All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/12/17 Trump Admin vs. Comey
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 12, 2017
Guest: Carol Leonnig, John Hudson, Carrie Cordero, Renato Mariotti, Ann
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The receiving hand grabbing whatever is being
offered from Trump Tower. 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: When I decided to
just do it I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump
and Russia is a made-up story.
HAYES: New reporting that Robert Mueller is “going for the kill” as the
White House toys with an investigation of James Comey.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that`s
something that certainly should be looked at.
HAYES: Tonight the latest on the Russia investigation, including new
reporting on what Vladimir Putin wanted from Trump.
Plus as the Clinton book drops, Hillary says she is convinced she knows
what happened between Trump and the Russians.
TRUMP: No puppet, no puppet,
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s pretty clear –
TRUMP: You`re the puppet.
HAYES: And the head of Trump`s so-called Voter Fraud Commission caught
KRIS KOBACH, PRESIDENT ELECTION INTEGRITY COMMISSION CHAIR: I said it
appears that non-residence may have tipped the results.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The White House once
again went after fired FBI Director James Comey today as Special Counsel
Robert Mueller`s Russia investigation continues to widen. Comey of course
who would likely serve as a key witness in a criminal obstruction of
justice case against the President. And today for the second day in a row
the White House Press Secretary argued from the podium that it was Comey
and not the President who broke the law.
SANDERS: I think there`s no secret Comey by his own self-admission leaked
privileged government information. Weeks before President Trump fired him,
Comey testified that an FBI engaged in the same practice, they`d face
serious repercussions. I think he set his own stage for himself on that
front. His actions were improper and likely could have been illegal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would the President encourage the DOJ to prosecute
SANDERS: That`s not the President`s role, that`s the job of Department of
Justice, and something they should certainly look at.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that something you`d like to see?
SANDERS: I`m not sure about that specifically but if there`s ever a moment
where we feel someone`s broken the law, particularly if They`re head of the
FBI, I think that`s something that certainly should be looked at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We should note here that while Comey has admitted to leaking his
own memos to the press, there is absolutely no reason to believe that
conduct was illegal. This comes after the Wall Street Journal reported the
President`s attorneys have been making the case against obstruction of
justice to the Special Counsel, submitting memos that call into question
Comey`s reliability particularly as a potential witness. And it comes amid
efforts by Republicans on both the House Intelligence Committee to
discredit the infamous Steele Dossier, efforts that according to New York
Magazine`s Jonathan Chait are ultimately aimed at attacking Comey. It`s
not hard to see why the White House would have such an interest in wrecking
Comey`s credibility. According to Axios, senior aides believe the Special
Counsel is and I quote here, “burrowing in hard on the obstruction of
justice angle,” which helps explain comments by ousted Chief Strategist
Steve Bannon in his 60 Minutes interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said that you described the firing of James
Comey. You`re a student of history as the biggest mistake in political
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: That would be probably
– that would probably be too bombastic even for me but maybe modern
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Axios reports that Bannon and others are increasingly worried about
their own legal exposure because they were with Trump during those frantic
takes around Comey`s firing and nobody was saying and what was on his mind.
More and more senior officials have reportedly also lawyered up in recent
days and that includes Communications Director Hope Hicks, Former Chief Of
Staff Reince Priebus, and even the President`s lawyer, White House Counsel
Don McGahn. Some of them may be preparing for a run-in with the Special
Counsel who, according to Washington Post, has given the White House a list
of six aides he and his team expect to question in the Russia probe.
And as Mueller`s investigation continues to advance, the incentives for
individual members of the Trump circle to turn on each other original grow.
According to multiple reports, some of the President`s lawyers argued that
his own son-in-law Jared Kushner should resign from the White House to
avoid further legal applications for the man at the top. Carol Leonnig who
broke that story for the Washington post, she joins me now. Tell me more
about what we know about the President`s lawyers` views on Kushner.
