CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: I think I`ll tried Beto last week. I think I`ll try Buttigieg. You know, it`s a tasting thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do feel badly for Paul Manafort. That I can tell you.
HAYES: The Department of Justice intervenes on behalf of Donald Trump`s jailed former campaign manager as calls for impeachment grow. Plus, the president advertises mass deportations as he re-launches a campaign of cruelty.
TRUMP: When people come into our country and they come in illegally, they have to go out.
HAYES: Then, the shocking resignation of the Acting Defense Secretary as the White House toys with war.
TRUMP: We have a lot of things going on with Iran.
HAYES: And what today`s latest bad numbers for the president actually mean 17 months from Election Day.
TRUMP: I don`t believe in those polls.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. As the President takes the stage in Florida to relaunch his 2020 reelection campaign, one of the people most directly responsible for getting elected the first time around is sitting in federal prison. And for some reason, the number two person at Donald Trump`s Department of Justice -- actually really our Department of Justice, you and me, American citizens has gone to extraordinary lengths to look out for that man, Paul Manafort.
You remember Paul Manafort. Paul Manafort whom served as Trump`s campaign chairman as Russia offered and provided its assistance. Paul Manafort who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for a variety of crimes including tax fraud, bank fraud, and witness tampering. Paul Manafort who reneged on his cooperation agreement and whose reneging according to Robert Mueller materially impacted the special counsel`s ability to get to the truth.
Paul Manafort who now faces state charges filed partly as a precaution against the President`s possible pardon of the man. As Mueller report lays out "the evidence supports the inference the President intended Manafort to believe he could receive a pardon." Paul Manafort who denied Russian connections like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So to be clear Mr. Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian oligarchs?
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: That`s what he said, that`s what I said, that`s obviously what our position is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That Paul Manafort. The New York Times first reported that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen himself reached out to the Manhattan District Attorney informing him that Manafort`s lawyer opposed Manafort going to Rikers Island for his state trial, something the Manhattan D.A. said he didn`t request or control.
According to The Times, the former Justice Department officials and current state prosecutors who regularly handled the transfer of federal inmates to state custody said they were surprised that the second-highest official in the Justice Department would take an interest in the case. Yes, it is perplexing.
The decision is usually made by the warden at the prison where the inmates being held. That`s right. The guy looking out for convicted felon, Paul Manafort, isn`t even the president`s personal lawyer or his buddy or his new fixer to replace the last fixer who is also in prison, it`s the Deputy Attorney General to these United States, the number two to Donald Trump`s new fixer apparently who is the Attorney General Bill Barr.
And now we head into an election season in which this man who in the minds of over 1,000 former federal prosecutors committed obstruction of justice now wheels the machinery of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. state to help secure his reelection.
Joining me now Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Wisconsin, one of the 66 House Democrats and one House Republican calling for President Trump to be impeached. Congressman, you have recently sort of tipped over. You were not on the -- in pro-impeachment whip count. You said you were concerned about the President`s behavior but thinking it over, what tipped you over?
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-WI): Well, it was -- it was obviously a conclusion that I thought a lot about and I think every member is going to come to their own conclusion on their own timetable with this. But for me, it was a combination of things. One, actually going through the Mueller report and reading it in more detail trying to ignore the way it was rolled out in the first place because that -- those characterizations were clearly not accurate and don`t comport with the facts that are presented in the case. But then thinking very carefully about how I want this moment to be remembered.
I think the biggest mistake we could make is to think about the immediate politics of the moment. Many are advising that we should go down this path or shouldn`t go down this path based on the impact that will have on the 2020 election. What it really came down to, Chris, to be honest with you, was spending a weekend with my seven and four-year-old grandchildren and asking myself how I want this moment to be remembered by them in 20 years.
And while the current politics may seem complicated, the long view of history on this won`t be so complicated.
HAYES: Why not?
KILDEE: Because just looking at the facts, it is clear that this President continues to essentially ignore the rule of law. The fact that he is directing people who work for him and who used to work for him to not comply with congressional subpoenas, to not to attend congressional hearings to provide testimony.
The framers of the Constitution were pretty wise. Looking at what the Mueller report says and way -- the way it`s been characterized, it`s clear to me in several instances, some say ten, I find at least four instances where there are clear efforts to obstruct justice, this false narrative that there has to be a conviction on the underlying crime in order for there to be obstruction of justice, it`s just flatly untrue. Anybody who`s a serious analyst will tell you this.
I didn`t want to come here. I don`t want to get to this point. But the president is taking us to this point and I don`t see any other -- any other alternative at this -- at this juncture.
HAYES: When you come out and join this list now 66 Democrats, is there -- what is the reaction? I mean, does leadership talk to you? Do other folks in the caucus talk to you? Is there an active conversation? Is there a message sent from anyone being like not cool dude?
KILDEE: No, not really. I mean, other members have talked to me about it. They want to know sort of what my thought process was. But I think there`s this sense that there`s a sort of top-down leadership position on this. You know the speaker and others around here obviously, have their own points of view. But on a subject of this nature, of this magnitude, the position that I`ve seen her take in the past on things of this kind of seriousness, we have to -- she knows -- we have to come to our own conclusions.
