STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: No new name has been announced, but the team says it is working to come up with one that will "inspire our sponsors, fans, and community for the next 100 years."
Thank you for being with us. Don`t go anywhere, "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nobody count high enough for the President to actually pay attention to science.
HAYES: Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos try to force kids back into classrooms during a raging pandemic as Atlanta, Nashville, and Los Angeles announced all virtual learning to start school and Houston`s mayor calls for a two- week shutdown.
Tonight, why the President is attacking Anthony Fauci instead of the real problem, and why we are still way behind on testing. Then, a juror who convicted Roger Stone calls his commutation a shocking act of corruption, and he joins me tonight.
Plus a new racism controversy for Tucker Carlson as the man who writes his scripts resides in disgrace. And 87 years later, the retiring of a racist NFL mascot when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. We have seen an abysmal failure of leadership from our president. The U.S. has the worst Coronavirus outbreak in the world. And our president has zero desire and zero ability, frankly, to actually solve the problem. And so instead, from now until Election day, every day, all of his energy is going to be focused on finding a villain.
Now, as I`ve said repeatedly on the show, this problem that we`re in the midst of, it`s a very hard problem to solve, and people make mistakes. For example, the CDC initially told Americans not to wear masks before reversing that guidance in early April. That was a very bad and costly error. In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio made some serious mistakes in the early days the crisis that very likely cost lives.
But here`s the thing. There are two categories of leaders right now. There are those who are trying their best in good faith and working to do whatever they can to defeat the virus, even if they sometimes get it wrong because it`s hard and the information is changing. And then there is Donald Trump and his administration who will essentially detach themselves from the problem and are watching the country burn and, in some instances, even throwing fuel on the fire.
They reached a pathetic new low this weekend when they released a cowardly statement, unnamed, right, saying that several unnamed White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Anthony Fauci has been wrong on things and included a lengthy list of the scientist`s comments from early in the outbreak.
Well as Dr. Fauci gotten some things wrong along the way? He sure has, so is the CDC, so have lots of people, but they correct themselves when they get new information. It`s a new virus. We`ve never seen anything like it. And so, all the people in the frontlines are trying to learn about how best to suppress it.
The White House on the other hand admits no mistakes. The President takes no responsibility. Instead, they are trying to blame Dr. Fauci for their failures. The one guy in the administration who has any credibility, a legend in his field, who has been working in public health for half a century and has advised every president Democrat or Republican since Ronald Reagan. In fact, in 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Three decades ago, a mysterious and terrifying plague began to take the lives of people across the world. Before this malady even had a name, it had a fierce opponent in Dr. Anthony Fauci. As a director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 23 years, Tony Fauci has led the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Those who know Tony do admit one flaw. Sometimes he forgets to stop working. He regularly puts in 80 hour a week. And from time to time, he`s even found notes on his windshield left by his co-workers. They say things like go home, you`re making me feel guilty.
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HAYES: Dr. Fauci is now 79 years old, and he is still working 80 plus hours a week. That is the guy the White House has landed on as their scapegoat, as they desperately flail about for someone to blame for the world`s worst response to the Coronavirus. There is a reason why Donald Trump`s approval rating for his handling of this crisis is 33 percent while Dr. Fauci is 72 percent.
The scope and intensity of the disaster, the scale the tragedy, sweeping our country. The lives lost and disrupted, the economic ruined, the children not in school, they`re becoming clear by the day. New deaths are now increasing in 22 states and Puerto Rico with the trends looking particularly worrisome in some of the states with the worst outbreaks. States like Texas, Arizona, and Florida. And they`re probably reporting lags happening so we should expect those fatality numbers declined even more.
There is also a testing backlog in this country right now. Yes, I`m saying that in mid-July. It is so bad that experts say the results are often proving useless. You get a test eight days later, what good does that tell you? And that reality is creeping in. Despite the fact that we are perhaps more polarized as a country than we have been since the Civil War most likely, you can see it the President`s 33 percent approval rating of this handling of the outbreak. You can see it in Arizona Governor Doug Ducey`s approval rating which dropped to 32 percent in late June from a high of 57 percent in early May.
In Texas Governor Greg Abbott approval rating down to 44 percent from the highest 60 percent in late April. People notice when there is a plague raging all around them. And at the state level, the President is seeing some awful poll numbers everywhere he looks.
