CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Ali Velshi, in for Chris Hayes, starts right now.
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ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight on ALL IN.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): You`re here to provide historical context.
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Exactly.
GAETZ: And throughout history, you accuse presidents of acting like Richard Nixon and you make money off of it, right?
DEAN: Not all presidents, no.
GAETZ: No, but a few, more than one.
DEAN: Those who do act like him, I point it out.
VELSHI: Democrats endeavor to educate America on the Mueller report.
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I do you think it was worse than Watergate. I think this president worked with Russia.
VELSHI: Tonight, as the Justice Department begins to comply with subpoenas, what we learned today from the Mueller report hearing.
DEAN: This report has not been widely read in the United States it`s not even been widely read in the Congress.
VELSHI: Plus, constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe on how he says Democrats can bypass the Senate with impeachment, new reporting on Jared Kushner`s financial conflicts of interest, and major movement where Democrats will move first.
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re going to change the channel to something completely different.
VELSHI: What new poll numbers in Iowa mean for the 2020 field.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am prepared to make the case for America and to prosecute the case against Donald Trump.
VELSHI: ALL IN starts now.
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VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. The House Judiciary Committee is making its best effort to investigate the President`s attempts to obstruct justice in the face of vast stonewalling by the Trump administration.
Having been blocked by the White House from interviewing key witnesses in the obstruction investigation, in particular, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, tomorrow the House will vote on a civil contempt resolution allowing it to go to court to try to force witnesses to comply with subpoenas.
Earlier today, House Judiciary reached an agreement with Justice Department after weeks of back-and-forth to give members access to some of the underlying evidence used in the special counsel`s obstruction probe.
In the meantime, the committee is forging ahead with a series of hearings on the Mueller report. Most Americans as you heard have not read the entire 448-page report and some of their representatives in Congress haven`t read it either.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you read the Mueller report?
REP. ROB WOODALL (R-GA): I have not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not?
WOODALL: They said when we started this conversation -- and I trusted Mr. Mueller. He took a lot of slings and arrows throughout this process. Every U.S. attorney I knew said this is a man of great integrity. He`s going to lead this investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, so why not read the report?
WOODALL: Well, I have a concern. When you put the entire of power of the United States Justice Department behind anything, you can -- you can achieve an agenda.
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VELSHI: Blocked from interviewing fact witnesses in the Mueller investigation, the House Judiciary Committee heard today from another White House counsel, John Dean, drawing from his Watergate experience under Richard Nixon. And from lawyers and former U.S. attorneys who provided their own legal analysis of the Mueller report.
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JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: The facts contained in that report would be sufficient to prove all of the elements necessary to charge multiple counts of obstruction of justice. The evidence is not equivocal nor is the charging decision a close call. And I would be willing to personally indict the case and to try the case. I would have confidence that the evidence would be sufficient to obtain a guilty verdict and to win on appeal.
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VELSHI: While Democrats on the committee question them about the individual incidents examined in the Mueller report, the two former prosecutors both of whom by the way are MSNBC legal analysts testified that the overall pattern of the President`s conduct revealed what the law calls corrupt intent.
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VANCE: It seemed that what`s going on here looking at the totality of the circumstances is that President Trump felt threatened by Robert Mueller. He felt threatened by him. Even though there was no ultimate finding of a crime of conspiracy at the time the investigation was going on, President Trump didn`t know that was going to be the outcome.
In fact, he was aware of numerous contacts with Russia that may be exposed. There was also the matter of Michael Cohen`s payments to a woman to sat by her silence before the election. All of those things could have been things that motivated President Trump.
And so there are things other than the crime that the investigator is looking at that could motivate a person to try to end an investigation and under the law, they are equally prohibited.
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VELSHI: Meanwhile, Republicans on the committee spent most of their time challenging John Dean`s credibility pointing to his guilty plea in the Watergate scandal in questioning his relevance to the Mueller report.
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GAETZ: Do you have personal knowledge regarding the truth or falsity of a single material fact in the Mueller report?
DEAN: I think if you recall the first thing I said, I`m not here as a fact witness.
GAETZ: You`re here to provide historical context.
GAETZ: And throughout history, you accuse presidents of acting like Richard Nixon and you make money off of it, right.
DEAN: Not all presidents.
GAETZ: No, but a few, more than one.
DEAN: Those who do act like him, I point it out.
GAETZ: Let me ask you this question, how do Democrats plan to pay for Medicare for all?
DEAN: I`m sorry?
GAETZ: How do -- well, I figured if we were going to ask you about stuff you don`t know about, we`d start with the big stuff so do you know how they plan to pay for Medicare for all?
