A shocking new report from The New York Times reveals that six months after leaving the White House, Donald Trump`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi Crown Prince. Rep. Liz Cheney, the Vice-Chair of the January 6 Committee, confirmed to anyone who was wondering that, yes, the committee does have evidence that shows Donald Trump knowingly committed a crime. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott made an order to take what used to be normal care for trans kids and classifies that care as child abuse in the eyes of the state. President Joe Biden announces a new rule cracking down on ghost guns.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: If you`re essentially state property, I think we`re missing the point here. What they`re saying is the minute you are pregnant, you are state property. Y`all need to think about that. You need to vote. Maria Teresa Kumar, Cornell Belcher, thank you both.
That is tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now. followed by the great Rachel Maddow who`s back from her break.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN, how to turn four years in the White House into $2 billion. Explosive new reporting from the New York Times on the Saudi government`s massive investment into Trump family.
Then, how to make a criminal referral without really doing it. The latest on the major decisions bearing down on the January 6 Committee.
Plus, stark new warnings from Fiona Hill and others about another Trump term. How the government attack on trans families is already harming actual victims of child abuse. And what President Biden`s latest executive order could mean for gun safety.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You`re going to call this rule I`m about to announce extreme.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. For four years, American foreign policy revolves chiefly around what was most personally politically and financially beneficial to Donald Trump and his family. And look, for all of America`s many sins and foreign affairs through the years, it was a level of institutionalized corruption we`d never quite seen.
Of course, we know the ex-President solicited foreign interference in his reelection from a nation desperate to defend itself, looking to spread disinformation about his political rival, which led to his first impeachment. There are some new revelations about that. We`ll talk about that later in the show.
But the Trump family business and America has been as we`re always intertwined throughout those years. And there is shocking new reporting for The New York Times it reveals what the price for it all was. "Six months after leaving the White House, Donald Trump`s son in law, Jared Kushner, secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi Crown Prince, a close ally during the Trump administration.
Now, the United States has had a complicated but close relationship with Saudi Arabia for many years that started in 1945 with President Franklin Roosevelt`s historic meeting with the first king of Saudi Arabia on the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal. FDR believed, and he was wrong, that the relationship with the world`s largest exporter of oil would be crucial in the post-war era.
And in the interest of gaining access to that affordable supply of oil, the U.S. has looked away from a whole lot of corruption and human rights abuses committed by the authoritarian monarchy. That was just par for the course for many decades. That said, the Trump administration really did take it to a completely new level, elevating Saudi Arabia to essentially America`s most important ally.
Here`s what I mean. Usually, American presidents make their first foreign trip to one of the two nations we border, Canada or Mexico. Occasionally European allies, not Donald Trump, no. His very first stop on his very first foreign trip was, you guessed it, Saudi Arabia, where they quite literally rolled out the red carpet for him.
The ex-President elevated the Saudis to number one ally, and he participated in the ceremonial sword dance awkwardly bopping with the music. He then joined the Saudi King and the Egyptian president in this strange photo op with a glowing orb. Since that trip, the Trump administration continued an incredibly close relationship with the Saudis and honestly basically did whatever they wanted.
I mean, the ex-President withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal to the great praise from the Saudis as well as the Israelis, who had been at odds with Iran for decades. He`s sold Saudi Arabia billions upon billions of dollars- worth of weapons. Now, you may remember when he presented this poster board touting the sales at an Oval Office meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018.
And Trump publicly took Saudi Arabia`s side when they began a strange blockade of a U.S. allied Qatar, a country that keep in mind, host the largest U.S. base in the entire region with American service members there when the whole thing started. At the core of all this was Jared Kushner, the ex-president`s son-in-law and senior adviser who ran the Trump administration`s foreign policy in the Middle East.
At the beginning of the Trump ministration, Kushner developed a close relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the guy who basically runs the country, often referred to by his initials MBS. Jared and Mohammed had regular private conversations that concerned some U.S. officials.
In fact, New York Times reported the two men were on a first name basis calling each other Jared and Mohammed in text messages and phone calls. Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia multiple times making a personal visit to Riyadh in October 2017. David Ignatius reported in a piece from The Washington Post that "the two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4:00 a.m. several nights swapping stories and planning strategy.
