CHRIS MATHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s why Joe Biden is way ahead of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren because he owns his lane. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Happy Memorial Day. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think a number of people and I think what you look is that they have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person.
HAYES: The President orders the federal government to investigate his conspiracy theory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kraken has been unleashed.
HAYES: Tonight, former CIA Director John Brennan on what Trump`s order means for national intelligence. Plus --
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): He wants to testify in private.
HAYES: Why Robert Mueller`s attempt to avoid a political spectacle may be too late. Then, Congresswoman Maxine Waters on the latest on the investigation into Donald Trump`s finances and why the President just invoked emergency power to go around Congress to sell weapons to the Saudis.
TRUMP: That`s peanuts for you.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. The President of the United States has unleashed his trusted attorney general against career law enforcement and intelligence officials Trump sees as his enemies.
The White House announced last night that Attorney General Bill Barr has been given free rein to investigate the law enforcement officials and intelligence officials who began the Russia investigation and to unilaterally declassify any intelligence helpful to Trump that he might find.
We know the President has long championed the narrative that the investigation into his campaign`s interactions with Russia was illegitimate from the jump.
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TRUMP: I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation. You look at the origin of the investigation, where it started, how it started, who started it, whether it`s McCabe, or Comey, or a lot of them. The Mueller report I wish covered the oranges, how it started. The beginnings of the investigation. How it started.
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HAYES: Barr can now squeeze that orange. Trump has every reason to believe Barr will use his new powers to aid the President`s anti deep state propaganda efforts. The Associated Press reports Trump has told close confidence that he finally had my Attorney General, my Attorney General.
Now, Barr has been criticized from across the political spectrum as a lackey in a position where independent powers of the utmost importance. And Trump giving Barr a unilateral authority over classification is just a huge deal in the world of intelligence agencies.
Barr will be able to override other agencies independent classification determinations. And the goal of all this here seems pretty clear. It`s basically to give Sean Hannity material for his television show. Selective declassification has already been used here by Congressman Devin Nunes when he was chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
You might remember the Nunes memo about supposed anti-Trump bias in the Russia investigation or maybe you don`t, there wasn`t much to it in the end. But another example of how the selective release of information can work is it none other than Bill Barr`s own piece mail release the Mueller report.
For example, Barr quoted part one of a sentence making it seem that Mueller found Trump camp -- Trump`s campaign had nothing to do with Russia. Weeks later when we saw the complete sentence, it became clear this couldn`t have been further from the truth.
Now, all of this comes in the context of the president claiming that the guy who used to run the FBI is guilty of treason, a crime punishable by death.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, the Constitution says treason is punishable by death. You`ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?
TRUMP: I think a number of people. And I think what you look is that they have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person. If you look at Comey, if you look at McCabe, if you look at probably people, hot people, higher than that.
If you look at Strzok, they want an insurance policy so that should she for any reason lose, remember, 100 million to one, maybe he said 100 million to nothing but should she lose, we`ll have an insurance policy and we`ll get this guy out of office. That`s what they said and that`s what they meant. That`s treason.
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HAYES: Just to be clear, what you just saw there, one of our own reporters raised the President that treason carries the death penalty. That is to say someone can be executed, killed for that crime and asked him specifically who he`s talking about, and he just names a bunch of people including the former FBI director.
So the plan as it appears now is essentially a kind of purge of the ideologically suspect members of the intelligence apparatus. That is a sentence that uttered in any other context about another society or country would be deeply terrifying and raise serious concerns about the rule of law.
Joining me now, a man with a deep understanding about the importance of classification John Brennan, served as Director of the CIA under President Obama. He`s now an NBC News Senior National Security and Intelligence Analyst.
How big a deal do you read that the portion of the executive order last night that appears to give Barr the unilateral authority to declassify?
JOHN BRENNAN, NBC NEWS SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I see it as a very, very serious and outrageous move on the part of Mr. Trump once again trampling upon the statutory authorities of the Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the independent intelligence agencies. And it`s unclear to me what Mr. Barr actually is going to do.
Is he investigating a crime? Well, what`s the predication of that crime? Or is he just going to be looking for information I think as you rightly pointed out at the top that Mr. Trump can just give to some of his defenders on the right and cherry-pick information that could be taken out of context?
But I think more fundamentally, the concern is that very, very precious and sensitive sources and methods of the United States intelligence community as well as our partners and allies abroad, those who share this sensitive information with us.