DEAN: Who, the Democrats or which candidate, or could you be more specific?
GAETZ: Let`s get specific to Nixon since that appears to be why you`re here. Do you believe --
DEAN: Well, actually Nixon did have a health care plan.
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VELSHI: I`m joined now by a member of the House Judiciary Committee Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Democrat from Texas. Congresswoman, good to see you again. Thank you for being with us tonight.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): thank you for having me, Ali. Let me, first of all, say that I had a great weekend at Normandy and celebrating the 75th commemoration of D-Day. That was a tragic but evidence of the greatness of this nation.
VELSHI: Thank you for that. Let`s talk about today`s hearings. What did you glean from them? What did you get from the testimony what do you think America got from it?
LEE: Ali, let me be very clear. The Democrats on the committee were consistent, dedicated, committed, deliberative, thoughtful, and focused on the legal arguments, and frankly, if I might, focused on this document and that is the Mueller report. That is why I offered to put this entire report into the record of this Judiciary Committee.
We were serious today and what we got from today`s testimony from the witnesses and our questioning was a block by block, piece by piece putting together of the Mueller report, questioning well-known former U.S. attorneys as well as constitutional lawyers.
As indicated, they are commentators but both of them are professors and certainly John Dean who made a singular point that said if you think about obstruction, what administration competes with Nixon and he cited the present administration.
So I believe what we got today was a clarity of voice that was not just a voice of members of Congress, but it was a voice of individuals who had their respective experiences with the actual document and its readings as lawyers, as former prosecutors and certainly John Dean a former White House Counsel.
I think his testimony as to how a White House Counsel should act or whether executive privilege covered a White House Counsel was imperative, provocative, and important.
VELSHI: So to the extent that as -- you`ve got the document there, you`ve got the Mueller report. To the extent that we believe most people haven`t read it let alone most members of Congress, what Joyce Vance said struck me where she said, the facts contained in the report would be sufficient to prove all the elements necessary to charge multiple counts of obstruction of justice. The evidence is not equivocal nor is the charging decision a close call.
Do you think today`s hearing or the idea that more Americans get exposed to the details in the report is going to move the needle either on the number of people who think impeachment hearings should take place or on the opinion that people have formed about the president?
LEE: Ali, I absolutely do. And remember now, the Speaker of the House has given us a standard of absolute -- or absoluteness, of tightness, of conciseness. And I think part of it is moving the political needle of the American people. When the impeachment proceedings actually started in Watergate, the American people were at 57 percent. It started at 19 percent.
This is a political process. It`s a constitutional process. And we as a Judiciary Committee under Article one, Section two, Clause five have -- been given that authority since the 1900. And so what we got today and I think Professor Vance`s very -- really convicted statement about both the underlying facts which included Article 1 -- excuse me, volume one and volume two was that as a prosecutor she saw the elements that she could very well go to court.
She could first seek an indictment, then go to court, and then proceed with an appeal if necessary I think the American people will listen to this and we can seek to continue to go down this pathway of investigation-education.
But let me say this. You know what else will move this needle is if this administration, this White House continues to block the persons who are no longer at the White House that includes I believe Miss Donaldson, Miss Hicks, and Mr. McGahn from speaking legitimately and under the rules of the House, the legitimacy of this committee to seek witnesses and as well to suggest that Mr. Mueller should not testify even though we believe will get all of these individuals, then I think the American people will see, is this the way we want to run a country.
VELSHI: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, good to talk to you again. Thank you for joining me tonight.
LEE: Glad to be with you. Thank you.
VELSHI: All right, for more on the legal and political implications of today`s hearings, I`m joined by Harry Litman, former U.S. Attorney and Contributing Columnist for The Washington Post and MSNBC Political Analyst David Jolly, former Republican Congressman from Florida. Gents, good to see you.
David, let me start with you as a former member of Congress. This is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to these hearings, right. You saw today what happened. Democrats were going down a particular road, Republicans were going down a different road.
And when Sheila Jackson Lee, or Joyce Vance, or Barbara McQuade talk about what happened in Watergate, there was a difference in that as public opinion moved, so did Republicans in Congress. What we have today is public opinion not moving all that much and Republicans in Congress appearing immovable.
DAVID JOLLY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, sure. And there`s going to be a lot of talk about John Dean`s testimony because of the historic significance. But what Joyce Vance and barb McQuade did was really lay out the case in a very specific way.
The question is are the American people going to be talking about Joyce Vance`s testimony at their kids soccer game on Saturday, and I think that`s what Congresswoman Jackson Lee is trying to get to. At what point as the nation`s conversation move in that direction.
