The labor shortage in America spells power for workers. There are growing questions on the report of the clearing of Lafayette Park before Trump`s photo op. There`s a new bipartisan group of 10 senators trying to cobble together an infrastructure bill that pleases both Democrats and Republicans. The New York Times reports that Trump`s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee aides and family members. Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas grilled Secretary Austin on whether he thought the U.S. military is racist.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Do you expect things to change with the new administration if it turns over?
MOHAMMED EL-KURD, FACING EVICTION FROM HOME IN EAST JERUSALEM: Absolutely not. I think there is an abundance of evidence against Israel`s abuses, Israel`s apartheid regime, settler-colonial regime. And I think it`s time for the world to stop giving Israel impunity and hold it accountable for its crimes against Palestinians and towards theft of land and massacres.
REID: I am out of time. Mohammed El-Kurd, thank you very much for your time tonight. We will stay with your story. That it`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. Hold on to your burritos. New signs the Biden recovery is roaring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chipotle says it`s raising menu prices to pay for better wages for its workers.
HAYES: Tonight, behind the scaremongering over labor shortages and inflation and how American workers are gaining power.
Then, the mad spinning over what we actually know about the police gassing peaceful protesters before Trump`s photo op.
Plus, as talks continue, why any infrastructure bill that doesn`t address climate change is not worth passing.
And how one senator gave up the game during an interrogation of the first African American Secretary of Defense.
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Mr. Secretary, do you believe that our military is a fundamentally racist organization? Yes or no, please.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The Republican Party has found the Achilles heel of the Biden economy, expensive burritos. This week, the popular fast-food chain Chipotle announced they are raising prices to cover the cost of increasing wages for their employees, heaven forbid.
Now, the price increase is all of four percent. Prices vary by location but that basically means is if your Chipotle burrito used to cost say $10.00, it will be going up to $10.40. And if your side of guac and chips would go for $4.70 to $4.89. Color me a little skeptical that that is going to be the deciding factor in the midterm elections. Oh, and never mind the fact that Chipotle raked in $6 billion last year, paid their CEO $38 million.
But you can understand why Republicans want to run with this. This is from the National Republican Congressional Committee Web site, your burrito just got more expensive. Now, this is a core animating issue of the right, of conservatives, has been for decades if not centuries. Business owners and titans of capital and right-wing parties scaremongering about inflation and wages going up too high and the connections between the two.
And inflation is going up. You`ve probably noticed it in your daily life. There`s new data out today showing the consumer price index, basically just the average price of a bunch of stuff is up five percent since May of last year across the basket of items that they monitor. That`s the fastest rate of growth since 2008.
Now, as we`ve talked about previously on this show, a lot of that seems to be transitory with the strangeness of this economy coming back to life after more than a year of a pandemic. I mean, back in May of 2020, for instance, a lot of things like oh, airfare and car rentals were really cheap because there was zero demand for them. As we back -- get back to normal, demand and prices are back up. And in many cases, we have a kind of mismatch, right, between the demand and the available supply, how many cars there are on the market, for instance.
There is a good reason to think a lot of that mismatch is going to go away. That`s the bet the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve are making. The deeper issue here that is really animating the Republican Party and the CEO class is the fact that labor is scarce right now. It is hard to find people to hire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The unemployment rate dropping to 5.8 percent to the May jobs report, yet companies still say they are desperate to find workers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Chamber is out with a new report today calling the worker shortage a "national economic crisis."
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: At the very moment that unemployment is rising, fewer people are working, American businesses say they can`t find employees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This labor force problem isn`t just limited to the restaurant and service industries. It`s impacting businesses across the board including construction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we are struggling with employees. The workforce has been paralyzed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Across Texas restaurants are hiring and getting creative to fill positions. This one is offering room. And board and many now have sign-on bonuses to sweeten the deal for job seekers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At Dot`s Diner in New Orleans, you used to be able to get sizzling bacon, eggs, and grits 24 hours a day. But now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m 20 employees short right now to be able to open 24 hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hungry customers are filling booths, but co-owner Mark Brasseaux can`t fill shifts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think people aren`t applying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously -- my opinion is the fact that they`re making as much money staying home on unemployment than they would at being back to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, there`s a lot of people who think that way, and the data on that doesn`t paint a very clear picture. But if you`re the boss, and you`re looking to hire people, yes, it is easier if labor is plentiful because then it is cheap. And then you can have your pick. A lot of people will apply to fill your position at your diner and you can say, I like this person and not that person.
