All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 7/28/2017 Obamacare Repeal
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: July 28, 2017
Guest: McKay Coppins, Olivia Nuzzi, Norman Ornstein, David Jolly, Lee
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly people around him, maybe even President
Trump, could end up happy to answer questions for the lawyer – for the
protester`s lawyers. So it`s not – it`s not like a harmless thing.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Not no, not why. Thank you very much, Kurtis Lee,
Jonathan Swan, Francesca Chambers, Sahil Kapoor, Ken Vogel, Ali Velshi,
Erica Martinson and Michael Steele, a super panel. Thank you all for
sticking around. 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. ObamaCare is alive and the
White House is in chaos.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Get over here
HAYES: Just hours after President Trump`s greatest failure to date, his
Chief of Staff is out.
TRUMP: Reince is a superstar.
HAYES: And replaced with a general.
TRUMP: John Kelly, one of our real stars.
HAYES: Tonight a new low for the Trump Presidency after last night`s
victory for the resistance. Where the White House goes from here?
TRUMP: They should have approved health care last night but you can`t have
HAYES: And how Collins, Murkowski and John McCain may have saved
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: This is you know,
clearly a disappointing moment.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Reince Priebus is
out, Anthony Scaramucci has ascended and the Trump administration is
reeling after one of the most dramatic votes in recent Senate history
brought an end, at least for now, to the GOP`s seven-year effort to repeal
ObamaCare. We`ll revisit that historic moment shortly but first today`s
big news. President Trump announcing he is replacing his Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Reince is a good man, John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General
Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by
everybody, a great, great American. Reince Priebus, a good man. Thank you
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: General John Kelly leaves his post as Homeland Security Secretary
where he oversaw the Trump administration`s draconian crackdown on
immigration. He will now occupy the most powerful staff position in the
White House. There`s no replacement as of yet for that Homeland Security
Post. The President first announced the news on Twitter where he offered
kind words on Priebus, “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his
service and dedication to this country. We accomplish a lot together and
I`m proud of him.” A source close to Priebus tells NBC News he resigned
last night, making his tenure 190 days, the shortest for any non-interim
Chief of Staff in the history of the White House.
The move coming out for months of reports the President was considering
firing Priebus in less than 48 hours after the new White House
Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, directed the FBI to
investigate Priebus for leaking a Scaramucci financial disclosure form that
was, in fact, a publicly available form. Scaramucci also, of course, went
on that profanity list tirade against Priebus in an interview published
yesterday on New Yorker, describing Priebus as “f`ing paranoid
schizophrenic.” Wall Street Journal Reports tonight the President was
“dismissive of Mr. Priebus for not returning fire.” Given the choice
between the two men, President Trump chose Scaramucci. Tonight, Reince
wants everyone to know, there`s no hard feelings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: This is not like a
situation where there`s a bunch of ill will feelings. This is I think good
for the President. I think it`s smart for him to pick General Kelly. I`m
always going to be a Trump fan. I`m on team Trump. He has the best
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: But –
PRIEBUS: Hang on a second. He knows I think, intuitively, when things
need to change. I`ve seen it now for a year and a half on this wild ride
with the President that I love being a part of. But he intuitively
determined that it was time to do something differently. And I think he`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Olivia Nuzzi whose Washington Correspondent for New
York Magazine, and McKay Coppins, Staff Writer at the Atlantic. Olivia,
you wrote earlier that basically, everyone inside and outside the White
House had come to dislike Reince Priebus. Why is that?
OLIVIA NUZZI, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I didn`t
say everyone, but there are certainly people within the White House who
have not liked him, who disliked him for a long time, who disliked
Republican National Committee figures more broadly, who are anti-
establishment types. And I think partly it`s said you know, with Donald
Trump, he is never going to look inward to blame himself for anything that
goes wrong. And so, he`s likely to point the finger at somebody else. And
that somebody else happened to be Reince Priebus. We just had this huge
event last night with health care which was an embarrassment I think for
this administration and yet another failure legislatively.
And I think probably that was the last draw when it comes to Reince
Priebus. I think the timeline is a little mixed up. Everyone sort of
reporting different things about when exactly this became the plan but it
seems pretty clear that it – there was a lot of buildup. And from the
very beginning of this administration, people were fighting with Reince
Priebus. Remember early on, there were a lot of reports about Steve Bannon
and Reince Priebus getting along and not being able to work together. And
they actually came out on the record in New York Magazine to talk to me and
pretend like they were best friends and they told me that –
HAYES: I`m glad you said pretend because I was going to interject that if
NUZZI: It was – They told me that they – when I got them – you know, at
the beginning of the interview, they told me that they just had finished
giving each other back massages and that they would falsely texting each.
They did this whole performative sort of two men show to me and to other
reporters as well. I believe they also did this with the Washington Post.
The massage thing was pretty special, I felt that. You know, there has
been a lot of conflict and – with Reince Priebus.
HAYES: That sort of – that look, what you`re saying there, part of the
core, McKay, I mean, there`s a bunch of things going on here. To Olivia`s
point, I mean, look, actually firing your Chief of Staff after one of the
most sort of shocking and indeed humiliating legislative defeats I`ve sort
of ever seen, which is last night`s Senate vote, that`s not (INAUDIBLE) in
certain ways. I mean, what happened last night was really bad. It would
be bad in any White House, but what`s striking to me is just the
humiliation factor which you know, from early on McKay, you said that Trump
has around him a cast mini-Trumps and the Trump organization functions
where everyone is trying to sort of out-Trump each other and in comes
Anthony Scaramucci who just seems to take that past any possible imagining.
