GOP Representative Andrew Clyde compares Capitol riot to a normal tourist visit. Rep. Greene confronts and harassed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez outside the House chamber. Leaked video shows a conservative group Heritage Action for America bragging about drafting GOP voter suppression bills. Vaccinated people can now go without masks in most places according to the CDC. Violence erupts on the streets of Israel as the conflict escalates.
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REID: Thank you. OK, before we go, I want you to be sure to tune in tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Craig Melvin will be joined by a team of doctors ready to answer your questions about the new CDC guidance. Tweet your questions with hashtag MSNBC answers to e-mail them to -- or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on all in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that January 6 was an insurrection?
HAYES: From the deniers of the insurrection to the QAnon ed Congresswoman chasing AOC around. Tonight, how the MAGA mob is running your 2021 Republican Party.
Then, new reporting on the right-wing group coordinating the state-by-state effort to rollback democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bill.
HAYES: Plus, the activist sting to try and trap FBI and Trump administration officials trashing the 45th president. The latest on the nightmare in Gaza and Tel Aviv and a momentous day for everyone who follows CDC mask guidelines.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you`ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. There are 212 Republicans in the House of Representatives on January 6th just hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power. 139 of those Republicans, a sizable majority, voted to overturn the election, right.
They voted to give the mob exactly what it wanted, what Donald Trump wanted, even after the mob assaulted police officers and broke windows, vandalized artwork, and chanted infamously hang Mike, hang Mike pass.
Most of those Republican representatives are not nationally famous. There are of course, some you could probably recognize from the Republican caucus. But there are those in leadership like, of course, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who orchestrated the purge of Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her number three role in leadership for refusing to lie about who really won the election.
There`s of course, the notorious Congresswoman from Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene who has been stripped of all of her committees, and about whom we will have more in a bit. There is, you might recognize this guy, Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona who I will never forget from this incredible exchange during a hearing in 2018.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): You said about a bias. This morning, I watched -- by the way, I`m a dentist, OK, so I read body language very, very well. And I watched your comment and actions with Mr. Gowdy. You got very angry in regard to the Goldstar Father. That shows me that it`s innately a part of you and a bias.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, the dental body language expert. You may also remember that six of Gosar`s siblings, his flesh and blood went out of their way to cut an ad begging people not to vote for their own brother. Gosar, still one of the big Stop the Steal proponents, will have more about him as well.
OK, but maybe you know those, right? If you follow national political news very closely, most of the Republican caucus is fairly anonymous. I mean, keep in mind, one of two parties in America. Republicans are on the cusp of possibly retaking the House purely through redistricting and gerrymandering. Whenever you just dip in to take a sample and see where the median Republican is, it`s truly unnerving.
Yesterday, it was not just the cowardly voice vote to remove Congressman Cheney and the backbenchers like another somewhat infamous one, Congressman Madison Cawthorn, crowing about it. There was also a House hearing where just incredible, literally incredible alternate history of January 6 was being written in real-time by, you know, for lack of a better phrase, random unknown Republicans.
Here`s one. This is Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia. Now, he`s new to the Congress. He`s a naval veteran. He filled Doug Collins` seat. His first day of work, the very first day he showed up work, January 3, and three days later on his fourth day, I guess, at the office, he was in the Capitol with all this happening. And then yesterday, this is how he described what happened that day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): There was no insurrection. And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walk-through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures.
You know, if you didn`t know the TV footage was a video from January 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. This now infamous comment has given rise to an entire microgenre of responses, including pictures of the bloodiest, most violent, most awful moments of the day with the label of tourists. And of course, just hours after Congressman Clyde made that ridiculous claim, this really disturbing bodycam footage from Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone was released, showing some of the most harrowing moments when he was dragged into the mob, beaten, and tased.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you. I got you.
MICHAEL FANONE, METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: You can`t do this. I got kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You can`t do this, I got kids, pleading for his life like you do with tourists. Today, Congressman Clyde went on to an event for the National Police Week called Back the Blue Bike Tour, where he had the opportunity to amend his statement and apologize to members of the blue like officer Fanone, but he passed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you stand by those statements?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you regret saying that? Five people died, including police officers in your hearing today honoring police officers.
CLYDE: If you are honest in your statement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s wrong about it when that`s what you said?
CLYDE: Well, think about what you just said. You didn`t take what I said in context at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, can you explain it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Explain to us. Explain to us.
