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Mueller warns about future attacks. TRANSCRIPT: 7/25/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Chris Murphy, Ted Lieu, Walter Dillenger, Harry Siegel, Tom Steyer,Baher Azmy

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



REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  We should hold our elected officials to a standard higher than mere avoidance of criminality, shouldn`t we?


HAYES:  In the wake of the Mueller hearing, tonight, brand new reason to question whether the president is acting in America`s best interests.

SCHIFF:  The difficulty with this, of course, is we are all left to wonder whether the President is representing us or his financial interests.

HAYES:  Plus, what we`re learning about the jailhouse injuries of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the court decision that blocked the President`s radical makeover of the American immigration system, the remarkable uprising that led to the resignation of Puerto Rico`s governor, and 2020 candidate Tom Steyer on his new climate plan on the push for impeachment when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York on Chris Hayes.  It was just yesterday that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in what was likely his last message to Congress warned yet again above the specter of Russian interference in our next election.


MUELLER:  Over the course of my career, I`ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy.  The Russian government`s efforts to interfere in our election is among the most serious.  It was not a hoax.  The indictments we returned against the Russians two different ones were substantial and in their scope using -- scope were again -- I and I think one of the -- we have underplayed to a certain extent in that aspect of our investigation that has and would have long-term damage to the United States that we need to move quickly to address.


HAYES:  Despite that warning, only hours later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican, blocked not one but two election security measures saying that Democrats were just trying to give themselves a political advantage which itself is interesting.  The Democrats are trying to give themselves a political advantage by preventing foreign actors from penetrating the election.

Now today, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican- led, just dropped the first volume of its findings on Russia`s 2016 election interference.  And I got to say, the report is heavily redacted which makes it a little hard to read, but it contains some really shocking, kind of heart-stopping revelations.

Including this, the Russians targeted voting systems in all 50 states, every single one.  But perhaps the most chilling line is about Russia`s access to Illinois`s election system.  "Russian cyber actors were in a position to delete or change voter data."

Now, we`ve had press reports indicating that was true but this is the official Senate Intelligence Committee run by a Republican saying the Russians were in a U.S. voter system in one of the largest states and could change data.  That`s the nightmare scenario.  That`s it.  It already happened.  There`s no evidence they changed vote tallies but think for a second of the specter of that right now.

Joining me now Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  He`s a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Am I -- am I freaking out unnecessarily or is this an extremely big deal?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT):  Yes, freak out, Chris, and help the American public realize how disastrous this could be if we don`t respond in the way that we should.  The idea that the Russians had the ability to go in and delete people`s names to mess around with voter files is absolutely chilling.

And what we know is that they have developed new capabilities since 2016 such that they are clearly in a position to try to do this again.  And as you mentioned, what is I think most disturbing is that Republicans seem to recognize the electoral advantage that comes to them in a Russian government that may once again try to elect Donald Trump and other Republicans and seem to be admitting that on the floor of the Senate blocking our attempts to try to make sure that Russia doesn`t get into these systems.

Now, we are in a better position than we were in 2016.  There`s no doubt there`s a lot of good civil servants working in this administration who are trying to keep the Russians out.  But when they don`t have the resources to do the job because McConnell is blocking it in the Senate, it leaves us vulnerable.

HAYES:  Here`s one of the sort of parts of the nightmare scenario and responding to the idea that we actually have hardened and we have improved.  You know, if I -- if I think about an election that comes down to one state, say Wisconsin by a thousand vote margin, and there`s an automatic recount and we`re in a post-election day battle over legal things, and then it just the Russians just leaked like oh by the way, we were in that system.

Now, it might be true, it might be not, but all of a sudden there`s like an irresolvable legitimacy black hole that we`ve all been sucked into.

MURPHY:  Well, and remember, that is the Russian endgame, right?

HAYES:  Yes.

MURPHY:  The Russian endgame is to destroy legitimacy in democracies.  And you do that you know, in a number of different ways most often not by just electing candidates that favor your positions, but by making everyone believe that the whole system is corrupt, rigged, unworkable.

And so of course, just the hint of impropriety, the idea that the results that are shown on election night are not actually the right results, seek to get to Russia`s end.

HAYES:  I want to talk about something the White House did very quietly yesterday as Robert Mueller was testifying which was they issued a veto.  They vetoed bipartisan legislation in both houses to block an arms sale the neighborhood of a billion dollars to both the Saudis and the UAE largely for the Saudis to continue prosecuting a war against Yemen that has resulted in what many call the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, tens of thousands dead.  What is the White House doing?

MURPHY:  So it`s a great question.  I think there`s two motivations for this bizarre off the rails Trump policy towards Saudi Arabia in which as the Saudi conduct gets more outrageous, as they lock up more Americans, as they perpetuate a war in Yemen that is leading to the world`s worst cholera outbreak in recorded history, Trump rewards them instead of resetting the relationship.

