All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/24/2017 Spicer Out, Scaramucci In
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: July 24, 2017
Guest: Jennifer Rubin, Evan McMullin, Chris Murphy
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: - from harm`s way. If it comes to it, he
will test his constitutional prerogative to do the same for himself and no
one can say with certainty what Trump will do next yet to say that he will
do what is necessary to keep him in the White House is a slam dunk. And
that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris
Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
JARED KUSHNER, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S SENIOR ADVISER: Let me be very clear. I
did not collude with Russia.
HAYES: Denials on the White House drive way.
KUSHNER: I had no improper contacts.
HAYES: What the President`s son-in-law just confirmed about his Russia
dealings. And Congressman Eric Swalwell on what he plans to ask Kushner
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, should Jeff Sessions resign?
HAYES: Is the President about to fire his Attorney General?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: How do you take a
job and then recuse yourself?
HAYES: New speculation on a possible replacement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who you are!
HAYES: A new questions about pardon power.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He brought that
up. He said - but he doesn`t have to be pardoned.
HAYES: And the countdown to confusion.
TRUMP: For the past 17 years, ObamaCare has wreaked havoc.
HAYES: The unprecedented deception and deflection as Republicans prepare
it take a health care vote that no one can explain.
TRUMP: The first rule of medicine is, do no harm.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today, multiple
reports that people within the President`s inner circle are considering
firing the Attorney General. That reporting comes amid an increasingly
strange barrage of public utterances by the President himself. Washington
Post reporting just within the last hour that President Trump and his
advisers are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney
General Jeff Sessions and some confidants are floating prospects of who
could take his place where he would resign or be fired according to people
familiar with the talks. Members of Trump`s inner circle including White
House officials have increasingly raised the question among themselves in
recent days as the President has continued to vent his frustration with the
Attorney General, the people said. Today the President`s new Press
Secretary was asked about Session`s appearance today at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are some reports that he was at the white house
today. Can you share any information about that?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Sure. I can
confirm he was at the White House but he did not meet with the President
while he was there today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sanders confirming Sessions with a was indeed at the White House
today. That assertion coming after new White House Communication Director,
Anthony Scaramucci, seen in the background of that shot reportedly said,
President Trump and Sessions and I quote here, need to speak and determine
what the future of the relationship looks like. The regret President Trump
expressed last to New York Times about his Attorney General was quickly
followed by a Washington Post report that during the campaign, Sessions had
indeed discussed campaign-related matters with the Russian Ambassador
Sergey Kislyak according to U.S. intelligent intercepts of Kislyak. That
contradicts quite squarely Sessions` public statements about those very
same conversations. Then this weekend, President Trump weighed in again
tweeting, “So why aren`t the Committees and Investigators and our, of
course, beleaguered AG looking into crooked Hillary`s crimes and Russia
relations.” Note, no such Hillary Clinton and Russia relations crimes
exist. And earlier today, and at a photo op with outgoing White House
interns, the President was again asked about his Attorney General.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, should Jeff Sessions resign?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Washington Post also reported that one person close to Trump said
the President asked him about how firing Sessions would play in the
conservative media and the names being considered his replacements are
reportedly Senator Ted Cruz and Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Earlier today, Giuliani told CNN, there is no truth to a similar report
that he was under consideration and crucially he defended Sessions saying
Sessions was right to recuse himself. I`m joined now by Democratic
Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, Member of the House Intelligence
Committee. Congressman, your reaction to the notion the President may
indeed fire the Attorney General.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: He should go, Chris, for other reasons
not because he hasn`t been loyal to the President. Because he has had a
problem, I think, being loyal to the amount of forthcoming information that
you have to give to the Senate. Twice when he was asked about contracts
with Russia, he didn`t disclose them. He participated in the firing of
former FBI Director James Comey. I think for those reasons, he should go.
But also, Chris, you know, some people say why would you want to get rid of
him? He`s recused. When isn`t that better than who Trump could put in.
Actually, now is the time for Senate, especially Republican Leaders there
to put a check on this Presidency, to put a true law enforcement official
in there. No relation top President`s campaign and allow this
investigation to proceed.
