IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 6/25/21

Guests: Julie Fernandes, Ari Berman, Adam Kaufmann, Hakeem Jeffries, John Pistorino, Russel Honore


The Department of Justice forms a task force on threats to election officials. The Trump Organization has been notified by the Manhattan DA of their intent to charge the business and possibly the company`s CFO, Allen Weisselberg, as early as next week for tax-related conduct. More than 500 people have now been charged in connection with the January 6th attack on the Capitol. New York Times has detailed how the president`s aides have prepared an Insurrection Act Order during debate over the protests. Search and rescue efforts continue tonight after a condo building partially collapsed early Thursday morning in what is feared to be the worst building failure in Florida history.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: For nearly half a century, Sesame Street has been a pioneering program when it comes to diversity and inclusion. This week, they made history yet again. On Thursday, Granny Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the gang welcomed Frank, Dave, and their daughter Mia, the first married same-sex couple and family to be recurring characters. Cheers to Sesame Street for doing more to recognize diversity in this country than most of the Republican Party and lower than lots of other people.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


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

MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Where we see violations of federal law, we will act. In keeping that promise, today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia.

HAYES: The Justice Department joined the fight for democracy as Republicans center their election strategy around the same thesis they keep bashing as critical race theory.

Then, what we know about the criminal charges reportedly coming for the Trump Organization. Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him for some specific commitments. One of them was to take the select committee seriously and appoint serious participants not obstructionists.

HAYES: Injured police officers asked Republican leaders to take the January 6 investigation seriously. And the clownish backlash to General Milley`s defense of a well-rounded education.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Why is Congress not saying we`re not going to give you a penny until all of this is eradicated from the military budget? Nothing. This is my offer to you? Nothing. That`s what I would say.

HAYES: General Russel Honore joins me on that when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know, so far, governing, policy, the things that government does, hasn`t really been the focus of the opposition of conservatives and Trump world and the Republican Party since President Biden was elected. I mean, we have seen, of course, this implacable rage, right, this radicalizing against democracy that continues spreading the big lie, the election was stolen, the covering for the January 6 insurrectionists and all this stuff that goes with that.

What we`ve not seen is that nonstop level of anti-Joe Biden invective like there was under President Barack Obama. Instead, what we`ve seen is this kind of fascinating bifurcation between the things the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats are doing and the culture war the right is waging. This kind of churning you see looking for the right target.

A reporter named Chase Woodruff shared this incredibly telling Google Trends chart the other day that caught my eye, showing the different issues that have trended this year. That yellow bump early on, that first one all the way there to the left of your screen, early in the year, that was when the right push transphobia and the threat of trans kids playing sports that was running 24/7.

Then next, they tried cancel culture when they went on the offensive because remember, the Dr. Seuss publisher stopped printing some Dr. Seuss books because some of them contained offensive caricatures of folks from different cultures. Then there was a brief moment, and this is interesting, there`s a brief moment when governance and culture war did come together around the border. That`s when there was a significant rise in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors at the border. It was a real thing. Like, there was actually data. It was an actual thing that was happening.

And you know, in some ways, that was kind of the sweet spot because it had that cultural war, fear of other we`re being invaded. They`re bringing God knows what here. Oh, we have to get rid of them. But there was an actual hook to something that government was or was not doing. There was policy you can criticize. Then, the Biden administration mobilized to move those kids into proper facilities. And then the actual apprehensions of the borders went back down massively.

So, most recent culture war, right, and in many ways, the most successful is this backlash against so-called critical race theory, a term the right has appropriated to mean things that more or less make them uncomfortable when we confront the legacy of race in America.

You can see on this chart that same one how all-in they are on that, to coin a term, how effective this particular line of attack has been. It`s the one they`re going with. It`s, you know, everywhere you look. The right- wing media, particularly Fox News, have been running different issues of the flagpole to see what catches wind, and this caught wind, so much so it is now the subject of grillings in Congress where Republicans like Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are going after the Pentagon of all places for being excessively "woke."