And their relationship continued even after -- well, after MBS had a Washington Post columnist murdered for criticizing his reign. You might remember, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was lured under false pretenses to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey where he was killed. His body was dismembered but the bone saw. The CIA concluded that MBS, Jared`s buddy, his texting pall directly ordered that savage murder. But that didn`t seem to disturb Donald Trump or members of his administration who just like shrug their shoulders and moved on. The ex-president was more concerned with his billion dollar arms deal.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will Jamal Khashoggi`s case affect the way you deal with MBS or other Saudis officials?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to see what happens. A lot of work is being done on that and we`re going to have to see what happens. I don`t like stopping massive amounts of money that`s being poured into our country on -- I know, they`re talking about different kinds of sanctions but they`re spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs -- like jobs and others for this country.
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HAYES: Yes, he was real focused on the jobs. Now, two weeks after Khashoggi is murder, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia all smiles as he greeted MBS. Hey, buddy. How you doing? Yes, look at that B- roll, just two chaps laughing it up. At the end of the visit, Pompeo announced that the U.S. was giving Saudi Arabia a few more days to conduct their investigation to Khashoggi disappearance. I mean, a tough investigation, right? I mean, who did it?
The Trump ministration that basically just dropped the issue. Jared Kushner kept up his bromance with MBS, the guy who apparently ordered the murder, working relationship practically up to his last day in the White House. I do wonder if they ever texted or talked about it. In fact, on January 6, Kushner was on his way home from another trip to Saudi Arabia.
Just think about that for a second. OK, January 6. Why was he in Saudi Arabia two weeks before the end of the Trump presidency? Was he doing official foreign policy up to the last minute just to make sure those deals stuck? Or another plausible explanation Jared Kushner was using the connections he fostered as an emissary for the American government in the Middle East, which he only got because of who he married, for his own personal financial connections in, you know, the future two weeks later.
Lo and behold, it worked. Because we`re now learning that six months after that visit, the Saudis invested $2 billion with a B dollars in Kushner`s new private equity firm. Man, what an entrepreneur. Now, you can say, well, he`s a well-connected businessman with a very famous name. You know, one of those legacy cases that money just dumps on the head of. That`s just how things work.
But I mean, the other thing you got to say here is Jared Kushner again, got a name, his daddy made a lot of money, not a very good businessman. In fact, a panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited many concerns about the proposed deal, including the experience of the funds management, that would be Jared, the possibility that kingdom would be responsible for the bulk of the investment and risk. They found the fledgling firms operations to be, and I`m quoting here, unsatisfactory in all aspects. Is that bad? And objected to a proposed asset management fee that "seems excessive."
But guess what? Muhammad, Jared`s buddy, the dude he texts with, the guy that apparently ordered the murder of a dissident because he wrote columns about democracy, that guy, Crown Prince, MBS, Jared`s homie overruled them for his old buddy Jared. Isn`t that a nice story of friendship? The things you do for your bros?
Essentially, the Trump administration sold U.S. foreign policy, Jamal Khashoggi`s life, and American stated principles of liberty, democracy, and freedom of the press for what $2 billion bucks that went straight into Jared Kushner`s pocket.
Investigative Reporter David Kirkpatrick and Correspondent Kate Kelly are the two behind that excellent reporting of the New York Times. And they join me now. And it is really excellent reporting. Kate, maybe I`ll start with you. And I think part of what really makes this story from a reporting standpoint is access to the red flags of the panel that`s looking at these investments for the sovereign wealth fund run by MBS. Give us some context for what that panel is and what their warnings were about this investment.
KATE KELLY, CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Sure. And I want to give a tip of the hat to David who was deeply involved in getting a hold of those. But essentially, there was this board investment committee, Chris, that was tasked with looking in a great amount of detail at the potential investments.
In this case, this was consider Part of the international investments division of the public investment fund. They have six different areas of focus. And the staff did some work on reviewing the pitch that Jared had given them, and considered the fee structure, the investment goals, which were vague at the time. In fact, we learned that there were a number of case studies presented, but they were mostly real estate. Although now we understand the fund`s objectives may be broader, it`s still not totally clear.
At the time they looked at that. They looked at the fee structure. They looked at Kushner`s experience, which as you know is primarily real estate investing for his family company with one particularly embarrassing black eye, which was top ticking the New York State -- the New York City Real Estate market with 666 Fifth Avenue right before the recession hit.
