STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: And it probably wasn`t what he is offering up this week. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
AMERICAN CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!
HAYES: The nation reels from the ugliness stoked by the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When your supporters last night were chanting send her back, why didn`t you stop them?
HAYES: Tonight, why the Republican Party cannot back away from the situation they created.
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I believe he is fascist.
HAYES: And Congressman Jerry Nadler on what Democrats plan to do about it. Plus --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Knock the crap out of them.
HAYES: New alarms about the non-hypothetical threats of violence stemming from Trump rallies.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric.
HAYES: And what we`re learning today from court documents about Donald Trump`s involvement in a criminal conspiracy that helped get him elected.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: I`ll do anything to protect Mr. Trump.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Well, we`ve all seen the tape right. We`ve all listened to the chants and we all know what this is.
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TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic speech.
AMERICAN CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!
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HAYES: Send her back. The darkest, ugliest impulses that a political movement can cultivate on full unapologetic display. That`s what Donald Trump has been cultivating all along. What the Republican Party whether it likes it or not now stands for.
Most of us I think across the ideological spectrum liberal and conservative across lines of religion and belief feel viscerally a kind of moral revulsion when we hear and see an angry mob braying send her back about a fellow American.
But the reaction from Republicans today was basically a foregone conclusion. We knew at the very best it would be tepid, at the worst, well --
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn`t it racist though to say send her back?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): No, I don`t think it`s racist to say. Was it racist to say love it or leave it? I don`t think a Somali refugee embracing Trump would not have been asked to go back.
SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Anytime you get into a crowd like that you`ve got a lot of supporters, they`re going to say what they want to say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last night as we were hearing these chants, the president just stood there. He didn`t intervene.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The President move on with the speech.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if there is no place for these --
MACCARTHY: The Presidents takes --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president have a responsibility to cut this out?
MCCARTHY: For those who are at the event and I was not, I didn`t see it, but I did talk to some buddies there. They said it was a small group off to the side. What the president did, the president did not join in. The president moved on.
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HAYES: Point of fact, the president didn`t move on. He paused for 13 seconds to let the chant build. Now, we are long past the point where anyone can ask with the straight face where are the decent members of this political coalition? When will they stand up against this? They won`t. We know that.
They did effectively nothing when the president praised the Nazis chanting "Jews will not replace us" a night before one of their ranks murdered a woman. They did nothing when children as young as four months were ripped from their mothers. Nothing as fellow human beings were penned into cages like so much livestock. And the reason is very simple. They are getting what they want out of Trump.
Last night as I was on the train home, I saw this little item, tiny little thing. It wasn`t in the news. A paragraph memo from the white-shoe corporate law firm Wachtel basically telling its clients who hire them to train people at their companies in how not to break the law, that they should continue hiring them even though white-collar prosecutions under Trump have basically disappeared.
That`s right. Please keep paying us to teach your executives not to be criminals even though they won`t be prosecuted if even if they are criminals. So that crowd in the arena, they get the elicit thrill of chanting racist slogans and corporate America gets to get away with a crime.
The Christian conservatives get to pick judges thanks to one of their very own Leonard Leo who basically runs judicial vetting and who along with Mitch McConnell has gotten a record number of judges on the federal appeals bench.
Now, sure, Leonard Leo`s a devout Catholic but you`re not going to catch him publicly criticizing a president who puts children in cages. Corporate America got $1 trillion tax cut. Wall Street got massively declining SEC fines, big polluters got an EPA that has their back rolling back regulations including an announcement today that and I quote, "it would not ban a widely used pesticide associated with developmental disabilities and other health problems in children."
The warmongers get the promise of a military confrontation with Iran while the defense contractors get enormous billion-dollar boondoggles and a White House that literally tweets out ads for their products. Those who want to slash social safety net when they get Mick Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget who told the conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday he`s been saying "OMB now under the management of the Heritage Foundation."
And the bosses of America get an administration that quietly put out a statement this week opposing the $15 minimum wage increase the Democrats in the House passed today. Each part of the Coalition has been dealt into the Trump presidency. It is a classic model of corrupt governance, the capo on the top and the many, many bosses below who are given control of their domain to do as they wish.
Because Trump doesn`t care at all about EPA policy or labor or Iran really or anything really other than making money which the presidency allows them to do with public dollars and being the center of attention which same. But the base, what does the base get, the folks in that arena?
