CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: If a court vacancy occurs in 2020 and Trump nominates someone to fill it, McConnell will move to the Senate to confirm the appointment. He just said so. It`s this kind of cheap politics and brazen partisanship that makes the word politician so sleazy.
That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To me, it`s a dirty word, the word impeach. It`s a dirty, filthy, disgusting word.
HAYES: The President comes to terms with the I-word.
TRUMP: The I-word, can you imagine?
HAYES: As the Mueller report finally penetrates the conservative bubble.
CATHY GARNAAT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I mainly listen to Conservative news and I haven`t heard anything negative about that report.
HAYES: Tonight, as the Attorney General defends his cover story --
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: I personally felt he could have reached the decision.
HAYES: A number of Democrats calling for impeachment grows.
TRUMP: It`s a dirty, filthy, disgusting word.
HAYES: Then, new smoking gun evidence that the Trump plot to rig the census is all about increasing the power of white Republican voters. And what we now know about the White House demand to hide a warship named after John McCain from Donald Trump`s line of sight.
TRUMP: Somebody did it because they thought I didn`t like them.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
TRUMP: They were well-meaning, I will say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Well, in case it wasn`t already crystal clear, the president is both freaked out by and obsessed with the specter of impeachment. One day after Robert Mueller in his own understated and restrained way made it extremely clear that his report was essentially an impeachment referral to Congress, the infamously germaphobic president expressed his utter disgust at the prospect of impeachment which he talked about as though it were an infection he might catch.
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TRUMP: I never thought that would even be possible to be using that word. To me it`s a dirty word, the word impeach. It`s a dirty, filthy, disgusting word, and it had nothing to do with me.
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HAYES: Let`s get clean, must get clean, Trump lashed out at Mueller and his team calling them and I`m quoting here, some of the worst human beings on earth, while simultaneously insisting falsely that Mueller had declared him innocent.
Mueller went out of his way to say he wasn`t saying that yesterday. He also displayed his signature command of the U.S. Constitution.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think they`re going to impeach you?
TRUMP: I don`t see how. They can because they`re possibly allowed although I can`t imagine the courts allowing it.
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HAYES: That is -- that is not how it works. Courts don`t get a say in it. Now, Trump was so shaken up he even admitted perhaps by accident an obvious fact that we have all known since 2016 and that I suspect he himself is known, that during the presidential race Russia helped Trump to get elected. It says it right there in black and white. Although he was back in Fantasyland just 20 minutes later.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that Russia helped you get elected?
TRUMP: No, Russia did not help me get elected. You know, who got me elected? You know, who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn`t help me at all.
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HAYES: I mean, him and Vladimir Putin among others. It sounds like somebody has not read the Mueller report. Now, part of the reason for Trump`s freakout is that Mueller`s appearance in front of the cameras means that his findings will inevitably I think, further penetrate into American consciousness and perhaps even maybe the right-wing media bubble.
And that`s a big deal because the President and his allies have pushed a narrative deeply at odds with the truth. On Tuesday night, there was a town hall hosted by a Republican congressman Justin Amash who after just reading the entire Mueller report concluded Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
And after the town hall, NBC News spoke to a Trump supporter who expressed her surprise and what she had heard.
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GARNAAT: I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I haven`t heard that before. And I mainly listen to Conservative news and I haven`t heard anything negative about that report and that President Trump had been exonerated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, Trump`s enablers get that Mueller`s appearance in front of the camera threatens to further puncture their false narrative which is why they went all out last night to attack the messenger.
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SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Now, today, he officially resigned from the Office of Special Counsel but not before showing the world of course what we already knew on this program his partisan hackery true colors if you will.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seemed and sounded older than a 74 years, almost tired, exasperated, and yet determined to throw elbows on his way out the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the saddest thing about this moment is all the people you sort of admire from afar and then the more you learn it turns out that they`re sleazy and dishonest. And I hate to say Robert Mueller winds up in that category.
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HAYES: So sad. He`s lost his faith in Robert Mueller. Joining me now Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California, Member of the House Oversight and Armed Services Committee who is not currently among those 50 or so Democrats calling for an impeachment proceedings. Why not, Congressman?
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Well we need to build a case. Just like the viewer who was saying that she got all her information from Fox News, she`s unaware. So I believe if we have aggressive investigations and more people hear about the Mueller report, that Bob Mueller testifies, then we`ll be able to build the case to get 218 votes in the House and to be able to convict in the Senate.
But if we can`t even get 218 votes in the House right now and if the Senate is just going to acquit, then what`s the point of proceeding right now? We need to do something that`s actually going to hold the president accountable.
HAYES: But that looks a little bit -- it seems a little like horse-cart sophistry there. Like you`re a member of -- like you guys would build the case, right. I mean, presumably if you started a formal impeachment inquiry and the House Judiciary Committee went through that and then voted to referral at first the full House, like that`s the action by which the case would be built. No one`s going to do it for you.
