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House Democrats sue Treasury Department. TRANSCRIPT: 7/2/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Rashida Tlaib, Aura Bogado, Greg Sargent, Arthur Delaney, CharliePierce, Ryan Grim

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY):  All the people in the administration who have done this, who have permitted it, are guilty of child abuse.

HAYES:  New details on the terrible conditions inside detention camps brought to light in a government report as the House Oversight Committee prepares to investigate what`s happening to migrant kids.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI):  This is really urgent.  This is a real crisis.  I tell you, it`s a broken America.

HAYES:  Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joins me tonight.  Then --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I think it`s totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking.

HAYES:  A huge victory as the White House backs down on a citizenship question on the census.  Plus --

TRUMP:  He said, tax bracket?  I don`t know.  I pay as little as possible because I`m an honest guy.

HAYES:  How Democrats are finally going after Trump`s taxes.  And as tanks arrived in Washington D.C., new concerns for the President`s big military shindig on the 4th of July.

HOGAN GIDLEY, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE:  This is all about a salute to America.  The president is not going to get political.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from Chicago I`m Chris Hayes.  Every day we learn more about the conditions in Trump detention facilities and every day it is worse.  These latest details come not from Democrats or from immigration lawyers but from the government itself.  In the form of yet another report from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General describing what can only be called a human rights disaster.

Inspectors visited five border patrol facilities and two ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley last month and described the kinds of conditions for which we would typically sanction other countries including photos of absolutely horrific examples of overcrowding. "At one facility, some single adults were held in standing-room-only conditions for a week.  And another some single adults were held in more than a month in overcrowded cells.

Take a moment to consider what it would be like to live in a standing-room- only space for a full week, nowhere to lay down and sleep or sit.  Inspectors noted the lack of showers most single adults not -- had not had a shower while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection despite in some cases being detained as long as a month.

At some facilities, migrants got wet wipes for personal hygiene.  Even children were subjected some of these conditions.  I quote again.  "Children at three of the five border patrol facilities we visited had no access to showers.  At these facilities, children had limited access to a change of clothes.  We observed that two facilities had not provided children access to hot meals until the week we arrived.  Instead, the children were fed sandwiches and snacks for their meals.  Many single adults also got sandwiches, in some cases a diet of only baloney sandwiches resulting in medical issues."

Inspectors repeatedly emphasized that conditions were so bad they were a danger to everyone involved, migrants, station workers and others who might be present.  One senior manager called the situation a ticking time bomb.

"At the time of our visits, border patrol management told us that had already been security incidents among adult males of multiple facilities.  These included detainees, clogging toilets with Mylar blankets and socks in order to be released from their cells during maintenance."

In fact, at one facility inspectors cut their trip short because their presence was making things worse with detainees banging on cell windows shouting and holding up signs including one that read help, 40-day here. 

There were protests today again against this ongoing inhumane situation.  According to over 184 events planned across the country everywhere from Alaska to Florida.  Next week, the House Oversight Committee plans to hold a hearing on the treatment of migrant children.  None of that, however, is stopping the president for making still more threats against immigrant communities.


TRUMP:  After July 4th, a lot of people are going to be brought back out.  So people that come up may be here for a short while but they`re going to be going -- they`re going back to their countries.  They go back home.  ICE is going to be apprehended them and bringing them back.


HAYES:  Here with me now House Oversight Committee member and Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan who`s among members who toured several border facilities yesterday.  Congresswoman, how does what`s described in that IG report compared with what you witnessed firsthand yesterday?

TLAIB:  I think many of my colleagues when we walked in, we had heard the rumors, we had saw the media reports, but we actually saw firsthand some of the conditions, but we actually were able to speak to women some up to 40 days that have been in the facility not access to showers and so forth, but also the trauma that has been created.

Many of them not knowing what`s going to happen, not knowing where their children is.  I talked to a grandmother who`s been there for 40 days, had not seen her grandchild she came with, doesn`t know where she -- where he is.  And another woman who`s 30 years old found out she was pregnant while she was there, has not seen an OB/GYN.  She`s been there for 27 days.  She doesn`t know how far along she is.

But you also -- what you saw in the eyes of many of them is fear, is the sense of loss, just glassy eyes, they look exhausted.  And one of the things that I noticed is just holding their hands in those moments of realizing that even that moment that human contact made them feel at least a little bit more whole because of the treatment that they are enduring while in custody while in our care in the United States of America.

And I can tell you seeing the children through glass door -- and they knew we were coming.  I mean, we went to a facility Clint, Texas where there was 700 children in this facility two months ago.  We get there, there`s only 25 children.  We`ve been told that they move people around consistently maybe to avoid any kind of further inspection but I`m wondering how do you move 675 children in two months.  Where did they go?

