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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on "ALL IN," American failure. Think he was kidding now? Trump pulls funding for testing as the Coronavirus explodes in states like Texas and Florida and the National curve reaches new heights. Beto O`Rourke will join me from Texas. And New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on the Northeast quarantine for visitors from outbreak states.
Then, impeaching Bill Barr. Why Democrats are now considering it after today`s stunning accusations of corruption. Plus, as marches continue across the country, why is Louisville still waiting for justice for Breonna Taylor?
And the Atlantic`s Adam Serwer on the trouble Trump is having running against a white male candidate. When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Well, here we are, again, faster than I thought it would take. But we have now tonight set the single-day record for new Coronavirus cases in this country more than 36,000 new infections across the country today. The latest numbers are passing the previous single-day record set way back on April 25th.
After the lockdowns and the economic calamity, and the mourning and the grief and the fatalities and the deaths, the crisis in this country is today getting worse. And instead of doing something about it, the President is trying to cover it up. The Federal Government is now, get this, ending funding for a whole bunch of Coronavirus testing sites, including seven in the state of Texas, which of course has seen record daily increases in new cases.
And you might ask yourself, on what planet would make -- would this make sense? Who would slow down testing in the middle of a vicious outbreak? I mean, Texas just hit an all-time daily high in cases. In Houston, the biggest city in the state, hospitals are near capacity. They`re literally running out of beds. We`ve seen this happen before and other places with outbreaks.
This chart of Texas cases tells the story. They have an extremely serious outbreak right now, today, you can see it. And the one thing they really need is to step up testing to make sure that they are capturing transmission as quickly as they can to quarantine people so that it doesn`t continue to rise.
But instead, no, the President is cutting back. And the reason why is right there in front of all our faces. The President keeps telling us, he does not like testing because he thinks if you do not test, then you have fewer cases.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you do testing to that extent, you`re going to find more people, you`re going to find more cases. So, I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.
When you have all those tests, you have more cases. So the news covers it, they have more cases.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you said you asked your people to slow down testing, were you just kidding or do you have plans to slow down testing?
TRUMP: I don`t kid.
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HAYES: There you have it. And get this. It`s not just Trump trying to spin this away. Vice President Mike Pence who is the head of the Coronavirus Task Force, the President has utterly lost interest in, he, Pence, today, went into a closed-door meeting with Republican senators and reportedly put a positive spin on how the Coronavirus numbers are looking.
Senator Tom Tillis saying that Pence said only three percent of counties are actually seeing upward spikes. Don`t worry your pretty little head, we`re fine, just three in counties. Just one small problem. Land does not get sick, people do. And there are a lot of people in the counties that are seeing spikes like Harris County in Texas, which is home to Houston with 4.7 million people or LA County in California, with 10 million people or Maricopa County in Arizona with 4.5 million people or Miami Dade County in Florida with 2.7 million people.
Oh, just a few counties. Don`t worry about it. Here`s the stark, terrifying, and maddening reality cases are now growing in 27 states. We are arguably now at the worst heights of the outbreak on a national scale. We are seeing case growth and record hospitalizations in states like Texas, Florida and Arizona and elsewhere.
I should note here that at the state level, some Republicans are starting to accept reality. Republican governors like Arizona Doug Ducey and Greg Abbott in Texas are finally starting to understand the importance of their citizens wearing masks. Governor Abbott is telling people that things are bad as they are and they need to stay home.
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GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Because the spread is so rampant right now, there`s never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you do need to go out. The safest place for you is at your home.
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HAYES: Now, it`s important he`s saying that now, but he is still largely plowing ahead with reopening. And he`s one of the Republican governors who rushed to open back up in the first place, while ignoring what the CDC said was safe, just blowing past their guidelines. In fact, his lieutenant governor, Abbott`s lieutenant governor, said that reopening the country was more important than living.
I should also note that we are also starting to see some really worrying signs out of some states that more or less did follow the CDC guidelines, right, like California. California where we are seeing hospitalizations climbed quite significantly, we`re seeing positive test rates go up to as well as new case records.
Both of those are bad, in fact, terrifying. It speaks to what public health experts and epidemiologists have been telling us from the moment this first appeared in Wuhan. The virus is dangerous and it is indefatigable flow. This is going to be a long fight. And so now here we are experiencing this insane deja vu.
