CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: HARDBALL town hall with Mayor Pete Buttigieg tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. And that`s HARDBALL for tonight. Thanks for being with us. Have a great weekend. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he were any other person in the United States, he would be carried out in handcuffs.
HAYES: As the President returns from Europe, and the Democrats prepare hearings on the Mueller report.
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
HAYES: Tonight, the plain evidence that the President of the United States is a criminal.
JOHN DOWD, LAWYER: Remember what we`ve always said about the President and his feelings toward Flynn.
HAYES: Plus --
STANLEY DRUCKENMILLER, AMERICAN INVESTOR: We are in worse shape for a recession now than if things had slowed down.
HAYES: With bad job numbers and another trade war looming, Robert Reich on the growing warning signs of recession. Then more clear evidence that Republicans were rigging elections in North Carolina. Why yesterday was a big day for Joe Biden and the rest of the 2020 field. And why the current president today was shouting at the moon.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`ll have to explain that. That sounds tough.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. The President of these United States ran a campaign in 2016 for that office whose unofficial slogan was lock her up. It was both his main argument against his opponent and a rallying cry in the campaign trail with Trump fans putting Hillary for prison on t-shirts and bumper stickers and yard signs.
The narrative of Hillary Clinton`s supposed criminality was advanced with an assist from the FBI director and the mainstream press by Russian trolls disrupting the election and principally by Trump T.V.
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SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Welcome to Hannity. Tonight, Hillary Clinton follow my words, the media won`t say it, she should be in jail not on the campaign trail. It`s about time somebody said it.
HAYES: On the jail -- in the jail, not the trail rhymes even better than locker up. That`s Sean Hannity saying that. Now, two and a half years later, that narrative is not gone away. It just led -- this is serious, it just lets Sean Hannity show this week on Monday night of this week, that was his top story about Hillary should be in jail.
And these days when the president holds political rallies, the crowd still breaks out into its favorite chant.
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AMERICAN CROWD: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
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HAYES: Normal stuff, lock her up in 2019 at a presidential rally. That was just over two weeks ago. But now, well now, we`ve come to the point that the president, this president is very upset that the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looking at all the evidence seems to have concluded that he`s a criminal who should face prosecution and prison time. And the President`s good pal Sean Hannity is positively shocked that she would suggest jailing a political opponent.
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HANNITY: Speaker Pelosi now apparently telling senior Democrats she`d like to see Trump behind bars based on no actual crime. She wants a political opponent locked up in prison. That happens in banana republics, beyond despicable behavior. And by the way they would literally turn in many ways the USA into a country we no longer recognized.
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HAYES: The best part is that he uses locked up with no hint of irony. Now, I will say that the term Orwellian gets thrown away too much but it really is earned in this case. This is from 1984, the past was alterable, the past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia, Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.
Then there`s Hannity`s claim embedded in there, the President committed and I quote him here, no actual crimes. In fact, there`s overwhelming evidence that the President, unlike Hillary Clinton, has committed a whole bunch of crimes.
I mean, let`s remember this thing. He was effectively named as an unindicted co-conspirator Individual One in the illegal campaign finance scheme that he, according to filings in a federal court directed and coordinated with his former fixer Michael Cohen who is now serving the federal prison sentence in part for that crime.
That`s before we even get to the Mueller Report. Volume two of that 448- page report lays out almost a dozen different instances in which the president attempted to obstruct justice a crime for which a thousand former federal prosecutors say he would have been charged if he were not the sitting president.
And if you`re wondering what obstruction of justice looks like or sounds like, how President`s personal attorney calling up a lawyer for cooperating witness to put the squeeze on him and dangle a potential pardon. That is pretty obviously what was going on in a voicemail left by John Dowd for Michael Flynn`s attorney which Mueller included in his report, but now we have the audio.
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DOWD: Hey Rob, this is John again. Maybe I`m sympathetic, I understand your situation, but when we see if I can state it in starker terms. If you have -- and it wouldn`t surprise me if yorue gone on to make a deal with and work with the government. I understand that you can`t join the joint defense. So that`s one thing. If on the other hand, we have this information that implicates the president, then we got a national security issue or maybe a national security issue, I don`t know, some issue we got to -- we got to deal with not only for the President but for the country.
So you know, then you know, we need some kind of heads up just for the sake of protecting all interest if we can, without you having to give up any confidential information. So -- and if it`s the former, then, you know, remember what we`ve always said about the president and his feeling towards Flynn, and all that still remains, but -- in any of that, let me know and I appreciate your listening and taking the time. Thanks, pal.
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HAYES: For more on the case against President, I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney who will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, and Carol Lam also a former U.S. attorney and former Superior Court Judge.
