ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That is in Tulsa, and around the country with the nation`s renewed focus on addressing racism in America. We`ll have special coverage on THE BEAT at 6:00 P.M. Eastern tomorrow. That does it for me now. Keep it right here on MSNBC.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Tired of winning yet? Good evening, I`m Joy Reid.
Well, today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Donald Trump a stunning defeat, and delivered a huge local victory for the hundreds of thousands of young people known as DREAMERS. The court blocked the Trump administration`s attempt to dismantle the deferred action for childhood arrivals program or DACA.
Chief Justice, John Roberts was the decisive swing vote in a 5-4 ruling. And in a majority opinion, Roberts said, the Department of Homeland Security did not follow the law or give adequate justification for ending the program. Roberts called the administration`s total rescission of the program arbitrary and capricious. But the justices did not rule on whether the program itself is legal.
It`s the second Supreme Court defeat for Trump just this week. On Monday the court`s majority ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. As usual, Trump isn`t taking it well and had a classic Twitter melt down writing, these horrible and politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more justices or we will lose our Second Amendment and everything else.
Later he asked, do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn`t like me? Because the court`s decision, of course, is all about him. Not the 800,000 people able to avoid deportation.
Former President Barack Obama, on the other hand, who enacted DACA by executive order back in 2012 after Senate Republicans led by one, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, stymied immigration reform efforts as supposed moderate Republicans such as Marco Rubio, slunk away, well, he applauded the decision.
President Obama wrote eight years ago this week we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation. Today, I`m happy for them, their families, and all of us. We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals.
And as presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden echoed President Obama in his statement, calling the ruling a victory made possible by the courage and resilience of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who bravely stood up and refused to be ignored. As president, I will immediately work to make it permanent by sending a bill to Congress on day one of my administration.
Meanwhile, at Capitol Hill, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri called this the most disappointing week at SCOTUS in years. On the other side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got emotional in a speech on the Senate floor reacting to the ruling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Wow, this decision is amazing. I am so happy. These kids, their families, I feel for them. And I think all of America does.
Now, on some other issues, but, again, I cannot -- the Supreme Court, who would have thought, would have so many good decisions in one week. Who would have thought?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For more, I am joined by Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, Nina Totenberg, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent and Adrian Escarate, DACA recipient and Communications Coordinator for Define American. Thank you so much all for being here.
And I want to go to Adrian first. Your reaction to this ruling today?
ADRIAN ESCARATE, DACA RECIPIENT: I`m at a loss for words. It`s been an amazing, emotional roller coaster of emotions since the morning, and it`s an amazing decision but the fight continues. We need permanent legislation for all DACA recipients, and for the rest of the undocumented population in this country, and that`s on Congress. But it was wholeheartedly welcomed and it`s a sigh of relief, for sure.
REID: And former Vice President Joe Biden has said that`s exactly what he wants to do if he`s elected. When President Obama -- you know, the reason he went to DACA is that he couldn`t get a bill through. Republicans simply refused to allow it to happen. Do you think that people understand, among young voters in particular right now who may have undocumented family members and friends, that electing the Senate, electing a Senate that`s going to be willing to pass a bill is just as important as electing a new president?
ESCARATE: Yes, I believe that`s what`s needed. I think this is a motivating factor for young people to go out and vote. And I hope that happens because we need the support from everyone and we need to pass legislation that`s going to be comprehensive.
REID: Yes. And let me go to Nina. Just on the ruling itself, and this is too for my producers. Some, I want to read a bit of Clarence Thomas wrote the dissent. I sometimes want to be surprised with the world, but I almost never am. Here is Clarence Thomas` dissent. Today`s decision must be recognized for what it is, an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision. The court could have made clear that the solution respondents seek must come from the legislative branch. Instead the majority has decided to prolong DHS`s initial overreach.
Of course, he doesn`t account for the fact, Nina, that there was attempt, multiple attempts to pass immigration reform, and Republicans filibustered and prevented it. So that is why executive orders exist. But your thoughts on the ruling today?
