JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes. Keyvon Scott, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you. Best of luck to you. And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now. Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Donald Trump`s dishonest attack on democracy. As a president threatens more lawsuits to sabotage the election, why he`s now backtracking on just one state where mail-in voting is apparently not so bad?
Then, "it is what it is." President`s words on the American Coronavirus death toll. Laurie Garrett is here on why it doesn`t have to be this way. Stuart Stevens on Trump`s catastrophic interview with Axios and why Donald Trump`s order to stop the census is an unconstitutional power grab, when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Donald Trump and the Republican Party are waging a war on the very mechanisms of voting ahead of the upcoming election in November. And they are running some real risks not just for their democracy, but also their own campaign. I`ll explain.
There`s a situation with the Postal Service. We`ve talked about that a lot on this show because it is pressing and important and urgent. The President, of course, installed his crony, a wealthy Republican donor named Louis DeJoy, that`s him right there, he should be famous, as Postmaster General earlier this year.
And this is Louis DeJoy, and this is the board of governors, all appointed by President Trump, a pretty homogenous looking group of old men. Those are the people running the Post Office right now. And now, DeJoy is implementing a bunch of changes at the U.S. Postal Service allegedly to cut costs that are quite clearly slowing down mail delivery nationwide.
That could potentially create huge problems for mail-in voting as the pandemic still rages across this country. And if the mail takes too long to get back to the -- into the offices, then they can`t count the ballots. Not to mention that it`s hurting countless small businesses across the country in red states and blue states, rural areas and urban that depend on the Postal Service in the midst of a vast economic downturn.
And then there`s the legal battle. The Trump campaign is suing state and county elections officials in Pennsylvania, saying their use of Dropboxes for mail-in ballots is unconstitutional. The campaign is asking a federal court to bar them in November. Think about that. You can`t use the dropboxes so you got to use the mail which we`re slowing down. That`s the play.
In Nevada, the state Republican Party and Republican National Committee sued Clark County officials in June in part over their plan to mail absentee ballots to "inactive voters." And President Trump threatened further legal action just yesterday, after the governor of that state Steve Sisolak signed a bill ensuring that all the citizens in his state can vote by mail November, a very common-sense approach when it might be dangerous to go to the polls.
In fact, the RNC now lists a total of 17 states where they in the Trump campaign are engaged in legal battles related to mail-in voting and other ways that they say Democrats are assaulting the integrity of the elections. Of course, assaulting the entire elections meaning here, making sure people can vote.
This is a full concerted effort by the entire Trump administration, and crucially, the Republican Party, whether they like Trump or not or they roll their eyes or not or they think he`s uncouth, the whole party to undermine the legitimacy of the election, to cast aspersions on voting by mail, and attempt to actually bar people from voting by mail, all while we`re in a deadly pandemic that has killed almost 160,000 of our fellow Americans.
And then above all else, there`s the constant rhetorical war led by the President. It isn`t just baseless, it`s ludicrous. It doesn`t even make any sense. It`s just pure, deceitful propaganda. It`s like something straight out of North Korea. The president can`t even keep his own talking point straight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, we have a new phenomena. It`s called -- it`s called mail-in voting where you send --
JONATHAN SWAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: New? It`s been here since the civil war.
TRUMP: In terms of kind of the kind of millions and millions of ballots, I`ve never --
SWAN: It will be bigger this year because of the pandemic.
TRUMP: Bigger? Not, bigger, massively bigger.
SWAN: Yes, because of the pandemic. I honestly don`t understand this topic.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
SWAN: The Republican Party has an extremely well-funded vote by mail program. Your campaign puts out e-mails telling people to vote by mail.
SWAN: Your daughter in law, Lara Trump, she had robocalls in California saying it`s safe and secure, mail in voting.
TRUMP: Let me tell you. We have no choice.
SWAN: The Republicans won. That was an old mail-in race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President has been spewing this anti-mail-in voting propaganda for weeks and he seems to have just realized it might be a bit of a problem for him in the key state of Florida. Now, Florida is always an important state, but this year, it`s going to be in a especially important position and this is why.
The polls closed relatively early in Florida on election night, OK, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, and that state typically counts mail-in ballots pretty quickly. So, add it up together. If Joe Biden wins in Florida, right. If they were to say early in the night that Joe Biden has won in Florida, it will be very difficult for Donald Trump to win the presidency, almost impossible. It`s really hard to see a path.
