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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 14, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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what could decide who wins in 2020. we're calling the show appropriately "the deciders" because the people you'll be hearing from will be just that. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in," -- >> has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone, yes or no, please, sir? >> the president or anybody else? >> the justice department now investigating the origins of the russia investigation. >> take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation. >> as trump's own lawyer argues. >> i am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it. >> tonight the president embracing authoritarian tactics. the republicans helping him do it.
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then the white house escalating tensions with iran. >> it would be the height of idiocy to do this. >> senator tim kaine joins me tonight. congressman omar joins me when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. donald trump has never been shy about wanting to throw his political opponents in jail. he campaigned on lock her up, threatening to prosecute hillary clinton after the election. he has openly and repeatedly lobbied the justice department to follow through on that threat while protecting the president himself from any legal liability. now with william barr in control it looks like the president is getting closer every day to the kind of justice department that he's always wanted. the president has taken a sledgehammer to doj independents, publicly
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browbeating his first attorney general jeff sessions from failing to shield him from the mueller probe or about who to investigate. the kind of thing that happens under authoritarian regimes like turkey and russia. that's what the president has been campaigning for the whole time in front of us. and with mr. barr he may be getting what he wished for. on top of two pre-existing under way, william barr has assigned another u.s. attorney to review the origins of the fbi's counterintelligence probe into the trump campaign in russia. if barr actually read the mueller report, he would know the fbi received a tip from a foreign government, reportedly austral australia, that george papadopoulos said the government was offering to help the campaign by releasing dirt on hillary clinton which would be unnerving to say the least. but that is evidently beside the
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point because now instead of berating his attorney general on twitter the president is thrilled with him. >> i didn't know it. i didn't know it but i think it's a great thing that he did it. i saw it last night and they want to look at how that whole hoax got started. you know what, i am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it. i think it's great. >> at the same time barr is launching an inquiry with no apparent basis beside the president's interests, the president's lawyers are simultaneously arguing in court presidents cannot be investigated by congress. attorney william consevoy who once worked pofor clarence thom is representing the president in his lawsuit to block subpoenas for his financial records. in front of a judge argued congress has zero constitutional authority to investigate whether a president is breaking the law. this is from the "usa today"
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report on the hearing. at one point mehta, the judge, asked whether congress could investigate if the president is in office. i don't think that's the proper subject, consavoy said. whitewater led to president bill clinton's impeachment. consovoy said he would have to look at the basis for those investigations. think about the implication of that argument. if congress has no authority to investigate the president on breaking the law, law enforcement matters as consovoy said and the justice department cannot indict him under current guidelines, then the president, in effect, can just break the law as he pleases. the president is fundamentally above the law. for more on the rule of law, i'm joined by a former federal prosecutor and former acting solicitor general.
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mimi, since i have you here now, i am not a lawyer and i read several accounts of this hearing and it's possible that in the actual transcript it is a more sophisticated argument. but that strikes me as a wild, wild claim for the president's lawyer to be making. >> i think it is a wild claim and it sounds like the judge reacted appropriately to that in the sense that while he still asked tough questions of the government, of the lawyers representing congress, he had that same incredulous response that we're having which is essentially a sophisticated form of what are you talking about, how could that possibly be and you raise exactly the reason why it makes absolutely no sense. he can't be indicted and he can't be investigated by congress for committing crimes while in office or even, you know, even prior to office. that is part of what we're talking about right now.