This is not a subject that you whip. This is a subject where members need to get information and come to their own judgments and not be in a position where there`s essentially a caucus view on something that is really going to be a legacy question for all of us.
HAYES: In terms of the President`s relationship to the rule of law, you`re also in the Ways Means Committee which has pursuant to federal law requested the tax returns of the president which have been denied by the Treasury Department and that is now before the courts. Where -- what is the status of that?
KILDEE: Well, it`s clear now that the chairman of the committee has the authority to pursue legal options when it comes to enforcing the subpoena that has been issued. I believe he will use every legal tool that he has to make sure that section 60103 of the tax code is enforced. It was written in a way that did not excuse anyone from that aspect of the law. It will inform the deliberations of the committee on this very specific question about whether or not the IRS is properly auditing and enforcing the tax law in the President of the United States.
I think it`s a legitimate public question, it`s a legitimate area of legislative inquiry, and I think the courts will ultimately find that.
HAYES: But I mean, I guess what`s the timeline? What`s your expectation? It feels like there -- the strategy of the White House obviously is to run the clock out on this.
KILDEE: Yes. And I think we have to be realistic about that. I think the White House will try to run the clock and I think we ought to be careful to not somehow come to the expectation that in a week or two weeks or three weeks a court will hear this case, will issue a judgment, and it`ll all be over with. It`s going to take some time.
But I think it`s important on two fronts. One, that we get to the facts but more important now I think is the principle. The principle being that nobody is above the law and that includes the President of the United States. So even if the answer to the question comes in a way that`s not particularly timely, its timely in the sense that when that question is answered, it will set a precedent that says nobody not even the President of the United States is above the law.
HAYES: All right, Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee, thank you very much.
KILDEE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: While near 70 House Democrats have called for president Trump`s impeachment, only one Republican has joined in, that`s Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. Here`s what he told his constituents at a town hall last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): I`m confident that if you read volume two, you will be appalled at much of the conduct and I was appalled by it. In the Mueller report he asked the White House Counsel to create a false record, things like that to basically mislead people about a statement he had made.
Things like that to me reflect incredible dishonesty and really harm the office of the presidency. To me, the conduct was obviously impeachable. So then the question is, do you then to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. Congressman, thank you for joining me. I wanted to put aside for a moment the question of impeachment and talk about what Justin Amash, your colleagues said about the conduct, the conduct that`s reflected in the report. Is there anything in the report of the conduct of the president that you just think is not cool, not good, not the kind of thing you would advise or endorse?
REP. SEAN DUFFY (R-WI): Yes. What concerns me about the whole report is how this even began, Chris. I mean, the fact that you had the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton started official investigation on Donald Trump that lasted for two years and now whether it`s Justin Amash or Democrats who say were upset that Donald Trump attempted to obstruct that fake Russia investigation.
But let`s be clear, there was no obstruction. Donald Trump gave him all kinds of information.
HAYES: Respectfully --
DUFFY: Don McGahn had --
HAYES: I hear what you`re saying but I just want to -- I`m sorry, I just want to answer -- I just want you to answer the question though just because the President did the things he did. They`re reflected in the report and whether you think the origins of the reporter or dossier or whatever, but just on that question. Like when you read the report, when you`ve gone through the conduct, is there anything the president did, any conduct he took, any behavior that you say yourself, look I`m a former prosecutor, that`s not cool. That`s not a good thing. I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t want someone working for me to do that.
DUFFY: Listen, the bottom line is Donald Trump complied.
HAYES: No, but that`s not --
DUFFY: So if Donald Trump had done something to obstruct -- Chris, he didn`t obstruct the investigation.
HAYES: But Congress, that`s not an answer to the question. I`m not asking whether he complied or not.
DUFFY: But it is.
HAYES: I`m asking you, is their conduct reflected in the report --
DUFFY: Listen --
HAYES: So you think all of the conduct is appropriate?
DUFFY: I`m talking about the conduct. And the conduct was Donald Trump complied with the investigation that was fake, that was started by Democrats. He gave Bob Mueller all the investigation. What concerns me is that for two years everyone said let`s wait on Bob Mueller`s report. He`s the gold standard of investigations and we waited for it, we saw it, there was no --
HAYES: So Congressman --
DUFFY: And now you have Dan Kildee, a friend of mine who`s like, I think we should impeach Donald Trump. My question to you, Chris, is for what? What did Donald Trump do that should impeach him.
Bob Mueller said I`m not going to refer any charges to the Congress. He did -- he could have stalled referred a letter to the Congress. Mueller didn`t refer any and you going to -- you`re going to impeach him for what crime? What did he do wrong that uses impeachment for? He`s grown the economy. He`s put my people back to work in Wisconsin.
HAYES: Congressman --
DUFFY: They have higher wages. lower unemployment, we`re killing it in Wisconsin. You want to impeach that guy?
HAYES: OK, Congressman, first of all, those are distinct things as you would concede. Obviously, the growth rate doesn`t pertain to whether a president commits high crimes and misdemeanors. Bill Clinton had a high growth rate, and I don`t know what Andrew Johnson`s or Richard Nixon`s was but obviously those are distinct entities as you would concede, correct?