Back in February and early March, I was on this program, and many people were screaming our heads off about what was happening in places like China and Italy. And then we started to see the numbers here. And we did not have enough testing. We can see in places like New York at the heart of the outbreak that things were about to get bad, very bad, and they did. And so we saw how it looked when things got bad, hospitals melting down, 0.25 percent of the city`s population killed by the virus. And now we`re watching it all again across country.
Today, the World Health Organization warning that if we cannot stop the spread, there may be a need to impose or reimpose general lockdowns. I`m just saying that phrase. And what you cannot get an answer on, cannot get an answer from anyone, from the President or the vice president or anyone else in the federal government is what exactly is supposed to change here to prevent that fate. What is going to make these numbers stop going up?
For more than the situation in Texas and across the country, I`m joined now by former Texas Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O`Rourke, founder of the group Powered by the People. Beto, it`s good to have you on. And I`ve been watching with alarm what`s happened in Texas. I wonder if you can give us sort of a read of the situation in terms of what approach the governor, Governor Greg Abbott has taken to this and how his language has changed over the last week or so.
BETO O`ROURKE, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, TEXAS: Well, as you mentioned, he reopened the state very early on May 1st. You had shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants soon after, then bars and restaurants open at 75 percent capacity, ignoring all of the public health guidance, and doing so I think for political purposes and showing defiance, I guess, of science and facts, and the truth. And what that has led to is the crisis, the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 that you`re seeing in Texas.
To give an example, Chris, the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, which is thought to be one of, if not the largest medical centers in the world is at 97 percent of its normal ICU bed capacity. The Texas Children`s Hospital is starting to take adult patients in Houston because they`re running out of room in the typical adult wings of these hospitals.
And yes, the governor`s rhetoric has changed somewhat, but the policies and the law have not changed. He`s still not allowing local leaders like Clay Jenkins, the county judge of Dallas County or Harris County` Lina Hidalgo to require people to wear masks. Even though he`s urging us to do that, he`s not allowing local leadership to implement and enforce the law that would literally save lives.
We don`t have enough testing. We don`t have a contact tracing plan. And we`re not able to effectively isolate people who had been infected. And that`s why you`re seeing what on this current trajectory will lead to, one infectious disease expert says, Brazil levels in Texas, and Houston, Texas being the most COVID infected city in the United States. That`s if we do not make some drastic changes right now.
HAYES: Well, this is -- I mean, this is the sort of nightmare scenario that I keep sort of unspooling in my head having watched now a number of outbreaks is what intervenes, right? I mean, other places that had -- that had charts that looks like Harris County, that looks like Houston, were at a point in that pandemic where they hadn`t shut everything down, and so they shut everything down.
And that`s massive, as we all know, as we have all experienced, it`s massively disruptive and it`s painful and it`s economically disruptive, and it`s bad for people`s mental health. But that was the -- that was the break. Like in the -- you know, the emergency brake on the subway, you can pull.
I just -- there doesn`t seem like that intervention could even happen given the political situation that he put himself in. But I don`t understand what interventions can possibly be in the offing to alter the trajectory now.
O`ROURKE: Yes. I mean, to continue the metaphor, we`ve been accelerating the train for the last 45 days reopening more and more of the state. We had a maximum crowd capacity limit of 500 people. So, by law, 500 people could get together in Texas, many of whom and in some cases, most of whom are not wearing masks. That helps to explain the transmission and the spread.
And so, you asked what we could do. We could allow local leaders to lead and to implement these ordinances that they want to put in place because by the best public health advice, that`s the right thing to do. Governor Abbott could make the politically painful decision to rescind some of the openings that are already in place, acknowledge the fact that from the limited public health data that is being shared right now, we know that Latinos and black Texans are dying at a disproportionate rate to their share of the population.
So when Dan Patrick, our lieutenant governor says there are some -- there are some things that are more important than living, what he`s saying is that there are some people who will be OK to die in the midst of this pandemic. But what you have, Chris I think is, is the logical conclusion of putting people in power who believe that government is the problem, and they`re making government the problem at this moment, where they`re more concerned about the polling, the November election, than about public health and saving lives in this state.
So there are some big changes that we need to make. I don`t know if the governor is up to it. It may be incumbent upon us as citizens to do the right thing. Stay at home, wear a mask if you leave the house, and just be really smart.
HAYES: So you mentioned November. And at this point, you know, that`s front of mind for a lot of people, obviously, because of the insane mismanagement of this crisis. Texas, there`s a lot of attention being paid to Texas both as a possible swing state that`s up for grabs in the -- in the November election, also in terms of people being able to vote safely.