NINA TOTENBERG, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it really was a bit of a surprise. I was at the oral argument, and there was really no indication that the chief justice -- I would say from the chief justice that tipped his hand in this direction, in fact, somewhat to the contrary.
But this is a very precarious moment for the United States, and there`s a lot going on. And I think the chief justice has tried valiantly to persuade people that the court may be a conservative court but that it`s a fair court and that it will view these things fairly, and that the issue is the law, not politics. And I think a lot of people didn`t believe him. It seemed not likely to be true. And here we have in a matter of several days, decisions that you would have not expected from a conservative court. This one`s 5-4, the LGBT one was 6-3, and it was by Justice Gorsuch, President Trump`s Nominee.
REID: I hope I didn`t lose you, Nina. I just didn`t hear you for just a moment. I`m going to ask you one more question, hopefully you`re still there. Because I think the cynical view of John Roberts is that his goal in a lot of cases whether it was on the affordable care act or even now in some of these rulings, he`s ruling on is to save the court, the reputation of the court from Donald Trump and from the ways in which Donald Trump is denigrating government, and denigrating the system, and norms. And that is sort of what people feel, or that what he`s doing is he`s softening up the public for the bad things to come.
Here is what`s still on their docket. They`re still to rule on whether Donald Trump can block disclosure of his financial records to House Committees and to New York`s prosecutors, which the law says he`s supposed to, whether he can fire the Consumer Financial Protection Board director without cause, whether the administration could allow employers to deny contraception coverage to workers on religious or moral grounds, whether the Louisiana law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is constitutional.
There`s a lot of stuff that can still -- there`s a lot of stuff that Gorsuch and John Roberts can still do damage on, and a lot of people don`t trust the guy, quite frankly, to helped to gut the Civil Rights Act and who`s in a lot of ways responsible for citizens united. A lot of people don`t trust him to be consistent. What do you think?
TOLENBERG: Well, look, John Roberts is a very conservative judge, but he`s also somewhat more classically conservative in a sense that he doesn`t -- he`d rather not take big steps. He`d rather take tiny steps.
And I`m not inside his head, but I think a chief justice does have to navigate the shoals of -- at the moment, there are people on the right and on the left, and very well-financed groups on the right and on the left who want to pack the court with like-minded justices, want to -- some people on the left want to expand the number of justices, limit terms for justices, all of that is going on and it`s very threatening to the court itself and to its reputation. It could, you know, you have people as diverse as Justice Ginsberg and Clarence Thomas, not thinking this is a good idea. They think the court can do its job.
Now, people who care passionately about issues may fear that if they lose, they lose a lot. But these folks believe in the law. They believe that they can call the shots the way they see them and that the law matters most, and in this case, the chief justice sided with, of course, court`s liberals. On Monday, he not only sided with Justice Gorsuch and assigned him the opinion, but the true Trump appointee split. I think that`s good for the court. It`s good for the court`s reputation.
Courts are not supposed to do what we all want all the time. And sometimes you find out that when you`re really ticked (ph) off, they were righter than you were. It`s not always the case. We could see them (INAUDIBLE) a lot of decisions. We`ve got abortion, as you pointed, coming up. I think that`s probably the most fraught one in some ways, but, you know, this is the job of the courts.
REID: We will absolutely see.
I want to bring Secretary Julian Castro in here. You ran for president. You know that the stakes are very high in terms of the presidency, and what it can do, what it can accomplish when faced with a Congress that isn`t willing.
I want to play you a set of people who were involved in one way or the other on the issue of immigration, at least some of them. Marco Rubio, James Lankford, and one Rafael AKA Ted Cruz, and what they had to say about the decision. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Some of the folks, that, you know, the Republican Party has put on its bench are actively -- are becoming activists in the role they`re playing. And it`s concerning, and, frankly, I mean, it undermines the very purpose of the court.
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): That they have now said, basically, every future administration has to play mother, may I, with every court to say do I like your opinion and your reasons enough.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This is gamesmanship. Chief Justice Roberts knows exactly what he`s doing. This decision today was lawless, it was gamesmanship and it was contrary to the judicial oath that each of the nine justices has taken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Your thoughts, Secretary Castro?
