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Panic after Bill Taylor. TRANSCRIPT: 10/23/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Daniel Fried, Aram Roston, Ozlem Goner, GloriaSteinem, Robin Morgan

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

BYRON YORK, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  The Ukrainians did not know that the aid was being withheld.

HAYES:  Another tortured White House talking point goes poof.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You can`t have a quid pro quo with no quo.

HAYES:  Tonight, as the Trump defenders spin out of control --

MATT WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  Abuse of power is not a crime.

HAYES:  What we`re learning about when Ukraine knew about Trump`s quid pro quo.  Plus, as Rudy`s pals meet their judge --

LEV PARNAS, ASSOCIATE OF RUDY GIULIANI:  I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court.

HAYES:  What we know about the mob-linked to Ukrainian oligarch funding their spree.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP:  I can`t furnish it.  F-I-R-T-A-S-H.

HAYES:  Then, the Kurdish reaction to the President`s debacle in Syria.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Wow, what a great outcome.  Congratulations.

HAYES:  And how the most powerful woman in America is standing up to the president, with the Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA):  I think the President knows the argument that can be made against him and he`s scared.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  One by one, sometimes hour by hour, the President`s defenses just keep collapsing.  Here`s how things have gone as the president and his allies have tried to defend the indefensible.

First, they stake out a position, and then that position falls out from under their feet so they retreat a step, and then that position falls out from under their feet.  And so it goes over and over and over again.  It started with that infamous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president where he asks for military assistance, the Ukrainian President, and Trump responds with quote I would like you to do us a favor though.

At first, Trump and company insisted the call was a perfect call arguing it was perfectly appropriate for a president to coerce a besieged foreign entity into investigating his rivals so long as there was no quid pro quo.  That was their line.

And then came Bill Taylor`s testimony yesterday.  He`s the U.S. Chief of Mission to Ukraine who made very clear there was a quid pro quo directed by the president.  The Ukraine would only get the desperately needed military aid that Congress had already authorized if the Ukrainians agreed to manufacture dirt on Trump`s political rival in a televised interview and provide ammo for the president`s baseless conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.

Now, to be sure, the quid pro quo was already fairly clear.  It`s basically right there in the call text but Taylor`s testimony appeared to establish it more or less definitively.  So then they move the line again with Trump effectively arguing this morning OK there may have been a quid pro quo but it was a really incompetent one because we never told them we were withholding the aid, which is a defense I guess.

Here`s Trump`s tweet quoting what a Republican Congressman said on Trump T.V.  "Neither Taylor or any of the witnesses provided testimony the Ukrainians were well aware that military a was being withheld.  You can`t have a quid pro quo with no quo.

But it didn`t take long for that one to collapse either.  Just a short time after that very tweet, the New York Times with an alert on your phone reporting that Ukraine knew of the aid freeze by August which is the time notes completely undermines Trump`s defense.  There is your quo.

And by the way, just a little while after that story came out, the A.P. reported that the Ukrainian leader felt Trump pressure before even taking office.  The President of Ukraine as an incoming president even hosted a meeting all the way back in May two weeks after being elected before he was even inaugurated president.  And the meeting focused on "how to navigate the insistence from Trump and his personal water Rudy Giuliani for a probe into the Biden`s.

As Trump`s defenses keep collapsing, his political standing keeps deteriorating.  A new Quinnipiac poll finds that support for the impeachment inquiry has reached a new high with 55 percent of the country, a clear majority backing the inquiry.  Nearly half of registered voters, 48 percent, already say that Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

Then there`s a situation in the Senate.  According to The Daily Beast, Trump has been privately whining that Senate Republicans are "failing to counter-program the Democratic-led House impeachment inquiry."

It is understandable they aren`t rallying to the President`s defense as one senior Senate Republican aide told The Daily Beast, "They are not very enthusiastic about defending the indefensible on this stuff."  Just listen to what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The President has said that you told him that his phone call with the Ukrainian President was perfect and innocent.  Do you believe that the President has handled the Ukrainian situation perfectly?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):  I would not had any conversations on that subject.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So he was lying about that?

MCCONNELL:  You`d have to ask him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  To be sure, Trump still has plenty of Republican sycophants in the House.  Today, in a truly pointless stunt seemingly designed solely to generate content for Trump T.V., a bunch of them made a big show of storming the secure facility in the capital where impeachment investigators are deposing witnesses.

We should note that some of these folks are on the committees doing the investigating so they don`t need to storm the proceedings because some were already allowed inside and had been inside before.  But they apparently wanted to put on a show of destructing hearing.

