All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/20/17 Trump HHS Secretary using Private Jets
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 20, 2017
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Again, they want the bread, they want the
circus. Hail Caesar. 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: Robert Mueller is an
honorable man. And hopefully, he`ll come up with an honorable solution.
HAYES: The Special Counsel now looking at the President`s own actions in
the White House while the President`s former Campaign Chief reportedly
offered private 2016 briefings to a Russian billionaire.
TRUMP: He was with the campaign, as you know, for a short period of time.
HAYES: Then, the backlash to the new Senate Republican health care bill
JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST: There`s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It`s
called the lie detector test.
HAYES: And the Trump official who built his career preaching fiscal
responsibility busted taking private planes.
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We`re wasting significant
amounts of money.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Major breaking news
tonight in the Russia investigation. Two big revelations on whether the
Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. That possibility and whether
Donald Trump`s actions as President amount to obstruction of justice.
First, from the Washington Post, reporting tonight, “less than two weeks
before Donald Trump accepted the Republican Presidential Nomination, his
Campaign Chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian
billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar
with the discussions. If he needs private briefings, we can accommodate,
Paul Manafort wrote in the July 7th, 2016 e-mail, portions of which were
red to the Washington Post.
Manafort`s spokesman Jason Maloni has confirmed to NBC News the
authenticity of the e-mails and said they were turned over to Congressional
committees. And Post reports, there is no reports as yet that the Russian
billionaire received Manafort`s offer or that briefings took place. But
“investigators believe the exchanges which reflect Manafort`s willingness
to profit from his prominent role alongside Trump created a potential
opening for Russian interests at the highest level of a U.S. Presidential
campaign.” Also today, the clear signs yet that Special Counsel Robert
Mueller is investigating President Trump Himself and actions he has taken
in office as the President. New York Times reporting just hours ago that,
“the Special Counsel has asked the White House for documents about some of
President Trump`s most scrutinized actions since taking office, including
the firing of his National Security Adviser and FBI Director, according to
the White House officials.”
Further quoting with Times, “Mueller is also interested in an Oval Office
meeting g Mr. Trump had with Russian officials in which he said dismissal
of the FBI Director had relieved great pressure on him.” As the Times
notes, over recent weeks, Mueller`s team has listed 13 different areas in
their document requests to the White House. Here to break down these major
developments in Mueller`s investigation, MSNBC Legal Analyst Barbara
McQuade, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Renato
Mariotti, a former Federal Prosecutor. Let`s start with the Manafort news
because I find this pretty remarkable. It`s not conclusive of anything but
what is shows Paul Manafort, Campaign Chair, for one of the two major party
nominees, who is pretty clearly and by the admission of his own
spokesperson, Renato, seeking to profit with foreign interests over that
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. I`ve got it tell you,
what shocked me the most Chris, is the response from the spokesperson was
that this was innocuous, like commonplace, like, you know, this is
something that happens all the time. I guess for Paul Manafort for you
know, trying to pedal your influence with a Russian billionaire is
something he does every day. I think it`s really shocking. If I was his
spokesperson or his attorney, I would say very little about this because
it`s troubling. What it – what it indicates to me is, you know, this –
there was some effort, not only to get – I think something for himself but
you could, you know, imply that this guy was going to have an interest in
potentially in the Trump campaign.
I mean, why is – you know, why is a Russian billionaire getting special
access and special information about the Trump campaign? I think it
suggests that he is going to want something in return and that would be a
crime if some official act was promised to the Russian government in
exchange for something of value or just getting foreign contributions at
all could be a crime. And we know Mueller`s looking at that because he has
– got that search warrant on Facebook. So I think it`s highly troubling.
And I think it – what – the biggest problem for Manafort and I think the
biggest implication is, you know, these other crimes that Mueller is
looking at, like false disclosure forms, taxes, things like that, you know,
those are obviously serious crimes. They`re felonies.
But you could imagine him getting pardoned for that, you can imagine people
saying, Mueller didn`t find any collusion. But if there is some crime
related to trading influence with a Russian oligarch, that is the sort of
thing that if I was Manafort`s attorney, I would tell him, I`m not sure
there`s going to be a pardon, it will be harder to attack what Mueller is
doing is a witch hunt, and, oh, by the way, when the judge gets to
sentencing, I think you might get the book thrown at you if you`re
convicted. So this is serious business.