JULIAN CASTRO, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I mean, you know, it is something else to see these senators who lavish praise on justices, like Justice Roberts and Gorsuch, who was a part of the coalition that voted, the members that voted, you know, on the LGBT decision earlier in the week, they lavished praised on them.
They talk about them at their conservative dinners. They talk about a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and yet, they say that it`s all politics, like the president did, when there`s a decision that they don`t agree with.
Really, you know, what I saw today was over 700,000 young people in this country who are American in every sense of the word, breathe a big sigh of relief because at least for a little while, and we do need a permanent solution to this, we need legislation, but at least for a little while, they`re not having to walk on pins and needles. They`re not worried that they might get deported, that their family is going to be torn apart because, all of a sudden, they`ve got to go to a country that they have never really called home. So that`s a big victory.
But now, those same senators that were expressing such frustration and disappointment with the court, what they can do is that they can actually get to work, and providing a permanent solution to this. And as you know, Joy, a few years ago, in 2013, there were 68 votes in the Senate, including a number of Republicans that were willing to do immigration reform, and this would have been a part of that. And so I say the challenge to them is go do it, get it done. If you don`t like this, get it done.
REID: Yes. And I will remember that Marco Rubio started out on the committee that was supposed to be making it happen, and sold himself as somebody who could make that compromise and then ducked out on his own bill.
I want to thank you all for being here. Adrian, this is a great day for you, Adrian Escarte. I think I`m pronouncing it correctly thank you.
ESCARATE: That`s perfect.
REID: Former Secretary Julian Castro, Nina Totenberg -- Escarate, all right, I`m pronouncing it correctly. Thank you so much. You all have a great night.
And coming up, Senator Kamala Harris joins me on Donald Trump`s very, very, very bad week.
Plus, the Bolton bomb shells that came out five months too late to do us all any good.
Stay with us.
REID: Welcome back.
Well, during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump infamously told his supporters that he would win so much that they would be sick and tired of winning. Well, this week Trump was rejected twice on LGBT rights and on DREAMERS, by a Supreme Court that he helped to shape. However, as roughly 700,000 DACA recipients breathe a sigh of relief, millions of Americans continue to face the persistent threat of the coronavirus outbreak, while many more are grappling with racial inequality, exacerbated by police brutality.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, remains singularly focused on just one person, himself. On Saturday, Trump is set to join thousands of his most zealous supporters to rally en masse in a confined space during a pandemic. And, Surprisingly, this comes as polls continue to show Trump losing to Joe Biden.
And a new Associated Press/NORC poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans, 74 percent, believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
And for more, I`m joined with Senator Kamala Harris of California. And, Senator Harris, always good to talk to you.
I`ve got to start by asking you as a former prosecutor -- thank you -- you yourself, how do you react to the charges that we saw filed in dramatic fashion against these two police officers, one of whom is charged with felony murder in the killing of Rayshard Brooks?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Well, I have to applaud the prosecutor, Paul Howard, who, from day one, from the day of the incident, I recall, seeing him make statements that he was going to take the case very seriously, that he would move swiftly, putting all of the resources at his disposal into it, and, clearly, that`s what he did. And I applaud that.
This is what -- this is part of what is being demanded on the streets of America and 50 states where people are marching is that there be justice, and that equal justice under the law. And so that`s where we are. And I applaud the swift and serious attention that he gave.
REID: And you know having done the job that part of the -- you know, a lot of the game is played in the voir dire, it`s who gets to sit on that jury, and what is their attitude toward police. And, you know, presumably, you know, the defense for these officers are going to try to get people who think a lot like, for instance, Donald Trump.
So, I want to let you listen to what Donald Trump -- he is sort of emoting about what he thinks about this case. Here he was on FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The event that took place yesterday was -- I thought it was a terrible situation.
But you can`t resist a police officer. And, you know, if you have a disagreement, you have to take it up after the fact. I hope he gets a fair shake, because police have not been treated fairly in our country. They have not been treated fairly.
But, again, you can`t resist a police officer like that, and they ended up in a very terrible disagreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: A very terrible disagreement is a weird way to put one guy ended up dead.
REID: But there are a lot of people who think like that.