And the Texas government essentially fighting efforts to make it possible for vote by mail. Texas is a state that traditionally has low levels of voter participation compared to other states. What -- how do you see the landscape right now? What kind of work are you doing at your group relating to that?
O`ROURKE: It`s really interesting that you shared the quote from the governor saying, there`s no reason to leave your house. Your home is the safest place to be. And yet he and his attorney general and lieutenant governor are trying to force people to vote in person in the midst of the deadliest pandemic of our lifetimes.
And this is part and parcel of the voter suppression that has long been a part of Texas. We have the most racially gerrymandered districts in the Union, the lowest voter turnout in part because of it, the most onerous voter I.D. laws, and they`re now trying to force people to vote in person.
So, our group Powered by People is trying to register hundreds of thousands of new likely Democratic voters, and then to turn them out. And we`ve got an army of thousands of volunteers making this voter registration and voter contact calls. We made 320,000 phone calls just on Monday.
It`s going to take adding net new voters to the rolls and a really energized base of Democratic voters to win this year. But we`ve got to because of what`s at stake.
HAYES: Well, Beto, I got to say as a -- as a New Yorker, everyone I think in New York is sort of gone through this is watching what`s happening in Texas, in Harris County, and in Arizona and just sort of sending you our thoughts and well wishes. And thank you for making a little bit of time for us tonight.
O`ROURKE: Thank you, Chris. I`m grateful.
HAYES: While we`re seeing Coronavirus cases grow in at least 27 states across the country, the place that once was the epicenter, the New York metro area, has really seen cases come down and hospitalizations come down, and positive test rates come down. Leaders they`re now trying to protect their fragile progress and figure out one, what lessons to learn and two, who to keep out of the area.
Today, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut said visitors from Coronavirus hotspots will have to quarantine for 14 days. The new rule currently applies to nine states Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas which are all seeing spikes in cases.
Joining me now to discuss that decision and the situation of the state, Democratic Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy. Governor, described to me how this policy even works and what the logic behind it is.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): Chris, good to be with you. The policy is fairly straightforward. We`ve gone through hell. We`ve lost almost 13,000 people in New Jersey, which is an unfathomable number. New York has lost more. Connecticut, not quite as much but also has paid a big price.
We can`t make our folks go through hell again, if at all possible. So we`re asking either returning residents or folks who are visiting from states that are at a high positivity rate or a high rate of new cases to please do the right thing, be responsible, self-quarantine for 14 days. It`s not part of the advisory put out but I want to give everyone a big request to get tested.
New Jersey is now the top per capita testing state in America. We`ve built this capacity. Let`s use it. Again, folks in our state had been overwhelmingly compliant and responsible through thick and thin over the past 100-plus days. We want folks to continue that streak and do the right thing.
HAYES: My question for you is about the lessons here. So, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, I think because it was so brutal and it hit that area so hard, provided lessons for other states around the union about how to deal with this and lockdowns and things. As you watch other states, particularly California, which is the one that I have my eye on which has gone through the CDC benchmarks, which is has been fairly responsible and the governor wants people to wear masks. As California starts to tick back up, what are you as the governor of New Jersey reopening the state, moving through the phases, what lessons are you learning? What are you saying yourself as you watch that happen in California?
MURPHY: Yes, listen. As you can imagine, Chris, my hands are more than full in New Jersey. So I can`t speak with specific authority other than I think Gavin Newsom is great leader. I will say this. We have made every decision we`ve made not on emotion, even though this has been an extraordinarily emotional time, but based on the data.
We`ve opened up incrementally, so we haven`t done 10 steps at once, so we can more readily and more easily analyze each incremental step. We are big believers that the virus outdoors is a lot less lethal than indoors, and that the basic stuff still matters, social distancing, wearing face covers. We`re mandating it indoors, strongly recommending it out of doors. Washing with soap and water. If you don`t feel well, stay the heck home. You know, the basics have not changed. And that`s how we`re approaching it.
HAYES: So here`s my question for you though on that, right. I talked to Kate Brown, the governor Oregon who paused phased reentry by a week as they saw their cases go up. Do you have a game plan? I know you can`t comment specifically in California, but do you have a game plan if you start to see those numbers come back up of what to do?
