All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 11/23/2016
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 23, 2016
Guest: Jason Johnson, Randi Weingarten, Tim Carney, Nina Turner, Michelle
Goldberg, Rula Jebreal
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I become president,
I couldn`t care less about my company. It`s peanuts.
HAYES: The historically unprecedented opportunity for self-dealing with a
businessman as president.
TRUMP: In theory, I can be President of the United States and run my
business 100 percent.
HAYES: Plus, the latest cabinet picks, a governor for the U.N., a school
voucher advocate for education, and Dr. Ben Carson under consideration for
BEN CARSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I know that I grew up in the inner city and
have spent a lot of time there.
HAYES: Then, the prospects for minority rule as Clinton passes a 2 million
popular vote lead. The fight between the president and progressives for
the Democratic Party, and fact-checking Donald Trump`s latest tilt at
TRUMP: The wind is a very deceiving thing. We don`t make the windmills in
the United States.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In his interview
with The New York Times yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump described
the type of people he wants to work in his administration, quote, “We`re
trying very hard to get the best people. Not necessarily people that will
be the most politically correct people, because that hasn`t been working.
So we have really experts in the field. Some are known and some are not
known, but they`re known within their field as being the best. That`s very
important to me.” So, Trump says it`s very important to get experts in
their field, people known to be the best. That is what he told The New
Here`s what he did today, Trump tapped as his Ambassador to the United
Nations, someone with virtually no experience in international diplomacy,
South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who said in the statement
that she had accepted the position, out of quote, “A sense of duty.” Haley
was long critical to Trump, even urging republicans to reject him at the
GOP response to the State of the Union Address earlier this year. Trump,
of course, as is want hit back, tweeting in March, quote, “The people of
South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!” The appointment of Haley,
the daughter of Indian immigrants, will help Trump quiet critics who noted
the first five picks for his top jobs in his administration were white men.
It`s also a gift to one of Trump`s most loyal backers.
South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster, who nominated Trump for
president at the Republican National Convention and who will now be
promoted to governor, not a bad career break for him. Yesterday, Trump
tweeted that he was quote, “Seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the
head of HUD, Department of Housing and Urban Development.” Today, Carson
suggested Trump had made the offer, writing on Facebook that an
announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great
again. There has been no announcement yet, but the Carson campaign is now
knocking down reports Carson has accepted the position. But, if Trump were
to tap Carson for HUD, it would be a pretty remarkable choice and not just
because Trump once compared Carson, quote, “Pathological temperament to
that of a child molester.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t want a person who`s got pathological disease. I don`t want
it. No, I`m not saying he`s got, he said it. This isn`t something that
I`m saying, “Oh, he`s a pathological liar, he got – I`m not saying it. He
said he`s got pathological disease.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: They all worked that out. But much like Nikki Haley, Carson a
retired neurosurgeon has zero relevant experience to the job Trump is
eyeing him for, in fact, he was pressed on yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO HOST: What would steer
you to take a job for which a lot of folks say, “Hey, you have these ample
medical degrees and one of the nation`s top neurosurgeons, what do you know
about doing this?”
CARSON: Well, I know that I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot
of time there and have dealt with a lot of patients of from that area, and
recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As having spent time in the, quote, “Inner cities”, you growing up
there, qualifies Carson to HUD, there are literally millions of people who
are equally qualified for the job. And then there`s this, crucially, last
week, when reports surfaced that Carson was being considered to become
Secretary of Health and Human Services, his business manager, Armstrong
Williams, who tends to sort of speak for him, told NBC News that Carson
simply doesn`t have the experience to run a federal bureaucracy, and
believes it would be, and I`m quoting here, a “Disservice to try to do so.”
Williams added in the interview with The Hill, quote, “The last thing he
would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
Despite that, Carson could soon lead an agency with 8,400 employees of
budget of $48.9 million, one that enforces fair housing laws or doesn`t
sometimes, and overseas funding for 1.2 million household and public
housing among many, many more responsibilities.
Joining me now, our Morgan State University Professor, Jason Johnson,
Politics Editor for The Root; and MSNBC Contributor Josh Barro, Senior
Editor Business Insider. Jason, I`ll start with you. I got to say like,
you know, this feels like he was maybe going to get HHS, his own
spokesperson says he is not qualified to run a federal agency, and now,
he`s being floated for HUD, which just seems like a blatant humiliation of
the department, frankly.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR FOR THE ROOT AND MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
PROFESSOR: You know, Chris, I have to go back to last fall when Ben Carson
cared so much about his campaign that he took two weeks off to go on a book
tour, this is not a man who has ever cared about being president. This is
not a man who has ever cared about government. This is a man who earlier
this campaign season said, “Well I`m kind of endorsing Trump because he
offered me the best deal.” He`s grotesquely unqualified for this position,
it is an embarrassment that he would possibly accept it. But I think even
more problematic is, this also speaks to the mind of Donald Trump. Well,
let me just stick the black guy over in housing and urban development,
regardless of what his actual skill set may happen to be. But I guess
that`s fitting for someone who picked a white supremacist to be his senior
HAYES: Josh, you - you know, one of the things here I`ve actually - I know
a lot of people in the housing world, OK, that`s sort of world I`m familiar
with. And in weird - in a weird way, I think there`s this fear - there`s
this idea that like, maybe we better have Carson who doesn`t know anything
and has no qualifications than someone who is super qualified to destroy
public housing or to like wage war on the department.
