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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, September 16, 2020

Guests: Richard Besser, Chris Murphy, Sheila Jackson Lee, Matt Miller


CDC Director, Robert Redfield says a face mask is more guaranteed to protect against COVID than a vaccine. President Trump attacks the CDC Director after he tries to get people to wear a mask. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is interviewed on President Trump's clashes with the CDC Director. A woman claiming she received unnecessary hysterectomy at an ICE facility in Georgia speaks exclusively to ALL IN. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is interviewed on her step to stop the deportation of a woman claiming her fallopian tube was removed without her consent in an ICE facility. Attorney General William Barr is spreading voting conspiracy theories.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for staying on top of it. I really appreciate your work. And that is tonight's REIDOUT. Tomorrow night, actress and activist Jane Fonda will be here. You do not want to miss that. And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.



ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take the COVID vaccine.

HAYES: The director of the CDC makes the terrible mistake of telling us the truth about masks and vaccines and the President will not let that stand.

TRUMP: I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information. He got the message maybe confused. Maybe it was stated incorrectly.

HAYES: Tonight, as the lying continues, why the Trump loyalists spinning COVID science is now head of the exits.

Then, exclusive new reporting, more claims of women undergoing unnecessary hysterectomies at an immigrant detention facility. One of those women is telling us her story.

And new alarm Donald Trump's DOJ wingman working to undermine a free and fair election when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. From the start of this pandemic, Donald Trump's original sin, as we've documented time and time again, has been putting short term political expediency above long term public health strategy. She's done it over and over and over again. It's why our response to the virus has been this rolling, horrific, unbroken nightmare.

We're now seven months in. It's all still happening. It's why we still have days where we lose more than 1,000 Americans to the virus like today where COVID-19 tracking recorded over 1,200 deaths. It's why we are closing in on 200,000 deaths. And one of the most important things that government can do in a pandemic in any public health crisis is to be clear and consistent with the public and its messaging. It's crucial. You need to come up with a message that's grounded in the science and then repeat it get good information out.

And today, the director of the CDC, who has had many of his own failings throughout all this, we should note, tried to give us that, offering the Americans a sound science crowded message about how to fight the pandemic. And in response, the President of the United States pretty much lost it.

Remember, Trump has been insisting there will be a vaccine as soon as next month. Just last night, he suggested it would be "three weeks and four weeks timed right before the election. It's transparent what he's doing. And so today, when the CDC Director Robert Redfield appeared before Congress, he was asked naturally when we might see a vaccine widely distributed to the American people. Here's what he had to say.


REDFIELD: I think there will be a vaccine that initially be available sometime between November and December, but very limited supply and will have to be prioritized. If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we're probably looking at third -- late second quarter, third quarter 2021.


HAYES: You had to see him fighting himself there to tell the truth. He knows that telling the truth is probably not going to be popular with his boss. So that's what the CDC is saying now, second quarter, third quarter 2021. Now, that is a long ways away, but it also lines up with what experts in this field say.

Now, Trump was asked about Redfield's comments this afternoon, and he suggested his CDC director was confused.


TRUMP: I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information. And I called him and he didn't tell me that and I think he got the message maybe confused. Maybe it was stated incorrectly. No, we're ready to go immediately as the vaccine is announced, and it could be announced in October. No, he's -- that's incorrect information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's was clear in the way he said it.

TRUMP: Yes, well, I think so. But I don't think he means that. I don't think he -- when he said it, I believe he was confused.


HAYES: Dr. Redfield did not appear to be confused. Let me play that again for you.


REDFIELD: If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to give back to our regular life, I think we're probably looking at third, late second quarter, third quarter 2021.


HAYES: That was not the only area where Trump suggested the CDC director was confused. The President, as you no doubt know, has downplayed the importance of masks, often ridiculing them and showing thinly veiled contempt for those in his presence who have the gall to wear them. And today, Redfield suggested that masks are more important even than a vaccine.


REDFIELD: Face masks, these face masks are the most important powerful public health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country to embrace these face coverings. I've said it. If we did it for six, eight, 10, 12 weeks, we'd bring this pandemic under control.

These actually, we have clear scientific evidence, they work and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this facemask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.


HAYES: OK, you see what the CDC is doing there, right? Masks, masks, masks, this is important. Six to 12 weeks of wearing this, we can get it under control. We can save lives and illness. That's what the message is. That's what's grounded in the science. Here's what the president who rarely wears masks and has encouraged people not to wear masks had to say about that.