Because coming out of what New Jersey has come into and opening back up, and people are getting back out there now to work and doing things they loved, they missed. But if those numbers go up, like do you have a game plan for that possible eventuality?
MURPHY: Absolutely. You have to. I mean, everything has to be on the table. One observation though that`s important, Chris, that we now have in New Jersey and New York and Connecticut certainly had this as well, we have big testing, contact tracing, and isolation capacity that nobody had 100 plus days ago. We now have that at our disposal. So we can much more -- with much more confidence, spot it, surround it, and drive it into the ground.
But the answer is yes. You`ve got to have a plan either to pause or please God, I hope not, put the car in reverse. But at a minimum pause and I`m sure if we did any of that, it will be on indoor activities first. Again, it`s much more lethal inside than it is outside.
HAYES: Final question for you. I know that the President had dinner I believe with you and your wife the last time that he was at his club in Bedminster in your state. I think he`s coming there again having come from some hotspots, including Arizona. Does he quarantine and Bedminster? How`s that work?
MURPHY: Listen, the folks have lived it because I`ve visited him in the White House and we did indeed have a productive dinner at Bedminster. We`re all tested. Everyone around him is tested as I understand it regularly. But there is a carve out for essential workers and the President of the United States certainly qualifies in that category.
HAYES: Governor Phil Murphy of the state of New Jersey, thank you so much for making some time with us tonight.
MURPHY: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: Next, testimony from a DOJ whistleblower about the political interference at play inside Bill Barr`s Justice Department. Congressman Eric Swalwell joins us to discuss what he heard today right after this.
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DONALD AYER, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Barr`s own role in the events in Lafayette Park come quickly to mind. So does his practice of regularly shrouding himself in the rhetoric and trappings of the rule of law, even as he desecrates and undermines the institutions that make it possible.
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HAYES: That was former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer today at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on political interference at the Department of Justice. That annoying tapping noise you probably noticed, well, that was Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert who along with other Republicans did everything they could, in the most childish and insane fashion, to distract from what the witnesses had to say, literally making noise and banging stuff so you couldn`t hear them. And the reason is that Republicans did not want you to hear this.
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AYER: I was privileged to serve in the Department of Justice under two Republican and one Democratic president and I am here because I believe that William Barr poses the greatest threat in my lifetime to our rule of law and to public trust in it.
He has a personal belief that the president should be above the law and he has worked very hard to achieve that by negating the checks and balances in a variety of ways by making the president not accountable.
The second thing he`s doing and this has accelerated this spring is getting involved in a very political way, essentially in using the Justice Department to support the President`s campaign.
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HAYES: The star witness today though, is a current DOJ prosecutor, a current DOJ prosecutor named Aaron Zelinsky. Now, he worked for special counsel Robert Mueller end on the case against president`s friend Roger Stone. You may remember, Zelinsky was one of the prosecutors who resigned from the case in protests along with three others when Attorney General William Barr`s DOJ intervened directly to lower the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, extraordinary, possibly unprecedented move, right?
Well, today, that prosecutor, still working with DOJ, appeared before the committee and testified about how he was pressured to give the President`s friend a break.
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AARON ZELINSKY, ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY: What I saw was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from every other defendant. He received breaks that are, in my experience, unheard of, and all the more so, for a defendant in his circumstances, a defendant who lied to Congress, who remained unrepentant and who made threats against a judge and a witness in his case.
And what I heard repeatedly was that this leniency was happening because of Stone`s relationship to the President, that the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia was receiving heavy pressure from the highest levels at the Department of Justice, and that his instructions to us were based on political considerations. And I was told that the acting U.S. Attorney was giving Stone a break because he was afraid of the President of the United States.
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HAYES: Here with me now, a lawmaker who is at that hearing to hear that testimony, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California who sits on the Judiciary Committee. What was your takeaway from hearing a sitting Department of Justice lawyer before your committee say that the attorney general is acting in essentially a corrupt and compromised fashion to use the Department of Justice to cuts special deals for the President`s co- conspirators, friends and associates?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): I was so encouraged, Chris, because it reminded me of hearing from Bill Taylor and David Holmes during the impeachment inquiry and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, people who so courageously came forward who were on the inside, when for so long, we were wondering, is there courage on the inside that`s willing to stand up against a lawless president.
And so, to hear Mr. Zelinsky come forward was encouraging because I believe courage like that will beget courage from other witnesses who will also come forward and tell us about corruption going on the inside.