KELLY: And they said, this due diligence is unsatisfactory in all aspects. Due diligence, meaning the work they do to review a potential investment. So, all around the members of this investment committee, which include Andrew Liveris, who was the former CEO and chairman of Dow Chemical Company in the U.S. and others with quite remarkable backgrounds and CVs in Saudi with international degrees and experiences as well said, you know, we see a number of red flags here.
HAYES: Yes. And I -- the other part of this is astounding, right? I mean, you can zoom back and say, well, look, this is a fund and they`re taking all kinds of investments. You know, maybe they`ve got some Australian pension funds that have signed up, and they`ve got whatever they`ve got. You know, the -- in the most recent public filings, David, with the Securities Exchange Commission, the firm reported its main fund had $2.5 billion under management, almost entirely for investors based overseas. Most of that appears to be the $2 billion from Saudi Arabia. Like, this investment is basically the anchor investment for this new enterprise, right?
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, for sure, absolutely. They will acknowledge the anchor investment. What you`re saying is more than that. Right now, it`s not just the anchor investment, it`s virtually the only investment. At this point -- I mean, they`re certainly looking for other investors. But at this point, you have to say, 80 percent of their money comes from Saudi Arabia. Their job is primarily managing Saudi money.
HAYES: Yes. And, you know, there`s another great sort of approach you guys taking the pieces sort of think about apples to apples, right? Because, look, there`s this kind of universe of people that move through government and business, then they run -- raise money from funds. And there`s a kind of arguably soft corruption with that, right? People kind of know each other. You could call it networking. You could call soft corruption.
But in this case, you`ve got Mnuchin, the former Treasury Secretary, also launching a fund who`s a person as you guys know, with like a real record in that universe. And I`ll read from your reporting here, Kate. The Saudi fund agreed to invest twice as much a more generous turns with Kushner than it did about the same time with former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, also starting a new fund, even though Mr. Mnuchin had a record as a successful investor before entering government, the document show.
It`s hard to look at that and not imagine that the personal relationship Kushner had cultivated with MBS has something to do here.
KELLY: Right? I mean, I think when you look at those two sets of investments and the management fees that came with them side by side, it`s hard not to feel like political considerations or soft power didn`t play a role here, right? So, you look at Steven Mnuchin, who, as you said, strong investment track record, partner at Goldman Sachs, ran the mortgage desk bear, essentially resurrected a failing bank in the depths of the financial crisis, although there were major ramifications for the banks, mortgage holders, but for the investors, including him, it was very successful, relatively successful random investing haul in Hollywood movies, a lot of which people would have seen. Yet he gets half the money, and has to agree to an even lower management fee in order to manage and invest the Saudi money. Jared gets twice as much money and a higher management fee, even though the due diligence is unsatisfactory,
HAYES: Which David, they flag the management fee issue, again, in that -- in those -- in those documents. And they also flag -- look, Jared Kushner, the only thing he`s ever done is essentially be an heir. I mean, like he is -- he was born in a rich family. And then he`s sort of, you know, done stuff in the family business. But that`s it. There`s no like resume there other than managing the family money with the biggest investment he ever did being like a pretty notable and infamous problem.
KIRKPATRICK: Well, you could certainly say he had experience in commercial real estate. I mean, you could definitely say he had a lot of experience in commercial real estate. Private equity is a new business to him. So, this is a totally novel venture that they`re taking a gamble on. And as they put it, they`re sort of betting on his awareness of international geopolitical systems and what`s going on around the world.
HAYES: Yes. Well, we`ll see how the bet pays off. I`m not sure that it matters that much in the end to Mohammed Bin Salman, which is part of the, I think, implied situation here. David Kirkpatrick and Kate Kelly who did some great reporting, thank you both.
This weekend, Congresswoman Liz Cheney confirmed the January 6 Committee has enough evidence to prove that Donald Trump did knowingly commit crimes. No equivocations, no addendums, they say they have the evidence full stop.
Now, the question of a criminal referral still up in the air along with some other crucial decisions the committee needs to make as the investigation reaches its final phase. So, for those GOP holdouts to Donald Trump`s testimony, what needs to be wrapped up? That`s next?