TRUMP: Number one, it's not more effective by any means than a vaccine, and I called him about that. Those were the two things I discussed with him. And I believe that if you ask him, he would probably say that he didn't understand the question. But when I called up Robert today, I said to him, what's with the mask? He said, I think I answered that question incorrectly. I think maybe he had misunderstood it. I mean, you know, you have two questions. Maybe he misunderstood both of them.

But the answer to the one is, it's going to be a much faster distribution that he said. Maybe he's not aware of the distribution process. It's not really his thing as much as it would be, let's say mine, but the distribution is going to be much faster. As far as the mask is concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks.


HAYES: The President calls him clearly to remount about this. And I mean, this is -- this is sort of Soviet-style stuff, right? He got the party line wrong. Maybe he'll need to come forward with a self-criticism session to show us all that he was wrong about the party line.

Just a couple hours ago, however, after the President's press conference, Dr. Redfield tweeted and it does not seem like he misunderstood. "The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts, wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing, and being careful about crowds." Of course, the President is having crowded rallies all the time.

So it's a simple message, wear a mask, right? It's literally the lowest cost, most effective thing we could do to fight the virus in terms of the cost-benefit analysis, like this little piece of fabric, the one I was wearing around the office all day today. But Trump has muddied that message again and again, questioning the science, mocking reporters who wear them, turning not wearing a mask into a weird MAGA badge of pride for Trump supporters, leading inevitably to scenes like this at a Target in Florida.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not doing it. Take off your masks. Take it off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take off your masks. We're not going to use them anymore.



HAYES: That's a -- that's a pro-COVID rally is what that is, in support of the president who is acting as if he's the pro-COVID president. And this is what happens when you do not follow the advice of public health experts. This is what happens when you put politics before science, and this is why our response to this pandemic has been such a grinding nightmare.

And guess what, guys -- I hate to say this again, as I've been saying it for seven months, things are not getting better. I mean, they have certain points and Europe is going through its own troubles. But already today, more than 1,200 American deaths have been recorded from the Coronavirus today. And the President had the gall to praise his response to virus as we are fast approaching 200,000 deaths.


TRUMP: The blue states had had tremendous death rates. If you take the blue states, were at a level that I don't think anybody in the world would be at. We're really at a very low level, but some of the states, they were blue states and blue state management. And by the way, we'd recommend they open up their states.


HAYES: If you take out the blue states, well then we're at a very low level. If you don't count the deaths of Americans then there's fewer American deaths. If you're a state that voted for Hillary Clinton, well, then it's your fault. I guess your aunt's death, it doesn't actually count, you see. It's the message from the President of the United States.

Joining me now, Dr. Richard Besser who served in the Obama administration as acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he led the CDC's response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Have you ever in your life, Doctor, seen something between the head of the CDC and the president of the United States like we saw today?

RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, CDC: You know, Chris, it shouldn't take a Congressional hearing to get to hear from the head of the CDC. You know, one of the things that struck me today was, how refreshing it was to hear messages come from the leader of our nation's public health agency.

And just imagine what the response and the trajectory of this pandemic would have been like, if we'd heard from CDC every single day in terms of what the best measures would be to protect your health, if we could rally behind that as one nation instead of divided by party, and if we could be guided by public health science.

You know, Dr. Redfield laid out really the path that every country that has been able to control this pandemic has taken, and that's wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing, testing, tracing, and providing safe opportunities for people to isolate and quarantine. And it's a pretty simple path forward, but it's one that we haven't been unified in in pursuing.

HAYES: You know, we've been asking this question and I've talked to you about it on air, right. The CBC is a legendary institution. And that's not to say it's flawless and it has made mistakes in the past, and I think it did a very bad job, very bad job at the beginning of this pandemic with the testing. I think that's there's no question of that. That said, it is MIA.

I mean, we the CDC has not been out front in the midst of a once in a century pandemic in the way you would anticipate. And I felt like today, we got the answer of the question of why that is because the president doesn't like what the CDC has to say.

BESSER: Yes. I wrote an op-ed piece in yesterday's Scientific American calling out the big concerns that I have and others have with the idea that there's been political meddling in the CDC guidance. You know, the CDC puts out a weekly bulletin called the MMWR. It's a morbidity and mortality weekly report. It's not a catchy title. It's not designed to be because it goes to public health officials and professionals. But the reports are that that's been meddled with by politicians.

