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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/6/22

Guests: Jamie Raskin, Ben Clements, Helene Cooper, Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Brian Fallon


Esper is outselling a memoir on his time in the administration that is full of some shocking previously unreported allegations against Donald Trump. Today, a Georgia judge ruled against the bid to disqualify Marjorie Taylor Green from running for office. The New York Times has reported that American intelligence may be the reason Ukraine has been able to kill as many as a dozen Russian generals. Since the Supreme Court`s draft decision overturning Roe vs. Wade was leaked, national Republicans have been testing out their abortion ban messaging. Next week, Senate Democrats will hold a vote to codify Roe as federal law.


JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC HOST: I`m going to scream. You`re both wrong though. The winner of the week is Karine Jean Pierre, our dear friend, formerly MSNBC. She is now the White House Press Secretary. She`s a former Dora Milaje as you can see her here defending then-candidate Kamala Harris. She is one of the nicest best people. She started from the bottom. I`m so happy to hear that the crew is succeeding. I`m really happy for her.

Juanita Tolliver and Fernando Amandi, thank you so much. And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just flabbergasted that not only was the idea proposed, but the people, people in my department were working on it.

MOHYELDIN: Donald Trump`s defense secretary reveals just how fascistic and barbaric the former President and Stephen Miller wanted to get. Tonight, Congressman Jamie Raskin on the Esper revelations.

And Rudy Giuliani`s no-show and his refusal to comply with the January 6 Committee. Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Green, did you advocate to President Trump to impose martial law as a way to remain in power?

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I don`t recall. What today`s ruling in the Marjorie Taylor Greene case means for her campaign with the attorney who took her to court.

And as Democrats and activists organize, these are the people legislating what happens inside a woman`s body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame on all of you. Shame on you killing babies. You`re murderers. You`re murderers.

MOHYELDIN: ALL IN starts right now.


MOHYELDIN: Good evening everyone from New York. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Chris Hayes. It has been 14 months since Donald Trump left the White House. And just when we thought we knew everything about how dangerous, how unhinged, or how downright stupid this man and his administration were, along comes another book this time by this man, Mark Esper.

He was Trump`s second Secretary of Defense. And you probably last heard of him back in 2020 when Trump fired him on Twitter right after the election. And in the past year and a half, we have learned more about the circumstances of his ouster. Trump and Esper, you know, they were on the outs for much of 2020 and after Esper publicly at the time disagreed with the ex-President`s proposal to use the military to quash protests across this country after the murder of George Floyd.

But here`s the thing. Esper`s last straw, it may have been courtesy of this man, Johnny McEntee. He`s a close Trump ally. He`s a former football player who actually ran the powerful White House personnel office. In fact, McEntee was sometimes called the deputy president because of the authority that he wielded within the Trump administration.

And about a month before Esper was actually fired, McEntee`s office reportedly circulated this memo about him as first revealed by journalist Jonathan Karl in his book Betrayal. The memo outlines more than a dozen reasons as per should be removed, and chief among them publicly opposing the President`s direction to utilize American forces to put down the riots just outside the White House.

The memo also cites among other concerns Esper`s removal of the Confederate flag from military installations, and the fact that he had promoted Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the national security official who of course became a star witness in Trump`s first impeachment trial.

And now, well over a year since he was fired, Esper is outselling a memoir on his time in the administration. And as in the case with every other tell-all book about the ex-president, it is full of some shocking previously unreported allegations.

According to a New York Times report on the book which has not yet publicly been released, "Trump asked Esper about the possibility of launching missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs and wipe out the cartels maintaining that the United States` involvement in a strike against its southern neighbor could be kept secret. Now, when Esper raised various objections about this, Trump said that we could just shoot some patriot missiles and take out the labs quietly, adding that no one would know it was us.

Now, let me be clear here for a second. Trump wanted to bomb Mexico, our ally, our southern neighbor in what would certainly be an act of war. And he wanted to do this clandestinely, possibly in such a way that somehow blamed another actor other than the United States. And according to Esper, one of Trump`s top advisors, Stephen Miller also proposed sending hundreds of thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who suggested that we send a quarter-million U.S. troops to the border?


