Trump and advisers downplay economic concerns. TRANSRIPT: 8/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Robert Reich, Asawin Suebsaeng, Kirsten Gillibrand, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Carol Anderson, Julian Brave Noisecat, Cornell Belcher

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT:  The fact is the fundamentals of our economy are very strong and you know it.

HAYES:  The White House insists there is nothing to see here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I tell you what, I sure don`t see a recession.

HAYES:  As the President all but demands emergency action.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I don`t see a recession.

HAYES:  Tonight Robert Reich on Donald Trump and the R-word.  Then, why Senator Elizabeth Warren was apologizing today.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I know that I have made mistakes.  I am sorry for the harm I have caused.

HAYES:  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on what appears to be a presidential retreat on background checks.

TRUMP:  People don`t realize we have very strong background checks right now.

HAYES:  And the conservative backlash to the 1619 project on the impact of slavery in America.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The whole project is a lie.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

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HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  Donald Trump and the Trump administration understand that there is one thing that could do what nothing else has done so far and that has diminished Trump support among his bedrock and devoted base.

Not encouraging Russia`s attack on our election, not Charlottesville, and fine people on both sides, not to "send her back" tweets and the chants, not the kids in cages, not the ripping babies from their mother`s arms.  There`s one thing I think that could crack that support, that could make his base actually disappear and that is if the economy goes south.

I think they know that too in the White House.  They had the rabid devotion of a certain percentage of the country that will never leave the president no matter what world grotesquery he presents.  But we were also in month 122 of the longest recovery in the country history.  That would be clear.

The Trump economy is an economy that trumpet heritage.  And just like his family inheritance, he seems to be going out of his way to squander it.  The Trump economy was actually rebuilt by the previous administration of Barack Obama.

But average job growth per years has been lower than under Barack Obama, the stock market under Trump grown at a slower rate actually than under Obama.  We do a very low unemployment there are a bunch of macroeconomic indicators including wage growth at the bottom that are genuinely really positive.

The problem is we`ve got very good reason to think the booming economy is not long for this world.  The White House may be right to panic.  And that`s why the President is once again publicly bullying the Federal Reserve Bank in violation of a long-held norm of independence.  You don`t do that kind of thing really.

The problem is when you`re berating the Fed to take dramatic Great Recession level steps to shore up the economy like an enormous rate cut the President is calling for, it`s also hard to then sell people an idea that the same economy is an amazing shape, that there`s nothing to worry about.  And the administration also risks entering into the very dangerous territory of infamously tone-deaf politicians.

Today Kellyanne Conway offered a now-iconic phrase made famous by President Herbert Hoover when he said the fundamental business of the country that his production, distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.

Four days after he said that, the Stock Market crashed assuring in the Great Depression.  And that was then either wittingly or unwittingly it`s still unclear echoed by then-Senator John McCain in the fall of 2008.

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JOHN MCCAIN (R), FORMER SENATOR FROM ARIZONA:  You know that there`s been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets in Wall Street.  And it is -- it`s -- people are frightened by these events.  Our economy I think still the fundamentals are -- of our economy are strong but these are very, very difficult time.

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HAYES:  Say that phrase.  It`s like -- it`s like talking about a perfect game of the eighth inning, just don`t say it.  Less than two months later, McCain lost his bid for the White House.  As you may recall, the U.S. saw its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  And then here was Kellyanne Conway earlier this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONWAY:  It`s nice to see the media finally cover the Trump economy.  You seem to cover it only when you can use the Sesame Street word of the day Recession.  And so you`re using a tweet here, a report there, or an economist`s words here and there.  The fact is the fundamentals of our economy are very strong and you know it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Never fear.  If there is a recession on the horizon, the person who will steer the White House`s response is the Director of National Economic Council Larry Kudlow.  Now, Kudlow has a remarkable almost comically admirable record of being consistently wrong about everything for years.  He told the National Review back in 2007 "there`s no recession coming.  The pessimists are wrong.  It`s not going to happen.  Take it to the bank."

As The Washington Post documented last year, Kudlow predicted a declining deficit this year.  The rate of growth is actually increased.  Last year Kudlow predicted GDP would grow between three and four percent.  Since then has grown by only 2.5 percent.  Yesterday, Kudlow gave this -- let`s call it less than reassuring performance on trump T.V.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is your message up from the White House now there is no recession coming and we are just calling to assure you that we think the economy is on firm footing and no additional measures are needed?

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL:  I don`t think additional measures are needed.  Now, hang on.  I want to talk about the ongoing China negotiations.  We`ll get to that in a moment perhaps.  We are looking at the USMCA, NAFTA 2.0 trade deal.  That would be very important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Based on that, it`s not hard to see why the President would be concerned about what would happen if the economy took a turn for the worse.  Here with me now for more on the Trump economy Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, author several books including The Common Good.

