All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/13/17 Trump lays out his tax
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 13, 2017
Guest: Nick Akerman, Adam Schiff, Mattie Duppler
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Lock her
up. That`s right.
HAYES: Another major development in the Mueller investigation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What report is
HAYES: Tonight, the NBC News exclusive on Michael Flynn`s son becoming a
subject of the Mueller probe and Congress Adam Schiff on why he`s calling
for Facebook and Twitter to testify in his Russia probe.
Then, why the White House is calling for the firing of an ESPN Anchor who
criticized the President.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly something
that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.
HAYES: The growing danger for Hurricane Irma victims stranded without
power. And Democrats launch a push for Medicare for all.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Healthcare in America must be a right,
not a privilege.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. There`s yet another
person, a new person to add to the growing list of subjects in Special
Counsel Robert Mueller`s Russia investigation. Four current and former
government officials tell NBC News that investigators are now examining
Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the President`s former National Security
Adviser as part of their probe into possible collusion between the Trump
campaign and Russian agents in the 2016 election. We already knew that the
elder Flynn is under investigation for a number of activities, including
crucially allegedly lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian
Ambassador and failing to disclose his financial ties to both Russian and
Now the younger Flynn was intimately involved in the Flynn Intel Group.
That`s his father`s lobbying firm. He served as his chief of staff and
traveling companion. Flynn Jr. accompanied his dad on a trip to Moscow in
2015 where Flynn Sr. gave that paid speech at the gala for RT, the state
sponsored T.V. network and famously sat next to Vladimir Putin at dinner.
Flynn Jr. also served his father as a kind of conduit to the digital fever
swamp, using Twitter to promote racist and sexist memes and absurd, even
dangerous conspiracy theories. Like for instance, one of them, Hillary
Clinton`s supposed ties to the mother Muslim brotherhood.
And last December he was on his way to a security clearance and a job
working for his father in the National Security Council when a man chasing
a ludicrous and false conspiracy theory, one that alleges that Clinton
allies were engaged in a child sex trafficking ring out of a D.C. pizza
parlor, someone who believed that opened fire at that very pizza parlor.
Do you remember that? Well, that day, Flynn Jr. tweeting hours after this
terrifying incident, until Pizza-gate, the short hand for the conspiracy
theory proven to be false, it will remain a story. After initially denying
any connection to the younger Flynn, and you can understand why they would
do that, the President`s transition team eventually admitted it had to let
Today Flynn Jr. tweeted, “#FakeNews media. We`re done covering those pesky
hurricanes right? Back to Russia. #Nothingburger.” The revelation about
Michael Flynn Jr. comes of a news of yet another one more, a new one, yet
another failure by his father to disclose ties to foreign interests, ties
that may have continued into his very brief tenure at the White House.
Consider before we get to that, everything we`ve learned about Michael
Flynn over the past nine months. There were his conversations during the
transition with the Russian Ambassador which he lied about to senior
officials, costing him his job as National Security Adviser. There was his
undisclosed lobbying during the campaign on behalf of Turkish government
interest to the tune of half a million dollars which prompted him to
register months later retroactively as a foreign agent. Then there were
the (INAUDIBLE) payments he received from Russian entities including RT,
which he seems to have omitted from Security Clearance Forms under penalty
Earlier this summer, Newsweek revealed another foreign project that Flynn
was involved in. A “grand scheme” to build nuclear power plants in the
Middle East with help from Russian firms. Now two House Democrats, Elijah
Cummings, and Eliot Engel have been investigating Flynn`s work on that
specific project. And today they announced they`ve pass ds on their
finding to the Special Counsel. It turns out that work may not have
stopped when Flynn said it did in December of last year before
inauguration. Because the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Flynn
actually promoted the Nuclear Plant Project while he was in the White
House, while he was overseeing the President`s National Security Team.
According to POLITICO, he did not publicly disclose that backers of the
plan had paid him at least $25,000. Carol Lee is an NBC News National
Political Reporter who broke the story about Michael Flynn Jr. First, what
do we know about what this means that Michael Flynn Jr. is now a subject of
the Mueller investigation?
CAROL LEE, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, it`s just another
clue that Robert Mueller`s investigation is in full swing and that its
tentacles are stretching beyond what we initially thought they were
focusing on. It also suggests, you know, there`s a number of legal experts
who think that Mueller is aiming to try to flip certain subjects of the
investigation, particularly of Michael Flynn Sr. and get – compel him to
cooperate. And if you talk to those folks they`ll tell you that this is
you know, having someone`s son in the crosshairs of an investigation could
be a really compelling reason to get Michael Flynn to do something that he
otherwise might not have done, like cooperate with this investigation.
So it`s – you know, we`re – this is something that we, you know, have a
little window into and we`re starting to see more and more pieces out of
what`s going on in this investigation. And all of it points to that this
is really heating up and it`s moving really quickly, more quickly than
HAYES: You know, one thing that I think I learned – I think I maybe knew
before but had forgotten or I learned for the first time reading your story
was that Flynn Jr. was on that trip.