Is Mr. Barr who doesn`t have an understanding of the equities involved, is he just going to release information that he deems appropriate for Mr. Trump`s defense. So this is very serious and I know that my former colleagues in the intelligence agencies are looking upon this with great concern and worry.
HAYES: It`s interesting you said that because sometimes the president will issue an executive order that ends up being more a messaging document than actually confirmed power. This one seemed to me upon reading to confer some power. You appear to see it the same way and I want to read the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats` statement and get your reaction to it.
He says, much like we have with other investigations and reviews, the Intelligence Community will provide the DOJ all the appropriate information for its review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As part of that process, I am confident the Attorney General will work with the Intelligence Community in accordance with long-established standards to protect highly sensitive classified information that if publicly released would put our national security at risk. What do you think of that statement?
BRENNAN: Well, I have a lot of respect for Dan Coats. I think he is trying to protect the men and women of the Intelligence Community. And what he says in there is that they will provide, the Intelligence Community will provide the appropriate information. And I think that`s critically important.
What is that appropriate information? What is the basis for those requests? But I do hope that Dan Coats and Gina Haspel stand up to this effort why Mr. Trump which really does seem to go into the sensitive files, the very sensitive, would be technical or human for source files and to pull out of that information that they see fit as to defend Mr. Trump.
So again, I implore Dan Coats, Gina Haspel and others to stand up to this I think unprecedented act on the part of Mr. Trump who doesn`t understand nor care about the national security concerns of the Intelligence Community.
HAYES: I want to read you a section from a column in the New York Times today about you and your -- and Russian intelligence and ask if this is sort of an area of concern for you. This is about John Brennan, yourself, the CIA Director under Mr. Obama, would bring reports from the sources about a source inside the Russian government, directly the White House, keeping them out of the president`s daily intelligence briefing for fear the briefing document was too widely disseminated.
Instead, he would place him in an envelope for Mr. Obama and a tiny circle of aides to read. The source provided evidence for one of the last major intelligence conclusions Mr. Obama made before leaving office and Mr. Putin himself was behind the Russia hack. Are you worried about the exposure of sources that are giving us intel on Russia?
BRENNAN: Well, I`m not going to get into any of the specifics as you can imagine --
HAYES: Of course.
BRENNAN: -- but I am deeply, deeply concerned about what is going on right now and how Mr. Trump is authorizing what appears to be his personal attorney to pursue these efforts inside of the intelligence community agencies and to uncover and to potentially release this information that could, in fact, put people`s lives in great jeopardy as well as put very sensitive and very exquisite U.S. intelligence capabilities at risk.
This is something that I think that the intelligence committees of jurisdiction. The Senate Intelligence and the House Intelligence Committees really need to exert their appropriate authorities and to stop any reckless and irresponsible release of information that could harm this country for years to come.
HAYES: What do you say to folks that say the Intelligence Community is capable of wielding classification and secrecy like a sword, to protect its turf, to keep Committees of oversight away from them, to fight intramural battles for supremacy within the government and maybe, it`s good to give someone the power to kind of get there and override that?
BRENNAN: Well, the women and men of the Intelligence Communities do their utmost to keep their fellow citizens safe and secure and they do their utmost to keep these intelligence collection capabilities whether they be technical or whether they be human sources safe from harm.
And so to say that someone else should come in here and just release things almost willy-nilly I think is a reckless, reckless initiative. And so I do believe that the intelligence committees in on in the Congress are the appropriate ones to make sure that the Intelligence Community is carrying out its responsibilities faithfully and in accordance with the law as opposed to somebody coming in who clearly again has a political agenda.
HAYES: Final question for you here about the effect of all this. I mean, here you`ve got folks who started a very secret counterintelligence investigation in the midst of the 2016 campaign. A counterintelligence investigation that had it leaked would have been explosive politically and did not leak. They kept it completely secret during that period of time.
What will it do to folks who work in counterintelligence or who work on these issues in the back of their head that if they pursue them they may find themselves on the wrong end of an internal investigation?
BRENNAN: Well, I hope they stay strong but I think the attempt here is to try to intimidate those who might go against Mr. Trump and his -- the members of his administration. I think it`s critically important that the counterintelligence professionals continue to carry out their responsibilities and resist these unwarranted and very, very irresponsible efforts to try to undermine what they`re doing.
And also I am very concerned about those human sources around the globe who put their lives at risk for this country and they`re watching this spectacle in Washington right now. And they`re watching Mr. Trump potentially expose all this information to try to keep him safe from the appropriate investigations that are underway.