When the labor market is not like that, when labor is scarce, you have to hustle, or you may have to do something even worse, raise wages. But for Republicans, conservatives, most bosses, CEOs, you can tell from their burrito freakout, raising wages is not something they want to do. Here`s how the former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan put.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ART LAFFER, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT REAGAN: For those people, Sandra, who are coming into the labor force brand fresh, not old-timers who`ve been around for a while, the poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised, those with less education, young people who haven`t had the job experience, these people aren`t worth $15 an hour in most cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, he just came out and said it. The poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised, young, they`re not worth it. I`m afraid you`re wrong, Art. Because the economy is how -- this is how it is. Labor is scarce. Some are having to do just that. Some businesses have "found a way around the worker shortage which is raising wages to $15.00 an hour or more," like one of the Pittsburgh ice cream parlor whose job posting for scoopers, it`s $7.25 an hour, plus tips, did not produce a single application between January- March. So, he decided to more than double the starting wage to $15.00 an hour, plus tips, just to see what would happen. The shop was suddenly flooded with applications. More than 1,000 piled in over the course of a week.
This is of course, elemental economics. When something is plentiful, it`s likely going to be cheap. When it is scarce, it`s going to cost more money. So, another way to say labor shortage is just to say worker power. And worker power has been largely missing from the U.S. economy for literally 40 years, if not more.
Since the Reagan era and the last great bout of inflation, right, in the late 70s when the Federal Reserve`s response induced a punishing recession, we`ve seen a vast transformation of the American and global economy. We created, in Reagan`s shadow, a new economy that offers this bargain, consumer goods are cheap, everything from burritos to flat-screen TVs, to all the stuff you could buy on Amazon, or in a Target because it`s made by people in other countries making very little money. Globalization brought all these inexpensive goods, the cheaper they`ve ever been to our door.
For years, people defending this model have said, look how cheap the TVs are. How can you say people are poor when they have smartphones? But there`s another part of this bargain. The key part of the bargain is the cheap goods go together with low wages, right? Because you`re getting those goods from folks making very little money. But as a worker, you`re also competing with them. And the only things that are not cheap on top of that all are the pillars of middle-class life. Education gets more expensive every year, as does housing, and as does health care.
We might be on the precipice of a momentous change right now. We transform that bargain away from cheap consumer goods and a low-wage economy to a high-wage economy. And that might mean that burritos cost $10.40 instead of just $10.00. It may also mean you buy a new television less often. And that other consumer goods cost a bit more, some services might cost more. There might be a trade-off like that. Economics is about trade-off. I think it`s a trade-off most Americans are willing to make.
In fact, if Americans agree on one thing, overwhelmingly in a very polarized era where no one agrees on anything, it`s raising the minimum wage. 62 percent of U.S. adults support raising the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour according to recent survey. And in fact, if you go back to that Republican Party post, right, if you reverse the Republican Party`s messaging on the expensive burrito, their promise is essentially, we will bring down the wages of Chipotle workers. And if you put it that way, it doesn`t sound so appealing, does it?
Sara Nelson is the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants Union, Robert Reich is the former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, author of The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, and they both join me now. It`s great to have you both.
Sara, let me start with you because you`re in a sector, you`re representing folks in a sector that we`re seeing a lot of tumble, right? I mean, the industry was obviously utterly hammered last year. And when you look at that consumer price index, you look at flights -- airline fares up 24 percent. What is the kind of situation for the workers you represent in one of those industries where we`re seeing this kind of rapid change?
SARA NELSON, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS UNION: Well, let`s be really clear, Chris. Saying that fares are up 24 percent from last year when demand was down. 97 percent is maybe not a great comparison. Let`s talk about the airline industry. We`re 80 percent organized. 80 percent of the airline employees have a union. And so, we were able to get the best COVID relief package of any industry.
What we got was relief that went just to the workers, we had to stay in our jobs connected to our health care continuing to pay taxes, and we put a cap on executive compensation and a ban on stock buybacks. So, what we did with the power of our unions, and because we had that union voice, and we were able to put those demands out front, even in the worst of political scenarios, is that we were able to craft a worker`s up relief package. And that kept us in our jobs and kept things fairly stable.
That did not happen across the economy. Across the economy, we had to have safety nets to catch people who were being pushed into poverty by the millions, if the government didn`t step in and stand up. Because we had this problem, before we came -- even came into COVID that the American worker was working more to make more, not making more to have a better life.