And Trump appeared to be fully on board with their obstruction.  Bloomberg reporting the President "had advanced knowledge and supported the stunt.  The Republicans did manage to delay the proceedings with their high jinks, but they couldn`t stop it.

I mean, this ongoing and increasingly hysterical whining from Republicans about the process is born of impotence.  The Constitution gives to the House and to the House alone the ability to impeach the president.  Democrats control the House because they decisively defeated dozens of Republicans in 2018.  And Democrats now represent a majority of Americans in that body of our government.

It is becoming more and more clear that Republicans in the White House view this as fundamentally illegitimate.  I`m joined now by Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, member of that Intelligence Judiciary Committee who was in that impeachment hearing today.

I don`t want to talk about your colleagues first.  I want to talk about what you learned today and yesterday.  Did you actually -- were you able to get testimony today?  Was he useful?  And what`s your reaction to what you heard yesterday?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA):  Good evening, Chris, and thank you for asking that because that`s the most important thing that happened today was that Miss Cooper, a public servant came forward.  She was ready to testify at 10:00 in the morning.  And despite this stunt that you described, she stuck around all day.  And when she was asked to, she raised her right hand, told the truth, gave us new information that is helpful, fills in our timeline, and also just allows us to understand who was involved and not involved in the shakedown scheme.

Yesterday as you described and I think this in part motivated this effort by the Republicans to obstruct, Ambassador Taylor issues -- read in The Washington Post.  And I think that statement in the Post shows that indeed there was a shakedown scheme.  But it wasn`t just a sharp straight line from Donald Trump to Rudy Giuliani.  You see that it was also Donald Trump to Ambassador Sondland.

So this goes all the way to the top with Donald Trump.  It`s not a rogue Rudy.  You have Donald Trump with these directives trying to use your taxpayer dollars to extort the Ukrainians for his personal benefit.

HAYES:  Do you think -- what is your understanding of the argument your colleagues are making about this right now?  They seemed undecided between no quid pro quo or there was a quid pro quo or anything is fine.

SWALWELL:  Yes.  So one, it should be noted that we passed in 2018 in Congress aid for the Ukrainians and then a process was put in place for that aid to come to them.  In many ways, aid is binary in that as soon as is passed and signed in law by the President, the Ukrainians are waiting for it.  And every second that ticks by that they don`t have it, they know that they don`t have it.  So that in and of itself is leverage.

HAYES:  It`s a good point.  Yes.

SWALWELL:  That`s leverage.  And we also are starting to learn about the human cost of not having that aid.  We`ve heard now from witnesses described that this is a matter of life and death for Ukrainians.

And if Americans are, you know, really offended and repulsed by what`s happening with the slaughtering of the Turks and the green light the president gave there, they should equally be concerned that the President was leveraging this aid and Ukrainians could have benefited from medical aid and that defense aid, and they were dying because it was being held up for his personal political game.

HAYES:  I want to play you something that the former Attorney General of the United States Matt Whittaker -- although he served an interim capacity and was challenged in court about whether he was actually Attorney General.  This is what he said yesterday in apparently a guest defending the president, a little hard to tell.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITAKER:  I`m a prosecutor.  And what I know is this is a perfect time for preliminary hearing where you would say show us your evidence.  What evidence of a crime you have?  I mean, the Constitution -- you know, sort of abuse of power is not a crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Abuse of power is not a crime.  What do you think of that defense?

SWALWELL:  If he was in Russia, if he was in China, if he was in some other countries that I don`t think we want to look like, he may be right.  It is a crime.  It was one of the articles that Richard Nixon faced.  And I don`t think any of us want to look at our children and say I went to work today and decided that abuse of power is not a crime.

HAYES:  Final question.  What is the timeline here?  Obviously, the process complaints I think aren`t pursued in good faith, but there is some transparency argument that at some point this can`t mean behind closed doors.  The American people, all of us Republicans, Democrats, citizens and journalists have to hear what`s happening.

SWALWELL:  You`re absolutely right.  And there will be a public phase.  And I want to address, I think it`s a fair question, why are you doing this initial phase underground.  And first, I should say, 120 members of Congress have access to these hearings.

Now, the overwhelming majority of my Republican colleagues who come in the morning and complain about the process, they leave and they don`t stick around.  I wish they would because they would be I think concerned about what they hear, but they have access to be there.  That is nearly a fourth -- more than a fourth of the Congress.

But Chris, because no investigation was done by a special counsel as in Watergate, as in the Clinton impeachment trial, Attorney General Barr punted on this, didn`t want to investigate, we`re going to do that first close-hold investigation to see what the witnesses know.

And we have evidence, Chris, recent evidence in our investigation that witnesses are working together to try and coordinate for a testimony.  That`s exactly what we want to prevent and that`s why if this initial phase we`re having it in a close hold fashion.  But it will be public soon.

