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Rep. Raul Grijalva TRANSCRIPT: 8/3/20, All In w/Chris Hayes

Guests: Raul Grijalva, Jeff Gregorich, Andrea Bernstein, Brian Schatz, Ben Smith

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC ANCHOR: It is not premature to be asking the  question and start digging. I promise you, Joy Reid, this story is not  going away and we will continue today. It will make sense.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Please stay on it. Stephanie Ruhle, I appreciate you,  my friend. That is tonight`s REIDOUT, and "ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts  right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Back to school, no matter how  dangerous. A desperate president tries to force America back open, and  people just keep getting infected. Tonight, my exclusive interview with  Congressman Raul Grijalva on his COVID diagnosis and who he`s blaming for  it.

Then no relief in sight. And is Congress about to take a summer vacation  without rescuing suffering Americans? I`ll ask Senator Brian Schatz. Plus,  the New York investigation of the Trump Organization describes extensive  and protracted criminal conduct.

And 93 days to election night, will there be a result? As the President  sows chaos to disrupt democracy, what to expect on the night of November  3rd? When ALL IN starts right now. 


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The President has been  very clear he wants Americans like yourself to be cannon fodder in the war  against Coronavirus. And the reason is clear. For him, in order to get  reelected, things have to get back to normal. And to get things back to  normal, the president wants everyone to just get out there. 

He will not actually suppress the virus. He`s not capable of that or  unwilling, so we need to just deal with it. Suck it up, be warriors. That`s  the word that he`s used. He wants you to be warriors. And it`s not an  obstruction, it is the actual way the president is conducting himself. 

Last week, the President traveled to the Tampa area on Friday to meet with  Florida officials, including governor Ron DeSantis, and he held a news  conference at a golf club. And just look at this event. The officials were  all spread out, some in masks at a large table. The press however, was  squeezed in like sardines, standing shoulder to shoulder as if it were the  before times. 

And we know this thanks to this photo taken by one of the reporters crammed  in there. And guess what happened? One of those journalists who was in that  room, doing their job, has now tested positive for Coronavirus. And then  there`s Congressman Raul Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and chair of the  Natural Resources Committee. That committee is investigating the tear  gassing and assault on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square back in June  when the President stage that weird photo op with the Bible.

Congressman Grijalva and the committee wanted to hold a virtual hearing or  hybrid hearing, some physical, some remote on the subject last week, but  the Interior Department refused to participate unless the hearing took  place in person. So, Congressman Grijalva flew to Washington from his home  in Arizona to chair that meeting in person on Tuesday. 

Now, guess who is also on that committee and also attended the hearing the  Interior Department insisted on having in-person. That`s right, Republican  Congressman Louie Gohmert who tested positive for Coronavirus the very next  day. And I bet you can guess what happened to Congressman Grijalva. Yes, he  has now tested positive too. 

I`m going to talk to Congressman Grijalva in just a minute, but we are all  in danger of Congressman Grijalva`s fate when this guy is in charge because  this is what it looks like if you get out there like the President wants  when the virus is not suppressed. 

OK, so now just think about what school will look like in this environment.  As I said many times on this program, a parent of three children, two  school-aged, full time in-person school in the fall should be and it should  have been an absolute policy goal for all of society. But it is not going  to magically happen. 

I mean, the virus still running rampant across a lot of the country and new  cases increasing in 15 states with Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., it`s no  wonder parents across the country are worried that their kids or their  kids` teachers or their kids` grandparents or they themselves are going to  end up in danger, because President Trump wants kids to get out there and  go back to school. Like the photographers at that event at the members of  Congress on Capitol Hill. He wants it so badly that even twisted the CDC`s  arm to get them to change their guidance about school openings, that he  threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that refused to reopen  in person. 

Now, look, the science here is complicated. It`s always evolving as we  learn more about the virus. There`s still a lot we don`t know. The bulk of  the evidence so far suggests that young children are at less risk. The  illness is generally less severe in children than adults. It appears to be  a lower risk of developing in the first place. 

Children definitely can transmit the virus to each other into adults. But  age does seem to matter in transmission as well. A study in South Korea  found that children under 10 transmit much less than older children and  adults. We`ve also seen some promising evidence from childcare centers here  in the U.S. as state opens since March, like the YMCA of the USA and New  York City`s Department of Education which both tell NPR they have no  reports of Coronavirus clusters or outbreaks. 

Europe and Asia have also had a lot of success. Many schools there have  been open for months and they have largely avoided outbreaks. So there is  reason to think it is possible if we got everything lined up right. With  the resources and the right procedures and suppressing the virus, maybe we  can safely have in person school for young children this fall.