And if that's the case, it makes it very hard for people in public health to share information to know what guidance coming out of CDC is based on the best science and what is really a political document. And, and that's really, really concerning. There's so much good information, so much good work being done by CDC. They're not able to share it with the public in terms of press conferences. But for the public health community, it's been absolutely critical to be able to get information through other channels.

HAYES: It also seems to me -- I mean, in the hundreds of interviews that I have done over the course of this pandemic with epidemiologists, public health experts, virologist, and others, and policymakers, one thing that everyone says is consistency of messaging in public health is so key.

I mean, it's why you have these almost kind of like sledgehammer propaganda campaigns, right? In this country, around the world, whether you're dealing with mosquitoes, whether you're dealing with HIV, right, like, you get the message and you hammer it home, one message all the time. What does it do when the President comes out and says that's nonsense?

BESSER: Yes. I think it's, it's even more than that. Because with a new disease, and especially early in a new disease, you're going to be learning things and you're going to want to change some of those recommendations you make. And if you haven't been able to talk to the public and if what you're saying is not being supported by politicians, then as you learn new information like masks, as CDC learned about people being able to transmit this disease without any symptoms whatsoever and encourage everyone to wear masks, if you're not bringing the public along that journey, it's going to feel like a recommendation out of left field.

First, they'll say, no masks, now you say masks, what's going on? And if the political leaders are saying, believe CDC, follow CDC, they know what's going on, here's what's happening, then you get this disconnect where your political preference will determine whether or not you're comfortable or willing to take the measures that will protect other people.

HAYES: You know, something that is -- that is sort of happened to my disposition and my kind of intellectual bearing during this time is to have the any optimism beaten out of me at about any course of this virus. And, you know, we had the Sunbelt wave and it receded. I think the data show that.

Arizona, for instance, was able to drive those new cases down. Texas has driven new cases down in Florida. We are now though once again at a level where cases have plateaued. They may be ticking back up. We're still at 800 deaths a day in seven-day average and 1,200 records today. It feels to me like we're right back where we were before the big bump in the summer and there's a lot of community transmission and we know what comes next. Is that wrong of me to think that?

BESSER: Well, you know, I would add a piece. So when you look at Florida, Texas, in Arizona, and you ask the question, why did those states that we're seeing big numbers, why did they see an improvement? It's because of a change in behavior in which you saw where governors allowed counties to mandate people wearing masks, they shut down restaurants and indoor dining and it worked.

And so, what Dr. Redfield was saying today is if we came together as a nation and everyone follow these practices, we would see our numbers going to incredibly low levels. And that would allow us to open other aspects of our economy in a more sustained way. But what you're calling out is if there isn't this, you know, unity around doing these practices as kids go back to school, as university kids go back to college, as more people go back to work, if everyone in the community isn't taking these measures, we are going to see rises and that could be prevented.

And not only that, Chris, but what we're going to see is the same communities that have been hit the hardest throughout this. Black Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, lower-income Americans are going to be dying. And they're going to be dying at high rates and that doesn't have to be it. And what does it say about us as a nation if we're willing to accept certain segments of our society bearing the brunt of this both economically and in terms of health? It just shouldn't be.

HAYES: Dr. Richard Besser who is the acting director of CDC during the Obama administration, thank you for being with me tonight. BESSER: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: I'm joined now by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who is at that hearing today with CDC Director Redfield. And let's start there. What did you think of the hearing today which I found almost sort of beam from an alternate universe insofar as it seemed like a relatively non-rancorous, straightforward discussion of a bunch of this sort of accrued science policy perspective approach on the virus that's until the president rode in at 5:00?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes. I mean, it was this miraculous moment in which Redfield was able to escape from the closet under the stairs and, you know, be able to tell the American public at least for a couple hours the truth. The truth being that masks work, that social distancing is important, and that the vaccine isn't coming in the next 60 days.

In fact, even if we were ready, scientifically, with a vaccine that was proved to work, we don't have the distribution network yet. We, in fact, don't even have the money to build a distribution network. You know, listen. I'm glad that Redfield is sticking around and holding his ground. I think you are right that there will be a lot of mistakes that you will have to account for from the early days of the virus.

