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Booker demands answers from AG Barr. TRANSCRIPT: 7/17/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Marc Fisher, Harry Seigel, Jamie Raskin, Brian Schatz, Cory Booker

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  You want to beat them, do the same.  And when it gets down to picking the person you want picking the next members of the Supreme Court, find yourself a winner.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.

HAYES:  As the president tries to separate himself from Jeffrey Epstein --

TRUMP:  I wasn`t a fan.  I was not --

HAYES:  Tonight, new video released by NBC News showing the future president partying with the future felon.  Then what we learned from today`s vote on an impeachment resolution.

REP. AL GREEN (D-TX):  We cannot wait.

HAYES:  As new polling suggests racism as a political strategy is actually bad.

TRUMP:  I do think I`m winning the political fight.

HAYES:  Plus, Senator Cory Booker on the President`s remarks and more and Senator Brian Schatz on his new push to address climate change in the Senate when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  Ever since the Jeffrey Epstein scandal burst back into national headlines, the President has been trying to distance himself from the convicted sex offender.  He`s downplayed their relationship to the press, he`s jettisoned a cabinet member who has ties to the Epstein scandal, but tonight Donald Trump`s project got a little harder.

Tonight we have more evidence the President of the United States has been lying about his relationship with the now registered sex offender.  NBC has uncovered archive footage of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein partying together at Mar-a-Lago back in 1992.  Here`s how Mika Brzezinski described the interaction on "MORNING JOE."


MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Later in the footage Trump is seen talking to Epstein and another man as women are dancing in front of them.  Trump alternates between dancing and pointing out women to Epstein and the other man and telling Epstein about the cameras.

Though exactly what they say is difficult to understand as they discuss the women and their appearances, Trump gestures to one and appears to say to Epstein: Look at her back there.  She`s hot.  And then Trump says something else into Epstein`s ear that makes him double over with laughter.


HAYES:  The footage was shot by NBC for a profile of Trump on Faith Daniels talk-show A Closer Look.  Trump`s behavior in the rest of the episode hasn`t aged super well.


FAITH DANIELS, FORMER ANCHOR, NBC NEWS:  I saw you at the celebrity chef there here in New York.

TRUMP:  And what a kiss.

DANIELS:  You kissed me on the lips in front of the paparazzi.  I said that`ll cost you on booking me on the show.  True story, correct?

TRUMP:  It was so good and it was so open and nice.  She is a fabulous woman.

DANIELS:  So open and nice, what in the world!

TRUMP:  And her husband, her husband is a handsome devil.  I tell you.  He`s a good guy.  But I think he had his back turned at the time.  So we had a good time.

DANIELS:  That would be it.  That`s your choice.  Look around.

TRUMP:  Yes, not my choice.

DANIELS:  What kind of woman do you like?

TRUMP:  I think my choice might be -- look at the her legs on her.  Boy --

I probably would have been in a corner with my thumb in my mouth and just going you know, mommy, take me home.  I want to go home.

DANIELS:  Well, you certainly aren`t going now.  We saw evidence of that.

TRUMP:  I know.  Somebody else`s thumb in my mouth.

DANIELS:  In your case, I mean, we`ve already gone through all the scandals.  There`d be nothing left to uncover.

TRUMP:  Yes, you might be right.


HAYES:  No more scandals after that.  As recently as 2002, Trump was singing Jeffrey Epstein`s praises to New York Magazine.  He`s a lot of fun to be with.  It has even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do and many of them are on the younger side.  No doubt about it Jeffery enjoys his social life.

The New York Times reports the back in 1992, the same year as the NBC footage, Trump attended a party with just Epstein, just him and Epstein and quoting, 28 girls.  He dismissed a business partner`s warnings about his friend`s conduct.

I said look, Donald, I know Jeff really well.  I can`t have him going after younger girls.  That was the warning, Mr. Houraney remembers.  He said, look, I`m putting my name on it.  I wouldn`t put my name on it and have a scandal.

Now Epstein is currently in jail newly accused of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls.  So this is what President Trump said about Epstein just last week.


TRUMP:  Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.  I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him.  He was a fixture in Palm Beach.  I had a falling-out with him a long time ago.  I don`t think I`ve spoken to him for 15 years.  I wasn`t a fan.  I was not -- yes, a long time ago.  I`d say maybe 15 years.  I was not a fan of his.  That I can tell you.


HAYES:  Trump tried to distance himself even more from Epstein days later pushing out his Secretary of Labor who as U.S. attorney gave Epstein the infamous sweetheart deal when he was accused of the same crimes over a decade ago.  Epstein is expected to find out tomorrow whether he`ll get bail but prosecutors say he`s a serious flight risk.