CLYDE: You don`t listen to what I said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe the January 6 was an insurrection?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: See the contempt on his face, the anger? How dare you, right? We all saw what happened that day. I watched a man tried to gouge the eyes out of a cop over and over on footage I watched. I don`t know if Congressman Clyde believes what he said or if he`s lying. Neither of which reflect well on him or the party is part of. But that movement, the one that Clyde is part of, is now dominant in the Republican Party. I mean, clearly.
So, people like Congressman Paul Gosar are now stars. And here he is in the same hearing about January 6, demanding the DOJ leave the rioters alone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOSAR: Madam Chairwoman, my constituents demand answers, but the truth is being censored and covered up. As a result, the DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Whatever you think of as the most divisive, Republicans basically a stand-in for dozens of other Republican members of Congress who as best as we can determine, are basically all in the same information diet, largely believe the same things, live in the same ultimate reality.
A majority voted to overturn the election. Only 10 out of 212, that`s less than five percent, voted to impeach Donald Trump the second time around for obviously inciting the violent insurrection that had all of them cowering behind doors in their workplace. And now, some undetermined number want to completely erase that day from our collective memories, say it was just a bunch of tourists and patriots.
That is the ascendant faction of the Republican Party. That`s the dominant faction. Whoever`s in leadership, Kevin McCarthy, OK, Kevin, is not the one in control as is very obvious for the last 24 hours. And everyone on the Hill now lives in various degrees of fear of this faction, including every single Republican officeholder who governs with this group looming over them.
Like for one example, Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state who flatly refused Donald Trump`s criminal solicitations to "find votes to overturn the election," and as a result, now has a Trump-endorsed primary challenger in Congressman Jody Hice, another member of the House Republican caucus.
They`re also those who have to share workplace with members of this Republican Party like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York who was confronted and harassed yesterday by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who since she has no committee position, apparently has nothing better to do than stalk around and challenge her colleagues to debate.
Washington Post Congressional Correspondent Jacqueline Alemany witnessed the interaction between the two Congresswoman firsthand. She`s the author of the Posts early morning newsletter Power Up, and she joins me now.
Jackie, since you were there, will you just sort of say -- tell us what you saw?
JACQUELINE ALEMANY, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Chris, I appreciate you having me. This was an aggressive confrontation that we witnessed outside the House chamber from Marjorie Taylor Greene, which is the latest in a pattern of behavior from her that we`ve previously seen. But after House votes, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez walked out of the chamber very calmly, quietly, and chasing after her was Congresswoman Taylor Greene who falsely accused her of supporting terrorists.
And we witnessed this, my colleague, Marianna and I. We witnessed her shouting, hey, Alexandria, twice over in an effort to get her attention in a very aggressive and confrontational tone. Ocasio Cortez ignored her. She didn`t stop walking. Greene then picked up her pace and, you know, chased her down, started shouting at her, and kept asking her why she supports Antifa and Black Lives Matter which she falsely referred to as terrorist groups.
She continued to chase after her and shouted that Ocasio Cortez was a coward and that she was failing to defend her radical socialist beliefs.
HAYES: Yes. I should say that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said that, I think in response to a question about this, that she worked in a bar and used to have to throw people like this out of bars all the time, so she`s sort of used to it.
Just to give people a sense here. I struggle to communicate to people how bad, toxic, strange, and abnormal the environment of Capitol Hill and that Congress is right now. But just for people that don`t cover Congress every day, like this is -- this is not normal. This doesn`t usually happen at all, right? This is novel.
ALEMANY: You`re exactly right. And I`ve been grasping for the right analogy all day. But I really -- the only thing I can really communicate is that this was shocking behavior. And I actually was so taken aback, especially in this kind of environment that we`re working in right now, where you have lawmakers and reporters, quite frankly, who are scared to go to work every day in the wake of the January 6 insurrection that killed five people.
That threat, this confrontational tone is, again, it took me aback so much so that I didn`t even have the presence of mind to record this interaction. This is the kind of behavior that would get you expelled from school. It`s the kind of behavior that a parent would never tolerate from a child, let alone a member of Congress.
