tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 2, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
broadcast for this busy wednesday night. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. know. >> bill barr responds to robert mueller's stinging rebuke. >> i said bob, what's with the letter.t' >> nur concerns about white house interference in ongoing cases. >> i don't recall, no. >> you don't recall?'t >> the growing calls for barr to resign. >> he's going to have to answer for testifying untruthfully.
>> can republicans stop robert mueller from testifying.an >> why not call for mueller to testify? >> i'm not going to do any more. >> mazie hirono and more. all in starts right now. >> america deserves better. you should resign. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. william barr has given the president something he wanted since the day he took the oath of office.th an attorney general to protect him and serve the president's interest above all else including the rule of law itself. in his press conference and hsi summary, the mueller report which we know mueller formally wanted to in a letter to and hil testimony this morning. barr has shown himself to be y unfit for the office to which he was confirmed. on top of it all, he refuses to show up to the hearing in the house tomorrow. the attorney general is unlike
almost any other role serving ii the executive branch as part of the president's cabinet at the pleasure of the president. of course tasked with administrating the justice department without regard to j politics. that's why, for example, it was a huge scandal when a previous attorney general fired a bunch w of attorneys for reasons by the white house. that's why that attorney general was forced to resign. by publicly misrepresenting mueller's evidence to bend over backwards to justify the president's evidence, barr made it impossible to trust his leadership. at the testimony today, barr dismissed the council's logic for not making a determination and barr revealed he was working his own decision to clear the president before actually receiving a final report.
he ultimately made the decision relying on the same theory outline in the memo months earlier as a private citizen, perhaps auditioning for a job. that's how the memo was widely seen.he in other words, the attorney general was always going to decide the president can't obstruct justice. that may be why he was hired in the first place.ir more troubling, barr continues to oversee the dozen plus cases active now within his apartment spun off from the mueller investigation some that involved the president. we have every reason to expect n he will keep on running er interference. >> have you had any conversations with anyone in the white house about those ongoing investigations that were spawned or spun off? >> i don't recall have anything substantive discussion on the investigation. >> have you had any non-substantive discussions? >> it's possible that the name of a case was mentioned. >> have you provided information
about any of those ongoing investigations? any information whatsoever? >> i don't recall, no. >> let me ask you one last time. you can't recall whether you discussed those cases with anyone in the white house? including the president of the united states. >> my recollection is i have not discussed those. >> but you don't recall for sure? let me move on. >> i can say very surely i did not discuss the substance. >> will you recuse yourself from those investigations? >> no. >> besides seeking an ag declared of wrong-doing, he wanted to use the justice and forces to go on offense against his political opponents. this is the candidate of "lock her up." barr, who repeatedly brought up hillary clinton unprompted, inspired zero confidence that he will resist the president's ha pressure.pr
>> has the president or anyone else ever asked that you open up an investigation of anyone? yes or no, please, sir?f >> the president or anybody else? >> seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us? >> i'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. there have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation.en >> perhaps they suggested? >> i wouldn't say suggest. >> hinted? inferred? you don't know. okay. >> barr's total loyalty tow the president produced a scathing editorial that he torched his reputation none other than james comey reflecting on the ability to accomplish people lacking inner strength. ouch. the most damning indictment maya have been delivered by mazie
hirono who will join me live in a few minutes. >> mr. barr, now the american people know that you are no different from rudy giuliani or kelly anneconway or other people who sacrificed a once decent reputation for the grifter in office.he we know about your deep involvement in covering up for donald trump.up being an attorney general is a sacred trust. you betrayed that trust and america deserves better. you should resign. >> two people with years of experience working at the justice department.ki contributor chuck rosenberg and a senior fbi official, chuck g rosenberg and former acting solicitor general and office of legal counsel. i will begin with you. is what did you think of mr. barr's performance? >> it was a most distressing day
in the history of the justice department since john mitchell was indicted and forced to resign. i understand why he is refusing to answer questions. he was so deliberately misleading at every turn. i think we watched a tragic fall of a once good reputation. i think, chris, more than that as a conservative, when he castt holy water on the notion that you should examine the people in this investigation, what are you going think if you are a counter intelligence officer and fbi agent and you uncover what may be evidence of russia or other interference in 2020, knowing if you proceed down that road, you may find yourself holed up before senator graham's committee and otherwise subject to ruin his consequences. >> what did you think? >> it was jarring.