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it makes no sense under our constitution, under our laws. the fact lawyers will get up and make these arguments as a lawyer offends me. i understand you do what do you for your client, but you still have to have a really good faith basis for making these arguments. i don't even understand what that could be here. >> walter, what do you think of this i think fairly novel argument the congressional oversight cannot be exercising anything but strict legislative purples and nothing to do with, quote, law enforcement? >> chris and mimi, the constitutional law professors email network lit up on fire this afternoon. someone said something -- marty out of georgetown posted as an exam question, to any professor, you need to tell your students this is not a trick question. this is not a struggle between branches of government. this is a struggle between law
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and not law. the notion that congress has no power to oversee a president who is supposed to execute the laws of congress, congress has no legitimate basis to inquire whether the president's receiving funds from a foreign government, whether the president has undisclosed conflicts of interest, whether the president has committed crimes while in office, those were just staggeringly preposterous claims. >> mimi, i have a question for you, we've got the other side of this which is you've got the sword and the shield, so the shield is you can't get any of the president's records. the sword is go investigate my enemies. the news about william barr appointing this u.s. attorney who is a person with a very good reputation to look at the origins of this -- there's two interpretations. this is barr sort of pawning it off knowing it will go nowhere
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and this is another escalation and breakdown in the norms that have the doj being independent. >> right. and it almost doesn't -- i agree this investigation, if it were undertaken properly, which it should be because he is, as you say, not a partisan person. he will do this in a meticulous way. it will take a couple years. it doesn't matter what he finds. what matters is that the investigation has been -- >> that it exists. >> that it exists. and why has that happened? trump has been asking for it in some form or another for years, and that's one thing. not saying we should get used to that but, okay, that's one thing. but then for the attorney general to pick up on that vocabulary about spying and then implement that investigation i find terrifying. it's bad enough when the president did it, but to have the head of the department of justice and it does make me worry about people within the department of justice and what
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impact that will have on them. >> there's something, walter, i want to play for you this sort of legendary exchange with kamala harris which we played in the open a little bit just to give some context and then i will ask you a question. take a listen. >> has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone, yes or no, please, sir? >> the president or anybody else? >> seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us. >> yeah, but i'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. i mean, there have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation. >> perhaps they suggested? >> i don't know. i wouldn't say suggest. >> hinted? >> i don't know. >> inferred? you don't know? okay. >> here's what's so insidious, walter, now the president is saying, well, i never asked him to do this. but when barr announces, the president said i'm so proud of
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him. everyone understands exactly what's happening. >> it's the most fundamental of all norms that we don't prosecute people at the behest of a politically elected official like the president of the united states, and what's staggering is barr's silence in the face of the president's attack upon the men and women of the federal bureau of investigation, the cia and the other national security agency. he's done nothing to defend those people and what a chilling effect it must have on those people who are doing their job that if you cross trump, he's going to demand that you be investigated and, look, lo and behold, an investigation ensues. >> to mimi's point, the cost is already born. the outcome doesn't matter. the cost is now there. there's now an investigation. there's headlines generated for the right outlets. thank you both. for more on the willingness to politicize the justice department i'm joined by msnbc
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political analyst michelle goldbe goldberg, columnist for "the new york times," and justice analyst, former chief spokesperson for the justice department. just from a political perspective, i do feel -- we are leading the show with it tonight. it does strike me it should be a bigger deal in the world. the president's personal corner got up in court today in a federal court and said before the entire land, you can't have any of this, congress, at all. he can do whatever the heck he wants. >> i think that's what's so terrifying and demoralizing about this moment, there are so many bad things happening all at once. there's so much breakdown. there's threatening war with iran. there's this trade war. there's so much lawlessness. there's the president's son refusing to testify. now he's come to some sort of agreement. there's such a breakdown that it's hard to focus on any one thing, and i think if you described this exact situation two and a half years ago, it would have seemed like almost the worst case scenario not just to democrats but republicans and
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they would have sworn up and down that they would never allow something like this to happen. and now they're all just sort of sitting back pretending they don't see anything or pretending it's justified. as to this -- there's a quote i keep coming back to and i might not get the exact language but said it's not enough for the totalitarian to say that unemployment has been eliminated. they will eliminate unemployment benefits -- >> to show. >> right. i feel it's the same way. you keep seeing this kind of policymaking or law making as propaganda where it's not enough to say the origins of this investigation were corrupt and illegitimate. we're going to open this investigation to say, see, we told you so. >> matt, you have been very consistent on this point, and i think it's been underappreciated. i've been given to this kind of thinking at times which is you look at the whole system. you say the system keeps holding. you tried to follow mueller. it didn't work. you tried to browbeat jeff sessions, it didn't work.