HAYES: There is some -- there`s this question of what to do about William Barr. I think he has established himself as dangerous and probably, you know, the worst Attorney General since the Nixon era. But he`s there and he`s in the Department of Justice, and there`s all kinds of nightmare scenarios where you can imagine I`m using that power for even worse ends.
Today, the chair of your committee said that the house may very well pursue impeachment of Attorney General William Barr. What is your thought on that? And absent that, what is the accountability for him?
SWALWELL: Well, I called for impeaching Attorney General Barr before I supported impeaching Donald Trump for the way that he mischaracterized the Mueller report. I believe he gave untruthful testimony to Congress during, you know, questioning about the report, Chris, and he`s worthy of it. Two, I think you have to hold people accountable, otherwise, you lower the standard of conduct. And three, it may just deter him from, you know, further destruction.
But what was so concerning to me was that we heard today that there`s this pattern where people are held accountable, who are friends of the President, and partial justice is about to be delivered. Donald Trump tweets, and then the President`s friends are protected. And then on the contrast, the President`s enemies like Michael Cohen, they cooperate early in the proceedings, the President tweets that he shouldn`t get prison time, and then he gets prison time. So, he protects his friends and punishes his enemies, and he has Bill Barr enabling all of that.
HAYES: On that front, you have Michael Flynn today. Michael Flynn, of course, another just really unprecedented move. The Department of Justice after the man pleaded guilty to what he was charged with, right, they rescind that. They want to dismiss the case. It`s so extraordinary that the district judge says wait, hold on a second, solicits a respected retired federal judge to essentially take what would be the government side, who writes an excoriating a brief saying this is all nonsense.
And then a Trump appointee Neomi Rao on the district -- on the D.C. Circuit today says nothing to see here. This is the best part of this. She issued this opinion I think an hour before Aaron Zelinsky came before he committee to say the place stinks to high heaven that this is not the unusual case where more searching inquiry is justified. What do you think about that?
SWALWELL: Well, I disagree. Of course, I respect the judicial process, but the court on its own sua sponte can actually have a full, you know, panel, hearing the case. But again, I think the larger issue here is, you know, the President`s friends being protected. And if this case, ultimately is withdrawn, Mr. Flynn can be prosecuted again under a more independent prosecution office at the Department of Justice. And I think this is what`s on the ballot box.
Again, we`ve impeached the president. He`s impeached forever. The people know he puts his personal and political beliefs and priorities ahead of the country`s. This will be on the ballot box in November. But right now, we need to have, you know, as many ankle monitors on the president and his enablers all the way to November.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, the final question here, Mr. Ayer talked about the long-term damage being done to the Department of Justice. There`s both long-term damage but also, as your colleague Adam Schiff said, there`s a lot of damage the president can do between now and November.
SWALWELL: There`s a gauntlet that Joe Biden is going to have to go through of misinformation, welcoming foreign interference, as we saw not just with Ukraine, but China and Turkey, and of course voter suppression. And, so, the best thing I think we can do is highlight these issues, fight a submarine battle beneath the surface in the courts, but above the surface not suppress the vote ourselves by saying that your vote is not going to count. We want people to turn out and motivate them on the issues of health care and holding elected officials accountable.
HAYES: Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you so much for being here tonight.
SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks.
HAYES: Next up, the Louisville Police Chief fires an officer involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. But is that where justice for Breonna Taylor ends? A lawyer for the Taylor family joins me after this.
HAYES: Today, yet more protests in Washington, D.C. against police brutality and systemic racism. And the immediate spark for those protests, of course, across the country was the death of George Floyd videotaped at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. All the officers have been fired and one of them has been charged with second-degree murder.
Before George Floyd was killed, there were at least two other high profile cases. There was Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by vigilantes, again on camera in Georgia, and today those men were indicted on nine counts, including felony murder four months after Arbery`s death.
Not caught on tape, but every bit as tragic, was the killing of emergency room technician Breonna Taylor. Taylor was at home with her boyfriend in Louisville, Kentucky, when police served a no knock warrant in the middle of the night and believing it to be a break-in, her boyfriend, a licensed gun owner, fired a shot of warning. Police began firing their weapons, killing Taylor, arresting her boyfriend for attempted murder of a police officer.
Now that incident happened more than three months ago. But it wasn`t until yesterday that Louisville`s chief of police dismissed one of the three officers who opened fire on Breonna Taylor saying, "I find your conduct a shock to the conscious," leaving Breonna Taylor`s family along with activists wondering, is this it?