CAROL LEONNIG, WASHINGTON POST STAFF WRITER: So, within the White House,
remember this is in June right after the Special Counsel has been nominated
or named – forgive me, in May – a group of White House lawyers are
talking about all of the e-mails and all of the records that they`re going
through to respond to Congressional inquiries and ultimately to prepare for
Bob Mueller`s investigation. And what they find are things that worry them
about Jared Kushner, the President`s son-in-law. He`s a person who had a
ton of interactions with foreign officials and Russians in particular. He
did this during the campaign and during the transition. There`s no
indication there was anything wrong about that except he didn`t disclose
And in some cases, he seemed to talk about things he also didn`t come
completely clean about. There were other meetings that he had with, as we
later learned, the public didn`t know it at the time, but he had other
meetings in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer. And what the White House
lawyers were, the people who are supposed to be sort defending the
President and the White House itself, what they were worried about was
whether Jared was going to complicate things by being in the office and
whether he was going to draw scrutiny and draw the President further deeper
into this probe by being somebody who was always there, somebody who could
casually bring up the probe or some element of the probe while he was doing
HAYES: You know, one of the dynamics that appear to be emerging as the
this begins to play out are questions about how high up it all went. I
mean, one of the most outstanding questions is, did the President himself
know about the now-infamous meeting at Trump Tower that Jared Kushner
attended in which the campaign was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton
directly from the Russian government? It seems that they`re going to be
forced to make a choice in the story they tell that may come at the expense
of people who are quite close to the President, including his son-in-law
and his son.
LEONNIG: Absolutely. I mean, some key questions are going to be asked and
all of those people are going to be in the parlance of prosecutors
squeezed. Each of them are going to be asked to replay, what did they hear
the President say? What did they tell the President? We know the
President didn`t use e-mail. Donald Trump as a candidate didn`t use e-mail
but he had close confidants around him at all times. His secretary, his
security agents, his children, his son-in-law and each of them will be
asked to give their account of what was said and those stories should all
HAYES: To the point of the obstruction case, is it your understanding from
your reporting as well that Kushner was a key adviser close to the
President, advocating for Comey to be fired?
LEONNIG: Yes. It`s our understanding that that`s the case. And keep in
mind, Chris, that you know, here are these lawyers, they were debating
whether Kushner should be removed from the White House in June of this
year. Ultimately their idea was rejected. But I sort of am starting to see
the wisdom of why they would have wanted to consider this because in July,
Kushner is also present with the President on Air Force One, and right
before that, when he`s deciding and helping sculpt the story that will be
shared with the public about that meeting at Trump Tower in June of 2016.
HAYES: That`s right.
LEONNIG: And as you know from our story which broke back at the time, the
President was intensely involved in shaping that message and Jared Kushner
was present. What does Jared Kushner remember about the President
sculpting a story that wasn`t entirely true?
HAYES: All right, Carol Leonnig, thank you very much.
LEONNIG: You bet.
HAYES: At the heart of the infamous and largely unverified, at least in
independent terms, Steele Dossier, was the idea that Russia interfered in
the 2016 election on Trump`s behalf in exchange or seeking out some kind of
favorable policy outcome. Now a secret Russian document obtained by
BuzzFeed sheds light on just what outcome the Russian government may have
been seeking. Reporter John Hudson got his hands on a Kremlin proposal for
a broad reset with Trump, offering up the full normalization of relations
between the United States and Russia across all major branches of
government. BuzzFeed`s John Hudson is here with me now. And John, what
can you tell me about what the scope of what this document sketches out and
whether it was ever proposed?
JOHN HUDSON, BUZZFEED FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: This is a massive
reset. It goes across diplomatic, military, and economic channels. And it
really seeks to turn back the clock from before the Syria crisis, before
the Ukraine crisis, and to be frank before Edward Snowden asylum, to a time
where there was a reset in relations. And essentially Putin was looking to
restore relations and sort of put aside all of the major geopolitical
issues that the United States and Russia have at the moment. Obviously the
2016 tampering of the elections at the forefront.
HAYES: Is the document – I mean, are you convinced the documents are both
authentic and that they`re actually something that were being considered at
the highest level? I mean, this reflects this sort of roadmap for the
thinking of Putin and how he wants to approach Trump.
HUDSON: I am convinced that the document is authentic. And what Russia
analysts have told me, who I offered them to give their analysis, is that
essentially the Russians have long wanted these channels to exist. What
surprised them is that they assumed – that the Russians assumed they would
be able to let this fly and they wouldn`t get laughed out of the room.
Essentially that`s because the U.S.-Russia relationship is in such a bad
place right now. To assume that within a month you would be able to
restore some of these incredibly sensitive channels, such as a meeting
between a top Russian cyber security official and his American counterpart,
in many ways that would be seen as beyond the pale.
HAYES: Well, and what was fascinating a about the document to me is first
it sort of floats a kind of diplomatic jubilee, which is basically let`s
just – let`s just wipe the slate clean, Crimea, Ukraine tampering, all
that stuff, let`s forget about that. And there`s obviously something to be
said for improving U.S.-Russia relations (INAUDIBLE) in a lot of channels.
But second of all, it seems that they did not – were not aware that their
catastrophic success in terms of what they were able to do in the election
made it politically impossible for them to actually pull this off.
