UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, of course, ALL IN, right now, with Chris Hayes, starts right now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, on ALL IN.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery.
HAYES: The speaker suggests a bribery charge for the President.
PELOSI: Quid pro quo, bribery.
HAYES: As still more evidence of that bribery is reported.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know-nothing about that. First time I`ve heard it.
HAYES: Plus, ahead of tomorrow`s hearing, new reporting that the President discussed Ukraine policy with Rudy`s indicted friend. Then, as impeachment proceeds over Ukraine, new alarms about potential Trump corruption with Turkey.
TRUMP: I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It`s called Trump Towers.
HAYES: And the growing calls for Stephen Miller`s resignation in the wake of a white nationalism fire storm.
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISOR FOR POLICY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I`m going to say, I am shocked.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Damning evidence of both the President`s direct involvement and his intent to extort Ukraine was presented yesterday to the nation. Nearly 14 million people watched Acting Ambassador Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
Taylor described how Trump`s E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland spelled out that President Trump made it clear Ukraine would not get military assistance unless their president announced, publicly, investigations into the Bidens. He also revealed an amazing new detail.
We knew about President Trump`s infamous phone call with Ukraine`s president on July 25th, when Trump said, I would like you to do us a favor, though, and then brought up Joe Biden and his son, saying, a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do.
Bill Taylor testified that the very next day, Gordon Sondland met with an important Ukrainian official, and this is what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM TAYLOR, ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Last Friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26th. While Ambassador Volker and I visited the front, a member of my staff accompanied Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Sondland met with Mr. Yermak.
Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff, at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kiev. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about the investigations. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.
Following the call with President Trump, a member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the associated press reports a second U.S. embassy staffer, overheard that cellphone call between Trump and Sondland discussing a need for Ukrainian officials to pursue investigations. NBC News has confirmed the staffer was accompanying Sondland during his visit but has not confirmed she overheard the call.
Meanwhile, though, that first staffer, the one that Bill Taylor mentioned has been identified and is going to be deposed tomorrow in a closed-door hearing before the investigating House Committees. Just goes to show that we may sometimes reach a point where we think we know everything about the extent of this corrupt scheme, but we don`t.
Bill Taylor`s original closed-door testimony released to the public last week, but we just learned these details now, because until a few days ago, even Taylor didn`t know. And this new testimony is rather significant because there has been a certain Republican defense of the President, that is basically as follows, his brain is too addled to competently form intent and therefore, execute criminal activities.
Just last week, staunched Trump defender, Lindsey Graham, called the Trump policy towards Ukraine, incoherent, adding, "They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.
It`s not a totally outlandish defense, if you`ve ever witnessed the President, say, speak in public. But this new testimony is a damning example of the fact not only did President Trump attempt to extort the Ukrainian president on the phone, he then had his henchman, the guy who reports directly to him, who can ring him up, was a direct line to the President, go to close the deal the very next day.
That is not someone who`s in the midst of a passing fancy. That is someone who is laser-focused on the project of extorting a foreign government and using his position as the President of the United States for the sole purpose of boosting his re-election chances through coercive foreign meddling.
Democrats seized on that new testimony today, by introducing a new word into their impeachment lexicon, the word, bribery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery, uncovered in the inquiry, and that the President abused power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid in a White House meeting, in exchange for an investigation into his political rival, a clear attempt of the President to give himself the advantage in the 2020 election.
What the President has admitted to and says it`s perfect, I say it`s perfectly wrong. It`s bribery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The significance of that word, bribery, is one of only two specified crimes list in the constitution for impeaching the President. The other listed crime is treason. And remember, we are only just getting started. The Washington Post reports an Office of Management and Budget official, is about to become the first OMB employee to testify in the impeachment inquiry this weekend.
Several witnesses had testified that the OMB was the agency that withheld military aid to Ukraine, at the President`s direction. Also, there`s only been one day of public impeachment hearings. Tomorrow, we will hear from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
She was removed from her post after a smear campaign, ran by President Trump`s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and there`s every reason to expect we will hear testimony about the scheme to remove her from her post. Joining me now, one of the members of Congress who will question Ambassador Yovanovitch tomorrow, Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida.
She`s a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congresswoman, the speaker used the word, bribery, today. Do you think that`s an accurate characterization of what the President and his associates did?
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Well, of course, it`s great to be with you. Look, as a former law enforcement officer, I think the word, bribery, is quite appropriate. Because basically, if we look at the readout that was released by the White House, the President during the call with President Zelensky, when President Zelensky said, I`m just about ready to purchase more javelins to defend themselves.
President Trump said, but I need you to do me a favor, though. And then, went into investigations. Basically, I`ll release the $400 million for you to purchase those javelins, if you investigate the Bidens. So, yes, I believe that the word, bribery, is clearly appropriate, when you look at the wrongdoing by the President.