Well, it`s obvious, isn`t it? They get to chant, they get to revel in their own American-ness and primacy at the expense of others. They may not get much more than that but Trump and now the entire Republican Party and most of the conservative movement realized that that is enough for them.
They realized that no one actually cared about deficits or small government. That was never the fuel that fire of the engine of Republican politics, it was always roiling rage against them that was on full display in the "send her back" chants last night. Without that rage, and that passion, that enthusiasm, and fire in that room, this entire project falls apart.
That sentiment at the core of the coalition cannot be pried loose and it cannot be negotiated with and it cannot be appeased. It must be peacefully, nonviolently, politically destroyed with love, compassion, and determination but utterly confronted and destroyed.
That is the only way to break the coalition apart. Not by prying off this or that interest, they are in too deep. They have shamed themselves too much. The heart of the thing must be ripped out. The darkness must be banished. The people who feel moral revulsion at that display we saw last night must collectively mobilize in greater numbers than the chanters.
We got a taste of what that looks like when Congresswoman Ilhan Omar returned home to Minnesota today.
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AMERICAN CROWD: Welcome home Ihan! Welcome home Ihan! Welcome home Ihan!
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HAYES: That`s it. That`s the only way out. And it`s the task that all decent people in this country must set themselves to. Here to talk about what Republicans need to do, Linda Chavez former official on the Reagan administration, and David Jolly MSNBC Political Analyst and a former Republican Congressman from Florida who left the GOP last year to become an Independent.
Linda, did you feel moral revulsion when you heard the chants?
LINDA CHAVEZ, FORMER OFFICIAL, REAGAN ADMINISTRATION: Oh my goodness, did I? First of all, you know, this is nothing new to me, Chris. I get told every time I`m on television, every time I write about immigration to go back where I came from. In fact, one guy even wrote and said he was asking President Trump to arrest and deport me.
My family came here in 1601. My mother`s family from England came a little bit later in the 1600s. I have roots as deep as anyone in the United States. The only immigrants and my family came from Ireland, but I don`t think anybody is suggesting that I go back to the British Isles.
HAYES: David, what did you feel when you saw that and what did you feel when you saw the reactions today which I should -- I should be known and in full fairness here that there were some Republican members of Congress Adam Kinzinger comes to mind who were quite full-throated in their denunciation mostly more soft-footed about it. What were you expecting and what did you see?
DAVID JOLLY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look it was heartbreaking. And in terms of what I felt, it was heartbreak. Both last night and then to see the likes of Lindsey Graham today suggests that the only problem is Omar doesn`t wear a MAGA hat. If refugees would just wear MAGA hats, they could stay, the others deserve to go.
My concern though -- and you`re seeing the president move away from this. We can`t forget that he single-handedly injected this poison into the mainstream of American politics this week. This is his fault. But you`re going to see Republicans devolve to love it or leave it. And in many ways Chris, I think that`s just as dangerous or more so than the chant of "send her back."
Love it or leave it suggests that love equates with political agreement, that you must agree with political leadership. It is anathema to everything that this nation was founded on. And so Trump and his supporters will take love turn it into agreement suggesting that Representative Omar must agree with an administration policy of putting kids in cages or agree with injecting greater insecurity on the world stage, or agree with the president criminally obstructing justice in the Mueller investigation or criminally engaging in campaign finance violations. And if she fails to agree then she must leave.
And it is very much that dissent, that behavior. Her oath that she took was to the Constitution and not in the early 1990s, not to the president. And the Founders envisioned exactly her political dissent when they wrote into that Constitution protections of her freedom. And it was very much the president`s behavior this week that our Founders feared when they wrote Representative Omar`s protections into the Constitution.
What we saw tonight, that imagery you played of her returning home to Minnesota, Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, in attacking her ideology but moving it to her race and to her status, they have taken their foe and turned her into a hero tonight.
Omar and I come from different political journeys but we walk the same road. And God bless Representative Omar tonight because she is a hero in the American lexicon tonight as a result of what Donald Trump has tried to do to her.
HAYES: Linda, you know, do you think that -- you`ve been a Republican -- member of the Republican Party in the conservative movement for most of your adult career.
HAYES: Do you think people -- when I say that -- my guess, my understanding, and the way that I want to think about this is that in a -- in a truth tank, you know, dosed with truth serum away from everything that Thom Tillis who was up there you know saying well, you know, people say things, that he when he sees that, he feels more moral revulsion, that Lindsey Graham does, that they look at that and they see a Frankenstein that they have created. Am I wrong about that?
