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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/17/21

Guests: Anthony Fauci, Ted Lieu, Bennie Thompson, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Zaha Hassan


President Biden said his administration is to send 80 million vaccines abroad by the end of June. The CDC guidance that was released last week prompted a lot of confusion on masking. The House is expected to vote on forming a commission to probe the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The Supreme Court will hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Deadly conflict escalates in Israel and Gaza.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Just when you think you`re sort of out of the woods, the extremism rears its head again. We will all be holding our breath waiting for this decision. Senator Mazie Hirono, thank you for your patience and getting back on with us. And thank you to Susan Del Percio and Dana Milbank for sticking with us as our backup in case that call went down.

That is the REIDOUT for tonight. Thank you all. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For the first time since the pandemic begin, cases -- pandemic cases are down in all 50 states.

HAYES: Great news on COVID confusing news on masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci is here to talk about all of it tonight. Then --

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): You know, if you didn`t know the T.V. footage was a video from January of the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.

HAYES: The congressman who compared an insurrection to a tourist visit was apparently barricading himself in the Capitol to keep the tourists out. Plus, Congressman Bennie Thompson on his bill to begin the January 6th commission. WILL republicans keep up the lies about Roe v. Wade as the Supreme Court takes up a huge abortion rights case?

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): I think the likelihood of Roe v Wade being overturned is very minimal. I don`t see that happening.

HAYES: And as the devastation continues in Gaza, why did it take so long for the United States to even discuss a ceasefire, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Yesterday in these United States of America, there were just over 16,000 new cases of COVID reported. Now, if you`ve been watching the show over the course of pandemic, you know that it was a Sunday, that`s still the low reporting day.

But that number 16,000, it is still the lowest daily number since the end of March 2020 when the outbreak was still largely localized in a few areas throughout the country and when crucially, there`s basically no real testing infrastructure. Remember that?

And also, for the first time since the pandemic started, we now have cases that are declining in all 50 states. That`s right. That fact, President Biden touted today when he talked through the status of the fight against the virus and presented some really, really encouraging numbers.


BIDEN: Thanks a lot to the hard work of so many people, COVID cases are down in all 50 states. I want to thank the American people who have stepped up and done their patriotic duty and gotten vaccinated.

In less than four months, we`ve gone from less than six percent to 60 percent of adults in America with at least one shot. We`re seeing the results in live -- we`ve seen the results in people`s lives and in their livelihoods. Deaths are down from COVID by 81 percent and also at their lowest level since April of 2020.


HAYES: It is wild, from six to 60 percent of the adult population in one shot. Now, we`ve talked about this on the show. You look at that chart there, you see right around April 12, you see that peak there. We have seen since the last month a somewhat decline in daily vaccinations. But there`s still plenty of time to hit the Biden administration`s goal of 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose by the Fourth of July. They are on track for that.

And crucially, as more Americans get vaccinated, the focus is beginning to shift to the rest of the world as it should. Now, so far, we have been an international laggard on exporting vaccines. We`ve not been doing hardly any of it.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. as of last week have produced more than 330 million doses of vaccine and exported about three million doses far less than other major vaccine producing nations. By comparison, China has shipped 252 million doses overseas, or 42 percent of its total production. The E.U. has exported 111 million doses, more than one-third of its total output.

Today, the Biden administration started trying to close that gap. It announced they will share an additional 20 million doses of COVID vaccine with the rest of the world by the end of June for a total global commitment of 80 million doses. And perhaps, it`s notable as any of this news, at least in terms of how the white -- people in the White House are clearly thinking about the trajectory of the pandemic is what Andy Slavitt just announced.

Now, Slavitt, you probably recognize him. He was in the Obama administration. He was a very frequent guest on this show throughout COVID, became one of the country`s most trusted voices on the subject. He joined the Biden administration to help with the COVID response from day one.

And now Slavitt says he is leaving the administration in June which to me says a lot about what he and the rest of White House thinks about the virus, about where we are in the fight against it right now. And all of this news, all this good news, cases down in 50 states, 60 percent of adults with one shot, all of it is the background for the recent CDC guidance which was released last week somewhat suddenly and prompted a lot of confusion in which the CDC basically said, if you are fully vaccinated, you don`t need to wear masks indoors.

Now, that announcement put immediate pressure on businesses and state and local governments to rise their guidance. There was a very strong negative reaction from labor unions who represent workers on the frontlines, like the largest registered nurses union, the UFCW that represents grocery store workers. They question how well the vaccination honor system was going to work in large indoor enterprises.

