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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, August 12, 2020

Guests: Sheila Jackson Lee, Zerlina Maxwell, Barbara Boxer, Adam Schiff, Mark Dimondstein

Summary

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris debuted their case against President Trump. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is interviewed about the Biden-Harris campaign. Jared Kushner, President's son-in-law reportedly met with Kanye West last weekend. President Trump attacks mail-in voting ahead of an election where voting by mail is crucial because of the pandemic. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is interviewed about Trump's attempts to undermine the election.

Transcript

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. It's Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appearing for the first time together as the Democratic ticket. 83 days to go to November 3rd, the march to take out Trump begins as the impeached President and his cronies throw a kitchen sink of racism, sexism, and dirty tricks, push a third-party spoiler, and sabotage the Postal Service to gum up the mail-in election. Adam Schiff is here on the Trump campaign's corruption when ALL IN starts now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Good evening from Philadelphia. I'm Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. Today was the eagerly awaited coming out party for the Democratic ticket that hopes to bring an end to the presidency of Donald Trump. Joe Biden took the stage for the first time with his newly minted running mate California Senator Kamala Harris. She's the child of immigrants from Jamaica and India.

The socially distanced joined appearance was at a high school in Biden's home state of Delaware. The pair promised to reverse the damage inflicted on this nation by Donald Trump and Mike Pence and offered warm words for each other. It was their first full day together as the Democratic ticket in what Biden called a battle for the soul of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Kamala knows how to govern. She knows how to make the hard calls. She's ready to do this job on day one. And we're both ready to get to work rebuilding this nation, as Kamala would be the last voice in the room, always tell me the truth which she will, challenge my assumptions if she disagrees, ask the hard questions. Because that's the way we make the best decisions for the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Biden and Harris also gave us a first look at how they plan to make their case against Trump and Pence, a case that Kamala Harris cast as open and shut.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump is also the reason millions of Americans are now unemployed. He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground.

Because of Trump's failures of leadership, our economy has taken one of the biggest hits out of all the major industrialized nations with an unemployment rate that has tripled as of today. This is what happens when we elect the guy who just isn't up for the job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: While Joe Biden and Kamala Harris seem to have a clear sense of how to go after Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Republicans on the Trump campaign seem less sure about how to attack Harris. For example, this evening, the President who's known by pretty much everyone to be a serial liar attacked Harris as "weak on facts." That's rich.

They really have no idea how to go after her. And so, they've been throwing everything at the wall, even if it is utterly contradictory. They're trying to cast her as a puppet, but also as power-hungry, a Wall Street shill but also a radical leftist, opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement while also in thrall to it. It's a muddled message that suggests they have no idea how to define Kamala Harris despite having months to prepare for this announcement.

She ran for president. She was -- she is a United States Senator, she was the Attorney General. She's got a record. And so all the president seems to have at this point is racism, sexism, and dirty tricks. We'll be getting to the dirty tricks later on in the show. He's already coming out calling Harris mean and nasty, which is typical of what he says about women. And today the president continued his racist tweeting to scare "suburban housewives" about "low income" people invading their neighborhood.

None of Trump's attacks in this campaign so far have gotten much traction, and he's desperate for a way to close the gap in a race that he is losing by more than eight percentage points. Today, Kamala Harris made the case that the country needs a Democratic margin of victory that is as wide as possible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: We need more than a victory on November 3rd. We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be. We don't have to accept the failed government of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. In just 83 days, we have a chance to choose a better future for our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I'm joined now by Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. Congresswoman, good to see you again. Thank you for being with us. There's been a lot of information that's come out in the last 24 hours about Kamala Harris for anybody who didn't already know a lot about her.

But there was an article that we ran out NBC today which says history shows running mates don't help much, but Kamala Harris could be different. Talking about the fact that the vice-presidential candidates sometimes makes people think differently about the presidential candidate. What do you think that means in this particular race? What will people see and Joe Biden because of Kamala Harris?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, Ali, it's good to be with you. And I think I'll use the phrase that the vice president used, "are you ready to do the job." And what they will see in this ticket Biden and Harris is that they are ready to do the job. I'm wearing my red, white and blue scarf today because this is America's team.