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR AND SENIOR EDITOR BUSINESS INSIDER: Maybe,
although the thing I find weird about this, is Frank Trump made his
fortune, building, subsidized, middle class housing. Donald Trump
complained In “The Art of the Deal” about the withering away of federal
subsidies for apartment construction. It doesn`t - I actually would not –
HAYES: You can imagine if anyone can actually find someone they know who`s
competent and qualified for the job, it would be the first real estate
developer president in history.
BARRO: Right, exactly. And then the other thing is, I would not expect
Donald Trump of all people to think of HUD as a through away department.
HUD does all sort of things related to housing, it`s not just managing
housing projects. I would think that Donald Trump would think that this
was an important position and one that he -
HAYES: It is an important position.
BARRO: It is but I would also expect him to think that it is. There are
other things that are important that I would say he wouldn`t care about. I
find this weird, I want to wait and see if he actually gets named for it.
And then the other thing is, I wonder if he would get confirmed if he was
named because –
HAYES: I think he would have a problem.
BARRO: He`s so obviously unqualified, and then the other this is, if
you`re a republican senator, think a lot of these senators resent people
like Ben Carson who run these scam campaigns. That, I mean, especially
resent to Donald Trump who then won the nomination with one.
HAYES: And is going to be President of the United States.
BARRO: Right, exactly. So, I mean, if you`re - if you`re one of - if
you`re Ben Sasse or some other republican senator who doesn`t care for
Donald Trump and doesn`t care for the certification of the Republican
Party, this seems like a place where you might just vote no on the
HAYES: Jason, in the Nikki Haley pick, which again, I mean, you know, in
the - in the category of plausible republicans to take positions in an
administration doesn`t seem like a terrible pick. She`s a republican, she
has some experience, but also, just a little out of nowhere from the
experiential standpoint, and I love the fact that this is a huge promotion
for one of his earliest backers who now gets to take the throne.
JOHNSON: Yeah, it`s amazing. President-elect Trump has managed to pay off
so many different people already in two weeks of being made President-
elect. This is - this is what I think is really important and somewhat
problematic about Nikki Haley. It`s not just that she has absolutely no
international experience, one way or another, she`s had a few meetings with
sort of Indian business people, you know, giving her family connections.
But it`s not as if she even has a large amount of foreign investment as
governor in South Carolina. She knows nothing about this particular area
she`s being put in. And given the fact that Donald Trump was pretty much
said, “I want to tear up NATO. I want to get rid of the Iran - the Iran
deal. I want to get out of the Paris agreement.” It actually would matter
to have someone at the U.N. who knows the job.
HAYES: Yes, I mean – or given the fact that I think it is not and I don`t
- I do not think it is an overstatement to say in many ways the world feels
as unstable and precarious right now as at any time in the last 60 years.
I mean, and the U.N. is a key body to navigate that in.
BARRO: Yeah, although, I mean, I`m trying to prioritize my outrage over
HAYES: Yeah, sure. Yes.
HAYES: Like John Bolton.
BARRO: Right, exactly. You could have someone who knew a lot about
foreign policy when -
HAYES: Who is also -
BARRO: – ideas about it. My sense is that - is that -
HAYES: That`s right.
BARRO: – Nikki Haley is sort of within the mainstream of the Republican
Party. She seems to be a smart talented person who - I mean, South
Carolina has an especially nasty politics that she has navigated and I
would say, diplomatic way, that suggesting that she might have at least
have a raw skill set that would differ at the U.N. even if she doesn`t have
direct foreign relations experience. As for why she`d want the job, I
assume she - I mean, Nicky Haley probably wants to run for president. She
doesn`t have any foreign policy experience to take this job – she will
have foreign policy experience.
HAYES: You know, you have a – I want to – before we leave, I want you –
there was someone floated for treasury today, that you were freaking out
HAYES: Someone white, sort of, vaguely familiar with.
BARRO: His name is John Allison. He was the former CEO of the regional
bank BB&T. He also used to run the libertarian Cato Institute think tank.
John Allison is a real libertarian ideologue on banking, we`ll get rid of
the - of the FBI (INAUDIBLE), get rid of the Federal Reserve. Get rid of
most bank regulation –
HAYES: It would rid of deposit insurance, just to be clear.
BARRO: Yes. On the other hand, he says that banks should be required to
have much more capital with much less leverage. He says, you know, get rid
of all these complex rules, just make them have lots more cash. And so the
– I think it would be quite a bad pick. He seems like a sort of person
who would have told the president in 2008, “Just let it all fail.”
