All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 8/2/17 AP: Kelly & Sessions
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: August 2, 2017
Guest: Maria Hinojosa, Jennifer Rubin, Ted Lieu
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: 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.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This competitive
application process will favor applicants who can speak English.
HAYES: A downward spiral continues, and the Presidency in crisis plays the
STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP`S SENIOR ADVISOR FOR POLICY: The notion that you
think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.
HAYES: Tonight new record low poll numbers for the President and today`s
attempt to halt the slide with an anti-immigration barrage.
MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and
foolish things you`ve ever said.
HAYES; Plus, new Russian sanctions signed into law against the President`s
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, why are the Russia sanctions seriously
HAYES: The Boy Scout back checked the White House.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I wouldn`t say it was
HAYES: And Trump takes on the world.
AL GORE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: He has surrounded himself with a
rogue`s gallery of climate deniers.
HAYES: Former Vice President Al Gore on an inconvenient sequel, and how
the Trump White House is starting to feel like Westeros.
GORE: It was like the red wedding in Game of Thrones.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. On a day that saw the
lowest approval rating of his entire Presidency, President Trump is
catering to his shrinking base by spotlighting an issue that has animated
his core supporters from absolutely day one, immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best.
They`re bringing drugs. They`re bringing crime. They`re rapists. And
some I assume are good people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President today holding a photo op to Trump at a month`s old
immigration bill with not that much support in Congress throwing his
support behind a RAISE Act which would cut in half the number of legal
immigrants allowed into the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This competitive application process will favor applicants who can
speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and
demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Very few of the Senators who spoke to NBC News today other than the
bill sponsors were even familiar with the RAISE Act. Those who were, well,
let`s just say they weren`t big fans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina`s economy, the
number one is agriculture, number two is tourism. So, my farmers, my hotel
owners, my restaurant owners have a hard time finding labor. It`s not that
Americans are lazy, these are jobs that are just hard to fill. And when
you can`t find an American worker, you can get a legal Visa so win-win.
You take that and cut it in half, it will destroy South Carolina`s economy.
Other than that it`s a good idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Of course today`s photo op wasn`t so much about getting a bill
through Congress as it was an opportunity for the President to play to the
anger and the resentment of his anti-immigration supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The RAISE Act prevents new migrants and new immigrants from
collecting welfare and protects U.S. workers from being displaced. And
that`s a very big thing. They`re not going to come in and just immediately
go and collect welfare. That doesn`t happen under the RAISE Act. They
can`t do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In order to amplify the message, the White House trotted out a guy
we haven`t seen much lately, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, who
was Trump`s bomb throwing warm-up act on the campaign trail. Miller strode
into the White House Briefing Room today to push the RAISE Act to raves
from the Breitbart base. Anne Coulter tweeting, “we need to clone Stephen
Miller and appoint him to every cabinet position.” Miller seems to relish
the chance to spar with reporters at one point battling with the New York
Times reporter who pressed him for statistics to back up his claims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: Let`s also use common sense here, folks. At the end of the day,
why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers and why
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not asking for common sense. I`m asking for
specific statistical data.
MILLER Well, I think it`s very clear, Glenn, that you`re not asking for
common sense, but if I could just answer - if I could just answer your
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, not common sense. Common sense is fungible.
Statistics are not
MILLER: I named the study -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just finish the question. Tell me the specific
MILLER: Glenn, Glenn, I named the studies-I named the studies -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked for a statistic. Can you tell me how many -
MILLER: Glenn, maybe we`ll make a carve-out in the bill that says the New
York Times can hire all the low-skilled, less-paid workers they want from
other countries, and see how you feel then about the low-wage substitution.
This is a reality that`s happening in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Miller one of the architects of the Trump Travel Ban at one point
took issue with the reference to a poem written on the statue of liberty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Statue of Liberty says “Give me your tired, your
poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It doesn`t say
anything about speaking English -
MILLER: Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world.
It`s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you`re
referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original
Statue of Liberty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This whole notion of “Well, they could learn - you
know, they have to learn English before they get to the United States, are
we just going to bring in people from Great Britain or Australia?
MILLER: Jim, it`s actually – I have to honestly say I am shocked at your
statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia
would know English. It`s actually – it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to
a shocking degree that in your mind -
No, this is an amazing - this is an amazing moment. This is an amazing
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The anti-immigrant push comes at the lowest point of the Trump
Presidency. His legislative agenda is in tatters after the failure of the
GOP Health Care effort. Every day seems to bring a new revelation on the
Russia investigation. (INAUDIBLE) Republicans are not turning their backs
on President Trump, and then there`s this, today. Quinnipiac University
released a survey showing the President with the lowest approval rating he
has ever had in a major national poll. Just 33 percent of Americans, one-
three saying they approve his performance, while 61 percent disapprove.