As Vaughn Hillyard found out in Leesburg, Virginia, customers were also unsure exactly what the new guidance means.


VAUGHN HILLYARD, MSNBC REPORTER: What do you think of the CDC guidance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean -- I mean, that`s the CDC, so I kind of trust them. For the most part, I think they have an idea of what`s going on more so than I think most people.

HILLYARD: Some businesses are still requiring masks though. Have you tried to go into business without a mask so far?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do it all the time.

HILLYARD: You go all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m from the country. I`m a hillbilly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just follow the guidance, you know. But obviously, it`s up to the individual stores if they want you to wear masks or not.

HILLYARD: Potentially, others that are unvaccinated coming into the stores. Does that concern you at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, because I know that I`ve been vaccinated. So, you know, at some point, we have to let people take responsibility for their own decisions, and I`m ready to take that step.


HAYES: Now the confusion about the new mass policy arrived alongside a big blaring headline about a bunch of COVID cases among vaccinated people. Just before their 10-6 loss, the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the New York Yankees announced a ninth person in the organization has now tested positive for COVID. The Yankees have nine total positives within the traveling party since last week, three coaches, five staffers, and shortstop Gleyber Torres.

Now, according the Yankees, at least eight of those folks tested positive despite being fully vaccinated. So, for feeling a little confused or unnerved or unsure, you`re not alone. I can`t think of a better person to answer those concerns than Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Adviser for President Biden and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It`s great to have you back Dr. Fauci. Let`s start -- I`m going to talk about the masking but let`s start where we just left off with the Yankees because I think it`s probably the first and most high-profile outbreak amongst folks that are vaccinated we`ve had, right? We`re talking about an environment where people have gotten the vaccination. What is your takeaway? What do you see when you look at this in terms of what it means for other people who are vaccinated, but maybe still nervous about exposure?

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Well, you know, it`s important to point out, Chris, that these are certainly breakthrough infections. Breakthrough infections mean, you have been vaccinated, but you still get infected. But the critical point is that I think seven out of eight or eight out of nine of them had no symptoms at all, which means it is very likely that the level of virus in their nasal pharynx is low, and they won`t transmit it.

So, although you don`t like to see breakthroughs, the fact is, this is one of the encouraging aspects about the efficacy of the vaccine. It protect you completely against infection. If you do get infected, the chances are that you`re going to be without symptoms, and the chances are very likely that you`ll not be able to transmit it to other people.

So, again, you don`t like to see breakthroughs, but to me, this is not something that`s a shocker to me at all.

HAYES: So, that -- I mean, look, we`re talking about large numbers, right. So, when you`re running things that iteratively large numbers, you`re going to have breakthrough infections, right. So, something is 95 percent of, you know, effective. We`ve got millions of people in this country where you get breakthrough infections.

But this relates, I think, to the CDC mass guidance, right? So, I guess the first question is, just -- this is just a point of information. What did you know about that guidance? What were you communicated by the CDC in terms of the timeline for when you found it out, and then had to communicate it to Americans?

FAUCI: Well, to be honest with you, Chris, I found out about it a couple of hours before it was announced. But the science behind it, I mean, obviously, there`s discussion and concern about the abruptness of the announcement and all that, but the science behind it, the fact that we know now that these vaccines are highly, highly effective, number one.

Number two, they`re really, really good against variants. I mean, the predominant variant in our country is the 117, the one that originated the U.K., it protects very well against that. And the other thing is that, and this relates to the New York Yankees situation, is that we`re learning now with recent studies, that even if you do get a breakthrough infection, when you`re vaccinated, the chances of you are transmitting it to someone else is exceedingly low.

So, low likelihood of transmission, low likelihood of getting infected. When you do get infected, the chances are, you`re going to be without symptoms. And because of that, that was the accumulating scientific data that prompted the CDC to make that recommendation, that when people are vaccinated, they can feel safe that they are not going to get infected, whether they`re outdoors or indoors. That`s the bottom line of that to get people to appreciate you get vaccinated and you`re really quite safe from getting infected.

There will always be breakthrough infections, but given the denominator of people who are vaccinated, that`s a very, very rare event. So, the bottom line trust is good news. And in many respects, it really is a big, you know, endorsement for why people should be getting vaccinated.

