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Trump bid to end DACA TRANSCRIPT: 6/18/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Xavier Becerra, Will Humble, Jane Coaston, Brett McGurk

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, despite a spike of Coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, Donald Trump is moving ahead with his rally in Tulsa. Trump supporters are lining up and saying they`re not worried about the virus. They appear to be taking their cue from Trump himself telling an interviewer yesterday that the Coronavirus is "dying out." Well, I`ll be here tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. and "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, on ALL IN. Surprise victory for DREAMers and a nightmare week for Trump. Amidst the pandemic, protests and terrible polls, how the president sabotage himself in the Supreme Court. The man who won the DACA case and beat Trump, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will join me.

Then, as the Coronavirus surges in some red states, the governors begin taking it seriously. But is it already too late? The new revelations about how Trump`s pursuit of re-election help from China may have played a role in America`s catastrophic response to the virus.

Plus, the Trump cult conspiracy theorists running for Congress in Georgia, and why her recently unearthed racist videos may not keep her from winning. ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. There is actually good news for the country today, and more bad, bad news for Donald Trump the impeached President of the United States. It`s been an unexpected theme this week that we saw play out again today when the Supreme Court, the Roberts Court ruled against the Trump administration in an amazing five to four decision. The Supreme Court prevented the Trump administration from taking away the protected status of so-called DREAMers. Those are Americans who were brought to this country as children without authorization.

Now, Trump tried to take their protections away, which would pave the way to them being deported. And today, the court said no, you can do it. This time around, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the more liberal justices authoring the opinion. And as he didn`t that census case last year when the Trump administration tried to lie about why they wanted to include a citizenship question, today, Justice Roberts, a lifelong conservative, basically said the same thing he said in the census case. You could do this if you weren`t so gosh darn sloppy and obvious about it. But because you are so sloppy and so arbitrary, you have forced my hand here. This is too egregious for even me to sign off on.

And this kicked off a temper tantrum from conservatives. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called the decision disgraceful while the President of the United States whine on Twitter that maybe the Supreme Court just does not like him, saying "The Supreme Court`s decisions are a shotgun blast to the face of Republicans," metaphorically, of course.

He also hilariously tried to make the case that because of those decisions, you got to reelect me so I can put more judges on the court. Like the last car I sold, he was 11 and that looks broken, so you definitely need to buy a new one from me. But here`s the thing. Today`s decision is just another huge blow from the Supreme Court against the Trump administration for the fourth time this week.

Starting on Monday when -- to the delight and surprise of many, six justices, including the President`s handpick conservative justice Neil Gorsuch, ruled that title seven of the Civil Rights Act does indeed protect LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination. Gorsuch even authored the opinion. That day, the court also let lower court rulings stand on sanctuary cities and gun restrictions against the Trump administration`s wishes.

And all this comes during what is already the bleakest political landscape that Trump has seen in his presidency. After pushing the country to reopen in the middle of a pandemic, contrary to his own CDC guidance, and waging a culture war against measures, simple ones like masks to keep people safe, the U.S. Coronavirus curve looks like this.

It is hard to call it a curve because it is actually going back up. It is really unlike any other country in the world what we`re doing here right now with this virus. We`re still pushing 20,000 cases a day. We just had our highest single-day total in weeks. And there are genuinely concerning outbreaks right now in states like Arizona, Texas, one emerging in Florida.

The numbers are trending in the wrong direction in over a dozen other states. Nearly 120,000 Americans have died. And there are some signs beginning to show that the economy that Donald Trump is obsessed with restarting at all costs continues to bleed jobs. For the 12th week in a row we`ve had more than a million new unemployment claims, which is really worrying this far into the recovery.

Every new unemployment number since the end of March is a pre-Coronavirus record. Here`s what one unemployment line in Kentucky looks like. This is just a snapshot of America under Donald Trump. The fact that people are still losing their jobs at this rate means the economic pain is continuing to cascade.

On top of that we have the President`s former national security adviser who is beloved by large parts to the right basically saying the president is in idiot, a huckster, and a weakling, and then Trump`s own niece publishing a book saying essentially the same thing.

And all across the country protests continue against police abuse and racial justice an issue that poll after poll shows the president squarely on the wrong side of. To sum up the President`s week thus far, and it`s only Thursday, he`s gotten smacked down by the Supreme Court multiple times on huge high profile issues. He`s not only overseeing but actively encouraging an ongoing Coronavirus, catastrophe. Millions and millions of Americans do not have a job and the economy still looks really scary. And the country has turned solidly against him and his agenda of racial injustice and bigotry.

