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Transcript: All in with Chris Hayes, 4/12/22

Guests: Michael Alcazar, Bill de Blasio, Kris Brown, Rebecca Fischer, Greg Bluestein, Michelle Goldberg


At least 10 shot, several more injured after a man put on a gas mask, set off a smoke canister, and open fire on a subway train during morning rush hour. The NYPD released a name and photo of a person of interest, 62-year-old Frank James, with addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia. Former President Trump-endorsed candidate Herschel Walker who`s running against Sen. Warnock skipped the first major debate in the Republican primary. Trump endorses at least five candidates that are liked to QAnon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majority of veteran suicides are from guns. I store my weapons securely not only for myself but for my family. My service never stops.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." Stick around for much more on the breaking news out of Brooklyn. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. There was a mass shooting here in the New York City subway today. 10 people were shot, 13 more injured, but thankfully at this point, remarkably, none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Just moments ago, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell provided an update about the investigation.


KEECHANT SEWELL, COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: A man who was traveling on a Manhattan-bound end train, opened two canisters that dispense smoke throughout the subway car. He then shot multiple passengers as the train pulled into the 36th Street Station in Sunset Park.

As detectives process the crime scene, they recovered a nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun, extended magazines, and the hatchet. Also found is a liquid we believe to be gasoline and a bag containing consumer-grade fireworks and a hobby fuse.

About an hour ago, detectives located a U-Haul van in Brooklyn that we believe is connected to the suspect. At this time, we still do not know the suspects motivation. Clearly, this individual boarded the train and was intent on violence. We do have a person of interest in this investigation. But we need the public assistance with additional information.


HAYES: So, the person of interest as it developed in just the last 10 or 15 minutes or so, the NYPD releasing a name and photo of that person. He is 62-year-old Frank James with addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia. Officials believe he is the man who rented that U-Haul van you heard the commissioner mentioned. They are offering a reward of $50,000 for information about his whereabouts.

As the commissioner said, the shooting happened during rush hour this morning in the Sunset Park neighborhood in southwest Brooklyn, residential, diverse, thriving area, large Asian and Hispanic populations. The station where it happened, 36 Street Station is a major hub in the neighborhood where a number of trains the N, R, and D lines meet and continue into Manhattan in that morning commute.

On an average weekday, about 9000 people pass for that subway stop. Shortly before 8:30 a.m., as a Manhattan-bound N train pulled into the station, a man put on a gas mask, released two smoke canisters in the second subway car, and opened fire. This was the scene from inside that car.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). Wait, wait, because everybody is crazy now.


HAYES: Now, you can see there in that remarkable scene, people helping each other, begging for help, people attending to each other. There was no stampede. As it was happening, this was the scene in the next car over. You can see the passengers gathering end of the car, right. They`re moving as far away as possible as they can get from the danger. The smoke is filling. You can see it through that window there at the end is filling in, invisible through the window at the far end. You can hear several loud banging noises as the train pulls into the station.

Now, when the train came to a stop at 36th Street, the doors opened, smoke came pouring out along with terrified riders and injured victims.



HAYES: You can see individuals limping there in the back, others attending and helping them. Shortly after the passengers who had not -- or were not able to leave the station, fled onto another train that happened to be across the platform. And in sort of very quick thinking move, that R train quickly pulled away carrying them to safety at the next stop.

That conductor understanding apparently what was necessary in the moment. People streaming across the platform and that train leaving the station. A young woman who was on the train where the shooting took place but in another car described how she learned what had happened.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was coming up the train and I saw a lot of smoke and I smelled it. It was a really strong smell. It was nothing like fire. It was a lot different than what the smell of fire is. And I saw that maybe a 16-year-old kid, he was sitting on the steps and come out at the train station and he had a bullet in his knee. I was speechless as I am now. It`s a very scary sight to see. He looked very scared. And as I stood out the train station, two more injured victims came up the train station wounded on their knees and on their thighs.


HAYES: Now, a broadcast engineer for the local fantastic NPR station here, WNYC, named Juliana Fonda was also a passenger on that same train riding on one of the cars in front of where the shooting occurred. She knew something was wrong as passengers desperately tried to escape into her car.


JULIANA FONDA, NPR BROADCAST ENGINEER, WNYC: The reaction of the passengers was terrifying because they were trying to get into our car away from something that was happening in the back of the train. None of us in the front of the train knew what was going on. But people were pounding and looking behind them, running and trying to get onto the train.

The door locked between cars and the people behind us, there was a lot of loud pops, and there was smoke in the other car. And people were trying to get in and they couldn`t. They were pounding on the door to get into our car.