Still to come, why the culture war playbook Trump used to attack Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton just is not working on Joe Biden. The new national polling with Biden in the lead after this.
HAYES: I`m joined now by one of the lawyers for Breonna Taylor`s family, Lonita Baker. Ms. Baker, I wanted to get your and the family`s reaction to the actions taken by the Louisville police to dismiss one of the three officers who fired and ultimately killed Breonna Taylor?
LONITA BAKER, TAYLOR FAMILY LAWYER: It`s a start. It is definitely not sufficient. We want all of the officers terminated, as well as we want all of the officers charged and prosecuted for the murder of Breonna Taylor. So it is a start, but definitely not justice for Breonna Taylor.
HAYES: I wonder if the authorities in question -- the local district attorney, the police commissioner and others -- are in contact with you or the family and if they are explaining why it has been over 100 days with no action taken.
BAKER: Unfortunately, the officers, the Louisville Metro Police Department, the attorney general known as the commonwealth attorney for Louisville recused himself so the state attorney general is in charge of the prosecution. No one has really reached out to Breonna`s family to let them know where they are in the process or why it`s taken so long. In terms of the FBI investigation, we do know that they just got the investigation, so they have been in contact with the family, but aside from the FBI, there has not really been any entity that has been in contact with the family.
HAYES: What`s striking to me in the termination letter that was issued today is that they describe the 10 rounds you fired were into a patio door and window, which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat. Some of the rounds you fired actually traveled into the apartment next to Ms. Taylor`s
I mean, those facts presumably were known before 100 plus days. It does seem odd that it has taken this long just to get to this point with those facts at the center.
BAKER: They definitely have known since the beginning that rounds were fired blindly into the apartment. We have said since day one because of our own internal investigation, the attorneys for the family, that bullets went into the neighboring apartment as well as to the apartment upstairs. And that neighbor, a 5-year-old slept along with his pregnant mother, so we`ve always said that not only was Breonna murdered, but there were multiple neighbors that were put in danger by the reckless actions of Louisville Metro Police officers Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jon Mattingly on the night that Breonna was murdered.
HAYES: There is also -- there has been just a chain of misinformation and what appear to be attempted cover-ups by the police department since that evening. This is the incident report, which was just released a few weeks ago, which is nearly blank from the night of Breonna Taylor`s death, and the first page says there is no forced entry and that there were no injuries.
What -- do you have any more trust that you are dealing with a more forthcoming organization right now than the entity that sent those three officers into Taylor`s apartment that night?
BAKER: We definitely do not have trust in Louisville Metro Police Department as it relates to the investigation of Breonna Taylor at this time. That police report gives us cause for concern as well as the search warrant which we now learned last month contains lies. So it`s been our position that there has been a cover-up, had this not become public information or public concern that the nation is paying attention, we don`t think anything would have been done to hold anyone accountable for Breonna`s murder.
So we appreciate the public support. We do think that it`s forcing the city to actually look at what`s happening. We are encouraged that there is outside investigations through the FBI, but we do not have faith in the Louisville Metro Police Department to investigate itself.
HAYES: Lonita Baker, who is attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, and of course we send our deepest condolences to her family member. Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Up next, Adam Serwer on the president`s struggling campaign. The latest polling that shows him behind Joe Biden after this.
HAYES: It was around this time this time four years ago that I was at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. And I remember asking then Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn about something I had seen all over the convention that struck me about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
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HAYES: When you see shirts around here or buttons that like use the word B- I-T-C-H to describe her, the degree of that that`s like Trump shirts Trump that, you know, like does that -- how do you feel about that?
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, (R) MISSISSIPPI: Have you read my Twitter feed or my Facebook page? You know, it kind of comes with the territory, and you just have to shake it off. Great Taylor Swift song by that title, you should go listen to that.
HAYES: So, you sort of feel like being a woman in the public sphere comes with that kind of invective whatever side...
BLACKBURN: You wouldn`t believe what all I`ve been called and what`s been said to me in my career, whether it was in the private sector or in the public sector.
You know, go read my Twitter feed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Then Congresswoman Blackburn clearly did not really have a problem with it. But the the anti-Hillary Clinton merchandise available at the Republican convention everywhere you went was truly horrifying and disgusting, things like t-shirts with cartoons showing Hillary Clinton being sexually assault. It`s why I found this observation from Washington Post report Dave Weigel about the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday so interesting, quote, vendors sold almost no merchandise that mentioned Joe Biden specifically, almost nothing mentioning the president`s opponent this time around. No obscene t-shirts with Joe on them, no Biden for prison stickers.