And in an election where we almost certainly see a big increase in mail-in ballots -- I mean, just look at what the mail-in voting has been like so far in Florida ahead of the August 18th primary there, Democrats lead and mail-in ballots returned so far is 11 points, a complete flip from the 2016 primary when Republicans lead mail-in ballots by 11 points.
So with Coronavirus, still raging in Florida, and of course, the state filled with many, many senior citizens, many of whom are Republicans who may not want to risk going out to the polls, and why would they, the President cannot afford to discourage his senior elderly Floridian supporters from voting by mail and risk losing the whole thing on election night without any of the prolonged battle he`s preparing for.
This was obvious, of course, to everyone watching. So today, he just completely reversed himself tweeting what basically amounted to a big, please disregard. "Whether you`re calling vote by mail or absentee voting in Florida, the election system is safe and secure, tried and true. Florida`s voting system has been cleaned up. We defeated Democrats` attempts to change. So, in Florida, I encourage all to request a ballot and vote by mail. MAGA."
There`s likely going to be only one more big piece of legislation signed before election day, the COVID relief bill that is currently being hammered out in Congress. And if there is anything to be done to make sure the election happens in the safest, most efficient manner possible, with the Postal Service appropriately funded, that legislation is our last shot.
I`m joined now by Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. Of course, Senate is in negotiations now between various members of Democratic leadership in the White House over this relief bill. But before we get to that, look, just what is your reaction to watch the president do this, to sort of sow this sense of paranoia, conspiracy, illegitimacy around American elections, and then today put an asterisk next to it and say, but in Florida, that`s fine.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): I mean, it`s so transparent and painful to watch. One of the great stress tests of our democracy is having a President of the United States, during a pandemic, attacking the very systems of our democracy. And the hypocrisy is deep because we have entire states that have been doing only vote by mail, and has been working fine. And then today, with the tweet that you showed, where he suddenly realizing that certain states that are pivotal to him, he`s now going to declare that they`re OK.
And so, we have a whole host of challenges right now going on in our country. But for the very fundamentals of our democracy, the voting process, for him to be attacking it trying to delegitimize it, is a real stress test for our democracy as people are having to deal with the reality, feeling an urgency to vote but also wanting to protect their safety. So, it is shameless, but it also overall dangerous to the continuance of our democracy.
And I think he is setting himself up to have a means with which when Joe Biden, God willing, beats him thoroughly to question the legitimacy of the election, which will be in and of itself another stress test, for the first time in my lifetime, we`ve seen us have to question the peaceful transition of power.
HAYES: And I mentioned, of course, the key role that the post office plays in all this. There`s some reporting that actually the Postmaster General is going to meet with some of the folks who are negotiating this. You`re nodding so I think you`ve heard you`ve heard this news.
HAYES: There is real concern about what`s going on there. And there`s real question -- I mean, this bill is it. Like, this is the last ship to set sail before the election. So the Postal Office and election administration gets funded here or it doesn`t. How important is this? How much of a red line do you see this as?
BOOKER: Well, here`s a major red line. That these Trump appointees, this is not to debate, they have slowed down the Postal Service. And their slowdown is hurting private citizens as you shown, it`s hurting small businesses, but it`s really threatening to further complicate an election process that Donald Trump is intent on questioning the legitimacy of.
So, he, in many ways, is causing the problem that he is then going to turn around and use as another factor to make his crazy conspiracy theory that something was illegitimate in this election. And so, this is what he does. He did it in his own election with these millions of people that were the voter fraud that he alleged. He formed a commission on it, then he dismissed the commission when his allegations of the improper voting in the last election were called out.
So, we`ve seen the playbook in a smaller way then, but this could be a really serious thing he`s doing and he`s complicating it. Not only is he complicating this election, but what he`s doing with the census, which goes directly into the apportionment of power and resources and the drawing of lines.
He`s using the gears of government to undermine basic elements of our democracy -- the Postal Service mentioned in the Constitution, the Census mentioned in the Constitution, is absolutely unacceptable. And unfortunately, it`s going to be, as I said, a great stress test for us all of our democracy.
HAYES: What strikes me as so dangerous here is not just the president, but the fact that increasingly it seems to me the Republican Party is -- doesn`t think it can win in a majoritarian contest, right? That they need to use anti-majoritarian means, the Electoral College, the apportionment of the United States Senate, the judiciary, to essentially govern the country they think is rightfully theirs to govern from a position of 40 to 42 to 44 percent of the country, and not a majority. And that gives them an incentive to essentially attack democracy itself.
