All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/5/17 Schiller leaving WH

Ruben Kihuen, Dan Donovan, Javier Palomarez, Sherrod Brown

Date: September 5, 2017

Guest: Ruben Kihuen, Dan Donovan, Javier Palomarez, Sherrod Brown

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: – Chris Hayes starts right now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Dreamers be worried?


HAYES: President Trump and the dream –

is being rescinded.

HAYES: and starts the clock.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: We are now in a countdown toward

HAYES: Tonight, cascading outrage around the country as the President
defends his decision to end DACA.

TRUMP: I think it`s going to work out very well and long term, it`s going
to be the right solution.

HAYES: Then, Senator Sherrod Brown on the growing to do list to avoid
shutdowns, defaults, and deportation. Plus, why the President is crushed
over the latest White House departure?

Why the White House Special Counsel just asked a reporter if she was on
drugs when all in starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Now, today the
President made good on a campaign promise to the most fervently anti-
immigrant core of his base. About 20 percent of the country, according to
the polls, by ending an Obama era program known as Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals, or DACA that protects from deportation about 800,000
undocumented immigrants who are brought to this country as children. It`s
a crowning achievement for a president who remember launched his campaign
by calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, who brought Steve
Bannon to work to the White House and appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney
General, and who a week and a half ago pardoned Joe Arpaio after Arpaio was
convicted of contempt of court for persisting in the violation of Latinos`
fourth amendment rights.

But notably, for a former reality star chief executive who knows nothing
more than to perform the role of president and draw attention, the
President himself was nowhere to be found during the announcement of one
the most consequential decisions of his entire administration. Instead,
that job was left to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions who it seemed could
barely contain his delight at accomplishing what has been a long term goal
for him. Going back to at least 2010 when he was the one who led the
charge against DREAM Act, a legislative solution of bill that would have
given childhood arrivals a path to citizenship. Sessions` remarks today
included a litany of speeches and anti-immigrant talking points about DACA


SESSIONS: I`m here today to announce that the program known as DACA that
was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded. The
effect of this unilateral executive amnesty among other things contributed
to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible
humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of
Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.


HAYES: That first claim deeply contested, the second probably outright
false. After a handful of Conservative State Attorney Generals threatened
to sue the government over DACA, Sessions reportedly told the President his
Justice Department wouldn`t defend the program effectively forcing the
President`s hand. According to the New York Times, as late as one hour
before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately
expressed concern that Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps
he was about to take. And when discovered their full impact would change
his mind. He ultimately decided on a plan that passed the buck to Capitol
Hill giving Congress now a six months window to pass legislation protecting
Dreamers, as DACA recipients are often called before their legal status
expires. Those whose status expires in six months, on March 5th, 2018 now
have a month to apply for a two-year renewal.

But anyone whose status expires the very next day or any time after that
will be immediately subject to deportation. And this is important, the
Trump administration already has Dreamers` personal data which they had to
submit to get the authorization. And now, that data which they voluntarily
gave over is reportedly poised to be weaponized against them. These are
people who have grown up here, who know no other real home besides the
U.S., their parents, students, small business owners and military service
members. Just last week, in fact, one Dreamer lost his life in Texas while
volunteering to save people trapped by the floods in Harvey. The President
was asked about those people at the top of a meeting today on Taxes.



TRUMP: Well, I have a great heart for the folks we`re talking about, a
great love for them. And people think in terms of children, but they`re
really young adults. I have a love for these people and hopefully, now
Congress will be able to help them and do it properly. And I can tell you,
in speaking to members of Congress, they want to be able to do something
and do it right. And really, we have no choice. We have to be able to do
something and I think it`s going to work out very well. And long term,
it`s going to be the right solution.

HAYES: The President`s decision today drew widespread condemnation
including from Republican friendly business groups like the Chamber of
Commerce and the Business Roundtable, from tech giants like Google and
Microsoft. In fact, former President Barack Obama issued a very rare
public statement denouncing his successor`s move calling it wrong, self-
defeating and cruel. Around the country sitting state officials are on the
fight for DACA by any means at their disposal. And all day today,
protesters have been out in force across the country, including hundreds of
students in Denver who walked out of class to protest the President`s
decision to end the program.

At this hour, the protests have not yet stopped. You`re looking live
pictures from the streets of San Francisco. There are also a lots of folks
gathered in Chicago, New York, and other places. Congressman Rubin Kihuen
of Nevada the son of a housekeeper and farmer worker came to the U.S. the
age of eight and was undocumented until in 1980 amnesty program, allowed
his family to be in documentation and he joins me now. And Congressman, as
someone who is not personally a Dreamer in the sense of a DACA recipient
but whose experience is very much aligned with theirs, what was your
reaction when you first heard the news this was happening over the weekend?

REP. RUBEN KIHUEN (D), NEVADA: Well, Chris, thank you for having me.
Obviously very disheartening, very disappointing to see that the President
just a few days after saying that he loves these people, that he will take
away their dreams by taking away this DACA status. You know, I know what
it is like to live in fear. I myself was a Dreamer at one point. I was
here undocumented at one point. And now I`m a member of Congress. That`s
the compassion that America has. The America that I know is willing to
give an opportunity to an immigrant young kid who`s willing to work hard
for it. And today, the President took away that dream but we`re going to
continue fighting here in Congress to make sure that those Dreamers still
have that opportunity to achieve the American dream.