OK, so here`s the two explanations one.  Well, he might just want to do everything opposite of what Obama did.  And because Obama sort of checked the Saudis and did a deal with the Iranians, he`s just getting as close to the Saudis as he can.

But then, of course, there`s the other explanation which is that we have clear financial connections into the Trump family, clear financial connections into Jared Kushner that may easily explain why he is seeking to make the Trump family which is right now in the White House as close as possible to the Saudi family.

HAYES:  He literally said at one point in the campaign trail, I like the Saudis.  Was I supposed to not like them?  They buy lots of toys from me.  They buy lots of apartments.  They spend lots of money.

And that you know, relates to what`s happening on the floor of the Senate with Mitch McConnell blocking election security in the testimony yesterday from Robert Mueller which is do you and can anyone have any confidence the president makes decisions for the good of the nation or for his own narrow financial interest particularly as regards the nation`s security, cybersecurity, election integrity, or foreign policy?

MURPHY:  Of course, we can`t.  We can`t because we`ve never gotten a full picture of the president`s finances.  But of course, you don`t really need to because as you mentioned when it comes to Russian investment and Saudi investment he`s been pretty out in the open about how important that was to the Trump family.

And given the fact that he is currently as we speak continuing to make money off of Trump properties, it, of course, is important to him in real- time.  It used to be Chris that we as a body could come together when we thought that an administration`s policy had gone too far afield and that we could stand up to a president override a veto.

We can`t do that with this Republican Congress.  We got a few Republicans to support us in these arms sales resolutions today in the Foreign Relations Committee.  We passed another bill cutting off arms sales for a year, but there aren`t enough to actually stand up to the veto and the compromise nature of American foreign policy today possibly explained, likely explained by the President`s financial intertwinement with many of our adversaries.  It`s just absolutely bone-chilling.

HAYES:  I will note that the Impeachment Clause in the U.S. Constitution which everyone quotes as high crimes and misdemeanors includes treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors.  Just a little note about our Constitution.  Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much.

MURPHY:  Thanks.

HAYES:  Joining me now Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, questioned Robert Mueller yesterday as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.  And first I want to get your response to the work product just issued by your colleagues over in the Senate, and I want to read you a portion of the report and get your response.

Former special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel told the committee that by late August 2016 he had already personally concluded the Russians had attempted to include in all 50 states based on the extent of the activity and the apparent randomness of the attempts.  Intelligence developed later in 2018 bolstered Mr. Daniels assessment all 50 states were targeted.

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA):  Thank you, Chris, for your question.  I`m a recovering computer science major and I`ve worked on cybersecurity issues since I`ve come to Congress.  It is not surprising that our cybersecurity is very low, very bad, and that these election systems were infiltrated by the Russians.

And as you said earlier, it is completely chilling that the Russians were in a position to delete voter data from the Illinois voter database,

HAYES:  Yes.  I mean, that -- we should be clear that deleting data -- you don`t have to change any vote tallies.  If you have the data and you know say, a precinct or an area is predominantly African-American, you delete them off the rolls, you effectively will tip the scales of an election.

LIEU:  That`s absolutely correct.  Which is why it`s so disappointing that Mitch McConnell refuses to take up the bills that the House of Representatives has passed to the U.S. Senate to improve election security.

I think Mitch McConnell gave the game away when he said that these bills would give the Democrats an advantage.  Well, yes, because Democrats won free and fair elections where you don`t have a foreign power influencing the outcome.

And so I think Senator McConnell should be ashamed for what he`s doing.  One of these bills says we should have these voting machines made in the United States.  I mean, who could be against that?

HAYES:  You ask questions to Robert Mueller yesterday in your role on the House Judiciary Committee which have the morning hearing.  I want to ask you about an interesting development.  So I`ve been seeing lots of analysis that says well, the windows closing on impeachment.

And of course House leadership including Nancy Pelosi came out and said, well, we`re going to continue to fight things in the court and Adam Schiff said today well, if we get to a point where he disobeys a court order then I think impeachment would be appropriate.

The same time I think four more House Democratic members including the vice-chair of the Democratic caucus which is the highest-ranking member of leadership so far to do so came out in favor of impeachment inquiry.  What do you think the reaction of your caucus is to yesterday?

LIEU:  So the Democratic caucus is diverse and Speaker Pelosi is going to make a decision in consultation with our caucus.  Whatever decision she makes I`m going to respect it.  But what the hearings show yesterday is that the Russians attacked us in a systematic and sweeping manner in 2016, that the Trump campaign embraced it, welcomed it and gave them internal polling data, and then the president committed multiple acts of obstruction Justice which are felonies to try to stop that investigation.

Those are the facts and what the American people and other members of Congress choose to do with those facts we`ll know in the next few weeks.

HAYES:  You`re going to go home your districts.  What`s -- I`m so curious about the timing here.  So Mueller testifies obviously was supposed to be a week earlier, that it was negotiated back to yesterday. 