MCKAY COPPINS, THE ATLANTIC STAFF WRITER: Yes, exactly. Scaramucci is the
best Donald Trump impersonator in the world. He`s better than Alec
Baldwin, he`s better than anyone. I mean, he – the reason that I think
that he probably has a bright future in Trumpland at least for the
perceivable future is because he has figured it out how to channel Donald
Trump. He flatters him, he`s slavishly loyal to him, but he`s also like
him. When Trump says that he surrounds himself with the best people, he
means people like himself. Reince Priebus was never like Donald Trump. I
mean, he was-he was added to this White House and given a prominent perch
largely as a concession to the Republican establishment and to the
Republican Congress in an attempt to use him to kind of push through
legislation and bridge the two worlds, the Trumpworld the rest of the
Washington Republicans. You know, and you`re right.
Look, Reince Priebus was the one, or one of the people who told Donald
Trump that he should go for health care first and spend all of his
political capital and all of his time coming into the White House on health
care and it didn`t work. So he wasn`t necessarily wrong to fire Reince.
My question though looking forward is, is this new Chief of Staff somebody
who by the way doesn`t know a lot of Republicans in Congress, doesn`t know
a lot of the Republican establishment. Is he going to make things better?
Is he going to somehow advance the Republican legislative agenda that Trump
wants to advance? I don`t know. It is not at all clear to me that this is
going to fix our problem.
HAYES: Well, the question of what he wants to advance itself is a little
odd right? I mean, so Olivia, you`ve got a situation out of McKay`s point.
Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus were both connections to the institutional RNC.
The sort of actual institutional Republican party, an organization to which
he has a very strained, complicated strange alien relationship. He
basically conquered that entity. He is the most important Republican in
the country and yet the party itself and its agenda is a bit at odds length
from him. So, one question is, does this signal – and I`m talking about
John Harwood my colleague reporting that one analyzing that he`s going to
turn against essentially Ryanism, right? That he came and there`s a big
question about, is this President going to take a new tact domestically and
try to wedge the Democrats in infrastructure? And he went down the line
with sort of GOP agenda. Does that change having gotten rid of Reince and
NUZZI: I mean, possibly. Certainly, they have fewer links – fewer solid
relationships to establishment republicans now. But Donald Trump we have
to remember, he doesn`t have an ideology. His ideology is Donald Trump.
And so I think, he is very much influenced by the people who he surrounds
himself with. And you know, it`s interesting obviously people who are
sharing a lot of Anthony Scaramucci`s older tweets on Friday and over the
weekend after he was hired. This is someone who`s also been sort of all
over the political map.
And so, it`s going to be interesting to see you know, how Kelly and how
Scaramucci and how anyone else that he brings in, influences what`s they
choose to focus on policy wise because you know, so far it has been pretty
much the status quo in terms of things that Republicans are interested in
and what they believe establishment wise. But going forward, if none of
them were around, I think you know, it`s whoever – there`s a saying about
Trump is that the last person to talk to him is the one who wields the most
influence and I think that will probably turn out to be true in this
HAYES: There`s also this just the spectacle of this ritual humiliation
which has become the theme. It was a theme from the very first debate.
This is something that I think the President has – he`s got a genuine
talent for attempting to humiliate people. He has a genuine talent for
sort of bringing out the worst in people. Those are – those are things
that he is sort of indisputably excellent at doing. And to have you know,
to have Priebus sort of publicly (INAUDIBLE), the detail McKay that of the
Wall Street Journal that he-that he-we know from the reporting, he likes
watching his aides fight each other, he gets a kick out of that. It`s
amusing to him. He sort of likes to sort of cultivate that atmosphere and
that he looked askance at Priebus for not firing back at Scaramucci. And
that was in some sense as the final straw. Does that ring true to you?
COPPINS: Absolutely. So many people who have worked for Trump or sort of
Trump and in his orbit have told me that Trump gleefully and deliberately
fosters an atmosphere that one person describes to me as like the Hunger
Games. He wants his aides to bludgeon each to death to prove their
supremacy and to win Trump`s affection. He enjoys that. He thinks – he
does believe that it brings out the best outcome because he thinks that the
best person will eventually win. But I mean, I also think we have to –it
just takes stock of the fact that Donald Trump, the day that the major
republican legislative initiative was on the verge of either passing or
imploding, Donald Trump was gleefully aching on a public knife fight
between two of his top aides. That`s how it spend that –
NUZZI: I don`t think that it`s just that you know, he`s trying to figure
out who`s the best and who will come out on top. I think it`s also that
Donald Trump is easily bored and he –
HAYES: That`s a great – no that is a great point and I genuinely
NUZZI: It`s true. He –
HAYE: – about how this country is functioning right now.
NUZZI: Thank you.
HAYES: No, I`m serious. That is –
NUZZI: He is easily bored. And he likes to preside over chaos. He is
entertained by it. And when people stop entertaining him I think with
their – with their fights, then he moves on to the next one. And I think
that we can really assess a lot of what`s going on in this White House with
all of this so called palace intrigue by looking at it like that. It is
sort of the apprentice west wing edition.
HAYES: Yes. To McKay`s point too, just Alex Burns from the New York Times
had a very funny line last night where he said, well I guess the President
is closing message on healthcare, that he`s mad at his Attorney General
just couldn`t get over the top. Which is – I mean, it is so true that it
was – I`ve never seen anything like it, the entirety of the healthcare
process which is essentially pulled off like a heist where Mitch McConnell
is trying to sort of sneak into the bank and crack the vault and get
healthcare out before anyone could catch them.
And while they were doing that, as opposed to sort of publicly presenting
the plan or saying affirmatively why it was good, the President had no
obvious interest in, nor understanding of what was happening at a policy
level, was both picking a fight with his Attorney General who he clearly
wants to fire so he can (INAUDIBLE) the investigation into his associates
and perhaps to himself. And also, as McKay said, egging on a knife fight,
a profane knife fight between two aides. I mean, this is what he was doing
in the most monumental day in the fate of the domestic policy agenda of the
party of which he was the teacher or head.