And so, all of that productivity was going into the pockets of CEOs. We never talked about the prices of CEO pay going up. We never talked about the crisis of a tech worker making $195,000 a year or a lawyer needing to make a $350 an hour paycheck. We only talk about this problem when you talk about low wage working class worker.
And that is the problem that we brought into COVID and the shared experience of workers understanding that we don`t have to take that anymore, that we can raise expectations, you are starting to see the power of the working class come into play here.
So, Robert, let me -- let me give the argument on the other side which is not a crazy one and not like ungrounded in some both genuine economic literature and intuition, which is, look, if we have these government subsidies, the bonus on unemployment insurance which allows people to make more than they normally would in unemployment, we`re taking away a little bit of that incentive. And also, if we want to get the economy roaring back again, we need to get people in labor force. We need to match employers with employees and get everyone working again so businesses can produce their goods and services. And, and right now, this is a hitch and it`s bad for every one that we can`t find that match.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, that is I would say total baloney. And the reason it`s baloney, Chris, is because number one, raising wages is a good thing. One of the big problems in the American economy is that for the past 40 years, wages have the median worker, right in the middle, have hardly grown at all, adjusted for inflation for 40 years, even though the economy is twice as large as it was.
Where did all of those benefits go? They went to CEOs, like the CEO, the $38 million CEO of Chipotle. But they`ve also done the top executives and major investors. You know, the shareholder class, the investor class, the Executive Class, they have done extraordinarily well and the workers haven`t. And that`s a problem for the economy because if you paid people more at the bottom, they have more money to spend.
People at the top don`t spend that much of their paycheck, their compensation. People at the bottom spend it. And one of the biggest problems we`ve had in this economy for the past 40 years is that you`ve got a majority of American workers without the means to actually keep the economy going.
HAYES: Sara, I want you to talk about -- from your perspective as a -- as a union president, what are tight labor market does for your bargaining power. Because there`s different ways that workers can have power. One is to organize through unions, but also macroeconomic conditions could give them power, right?
I mean, if unemployment is low, and if labor is scarce, they have more power. If there`s tons of people out of work, people banging down the doors, there`s a labor surplus, they don`t. Does it matter to you, does it matter to folks in organized labor what those macro-economic conditions are?
NELSON: Well, it does, Chris. But the fact of the matter is that we have to grow the labor movement. This is what President Biden is saying, and he`s absolutely right. If we don`t grow that sustained labor movement where workers can actually bargain for their wages, and their health care, and their secure retirement, and the other benefits, and vacation, and things that make it a meaningful life, then those things can change.
The corporate elite can change them any day. So you could have a whole bunch of worker power that gained something on in one month, and is taken away in the next month if you don`t have a union and those rights and that contract that is in black and white, just like those executives demand for themselves.
HAYES: Robert, do you think -- I mean, the question is, how temporary this is and how structural it is, right? Because we have been pursuing this model for 40 years, which is breaking down in lots of different ways. It`s being attacked, I think, both from the right and the left across the world in different ways. We`re seeing this sort of increasingly confrontational stance towards China. Do you see this moment as an opportunity to change that trajectory we`ve been on?
REICH: Yes, it`s an opportunity. And Sara Nelson is exactly right. We need stronger unions. And that`s part of the structural change that is necessary to change the bargaining relationship. But also we`ve got to attack corporate monopolies. I mean, those monopolies are dominating this economy and not only are they charging consumers more, but they are also keeping wages down for a lot of hourly workers.
We also have got to make sure that the economy is moving as rapidly as it can. And that is what Bidenomics really is all about. And the three of them are part -- are all part of the same structural change that we need.
HAYES: Sara Nelson and Robert Reich, that was great. Thank you both for joining me tonight.
NELSON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I remember how for four years we have administration that will come out and tell you things that were just obviously untrue to anyone with eyeballs. So, why is the new government out with a report about the tear- gassing of protesters in Lafayette Square last year and Trump`s subsequent photo op which we all saw with our own eyes that just defies all obvious logic and common sense? That`s next.
HAYES: One of the defining moments of last summer which was quite a summer was when in the middle of protests against police brutality across the country, police violently cleared protesters, peaceful protesters out of a park across in the White House using tear gas and batons and rubber bullets. It was just before Donald Trump walked from the White House to that park to stage a ridiculous photo op in front of a church, the Bible.