In many ways, Ali, I commend the Democratic House for now moving in this direction but I think it may test whether or not the American people, the voters are still conditioned for a drip, drip, drip political messaging in three years now into Donald Trump where he simply says no obstruction no collusion, where he sends out 100 characters in a tweet in the morning to set the news cycle.
Are the American people still conditioned for drip, drip, drip or is this going to require either a decisive moment which we may not get if we don`t get Mueller and McGahn or a decisive action, meaning somebody in Democratic leadership, perhaps the Speaker of the House makes a decisive action to repeat the words of frankly Joyce Vance today in primetime on national television and say the House is going to move on an inquiry.
VELSHI: Harry Litman, what`s your sense of it legally? You heard Congresswoman Jackson Lee talking about process. We`ve heard a lot about different processes, one in which there are these series of investigations in which they subpoena things, the White House says no, they go to court, sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn`t. What do you -- what`s your sense of a legal strategy that`s being employed right, the legal and political strategy being employed?
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: OK, so first legally. And the first point I want to make is what Joyce Vance and Barbara McQuade were saying and that the operative sentence was Joyce`s saying it`s not a close call. This is really vexing and difficult for the Democrats or anyone to get through the kind of middle of the -- you know, the political process.
But Ali, it`s a fact. This is not a matter of debate. A thousand prosecutors have all said with no rebuttal, obviously, this is an obstruction of justice case. How to bring that home is very -- is very tricky.
Second though, on your process political-legal point, remember time is really short here. And although the Democrats I think, have the -- or the House is the better legal hand in most of the subpoena battles, you know, the first Democrat debate is in three weeks.
Everything is all of a sudden going to change. Is there time to force the testimony forward? That`s the issue. But some of the courts show the wherewithal to expedite things and I think some of them will -- I think we will see some witnesses in time to actually have an impact on the House`s decision making.
VELSHI: David, every week we see a handful or more Democratic members of Congress joining the chorus of people who think there should be either impeachment proceedings or hearings or inquiries. We don`t see that much on the Republican side. We`ve got -- we`ve got Justin Amash from Michigan, we`ve got Bill Weld, we don`t know where Mitt Romney stands on this. Is there -- is there something that you`re looking for from Republicans that will start to feel like momentum?
JOLLY: No. And I`m glad you asked that because, Ali, in my commentary, I`ve been somewhat critical the Speaker of the House. I`m in the camp that believes there`s a -- there should be an urgency to this. There are people like the speaker who believe take your time on this one. That`s a strategic decision.
I often forget to say that the fact is Republicans are members of the House as well. They took the same oath under the Constitution that our Democratic friends in the House took. Their playbook though as we saw today, and that was one of the most telling parts of this hearing as we often see in judiciary hearings, the Republican playbook is two pages. Page one says no obstruction, no collusion, and page two says impugn the witnesses.
There wasn`t a single Republican on that day as today who had legitimate intellectual questions about the legal findings contained in the Mueller report, not a single one. And so I think there`s reason for the American people to have very low to no expectations of Republicans in Congress. It`s wrong but frankly, if this is going to move, it`s going to move under Democratic leadership.
VELSHI: So this was interesting though, because when you listen to that, you`re right. We played some of those Republican congressmen who were sort of making fun of John Dean and I don`t know, Harry, whether it was -- it was good or bad to have John Dean there because he attracted that kind of attention.
But when you listen to Joyce, and you listen to Barbra Quade who you`ve been on with many times and you`ve made the same points, there seems to have been some value in the slow reading of the -- of the actual Mueller report or at least the interpretation of it piece by piece to explain in plain English as you so often do for us what the allegations and findings were.
LITMAN: You know, that`s the hope. But I think the Congressman puts his finger on it. Will people be talking about it at the Saturday morning soccer game? Is it enough to package it so people really nod and see it. Because again, what they are saying is not a sort of subjective opinion but really a consensus of prosecutors.
You know, it does seem that all the -- all the strategies hit up against the brick wall of the Republicans sort of intransigence, your next guest a professor tribe has a possibility for breaking through but they`re short of something like that. I think it`s going to be difficult.
VELSHI: Harry, I don`t know if anybody paid you for that but you just set up my next block which I always appreciate. Thank you, sir. Harry Litman and David Jolly, thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. It is a complicated issue and we appreciate the analysis that you both bring.
Coming up as you just heard, Constitutional Law expert Laurence Tribe says Democrats can impeach the president without the Senate. He`s here next to explain.