And what they will see in Kamala is that she has the ability to go to suburbia, to go to rural America, to go to urban America and give people a seat at the table. You know, I've already said that as it relates to black women in particular, and she represents women of color as a Southeast Asian and a black woman, that she has taken us from the bottom of the heat, from the bottom of the mountain, to the mountain top.

And so I believe there will be an impressive impact that she will have in this unity ticket. This working-class brother, meaning his advocacy for working-class America, and joining in with an astute prosecutor with compassion and a change agent, that's something unique. We're turning the corner.

America wants change. They wanted difference, but they also want to have a team that is caring and compassionate and will give them a seat at the table.

VELSHI: Congresswoman, I'm actually a little surprised in the last 24 hours. I expected that given that there was a very good chance that the vice presidential pick was going to be Kamala Harris, and given how much everybody knows about Kamala Harris, that the Republicans would have been better armed with something a little more cogent than what they've come out with. President Trump has called her nasty. He says that she looked angry. They say that she's a radical leftist. They say -- they say that she's a disappointment to the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

I mean, it's all over the map. It's not a particularly focused attack after spending months not being able to have a focus -- land a focused attack on Donald -- on Joe Biden.

LEE: The only thing they haven't called there is a great American and something that she is said herself, along with Joe Biden, two great Americans. She said, I'm standing here today representing all the heroic and ambitious women. She has no shame in that. They've thrown the kitchen sink, Ali, and nothing sticks because they are like deers with lights in their eyes. And we've seen that, we've all seen that, we've all had experiences of trying to not hit that deer.

But the point is that there is nothing that sticks because she comes with a portfolio of experience, again, of compassion, of the ability to work in harmony with Joe Biden. As I heard him say, the last sound or last voice in the room of what she seeks counsel, and the American people feel confident and comfortable, that she knows what she's doing, that she's ready to do the job. And she's already been vetted. She's been through a presidential campaign. And she's a mom, he's a wife. She has a tradition that we love. That means immigrants with history who come to do well in this country. She's a black woman. She's a Southeast Asian heritage.

And I don't know what else they can try to attack. What I will say is that this team, this unity team, puts them in a box. It makes them look nasty and small, inadequate in terms of their policy offerings. And I'm going to ask the question, what are they running on, Ali? What are they running on? We know that we want opportunity and to build back better. And this nation is crumbling, we need to build back better.

VELSHI: Congresswoman, Joe Biden when he launched his campaign, talked about the soul of America. He said it again today. He talked back then about Charlottesville and that sort of element of disunity and discord in this country. But since then, so much more has happened. And social inequity and injustice has really become the big issue of our time.

How for people who have been affected by this, people of color, women of color, black women, how does Kamala Harris as vice president fundamentally change their outlook?

LEE: You know, it's a very painful experience. Those of us in public life, those who are not in public life who run into this shameful aspect of America's culture, and it's very narrow, it's very narrow, but exist. Look at our social media, and you will see the taunts and the accusations and the bad words that are used against Black women and others of color.

And so for us, if I may take a moment, there was a great deal of emotion because her selection by Joe Biden affirmed us that we finally had gained standards, and also the ugliness was behind us, or it was a narrow aspect of American life. That the life that we have now is that we are all Americans with a seat at the table, and that if we happen to be different, we are now being recognized as having the ability to contribute and to give value to our place here and our service to this country.

That's what Kamala represents and it represents an overcoming of any Confederate statue that the administration wants to throw in our face, any ugly comments being made by candidates that are now running, putting four black girls and a woman on a park payment in Aurora, Colorado, treating them with the utmost of disdain and disgrace.

It takes the sting of that pain to be able to say that there will be those in the White House, including Vice President Biden, that will listen to the softness of voices and they will be listening to the voices as far away from Washington as possible. It makes a difference. It is painful to hear attacks that we have all seen and heard, but it is a light at the end of the tunnel to see this great team that we're dealing with. Biden and Harris, they're ready to do the job. And I think many people have been in pain, seeing a whole different perspective.

VELSHI: Congresswoman, thank you as always, for your time. I appreciate it. Sheila Jackson Lee is a member of Congress and a Democrat from Texas. She's the chair of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force. Thank you for your time.