HAYES: Over the weekend, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the Vice- Chair of the January 6 Committee confirmed to anyone who was wondering that, yes, the committee does have evidence that shows Donald Trump knowingly committed a crime.
JAKE TAPPER, ANCHOR, CNN: Do you have enough evidence to refer Trump for criminal charges?
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Well, we have not made a decision about referrals on the committee. I think that it is absolutely the case. It`s absolutely clear that what President Trump was doing, what a number of people around him were doing, that they knew it was unlawful, they did it anyway. I think you certainly saw that in the decision that was issued by Judge Carter a few weeks ago where he concluded that it was more likely than not that the President United States was engaged in criminal activity.
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HAYES: Now, this comes as Politico`s Nicholas Wu has been reporting on the crucial decisions the January 6 Committee faces as it nears the end of its investigation, including how and when it will call the twice impeached Former President Donald Trump to testify. "The panel members view Trump as the singular cause of the violence that occurred on January 6. There`s little expectation Trump will cooperate with the committee which he`s derided for months. Whether the panel requests that Trump appear voluntarily or take a more confrontational approach is still unclear."
Nicholas Wu is a congressional reporter for Politico and one of the reporters on that piece and he joins me now. Nicholas, let`s start with that first question about Trump`s testimony. Again, we have -- we have been around. I have been in a waiting for Gadeau-like (PH) fashion been covering, like Will Trump have to testify, you know, multiple times? What is the calculation inside the committee on this question?
NICHOLAS WU, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: The committee is weighing whether to call Trump -- mostly whether it`ll be voluntarily or under subpoena. The chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, has told reporters -- told CNN specifically that he believes that if they were to call Trump, they would do so voluntarily, mostly because they don`t think that he would comply with a subpoena.
As we wrote, Trump has derided the Select Committee for months. He`s tried to tell his allies to avoid cooperating with the committee. And with the limited amount of time left in this investigation, it might not be worth fighting that battle to get the former president to testify.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, my reading between the lines is they understand they`re not going to get his testimony and probably don`t need it in some ways. And it`s just a question of how to proceed from that assumption. Is that a fair reading?
WU: That`s a very fair reading of the committee members view this all. All along, they`ve banked on not being able to get all the testimony they need, not being able to talk to everyone. And so, they`re trying to get around that and other ways by talking to other people who can fill in the gaps and getting other documents that can help tell this whole story.
We`ve seen this in the way that they`ve gotten Mark Meadows` text messages, all these emails from John Eastman, talking to people that were in and around the Oval Office on January 6, to really try to get a handle on what exactly was going through the President`s mind on January 6, and trying to tell the story in a way and fill in all the gaps in our understanding of that attack.
You read about some of the to-do list items. We have a list of them. Pence`s last January 6 call with Trump, talk about that and what loop needs to be closed there?
WU: That call is kind of a black box and our understanding of this whole attack. And Pence has told his top aides and we`ve seen this come out in documents from the select committee that Pence didn`t want to reveal his own understanding of that call. He didn`t want to -- you know, it`s something that he kept his private conversations with the president pretty close.
Now, we`ve seen some other reporting on what Trump told the vice president, you know, deriding him, using all manner of choice language to try to lean on him to overturn the election results. But one thing we really don`t know is what did the Vice President say in response? How did exactly did you resist this pressure from the former president to overturn the election? And this is a key area of inquiry. HAYES: On the question of criminal referrals, there`s been some interesting reporting on this about division perhaps within there. I mean, it does seem clear to me -- and again, we just play the list shaming sound. I think if you took us sort of, I don`t know, anonymous poll, right, of the committee, they all think he committed a crime fairly clearly. The question is what to do with that information? What is your reporting suggest?
WU: Our reporting tells us and committee members have told me that they don`t necessarily see a criminal referral as the most productive thing they can do to show that the President committed a crime. As they see it, they`ve already made it clear in court filings. They have this ruling from a federal judge outlining how the President committed crimes in his efforts to overturn the election and obstruct the proceedings of Congress on January 6.
And so, to make a referral, as they see it, not only wouldn`t necessarily do anything, it doesn`t have any particular bearing for the committee to make a referral. But it could, in fact, be counterproductive because if the Justice Department were to act based off of this referral from the committee, this could be perceived as political, as partisan, something that the Justice Department under Merrick Garland has really tried to avoid the appearance of.