VANCE: Based on my experience of more than 25 years as a federal prosecutor, I support conclusion that more than 1,000 of my former colleagues came to and that I co-signed in a public statement month saying that if anyone other than a President of the United States committed this conduct, he would be under indictment today for multiple acts of obstruction of justice.
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VELSHI: That of course you know, is MSNBC Contributor and former Prosecutor Joyce Vance. Now, it`s not every day that a former federal prosecutor tells members of Congress that in her judgment based on her reading of the Mueller report, the sitting president is a criminal.
So what the House decides to do about it remains to be seen. Right now, 61 members of the House, including one Republican are in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Now, according to a recent poll, more than a third of registered voters support impeachment.
Joining me now, someone who has an idea or two of just how to make that happen, Laurence Tribe Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard and co- author of the new book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. Mr. Tribe, good to see you as always. Thank you for being with us.
I have read an op-ed that you posted -- you had published in The Washington Post today. It`s complex but there`s something interesting you talk about and that is that Congress can make a decision to act as the jury in this case not just the prosecutor and determine that the President is guilty of impeachable offenses.
LAURENCE TRIBE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: That`s right, Ali. First of all, I want to say that Joyce Vance, and Barbara McQuade, and Harry Litman are terrific lawyers. It`s great to hear them but they`re not what people will talk about Saturday morning at a soccer match, nor will they talk about me.
They would talk about fact witnesses like Don McGahn, and Annie McDonald, and Hope Hicks. The only way to get those people, the only way to be sure to get them is to have a formal impeachment inquiry because that supercharges the power of the House of Representatives to get testimony.
Now, that inquiry can be conducted as a kind of trial. That`s what happened in the Nixon case. Nixon was invited to appear in the House of Representatives. He chose not to but he said his lawyer James St. Clair. The House actually reached a verdict, not just a charge to send over to the Senate, but a verdict that Nixon had committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
That can be done. It was done in other cases. And if it`s done, then at the end of that, when the dramatic testimony has been presented live on television, not just through opinion evidence but through the actual witnesses to the crimes the president committed, then the public opinion might have moved enough to even break things loose in the Senate.
But if it doesn`t, you don`t need to be afraid of the big bad Mitch McConnell. The House of Representatives at the last minute can decide either to present articles of impeachment or to wrap it up itself, issue a condemnation of the President for having committed high crimes and misdemeanors with specific factual findings, and then make him carry that scarlet eye for impeachability into the 2020.
VELSHI: But you know, a scarlet letter could only work, Laurence, if a person has a sense of shame, right? You write in your and your piece the resolution expressly and formally proclaiming the President impeachable but declining to play the Senate`s corrupt game is one that even a president accustomed to treating everything as a victory would be hard-pressed to characterize as a vindication.
Do you believe that to be true of Donald Trump because we haven`t seen anything that feels like shame from Donald Trump?
TRIBE: I don`t -- I don`t think he`s capable of shame, and I`m not saying he wouldn`t call it a vindication. He calls everything a vindication. He says you`re tired of winning aren`t you. But calling it a vindication and having the American people believe that it`s a vindication are two different things.
So far the American people buy the lies that Donald Trump`s lackey -- his lackey in the Justice Department Bill Barr has told about the Mueller report. A lot of them say they didn`t even know said anything negative about the President.
But when the American people see in bright daylight on live television the fact witnesses, they are not nearly as stupid as Donald Trump thinks they are and they will realize that this is a man who invited the help of a hostile foreign power to become president, accepted that help, is doing nothing about preventing a recurrence of the invasion of our sovereignty by the Russian state, and then committing various serious crimes to cover it all up.
When the American people see that for themselves, even if McConnell and the Senate look the other way, the House is not powerless. And what I want Speaker Pelosi to recognize to a degree that despite her political brilliance she still hasn`t taken into account is that the House of Representatives, the people`s house can do its work regardless of the Senate.
VELSHI: Professor Tribe, I am always smarter for talking to you. Thank you for joining me tonight. We appreciate that.
TRIBE: Thank you, Ali.
VELSHI: Laurence Tribe, if you haven`t read it, it`s worth a read. All right, up next, we`ve seen this movie before, Donald Trump doing a victory lap for solving a crisis entirely of his own making. But what if he`s just created a new and bigger problem? David Cay Johnston joins us next.
VELSHI: President Trump spent the weekend taking a victory lap averting yet another crisis of his own creation. He tweeted over and over about what he claimed was a successful negotiation to avoid tariffs on Mexican goods, but the whole situation was Trump`s idea and completely avoidable.