I want to bring in former Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California. She's the host of The Boxer podcast. She endorsed Kamala Harris during her presidential run. I also want to invite Zerlina Maxwell in. She's the co-host of Sirius XM's Signal Boost, and the author of the end of white politics, how to heal our liberal divide. Welcome to both of you.

Zerlina, tell me what's going through your head when you watched the unveiling, if you will today, the joint announcement, press conference with Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, CO-HOST, SIGNAL BOOST, SIRIUS XM: Well, you know, there were high expectations for what to expect. A lot of people were likely looking at their chemistry. This was the first time they were coming out together. I think it's actually a very stark visual with the before times that you have opponents to the current occupant of the White House in masks demonstrating just how far we've come from before Donald Trump was the president.

And I think that you know, what they demonstrated today is that they do have a warm relationship. Joe Biden seemed to appear a bit emotional as she spoke eloquently about her relationship with his late son, Beau Biden. And I think that, you know, that connection -- and most importantly, Ali, the shared values that they both articulated, you know, that Kamala Harris would be the last one in the room, you know, holding him accountable for those communities that are so excited today for a reason, not just because the diversity and the pretty picture of having someone in this position we've never seen before, but that we've never had someone with this lived experience and perspective before in that position. And that's going to change policy, in a trend a transformational way.

VELSHI: Barbara Boxer, I thought two things were interesting. One is the video that was released by Joe Biden of the moment in which he invited Kamala Harris to be his vice-presidential candidate. And two is the -- you know, Joe Biden said when Barack Obama chose him and asked him what he wanted, he said I wanted to be -- I want to be the last person in the room when you make an important decision. And he said, that's what I asked Kamala Harris to do, to be the last person as Zerlina just said, in the room on important decisions.

That's a big deal. That sort of put this whole thing into context for a lot of Americans who are watching it today.

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER SENATOR OF CALIFORNIA: No question about it. This was a very important decision. And Joe Biden and Barack Obama had that chemistry. They respected each other. And that was what he wanted in a running mate, someone who he respected, she respects him back. I thought it was a flawless launch.

And I agree with Congresswoman Jackson Lee. It's a healing ticket. You just look at the ticket. And it says something before they say a word about yes, we can come together, which is what we're seeing in some of the peaceful protesters. We can come together. I thought it was flawless, two great speeches. I think they felt very comfortable together.

VELSHI: Zerlina, today, Donald Trump is almost like he just sort of redid a tweet that he did the other day about invasion of low-income people to suburban areas, and how for some reason he keeps talking about Cory Booker being in charge of it, which makes zero sense. But this suburban housewives thing, he actually tweets it. He says the quiet part out loud. I don't even know who calls anybody a suburban housewife.

But Kamala Harris has got to have some appeal to some of these people who Donald Trump is thinking that he's appealing to with these racist tropes. There are a whole lot of women in this country are looking at Kamala Harris who are not Republicans, who you know, who are looking at her saying this kind of amazing.

MAXWELL: Well, I always say when people talk about suburban women that all women are not white, Ali. And so, it's really important when we're talking about the demographics of women going to the selection, that we demarcate and say, which group of one women we're talking about, or like a woman like Kamala Harris, who has a multiracial background in the fact that she identifies as a black woman, but she's also the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India.

And so, the fulsomeness of who she is, I think, it makes it difficult for someone like Donald Trump, who really does see things in really a 1970s lens, or maybe even a madman lens of, you know, racial politics and black and white. And if you, you know, try to remind people that Cory Booker is black, which is essentially what he's trying to do with these tweets --

VELSHI: Right. That's all it is.

MAXWELL: That's all it is. You know, you know exactly who he's trying to speak to, but that's not where this country is headed, Ali. The Democrats do not need a majority of white voters to win the election. Barack Obama did not win a majority of white voters. We have -- Democrats have not won a majority of white voters since 1964.

So, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris do not need a majority of white voters, but they do need to increase turnout of black, brown, and AAPI voters, and that is the coalition that can bring them to victory potentially.