HAYES: The infamous RT trip which has given birth to the photo which made
me realize I think, in a concrete way, that this isn`t just a father-son
relationship, they were – he worked for his dad.
LEE: Yes, he was – in some ways his right-hand man. He would (INAUDIBLE)
his chief of staff. He traveled with him. You know, he was – when
Michael Flynn Sr. finally disclosed the – some details about the Russia
trip, there were – there were documents that were turned over that we
relearned that, you know, the Russian-backed media organization, RT, paid
for not just General Flynn but also his son, Michael Flynn, the younger
Michael Flynn to fly to Moscow, like, put them up in a luxury hotel. So he
was there that whole time. And there`s actually images of him at a
different event while they were in Moscow. And so he worked very closely
with his father and the two are still very close.
HAYES: One more thing about Michael Flynn Jr. that I`d like to get your
perspective on. I mean, this is someone who – you know, he tweets – his
tweet stream is there. You can follow him on Twitter and he is you know,
hard core in what you might call the fever storms. I mean, he`s really in
this world of sort of Alex Jones and memes from the sort of alt-right. And
he called CNN worse than terrorists at one point. I mean, obviously,
that`s not criminal. It`s – you can believe whatever you want. But it
seems – I wonder what we know about the link – the Michael Flynn`s
politic to his son`s politics.
LEE: You know, we don`t know that much about the younger Michael Flynn.
We know he was registered as a Republican. We know that he`s 34 years old.
He lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He has a young son and he`s
married. But we don`t really know that much detail about him except for
what we`ve all seen on Twitter. And as you mentioned – and those, you
know, during – the other piece of this is that Michael Flynn, the younger
Michael Flynn was around during the campaign and he was around in the
transition. And that is potentially interesting to investigators because
it could be some – you know, who knows what any link there are. And so –
but he made Trump officials very uncomfortable. If you remember, after
pizza-gate, he – you know, the Vice President went on and said he had
absolutely no role whatsoever in the transition. They wanted to distance
themselves from him.
HAYES: Yes, Carol Lee, thanks for joining me, great reporting.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on the Mueller investigation, let`s bring in former
Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman. This is a piece from Carol Lee`s piece,
her story, there`s a quote. And she just said, for any potential criminal
liability from Michael G. Flynn, the son could put added pressure on his
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: There`s no question about that.
I mean, if he wound up, you know, his son wound up being indicted for
anything, obviously Michael Flynn, the father would try to do everything he
could to save him presumably. And if Michael Flynn ultimately cooperates,
which he is not saying is, who does he have to cooperate against. There`s
really only a couple of people. It`s Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and
the President of the United States. That`s what we`re talking about in
terms of Michael Flynn`s cooperation.
HAYES: It`s important to make a distinction here, I think between the
subject of an investigation which is the terminology used in the reporting
that we`re bringing you today, and the target of the investigation. What
is the difference between those two?
AKERMAN: Those are defined terms by the Department of Justice. I mean, it
starts off with a witness. A witness is somebody who just happens from
their standpoint to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From the
government`s standpoint is in the right place at the right time. And just
happens to see something or hear something. A subject though is somebody
who is within the scope of the Grand Jury`s investigation. It means that
the Grand Jury is looking at them. It doesn`t mean they`ve committed a
crime. It doesn`t mean they`ve done anything wrong. It simply means that
the Grand Jury is looking at them. A target, on the other hand, is
somebody against whom the prosecutor has developed sufficient evidence to
indict that person of a federal crime and is basically a punitive
defendant. I think –
HAYES: That`s true. Even so, I just want to be clear on that. So, when
we call someone a target of an information or when it`s reported that
someone is a target which comes from anonymous leaks from people close to
the investigation, that means that even though they`ve yet to be indicted,
that the prosecutors are looking to indict them.
AKERMAN: Not only looking, but they have enough evidence to indict them.
HAYES: Already. OK.
AKERMAN: Already. Now, Michael Flynn, I would argue is probably a target.
The guy lied all over –
HAYES: He lied – we almost are – we`re essentially 90-plus percent
certain that he lied to FBI investigators about his call with –
AKERMAN: Right. Now, that`s a felony.
AKERMAN: He lied on his National Security Form multiple times. We`re
finding out more and more lies that he was involved in just today about
this whole business about selling nuclear plants in the Middle East even
when he was National Security Adviser. I mean, you know, what`s wrong with
this administration. You got the President trying to build Trump Tower in
Moscow and you got Michael Flynn trying to start a business of his own
building nuclear plants in the Middle East.
HAYES: While he`s – I mean, let`s – while he is the single most, in some
sense is the single most powerful (INAUDIBLE) connected National Security
Official in the White House.