i started off in the camp that he was a principled institutionalist. we all suffer from confirmation bias and the first couple of at things i saw, i would force into that bucket.to i have seen too many things now from his echoing of the president's claim that there was no evidence of collusion to the notion that the fbi was spying as opposed to obtaining court-authorized surveillance. i have a new opinion. it's hard to do that. >> i want to give the best cases scenario from him. barr himself said this. what's everyone freaking out about? you got the report and there it
is. you can see the whole thing. why are you guys all upset? >> there is some credibility to that argument. we have the report. it's lightly redacted. we can read it for ourselves.ht here's the problem. the false narrative got out of the gate long before the truth did. it's almost impossible for the truth to catch up. how many people are going read 448 pages? i don't mean that to assign 44 blame. i mean as a matter of fact people are going rely on the false narrative. >> to hear what you just said, walter and chuck and two people steeped in this department, to say what you are saying, part of it, i think the norms around the justice department are so distinct and important because of this question of independence and walter, i think when you say the most disturbing day when what it sounds like to me, they trust them to dispatch the duties that he has to which is to vouch safety independence of this institution to preserve the rule of law. >> that's right.
we must have totally lost confidence in the attorney general of the united states. he has taken positions that are really indefensible. there was a failure, i think, on the part of the democrats on the committee. they wanted to par section 1512. he would say that's the white house counsel to lie is not a crime and it's utterly as chuck will agree, it's inconsistent with the role of the president to have the interfering with the ongoing criminal investigation. unthinkable as well as on suggesting or directing who they ought to be prosecuting. that is a violation of a norm respected by attorneys general and presidents of both political parties. >> he also -- i want to play this. the president believes he is being falsely accused and
quashes any investigation at any time as a theoretical prince tae po which mr. barr adheres. take a listen. >> in the situation of the president who has constitutionao authority to supervise proceedings, if in fact a proceeding was not well founded, if it was a groundless proceeding and based on false allegations, the president does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it t run its course. the president could terminate that proceeding and it would not be a corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused. >> seems like constitutional authority and falsely accused oi doing a lot of work. >> you will find that nowhere in the obstruction of justice statute.ti that seems to me and walter is an expert. a robust reading of article two that is at odds with the law and
common sense. >> chuck rosen berg and walter, thank you both. for more on the attorney general's stunning performance, henry litman from the western district of pennsylvania and attorney general and msnbc legal analyst, maya wylie. announcing your vice president of social justice at the new school. individual who is really have a fidelity to the institution of the department of justice. they are not given to that kind of language? >> lying? >> the performance was so contemptious of congress in general and anyone second-guessing him. it was a performance of bravado. that was striking. >> he demonstrated bravado since he put forth that summary of the mueller report. any time you start with half a
quote from the special counsel and the quote you omit is the part that said -- >> although. >> russia interfered. why would we have an interest as a country in not confronting the fact that robert mueller found interference by russians? that seems to me not a partisan issue. there was a certain bravado when we found out later that robert d mueller in fact register said concern with william barr. things that we all wondered about when we saw the summary. we all said this doesn't sound right as attorneys we don't d think this sounds right. we wonder what robert mueller thinks and now we know. he thinks that it did not sufficiently take into account i the context. i want to add because it's really important, when william
barr stood up and check rosenburg and give him a lot of credit because it's important to acknowledge.ed we want to believe in the importance that our leaders really take into account the constitutional authority and what they are supposed to accomplish like a william barr, which is to represent the nation's interest, the nation's stand up for the nation's law. robert mueller, the decision on obstruction was not influenced by the office of legal counsel's determination that you could not indict a sitting president, except that is explicitly not true. that's bravado. we should be outraged, but not surprised. >> the moment where they talked about the letter where i thought
it was very revealing. barr said he called mueller and said "what's with the letter, bob?" you could hear he was ticked. he called it snitty because he understood how seismic writing the letter was. >> exactly. that was a smash of real honesty. bob, why didn't you pick up the phone and call me? they are now antagonists. what an ironic claim by barr. from the time of march 5th when he supposedly was going to take mueller and did mueller's broad conclusion and ignore it, give it zero deference, unlike the regulations require. there was no conversation. no attempt to go back and forth.