HAYES: So, I`m trying to think about how to -- I`ve been coming to this office since September, and we -- you know, we`ve got very -- COVID protocols, I wear a mask inside, I take the mask off to the show with my writer and stage manager, Eddie, who`s incredibly able, competent, incredible guy. He`s sitting there right now on his mask.

And, you know, I guess the question is like, you know, basic questions like, can Eddie and I just chill maskless now? I mean, I guess it`s like an NBC call or it`s an H.R. call. But the layers of policy here, I think, are what have people confused, right? Because we`re all -- we`re talking about big indoor spaces with other people.

We`re not making those decisions individually. We`re making them subject to some authority, a local municipality, their mask ordinance, the organization who work for. Like, is the idea that all those people should just drop it with indoor mask requirements?

FAUCI: You know, it, it is complicated in the sense that you`ve got to look at each individual situation. I mean, take an example of an establishment, a store, where we don`t have passports for vaccine.

HAYES: Right.

FAUCI: I mean, we don`t know who`s vaccinated and who`s not vaccinated. And I have heard of situations where I think are quite reasonable, that a person who owns an establishment says, OK, they say that you don`t have to wear a mask indoors if you`re vaccinated, but I am an establishment in which there may be people who are unvaccinated and infected and other people who are unvaccinated and not infected and there`s risk of transmitting in my establishment.

Therefore, that person has every right to say, when you come into my establishment, you better put a mask on otherwise don`t come in. And that`s actually happening under certain circumstances. But the bottom line of why this recommendation was made was to assure people that when they get vaccinated, they can feel safe, whatever circumstance they`re on, outdoors or indoors.

HAYES: That -- OK, that`s an important, I think, stress here. I want to -- I don`t want to belabor this too much, but I want to -- just two more questions if you`re willing to go with me here. So, one of them is --

FAUCI: Yes, sure, no problem.

HAYES: Yes. So, one of them is a process question which in some ways is the least interesting, but it has broader repercussions, right? And I think we saw there was real worry about the independence of the CDC in the last administration. The CDC had always been quite independent. They had usually been out front in this kind of thing. They were very clearly pulled back.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier who famously warned at the end of February you`re going to have to do remote schooling was basically never heard from again. She announced her retirement actually today, if I`m not mistaken. There`s this reporting -- you just said that you found it two hours ahead of the time, and that syncs with what Politico reported that Wednesday evening, a small huddle of senior White House aides were told about CDC`s decision. President Joe Biden was informed on Thursday morning. The announcement was coming just hours ahead of time, according to senior White House source.

I guess the question is like, is there such thing as too much independence? Is the kind of thing that there should maybe be a little more coordination on?

FAUCI: Yes. Well, you know, Chris, you know, you`re damned if you do and you`re damned if you don`t. I mean, obviously, you could argue about whether or not there should have been more planning about it and discussing about it. But the one thing that is true is that what you`re seeing now that you didn`t see before was a considerable degree of independence on the decision-making process based on the science.

HAYES: Clearly.

FAUCI: That`s the good news. There`s no doubt about that. The process, Chris, you could argue about could have been done differently. And I think you could have some good argument that it might have been done a little bit differently. But the fundamental basis upon which the decision was made was a sound scientific basis.

HAYES: I think I misspoke about Dr. Messonnier, so apologies if so. I have a bunch of names in my head. So, I guess -- I want to read this quote to you by Zeynep Tufekci. She`s a sociologist who studies pandemic, has been - - you know, I think, a good and reliable sort of public intellectual on this and was an early proponent of masking pointing to.

And she said this, basically. "The CDC guidelines are essentially implying the risk the vaccinated will transmit the virus to others, including their unvaccinated children is so vanishing low that it is not worth worrying about. But if that`s their position, they should see it clearly and explain it not just say fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of transmitting the virus."

And what I`m hearing from you is kind of the first paragraph that like, if you`re vaccinated, you really don`t need to worry about getting it in a way that serious or transmitting it.

FAUCI: That is true. That is correct, Chris.

HAYES: That`s -- I think that`s clarifying for folks, honestly, because I think -- and I think the reason it`s clarifying is this. There was hesitancy in the beginning, I think, at the early part of the data to say that definitively because, and correct me if I`m wrong, there was worry that because the dependent variable that the drug trials were testing on were infections and not transmission.

FAUCI: Right.

HAYES: It remained possible, though not likely that there was some hidden risk of transmission, right? And what I`m getting from you and getting from the CDC is like, the data is coming back and that`s not a problem.