I really am concerned that this is going to harm our national security in a manner that we have not seen before.
HAYES: All right, John Brennan, thank you very much for sharing your time and expertise this evening.
BRENNAN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now for more on the president`s weaponization of the Attorney General Mona Charen, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Policy Institute, also former aide in the Reagan White House, and Michael Steele former RNC Chairman, now on MSNBC Political Analyst.
Mona, Brennan is a cool temperate individual generally. He seems not to be faking his concern here.
MONA CHAREN, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Policy Institute: Right. Look, part of the problem is that William Barr who until he was appointed as Attorney General under this president had a sterling reputation and people believed that he was acting in good faith, he`s now really called that into question. He seems much more willing to be -- to do the bidding of Trump and to serve Trump`s political interests rather than sort of the detached position of upholding the rule of law.
And so it`s reasonable to doubt that he will perform a fair evaluation of whatever evidence he`s looking at that he might as was said earlier, he might cherry-pick and release things that will be helpful to the president`s case.
HAYES: Michael, you`ve been -- I mean, you`ve been around Washington and you know, classification battles happen all the time between government. But giving someone -- I mean this is another thing that that you know, are slugfest between different agencies and of different people with different equities about what can be classified and what can.
Giving someone your hand pick attorney general the unilateral authority is enormous, enormous deal right?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It is a huge deal. And you know, this is something that it`s really sacrosanct to the -- to the executive branch specifically the president who holds that very close. He does not just sort of dish it out to other members of his administration to just go off into the wild blue yonder and decide oh you know, this we will now be classify.
So there`s a big concern and there`s you know, there`s a quiet rumblings on the Hill about what this potentially means going into the rest of this year and certainly into the full-throated aspects of the presidential campaign well you`ve got the Attorney General now surreptitiously and sometimes not so surreptitiously putting information out on the street that may be beneficial to the president`s overall narrative about no collusion etcetera, etcetera.
And actually and when you thought stop and think about it, Chris, this could be potentially worse than the Russians hacking our government, the president through his operatives are just willy-nilly putting out on the street and that`s a big concern right now.
HAYES: There`s also -- I mean, there`s also the fact, Mona, that in which John talked about there which is I just don`t see any incentive for any of the people that participated in this in 2016. Either the Trump administration sort of you know, the Trump campaign kind of going like this to the Russians and the Russians mucking around. It doesn`t seem a lot of disincentive for either party at this point.
CHAREN: Disincentive to do what?
HAYES: To do it again. I mean, you know what I mean. Like they just --
CHAREN: You know, it doesn`t seem to have dawned on many Republicans who now suddenly having been strong opponents of the Russian state and before that the Soviet state. They`ve thrown all that aside to dismiss any concerns about Russian meddling for Trump`s sake. It never seems to have dawned on them that the next time the Russians interfere it could be for the Democrat.
HAYES: Of course, right.
CHAREN: Sorry -- yes, it could be for the Democrats.
HAYES: Yes -- no, no, I think that`s exactly right. In fact, you can imagine a world in which Putin gets mad at Trump over something and you know, leak some new e-mail that hasn`t come out before.
CHAREN: Exactly. And what will the Republicans say then? Will they say no collusion?
HAYES: Right. Michael?
STEELE: Well, I was going to say that the narrative that`s beginning to develop here in Washington is the position that China potentially could be taking in this election vis a vis the Democrats because they do not like the President`s tariff policy. The Democrats tend to be more user-friendly from their perspective on that front.
So yes, we are now opening ourselves up to have our government and our elections managed by these foreign entities.
CHAREN: And Chris, do you know what staggering is that this is the response of the Trump administration to the release of a report that they are claiming as a total vindication and exoneration, right. And so they`re going around shooting the survivors. I mean it certainly doesn`t --
HAYES: That`s exactly right.
CHAREN: Yes. It doesn`t look like they really mean it.
HAYES: Right. Well, when he says it`s personal, right, because he said they went for the wrong person. They came for the wrong person. This is about -- it`s about extracting revenge and it`s about giving Sean Hannity programming. Like those are the two things that it`s about.
CHAREN: Well, that`s right but it is actually very serious because in the first few years of this president`s tenure, he had very bad instincts, he had -- he had evil intentions if you will, but he was so incompetent at wielding power that it didn`t really amount to much. But he`s getting better. He`s learning and that should worry us.
