Rayshard Brooks TRANSCRIPT: 6/17/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Justin Miller, Wesley Lowery, Daniel Goldman, Peter Hotez, Cory Booker

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: -- and so strange.

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SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I don`t know how to tell people that the nation is not racist. I`ll try again. We`re not a racist country.

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REID: That`s our show for tonight. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.

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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Murder charges now filed against a police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks. Family Lawyer Justin Miller and journalist Wesley Lowery joining me tonight.

Then, COVID surging in Alabama, in Texas, and Arizona, and in Oklahoma, where thousands of Trump supporters are getting ready for the big rally this weekend.

And the craven goal of John Bolton refusing to testify, even though he knew the President was asking China to help him get reelected. The man who presented the impeachment case against Donald Trump joins me on that when ALL IN starts right now.

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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Earlier today, officials announced a murder charge in the police killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks. The father of four was shot and killed outside of Wendy`s restaurant Friday night. And the former officer who fired the shots that killed Brooks is now facing 11 charges including felony murder, as well as aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The other officer on the scene faces three charges including aggravated assault. Both men must surrender to authorities by tomorrow evening.

And announcing the charges, the Fulton County District Attorney said Rayshard Brooks did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious injury to the officers when he was shot. He also pointed to the actions of the officers crucially after the shooting.

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PAUL HOWARD JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY: After Mr. Brooks was shot, for some period of two minutes, and 12 seconds, there was no medical attention applied to Mr. Brooks. But when we examine the video videotape, and in our discussions with witnesses, what we discovered is during the two minutes and 12 seconds that officer Rolfe actually kicked Mr. Brooks, while he laid on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life.

Secondly, from the videotape, we were able to see that the other officer, Officer Brosnan, actually stood on Mr. Brooks his shoulders while he was there struggling for his life.

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HAYES: The officers had responded to a 911 call on a Friday night that a man Rashard Brooks was asleep in his car in the Wendy`s drive-thru lane. The following footage comes from police cameras and the Wendy`s surveillance camera and includes disturbing images.

The officers arrived on the scene and knocked on Brooks` window and then had him pull up side and questioned him for more than 25 minutes largely about how much he had been drinking that night. The Officer then administered a sobriety test which they determined that Brooks failed.

The officers then attempted to handcuff Brooks who tried to break free as seen on one of the officers` body cameras. The dashcam footage shows the three men struggled on the ground, and Brooks eventually grabbed one of the officers tasers and just took off running.

The officers chase Brooks who pointed the taser back over his shoulder toward them when the officers then shot Brooks twice in the back, in the back. He later died at a hospital. The district attorney said the taser hadn`t fired twice before Brooks was shot which meant it did not work anymore, something he said the officers knew, that there was of course no threat.

The killing of Rayshard Brooks set off a wave of protest and grief in Atlanta and elsewhere. The Wendy`s where he was killed was set on fire. Then 24 hours of the shooting, the Atlanta police chief had resigned, and now murder charge, something that has historically been quite, quite rare for police officers who kill Americans.

I want to turn now to an Attorney for the family of Rayshard Brooks, Justin Miller. And first, Mr. Miller, your reaction to the charging decision today.

JUSTIN MILLER, ATTORNEY FOR THE FAMILY OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: We think that the charges weren`t good. That`s only step one, though. We`ve seen charges before and no conviction. So we want to see this through and see what happens.

HAYES: Do you think there`s a difficult road here for conviction given that we have seen other charters in the past that have not resulted in convictions, given the ways that police officers in presenting their defense can talk about their personal fear, what we saw in Baltimore with Freddie Gray. Are you concerned about this case working?

MILLER: Yes. We are always concerned about that because this is what happens all the time, right? Police officers get charged, the ones who commit these kind of crimes, and then they don`t get convicted. We just hope this time, the criminal justice system does its job. And we think most of the time it does, but we hope it does this time.

The things that we`ve seen and that we heard about today, him being shot in the back when he was 18 feet away, them not rendering aid for two minutes, them kicking him when he was laying on the ground dying standing on top of him. Those things are ridiculous. And they just show a pattern that there was something else going on here besides just the general police stop.

HAYES: I know that Mr. Brooks was a father of four and I just wanted to see how the family is doing. This has been obviously a brutal week, or a few days for them. How is the family?

MILLER: The family is not doing well. I wish I could give a better report than that. But I mean, it`s hard. You know, he has three little girls, an eight-year-old, two-year-old, and a one-year-old, who will no longer get to see their father again. And they`re just really coming to the realization that this is a real thing that he will not be walking through that door.

