All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/27/2017 Scaramucci
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: July 27, 2017
Guest: Mickey Edwards, Ashley Parker, Charlie Savage, Bernie Sanders
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: 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.
LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will
be holy hell to pay.
HAYES: The Sessions revolt grows. The Pentagon defies the President`s
tweets and the boy scouts apologize for his behavior.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I say, Tom,
HAYES: Tonight the growing backlash to President Donald Trump. Then
Republicans give up the game.
GRAHAM: The skinny bill as policy is a disaster. The skinny bill as a
replacement for Obamacare is a fraud.
HAYES: Hours before the vote, Republicans admit their last-ditch effort to
kill Obamacare is a fraud but they`ll vote for it anyway. And the White
House devolves into reality show chaos.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: There are people
inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from
HAYES: The stunning new Scaramucci assault on the President`s Chief of
SCARAMUCCI: The fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two
fish that don`t stink.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The incoming Director
of Communications to the White House Anthony Scaramucci has been on the job
for less than a week and he believes he has made a startling discovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: There are people inside the administration that think it is
their job to save America from this President. OK, that is not their job.
Their job is to inject this President he into America -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If Scaramucci wants to rout those people out and he is already
threatening on fire the entire White House Communications staff, well, he`s
got a lot of work to do. There`s a revolt going on against this President
and not just from within this administration, it is coming from the
military chain of command, from Republicans in Congress, even the Chief
Executive of the Boy Scouts of America who released a statement today
apologizing for the President`s campaign style speech Monday before the
National Scout Jamboree. I quote here, “I want to extend my sincere
apologies to those in our scouting family who were offended by the
political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. We sincerely
regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting Program.”
Meanwhile, tonight, Congress is sending the President a bill passed with
overwhelming veto proof majorities who voted in the Senate just a short
time ago. It was 98-2 that places new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and
Russia. And also, crucially curtails the President`s power to waive Russia
sanctions without first getting permission from lawmakers. There are other
examples of Senators bucking this President after Alaska Senator Lisa
Murkowski voted Tuesday against moving forward on the GOP health care bill,
angering the President. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called both
Murkowski and her fellow Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan with a threat, telling
the Republican Senators that as retribution for Murkowski`s vote, Trump`s
government could use federal policy the punish the people of Alaska.
Sullivan responded not by trying to pressure Murkowski but instead by
embarrassing the White House by going public with Zinke`s call.
Now, Zinke faces a prospect of investigations and lawsuits over the
blackmail attempt. Even more remarkably, military leaders are now standing
up to the Commander in Chief in response to his tweets yesterday that he
would reinstate ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces,
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Dunford said today there will be no changes
to current policy until “the President`s direction has been received by the
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”
Pointedly adding, “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our
personnel with respect.” A sentiment echoed by the Army Chief of Staff
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MILLEY, ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: The entire force, the entire chain of
command, will always has, will today and will tomorrow and always should
treat every single soldier, sailor, airman, marine, coast guard, with
dignity and respect for their service and the cloth of our nation. Bar
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And there are Senate Republicans who are up in arms about the
President`s treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions their former
colleague who the President has attacked repeatedly this week and who is
reportedly considering firing and trying to replace via a recess
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN SASSE (R) NEBRASKA: If you`re thinking of making a recess appointment
to push out the Attorney General, forget about it. The Presidency isn`t a
ball and this country isn`t a china shop.
GRAHAM: This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the Attorney
General is not going over well in the Senate. If Jeff Sessions is fired,
there will be holy hell to pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Lindsey Graham also says he is drafting legislation to
prevent the President from improperly firing the Special Counsel leading
the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end
of the Trump Presidency unless Mueller did something wrong. I am working
on legislation that I will introduce next week with Republicans and some
Democrats. I think you have all the Democrats. I hope I can get a good
number of Republicans that`s will say the following. A Special Counsel
cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the President or
his team unless you have judicial review of the firing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined now by former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards of
Oklahoma now Lecturer at Princeton University. You know, there`s been so
much waiting for, anticipation of Republican to breaking with the
President, it hasn`t really happened substantively yet. But it does feel
like things are changing at this moment. Is that what you`re feeling about
what we`re seeing.
MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Yes, you know, one of the
things that has been wrong Chris, for a long time is that the Republicans
in the House and in the Senate have acted as though the President was their
boss. And the President has finally gone a little too far I think and now
you see not just Lindsey Graham who has done this in the past but other
Senators standing up to him. And I think especially what Graham is saying
now about putting in provisions that would stop the President from being
able to fire Mueller, that`s an important step of the Congress reasserting
HAYES: You know, you also have this from Chuck Grassley who`s been quite
supportive, I mean, really down the line in sport of the President of the
United States, we should note. He said, “Everyone in D.C. should be warned
that the agenda for the Judiciary Committee set for the rest of 2017.