But, you know, I think it is true that he continues to see a lot of political pressure, that decisions and statements from the CDC are being impacted by the White House. And the only thing that makes me a little uncomfortable about Redfield's performance today is that he, I think, in order to gain the right to be there, has to continue to deny that anything coming out of the CDC results from White House pressure. And I think it's pretty apparent by now that there are definitely White House hands on things the CDC is saying, and at some point he probably has to admit to that.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, we should say of course, that there's been reporting on that, right? But Michael Caputo who is installed to be the comms person, the communications person at HHS, he brought in a deputy named Paul Alexander. Today, we found out that Alexander is leaving after he was caught writing e-mails saying wrongly that there's no evidence that children can transmit the virus. That's not true.

And Michael Caputo was brought in, posted an unhinged rant on Facebook, in which he accused people in the CDC of possibly plotting his murder, and is now taking medical leave. That seems like in the seesaw battle between the Michael Caputos of the world and the scientists at CDC, I guess a small intern victory.

MURPHY: Yes, it is -- it is a victory, but the pressure is going to continue. And probably after Redfield's performance today, it's going to get even more heavy-handed. You saw Redfield today try to have it both ways. So they came out with this extraordinary change in recommendations for who gets tested.

They said, you know, if you are asymptomatic, even if you've had exposure to people with COVID, you shouldn't get tested. Now, that has no basis in science. It came very shortly after a read around the time that the President said he wanted less testing in the country. It didn't seem to be coincidental.

And what Redfield said today was, well, you know, we didn't say you shouldn't get tested, we just said that you should go see a doctor first. But that's not how it was reported. Redfield probably is able to justify that change in guidance by saying that, oh, well, maybe people who go see a doctor will still get tested.

I worry that he is trying to sort of -- sort of have his moral center justify him remaining, while still sort of being OK with an amount of influence from the White House that is perverting the science.

HAYES: I want to just ask you about the comment the President made today. I found it -- you know, the president says galling things all the time. It's -- we've all become inured to it. But, you know, if you don't count the blue states, the deaths are much lower. And first of all, it's just not true. Most -- the vast majority of deaths over the summer came in states that voted for Donald Trump, not that that matters one whit. But it just such a remarkably frank and honest articulation, I think, of his values and who he views he's representing.

MURPHY: Yes. I mean, we're in the middle of a civil rights reckoning at the same time that we're in the middle of a COVID crisis. And that reckoning is around this basic idea that too many people in this country that President included just don't value the lives of people of color, many of which live in those blue states.

The President seems to place a different value on the lives of people who live in red states and blue states, which is so curious because the present is frankly endangering the lives of his own supporters every day that he models this kind of reckless behavior. In fact, part of the reason that you're seeing the rates spike in red states is because there's a lot of Trump supporters there who are being told every single day by this president either in words or in deeds, that they shouldn't wear masks that they shouldn't worry about large crowd gatherings.

And so, while he may say that the red states matter more to him than the blue states, his actions are leading to an epidemic of loss of life in those very red states.

HAYES: Final question for you on the vaccine -- and, you know, there's a few different things here. I mean, one is that it seems obvious and transparent, right. The President believes a vaccine announcement before the election is his silver bullet. That is going to be the thing that says like, look at me, I'm the conquering hero. I saved you America, reelect me president.

We also know that like there is no universe in which you can say like the vaccine is definitely safe and effective, you know, definitively and ready go out the door, but by Election Day. How do you understand what actually is happening? I mean, separate from the President's messaging of where we're on at the -- where we are on the vaccine.

MURPHY: Well, long after the president is gone, the multi-billion dollar companies that are developing these vaccines still need to be able to maintain their medical credibility. And so, I don't believe that those companies are going to back up the President's statement if they aren't grounded in empirical facts. And that becomes a big problem for the president, if he declares on November 1st that a vaccine is ready, and Pfizer comes out and says that it is in fact not.

So, I think that his ability to sell that is going to be checked in part by the actual science coming out of these companies. But as, you know, Redfield said today, even if it is ready, the infrastructure just doesn't exist. And that is what is most worrying to me, that we need to be doing the work of paying for it and building that infrastructure so that no matter when it comes out, we can get it distributed as quickly as possible.

HAYES: We should note that Joe Biden today gave a speech laying out a plan for precisely that sort of logistical vision for getting the capacity as quick as possible to actually vaccine Americans. Senator Chris Murphy, thank you for being with me.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: All right, next, we have exclusive reporting tonight about the alleged pattern of sometimes unnecessary and sometimes unauthorized medical procedures performed at an immigrant detention facility. Tonight, we're hearing firsthand stories from women who were at that facility and what we've learned after this.