HAYES:  Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks for being with me tonight.

SWALWELL:  My pleasure.  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  Joining me now, Law Professor Joyce Vance, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and an MSNBC Contributor.  Also with me, former Ambassador of Poland Daniel Fried who served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2005 to 2009.

Ambassador Fried, let me start with you as someone who has a long and sterling career in the Foreign Service and in American diplomacy.  From your perch and from knowing many of the players involved, just your reaction to what has been laid out over the last few days and particularly in Bill Taylor`s testimony?

DANIEL FRIED, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN AFFAIRS:  Bill Taylor is an old friend and I found his testimony compelling and devastating.  He lays out the circumstances under which the President of the United States abandoned his public duties for the sake of his private interests.  That`s appalling and I`ve never seen anything like that.

HAYES:  Let me follow up on that.  I think there`s an argument that they have tried to trot out which basically says, come on, everyone does this.  Everyone is corrupt and quid pro quo is part of foreign policy and really - -

FRIED:  No.

HAYES:  You don`t buy that?

FRIED:  I served in the Clinton, Bush, Obama administration`s at fairly senior levels.  I never saw a president act in his private political interest ever.  I went through -- I went through 9/11 in the White House, and the aftermath, and a lot of tough decisions made afterwards.  And Bill Clinton grappling with the issue of European -- Europe after the end of the Cold War, they were acting in what they thought was the best interest of the country.  And they did not put their own partisan interests first.

HAYES:  Joyce, there`s a converging line -- I just played Matt Whittaker abuse of power is not a crime, the sort of fundamental view of this is illegitimate by House Republicans who call it a coup and stormed it today.  And then the Trump -- Trump`s own lawyers in court today arguing against the Manhattan D.A. being able to subpoena tax records going so far as to say that even if he shot some on Fifth Avenue, he can`t be prosecuted or even investigated.  Were you as taken aback by that argument as apparently folks in the courtroom were?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I listened to that entire argument this morning.  It was about an hour of argument in front of the Second Circuit.  And throughout the argument, the position taken by Trump`s lawyers was really pretty astounding.

Obviously, this was sort of the peak moment, peak Trump, right?  I could kill somebody and you still can`t investigate me.  But the entire argument that they make is just reprehensible.  It is that a sitting president can`t be investigated or indicted no matter what he does by state or by federal prosecutors.  And that`s just inconsistent with any notion of having a rule of law country.

HAYES:  And this is a theme here.  I mean, the inability to distinguish between the President`s personal interests and public interests between what`s good for the country and what`s good for him.  And Ambassador Fried, in the president appearing today to kind of he called radical bureaucrats, he blamed them yesterday, the president appearing to call for political tests for the career for civil service today, he says this.

"It would be really great if the Trump administration all well-meaning and good I hope can stop hiring never Trumpers who are worse than the do- nothing Democrats.  Nothing good will ever come of them."  What do you think about the President sort of suggesting a kind of political test or purge throughout the federal government?

FRIED:  It`s appalling to think that the President of the United States has so little understanding of the oath of office that we all take to defend the Constitution.  Our oath isn`t to a political party, it`s not to the president, it`s to the Constitution.

Foreign service officers and I was one 40 years serve abroad under sometimes pretty tough conditions.  Sometimes they don`t come home.  A little respect for the people who serve the nation and a little decency would seem not too much to ask from the President of the United States.

HAYES:  Joyce, the through-line here in both his conduct in Ukraine and what we`re learning and in those comments there that Ambassador Fried are talking about, and even in the President`s defense is precisely that idea that the nation is Trump and Trump is the nation.  And that seems to be the terrain upon which this entire battle will be fought.

VANCE:  It is the terrain.  And the President seems to have so personified the country as his own personal interest that one shudders to think what the Founding Fathers would make of it.  Trump is precisely what Alexander Hamilton, what the remainder of the Founding Fathers George Washington, what they were concerned with, a president who in self-deal, a president who might be subverted by foreign powers that didn`t have the best interests of the country at heart.  This is exactly why they created impeachment as a remedy.

HAYES:  All right, Joyce Vance and Ambassador Daniel Fried, thank you both very much.  Next, Rudy Giuliani and a mob-linked Ukrainian oligarch with Giuliani`s indicted associates right in the middle.  The chain of truly sketchy characters keeps getting longer as Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman go before a federal judge in two minutes.

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HAYES:  Today in the latest adventures of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, remember, these are Rudy Giuliani`s two naturalized American citizens Soviet-born business associates who were indicted a couple of weeks ago.  The two pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan federal court.  They`ve been charged with violating campaign finance law and conspiring to use foreign money to buy political influence and violation of law.  And I think it`s fair to say reports indicate they`re somewhat sketchy dudes.