As someone who has been through a number of business cycles, has watched this administration and watch the sort of last administration working through recovering from Great Recession, where do you see us right now?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR:  Well, the fundamentals are actually, Chris, a little bit fragile.  And I was listening to Larry Kudlow just now as I have for years, I have a Kudlow meter.  Whatever he says the direction of the economy is going in, I bet in the opposite way.  And I`ve actually made quite a lot of money.  I mean, you know based on a small basis.

I mean, the economy right now is fragile for really very, very clear reasons.  One has to do with the China trade war.  That is causing businesses all over America and other countries to pull back on investment because they are so unsure about the future, they don`t want to make investments.

Why make investments in your supply chain?  Why make investments in new jobs?  Why make investments at all if you just don`t know what is going to happen to the global economy?  When the first the biggest and the second- biggest economy are at loggerheads, you just don`t know.

The other big problem is the Trump tax cut.  It was a sugar high for the stock markets.  That sugar high is over and the stock market knows it, and that`s why the stock market is slumping.

HAYES:  You know, the Trump tax cut it`s really remarkable.  I mean, it is the signature of domestic policy achievement not just to Donald Trump but the Republican Party in total.  Unified governance, they tried the ACA repealed, it didn`t work.  They got the tax cut.

What is the score on this thing right now?  I mean, as far as I can tell, the only good-faith argument about it was that it would increase business investment and that hasn`t seemed to borne out at all.  And other than that, it seems like a huge transfer to wealthy shareholders and corporations.

REICH:  Well, I think that it not only has been a huge transfer to wealthy shareholders and corporations, Chris, but also it could have been predicted that that was going to be the case.  I mean, businesses will not take the savings from a tax cut and invest those savings unless they think they`re going to be consumers out there enough to actually absorb whatever those investments generate.

But there was no way in this case.  I mean, although you see a little bit of wage growth at the bottom, basically American wages have been stuck in the mud.  There is no reason to suppose that foreign markets are going to enlarge, in fact, if anything they are contracting right now.  So you -- and then, of course, you`ve got the China trade problem.

HAYES:  Right.

REICH:  So you took all of those factors together and businesses are going to say, Oh, terrific we`ve got a big, big savings here.  Let`s buy back our own shares of stock so we can create the impression that the stock market is pretty good for a while.

HAYES:  There`s also this hypocrisy -- it`s not even hypocrisy I think, it`s sort of deeper than that.  But Donald Trump was one of the people along with folks like Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore in The Wall Street Journal editorial page we`re basically saying during the Barack Obama that Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke were turning the U.S. into Zimbabwe, that they were ramping up the printing press over the Federal Reserve doing what`s called quantitative easing.

That`s buying a bunch of securities enlarging the balance sheet trying desperately to backstop global financial markets, that this was reckless socialism and the deficits were too high and there was too much spending.  And you are now watching them point by point call for the exact same recipe of things with an unemployment rate of four percent as opposed to the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

REICH:  Exactly.  And Barack Obama remember never said to the Fed you have got to reduce interest rates.  The reason that presidents don`t do that is you don`t want to make the market worried that what the Fed does is political.  The minute the markets start worrying that the Fed is politicized, the Fed has less credibility.

HAYES:  Right.

REICH:  So you just don`t want to do that.  And what -- you know, the cries that you hear from Republicans about socialism have been turned upside down.  We do have socialism for the rich and for big corporations.  We have very, very harsh capitalism for everybody else under the Trump administration especially.

HAYES:  All right, Robert Reich, thank you so much your time.  Joining me now for more on the Trump Administrations responsible for recent economic red flag, John Harwood Editor-at-Large for CNBC, and the host of CNBC digital series "SPEAKEASY" with John Harwood, and Asawin Suebsaeng White House Reporter for The Daily Beast.

You know, Asawin, one thing that strikes me as we look at this administration at this moment is there`s not a lot of folks left there.  I mean, the amount of turnover and churn, you`ve got Pete Navarro who I think would cheer to be described as a heterodox and dissenting voice among professional economists.  You`ve gone Larry Kudlow, and it just seems like there`s not a lot of people minding the stores at just general staffing matter.

ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST:  Well, you got a whole bunch of senior aides and senior officials in Trump world right now who`s number one priority seems to be backing up what the President of the United States thinks is the current reality.