Now, Politico reported this week that former Trump aides have begun aggressively pushing this backlash against so-called critical race theory, confident they can ride that anger back into power. Donald Trump`s former top adviser, the indicted and then subsequently pardoned Steve Bannon said, "I look at this and say, hey, this is how we`re going to win. I see 50 House Republican seats in 2022. Keep this up. I think you`re going to see a lot more emphasis from Trump on it and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others, people who are serious in 2024 and beyond are going to focus on it.

OK, so just to summarize, right, they think the key to taking back control of Congress, right, in the year when we`re getting the pandemic or the economy`s getting back and there`s a million issues that Americans face, right? They think the key to getting back control of Congress is the backlash against critical race theory.

And there is just something so perfect about that core contention, because here`s the thing, OK. Look, the vast majority of this backlash is bad faith, obviously. It`s like a moral panic. But to the extent, there is some real intellectual debate about critical race theory or about the New York Times 1619 Project, right, which looks at the history of race and slavery in America and its enduring effect. It`s often associated with critical race theory in the right-wing imagination, right, to the extent that there`s an actual serious debate on this topic.

It boils down to this. It`s a debate over I think this question. Here`s how I think of it. Is race, racial hierarchy, racial oppression, the central ordering conflict of American society, politics, and history or not? Is it the central one if you`re to pick one?

Now, I think that`s an interesting intellectual question. For my part, from my perch, from my reading, I tend to think the answer is yes. But also, I`m not dogmatic on that. I mean, you know, it`s a big, complicated country. Some of the scholarly critiques of critical race theory and the 1619 Project has to do with just how central race really is. And are we over- determining the vast complexity of American life and politics and history by excessively focusing on race as the central order in conflict, OK, so there`s different ways you can argue it.

But here`s the thing. If you are a political adviser to Donald Trump, or Republicans, and you survey the American populace at this moment in the 21st century, and you look out at all the issues, all the things going on, and you decide that indeed white backlash and moral panic over critical race theory, if you think that backlash is so powerful that it provides such a nuclear furnace of rage that it will be the key to taking over Congress in the midterms, well, then, you are conceding the central premise of critical race theory itself, which is that, indeed, racial resentment, the preservation of racial hierarchy particularly for white people is, in fact, the central ordering conflict in American society, right?

Because if you think that`s the key to winning the elections, not whatever, jobs, or I don`t know, inflation, right, if the key to winning elections is mobilizing white backlash along these lines, then you`re really saying yes, yes, American politics is inescapably about race.

If Bannon and the like are right, they have ascertained accurately, right, what the central dividing line is in American politics. That central dividing line and the history of that conflict is one about power, who gets to have it, right? Particularly history of whether America will be truly a multiracial democracy if we will share power with each other, right, together as equals. That has been well, if not the central dramas, certainly one of the central dramas in the history of this country.

And of course, the place that has been fought over most brutally is at the ballot box, right? Starting with a three-fifths compromise in the Constitution, giving Southern slaveholding states the ability to count some portion of their slaves towards their population for their own representational purposes, right, to go to Congress, even though obviously the slaves couldn`t vote to the 15th amendment in the wake of the Union`s victory in the civil war that declared the right of citizens the United States to vote shall not be a died -- denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

That 15th amendment was then followed by the revanchist success of Southern white terrorism and apartheid that basically extinguished black suffrage for all intents and purposes for another little less than a century until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And all that brings us to the fight we are having now in America, the maybe multiracial democracy we want to have finally in the 21st century, in which one side, the same side whipping up the critical race theory panic, the same side that openly says that white backlash is the rocket fuel for their own political success, that side is also working in state after state along party lines to make it harder to vote, to restrict the franchise in ways they think will help them. And they know that making it harder for black people to vote will help them.

And so today, this morning, another plot point and again, that central story, the Department of Justice, which was first constituted in 1877 amidst reconstruction, and whose first task was to bring to heal the white terrorists of the knights of the Ku Klux Klan, right, who are stopping black people from voting. The same Department of Justice that had been tasked with pre-clearing changes to voting laws under the Voting Rights Act, right. The same voting -- Depart of Justice that had that power then taken away by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Supreme Court eight years ago today when he said famously, the South has changed.