HAYES: What do you feel like you learned yesterday, that you didn`t know, and what are you hoping to find out tomorrow?
DEMINGS: Well, you know, I just think that Ambassador Taylor, as well as Mr. Kent were just two phenomenal witnesses. They are both career foreign service officers who have dedicated decades to our country, just quietly staying under the radar doing their job.
And they came in yesterday and gave the American people information that we already had. But you`ve already indicated the revelation of yesterday was the information given by Ambassador Taylor, where one of his aides overheard a conversation between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump, where President Trump, yet again, asked about investigations.
And then the information that we`ve been told, is that after the call, the aide asked Ambassador Sondland, what did the President think of Ukraine and the president? And then said, I think he cares more about investigating the Bidens than Ukraine.
So, that was new information yesterday. We`re looking forward to hearing from Ambassador Yovanovitch on tomorrow.
HAYES: So, Gordon Sondland is scheduled to appear next week. He is someone who came before the Oversight Committees, investigating committees, in a deposition. He then amended yet an addendum, clarifying some of that testimony.
My understanding is that this phone call does not appear in his original testimony. It seems like he`s the one person here who`s had a lot of direct interactions with the President and may have quite a bit to answer for next week. Is that how you see it?
DEMINGS: Well, absolutely. I mean, you know, when Ambassador Sondland came in, he didn`t recall quite a bit. But then, came back and modified his testimony, and we are glad that he did that. This new information, you`re absolutely right, it was not given in his original statement.
We expect him on next week, to tell us what he knows about that call and what the President said. He`ll have yet another opportunity to give a thorough and complete testimony. And that`s what we expect him to do.
HAYES: All right. Congresswoman Val Demings, thank you so much.
DEMINGS: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now for more on what we have learned so far on the impeachment hearings, Republican Congressman Tom Reed from New York. Good to have you, Congressman.
REP. TOM REED (R-NY): It`s good to be with you, Chris.
HAYES: I saw -- I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd, where you said you didn`t think this rose, so far, from what you`ve heard, the level of impeachable behavior. I`m curious just what you view the standard that the constitution sets out for you as being in bribery, treason, and other high crimes and misdemeanor.
REED: Well, exactly that. High crimes and treasons. Penalty crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the constitution is, to me, indicating with impeachment. And this whole claim of bribery? The American people aren`t stupid, Chris.
This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they`re the ultimate ones that are going to judge this, because I just don`t see this becoming an impeachable offense that subject the removal of the President.
HAYES: Well, just to be clear, the constitution`s bribery, which is not subject to death penalty, obviously, bribery, treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors, a category which has been used for all other impeachments. Like, you think Nixon should`ve been impeached, right?
REED: I recognize it. We`re talking about a burglary charge there, directed by the President. Pretty clear where that was going to go and, you know, the President resigned. But, look, you should learn a lesson of impeachment in the sense of how many times has this been utilized.
We should learn from the Clinton proceedings, where that was a partisan exercise, in my humble opinion, I don`t -- didn`t support the Clinton impeachment. And that, going forward, should teach us. This is not -- impeachment is a very historic action, and the American people are looking at this, in my humble opinion, and some have already made up their minds.
You clearly have made up a conclusion, as the evidence has brought you to the conclusions you indicated in your opening. But at the end of the day, this is about trusting the people, and I think it`s going to be turned over to the election at the end of the day.
HAYES: So, back in 1998 when President Clinton was impeached, there was a movement that launched then, called Censure and Move On, right? That became moveon.org. And the idea behind that was, that the President should be censured. Bill Clinton should be censured. There should be an official congressional censure vote, but it didn`t rise to high crimes and misdemeanors.
And the -- and the argument there was that, look, the President has clearly done something wrong here. We do not approval of his behavior. We don`t think that he should have had this sexual relationship with a White House intern, but it`s not high crimes and misdemeanors.
I`m curious, are you willing to say what the President`s conduct here on the call, on this rogue foreign policy and attempting to pressure Ukraine into manufacturing dirt or digging up dirt on his political opponent, that was not cool, that was not good, even if it`s not impeachable?
REED: How I view the evidence, me, personally, is that he was raising the issue of corruption with the sitting Vice President Joe Biden. That`s a legitimate exercise of executive discretion --
HAYES: Wait, but Congressman --
REED: -- using taxpayer dollars --
HAYES: Congressman --
REED: -- in a way that doesn`t go to a corrupt country.
HAYES: Let me ask you a question. How many times does he say corruption on that call?
REED: He`s talking -- you`re asking where do I see the corruption and --
HAYES: No, just how many times did he say --
REED: I don`t see that here.
HAYES: How many times did the President, President Trump used the word, corruption, in talking about corruption on the phone call?