Today prosecutors told the judge Epstein used a foreign passport with a fake name to enter several countries in the 1980s -- what -- including the U.K., France, Spain, and Saudi Arabia.  They say the passport was found inside a safe and then I quote again here, "along with $70,000 in cash and just 48 loose diamonds, like you do.

It`s important to remember that we`re still very much at the beginning of the Epstein story.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we`re going to learn a lot more about Jeffrey Epstein and the people he spent time with.  And that`s what Donald Trump doesn`t want you to see.  It`s what he doesn`t want you to talk about.

Joining me now Marc Fisher Senior Editor at The Washington Post, author of Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President.  What is your reaction to that footage of someone who wrote a book about the guy?

MARC FISHER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST:  Well, you have to remember that this is taking place at a time when Donald Trump`s empire is falling apart.  He`s gone through six bankruptcies, his real estate and casino businesses are in a state of virtual collapse, his marriage with Ivana Trump has also collapsed.  He`s even broken up with Marla Maples who would eventually become his second wife.

So he`s looking to improve his reputation and it might seem curious that he would choose to do so by holding a party with Jeffrey Epstein where he knows there are cameras from NBC.  But in fact, he does see this as a way to enhance his reputation because he points out to Epstein that the NBC cameras are watching them as they are guffawing and poking one another with glee about the 28 women who are there in -- these are NFL cheerleaders by the way.

This party was in commemoration of the Buffalo Bills playing the Miami Dolphins that weekend and these were mostly Buffalo Bills cheerleaders who were at the party.

HAYES:  I mean, I guess there`s a question always about what is known in the circles that Epstein is running in this time about what his predilections are.

FISHER:  Well, certainly Donald Trump knew that.  In fact, Trump, his one shining moment in this whole sordid episode came around that time when Trump actually banned Jeffrey Epstein from Mar-a-Lago.

Although Epstein had been a rather frequent guest there and Trump had made a return visits to Epstein`s estate just down the road.  Trump eventually would ban Epstein from Mar-a-Lago because one of Epstein`s procurers recruited a locker room girl from Trump`s employ, a teenager to come and be one of his masseuses over at the Epstein place.

So that was -- that may not be the falling out that Trump is talking about in the clip you showed.  We`re not exactly sure which one he`s referring to there but certainly was the beginning of the end of their relationship.

HAYES:  We should note that it appears that one of the women who`s been accused of being one of those recruiters at least in the Miami Herald reporting, Ghislaine Maxwell, appears to be in the footage of this party as well which struck me as notable, given the fact that the woman who comes on the record and speaks to the Miami Herald and is on tape accusing Maxwell of recruiting her from Mar-a-Lago to then be essentially sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein that Maxwell is also at this party.

FISHER:  Yes  She was a really a constant companion of Jeffrey Epstein through that entire period and for many years thereafter.  Ghislaine Maxwell played a curious very close role in Epstein`s world.  She was not only a procurer of young girls according to any number of those now women who have testified were been deposed about these incidents, she was also an important part of his financial arrangement.

She`s the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the press lord who died mysteriously.  and Ghislaine Maxwell was certainly someone who introduced Jeffrey Epstein to many people in the worlds of celebrity, British royalty, American politics.  Epstein was a more retiring sort and did not have those social connections that Miss Maxwell brought him.

HAYES:  All right, Marc Fisher who wrote a book about the man that you see there on your screen next to Jeffrey Epstein.  Thank very much your time.

FISHER:  Good to be with you.

HAYES:  Joining me now Harry Seigel Senior Editor at the Daily Beast, Columnist to New York Daily News, Zerlina Maxwell co-host of Signal Boost on Sirius XM and an MSNBC Political Analyst, and Maya Wiley, former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division for the Southern District of New York and MSNBC Legal Analyst.

I`m going to call an audible here.  We were going to talk more about that which I want to do but there was just a moment -- let me just sort of break the fourth wall here and say it`s always -- what do you do with the Trump rally?  It seems like it`s designed to be a television production and to suck the people into coverage.  And so if there`s news then you cover the news.

But there was a moment at the rally that seems to me an important moment to show and get some reaction to.  He did go after Ilhan Omar repeatedly along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley I believe, and Rashida Tlaib, the women -- the Democratic Congresswomen that he tweeted should go back to their country.

And at the culmination of an attack on Ilhan Omar, he accused her of being anti-Semite, and the crowd sort of took it from there.  I don`t know if we have that clip cut, but if we do let`s take a look.


TRUMP:  Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screens.

AMERICAN CROWD:  Send her back!  Send her back!  Send her back! 


HAYES:  So that`s a crowd of Americans being incited by the American President to chant send her back against an American congresswoman.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  That is a sad -- it`s a sad moment for the country but it`s not surprising in any way.  I think some of this goes all the way back to the 2008 campaign.  Some of his rallies remind me of the Sarah Palin rallies.  I felt -- I feel like that was where this originated in that sort of fervor and that racial resentment being openly expressed.