HAYES: Let it all fail, yeah.
BARRO: On the other hand, I think that Wall Street would not like his
BARRO: So, my hope is that there would be a coalition of republicans and
democrats that would kill the nomination if he were put in.
HAYES: The term we have for that back in the era of depression is
BARRO: Yes, liquidate it all.
HAYES: Jason Johnson and Josh Barro, thanks to you both.
BARRO: Thank you.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Trump`s other big announcement today, was his choice to be the next
Secretary of Education, Koch Brothers aligned Republican mega-donor Betsy
DeVos, a hard-right conservative activist who heads up an advocacy group
focused on expanding charter schools and vouchers for private and religious
schools at the expense of traditional public education. Trump has proposed
spending $20 billion on so-called “School choice initiatives”, which
Politico reports, “Is almost as much as the country now invests in schools
serving poor kids and special education programs combined.”
DeVos has been described as the driving force behind the expansion of
school voucher programs in her home state of Michigan. And thanks in large
part of her efforts, Detroit. Now, with a higher share of students in
charter schools than any other city of any city other than New Orleans.
Those schools have far fewer regulations and charters in many other states,
and as New York Times reported in June, “Many Detroit students feel they
have lots of choice with no good choice, as half the charters perform only
as well or worse than Detroit`s traditional public schools.” Joining me
now, Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers. OK.
Well, I`m guessing the AFT is not super psyched about this pick.
RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: No, I
mean, look, if Trump wanted somebody who was the big destroyer of public
education, that`s exactly what he got, and that`s what he look for, you
know, he says that he`s – there`s no regulation he likes and, frankly,
there`s no public that he likes. And, you know, we were concerned about
this when he raised the $20 billion because frankly, that is more money
than goes to every single poor kid from the federal government for
education in America right now, and it`s actually more money than goes to
every single special needs kid in America right now. So, at the end of the
day, what we see and is that he picked somebody who will destabilize or who
will attempt to destabilize and defund public schools.
HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. So – I mean, you represent the
teachers union, a large one, right. I mean, is there any one that a
republican president, if it were Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney or anyone else,
is there – can you imagine a republican president choosing a Secretary of
Education that you would be happy with?
WEINGARTEN: Yes. I mean –
HAYES: Really? Do you -
WEINGARTEN: – ultimately you can see a Secretary of Education that
actually came from a state because think about this, we created a coalition
with a lot of conservative groups including Lamar Alexander and John Kline
on the - on the change of Federal Education Policy to bring that policy
back to the local communities to let teachers and parents actually run
their own schools. And to make sure that the federal government did the
equity work but to let people actually focus on children not on testing.
And what we saw, Chris, is that in Detroit where I spent a lot of time this
year, the business community, the faith community, the labor community,
parents, teachers, the mayor, we all came together on a rescue plan for
Detroit schools, which passed the republican senate in Michigan.
The one person who hated it was Betsy DeVos. And she spent $1.4 million –
think about draining the swamp in about six weeks to stop that plan. The
labor rights continued. What did she want to stop? That plan required
charters to be accountable, that plan require charters to plan the same
playing field and require the same things for kids as public schools. She
wanted none of it and that`s why she stopped it.
HAYES: She is also someone - I mean, this is in some ways the first pick
that`s the most connected to the kind of Koch Brothers billionaire donor
class, ideological wing of the republican movement. I mean –
HAYES: – they give lots of money, they are very – she`s very clear about
the fact that they would like to get rid of public education. They should
call it government education, I mean, this is a very hard-edged agenda.
WEINGARTEN: And they don`t, and this is what`s so ironic because remember
Donald Trump last few weeks said, “Drain the swamp, drain the swamp.” This
is someone who uses her money to buy influence. Let me give you a quote.
“I know a little something about soft money as my family is the largest
single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. I have
decided now to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying
influence. Now I simply concede the point.” That is who she is. And what
she`s peddling are things that for 25 years, hasn`t worked. We have had
voucher plans for 25 years. What they have done is drained funding out of
public schools. 31 states pay less for public schools than they did before
the recession and then these cities, this drains money and it doesn`t help
HAYES: In an era in which - in an era in which Arne Duncan was at the
Department of Education for a long time in which putatively center-left
think tanks have gotten behind charter schools, in which many liberals have
endorsed charter schools. Is the ideological difference between what she
represents and say, what Arne Duncan represented, that large?
WEINGARTEN: Yes, because there is a difference between having charters –
look, I don`t like what Arne did about testing.
HAYES: Yes, you guys are very critical.
WEINGARTEN: – about things and about trying to make, as you heard me say,
common core, make it about testing as opposed to about teaching. There are
a lot of excesses that were reined in in the new Federal-Aid Policy. I
gave the president a lot of credit because he saw the excesses and he
worked at it. But this is the difference, Arne Duncan never wanted to
destabilize and defund the schools and use vouchers and charters that way.