So learn anything from the last election day, it is how quickly things can change. We`ve seen that in the last few months, right? But right now, in this very moment, as I speak to you, Donald Trump is getting his clock cleaned everywhere.

The Latest Quinnipiac poll has him down eight points from Joe Biden nationally, which is only slightly better than FiveThirtyEight`s national average which shows Trump down 8.6 points. His approval rating is the lowest it`s been since the middle of his impeachment investigation last fall.

To top it off, Americans are the unhappiest they`ve been in 50 years, and who the hell could blame them? Things are bad in the country right now. And the majority of people understand who was chiefly responsible.

For more on the President`s political standing, I`m joined now by Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. And Michelle, thinks -- because things have been so bad and so bad for so long, let`s start with good news. Today`s DACA decision, which for hundreds of thousands of people means this unbelievable weight has been lifted off them. It`s the second time in a week in the Supreme Court. I saw a bunch of people saying I don`t know how to process good news. What`s your reaction?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think that there`s been a debate since the beginning of this administration about whether Trump is more dangerous because he`s incompetent or less dangerous because he`s incompetent, right? Whether a -- you know, whether it`s sort of person with his authoritarian instincts with better at government would be more of a threat or whether because he`s so chaotic and so incapable of doing the basic work of governance, he puts us all in more danger.

And I think the DACA decision is one of those places where his incompetence is actually a mercy, right, because they could have come up with a way to rescind DACA that this court would have allowed. And so, we are all really lucky that they don`t have either the will or the personnel to be able to do that.

And, you know, I mean, I remember when they rescinded DACA, how terrifying it was, how it seemed as if the deport -- the deportations could start at any moment. And I think it is really a blessing that we are, you know, hopefully, prayer -- you know, praying that we are coming up towards the end of this administration, and they haven`t begun yet.

HAYES: You know, it`s also striking to me too, when you look at the DACA decision, and you look at the title seven decision on Monday that employers cannot discriminate against LGBT folks. You know, during the primaries, there`s all discussion about where Democrats are with respect to public opinion not to get on the wrong side of it, maybe Medicare for all was, was something that people don`t like.

On these two issues, the Trump administration and the Republican establishment have been pushing, right? 83 percent of people think it should be illegal for employees to be fired based on their sexual orientation, 83 percent of people. 78 percent illegal for employees to be fired for being transgender. And then on DREAMers 85 percent of Americans favor allowing immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay.

These are massive, massive majorities of Americans on the wrong side of Republicans or on the other side from Republicans and is striking to me how far detached they have become from public opinion on these key issues.

GOLDBERG: Right. And Republicans could have seen this again as a blessing that the Supreme Court took it off their plate, right, so that Donald Trump can say to his base, you know, don`t blame me. The Supreme Court did this while sort of signaling to everyone else that this is the law of the land. But because he`s incapable of governing for anyone except for his base, he had to come out with this tweet about these very popular decisions being a shotgun blast to the face of his supporters.

HAYES: And I think -- to be honest, I think the Chief Justice John Roberts, who`s in many ways a company man has been all his life, kind of understands, has probably read those polls, and actually knows which way, has sort of diffused to big election year bomb for the Republican Party, that may not have been the best thing, I mean, if the decisions have gone the other way in terms of the politics of it.

GOLDBERG: I think it`s really hard to tell, right? I mean, there`s certainly a sense in which like losing begets losing, and a president who sort of has the stink of failure and chaos around him just becomes less formidable and less intimidating to people in all kinds of ways, whether consciously or unconsciously.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a really good point. And that I think, sort of embodies where we are right now. I mean, what is true striking to me is -- my head is sort of always spinning by just how bad things are. I mean, they really are bad and I`m very deeply, like painfully and viscerally worried about the fate of the country in every second.

there`s also the fact that like, there was this question about, could -- does the world of Trump T.V. and kind of right-wing media and the Trump, you know, the Trump base mean that you can get so far detached from the reality of the material conditions of the country, but it literally does not matter.

And it seems to me like we`re at this moment, we`re seeing like, it does matter what we`re seeing in the polling, what we`re seeing present itself in the sort of national consciousness, is that like it there is the basic mechanism of that democratic response is still there.

GOLDBERG: All right, certainly. I mean, if you are waiting in line to file for unemployment, when the president says that the economy is turned around, it`s very hard for even if you`re a devout conservative for Fox News, or Breitbart to tell you that that`s not happening.

And I think that, you know, in a way, what`s happening now with maybe what I thought the administration was going to look like all along, right -- I mean, I remember my sheer terror when Trump was elected, and it just felt like we were careening towards some catastrophe. And then, somehow, for a long time, the center sort of helped, right, and we got lucky, and there was no emergency.