AKERMAN: Absolutely. I mean, this is right in his bailiwick. It is such
a conflict of interest that it doesn`t come close to being you know, being
HAYES: The other thing about that news, and to pivot for a second from the
Flynn Jr. news to the Flynn news, which is that you know, he had been
involved in this deal, he`d taken money from these interests who were
trying to put together this Russian backed nuclear power plant. He`s
advocating for it in the White House. I mean, you`re starting to see this
just habit of his, A pattern of taking money from foreign interests,
advocating on their behalf. He wrote on Op-Ed defending the Turkish
government on election day.
HAYES: That`s right. Later, it turned he`s taken money from Russian
AKERMAN: He`s been lying about it, and then lying about it.
HAYES: It adds up to a picture of someone who does seem ripe for
manipulation by foreign interests just based on this pattern of behavior.
AKERMAN: And somebody ripe to be turned by the government because they`ve
got enough evidence to convict him on a number of serious felonies.
HAYES: Why do you say that?
AKERMAN: Because they`ve got him lying on that security form. I filled
out the exact same security form around the same time. It is not a simple
process. It is very clear on that form that if you do not tell the truth,
you are committing a serious felony. After you fill out the form, an FBI
agent visits you at your office, spends four or five hours with you going
through every question that`s asked and asks you the same question multiple
times in multiple ways. The idea that Flynn made some kind of mistake and
left off all of this information by mistake is ludicrous.
HAYES: You also got to imagine that there is – beneath the iceberg, are
e-mail correspondences, text messages things like – I mean, that`s the
thing that I always keep wondering about, right? So, we`re hearing all
this but it`s like presumably there`s text messages and e-mails from his
son to his father who he was working for. He was staffing him. Is that
the kind of thing Grand Juries can get their hands on?
AKERMAN: Absolutely. They`re going to get all of that stuff. And all of
that, I think, is not going to be very helpful to either one of them.
HAYES: To me, that`s the most concrete stuff and I keep telling myself
that we`ve seen such a small blip of them. Presumably, there`s e-mail
traffic and text traffic of Michael and his son when he`s serving as his
father as chief of staff that says a lot about what was going on at that
time. Nick Akerman, always good to have you.
AKERMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: There`s been big, another big development on the Russia
investigation today. Bloomberg reporting that the Mueller probe – and
this actually surprised me, I have to say – has a red hot focus on
Russia`s efforts to influence American voters through social media. We`ve
been learning more about those efforts over the past week since Facebook
announced that a likely Russian operation spent $100,000 over divisive
issue ads over the course of the 2016 campaign. The company says it`s
cooperating with investigators but it`s already meeting with frustration
from lawmakers who claim they`re being stonewalled. Congressman Adam
Schiff is one of those lawmakers, a Ranking Member of the House
Intelligence Committee. What is your frustration with what information
you`ve gotten from Facebook?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, I haven`t described the situation
with Facebook that way. We have been in discussions with them for some
months now and I think it`s very important that they did the internal
review that they have. But there`s still a lot of unanswered questions and
I think it`s going to be important to have not only Facebook but other
social media companies also come before our committee and answer questions
about the extent of the internal investigations they`ve done, what
platforms the Russians used, what further, in addition to the paid
advertising, the pushing of fake and false accounts, the amplification of
these stories like pizza-gate. What we know about these Russian modalities
and how they used social media to influence our election. So there`s a lot
of unanswered questions but I wouldn`t say – I wouldn`t describe it as
stonewalling in any way.
HAYES: Do you anticipate that you`re going to need further cooperation
from them? Can you imagine, for instance, Mark Zuckerberg coming before
the Committee or anything like that?
SCHIFF: You know, I would love to have an open hearing with several of the
social media companies because I think it`s important that the American
people understand how foreign countries, in this case, Russia, are in a
position to manipulate the information that we see, the advertising that we
see, they can target us very specifically. Obviously one of the questions
that we want to get to the bottom of is, was there involvement of U.S.
persons in this. Was there any kind of coordination between the data
analytics part of the Trump Campaign and this Russian effort to use paid
advertising and to use you know, their social media trolls and their bots
to push particular stories into people`s social media feeds. So we have a
lot of unanswered questions. I think it would be productive for a lot of
those to be answered in public. But whether it`s in public or private is
still something that`s a matter of internal committee discussion.
HAYES: I want to lay out a constitutional concern and get your reaction to
it. When we`re talking about the hacks, it`s unambiguously criminal
activity. It is legal to break into someone`s inbox, to take their
information and then you know, use it however you use it, right? But when
we`re talking about the things on Facebook, it does seems like we`re in
some pretty unclear waters constitutionally. I mean, we`ve got a first
amendment. Different people can run different ads even if they`re
foreigners. Doesn`t – you know, it doesn`t stop at the water`s edge. You
can pay money to run ads. And I worry about where this is going with
respect to what the government starts to do in this sort of speech area.