You know, the current administration continues, continues to deny access to information.  The subpoena bipartisan supported through oversight that we issued to the administration has yet to be abided by.  They completely obstruct any kind of access to information.  And that`s the problem is I don`t want to wait a year or two years to find out about the other horrors that we yet to have to know about where the children are.

And we`re not talking about a few hundred, we`re talking about thousands.  I`ve heard up to 16,000 to 20,000 children have been separated from their parents.  The other thing too is really important as I was there and it was my colleagues all agreed is we`ve been focused so much on the children, that meeting the parents, meeting the abuela, meeting the father, they looked right in the eye.

I mean, we are also not giving justice to this travesty that is happening at the border if we`re not also understanding the human impact on the parents.

HAYES:  I just wanted -- that number 16,000 and 20,000 children, those -- I`ve never heard that number as the number separated.  The number they gave the administration was 2,000.  It could be thousands more.  Do you mean unaccompanied minors?  What do you mean by that?

TLAIB:  Unaccompanied.  So they said up to 14,000 at the last time I heard from Oversight Committee staff of children that again we don`t have accessed the information.  These are rumors that we understand from the fact that the policy when it was put into place, how many children were directly impacted.

Again, in this one facility, there were 675 more children that were there two months ago, now we don`t know where these children are.  I don`t know how you move that many children, again, without their parents.  Even the CBP agents that we`re giving us a tour did not know where the children went.

Many of them couldn`t answer some basic questions of when`s the last time they`ve seen a doctor, how long have they been in the facility.  That alone tells you that there is complete chaos.  And many of them, all of them actually, every single one I asked specifically from the chief town that gave us the tour said throwing money at this is not going to fix the problem.

And that`s one of the key things that needs to be really pushed forward is when the administration asks us to continue to fund the separation of families, continue to fund these camps at the border, I`m asking many of my colleagues, many people to say enough.  We need real policy change to actually bring humanity back into this situation.  We need immigration reform.

HAYES:  All right.  So if money is not the solution, clearly something`s broken here.  What is the solution?

TLAIB:  I mean, the solution is to talk about discontinuing, completely abolishing the camps.  So that means no separation of families.  That means let`s go by the legal process of asylum.  If you`re coming to the border and you seek asylum, let`s go through those legal processes.

Let`s talk about the fact that there are standards and those Flores standards.  Each place that has any child should go through these what they call the Flores standard where they have to be processed, they have to see care, that they actually are given the basic standard of human rights that any person should be given.

These are the things that are not happening.  The for-profit industry has their teeth into this.  You know, 75 out of 100 detainees are going to for- profit agencies and companies.  To be honest, these are for-profit corporations, many of which support this current president, many of which supported an inauguration committee.

We have to follow the money and show that that`s what`s fueling the continuation to look the other way, and that`s something that many of my colleagues when we got there we said we`re not going to look the other way.  We`re going to expose the fact that this is broken system and throwing money at it is not the solution.  That is something that it needs to be very, very clear to my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the -- in the Congress.

HAYES:  But respectfully just on the final -- the final point here, but respectfully the private contractors that are -- that are dealing with some of the housing the immigrants are coming through, that`s not the CBP facilities.  I just want to be clear like the facilities that you`re touring, those are the government ones that where -- it does see the most acute and worst humanitarian crisis is taking place.

TLAIB:  Absolutely.  And that`s one of the things the agent said to us as they went through is you know go see these HHS facilities, go find out where those children are because they don`t know.  But what they do know is that they are given this problem, this crisis -- literally handed hundreds and thousands of people all at once and the facility that we were even in, they said we can only really house -- it`s only built for 106 and it wasn`t built to house children.

HAYES:  Right.

TLAIB:  It wasn`t -- you know, they said look, we weren`t trained to be social workers or medical care workers.  We were not trained to deal with the situation.  And that`s the problem is that we haven`t actually dealt with the thing that created the crisis which is this continuation of the separation policy that is un-humane and un-American.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Rashida Tlaib, thank you for making the time.  I want to turn now to Aura Bogado, an Investigative Reporter Reveal News, has been covering immigration for years, and the Greg Sargent an Opinion Writer at the Washington Post, recently asked where are the Democrats on the new cruelties that have emerged.

Aura, let me -- let me start with you because you have covered this for years.  And one of the things you`ve been sort of writing about is the abuses by CBP before the Trump administration, then also just the basic conditions in things called (INAUDIBLE) which are ICE boxes or remote locations where migrants are often detained, the combo sink and toilet.  I guess I want to start with what is new here that we`re seeing and distinct and what is not?