And there was always this question of what happens when an emergency presents itself as it inevitably -- as it inevitably does. And now it`s happening in the country, has never certainly in my lifetime, but I`m not sure in the 20th century seemed more apocalyptic.

And so, you know, again, I think that there`s going to be people who stay with him no matter what, but there was -- there`s always been a group of people who said, you know, I don`t like Trump. I think he`s -- you know, I think he`s vulgar and embarrassing, but I`m sort of happy with the material conditions in the country right now. And they attributed those to him, I think, wrongly, but nevertheless, they did.

There`s no way that you can look around This country right now and think that they -- and think that we`re winning.

HAYES: No, that`s exactly right. There is no way to think that. Michelle Goldberg, it`s always so great to talk to you. Thank you so much.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: For more on today`s historic Supreme Court decision, I`m joined now by Attorney General for the state of California, Xavier Becerra, who brought the suit against the Trump ministration on behalf of DACA recipients.

First of all, congratulations on a big victory for you and the folks in your office and that very, very gifted oral advocate that you had that argued the case before the Supreme Court. Were you surprised today?

XAVIER BECERRA, ATTORNEY GENERAL, CALIFORNIA: Chris, I`ve always been optimistic. Maybe it`s because I`m the son of immigrants and it runs in my DNA. But we always felt we were behind the right cause. We won in every court and why should we lose in the Supreme Court?

HAYES: What`s the meaning for this tangibly? I mean, I want to just take a second of you know, we`re talking about this in the context of the country and good news. I mean, I have talked to so many people whose -- who on election night, I really saw in front of them a future of possible deportation of the security that they had one, being taken away, and then the worst seemed to come true when they announced the rescission. What`s it mean for people?

BECERRA: Let`s break that down. For the DREAMers, it means the world. Actually, it means that America is paying attention and cares about them. For Donald Trump, and in many respects for the rest of us, it means the rule of law still exists, and no one is above it, including the occupant in the White House.

But really what it means for Donald Trump as president more than anything else is that this decision is an indictment of the way he does business. It`s a clear sign that what he`s doing is not the right way. It`s not this -- just this decision, you mentioned the previous Supreme Court decisions where Donald Trump is clearly having a bad day, a bad week, a bad three years before the Supreme Court.

And so it`s one of those cases where I think all of us can take up big sigh of relief, believing that maybe the rule of law still exists in this country, even with Donald Trump in the White House.

HAYES: Just to step into the legal weeds for one second here. The finding here about the majority, of Roberts writing with to the majority is about a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, which is basically the process they used to come to this decision was so ridiculous, so arbitrary and capricious, that it violated that law.

There was a deeper argument being made that this was actually a constitutional violation. This was a fundamentally discriminatory project by the president. Sonia Sotomayor is saying that clearly is the case too, and there`s no amount of dotting I`s and crossing T`s that that would make this OK. Does it concern you the idea of them going back and trying to dot the I`s and cross the T`s and, and go after DREAMers again?

BECERRA: So, look, first, we`re going to take this victory because it is crucial for people. We get to talk about it and we`re happy that it`s there. For hundreds of thousands of people, this was the difference between life in America and who knows what kind of future, and so let`s remember that.

Secondly, the decision turned on the issue of process, which you know what, I`ll take a victory whether it`s on process or on substance. In this case, the court held, the five justices said, hey, you got to go through the process. You got to follow the rules.


BECERRA: Yes, because you`re going to impact the lives of a whole bunch of folks who relied on your representations as federal government to their detriment. And so, if you`re going to take away something that they went through the process and followed to the letter, then you have to explain how you`re going to do it. They didn`t do that.

Now, there`s some substantive arguments you can make, whether there was the protection violation and all the rest. But look, at the end of the day, we got the victory, DREAMers are here, and now we give Congress a chance to fix this permanently.

HAYES: You know, you`re a Californian, you said you`re a son of immigrants, you`re the tourney general for the state of California. I think about California a lot in terms of the politics of California and how it`s changed over the last 20 years. I mean, this is a state that had this kind of ungovernable -- the sense of being ungovernable for a long time because of this sort of red-blue battle, conservatives and liberals in the statehouse.

They can never get a budget every year. It was just this like, constant mess. And then basically, what happens when the Democratic Party just whooped the Republicans and the state kind of became governable again, and I wonder if you would like, think about California in the context of the American experience right now. Like, is there some way in which that`s the only way out of this mess that we`re in right now?

