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Republicans defend Trump's racism. TRANSCRIPT: 7/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Carol Lam, Harry Litman, Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, DorianWarren

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST:  It may end up looking like -- well, it may end up looking like a normal debate.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  Chris Matthews will be back on Monday, and "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL:  If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.

HAYES:  If you`re the president, they let you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you say whether the OLC memo that the president cannot be indicted played a role in this as well?

HAYES:  Tonight, new reporting that suggests Donald Trump escaped criminal charges because he`s the president for the second time.  Then --

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN):  When I said I was the President`s nightmare, well, you`re watching it now.

HAYES:  Michelle Goldberg on the bizarre Republican defense of Donald Trump`s bigotry.  And this weekend oversight of the Trump administration.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  Did you see the images of officers circulating photoshopped images of my violent rape?

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD):  What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can`t take a shower?  Come on, man.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  It is twice now in the last several months we have learned that there has been substantial evidence of Donald Trump`s criminal conduct before prosecutors that would have almost certainly resulted in this criminal indictment but for one tiny little detail.  He is the President of the United States.

USA Today reports "federal prosecutors decision to end an investigation into hush-money payments to women claiming affairs with Donald Trump relied at least in part on long-standing Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.

We have that policy thanks to a man named Robert Dixon who was the head of the Department of Justice`s Office of Legal Counsel way back in 1973 when they offered a memo that says a president cannot be indicted while sitting in office.

"We concluded that by virtue of his unique position under the Constitution, the president cannot be the object of criminal proceedings while he is in office."  Now, at a press conference this morning, Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen declined to say whether that 1973 Office of Legal Counsel memo was a factor in the DOJ decision.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The government sentencing memorandum claimed that Cohen committed two Campaign Finance felonies "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual One identified as the President. 

With the case now being -- with the investigation now being closed, does that mean that Individual One, the president, was cleared of any wrongdoing?

JEFF ROSEN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  Really the only thing I can say about that is that it was handled by experienced prosecutors who looked at the law and the facts and made their conclusions on the merits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you say, Deputy Attorney General, can you say whether you or the Department, main Justice pay a role in that final conclusion?  And then secondly, can you say whether the OLC memo the president cannot be indicted paid a role in this as well.

ROSEN:  I don`t have anything to add to what I just said.


HAYES:  That`s kind of interesting is it?  Now the chair of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings is demanding answers writing in a letter to the U.S. Attorney`s Office for the Southern District of New York, "the committee is seeking to determine whether the internal Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president the same policy that prevented Special Counsel Robert Mueller from bringing an indictment against President Trump for obstruction of justice in the Russian election interference investigation played any role in your office`s decision not to indict President Trump for these hush-money crimes."

And you may remember what former Special Counsel Robert Mueller had to say not even two months ago about his decision not to bring obstruction charges against President Trump.


MUELLER:  And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.  Under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.  That is unconstitutional.  Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited.

The Special Counsel`s Office is part of the Department of Justice.  And by regulation, it was bound by that department policy.  Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.


HAYES:  So far, over 1,000 former federal prosecutors have said that they would indict President Trump based on the evidence in the Mueller report.  And somehow the hush-money case actually seems far clearer.

I mean, check this out.  According to Michael Cohen sentencing memo, that`s the government`s writing, and his allocution before the judge, then- candidate Trump directed a criminal conspiracy that results in the person that he paid to do the crimes pleading to a fellow named doing jail time.

Donald Trump paid Michael Cohen to do a crime.  Michael Cohen is now in jail for said crime.  Donald Trump is the president in the White House.  So that`s the country we now live in apparently thanks to a legal memo written in 1973 that basically says that if you`re the president they let you do it.

Joining me now for more on the possible legal questions surrounding the President are Carol Lam former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California and Harry Litman former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, also the creator and executive producer of the Talking Feds podcast.

Let`s start with just the sort of counterfactual here, Carol.  If Donald Trump is just Donald Trump as the CEO of Trump Org and or he lost -- let`s say he lost the election, right after this exact same set of facts and now he`s just a private citizen, it really -- I mean, I`m not aware but it really looks like he very clearly is indictable.

CAROL LAM, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  I think that`s right.  I think you probably would have seen an indictment.  There are enough witnesses here who probably would testify against him certainly.  Michael Cohen his close lawyer in this situation.

I think that you know, the Southern District of New York sort of found itself in a checkmate situation.  They had immunized David Pecker at AMI, they had -- you know Michael Cohen has already testified in front of -- in front of Congress.  They`ve already convicted him, and the end of this story was written a long time ago, they cannot indict the president.