But again, in this country, the virus is raging out of control. So when you  put a bunch of kids together right now, you get a situation like this in  Georgia, where 260 kids and staff in an overnight camp tested positive. And  as the largest school district in the state of Georgia prepares to return  for class, 260 employees are not working because they have either tested  positive or are in quarantine due to possible exposure. 

One junior high school in Indiana just reopened its doors on Thursday and  within hours, it got news of a student in the building testing positive. We  know it was a when not if said the superintendent of that school district,  but they were very shocked it was on day one. Probably various have decided  it`s just not worth the risk, a private school in Maryland the president`s  son Barron attends is now considering a virtual-only approach or a hybrid  model. 

The obvious problem is we have not suppressed the virus. But the President  is going to do whatever`s in his power to push people to pretend it`s all  under control because he thinks it will help him win in November. And it  does not matter to him or Mitch McConnell or all the people that facilitate  him how many people get sick or die in the process.

Joining me now by phone from his D.C. home where he is quarantining after  testing positive for Coronavirus is Congressman Raul Grijalva, Democrat of  Arizona. First, Congressman, thank you for joining us tonight. I want to  start off just by asking how you are feeling.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D-AZ): I`m feeling OK, Chris. You know, no severe  symptoms and hopefully, you know, that`s the pattern that will continue for  the next 14 days. I`m hoping and taking care of myself and, you know,  waiting this out. I`m trying to do some work from home, but, you know, it`s  disruptive. And, you know, other staff not only -- had to be tested as  well, and fortunately, they were all negative.

But you know that the exposure goes beyond one person. I`m not unique. I  mean, there`s four million-plus people in America that have tested  positive. And this is a very insidious and a very vicious virus. And when  people don`t take it seriously, there are consequences. 

And, you know, you`re going to feel like collateral damage in a political  debate that some people are having about whether to protect yourself and  protect others, but that`s the way -- you know, sometimes that`s the way  you have to feel because there`s no excuse for people not, and particularly  members of Congress, that should be setting some level of example to the  rest of the public like Mr. Gohmert and others, Jordan, etcetera, Biggs  that my state, that flunked the idea, some he-man attitude that this is now  ideological, it is a left-wing conspiracy, it`s a hoax that we have to wear  a mask and socially distance and -- or it`s a Democratic Party plot. 

This kind of, you know, I think egotistical approach to it, they`re trying  to score political points when people are getting sick and people are  dying, that just doesn`t work. And the good example is now that Speaker  Pelosi has made the mask mandatory on the floor and at all events involving  Congress hearings, etcetera, I think that`s a good step to just make it  mandatory. And if people don`t want to participate, then they don`t need to  participate in the -- in the governance that`s going on.

HAYES: You wrote in a statement, which I just want to read part of. You  said, "Well, I cannot blame anyone directly for this. This week has shown  that there are some members of Congress who failed to take this crisis  seriously. Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol  without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of  their colleagues, staff, and their families. Stopping the spread of a  deadly virus should not be a partisan issue."

GRIJALVA: Exactly. 

HAYES: I`ve covered you for a long time, Congressman, and you`re not a  person who displays anger very much. But I could tell you`re pretty angry  in that statement.

GRIJALVA: Yes. Those three emotions that happened right away, the first one  was anger. You know, that when I left Tucson, my hometown and my district,  and I said to myself and I was negative. And then well, my work at the  Capitol, all of a sudden, I go to test myself at the advice of my  colleagues because I was sitting there next -- near Gohmert during this  Lafayette hearing while he was talking and taking off his mask and not  following the decorum that we -- that we need to have. I followed their  advice, and yes, I was positive. So I self-quarantine myself immediately. 

But my point being that, you know, from the top, beginning with Trump, they  treated this pandemic as a -- as a political inconvenience and a nuisance.  And you hear -- you hear things from Gohmert and others and the president  just not taking this -- it`s not even a question of seriousness, it`s  trying to pretend that it`s not here which is, I think, is a scarier  attitude that they`re taking.

HAYES: Final question for you. I just want to make sure that I -- that your  committee tweeted out today that that journalist Radley Balko, who sort of  just described the sort of back and forth of that, basically the Trump  administration saying, well, if you`re going to -- if you`re not going to  be there in person, we`re not going to send anyone. Like, is that how it  went down in the Trump administration, is like you got to fly to D.C. and  do this in person, if you want -- if you want us testifying.

GRIJALVA: Yes, for quite a while, we`ve been trying to -- right after what  happened at Lafayette and under the direction of the police, and they were  the principal law enforcement there, we`ve been wanting to have this  hearing with acting chief Monahan, but there was one excuse after another,  it was the date. 