At the time, it appeared to just about everyone, the police cleared the protesters so Trump could take his pictures. But a new report by the Interior Department Inspector General found "The evidence we obtained did not support a finding the U.S. Park Police cleared the park to allow the president to survey the damage and walk to St. John`s Church."
Now, I`ll be honest here. We always have to be careful, that includes myself, that we don`t let our own political and cognitive biases blind us from the truth. Sometimes you will learn new facts that confound your prior beliefs. All that said, the I.G. report is obviously full of holes. It fails to clear at a logical level, OK.
The President walked to the church once the park was clear of protesters. The Interior Department of the Park Police are not making the ultimate orders about that because the President is going there. So, the Park Police had not cleared the park to install their anti-scale fencing like the report says. Was Donald Trump going to just stroll out there amongst the protesters? Obviously not. What are we even saying here?
The President walked to the place that had been cleared. So, it makes some sense that someone with the President`s security detail was obviously coordinating, controlling what was happening. In fact, according to the report, the U.S. Park Police incident commander said the Secret Service uniform division, White House branch deputy chief told him the President`s visit would likely occur later that day or in the evening after protesters had been removed from the area.
Right. So, Trump would go after the protesters had been cleared from the park, after the police cleared them. The report also says contrary to the operational plan, and before the U.S. Park Police gave the first dispersal warning, the Secret Service entered H Street from Madison Place. That led to an earlier confrontation than was planned. The Secret Service Lieutenant later apologize for the early entry on to H Street during the operation, but did not explain why it occurred.
Well, I think I know. Pick me. This whole thing was completely absurd. They didn`t even interview any of the most relevant parties like William Barr or the Secret Service. So, we`re just supposed to accept that the Park Police have this plan, right, to clear the square, to build a fence, and for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, the Secret Service just went ahead and initiated that way ahead of time, but definitely not so the President could walk to that park for his photo op.
Carolyn Leonnig is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning national investigative reporter for The Washington Post. Her latest book, Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service explores the evolution of the Secret Service into "a frat boy culture of infighting, indulgence, and obsolescence. And Carol Leonnig joins me now.
Carol, let`s start with some level setting on the agencies involved here, because this actually strikes me is very important. The Park Police are under the Interior Department. It`s the Interior Department that has the I.G. that issued the report. But there are other entities involved in anything involving the president`s security, right?
CAROL LEONNIG, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. I think that you`ve hit the nail on the head, Chris, about the incompleteness of this report. While the Interior I.G. has, you know, the purview, his territory is the Park Police. And he can poke as far and as deep as he wants to in that area.
He chose or opted not to ask any questions outside his purview. And that makes this report really incomplete, and also kind of strange against what we all saw with our own eyes, and I must say, what we at the Washington Post reported in real-time. The White House was planning Monday morning for this perimeter to be pushed. The President was planning for a movement to project his control over the city. And he was doing that around 2:00 with his White House aides. And between 3:00 and 5:00, the White House Secret Service and the deputy chief of staff who is the former Secret Service detail leader for the president were letting the Park Police most senior leaders know, hey, by the way, the President is going to be coming out.
The president is their boss. And the question that continues to be left unanswered from this report, Chris, is why the urgency, right? If it wasn`t to move things, you know, out of the way for the President`s movement, why did they have to use you know, pepper spray? Why did they have to use rubber munitions? Why did they have to use shields to shove peaceful protesters as quickly as possible out of this area about 20 minutes before the president emerged?
HAYES: Right. I mean, it`s one of many logical flaw --holes here, right? I mean, to your point, if you`re going to build a fence and you want to increase a perimeter area, right, you can take your time doing that. I mean, you can send people out with a bullhorn, you can start to take things off. There`s a bunch of ways you could do that don`t require this very quick, decisive, suddenly announced action that we, again, all saw the Park Police take with our own eyes.
LEONNIG: Absolutely. And, you know, keep in mind, there are many things about this report that are accurate. There was a discussion starting on Saturday that, you know, we`ve had a lot of violence on Friday night after the George Floyd protests began outside the White House, there was a lot of feeling at the Secret Service, and also in the Park Police, but especially the Secret Service that we were overwhelmed. We would not have been able at the Secret Service to stop a series of protesters from jumping the fence on mass. We would have been swarmed and overwhelmed.