NUZZI: Yes, I mean, think about it. He`s stuck in the White House right
now sort of walking around in unfamiliar surroundings. He is someone who
likes familiar surroundings. He likes to feel at home. He went home a lot
during the campaign. He would fly home at odd hours just to sleep in his
own bed. He`s in this strange place, in this strange city that is not his
own, to which he`s not native. He probably misses New York, I`m
speculating but that seems likely. And I think you know, he is just
looking for ways to keep himself occupied. It`s not going base his policy
I mean, he didn`t – people reported that he didn`t know the difference
between Medicare and Medicaid. So certainly he`s looking for other outlet
for kind of how MC he must be. And he can`t – he cannot act the same –
exactly the same way as he did on the campaign. I`m sure he has a lot more
people telling him now that he has to act Presidential. And even though he
does just say crazy things on Twitter, he will attack morning show hosts
say for plastic surgery or other things. I think he`s still – you know
he`s not quite at the level of campaign Donald Trump in that respect and I
think it`s probably making him look for other areas where he can be
HAYES: There`s also the fact that we have never – we have not had
thankfully, any major crises that this White House had to negotiated but
one always goes to think about what will happen when that happens. Olivia
Nuzzi, McKay Coppins, thank you, both for your time tonight.
COPPINS: Thank you.
NUZZI: Thank you.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Norman Ornstein Contributing Editor for the
Atlantic and co-author for the forthcoming book One Nation After Trump, A
Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet
Deported and with me also former Republican Congressman David Jolly. And
Norm, as someone who`s been writing about the structural nature of the
Republican Party as an entity in American politics for several decades now,
and about how unique it is and the sort of nature in which it sort of gone
off the rails. Do you think there`s a connection between the kind of chaos
and dysfunction that we`ve seen legislatively from the Senate that
culminated last night and what we are seeing from Donald Trump in the White
NORMAN ORNSTEIN, THE ATLANTIC CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: I`m sure there is. And
while a lot of it preceded Trump and in many ways provided the ground work
for Trump to emerge. This attack on government and on everybody in
government that`s been going on at least since Newt Gingrich came to
Washington. I think there`s little doubt that the dysfunction in Congress,
that fact that you have a Republican Party that is not really focusing on
solving problems but on trying to manage its way through with a large group
of radicals and no moderates to speak of anymore, this is all connected.
And you know, I keep coming back to the term kakistocracy resurrected now,
government by the least confident among us. And the more Congress is
unable to do anything, both Ryan and McConnell failing at passing things on
to Trump and what they hoped was simply that they would have a President
who would just sign anything put in front of them. If they can`t put
anything in front, they`re going to be under attack and Trump is going to
go after them as well.
HAYES: You know, it occurred to me David, last night – yesterday as I was
watching the health care debate unfold which I found remarkable for a
number of reasons. But the most remarkable thing and in some ways the most
revelatory was that it came down to a moment in which a bunch of Republican
Senators said the bill before us is a disaster and a fraud, I`m quoting
directly. We`re going to vote for it as long as you promise the bill we`re
voting for doesn`t become law. And I thought to myself, you know what that
is? They miss Barack Obama. Because what they all miss, they all miss
voting for stuff the President co-veto. They miss essentially playing
legislator as opposed to actually being one and this is them attempting to
kind of role play their way back in time where they can pass things that
won`t become law. But that`s not how it works anymore and you saw last
night, they`re not ready to actually legislate.
DAVID JOLLY, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Look, last night was a
humiliating historical moment for Republicans and that press conference was
just bizarre. Equally as bizarre was the President then going to Twitter
saying, yes, please, I agree. Pass something that you actually don`t want
to be enacted into law. We woke up this morning a deeply divided party.
Understand for seven years, Republicans have promised this. This is a
deeply divided party members of Congress are going to hear it from their
conservative base. But to Norm`s point and yours as well Chris, we have
been divided in different variations now for easily a decade.
And at one point, it was tea party versus establishment, now it`s kind of
Trump world versus tea party and there is no place for Senate right if you
want to call them establishment or not. There is no place for Center Right
Republicans anymore in this current party. Frankly what we saw last night
was the inability of this President, a Republican President, to lead the
Party and lead to Nation on one the of most critical issues we face and one
he had promised to reform on day one.
HAYES: But I want to press on the nature of that failure because the
nature of that failure to me is all interconnected. The only reason the
way that Donald Trump can win in a Republican primary was if enough voters
didn`t care about policy mastery. And I remember watching – I would watch
debates where he be up there with governors. And these are governors who
my own politics and world view are quite different than say Scott Walker
for instance. And you would watch them, there would be parts of where
there`s a debate of Planned Parenthood defunding. And every one of those
governors could tell you with tremendous granular detail the ins and outs
of how they went about say defunding Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump could
not do that. But the voters chose someone who didn`t have that. And so it
all seems to me to kind of come back around. Last night was the product of
the choices that are being made by a base that don`t really seem to care in
some deep sense about governing. Do you agree Norm?
ORNSTEIN: Absolutely I agree. And I think what you had was a Republican
Party and it goes back certainly in this case to when Obama became
President using for midterm victories in 2010 and 2014 a set of themes that
it`s all corrupt, it`s all awful, it can`t get any worse than this. Trump
comes along and says, what the hell have you got to lose? We`ll blow
things up. And you had a lot of voters who said go ahead and do that. And
you have a group of people in Congress who were not prepared to make a
pivot with policy ideas that they had along with the President unlike
anyone we`ve ever had who has zero knowledge of policy and no interest in
developing any knowledge.
HAYES: Quickly, David. There`s some talk that the President is now going
to pivot against the GOP Congress and essentially run against them. Do you
think that`s likely?