Not only that, but The New York Times reported the border enforcement actions that Trump said Mexico would take in order to avoid tariffs on Mexican goods. But the whole situation was Trump`s idea and completely avoidable. Not only that, but The New York Times reported the border enforcement actions that Trump said Mexico would take in order to avoid tariffs had already been agreed to months ago. According to Axios, Trump`s proposed tariffs so alarmed U.S. business leaders, many of whom have fully supported Trump to this point, that some have begun an effort to take away trade powers from the president, and the traditionally conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce just organized 140 business and agricultural association opposing Trump`s tariff, a move he didn`t -- that didn`t sit so well with the president.
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TRUMP: We lose a fortune with virtually every country. They take advantage of us in every way possible and the U.S. Chamber is right there with them, and I assume, and I`m a member of the U.S. Chamber, maybe I`ll have to rethink that, because when you look at it, the Chamber is probably more for the companies and the people that are members than they are for our country.
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VELSHI: For more on the president`s increasingly fractious relationship with American business, I`m joined by David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist and editor and founder of DCReport.org.
You know, David, there is a little bit truth in what the president says. The Chamber of Commerce is not actually an organization representative of ordinary working Americans, and there are actual issues with international trade, but where it came to Mexico, the president took a pretty good strong working relationship with a neighbor and ally and used it in a way we don`t traditionally use what is normally a carrot.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, JOURNALIST: Well, you`ll notice here that the biggest business organizations, like the Chamber, which represents large corporations primarily, are treating Mexico very differently than China. And in this case, Trump has created a problem by getting people from Central America to come now for fear the border will be closed forever. He has reached an agreement way back in December, which was a good thing that he got an agreement, and now claims this is all new. It`s nonsense. And claims there are secret provisions out there to which the Mexican government says on the record, what are you talking about?
JOHNSTON: And this is just classic Donald Trump -- make it up, people don`t know, pull the wool over their eyes, because he`s a grifter.
VELSHI: Speaking about making it up, I didn`t know the Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has individual members like Donald Trump. He says he`s a member, but he`s going to tear up his membership card.
JOHNSTON: Well, presumably he means the Trump Organization.
VELSHI: Oh, OK. That makes sense.
So, to the extent that you said something interesting, that American corporations represented by groups like the Chamber of Commerce do think about Mexico differently than they do about China. Why is that?
JOHNSTON: Well, the issues with China, as Trump has laid them out, have to do with things like requiring companies that want to do business there to share knowledge and technology, just as years ago I revealed this story 60 Minutes repeated last night that we had allowed the Chinese, through fronts on Wall Street, to acquire all of our rare earths technology for neodymium and remove it from the United States. So there are some real legitimate issues with China that`s not endorsing the way Trump has approached them.
With Mexico, you have established supply chains of manufacturers who treat Canada, Mexico and the U.S. as one trading zone that would be terribly disrupted. And you have agricultural interests that will be totally disrupted if you do this and cause ordinary people to either not buy various fruits and vegetables during months of the year when you can`t grow them here in New York or pay much higher prices.
So there`s a different set of relationships here than with -- than with China.
VELSHI: It is interesting, though, David, because a lot of these corporations and corporate leaders have not stepped up, some of them did when Trump got elected, they sort of figured out they don`t want to get into a swatting match with him on Twitter. But they really have enjoyed the corporate tax cuts and the tax law that came around, and now for some this is a bridge too far.
JOHNSTON: Well, now that they`ve gotten, in fact, that 40 percent cut in their taxes -- and of course you and I are enjoying the same 40 percent cut, right, pal?
VELSHI: Yeah, exactly.
JOHNSTON: There is not much more that they want or are going to get out of Donald Trump and so they`re going to look to their other interests, and one of them is disruption. I mean, after all, what is one of the principal things you don`t want in business? Uncertainty. And Donald is full of uncertainty.
Well, he`s doing this, no, he`s doing that. Oh, there is a secret agreement you never heard about. This all breeds uncertainty and trouble. And I think you`re going to see more large businesses stepping back from Trump and looking at their own interests and whether he`s acting against them as Donald becomes more and more erratic.
VELSHI: David, always good to see you. Thank you for joining me. David Cay Johnston.
All right. Jared Kushner is in charge of some of the Trump administration`s most sensitive foreign policy issues. Now a new report says a company that he partly owns gone $90 million from unknown foreign investors. That`s next.
VELSHI: New reporting tonight on Jared Kushner`s extremely unusual conflicts of interest. You may remember that the president`s son-in-law and senior adviser had some difficulty getting a security clearance after several concerns about business conflicts and foreign influence were raised by intelligence officials and the White House counsel.