Remarkably, his approval rating is now underwater, even among one of his
core groups of supporters, white voters without a college degree.
Only 43 percent of whites without a college degree now approve of the
President`s performance, according to Quinnipiac, while 50 percent
disapprove. Joining me now, John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent
for CNBC, Political Writer for the New York Times. John, you covered
administrations and I wonder what you made of it today because it struck me
as it looked a lot like an administration in year eight, when - with a
deadlocked Congress, when they`re kind of trying to do things symbolically
more than actually get stuff through because this bill is not really going
anywhere. There is no big push. It was a really strange thing to see from
an administration in month six, I thought. What do you think?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I agree. And
look, this bill would take 60 votes to pass. They`re not going to get
Democrats to support it. They`re not even going to get all the Republicans
to support it, as that clip from Lindsey Graham showed. What we`ve seen
from President Trump as he gets under increasing stress is that he retreats
to trying to please his base. He did that with the speech in Long Island
last week to those police officers. He does things that try to rile the -
rile the visceral reactions and the applause they got on the campaign
His problem, as you pointed those Quinnipiac numbers is his base is
shrinking. He - not only was he underwater with those white non-college
voters, if you look at the strong approve and strong disapprove, it was way
lop sided in a negative direction. And so the combination of lack of
legislative success and the continual set of embarrassments that Donald
Trump has visited upon his administration and himself has taken a big toll.
HAYES: You know, it strikes me that - how big - I guess how big a role do
you think the health care implosion last week played? Because to me, that
was a really significant turning point in how both the perception among the
public and among other politicians in Washington about the political
potency of this President.
HARWOOD: I agree 100 percent. In fact, I wrote a piece today about the
fact that increasing numbers of officials, both in the executive branch, as
well as in the Congress have taken to in essence ignoring the President,
acting as if his words don`t mean very much. So he comes out of the health
care defeat having not done very well in trying to push that legislation,
not showing any significant command of the legislation. He comes out and
says, well, you`re not going to vote on anything until you take up, again,
the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Well, not only did the Senate go
on to take up other business like the confirmation of his FBI Director, but
they`ve also scheduled hearings on a much smaller bipartisan fix to
ObamaCare. And it`s not what the President called for but increasingly,
people don`t care what the President says.
HAYES: Yes. Today was interesting also because we got to see Stephen
Miller who in many ways is really a kind of crucial voice for this
President. He I think channels the world view of the President`s campaign,
if not the President himself more than anyone. And you got to see a
dynamic that I think they really enjoy that they seek out, which is the
kind of us versus the cosmopolitan media posture essentially.
HARWOOD: I think, Chris, that the White House was thrilled that Stephen
Miller and Jim Acosta, Stephen Miller and Glenn Thrush got into it the way
they did. But here is the problem, the Republican Party is not just the
Trump blue collar base, it`s also business and business does not like this
immigration proposal. Why? Because for the reasons that Lindsey Graham
indicated, there is a tremendous need for labor within this economy in
multiple sectors. We`ve got an aging population, increasing number of
people who are going to be dependent on government retirement programs. We
need taxpayers for economic growth and also the solvency of those programs
and the RAISE Act would - by cutting illegal immigration would endanger the
ability to deal with both of those issues.
HAYES: All right, John Harwood, thanks for being here. I`m joined now by
Jennifer Rubin, Columnist for the Washington Post and Anchor and Executive
Producer for NPR`s Latino USA. What was your reaction to what we saw on
the White House today?
MARIA HINOJOSA, NPR`S LATINO USA ANCHOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Oh my God.
I mean, where do I start? It`s been a - it`s been a sad couple of days, to
be honest with you, Chris. So, when I think about it, I think my God, my
father who came from Mexico, who, OK, seriously, he was a bit of a genius.
He helped to create the cochlear implant that some in the deaf community
choose to have, to use. My father became a U.S. citizen almost immediately
when he got his job at the University of Chicago. But he spoke English
like this. It was very - and I used to make fun of my father. Daddy,
don`t speak, you know. So when you think about what he is saying,
everybody now has got to speak English. I`m like, who`s making that
decision? Are we going to have places where they`re going to say no, no,
it`s ah, it`s a. Would Melania Trump be allowed into the country? Would
her English be acceptable enough? And that`s what I want us, you to
realize. That is where we`re going.