REED: When you`re looking at the issue of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, getting a $50,000 a month salary, for a job he clearly has no qualifications for, I think that on itself, raises the question of something that needs to be investigated in Ukraine.
HAYES: What`s -- why -- what`s the factual predicate for that investigation?
REED: Because if you look at that, and when you see that the vice president -- he verbally said, on tape, that they`re going to withhold financial aid to Ukraine, so long as the investigations of his son`s company does not occur.
HAYES: That is not what he said. No, no, it`s the --
REED: That`s exactly what he said.
HAYES: Wait a second, no, no --
REED: That`s exactly what he said.
HAYES: I just want to be clear about this. Do you know the name of that prosecutor?
REED: That is the prosecutor from inside of the Ukraine.
HAYES: Yes, do you know what`s his name?
REED: Yes, the name is, escaping me right now, Chris. I will tell you --
HAYES: His name is Viktor Shokin.
REED: Prosecutor -- yes.
HAYES: His name is Viktor Shokin, right?
REED: That`s correct. Thank you. That is Shokin.
HAYES: Yes. He was widely viewed by the U.S. and the E.U. as essentially covering up for corruption and failing --
REED: By who?
HAYES: -- to investigate --
REED: Never been investigated, Chris. Never been investigated by
HAYES: Wait a second --
REED: -- any investigator.
HAYES: No, no --
REED: News reports have reached this conclusion. News reporters are not - -
HAYES: No, no --
REED: -- investigators, and I will just tell you right here, right now --
HAYES: I`m just telling you --
REED: -- you have an obligation as the President of the United States, in order to --
REED: -- make sure taxpayer dollars do not go to a corrupt organization or a corrupt country.
HAYES: So, then why didn`t he say -- I mean, first of all, why didn`t he say, corruption? And second of all, do you think it is plausible -- you talk about the American people.
Do you think it`s a plausible story that Donald Trump, a man who nearly awarded himself a huge government contract, who has OK`d aid to Israel with the prime minister there, is under investigation into Egypt, where el-Sisi is notoriously corrupt, I think you and I would both agree on that.
That all of a sudden, this man, Donald Trump, just gets real laser-focused, real worked up about corruption in one particular instance, with one particular country that just happens to pertain to the man that is going to run for president against him. Is that a plausible story in your mind?
REED: It is a plausible story in my mind, and I think the American people are going to see right through this, at the end of the day. This is about politics, a short, simple, sweet. That`s what it`s about.
And when you`re talking about overturning the election of people of the United States, you better go at this in regards to smoking gun evidence to remove a duly elected president. You`re tearing apart the structure of America with this attack that you all have concluded --
HAYES: Wait a second, but let me --
REED: -- is a done deal.
HAYES: I`m going to keep you for one more second, though, because I get that argument, and I agree with you. Impeachment is very serious, and I totally agree with that. It just seems that that argument proves too much, right? Because if the idea is that you`re overturning an election, then there`s no point of having impeachment in the U.S. constitution to begin with. It is there for a reason, right? We agree --
HAYES: -- that it should be there, that it should be used in extreme circumstances. You`re saying this isn`t extreme enough, but it just seems to me a little bit of a disingenuous argument that it overturns an election when, by definition, that must be the case for any impeachment.
REED: And I agree with you it is in those extreme cases. That`s why in our history as a nation, this has never been done in regards to taking a president after duly held election out of office. That is something never been done, never been done in our history of a nation. And the end when you go down the path of impeachment, this isn`t about playing a game of getting an indictment of an impeachment, and that`s the end of it.
REED: This is about taking out the President of the United States, and we should leave this up to the American people.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Tom Reed, thanks for making time tonight.
REED: It`s great to be with you.
HAYES: Joining me now for a perspective from the Senate, that Tom Reed was just talking about Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York. Tom Reed, obviously a member of the same state Congressional Caucus, as you, you`re likely to get this as a trial. How do things look from your House?
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): Well, I expect that Mitch McConnell should take this seriously. It is part of our constitutional duty and obligation to receive the facts that have been marshaled by the house investigation. And the Senate, essentially, our jurors, as we hear the evidence and make a decision.
HAYES: So, what do you think about the idea that Senators shouldn`t weigh in on this because of your juror status? I`ve seen sort of differing views on all this, obviously, you have colleagues, you say, look, I`m watching this like anyone else, and I`m forming my conclusions and there`s others, I think, particularly Republicans and sort of tough spots who say we shouldn`t weigh in and how do you view your duty going into this?
GILLIBRAND: So, as a senator, I`m going to hear testimony, I`m going to watch some hearings. I`m going to read the paper, and I do have deep concerns that these are allegations that the President solicited a bribe from a foreign leader with the intention of harming a political opponent. That is deeply concerning. It looks like bribery to me. And it`s something that causes great concern for me and certainly my constituents in New York.