FAUCI: You nailed it, Chris. That`s correct.


FAUCI: That`s absolutely correct. You know, that`s one of the thing. The CDC is a science-based institution. And when they make recommendations based on the science, often, they get criticized that they don`t come out and make a recommendation because they`re waiting for all the dots to be -- the T`s to be crossed, and the eyes to be dotted about it.

And now, when we say we have more cumulative information, it`s very clear. And that`s the reason why I`m on the show talking to you about it to help to clarify it. You`re absolutely right. You said it correctly. The risk is extremely low of getting infected, of getting sick or of transmitting it to anybody else, full stop.

HAYES: That`s really exciting, wonderful news. You know, my brother is getting married in a week, five days, six days. And I remember having on the program that two things I`ve been focused on is like, can I go to my brother`s wedding? My brother`s vaccinated wedding where everyone is going to be vaccinating, I think, and playing basketball.

And right now, here we are, it`s spring, Luke is getting married, and you and I are going to play basketball at some point this summer when we -- when we work out a date. I`m making you commit to that on air.

FAUCI: You got it. You got my commitment, Chris. You got it.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Anthony Fauci, come back whenever. Thank you. That was really, really, really illuminating and helpful. Thank you very much.

FAUCI: Good to be with you. Thanks for having me, Chris.

HAYES: All right, there are a lot of now-iconic images from the attack on the Capitol. Images of the destruction, of the violence, as well as images of real courage. And that`s what I thought when I first saw this image of a group of people, you know, blockading the door to the House chamber. Look, they pushed that furniture up against it, right, to keep the violent mob out.

But now, one of the men in this very picture is saying there wasn`t really a threat, that the mob was mostly a bunch of nice, orderly tourists. So, what happened? How does a congressman go from barricading the door to defending the people on the other side? That`s next.


HAYES: All right, so today, Monday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York began her first full workweek as the number three Republican -- member of Republican leadership. It`s a big deal, right. And her rise is a lesson to everyone else in that party about which way the winds are blowing, and how to get ahead.

Congresswoman Stefanik used to be a self-described bipartisan moderate. She was a kind of establishment figure. But she was also one of the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election results, to reject Joe Biden`s electors and attempt to create the conditions to install the loser of the winner in violation of the Democratic will of the people.

And that decision, that decision to fully endorse and amplify the big lie was instrumental. It was the but for cause of her bid to ultimately replace Congressman Liz Cheney of Wyoming as Republican Conference chair. She did it. Hooray for you.

And this is just the way things are. It`s an accurate reflection of where the base of the Republican Party is right now. Elise Stefanik read them right. A new CBS News poll found that nearly 70 percent of the party believes that President Biden did not legitimately win the election. And if there`s one thing politicians are good at, it`s taking these kinds of cues. That`s what they do for a living.

And more and more, Republicans are realizing that. If they choose to endorse and express the simple and obvious truth, which is the election was legitimate and Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden, they are likely to find themselves out of a job or in danger of losing theirs.

Today, the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, not a super famous guy nationally, Geoff Duncan, but he fought Trump`s big lie of voter fraud back when Trump was essentially contesting the election there. That young man, well, you know how young he is, announced he would not be seeking a second term, citing "Better days ahead for our Conservative Party all across this country." In other words, like, I have clearly hurt my future as a Republican in more likely -- more than likely saw the writing on the wall.

Now, Trump was already endorsed a candidate to unseat another key Georgia figure, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who defied Trump`s call to "find enough votes to overturn Georgia`s election results." In Ohio, Senator Rob Portman`s decision to retire has opened the door for a crowded primary and includes pro-Trump candidate Josh Mandel, who`s already lost an attempted Senate bid in a previous election.

And in an event over the weekend, this is what Mandel said. He said, let me be very clear. This election was stolen from Donald Trump. My squishy establishment opponents in this race won`t say those words but I will. He will, right, because he understands the same thing Elise Stefanik does. He understands that doing so is a useful wedge issue and litmus test. It`s ammunition to weaponize and wield against other Republicans.

And these incentives are so powerful. They can apparently erase someone`s memory. Case in point, Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia last week declare the insurrectionists were harmless tourists.


CLYDE: 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 walked 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 of the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.


HAYES: Normal tourists visit. Now, on Friday night, photographer Tom Williams tweeted out a picture that he took. And that clearly shows Congressman Clyde right there, second from the top left with no mask on, helping to barricade the House chamber doors in the middle of the January 6th insurrection. They have pushed a furniture against the wall. You don`t normally do that, you know, with tourists around.