HAYES. Right, but you – so you were part of what is called the amnesty by
Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. You qualified for that. It allowed you to be
in the legal status, become a U.S. Congressman. When Jeff Sessions today
referred to this amnesty, and that`s not a slur, that`s an insult among
Republicans, given that part of party, given where the Republican Party is
on decision when you say you`re going to fight for Dreamers in Congress,
what does that mean functionally?

KIHUEN: What we need to do now here in Congress is that Republicans need
to join Democrats. Again, the entire Democratic Caucus is in support of
passing the DREAM Act. We want Republicans to come to the table and
negotiate with us and talk to us about what is the type of bill they`re
will to support. The DREAM Act is a great bill. We also have the American
Holdback which is another version of the DREAM Act. At the end of the day,
this is an American issue. These are 800,000 young Americans who know no
other country but America. They deserve an opportunity to succeed. Some
of them are teachers, some of them are doctors some of them are lawyers,
some of them are politicians like myself now serving in Congress.

HAYES: What is your understanding, given the pole on this which runs
somewhere you know, 65-35, or 80-20 depending on what you poll in favor of
these folks staying and having legal status? Given the broad coalition
that supports what Republican and Democrats, what is your understanding of
why they are doing this? Why is President Trump and Jeff Sessions and
those States Attorney General who are suing and sort of precipitate this,
why are they doing this?

KIHUEN: Look, bottom line is that they`re pandering to their shrinking
base. Donald Trump began his campaign by attacking immigrants. Jeff
Sessions has a history of being a racist Senator. There`s a reason he
didn`t become a federal judge before that. And so the bottom line is
they`re trying to pander to their shrinking base. And without taking into
consideration that these are the lives of real people, these are 800,000,
13,000 just in Nevada who are teachers. In Nevada, we`re facing a teacher
shortage. Some of them are now teaching. If we take them away from the
classroom, our teacher`s shortage problem is still going to exacerbate and
many others that are professionals and students who have a very bright
future. So I wish that the President had a little more compassion, a
little more empathy because this is America. This is the land of
opportunity. We`re a land of – made up of immigrants from all over the
world and this goes against the American values.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Ruben Kihuen, thank you.

KIHUEN: Thank you.

HAYES: The White House today called on the Congress to pass a DACA bill as
part of a larger immigration requirements on package which would include
the President`s priorities like funding for a border wall and new
restrictions on legal immigration. When asked if the President would sign
that stand alone bill to protect Dreamers from the threat of deportation,
with no strings attached, the White House Secretary declined to give a
straight answer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would the President sign a stand-alone DACA

addressed this. The president is hoping to work with Congress on
responsible immigration reform and I laid out the priorities that the
administration has on that front.


HAYES: Congressman Dan Donovan of New York, one of six Republican
lawmakers who wrote the President Trump asking him to extend DACA until a
legislative solution is passed. He joins me now. The President didn`t
listen to you. What`s your response?

REP. DAN DONOVAN (R), NEW YORK: I think he did. I think he extended DACA
for another six months until we can get this right in Congress. I think
what the President said that President Obama overextended, he lose
legislating with that executive order when it`s the role of Congress to
legislate. We have –

HAYES: So, OK, so –

DONOVAN: I think what he did Chris, I think he pushed our hand. We have
to now act. If he just continued for three more years, a Congress could
have kicked this can down the road even further than has already.

HAYES: So, I`ve heard this – I`ve heard this before. The objection of
DACA is process objection. It`s about – because it came out of the
executive and not Congress. But that wasn`t Jeff Sessions` objection.
Jeff Sessions objection got up there today speaking for the President
because the President inexplicably wouldn`t do it himself. And he said
these people were taking American jobs. I`ve heard Khris Kobach say
they`re criminals. I heard all sorts of substantive arguments against
these people that you share party with. Are they wrong on that?

DONOVAN: I think what happen was, they`re going to be challenged in the
court, they would tend lawsuits throughout the country challenging DACA. I
think the United States in trying on defend that was going to lose based on
what the President about this being an executive order and not legislation.

HAYES: But Congressman, I`m sorry. Congressman that is – that is – I
know, that a process argument. But that – it was not a process argument
from Jeff Sessions today. Jeff Sessions said those people, referring to
these folks, who some of whom are family members of your constituents in
Staten Island, that those people took Americans` jobs. These people were
brought here when they were five or when they were seven who are now
working as ENTs or nurses or going to school, they`re taking from
Americans, do you agree with that?

DONOVAN: I agree that there are immigration policies and laws here are
broken, Chris. And they have to be fixed.

HAYES: That`s not the question I asked though. That`s not the question I

DONOVAN: That`s what we`re going to be forced to be doing.