I run a charter in the South Bronx. We have a 100 percent graduation rate.
It`s a union-represented charter. It got one of these new Blue Ribbon
WEINGARTEN: The point is charters were supposed to have a role in a bigger
system to help ensure that all kids get a descent education.
HAYES: Right. As opposed to replace. Randi Weingarten, thanks for your
time. I appreciate it.
WEINGARTEN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Coming up, only two weeks in Donald Trump`s time as
president-elect, there are already ominous signs about his potential
conflicts of interest including his own suggestion he could run his
business from the Oval Office. He actually said that. What this means to
the country, after this break.
HAYES: To whom does he owe money? To whom does he owe favors? With whom
is he secretly partnered? Who is holding an economic gun to his head as he
is poised to potentially become the single most powerful person in the
world? We don`t know his creditors, his sources of income, his potential
conflicts of interest. We don`t know the things that really matter, and we
aren`t going to know.
One of the things we said on this show during the campaign repeatedly and
kept stressing, was that people, the media, political world were generally
underappreciating the scope of possible conflicts of interest should Donald
Trump actually become president and allow his children to run his real
estate empire as he claimed he would.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have Ivanka and Eric and Don sitting there. Run the company,
kids, have a good time. I`m going to do it for America, OK? So, I would -
I would be willing to go.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NEWS MORNINGS WITH MARIA HOST: So, you`ll
put your assets in a blind trust?
TRUMP: I would put it in a blind trust. Well, I don`t know if it`s a
blind trust if Ivanka, Don, and Eric run it. But is that a blind trust? I
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Again, no, that is not a blind trust. In his first interview after
winning the election, Trump indicated his business was peanuts compared to
the big league importance of running the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is big league stuff. This is - this is our country. Our
country is going bad. We`re going to save our country. I don`t care about
hotel occupancy. It`s peanuts compared to what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But now, in an interview with The New York Times, here`s Trump
himself, essentially bragging that he could run his business out of the
Oval Office if he wanted to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: According to the law, see I figured there`s something where you put
something in this massive trust, and there`s also – nothing is written.
In other words, in theory, I could be President of the United States and
run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business. I could run my
business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly. And there was
never – there`s never been a case like this where somebody`s had - like,
if you look at other people of wealth, they didn`t have this kind of asset
and this kind of wealth, frankly. I mean, it`s just a different thing.
But there is no – I assumed that you`d have to set up some type of trust
or whatever and you know. And I was actually a little bit surprised to see
So, in theory, I don`t have to do anything. But I would like to do
something. I would like to try and formalize something, because I don`t
care about my business. So, I don`t have to do anything, but I want to do
something if I can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The totally historically unprecedented opportunity as Trump notes,
first the corruption or hypocrisy in self-dealing that comes from having a
president with such a large business enterprise is now here. Joining me
now, Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist of Washington Examiner whose
latest piece is titled “Trump`s Conflicts will be Crippling”.
And Tim, interesting to me because I feel like this is something that is
not really ideological in any real sense. It`s not about Obamacare repeal,
it`s not about public education, it`s just about whether you can trust that
the president is doing the people`s business and not Trump org`s business.
TIM CARNEY, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST OF WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, and
this is right. So, you can posit Trump as some evil guy who`s in this just
to get himself even richer, but that`s totally unnecessary. The normal
measure we use when measure - when looking at these things, a conflict of
interest, do their financial interests and their supposed serving of the
national interests, does that conflict? And obviously, yes. And even if
it happens on a subconscious level, that`s something we have to be worried
about. The example I used in my Examiner column, was his tenant, the
industrial and commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world, and
it`s a state-owned enterprise by the communist government of China.
That`s a problem, because a lot of our foreign policy clashes with China
having these state-owned enterprises. So, even if he`s not trying to
enrich himself, the fact that he has one pull which is what his - where -
how his company would profit and another pull serving the public interest,
HAYES: Yeah. And it seems to me, you know, one of the things about this
that that example which I hadn`t even thought of, which is that bank is a
tenant in Trump Tower, I believe, right?
HAYES: They rent space. He collects checks from them as, you know, every
CARNEY: Every (INAUDIBLE)
HAYES: Right. Is that part of this also is that it just always seem - it
seems like if I were politically advising him and I wanted his agenda to
succeed, it does seem like something that`s going to be a pain. I mean, in
the same way that you saw before the election, a lot of people are saying
they`re going to have to shut down the Clinton Foundation, because whatever
you think of it, and I tended to think that the conflict stuff was
overblown, but the perception was real, you don`t want to deal with this
every day. And if I were advising President-elect Trump, I think I would
probably be telling him the same thing.
CARNEY: No, that`s exactly right. That Elijah Cummings and MSNBC are
going to come after Trump for every apparent conflict of interest.
HAYES: We care about the people`s business being done and conflicts, Tim.