And then finally, one of the last ones was that I had to be there in person  in order for him to be there. So this is a very important hearing to get --  to begin this oversight and investigation, so yes, I said, I will be there  because I thought it was that critical to get this discussion out. I`m glad  I did. But if the -- if other people would have taken the meeting seriously  and taking the precautions that were required to take, I don`t think I`d be  having this discussion about being in my apartment, hopefully for 14 days,  and then returning to work.

HAYES: Congressman Raul Grijalva of Tucson, Arizona, thank you for taking  some time tonight and obviously wishing you all the best and hope you can  get through this and don`t get a bad version of this.

GRIJALVA: Thank you so much. Have a good one, my friend.

HAYES: Speaking of Arizona, the governor of Arizona wants school districts  to reopen in two weeks, but the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in  Arizona, a small community, a little over 100 miles east of Phoenix, has  already lost one teacher to Coronavirus. Kimberly Chavez Lopez Byrd was  teaching summer school with two other teachers at the school when she got  sick. She died on June 26. 

Two other teachers also got sick, and at least four other staff members  have the virus and six more are being tested. And the superintendent of  that district told The Washington Post that opening his district safely in  two weeks is a fantasy. And that superintendent Jeff Gregorich joins me  now. 

It`s great to have you on. I can`t imagine what an insane time this is for  you. I want to just read what you said in this op-ed and get your reaction  to where your head is at now as you`re looking at two weeks until school  starting. You said, "I`m sorry if it`s a fantasy. Every time I start to  play out what looks like -- what that looks like on August 17th, I get sick  to my stomach. More than a quarter of our students live with grandparents.  It`s not safe. There`s no way it can be safe." Do you still feel that way?

JEFF GREGORICH, SUPERINTENDENT, HAYDEN-WINKELMAN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT:  Well, absolutely. I haven`t changed my feelings on that. I believe you  bring in a large group of students into a classroom, you know, there`s just  no way that you`re going to be able to keep them safe, at least in my  feeling. We cannot even keep three adult teachers that were doing  everything to, you know, the mask and wiping down everything and we were  not able to keep all three of them safe, how do we expect that to have --  to keep kids in a classroom?

I know they may not mitigate as much but I don`t think we really know  enough to make me feel comfortably that we wouldn`t be putting at risk the  grandparents as I said in there. And that really worries me because these  families are so close. And, you know, there`s -- you know, the multi- generation families, I can`t imagine, you know, them going home and getting  their families sick. 

Like Kim`s family, all of them contracted the virus. So that`s what I lose  sleep over. You know, just that worry that it just doesn`t make sense to me  at all. As many times I play it out, I just don`t understand what others  are missing, you know, to think that that would be safe.

HAYES: Obviously, you talked about your district and the fact that a large  percentage of children in your district qualify for free or reduced lunch.  These are -- these are kids that really do need school. I mean all kids  need school but you have a rarely underprivileged community you`re serving.  I wonder what you think of the argument that like there`s going to be some  risk, but school is just so important particularly for children who are  from low-income households. It`s so important that we just got to do it.

GREGORICH: You know, I hear that argument and I don`t know how teaching  with the teachers scared to death in front of plexiglas and the kids spread  out six feet and they`re scared how that`s going to be. I think there`s  still going to be a gap there. And I think if we`re now providing quality  distance learning, that means like we`re talking right now. We think that  with the training -- and that`s how kids are going to be learning in the  future. So I`m trying to find the silver lining in there that using those  tools are going to make them 21st-century learners.

I know the little ones are the most challenging, but this is -- this is our  World War II, and this is something that we have to do that, you know, to  keep our families safe. I cannot lose another teacher, staff member, a  grandma or grandpa, or -- that`s what worries me most that that is going to  happen again. And we`re not over losing camp. We`ve -- you know, we`ve had  Zoom grievance counseling, and that just -- that`s just doesn`t do it and  everyone is still hurting.

HAYES: Yes. I can imagine how devastating that has been for you and for all  the people that work in your school district, obviously, to have someone  who did it, right, who went -- who went to work amidst this and contracted  it, and ultimately succumb to it. The current policy posture of the  Governor Ducey, my understanding is, in two weeks, you`re going to open  your doors and have kids in school, right? I mean, my understanding is you  don`t really get to say. The governor is directing it. 

GREGORICH: Right. Well, the governor is saying that. I just will say that  there is some news that Superintendent Hoffman, she has made a statement  and I read it in her letter today that "however, I want to make clear that  Arizona is not currently a place to resume in person or hybrid learning by  August 17th." And that`s coming in a letter that just came out literally  minutes ago. 