HAYES: Barbara, Oleg Deripaska who is the oligarch at the center of this,
a few things about reporting on him, he`s reportedly quite close to
Vladimir Putin. He has a long relationship with Paul Manafort and in fact,
at one point essentially initiated legal proceedings against Manafort
for$19 million that he said Manafort essentially had taken from him and
misused. We don`t know what became of those proceedings. My question to
you is, there does seem to be the question that hangs over this of economic
entrapment or economic incentives which is to say, someone owing someone
money and that making them open to possible misbehavior, right?
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. One of the first
questions they ask you on a background investigation is whether anybody has
any sort of leverage over you that could be used to compromise you,
blackmail you, get you to do them favors that is not in the best interest
of the United States. So that debt alone is very problematic and it
certainly raises a lot of other questions. To what extent did President
Trump know about this? And remember, at the moment when this happens, Paul
Manafort is the Campaign Manager, very high level. So, to what extent is
he offering access to the campaign on behalf of the candidate himself?
Certainly, if he is seeking personal favor, there could be a problem there.
But what if he`s offering in exchange or is seeking campaign contributions
which would also be illegal?
HAYES: There`s also the question, Renato, to follow on this sort of
question of who owes who money. Maloni, the Manafort spokesperson – I
just think it`s worth zooming in on this. His story is people owed Paul
Manafort money, right? They owed him money. He`s trying to collect on his
debts so he`s offering this free boutique briefing service. But it also
seems possible that the owing goes the other way around and he`s trying to
work off of that. Like, I don`t understand, if someone owes you money, why
are you offering them a service? That`s not usually how it works. Am I
MARIOTTI: I agree with that and I mean, anybody – look, your viewers
don`t need me to tell them that if you are trading access to a Presidential
candidate in exchange for any money or any repayment of a debt, that is
very dangerous business. And so, you know, if – you know, if I was still
a federal prosecutor and I was on Mueller`s team, I would be looking at a
whole bunch of different crimes that I could potentially charge coming out
of that. And, you know – you know, honestly, Paul Manafort is – you
know, is in a lot of trouble. You know, he already – we know from the New
York Times just yesterday, that Bob Mueller intends to charge Paul
Manafort. This just means that you know, the evidence that he has at his
disposal is even more explosive than we thought.
HAYES: Barbara, to the New York Times story about the document request to
the White House, I wanted to get your take on this because obviously, this
is not – this is not the normal run of the mill investigation when you`re
dealing with the White House. There`s executive privilege, there`s all
sorts of ways in which the White House can attempt to shield its documents.
What do you make of the scope of this document request and whether they`re
going to be able to get their hands on this material?
MCQUADE: You know, in the reporting we have today described maybe three or
four of the categories and it`s been reported that the Mueller team is
requested 13 different categories, so very broad. My guess is that there
will be some negotiation and back and forth done to try to narrow the
scope. But at the end of the day, Robert Mueller really holds all of the
cards. If he wanted to, he could use a grand jury subpoena and be a little
more heavy-handed about it. And then it had to go to court to file a
motion to quash that subpoena.
So, you know, I haven`t seen anything described that seems like it was
beyond the scope of what is a legitimate request. You know he has the
power with his subpoena power to ask for anything that is reasonably
designed for the discovery of admissible evidence to prove up his crimes.
And I think it really signals when we look at the events that he`s looking
at, that he does have his sights set on a potential obstruction of justice
investigation when he`s focusing on the kinds of events that have been
HAYES: Including, according to the New York Times, that famous meeting
just a few days after Comey was fired with Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister,
and then Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in which he reportedly said that
getting rid of the Comey, the nut job, had taken the pressure off. That`s
one of the things Mueller seeking more information about. Barbara McQuade
and Renato Mariotti, thank you.
MARIOTTI: Thank you.
MCQUADE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Also today, new reporting on efforts by a suspected Russian
interest on Facebook to explicitly mobilize support for Donald Trump during
last year`s campaign. The Daily Beast breaking the story that, “suspected
Russia propagandists tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies
in Florida during last year`s election. And they appear to be the first
case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over
Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump. The August 20th, 2016 event
were called Florida goes Trump and were described as patriotic flash mobs
in 17 different Florida cities.
Now, it`s just the latest in a story that`s been widening ever since
Facebook first confirmed the existence of Russian linked accounts that had
bought ads around the campaign. Now, Special Counsel Mueller has obtained
a warrant for information on these Facebook accounts and earlier, I spoke
with Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the Vice Chairman of the Select
Committee on Intelligence. I asked him, what kinds of information his
committee was seeking from Facebook.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE:
Well, Chris, as far back as last winter, we raised concerns that the
Russians were using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to
both advertise, to create fake accounts, to try to drive stories. We`ve
increasingly seen to try to drive people out to rallies and other events.