Obviously, that might not actually jibe with what actually is the current reality, but among President Trump`s personal reaction and ongoing strategy to the bad economic news, it appears he has a sort of two-tiered strategy at the moment and it`s very much so a com strategy not necessarily an economic strategy per se.  It`s blame the media and blame Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

When it comes to the media he has said for years going back to at least early 2017 according to the people I spoken to who have spoken to Trump about the economy and recessions in the abstract going back to the first year of his presidency, that he does believe in self-fulfilling prophecy.

When it comes to economic news, he believes if economic news bubbles up in the media and more cable news and more radio and more T.V., invite economist and pundits on to talk about it, he believes that it could actually create a self-existing cycle that could drive down the economy.  So that explains why he`s blaming the media so much nowadays.

And when it comes to someone like Jerome Powell I was speaking to Steve Moore the other day and he`s an informal economic advisor of the President and a conservative economist says the Heritage Foundation, and he mentioned that he was at the White House a month ago for a meeting with President Trump and several other people, and it wasn`t to talk about the economy, it`s about a hodgepodge of topics.

But President Trump unprompted went out of his way to privately bash Chairman Powell and repeatedly call him "a golfer who has no feel for the green."  So whether it`s in private or publicly you can expect the President to do a lot blaming to Powell and a lot of blaming to the media.  That`s the strategy right now.

HAYES:  John, the palace stuff is really quite remarkable on two fronts.  One is you`ve covered this longer than I have, but I don`t think I`ve ever seen a president do this even public at least.  There`s been behind the scenes buttonholing.  There`s a famous picture of LBJ with the Fed chair.  He`s trying to get him to lower rates where he`s basically assaulting him essentially.  But there`s -- this is just in another universe, right?  This doesn`t happen?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC EDITOR-AT-LARGE:  Well, look Donald Trump doesn`t have a strategy for any particular policy including the economy.  He has a strategy for what is good for Donald Trump in the immediate moment.  And so the things he says one day may have no relation to the things he says the next day because he has a different impulse.

So we`ve seen this with aides like Anthony Scaramucci who he praises when they say nice things about him and he eviscerated them when they criticized him, the same with Jay Powell.  Jay Powell has done a very competent job I think in the estimate of most economists.  He`s somebody who had a policy that`s fairly similar to what Janet Yellen was conducting under -- who had been appointed by President Obama.

I think there`s a lot of confidence in the markets in Jay Powell.  And the president is lashing out because he`s scared and believes that negative developments in the financial markets and the economy are going to have a negative effect on him so he`s got to reach out to smack somebody.

It`s not because he has a considered judgment of Jerome Powell.  Obviously, during the Obama administration, he said the opposite of all the things that he`s saying now.

HAYES:  Well, here`s my question for you.  My sense is you know, the famous "I can shoot people on Fifth Avenue" and we`ve seen like no matter what he does basically, there`s been a few moments where his approval ratings dip down to 35 percent or so during the shutdown but it`s cold studied this like 40 percent.

I think Trump and the Trump administration things correctly that the one thing that could break that would be an actual recession.  Is that your read of how the White House understands this win?

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES:  Asawin, go ahead, and then you, John.

SUEBSAENG:  No, absolutely.  You talked to the senior officials in Donald Trump`s West Wing or his White House about this and of course, they`ll say that.  I mean, most of them again, unfortunately speaking privately and off-the-record would be more than happy to be self-aware about that.

It`s just that the leader of the free world who they`re all taking their public cues from and which determines how they act not just in terms of public messaging but also in private policymaking are reflecting the views the impulses, stratagem, and the policies of a man who seriously believes that his economy is perfect.

HAYES:  Right.

SUEBSAENG:  The best America has ever had and couldn`t possibly --

HAYES:  Or says he believes that.

SUEBSAENG:  Exactly.

HAYES:  John.

HARWOOD:  Well, look, what I would say is President Trump has -- his numbers have been held down even in a good economy because a lot of people who like how the economy`s done do not like his behavior.  His danger now is that people who do like his behavior all of a sudden see that the economy that`s been propping him up isn`t there anymore, they`re going to turn.

In our NBC Wall Street Journal poll this weekend, white women without college education who supported him by 20 -- margin of 27 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in 2016 favor a generic Democrat by six percentage points.  That is the place to look for erosion in his base as people get more and more anxious about where this economy is headed.

HAYES:  That is -- that number, I want to say it again that Hillary Clinton lost that group of white women without college degrees by 27 percent.  They favor generic Democrat by six percent in the latest NBC polling.

And to me, that also speaks the fact that he promised all these things about how the structural nature of the way the American economy hadn`t worked for a while was going to be fixed and it hasn`t.  Even if the cyclical news has been good and there`s some part of that I think that`s eroding with those folks.  John Harwood and Asawin Suebsaeng, thank you both.

SUEBSAENG:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Next after appearing to support tougher background checks in the wake of two deadly shootings, it took just two weeks for the President to cave.  Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand on the President`s return to NRA talking points in two minutes.