CHAVEZ: Well, I hope you are wrong about that. I can`t figure out Lindsey Graham. I really can`t. I don`t know what`s happened to him. I mean, it`s almost as if an alien has abducted him and we have some creature there who is spouting out things that Lindsey Graham never believed and never stood for.
But the fact is I am staying in the Republican Party. I haven`t done what David has because I will not be driven out of a party with whom I agree on important issues by a cult of people who treat the President of the United States as if he is the Dear Leader, as if their loyalty should be to him instead of to principle and to country.
And I think he is destroying the Republican Party. I think what`s going to happen in the next election is a lot of people are not going to vote for Donald Trump who voted for him last time. And a lot of people who didn`t come out to vote are going to come out because they feel our democracy is threatened by this man.
HAYES: There`s always this hope among certain people, the fever breaks and that`s a term that Barack Obama used to use in interviews David. And I think people think about the McCarthy moment, to have long, long last have you no decency. And McCarthy ends up -- the bubble -- this sort of air comes out of the balloon. He dies sort of disgraced. Do you see that happening?
JOLLY: I don`t because what happened last night was an irresponsible leader met a xenophobic constituency. That constituency will be there and this president will always now empower that constituency and the likes of Lindsey Graham will seek the embrace of Donald Trump for their own political protection.
I wish I saw the fever breaking. If so I may not have left. But you know, to Linda`s point, my personal decision is in part informed by the fact that I will never trust these Republican leaders again because we get to assess the judgment of our elected leaders.
Chris, you often talk about your assessment of the Bush administration`s decisions around the Gulf War and decisions going into Iraq. We are faced with the political crisis and Donald Trump and we have seen a failure in judgment by every single Republican leader that`s fallen in line. I will never trust them again nor should the American people. And so it will never be a coalition in which I will find a trustful embrace going forward.
HAYES: Linda Chavez, David Jolly, thank you both. I really appreciate hearing from you. Joining me now Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado who serves in the House Judiciary Committee. His parents emigrated from Eritrea. What was the conversation like on the Hill today?
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): There have been a lot of hard conversations this week. I mean look, I find it hard to believe that any American could look at that video from last night and not be deeply disturbed. As you said, a visceral revulsion, it was just is offensive and really I think scary. And it`s scary for a lot of members of Congress and it`s scary for the American people.
I spoke at a rally in Boulder in Colorado last week back in my district, a vigil for immigrant rights. And as I told my constituents, I struggled to find the words to describe the environment that we find ourselves in right now where you have children in cages, you have babies being split from their parents, separated from their parents, and you have a president who is inflaming racial divisions and sending out racist tweets and so forth, and the chants last night.
It is just difficult for me to find the right words to describe it in part because it is so wildly inconsistent with the America that I`ve known all my life, the America that I`ve loved. You know I as you said, Chris, I`m the son of immigrants. My parents were African refugees who came here over 35 years ago. And we`ve lived the American dream.
And it is only by virtue of the incredible freedoms and the opportunities that we have in the United States that we`ve been able to do that. And to see this kind of division and to see a president, a commander in chief who is supposed to be the leader of the free world who was supposed to inspire us and lead us, instead fanned the flames of racial hatred and xenophobia and so forth. It is just deeply disappointing.
HAYES: I should note, the president said today that he -- I disagree with it. I didn`t say that, they did. I disagree with it. That was what he said and then he lied and said that he went quickly even though he stepped back to let the crowd chant. We all saw it.
NEGUSE: I don`t think this is the last we have seen -- I mean, if past is prologue, we know, you know --
HAYES: Lock her up for years.
NEGUSE: That`s right. That`s right, his comments about African countries a year ago, before the 2018 election. And let`s not forget not just what he is saying but what his administration is doing every day. You have covered it extensively. The abuses that are happening on our southern border, right, they reflect this same tone that the President takes in his remarks each and every day.
HAYES: There`s been -- before this happened, there was a crazy few weeks with new cycles of really intense fighting among various groups within your Democratic caucus. So a tweet by leadership, attacking the chief of staff at AOC, there were anonymous reps talking to a reporter yesterday, Jake Tapper criticizing the response from leadership and defending Omar, may be that the President had been politically genius.
Like what`s going on over there? You guys -- you guys together, you focus, you understand what you`re up against?