If you`re -- putting yourself in the position of this prosecutor, how do you combat that?
HARRIS: Well, you -- one, through the point of -- through the process of voir dire, which is jury selection, we look for jurors and potential jurors who can put their bias aside.
We look for jurors who approach any issue with reason and practical perspective. Joy, actually, I can`t even compare that to Donald Trump, because he is so deeply biased and uninformed. And, I mean, I just can`t even go through this exercise.
REID: I under -- totally understand.
HARRIS: He is -- Donald Trump...
REID: He`s -- yes.
HARRIS: But it is important that you -- you`re making -- but you`re raising a very important point, which is that part of the challenge that we have -- and this is part of what our bill seeks to address, our Justice in Policing bill.
Cory Booker, together with me and all of our fellow CBC, Congressional Black Caucus, members, are offering a bill, the Justice in Policing Act, to say that we have to make sure there`s accountability and consequence when people break the rules and break the laws, including police officers.
And part of what that prosecutor is going to have to argue in court, it`s the same point we`re arguing in the United States Senate, which is that there must be serious consequence and accountability and equal justice under law.
And when people break the law, even if they`re police officers, there has to be a consequence and accountability, and, in this case, for the crime of murder.
And to get to that bill, because I think there`s been a lot of -- I have heard a lot of people say, you know what? That bill that the House Democrats have put forward, it actually sounds pretty strong. There`s a lot of what activists are calling for, banning choke holds, banning no-knock warrants, saying that qualified immunity needs to be relaxed or rescinded, that police shouldn`t get...
HARRIS: Right. Right.
REID: Have so much immunity that they almost can`t be held responsible, and, more importantly, no new money, no additional money, even if they`re not defunding.
REID: The Senate Republicans came out with their version of a bill, lining up behind Tim Scott...
REID: ... that basically has, like, suggestions and grants.
REID: So, I think the worry is that there will be a temptation by the House to go to conference on the Senate bill, and that what we will end up with is a weaker bill than what the House has.
Are you concerned about that?
HARRIS: Let me tell you, the -- first of all, I have no question about Tim Scott`s motivation. He has courageously spoken on the Senate floor about his personal experiences with racism at the hands of law enforcement. Took a lot of courage and a lot of honesty to do that.
That being said, the bill that is being offered by the Republicans is weak. It will not change anything in any substantial way.
Let`s take, for example, the issue of no-knock warrants. Breonna Taylor, that young woman, that emergency medical technician who was asleep in her bed, died and was killed because of a no-knock warrant.
What we are offering in our bill is that we would ban no-knock warrants in drug cases. He`s saying, let`s report it afterwards. There`s so much about his bill that is about confessionals, after the fact. Ours is about saying, we need accountability and consequence.
We need to have a national standard for use of force. Why? Because, currently, the system is, when an officer uses excessive force, to ask, was that use of force reasonable? Well, you can reason away just about anything.
The more fair and just question as is, was that use of force necessary? These are the things we are doing with our bill. There must be accountability and consequence. That is the way that the people will trust that justice is being done in terms of law enforcement, in terms of our courtrooms.
And, for too long, we have been talking about training, we have been talking about commissions, we have been talking about everybody getting together and having a conversation. That`s not working.
HARRIS: And our bill actually deals with very specific issues that must be addressed.
REID: And we`re here on the eve of Juneteenth, where Donald Trump...
REID: ... darn near had a rally on this date. But they chickened out, and they are doing it tomorrow.
REID: But -- they`re doing it on Saturday.
REID: But we are looking at a situation where there have been multiple people hanged, ruled suicides around the country.
And I can`t leave you without asking you, do you trust that we have a Justice Department that will take seriously the concerns that African- Americans have, when you`re seeing multiple young people hanged in various states? I believe one or two of them were in California.
REID: And it is frightening to think we have to talk about lynching again.
I know that you are a big part of a bill to try to create a federal lynching law. What do you make of that?
HARRIS: That was my bill, yes.
Well, again, to your point about the Justice Department, one of the things in the Justice for Policing -- is -- bill, our bill, is that where we have seen with Donald Trump and Bill Barr a failure of leadership out of the United States Department of Justice, we are also investing responsibilities and power in state attorneys general to take up the slack.