Judges first subcabinet second, AG now way,” basically telling the White
House we won`t confirm someone if you fire the AG.
EDWARDS: Well, I mean, one of the stories that`s out Chris, of course, is
that the President may be considering a recess appointment. But the courts
have already decided that the Congress decides when it`s in recess, not the
executive. And all they have to do is just not declare a recess. Just,
they don`t have any votes.
HAYES: And that`s interesting to me here because to me, that`s actually in
some ways beneath the rhetoric which we`ve gotten from time to time.
That`s something substantive. I mean, they`re going to stay in pro forma
recess precisely appears to prevent the President from a recess appointment
which is somewhat remarkable from the context of a Republican Majority
Senate and a Republican President.
EDWARDS: Well, it is and it is a sign of the Republican Congress. And I
think it is true in the House too, although now we`re talking mostly about
the Senate. The Republican Congress saying, we`re not a china shop.
You`re not in the - you`re not our boss. You know, we`ll stand up to you
when you do something wrong. And I think that`s a big step forward.
HAYES: There`s also - I find the Department of Defense and the – and the
Service Chief of Staff have done here pretty remarkable as well. I mean,
this is obviously an institution that lives and dies by the chain of
command. The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief. He
issued a public statement and they`re basically saying we`re not going to
listen that until we`re told directly that you have to do that. Are you
surprised by that reaction?
EDWARDS: Well, they went beyond that. They didn`t just say Chris, that
you know until we`re told directly. It`s also until the Secretary of
Defense implements - you know, the procedures for carrying it out which he
can take his time doing. So, I`m a little surprise because the military is
trained you know, that when the Chief Executive says we`re going to do
this, they say yes, sir. And I think Scaramucci is - you know, he`s right.
There are a lot of people in the White House who are looking at what`s
happening. They either see it as three-ring circus in which all the
performers are clowns or more scarily, they see it as Hobbs talking about
war against all against all which seems to be the story of what`s happening
in the White House. And I think that there is going to be pushback not
just from people in the Congress but in the administration who believe that
this President does need to be protected against.
HAYES: As someone who served under several presidents - under -
EDWARDS: Sorry, I serve with.
HAYES: With, the co-equal branch of government, of course.
HAYES: How would you assess this President`s political capital and power
at this moment relative to the others that you`ve served with?
EDWARDS: Well, I think he`s got much less than any President. Jimmy
Carter did not have a lot of sway in the Congress and I think he had a lot
more than Trump has. And that`s because of things - well, you just told
the story about the threats to Murkowski and Sullivan. You just don`t do
that. I mean, these are United States Senators. Members of the House and
the Senate are the first branch of government. And when the President
starts threatening them, especially at the same as he`s pursuing policies
that`s are hurting the very people who voted for him, he doesn`t have a lot
of clout. I think right now, the Democrats are feeling pretty good about
the chances to pick up quite a number of seats in the next election.
HAYES: All right, Mickey Edwards, thanks for your time.
EDWARDS: OK. Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now MSNBC Contributor Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize
Winning National Security and Legal Reporter at the New York Times, MSNBC
Political Analyst Ashley Parker, White House Reporter for the New York
Times. It does seem to me like things have changed a little bit actually
in the last week and part of that seems to be on the Sessions part of this
because that`s someone who the President is going after who really has a
lot of support among the sort of hard right base of both his supporters,
conservative media and the Republican party.
ASHLEY PARKER, WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That`s exactly right.
I mean, he`s going after someone who sort of in a way was maybe a less
charismatic or less effective Trump before President Trump, someone who is
very aligned with him ideologically in that sort of nationalist, populist
base. So you`re seeing some blowback in the conservative media certainly.
