All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 09/22/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Pope Francis meets the
president on American soil for the first time.
Tonight, the pomp, the pageantry and the politics of the papal visit.
Then, the fight on the right to stop Trump intensifies.
AD NARRATOR: Trump wants us to think he`s Mr. Tell It Like It Is, but
he has a record and it`s very liberal.
HAYES: Ben Carson`s anti-Muslim rhetoric turns into a fund-raising
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our traditions have a Judeo-
HAYES: Plus –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Diesel in Latin means dirty.
HAYES: Volkswagen confirms its clean diesel deception is now a
massive global fraud.
And the politics of prescription drugs.
MARTIN SHKRELI, TURING PHARMACEUTICAL CEO: You know, we needed to
turn a profit on the drug.
HAYES: Breaking news from the CEO of a drug company who jacked up
costs of a life-saving drug.
SHKRELI: It is still underpriced relative to its peers.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And after months of buildup and anticipation, one of the most
electrifying figures on the planet has begun, his first visit to these
United States. Pope Francis has come to America.
He began his six-day three-city tour this afternoon landing in a white
Alitalia jet nicknamed Shepherd One, to ruckus applause at Joint Base
Andrews outside Washington, D.C., where he was given a jubilant red carpet
welcome. He`s greeted on the tarmac by President Obama and the first
family – a gesture so rare – Mr. Obama has only done it on one other
The nation`s first Catholic Vice President Joe Biden was also in
attendance to welcome Pope Francis, along with some members of his family.
Also on hand to greet the pope, four Catholic school children from the
Washington D.C. area selected by the Vatican, offering the 78-year-old
An honor guard was part of the occasion, as well as a high school band
at one point performing Pharrell Williams` song “Happy.”
The crowds invited to gather nearby breaking out into chants, shouting
at times “Francisco”. No speeches were given and Francis departed the
scene in a hatchback Fiat and was driven to what serves as the Vatican`s
embassy, where he will be staying while in Washington.
Today was a rather modest kickoff to a whirlwind highly choreographed
six-day trip that has triggered an unprecedented security effort across
three cities, including New York and Philadelphia.
Francis will celebrate masses, preside over the first canonization on
American soil, meet with President Obama at the White House and become the
first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress.
And it is that address that is likely to be the highlight of the
pope`s visit to the nation`s capital. Francis was invited by John Boehner,
a Catholic himself who today tweeted the view from the speaker`s balcony
where Francis is expected to greet well-wishers. The speech will be
attended by lawmakers, dignitaries and their guests.
And now, many are anticipating what the pope will speak about.
Francis has devoted much time since becoming pope to the issues of income
inequality, immigration, poverty, climate change, even American relations
with Cuba, which sparked criticism from prominent Republican Catholics,
including those hoping to be the next president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope I`m not like going to
get castigated for saying this by my priests back home. But I don`t get
economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or from my pope.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact is that
his infallibility is on religious matters. Not on political ones.
Joining me now, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who
will be at the joint session of Congress to hear the pope speak on
Senator, you issued a very enthusiastic welcome to the pope that
struck me as more than pro forma, genuine enthusiasm. And it struck me as
a perfect encapsulation of this pope`s appeal that a Jewish man from
Brooklyn by way of Vermont is as enthusiastic about the pope as you are.
Why you`re so excited he`s here?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think Pope
Francis has played an extraordinary and brilliant and courageous role on
this planet over the last several years. You know, he is one of the
important religious leaders in the world. And he is dealing with issues
that very few people in Congress are prepared to deal with.
He is talking about the morality of whether or not so few should have
so much and so many should have so little. He`s talking about the
dispossessed, the lonely elderly people all over the world who don`t have
enough to survive, the kids who are unemployed, the people who sleep out on
He is talking about what is going on in the world today, the – he
calls it the idolatry of money, the worship of the millionaires and
billionaires. The belief that what life is about is just accumulating more
and more money and forgetting about the children who are hungry or the
workers who are making $7.25 an hour.
So, he is just bringing forth a moral statement which says that we
have got to change the way we do things. And I am just deeply impressed by
all that he`s doing.
HAYES: This recalls your really fascinating speech at Liberty
University just I think it was last week when you talked about kind of a
moral framework for thinking about inequality and social justice issues.
What do you make of your colleagues` reaction to the pope? Because some of
the things he`s talking about have this kind of polarizing effect in the
context in domestic politics. And we`re seeing that kind of ripple out as
he comes to Capitol Hill this week.
SANDERS: Well, obviously, you know, I disagree with the pope on a
woman`s right to choose and I disagree with the pope on issues of gay
marriage. But – and our Republican friends kind of gravitate to him on
those issues. But I think the fundamental critique is he is making of the
hyper-capitalist society that we are seeing globally is something that is
striking a strong resonance in the hearts of a number of the progressive
members of the Congress and we applaud him very much.