Then there`s -- you guys past the big spending bill for two years with 219 Democratic votes today which means you didn`t even need any Republicans who got to vote no and whine about big spending even though obviously they`re doing it.  What is this recess going to be like for you and what do you expect to hear from constituents?

LIEU:  This is an opportunity for each member to go back to their districts.  All of our districts are unique.  They can hear from their constituents.  And then when we come back in September, we`ll see what the American people think and what our caucus thinks about an impeachment inquiry.

I do note that it`s actually five additional members of the Democratic Caucus have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry since yesterday.

HAYES:  A live fact check from Congressman Ted Lieu for your humble host here.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate that.

LIEU:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  Joining me now are Mimi Rocah former Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern District New York now an MSNBC Legal Analyst and Walter Dellinger former Acting Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, and Head of the Office of Legal Counsel.

I want to play something that Adam Schiff said in his sort of closing remarks yesterday which I thought was really interesting where he`s basically saying look, these are the things in the four corners your report.  You can talk about -- you can`t talk about these other things which is why we have to investigate them.

This is one thing he said which I think relates back to my conversation with Chris Murphy and more broadly.  Take a listen.


SCHIFF:  We did not bother to ask whether financial inducements from any Gulf nations were influencing U.S. policy since it is the outside the four corners of your report and so we must find out.


HAYES:  And this relates also, Mimi, to the idea of a sort of counterintelligence ongoing investigation by the FBI about compromise which gets us to me this sort of fundamental question at the heart of all of this does.  The president have an improper and corrupted dependence on entities hostile to the United States?

MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  And we absolutely do not know the answer to that.  I mean, I think a lot of us have ideas based on his behavior, right?  I mean, we`re looking at what he does on an everyday basis with Saudi Arabia, Russia, the pandering, the you know, excusing, the passing of certain legislation, but --

HAYES:  Two of these three vetoes on -- narrowly on a Saudi issue to override bipartisan legislation.

ROCAH:  Exactly.  But what Schiff made clear in that excellent summation just really what it was, right?  He`s looking right at Mueller but he was talking to us.  He was saying to the American people, he was saying we don`t know the answers to these vital questions of whether or not our president is compromised because of money, right.  That`s what it all comes down to.

And that`s why Trump is still hiding his taxes, is still not disclosing you know, making full financial disclosures.

HAYES:  And fighting tooth and nail in courts including tooth and nail with preposterous legal theories.

ROCAH:  Right.  And it`s really one of the best arguments for impeachment proceedings to begin because Robert Mueller made perfectly clear, he didn`t go to those corners.  That was not his purview, his word, and so somebody else needs to.

HAYES:  You know, Walter, I was mentioning the Senator Chris Murphy the clause in the Constitution about impeachment which people say high crimes and misdemeanors, but it`s actually it`s three things.  It`s treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors.

And when you combine that with the Emoluments Clause, it seems to me that it was -- it was a sort of almost obsession of the Founders the idea of a president who was beholden in some corrupt dependent way which seems to me the core of this whole thing even larger than the narrow question of obstruction.

WALTER DELLINGER, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL:  Yes, that`s exactly right.  I taught the debates of the Constitutional Convention and there was a recurring fear that we would be the plaything of European politics, that there would be a you know, a French party and a British party and that`s reflected in a number of clauses and particularly concerned of a foreign interference.

And I think when you mentioned the Impeachment Clause, it`s very relevant to tonight`s breaking news about the Senate Intelligence Committee report about the degree of Russian -- of Russian interference because it`s important to know that not all crimes are impeachable offenses but nor is it the case that an impeachable offense needs to be --

HAYES:  Correct.

DELLINGER:  -- a technical violation of the federal criminal code.  And the perfect example would be a president who fails -- consciously fails to defend the United States against a foreign military intelligence attack.  There`s nothing of the federal criminal code, no one ever thought to make that a crime, but surely it would be an impeachable offense.

HAYES:  There`s also this awful kind of deep legitimacy spectrum that now hangs over this which I you know, talk to Chris Murphy about, and it`s a thought experiment obsessed with because it doesn`t seem to me that remote frankly.  The odds of a very closely contested 2020 race seem very possible.

ROCAH:  Almost every election.

HAYES:  Yes, perhaps very --

DELLINGER:  No, this is -- this is -- you know, the Russians may know -- they knew they had business dealings with Trump that were kept secret from the public so they already had their hooks in him of information they thought would be private.

They also have a deep-seated fear going back to 2014 with uprisings in Ukraine worried about democracy.  You know, why can`t we have democracy in Russia?  And they went to say, look how badly democracy is working in the U.K. and in the U.S.