So you -- I mean, Trump, you got DeSantis, and the full Republicans who gang up to reinstate fines and fees as a barrier to voting after a state referendum says that people who`ve served their time down in that state can vote. You`ve got the RNC launching all this. You got Mitch McConnell hasn`t taken up the Voter Rights Act. The entire party seems very much dead set against the basic participation in the franchise.
BOOKER: Yes. I mean, you see it from Texas, having the most restrictive voting registration laws there are. You see in states like North Carolina that even a federal judge called them out for -- with surgical-like precision moving to pass laws to disenfranchise African Americans. You see this as a party and so many elements on the state level, and here on the federal level, doing everything they can to undermine what we should all want, as a democracy with vibrant participation.
And I think that you`re hitting on something about this idea that they have very rarely of recent decades, one presidency by also getting the popular vote in the United States Senate. We may be in the minority as Democrats, but we represent millions of more voters than they do. They seem to start to realize that their appeal to the -- to the broad majority of our country is dwindling.
And as opposed to trying to change their message or to reach out their party, they seem to be doubling down on doing things that`s going to make it harder to vote, harder for people to participate, and have us to be a less a vibrant democracy. That is anti-democratic. And we see a president who admires Putin and Duterte. He admires authoritarian leaders who may have nominal democracies. There actually are elections in Russia, but they`re very corrupted.
And we see that these are the people he admires, and his behavior is more akin to what they are trying to do than it is akin to other traditions and institutions of our democracy.
HAYES: Final question for you. And I know that you`re not directly a party to negotiations that were happening among a small number of members of the White House and Senate and House leadership on the Democratic side, but I just -- I find this outrageous and insane that Republicans are sort of fiddling while the country is burning. And people are going to get evicted and people are going to lose their unemployment lifeline, and it`s cruel and nuts politically to me. I guess the question is, is there going to be a deal? Where are we on this?
BOOKER: Well, this is where you can`t even use the word Republicans because Republicans who have to run things, counties, cities, towns, are all saying we need help, we need support. The last COVID package we passed, which was, you know, $2 trillion, was at the time that everyone believed that the crisis wasn`t going to be as great as it is now.
Well, now, our economy is tanking at a significant level, human suffering is continuing to go up at a dangerous arch, and they seem to be having a conversation with how low can they go in terms of the package they get out. Now, I don`t care Republican or Democrat, you have everybody from the head of the Fed to economists on both sides of the aisle saying we need to stimulate this economy.
And technically, one of the best ways to do that is to get money to people who are going to be putting up money in our economy, i.e. Unemployment Insurance, so I just don`t understand. This is the biggest point of crisis I`ve seen in my lifetime. It demands a big response, but they`re trying to whittle it down, cut key benefits, and are more interested in giving a full ride-off for corporate lunches than to actually help people, 40 percent of American families with children are food insecure, and they don`t even want to give additional help with food stamps or snap aid.
So this is a real crisis in our country, and I`m hoping that the negotiators can bring them to some sanity. This isn`t partisanship. It`s about patriotism and being there for people in need.
HAYES: Well, I wish I could be in the meeting with Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General tomorrow. But hopefully, we`ll hear how that goes. Senator Cory Booker, senator from New Jersey there in Washington, hopefully where he`s going to be voting on something soon, thank you so much for your time tonight.
BOOKER: Thank you always, Chris.
HAYES: Next, the President`s response to the 1,000 people or more in this country who die every day from the Coronavirus, "It is what it is." Pulitzer Prize-winning a Laurie Garrett on the President`s deadly disinterest in confronting the pandemic after this.
HAYES: There`s an interview with President Trump that aired last night which is getting a lot of attention and for good reason.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it`s under control. I`ll tell you what --
SWAN: How? 1,000 Americans are dying a day.
TRUMP: They were dying. That`s true. And you have -- it is what it is. But that doesn`t mean we aren`t doing everything. We can, it`s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague that beset us.
SWAN: You really think this as much as we can control, 1,000 deaths a day?
TRUMP: Well, I`ll tell you -- well, right here, the United States is lowest in numerous categories. We`re lower than the world.
SWAN: Lower than the world? What is that?
TRUMP: We`re lower than Europe.
SWAN: In what? In what?
TRUMP: Take a look. Right here. Here, it`s case death.
SWAN: Oh, you`re doing death as a proportion of cases. I`m talking about death as a proportion of population. That`s where the U.S. is really bad.
TRUMP: Well --
SWAN: Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etcetera.
TRUMP: You can`t -- you can`t do that. You have to go --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why can`t I do that?