HAYES: Now, the gunman escaped and still remains at large at this hour. Police describe him as a dark-skinned male, heavyset, wearing gray sweatshirt and an orange construction vest, at least at the time this incident happened. They believe he acted alone. He did leave some clues behind, apparently. Officials recovered a nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun from the scene, as you heard the commissioner describe, which they believe may have jammed during the attack along with extended magazines, as well as a hatchet.

They also believe he left this bag behind containing smoke canisters and fireworks. With the search to the gunman appear to be complicated by a malfunctioning camera system for subway station, New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed the security camera there which may have been able to record the scene and the suspect was not working.

But now, they have a personal interest along with the name and photo. Officials obviously hoping this will come to a swift resolution.

Juliana Fonda is the WNYC broadcast engineer who you heard from that video. She was on the subway this morning, one car over from the shooting, and she joins me now. Juliana, first of all, thank you for making time. And how are you doing?

FONDA: I`m good. It`s a crazy day. I`ve been through a lot in New York but this was a little nuts for me.

HAYES: So, describe to me -- this is -- is this your normal morning commute train?

FONDA: Morning commute train, totally normal. I`ve take it every single day. I`m a broadcast engineer, so we are essential. We`ve been through the pandemic. I`ve never had a problem. Today was one of the first times I`ve seen something like this. It was -- it was insane because you never know what happens on a train and you`re always worried.

When people start flooding into your car, you`re never sure what`s going to happen.

HAYES: Yes, there`s a very -- whenever someone starts flooding in your car, you know something is afoot, obviously. You -- how crowded was this train that you were on?

FONDA: We were not that crowded because we were a train right after -- literally two minutes after a previous train, which was what happened why we were stopped in the tunnel when the smoke -- I guess, they`re grenades, went off and we weren`t moving. Everybody flooded into our car because they couldn`t get out and the train was stopped because the conductor had a red light. So, our train --

HAYES: So, the train is not moving --

FONDA: No, it wasn`t --

HAYES: The train is not moving when this is all happening?

FONDA: No, it wasn`t moving. And everybody flooded into our car because we had that crowded train in front of us. And the conductor basically said, you have a red -- we have a red light, I can`t go. And then finally it turned green and everybody -- we got -- it pulled into 36th Street. And the video of the smoke and the pops was coming right as we`re pulling into 36 Street. The smoke we saw were before 36th Street.

HAYES: Were people able to make it through that door? I mean, did you realize what was happening as people started streaming in?

FONDA: No, we had no idea what was going on. I was asking -- you know, working in news, I asked people what is going on, where -- you know, what is happening, and some people said fire, then another person said a gun. And that`s when you can see the smoke and here the pumps behind us as they came running in.

HAYES: And that door locked between the trains. Is that right?

FONDA: I believe so. It seemed like people were pounding to get in. I don`t know how it locked. They -- there were a lot of people rushing in but I couldn`t -- I don`t know how they locked.

HAYES: And then what happened? In the next stop, everyone pours off. I mean, it must have been a scene of utter panic at that point. What were you thinking yourself about what your -- what your move was there?


FONDA: I was a little nervous and I -- as we pulled in, there was an R train waiting for us and we tried to get across. I didn`t quite understand what`s going on, but as you got onto the platform, you could see the smoke and see people that had obviously been injured. So, we all rushed onto the R train. There were a lot of people trying to stuff in.

And finally, the R train conductor left and we ended up at 25th Street which was the next local stop, and that`s where we stayed. And they evacuated the train so they can get some of the people who had been injured or shot off of our train. Because people had dragged them from the N train onto the R train.

HAYES: Right, with their sort of arms around them. Juliana Fonda who is a broadcast engineer from WNYC on that train this morning, the sight of that mass shooting, I think, the first we`ve ever had on the subway if I`m not mistaken. I`m so glad that you`re OK. And thank you so much for taking a little time to tell us what you saw this morning.

FONDA: No problem. Thank you.

HAYES: All right, Jonathan Dienst is the chief investigative reporter for WNYC -- WNBC and NBC News Contributing Correspondent, and he joins me now. Jonathan, what do we know about where police are on this case with a suspect to -- is at large at this moment.

JONATHAN DIENST, WNBC CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: So, what they`re trying to determine is, is the gunman on that train the same man who drove that U- Haul from Philadelphia to New York yesterday, and it was parked overnight near -- about five miles from where the shooting happened, and is that person the same person.

So, they know the person who rented the U-Haul is Frank R. James, the photo you saw there a moment ago, and that he rented that and drove to Brooklyn. They are not -- they -- at the scene of the shooting, in that bag that had all the contents that had the smoke grenades, that had the extra ammo, that had the fireworks, also found inside that bag, police say, was the key to the rider -- to the U-Haul van.