What can you say to allay those fears?
SCHIFF: Well, no, I think you`re absolutely right. This is going to be
very tough at several different levels because we do have reverence for our
first amendment and we should. We don`t want to government to play sensor.
It`s also a big job for the technology companies, the social media
companies, are they going to be arbiters of what`s true and what`s false in
terms of what they`re users post. These are tough questions. You can add
to that frankly that fact that in this new environment people can search
out and live in a bubble, an information bubble where they believe there`s
a child sex predator ring under a pizza parlor and they`re surrounded by
other people that believe in light conspiracy theories. So these are tough
I do think that one thing that the federal government and the Intelligence
Community ought to do is when it can, arm the American people with
information. Here`s what Russia is doing. Here`s how they`re trying to
influence us. One of the bills that I`m working on was suggested by
Directors Clapper and Brennan is one that would require the Director of
National Intelligence at some suitable period before an election to
disclose to the American people of what we know about what the foreigners
are trying to do to influence us. That`s one thing that I think we can
play a constructive role in doing.
HAYES: All right. Congressman Adam Schiff, thanks for your time tonight.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next President Trump now says he wants his tax cuts fast because
hurricanes. The President returns to say anything more after this two-
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re looking at a 15 percent rate and we want a 15 percent rate
because that would bring us low, not by any means the lowest but it would
bring us to a level where China and other countries are and we will be able
to compete with anybody.
And by the way, and lower for individuals, much lower than that for
individuals. I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are,
pretty much where they are. If we can do that, we`d like it. If they have
to go higher, they`ll go higher frankly. We`re looking at the middle class
and we`re looking at jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Donald Trump is promising a tax plan everyone will love,
benefitting the middle class instead of the rich. And if that sounds
familiar, it should because it`s the same approach the President used to
sell repealing ObamaCare. Now, remember, he promised that premiums would
go down, coverage expanded and Medicaid wouldn`t see cuts. In contrast,
the actual Republican plan that he supported and pushed for prompted months
of protest over estimates of higher premiums, shrinking coverage, and
staggering transformational Medicaid cuts. And the same thing will
probably happen with tax reform. Despite his populous promises, the tax
outline he releases back in April suggested half the plans of tax cuts
could go to the top one percent. Tonight, the President is pushing his tax
effort over dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
And of course, he`s taking to his favorite medium Twitter to urge Congress
on writing this morning, “With Irma and Harvey devastation, tax cuts and
tax reform is needed more than ever. Go Congress, go.” Mattie Duppler has
argued against tax increases of any kind for years including as part of
(INAUDIBLE) request Americans for tax reform. Now, a Senior Fellow at the
National Taxpayers Union, Sam Seder is an MSNBC Contributor and Host of the
Majority Report, Sam Seder. Mattie, let me start with you. There is no
way, we can agree whether –put aside the benefits or not. Donald Trump is
not going to sign a tax plan that raises taxes on wealthy people, correct?
MATTIE DUPPLER, NATIONAL TAXPAYER UNION SENIOR FELLOW: Well, Chris we can
always agree on something. I`m not sure if this is the one. But if you`re
looking at what Trump has been saying about his tax plan, I would think
there is something here for most everyone to agree on. That is a good
policy moving forward. You know, a lot of what he`s talking about sounds
very similar to what we`ve heard from Democrats for a number of years now,
more fairness in the tax code, eliminating loopholes, making sure that the
tax code works for the middle class.
HAYES: Right. But that`s exactly the point because that`s the thing that
people always say when talking in brilliant minds about the tax plan
because those are the things that sound good. The same way that covering
everybody sounds good. Like make it fair, get rid of the loop holes. But
I just – like, can we make a bet or something that he is not going to sign
a tax bill that increases taxes for the wealthy. It`s not going to happen.
It won`t get votes. Like, you agree, right, that`s not going to happen?
DUPPLER: I wouldn`t agree quite yet and there`s a reason why. It`s
because the Trump administration has been clear now that they want the
House and Senate to hammer out the details on this plan. Which I think is
great. House Republicans have been working on tax reform for eons before
Trump became President.
HAYES: But wait a second. But there –are House Republicans going to
raise taxes on the wealthy?
DUPPLER: I think House –
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No, no they`re not. I mean, look, I`m old
enough to remember when President Trump was President-Elect Trump and
walked into that restaurant, I think it`s the 21 Club in New York.
HAYES: It was the first night that he was President-Elect.
SEDER: The first night he was President and he went up to everybody in
those tables and I don`t know how much –
HAYES: At the place that only serves rich people.
SEDER: A very expensive place is my understanding and said hey, don`t
worry about it, I`m going to cut your taxes. And that`s probably the most
truthful thing I think he`s said since that election, at least in terms of
what his agenda is. I don`t think there is a chance he will raise taxes on
the wealthy people. Of course not, of course not.
