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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 6/29/22

Guests: Luke Broadwater, Jacqueline Alemany, Melissa Murray, Carol Leonnig, Clint Watts, Xochitl Hinojosa, Carlos Curbelo, Yamiche Alcindor

Summary

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump WH Counsel Pat Cipollone. Former Trump White House aide testified about WH Counsel`s actions on January. Hutchinson: Trump, Meadows knew rioters were armed. Mark Meadows denies seeking pardon from Trump. Former WH aide comes under attack for testimony. Liz Cheney warns of threat from former President Trump. Rhode: Garland, DOJ closely watching 1/6 hearing. New fallout after bombshell testimony.

Transcript

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: That is tonight`s "LAST WORD". THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.

ALICIA MENENDEZ, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the new subpoena sent from the January 6 committee to Pat Cipollone, just a day after the bombshell testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, and the pleas from the panel to get him to talk.

Plus, what we`re learning tonight about the very real security threats, just how much Trump knew and what happens next? Then more states take action on abortion after the Supreme Court decision, with Democrats pushing the president to do something more, as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Wednesday night.

Good evening. I`m Alicia Menendez in for Stephanie Ruhle. After days a very public invitations to come talk. The January 6 committee tonight has issued a formal subpoena for Pat Cipollone. The move comes just one day after that devastating testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, about the former Trump White House Counsel`s actions ahead of and during the insurrection.

In a statement, the committee writes, investigation has, "revealed evidence that Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump`s activities on January 6th and in the days that preceded it." The panel note Cipollone did sit for an informal interview on April 13. But goes on to say, "unfortunately, however, you have declined to cooperate with us further, including by providing on the record testimony. We are left with no choice but to issue you the subpoena."

Earlier this evening, committee member Adam Schiff had this message for Cipollone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE MEMBER: And he ought to show just a small portion of the courage that Cassidy Hutchinson displayed. He needs to come out of hiding. He needs to do his patriotic duty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: As we mentioned Cipollone was prominently featured in yesterday`s testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WH AIDE: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don`t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We`re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.

REP. LIZ CHENEY, (R) WYOMING GOP CONFERENCE CHAIR: And do you remember which crimes Mr. Cipollone was concerned with?

HUTCHINSON: In the days leading up to the sixth, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral account.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: Hutchinson also testified about Cipollone`s efforts on January 6, to get the president to urge the supporters to end the violence. And she described him pleading with her boss, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to intervene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUTCHINSON: I remember Pat saying to him, something to the effect of, the rioters gotten to the Capitol, Mark, we need to go down and see the President now. And Mark looked up at him and said, he doesn`t want to do anything, Pat. And Pat said something to the effect of, and very clearly had said this to Mark, something to the effect of, Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the bloods going to be on your effing hands.

I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, Mark, we need to do something more. They`re literally calling for the Vice President to be effing hang. And Mark had responded something to the effect of, have you heard it Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn`t think they`re doing anything wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: Yesterday`s hearing is raising new questions about potential legal consequences for the former president, and for Mark Meadows, who is already facing contempt charges after defying a subpoena from the committee.

According to Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony, both Meadows and Trump were well aware of the possibility of violence on January 6. She testified Trump knew people in the crowd were armed, yet demanded security be eased to allow more people to attend his rally. And she testified Meadows had been warned about weapons on the morning of January 6.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUTCHINSON: I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns in the form of pistols and rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles. I remember Tony finishing his explanation and it taking a few seconds for Mark to say something to the point where I almost said, "Mark, did you hear him?" And then Mark chimed in and was like, "All right. Anything else?" Still looking down at his phone. And then he looked up and said, "Have you talked to the President?" And Tony said, "Yes, sir. He`s where he`s -- all right, good.

[23:05:19]

I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, I don`t effing care that they have weapons. They`re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: Hutchinson also testified that her boss was hoping for a presidential pardon. Today (inaudible) and never planned. Not surprisingly, Cassidy Hutchinson`s credibility now being attacked by Trump`s supporters. Late today, her lawyers issued this statement saying, "Ms. Hutchinson stands by all of the testimony she provided yesterday, under oath to the Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol."