MARK ESPER, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Stephen Miller. We`re in a meeting waiting for the President to come out. We`re standing around the resolute desk and he`s behind me and this voice just starts talking about caravans are coming and we need to get troops to the border, and we need a quarter-million troops.

And I think he`s joking. And then I turned around and I look at him and his deadpan eyes. It`s clearly he is not joking.


MOHYELDIN: And according to another report from the times on the book, Miller also proposed that the military secure the head of the dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who had just been killed by U.S. forces. And then he went on to recommend dipping it in pig`s blood and parading it around to warn other terrorists.

That would be a war crime, Mr. Esper shot back. Esper is clearly eager to paint himself as a maverick in this administration. He was willing to stand up to Trump`s worst impulses during the time he served. But there may be some revisionist history at play here. Yes, while Esper did publicly defy Trump by using the military to quash protests, he was actually seen as little more than a rubber stamp for Trump schemes.

As NPR, noted, he even earned the derisive nickname Yesper for his unwillingness to disagree with those around him in the White House. And then there`s the matter of the book itself. You know, here`s the thing about this for me. Esper knew before the election that Trump wanted to bomb Mexico. He knew this. And that his top a Stephen Miller wanted troops to parade around a dead ISIS leaders had dipped in pig`s blood.

Didn`t millions of voters have the right to know what kind of president was seeking reelection? Might that information have been relevant before now trying to sell a book?

Courtney Kube is an NBC News Correspondent covering national security at the Pentagon. She joins me now. Courtney, it`s great to have you with us. Thank you for making time for us tonight. So, another Washington insider here trying to sell a book. Secretary Esper wants to be seen as a strong line of defense against Trump.

And perhaps he was one of the few adults in the room, an expression that we heard time and time again, with officials like him. Does that reflect the reality of his tenure there or was it a little bit more complicated than what is being perceived right now?

COURTNEY KUBE, NBC NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, it`s much more complicated. And part of it is the reason that you just mentioned in that report by NPR and by others. Many people at the Pentagon, both when he was the Secretary of the Army, and then when he fleeted up and became the secretary of defense, many people at the Pentagon, his compatriots, believed -- they called him Yesper.

They believe that he was someone who was rarely going to push back. And the one thing that I would say, from reading parts of this book so far is that he was pushing back at times, according to some of the anecdotes, but he was largely pushing back in them against some of the people surrounding President Trump and less against President Trump himself.

So, it`s hard to know whether that moniker of Yesper really was accurate. Another thing that I would point out, though, about Mark Esper is, you know, he came in as a Secretary of the Army. And then of course, we had general -- Secretary Mattis who was fired in December after Secretary Esper had been at the helm of the army for a number of months already.

And then it was widely known that Mark Esper basically lobbied or campaigned for the job to be Secretary of Defense. At that point, President Trump had been in office for some time for more than a year. It was well- known sort of how he operated, how his administration operated, and yet Mark Esper still wanted to take over the Pentagon and serve as a cabinet secretary under President Trump`s administration.

So, you know, he knew what he was getting into. And even when he moved up into the job of Secretary of Defense, the nickname Yesper, it`s still persisted throughout the Pentagon.

MOHYELDIN: So, you know, Esper has said, Courtney, that there were in fact discussions within the Pentagon to send troops to the border for the so- called caravan that the administration was constantly hyping up. Do we know how far they got in those discussions or deliberations?

KUBE: So, according to former Secretary Esper, he says that it was -- it actually got to the point where the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had some sort of a plan that had been worked in the joint staff for this idea of potentially sending 250,000 U.S. troops to the border.

And I mean, I`m sure everyone understands why that`s something that would cause a lot of concern among military leaders. Number one, that`s a tremendous amount of troops to send to the border. I don`t even know that the U.S. even has 250,000 that they could send without clearly taking them from other areas.