VELSHI: So, Barbara Boxer, it would help to have a bunch of people who are either disaffected with Donald Trump who may think of themselves as Republicans but don't really believe that there's a Republican Party, certainly not like the Republican Party that existed when you were in Congress.

So Republicans are trying this attack on Kamala Harris as being a leftist, radical, socialist, Antifa supporter. You know her and you know her policies and that's kind of ridiculous too.

BOXER: I'm laughing. I really am. You know, if I were to define her politics, and it's very hard because she's an independent person, but I'd say she's a mainstream progressive person, and just like Joe Biden is really a mainstream progressive person. And in some issues, she'll move more to the left and some issues she'll be center, some issues she might be even right of center.

You can't predict her. She's not -- she's not someone who went into politics because she had this, you know, philosophical desire to become part of a particular wing of the party. She sees trouble and she wants to fix it. And I just feel so strongly when they -- when he says, Trump, suburban women, I was a suburban woman who lived and didn't have a job at the beginning. I was -- I had to stay home with my little kids and then I got into the workforce when they were about six years old.

Now, here's the thing about suburban women. When suburban women of any color creed anything, heard George Floyd, cry out for his mother, I would argue, that just touched their heart no matter where they live. So, he can say suburban moms all they want -- all he wants, it's a dog whistle.

And these issues, what about suburban moms who don't know what to do because they don't -- they're scared about sending their kids to school, you know, they're afraid that their mom and dad who are over 75 are going to die of the virus? So, the suburban moms are very right with the Biden-Harris ticket, I think.

VELSHI: Barbara Boxer, Senator, thank you very much. Zerlina Maxwell, thank you. Zerlina is going to be sitting in this guest host chair on Friday night. I appreciate that too, Zerlina, because I got a different show I got to do. But I look forward to that later on this week.

MAXWELL: Yes, I have to give you the (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: Coming up, if you thought the whole -- well, you only give me the hour off. I'm coming back at 10:00, but we will see each other on Friday night. Listen, if you thought this whole Kanye West campaign thing was a joke, then why did Jared Kushner meet with him over the weekend? I'm going to talk to Adam Schiff about the Trump dirty campaign tricks after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: It seems like forever ago, but it's actually not even been eight months since President Donald Trump was impeached. And one of the charges of his impeachment was for abusing the power of his office to try and sully his opponent, to use the power of the presidency to employ dirty tricks to get reelected.

But since that backfired, the President is attempting a new round of dirty tricks to try and undermine the election, like slowing down the mail, and demonizing mail-in voting during a pandemic that he has failed to control. And we'll have more on his attacks on the U.S. Postal Service in just a little bit, but I want you to put that aside for a second.

The latest dirty trick is trying to get music superstar Kanye West on the ballot. Now, Trump and Republicans appear to be boosting Kanye West who admits he cannot win and does not deny that he is trying to hurt Joe Biden. However, we know that a Republican lawyer named Lane Ruhland, who represented Donald Trump's presidential campaign, literally a week before this video was taken Wisconsin, was actively delivering signatures to get West on the ballot in that state.

We also know that the president's son in law and top senior advisor, Jared Kushner, met with Kanye West last week in Colorado, according to the New York Times. And it's true that Kanye West has no chance winning, but that does not mean that Democrats shouldn't be worried about him siphoning off votes for Joe Biden -- or from Joe Biden.

In 2016, remember this, third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein collectively pulled around four percent of the vote. And when you combine that with the WikiLeaks dumps, and James Comey's last-minute letter, that was enough to put Donald Trump over the top. A new poll shows Kanye West could have two percent of the vote.

Now, if you combine that with the attacks on mail-in voting, the delays in the Postal Service, Attorney General Bill Barr, well, that is maybe something the President is throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks so that he can sneak through into the presidency.

Joining me now is the man who led the impeachment case against President Trump, Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, and the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, good to see you. I thought it was important to talk to you because people may forget, there are a lot of people just don't like Donald Trump, they think he's crooked, but they forget that the impeachment was actually about a dirty election trick.