JOLLY: Absolutely because look, your conservative base is going to blame
Ryan and McConnell as being rhinos. The purge you`re seeing in the White
House, Priebus and Spicer, the other establishment Republicans, this
president`s only path forward is to go back to what he knows which is to
surround himself by those who believe in Trump as the person, not as Trump
as the Leader of the Party.
HAYES: All right. Norm Ornstein, David Jolly, thank you, both for joining
JOLLY: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll have much more on today`s White House shake-up capping off a
disastrous, unbelievable week really to the Trump administration, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They should have approved healthcare last night but we can`t have
everything. Boy oh boy. We`ve been working on that one for seven years.
Can you believe that? The swamp but we`ll get it done. We`re going to get
it done. You know, I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode and
then do it. I turned out to be right. Let ObamaCare implode.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just before his Chief of Staff resigned today, President Trump
spoke today in Long Island, that was just hours after Senate Republicans
failed to pass even the skinny repeal, as they called it, of ObamaCare.
Now, the President`s speech today before members of law enforcement
centered on lurid depictions of terrifying violence as he often falls back
on. The President also praised his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly
who just hours later, he announced as his new chief of staff. Joining me
now, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of the first district of New York
who traveled with the President today. And I believe that`s – you`re in
territory that`s adjoining your district today so you have this sort of
hometown crowd today. The President once referred to the White House as a
smoothly running machine. Would you say that`s the case?
REP. LEE ZELDIN (R), NEW YORK: Well, hopefully by putting an experienced
General, it can become one. But I would say right now, they`re in a
transition where, you know, hopefully identifying strengths and weaknesses
of those who are there and possibly additional changes, they can get to the
point where they are smooth running machine but I don`t know if they`re
there at this moment.
HAYES: It seems that from people around the President, he blames Paul Ryan
and Reince Priebus and I think probably blames people like and you and
other folks in Congress for the failure of healthcare, It`s not his fault.
He always says they which I think is interesting. They`ve been trying to
do it for seven years. He hasn`t been doing it. Do you think it is Reince
Priebus` and Paul Ryan`s and your fault?
ZELDIN: Well, I mean, I`ve spoke to the President about this today. I
mean, he tweeted as well about you know, where he puts the blame of three
Republicans and 48 Democrats in his opinion. And you know, I had a
conversation days ago with a Senator and I asked, you have three or more
moderate Senators in your conference who just won`t vote for any repeal no
matter what it looks like, and that senator said yes. So I wasn`t terribly
surprised by what happened earlier this morning. I was told yesterday that
it was going to go a little bit different when Senator McCain changed this
vote after that. But on the House side –
HAYES: So you thought – wait a minute, that`s interesting. So you were
told yesterday they had the votes.
ZELDIN: I was under the impression that they had the votes. You know, not
– I didn`t – I didn`t think it was going to be much more than a 51, you
know, a tiebreaking vote by the Vice President. But I wasn`t expecting it
to go down by one. And you know, this – whether you`re a Conservative
Republican Senator like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or a moderate
Senator like Cassidy, Shelley Moore Capito, Dean Heller, they were trying
to move the process along. But you know, his obviously wasn`t what I think
the large majority of Congressional Republicans wanted to see get done as
the final product. Because I mean, just – it wasn`t the final product.
HAYES: You were at this event today, and I want to play you something the
President said that`s gotten some attention. The President talking about -
- he`s talking in front of uniform police officers, talking about how
police officers treat suspects who of course have now been convicted of a
crime and presumed to be innocent under the constitution, here`s what he
had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you see the thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon,
you just see them thrown in rough. I said please don`t be too nice. Like
when you guys put somebody in the car and you`re protecting their head, you
know. The way you put their hand like, don`t hit their head and they just
killed somebody, don`t hit the head. I said you can take hand away, OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you support the President`s call for police brutality?
ZELDIN: No. I would say that the President is coming the area where we
have people who, I have my own constituents, the high profile murder of
four by MS-13 that brought AG Sessions here few months ago, two of my
constituents, two were in Congressman King`s district. They were murdered
by machetes. The nature of what we are going through right now is tearing
apart families it`s ripping our communities.
HAYES: Those crimes are indisputably horrible and anyone who sees them
will be. The question is, is it OK, even the context of that to instruct
police officers to engage in illegal criminal activity which is assault or
ZELDIN: Right. So you know, just finishing the thought, to you know, to
answer that question is while it is deeply emotional, what`s going on, it`s
very important for our law enforcement to be following their rules, the
laws because people are innocent until proven guilty. We have a process
here in our country to ensure that people have a hearing, right to counsel.
What`s interesting though, is when dealing with Ms-13, you know, we have
people who are illegal on many different fronts and that whole issue you
know, is highly charged. But it is the best practice of all of our law
enforcement to be following the local rules and regulations and
understanding people are innocent until proven guilty.
HAYES: This is – this is what the Suffolk County PD said, “has strict
rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of
those rules are treated extremely seriously.” Was it appropriate for the
President to say that?
ZELDIN: No. I mean, I definitely have a different style than the
President. I mean –
HAYES: But was it appropriate to tell police officers to engage in
ZELDIN: No. I don`t – I can`t agree with that.
HAYES: Was it appropriate for the police officers on stage to applaud?
ZELDIN: You know, I didn`t know I was going to be here to referee this one
sentence of the speech. I mean, there was – they got into a whole lot of
really important issues.
HAYES: But Congressman, you could understand. You know who Freddy Gray
HAYES: OK. His spine was snapped and he died in the back of a police van
possibly because he was treated roughly in there and you can understand
how, say, his family members were to see this speech where the President of
the United States making a joke about treating prisoners roughly and seeing
police officers applaud, you can understand how that would really be
hurtful to those people, right?
