve got the ongoing talks with Mueller about appearing and we have now these favorable court rulings.  So I`m -- you know, I feel comfortable with letting it play out for a while longer before we ultimately need to move on to an impeachment inquiry.

And yes, I understand the thought process around making it a formalized aspect right now, but I also think that we`re doing that work already.

HAYES:  So let me ask you this.  You`re a freshman member and you`ve now got a situation where the House has passed a number of bills, have passed HR-1 on sort of enfranchisement and sort of pro-democracy reforms, campaign finance among them, the Equality Act which would bar discrimination.  You were yes vote to both of those if I`m not mistaken.

HILL:  Of course.

HAYES:  There`s a sort of idea that Democrats can go back and focus on the issues in health care and protecting the Affordable Care Act.  I just wonder how much that`s possible to do when these bills are going to die in the Senate.  There`s not a lot of legislating that`s going to happen particularly the president shows up today and says I won`t do anything if you don`t stop investigating.

HILL:  No, I mean that`s the exact problem that I`m facing you know, every single day is that we are passing all of these really critical pieces of legislation.  Just today we passed one that`s about protecting consumers.

And instead of being able to go home and say listen, this is what we`ve accomplished, this is how you`re going to feel it in your day to day lives, we`re instead faced with OK, this is what we`ve done in the House and Mitch McConnell is calling himself the grim reaper and is saying that his sole purpose in life is to stop everything that we`re doing at the House and make sure that it dies on the Senate floor.

So you know, to me this is a moment where the American people need to put that pressure on both on the Senate and on the president to say that we`re not going to accept this, we`re not going to accept the fact that you`re derelicting you know, your duty in terms of working on behalf of the American people because you don`t like the fact that you have to have -- that Congress has to provide oversight.

So you know, on both -- for both the Senate and the President, we really need to put that pressure on and say that this is what we sent you here to do.

HAYES:  All right, Congresswoman Katie Hill, great pleasure.  Thank you very much for making time.

HILL:  Thank you so much for having me again.

HAYES:  Next, Congress is one step closer to finding out what financial ties Donald Trump has with Deutsche Bank.  Congresswomen Katie Porter on what happens next and what we could learn from those financial records in two minutes.


HAYES:  Another day, another legal defeat for the Trump administration, their attempt to prevent Congress from accessing in the President`s financial information.  This afternoon, a federal judge refused to issue an injunction to stop Deutsche Bank and Capital One from sharing the President`s financial records with Congress.

In his ruling, the judge swatted down Trump`s lawyer`s claims saying they are not sufficiently serious as it relates to Supreme Court precedent.  Now tonight, NBC News reports Wells Fargo and TD Bank have already given Trump- related financial documents to the House Financial Services Committee.

This comes just two days after a different judge in a different court ruled Trump`s accounting firm must also release Trump`s records swatting down the very same argument.  It has been less than a day since we learned that the IRS lawyers had come to the conclusion themselves that indeed the Treasury must turn over the president`s tax returns.

The Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared before the House Financial Services Committee today where he was asked point-blank if Americans have the right to see the president`s taxes.

REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC):  Do you think the American people have a right to know what`s in those tax reform -- tax forms.

MNUCHIN:  No, I don`t.  Presidents are not required to and the American public knew that he didn`t release him before they voted for him.


HAYES:  Just four months into her first term, California Congresswoman Katie Porter has already established herself as one of the toughest grill masters in the House.  She`s a member of the House Financial Services Committee which won its subpoena for Trump`s bank records today and she also questioned Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a committee hearing this morning.  Congresswoman, it`s good to have you.

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA):  Thank you so much.

HAYES:  We`re doing a public service here so that people could distinguish the two freshmen Democratic Katie`s from California who are -- who are in this class, you and your colleague Katie Hill.  So let me start with the -- with the court victory today.

This seems like a big deal.  It is your committee that has subpoenaed this.  It`s the second federal judge in just a few days to say you got to do this.  What`s your reaction to it?

PORTER:  I think this is definitely the right decision.  And I think the fact that both this court and the court from earlier in the week really had no problems, these are very well-reasoned decisions.  The law on this is very clear and I think what President Trump is going to find is no matter how many times he makes these specious arguments, the courts are going to do what they`re required to do which is follow the law and follow the precedent.