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everyone held steady. but you've been making the point the pressure itself is having an effect and i do feel like today in the wake of the barr news is where that is becoming its most obviously manifest. >> yeah, look, i think for a long time the system was holding -- there was a deleterious effect. you've seen the reputation hurt publicly. i assume republicans across the country think the fbi and justice department are out to get the republican party, which is damaging. the institution was mostly holding. that changed when bill barr became attorney general. and now you have an attorney general who is acting the way the president always wanted an attorney general to. he's basically found his roy cohn in bill barr. i think the change -- mimi made the right point about this investigation, i assume, will go on through the election. that's if john durham takes his time. he took a long time to investigator tour. the president will always have this talking point. that in itself is bad enough. the long-term effects, i think, are that the norm of this line
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between the justice department and the white house, that there being a red line, doesn't exist anymore. democrats are responsive to norms and the rule of law. but it's just not going to exist for republicans. if you see the way republicans in congress are react to kctings and have been behaving. >> lindsey graham was the chair of a senate committee told don junior to not respond to a subpoena from another committee chair. they work out some deal, he will talk for two hours, but that's the point we're at. you're a person who has every institutional interest to uphold the principle that people should listen to senate committee subpoenas, and yet so slavishly devoted are you to this weird cult that's built up around this 44% president that you're happy to sort of cut off your nose to spite your face. >> we've seen a total breakdown of any sort of institutional
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solidarity. any kind of solidarity that says, yes, we're on different political parties but have a shared interest in protecting these institutions. that's just gone now. and so, yeah, i think that's where we are. it's happened in other situations of democratic breakdown where you basically see, you know, it doesn't happen just because you have one bad authoritarian leader. it happens because the people around him including moderate conservatives -- >> sign on the agenda. matt, there's this asymmetry in both michelle has mentioned it and you, i find it frustrating. there are millions of our fellow citizens who think that's what everybody does and what the obama folks already did. this is, of course, the way it always is, this idea there was ever a norm is preposterous legal fiction that is sold to dopes. >> and i can tell you that is not the way it was. it's not the way we behaved in the obama administration. you bring up a good point.
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let's pretend for a minute all trump's complaints about the investigation into him are true. let's pretend that barack obama did order this investigation into him. what is his complaint? under trump's own conception how it ought to operate it exists to go after your political opponent, to kill investigations into you. so if trump really believes that's the way the justice department operates, and it wasn't until now, then he shouldn't have any complaint about it investigating him during the campaign. >> not only that, i mean, this is, of course, the ultimate thing, it never leaked during the campaign. right? i just keep -- i have to keep telling myself to remember the fact that this explosive set of facts were there just beneath the surface as hillary clinton was being called -- lock her up, and james comey was writing letters and giving public testimony. they're running around trying to find out if the president's campaign is compromised by russia and it never comes out. >> you could argue that was a dereliction of the broader democratic duty in the service of defending the norms in the
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strictest terms of following the rules in the strictest possible sense. >> that is the ultimate sort of threshold for that. matt? >> i was going to say i agree with that, they were following the norms. the reason there was this asymmetry is because the asymmetry between the two parties. comey behaved the way he did with respect to hillary clinton because he was pushed by republicans in congress over and over and again. you had a justice department handling the investigation into republicans the right way and handling the investigation into democrats inappropriately because of all the political pressure. it's not a new problem with trump. >> michelle and matt, thank you both for joining me. next, why senator tim kaine says the trump administration is trying to provoke iran into war, what he calls the height of i o had ideocy in two minutes. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we know sooner or later...
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and that dependability is what we want to give our customers. at comcast, it's my job to constantly monitor our network. prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work in the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. yesterday i mentioned a story about an attack on these tanker ships in the middle east. several outlets ran a report citing a single, one person, anonymous u.s. official who said
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the preliminary intelligence finding was that iran was responsible for those attacks on saudi oil tankers. as i said yesterday, you will forgive me for take that go with a pretty hefty grain of salt given the history of national security adviser john bolton, the desirp of some in this administration to militarily escalate with iran. as of today, there doesn't seem to be any further corroboration of the lone, anonymous official's preliminary account, and it is very clear there are interests inside the white house, john bolton being chief among them, who very much want some kind of military confrontation with iran. "the new york times" is reporting the president was presented an updated military plan with visions of sending as mmm as 120,000 troops if they should accelerate work on nuclear weapons. the president was asked about it today. he basically both confirmed and denied it at the same time. >> are you planning to send 120,000 troops to the middle
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east in response to iran? >> i think it's fake news. now, would i do that? absolutely. but we have not planned for that. hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. if we did that we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that. >> democratic senator, former vice presidential candidate tim kaine, who has a son in the marines, responded to the proposed escalation. >> it would be the height of idiocy to do this. a president may think it's little army men he can move around. these are real, live human beings whose lives would be at stake, many in my state. i have a kid in the military t.o. have backed out of a deal and move us closer to war and now we see what the potential consequence would be, 120,000, it would be ridiculous. >> senator tim kaine joins me now. you had a strong reaction to that "new york times" story about the military options being mapped out by pentagon planners on iran. what is going on here?