But also even among Senators on the Hill, his colleagues and it`s not that
Senator Sessions, he was respected and well liked but not particularly a
popular Senator. But I think there is a sense that A, this is just not a
way you treat a human being. And B, a sense of, if you will treat Jeff
Sessions this way who was the first Senator to endorse him and for a while
the only Senator to endorse him, you know, who won`t he throw under the
bus? Who won`t he treat poorly? And I think Republicans also find that
HAYES: Charlie, you know, there`s an underlying structural issue here,
something that you documented in your - in your stellar reporting over the
years which is the the growth of the power of the executive institutionally
which has grown - you know, in every Presidency since Gerald Ford, I think
it`s fair to say. And now, this President has inherited that. It does
seem that there is a point now where we could begin to see the contours of
the beginning of Congress taking back some of that power. Do you think
CHARLIE SAVAGE, THE NEW YORK TIMES NATIONAL SECURITY, AND LEGAL REPORTER:
It`s possible. But also, you have to look for actions and not words, you
know. So it`s interesting those clips you saw - you showed of Lindsey
Graham (INAUDIBLE) saying, you`d better not do this and rattling the saber
a little bit. But this is also the same Congress where just the other day,
Senator McCain comes in and makes all these headlines with the speech about
how he`s never going to vote for this health care bill and then votes for
the health care bill. It`s a - it`s a place where there`s a gigantic gap
between rhetoric and action. And so it would probably be an important
thing for our democracy, for Congress to serve regain itself sense of
dignity and self-respect in its role as a co-equal branch of government
which has been eroding for a long time. But it seems to come fix
(INAUDIBLE) and not endure.
HAYES: Ashley, do you think White House senses that they have a different
footing now than they were say a few months ago?
PARKER: I think that`s a - it`s a good question. I think we first - the
real problem here basically is that a lot of people increasingly do not
fear this President and we sort of first saw this when the health care
bills in their various incarnations began to go down and it turned out
bringing these people to the White House and wining and dining them and
threatening them and going after them on Twitter didn`t actually make much
of a difference. And again, that was because a growing of number of
people, and to be clear this is not all Republicans but don`t fear the
President and don`t necessarily respect the President. And I think when
you began your show, you sort of offered a litany of all these other things
that just again, fall into that basket which is if you don`t fear the
President, you`re willing to stand up for him, you`re willing to push for
more legislation, as Charlie said, I don`t know how far the action will
really go but it does seem to be a tipping point of things ling up.
HAYES: And to Charlie`s point, I mean, Charlie, part of what we`ve seen is
not just the growth - the power of the executive but we`re seeing now
something inside the executive that I think is new and worrisome from the
sort of constitutional structure of perspective, which is the erosion of
the independence of the Department of Justice. I mean, the President is
very actively, in ways that violate all sorts of norms and traditions, and
in some ways, some of the things Anthony Scaramucci (INAUDIBLE) done the
letter of regulations attempting to explicitly control the Department of
Justice as a kind of tool of the White House.
SAVAGE: You see this also with Trump calling for criminal investigations
into Hillary Clinton all over again, and all kinds of discussion of context
between political people and the White House and the Justice Department
that clearly violates long standing Justice Department policies and norms
that are supposed to keep those two institutions at arm`s length to protect
the sense that federal law enforcement is something that is supposed to
exist apart from politics and not be an instrument of partisan advancement.
It`s a trend that provokes backlashes, that provokes that sense of what
Scaramucci was talking about pejoratively in his point of view, people
inside the executive branch thinking that maybe they need to take some
steps to protect the country from what is happening right now. I don`t
know that I would consider that pejorative. I think the whistle blowers,
in particular, are a good thing for democracy but this - you do have a
sense that things are escalating here and cascading. And I would add one
more element to this theme of pushback that you`ve been outlining
throughout this segment from various sectors within both inside the
executive branch and in the military and in Congress and conservative media
and so forth.
One thing we`ve seen about this President is that he really doesn`t like to
be told not to do something. If you tell him, don`t push that button, he`s
going to push that button to just to show you that he can, right? And
we`ve seen these reports from aides recently, anonymous aides saying, we
think that Jeff Sessions is safe. The President has taken the advice that
he`s going to back off and we`ve seen those kinds of stories before. We`ve
seen the stories where anonymous aide say the President is not going to use
Twitter anymore because he`s been persuaded that it is not in his interest
to do so and then he goes out and tweets just to show he can. So I`m not
sure at all that I believe those kinds of stories anymore that aides put
HAYES: That`s a good point. Mr. President, if you`re watching, do not
fire Jeff Sessions. Charlie Savage and Ashley Parker, thanks to you both
for being here.
SAVAGE: Thank you.
HAYES: Anthony Scaramucci has made a lot of headlines today. Many that
cannot be read allowed in polite company. The absolutely bizarre way,
House reality show is ahead. And next, Republican Senators admit on
camera, the health care bill they`re about to vote on is a fraud. That`s
their word but they just might vote for it anyway. Senator Bernie Sanders,
his thoughts, his coming up in two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: The skinny bill as policy is a disaster, the skinny bill as
replacement for Obamacare is a fraud. And I`m not going to tell people
back in South Carolina that this product actually replaces Obamacare
because it does not. It is a fraud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A disaster and a fraud. That was the Senator Lindsey Graham`s own
description of the script down Health Care Bill Senate Republicans are
trying to pass, though we haven`t seen it yet. Now, Graham wasn`t alone.