There have been times when myself and my partner, Chris, we walked through the door, and they look at us, and we can tell they were looking at us to see if we were their father. And, you know, it`s just unfortunate they`re going to have to keep doing that for the rest of their life.

HAYES: Do you think the police chief`s resignation was appropriate given the circumstances and given the facts that we learned today from the district attorney?

MILLER: You know, I really don`t know. I can`t really speak on why the police chief resigned. She didn`t really say. But there is an issue, in my opinion, with training from the top down, just different ways that the police could do better in training to police certain communities.

So I can`t really speak on her specifically because she didn`t say it. But you know, she felt like she needed to resign, then, you know, that`s her choice.

HAYES: Do you feel -- does the family feel that what happened to Mr. Brooks, and the result in terms of protests and uprising and now these charges are part of the sort of broader national conversation and the sort of grief and anguish and civil unrest that we`ve seen in the wake of police killing?

MILLER: It`s all one of the same. You know, we represent Gianna Floyd who`s George Floyd`s daughter. So we`ve been in Minnesota and Houston and we`ve been around all of these rallies and protests, and we`ve heard people speaking and felt their pain. And so this situation is no different. It is not as clear cut as what happened to Mr. Floyd, of course, but it is murder all the same. And some of the same factors are at play in this case, just as they were in Floyd`s case.

HAYES: All right, Justin Miller, Attorney for the family of a Rayshard Brooks, thank you for being with me tonight.

MILLER: Thank you very much.

HAYES: I want to turn now to someone who spent a lot of time reporting and writing and thinking about these issues, Wesley Lowery, a contributor The Atlantic, correspondent for 60 in 6 on Quibi, whose recent story of the Atlantic tied to the killing of George Floyd is titled "Why Minneapolis was the breaking point."

Wesley, I`ve been thinking about a lot of your work particularly about how unlikely it is that officers get charged, and even when they get charged, how often they`re acquitted, in reviewing this incident, the tape. Were you -- were you surprised that the D.A. is actually bringing charges in this case?

WESLEY LOWERY, CONTRIBUTOR, THE ATLANTIC: Chris, I was pretty surprised that the D.A. is bringing charges in this case in these many charges. And I do think it speaks to how drastically public perception has shifted. You know, one thing that was true even in 2014, or 2015, is by the way, I do not think there are charges in this case with this video in 2014. I just don`t think that`s where the world was at this time.

But at the time, people would say, what are we supposed to do? We have to follow the letter of the law. And what folks say in response to them is that we have a largely subjective criminal justice system. You can look at that video and see a chargeable crime. But if what you were looking to do is to exonerate the police officer, you can also see the excuses and preemptively see their defense and not bring the charges.

What`s fascinating here was the bringing of the charges not only in the shooting itself, but also stalking the charges for the behavior after the shootings. There have been other videos, right, where the -- either the grand jury or the prosecutor will strictly look at the use of force, right. And they won`t look at did they render them aid, did they -- were they kind of a jerk to them beforehand or afterwards? Did they punch them, which would be an assault, right?

What was really interesting to me here was that they brought a bunch of charges, not just for the actual shooting. Now, the question remains, can they actually get a conviction if this goes to court, or are they charging in the hopes of trying to get some type of plea deal or you know, what`s going to happen here?

HAYES: Well, in that -- to that second question, we just spoke to the attorney for the family, Justin Miller, who, you know, who says this is only the first step. We saw -- it`s a different circumstance, but of course, sort of famously in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray. There were officers charged, none of them were convicted for what happened to Freddie Gray.

And I think there`s a bunch of factors here but one of them to go back to your point about sort of subjective judgment here is that, you know, officers can make an argument in these -- in these trials, that essentially self defense, that they were scared for their life, that they were terrified of what was happening. And that has proven to be a quite powerful defense historically for police officers in these situations.

LOWERY: Certainly. The way the law works is the police officer only has to prove in court convincingly that it was -- that they were reasonably scared. They do not have to prove that they were right. They should have been scared. They don`t have to prove there actually was a threat, right? Are they -- is beyond a reasonable doubt that an objectively reasonable officer would be scared?

So when you start looking at things such as the taser evidence, right, you can see how the prosecutors might argue this. It`s already been used twice, and officers should theoretically know it can`t be used again. You can see how the opposite would argue that. It`s the heat of the moment, you`re in the ground in a fight. You can`t remember how many times you tried to tased them before. All you see is a guy turning around pointing a taser at you and you got scared, right?