HAYES: So, this is interesting. You are in line with a call made by the
Congressional Black Caucus today that Attorney General Sessions is unfit to
serve. The top law enforcement official in the nation should resign from
the position immediately. As the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you,
fool me twice, shame on me. The concern expressed by Democrats which you
just alluded to is, of course, this would be the first set in Dominos to
get rid of Mueller which many people believe is the President`s ultimate
goal and he has shown in relieving James Comey of duty, he`s willing to do
something like that to stop the investigations that he views as unfair
SWALWELL: Yes. And Chris, I would see this as this should be the first
set of dominoes to have Republicans in the Senate show some courage, to
show that we are a co-equal branch of the - that Congress is a co-equal
branch government with the Presidency and that we are not helpless to what
this President wants to do to obstruct the investigation. That`s what I
would like to see and that that would be the opportunity if Jeff Sessions
HAYES: Speaking of the investigation, today, Jared Kushner, President`s
son-in-law, Chief Adviser, gave some - I wouldn`t call testimony, I guess
answered some questions to Senate Intel Committee, will have some more
little later in the show about his comments but since I have you here right
now, you`re going to be speaking with Mr. Kushner tomorrow in a closed
Session. Can you explain for me because I`m unclear about how this all
ended up? He is not under oath but he`s going to talk to you and he can`t
lie to Congress and lying to Congress is a crime nonetheless, right?
SWALWELL: Yes. I wish it was in public. I wish he today raise his right
hand for everyone to see and there are fair questions out there about just
the number of contacts that he and people on the Trump campaign had with
Russia. And Chris, if you just take a step back, you`re running for
President of the United States, you need votes in the United States. Why
this campaign had so many meetings, not just with Russia, but just with any
country. Why would you spend so much time doing that? I think it is fair
HAYES: Jared - one thing Jared Kushner said today that I would like to get
your response too. He said I had no improper contacts. He said this on
the record outside the White House. It seems to me that there`s a case to
be made, that the meeting itself with the Russian lawyer, with the variety
of Russian nationals, the express purpose of which was to trade information
from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton would itself constitute an
improper act. Do you believe and or trust what Jared Kushner says about
SWALWELL: Tomorrow, what we must do is corroborate what he has said or be
able to discredit what he has said because he like others in the Trump
administration have shown by their own failures to disclose that we can`t
take them at their word. And so, that`s our job now. It`s to test and
develop the evidence and then make a report to the American people.
HAYES: What is your theory Congressman of why it is that Jared Kushner
left off those meetings with Russian Nationals? Why it is Jeff Sessions
apparently obfuscated or deceived about the nature of his interactions,
first the existence of interaction with Sergey Kislyak and then the nature?
What is your internal working mental theory about this right now?
WALWELL: Yes. Well, my gut tells me that if this was only one person who
failed to disclose one contact that there are a lot of innocent
explanations as to why that may be. But to have so many people who have so
many contacts with Russia that were not disclosed and have only been
acknowledged once overwhelming evidence is presented tells me that we
better keep probing because this don`t look like coincidence. But again
Chris, our job is to get - you know, through all this evidence and make a
report. Again they may just be a thousand coincidences but until we can
ask all of these witnesses questions after reviewing all the documents, you
know, I still have a lot of questions.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks for making time
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
HAYES: Joining me now, Barbara McQuade, she`s a former U.S. Attorney from
Eastern District of Michigan, Professor of law at the University of
Michigan and Matt Miller, MSNBC Justice and Security Analyst, former Chief
Spokesman at the Justice Department, let`s return now Matt to the news that
is crossing from the Washington Post in the last hour which bolsters other
reports and utterances by the President himself that Jeff Sessions job may
be on the line. What do you make of that?
MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE, AND SECURITY ANALYST: I think it`s very clear
that the President is trying to push the Attorney General out. I think
there can`t be any doubt of it after that tweet today. You know, laws week
it could have been blowing off steam, this seemed deliberate today. And
honestly, I think Jeff Sessions should go. We saw him you know, earlier
this year compromised the Department`s independence, the most sacred thing
at the Justice Department when he signed off on firing Jim - firing Jim
Comey. And then in the last few days, the way he`s responded these attacks
have been very telling.
These weren`t just attacks on Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein and Bob
Mueller, who the President all attack last week as well. These are attacks
on the rule of law. They`re attacks on an independent Justice Department.
And Jeff Sessions` response to that was to hold a press conference where he
just said he enjoys working for the President and looks forward to
continuing. The Attorney General needs to stand up for the independent
rule of law for this country and tell the President he`s not going to stand
for that. And if he won`t do it, he should go and we can find a new
Attorney General who will.
HAYES: Barbara, one of the - one of the most remarkable things in the
President`s public statement about Jeff Sessions was essentially calling on
his own Attorney General to investigate his former Campaign Adversary
Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the Presidential Campaign. What do you
make of that as a former Prosecutor in terms of the norms of independence
that have traditionally pertain to how U.S. Attorney and how the FBI
conducts their job?
BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY OF EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN:
Well, it reminds me of the outcry that we heard during one of the debates
when then candidate Trump said that you know if he became President he
would order his attorney general to investigate Hillary Clinton. It`s
completely improper, it`s completely inappropriate. The Attorney General
and the Justice Department must be completely independent of the political
whims of the White House. And that`s why there are such strict channels of
communication set up, about what they can even talk about or when they
could be together. So, I find it entirely inappropriate.
HAYES: I want to play for you what the President said about recusal - Jeff
Sessions` recusal, which seems to be the sort of source of much of his ire.
Jeff Sessions can`t essentially oversea presumably perhaps manipulate,
control, direct, the investigation into his campaign. Here is him
expressing his frustration last week to the New York Times. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he want -
if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took
the job and I would have picked somebody else.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you believe Sessions` recusal was proper and do you think his
dismissal would lead an improper manipulation to the current investigation,
MCQUADE: Well, the recusal is proper. If you look at the Justice
Department Ethics Guidelines, there are a number of reasons, if you have a
financial, personal or political relationship with someone you are supposed
to recuse. So I believe that it was appropriate for him to recuse. I
think what`s really going on is that President Trump confuses personal
loyalty to loyalty to the mission of the job. He sees the Attorney General
as his personal lawyer when in fact, it is the Attorney General of the
HAYES: You know, Matt, this is where - it`s interesting that you say
Sessions should go. Obviously, Sessions is probably, of all cabinet
figures, the one who draws I think the most opposition arguably from
Democrats, from folks on the left. He was - he was fought vigorously for
confirmation. But don`t you worry that essentially the political
expediency of getting rid of him in this moment would be tacitly colluding
with the continuing efforts of obstructing an ongoing investigation in
plain sight by the President of the United States?
MILLER: You know, I think the President of the United States will continue
to try doing that whether Jeff Session is the Attorney General or whether
someone else is. He doesn`t need to fire Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller
investigation. He has other ways to do that. We`ve talked about it on the
shown before. He can withdraw the regs and just fire himself. So if he
wants to do that, he`s going to find a way to do it. I think probably,
ultimately that`s what he`ll do. But - so, you know, we have to ask
ourselves, should we allow an Attorney General or do we want an Attorney
General to stay in office who`s already shown that he`s willing to
compromise himself for the President? I think the answer to that is no.
And you know, if he leaves on his own accord, then the President will
obviously nominate someone else, the names that were floating in that
Washington Post story, Ted Cruz, Rudy Giuliani, both people who made very
similar comments to the ones Trump had made it up prosecuting Hillary
Clinton, comments that ought to be disqualifying for an AG. We have a
debate about who the next person ought to be and I hope it would be someone
- I hope Republican Senators would stand up as they did to some extent with
Chris Wray and (INAUDIBLE) that someone with personal integrity.
HAYES: Barbara, finally to you, there`s conversation about pardons which
is obviously a power vested in the President by the United States
Constitution. The President twitting, well, all agree U.S. President has
the complete power to pardon. Why think of that when only crime so far is
leaks against us. Fake news. The first part of that, Anthony Scaramucci
confirming that he discussed pardons. Where are we? It seems that we have
kind of come off the access constitutionally and are kind of spinning out
into a vast dark universe of unchartered territory.
MCQUADE: Well I found it really interesting that President Trump is
talking about the power of pardon during the very week when he`s got Jared
Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort providing statements to
Congress. So I`m not sure what he saw the connection as there. But yes,
in fact, he does have the power to pardon anyone but except himself, I
believe because the Constitution does say, except in matters of
impeachment. So I do not believe that the President can pardon himself.
HAYES: All right, Barbara McQuade and Matt Miller, thank you both.
MILLER: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, Senator Chris Murphy joins me to talk about tomorrow`s
vote on a Republican Health Care Bill that no one, no one, has seen. And
Jared Kushner speaks. What the President`s son-in-law just confirmed about
his dealings with Russia after the two-minute break.
HAYES: President Trump`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, one of the most
powerful individuals in America made rare public remarks in the White House
today where he insisted he did nothing wrong hours after effectively
confirming months of media reports about his numerous undisclosed contacts
with Russian nationals during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: Let me be very clear. I did not collude with Russia nor do I
know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. I had no improper
contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses. And I
have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today Kushner spent two hours answering questions posed by staffers
on the Senate Intelligence Committee about his contacts with Russia. Ahead
of that closed-door session this morning, Kushner released a lengthy
statement in which he acknowledged attending that now infamous meeting
organized by Donald Trump Jr. in which a Russian lawyer offered dirt on
Hillary Clinton that was built as coming from the Russian government. He
admitted having four meetings with Russian officials during the campaign
and transition period despite not disclosing a single one of those meetings
on his security clearance form under penalty of perjury for omission. And
Kushner detailed his effort to set up a secret communications line with the
Russian government during one of those meetings.