So, they believe the shooter had access or for some reason has a connection to the van that was rented. That is in part why they believe they suspect it`s one in the same person. Can they prove it? No, they can`t. That`s why they want to find this person of interest and see if he is connected to the shooting, involved in the shooting.

Right now, that`s the operating theory. But again, they don`t have it yet, so they are referring to him as a person of interest as the investigation continues.

HAYES: So, they were able to recover keys to a U-Haul van off of that train. It was along with a bag of fireworks and these other smoke canisters. Those keys work in a U-Haul and they know the individual that rented that U-Haul who is the person of interest as of now. That`s the -- that`s the connection so far as we know.

DIENST: That is correct. And they`ve been able to track that U-Haul using licensed plate reader records all the way up the New Jersey Turnpike across the Verrazano Bridge, so they know the exact tick tock and path that van took, who rented it. There`s video surveillance of where that van was parked overnight and into this morning. And that video shows a person getting out of that van that appears to match the description of the person who carried out the shooting.

So, this van is parked near a subway station that is eight stops from where the shooting happened. And investigators believe the person of that van this morning got on the subway at that first stop. And then eight stops later, the shooting happened. Is that the man who fired the shot -- fired the shots or are there two different people involved? To be determined right now. They believe there`s a lone actor and one person responsible.

HAYES: I want to play something that the commissioner said, Commissioner Sewell, about some preliminary information and possible -- little concerns about the mayor`s safety, of course, the Mayor Eric Adams quarantining in Gracie Mansion. He has COVID. He`s one of the 60-plus people I think that got it from the Gridiron dinner. This is what the NYPD Commissioner had to say. Take a listen.


SEWELL: Based on some preliminary information, there were some postings possibly connected to our person of interest where he mentions homelessness, he mentions New York, and he does mention Mayor Adams. And as a result of that, in an abundance of caution, we`re going to tighten their security detail.


HAYES: I`m not sure quite what to make of that. What do you make of it?

DIENST: Well, on the Frank James YouTube channel that he has apparently posted, and there`s video of a man speaking that appears to be Mr. James, he allegedly make some general comments about the state of New York City, about the job Mayor Adams is doing, about the state of the subways. So, because that person, Mr. James, is on video making such general statements, as a precaution if, Mr. James is linked to this shooting, they are going to beef up security around the mayor.


A little bit more about Mr. James background. He lives in the Pennsylvania -- in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, with past addresses in Wisconsin. In both those states, he has a criminal history we are told from law enforcement sources, of making terroristic threats. It`s been explained to us that those threats were emotionally disturbed person type threats, not the traditional terrorist attack threats. But nonetheless, it perhaps gives you a glimpse into the background of the man who they believe rented the U-Haul.

Again, are they saying he is the shooting suspect at that time -- at this time? They are not. What they`re saying is they`re looking into whether the man who drove the U-Haul is the same person who carried out the shooting. Until they find him, until they questioned him, until the fingerprints come back from the bag and all the items that were recovered at the scene, were told the cell phone was also recovered. Until they get through all of that, that`s what -- until they find him, that`s when they`ll be able to determine if he is connected to the shooting.

HAYES: One more question for you just while I have you here. Do we -- do we know -- the gun -- it seems like a big deal the gun was apparently left there, or one of the guns, we don`t know if it`s definitive. Have they been able to trace that? Do they -- do they having any info on that? That seems like an enormous piece of evidence, obviously.

DIENST: Yes, they`ve trace -- they have the gun. They believe 33 shots were fired inside that subway car, 33 shots, and the gun jammed. And he had two extra clips apparently in the bag ready to go along with gasoline, we`re told, so that if he used the gasoline on those fireworks and on those smoke canisters, you can only imagine as smoky as you saw the situation in that car, how much worse this could have been?

So, yes, the ATF right now, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations all helping the NYPD tracking the weapons, tracking the evidence. Where did he get all of these items? No indication. It`s a stolen or ghost gun at this time, we`re told. It`s a Glock nine millimeter with numerous clips and again 33 shots fired, in addition to the smoke grenades going off inside that one subway car.

HAYES: All right, Jonathan Dienst, one of the finest reporters we have in this city, thank you so much for making some time for us tonight. I truly appreciate it.

DIENST: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Michael Alcazar is a former NYPD detective who has 30 years of experience in the department, professor of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and he joins me now. Obviously, Michael, a lot of -- a lot of evidence in this case, more than you might have anticipated by the fact that the gun was actually left at the scene. That`s initially -- anticipating that. I mean, obviously, the big question to everyone`s mind now is apprehending the individual who did this.