So, there was concern about how to establish this perimeter. But let`s be clear, the Secret Service and the Park Police have been trained how to move protesters carefully to another location safely where they can exercise their First Amendment Rights. And this did not follow any of those norms. It did not follow any of their training. And in fact, as my book reveals, the Secret Service officers and agents press to their director after June 1 in a town hall meeting to explain what is our use of force policy exactly, because this didn`t look like it.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point. The final thing I would just say here again, and not to -- not to sort of center on the logic as opposed to the fact, but just as a logical level. Like, the but for relationship, the cause relationship is like, obviously, if they hadn`t cleared that area, the president wasn`t going to it, right? Like that is an obvious -- that`s just an obvious point. He`s not going to walk out like, hey, everybody, in the middle of the protest. Like, obviously, there`s a relationship between the two at some level.
LEONNIG: 100 percent. The Secret Service Director and the Secret Service detail leader would throw down their badges and quit rather than take the president into an area where any of these protesters were.
HAYES: Yes, correctly, too. Yes.
LEONNIG: Yes, it would be -- it would be professional malpractice for the Secret Service to do such a thing. And let`s focus on the fact that the director of this -- forgive me, the detail leader for the President`s Protection Division, who is now at this point the deputy White House Chief of Staff, was on scene coordinating this. The Secret Service had full knowledge. The White House had full knowledge of what was going on. Ironically, the police and most of the Park Police and the D.C. Police had no idea what was going on.
HAYES: Carol Leonnig, you`re such a great reporter, and this is a beat that you have owned more than anyone, so it was great. Thank you very much. That was really useful for me. Thank you.
LEONNIG: Thanks for asking these good questions because you`re onto something.
HAYES: All right. Up next, Republican senators are trying to take the single most pressing infrastructure issue facing the country, maybe ever out of the infrastructure bill. What Democrats need to do to stop them, next.
HAYES: Right now, there`s a bipartisan group of 10 senators trying to cobble together an infrastructure bill that pleases both Democrats and Republicans, can get 60 votes. In fact, earlier this afternoon, Senator Mitt Romney said the group had reached a preliminary deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Each of us have reached a tentative understanding. And so, we`re not looking for adjustments. What we`re looking for is to see whether our colleagues are open to it. And we`ll finally get out a piece of paper which lays it all out and then see if we can get some people to sign on and have enough support to think it has merit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But when Senator Romney was asked yesterday about how the Democrat`s climate agenda fits in the bill, he responded, "The Democrats climate agenda is probably something they pursue by and large outside of an infrastructure bill."
OK, here`s the thing. An infrastructure bill that is not climate-focused is quite literally not worth passing, probably worse than nothing. Because climate is the central infrastructure challenge we face obviously. Remember, last month when one of the largest pipelines in the country was hacked and shut down for days. What does that pipeline carry? It`s a fossil fuel transmission pipeline supplies fossil fuel to most of the East Coast.
Remember what happened in Texas during the winter storm? That was all energy infrastructure? What drives on roads and bridges, vehicles almost entirely powered by the fossil fuel that we have to keep burning so we don`t heat the planet to a crisp. The infrastructure does not live outside the energy and climate system, it is the backbone to the energy and climate system. Not only that, but if you strip the climate plan out of the bill, you`re going to lose a lot of Democratic senators and will be left with nothing to pass.
Senator Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts who cosponsored the resolution for Green New Deal told The New York Times, "The planet cannot survive another successful Republican obstructionist strategy. We have to have climate at the center of any infrastructure package in order to have my vote. No climate, no deal." And Senator Ed Markey joins me now.
How are you feeling in the wake of the news from this another bipartisan gang? We got a new one. Yesterday, there was -- well, there was the Capito one, now we got this one. I`m hoping we just keep rotating new Senate by partisan gangs on and on and on forever. The news they have a deal and the White House coming out basically with a wait-and-see message. What`s your understanding of where things stand?
SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): Well, it sounds like to me that they have a package which is climate denial masquerading as bipartisanship. We can`t have an infrastructure bill in 2021 that doesn`t have climate at its center. And any other bill that we are going to consider that does not have aggressive solutions to the climate crisis will just have that response which I`ve been giving which is no climate, no deal. That`s the only way in which we can respond.
This bill has to meet the magnitude of the challenges which the climate crisis is presenting to our country and to the planet.
HAYES: So, let`s talk about the politics here before we get to the substance. So, you got Martin Heinrich saying an infrastructure package that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote. Sheldon Whitehouse has said he`s getting nervous the other day. He said, I tweeted earlier this week about climate failure. I`m still nervous. We must get senate Dems unified on climate on a real reconciliation bill, lest we get sucked into bipartisanship mud where we fail on climate.