HAYES: And I want to just be clear for one second -
HINOJOSA: I don`t want to put too much importance on it because it is a
lot of me.
HAYE: I know. I just want to be clear just so far for the policy here.
What they`re - the change would be a preference for people that spoke
English already, right? So when you go through the citizenship process,
obviously, the citizenship interview is in English, for instance, right?
But this would be a change to that. You would - you know, we would only be
taking people in who already spoke English before coming to the country
which would be a big shift and would exclude maybe people like your father,
maybe people like Melania Trump. Jennifer, it was - it was striking to me
to watch Miller`s performance today because it just felt to me that this -
we know what part of the sort of Republican coalition that`s targeted to.
And it`s a pretty narrow part, even if actually the politics of the issue
could be on their side if presented differently.
JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Well, I`m not even sure if
presented differently it could be on their side but you`re right. The
Republicans in the Senate want no part of that, they made very clear that
there is no room on the schedule for this. Listen, this was introduced in
April and went nowhere fast. This is just a revival. They brought back
the rerun because the initial launch didn`t go that well. So you`re right.
He is grasping for straws. He` trying to energize his base. And what the
Santa Monica born California born, Stephen Miller from cosmopolitan of
Santa Monica does is he plays like he is the working man`s friend.
And what we really saw there was someone who`s not interested in any of the
facts, not interested in any of the answers, not interested in really
helping people, he just wants to get into a fight with the media, because
that`s what these people do. It`s no longer enough and that`s what you see
in Quinnipiac, that`s what you see in Congress. John Harwood who was just
on is exactly right. They`re ignoring him. You can`t get votes, you can`t
get things done simply by yelling at Glenn Thrush. And I think they`re
badly mistaken if they think this is going to help them get out of the
HAYES: Now, one thing - one thing that`s striking tome in watching this
is, and I`m in touch with a lot of folks who work in immigration law and
immigrant communities, and the one place that they have delivered in some
ways on the Trump agenda, right? A lot of stuff has been stonewalled, they
really - things have really changed if you`re an immigrant in this country
if you`re related to an unauthorized immigrant. I mean -
HINOJOSA: Oh yes.
HAYES: It`s really changed.
HINOJOSA: Oh, yes.
HAYES: So, this may be performance, but what is happening on the ground is
quite dramatic and they are delivering on what they said they`re going to
HINOJOSA: They`re delivering in terms of the attitude. The ICE agents
feel completely unshackled. They`re delivering on the detentions, right?
They`re not necessarily delivering yet on the massive deportations but
Chris, Latino USA this weekend, we`re going to feature a whole hour on ICE.
And well start with the story of a guy who I met because he worked at a
plant store here, who has DACA, he`s coming back from Upstate New York back
to his home in Manhattan, have DACA. Every person getting on a bus in
Upstate New York is being asked now by agents what`s your citizenship?
What`s your citizenship? And he had DACA, and they still detained him
because they were like, well, no, but you didn`t have the letter.
HAYES: So here is my question. This - we`ve been hearing stories like
this. And I guess a question for you, Jennifer, is whether you think - I
mean, I want to be clear about this. This administration, parts of it
really do believe in this as a project. This isn`t just performance,
right, because, I don`t think even think that stories like that are they`re
- they`re doing that for political reasons. I mean, this actually is a
core feature of the kind of ideological movement that brought this
President into power. I think that`s also part of what you saw today.
RUBIN: Absolutely. They are xenophobes, they are nationalists, they think
that America needs to be frozen or taken back to the 1950s. They think our
identity is like those right wing parties in Europe say about blood and
soil. And this is what they believe in. It`s deeply biased. It`s deeply
prejudicial. It`s deeply exclusionary. And it is not going to solve any
of our problems. It`s going to make them worse. And I think along the
way, maybe we`re seeing in the polls that the people that they`ve been
playing to are getting the idea that this is not really helping them all
that much, that they`re not really getting what they bargained for. I
would hope that is true.
In terms of the ICE raids and the immigration crackdown, you know, here`s
where someone like Jeff Flake, who just came out and is bashing his party
really needs to step up to the plate. He`s not only a libertarian, but he
is pro immigration. Where are the hearings and the oversight on ICE? So,
why isn`t Jeff Sessions - why is it -excuse me. Why isn`t Jeff Flake,
Lindsey Graham, those folks holding oversight hearing because the abuses
really are reprehensible?