AURA BOGADO, INVESTIGATIVE IMMIGRATION REPORTER, REVEAL NEWS:  Hi, Chris, it`s great to be back on your air.  There is a lot of new discussion but I do think that something I`ve noticed a lot is that there`s a rhetoric that`s really poisoning this immigration debate, unfortunately.

I`m so happy that there`s so much attention being drawn to these different facilities but if you think about the term like concentration camp for example, I think you know, most recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using that term.

You know, that term conflates as you sort of brought up in your in your last segment or suggested perhaps in your last segment, we have a lot of different kinds of facilities.  They`re run by three different agencies under two different departments.

And when we use terms like that we not only conflate things that are distinct from one another but we also ignore what people who actually experience these policies call them, right.  So Hielera, these are ICE boxes.  These are what people often refer to when we`re talking about the Border Patrol facilities because they are freezing.

People know from countries away that they`re going to come to a place where they feel like they might freeze to death.  People are put in (INAUDIBLE) right.  These are dog kennels because they`re caged up right like animals.

And so I think that while I`m really happy that there`s so much attention and that this debate really is happening, a lot of times you don`t hear from people who are actually immigrants and you frankly don`t hear a lot of times from people like me Latinas that have been covering this for a long time, people from immigrant communities.

And I hope that that is something that does begin to change that we are able to again talk to people who are actually affected.

HAYES:  Let me follow up on that and then Greg, I would come to you on a sort of what you wrote about solutions.  But just to follow up, the -- one of the things -- this is a tweet from the border union of CBP back in 2014, and they were angry at the Obama administration because they felt like they were being pressed into doing things they shouldn`t be doing.

It says new annual job rating areas babysitting, diaper-changing, burrito wrapping, cleaning cells.  Law enforcement?  What`s that?  Hashtag low morale.  It seems to me that there`s a situation here where you`ve got people that view themselves as law enforcement officers who are now entrusted with the care of children and adults for long stretches of time.

In your reporting, has it ever been the case that you`ve got hundreds and hundreds in places for 40 days in a CBP facility designed to hold people for 72 hours?

BOGADO:  You know, I don`t have the specific numbers of how many children or adults were kept over a matter of you know, more than three or four days or definitely 40 days, but I have definitely in previous years certainly during the Obama administration spoken with children who had been there weeks in some cases longer than a month.

I don`t know if it was exactly 40 days but it did happen.  I think anecdotally it`s probably happening a lot more under the Trump administration.  But this idea that this is unique to Trump, I mean, the conditions are absolutely horrid.  And again I am very happy that people are paying attention.

But to assume that this didn`t happen with the prior administration is again lazy thinking.  It`s a lot of assumptions.  A lot of people think about immigration now that we have this president.  And it`s unfortunate that we weren`t thinking about it back in 2014 when it was a blip.

You know, there was that particular summer, some people did pay attention and then it sort of went away until the last year or so.

HAYES:  Well, Greg, you wrote a piece today about the sort of opportunity here to sketch out a vision of an alternative.  What do you see as the role that Democrats are playing here on that front?

GREG SARGENT, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST:  Well, look, right now Democrats are caught up in some big divisions that are driven by the presidential primaries over immigration and with some of the moral left- wing candidates pitching things like decriminalized migration and so forth.

What I argue is that the asylum crisis actually creates an opportunity for the party to coalesce around at least some consensus solutions in response to that.  There are a number of things that I think the party -- that many factions in the party would support.  Aid to Central American countries to address the root causes of the migrations, a lot more investments in judges to speed up the legal process, and especially investments in legal services for the migrants.

You know, one thing that really is missing from this debate is that you know, there`s a lot of criticism from the Trump administration and conservatives who say oh look, they`re all trying to scam the system, they`re just trying to blend into the interior.

Well, really good data collected by TRAC at Syracuse and these guys are some of the best out there at this, found that large percentages of asylum seekers actually turn up for their hearings.  But even larger ones turn up when they have lawyers.

And so one guiding and I think unifying idea Democrats could get behind as the idea that if you make it easier to win your cases, if you make it easier to qualify for asylum, you`ll actually start to manage the problem better because people will show up for their hearings.

Now, there`s an important difference here that needs to be focused on right, the bottom line is that Trump and Stephen Miller and the restrictionist don`t want people to qualify for asylum.  That`s the -- that`s the really divide here, right.  And so what Democrats should stand for is making it easier to qualify.  If you qualify, you know, we`ll take you in.