But in addition to that, it was specifically for this caravan. And I think one of the concerns, I imagine, would be in the -- if you`re a member of the joint staff who`s doing the planning is what would the rules of engagement be here. What exactly what these troops be doing along the border when they meet this -- when they would meet this caravan that was coming.


So, it got to the point where it was at the Joint Staff and there was some level of planning. But as soon as again, according to Secretary Esper his account of this, as soon as he told them to turn off the planning, it ended it never got any further than that. I will say, the Joint Staff plans for everything. They plan for a lot of things that never actually happen. But there was someone presumably at the White House who told them to go forward with this planning. So, it did gain a little bit of traction very early on.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. Just the idea of having 250,000 U.S. troops on the U.S.- Mexico border just unimaginable given the fact that we probably used just around that number when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Courtney Kube, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for starting us off this evening.

Our Congressman Jamie Raskin is a Democrat from Maryland who sits on the bipartisan committee investigating January 6. And he was the lead impeachment manager for Donald Trump`s second impeachment trial. He joins us now.

Congressman, it`s great to have you with us. Thank you for making some time for us. Generally speaking, let me start with the question that I think is on everyone`s mind. What do you make of the allegations in Secretary Esper`s book particularly about this potential plan or scheme by Trump to bomb Mexico?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, each of the lurid revelations that have caught the public imagination today revealed Trump`s fascination with violence, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of troops to the border, lobbing patriot missiles at our ally in Mexico, and then of most interest to me, was the idea he floated of shooting peaceful, law-abiding Black Lives Matter protesters in Lafayette Square in the legs.

And so, all of that is consistent with Donald Trump`s clear indulgence and apparent enthusiasm for the violence that was unleashed against Congress and the Vice President and the American constitutional order on January 6. the sixth.

MOHYELDIN: Let me switch gears if I can for a moment, Congressman, and ask you about Rudy Giuliani. He was supposed to appear before your committee. He then changed his mind. And NBC News is reporting that the last-minute change, according to Attorney Robert Costello, came after the House Committee denied a request to record the scheduled interview.

Costello said he made the request in advance there would be no allegations of covertly recording Giuliani`s testimony. Is that accurate? And are you planning on holding Giuliani in contempt of Congress?

RASKIN: So, Rudy Giuliani has the exact same obligation to come and testify before the January 6 Select Committee as the hundreds of people who have come forward voluntarily and cooperated. And we don`t make special deals for each witness about what it is that they want. And this was a last minute switcheroo that Giuliani offered.

And, you know, look, the way we view it is we`ve shown nothing but patients for him over the last several months. As we`ve asked him to come in, he has an obligation to come in and to testify about what you know. This is not a game. This is not part cheesy. This is not risk. This is not monopoly. This is the Congress of the United States representing the people of the United States conducting an investigation into the worst violent insurrection ever mobilized against the U.S. Congress, the Vice President, and our constitutional order. And he has a responsibility to come forward and to testify.

And, you know, we know that he has had problems with, you know, people doing investigations in the past. We know that his law license has been suspended by the New York State courts for lying about the election. And this is a chance for him to come clean and tell us precisely what he saw, what he knows, and answer those questions.

And if he has any valid legal privileges, he of course has the right to invoke them. But otherwise, he`s got to answer the questions of the committee.

MOHYELDIN: So, how does this, you know, change the committee`s plan as it moves forward? I mean, can the committee move forward without these important documents or materials to get an accurate picture of what Rudy Giuliani`s role? Wasn`t all this -- I mean, how does this affect the timeline, if you will, for the public hearings that are expected to start next month?

RASKIN: Well, we have eight hearing scheduled in June and we plan to describe every facet and dimension of the violent insurrection that shut down the counting of the Electoral College votes for the first time in American history and the attempted inside political coup to destroy Joe Biden`s majority in the Electoral College with fraudulent means.


So, we`re going to tell that story. We would like every piece to the jigsaw puzzle there, which is why we would like Mr. Giuliani to come in and to truthfully testify. But like a jigsaw puzzle where there are a few pieces missing. You stand back, you can still see the entire picture and basically what`s there.