So, my job is to listen intently, if the house decides to indeed hold a vote for impeachment, and impeaches the President, it then comes to us and we get to hear that the testimony evidence that the House has put together. We then decide whether or not to convict. That`s a very different standard to being informed knowing what`s happening and having grave concerns, which is what I have now. So, I think each senator will look at this issue uniquely, and may inform themselves over time, but for me, I`m very concerned about the allegations to date and the corroborating evidence I`ve heard this week.
HAYES: There`s been some reporting. Now, I saw Elizabeth Warren talking about this day -- some reporting that McConnell is going to sort of use or pro-long Senate trial as a way of throwing a monkey wrench into the Democratic presidential primary. You, you have some familiar with this, you were running previously in that position, you know what it`s like to be on the campaign trail and split those with your senatorial duties. What do you think about the notion having been out there on the campaign trail of your fellow senators having to sit through six weeks in Washington at this key moment in that primary race?
GILLIBRAND: You know, I think any senator who`s running for president and I know them all very well, will take their constitutional duty very seriously. Most of the candidates have been campaigning in Iowa for nine months. And so, they`ve had a long time to introduce themselves to tell people why they`re running, why they care, and why this election is so important. And whatever the time that is allocated for these hearings, and for this trial, I know they will take the responsibility very seriously. And I certainly hope that Mitch McConnell takes his responsibility seriously.
HAYES: The Senate legislative calendar has an executive impact. I think you guys were in there for like a day and a half this week. There is no action on prescription drugs. There is no action on gun safety on the day that two people were killed --
GILLIBRAND: In another school shooting.
HAYES: California school shooting. Basically, Mitch McConnell tees up continuing resolutions, and he confirms federal society judges. What is it like to be in the Senate right now?
GILLIBRAND: So, it`s frustrating because Senator McConnell really is only moving forward judges and only things that have been pre-approved by President Trump. And the biggest concern I have about the Republican Party right now is that they`re abdicating their authority to do their jobs and provide for the people of their states. There`s so much bipartisan work that`s being done by individual senators behind the scenes, legislation that could pass if we simply had a vote on it.
But Mitch McConnell`s unwilling to bring any of that to the floor. And so, I am concerned that the Republican Party, unfortunately, is complicit with this president and prefers being in power than doing their absolute duty under the Constitution to hold a president who`s had such severe allegations against him accountable.
HAYES: All right, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of the great state of New York, thank you very much.
GILLIBRAND: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, is the president engaging in a separate corrupt abuse of power while he`s about to be impeached? New reporting on what the President`s up to in Turkey, two minutes.
HAYES: This week, we heard damning evidence presented publicly in Capitol Hill about a rogue irregular foreign policy channel directed by the president for his personal benefit as opposed to the benefit of the American people. And on the very same day is that Ukraine evidence was being presented to Congress, Trump was sitting down the White House with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who Trump has bent over backwards to please for reasons that are really quite unclear.
Although John Bolton Trump`s own former National Security Adviser, suspects and has said in a meeting with the President`s policy towards Turkey is motivated by Trump`s own personal or business relationships. Think about that.
Now, we do have some clues other ones as to what might be going on just a few days ago. The New York Times had a front page story laying out Trump`s "unusual back channel to Turkey," a trio of sons in law who married into power, including the son in law of a Turkish tycoon named Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, who is literally doing business with the Trump Organization, at the same time that he is acting as an advocate for Erdogan`s government with the Trump administration.
Remember, Trump has gone to great lengths to aide Erdogan even when almost no one believed it was a good idea. Most notable example, of course, came when Trump said he was pulling us troops from Northern Syria, giving Erdogan the green light to invade the region and attack Kurds allies in the fight against ISIS. That prompted great anger even among pro-Trump Republicans.
So, yesterday, Trump invited five GOP senators who`ve been critical of Erdogan to meet with the Turkish strong man at the White House. It was a weird meeting. It didn`t go very well. During the meeting, according to Axios, Erdogan pulled out his iPad and made the group watch a propaganda video that depicted the leader of the primarily Kurdish-Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist.
When the clunky propaganda video wrapped up, Lindsey Graham reportedly asked everyone. Well do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you`ve done? I`m joined now by Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, Michigan, former CIA officer who served in Iraq, who recently met with Kurdish leaders during a visit to Turkey and Iraq with a bipartisan congressional delegation. She`s the co-sponsor of a new resolution to recognize and support U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS.
Let me ask you, your reaction to Erdogan, not only getting a White House visit, but using that opportunity to play an anti-Kurdish propaganda video off his iPad in the White House itself.
REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): Yes, you know, I thought it was a little soon to be inviting the president of Turkey given all of the stress and all of the back and forth that`s been going on over and over Northern Syria. Usually, we reserve White House visits for when the relationship is going in a really positive direction.