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>> the president apparently had a discussion about hundreds of thousands of troops, more than 100,000 troops potentially into iran. and, chris this is a president who broke a diplomatic deal that was working. we did a diplomatic deal with iran that was limiting their nuclear program. this president scrapped it and now we'll potentially put 125,000 troops in to stop them from enriching uranium when we broke the deal. this is reminiscent of iraq, a president getting us into war telling us there was a weapons of mass destruction program when there wasn't. when we had an effective limitation on iran's nuclear capacity, this president destroyed the limit and now wants to potentially put troops back into the middle east over a deal that he broke? the u.s. needs to stop being an aggressor and trying to instigate and provoke military action with iran. the president can't
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constitutionally do it without congress. >> john bolton, by all accounts, both publicly on the record in the past and also reporting behind the scenes now is at the sort of head of pushing for this. we have anonymous officials talking about reports that are somewhat opaque about iran aggression. you're a u.s. senator. do you trust what you're hearing? do you trust them not to manipulate intelligence in these circumstances? >> i do not because as a member of the senate i actually also have information about the things the u.s. is doing to provoke and poke iran. i think there is an effort under way by the u.s. to try to instigate iran to doing something, and if they do something in response to u.s. provocation the trump administration will say how dare they do this and use that as a pretext for 125,000 troops or, as the president said today, might be more. >> do you think -- there's some line of thinking that port is, the pentagon has planned for
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everything, a. "b," some kind of show of strength behind the scenes, essentially a bluff this is all a way of squeezing iran and not serious and, don't worry, they're not actually going to start a war or get into a war. what do you say to that? >> if the president is bluffing when he's talking about troops numbers, our troops are not your pawns. this isn't toy soldiers that you move around the table. these are living, breathing, feeling people. i have a kid in the military. when you talk about -- and it comes out 125,000 troops in the middle east, the president may think that's a bluff but do you know what that does to military families who have already seen their members deployed over and over again into the middle east and we would talk about putting our troops into a war after the president broke a diplomatic deal that was keeping us from going to war? how unjust would that be? i will do anything i can in the senate to convince colleagues
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and i'll have both republicans and democrats that will stand up to stop this president from getting into an idiotic war against iran. >> a british officer, a top british officer who works with the u.s. in the joint anti-isis coalition gave a statement saying there is no increased threat we've seen from the iranians that contradicts official statements that have been coming out from mike pompeo among others and after that centcom puts out a release smacking him down, no, no, no, don't listen to him. what is going on? >> look, when the u.s. is fighting against allies like the brits over something like this and, of course, this is not new for this administration. all of our allies said stay in the iran deal. then secretary tillerson said the iran deal was working and so, i mean, this is a sad
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situation where it wasn't iran that broke down the diplomacy that was keeping their nuclear program one that was not prod e producing weapons, it was the u.s. i don't give a lot of credence to statements like that i think might be pushed by the white house press shop. if there are things iran is doing that pose some threat to us now, are they doing it on their own or doing it because they're provoked by the united states? i happen to believe this administration since the day they tore up the deal nearly a year ago have taken a series of steps trying to provoke iran and need to stop it. >> senator tim kaine of virginia, thank you for making time tonight, sir. >> absolutely. next, freshman congresswoman ilhan omar on confronting the threat of white nationalism. she joins me right after this. h. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job
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republicans are now on day two of their latest sustained round of bad faith attacks against democratic congresswoman talib. this time it's for expressing the personal meaning she derives from her ancestors' land in what is now israel being used to create a safe haven for jews after the holocaust. that has been twisted from an accusation of anti-semitism by the republican national committee chair mcdaniel to absolutely vile remarks from congresswoman liz cheney suggesting that talib was trying to delegitimize israel. among her supporters is congresswoman ilhan omar.