Just a short time ago, the Reagan Library Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney spoke out about the investigation, and its meaning for our democracy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: At this moment, we are confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before. And that is a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic. And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who`ve made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: With that, let`s get smarter with the help of our leadoff panel. Jackie Alemany, Congressional Investigations Reporter for The Washington Post, Luke Broadwater, Pulitzer Prize winning congressional reporter from the New York Times, and NYU Law School Professor Melissa Murray, she was a law clerk for Sonia Sotomayor on the federal bench before her nomination to the Supreme Court.

It is good to see you all. Luke, let`s start with you. You and your colleague Maggie Haberman are reporting on the Cipollone subpoena tonight. He has been resisting formal testimony as Liz Cheney has been ramping up the public pressure. What do we know about his willingness to cooperate now?

LUKE BROADWATER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, we know that the committee`s subpoena puts extra leverage on Mr. Cipollone to come in and testify. And my understanding is, as we speak, there are no negotiations that have started about what he would be willing to talk about where he to come in. Apparently, he`s not willing to talk about anything, direct conversations with Donald Trump. But some other topics perhaps could be on the table. That`s similar to an arrangement that other lawyers for Donald Trump have reached where they have not talked about direct conversations with the President, but have been able to talk about other things.

You know, Pat Cipollone did come in and meet with the committee informally, months ago, but it was not transcribed. It was not under oath. And they really want to -- they think he`s such a key witness. You know, he was in the room for some of the biggest decisions in the build up to January 6, conversations about seizing voting machines, conversations, where Bill Barr offered to resign after he said there was not widespread election fraud of these conversations that Cassidy Hutchinson relayed where he and Mark Meadows are going in and out of the Oval Office and discussing the violence that was underway and whether Trump would call it up. So he`s an extremely key witness. They want him to testify. They want the American people to hear from them. And we`ll see whether this subpoena now puts the pressure needed to force him to come and make his comments public.

MENENDEZ: Jackie, I`m curious what you`re hearing from your sources on the Hill and in the committee. Cipollone was described by Hutchinson, as one of the last firewalls in the effort to stop Trump on January 6, was yesterday`s hearing part of the strategy then to justify a subpoena?

JACQUELINE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER: In part was, the committee has had a behind the scenes very detailed strategy on how to force witnesses who have not so far cooperated with the committee to come forth and change their minds. And the timing of the hearing was in part due to some of the security threats, a concern from lawmakers on the committee that Cassidy Hutchinson might back out of her commitment to testifying publicly because of just how many security threats and how much pressure she was under. But also in order to potentially spur the cooperation of other people like Pat Cipollone.

As Luke noted, the committee has been in negotiations with him for quite some time now. And there have been times in the past where individuals in Trump`s orbit have simply needed a subpoena as cover in order for them to finally cooperate, they`ll step in, for example, was initially supposed to testify publicly. And he claimed it was due to being subpoenaed by the committee.

[23:10:13]

That being said, people that we spoke to who know Pat well said that they find it very unlikely that he`s going to testify that he`s a real believer in executive privilege. He thought the Don -- the court ruling on Don McGahn was wrong, which ultimately compelled McGahn to appear before the House and testify. So certainly curious to see how the negotiations and the parameters of the committee and Pat lawyers set pan out.

MENENDEZ: Jackie, it`s my understanding, you have some new reporting on Trump and Cipollone in light of the investigation, what is their relationship like now?

ALEMANY: Yeah, their relationship is not as amicable as some others who continue to work directly for him or even work closely with him at Mar-a- Lago. The former president does have a small staff around, some of them former staff from the White House. But Cipollone is not one of them. The two have remained cordial, though, and he has not been a public critic of the former president. That being said, he was the no man if there was one in the White House and the former president didn`t appreciate that. They -- he oftentimes tried it and told it and sort of dismissed what Pat was advising him and the legal advice that he was providing. But ultimately, you know, I think Cassidy Hutchinson made clear in her testimony yesterday, that to -- Alicia, certain extent, some of Pat Cipollone`s warnings worked.