And so they have -- the greatest wish would be a presidential election whose legitimacy was honestly endowed and contested by the parties.  They would say look, you`re better off with Vladimir taking care of everybody.  This democracy is messy.  So I -- you know I --

HAYES:  It`s a very good point.  And Mimi, as someone who you know, as a lawyer, I mean, just imagining a scenario in which you are attempting to resolve -- I mean, the way that we resolve contest elections is through the courts, and the last time that happened was 2000 in a way that a lot of people are very angry at and I think the Bush v Gore decision is hilariously terrible.

But imagine that with the specter or information that actually the vote totals themselves or the system itself have been compromised.

ROCAH:  Right.  I mean, at least there we had you know, something to count, you know, however badly it was counted.

HAYES:  With fights over the intention the chads and all that stuff.

ROCAH:  Yes, and all that.  But if you also have on top of that a layer of Russia says they were in there and they you know -- and I mean, look, it`s ridiculous, it`s frightening, it`s terrifying and it is -- it is not disconnected from the obstruction.  I just want to throw that in.

HAYES:  Yes, correct.

ROCAH:  Because -- and I thought Mueller did make this point well, certainly in the report and even yesterday a little bit that Trump didn`t need to know or think that he committed a crime.  But he knew the Russians had interfered.  I mean, that is clear even though he won`t admit it now.  And that was part of what he didn`t want to come out for this reason --

HAYES:  That was what he was covering up.  Yes.

ROCAH:  -- because of the legitimacy reasons so even he is afraid of it.  And you know, Republicans may think it`s only going to work for their benefit and against the Democrats and that is -- they can`t count on that.

HAYES:  That is a bad bet.  Walter Dellinger and Mimi Rocah, thank you very much both you for your time tonight.

DELLINGER:  You`re welcome.

HAYES:  Coming up, the ongoing mystery of what happened to Jeffrey Epstein 24 hours after we heard he was reportedly found injured in his jail cell.  We will get the latest next.


HAYES:  Almost 24 hours after the news broke that Jeffrey Epstein was found injured in his cell, it is still entirely unclear what the heck happened.  Did he attempt to injure himself, perhaps try to kill himself?  Is he faking something in order to try to get transferred or have his bail decision revisited or was he attacked?

Epstein faces two charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy after the feds arrested him and raided his Manhattan home a few weeks ago.  He was denied bail last Thursday and is currently in the same Federal Detention Facility that held El Chapo.

For more on what we know and don`t know about the strange turn of events, I`m joined by Harry Siegel who has been reporting on the case closely, a Senior Editor of The Daily Beast.  All right, so what do we know about what happened last night?

HARRY SIEGEL, SENIOR EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST:  This was Tuesday night, Jeffrey Epstein had marks on his neck.  NBC was the -- was the first to report this.  They said initially that this appeared to be suicide as they continued reporting and others dug in.

It looks like no one at MCC is really sure.  This could have been a suicide attempt, it could have been a feeble attempt to convey a suicide.  He doesn`t seem to have been seriously harmed in the course of this and he`s still being held in MCC.  He wasn`t moved to a hospital.  Or this could have been the guy he was rooming with which is so far in a special security setting, but nonetheless Nicholas Tartaglione who is a very, very large former police officer who murdered four people.

HAYES:  Accused of murdering four people.

SIEGEL:  Who allegedly murdered four people, thank you.  And look, Jeffrey Epstein has been in prison before.  He was in pretend -- I`m going to spend 12 hours a day in my office having massages prison.  He`s in -- he`s in real lockup now.

HAYES:  And if fact -- I mean, MCC is a sort of notorious place.  Again, it held El Chapo.  It`s where people are brought particularly when their pending trial or in trial for big federal cases.  I mean, like you know, people that are accused of being terrorist masterminds and things like that.  It is surprising to me that we don`t have a full accounting of what happened from this facility.

SIEGEL:  Well, Paul Manafort just left.  That wasn`t announced either.  We called and asked and they said he`s back in Pennsylvania.  So look, they keep stuff really quiet in there and some of that is necessary for security, and then you wean on some of that because it`s hard to get accounts to the outside.

In this heatwave, we just had in New York -- I`m talking now about the local lockups but the principles are very similar, there`s no air conditioning.  We just found out there`s no maximum temperature, and there`s no way for any of the inmates to get that information out and they don`t get the leave if it`s 110 degrees inside their cells.  This is a closed off-world.

HAYES:  Right.  So OK, so he wasn`t sent to a hospital which suggests that whatever the injuries were, they weren`t sufficiently serious to put him in a hospital.  He was initially in gen-pop and MCC and then they moved him to some sort of security segregation.  But in that security segregation, he was in the same cell as Mr. Tartaglione.

SIEGEL:  Right.  We think he was in nine south with Tartaglione.  And I know that prior to that according to a source with knowledge that he was briefly in a general population and trying to acclimate for how to survive in a real prison and nervous about that.

And people (INAUDIBLE) who are accused of doing sexual things with children are really looked down on there.  And when you`re that and a millionaire, that`s a very -- you know, you better give me money now or I`m going to hurt you sort of combination.