He spoke with Senator John McCain of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin,
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana by his side. The Republican Senators lambasted
the bill, hastily written over lunch today, – I`m not making that up today
- which keeps changing so quickly, most Senators don`t seem to know what`s
in it though currently, it appears to repeal the ACA`s individual and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: You`re going to have increased premiums most of Obamacare stays in
place if the skinny bill becomes law. Not only do we not replace
Obamacare, we politically own the collapse of health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He is correct about that. That`s the gospel truth. Now, none of
that is stopping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from trying to
salvage GOP bill anyway but even as Graham has repeatedly called the so
called skinny bill a fraud, he still said he would vote for it. As long as
Speaker Paul Ryan promises, promises that the House won`t also pass the
bill. In other words, promise not to make the bill law, but instead, would
go to a conference committee to hammer out something completely entirely
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: I need assurances from the Speaker of the House and his team, that
if I vote for the skinny bill, it will not become the final product. It
will be the vehicle to have a conference between House and Senate where we
consider - can consider a true replacement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just to be clear, if the Senator believes this bill is a disaster,
he and his colleagues could just vote no on the bill in front of them to
start with but instead, he and others are looking for someone to save them
from being responsible for their own votes. Much like in the days of
Obama, see back then, they could vote to repeal the ACA knowing President
Obama`s veto would save them from ever having to formulate real policy of
their own. With me now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Have you - I
watched today in awe as Senator after Senator got up to say, I will only
rote for the bill in front of this august body if you guarantee and assure
me, it does not become law. Have you ever seen that before?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D) VERMONT: You know, I was just thinking, Chris,
hearing your description of the process here is that Congress now I think
has a 12 percent positive rating. I think we`re going be in low single
digits after this abomination. We have this situation here where as you`ve
indicated, Republican members have said, this is a fraud, this is a
disaster. Oh, yeah, we may vote for it if it goes to conference. And then
you hand them over to the House side, you`re having over on the House side,
Ryan saying, well, actually, it may go to the Conference Committee.
So what we have here though is not laughing matter. It`s a disastrous
piece of legislation which would raise premiums. This is the CBO,
Congressional Budget Office. 20 percent this year, 20 percent on top of
that, and 20 percent on top of that. In other words, premiums will soar in
this country. 16 million people will lose their health insurance, Planned
Parenthood will be defunded. This is in a sense - it may be pathetic but
this really is not a laughing matter.
HAYES: And I just want to be clear, in case - you know, this is not just
Senator Sanders is saying or the CBO, I mean, this is - what you`re
describing is essentially uniformly understood by the actual participants.
I mean, what Lindsey Graham and John McCain and Ron Johnson and Bill
Cassidy got up there to say was, yes, this is a disaster. This is
unworkable policy by every sort of unanimous understanding. Now Paul Ryan
comes out with a statement where he basically says he doesn`t offer the
assurance, OK. He does not say under no circumstances, he basically says,
if you need us to, we will. Are they going to go for this? Are they your
colleagues going to allow themselves to conned in plain daylight?
SANDERS: Chris, what I would say simply say is stay tuned. What`s going
on here is pretty crazy. I don`t think anybody knows the outcome. But
I`ll tell what you the American people want. The American people
understand that the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect. Deductibles
are too high, co-payments are too high, premiums are too high and we pay
the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and those prices are
soaring every single day. What virtually all of the American people want
is for a start for us to improve the Affordable Care Act. Lower
deductibles, lower premiums, lower co-payments, lower the cost of the
As you know, I believe we got to go further in the future and pass a
Medicare for all single payer program guaranteeing health care to all
people. But right now, the American people want to us approve the
Affordable Care Act. You have a process here, this is so crazy. Where
there has not been one public hearing, not one doctor has been able to
testify in Committee about the impact of this legislation on his or her
patients. Not one hospital administrator, not one representative of the
disability community. We have every major national health care
organization. The AMA, the American Hospital Association, opposed to this
legislation. And these guys are going forward with legislation that has 12
percent support of the American people.
HAYES: I want to ask you. You mention a single payer. Something sort of
interesting thing happened today because as all of this is happening,
right, I think this is back - in the back ground is, what happens if they
pass this and what are the next steps and how is this going to work? And
Steve Danes, a Republican Senator sort of attempted to kind of call
Democrat`s bluff where he offered an amendment that Democrats could vote
for that would be Medicare for all. I think it was John Conyers` bill.
Now, you - am I correct, you voted present on that and if so why?
SANDERS: Absolutely. I`ll tell you why.