I have covered Washington politics. I`ve been on the campaign trail for about a decade now. And I`ve never seen a lawmaker, an elected official, or you know, really anyone in a professional setting behave in such a manner. But I think, as you pointed out, what`s most troubling about all of this is that cumulatively, what we`ve seen over the course of this week is just the latest series of data points of a disturbing trend of an information crisis and of an erosion of political and civil norms in some political circles.
HAYES: Yes. That`s diplomatically said, but I would agree. I mean, just -- I would just hammer home the point you made. I mean, again, all this is in the context of like a violent mob assault on that building, where people were fearing for their lives. And there were people going around saying we wanted to kill and lynch the people with the gallows erected.
Like, even if this happened absence that, this would be unnerving. But that is the context here. It`s inescapable.
ALEMANY: Right. And also, we need to be clear, this is a pattern of behavior for Taylor Greene that`s being enabled by GOP leadership. I asked Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about this story today that`s been on the Washington homepage for now 24 hours, and he claimed that he hadn`t seen it and nor had he talked to Marjorie Taylor Greene.
But she has been accused of this kind of confrontational and threatening and aggressive behavior previously. We`ve seen it on tape with her costing David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjorie Taylor Greene -- sorry, the Parkland High School Shooting, and Congresswoman Cori Bush from Missouri and her staff accused Taylor Greene of accosting her in a tunnel, after Bush asked Greene to put on a mask for her safety. Greene accused bush of lying.
Marjory Taylor Greene has been unrepentant about her behavior. We asked her about it repeatedly today. She`s doubled down on it and has really brought the behavior that we`ve seen at Trump rallies over the past four years to the halls of Congress.
HAYES: Yes. Jacqueline Alemany, thank you so much for your reporting tonight. I really appreciate it.
ALEMANY: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: As a former Republican Congressman, Carlos Curbelo, has a special insight into the evolution of the House Republican caucus, and he joins me now. You know, at one level, I think Taylor Green is a bit of an outlier in the Republican caucus, but not in this respect. You know, like, there`s the people that have to do trendsetting, like they look for the latest styles and they go to specific, like, adolescent girls who were 14, right? Who are like -- they`re like what the future of style will be in six months?
And to me, Margaret Taylor Greene, there`s one of her now, but there`ll be 10, there`ll be 12, there`ll be 14. Like, that`ll be more and more of the caucus after the midterms.
CARLOS CURBELO, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, it shouldn`t surprise us that people like Marjorie Taylor Green, like Paul Gosar are feeling bolden because this is what happens when you punish, when you diminish, when you try to silence people who are telling the truth, which is what happened to Liz Cheney yesterday.
What you do is you embolden, you empower you encourage those who are propagating lies, those who are not only propagating lies, bring those lies into Congress and taking a hostile attitude toward their colleagues. It`s really sad what`s happening in the House, Chris. It was not always like that. When I was there, not that long ago, it was tense, people were passionate. There wasn`t a whole lot of bipartisanship going on, but there was a minimum level of respect.
That has gone. But it shouldn`t surprise us because Republican leadership basically sent a signal to these members that what they`re doing is OK, that people like Liz Cheney who are being annoying by telling the truth, those are the people that need to be marginal.
HAYES: I`m so glad you used that word because it`s so palpable how annoyed many members of the Republican caucus are with her refusing to shut up about the basic truth of the election in January 6. Like -- and that`s how they just like, enough, enough of that. We don`t want -- we don`t want to hear it.
And that`s really the problem, right? Like if she`s annoying to them, because they have their sights set on the future. There`s also now this -- there going to be a vote to replace her, right? And Stefanik from New York has put herself forward. She`s got the Donald Trump endorsement. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, who I should note is to the right of Stefanik in his voting record, but voted to seat the electors, did not vote.
He was in the minority of Republicans who did not vote to install the loser over the winner. And Donald Trump has now come up to -- come out to say no, don`t go with Chip. And I guarantee you, he`s not going to win that vote.
CURBELO: Well, Chris, and that just goes to show that policy doesn`t matter in the House Republican Conference right now. Liz Cheney is extremely conservative, one of the most conservative members of the House. I know her and Elise Stefanik well. They`re both friends. Liz is a lot more conservative than Elise. But in the Republican Party of today, that doesn`t matter. Only one thing matters. Are you willing to be loyal to Donald Trump?
So, what Republican leadership did was send a message not just to their members, but I think to a lot of voters throughout this country that, hey, if you`re conservative, if you believe in low taxes, if you`re pro-life, that`s fine. But what`s really important is that you agree and support Donald Trump no matter what he says.