TRUMP: You have to go by -- you have to go by where -- look, here is the United States, you have to go by the cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That room right there, I cannot stop thinking about it. I`ve watched it a whole bunch of times. And we`re months now into this once in a century plague, the President called it, which it is. We have arguably the worst response in the world. Certainly, the worst response among rich countries. That just is true.
What`s amazing about this moment is that Donald Trump is so checked out, he cares so little, I mean, so little about what`s actually happening or actually solving it. He couldn`t even be bothered to remember the disingenuous talking point he was supposed to be pushing. Think about that. He couldn`t get his brain to remember the following sentence.
We have a lower-case fatality rate than many other countries. Think about that. You can just memorize that sentence, right? That sentence is too much for him. He couldn`t do it. All he remembers, his sum total of investment in this, is that someone once showed him a graph with colored lines, with a good color line for the U.S. That`s it. That is the level of care and attention that is being directed to this once in a century catastrophe from the president.
And the fact the matter is that yes, Jonathan Swan is right. The percentage of Americans we are losing to this disease day in day out from our population, the ultimate cost is near the worst in the world. Look at this Financial Times chart. The U.S. is in the top 10 of total deaths per million people behind the hardest-hit European and South American countries right up there near the top. It`s getting worse every day and it`s probably going to get even worse in the weeks to come.
Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize-Winning Science Journalist Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. And Laurie, it`s always great to talk to you. This to me is something that has become clearer over time. It was clear in the beginning, but when you go through the metrics, we -- it is worse here. And fatalities are one of the key ways of understanding how bad it is here, and it just is worse than the rest of the world.
LAURIE GARRETT, MSNBC SCIENCE CONTRIBUTOR: Without a doubt. I mean, we`re not the absolute worst in deaths per 100,000 or deaths per million citizens, but where the worse in absolute numbers. And when you go by deaths per thousand, hundred thousand, or million, whatever marker you choose, we`re right up there, as you said, horribly in the top 10.
And that means that we`re being rivaled by countries like India, countries that -- where we should be the scientific lead of the planet. We should have the best results on Earth. We have the strongest scientific community. We have the National Institutes of Health. We spend more money on health than any other nation on Earth.
This is -- what`s intriguing to me about the President`s responses to Jon Swan`s questions is that when he wants to brag about achievement, he owns it as a federal response. But when he wants to talk about failures, he says the feds don`t have anything to do with that, that`s the states. They screwed it up, and then perhaps even blames a governor specifically by name.
He can`t have it both ways. It`s either there is a federal response or it`s not. And of course, we all know that the federal government has completely lost this war, and has allowed it to be completely fragmented across the nation into smithereens with no coherent overall response at all.
HAYES: And it`s so easy to lose sight. I mean, I know that, you know, in the first wave of this, particularly because New York City was the hardest place in the world, it was just so omnipresent among people that, you know, have friends and family in New York, and you`re sort of moving through it. But I`ve been reading dispatches from the Rio Grande Valley right now. So this is one of the poorest areas in America in terms of per capita income. It`s got hugely disparate health disparities to exist with, and right now is rivaling New York in terms of deaths per population.
This one piece, incredible piece, in the L.A. Times about the Rio Grande, just to get a sense of what deaths means here. This is someone who is moving bodies around who`s gone from transporting 15 bodies a week to 22 a day. That`s what`s happening. So many bodies I lost count. The grim business moving Latino Coronavirus victims as death toll spikes. Like, the ravages here at the ground level are incalculable and inconceivable when you think of them in terms of these numbers and these lines in the graph.
GARRETT: Chris, you know what`s striking to me is that this squabble now between Deborah Birx and the president, the latest little twist and permutation in the White House internal warfare. And she was trying to make the point, look, we`ve got so much virus in so much of the country now that we can`t easily bring this under control. It`s not confined in two cities. It`s not confined to Los Angeles, New York. It`s in remote parts of Montana, middle of nowhere South Dakota, off the beaten track Oklahoma.
And what this means is, it`s now hitting places that don`t have medical capacity even for a routine flu season, that don`t have, you know, multiple ICU beds ready and ventilators and all the equipment that we so desperately needed and used here in New York City at our peak. And so -- and where they don`t have public health infrastructures to do contact tracing. And you know, we`re going into poor and poor and more and more distant parts of America. And this is going to make everything about controlling this pandemic harder.