HAYES:  I should just conclude on this which is there were of course conspiracy theories erupting like wildfire in the wake of this news, like someone`s trying to have him whacked.  You know, they want to keep him quiet and things like that.  And then I can understand why people`s minds might go there but we don`t have any evidence whatsoever that that`s the case at this point at all.

SIEGEL:  To the contrary from everything that`s reported, he was not badly hurt.

HAYES:  Exactly, right.  In fact, he wasn`t hurt badly enough to go to a hospital which would seem to knock down the idea that anyone tried to kill him.

SIEGEL:  Indeed.

HAYES:  Particularly if Mr. Tartaglione is actually the assailant which we don`t know, but who seems like he is capable of putting a person in hospital should he so wish.  Harry Siegel, thank you very much.

Coming up, President Trump stopped in his tracks as the courts thwart his latest attempt to drastically and unilaterally change American immigration policy.  That`s next.


HAYES:  Once again, the courts have stopped this White House from unilaterally attempting to change policy this time with what would have been a massive rewriting of U.S. asylum law.

A Trump appointed a judge in Washington, D.C. yesterday had initially declined to halt the new policy, but a federal judge in San Francisco later that same day issued an injunction to stop the rule, at least for now.

Here with me now to explain what happened, Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which which has part of that California suit that issued the injunction.  Great to have you here.

So just explain to me, what was the administration trying to d?  And then what is your argument  that it`s not legal?

BAHER AZMY, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS:  Right.  So this is one of the most draconian and dangerous attacks on our asylum system and asylum seekers to date.  The administration last Monday  issued a hasty rule without the required public comment period that would categorically deny asylum to anyone on the southern border who happened to transit through a third country, meaning everyone other than Mexicans, including individuals -- including unaccompanied minors and all of those individuals fleeing the terrible humanitarian crisis in the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

HAYES:  So they would say if you are not Mexican, you`ve already gone to some other country.  You should have applied for asylum there, ergo, we won`t give you asylum here.

AZMY:  Right, we won`t give you a chance.  Go back to your home country, including if your home country would subject you to horrible persecution or death.

And so the lawsuit -- the Center for Constitutional Rights brought with the ACLU...

HAYES:  Let me stop you for a second.  That`s a big change.  It`s a complete change to the way that U.S. asylum policy, as written into statute and interpreted by the executive has functioned for decades.

AZMY:  Yes.  Absolutely.  It`s like -- it`s a de facto end to asylum on the southern border, except for a small population of Mexicans and the very principles of asylum.

And our argument was, you know, congress for 40 years has considered how to deal with individuals who transit through third countries, and they come up with two narrow exceptions.  One, if you are firmly resettled in a third country, and by firmly that is you have status there.    You have the indicia (ph) of safety, like housing or unemployment.  Maybe then you`re not entitled to asylum.

HAYES:  So, if I`m Honduran and I go to Mexico and I stop in Mexico.  I put down anchors in Mexico and I`m in a house and I have kids and I have a job, maybe, I`m there four or five years.  I try to apply for asylum.  It`s OK to say, look, that`s not how this works.

AZMY:  Precisely.  Because in that circumstance, we`ve determined you`re already safe, because that`s the bottom line requirement.

HAYES:  That`s what the entire legal architecture is attempting to provide.

AZMY:  Right.  And the only other circumstances -- what are called safe third country agreements, emphasis on safe, we only have one such agreement with Canada, that can only apply when the two countries have equally robust asylum systems.  So in that situation, if someone fleeing persecution from Egypt passes through Canada on his way to the United States, the United States might be able to send him back to Canada, but not to Egypt.

And here the administration, without such an agreement, would send somebody back to their  persecutors.

HAYES:  Now -- so your argument is this is just not -- this is outside the power of the executives to unilaterally impose?  Is that what you`re arguing?

AZMY:  Exactly.  It contradicts 40 years of congressional law.

HAYES:  That if congress wants to make this change, pass it in both houses and president sign it, then that would be the new asylum law.

AZMY:  Right.

HAYES:  But he can`t just do it by himself.

AZMY:  He can`t do it overnight.  He can`t overturn our asylum laws, which are itself based on 80 years of international human rights law by fiat and without public comment.

And in addition as the Judge Tygar (ph) found, whatever evidence that the administration cobbled together in support of the rule actually contradicted the rule because all of the evidence suggested that Mexico is not a place that could handle the refugee crisis.  It`s dangerous there.  And they can`t manage this asylum process.

So in the sort of hallmark term of this administration, the law is deemed arbitrary and capricious.

HAYES:  It is remarkable how much they have done -- the Census decision, which they were found by the Supreme Court and John Roberts, to violate the APA, that essentially does not meet the lowest bar to uphold any legal -- which is arbitrary and capricious.  There is no rationale.  You cannot defend it.

AZMY:  Right, you`ve totally made it up.  It`s contradicted by all the evidence.

HAYES:  And the courts just say you can`t do that.