DUFFY: Well, I would concede the point that --
HAYES: Thank you.
DUFFY: -- Donald Trump`s policy -- Donald Trump`s policy --
HAYES: No, no, no, you would concede the point -- Congressman, just a simple yes or no. it is a fact, you understand as a man who took an oath to the Constitution that the growth rate of the economy is wholly independent committed from whether the president committed high crimes or misdemeanors, correct?
DUFFY: There was a two-year investigation.
HAYES: Congressman --
DUFFY: That you reported on every single night for two years.
HAYES: Congressman, I`ve asked you a question four times.
DUFFY: I ask you a question. How are you going to say --
HAYES: Congressman, I`m not at Congress. I`m the one who ask the questions.
DUFFY: But you`re the one who reported for two years on a fake investigation and got it wrong.
HAYES: I didn`t report on a fake investigation.
DUFFY: And so (INAUDIBLE) enough.
HAYES: Congressman, let me ask you this.
DUFFY: There was no collusion with Russia. Hillary Clinton started it. The Democratic Party actually facilitated it and there was absolutely nothing to it.
HAYES: Congressman, Congressman --
DUFFY: And you reported on it. So why don`t we say, enough is enough. Let`s get back to governing.
HAYES: So here`s an example -- here`s an example of the kind of conduct that was in the report. The President asked the White House Counsel to fabricate a document, a false document that would essentially create a fake record for a cover story that the president was using to lie to investigators about whether he had or had not asked to fire Don McGahn -- Robert Mueller. Is that acceptable behavior from the president? I`m not asking you is it impeachable, I`m ask you -- I`m saying is it acceptable to ask the White House Counsel to fabricate a document to further a duplicitous story in the face of investigators?
DUFFY: So I`m going to tell you what. I think that Donald Trump says a lot of things when he gets hot. The bottom line is --
HAYES: But do you think it`s --
DUFFY: No, Chris, let me -- I`m going to answer your question.
HAYES: But let me just ask you. is it OK. I`m just asking you, is it OK?
DUFFY: I`ll answer your question. I`ll answer -- I promise I`ll answer your question. My point to you is, in answering a question, if Donald Trump is the president, he can fire whoever he wants. If you don`t fabricate a document that Donald Trump wants fabricated, he can -- he can fire you and hire someone else to fabricate that document.
HAYES: You think that`s OK?
DUFFY: Donald Trump can fire anyone -- no, so he didn`t -- he didn`t say if you don`t do this you`re gone. There was no fabrication of document.
HAYES: But you think it`s OK to your lawyer to fabricate a document?
DUFFY: Do you -- do you think it`s -- he didn`t -- there was no fabrication.
HAYES: He asked him to do it. I`m asking you just a character question, Congress. Is it OK to do that. I`m just asking the basic question, as a human.
DUFFY: As a newsman -- as a newsman, do you think for two years to cover this story and get it wrong and then come back and say I think we should impeach them any way that there`s any credibility in that? Let`s move on and govern, Chris.
HAYES: No, no, no, Congressman.
DUFFY: Let`s get to the business of the people --
HAYES: No, no, no, no, I`m sorry. Congressman --
DUFFY: Democrats ran and said --
HAYES: Congressman, I`m not going to let this go. Congressman, you`ve come on the program, I`ve asked you one question. I just want to get one answer. I am just asking you. You`re a congressman. You`ve taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
DUFFY: I am.
HAYES: You`re a lawyer. You`re a former prosecutor.
DUFFY: I am.
HAYES: Is it OK to ask a lawyer to fabricate a document to create a duplicitous cover story for investigators? Is that acceptable behavior?
DUFFY: So if you`re serious -- if you`re serious and say if you don`t fabricate this, you`re gone. I want it fabricated, that`s a problem. Donald Trump didn`t do that.
HAYES: So it`s OK if he don`t ask you an ultimatum?
DUFFY: Donald Trump didn`t do that. Donald Trump didn`t do it.
HAYES: But do you understand how you sound?
DUFFY: But do you understand how you sound? Chris, do you understand how you sound, that you got your story wrong.
HAYES: You are defending behavior that in any -- Congressman --
DUFFY: That you`re -- that you`re asking for impeachment of a president.
HAYES: You would never -- I`m not asking for anything. I`m asking you to tell me --
DUFFY: You are. You`re driving it -- there should be no impeachment here. The President actually complied with the law.
HAYES: Congressman, why is it -- can I ask this question? Let me ask you this question.
DUFFY: Do you think -- do you think -- should we look at the Democrat Party and say we got a Democrat Party that actually funded --
HAYES: I don`t care about any of that.
DUFFY: You should. But that`s the problem. You don`t care about it because you have a fake investigation that comes to a sitting American president and it takes our time up for two years and you don`t care. That`s the problem. You should --
HAYES: Let me just ask you this.
DUFFY: We had a fake investigation. Why don`t we look at Hillary Clinton? Why don`t we look at the DNC?