Kushner had excuses for all of this which included blaming his assistant
for submitting his security clearance form before he had completed it and
claiming he didn`t know the topic of the Don Junior meeting because he did
not fully read his e-mails. Kushner stating in part, it was typical for me
to receive 200 more e-mails a day during the campaign. I did not have time
to read every one. We should note the subject of that was something like
Russia-Clinton. It is illegal to lie to Congress but Kushner was not under
oath today. He will be under oath tomorrow when he appears before the
House Intelligence Committee.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. and Trump`s former Campaign Chairman Paul
Manafort are now in negotiations with the Senate Judiciary Committee about
answering questions in a closed Session and they will not be under oath.
Now, this all comes as President Trump faces a big decision, whether to
sign a bill with broad bipartisan support that including sweeping Russia
sanctions package to punish Moscow for interference in the Presidential
Election as well as sanctions on Iran and North Korea. The White House has
long`s opposed the effort to escalate any punitive measures on Russia. And
on Air Force One today, incoming Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
refused to say whether the President will sign the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: The President wants to make sure that we actually get the best
deal for the United States and so he`s very focused on that. But at the
same time wants to make sure that sanctions on those three countries remain
and you know, he`s going to study that legislation and see what the final
product looks like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yesterday, the White House once again question the underlying
rationale for the Russia sanctions. The interference in the election with
newly minted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
appearing in the Sunday shows to effectively offer up the Kremlin line on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: Somebody said to me yesterday, I won`t tell you who, that if
the Russians actually hacked the situation and spilled out those e-mails,
you would have never seen it, you would never had any evidence of them,
meaning that they`re super confident in their deceptions skills in hacking.
My point is all of the information isn`t on the table yet. But here`s what
I know about the President -
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Wait, wait, wait, Anthony -
SCARAMUCCI: Let me finish. All right, go ahead.
TAPPER: You`re making a lot of assertions here. I don`t know who this
anonymous person is that said that if the Russians have actually done it we
wouldn`t have been able to detect it but it is-but it is the unanimous -
SCARAMUCCI: How about - how about it was the President, Jake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, NBC Political Analyst Philip Rucker, White House
Bureau Chief for the Washington Post and MSNBC Legal Analyst Paul Butler,
former Federal Prosecutor and Professor at Georgetown University Law -
School of Law. Philip, let me start with you. Kushner - I mean, the
context today was quite remarkable. You just rarely see White House
Advisers or Aides out in front of the White House with the Presidential
seal giving an address like that. What did you make of that?
PHILIP RUCKER, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, he wanted to make a
statement. What he actually said at the podium there was not all that
different from the 11-page statement he put out in writing earlier this
morning but it was an interesting moment for the cameras there.
Interesting both that would he have the White House background which is
sort of the White House getting behind him even though this is a personal
matter for him, something that he is working on with his personal lawyers
but I think speaks to his really singular standing in the White House as
part of the President`s family.
HAYES: He also had this comment, I want it play which seems very much
directed from an audience of one, Philip, about the Russia - any look into
what happened in the elections, an insult to Trump voters. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: Donald Trump had better message and ran a smarter campaign, and
that is why he won. Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I would note that Nixon whooped McGovern in `72. Even with the
Watergate stuff, might have won otherwise. The two were actually separate
RUCKER: But Chris, the issue here is not whether Russia`s interference in
the election influenced the outcome of the election. That`s not what these
investigative committees on the Hill or with Special Counsel Mueller are
investigating. They`re investigating whether Russia`s actions to influence
the election were in any way coordinated with members of the Trump campaign
or associates of Donald Trump.
HAYES: Paul, the statements from Kushner today, the few raise my eyebrows.
One that he had no improper contact, the other he`s been transparent which
seems at some level just facially untrue in the sense that he omitted four
meetings of the security clearance form for months which were the once that
are the subject of all this reporting.
PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. That`s right. He`s doing a lot of
blaming other people and excuse-making, so for those financial disclosure
forms, well, he says, it wasn`t really my fault. My assistant filed them
before she was supposed to. For the meeting with the Russians, it`s all
Donald Junior didn`t tell me what it was about and I didn`t read the whole
e-mail. So I think what he`s doing is following the likely advice of his
lawyer. He`s saying, even if you are technically guilty of a crime like
campaign fraud for soliciting a foreign operative, I didn`t have criminal
intent. I`m too naive to have known what I`m doing which is a bizarre
defense for someone who`s a high level top secret security clearance in the
HAYES: This is a really good point from Paul, Phil, which is that there`s
seem to be a little bit of tension between the 11-page statement, which is
basically, we`re all new to this and I wasn`t really paying attention. My
assistant messed this up.