HAYES: Yes, it`s interesting. I mean, I think there`s two ways to think about that, right? It`s one in the short term, like, if you think that it`s important he`d be indicted and a referral will make that less likely in Merrick Garland`s Department of Justice, that`s one calculation. But I guess I would just say to any of the members that committee that are watching right now, you can`t take the politics out of politics.
Like, the whole darn things political up and down. So, there`s no like, celestial referee who`s going to come down and be like, you guys are right. All right, Nicholas Wu, great reporting on this. Thank you very much.
Coming up, the warnings from Trump era advisors of the dangers of his potential reelection as Fiona Hill compares Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin. Plus, Congressman Joe Neguse and the new White House plan to regulate so- called ghost guns. What that means, ahead.
FIONA HILL, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE AND RUSSIA, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: I respect the work that this Congress does and carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, including this inquiry. And I`m here to help you to the best of my ability. If the President or anyone else impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that`s more than worthy of your attention. But we must not let domestic politics stop us from defending ourselves against the foreign powers who truly wishes harm.
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HAYES: That was Fiona Hill testifying during the first Trump impeachment trial in 2019. Hill, of course, an expert on Russian and European Affairs who has advised several U.S. presidents going back to George W. Bush, and then advising Barack Obama, and then Donald Trump. She was appointed in 2017 to the National Security Council. She was the go-to person for Russian relations.
She`s the main voice in a new piece by contributing writer Robert Draper for the New York Times Magazine where she warns about the dangers of a second Trump term. "Hill was at her desk on the more -- home -- morning of January 6, 2021 writing her memoir when a journalist friend she first met in Russia called. The friend told her to turn on the television. Once she did so, a burst of horrific clarity overtook her. I saw the threat, she told me, the thread connecting the Zelenskyy phone call to January 6. And I remember how in 2020 Putin and change Russia`s Constitution to allow him to stay in power longer. This was Trump pulling a Putin."
The author of that piece, Robert Draper, joins me now. Robert, it`s a great piece of work. And I think Hill is one of the most striking figures in this. But the general -- the general theme of it is you talk to people that worked closely for Trump and around Trump who are just deathly terrified about what it would mean for American democracy and democracy around the world were he to be reelected?
ROBERT DRAPER, WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: Sure, yes, Chris. I mean, they`re -- you know, their view was that we dodged something of a bullet after 2020, but also emerged after January 6 a weakened nation. Vladimir Putin and other adversaries of ours have taken notice of that.
And the concern that Fiona Hill and others describe to me about the prospect of Trump winning in 2024 is that, first of all, the guardrails would be off, right? I mean, this is a guy who would -- who would then be unbound, who will survive two impeachments, who will apparently be unmarred by all of his attempts to overthrow the 2020 election.
We would expect, you know, more of the same in terms of how he has this continuing affinity for strongman, how he tends to alienate our allies. But as one senior official who got caught up in the Ukraine saga had mentioned to me, the real -- the real danger would be disastrous this would be for young democracies, who not only would know that a President Trump would not have their back, but also would not be able to point to the United States and say, you know, here to their citizens is a model for what democracy should look like.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, I think it`s funny. I have such long conflicted views about sort of thinking about big sort of ideological battles or civilizational conflicts, right, across the world In the last 20 years, particularly because that discourse has so often in American domestic contexts been marshaled to just awful ends, right, like the war on terror and what happened with Iraq.
But it does seem to me that in this moment with the Russian invasion, with Ukraine, this sort of very high resolution question about the fate of liberal democracy in this world is really at this kind of crossroads. And it just comes through in this piece how much these people think this and what it would mean to have Trump back in office.
Hill saying to you, we`ve been the gold standard of democratic elections. All that will be rolled back if Trump returns to power after claiming the only way you could ever lose if someone steals it from him. It will be more than diplomatic shock. I think it would mean the total loss of America`s leadership position in the world arena, that it would be a bloated democracy around the world.
DRAPER: Yes. And you know, I`ve been tossing around in my mind something that was sent to me by Trump`s former National Security Adviser John Bolton. I asked him if he thought that Trump had displayed authoritarian tendencies. And Bolton gave kind of a flip answer. He says he`s not smart enough to be an authoritarian.