One of those potential conflicts is Kushner`s sizable steak in a real estate company called Cadre, which The Guardian reports today, quote, "has received $90 million in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House."
Joining me now, the senior reporter for The Guardian who broke the story, John Swain. John, thank you for being with us tonight.
JOHN SWAIN, THE GUARDIAN: Thanks.
VELSHI: For people who may have forgotten, let`s just remind them what Jared Kushner`s portfolio looks like, his policy portfolio. Middle East peace, criminal justice reform, the opioid crisis, reforming care for veterans, lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico, Canada, Middle East, infrastructure, trade deals, broadband policy, and border wall construction.
Numbers one, four and seven on that list would be worth thinking about if you`re taking -- thinking of taking money or investments from people not in the United States.
SWAIN: Well, that`s what government ethics experts tell us, you know, we can`t see who these investors are, and for that reason we can`t see if these people have business in front of the U.S. government, if they have interests in the Middle East where Jared Kushner is trying to broker a peace deal, if they have interests in Mexico, where he`s also involved in government policy.
So we really can`t tell if Jared Kushner could benefit from these investors by his work in the government.
VELSHI: And Cadre is a company he forgot to list initially when applying for his security clearance. His holding in there is estimated to be worth up to a $50 million share.
SWAIN: That`s right.
VELSHI: You ever forgotten to list something worth $5 million?
SWAIN: Not personally, but that is one question that some of the experts were asking us. Why did he choose to retain this company in particular?
VELSHI: Because he did divest of other things.
SWAIN: He did sell off quite a lot of holdings. He sold some to his family, sold some to other investors and got rid of some, but kept this company. And it`s interesting that this company is now taking money from foreign people, and, you know, it raises some questions about his conflicts.
VELSHI: So, the questions are -- this is a company that claims to democratize the real estate investment process, right, it invests in things and then you, as an individual, can put in $50,000 or $100,000 or $1 million as part of it.
SWAIN: That`s right. I mean, you still have to be wealthy, you have to earn either $200,000 a year or you have to have $1 million in the bank.
VELSHI: Not your house value.
SWAIN: Not your house value, just money, cash.
Some might say that is not really democratizing out to the man on the street, but actually still keeping it sort of gain for wealth people...
VELSHI: But this is the company that is taking in investors from elsewhere. And the issue is we don`t know where those investors are for, but a source has told you that some of it might be Saudi money.
SWAIN: We`ve been told about $1 million perhaps of that $90 million is from Saudi invests, you know, some might say out of $90 million that`s not a lot, it`s not enough to influence Jared Kushner`s policy, but it`s $1 million, it`s still a substantial amount of money.
Other money in the firm comes from yet another offshore tax haven, the British Virgin Islands, so it`s going via the British Virgin Islands to the Cayman Islands...
VELSHI: OK, so money that goes to the British Virgin Islands by creation is opaque.
SWAIN: That`s right.
VELSHI: You invest in places because you want to sort of keep snooping eyes from out of it, same thing with the Cayman Islands, it`s a bit opaque. So, now you`ve got two levels of opacity into investments into a company that is partially owned by a senior adviser of the president who happens to be his son-in-law.
SWAIN: That`s right. And still partially owned by that son-in-law, his brother and one of their personal friends. They`re still quite a tight group. This is a company he has kept a stake in. They say that he`s not involved in the day-to-day running, but he has a stake that`s worth between $25 million and $50 million.
VELSHI: Right, it`s sort of beside the point whether he`s involved in the day-to-day running, right. If he has a job influencing foreign policy and he`s getting foreign investments into this fund, it doesn`t really matter whether he`s hiring people or decorating the office.
SWAIN: I think you could say that. And, you know, we`ve asked him for answers on does he know the people that are investing in this? How does he keep himself separate from this? What measures is he taking to ensure there aren`t any conflicts? He hasn`t answered our questions, and I think until he does, until he goes on the record and specifies and clarifies how he`s separating his interests, the questions are going to continue.
VELSHI: Thank you for your reporting on this. We appreciate it.
SWAIN: Thank you.
VELSHI: John Swain.
All right, up next, with most of the 2020 democratically field in Iowa over the weekend, a new poll there shows things are getting very interesting. We`ll explain after this.
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SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D) NEW JERSEY AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m running for president to beat Donald Trump. And I`m running for president because beating Donald Trump is not enough, we must have bigger aspirations and bolder dreams than just that. Beating Donald Trump is the floor, it is not the ceiling.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can create a nation where all people, regardless of their income, have health care and unlimited educational opportunities as a right where veterans -- where veterans are not sleeping out on the street and where children are not going hungry.