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they are the only two muslim american women in congress and have had each other's backs as they have each endured a series of attacks. today congresswoman omar along with her jewish colleague wrote an op-ed in building alliances and for an end to bigotry. ilhan omar is here with me now. congresswoman, i want to talk about your op-ed but first i want to ask how you given the experience you've had in the sort of center of firestorms, how you are interpreting what is happening with respect to your colleague's comments? >> hi, chris. it's really good to be here with you. i tell my sister, rashida talib, her and i have the strength to endure any of the mischaracterization or efforts to distort and vilify our
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message. i think we are seeing what happens when people really see these attacks for what they are. it is designed to silence sight line and sort of almost eliminate public voice of muslims from the public discourse. i'm excited we have an opportunity to build and push back and fight this attempt to marginalize our voice. >> i wonder what your experience has been because there have been, i think, some folks who have come after you and some who were offended in good faith by things that you said or tweeted about allegiance to israel or a
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tweet about the benjamins, vis-a-vis money, and folks who consider them selves progressives or jews and skeptical where you were coming from. what have you learned and what do you say as you seek to build this alliance? >> the one thing we realized was that when you see something wrong, you use your influence and your voice to speak out against it and what we have noticed is there is a threat. our communities are being terrorized by white supremacy. we've seen the attacks on synagogues. we've seen the linkage that they have to people who seek to terrorize mosques. we notice that there is people on the right wing who are fueling that hate. their message is being used to
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fuel the sort of violence against both of our communities because of our faith, and it is time for us to make sure that we don't allow for them to use any misunderstanding there might be to divide us, that we collectively work together against the collective hate that is coming from the right wing and white supremacy. >> when the president tweeted out a video a few weeks ago, a video of you, comments you made before c.a.r.e. wrenched, again, similar to this and juxtaposed with some of the most horrific images, the destruction of the twin towers, what was the effect of that on you personally, on your life? did that materially create danger for you? >> i was speaking about the erosion of our civil liberties as muslims in this country and
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our inability really to exist as individuals, and you can see really what happens when someone like the president tweets something like that. it's not only an attack on myself but it becomes an attack on all muslims and an attack on women of color. it becomes an attack on immigrants and refugees because that message was really being used to sort of vilify everyone who shared an identity with me to say that you don't belong. and then i think this is what we speak about in our op-ed. this is what i have really used my platform to speak about. it is really important for us to recognize that we are -- we must be united in our diversity that we can't allow people to pin us against one another. we have to recognize this
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country is one that is built for all of us, that as much of a citizen as i am is what rashida is and what most of, you know, our colleagues and our committee members are. if we allow for people to tell us who is in and who is out, then we all get to lose. so that's really the important message. >> a final question for you. you're a freshman member of congress. you represent a district in minnesota. you have been the target of a lot of attacks. you sort of, i think, elevated by certain folks in your political opposition who view you as a useful rhetorical. what do you want to be known for? if you get to write your own story about what people know you for, what do you want to be known for? >> so when i am in the district what people know me as is this fierce fighter for their
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progressive values, someone who understands that we can't only fight for individual progress. we have to fight for collective progress. they know that i am out here fighting to free them from the shackles of student debt, that i'm out here trying to make sure that every single person has an opportunity to be housed, that there is no mother or father going to sleep crying because they don't know where the next meal is going to come to feed their families, and everybody knows that i am a fighter for a more just and sustainable society. and that's what people already know me as. i think everything else that you might hear in the headlines that feeds into a particular narrative that people want to fuel to silence my voice and to minimize the kind of work that i
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want to do in driving for a more just world is not something that the people that send me and entrusted their votes to send me to washington to represent them know me as and i'm quite content with that in knowing that they're happy that i'm representing them and fighting for them every single day. >> congresswoman ilhan omar, thank you for making the time. >> thank you for having me. coming up, do you remember the time when that senator from florida said russians hacked their voter data in 2016 and people ridiculed them? turns out he was right. some things are out of