KHANNA: Well, I think we can build the case through other ways. The case can be built through having an aggressive investigation, through the justice -- through the Judiciary Committee, through the Oversight Committee, through the Financial Services Committee. That`s happening. We should have Bob Mueller testify. We should have more witnesses.
So no one is saying that we shouldn`t aggressively investigate and build the case. We`re just saying that that is the work the committees are doing and I don`t think opening up an inquiry does anything. And by the way, we don`t have 218 votes to do that right now. And all this pressure on the speaker to bring the resolution will look at members who won districts and what they`re saying. I mean I don`t think the House would vote for that right now.
HAYES: You don`t think there are votes in the House right now to starting -- to formally start an inquiry because that would have to be something voted on by the full House and refer to the Justice -- to the Judiciary Committee. And what I`m hearing from you is like the votes are just not there right now.
KHANNA: The votes aren`t there. I mean, if you look at the statements of members who won to give us the majority, they aren`t there yet. And so my view is we`ve got to build the case first to get the votes even in the House. Now I think the votes would -- go ahead.
HAYES: No, you go ahead.
KHANNA: I think -- I think the votes would be there for a central resolution and that is a big deal. I mean only one president has been censured, Andrew Jackson, and we could say the President`s conduct was unethical, illegal, and the House is speaking to censure him.
HAYES: One of the bigger issues to me is just the balance of power right now. And this -- you know, this sort of constitutional deathmatch, the showdown between the House majority and the President, and he`s just asserting greater and greater power.
He`s acting in a more unilateral fashion within established channels sometimes and within new channels. And I guess the bigger question other than impeachment as a sort of narrow political one is like what are you doing to restrain that? What is the theory of the case on how he`s restrained before he does something cataclysmic?
KHANNA: I completely agree with you. He`s at a pattern of this going back to the Muslim ban, going back to construction of the border wall through funds that weren`t appropriated, his actions in defying every one of the subpoenas, his actions in defying Congress on the Yemen War Powers Resolution. I mean, this is a president who has flaunted Congress and that`s why I think a censure resolution is so important.
Andrew Jackson basically flaunted Congress on the construction of the second bank and what Congress did is they censured him. And so I think we need to censure and I think we need to make the case to the American public through a progressive investigation that this president is undermining separation of powers and that becomes then a huge voting issue in 2020 for the Senate, the House, and the presidency.
HAYES: All right, Congressmen Ro Khanna of California, thank you for making a little time tonight.
KHANNA: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, an MSNBC Legal Analyst. Neal, it`s interesting to me that the interpretation -- you know, Bob Mueller spoke with a lot of restraint, very finely parsed, very carefully hewed to the script of what he had already written. And yet what he was doing was unmistakable across the political spectrum, it was a rare moment of consensus so that everyone left right and center understood exactly what Bob Mueller did yesterday.
NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Exactly. I mean, it`s so clear the two things he chose to pluck out of his you know, hundreds of pages of report were number one, I couldn`t indict the president so don`t say you know, you`re cleared because I just couldn`t do it under DOJ policy. Number, two I could clear the president if the facts showed but the facts didn`t show.
Both of those two things together very striking and I think the next step what Mueller saying the next step was is very obvious. He said it himself. He said a sitting president can`t be indicted. The process has to be through Congress and that`s where the ball game is. It`s got to be Congress.
HAYES: There`s this sort of maddening evasion that`s happened. I`ve seen Sarah Sanders say it, I`ve seen the President himself asserted I think in a tweet which is look, if he found -- if he if he had found a crime he would have said so. The fact he didn`t say so means he didn`t find one.
And even Bill Barr basically is making this argument in an interview today. I want to play you what he said about that narrow issue and get your response. Take a listen.
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BARR: He could have reached the conclusion. The opinions says, you can indict a president while he`s in office, but he could have reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity, but he had his reasons for not doing it which he explained. And I`m not going to you know argue about those reasons.
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HAYES: What do you think?
KATYAL: Well, watching that clip and the earlier ones you showed of Trump and the court stopping him from impeachment -- being impeached, I got to feel like it`s opposite day in the administration or something, although I guess that`s almost every day these days. You know, what Barr said is not credible on its face.
Imagine the outrage if Mueller said I think the president is guilty but I`m not going to give him the chance to defend himself, I`m not going to indict him. Oh my god, can you imagine what the political firestorm would be. I mean, even your own clips earlier showed people from Fox and other things criticizing Mueller for what he said yesterday, let alone you know what he would have said according to Barr.
And there`s a really good test, Chris, to know whether bar is telling the truth or not because Barr wrote that you know two-page letter describing the Mueller report and clearing Trump on March 25th, and he was criticized saying -- people said, how could you do that in 48 hours of getting the report. And his answer was oh no, Mueller came and told me about this three weeks before that he wasn`t going to reach a conclusion.