MENENDEZ: Melissa Murray, I would love to hear from you on how you view this argument from Cipollone that he simply cannot reveal any of his conversations with former President Trump.

MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: Well, Alicia, this is a long standing play from those in the Trump White House when they`ve been called upon to relay information about their time in the White House. They`ve said that this is limited because of executive privilege. Executive privilege does exist, but it`s not an unfettered and unqualified privilege. It is typically limited to those kinds of communications between the President and his close staff that relate to diplomacy, military matters, things that are really high level, sort of ordinary things, things that go to questions around the sort of general mindset or milieu around the Oval Office at the time. Those would not necessarily be subject to executive privilege.

So there`s going to be a fight over what Cipollone testifies to and what he`s offering, but it will be basically some of these long standing questions that we`ve seen about the scope and nature of the executive privilege that they`re asserting.

MENENDEZ: Luke, I believe you also have some new reporting on what DOJ did and did not know about Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony. What was that?

BROADWATER: Right. So yesterday, as much of the world, us included, were sitting in, like stunned, astonishment as we watched a revelation after revelation come out from Cassidy Hutchinson at the witness table. So we`re the Department of Justice, prosecutors, we understand from some sources that the prosecutors working on this investigation, on the Justice Department side, were watching very closely, and they were surprised, very much surprised by the testimony they were hearing.

This gets to a dispute that`s been going on for a while between the Justice Department and the January 6 committee. The Justice Department wants the committee to turnover every transcript they`ve done with all of these 1000 witnesses every single one that they have transcribed. And the committee has resisted that for a number of reasons. They`ve said that "We will work with the Justice Department, but on our timetable, perhaps next month, when we finish these hearings, we will have more time to go through this request and accommodate the Justice Department."

And the Justice Department is -- some of the lawyers are feeling frustrated by that because they want to have these transcripts as soon as possible as they work on their cases. You know, and at the same time, some members of the committee have called on the Justice Department to work faster and be more aggressive going after Donald Trump and some of his top allies. And so they`re saying, help us, help you. And so I think we will see eventually a deal here where these transcripts do come over, but it`s going to be -- it`s probably be a little more time before we see it come together.

MENENDEZ: Melissa, speaking of this relationship between the committee and DOJ, David Rohde of the New Yorker is offering insight into how the Justice Department is handling its 1/6 investigation and in light of all these hearings. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID ROHDE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: There are weekly meetings where Attorney General Garland is updated by top officials in the Justice Department about the latest information and in the investigation as a whole, the sprawling investigation but, you know, including, you know, evidence against Donald Trump.

[23:15:09]

There`s no decision yet on whether that, you know, there is enough evidence. But Garland is pushing. He signed off on a letter that asked for more for all the transcripts in the January 6 committee, that was a few weeks ago. And as you mentioned, there`s been a flurry of searches of subpoenas being issued, phones were seized. There is movement inside the Justice Department. And again, I`m hearing from former officials, this new evidence will change their calculus. But this was a big moment yesterday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: Melissa, what should we be watching for, for Merrick Garland?

MURRAY: Well, I think, again, any kind of movement, any more incidences where we are seeing raids, for example, like the raid we saw in Jeff Clark`s home just the other day, or more subpoenas for phone records or things of that nature. But again, this has been and continues to be a very slow and deliberative process, by design, I think. This is a DOJ that decided that it was going to come in and restore morale, restore the institutional independence of this agency, and again, getting bogged down in what can be derived as a partisan witch hunt is the last thing they want. So they want everything buttoned up. All of the T`s crossed, all of the I`s dotted.

MENENDEZ: Jackie, this was a big week for the committee. What`s next in terms of the investigation and the hearings?