ZELDIN: Sure. I would also say that you know, there are whole lot of
people who watched this speech who live in my area who are very pleased
that the President is taking the aggressive approach that he is on
combatting Ms-13 because they lost their son as a result of an attack with
a machete. So –
HAYES: But the question – the key point here is there`s a question
between one and the other, right? Because I think what seems important as
someone who is a lawmaker or someone who is a President and enforcing the
law, is to understand that the engaging in protecting people from MS-13,
and prosecuting crimes, right, does not necessitate the police engaging in
extra judicial violence. That seems like an important line to establish
that one doesn`t have anything to do with the other because we`re a nation
of laws and we pursue people like MS-13 lawfully.
ZELDIN: And – I mean, you know, it`s one of those particular questions
where you know, it`s kind of impossible to, you know, to be – can play
devil`s advocate and again, law enforcement has to follow their local
regulations. They have to follow their laws and people are innocent until
proven guilty. You know, I would say that there`s – you know, there`s an
emotion that is felt when it is a –
HAYES: I respect that.
ZELDIN: When there is a killer who – you know, just murdered someone with
a machete that you know, we`re going – they`re not in this country legally
and that goes on and we`re worried about you know, making sure that they,
you know, they don`t bang their head.
But one of the reasons why you set those standards is that you don`t want
anyone to take matters into their own hands and then you have an issue that
becomes more complicated. So, I get it. And it is impossible to argue the
other side of it. And if I was up there, I wouldn`t have said it.
But there was so much more to the speech and also so much more to the back
story of what we`re going through here and something police sent out their
tweet afterwards to reiterate what their policy is. And I`m sure that
their people are going to get the message.
HAYES: I want to play – you know, these crimes obviously that have been
committed there are horrifying and we should also be clear that violence
that gangs like MS-13, which was actually started in the United States,
exported back to El Salvadore from American prisons, have wrecked
unbelievable pain and suffering in Central America as well. So, these are
groups that have really left a long toll of violence.
The president describing what it is like in the district adjoining yours
had this to say to get to your point about the broader themes in the
speech. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Since January 16, think of this, MS-13 gang members have brutally
murdered 17 beautiful young lives in this area on Long Island alone. They
beat them with gloves. They slashed them with machetes, and they stabbed
them with knives.
They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into
(END VIDEO CLPI)
HAYES: Given how horrific these crimes are, and they have been or
horrific, and it has been concentrated geographically, but do you think
about the place you live and the place you represent, the adjoining
district, as blood-stained killing fields? Is that an accurate
characterization of the place you reside?
ZELDIN: When these incidents take place, there at that moment, absolutely.
These are – I love Long Island. This is our home. I wouldn`t want to
live anywhere else, especially this time of year, we
have a lot of people who come visit us. The weather is beautiful for those
who are watching and want a good place to vacation.
But at that moment when you`re outside of that bar and there was a small
skirmish inside that
results in someone taking a knife and basically ripping out – I don`t want
to say it on the show, but what happened, one of the other incidents that
happened, and it is not, they don`t use guns in many cases because they
don`t want too quick of a death and they want other people watching what
So at that moment, it is just happening too much and it is also human
trafficking, it`s drug trafficking, gang rape. We talk about the murders
but we don`t talk about all the other stuff that`s going on as well.
HAYES: All right, Lee Zeldin, I really appreciate you taking the time
tonight. Thank you for sticking around.
ZELDIN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, next, the dramatic scenes from last night`s vote, gasps
on the floor, the stare down, all the reactions. We`ll break the whole
thing down for you. You don`t want to miss it. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: This process is an embarrassment.
This is nuclear gray bonkers what is happening here tonight. We are about
to reorder one-fifth of the American health care system and we are going to
have two hours to review a bill, which at first blush stands essentially as
health care system arson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: To understand the absolutely stunning drama that unfolded on the
Senate floor last night, you have to start just minutes before 10:00 p.m.,
when Senate Republicans first posted the
text of their health care bill, an eight-page repeal written that day over
Now, Democrats would have two hours to review it before a midnight vote,
the possibly of reordering America`s health care system in the dead of
night with Americans asleep.
Immediately, Democrats rose one after the other to speak out against the
bill and the idea of
jamming it through Senate overnight. After McConnell first introduced the
bill, just one Republican Senator would take to the floor for the GOP.
That was the Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming who intended to hold to floor at
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the senator yield to the question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disregarding.
SEN. MIKE ENZI, (R) WYOMING: I think this is under my time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I can just respectfully ask the chairman, since
we`ve only had this bill for an hour and we have, as you can see, a number
of Senators who want to speak and I just would respectfully ask if there`s
any time that we will have between now and the vote to make
any comments, since we have just had the bill for a very short amount of
time that we`ll be voting on and will obviously impact millions of
ENZI: Well, I think the answer that I gave was perhaps your time might be
better spent taking a look at the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As the clock ticked toward midnight, Vice President Pence arrived
on The Hill to the
Hill to potentially cast a deciding, tiebreaking vote to chants of shame
The first vote of the night began at 20 minutes after midnight, the last
lever Democrats could
pull, which was a request to send the bill to committee for debate.
Now, that vote would certainly fail and it did. But, here`s the thing,
even with all the votes counted for that first vote, McConnell kept that
first vote open talking to Vice President Pence on the floor. And it was
becoming clear, he was stalling.
Nearby, John McCain was talking to two senators who had criticized the
bill, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Then Pence was talking to Mccain.
McConnell did not have the votes and the vice president was trying to
change that. And they kept the vote open for over an hour.
The clearest foreshadowing happened shortly after 1:00 a.m. when McCain
to a crowd of Democrats, they were joking around and smiling, McCain even
put his arm around Diane
It was approaching 1:30 when the main crucial climactic vote began.