CARNEY: And that it makes it easier for him to get done what he says he`ll
get done if he clears it away. And another part of it, I think, is Trump`s
personality. And this is the part that worries me. We know how sort of
impressionable he is, that a lot of people think, “Oh, he`s a hardline
right-winger. No, that`s all - that`s all bogus. He`s very
impressionable. And when you ask him, “Oh, what do you think of this
person, Chuck Schumer?” “Oh, well, Schumer was good when I had this real
estate deal and he helped me out (INAUDIBLE) how people treat him affects
how he sees them. We kind of laughed when George W. Bush said that he
looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and saw his soul.
CARNEY: Now, if Vladimir Putin or if Erdogan in Turkey or if somebody
treats one of his businesses well, is that all it takes to convince Trump
to say this person is a great person.
HAYES: Right. To curry favor, right.
CARNEY: That`s where I`m worried that Trump is very impressionable, even
with no bad intent, his businesses make him susceptible to that sort of
HAYES: You know, that`s a great point, too, because you don`t even have to
posit this sort of dark profit motive, right, that he`s going to use the
office to - for profit. All you have to say is if Erdogan starts steering
business or regulatory favors to Turkish properties or the same thing
happens in another place, right, does that essentially end up currying
state favor with the most powerful person in the world when they`re having
relations with that country?
CARNEY: No, and that`s right. And then you see it on a dozen other
levels, where the international stuff is the stuff that worries me. On the
domestic stuff, I think this is where my conservative free market stuff, I
think, clears up a lot of the corruption where you say if you`re not
handing out subsidies and that sort of thing, it`s not as big of a deal.
CARNEY: But on the global international stuff, those conflicts are always
HAYES: All right. Tim Carney, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate
CARNEY: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, a boorish real estate billionaire turned head of state.
Look, at the world leader who perhaps most resembles Donald Trump. How
that can be a preview of Trump`s style of governance. That`s coming up.
HAYES: Here`s something American voters maybe, probably, definitely should
have known about before the election. Wall Street Journal reported today
that Donald Trump, Jr. held talks on Syria with pro-Russian supporters at
an event in Paris on October 11th that focused in part on finding a way to
cooperate with Russia to end the war in Syria. Here`s the front page of
the think tank that hosted the event now proudly showing Don, Jr. with
founder Fabien Baussart who along with his wife has worked closely with
Russia and Syrian - in the Russian-Syrian conflict.
At the election, Baussart`s wife, Randa Kassis posted on Facebook, “There
is hope that Russia and the U.S. will reach accord on the issue of the
Syrian crisis because of Trump`s victory. Such hope and belief is the
result of my personal meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. in October. I
succeeded to pass Trump through the talks with his son, the idea of how we
could cooperate together.”
Now, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway confirmed Don, Jr. attended the
meeting but downplayed his interaction because he`s saying, “Don was
addressing a roundtable in Paris, and she was present for that talk and a
group dinner for 30 people.”
Now, the timing of this meeting matters. It took place just one week after
the U.S. suspended talks with Russia over the Syria ceasefire, and John
Kerry called for war crimes investigation of Russia and the Assad
government for bombing civilians and targeting hospitals in rebel-held
Aleppo, which the U.N. said resulted in at least 376 civilian deaths over
two weeks. So, it was just days after the U.S. called out Russia for
potential war crimes that Donald Trump, Jr. spoke with pro-Assad Russian
supporters. One of them wrote, “I succeeded to pass Trump, through the
talks with his son, the idea of how we can cooperate together.”
Last week, following Trump`s election, there were already signs of
involving Putin, airstrikes in Aleppo resumed as Russia begins new
offensive in Syria. We don`t normally expect that being a child of
nation`s future president is enough to qualify you for key matters of state
craft, not to mention if you`re running an international business that
might have interest in irrelevant countries, but, of course, we`re in a
whole different world now.
After the break, the world leader who may be most analogous to Trump, who
won three elections in Italy.
HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump came to power from business rather
than politics. He boasted to reporters yesterday that he, quote, be the
president of the United States and run my business 100 percent.
And we`ve learned his children, who will be directly running his
international business, and domestic business are reportedly conducting
statecraft by holding talks on Syria with Russian supporters, participating
in diplomatic meetings with foreign heads of state. It feels like America
has entered a new system of governments in just these last two weeks. But
if you`re looking for global comparisons, look no further than another
businessman turned politician: Italy`s Silvio Berlusconi. And as
Berlusconi himself said of Trump, quote, there are some obvious
Berlusconi is a billionaire who made his first fortune as a real estate
developer. As a politician he catered to the right and indulged in racist
and misogynistic rhetoric and his critics not only disagreed with him, but
saw him as categorically unfit to lead the country.
The end result, Berlusconi is Italy`s longest serving prime minister. He
served as prime minister for nine years until 2011when EU leaders forced
him to resign. And while the parallels are apt, there are some key
differences. For instance, while Trump seemed to steamroll the Republican
Party on his way to victory, Berlusconi literally founded his own political
party. Or perhaps the most crucial distinction here, as one writer Matt
Iglesias recently pointed out on Twitter, Berlusconi analogies compelling
in many ways, but Italy doesn`t have nuclear weapons and the U.S. doesn`t
have EU institutions as a check.