So, we`re going to be able to tell that. And the question is, you know whether Mr. Giuliani is going to comply with his legal and his civic obligations here or whether he wants to go down the path of you know, Steve Bannon and a handful of others in Donald Trump`s entourage who somehow think they`re above the law.

MOHYELDIN: Can I just ask you really quickly about that and entourage? I mean, others have not been indicted. Only Bannon has been indicted. I believe you have Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, Peter Navarro, but only Bannon has been indicted. Are you frustrated that it`s only been Steve Bannon that has been indicted? Do you want to see the others indicted as well?

RASKIN: Well, Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino, for example, have been held in contempt by the House of Representatives. We have cited them. We have referred the evidence to the Department of Justice, and we have every reason to believe that they are going to pursue it. It`s an open shut case.

I mean, neither Navarro nor Scavino gave us one document or spent one minute before the committee. They just blew us off the same way that Steve Bannon did. So, we`re -- you know, we`re hoping that they will move quickly on it.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, sir, thank you so much for making some time for us this evening.

Tonight, will Marjorie Taylor Greene beyond the ballot for her own reelection. What the judge ruled in the closely watched lawsuit that was trying to prove the congresswoman`s comments about January 6 actually disqualified her from running for office. That decision and what it means for the other cases that are like it coming up next.



GREENE: And this is an important time in our history. We can`t allow this just to -- just to be gone -- you know, just to let it go. You can`t allow it to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our president, because he did not win the selection. It`s been stolen and the evidence is there.


MOHYELDIN: So, even before she was sworn in, Marjorie Taylor Greene, as you saw there was very open about her desire to keep Donald Trump in the White House no matter what. That was the basis of a lawsuit that was filed by the election organization free speech for people which actually argued that she should be disqualified from office because she violated the 14th Amendment by engaging in an insurrection.

But when Greene was called to testify about her words and her actions, she suddenly couldn`t remember any of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did you first become aware that there were going to be large demonstrations on January 6?

GREENE: I don`t recall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who put it on your calendar?

GREENE: I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody on your staff, I take it?

GREENE: I have no idea. I don`t know. I do not recall that, no. I don`t recall. I don`t remember. I don`t think so. I don`t recall the exact days? I don`t think so. I don`t recall that at all. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you advocate to President Trump to impose martial law as a way to remain in power?

GREENE: I don`t recall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re not denying you did it, you just don`t remember?

GREENE: I don`t remember.


MOHYELDIN: Of course, we now have text messages actually showing Congresswoman Greene trying to bring up martial law with Donald Trump through his chief of staff at the time. But despite that, but despite that revelation, today, a Georgia judge ruled against the bid to disqualify Green from running for office. And just a short while ago, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger agreed, meaning that Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene will in fact remain on the ballot come this November.

I`m joined now by one of the leaders of the organization that filed that lawsuit on behalf of Georgia voters. Ben Clements, he`s chairman and senior legal advisor for free speech for people. Ben, thank you so much for making time for us and joining us. Let me get your reaction to what happened today.


MOHYELDIN: And I want to read -- my pleasure. I want to read to you and our viewers from some of the judge in his initial decision on your lawsuit, he writes in part, the evidence in this matter is insufficient to establish that Congresswoman Greene, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same or gave aid or comfort to the enemies thereof under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. What say you about that line?

CLEMENTS: Well, thank you. Obviously, we are very disappointed and strongly disagree with the judge`s conclusion that there was not evidence to establish that she engaged in insurrection. But let me just briefly talk about where I think the judge did get it right because between his decision and the earlier Federal Court decision rejecting Greene`s effort to block our lawsuit, these two decisions really validate our legal theory in this case and others in every respect.

The judge accepted that if she engaged in insurrection, she`s disqualified under the 14th. Amendment. He recognized that if she`s disqualified, that is grounds to exclude her from the ballot. He rejected arguments that we would need a criminal conviction before she could be disqualified and excluded. And he agreed with us that we did not need to show that she engaged personally in any violent act. We only needed to show that she engaged in some voluntary act to aid or assist the insurrection.