DAWN WOOTEN, WHISTLEBLOWER NURSE: I had several detained women on numerous occasions that would come to me and say, Miss Wooten, I had hysterectomy. Why? I had no answers as to why they had those procedures. And one lady walked up to me here, this last time around between October of 19 until July 2nd, she said, what is he? Is he the uterus collector?


HAYES: Yesterday, we brought you an interview with a nurse, a whistleblower who worked at an ICE facility in Irwin County, Georgia that's run by a private company. And in her complaint, she says that she heard from women at that facilities you heard that they were subjected to unnecessary hysterectomies at the hands of a local OB-GYN.

Now, that story went viral because not only is it horrifying, but because of the historical ramifications of any kind of coerced sterilization of an imprisoned immigrant population. Crucially, though, the complaint that Dawn Wooten filed, and she filed it with the I.G. for the DHS, right, she filed it did not have any first-person testimony.

She talked about talking to women, but the nurse who blew the whistle heard this from women she spoke to. And so, for the last couple of days, we here at ALL IN have been trying to run down this story to do some reporting to find out what exactly are the facts and what we know. And so tonight, we can report there are three women who say they had procedures. They either did not consent to ahead of time or felt coerced into consenting to.

Tonight, we could bring you part of an exclusive interview with one of those women detained at that very facility, who says she felt pressured into a full abdominal hysterectomy by this doctor. The woman is in immigration proceedings and fears for her status, so we are calling her B and not showing her face. She was in the Irwin County Detention Center during the Trump administration. We've reviewed medical records that corroborate that she had this procedure.

She went to this doctor who NBC News has identified as Dr. Mahendra Amin, an OB-GYN in nearby Douglas Georgia. "We are aware of the whistleblower's allegations as they relate to Dr. Amin. And Dr. Amin has issued a statement saying we are aware of the whistleblowers statements as they relate to Dr. Amin and he vehemently denies them. We look forward to all the facts coming out and are confident that once they do, Dr. Amin will be cleared of any wrongdoing."

Here is how B described for experienced with that doctor at the facility.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt like I had no right to say anything. They just teach us -- Dr. Amin just told me, listen, you're going to get hysterectomy done, and says I'm on appointment for that.

HAYES: And then --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no -- I had nothing -- no say in this.

HAYES: And then you did go and you did -- he did perform a full hysterectomy on you? He said to remove the cancerous tissue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's what I was told.


HAYES: Now again, as we said, the doctor -- lawyer for Dr. Amin says he vehemently denies those allegations. That said, there is another woman who was at that same facility right in Irwin County, and she says she woke up from a medical procedure, again, in this contracted healthcare situation, only to be told by a doctor she would likely not have any children.

Her name is Pauline Binam. She's an immigrant from Cameroon who came to us when she was only two. And she says something similar happened to her. She was taken at an immigration custody after she was arrested from this misdemeanor larceny. Today, we spoke with her lawyer. He told us she was in detention at Irwin county facility for over two years. and over that time, she developed menstrual irregularities.

She has to see a doctor and they told her she needed a procedure known as a dilation and curettage or a DNC and she woke up from the procedure. The doctor whose gender we do not know, said he or she had made the judgment call during surgery to remove one of her fallopian tubes and that she might have trouble conceiving again in the future.

Now, her lawyer tells us she was in a wheelchair crying as the doctor told her that she had no idea this would happen. And according to a document we obtained that's dated August 28, 2019, her lawyer tells us, part of Binam's ICE file "she is bothered by the fact that she went into surgery expecting a DNC and ended up having a Salpingectomy or fallopian tube removal."

Now we've asked ICE for comment. They've told us they cannot comment on medical records without a waiver due to privacy concerns. They take any allegations seriously and will cooperate with any investigations by the Inspector General. There's announcement today that Ken Cuccinelli is going to be sending a team to investigate.

For its part, the private company that runs the facility, LaSalle Corrections, says that while they are not commenting on the specific allegations, they say that they have a strict zero-tolerance policy for any kind of inappropriate behavior at their facilities, and they refute any allegations of misconduct.