That Department of Justice announced today that they`re suing the state of Georgia. It`s one of the first states of many to pass one of these restrictive voting laws. More than 272,000 Georgians do not have on file the kind of, for instance, identification to vote the new law requires, more than 55 percent of them are black, while black voters make up only about a third of the voting-age population in Georgia. And so, the Department of Justice is suing Georgia over its new voting laws. Because what kind of crazy person would think that race is the central story of American politics.

Ari Berman is a senior reporter at Mother Jones covering voting rights, the author Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Julie Fernandes served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice`s Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration. And they both join me now.

Julie, let me just start with you about the suit, what the kind of theory of it is, under what authority it`s happening, and the significance of it.

JULIE FERNANDES, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE`S CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION: So, the lawsuit that was filed by the Department of Justice is under section two of the Voting Rights Act. So, it`s the part of the Voting Rights Act that is this sort of standard anti- discrimination provision of the law that makes it unlawful to deny or abridge the right to vote based on race.

It`s important -- the case is extremely important. It`s very much in line with your intro, Chris, because part of what it is, it is based on a purpose theory. There are two theories under section two of the Voting Rights Act. One is that a law was enacted with the purpose to racially discriminate, and the other is that it has the result of discrimination. So, it`s a purpose claim. It is saying you did this, Georgia, because you were trying to stop Black people from being able to vote.

It is -- it is in many ways it`s a -- it`s a very clean and very straightforward case, given what happened in Georgia, given that the whole context, as you know so well, was increased black participation. The whole story after 2020, the election of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff being credited to work being done in the black community to energize black voters all across the state. That`s the story.

And then this law is passed that is essentially designed to attack the very structures that were in place that made it possible to increase black turnout and doing it not in the way that usually passed laws in the state. I don`t want to get too much of the details but doing it in a way that was kind of circumventing the normal procedure, doing it in a way that was so designed to also send a message about how they kind of -- in a state that had three audits one by hand, where no one believes there was any fraud in the state, where Raffensperger says there was no fraud.

So, what went wrong in Georgia? What went wrong? Nothing except too many black people were voting.

HAYES: And Ari, you pointed this out today that Merrick Garland noted -- I mean, the fact that this was on the anniversary of the Shelby County decision, this sort of infamous decision by the Roberts Court to gut another section of the Voting Rights Act, the preclearance, Garland made reference to that actually in his address today.

ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: That`s absolutely right, Chris. What Attorney General Merrick Garland said was that if John Roberts had not gutted the Voting Rights Act, this Georgia law would have been blocked in the first place. Remember that section five of the Voting Rights Act blocked 2000 discriminatory voting changes from 1965 to 2013. Then John Roberts says in 2013, eight years ago today, that things have changed dramatically in the country.

Well, they have changed dramatically, dramatically for the worst because we published a new analysis in Mother Jones today that found that 26 states have enacted new voter suppression laws since the Shelby County decision. So, John Roberts says voting discrimination is largely a thing of the past. And then what do Republican-controlled states do? They start discriminating on the basis of race when it comes to voting.

And so many of the laws that have been passed since 2013 have come in Georgia, have come in Texas, have come in Arizona. And now the challenge in these laws, you have to go through a very long process for a conservative- dominated court after the law has already been put into effect as opposed to being able to block it beforehand so that it never sees the light of day which was -- which is what would have happened had John Roberts not have gotten the VRA.

HAYES: Yes, this is -- this is the key difference, right? This sort of before preclearance, right, before it actually the law takes effects as opposed to, you know, suing after it has taken effect. I want to just play a little bit of what Garland had to say, Julie and get your sense of what else might be coming. Like, what can the Department of Justice do? Take a listen to what he had to say today.


GARLAND: The complaint alleges that the state enacted those restrictions, with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color. This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and then every voter has access to accurate information.


HAYES: What else is in the arsenal so to speak?