I anticipate we`re going to see the exact same kind of decision when the House goes to enforce the request for Trump`s tax returns.

HAYES:  What do you say -- I mean the argument here I think -- and it`s not really a legal one to me honestly because it`s getting -- it`s not doing very well legally, it`s more a political one which is essentially this is a fishing expedition that this -- it`s an attempt to use the power of Congress to conduct a kind of personal bit of oppo.  What do you say to that?

PORTER:  Look, there are so many other things that Congress would like to be working on including prescription drug pricing and transportation, and the president is really obstructing us from doing those substantive work as well.  This is absolutely a well-grounded subpoena.  It is based on testimony that Michael Cohen gave, and the requests were narrowly tailored.

Deutsche Bank, the President still owes Deutsche Bank about $300 million.  And we just learned that Deutsche Bank was experienced what are called suspicious activity reports that is they flagged behavior in the accounts of both President Trump and Mr. Kushner that gave rise to concerns about possible money laundering, fraud and other things, and quite simply the bank did not follow proper procedure with dealing with those suspicious activity reports.

HAYES:  I wanted -- I`m glad you brought it up.  I wanted to get your take on this because I read that article twice and I guess I came away thinking like I can`t quite zero in at this -- at how often these SARS, Suspicious Activity Reports get generated and how often they get ignored as a kind of like base rate comparison to how weird this is that Deutsche Bank was doing this.  What is your takeaway or what information do you feel like you need to have the draw conclusion?

PORTER:  So two things I would say, is one that SARS, Suspicious Activity Reports which we call SARS are not in themself uncommon, but what they are designed to do is be a detection device that then triggers additional examination and investigation by the bank.

And here what we`ve been told is the bank willfully decided to ignore those Suspicious Activity Reports and not to do further investigation.  And I think they`re potentially going to face regulatory responses.

And so this was one of the things I asked Mr. Mnuchin about today was not only what would he be doing as the Secretary of the Treasury to hold Deutsche Bank accountable for failing to follow the proper procedures, but whether Deutsche Bank might also be facing investigation from the German banking regulators for failing to follow proper procedures.

HAYES:  You had Steve Mnuchin before your committee today.  Did you feel like you learned anything new from the Treasury Secretary?

PORTER:  I thought the Treasury Secretary really dug in.  He made very clear.  He pressed quite firmly on whether or not what knowledge he had had of this IRS draft memo for example.  He claimed that he had not seen it till he was in the car on the drive over to testify.  He was asked multiple times about that.

So I think he state -- he laid out what he`s standing by and we`re going to be able to find out if that turns out to be incorrect.

HAYES:  You also had -- you had a somewhat viral exchange with the Secretary of HUD Ben Carson just I think yesterday.  He was unable to sort of identify some standard real estate acronyms.  And I just want to get your response to two things he said.  One, he said we threw our acronyms all the time particularly in government.  You really don`t think about what do the letters mean which may be true.

He also said that this was -- you were using the Saul Alinsky playbook, that if you read Saul Alinsky`s rules for radicals, it is exactly what you and your colleagues were doing when you were aggressively questioning him.  What do you think about that?

PORTER:  Respectfully, I strongly disagree with Secretary Carson.  I was extremely respectful in my tone during my entire questioning.  And what he refused to do during the questioning and what he`s refused to do since then is to actually talk about what`s going on at FHA which is HUD`s most important program for low to moderate income and first-time homebuyers.  He seems to still be missing the issue.

I was asking questions to try to understand how do we help homeowners, how do we help create more affordable homeownership in this country, and he continues to think this is some kind of political game or brinkmanship.  For him to say that I don`t understand these issues when he has shown flatly that he does not is frankly really upsetting and I intend to hold him accountable for following up on these issues.

HAYES:  All right, Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, thank you very much.

PORTER:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Ahead, Senator Chris Murphy says Republicans aren`t being honest with the American people about Iran and he joins me to talk about it next.


HAYES:  One day after the White House sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to try to sell Congress on what the administration says is a terrifying and intensifying threat from Iran, a pair of Senate Democrats forced a vote just this afternoon to deny funding for an unauthorized military action.  Tom Udall and Chris Murphy putting forth an amendment in the foreign relations committee today that would bar the use of federal funds for military operations in or against Iran without congressional authorization.  They did get Rand Paul, a Republican`s, vote, but every other Republican opposed the amendment and it failed.