So at the end of the day, they`ve given immunity to some people, other people have pled, that`s where it is.  And I think if the president were a private citizen, I think they would probably be willing to roll the dice on this one.

HAYES:  So we`ve got two situations it looks like, Harry, where there`s indictable crimes or evidence of crimes that would be sufficient to indict a private citizen.  What Carol just described in this case which actually seemed just extremely clear-cut to me, like you`ve got the checks, you`ve got -- you got -- you guys know it all.

Then there`s the obstruction that`s enumerated in the Mueller report, the ten instances which 1,000 federal prosecutors, former federal prosecutors, you among them I believe has said that would be sufficient for a charge.  What do we tell the American people about the fact that there`s -- it`s like a video game where he got like some special shield called the presidency and now he can walk around like doing crimes and not having to do anything about it?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  Right.  And I`ll add to the video game that he`s got a special shield so we don`t actually even see what`s going on.  It`s sort of like when there -- when it`s the president, he`s got the special rules when -- but otherwise, he`s got the normal rules of a criminal defendant that you don`t say things.

First, it`s not -- it`s hardly a roll of the dice.  I agree with Carol, but you`re coming up sevens on the obstruction which if you -- that`s the main reason for reading the Mueller report carefully as it details at least four instances where the proof of culpable intent is clear.

And then here as you say, Chris, in many ways it`s simpler.  Cohen has already pleaded guilty through these crimes.  Anyone who conspired with him would absolutely be guilty.  Now, maybe they never consider charging Trump but Individual One was already up to the line and what we`ve learned in the last couple of days makes it worse for him, for Hope Hicks, and for others.

And the real rub here is we`re not sure exactly why it was closed down.  The normal presumption of regularity is hard to adhere to under current regime in DOJ.

HAYES:  So we`ve got -- we`ve got the 1973 memo which is fairly long and in-depth --

LITMAN:  Also 1999 repeatedly.

HAYES:  There`s a 99 memo or 1999-2000, and they both come to the same conclusion.  And I guess I want to get both your feedback on it because again it`s -- I`ve read them and they seem -- they`re actually fairly persuasive I think.  I mean, it`s a -- it`s a thorny issue right? 

And the Constitution does have a specific enumerated way to deal with high crimes and misdemeanors by the president of the United States which is impeachment and it`s very unclear what the Constitution feels about in tithing the president though it clearly doesn`t explicitly bar it in the text.  What do you think?  Is this the correct legal operating procedure, Carol?

LAM:  Yes, you know, actually it is.  And you know, the unsealed FBI search warrant affidavit was a little bit of a gift to us that the judge said no, you`re going to release that and the American public deserves to see what the details were here with respect to those phone calls that were made by Michael Cohen and the president`s involvement and such.

That was a little bit of a gift but we are back now in criminal prosecution -- federal prosecution land where very little is said short of an indictment.  And there are no more indictments coming that seems to be the case.

So we`ve learned what we`re going to learn.  It doesn`t surprise me at all that the Deputy Attorney General is saying no comment on anything else.  You don`t get to see the processes.  You don`t -- you don`t even get to see something like the Mueller Report in ordinary criminal prosecution.

So you know, this is sort of it.  But what we did see in that FBI affidavit was a lot more detail and this goes back now to the political realm.  I think -- I think that`s clear that this is where it resides.

HAYES:  Harry, what do you think about the constitutional finding and the argument of both those memos?

LITMAN:  Yes.  So first, by the way, this is no ordinary criminal prosecution and that`s why Congress will stay on the -- on the trail.  It actually, Chris, is fairly weak I think.  It`s a little hard to bottom line on but OLC memos are rich in law and precedent and neither of these is.

They come down to a kind of a mucky policy argument that it would be really distracting to the president as surely it would.  Of course, that`s the argument that was rejected in Clinton v Jones.  And then when they come to this extra step that model referred to about putting it under seal with really no more reasoning, they just lump it in there too.

As OLC memos go, it`s I think pretty mucky and policy-driven.  I think the weight of scholarly opinion is that it per se is not that -- the bottom line might be right, might not, but the memo itself is pretty threadbare.

HAYES:  All right, Carol Lam and Harry Litman, thank you both.

LITMAN:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Joining me now Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters of California.  She is chair of the House Financial Services Committee.  Your view, Congresswoman, on this matter which is to say evidence the president has committed crimes or at least sufficient evidence for an indictment were he not the president but he is the president so there`s no indictment, and now we just sort of wait I guess.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA):  Well, as I have said for a long time, I think that this president is eligible for you know, impeachment.  Now, after you`ve said everything, you understand that the Constitution puts the ultimate power in the hands of the members of Congress.