So I want to know, did Barr say what he just said in that clip that you played to Mueller three weeks before in March. I severely, severely doubt it this is at post talk after the fact spin which Barr has been doing since day one and it is incredibly destructive to democratic norms and to the truth.
HAYES: You know, what`s particularly perverse here is that Mueller`s own articulation to your point both the political backlash but basic fairness. I mean, Mueller basically says look, you indict someone then they get to go to trial and present a case for innocence. You bring an impeachment proceeding, they then have a process.
But just me Robert Mueller saying the guys are criminal with nothing else is just unfair to the president and they have taken that fundamental sort of stipulation of fairness and restraint on Mueller and they`ve used it against Mueller himself as a sort.
KATYAL: Yes, exactly. I mean, that`s why you know left is right and right is left to this administration. The fact is Mueller did this. He bent over backwards to protect the president and be fair to the president, give him due process, and not label him a criminal.
He did lay out a lot of facts and those facts are incredibly damning to the president which is why over 1,000 federal prosecutor -- former federal prosecutors have signed a letter saying I`ve read the Mueller report. These facts would be someone I would indict if or anyone but the president.
So the only reason Donald Trump is not facing the barrel of an indictment and in jail is because of a technicality, because he is a sitting president for the United States. And I don`t think that can be our standard for what a president is. You know, not guilty by reason of the technicality. That`s a terrible thing to say about our president but that`s unfortunately where we are right now.
HAYES: All right, Neal Katyal, thank you so much your time tonight.
KATYAL: Thank you.
HAYES: I want to turn to Yoni Applebaum, a Senior Editor at the Atlantic who wrote this fantastic piece last month that the Mueller report is an impeachment referral. He`s also written at length on a cover of a magazine about why he thinks impeachment is the way forward. What was your reaction yesterday to Mueller essentially confirming the case you had made having read the report?
YONI APPLEBAUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I thought, gosh, you know, this is like when I used to teach in college classrooms and I`d walk in there and realize that nobody had done the reading and that I`d have to summarize the key points if we`re going to have a decent conversation about it. That`s what I thought watching Robert Mueller.
You know, he stepped forward and he said look, you know, I wrote it out for you. I gave you footnotes, I gave you detailed evidence, and now I`m going to summarize the findings and I`m going to say it clearly because many of you seem to have missed the point.
And his point was the Constitution gave us a mechanism for looking at possible criminal wrongdoing by a president. That mechanism is impeachment.
HAYES: What is your response to the argument -- you favor impeachment on substantive grounds. You`re not a politician but you laid out I thought a pretty persuasive case in Atlantic. Your reaction what you heard congressman Ro Khanna and others have said that basically the case has not been made, the votes are not there, and so we can`t get out ahead of public opinion on this.
APPLEBAUM: Well, they`re right that the case hasn`t been made, but that`s a little circular. You know, I hope I can use a dirty word like impeachment on the air here without getting you in trouble.
HAYES: Filthy, disgusting.
APPLEBAUM: But impeachment is a process not just an outcome. And when I listen to people talk about it, they often make that mistake. They speak about it as if what the House ought to do is the same short-circuited process that blew up on the Republicans with Bill Clinton which is take a report produced by an outside investigator, Russia to articles and vote on the floor and then hand it off to the Senate.
That has not worked. What has worked twice before in American history with Andrew Johnson and with Richard Nixon is a careful, deliberative process stretching out over months of hearing directly from witnesses with direct personal knowledge of the events that are potentially impeachable.
That process, airing the evidence, surfacing new charges and claims, allowing them to be subject to cross-examination, and making the public case before the American people, that`s an effective process. And we saw how effective it was earlier this week when Bob Mueller stepped out because putting it out in front of the cameras was substantively different than just maybe seeing the report.
HAYES: What do you think about the argument that obstruction is too abstract, too meta an infraction to be -- to have the teeth in it for impeachment?
APPLEBAUM: I am astonished when people like Mitch McConnell 20 years after they were out there saying that obstruction was undeniably an impeachable offense, are turning around and making this claim. But the other thing we should bear in mind is that obstruction is only the latest impeachable charge laid against this president.
His personal attorney has said that the president directed him in committing campaign finance crimes for which he has pled guilty. He has been charged by members of the House with violations of the Emoluments Clause. I mean, the list is quite long. But the House has proceeded in a piecemeal fashion, has not mounted any kind of a public case.
And if the public is hesitating to get behind impeachment, it may be because if Nancy Pelosi can step in front of the cameras and say it`s time for an inquiry, it`s awfully hard for the average voter to think it`s merited.
HAYES: Final question. What do you make -- you know, there`s some thinking the president is trying to bait Democrats into impeaching him. I don`t think that`s the case and I think it`s obvious if you look at the tape of him today that he`s freaked out by it. What was your reaction to his reaction to Mueller?
APPLEBAUM: Well, I watched that the president`s remarks and my jaw dropped. You know, I hope that there`s somebody in the White House counsel`s office capable of explaining to him and how this process works.