Collins vote no. Mukowski voted no. But McCain didn`t answer when his
name was called. He`d walk in seconds later, stand in front of McConnell
and ask for the clerks attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Peters?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As BuzzFeed noted, you can look at this one moment like a
renaissance painting, what each person was doing when that third Republican
vote was cast to kill the bill, something several Democrats have told All
In they did not know what would happen for sure until they witnessed it.
Bernie Sanders nodging Senator Jeanne Shaheen the vote was coming. Amy
Klobuchar and Bob Casey on their feet waiting in anticipation. Then
Sherrod Brown slapping the desk. Elizabeth Morning leaning to see what
would happen and then unable to resist cheering for McCain`s vote.
Minority leader Chuck Schumer, look at that, trying to quiet his exuberant
colleagues as the audible gasps and smatterings of applause. And of
course, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, arms folded, staring at McCain,
watching him walk up the floor knowing the bill was dead.
As the crowds outside would find out seconds later.
HAYES: After that vote, Leader McConnell addressed the senate saying it`s
time to move on and acknowleding the defeat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: This is clearly a disappointing moment. We worked hard and
everybody on this side can certainly attest to the fact we worked really
hard to try to develop a consensus for a better way forward.
So yes, this is a disappointment, a disappointment indeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Senator, what was it like to be in that chamber last night?
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY, (D) OREGON: It was an incredible amount of drama,
because what we understood was that it was essentially a tie and the health
care for 16 million people was going to depend upon one hand movement, John
McCain`s hand. Was it thumbs up or thumbs down?
HAYES: So you had an indication while you were just talking among your
colleagues. You knew that Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were nos and
you needed one more vote and there was an indication that had been sent to
you that you understood that McCain might be a no? Did you know that
walking in to the Senate chamber?
MERKLEY: We knew it was in question. We knew that the Arizona governor
had talked to him. We knew he had given a speech who said this process is
not the right process. On the other hand, he had voted to get on to the
bill and he had indicated some willingness to send to it a conference
committee? So, it really was hanging in the balance.
And then, on the floor, the vice president comes out on the floor and
instead of taking the seat, he goes to talk to John McCain, well, that`s a
good sign. And then the vice president disappears. That`s not such a good
sign. And then the vice president comes back and goes out with John
McCain, probably to hold a conference, maybe to talk to the president, and
then we were really worried. So it was right down to the last moment.
HAYES: So, you`re describing – I mean, I was watching the same scene. I
wasn`t in the room and I was drawing the same inferences as you just
described, meaning that you were watching that unfold in real-time trying
to draw clues from all this like he have one else was.
MERKELEY: Yes. And and in the middle of it, John McCain came over to the
side and four or five of us huddled around him. And he had a question
about the Bird rule, that is we were contesting, or potentially contesting
the last section of the eight-page bill saying it didn`t seem to fit the
rules. We told him we would set that aside. He asked some questions about
whether we would be willing to proceed to the Defense Authorization Act and
facilitate that so that we didn`t have a long drawn out mark-up of that act
on the floor. We said we were happy to do that.
So, that felt pretty positive. And he – it sounded like he was about to
go with us, but we still weren`t 100 percent sure.
HAYES: How did you and the Democratic colleagues feel last night when this
was all over?
MERKLEY: Tremendous relief. We have been engaged with grassroots America
saying, hey, we have to work with you, because you have the ability to say
what is really going on in the ground
to your Republican senators, that in fact the expansion of Medicaid is
working really well, that the exchange has empowered hundreds of thousands
in your state to get health care, that the health care bill of rights makes
a lot of sense, and that blowing all of this up really would be a terrible
thing to do.
We needed the citizens in every state to tell the senators that. We needed
the health care stakeholders to say that. We contacted governors in these
states to have them convey that, but still what you saw was this solid
determination to get something passed, even if it hurt the people of
America, so it was a real battle, and a huge relief that we aren`t going to
blow up health care.
And now, we`re just hoping that our Republican colleagues will finally say,
OK, enough with the politics, we know things need to be fixed. We will
work with you. The Democrats have had a list of things that need to be
improved. I`m sure the Republicans have some. Let`s work together to make
this system work better.
HAYES: Is that an actual – Senator McCain is flying back for chemo and
further treatment for brain cancer, which means his vote is not on the
table for the rest of August. I think it`s unlikely that McConnell can
move anything on this, particularly for the rest of the month.
But I guess the question is, how confident are you that this not – that
we`ve seen the end of this kind of unilateral push on this piece of
MERKLEY: Well, here`s the challenge. The Republicans were doing things to
deliberately undermine the marketplace exchange. They were proceeding to
sabotage reinsurance, which enables a company to go into a new marketplace
and get insured against the risk of having a disproportionate share of
really sick people.
Then they proceeded to have the president hold the cost-sharing payments,
so the companies didn`t know what they`d be paid, so a lot of them said,
hey, we have to bail out. We don`t know what we`re going to be paid and if
we don`t know how much we`re compensated.
And then they shortened the period for application and reduced the budget
for advertising, he open sign-up period. That hurt and so forth.
We needed them to get out of that mode and say quit sabotaging the
exchange. This was actually your all`s idea, this was the Republican
right-wing think tank`s idea, a marketplace which essentially there were
private options, private insurance companies. And yet, ironically that`s
the part that they`re really trying to blow up now.
So, I hope they can get out of that mode and say, OK, yes, we can – we
want to quit sabotaging and we can make things work better.
HAYES: Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Thanks for joining me.
MERKLEY: You`re very welcome. Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, the unbelievable week in the Trump administration that
started with the president making public attacks on Attorney General Jeff
Sessions as it ending with a new chief of staff.