HAYES:  One more follow up on that.  I mean, there`s some polling out today suggesting that the politics of this are terrible, that huge percentages of the American public disapprove, only this is interesting.

Approve of how government treats migrants crossing the border Democrats only five percent, Republican 62 percent.  But that`s 62 percent for Republicans is actually lower than you get on almost all of the other policies which suggests to me, Greg, that you know, there -- the people are paying attention and are having by and large the reaction that I think you, and Aura, and I are having.

SARGENT:  Yes, I mean, I think if you`re talking about the CNN polling, I think that`s absolutely awful for Trump and the -- and the nativists because large majorities support allowing people to apply for asylum.  And look there was some division over what constitutes the crisis.

But the bottom line was I believe about a third said that the crisis was that people were crossing the border alone.  And so that`s sort of the Trump base that thinks that migration is bad.  And so the Democratic position should be that you know, migration can be managed.  That if -- that if we treat these problems with you know, with humanity and sanity that we can deal with them.

HAYES:  All right, Aura Bogado and Greg Sargent, thank you both so much for being here.

SARGENT:  Thanks, Chris.

BOGADO:  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  If you -- if you`re following our coverage of this story, you might be familiar with Andrea Pitzer, who we had on the show a few times to talk about the historical context of what`s happening at the border and how connects to her research on the history of the term that Aura Bogado was just talking about, concentration camps.

Pitzer brought such a deep perspective of the topic.  I want to have a chance to really give the conversation the time it deserves.  So in this week`s episode of the podcast "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING," I take an in-depth look at the global history of concentration camps.

I learned a lot in the course of that conversation, some of things that stopped me and my tracks.  I encourage you to take the time if you can to listen the whole thing as always you can find it wherever you get your podcasts.

Next, House Democrats respond to getting the brush-off from Steve Mnuchin now taking the Trump administration to court for the President`s tax returns.  Why it took so long in a preview of the fight ahead coming up in two minutes.


HAYES:  Finally, today, six months after Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, the Ways and Means Committee is suing the Trump administration for the President`s tax returns.  Back in April, Chairman Richard Neal wrote a letter to the IRS Commissioner requesting six years of Trump`s tax returns both his personal and business returns pursuant to a provision of the Internal Revenue Code known as the Committee Access Provision which became law way back in 1924.

It says in part "the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such requests.  Now, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin balked at that request then rejected a subsequent congressional subpoena.  And it`s been a long standoff since with mounting questions from both members of Congress and other observers as to why exactly the Chairman of Ways and Means Committee wasn`t pulling the trigger on a lawsuit.

Well, today, he did.  To talk about what we can expect next, I`m joined by Arthur Delaney Senior Reporter for The Huffington Post who literally published an article yesterday titled Democrats had no hurry to get Trump`s tax returns and Nick Akerman MSNBC Analyst and former Assistant Special Watergate prosecutor.

And Arthur, let me start with you who I credit with shaking this loose because you`ve been covering this and you had a bunch of quotes in that piece of people being like what`s the hold up here?  We`re six months in, what`s the wait?  What is your understanding of why it did happen today?

ARTHUR DELANEY, SENIOR REPORTER, HUFFPOST:  Well, they didn`t say.  That`s why we kept questioning it and you know, other than that, we`re just working on the language that we`ll use in our lawsuit which was a sort of confusing explanation because in the back-and-forth letters that went between Secretary Mnuchin and Richard Neal, all the legal arguments were there and those are the same arguments that have wound up in the briefs that they filed today.

So it`s leading to some more provocative questions like do you even want to win this in six months is significant because you only have two years at the end of this.  Congress after the next election, the Congress ceases to be a legal entity and the subpoena disappears.

HAYES:  So I mean, what -- Nick, what happens now?  They seem unfairly strong legal ground in my you know, non-expert hidden I guess, but this is good to go to a federal judge and what`s the -- what`s he going to decide or she?

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I think it`s going to be pretty straightforward.  I mean, this should be low-hanging fruit and a slam dunk in the sense that there is no way that the judge shouldn`t immediately order that these returns be produced.

I mean the statute as you read is extremely clear they have to turn these over.  So I think this is going to go pretty fast.  What`ll happen after the federal district court orders them released, the Trump administration will appeal that to the D.C. Circuit which will most likely affirm, and I think it`s very unlikely the Supreme Court will even hear this case because the statute is so crystal clear as to what the obligation of the Treasury Department is.

HAYES:  There`s a question Arthur, on the timing right.  So we`ve seen now the House has gone to court to enforce subpoenas and they`ve gotten fairly quick decisions by district court judges.  That`s the lowest level of judge, the trial court that Nick was just referring to.  And then there`s a question of how long it takes to play through the system.  What do you think they`re gaining out on the house side in terms of the timeline?