MICHAEL ALCAZAR, FORMER DETECTIVE, NYPD: Yes, absolutely. So, like Jonathan said, there`s a lot of evidence left, a lot of investigative leads. I`m sure that guns at the lab right now. They`re swabbing for DNA and fingerprints, and all the contents of that bag. And we`re going to see if it`s going to be linked back to this gentleman of interest.

There`s also a lot of electronic trail. I think they`ve recovered a credit card. How did he get into the subway? Did he use a MetroCard? Did he purchase it with a credit card? All this will reveal very shortly who the suspect is. And we`ll see very soon, I think, with the information they`ve already developed.

HAYES: There`s -- I guess the investigation is one aspect. You know, we live in conditions of almost constant surveillance, so you always sort of think yourself in almost dystopian way. Like, well, you know, the law would able be able to find me at any moment, but I`m speaking to you after, you know, that someone planted bombs outside the RNC and DNC and we`re caught on camera doing so, active bombs on January 6, and it`s still not being apprehended. How should we think about the likelihood of apprehension here?

ALCAZAR: I think we`re going to capture this guy very soon. I think our detectives are working hard right now. They`re canvassing for videos. Now they had this gentleman`s picture out there, so more tips are going to be coming in, more investigative leads. Our goal right now is to interview this gentleman and then find the results from the lab for the DNA from the gun, from the fingerprints. I think -- my gut-feeling is we`re very close.

HAYES: Yes, I just want to reiterate for folks that are watching this, and if you`re just tuning in, because we`ve been showing this individual`s picture. He is described by the police as a person of interest, not a suspect at this hour. Obviously, when you`re showing a person`s picture, this has been provided by the NYPD. They want to talk to this person. But I just want to be very clear and rigorous about how he that has been characterized at this moment.


He is being called a person of interest that the police would like to speak to. We believe his name is Frank James. This is the tweet the NYPD sent out today. This is Frank James who`s a person of interest in this investigation. Any information can be directed at NYPD tips, and then they list their tips line there.

Detective, you worked on the force for a long time, and I`m a lifelong New Yorker. So, I grew up -- I was born and raised in the Bronx. I -- you know, there was Long Island Railroad mass shooting in 1993, if I`m not mistaken, truly horrible event. Many people lost their lives. I don`t think I`ve ever -- I can`t recall anything like this happening on the New York City subway system ever.

ALCAZAR: Yes. I don`t recall either. I remember that incident on Long Island Railroad. Yes, it`s definitely concerning. I think Mayor Adams needs to beef up police presence in the subway. We need police officers ever- present everywhere. We need undercovers. You know we need plane clothes. We need to make the city safer.

We need to make the bad guys feel uncomfortable about just coming in with weapons into the subway into the city. It`s a big undertaking. Summer is coming. It`s just going to get more dangerous. I fear more people are going to be hurt, more crime. Crime is spiking right now and it`s not even summer yet. So, it`s -- New York City is a horror show.

HAYES: We should note, there are 3600 I think police officers in the subway system. The mayor talked about adding more. And I would just note in a side point that there are many people who are not bad guys who don`t necessarily feel more comfortable with a lot of cops in the subways. But we can talk about that later.

Michael Alcazar, thank you very much. I appreciate it, sir.

ALCAZAR: You`re welcome.

HAYES: I want to bring in Mayor Bill de Blasio, of course, the last mayor of New York City. It`s good to see you here.


HAYES: I think the last time that I sat across from you like this was in March -- early March of 2020.

DE BLASIO: A very different time.

HAYES: I think you had just made the decision under some duress to cancel the St. Patty`s Day Parade, which is clearly the right thing to do. You know, I think this is obviously a nightmare scenario. I keep -- my first thought is just an absolute miracle that no one appears to have died in this.

DE BLASIO: Chris, you`re a lifelong New Yorker. You just said it. I mean, we`ve never seen anything like this. And when you describe what happened, you would have thought we would have had horrible loss of life. Thank God we didn`t.

And I agree, by the way, with the detective. I think this suspect is going to be found or person of interest can be found very, very quickly. Because one of the things I learned working closely with the NYPD, when you have that much detail, that much evidence, it`s only a matter of time, and I don`t think it`ll be long at all.

But when you think about what those folks went through, and your colleague from WNYC just describing the normalcy of everything up to that moment. You know, we`ve all ride the subway as part of our lives. We don`t think about it. So, you know, this is a reminder, we got some real work to do.

And in the end, in this city, the thing you`ve also seen is incredible resilience. People -- you know, we`ve had terrorist attacks. We`ve had confirmed terrorist attacks. And literally the next day, people come out defiantly to their credit and reclaim their city and go about their business because we will not be intimidated by that.