Barbara, we knew basically what was in that voicemail. We had a transcript, abbreviated transcript and a full transcript. But listening to it as someone who has been a prosecutor, is running U.S. Attorney`s Office, like what does that sound like to you?
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, I think it is far more compelling to be able to listen to a recording like that than to just read the dry words on a page because you can hear tone and inflection. But I hear two things in there that suggest that it`s part of a pattern of obstruction of justice.
One is remember this is occurring after Michael Flynn`s lawyers have said he`s withdrawing from the joint defense agreement where they`re sharing privileged information. And he says, if you`re cooperating we`re going to need a heads-up. And so he wants to know what`s going on with the investigation. The other thing he says is remember that President Trump feels about Michael Flynn, he`s fond of him, currying favor with him.
The other thing that`s important is not to look at this in isolation but to look at it in the totality of the circumstances. And if you read Robert Muller`s report, one thing you`ll see is that it`s the return phone call that is also very compelling because when Flynn`s lawyer calls him back and says no we can`t share information, John Dowd gets very upset with him and says, I take that as hostility from Michael Flynn and I`m going to tell President Trump about that hostility.
And so that is a kind of intimidation that could be seen as obstruction of justice when you look at the whole picture.
HAYES: How about you, Carol?
CAROL LAM, FORMER SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE: Yes, absolutely. I agree with Barbara. If I were -- if I were Michael Flynn`s attorney and I listened to that voicemail being left on my phone, I would have just sat back in my chair and said, wow, I cannot believe I just heard that voicemail.
When you have a situation where you`re a subject or target of an investigation or you represent the subject or target of the investigation and you think someone who is part of your joint defense group has left that joint defense group and is now cooperating with the government, and you are going to leave a voicemail, you`re going to call them and talk to them, you have to try -- you have to do everything you and to be above reproach.
You cannot leave an ambiguous or suggestive is a better word, a suggestive voicemail saying you know, if you -- you know, if your client decides to cooperate, one, we really want to know what he`s saying, and two, don`t forget right now the president really likes him.
HAYES: Right. I mean, that`s what`s so striking here is that this isn`t just any lawyer, it`s the president of the sitting -- it`s the lawyer for the sitting President of the United States who leads us. I mean, any lawyer I think would be in really dicey territory doing this. But it also, Barbara, to me speaks to the broader issue which is this is how the lawyer communicates. He never comes out and says what he`s doing but we can understand that.
And that -- if you read the Mueller Report, that turns up everywhere all the time. No one`s ever coming out and saying like well -- I mean, except when the president says Russia if you`re listening, like they`re not actively saying the thing but every message that is sent behind the scenes to obstruct or to Russia or Russian cutouts sends an extremely clear message you have to be an idiot not to understand.
MCQUADE: Yes. And that is typical in most cases.
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
MCQUADE: I mean, most people are savvy enough not to say listen, I`m about to obstruct justice right now. Let`s do this thing that would be illegal. People speak in code, they speak indirectly, it`s very nuanced. And sometimes that makes it difficult to prove such a case. But when you can look at the context and you can look at a pattern of behavior, that`s when I think you can draw those reasonable inferences.
You know, a jury will typically be instructed that you can`t read someone`s mind but you can look at the totality of the circumstances and use your common sense to figure out what`s going on here.
HAYES: To that end, I should say that Lanny Davis who represents Michael Cohen, so Michael come got a very similar message, there is -- appears a bit of a pattern. I wanted to ask about another legal issue before us, Carol, as both a former federal prosecutor and state judge.
There`s a question now about impeachment proceedings and whether they will -- if the House were to declare them, it would bolster their court cases for acquiring information and enforcing subpoenas right? So it`s one thing for the House to subpoena someone and then be blocking executive privilege.
And there`s a theory of the case in an interview with Jamie Raskin said that there`s brewing sentiment on the Judiciary Committee that without an impeachment inquiry, Democrats could suffer some losses in court in their efforts to compel the White House to cooperate with their oversight demands. What do you think of that legal theory?
LAM: Well, I think there`s a lot to that. I mean, it just goes to show that when one side raised the stakes and the other side feels it needs to then raise its it stakes. You know, both sides have to be careful about unintended consequences that may come back to bite them, you know, because you have now a district -- you now have a D.C. Appellate court decision which would be the same court that would hear any litigation coming out of these challenges to the House`s subpoenas.
And that Court has said that impeachment inquiries are like judicial inquiries and therefore fall under an exception to the grand jury secrecy rules. So what has happened now because of this very broad instruction that the White House has given the witnesses not to comply with subpoenas issued by the House, it has now ramped up discussion of actually starting impeachment inquiries in order to have better arguments in court that they should have access to all the grand jury information.
So I do agree that has starting an impeachment inquiry is going to give a little more leverage to the House.