HAYES: The pope has made a major effort to bring climate change and
the challenge to the front of mind. He issued an encyclical called
“Laudato si”, which is about essentially the moral theology behind the
imperative as commanded by God to steward the planet in the face of climate
change. How important is that voice in this debate?
SANDERS: Chris, it is hugely important. It really is. I think it is
helping us very significantly turn the tide.
When you have the leader of the Catholic Church telling us that we
cannot continue to destroy God`s planet and that we have got to move in an
aggressive way to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, that
is a profound statement which I see already having a significant impact on
HAYES: Today, Hillary Clinton issued her stance on Keystone, the
Keystone Pipeline, of course, which has been the target of a lot of climate
activists that would bring dirty fuel from Canada down to the U.S. It`s
something you`ve opposed for a long time. Today, Secretary Clinton came
out against it.
Your reaction to that news?
SANDERS: Well, you know, I`m glad that she did. And I would hope
that everybody understands that you can`t be serious about climate change
and the need to combat climate change when you are approving the excavation
and transportation of some of the dirtiest fuel on earth. So, this is an
issue we have been talking about for a very, very long time. And I`m glad
the secretary came on board.
HAYES: Yes, might have even been two popes ago I think this whole
thing got cooked up.
HAYES: Bernie Sanders, Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much.
Really a pleasure. I`ll be talking with you again later this hour. So,
stick around for a Sanders sandwich.
SANDERS: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now: Michael Brendan Dougherty,
correspondent at “The Week”, and Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F.
Kennedy Human Rights and Advocacy Organization, author of “Being Catholic
Ms. Kennedy, the pope is tremendously popular. Eighty-six percent of
Catholics, 65 percent of non-Catholics view him favorably. And yet, he`s
also somewhat polarizing in certain circles.
This is George Will talking about “Pope Francis embody sanctity but
comes trailing clouds of sanctimony.” George Will, an expert on that,
“With a convert`s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably
fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary.”
What do you make of the fact he seems massively appealing and also
KERRY KENNEDY, AUTHOR, “BEING CATHOLIC NOW”: Well, I don`t think he
is polarizing to the masses. You saw the poll in “The New York Times”
today. He`s got 91 percent approval rating. I mean, he – people across
the globe, Catholics, non-Catholics, Catholics who left the church, love
And they love him because he cares about the issues that are so
important that are facing our globe today. He cares about poverty. He
cares about people who are hungry. He cares about people who are
struggling. And that`s his real message.
He`s really – he`s revolutionized the Catholic Church with this
incredibly positive message of the acceptance and having a big tent and
everybody`s invited. And no more ostracizing people on the margins.
Everybody is here. And let`s care about those who are really struggling.
HAYES: So that`s Michael, basically why I like this pope. I`m in
that group of people that finds him – I`m a sort of fallen away Roman
Catholic, raised in the church, father was a Jesuit seminarian. I like the
pope for all those reasons.
But it strikes me, you know, there`s kind of two roles of pope.
There`s the public facing role that Ms. Kennedy is describing, which is
kind of like the Dalai Lama in some ways, this sort of international moral
figure. And then there`s a guy who runs the Catholic Church.
My sense is traditionalist Catholics like yourself, I think it`s fair
to say, aren`t crazy how the pope has been doing that role.
MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, “THE WEEK”: Right.
I mean, listen, he is an almost frighteningly popular, especially for a man
who`s throwing under this thunderbolts at the entire system of Western
capitalism and the oppressors across the entire globe, many of whom he`s
meeting, technically. He`s meeting people on the tarmac that have
tremendous power. He`s popular because of had his critique of power.
But on the day to day running of the church, yes, I mean, some
Catholics like myself are looking at a synod on the family coming up in
Rome and are worried about, you know, the fate of the faith afterward if
there`s going to be some kind of a compromise on doctrines around marriage
or, you know, we worry about the effect of the annulment reform as a sort
of Catholic no fault divorce being snuck past us.
HAYES: So, this is an important point, Ms. Kennedy, which is that,
you know, all the social issues that I think folks who are non-Catholic
particularly, or even sort of loosely Catholic pay attention to. There`s
also these sort of doctrinal issues. And Michael brings up this point
about, you know, whether we`re going to see actual doctrinal reform.
I mean, what is your sense of that or where Catholics are about that?
KENNEDY: Well, in the first place, think it`s great he`s throwing
those arrows at greed and you know capitalism gone awry. We need somebody
to do that. We need a moral leader to say that we need to protect our
planet and stop fossil fuels that are destroying humanity and having the
worst impact on people who are the most poor from Bangladesh to Mexico and
to the wildfires in California and across this globe.