HAYES: Do you --
DUFFY: Why wouldn`t we look at any of these things because this shouldn`t happen to any president and you don`t care about it. That`s the problem of this whole story in this interview, Chris.
HAYES: Do you think that the President`s conduct was appropriate and do you endorse it?
DUFFY: Yes, you know, what I --
HAYES: Wait a second. Please answer the question. I`m asking you this question six times.
DUFFY: This president is --
HAYES: Do you approve of the conduct or not?
DUFFY: I`m going to tell you what. I don`t love every tweet. I don`t love every fight. I don`t. I`m a Wisconsin guy, I`m Wisconsin nice. This president is from New York. We don`t -- we don`t have the same personalities, but I love the policies that have had a huge impact on my people. And I think teach this president after this fake investigation is outrageous. I`m going to tell you one -- I`m going to make one prediction. If Democrats do that --
HAYES: I`m going to put you --
DUFFY: If Democrats do -- if Democrats do this, it is going to be bad for America, but it is going to be great for Donald Trump.
HAYES: Congressman Sean Duffy --
DUFFY: They can have at it, Chris.
HAYES: Thank you very much.
DUFFY: Thanks for having me on. Have a good night.
HAYES: Next, chaos at the highest level at the Trump administration as the nominee for Secretary of Defense withdraws from consideration, the sweeping implications of this leadership vacuum amidst escalations with Iran in two minutes.
HAYES: Just a few hours after ordering 1,000 more troops the Middle East in the midst of rising tensions Iran, the President who you see there standing at the podium for his reelection rally, we`re monitoring that for news, the acting secretary defense Patrick Shanahan who he ordered those troops to go to the Middle East announced he`s stepping down after revelations about domestic violence incidents involving his son and ex-wife more than seven years ago.
Shanahan`s tenure as Acting Secretary already set a record for the longest the country`s gone without a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense. And now with his withdrawal, the vacancy is likely to continue indefinitely at a time when the Trump administration is blaming Iran for attacks on Middle East shipping and threatening to retaliate.
The leadership vacuum at the Pentagon has left an opening for some of the President`s most bellicose advisors who`ve been pushing action against Iran for years. One of those advisors, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just paid a personal visit to U.S. Central Command known as CENTCOM which oversees the U.S. military in the Middle East.
He did this despite the fact the Secretary of State has no role in the Defense Department`s chain of command. According to Pompeo, the President has no desire to go to war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We have been engaged in many messages even this moment right here communicating to Iran that we are there to deter aggression. President Trump does not want war and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined now by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Mr. Secretary, does it matter that there is not a confirmed Secretary of Defense?
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: I think it matters that there is a lack of continuity in the office, yes. Whenever you continue to have the churning of personnel, a new acting Secretary will then want to bring his own people in and so you have this constant churning a personnel and the question of which direction they need to go.
So I think it`s not a healthy to continue to have this. I hope the new acting secretary will be confirmed as the Secretary of Defense and so he establishes his own staff and personnel and consultants that help him navigate his way through.
But in terms of whether we`re still prepared to conduct our security affairs, you`ve got the chairman of the Joint Chiefs Chairman Dunford who is highly, highly respected. I think that Secretary Pompeo was trying to walk this issue back somewhat. And we`ve been down this road before. You may recall with North Korea. The president was threatening fire in fury and then he ended up having love letters being exchanged.
But you had Secretary Mattis there as sort of a counselor and you don`t have a Secretary Mattis there at this particular point. So that`s a concern.
HAYES: That -- you pan on something that I`ve been looking at. I mean, today you had the Secretary of State at CENTCOM. I don`t think I`ve ever seen the Secretary of State answering questions outside CENTCOM in the midst of escalating military tensions. What did you think of that?
COHEN: I`m not sure I`ve ever seen it either. But I can tell you that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and I worked very closely together and it`s really important that State and Defense be on the same page as far as whether we`re going to war, what the message is going to be in trying to walk it back.
And one of the problems is that the president has been conducting what I call megaphone diplomacy. And the problem with that is that you keep using that megaphone, you back yourself into a corner and the other adversary into a corner, it makes it very hard to come back to the center of the ring where you try to resolve it peacefully.
So I don`t think it`s a healthy process to keep using that diplomacy. I think that Secretary Pompeo is trying to be helpful just as Secretary Rick Tillerson was and also Jim Mattis. I think there`s some element there that`s trying to hold him back as far as Defense and State is concern. Whether that`s coming out of the White House or not with John Bolton and whether the President really has encouraged them to increase the rhetoric remains an issue for me.
HAYES: Well, but doesn`t -- isn`t there a kind of internal logic to this kind of escalation? I mean, what you just said about sort of trapping yourself and your adversary as well in this cycle, it does seem to me there`s obviously a kind of inertial push towards some kind of military confrontations. It`s very clear.
COHEN: Yes. One of the problems is the President said you know, just give me a call. We can resolve this and back down once you give me a call. And of course, the Iranian is going to say, wait a minute, I`m not calling you. You`re the one who`s escalating it. So who`s going to save face here? Does the president really want to push this to the next step?