So, you know, I don`t -- that`s not an executive order, but it`s a very  powerful leader that is going out there and suggesting it`s just not safe  now in Arizona or other places in the United States. And it would -- it  would be nice for school districts to be able to make that decision, you  know. They`re elected, and in this case, we`re really not provided that  opportunity to do that, unless we risk losing some funding.

HAYES: Superintendent Jeff Gregorich who is trying to do his best job under  very difficult circumstances, thank you so much for making a little time  for us tonight.

GREGORICH: OK, thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Next, with millions of Americans already suffering, what are the  odds the Senate goes on vacation without another rescue bill? I`ll ask  Senator Brian Schatz next.



REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): To your knowledge, did the president  ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?


OCASIO-CORTEZ: Do you think we need to review his financial statements and  his tax returns in order to compare them?

COHEN: Yes. 


HAYES: That was the President`s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen  testifying last year. He kind of knew where the evidence of the Trump  crimes were. And that is exactly what the Manhattan district attorney has  been trying to get his hands on. But today, we learned in this striking new  filing from the DA`s office, they are looking at much more than hush money  payments arranged from Michael Cohn, which is why the office first issued a  subpoena for the President`s taxes back in 2019. 

Today, the DA`s office is back in court saying they`re actually looking  into much more than that. Reading from the filing, "Plaintiff`s argument  the Mazars Subpoena, that`s the accounting firm that he used, is overbroad  fails for the additional reason that it rests on the false premise that the  grand jury`s investigation is limited to so-called hush-money payments made  by Michael Cohen on behalf of plaintiff in 2016."

People have been reporting about Donald Trump committing criminal fraud for  decades. And today the DA`s office made that point too in their filing.  "Information that has been in the public record since at least 2018,  moreover, confirms that the Mazars Subpoena`s request for evidence related  to potentially improper financial transactions by a variety of individuals  and entities over a period of years is fully justified. This publicly  available information alone demonstrates that plaintiff`s claim of  overbreadth is insufficient to state a claim for relief."

Here with me now is someone who has been reporting on the Trump business,  the Trump Organization, Andrea Bernstein, the co-host of WNYC`s Trump Inc.  podcast, author of the book, American Oligarchs: The Kushner`s, the  Trump`s, and the Marriage of Money and Power. 

Let`s start with this filing just to sort of walk us through where we are  on this. Obviously, this case of whether Cy Vance and Manhattan D.A. could  even issue a subpoena to the sitting President of the United States when  all the way up the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court said yes, you can.  You`re not -- you don`t get out of it because you`re president, and now  they`re fighting about it again back in the lower courts.

ANDREA BERNSTEIN, CO-HOST, TRUMP INC: Right. Well, because the Supreme  Court said you can go ahead now and try to object to the subpoena itself  and not the fact of the subpoena. So that`s what`s happening. That the  Trump file the complaint, a new complaint saying the subpoena was too  broad, and today was D.A. Vance`s reply to that.

HAYES: So I`ve always thought of this case that you know, Michael Cohen  pleads guilty to a federal crime. He also implicates the president, right,  this hush money payment, it`s a violation of campaign finance. And I think  what we thought was that the Manhattan D.A. is looking into that same fact  pattern around that. It happened in New York. 

Today`s filing just sort of seemed like a remarkable document in so far as  you have the Manhattan D.A. being -- saying, look at all of this. Look at  everything you know about this guy. We`re looking at all of it.

BERNSTEIN: You know, I mean, well, yes and no. The D.A. in his court  filings and in their court appearances, they`ve been pretty clear thus far  that the investigation was stemming from particularly that exchange with  AOC, the question of whether Trump wants to inflate the value of his assets  when he`s say, getting a bank loan and then deflate them, for example, when  he wants to pay taxes, something we`ve reported on. 

But Michael Cohen was clear about that in his congressional testimony last  year and even earlier when he pleaded guilty, there were broad hints that  there were widespread problems in the Trump Organization. So we sort of  knew from hints that the D.A. had been making that he was poking around in  there.

But today, I think that they`re making very clear the clock is running out,  we want to get on with this investigation. And these are very serious  charges that we are looking at, we are not messing around here.

HAYES: So yes, what is your sense of the timing here? Because I think after  that Supreme Court decision, there was a whole bunch of different ways this  could go. And Donald Trump obviously has a long career of basically using  the courts to stall people until they run out money or energy and he kind  of wriggle out. What does this say about the timeline that Cy Vance`s DA`s  offices is pushing for?

BERNSTEIN: Well, that may yet happen. The clock may yet be run out because  already this subpoena was issued a year ago. And now it`s a year later, and  the D.A. has not even gotten the documents. And you and I both looked at  tax returns, it`s not just you look at them, and boom, you`ve got to figure  it out the case there, so there`s a long road ahead before there could be  any activity. 