SANDERS: What I said is, to Senator Danes, thank you for being a
Republican who understands that our dysfunctional health care system needs
fundamental change and we need to join the rest of the industrialized world
in guaranteeing health care to all people. Thank you very much, Senator
Danes, who is a very conservative Republican. And then I said, Senator
Danes, you get four or five other Republicans to vote for this and you vote
for it. I think we can pass this thing. Well, needless to say, Senator
Danes, the guy who offered the bill didn`t vote for it. No Republican
voted for it. So my response is we will offer a Medicare for all single
payer system when we are ready to do that and that will be sooner than
rather than later. Not respond to a Republican with no intention of voting
for this in the first place.
HAYES: I mean, I`ve been going back and forth with reporters I`ve been
talking to staff and texting. And there`s just sort of outstanding
questions, real questions for real people with real people`s lives on the
line which is, can they be so reckless that they end up actually signing
into law something they all agree is bad and reckless and will essentially
blow up insurance markets for millions of people? It seems
incomprehensible they`ll do that but I`m not so sure that they won`t?
SANDERS: And I`ll agree with you. And I`ll tell you why Chris. The
Republican Party is now, in fact, a right wing extremist party dominated by
the Koch brothers ideology. And as you know, Koch brothers do not want to
see cuts to Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. They want to
eliminate those programs. They want to eliminate every federal program
passed in the last 80 years that was designed to protect working families
or children or the elderly or the sick or the poor. That is their agenda.
And this is beginning of their agenda. If they are successful in whatever
this thing turned out to be, cutting Medicaid, et cetera, mark my words,
mark my words, they will be back to privatize Medicare within a few months,
and then they will go after Social Security and the veteran administration.
And they have behind them, what they have behind them are hundreds and
hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires who basically want to
destroy the federal government`s effort to protect the middle class and
working families. That is what this is about.
HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for joining me
SANDERS: Thank you.
HAYES: A quick note in our last segment, we inadvertently identified
Ashley Parker of the Washington Post is being from New York Times, her
former employer. This days that`s a huge error, and they don`t take kindly
to it on either side of that incredible journalist, a competition happening
right now. We`re sorry for that. Ashley is doing great work at the
Washington Post. Please read her there, follow her on Twitter
Still to come, the Trump administration tactic of threatening the citizens
of Alaska over their Senators` health care vote, that story just ahead.
HAYES: Tonight, Anthony Scaramucci, the man who is in-charge of
Communications to the White House has taken to Twitter to apologize for
some of his communication. “I sometimes use colorful language. I will
refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for real Donald
Trump`s agenda. #MAGA. Now, what pray tell is that apology for? If you
haven`t heard already, you`ll have a hard time believing me when I tell
you. But first, maybe take a moment to clear young children from the room.
Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and tonight`s X-rated turn
in this White House reality show is sadly coming up.
HAYES: The Trump administration is threatening the citizens of Alaska over
one of its senator`s health care votes. Today, we learned that after one
of Alaska`s senators voted against a motion to begin debating the GOP
health care bill, members of the Trump administration responded with
threats, not against her, but against residents of the state.
After the president`s tweet yesterday that Senator Lisa Murkowski of the
great state of Alaska the senator of the great state of Alaska really let
the Republicans and her country down. Murkowski and fellow Alaska Senator
Dan Sullivan got a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them
know the vote had put Alaska`s future with the administration in jeopardy.
Sullivan told the paper he feared, quote, that the strong economic growth,
pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of
those policies are going to stop.
Murkowski confirmed the call to reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI, (R) ALASKA: I did have a conversation with the
secretary and he told me what I already knew, which was that the president
wasn`t pleased with the – sorry, I`m looking for which room I`m going to -
- wasn`t pleased with the vote I had taken. And I knew that. I had had a
conversation with the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now Interior Secretary Zinke threatening calling a senator to
threaten her constituents over a health care vote is highly irregular, so
much so that the top Democrat on the House natural resources committee is
calling now for an investigation.
Joining me now is Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat from Hawaii. My first
thought when I saw
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, (D) HAWAII: Hello, Chris.
HAYES: It`s good to see you.
My first thought when I saw this was, well, you know, there are all these
legendary talks about how presidents, or majority leaders, or different
people, try to get votes and whip votes and twist arms. Is this normal for
someone from the administration to basically threaten federal treatment of
a state over a vote like this?
HIRONO: This is the kind of thing that we`ve come to expect from this
administration and President Trump, bullying tactics, threats, it`s really
ham-fisted. And, in fact, if anything when we are threatened, as
(inaudible) by being namby-pamby, you know, it just raises our hackles.