DELANEY:  Well, they haven`t said anything about exactly when they would like this to shake out.  But Richard Neal told me earlier this year that he could not substitute a political timeline for the courts timeline which is an interesting thing to say considering that in previous administrations under both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The Congress won lawsuits but it took so long that when the victories came, it was irrelevant.  So it`s -- we really don`t know what exactly they`re thinking with the delay though to be fair in the -- go ahead.

HAYES:  Well, let me just -- between the lines of your reporting and what you`re saying now is like, I get the sense that you think they don`t actually want the tax returns.  What -- why do you think that or what why is that something that you consider based on your reporting?

DELANEY:  This is not necessarily what I think but it`s a sort of provocative possibility and it could be that the legal case is so strong, this is stronger than all the other subpoenas because it`s the only one where they`re saying hey, we just want you to enforce the law as it`s clearly written so they could really win.

And Nancy Pelosi doesn`t want to deal with impeachment.  She just wants to win the election.  Well, if they win the case and then the Trump administration is faced with a court order that Donald Trump to himself has said that he never wants to disclose his tax returns, that could present a real constitutional crisis.

We haven`t had the Trump administration for all its scales.  We haven`t seen him defy a lawful court order so it definitely could precipitate the sort of crisis that everyone`s been wondering will that happen.

HAYES:  Nick, given your history investigating Watergate, what do you think about that scenario.

AKERMAN:  Well, I think this is going to go much quicker.  I mean, it took only seven months to get the Watergate tapes in the Nixon era.  I think this is going to go fast.  I think this is Trump`s Achilles heel.  This is the thing that he`s worried about most.

If you look -- we`ve been all focused on the Mueller report.  What we really haven`t put enough focus on is the New York Times reporting on Trump`s taxes and what he did in the past.  And what that shows is a long history of tax evasion, tax crimes, that goes right up until June of 2016 when he wound up selling two properties to his son Eric for half the price that the Trump Organization had put those down for $350,000 in apartment when the Trump Organization was claiming they were worth 800,000.

I mean that is tax evasion.  It`s a gift tax evasion.  You`ve got our earlier history that goes beyond the six-year limit where Trump did all kinds of things including low-balling his father`s estate and his brothers estate by hundreds of millions of dollars, also taking out a loan from his father for $11 million that he didn`t repay, claimed that was a loan, paid back his father with an interest in a property that he later brought back from his father for $10,000.  All of that $11 million was evaded.

What hasn`t been focused on is that the reason that Trump doesn`t want those returns released is because it`s going to show a long pattern of income tax evasion and criminal activity.

HAYES:  Well, that I think comport to the theory that there`s worried that he wouldn`t turn them over and will precipitate some kind of crisis.  Arthur Delaney and Nick Akerman, thank you both for joining us.

Still to come, the growing evidence the President`s Fourth of July spectacle will be a massive campaign rally paid for by public money.  New details about his VIP seats for high dollar donors after this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why is the Republican National committee giving out tickets to supporters of the president?  Why aren`t those going to members of Congress?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADIVSER:  This is a public event.  It`s open to the public.  The public is welcome to come and celebrate our great country, the greatest democracy.


HAYES:  Donald Trump has hijacked the nation`s previously nonpartisan Fourth of July celebration, and the Republican National Committee and Trump campaign are confirming today that, yes, they are distributing special tickets to top donors and other allies who will have access to prime  cordoned off areas that will be closed to the general public.

Trump has also ordered tanks to the streets of Washington to mark the occasion.  You can see them there.  There will also be fireworks.  There will be troops.  A military flyover complete with fighter jets and of course a speech by Donald Trump.  In short, on a day the nation is suppose to be celebrating its independence, the president is using basically the full force of the U.S. government and the military in his role as commander-in-chief to throw what sure looks like a partisan reelection rally on public space complete with VIP seats for his high dollar donors.

Joining me now, long-time political reporter Charlie Pierce, writer at- large for Esquire.

You know, Charlie, Nixon did something someone similar, tried to do something similar.  It was a flop.  But since then have you -- this is not -- we don`t do this,right.  I`m not crazy that this is very, very, very weird?

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE:  No, not at all.  This is vaudeville with depleted uranium shells.  I mean, the guy has been the tackiest person in public life for about 40 years now.  And now he`s got his hands on the U.S. military.

So, yeah, we`re going to have this incredibly tacky spectacle in front of Abraham Lincoln, who may very well get down off his chair and walk out of the memorial rather than be a part of this.