It doesn`t matter whether there is an opinion that talks about the president is not indictable.  It doesn`t matter that the president has committed crimes that we cannot tie-down.  If we feel that this president has committed certain crimes, if we feel that he is not a decent president, if he`s a dangerous president, if he`s not acting in the best interest of the Congress of the United States, on and on and on we can make the decision to override any opinion about whether or not he`s indictable.  That`s what impeachment is all about.

HAYES:  Let me -- I want to press you on that.  You just said -- you just enumerated three things.  Decent -- if he`s not decent, if he`s dangerous, if he`s not acting the best interests of the country, is that a kind of rough guideline for how you think about that high crimes and misdemeanors clause or does it have to be something with a more criminal bite to it in the way that you think about?

WATERS:  No, that`s how I think about it.  I think it is a combination of things that rise to the level of we cannot afford to have this person representing us.  And I think when you take a look at the Mueller report, if you take a look at the women whose claims that he has raped, that he is basically taking advantage of them, if you take a look at the way he has lied, if you take a look at all of these things, I think it rises to the level of what we would consider high crimes and misdemeanors.

It is up to the Congress of the United States of America to determine whether or not that president should stay in office.

HAYES:  You have from your perch as committee chair of Financial Services Committee, I think issued document request if not formal subpoenas to Deutsche Bank which is a bank with which the President did business.  I think the last time I had you here you had said that Deutsche Bank had been cooperative, and I wanted to check in on where those document requests and document production were.

WATERS:  As you know, we had a good court decision that said they had to comply with the subpoena, and then it was a matter of working out the time with the court for the information to be put together and the court to basically get around to the arguments on the merits.  We`re just getting there.

In August, I think around the latter part of August, we will be hearing you know, what each side is going to say and basically what amounts to a court hearing, a court trial.  We do not determine you know, basically the calendar of the court, and the courts are slow.  And this is vacation time for judges.  All of that -- yes, this is true.

And so what we`re doing is we`re doing everything that we can in the investigations.  So far we are working well with the courts.  They`re making good decisions enforcing the subpoenas.  But now you know, getting through the court and getting past all of that and all of the motions that can be put forth etcetera, it takes a lot of time.

HAYES:  I want to switch gears on the last question here just to talk about what`s happened over the last several days with the president`s attacks on your colleagues, the chants of "send her back" which the president sort of very, very tepidly and weekly sort of disavowed yesterday but then essentially re-avowed today.

We weren`t given an opportunity to talk about it.  He sort of re-embraced his supporters who were chanting that.  What`s the effect on that on Congress, on your caucus, on your fellow members, your ability to do your jobs and be confident in your own safety and security?

WATERS:  Well, you know, some people were shocked that the president could be so outwardly racist.  Other people were surprised and of course, you know, there`s a lot of embarrassment as our colleagues and -- as our colleagues and allies look at us from you know, across the waters you know, foreign allies.

So you know, the fact of the matter is we`re trying to do everything that we can do to say that he really does not represent most of the people of this country in what he is doing and the way that he`s attacking these women and the racism that he`s putting forth.

However, I, you, and others know that he`s gotten worse from the time that we first started to realize that he was identifying himself as an unworthy person, not worthy of the presidency, he has consistently gotten worse because guess what, he basically came to the conclusion that we were not going to impeach him so he keeps going and he`ll get worse.

And he`s using these young women as the face of the Democratic Party scaring folks, having folks believe that here you have these foreigners.  He doesn`t even know that they`re citizens of the United States of America.  Foreigners who are somehow using their power to take over the Congress.  This is who the Democratic Party is.  They are not patriotic.  They are you know, responsible for this anti-Semitism that`s going on with one of them, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

That`s his campaign.  That`s what he`s using.  He is divisive and he`s dangerous.  And so all I can say is and I hate to keep saying it, I told you so.  I started a long time ago.  He clearly identified himself.  He should have been impeached.  He has not been impeached.  He`s out of hand.  He`s going to keep going.  This is his campaign that you see unfolding right now.

HAYES:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you for making some time on this Friday night.

WATERS:  You`re welcome.

HAYES:  Next, the convoluted Republican response to Trump`s racism using claims of anti-Semitism as a shield for bigotry.  Michelle Goldberg joins me next.


HAYES:  In defending the relentless racist attacks on Congressman Ilhan Omar for the President on down, Republicans like to deny and he charges a bigotry by accusing Omar of making what they say are anti-Semitic comments.