HAYES: Respectfully Congressman, the question I asked is do you agree with
the Attorney General that people who are brought here at five and now
working as nurses or serving the U.S. Armed Forces or as teachers are
taking Americans` jobs? Is that your understanding of what happened?

DONOVAN: My understanding is those people haven`t broken the law. They
had no intent to break the law when they were two years old and their
parents brought them into this country for a better opportunity. What we
have to figure out a way to get them to a legal status, some pathway to
legality. And that`s what the President has said all along. It should be
a pathway to legalization but that pathway has to be created by Congress
not by any executive order Chris.

HAYES: OK, but that`s – I want to be really clear here because I`ve been
covering immigration and legislative fights for 12 years now. I first
started in 2005 on a bill called the DREAM Act and here`s what happened.
You said a pathway to citizenship. All of a sudden everyone is – now
they`re talking about comprehensive reform. You and I know, looking at
each other and all the people watching this, that not happening this Fall.
You and I know that. There`s no comprehensive reform getting out of that
Congress. What could pass tomorrow, literally tomorrow, would be a stand-
alone bill like the Bridge Act for the DREAM Act or something like that.
Will Speaker Ryan bring that up and will you vote for it?

DONOVAN: You would have to ask Speaker Ryan but we could change – we
could do all the immigration reform we want. Unless we secure our borders,
Chris, and stop this process of people breaking our laws, I mean, we are a
country. We are compassionate nation as my colleague just said. We are
also a nation of laws. And people have to follow the law. Those laws may
no longer serve its purpose. It takes too long to become a citizen of this
great nation. That has to be reformed, too. But we had people who have
followed the rules, followed the regulations, did everything we asked them
to do and we can`t place people who have broken our laws before those
folks who have obeyed the laws.

HAYES: So, you just said nation of laws and I`ve heard this a lot. When
the President pardons a sheriff, like Joe Arpaio, who in violation of a
court order was found guilty of criminal contempt for sequential persistent
constitutional violations, isn`t that offensive to the notion of a nation
of laws?

DONOVAN: Listen, the President has the ability to pardon who he wishes.

HAYES: Of course.

DONOVAN: I didn`t have any part of that Chris. We`re talking about
immigration reform now –

HAYES: But here`s – but here`s my – right, here`s my point to you. But
do you understand the message that gets sent to people when the President
says two weeks ago, this guy is a good guy, he`s a friend of mine, he`s a
buddy, he is loyal to the folks of Arizona. Yes, he was found guilty of
criminal contempt of court for violating the court order about the
Constitution. I`m going to pardon him. But if you were brought here when
you were three, well, tough, we`re a nation of laws. Don`t you understand
why that – people would find a little bit of a contradiction between that.

DONOVAN: Listen, everyone who is pardoned by any the president of the
United States committed an offense and was found guilty of that. But I
think what the President is saying – he`s not saying, he said he has
compassion for these young people who broke no law themselves, whose
parents brought them here for another opportunity better than from where
they came from. And he is saying, Congress, fix this and I`m giving you a
window of opportunity.

HAYES: So here`s my question –

DONOVAN: He didn`t end DACA tomorrow. He said I`m giving you six months.
Get this thing fixed.

HAYES: I know, well, it is more like a month, right, because you got to –
you got to apply in the next month. Let me ask you this. I just want to
simply ask a yes or no question on a whip count. For a standalone bill
that would protect these 800,000, are you a yes on that in the House of
Representative, are you a yes vote?

DONOVAN: I got to see legislation. I can`t speculate, Chris. I want to
see legislation about it.

HAYES: There`s existing legislation. The Bridge Act, do you support it?

DONOVAN: I support – I am a co-sponsor of the Bridge Act.

HAYES: You support the Bridge Act.

DONOVAN: I`m co-sponsor.

HAYES: Great. That`s what I thought. So if it comes up tomorrow, the
Bridge Act, Michael Coffman, you, other co-sponsors in the Caucus, if it
comes up tomorrow, the Bridge Act, you`re a yes vote, that thing could pass
out of the House tomorrow, right?

DONOVAN: If it comes to the floor, I`m not in favor of a discharge motion,
I`m a believer in a regular order, Chris, but if it comes to the floor, I`m
a co-sponsor to that bill, I`ll be voting for it. But we have to do more
than just the Bridge Act. First, we got to secure our borders and we`ve
got to help people become citizens of this great nation and of less
(INAUDIBLE) taking them to do so now.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Dan Donovan, thanks for making time. I
always appreciate it.

DONOVAN: Thank you, Chris. Good to be with you.

HAYES: Javier Palomarez is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber
of Commerce until today, he was a Member of the President`s National
Diversity Council. Javier, I want to ask you the question that people
wanted me to ask you when saw you over the show and they read your Op-Ed in
the New York Times saying why you decided to leave the President`s
Diversity Council as he resolves this decision. This was the straw that
broke the camel`s back, not the two sides pronouncements in Charlottesville
or white supremacist murdered a woman that let tons of CEOs away, not the
pardoning of Joe Arpaio. This was the straw that broke the camel`s back.
Why this and not other things?

you put it very well. This was proverbial straw that broke the camel`s
back. For some time now, we`ve been working hard with this administration
to you know, get them to recognize that the President`s primary role should
be somebody who brings this great nation together, somebody who you know
illustrates empathy and who tries hard to find the commonality amongst all
of us. When this decision was being debated, we were working throughout
the weekend as hard as we could. This was the proverbial line of the sand
for me. You know, as we all know, these 800,000 Dreamers who are in this
country you know, don`t, are ineligible for any kind of welfare, any kind
of government subsidies. They pay over $2 billion in taxes every year.
They have a 91 percent employment rate. 65,000 of them graduate from high
school every year. 10,000 graduate from college every year.