Facebook at first – and this is fairly disappointing – you know, kind of
blew off those notions and said that really wasn`t happening.
We now know for a fact that it has been happening and what we want to make
sure is that Facebook is fully transparent that they`ve done a thorough
review looking backward of what all happened, how many accounts that were
fake that were affected by Russia. How much of the ads, what they`ve
reported so far is 100, $150,000 worth of ads. Those were only ads that
were paid for in rubles so the fact is I think the Russian spy services
know how to hide a little better than just using rubles. (INAUDIBLE)
HAYES: Wait a second. Is that – I don`t – I don`t think I quite
realized that. That`s the number that – so the150,000, which always
struck me as a sort of small amount of money if you`re going to do this as
an enterprise, you`re saying that`s cordoned off because it was actually
paid for in rubles?
WARNER: That was just paid for in rubles and what we found so far is that
Facebook didn`t even take those same accounts and run them and see if they
placed other ads, maybe paying in dollars or Euros or other currencies. So
I don`t think they`ve given us the whole story. And let me get – let me
just give you another example to give the audience some way to put in
perspective. Now, I`ll grant before the 2016 elections, this was kind of
wild, wild west. Facebook was learning we were all, I think, seeing these
tools being used for the first time in many ways.
By the time the French elections came in the spring, work – Facebook being
more cooperative working with French authorities, took down their words
close to 50,000 accounts that were affiliated with Russia, 50,000 in
France, much smaller country. So far, Facebook in the United States has
only identified 470 accounts that may have been fake accounts that were
promoting certain stories or prodding certain interest groups. To me, that
– again, just doesn`t pass the smell test. Maybe that`s correct, but if
they did 50,000 in France and only did 470 in America when in America we
know they`ve hacked into both parties, they – Russia attacked 21 state
electoral systems. I just think there`s a lot more questions to be
answered and that`s why we`re going to have the that public hearing come
HAYES: Do you have more access – do you have access to more data than we
have publicly with respect to Facebook?
WARNER: I wish – I wish I could tell you yes. We do not. I know they`re
going to come back in shortly. What they did so far was they, in effect,
showed us certain things to the staff and then took those materials away,
which, again, raises questions in my mind, you know, that we may need
legislative changes, both in terms of tightening up the restrictions about
foreign money flowing into our elections. But also, you know, I think as
an American, if somebody`s putting a political ad for me or against me,
Americans ought to be able to go and look at that content. That happens on
T.V., that happens on the radio, that happens on newspaper ads if this
moment in time that does not happen in social media and in the internet
HAYES: Senator Mark Warner, thank you.
WARNER: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right, tonight we are following some desperate human terrier
situations in the wake of two different natural disasters. The entire
island of the American Island of Puerto Rico, 3.5 million American who live
there without power and running water right now after Hurricane Maria
devastated the island today as a Category 4, while in Mexico we now have at
least 230 people confirmed dead from yesterday`s 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
There`s a frantic search at this very moment for survivors amidst the
rubble. We`ll have a live report from Puerto Rico and Mexico City ahead.
First, the growing backlash to the last-minute Republican effort to scrap
ObamaCare. That`s next in two minutes.
HAYES: As Republicans prepare to vote next week on their latest ObamaCare
repeal bill, they`re replicating the same process they`ve tried time and
time again, attempting essentially to sneak the bill through before anybody
gets a very good look at it. But the backlash is already beginning to
grow. The CBO won`t have time to fully analyze the so-called Graham-
Cassidy bill, but today a consulting firm of Avalere Health released a
study showing the bill would cut federal funding to states by $215 billion
through 2026. That number skyrocketing to more than $4 trillion, that`s
correct, over a 20-year period. That`s because the funding runs out after
the budget window.