And I think that`s a dangerous message because if you`re trying to regain a house majority, maybe regain a Senate Majority, you need to grow your tent, not to kick people out of it. And the message this week is, hey, if you don`t agree with Donald Trump, we don`t care how conservative you are, take the road.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, I think -- I think you`re right. I think there`s some danger here. I do think that the dynamics of sort of thermostatic public opinion in midterms and redistricting will essentially put wind to the backs of Republicans.
But it is striking that, you know, there`s new polling out today that Republicans outran Donald Trump in districts by fairly large margins, district after district after district. He`s at 14 percent with independence right now. He`s at 30 percent approval rating. Like, this in any other context, it would be like a loser that everyone will be running away from, a loser, loser, loser.
It is so bizarre when you look at the polling data, when you look at the political performance, that this is what people think is the key to their, you know, political north star.
CURBELO: Yes. And House Republicans are lagging. I mean, you made the point and the data support the point. The country is moving past Donald Trump, OK. People are tired. Even people who voted for him understand that, you know, this is -- this is not good for the future. This isn`t sustainable. This was a very difficult time in our country.
HAYES: That`s one way of putting it. It was the deadliest year in American history.
CURBELO: I`m more diplomatic than you are, Chris.
CURBELO: But at the same time, House Republicans are doubling down. And it just seems like a strategic mistake. Maybe it`ll cost them, maybe it won`t, because like you said they have structural advantages going into next year, but it just doesn`t seem like this is the right message to send at this time.
HAYES: I`m looking forward to Speaker of the House Paul Gosar in 2023. That`s going to be fun. Carlos Curbelo, thank you very much.
Ever since the election, we have seen the number one Republican priority on full display state after state after state, restrict voter access. It didn`t seem like a coincidence this was happening. In fact, it seemed like a well-orchestrated, centrally planned undertaking. And now, there`s new video showing that yes, it is exactly what we thought it was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA ANDERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HERITAGE ACTION: This is what our teams are doing. This is what our focus is in this election integrity front. So, where are we? I mentioned the eight states. I want to run through these quickly. Iowa, Iowa was the first state that we got to work in and we did it quickly and we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We noticed. Here on ALL IN, we noticed. Some incredible new reporting from Ari Berman on the coordinated effort to undermine voting rights next.
HAYES: In Texas, the State Senate is considering a bill that would surprise, surprise, make it much harder to vote in the next election. As it`s written right now, the bill would limit polling places in early voting, allow partisan poll watchers to videotape voters which sounds awful. It`s one of hundreds of such bills mostly sponsored by Republicans introduced in state legislatures across the country.
Voting restrictions have already passed in 11 states under Republican control, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Many of the bills sound so strikingly similar, it`s been pretty clear they weren`t born in the organic laboratories of democracy.
Tonight we have a better idea of where the language in these bills is coming from. Mother Jones obtained leaked video of a private meeting between the Heritage Foundation and donors in Arizona last month. In it, Jessica Anderson, that`s the executive director of a Heritage sister organization, appears to basically brag about helping write these voter restriction bills and give them a grassroots vibe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We`re working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases, we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf, give them the model legislation, so it has that grassroots, you know, from the bottom up type of vibe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We have a sentinel give it to them so it has that grassroots vibe. Asked for comment by Mother Jones, Jessica Anderson responded and I`ll read the whole thing here. "We are proud of our work at the national level and in states across this country to promote common-sense reform that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. We`ve been transparent about our plans and public with our policy recommendations and we won`t be intimidated by the left smear campaign and cancel culture."
Well, don`t worry, Jessica, we are not here to cancel you. Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones broke the exclusive story today and he joins me now. Ari, give us context. What`s the event? Who is Jessica Anderson? And what is she describing in the video you obtained?
ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: Hey, Chris. Well, thank you for having me back. So, Jessica Anderson is executive director of Heritage Action for America, which is the sister organization of the Heritage Foundation. She is at an event on April 22 in Arizona for their top donors.
And she is going through and talking about how they are writing what she calls model legislation restricting voting rights all across the country, that Heritage is literally writing these bills for Republican state legislators in Texas, in Arizona, in Georgia, in Florida.