HAYES: You know, I was just thinking, as I was coming in today, that covering -- the individual drove a truck onto the bikepath in West Side Highway.

DE BLASIO: Yes. It`s horrible.

HAYES: Killed I think five or six individuals. I believe they were Argentine tourists who are taking a bike tour, truly brutal and horrible. But again, to your point, people mourn that, they were upset about that, they came out the next day.

I do think that, you know, obviously this is coming at a very interesting fulcrum moment in the national political conversation because there`s a bunch of conversations about what we have seen a rise in interpersonal violence and homicide and crime, a real fairly intense kind of backlash politics.

You`re seeing recall efforts at progressive D.A. in San Francisco. You`re seeing calls to step back from bail reform in many cities, to add more cops, to lengthen sentences, to increase pretrial detention. What do you make of that right now?

DE BLASIO: I think we have to look at this first to the prism of COVID because go back to when you and I were last together, in this city, certainly we improve in crime went down with fewer arrests, less incarceration, consistent decrease in crime and violence. The point that was only comparable to the 1950s that was last time we were so safe. That was two and a half, three years ago.

So, what`s the x-factor? COVID, the incredible dislocation of life, the horrible pain people have gone through, the emotion that everyone being, you know, close together inside, kept inside. I mean, all of these factors added to it. And then no work, no school, no house of worship, no entertainment. Then, the proliferation of guns, because that led to at the community level more and more conflict and people armed up.

We`ve got to deal with this nationally on one level, but we don`t have any illusions about legislation anytime soon in the Congress, so it really comes down to going back to the local level recognizing that just policing can happen, does happen, done right. But on top of that, community-based solutions to violence.

One of the thing that we really found in this city, the violence interrupters. You know what, if you want to see safety, make the right investments in policing, but also make the right investments in community- based solutions, actual community people solving the problems before they happen.

HAYES: I should be clear here that this is one of these -- this is an incident that feels like a strike by lightning, right, or a horrible car crash with 50 cars on the road, right? This is not something -- there has been a spike in violence in in in New York and other cities that is much more of the banal but terrible and traumatic interpersonal violence of beefs, you know, domestic partners, things like that.

So, this is -- this feels like it`s in another category. But of course, there`s also this way in which, because it`s going to get headlines, understandably, there`s this kind of interesting road the New York mayor or any mayor has to walk between taking this seriously and not painting the city as essentially a dangerous hellhole, which I think happens sometimes.

DE BLASIO: There is a horrible tendency. When something goes wrong for people in certain quarters, when maybe it`s commentators, maybe it`s politicians, to suggest that we`ve gone back to the 1970s, when it`s anything but.

The city right now is actually recovering very quickly from COVID, I`m happy to say. You can see the life of the city back very strongly. We got more to do. And --

HAYES: Yes, we`re only -- we should not, we`re only about 60 percent of MTA -- of subway ridership from pre -- from the March when I was talking to you in 2020.

DE BLASIO: Correct. And -- but it has been coming back steadily. And the jobs are coming back and the life of the city is coming back. But what we don`t have yet still is that full normalcy that actually supports public safety. We don`t have -- it`s been a long time getting our court system back to where it needs to be. So, criminal justice actually happens. There`s actual consequence.

There`s a lot of challenges for sure. But we should not fall into that trap of stereotyping this whole city of hard-working good people who actually over years and years made this the safest big city in America. We`re having a really tough patch. I don`t want to minimize it, Chris. It`s really tough.


DE BLASIO: But it is a moment compared to what we`ve seen over decades of this city getting safer and safer. And it will turn. It will turn in the right direction.

HAYES: That is the big question, the thing that I think people are hoping for. I do not envy the job of any big-city mayor in America right now. It`s very, very difficult. Of course, it`s difficult for COVID as well. Mayor Bill de Blasio, thank you for being here.

DE BLASIO: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: One programming note, the current Mayor Eric Adams will be a guest tonight on "THE RACHEL MADDOW" program at 9:00 p.m., so you`re going to want to stick around for that.

Today`s attack marks the 131st mass shooting in the U.S. just this year. Meaning, on average, there has been at least one mass shooting every single day of 2022. The people fighting to change that after this.




JAMES ESSIG, DETECTIVE, NYPD: A hatchet, a black garbage can, a Black military type -- style rolling cot, the gasoline, and a U-Haul key.


HAYES: That was the NYPD`s chief of detectives going through the list of weapons and magazines and other items were covered the most recent mass shooting today in Brooklyn, New York this morning where as many as 20 people were injured, at least 10 of them shot on the subway train at rush hour this morning when 33 bullets were shot.