Joining me now from Rome, Rula Jebreal, professor of international affairs
at the American University of Rome. In a piece from September 2015
entitled Donald Trump is America`s Silvio Berlusconi she wrote it would be
a terrible mistake for America`s political establishment to dismiss Trump`s
populist appeal and presume him unelectable.
All right, Rula, start I think by explaining where you see the parallels is
most important between these two figures.
RULA JEBREAL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ROME: Hi, Chris. Thank you for
having me. First of all is, we see it all over the place. The conflict of
interest, the fact that they are not only
businessmen but they want to continue with their transactional way of doing
business even when they`re in office.
Trump and Berlusconi alike continue doing businesses even after they were
elected. Berlusconi had the parliament approve or tried to approve 13 laws
to help his business or to shield him from indictment. I mean, the smell
of corruption is all over the place since the moment Donald Trump was
elected. His daughters and his sons participated in meetings that he had
with dignitaries, heads of
states, let`s talk about the Japanese meeting, the Indian partner meeting,
even the phone call with Argentina president, where after the next day all
his businesses were approved and suddenly he had full access everywhere.
So, he`s not even trying to hide that he`s trying to enrich himself. I
think in The New York Times meeting that he had yesterday he said something
like, yeah, obviously his name is becoming hot. He used that word, meaning
we will do business all over the place.
The problem with that, governments around the world will smell corruption
and will think that actually the only way to please the president of the
United States is to allow his businesses to grow in their own country. So
you have the biggest case of conflict of interest, and I would say
HAYES: One of the things about Berlusconi who also mixed his official role
in business and
he ran a media empire essentially out of – as head of state, was also his
sort enduring popularity in
the face of both corruption scandals and all kinds of behavior – public
feuds with his wife, parties with sex workers, extremely crass and
offensive comments, all sorts of behavior that people thought would be
disqualifying, and yet he had an appeal that persisted past that. Talk
JEBREAL: It`s exactly what happened with Trump because anyone who looked
at what Trump was doing, he was deflecting from the real issues. We never
knew what his policies would be, what he would do regarding – we knew what
he would do to minorities, obviously that was appealing to certain hate
groups, and xenophobic and Islamphobic and these kind of groups. And I
would say neo-fascists who are using Trump as an avatar to get back into
power and exclude all the minorities.
On the other side, we never knew what he would do on the economic sides, or
what would he do about education and other – but his way we kept talking
about his insults to Megyn Kelly, to this and that and we basically fall
into the trap of talking about Trump all the time. He personified
politics, exactly like Berlusconi.
So the politics in Italy was, I would say, dominated by Berlusconi because
he was the center of politics. They kept talking about his scandals, his
insults, his gaffes here and there. And he kept giving them that and
basically he dominated Italian politics for so long because he decimated
the opposition, the opposition couldn`t come up with any formula to appeal
to the public opinion.
He sold the public opinion a dream – become rich like him and have
beautiful women around him. He even bragged about seducing some heads of
state who wasn`t good looking and he said that he
had to seduce and sacrifice himself. He used to say that he`s the Jesus
Christ of politics.
You know, trump is saying that he will create millions of jobs, this is
exactly what Berlusconi did. He promised to create millions of jobs.
By the time he left office, people were more poor and he didn`t create any
jobs. And the only person that got rich was himself. The problem with that
in America, I think sooner or later when reality will hit and it usually
hits, it`s like gravity. People will wake up to a disastrous foreign
disastrous economic policies and above all the smell of corruption all over
HAYES: All right. Rula Jebreal from Rome, thanks for joining us. I
Still to come, while Hillary Clinton`s popular vote lead continues to grow,
it highlights a major dilemma for the Democratic Party. I`ll explain
And tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You got all these windmills all over the place going, driving you
loco when you look at them, right?
The wind is very tough because those windmills are very, very expensive and
they kill the birds and they look very terrible.
The wind turbine that kills all the bald eagles all over – that`s OK with
The wind kills all your birds, all your birds killed.
Windmills are great but a lot of times the wind doesn`t blow, folks. And a
lot of times it`s killing
your eagles and your birds and you know, things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump has never been shy about sharing
his dislike for wind power. And he wasn`t about to start yesterday during
his on the record conversation with The New York Times. Instead, when
pressed about reports that he pushed an effort to keep off shore wind farms
away from one of his Scottish golf courses during a meeting with British
politician and Brexit instigator Nigel Farage, Trump pivoted away from the
question about a possible conflict of interest to criticize wind power
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Was I involved with the wind farms recently? Not that I know of.