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HAYES:  When it comes to guns, Donald Trump is very clearly and somewhat interestingly I think, cross-pressured.  He has favored some kinds of gun control in the past for much of his sort of public life.  He clearly also has enough political instinct to understand that some forms of government gun control such as universal background checks are overwhelmingly popular right now.

He also knows the NRA helped him get elected.  They spent 30 million dollars in 2016, more than all of its spending for every candidate combined in 2008 and 2012.  So you can see Trump caught between the two positions, and what you get from that is a series of incoherent pronouncements, hand- waving, yadda, yadda, yadda, and sentences the loop back on to and contradict each other.

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, he said that there`s very strong appetite for background checks, expressed his support for a background check bill.  Then, he got several calls from Wayne LaPierre.  I wonder what those went like.  And now, well, he`s reiterating NRA talking points about gun violence being a mental health issue and walking back his support of background bills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  People don`t realize we have very strong background checks right now.  You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up.  There are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years.

HAYES:  I want to bring someone who has spent a great deal of time considering the gun crisis, 2020 Presidential Candidate Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand.  Senator, what do you think of the president sort of back and forth on this?  Is there any possibility of this White House- backed by the base that it is backed by and with Mitch McConnell and the Senate breaking through the opposition?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don`t see it.  He`s been unwilling to stand up to the NRA, unwilling to stand up to special interests in Washington.  And we all know that the center of corruption in Washington is the money and greed that runs Washington.

And you know, we`ve seen enough gun death in this last decade.  It`s absurd and outrageous that Congress refuses to act.  It`s absurd that Mitch will not call Republican senators back to Congress so that we could actually vote on the measures that were passed in the House.  It`s just a lack of leadership.  And this president is beholding to the NRA as any Republican right now.

HAYES:  You were -- you`ve had an interesting trajectory in this issue.  You were -- you had an A rating at the NRA as a Democratic member of Congress up -- in Upstate New York and I think your views have changed quite a bit on gun and gun policy.  I guess my question to you is, is persuasion possible on this issue?

I mean, it does seem quite polarized, it also seems like for the reasons you know both in fundraising and sort of the organizational muscle in NRA that there isn`t a lot of like back and forth, people listening to arguments on this, but maybe people are persuadable.  What do you think?

GILLIBRAND:  I believe they are.  I`ve had a proud F rating for a decade now, and I can tell you common sense gun reform like universal background checks, banning large magazines and military-style assault weapons, and having a federal anti-gun trafficking law.  Those are common-sense ideas that most NRA members support.

And so you can go into a red part of a state or into a red or purple state and talk to hunters, Second Amendment supporters, and say why should a four-year-old child die on a park bench in Brooklyn because an illegal weapon was sold out of the back of truck directly to a gang member?  That`s what happens in New York every day.  That`s what happens in Chicago every day.

And so they can understand that this is something we have to deal with.  They can understand that in America today we shouldn`t be willing to live in a world where you can`t go to a Walmart to do your back-to-school shopping with your kids because there could be a shooter.  You can`t go to a church service or a Bible study.  You can`t go to a concert with friends.  That`s not the America we want to live in.

And so you can go to those white ladies in the suburbs and say very directly to them, do you want to live in that kind of world or do you want to make it much harder for people who shouldn`t have these weapons make it harder for them to actually get access to it.  I think we can find common ground and agreement.

HAYES:  But that`s common ground, an agreement on the on the voter basis which I agree with you.  I guess the question is like a political like senator to Senate -- I guess I`m trying to ask do -- is there a space in the U.S. Senate in which you have exchanges with your colleagues on something like this where there is an actual active set of arguments and back and forth and give-and-take that`s happening or on this issue does that just space not exist?

GILLIBRAND:  No, I think it does exist.  In fact, after Sandy Hook, one of the bills I wrote was an anti-federal gun trafficking law.  And we got 58 votes.  That`s just too shy of the 60 that we needed.  And I knew exactly how to get those votes.  And if we had that vote today, I believe it would pass.

I also believe our universal background checks bill would pass today.  I think people are tired of it.  And the fact that the Parkland kids started a nationwide March marching out of school, marching on Washington, I think it`s changing people`s perspectives.  And if not members of Congress yet, certainly the mothers and grandparents and fathers of these kids and they live in all 50 states.

And so I believe that the nature of this debate has changed because we have such fearlessness coming from the next generation.  And I think they`re demanding that we hold members of Congress accountable who won`t stand up to the NRA.  And it`s one of the reasons why, Chris, as a presidential candidate, the first bill I introduced as a candidate was getting money out of politics.