In deep-red Alaska, for just one example, Donald Trump is three points ahead of Joe Biden within the margin of error. Alaska`s incumbent Republican Congressman Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican is also in danger according this poll, polling two points below is independent challenger.
The race for governor of Missouri, another deep red state Trump carried by double digits, it`s a statistical dead heat. The Republican incumbent Mike Parson up just two points over the Democrat. In Montana, the Republican Senator Steve Daines is statistically tied with Democratic Governor Steve Bullock 44 to 46 percent.
Everywhere you look, even in the reddest of red states, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are in trouble. And it`s just a very simple story. voters are rendering a definitive verdict right now about who they trust to handle this once in a century calamity. And with the virus raging like an out of control fire, so roaring hot that even green wet pieces of wood will catch on fire, the only thing the President is doing in the face of this disaster is trying to point a finger at someone else.
Here with me now, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, former governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius. And it`s great to have you on. And I know that you worked in an administration that Dr. Fauci advised. And so first, I just wanted to get your reaction in terms of your sense of him and the work he`s done on this crisis and other crises.
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, FORMER SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Well, I was really honored to have the chance to not only get to know but work with Tony Fauci for five and a half years, and I would say he`s a jewel. He`s not only recognized in the United States, he`s recognized all over the world. Everybody wants to have Anthony Fauci come and help them figure out puzzles and figure out diseases and get involved, and there`s a reason for that.
He`s a really smart guy who actually does his best 80 hours a week to make the world a better place, make the world a healthier place. And so, I find it shocking that this president has chosen to attack Dr. Fauci. And it`s because Dr. Fauci tells the truth. He has made statements about the virus, as soon as he learns there`s a new thing, he will correct that statement and give people honest information. Folks can trust him.
And Chris, there is nothing more dangerous than not only going after the public health official leading the look for a vaccination, but undermining public health right now is a great way to make sure when there is a safe and effective vaccine.
First of all, people won`t trust information coming out of the White House, they won`t believe that it`s safe and effective. And we are likely to have a large share of the American public say I will get the vaccine. I don`t think this is something that`s good for me and my family. If that happens, we will be seeing this virus for years to come in the United States and across the globe.
HAYES: That is such a great point that I hadn`t quite gotten my head around, that if you poison the atmosphere on this, you can -- you produce a situation in which you can`t effectively message. I mean, we`ve seen this on masks, right. I mean, not even getting the vaccine. This poll out I think just today is a Gallup panels survey. 94 percent of Democrats say they always are very often wear masks when they leave the house, 46 percent of Republicans.
If that -- I mean, the grand irony here is that that number were 94 percent and 94 percent, no matter what your political party. The fortunes of the Republican Party would probably be better because the public health crisis in the country would probably be better as well.
SEBELIUS: You bet. I mean, the CDC put out guidance to say we`re a mask. It took the president 99 days to take that guidance. And the only place so far, he seems to have taken that guidance is being in a hospital of wounded warriors. Now, no one else in America can get into a hospital. This virus is raging so that people are going into hospitals, whether it`s to have babies or unfortunately to be treated in some to die of COVID-19. There are no visitors. There are no outside people. So mask-wearing in a hospital is not a behavior that can be modeled by anybody.
What the President refuses to do is go to one of his rallies socially distance people, limit the crowd and wear a mask. It is just shocking to me, that`s a very simple thing to do. My four-and-a-half-year-old grandson, who I love dearly, who`s desperate to go back to school, hates wearing his mask. But guess what, he wears it.
He wears it because his parents know that`s a way to keep him safe and secure, and it`s a way for -- to make sure that he can`t spread anything he might be carrying. We don`t have a president who has that much discipline that he`s willing to wear a mask and say to all of his followers, stop this nonsense. This disease is serious. We need to socially distance, we need to wear masks, we need to shut down indoor activities where people are closely gathered. I want to save lives. I want kids to go back to school. I`m willing to do whatever it takes to do that.
Instead, he has chosen to attack the top public health official who is on the front lines of looking for an effective vaccine. That is really dangerous, and people will lose their lives because he`s unwilling to tell the truth.
HAYES: Yes, that is the stark, unavoidable fact of the matter. Kathleen Sebelius, thank you so much for making time for us tonight.
SEBELIUS: Sure. Good to talk to you.
HAYES: At the beginning of the pandemic, the number one failure here in the U.S. was testing. And now four months later, after the president repeatedly complained, he complains basically every day, too many people are getting testing. He said he wanted the test -- to slow testing down. We now face a testing crisis again.