What Donald Trump has done is normalized racism.  That has been true going back to birtherism and he makes it OK again to be overtly racist in public without any fear that there will be any societal repercussions whatsoever.

And that is not something that I am willing to you know, sit around and be silent about.  And I don`t think anybody that feels that racism is an unacceptable and unpatriotic position to have and to express in public, they should not be silent in this moment either.

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I completely agree with Zerlina and I take it one step further.  I think it`s more than sad, I think it`s dangerous.

MAXWELL:  I agree.

WILEY:  I think it`s dangerous centrally to democracy.  I mean, and for all the reasons that Zerlina said, and when you add that what he is doing and we saw it in the headlines today around the vote to denounce his racism, that it became energizing, energizing for the Trump base.

That should not represent an American base because America has never represented only one group of people and the democracy that we`ve created is fundamentally about how we be pluralistic and governed together and that`s what he`s attacked.

HAYES:  What`s the right way to characterize a crowd of overwhelmingly white crowd, not exclusively but overwhelmingly white crowd chanting send her back about a black woman who is a U.S. congressman and U.S. citizen?

HARRY SEIGEL, SENIOR EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST:  Racist, xenophobic, cruel, un-American.  The question is what the rest of us are going to do about this as these animal spirits if you will, had been unleashed.  And look, Trump won a very weird -- had a very weird path to victory.

In lot of ways he did not win the popular vote and he`s aiming for that same path again except now he has a tremendous war chest and the power of the incumbency that the further excites all of these people who if they thought these ways weren`t chanting, for the most part, we`re quiet about it.

I think it`s going to take a tremendous political force and the next year and change to hopefully get us back to that sort of moment.  But people are not ashamed of shameful behavior right now.  They`re chanting it.

HAYES:  Yes.  I mean, it`s -- I also think -- well, there`s two things here.  I think he`s radicalizing people.  I mean it`s happening in real- time like we`re watching it happen.  It shows up in the public polling data.  The antecedents were there.  We know they were there.  It`s not like Donald Trump invented racism.

And even his tactics if you read Nixonland, Rick Perlstein great book about Nixon, like it`s just kind of a dumber more vulgar version of Nixon.  It`s not like --

WILEY:  Well, actually he broke Nixon`s playbook because remember Nixon was the southern strategy done right.  And the southern strategy done right was we will code it.

HAYES:  Right, exactly.

WILEY:  We will not be explicit.  In fact we think explicit racism is the third rail.  You don`t touch it because we`ll be electrocuted.  What we will do is veil it so that it`s acceptable.  And what Trump is really done is said, if we pair economic populism with racism over explicit we think we win.  And that`s what we have to say no you don`t.

HAYES:  He`s also making -- I think he`s making people worse.  I mean, he is making -- like there`s an idea that there`s a sort of question of like is he just unleashing what people want to do anyway or is he -- and I think he keeps setting a bar for people and leading them towards things that --

MAXWELL:  I mean, the saddest thing is when you have this conversation and I`m sure all of us have this week in particular with white people who are like well, you know, the economy is doing great.  You know, they don`t want to jump into this conversation about racism.  But when are we going to have it?  Because black people are being shot by the police, nobody is getting in trouble.

Eric Garner was just -- that case just -- the Justice Department just decided they`re not going to pursue it.  And that`s just a reminder to people of color in this country that our lives are not as valuable as everyone else is,

And I`m tired of being reminded of that.  I`m tired of being reminded by the president of that every single day from his tweets and from his words.  And so I think this is -- this is a come-to-Jesus moment for the country.  Are we going to deal with racism or not?

SEIGEL:  I am worried that if we deal with racism that we are going to end up with more Donald Trump.  I think that`s absolutely right that these aren`t things you can just put off or be patient or let`s just wait until a few more people get shot.  But Hillary Clinton ran a campaign where she was bringing up mothers who`ve lost their children.

She went as far in that direction as any mainstream Democrat had at that point and Trump was American carnage.  And there was a response to that and I don`t know where --

WILEY:  But that`s not --

MAXWELL:  We won the popular vote.  So the thing that I think -- I think about all the time is that when people say this is why Trump won.  Every single reason listed is correct on that front.  But again he won by such a slim margin with so many weird factors in this election that I don`t know that we can then predict out that you know, the racism is working for him as if we`re not an emerging majority of people of color in this country.

WILEY:  What are we trying to win?  I think fundamentally we`re trying to win democracy.  And so where I get concerned is both these points which is to say we have to represent -- recognize we`re talking about all of us, but that can`t exclude people of color.  And I don`t think that was Hillary Clinton`s mistake.  I think -- I think it was --

MAXWELL:  We could have gone further.