Now, remarkably, the second woman I discussed, who I named, Pauline Binam, ICE -- get this. ICE tried to deport Pauline Binam today, this morning, until a Congresswoman intervened and got her pulled off a plane before it took off. We're going to talk to that Congresswoman next.


HAYES: We just brought you the story of a woman named Pauline Binam, an immigrant who Cameroon -- from Cameroon, has been in the U.S. since the age of two. And Binam's lawyer told ALL IN today that while Binam was in detention at the Irwin County ICE facility, a doctor recommended a procedure known as a DNC to treat menstrual irregularities. And when Binam woke up from that procedure, she says the doctor told her, it also removed one of her fallopian tubes. Something she says she did not consent to or even know was going to happen.

This morning, Pauline Binam was about to be deported until she was removed at the last moment from a flight out of Chicago. She was in O'Hare on that plane taken off at it. She would have been deported if it was not for a last-minute intervention from my next guest.

Here with me now, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas who stepped in on Pauline Binam's behalf today. Congresswoman, first tell us how you became aware of Ms. Binam's case.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Very late at night, last night, my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, in particular, Congresswoman Jayapal got word of this potential deportation of someone who was seemingly involved in what appears to be widespread hysterectomies out of a particular center.

She was in my jurisdiction in Houston, not presently involved. And I want to make mention of the fact very open to our plea that this might be a large congressional investigation. And we needed to make sure that Pauline, who had been here as you've said since she was two-years-old, would not be deported.

Frankly, I think paperwork, which is part of the problem of a very large department, had her moving from Houston, all the way to Chicago. This morning, we found out that what was supposed to be a temporary pause on her deportation had actually not been implemented and she was on the way to being deported by commercial flight.

I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to work with those in the Houston Harris County region, to be able to say Pauline is innocent. Pauline is potentially involved because of the courageousness of Dawn Wooten in a major investigation about health care in our detention center. Besides the fact that Pauline had children here, that work here, had contributed here, there seemed to be no reason for her to not have access to the process of stay, which has not yet been ordered. But I'm grateful that my argument that this was so important, this was so large, that Pauline needed to be removed from that plane.

HAYES: And I know Congressman Jayapal who has been tweeting about this and has been on this, and you as well, and I believe Congresswoman Garcia, have been very focused on this since these reports have come out. Pauline is now in the U.S. She's in a detention facility. My understanding is that the facility in question in Irwin County, Georgia, actually, a huge majority of the folks both don't have representation and end up deported.

I mean, it seems possible that if there is any malfeasance here, and again, this has not been established, and the doctor denies it, that there would be people perhaps subject to that who are now spread across the world.

LEE: You're right, Chris. But the problem is, of course, in hour law and in the mindset of this administration, which is deportation, deportation, separation of families from children, we made a large step in making the statement that we're calling on a Congressional investigation. 170 members-plus signed a letter to ask for the Inspector General for this investigation.

It is frantic, that some of these individuals may have already been deported. And I believe if we can find them, the I.G. has to find them and, in essence, find a way to ensure that their testimony, their information is garnered for this investigation. Being assigned to a detention center, being given a deportation order is a civil action. It should not assign you to harm.

And if these women were harmed -- only we as women, even though we think our chairman of Judiciary Committee and many men, many members of Congress for signing this letter, women can understand how invasive, how violating a hysterectomy is particularly an unwarranted one. It deals so much with your personhood, your work as a woman in many instances, if it is not voluntary, if you have not consulted with your physician, if you have not consulted with your family members, and if you have not determined that you are ready not to be a child bearing status.

So it hit me in my heart, in my gut. And I couldn't imagine Pauline alone having had this surgery, having the ability to explain to us in an I.G. investigation and to Congress, because I followed on Congressional investigations as well to overlap the I.G. I can't imagine her departing. I am glad that the team in Houston were willing to listen to both my plea and explanation of this major investigation that I believe is going to proceed in the very short order.

Even the Speaker of the House has indicated that we need to find out how medical care is rendered in this center. By the way, let me be very clear. These are for profit, private, detention center, which I've never really felt was the way the government to go. Now, I've seen the need for doctors. Chris, and you know I went to the border and we were crying out for medical care. And we were doing so because children died, and we had government doctors to be able to provide help there.

But if we're having private detention center who are securing medical health, they making determinations about this health care of an individual, woman, or many women, and who gives permission. And what happens when these women are under sedation? It is appalling. We have to get to the bottom of it. I'm glad we were able to get Pauline from that plane. And we did it through the process that we were able to do so. And we hope a fair process will be rendered by both Washington and locally for Pauline to be able to give her story in this investigation.