We`ve got to go to the root of the corruption which is the greed in Washington and you got to take out political corruption by publicly funding elections, clean elections.

HAYES:  You were just at a reproductive freedom forum I believe in Missouri if I`m not mistaken.  You have been someone who`s spoken a lot about reproductive choice and about the judiciary particularly and its importance.  I want to read you this.  Preet Bharara tweeted this and it`s not a novel insight on his part, but I thought it was well said.

He said, given the makeup of the court in Trump`s explicit promise, if he`s re-elected, Roe is gone, choice is gone.  Dem candidates might consider repeating us like a mantra every day.  First of all, do you agree with that as a descriptive of where things stand and do you think there has been a sufficient emphasis on that point in the campaign so far?

GILLIBRAND:  Yes, President Trump has had an all-out attack on women`s rights and he`s emboldened 30 legislatures around the country to pass anti- choice legislation with the intention of overturning Roe.  I think President Trump will try very hard right now to try to put forward a case to overturn Roe.  It`s why he chose Gorsuch, it`s why he chose Kavanagh.

And so as president, I will only nominate judges and justices that see Roe as the (INAUDIBLE) that it`s been.  It`s provided a constitutional right for 40 years to a right to privacy.  And one of the reasons why I want to make that September debate stage, Chris, is because candidates aren`t raising this issue.  They`re not being asked about it.  It`s why I went to the frontlines in Missouri.  It`s why I went to the frontlines in Georgia.

So I hope your viewers will go to KirstenGillibrand.com and help my campaign.  Send a dollar so they can make the September debate stage because these are the issues that we have to be addressing, because President Trump is literally starting a war with America`s women.  And if it`s a war he wants, it`s a war he`s going to have and frankly it`s a war he`s going to lose.

HAYES:  All right, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, thank you so much for sharing your time.

GILLIBRAND:  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  Coming up, the 1619 project published in the New York Times is changing the conversation on the legacy of slavery in America.  It`s causing a bit of -- a little bit of a meltdown on the right.  That`s ahead.

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HAYES:  Senator Elizabeth Warren has been in a slow and steady ascent in the Democratic primary.  Just last week a Fox News poll had her in second place with 20 percent of the vote, although she`s also polled as third place in a lot of polls as well behind Senator Bernie Sanders.

Still, she continues to be shadowed by questions about for an " electability" or perceived political weaknesses.  The biggest of which appears to be tied to the question of her ethnic background to one having once identified as a Native American during her career as a law professor.  Warren says she based that on an ancestral claim, on stories that were passed down by her family.

Now, Trump turned that into a racist trope to mock her.  In fact, just last week in New Hampshire, the President was once again ranting that he was going to bring that racist trope back because it`s a silver bullet to destroy Elizabeth Warren in the general election.

The following day, Warren released a detailed plan on how to aid Native communities and today appeared at a presidential forum in Iowa on Native American issues ten months after she released a DNA test trying to put that ancestry issue to rest, A test which rubbed a whole lot of people in those very communities the wrong way.

Today she apologized for her handling of the issue and talked about her plans to help indigenous communities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: I know that I have made mistakes.  I am sorry for harm I have caused.  I have listened, and I have learned a lot.  And I am grateful for the many conversations that we have had  together.

It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian country, and that`s what I`ve tried to do as a senator and that`s what I promise I will do as president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Joining me now, journalist Julian Brave Noisecat, who was present at today`s forum and who works with the MDM collective, which advocates for indigenous communities.  Also with me Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster and strategist and an MSNBC political analyst.

Julian, I saw you tweeting about the event today.  And I`m just curious what the atmosphere was like in the room, what the event was like and what the reception for the senator was like.

JULIAN BRAVE NOISECAT, JOURNALIST:  The atmosphere in the room, Chris, was wonderful.  Indian Country is on the rise, and we are trying to hold the candidates to account.  Our votes matter.  Our tribes are strong advocates on Capitol Hill.  And we received the candidates warmly, and I think that that included Senator Warren, who came out front and apologized for the mistake that she made in the roll-out of her campaign with regards to the DNA test.

So I think it was a really positive day for Indian country and a positive day for the candidates.

HAYES:  Cornell, you know, part of -- there`s sort of two things happening, right?  So substantive issue here about -- well, there are three things, right?  Substantive issue that a lot of indigenous communities, I think particularly members of Cherokee Nation felt like this was -- the way she handled this DNA which has this really ugly history and how appropriation has happened in the past, that that was a sort of substantive critique with it.  And then there is a sort of broader issue for the senator about like what that means for her electability.  And I wonder how you think about the second order thinking of Democratic primary voters about, like, will other people care about this thing?