You see that argument, and I`m not going to suggest that that`s an unreasonable argument, right, but you know how that`s going to play out, right. And so, I would be very surprised -- beyond that, beyond that, right, in front of a judge or in front of a jury, it`s about what the public is willing to do, it`s the public willing to second guess the behavior of a police officer? And historically, that has not been the case even in cases where there`s some pretty clear evidence that perhaps the officer didn`t need to kill the person.

HAYES: You know, I`ve often thought this is an unknowable thing in the mind of Mr. Brooks at that moment, but you know, I think everyone in America has had that tape of Floyd`s death, George Floyd death in their head. And there`s this moment where you see him, he`s being handcuffed, and he freaks out.

I mean, he just breaks away. And the fear, the not unreasonable fear that some violence will follow you in the hands and custody of a police officer, I don`t know if that`s what`s going through his head at the time, but I know from your reporting, that fear is omnipresent in these interactions.

LOWERY: Certainly. And it`s not just the presence of the police officer, it`s the fear of what happens once you get to the jail. What happens if you get sent to prison, right?

HAYES: Right.

LOWERY: We have a very punitive carceral system, right, that getting arrested can ruin your entire life. Go back to Walter Scott. What does he run in a traffic stop? Because he`s behind in his child support, he knows he`s going to have to go to prison, right? And so suddenly, it`s a totally different incident.

In this case, it`s been brought up that perhaps Mr. Brooks, you know, might have had to go back, that he would have a parole violation, he would get a DUI. Well, might that explain an incentive to run away from an arrest like this if this is going to upend his entire life falling asleep in a Wendy`s drive-thru, right.

And so suddenly, the stakes of these interactions are much higher. And it`s not just about the behavior of the individual officers, which I also think is (INAUDIBLE), but rather it`s about for a lot of Americans, a single interaction with the police officer or the criminal justice system is going to ruin within their entire life. And suddenly it changes the decision makings and disincentives for whether or not you cooperate, or whether or not you`ve had to make a run for it.

HAYES: I want to come back -- come back to something you said here for the sort of final thought from you, which is just the role -- I mean, when we think about or we`re told to think about the law as the law, right, that it`s sort of independent of the whims of the moment or public opinion.

But your point here, right, which is juries are made up of people and the people have views of the world. They can -- they`re immersed in the moment socially that like, both in the charging decision and the jury is what you`re saying is like what we`re seeing the sort of evolution of public opinion that`s being captured in the polls is being captured in street protest, you think moves towards what actually happens in courts given enough time?

LOWERY: It could, right. I think it`s -- now again, in some cases, there`s going to be case law you`re got to deal with, the jury instructions you have to deal with, the way the judges oversee this, right? Now, again, these are all subjective actors who have say in this as well, right? But it is really interesting.

This is not a video that in 2014 and 2015 was very likely to bring -- to result in charges or result in the public outcry we`re seeing this way, at least among a kind of multiracial people. Black people would have been upset about this. No one else would have been. It would have been a long conversation about he shouldn`t have run, why do you have the taser.

And in this case, even people who are saying that are saying, but this guy shouldn`t be dead, and that is a complete sea change from even just a few years ago. And it`s going to be interesting to see as you start to have juries, if some of that thinking starts to come in and might jurors become more willing to convince, if not on felony murder, perhaps in some of those lesser types?

HAYES: Yes, it`s a really, really good point. Wesley Lowery has been doing fantastic work on this for quite some time, thank you for some time tonight.

LOWERY: Thanks so much, Chris.

HAYES: Next, he took a book deal instead of taking the stand. And tonight, we`re learning just what John Bolton refused to share with the president`s impeachment jurors when the nation needed to hear it. House impeachment lawyer Daniel Goldman on new allegations the president asked China for election help, next.

HAYES: You know, people talk about how the Republican Party has become the party of Donald Trump, but I think really, it`s the party of John Bolton. More than anyone, Bolton is he perfectly representative figure of the modern Republican Party, indeed of the conservative movement.

He served in prominent positions in the last two Republican administrations. He`s a vicious bureaucratic infighter. He`s complicit as untrustworthy, extremely militaristic. He`s never been held accountable for all the terrible things he`s done in his long public career and there are many.

He`s a completely morally odious individual you would not want your organization or anywhere around you, and yet he is, of course, also a Fox News contributor at the highest levels of Republican policymaking, because that`s the way the Republican Party in the conservative movement are now.