HINOJOSA: Yes. So, the other thing Chris that kind of stood out for me,
which is again, if you look at kind of political strategy and feeding that
base - and I remind people that I do not represent NPR. They distribute my
show, but this is me, is the discussion around people of color and them
being the primary victims of this notion that immigrants are coming in with
green cards and this whole notion that Steve Miller has which is just like
where are you coming from? But the fact that they`re saying we are here to
protect you, African-American worker, you Latino son of immigrant workers.
We`re here to protect you. And that, that kind of racial divisionary
politic is a very dangerous thing. But I agree with you, whether or not
the base is actually - because also people are opening their eyes.
HAYES: Well, and a certain point, you know, you got to deliver - you got
to deliver for the people you said you were going to make lives better for.
Independent (INAUDIBLE) is happening with the guys getting on the bus in
Upstate New York. Jennifer Rubin, Maria Hinojosa, thank you, both.
Ahead, the President signs what may be the most significant legislation he
signed yet. And against his own will with no cameras present, how the
Congress forced the President`s hand on Russia sanctions and what that
means going forward with Representative Ted Lieu in in just a few minutes.
HAYES: Today the President of the United States finally did something he
did not want to do. After days of delay, he signed a package of new
sanctions on Russia, along with Iran and North Korea, which Congress had
passed with veto-proof majorities. In what now looks like a successful
effort to tie the President`s hands. Well, the President has frequently
paraded his executive orders and other bill signings in front of the TV
cameras with an audience present to watch him perform his Presidential
duties, the signing of the Russia sanctions bill today was quite different.
No cameras, no press, no nothing.
The White House did release a Presidential signing statement criticizing
the bill. Actually released two different documents. The official signing
statement and what they later explained was press statement from the
President which ends on the following Trumpian note, “I built a truly great
company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I
was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign
countries than Congress.” In that statement, the President accused
Congress of essentially usurping his constitutional power to set U.S.
foreign policy, and he sounded what seems like a conciliatory note towards
Russia, “It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take
steps to improve relations with the United States.
We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global
issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.” Russia,
however, was unimpressed after President Vladimir Putin already ordered the
U.S. to cut 755 diplomatic staff from its missions in Russia. Today Prime
Minister Dmitry Medvedev unleashed a social media tirade aimed at President
Trump. “The U.S. President`s signing of the package of new Russia
sanctions ends hopes for improving our relations. The Trump administration
has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in
the most humiliating way.”
The U.S. establishment fully outwitted Trump. The President is not happy
about the sanctions, yet he could not but sign the bill. I`m joined now by
Congressman Ted Lieu of California, Member of the House Committee on
Foreign Affairs. Congressman, the signing statement sort of made a
constitutional argument that this was an incursion on to the President`s
constitutional power to set foreign policy. Do you, why is that not the
REP. TED LIEU (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you, Chris, for that question.
Let me first say today is an example of a U.S. Congress imposing its will
on the President, unlike authoritarian regimes in America, Congress is a
co-equal branch of government. And when I read that signing statement,
actually both of them, the second was particularly bizarre. He references
ObamaCare and other issues and I don`t really buy his constitutional
argument. Everything in the sanctions bill which is now law, is
constitutional, Legislative Counsel has looked at it and no President wants
his hands tied, but in this case, we thought it was important. In
bipartisan bases, we did that today.
HAYES: Can you make - the sanctions bill, this sanctions bill particularly
has ended up having this great symbolic significance because of the context
of the investigation into Russia`s interference in the election, the
possible collusion between the President`s campaign and Russia in that
activity. But can you make the affirmative argument on the merits for why
this bill will make things better?
LIEU: Absolutely. First of all, it will make it better because it
hopefully will dissuade Russia from attacking us again with the massive
cyber-attack in the next set of federal elections. This was a bipartisan
rebuke to the President saying Mr. President, the American people and
Congress do not trust you to do the right thing when it comes to Russia.
And it`s a rebuke to Russia, saying do not try to influence our elections
again because you`re going to get consequences worse than if you had tried.
HAYES: So, you those - you think the consequences, these mostly target oil
and gas, there`s a little bit of the legislation as I understand it as is
somewhat Magnitsky Act ask in so far as individuals associated with the
actual penetration can also be targeted. You think that acts as a
LIEU: It does. And one of the most important parts of this legislation is
it prevents Donald Trump from lifting sanctions on Russia without
Congressional review and approval because we want to make sure that he
doesn`t take actions that favor the Russian government without Congress
knowing about it.