ALEMANY: That is a very good question. As of right now, in this very moment, there are no hearings scheduled for next week. But the following week, there are potentially two more hearings that are going to take place. One of those hearings being focused on the 187 minutes that Trump did not respond to the violence taking place at the Capitol. So from when that -- when pro-Trump, pro-rioters first reached security up until he finally issued a statement condemning them to go home in language that was not quite that forceful.

And then another hearing focused on far-right extremism, the culture of political violence on the right, that one expected to be led by Congressman Jamie Raskin and Stephanie Murphy. But again, it is quite possible that the committee is going to completely recalibrate especially in -- if Pat Cipollone ultimately comes forward and testifies behind closed doors, it`s going to give the committee a whole new hours of videotaped depositions to potentially use at their disposal. They`re also currently still conducting closed doors depositions just today. They had Sean Dolman, the CFO of the Trump campaign and who sat down and gave investigators some behind the scenes details for several hours, according to people involved with the investigation. So this is very much alive investigation and things are changing, really by the hour.

MENENDEZ: I think we saw some of that this week. Jackie Alemany, Luke Broadwater, Melissa Murray, thank you all so much for getting us started.

Coming up, one of our next guests is the former president was essentially sending a loaded missile to the Congress. The security issues raised by this week`s testimony just ahead.

And later, the impact the headlines of recent days are already having on the midterms, THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a Wednesday night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:23:08]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY, (D) FLORIDA 1/6 COMMITTEE MEMBER: While the details are being disputed. The broader narrative is not being disputed. Mr. Ornato did not have as clear of memories from this period of time as I would say Ms. Hutchinson did, if that`s a fair assessment there. But we`re always happy to have folks who have recalled things to come back and talk to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: After Cassidy Hutchinson`s stunning testimony, the Secret Service as its agents are also available to testify under oath. But there`s no word yet on whether former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato or the Secret Service Agent in charge of Trump`s detail on January 6 will do that.

We welcome back, Carol Leonnig, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter for The Washington Post. She wrote the book on the U.S. Secret Service. And Clint Watts, West Point Graduate, Army Veteran, former FBI Special Agent and a distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Research Institute.

Carol, I want you to give us some background, who is Robert Engel, what do we need to know about the Secret Service during the Trump presidency?

CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Great questions and so concise as you, so cleanly are. First off, I`ll say, Alicia, the thing that you really need to know we all need to keep in mind about the Secret Service during the Trump administration is that, you know, President to President, there can be some loyalists that stick by a particular president. But Donald Trump politicize the Secret Service in a way that no other president had before. The most similar situation might have been President Nixon, who tried to use Secret Service agents as spies on some of his political opponents. Candidates for president, he tried to install agency thought were loyalty him, to sort of catch them in the act of something bad, and report back to him.

[23:25:05]

Donald Trump politicize this agency by installing as his White House Deputy Chief of Staff, the former head of his Secret Service detail. That person, Tony Ornato eventually basically becomes the de facto director of the Secret Service. He`s the one who makes sure events, photo ops, special things that are going to help the President get elected, get done by the Secret Service. Bobby Engel was the Secret Services detail leader for the President, and essentially, at this point, working for Tony Ornato. I mean, not in name, but in reality, working for Tony Ornato.

MENENDEZ: I mean, Clint, I would love for you to just weigh in on how unusual that is. But I also want to talk about the fact that you have the right today challenging the veracity of some of yesterday`s testimony. But we`re not getting a lot of pushback on the actual security situation that day. And I wonder what you make of that?

CLINT WATTS, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yeah, Alicia, I think they`ll probably be some actual written details, usually, in any sort of security plan for an event like January 6 will be some sort of operational planning, and actual write up, that can be referred to. And you`ll see some sort of a plan, setup of magnetometers were discussed during the hearing, which are a normal thing that someone would use to try and prevent weapons from getting very close to the President or anywhere near any sort of government buildings. Those plans should be somewhere and I think they would be something that would be subpoenaed by the committee if they wanted to get more details on what that plan was, and why it did or did not follow protocol.