HAYES: Well, and then there`s just -- you know, the absolute level is so insane right now. And when you think about the fire metaphor and embers which I, you know, really find useful is, you know, the fire gets put out in one place, it`s raging and another, it`s going to ping around. Now, you know, there`s some reason to be optimistic in Sunbelt in Arizona and Florida and Texas particularly started to come down in cases, but the absolute number of cases is such that the virus is everywhere.
And you keep seeing stories like this, like the Rutgers football team in a state that doesn`t have a raging outbreak anymore, New Jersey. Of course, it was the hardest-hit state and deaths per capita in the first round. They`ve got 28 players connected to the Rutgers football team. And that`s because if you put a bunch of people together anywhere right now in this country amidst the absolute level of virus raging through the country community transmission, that is what you`re going to get.
GARRETT: Well, and one of the things that I think when we get to the fire metaphor, I think about the famous Oakland-Berkeley Hills fire many years ago, about 20 years ago, where the firefighters thought they`d brought it under control, they hose down a couple of houses and walked away. And it turned out the embers were not under control at all. The wind picked up, and by the time that fire was over, you know, thousands of homes had been destroyed and people have been utterly devastated. And that`s where we are now.
You know, here in Manhattan, one of our local news organizations, The Gothamist, reported on finding all these underground, almost speakeasy-like nightclubs scenes that are pop-ups that people find out about on Instagram. And they go and party, no masks, lots of booze, everybody having lots of fun. We`re seeing this kind of thing everywhere across America. And you can`t stop a pandemic, if you can`t stop that kind of activity.
HAYES: Well, oh, gosh. You just gave me a knot in my stomach, Laurie Garrick, as you`re very good at doing, although that`s just the reality of the world and you`re good at interpreting it. Laura Garrett, thank you very much.
GARRETT: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, Stuart Stevens on the President`s disastrous interview and what it shows about the Republican Party that has fallen in line behind him.
HAYES: My hope is that anyone involved in politics or anyone connected to reality for that matter, would be mortified by the sheer combination of idiocy, narcissism, and pettiness on display throughout the President`s entire Axios interview. It`s -- I mean, even three and a half years, it`s a shocking thing to watch. I mean, we know who he is.
But this is the Republican Party right now, the whole thing, this guy, floundering through one disaster after another for half an hour before the interview ended on this unbelievably petty moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SWAN: How do you think history will remember John Lewis?
TRUMP: I don`t know. I really don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. He chose -- I don`t -- I never mention John Lewis, actually. I don`t believe him.
SWAN: Do you find him impressive?
TRUMP: I can`t say one way or the other. I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive, but no. But I didn`t --
SWAN: Do you find his story impressive.
TRUMP: He didn`t come -- he didn`t come to my inauguration. He didn`t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that`s OK. That`s his right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s it. That`s all he has to say about John Lewis, he didn`t come to my inauguration, he says it twice, state of the union. By the way, you know, Lewis also skipped the first inauguration of President George W. Bush following that 2000 recount. As the Washington Post report at the time, John Lewis spent the day in Atlanta district. He thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush`s swearing-in because he doesn`t believe that Bush is the true elected president. He had a decent case for that.
Now, George W. Bush was a complete disaster, omni-directional disaster as president, the worst president in a very long while before Trump came along, although now he has competition. But at least he has the basic level of human wherewithal to go and give a gracious speech at John Lewis` funeral, just like you would expect just a person could do that.
Well, Trump wants us to only remember John Lewis as the guy who skipped his inauguration. There are profound issues in the Republican Party that brought us to this moment where that individual is running the whole country and adored by the rank and file. He is what it means to be Republican, Donald Trump.
But there are still Republicans who watch this with the appropriate level of horror. One of them is Stuart Stevens, a longtime Republican Political Consultant. He`s got a new book out titled It Was All Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump. And Stuart, it`s good to have you on. I`m curious what your thinking was watching that interview.
STUART STEVENS, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: It`s still just unbelievable this man is president of the United States. He`s a guy that really you wouldn`t want to sit next to in a long plane flight. Just across the board, he`s an idiot. This is why people are always trying to give Trump this idea that well, you know, he`s doing this in its fourth- dimensional chess or fifth-dimensional chess or tenth-dimensional chess, because otherwise you just have to come to grips with the fact he`s a blithering idiot. But he`s a blithering idiot. He can`t even carry on a conversation about current events of which, God forbid, he is at the center of those events.
I don`t really see how is it American, forget Republican, Democrat, whatever -- how if you really care about America, you can honestly say the country is in good hands with this person as president of the United States. It`s inconceivable to me.