They have been working closely with Rudy Giuliani traveling all the world with him, trying to get the Ukrainian government to basically manufacture dirt in the President`s political rival, the subject of the impeachment inquiry.

In fact, they`re working so much with Rudy Giuliani that their lawyer even made the case they couldn`t come and testify before Congress because and I quote here, "Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump, their part of Trump`s legal team.

Well, today in court, Parnas and his lawyer said his association with Rudy Giuliani was so close, get this, the White House might invoke executive privilege.  Now, Parnas and Fruman are accused of very serious crimes, crimes that relate directly to funneling Russian money into American campaigns including a pro-Trump PAC and also trying to get rid of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

And one of their portfolios, the work they do, that includes working with Rudy Giuliani.  Reuters reports Giuliani was paid $500,000 by Lev Parnas` company called, and a swear to God this is true, Fraud Guarantee.  But here`s the thing about these gentlemen.

They were up to a lot of other businesses.  They were like going to start a marijuana business in Nevada and doing some other stuff.  They were also working for someone else.  And it is worthwhile to take a second to explain who that person is.  His name is Dmitro Firtash and he is a big deal, OK.

He is the guy who made hundreds of millions of dollars as the Kremlin`s man running all the natural gas in Ukraine and controlling the flow of said natural gas in one of the ways -- is one of the ways by which Russia controls who has power in Ukraine.  Firtash is also tied to the Russian mob, and I mean really tied to the Russian mob.

Remember Bill Taylor, the chief -- U.S. Chief of Mission to Ukraine who unloaded detailed testimony revealing Trump`s Ukraine quid-pro-quo?  The Washington Post reports that back in 2010 when Taylor was Ambassador to Ukraine, his first time around, he wrote in an internal diplomatic cable saying Firtash had acknowledged ties to Russian mob boss in a private meeting.

The guy he has ties to is known as the boss of bosses.  The FBI says he is "involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.  And Dmitri Firtash himself, I shouldn`t overlook, has also been indicted in American federal court for bribery.  He`s right now in Vienna fighting extradition.

And if Vienna sounds familiar, it`s because that is where Rudy Giuliani said his indicted associates Parnas and Fruman were heading before their arrest.  Reuters which has done excellent reporting on this subject, reports both men had been working for Firtash for several months before Parnas joined the Ukrainian mogul`s legal team.

In fact, we learned from the Washington Post that after consulting Lev Parnas, Firtash hired the new legal team over the summer.  The husband-wife team of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, they are on Fox News all the time, and were at one point going to be Trump`s lawyers until they weren`t.

These guys Parnas and Fruman have overlapping gigs so they work with Giuliani and stuff for the president, one of their gigs, and then they work with these two right-wing conservative media star lawyers who defend the president on TV but also are being paid by a mob-linked oligarch in court.

That court case for Firtash is a big deal.  Federal prosecutors in Chicago have been fighting for his extradition for years.  And so get this, when Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman end up in federal custody, nabbed at a D.C. airport in an outbound flight, we now know from The Washington Post, the prosecutors working on Firtash`s case were like wait a second, we know those guys from the Ukrainian oligarch Russian mob world.  And now they are working with Rudy Giuliani, the president`s lawyer?  What is going on here?

Joining me now, the reporter who broke the story that Giuliani was paid $500,000 by Lev Parnas` company and the story that Parnas and Fruman both worked for Dmitri Firtash, Aram Roston.  He`s Foreign Policy Correspondent for Reuters.

So Aram, let`s start first -- a lot of names here are somewhat complicated but just start with Firtash and the case against him.

ARAM ROSTON, FOREIGN POLICY CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS:  Well, he was indicted in Chicago in 2013 for bribery, bribing an Indian for access to titanium mines.  And ever since, well, he was arrested in 2014 in Austria and he`s been fighting extradition.  Here in the U.S., he`s been trying to get him extradited to face these charges for a long time.  And he`s been -- he`s been fighting successfully to stay there.

HAYES:  So you`ve got -- Parnas and Fruman are working -- what is their relationship to Firtash?  Like are they working with him, working for him, working with people working for him?

ROSTON:  It`s tough to know precisely what they were doing, but he was helping them and we -- our source told us he was -- he was backing them financially, enabling them to do what they were doing.  They were -- they were -- obviously, they have a lot of expenses to fly back and forth to Washington and their homes, and then to fly to Vienna to see him, and to see others and to push for this scheme.  And they needed -- they needed somebody -- some financial support.  Later --

HAYES:  Wait, Firtash was backing Parnas and Fruman?  He was paying them money, paying their expenses as they were running this -- partly running this weird Ukrainian shadow policy?