And as the White House effectively asserts that congress has no oversight authority whatsoever, it continues to quite ostentatiously attempt to build a case for military action against Iran without  congressional approval.

Joining me now is Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, who co- sponsored that amendment today to block funding for unauthorized military operations against Iran.

Is that your fear, is that why you brought up the amendment today?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) MARYLAND:  Well, we brought up the amendment for a number of reasons.  First, of course we`re concerned about this blind escalation with no end game, with no  strategy overlying the tactics that the administration is engaged in with respect to Iran.  But we also can`t get a straight answer out of this administration as to whether they think they have existing authority to engage in a preemptive war against Iran.

There are many of us that worry they could try to contort one of the old war authorizations from 2001 or 2003 such that they could launch a strike against Iran and never come to congress.  We thought this was kind of a nobrainer today.  All our resolution said was that if the president is engaging in a strike that is preemptive, if it`s not in defense of our troops or in retaliation to an attack against our troops, that he should have to come to congress.  And I was really disappointed in that we only got one Republican.  I thought this was something we could get consensus on.

And the message it sends to the administration is as that, you know, as unserious as they are about consulting with congress, it doesn`t appear that at least Republicans are willing to stand up for our constitutional responsibilities as well.

HAYES:  You were speaking and tweeting about the briefing that happened on Capitol Hill yesterday.  And I am curious what your read on it is.  It`s very hard to parse from the outside.  I personally have deep skepticism because of some of the players, because of some of the agendas.  But it`s very hard, we don`t get to see the actual intelligence.  What is your read on what you heard yesterday?

MURPHY:  So, listen, I think there is intelligence suggesting that there`s a heightened threat level inside Iraq today.  And I don`t second guess the administration for deciding to pull some of our personnel out of harm`s way. 

But it`s also perfectly clear that the Iranians are reacting to us, that It`s the pulling out of the Iran deal, that it`s the naming of the Iranian army as a terrorist group, that has made the Iranians feel as if they have to put themselves in combination of a defensive and offensive position.

And, you know, everybody should, you know, go back and read the Guns of August, the famous Barbara Tuchman book about World War I in which each side thought the other side`s defensive actions were offensive.  And I think that`s the misread that may be happening right now.

And my anger is that Republicans aren`t being honest about telling the American people that the Iranians are reading us in the reactions and decisions and actions they are taking.

HAYES:  You know, it strikes me, the president`s rhetoric has been somewhat similar to the rhetoric he had with North Korea.  It strikes me that -- and you said they were all tactics and no strategy yesterday.  What the president would like is just to get another Iran deal he could put his name on instead of Barack Obama`s if he had his druthers.  Is that a fair read of the situation?

MURPHY:  Yeah, I think that`s probably it.  He has been convinced by Bolton and Pompeo that he can get a 2.0 version of the Iran nuclear agreement that the Iranians will somehow agree to give up their ballistic missile program and their support for terrorist organizations.

Of course, the Iranians don`t perceive Trump to be an honest broker in the way that they did perceive Obama to be a broker.  One day is Trump is telling them that he wants a deal, the next day he saying he will blow them off the planet.

So, the Iranians are not going to sit down with Trump, because they just don`t think they can get to a final product.

HAYES:  You had a warning yesterday about what might seem to be obscure issue, but I thought it`s important to ask you to sort of follow up on it, which is U.S. arm sales to Saudi Arabia to be used or deployed in their ongoing against Yemen, which has led to hundreds of thousands of people in risk of starvation, a cholera outbreak, tens of  thousands of deaths of children and innocents.  What is going on?

MURPHY:  So, I got word yesterday that the Trump administration may be using an obscure provision of the Arms Control Act to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia, that they would drop inside Yemen in a way that wouldn`t allow congress to object.

Historically, congress has the ability to say no an arms deal, that`s part of our war making authority.  But there`s a little loophole, which allows the president to declare an emergency like he has on the border.  And the word is he may declare an emergency in the Middle East so that he can sell munitions to Saudi Arabia and get around a vote of congress. 