But a man who thinks that the courts can block impeachment is probably not in any fit position to weigh in its political ramifications. I don`t see a president who is eager for this. Impeachment has always been a black mark against any president. It has crippled his political prospects even when it`s resulted in acquittal and I have no particular reason to think it will be different in this case.
HAYES: All right, Yoni Applebaum, thank you so much.
APPLEBAUM: Thank you.
HAYES: I really appreciate that. Next Democratic leadership right now believes two things. The President did commit a crime and he should not be impeached. The politics of that contradiction, what we know about what the rest of America thinks about impeachment in two minutes.
HAYES: NBC News is reporting tonight the number of House members who are in favor of initiating at least an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump is now up to 50, 49 Democrats and one lonely Republican.
And a rally earlier in Nevada, presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders joins several other 2020 candidates who have also called for a Trump impeachment inquiry to begin. The leader of Democrats in the House Nancy Pelosi is not there yet and her position just so happens to be aligned with right now the way most Americans feel.
Here to help me explain where American voters stand on impeachment Steve Kornacki, MSNBC National Political Correspondent and from Tustin, California NBC News Correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell who`s been talking to voters on the ground about impeachment at Town Hall events across the country. Welcome to you both.
Let`s start sort of macro here. You know, the -- someone was noting the position of the Democrats is the president has committed a crime, that he has obstructed justice and shouldn`t be impeached. And at one level you could say, well that`s internally inconsistent but that`s basically where pluralities of the American people are right now.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That`s right. You could take a look. There`s any number of polls that are out there. Take the batch that came out right after the Mueller report was released. Now, we`ll see if everything changes after this week but about a month ago after the Mueller report was released, the ABC-Washington Post poll they asked two questions. They asked do you believe that Trump`s actions are mounted to obstruction of justice?
HAYES: Right. Did he try to interfere in a way they amount to obstruction of justice?
KORNACKI: Right. And a plurality, 47 percent said yes, he did. He tried to commit obstruction of justice and amounted to that. Same question -- a same poll asked the question as a follow-up in. OK, should he be impeached? And it was pretty lopsidedly no. You know, about a 20-point margin there. And that actually --you mentioned the Clinton example from 20 years ago. That`s where the country was in the Clinton thing.
ABC asked the same question after the Ken Starr report was released back in 1998. They said did Bill Clinton commit crimes? Did his activity amount to crime, a criminal? The majority in that poll back then and said yes. And then they asked should Bill Clinton be impeached, and it was overwhelming, no. It was censure and move on was sort of the rallying cry back then.
So that was -- that was the similarity between the two. I think that`s what informs Pelosi the one difference is when you pull it now, you do find more appetite on the question of should they keep investigating.
HAYES: Yes, right.
KORNACKI: Don`t go -- don`t go to impeachment but keep investigating. There`s a lot more appetite for than that now than there was 20 years ago.
HAYES: The other biggest and of course the president`s approval, Bill Clinton`s approval is about 20 points higher than Donald Trump`s. Leigh Ann, you were at that Amash Town Hall which I really thought was fascinating. You know, we`re talking in sociology to talk quantitative data and qualitative data.
So we went through some quantitative data, but the Town Hall is qualitative data it`s actual people there in a room in a Republican district and it was not necessarily the reaction I would have expected. What was your takeaway?
LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, it was actually a really politically diverse audience. There were over 800 people who showed up for this Town Hall. It was the first time he really addressed his constituents face to face when he come -- came out so -- after he came out supporting these impeachment proceedings.
There were a lot of Democrats there that we talked to that said they are just there to offer their support to the Congressman and they said that they might even vote for him in the next election because of the principled stance he`s taken on this impeachment process.
There were also Republicans there who were very confused by his position who came to hear him out. They wanted to understand where he was coming from. And then, of course, there were the Republicans who were hardcore Trump supporters who were also in the room who came to challenge him.
And so he got a mix of questions from a wide ideologically diverse group of people, but he answered all those questions with confidence and he was steadfast in his position. One thing that really stood out to me, there was a woman who stood up and she was angry. She said that she volunteered on his first campaign in 2010. She`s been in Amash supporter but that she`s changed his mind -- her mind about him.
She said that he is not upholding what the voters in his district want and he responded to her. He said, it`s not his job to do what his constituents want. It is his job to uphold the Constitution. And I thought that was a really powerful moment in that Town Hall and one that actually got him a lot of applause especially since there were a lot of Democratic and Independent voters in that audience, Chris.
HAYES: You know, one of the questions about this brings up about public opinion is that it`s not static, it`s not fixed, it moves round. But if you look at even in 1998 versus now, we have even more polarized electorate in many ways, right.
It`s -- there`s less wiggle room in the middle. There are less persuadable folks. There`s this question of you know, can you -- can you get anyone over. But one thing I noted is just look at the people who are in the sort of anti-Trump part of the country. That base has not been consolidated in front -- in favor of impeachment yet, and that strikes me as like the low hanging fruit, right?