I think, separately as Carol talked about, you know, any presidential administration, there`s quite a bit of bonding that goes in between a Secret Service detail and the very person that they`re willing to give their life too, to protect. I don`t think that`s unusual. But I do think is unusual is, in this Trump administration, how people are pulled out of acting government positions, pushed into what are really just White House staff positions. And it also really starts to erode the integrity of these institutions. That was a consistent theme throughout all of the Trump administration, whether it was the Department of Defense, law enforcement, whatever it might be. The Trump administration was always trying to bring them in to be their law enforcement, their military guys. And that`s what caused so many problems across the U.S. government in that four year period.

MENENDEZ: Carol, to this whole conversation about what is usual and unusual. The New York Times points out the willingness of the agents to provide potentially critical details about the person they were protecting marks a rare turn for an agency that has historically prioritize the secrecy of presidents, even in the face of investigations.

Carol, just how unusual is it for the Secret Service to offer up any specifics about what it does?

LEONNIG: You know, I have to grin a little bit about this because over the decades, the Secret Service and many of its directors starting actually with the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigation under President Clinton, have derived it agents who share any details, any confidences they learn at the side or the shoulder of the president. The goal is smart. It`s -- you don`t want a president thinking that the guys who are right next to him are absorbing his secrets and gossiping about them later. You want the confidence of those individuals because you want those individuals close.

But I grin because the Secret Service doesn`t want any details shared except apparently those that are flattering to the President, and flattering to the Secret Service. That`s one of the stunners for me in exploring this agency. You know, they didn`t want any detail agents interviewed by Kenneth Starr, about whether or not the President had lied about being alone with Monica Lewinsky, which he had. And they don`t want people sharing any details about things that are unflattering to President Trump. But here now, we have an agency that says, wait a minute, we dispute Cassidy Hutchinson`s account, which she makes clear as secondhand. And we are willing to say that we were in a car with the President and no such attack took place. The President didn`t do anything except get angry that he wasn`t allowed to travel to the capitol as he insisted on doing.

And I just want to say one more thing about in some respects how while this story is salacious and lurid, and the source of amazing media treatment, right, including by my newspaper. The things that Cassidy Hutchinson said that she witnessed firsthand are the most dramatic, right? The President attacking a federal officer is a shocker, a shocker if true. But the President telling the Secret Service not to mag people who had firearms, so that he could speak to them, have a better rally and then send them to the capitol arm is really the undisputed stunner.

[23:30:10]

MENENDEZ: I would add a layer to that, Clint, which is all the talk about the Oath Keepers, hearing the word Proud Boy closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around. I mean, members of those groups are already facing charges of seditious conspiracy. Do you think this testimony then weighs in?

WATTS: I absolutely do. I think there are two parts to it. We already had seen from both the documentary footage, after of evidence over the last few weeks that the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, Rhodes and Tarrio had linked up in a garage. There was obviously some sort of coordination and planning. I think, in both of the indictments, when you read them, the text communications that have come forward through clearly show that they have some sort of an informant on the inside that`s providing them some sort of information, or they have worked with somebody as a cooperating witness for reduced charges. And then you start to expand that out. They`re -- the most key person to me, which was out in the open on January 5 and 6 is Roger Stone, showed up consistently there. And then we also saw discussions during Hutchinson`s testimony of Michael Flynn.

So when you look at those people that were at the rally, those that were connected to these Praetorian Guard type groups that were guarding them and leading them into rallies at -- into and around the White House, into around the Capitol. I think those are the key linkages that were really missing up to this point, because they had not been flushed out in the indictment. So we`d seen out of the DOJ. So I thought this -- one of these things from the hearing those probably most important are these connections between the White House and these militia groups. I think that will get flushed out in the coming weeks. And that`s really where the ties are. We`re talking about an insurrection. We`re talking about violence. I`m much more interested in that and whether there was some sort of argument in Sudan with the president.