How big do you think that gang is of Democratic senators for whom this is just a red line nonstarter?
MARKEY: My view is that the Democratic Party won in 2020 on this issue --
HAYES: Yes. It`s good for you.
MARKEY: -- the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. And it was driven by millions of young people all across our country who rose up, went out to the polls, they worked hard, and they have a big IOU that they should be able to call in. And I think the Democrats across America are going to stand up and demand that we pass a climate package and infrastructure bill that is worthy of the name.
The planet is running a fever. There are no emergency rooms for planets. We have to pass legislation that unleashes the wind and solar, all-electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid, a battery storage technology, transmission technology revolution that we know is out there. We can save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation, union job creation by the millions. But we need to have an infrastructure bill that embodies all of those ambitions. And I`m afraid that this bill, as it`s being advertised, just does not meet that test.
HAYES: Well, you tick through some of the things that are in the sort of initial Biden American Rescue Plan proposal. You know, there`s money for battery storage and research on that. There`s money for electric vehicle charging stations. There`s some talk about that moving to the surface transportation bill, although that`s in the weeds. There`s a lot of stuff for the electric grid. There`s some stuff on clean energy in terms of, you know, renewable portfolio standards, if I understand.
Do you have a sense of what is or isn`t out? It`s just a weird thing where these 10 senators in a room trading this stuff away. Like, do you -- are you read in on what is in the package or not?
MARKEY: Well, I don`t know what`s in the package except what you just read about Senator Romney`s commentary on it which is that this package will not be dealing with the climate crisis in any significant way. And, you know, bottom line is, the GOP used to stand for Grand Old Party, now it`s -- GOP stands for the gas and oil party.
We know that the fossil fuel industry is the largest single contributor to this party. And so yes, we do need new highways, we do need new bridges, but we also have to have an infrastructure revolution for the energy sector so that we are the global leader, so that the rest of the world says the United States is back and we believe in science, and we know that we can solve this problem by unleashing this revolution.
So that President of Biden can go to Glasgow later on this year and say, we`re back. We are no longer the laggard, we are the leader again, and we must solve this problem for future generations. That is what this bill must have so that President Biden will have the credibility he needs meeting with the rest of the world later on this year.
HAYES: Yes. No climate, no yes vote. Ed Markey is in that caucus. I suspect there`s a lot more in that caucus as well. We`re going to keep following this. Thank you so much, Senator.
MARKEY: No climate, no deal. Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Don`t go away. We have breaking news coming in tonight. I actually didn`t believe this one. It just crossed my phone during commercial break. But here`s what we got. The Trump administration tried to spy on Adam Schiff using the Department of Justice. It`s a really big one. We`re going to be right back with that in a moment. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight about the Trump Justice Department`s abuse of power to investigate its enemies. The New York Times reports, "Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee aides and family members. One was a minor. All told the records of at least a dozen people tied the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam Schiff of California, then the panel`s top Democrat and now its chairman."
Katie Benner covers the Justice Department for New York Times is one of the byline on this story. And she joins me now on the phone. And thank you, Katie, on short notice for joining us. Just walk us through what we know here.
KATIE BENNER, REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Sure. You know, the investigation really begins in 2017. Soon after Donald Trump became president, as we all know, there were several stories very unflattering to him that also involve the leaks of sensitive or classified information. Jim Comey talking about in memos how the President had pressured him to drop an investigation to Michael Flynn, his National Security Adviser, news about Michael Flynn and Michael Flynn`s conversations with the Russian ambassador and whether or not those were questionable.
Story after story, basically detailing things about the Trump administration that were highly questionable, stories about the ongoing Russian investigation which at that point was new to the public, and the White House was determined to figure out who was the source of these leaks.
Now, people investigate leaks all the time. Administrations investigates leak all the time. But we also saw as these leaks were on, and prosecutors started to think that they were hitting dead ends, that they just never really closed, and it included things like, you know, subpoenas for information on Adam Schiff.
HAYES: OK, so that`s where -- I mean, yes, leak investigations happen basically in every White House. Every president hates leaks. Often there are leak investigations. Sometimes they even include subpoenaing reporters, which in my view is wrong no matter who`s doing it. We know that reporters were actually targeted in some of these leak investigations. That`s been some of the reporting in your paper in the New York Times. We`ve gotten statements from New York Times lawyer and CNN lawyers about those.