HAYES: This has been a notably rough week for President Donald Trump. It
started with the president relentlessly attacking his own Attorney General
Jeff Sessions, calling Sessions beleaguered, asking why he wasn`t, quote,
looking into Crooked Hillary`s crimes and Russia relations.
And he week ended with the president`s humiliating defeat on health care in
the wee hours of Friday morning.
Now, Republicans have promised their voters Obamacare repeal for seven
years. But the bill was derailed by thumbs down from Senator John Mccain
of Arizona, once ridiculed, of course, by the president for getting
captured during Vietnam.
And in between those sign posts, there was what you might call a series of
unfortunate events including the previously mentioned ban on military
service by transgender people and the instantly infamous Boy Scouts
Jamboree speech that sounded more like a political rally and prompted the
Scouts themselves to issue an apology.
And of course, Anthony Scaramucci`s profanity-laced interview with The New
Yorker in which the new communications director attacked then chief of
staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, topping all that
off of course was the ouster of Priebus and the appointment of a new chief
of staff, also by Twitter.
Joining me now are Anna Galland, executive director from MoveOn and
Republican Strategist Matt MacKowiak.
Matt, you`re – I would say you`re not a never Trumper. You`re not really
like on the Trump train. You`re sort of somewhere in between as a sort of
Republican guy, a Republican operative.
If I were a Republican operative, I would be feeling pretty low right now.
What is your feeling?
MATT MACKOWIAK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I certainly felt that way
after last night. I mean, the sense of failure with the Senate effort to
do something on health care to keep the vehicle moving was profound. and
there`s a lot of blame to go around, honestly. Seven years, not getting
consensus behind one bill, letting this process become such a mess, the
product itself became a
So, look, I think the question now is can Trump have a successful final six
months of his calendar year. Next year, we have an election year. It is
going to be very difficult to get much done. I think the likelihood of
passing tax reform probably increases with health care failing. I think
the need is there. You had the big six up on Capitol Hill agree on
principles this week on tax reform.
So we`ll see where it goes from here. And I think more order and less
chaos out of the White House will go a long way to helping them move their
agenda forward in the final six months of this year.
HAYES: So, that`s interesting, Matt. Anna, we have seen the death of a
health care bill so many times. In fact, in editorial discussions, I was
like well what do we call it? There are only so many times we can come on
air and say the health care bill is dead. So, you`ve got to be very hedge.
I don`t know, maybe it comes back in a few days.
What is your thinking? MoveOn obviously, one of the groups that mobilized
strongly against it. What is your understanding of what just transpired
and where you are in these first six months?
ANNA CALLAND, MOVEON.ORG: Oh, well, man, I mean, Thursday was
unbelievable. First of all, let`s be really clear what happened. A moral
atrocity became a political liability for
Republicans, it became toxic politically. And on Thursday night the
resistance movement, which had a
massive uprising over the course of six months, not just this week, but
over six months, a massive resistance movement, succeeded in killing a
terrible idea that would have killed Americans.
We`ve killed it. It`s a zombie. It has arisen before from the grave and
if it arises again we`ll kill it back into its grave, that`s the work we
have to do.
I think you`re seeing people celebrating this week rightly because of the
incredible victory that we have seen. And no one is resting on their
laurels, everyone is getting ready to fight again as much as we need to to
keep this terrible, destructive, cruel idea from ever seeing the light of
HAYES: So, this – what Anna just said, Matt, connects to what something
you said about
moving on to tax reform. There is not going to be the same level of moral
vehemence in resistance to a tax bill that there is to health care for a
whole variety of reasons. There will be opposition to it, and strong
opposition, and taxes are hard. But I guess my question to you is, do you
think they will actually move on? I mean is the idea, OK, this is finally
– we`ve taken a bunch of L`s. This one we`re going to take and move on
for exactly that reason?
MACKOWIAK: Yeah, I think they will move on. I mean, look, there`s going
to be a lot of finger pointing as to why health care did not pass the
Senate. There`s going to be a lot of doubt and sort of Monday morning
quarterbacking the strategic decision to start with health care, which is
traditionally been Democratic terrain, rather than starting with tax
reform, which has been traditionally been Republican terrain.
Tax reform is an issue Trump understands better. It`s an issue that his
team understands better. And I think there`s broader unity and consensus
on tax reform than there was on health care.
So, the question is moving forward now, particularly with the new chief of
staff in place, can this White House start operating with focus and
discipline with strategy, with communications, all – everyone all on the
same team, all on the same page working together. And I think that the
necessity is there.
HAYES: Matt, I have some news for you–
MACKOWIAK: –they`ve got to get major items through.
HAYES: Matt, I have some news for you. I mean in all honesty, I just
don`t think that`s going to happen. I mean, I think that the way that
they`ve conducted themselves is apparent. I mean, maybe it will. And
maybe Jake Kelly is a miracle worker.
But I think the chaos I think is interesting because for folks like Matt
and for allies on the Hill, the chaos is maddening. But I also think,
Anna, you know, I heard from so many folks that I report on who are working
in the trenches, whether it`s Democratic Hill staffers or Republican hill
staffers, the chaos for people fighting the bill was also hard, because
they felt like there was a lot of distraction.
It`s interesting that both the president`s allies and the president`s
opponents both find the chaos maddening in different ways. Do you feel
like the chaos ends up making – no seriously – do you feel like the chaos
has made it harder to actually mobilize in opposition to the president`s
GALLAND: It`s a great question. I mean, it`s also worth noting as a side
note, by the way, that chaos is a kind of authoritarian ruling strategy,
right. So, I think all of us need to keep our eyes on both the kind of
traditional politics that are happening here around trying to defeat a
health care policy bill but then also the craziness, what seems to be an
intentional strategy by this White House to keep people off balance.
Let`s be aware of what`s happening.