HUDSON: Absolutely. I mean, it`s very clear that Putin underestimated how
difficult it would be for Trump to carry out a rapprochement of this type
amid congressional probes, amid FBI probes, amid constant media scrutiny.
If you think about this Chris and how this would play out, you would be
having international meetings, you`d have photo ops where U.S. and Russian
officials are seen together working together. In the climate that exists
right now, that – you know, a political adviser would kill this thing
immediately upon hearing about it. And largely that`s why this
rapprochement hasn`t really happened. If you go down the list of the
different proposals that the Russians had, very few of these meetings have
actually taken place.
HAYES: Yeah, it should be – we should be clear here that in a substantive
sense, the quo, if there was one, and if there was any sort of active
collusion, has not been delivered on substantively. I mean, the President
continues to rhetorically say nice things about Putin, he`s talked to him,
he snuck Russian Ambassadors into the White House. But in terms of those
substantive agenda items, right, I mean, is it your sense basically that
those asks have not been granted?
HUDSON: Yes, absolutely. The fears of a grand bargain between the United
States and Russia in which the U.S. would sell away the farm and give
Ukraine to the Russians, just forget about Crimea, that hasn`t happened.
And especially if you look at some of the appointments that have happened
in the Trump administration, you`ve seen fairly hawkish officials be
appointed to senior positions in the NSC and in the State Department. So
by no means has Trump installed a number of Putin lackeys throughout the
administration. And in fact, if you look at it, the White House hasn`t
even really pressured the State Department or the Pentagon to accelerate
the kind of rapprochement that has been offered.
HAYES: All right, John Hudson, appreciate your time.
HUDSON: Great to be here.
HAYES: For more on where the Mueller investigation is headed, let`s turn
now to Carrie Cordero, former National Security Lawyer at the Justice
Department, and former Renato Mariotti, a former – a former Federal
Prosecutor. Renato, you`ve had lots thoughts on the developments over the
last day or two and I`ve been sort of tracking them. What jumps out to you
most at this point?
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, one thing that has
really jumped out to me, and I know, I`ve discussed this a lot on Twitter
over the last couple of days, is the growing mounting attack on James Comey
by the President, not only the Press Secretary, but by his lawyers and
aides and others. You know, what we saw yesterday and today by the Press
Secretary is literally an accusation that the former FBI Director committed
a crime and that DOJ ought to investigation that and ought to consider
charging him. And that`s absolutely appalling to me. It is totally
inappropriate for the White House to be suggesting that a witness against
the President and others of his aides should be prosecutied.
I mean, typically, there are walls between the White House and DOJ. And
what she`s basically doing is making an end run around that by making
statements to the press suggesting that he should be charged with a crime
knowing that the press is going to report on those. And that people from
DOJ are going to read those reports. It`s absolutely inappropriate.
HAYES: Carrie, do you agree on Renato on that?
CARRIE CORDERO, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NATIONAL SECURITY LAWYER: I
absolutely do, certainly. I mean, there`s been procedures in place for a
long time. And my understanding is that these procedures are still in
place under Attorney General Sessions that there`s not supposed to be
certain contacts between the White House and the Department of Justice
regarding ongoing investigations. Now, if the White House Press Secretary
stands up in public and says there should be an investigation of something,
then they`re actually bypassing the direction of the Attorney General. And
so really she needs to not talk about investigations and not suggest that
investigations take place. It goes to the heart of our rule of law. It
goes to the heart of our justice system that there`s not supposed to be the
politicization of ongoing investigations or of launching investigations or
HAYES: It also seems to me, Renato, and I`m not a lawyer, so I`d like to
hear what you think, that there`s no criminal claim here, that this is
essentially just kind of like, “I know you are, but what am I?” kind of
argument from the White House.
MARIOTTI: Well, that`s what makes really her comments even more abhorrent.
I mean, this was part – clearly part of a calculated political strategy.
You know, we heard recently that there were memos that the Trump lawyers
had prepared and sent to Mueller attacking Comey`s credibility. A couple
of weeks ago the President tweeted that you know, Comey was unfair and that
the system was rigged. And now we`re hearing these attacks when there
literally is no evidence whatsoever that Comey committed a crime. I mean,
you had referenced earlier, Chris, that – and I thought you made the
correct call as you know, even though you`re a non-lawyer, that you know,
releasing information to the press is not a crime if that information isn`t
classified. In fact, we have a first amendment in this country.