RUCKER: Fast-paced environment.
HAYES: Yes. It was just - things were just really coming at me, also, my
portfolio includes bringing peace to the Middle East. I mean, there`s a
little bit of tension between those two.
RUCKER: Well, his portfolio during the campaign grew sort of month to
month. He was somebody who executed tasks for Donald Trump, then a
candidate who had a really shoe string sort of rag tag campaign operation.
And Kushner eventually became the liaison with all of these foreign
government officials at the behest of Donald Trump the candidate and then
the President-elect and now the President. And so he functioned in this
capacity as a sort of the Secretary of State, if you will, for the
candidate and for the President-Elect during the transition. And that`s
where all of these contacts have come in.
HAYES: Well, Paul, there was one state in the Kushner operative that he
meant to be exculpatory that I would like to you respond to as some on who
is former Federal Prosecutor. Take a listen.
“The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election
Day should, of course, be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of
one that existed before Election Day.” Do you buy that?
BUTLER: You know, again, it just - he just seems incredibly naive for
somebody who`s portfolio is Foreign Relations. He says I didn`t even know
the name of the Russian Ambassador. So this excuse of him just not
familiar with Washington ways, I don`t think it`s going to be bought by
Special Counsel Mueller. Moreover, there are other people who were in
these meeting including Manafort and including Michael Flynn. Flynn is
indicated, he wants to make a deal. So If Mueller is able to flip him,
we`ll have another side of what`s going down in these meetings.
HAYES: Finally, Philip, I have to note that Anthony Scaramucci`s account
of why it may not be the Russians, they`re so good at hacking, they would
cover their tracks so well, we wouldn`t even know it was them, appears to
come directly from the argument that Vladimir Putin himself made to the
President in their meeting in Hamburg two weeks ago. Trump emerges to tell
his aided that the Russian President had offered a compelling rejoinder.
Moscow`s cyber operators are so good at covert and computer network
operations, if they had dipped into the DNC systems they would not have
been caught. They are now laundering essentially the Putin line about the
RUCKER: I guess that`s what happened. I mean, Anthony made clear in that
interview that his source who had been anonymous at the start of the
interview was actually the President of the United States and that`s not
unusual in dealing with these White House officials. They hear a lot of
theories and explanations from the President and pass those along.
HAYES: Yes, a lot of theories going on. Philip Rucker and Paul Butler,
thank you for joining me.
RUCKER: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, why the details of the Republican Senate Health Care Bill are
once again a complete mystery even to Senators who are scheduled to vote on
it in less than 24 hours from now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You don`t hear this from the Democrats. They like to tell you just
the opposite and they didn`t even know the bill. They run out, say death,
death, death. Well, ObamaCare is death. That`s the one that`s death. And
besides that, it`s failing so you won`t have it anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Donald Trump made his pitch for health care reform today.
We should note ObamaCare is not failing and nor is it obviously quote
death. But speaking at the White House among people he called ObamaCare
victims, the President listed his criticisms of the current American Health
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: After an excruciating series of events and complications, Melissa
and her husband found themselves just before Christmas emotionally and
financially devastated, crying in a doctor`s office faced with yet another
seemingly unplayable bill. When insurance wouldn`t cover the Atkinson`s
care, they emptied out Melissa`s 401(k) to pay their bills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But as Sarah Kliff at Vox pointed out the most recent Senate Health
Care Proposal would make deductibles bigger making the precise problem
faced by that family worse. In fact, the Republican Health Care Proposals
do not solve any of the health care problems they bring up with ObamaCare,
from the cost of premiums to covering pre-existing conditions. Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows that Republican plans for
transforming American Health Care cannot withstand, sustain public
So he`s been keeping his efforts as secret as possible. Even with the vote
on starting debates scheduled for tomorrow, no one has even seen the final
bill. It`s a tactic aimed to avoid public discussion including the kind of
protest and confrontations at town halls that help sink two previous
attempts to undo the Affordable Care Act. In fact, McConnell is even
keeping the bill secret from Senators themselves prompting widespread
confusion about what the heck they`re even voting on tomorrow. After the
break, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy joins me to talk about McConnell`s
secret Health Care Plans.