HAYES: You know, I want to just play this clip where you`re talking about blithering idiot, I mean -- or he can`t carry on conversation. I mean, this moment, and props to Jonathan Swan for sort of stepping in when Trump did his like, they say thing and said, who says. But this is just -- this is -- this is the President of the United States. He`s someone who`s talking about the single most important issue facing the country in the world in his presidency, the biggest governing challenge probably in 100 years. This is what he had to say about reading the manuals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There are those that say, you can test too much. You do know that. Who says that? Oh, just read the manuals, read the books.
SWAN: Manuals, what manuals?
TRUMP: Read the books. Read the books.
SWAN: What books?
TRUMP: We`ve come up with so many different tests. The only thing that we have now is some people have to wait longer than we`d like them to. We want --
SWAN: That`s a big problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, here`s my question to you. And it is a question that you can answer for yourself, but I`m curious. I mean, you`ve been in Republican politics at the heart of Republican politics for a very long time, dozens and dozens of successful races, multiple presidentials. If you gave the people in your old life truth serum, they all react the same way, right? They understand that this is -- this person has no business being president at a deep level.
STEVENS: Stupidity is not contagious. The ability to ignore stupidity is contagious. And that`s what`s happened here. All these people that I work with, they all -- they`re appalled by Donald Trump, they`re frightened by Donald Trump. This is why, you know, this sort of trope is developed in the Trump administration. Like it would be worse had I not been there, which actually probably is true, but I`m going to start saying I stopped an alien invasion yesterday. What`s my proof? We weren`t invaded, were we? So, it has to be. I should get credit for that.
STEVENS: It really -- I`m just shocked that at some level of just basic patriotism, and moral decency. We haven`t even gotten into what he said about Maxwell in this interview. Why that isn`t just --why you couldn`t stand up and say no. This is bad to the country. It`s appalling. It`s a fundamental patriotic test and a fundamental moral test that the Republican Party is failing.
HAYES: You write -- you have a new book out about your career in the party. In fact, you and I had a long discussion about it on my podcast, Why Is This Happening, which is out this week, and you can get wherever you get podcasts. In an op-ed from The Times last week, you said, "I saw the warning signs about the Republican Party but ignored them and chose to believe what I wanted to believe. The party wasn`t just a white grievance party. There was still a big tent. The other guys were worse. Many of us in the party saw this dark side and told ourselves it was recessive gene. We were wrong. It turned out to be the dominant gene." I thought about that phrase in the book a lot. What do you mean by it?
STEVENS: Well, there was always this tension within the party. I mean, post-World War II, you go back to Eisenhower, McCarthy. I came out of call it the Bush-wing of the party where we really believed the party was flawed. We admitted it was flawed, calling compassionate -- conservatives and compassionate conservatism. Renaming, it is an admission that conservatism was not being seen as compassionate.
And we thought that our vision of the party would emerge, that we`re on the right side of history and we`re on the right side of political history. I don`t know how to look at this. Trump just say we were wrong. The party is comfortable with Donald Trump. I mean, we are the party now that attacks John Bolton and endorses Roy Moore.
Trump says he has 95 percent favorability with Republicans. That`s an exaggeration. Like everything to say he has 89. What else can you say? This is what`s happened. And you know, it`s not like we were perfect before, but we admitted our flaws, I think, and we aspire to something better and bigger. And I think that`s significant. I think the first step to change is to admit that you`re wrong.
So, we used to talk about a big tent party. Now you don`t even hear that. The fundamental rule of politics that it`s about addition not subtraction has been forgotten. We`re shrinking.
HAYES: No, I think -- I think the politics in this goes back to myself, Cory Booker, substantive governing outside, and obviously I think the Bush administration was a world historical disaster in many ways, but the politics from Reagan particularly and George W. Bush, was a politics of a confidence that you could win a majority of Americans that you could persuade people to come over your side.
The politics or Republican Party does not have that fundamentally is kind of nihilistically convinced of its own shrinking minority status and is fighting that action to kind of preserve power in spite of that. I think that`s a huge difference you get into your book which I would recommend, It Was All a Lie by Stuart Stevens. You could also check out our podcast. Stuart Stevens, thank you so much for making time tonight.
STEVENS: I appreciate it.
HAYES: Coming up, why is the census stopping its count one month early? Dale Ho and Vanita Gupta are here to explain the dangerous implications ahead.