HAYES: That the consolidation of executive power we`re seeing, I mean, the delegation of this the Attorney General over the entire classification system, the administration, Michael, has declared two emergencies. One, to build their border wall without any congressional -- without congressional approval.
Today did for some arms sales. We`re going to get to that in a little bit. They`re not complying with subpoenas and they`re not turning over documents. Like that`s a kind of consolidation in the executive that`s troubling I think.
STEELE: Well, absolutely there are two points that are critically important here I think. The first is what we`re seeing unfold real-time is the deconstruction of the administrative state. This is ultimately what Bannon and the president were talking about as they came into the city inaugural week to lay out what their plan would be.
They were very upfront, very direct about it. This is it real time. And the most of -- the second -- the most important part of that is the second point and that is there`s no consequences. What are the consequences of things you`ve just described. So far the Congress have not given -- have not meet out any, certainly the Senate Republicans haven`t. This president left unchecked will continue to do what he`s doing.
HAYES: That`s right, tests offense, tests offense. Mona Charen and Michael Steele, thank you both. Next, Congressman Maxine Waters on the thousands of Trump-related financial documents her committee has already received, and the White House`s losing Deutsche Bank battle. She joins me in two minutes.
HAYES: Donald Trump is now 0-2 this week in the federal courts. He lost on Monday when a federal judge upheld Congress` power to investigated President including getting its hands on accounting records from a firm that he used to work with. Then he lost again on Wednesday when another federal district judge ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One are indeed allowed, in fact, mandated to hand over Trump-related financial documents to Congress.
Donald Trump, three of his children, and the Trump Organization are now appealing that Wednesday decision. But since the judge already said in the decision that Trump`s claims "are not sufficiently serious as it relates to Supreme Court precedent, the President`s odds might not be all that great.
We also know that at least two banks Wells Fargo and TD Bank have already handed over Trump-related financial documents to Congress. Here with me now, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California. She is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee which subpoenaed those financial documents.
And as the chair, I have not had an opportunity to talk to you about your reaction to federal court`s ruling in favor of the subpoena going forward on Wednesday.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Well, I am very pleased that Judge Ramos rules against a preliminary induct that that Trump was trying to keep the -- from hearing basically you know, Deutsche Bank. They did not -- they did not want Deutsche Bank rather to release the documents. I`m sorry.
WATERS: I`m so pleased about all of this. I`m really in a state of shock about it. But they tried to keep Deutsche Bank from giving up the documents that we subpoenaed. And so the judge said no, he did not agree with them. Now, the judge didn`t rule on the merits of the case. And so now that Trump has appealed and we understand he filed an appeal as of today, then we`re going to have to deal with that appeal.
And so the judge will rule on the merits of the case later on after the briefs have been done. And so we`re hoping that sometime in latter a July that there will be oral arguments and we hope we will win on that.
HAYES: Do you -- do you view this is essentially an attempt to just kind of run out the clock here? I mean there`s a concern I think that the process has been slowed in the courts and even if you`re winning in the courts, the administration is able to hold things back and run out the clock for a long period of time.
WATERS: Yes. As a matter of fact, he has a reputation for running out the court. It is said that during the time that he has been involved with all of these cases that have been filed against him over the years by contractors and others that he cheated, that he did not want to pay, that he would outlast them in court.
And I think he`s trying to use these same tactics and maybe try to get all the way up to the Supreme Court.
HAYES: The documents that have been subpoenaed, can you sort of broadly describe them? I mean, they have to do with the businesses, they are -- what is the project that you`re looking for? What is the goal here and what are the categories of documents you`re seeking?
WATERS: Well, we were absolutely concerned about money laundering. We are concerned about illicit funds. We`re concerned about the loans for example that he`s gotten from Deutsche Bank, nor the bank would lend him money. He even sued Deutsche Bank at one point but somehow Deutsche Bank has been lending him and his family huge sums of money. And at the time of his election, he owed them about $300 million.
And so we want to understand that relationship. We want to understand his relationship to Russia. We want to understand his finance and financing.
HAYES: There`s -- you have been very early in your call and out front about impeachment. It`s been a question that has sort of hung over the caucus. Nancy Pelosi opposes it at the moment. There are more who are open for inquiry. I want to I ask you about a specific argument that Pelosi and leadership has made which is that since your committees are winning in the courts and we`ll get your hands on these documents, there`s no reason to move forward on an impeachment inquiry. You should let the court process play out.