But I think that the judge has made clear his position. He wrote a year ago  that this was a valid subpoena. And now what`s happening is the D.A. is  trying to move it forward as quickly as he can. And there`s no reason to  believe that the judge won`t go along with that because he already ruled a  year ago or almost a year ago that the subpoena was validly issued. So the  question is how quickly will he do it? Some legal experts say it could  actually be this month.

HAYES: It`s a -- I mean, when you just step back for a second, right,  everyone is sort of accustomed themselves so much to the sort of swirl  around the president. Like, the sitting president of the United States,  months before the re-election, is facing a criminal investigation by the  Manhattan D.A. for his finances. And not only that, like, I thought it was  so interesting they kept talking about publicly available information. 

You know, you`ve done incredible reporting on his finances. There`s the --  there`s the prize-winning New York Times story in 2018 in which they were  able to get, you know, inside financial records. We now have subsequently  learned from Mary Trump. She writes about in her book where they just come  out and say, like they -- the family engaged in fraud. This is -- and then  the Manhattan D.A. just sort of citing it is such a striking thing to say.  Yes, it`s publicly reported guys. Like, it`s in the papers. Go read the  papers.

BERNSTEIN: It is true. And it`s sort of amazing to think of ourselves four  years ago, what would we have said if we were -- could envision ourselves  now saying the President has -- is subject to investigation, stemming from  an investigation into the propriety of hush-money payments that were made  to a porn star in advance of the 2016 election. That is the beginning of  D.A. Vance`s investigation. He took it over from the Southern District. 

Now, he is looking into whether the President possibly committed bank  fraud, possibly committed tax fraud. We`ve also done reporting on how in  certain New York City properties, the president, when he wanted to pay  taxes, didn`t report certain income streams. And when he wanted a bank  loan, he said that there were very healthy income streams. It was an apples  to apples comparison. That is something that the mayor of New York has  himself referred to the D.A. So that may be one of the things that he`s  going to be looking at. 

So it is quite the situation that we are speaking about this so calmly,  that here we are just a few months before an election and the President of  the United States is being investigated for bank fraud, tax fraud, and  whether his business committed a felony in New York State for misreporting  hush-money payments to a porn star because she alleged she`d had an affair  with the president in advance of the 2016 election.

HAYES: Andrea Bernstein who`s one of the greatest reporters on this beat,  thank you for being here tonight.

BERNSTEIN: Chris, it`s so great to speak with you.

HAYES: Coming up, as the American news media prepared to cover an election  night that goes past election night. Ben Smith of the New York Times on  that crucial question ahead.


HAYES: So as of right now, the Senate is still scheduled to leave for their  August recess this Friday even though there`s still no indication of when  we`ll get a new COVID relief bill. Republicans in the White House have  blown through the deadline to extend the extra $600 a week on unemployment  benefits. And after dragging his feet for weeks, Donald Trump, perhaps  sensing the pressure to do something, is now threatening to use an  executive order which doesn`t seem like it`ll work. And he`s blaming  Democrats saying they`re the ones who are "slow-rolling."

That is the opposite of the truth. Let`s just be clear here. Democrats  passed a $3 trillion bill back in May. We covered it on the show time and  time again. We had Nancy Pelosi on and talk about it. At that time, Senate  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans said it was dead on  arrival. We don`t need another relief package. It`s all going to come back.  Everything is going to go back to normal. The White House threatened to  veto it months ago. And that is why things are where they are right now, a  massive amount of human misery happening right now that Donald Trump and  Mitch McConnell could have avoided.

Joining me now to talk about it, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii,  who recently said, he thinks Republicans are pushing the American economy  into a depression. I guess the first thing to start with, Senator, is do  you have a sense of where things stand?

SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ (D-HI): Well, the last couple of days have been better  than the previous couple of months. But you`ve got it exactly right, they  just don`t feel a sense of urgency about this. And I`m, you know, normally  coming up against an August deadline. Normally, things come together and I  have some basic faith that the pressure of the deadline and the pressure  among the public to get a deal done will cause cooler heads to prevail. 

I`m not so sure this time, because I`m not so sure that they understand the  human suffering that is happening and the economic extinction event that  millions -- literally millions of small businesses are about to experience,  that millions of people who are about to be evicted or foreclosed upon, and  not to mention 156,000 already dead. 

I don`t think they`re ready quite yet to pass a bill that is equal to this  moment. Remember, we had several trillion dollars-worth of aid that came  out when the economy was better and when the virus was less bad. The virus  is worse than ever in the United States and the economy is in the tank and  going right over the edge. And I don`t sense that they feel a sense of  urgency.