he portrayed it as mueller is ad normal u.s. attorney. i can tell you and chuck can tell you as an attorney. if a general is looking to completely ignore what you have said, we will have meetings and discussions and a measure of deference, this was simply thanks for the report. see you later. don't call. i'm in charge now. >> it gets to -- when the letter broke and it was part of a back and forth in the hearing today which was illuminating and frustrating.na the point is that he is super vising the department of justice right now and we have seen his character and his theory of running the doj. >> william barr showed us that the ends for him justify the means. the ends for him is protecting donald trump in the white house for whatever reason. i'm not going to -- whether it's
ideology or because he thinks it's important for donald trump to stack the courts or for whatever reason. important to protect the legacy of the party. i don't know why. all i know is he made explicit multiple times that he will put protecting trump ahead of the rule of law. ahead of sufficient transparency. because the other thing that we have not talked about today. he sat there as if congress's authority is based on a criminal standard of proof. it is not. he is standing in the way of congress acquitting its constitutional authority because it is not ruled by the reasonable doubt standard. >> he set up this crash and the showdown, harry, with the house judiciary where he just informed them, i'm not showing up.
>> he is, but it depends on whether the house judiciary said he is. barr begins to recede in importance. we know what he has done and is going to say.ha the house judiciary needs witnesses like mcgahn and lewandowski. eventually from mueller. he is not showing up tomorrow and his claim is not strong for not showing up. he is willing to play it out for a couple of months. that's what it will take to go to the d.c. circuit and i think for them to say the house gets to use lawyers if it wants to. >> to play for time. thank you both. much more to get to from the barr hearing. mazie hirono joins me on his decision to skip tomorrow's hearing. >> you used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the president
although other people such as acting attorney general sally yates said that looking at the 10 items that were obstruction items, that she would have he had already come to the conclusion that the president had not committed obstruction, although other people such as acting attorney general sally yates said that looking at the 10 items that were obstruction items, that she would have indicted the person but for the fact that he's president.
people can differ, but he decided there was no obstruction from a criminal standpoint, but what about if it's okay had the president tell the white house counsel to fire mueller or to have the white house counsel lie about it. there are whole ranges of behavior and when you enter the dead zone of the white house, this is what you get. >> it took two bites of the apple to say it was improper to accept help from former intelligence. >> he hims and hawes a lot. he asks like what do you mean? when kamala harris asked has anyone in the white house suggested that you investigate someone. he said what do you mean by suggest.
how about i suggest you answer the question. he had a lot of those things and it took him a while to respond in any way. going in, i remembered that we would not get straight answers from him and we did not. >> do you think he lie and has lied to you? >> he hasn't necessarily lied to me, but the people of america when he responded to, for example, chris van hollen when asked does mueller agreed with your conclusions. he said i dont know this was after he had the letter questioning the four pager that barr put out as not being reflective of the work that mueller did. >> what happens next? do a lot of your colleagues who called on him to resign and he seems intent on the battle and has the backing of the president of the united states. >> these are not normal times. it gives me no pleasure to call on the attorney general to
resign as i called on kirstjen nielsen to resign. this is not normal to call on the president and members of his cabinet to resign. these are not normal times and this is why i'm looking to the house for the appropriate investigations that need to occur with the trump organization and what i consider a lot of sketchy doings by his organization including campaign violations. >> let me play something that lindsey graham said regarding whether bob mueller would appear. >> why not call for muler to testify? >> i'm not going to do any more. enough already. it's over. if there is dispute by about a conversation, but i'm not retrying the case. it is over. >> it's over, senator. what do you think?