WILEY:  We could have gone further.  Remember that Wisconsin was fundamentally about voter suppression and trying to bar black people from the ballot and Latinos and others.  We`ve seeing that now in the Citizenship fight, the Muslim ban.

Everything we`re being told is who is about who is America and I think it isn`t working.  And that`s part of what we saw in the -- in the twenty -- in the 2018 midterms.  And we shouldn`t forget the call to our better angels.  And if we don`t, my concern is I`m not sure what we`re fighting for.

HAYES:  Yes.  I mean, I think they`re both true.  I mean it`s -- racism like that, that kind of mob-ish thing is a potent force in American politics.  It has been from the very beginning.  It`s a potent force that tears down the project of reconstruction along with terrorism.  It you know, wrecks the structures of Jim Crow.

We`ve seen the people spitting on folks.  I mean, that`s -- there`s a continuity there to the force that`s being unleashed there that has genuine political power in America, like genuine potency.  I don`t think it`s the winning side.  In fact, it`s a minority of people just to be clear.

MAXWELL:  Yes, very small.

HAYES:  But it`s a minority of people -- again, the plan here.  Look where he is.  He`s in South Carolina.  He`s in South Carolina.  South Carolina is not up for play.  Like -- sorry, he`s in North Carolina.  He`s in North Carolina.

He knows that his path -- his path to victory is basically energizing those folks and he`s doing it in a place where he thinks that structurally the conditions of the Electoral College in the -- you know what I mean.

WILEY:  He`s playing --

HAYES:  He`s not trying to win the popular vote.  He`s like -- he knows he`s not going to get above 44, 45, 46 percent of the share.  Like it -- he just needs to make that enough people angry enough, rabid enough.

MAXWELL:  I think that what he`s miscalculating is that he`s making black and brown people very angry as well.  And hopefully without the barricades or look -- you know, the obstacles of voter suppression, we will turn out in ways that we did not in 2016 which will hopefully make it more like 2018.

WILEY:  And I think we have to remember women.  You know, one of the things that we saw in the Midterms was white women without a college degree who were not evangelicals voted for Democrats.  And that was actually -- so we forget that the Trump base isn`t all solidified.

HAYES:  There`s also -- you know, final thought here, Harry as someone who covers New York City politics is you know, people want to make this about the South.  Like those are New York politics.  Like there are versions of that that have happened, desegregating Queens, like Howard Beach, things that we -- you know, you and I have lived through and covered Crown Heights riots.

Like that kind of racialized politics, that kind of like mob chanting, I`ve seen that firsthand in New York City.  You don`t have to go down to some other place in the country to channel those politics.

SEIGEL:  Hey, Rudy Giuliani.  People are afraid of each other and they don`t always have reason to be.  And playing up on those fears no matter how safe the country gets -- in fact sometimes more when it`s safer because people get over-invested in their security.  And then imagine other people and things as a threat to it and this is loud violent politics.

The way really Giuliani wins, it`s a victory of voter participation is everyone is terrified and get more voter turnout than we`ve ever had before.  And past a certain point that can actually be a very unhealthy thing.  It`s good to not only think about politics.  Not with fear and awe of the President and what`s he going to say and do next continually.  And he`s sort of capitalizing that to energize his base and exhaust --

HAYES:  That`s right.  Harry Seigel, Zerlina Maxwell, Maya Wiley, thank you for rolling with that.

MAXWELL:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Next, Congressman Jamie Raskin on what happened today with today`s impeachment vote in the House in two minutes.



TRUMP:  I do think I`m winning the political fight.  I think I`m winning it by a lot.  I think that they are not espousing the views of our country.


HAYES:  Donald Trump and his allies have spent the last couple days engaged in a very obvious and concerted effort to spin his racism because they can`t actually defend it.  So what they`ve decided to do is concoct a somewhat ridiculous rationale and suggest that what looks for all the world like an emotionally incumbent bigot lashing out is really just brilliant campaign strategy.

Those close to Trump say there`s a lot of calculation behind his race- baiting Axios reported with a presumably straight face.  Trump told the Daily Mail he`s not unhappy with the outcry over his racist comments.  The New York Times reported he has told aides he is pleased with the Democratic reactions to his attacks.  It`s all part of his master plan, just a crafty president playing 3D chess with his racism.  Give me a break.

Here`s the polling.  A whopping 68 percent of Americans who know about them call Trump`s tweets offensive.  59 percent say they`re flat out un- American.  Just 28 percent agree with them.  And while Republican support for Trump has ticked up slightly since his racist tweets which maybe not that surprising, his approval rating among Independents has fallen ten points.

Trump`s racist tweets were the impetus for a new impeachment resolution that was brought by Representative Al Green of Texas who was able to force a vote today on the floor about whether that would get to a full vote.  The House voted to kill the impeachment effort with the majority of Democrats along with every single Republican voting to table the resolution.