And he is doing that because he would lose the vote in congress if he proposed to sell another round of bombs to Saudi Arabia that`s using them to be dropped on schools and children, congress would say no.  And so I`m raising the alarms about this in the hope that Republicans may convince him to do it through normal the procedures, which would allow us to have a debate and a vote in congress.

HAYES:  Final question, Rex Tillerson was with your House counterparts yesterday.  Some of the reporting indicates he was telling them about the president`s reluctance to take any measures to punish Russia for its interference and sabotage in the last election.  And there are election security  bills sitting in the senate right now that Mitch McConnell will not call for a vote.  What`s going on?

MURPHY:  Yeah, it`s interesting to me how eager Rex Tillerson was to appear before congress in a way that he did not -- he was not eager in that way when he was secretary of state.

So, listen, there`s the opportunity to come together here.  And we`ve done it in the past.  We passed a $300 million election security measure a few years ago.  It actually did help make our elections more secure in 2018.  But republicans for whatever reason are not willing to do a second  round of that funding.

And given what we know has happened in Florida, given what we know the Russians are trying to do other places, we badly need this money in order to make sure that they don`t play games again in 2020.

So, I can`t explain why Republicans were for election security before they were against it.  I don`t want to believe the worst, but our job at securing elections is not done yet.

HAYES:  All rig ht, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, thank you for making some time.

MURPHY:  Thanks.

HAYES:  Still ahead, a special All In report on the voters that can make or break the Democratic candidates in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, if you have been considering leaving the country to escape our toxic politics, might I suggest the United Kingdom is not the place for you.  In fact, it`s sort of just like here, except their version of MAGA people call themselves Brexiteers.  They want to Brexit from the EU and we know how well that whole thing is going.

But that`s how we get to scenes like this released by the BBC today, which was attempting to interview David Davies, a member of Parliament, who, one, voted for Brexit, and two, has just a really elaborate cellphone belly rig thing happening there.

The interview is interrupted by this woman, who, one, is also in favor of Brexit and,  two, comes with her own PA system?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No, honestly, if you are a Brexiteer, then this is how -- this is what Brexiteers have been...

DAVID DAVIES, MEMBER OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT:  Because I honestly -- hang on a minute.  I cannot (inaudible) for Brexit.  Where were you?  Where were you people when I was out campaigning for Brexit?  You were nowhere.  You were behind your keyboards and now you`ve come out, right?  You are not a Brexiteer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, you obviously haven`t watched my footage.

DAVIES:  I actually was campaigning for Brexit, and have been for years.  So I don`t need to be  given lectures by people like you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did you vote for the deal?

DAVIES:  I did vote for the deal, but...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You voted for the deal.  Oh, my god.  And have you read the deal?

DAVIES:  Yeah, I read the deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And it means not to leave.

DAVIES:  And how many MPs...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It means we don`t leave, so you  were lying.  You did not vote to leave.

DAVIES:  Oh, yeah, then.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You didn`t vote to leave.  Have you read it?  Well, you see, I read the withdrawal agreement, unlike this man who is an MP, and shame -- what is your name, then, if you`re an  MP.

DAVIES:  Nevermind what my name is.  I`m not talking to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, I guess I`ll find out when I watch the BBC, the lying BBC. 


HAYES:  The Lying BBC.  All right, well, good luck with all that, folks.

Now, those people are, just to be clear, they`re on the same side.  And if you thought that was bad, just wait until you see what the anti-Brexiteers have in store for the Brexit masterminds and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  We bring you a report tonight out of southeast England in Kent County where Nigel Farage, the man who championed the Brexit movement apparently had to be locked down on his tour bus unable to leave due to report of people outside carrying milkshakes.

This incident comes on the heels of police in Scotland ordering the McDonald`s restaurant to stop selling milkshakes ahead of a Nigel Farage event there Friday.  The reason for this crackdown is that milkshaking politicians is the latest trend sweeping the UK.  And so there was no way Nigel Farage was getting off that bus, especially not after what happened the other day when this guy was lying in wait.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Take him away.  Get him back to the car.  Back to the car.  Get back to the car. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Complete failure.




HAYES:  A shocking new investigation into ICE shows that thousands of immigrants are being detained in solitary confinement for up to a year or more for reasons as ridiculous and capricious as needing a wheelchair or having a cast.

Increasingly, human rights organizations around the world and psychologists view solitary as a form of torture, should be banned outright, and if used very sparingly at all.