MARIOTTI: And the default rule that is talking to the press is something
that is protected by the constitution. So it is just – the suggestion
that he committed a crime or that he did something even wrong is totally
HAYES: So, Carrie, I want to talk about this obstruction, the reporting
that the concern of the White House increasingly, it does seem to me based
on the hires that Mueller`s made, the asks, that they appear to be working
towards building an obstruction case independent of whatever they`re doing
with Manafort and Flynn and investigating the sort of possibility of
Russian collusion. And there seems to be a paradox that I liked you to
sort out here which is that, if anyone obstructed, it seems to be it was
the President himself. He ultimately is the one who fired, he is the
person who asked Comey to lay off Flynn, et cetera. And yet it`s really
unclear that Robert Mueller could prosecute the President. And that seems
like pretty sticky terrain for him.
CORDERO: Well, so there is a legal question that`s outstanding, that
constitutional lawyers will disagree about, whether or not a sitting
president can be indicted for a crime. But that doesn`t mean that the
Special Counsel can`t put together the facts that would establish a case
and then either decide to bring that to the Grand Jury and actually have a
charging document, or whether then that`s something that the special
Counsel would refer to Congress as a political matter. So it`s an open
question. It`s quite possible that the Special Counsel could conduct a
legal analysis and determine that in fact, they could bring a case against
But certainly, there`s a lot of individuals in the White House who are
witnesses, as fact witnesses to this investigation. And so that`s why
we`re seeing reporting that the Special Counsel wants to interview all of
these different people who might have different insights regarding what the
President said, what discussions took place in the White House regarding
his efforts to shut down, obstruct, derail different parts of this overall
HAYES: Renato, it also seems that whatever constitutional questions are
with the President would also be bound up in anything that Mueller were to
do if he were tempt to charge anyone as essentially an accomplice in this,
if the argument is that the President had the constitutional power to do
this and therefore definitionally cannot have been engaged in obstruction?
MARIOTTI Yes, I don`t – look, I don`t think that argument is very
compelling. Essentially it`s saying, you have the power to do something,
so no matter how you exercise that power, it`s always legal. So for
example, the President has the power to end investigations. So would it be
– it wouldn`t be obstruction of justice for him to take a bribe and end an
investigation for that purpose? I mean, I don`t find that very compelling
at all. And what I do think is that you know, you talked about the heat
retching up earlier on – and potentially you know, going for the top. You
know, if the – if the stakes are high enough, people who are investigated
tend to do desperate things, tend to do more aggressive things. And what
we`re seeing is unlike what we`ve seen earlier from the Trump camp. We are
seeing a very coordinated strategy against Comey and I think we are going
to see more aggressive tactics to come now that they seem to have their act
together and are working together.
HAYES: Carrie Cordero, Renato Mariotti, many thanks to you both.
MARIOTTI: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, one of the men leading President Trump`s voter fraud
task force caught red-handed. What happen when Kris Kobach went up to New
Hampshire today in two minutes.
HAYES: Today the Breitbart columnist who serves on a Presidential Voter
Fraud Commission that critics call a sham was caught red-handed attempting
to put the full weight of the White House behind a preposterous conspiracy
theory. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is Vice Chairman of
President Trump`s Presidential Advisory Commission on election integrity
which was we should note reverse-engineered around the President`s
embarrassment that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. The
President has repeatedly claimed he only lost due to widespread voting
fraud, insisting absurdly and in the face of every bit of available
evidence that 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular
vote. They did not.
Now, Kobach, who spent an entire career fear mongering about voter fraud
and trying to make voting more difficult, has made it his mission to find
some evidence to back up the President`s absurd claims. And last week he
wrote for Breitbart triumphantly that, “now there`s proof that voter fraud
likely cost Republicans a New Hampshire Senate seat and perhaps cost Trump
New Hampshire`s four electoral votes.” That is a very, very, very serious
claim and it was, in fact, total nonsense. Kobach`s alleged proof was the
fact that several thousand people who registered to vote on election day
had out-of-state driver`s licenses.
But here`s the thing. In New Hampshire a person who lives in the state
most of the time, like for instance college students, can vote with an out-
of-state I.D. In fact, it took The Washington Post all of 60 minutes to
find three college students in the state who voted exactly that way,
perfectly legally. Kobach either somehow didn`t know the law or he
willfully misrepresented the facts. And yet his voter fraud commission
rolls on. Today the commission held a hearing in New Hampshire where
Kobach did not exactly apologize.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOBACH: – the columnist I said, it appears that nonresidents may have
tipped the results. And I`m still wondering if that was the right word.
And I am also wondering if it`s even possible to condense what is really a
complex legal issue into an 800-word column.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kobach was greeted in New Hampshire by protesters who lambasted the
commission as a thinly veiled effort at voter suppression. In Washington,
Democrats said it should be disbanded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: They are so eager to prove
their point about voter fraud, which is demonstrably false, they`re
resorting to these crazy claims, discrediting their commission, and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Democratic Representative Ann McLane Kuster of New
Hampshire, who is calling on long-time New Hampshire Secretary of State
Bill Gardner to resign from serving on that same voting fraud commission.