HAYES: Right. You and I –

PALOMAREZ: They`ve undergone extensive back ground checks. This was the
line in the sand for me. This is what I`ve been working for, for the last
four months with these guys. And with what happened –

HAYES: Javier – Javier –

PALOMAREZ: That was it.

HAYES: You know that I know that. We know what the policy arguments here
about – we know it going in. The President pledged he was going to repeal
DACA. If there isn`t a policy outside to this, it`s going to cost the U.S.
money, it going to produce genuine human misery among both these folks and
their family members or U.S. citizens, right? Why are they doing it? And
why couldn`t you see they were going to do this from the jump?

PALOMAREZ: You know the reality of it is, we were getting mixed signals,
literally through the weekend that there was potential yet for something to
be worked out. You know, we were very clear that when we looked at the
issue of immigration in its broadest context, sure, we didn`t want a wall
to be built. I still don`t believe a wall needs to be built. But in my
mind, if a wall got built, families didn`t get – didn`t get broken apart,
people weren`t going to die if a wall got built. Where we drew the line in
the sand if you will, was when we started talking about people`s lives.
And chief among those people were the young people that were brought here
on average before the age of six. Those were the people that I was focused
on. Those were the people we were advocating on behalf of and this was
again the proverbial straw that broke the camel`s back. And at this point,
we made it very clear, if you pass that line, we will leave the Diversity

HAYES: Did you get a heads up or did you read about this decision in the

PALOMAREZ: No, we got a heads up probably a few hours ahead of time. We
got indications last night it was going in this direction. But even then,
there was a chance still that you know, he might see the light – the light
of day. We kept arguing right up until the bloody last you know, moment
and said, listen, you know, over a ten-year period of time, this is going
to cost the American economy over $280 billion of lost productivity if
these people are deported. It`s going to cost the American people$60
billion to get it done.

And while we`re still grappling with the disaster in Houston through
Harvey, we`re looking at Irma right around the corner. We`re dealing with
the specter of Korea. This is the thing you decide to focus on. This was
a spiteful thing to do and at that point, we decided we`re done here.
We`re not going to be working with a council that isn`t listening to common
sense. We looked at this thing from both perspectives, from the human
rights and the civil and social aspects of it. We`re America, after all.
But I also tried to you know, talk to them about the economic interests of
our nation and the commercial interests of our nation and how impactful and
how devastating it would be to our economy but to no avail.

HAYES: Javier Palomarez, thank you for your time.

PALOMAREZ: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Next, adding DACA to the growing must-do list for a Congress that
is yet to get anything done or much of anything. Senator Sherrod Brown
joins me on that in two minutes.



MCCONNELL: And we have three critically important things before us right
now that we need to do quickly. Pass disaster relief, prevent a default so
that those emergency resources can actually get to Americans who need them,
and keep the government funded. Those are the three important things
before us now.


HAYES: Mitch McConnell`s to do list for Congress would be daunting enough
if it were complete but it`s not. The Senate Majority Leader left a few
things out. Besides the three things he mention there, raise the ceiling,
fund the government and pass Harvey relief, Congress also need to renew the
National Flood Insurance Program which is going to be dicey given much has
to happen and the Children`s Health Insurance Program crucially, also the
millions of Americans on the ACA exchanges would probably appreciate if it
–they would shore up ObamaCare. And party leaders in the White House
also, let`s remember, want to entirely overhaul the tax code and pass a big
corporate tax cut. That was all before dawn broke today.

And then today, President Trump took that pin out of the grenade and rolled
it up Pennsylvania Avenue adding the fate of 800,000 DACA recipients to
Congress` list tweeting, “Congress, get ready to do your job, DACA.” Oh,
and isn`t that wasn`t enough, there`s a category five Hurricane Irma which
is setting records and freaking out meteorologists and could slam into
Florida by week`s end. This would be challenging with a highly functional
Congress and administration. But that`s really not what we`ve had so far.
The relationship between McConnell and Trump has gotten so bad in fact that
the Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate Majority Leader resorted to
the silent treatment to deal with the President`s off topic chit chat
during the health care fight. The Journal reporting that on one call, the
President even asked, Mitch, are you there, to which the Senator responded,
yes, Mr. President, back to the bill.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Democrat is one of those Lawmakers facing
the oversized to do list. I don`t think I`ve ever seen things stacked up
quite this way for Congress and it does seem like a high wire act for the
Republican Party governing both Houses. What is your sense of whether this
is all going to work?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, I think that first of all, why are
things so stacked up? They`re stacked up because of the incompetence among
Republican ruling in terms of Republican leadership, coupled with the
behavior and attitude and lack of (INAUDIBLE) and seriousness and frankly,
immorality in the White House. And as a result, nothing has gotten done,
nothing of consequence in the last eight months. I know though what
Republicans always go to, and keep in mind, this may be Donald Trump as
President but it`s always ultimately the Republicans` special interests
agenda. And Chris, you know where they always go no matter what the
issues, no matter what, on the surface, they`re trying to do. They always
go back. They say tax reform, they always go back to more tax cuts for the
rich. They want to drop the corporate tax precipitously. They want to cut
taxes on the one percent.