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER:  You know, on the first issue, look, she -- to those who are in fact would be most offended by this, she apologized and she`s trying to make amends.  I don`t take -- I don`t put a lot of credence in this idea that like if he`s attacking her on Pocahontas, something clearly that is racist, if he`s making -- if he`s attacking her as Pocahontas, that means she`s losing.

Let`s be clear, if Donald Trump`s best line against her is, you know, Pocahontas, she`s probably going to be doing quite well.  I mean, and who is this -- who is this voter that is going to be on the fence?  I`m thinking about Trump or I`m thinking about Elizabeth Warren, but if she had just been more  transparent about the whole Indian thing, so I got to vote for Trump.   That voter does not exist.

HAYES:  Right.

How do you --  Julian, how do you -- as Cornell says that, I always wonder -- I`ve been reading a lot of -- I`ve been reading some Cherokee writers who have been critical of Senator Warren. Rebecca Naegel (ph) who has been tweeting about this, you retweeted her today, who is still critical.  Felt that she has not done enough.

How do you sort of conceptualize the sort of good faith objections obviously by people in indigenous and native communities and like this monstrously racist bad faith hammer that the president is wielding against her.  How do you think about that?

NOISECAT:  Look, I think that there are two issues here.  The first is that native people are grossly underrepresented and misrepresented by the media and American culture.

HAYES:  Yep.

NOISECAT:  And, unfortunately, I don`t think that this was the senator`s intent, but the original handling of the DNA test added to that long history of underrepresentation and misrepresentation.  You know, whether that will matter to voters who are not native, you know, I can`t say, but I do think that this is an important learning opportunity for people to understand the complexity of identity, especially for indigenous peoples, and what it means to firstly claim tribal citizenship, which is standing within a tribe, and then the distinguish between that and having some form of ancestry that many people in the United States can say they have.

HAYES:  Let me -- one more follow-up.  And then I`ll come back to you, Cornell.  What were top issues today at this forum?

NOISECAT:  So the top issues for Indian Country are treaty rights.  There are over 300 treaties, which are the supreme law of the land, signed between the United States and federally recognized tribes.  Those treaties are founding documents in the same way that the constitution is a founding document, because this country could not exist without those treaties.  Those are first and foremost on  people`s minds.

Other issue include things like missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  Native people, and particularly native women, suffer from abnormally and grossly high rates of gendered violence.  That`s another huge issue for our people.

And thirdly, there are sort of the meat and potatoes issues for Indian Country, which include things like funding for essential services on Indian reservations often get shut down alongside that, and that is a major issue for tribes who feel like they have a special relationship with the United States that deserves to be upheld whether or not congress is functioning.

HAYES:  Cornell, it seems to me that also one of the things this has highlighted for me, and Julian just said this, is just like, again, the coalitional politics of the Democratic Party are just more complicated in some ways.  In a good way, right?  Like, you`re putting together this coalition of lots of different people, lots of different backgrounds and distinct experiences.  And in some ways the doing of that in the primary is a real -- is the ultimate test for this question of electability.  Like, can you get different people from all walks of life and different experiences to back you?

BELCHER:  That is spot on, Chris.  And, quite frankly, the most important thing.  And it`s why I say time and again if you can`t compete for the votes of minorities, which Sanders struggled with against Hillary, you can`t be the Democratic nominee.  But this is a good thing for the Native American community that we have candidates going there and talking about their issues.  It`s a good thing that  candidates are competing for the Hispanic and African-American vote in ways that they haven`t before.  I`ve never heard a Democrat talk about systemic racism before.  These are good things that are happening and that these candidates are in this space and competing for these votes speak well about how strategic it is for them to win the primary, but they can`t win the general election, they can`t rebuild the Obama coalition without doing it.

HAYES:  All right.  Cornell Belcher and Julian Brave Noisecat, who I learned a lot from today.  Thank you both very much for being with me.

Still ahead, the conservative backlash to the 1619 Project.

Plus, some news about this program we`re pretty excited about.

Then there is probably the most important thing we`ll do today, the return of Thing One, Thing Two next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, Congressman Steve King is in his home state of Iowa facing his  constituents just days after questioning whether there would be any population of the world left if we, quote, just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest.  Okay.

King has faced a massive backlash in the wake of those remarks -- I was on vacation while he was -- from members of both parties, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney who called on his to resign and a lot of King`s constituents are not so happy with him either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you still stand by your defense of your rape and incest comments by saying that no one can argue with the factual basis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We`ve on seen, heard and read all the comments that you`ve made from saying that we have calves the size of watermelons from smuggle marijuana, from the quote that you said in 2006 about installing electric fences along the border, because, hey, they use them on cattle, it will work on immigrants.  And all those other things that you`ve said that have been very demeaning towards people of my color.