Dirty election tricks are something you and I talked about, I think about a week ago with the intelligence that you've had that you'd like Americans to find out about, but you can't right now. This is another one. If he's helping Kanye West to run with the -- with the aim of defeating Joe Biden, it falls into the same basket.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, it does. It falls into the basket of a President of the United States who will break any law, rule, abuse the power of his office, who will cheat, and no stratagem is beneath him. You know, this idea of recruiting a third-party candidate that you hope will siphon voters from your opponent. It's an old ploy, but it was among the dirtiest of the dirty tricks and you never want it to be associated with it.

But here it is all out in the open. The president's son in law dispatched to meet with Kanye. They're not even hiding it. You know, the -- Barbara Boxer was just wonderful on your show, talking about the dog whistle in terms of the suburban household, it's not even a dog whistle anymore. It's a whistle that everybody can hear.

VELSHI: Right.

SCHIFF: And this is where the President has descended to. No tactic beneath him, no bigotry too great, no racist appeal too much, no, you know, political dirty trick beyond the pale. And the terrible thing about it is the Republicans in the Congress won't say a word. They are watching their party destroyed. They're watching the ethics of the party leader just tear their party asunder, and they don't have the guts to do anything or say anything about it, and that's what enables this.

VELSHI: I want to talk to you about something you and I talked about a week ago. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement in which it said we assessed that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden in what it sees as an anti-Russia establishment.

The article reads that some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television. What are you able to tell us about this? Because you and I talked about this the other day, you and Senator Blumenthal, and I talked about it, you have information that we can't have because it's classified. And I think you both share the view that some of it should be declassified. But until it is, what do Americans need to know about this?

SCHIFF: Well, I think they need to know that the Russians are at it again. They're using a lot of the same tactics they use in 2016. That far from dissuading them, the President's words and deeds have had the effect of encouraging them to interfere again. So, they're engaged on social media, they're trying to denigrate Joe Biden. They're trying to boost a Donald Trump and social media. They're trying in an overt media.

They're also engaged. It looks like in some of the same kind of potentially hacking and dumping operations. You see these hacked e-mails and stolen audio recordings being released out of Ukraine. And of course, the I.C. the Intelligence Community, its recent statement pointed the finger at Derkach, this pro-Russian lawmaker in Ukraine.

So it looks like they are once again laundering information like they did through WikiLeaks, this time, potentially through cutouts in Ukraine. There is a lot the Intelligence Community can tell the American people that who has spoken broadly about in that statement, but can go into much greater detail and armed the American people with information, but also deter the Russians from the continuation of this.

And you know, the final point I would make is, these two questions you've asked me are related. Trump asked the Russians to hack his opponent in 2016. He then sought to force Ukraine to help him. He then apparently begged the Chinese president to help him, and now the Russians are helping him. And as you know, in the past, American candidates for president and presidents shunned foreign interference, this president welcomes it.

VELSHI: What can be done about it at this point? We have 83 days to an election. What -- are the emergency measures you can take to either get this information declassified or what can you do, because the things you're describing need to be fixed now?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, a couple of things. You know, first of all, we need to discover through our work what the Russians are doing, as well in our discussions with the social media companies. And then we need to pressure the Intelligence Community to go public, which we've had some success with them doing. And we need to keep that pressure on and we'll need to figure out how to exert greater pressure if they're unwilling to tell the American people what they need to know.

What Joe Biden has already done was very important, which is, Joe Biden has issued a statement saying, basically, hey, Russia, you better knock it off. The President may not tell you, the President may be grateful, but I'm going to be the next president, and I will hold you accountable to the Russians.

So, the Russians know now there will be a price to be paid. And it won't be the kind of, you know, sycophantic acceptance of everything the way they get from Donald Trump. Now, they'll have somebody that is willing and able to stand up to them. And Joe Biden may have provided the greatest return, because this President certainly is unwilling to do that.

VELSHI: So, Congressman, if Kamala Harris becomes the Vice President, do you run for the Senator for California?

SCHIFF: Well, if we're successful and I -- all of our focus obviously has to be in making sure that we're successful in November, the governor will have the chance to appoint her successor, and he will have a lot of good choices. But you know, frankly, I'm superstitious. We thought we were going to win four years ago. We can't take anything for granted particularly and most insidiously, Ali, as you point out, the president trying to sabotage the Postal Service trying to discredit the votes of millions. We can't take anything for granted.