Maybe you`ll remember that Bolton was one of the people that broke up the White House Pandemic Response Unit, also advocated strenuously for a totally unjustified war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of people. John Bolton could spend the rest of his life like Lady Macbeth trying to wash the blood off his hands, and it would be there still.

And as a testament to just how remarkably cretinous this man is, remember last fall when all the evidence was coming out about the president manipulating American foreign policy in grievously corrupt manner, abusing his power to dig up dirt on his political opponent to get a foreign nation to interfere in our elections, and there was a ton of evidence, a lot of it that John Bolton knew all about it.

His deputy Fiona Hill testified before Congress that Bolton called the whole Ukraine affair a drug deal. But rather than answer the call testify about what he knew under oath in front of the House and the American people in the midst of an impeachment proceeding, Bolton fought against testifying. Instead, he shared his thoughts in a private speech to some rich bankers who paid him for it. He also held out for a $2 million book deal. And now Bolton is attempting to literally cash in on betrayal of his country. Again, all of which is par for the course of the modern Republican Party.

Now, the revelations in the book, they`ve been reported. To the extent, you can call them revelations. They`re exactly what you would think. Bolton says Trump did not want to send funds to Ukraine until they sent him dirt on Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden just as he was accused of doing and acquitted by the Republicans in the Senate.

Bolton says Trump told the Chinese Premier to go ahead and build concentration camps for the country`s Muslim minority. He also says Trump pleaded explicitly face to face with Xi, China`s premier to "ensure he`d win the coming election."

Wow, guess what, Donald Trump is exactly as terrible as we thought he was. And John Bolton is exactly who we thought he was as well. Because he didn`t say anything about any of this when it happened. He was sitting there the whole time, all these horrible things. He`s now made $2 million off of.

Instead, what he did was he lobbied for over a year to get in position administration, then immediately started working on a book that he can sell instead of telling the American people they were in grave danger because the country was being run by an immoral brute.

There are lots of people have every reason to be utterly furious at John Bolton, every American citizen, but maybe no one so much as our next guest. Joining me now is Daniel Goleman, who served as counsel for the House Democrats during the impeachment of President Trump.

Dan, what do you think about -- I cannot think of my mind of a precedent for this, of someone who has information material to something as high stakes and important in grave as a constitutionally, you know, blessed impeachment proceeding, who keeps it so that they can sell a seven-figure book deal, and then turns around with the book and criticizes Democrats.

I want to read you this. This is amazing. "Had Democratic impeachment advocates not been so obsessed with their Ukraine blitzkrieg in 2019, have they taken the time to inquire more systematically about Trump`s behavior across his entire foreign policy, the impeachment outcome might well have been different." Well, thanks, John. What do you think, Dan?

DAN GOLDMAN, FORMER HOUSE DEMOCRATS COUNSEL, IMPEACHMENT OF DONALD TRUMP: Well, that`s exactly right, Chris. We would have loved for John Bolton to come in and tell us about all of the other malfeasance and misconduct that the President was entertaining during his -- during Bolton`s tenure there. And in fact, if he had come in and testified as he was requested to do, then we might have expanded the investigation beyond Ukraine.

At the end of the day, he chose not to testify. There`s no legal reason why he could not testify if he was then going to reveal the same information in a book. The only reason I guess are dollar signs. He certainly no patriot. But the thing that is so striking about what we`re reading about this book and we still have to read the whole thing, is how consistent it is with the case that we built.

HAYES: Yes.

GOLDMAN: Bolton not only confirms exactly what all of his lower level employees in the National Security Council and elsewhere in the government confirmed about Trump abusing his power to essentially extort Ukraine in order to help him with the election, but it was truly what Trump`s foreign policy was. It was a foreign policy designed to help with his reelection.

And that`s -- that is remarkable when you see it as it relates, as you just cited to China. There`s some discussion about how he wanted to overturn U.S. charges against a large Turkish bank to help Erdogan and Turkey. We`ll have to read the book, if people are going to, or at least read the reporting about it to see what else there was. But it is a truly remarkable picture of a president whose sole purpose is to use his power to get himself reelected.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, it was always clear -- I mean, to me, at least, that the Ukraine was one sliver of what was clearly a broader pattern of behavior. But in the -- you know, the idea that he says to Premier Xi essentially, I need you to help me win so let`s bang out this trade deal, you got to start buying our farmers soy again, that everything is instrumental.