And that`s why we`ve seen so many bills suppressing the right to vote in such a short period of time that are all basically exactly the same. It`s not a coincidence that`s happening. Heritage is literally coordinating this effort and bragging about it at this donor meet.
HAYES: Yes, in fact, she talks about -- I mean that the Iowa thing is interesting. We did cover it on the show, by the way, and it was one of the first. She says, we sort of did it, no one noticed, and we were kind of laughing to ourselves like we got away with one more or less.
Here she is talking about pressuring Governor Kemp in Georgia to not lose his nerve and to make sure to bulldoze through. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I was able to sit down with Governor Kemp three days before he signed the election package in Georgia and I had one message for him. Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak. This bill needs to be signed immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Is Jessica Anderson`s background, was she a Trump administration official, is that right?
BERMAN: Yes, she was a Trump administration official. I think what`s so revealing about that is Heritage from the very beginning, coordinated the entire campaign to pass voter suppression in Georgia. They helped write the legislation. They lobbied for the legislation. And then once the legislation passed, they said to Brian Kemp, you have to sign it immediately. And that`s what he did. He signed it within an hour.
They gave the same message to Republican governors in Arizona, in Florida and Texas. They`ve done the same thing. The governor of Arizona rushed to sign a new voter suppression law just an hour after it passed in Arizona this week. Ron DeSantis signed the voter suppression bill in Florida as a Fox and Friends exclusive.
So, what you have here is one of the most influential dark money groups in Republican circles writing voter suppression laws in secret to make it harder for Black, Brown, and young people to be able to vote. I mean, this is a really shocking development for democracy.
HAYES: Yes. And one of the things that you see in this presentation is they are very -- the state is doing this, and now there`s this federal legislation, there`s H.R.1, and S.1, the For the People Act, which would be a sort of baseline threshold of voting access, which would regularize across the country as well some campaign finance reform aspects, a bunch of other things.
They have that -- Jessica Anderson, again, the woman that you saw there who runs that heritage sister network, a person you should know about, who`s doing a lot of work that she would want you to know about. She talks about killing H.R.1 a and S.1 as top priorities for them.
BERMAN: She does. She says, if they don`t kill S.1, we lose our republic, period. That`s the language she used. So, they have a two-pronged approach here. They`re spending $24 million to make it harder to vote in eight battleground states. And they`re trying to block the federal legislation that would make it easier to vote.
And the fascinating thing here is that you have dark money funding an organizing voter suppression.
BERMAN: That`s the exact thing the For the People Act would stop. That`s why the For the People Act has money in politics and voting rights combined because this is what we`re seeing. We are seeing an attack on voting rights that`s being organized and funded by millions and millions of dollars in dark money.
So, these issues are connected. The only way to fix our democracy is to look at these issues holistically. And that`s why Conservatives and Republicans are so terrified of the For the People Act because they know it affects our democracy in the very ways that they`re trying to undermine it.
HAYES: Yes. Amazing reporting as always, Ari. Jessica Anderson, we kept our promise to you. We are not canceling you. We want everyone to know about the work you`re doing. Thank you so much, Ari.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, Chris.
HAYES: Don`t go anywhere. You do not want to miss this next story which I had to read twice because it was so nuts. The right wing campaign to spy on government officials they suspected were disloyal to then-President Trump.
HAYES: An astonishing exclusive from The New York Times publishing tonight detailing a plot to discredit government officials who were perceived as anti-Trump including FBI agents and Trump`s own national security adviser while he was serving in the role.
According to The Times, a network of conservative activists, aided by British former spy, mounted a campaign during the Trump ministration to discredit perceived enemies of the president inside the government according to documents and people involved in the operations.
That included an undercover sting operation to our National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster after he reportedly called Trump an idiot with the intelligence of a kindergartener. The Times reports that a woman was recruited to stick out a restaurant McMaster frequented. She would wait with a hidden camera. And whenever McMaster returned by himself, the woman would strike up a conversation with him, and over drinks, tried to get him to make comments that could be used to either force him to resign or get him fired.
The effort was abandoned in March 2018 when McMaster resigned. The Times said it`s unclear exactly who was leading the operation and who might have known about it. "Whether any of Mr. Trump`s White House advisors had direct knowledge of the campaign is unclear, but one of the participants in the operation against Mr. McMaster said she was brought on by someone with access to McMasters calendar."
I`m joined now by former U.S. attorney and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, host of the Talking Feds podcast.