That`s what they always come back to. And that`s – they try to do that
and declare victory. That`s why, with all the other things on the agenda,
they will try that. And that`s why we come back only to bills I`m
introducing tomorrow and the Patriot Employer Act and a Corporate
Freeloader Bill which says, if you pay your workers well and you provide
benefits, you get a lower tax rate than those companies that rely on
government to give Food Stamps and earn income tax credit and housing
vouchers and Medicaid instead of paying their workers a living wage.

HAYES: All of those fights, right? So if you`re going to try to get that,
I would imagine attached as part of some sort of tax package, right,
because tax package starts to – starts to move through. They have to do
these three things up front before they even touch any of that, right? I
mean, they – and those – and when you talk about special interests, the
special interests don`t want them on blow through the debt ceiling and I
don`t think they want a government shutdown either right?.

BROWN: Yes, they want none of those things. But keep in mind, if they`ve
talked about tax reform forever in a day, and in the end, they know they
can`t get tax reform. So, with all the things going on that we should
address, we should – we should make sure that the President – we stop the
President from what he`s doing on DACA. We – first of all, obviously, we
do Hurricane Harvey, we do funding for Texas and Louisiana and that. We
also – we, of course, do the debt ceiling, we, of course, pass a
continuing resolution of some sort. But they – all that – all that noise
that we have to do, important things help distract them from the tax cut
for the wealthy. I mean, ask people to go, sign up that
Trump look out for workers instead of always tax cuts for the rich. We
have to do all these other things but don`t let that sort of draw shade
over their efforts to always cut taxes on the one percent.

HAYES: The ability of them to do that right now is up in the air. And one
of the moving parts here is the ACA. You and I, we`ve talked about the ACA
a bunch of that fight. And I think, a lot of people feel like it`s come
back from the dead so many times, the efforts to repeal. They don`t trust
that it`s dead. And it was I think an open question when the John McCain
thumbs down moment killed it for the time being. It seems to me that they
cannot move something legislatively on repeal in the next bit of time,
right? Or is that – am I wrong?

BROWN: Well, probably not wholesale repeal but fundamentally at the core
of what they hate about the Affordable Care Act, they hate two things.
They don`t like whom they`ve named it after, Barack Obama. But what they
hate is any kind of government involvement of health care. They hate
Medicaid, so many Republicans. I talk to a hospital administrator in
Bellevue, Ohio today, one of the smallest hospitals in the state, and in
University Hospitals in Cleveland, one of the largest hospitals in the
state. They know that they were very involved ahead of Rainbow Childrens
in Cleveland and the Bellevue Hospital, both very involved in fighting the
Medicaid cuts because they know what that does to hospitals. They know
what that does to moderate and low-income people.

We talked about how you know they`re coming back to assault Medicaid. They
may do it through chip, the Children`s Health Insurance Program. They will
look for any vehicle. So we have to be, as we need to be prepared for this
tax cut they do for the wealthy. That`s what the ACA in part was about.
And – that`s why the Patriot Corporation Act and the Corporate Freeloader
Fee Bill tomorrow we`re introducing. And they also want to – they want to
do the tax cuts and they want to go after Medicaid. That sort of been
their (INAUDIBLE) to elect them. Sorry for the French there Chris, that`s
what they`ve tried to do for so many years on those two things, tax cuts
for the wealthy and assault on middle and working class and low-income
people who rely Medicaid.

HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for joining us.

BROWN: Thanks.

HAYES: Coming up, new reporting on the Trump-Russia investigation and the
infamous Steele dossier and what looks like new attempts by House
Republicans to discredit it. That story just ahead.

HAYES: More than a dozen sites in Houston designated as super fun, which
means the federal government considers them among the most chemically
contaminated in the country.

And last week, in a really incredible, impressive bit of reporting, the
Associated Press managed to visit several of those sites and found them
badly flooded, raising the possibility, of course, of toxic contaminates
possibly being released into the water into a wide area.

In its report, the AP also noted that the Environmental Protection Agency
had not yet been able to physically visit the Houston area sites.

Now under President Trump, the EPA is being run by this man, climate change
skeptic Scott Pruitt. He is a darling of the oil and gas industry whose EPA
hit back hard against that AP report in
really an unusually nasty and caustic statement that almost has to be read
to be believed.