Do you know what was available, Hillary Clinton merch. In 2020, four years later, they are still selling all of the anti-Hillary Clinton stuff.
So, what if that simple observation is the key to the fundamental structure of this entire presidential election right now? That after eight years of a black president and the first female major party presidential nominee, Donald Trump`s particular kind of culture war just is not working against an old white man named Joe Biden.
You might be seeing that reflect in the polling. A new national poll out today has Joe Biden up by a staggering 14 points. And while Trump is losing among all the groups you would expect him to -- he`s losing among women and black voters, he is also losing support among traditionally Republican- leaning groups like white seniors.
But it is weird how much Donald Trump appears to want to run against Hillary Clinton or run against President Barack Obama in the year 2020. It is particularly weird given that Obama, for instance, is one of the most popular politicians in America. He is also not running this year.
But there is a sort of method that Trump is reaching for here height, right, because he knows his political rise was a product of a certain kind of white male backlash. He is struggling to reproduce that while running against Joe Biden.
Adam Serwer writes this week in The Atlantic that these kind of poll numbers that we`re seeing are not an accident, quote, "after 12 years of feasting on white identity politics with a black man and a woman as its preeminent villains the Republican Party is struggling to run i ts Obama- era culture-war playbook against an old, moderate white guy."
And Adam Serwer, who wrote that great piece joins me now.
I love this essay. It sort of captured a lot of things that I`ve been thinking inchoately (ph). What`s the thesis here? What`s you`re argument about what problem Joe Biden has presented Donald Trump politically?
ADAM SERWER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, the Republican Party hasn`t run against just a regular moderate white guy in 16 years -- or 12 years, they have been running against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and ginning up these sort of weird bizarre conspiracies that wouldn`t stick to other people because -- or they wouldn`t stick to someone like Joe Biden, because people give him the benefit of the doubt because he`s a white guy. It sucks. It`s just sort of the way that, you know, these underlying conceptions of race and gender shape our subconscious preferences as a country.
But it`s something that is giving Biden an advantage here over the last Democratic candidate who ran. You know, when you talk about something as visceral as like the t-shirts, Republicans can`t quite convince themselves that a Joe Biden presidency would be the apocalypse in the same way that they were saying that a Hillary Clinton president -- they were comparing Hillary Clinton`s potential presidency to, you know, passengers storming a hijacked plane on 9/11.
It`s just, that sense of complete apocalypse is just not there in the same way it was with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
HAYES: It is such a good point. And there`s a great -- there`s a moment in the Tulsa rally that was really interesting where you can see this in Trump himself even having a hard time selling it, because the Trump argument that he has sold is that don`t look at Joe Biden, he`s just a puppet for these other shadowy characters that are, of course, are heavily coded along all of these cultural lines.
But listen to what he says about Biden here?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Joe Biden is not the leader of his party, Joe Biden is a helpless puppet of the radical left. And he`s not radical left. I don`t think he knows what he is anymore. But he was never radical left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Like he was never radical left, like he can`t bring himself to sell Joe Biden as radical left.
SERWER: He can`t even do it. I mean this is what is so amusing about it is that in part what is hampering the president here is his own prejudices. He can`t bring himself -- he doesn`t want to run against Joe Biden. Joe Biden doesn`t scare him. He wants to one against the Squad or he wants to run against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He wants a non-white or a female villain to run against because he knows that that`s something he is use to gin up his supporters into the kind of froth that he needs to have them turn out in large numbers.
And Biden -- and I have to say, you know, this was something that a lot of the yeah African-American voters in the south anticipated when they chose Biden was that he would be less threatening to Trump`s base in particular. He was a kind of olive branch in the culture war, like we understand you guys are freaking out about some stuff that is not -- that has to do with incredible inversion of power that happened over the last eight years where he temporarily had one black president and so we`re going to try to bring the temperature down a little bit.
And it seems to have been correct, at least against this particular candidate. I mean, I have to emphasize here, Trump only has one kind of politics that he knows how to do, so against a different Republican I am not sure that this would be happening the way that it`s happening. But Trump is inflexible. He is particularly ideological when it comes to race and gender and he finds it very difficult to change tactics.