HAYES: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in Texas, thank you so much for talking to me tonight. I just want to be clear that Dr. Amin's lawyer says in a statement, "We're aware of the whistleblowers allegations as they relate to Dr. Amin and vehemently deny them. Dr. Amin is a highly respected physician who's dedicated his adult life treating high risk, underserved population in rural Georgia."

Importantly, according to The Washington Post, one of the whistleblower's attorneys expressing knowledge she did not speak to any of the women directly, and that she included the allegations in the report with the intention of triggering investigation to whether or not the claims are true.

And that ICE said to ALL IN today in a statement that, "To be clear medical care decisions concerning detainees are made by medical personnel, not by law enforcement personnel, detainees are afforded informed consent and a medical procedure like a hysterectomy would never be performed against a detainee's will." That's the spokesperson from the medical director of ICE.

Still ahead, why one of the most dangerous people in America is the man in charge of DOJ. Bill Barr's sense in conspiracy -- into conspiracy theories is just ahead.


HAYES: We are watching right in front of our eyes as conservatives and Republicans mainstream the delusions of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theory might not even be the right term for it. It's sort of an authoritarian mystical cult. It's believers understand the world is being controlled by an elite group of Democrats, liberals, and Hollywood figures who run a secret child sex trafficking ring and drink children's blood, all in cahoots with the deep state and Donald Trump is trying to like bring them to justice but not talking about it.

That's the short version. You may have noticed a bunch of people rallying against child trafficking recently, marching in their cities or towns using phrases and hashtags like Save the Children. There's also a campaign against Netflix over a French movie called Cuties, which has been, I think, rightly criticized for its depiction of young girls.

Now, both of those efforts, you know, rallies against child sex trafficking or an objection to a sexualization of little girls in a piece of pop culture would be normal forms of activism. No one likes either of those things, no one. But if they were not happening in the context of this, which makes them look like a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kind of embraced by certain mainstream figures, with the intention of spreading the sort of QAnon conspiracy theory that is bubbling up everywhere.

You know, just last night, a woman named Lauren Witzke who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, won the Republican Senate Primary in Delaware. Democratic Senator Chris Coons will face off with her on November 3rd. Most recently, Witzke has tried to distance herself from the conspiracy theory, but she's been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, has used QAnon slogans in her tweets.

She's not alone. In some ways, this has gone beyond wink, wink nudge, nudge flirtation. There now at least 24 conditions Candidates who will be on the ballot in November that are openly supportive of QAnon, 22 Republicans, one member of the Independence Party of Delaware and one independent.

And it's not just fringe candidates, the Attorney General of the United States is also pushing absolutely insane conspiracy theories on a different topic. More on that next.


HAYES: Attorney General William Barr is one of the most dangerous figures in America. Along with Donald Trump, Barr is the single biggest threat to free and fair elections. His Department of Justice has intervened to make it harder to vote. And Bart is even more vocal about his agenda than the president, running around and spouting completely nutty, dangerous conspiracy theories about voter fraud.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Just think about the way we vote and why do we vote the way we vote now where you have a precinct that you're assigned to, your name is on a list, you go in and say who you are, you go behind the curtain. No one's allowed to go in there to influence you, and no one can tell how you voted.

All of that is gone with mail-in. It is no secret vote. You have to associate the envelope in the mailing, the name of who sending it in with the ballot. So there's no more secret vote on mail-in vote. You can never -- secret vote prevents selling and buying votes because you can never say, OK. So, now we're back in the business of selling and buying votes. And that capricious distribution of ballots means harvesting, undue influence, outright coercion --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing it now. They're all --

BARR:-- paying off a postman and saying, hey, here, here's a few hundred dollars. Give me some of your ballots.


HAYES: All right, this is completely baseless, right? We have multiple states that have been conducting mail-in balloting for years with no evidences. The only evidence of something anything remotely like that was the Republican candidate in North Carolina in 2018 who got busted.

Now, Barr has even been lying about the DOJ's own cases, telling CNN they indicted someone in Texas who collected 1,700 fraudulent ballots, even though federal prosecutors brought no such indictment, and the assistant district attorney on that case at Barr's description doesn't match the facts.