AZMY:  Right.

And, you know, I think one piece here, you talked about what a radical departure this is.  I think what`s important to know is that I think cruelty is part of the point, cruelty and degradation and projecting muscularly that you are not entitled to rights this country is bound to respect.  And more fundamentally, I think a deep rejection of the entire post-World War II international human rights consensus.

HAYES:  Baher Azmy, thank you so much for your time for explaining that so well.  I appreciate it.

AZMY:  My pleasure.

HAYES:  Up next, welcome to the new normal: record breaking temperatures across Europe.  It`s still only July.  I`ll talk to a 2020 candidate who just proposed a new solution to the climate crisis next.


HAYES:  Here is the state of our cooking world, it`s 108 degrees in Paris today -- 108.7, to be precise, the hottest day ever recorded in Paris, France.  Germany`s average national temperature today was 104 degrees, that`s a record.  The northern German town of Lingen hit 109 degrees, the hottest temperature ever recorded anywhere in Germany.

Netherlands today set a national record of 105.  Belgium reached 104, the hottest day going back to 1833. 

Today it reached 100.6 degrees in Cambridge, England, making it the second hottest day anywhere in the UK.  I could go on, but you get the point.

The massive heat dome crossing over Europe is causing temperatures that have never been seen on the continent since global record-keeping began about 135 years ago.

Just for a second, think of what, say, summer in Tucson, Arizona or Naples, Florida or Austin, Texas is going to be like in 2040 if we keep going this way.

Also today, another Democratic candidate released an ambitious climate plan.  Yesterday, Kirsten Gillibrand released her plan, which make fossil fuel companies financially accountable.  Today, the newest entrant into the field, billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer released his plan.  And he joins me now.

Tom, this is something that you worked on in the past.  What is the main thrust of the plan?  Do you have hard caps for phasing out and getting to net zero emissions by 2045?

TOM STEYER, 2020 P RESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We do.  But Chris, I think the biggest change in my plan is that it`s an attempt to turn the page on the national climate conversation from plans and conversation to concrete action day one.

My plan includes declaring a state of emergency and using the emergency powers of the president from the first day that I`m in office to make sure that, in fact, we deal with this in real-time.

HAYES:  Does this mean like emergency in the way in which the president is currently attempting to use an emergency declaration to reappropriate funds for the wall?

STEYER:  It is some of the same powers, Chris, but what we`re talking about here is a threat  to the safety and health of every American.  And the time for us to be just talking, just putting out plans, trying to decide what to do has to end. 

This is a crisis.  It is a state of emergency.  And we have to deal with it that way.

HAYES:  OK.  But you`re still going to be -- if you were the president of the United States, emergency powers notwithstanding, you`ll still running - - you`re still dealing with a democracy.  You`re still dealing with a two- party system in the United States senate.  There will be opposition, right.  I mean, part of the issue for climate legislation has been that one party is just dead set in killing it.

STEYER:  You`re right, Chris.  But in this case, I`m going to give congress 100 days to pass a green new deal, and then I`m going to use the emergency powers of the presidency to deal with it, to set new standards in terms of electricity and transportation and building codes, and to redirect money to my climate plan to make sure that we protect the safety and health of every American.

The time for us to be doing nothing except talk has to end.  This is an emergency.  I`m going to treat it that way, and I`m going make sure that we take care of Americans.

HAYES:  So, I haven`t gotten a chance to talk to you on this program since you declared that you were running for president.  We`ve talked before.  You were running ads for a long period of time about the need to impeach the president of the United States.  And when those ads were running, there were a bunch of people who said the following: "this is a transparently cynical attempt to build a list up for Tom Steyer to then run for president."

And then you announced you are not running for president.  And people said, oh, I guess he really wanted to -- you know, he was actually just trying to impeach the president.  And then you decided you are running for president.  And I have to ask you, there are people who have viewed the actions you`ve taken, the money you`ve spent, as centrally a kind of bait and switch to create the conditions you can run for president.

STEYER:  Well, actually, Chris, if you go back to October of 2017 when I said this president should be impeached and started to collect signatures to empower the people of the United States to have their voice be heard, it turns out that what those 8 million people and I were saying is true, that everything that we said was unheard of at that point.  People did in fact question why we were doing it.  But it turns out we were telling the truth, that it was an important truth, that this president is the most corrupt in history. 

We just watched Mr. Mueller in a hearing confirm that he has committed high crimes and  misdemeanors.  And in fact, I`ve been calling for Speaker Pelosi to cancel the 44-day congressional vacation and use that time to have full public hearings to have the American people see how corrupt  this president.

HAYES:  All right.  Tom Steyer, who is now running for president, has a climate plan today.  We will get you back on the program because there are a lot more issues I want to talk about.  Is that a deal?

STEYER:  Absolutely, Chris.  I want to talk about them too.

HAYES:  Thanks a lot.