Quote, “Despite reporting from the comfort of Washington, AP reporter
Micheal Biesecker had the audacity to imply that agencies are not being
responsive to the devastating effects of Hurricane

There were two reporters and the EPA didn`t notice that the other one of
course actually visited the site, that was the point of the story. His
name was Jason Dearen and he brought back this video from Highland Acid Pit
showing the chain link fence protecting the sight almost completely

The EPA did not point to a single inaccuracy in the AP story and frankly,
it even confirmed the AP`s claim that it hadn`t visited the Superfund
sites, saying the sites had not been accessible by response personal, even
though the AP had managed to access them.

Now, the EPA statement went on to attack reporter Micheal Biesecker in
remarkably personal terms, claiming he has a history of not letting the
facts get in the way of his story citing a relatively minor error that was
corrected over the summer, and this is not an isolated incident. For
whatever reason, when faced with criticism, the people around President
Trump tend to sound and act an awful
lot like their boss.

When we come back, I`ll speak to reporter Natasha Bertrand, who got an
email over the weekend from a taxpayer paid Trump lawyer, that`s a
government lawyer asking her quote, “Are you on drugs?”

That story right after this.


HAYES: With congress back in session today, the Russia investigation is
back in full swing and so are the politics surrounding it.

The Washington Examiner reporting today that the House Intelligence
Committee has now subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for
documents relating to that infamous Trump, Russia dossier, as part of what
ranking Democrat Adam Schiff says is an effort to discredit the dossier and


part of an effort to discredit the author of the dossier. And I think
there`s a view, if they can discredit Christopher Steele, they can
discredit the whole Russia investigation, where the whole Russia
involvement are elections.


HAYES: On Friday we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had
obtained the letter President Trump originally drafted explaining his
reasons for firing former FBI director James Comey, a letter that White
House counsel Don McGahn stopped him from sending.

The letter reportedly, and I quote here, conveyed Trump`s displeasure that
Comey would not say publicly that the FBI`s probe into Russia`s
interference in the 2016 election was not focused on him.

The following day, Business Insider reporter Natasha Bertrand, who has been
doggedly following the story, published a piece of analyses citing the
letter suggesting it may prove pivotal in the obstruction of justice case
that Mueller is reportedly building against the president.

Her story prompted a lengthy response from this man, White House special
council Ty Cobb, he`s a top Trump lawyer who gets a tax payer funded
government salary. He`s a White House lawyer. And who claimed the letter
from the president to Mr. Comey is in fact wholly exonerating. But Cobb
wasn`t done.

When Bertrand asked him why, if there was no problem with the letter, the
president didn`t send it to Comey, Cobb responded in an email at 1:30 am on
a Saturday and asked Bertrand quote, “Are you on drugs?”

Joining me now the reporter on the receiving end of that treat, Business
Insider political correspondent Natasha Bertrand. What?

NATASHA BERTRAND, BUISNESS INSIDER: Yeah, so this was a shocking this to
even receive in the first place. This really lengthy statement from this
top White House lawyer.

Hayes: White House lawyer, I want to be clear. This is not outside
council, this is a man who works for the United States government who is in
the White House as a lawyer.

BERTRAND: Our taxes are paying for his job. And he wrote me this extremely
lengthy statement in outlining why my reporting was false, exaggerated, not

HAYES: Which, we should say, is perfectly well within his rights and in
fact, as a reporter, it`s nice when people write you back who are the
subject of your report.

BERTRAND: Completely. But he had yet to issue this kind of lengthy
statement about the Trump, Comey letter up until that point.

So then I wrote him back with a few questions, including do you push back
on the reporting that Don McGahn, the White House council, asked Trump not
to send the letter not to send the letter before he could make significant
changes to it? And I also asked him if there was no problems to the letter
as he stated in his lengthy statement to me then why wasn`t the letter sent
to Comey in the first place? Why was it sent to the DOJ?

And, in response to that there were two other email exchanges that ensued
in which he would just not answer my questions, and finally I asked him one
more time, well, why wasn`t the Comey letter sent if there were no problems
with it?

And that`s when he asked me if I was on drugs, which I responded, no, I am
not, I am just trying to ask you a pretty basic question. But, that was

HAYES: One of the things that strikes me when I saw this, I was sort of
amused when I saw this, but there was also the fact that this is, it`s
middle of the night, Friday night to Saturday, Saturday morning 1:30.
You`re writing a piece for Business Insider, you`ve been chronicling things
there and minutely following the story.

But it wasn`t like he woke up Sunday morning and it was like page one of
The New York Times in his face. The level of be-segment they must be
feeling inside that White House on this story really comes out in this

BERTRAND: Exactly. And that was my immediate thought was that they`re
really feeling the pressure in the area where Trump is most vulnerable
which currently is the potential obstruction of justice case that Mueller
is building against the president. That`s where they see themselves as
extremely exposed.

Manafort is one thing, Manafort has definitely – the FBI has focused a lot
on Paul Manafort, but that is still very much outside of the White House,
it happened before Trump was president. This is something that very much
affects his presidency. And it is something that could really undermine him
in the long-term.

HAYES: So you think part of it is that they – and we know this from
reporting from last week that they`ve already prepared these memos right,
for Mueller being like here`s why the president obstructed justice.