And, and that, of course, we`ve also seen in the way that he`s handled COVID, which is that he, in the beginning didn`t worry about the pandemic. He didn`t worry about Americans getting sick and dying. He worried about how it affect the stock market and therefore his reelection. Every single thing is instrumental, which is precisely the core of the case that was offered by the people that you work for.

GOLDMAN: No, that`s exactly right. I mean, Adam Schiff said it best, which is, you know, you cannot -- you can`t trust Donald Trump to do what`s right for the country, you can only trust him to do what`s right for himself. And COVID has laid it bare in a way that is perhaps a little bit more easy to understand than Ukraine.

You mentioned the stock market, but you`ll recall even at the beginning of the epidemic at the time, ultimately the pandemic, he didn`t want the cruise ship to land because he didn`t want the number of positive test to go up as if he was going to miraculously evaporate the disease. And then later on, he started to effectively use the same kind of extortionate conduct that he did with President Zelensky of Ukraine against the Democratic governors in order to withhold aid to them that they need it for the right endemic.

So you know, there`s an old saying that I think Maya Angelou said, you know, believe people when they show you who they are the first time. And John Bolton`s book just confirms what we saw of Donald Trump and Ukraine, what we have seen of him with a pandemic. It is -- and Bolton said it in at least one of the excerpts that I was reading today that he truly believes - - Donald Trump apparently truly believes that the national interest is what it is -- is in his personal interest. He has completely assumed himself as the state. And it`s a very, very dangerous situation in a democracy founded on the separation of powers.

HAYES: I mean, that was -- the fact that he was either unwilling or unable to distinguish between those two things, you know, the national interest, his personal political interest, that was the core -- that was the beating heart of the case against him, right, in the impeachment, that there was there was no distinction in his mind.

There`s also interesting implications here for the Department of Justice as run by William Barr. I want to read this from New York Times. "Mr. Bolton described several episodes where the President expressed willingness to halt criminal investigations to in effect give personal favors to dictators he liked citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life which we wouldn`t accept, Mr. Bolton writes, adding he reported his concerns to Attorney General William P. Barr."

It seems like the attorney general has a lot to answer for. Oh, it sounds like we just lost Dan Goldman, that whooshing sound, which I thought was Dan maybe just getting a chat, was us losing Dan Goldman.

Dan Goleman, of course, worked on that impeachment, which seems more and more relevant even though it seems like it happened in another lifetime. That was only this year. Dan, you`re not here anymore, but thank you.

Still ahead. Oh, wait, wait, he`s back. He`s back. Do we have him back? There he is, Dan Goldman.

GOLDMAN: I`m back. I`m sorry.

HAYES: Good to have you -- nice to have you back. It`s all right. So it does seem to mean like William Barr has a lot to answer for here.

GOLDMAN: Look, William Barr has a lot to answer for a lot of things. And if this is just yet another example of -- certainly what I read in that excerpt is that Barr told Bolton that he was concerned that there was the appearance of Trump meddling for political purposes and criminal prosecutions.

It didn`t seem like William Barr was really concerned that the President was actually meddling in criminal prosecutions, which is, you know, again, and there`s just a laundry list of these things that have never happened in our -- in our modern history, certainly since Nixon. But the notion of bartering criminal charges in order to get personal favors, because you`re the head of the executive branch is really remarkable.

And it just, you know, when we`re looking at what`s coming ahead, it`s something that this country and the rule of law just cannot stand for. And yet William Barr seems to be enabling exactly that kind of behavior.

HAYES: Yes. It`s striking that everyone, basically everyone who isn`t related to the man comes away thinking he`s actually worse than they thought after up close for precisely what they thought, at least the ones who tell us what it was like. Daniel Goldman, who worked on the House impeachment trial, thank you so much.

GOLDMAN: Thanks for having me, Chris. Good to see you.

HAYES: You too. Still ahead, based on the federal response, you might not think there`s a pandemic raging in our country, but there is, and in some places, it`s getting pretty bad pretty quickly. The game this administration is playing with people`s lives after this.

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HAYES: I`m not sure you will quite get this right now, but the U.S. has surpassed the frontier of the known world when it comes to COVID. The pandemic has hit the entire planet. Different countries getting hit at different levels different countries getting hit at different levels, showing varying degrees of competence in their response to it.

But no countries have the trajectory that we have had with the virus, this huge spike followed by a long plateau. And what you don`t even see in that plateau were the dangerous spikes popping up at certain places.