The New York Times published a piece today describing bottlenecks in the testing system, including the reliance on patchwork, outdated technology like fax machines to deliver results. Joining me now is one of the authors of that piece, the great investigative reporter Sarah Kliff.
Sarah, OK, explain to me how we have arrived at yet another big testing bottleneck.
SARAH KLIFF, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: So, the good news is we have way more testing happening, about a half million tests a day. The bad news is we have this old, creaky public health infrastructure that we haven`t really invested in, and it is just overwhelmed by this avalanche of information.
So we talked to public health departments that are getting information by fax, by e-mail, by phone call, by mail, it`s just a huge different type of reporting. And that`s because we haven`t really invested in creating, you know, one digital infrastructure. The upshot of that is essentially twofold.
One, it`s really hard to contact trace. When you`re getting information late, you`re getting it by fax, it`s hard to keep this virus under control. The second is you have people`s results being delayed. So you have the case where someone`s results are, you know, sitting literally on a fax tray waiting to be read. That`s someone who`s still waiting to get the results. They might think they`re fine. They might go out and community and infect people.
So it is kind of an odd thing to say in 2020, but it is the case that the fax machine has become a big obstacle in fighting Coronavirus.
HAYES: Explain to me just to zoom in like what is -- what role -- like who is faxing whom what info such that we have a fax machine bottleneck four months into this?
KLIFF: Yes. So, this is medical laboratories are faxing information to public health authorities. One of the things I thought was really interesting in this reporting is it`s actually a lot of startup labs that have not wanted to invest in the technology they need to send electronically. They got into testing because there`s good reimbursement for Coronavirus testing and they figured, you know, why bother buying this expensive package when we can just, you know, buy a good old fax machine.
So, you have medical laboratories faxing information to public health lab, which public health departments in some cases literally overwhelming the fax machine. I talked to one Public Health Authority, their machine had a bit of a meltdown when one lab sent over hundreds of pages, just queuing them all over the floor. It`s literally a mess.
HAYES: You know, part of -- when I was reading your reporting, I was struck by two things. One is how insane it is that we`re four months into this and having this problem and we have these bottlenecks and how it`s essentially rendered contact tracing essentially useless in a lot of places, right.
The other thought I had was just one theme we keep seeing or emerging is that exponential growth will overwhelm any system you put in front of it. Like you can design a building, you know, that could hold 20, 50 people in it. If you put 5,000 people in in there, they`re going to fall through the floor. Like no system is going to do very well against the kind of growth levels we`re seeing in the U.S. right now.
KLIFF: That is such a good point. It kind of harkens back to the flatten the curve graphic we were all sharing a few months ago, and we were talking about it in the context of hospitals. You have to flatten the curve, so there`s enough hospital beds for everybody. But I think you know, the point you raised, Chris, is that there`s so many things that can`t really deal without a curve flattening.
It`s the testing capacity, it`s the fax machines, the ability to contact trace. All these things they can handle a bit of an increase, but if cases shoot up at the rate that we`re seeing, it`s not just hospitals that get overwhelmed, it`s everything that gets overwhelmed. And there`s no amount of slack you can build into a system to deal with the type of steep increases that we`re seeing in some states right now.
HAYES: Yes. And this -- on this contact tracing which was part of what you`re writing about, I mean, other states, you know, if you have -- you got 50 new cases, like you can contact trace those people if you`re, you`re testing quickly, and you`re getting in touch with them. And if -- I mean, if Florida has 15,000 cases a day and the labs are backlogged, so you`re finding out a week after those people get swab, there`s just nothing happening there that resembles like what -- like you can`t contact rates under those conditions, right?
KLIFF: No, no, you definitely can`t. And I think one of the things that`s layered on top of this is it`s not just the facts, machines but the reporting requirements are really bad. Public health authorities are getting results that are missing addresses, they`re missing phone numbers, they might have the person`s name spelled wrong. So a lot of the work they`re doing before they can even contact trace the case is, you know, calling up the doctor office to find out what is this person`s address? How do I reach this person?
It speaks to me, you know, I`ve spent a lot of time writing about America`s Health Care System, we`ve such a fragmented system where a test is going to travel from a doctor`s order, to a laboratory, to a public health authority. And it`s almost like a game of telephone where information gets lost along the way.
And all that fragmentation, the upshot is that it`s very hard to go back and find who was the person who got the test, where do they live, what is their phone number. Those basic, basic details, they just get lost in this really fragmented healthcare system that we have.