So, so far so good, but it`s on that last point in applying that standard that the judge went astray. We rejected, for example, the evidence that when she said the day before the insurrection that this will be our 1776 moment, he rejected the evidence that that was, in fact, a call for violent resistance to the peaceful transfer of power, instead accepting her truly incredible testimony that she was referring only to lawful means to object.

And the very compelling evidence that that`s what she meant that you just played where she said, we cannot accept a peaceful transfer of power, we cannot allow that to happen. Now, according to your clip, that was stated sometime in late December. But even though it`s before she`s sworn in, it is compelling evidence that when she said that she did things she said the day before the insurrection, including this as our 1776 moment, it was indeed a call for violent resistance. And the judge inexplicably ignored that evidence that you played.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. And it`s incredible that not only did he ignore that, but then was willing to accept her saying, I don`t recall, I don`t recall, and just deflecting, deflecting in what I think anyone in this country would know was a bad faith act on her part. This is a woman who has boasted about the role and connections and communications she has had with Donald Trump about January 6.

Do you think it would have made a difference if your teams had the evidence of greens text messages to Trump`s White House Chief of Staff about martial law?

CLEMENTS: Well, it might have made a difference. But let me say a little bit more about that. Because as you played, we cross-examined her about whether she had urged the president to impose martial law. And she said she did not recall. Now, even before we had the actual text messages shown that she had made that request, that was an utterly incredible statement that I do not recall whether I urge the President of the United States to impose martial law. It was just totally unbelievable on its face.

And so were many, many others of her claims to not remember, and yet the judge accepted much of her testimony in his decision. Normally, when a witness refuses to answer questions, or evades questions, won`t directly respond to key questions, normally, a judge or a jury will draw an inference from that, that if the testimony were -- if the answers were given truthfully, that they would be incriminating, that they would hurt that person`s case. The judge failed to do this here.

Now, we did in fact, obtain the actual text showing that she urged the president to impose martial law or at least discussed it with Mark Meadows the day after the trial when it became public. And we submitted that right away. We submitted it to the court and an effort to supplement the record but that`s another piece of evidence that the judge simply ignored.

MOHYELDIN: Absolutely incredible. Ben Clements, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate your time.

CLEMENTS: Thanks. Good to be here.

MOHYELDIN: Ahead, some more new reporting that U.S. intelligence aided in the sinking of the Russian warship. Tonight, the President is speaking out about leaks from the Pentagon and what they mean for this war. That`s next.



AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: We are learning more about the Ukrainian military`s effectiveness in its fight against the Russian invasion, particularly in the sinking of the Russian Black Sea flagship, the Moskva.

According to U.S. intelligence, excuse me, according to U.S. officials, intelligence shared by the U.S. actually helped Ukraine sink the cruiser Moskva. And it is not the first time American intelligence has actually helped the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia.

Last month, NBC News also learned that American intelligence "paved the way for Ukraine to shoot down a Russian transport plane carrying hundreds of troops in the early days of the war".

The New York Times has also reported that American intelligence may be the reason Ukraine has been able to kill as many as a dozen Russian generals.

And yesterday, in a press briefing, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied that the U.S. has an active role in Ukraine`s targeting decisions.


JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: The United States provides battlefield intelligence to help Ukrainians defend their country, we`ve talked about that quite a bit.

We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.

Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intelligence that they themselves are gathering on the battlefield.


KIRBY: And then, they make their own decisions, and they take their own actions.


MOHYELDIN: And so, all of this raises a very important question, if the U.S. is providing real time intelligence that is actually leading to the killing of Russians and their generals, as well as the sinking of their flagship military vessel, what sort of implications does this intelligent sharing have on our role in this war and Russia`s possible response?

Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent with the New York Times where she has been covering this. She joins me now.

Helene, it`s great to have you with us. Thank you for making time for us.