Let me start with this, I mean, a White House commission with a White
House`s full effort behind it. The Vice – the Vice Chair of that
commission basically said your election in New Hampshire was illegitimate.
What do you – what is your response to that?
REP. ANN MCLANE KUSTER (D) NEW HAMPSHIRE: This is totally outrageous,
Chris. It goes to the heart of our Democracy. And I can do it in way
fewer than 800 words. The New Hampshire constitution gives anyone
domiciled in New Hampshire the right to vote. And the New Hampshire
Supreme Court upheld that 2015. This is a new case. And this is well-
settled law in New Hampshire. So Mr. Kobach`s claim is blatantly false,
and frankly, I think he`s chairing a voter-suppression commission. He has
no intention of upholding our democracy. And it`s an affront to every
citizen of the State of New Hampshire. We`re very proud of our role in the
democracy with the first in the nation presidential primary and we uphold
the right to vote by people who are qualified domiciled in the state of New
HAYES: So let me ask you this. You`ve got a Secretary of State who`s a
legend in New Hampshire, Mr. Gardner.
HAYES: He is a Democrat. He is one of the few Democrats serving on this
commission. And he`s on this commission against a lot of criticism with
this individual, Kris Kobach, coming into his state and telling him he
oversaw a fundamentally fraudulent election. What do you think of that?
KUSTER: Well, I will say both Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State from
New Hampshire, and the Secretary of State from Maine, Matt Dunlap, tried to
clarify and correct Mr. Kobach today on the record at the commission
hearing. They told him he was using the words interchangeably, they`re not
the same. The legal definition is different for domicile and for
residency. There is no requirement to have a New Hampshire Driver`s
License. These are people who live in the state of New Hampshire, they`re
domiciled in New Hampshire, they probably don`t even have a car.
HAYES: Right, stop, stipulated. I think that`s fairly clear. My question
is the role that the Secretary of State of your State is playing in lending
credibility and capital to a commission that appears to be engaged in,
frankly, hack work.
KUSTER: Absolutely. It`s a fraud.
HAYES: So why is he still on – should he resign?
KUSTER: Well, the entire delegation, all members of the New Hampshire
federal delegation, have called on him to resign. Democrats in the
statehouse have called on him to resign. Frankly, I`m a little bit
suspicious of the Republicans that think he`s doing a great job. And I
think they have made repeated efforts in our statehouse to change the law.
But this is a constitutional right in New Hampshire. So my own feeling is
that Bill Gardner is running the risk of being – you know, it`s a sham.
HAYES: Do you think he`s a tool? Is he a patsy?
KUSTER: I think he is. I think he is and it`s a real risk for the State
of New Hampshire. Bill Gardner has spent the last 40 years defending the
New Hampshire first in the nation presidential primary. It`s important to
us. It`s important to our democracy. And I`m proud of our role. But to
call into question the integrity of our election and to blatantly
discourage people from turning out to vote is appalling and I believe he
should step down. Frankly, I agree with Mr. Schumer, Senator Schumer, the
entire commission should be disbanded. We should get back to the story
that you are covering earlier on your show, the actual Russian interference
with the 2016 Presidential Election.
HAYES: Representative Annie Kuster, thanks for being with me tonight.
KUSTER: Thanks, Chris, great to be with you.
HAYES: Still ahead, the renewed hype of the Presidential pivot. I`ll ask
Senator Chris Murphy if he expects the President`s deal with Democrats will
change anything going into the Fall. Stick around.
HAYES: Today search and rescue teams reached a desperate situation in the
farthest edges of the Florida Keys two days after Hurricane Irma tore
through the islands. FEMA estimates 1 in 4 homes on the Keys are fully
destroyed while 65 percent sustained major damage and power could be out
for weeks. Statewide, 10 million residents, half of Florida`s population,
remains without power tonight. And more than 90,000 people are in
shelters. Meanwhile, we`re getting new images of the devastation in the
Caribbean, which was hit hardest by Irma. NBC`s Ron Mott is on St. Thomas,
part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ron, we haven`t gotten a lot of reports
out of there, what can you tell us firsthand about what the situation`s
RON MOTT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Chris. One of the reasons we
haven`t gotten a lot of reports out of St. Thomas and St. John is simply
it`s hard to get here. We got here a few hours ago. The U.S. Coast Guard
helping us get here from Puerto Rico. We arrived about three hours ago.
You can see the police lights behind me. There is a curfew in effect. We
spent the better part of the evening getting cleared so we can work and
bring these reports to our viewers outside the curfew. The cure few from
6:00 p.m. to noon the following day.