Now, meanwhile, just about every professional, medical and industry group
opposes this legislation as they have previous versions, including
America`s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association,
both representing, of course, insurers. Then there`s the American Medical
Association the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses
Association and a coalition of 16 patient and provider groups that include
groups like the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes. Today, New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie came out against Graham-Cassidy echoing
other high-profile Republican governors who signed a letter also in
opposition to the bill. But perhaps the biggest blow Graham-Cassidy came
from a late-night Talk Show Host, Comedian Jimmy Kimmel who first entered
in the health care debate nay after his newborn son went through open heart
surgery, inspiring what Senator Bill Cassidy, who`s a co-sponsor of this
current bill called the Jimmy Kimmel test. Well, last night, Kimmel said
Cassidy`s own plan fails that test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Now, I don`t know what happened to Bill Cassidy, but when he was
on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health care bill very
clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all, no
discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle-
class families and no lifetime caps. And guess what, the new bill does
none of those things. Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel
test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test. He failed his own test. And you
don`t see that happen very much. And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied
right to my face. Call your Congressperson, that`s the number. Go to your
Congressperson, whoever he or she is, 202-224-3121. You have to do – you
can`t just click “like” on this video. Tell them this bill doesn`t pass
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt asked Cassidy and the co-sponsor of the
bill Senator Lindsey Graham for their response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I wish he would have called
Senator Cassidy and asked him if what I`m reading true because you heard
some liberal talking points that are absolute garbage. He bought it hook,
line and sinker and I don`t like the idea of calling this good man a liar
without ever talking to him first. That really says more about Mr. Kimmel
than does Dr. Cassidy.
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But states would be able to not
cover people with pre-existing conditions –
GRAHAM: That`s garbage. Where were you getting this garbage?
HUNT: Well, they would – they would be able to ask out if they –
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: The legislation – the legislation
specifically says that the state applying for a waiver would have to ensure
that those with pre-existing conditions would have access to adequate and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Tim Kaine was the Democrat`s Vice Presidential candidate in
2016. Now, sits on the Senate Health Committee which has over-sighted
health care in a normal process would be having hearings on this but isn`t.
So you saw your colleagues call this idea that there`s no protections for
folks with pre-existing conditions garbage. Are they right?
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: Chris, this does not protect people with
pre-existing conditions and that`s one of the three horrible aspects of the
Graham-Cassidy bill. So, let`s talk about it. They`re saying, no, we
protect you but states get the right to waive essential health benefits
which right now they cannot waive. They have to be provided. So you could
basically get a policy written on somebody with diabetes. OK, well, we`ll
write you a policy but it doesn`t cover insulin. Or you know, you`re
somebody who needs cancer treatment, I`ll write you a policy, it doesn`t
I`m a woman, I`d like maternity care. We`re going to write you a policy,
it just doesn`t cover maternity care. So the whole heart of this pre-
existing condition argument is you ought to be able to get coverage that
includes coverage for your condition but the waiver of essential health
benefits allows states to write you a policy that doesn`t even cover the
condition that you have and that`s why the bill flunks the Kimmel test and
everybody with a pre-existing condition is scared to death about what this
bill would mean.
HAYES: I want to give the argument that the bill`s co-sponsors I think
would make which is that in order to get the waiver, the state has to
certify that people have access to affordable care. That`s what you saw
Senator Cassidy talking about. Do you think that that essentially won`t
mean anything when implemented?
KAINE: Chris Hayes, a state would say that and then it would be up to Tom
Price, who hates the Affordable Care Act, who hates Medicaid, who is
against all of these programs, it would be up to him to say, oh, yes, I
agree with you. You`re fine. There is no protection. It`s going to be a
race to the bottom and the pre-existing condition argument it`s a – it`s a
slight of hand. They`ll write you a policy but it doesn`t have to cover
the condition that you have. And that`s why Jimmy Kimmel says you`ve got
to be kidding me. Now we`ll move to the second – the second bad part of
this bill – go ahead.
HAYES: Well, I want to ask you about another part of this. Maybe this is
what you`re moving on to, which is about this strange interstate transfer
KAINE: Yes. Weird.
HAYES: It is weird.
HAYES: Although, you`re in a sort of opposite position as someone, say,
like Rob Portman, right? So, Rob Portman is in Ohio where they have
Medicaid expansion. Ohio is going to be a net loser. You represent
Virginia which hasn`t expanded and which has –stands to gain essentially -
- in fact, Senator Cassidy is shouting out Virginia as one of the
beneficiaries of this bill. If you`re going to get more money under this,
then why don`t you like it?