NEGUSE: So I would say this. There`s always going to be palace intrigue. Obviously, I`m new to Congress and acclimated to that. But I`ve been in Washington in the last few days and have been in the House caucus meetings. I`ve had countless conversations with my colleagues and particularly my freshman colleagues across the ideological spectrum.
And I would tell you the caucus is very united, deeply united because we all recognize that we are in a fight for the soul of our country. Everything is on the line. And so --
HAYES: I mean, it`s you guys versus the chants. Like that`s it. No, really. That`s what it is. This is what the country is right now. And I think one thing that sometimes Democrats don`t seem to understand is that the majority is with the non-chanters, right.
NEGUSE: I agree.
HAYES: Do you understand that?
NEGUSE: I agree.
HAYES: Democrats on the Hill -- and I get this because there are frontline members who were in plus-five Republican districts. So they got to go home and they understand. But like -- I feel like you`ve got to just have faith that the majority is with you against the chanters, right?
NEGUSE: No, I would say this. Again, Chris, as I mentioned, one of the best parts about serving in Congress for a freshman like me has been able to get to know my colleagues, the incredible freshman members as I said, across the ideological spectrum. And I will tell you each and every one of them is devoted to doing the people`s business and they understand that this country right now I think eventually we will bounce back from this dark chapter we find ourselves.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado, thank you so much. Good to see you in person. Next, the President incites violence. When are Democrats going to rein him in? House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler on the plan to hold Trump accountable in two minutes.
HAYES: House Democrats yesterday continued the steady as she goes strategy for trying to rein in a lawless president running around inciting mobs. The House voted yesterday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and criminal contempt for failure to comply with subpoenas related to their census probe.
Also yesterday a majority of Democrats joined all the Republicans in voting down a resolution to impeach President Trump over his racist comments from this week. And while the Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally testifying next week, a lot of people are looking around and seeing mostly stalled or slow going attempts at oversight in Congress and a lawless president inciting a mob and wondering what the Democratic majority is actually doing to check Donald Trump.
Here`s someone who could answer that question. Joining me now Congressman Jerry Nadler of New York, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be appearing before next week.
Let`s talk about pace first of all, right. I think you probably understand why people feel impatient particularly when they see the scene play out that we saw him last night. What`s your -- what`s your elevator pitch to folks about what is essentially I think a kind of tortoise and hare approach, a sort of scrupulous collection of the facts?
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Well, we have no choice. We have to do what we`re doing. We have never -- no Congress in history has faced the administration that simply ignored all subpoenas and all the requests for information.
HAYES: Am I right they still have just ignored everything? Have they turned anything over to the Judiciary Committee?
NADLER: They have turned over some stuff.
HAYES: They have.
NADLER: But we call in witnesses and they say don`t appear, we call in witnesses and they say they have absolute immunity, don`t answer anything about anything that you saw or heard or said during the -- during the administration. This claim of absolute immunity is nonsense. We have to break it.
So we`re having the Mueller hearing next week in which we will show -- I mean first of all, the President, and the Attorney General, and the right- wing media have been lying about what was in the Mueller report no collusion, no obstruction which was simply not true. We have to show the American people what was there.
The special counsel indicted 37 individuals for breaking the law with respect to interfering the election. He showed ten instances of obstruction of justice by the president. He showed instance after instance of the president lying to the American people are instructing other people to lie to the American people with investigators. This has to come out so that people understand it and so we can go on from there.
And we will be going into court and it`s been frustrating how slow it is getting into court but we have the House Counsel has got to do a number of them you know, the Deutsche Bank case, the Mazars case, the tax case. We`ll be going to court very shortly on enforcing the McGahn -- on getting a grand jury material and enforcing the McGahn --
NADLER: -- subpoena, yes, subpoena. And since the McGahn subpoena -- their opposition to it, their withstanding of it used the exact same legal theories which are nonsense in my opinion as they do in every other one, when we break that, that`ll break the log jam.
HAYES: I`ve seen some people argue that partly because the legal theories they`ve used to fight the subpoenas have to do with the legislative purpose that if you were doing this in pursuit of an impeachment inquiry, you would be on firmer constitutional ground because you`re clearly acting under an enumerated constitutional power given solely to the Congress. What do you think about that legal argument?
NADLER: It`s true. It`s true to some extent that --
HAYES: You would have a stronger case in the courts?
NADLER: Somewhat. The courts have held that our ability to investigate is at it`s -- is at its zenith when we`re -- when we`re doing an impeachment. We can get 60 information in a judicial proceeding. Impeachment has been held to be a judicial proceeding or a part of a judicial proceeding. Yes that is -- that is valid.