And I`m not really sure if we should be comforted by that, you know. That a man like Trump, who is prone to self-emulation, nonetheless, came as close as he did to overturning the results of the 2020 election, and remains so popular in the Republican Party as a result. That Trump may not have done it right, you know, from an authoritarian standpoint, but has essentially provided a playbook for a smarter version of Trump to do that. It`s a kind of disquieting notion, not one that I think we should take comfort in.
HAYES: Do you think -- you have been someone who reports on conservative Republican politics for many years, and I follow your excellent reporting on that topic? I do -- I do think there`s a split in the coalition about Russia and Ukraine. I do think that there`s a sort of small faction that sort of sees an ally in Vladimir Putin, both a sort of ideological model, but also a kind of anti-establishment hatred of, you know, NATO in the -- in the West, in these decadent liberal democracies, and also in a, you know, admiration for an authoritarian.
But it does strike me as the -- as a minority, even among the grassroots Republicans. And I wonder how much you think that matters, whether I`m diagnosing that correctly, and what it means to the politics inside the Republican Party right now?
DRAPER: Well, sure. I mean, I think, Chris, that amongst a sizable portion of the Republican base, there are a group of voters who are very prone to disinformation, prone up to the view that Putin is not as bad as he`s cracked up to be? I mean, I think for many sort of objective view, any expert or semi-expert can look at Putin and see that he regards us in adversarial terms. He does not wish us will.
But there are certainly Republican voters and for that matter, elected Republican officials who think come on, you know, the guy -- there`s a lot about him to be admired. I mean, we liked the fact that he professes conservative Christian values in a lot of ways, bullies around gay people, he`s harsh on terrorists, etcetera.
I mean, it`s this -- you know, there is a kind of mythology to Vladimir Putin that, frankly, is cartoonish and does not capture some of the more concerning nuances of him that yes, certain members of the Republican Party and their constituents have embraced.
HAYES: All right, Robert Draper, that piece is in New York Times Magazine. It`s really, really an eye opening read. Fiona Hill is just a truly, truly compelling and fascinating figure. Hearing her sort of talk at length is great. Thanks a lot, Robert.
DRAPER: My pleasure.
HAYES: Coming up, the anti-trans bill in Texas now has families planning to flee the state. And the investigator sent to enforce the law or resigning in protest. That story is next.
HAYES: We`ve been talking quite a bit on the show about the toxic and insidious nature of recent right wing rhetoric which paints Democrats liberals as sympathetic to child abusers or even as child abusers themselves without any evidence. Aside from how degrading that is in the political discourse, it`s actually just tangibly dangerous for children or actual victims of child abuse.
And here`s the most recent case study of what that looks like on the ground. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has found it helps him politically to be cruel to transgender children to deny their very existence. And so, the recent order he sent state officials is already hurting these children, their families and care providers.
This order takes what used to be normal care for trans kids and classifies that care as child abuse in the eyes of the state. And Abbott has instructed licensed professionals like doctors and teachers to report claims of trans children receiving transition care, again, a health care decision being made within a family by the parents of the kid and the state coming in and reporting it and ratting it out, adding that existing laws contain criminal penalties for not doing so.
And this in turn is forcing state employees work in family protective services to investigate these families for child abuse, OK, showing up at people`s homes, again, agents of the state under a Republican governor, they`re showing up people`s homes for the crime of allowing their child to receive crucial medical treatment under supervision of a doctor.
And while this barbaric order is just a few months old, Governor Abbott has been trying to push it for nearly a year. But by his own admission, he needed to develop a workaround because his plan was too extreme to pass the Republican-controlled Texas house. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DAVIS, RADIO HOST: Curiously absent was a notion of a law to make it illegal to carve up our kids or pump them full of hormones in order to change their sex when they are still minors. Why was it that in the call?
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Because we have another solution that will address that problem that will be announced shortly. I know you would like me to announce it on your show and maybe --
DAVIS: I would. That would be good.
ABBOTT: But not today. But the solution should be announced within the next week. I`ll be candid with you. I`ll tell you what everybody knows and that is the chances of that passing during the session in the House of Representatives was nil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Right. So, the House Republicans in Texas, OK, we`re not anti-trans enough for Abbott and his right wing talk show host buddy to sic the state on parents providing health care for the kids. Now, as NBC News reports today, families of trans children are now fleeing the state so their kids continue to receive treatment.