PETE BUTTIGIEG, 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only thing we can do is to look at that show that this president`s created, whatever you want to call it -- reality show, horror show, game show, and we`re going to change the channel to something completely different.
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VELSHI: All right, it was a big weekend in the first in the nation caucus state of Iowa, with 19 different Democratic presidential candidates making their case at the Iowa Democratic Party`s 2019 hall of family event. The notable absence, former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign says he missed the event to attend his granddaughter`s high school graduation.
The Des Moines Register also released its highly regarded poll this weekend and it showed Biden in the lead with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg not too far behind, rounding out the top five is Kamala Harris at 7 percent. No other candidate is above 2 percent.
Now, the poll was particularly encouraging for Warren and Buttigieg who were effectively tied with Sanders for second place. And when Iowa caucus-goers were asked which candidates they are at least actively considering, remember this, because in Iowa it`s a caucus, so if your candidate doesn`t win, you move to another side of the room and choose another candidate. Who they were considering beyond their first choice, Warren is tied with Biden for first place at 61 percent.
Now, the deadline to qualify for the first debate is just two days away, and when we come back, we`re going to talk about who is rising, who can`t seem to get any traction and what to expect as all these Democratic candidates, all of these ones here fight for the spotlight. That`s right after this.
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SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m here to ask for your support because I am prepared to make the case for America and to prosecute the case against Donald Trump.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D) NEW YORK AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now is not the time to be polite, now is not the time for small steps, now is the time to fight like hell.
BOOKER: Let`s remove every barrier and place a new voting rights act for this country. No more purges of the voter rolls or voter IDs to keep people out.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now in America there is a real hunger, there are people ready for big structural change in this country. They`re ready for change, and I got a plan for that.
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VELSHI: They`re all enthusiastic. Those are just four of the 19 different Democratic presidential candidates who showed up at the Iowa Democratic Party`s 2019 hall of fame event this weekend.
Joining me now from the ground in Iowa, Dave Wiegel, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. Here with me in New York, Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, which held its own presidential forum in April. And MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report and Ring of Fire Radio.
Welcome to all of you.
Dave, I`m going to start with you, you are there on the ground. What`s the feeling? Because it looks very energetic the pieces that we added together and put on TV.
DAVE WIEGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I thought your last segment about The Des Moines Register poll was really telling. That is what you`ve been seeing on the ground. We were waiting for numbers to show up to prove it. Elizabeth Warren is getting large crowds, audiences that are signing up to support her. They can change their minds, but they leave those events fired up.
Pete Buttigieg has caught on. Beto O`Rourke has lost some steam. And there`s not a great desire by people for Joe Biden. There are supporters of Joe Biden, he`s definitely in the lead right now, but you have a lot of conversations in Iowa that begin or end with -- I like Joe Biden but, and then they list a couple reasons why they like somebody else, and they`ll make an excuse like, I think he can win but, and they make the case for these five other candidates who are bunched up in the middle of that poll.
VELSHI: Which plays interestingly in Iowa, because that`s what -- people that don`t know the difference between a caucus state and a primary state, the caucus states -- your second choice is sometimes important, because you`ve got to move somewhere else in the corner.
Amy, you have had a chance to talk to some of these candidates. What`s your sense of it?
AIMEE ALLISON, FOUNDER, SHE THE FIRST: Well, the Iowa poll, for example, shows a test case of when a presidential candidate runs a campaign with the Democratic Party`s strongest, most loyal voters, that`s women of color in mind or not. Look, from day one, Joe Biden has been running a campaign as if he doesn`t need women of color, everything from the non-apology to Anita Hill to I believe his mishandling of the Lucy Flores allegations all the way to a long support of Hyde amendment where he just recently flip- flopped. All of those really speak to deep important issues to women of color. I`ve been saying -- I said then, and I say now, no one is going to win that primary without enthusiastic support of women of color.
On the other hand, we look at someone like Warren who is organizing her campaign, really speaking to the base, and you can see she started out a couple months ago at our forum. Many people were discounting her, thought her campaign was dead in the water. And look at her now. She made her case and impressed 2,000 women of color who sang her praises from the rooftop. And now look, she is among the top and her momentum is picking up steam.
Where Joe Biden will continue to drop unless he makes some major changes in his campaign strategy.
VELSHI: Now, it`s early yet, Sam, so he can make major changes to the campaign, but I heard people saying today that`s not a good look that he`s not showing up at some of these things.