In a statement, an agency spokesperson said ICE, quote, "is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody.  The use of restrictive housing in ICE detention facilities is exceedingly rare, but at times necessary to ensure the safety of staff and individuals in a facility."

The seemingly casually use of solitary against immigrants who pose no danger as documented in the report is of course a symptom of the underlying cause, which is a president and immigration bureaucracy that seem to view the population they deal with as subhuman.

In fact, right now, a Nogales, Arizona border patrol agent is being prosecuted for hitting a migrant with his car.  And prosecutors are attempting to get text messages admitted into evidence to show his manifest contempt for immigrants, they include calling immigrants, quote, disgusting subhuman "s" unworthy of being kindling for a fire.  And another message asking the president to,quote, please let us take the gloves off, Trump.

Now perhaps even more shocking than that is the defense`s argument in response that the text messages are not relevant, because that kind of language is -- I`m quoting here -- common place throughout the Border Patrol`s Tucson sector, that it is part of the agency`s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen`s mindset.

And in a grim reminder of what the stakes are for those entrusted into the care of that agency, we have news tonight about the sixth migrant child to die after being detained by border authorities, this time a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador who died back in September and only now are we learning about her.

If you refer to immigrants as an infestation, as the president has, if you promote bigoted stereotypes about their unique depravity and talk about them as a nefarious band of infiltrators, you will promote the conditions for cruelty as surely as affect follows cause.

There is a body count to the president`s rhetoric now.  And unless something changes, it is going to grow.


HAYES:  For decades now, Iowa has been the state with the nation`s first presidential caucus, and New Hampshire the first primary.  And while those states` primary voting bases are fairly representative on the Republican side, there is a real issue on the Democratic side that these momentum- setting states are so much wider than the nation, and particularly the Democratic Party as a whole.

That said, there are over 3 million people in the state of Iowa with significant variation and diversity depending on where you are. All In correspondent Trymaine Lee set out to the town of Waterloo where voters are looking for someone to represent all of Iowa`s working class.


TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  When you think of Iowa, most people think of farms and corn and that the state is overwhelmingly white.  But nestled on the banks of the Cedar River, the the city of Waterloo defies those stereotypes: it`s industrial, home to a John Deere factory, and it`s diverse, with the highest percentage of African-Americans in the state.

QUENTIN HART, MAYOR OF WATERLOO, IOWA:  Now Waterloo is 70,000 people, 16 percent African-American, Bosnian, Burma, multiple dialects, and we are the microcosm of this entire country.

LEE:  Mayor Quentin Hart was born and raised in Waterloo.  He is the city`s first black mayor, and he is running for a third term in November.

HART:  We cannot ignore the realities of places like Waterloo when it comes to having a national conversation about moving our communities forward.

LEE:  Many African-Americans first came to Waterloo in early 20th Century for work.  The railroads lured them with a promise of jobs and used them to break a strike by the white union workers.

Today, as then, the Cedar River literally divides the mostly black side of town on the east from the white side on the east.

A lot of times when you hear politicians talk about reclaiming Midwestern voters, right, and the all important Midwestern voter and the working class, do you get the sense that they forget about the black working class voters?

HART:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  And that`s why if you want to win in Iowa you have to deal  with the black middle class workers that we have here.  It`s not wasted time.  They have to hear those voices.  What are you going to do to help improve the lives and the conditions of people that live here?

LEE:  Last year, Waterloo and neighboring Cedar Falls were ranked the worst metro area for African-Americans in the entire country.

How does a young black mayor become the mayor of a city in the worst place in America for  black folks to live?  How does that happen?

HART:  Well, you know, so let`s put it like this, so I would say comparatively, to many other communities, Waterloo has challenges just like everywhere else.  To say that we are the worst, you know, I will never go with making that statement.  To say that we have challenges and things that we need to work on, whether it`s unemployment, whether it`s homeownership, absolutely will never go with making that statement, to say that we have challenges and things that we need to work on, whether it`s unemployment, whether it`s home ownership, absolutely we have to.

LEE:  Among the big concerns in Waterloo right now, how to grow jobs and encourage small business, especially minority owned businesses, like Speller`s Hardware.

Owner Allen Speller opened his store in 2016 because people in his part of town didn`t have access to basic supplies like hammers and nails.