HAYES: You wrote a letter to Hope Hicks today. Hope Hicks, I believe, told you in the testimony for Judiciary Committee that she had no knowledge of the hush-money payments. There`s some documents unsealed today in the Michael Cohen case we`re going to cover in a little bit that suggests it`s possible she did. Do you think she lied to you?
NADLER: Well, it certainly appears she may have. We wrote -- we wrote a letter to her, we released that today inviting her back to clarify her testimony because there certainly seems to be evidence that she may not have told us the truth.
HAYES: You said I would expect you to clarify this matter before the committee in very short order but no later than August 15th. Do you expect some written testimony from her or for her to appear before your committee again?
NADLER: I don`t know which one. I want to -- I want to ask what your expectation is for Robert Mueller. There`s a sort of -- there`s a sort of strange situation in which he clearly doesn`t want to do this although he`s --
NADLER: He does not.
HAYES: He does not. And he`s a good soldier. I mean, he`s not going to defy a subpoena and he`s not -- so he`s going to come there. So how do you approach it given that your knowledge that he doesn`t want to be there?
NADLER: We will ask questions designed to elicit the information designed to get the information out there that we want, designed to show what his report found that is at odds with what the administration and the Attorney General have been -- have been saying.
As I said, to show that the ten instances of obstruction of justice by the President, to show the repeated times where the president instructs people to lie to the American people or to Congress.
HAYES: So you want him to tell you the report in front of the cameras and the American people.
NADLER: To a large extent. Hopefully will go a little further, but yes.
HAYES: Do you think you can get him outside the four corners of the report?
NADLER: I don`t know. But the key is to get this there`s been -- from the -- from before the report was released, when Barr gave that bogus summary the report, there`s been a deliberate campaign of lying and disinformation and -- as to what`s in the report and it`s of supreme importance that people understand what we`re dealing with and we can go on from there. I think it changes the ground that we`re standing on.
HAYES: This is a weird process question but it`s my final one. Have you figure out a way to -- like are you pulling your time in any way, are you making sure that you`re working together on the questioning here?
HAYES: You are?
NADLER: Very much so.
HAYES: OK. That`s good to hear. Congressman Jerry Nadler, thank you for being here.
NADLER: You`re welcome.
HAYES: Coming up, new revelations about the criminal conspiracy to get Donald Trump elected. The court documents that detail the President`s involvement next.
HAYES: The President`s former lawyer Michael Cohen might be sitting in a prison in Otisville, New York, but that doesn`t mean that he isn`t making Donald Trump`s life miserable from behind bars.
Today we got an amazing document dump, a cache of almost 300 pages, detailing how the president, his personal lawyer, and members of his campaign scrambled to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final stretch of the presidential campaign, an illegal payoff, we should note, that`s part of the reason why Michael Cohen is serving time.
We got these documents today because prosecutors said that they have completed their investigation into campaign finance violations by Michael Cohen and members of the Trump Org.
These documents state that on the day after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in October 2016, where we heard Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women on tape, Donald Trump, Hope Hicks and Michael Cohen spoke on the phone, and that was followed by a flurry of calls between Hicks, Cohen, and representatives of American Media Inc, the publisher of The National Enquirer, all as a way to keep quiet any allegations about then candidate Trump and Stormy Daniels.
It`s worth remembering that at the time, there were reports of discussions at the highest level of the Republican Party about replacing Donald Trump on the ticket. Those reports have since been borne out in reporting, including in Tim Alberta`s new book American Carnage.
Donald Trump was hanging on by his fingernails at that point, so imagine if, say, the day after the tape had been released, word had gotten out that Donald Trump had had an affair with an adult film star while his wife was at home with a new baby. That could have been the final blow to his campaign.
Here to unravel these new documents with me are Nick Akerman, former assistant special Watergate prosecutor, and former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne, both are MSNBC legal analysts.
Nick, you`re sitting right h ere so I`ll start with you. What have we learned today?
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR AND MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think what we learned is a little more detail that Donald Trump was right in the middle of this thing directly. I mean, we already knew there were two witnesses -- it was Michael Cohen who basically put Trump right in the middle of this, had a tape recording of him discussing this. You have got the people from The National Enquirer that were given immunity. You have got his own accountants who was given immunity, and also testified.
I mean, I think the bottom line is if he was not president of the United States, he would be indicted.