One of the most fraught moments from that day, there`s Congressman Clyde`s literally on the front lines. When police officers drew their guns, look at that, to keep rioters, the people he likened to tourists from breaking through the chambers doors, looking at their in the far left screaming, yelling, OK.

When congressman Ted Lieu of California saw that image, he retweeted it, making sure to call Clyde out by name. Dear Representative Clyde, is that you in the picture? Do you remember insurrectionists we`re trying to stop the election certification. This was not as you now say a normal tourist visit. 140 police officers were injured, some severely. You should apologize to law enforcement.

And joining me now is Congressman Ted Lieu, Democrat from California. Congressman, what did you think when you saw that picture of Congressman Clyde?

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): I believe that Congressman Clyde on January 6 would disagree with the Congressman Clyde of today. And it`s very clear that you have this massive brainwashing happening within the Republican Party. One of the reasons that we did his impeachment trial was not only to hold the former president accountable, but also make sure that we preserve for the historical record what exactly happened on January 6, what led up to it, and what happened afterwards.

And thank goodness, we did that because you see multiple republicans now trying to have a totally alternative view of history that they`re putting on the American people.

HAYES: You know, it was striking to me Congressman Clyde served in the Navy for more than two decades, if I`m not mistaken. And, you know, I remember watching that scene at that door live in real time, with a knot in my stomach that someone is going to get hurt or shot or something truly awful.

And I think it`s -- you know, it`s commendable in the -- under those circumstances to go to the -- where the sort of, you know, the action is as it were to try to help out. And it just seems like there`s only two options here. One is that he has essentially forgotten what he knew or others that he`s just very cynically lying, but neither of them seem -- they`re both very unnerving in their own way.

LIEU: Absolutely. George Orwell famously wrote that the party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final most essential command. And now you see multiple members of the Republican Party, essentially distorting reality and simply trying to have people forget what happened on January 6.

It`s one reason Leader Kevin McCarthy does not want to support the January 6 Commission. They just want to forget this whole episode because they can`t handle the fact that it was former Trump supporters -- it was former -- it was former President`s supporters that did this insurrection. It was Republicans that hurt police officers and is very damaging to their core beliefs.

HAYES: And it`s amazing it`s become this kind of just, you know, test of bravery to just say simple, factual, obvious things. Like, this is the GOP -- Republican Maricopa county supervisor, Bill Gates, who`s watching this preposterous, you know, recount take place. I want to play you a sound just because, again, he`s just saying the simple truth. But this counts for essentially bravery, politically, at this point. Take a listen.


BILL GATES, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERVISOR: We ask the difficult questions, all right. And we certified the election back in November. But now, it`s time to say enough is enough. It is time to push back on the big lie. We must do this. We must do this as a member of the Republican Party. We must do this as a member of the board of supervisors. We need to do this as a country. Otherwise, we are not going to be able to move forward and have an election in 2022 that we can all believe the results, whatever they may be.


HAYES: What do you think of that?

LIEU: He is absolutely right. We can`t have a functioning democracy if people don`t believe in the results of the vote. That is probably the most central part of our democracy. At the same time, the big lie is so completely stupid. The Republicans right now still can`t even identify who stole the election. I mean, was it Hugo Chavez, was it the Dominion voting machines CEO, was it the panda bears, was a voter standing in line waiting to get water. They can`t even identify a culprit.

So, in addition to that, these very same Republican members were on the same ballot as the former president. So, if the ballot was somehow faulty, then they shouldn`t even be in Congress. The whole thing is a big lie and it`s remarkably stupid.

HAYES: That`s true. Both of those things are true. Congressman Ted Lieu, thanks for making time tonight.

Coming up, the House is expected to vote this week on proposed January 6th commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol. Congressman Bennie Thompson is the man who negotiated the bipartisan legislation for Democrats and he joins me next.


HAYES: The House is set to vote this week on setting up a commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol perhaps as soon as Wednesday according to a reporting from CNN. The bipartisan proposal which would create a commission consisting of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats came together last week, and Democrats reached a deal with the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, Congressman John Katko of New York.

If the legislation passes in the House, it faces a pretty uncertain future in the Senate where it would need 60 votes to pass. Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi negotiated that deal on a January 6th Commission as the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and the congressman joins me now.