FERNANDES: Well, I think a couple of things. DOJ also has a program where they have -- where they can implement where they send observers -- or they`re not really observers under the old section five under the old Voting Rights Act Section five, but they can send attorneys. They can use the U.S. Attorney`s offices to monitor what`s happening on election day during the early voting period just to sort of be a presence against voter intimidation.

They can also, as you know, Lisa, Monaco, the Deputy Attorney General issued a memo where she is -- there are-- they`re making sure that they are using all of the law enforcement at their -- at their disposal to ensure there isn`t intimidation of election officials. This is also something that is a huge issue right now which we never would have thought this -- I don`t know. This -- it was a failure of imagination, Chris, for us to not even see this coming. But the idea that election officials, you know, local folks are being intimidated against doing their job, so whatever the DOJ can do to protect them.

And they can also really -- they can scrutinize more of these laws. You know, there`s a law that, as you know, in Texas where the Texas Democrats walked out to deny quorum because there was so much concern about what was happening in Texas. So, there are other lawsuits that couldn`t be brought.

HAYES: All right, Julie Fernandes and Ari Berman, thanks for that. That was really illuminating. I appreciate it.

BERMAN: Thank you, Chris.

FERNANDES: Thank you.

HAYES: Tonight, multiple outlets are reporting that the Trump Organization could be facing criminal charges as soon as next week. But is this just the beginning? There are lots of moving parts here and I want to just go through it all next.


HAYES: Well, it looks like criminal charges are in fact imminent for the Trump Organization. Multiple outlets including our own NBC News, of course, reporting today that the Trump Organization has been notified by the Manhattan District Attorney`s Office of their intent to charge the business and possibly the company`s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg as early as next week for tax related conduct.

Previous reports have indicated the prosecutors were zeroing in on untaxed benefits, things like apartments and cars given to executives at the companies such as Allen Weisselberg. The company`s lawyers have issued a lengthy statement, not surprisingly, decrying the possibility of impending charges, arguing the infractions are trivial and the prosecution is "completely outrageous."

It is worth pointing out, however, that the Manhattan DA`s office has been investigating the Trump Organization for more than two years and we really do not actually know the scope of what the charges might be. Frankly, I feel a little confused because it seems like we`re getting this from the defense attorneys.

Here to help me sort it all out, Adam Kaufmann. He was the former chief of the investigations division at the Manhattan District Attorney`s Office, the very office that is reportedly considering criminal charges against the Trump Organization.

Adam, first, let`s just start with what we have reported. The infraction that the reporting indicates would be the focus of charges both at the organization and maybe Weisselberg as well.

ADAM KAUFMANN, FORMER CHIEF, THE INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION, MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY`S OFFICE: Thanks, Chris. And thanks for having me on tonight. So, what we`re hearing is actually nothing new, right? We`ve been hearing for some time that Mr. Weisselberg was the focus of this phase of the investigation. And frankly, it`s really not new that the Trump Organization could face criminal charges.

Under criminal law, if a high managerial agent, in the state of New York criminal law, engages in criminal conduct, then the corporation will also face criminal conduct. So, while there`s a degree of timing and imminence to what we`re hearing, nothing new from what we`ve heard before.

HAYES: But in terms of what the actual charges are, and we say like untaxed benefits, like what`s the -- what`s the law of a break? What`s the criminal transgression? Just explain it to us.

KAUFMANN: Right. So, let me preface it by saying this. If you`re inside one of these investigations, and you`re going in the grand jury, and it`s a big press case, you come home every night, you listen to what the people in the news have to say, and they`re almost always wrong. So, let`s agree that whatever we say (AUDIO GAP), and we`ll go from there.

HAYES: Right. No, well, that`s -- well, that`s actually important because I should -- I should note, just to -- just to finish the point, that`s important because one of the -- one of the vibes that I got today just off the reporting was that it`s clear that like Trump`s lawyers are confirming this on the record, and they`re attempting to kind of get out ahead of framing what they will be very clearly in the way they`re talking about it. So, like, it`s all kind of grain of salt in that respect.