Joining me now Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a member of the Judiciary Committee.  For those of us not steeped in the procedure of the august body in which you serve, what happened today?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD):  Well, you know, most impeachment resolutions arise from the Judiciary Committee and members of the Judiciary Committee.  Our colleague Congressman Green is not a member of the Judiciary Committee but in an expression of his outrage about the events over the last several days, he introduced this impeachment resolution.

It didn`t talk about most of the stuff that the Judiciary Committee has been investigating the obstruction of justice, the abuse of power, high crimes, and misdemeanors.  It basically asserted that he was unfit for office.

It was brought to the floor as a privilege motion which every member has the right to do because it`s impeachment and it goes to the president`s fitness for office and his focus was that the president was unfit for office.  But he didn`t enumerate a series of high crimes and misdemeanors.

95 of us voted it shouldn`t be tabled, it should just be referred to the Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary Committee`s job is to sort out all of the impeachment resolutions because Mr. Sherman has one there too and undoubtedly there will be more.  But we`ve got a methodically dissect all of the potential high crimes and misdemeanors.  And this resolution didn`t do that.  And so a lot of people voted to table it and it was tabled.

HAYES:  All right.  I`m going to give you a theory of the current behavior of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives that I want you to respond to whether to rebut or to agree with.  Basically, there is frustration growing that there has not been a more confrontational posture towards the president that he`s defied the House time and time again, that you`ve not really been able to produce any actual documents or testimony and Mueller is of course happening next week.

And that frustration is kind of leading to this sort of infighting circular firing squad that we`ve seen breaking out a little bit recently.  Is that - - is that a fair read?

RASKIN:  I mean, it`s not an unfair read.  I don`t know necessarily if this is infighting or internal conflict.  I think a lot of that has been way overblown by the media.  But I think you are getting increasing expressions of frustration about our ability or inability to deal with the most lawless and reckless president of our lifetime.

And so we need to put on the table all of the constitutional transgressions of this president.  I think a lot of them have to do with him running the office essentially as a money-making operation.  He`s turned the presidency into a business for himself and his family and his friends.  And they`ve basically turned all of the federal government departments into part of this money-making operation.

You know every time they go down to Mar-a-Lago, he makes another $75,000 or $100,000 from federal government payments going down there.  And there`s been some excellent reporting recently about 24 different foreign governments that have been filling his pockets with emoluments through the Trump Hotel, the office tower and other business ventures.

And I think this is the way to really understand how we got into this situation.  He`s a businessman.  He`s a failed businessman and went bankrupt four or five times.  A lot of the Russian oligarchs have bailed him out through the money laundering schemes that they did and I think that was the genesis of what happened in 2016.

But I think that`s going to be our way of recovering the roots of this story and really telling America a narrative about why we`re in this situation.

HAYES:  So what about this idea -- a lot of this is playing out for the courts.  So you slap subpoenas on them and then they say we`re not giving you anything or we`re not letting a witness come and then you fight it out in the courts.

And there`s an argument that the position of the House would be stronger in the courts if there was an impeachment inquiry go -- underway.  Do you think that argument has merit?

RASKIN:  Undoubtedly.  I mean, Professor Tribe has cataloged all of the arguments for why we`re in a stronger position to collect the evidence we need.  I mean, it`s basically just because impeachment is an enumerated power of Congress and it`s a repeatedly enumerated power of Congress.  It appears four different times.

I think we have the power to get what we want regardless and the Supreme Court has been pretty clear that the legislative function implies a fact- finding function.  But I think Professor Tribe is correct that our investigative powers are at their zenith when we are in an active impeachment inquiry investigation.

Now, what was on the floor today was actual articles of impeachment.  That`s the very end of the process.  And we have it looks like now over 100 members who would support an impeachment inquiry at this point, and you have lots of members in the investigative committees who`ve seen enough.

We`ve read the Mueller report.  We know that there`s tremendous evidence of direct presidential obstruction of justice in there and we`re hoping that the appearance of Mueller next week, the special counsel, will allow us to clear the fog of propaganda left by Attorney General Barr and Donald Trump.

HAYES:  I`m able to talk to you next week after that.  Congressman Jamie Raskin, thanks for being with me tonight.

RASKIN:  Thanks for having me, Chris.

HAYES:  Ahead, Democrats from the Senate are laying the groundwork to take on the civilizational challenge of climate change as Republicans keep their heads in the sand.  Senator Brian Schatz is here with the plan next.


HAYES:  We are on track to have the hottest July and quite possibly the hottest month ever measured on Earth since we`ve been measuring.  That comes on the heels of the hottest June on record, as noted by The Washington Post, quote, nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, a trend that scientists have tied mainly to human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Right now the biggest problem we face here and across the world is the climate crisis that is upon us.  But the things that one of only two of the major parties even accepts that it exists, and one of the two parties has decided to do nothing, actually worse than that, the Republican Party is actually committed to making it worse. 