So, I think that those are all very, very positive changes, but I
think that it`s not that – he`s not popular because he is critical. It`s
he`s popular because he`s uplifting.
KENNEDY: And because he`s positive and because he`s telling us we can
all work together. And that we all have a role to play, and it`s a very,
very positive message of getting, you know, going to God, being close to
God and close to spirituality because of our humanity –
HAYES: And it`s precisely –
KENNEY: – and not because of the accumulation of material goods.
HAYES: It`s precisely that is that has traditionalists scared,
because of his charisma and because of his popularity and because of his
uplifting message, the idea that we would start to see actual doctrinal
changes in these sort of core theological pronouncements about the family,
that he could pull it off.
DOUGHERTY: Yes, of course. I mean, he`s going – he`s been getting
unbelievable press, you know, in a way like Pope Francis can say things
that you know, might make your skin crawl if Benedict said them.
KENNEDY: But these are changes that need to happen. You see, that is
why he`s popular because the American Catholics, Catholics across the globe
say, well, why are we so so tough on people who are trying to get –
Catholics who are trying to get divorced who may be in relationships that
are completely inappropriate, where a woman is being beaten up and she
can`t get an annulment? And she can`t get remarried and she can`t leave
her husband? That just makes no sense.
And I think he`s heard that. And said, well, maybe we should look at
And you know, it`s not that he`s saying we shouldn`t – saying that
abortion is OK. He`s just saying, that`s not the most important thing I
want to talk about right now.
HAYES: Right, this question of emphasis –
KENNEDY: We`re talking about stopping greed. Not about abortion,
abortion, abortion. And that`s a positive message.
HAYES: This question –
KENNEDY: Let`s everybody come together.
HAYES: This question of emphasis, obviously, is a huge one and a huge
part of his reception.
Michael Brendan Dougherty and Kerry Kennedy, thank you very much.
Still to come, we`ll have more from my interview with Bernie Sanders.
Stick around for that.
Plus, for the first time since his campaign launch, Donald Trump is
seeing a real decline in the polls. We`ll see how he`s handling it.
Here`s a hint: it`s not pretty.
Later, Volkswagen admits there are massive systematic fraud that`s
even larger than we though. The deception that impacts 11 million cars
That story and more, ahead.
HAYES: Remember back in July when a San Diego man got bitten by a
rattlesnake and his bill went viral. Todd Fassler was charged $153,000 for
treatment including astounding more than 83 grand just for pharmaceuticals.
Coming up my conversation with Bernie Sanders what to do about out of
control prices and the story of the hedge fund manager-turned-
pharmaceutical CEO who just hours ago reversed course after a massive
outcry over his decision to raise the price of a life-saving drug 3,000
percent. That`s ahead.
HAYES: The Republican race for president is at a crossroads. After
months dominating the coverage and the polls, Donald Trump is playing
sustained defense for the first time in his campaign, competing for
headlines with his two closest rivals Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, and
confronting what now appears to be a downward trend in his poll numbers.
You see the red line at the top cresting and then heading downward in the
“Huffington Post” polling average. Unless that reverses course, it looks
like Donald Trump may have passed his peak.
Now, for a guy whose entire campaign has largely become about how his
campaign is a winning campaign, the big question has been just what Trump
would do if he started to truly falter?
Today, we have at least part of an answer. Donald Trump lashes out.
Last night, he tried to reignite his war with FOX News, launching a string
of attacks on Twitter. “O`Reilly Factor was very negative to me in
refusing to go to post the great polls that came out today, including NBC.”
“FOX News for me!” “I`m having a really hard time watching FOX News”, he
later followed up. And, “Rich Lowry is truly one of the dumbest of the
talking heads. He doesn`t have a clue!”
Well, Trump retweeted lots of supportive responses for his followers
which I`m sure made him feel better. This latest ploy for attention
doesn`t seem to getting the widespread traction it might have just two
Then, there`s his response to the Club for Growth, which launched a
couple of tough anti-Trump ads in Iowa last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: Trump wants to us think he`s Mr. Tell It Like It Is, but
he has a record and it`s very liberal. He`s really just playing us for
Trump, Just another politician.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump`s attorney has now written the Club for Growth a cease-
and-desist letter, accusing the organization of libel and threatening a
multimillion dollar lawsuit. Nevertheless, the Club for Growth appears
unbowed, saying in a statement, “Tough guy Donald Trump starts whining when
his liberal record is revealed. Trump`s own statements prove that our ads
are accurate. They will continue to run. We suggest that Donald Trump
grow up, stop whining, and try to defend his liberal record.”
Now that Scott Walker has somewhat surprisingly dropped out and called
on the rest of the field to team up against the current front-runner, we
may be seeing a lot more defending and perhaps more whining from Mr. Trump.
Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst and former DNC chair, Howard
Dean, and Robert Costa, national political reporter for “The Washington
Robert, the Club for Growth went after Donald Trump. They`ve been
feuding. They didn`t like the fact he wanted a small section of hedge fund
managers to pay higher in taxes.
Do you – what do you make of this cease-and-desist letter? Is he
really going to sue?
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: He may. He`s been litigious his
entire career. I`ve spoken with Trump`s operation. They`re ready to take
on Club for Growth. They believe he`s being portrayed in an inaccurate
HAYES: You know, Howard, it strikes me the hardest part of
campaigning, particularly early on is surviving. It`s easy to look like
you`re doing the right thing when you`re winning, right? I mean, this has
always been – like Trump really has just, if you put up that trajectory,
it`s basically been on a decline.
The test comes in any campaign, and this was the true of Barack Obama.
I remember in 2007, people were saying this guy is dead in the water. He`s
nowhere in Iowa.
HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
HAYES: It`s true of Hillary Clinton on the eve of New Hampshire. It
was true of Mitt Romney who was also counted out. John McCain, John Kerry.
That`s the real test of a campaign.
DEAN: It is a real test. And we`ll see how he does. I can tell you
what`s not going to go anywhere is a libel suit in the United States of
HAYES: Against a negative ad – against a negative ad that in the
spectrum of negative ads is maybe a two out of scale of 10 of viciousness.
DEAN: Yes, I mean, that`s not going to happen. I think this is
fascinating. You`ve got the three front-runners now, Trump, Carson and
Fiorina. I`m not sure any of them have an organization. If you don`t have
an organization, you cannot win in Iowa, I don`t care where you are in the
polls because you`ve got to get your people to the polls. And that
requires one-on-one with staff and voters.
HAYES: Yes, Robert, is your sense that Fiorina particularly who has
had a polling boom since the second debate, is your sense there is a
framework, there`s a ground game in place in places like Iowa or New
Hampshire for her?
COSTA: It`s something she`s working on building it. If you look at
Fiorina`s campaign so far, where she`s had momentum is on the ground. She
has some grassroots following, but she does not have a large operation.
What she does have is a super PAC that`s well-funded. That has propelled
her forward. Now it`s time for her to balance out the hard dollars in the
actual campaign with that super PAC money.
Trump does have a ground game in Iowa. He`s building out around the
country. But Fiorina is trying to catch up at this point.
HAYES: When you were running, you didn`t have this weird sort of
super PAC campaign divide.
HAYES: And one of the things, one of the lessons I think we learned
from Scott Walker yesterday is super PAC is not enough. You`ve still got
to have a hard money campaign operating and functional that pays the bills.
DEAN: The same with Rick Perry. These are two legitimate candidates
who with significant –
HAYES: With tons of super PAC dollars.
DEAN: And tons of super PAC dollars. They couldn`t raise money on
their own. I actually think they`re both casualties of the Donald Trump
boom. I don`t think we`ve seen the last casualties of the Donald Trump
boom. They had no oxygen when they needed it, which is the summer before
HAYES: Robert, do you have a sense of the capacity of the Trump
campaign to actually act like a campaign and change direction or do things
to alter if it continues to be the case that his polling average declines?
COSTA: I spoke to Trump at length yesterday. And I asked him about,
do you need a second act in the fall? Is there a way your campaign needs
to evolve? He says he`s not going to drop his blunt persona. He is who he
is. He doesn`t surround himself with strategists. He has a operations guy
Corey Lewandowski who advised him and helps build out his network.
Trump believes, though, that he needs to do more outreach. If you
look at his schedule for later this month in October, he`s going to meet
with Hispanic leaders. He`s going to meet with evangelical leaders. He
knows he needs to build his own relationships within the conservative
movement to keep his campaign moving.
HAYES: Yes, we`ve been hearing a lot from him about the evangelicals.
He brought a bible to an event. I mean, there is an understanding – I
mean, the question is, what`s the ceiling on Donald Trump`s support? It`s
higher than I ever thought it was. But I also think it`s lower than 50
DEAN: He`s done with Hispanics. He can meet with as many leaders as
he wants to. He`s done with him. His numbers were 22 percent in the
polls, 7 percent worse than Mitt Romney and most people believe that is
what did Mitt Romney in.
So, he might, as well forget it, because no matter what he does with
conservative Hispanic leaders, people are not going to forget about the way
he talked about Hispanics all summer long. Actually, what happened in the
last campaign was you talk about immigrants all the time and aim your
remarks, at Hispanics, every immigrant in America hears that. Not one
single immigrant group except for Vietnamese Americans voted Republican the
last election. That`s extraordinary.
HAYES: Cannot unring the bell.
Howard Dean and Robert Costa, thank you both.