HAYES: That`s good to know. Barbara McQuade, Carol Lam, great to have you both. For more on the political battle over the president`s culpability and criminality, I`m joined by Matt Welch, Editor at Large or for Reason Magazine and Michelle Goldberg MSNBC Political Analyst and Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times.
So this is something I`ve been thinking about reading Tiananmen Square remembrances. And there`s this one moment where I think it`s the (INAUDIBLE) deputy calls the head of the army the night before they send in the tanks. And what he says as I talked to the chairman, he says, solve the problem tomorrow.
Now, this is -- this is China we`re like there`s no like special counsel that you`re worried about it and there`s no grand jury law. Like you could just say like, go smash the protesters. But even in that context, he doesn`t say go smash the protesters. He says -- he talks in code. Go back to any totalitarian regime, any criminal enterprise, no one is ever coming out and saying what they`re saying, they`re talking the way John Dowd is talking.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, they call that the final solution to exterminate all the Jews.
HAYES: Exactly, yes, right. Yes, I mean, the point is that like in any criminal enterprise, in any system of government wrongdoing, in anyone trying to shake down a witness, like that`s how it sounds.
GOLDBERG: Right. But the reason with everybody that we`re all batching our heads against the wall and the reason I think people feel so frustrated in some cases despairing is because it is so all out in the open right. This is a criminal enterprise. They do talk like cut-rate Mafiosos. I mean, the whole thing is so blatant and yet there`s no one who sort of stepping up to take this on and said people have been ground down by the relentless degradation of it.
MATT WELCH, EDITOR AT LARGE, REASON MAGAZINE: Well, it`s ground down but it`s also -- there`s a political calculation particularly among Democrats. I think Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, in particular, want to be able to say lock him up right because that`s different than then actually launching an impeachment. But you want to be able to play to the base here because the base has that feeling. But an impeachment, that`s a roll of the dice from a Democratic point of view much more than it is from say Justin Amash`s point of view.
HAYES: But I think -- right, but I think it`s exactly wrong. Like, I think lock him up is wrong for basically the same way as lock her up is wrong even though I think the case is strong here. Because I think --
WELCH: It`s clearly a degradation of basic norms and civility in the country and we should not be doing that.
HAYES: No one should break in.
WELCH: In general, we should say things like that on a daily basis about the president of the United States and I`m glad that we are. Yes, all that it is true, but there`s also a political problem and it`s not an insignificant one which is this.
Public opinion polls right now are pretty clear that even though you can charge someone for obstruction of justice, even if there is no proof of an underlying crime or an underlying collusion conspiracy crime, American people don`t necessarily want you to go there for that, and that is a political problem if it goes the House of Representatives.
HAYES: But here`s what`s important to me and what`s important about both the locker up chant and how sort of ugly and brutal it is. And it was the first time I saw a breakout I was sort of astounded. And every time I see a breakout, I`m astounded. I`m astounded to watch Sean Hannity was straight face talk about how awful it is.
The point is that it`s not about wrath. Like that`s what`s so important to me. You can say like I want to see him in jail later. I don`t care one way or the other. What it`s about is abuse of power and enforce -
GOLDBERG: No, I didn`t.
HAYES: Right, that`s fine. But I`m saying like in a narrow sense, what it`s about here is the abuse of power and some guardrails for abuse of power which really matters as a constitutional matter and as a matter of the rule of law.
GOLDBERG: Right. And part of what`s so frustrating what this conversation is that the way is that Trump and the conservative movement that`s caused around him, you know, they so often are guilty either of projection or else whatever they accuse other people of is a statement about what they do or plan to do, you know.
So Trump kind of goes out there and says that Hillary Clinton`s Foundation was this corrupt slush fund. It turns out naturally that Trump`s Foundation is this corrupt slush fund that has now been dissolved. And you`re talking about, it`s just like oh they traded accusations. You know, when they`re the kind of empirical under --
GOLDBERG: -- underpinning is so radically different but he -- but I think that they are very good propagandists and they`re very good at sort of deranging the conversations so that it just seems as if you know, well yes, now both sides are engaging in this sort of -- in this sort of evisceration of norms.
HAYES: I`m curious for someone who`s a sort of lifelong card-carrying Libertarian, how much the Amash case resonates with you and how much you feel like it resonates with your co-religions.
WELCH: I don`t want to -- I find myself nodding along when he says that the president acted with corrupt intent to thwart an investigation. I think that`s self-evident. I think when, Judge Napolitano from Fox News across the street, Gene Healy from Cato make the argument that impeachment is actually an underused remedy to dissuade poor behavior in the executive branch and to punish it.