HAYES: Sarah Kliff who is just one of the greatest reporters we have on the American healthcare system, and its many complexities and failures, thank you so much for coming on tonight.
KLIFF: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Tonight, despite having no plan whatsoever, the Trump ministration is really pushing to have kids and teachers and staff back in school this fall. Well, tonight, some major cities are saying sorry, it`s just not going to happen. That story is next.
HAYES: As the Coronavirus surges across large portions of the country, President Donald Trump and his administration made it very clear they want kids in school this fall. And it seems the logic is that if kids are in school, parents can go back to work, the economy can hopefully return to normal. And for Donald Trump, that means he can get reelected. That`s what he`s focused on. He`s more or less basically said that, that it`s all about the politics.
And here`s the thing. Everyone agrees it would be great if schools could open for in-person instruction five days a week in the fall, but it is very hard to open a school if you -- if you also have a raging pandemic in your area. Now, that did not stop Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from going out on the Sunday shows and posturing about all this and basically falling on her face.
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DANA BASH, ANCHOR, CNN: Can you are sure students, teachers, parents, that they will not get Coronavirus because they`re going back to school?
BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, UNITED STATES: Well, the key is that kids have to get back to school.
BASH: You`re the Secretary of Education. You`re asking students to go back. So why do you not have guidance on what a school should do just weeks before you want those schools to reopen. And what happens if it faces an outbreak?
DEVOS: You know, there`s really good examples that have been utilized in the private sector and in and elsewhere, also, with frontline workers and hospitals. And all of that data, and all of that information, and all of those examples can be referred by school leaders --
BASH: I`m not -- OK, but I`m not hearing a plan from the Department of Education. Do you have a plan for what students and schools should do?
DEVOS: But the plan -- so -- schools should do what`s right on the ground at that time for their students and for their situation.
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HAYES: There is no plan or the plan is I don`t know, like adopt the practices of the meatpacking plants. The schools have to open up. Now, it`s true. Schools have successfully opened up in other countries. But this is key, that only happened with the exception of Sweden after they got the virus under control.
But because of how bad it`s gotten here, opening schools is just going to be a lot harder. I mean, just within the last few days, Atlanta and Nashville announced they will at least begin the school year with all virtual learning. And then today very big news on this front, California`s largest school districts Los Angeles and San Diego announced instruction will be virtual for the entire fall.
Joining me now for more on what needs to happen to safely reopen schools, Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama, he is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to provide federal funds to help schools reopen safely. And, Senator, let`s start on that.
You heard Betsy DeVos who strikingly say, look, there are these models from the private sector of places and we do know that, you know, I know office places that are retooling and re-engineering their HVAC system and getting PPE. I mean, all that cost money. Do you think schools can safely reopen without more resources as of now?
SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Absolutely not. I mean, and to model the private sector, I mean, you only have to look at what`s going on in Florida and Texas, and some of these other states that did open their private sector up quickly, way too fast jumping over CDC guidelines. You`ve got to have resources.
In Alabama, our state school superintendent estimates it`s going to take about $1,800,000 for school systems to do the things necessary to open safely. School systems in Alabama just don`t have that kind of money. I don`t think many school systems around the country have that kind of money. The federal government has got to step in. And that`s what our bill will do, create grant monies to do just that. And I hope -- I hope Chris, we can get this in this next package.
HAYES: Shouldn`t this be a no brainer? I mean, who`s co-sponsoring with you and why -- can we just pass this tomorrow? Like this seems like the most obvious and easy thing in the universe?
JONES: Yes, no, I don`t disagree. You got Debbie Stabenow, Democrat from Michigan, Bill Cassidy, Republican from Louisiana. Bill is, you know, a physician. He`s a doctor. So, this is important to him. He is somebody we`ve turned to often to get advice on how to best do this. I think it`s a no brainer as well. It is going to cause some money, but we can`t -- you know what price tag can you put on our students` health and their families and all of the people in their communities, the teachers?
I got to tell you; we`ve got teachers in Alabama scared to death. They don`t know what`s going to happen. We`ve got to give them the comfort level, we got to give them the resources that they need to make sure that they stay safe, their kids stay safe, and we can get in a good learning environment no matter what that might look like. And it may be a lot different coming in this fall than it looked like last fall.
HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. I mean, the state of Alabama right now set a record on Friday for single-day fatalities. It`s set a case record on Thursday. It is -- it is not under control in Alabama. The virus is growing in Alabama right now. I think that`s quite clear. What has to happen to get to a point where schools can safely reopen?
I`ve seen some people. You saw the mayor of Houston today call for Houston to have a shelter in place for two weeks. I`ve seen others say look, places have to lock down now if you want school in the fall. What is your view of what should be happening in your own state?
JONES: Well, first of all, I think people need to start wearing masks more. I mean, we`ve had a safer at home border now since the end of May, but people weren`t looking at that. They were just going out. They`ve not been -- you know, the social distancing. They`ve not been wearing masks. We`ve got a number of our cities now that have gone to the step of having mask ordinances.
I think personal responsibility is the key. Dr. Fauci said last week in a Facebook Live program that I did with him that Alabama still has a chance but we`ve got to act now to start closing this down. We`ve got to make sure that people stay at home, wear masks when they go out, and I think we could get it under control. We`re still a few weeks away.
But by the end of July 1 of August, if we haven`t started seeing significant decline, I think it`s going to be a real problem for schools trying to figure out the best way to open up and open up safely.
HAYES: Yes, we should note that you`ve got 138 school districts in your state. And like many places in America, I mean, school districts are their own kind of independent entities. There`s some federal guidance from the CDC, then there`s some state guidance, but you`ve got 138 different decision makers.
Most of the plans that are happening your state require students to wear masks, or encourage them to do so. Some ask parents to check for temperatures. So you`ve got kind of a patchwork. Do you think that you have -- is there enough consistency basically? Like are things in in place enough to make this happen in your state?
JONES: No, not across the board. The state is doing what they can to give that guidance. They`re asking people to follow the CDC guidance. The State of Alabama is in the process of distributing 2.5 million masks to school systems around the state. That`s a big important step. We`ve got hotspots that are worse than others in Alabama, just like around the country. I think we have to focus on those hotspots more than others, but the plans are not in place.
We don`t have the testing. Testing is flat just like the rest of the country. And we still get a problem with tests, you know, waiting four or five days before we can get results. We`ve got to do more from the federal government to get that testing out.
Unfortunately, you know, Senator McConnell has been sitting on the hero`s package now for five or six weeks, and it`s only next week we`re going to see what he has been working behind closed doors to maybe address this problem. I hope our bill gets in it. We need to get it done really soon.
HAYES: The clock is ticking. Senator, you`re correct about that. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, thank you so much, sir.
JONES: It`s my pleasure, Chris. Thank you
HAYES: Still to come, a juror who voted to convict Roger Stone calls the President`s commutation of Stone`s sentence a shocking act of corruption. And that juror joins me right after this.
HAYES: The last time we publicly heard from Special Council Robert Mueller was nearly a year ago when he testified about his report on Russia`s sabotage on our election. Since then, he`s avoided speaking about the contents of his report until this weekend when he wrote an oped titled "Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."
That, of course, was in response to President Donald Trump commuting Stone`s sentence, his longtime friend and ally, late Friday night.
According to testimony in his trial and the Mueller report, Roger Stone`s job was keeping the Trump campaign informed about WikiLeaks` release of emails, stolen by Russian intelligence. Stone was afforded due process. He had his time in court. It was proven to a jury that he was guilty of exactly what he was accused of, seven felony crimes. And he lied under oath, to congress, to cover up what he did. He intimidated a witness. And now his sentence has been commuted by the president who benefited from that lie.
And make no mistake, Roger Stone was the go between on the central issue, right, the thing that we covered for years. He was the one closest to that word collusion. Where the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to sabotage Hillary Clinton met in 2016, you will find Roger Stone.
Joining me now is someone who sat through every minute of the trial, heard all the evidence, and then voted to convict Roger Stone, Seth Cousins.
Seth, great to have you on. First, I guess, your reaction as someone who served as a juror in this trial. I imagine this wasn`t unexpected, but your thoughts at the fact that the president has come in to say Roger Stone will not be going to prison?
SETH COUSINS, JUROR IN ROGER STONE TRIAL: Sure, Chris. Thanks for having me. Happy to be here, also disappointed that we`re still talking about Roger Stone eight months after the trial ended.
So I have a couple observations, and this is really just as a U.S. citizen. First, exactly like you just said, is the naked corruption of the president commuting Stone`s sentence just seems unprecedented. You know, this guy was charged and convicted of lying to congress, obstructing their investigation. He has been open that his purpose was to protect the president. And then the president turns around and he seems to protect his crony for breaking the law on his behalf.