One thing I learned very early on in the Russia investigation. The threat to our democracy from outside the country, from hostile powers like Russia is now much less than the threat from within from a would-be autocrat named Donald Trump.

VELSHI: Well, I appreciate you setting it up because I'm going to be talking to Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union right after you. Congressman, good to see you. Thank you as always for joining me. Congressman Adam Schiff is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Coming up next, every day, we get more and more stories about these concrete attacks that are taking place on the U.S. Postal Service, your postal service. And now there's a report out of Iowa that the machines that use to sort the mail are being removed from facilities. I'm going to ask the head of the Postal Union about that after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: While the Democratic Party is moving forward with a convention at a complete presidential ticket, there remains an ongoing attack on the election itself as this show has been reporting for weeks. President Trump and his donor turned Postmaster General have been actively slowing down the mail in an election year in a pandemic when mail-in voting will be crucial.

The president of the Iowa postal workers union tells NPR that not only has Trump's Postmaster General banned overtime, he's also removing the sorting equipment used to process mail from delivery -- for delivery from at least some Iowa postal offices, which is slowing down the works.

This is not just people within the Postal Service complaining. People across the country who actually use the mail are commenting on the slowdown. One Twitter user asked yesterday, "Anyone else having issues with the Post Office. I mailed a package to Cali on July 31st and it still hasn't arrived." That was on August 11th.

While a small business owner in California said, "Things are not right from a shipping perspective and it's really, really critical to our business while we can't have as many clients in the store to be able to ship on time." Even former Trump U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley complained that the Popcorn Factory had missed two delivery dates with no explanation, messing up her nephew's birthday.

Here's why a fully functioning Postal Service matters so much this election year. A new poll from Wisconsin -- I just -- I want to be really slow about this because I think you have to understand this. This is just one poll from Wisconsin. Among those who say they will vote by mail, 81 percent support Biden, 14 percent support Trump. Among those who will vote on election day, 67 percent support Trump, 26 percent support Biden.

There's the whole story right there. People who want to vote by mail intend to vote against the president by an overwhelming margin, and he's doing everything he can to make sure that doesn't happen.

Joining me now Mark Dimondstein. He's the President of the American Postal Workers Union. Mark, good to see you again. Thank you for being with us. I want to just put the election aside for a second. Americans depend on their Postal Service in a way that perhaps no other country does, for their checks for fast mail delivery. So even if Donald Trump wasn't doing this about the election, there is something going on right now, which is affecting the livelihoods of business owners and the -- and the prosperity of individual Americans, let alone postal workers.

MARK DIMONDSTEIN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION: That's absolutely right, Ali. We have a new Postmaster General who with very little knowledge of the inner workings of the Post Office there for just a few weeks before he implemented a number of new policies, they can do nothing but slow down and delayed mail. From reducing hours of work, but if the work still there, that has to get done and the workers don't have the hours to do it, then the work doesn't get done and mail gets put aside.

Changes and transportation, removing certain amount of the equipment that you already spoke about. And this runs counter to everything that a postal worker stands for. Our DNA, our very being is to treat the male as if it's our own, get it to the customer. We work under a law that says prompt, reliable, and efficient service. Prompt means speed. It means getting it there on time.

So, these changes that slow down the mail are completely opposed by postal workers, and were completely opposed by the American Postal Workers Union. We've let this postmaster know that vehemently, both privately and publicly, the policies need to be reversed, and the people need to get the kind of service that they deserve.

VELSHI: So, your postal workers work in all weather. The ones we see, the letter carriers, work in a pandemic. Postal workers are actually frontline workers right now. But the things you describe, you know, as a business reporter, I've seen automation, right. I've seen them lay people off and stop over time in favor of machinery that actually gets done faster or robotics or automation. But that's not what's happening here.

They're actually cutting over time and taking machinery out, slowing down the mail. As you said, it makes no sense economically, it makes no sense on any on any basis. What is the justification that you have been given for this activity?