WATERS: Well, no, I think that we can do both. As you know, I`ve been for impeachment for a long time and growing number of members of Congress are thinking that we should have an impeachment inquiry at least.
But I think that we have a responsibility and our committees. It`s a constitutional responsibility for oversight and investigation. We should proceed with the courts. We should let them information unfold.
And if we come to a decision, that somehow we are hearing enough, we know enough, there`s new information, that the dots have been connected in ways we did not think what they would be connected, then we can move with impeachment if we`d like. And so we have options here and I think we should move down both paths.
HAYES: And final question about the banks that have complied with your subpoenas. Were they just not targets of lawsuits, did they -- have they been useful to you, that information. Have you had -- has your staff had time to review it?
WATERS: No we have not reviewed all of the information, but we had reason to believe that there is information there that would be of interest to us.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Maxine Waters who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, thank you so much for being with us. Have a great weekend.
WATERS: You`re so welcome. Thank you.
HAYES: Next, the fight to get Robert Mueller to testify in front of the American people while the special counsel is trying to avoid a public hearing after this.
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NADLER: Mueller, he -- I think I can say this point that he wants to testify in private.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?
NADLER: I don`t know why. He wants to testify. He`s willing to make an opening statement but he wants to testify in private.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler told Rachel Maddow last night that Robert Mueller does not want to testify in public. Mueller`s reticence to discussed his findings openly prompted former U.S. Attorney from the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara to tweet what many people I think are thinking, Robert Mueller should testify publicly, period.
Nadler said that Mueller would agree for a transcript of his closed-door testimony be released but that, of course, raises the same problem as the Mueller report. Most people will not read seven hours of testimony. And with Trump lying again and again and again basically every day about the facts and conclusions of Mueller`s investigation, communicating the truth openly to the public seems to be in urgent need.
Joining me now MSNBC political analyst Michelle Goldberg, columnist at the New York Times, former White House cabinet secretary Chris Lu, who also served as deputy secretary of labor under President Obama.
What -- I was -- you`re giving me a wide-eyed stare of anxiety as I come to you on this. I mean, I thought that was a sort of remarkable revelation on the part of Jerry Nadler, and also made me wonder like what is going on here?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah, I man it`s really bizarre and disappointing. And I mean the only explanation for it that I can really imagine is that Mueller is one of the only leading intelligence figures in this country that has not been dragged through the mud, has not yet been subject to the sort of evisceration of his public career, and that he doesn`t want to jump into the lion`s den.
But it`s his job to do that right now, right. I mean, it kind of -- you know, it`s a big sacrifice, but he has no choice, particularly when he himself has acknowledged that Bill Barr has misled the country about the contents of his report and created a misleading impression that the release of the almost full report can`t sort of wash away just the impact of that press conference.
HAYES: You know, Matt Miller said -- has been saying this, who worked at DOJ I think when you were in the White House, Chris, about just because the president`s efforts to manipulate the Department of Justice are sort of failing on their face, like he can`t fire Mueller, he couldn`t get Sessions to unrecuse, doesn`t mean they are not working in a broader sense in the incentive structure they create.
And I wonder if you agree with Michelle that like he has created a situation in which if you go and testify, you will become enemy number one for the president and his propaganda apparatus, and basically be attacked full-time. Maybe he`ll say you`ve committed treason and should be executed?
CHRIS LU, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CABINET SECRETARY: Look, he absolutely should testify. That being said, the president is going to say whatever he wants to say about Robert Mueller and he already has said it for the past two years whether he testifies or not.
I would caution people about this. Robert Mueller when you watch him testify in the past is a fairly careful speaker. He doesn`t engage in hypotheticals. He doesn`t speculate. There is certainly the difference between the legal case of removing Donald Trump and the public case. And having Robert Mueller testify certain solidifies the public case, but you can make the legal case with the transcript themselves.
I would say this, overall Democrats are winning this battle. I`ve been on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. I`d rather be where they are right now investigating, issuing subpoenas, because the court cases are falling on their sides, Documents are coming over, and witnesses, people who want to cooperate, can testify.
And so, yes, I realize this is slow and frustrating to people on the outside. But Democrats have the upper hand right now.
HAYES: You don`t agree with that?
GOLDBERG: It does not seem -- I mean, I sort of feel like things are -- like Donald Trump is consolidating his executive power that he wants to deploy in authoritarian ways, right, this move by Bill Barr to basically given carte blanche to purge the intelligence agencies and kind of out assets and selectively leak things in the way that we have already seen him do when he leaked, you know, when he selectively released the Mueller report.