And so the situation we`re in is that the planet basically depends on electing people to power who will actually do something to address the climate crisis.

Now Democrats are left trying to do the work for both parties.  But as it stands, they hold a majority in the senate.  They have little recourse to stop President Trump as he rips up environmental regulations left and right.

So now Senate Democrats are trying to lay the groundwork for actual legislative action if they take back the majority in 2020.

Today they took their first stab at that.  Senate Democrats held their first hearing of the special committee on the climate crisis.  And joining me now is that new committee`s chairman, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii.

All right, Senator, what`s the idea here?

SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, (D) HAWAII:  Well, we want to lay the predicate for action in 2021.  We know that Mitch McConnell is not just dedicated to inaction on the senate floor as it relates to climate change, but to making it worse, to confirming nominees that are destroying the environment, but also to do whatever he can to enhance the standing of polluters in our society.

And so we decided we`re not going to wait for Mitch anymore.  We`ve convened our own special committee.  And the basic idea is to lay the substantive predicate for action in 2021, but also to build the coalition necessary.  And that I think is the key aspect of this.  We want to make sure that  climate action is not just about birds and butterflies, it`s not just about coastal elites or people who like to hike or surf or snorkel, although I`m one of those people, we want to snake sure that people who farm, who fish, who hunt, who worry about wildfires and floods and super storms throughout the Midwest, the west, and the south understand  that climate action is way cheaper than climate inaction.

HAYES:  So you mean that as internal to the caucus and coalition of the Democratic Party and the center left in this country?

SCHATZ:  That`s right.  I think we have to do some work first, and as I hear people talk about a climate change, you know, everybody sort of agrees that it`s time to take action, but I think we need to kind of invert this conversation.  A lot of people talk what must be done and why it`s urgent, and then sort of the last sentence of the paragraph says oh, by the way, this will be good for working people too. 

And I think we have to start with working people.  We have to center this conversation around regular people who are struggling to make ends meet, describe their situation, and describe how climate action can actually help them. 

And I really believe that it can.  You know, people are worried about AI and robotics sort of  disintegrating the working class in the United States.  But there are going to be a lot of jobs that can`t be done by robots or AI or automation in laying solar panels, in retrofitting buildings, in clean energy technology. 

And so what we have to do is a Marshall plan for clean energy.  And I think we can do it and build the coalition necessary through 2020, and then in 2021 we`ll be ready to take action.

HAYES:  Something interesting I`ve noted, the president gave a speech about the environment, I guess it was last week or maybe the week before, that the reporting indicated was just like put together -- prompted by pollsters -- you`re pretty bad on this and public perception.  And today Republicans -- I think this is today -- Republicans today launched an environment minded conservation caucus aimed at battling the perception their party doesn`t care about climate change, which by the way excellent wording their, it`s aimed at  battling the perception. 

The bicameral group lists public land access, water quality and ocean pollution among its priorities.

Do you think they`re on the wrong side of this politically now?

SCHATZ:  Oh, yeah, they`re on the wrong side of this.  You know, a majority of Republicans -- voters, not elected officials -- actually want climate action.  And this polls incredibly well with independents.  And of course, it`s the number one or two voting issue for Democratic primary voters.

So they`re on the wrong side not just of history, but of polling.  And they`re now all getting briefed by their individual pollsters and strategists saying hey, you`ve got to come up with something.

Now, my own view is that there may be a time for bipartisan work, but actually, our bludgeoning of them on the Senate floor, through the media, through social media and just generally out there in the world is causing them to realize that they can`t stand on this burning platform for much longer politically, they`ve got to come up with something.

HAYES:  All right, Senator Brian Schatz, thank you very much.

SCHATZ:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Ahead, presidential candidate Cory Booker on the president`s remarks and more.  Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission and the first time humans landed on the moon.  The celebrations marking the occasion are taking place across the country.  In D.C., the Washington Monument is being transformed into a life-sized Saturn V rocket, courtesy of projection run by the Smithsonian.

At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the mission took off on July 16, 1969, 300 drones outfitted with LED lights took to the skies last night, flying along to the music of Duran Duran in a special tribute show.

And if you want to celebrate from the comfort of your own home, CBS has posted full coverage of the mission launch hosted by Walter Cronkite on YouTube featuring genuinely and highly entertaining 1960s TV ads. 

\Now, 50 years on, there are still, of course, some people who refuse to believe the moon landing was real, but don`t try to spew that conspiracy garbage around Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.


UNIDENITFIED MALE:  You`re the one who said you walked on the moon when you didn`t, calling the kettle black.