KAUFMANN: True. That`s true. And of course, the D.A. is saying nothing. So, it`s all coming from the Trump legal team. And what they`re saying is that these are trivial charges, it`s outrageous. And, you know, we have to wait and see what kind of charges we`re talking about. I mean, are we talking about a couple of people who are getting a car, that they`re not declaring. What we -- what we would be talking about when we`re talking about untaxed benefits, undeclared benefits is people receiving some type of benefit, cars, apartments, and so forth that have a material cash value, that they`re not declaring as income.

And so, it would be that type of tax fraud where the individual taxpayers are not declaring the income. The corporation -- the company is not -- is not declaring this as income to them and presumably the whole thing is being supervised by Mr. Weisselberg. So, that`s the general picture of what we`re talking about here if in fact those are the charges.

HAYES: Are there -- again, I never -- I`m 42 years old and I`ve still -- I`ve never been to law school and don`t quite understand the distinction. But like, what -- tax infractions, what takes it from being civil to criminal? Like, you know, you miss something up, or you -- or you don`t do something -- like, a criminal tax charge, they`re not that common and like, what would -- what would tip you over from one to the other?

KAUFMANN: It needs to be more than just making a tax mistake or taking an aggressive position with the advice of lawyers on a tax write off. It really has to be a pattern and practice of repeatedly doing something again, and again and again. Falsifying documents is the -- is the real red flag for criminal tax fraud where you`re making up documents to justify what you`re doing. And of course, that would go hand in hand with the other type of charge we`ve talked about before which is the falsification of the business records of the company.

To me, you know, what one thing we have to remember because we don`t know what`s going on in that grand jury room, we don`t know what the district attorney strategy is. You have to remember that this is an investigative grand jury. It`s engaged in an ongoing investigation. And along the way, they`re going to be charges, plea deals. It`s a long-term investigation.

HAYES: Right.

KAUFMANN: And so, this couldn`t be -- whatever they come out with, if indeed they come out with something next week, it could be one step in a strategy that`s going to play out like three-dimensional chess over the course of the next month.

HAYES: Right. Adam Kaufmann who worked in the Manhattan District Attorney`s Office, where he was an investigator, that was very clarifying. Thank you very much.

KAUFMANN: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Ahead, the Republican leader in the house won`t comment on whether conspiracy theorists belong on the new January 6 Select Committee. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on what we should expect from that investigation next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: More than 500 people have now been charged in connection with the January 6th attack on the Capitol. And those cases continue making their way through the D.C. courts. We`re getting fascinating dispatches from what`s happening inside those hearings, right.

Today, NBC4 Washington reporter Scott MacFarlane has been doing an incredible job following on this. Reported that a judge in one of those hearings warned that a threat remains. Saying "The former president continues to speak out that the election was rigged or stolen. And the former president was part of the inspiration."

Now, these are all happening in different courtrooms at different times, right. The only mechanism we have to kind of systematically understand what happened that day, to come to some official record, right, to stop it from happening again is of course the new select committee announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Still pretty unclear exactly what it will look like. So here to explain what Democrats have planned is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. He`s the chair of the House Democratic caucus and serves in leadership.

Congressmen, give us a sense of what the thinking is about what the select committee is and how it might look.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Good evening, Chris. Great to be with you.

The fundamental purpose of the select committee will really be to determine the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in terms of what happened on January 6th, which we know was a violent attack on the United States Capitol incited by the former, twice-impeached President of the United States of America. We want to figure out what happened in its entirety that day and in the months leading up to that fateful day. Why it happened in its entirety and uncover and recommend how we can prevent something like a violent insurrection from ever happening again.

HAYES: Are there, you know, number of members, time staffing, (INAUDIBLE) I know, those are fairly banal details, but they`re going to matter a lot to what we`re talking about hearing since all of that was stipulated in that bipartisan bill that passed out of the House on a bipartisan basis and then was defeated by a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

JEFFRIES: Well, without commenting on myself, I think we can all be confident that, as the speaker did in connection with the first impeachment team, and the second impeachment team, Speaker Pelosi is going to come up with an extraordinary group of members who are highly talented, skilled, many of whom I expect will be attorneys, some of whom perhaps will be committee chairs. That`s the decision that the speaker will make. We`ve got full confidence in her that it will be the best and the brightest for this task in terms of the House Democratic Caucus.