BECERRA: Chris, if you think about it, where we are, the country will be in probably a couple of decades, in the 1990s -- yes, I remember, 1994, we had Proposition 187, which goes as anti-immigrant an issue as you can ask for, and it passed. And our republican governor running for re-election rode the wave of that proposition to get reelected.

He`s the last established traditional Republican to win office, Arnold Schwarzenegger clearly was not a traditional Republican. But other than that, Republicans have been on the downslide ever since. And so, I think you saw a pivot in California, which I believe you`re beginning to see in this country as well. The fact that people are supporting all those peaceful protesters seeking police reform, different day.

And so, Chris, I think what California is experiencing, the rest of the country will experience. And good thing because we are now the fifth- largest economy in the world. Even though we`re one of 50 states, only four countries, including the U.S. are -- do have more economic capacity than we do. And we are creating more jobs than anyone else.

We have the best universities in the country. We graduate more people from university than any other state. And so why wouldn`t other states want to follow what we`re doing? All I got to do is tell you though, you`ve got to be progressive. This is 2020, not 1920.

HAYES: Attorney General Xavier Becerra, again, congratulations on your victory in court. Thank you so much for your time.

BECERRA: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Next, as some states see record high cases of Coronavirus, mayors and Republican governors in a kind of stand over off over what to do. How that`s playing out after this.


HAYES: There`s a really interesting dynamic that has emerged recently, sort of battle between Republican governors and then mayors over trying to contain a Coronavirus in their states and their cities as cases climb, particularly in the south and the west.

So on one side are governors who have staked their political reputation on reopening, and on the other are local officials who were terrified about outbreaks in hospital capacity in the areas that they`re representing.

Today, the Nebraska Republican governor basically told localities that if you will order people to wear masks in your locality, then we the state will not give you any federal Coronavirus money, which is nuts.

Meanwhile, as Arizona faces what is arguably the worst outbreak in the entire country right now, yesterday, that state`s Republican Governor Doug Ducey finally relented from pressure from localities to say yes to those localities, you can order people to wear masks. Right now, the eyes of the nation are on Arizona because no one knows how bad it is going to get there or what it will mean for the trajectory of post lockdown Coronavirus growth in the U.S.

For some insights on that, I want to turn to someone who understands Arizona`s health landscape better than almost anyone, Will Humble, the former director of the Arizona Department of Health and Services and now the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

Will, let`s start first with the governor`s decision --


HAYES: Good to have you. Let`s start first with the governor`s decision to basically say this is -- we`ve seen this play out in Nebraska, in Texas, in Arizona. You`ve got local mayor`s saying we want to issue some kind of mask order and it tells people they have to wear masks or businesses tell people how to wear a mask. You`ve seen governors resisting it.

Doug Ducey seem to kind of reverse himself a bit and say to localities, yes, you can order masks. How important do you think that is? What do you make of that decision?

HUMBLE: Well, first of all, he didn`t reverse himself a bit. He reversed himself a lot. You know, throughout his whole tenure, he has been really reluctant to give cities the authority that they really need to do business in their communities. But -- so what happened here is for your viewers really, it`s a success story and advocacy.

And what really happened is that for my organization, the AARP, over 100 doctors sent him a letter, we had people from the county health departments and county governments sending in, managed care organizations, hospital chains. So this was a full court press by advocates to say, hey, look, you know, this things are not good and we need some control measures at the local level.

And he relented, and you know -- and by the way, that was 24 hours ago, the list of cities that have committed to having a massive ordinance within their jurisdictions is super long, it`s all the big cities, and it was a really fast reaction.

HAYES: You know, does -- it just drives me -- really almost nothing makes me more depressed about the state of the country right now than mass becoming some cultural signifier or cultural issue when what we all want is to conduct some, you know, facsimile of normal life with the pandemic and the masks look like this simple, fairly low-cost thing that might be able to get us there. And the idea of it becoming a thing that people don`t want to wear or don`t want to order people to wear is just sort of dispiriting.

HUMBLE: Well, OK, let`s look at the return on investment for a second. Here`s something that we know is very effective at slowing the spread of this virus. It`s essentially free and the return on investment is off the charts. You compare that to a stay at home border with the collateral damage that comes with that, the people losing their jobs.

I mean, it`s just absolutely nuts that you don`t want to use an intervention that`s essentially free that the literature shows us is super effective. So you know, at least we`ve made that progress this week. There`s some other things that happened this week as well around nursing homes. $10 million for testing there, businesses are now expected to comply or rather, they were before just asked to comply with CDC mitigation measures.

So a lot of progress this weekend, and it comes down to advocacy. So if you don`t like what`s happening in your state, jump in and you can make some change.