>> obviously it's not over. lindsey wants it to be over, but it's not. for example, during his testimony, barr kept characterizing the discussions he had with mueller. that's called hearsay. i like to hear from mueller himself as to the conversation and what concerns he had about the four-pager that barr put out. mueller was so concern nad he asked barr to put out the summaries that his team had put together. barr refused to do that. >> mazie hirono, thank you for being with me. >> thank you. >> will they hold the attorney general of the united states in contempt on the decision to skip tomorrow's hearings. don't go anywhere. many people living with diabetes
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this is beyond wifi. this is xfi. simple, easy, awesome. bill barr's congressional testimony was not supposed to end today. he was supposed to appear tomorrow in front of the house judiciary committee. hours ahead of that, he bailed. over the weekend, barr threatened to skip his date the judiciary committee went forward to allow lawyers to ask questions. they allow them to do just that. jerry nadler announced barr would not attend the hearing and said it will not comply with a subpoena for the unredacted mueller report. joining me now is a congress who hoped to question him tomorrow, congressman jamie rask in from maryland. i want to read you from the
doj statement on the refusal by the attorney general to testify before the committee, congress and the executive branch are coequal branches of congress and an obligation to accommodate the legitimate interest. a senate-confirmed cabinet member is inappropriate. you are being unaccommodating in the words of the department of justice. what do you say? >> that's rich coming from an attorney general and a president who now refuse to turn over any documents or make witnesses available in a host of investigations we are doing across congress. he is trying to interfere with capital one and deutsch bank and private entities. they are trying to draw a hurt an down the branch. the attorney general tried to dictate the terms of his appearance in the format of our hearing. he wanted to do to us what he did to the senators.
that's to bluster and filibuster all the way through the five-minute periods. he wanted to do that to us and we insisted there be professional legal staff questioning after the public portion of the hearring. we would have been happy to work out accommodations to him. we needed to have real questioning without all the obstructionism. >> why do you think that was the breaking point? i don't understand the objection. >> yeah, they are claiming it's unprecedented and obviously it's not. the real reason he decided not to come, i think, is president trump gave the game away whenly went on the hannity show and said that he understand from attorney general barr that barr looked at the report and decided on the spot there was no obstruction or collusion. i think barr conceded today, i was not able to watch the whole hearing, but he admitted he was
not able to review the hundreds of thousands of documents and arrived at a predetermined conclusion. the cake was baked long ago. anybody who head his 19-page single spaced memo, he does not think the president can be guilty because he sits on top of the executive branch of government. that's what we are dealing with. a run away executive branch which does not want to deal with the reality of congressional and oversight power. we will insist upon it and we are headed for a collision with them. >> what happens next? he's not going to show up and we are rejecting a subpoena for the un redacted mueller report. they said too bad, you don't get it. >> congress is not without means to enforce will and lawful orders. we can go to court to seek civil and criminal sanctions against
people who disa bay lawful orders. we have inherent contempt tower in the 19th century. congress held people itself. we have the power to fine people and have the power of the purse. of course we have the power to censure and to impeach. we are the law making branch of government. article one for a reason. we represent the people of the united states. the president's sole job is to take care that the laws are executed that and being commander in chief. his main job is to execute the laws we pass. not circumvent them and not to violate them. >> thank you so much. still to come, i'll ask kirstin gillibrand about her call for bill barr's resignation following the hearing. thing one, thing two starts next.
thing one tonight, president trump knows how beneficial it can be to have important government positions filled with lackeys. he had success with this so far which is why he is trying to again choosing unqualified cronies for seats on the board of a body supposed to be completely empty. like herman kaine, the mastermind of the 999 plan in the case of enormous push back withdrew from consideration last week.