And here`s another issue. If you have plan a which means we`re going to get out of the agreement, we`re going to intensify sanctions until they break, then what is Plan B when they don`t break? Is the only option left to continue to increase sanctions when you may not have the support of all the allies you`ve been insulting over the years who want to do business with Iran or do you then have a military option when you go back and say and in return for what you`ve done in the Gulf we`re going to do the following to some of your ships or to your naval assets?
That`s the problem right now where the Iranians may feel emboldened that we may be in a period of confusion or chaotic kind of change of command because the Secretary of Defense is number two in that chain of command where they may do something that`s thoroughly stupid and that will cause a reaction on our part to just do some real damage.
HAYES: Can I ask a question that I don`t feel I have a good hold on. Let`s say for the sake of argument that the assertions by the administration they say relying on American intelligence, the attacks on tankers have been done by forces under the influence of the Iranians whether those are Houthi rebels or others. Let`s say that`s the case. I don`t know if it is but let`s say it`s a case.
What is the -- what is the -- what is the mental model of what the Iranians are doing and why they`re doing this? It doesn`t add up to me. Like what do people think they`re doing?
COHEN: Well, I think the Iranians have for some time -- well, they`ve been in a revolutionary government as such. They seek to expand their influence in the region. I have no doubt that they continue to support the Houthis who are launching attacks against the Saudis, who are engaged in activities the Iranians through proxies in Lebanon and Syria, certainly in the Iraq.
So I have no doubt that they want to continue to be expansionist by their very nature. The question is how far can they continue to go without provoking a real substantial response by us and hopefully if there is one by our allies joining in. So they`re trying to stay under the radar and still cause us problems, do things which kill people.
I go back to Khobar Tower and they were involved, in my opinion, in the killing of many, many people during that time. So I don`t have any doubt that they are continuing to try to use proxies and their own -- their own and Revolutionary Guard forces to try to be disruptive, to cause difficulties, and tempt us to do something which would then justify all of the other parties in the region to come down against the United States.
I would say one more thing. I think it`s really dangerous for us to think there can be one or two military strikes and it`s over. We`ve been down that road. Remember Iraq was going to be a cakewalk? We`d be using all of the oil which would be ours. We`re still in Iraq, we`re still in the -- in the in Afghanistan, so one or two strikes won`t do it. And I think if you`re going to take military actually, you better be prepared for a long time.
HAYES: All right, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, thank you. Ahead, the president launches his reelection campaign with a promise of continued cruelty this time claiming he`ll begin mass deportations of millions. We`ll talk about that next.
HAYES: On the eve of his supposed fictional campaign launch, the President in strikingly authoritarian language threatened a mass roundup of millions of immigrants in this country. "Next week, ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the U.S. They will be removed as fast as they come in."
The whole thing is a kind of perfect microcosm of the presidency. While it`s a largely inflated threat ICE does not have the capacity to literally expelling these people, at least in the short term. Trump has absolutely made good on his promise to make life truly miserable for hundreds of thousands if not millions of immigrants.
Like the four month-old Romanian boy, the Trump administration snatched from his father`s arms, sending the family to a psychological nose dive, inflicting untold suffering. Or the men held outdoors for more than 30 days without a shower or change of clothes in nearly hundred degree weather, or the thousands of desperate migrants being exposed to communicable diseases in a growing camp detention system, the administration is expanding every turn.
The President understands this is what he promised and that this is what his base wants to see.
Joining me know, journalist Andrea Pitzer, she`s authored One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. Also with me Adam Serwer, staffer at The Atlantic who wrote last year that when it comes to Trump, The Cruelty Is The Point.
Andrea, we`ve got the President sort of with this boastful threat that he`s going to round up millions of people, we`ve got a growing camp system. The President in Florida sort of take a, you know, bathing the adulation of his base. What is going on with the camp system right now?
ANDREA PITZER, JOURNALIST: Well, what we`re seeing is this ramp up. And the rhetoric is now all starting to match things on the ground. And it`s clear that we should have taken him literally and seriously because they`re sort of jamming an already faltering system, that already had a lot of problems, prior administrations on a piece of this, but Trump is -- and Miller I would say are really sticking fork everywhere they can.
So the system is breaking down even people on the ground who may want t be doing a good job are probably unable to carry it out in any effective way. And with this announcement then, that he`s going to be deporting millions, even if he can`t do that, even if that`s impossible. It`s going to tax an already overloaded system. You`re going to see more mental health crisis, more health crisis.
You know, in prior conditions of camps like this, we`ve seen riots, you see all kinds of things that just aren`t playing for, and there`s no good solution to them.
HAYES: There`s also the fact that, Adam, it doesn`t strike me as like an accident that this is the day before -- he`s sort of boasting this a day before he`s doing his sort of pretend relaunch the crowd just a few minutes ago apparently chanting lock her up. That this sort of -- the desire to see other people behind bars, in prison, detained is kind of in a core part of the message from the beginning.
ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, look, the fact that the emotional stress that this causes the population being targeted is actually more important to Trump than actually carrying it out. Because by announcing it he`s actually undermined ICE`s ability to carry out the task at hand.