HAYES: Well, here`s the big question about Arizona for -- to my mind that has really, really broader implications, is can Arizona get it`s community transmission, it`s R-naught level down and start seeing that those cases, those new delay cases come down short of widespread lockdowns and mitigation efforts like we`ve seen?

The answer to that question seems to me to hold so much for what we`re looking at as a country because if it can`t and has to lock down or Maricopa County has to, we`re in trouble. If it can, then it`s encouraging about what tools we have to manage this thing going forward.

HUMBLE: Right. So, yes -- so the key -- the key things are the mass -- the top ROI. 1We talked about that. Better testing and assisted living and skilled nursing facility, so there`s $10 million going into testing staff in that regard, that`s a good thing. Businesses are now required to comply with the -- with the mitigation measures that the CDC requires or is recommending, and there`s contact tracing resources that are going in through the National Guard, etcetera.

So, you know, we`ve got these new things that are happening, you know, but it would have been great to have these in place at the end of the stay at home order on, you know, on May 15th. But it`s -- here we are June 18th, and we`re going to see what the data shows us. I`m crossing my fingers that it`s going to make a real difference. At least we`re doing what we can now.

HAYES: Yes. And there`s a little bit of you know, reality sort of gets to people eventually. I saw this Republican Sheriff of Pinal County who had been kind of, you know, said he wasn`t going to enforce mask orders. He was sort of this kind of like, you know, live free or die sort of thing about Coronavirus. He`s now tested positive he only tested positive because he was doing I think a campaign event at the White House and so had to get -- had to get tested.

Do you feel like the political conversation or the conversation about what`s possible does change to reflect the fact that people understand there`s something going on in Arizona right now that`s worrisome.

HUMBLE: To be honest, you know what I think it takes and what we`re seeing increasingly here and it`s happening across the whole country, I`m sure is that when people hear personal stories about people they know, that`s what compels them to understand how important this is. I think sometimes it just needs to be personal for some people.

Some people get the data, some people understand what`s happening, and that you know, they can see the growth curve and know that something has to change, but some people need to feel it directly, I think.

HAYES: So final question I guess for you is do you think you -- do you think with testing in nursing homes, with mask ordinances in the local level, with contact tracing, do you have hope that Arizona can kind of get this under control without having to lockdown?

HUMBLE: I don`t -- you know, I can`t -- I don`t know, Chris. I just don`t know. One of the -- one of the things that really matters is how good is the compliance with the masks? I mean, you could have a masks ordinance, but if people flaunt it or don`t comply with it, you`re not going to benefit from it, and I don`t know the answer to that yet, although we did have a successful stay at home order.

So April was a really good month for us. You know, people complied, people did the right thing, people sacrificed including their jobs a lot of them. So I think there`s some evidence that maybe we`ll -- Arizonans will recognize that this experiment with just blowing everything off didn`t work.

HAYES: Yes, let`s hope. Let`s mask up, Arizona and everywhere, and let`s hope we can get this under control. Will Humble, such a great pleasure to talk to you. I learned so much every time we do. Thank you very much.

HUMBLE: All right, thanks for the opportunity. Bye.

HAYES: Still to come, meet the next generation of Trump Republicans. Disturbing videos from the queue and on conspiracy theorist candidate endorsed by the president who is on her way to winning a House seat this fall. That`s next.



MARJORIE GREENE (R-GA), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: President Trump declared Antifa a domestic terrorist organization. I have a message for Antifa terrorists, stay the hell out of northwest Georgia. You won`t burn our churches, loot our businesses or destroy our homes.

I`m Marjorie Greene, and I approve this message.


HAYES: Congressional Candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene knows what the primary base of the Republican Party wants to hear, even though her Antifa ad got taken down by Facebook for violating their policy against inciting violence, she`s also listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center`s hate watch, she has been endorsed by a man with ties to local white supremacists, and she`s a believer in the truly bonkers Q Anon conspiracy theory that centers on a person who posts as Q, who claims to have inside knowledge of the president quietly leading a revolution against the, quote,deep state, and everyone is going to be put in jail.

Back in 2017, she said Q is a patriot. He is someone that very much loves his country and he`s on the same page as us.

Right now Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for the Republican nomination in Georgia`s 14th congressional district, and she is the front runner. Donald Trump won that district by more than 50 points. And if she wins her run-off in August, she has a great shot at becoming, I guess this is history, the first openly Q Anon conspiracy believing member of congress.

She also, we should note, has the president`s endorsement.

You might also be shocked to hear, thanks to video discovered by, her views on race are not great.