That said, he came, frankly, when I was in Turkey with this congressional delegation, about a week and a half ago, now we were showing the same video, so are at least a similar video. So, I`m familiar with it. And, you know, I think the truth is NATO -- Turkey is a NATO ally. We want the relationship to bend and not break. We have a lot of bending going on.
And we had some tough conversations when we were in Turkey. And I think that they have some big, big questions to answer for, most importantly for me right now is what`s their plan in Northern Syria? And then number two, what are they going to do with the S-400 and the fact that they bought Russian weapons, in contradiction to their commitments under NATO?
HAYES: The President that that was one of the things that it was a purchase of the S-400 that originally prompted the first round of discussion of sanctions. We know from New York Times that one of the people that helped talked the President out of those sanctions, was this individual, son-in-law of a business partner of the presidents who had a conference in Washington, D.C. The Trump hotel was invited by Jared Kushner, got to come to the White House and make his argument in person. Are you confident the President`s relationships with Turkey are on the level that they`re putting the national interest among his own -- above his own personal interest?
SLOTKIN: Yes, I mean, I have no special knowledge. I just know as someone who worked at the CIA and at the Pentagon, you want things to go through formal channels. And when things go through formal channels, they get vetted, right, that`s the most important thing that the formal channel does, is it helps make sure that whatever we`re offering whatever we`re taking, whatever we`re dealing with, has gone through some level of review. It`s not shot from the hip, it`s not got some legal challenges, whatever it is.
And whenever there`s these alternative channels, it makes me nervous that nothing`s being vetted. And we know, that the President does like to shoot from the hip, so I don`t like it. I have no special knowledge in this case, but it certainly doesn`t feel right for anyone who knows how consequential those issues are in Turkey.
HAYES: You are one of a number of fresh women, freshmen women, members of Congress, who wrote an op-ed calling for some kind of formal impeachment inquiry right when the whistleblower was surfacing. Given everything that`s come to light, given the public hearings, how do you feel about your decision to do that? Was that the right call?
SLOTKIN: Well, listen, I mean, it was an important thing for me to do at that moment, because I think the Ukraine situation felt very, very different. But I`ve always said from the beginning, that it`s important that this process, bring the country along with it, that we had to have public hearings so that people can hear directly from the people involved. And obviously now that has started and that is a good thing.
But honestly, like, I`m just not going to be able to make an assessment hour to hour, day by day on each new piece of information. What I committed to my district, who have varying different -- various different views on impeachment and impeachment inquiry, is that I`m going to stand back, I`m going to wait to see the body of information that`s provided at the end of this process. I`m a trained CIA officer. We look at the whole context, the final report and make an objective decision. And that`s what I owe my constituents and that`s what I`m going to do.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, thank you so much for making time tonight.
SLOTKIN: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come. Hours away from the second day of public impeachment hearings. There`s late reporting on Rudy Giuliani`s indicted pals that could affect what we see tomorrow. The Adventures of (INAUDIBLE), Igor and Rudy, next.
HAYES: Tomorrow, we`re going to hear from the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch who was the subject of a smear campaign to get her removed. That same smear campaign encompasses some of the very crimes for which Rudy Giuliani`s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had been indicted, because the conspiracy to get Yovanovitch removed, according to the South District of New York`s filings, involved Parnas and Fruman making illegal campaign donations to a Republican congressmen who then turned around and urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to remove Yovanovitch.
Keep in mind, the president claims he doesn`t know who Parnas and Fruman are. He takes pictures with all kinds of people. But the president`s ex- lawyer, John Dowd, wrote a letter to the House Intel Committee just last month when the impeachment inquiry was heating up saying, quote, "be advised that Messrs. Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump."
So just to be clear, Dowd is saying that they were part of the president`s legal team.
Now comes the news that Parnas and Fruman were discussing Ukraine with Trump as far back as April 2018 over dinner. According to The Washington Post, quote, "an intimate affair for a handful of big donors in an exclusive suite known as the Trump Townhouse at Trump`s Washington hotel. Lev Parnas has described to associates that he and his business partner, Igor Fruman, told Trump at the dinner that they thought the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was unfriendly to the president and his interests. According to Parnas, Trump immediately suggested that then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch should be fired."
Joining me now to talk about that as well as his own reporting on all of the items found in Parnas` personal effects when the FBI arrested him last month, Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay.
Lochlan, let me start with this story and then we`ll move to yours which is fascinating in its own right. I mean, this -- you now -- it gets harder and harder every day I think to keep the kind of distance between Parnas and Fruman and Trump that clearly the White House would like to keep.
LACHLAN MARKAY, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, and Parnas and Fruman were really the boots on the ground so to speak in Ukraine when it came to trying to pull off this political hit job, I guess, on Ambassador Yovanovitch. She`s going to talk about it tomorrow.