HAYES: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today the senate will
vote on opening debate on a health care bill tomorrow. And as of this
hour, no one, I guess outside of Mitch McConnell, actually knows what is in
the bill or what group of bills the Senate might even be voting
But the two attempts at repealing and replacing Obamacare having already
failed, McConnell is scrambling to get something, anything on to the floor.
As Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted, this kind of secrecy with
less than 24 hours before an actual vote is bananas.
With me now Democratic Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy. Senator, do
you know what is going to happen in the United States Senate in 16 or so
hours from now?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: I don`t know what`s going to happen.
So far as I can tell this evening, my Republican colleagues don`t know.
There are three different versions of the bill that could possibly be up
for a vote tomorrow. We`re going to ostensibly be voting on the House
version, but McConnell could immediately bring forward either Senate
version A or Senate version B. They are all an absolute humanitarian
catastrophe for the country ranging from 23 million to 32 million people
And we also don`t know who will is going to be here for the vote. Rumors
are they are working very hard to try to get John McCain back here to get
them over the 50-vote hurdle with a promise that they will work everything
out this week and next.
So whatever we vote on tomorrow, even if it is past the 50-vote hurdle,
will be very different from what becomes the end product.
HAYES: OK, so to your point of not knowing what is going to happen, the
vote tomorrow is a motion to proceed, which is to begin debate on this
suite of bills. Rand Paul saying – a reporter asking Rand Paul if we will
vote to proceed on health care tomorrow. What are we proceeding to?
Susan Collins says she still don`t know what`s happening with health care,
mentions she`s heard there might even be a third version of the BCRA. You
said there were two possibilities on that.
So, on the case of John McCain, it is somewhat hard for me to understand
how just a week ago there was unanimity in the United States Senate,
sending their well wishes to a man who is 80-years-old, who is recovering
from surgery for brain cancer. And now they appear to be lobbying his
doctors to get him to fly to provide a crucial vote. Why can`t they just
wait a week?
MURPHY: It all is a little unsavory and the brow beating that was
happening publicly today of John McCain to bring him back really does not
put Republicans in a very good light. But it shows how desperate they are
to get this done.
You know, the base is starting rising up a bit. So the pressure from the
Trump White House, from conservative talk radio, are scaring them. They
are are putting a lot of faith in McConnell that he ultimately will be able
to get to a product they can all vote for. But they are feeling a little
bit desperate right now, not wanting to go home in August having
accomplished absolutely nothing, and frankly having to listen to Donald
Trump beat them over the head with that, blaming them for that inaction,
not himself, over the course of the August recess.
HAYES: The gamble here seems to be McConnell promises everything to
everyone to get on the motion to proceed, to get past that hurdle, and then
plays the kind of legislative Thee-card Monty with a bunch of bills and you
guys are all supposed to keep your eye on the one so you know which one
MURPHY: And perhaps make up ideas as he goes along. Over the weekend,
this new idea was floated, a $200 billion fund to help states transition
away from Medicaid, which just postpone the pain.
It is unclear how they ultimately land this thing. There still doesn`t seem
to be a way to thread the needle between Mike Lee and Rand Paul and Ron
Johnson who want this thing gone, and Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and
others who need Medicaid preserved. And he`s also got the pig problem of
the parliamentary rulings, the biggest amongst them is the ruling by the
parliamentarian that their version of the individual mandate can`t stay in
The entire bill falls apart from an insurance standpoint if they can`t put
some pressure on individuals to buy. There`s threats coming from
HAYES: OK, I think this is just really important, so let`s just take a
second with this. The mechanism that`s in the bill currently is if you go
without coverage you are locked out for six months. And the reason for
that is they don`t want it to be possible, for somewhat understandable
reasons, that you don`t buy insurance ahead of time,but you go in and you
get diagnosed with something that would be very expensive you come from the
doctor that day and buy insurance that day, which they have to sell you
under the legislation.
So the way they deal with that, stop the death spiral is this lockout. The
parliamentarian said that can`t be in the bill. So, my understanding is
they may be voting on something that would very clearly destroy the entire
nongroup health insurance market in America in the next few days.
MURPHY: And let`s take that the next step further, why is that? It`s
because if there is no pressure on individuals to buy insurance when they
are healthy then they will wait until they are sick and because of that
dynamic, insurers will either exit markets writ large or will drive rates
astronomically high because they will only be insuring sick people. They
won`t be insuring healthy people. So the entire market would collapse if
they don`t have some version of that provision in the
So, this is a major problem for them that they will also need to solve in
addition to the major
political problems they need to fix in order to get to 50 votes.