Well, Harry, what on earth -- what on earth -- what was your reaction to this piece?
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes. You know, it`s like part All The President`s Men and part Borat.
LITMAN: You know, everything that would be done -- would be done you would think by foreign operatives. There are so many odd pieces to it. And I shouldn`t say it`s great reporting, as you mentioned, however, if there`s a lot of speculation much more to come out. But there seem to be, you know, a kind of -- it dovetails very much with what we knew were the President`s obsessions about his own Deep State enemies.
Now, of course, McMaster, who is the central narrative here, it`s bizarre because all he has to do is fire him as exactly he did and for no good reason then anyway. We do know Project Veritas, which is a pretty notoriously sleazy group, I`ll just put it out there, is in charge of an FBI sting operation, well funded.
And that`s a big part of it here, by the way. They`re getting a lot of money from conservative causes, millions of dollars, and that could be a part of it. But the basic idea it seems to me is right now, we`re looking at private actors, though, pull this thread, here`s my Mike Flynn. Pull this thread, here`s Bannon. Pull this thread, here is Eric Prince.
If it does penetrate to the government, there`ll be much more there, more to investigate. For now, just like the sort of third rate burglary stage of Watergate --
HAYES: Well, that`s exactly --
LITMAN: (INAUDIBLE) private actors who seem kind of crazy.
HAYES: It does have very strong Nixon vibes, right? I mean, you got these - - you know, that was what Nixon had. He had these people in CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President, and he had these ex-CIA guys, right? These Cubans have been (INAUDIBLE). And they`re all running around doing these off-book cloak and dagger operations.
And some of them are comic and some of them are not, like, you know, breaking into Daniel Ellsberg`s therapist`s office for his files. I mean, that`s not funny stuff, right? So, I mean, here, you`ve got Project Veritas operatives created fake profiles on dating apps to lure the FBI employees, according to two former Project Veritas employees, and then screen-shot --
LITMAN: Big names -- big names for the women.
HAYES: That`s right. They arranged to meet and arrived with a hidden camera and a microphone. Now, again, all this stuff is sort of cloak and dagger hidings, but there is a question of like, who`s funding this and who`s ordering it?
LITMAN: Right. If it becomes a broader investigation, that is where you`d want to start, you know, just as in Watergate, follow the money. Now, right now, if there are federal crimes there, they`re pretty penny-ante, Chris. But they`re certainly a, you know, a predicate for Congress to investigate. And they would have subpoena power.
You had one member of -- a long-term member of the Judiciary Committee, who as you mentioned, said she was recruited by someone who knew about McMaster`s calendar. What was that person`s name? You know, I forget.
There are certainly more things to delve into by either the press or Congress. As of now, it doesn`t seem criminal or at least not in a kind of notorious inside government way. It was the same, of course, though with Watergate at first. And there is a lot of smoke, and it does very much accord with the things we know Trump was so obsessed about. And a lot of actors who it stands to reason would want to curry favor with him.
More than that, it`s hard to say at this point, but this is the classic kind of article that that is a sketch that will be filled in by other members of the press, and maybe Congress in the days ahead.
HAYES: Yes, the point there -- I mean, there`s two things that are striking. One is that he could just fire McMaster, as you said, right, so this crazy thing that gets spun up. I mean, you know, the President can fire his own national security advisor. It`s his national security advisor. So, all this weird -- this combination of paranoia and impotence and then kind of like off-book third-party operations.
And then the second thing I thought about when reading this is this is pretty early in the administration and we`re learning about it now. You always get the sense that we still just have a kind of tip-of-the-iceberg vision of all the high jinks and all the stuff happening during those four years.
LITMAN: See, that`s really true. And we know what had begun with Project Veritas as an effort to ferret out unions and other bad actors did dovetail into this government operation that was in fact, whether criminal or not, completely nasty business, right in the lineage of (INAUDIBLE) or Lee Atwater. At a minimum, it`s scandalous in a political sense if so many resources were being devoted to finding the enemy of Trump.
And remember, the McMaster part seems murky and he could and did fire him for no reason. The FBI stuffs a little bit more nasty and dangerous, right?
LITMAN: They were trying to get them in compromising positions, and then do what with it? You know, we don`t know. But that could have been really scurrilous.
HAYES: Harry Litman, as always, illuminating. Thank you very much.
LITMAN: Thanks, Chris. Good to be here.