Congressman, maybe first you can talk us through what the language of the bill would create in terms of the Commission.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MI): Well, Chris, thank you for having me. The language -- we`ll put a 10-member commission together with subpoena power. It was Sunset on December 31. But more important, that they would look at the facts and circumstances that brought about January 6th. They have full authority to look at any information subpoena, any witnesses.

As you know, Congress since January 6 has had quite a few hearings. We know a lot of information. So, their responsibility would be to put that information in a format of recommendations back to Congress as to what we can do to fortify the cap, what we can do to make sure that the public will be safe when they visit a Capitol. And by all means, the Capitol Police and other government employees will be safe there working.

So, we have quite a bit to put on the commission. I`m excited about it. It took us about four months to get to this point. But we`re there now, are we looking forward to passage this week.

HAYES: So, it took four months because you were negotiating with John Katko of New York. What is your understanding of who you were negotiating with? I understand that, you know, he`s the -- I think he`s the ranking member on the committee, but does he -- you know, does he bring the votes with him? Kevin McCarthy said he hadn`t -- he didn`t know anything about it and didn`t really have a feeling either way.

THOMPSON: Well, Kevin McCarthy, he knew about it. He exchanged letters with us, saying he wanted to see certain things. So, he was engaged all the time. Speaker Pelosi was engaged, but the two principal, John Katko and myself, we worked at it with our staffs, getting the language right, because look, this is the citadel of democracy, our United States Capitol. We can`t afford to have anyone over run it, especially for certifying an election.

Chris, if this becomes the norm, that means, every mayoral election, every state representative election, if you disagree with it, he just tear the place up. We have better than that. And so, for more reasons than I can tell you, it`s important that this commission goes forward.

HAYES: So, I guess my sense is obviously the expectation is this would pass next week. It was going to pass, I think, whether it had Republicans votes or not, because there would be -- every Democrat would vote for it. Is your expectation you`re going to have like a big bipartisan consensus vote on this? You know, is that what you`re thinking?

Because I`m thinking about what the message is going to send to the Senate and how much pressure there`s going to be on them to act.

THOMPSON: Well, I think the senators will have to act. The Republicans that I`ve talked to, not a lot of them, have indicated they will support it. Rodney Davis, a Republican member from Illinois had a similar bill. We took some of the language from this bill, put it in this bill. So, I expect some of those individuals who was on that bill will join this bill.

But again, the Republican leadership needs to step up. If we have to produce the letters that the Minority Leader wrote to us saying, this is what I want in the bill, I mean, we`ll do that. But I hope it doesn`t come to that, because clearly, this bill is in the best interest of this country. And we have to get beyond this, but we have to make sure that all the people are protected who come to the Capitol.

We now would have hundreds of high school students come into the Capitol right now visiting, celebrating their trips. And now, we don`t have anyone to come. And we have to get beyond this. And the only way we can get beyond is for this commission to do its work, bring back (INAUDIBLE) and for Congress to adopt it.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Bennie Thompson who has been doing those negotiations for four months. We will see where this heads next week. Thank you so much for coming on tonight.

THOMPSON: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, the culmination of a decade`s long Republican project as a conservative stacked Supreme Court is now set to hear its first real challenge to Roe v Wade. That is next.


HAYES: Some very big news this morning out of the spring court. But before I get to that, I just want to take a quick trip down memory lane if you`ll indulge me. Now, one of the most infuriating aspects to me personally of the three Trump Supreme Court Justice confirmations was the constant insistence, in all three cases, that liberals who feared for the fate of legal abortion and the Roe v. Wade ruling we`re being hysterical and paranoid.

Abortion, conservatives say, oh, we barely think about it. That`s not what this is all about. You libs are nuts.


ERNST: I think the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is very minimal. I don`t see that happening.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is not a referendum on Roe v. Wade.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the president to overturn --

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would never presume how Judge Amy Coney Barrett would rule on the Supreme Court of the United States.

BIDEN: The point is that the President also is opposed to Roe v. Wade. That`s on the ballot as well.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don`t know it`s on the ballot. Why is it in the ballot?

BIDEN: Because you said --

TRUMP: Why is it on the ballot? It`s not on the ballot. You don`t know her view on Roe v. Wade. You don`t know her view.


HAYES: It`s not on the ballot. What are you talking about? Now, this made sense. Roe v. Wade polled consistently at like 60, 65 percent approval. So, they wanted to, you know, not be on the wrong side of that. But the bad faith was so aggressive, I started to think I was losing my mind. I mean, yes, no one knows for sure how the Supreme Court Justices will vote on abortion or any other specific case. See, (INAUDIBLE) for just one example.