TAYLOR: There is an Islamic invasion into our government offices right now, OK? They are -- you saw after mid-term elections what we saw so many Muslims elected. I don`t know the exact number, but there were quite a few.

The generations of black and Hispanic men, do you want to know what holds them down? Gangs, being in gangs and dealing drugs is what holds them down. The gangs are holding them back, it`s not white people.


HAYES: Since that video emerged, there has been some condemnation from some Republicans.

But the problem of course with this is that the views of Marjorie Taylor Greene are not out of sync with the views of the Republican primary voting base, particularly in her district.

Joining me now is someone who has reported extensively on the Republican Party and the far right and the conservative base, Jane Coaston, she`s senior politics reporter at Vox.

And Jane, this -- I am reminded a little bit of the Roy Moore situation in Alabama, right, which is there is there just the problem for the Republican Party is that the base of the party wants people like this.

JANE COASTON, VOX: Especially this particular base. Georgia`s 14th district, which was created after the 2010 census, it is 84 percent white. It has got a population of about 710,000 people, and it is a very conservative area, and that`s why a lot of Republicans are concerned that she might not just win her runoff but then win the resulting election.

And this is one of the impacts of Trumpism. You know, while Trump himself may not hold to some of these views, he may hold views that are helpful for him when they are, the people who close to him when they are, the people that follow him do. And so I think that her comments about race, her comments about unemployed people, which especially right now during a pandemic seems particularly off key to argue that you`re only unemployed because of bad choices and personal responsibility.

HAYES: Right.

COASTON: You know, this is very much what this audience wants to hear.

HAYES: Although, it is interesting to me, too, is that those -- you know you`re unemployed because of bad choices and personal responsibility and, you know, black and Hispanic men are in gangs and they`re criminals and that`s what`s holding them down, those are not views that were outside the mainstream of Republican politics.

And it was striking to me that when that video came out, you got this weird thing happening which is like Trumpism means that more people like her are getting into Republican politics, but the kind of wind of change in public opinion means that you have Republicans actually condemning her for it.


You know, you heard from Steve Scalise, you heard from Kevin McCarthy condemning her remarks. And, you know, you have got an opinion piece actually in The Washington Post today from Henry Olson at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, who is a well-known right leaning think tank, saying , you know, we absolutely cannot let this person represent the GOP, because it will poison the entire line.

And so I think that that`s one of the challenges here is that so many Republicans are -- you know, they`re going into office that what people want to hear from me is, you know, the three stools of conservatism. They want to hear about foreign policy, they want to hear about social conservationism, and then you have a candidate like this where they`re no, no, no, that not what we want, it`s what the base wants to hear.

And so I think that we, you know -- I remember back when Corey Stewart was running in Virginia and he beat out a conservative named Nick Freitas, and so many conservatives were like, but Nick Freitas, you know, he`s one of us. He understands us, and then Corey Stewart was like I`m going to come in here and claim to be a Confederate sympathizer while being from Minnesota. And so you very much -- what the party wants and what the base wants are not the same thing.

HAYES: And to me the big question about this, right, is like political parties under the kind of like the political science theorization should be invested in winning, right, and that should be this kind of moderating influence. And so far Trump`s victory, I think, has had this effect where they think this is a path to victory. The only thing that would change anything fundamentally are like actually big losses or maybe not even that would change. What do you think?

COASTON: I think big losses would impact that. If you recall in Arizona, Kelly Ward, or as some people in the state of Arizona called her Chemtrail Kelly.

HAYES: Right.

COASTON: She lost her race partly because of her emphasis on the particular aspects of Trumpism that actually don`t play well for voters writ large. Let`s keep in mind that people who vote in Republican primaries, people who vote in Democratic primaries, are different from the wider electorate who would be choosing between a Republican, a Democrat or a member of another party.

And so I think that what you will see are these continued losses. And that`s why, I think, in my view the Republican Party is concerned, not necessarily because her views are that out of step with how many people in Trump`s base think, but because her views represent and albatross around the neck of the Republican Party.

HAYES: Right. But then I keep thinking back to the Roy Moore test, right, which to me was like here is a person even before credible accusations that he had preyed upon, molested underage girls, right, even before that who had no business, no business near public office, none whatsoever. And when he won the primary like everyone sort of got in line. And it seems like we`re going to give another test here of that same thing.

COASTON: Right. I think that there very much is this will be a test, and I think you will see people get in line. She has endorsements from Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz. And so I think that there will be a point in which people try to amalgamate her views into the why the Republican Party as making Q Anon into something about standing up for Trump against the deep state when Q Anon began as a theory that Robert Mueller and Donald Trump were working together to arrest Hillary Clinton and Tom Hanks.