COSTA: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, how Ben Carson`s claim he would not support a
Muslim president becomes a huge financial boost to his campaign. That is
HAYES: Ben Carson appears to be digging himself deeper and deeper
into the hole he first created with the revelation he would not support a
Muslim in the White House, arguing today he wasn`t singling out Muslims
specifically but anyone who puts their religion before their government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: I think anybody regardless of their religion, if they are
willing to embrace the values and principles of America and our
Constitution and subject their beliefs to the Constitution, I have no
problem with that at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There may be a simple reason that Carson still won`t quite
entirely back down. His anti-Muslim comments have reportedly helped him
raise lots more campaign cash with the head of his super PAC telling “The
Washington Times”, “We sent out an e-mail to Carson supporters and we`ve
never had an email raise so much so quickly.”
The controversy has exposed a pretty deep vein of anti-Muslim bias
among certain conservatives who view an Islam itself as fundamentally
incompatible with American democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: What about somebody who is of a faith that does not
traditionally separate church and state, that traditionally has a
theocracy, that traditionally
treats women in ways different than we do, treats gays in different ways
that we do, subjugates other religions? Obviously, that would not be
something that would be consistent with American values and our
There`s no question that our constitution and our traditions have a
Judeo-Christian base. There`s no question about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A lot of assumptions in there. Carson`s campaign manager told
Associated Press, quote, “while the left wing is huffing and puffing over
it, Republican primary voters are with us at least 80/20. People in Iowa
particularly are like, yeah, we`re not going to vote for a Muslim either.”
That seems to be born out in a new poll of Iowa Republicans from
public policy polling, liberal leaning firm, only 49 percent said it should
even be legal to practice Islam in the United states, while 30 percent said
it should be outlawed altogether and 21 percent weren`t sure.
I`m joined now by Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter for The
Sabrina, I wanted to talk to you because the other day we were going
back and forth on this on this I think on Twitter and talking about the
president is not a
Muslim, and you said something like every time I hear this, all I hear is
someone saying my kids can`t be president. Like how are you – what is
your reaction to the last three or four days of this news cycle?
SABRINA Siddiqui, THE GUARDIAN: Well, I think that Ben Carson
actually answered the question that a lot of reporters have failed to ask
of these candidates and these politicians when they focus on President
Obama`s faith in
particular, which is the so what question? So what if a candidate for
president was a Muslim? Are we implying that that`s some kind of
disqualifier. And in Ben Carson`s case he did unequivocally say in the
beginning no, I would not advocate that we have a Muslim in charge of this
And I think that, you know, while I don`t have kids of my own at this
point particular point in time, the question that a lot of Muslim families
across America face as Americans is what do we tell our kids? Are we then
raising our kids in a
country where we can say you can be anything you want to be but you can`t
be president of the United States?
HAYES: What do you make of – I think there`s two ways of
understanding this polling, say, the public policy polling or the reaction
to Ben Carson`s his statements. There`s a lot of bigotry in the Republican
base, or that this is essentially kind of symbolic answer that people give
pollsters because they`re
frustrated with Barack Obama or the status quo or liberals like myself.
SIDDIQUI: Well, look, the polling has shown consistently without
question, there is a vein within the Republican Party that has very
negative attitude towards Muslims. And a lot of this does stem from the
kind of conspiracy theories that Ben Carson is using as the basis of his
argument, conspiracy theories that were trumpeted in the last presidential
election too by Michele Bachmann, by Herman Cain, that there`s this secret
effort to try and bring sharia law to the United States, that the Muslim
Brotherhood is infiltrating the Obama administration as we heard last week
in the event with that there already training camps here in America where
Muslims are actually training to attack us here on American soil.
I mean, the party leaders have not actually silenced these voices and
they haven`t denounced these conspiracy theories, that`s what`s given the
fodder not just to the likes of Ben Carson but stoked the paranoia that
you`re seeing within the base.
HAYES: Yeah, I mean, and one of the things that I find most
remarkable about this is one of the most sort of explicitly not theocratic
but someone who seems
the most ambiguous and ambivalent about the relationship between the
constitution and the bible is himself Ben Carson who when asked a question
about the supremacy of each of those documents sort of equivocated. He now
is turning around and saying well you wouldn`t want someone who is
theocratic, you wouldn`t want someone who puts their faith supremely over
the constitution even going so far and this is something you see from folks
criticizing Islam talking about well, Islam doesn`t treat gays well. This
is someone himself who wants second class citizenship for gay Americans.
So, it`s a pretty head-spinning thing to watch unfold.
Sabrina Siddiqui, thank you so much.
SIDDIQUI: Thank you.
HAYES: All right coming up, Volkswagen is caught intentionally
engineering their clean diesel cars to trick emissions tests so they seem
clear than they actually are. It`s an amazing story and that`s next.