You think they are just laser focused and attuned to, the legal team there,
the obstruction case there because that`s where they feel that`s where they
are the most exposed and vulnerable?

BERTRAND: Exactly, and in my reporting I put the idea that this
obstruction of justice case could be bolstered by this letter and the fact
that Don McGahn pushed back against it. What does McGahn say? Why did he
think that this letter would be legally problematic for the president?

These are question that of course are going to be asked by Mueller.

HAYES: Don McGahn we should note who is the White House council who, in
some ways has been sort of most noteworthy for all the things he has not
stopped, right? So, the fact that Don McGahn was able to stop this letter
leads ones to believe that this was one of the only times when McGahn was
able to successfully throw himself in front of the train.

BERTRAND: Right, and what`s interesting also, it indicates that the Wall
Street Journal reported last week that Trump`s team has tried to preempt
the obstruction of justice argument that Mueller is building. It`s really
early to be doing that.

That indicates that they`re extremely concerned about it. You know, the
fact that Don McGahn made highlights to it, made changes, removed
apparently Trump`s reference to the Russian investigation and the fact that
Comey would not announce publicly that he was not under FBI investigation,
that says that Don McGahn thinks that line of argument is legally
problematic and they needed the DOJ to issue their own separate memos in
order to bolster that rationale.

HAYES: It also says that they are watching – you know this, you know the
president tweets about it. He`s clearly obsessed with this.

Only the president knows what he did or didn`t do and maybe people around
him, but they are definitely watching, including Mr. Cobb, if you`re
watching, thank you very much.

Natasha Bertrand, thank you for being with me tonight.

Ahead the president carried an image of being a strong a decisive leader
but DACA is the latest example of him proving himself to be just the
opposite, in many ways indecisive and weak. Jennifer Ruben and Josh Earnest
are here to discuss.

And the latest crushing exit for the president in tonight`s Thing One,
Thing Two, next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, the list of White House human resource
casualties since John Kelly became President Trump`s Chief of Staff keeping
growing. The first to fall, of course, Anthony Scaramucci, the delightfully
profane White House communications director for ten entire days.

The exit of the president`s senior strategist Steve Bannon was also widely
attributed to
Kelly`s influence, and Sebastian Gorka`s tenure as White House counter
terrorism adviser came to
an end about a week ago.

And now there`s reporting that Kelly has stopped a White House job from
even coming to fruition for the controversial former Milwaukee County
sheriff, David Clarke. Daily Beast reporting his failure to land a gig in
the west wing or the Department of Homeland Security was in large part the
result of opposition from Kelly.

And that`s still not the end of the list. The latest is a bona fide
longtime Trump confidant seen
here during Donald Trump`s campaign physically confronting a protester
outside Trump Tower.

That`s Thing Two, in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So another one bites the dust in a White House that now has retired
General John Kelly as Chief of Staff.

Keith Schiller, who in September 2015 outside Trump Tower grabbed a plaque
from a Hispanic protester and then hit that protester, Keith Schiller, seen
here physically removing Univision anchor`s Jorge Ramos from candidate
Trump`s August 2015 press conference in Dubuque, Iowa. That guy, Keith
Schiller, Donald Trump`s longtime director of security and personal
bodyguard became President Trump`s director of oval office operations. His
precise duties over the past seven months unclear, but here he is wearing
an Adidas garment in a meeting with the president of Kurdistan when
Trump`s son in law, Jared Kushner, visited Iraq in April.

And it was Schiller who infamously hand-delivered the letter from President
Trump firing FBI director James Comey, though Comey wasn`t in the building.

But, according to Bloomberg News, Schiller lost his privilege to walk into
the Oval Office at any time when Kelly took over, and he now views his job
as somewhat redundant people close to him
said. Schiller will reportedly be taking a job in the private security

Bloomberg reports that President Trump is crushed by Schiller`s departure,
but good news, they`ll always have the WWE Smackdown, there he is,
finishing the job for his pal, the future President, Donald J. Trump.


HAYES: In just the last 15 minutes, perhaps because he`s been watching
cable news, President Trump has issued a new statement via tweet that
perfect encapsulates his weakness and indecision when it comes to big
consequential matters.

After first promising to end DACA on day one, and then today sending his
attorney general
to announce an end to DACA punting to congress instead, President Trump has
changed position again tweeting that congress has six months to legalize
DACA, something the Obama administration was unable to do. “If they can`t,
” will revisit this issue.”

Someone who is very familiar with consequential decisions from his time in
the Obama administration, former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
joins me now, along with Jennifer Ruben, conservative columnist from The
Washington Post.

So basically New York Times predicted this morning, they ran a piece on
which they had a
paragraph that basically said people around him worry he doesn`t understand
what he`s doing. As late as one hour before the decision was to be
announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr.
Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take,
and when he discovers the full impact would change his mind.

Josh, that appears to be what`s happening in real time right now or
something like it.

be exactly what`s happening in real time, that President Trump has faced –
has encountered this
dilemma, I believe as described in the New York Times story.