I mean, I have a problem with wind…
MICHAEL BARBARO, NEW YORK TIMES: But you brought it up in the meeting,
TRUMP: I might have brought it up, not having to do with me, just, I mean,
the wind is a very deceiving thing. First of all, we don`t make the
windmills in the United States, they`re made in Germany and Japan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We don`t make the wind mills in the United States. An All In
America fact check is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: According to Donald Trump when it comes to renewable wind powered
energy, quote, “we don`t make the windmills in the United States.” That is
categorically untrue, and the reason we know it`s categorically untrue is
because two years ago as part of our all In America cities we literally
followed American made wind turbine blades from a North Dakota factory in a
wind farm in South Dakota. The technology to make the turbines came from
GE, an American corporation. Here`s some of what we reported back in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We invest in a lot of technology to be able to develop
new controls that allow you to operate the turbine in those conditions.
HAYES: Those designs are made into reality in factories like LM Wind Power
in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Business is good. The plant employs 630 workers and runs seven days a week
and they expect to produce 1,800 blades this year alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About six blades are coming out, sometimes five, are
every single day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last month GE announced plans to purchase LM Wind Power, which now
employs 960 people in Grand Forks, North Dakota. And LM Wind Power is not
alone. According to the wind energy association, 88 percent of the wind
power capacity installed in the U.S. during 2015 used a turbine
manufacturer with at least one U.S. manufacturing facility.
That`s exactly the kind of manufacturing jobs President-elect Trump has
vowed to save.
HAYES: In the two weeks since the election, electoral history is quietly
being made in precincts around the country. In some of the most populous
parts of the U.S., the counting of ballots goes on well past election day.
And as of today, Hillary Clinton`s popular vote margin now exceeds 2
million votes, that`s almost as big as the population of Houston, America`s
fourth largest city. As a share of the total vote, that translates to a
margin of 1.5 percent, a historic popular vote edge for a candidate who
lost the electoral college, and it`s much bigger than John F. Kennedy`s
winning margin over Richard Nixon in 1960 and bigger than Nixon`s margin
over Hubert Humphrey eight years later.
While Clinton`s loss initially looked like the result of a big drop in
turnout among Democratic voters, her overall vote total is now closing in
on President Obama`s from 2012. It`s a pretty unprecedented split between
the popular vote and the electoral college, the product of a highly
polarized electorate increasingly sorting itself along geographic line.
This is the standard electoral map showing which candidates won each
state`s electoral votes, Trump 290 to Clinton`s 228. Now compare that to
county courtesy of The New York Times, it`s a sea of red across most of the
country surrounded by a ring of blue along the outer edges and around
Now, many of those red areas got redder this year while the blue areas got
And check out this map showing how the vote changed from 2012 also from the
times. All those red arrows show where Donald Trump did better than Mitt
Romney. The longer the arrow, the more he outperformed. The blue arrows
show where Clinton outperformed Obama. There`s a lot more red than blue.
But Clinton made significant gains in metropolitan areas around the
country. For example, Harris County, Texas, which is home to Houston, in
2012, President Obama barely eked out a win in Harris, beating Obama by .08
percent. This year Clinton blew Trump out of the water by more than 12
points. Again, this isn`t Austin we`re talking about, it`s Houston: George
W. Bush country.
Now, geography is just one of the many ways the electorate divided itself
up in 2016, another corresponding one, identify the Brookings Institution,
economic activity. Clinton won fewer than 500 counties overall, but those
counties supplied 64 percent of America`s gross domestic product in 2015.
By contrast, Trump`s more than 2,600 countries produced just 36 percent of
The metropolitan areas Clinton won are where most of the new jobs in this
country are being generated. There are also where more people of color
tend to live, where new with immigrants often settle down, where college
graduates increasingly move after getting their degrees. More and more the
different lines of division in this country are mapping onto the same
geographic distribution we see in the map of election votes results by
What this means is that the overall demographic bet made by the Clinton
campaign was, in terms of sheer numbers, the correct one. There are more
Clinton voters in this country.
But in 2016, the demographic coalition is so geographically concentrated,
Clinton still lost the electoral college by at least 62 votes. And now
it`s up to the Democratic Party to figure out how to change that.
Up next, the fight for the future of the party.
HAYES: It is fair to say Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, now the
front-runner to be the chairman of Democratic National Committee with
public support from Chuck Schumer the incoming Senate minority leader and
from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, whom Ellison supported for
president during the primary.
But according to a report by The New York Times, Ellison may not have the
backing of the top Democrat in the country. The Times reports that
President Obama`s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Mr. Ellison have
begun casting about for an alternative, and setting off another battle in
the ongoing democratic civil war.
Joining me now, Mmichelle Goldberg, columnist at Slate and MSNBC political
analyst Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator.
And Nina, I would imagine the fact that you spent a lot of time in the
trail as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders and know Keith Ellison, you`re
behind his candidacy. My question is how you reacted to all these
anonymous quotes from the Obama circle basically saying he is not the man
for the job.