HAYES: You know, that seems to be the way that it came through to me here, that the fact that we know he was involved, or appears to be intimately involved in the conspiracy, and that he directed the illegal payments, is that your sense that if this was Donald Trump private citizen, he probably would have been indicted?
CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR AND MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely.
My general attitude is while we learn more about the tick-tock and the timing of the calls and who was three minutes and who was five minutes, I mean basically, this is a conspiracy we know that happened. We know that it was created by him, it benefited him, he paid for it, and he managed it. None of that is news to me. So I don`t think there is any question but for the fact that he was president he would be indicted.
HAYES: Although what is news is that he was on the calls, right. We didn`t know that before.
We assumed, right?
ALKSNE: We assumed. That`s my point, we know more about the tick-tock, but we know he is the kind of person who manages the release of his money. I mean, he is paying out $130,000 -- all this money. And we know just from the way his management style is that he was involved in some way.
AKERMAN: But you to look at this in the context. This was -- as you pointed out, it`s the day after the Access Hollywood tape comes out. It`s also the day after the Podesta emails come out.
So here you`ve got Donald Trump trying to bury this story, but you`ve also got them trying to deflect the story.
AKERMAN: And so the real question is what did the campaign know and what did they do about those Podesta emails? Because you`ve got indicia (ph) in the Mueller report that Donald Trump was on top of what was going on with WikiLeaks.
HAYES: I mean, we know that someone said to Roger Stone, who is associated with the campaign after they`re published good job.
AKERMAN: That`s right.
HAYES: That has been established. That`s in court documents.
But the other thing to me, Cynthia, is like when you think about the story, you think well, it`s a campaign finance violation, and John Edwards went down for something similar, but didn`t with the legal theory there was a little tenuous. But in this case, what`s clear is like the timing makes it clear it`s all about the campaign, and not just all about the campaign, successfully about the campaign. They ran a criminal conspiracy that violated -- criminally violated campaign finance law to their tremendous benefit.
ALKSNE: Right. And they were felonies because of the size of the amount.
And let me say something about that Jon Edwards thing, people bring that up all the time, in the Jon Edwards case, there were no witnesses. The two witnesses who were the most critical to the prosecution were either dead or not available, so that isn`t a really good comparison that people use as a defense. It`s actually not that good a comparison.
HAYES: Do you think this hangs out? Like what -- so let`s play out the thought experiment. Donald Trump is there implicated in all this. There is a guy who is in prison right now for doing this. Donald Trump is the president. So what does that mean?
AKERMAN: What it means is we have a felon for a president who we can`t indict. I mean, don`t forget, Chris...
HAYES: Alleged felon.
AKERMAN: Alleged felon, fair enough.
HAYES: Come on, you`re a defense lawyer now, buddy.
AKERMAN: I`m not defending Donald Trump.
But let me say this, there are three other investigations at the Southern District of New York supposedly has and is now undertaking. We don`t know what those are. This is one I think we all expected to be closed because Trump is the president. The two other main players here were given immunity.
HAYES: Right. And he is the guy, like clearly directed. Like the person at the top of this entire pyramid is Donald Trump.
AKERMAN: Right, so it`s no surprise that Donald Trump closed this out. But the real question is how about those other three investigations.
HAYES: Right. We think some of them have to deal with the inaugural money. And we`ll learn more about that.
Cynthia Alksne and Nick AKERMAN, thank you for sharing your time.
AKERMAN: Thank you.
ALKSNE: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, exploring the dangerous implications the president`s rhetoric at rallies, plus a bizarre final push from the man who wants to be prime minister. Tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, we`re less than two weeks away now from the second Democratic presidential debates in Detroit, Michigan, and by the end of tonight, we`ll know which of the candidates will appear on which of the two nights.
One of the newer debate rules states that a candidate who consistently interrupts will have their time reduced. We can presume that another long- standing rule will apply, no props. That`s typically not been an issue in American debates. Charlie Crist once had a fan under the podium in a gubernatorial debate, pointed at his pants, but that was not so much as a prop as a strange personal comfort situation.
British debates, on the other hand, they don`t care what you bring.
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BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Do you understand why it is that we must leave the EU, the advantages of coming out of the EU, I want you to consider this kipper.
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HAYES: Boris Johnson`s fish is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: We here at All In love to learn new British words. And we have got two good ones tonight. First, kipper. You know what a kipper i, it`s a delicious smoked fish popular in Britain. It`s like a herring, another new work BoJo, that`s the nickname for Boris Johnson, currently the candidate most likely to become the next British prime minister.