I`m nodding in agreement in all of this. But I do run up against the --is this going to actually --are we going to just protract ourselves in 12 to 18 months not in terms of fatalism of a Republican run Senate with people who don`t have any morals. I grant that`s going to happen anyway, but more of about in terms of American public. Because the American public is really going to go through 18 months, 12 months of this when there is no underlying conspiracy collusion crime there, and I`m not sure that`s going to happen.
HAYES: But you are -- but you are fairly persuaded on the merits just in terms of like what it would mean and what the guardrail it would produce?
WELCH: I think Congress should do its damn job just basically on a basic level. Like read the report and come up with conclusions and be honest about it in that sense. And so that`s in way that Amash completely resonates with me. I don`t know where we would lead and whether that would be a preventative thing to do.
GOLDBERG: Well, I mean, I think that we`re going through the next 18 months regardless, right?
HAYES: Well, that`s the other thing.
WELCH: You speak for yourself.
GOLDBERG: And so you know --
HAYES: No, but it is. It`s like the Democrats are passing the ball around and like looking at the clock.
GOLDBERG: Right --
HAYES: Like oh, like he`s polling at 42 percent and there`s an election coming up. It`s like, well, there`s a lot of time left.
GOLDBERG: But the idea -- the idea that impeachment is this kind of you know, superlative national trauma and sort of watching this president you know, break the law and you know, subvert the country and profit from his office with impunity is also a national trauma for a significant number of the American people, right.
And so it is obviously -- I think that there might be a political argument against impeachment. I don`t understand a moral or legal argument against it.
HAYES: All right, Matt Welch and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both very much. Up next, is Trump leading the country into a recession with his economic policies? New signs point to yes. That story coming up in just two minutes.
HAYES: Just two weeks ago, President Trump got up to brag about the $16 billion handout he`s giving the farmers and ranchers to offset the damage done by his own trade wars.
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TRUMP: We will ensure that our farmers get the relief they need and very, very quickly. It`s a good time to be a farmer. We`re going to make sure that. So today I`m announcing that I have directed Secretary Purdue to provide $16 billion in assistance to America`s farmers and ranchers that all comes from China.
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HAYES: Now, perhaps not surprisingly, other industries had been rocked by Trump`s trade we`re asking for their hand out. Today the main congressional delegation asked the President to share some of that government cash with the Maine lobster industry which has gotten hammered by retaliatory tariffs.
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TOM ADAMS, FOUNDER AND CEO, MAINE COAST: We`ve lost about 80 percent of our mainland China sales. With a 25 percent punitive tariff, they just can`t afford to buy from American shippers. They are buying from our Canadian counterparts competition versus us.
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HAYES: Another example of very real life consequences of the President`s policy, just today we got a really bad jobs report, only 75,000 new jobs in May when analysts had expected about 100,000 more than that. Now, important note of caution. These numbers are often revised down the line.
But this one also comes in a month that annihilated the markets as Trump`s unnecessary trade war escalated day by day with increasingly severe and tangible effects to the American economy. It is pretty hard to unilaterally precipitate a recession from the Oval Office in the middle of a growing economy, but the president seems hell-bent on making it happen.
Joining me now Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. He`s now the Chancellor`s Professor of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley. After day`s disappointing job numbers came out, he tweeted "Watch your wallets. If Trump blocks Mexican goods, the slowdown turns into a recession." Robert, explain why you think that`s the case.
ROBERT REICH, CHANCELLOR`S PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, U.C. BERKELEY: Well, first of all, Chris, as you just said 75,000 new jobs is really bad. I mean, you need 125,000 new jobs just and keep up with the increase of the -- in the labor force. And relative to where we have been in this recovery that starts in 2009, it`s a very bad jobs report overall. There is a slowdown. There`s no question about that.
But if you add on to that slowdown all of the direct and ancillary damage that comes from these tariffs, tariffs against China, retaliation from China, tariffs that are threatened against Mexico, I mean you could easily find the American economy in a recession certainly before the election.
HAYES: You know, there`s been a lot of debate about this right. Like are the effects of this big enough to actually knock it -- knock America off an expansion into recession. And I`ve seen people arguing on both sides. The sheer size of it relative to the size of the American economy isn`t big enough and I`ve seen others argue it can. What`s the case that it could?
REICH: Well, it`s the interaction, Chris, between the tariffs and also the slowdown that is almost inevitable given how long this recovery has gone. I mean, recoveries don`t go forever, they gradually slow down. American companies and American individuals, individual consumers are deep in debt. That`s another thing that`s not talked about very much, but that debt is also a problem.
And then finally you`ve got that tax cut for big corporations and for the very wealthy that did not trickle down, it just added two trillion dollars over the next ten years to our debt. Now, put all of that together, and you get a an economy that is very, very vulnerable.