Which brings us to the state of Arizona. Arizona is looking really worrisome right now. It hit a record number of new cases yesterday, record high hospital capacity at 85 percent. New hospitalizations in Texas just surged 11 percent in a single day, also hitting a new record high. Several cities in Alabama are also seeing a wave of hospitalized patients with all- time highs in places like Birmingham as well as Montgomery where yesterday the city council voted down a proposed ordinance to make it mandatory to wear masks. A trio of doctors who had waited hours to speak in support of the masks at the council meeting got up and left the chamber in disgust after that vote.

We know there is no simple trick to deal with COVID, but it really does seem the best tool we have right now are masks. And at this point, we`re not just seeing incompetence from the government, it`s not that they don`t get it, we`re seeing something active, egregious, willful, recklessness.

One of the most stark examples of that right now, of course, is in Tulsa where the president is giving his first comeback rally on Saturday in the stadium that holds 19,000 people, despite the fact that cases are surging there too. That`s going to be an indoor arena, by the way.

We are right now at the cusp of running a very high stakes, high risk experiment with our fellow Americans where instead of taking action and maybe locking down again in places experiencing outbreaks or mandating masks, we`re just saying, how bad could it get?

And when I say we`re out here on our own passed the frontier of the known world, I say that because no other country has been willing to take that chance. I mean, Brazil kind of is right now. But I mean, no country that has gone through what we have gone through, having seen what the virus can do in Wuhan and Lombardy and New York City, no one has been willing to take the chance.

We have an increasingly aberrant, reckless, dangerous, political faction that just is not interested in making things safe.

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JOE BIDEN, 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump wants to style himself as a wartime president against this invisible enemy, the Coronavirus. Unlike any other war, any other wartime leader, he takes no responsibility, he exercises no leadership, now he`s just flat surrendering the fight. Instead of leading the charge to defeat the virus, he`s just basically waived a white flag and has retreated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The war the president is actually engaged in now is a kind of culture war against masks, the one thing we know, or appear to know, works against the virus. He`s managed to back himself into a corner as a leader of what almost is starting to feel like a pro-COVID movement.

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HAYES: Today the state of Texas set a new record, more than 3,000 new cases today alone, nearly 3,000 hospitalizations, and that`s an 11 percent increase in hospitalizations from yesterday`s record.

We have seen Texas Governor Greg Abbott hold these Coronavirus briefings where he just twists himself into these defensive knots trying to explain why he doesn`t have to take responsibility for the plainly increasing numbers. Just watch as he walked through the data yesterday discussing the state`s previous high in new cases.

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GOV. GREG ABBOTT, (R) TEXAS: Now, there is a reason why Hays County, as well as some other counties, have been testing positive at a higher rate. And one of the reasons that we have learned from multiple reports across the state of Texas is that there are certain counties where a majority of the people who were tested positive in that country are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to bar-type settings.

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HAYES: OK. You heard that right. So, young people are going out to bars, huh, that`s spreading the disease. Boy, who allowed the bars to open in the first place? Oh, right, Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Joining me now is Dr. Peter Hotez. He`s the dean of the national school of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has been closely tracking what is going on in the state with Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Doctor Hotez, I -- nothing that`s happening right now in America looks like the worst kind of spiraling out of control outbreaks we have seen in other places -- the New York metro area, Wuhan, Lombardy -- are you confident we can avoid that or are we just a the front end of something that might become that in a place like Texas or in Arizona?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, right now, Chris, the numbers are going up pretty steeply in our metropolitan areas of Texas. Houston is getting hit very hard right now as well as Dallas and Austin; and then also in Oklahoma and Arkansas; and then as you mentioned in Arizona. Pretty steep increases in the number of cases. But I`d like to also mention it is not just the number of cases, it is the hospitalizations that are going up as well, so it is not just a matter of expanded testing.

This is a real concern. We`re starting to see now patients file into our Texas medical center, which is the world`s largest medical center, it`s a medical city of 100,000 employees and 60 institutions. It is the largest medical center in the country here in Houston, and those numbers are filling up as well.

So we still have a lot of bed capacity left, ICU capacity. We`re not even at half yet, but the numbers are climbing.

And I don`t see what turns this around. I don`t know what people have in mind that`s going to suddenly -- where we`re going to suddenly start seeing a decrease. Some of the projections and the models are pretty apocalyptic looking, so I`m quite concerned.

HAYES: Well, that`s -- I guess the question here is this, the difference between, say March and now, or at least two big differences -- and Greg Abbott and others have pointed out -- we have much, much better surveillance, right. So, we`ve got better eyes on the virus. Much, much, much higher testing capacity. We can track things better than we could in March when we had essentially none. And the thing was moving around without us identifying it. And, two, is there a way in which hospital protocols, treatment protocols, the ways in which hospitals deal with it have learned enough that you can deal with larger numbers in a community than you could say in March?