Now you may remember BoJo from the famous, or infamous, zip-lining incident as London mayor or when he admitted he drinks an often lot at lunch every day like his hero, Winston Churchill. That, we think, might explain this recent interview.
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JOHNSON: I make buses. What I make is I get old, I don`t know, wooden crates, I paint the passengers enjoying themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, great.
JOHNSON: On the wonderful bus.
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HAYES: He paints them enjoying themselves.
This week, the conservative Tory Party in England held the final debate before they`ll choose their next leader who will become the next prime minister. And we`re not sure what BoJo had for lunch.
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JOHNSON: I want you to consider this kipper, this kipper, which has been presented to me just now by the editor of a national newspaper, who received it from a kipper smoker in the Isle of Man, who is utterly furious, because after decades of sending kippers like this through the post, he has had his costs massively increased by Brussels bureaucrats who insisted that each kipper must be accompanied by this, a plastic ice pillow -- pointless, pointless, expensive, environmentally damaging, health and safety, ladies and gentlemen.
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HAYES: By the way, even if they leave the EU, the regulation will still pertain to the things they ship to the EU, so it doesn`t solve the problem. A plastic ice pillow.
Boris Johnson has often been compared to Donald Trump and for good reason like, for instance, that whole thing with the fish was a lie. It`s not an EU rule that requires a plastic ice pillow, it`s an existing British rule. But he is the front-runner. What could possibly go wrong?
HAYES: It didn`t get a ton of attention at the time, but a few months ago, a New York man was charged with threatening to kill Ilhan Omar. According to prosecutors, he told one of her staffers "why are you working for her? She is an [expletive] terrorist. I`ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull."
The man reportedly had over a thousand bullets in his home, along with six guns, including an AK-47.
Less than two weeks later. another man was arrested for death threats against Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Cory Booker. He left a message in which he told Tlaib about Omar: "I`d like to take that B and throw her off the Empire State Building."
There are tangible consequences to the decision by Trump and his enablers on Trump TV and elsewhere to incite rage against Omar, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, Tlaib and other critics, often by lying about what they have said.
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REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK: The president put millions of Americans in danger last night. His rhetoric is endangering lots of people. This is not just about threats to individual members of congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts anyone like Ilhan, anyone who believes in the rights of all people in danger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you scared for your safety right now?
REP. ILHAN OMAR, (D) MINNESOTA: I am not. What I`m scared for is the safety for people who share my identity.
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HAYES: The incitement we saw at Trump`s rally last night is not a new story. Trump has been flirting with and encouraging violence, tacitly, and sometimes explicitly, dating back to his rallies in the 2016 campaign.
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TRUMP: If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. I will pay for the legal fees, I promise.
We`re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were at a place like this? They would be carried out on a stretcher, folks.
I`d like to punch them in the face, I`ll tell you.
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HAYES: Some of Trump`s supporters heard that message from Trump loud and clear. Take for instance this man who cold-cocked a protester in North Carolina.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you like the event?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You bet I liked it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah? What did you like about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knocking the hell out of that big mouth. We don`t know who he is, but we know he`s not acting like an American.
Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.
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HAYES: Not acting like an American. Might have to kill him. Wow. It`s already all there.
Things eventually got so bad the Trump campaign was forced to play a public address announcement to try and dissuade violence at their own rallies.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If a protest starts near you, please, do not in any way touch or harm a protester. Please notify law enforcement officers of the location of the protester by holding a rally sign over your head and chanting "Trump, Trump, Trump."
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HAYES: The Trump inspired violence did not stop after election day. You remember this guy? That`s Cesar Sayoc, AKA the MAGA bomber, the Trump super fan, that`s his van. He plead guilty to mailing 16 explosive device to Trump`s most prominent critics, including two former presidents.
Sayoc described attending a Trump rally as akin to finding a new drug. He wrote that he believed he was, quote, on the front lines of a war between right and left.
It`s not like things are just now getting dangerous, thanks to Trump`s rhetoric, they have been dangerous from the start and they are getting worse. How we respond, according to my next guest, will define us forever. We will talk about that, next.
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TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.
CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!