another pick still in the running somehow for a seat on the fed. this guy. >> the biggest problem i see in the economy over the last 25 years is what happened to male earnings. for black males and white males as well. they have been declining. that is i think a big problem. i want everyone's wages to rise, of course, but people are talking about women's earnings. they have risen. the problem has been the steady decline in male earnings. >> stephen miller is thing two. better leaders, better people. and there's no better place to listen than audible. with audible you get a credit good for any audiobook and exclusive fitness and wellness programs. and now, you'll also get two audible originals: titles exclusively produced for audible. automatically roll your credits over
to the next month if you don't use them, and if you don't like a book just swap it for free. enjoy 100% ad free listening in the car, on your phone or any connected device. and when you switch a device pick up right where you left off. with our commitment free guarantee, there's never been a better time to start listening to audible. the most inspiring minds, the most compelling stories, the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen27 to 500500 today. ♪ he's not actually an economist. he goes on tv, slipping in ravery views of trump policies so of course he's up for a seat on the board. he had a very rocky road in the weeks since trump made that announcement. problematic things about race and gender. he said he is not backing down. that makes sense that if going
tv got him a nomination, going back on tv more can save him. you can decide how well that worked out. >> for it comes down to things i wrote 18 years ago that i apologized for that were insulting, i'm in trouble. >> this is not just stuff written 18 or 20 years ago. >> i talked to a reporter who covered the fed for 30 years and he has never seen anything like this before. it's not like i will be chairman of the fed. trump was trying to think what can i do to serve his economic agenda? that's why he -- >> not what the fed's mandate is. it's not about the president's economic initiatives to spur growth and get him reelected. that's not why the fed exists. >> how did steven moore do? >> he is doing great. the president stands behind him. steven said yesterday or recently if he feels like he's a liability, he will pull his name
link children and the parents they were taken from. despite assurances from the department of health and human services, there was a central database that both departments could access and update with the information. jacob soak officer got assurances those were a lie. jacob has done great work following the story. what did you find? >> well, chris. what i would like to say is in case there was any remaining doubt they never had a plan to reunite the children ripped away from their parents, that can be put to rest. we obtained the e-mails of the acting head of the enforcement and at the time enforcement of the removal operations. this is just days after the president signed the executive order ending family separations. the government sent out this
e-mail and we are reuniting kids. he asked all of them, can you fill in information for 2,000 different children where their parents are, who they are, have their parents been deported? you don't have this information to which fitzgerald replies, no, we have information for about 60 of the 2,000 children in our custody. that was the beginning of an extraordinary mess that is still not solved and only put on the road to being solved by a judge here in southern california who ordered a system to be developed to get the kids back and reunite them with their parents. >> we know they implemented the mass and they brag about it and lie and said they don't have any such policy and they do. we will stop doing this and
reunite everyone. this e-mail and in particular, they said let's get it back together. how are we going to do this? this is from tom fitzgerald. we don't have any linkages. we have a list of numbers, but no way to link them to children. they were not keeping track of the parent and the kid as a unified entity in the data system in the federal government. >> they said didn't we already know this? we knew there was never a system. the hhd and dhs inspector general made that clear, but we have never seen the behind the scenes scrambling to figure out how to fill a spread sheet and why this is troubling today. the new acting secretary of homeland security said in multiple interviews with lester holt on 60 minutes, the intent was to reunify the kids taken away from their parents. if that was the intent, why do
you have people supposed to be responsible for tracking and putting the children back together having no idea what's going on behind the scenes? this is just the tip of the iceberg. >> you can check out the excellent story and the e-mails. thank you for that great reporting. >> next, kirstin gillibrand and her call for resignation of bill barr. the senator joining me next. this is not a bed...
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enjoy 100% ad free listening in the car, on your phone or any connected device. and when you switch a device pick up right where you left off. with our commitment free guarantee, there's never been a better time to start listening to audible. the most inspiring minds, the most compelling stories, the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen5 to 500500 today. ♪ there is a growing call from democrats on capitol hill for attorney general william barr to resign. new york senator and 2020 presidential candidate kirsten gillibrand is one of them, tweeting earlier, quote, attorney general barr needs to resign today. he has proven once again he is more interested in protecting the president than working for the american people. we can't trust him to tell truth, and these embarrassing displays of propaganda have to stop. joining me now is senator gillibrand. was your mind made up today about the need for him to