HAYES: Coming up, is there a mask-free summer on the horizon? What you need to know about the CDC`s a big announcement after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you`re fully vaccinated, you can take your mask off. You`ve earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world, greeting others with a smile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A moment many people have been waiting for happen today. The CDC updated its guidance on wearing masks getting us one step closer to the way that life used to be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CDC: Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you were fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all lungs for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The news here is clear. If you`re fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask even indoors. Now, there`s some caveats, obviously. Fully vaccinated folks must still abide by local business and workplace regulations. And of course, I think a lot of stores that you go into and things like that are going to require masks because it can`t check who and who isn`t vaccinated. Also, the TSA is still requiring masks on planes and trains.
But the government`s decision to update its masks guidance for fully vaccinated people incentivizes people to get vaccinated, which in a way, we hope incentivizes progress. Because and I cannot stress this enough, the data we have is just uniformly amazing on what the vaccines are doing.
COVID deaths are down to almost the lowest point in the entire pandemic. Cases are down to where they were almost a year ago. Those numbers, we think, we hope, will continue to drop the more people get vaccinated. Right now, nearly 60 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one dose. The President says he wants to get that number up to 70 percent by July 4th. It`s a stretch but doable.
After the CDC announced their new guidance today, writer Derek Thompson of the Atlantic made a point I think underscores the two main truths of this virus. One, it`s an indoor exhalation virus that mostly spreads to the air and the vaccines work as advertised.
It took way, way, way, way too long, but we finally have reached broad understanding of how this virus works and how it`s transmitted and how to suppress it. We just have to keep vaccines going and we can start to get back to normal life.
HAYES: Theodor Herzl wrote his classic work the Jewish State calling for a Jewish state and then Palestine in 1896. That was, of course, decades before Adolf Hitler`s rise to power, and the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. And while the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust is what finally convinced the International Community to create Israel in 1948 the Jewish state, the persecution, violence, and fear of diaspora Jews long predated Hitler`s rise.
For centuries and centuries, Jews across the world, particularly in Europe, lived in a liminal state of fear. The various governments that had them as subjects could turn on them at any point. And even if the state did not put them in the crosshairs, often it was their neighbors who did. The knock at the door, the mob with a list of names, the pogroms whipped up by demagogues marauding the streets. These were the elemental constant threats that stalked Jewish life on this planet for centuries.
It is what brought so many Jews to our shores here in the U.S. in the great waves of immigration in the late 1880s. It is for this reason that the images coming from the streets of Israel right now are so morally shocking. Amidst rocket fire from Hamas and punishing airstrikes against apartment office buildings in Gaza by the Israeli army, about of communal violence has been unleashed on the streets of Israel, synagogues have been set on fire and Jewish businesses vandalized by Palestinian Israelis in the city of Lod, while mobs of young angry Jewish Israelis have been organizing on social media and prowling the streets targeting Palestinians they finding cars and beating them.
I should tell you, the footage you`re about to see is very disturbing, but it is worth watching. This incident happened in Bat Yam, Israel where a crowd dragged a Palestinian man from a car and beat him while the news camera rolled. Israeli anchors use the English word lynch, lynching to describe the mob.
It was not an isolated incident. This sort of violence and intimidation has been documented in cities like Haifa, Tiberius in Jerusalem. Israeli politicians from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on down have condemned the mob violence as intolerable. In a video from his office, Netanyahu said, "You can`t take the law into your own hands. You cannot come to an Arab civilian and try to lynch him, just as we cannot see Arab citizens do so to Jewish citizens. This will not stand."
For the last several decades, critics inside Israel and in Palestine and in the U.S. and in the international community have been sounding the alarm. And they have been saying the same thing. That the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank would have the effect of destroying the possibility of two state solution.
But more than that, they have warmed, it would have the effect of functionally annihilating the conceptual coherence of the Jewish state`s borders. It would channel the conflict inside with violent mobs now on the streets of Israel, that prophecy, looks pretty prescient.
Rula Jebreal is a journalist and foreign policy analyst who grew up in East Jerusalem, one of the cities where you`re seeing this violence erupting. And Lisa Goldman is a journalist and co-founder of 972, a magazine that provides independent news and commentary from Israel and Palestine.