It`s my expectation that we will vote on the select committee to authorize it in the House next week. And perhaps, shortly thereafter, we`ll begin to know what the composition will look like in terms of members appointed by Speaker Pelosi. And we`ll see what horror show Kevin McCarthy gives us that will have to deal with and we will.

HAYES: Yes, that`s the other question, right? Obviously, there`ll be -- unlike the bipartisan commission would have equal members, this will have more Democrats and Republicans, which means they`ll control the committee the way they control committees -- normal committees right now.

Kevin McCarthy was asked today by a reporter whether he`d commit to not putting conspiracy theories -- conspiracy theories on the committee. Take a listen to that exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you commit to not putting the members in your conference who are spreading conspiracy theories or trying to minimize what happened on the 6th on that select committee?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Just with the speaker, she`s never talked to me about it. I don`t -- haven`t seen the structure what she does or anything else. So, I won`t make any commitment until I go there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be open to talk about in conversation with Donald Trump to select committee?

MCCARTHY: Well, I don`t know that there is a select committee, the speaker has never talked to me about it. She hasn`t said the scope.


MCCARTHY: She didn`t tell me about it. I haven`t seen anything. So, I don`t know what it is.


HAYES: I mean, I guess that`s the way out of the question. But like there is going to be a select committee and he is going to -- I mean, presumably the Minority Leader, you`re going to put Republicans on it.

JEFFRIES: I would think so. But you know, wouldn`t shock me if he chose Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, he`s got quite a collection of characters to choose from.

And it`s not my expectation given Kevin McCarthy`s past practice that he`ll do anything other than bend the knee to Donald Trump.

In fact, we probably can expect that Donald Trump over the next few days will issue recommendations as to who he thinks should be on this committee. And Kevin McCarthy will follow those recommendations, hook, line and sinker. But that`s not going to stop us from uncovering the truth and then presenting it in a clear, convincing and comprehensive way to the American people.

HAYES: I want to play Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone. Of course, Michael Fanone was the Capitol officer who was dragged into the crowd. He was surrounded by the crowd. Someone said kill him with his own gun. He managed to sort of make his way back to safety after a few other members of the crowd sort of intervened on his behalf and he was able to go back.

Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn is also a Capitol Police Officer were actually lobbying on this. And meeting Kevin McCarthy, talking about how they they wanted this to be taken seriously. It meant a lot to them, obviously. And I want to play for you what they had to say.


HARRY DUNN, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: Meaningful discussion. I won`t go too much into what we said. We did ask for some commitments to take the special select committee seriously. I think we all want the same thing, ultimately. But how we go about getting it, like this is where the hiccup is.

MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: In a lot of ways, this experience has been incredibly isolating. I`m sure Harry experiences some similar feelings. But I mean, I don`t think I could go through physically walking these halls without him.


HAYES: Do you think that lands with your colleagues?

JEFFRIES: You know, it remains to be seen. One thing is clear, that all the Republican talking points about being about law and order are really just phony, they`re hypocrites.

January 6th was about lawlessness and disorder. More than 140 officers were seriously injured. Some died in the aftermath of that violent attack on the Capitol.

And many of my House Republican colleagues including the House Republican Minority Leader, want to act like it didn`t happen, that it was all wine and roses.

Notwithstanding the officers who continue to make the case in a clear way that it was far from a normal simple tour of visitors in the Capitol. And so, you know, it`s just hard to tell with my colleagues on the other side.

But again, Chris, we can control what we can control. And we will take this select committee with the seriousness and substantive approach and solemnity, that a violent insurrection and attack on the Capitol requires.

HAYES: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, we appreciate your time.

JEFFRIES: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, the latest Republican moral panic, now the so-called woke military. Lieutenant General Russel Honore joins me next.


HAYES: As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley is the highest ranking military officer in the country. And before Donald Trump picked General Milley as his top military adviser, before he was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate, Milley was a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

But perhaps his first real moment in the national spotlight came last summer, you might remember, when he escorted Donald Trump dressed in full military fatigues to a photo op outside a church and the White House after peaceful protesters were forcibly removed from the area using tear gas.