But the second observation, Chris, and I think this one is -- this one is maybe more important, is that we`re in the middle of the national conversation about the unequal administration of justice in our country, the deaths this year of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery have started to open the country`s eyes to what black and brown people have been seeing and have been trying to say for generations, that the experience of law and of justice for black and brown people is very different than the experience for white people in this country.
And here we have an example of how the president chooses to react to that moment. He`s not trying to solve these real problems, he`s not trying to make this a more equal union, he`s commuting the sentence of the white man who covered up his crimes for him. I think it`s shocking.
HAYES: The cover-up here seems to me crucial, right? I mean, the thing that the man -- ultimately in some ways he was able to kind of be sketchy enough and duplicitous enough and sort of amorphous enough that what he ended up being charged with, what was very clear was his lies.
And how clear was it to you and your fellow jurors that he had done this, that he had lied under oath, that he had repeatedly lied, that he had intimidated a witness as part of a cover-up enterprise on the president`s behalf.
COUSINS: Yes. Well, so, the evidence in the trial didn`t go to it being on the president`s behalf. But everything else that you said, Chris, everybody on the jury was 100 percent convinced that the prosecution had proved its case. It had proven each of the lies that he was accused of. It had proved the witness tampering. It had proven the obstruction of the investigation.
They didn`t have to, nor did they go try to explain why Stone may have done that. In the case they only had to prove he actually had done that and they did prove that.
HAYES: What do you think about what justice would be here, as someone who sat in that jury, particularly in relation to the point you made about unequal justice? I saw Lindsey -- there was clearly some back and forth about commutation versus a pardon. And Lindsey Graham saying, look, this is a 70-year-old, it`s a nonviolent first offense, to which I say sure, that applies to people in prison. Like what would justice look like here as someone who sat on the jury?
COUSINS: I really don`t know the answer to that, Chris. I`m not a lawyer, I`m clearly not an expert on what appropriate sentencing is for anyone. But it is clear that some sort of sentence in some sort of prison time was warranted. Even Bill Barr called the prosecution righteous and said that the sentence seemed correct to him.
HAYES: Yeah. That`s striking. Will Barr, who is trying to sort of get out of the way of this slow motion corruption disaster that has happened now from the president that he serves.
Seth Cousins who served on the jury that convicted Roger Stone months ago, thank you so much for taking time for us tonight.
COUSINS: Thanks for having me on, Chris. Good night.
HAYES: Coming up, Tucker Carlson`s top script writer resigns after disgustingly racist and sexist posts come to light. The details on Carlson`s latest scandal after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns, of problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia, probably. It is actually not a real problem in America. White supremacy, that`s the problem. This is a hoax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The 8:00 p.m. host on Trump TV is Tucker Carlson. And he wants you to believe the concern about white supremacy in America is a hoax, which is very convenient for a guy whose show has been dabbling in it for years.
The truth, of course, is that white supremacy is alive and well in this country -- on TV and in certain corners of the Internet where racists get together and post racist stuff, like this observation during quarantine, quote, "black dudes staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down."
Now, the author of that was not just some random racist, as CNN`s Oliver Darcy revealed, that post was written under a pseudonym by this guy, Blake Neff, seen here in a Washington Post data column in which he was identified as a proud Trump supporter.
Blake Neff was also, until last week, the top writer on the Tucker Carlson television show on the Fox News channel. And what Darcy exposed is that Neff has been a racist and sexist online presence for years, hanging around in shady online forums taking in part in disgusting and offensive discussion topics.
Just last week, here`s an example, he responded to a threat in which someone asked, quote -- and this is really offensive, so just prepare yourself -- "would you let a jet black Congo N-word do Lasik eye surgery on your for 50 percent off?" To which Tucker Carlson`s top writer responded, "I would not get Lasik from an Asian for free, so no."
That kind of exchange is the whole point of forums like that, it`s where horrible racists get together to be horrible racists, and they are the people who Tucker Carlson says you should not worry about, because white supremacy is not a real concern.
But Blake Neff is not just some random loser who posts on racist message boards with his racist friends, he was Tucker`s top take writer until last week. In fact, listen to this, Neff once boasted to the Dartmouth alumni magazine, "anything Tucker Carlson is reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me." Anything Tucker Carlson is reading off the teleprompter was first written by a guy who we now know has been posting bigoted remarks for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m interested in the fact that how do you feel about writing now, now that you are on TV? Has it changed you?