And this is one of the reasons why the government wants to keep people off
the streets. There`s a giant power pole here that has been on the ground
here since last Wednesday, since the eye of the storm passed just north of
St. Thomas, maybe 20, 30 miles. So they got the brunt of the winds here,
especially on the north side of St. Thomas.
St. John, less populated, but took on even more damage. Within the past
hour, I spoke to Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter who says they`ve got
their work cut out here for them. I asked them how many people here do
they know lost their homes? He would estimate, he said, about one in five
people completely lost their homes.
Tonight, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Company is bringing in a ship.
There`s some people here at the Haven Site Dock who are going to sleep on
the ship tonight. And then tomorrow morning
they`re going to take off for San Juan, Puerto Rico. So, these are folks
who are evacuating this island, who perhaps do not want to be a part of the
recovery effort here because it is going to take some time.
The governor, Kenneth Mapp is cautioning residents here who are going to
stick it out through this long, tough, arduous process to manage their
We like to say, I have a small condo on the north side here, that this is
island time. That`s one of the reasons you want to come down here. The
residents who`ve been affected here want to speed things up a little bit
and the governor and the administration wants folks to know it`s simply
going to take time to clean and up rebuild from all this mess.
HAYES: Alright, NBC`s Ron Mott, thanks for going down there and thanks for
Stick around, Senator Chris Murphy joins me next.
HAYES: Fresh off what Donald Trump considered positive press coverage of
his debt and
government funding deal with Democrats last week, the president is hosting
a dinner tonight that includes three Democratic lawmakers.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Senator Joe Manchin of West
Virginia, and Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
The deal with Democrats earned the president a slew of articles praising
his deal-making and declaring the dawn of a new presidential era. Of course
we`ve seen proclamations of a new Trump over and over and over before, only
to see the old Trump re-emerge shortly after, every time.
But what has actually changed in the last few weeks in a legislative
perspective is that Mitch McConnell and Republican leaders wanted an all-
out effort on tax reform, but because of actions the president has taken,
it appears the next big item on the docket could very well be protection
for the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought here as
children and given limited legal status under a program the president is
now threatening to end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) SENIOR UNITIED STATES SENATOR, NEW YORK: You know,
we`ve talked a
little bit about working together. And I said to the president, the best
way he can show some good
faith is support the Dreamers Bill, supported by Senators Graham and
Durbin, bipartisan. Urge that we move it to the floor rather quickly and
get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are signs that the administration is open to those
Mark Short, a White House Legislative Affairs Director, told reporters
today the administration would not require money for a border wall in
legislation to help the Dreamers.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut reportedly burst out
laughing last week when someone asked him if Democrats could rely on Trump.
He`s with me now.
So I am skeptical that there`s a deal here to protect the 800,000
undocumented folks who were
given legal protection, but the people that I talk to who are in the know,
and people I trust seem to think
this is a possibility. Is someone getting punked here?
CHRIS MURPHY, (D) SENATOR, CONNETICUT: My friend Chuck Schumer is the
eternal optimist and we love him for it, but he`s not totally wrong in the
sense that the issue of protecting the Dreamers is very different today
than it was ten years ago.
Today, 75% of the American public support giving these kids protection.
They know it`s the right thing to do.
And so, it isn`t a Democratic issue anymore. There`s real downside to
Republicans if they were to turn their backs these kids and allow for the
TV cameras to cover them being rounded up and deported.
So, I think they have political interest in getting this done. It`s not
just about a deal.
HAYES: Counterpoint. That preference is broad but not deep, and should
they vote for it
they`re going to get a primary challenge, which is what they`re worried
about, which is been essentially the veto that has been held by the anti-
immigration forces for the last ten years that I`ve been
covering the issue.
MURPHY: Unless it is paired with so-called border security funding and I
don`t think any
Democrat should shut down the possibility of a deal which gives permanent
protection to the Dreamers in exchange for some additional money for border
security. That`s not a wall.
But of course Democrats have been on the record before, in 2013 voting for
immigration reform bill, that did include substantial new money for
additional security on the border.
So that may be able to give some protection to Republicans. I don`t think
that that should be off the table.
HAYES: You think that`s a real thing? You think that`s a thing that could
happen? We could see this happen? A vote on something like that? That kind
MURPHY: I think it could happen. But again, I don`t necessarily think it`s
because Donald Trump is all of a sudden going to become a great deal maker.
I think it`s because Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are going to see real
political downside in turning their backs on these kids when the majority
of Republican voters actually today support giving these kids protection.