MENENDEZ: Also part of where the continued threat is. Carol Leonnig, Clint Watts, thank you both so much.

Coming up, the debate over Democrats response to voter expectations, what it could all mean for November when THE 11TH HOUR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:36:48]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D) NEW YORK: I believe that President Biden should entertain expansion of the Supreme Court. I think that right now, we just need a fight. We need to fight and we need to show and demonstrate to the American people that then when they vote to give Democrats power, we will use it to the fullest extent possible to defend everybody civil, economic and human rights.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MENENDEZ: In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, some Democrats are calling for immediate action. But there`s disagreement within the party about how aggressively they should respond.

With us for more, former Florida Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, was a member of the Republican Conference for two years during the Trump presidency, and Democratic Strategist, Xochitl Hinojosa. She`s the Managing Director of Bully Pulpit Interactive, and the former Communications Director and Senior Advisor for the DNC.

Xochitl, after the Roe announcement, you had some polling showing Democrats with a seven point edge in the midterms. That same poll found that Democrats were more animated by this issue than Republicans. So then explain to me why the hesitation from some in the party to really go after this issue?

XOCHITL HINOJOSA, BULLY PULPIT INTERACTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR: Well, I think that the polling is right, Alicia, I think that what will happen is that this will motivate our base, I think that whenever Democrats or any party is in power, what ends up happening is that there ends up being low enthusiasm. You have to spend money in order to get those voters out. You have to prove to them that you have delivered in the last two years or when you`ve been in power. So in this instance, what is happening is that this will definitely help our voters.

What I will say about the Democratic Party in this administration, is that while President Biden has said that he`s not for expanding the court, he`s doing everything possible to ensure that we are protecting a woman`s right to choose and on reproductive rights. And I think that he has taken aggressive action. He gave a speech, you saw the Vice President out there recently, and they will continue to be out there.

Number one thing that Democrats could do ahead of the midterms, though, is really talk about how elections matter. And what happened in the Supreme Court last week, is exactly a result of the 2016 election. And that`s -- they need to make a clear message ahead of the midterm, say, if you don`t turn out, it could get worse. We need to continue to put Democrats in power to ensure that this doesn`t happen and so we can restore Roe.

MENENDEZ: Carlos, let`s talk about the backdrop of this midterms. You have 61% of Americans have either little or no confidence in this Supreme Court. What does that mean, Carlos, for democracy?

CARLOS CURBELO, FORMER FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN: It`s a big problem, Alicia. The court in the past had more credibility, more respect, more trust than the political branches of government. And now, this court that makes big decisions for the entire country is starting to feel like another partisan entity. So that is a big deal. I mean, it motivates people on both sides. So you will see some conservatives turning out to maybe reward Republicans for shaping the court. But I do give Democrats an edge when it comes to just a motivation and an urgency to vote. Because obviously they`re on the losing side, and that`s typically what happens to party whose policies lose tends to get energized.

[23:40:10]

I will say more broadly speaking, Democrats also have to worry about centrist and independent voters, especially in suburban America. And that`s where they should highlight the bipartisan wins that Joe Biden has been able to sign into law, namely the bipartisan infrastructure bill. And, of course, the recently passed a gun reform bill, which is historic in nature for many reasons.

MENENDEZ: I mean, Xochitl, here`s the thing, I go back to that sound from representative Ocasio-Cortez, where she says Democrats have -- there has to be a fight, right? They have to have something that they are fighting for, and they have to be able to go into midterms, saying to their voters, we delivered something. Right? And beyond just policy wins, we understood that these rights were under attack. And here are the steps we took together and it can`t be amorphous, right? This just go vote message sort of begins to feel generic. I think it`s part of why you had Senator Warren coming out and saying, give us two U.S. Senate seats, and we`ll be able to deliver for you, right? It makes it much more specific. What do you think it is that this administration can actually do and can actually deliver around choice between now and midterms?