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yesterday the president praised and rolled out the red carpet for hungary's president viktor orban, who has quite openly used anti-semitism as a key political cojul. on that same day trump and his allies were accusing a democratic member of congress of anti-semitism which is a perfect microcosm of the way anti-semitism as a political weapon has become increasingly divorced from reckoning the actual manifestations of the very real and very dangerous phenomenon n. that context i wanted to have a conversation with someone who studies the origin and the history of anti-semitism, deborah lipstadt wrote a book and we talked on why this is happening. >> i often compare anti-semitism
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to a herpes virus. i know it's a horrible thing to have. thank god i don't, but i know people who do. it's a terrible thing. from what i understand medically once you have it, you're never quite free of it and under pressure, at difficult times -- the day before your wedding, you could suddenly have an outbreak, whatever it might be, if you're under pressure. i think anti-semitism is like that. it sits in society and at pressure times can be unleashed. >> you can get the whole episode wherever you get your podcasts. s
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believe it or not, dear viewer, we are six weeks out from the first presidential debate. there are at least 22 people running for the nomination. quick, them. we're now speeding into the first big make or break moment for presidential hopefuls. we'll take a closer look at the
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state of the art technology makes it brilliant. the visionary lexus nx. lease the 2019 nx 300 for $359 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. before rick scott was a senator from florida, he was the state's governor and he was locked in a hotly contested race with the then incumbent senator
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democrat bill nelson. and last summer during that race and during a public appearance, then senator nelson said this about the integrity of the state's voter files. >> we wrote and signed to all 67 county supervisors to tell them the russians are in florida's records. and they need help. >> did you hear that? the russians are in florida's records and later told the tampa bay times the russians have already penetrated certain counties in the state and have free reign to move about. now the gop and rick scott made a huge stink over this claim saying it was baseless scare mongering. the state of florida, the officials, obviously controlled by governor scott who was also running, said they had no information to support that. "the washington post" fact checkers weighed in and they gave bill nelson four pinocchios and rick scott demanded he
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provide proof of russia's successful hacking. nelson's assertion was used by his political opponents to not too subtly suggest the then 75-year-old senator was past his prime and slipping. nelson went on to lose by just over 10,000 votes s out of more than 8 million cast statewide. well, turns out nelson wasn't slipping. in fact, he was right. all the people that ridiculed him and fact checked him were wrong. because today we found out via the new governor, republican ron desantis, that in fact, the russians did penetrate two florida counties' voter files in 2016. desantis announced this publicly and assured everyone they did not change any of the data although that's not super reassuring given it appears they clearly could have. also, weirdly, desantis says he signed a nondisclosure agreement which bars him from saying which two counties were hacked by the russians. the "tampa bay times" described the scene, "desantis' comments came during a surreal capital
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news conference during which he wouldn't elaborate on the highly unusual situation of the federal government asking a governor to sign a nondisclosure agreement especially in a case involving that governor's own state." so, bill nelson spoke the truth and was ridiculed and punished and ultimately lost, now the question is, do people like rick scott or donald trump or anyone else in charge have any genuine incentive to preserve the integrity of our voting systems if they think any intrusions might ultimately redound to their benefit? is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life. woman: (on phone) discover. hi. do you have a travel card? yep. our miles card. earn unlimited 1.5 miles and we'll match it at the end of your first year. nice! i'm thinking about a scuba diving trip. woman: ooh! (gasp) or not. you okay? yeah, no, i'm good. earn miles. we'll match 'em at the end of your first year.
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a day after the dow plummeted on the news of china's retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion in u.s. goods, today it was up as markets regain their form, although who the heck knows why that happens on any given day. certainly i don't. it is strange the ways in which the titans of finance, the republican party, and the business press, seem weirdly at peace with our growing trade war which blasted off again last friday when trump hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in chinese goods.