HOTEZ: Yeah, absolutely. You know, as -- as one of our leaders in the Texas Medical Center, Mark Wallace, who is my boss at the Texas Childrens, the CEO, says, the Texas Medical Center has a lot of heft, and he`s absolutely right. So, we`re better prepared, and we will be able to handle continued increases. But there will reach a point where we will start to see a surge if we let this go on unchecked. So, I think the likelihood is it`s going to be inevitable we`re going to have to re-implement social distancing. I don`t see what else is going to turn this around at this point.

HAYES: Well, that`s the big question. I mean, right now all eyes to me in the world in terms of the intersection between public health and policy and politics are on Arizona and Texas. Arizona I think even more so, which is we have seen other countries when they have started to see cases tick up take fairly dramatic action again, re-lock down portions of the country -- that`s happened in China. In fact, Beijing schools were just ended. A bunch of countries have started to see the virus come back, taken fairly dramatic action to tamp it back down. It`s happened in Japan, and it`s happened in Singapore, it`s happened in South Korea to a certain extent.

What happens here if the politics are such of the governing party in Arizona that they`re just like, let`s just see where it goes.

HOTEZ: Well, look at Texas. Remember how this works. If -- the best way to fight a viral epidemic with a highly transmissible viral pathogen is with a vaccine, and we`re working to accelerate a vaccine, and we`ve talked about that, but it`s not going to be ready in time for this particular phase of the epidemic.

So, if you don`t have a vaccine, you are fighting this with one hand tied behind your back. And on the one hand you`ve got left is contact tracing, it`s surveillance, it`s wearing masks, it`s social distancing. And now what we have unfortunately in Texas is we have a very active and very aggressive fringe group now that`s resisting social distancing, contact tracing. They have put out calls to avoid contact tracing.

And if we do that, then we have nothing left to fight this epidemic, and the rise is going to be very precipitous.

HAYES: And it`s my understanding there is actually a letter sent from the mayors of several large cities in Texas to Greg Abbott asking him to give them the local authority for mandatory mask ordinances, which they currently don`t have, and he refused that. I mean, how important is that right now?

HOTEZ: Well, we do have -- it`s going to be very important because, again, we have limitations on what we can do to fight this epidemic and masks is a key component of it. So, I think what we have here in Houston in Harris County is we have an alert system where the next highest level, which is orange, we may have to go to red if this trend continues. And that may mean very aggressive implementation of social distancing, back what we did in March.

I mean, the tragedy is we were doing pretty well here in Texas. In March and April, we saw what was happening in New York and we implemented a very aggressive program with social distancing. We did everything right. And then -- and we never saw that surge on our ICUs and hospitals -- in our hospitals in Texas, but then the modelers told us like in Seattle at the Institute for Health Metrics said if we really want to do this right, we have to maintain social distancing throughout the month of May, and then we can go to containment mode, meaning one new case per million residents per day. Nobody was willing to do that.

So now the numbers are spiking up and we`re seeing the consequence.

HAYES: All right. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise tonight.

HOTEZ: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, Senate Republicans revealed a police reform bill today. Senator Cory Booker joins us to break it down and how it falls short after this.

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HAYES: There`s something pretty remarkable happening in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell`s senate, because under his leadership the senate does basically two things -- they confirm right-wing judges and they pass spending bills that they absolutely have to pass. They don`t do a lot of other stuff. They don`t do a ton of legislating on vexing social issues. They don`t try to address problems in American society. It`s not what they`re there for, it`s not what happens in Mitch McConnell`s senate.

But, it`s been pretty striking that arguably the largest street protests in decades are now getting Senate Republicans, of all people, to move something to floor for a vote.

Today Republicans, led by the Senate`s only black Republican, Tim Scott of South Carolina, introduced a new police reform bill, but as might be expected it`s a little less than meets the eye, unlike a bill previously introduced by Democrats, the Republican version does not outright ban choke holds, it discourages them. It also relies on encouraging police to change their behavior rather than mandating new practices for things like no-knock warrants. The bill also leaves in place, and this is crucial, something called qualified immunity, which largely protects police from being liable for their actions on the job, no matter how egregious.

Here with me now, Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey who has been outspoken on the need for police reform, who sponsored a bill that actually would change qualified immunity for police.