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HAYES: Joining me now to discuss the darkness of what Donald Trump is doing, Adam Serwer, staff writer for The Atlantic, whose new piece is "What Americans do now will define us forever." Also with me, New York University professor and historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, whose forthcoming book is "Strongmen: How they Rise, Why they Succeed, and How they Fall."
Based on your research and study and what you have learned, what did you see last night?
RUTH BEN-GHIAT, NYU PROFESSOR: I saw a leader who has been very successful and is pleased with himself at how well he has trained people to hatred. Besides the chant, send her back, the moment that impressed me, and not in a good way is when he stood back for the 13 seconds and let the chants wash over him with his signature smirk on his face, because what he has been doing is educating people not to care, and also allowing them to feel joy in expressing hatred that`s sanctioned by the state.
HAYES: Adam, you said what we do now will define us forever. And the essay, which is up at The Atlantic, I would recommend people read, it`s really quite excellent. What do you mean by that?
ADAM SERWER, THE ATLANTIC: Thank you, Chris.
Well, from the beginning of the United States, we have been haunted by this question is America a white man`s republic or is it a nation for all of its citizens? And throughout the last 200 some odd years, the greatest threat to American democracy has always been white nationalism, the defining of American citizenship in racial terms. It has almost destroyed the country on multiple occasions.
And now President Trump has drawn a line. He has now made it clear that the citizenship of American citizens who are not white is conditional and can be revoked. And he is -- quite frankly, look, there is lots of disagreement between the two political parties. There are lots of issues on which we differ, but this is not a question on which there can actually be disagreement. The choice is now quite clear.
HAYES: You talked about the way that he is sort of radicalizing people. And I think that`s one of the things that is most disturbing here. This is polling on the question, is American too open to foreigners? And we should keep in mind that the general public under the Trump administration has gotten more friendly towards immigrants and immigration. People have been thinking immigration is a good thing. But among Republicans, you can see there back in 2017, 47 percent now 57 percent, so he is pushing people towards that extreme with his leadership.
BEN-GHIAT: Yeah, and this is the toll of this eco chamber that`s going on. And it`s not just Fox News and not it`s not just Trump, all of this is coordinated. He has a very efficient propaganda machine.
So, the display of -- you know, the horrible display of migrants in cages and the studied indifference of Vice President Pence and Kellyanne Conway who happened to ask a Jewish reporter Ashley Feinberg (ph) what is your ethnicity.
HAYES: Andrew Feinberg (ph), y eah.
BEN-GHIAT: Yes, sorry.
That`s all related and it`s all coordinated. And this is his attempt to keep his base and ratchet up their indoctrination of them in the way he needs them to be.
He needs to form a public that is going to approve of his racist and white nationalist agendas.
HAYES: Adam, I want to play this clip of George Wallace in 1968. And at the time people were shocked by his rallies. There were people who were writing about how they were this kind of thrill for people in the audience. And he would sort of bait protesters who had come. Take a look at a clip and I want to get your reaction to it.
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GEORGE WALLACE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And you know the biggest bigots in the world, they are supposed to call other folks bigots. You remember that. They are the biggest bigots in the world. You know what you are, you are a little punk, that`s all you are.
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HAYES: I mean, it`s -- the resonances there are pretty intense.
SERWER: They are tremendous. But I want to point out that Wallace was never president of the United States. What we saw last night was one of the most grotesque displays by an American president in the history of this country. We have not seen anything like it before. We have had racist presidents. We`ve had demagogues in the White House. We never had a president who singled out a minority, a person of color, a woman, a representative of the United States congress in this way as an object of political hatred for the masses. It is frankly astonishing.
HAYES: And your point, Adam, in that essay, which I think is an important one is, we have never had that before in part because we never had multiracial democracy has never been as real as it is right now. And part of what is at the point is that there is an Ilhan Omar in congress, that has not happened before. And the president understands that that freaks out the people in his base.
SERWER: It terrifies them.
BEN-GHIAT: If you look at history, which is a lot of parallels, almost every time a right wing government has taken over, it has been after a period of great progress for women, for people of color, for the left, meaning for worker`s rights. And it`s like these strongmen come up and they hold their hand up and say stop. We must turn the clock back.
So, there is a terrible fear of losing privilege. And they also create these stories of gloom and the abyss which is what Trump has been effective doing, scare tactics.
HAYES: We at I think a really crucial moment. And Adam, I, like you and like everyone else, am just worried about what this campaign looks like for the safety and integrity of the nation and its citizens.
Adam Serwer, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, thank you both for being with me. I appreciate it.
That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END