Let`s start with what we do know, do we know the level of detail that the U.S. is providing or sharing in terms of intelligence with Ukraine?


We know a little bit we don`t know all of it by any stretch of the imagination. The Biden administration has really ramped up the amount of intelligence that it provides to Ukraine. It was very -- the administration of the United States for years has been much more delicate about this intel sharing for fear again of inflaming Russia into doing exactly what Russia did.

Once Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, however, a lot of the gloves came off. And since the invasion, Russia`s invasion of its sovereign neighbor, the United States has been carrying a lot of active battlefield real time intelligence with the Ukrainians. And it goes everything from the information, for instance, on the general story that we did this week.

In this case, the administration is sharing with Ukraine, where Russia`s mobile tactical headquarters are. And these are the headquarters, the battlefield headquarters that move frequently as Russia advances and retreats in this war.

And the U.S. is giving the Ukrainians the location have these gleaned from, you know, various different sources and methods that we don`t have that much fidelity on.

But they`re sharing this information and they say -- and these are the -- when you`re looking on the generals point, head tactical headquarters, or where generals tend to hang out, that`s where your senior officials are, they`re not going to be sitting in a convoy where they`re not going to be actually fighting, but they`re going to be in these headquarters systems.

So, and then, Ukraine goes and they -- you know, they attack these headquarters, and that`s how they`ve managed to kill not all -- 12 Russian generals so far in this war, which is an astounding number.

Now, not all of them were killed due because of U.S. intelligence. But we are told that many of them, you know, were.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, and I was going to say I think I read the too, a dozen generals is about how much of the U.S. lost in 20 years during the Vietnam War, not just in the first two months as Russia has.

Let me ask you about your reporting within the Pentagon. Are there any concerns within the Pentagon among the American military brass about how they think Russia might respond to this revelation?

I mean, are there growing worries that Russia might conclude that we have crossed the line and that this may pull us further into the conflict, perhaps a direct conflict with Russia?

COOPER: You know, that`s a -- it`s such a good question. And it`s something that we all as news organizations and NBC as well, we wrestle with day in and day out.

On the one hand, it is our job as journalists to report American strategy as it unfolds. On the other hand, none of us want to start a war.

The reality is that for all of the -- let me choose my words carefully now, for all of the indignance we hear from the -- a lot of the officials publicly, we are not reporting -- or we have not reported, in my opinion, anything at this point that all the parties of the war are not already aware of.

Russia is aware of the fact that the United States is supporting Ukraine. Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary said in Poland right after he and Tony Blinken went to Kyiv, to beat meet President Zelenskyy.

He said outright, that the goal of the United States is to weaken Russia so that they can`t do something like this again.

President Biden has been clear he`s now put 33 billion into backing Ukraine in this war. So, we`re describing some of what`s going on. But the bigger picture is clear for anyone to see.


MOHYELDIN: Helene Cooper thank you so much incredible reporting. As always appreciate your time this evening.

COOPER: Thank you.

MOHYELDIN: Still to come, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, abortion rights laws would be decided by the states. But who are the people that would actually make those decisions? We`re going to show you, just ahead.


REP. SUSAN DELEMUS (R-NH): Shame on all of you. Shame on you killing babies. You`re a murderer. You`re a murderer. You`re a murderer.





MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The truth is today most on the left believe abortion is a moral good to be celebrated and encouraged. But we`re here to declare on this momentous week with one voice, Roe must go and to encourage you once more to just pray. Pray for all the members of the Supreme Court of the United States.

And in these days, especially pray that those five might have the courage of their convictions and send Roe versus Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs.


MOHYELDIN: Since the Supreme Court`s draft decision overturning Roe vs. Wade was leaked earlier this week, national Republicans as you saw there have been testing out their abortion ban messaging.

You had the former Vice President Mike Pence reading from the approved notes. But should the Supreme Court ended up overturning Roe as the leak indicates it would? The decision of whether abortion will become a crime will be made at the state level. That is where the animated base of the anti-abortion crowd will be making future reproductive decisions for hundreds of -- hundreds of millions of Americans.