HAYES: Yes. I can`t even believe Mattie that you`re not conceding this
because I feel that it`s your position and Grover Norquist`s position that
tax raised of any kind are bad ergo. Like it would be the – I know you
don`t work for Grover anymore, you`re in the National Taxpayer`s Union –
which is not a real union by the way just to be clear, in case there`s some
weird labor offshoot that`s pushing for tax reform – that it`s a bad idea
to raise taxes on the wealthy, ergo, it`s bad and we trust that the policy
makers involved aren`t going to do it, right? Isn`t that the –
DUPPLER: Chris, you`re pointing at me from all angles today but I will
once again, reiterate what I believe the mischaracterization of the
conservative principle position for tax reform. And that`s not simply
preserving the tax code as it is for the upper echelons of income earners
right now. In fact, it`s the opposite. It`s flattening out tax rates,
it`s getting rid of the obscurity that we have now that only the elite
benefit from. And all this has been in plan that as I mentioned before,
House Republicans have been working on for years. Senate Republicans have
been working on for years. All of this fits very neatly into exactly what
the Republicans and Conservatives have been saying for some time, which is
that the tax code is broken and it only benefits the elite and well
HAYES: This is something that I`ve been saying for a while, though I will
say flatten was the word you use there. You know, if you take down the top
rate right now it`s 39 percent at the marginal income rate. The President
today said the corporate rate is 15 and I want to bring it lower than that
for individuals. So definitionally, if you were to bring the top bracket
from 39 to 15, people who make a lot at money are going to see a big income
SEDER: To be fair, I don`t think the President has any idea of what he`s
HAYES: That`s a good point.
SEDER: I mean, I honestly think that it`s fool`s errand to actually take
what he`s saying seriously. He`s buying time. But the idea that the
Republican Party is not interested in cutting taxes on the rich goes
against every single principle that that have espoused for as long as I`ve
been alive. And that`s actually probably longer than most might think.
It`s been a long time.
HAYES: Sam is 67. Mattie, last thing. The person selling this is Steve
Mnuchin, the great tribune of the sort of American working class and
populous ethos. And today, news that he requested a government jet for his
European honeymoon. Do you think that`s going to help on the tax sell?
DUPPLER: I can`t comment on what requests are being made at the White
House. I would simply say that if you don`t want to take President Trump
at his word, look at what Secretary Mnuchin is saying, Adviser Cohn, the
leaders in the House and the Senate, they have been very clear about where
this tax plan is headed. Maybe not so much on debts but –
HAYES: We have some numbers and distributional impacts, we`re going to
have you back on to look – to look at the bar graphs that shoot off of the
page for the top 1 percent which I guarantee will be there. But we`ll see.
Maybe I`m wrong. Mattie Duppler and Sam Seder thank you both.
SEDER: Thank you.
HAYES: An all-star roster of Democrats come out to support a health care
push that would have been unimaginable ten years ago. Senator Bernie
Sanders joins me to talk about his Medicare for all launch ahead.
HAYES: Florida Power and Light and other companies were racing today to
restore access to electricity in Florida where as of late this afternoon,
almost one-third of the state was still without power in the wake of
Hurricane Irma. As we saw it first hand when we were in Florida just a few
days ago, having power can really be a life and death matter. Today
brought the tragic news that eight people lost their lives at a Hollywood,
Florida nursing home after the power outage led to sweltering temperatures.
Emergency personnel evacuated more than 100 people from the nursing home
this morning. In the hard hit Florida Keys, most (INAUDIBLE) without power
and in many cases, running water. About 1/4 of homes in the Keys were
destroyed by the storm. Another 65 percent sustain serious damage
according to federal officials.
Now, the situation is even worse than the Caribbean islands that were
struck by Irma and the devastated U.S. Virgin Islands where bark was
stripped clean off of the trees. There is no as of now, (INAUDIBLE) cell
service, electricity is not expected to be restored for months. President
Trump plans to travel tomorrow to Naples, Florida where we were just on the
ground during tour of the damage. And right now 78 percent of Collier
County r where Naples is situated remains without power.
HAYES: A last ditch effort to kill Obamacare today in the Senate, Lindsey
Graham and a handful of fellow GOP Senators introducing a new bill to kill
the health care law before they hit a crucial September 30 deadline after
which Republicans will no longer be able to repeal the law with a simple
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: If you believe repealing and
replace Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hear that, only chance. Meanwhile, Democrats have shifted from
playing defense on health care to going on the offensive. Bernie Sanders
today introducing a bill to establish Medicare for
All, aka government health care coverage for every American, and crucially
17 Democrats signed on
to the bill as cosponsors, including many senators who were seen on
potential top tier Democratic presidential candidates in 2020.
President Trump lauded Canada`s single payer system, which is similar to
the Sanders plan in a 2015 primary debate. And in a book back in 2000 he
actually wrote this, quote, “the Canadian plan also helps Canadians live
longer and healthier than America. We need, as a nation, to examine the
single-payer plan as many individual states are doing.”