HAYES: The although sentence that got the although cut off...
GOLDBERG: I mean, I think it`s -- we are at a moment of extraordinary danger. And everybody that we`ve identified as kind of the adults in the room is gone at this point. We -- I think that, you know, if -- I mean, think about it, Imagine if we had kind of been talking about this the day after the election. I think I was here and we said, you know, two-and-a- half years from now, Donald Trump will have purge the intelligence agency...
HAYES: Well, he hasn`t done that yet.
GOLDBERG: He has purged the entire leadership of the FBI. You know, everybody who has sort of come out against him or he thinks has investigated him has had their public career destroyed and they`ve been fired.
He`s, you know, sending troops -- things that are out of control in so many different vectors, right. He is sending troops to the Middle East. He is on television saying that people who have investigated him should be executed, right. We all roll our eyes at this point, but that`s just because we are all marinating in it. Things are really, really bad.
HAYES: Brian Boytler (ph) had a piece -- I saw you tweet this -- called the guardrails have failed, the fact the Democratic approach is failing has yet to dawn on anyone who has the power to change course.
You don`t feel that way, Chris. So, what are we missing?
LU: Look, it`s not that I don`t feel that way. And I certain never disagree with Michelle on anything. But what I would say is this, which is we have seen two federal courts this week side with Democrats, not Democrats, with congress. And the reason why is because the law is on congress`s aside. Congress has incredibly broad oversight responsibilities.
And the first case from Judge (inaudible) in the D.C. District Court said that congress not only has the power to investigate the president`s conduct while in office, but before office. And this is exactly what`s supposed to happen. When Article One and Article Two have a fight, Article Three is the referee. And right now they are siding with Article One.
HAYES: My response to that -- and that`s true, is that Article One also needs to assert its powers. And this is the thing Jamie Raskin said, like they have the power of the purse. You can initiate showdowns. They have impeachment inquiry.
Like, to me rather than the -- there`s the meta politics of this about how it will play with the median voter, which I don`t know if that even matters in 18 months, frankly. But there`s just the brute playground politics now of like force against force.
GOLDBERG: Right. And I think that -- I think the one thing I suspect is obvious to a lot of voters is that Trump is willing to go all the way with whatever kind of agenda he is pushing, and Democrats are kind of cautious and hedging and worried about what some kind of imaginary median voter things. And that gives Trump, who is willing to be maximally aggressive on everything, a huge advantage.
HAYES: There is also, Chris -- I mean, just the steps that have been taken just this week. I mean, another emergency declaration today. There are now two emergency declarations. Not handing over documents, but defying subpoenas, defying a statutory request for his tax returns. I mean, this is an executive that is running amok a bit at the moment.
LU: I agree entirely. But I analogize Donald Trump a little bit to that Dutch boy with his finger against the dike trying to stop the water from coming out.
There are too many possible holes where the water can come out. We know that in New York State right now, they`re are going to allow his state tax returns to come forward.
Look, in the end I might be incredibly naive, but I have my faith in Nancy Pelosi. She is playing the long game on this and I think she has the strategy here.
HAYES: You both make compelling cases. Chris Lu and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both for being with me. Enjoy the weekend.
Still ahead, the president once again defies congress, this time invoking emergency powers to continue America`s role in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. That story and the bipartisan condemnation ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One, tonight. There is a big story going around today concerning deceptively edited videos of Nancy Pelosi that are being circulated online by conservatives. And they have been manipulated to make the speaker of the house look like she is drunk or slurring her words.
One version that was posted on Facebook has been viewed over two million times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CALIFORNIA: We want to give this president the opportunity to do something historic for our country.
We want to give it this president the opportunity to do something historic for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: See, it`s subtle enough to work. The software is out there. It`s easy enough to do that. There are others as well, including this very highly edited deceptive video from Trump TV, which was spread on Twitter by one of the most notorious purveyors of slim and conspiracy theories online today: the president of the United States.
But this is a problem that goes both ways. There are also videos out there in which Trump looks like he`s drunk or slurring his words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation. The beginnings of that investigation.
God bless the United States. Thank you very much.
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HAYES: Now, both of those happen to be real. But we are going to help you learn how to spot the fakes. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: We are here to talk about deceptively edited videos. And there are so many clips of Donald Trump out there. Sometimes, it`s hard to tell which ones are real and which ones have been doctored. Take this video of Donald Trump saluting a North Korean general. It seems like a fake because there is no way the self respecting patriotic president would ever solute a general from a hostile adversary.