So, I talked with Lisa last night, and I said, hang in there. She said,
you know what, she learned to stand up to bullies from the get go, because
if you don`t stand up to them, they`ll going to keep on coming.
So, she`s not afraid of these kinds of threats. People in Alaska know who
she`s fight for and she`s fighting for them.
HAYES: She`s in an interesting position, because, of course, won her race
when she lost a primary challenge and ran as an independent. It seems to
me that the party doesn`t hold as much over her as they might other
HIRONO: Exactly. And any of us worth our salt will stand up to these
kinds of ham-fisted bullying tactics.
HAYES: You know, you`re someone right now who,like your colleague John
McCain, is in the midst, if I`m not mistaken, of treatment for cancer.
HAYES: Obviously, your colleague got the big warm ovation yesterday before
voting for that motion to proceed two days ago. You`re right now
undergoing treatment for stage four cancer, and also considering this
health care legislation. How is that impacting the way that you think
HIRONO: Well, I`ve certainly been a big voice for health care for all as a
right, not a privilege. But being diagnosed with a very unexpected stage
four kidney cancer only a couple months ago, has definitely focused on how
critical health care is for everybody. And I give the example that John
McCain and I are examples of how all of us are just one diagnosis away from
a serious illness, which I thought only happened to other people, but
obviously that is not the case.
I am now joined the ranks of people with pre-existing conditions, of which
there are some half a
million in Hawaii and millions all across the country who will be hurt
drastically by whatever Mitch McConnell comes up with.
HAYES: Well, and that – the twists and turns – the New York Times just
ran a story I thought it was quite moving, and others have written about
this, too, is interviewing people that are in the midst of very extreme
health care situations, receiving treatment on the individual market,
receiving subsidies maybe on the Medicaid expansion who are watching every
twist and turn of this legislative process as a life or death matter. And
you must have some incite to that. I mean, your health care probably won`t
be affected by what`s passed but I imagine you`ll have some insight into
how it must feel to watch this while under treatment.
HIRONO: Well, believe me, Chris, I was really grateful when I was
diagnosed and confronting treatment that I could focus on the appropriate
treatment as opposed to how the heck am I going to pay for treatment,
because as you can imagine I`ve already undergone two pretty major
operations for my kidney cancer, and these are very expensive.
And so I`m totally aware of how millions of people in our country will be
hurt by what the Republicans are putting forward. And I just can`t
understand how people who should have some sense of the importance of
health care for everyone that they can vote for this kind of bill that is
really going to knock millions of people off health care. It`ll probably
bring back higher costs for those with pre-existing conditions if we can
even afford that kind of coverage. It will eliminate the individual
mandate, the employer mandate. Basically they will repeal the Affordable
Care Act that supports and helps millions and millions of people in our
And how they can do that is beyond me. So we`re going to fight it every
HAYES: Senator Mazie Hirono, thanks for joining us.
HIRONO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, the man in charge of White House communications gives us a
taste his, well, communication style. The shocking, profane comments from
Anthony Scaramucci coming up.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two is next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, NBC`s Andrea Mitchell went on Late Night with
Seth Meyers last night and Seth gave her colleague a little ribbing about
her quest to get answers from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, HOST, LATE NIGHT: You`ve tried very hard, a very noble
effort. Here you are asking him some questions at the end of a photo op.
Let`s take a look real quick.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Mr. Secretary, China has said there will be
consequences for the deployment now of anti-missile defenses in South
Korea. Mr. Minister, are you sure the Trump
administration will be strong against Vladimir Putin?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys.
MITCHELL: Can you assure us that Russia will not be able to move further
We haven`t had any time in here.
MEYERS: You know what?
MITCHELL: I mean, that is humiliating.
MEYERS: That. Yeah. You look like woman who was lost in a shopping mall
at the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was fun, but there was a story Andrea told that none of us had
heard before, which we will bring you. And parental discretion is advised.
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCHELL: Tomorrow, plant officials will be told to recheck their
equipment and operating procedures so that what happened at Three Mile
Island doesn`t happen at their reactors.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was NBC News veteran Andrea Mitchell days after the partial
meltdown after the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania.
Last night, Andrea told Seth Meyers a remarkable story about her experience
covering that disaster and being a woman journalist in 1979.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEYERS: What happened when you tried to do report from Three Mile Island?
MITCHELL: Well, a very kindly paternalistic bureau chief, a lovely man,
said when I noticed
that five days in, I was the only correspondent not going in and covering
this thing. I went and said, how come I`m the only one who is not going to
Three Mile Island? And he said because you`re a
woman of child bearing age.
MITCHELL: And I said, has it occurred to you that men`s balls are as
vulnerable to radiation as women`s ovaries?