Now, General Milley later apologized for his role that day saying "I should not have been there."

This week, he found himself in the spotlight again when he appeared before a House Committee hearing explaining the importance of the military being well open-minded.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I`ve read Mao Zedong. I`ve read -- I`ve read Karl Marx. I`ve read Lenin. That doesn`t make me a communist. So, what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?

And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being "woke" or something else because we`re studying some theories that are out there.

That was started at Harvard Law School years ago. And it proposed that there were laws in the United States, Antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being when this country was formed.

And then we had a Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation to change it and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, took another hundred years to change that.


HAYES: Said General Milley`s passionate defense of --well, just reading around the country`s history.

Fox News`s Laura Ingraham has proposed defunding the military. Our colleague Tucker Carlson has called General Milley "stupid and a pig".

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore, a commander of the task force that was in charge of the U.S. military response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Most recently led the review of Capitol security following the January 6th insurrection, and he joins me now.

General, what do you make of the invective now being directed at the United States military of all institutions as essentially being excessively captured by, you know, far left race and diversity obsessives?

LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE (RET.), COMMANDER OF JOINT TASK FORCE KATRINA: That`s a quite an interesting approach that the opposition is starting to take to singularly attack the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Not only to question his integrity in a committee here, but then to have that same group that they hang with over on the animal channel, say disparaging remarks about the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff when he answered the question that they asked. A concerning race. Concerning why were these topics being taught.

But I`m most impressed with the way the chairman and the Secretary of Defense dealt with those challenges in the House of Chamber. It was impressive to see these two boomers, take these young Gen X`s out to the woodshed and literally lay some wood on that a s s (PH).

He handled them with distinction, with authority. He didn`t use notes, and he wasn`t quoting something you heard on the animal channel. He was talking facts.

HAYES: General Milley has been in the -- in the news about more than this because there has been reporting coming out about June of last year, of course, and that`s when there were protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. And there were folks in the street, there were folks outside the White House. Of course, we all remember that photo op the president, you know, walking across.

But there`s new reporting that New York Times has detailing how the president`s aides have prepared an Insurrection Act Order during debate over the protests. The president wanted and kept urging, essentially, he wanted the military deployed in American streets to put down the protests that he was -- there`s a book coming out that says that he was telling them to, you know, shoot people and crack skulls. And that Milley was one of the key figures resisting that.

As someone who, you know, led troops into New Orleans with this sort of humanitarian mission, what is your reaction to hearing how close it appears we came to having them deployed essentially against Americans?

HONORE: Yes, that`s scary. Good thing that horror show is over with. But that truth needs to be told because as you say, it came back close to the commitment of federal troops to achieve a political objective inside the United States.

Federal troops are designed to achieve a political objectives outside the United States, not inside the United States.

When you look at the oath we swear to the Constitution, and it does say defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But that is in a very select situations that we must defend ourselves if we have to inside the United States.

But it was clear to everybody, the scenario that we were being led down the trail that was not consistent with the Constitution. It started off ugly. I`m glad it happened early. Lead General Milley and Secretary Esper at the time, spoke up, pushed back and put the military back into the camp and said hell no, we`re not doing that.

And they had the power and the authority to do it, vested in them by the Constitution, given to the chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense.

HAYES: Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore, it`s always a pleasure to speak to you sir. Thank you so much for making time tonight.

HONORE: Good evening.

HAYES: All right, tonight, over 150 people are still unaccounted for the building -- after the building collapsed in Surfside, Florida. I`m going to talk to an engineer tasked with investigating what caused the high rise to fall after this.


HAYES: Search and rescue efforts continue tonight after a condo building partially collapsed early Thursday morning in what is feared to be the worst building failure in Florida history. At least four people were killed, 159 people are still unaccounted for.

The search and rescue efforts has been hampered by fires and bad weather. But emergency workers are still looking for survivors.