And it`s not just families who are fleeing either. The Texas Tribune is out with a great new report today, horrifying as it is, outlining how child protective service workers in Texas are quitting in mass to avoid complying with the order. One such employee, the man named Morgan Davis, who himself is trans.
At first, Davis thought it might be reassuring to the terrified families to see a trans man running the investigation. But after his first visit, he realized that was not the case. The family`s lawyer didn`t see it that way. She said, I know your intentions are good, but by walking in that door as a representative of the state, you`re saying in a sense that you condone this. You agree with this, Davis said. It hit me like a thunderbolt. It`s true, he said. By me being there for even a split second, a child could think they`ve done something wrong.
Morgan Davis quit shortly after that encounter, as have half a dozen others according to the Texas Tribune reporting. One employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they felt conflicted. On the one hand, they could not enforce a moral ruling and good conscience, but on the other hand, a mass exodus of state employees investigating legitimate child abuse only hurts victims.
Things already slipping through the cracks. We will see investigations that get closed or intervention could have occurred and children will die in Texas. That is the gross irony here as Republicans tried to score very cheap political points by painting their enemies as child abusers and smearing trans adults as trying to groom or indoctrinate children. They are chasing out the people whose actual job day in day out every time when they wake up in the morning and go to work is to actually protect children and investigate abusers. Greg Abbott`s order is child abuse.
HAYES: In the space of just 16 hours on Sunday, there are at least three mass shootings across the country. The first was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where at least two people were killed and 10 injured when gunfire broke out in a nightclub just before 1:30 in the morning. The next was 30 minutes later, a shooting at a private party in Elgin Illinois. Two people have died so far. Four others are injured.
Later that afternoon, two men were killed, five other people were injured after shooting in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles. It was just a week ago that six people were killed, 12 were injured in a mass shooting in Sacramento, California.
Today, President Joe Biden held an event at the White House to announce some action on guns, new restriction on so-called ghost guns. These are not necessarily a factor in those mass shootings I just mentioned. Ghost guns are weapons that come in kits to be assembled at home or 3d printed. They have no serial numbers though, so they are nearly untraceable. And it was this kind of gun that was actually used to kill two students at Saugus High School in California back in 2019.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The United States Department of Justice is making it illegal for a business to manufacture one of these kits without a serial number, illegal. It`s illegal for a licensed gun dealer to sell them without a background check. Starting today, weapons like the one used at Saugus High School and the ambush deputies with us -- that are here with us today are being treated like the deadly firearms they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In some ways, this new action kind of reminds me of the 2019 ban on bump stocks. Remember that? All the other piecemeal firearm regulation that`s come from the federal government under Democratic presidents in recent years. It does represent some movement on government regulation. But in the end, it`s the regular old non-3D printed, non-ghost guns that are the far, far, far larger problem. In the last two years alone, more than 40 million of them were sold in the United States.
Congressman Joe Neguse is a Democrat of Colorado. He serves as the vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and he joins me now. Congressman, first, your reaction to the federal action and Executive Order announced at the White House today.
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): Well, it`s good to be with you, Chris. Look, I`m grateful that the President took the important steps that he announced today with respect to the regulation on ghost guns, the finalization of that rule, and then, of course, the announcement regarding a permanent director for ATF, they are important steps.
I think that clearly, the ghost gun regulation will certainly save lives. But as you said, the regulation is not a panacea to the epidemic of gun violence that we`re experiencing across the United States. At the end of the day, while there are other steps I think the administration can take, there are limits under -- you know, in terms of the President`s executive authority, and fundamentally, Congress has to step up and begin legislating in this sphere.
They have deterred for the better part of the last 22 years, certainly as long as I can remember, and we see the consequences of that inaction every day in the mass shootings that you just recounted in community after community, including, as you well know, Chris, in my community in Boulder, Colorado a year ago where we lost 10 precious lives, members of our community.
Colorado has really been an epicenter for gun violence and mass shootings tragically for the last two decades. And certainly, my constituents are demanding that Congress finally muster the political will to do something about it.
HAYES: Yes, I will say I did not realize until this event today in fact that this sort of glaring loophole of the serial numbers on these kits which just seems like an obvious thing you should close. Like, you know, like every car has a serial number for a reason, right? Every -- like, you need to be able to trace it. Every washing machine has a serial number. Like, you`d need to be able to trace these thing.