MEYERS: It`s very…
MITCHELL: I mean, I got there the next day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A spectacle is unfolding in the White House unlike anything we`ve
ever seen and that`s really saying something. A newly hired person who
reports directly to the president, White House communications director
Anthony Scaramucci, has entered the scene like the bad guy in the second
season of reality TV show. He is not here to make friends.
Last night, Scaramucci appeared to try to get the FBI to criminally
investigate White House chief of staff Reince Priebus because Scaramucci`s
financial disclosure form was a subject of a Politico story. Scaramucci
tweeting, “in light of the leak of my financial disclosure info, which is a
felony, I will be contacting the FBI and the Justice Department #swamp
@Reince45.” More remarkably, perhaps, the Justice Department responded
favorably, releasing a statement which reads in part, “we agree with
Anthony. These staggering number of leaks are undermining the ability of
our government to fuction to protect this country. Like the Attorney
General has said, whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some
people in jail.”
Now, Scaramucci later deleted the tweet and conceded that his financial
disclosure form wasn`t leaked in the first place, and that`s because it is
a public document. But Scaramucci also called Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker
furious that his dinner with President Trump and Sean Hannity had also
apparently been leaked and spoke to Lizza on the record.
He told Lizza he had called the FBI and Justice Department, which is an
apparent violation of White House policy, and then engaged in a profanity
laced diatribe. They`ll all be fired by me, he said. I fired one guy the
other day. I have three or four people I`ll fire tomorrow. I`ll get to
the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus. if you want to leak
something, he`ll be asked to resign very shortly.
Continuing, “Reince is a bleeting paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,
Scaramucci said.” And he wasn`t done. Also targeting the president`s
chief strategist, “I`m not Steve Bannon. I`m not trying to suck my own
(EXPLETIVE DELETED),” he said. I`m not trying to build my own bland off
the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) strength of the president.”
Scaramucci has been calling a lot of reporters lately. And there`s still
more. And that`s next.
HAYES: It sounds like White House Communications Director Anthony
Scaramucci has been workshopping some catchphrases.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: As you know from
the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell
you two fish that
don`t stink, OK, and that`s me and the president. I told the president this
morning when the iceberg hits the boat, the rats start flying up from
steerage, right, because the water comes in in steerage. Because I know
knee knockers when I see them and their knees will start knocking.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Joy Reid, host of AM Joy on MSNBC, and Charlie
Pierce, writer at-large at Esquire.
All right, Charlie, maybe I`ll start with you. So, let`s put aside the
profanity and the colorful
language, which I like, is funny, and people that know me know that I`ve
been known to engage in that. This – have you ever seen anything
remotely like this?
CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Well, you know, Chris, constitutional democracies
had a good run here in America. You know, it`s done a lot of good,
produced a lot of good music. Maybe it`s time to switch over to Deadwood
We`ve got Al Swearingin (ph) running the White House communications shop
all of a sudden.
No, I mean, at least people like – well, Nixon had it on tape, which was
kind of embarrassing. At least Lyndon used to do this privately when
nobody was watching. No, this is extraordinary to me.
The White House communications director, who has been on the job for about
11 minutes, is completely at war with the White House chief of staff who is
apparently entirely friendless and the president seems to like this, which
is I think the scariest thing of all.
HAYES: That part of it – I mean, so there`s two things to me. The most
worrisome, substantive – the thing worrying me is him calling the FBI, the
Department of Justice`s press person, Sarah Isgur Flores, putting out a
statement basically saying attaboy Anthony.
I mean, we are in really bad territory when you are invoking the FBI as a
political tool to investigate not just your enemies like Hillary Clinton,
your rivalries within the White House. Think of what that would mean for
the rule of law in this country.
JOY REID, MSNBC: Right. And also the fact that Scaramucci should not even
be having conversations with Jeff Sessions, or the FBI at all. He
shouldn`t be talking to them at all.
But I think it`s just one more way in which they`ve just exploded all of
the norms. I mean, I think the sad part of it is Donald Trump is only
having fun being president when`s either destroying some norm of American
life or something about the presidency or when he`s watching other people
He`s sort of – he`s the stadium, the Roman Coliseum stadium seat holder
who just wants to see the lions eat Christian in that parlance, and that`s
the only way he can be happy is to see them fight.
HAYES: You know, McKay Coppins wrote a piece awhile back, great reporter
for The Atlantic, frequent guest of the show, about how people that work
for Trump become mini Trumps, that – and, you know, the fish rots from the
head down, which I think is a German expression. But, you know, there is a
degree to which the leadership approach really does characterize the folks
– and Scaramucci does seem to be an extremely Trumpian figure in every
PIERCE: Yeah. Either in this operation you either become a mini-Trump or
you get devoured. There`s no third option. There`s no putting your head
down and doing a job in this White House.