But he has scared the crap out of a lot of people who in many cases their only crime is, you know, being here without authorization. And so he`s actually very clear that hurting those people emotionally or scaring them or frightening them is of more importance to the President than actually carrying out the task that he has set for himself which is getting them all out of the country.
HAYES: You know, there is this sort of controversy erupted today. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez referred to them as concentration camps. There was a bunch of Republicans saying they were outraged by the term. Your book is a history of concentration camps.
PITZER: It is.
HAYES: If you`re, you know, qualified to weigh in on this, what do you say.
PITZER: I would say that for 40 years before Auschwitz, we had concentration camps, things that were called concentration camps, what we`re doing now fits very cleanly inside that tradition. At the same time, the death camps which were on top of the existing concentration camp system including Auschwitz and a series of other camps in which you had gas chambers, mass killings. That is a singular moment in history.
And for the people who don`t want to respect that, I think that`s fine, and that`s important. If we want to call it a regular detention, if we want to call it extra judicial detention, I don`t think we have to get stuck on that term. I wrote a history of the term, I had to use that term. And what I would really like people to know is the same thing is happening here now.
HAYES: What is the motivating logic? And Adam, I`ll come back to you about this sort of political underbelly. I mean, the motivating logic here, we talked about those examples before the Nazis, right? I mean detention of some sub-group in some camp setting where things start to go awry. Like what is the motivating political logic that we`ve seen there?
PITZER: It`s a scapegoat group, it`s often the genesis of that, and explains a problem in the country or in the region, and you push it on to a group of vulnerable people that you can label as somehow infecting society, a national security threat to a society. Maybe it`s in war time, maybe it`s not. We`ve sort of done injecting a war setting to the border. This is not a national security crisis.
PITZER: This is a humanitarian crisis, but we`re using the language of war to detain civilians. So this is really mixing things up in a very dangerous way.
HAYES: We should also, Adam, you know, today the President came to Orlando. That yesterday, he threatened to round up millions of people. And today some of his supporters are marching through the streets. I want to show this video. These are folks that belong to a group, sort of white nationalist group. They called themselves Western Chauvinists but they beat people in the streets and so forth.
SERWER: They`re just white nationalists.
SERNWER: It`s such a ridiculous term.
HAYES: I agree. These are white -- a flashing white nationalist power symbols in their Trump hats going to the rally the day after the President says he is going to round people up while expanding a system of detention for tens of thousands of immigrants. What do you think of that?
SERWER: Well, look, I think that there -- these segments of society that have committed themselves to the ideals of white nationalism clearly believe that Trump is on their side. In some cases, he doesn`t go as far as they would like. But the other thing is that, you know, as far as his own constituency is concerned, it is very much to them a matter of him keeping his promises to show, to display ostentatiously that he is hurting particular populations. The way that he said he would --
SERWER: -- is to them keeping his promise because that`s what they wanted to see. And so I think, you know, even though it`s undermining his own policy, what he wants is the approval from his base that comes from showing them that he is, you know, hurting the people he is supposed to be hurting.
HAYES: Yeah, I saw on profile right when a talk radio host today who has turned away from Trump because he has not punished them and that`s enough. Adam Serwer and Andrea Pitzer thank you both of you.
SERWER: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Coming up, what to make of Trumps bad poll numbers when you`re over a year away of the election. How to cut for the noise ahead? And tonight`s Thing 1, Thing 2 starts next.
HAYES: Thing 1 tonight is Donald Trump kicks off his campaign for a second term. You have to wonder, will he drain the swamp this time? It`s funny, because obviously he`s done the complete opposite. Like, do you remember Kelly Craft? She is the wife of a Kentucky coal baron who was a huge donor to the Trump campaign, and now she is ambassador to Canada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You probably, as part of your job, work and talk a lot with Justin Trudeau, the very handsome Canadian Prime Minister who everybody swoons over in America. What`s he like? Is he as charming in real life as he seems on television?
KELLY CRAFT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CANADA: He is. He is very charming. He is very smart. He is all about the Canadians. He reminds me a lot our President as far as he really looks after the working class people here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, as tempting as it must be to spend time with the dreamy prime minister, it turns out Kelly Craft has often been absent from her Canadian Post. And when I say often, I mean, she made 128 flights between Canada and the U.S. during a 15-month span.
Back and forth on her private jet, of course, according to FAA records obtained by Politico, trips that sometimes corresponded with events she attended in her home state of Kentucky like, oh, the Derby. So what do you do with an employee that doesn`t show up for work? Well, in the Trump administration, you promote them. And that`s thing 2 in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So we haven`t had a permanent ambassador to the U.N. for nearly six months, although it`s hard to keep track of all the things we haven`t had since Nikki Haley left at the end of last year.
And President Trump first tried to give the job to Fox News host turn to State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, but she withdrew from consideration back in February after being criticized for having zero qualifications for the job and there was also a nanny problem.
Apparently, the next best person on the lift was Kelly Craft, wife of a coal magnate, major Trump donor and current part-time ambassador to Canada. She was formally nominated to the post in May. It is finally set to face the Senate for her confirmation hearing tomorrow where she is expected to get some tough questions about her tenure in Ottawa and her husband`s business.