HAYES: Well, we should note there was a new study out. I think it was from a sort of -- it`s from a sort of center-right outfit we should note, but they say that the tariffs have already wiped out the tax bill savings for average Americans, right, that they were so paltry at the bottom that just the tariffs that applied already, you`re already net-net, you`ve wiped those out.
REICH: Yes, and a new -- a new study -- another new study again not from the left, another new study from a centrist think-tank just out yesterday that if all the tariffs go into effect. I mean, we`re talking about China and the threatened tariffs against Mexico, you`re talking about a $4,000 bill for the typical American household.
Now, remember, it was supposed to be $4,000 bonus from the tax cut but nothing trickled down. So this is a $4,000 negative for the typical household. There`s also something just so ideologically ridiculous about the President slapping on tariffs, running around yelling about how terrible socialism is and how they`re going to defend the free market enterprise and whatever, and then handing out welfare checks to the industries that are getting knocked around by the terrorists.
And now you`ve got this classic competition in Washington for who`s going to get the next check to the handout to the industry that`s being hurt by his tariffs.
REICH: Well, that`s right. This corporate welfare is socialism for the rich and it is harsh capitalism for everybody else. This is the story of Trump-anomic and it is small wonder that you`ve got you know not only farmers, but you`ve got -- everybody else. I mean, lobster, people -- lobstermen in Maine but you`re also going to get a huge a problem for the American automobile industry particularly with regards in Mexico. Because those supply chains are totally integrated you would have to rebuild all those supply chains.
HAYES: Yes, and we`re going to watch the automakers coming to Washington to ask for their cut --
REICH: Well, they already -- they already are. I mean, Republican, this is one of the interesting things. You`ve got the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and most of the Republicans in the Senate who are saying to Trump don`t do this. I mean, there`s almost I can`t think of anything that has united everybody against the President.
HAYES: All right, Robert Reich, thank you so much for tonight. I appreciate it.
REICH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, new details on the GOP campaign to gerrymander North Carolina and new evidence that Republicans lied to a federal judge about their own plans. That`s next.
HAYES: You might remember this crazy story we cover last week about what was hidden on the hard drives of a deceased GOP operative named Thomas Hofeller. Those hard drives revealed that Hofeller played a central role in the Trump administration`s efforts to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census.
They also showed that Hofeller explicitly written that the result of adding the citizenship question would be an electoral advantage for the Republican Party and white people.
Now we have another revelation from those same hard drives. According to the watchdog group Common Cause, Hofeller`s files also reveal that North Carolina Republicans lied to a federal court in an effort to keep gerrymandered legislative districts in place for as long as possible. Those districts have been ruled unconstitutional, but the North Carolina GOP insisted there was just not enough time to redraw the legislative map before a special election.
Hofeller`s files tell a very different story.
And here to explain Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones, author of Gives Us the Ballot: The Modern struggle for Voting Rights in America."
Ari, you have been covering Hofeller and this case. So what do we learn from these new files?
ARI BERMAN, MOTHER JONES: It`s pretty remarkable, Chris. What we learned is that Tom Hofeller drew congressional and st ate legislative maps in North Carolina, which were struck down as illegal racial gerrymanders. In fact, the state legislative maps a federal court said were among the most extreme racial gerrymanders ever seen by a federal court, so pretty amazing language.
They said in 2016 you need to hold new elections in 2017. The North Carolina GOP said we have no time. We haven`t drawn the maps yet. Well, people discover 75,000 files on Tom Hofeller`s hard drives, and what they find is that Tom Hofeller has, in fact, drawn all of these districts. And so basically North Carolina GOP lied about the fact that Hofeller had drawn the maps so that they didn`t have to hold special elections, allowing them to prolong their super majority in the North Carolina legislature for for entirely one more year.
HAYES:s Wait a second. Wait a second. So, what we have learned, I think I didn`t understand this when I read it, what we have learned is that when they go to the court and they represent that we -- there is no time to redraw maps, they actually had already redrawn maps.
HAYES: They were maps sitting on the hard drive of this guy.
BERMAN: They told the federal court, said in legislative hearings, we haven`t done anything to draw the maps. They look at Hofeller`s files, he has drawn 97 percent of new Senate districts, 90 percent of new House districts.
HAYES: He had already done the work.
BERMAN: And now they`re saying Hofeller just did it on his own time. We didn`t instruct him to. Like all you decide to do in your free time is draw hypothetically gerrymandered maps.
HAYES: That is really remarkable. I mean, this is what they said to a federal judge. They didn`t just like -- they represented this in court.
BERMAN: They represented this in court. I mean, it`s all under oath. The court, in fact, decided not to hold special elections, because they believed North Carolina Republicans when they said there was not enough time. This allowed them to have a super majority in the legislature in one of the most important swing states in the country, for another year as a result.