HINOJOSA: Well, I think that you had Secretary Becerra out there, and I think you`ve had administration officials who`ve talked about the tools that they`re going to use in the administration. I think that the President needs to ensure that this -- that he continues to talk about this issue. Yes, he gave one speech, but he does need to go out in the community and talk about and really listen to people about how Roe is impacting their day to day lives, what they can do. You heard Secretary Becerra talk about medication and abortion before and making sure that is available to people.

And you`ve also heard the Justice Department say that they`re going to take aggressive action. But I do think that President Biden does need to be out there a bit more when it comes to this issue. And it can`t be forgotten.

I will say, Alicia, and I think that`s one thing that people tend to forget is that the Supreme Court is not done here. We have a number of different cases that are going to come out shortly. We know that DACA is sort of in the courts right now. We don`t know what the future of DACA is going to be. So looking forward, not just Roe. There are a number of issues that are going to impact our values and democratic values. And the reason why they put us in office and this administration and Democrats need to be clear, listen, this could get worse, the Supreme Court could potentially take away DACA other things could happen. There are other consequences if you don`t vote for Democrats.

MENENDEZ: Carlos, I only have about a minute left. But there was an incredible sound from Liz Cheney tonight saying we have to choose because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump, and loyal to the Constitution. I wonder if you think that`s the choice, that`s before Republicans today?

CURBELO: Well, that`s certainly right, Alicia, and Liz Cheney has really become the conscience of the Republican Party holding all Republicans accountable, putting the truth out there and having them face it and say, are you going to accept this? Or are you going to turn to the truth and reject Donald Trump`s lie? So her voice is so critical in this moment. She has a big primary coming up in a few weeks. We`ll see what happens there. But regardless of what happens in her primary, Liz Cheney has delivered a great gift to this country. The truth from a Republican, from a bonafide conservative, and she is really holding all of her colleagues accountable. Many are failing the test.

MENENDEZ: Carlos Curbelo, Xochitl Hinojosa, thank you both so much.

Coming up, our own Yamiche Alcindor just talked to Hillary Clinton about the Supreme Court`s decision to overturn Roe, why she is calling the move arrogant and ignorant? When THE 11TH HOUR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:48:37]

MENENDEZ: We`re hearing from Hillary Clinton tonight at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. Former Secretary of State delivered scathing criticism of the Supreme Court`s reversal of Roe during the discussion with our own Yamiche Alcindor.

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HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It`s the most arrogant, misreading of history and law that you could ever find. It is so narrow and baseless. It was not only ignorant, but almost dismissive to the point of contempt for women`s lives and women`s choices and the difficulties that women of all, you know, backgrounds.

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MENENDEZ: Joining us now from Aspen is Yamiche Alcindor, NBC News Correspondent and Moderator of Washington Week on PBS. Yamiche, powerful words there from the former Secretary of State. What else did you hear from her about this decision?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NBC NEWS WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Secretary Clinton really delivered a full throated condemnation of this Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. She said it would put women`s life at risk that really it was undermining women`s ability to choose what to do with their own body. She said it was dangerous. And I want to play a little bit more of what she told me about this decision. Here`s what she said.

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CLINTON: You`ll have those who are trying to go after other rights, and make -- you know maybe they`re going to go after IVF, they`ll go after IUDs they`ll go after contraception more generally that is going to cause a reaction. And people are going to say, is this America, where some faceless bureaucrat or some state legislator or some governor is deciding what`s right for me and my family? Then I think you`ll see the reaction to how long that takes, I can`t predict.

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ALCINDOR: She also talks about the fact that really there could end up being a federal ban on abortion. And that women who are living in blue states, they should not feel protected. She also said that Democrats have to mobilize and really get ready to push back to restore in some places at least abortion rights.

MENENDEZ: Yamiche, there was so much in this interview, I wish we could play the entire thing in full but I want to make sure we get to this part, which was that Secretary Clinton was especially critical of Justice Clarence Thomas, what did she tell you?