But in the New York Times today, Columnist Michelle Goldberg says this is a ridiculous charade writing, "On Tuesday, an evangelical outfit called Proclaiming Justice of the Nation`s accused the Anti-Defamation League, the Anti-Defamation League of siding with anti-Semites after the ADL called out Trump`s racism.  Republicans are only a short step away from such shamelessness when they try to deflect from the president`s racism by accusing his foes of anti-Semitism.

Joining me now is Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times and an MSNBC Contributor.  It`s a great column.


HAYES:  I`m so glad you wrote it because it`s also been driving me crazy.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  It`s been -- and it`s been driving like many Jewish people I know crazy to see Judy -- to see Jewish people dragged in as if Donald Trump is somehow our protector in launching these racist attacks, again, not just on these four women, but really on the foundations of the United States as a multi-ethnic democracy where you don`t have to be a white Christian to be a full citizen right, because that is so profoundly threatening.

It`s profoundly threatening to people of color, it`s profoundly threatening to immigrants, but it`s profoundly threatening to Jews, right?  The reason that Jews have flourished in this country as they have in very few places in the world at any point in history is because of this -- is because this country is you know, it`s kind of an idea as opposed to an ethnos state.

HAYES:  A creedal nation, a civic nationalism that we say like this is the idea.  Like it`s not like are you French in your blood, right?

GOLDBERG:  Right.  You can become an American in a way that it`s much harder to become you know --and this is something Ronald Reagan wrote about.  It`s much easier to become an American than a Frenchman.  But -- and so you see this grotesque inversion where Donald Trump simultaneously attacked that foundation that is made Jewish life in America possible while claiming is doing it on the Jews behalf.

HAYES:  And there so -- I mean, you also mentioned this.  I just think it`s like really important to show this again.  This is -- this is Donald Trump back in April a few days after the Israeli election talking to the Jewish Republican coalition, Jewish-Americans, Americans.


HAYES:  Listen to how he addresses that which you raised in your column.  Take a listen.


TRUMP:  I stood with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu.  How is the race going by the way?  How is it -- who`s going to win the race?  Tell me.  I don`t know.  Well, it`s going to be close.  I think it`s going to be close.  Two good people, two good people.  But I stood with you Prime Minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.


HAYES:  Your Prime Minister.  Your Prime Minister.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  And it`s not the only -- right, and it`s not the only time he`s done that.  He`s also said you know, your country when speaking to American Jews.  And so that is the exact same conception of who belongs here.

HAYES:  Exactly.

GOLDBERG:  It might be that he`s sort of willing to accept use on sufferance for now, but it`s just as a provisional conception of citizenship as it is with Ilhan Omar, right, that like we really belong to another country.  And as I get e-mails from time to time saying go back to Israel which is the country I first visited in my 20s, but you know -- and it`s kind of Donald Trump clearly does not see Americans as full and complete citizens.

HAYES:  I want to --

GOLDBERG:  And he clearly does not see Jews as full citizens.

HAYES:  Right.  And I want to play this.  This is -- this is him back in 2015 talking to the Jewish Republican coalition again.  Again, Jewish Americans and you also mentioned this.  And I want people to listen to this and think about if it got up before a group of Jewish donors in the Democratic Party and said exactly this to them.  Think about that as you watch this.  Take a listen.


TRUMP:  Some of us renegotiate deals.  I would say about 99.9.  Is there anybody that doesn`t renegotiate deals in this room?  This room negotiates.  I want to renegotiate -- this room, perhaps more than any room I`ve ever spoken to.

You`re not going to support me even though you know I`m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel and I`ll be that.  And the real -- I know why you`re not going to support me.  And you know, you`re not going to support me because I don`t want your money.

He raised $125 million which means he`s controlled totally, totally controlled by the people that gave him the money.  That`s why you don`t want to give me money, OK.  But that`s OK.  You want to control your own politician.  That`s fine, good.


HAYES:  He`s telling a group of Jewish donors, you want to control your own money.  You`re not going to support me because I don`t want your money.  If Ilhan Omar said those exact same words --

GOLDBERG:  Yes, absolutely.

HAYES:  -- it would be the top controversy in America.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  Or if Ilhan Omar had sent out a tweet with the Jewish star and then claimed no it was a sheriff`s star.  I mean, the catalog of Donald Trump`s anti-Semitic remarks and an invocation of anti-Semitic tropes is extremely long, far longer than Omar`s.

But to me the point is not just what about-ism, it`s not just that he`s being hypocritical, it`s something even more sinister in the way that they keep using Jews as -- first of all they are lying about a lot of these accusations that they`re making against this poor congresswoman, and then they are using those lies to justify their own racism.