DIMONDSTEIN: Well, the justification that's in the press is this is -- these are cost-cutting measures. But this is not the United States postal business. That's not its name and that's for a reason. It's the United States Postal Service, and it's here as a service. And so, what's happening especially in a pandemic, the idea of cutting hours, the idea of complaining about overtime, when we've had 40,000 postal workers quarantined since March, somebody has to fill in those (INAUDIBLE). And those fluctuations are normally done with overtime.

And here we are, as you pointed out frontline, essential workers in dangerous and challenging times proudly, still binding the people of this country together. And this is a time where we're coming under attack, we're coming -- we're coming under sabotage, and we're being undermined. It's really shameful.

VELSHI: So, Carolyn Maloney -- Carolyn Maloney the House Oversight chair has introduced a bill that would require the United States Postal Service to maintain the same operations or level of service that it had on January 1, 2020 until either next year or the end of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nancy Pelosi and 174 other House Democrats send a letter to the Postmaster General saying that if implemented now, operational changes will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters. Everybody seems to agree this is a bad idea. What do you see being done about it or more openly, what would you like to be done about this? What can we do to stop this?

DIMONDSTEIN: Well, I think that Congress needs to act. The pandemic-induced economic crisis is having a huge impact on the Postal Service. The Postal Service does not run on tax dollars in normal time. It runs on revenue. And mail volume is down 30 percent. And while packages are temporarily higher, that's going to -- that's not going to last.

So, Congress in March, really on a bipartisan basis try to get stimulus relief to the Post Office, appropriated relief of $25 billion to get us through this emergency. And that was stopped by the White House. But in that same huge stimulus package at the end of March, the private corporations were taken care with over $500 billion of relief.

Congress is now dealing with the stimulus question again. They need to get it right this time, and make sure that the public sector and the public Postal Service gets the kind of emergency relief through to COVID that's necessary to get us through this first.

VELSHI: I'm glad -- I'm glad you brought that up that the Postal Service did not get the treatment from the federal government that its private competitors did. Mark, good to see you again. Thank you for joining us. Mark Dimondstein is the president of the American Postal Workers Union.

DIMONDSTEIN: Thank you, Ali.

VELSHI: Coming up, as another QAnon supporter wins a Republican primary, what would it mean for the not so fringe group of conspiracy theorists who breach the walls of Congress. That's just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: All right, if you thought some of the current class of Republicans in Congress were somewhat anti-fact, I truly regret to have to introduce you to the next likely Congresswoman from Georgia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE OF GEORGIA: Let me just say this about Nancy Pelosi. I do have a message for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Retire. Retire. Go home.

GREENE: I just want to say to Nancy Pelosi, she's a hypocrite, she's an anti-American, and we're going to kick that bitch out of Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Yes, you heard right. That is Marjorie Taylor Greene from her victory speech last night. She is the winner not of some fringe thing. She's the winner of the Republican primary in Georgia's 14th congressional district, and she's a big believer in the conspiracy theory movement called QAnon.

And now Marjorie Taylor Greene is likely going to bring her baseless conspiracy theories into the halls of Congress after the general election this November, because she is in a deeply red district. But apart from being a conspiracy theorist, she's also just a good old-fashioned racist with a history of saying all sorts of outrageous and offensive things.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: There is an Islamic invasion into our government offices right now, OK. They are -- you saw after midterm elections what we saw so many Muslims elected. I don't know -- I don't know the exact number, but there were quite a few. What we had that woman out of Minnesota, now she's going into Congress and she's got to wear a head covering. You know, they want to put their hand on the Quran and be sworn in. No, you have to be sworn in on the Bible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: She was talking about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar there who of course was allowed to be sworn in on the Quran because there's actually no such rule about the Bible. Now, here's the thing. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the racist conspiracy theorist, is an official Republican Party candidate for Congress.

And this QAnon conspiracy that she believes in is dangerous, awful stuff that could actually lead to people getting killed. It is important to understand how bad this is. QAnon is not just some fringe joke at this point. It's exploding in popularity. We're going to have more on that right after the break.

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VELSHI: The FBI office in Phoenix sent out a memo to its agents last year specifically referencing QAnon and warning about conspiracy theory driven domestic extremists. Since then, QAnon has only grown in popularity, there are millions of people who are members of QAnon groups on Facebook, and they are on the cusp of getting representation in the United States Congress.