HAYES: Now, meanwhile the administration is sort of acting to sabotage the
existing Affordable Care Act and its implementation. You wrote a letter
with Cory Booker and Brian Schatz, asking HHS Secretary Tom Price to
provide information about the department using money allocated for
advertising to essentially undermine the ACA. What is going on there?
MURPHY: Well, there`s two things going on. I mean, first of all, it is so
perverse the idea that the administration is using money that is supposed
to help people get insurance and they are using it to try to undermine that
very insurance program by putting up online these advertisements trying to
convince legislators to vote against the Affordable Care Act.
So, from a moral standpoint that`s pretty bankrupt, but from a legal
standpoint there is a law on the books that says…
HAYES: You can`t do that.
MURPHY: That any administration cannot use public resources to try to
lobby for legislation and they`re clearly violating that law.
HAYES: Senator Chris Murphy, thanks for joining me.
HAYES: Still ahead, President Trump lashes out at his Republican congress,
now implying some of them even owe him for their 2016 wins. The public
And one congressman trying to bring back the good old days of dueling is
Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, remember Texas Republican Blake Farenthold?
Last time the congressman agreed to appear on this program was just days
after Donald Trump`s Access Hollywood tape was released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD, (R) TEXAS: I think this was locker room talk that
happened 10 years ago that he has apologized for. It was a private
conversation. It was off the record.
HAYES: Congressman, if someone off the record said – if someone off the
record in a locker room – this is not the locker room, this is a
workplace, said I really like raping women. Would that be locker room
FARENTHOLD: Again, it depends – you don`t know the entire context…
HAYES: But you would be fine with that?
FARENTHOLD: I`m not here to defend Donald Trump. I don`t like what he
HAYES: If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that, saying I really
like to rape women, you would continue to endorse him?
FARENTHOLD: Again, that would be bad. And I would have to consider – I
would consider it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman Farenthold`s answer generated a slew of headlines like
this one and he apologized on Twitter shortly after the interview.
But Congressman Farenthold is no stranger to walk-backs. In fact, last
summer in the wake of Trump`s attacks on a federal judge`s Mexican
heritage, Farenthold acknowledged, Trump may have
crossed the line there but I don`t agree with everything I say sometimes.
Today, Congressman Farenthold offered another bit of commentary he may come
to regret, this time on Republican women in the Senate. That`s Thing Two
in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold chimed in on the Senate
Republican health care
push speaking Friday he had an odd message for colleagues who disagree with
him, specifically women who disagree with him, and he apparently thinks
Alaska and West Virginia are part of the northeast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARENTHOLD: The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some
of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just
absolutely repugnant to me.
Some of the people that are opposed to this, there are some female Senators
northeast. If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step
outside and settle this Aaron Burr style.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a statement yesterday, the president accused his fellow
Republicans to doing little to support him. Quote, it`s very sad that
Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very
little to support their president.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump has had a rather complicated
relationship with the Republican Party, its members in the House and Senate
have, for most part, been willing to defend him.
Now, six months into the job, he has proven to be the least popular
president ever in the history of modern polling, at least, according to
Gallup. And for some context here, the average approval rating at this
point of a presidency is 62 percent.
Yet, there is a paradox to the president`s approval rating, because in some
states the president is in pretty good standing. He`s about 50 percent in
17 states, and he fairs best in West Virginia with an approval rating at 60
percent. That`s where he was earlier this evening speaking at the Boy
Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree.
The president was welcomed by Republican Senator of West Virginia Shelley
Moore Capito who has expressed some reservations about the Senate`s health
care bill, plan, to gut Medicaid.
And the president – Capito went so far as to say in a statement last week,
quote, I did not come
to Washington to hurt people.
But tonight, in front of a crowd of adolescent boys, the president seemed
to turn screws on backing the health care bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You better get Senator Capito to vote for it. You have got to get
the other senators to
vote for it. It`s time.
You know, after seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare we have
a chance to now do it. They better do it. Hopefully they`ll do it.
(END VIDEO CLP)
HAYES: Despite the threats over loyalty, we`ll tell you why Republican
senators owe this president a whole lot less than he thinks. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Frankly, I don`t think we should leave town unless we have a health
insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care, because
we`re close. We`re very close. The other night I was very surprised when
I heard a couple of my friends, my friends, they really were and are, they
might not be very much longer, but that`s okay. I think. I have to get
them back. That`s right. I refuse – well, no you didn`t go out there.
This was the one we were worried about. You weren`t there. But you`re
going to be. You`re going to be.