HAYES: We saw a wave of analyses over the last few days about how this
deal signaled the end of 150 years of two-party rule and the new
independence. You said Trump sides with Schumer/Pelosi once, world forgets
he aligns with hardline GOP on immigration, climate change, healthcare,
taxes, spending etc etc.
What is your approach to the president`s actions, and how do you think of
him when he does
things that perhaps seem different than what he did before?
MURPHY: Well, I think it is important to remember as I said in that tweet
the president has dragged his party and dragged the conversation further to
the right, and he has not governed as a
centrist. So, I think the Democrats should be careful to calibrate our
strategy based on the
expectation he`s going to continue to make these plays.
What I think is most interesting about the deal last week is that Paul Ryan
and Mitch McConnell
were so eager to accept it. And that`s because the governing majority in
the house and senate hasn`t changed. It`s still the majority of Democrats
and the minority of Republicans.
And so I think it is still important for to us remember that however we get
there, whether it`s in a deal done by Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer, or
whether it`s through the arm-twisting of McConnell and
Ryan, ultimately Democrats are going to be a big factor in any deal that
gets done to keep the
government up and operating, to protect Dreamers, to raise the debt
So whether Trump makes it happen or not, Democrats need to remember that we
still have a
seat at the table in all of this because of the dysfunction inside the
HAYES: That`s a good point, Senator Chris Murphy, thanks very much.
Ahead, Hillary Clinton recounts President Trump`s inauguration day, a case
identity, and that infamous debate. Those stories coming up.
Plus, tonight`s Shirt One, Shirt Two, starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, on Sunday 60 Minutes had its big interview with
House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and so a huge new audience got to
learn about all the weird stuff that makes the Breitbart website manager
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, BREITBART: America`s built on our citizens. Look at the 19th
century. What built America is called the American system.
The catholic church has been terrible about this. They need illegal aliens.
They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. They have an economic
interest. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration.
Unlimited illegal immigration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The country discovered another thing about Steve Bannon, he seems
to prefer to
wear multiple shirts at the same time. Bannon wore a black shirt over what
appears to be a black polo
shirt and it`s topped off with a black blazer.
The question becomes, was it especially cold when they taped the 60 Minutes
interview, or does Steve Bannon always dress like a 19th century shoemaker?
That`s Thing Two in sixty seconds.
HAYES: Steve Bannon likes to rail against the mainstream media and how
undocumented immigrants are a scourge on society all through the seams of
several button-down dress shirts that he likes to wear all at once in
If you thought this was a one-time deal for 60 Minutes interview on Sunday
you`d be sorely mistaken. Here he is earlier this year wearing three
shirts, two button-down and a blazer. Here he is a week after the
presidential election rocking two button-down shirts again in public. Here
he is in July of last year holding up one finger while wearing two button-
And here Bannon is last February wearing what could possibly be three
button-down shirts. On stage with Kellyanne Conway during Trump`s victory
speech looking somewhat dapper in three shirts,
two of which are button-down. And here`s one with Sarah Palin, he`s been
dressing like this for years but it`s not a secret anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: A lot of people noticed that during his
interview Steve Bannon was wearing two button-down shirts at the same time.
Did you see this?
I`ve never seen this before.
Watch what happened during the whole interview. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE, 60 MINUTES: President made the wrong decision?
BANNON: I think that – I think the –.
ROSE: The president made the wrong decision, you wanted him to go full
BANNON: I think we have to focus on American citizens –
ROSE: So, what would you do with the people who came here – just tell me
what you would do.
BANNON: I think as the work permits run out they self-deport.
ROSE: They self-deport?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In her new book, What Happened, Hillary Clinton describes a
peculiar moment after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump in which she
attended as is the tradition as a former first lady.
It was a moment when she was shaking hands with Republican Congressman
Jason Chaffetz, who has since retired. Quote, “I saw a man off to the side
who I thought was Reince Priebus, Head of the Republican National Committee
and incoming White House Chief of Staff. As he passed by we shook hands and
exchanged small talk.
Later I realized it hadn`t been Priebus at all, it was Jason Chaffetz, the
then Utah Congressman and want to be Javier who made endless political hay
out of my e-mails in the 2012 tragedy in
Benghazi and Libya.”
Clinton notes that Chaffetz even posted a picture of that moment on
Instagram account, on Donald Trump`s inauguration day, after which he
wrote, quote, “So pleased she`s not president, I thanked her for her
service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.”
In her book, Clinton reacts to that tweet, “What a class act. I came close
to tweeting back, to be honest, thought you were Reince.”
Clinton`s new book is chalked full of those anecdotes about the campaign
and its aftermath. The long-time Clinton adviser who played Donald Trump in
debate prep, Philippe Reines and what he has to
say in hindsight, next.