Today, of course, the White House chose instead bash both Senator Sanders
and the plan he supports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can`t think of
anything worse than having government be more involved in health care
instead of less involved.
Not only does the president not support it, but America doesn`t support it
or Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now. He pushed
these ideas forward during the campaign. They were rejected not just by
America, but Democrats. He didn`t make it through the primary. He didn`t
make it into the Oval. I think that`s a pretty clear indication of what
America wants to see and it`s not a single payer system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
You know, senator, it`s interesting to me, I was reading conservative
coverage of your announcement today, along with other senators. And
watching the White House, Republicans and conservatives like to talk about
single-payer. They think they have the better part of the argument. They
think it will scare them. Why are they wrong?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: They`re wrong because more and more
Americans understand that our health care system is dysfunctional, that
health care should be a right, not a privilege, that there`s something
wrong when we are the only major country on Earth, the only major
country, not to guarantee health care to all people. And not only do 28
million Americans have no
health insurance, but even more are underinsured with high co-payments and
high deductibles. People understand there`s something fundamentally wrong
when we pay outrageous prices for prescription drugs, far and away the
highest prices in the world and that is something that a Medicare for all
single-payer system would lower.
So, bottom line is we have a dysfunctional health care system that spends
enormous sums of money. Health care outcomes are not particularly good, and
people increasingly want to move toward
a Medicare for all system.
HAYES: So I think that the argument that you`ve laid out from a sort of
policy perspective is pretty rock solid. It is just the fact that we spend
more per capita –
SANDERS: We spend twice as much, not more. Twice as much.
HAYES: But here`s my question to you. Your bill would basically – it
gradually phases in over
SANDERS: Four years.
HAYES: But it would mean changing the system in significant ways, right? I
mean that`s the idea, right? Change it to make it better.
One of the things that I have seen in both of the health care fights that
I`ve covered very closely, I`ve covered the ACA fight and then the fight to
preserve the Obamacare this summer, is that as much as people agree, man
this system is screwy, I don`t like it, they are personally scared of
change. They think to themselves I don`t trust that you guys aren`t going
to screw this up.
How do you get over that hump?
SANDERS: Well, because the system is already screwed up. It is screwed up
with thousands of people die each year because they can`t get to the
doctor when they need to get to the doctor. It is screwed up when we`re
spending $10,000 per person on health care, almost 18% of the GDP and the
projection is that we don`t make real changes, we`re going spend $49
trillion over the next ten years, 20% of our GDP which will have very
negative impacts on our economy.
So, you`ve got a screwed-up system now.
The point to be made, and I know there`s a lot of disinformation getting
out there, but a point to
be made is what this is not government takeover of your health care system.
We have a Medicare system right now. It is a good system. Senior citizens
like the system. It works very well for people 65
Senior citizens can go to any doctor that they want. They go to the
hospital they want to get the medical care they want. It`s a program that
works, it`s cost effective, let`s expand that program to every man, woman
It`s not a scary proposition. You already have the Medicare system
providing health insurance for over 40 million Americans.
HAYES: You know, you point out to – you point to other countries like
Canada and other
advanced, industrialized countries and it`s true, there`s a universal
health care regime of some kind.
But what you`re proposing in this legislation which has been signed onto is
significantly passed out what even the Canadian system does.
You`re talking about vision and dental, and prescription drugs, none of
which single payer covers in Canada. You`re talking about no co-pays, which
is also something that –
SANDERS: No co-pays is what exists in Canada.
You go to the doctor, you go to the hospital you don`t have to pay.
HAYES: But they don`t have dental and vision.
SANDERS: That`s correct. But what we are looking at and listening to are
seniors all over this country. I cannot tell you how many seniors in
Vermont I have talked with that said, Bernie, I`ve got
a problem with my teeth, I need dentures. Can`t get it.
Point is, let`s make this point very clear, because there`s going to be a
lot of misinformation about it. What this proposal does, what this
legislation does is it eliminates your private insurance payments.
So you got the average family now paying $5,000 in co-payments and
deductibles, you`ve got families in America paying 10 to 15 to 20,000 if
they`re self employed. That is all gone.
Yes, people may have to pay a bit more in taxes, but they`ll be in better
shape financially as a
result of the legislation.
Further more, people say, well, we are afraid of change. We`re not telling
you to go to a different doctor. You go to the same exact doctor. What
changes is the color of the card you have in your wallet.
HAYES: That is a key thing thought, right? You`re making a version of the
infamous promise from President Barack Obama. And he made that promise for
a reason. I think both because he wanted it, it was actually a goal. I
don`t think he was trying to con people. I think they really wanted it to
be the case. If you like your doctor, you can keep it.
You`re making that – you`re saying at the end of what is going to be a
radical transformation of the American health care system, let`s be clear,
that if you like your doctor you can keep it.