HAYES: You talked about economic extinction event. I mean, I think there`s  been several phases here, right? So there`s the -- there`s the sort of  initial lockdown. There`s a bunch of programs to try to support people  during that. There`s the PPP program which was flawed in some ways but got  a lot of money out the door. There was the $1,200 check unemployment. 

You now got -- I mean, one-third of New York`s small business may be gone  forever. That`s just New York. I`m sure this is true in other places.  Brooks Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, Gold`s Gym, Neiman Marcus, Lord  and Taylor all filing for bankruptcy. I just -- it`s just inconceivable to  me. I mean, it`s like Herbert Hoover, I guess just to sit and watch -- 

SCHATZ: That`s exactly -- it`s exactly like Herbert Hoover. Wherever  they`re at ideologically is absolutely stuck because they have this idea  that because Nancy Pelosi proposed a bunch of things, that they must be  ideologically opposite. But the problem is that without government  intervention, that the American private sector is going to be destroyed for  a generation, and their ideology is preventing them from doing anything  about it.

When I talk to small businesses back home and large businesses back home,  institutions, individuals, everybody back home, nobody`s telling me, you  know, I`m really worried about the national debt. I`m really worried about  the size and scope of the federal government. Everybody understands this is  an absolute emergency and this is not the time to pinch pennies. 

Because, as you pointed out, you know, the CARES Act, flawed as it was, did  a number of very important things. All of those provisions in the CARES Act  are either already expired or about to expire, and these guys are planning  their August break. I just don`t get it. And I just think that we`re in a  particularly terrifying position, because Donald Trump doesn`t feel the  urgency, and Mitch McConnell will not move until Donald Trump (AUDIO GAP).

HAYES: You know, here`s -- I mean, he`s now trying to blame Democrats,  which I think shows a little bit of urgency. You know, it`s like -- he`s  like, reverse to the actual stances that people have. Here`s one theory  I`ve seen and I think there`s something to this. You know, from a statutory  perspective in the CARES Act, the sort of large facility that was created  to lend and be a kind of buyer securities of last resort at the Fed. 

Everything that`s been done to kind of keep the financial system flowing  and to prop up the stock market has worked and is not time-limited. Which  is to say stocks are doing well, investors are doing well, credit markets  are rolling, and look, if you`re -- you know, if you got evicted or you  don`t get an unemployment, like tough. The thing that was taken care of was  the thing that they cared about, and it`s taken care of now, and they don`t  care about the other stuff. 

SCHATZ: Yes. I do worry that that`s what`s going on. And I worry about the  extent to which the United States senators even know anyone who was laid  off, or even know anyone who`s about to get foreclosed upon, or even know  anyone who`s really a frontline worker. They might sometimes in the course  of their campaigns interact with folks like this, but this is a gilded  place. And I think unless you`re close with people in your family or your  circle of friends that understand this is a catastrophic once in a  generation once in a century situation, this is not the time to play games. 

And that`s what Mitch McConnell is doing. He subscribes to the view that  you can only act when there`s maximum pressure. And so what he`s going to  do is let the stock market suffer and let people get evicted. 

HAYES: Right.

SCHATZ: And bread lines and food lines and more and more people sick, and  then he will take his action if he takes his action at all. 

HAYES: Final question. It`s on -- it`s on a different topic, but I have a  U.S. Senator in front of me so I have to ask. A man by the name of Anthony  Tata who was nominated to be the number three at the Pentagon by the Trump  administration, tons of wild and offensive statements. He called president  terrorist -- Obama terrorist president. He said he was a candidate for  Hamas, accused John Brennan of treason. 

He was so bad they didn`t have the votes in the Republican committee to  actually be confirmed, and so his nomination was pulled. And then they just  named him to the job anyway, in a position they basically said, like the  guy doing the stuff that wouldn`t be the stuff that he was nominated do  essentially, and gave you and Mitch McConnell and everyone in the Senate  and enormous middle finger. What do you think about this?

SCHATZ: I think you got it exactly right. I think two things. First of all,  we`re not sure what he -- what he did in terms of putting Tata in despite  not having the votes and despite already having been nominated is legal,  and so that`ll get litigated. But the bottom line is this. Mitch McConnell  has decided that the Senate doesn`t matter. Mitch McConnell will not move  in contradiction of Donald Trump under any circumstances. 

And one of the most disappointing things for me is Mark Esper, the  Secretary of the Department of Defense. There was some hope that although a  Republican that he would try to uphold the institution of the DOD and keep  it from becoming partisanized and polluted by Donald Trump`s racism. And he  failed on that count. You`re now at the number three person in the DOD  who`s a racist nutball.