But subpoenaing committee -- Ranking Member of a committee with oversight secretly, right, I mean, was anyone notified about the subpoenas?
BENNER: Nobody was notified. So, to your point, that was highly unusual and considered highly aggressive both, you know, when you speak to people who are members of Congress and former members of Congress, they cannot really remember anything like this. And you speak to national security officials current and former and they will also say this is a really aggressive move, because they not only subpoenaed Apple for information on the ranking member of the committee, Adam Schiff, but also another committee member, current and former staff members of that committee, family members of the staffers, including one child. So, it was a very aggressive, broad reach into data of people associated with this committee.
And much like some of the media requests we`ve seen, Apple was actually given a gag order when they were given this subpoena. They were not to speak of it. And the only reason they were able to tell the committee in May that this has happened is because the order had lapsed, and the Justice Department did not move to renew it.
Also, the committee found out from Apple -- the Democrats in the committee found out from Apple, not from the Justice Department. The committee members had to reach out to the Justice Department this May under Attorney General Merrick Garland and asked about what had happened. The Justice Department closed the case in May, which is what they told the committee. But the Justice Department to the state declines to tell Adam Schiff or other Democrats whether or not any Republicans were investigated as part of this leak investigation. And we have not found any evidence yet that Republicans were.
HAYES: What a story. I mean -- all right, I`m digesting this. Katie Benner, that was -- thank you so much for hopping on the phone. Great reporting as always. I should note, Adam Schiff, who was the target of one of these subpoenas will be on with Rachel Maddow in just a little short while. So, you`re not going to want to go anywhere. I would read you a statement but you might as well just hear it from him in 15 minutes.
Still ahead, a grotesque display but a junior Republican senator of Arkansas tells you everything you need to know about the Republican Party today. That`s coming up.
HAYES: Prior to 1948, the United States Armed Forces, like most of the country at the time, was racially segregated. Then, on July 26 of that year, President Harry Truman signed an executive order to desegregate the military, which essentially made Vietnam the first major combat deployment in which troops were not formally segregated. And some black Vietnam veterans often talked about fighting what they called a war within a war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do when you saw a confederate flag flying over your base?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The damn thing came down. And the commander answered to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you bring it down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we weren`t fighting the Civil War. And there`s no such thing as northern blood or southern blood. There can be no such thing as black blood and white blood when you`re being fired at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nearly 75 years after integration, the military has made progress, but problems still persist, particularly when it comes to racial diversity in military leadership. Remember, in 2019, when then Acting Secretary Defense Mark Esper tweeted out a photo of the president his top four-star generals and admirals and, you know, look at the picture. It`s striking in 2020 to see that.
It looks nothing, of course, like the demographic makeup of the country. And when you look back at the history of who this country has had at say, Secretary of Defense, well, you`d get a very similar picture. That is until this year when the Senate confirmed retired four-star army general and former Iraq Commander Lloyd Austin.
And yet today, as if we do not know this collective history, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas grilled Secretary Austin on whether he thought the U.S. military is racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COTTON: Mr. Secretary, do you believe that our military is a fundamentally racist organization, yes or no, please?
LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, I won`t give you a yes or no answer on that, Senator, because it deserves more than a yes or no. The military, like any organization, will have its challenges, but I do not believe it is a fundamentally racist organization.
COTTON: Thank you. I`m sorry to cut you -- I`m sorry to cut you off but our time is limited. I think it is a pretty simple question. I`m glad that you agree it is not fundamentally racist. Do you believe that any member of the military should be treated differently based on their skin color and sex? Again, yes or no will do?
AUSTIN: Again, this question deserves more than a yes or no answer. In is - -
COTTON: Mr. Secretary, I`m sorry to cut you off. Our time is limited. It is a very simple question. Should a member of the organization you lead be treated differently in violation of the Constitution, I would add, based on their sex or the color of their skin?
AUSTIN: No, I do not believe that. And that is -- that is why we have diversity, equity, and inclusion focused in the military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, here`s what this jihad against so-called wokeness comes down to, right? Trying to badger the first Black man to ever serve in Secretary Defense into a yes or no answer about the complicated racial history of the institution he runs so you can manufacture Fox News soundbite. Great question, Senator. Why would anyone on earth have any reason to think the Pentagon is anything but an absolute model of racial equity that just happened to never have a Black man at its helm for over two centuries?