HAYES:  And that racism is undermining the bedrock of our shared foundational civic life.  Michelle Goldberg, thanks for joining us.

GOLDBERG:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Coming up, Elizabeth Warren takes on the Raytheon lobbyist that Donald Trump just nominated to run the Defense Department.  And the head of Homeland Security answers to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for the behavior of border agents in a secret Facebook group.  That`s next.


HAYES:  One thing that Democrats in Congress are having to regularly deal with is the intentional -- attentional Maelstrom that Donald Trump creates particularly when he does an odious thing like tweeting racist attacks on members of Congress or inciting a crowd at his rally to make racist chants against them.

But while this is happening, Democrats in Congress have been working aggressively to conduct oversight of the administration to do the business that you do was a member of Congress.  And here are some highlights that you might have missed this week.

First, Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren grilled Mark Esper, the president`s pick to be the Secretary of Defense over his past as a top lobbyist for the third-largest defense contractor Raytheon.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you`re confirmed, will you do the same and commit to extending your recusal from any and all matters involving Raytheon for your -- the duration of your tenure as Secretary of Defense?

MARK ESPER, NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:  You know, Senator, we had this discussion in your office --

WARREN:  Yes we did.

ESPER:  -- this discussion a couple of years ago.  You know, on the advice of my ethics folks at the Pentagon, the career professionals, no, the recommendation is not to.  The belief is that the screening process I have in place, all the rules and regulations and law...

WARREN:  So, let`s just cut -- you`re not going to do what secretary -- Acting Secretary Shanahan agreed to do, and that is agree not to be involved in decisions involving your former employer where you were head lobbyist for the duration of your time as secretary of defense?

ESPER:  Senator, I can`t explain why he made that commitment.  We obviously come to the -- he was...

WARREN:  But you`re not willing to make the same commitment.  Is that right?

ESPER:  He was fulfilling a different role than I am.

WARREN:  You are unwilling to make that same commitment, is that right, Dr. Esper?

ESPER:  He has a different professional background...

WARREN:  I`ll take that as a yes you are unwilling to make that commitment.

You detailed an exception to your ethics obligations by writing that you can get a waiver to participate in matters that directly and predictably affect Ratheon`s financial interests, quote, "so important that it cannot be referred to another official," end quote.  This smacks of corruption, plain and simple.

So here`s my question, will you commit that during your time as defense secretary that you will not seek any waiver that will allow you to participate in matters that affect Raytheon`s financial interests?

ESPER:  Well, senator, let me correct the record with regard to what you said.  At any time in the past 20-some months to include the last three weeks did I request or seek or receive or be granted any waiver?

WARREN:  I appreciate, Dr. Esper, that you have not in the past asked for one, but you have -- you`re the one who has detailed an exception to your ethics obligation by saying that you can seek a waiver in the future.  And so I`m asking if you`re confirmed will you agree not to seek such a waiver?  I think it`s a fair question.  It`s a yes or no.

Will you agree not to ask for a waiver during the time you serve as secretary of defense?

ESPER:  No, senator, I won`t, because I`m going to continue to abide by the rules and regulations, and...

WARREN:  Thank you.

Will you commit not to work for or get paid by any defense contractor four years of your government service?

ESPER:  No, senator, I will not.

WARREN:  All right.  So, let me get this straight, you`re still due to get a million dollar payout from when you lobbied from Raytheon.  You won`t commit to recuse yourself from Raytheon`s decision, you insist on being free to seek a waiver that would let you make decisions affecting Raytheon`s bottom line, and your remaining financial interest, and you won`t rule out taking a trip right back through the revolving door on your way out of government service or even just delaying that trip for four years after you leave government.

Secretary Esper, the American people deserve to know that you`re making decisions in our country`s best security interests, not in your own financial interests.  You can`t make those commitments to this committee, that means you should not be confirmed as secretary of defense.


HAYES:  I should tell you, Senator Warren released a statement today saying that she will be opposing Mark Esper`s nomination.

Then, just yesterday, members of the House oversight committee, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the chair of that committee, Congressman Elijah Cummings, questioned the acting homeland secretary, Kevin McAleenan, they`re all acting secretaries these days more or less, on everything from a racist Facebook group for border agents to immigration to child separation policy.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK:  Are you aware of the ProPublica report indicating that there were about 10,000 potential current and former CBP officers in the violently racist and sexist Facebook group?

KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY:  I am aware of the ProPublica article, yes.