You have also said, though, we cannot rebuild our civilization with other people`s babies?  What does that mean?  So, like, my baby`s not good enough to rebuild a civilization?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You, Mr. King, cannot do anything about immigration, because you have no significance in congress.  It is now time for us to elect J.D. Scholten who will represent our community.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  But if you thought that town hall was rough, just wait until you hear about this one.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  Congressman Steve King has faced a wave of criticism following his remarks last week on rape and incest, but he carried on with scheduled town halls in his home district in Iowa this week regardless, including this one in Grundy County on Saturday where only one single constituent showed up.  Her name is Jessica Birch.  She`s 21 years old.  She`s a student at the University of Northern Iowa.

She told a local news outlet that she felt a civic duty to attend the town hall despite being hungover the morning. 

She says she initially sat at the back of the room, but after the congressman entered and greeted her, she moved up to the front near the only other member of the audience who was a Steve King intern.

Birch describes the experience as, quote, "awkward" and, quote, "weird."  And says, quote, "part of me wanted to leave, but it would be rude to leave and the Midwestern part of me couldn`t do that."

Congressman King went through his whole policy agenda with the audience of one.  He started with the view on trade policy, then he turned to issues important to Birch, like affordable housing, reparations, and student loan debt.  After an hour, King`s staff encouraged Birch to take a photo with the congressman.  Birch says she politely declined, mostly because I plan to run for office, and I don`t need a picture of Steve King and I shaking hands in the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA:  You`re the best audience I`ve ever had.  Not one person has ever individually contributed so much to a town hall meeting as you, Jessica.  And if I had a certificate I`d bring you up here and give you an award today.

JESSICA BIRCH, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA STUDENT:  It`s fine.  It`s...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  All right.  So I`m back from vacation with some very exciting news.  We are going to try something new here at All In.  Trying something new is one of my favorite things to do in the  world, though sometimes it can be hard in life and in the business of cable news.  Starting this Friday, we will be doing a limited edition run of three summer Fridays in a row where we will be doing this show, All In with Chris Hayes, that`s me, in front of a live studio audience.

We`ve had some fun doing live events for my podcast Why is This Happening, like the time we had Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on.  We really enjoyed that.  And so now we want to take that same spirit and bring it to you, the cable news viewer.  We`re going to be doing this thing in a very cool theater here in 30 Rock, it was once home to Conan O`Brien and David Letterman, and now it`s ours.

The exciting part of it all is that you can come join us live.  The tickets for this Friday`s show are available now.  They are free.  That`s Friday, August 23.  Go to allin23.eventbrite.com.   You see it right there written on the bottom.  More details about Friday`s big show as the week progresses.  Go get your tickets so you can be part of our live studio audience right here in New York.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  So if you get The New York Times or you read it online, you may have noticed this incredibly ambitious project that they`ve undertaken and have been unveiling over the course of the last week, and particularly this weekend.

It`s called the 16191 Project.  And it is done as a commemoration, investigation of, the 400th anniversary of the first 20 enslaved Africans that were brought to Point Comfort in the British Colony of Virginia.  The project spans all different parts of the paper.  There are different essays and writing and reporting on the legacy of this most insidious and particular American institution whose existence and legacy has defined so much of American history even after its legal abolition.

Now, lots of people across the political spectrum, including conservatives, have found the project, as I have found it, illuminating.  Among them, Cato Institute`s Matthew Feeney, writing about the 1619 Project today "what is clear is the United States has yet to fully come to terms with its history of racial violence and oppression."

But the Time`s project has also provoked a backlash among some on the right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The whole project is a lie.  Look, I think slavery is a terrible thing.  I think putting slavery in context is important.  We still have slavery in places around the world today, so we need to recognize this is an ongoing story.  This is a tragic decline of The New York Times into a propaganda paper worthy of Pravda or Ezvestia (ph) in the  Soviet  Union.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  It`s always nice to see former speaker giving us his anti-slavery bona fides.

Other conservatives, including The Washington Examiner`s chief political correspondent, Byron York, Fox News contributor, said it`s really part of The New York Times agenda to target Trump.

All which prompts the question, what are they so afraid of?  What is it a bout a deep and sustained study of one of the most important foundational institutions in the country that scares and offends them.

Joining me now, Nikole Hannah-Jones, domestic correspondent for New York Times magazine, focusing on racial injustice, who conceived this massive 1619 Project and produced it at The New York Times.  She also wrote the lead piece on black Americans` fight to make our country`s founding ideals true.

Also with me, Carol Anderson, chair of African-American studies at Emory University, author of One Person, No Vote, among other works.  It`s great to have you both.