resign? >> well, it just confirmed a concern that i had for a while. i think what attorney general barr has showed the american people is that he is trying to represent the president himself individually and not the american people. he is also really created a disturbing trend on how he has addressed the mueller report. first of all, he should have never summarized the report and tried to put himself between the special counsel and the american people. the whole purpose of the special counsel statute is to make sure that the american people can receive unbiased professional information when there is serious concerns. first of all, attorney general barr summarized it. second, he called the press conference before the report was released and put his own frame on it. and then he redacted it significantly before turning it over. so now you add to that testimony today where he confirmed that he actually didn't look at the facts and evidence before he
wrote his letter and opined not the underlying information. it's deeply concerning. and i think he has proven that he is no longer representing the american people. >> as a member of the united states senate and part of the article i branch of government, there is a kind of constitutional showdown we now have, william barr and the department of justice now announcing he will not appear before the committee tomorrow because they wanted some of the staff to ask questions. what do you think about that? >> i think congressman nadler has been very clear that he will use whatever power is necessary to make sure that he testifies. and i believe he will. including subpoenaing him. >> you're running for president, as i mentioned up here, and you have a new policy proposals today that has to do with the way in which campaigns are funded in america. it's interesting. there is a pilot program i
believe in seattle that's been operating. i've read some thinkers who have proposed this in the past. what is it? >> so the biggest problem we have in washington is the greed and corruption that determine everything. it determines what bills get voted on, what the outcome of the legislation is, and i've heard from americans across this country that they believe there is enormous political corruption. and so we need clean elections. we have to restore the power to the hands of the people. and so i proposed a publicly funded elections bill to offer clean elections, the take on political corruption directly by getting money out of politics and making sure that american voters' voices are as loud and powerful as the koch brothers. and we do it through democracy dollars, telling every american if they want to participate in federal elections, they will be given these dollars to spend on the campaigns that they see fit in their state, in their district, and for president. >> it's $600, i believe, that you would get from the federal government.
>> yes. >> why that number? that seems like a lot of money to me. >> it does. it does. but it's $200 for each federal election. >> right. >> so you get $200, $100 for primary and 100 for the presidential election, for your congressional election and for your senate election. and that is a very small, modest amount of money to cap to say you can really spend up to $200 in each election. you would also allow voters to give that amount as well. but it would be something that every candidate would choose whether or not to participate in, and it would be something that every voter would choose whether or not to participate in. >> right. >> and what it does, chris, is it allows more people to participate in our democracy. it democratizes democracy. because right now it's been corrupted, and most people have no faith in our elected leaders because of the money and influence in politics. the fact that the koch brothers can spend $300 million in an election cycle so they can get
lower tax rates. we saw it in the trump tax cut where literally members of congress were saying yeah, we need to get this passed because we got to thank our donors. you can see the pay for play in politics every day. and people have lost faith that their government works for them and lost faith that our democracy actually works. so if you're not willing to take on the greed and corruption that really destroy our democracy daily, you will never be able to get the things done that you want. you won't be able to pass health care as a right and not a privilege. you won't be able to pass the green new deal. you won't be able to pass national paid leave you. won't be able to end gun violence, because all of those issues there's is some entity, some special interest that doesn't want it to happen. and because they have so much power and so much money, they have an outsized voice in our democracy. and what this bill will do is take it on. >> you just mentioned things you would not be able to pass, right, without the furthers on cams of special interest.
this is an adjacent question, but it occurs to me since you mention it and you serve in the united states senate there have been a number of people recently that were considered i think top recruits to run for senate in their states. stacey abrams in georgia, beto o'rourke and joaquin castro in texas. steve bullock in montana who are not going to run for senate. are you there in the senate talking to each other about what this chessboard looks like? and are you concerned about democratic recruitment given how important, centrally important that the senate is? >> i think we can take back the senate with the momentum of 2018. the fact that millions of people turned out to vote. women voted more often. young people voted more often than before, and we had such extraordinary candidates running, chris. the breakthrough candidates of 2018 were women. women running in red and purple places where white men had run before and lost. you saw kyrsten sinema break through in arizona running on what it's like to grow up as a
homeless girl, living in an abandoned gas station. people like lucy mcbath, running in the suburbs of atlanta on ending gun violence. gretchen whitmer running on health care as a right, not as a privilege to win the governorship of michigan. and so i think with the right candidates, which we will be recruiting and making sure we find them. >> yes. >> we can flip the senate. we will. and i think this whole moment in history that we're in is about all of us answering a call to what will you do to defeat what president trump has created, this hatred, this division, this anxiety that is breeding across america. i'm running because i will take it on. i will take on the corruption and special interests in washington that make everything so difficult. i will get money out of politics and restore that power to the hands of the people, and i will fight for health care as a right and a green new deal and national paid leave, common sense things. people need that vision and they need to know that you can get it