HAYES: a Huge part of the point of the Black Lives Matter protests that have followed the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in Ferguson and George Floyd in Minneapolis resulted in the largest street protests in America in a generation possibly ever, is the struggle to bring attention to the basic lived reality of the level of quasi authoritarian fear of law enforcement that a huge percentage of Americans live with constantly.
The live reality day in day out in America for Black people, for Latino people for other people of color is often the state authority or adjuncts to state authority act with terrifying capriciousness. And that continues to be the daily truth in America. And here are two more very recent illustrations of it.
The Washington Post reports last Thursday, while two black moms sat with their babies in their car park not far from the White House, here in the land and free in the home of the brave, a secret service cruiser drove into their parked car, then uniformed Secret Service Officers pointed a rifle at them yelling at them to get out of the car.
Over the next hour, the woman said, they were handcuffed for that reason, separate from their crying babies, and handled by police who at first did not wear masks to protect against the Novel Coronavirus. According to a letter from their attorney demanding an investigation, for about 45 minutes, the babies wailed in the backseat of the car while the women were in handcuffs.
The doors to the car were open which made the mothers worry about their children overheating. One of the moms asked if she could breastfeed her son but was ignored, she said. The women say they were released without apologies or answers to their questions. The Secret Service says they are "looking into the matter."
And Sunday in Aurora, Colorado, a trip to the nail salon ended with a police forcing a black family, including girls between 17 and six years old at gunpoint to lie face down on the parking lot concrete because of confusion about a possibly stolen vehicle. Two were handcuffed, and you can hear the terrified girls sobbing as a police stand over them with guns drawn.
Does that look like freedom to you? Liberty? Aurora`s new police chief apologized and launched an internal investigation. But by the way, do you remember Elijah McLain, the young black man who played the violin where the police called on him because he was wearing a ski mask, because he had anemia and like to stay warm, and who tried to tell them police, begged them he was an introvert and he was not trying to start trouble before they pinned him down until he passed out and later he died?
Those officers were also part of the Aurora Police Department in Aurora, Colorado. And so were the police officers who took photos of themselves smiling and performing mock chokehold on the spot where McClain was arrested. So, we`re the officers dressed for battle who broke up this peaceful vigil for Elijah McLain just over a month ago.
I`m sorry, but there is something wrong with that police department. It seems pretty clear. Incidents like these are why 71 days after George Floyd was killed underneath the knee of a member of the police, the people are still protesting in the streets. And thank goodness they are.
HAYES: The United States Census is in the Constitution for a reason. It is one of the most important things the government does. It fundamentally creates the underpinning for all of our political maps. Every political map in the country is drawn off of census data. So if you mess with the census, if you tilt the scales in terms of certain states or areas or demographics, you can lock in political power for favor groups for a decade.
The Trump ministration has been trying to do that from the beginning. Remember, they wanted to add a question to the census about people`s citizenship status, even though that would almost certainly have resulted in an undercount among immigrant populations who are worried about getting that information to the government.
And the Trump ministration was so obviously lying about why they wanted to add that question that John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court himself called out the administration`s reasoning as quote contrived, which is highly, highly, highly polite way of saying it was utter B.S.
And now, gets this. The Census Bureau just announced out of nowhere, they are stopping their counting efforts one month early, just out of nowhere. We were just going to leave clock out narrowly. It`s unprecedented. Everyone is raising the same kind of alarms they did about that citizenship question because populations of color, hard read populations, places like homeless shelters, other marginalized people are going to be undercounted likely as a result.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIE MININ, DIRECTOR, NEW YORK CITY CENSUS 2020: We need that door knocking. We need that in-person contact that we`ve not been able to have in large part because of COVID. And so, for the Trump administration to say they`re going to cut short the door knocking by one month is really going to hurt New York City and our efforts to achieve a fair and accurate count.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s not just New York City, it`s all kinds of places around the country. Joining me now, Dale Ho, he`s the director of the Voting Rights Project at the ACLU. He`s one of the people who argued the case over that Census citizenship question before the Supreme Court, argued successfully. And Vanita Gupta, former head of the Justice Department`s Civil Rights Division, and current president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who was an op-ed in the Washington Post titled "Congress must intervene to make sure Trump doesn`t sabotage the Census."
And Vanita, let me start with you on this question. So, you know, the census happens every 10 years, there is a lot of planning. I have interacted with people the Census, and they are some of the most knowledgeable, incredible civil servants who know what they`re talking about and will like, just get on the phone with you and explain things to you. They`re real professionals. Does it scam to you that it`s possible this is a good faith decision to suddenly announce they`re cutting things short by a month?