And we`ve been told actually that her closed door testimony was very emotional. She obviously went through some sort of difficult times professionally and personally as this kind of cabal was coming after her.
So I think, you know, if you were sort of bored or disappointed with the hearing the other day, you`re in for a bit more excitement this time around.
HAYES: There`s also the fact that they`re now going -- I mean, you`ve got Parnas, one of his lawyers saying that like they were -- that he was pitching this quid pro quo, this extortion deal, early in the spring, that he was pitching the Zelensky, that we got reporting from The Washington Post today he was trying to pitch the idea for an exchange for the last president Poroshenko, getting a state visit if he would announce an investigation. It seems like these guys were really like the henchmen trying to pull off this plan.
MARKAY: Yes, and you have to remember that they also reportedly had some personal financial interests at stake. They`re running this company, global energy producers, that`s trying to win these big liquefied natural gas export contracts. They wanted, in the words of one former investor, to become the biggest natural gas exporter in the United States, which is really saying something. And they felt there were a lot of U.S. diplomats and officials who were sort of standing in the way of this by pushing this anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine. That was kind of a big hangup to their plans there.
So, you know, at the same time their doing sort of the the political thing, for Trump, and they`re doing the legal thing maybe, trying to expose details about 2016 for Rudy Giuliani, there`s also these financial machinations that are taking place parallel to that.
HAYES: Yes, I think you`ll probably hear from Yovanovitch from that.
You did some reporting on what was recovered from Parnas when he was arrested at Dulles about to board an outbound plane on a one way ticket. What`d you find?
MARKAY: Well, there were a couple of big ones from my point of view. One of them was a business card of a guy by the name of -- I hope I`m pronouncing this right -- Nazar Kolonitsky (ph) -- and he`s a leading anti- corruption prosecutor in Ukraine. But he`s one of these -- you know, a lot of these former Soviet states, we heard this from some of these diplomats that have been testifying, the anti-corruption and justice system is kind of a way to extort...
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
MARKAY: ...or threaten or seize assets from people who you don`t like, your political opponents. This guy seems to be sort of of that mold. And because of that, and because he was caught on tape suborning false testimony and tipping off people to impending police raids, Ambassador Yovanovitch sort of went at him very hard.
So, this is a guy who met with Giuliani in Paris...
HAYES: Right. Right.
MARKAY: ...over the summer and, you know, would have been someone who certainly would have been on the same side as Giuliani and Parnas in trying to get Yovanovitch out of her post.
So, the fact that Parnas had her -- excuse me, his business card on him is definitely noteworthy.
HAYES: You`ve also got -- just to list this, because it`s a perfect window -- and can we show the cigar bar photo to set the scene here of like what it`s like to hang out with Rudy, Lev and Igor. That`s a cigar bar in London.
But you`ve also got three different currencies, five cell phones, eight credit and debit cards, the host of Trump branded memorabilia, and rewards cards for six different casinos.
MARKAY: Yes, you know, Lev -- Mr. Parnas is an interesting guy, because he`s had a lot of financial problems. He`s currently -- there`s currently a former business partner who is trying to collect a half million dollar federal judgment from him that was won six years ago that he`s never been able to collect. He was been evicted from an apartment in 2014. He`s had a lot of these financial partners and he`s sort of been dogged by creditors, but at the same time, you know, he`s apparently traveling with the equivalent of roughly $6,000 in cash. He`s got two Rolexes, he`s got a bunch of other jewelry on him. He`s got 8 credit or debit cards. He`s apparently doing a ton of gambling. And that raises a bunch of questions about his personal finances. And those questions are sort of integral to the criminal case against him.
He`s, of course, pleaded not guilty, but the longer this goes on, the more these records keep coming out that keep raising more questions.
HAYES: All right, Lachlan Markay, thank you for your time tonight.
Still to come tonight, there are growing calls for the resignation of Donald Trump`s de facto immigration czar. The reporter who broke the blockbuster new story on Stephen Miller`s extensive dalliances with white nationalism ahead.
HAYES: This morning in the U.S. Capitol building, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy took to the floor to try to get his colleagues to take action on universal background checks for purchasing a firearm. It`s obviously a legislative priority for Murphy, whether a shooting has just occurred or not, and unsurprisingly he was immediately blocked by Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi who made this argument.
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SEN. CINDY HYDE-SMITH (R-MS): Many questions about this legislation need to be answered before it`s forced upon law-abiding gun owners. If I wanted to give my best friend`s son or grandson my hunting rifle, would we first have to appear before a licensed gun dealer and go through a lengthy and potentially expensive background check? This is my understanding.