STEYER:  Before we break, a special announcement tonight, especially if you think the subject of climate is not getting enough attention in this election cycle.  On September 19 and 20, MSNBC in partnering with Georgetown`s McCourt School of Public Policy and Our Daily Planet for a 2020 candidate climate forum.

I`ll be hosting, along with my colleague, Ali Velshi.  We`ll be asking each individual presidential candidate, including Tom Steyer who you just aw, and Kirsten Gillibrand and others, about their plans to fight climate change   We will open the floor to questions from young voters across the country.  The event will be streaming live on NBC News now, and we will bring you the interviews here on All In in primetime over the two-day event.  More details to come, so stay tuned for that.

Coming up, what it looks like when people gather together and declare their leaders illegitimate.  Incredible scenes from Puerto Rico, next.





HAYES:  That is what it sounded like in San Juan yesterday when the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, resigned.  This after 12 straight days of protests as people came together and declared their leader illegitimate and intolerable.  And they stuck around in an increasingly remarkable fashion. 

First, two of his former administration officials were arrested by the FBI on corruption charges. And then nearly 900 pages of a group chat with the governor and members of his inner circle leaked revealing sexist and homophobic and generally gross language about everyone from public figures to his own constituents.

And this all happened in a commonwealth that has seen years of extreme austerity, including budget cuts by a federally imposed board they can`t elect, and then of course came Hurricane Maria in 2017, which was capped off by Donald Trump tossing paper towels at a crowd of people whose lives are devastated by the hurricane.

And their own governor, Ricardo Rossello, sitting beside Trump and minimizing the death toll  saying that only 16 people died when the actual number eventually rose to something more like 3,000.

It was all too much for the people of Puerto Rico.  People took to the streets in crazy numbers day after day after day.  They pushed a major social media campaign, a Ricky Renuncia (ph), or Ricky resign. 

But the governor seemed intent on digging in his heels.  It looked like he thought it could all pass over, and that was until yesterday.  He finally gave in and resigned.

There is a lesson here about what happens when people come together and declare their leader illegitimate and intolerable.  There

is one person I wanted to talk about this situation in Puerto Rico, and that is journalist Julio Ricardo Varela.  I sat with him this week for my podcast, "Why is This Happening?" which will be out on Tuesday.  Look for it wherever you get your podcasts.



TRUMP:  Washington is full of people who are only looking out for themselves.  But you know this, you know it better than most, I didn`t come to Washington for me.  I came to Washington for all of you.  That I can tell you.


HAYES:  Well, that was what the president wanted you to believe was his critique of the status quo.  In actuality it was his game plan, his vision for what he has brought to Washington, because by almost any conceivable standard, the Trump administration is the most corrupt administration of recent memory.

A new four-part docuseries called American Swamp with MSNBC`s own Katy Tur, Jacob Soboroff, looks at not only the many ways in which the president and his aides are lining their own pockets, but more broadly how money, particularly dark money is having a perverse effect on our elections across the country.


SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS:  They sometimes are spending tens of millions of dollars but they have no bricks and mortars.  These operate out of a P.O. Box.  Their money spikes in election years and then drops off during non-election years.  These are the trademark qualities of political committees.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC:  What is the difference between what you are describing and money laundering?

KRUMHOLZ:  Not a whole heck of a lot.


HAYES:  Joining me now, the hosts of this new docuseries, MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff and Katy Tur.  It`s great to have you here.

KATY  TUR, MSNBC:  It`s wonderful to be back.

HAYES:  Congratulations on your child.

TUR:  Thank you.

HAYES:  So give me the kind of conceit of the show.  What were you trying to get to the bottom of?  What was the story you were trying to tell?

TUR:  We wanted to get to the bottom of the swamp.  Donald Trump campaigned on draining the swamp, but the swamp existed long before Donald Trump.  And we wanted to understand how it  came to be and whether or not it actually can be drained.

So the first episode here is about dark money and the corrupting influence of money in our politics.  And what we do is we take a look at exactly what dark money is.  And then we get out of Washington and we go to Arizona.  We go to Montana.  We see a real life example of how dark money is just...

SOBOROFF:  Proliferating.

TUR:  Proliferating, but also I want to use a bad word, but I can`t use it.  I`ve got mom brain.

HAYES:  Screwing up.

TUR:  Screwing the people of Arizona. 

HAYES:  Screwing the people of Arizona.

SOBOROFF:  Let me give you this example.

TUR:  Because they can`t use solar power.

SOBOROFF:  So, in Arizona, it is the sunniest state in the union.  I walk out there for five minutes I get a sunburn in Arizona, a tiny fraction, minuscule, of Arizonans have solar power on their homes, and that is because of how much dark money has flooded the system there. 

The power that the public utility has put forward is natural gas.  And you have to actually pay to have solar power on your house, basically pay a tax, in order to put solar...

HAYES:  A solar tax.