HAYES: There is a pattern here, right. So, we`re seeing the census, and we`re seeing it in North Carolina, which is it`s not just using these tools, whether they`re gerrymandering the census to kind of rig the game for your favorite constituencies -- white people, Republicans, but then it`s the lying about it which to me is to tell that they understand exactly what they are doing.
BERMAN: They know that they are illegitimately wielding power. They know there is a problem with doing a citizenship question to explicitly benefit white people, which is why they are claiming they needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which everyone knows is a complete lie. They know that they just can`t outright gerrymander, so they had these different justifications for why they`re doing it.
And really what this boils down to is they are trying to solidify their power by any means necessary.
And know you have this remarkable confluence where the guy that did all the gerrymandering is the guy that`s now trying to rig the census. So, it has really all come together in terms of this long-term Republican strategy for long-term minority rule.
HAYES: And what`s remarkable, too, is -- are the historical echoes here. I mean, I don`t know how familiar people are with sort of what happens as reconstruction recedes in the south and Jim Crow rises, but the politicians then often would say, like, oh, no, no, no, it`s not race. We are not trying to stop black people from voting, we just think there should be a literacy test. Like obviously who vote should have a literacy test. Or we think there should be a poll tax. Or whatever it is. It was always a disingenuous, they were always lying about their motives to achieve precisely their aims, which was to make it harder for black people to vote and easier for white people to wield political power.
And there is a really uncomfortable resonance to what`s happening here.
BERMAN: And a lot of the rhetoric you see now, for example, about voter fraud is so similar to the things that you hear after the end of the Civil War and during Reconstruction. I mean, it`s almost verbatim the kind of rhetoric we have, and they are talking about we need a knowledgeable electorate or we can`t have illiterates voting, or we don`t want to diminish the value of the vote, and all of these things, which is the same kind of arguments we are hearing today.
They know they can`t succeed on the merits. They know that if you told people do you want a question that is going to explicitly benefit Republicans? Do you want the worst racial gerrymandering North Carolina has ever seen, people aren`t going to want it, even some Republicans might not want it. So, they are having these new things -- they`re saying, oh, we are trying to better enforce the Voting Rights Act when we all know that`s not true.
HAYES: Yeah, the disingenuous and the outright lying here in both of these cases is really astounding. Ari Berman, thank you so much.
BERMAN: Great to see you.
HAYES: Still ahead, from ambitious climate plan roll outs, to Biden`s abortion funding reversal, it`s been a big week in the Democratic Party policy primary. That`s coming up.
But first, Trump craters has his own moon policy in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, you may remember a couple of months ago here we took a deep dive, and I mean a really deep dive, into the Mike Pence archives.
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MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years.
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HAYES: Yeah, we made the video look old-timey, but Mike Pence really is out there talking about how we are going to the moon again right here in the 21st Century.
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PENCE: As President Trump said, we will return American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972.
The president has directed NASA and administrator Jim Bridenstine to accomplish this goal by any means necessary.
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HAYES: Well, it it`s a good thing Mike Pence has absolutely no pride whatsoever, because the president has once again pulled the rug out from under him announcing today out of the blue, no, we are not going to the stupid moon. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: President Trump has been talking about going to the moon since he got into office. First, he changed the national space policy to say that we would lead the return of humans to the moon. In March, he sent Mike Pence out to announce a five year moon trip timetable. Just last week, he announced a new moon partnership.
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HAYES: Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We will be going to the moon. We will be going Mars very soon. It`s very exciting.
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HAYES: But that was last week. And you know how the president gets when he`s watching his shows.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, here we go again. NASA is opening a space station top more commercial activities, in other words, it inviting you to take part in all of this, as it is refocusing on the moon, the next sort of quest, if you will. But didn`t we do this moon thing quite a few decades ago?
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HAYES: Yeah, we went to the moon already. Whose dumb idea is this to go back? The president, watching Trump TV on his airplane, made a tweet: "for all the money we are spending, NASA should not be talking about going to the moon. We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars, of which moon is a part, defense and SCIENCE!" So, there you have it. The moon is out -- also it`s part of Mars. I don`t know, it`s getting really tough to follow to be honest.
But although someone probably should break the news to the head of moon force over here.
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PENCE: Some will say it`s too hard, it`s too risky, it`s too expensive. History is written by those who dare to dream big and do the impossible.
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HAYES: New report today that caught my eye showing that, quote, wealthy people and corporations have so much money, they literally don`t know what to do with it. Now, there is an obvious solution here, which to tax that wealth for public investment, but until that happens, here`s one thing they could do with all that extra cash.
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MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: So, today I`m happy to announce that with our foundation, I`m committing $100 million -- $500 million to the launch of a new national climate initiative. And I hope that you will all become part of it.