TUCKER: Well, I mean, I write every night. I work on the scripts. We have a wonderful writer, Blake Neff, on the show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A wonderful writer, wonder writer the guy who says I wouldn`t get Lasik from Asians for free.
After his racist posts were exposed, Blake Neff resigned and Fox News` leadership condemned his bigotry -- condemned his bigotry, his online bigotry, not the Tucker scripts.
Fox said they had no idea what Neff was doing. But really come on. This is the least surprising news in the world. This guy worked for Tucker Carlson, the co-founder of a website called The Daily Caller, which has published work from at least 10 people with ties to white nationalists.
It can literally be hard to keep track of them, because the dark corners of the white supremacist Internet are where many future Daily Caller writers first hone their craft. One of them just, for instance, was the organizer of that Charlottesville rally where white nationalists chanted slogans including "Jews will not replace us."
Another was Blake Neff, who was a writer, for, yes, of course, you guessed it, The Daily Caller before Tucker brought his talents to Trump TV.
And his work has helped lead to rave reviews for Tucker by racists. He`s been celebrated by people like former KKK leader David Duke. And his show is the subject of admiration on white supremacist websites like The Daily Stormer. It surely didn`t hurt that Tucker has in his body of work credited white men for creating civilization, called Iraqis semi-literate primitive monkeys.
So, you have a guy who had a racist writing his scripts for years, who founded a publication that employed multiple peoples with ties to white nationalism, who has been praised again and again by the most outspoken racists in the country who love his show, a man who has hemorrhaged advertisers over the year, because on his show he sounds just like Blake Neff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: My country actually is being invaded by other countries from the south. Look at the population movement into the United States. Our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world`s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.
You may be wondering how am I, quote, personally responsible for the behavior of a Minneapolis police officer? I have never been to Minneapolis, you may think to yourself. And why is some politician telling me I`m required to be upset about it?
This may be a lot of things, this moment we`re living through, but it is definitely not about black lives. And remember that when they come for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, when they come for you.
Fox knows what it`s selling, as does Tucker Carlson. And the president, of course, knows what they`re selling because he loves it all. He`s constantly tweeting clips, because in America 2020, the racist losers who trade vile jokes on Internet forum are the people who write the words the talking heads say into a camera and that the president then tweets out. Those people who write that kind of stuff on message boards, they`re basically running the country.
HAYES: A lot of people have compared 2020 to 1968, probably the last year in American history as tumultuous as this one, and probably the last year with this kind of mass protests on the scale that we`ve seen over the last six weeks. And it was in 1968 that the National Congress of American Indians first launched a campaign to end negative and harmful stereotypes perpetuated by media and popular culture, particularly the continued use of racist and derogatory Indian sports mascots, logos and symbols.
And so it`s fitting, 52 years later, amid what The New York Times has said maybe the largest movement in U.S. history, that one of the most offensive names in professional sports is finally gone, retired for good. The Washington NFL team`s owner and head coach say they are working to develop a new team name and logo, even though as recently as 2013 owner Dan Snyder famously said, and I quote, "we`ll never change the name. It`s that simple. Never. You can use caps."
It`s kind of amazing the effects social moments can have on institutions and society. It`s also telling when big-time corporate sponsors demand necessary change.
Earlier this month, Ad Week reported that close to 90 investors and shareholders sent letters to Nike, Fedex and Pepsi asking them to end their relationship with the Washington franchise. After that report, Fedex told the team to change their name or they would pull their stadium signage, a move that could cost the team millions.
And Nike pulled all the team`s gear from its website. And just like that the team has suddenly ditched its pejorative name.
To talk more about this decision, I`m joined by former NFL player Donte Stallworth who played for the Washington franchise in 2011. And I thought I would start on that. Obviously, this is something that indigenous activists have been worked on for literally decades, fighting and fighting and fighting and fighting, and have won a much deserved victory today.
But I always wonder what it`s like to be on that team? I mean, particularly over the course of my life I feel that the awareness of just how awful this name is has developed among non-indigenous folks, and wondered if you felt it on the team. Did you talk about it in the locker room? Was it a presence for you?
DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Yeah, it was. It was a presence, and I think it started to hit the locker rooms more so in 2013 was really when the pressure started to ramp up for the team to change the name. I`m not -- if I`m not mistaken, I believe that`s the year that president -- then President Obama had said at that Daniel Snyder should change the name of the team.