HAYES: Well, no to future Democratic president`s advice and consent for all  intents and purposes doesn`t mean anything, so don`t let it stop you.  Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, thank you for your time tonight.

SCHATZ: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Next, the President is pulling out all the stops to undermine faith  in our elections. Today, he promised to sue to try to keep people from  voting safely. That story next.


HAYES: Like many other states that are trying to responsibly guarantee  people`s right to vote during a pandemic, lawmakers in Nevada yesterday  passed a bill to mail ballots to all active voters in the state which the  governor is expected to sign so that everyone can vote by mail if they want  to. 

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump immediately lost his mind over it. Now, a  lot of what he said is nonsense, but here`s what he tweeted. "In an illegal  late-night coup -- by the way, it`s like 11:40 in the morning -- Nevada`s  clubhouse governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state.  Post Office could never handle the traffic of mail-in votes without  preparation. Using COVID to steal the state. See you in court."

There`s a lot going on here. The clubhouse governor is kind of funny  because Trump is on the golf course all the time. One thing is the idea  that if too many people vote, right, like if everyone can vote safely, the  Republicans are going to lose, which is a theme of Trump and itself a kind  of incredible admission. 

But the thing is, there`s actually no evidence that mail-in voting  participation favors one party or the other, just like there`s no evidence  there`s anything wrong with mail-in voting. It appears that Trump just  doesn`t want more people voting because he thinks more people voting is bad  for him, which is not a crazy way to think. And so, he`s actually trying to  convince us that it was a coup or stealing the election if a state tries to  make sure everyone can vote.

There`s also the extremely dangerous nefarious attempt right in front of  our faces to use every mechanism possible, including lawsuits to cut people  off when they`re exercising their right to vote. It`s an assault on our  democracy that Barack Obama directly referenced at John Lewis` funeral last  week.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even as we sit here,  there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people  from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and  students with restrictive I.D. laws and attacking our voting rights with  surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an  election that`s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don`t  get sick.


HAYES: The Postal Service as a present note is a key part of this.  Remember, as we`ve been covering on this show, Trump`s hand-picked  postmaster general, a wealthy Republican donor Louis DeJoy is implementing  changes that slow down mail delivery across the country. We`re seeing it.  We`re hearing from people, everyone is seeing it, and it could undermine  vote by mail efforts. 

Also, this is the same guy who has donated more than $100,000 to a  Republican fund to pay for lawsuits to stop states from deploying vote by  mail efforts. This is what their strategy is. They attack the legitimacy of  our voting system while simultaneously working to undermine it themselves. 

And just imagine what`s going to happen if we don`t know the winner of the  election for a week or more after Election Day, which could well be the  case. We`re going to talk about that right after this.



JOHN CHANCELLOR, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, the time has come. You`ve seen the  map. We`ve looked at the figures and NBC News now makes its projection for  the presidency. Reagan is our projected winner. Ronald Wilson Reagan of  California, a sports announcer, a film actor, the governor of California,  is our projected winner. At 8:15 Eastern standard time on this election  night, we have projected Ronald Reagan the winner.


HAYES: That was NBC`s John Chancellor on election 1980 announcing Ronald  Reagan as a project winner of the President`s election at 8:15 p.m. That is  likely not going to be the case this year. We`ve already seen in this  year`s primaries which happened, you know, every few weeks. Election Night  is just not the same as it used to be. Results are not going to be in  immediately. 

The news and the rest of the country has had to wait longer for all the  ballots to come in. And that is largely due to the explosion of mail-in  voting during the pandemic which of course completely makes sense. But when  you have President Donald Trump trying to subvert the elections legitimacy,  the way the media treats both election night and the aftermath is going to  make an enormous difference. 

In this new column titled "How the media could get the election story  wrong." And New York Times media columnist Ben Smith writes, "at the  highest levels of most news organizations and the big social media  platforms, executives and insiders told me that it simply hasn`t sunk in  how different this year is going to be, and how to prepare audiences for  it." I think that`s true. 

And Ben Smith, media columnist in New York Times joins me now. Why do you  think -- Ben, it`s a great column, by the way. It`s something that I`ve  been thinking about for a while, and my wife actually has been like laser- focused on, and we`ve been talking about just how the media handles that  night. Why do you think big news organizations are not ready? I haven`t  quite grasped what`s going on yet.

BEN SMITH, MEDIA COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, as you may have  noticed, there`s a lot of news going on. And you know, I mean, it`s just,  you know, we are all drinking from a fire hose. And I think you -- folks in  the T.V. business also are dealing with just the crazy logistical  challenges of putting out a television show often remotely. 