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see any of the posts in the report?


OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the posts mocking migrant children`s deaths?


OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar?

MCALEENAN:  Yes, and I directed an investigation within minutes of reading the article.

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Did you see the images of officers circulating Photoshopped images of my violent rape?

MCALEENAN:  Yes, I did.

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Are those officers on the job today and responsible for the safety of migrant women and children?

MCALEENAN:  So there is an aggressive investigation on this issue proceeding.  You`ve heard the chief of the border patrol, the most senior female official in law enforcement across the entire country say that these posts do not meet our standards of conduct and they will be followed up aggressively.

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  But those officers...

MCALEENAN:  We`ve already put individuals on administrative duties.  I don`t know which ones corresponding to which posts, and we`ve issued cease and desist orders to dozens of more.


Do you think that the policy of child separation could have contributed to a dehumanizing culture within CBP that contributes and kind of spills over into other areas of conduct?

MCALEENAN:  We do not have a dehumanizing culture at CBP.  This is an agency that  rescues 4,000 people a year, that`s absolutely committed to the well-being of everyone that they interact with.  I don`t believe there is a dehumanizing culture.

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  And Mr. Secretary, do you don`t think that having 10,000 officers in a violent racist group sharing rape memes of members of congress points to any concern of a dehumanized culture?

OCASIO-CORTEZ:  Congresswoman, those posts are unacceptable.  They`re being investigated, but I don`t think it`s fair to apply them to the entire organization.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND:  I guess you feel like you`re doing a great job, right?  Is that what you`re saying?

MCALEENAN:  We`re doing our level best in a very challenging...

CUMMINGS:  What does that mean?  What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can`t take a shower.  Come on, man. 


CUMMINGS:  What`s that about?  None of us would have our children in that position.  They are human beings.  And I`m trying to figure out -- and I get tired of folks saying oh, oh, they just beating up on the border patrol.  Oh, they just beating up on homeland security.  What I`m saying is I want to concentrate on these children, and I want to make sure that they are OK.

I will say it, and I`ve said it before, and I`ll say it again, it`s not the deed that you do to a child, it`s the memory.  It`s the memory.  And so -- and I told head of border patrol the other day, I said I want to know what`s happening in the meantime. 

We are the United States of America.  We are the greatest country in the world.  We are the ones that can go anywhere in the world and say to people make sure that they have diapers, make sure that a they have toothbrushes, make sure that they`re not laying around defecating in some silver paper.  Come on, we`re better than that.



HAYES:  Thing One tonight, there are a couple of tried and true evasive maneuvers a politician can take when they don`t want to deal with tough questions from the press.  One such strategy is to repeat your non- responsive answer over and over again.  For example, back in 2012, former Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman stuck to the script after he was caught on tape spewing birther nonsense about President Obama.


UNIDENITFIED MALE:  After your comments about the president, do you feel that voters are owed a better explanation than just "I misspoke"?

MIKE COFFMAN, FORMER CONGRESSMAN COLORADO:  I think that -- as I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  And who are you apologizing to?

COFFMAN:  You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I apologize.  We talk to you all the time, you`re a very forthcoming guy.  Who is telling you not to talk and to handle it like this?

COFFMAN:  I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you have, and I misspoke, and I apologize.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is there anything that I can ask you that you`ll answer differently?

COFFMAN:  You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I  apologize.


HAYES:  It`s the last one that takes it up to art.

So, that`s the repetition model.  Mo Brooks has another method.  Two years ago the Alabama  congressman didn`t really want to field questions on the sexual misconduct questions against his fellow Alabaman, Roy Moore, and he pulled the good old  run away as fast as you can routine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you believe Roy Moore over the women?

SEN. MO BROOKS, (R) ALABAMA:  I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you still believe Roy Moore?

BROOKS:  I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country on a myriad of issues.


HAYES:  So, there is the running and repeating.

But is any politician dexterous enough to use both disciplines of reporter avoidance?  We give you Rand Paul avoids 9/11 first responder funding questions in Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  Senator Rand Paul has been facing firestorm of criticism after he and Utah Senator Mike Lee temporarily blocked a bill this week that would reauthorize the 9/11 victims compensation fund.  And Senator Paul is dealing with it in a couple of ways.

First, he turned to some friendly faces at Trump TV to try to explain it away.


SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY:  No matter how good the cause is I say if you want to spend new money, find waste elsewhere in a $4.2 trillion spending budget.  It`s everywhere.  How about the $300,000 we spent on Japanese quail to see if they`re more sexually promiscuous on cocaine?