But, no, it`s actually totally real. That`s not edited at all.
This one, too, in which the president of the United States is at a school and just inexplicably colors in a blue stripe and a brown stripe on the American flag. You might be thinking, ha ha, very funny, guys, but no one is that out of it. But it is real. It was posted by the official White House YouTube account.
See, you have got to look for stuff like that when you are trying to spot deceptively edited videos. And believe me, they are out there. Look very closely and let`s see if you can spot the dead giveaways in these next clips, all of which have been deceptively edited in some way.
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TRUMP: My fellow Americans, when I ran for president, I made a commitment to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare.
But now that`s changed. Today, through the Sharper Image, you can enjoy the world`s greatest steaks in your own home with family, friends.
It will cost you less money to by a lot, and it will be a much better steak.
You can`t do better than that.
I`m fighting very hard for border security. So important.
Excuse me, did we win the Senate? Who won the Senate?
Look, my hair is a mess.
I can`t believe it. I`m the youngest person. I am a young, vibrant.
Bob Corker was going to be a senator for another 20 years, but for some reason he hit me.
If we don`t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it`s through you, through a military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: OK, fair enough.
TRUMP: The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let it happen.
Because, you know, I kept saying why is this? But it`s just there.
This is national security we are talking about. We are not talking about games.
Thank you. God bless you and god bless the United States of America.
HAYES: Today was supposed to be the day that congress finally passed a $19 billion disaster relief bill that includes more than $900 million in recovery efforts for Puerto Rico, more than $3 billion to farmers whose crop were hit by storms and flooding.
Now, this as floods continued to devastate huge portions of the Midwest in the era of climate crisis means disaster is now a way of life.
So, the Senate passed the bill yesterday after some back room haggling with a huge bipartisan majority, 85-8.
Today, the House was set to pass the same bill via unanimous consent. But not so fast: Republican Chip Roy, freshman congressman, who once worked for Ted Cruz, objected, taking issue with passing the measure without a roll call vote since House members would have to be present for that, and most had already left town for their Memorial Day recess.
Which, OK, fair enough. But then he went on about how there wasn`t any money for Trump`s border wall. And also, how the bill isn`t paid for.
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REP. CHIP ROY, (D) TEXAS: It`s a bill that includes nothing to address the clear national emergency and humanitarian crisis we face at our southern border. And finally, this is a $19 billion bill that is not paid for when we are racking up $100 million in debt per hour.
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HAYES: One funny thing, there, so the first part is we are not spending enough money, and the second part is we are racking up too much debt.
Keep in mind, this brave demonstration of fiscal restraint from the Texas congressman, comes exactly one day after the president and his party stood up at the White House in front of a bunch of farmers and in between cringe inducing and pathetic polling of his staff about how calm he is, announced his $16 billion bailout to farmers to help cushion the blow for those hurt by his own trade war with China.
We checked the website of Chip Roy to find his objection to this and his inquiries about how to pay for it to no avail.
It is a funny thing, the question of how are you going to pay for it in Washington. Somehow it always seems rather selectively applied.
HAYES: The White House today notified congress it would be invoking a rarely used emergency power provided under arms control laws in order to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval, an emergency power to sell $8 billion worth of weapons in the case of the Saudis so the Saudis can ostensibly use those arms, which include precision guided munitions, to bomb Yemen in a war that so far has cost tens of thousands of lives and resulted in the worst cholera outbreak in modern times.
Just to be clear, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world. It is so ghastly, so shocking to the conscience, that both houses of congress, with huge bipartisan majorities, voted for the first ever invocation of War Powers Resolution to stop U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
President Trump vetoed that. And congress would never have approved this arms sale to, among other people, Mohammed bin Salman, the guy whose men hacked a U.S. columnist to death last October.
So, the administration took the extraordinary step of declaring an emergency with the explicit intent to avoid that law. Why is it an emergency that we need to sell arms to the Saudis? It`s not. It`s just like the fake border emergency, a transparently cynical attempt to evade the constitution`s checks and balances.
Joining me now, Congressman Ro Khanna of California, a member of the House Arms Services Committee, who vigorously opposes this move by the Trump administration.
Are you surprised by this?