HAYES: What do you make of both - there was a sort of strange kind of
smoke signal it felt in the run-up to this with the President sort of
dithering. There was some - there was lack of clarity about whether he
would sign it. He said was going to sign it. He signed it quietly and
then the Russians sort of leaping at the chance to sort of troll and bait
the President but also conceding that he didn`t want the sign it. The
message had been sent to Moscow that this was not his idea.
LIEU: It`s very clear the President didn`t want the sign this legislation.
And I think the Russians are realizing what Republican members are
realizing now, which is we have a weak President. Donald Trump is weak,
not just because there`s been White House chaos, but also because he has
historically low approval ratings, and he has very low influence over
Republican and Democratic legislators. That`s why he couldn`t get
ObamaCare repeal passed and that`s what we`re seeing now, a weak President
with a surging more confident Congress.
HAYES: What`s the next step in - to your mind in U.S.-Russia relations?
If they - if they respond with some sort of retaliatory action of their own
in response to these, where does this go?
LIEU: I don`t have any problem with having - United States having closer
relations with other countries, including with Russia. I have a problem
when a President looks like he is beholden to the Russian government and
that`s in part why Congress sent this powerful bipartisan message. But
there`s many issues we deal with on Russia other than cyber issues. There
are issues relating to foreign affairs, issues relating to trade and
commerce. We can work with Russia on a number of issues. And keep in
mind, Russia is part of the Iran deal as well. So there`s many areas where
the U.S. does cooperate with Russia and will continue to do so.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Ted Lieu, thanks for your time tonight.
LIEU: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, the signs the President is struggling to control his own
administration as Republican lawmakers begin openly ignoring his demands.
Who is breaking ranks with the President and why, just ahead.
HAYES: Some breaking news. The AP reporting that John Kelly in one of his
first acts as White House Chief of Staff called Attorney General Sessions
“to reassure him that his position is safe despite the recent onslaught of
criticism he has taken from President Donald Trump. That was just the most
recent rebuke of President Trump from within his own administration.
According to the Wall Street Journal, for example, the Acting DEA Chief
recently wrote a staff memo disavowing the President`s remarks last week
endorising police brutality. Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg said that “I
write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong.
That`s what law enforcement officers do.” Even the Coast Guard is now
defying the President.
As you`ll recall last week, the President announced via Twitter he was
banning transgendered people from serving in the military. And on Tuesday,
the Coast Guard Commandant told a Washington audience the service “will not
break faith with transgendered members.” The Hill reporting that Admiral
Paul Zukunft said that, “and so that was the commitment to our people right
now, very small numbers but all of them are doing meaningful coast guard
work today.” This after the Pentagon already made clear it would do
nothing to enforce the ban until the White House did more than just tweet.
Even more striking, though, is the reaction among lawmakers in his own
party. The president`s vanishing influence on Capitol Hill, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeff Flake in a Politico magazine article said the
President was – he suggested the President was a carnival barker and had
eroded conservatism. Is the President still thinking of helping to fund a
$10 million challenge against Senator Flake? And does he have any response
to Senator Flake`s comments?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I`m not sure about
any potential funding of a campaign, but I think that Senator Flake would
serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book
and attacking the President and passing legislation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responding to a
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, criticizing what he has called
his party`s, quote, “Faustian bargain to support President Trump”.
Flake is up for reelection next year. Normally he would be courting the
President`s support, but Republican lawmakers and particularly Senators are
making it clear they no longer fear the President politically.
Yesterday, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said, quote, “We work for
the American people.
We don`t work for the President.”
And Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the health committee tweeted
this week would
soon hold hearings on how to stabilize and strengthen the individual health
care market despite the President`s repeated insistence that Republicans
repeal and replace Obamacare immediately without input from Democrats.
Joining me now is Tim Carney, he`s the commentary editor of The Washington
Examiner, visiting fellow of the American Enterprise Institute.
What do you think the perception on Capitol Hill of the President, their
relationship to him in the Republican party has changed notably of late?
TIM CARNEY, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Absolutely. At The Examiner we would have
Republican lawmakers come in and ask them, and there would be no strong
party unity like in the Bush
era, or they criticize Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, or the other chamber.
And we`d try to get them to criticize Trump. And for months we couldn`t get
them to. This would go from the moderates to the House Freedom Caucus to
Mike Lee, these guys with these clear differences with Trump, and they
didn`t want to pick a fight with him.
Flake was always different, but now that Flake has stepped down, maybe guys
like Scott are feeling a little bit liberated to do it.