I mean, if you`re trying to build a case, what you want to get is that 55 percent of people in the country disapprove of them favoring that before you try to go after folks that wear MAGA hats.
KORNACKI: Right. I mean, if you look at it now, overall there are support among Democratic voters for impeachment but it`s not at the --
KORNACKI: I do think -- that`s why I say wait to see if these polls change. Having these Democratic presidential candidates out there saying this publicly could change that. And I`ll tell you what. The thing in 98, what finally pushed Republicans to say impeachment inquiry in 98, the Starr report hit, they`ve looked at the polls we just showed, they didn`t know what to do.
At the annual convention of the Christian Coalition was in D.C. a couple of days later, those elected officials showed up at the Christian Coalition and they looked around and they saw thousands of people chanting impeach, impeach, impeach, and they said, that`s our base. We better do it.
HAYES: That -- well, that is a truly fascinating anecdote that I had forgotten about. Leigh Ann Caldwell and Steve Kornacki, thank you so much for joining us.
Next, the bombshell documents that show the Trump administration`s attempt to explicitly grab power for right republic -- for white Republicans by rigging the census. What those documents said and the unbelievable way they were uncovered after this.
HAYES: OK, a huge, huge development today in the very high-stakes legal battle over putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census which could be decided any day now by the Supreme Court. It`s a question that experts say that`s been pushed by the Trump administration would reduce the count of non-white people in this country, and as a result would hurt their political representation and diminish the power of states like Illinois and California tipping the balance of power, structural power in Congress and state houses and all the way down towards whiter, more rural areas for a decade to come.
Now, the Trump administration has insisted that that part of the effects of their citizenship question never even cross their mind, no, no, no. You see, their aim they say was, in fact, the opposite. They wanted to protect non-white political power by enforcing the Voting Rights Act so they needed this citizenship question on the census.
But the thing is they have been found multiple times to be lying about how they decided to add a citizenship question on to the census both by Congress and by federal courts which have ruled repeatedly that the administration is violating the law and the constitution by trying to ram this through.
Today, we got smoking gun evidence of just how deep their lying about the origins of this question goes. And the evidence was found on the back-up hard drives of a GOP operative named Tom Hoffler (ph) who died last summer. Hoffler (ph) was the mastermind of Republican gerrymandering, pioneering a method of using demographic data and algorithms to engineer his party`s dominance in the House and in state legislatures.
After his death, Hoffler`s (ph) estranged daughter found those hard drives, and they contained a study he conducted back in 2015 on the potential impact of a citizenship question on redistricting efforts in Texas.
And lo and behold, according to a new court filing, Hoffler`s (ph) study found that citizenship data, quote, "would clearly be a disadvantage for Democrats" and, here`s the money quote, "would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."
Documents found on those hard drives revealed that the Trump administration appeared to lift language and claims directly from that same 2015 study that Hoffler (ph) himself ghost wrote a draft Justice Department memo justifying the citizenship question and that he was the one who came up with the idea of using the Voting Rights Act as a pretext to get this question through.
All this new information has now been filed with the Supreme Court, which will be ruling in a matter of weeks.
For more on the man behind the citizenship question, today`s crazy developments, I`m joined by Ari Berman, senior reporter for Mother Jones, author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."
So, let`s just start with the discovery before we get to who Hoffler (ph) is.
The court`s question that they have before them basically is you guys want to put this question on the census that says are you are citizen. And if you were doing it for proper reasons you could probably do it. But we think you have been lying to us about why you`re doing it. So, what does this new information do to that court case?
ARI BERMAN, MOTHER JONES: Well, this information really gets to the heart of what the Trump administration is arguing. The Trump administration`s basic argument is that this question about citizenship is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act.
Now, we know that that`s ridiculous for many reasons. They haven`t asked this question on the census since 1950. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, so it`s never been needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, not a single voting rights lawyer will tell you it`s needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act. This is the same administration that has been actively hostile to voting rights, hasn`t filed a single lawsuit to enforce the Voting Rights Act.
But then we have Tom Hoffler (ph) basically saying the citizenship question is going to hurt Latinos and other minority groups, but let`s say it will help them to mask the real purpose of this question.
HAYES: So they -- what they found is that this was the guy, this was the mastermind, the ghost writer, even, behind the letter the Department of Justice sent over to the Census Bureau through the Commerce Department being, like, oh we`d like to put this question on there. And we`ve since - - we have also learned in the court filings that that question was essentially a setup. It was an alley-oop that the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked them to send.
BERMAN: For sure. And this is so important, because Tom Hoffler (ph) was the guy for decades traveling around drawing the gerrymandered maps for Republicans. He is the guy that drew the maps in North Carolina and Ohio and all these other states that have been struck down in court after the 2010 election.
So, in and of itself that is a scandal, Chris, because the Census forms is the basis for redistricting, so it has to be neutral, it has to be fair so that you can draw neutral maps.