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mitch mcconnell was decidedly diplomatic about the whole thing today. >> one thing i think we ought to agree on is nobody wins a trade war, and we're all hoping, as others have suggested here, that these particular tactics get us into a better position vis-a-vis china, which has been our worst and most unfair trading relationship for a very long time. >> talk more about this ongoing trade war, i'm joined by austan goolsbee, former chairman of the council of economic adviser under president barack obama. do you agree with me that there seems generally less freaking out about this than one would expect, certainly than i would have expected in, say, barack obama were pursuing this strategy. >> i agree with that part, you know, republicans would have been up in arms if barack obama did anything, but actually, i think a lot of the business community and even the business conservatives, are really, really upset and nervous about this. while today, the stock market
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did not go down, we've had multiple days of multi-hundred drops in the dow, and you've got ceos who are normally absolutely toting the trump line, getting up and saying, wait, this will not work, and we shouldn't do it. and you've got the entire farm, agriculture, and rural communities, in most of the states in the united states, in abject panic, you know, as you know, farm incomes have already been down. they've been running through a tough period and this is to put a $50 billion tax on american consumers and -- and penalize american farmers. and i don't see -- i think you're going to see thousands of them go bankrupt, if this continues. >> so here's the argumenargumen the best-case argument for pursuing the strategy and get your response. basically, american leadership has been asleep at the switch for 30 years while this incredibly dysfunctional relationship has grown up between the u.s. and china.
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it is extremely -- they're now bound to each other. it's complicated. there are enormous capital and goods and services, flows between the two countries, but fu fundamentally, china is cheating, using industrial policy, manipulating currency, stealing i.p., doing all these things and there's no way to stop them from doing that without some pain and you got to -- someone's got to stand up and say, look, we're going to not do this anymore. what do you say to that argument? >> i mean, what i say, i say two things. i think that's confused and the trump administration hasn't done their homework. that's a fundamental problem here. so we have succeeded in the past at getting china to change their behavior. we got them to stop being a currency matnipulator, for example. the way we did that, we got all of our allies on the same page, we went to them behind the scenes, not attempting public humiliation. we said here's what we want you to do, all of us are onboard with the same thing and if you
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don't do it, we're going to have to do a, b, and c and that got them to stop. what the trump administration's done is try to publicly humiliate them while making us pay, the american people. we're the ones paying this tariff. it's our farmers. it's general motors saying they lost $1 billion last year because of these trump tariffs. and they're not accomplishing anything. they haven't done their homework. they don't even know what they're asking for. they're just piling tariff upon tariff. they were bluffing. and now we're getting into this spiraling trade war which if that continues to spiral, i think it's going to lead to a recession in both of our countries. we should just take a step back and go about this the way that has been documented to work in the past, which is not the way they're doing it. >> but i guess the -- the response of a lot of people would be that it hasn't worked in that fundamentally, the u.s./china relationship has not been good for the u.s., it's
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given us a lot of cheap goods, particularly cheap electronics, it's been very good for china but fundamentally bad and part of the wage stack natignation hg out the business middle class. business as usual doesn't work is the argument. >> i know they keep saying that, has is putting a $50 billion tax on american consumers actually achieve anything? it's not -- they told us that were going to raise our taxes $50 billion, cripple our farmers, but it would just be a short-run thing and probably never be enacted because the chinese were going to do what we wanted. >> right. >> they didn't and didn't even ask for anything specific. so how would china even do that? and at the same time, we've now got our own allies in europe, in canada, in mexico, in japan, threatened with trade wars from from this president, now more likely to actually side with china against the united states at the wto than the opposite.
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it's completely bonkers. >> you know, i hadn't thought of the last part. that's an important one. having gone through the squirm i squirmishes with allies, there's every reason for them not to be supportive of what we're doing here. >> of course. they're not supportive. they're irritated, angry. we're about to slap tariffs on canada and on europe and europe is about to have retaliatory tariffs against the u.s. >> all right. austan goolsbee, thank you for joining us. >> thank youing if very me. >> that's "all in" for this evening, the "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening, chris. thanks, my friend. much appreciated. thank to you for joining us this hour. very happy to have you with us. if the great oprah winfrey were running the scandals of the trump administration, as a daytime talk show, today's episode of that talk show would be the one where the audience


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