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HAYES: You probably won`t be surprised to learn that Senator Hyde-Smith has an A rating from the National Rifle Association, which was also at it against this morning mocked Democrats in a tweet as the gun salespeople of the year, because hilariously there`s been a spike in gun sales, despite all the Americans being killed by them.
We`ve seen this before. Enough time passes after the most recent mass shooting that the NRA feels safe enough to crawl out of its hiding place and Republican members of congress feel it`s safe to get out of the thoughts and prayer zone and get right back to doing business with the NRA.
But at nearly the same moment as that debate was taking place on the senate floor this morning, news broke from the other side of the country. A 16- year-old boy had walked onto the campus of his high school in Santa Clarita, California, with a semiautomatic handgun, and he killed two kids - - a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. He also wounded three others, each 14 or 15-years-old, and then he shot himself, this 16-year-old, in the head.
He`s still alive. He`s in custody at this hour in the hospital in grave condition.
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SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-MD): The idea that we are just going to sit here and twiddle our thumbs week after week as a hundred people are killed by guns through suicides and homicides and accidental shootings, it`s an abdication of our basic responsibility as United States Senators. There`s nothing that matters more to our constituents than their physical safety.
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HAYES: American Renaissance is a white supremacist publication that was founded several decades ago by self-described white advocate Jared Taylor. Among the beliefs advanced by Taylor in American Renaissance are that white people are in danger of being replaced by immigrants and that white people must defend what American Renaissance calls their own interests.
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JARED TAYLOR, FOUNDER, AMERICAN RENAISSANCE: I know that I speak for millions of white Americans when I say, yes, I prefer the company of white people, or when I say I prefer to live in a majority white neighborhood and send my children to majority white schools.
I`m quite frank about the fact that I would prefer to live in a majority white nation, a majority white community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If you go over to the American Renaissance website, and we did it so you don`t have to, you see articles like this one on creativity genes and racial difference, an article praising the ethnic cleansing of northeastern Syria by Erdogan, where he`s resettling Arabs and getting rid of the Kurds as, quote, "an ingenious bit of population engineering that should offer a, quote, historic lesson to America`s open borders woke class."
A favorite reliable theme of the white supremacist website, of course, is crimes committed by immigrants, like one of a previously deported Guatemalan charged with killing an upstate New York resident in a DUI.
The site is full of this kind of bilge. And it`s exactly these kinds of articles that Stephen Miller, the man who currently basically runs immigration policy in the United States, was obsessively reading and sending to right wing reporters at Breitbart as we now know from this cache of emails revealed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The emails from 2015, 2016 show Stephen Miller aggressively pitching a reporter on negative stories on immigration, referencing material from racist sources such as American Renaissance and recommending a book called the Camp of Saints, which depicts immigrants as subhuman rapist monsters.
As The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, quote, "administration officials and Mr. Trump recently told Stephen Miller one of his most hardline advisers you`re in charge of the administration`s immigration policy."
So straight from the absolute sewer of the American renaissance to what it looks like when that person runs immigration policy in the United States. We`ll talk about that next.
HAYES: The Department of Homeland Security has gone through four secretaries since Donald Trump took office, and it`s basically in total chaos. They`ve now elevated a DHS official named Tom Wolf to be acting secretary. No one knows how long he`ll last. And everyone basically ends up leaving the job humiliated and disgraced, and it`s because no one can live up quite live up to the sheer level of brutality, cruelty and racialized bias of Stephen Miller who`s calling the shots.
This is the result, the United States held a record number of migrant children in custody in the 2019 fiscal year, nearly 70,000. And AP also reported today on the horrifying squalid conditions in a camp in Mexico where desperate migrants are being forced to wait for asylum under a new American policy in the Trump administration.
So, this is what it looks like when the guy who reads American Renaissance runs your immigration policy.
Here with me now Michael Edison Hayden, a senior investigative reporter for The Hate Watch blog at the Southern Poverty Law Center who uncovered those Stephen Miller emails this week, and Zerlina Maxwell, MSNBC political analyst, co-host of Signal Boost on Sirius/XM Radio in the morning on weekdays.
First of all, you`re the person who broke this. So, tell me about the source of these emails. What the context of them are. What did you learn from them?
MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Sure. The emails were leaked to me by Katie McHugh (ph) who used to be an editor at Breitbart during -- from 2014 to 2017.
And during that time she was told by her bosses to take advice from Stephen Miller who was then an aide to Jeff Sessions.
HAYES: He`s an aide to Jeff Sessions -- we should say Katie McHugh (ph) there`s a big Atlantic profile for her. She went from being in sort of right wing fringes to the sort of outright alt-right, white supremacist part, and then has sort of left that behind, right?
HAYDEN: She`s part of basically the anti-immigration movement and rubbed shoulders with white nationalists.