Helene Cooper covers the Pentagon for New York Times, has written a lot about this very issue, including a great piece last year titled African Americans are highly visible in the military but almost invisible at the top, and she joins me now. I wonder Helene, as someone whose covers this beat, if you can give a little context to the exchange today. Like, we what was the going on there?
HELENE COOPER, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thanks for having me, Chris. It was such a weird exchange in this whole specter of Tom Cotton very much badgering Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin just I think didn`t sit well with a lot of people at the Pentagon.
A lot of this is going on because the right-wing of the Republican Party led by Tom Cotton and by Senator Crenshaw don`t like the fact that the Pentagon at long last is starting to confront some of the racial inequities within the Department of Defense. They call this -- so, now there`s this new phrase that`s been coined. They`re now the woke police. They`re going after the Pentagon for being too woke, and the Pentagon leadership for being too woke.
They don`t like the idea that, for instance, the Pentagon is going to be having some -- putting out some sort of Juneteenth observance, for instance, coming up soon. They`re not crazy about the whole idea of renaming all of this Confederate basis. There`s a whole list of things. But keep in mind that on January 6, you know, as the -- as the Capitol was being stormed by pro-Trump rioters, we found out afterwards that many, many of them were former military, and many of these extremists had military background, and were even active-duty military. We`ve had active-duty military now charged in the Capitol riots.
So, the Pentagon has now been confronting sort of this strain that`s within the American military, because it is -- it`s at the same time that it`s a reflection of American society, you have extremists within the Pentagon. And that`s something that`s been going on too. But you have people on the right-wing of the Republican Party who don`t like that for whatever reason they may present.
HAYES: I mean, one of -- the piece he wrote last year which I remember reading and thinking was great. You know, we have talked about the U.S. military as a sort of model of race, blind American meritocracy. And in many ways, it has been a more integrated institution in American life than a lot of other institutions, including neighborhoods in the city of New York, right?
COOPER: Yes, that`s right.
HAYES: But there are still issues there which you write about. I mean, there are issues. And particularly when you look at what`s at the top of that military and who`s on the bottom, there`s some pretty obvious color difference.
COOPER: They are. And it`s like, it`s very -- the American military is quite integrated at the bottom in the enlisted ranks. It`s when you get to -- and it`s not just the top, Chris, where you see -- you see it all white and primarily all-male. It`s not just the general level, even though that is extreme. The Marine Corps, for instance, has never had a four-star general officer who was not a white male. The Army has had a few. The Air Force now has a Black Air Force Chief of Staff. But this is all -- these are all barriers that are being broken.
Everybody thinks about Colin Powell. Well, that was decades ago. And we haven`t had another Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was not a white male since Colin Powell. So -- but beyond the leadership, which is extremely white, there are also certain combat units when you look at the Pentagon, and you look at for instance, you don`t see a lot of Navy SEALs who are not white or male. You don`t see a whole lot of Army Rangers, the elite, the Delta Force, the Green Berets, when you look at the elite combat units.
And these are the units that feed into the office of Corps. These are the stars of the American military. You don`t see much more -- much other than white male. So, it`s not just a question of just the leadership. There are certain units within the military where a lot of Black people, were Hispanics, were women say they`ve not been made to feel welcome.
HAYES: I have to say, I mean, you know, another generation ago, there was a campaign against political correctness, .P.C. It was what people used to call what they now call wokeness. And one of the targets was campus politics. And even though I thought it was excessive and insane, it was true that campus politics could get pretty radical, pretty lefty, lots of new ideas. Targeting the Pentagon as like -- it just doesn`t even scan. Like, what are we talking about?
COOPER: They are the least woke. I mean, they are -- they`re not lefty. When I first started covering the Pentagon beat in 2014, Tom Ricks was this veteran, great, well known Pentagon correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and for The Washington Post took me to lunch. And he was like, you have to get used to the fact that you`re going to be covering, and he said at the time, it`s a tea party demographic.
And I didn`t know what he meant, because I kept thinking there`s so many Blacks in the Pentagon. I have cousins who were -- who served in the Marines. I have -- I know plenty of black, brown, you name it, were in the American military. And I didn`t understand what he meant until I actually started covering the beat.
And it is very much a place that looks like America. But that means it does tend to skew a little bit more to the right because while you have a lot of Black and Latino and Hispanic people there, you also have a very strong majority -- a lot of people coming from the American south and west.
HAYES: Helene Cooper who is a great reporter on this beat, thanks for making time tonight. I appreciate it.
COOPER: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW" show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.