BUZZ ALDRIN, APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT:  You get away from me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You`re a coward and a liar and a thief.


HAYES:  That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  89-year-old Buzz Aldrin, the only surviving member of the Apollo 11 mission, and one of only four surviving member of the Apollo 11 mission and one of only four surviving men who have set foot on the moon.  He was a fighter pilot in the Korean War, a doctorate in aeronautics at MIT, became an astronaut in 1963, flying on the last Gemini mission before landing a spot on the famous Apollo 11 crew.

Buzz Aldrin is a tough guy who knows how to keep his cool.  And he was sitting in the 7.6  million pound thrust Saturn V rocket about to be launched into space, Aldrin`s heart rate was just 88 beats per minute.  Wow, wild.

And as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, we should also note the nearly 70th -- 17th anniversary of this famous moment when hard-core American hero Buzz Aldrin met a moon landing conspiracy theorist and did not hold back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why don`t you swear on the bible that you walked on the moon.  Why don`t you swear on the bible that you walked on the moon.

ALDRIN:  Get out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is a hotel.

ALDRIN:  We`ll call the police.

ALDRIN:  Come on in here, we`ll call the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do not solicit on this property.

ALDRIN:  Why don`t you swear on the bible that you walked on the moon.  You`re the one who said you walked on the moon when you didn`t, calling the kettle black.  Are you saying I misrepresented myself?

ALDRIN:  Will you get away from me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You`re a coward and a liar and a thief.



HAYES:  After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, there was one local official upon whom Donald Trump lavished praise.


TRUMP:  We have a wonderful -- and the people of Puerto Rico -- have a wonderful representative with respect to themselves in this governor.  This governor has worked as hard as anybody I`ve seen, and it`s getting done.

Right from the beginning, this governor did not play politics.  He didn`t play it at all.  He was saying it like it was, and he was giving us the highest grades.


HAYES:  And for his part, Puerto Rican Ricardo Rossello was careful, very careful, to try to make the administration look good.


TRUMP:  You look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overbearing.  Nobody has ever seen anything like this.  What is your death count as of this moment, 17?


TRUMP:  16 people certified.


HAYES:  Certified.  Ooh, basically nothing.

The island of Puerto Rico of course is still reeling from the aftermath of that hurricane in which the actual death count appears to be closer to 3,000 Americans.

And now the government there is embroiled in scandal.  Thousands of Puerto Ricans are on the streets across the island, demanding that Governor Rossello resign. 

First, two former members of his administration were arrested on corruption charges, accused of  funneling millions of federal dollars to their preferred contractors.  Then, nearly 900 pages of group chat involving the Governor Rossello and his inner circle leaked to the press, revealing, among many other things, sexist and homophobic language, so-called jokes in poor taste and a lot more.

Now President Trump is using the scandals to bolster his own reluctance to provide Puerto Rico with desperately needed aid.  A White House spokesperson saying in a statement, quote, the unfortunate events of the past week in Puerto Rico prove the president`s concerns about mismanagement, politicization and corruption have been valid.

For the record, it has now been 665 days since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and there still to this day has been no formal inquiry from anyone into the deaths of those 3,000 American citizens.


HAYES:  Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr reportedly overruled the recommendations of his own DOJ civil rights division, deciding not to prosecute the New York police officer who was responsible, or at least was around during the apprehension, of Eric Garner, an unarmed 43-year-old black man.

As you may remember, the grand jury failed to indict that officer and can be seen here with his arms around Garner as he repeatedly gasped, I can`t breathe over and over shortly before he died.

Today, Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr blasting that decision, demanding answers on how he came to that conclusion, quote, "many people, particularly people of color, feel as if the system is stacked against them without hope of accountability even when a violent and unnecessary homicide is captured on video for all the world to see.  The public deserves to know how you reached such a stunning conclusion."

And joining me now is Senator Cory Booker, Democrat from New Jersey and 2020 presidential candidate.

Senator, is there anything that the attorney general could say, or any paper trail her could show you, that could convince you the decision was just or made in good faith?

SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D) NEW JERSEY:  I think clearly the challenge we have, and I found this when I had conversations with Barr, when he didn`t even seem to understand how implicit racial biases deep within our system didn`t seem to have an agenda to try to address the profound what we know, statistically no, and are clear, which are problems when it comes to race and policing.

And so we know in this nation that we capture occasionally these incidents -- horrific incidents on tape, but I think Americans also know for every one that we catch on tape -- remember Eric Garner`s case was filed on a police report that didn`t even speak to the use of force, this would have gone unnoticed if it wasn`t for the next day someone actually pulling out a videotape.

So, for every Eric Garner or every name that we know, there are thousands of others that we don`t, because we don`t have a system yet that holds police officers to accountability.  And we definitely don`t have a DOJ, an attorney general, who sees that there is even a problem with the kind of violence and lack of accountability that we often find in policing.