REP. RO KHANNA, (D) CALIFORNIA: I am. When you have a hawk like Lindsey Graham saying this is a morally bankrupt policy and has no constitutional basis, you can see how inept the policy is. I mean, they are defying the Senate and the House which voted against any aid to the Saudis for bombing Yemeni civilians. And they`re going to be providing the Saudi`s bombs to kill women and civilians in Yemen, and frankly to use in conjunction with al Qaeda against our own troops in Yemen.
So, it`s clearly unconstitutional. And I hope that even Republicans will oppose it.
HAYES: Well, what`s remarkable here is the bipartisan opposition in congress to both the Yemen War and increasingly I think the Saudis. I mean, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, other -- I mean, I think Mohammed bin Salman sending his goons to murder a man who wrote for The Washington Post in an embassy did really kind of change the reception that government gets on Capitol Hill. And this White House is beholdeness to the Saudis, that they are willing to take this step to sell some weapons.
KHANNA: Chris, you`re absolutely right. I mean, unfortunately the starvation and famine in Yemen didn`t awaken the conscious of congress, but the Khashoggi killing did. And you have Rubio and Lindsey Graham saying there`s no moral clarity.
I mean, they have no stake of calling for American values if we`re continuing to arm the Saudi regime. And they are appalled by what MBS is doing. And they frankly understand also that the Saudis are aligned with al Qaeda fighting own own troops in Yemen.
So the administration`s total alliance with the Saudis, where they`ve been willing to sell nuclear energy, they`re basically goading the Saudis into a war with Iran and think that they`re an ally of ours, is a policy that is opposed by bipartisan majorities on Capitol Hill. And one has to ask what is the link? Why is the president and the administration so embedded with the Saudis?
HAYES: The congress, Michael McCaul, who is the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says, "I would have strongly preferred for the administration to utilize the long established and codified arms sale review process that requires the president to submit a formal notification to congress."
Mike Pompeo writing a letter to Senator James Rich in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying he`s determined that an emergency exists, which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States and thus waives congressional review requirements.
Do they even -- I mean, is there an emergency? Is this entirely a fiction?
KHANNA: It is a total fiction.
Look, Chris, you know, because you`re one of the few journalists who has been covering Yemen, the Saudis and Iran have been in a proxy war in Yemen for the past three or four years, and nothing has changed on the ground. There is no greater threat to anyone in Yemen, there`s no greater threat to anyone in Saudi Arabia. And so it is total fiction. It`s totally made up for the president to invoke this. It has no basis.
Congress needs to do two things. We need to make it clear that we won`t fund it. We won`t fund any of these arms going to the Saudis, and we can cut off the funding. And second, we need to pass in our committees that this is unauthorized, and then it would go to the courts.
And even this court, as conservative as it is, has to recognize that you can`t have an executive branch totally defying the will of congress in matters of war and peace.
HAYES: Yeah, it does seem to me the power of the purse becomes more and more urgent by the day, if this president is going to be checked.
Speaking of which, an announcement that 1,500 new troops -- U.S. service members this Memorial Day weekend are going to be deployed to the Middle East. Your thoughts on that?
KHANNA; Well, it`s scary. I mean, the administration`s argument is that our troops in the Middle East are under threat. So you would think that the last thing we would want to do is send more troops to put them in harms way.
The president`s own national security strategy says our big competitor is China. He`s fighting a trade war with China. Well, China is 15 percent of global GDP. We`re 24 percent. Iran is 0.55 percent of GDP. The idea that we want to get into another war with Iran is ludicrous. And that`s why you see China and other great powers having nothing to do with getting entangled in the Middle East.
HAYES: I have a broader questions for you here, because this announcement today is part of a longer chain, right. The president declared an emergency to try to build his wall at the border. He`s now declared an emergency to avoid bipartisan -- in both case bipartisan congressional rebukes, right, try to get around them. He`s defying subpoenas. He`s defying statutory requests for tax returns.
I mean, how do you reign this president in?
KHANNA: I think we have to go to the court. And my hope, actually, is for Justice Roberts. Justice Roberts clerked for Judge Friendly who is one of the great jurists of the 20th Century. I think he understands that the court`s credibility is at stake. And the case law is so overwhelming that the president doesn`t have the authority to use the military to enforce domestic law in the case of the border. The president doesn`t have an ability on matters of war and peace. I hope the Supreme Court will vindicate us.
If the court becomes corrupt and doesn`t follow centuries of precedent, then I think we really have a crisis in this country.
HAYES: Congressman Ro Khanna of California, have a good weekend. Thank you very much.
KHANNA: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now with Joy Reid in for Rachel.
Good evening, Joy.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END