HAYES:  That`s sort of an interesting question.  But then the New York media came calling, asking the tough questions, and Senator Paul reacted, well, like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, what is your objection to the 9/11 bill that you had on the senate?  Are you going to vote in favor of this bill, senator?  Senator Paul, do you agree with the assessment that Senator Gillibrand was making, that you`re standing in the way of first responders receiving their benefits?

Senator are, you going to do any further blocks or amendments or objections to this bill?

Senator Paul, is there anything you can say to the first responders who came yesterday?

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News, we just did an interview on Fox News, and there is a lot of good information on there.  If you`ll tell your viewers to tune in to Fox News, we have some great stuff on there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  With all due respect, sir, I`m not Fox News, but can you clarify...

PAUL:  If you`re a professional outlet, you could call and get an interview like they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, we tried multiple times.

PAUL:  Yeah, I don`t know who you are.  Who are you with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m with New York 1.  Sir, what is your objection...

PAUL:  Here is a suggestion, if you would like to be sort of a professional reporter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  With all due respects, sir, what is your objection to the 9/11 first responder bill?

PAUL:  If you call and get an interview, that would be a great idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I understand you have issues with the national debt.

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is that your objection, sir?

PAUL:  If you watch Fox News, you will see that we explain exactly what the lies were, so watch Fox News.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you mind clearing that up, sir?  What do you mean by the lies?  Is there anything else you can tell us, sir? 

All right.  Thank you, senator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Piece of work.



HAYES:  We`ve got a new nominee for secretary of labor.  We`re going to tell you all about him in just a bit.  But before we do, it occurred to us that you could tell the entire story in a manner of speaking, the Trump administration and what they`re doing to the federal government and what they value and who they want running the place, the story of the four people who became or were nominated to become Donald Trump`s secretary of labor.

We begin with a guy infamous for using scantily clad women to hawk cheap hamburgers.


ANDREW PUZDER, CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS:  I don`t think there is anything wrong with a beautiful woman in a bikini eating a hamburger or washing a Bentley or a pick-up truck or being in a hot tub.  I think there is probably nothing more American.


HAYES:  There is nothing more America, that is fast food CEO Andy Puzder.  He was Trump`s first pick for labor secretary.  He was a huge critic of minimum wage increases, Obama era worker protections, and paid sick leave policies, the very things the Department of Labor is supposed to enforce.

Ultimately, he withdrew his nomination after a tape surfaced of his ex-wife on Oprah Winfrey  in 1990 in disguise.  The show was titled high class battered women.  She went on to makes allegations of spousal abuse.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Remember, my ex-husband was a public figure.  Everyone knew him and knew what he was doing. And once I made that public, he vowed revenge.  He said I will see you in the gutter.  This will never be over.  You will pay for this.


HAYES:  I`ll see you in the gutter.  That`s Andy Puzder, the nominated secretary of labor she`s talking about.  Of course Puzder denied the allegations.

So then the next guy up, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta.  He did manage to get confirmed, but ultimately just had to resign after he came under fire for his sweetheart plea deal to wealth sex predator and long-time Donald Trump pal, Jeffrey Epstein.  Today is Acosta`s last day.

The new guy is acting secretary of labor Patrick Pitsela (ph). Pitsela (ph) and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked together in the late1990s to prevent congress from imposing basic labor protections in the northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, so the products made in the factories were labeled made in the USA but were produced in horrifying sweat shop conditions.

Amazingly, the latest guy might be even worse.  He`s got a famous last name and a history of fighting protections for workers whose jobs require them to perform the same task again and again.  and that story is after this.


HAYES:  The president has announced his nominee to become the secretary of labor: Eugene Scalia.  If that name sounds familiar, it is because he is the son of that Scalia, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Eugene, himself, is a big deal conservative lawyer, well-known doing work like defending Wal-Mart when it faced lawsuits accusing the company of illegally firing corporate whistle blowers.  He`s most known, however, for helping kill what`s called the ergonomics rule.  It was a Clinton administration regulation designed to protect workers from injuries resulting from repetitive stress.  That could be carpal tunnel syndrome if you`re typing all day, or an Amazon warehouse worker who has to load the same box in the same way over and over and over.

As Scalia portrayed the rule, a nefarious union plot to slow production and force companies to hire more workers and wrote that there was no way to prove whether an ailment was caused by work or genetic factors or other activities such as sports.

His aggressive opposition to a regulation designed to prevent on the job injuries helped make him a hero of the corporate  right.  And now Donald Trump has nominated him to lead a department whose ostensible function is to protect workers.