HAYES:  This is the new reporting today, the park service is going to divert $2.5 million in park fees, which are meant for the -- primarily intended to improve park access across the country, to cover the costs, which I think won`t be the total costs, it will be more than that.  But I can`t quite -- I can`t quite think that the RNC donation part is OK in any way.  Like how it is that you use a public event and then make it essentially a donor perk for the RNC?

PIERCE:  Well, I wonder how many of the people who are getting the VIP tickets will be staying in the Trump Hotel, if they`re coming from out of town.  I would not be surprised if it was a special donators -- you know, donors rate for -- holiday donors rate at the Trump Tower or the Trump Plaza or the Trump whatever it is, the Trump Xanadu.

No, this is extraordinarily cheap and tacky and grifty.  And the speech is going to be dreadful.  And there are all kinds of catastrophes.  They`re not sure if the bridges over the Potomac can handle the  tanks.  They`re doing a flyover of F-35s which have god knows how many problems, including the inability to eject without beheading yourself. 

Plus, it is apparently going to rain.  So, I mean, we could be looking at one of the great clusters of all time.

HAYES:  Well, and the other thing about it to me is, I think there has been a sort of slowly donning awareness, as we got an announcement this week, the president raised $105 million in the quarter of just what it means for him to run this time as an incumbent.

And his -- you know, Kellyanne Conway, the rare rebuke of her for Hatch Act violations and the special council saying she should be fired.  The president using his role as commander-in-chief to order up tanks for this event that sure looks like a campaign rally.

It`s, to me, a little bit of a preview of what he can do with the power incumbency to essentially run the presidency as a reelection shop.

PIERCE:  Well, he has already been running the presidency as a profit making device, running the presidency as -- you know, using the American military as set decoration for your reelection campaign.  That`s a walk in the park compared to what he has been doing.

You know, this is what happens when everybody abdicates their responsibility.  Where are the fiscally -- the scions of fiscal discipline in the Republican Party?  They`re all on MSNBC making angry noises, but nobody in real power is doing anything about this.

HAYES:  Well, there is also -- there is also clearly been push back from the Pentagon, I will say, behind the scenes, because this is the second or third time he has tried this.

PIERCE:  Well, not just that, but I`ve talked to some people who have been in the military, not at a very high level, but at grunt level.  Soldiers hate this stuff.

HAYES:  Yeah.

PIERCE:  I mean, you`ve got to get inspection ready.  You`ve got -- it`s the Fourth of July.  They should be home with their families, instead they`ve got to get inspection ready.  They`ve got to stand out in the uniform.  Even if it rains, it`s going to be 90 degrees.

HAYES:  I`ve been reading...

PIERCE:  It`s a miserable experience.

HAYES:  Yes, I`ve been reading some complaints online.

Charlie Pierce, thanks for meeting with me tonight.

Ahead, absolutely monumental news tonight as the Trump administration announces they will not try to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.  The latest coming up.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, a strange situation unfolded this afternoon when reports came in that the vice president`s plane, en route to New Hampshire, had been turned around in midair.


ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS:  We have some breaking news, and we`re sorting this out right now, Vice President Pence was en route to New Hampshire for a previously scheduled opioid event.  There were people there waiting in Salem, New Hampshire.  Air Force Two turned around,  returned back to Andrews -- Joint Base Andrews.


HAYES:  Well, that was concerning.  What could possibly be so urgent the vice president would have to race back to the White House?  Reporters of course started digging, but all we got was a series of denials.  The White House said there was, quote, no cause for alarm.  No medical issue with either the president or vice president, not a national security issue, not a personal or family issue, and my favorite, someone will not be fired soon.

Eventually the VP`s press secretary posted to Twitter that Pence never actually left D.C., but her only explanation was that, quote, something came up.

During this whole time, the president`s Twitter account was dark, six hours and no tweets.  People were worried.  What was happening?  Where was the president?

Finally 6:05:00 p.m. eastern time, Donald Trump surfaced with a big announcement, quote, "thanks to Phantom Fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci for their generosity in donating the biggest fireworks show Washington, D.C. has ever seen," exclamation point.

Well, I guess he`s OK.  Trump fireworks are Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  As we mentioned earlier, President Trump is very busy planning his big Fourth of July bash, but there has already been a fireworks display on the National Mall this year.  It`s of course the annual Consumer Product Safety Commission fireworks safety demonstration.  It`s the yearly reminder of important rules like sparklers are really hot, and you should be careful when giving them to children.  Also, don`t fire rockets tied to a string at the face of a friend or family member.