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HAYES: Today, billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced a $500 million pledge to support efforts to phase out the nation`s remaining coal-fired plants. Now, the trend lines are already going in the right direction as far as coal is concerned, with coal consumption on a steady decline. But crucially, and this is really important, Bloomberg is also making sure that coal power coming off line is not replaced by natural gas, which of course is also a fossil fuel and carbon emitter, albeit cleaner, but would have to be phased out quickly to order to prevent a climate catastrophe.
The money will also be used to target state and local elections, because, as Bloomberg rightly says...
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BLOOMBERG: Climate change is now first and foremost a political problem, not a scientific quandary or even a technological puzzle.
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HAYES: Now, let`s be clear, the real path forward to a post-carbon future involves enormous grass roots mobilization and organization and agitation and political leadership and technological change, it will not be led primarily by billionaires. But if billionaires are wondering what`s a good use of their money? Well, this probably about as good of use as you can think. More, please.
HAYES: A presidential primary process is to my mind really two different processes at the same time. First, it`s a competition to select the candidate, the person that`s going to be the nominee to represent the party, but also, crucially, it`s the way a party sets its agenda, its policy priorities, the way it finds consensus view of the entire coalition about what it stands and what it fights for.
And you`re already seeing that part of the process at work in the Democratic primary right now well before anyone is casting a vote, particularly on climate. Candidates across the spectrum of the competitors in the primary are competing with various plans to tackle the climate emergency, all of which are in the context of recent history really rather ambitious.
You`re also seeing this primary process play out on reproductive rights. After several candidates, including Elizabeth Warren at our own town hall, criticize Joe Biden for his support of the federal ban on spending for abortion services, he moved towards the consensus view and reversed his position.
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JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We now see so many Republican governors denying health care to millions of the most poorest and most vulnerable Americans by refusing even Medicaid expansion. I can`t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.
If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone`s zip code.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Talk about where things stand in both those Democratic primary processes, I`m joined by L. Joy Williams, a Democratic strategist, Jason Johnson, politics editor for The Root and an MSNBC political analyst, and Bill Scher, contributing editor to Politico magazine and contributor to RealClearPolitics.
Joy, you know, I`ve seen that sort of people talking about Biden`s reversal here. It strikes me that at some level it`s like this is exactly what you want, right, I mean, in terms of that second part of the process, which is finding consensus about, like, these are what the Democratic Party is in year 2019, 2018, like this is precisely how you want it to work.
L. JOY WILLIAMS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGISTT: Yeah, but it also matters in terms of how you deliver your change. We`ve been through presidential cycles where we`ve accused candidates of flip flopping and we know how that works.
But it also depends on how you demonstrate to who the electorate is going to be, how you evolved on a position and what made you change that position.
Now, he gets on stage and he says that because of what`s happening in the states where Republican governors are restricting, legislatures are restricting, that`s why he`s changing his mind. But in an atmosphere where the Democratic primary electorate is going to be different, they`re demanding more, they want more from their candidates, it`s a little difficult to just, you know, say that, you have to say a little bit more.
HAYES: Although, one response to that is like there`s the question of like who the electorate is, right.
WILLIAMS: Well, that`s always the question. And you have to be aware of who that, of who the Democratic primary electorate is and who you`re playing to. And that`s something that the Biden campaign is going to have to address throughout the campaign.
HAYES: Right. Although, Bill, my sense in the Biden campaign`s proposition here, and I don`t necessarily think this is a bad way for them to see this, is I`m Joe Biden and I could beat Donald Trump. In terms of what the Joe Biden presidency will be, it will be basically whatever the consensus ends up producing of this Democratic primary, and I will go with that agenda.
BILL SCHER, POLITICO: Yes, and I think Biden very much wants to be seen as a mainstream Democrat, but he`s also I think made the calculation that most Democrats actually define themselves as moderates, most Democrats say they want politicians who compromise over politicians who stick to their positions no matter what, and that defiance against the left of the party has served him well up until this point because of abortion is not like the other issues.
HAYES: Well, I want to follow up on that, because totally agree with you. I think there is a disconnect in terms of the ideological positioning of the sort of most intensely active people in this primary this early on, and the median voter in the democratic process in terms of how they self- describe, in terms of those things like compromise. And part of the value proposition of Joe Biden is like I can stiff-arm those folks, because I`m Joe Biden and I`m going to hue to the center and I know how to win. Why is this issue different?
SCHER: Right. And his argument that he knows how to win works when he goes toe to toe with Trump and Trump doesn`t hit the mark, when Trump tries to throw a punch at Biden and it doesn`t land, that serves Biden`s argument.
When Biden zig-zags on the Hyde amendment as he did these past 48 hours, that makes him look wobbly. So, it`s less -- I mean, partly it`s the position, it`s partly how he handled it.