And Lindsey Graham has always been interesting, because he, Rubio, McCain
had this little caucus that was very reticent about Trump, but their votes
would always line up with him.
So now, we get this Russia sanctions bill passed, so the question for me
going forward, will they vote against Trump?
HAYES: And that`s what is interesting. I think folks don`t recognize just
what`s coming down – what`s barreling down on Capitol Hill. They`ve got to
do a bunch of stuff when August recess is
over, and all that rubber is going to hit the road at that point, right?
CARNEY: We got to keep the government funded. They`ve got to raise the
debt limit, and the plan is to take up – to take up tax reform.
CARNEY: And that`s sort of a heavy lift, and the truth is, though, on the
details of that, Trump doesn`t have sort of a strong point. So I don`t see
that necessarily as a clash point.
I do think on immigration, where you`ve got the – as John Harwood was
saying earlier, the
business community really doesn`t want to restrict illegal immigration. And
the Republicans, like the
Democrats are very cozy with the business community. So that`s where you
could really see a big split between Trump and his party.
HAYES: But one of the things that has to me sort of characterized this
first period as we head
towards the August recess, I`ve watched a few administrations come in, and
there is a general way it
works, particularly in the united government. The president syncs up a
legislative priority with
Congress and they go out and they sell it together.
George W. Bush did that with Social Security privatization back in 2005
back with reelection. We saw the President do that with ACA, President
Obama. That did not happen at all here, and you got believe people are
scratching their head here with what is the role of the President in all of
CARNEY: It was totally different world. Back then, Tom Delay was a very
powerful house leader for the Republicans, and he saw his job – this is
what Delay`s inner would tell me, I was pretty close with them. He saw his
job as, we`re going to pass President Bush`s agenda.
It was sort of a jar to me, because I was this conservative young reporter.
I was like, what about the conservative agenda? No, our job is to pass
President Bush`s agenda. It`s a very different relationship here where both
Trump and Paul Ryan sort of saw, Trump is going to make America
great again. He is going to grab policies off the shelf that Paul Ryan put
on the shelf.
HAYES: We will give them to him –
CARNEY: Right. But, that whole game was lot more complicated I think than
thought it was going to be. This whole thing was a lot harder than Trump
thought it would be. He thought the problem was that we had stupid people
HAYES: That`s right and he`d replace them.
So then the other part of this, if you see Senators drifting away, you saw
a hint of this as health
care went down, you know, perhaps temporarily of the President thinking
well, why am I grabbing the off the shelf agenda of Paul Ryan? I felt sort
of the Raise Act today, maybe I`ll go back to this Bannon vision of what I
You wonder if he might try wedge himself against the Republican party at
some point if he finds
CARNEY: One, he turns a thousand times. He doesn`t talk about Republicans
HAYES: No, it`s they. They`ve been trying this.
CARNEY: Right. It`s like, I always call the Mets we, and, if I started
calling them they, that would mean something. And from day one, he has
called them they. And so will he actually –
HAYES: Act as they?
CARNEY: I think that might happen after the midterms, but for now he is
trying to be one of them.
HAYES: He is calling them they. That`s a very good point.
Tim Carney, thanks for joining me.
CARNEY: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, the Boy Scouts of America are once again forced to do
damage control over comments made by the President, you don`t want to miss
Plus, tonight`s Thing 1, Thing 2. It`s a good one. Next.
HAYES: Thing 1 tonight. President Trump`s former campaign manager, Corey
Lewandowski, currently an informal adviser to the President, my colleague
Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, and offered this unprompted bizarre comment
during a discussion about the new Chief of Staff John Kelly.
(BGEIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think the General should
re look at firing Richard Cordray, the CFPB. He is now a person who is now
all but running for
governor in the state of Ohio, and he is sitting in federal office right
CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: I have to say, Corey, that was sort of a
random thing you
just introduced there.
What – what`s with the focus on Mr. Cordray? How is that at the top of the
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I think there`s three things on the agenda. It`s tax
reform, it`s building a wall on the Southern border, it`s repeal and
replace of Obamacare, which didn`t get done.
But, I think Richard Cordray is campaigning for governor of Ohio. He is
sitting in an office right now at the CFPB. It`s my recommendation to the
President of the United States to fire Richard Cordray. If he wants to run
for governor of Ohio, go do it.
TODD: I have to ask this, considering you brought up this. Do you have any
business interests here? Do you have a client that wants to see this
LEWANDOWSKI: No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Okay, got that? Corey Lewandowski is super passionate about the man
running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but denies having any
client pushing that interest.