And players were talking about it. And obviously for minority players it was definitely uncomfortable, but I think more so now players are starting to not only understand just how bad the name itself is, but the history around the usage of the name and the history of the former team owner, the original team owner, George Preston Marshall. And he was an avowed segregationist. He was the last NFL owner to integrate NFL teams with black players.
And so when you start to realize that history, then it gives you a better understanding of how the past is palpably present today.
HAYES: Yeah, and it`s interesting, too, because we`ve been -- I`m going to talk to you for -- in a moment about Roger Goodell and some of the things happening in the NFL -- but one of the things we`ve seen in the midst of this incredible social moment in the wake of George Floyd`s killing and Breonna Taylor`s killed is that there`s been lots of reactions, and some of them feel very symbolic and almost insultingly symbolic, and some of them feel symbolic and real and really important. And this feels like one of those. Do you think that`s how it`s going to land in the NFL?
STALLWORTH: Well, I think initially when you`re looking at -- from the perspective of how big this movement has been, and so we look at it through lens of how protests can create awareness and put pressure on teams or on entities to, you know, be in fear of what the bottom lines are. And so when the corporations come out and they say, hey, you know, it`s time for a change, which Nike did, which Fedex did, and then other outlets started to not allow people to purchase merchandise, Washington football team merchandise, from their website.
All of these things started to happen, and you understand that persistence and justice go hand-in-hand. And so the more that these things are starting to happen I think the bigger the pressure is building. And as you noted earlier, where the owner, the current team owner, Dan Snyder, said he would never, in all caps, change the name, and here we are today.
HAYES: Now the NFL, of course, has been sort of front and center in a lot of this since Colin Kaepernick began his campaign kneeling during the National Anthem, that was, of course, created national controversy and backlash and to a lawsuit in which he said he was black listed. It seemed fairly clear that he had been for his outspokenness. And now you`ve got -- years later you`ve got Roger Goodell saying black lives matter on tape. And then announcing that the black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," will be played before NFL games. And you had a great op-ed basically about that, about the sort of empty symbolism here.
What was your reaction to Goodell`s announcement to that?
STALLWORTH: My initial reaction was, like, who asked for this? No one asked for this. There are a lot of things that the NFL -- seriously. There are a lot of things the NFL could do. And the song is a great song. The history is steeped in a lot of anti-imperialism, steeped in a lot of black excellence, it`s steeped in the Harlem Renaissance, so just that song was initially a poem, and then it came out. And it`s like, OK, you can`t really use that to get invited to the cookout, that`s not going to happen.
There are other things you can do to get invited to the cookout, and the NFL has to reckon with its own policies and its own structure, organizational structure, within the NFL ranks as far as the -- how little they have of African-Americans in their executive positions, head coaching positions. And so there needs to be a pipeline for young African-American coaches who can get into that pipeline, become an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, which is essentially the way you become a head coach is through those positions.
So, until that happens, we look at the NFL as -- and I honestly believe that they now want to do the right thing since their players demanded it, Chris, but we`ll see how these things move forward. And the players will continue to demand, because I think they`re starting now to understand how much power they have.
HAYES: Yeah, and to that point, I mean, this is a strange time for a lot of reasons. We`re seeing this push for sports coming back amidst the pandemic, and you have got baseball and basketball in the bubble down in Florida, and there`s talk about what the NFL season is going to look like.
And I just I wonder as a former player how you would be thinking about the pressure to play under these conditions and your own safety amidst the pandemic if you were still playing.
STALLWORTH: It`s a little difficult to answer that question, but my general answer is if I was a younger player like some of these guys who just got drafted out of college, yes, I want to play. It`s been my dream since I was a child. If I`m an older veteran, a guy who has got a family and kids and a mother and grandparents. You`ve already made your money, you`re a little skeptical about playing and putting yourself out there.
And to me personally I don`t know if they`ll finish a full NFL season. I don`t think we`ll make it past week eight. I love football. I love to see it. How safe is it? I guess we`ll see. Unfortunately, hopefully it`s not a cautionary tale.
HAYES: Yeah, there`s a real press release at the launch of the Titanic vibe to all of the stuff happening around the various leagues` plans for this season where it`s like, OK, we`ll see how this goes.
Donte Stallworth, always great to hear from you. Thanks so much for coming on.
STALLWORTH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" start right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel.
Good evening, Ali.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END