So, I mean, this sort of nitty-gritty here which is that the ban -- that you can`t manufacture un-serialized buy build shoot kits that individuals can buy online or a store without a background check. Those kits qualify as firearms Under the Gun Control Act, commercial manufacturers of such kits must therefore become licensed, include serial numbers, requires federally licensed dealers and gunsmiths taking any unfit serialized firearm into inventory to serialize that weapon.
So, I think that seems like so obviously smart even though NRA calls it extreme. But I want to talk about these mass shootings and gun violence in general, which is part of a broader trend of violence, right? Gun violence, specifically. We`ve seen, you know, huge spike in 2020 of mass shootings happening in the U.S. That -- 2020 Is that green number there. 2021 also very high. That goes with other trends, right? Post pandemic and in the midst of pandemic increases interpersonal violence, homicide, non-gun violence. What is your -- as a legislator who`s thinking about this, like, what`s your theory of what`s happening here?
NEGUSE: Well, a couple things I`d say, Chris. First and foremost, with respect to the regulation on ghost guns, I couldn`t agree with you more. Obviously, no one can make a cogent argument in opposition to that regulation. It is a basic common sense step that we ought to take. And I`m grateful that the Department of Justice is taking that step under the leadership of Attorney General Garland.
Look, with respect to the broader trend lines in terms of the mass shootings that are happening in our community, in our communities across the country over the course of the last two years since the onset of the pandemic, obviously, there are a wide variety of different theories that social scientists and academics and researchers have offered, including folks at the CDC.
From my perspective, it is primarily a function of the inability for the federal government to properly regulate firearms. You have weapons of war in our communities that are doing real damage. And the most frustrating part from my perspective is that the regulations that we`re talking about implementing are common sense regulations that are supported by the vast majority of American people.
You`ve heard the statistics before. 90 percent of the American public support expanded background checks. That includes a lot of gun owners. It includes a lot of Republicans. And yet, we have a United States Senate that, as I said, just won`t muster the political will to get it done.
So, from my perspective, just as a legislator, the most important thing we can do, I think, is give our regulatory and enforcement agencies, the ATF, the Department of Justice, local prosecutors the tools that they need to combat gun trafficking in our communities and enhance the regulations on the books so that we can protect our communities and save more lives.
HAYES: But they`re also seems -- just to follow up on that, right. We`re showing some of the polling, I think it was about a year ago, although I imagine that those trend lines have stayed the same. You know, part of the conundrum here is the more sort of low hanging fruit common sense the issue is, the more support you can get for it. But then, also the less it`s doing about the problem, right? Because I mean, the fundamental thing is there are just a shocking number of guns in America.
There`s -- it`s the most gun society in the in the OECD, in the Western world. It`s in the top five per capita, I think, in you know, of all the entire world. I mean, Iraq, I think for a while, Yemen, the U.S. Like it`s, you know, really taking a bite out of that requires more than anything that`s even being politically discussed. Do you agree?
NEGUSE: I agree. I think you`re right, Chris. Look, at the end of the day, there isn`t a single solitary solution that`s going to solve the epidemic of gun violence that we see across the country. And I think it`s going to take a multi-pronged approach. Some of it clearly is going to be gun violence prevention legislation along the lines of what I`ve talked about. Some of it is also going to be legislation around mental health and the mental health crisis that we have in the United States.
Some of it also is going to include workplace safety measures, right? Measures to try to adopt preventative security tactics and a wide variety of best practices that we can deploy in places of public accommodation and places of employment.
Actually, tomorrow myself, along with a group of colleagues who represent communities that have been besieged by gun violence, Veronica Escobar in El Paso, Texas and Lucy McBath in Georgia are introducing a package of legislation aimed at precisely that. It`s going to take a whole of government approach. I think that is the commitment that we`re going to have to bring to solving this problem.
HAYES: All right, Congressman, Joe Neguse, always a pleasure to have you, sir. Thank you very much.
That is ALL IN on this Monday night. And you`re thinking, Chris got out a little early. It`s true. Because it`s time, drumroll, for "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" hosted by the only -- one and only Rachel Maddow. Welcome back Rachel at 8:59:48. How about that? How do you like them apples?