But the right has spent decades erecting a kind of ideological assembly line to make sure they would be able to place judges on the court who would rule in favor of the anti-abortion right when the time came. Well, the time maybe here. After declining would take up the question of Mississippi`s abortion ban, over eight months of deliberation, today, the court announced you will hear arguments.

The state law bans abortion after 15 weeks in direct violation of the Roe decision. And it`s been found unconstitutional in lower courts. There is no active controversy here to be clear, right. All such bans across the country, and there have been many, have been struck down. But now, the highest court in the land will take up the case because at least some people on the court, gee I wonder who, are clearly interested in revisiting and possibly overturning Roe.

So, no, we weren`t delusional, we weren`t losing our minds, the whole thing was what it looked like. Unless the court has dramatically reformed and expanded, the fate of Roe right now is very grim indeed.


HAYES: The death toll in Gaza now stands at over 200 people in including 59 children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. This is the result of continued Israeli bombardment of a variety of buildings in the very densely populated Gaza Strip including a 12 storey building that housed the Associated Press and other media outlets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This the Office of the Associated Press, as its staff made instant decisions about what they needed to salvage to keep on working. Across the lift lobby, staff from the Al Jazeera Bureau were doing the very same thing. On the street outside, the building`s owner pleading for a stay of execution.

JAWAD MAHDY, BUILDING OWNER (through translator): How about we need 10 minutes. As you can see, they`re all around me, the press, not people who are going in to get the weapons out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there was no arguing, not even about the timing.


HAYES: Israel claimed that they struck that high rise because it hosted military assets belonging to Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza. The Israeli government has not provided any public evidence of that yet. The A.P. put out this statement in the aftermath of the strike saying, "We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability."

The Israeli strikes on what they said were tunnels Hamas was using to move and store weaponry, led to the collapse of at least three billions with buildings with civilians inside. Now, Hamas also continues to fire rockets into Israel as they have over the past three weeks. The vast majority of those rockets have been intercepted by the U.S.-funded Iron Dome defend system, but some have gotten through. They`ve killed 10 Israelis.

You might expect at this point, the Biden administration which expressed concern over the possible targeting of journalists would be pressuring both sides of the conflict to move towards a ceasefire. But that`s more or less the opposite of the case. I mean, today President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing his support for a ceasefire, but not much more than that.

And in fact, for the third time in a week, the U.S. blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have called for both sides to stop the violence and arrange a ceasefire. In fact, the Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi went out of his way to thank his counterpart Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a call for that action.

So, to put it simply, the administration has been giving the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu the green light to do what it wants to do in Gaza. And that green light is basically still on. Which means whatever your feelings are on this conflict, this particular one and the broader one, we and our government are responsible, at least in part for this continuing like this.

Joining me now, Jeremy Ben-Ami the president of J Street, a pro-Israel pro- peace liberal advocacy organization, and Zaha Hassan, she`s a human rights attorney who is senior legal adviser of the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine`s bid for U.N. membership a decade ago. She`s now a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Jeremy, let me start with you. Is the Biden ministration doing enough to stop the violence right now?

JEREMY BIN-AMI, PRESIDENT, J STREET: No, the simple answer. It`s time to lean in, as you said. I saw the headline there said do something. It`s not enough to say you support the idea of a ceasefire. The United States is the world`s only superpower and it has the unique relationship with Israel that allows it to lean in. And it`s time to insist on an end to this conflict now before more innocent people on both sides are killed.

HAYES: Zaha, the Biden administration has said repeatedly that the Israelis and the Israeli government have a right to defend themselves. That`s a -- that`s a statement we`ve heard from many American presidents, Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, etcetera. I think the more sort of granular position that`s argued here is basically during these periods of relative calm, Hamas uses that time to move weapons around and develop its rocket artillery and all these things. Then every seven or eight years, there are some kind of violent exchange and the IDF uses that opportunity to target all of the sites they have on their checklist. And you can`t fault them because it`s intolerable for any state to be under the siege of rocket fire or the threat of it. What do you say to that?

ZAHA HASSAN, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Turning residential and commercial buildings, media outlets and other civilian infrastructure into sand and hitting U.N. schools and offices or war crimes. It`s never self-defense. The Iron Dome that you mentioned earlier, that is self-defense. And it has worked fairly well given the number of Hamas rockets that have been fired.