So, in California, for example, the state attorney general is overseeing the investigation of those hangings that have taken place in California. So, where there is a failure of leadership at the federal level, we also should invest folks at the state level to do it.
And, Joy, you should also know, I`m -- together with my colleagues Cory Booker and Tina Smith and Ed Markey, we are proposing that Juneteenth be a national holiday. And we are dropping that bill to say that Juneteenth should actually be a national holiday.
REID: OK. Well, making some news tonight, Senator Kamala Harris.
HARRIS: And announcing it for the first time, yes.
REID: And announcing it, making some news, a federal holiday. That sounds like a capital idea.
REID: Thank you. We always love it when you break news, Senator.
Thank you so much, Senator Kamala Harris. Happy Juneteenth in advance.
REID: And maybe a federal holiday too.
HARRIS: You too. Thank you.
REID: Thank you. And up -- thank you.
And up next: A series of bombshells from John Bolton`s tell-all book leave you wondering why nobody around Trump was raising alarms about his behavior, including John Bolton.
More after this. Stay with us.
REID: Welcome back.
Well, Donald Trump is just seething over the new book by his former national security adviser, John Bolton. And needless to say, the book is full of damning revelations, including confirmation of the quid pro quo that Trump sought from Ukraine, which led to his impeachment.
But, according to Bolton, Trump also traded the national interest for personal gain from other countries too, like China. In a 2018 meeting with Chinese President Xi, Trump asked for some increase in foreign product purchases to help with the crucial farm state vote. If that could be agreed, all the tariffs would be reduced.
Bolton described Trump as pleading with Xi to ensure he`d win in 2020. In fact, Bolton writes: "I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn`t driven by reelection calculations."
Now, these are the kind of revelations that would have been really, really helpful to hear as the United States Senate decided whether or not to remove Donald Trump during his impeachment. But Bolton chose to remain silent. Only now, five months too late, is Bolton admitting that Trump has no business being president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I don`t think he`s fit for office. I don`t think he has the competence to carry out the job.
There really isn`t any guiding principle that I was able to discern, other than what`s good for Donald Trump`s reelection. I think he was so focused on the reelection that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside.
So if he thought he could get a photo opportunity with Kim Jong-un at the Demilitarized Zone in Korea, there was considerable emphasis on the photo opportunity and the press reaction to it, and little or no focus on what such meetings did for the bargaining position of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Among other things, Bolton describes Trump`s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as a -- quote -- "foolish mistake."
He called Trump`s infamous summit with Vladimir Putin at Helsinki a self- inflicted wound. And he criticizes Trump for capitulating to China on human rights. Bolton says that, when President Xi told Trump he was effectively building concentration camps in his country, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with the building, with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do.
The book also describes Trump`s inclination to -- quote -- "give personal favors" to dictators he liked by promising to interfere in U.S. investigations of foreign companies. In fact, Bolton says, the pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life.
Well, now Trump is doing everything he can to stop the publication of Bolton`s book before it`s released next Tuesday. He`s denying the allegations, calling Bolton a liar, and even seeking an emergency court order.
But, in doing so, Trump is making contradictory arguments, claiming the book is full of both classified information and lies. Both can`t be true.
So, which is it, Mr. President? That`s up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified.
So that would mean that, if he wrote a book, and if the book gets out, he`s broken the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Welcome back.
Well, that was Donald Trump on Monday saying that John Bolton will be breaking the law by publishing his book, because, according to Trump, all of his conversations are classified.
Trump is even seeking an emergency order to stop the book`s publication. But, at the same time, Trump is claiming that Bolton`s book is made up of lies and fake stories, adding that much of it is pure fiction.
In other words, he`s trying to say Bolton`s allegations are both false and classified, despite the fact that both of the two things can`t be true at the same time.
The problem for Trump is, the damage is already done. Bolton`s allegations, some of the most damning ones, are out in the world for free before Bolton sells a single copy. And they only reinforce the overwhelming case that was laid out during the impeachment proceedings.