Now, if you`re hoping for a new U.N. ambassador who might work with the global community on something like, well, I don`t know, the future of the planet, well, I`m sorry to report that you`re out of luck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you yourself believe in climate change?
CRAFT: I believe there are signs that there are both -- on both sides that are accurate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe that there are scientists that -- science that proves that there is -- man is not causing climate change?
CRAFT: Well, I think that both sides have -- you know, they have their own results from their studies and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Number of congressional Democrats who now openly support impeachment grows more or less every day, but there is significant internal dissent of the party about pursuing it, and perhaps that`s not surprising. It is, after all, one of the most consequential actions the House can take, a process that`s only been started three times in the entire history of the country. It`s resulted in impeachment twice, but never in the removal of a president.
Now, we talk a lot about the two most recent presidents. There`s Bill Clinton in 1998 and Richard Nixon in 1974. But I think there`s a good argument that some of the closest parallels are actually with the first president to face impeachment, Andrew Johnson.
Johnson was a racist scoundrel, wholly unfit for the office he held given the outrageous insults and statements whenever he got in front of a crowd. But his political opponents of the time wrestled with whether that was enough for impeachment.
In other words, can you impeach a president for being just completely awful, for betraying his fundamental oath to the country and its constitution? Or do you need to catch him in the act of violating specific statute?
In this week`s episode of our podcast, "Why Is This Happening," I talked with author Brenda Wineapple who wrote a great new account of Johnson`s impeachment and about that forgotten chapter in history and what light it can shed on today. You can get it wherever you get your podcasts.
HAYES: On the day the President is in Orlando to formally relaunch his -- launch his reelection campaign, although give me a break, he`s been campaigning from day one. A new Quinnipiac poll shows he`s in not great shape in Florida, losing the state in head to head matchups with all Democratic Presidential candidates surveyed in this poll. And it comes on the heels of other polls showing him as unpopular. But, of course, caveat, Trump was unpopular throughout the entire 2016 election, including Election Day when 3 million more Americans voted for his opponent.
How long? You have to ask, can the man defy the laws of normal protocol gravity. For more on the political dynamics in 2020, I`m joined by MSNBC Political Analyst Zerlina Maxwell, co-host of Signal Boost on the SiriusXM, MSNBC Political Analyst Michael Steele, former RNC Chairman, and NBC News contributor David Wasserman, The U.S House Editor, of the Cook Political Report.
David, let me start with you. There`s been a lot of polling news recently. Mostly I think it`s just interesting insofar as it clearly drives the President crazy, because he watches Cable News all the time that he`s obsessed with it.
But taking away the predictive effects, like the current polling with the economy growing at the rate it is in unemployment is not great for the President. Like, as a snapshot of his current political strength. Would you agree?
DAVID WASSERMAN, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT U.S. HOUSE EDITOR: Yes. Chris, the bad news for President Trump is that he is behind in virtually every poll, including his own polls, which is why he fired his pollster. And the good news for President Trump on the other hand is that polls this early are simply not that predictive.
WASSERMAN: Four years ago, the first trial he said came out showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 59 to 35, so keep that in mind. And it`s not like polls have greatly affected Trump anyway. The other piece of good news for Trump is that his chances of getting re-elected, in my opinion, are better than his 41 or 42% approval rating would indicate. Not only is it possible, in my view, for Democrats to win the popular vote by 5 million votes this time.
WASSERMAN: And still lose the election because of states like Texas and California and Florida, but also this Democratic primary system, its proportional allocation and the large field could create the possibility of a contested convention in Milwaukee, three months and change before the 2020 election.
HAYES: That point about the 5 million is really important. Because I keep thinking about this, particularly when you think about Texas, like there is a universe in which Donald Trump ekes out Texas.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, AMERICAN POLITICAL ANALYST, CO-HOST OF SIGNALBOOST, SIRIUSXM: Right.
HAYES: You know, by half a point.
HAYES: Still gets all the electoral votes, but you even pad that more popular vote margin. I was looking back in 2016. He got 46% of the vote. My expectation is that he will get 46% of the vote again.
MAXWELL: Right, again.
HAYES: And the question is whether the Democrat gets --
HAYES: -- more than the 48 that Hillary got. And if they`re distributed differently.
MAXWELL: Right. I think the distribution obviously is very important.
MAXWELL: But former Hillary a person, I wish more people lived in Wisconsin for example.
MAXWELL: But I do think it`s a matter of making sure that you`re turning out people in the appropriate places. There were obvious deficiencies in the turnout in 2016 in Milwaukee, in Philadelphia and Detroit. There were not enough African-American voters that had turned out for Obama two times before that showed up for Hillary Clinton.
So any Democrat who wants to be successful against Trump is going to have to factor that in. Along with all of the other things like Russia and if it`s a woman potentially, any sort of I would say tax on the fact that she`s a woman running for President being the first to do it, ever do that.
HAYES: You know, Michael if I were --
MAXWELL: -- to become President.