ALLEN SPELLER, STORE OWNER, WATERLOO, IOWA:  The hurdles are a little higher for us to jump, and it just kind of makes you question, OK, is this happening to everybody that opens a business, everybody that is trying to open a business, or maybe I just don`t know the ins and outs of opening a business.

Those hurdles just make it hard, it makes it hard for the community to grow.  You know, a lot of people don`t have the will and the drive to power past those type of hurdles. 

RANDY FOX, RESIDENT,  WATERLOO, IOWA:  The best and the brightest are leaving this area.  And maybe some of it because of the subtle racism and you know the difficulties in establishing a business.  My son grew up and was educated here.  He`s an optometrist, but he told me, dad, he said I just can`t make it here, you know, he said I got to get outside of here, goto a bigger city like St. Louis  or somewhere, you know, where I have a chance.

LEE:  As Iowa welcomes candidates running for president, communities like Waterloo are hoping to be heard. 

HART:  Do you want to be president of the entire United States?  And if you do, then you`ll come to places like Waterloo.  You`ll put forth strategies to help support the mayor and support others that are trying to move our communities forward.  But that`s the question.  Do you want to be president of the United States or do you want to be president of a few places?  And we`re hoping that people put together platforms that`s all inclusive.


HAYES:  And Trymaine Lee joins me now.

I learned so much.  When you came with a pitch about Waterloo, I knew nothing about Waterloo.  And then I was fascinated by it.  And then I learned a lot from the report. 

The dynamics here where you`ve got a city it`s not overwhelming African- American, I mean, 16 percent.  You`ve got black mayor in a majority white town and a place that has a lot of it seems like segregation.  How do those politics work there?

LEE:  One thing that`s amazing, at 16 percent, that`s greater than the black population of America, at 13, 14 percent.

One thing that is amazing and a big picture is we`ve all kind of been programmed a certain kind of way.  When we think about these Midwestern voters and working class in the Rust Belt, you think of white.

HAYES:  Always coded as white, always coded as white.

LEE:  And we all kind of know that, even though we bought into it.  But there have been black folks in these communities for generations, right, lured from the south with a prospect of a job, whether it`s Detroit or Gary, Indiana or wherever in the Midwest.

But here, locally, they at once feel very Iowan, and have Iowa values, and they`re pragmatic and practical, but they feel ignored and neglected.

I talked to a bunch of voters that said in a soul food restaurant with a round table of black voters and said what matters to you in this community?  And they said we want to be heard, right: health care, education, all the matters that matter elsewhere, but we want to be heard.

Folks come here, they hear our ideas, then that`s it, they get our vote and that`s it.

HAYES:  You know, the other striking thing to me here is just the obvious math, which is when we do campaign reporting, by necessity we`re putting people in these like categories.  You are thinking like Iowa, the Iowan voter -- 3 million people.  You`ve got all kinds of folks in Iowa, right.  I mean, when he was talking about -- we`ve got Burmese folks, we`ve got different languages spoken here, like a big enough population even in a place that is not statistically very diverse is going to have its own diversity.

LEE:  But going back to the question you asked that I didn`t really answer at first is, it`s still divided by the Cedar River, right, the mostly black side of town in the east, white folks mostly on the west still.  And so folks still are cloistered in their corners, and there is -- there are allegations of the subtle racism and the treatment by the police and the housing and the schooling.

But they`re trying to break out of that.  You have these businesses that are popping up.  You have a young black mayor going for his third term, so the first black mayor elected and then elected again, and he is going for his third time.  And people believe that he may win again.

And so they`re trying to organize, they`re trying to promote black businesses, and trying to uplift the community.

HAYES:  Have candidates been coming through Waterloo?

LEE:  Some have.  So, Elizabeth Warren has been there,  Cory Booker has done some outreach.  So they come there, but not specifically aimed at black voters.

And that`s the one thing that almost everyone I spoke to said, we don`t even want a minority agenda, your black agenda, because everyone gets lumped into the minority agenda, but what are you going to do for black folks.  Give us something solid.

HAYES:  Waterloo, Iowa, Trymaine Lee, thank you for giving us that little dispatch.  I learned a lot from it.  Great to you here.

LEE:  Thank you.

HAYES:  All right, that is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.  Good evening, Rachel.