Kris Brown is president of Brady, an anti-gun violence advocacy group. Rebecca Fischer is the executive director of the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. And they both join me now. Kris, this mass shooting happened in the context of a larger spike in violence, in a large spike of gun violence particularly.

I am struck today by the fact that we got very lucky with what the death toll appears to be so far and that it was a handgun, not a long gun or AR- 15 style rifle which have been using the other incidents. People are saying, well, New York has gun laws, but that does seem to be a significant aspect of this so far.


KRIS BROWN, PRESIDENT, BRADY: Yes, of course. We know, Chris, that often, far too often, AR-style weapons are mass shooters` weapons of choice because of the ability to attach high capacity magazines, and fire many, many, many bullets, hundreds of bullets potentially, like we see in horrific mass shootings across the country.

No doubt that there are people who will survive and are alive today, because an assault-style weapon was not used. But it doesn`t change the terror of those people who are on the subway. And of course, the feeling of lack of safety associated with this. And that`s really the point, Chris, is we see a huge spike as you`ve noted in deaths and injury with associated with guns.

In 2020, it`s the highest year on record. That`s the latest data we have. Over 45,000 people killed with guns across this country in preventable gun violence. And what we need is to expand the Brady law and shore background checks. And Chris, one thing I do want to note is the police apparently have recovered a weapon, and they are tracing that weapon because it has a serial number on it.

Yesterday, the President, one of the things that he did is banned ghost guns. We`ve seen these proliferate all across the country. They`re un- serialized, making any kind of tracing like what`s happening here absolutely impossible. So, we have to treat this like a public health epidemic it is and really attack this in a comprehensive nature. All of our safety in all of our public places is at risk if we don`t take this very, very seriously.

HAYES: Yes, I should note, just to contextualize that 45,000 number, that`s all gun fatalities, about -- I`m pulling this from memory, around two- thirds of those tend to be suicide, and about a third of those, I think homicide, somewhere in that neighborhood, just so people have that in mind.

And Rebecca, this happened on the subway, and my immediate thought today when I saw this was, obviously, concern for the people there and was that - - there`s a Supreme Court case right now, a challenge that would basically, essentially strike down New York gun laws and essentially find that the Constitution gives a right for everyone to carry a gun in any state, no matter what that state`s law are.

When they go out to the subway -- in fact, in oral argument, Samuel Alito said, well, don`t you need a gun on the subway?

REBECCA FISCHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORKERS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: That`s right, Chris. I mean, right now, we are waiting for a decision from the court that could potentially overhaul our strong public carry law. New York has one of the strongest concealed carry laws in the nation that really allows law enforcement to have a lot of discretion in terms of whether they issue a license to carry in public or not.

Unfortunately, when we look at the data, states across the country that have weak public carry laws have much higher death rates because more guns in public leads to more gun violence. And really, you know, as a New Yorker, and as a member of the Brooklyn Community, you know, seeing what happened today is traumatic.

People do wait to see what those fatality numbers are. But the reality is that the injuries themselves have affected the victims, the families, and have traumatized those communities.

HAYES: Yes. The notion that New York City subways would be safer with more people packing guns on them is such a demonstrably insane idea. It could only be entertained by someone who`s like clearly gone around the bend on Fox News, or has never set foot on the subway, or both.

Kris Brown and Rebecca Fischer, thank you both for making some time to -- for us today. I really, really appreciate it.

BROWN: Thank you.

FISCHER: Thanks.

HAYES: Coming up, a check in on some of the Republican candidates who have gotten Trump`s patented complete and total endorsement. From debate no- shows to QAnon truthers. That`s next.




HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA), SENATE CANDIDATE: One of the first thing they did, and I think people need to know this, is they decided that they were going to give up all the energy. By him going out giving up all the energy, and now we`re not energy independent anymore, which started the whole downfall.


HAYES: That is Herschel Walker. He is running for Senate as a Republican in Georgia. You probably have heard of him. He`s a former football star, a legend, in fact. He won the Heisman Trophy back in 1982, then went on to spend nearly 15 years as a running back in the NFL. Truly, truly a great football player.

Now, he is trying his hand to politics. As you just heard, his energy policy leaves quite a bit to be desired. But Republicans are hoping he can cruise to victory based chiefly on name recognition. He was a star at the University of Georgia, and charisma. So far, it might be working. Who knows? It`s American politics in the 21st century. Who`s to say?

Donald Trump gave Walker his complete and total endorsement last year. Walker has perhaps not surprisingly even parroted Trump`s claims of a stolen election. He`s leading in the polls both in the Republican primary which will take place next month, and in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with, to my mind, the most fascinating member of the United States Senate incumbent Democratic senator Raphael Warnock.