HAYES: When it came find someone to play Donald J. Trump in mock debates
with Hillary Clinton, the campaign turned to longtime Clinton aide Philippe
Reines who was well legendary among reporters for a kind of Trumpian
bluster, but who never-the-less had pretty unusual task, which included
trying to calculate how candidate Trump might behave on stage with Hillary
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald J. Trump.
[ applause ]
[ laughter ]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It caused laugh and on September 24th, 2016 there was another
matter when Clinton was actually on stage with Trump during that second
presidential debate on October 9th, just days after the Access Hollywood
tape was released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FMR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So in my debate prep, we
practiced this. The young man playing Trump would stalk me and I practiced
keeping my composure and practiced not getting rattled so while I`m
answering questions, my mind is going okay do I keep
my composure, do I act like a president.
What he said was extremely unwise.
Or do I wheel around and say get out of my space, back up you creep?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Adviser to Secretary Hillary Clinton, Philippe Reines who played
Donald Trump in dozens of mock debates joins me now.
Philippe, it`s interesting to me to watch every bit of the complexity and
polarization around Hillary Clinton rise back up the moment she has a book.
Is this basically the kind of expectation you had for the reception of the
PHILIPPE REINES, ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it`s unfortunately more
than when she has a book. It`s pretty much all the time. It was throughout
her 2007, 2008 campaign. Throughout last year.
She engenders very strong feelings on both sides and it crops up pretty
HAYES: What do you – what do you think, what do you understand as the
answer to the question the book poses what happened?
REINES: Well, I think the book could easily have been called what`s
happening and what will happen. I think if we could pick one thing to
change in hindsight, it would be Jim Comey, not simply
what he did in the final weeks of the campaign, but what he did as far back
He basically got up and gave a press conference where he spent ten minutes
saying that she is
the most terrible innocent person of all time. That was very much out of
bounds, and that became something that Trump and the Republicans repeated
over and over again.
What he did later was just an extension of that. He was very naive and he
exceeded his authority as FBI director and as we`ve now learned, he
intentionally cut out the attorney general and the deputy
HAYES: There is a line in the book about Clinton`s secretary sort of
contention or her understanding of the degree to which there might have
been collusion between Trump and the Russians.
She says there certainly was communication, there certainly was an
understanding of some sort. When asked does she believe there was
collusion, I`m convinced of it, she said, though she stopped
short of repeating that explosive word.
Do you feel the same way and was that the feeling during the campaign?
REINES: Well, it`s not just a feeling during the campaign. We at multiple
times said as much and so did our government. If you recall two days before
the debate that you were just referencing, it wasn`t just the Access
Hollywood breakthrough, it was also the intelligence community said that
the Russians were screwing around with our elections.
We on multiple occasions tried to make very clear including Secretary
Clinton herself when
she said that he was a puppet during that infamous moment where he said I`m
not a puppet. You`re the puppet. You`re the puppet.
And I think in hindsight, we were – we knew of what we spoke and every day
since then has
gotten harder and harder to look past the real likelihood that they were at
the very least coordinating with the Russians or winking and nodding and
giving them a green light to intrude in our elections which is a serious
HAYES: What do you say to people that there are stories written about
people within Democratic circles or within the circles of politics broadly
in the sort of Democratic party, center left coalition that just say, oh,
god, I don`t want to relive, for a variety of reasons, partly emotional
trauma people went through, but I don`t want to relive this campaign. Why
do we have to relive this?
REINES: Well, I would say a few things. First, I don`t want to live
through the Trump presidency, but here it is and I think we all have to
live with disappointment.
Two, I would say that people have been saying that about Hillary Clinton
for a long time. I think most recently they were saying that after she lost
the 2008 primaries to President Obama and I`m glad she didn`t. I think
millions and millions to be specific, at least 65 million Americans were
very glad she
She went on to become Secretary of State and representing America abroad.
She`s done – she`s continued her life work.
Lastly, I think it`s naive for anyone to think what happened cannot happen
again, and anyone who does not take seriously what happened last year and
what continues to happen will be the victim of it next year and that seems
exactly what President Trump is doing.
He`s not taking it seriously because he benefited from it. I can tell you
without a doubt that if Hillary Clinton had won and people had said well,
Vladimir Putin might have helped, she the next day would have said this is
not acceptable. You will pay the price for it.
HAYES: Right. Philippe Reines, thank you for making time tonight.
REINES: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now,
which, this Thursday will feature an interview with none other than Hillary
Clinton live, in studio at 9:00 p.m.
eastern. You do not want to miss that.
Good evening, Rachel.
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