ROSTON:  Recently.  But we -- I don`t want to imply that this was going back -- all the way back into 2018 and so forth.  This was in 2019.

HAYES:  OK.  And later, of course, as we reported -- as we reported and others did, Parnas introduced Firtash and set him up with Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova as his new legal counsel in D.C.  And they were -- you know, he`s got a lawyer in Chicago to handle, you know, high filing motions and briefs in court.  They were doing more the political side of his legal defense on the extradition matters, trying to prevent him from getting extradited.

HAYES:  Right.  So Parnas steers the representation from Lanny Davis` old Clinton person in a Democrat, to these sort of right-wing conservative media lawyer stars.  And then after taking the case, Toensing and diGenova secured a rare face-to-face meeting with Attorney General William Barr and other Justice Department officials to argue against the charges.  That seems like very successful representation by choice by Mr. Firtash.

ROSTON:  It really does.  I mean, and they were -- they were Parnas, as I`ve said, themselves.  They were paying Parnas as a -- as a translator.  He`s not as far as we know a professional translator, but that became his job and his role and that`s how he was -- he was receiving money in this context.

HAYES:  So two questions here.  So we know that Parnas was directing money these -- that Firtash was directing money to these two men who also paid Giuliani $500,000.  We don`t have any evidence that like the half a million bucks Rudy got ultimately came from Firtash, right?

ROSTON:  That chronology wouldn`t make sense as we know it.

HAYES:  OK.  So I want to just put that on the table.  And then second of all, like do we know -- Firtash has his own axes to grind with various members of the Ukrainian the prosecutor community.  And do we know if he was sort of trying to peddle his own kind of like oppo on Ukraine officials or Hunter Biden as part of this scheme as well?

ROSTON:  Well, it`s a good question.  Did he join it -- I mean, the way people are seeing it now it`s that, you know, he sort of began more recently to join and -- the push to reinvestigate Burisma and Hunter Biden case.  You know, the famously -- the prosecutor are shocked in his -- in his affidavit was in support of the Firtash case, right?  And it`s the thing that lays out some of these conspiracy theories.

HAYES:  Yes.

ROSTON:  And this wasn`t something that come up from -- in a Firtash case which is -- which has been argued very vigorously in court and hadn`t come up before.

HAYES:  All right Aram Roston, thank you very much.  Ahead, as the President tries to take credit for fixing the catastrophe he created for Kurdish allies, what did the Kurdish people have to say about it all?  Next.

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HAYES:  A recurring theme of the Trump administration as the President creating catastrophe is he done pretends to solve.  But none have had quite the sheer human stakes and brutality of what he has done in Syria where after one phone call with the Turkish president, Trump greenlit an invasion which led to the cessation of all anti-ISIS operations, the clearing out of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees, Kurds being killed, the betrayal of Kurdish fighters who fought side by side with ISIS -- the U.S. in the battle against ISIS and who lost more than 11,000 soldiers doing so.

A hasty retreat of U.S. forces who had to bomb their own military base, leaving a U.S. armory convoy to get pelted by stones and rotten fruit by angry and betrayed Kurds.  And then after all that, there was a pact yesterday between Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin to effectively carve up a portion of northeastern Syria between them.

President Trump came out today, having caused this incredible domino effect of catastrophe, to declare victory an claim credit for the two weeks of unmitigated human misery that has ensued from his initial decision.

We keep talking about how the Kurds are our allies.  It is notable that voices of Kurds have been, as far as I can tell, almost entirely absent from the coverage.  So I wanted to speak to our next  guest, she is Ozlem Goner, an assistant professor at the City University of New York.  Goner is Kurdish, born inside Turkey but lives here now, and is a member of the Emergency Committee for ROJAVA, a steering committee  that`s been funneling international support to those Kurdish forces that have successfully resisted ISIS in the area of the Turkish border now known as ROJAVA.  She also has a book out called "Turkish National Identity and its Outsiders."  Ozlem Goner, thank you so much for being here.

OZLEM GONER, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK:  Thank you for having me.

HAYES:  First, I guess just your reaction as someone who is in contact with folks there, particularly the folks in ROJAVA, which was this sort of stronghold of Kurdish self-governance.  How -- what has happened here?  And what does it mean?

GONER:  Well, Trump served Kurds on a silver plate to Erdogan who has decided and declared that he was going to do this invasion and occupation at the UN meeting late September.  And Erdogan he has declared -- Erdogan has told everybody that he was meaning to do this, that he`s going to exterminate this place.  He called these people who have been fighting for their self-determination, who have fought against ISIS -- Erdogan called them over and over again as terrorists.