Here is Congressman Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, just today:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): That it was part of a pattern of the president consistently putting his personal political interests above the interests of the nation, and to the detriment of our national security.
These were themes, of course, that we emphasized during the trial. Bolton really confirms them, I think quite clearly, in this book. You could certainly question and I think should question John Bolton`s patriotism in withholding this information during an impeachment proceeding.
But that doesn`t necessarily detract from the seriousness of what he alleges against the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I`m joined now by Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser under President Obama.
And, Ben, I have to ask you this. Yes, there`s a question as to the patriotism of John Bolton, in which he would only give these revelations about the president of the United States for money, rather than testify and help the American people and help the United States senators make an impeachment decision. That`s true.
But he also lived through years of this, as he says, things like Putin can play Trump like a fiddle. He talked about Donald Trump privately complaining about journalists and saying they should be executed, they are scumbags, they should be executed. That was said in front of him.
Given that he knew all of this, that he knew what Helsinki meant, he knew what Donald Trump did in Ukraine, was John Bolton fit to be national security adviser?
BEN RHODES, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I certainly don`t think so, Joy.
I mean, you`re right. He went to work every day and went along with what he himself now describes as a fundamentally corrupt American foreign policy and a fundamentally corrupt White House. He was in the room at these times.
He was there when the president of the United States was seeking Chinese intervention in our election his behalf, in the room when the president of the United States endorsed the Chinese strategy to put one million Uyghurs -- that`s a Muslim minority in China -- in concentration camps.
And, frankly, he only seemed to have left after Donald Trump did not go all the way to a war with Iran that John Bolton was pursuing.
So, I think we can certainly question John Bolton`s judgment here, but at the same time, Joy, the stories he tells, the details he provides, fully corroborate what we already knew to be true about Donald Trump and fills in a broader picture.
So, we saw in great detail in the impeachment process, for instance, that Donald Trump was willing to make the foreign policy of the United States serves his own political interests in Ukraine, while John Bolton just shows us how he did the same thing in China.
So these aren`t new lessons about Trump but there are new details that go along with the things we already know to be true about this president.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, I think you make a really good point. One wonders if this man would have written this book at all, even though he knows that Donald Trump went and begged and pleaded for China to help get him reelected after he tried to extort Ukraine to try to help himself get reelected, whether he would have written one word about this if Donald Trump had been willing to go to war in Iran. I don`t know the answer to that.
Do you have a speculation?
RHODES: Well, my speculation is, you know, John Bolton would have wanted to stick around for that war, and frankly did everything he could to get us to the brink of it. It`s kind of astonishing to think back, Joy, that it was only a few months ago, after John Bolton had left, frankly, that we were on the brink of a war with Iran.
I think that the broader lesson here, Joy, is all of the people who have enabled Donald Trump, the people who have worked in that White House, and the Republican Party in Congress that voted to acquit him of crimes that he was clearly guilty of in the impeachment process, there is a reckoning coming for all of them, and just coming out after the fact and saying, yeah, I was troubled by this at the time only raises the question of well then why you didn`t do anything about it when you had some -- an opportunity to do something about it at the time?
And so to me --
RHODES: -- you know, I think part of the story here is, yeah, you know Donald Trump puts his personal interests first. We know he`s corrupt. The question is, why has so much of the Republican Party, whether it`s figures like John Bolton, who have been at the center of Republican politics for so long, or the senators who voted to acquit of crimes they knew he was guilty of, why are they doing this, and how is history going to judge them? I don`t think it`s going to judge them well.
REID: Yes, it`s a good question. You know, he tries to give John Kelly a belie (ph) in the book and saying, well, he questioned his erratic behavior, so what? And then he went and joined the board of a company that`s caging children. No, you`re not a hero, dude.
Let me play for you, John Bolton on ABC, he`s taking full advantage of the pre-book release tour, talking about Vladimir Putin, and this is an interesting bite. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that he`s not faced with a serious adversary here. I don`t think he`s worried about Donald Trump.