Well, you guess what Thing 2 is?
That`s in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Corey Lewandowski denied a business client is behind his passionate
call to fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard
Cordray, but of course vocal opponent of
Cordray is, in fact, paying Lewandowski tens of thousands of dollars.
As The Times reports, among the first clients of Lewandowski`s strategic
advisers is an Ohio based company called Community Choice Financial. High
interest pay lenders have energetically fought efforts by the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau to limit loan practices that consumer advocates
have called abusive. Community Choice Financial`s chief executive once
referred to the bureau as the great Darth
Vader of the federal government.
So I will just leave this right here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWANDOWSKI: It`s my recommendation to the President of the United States
to fire Richard Cordray.
TODD: I have to ask this, considering you brought this up. Do you have any
business interests here? Do you have a client that wants to see this
LEWANDOWSKI: No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Boy Scouts of America yet again are having to distance
themselves from the President of the United States.
You`ll remember they had to issue an apology for the political remarks
Donald Trump made at their national jamboree last month.
Well, in a newly released transcript of an interview with The Wall Street
Journal, conducted the day after speaking to the Boy Scouts, the President
said according to a transcript interview, and I quote, “I got a call from
the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever
made to them, and they were very thankful.”
The Boy Scouts responded in a statement, quote, “we are unaware of any such
call” and went on to point out that neither of the organization`s top
leaders had placed such a call.
When asked about that discrepancy today, along with a phone call, Donald
Trump said he got from the President of Mexico, which according to the
Mexican government also never happened, White House Press Secretary Sarah
Huckabee Sanders refused to admit the President was lying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: In terms of the Boy Scouts, multiple members of the Boy Scout
leadership following his speech there that day congratulated him, praised
him, and offered quite – I`m looking
for the word – quite powerful compliments following his speech and those
were what those references were about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he specifically said that he received a phone
call from the President of Mexico –
SANDERS: They were actually direct conversations, not actual phone calls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So he lied, it wasn`t a phone call?
SANDERS: I wouldn`t say it was a lie. That`s a pretty bold accusation. The
conversations took place, they simply didn`t take place over a phone call,
that he had them in person.
HAYES: In those first months after he won the presidency there was hope in
some quarters that despite his campaign rhetoric, perhaps Donald Trump
could be persuaded to do the right thing when it came to climate change.
And that is what brought former Vice President Al Gore to Trump Tower to
speak with then President-elect Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, to somehow
convince the incoming
administration not to ditch President Obama`s climate policies.
Turns out, that hope was displaced.
Almost immediately, the Trump White House website deleted nearly all
mentions of the phrase climate change. And then in June the President
announced the United States was pulling out of the historic climate change
But regardless of President Trump`s decision, Vice President Al Gore is
still trying to move the need on climate issues, exploring them in his new
film, An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power, a follow-up to his 2006
documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.
And today I got a chance to talk with Vice President Gore. The first time I
managed to speak to him since the day of his first meeting with Trump, all
the way back in December, back when he still felt good about his chat with
President Trump on climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: It was a very intelligent exchange. It was
a search for common ground. And, in answer to your question, I felt good
about the meeting. Of course, we`re in this wait-and-see period, but I was
very – I was happy to have the opportunity, and happy with the exchange of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, Mr. Vice President, the last time you and I spoke was December,
it was a transition, there was a sort of head-snapping time for everyone. I
think it`s fair to say.
HAYES: You went down to Trump Tower. You met with Ivanka Trump and the
President I think at some point.
GORE: The President-elect.
HAYES: At the time.
GORE: And that conversation continued after he went into the White House.
HAYES: So you said this to me, you said, Ivanka Trump is very committed to
having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world.
The conversation was meaningful and
productive. Do you still feel that way?
GORE: Well, I had reason to believe that there was an excellent chance
that the President would stay in the Paris Agreement, that he would come to
his senses, but I was wrong. Because he has surrounded himself with rogue
scholarly of climate deniers.
And, even though there are those in his inner circle who wanted him to do
the right thing on
climate, they were outweighed, out-talked by the climate deniers. And, the
truth about the climate
crisis still inconvenient for the large carbon polluters, and they have a
huge amount of influence with this administration.
HAYES: You were someone who is very associated in, I would say your public
profile, with a certain approach to governance that might be called data
GORE: Reason based.