You have people like Ohio State Representative Jean Schmidt, who has proposed a near total ban on abortion, including in instances of rape.


REP. JEAN SCHMIDT (R-OH): Rape is a difficult issue. But if the baby is created, it is a human life. And whether that mother ends that pregnancy or not, the scars will not go away. It is a shame that it happens. But there is an opportunity for that woman no matter how young or old she is.


MOHYELDIN: The bill that Schmidt is introducing would make performing an abortion punishable by up to a year and a half in jail but the woman would not be prosecuted.

However, this week, after that draft decision leaked, Republicans in Louisiana advanced a bill that would classify abortion as a homicide, and it would actually allow patients themselves to be criminally charged.

Now, it is an extreme extreme position. But it seems to be exactly how New Hampshire State Representative Susan DeLemus feels based on this video that was shot yesterday. Watch.


CROWD: Shame on you.

REP. SUSAN DELEMUS (R-NH): Shame on you. Shame on all of you. Shame on you killing babies. You`re a murderer. You`re a murderer. You`re a murderer. You`re a murderer. Shame on you. I`m a murderer. I murdered on my own baby. Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on all of you.


MOHYELDIN: So, New Hampshire is a state where Republicans control both chambers of the state legislator and the Office of the Governor. So, what is the plan on the national level?

Democratic leaders are facing massive questions about what they can do to push back. We`re going to break that down, next.




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Instead of people going off on what -- the Republicans would like us to talk about the leak, no, we`re talking about your life, the wife of women in our country, and how we have, again, a calibration of all of this in Roe v. Wade, and how we must have it be enshrined as the law of the land.


MOHYELDIN: So, this afternoon, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi laid out the challenges facing Democrats in a post-Roe world. What steps can the party take to protect women across the country and make sure the conservative justices on the Supreme Court cannot continue to peel away hard-earned freedoms in this country?

Next week, Senate Democrats will hold a vote to codify Roe as federal law. But it seems clear at this point at least that they lacked the votes to pass the measure without breaking the filibuster.

Now earlier this week, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff advocated a solution that at this point has come from the party`s most progressive members.

He tweeted out "codifying Roe isn`t enough, we must expand the court" but are suggestions like this simply wishful thinking or is there actually something tangible that Democrats can and should do at this moment?

Meagan Hatcher-Mays is the Director of Democracy Policy at Indivisible, a progressive advocacy organization. Brian Fallon is the executive director of the progressive judicial advocacy group Demand Justice. He`s a former Senate aide to Senator Chuck Schumer and a former director of the Public Affairs in the DOJ under President Obama, it`s great to have both of you with us.

Realistically here, Brian, let me start with you. What can Democrats do between now and the Supreme Court`s official decision to try and firm up abortion rights across this country?

BRIAN FALLON, CO-FOUNDER, DEMAND JUSTICE: I think it`s important to understand that we didn`t find ourselves in this situation overnight. This has been a decade`s long project of the legal conservative movement. And it`s going to take some time to respond to the situation that we`re in.

So, I don`t think that this, unfortunately, is a problem that can be solved in the next six weeks between now and the end of this current Supreme Court term.


FALLON: But I think that Senate Democrats are taking a good step in putting this bill to codify Roe on the floor. It`s not going to succeed.

And so, I think what then becomes important is, yes, campaigning on this issue and electing more Democrats, but Democratic candidates for office cannot just assume that people will be organically motivated to come out and pull the lever for Democratic candidates without them doing more.

And by doing more, what I think they need to do is clearly articulate a vision of what will happen if Democrats gained seats in the Senate, what will happen if Democrats are able to hold the House? What will they do?

And I think that there needs to be three steps, at least three steps that are (INAUDIBLE) commensurate with the problem that we`re facing here.

Yes, get rid of the filibuster, yes, codify Roe. But then take that step that Adam Schiff is talking about to add seats to the Supreme Court. Because even in a scenario where you passed the Women`s Health Protection Act, this Supreme Court has proven itself so politicized, it will inevitably strike that bill down too.