And the dilemma he faced was not what can we do to make our system more
fair, the dilemma wasn`t about the nearly 800,000 young people in this
country through no fault of their own and following the rules trying to
make this country better. The dilemma he faced was how is he going to
reconcile the ill-conceived, ill thought out, ill responsible promise that
he made on the campaign trail.

So Chris, when President Obama was grappling with this decision, what he
took on was a broken immigration system and said I`m going to use every
element of my presidential authority to
try to fix it. I`m going to use this executive authority to make sure we
are correctly and properly deploying our enforcement resources to keep our
communities safe even as we`re giving these young
people who are American in every single way but their papers, an
opportunity to succeed in this
country and make it better.

Jennifer, I feel like there`s been something interesting happening with
this DACA decision which is, David Jolly was on the program last week where
it`s almost like the president has called the
conservatives` bluff. So all these conservatives are saying we don`t like
DACA, the Obama administration – you wrote this back in 2012, “in both
health care and immigration context, Attorney General Eric Holder and
President Obama are lacking in constitutional awareness or have so
politicized the Justice Department it`s no longer a reliable indicator of
the law.”

Today when they basically ended DACA, you were angry. What happened?

JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST: I am angry. First of all, there`s no
legislation – there`s no pending need to change it at this moment, people
have relied upon it. There`s a due process assumption that we have in this
country that if you follow the law, you play by the rules, you come forward
and identify yourself, the government isn`t going to turn around and throw
you out again.

So frankly, whatever means we got to where we are, we are where we are, and
I`m not about to suggest that those people who have now self-identified,
presented their information to the federal
government should be, you know, ejected simply because they have changed
their mind.

I want to add one thing to what Josh was saying. You know, there is no
argument that this is of any necessity now. This is a completely artificial
deadline that Sessions and these Republican attorneys general came up with
in order to force Trump`s hand.

And whether Trump is dim-witted and being led around by the nose by Jeff
Sessions, which is entirely possible, or whether he`s in it, you know, he`s
been greeted by a firestorm today. I was going through the reaction of
religious groups. The catholic church, Jewish organizations, the baptist.
There isn`t a religious organization aside from his flunkies from the
campaign, that thinks that this isn`t an inhumane, unchristian, unreligious
action. It`s outrageous.

HAYES: You know, and part of what is so strange is here, is this is part
of a pattern, Josh, where in some ways one of the clearest things he
represented was I`m going to repudiate the previous
administration. He made his name in the Birther conspiracy theory and sort
of continued this idea, and yet watching this administration the first
eight months, it`s like watching someone who has never handled a
sledgehammer before try to take down a whole building in a one-person demo.

At one level there`s a lot of destruction, but there`s lot of swings and
misses, then these sort of
moments of what am I doing? Can I take that beam down?

You`re always caught between the kind of execution is so sloppy and sort of
conflicted, but also
destructive at the same time.

EARNEST: Well, Chris, the irony of this whole thing, just to pick up on
what Jennifer was saying, you would think if there`s anybody who is
familiar with the tactic of intimidate someone by threatening to file a
lawsuit even if you don`t have a very strong legal argument to make, it
would be Donald Trump.

HAYES: Right.

EARNEST: And that`s the scenario we face. We have these conservative
Republican attorneys general who are threatening to file a lawsuit against
DACA. Never mind that there are actually 20
different state attorneys general across the country who are prepared to
defend the legality of DACA, no matter the longest, well-established legal
precedent of Democratic and Republican presidents using their own
discretion in terms of making sure that our enforcement resources are used
properly in an immigration context.

But you`re right, Chris, this is one other example of President Donald
Trump basically making clear that he`s a novice when it comes to governing.
This is an example of where he lacks the kind of acumen that we expect from
people who are wielding presidential authority to accomplish their goals.

Instead, you know, it`s clear he doesn`t exactly know what he wants to do
to accomplish his goals as ill conceived as they are.

HAYES: There`s this recurring theme, Jennifer, which is the president is
obsessed with deals and leverage, appearing to find things he thinking are
leverage, only to discover as it goes on that
actually it`s not leverage, you know? To use the metaphor, it`s like you
can`t shoot the hostages. He`s constantly taking these hostages.

We saw it with the shutdown fight that was going to be a big shutdown on
the wall, there wasn`t.
We`ve seen it time and time again, and do you think the same thing is
happening here with DACA?

RUBIN: You know, it`s hard to figure what his game plan, if it is one, but
Josh should send him flowers, because Obamacare, DACA, they have never been
more popular. They have people like me defending them, because this
administration has been so inhumane and haphazard about the way they go
about it.

You can`t treat people like they don`t exist. People rely on these things
and they`ve been told they can benefit from these things.

And by the way, when we are talking about people who don`t know which way
is up, I`d like to see the legal opinion from Jeff Sessions that he relied
on to say this is unconstitutional. There happens to be a contrary opinion
in the Office of Legal Counsel and Justice Department.

HAYES: That`s a great point. I`m sure we will get that pretty soon. Josh
Earnest and Jennifer Ruben, thank you.

EARNEST: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Alright, that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show
starts right now.

Good Evening, Rachel.


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