ALCINDOR: She signaled out Clarence Thomas by name. And, of course, we should remind people that his opinion that was attached to this decision overturning Roe v. Wade talked about whether or not -- what we actually talked about the court, undoing same-sex marriage, as well as contraception, even for married couples. So she was really saying that people need to pay attention to Clarence Thomas, that he is someone who is -- has a dangerous idea that he could possibly even have the other judges get along with him and that people`s rights can be taken away in other areas. She also said that women should not be penalized for not being in the 13th or 14th Amendment really talking about the fact that this original idea of looking at the Constitution, in its original form is just simply wrong in her opinion.

MENENDEZ: Yamiche, I also know that you talked about 2024 election`s question of President Biden running for re-election. What were your thoughts on that?

ALCINDOR: Alicia, this was really, really interesting. I asked her, a question that Democrats have been really asking -- have been asked all across this country, would you endorse President Biden, if he ran again, for President in 2024, the White House has been signaling that President Biden wants to run. And the her answer at first was not clear. She said, of course, he`s done great things. He`s our sitting president, and I had to push again and say, OK, but would you endorse him. And she said, of course, if he`s a sitting president, if he is the nominee, then I will endorse him.

And again, she was very praising him very, very much saying that he was doing a lot of good things. But it really tells you the fact that this is really a tension point in the Democratic Party. And it`s really remarkable, because you have a sitting president, whose own party now is wondering whether or not he might not run for president in 2024, especially of course, given his age, also doing the fact that some in the party say that they believe that he was a bridge, and that he was really just here to beat Donald Trump and that he will then let other people in the party into the office and let others run.

I should also tell you, I pressed her on whether or not she was running for 2024 because after this abortion decision, there are a couple of people who were sort of wondering whether or not Hillary Clinton 2024 might happen. She looked at me laughed and said, absolutely not.

MENENDEZ: You pressed her on many things. The conversation was excellent, top to bottom. Yamiche Alcindor, as always, thank you.

And we should note that NBC Universal News Group is the media partner for the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Coming up, we`re learning more about the deadliest case of human smuggling in U.S. history. What we`re hearing about the investigation and from family members of the victims, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.

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GUSTAVO GARCIA-SILLER, ARCHBISHOP OF SAN ANTONIO: That trailer was abandoned. And if that trailer was abandoned, the bottom line is that immigrants were abandoned. People.

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MENENDEZ: The last thing before we go tonight, tragedy yet again in Texas. Dozens of migrants were founded in a sweltering tractor trailer on Monday in San Antonio. Today, the confirmed death toll reached 53. Officials are calling it, the deadliest case of human smuggling in the United States history. Fire Chief Charles Hood was on the scene Monday.

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CHARLES HOOD, SAN ANTONIO FIRE CHIEF: We have 50 or 60 people that were in humanely stuffed in the back of a truck with no water, no air conditioning, no means for ventilation and they suffered, they suffered before they died.

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MENENDEZ: More victims, some of them children still being treated at hospitals. According to a Mexican immigration official, the driver attempted to escape the scene by pretending to be one of the survivors. But now the Justice Department says he and three others have been charged in relation to the deadly incident. Here`s NBC`s Morgan Chesky with more.

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MORGAN CHESKY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Among the dead four Hondurans, including two brothers, Alejandro and Fernando Caballero. Today their mother mourning their loss, saying her sons were anxious but excited for a future where they could work to build their mom a new home. Mexican authorities cooperating with U.S. investigators are painting a grim picture of the deadly journey, after crossing the border in Laredo. Mexican officials say at 2:45 p.m. Monday, the truck pass through a border patrol checkpoint in Encinal, Texas. A camera capturing their driver identified by Mexican authorities as a now detained U.S. citizen who then drove through Cotulla before stopping 146 miles later in San Antonio on 100 degree day.

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MENENDEZ: Two brothers anxious but excited. Mourners have started to put flowers, candles, bottled water near the site where the truck was found on Monday, an honor of those no longer here.

Now, on that note, I wish you a good night from all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thank you for staying up late, and we`ll see you at the end of tomorrow.