Wiping out entire families because you want to make a show of your power is not self-defense. I mean, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, out of the 200 killed, at least 116 are civilians, uninvolved in any attacks against Israel.

So, while Hamas is guilty definitely of indiscriminate rocket fire that is killed 10 Israelis, which is also a war crime, Israel is surgically striking, as they refer to it, and killing and injuring hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians, all this with U.S. weapons or U.S. financed weapons.

I mean we have -- we have federal laws on the book, Chris, the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, which talks about use of these weapons only for legitimate self-defense and not to commit gross violations of human rights.

HAYES: Yes, there was -- there was news on that actually today, an interesting piece of news I want to ask you both about. So, the procedures for arm sales can be a bit complicated and opaque depending on the government. But they -- there`s a green lighting process. There was news that broke that the Biden administration had had OKed a sale of $735 million in precision-guided missiles to Israel.

This apparently came as news to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Representative Gregory Meeks, who then said he will send a letter in the next few days requesting a delay of the sale, which would allow lawmakers to review the sale.

Jeremy, you know, obviously, American -- J. Street and others and other groups, right, are dealing with what role the U.S. should play with respect to Israel in terms of arm sales. Do you think America`s sale of arms to Israel furthers the objectives of peace?

BIN-AMI: Well, I think what you can say is that when we provide a blank check in $4 billion a year, and we provide diplomatic immunity by preventing the United Nations from weighing in on this conflict in a moment like this, that the United States is not doing all it can to use the tools that it has to actually move this conflict towards resolution.

And we have every right as United States taxpayers to ask, what is the weaponry that our tax dollars are buying going to be used for? The United States Congress has the duty to provide some form of oversight and transparency and accountability about where our money is going and how it`s being used. And I think Congress is 100 percent right to ask those questions. If it means delaying the sale, it means delaying the sale, in finding out what exactly we`re doing with the money we`re sending.

HAYES: Now, there`s obviously, Zaha, extremely grim and brutal, sort of eternal recurrence feeling to these exchanges, because there have been a number of them, I`ve covered them from this desk. They have been somewhat similar in the way that they have developed. They`re similar in the obvious asymmetry of weaponry and force between the two parties.

And I guess my question to you is what has or hasn`t changed? I mean, we`ve got a strange situation which seems the politics from the ground in the United States have shifted a bit that shown by polling and shown by some of the Democratic members of Congress giving speeches, calling for an end to Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

But you have Israel being recognized by a number of Arab States under the Abraham Accords, and not, you know, moving closer to maybe, you know, some kind of relationship with the Saudis. How do you see it as someone has lived this conflict for what is changed and what stayed the same?

HASSAN: Look, let`s recall how we ended up here today. I mean, this all started because of Israeli actions in Jerusalem. Israeli`s actions aimed at preventing Palestinians from living in their homes in Jerusalem because of this Israeli desire to maintain a decisive Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem and, you know, by extension, the rest of the West Bank.

So, this idea of, you know, this just being another round of violence between Hamas and Israel is getting away from the real origins of this issue. The origins is the consistent and systematic displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, from their homes, both inside of Israel, what became Israel in 1948, and today in the colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

HAYES: We should also note, there`s a bunch of -- you know, there`s a police blockade of folks who had congregated during Eid by the Al Aqsa mosque to celebrate by Damascus Gate that had led to exchanges as well. And there was some sectarian violence that was recorded on TikTok of Palestinian use assaulting the --

HASSAN: The storming of the Al Aqsa mosque during the holiest month? So, there was all signs --

HAYES: I just want to make sure that people understand that there was -- there was a series of predicates aside from the case in Sheikh Jarrah that led up to this. But I think it the big question, Jeremy, to Zaha`s point about, you know, East Jerusalem and the settler movement that clearly just views it as an imperative to make it as Jewish as possible, and they`re not hiding that. They really do think that`s a biblical and legal imperative, what the American-Jewish response to that should be?

BIN-AMI: The American-Jewish response, those of us who really care about the future of a state of Israel, we should care very deeply, that this occupation has to end. What`s Zaha is pointing to is that this didn`t start on Monday with rockets being fired. This goes back now to the beginning of this occupation. In my view, that begins in 1967. And if you want to make sure there aren`t future rounds of this violence, you have to deal with the occupation.

HAYES: Jeremy Bin-Ami and Zaha Hassan, thank you both.

That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.