And what that means is that a lot of what needs to start happening like  pretty much now, which is saying to your viewers, like hello, viewers, this  election night is going to be election week, is going to be election month.  Don`t sit down at the T.V. expecting results that night really hasn`t  started happening. It`s -- you know, it`s not too late for it to start, but  it should start happening soon.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point. It`s something that we`ve been trying to  bang on about here. And I do think -- like Steve Kornacki has been very  clear about this, obviously, have sort of centerpiece of a lot of our  election night coverage. We`ve done -- we`ve done primer nights. 

You know, Sherrilyn Ifill of the Legal Defense Fund said this thing to me  in a podcast, she said, look, you know, we just had the Baltimore mayoral  race, and like, we just didn`t know for a week, that was fine. The city --  the city didn`t meltdown. Like that -- it just took a little while and then  count the ballots. 

So there`s also this idea of not projecting that something nefarious on  toward, you know, elicit is happening if it takes a little while.

SMITH: Right, and that isn`t how it works now, like we are used to a  certain kind of instant gratification. When the Iowa Democratic Party  screwed up its app and we all had to wait a couple of days, everyone lost  their minds, like it was this incredible breach of democracy. And  obviously, they had in fact messed up, but it didn`t really matter that we  had to wait a couple of days. 

But you know, one of the networks put on a count-up clock, and there`s this  sort of national, like tapping of our feet and conspiracy theorizing,  rather than just saying, I guess they got to count the votes. And it`s  these -- you know, it`s ultimately mostly very well-intentioned senior  citizen volunteers in kind of florescent basements dropping the paper on  the floor and picking it up and try to fit it into the machine in the right  way. You know, I mean, it`s not -- it`s messy, but not complicated.

HAYES: Well, that`s right. And then -- so then -- there are two sort of  poles here that I`ve been thinking about. So, on one side, you don`t want - - you know, with all the mail-in ballots, right, you don`t want anyone  irresponsibly claiming victory, right. So one scenario is you can imagine  like if the president polarizes mail-in voting enough so that his people  come out and vote in person, his -- you know, people are voting for Joe  Biden, mail-in votes, that there`s like this huge shift, and it`s important  for the media not to say like, oh, well, it just, it`s the result of  Election Day. No, we got to wait for all the votes. So that`s one, right?

But the other is, if it`s not that close, you also don`t want to  miscommunicate the statistical probability that the person behind with a  huge amount of votes outstanding is like within reach. Does that make  sense? You know what I mean? Like it seems like there`s errors you can make  in both direction. 

SMITH: Yes. It`s going to be this moment of uncertainty that it`s also --  like I think we all think, and in recent elections, what has happened is  the Republican has gone up on election day and the Democrat has then often  come back and won because they`ve had more mail-in votes. Everybody thinks  that`s what`s going to happen this year because Trump is, as you say, kind  of polarized in the mail-in ballots setting up the situation where maybe he  is ahead on Election Day and then claims fraud as his vote gets, you know,  worn away by voters voting. 

But we don`t actually know. Those votes don`t -- we don`t know that those  votes that are sealed in envelopes are going to go on against Trump. And I  think there`s going to be this rush to project and I think that`s pretty  dangerous.

HAYES: You said that it`s possible, of course, that Joe Biden will win by a  margin so large Florida will be called for him early. Barring that, it`s  tempting to say responsible voices should keep their mouth shut and  switchover for a few days to Floor Is Lava, which is a new Netflix game  show, and give the nice local volunteers time to count the votes. 

That, however, would just cede the conversation to the least responsible  conspiratorial voices. And that brings me to sort of the final question  here, right, which is that even if like the big legacy MSM entities, I  count myself in that, right, and you at the New York Times, are responsible  here, that they do not have a monopoly on information. So the amount of  insane conspiracy theorizing being stoked probably by the president, if  things go a certain way, is going to be enormous.

SMITH: Yes. You know, I mean, I think when you think about you know, what`s  going to hold the dam, I think, you know, Fox News for its many flaws, has  a remarkably fair and careful vote-counting operation, their decision desk.  They also do the polls that drives Trump -- that drives Trump crazy. And I  think the question of whether they are going to be able to hold the line in  the face of pressure from the White House is a really important one.

HAYES: That is such a great, great point. The information Megyn Kelly  walked down the hallway to the decision desk. That happened I think  election night 2012. But yes, they tend to be fairly insulated from the  pressures and will that hold is a really important thing to watch for. 

Ben Smith at "The New York Times", thanks so much.

SMITH: Thank you. 

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts  right now with Nicolle Wallace in for Rachel.