HAYES: It`s such a good point. And that primary point is one that I kept sort of being haunted by or thinking about as I read your essay, which is this, of course, was a front and center discussion in the entire Democratic primary, was about the question of electability and all kinds of Democratic primary voters trying to project the prejudices of other voters in sometimes really insidious ways, which was was, well, I don`t want to vote for this candidate who is a woman or this one who is an African-American, or this candidate who seems too threatening because that will give Donald Trump -- and part of the takeaway in your essay is like people made a calculation that appears to have some validity to it.
SERWER: So, look, I mean if you look at the generations, the older black voters who went for Biden in those numbers these are people who remember the tremendous decades long white backlash to the civil rights movement. They know how long these things can go. They know how bad they can be. And they have some sense of what triggers them.
So it`s not -- it`s not -- it was a rational choice. It may not have been the choice that I would have made, but it`s an understandable calculation, and it looks like a prescient calculation given what is occurring now.
That`s not to say that another candidate might not have been less vulnerable to this for other reasons, but in this case what seems to be happening is that neither the president nor his supporters can get themselves to hate Joe Biden the way that they hated Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for reasons that seem blindingly obvious.
HAYES: I mean, we should also note of course that the country is objectively in the worst situation it has been in in a very long time. I mean, you can imagine the universe in which...
SERWER: Yes, there are many external factors.
HAYES: Yes. But then -- so then that brings us to how does he deal with that? And I found, you know, that he has been tweeting out these clips of - - I mean, these really disgusting clips that are the kind of things that you would find on the front page of a white supremacist website like Stormfront or something of, you know, random videos, sometimes two years old, of a black person violently attacking a white person.
And it`s real gutter disgusting stuff. And it really is like Stormfront content. And of course, the one thing that I think he will try to do is just gin up this sort of thing, even if it doesn`t -- it`s not a bout particularly Joe Biden, but just like that`s the one thing he knows how to do politically.
SERWER: Look, again, there`s so many -- Trump is facing a lot of headwinds that are largely of his own creation. Obviously there are external factors. We have unemployment is very high. We are dealing with a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 people. We are dealing with an uprising over racial discrimination in policing.
But Trump has handled all of those things poorly, because he only knows how to approach them in one way. And the only way he knows how to approach these issues is to find some type of other to blame things on and then harness everybody`s anger towards that subject.
But when you`re the incumbent president, when you`re responsible for solving these problems, and all you`re doing is blaming everybody else when you are the one who has the power to at least try to fix them and you`re not even really doing that, I mean, then, you know, it`s not surprising that voters who might have been receptive to your message the first time are not as receptive four years later.
Now, it is very early. As you mentioned, there are a lot of external headwinds that have to -- you know, I don`t want to emphasize -- overemphasize the importance of campaign strategy here, but for the moment it doesn`t seem to be working. And when you look at how Trump and his own most ardent supporters are reacting to Biden, one of the reasons is that they really cannot begin to see him as alien or threatening in the way that they say Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
HAYES: Yeah, and it is so striking the degree to which that sort of fuses the atmosphere of the race right now such as it is. Of course, you are right, things can change. I keep saying this on the air, obviously we know how quickly things can change because we were all hugging each other and hanging out in bars of January of this year.
But the two things that do seem like they are not going to change, right, is the virus won`t change, the virus is there, it`s going to do -- and Donald Trump won`t change. And it`s like I keep coming back to those two things are the two fixed parts of where we are as a country right now, which is that that virus is going to do what it`s going to do and behave the way it behaves and the president is going to do what he does and behave the way he behaves, and neither of them are going to change, and that is why we are in the middle of the sort of disaster that we`re in right now.
SERWER: Right, so I mean, look maybe the economy miraculously recovers, maybe something, there`s some sort of external factor that changes the rate of infection with the virus and it doesn`t continue to like burn through the population at the rate it`s burning through now into November, maybe Joe Biden makes some sort of catastrophic mistake or unearth some terrible thing from his past, I don`t know.
It`s five months. We`ve already had an economy collapse, an uprising against racist policing and a pandemic and we`re like halfway through the year, so who knows what`s going to happen between now and November.
But for the moment, you know, Trump has shown an inability to rise to the occasion.
HAYES: Adam Serwer, whose great piece can be found in The Atlantic online or, I think in the print magazine -- I don`t know, do we do that anymore? Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
SERWER: Just online. Thank you.
HAYES: All right. That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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