Well, here`s the gerrymandering guy then basically saying not only do I want to gerrymander, I want to gerrymander the Census itself to make it easy for me to gerrymander. And then he come in and says very, very clearly in black and white this is going to hurt Democrats, it`s going to help Republicans.
We knew that already, but just to see it on paper from someone like this is just such a startling revelation.
HAYES: You know, he wrote -- he drew the North -- the infamous North Carolina, which the Supreme Court struck down, if I`m not mistaken.
BERMAN: It did as unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.
HAYES: Yeah, they were basically like these are racist maps. You`re trying to screw over people of color. I think Clarence Thomas, right, even sides with the court striking them down, like that`s how egregious they are.
Here you have got this guy who has perfected this method in the states. You look at the country it`s like, well, you can`t gerrymander the whole map, right. But one way you could do that is through the census.
BERMAN: That`s why it`s so important, because Census data is used for redistricting. So if you gerrymander the census, if you rig the census...
HAYES: Right. Garbage in, garbage out. If you screw up the data that`s coming in you already start with an advantage.
BERMAN: Exactly. If you gerrymander the census you can gerrymander everything. If rig the census, you rig everything. And that`s why it`s so important.
This is not just one other issue, this gets to the heart of American democracy. And if you corrupt the census, we`re going to live with the ramifications for the next decade and beyond.
HAYES: I mean, you could look at a situation in which you have a significant undercount in which states like California, Illinois, New York, Texas, too, interestingly enough, will not just end up with an undercount but they will get less federal money. I mean, there`s billions of dollars, right, in federal money that`s dispersed.
BERMAN: $380 billion.
HAYES: You can see communities of color with less political representation, fewer members of congress, but also fewer members of statehouses, state senates. I mean, the whole thing.
BERMAN: It`s really huge.
And that was already going to happen as a result of this citizenship question. There was already going to be an under count of Latino and other minority groups, but Hoffler (ph) and others want to go beyond that. They want to say, OK, we are going to have an under count and then on top of that, we are going to draw districts based only on citizenship, which is going to further reduce the clout of Hispanics and other minority and immigrant groups to that we can draw as many districts as possible for white Republicans.
It will make the gerrymandering we saw in 2010 look tame by comparison.
HAYES: This is now in front of the Supreme Court. I think it makes it harder for them to overrule the lower courts having this information in front of them. What do you think?
BERMAN: Of course it makes it harder, but the question is are we dealing with a good faith court, or a court that wants to let the Republican Party rig elections for the next decade.
HAYES: That is the question that be decided when they decide on this case. Ari Berman, thank you very much.
BERMAN: Great to see you. Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, what we now know about the White House`s request to hide an entire ship from the president`s prying eyes simply because it had the name of Senator John McCain on the side. That utterly insane story next in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, an update in the Paul Manafort case. Trump`s campaign chairman`s home address for the next five years or so is a federal prison in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His former home address now belongs to us. A federal judge today officially granted the forfeiture of Manafort`s Trump Tower condo to the U.S. government. It`s part of his guilty plea entered last year. And so that means that you are now part owner of unit 43-G in 721 5th Avenue New York, New York.
These are photos of the apartment from the last time it was listed when Manafort bought it in 2006: 2 bedrooms, 2-and-a-half baths, a total of 1,500 square feet which is, believe me, roomy by Manhattan standards. Manafort paid nearly $3.7 million for the joint all in cash through a shell company that he set up from -- with money from -- Russian oligarch Oleg Deriparska.
Later, he transferred the unit into his own name and took out a $3 million loan against it. Pretty shady.
So, now, the U.S. Marshall service is going to auction it off for us. But don`t get too excited, Trump Tower units aren`t selling the way they used to. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: The Manhattan real estate market is one of the most expense in the world. And despite a recent slowdown it`s still a profitable investment for the vast majority of people who can afford it. Across the borough, just .23 percent sold of homes over the past two years have sold at a loss.
But do you know what address features in that .23 percent? 721 5th Avenue, Trump Tower, in that building over the last two years, several units have sold at more than a 20 percent loss and the building now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in all of Manhattan.
Now, anyone who looked for an apartment in New York knows about the website Street Easy, and so we did some browsing for hot deals on current listing in Trump Tower, and I`m telling you, it is a fire sale in there. Unit 30G, March 2017, it was listed for $6.9 million. It has just finally gone to contract at $3.5 million. Ouch.
There`s one bedroom on the 54th floor. Starting price was $3.1 million in 2017. Still available for $1.7 million. Oh, half price on the 57th floor? 57L went on the market for $18 million in 2016, relisted list month at just under $9 million.