Now, the 12-story condo building was built 40 years ago on reclaimed wetlands in the beachside town of Surfside a few miles north of Miami Beach. In a 136 units, approximately 55 of them were destroyed in that collapse, the cause of the collapse still unknown. And there are obviously concerns about the structural integrity of the rest of the building.

John Pistorino has been hired to investigate the partial collapse. He`s longtime structural engineer, who literally helped write Florida`s building codes and he joins me now.

John, I guess the first thing I think that all of us thought is, this is just exceedingly rare. I mean, there are literally millions of buildings in this country, millions and millions of high rises. Like, have you ever encountered this before of a building just falling down without a hurricane or some precipitating event?

JOHN PISTORINO, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Not at all, that`s what makes this quite a unique mystery. As I say, we have our 40-year inspection for -- because of a building that collapsed in Miami 1974 that had a lot of deterioration, the building. And that`s why we have our 40-year inspection code.

But for this thing to collapse like this, it`s so unusual. We have literally hundreds and hundreds of buildings that have all been carefully designed, scrutinized and constructed and maintained. So, this is a big mystery, and I`m anxious to get to the bottom of it when the -- when the emergency forces are gone, and the engineering groups can come in and start looking at it.

HAYES: There`s obviously concern too about the rest of the structural integrity if you shear off a part of a building. Is there -- do you know anything about that? About -- have you been able as anyone run analysis to see about the rest of the building and that staying up?

PISTORINO: Well, you know, the problem is, I haven`t been to the site at all. We haven`t -- no one has had authorization to go to the site. That`s really not we can`t comment on it at this point. But certainly, that will always be a question.

HAYES: So, let`s talk more broadly about what the building codes in Florida and particularly a place that we know it has hurricanes, it has flooding, it faces rising sea level from climate change, it can be a difficult environment. And also, it`s a place where people want to build right close to the water.

Like, what are some of the pillars of the building codes down there that structural engineers like yourself think about to make sure that you can build safely down there?

PISTORINO: Oh, yes, all of those aspects you brought up are dealt within our building codes and our designs. But primarily, you know, we have a high hurricane winds, 185 miles an hour now, although there were 120 when this building was built. We anticipate storm surge from hurricanes, which has to do with a lot of -- from FEMA.

And then of course, the ground we anticipate what is the ground going to hold, so we come up with deep pilings, deeper foundations.

And then of course, the structure itself is intended to be a solid structure, meaning it`s a closed envelope. We don`t want things to open up like the window (INAUDIBLE) and doors and things.

So, the concrete that we utilize down here is would be high strength concrete that has plenty of what we call concrete protection, so that the embedded steel does not get attacked by salt, salt content, salt air. And that`s one of the problems we have being in such a hostile environment, that these buildings, these concrete buildings can be damaged from the salt. It gets into the concrete that attacks the steel, the steel starts to corrode. As the steel corrodes, it actually gets bigger and bigger and cracks the concrete and then the concrete loses all of its ability to share the load.

So, that`s what our problem is and of course, in maintaining these buildings, we need to maintain them so that the concrete is protected. And even though it already has its natural protection, the buildings ought to be painted, waterproofed. And we know that this is always going to be an issue with buildings along the coast and that`s what these building owners are constantly dealing with to keep the buildings up from doing any premature deterioration.

Otherwise, these buildings can last, you know, over 100 years. We have buildings in Miami that are over 100 years old and properly maintained in our environment, that`s not going to be a problem.

But this particular collapse, which, yes, it`s the worst in Florida. We did have one in North Florida that -- but that was a building under construction.

So, we also instituted, as I said, our 40-year inspection plan because of the building that had fallen before. And then, every 10 years after, we also have something called a threshold building inspector plan, so that the buildings are scrutinized when they`re first built.

And so, one of my purposes of even doing an interview like this with you all is to assure the many occupants of all these other high-rise buildings, that these buildings are safe, that this is such an unusual condition, and we shouldn`t -- I don`t want people to be fearful of is my building going to be next or something like that.

HAYES: All right, John Pistorino, I learned a lot there. Thank you so much for making time tonight.

PISTORINO: You`re certainly welcome.

HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.