NINA TURNER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I`m surprised, Chris, that they`re
taking that kind of interest. Maybe I shouldn`t be surprised, because
Democrats have been losing ground in this country since 2010 and 2014 we
got handed both times. So I wished that the people who are listening to
such concern about the possible leadership of congressman Keith Ellison
would have had that same concern as Democrats has started to erode our
connection the people have been eroding, especially on the state level of
government and governor`s mansions.
HAYES: Yeah, I mean, Michelle, the point I just made about the map, it`s
such a crazy one to think about right, that like the Obama team put
together this incredible thing that no Democrat had done since FDR, which
was two consecutive elections with a majority of the country. It has been
since FDR. That`s an unbelievable, monumental…
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: And now we`ve had three consecutive elections
with the majority of the country.
HAYES: That`s right. It`s an unbelievable political achievement. And at
the same time, the Democratic Party at state level, state legislature,
state houses, and we saw in the electoral college in this race has
GOLDBERG: Well, right. I mean, part – this is because the geographic
sorting of the country is coupled with systems at both the state level and
obviously at the national level that completely – they`re completely
prejudiced against people who live in urban areas, right. There is over
representation of rural interests at a every single level of our
government. And it`s now kind of metastasized into a system in which a
rural minority is going to essentially rule the urban majority that has now
no say in their national government.
HAYES: But there is also the fact, Nina, that that is – that`s true
right. So, there`s this structural problem that is intersected with the
combination of the senate and the electoral college.
But there is also the fact that you got to build democratic power. I mean,
the job for this next chairman is build democratic power at the local
level, state house by state house, legislative district by legislative
district. And you`ve seen it up close in Ohio. I mean, it strikes me,
when you look at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, those three states. You
know, those are three states that elected
Republican governors in the great Tea Party backlash whose governors
hammered organized labor, who hammered the interests of the left, who did
everything they could do disempower, and look what that ended up producing
in this election.
TURNER: That`s right, Chris. And Democrats have to take some
responsibility for this there. Again, there`s an African proverb that says
that one should never build their shield on the battlefield. Well, it was
shield building time for the Democrats after 2010, and no party wants to
lose, but of all the times to lose, you lose right before the redrawing of
I was in the Ohio senate when we were redrawing those lines, and Democrats
again being decimated, because when it comes to the systemic ways in which
the power of politics work we have been losing elections. And so we have
to reconnect with the people so that we are elected to office so that we
are in those positions to make the difference.
HAYES: So what is the answer here, Nina? And I`ll come to you in a
You know, in some ways this is shaping up a sort of interesting proxy
battle in which like Sanders loses the primary but kind of wins the battle
for the party.
HAYES: Partly because I think people look around and think well, the
Clintons aren`t going
to run the Democratic Party. Obama is leaving. Bernie Sanders at least
had this kind of grassroots vision. But what exactly is that message, what
does that programatically mean?
TURNER: I mean, first it starts with making sure that we – you remember
the Republicans did an autopsy in 2012 that they didn`t really follow.
TURNER: But I`m hoping that the Democratic Party will do an autopsy in
2016 to figure out what went wrong, how it went wrong, and how we can
recapture, have robust conversations is have the coming to Jesus meeting
and it`s making sure we never lose sight of the grassroots and that when
people outcry, especially about the income and wealth inequality in this
country that disproportionately hurts people of color, but don`t forget
about our poor white sisters and brothers too that when they say they`re
hurting, we got to say we get it and not tell them that they`re nuts.
And we`ve got to listen more, Chris. I think that is the beginning of this
change is to listen to the people.
HAYES: It`s interesting she mentions the autopsy. What do you want the
GOLDBERG: Oh, I just wanted to say that although it`s a proxy war, I
actually think that Keith
Ellison is perfectly positioned to bridge at least part of that gap.
HAYES: Yeah, I agree.
GOLDBERG: Because on the one hand, you have Bernie Sanders out there
saying the Democrats need to ditch identity politics.
HAYES: He didn`t quite say that.
TURNER: He didn`t say it that way. He didn`t mean it that way.
GOLDBERG: I think that there is a fear among some people that in this
move, that kind of a curly class-based politics will throw women and people
of color under the bus in this attempt to win back the culturally
conservative white working class. And I just Keith Ellison on the one
hand, he has the Sanders movement behind him, but he also is never going to
work with Donald Trump.
GOLDBERG: Right. He is as invested in the resistance as anybody in this
country who – you know, his – I think that he will never, ever forget
that Donald Trump is an existential threat to his future in this country.
And so he is not going to be a deal maker, he is someone who is, again, he
is going – I think would approach this job as leader of the resistance.
HAYES: Yeah, it is interesting that he does – he is the sort of the
middle of a lot of Vinn diagrams, which is part of why that Times story was
fascinating to me, because I thought, oh OK, we`re seeing all these
different parts of the Democratic coalition come together behind
Congressman Ellison, and now maybe a little bit of a wrench in the works.
Michelle Goldberg and Nina Turner, thank you very much.
All right that is ALL IN for this evening. I hope all of you have a
wonderful Thanksgiving. And, you know, everyone, let`s try to be good to
each other. OK.
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