That`s a marker you`re laying down?
SANDERS: The answer is yes, but the truth is right now there are millions
of people who
cannot go to the doctor they want because their doctor is not in their
health care network. This will give people real freedom of choice as to the
Also, you know, today at the event we had a businessman from Pennsylvania,
and he was talking about the huge amounts of money he has to pay for each
of his employees, which puts him at a competitive disadvantage with
businesses all over the world. This would be a tremendous boom for
businesses who no longer have to spent incredible time and energy figuring
out how they can provide health insurance to their employees.
Also Chris, this will be a major step forward for workers in the sense that
we have millions of people in this country today who are in jobs they would
rather not be at but they`re there because they get decent health
insurance. If you free those people up to do the work they want, not only
will it make people happier and more productive, it will create a real
significant step forward for our economy.
HAYES: Alright, Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for joining me.
Still to come, President Trump`s press secretary today called criticizing
the president a fireable offense. A story of an ESPN anchor, Jemele Hill,
and why the White House wants her fired.
And plus, tonight`s Thing One and Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the unfortunate mistake at the end of President
Trump`s oval office
meeting with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.
The White House seemed to be looking for a reset of sorts on the
Charlottesville comments a few weeks ago, and in fact today`s oval office
meeting between President Trump and South Carolina`s black Republican
Senator, Tim Scott, garnered headlines like this one, “Tim Scott on meeting
with President Trump, I made clear my issues with how he handled
“Black GOP Senator Says Trump Was `Receptive` During Race Talk”.
And the White House sent out a photo of the meeting with the caption,
“President Donald J. Trump meets with U.S. Senator Tom Scott.”
Tom Scott. Not the best way to cap off that particular meeting, but it is
far from the first glaring and embarrassing White House typo over the past
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: After President Trump`s meeting today with Senator Tim Scott of
South Carolina, the
White House official photo of the meeting printed Senator Scott`s first
name as Tom.
Now, let`s be clear here. We`re all guilty of typos, including on this very
show. But this young presidency has already racked up a slew of pretty
awkward mistakes, and it is the White House.
There was the time the White House schedule repeatedly misspelled British
Prime Minister Theresa May`s name, accidentally confusing the prime
minister with a British adult actress.
Or the time the Department of Education misspelled the name of W. E. B. Du
Bois. Or the time the Snapchat post about the secretary of education
misspelled the word education. Or the president`s last trip to Israel last
May, a press statement with this bullet point, quote, “Promote the
possibility of lasting peach.”
And even more sublime, the White House sent multiple e-mails about
President Trump`s travel to Houston on “Air Force Once”.
HAYES: An extraordinary moment at the White House this afternoon when the
Press Secretary for the President of the United States called publicly for
a private citizen, a journalist no less to be fired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to read a comment from an influential
African-American sportscaster from ESPN yesterday who said, “Donald Trump
is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white
supremacists. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. He`s
unqualified and fit to be president.”
Why do you think – Do you have a reaction to that? Is the president aware
of that comment>
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I`m not sure if he is aware but I think that`s one
most outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something
that I think is a fireable
offense by ESPN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a series of tweets on Monday night, ESPN Sport Center host,
Jemele Hill, said that the president is, quote, “a white supremacist who is
largely surrounded himself with other white supremacist.” She said, quote,
“His rise is a direct result of white supremacy.”
And for this, the White House is calling for Jemele Hill, an African-
American woman, to lose
Now yesterday afternoon ESPN responded with a statement, “The comments on
Jamele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN.
We have addressed this with Jamele and she recognizes her actions were
Now, it is unclear if ESPN is dinging Hill for violating its policy on
taking positions on, and I quote here, “… taking positions on political
or social issues, candidates or office holders.” Or, if it`s
suggesting that calling the president a white supremacist is just out of
But, in this context it is worth noting that the latter sentiment is not
necessarily fringe at this point. This was the cover of The New Yorker
magazine for the week following President Trump`s
equivocation in the wake of Charlottesville, and it is literally the thesis
for an article this month written by one of the country`s most celebrated
writers in one of the country`s oldest magazines.
“It is often said that Trump has no real ideology,” Ta-Nehisi Coates writes
in the latest
issue of The Atlantic, “which is not true. His ideology is white supremacy,
in all its truculent and sanctimonious power.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates will be our guest on Friday, but next Jemele Hill right?
HAYES: Brittney Cooper, Professor of African Studies at Rutgers University
and Jason Johnson, Professor of Political Science at Morgan State
University join me tonight.
Your reaction to the president`s spokesperson calling for Jemele Hill to be
BRITTNEY COOPER, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Just appalling. One of the problems
that we have in this country is that we still think that the people – the
problem with racism is the people who call out racism rather than racists
themselves or rather than racist behaviors.
Jemele Hill is really – is in a tradition of black women in this moment
who are saying white
supremacy is the problem and we should take every opportunity to name it
for what it is.