VANITA GUPTA, FORMER HEAD OF CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, DOJ: You won`t be surprised to hear, Chris, that no, I don`t think this is a good faith decision. I believe that the professionals at the Census Bureau are probably deeply unhappy and distressed about this decision. This is a partisan political move by the Trump administration.
In fact, last week, the Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testified that he learned about the Trump administration`s desire to cut short the door to door outreach that is so crucial to reach immigrants, renters, people of color, the most vulnerable communities, this is how the bureau reaches on, that he learned about this through the media in the same -- at the same time that you and I did.
So, this is a real setback for the Census, but let`s be very, very clear that this is part of the ongoing agenda by the Trump administration to sabotage the census, and Congress is going to need to fix it.
HAYES: I just want to be clear. I was struggling all day now just popped in my head about how to communicate, how aberrant it is to just announce this thing you`ve been planning for 10 years. Like we`re just -- it`s like if I just ended tonight`s show at 8:45 and knocked off, like that just doesn`t happen. Like I`m not -- I can`t do that. I have a job to do. The show goes till 9:00. Like, that`s how the Census should be.
GUPTA: I mean, and look, the Bureau of Professionals have been planning this for years, as you said. And this is part of the typical course, which is after several months of self-response, the Census Bureau then moves into the phase of door to door outreach. And this is the phase by which to reach the most vulnerable folks that need assistance to fill out the census.
These are the very people that the Trump administration wants to exclude and really essentially erase from the count and from Congressional apportionment. It`s why at the same time that they are making this announcement to cut short a census amid a global pandemic.
Already the Bureau was hit by a global pandemic. The leadership conference is working on a census counts campaign in 50 states. The field operations have been gravely hit by the pandemic and the Bureau said give us these extra weeks so that we can make sure we can do everything we can. Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on the census. The results are going to last for 10 years and boom, at the very last minute, the Trump administration withdraw support for the extension, a support that they hadn`t given before and suddenly yanked the carpet out from under and says no, you will finish one month early entirely for partisan political reasons rooted in their effort to exclude immigrants and people of color.
HAYES: So Dale, you have a lot of experience with sort of blatant politicization of this. And part of what made your suit successful was to show that they hadn`t even done the basics required by law, right, to show cause for what they were doing. Given how sort of blatantly bad faith they acted in the case that you litigated, your reaction to seeing this.
DALE HO, DIRECTOR, ACLU VOTING RIGHTS PROJECT: This is obviously just another act of bad faith by this administration. And it`s directly related, I think, to the effort to include a citizenship question on the Census. Just two weeks ago, the Trump administration announced that the Census this year for the first time in history would exclude undocumented immigrants from the count of the nation`s population that is used to apportion the House of Representatives. No president has ever tried to do that in the history of our republic.
And the timing of all of this is highly suspicious. That announcement by the President that he`s going to seek to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count is sowing a lot of confusion in immigrant communities about whether or not they need to participate in the Census. It`s causing a lot of fear that the Census has actually target them, and it`s going to exacerbate the undercount and completely sabotage the Bureau`s follow up efforts.
HAYES: There was alarms raised back in June when these two individuals, Nathaniel Cogley and Adam Korzeniewski were sort of put into the Census. These are political appointees. They sort of answer to the White House. And one of them is like a failed Republican candidate, kind of a YouTube personality, the other is an academic, but he sort of moves in right-wing circles.
You know, this happens in June. A lot of people raising red flags and alarms like, who are these people, why are they here to answer to the Trump administration. Now we`re getting these actions. Like what do you think about the integrity of the Census as an independent entity that`s doing its best in good faith under the Trump administration, Dale?
HO: I mean, this, to me is an escalation of attacks on voting rights that we have seen getting more and more intense over the last 10 years. You know, we`ve been fighting back against a wave of laws that have been making it harder for people to register to vote or cast a ballot. And what I mean, when I say that this is an escalation is that we`re no longer just fighting about sort of the rules of voting and participation. Is there too much access, is there too much fraud, which, you know, I think the other side doesn`t really make a good faith argument on that issue but at least it`s a legitimate ideological debate.
What we see happening right now with the attacks on the Census, and the attacks on the Postal Service when more people than ever are trying to vote by mail are attacks on the very machinery of our democracy itself, and to me is a very, very, very disturbing escalation.
HAYES: That is the story so far of 2020, amidst the pandemic and everything else.
Dale Ho and Vanita Gupta, thank you so much, both of you. That was great.
That was ALL IN on this Tuesday night.
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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END