And Trump basically served them on a silver plate.  He led the green light for Turkey to enter and invade this relatively peaceful region within northern Syria.  Relatively peaceful region that was governed by democratic confederalism, pluralism, feminism and ecologically friendly place that is created a beautiful experience in the midst of a war zone in the Middle East.

And not only Trump did that, he was so disrespectful to the Kurds to call them as bad as ISIS or worse than ISIS.  This was very disrespectful.  So people who have fought against ISIS, who have lost more than 11,000 lives, not only do they feel betrayed but right they`re being recolonized because of Trump`s decision, and he decided and he thought that he`s cleaning up this mess by making a deal with the invader, with the occupier, with the violent Turkish state who has declared its violence and its occupation a long time ago.

So he did not make Kurds part of this deal.  Kurds were not part of this negotiation.  He decided to negotiate with Turks.

And now he`s claiming that there`s victory.  If there`s any victory, the victory is that of the Turks and the Turkish government who has done what it has planned to do.

HAYES:  Well, my understanding of what -- there are two things, right?  The Erdogan government has viewed it as intolerable to have essentially an armed Kurdish force on its border.  It says those forces are allied with the same forces who have caused terrorist attacks inside Turkey -- this is the Erdogan line -- but more than that to actually move and resettle hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians out of there, is that your understanding what is taking place?

GONER:  That is ethnic cleansing.  When you remove a population from where they were originally located for centuries and replace them with another population that you think is going to increase your chances of victory within your own nation state, because we know that there`s been reactions among the Turkish nationalists to the Syrian refugees within Turkey.

So he`s using this to replace the Syrian refugees who have not gone to Turkey from the ROJAVA region, they`ve gone from elsewhere, from other places.  And he`s displacing, exterminating, and culling people who have been using violence only as a means of self-defense.  And this is very clear from their social contract that violence is only used as a means of self-defense, because they were denied sovereignty, a nation state so they`re using these means of self-defense against ISIS and against all the other powers like the Assad regime and the Turkish regime who has been threatening them within this region and preventing them from living peacefully, as they`ve been trying to do.

HAYES:  All right, Ozlem Goner, thank you so much making the time tonight.  I really appreciate it.

Ahead, the most powerful woman in America is standing up to the president of the United States.  And Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan have something to say about it.  They join me ahead.

But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two is next.

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HAYES:  Thing One tonight, remember that time Barack Obama misspoke and said he`d been to 57 states, and Republicans are like still talking about it 11 years later?  It`s pretty wild considering we get something like that every couple of hours from the new guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  New Mexico, which I think we`re going to win.  You know why we`re going to win New Mexico, because they want safety on their border.  And they didn`t have it, and we`re building a wall on the border of New Mexico.  And we`re building a wall in Colorado.  We`re building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works, that you can`t get over, you can`t get under. 

And we`re building a wall in Texas.  And we`re not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls we just mentioned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  Wait, are we building a wall in Colorado?  Does the president think Colorado is on the border with Mexico?

The PhotoShop fun began at Twitter.com right after that speech today.  This one is from Darth (ph), who you should be following.  And this one was posted from by the senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy.  Trump`s Sharpie taking the new out of New Mexico.

Now, to be fair geography has never been one of Trump`s best subjects.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

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HAYES:  So Donald Trump seems to think today that Colorado is a border state with Mexico. and so it`s time for another episode of our president is terrible with geography.

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TRUMP:  And we`re building a wall in Colorado.  We`re building a beautiful wall. 

And I`m greatly honored to host this lunch to be joined by the leaders of Cote d`Ivoire Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Nambia...

Tanzania...

China...

Belgium is a beautiful city.

We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico.  We love Puerto Rico.

Heroin overdoses are surging and meth overdoses in Nevada.  Nevada.

And it`s great to be back in Missouria (ph).

You cherish Utah`s gleaming rivers.

This Russia thing with Trump and Russia.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions.

Nobody says it the other way, it has to be Nevada, right?  And if you don`t say it correctly, and it didn`t happen to me, but it happened to a friend of mine, he was killed.

And god bless the United States, thank you very much.  Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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HAYES:  Amidst the rampant criminality and the corruption and the lying and the bigotry and the outrageous and offensive statements and the insults and the barrage of negative attention the president compulsively seeks like a way ward toddler, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the Trump administration isn`t just one guy, it is in fact an entire administration that does run the federal government.  And there are all sorts of daily decisions that are made by members of this administration at the margins that have generally harmful effects for Americans.

Some of them are things that frankly -- you shouldn`t lose sight of this -- just about any Republican administration would be doing.  Like, for instance, environmental roll backs. 

