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.
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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.
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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."
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.
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REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): To your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Yes.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END