Joining me now Dorian Warren, president of the national community organizing group Community Change, and former Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California, co-host of The Boxer Podcast.

Senator Boxer, I have got to think he`s not going to get many Democratic votes.

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER SENATOR, CALIFORNIA:  I can`t imagine that he would get even one. 

You know, what Trump does is picks people who want to destroy the mission of the agency he appoints them to.  He`s done it over and over.

And if you read what the Labor Department is supposed to do, it`s pretty easy, Department of Labor is supposed to support workers, help workers.  I don`t know if he could have found anyone worse.  I don`t know who could have been worse.  This guy is a champion of killing important regulations.  And the one that stands out to me is he got involved with, there was a rule to make sure that when stock brokers were helping retirees, that they put the needs of the retirees before their own commissions.  He helped to water that down, to kill that.  I mean, that`s a disaster, an absolute disaster.

HAYES:  The fiduciary rule, which was passed by the Obama administration and was -- basically says you have got to act in the best interest of client, you can`t just basically like swindle them or cut yourself in without telling them.  And he went to town against it.

DORIAN WARREN, PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY CHANGE:  Well, there was a joke among SEC commissioners and staff that the Dodd-Frank regulation that reeled in the financial sector after they crashed the economy in the Great Recession, the joke was that Dodd-Frank was really the Eugene Scalia full employment bill, because he has...


WARREN:  ...has spent his entire career, right, attacking workers and working people and essentially being a hit man for corporations and corporate power.  That`s his entire career.  And with this pick, Trump actually gets a twofer.  He gets to appoint someone, if he`s successful, and I do hope there will be Democratic opposition to this, but he gets to appoint someone who will, as Senator Boxer said, try to eviscerate the Department of Labor, try to kill all regulations that protect workers.

But it`s also -- the other part of the twofer is, this is red meat to his base.  And by his base I mean means Evangelicals who revere his father and, right, corporations and employers who will benefit financially.

HAYES:  Yes, the donor class loves this.

And, you know, it also occurred to me, senator, that this is not -- you know, Donald Trump is suigeneris in many ways.  Scalia was a possible Department of Labor secretary in I think any Republican administration, quite honestly.  Like, this is just what the Republican Party looks like, right?

BOXER:  Well, I think when you really look at all of this, what you see is a Republican Party that really is against most of the people in the country.  And they try to do these shiny objects over over here and over there, but when people realize, if they work for a living, and it`s most people who work for a living, whether they are non-union, whether they`re union, they need someone in the Department of Labor who is going to stand up for them, otherwise let them go work for the -- you know, be the Secretary of Commerce, for gods sake.  And I would even argue they should be good to working people, too.

But I think there`s going to be a wake up call here.  Because the Republican Party is the real story here.  We know what Donald Trump is, now we are learning what they are.

HAYES:  I think that`s a great point.  And I think when I was watching the first sets of debates, it was interesting to me how much Democrats did focus on the economy and basically like who is this administration fighting for.  And it strikes me that in some ways, counter intuitively, one of the most true attacks on Donald Trump is that he`s just a normal Republican, in many ways.  I mean, in many  ways he is not, let`s be very clear about that.  The send her back chant and all of that stuff.  But in these ways, the guy at the Department of Labor who want to overturn things, he is a normal Republican and you can attack him as such.

BOXER:  You can attack him as such, and actually a campaign to oppose his nomination would shine the light on what the Republican Party has been doing for the last 40 years.

Donald Trump is just the Frankenstein monster they created.  But this could shine a light on what is the role of government in terms of working and ordinary people in this country.  How is this party that is enabling the president advancing the interest of the very rich and of folks that don`t care about people like you and me.

So, this is a perfect opportunity to actually go after the enablers of the administration, and everyone has been opposing Trump for three years now, but there are millions of people, and especially powerful people who are enabling him and opposing this nomination as a way to shine a light on them, too.

HAYES:  And I think those...

BOXER:  Yes.

HAYES:  Senator...

BOXER:  Yes, I was going to say with health care such a big issue, I can`t wait for people to see when he went to fight for Wal-Mart and said that Wal-Mart didn`t have to really spend money on the  health care of the people.  That`s going to hit home.  Those people are our neighbors.  We see them every day.  So, I think it`s an exciting opportunity, but it`s a terrible nomination.  And if I was in the senate, I would be helping to lead the charge against this guy.

HAYES:  All right, Barbara Boxer and Dorian Warren, thank you both for being with me on this very hot summer Friday -- oh, it`s hot out there.  Please be careful if you are in the heat zone this weekend.

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

Good evening, Rachel.