And you know, I think you`re right. I think Scaramucci has natural bread
in the bone Trumpian
tendencies, which will make him a great favorite around the West Wing until
of course he gets more famous and gets his own Saturday Night Live
character and then the president will turn on him like a rabid wolverine
and he`ll be out the door.
HAYES: That point is so true. I think it was Maggie Haberman or someone
else that said today it`s a fine line between amusing the president and
outshining the president. In the beginning, when everyone was watching
Sean Spicer`s daily briefings, the trainwrecks though they were, all of the
reporting indicated the president got a kick out of the fact that everyone
was paying attention. And there is a fine line between amusing this
president and outshining him.
REID: And also that he finds it amusing that you`re getting attention
until you`re being ridiculed and then he sees that a reflection of himself.
I think we`re going to test the extent to which Scaramucci is a sycophant.
And he showed that he can be quite a sycophant with his opening statements
to the press.
Can he be sycophant enough to shrink back into the shadows when Donald
Trump thinks he`s getting too much attention and taking the attention off
the only person that matters to Donald Trump, which is Donald Trump.
Look, he is already exhibiting that he understands what the job is. The
only job in Donald Trump`s mind, whether you`re the attorney general,
whether you are Ryan Zinke and you`re running Interior, it doesn`t matter
what your job is, your only job is to protect the king, to surround him, to
praise him, to love him, to laud him and to protect him from his enemies,
including enemies within the administration.
HAYES: There`s also – I mean, again, it all seems so redundant, but
there`s just the trivial lying here, right. So, he tweets this thing out,
Charlie, that is clearly pointed at Reince Priebus. He then calls Ryan
Lizza and confirms that. And then later tries to just roll everyone, and
be like make fun of the fake news, wrong. I was just saying that Reince
and I were working together against leaks. Like, that`s not true.
And this is him now. I made a mistake in trusting a reporter. It won`t
happen again. So, it`s everyone`s fault but his own.
PIERCE: Yeah, I mean, what are you, 5? You call up a reporter and you
unburden yourself and you don`t tell him it`s off the record? You don`t
think the guy is going to print it? My lord. Come on.
And not only that, but I mean, I`ve been sitting through three days of this
incredible farce on Capitol Hill. Chris, government by absurdity can only
go on for so long and things start to crack. And I think when you`ve got
the uniformed heads of the military services essentially ignoring the
president, the crack is getting deeper and moving into very, very dangerous
territory in terms of the structure of the whole government.
HAYES: What do you think?
REID: Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things I think is becoming clear
is that we`re all living in a giant video game and Anthony Scaramucci is
just the avatar Donald Trump has chosen to play, right, because he sort of
is what Donald Trump, as one person said, thinks he sees when he looks in
mirror and his attitude is just what Donald Trump wants.
The problem is while all of this ridiculous show is going on, while this
reality show taking place, they are literally abrogating every norm that
has made the United States of America a functioning democracy. We can no
longer trust the basic data coming out of public officials. We can no
longer tell whether a president`s statement on Twitter is an official state
of policy or just him having a bad morning, nor can his own departments…
HAYES: …has chosen to ignore what was quite clearly a policy directive
from the president of the United States.
REID: Right. And so you have a nonfunctional presidency, a nonfunctional
congress that still sees itself as the lackeys and stewards of this
nonfunctional president and we have an almost ungovernable state where the
whole world is watching the United States of America become this.
HAYES: Charlie, to your point, too, I have talked to a bunch of people and
a lot of veterans of previous administrations, all they obsess over is
some day you`re going to come to work and there`s a crisis, some day you`re
going to come to work and there`s something you can`t control, whether it`s
something like Deepwater Horizon, or Ebola or Katrina. And, man alive,
what is going to happen then?
PIERCE: Well, right before we came on the air there was a statement that
the State Department has ordered the family members of the embassy
officials in Caracas, in Venezuela to leave the country. And the first
thing I thought of was, at least there`s somebody in the State Department
to give the order.
PIERCE: That`s the kind of thing that`s not tenable right now.
And I mean, as I said, I`ve been in the middle of this health care thing
for three days. The White House is completely absent from this. There is
absolutely no White House input on this issue at all.
REID: Because they don`t care what is in the bill. They just want a win.
HAYES: And you`re sort of seeing how that`s playing out.
You can catch Joy Reid weekends at 10:00 a.m. right here on MSNBC.
Reid, Charlie Pierce at Esquire.com, you will not regret either of those.
Thank you both.
That is All In for this evening.
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