But Herschel Walker is far from a perfect candidate. This past weekend, for an example, Walker just skipped the first major debate in the Republican primary, something his opponents did not let slide.


GARY BLACK (R-GA), SENATE CANDIDATE: I wish her she was here, but he is not. I think I know why. I`m also certain that every coach that he had in the past instructed him that you will not play in the game if you don`t show up for practice.


HAYES: I`ll admit, I watched that tape and I thought maybe Trump was on to something. And he was like, maybe we should go with Herschel Walker in that race. Now, Walker says he could not make the debate because he was accepting an award in Washington except the ceremony was during the day, the debate was at night. You can probably get a direct flight.

While Walker was in D.C., he took the time to pose for a photo with sitting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, which his campaign tweeted out. Now, everyone who covers politics or just watches news understands that, despite what they say, Supreme Court justices are ideological figures, particularly Clarence Thomas, probably the most ideological figure.

Nevertheless, you`re supposed to kind of pretend. So, sitting justices are supposed to pretend that they are relatively apolitical figures and certainly not take pictures with candidates currently running for office, which could obviously be read as an endorsement, obviously. But Thomas doesn`t care.

But the stolen election and the debates and the Thomas photo, they`re not the most objectionable concerns of Walker, and they`re not the reason that Georgia Republicans were kind of hinky on Walker to begin with. There are a number of really troubling allegations of domestic abuse surrounding the candidate.

An example, Walker`s ex-wife, a woman named Cindy Grossman is on the record as saying Walker once pointed a gun at her and said, "I`m going to blow your effing brains out." She filed for divorce in 2001, citing "physically abusive and extremely threatening behavior." And her sister has said after the divorce, and I`m quoting again, "Walker stated unequivocally that he was going to shoot my sister Cindy and her new boyfriend in the head."

Now, this is normally the point in the script when I say Herschel Walker has denied these allegations. I`m not saying that here because Walker has not denied these allegations. He`s attributed his violent behavior to the fact that he struggles with mental illness. So, now, voters in Georgia will decide whether or not Herschel Walker is the guy who they want representing them.

But he`s far from the only problematic Trump-endorsed candidate this cycle including at least five candidates with ties to QAnon. More on that next.



HAYES: Trump-endorsed Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, a man who`s been accused of physically abusive and threatening behavior is not the only problematic candidate running in this election cycle. There`s also former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens who`s running for Senate in that state.

Now, I say former governor because Greitens had to resign in disgrace back in 2018 after it became public he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman who was having an affair with by threatening to publish nude photos he took of her without her consent.

A report from the Republican-controlled Missouri House, this was not some Democratic hit job, also found that he groped her, called her derogatory names and slapped her Greitens admitted to the affair but denies everything else. But that`s just the start. He also now faces new allegations from his ex-wife who says Greitens knocked her down to the ground and confiscated her phone and car keys so she could not leave or call for help. She also says she witnessed him hit their then-3-year-old son at the dinner table and yank them around the house by his hair. Greitens denies those allegations as well.

Trump has not yet issued a formal endorsement in the Missouri raise, although you never know with Donald Trump. But he has talked to another candidate. Last month, he told the Washington Examiner he was still considering an endorsement for Greitens. That`s in addition to the five candidates Trump has endorsed who are tied to the utterly insane QAnon conspiracy theory including Arizona state legislator Wendy Rogers, who is really in a category by herself. It`s almost hard to describe how far out the sheer is -- she is.

For one, she`s appeared on least for QAnon podcast since her time in office. In them, she frequently repeats Trump`s claims of a stolen election. She`s also appeared on a white nationalist conference. In his endorsement, Trump called Rogers a "MAGA warrior who is doing everything in her power to find out the truth of the 2020 election."

Michelle Goldberg is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times where she frequently discusses the state of domestic politics. And Greg Bluestein covers Georgia politics for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. His most recent piece on the Senate election is titled Herschel Walker`s no show looms large over the Senate GOP debate.

And Greg, maybe let me start with you on that. I mean, sort of a fascinating dynamic here. My sense is there is not -- there`s a very -- you know, you`ve got a very active conservative grassroots in your state in Georgia. Herschel Walker was not the choice of that grassroots. Donald Trump sort of did this as a kind of top-down thing. There was resistance by Republicans in the state. What`s it looking like now in that race?

GREG BLUESTEIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Yes, Chris, you use the verb cruise in your last segment about Herschel Walker. He`s on cruise control. He`s ignoring his rivals. He`s not showing up for debates. He`s not showing up for forums. He`s skipping major events. He`s not doing town halls, other interactions with voters. Instead, he`s stuck to his schedule of tightly-controlled events, private speeches, and plenty of fundraisers.