But McHugh (ph) was receiving these tips from her, and she`s a young woman at that, she`s 24 or so, and Miller was advising her on what to write, what to report, what types of stories to do. He was very focused on crimes committed by non-white people in the emails, for example. He recommended Vidaire (ph), which is a white nationalist website, as you mentioned American Renaissance, Camp of the Saints, which is just absolutely disgustingly racist if anybody wants to pick it up and take a look.
But he also was pushing things that I think are -- I think most Americans would find extremely shocking like getting rid of basically Hart-Cellar, 1965 immigration act, and returning to a time when we had racial quota laws. And I think we`ve got to ask ourselves, and this is something we really want to do in the United States.
HAYES: He -- yes, 1965 legislation got rid of those racial quota laws. Of course they were the product of 1920s very racialized immigration reform that basically said like we need only these kinds of white people, not these other kinds of people.
HAYEDEN: Absolutely, based on eugenics. And, you know, I mean, it was praised by Adolf Hitler.
HAYES: This is his vision right now, Stephen Miller. And what`s the significance of this individual working in the White House in the United States and essentially having domain over immigration policy?
ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC POLITCAL ANALYST: Well, it wouldn`t be as big of a problem if he weren`t still in the administration, right. And he wasn`t the only white nationalist, if you recall, who was in the administration. Steve Bannon was the other white nationalist that was in the administration at the beginning, and as we were just chatting, it was actually right after Charlottesville where he, you know, broke with the White House and exited the administration.
And I think that that`s an interesting point of reference, because if you think about Charlottesville, that actually was a moment for this country to say, OK, you`re on the side of the KKK and Nazis or you`re on the side of America, right, this is really about patriotism.
So you have someone in here who has an anti-American world view that America is only for white people, and he is setting the policy for this administration with regards to immigration that`s when it becomes dangerous.
HAYES: We should note also that I just saw reporting that Gordon Sondland, one of his projects, this has just been reported by The Washington Post, one of his projects as the ambassador of the EU was to boost European immigration, something that he cooked up apparently according to that reporting with Stephen Miller.
I mean, it really does seem like from Stephen Miller`s public words, his actions, and what we read in the emails, what he views is he wants whiteness to predominate the U.S. and take to whatever tools necessary to reduce non-white population to preserve a white majority.
HAYDEN: Well, that`s the type of rhetoric you see in white nationalists writing all the time. It`s always about boosting white immigration and reducing non-white immigration in order to try to, you know, build this -- you know, build this country back to what they think was, you know, a great time.
And I think a lot of people of color are being really let down by this administration just by ignoring how horrific these ideas are.
HAYES: I want to read the White House`s response. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said via email Tuesday she had not seen the report, but called your organization, Southern Poverty Law Center, quote, "an utterly discredited long debunked far left smear organization."
Just to be clear, like, these -- sometimes people have leaked emails and you think where do they go. The person who leaked them you named, like she gave you her emails on the record with her name behind them.
HAYDEN: Well, it`s very important to note that Stephen Miller is not denying these emails are emails. And emails are emails are emails, OK? So whatever you want to say about Southern Poverty Law Center or you want to say me or whatever else or about Katie McHugh (ph), the emails are the emails. The guy is sending white nationalist material period.
MAXWELL: And he`s making the policy that aligns with what he`s saying in these emails. I think that that`s the thing -- the combination that you have to put together, it`s not just he has abhorrent views, he`s implementing policy that is caging brown children and traumatizing them.
We`ve just learned that there have been 70,000 children in detention, each one of those children is now going to be faced with trauma as a result of Stephen Miller`s policies.
HAYES: We should be clear here, too, about the steps that have been taken on immigration, which align perfectly with the ideology as articulated by Jared Taylor in American Renaissance or Camp of the Saints, which is first they say, well, we want to get rid of undocumented or illegal immigration, but then they`ve reduced legal immigration. They`ve essentially zeroed out refugees who are very well vetted, they`ve essentially ended asylum at the border through the return to Mexico program. They are attempting to boost European immigration at the same time.
Like, the picture of what Stephen Miller has done there, how much does it align with what he was advocating for from Jeff Sessions and what you see in the emails.
HAYDEN: Well, I think it`s a really, really good example here and that`s Vidair (ph) -- the Vidair (ph) example, because McHugh (ph) is talking to him at the time about Hurricane Patricia, which was October of 2015. And it was really big in the news cycle at that time. And what Miller says to her is he`s sort of like it`s all going to be about temporary protective status, and then he shares a link from Vidair (ph) -- which is, again, a white genocide, white nationalist focused website, to guide in her reporting, right.
And what has the administration done with temporary protective status? They have reduced the number of people that we are protecting after these storms, and they did it with the Bahamas.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a really, really good point. Michael Edison Hayden and Zerlina Maxwell, thank you both.
MAXWELL: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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