When you`re dealing with somebody like Putin who has made his life understanding Russia`s strategic position in the world against Donald Trump who doesn`t enjoy reading about these issues or learning about them, it`s a very difficult position for America to be in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: As somebody who has been deputy national security adviser, what would be the challenge that Joe Biden would face if he manages to win and becomes president in dealing with a world in which Putin is this emboldened?
RHODES: Well, I think the enormous challenge is the complete collapse, essentially, in Americans standing around the world, which has different dimensions.
First of all, we have just been through a pandemic where normally, the United States would be the ones organizing the response to that pandemic. That`s what happened when there was an Ebola outbreak, in the Obama administration, that ultimately led to two deaths in the United States. The U.S. has been totally absent from that, and nations like China and Russia have moved quickly to try and fill that void.
But I think there`s something else that`s fundamentally important here, Joy, the United States used to stand for something. We used to stand for a set of values. We didn`t get it in our foreign policy. A lot of people could look at us and think this is a country that cares about basic fundamental human rights that more often than not tries to stand up to dictators, instead of advancing the interests of dictators, tries to support our allies and support democracy in the world instead of undermining it, and the world has lived through if Joe Biden is elected four years of which the United States was doing the opposite of that.
And so, we need to rebuild our credibility. One thing I`d say, Joy, that connects to people in the street, the thing that gives me hope is protests you see around the world echoing the protests that are taking place in the United States with respect to black lives matter and structural racism. It shows there`s a world out there that wants us to be America, and Joe Biden has to take advantage of that opportunity and reflect that if he`s elected president.
REID: Yes, and I think -- you make a really good point. It also shows that most Americans are not down with this. Most Americans are not part of whatever Trump is trying to create, and it`s good that it`s visual for the rest of the world to see that, we`re not all Trumpist.
Ben Rhodes, thank you very much for talking to me tonight.
And up next, Donald Trump takes credit -- Donald Trump takes credit for making the Juneteenth holiday very famous.
Very famous. Yes, you heard that right. He thinks it`s him, he did that, he made Juneteenth famous.
You`re welcome, black America.
You are not going to want to miss this. Stick around.
REID: Welcome back.
Well, as our country is facing a potential tipping point in the fight against systemic racism, we`re also on the eve of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day the last American slaves were set free two years after the end of the civil war. All but three states commemorate or observe the 155-year-old holiday, so it is surprising that Donald Trump originally planned to hold a campaign rally, not only on Juneteenth, but also in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the 1921 Tulsa massacre, when white mobs attacked black citizens in the Greenwood section of town.
After facing an avalanche of criticism, Trump`s rally was pushed to Saturday, and instead of acknowledging his mistake, Trump is trying to take credit, telling the "Wall Street Journal," quote, I did something good, I made Juneteenth very famous. It`s actually an important event, important time, but nobody had ever heard of it.
Nobody had ever heard of it.
For more, I`m joined by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for "The New York Times" magazine, I love saying that, and Jamil Smith, senior writer for "Rolling Stone".
Nikole, I have to go to you first.
The genius behind the 1961 Project, if -- you know, it is not surprising to me that not all Americans are familiar with Juneteenth. I grew up in Colorado. I grew up in Denver, Colorado. It`s a very Western holiday.
When I moved back to Brooklyn, New York, people really didn`t celebrate it. It`s only been holiday that`s been sort of acknowledged in the United States, in most states, since the 2000s. But is it credible to you that the White House staff, that no one there understood that he was planning this rally on Juneteenth and in this place where the Greenwood massacre took place?
NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, PULITZER PRIZE WINNER: You know, it`s always hard to tell how much is just sheer incompetence and how much of it is racialized trolling. Someone was asking me the other day that I think this was -- this move was a dog-whistle to Trump supporters, and I said I don`t think most Trump supporters have heard of Juneteenth or have any idea that the Tulsa massacre occurred.
So, one could imagine either a scenario, but I think it does speak in general to this lack of knowledge about history as pertaining to black Americans, of the way that we have marginalized the history of slavery, and that we don`t acknowledge Emancipation Day. So, it`s possible that a lot of people just don`t know and it`s also possible that this was intentional.