HAYES: Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the pope and the 2016
election, it`s very easy to lose sight of the fact that we may be looking
at what might be the largest systemic corporate fraud in the history of the
global corporation, a crime scene affecting cars on roads around the world.
Under pressure from the APA, Volkswagen has admitted that their clean
diesel cars have been systematically proactively engineered to deceive
emissions testing. Those cars actually spewing out far dirtier emissions
than they were registering on those tests.
This was an intentional design engineering choice involving type EA
189 engines two liter engines. The original disclosure involved about
500,000 cars in the U.S., and that was bad for Volkswagen. Their stock
plummeted, the Justice Department conducting criminal a investigation. New
York`s attorney general
opening his own investigation, a congressional House committee holding
But then it got worse because. You see, because it wasn`t just
500,000 cars in the U.S, no, it was 22 times that amount. Yes, Volkswagen
admitting the deception involves some 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Company is setting aside the equivalent of half a year`s profit, 6.5
billion euros or about $7.3 billion to cover the expected costs of this
And here`s the kicker, this was not some ancillary feature of the car,
the entire selling point of these diesel engine vehicles in the U.S. was
that they were
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s beautiful, but aren`t diesels dirty.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, that`s true.
Oh, that used to be dirty. This is 2015.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, no, listen to me, Terry (ph) diesel
in Latin means dirty.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll prove it to you. You`re going to ruin your
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look what she`s doing.
UNIDENIFIED FEMALE: See how clean it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not dirty but you still have a dirty mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Both Volkswagen American`s CEO and Volkswagen`s worldwide
chief executive have apologized and vowed to uncover what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in my German words, we have totally screwed
up. We must fix those cars, because we prevent this from ever happening
again and we have to make things right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Tony Dokoupil, MSNBC national reporter, host
Greenhouse on Shift. You`ve been doing great work on this.
OK, here`s the thing, corporations cover stuff up all the time. There
was Vioxx, there was the GM ignition thing, even tobacco companies with,
you know, link to cancer. They discover a bug, they cover it up. This is
TONY DOKOUPIL, MSNBC: This is different. Typically companies find a
defect and then they lack the courage to acknowledge it and fix the
This is actually an abundance of courage. In 2009, Volkswagen was
to get into the U.S. market. It was trying to beat Toyota. Emission
standards come down. And at some point, the company made a decision. They
said we can make a fun car or we can make a legal car. And we`re going to
choose through this device to make the fun car and screw the emission
If you`re a republican, if you think the EPA goes too far and stuff
like this, this is almost like a heroic act by Volkswagen. They got in a
room, and they came up with a cheating machine, they didn`t move numbers
around, a machine that beats federal regulators in Washington.
HAYES: Because they basically say look, we`ve got this diesel car.
And it`s got great pickup. And we want people to have the vroom of the
diesel, right, but everyone knows diesel is dirtier, right, so they come up
with this thing, they go, clean diesel. I remember looking at this car. I
was going to buy this car, OK. I was looking at buying this car. And you
read all the stuff on the website. They`re like, no, no, no everything you
know about diesel is wrong.
And it turns out they had software implanted to fool the emissions
testers. They had to actively decide to do this.
DOKOUPIL: Oh yeah, this is not an accident. This is – guys got in a
room, the smartest engineers they had, and they had to design a cheating
machine. We`re used to accounting fraud, financial fraud, move some
numbers around, make something up on a computer. This is a device
constructed in the headquarters of Volkswagen to deceive on a mass scale,
and particularly to deceive the EPA, which is going farther than any other
regulatory body in the world to try to knock down these terrible chemicals
which do terrible things to people.
HAYES: OK. So, how does this get discovered?
DOKOUPIL: It gets discovered in a great way. So, it`s like they
almost got away with it last year. Was Volkswagen`s most profitable year.
The CEO came on one year before this scandal erupts. He`s doing great.
HAYES: People love these clean Diesel cars.
DOKOUPIL: They love them.
The review is coming up at the end of the month and then this chain of
events happens out of Europe.
Former EPA officials are doing some tests on diesel engines out there.
One thing leads to another, they team up with guys at West Virginia
University, California regulators hear about it and they bust Volkswagen.
Volkswagen tries to deny it for a year compounding the problem, right.
They don`t just admit it.
HAYES: So, they`re confronted and they say wait a second, wait a
second. It looks like you`ve got something going on inside your car
software wise that is essentially masking the severity of the emissions.
DOKOUPIL: Right. So, California regulators did a baseline test and
they said, wow, the cars look great and then West Virginia researchers did
a road test and they`re like, oh, that`s weird, 40 times more pollution
comes out when the car`s on the road than when the car is in the federal
HAYES: Wait a second, 40 times?
DOKOUPIL: 40 times more – up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide, which
is a major component of smog which causes bronchitis and emphysema. This
case in a way reminds me of the salmonella peanut butter case. You know,
that guy got 28 years. We might see criminal charges here.