Lisa, I just want to start with you because I`ve been consuming a lot of Israeli media over the last 24 hours, and it has been striking to me that there is a kind of genuine palpable sense of shock to the conscience of these images of these mobs on the -- on the streets. And I wonder if you could just talk about what that -- what that has meant inside the conversation inside Israel and Palestine.
LISA GOLDMAN, CO-FOUNDER, 972: Wow, it`s a very -- it`s huge. People are indeed shocked. I should say that these gangs are combination of Beitar football fans. They`re very like, racist football thugs, soccer thugs, who are called La Familia.
There`s also settlers, radical settlers coming in and buses and in cars in groups to the West Bank -- from the West Bank, sorry. And just general, you know, there`s a lot of racism in Israel because the Kahanist have become quite powerful in the government.
And this is something that the chief of police actually said explicitly today that a member of Knesset from a party called the Jewish Power Party, which is a Kahanist party, had incited antifa, a Jewish Intifada inside Israel that he personally had -- his name is Itamar Ben-Gvir. He`s a member of Knesset. He`s a notorious radical racist settler. And, yes, very -- has been inciting quite powerfully.
And what you see now, by the way, is not particularly a reaction to Gaza. This is something that is, you know, there`s been a lot of violence growing inside of Israel due to numerous factors that have to do with the inequality between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish citizens of Israel, inside Israel.
But also, there`s, you know, a lot of breaking down of the barriers that used to exist between Palestinian citizens of Israel or 1948 Palestinians who are, as I said, citizens of Israel, and the East Jerusalem Palestinians who are stateless but have Israeli identity cards.
Previously, there was the solidarity between these two groups was not high. And that has recently changed. There`s a lot of solidarity that`s growing and a national identity which is something that Netanyahu probably would have wanted to prevent. But he was so intent on cultivating the far right to shore up his power and his base that he has unleashed dogs with extreme racism on the streets of Israel.
HAYES: Just for context, when you say Kahanist, that`s a reference to Meir Kahane who is an extremist right-wing rabbi who led a faction. He was actually murdered later in his life. He has been the sort of founding father for a lot of extremist elements in in Israel.
Further on, Rula Jebreal, you grew up as a Palestinian with Jewish -- with Israeli citizenship. Your father was an imam in Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. You`ve written about the conflict for most of your life. What are you seeing now and what do you -- what are these images on the streets mean to you?
RULA JEBREAL, JOURNALIST: This is what we all have been warning against. And we were appealing to Democrats in the United States across the world, especially those who for all their life fought with African Americans here to affirm equality, equal right, and to protect multi-racial democracy in the United States.
What you`re seeing in Israel is Trumpism on steroids. What you`re seeing in the State of Israel is when you like Prime Minister Netanyahu weaponized ethnonationalism and the belligerent races racism and unleashed in the streets. And now it`s the dominant sentiment in Israel politics and Israel society.
I never in my life seen anything like what we are seeing all over Israel in cities like -- mixed cities, supposedly also tolerant, coexistence was the character of those cities in (INAUDIBLE) in Tel Aviv, everywhere. What you`re seeing is years and years where these nationalist extremists, the militias, the mob, the equivalent of the proud boys were so legitimized and normalized, and now they`re sitting in Parliament. And they are -- they are Bibi`s allies. These are people who will probably form a government.
So, he`s been embracing these guys. So, when our government in the United States says that we support Israel, they`re asking the Palestinians who are occupied to protect their occupiers. This is what they`re asking. In the meantime, they`re actually sponsoring underwriting the occupation in the occupied territories and West Bank while underwriting again the ethno- segregation everywhere else.
And the country is imploding. It`s not imploding in a -- we`ve seen this gradually increasing but it`s imploding politically, socially, economically, and racially, and religiously. And what they fear the most, you mentioned my father who worked in the mosque, in 1984, those extremists Jewish fanatics, tried to blow up the mosque.
They were caught -- they weren`t caught, they were sentenced, and they weren`t pardoned. In `96, they killed the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. They incited against him. They called him a traitor of the Jewish people and they killed him. His -- the guy that killed him is now a (INAUDIBLE), is a hero of these nationalists.
We see where this effort is going. And I fear it`s going to be bloodshed, pogroms, and what you saw these nights, it`s going to become the norm in Israel and Palestine.
HAYES: I pray for that not to be the case. Rula Jebreal and Lisa Goldman, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts tonight. I really appreciate it. That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.