A Justice Department spokesperson released a statement saying Barr was given an inaccurate summary of the case, not his fault that he lied or didn't tell the truth at least. To assess the threat posed by Bill Barr, I'm joined now by Matt Miller, former spokesperson at the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder.

Matt, I want to just start on this. I mean, Barr has now done this a bunch of times. What he said to John Kass there on that interview, he is completely untethered from reality and wildly dangerous and irresponsible. I cannot believe the Attorney General of the United States is saying things like this.

MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE AND SECURITY ANALYST: I can't either, I would like to say. But after watching for the past year and a half, I've sadly have gotten used to it. I think a couple things are going on here. Number one, Bill Barr has always had kind of dangerous authoritarian instincts. But what's happened over the 30 years since he last served as A.G. is he's kind of followed the same path as the broader Republican Party, which is, you know, too much conservative media in his -- in his diet.

He has kind of let his brain marinate in these conspiracy theories to the extent where he now believes them. And I think what you see is him taking these things he probably really believes, and combining them with this authoritarian urge to use the power of government to help elect Donald Trump, something he's not supposed to do as attorney general, where you see him running around the country doing interviews.

It wasn't just this interview, he was on cable news last week. He's done a bunch of other interviews, conservative me and others, where he's trying to use the power of his office to help elect the president. And that means casting doubt on voting, it means attacking Joe Biden by name, it means using every power he has in his -- in his kind of -- or under his authority to influence this election.

HAYES: We are now have reports today, The Wall Street Journal had a report, it's now New York Times, of him in a conference call of prosecutors telling them to look to prosecute of violent protesters -- And violent here I think often means property destruction and arson, we should just be clear about that -- violent protesters with sedition, the Federal crime of sedition, plotting to overthrow the government of the United States.

And I think the reason we're hearing about that is because many of the prosecutors on this call are probably appalled. What do you think about that?

MILLER: I think it's just, you know, unreconstructed authoritarianism, of the kind that Donald Trump has been demanding since he took office. You know, this idea that there is no difference between Donald Trump, the person, and the United States of America. That when you oppose Donald Trump, you are opposing the state, and the full powers of the Justice Department ought to be used to come after you. Whether that means to lock you up -- lock you up, whether that means to peacefully just -- to forcibly disperse peaceful protest.

And that doesn't even mean -- it's not limited to just protesters. The New York Times has a report tonight that he didn't just raise using the Sedition Act, but he raised somehow prosecuting Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle for allowing this autonomous zone in Seattle to exist. I have no idea what the legal authority for that would be. I suspect there is none. But it is the kind of thing that Trump has been wanting since day one, which is for DOJ to go after his political opponents. And you see -- here you see the Attorney General raising that very idea in a call with Justice Department prosecutors.

HAYES: Yes. Just to read that clip there. The Attorney General has also asked prosecutors in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division to explore whether they could bring criminal charges against Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle for allowing some residents to establish a police free protest zone to the city's downtown for weeks of summer, according to two people briefed on those discussions.

You know, the only check here -- I mean, every time we do a William Barr story, I feel like I'm grinding my teeth down to the stumps, because, you know, he's the Attorney General. You know, the check on him seems to be the Justice Department itself. And you know, the fact that this is leaking, I think that's one check. We know that the longtime deputy of John Durham who's been assigned this kind of political errand by Bill Barr to dig up dirt on the origins of the Mueller investigation, she resigned from her post, report say, because of pressure to produce that report.

To me the only thing that can check Barr in these next 45 days are people in the Justice Department coming out, speaking out, resigning, and taking a stand.

MILLER: Yes, that's absolutely right. I think you're right. That's what Nora Dannehy did, this prosecutor that worked for John Durham. I still retained some hope, maybe it's naive hope that that's what John Durham has got to do, that he's not going to allow his name to be used this way. But I think the worry is that the closer we get to the election, you know, the more Barr's authoritarian instincts are going to be unchecked and unhinged.

You know, he's not even the same guy that we saw a year and a half ago. The Bill Barr that was spinning the Mueller report was pretty careful. It was lots of times lying by omission. You can sometimes point back to something he was hanging his statements on. That's not true anymore. He's coming out and saying things that just flatly aren't true.

And the closer we get to the election, I worry a lot about what he will do with, you know, maybe not the career prosecutors but with the political appointees either as we get close to election or in the aftermath with very close ballot counting.

HAYES: Matt Miller, thank you so much. That is ALL IN for this Wednesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.


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