This administration brags about how many regulations they have cut, and they have cut many.  Last month, for example, The New York Times counted 85 environmental regulations that have been rolled back under Trump.

This is not just some theoretical thing out there, this has very tangible effects.  And the tangible effect is 10,000 people dying, according to just released new data.  As The Washington Post put it, quote, in 2018 alone eroding air quality was linked to nearly 10,000 additional deaths in the U.S. relative to the 2016 benchmark, the year in which small particle pollution reached a two decade low, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Now, does that number sound crazy to you?  It sounds crazy to me.  If 10,000 people died prematurely in a terrorist attack, can you imagine the reaction?

But that is the silent cost of these policies.  Air pollution has been falling for years.  The EPA, under President Obama, targeting it aggressively using its powers under the law, including new regulations like the clean power plan.  The Trump administration has gone after those regulations and more, and the result are an estimated 10,000 people dead before their time.

Never, ever lose sight of the fact that the silent deaths of those 10,000 people from the particles in the air you can`t see are as much a legacy of Trump and the Trump administration and everyone who  works for him, maybe even more so, as his ridiculous high jinx shouting at reporters in front of a helicopter.

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HAYES:  Right now, the president is at his most imperiled moment politically, which is largely brought on by his own actions.  But he`s also facing a united and vigorous opposition for the first real time in his presidency. 

Once Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi commits to something, as she has to impeachment, she does it.  She`s a careful strategist, but also entirely unbowed once she chooses a path.  And that follow through resulted in this iconic image from a week ago today, which has come to symbolize the showdown that is now happening: the first woman House Speaker in history on one side, the president and all the president`s men, literally, on the other side.  And then all the president`s men in the halls of the Capitol today disrupting the investigating committees.

There`s a battle happening across so many lines of identity in American politics right now, but from the women`s march on day one of Trump`s presidency, to the latest polling splits between men and women on presidential approval, gender and gender equity are inescapably at the heart of all of it.

Who better to talk about that then my my next two guests, Gloria Steinem, one of the mother`s of American feminism, co-founder of the Women`s Media Center, whose latest book is The Truth Will Set You Free But First it Will Piss You Off: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Rebellion;" and Robin Morgan, author, long-time feminist activist, also a co-founder of the Women`s Media Center, where she also hosts the Women`s Media Center live podcast.  It`s great to have you both here.

ROBIN MORGAN, CO-FOUNDER WOMEN`S MEDIA CENTER:  It`s great to be back.

HAYES:  Those two images to me strike me as such an encapsulation of where the country is, the woman speaker representing a Democratic coalition that has more women members as a percentage than it ever has, is the most diverse it`s ever been, and then the image of those men, largely men, there were some women, largely the white male caucus of the Republican Party, it`s sort of like the subtext has become the text for what our politics are.

GLORIA STEINEM,  CO-FOUNDER, WOMEN`S MEDIA CENTER:  Yes.  And if you add race into the mix, and you realize that 96 percent of black women voted against Trump, and the majority of white women, too, but it was more dramatic with race and sex combined, it shows you how different it is, and also that about a third of the country is controlling the majority of the country.

HAYES:  Right.

STEINEM:  And the third of the country knows they no longer have the majority.

MORGAN:  That`s right.  That`s right.

And I think a lot of this huffing and puffing and being the old kind of men, not the new kind of guy, the way you are, the -- no, seriously, I mean, childcare and all the stuff that you`ve done, I think that it`s backlash.

HAYES:  Yes.

MORGAN:  And I think it`s real fear that oh, my god, women are coming to voice in this country and all over the world, and they`ll really change things and maybe they`ll take away some of our entitlements just because we were born male.

And there`s no way to reassure that, that we`re not interested in doing to them what they`ve  done to us. 

But Pelosi on her feet, alone, you`re absolutely right in that room, in the red dress, pointing her finger, all I could think of was, Pence is involved in a lot of this murky stuff, too.  And third in line is the speaker.  Be still, my heart.

HAYES:  Well, that would be, I mean, that would be a constitutional cataclysm, I think, were that to happen.

MORGAN:  Yes, I know, but I can dream.

HAYES:  Well, but in some ways the point you just made, right, like what`s palpable in watching the impeachment proceedings, and again like epitomized in that image today is precisely that idea of backlash, of unfairness, of people used to being in power suddenly without power, in the literal sense of the House caucus that was a majority, now a minority, they don`t like it.  But that`s the sort of -- that`s the writ large drama of American politics at this moment it seems to me.

STEINEM:  And it`s the writ small drama of the guy who says to me when I`m on the road, you know, that a black woman took my job.