And so I think there will be that effort, but, you know, with Roy Moore`s election, let`s keep in mind that what you saw, and the reason why Doug Jones won that race is not just because a lot of people voted for him, but a lot of Republicans stayed home.

HAYES: That`s right, yes. There was a breaking point.

COASTON: Republican still exists.

You know, I think that that...

HAYES; Yeah, there is a breaking point.

COASTON: There is a breaking point. And I also think that there is a moment here. If you are a moderate Republican, this isn`t what you want either. You know, you are not hearing from these leaders of the party saying this is what they`re looking for, it is just that this particular base is so specific.

HAYES: Jane Coaston, who writes for Vox, thank you so much for making time tonight.

COASTON: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Still to come, new allegations that President Trump sought re- election help from another foreign leader and how it played a role in the unfolding public health disaster just ahead.


HAYES: One of the more confounding aspects of the presidency of Donald Trump has been the trade war that he cultivated with China. Remember how weird and self-destructive it all seemed? He would keep raising tariffs in a way that would endanger the thing he was most worried about, the thing he viewed as his biggest weapon to reelection, the so-called Trump economy. And he raised tariffs and then everyone would forecast that tariffs would hurt growth, maybe even knock the U.S. into a recession, stock markets would sink and people would ask what are you doing?

And sure, it could have been he believes in a very simple notion of trade as zero sum, doesn`t really understand tariffs. He has certainly given reason to think that. But I always had a theory in the back of my mind the whole thing was a kind set-up where Trump would escalate and escalate the trade war, but then he would cut a trade deal in the run-up to the election in 2020 that he thought would then take the parking brake off the economy and send it zooming into election day.

Well, the new book from the president`s opportunistic and utterly terrible former national security adviser, John Bolton, a book you shouldn`t buy, basically confirms that was a setup, that this was his strategy all along. According to the book, Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy more soy beans and wheat from the U.S., because that would help with voters in the Midwest and could ensure his victory.

In exchange for helping him win, the president told the Chinese leader he would lift the tariffs, almost a kind of, I don`t know, like a kind of quid pro quo, if you will. The president leveraging U.S. policy to try to get a foreign leader to help him win, which is the exact same thing he was impeached for. He did it with Ukraine, and now it appears he did it with China, too.

Also, think about the timing here. Trump wanted the trade deal ahead of his re-election, which meant he had has given away all of his leverage because of course the Chinese knew that, right? Trump was desperate. He was so desperate for it, according to John Bolton, that last year he offered to reverse criminal prosecution against Chinese company Huawei, a company we fear could use its technology to spy on us as it would help in that trade deal.

The president still did not have the big trade deal he wanted to help him get re-elected, and so while China was playing down and outright covering up the danger of the Coronavirus that started the year, Trump was publicly praising China`s handling of the virus.


TRUMP: I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control. I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April supposedly it dies with the hotter weather, and that`s a beautiful day to look forward.

But China I can tell you is working very hard.


HAYES: February 10 he said that.

Now, if what Bolton wrote is true, and I don`t know if it is, it sure looks like Trump misled the public about the Coronavirus early on in pursuit of a corrupt deal with a foreign power for his own election, further evidence that Donald Trump simply cannot separate his own personal interests from the interest of the country, it is his core character defect as president.

It is now at the core of our current ongoing national disaster. We`re going to talk about that next.


HAYES: It would seem pretty clear the thing Donald Trump was impeached over, abusing his power by trying to trade favors with a foreign government for his own personal benefit, was not just limited to Ukraine. Now, with John Bolton`s book and a whole bunch of new examples of that behavior staring us in the face.

With me now is Brett McGurk who served in senior national security posts under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Brett, you have a lot of experience -- and you`re not hawking a book in the way that John Bolton is, and so I sort of give you some more credibility on this -- I wonder if just the basic picture here of the president being ironically for Mr. America first like incredibly easy to roll or push around by foreign authoritarian figures, if that squares to you.

BRETT MCGURK, FRM. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TO THE GLOBAL COALITION TO DEFEAT ISIL: Yeah, you know what, thanks, Chris. I think what we`re seeing here is incredible. Bolton was National Security Advisor for 17 months and (inaudible) the question was what was he doing 17 months?

What he`s coming out now is confirmatory to basically everything we know. It`s exactly what I said when I came out of the administration. This is a president that does not prepare for meeting heads of state. He doesn`t focus on facts. He doesn`t know what`s going on. And so when he`s on the phone with someone like Erdogan or Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping, he tends to get totally rolled, and our policies just shift all over the place.