They knowingly put on the road something that pollutes, puts a
dangerous chemical into the air. That is courage. It`s not a lack of
HAYES: What is going to happen next? I mean, can you recall 11
DOKOUPIL: They have to make a plane. They have about a year before
the EPA is going to start pressing them. The big question is how much
money piles up here? You know, they`re on the hook for up to $18 billion
from the EPA alone. There`s also going to be a Justice Department probe.
They`ll face a criminal fine. Individuals may go to jail here. The
Justice Department has been saying we`re not just going to get you the
company. We`re going to get specific people.
HAYES: Unreal. We`re going to continue to monitor this. Tony
Dokoupil, thanks a lot.
DOKOUPIL: Thank you very much.
HAYES: Still ahead, more from my interview with Bernie Sanders.
HAYES: In many ways so far the 2016 presidential campaign has been
focused on the distaste and mistrust voters have for Washington, for
Washington insiders, a shorthand for the city and the messy sometimes
corrupt and venal political system that gives Americans the impression that
D.C. is this den of iniquity filled with
amoral climbers and self-dealers.
And while there`s more than a kernel of truth to that – I`ve seen it
firsthand – the stereotype ignores the legions of bright,
exceptional, committed individuals who go to the nation`s capital to work
hard to try to make our country a more perfect union.
And one of the most exceptional examples of those kinds of individuals
was Jake Brewer, a White House staffer who served as a senior technology
adviser. Brewer spent his career trying to use the tools of technology to
make our democracy more humane and more accountable, more transparent. He
was a true believer, a
perpetual troublemaker in the best sense, and it is why is it was something
of a miracle that he was working in the White House itself.
Before working at the White House, Brewer along, with journalist Jose
Antonio Vargas, co-founded Define America, an organization focused on
fixing our broken immigration system.
“Jose was the gay Filipino brother I never,” wrote Brewner in 2011,
“and I was the white American heartland brother he never had.”
This past Saturday Brewer`s life was tragically cut short when his
bike crashed in Maryland during a ride to raise money for cancer research.
Jake Brewer was only 34 years old.
In a statement, the president wrote simply put, “Jake was one of the
best. And those who worked with him and knew him agree.”
He leaves behind his wife, author and journalist Mary Katherine Ham, a
frequent contributor at Fox News, along with her 2-year-old daughter
a child on the way.
So, the next time you hear someone talking about how terrible
Washington is and all the people that work in it, do yourself a favor and
take a moment and remember Jake Brewer.
HAYES: Late breaking news tonight with the CEO of Turing
Pharmaceuticals, now infamous 32-year-old former hedge fund manager Martin
Shkreli announcing he is
reversing course after coming under tremendous criticism for raising the
price of a life saving drug 5,000 percent.
The drug Daraprim is used to treat an illness called toxoplasmosis,
which can hit people with HIV and cancer particularly hard.
After buying rights to the 62-year-old drug last month, Turing
Pharmaceuticals raised the price from $13.50 per pill up to $750 a pill
the total treatment cost from around $1,000 up to $63,000.
Daraprim costs can very little to make, and the massive price increase
prompted protests from infectious disease specialists and outrage online.
But Turing CEO Martin Shkreli was defiant in the face of widespread
criticism tweeting out Eminem lyrics about giving the media the middle
finger, feuding with online critics and calling a journalist who questioned
him a moron.
In a series of interviews, Shkreli said profits from Daraprim would
pay for development of a new and improved version of the drug even though
doctors said the current version worked just fine. He also argued new, much
higher price point wasn`t actually so bad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SHKRELI, CEO OF TURING PHARMACEUTICALS: The companies before
actually just giving it away almost. The price per course of treatment to
save your life was only $1,000. And we know these days modern
pharmaceuticals, cancer drugs can cost $100,000 or more, where as these
drugs can cost half a million dollars.
Daraprim is still underpriced relative to its peers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, with growing criticism, Shkreli backed down telling
NBC News he would lower the price of the dug.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHKRELI: It`s very easy to see a large drug price increase and say,
gosh, those people must be gouging. But when you find out that the company
is not really making any money, what does that mean? It`s easy to want to
villainize people, and obviously we`re in an election cycle where this is a
very tough topic for people and it`s very sensitive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Skreli`s reversal comes just hours after Hillary Clinton, who
announced a new plan to lower prescription drug costs, accused Turing
Pharmaceuticals from engaging in price gouging of desperate people.