When he is defiant and strong, that makes people think, you know that guy knows how to deal with the fire. When he`s wobbly, less so.
HAYES: Although, I also sort of -- Nick Confessore said this last night and I think it`s true. It`s like no one is going to be beat you up for coming to them, you know what I mean? Like, if you come to the position, it`s like, OK, well welcome, which was basically what the rest of the field said, which is, you know...
JASON JOHNSON, THE ROOT: Look, the problem with Joe Biden, and this is the whole idea if I can stiff-arm these people -- I`ve always said this -- he`s always been electable and not viable, right. The guy can`t make it through a primary to save his life, but if he ever got to a general election he`s probably a very electable candidate.
He`s got to remember that you still have a primary, because this is what I saw about this sort of Hyde act (ph) -- OK, great, you came to this position, will you be able to make that same transformation about the crime bill? Because, see, that`s the one -- there are several things that Joe Biden has said I`m not changing my mind on, and that`s going to blow up in his face if he doesn`t do something like what he did here.
HAYES: Although the crime bill to me, which, again, I wrote an entire book on this and substantively I think was a very bad piece of legislation, and we should note there are lots of people at the time who thought it was a bad piece of legislation. I also think there is some divergence in the crime bill, right. Like if you poll the most active folks who are really active in this right now, I don`t necessarily think their feeling about the crime bill and whether it`s a -- you know, a no-go for them is the same as your median voter in the South Carolina and Nevada primary.
JOHNSON: Oh, yeah.
JOHNSON: Your median voter doesn`t really care.
HAYES: That`s my point.
JOHNSON: They`re not asking about any of it either. Not at all.
WILLIAMS: But that`s beat Trump and then get...
HAYES: But the point is like if you`re the Biden people, that`s the thing that`s front of mind for them, which is not a crazy theory of the case.
JOHNSON: I`s not a crazy theory, but it`s like you guys -- here`s the danger, can`t act like a front-runner. You can`t act like a front-runner yet.
JOHNSON: You still got to remember that you got a race, because if you start looking arrogant, that`s when it blows up in your face.
WILLIAMS: But the other issue is -- back to our conversation about who the electorate is, and so if the Biden campaign is focusing and thinking that they`re going to the a traditional pre-Obama, you know, Democratic primary process where you`re speaking, yes, to the moderate Dem and don`t have to really engage with the left, don`t have to do anything, then you`re losing.
HAYES: So, that`s -- Bill, this is my point, right. I think their theory of the case is a pretty strong one, and I think this idea that they think, like, let`s project out both towards Trump and also the sort of big swaths of the not on Twitter part of the Democratic primary, which is the majority probably, right? They have to come up with a strategy, then, to deal with the other parts of the sort of policy debate that`s happening.
SCHER: I`m sorry, is that to me?
HAYES: Yes, it is. Sorry.
SCHER: What`s the question again?
HAYES: I`m just saying that they have to come up with a strategy to deal with like -- I think it`s a decent theory of the case for them to run against the front-runner, and sort of trying to carve out this relatively center of the coalition position and run against Trump, but they have to have a sort of strategy for how they`re dealing with all these policy fights that are going to be happening around them.
SCHER: Well, I think their strategy is -- they`re going to have their policy roll out. You know, Biden did a climate policy package. Biden has done some economic policy packages before. I don`t think he`s going to try to rock the boat too much.
SCHER: Either towards the right or the left. They don`t want to get into a scrap.
HAYES: T hat`s right.
SCHER: With the base if they don`t have to. But the but at the same time they don`t want to be pushed around by the base and be forced to apologize time and time again.
So, it`s a fine line to walk, and that`s why I think in this case with the Hyde amendment, Biden wanted to end it as soon as possible.
HAYES: You know, it`s funny, when you look at his -- there`s scoring -- GW nominate (ph), right -- of where someone is in the caucus.
Joe Biden was basically either smack-dab in the center of the Democratic caucus for his entire career in the U.S. Senate, which shows something, right. That`s someone who like understands very well where the middle of Democratic consensus politics are, and that`s where he aims.
WILLIAMS: But here`s where the Biden campaign has to remember, yes, it could be that the Twitter is not real life, but Twitter and the conversations and the fights that happen on social media boil over into the media, and boil over into the press. And so if you have to fight in that standpoint and then also that being used against, particular pockets like women, like people of color, that is going to be a problem.
HAYES: There`s also 21 people that are aiming at you now because you`re the front-runner and you have got half of the Democrats in the entire country running for president.
L. Joy Williams, Jason Johnson, and Bill Scher, thank you so much for joining us.
Before we go, a quick reminder about this week`s episode of our podcast Why is This Happening? features one of the founding members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Elisa Garza. Really interesting discussion about the movement`s origins, its evolutions, and where it stands today. Go and listen, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END