SOBOROFF:  A solar tax to put solar power on the top of your house in the sunniest state in the union.  And it`s absurd.  But all you have do is look at where the money came from, and it comes from the Koch Brothers, Arizona Public Utility, which is the big utility company there, and it`s basically a no-brainer.

HAYES:  You know, the dark money aspect is fascinating because everyone I think remembers Citizens United, but that did two things, right?

So the first thing it does, it opens up unlimited contributions that are corporate.  But then very quickly people realized that corporations are very malleable entity that you create all kinds of differences with.  And what it opened up was not just unlimited corporations but unlimited anonymous  corporations.

TUR:  Not it`s not just super PACs.  And you know all the donors to a super PAC.  It`s 501(c)4s.

And you don`t know the donors to a 501(c)4.  So what you have is this one group with anonymous donors who don`t have to put their names on anything en masse, together, giving to a super PAC.  So, although you know who is giving to a super PAC, you don`t know who is behind this one group.

HAYES:  It is like some P.O. box that`s like Arizonans for a Better Future.  And someone is writing some checks.

TUR:  Exactly.  It`s some innocuous name.  Americans for a Better America.  And you don`t know who they are.  And, so, what they`re doing in Montana, and this is the light at the end of the tunnel, is that they have an act, a disclose act, that says 90 days before an election, I don`t care who you are or what you`re getting at, you have to say -- you have to give your name.

SOBOROFF:  I had no idea.

HAYES:  That`s wild.

SOBOROFF:  I had no idea this existed.  If you go to Montana, it`s not only that, they have a part-time state legislature where you have a boilermaker and a firefighter and a teacher that are sitting in the state house, $180 is the maximum per person that you can gave to a candidate.  They don`t have just obscene amounts of money that are pouring into the system.

And so when you look at what`s going on in Montana -- the Supreme Court, by the way, just upheld the system that they have there.  It makes you think, why aren`t we doing this on a national level?

TUR:  But we can do it on a national level.  That is something that other states can adopt.  It`s possible.

The thing about this series is that we`re taking really weedy subjects and we`re making them interesting, we`re making them entertaining.  We have known each other for 20 years.  We sit down and have conversations on a bench in front of...

HAYES:  He looks a lot like your husband, by the way.

SOBOROFF:  People say it.

HAYES:  It`s true.

SOBOROFF:  He`s way better looking than I am.

HAYES:  He is, actually.  You`re both very good lucky, but Tony is like really...

TUR:  I had my baby with me the other as we were doing radio hits.  And my baby cuddled up to Jacob.

SOBOROFF:  No, wait, I was congratulated on my new child when we were out in Washington,  D.C.

Look, we have been friends for a long time.  I don`t think you have seen anything like this on MSNBC before.

HAYES:  Yeah, 20 years ago, you were like, some day we`re going to do a series on dark money.

SOBOROFF:  20 years ago -- I will tell you, 20 years ago we were driving around in my Prius in Southern California.  We still drive around in that same Prius -- it has 115,000 miles, and it smells as bad now as it did back then.

TUR:  I can vouch for that.

HAYES:  And so do you bring the series to D.C. at a certain point, correct?

TUR:  We`re in D.C.  We`re also in Arizona and Montana.  The point of the series, though, is even though these are wonky topics, if you don`t understand how the system works, you can never hope to fix it.  If you don`t understand how to build a watch, you can`t fix a watch.

So we`re going to try and give the American people, our viewers, all the information they need to help fix our governmental system from the ground up.  Frustration is not a Republican thing.  Frustration is nonpartisan.  Americans are frustrated.  The majority of people in this country don`t believe or don`t have faith that the government will do what is right.  That should change.

SOBOROFF:  So many times when I talk to you, when we`ve talked, when we do any of this reporting, when you are in the field people always say Washington, D.C. doesn`t understand what it is  like to be me.  When I wake up in the morning the issues that I care about are not the things that we all love to talk to each other about on a day-to-day basis, even things that I`m -- like immigration crisis.  So passionate about.  It is just not what people say it is what I care most about.  And we`re trying to figure out what that gap is.  Why that exists.  And how, if we`re going to close it, people can understand the system better in order to be more interested in things that affect their daily lives.

HAYES:  And part of the things is that people perceive that big money interests are -- I mean, this was the thing that Donald Trump ran on, right, that like big money interests...

TUR:  They perceive lawmakers are bought.

HAYES:  Right, that they`re bought -- and they`re not wrong about that.

SOBOROFF:  Yes, yes, they`re right.

So we do this.  We do the election system.  The world`s most famous democracy, America, has some of the worst voter turnout in the entire world.  So we get into the election system.  We look at congressional dysfunction.  And we look at the president`s corrupt business dealings.

HAYES:  I cannot wait to watch it.  Jacob Soboroff and Katy Tur, thank you both for joining us.

Their four-part docuseries American Swamp premiers this Sunday 9:00 p.m. right here on MSNBC.  Don`t miss it.

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