We need a plan that directly addresses the root of the problem, which is this utterly politicized core. So, I think that Democrats it`s incumbent on them to communicate to voters that they have a plan that is of the right scale that can truly solve the problem.

MOHYELDIN: You know, Meagan, what -- the stuff that Brian talked about are very important, but what steps can President Biden take that don`t require 60 or even 50 Senate votes? Is there anything that he could do in the short term before we get to the midterms, before we even get to next week that he could do to shore up women`s rights in this country?

MEAGAN HATCHER-MAYS, DIRECTOR OF DEMOCRACY POLICY, INDIVISIBLE: Yes, that`s a good question. And in this situation, probably not. I think that Brian is right that in the short term, this is going to be very hard, and it`s going to be a very grim reality that we`re living in between now and November.

There are many things that I`m sure Joe Biden is looking at right now to see if there are ways that he could use his power as the president to protect abortion at the federal level, but we have a big hurdle in our way. It`s called the Hyde Amendment. It prevents federal money from being used on abortion services. So that makes it a lot more complicated.

And frankly, executive action can be undone either by a future bad president, whether that`s Donald Trump or somebody just as bad as Donald Trump. Or again to Brian`s point, can be undone by the Supreme Court who has shown itself to be over eager to gut abortion rights.

So, really, we should all be thinking about what we can do in this moment. And the best thing we can be doing in this moment is fighting to win in November to protect the majority that we`ve got and expand it with Democrats who are willing to do what`s necessary to restore the right to an abortion and protect it going forward.

And that also means, by the way, excising sort of like old school Democrats, like there`s one Democrat left in the House who is pro-life, and he`s got to go.

So frankly, one of the best things folks could be doing right now is send Jessica Cisneros, $5.00 or $10.00, so that we can get rid of Henry Cuellar so that we are guaranteed we do have a Democratic majority that Henry Cuellar is not that deciding vote on whether or not Roe should be codified.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, let me ask you, Brian, about the anticipated mobilization of the base. You already see Republicans as we played earlier, Vice President -- former Vice President Mike Pence using this to say this is important for the base, a historic moment.

Who do you think is going to have the net positive here in terms of animating the base to come out for the midterms as a result of this?

FALLON: Well, I think that in general, when you have -- when you`ve lost something, the pendulum tends to swing the other way in favor of the people that are fighting back.

Republicans are at this moment here, because they`ve succeeded in building an evangelical wing in their party over the last 30 to 40 years. That is, in many ways single issue voters on this question of abortion.

And for the longest time we`ve seen in polls, you know, over the last several years, that the general public was strongly supporting abortion rights and strongly supporting the Roe ruling, and did not believe that it was truly at risk, believe that some of the rhetoric was overheated.

And now, we`ve arrived at the moment where I think a lot of people are god smacked that this is truly happening, I don`t think they should be. But I think that there is going to be an awakening in this country.

But again, I don`t think that Democratic candidates for office can assume that that will all that that outrage and that shock will translate necessarily into mobilized voters for them in November, unless they clearly articulate that they have a solution.

And I think Meagan is absolutely right, when Democratic leaders go down and campaign for Henry Cuellar who is a vote on the other side of this issue, it sort of sends mixed signals about how committed are Democrats in Congress to vindicate.


MOHYELDIN: Yes, I was going to say Democrats got caught flat footed but at the same time, they were also lied to by some of these justices who publicly in hearing said that Roe versus Wade was settled law of the land and clearly, now they -- it seems at least based on this leak they think otherwise.

Apologies Meagan, we`ve run out of time, but I am sure this is a conversation we`re going to continue to have in the days weeks and months ahead.

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Brian Fallon thanks to the both of you for joining us this evening.

And that is ALL IN it for this week. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin. Don`t forget, you can watch my show "AYMAN" every Saturday at 8:00, Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. You can stream new original episodes on Fridays on Peacock.

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