Senator, let`s start first with the fact this is happening, which is just striking to me. Mitch McConnell is saying they`re going to actually have a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate on a bill which is not sort of the thing they do unless there`s some crisis where some, you know, agency of the government that needs to be funded. What`s going on here?

SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D) NEW JERSEY: Well, I think that what is happening in the communities across this country, all 50 states, from suburban towns to big cities, and about a dozen plus countries around the world, there are people demanding change. And that voice, those voices cannot be ignored.

And so the bill that I did, which is with Kamala Harris and the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders is, I tell you, it is real reform, it has real consequence for police officers.

What I fear is what the Republicans are trying to do right now, is to defuse all of this energy by putting up bills and the president`s executive order that is heavy on symbols but very, very light on substance. It offers no real teeth or accountability to make real, substantive change, which is what people are demanding.

HAYES: You know, it`s interesting you say that, because I have seen activists and organizers and people I think whose politics are at the sort of left edge of the Democratic coalition, I think more radical than folks that might be in elected offices, and they said the same thing about Democrats. They basically say Democrats are offering these reforms to kind of get people out of the streets and sort of give them something to go home and go out of the way, and then -- so they can essentially preserve the status quo, more or less. What do you say to that?

BOOKER: Well, I would love to take a moment and speak to the people that are protesting. Please keep at it. Please stay out there. You`re changing the world. And it`s the only way from civil rights legislation, suffrage legislation, Americans With Disability Act, rights to protect LGBTQ Americans, all of them have come through popular, persistent protests.

And right now we`ve only got about less than 40 senators on a bill that actually has the eight pillars that a lot of our civil rights organizations have been asking for. And the only way we get big bills passed that really are cultural changing bills, the workers` rights we take for granted, for example, is from continued, sustained, determined protests.

So I just hope folks will continue to do it, they`ll disturbed -- hope to continue to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed and challenge the moral imagination of this country.

HAYES: You were a juror in the president`s impeachment hearing, the impeachment trial, which happened just this year, just a few months ago, in another lifetime. And like other members of the United States Senate and the Democratic caucus, wanted to try to get John Bolton called to testify. You tried several votes to make that happen.

I`m curious if you have a response to watching him secure a $10 million book deal, withhold this evidence from the trial that you were part of, and now put it in a book.

BOOKER: I think this is going to be a sad chapter in American history, where you see a lot of folks who have kept silent in the face of things that were not only wrong morally, but frankly violative of our constitution. And when they had a chance to speak out, when they had a chance to speak up, they didn`t say anything.

And when Bolton could have made a difference is during an impeachment trial. The things that he`s alleging in that book are impeachable offenses, are contrary to the common values and the ideals of this country. And for him not to speak up in a manner of patriotism, but instead, it seems, only to get paid, is just painful.

But he`s not alone. There are a lot of people who have chosen to remain silent out of convenience or fear or what have you in the face of a president that, as General Mattis, who is finally speaking up, has said is a danger to our democracy.

HAYES: Yeah, I mean, there is a theme here, which is that the people that do say something all seem to essentially confirm what we all see every day in front of our faces on Twitter and in the White House.

BOOKER: Look, I just -- it really is hard for me, when there`s so much at stake, when, as a guy on the Foreign Relations Committee, where I see the things that Bolton is alleging, you know, the challenge in China with the concentration camps against Muslim citizens of their own country. This is real human rights issues. These are real violations, when a president was willing to sell his country out for reelection, and now it seems like it wasn`t just Ukraine but the alleged conversations he had with China are a violation of his oath of office.

And so I just, in this time where protesters are forcing many of us to reexamine some of the best writing in American history, I`m thinking of Martin Luther King, who really wrote a "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," not to the white supremacists and KKK members, he wrote that letter to white moderates who he said he had more of a problem with, not the people actually doing the dastardly deeds, but the people that are silent, complicit, that are empowering that in and of itself.

And so this is a Republican Party, there are good people on both sides of the aisle in America, we demonize each other way too much, but this is a man that is now changing the Republican Party forever, putting a stain upon it, that this party is allowing itself to be dragged down because it`s refusing to -- in fact the quotes of some of these folks, before Donald Trump was elected are powerful. In fact, I heard Lindsey Graham`s words being used in a Republicans against Trump ad, because they`re so damning.

And so now this is...

HAYES: They were right.

BOOKER: ...so many.

HAYES: Yeah, they were right before they had to be wrong. Senator Cory Booker, thank you, as always, for making time, senator. That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel.

Good evening, Ali.

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