His rivals say he`s taking a kind of a basement strategy. But my colleague Patricia Murphy at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she has a better phrase for it. He`s taking a velvet rope strategy right now. I think that perfectly sums it up.


HAYES: Michelle, there`s an interesting way to think about these primary races. Like, Greitens is a great example, OK. I think there`s like in a -- in a cold calculating way for the Democratic Party and for broader center- left, right, we have seen -- and Mitch McConnell was literally I think just talking about this today. I saw some comments he made. We have seen Republicans nominate basically truly unelectable folks in primaries and cost them utterly winnable seats.

We saw it Nevada. We saw it in Missouri, right?


HAYES: We saw it in Indiana. We saw it in Delaware, right? This is over -- through those 2012, 2014 cycles. But I find American democracy so tenuous and perilous right now. But there`s no part of me that thinks there`s like a worst the better strategy for like, really bad candidates winning primaries, because I`m just scared that then they`ll be United States senators. What do you think?

GOLDBERG: Well, yes. I think that Donald Trump has exploded the idea that there is an unelectable candidate. You know, the one of the things that he did was show that you can be not just accused but admit to abusing women and it not be an obstacle to the highest elective office, you know. And so, yes, I think given the -- you know, given the dynamics, given the, you know, kind of overall partisan environment, it`s pretty likely that whoever gets the nomination in at least -- you know, at least one of these guys, Greitens or Herschel Walker could end up with the United States Senate.

I`d also add that, you know, the bar keeps shifting on what is sort of unelectable craziness, right? Like, you mentioned in the Indiana, what made the Senate candidate there unelectable, this guy Murdock, was that he had said that -- was that he opposed rape exemptions in abortion bans, right? That`s not the sort of stock position of much of the Republican Party. I mean, all over the country, states are passing total abortion bans without rape exemptions.

And so, as the party moves further and further to the right, you know, the definition of an unelectable candidate is changing.

HAYES: It`s a great point. And not just -- it`s not just -- you noted this, but I just want to re-emphasize. Not just the position in a sort of like what`s on your website, what you say. Like, I think the Oklahoma Governor today, if I`m not mistaken, signed a law actually outlawing abortion, I think, after 10 weeks with no rape exceptions. There are no rape exceptions in the new Texas law if I`m not mistaken. So, this is like actually being legislated. And if and when Roe were to be overturned this year, we would actually see it play out.

Greg, there`s another race in Georgia that`s really interesting. And I think a really important test case for Trump`s political power which is that he is backing Purdue`s primary challenge, former Senator David Perdue, in his primary challenge against sitting Governor Brian Kemp. And it doesn`t seem like it`s going that well. What is that race looking like?

BLUESTEIN: Yes, it`s not as close as many as I thought it would be. Right now, Governor Kemp is ahead by double digits over David Perdue in the most recent polls. And he`s got more money, he`s got more outside group support, he`s got more endorsements. And I think pivotably for him is he has -- the next few weeks, he`s going to go around the state and sign a bunch of bills, and many of them geared towards the conservative audience.

Just a few hours ago, he signed a gun expansion that now lets Georgians carry concealed handguns without permits, something that the conservative base in Georgia has wanted for a very long time. It`s something that he`ll use against David Perdue on the campaign trail.

HAYES: Yes. And I think -- I mean, as strange as it sounds, Michel, it does seem to me that it`s very important for the cause of American democracy, and also I think for the -- for the possibility of Trump`s political power and what he would be if he were reelected, that he kind of loses a bunch of these hope -- high profile endorsement races because I think it does puncture his power. What do you think?

GOLDBERG: Yes. I think that that`s -- I think we`ve already seen that his power is waning a little bit as you know -- the figures that are replacing him or not necessarily, you know, Ron DeSantis are not necessarily going to be an improvement in terms of policy, but in terms of a full-throated authoritarian attack on democracy.

I mean, you mentioned Wendy Rogers. I think it`s worth noting that the Arizona`s Republican legislature has just censored her, another Republican for -- I`m sorry -- for talking -- for appearing at a white nationalist conference where she talked about hanging her enemies, and also for her anti-Semitic tweets about Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine.

So, at least there is some effort among some parts of the Republican Party to distance themselves from the figures around the former president.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, Rogers is really out there in furthest reaches. But again, she is in sync with Donald Trump on the one thing he cares about the most, which is, was the 2020 election stolen. And that has -- that has essentially been the kind of litmus test. But I truly think that a lot of people have moved on.

Michelle Goldberg, Greg Bluestein, thank you both.

That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.