REID: I mean, you know, there is this "New York Times" piece that it says inside the White House before the rally was announced, some aides did raise concerns about holding it on Juneteenth. Bob Parscale, who`s the Trump campaign director, conceded he had not been aware of the holiday, multiple people said, yada, yada.
But then he responded -- Jamil, I`ll throw this part to you -- then he responded that the campaign had held events on Jewish holidays and last year held a merry Christmas rally at Battle Creek, Michigan, none of which were criticized or disrespectful to the people who celebrate those holidays.
He said, he thought it would not be a problem. They have issued one, two, three statements about Juneteenth from the Trump White House. They put out statements. And when Trump says he`s unaware of it, they put out statements on Juneteenth. So somebody there knew it was there.
JAMIL SMITH, ROLLING STONE SENIOR WRITER: They obviously knew that Juneteenth existed. Now, whether or not they actually intended to insult us by holding it in Tulsa, you know, like Nikole said, I`m not sure whether or not they did this intentionally. In fact, I think it`s actually more alarming to think that they did not do it intentionally, that they simply did not care about us enough to have any regard for the fact that they were insulting us.
I think, frankly, if they had chosen a different city. If they said we`re going to have this in Dallas, if we`re going to have this in Houston, if we`re going to have this in New Orleans, we`re going to have this in Tampa, we`re not having this conversation. They chose Tulsa, the site of this terrible event to have this event on this particular today to kick off his campaign for all intents and purposes.
It`s hard not to see something deliberate.
REID: And, you know, just on the -- Nikole, you know, the Tulsa massacre is such -- a lot of people didn`t know about that. A lot of people thought that the watchman opening, if people haven`t seen "Watchman," you should totally watch it. But the opening shows the Tulsa massacre, and shows the planes that were used to actually bomb this black community that was called Black Wall Street. People don`t even know that it`s real and don`t understand that that level of violence took place.
Do you think that making -- you know, we just had Senator Kamala Harris announce that she and three other senators including Cory Booker are pushing to make -- to make Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, a national holiday. Do you think that kind of recognition is actually needed because people don`t understand what emancipation meant? Even black people don`t know the holiday existed, didn`t know.
HANNAH-JONES: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we -- the fact that we don`t have an emancipation day speaks to the larger effort to sanitize the history of slavery in this country, to sanitize the history of racial violence in this country. How can we actually confront why people have been marching in the streets for the last three weeks straight if we don`t acknowledge what got us here. We have buried this history that the Tulsa massacre, more than 300 black people were killed, black people were inturned.
We had law enforcement supplying the weaponry for that massacre. And that set back one of the most prosperous black communities that our country had ever seen. All of that matters when we want to understand why are black people having such a lack of wealth today? Why are black people still being killed by the police?
So, absolutely, part of a reckoning has to come with acknowledgment. We have Confederate monuments in almost every state in this country, but we have no actual monuments to slavery and what happened to the enslaved, and I think we`ve got to change that.
REID: That`s absolutely right. Can we just -- I know we have to go, can we just show you the cover of "The Rolling Stone" cover, Jamil Smith, you`ve written this cover story with this incredible Kadir Smith illustration.
No, that`s not it. Do we have the cover of the magazine before we go? We may not have it.
SMITH: Oh, that`s the wrong magazine.
REID: There it is. Gorgeous. That is the illustration.
SMITH: Wrong magazine, but that`s fine.
REID: Yes, magazine, magazine, magazine, yeah. "New Yorker", sorry. He also has the "Rolling Stone" cover. But Kadir Smith is very prolific, but yes, that is the "Rolling Stone" cover that you wrote the cover piece for, so I want to just congratulate you on that. Just buy both magazines and get your Kadir Smith on.
Thank you both for being here. And get your Jamil Smith on, and we love you, Nikole Hannah-Jones. We love you.
OK, come back. We`ll be back in a minute. Bye. I`m over time.
MADDOW: Welcome back.
Well, despite a spike of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma, Donald Trump is moving ahead with his rally in Tulsa. Trump supporters are lining up and saying they`re not worried about the virus. They appeared taking their cue from Trump himself, telling an interviewer yesterday that the coronavirus is, quote, dying out.
Well, I`ll be here tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., and "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" is up next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END