HAYES:  Right.

STEINEM:  And I always say, but who said it was your job, you know.  And it`s the sense of entitlement.  And it`s not his fault he was born into this, but that`s where we are.  And it`s no longer the majority.

MORGAN:  And it`s the writ large problem about how we even get news of the elections.  I mean, who reports on the candidates, who reports on election safeguards, who -- it`s like 83 percent male.  The Women`s Media Center, the status of women in U.S. media report is just out, and people can -- I brought you a copy.

HAYES:  Thank you.

MORGAN:  People can buy it.  People don`t have to buy it. they can get it on the website of womensmediacenter.com.  So, that`s for you.

HAYES:  Well, you know, I should say today four women will be hosting the next Democratic debate here for my MSNBC and NBC colleagues here, that was announced today, which is awesome.

But it is the case that we have a presidential election unspooling on the other side, right, which is, again, like the House Democratic caucus, it is the most diverse group of candidates both in terms of race and gender that has existed in the field.  

And I wonder how you read the role of gender in this race?  It was so central to everything last time around because of Hillary Clinton, because of the nature of the unique figure she is, because of the history it represented.  Do you think it helps that there are multiple women in the field and multiple viable women, do you think that kind of distributes or dissipates some of the toxicity that was directed last time toward women?

MORGAN:  I`m looking forward to a day when it wouldn`t be abnormal.

HAYES:  Right, unremarkable.

MORGAN:  I mean, in other words, for over 200 years, they`ve all been men, the candidates.  And we didn`t think that was weird.  There could be a day when they`re all women.  Certainly, there could be a day when there are more women.

I mean, I`m very glad when women are -- there`s a critical mass of women, and people get worried if women are running against each other.  I think that`s great, you know, it should be the norm.

These women happen to all be Democrats and they happen to all be highly qualified.  But it -- it still disturbing me that in many of the polls two pale males are heading the pack, although they`re better known, they have better...

HAYES:  Yeah.

MORGAN:  ...you know, they have better recognizability.  They`ve been around for a longer time.

HAYES:  Well, it`s also the case that, you know, again, to your point, like, people of different politics, they have different associations.  No one`s getting much more than 25 percent, so it`s not like this field has consolidated.

But I do wonder if you think, as you watch the coverage of this, do you feel like there`s been improvement in the tone, the coverage, the sort of awareness of some of the traps of patriarchy and the traps of coverage of women candidates falls into in this election versus the last one?

STEINEM:  Well, first of all, we`ve come a very long distance because when I checked into this  process with the National Women`s Political Caucus, the major way, almost the only way, that women got to be a governor or a senator was to marry a governor or a senator and wait for that person to die.

HAYES:  Yes.

STEINEM:  This is a little hard on men, I would propose.

HAYES:  It`s not ideal.

STEINEM:  So, you know, it really, really has changed profoundly.

But we are still missing the majority of talent in this country, and I think it goes deep, because as long as most children, most of us, for that matter...

MORGAN:  That`s right.

STEINEM:  ...have been raised by women, we, I mean, women have our own little self correcting thing because we do other things, but men associate -- many men, associate female authority with childhood.

HAYES: Right.

STEINEM:  The last time they saw a woman...

HAYES:  That`s very interesting.

STEINEM:  ...in authority, they were 8, OK?  That`s why...

HAYES:  A deep psychological thing happening there.

STEINEM:  I keep hearing, you know, guys, smart guys, saying things like, I cross my legs whenever I see Hillary.

HAYES:  Schoolmarmish, I`ve heard that.

MORGAN:  You hear schoolmarmish about Warren.  They do Harpy Fury about Kamala Harris.  About Pelosi, they do mommy.

HAYES;  Yeah, right, that`s interesting.  These tropes of female authority are so sort of ingrained in people, although...

MORGAN:  It`s right under the surface.

HAYES:  Yeah, it`ll be very interesting to see how this plays out.

STEINEM:  What you are doing is the answer, but until children are raised by men as well as by women, female and male authority won`t be seen as equal outside the home and inside.

HAYES:  And I think also established in the precedent of a woman president will also do a lot to  that, in terms of that.

MORGAN:  It`s an entirely different story.  And this is another gift for you.

HAYES:  Thank you.

MORGAN:  A book about storytelling.  My new novel.

HAYES:  That`s awesome.  Thank you very much.

STEINEM:  This woman is a media...

HAYES:  I know.  I have two books.

STEINEM:  A book of poetry, a novel, I mean...

HAYES:  Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, it`s always great to have you here.  Thank you very much.

STEINEM:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with one of the four co-hosts of the next Democratic presidential debate. 

Rachel Maddow, congratulations.

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