Look he wants to remain a senator, doesn`t he? OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the president last week apparently threatening Nevada
Senator Dean Heller`s job unless he backed the repeal of the Affordable
Joining me now, Evan McMullin, former 2016 independent presidential
candidate, former House Republican policy director; and Jennifer Rubin,
conservative blogger for The Washington Post.
And, you know, I thought the moment – I want to start with this Boy Scout
speech, which was just remarkable and odd to me and I think unnerving to a
lot of people. The president assembled in front of a crowd of Boy Scouts
to talk about passing the health care bill and lobbying their senators.
A long disposition on his election and then basically gets a bunch of
adolescent boys to reign down boos on Hillary Clinton. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)
TRUMP: I went there because I kept hearing we`re 269. But then Wisconsin
came in, many
many years, Michigan came in. So – and we worked hard there. You know,
my opponent didn`t
work hard there, because she was told – she was told she was going to win
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Evan, did you find that as strange as I did?
EVAN MCMULLIN, 2016 INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Strange at least,
chilling in another way.
I mean, look, this is the president of the United States. He`s speaking to
America`s youth. He`s very much off topic in that setting there.
But this is what he does. I recall when he stood before the stars
representing the fallen CIA officers at CIA headquarters and he spoke about
his crowd size and his electoral college victory.
But in this case, you sort of see the power of leadership, especially over
young impressionable minds where they don`t understand or don`t know and
probably don`t care much about the details he`s speaking of, but in the
moment they`re standing and they`re standing before the president of the
United States and that kind of dynamic can elicit a response that is
sometimes, you know, is, I think in this case, frankly chilling and
HAYES: Yeah, Jennifer, and the reason that it struck me as important or a
microcosm of the sort of broader political atmosphere of the country is
that he`s down there essentially to kind of intimidate Shelley Moore
Capito, who he explicitly sort of threatens, right. He wants her to vote
And the paradox of this president is that he`s broadly unpopular, but
intensely popular ins certain pockets with an intense, intense emotional
connection to his supporters that he is attempting to wield to keep
Republicans in line who are scared of facing them in basically a primary
JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. You know, I think the
president has a big thing obviously about loyalty. He thinks the FBI
director owes him loyalty, the Department of
Justice owes him loyalty and senators owe him loyalty. And to some extent
there is party solidarity. But I think what he fails to appreciate is that
some of these senators actually care about their constituents and have
obligation to the voters who sent them there. That thought doesn`t seem to
register anywhere with Donald Trump.
And so everything becomes about him, about replaying his election, which I
do find pathetic at this point, and as you say trying to instill fear or
loyalty into Republicans who, by the way, were not carried on his back,
virtually all of them exceeded his margins of victory in their states,
sometimes by a
considerable amount was as did, for example, Rob Portman in Ohio.
HAYES: Yeah, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, John McCain in Arizona,
Rubio in Florida, all outperforming Donald Trump. You`ve become a very
outspoken critic of the president and the way that he`s being sort of
facilitated by House Republicans.
But there`s one way of looking at this, which is that the House and Senate
Republicans are just using the president because he is a hand that will
sign a bill, that the agenda they`re pushing through, particularly on
health care, is no different than it would have been with a Marco Rubio or
anyone else. This is the agenda they believe in. It`s an agenda you
worked on when you were in the House GOP. And essentially they`re willing
to look the other way because they want to see the agenda passed. It`s not
the president`s sort of pushing them, they`re sort of using him to get what
MCMULLIN: That`s actually true. And that`s a major grievance and concern
that I have obviously, is that the agenda, which is important for
conservatives in America, has caused them to overlook much deeper problems
with this presidency, problems including selling out the sovereignty of the
American people to choose their own leaders and hold them accountable
through free and fair elections that are not manipulated by sophisticated
And this is more important than the agenda. It`s this kind of thing, the
defense of our democratic ideals, norms and institutions that protect our
most basic rights.
The left and the right should fight for their agenda. There`s nothing
wrong with that, but we can never subordinate those – our democracy, the
basic ideals, norms and institutions that protect our basic rights to a
partisan agenda. We just can never do it. And that`s what`s happening
HAYES: Jennifer, quickly. Are Republican senators making calculations on
this vote tomorrow based on Trump or not?
RUBIN: I don`t think so. I think they can read the polls. He`s not all
that popular. They have to look after their own constituents. They can
see the bill is incredibly unpopular. I don`t think he`s going to change
many votes one way or the other, and frankly his inability to talk to the
merits of the bill make him particularly inept advocate for his own
HAYES: Which is why they`re trying to basically smuggle it in. Evan
McMullin and Jennifer Rubin, thanks for joining us tonight.
MCMULLIN: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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