But I think, yeah, it`s made it harder and it`s made it all the more
remarkable that the resistance
movement just killed the top priority of this administration and of the
GOP, the thing that was supposed to be passed on day one was just beat back
by a movement of people that started mobilizing in December, that flooded
town halls, that showed up every time a senator or a member of congress
would possibly show their face back home, they were confronted by people
saying hell no, you are not going to do this to us.
And they`re not going to stop wtih health care. One thing I want to be
clear on, if tax reform comes up, yes, that`s a different issue than health
care, but people are fired up to stop this entire toxic agenda.
HAYES: No, I–
GALLAND: Thanks for making time.
HAYES: I wouldn`t under count that.
Anna Galland and Matt MacKowiak, thanks for both making time.
GALLAND: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is my colleague Lawrence O`Donnell, host of the Last
Word which is on tonight live at 10:00 p.m.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC: I`m stealing your instruction for this segment,
because the entire idea of tonight at 10:00 p.m. was the worst week yet in
the Trump presidency.
You just did it in, what, like 72 seconds, you captured the whole thing.
HAYES: Here`s my – you – so you worked in the Senate and been sort of in
the room at various times, what – have you seen something like that
happened last night?
O`DONNELL: Never. Never.
No, no, listen. And I`ve seen, you know, votes decided by that one vote on
the Senate floor at 2:00 in the morning. I`ve been there. I was there one
night when Bob Kerrey did it as a Democrat. He cast the vote that decided
the whole thing. But never with this kind of suspense. And one of the
reasons for the suspense, frankly, has been the inconsistency of John
So, John McCain comes back from his surgery – and by the way, it`s kind of
inconceivable that someone gets off the bed from surgery.
HAYES: He had a tumor taken out of his head.
O`DONNELL: –for brain surgery, and that you would then you would fly
across the country to take health care away from tens of millions of
people. That just becomes conceptually impossible to imagine off the bat.
But I listen to his speech when he came back, and I said right away, this
speech indicates he`s going to vote against anything that Mitch McConnell
And so then he confused people, because he cast the procedural votes with
HAYES: To get to–
O`DONNELL: –which didn`t surprise me, because in the old days of the
Senate, they didn`t have votes on motions to proceed. There were none.
You automatically proceeded to the debate.
So, McCain was using the old tradition there, and I kept saying wait, wait,
wait, wait until he votes on a substantive piece of legislation, and both
times that came up, he voted no.
So, I was not one of those Democrats on the Democratic side of the floor
last night where you heard them gasp. You heard this audible physical
reaction from the Democrats when McCain voted with them.
They wouldn`t have been so surprised if McCain had been consistent over the
last few years of matching his rhetoric to his votes. That was the problem
– because his rhetoric was completely clear and I believe Mitch McConnell
knew all week that he didn`t have McCain.
HAYES: You – I have to say that you were – as someone who follows you on
Twitter, you were right about this and there were a few people who
basically heard that speech and said wait a second, this is him giving the
signal and there was a lot back and forth procedurally.
Here is my other question about how the president relates to congress,
which I think is fascinating at this moment. You`ve got people saying
that, OK, now the president is going to go after
the GOP congress, that he`s gotten–
O`DONNELL: Does he think there`s a third party in the congress that he
HAYES: Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: Can he work with them?
HAYES: But I don`t think that`s implausible that he does that. I mean you
can tell he`s angry at them and I think he thinks well I had this thing
going that was mine and I let myself get dragged into this thing that they
had. I don`t care about it. Why did I allow myself to be tarnished by–
O`DONNELL: So, here`s why nothing is implausible in the Trump White House
and remains even more in the zone of nothing is implausible. They now are
bringing in a White House chief of staff who knows absolutely nothing about
The White House chief of staff`s job first of all is politics. It`s the
most political job in the White House. He is a complete incompetent on
that front. Whatever you think of Reince Priebus, he knows more about
politics than General Kelly is ever going to know about politics.
General Kelly is now going to work with the most incompetent people he`s
been near in his life. He comes from a world of competence where all the
people under him of every rank knows what
they`re doing, the people above him know what they`re doing. They`re
professionals within the military. He`s leaving all of that behind to a
world of chaos, and he has a measurement for failure. He has a measurement
for failure on his first day. And that is exactly how many hours does it
take him to yank Scaramucci`s credentials off of his neck and ban him from
that building, because if he can`t do that he has a White House out of
control, totally out of control, on day one, and he is a failure on day one
because his job is control of the White House.
HAYES: Yeah, the issue – I mean, we all sort of chuckle about getting on
the same page. And the issue is that the president doesn`t want it on the
same page. I mean, fundamentally that is the issue, right, organizations
take on the attributes of their leaders in many respects. And this White
House is a manifestation of the man at the top.
O`DONNELL: Yeah, no White House has ever had a president saying to this
one, hey, go out and publicly attack the chief of staff, go out and
publicly attack Sean Spicer, there`s never had this madness. So all of the
madness begins with Trump, all of it.
Everything is his fault in that sense. And the bringing in of Scaramucci,
which is simply a crime against the government payroll. I mean, this is –
the American taxpayer is going to pay for this guy`s madness, this guy who
belongs in a straight jacket now has these White House credentials around
This man is unemployable in county government on Long Island, in any city
hall anywhere in America.
HAYES: He`s very successful in hedge funds.
O`DONNELL: There`s exactly one government office that would employ this
raving lunatic and that`s Donald Trump`s White House.
HAYES; And he`s got the job.
Lawrence O`Donnell, thanks for being on.
O`DONNELL: It`s great to see you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening, though. Stay with MSNBC tonight.
On assignment with Richard Engel is coming up next. And then this Lawrence
O`Donnell is back here live at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. So, do not go anywhere.
I`ll see you back here on Monday. Good night.
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