Media Matters reports that "at least 14 candidates made it out of primaries, onto the ballot in November or onto primary runoffs, and they include Marjorie Taylor Greene who won the Republican primary in Georgia's 14th congressional district last night earning a congratulatory tweet from President Trump himself.

I want to turn now to someone who's been doing incredible reporting on QAnon, my colleague Brandy Zadrozny, reporter for NBC News, who dwells in this stuff so that we don't have to. But Brandy, I have to say, you and I've been talking about this for a couple of years and I sort of take some satisfaction in the fact that you and Ben Collins live in this stuff so the rest of us don't have to worry about it except you let it out. It is now not just in your swampy world in which you work, it is -- it is mainstream. This is not just on social media. This is not in the dark corners of the internet. There are 14 people who are running for Congress, many of whom may win.

BRANDY ZADROZNY, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Yes. QAnon is no longer a part of the fringe. It is a mainstream political movement. It is -- it's terrifying. And you know, what's been really interesting is that this week we had an investigation where we got some leaked documents from Facebook, and Facebook had an internal investigation where they were looking into QAnon on the platform.

And from that leaked investigation, the preliminary results, we saw a scale that even frightened me. And this is, you know, the low guess of it, according to this investigation is thousands of QAnon groups with millions, at least three million, that's the lowest estimate, at least three million members and followers.

Now, that's terrifying. I belong to 100 of these groups personally, and I see the conspiracies and the violent rhetoric that these people traffic in, and it is terrifying to me that someone who even gives that a moment of consideration is going to be in the halls of Congress.

VELSHI: So, look -- so this woman who got who won her nomination last night, I mean, don't tell her there's a Muslim who's hosting MSNBC right now, but that kind of trope is old. To people who don't know about QAnon, they've got some crazy far out extreme dangerous views.

ZADROZNY: Well, yes. The whole notion of QAnon, the conspiracy theory is based upon this idea that everyone in the Hollywood elite from, you know, Tom Hanks to Kirstie Alley, to literally everyone, to anyone who's eating a slice of pizza, to all of the Democratic lawmakers from Hillary Clinton and John Podesta and Nancy Pelosi are all trafficking children, and in some cases, eating children. This is obviously insanity.

And this idea that they have in their minds is that one day, because of a secret war that Donald Trump is waging against these child eaters and pedophiles, that they will -- all of these people that they hate, all of their political enemies, will be marched into Guantanamo Bay and executed. That includes, by the way, probably you and me in the media, Ali.

So, this is -- this is not just a MAGA idea. This is not just approach from philosophy. This is a dangerous and violent conspiracy theory, which has, as we know, lead to real-world violence, including at least one murder.

VELSHI: What is -- has the Republican Party had anything to say about this, that maybe they don't want these people running under their banner?

ZADROZNY: There have been a few Republicans that have come out and said QAnon is crazy. It shouldn't have any place in our party. And then when that happens, like today, our congressional nominee out of Georgia, she immediately jumped on this and said, how dare you attack me. You know, any Republican who attacks me as a RINO.

And you know, what's important to know here too is that a lot of the QAnon base, a lot of the QAnon believers are also Evangelical Christian. So, it is kind of a messianistic worldview and conspiracy. So a lot of those groups overlap so -- which is what we might be seeing out of Greene who's also a very conservative Christian. So that equals the Republican base.

So while, you know, the Republican establishment might not ever come out and say, oh, yes, QAnon sounds pretty legit. Maybe we should listen to it. If they go against QAnon or if they come out and outright deny it or rebuke it, then what that does is it alienates a core portion of their base.

Facebook has told us how large that group is. But these people have been people that have been consistently coming to Trump rallies and smaller GOP rallies for state lawmakers and for, you know, U.S. politicians on the state level. So, we don't expect to see or anything about it soon from them.

VELSHI: Brandy, this is just wild, honestly. I've been listening to you tell stories for the last few years and this one is uniquely wild. I encourage you to follow Brandi on Twitter so that you can get up to speed on this. Brandy Zadrozny, thanks for joining us tonight.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.END

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