In the case of Syria, which I dealt with, we have American forces on the ground. These are matters of war and peace, life and death, so the commander-in-chief has to be prepared and thoughtful and prudent and it`s kind of the opposite.

He`s very manipulable. And it makes it difficult to have for America to have any sort of consistent or coherent foreign policy, because our diplomats from around the world that do the diplomacy day to day, everyone they`re sitting a across the table from, whether it`s an ally or an adversary, their counterparts know at the end of the day Trump can change everything overnight and so if their leader gets to Trump, you know, everything shifts. We know this. This has been a pattern.

So, what Bolton is saying basically just confirms what we`ve seen, what we`ve been c overing now for three years.

HAYES: Well, and the Erdogan part of this, which you have sort of intimately been exposed to, because you`ve resigned from your position after Donald Trump abruptly ordered the evacuation of American troops from part of northeastern Syria, because basically Erdogan called him up and asked him to do it.

The Erdogan part of this has always been kind of a mystery to me, it`s always been a fascinating subplot, which is why has he been so manipulated by Erdogan? Why has he like gone to bat for him? He`s got people around him, from Rudy Giuliani who was trying to sort of lobby on behalf of Erdogan`s pet causes. What -- how do you understand that? Bolton writes about it as well.

MCGURK: The underlying issue here, which Bolton writes about -- again, I haven`t seen the book, but what has been reported -- is that Erdogan came to Trump and said there is this case going on in the Southern District of New York that he wants throne out.

This case is one of the biggest sanctions busting cases, criminal cases, in history, almost $13 billion to avoid Iran sanctions, sanctions put under the Obama administration.

I was in a meeting with Vice President Biden where Erdogan did the exact same thing. And Vice-President Biden said, hey, you don`t even raise that with me. We`re a country of laws, rule of law, don`t even raise it with me. Bolton says Trump had a very different reaction.

Look, I don`t know, something about these authoritarian leaders -- Erdogan, Putin, Xi Jinping, Trump just seems to gets rolled.

In the case of Syria, what is just so egregious about it is that, you know, we had -- we`re in the middle of a war, and we`re fighting a war very carefully with limited investment, limited risk, low cost, and for the commander-in-chief to take calls from heads of state without any preparation or thought, puts our country at risk.

You know, at least we have eight more months of this president. And it`s not just Bolton`s book, put the book aside, the letters last week, the statements from not only Mattis, but also Admiral Mullen who I`ve worked with, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bush and President Obama, uses his words very carefully. And he said he questions the soundness of the judgment of the orders coming from the commander-in- chief. That is basically a former chairman saying he questions the fitness of this president to do the job. That`s kind of where we are.

And I think we have to really hang on here for another eight months because all of our adversaries out there, they know that our country is in deep trouble and this president is not up to the job.

HAYES: Well, I mean, one of the things that we`ve seen, particularly I think in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic and economic management with it, is that this kind of crazy situation. You know, I know people that have worked in White Houses. My wife worked in the Obama White House. I have lots of friends who have.

You know, you have got this structure that`s put in place around a president where it`s hard to get face to face with the president of the United States, like there`s all these channels around him. And that can be kind of a pain, because there`s a lot of red tape, there`s a lot of bureaucracy, but it`s there for a reason, which is you can`t just have the president kind of pinging around aimlessly talking to this person, talking to that person, changing their mind from one minute to the next because you`re going to have terrible policy come out of that.

And that has been what we`ve seen, and then the Coronavirus to me really illuminated the stakes of that. I mean, the last person he talked to is the kind of last policy that comes from the government and you can see what it`s gotten us.

MCGURK: I read that Bolton puts it in his book, it`s like China diplomacy in a pinball machine. But there`s some truth to that, because you just never know from day to day.

But when you`re dealing with the presidency, it is -- that`s why we`re facing multiple crises. It is one of the -- it is the hardest job in the world. You have to think. You have to prepare. You have to consult your advisers. You do not walk into a room with Xi Jinping or Putin or get on the phone with Erdogan without careful preparation.

I`ve worked for three presidents. I`ve been on the oval office on calls from Erdogan and other leaders with President Bush. President Bush was totally prepared. What we`re likely to hear, what might you should say when you hear this. President Obama was the same. Joe Biden was the same.

Trump does not prepare at all for these engagements and, therefore, other leaders know and our allies know, too -- that`s why they`re so nervous about this situation here in our country, that anything can shift on a dime.

HAYES: Brett McGurk, thank you so much for making time for us tonight.

MCGURK: Chris, any time. Thanks so much.

HAYES: You bet.

That is All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.