And it`s not just Clinton, when we come back, my interview with Bernie
Sanders on his efforts to reign in drug prices, which began long before
this story broke. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: And joining me now Democratic presidential candidate Senator
Senator Sanders, Martin Shkreli, who is the former hedge fund titan
who made a lot of news with this price increase just a few days ago, just
announced that he
is reversing course. He`s going to lower the cost of Daraprim. We don`t
know back down to what. What`s your reaction to the news?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Obviously what these guys do is so
outrageous when it gets into the public eye and people perceive these huge,
increases in medicine that people desperately need, these guys have got to
What we have right now, Chris in the whole pharmaceutical industry is
nothing less than an outrage. Our people are paying the highest prices in
the world for
prescription drugs. You had it the three top companies making $45 billion
profits last year. And the industry spends something like $250 million
last year in lobbying and campaign contributions.
These guys get away with murder. It`s time we stopped them.
HAYES: So there`s this trend happening that this is one part of,
right? Which is drugs that are older drugs and out of patent – this isn`t
a patent issue. Other sort of secondary buyers coming in, buying a kind of
monopoly of the distribution channels and then jacking up prices.
This is something that you and Elijah Cummings have been looking at
and working on legislatively. What is the solution?
SANDERS: Well, the solution is for the government basically to step
in and say excuse me, unless there is a rational reason, like you cannot
get the compounds and the substances you need to make the drugs, you just
cannot jack up the price to any level that you want. And there are a
number of mechanisms we have that we can deal with.
But bottom line here is, what we have got to do are several basic
things. Number one, Medicare Part D needs to negotiate prescription drug
prices with the pharmaceutical industry. The Veterans Administration does
it. Medicare doesn`t. That is pretty crazy.
Second of all, as somebody who is not a great fan as you know, of
unfettered free trade, it is amazing to me why we can bring lettuce and
tomatoes in from Mexico but distributors and pharmacists can`t bring in low
cost prescription drugs from other countries around the world. That`s
pretty crazy and just speaks to the power of the pharmaceutical industry.
We move forward in those two areas, we will substantially lower
prescription drugs for the American people.
HAYES: So I just want to be clear, those two methods that you just
noted of lowering prices overall, this is bulk negotiation for Medicare
Part D, which is a huge drug buyer and easing restrictions on importation
of cheaper drugs, the third one – the first one you said was the
government stepping in and saying you can`t
do this. I mean, pharmaceutical companies, other people say, well, that`s
not the way America works, right. I mean, we`ve got a free market. I can
charge whatever the market will bear. What`s wrong with that?
SANDERS: Well, what`s wrong with that, one – listen to this – out
of five patients in this country who gets a prescription from a physician
can`t afford to fill it. So you get people who get sicker end up in the
hospital because they can`t take the medicine, can`t afford the medicine
they need. And this includes cancer patients.
You know, there have been oncologists now signing letters saying we
can`t treat our patients. So, if you`re talking about human health and at
the end of the
day, if you`re talking about trying to control high health care costs, of
course, we`ve got to regulate the price of drugs.
Every other major country on Earth does it. We don`t. That has got
HAYES: There were a lot of reports when the Affordable Care Act was
being crafted about all the back channel communication between the White
House, the bill`s sponsors in congress and big pharma, essentially finding
ways to bring pharma to the table to make sure they would not oppose the
bill, because they saw it as a death blow politically.
Is this the cost of that essentially? I mean, do you think pharma got
scot-free in Obamacare and that`s what we`re seeing now?
SANDERS: What you described to the best of my knowledge is in fact
what happened. But this goes way beyond the Affordable Care Act. Back in
1999, Chris, I was the first member of the congress, I was in the House
then, to take
Americans over the Canadian border and they were women mostly who had
issues, suffering from breast cancer. They bought drugs that they needed
Canada for one tenth the price that they had to pay in Vermont and in
Do this has gone on for a long time.
Let me be clear, pharmaceutical industry, maybe along with Wall
Street, is the most powerful lobbying force in Washington. They never
lose. They never lose. And that is why our people are paying outrageously
And we need to bring the people together and say sorry, this has got
HAYES: Pharmaceutical companies will make this the following
argument, and you see this all the time, in fact, Mr. Shkeli made this
argument about Daraprim, which is basically we take our margins, we sink it
back to R&D. We have the most innovative R&D pharmaceuticals here in the
U.S. Everyone else is essentially drafting off that innovation. That`s
why they can offer lower prices.
What`s your response to that?
SANDERS: Well, my response is among other things, they spend more
marketing and advertising than they do on research and development.
Second of all – and one of the aspects, one of the things in my bill
demands this, we really don`t know what they mean by research and
development. You`re thinking, oh, they`re working on cancer and
schizophrenia. That is not necessarily the case. It could be a me too
drug that is in every sense similar to a previous drug. We don`t know what
they spend their money on.
We do know that they are enormously profitable, spend a fortune on
lobbying, and campaign contributions.
HAYES: All right, Bernie Sanders. Thank you very much.
That is All In. The Rachel Maddow show starts now. Good evening,
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