What,  I mean, I guess there is some party that was prepared for some kind of backlash.  What do you make of it?

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE:  I`m not that surprised.  The whole reason we did the project in the first place is because our society has been unwilling to grapple with the legacy of slavery with the centrality of slavery, to the development of the United States, so this isn`t that shocking to me.

That anyone would call this, though, a propaganda tool or that somehow I spent, you know, since February working on this to commemorate the anniversary because The New York Times wanted to get at Trump is, of course, ridiculous.

We didn`t plan the anniversary to happen in August of 2019 just so, you know, it would coincide with Trump`s issues with being called a racist.  But I`m really not surprised.  I mean, this is a project like this excavates our true nature and is in direct opposition to our founding myths.

HAYES:  And this -- Carol, that sort of gets at I think why there is some resistance, right?  That the complexity that is required to think about the nature of the country in sort of with respect to slavery is difficult, right.  Like, there is not -- it requires a lot of very hard thinking and wrestling that I think makes people uncomfortable.

CAROL ANDERSON, EMORY UNIVERSITY:  Very uncomfortable, Chris, very uncomfortable, because you are trying to deal -- you are trying to reconcile, "we hold these truths to be self-evident."  We are trying to reconcile the "one nation."  We are trying to reconcile with "liberty and justice for all."

But it`s like life with an asterisk and that asterisk then requires us to really interrogate why are we still dealing with issues of high infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates?  Why are we dealing with mass incarceration?  Why are we dealing with police violence?  Why are we dealing with the kind of massive disparities in wealth? 

And when we cannot lock it down into our very narrowed pat sound bytes about well this is the land of equal opportunity.  When we have to really understand that it`s not equal opportunity and begin to really delve deeply into that, that history becomes, I believe, more rich, more complex, but it really just blows away the kind of folks who want to sit there in that nice little cocoon of just everything is fine.

HAYES:  You write, when to what Professor Anderson is talking about, you said the United States is founded on both an ideal and a lie.  And I keep thinking when I was reading your essay the Frederick Douglass "What to the Slave is The Fourth of July" where he sort of does the whole thing, right.  He starts out by being like, listen white people, great job.  I`m happy for you.  But here`s where things look like for us. 

And like that`s -- that can`t -- that`s never going to go away.

HANNAH-JONES:  Yeah, I mean, you can`t deny the fact that when Thomas Jefferson is writing these words, "we hold these truths to be self- evident," which are some of the most famous words in the English language, but there is -- that his enslaved brother-in-law sitting right next to him, there to answer his beck and call and who will enjoy none of those rights.

HAYES:  Literally in the room.

HANNAH-JONES:  Literally in the room, was brought amongst the 130 people that Jefferson owned on his forced labor camp that we call Monticello. 

You can`t remember 1776 and not think about 1619.  And I think what a lot of conservatives want is they want to choose which parts of our past we remember and which parts of our past we forget.  And I don`t understand what people are so afraid of if we`re simply revealing the truth about our country.

My essay is actually probably the most patriotic thing I`ve ever written.

HAYES:  Yeah, it`s all about how you came to love the flag.

HANNAH-JONES:  Yeah, it`s a story of redemption.  And I think what people are uncomfortable with who the people who are redeeming this country are the people who we`ve always considered to be a problem and on the bottom.

HAYES:  Do you think that we were -- part of what has brought us to this point, professor, is that there was a concerted effort of a historiography, particularly after the end of the Reconstruction and the rise of the white supremacist Redemption governments of the south, the entire nation, north and south, would learn history that essentially exculpated a lot of the people involved in slavery, exculpated a lot of the Confederacy, and it`s remarkable to me how widespread that was and how contemporary and modern that is.

Like how much does history, the basic teaching of history in America have to change?

ANDERSON:  Oh, it has to be systematically transformed.  One of the things that we didn`t have happen here, we didn`t have our own version of a de-Nazification program, we didn`t have a de-Confederization program.  Instead we had mass amnesty.  And then we had -- we get these kind  of monuments coming up during the rise of Jim Crowe, and particularly after the Brown decision.  And so we get this heralding of and this narrative of southern heritage, without really asking what does that mean.

We get this narrative of that, well the problem was just the south, without figuring out, OK, so what happened in Oakland?  What happened in Chicago?  What happened in New York?  And by not having that kind of history, then we have so many Americans walking through wanting this very -- believing in this kind of very nice, pat sanitized narrative, that then doesn`t get at the kinds of structural issues.

HAYES:  Yeah, and people just don`t know a lot of it, just at the basic factual level is amazing to me how little people know about this.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, Carol Anderson, thank you both.

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

Good evening, Rachel.  I`m sorry, I`m 30 seconds late.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END