HAYES:  You have a new piece of legislation that I thought was very interesting sort of looking at the criminal justice reform, particularly the federal prison population, and offering a possibility for an application for clemency those who served 10 years.

What the idea behind that?

BOOKER:  Well, the idea is really the evidence and the data.  We in America have about a quarter of a million people that are elder in prison that all the data shows pose little threat to us and most of them are there for egregiously long nonviolent drug terms.

And, you know, you have 65, 75-year-old people who are very expensive to keep behind bars, pose very little threat, who were put into prison under draconian times and even the United States Senate, 87 of us, voted for the First Step Act, which I helped write to reduce sentences now, not to be made retroactive.

So, I just believe that we should have judges start to take a second look, and many of these people that are over-incarcerated and if they find that there is no reason to keep them in jail -- this means including any victim statements or what have you, but take that look and have a presumption actually for release so that we can start saving billions of taxpayer dollars and getting folks who pose us no threats whatsoever, most of whom are there on sentences that don`t really add up under the scrutiny of the judicial system looking at it with an eye of compassion, and frankly an eye of what`s best for society.

HAYES:  I`m not sure if you got to see tonight the president had a rally.  And there were a crowd of people that after the president attacked your Democratic colleague in the House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar, again, a crowd of people chanting send her back.  Send her back.

And as someone who wants to be the nominee to run against that individual, against that individual who will be having those kind rallies, what`s your reaction to hearing that?  Seeing that?

BOOKER:  Well, it`s despicable in the sense of what he`s trying to do.  And we know he is doing it now where there power dynamics have shifted.  But remember, the things he has been saying about Ilhan Omar he`s been saying outrageous lies about most Muslims.

Remember he said that during after 9/11 in Jersey City that there were, you know, thousands of people cheering the World Trade Center.  That was patently a lie used to try to bolster his political power, using race, racism, bigotry as a weapon.  He is preying upon fears and bigotry to try to propel himself forward.

But now he is in the most powerful position in the land and this kind of politics, sadly, we have seen before.  We had a entire political party called the Know Nothings that rose up using the same rhetoric we hear from Donald Trump now, but then they were against Irish and German immigrants.

We heard my parents, my mom, watched in black and white on TV George Wallace with accusations of Communism, the same language, the same bigotry, the same hate that we see now.  My mom watched it in black and white and today millions of Americans saw it in full color.

And so I know there are a lot of policy issues to discuss, but to me this is an issue of values and it`s a referendum in our country, and it`s not a referendum on one guy in one office, really it`s a referendum on who we are and who we are going to be to each other.

And this is a choice we have to make in this country.  Are we going to find common ground and common cause or are we going to allow somebody to rip us apart using the vicious knife of racism and bigotry to cut at the fabric of this country?

HAYES:  You know, you are a U.S. senator and so you represent millions of people in the United States Senate and they have -- they run the gambit in their political views, some of them like you, some of them hate you, some of them in between.

I mean, I think about the project for the next American president trying to stitch the country back together after the Trump administration.  I think - - what would you, Cory Booker, presidential candidate, maybe nominee, maybe the president of the United States, say to the people who were in that room chanting send her back?  When, if you were there president, that you represent them.  Like what do you want to tell them?

BOOKER:  Well, I want you to know right now that one of the main reasons I`m running in this election, before even Donald Trump`s rallies, because I believe we are a nation that is more and more falling into tribalism, where we hate each other -- we have more animosity towards each other than we do to a lot of our foreign adversaries.  And many believe are beginning to believe that the lines that divide us are stronger than the ties that bind us.  And Lincoln said this a long time ago, a house divided cannot stand.

And so I feel a sense of purpose in my life -- heck, years ago I wrote a book called United, that one of my purposes to see if we can create a new American majority in this country, not a political majority -- I`m talking about Democrats, I`m talking about the kind of majority needed to defeat Jim Crow, to unite this country, to do big things -- 50th anniversary of putting someone on the moon, because we can create American majorities that can move us ahead of all humanity.

And I believe our generation should should try and aspire to defy gravity again.  And we can`t do that if we don`t have presidents who know how to heal, have a revival of civic grace and to instigate a more courageous empathy.

And so we have had hatred and fear mongering every generation, but we have overcome that by finding those leaders who can call to the moral imagination of a country, and that`s what I intend to do.

HAYES:  Senator Cory Booker, 2020 presidential candidate, thanks for making time.

BOOKER:  Thank you.

HAYES:  By the way, the senator just mentioned the moon landing, I mistakenly said earlier that Buzz Aldrin was the only surviving member of Apollo 11 when Michael Collins is obviously very much alive, in fact taking part in the 50th anniversary festivities this week.  I`m very sorry for that.   Happy anniversary, Michael Collins.

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