And you never stick your face above a mortar tube.  And of course, exercise caution when manufacturing illegal fireworks in your home office.

Luckily, the big display on the fourth will be handled by professionals, Phantom fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci, shouted out by the president today.  Fireworks by Grucci seems like the real deal.  They set world records, produce shows for huge events like this one in Saudi Arabia a few years ago.  They posted a message on their website saying they`re donating their time and talents to the Fourth of July celebration calling it a time when we put aside our differences and celebrate our common dreams.

Phantom Fireworks appears to be supplying the actual fireworks.  And they`re a big retailer, stores all over the country.  No word yet on exactly which fireworks they`ll be providing for the show, but just browsing the website we`re getting very excited about the possibilities.  We will we get the Untamed Retribution or the Pyro Cumulus Cloud?  The Geo Magnetic Storm looks fun, but beware the Wicked Pissah.


HAYES:  A huge and unexpected victory today for the plaintiffs suing the Trump administration to stop them from adding a question about citizenship to the census.  The Justice Department announcing in an email that the printer has been instructed to begin printing the 2020 census questionnaire without the citizenship question.  It is a truly surprising turn, especially since it comes just a day after the president himself lawlessly threatened to delay the census all together until he got his question on it.  And he was very clear about his motivations for wanting the question in the first place.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Will you be delaying the census, the Supreme Court ruling on the census?

TRUMP:  We`re looking at that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why do you think it`s so important that that question be asked?

TRUMP:  I think it`s very important to find out if somebody is a citizen as opposed to an illegal.  I think there is a big difference to me between being a citizen of the United States and being an illegal.


HAYES:  OK.  First of all that, is not at all an accurate characterization of what the citizenship question would do, because it wouldn`t ask immigration status.  T here is lots of folks who are legal and not citizens, just whether people are citizens.

But more crucially, Trump`s own words right there completely undercut the official cover story that his administration has been telling publicly both in court under oath and to congress under oath about its motivations for adding the question.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, among others, insisted the idea for the question came from the Trump DOJ, which supposedly wanted the question added to, get this, better enforce the Voting Rights Act. Yes, you heard that right.  The Trump administration under Jeff Sessions was so intent on maximally enforcing that Voting Rights Act, they needed the citizenship question.  That is what they tried to sell, anyway.

The real story is that with input from Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach, and at the behest of Wilbur Ross, the DOJ concocted a pretext to cover up what documents suggest is the true motivation, to reduce levels of response from immigrant communities.  An undercount of immigrants would have enormous consequences for apportioning of congressional representation, state redistricting, and federal appropriations, hurting chiefly, but not exclusively, the political power of blue states and cities.

In the stark words of GOP gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller, adding the question would, and I quote, "be advantageous to Republicans and non- Hispanic whites."  The bad faith of the Trump administration was so egregious that two different courts found actions in violation of the law.  And when the question got up to the Supreme Court, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts couldn`t bring himself to ignore just how flagrantly the Trump administration had lied, he joined the four liberals in blocking the question.  But Roberts gave the administration an out, go back and, you know, come up with a better reason. 

Many expected them to take another run at it.  But alas, today, it looks like the Trump administration basically had to admit it was all a ruse and wave the white flag.

It is an exhilarating and improbable victory for fair counting, democratic representation, government transparency about its motives and the rule of law.


HAYES:  New poll numbers show the race among the Democratic presidential contenders is incredibly fluid, as it should be this far out.

Senator Kamala Harris essentially tied with former Vice President Joe Biden in this Quinnipiac survey, given the margin of error, with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders rounding out the top four.  I should note that Senator Sanders` numbers in todays poll are on par with the numbers in CNN poll we highlighted yesterday.  We had a graphical error when we displayed it. 

But on the question of which Democrat is most likely to beat Donald Trump, he also comes in at 13 percent.

It`s more clearer than ever the debates did make a big impact, but there really are, as I keep saying, two primaries: there is the candidate primary, and the ideas primary.  And people like former Democratic Senator from North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp and others are warning Democrats that some of the positions that candidates have taken like, for instance, decriminalizing border crossings, health insurance for undocumented immigrants, and replacing primary private insurance with Medicare for all are all going to come back to bite them.

But there are others who argue the progressive policies are exciting the base and pushing the party out of its defensive crouch.  It`s a debate that is going to be absolutely central as the primary campaign continues.

For more on the question, I`m joined by Joy Reid, host of MSNBC`s AM Joy and author of "The Man Who Sold America," and  Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief of The Intercept and author of the great new  book called "We`ve Got People."