And it`s particularly egregious that we are mincing words about white
supremacy after Charlottesville. What will it take for us as a country to
say we have a problem with racism. We have a president who made it into
office by stoking the worst and most based racial impulses of white folks
in this country, not only in the working class but also middle class white
And if we don`t want this to destroy our country, then we`re going to have
to tell the truth about it. If we don`t tell the truth about it, it`s a
problem we can`t confront.
HAYES: Jason, two issues here. There`s the what Jemele said, and then
there`s the idea of the White House saying from the podium, a private
citizen committed a fireable offense by critiquing the president, which
really I thought was quite something. That is not something you see every
JASON JOHNSON, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, it`s something we see from
this administration, Chris. And I also see a problem with ESPN.
From the White House standpoint, I`m not surprised. Donald Trump is a white
supremacist sympathizer. We know that. We have seen that and black women
are the kryptonite to this administration. I don`t care if it`s April Ryan,
or Susan Rice, or Maxine Waters, they are terrified of black women.
Whenever a black woman says something about this administration, they`re
in their boots.
But I also have some problems with how ESPN handled this by reprimanding
Let`s be honest, ESPN just brought back Hank Williams Jr. for Monday night
football. This is a guy that compared Obama to Hitler. So, it`s not just an
issue of having a white supremacist –
HAYES: Right, but they also – I just want to say that they also parted
ways with Curt Schilling when he –
HAYES: Over essentially offensive right wing political opinions that he
expressed in a none ESPN capacity where they basically said, we`re going to
part ways with you because of the content
of what you said.
JOHNSON: Right. Here is the difference, though, Chris. Where did she lie?
I mean, nothing – as you mentioned, Ta-Nehisi Coates, it`s standard, lots
of people say this about the president now. She didn`t say that – she
didn`t lie about him. She didn`t say he wasn`t born in this country.
HAYES: That`s a good point. I should also note while we`re having this
NBC did not sever ties with Donald Trump when he was running around the
country accusing the president of being born in Kenya and manufacturing a
One should note that that was not a fireable offense in this context.
Part of it to me has to do with these terms, white supremacist in the wake
of Charlottesville, and
Nazi. I see people using that a lot.
I`m not trying to play devil`s advocate here, but I`m trying to be genuine
about how you police the boundaries of the label. Because I see lots of
people now being like, oh, so and so is a Nazi. And it`s like well, no,
they`re not – they have bad views.
There has to be – I guess what I want to say is there has to be a space
for people that have bad views who aren`t Nazis, or a space for people
whose race views aren`t good or politics that aren`t good that aren`t white
COOPER: Sure. I mean look, I think precision is right, but here is the
point. Jemele Hill was precise. She is right in this instance. She is not a
marker of folks who are using this moment around
what we`re calling identity politics in this way to dismiss people who –
and to ma line them because we don`t agree with them. This is not the same
This is calling to conscious and saying – look, this is also Ta-Nehisi
Coates argument and people aren`t coming after him for the same thing.
HAYES: That`s the irony here.
COOPER: It`s literally the same argument, that there`s something distinct
and unique about what Donald Trump did to get into office that we haven`t
seen in 150 years, that we have to name that because we don`t want to go
HAYES: But part of this also, it strikes me to Jason`s point about ESPN,
is that this is a business calculation. I mean, ESPN is trying to get
people to watch highlights and trying to get people to watch sports.
And there`s this fascinating thing that`s happening, right, which is that
terrain that was politically unclaimed or whose politics were sort of
invisible in a kind of hegemonic way, right? They might have had a politics
but it wasn`t in your face, like that`s now Colin Kaepernick is the biggest
story in the NFL right now, and there`s nowhere to run to and nowhere to
hide when the culture war comes calling.
JOHNSON: Exactly. And Chris, here is the catch. There`s a silliness here
about, well, we`re making a business decision because we don`t want to
offend sports fans.
You`re offending just as many sports fans by reprimanding here.
HAYES: That`s my point. Part of my point is, if you`re ESPN, you`re damned
if do, damned if you don`t because this is the way the works right now.
COOPER: Look, if you don`t stand for something you`ll fall for anything.
What it really means is that you can`t please anyone so you might as well
take a stance on the side of the truth.
History is judging and will judge who said what in this moment. And there`s
a way that we keep
letting white racists off the hook because no one wants to offend them.
Look, if there`s anything that we shouldn`t equivocate about, it`s white
HAYES: Alright, Brittany Cooper and Jason Johnson, thank you so much for
That is All In for this evening. Remember to tune in on Friday with my
interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, who will be here to talk about that piece.
And a reminder, tomorrow night Hillary Clinton joins Rachel Maddow live,
live. These things are usually pre-taped, they`re usually taped in a hotel
room. So this is live in studio, which is fascinating. Make sure to be
there for that.
The Rachel Maddow show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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