HAYES: -- if I were advising the President, the thing I would be most worried about is that the numbers where they are with the economy worth are. It`s hard to think the economy`s going to heat up a lot in the next year.
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Right.
HAYES: Like, it`s very hard to imagine a kind of upside. And the models we have show that what really matters for presidential reelection is what the economy is doing in that reelection year in terms of the rate of growth. I would imagine that`s got to worry folks that are on that campaign.
STEELE: Yeah probably just a little bit, Chris, but not as much as you may think. I mean, the -- I`ve talked to a number of economists, both here in Washington and up in New York, and the general consensus is that we`re going to be OK going in to probably close to third quarter next year. There may be some bumps along the way. The feds are going to pull their punches. In fact, there is probably looking at a rate decrease or a cut as opposed to increase in the interest rates.
So from that standpoint, I think the nervousness would be a genuine concern, but not as much as you would think otherwise. The other reason I think, Chris, is largely if you look at were voters are they`ve disconnected --
STEELE: -- the economy from Donald Trump. So, they like where the economy is. There are some spots that are iffy for some folks, but by and large, that`s you know, 50-plus percent of the American people are saying, OK, this is good. Trump is in the low 40s.
STEELE: So they`ve made that disconnect and I don`t think he`s going to get weighted down as much by a bad economy as a lot of people may think.
HAYES: Or the other way around. I mean, that`s the key, David --
STEELE: Yes. Exactly.
HAYES: -- that one of the things we`ve seen over the last several, you know, last eight years is that the polarization is so intense that things used to be really determinative of like the sort of objective macro economic conditions to Michael`s point. The polling data suggests they are becoming increasingly strained through a sort of partisan lens. The President is, you know, polling at 40, 41, and 42% with the economy where it`s at. And maybe the economy doesn`t matter the same way it used to.
WASSERMAN: And yet at the same time his strong economic ratings provide a pathway for him to maybe get to the 46% that he needs by disqualifying and absolutely going nuclear on the eventually Democratic nominee --
HAYES: That is --
WASSERMAN: -- which is what an expert doing and exploiting divisions in the Democratic base by weaponizing social media. Which we all know it will be his strategy. He doesn`t listen particularly in the poster.
HAYES: Well, that impossible foreign help.
MAXWELL: Right, right, it`s --
HAYES: I mean --
HAYES: That`s the other strategy.
HAYES: That`s -- I mean, honestly, that`s the other component of the strategy.
MAXWELL: And I think that we cannot ignore that.
MAXWELL: Donald Trump has said he`s going to use foreign help if it`s available.
STEELE: Sure, sure.
MAXWELL: And he`s not opposed to that, right? I still lived in a country where that potentially it could be illegal even though Mueller found that there was no criminal conspiracy.
MAXWELL: So, I think that as an American citizen, we have to keep that in mind that there may absolutely be another foreign attack on our election.
HAYES: But, today`s point, Mike, I mean this is the key thing. Everyone who is looking at this chess board understands that 46% is the absolute ceiling for this guy, right?
HAYES: We all get that. Like 46 is as high as he could possibly get and so the only path is absolute sheer going nuclear, in David`s words, and that`s why it will be astoundingly ugly and it will be very much attest of how that ugliness is covered, in my humble opinion.
STEELE: No you`re absolutely right. It`s going to be, you know what kind of show, probably starting right after his event tonight, as a matter of fact.
HAYES: Or during the event, yeah.
STEELE: So, or during the event. So, yeah, the President`s could be use everything in his ammo, to Zerlina`s point, we should absolutely be prepared for all kinds of interference and all forms of interference going into next year.
MAXWELL: But we`re not prepared. That`s the problem.
STEELE: The President had that advantage -- Yeah --
STEELE: -- I mean he has that`s an advantage in that he doesn`t care and he`s not constrained --
STEELE: -- by the strictures of the law.
HAYES: That`s one way of putting it. There is also the fact. I mean incumbency presents its own advantages always. And Dave, one of the things I think has been under appreciated is there is this fund-raising issue, right? In the era of Citizens United plus the President`s sort of approach to ethical lines like you can raise a lot of money as a sitting president by going around and collecting on the fact that you`re the sitting president.
WASSERMAN: That`s right. And in 2016, he was flying by the seat of his pants.
HAYES: Exactly, right.
WASSERMAN: It wasn`t as if, he was poll-driven or money-driven. And voters loved that about him.
WASSERMAN: He will have a more professional operation in place for 2020. He already does. And look, he`s delusional if he thinks he can win Oregon or New Mexico. I think that`s clear evidence that --
WASSERMAN: -- he`s not really living within the political realities of our day, but this election is really going down -- going to come down, in my opinion, to two states in particular, Wisconsin and Arizona.
WASSERMAN: Because the President as it stands could very easily hold on to Florida as long as he holds on to Wisconsin and Arizona. He can afford to lose Michigan and Pennsylvania.
HAYES: That`s interesting.
WASSERMAN: And still be at 270.
HAYES: All right. Zerlina Maxwell, Michael Steele, David Wasserman, thank you for your time.
That is ALL IN for this evening.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END