It`s a blood bath happening in the middle of one of the world`s strongest real estate markets, all seemingly due to the five letters on the front of the building.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When I did Trump Tower, in all fairness, people said I was totally crazy. It couldn`t possibly succeed. It was too big, it was too expense, it was too everything. And it turned out to be probably the most successful condominium development ever in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to Planned Parenthood, since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, there has never been a state without at least one abortion clinic. That could end tomorrow. Regulators are refusing to renew the license of Missouri`s last abortion clinic which is set to expire on Friday.
This is the state`s last clinic, down from five just 11 years ago, as Missouri and other states have heaped burdensome regulations on abortion clinics designed to squeeze them out.
Now protesters marched in St. Louis today. The location of the Planned Parenthood that might be forced to stop providing abortion services tomorrow.
Missouri is now the front line in a potentially catastrophic moment for reproductive rights as state after state after state passes facially unconstitutional abortion bans meant to get a case before the Supreme Court.
The latest state to follow suit is Louisiana where Democratic governor -- Democratic governor John Bell Edwards, today signed a law passed just yesterday on the legislature.
The fate of all these new bans appears to rest in the courts, and especially the Supreme Court, but residents of the states in question are fighting back, including a movement to boycott Georgia, which had built a thriving film industry, but which now faces loosing business from behemoths such as Disney, Netflix, and others, as a result of their own restrictive new abortion ban.
Now, the impact of that kind of boycott could hurt many of the same people that are hurt by the ban itself. But right now there aren`t that many points of leverage to bring these state governments back from the precipice. And my guess is you`re going to see a lot more of this kind of action.
HAYES: Last night, the Wall Street Journal broke a truly insane story about the lengths the White House went to to make sure that the words John McCain never crossed the visual path of the very easily upset president when he was in Japan.
The Journal quoted an email from a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials with instructions from the White House military office saying, quote, "USS John McCain needs to be out of sight."
They couldn`t move it out of sight, because it was being repaired, but The New York Times reports the sailors on the destroyer were given the day off on the day Trump visited. And when several sailors from the McCain showed up anyway wearing their uniforms with the ship`s insignia, they were turned away.
Now you might think the president would be offended that his own staff thought so poorly of his psychological constitution that they would go to these utterly bizarre and comical lengths to prevent him from just seeing the name of a deceased man, but you would be wrong. Trump was flattered they were looking out for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t know what happened. I wasn`t involved. I would not have done that. I was very angry at John McCain because he killed health care. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form. I think John McCain had a lot to getting President Bush, a lot to do with it, to go into the Middle East which was a catastrophe. To me, John McCain, I wasn`t a fan. But I would never do a thing like that.
Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn`t like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say. I didn`t know anything about it. I would never have done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Let`s bring in Aisha Moodie-Mills, fellow at the Kennedy School Institute of Politics at Harvard, MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report with Sam Seder, and Elie Mystal, who is the executive editor of Above the Law.
I have got to say, you have a lot of stories in the Trump era that are just head scratchers. This honestly really brought me up short for a bunch of reasons. One, the just depth of the meanness of the man itself. But also it`s like the White House has a country to run. This is a complicated, difficult job. It`s very high stakes. And this is the kind of thing that occupies White House staff time.
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Yeah. And, first of all, the fact that they are going to a different -- another country and they wouldn`t be proud of a symbol of America, first of all, is just outrageous.
And the fact that they don`t think enough of the president that he won`t throw a temper tantrum like a 6-year-old and like fall out in the middle of the floor because he sees something that he doesn`t like and then can`t conduct himself is also telling about the state of mind that this human being is that`s occupying the White House.
HAYES: I guarantee you that was exactly the fear. They were thinking he was going to get up there for some event and he was going to be talking and he was going to see it -- no seriously -- and he was going to flip out in the moment like live in front of the cameras. And the guy is so insane and so incontinent in terms of emotional self-control that they were like, you`ve got to do it -- I mean, they were probably right to do that.
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: They may have been in that respect. But what I found interesting about that exchange was in some ways it parallels what Mueller said was not collusion and coordination in the Mueller report.
HAYES: Ah, interesting.
SEDER: In the Mueller report it says specifically that coordination requires more than two parties taking actions that were informed or responsive to the other`s actions or interests. That`s exactly what just happened there.
HAYES: That`s fascinating.
SEDER: They are aware he doesn`t like McCain.
HAYES: Right. They don`t have to collude on the plan.
SEDER: We don`t have to coordinate. We don`t have to do it. They did the right thing. They did it for the right reasons.
HAYES: That`s exactly right.
SEDER: And I`m going to give them a raise and they have job security now, because there are other people -- if they really had a problem with it, would fire those people.
But he knows they`re going to get rewarded. They know they`re going to get rewarded. They don`t need to coordinate. They don`t need to.
HAYES: That is a fantastic point.
And, also, in the same way like Russia if you`re listening or all the stuff he did defending Putin, we all know how the guy feels about John McCain. We all know that he doesn`t want to see the USS John McCain in his face.
ELIE MYSTAL, EDITOR, ABOVE THE LAW: That`s exactly right. Michael Cohen said it exactly right. He speaks in code. And this is his code. And so that`s what they did.