Joy, let me start with you on this question.  There`s been a lot of interesting discussion about this.  At first, I was sort frustrated with it, but I think it`s played out in a much more sophisticated,  nuanced way over the last few days about, you know, what are the things that Democrats should be focusing on, what are the ways in which promises they`re making now would put them in politically untenable positions, and what are the ways you can buck conventional wisdom, as Donald Trump did in his own  way, and still prove to be electable.

What are your thoughts?

JOY REID, MSNBC:  Well, my thought is that essentially a re-elect campaign where you already have an incumbent in office is a change election, 100 percent.  And so if you think about what Barack Obama was for, the idea of universal health care was also considered way too far to the left, but what Barack Obama was smart about doing in 2008 was saying here is something that is important to you just as an individual person.  And we`re going to get out not just the regular people and try to convert people from the other side, but we`re going to bring new people in.

And so I think democrats are smart to take positions that are broadly popular, even Republicans like them, and go in on them and show that you are willing to change.  The whole point is you want a change from what`s there now. 

So I don`t think it`s a not smart idea for Democrats to go for a change message.

HAYES:  You know, Ryan, there is an interesting piece in New York magazine that syncs up with a lot of your reporting and some of the stuff you write about in the book, which was about the kind of insurgent left grassroots of the Democratic Party.

Eric Levitts (ph) writes the Democrats aren`t a left wing party, they just play one on TV.  Liberals may set the pace in Democratic discourse in presidential debates, but on Capitol Hill the centrists often take the wheel.

I think that`s true and I think it sort of leaves a weird worst-case scenario for everyone involved for the Democratic Party.

RYAN GRIM, THE INTERCEPT:  Yeah, that`s right.  Institutions have a lot of choke points.  And, you know, centrists have, you know, been dominating the house from the Democratic side and the senate as well for a very long time, and they have their hands around that choke point.  And they are a different generation.

As I write about in the book, a lot of them were formed in the, you know, they were traumatized by the 1980s by witnessing Ronald Reagan kind of wipe them out.  And they`ve been in this defensive crouch for the last 30 years.  And people like Ocasio-Cortez, who are born in the late `80s after Reagan had already left office, don`t even understand what this fear is all about.  They don`t fear Republicans the way that they fear climate change or the way that they fear kind of cowardice from centrist Democrats.

And so when they see this it`s just confusing to them.  Why aren`t you fighting?  There are children in cages at the border.  And so you have this huge tension boiling over on Capitol Hill, which like you said is juxtaposed against this 2020 campaign that is playing out on extraordinarily progressive terms, so the whole thing just looks very strange to people.

HAYES:  Well, and that, Joy, I think is one of the questions here.  I mean, when you talk about Obama `08, I always think back to the decision that he and the campaign made on marriage equality in which the president, who, you know, previously had supported it when he was a state senator in a questionnaire.  I think probably personally did support it, you know, choose to make the public decision that the better part of valor was to not in that campaign because he didn`t think it would be politically  expedient and wanted to get elected.

And you wonder, like, where are those decisions going to be made as we head towards this election?

REID:  I mean, to be honest with you, you know -- and maybe, I don`t know, maybe it`s being an African-American voter, you know black voters are very pragmatic, right?  And let`s just be really super pragmatic about the next election.  Democrats are constantly looking backward.  And they`re fighting the last election.  If Democrats are still thinking about the kinds of Democrats who voted in 2008 and 2012, they`re looking in the wrong direction.

HAYES:  Right.

REID:  Let`s just do the data.

The largest group of voters going forward from today on are people who are now Millennials.  There are actually already more voters who voted in that group than voted for -- that are voted among, you know, Bill Clinton`s era.  That`s just the math.

And so if you want to go toward the voters in the future who are going to vote a lot, it`s people who are like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Not saying they`re necessarily with her on policy, but that they don`t view the kinds of caution that Democrats are constantly showing.

HAYES:  That`s a great point.

REID: a good form of politics.  They think it`s frustrating.  You might want to show that you have some guts.

HAYES:  Ryan, and I think there is overlap there, you know, between -- in different wings of the party about energizing and mobilizing.

GRIM:  Right.  And a thing that nobody ever talks about in Washington are third-party voters.  Everybody looks at these people that switched from Obama to Trump, but in 2018, people who voted  third party in 2016 overwhelmingly switched to Democrats.  So that means if you -- if you craft a message that appeals to people who were turned off by Democrats in 2016, but clearly are willing to vote for them because they voted for them in 2018, then you`re probably also just incidentally going to capture a bunch of those Obama to Trump people as well.

So that right there gets you your majority.

HAYES:  Joy Reid and Ryan Grim, thank you both.

That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.