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: Well, it`s not a good look that he`s not showing up there. But it also -- he has a problem that none of the other candidates have, which is his support is a function of this belief that he can win, and that he can win hands down, he`s a slam dunk, he`s a sure thing, that`s why I support him.
Every time he has to change, when he reverses a 40-year held position, the Hyde amendment, after two days of getting criticized, that indicates there`s a meta story there, and it indicates he`s weak. He`s weak in a way that people hadn`t seen before. And that starts to -- basically it becomes a feedback loop.
And the more he shows that`s he`s got to change to fit the electorate, the more it suggests he`s not as electable as he thought. And that`s the strength of his support right now.
So, I think like you see the candidates like Buttigieg and Warren moving up. And oddly, no one`s mentioning Bernie Sanders. And part of that, I think, is that he seems to be banking stuff in some ways. Like he`s out and he`s organizing with Walmart workers, he`s organizing with McDonald`s workers, with teachers. He`s going to these things, he`s not even talking about a vote for me. He`s actually going out and practicing what we`ve seen a lot with these teacher strikes, which is sort of like a broader organizing that is beyond his own campaign and I think he`s banking support that we may see later.
VELSHI: So, Dave, let`s look at that poll again, The Des Moines Register poll, where you have got Joe Biden at 24. And he slipped a few points. And you got Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg all up next to each other, at 16, 15, and 14.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are occupying a very similar lane.
WIEGEL: I think that`s fair. They share a lot of supporters. But keep in mind Bernie Sanders got 50 percent of the vote, practically, in the last caucuses. He has got about a third of that right now. And you meet voters, constantly, in Iowa who voted for him last time, basically three baskets. There are people who adore Bernie Sanders, think he should be president, think no one else can win. There are people voted for him because they didn`t like Hillary, people who voted for him because they agreed with the direction he wanted to move the party, but didn`t necessarily want him to be president.
They like the idea, but they -- you meet people who kind of liked Hillary and were happy to vote for her, but voted for Bernie to move her, which succeeded in 2016. And they are very getable by a lot of campaigns. The Sanders campaign saying I think fairly that this poll doesn`t reflect the entire electorate is going to show up in 2020. Cory Booker`s campaign. He`s doing very well on favorables in this poll.
They say, look, there are going to be people who find him and like him, but a lot of people are cannibalizing that Bernie Sanders 2016 voter. And I think it`s kind of dawning on people in the Sanders camp that that support -- as Sam was saying the word banked. Not everyone who agrees with his ideas isn`t necessarily in his camp right now, that is a long-term problem that I haven`t seen fixed yet, certainly not in the course of one afternoon on Sunday.
HAYES: So, let`s go to bucket three, the bucket of ideas, the people who liked Bernie Sanders` ideas, didn`t necessarily think it was about him.
To your point, Aimee, there are a number of candidates out there who are providing ideas, policy structures, that, whether it`s women of color, people of color, or anybody else, there seems to be a hunger for that. Maybe that`s a reaction to Donald Trump, maybe there`s just a hunger because people want policy. Does that last in the long term, because we`re a year and a half out.
ALLISON: We`re a year-and-a-half our, but since we have such a large field, I think the bar is a lot higher. It`s not just good intentions that are going to win. It`s not name ID also.
ALLISON: We talked about that earlier. Biden polled really high, because people knew his name. Sanders polls very high because people know him from 2016 election.
But I think everything is going to change in the debate. Look, in our event a couple months ago, we saw if Elizabeth Warren -- I mentioned her earlier, he presented and rolled out a comprehensive policy strategy on black maternal health. This is a very big...
VELSHI: It sounds in niche and specific, except it`s kind of important to everyone.
ALLISON: It`s kind of important to everyone. Moms being healthy when they give birth in hospitals, and it becomes -- it`s a very important issue to black women, to women of color. So we see these are kind of issues that the core voters are looking for, very policy specific, and some of those top people in the poll like Buttigieg have really got to get their game on in terms of coming up with really specific policy platforms and ideas.
People are not looking to be in the muddy middle. They`re looking for bold policies that`ll take us not only to beat Trump but beyond.
VELSHI: Yeah, you think, Sam, we have got like 15 seconds. But do you think this 20 plus candidates makes it to January?
SEDER: No. I think we`ll be down to closer 10 or 12 by then.
VELSHI: Oh, those days. Dave Wiegel, great to see you in Iowa, Aimee Allison, thank you very much. Sam Seder as well. This is -- we appreciate the analysis and we`ll check in with all three of you very frequently.
That is all for ALL IN this evening. I`m Ali Velshi. Rachel Maddow takes over now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END