HAYES: You know, there is also -- the other thing I thought about this -- with this is I remember it first occurred to me when -- do you remember during the transition there was the Trump Tower cam in the lobby, right. Everyone was coming through to meet him in Trump Tower like Kanye came through and Al Gore came through. And it had this very like courtly feel to it. It was very royal, right. It was like here`s the ante-chamber to the king`s throne room and people come and they come to like present their case before the king. And this -- reading this email, it`s like there is something being built around him that is fundamentally inimical to democratic culture. I`m serious. Like it is monarchial. It is a strong man culture. It is a culture of an authoritarian leader who rules by fiat and not a democratic culture.
MYSTAL: Yeah, and you kind of wonder when the Republicans are going to wake up and do something about it, right. Like, this -- like one of the things about this issue that always kind of strikes me is that when he starts to disrespect the military -- for all my life, I`m a 41-year-old Democrat -- like for all my life, I heard that the Republicans were the one that cared about the military. And the Republicans were the one that would go nuts when Obama didn`t salute them, because he was holding the coffee cu. Remember, that was a thing for these people, right.
HAYES: That was on A-block I think on Hannity. I think that was a Hannity A-block.
MYSTAL: Right, so where are these Republican -- where is the Republican outrage now? And you`re not having it exactly because of what you said.
HAYES: Although, I will say Martha McSally has announced that she`s going to investigate this. Martha McSally who is the Republican Senator from Arizona.
But it`s also, like, you know, I thought the other news today -- so this envoy, North Korean envoy, we found out was executed today, OK. It`s the envoy who had met with Mike Pompeo, his counterpart. And it`s like we watch this very obviously broken person functioning in the world of high stakes. And we get this John McCain story as sort of preposterous and it`s like a waste, and it`s sort of an insult, but it`s also like I saw that news and I was -- it`s just like the stakes here are so high that this person with this personality is the person running the country.
MOODIE-MILLS: Yeah. I think that`s the thing, that`s what makes me so curious. Where on Earth are the Republicans?
HAYES: Right, aren`t they worried?
MOODIE-MILLS: Hi, aren`t they worried that getting a couple of judges in place and passing a, you know, passing a couple of laws is actually...
HAYES: One, one law, one big tax cut.
MOODIE-MILLS: Destroy our entire democracy. I don`t really think that they care. And I think the challenge of that is that we`ve been living in kind of this -- this relatively peaceful space for so many decades that people are kind of like, oh, nothing bad is going to happen.
HAYES: Nothing cataclysmic can happen.
MOODIE-MILLS: Weird that leaders of the free world. Well, actually...
SEDER: I think there is every reason to believe that the Republicans have absolutely no problem with it. I mean, we just talked about what they did in terms of voter disenfranchisement. There has been very little evidence that the Republicans are terribly concerned about democracy or these type of issues.
I mean, the fact of the matter is is that there is a two-tier problem with Trump as the leader of the nation from a foreign policy perspective. One is the damage he may do in the moment. But it would be completely irrational, too, for any leaders of any other country to not perceive Donald Trump as a symptom of a deep-seated problem that exists in American society.
HAYES: That`s right. To reflect out that this country is a basket case right now.
SEDER: I mean, we could elect the most no drama, calmest man who is graceful and whatnot to be president again, and he still not dissuade people from saying there is something fundamentally unstable about the country.
MYSTAL: But my question is like where are our heroes? Like, we can say, and it`s fine, OK, Republicans they don`t care. But like where`s the other side? Like where are the people who are supposed to be rising up to meet the challenge of this administration?
Because Right now what we tend to have is a bunch of institutionalists and people who are so kind of interested in protecting their own little part of the story, interested in protecting their own little reputations that they are not willing to take the next step and they`re not willing to do the dangerous thing to try to stop this...
HAYES: You mean like impeachment, you on -- whatever, like break out from the pack to say
MYSTAL: The thing that is right.
HAYES: I mean Robert Mueller, right. I mean, this is a time where we needed Batman, right. We needed a detective who was so blinded by the search for truth and justice that he was going to stop at nothing. And instead we have Commissioner Gordon. We got a very nice, well-meaning functionary who thinks his job is to stand by a light and wait for the miracle to arrive.
HAYES: And this is -- the problem is that -- I agree with you that people are really bound by their sort of institutional commitments or their political commitments and don`t want to run roughshod all over then, and then when the tail risk hits, the tail risk hits, and that`s the thing I worry about.
Aisha Moodie-Mills, Sam Seder, and Elie Mystal, thank you.
New details tonight on an event I`m very excited about. This coming Wednesday we are heading to Fort Wayne, Indiana for a live town hall with Elizabeth Warren in the heart of Trump/Pence country. She makes her case to win back Democratic voters in the industrial Midwest.
You can be there, too. Full details on how to attend on our website. Allin.msnbc.com.
That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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