HAYES: Right. I just wonder, you were in an administration for eight
years. You served in the United States Senate. You were a son of a United
States Senator. You`ve been around governance. You`ve been around public
service. What is it like to watch the way this White House functions? And
your perspective, there are a lot of people who watch and say I`ve never
seen anything like this, you heard the phrase this is not normal.
You`ve been around, you`ve been in these meetings. Do you feel the same way
watching this White House function the way that it does?
GORE: Oh, yeah. I think in the process, the President has been isolating
himself from the rest of the country. You see Republicans in the House and
Senate now moving to separate themselves in
increasing numbers from the dysfunction and distractions, constant
distractions in the White House.
Last week somebody said it was like the red wedding in the Game of Thrones,
with people coming and going and firing everybody, it was really wild.
HAYES: But I want to stop you there. Do you watch that like everybody else
does and say, what the heck is going on?
GORE: You`re talking about Game of Thrones or the White House?
HAYES: Both, but the White House in this case.
GORE: Yeah, sure. No, it`s deeply troubling. And for me, the most
troubling part of it is that it serves as a set of constant distractions
from the problems we should be addressing. Nothing`s getting done. That`s
why the congress is now moving on its own, or beginning to.
One of my senators in Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, I give him a lot of
credit. I think Democrats, Republicans, independents, think thank god
somebody is now he`s working with Patty Murray to try to fix the problems
with health care and move in a rational way. Thank you, Senator Alexander.
And other Republicans.
We`re now seeing mayors, like the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, in the
reddest city, in the reddest county in Texas, he saw he could save his
citizens money in the heart of oil county by going 100 percent renewable.
And the citizens are seeing lower electricity bills, the air is cleaner,
and it`s kind of a side benefit that we`re saving the future human
HAYES: I think there`s a connection between climate denialism and Trumpism
in this respect that people talk about Trump as being this sort of outlier
of Republican Party or the conservative movement, and he is for many
reasons he is, partly. But you know you have an entire movement and
political party that rallied around a preposterous conspiracy theory which
was that there was a coordinated conspiracy driven by multiple scientists
and institutions around the globe to deceive people about the basic science
of this matter.
And if you can believe that, it`s not surprising to me that you would
produce a president like this. Do you feel like there`s a connection
GORE: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think that Donald Trump is the most extreme
form of a trend that actually started earlier. You mentioned my personal
experience watching the American democracy as a kid, when my father was in
it. And then I was first elected in the mid-70s. And throughout the – my
whole life, I`ve watched this trend. And it`s been – I`ll tell you the
break point in my observation, was when television began to dominate the
HAYES: The worst, isn`t it?
GORE: Your show is certainly one of the exceptions, Chris. But listen –
hear me out on this, when our founders created the American experiment, it
was a printing press which gave individuals a chance to use logic and
reason and the best available evidence, and discourse with others. It
enabled us to harvest the wisdom of crowds. And we made better decisions
than any other country for a century and a half. And that`s what really
fueled the rise of America as the most admired nation.
In the last third of the 20th Century, when television eclipsed the
printing press, I saw this happen, 30-second TV commercials became the
currency of politics. When I first ran in the mid-`70s, I didn`t have a
single fund-raiser. By the time I ran for the Senate, the 30-second TV ads
were dominant. And by the time I left government, involuntarily, the
average congressman was spending, and is still spending, four to five hours
every single day begging special interests and lobbyists for money to buy
the 30-second ads.
Now, that really is what shifted the operations of democracy toward an
emphasis on the big money contributors. They hacked our democracy before
Putin hacked our democracy.
HAYES: The fundamental issue to me seems that we can`t – we`ve so sort of
balkanized in this moment, it gets back to this culture war. It`s not just
culture war about values, it`s culture war about everything, about the
totality of reality, that people just live in entirely, totally different
realities. And there`s this one problem that looms over the planet that
requires a level of consensus that we do not seem to have the cultural
political wherewithal to marshal.
GORE: Well, we have to clear a higher bar now for the people to regain
control of our democracy. But we`ve seen evidence now that we can do that.
Look at what the indivisible movement did on health care at these townhall
meetings. They`re partnering with us in the launch of this movie this
It is possible for the people to reassert their dominance in American
democracy. All hope is not lost. We do have the capacity to restore and
redeem American democracy.
HAYES: All right, Vice President Al Gore and I actually got a long amount
of time to speak. We spoke at length about the challenges of a warring
planet, the efforts of climate denialists, the rocketship that is solar
installation, the hopes he lays out for the future in his new film An
Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. We will bring you much more of that
conversation later in the week.
That does it for All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right
now with Joy Reid in for Rachel.
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