KAINE: In the short term and you`re right, this is the second bad piece of
this bill. So, you take all of the money that right now we`re spending on
the Affordable Care Act. Over the next ten years, you reduce that by $240
million, which drives premiums up and then at the end of ten years you
eliminate it. Now, but then to obscure it, Chris, you shuffle it all
around in the first ten years so some states get more, some states get
less. Bottom line is, the money that`s coming to people under ObamaCare
gets slashed by $240 billion over the next 10 years and then completely
They`re trying to buy a few states off by giving some states a little more
and others get less. But you can`t take $240 billion out of this. Most of
that money is tax credits to help people buy insurance. So if you take
that money out, you can reshuffle it all you want, taking $240 billion out
increases premiums and hurts people and the estimate is, capped at an
estimate that said about 800,000 Virginians could stand to lose coverage by
this. Again, just like the pre-existing condition thing, they are going
through a lot of efforts to hide what is really happening that now let me
get to the third part of the bill which is the worst part of it.
KAINE: They say this is repeal and replace ObamaCare but why go after
Medicaid? This is what they did in – even the House didn`t go after the
base Medicaid program but the Senate did and this bill does, too. It puts
caps on the Medicaid program, the core Medicaid program that existed before
there was the Affordable Care Act and those caps would take about $120
million out of Medicaid over the next ten years and that number would grow
in future years. Why are they so fixed on trying to attack Medicaid? In
Virginia and most places, 55 to 60 percent of the recipients of Medicaid
If you need a wheelchair to go to school, it`s Medicaid that`s paying the
wheelchair and it`s usually Medicaid that`s reimbursing the school system
for the services that they`re providing you. But why are they going after
Medicaid? This whole thing, in my view, it`s a big smoke screen. They
want to get rid of ObamaCare but what they really are fixated upon is going
after Medicaid. The Medicaid program didn`t have anything to do – the
core program with ObamaCare, but that`s what they`re going after and they
are probably doing so they can take all of these savings and make it part
of their big tax cut plan that they`re going to bring up next month.
HAYES: All right. Senator Tim Kaine, thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, Tom Brokaw on what actually constitutes a scandal
anymore near Trump. But first, the latest reporting on the second major
earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks claiming over 200 lives and we will
go live to Puerto Rico where the entire island is currently dark and
without power in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
HAYES: At least 230 people are dead in Mexico after the 7.1 magnitude
earthquake that hit yesterday and that number is expected to rise.
Rescuers are still sifting through the rubble of dozens of fallen buildings
searching for survivors and rushing them to medical help. NBC News
Correspondent Ron Mott is in Mexico City by a collapsed building where
rescue teams are listening to voices of survivors. Ron, what are you
RON MOTT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Chris. Good evening. Well,
we do know that there are known survivors in this building behind me. I`ll
step out of the way. We`ve got a little bit of thunderstorm cell right on
top of us that dropped some hailstones on us as well. I can see the
rescuers are back out on top of this building. It`s a six-story building
that was an employment agency.
And so at the lunch hour yesterday, it was crowded, especially with a lot
of young people looking for work. We do know that on the fourth floor of
this building that there was a group of people who were trapped in a
conference room and they are trapped in what they are calling now, for lack
of a better phrase if you will, the triangle of life. The floor above them
has collapsed at an angle giving them some room to breathe, literally, and
that the backside is a wall that you can see on the portion of the building
that did not collapse and so rescuers have been working all day, since this
earthquake hit yesterday afternoon, trying to get a tunnel built to try to
get to them to get them out of there.
We do know that they have spoken with them, they have gotten them some
water and some food. Their family members have been told on the scene that
they are okay and now it`s just a matter of time for them to get them out
of there. There are engineers up there as part of this team who are
helping to rescue these folks. And again, this is a scene that`s repeated
around Mexico`s capital city. As you know, we`ve had more than 40
buildings collapsed here. One including today and there`s another building
apparently that is at risk of collapsing.
So there are a lot of vulnerable buildings still in the capital city
tonight and a lot of folks are still out tonight waiting for good word here
at this scene if they can get these between 12and 14 people out. We do not
know how many of those14 who were still listed as in the building and
perhaps stranded there are still alive but we know that there are people
alive in this building and folks are waiting and we`ll wait all night for
good word to come out of this rubble behind me. Chris?
HAYES: All right, NBC`s Ron Mott, thank you for that. In Puerto Rico
tonight, more than 3 million Americans are without power from Hurricane
Maria. Officials warn electricity could be out for months. We`re going to
go live to Puerto Rico next.
HAYES: The entire island of Puerto Rico is without power tonight after
Hurricane Maria made
landfall as a category 4 earlier today topping trees, tearing off roofs and
causing widespread flooding. But as more than 3 million Americans assess
the devastation, officials are warning the island could be without power
NBC`s Gadi Schwartz rode out the storm. He joins us live from San Juan,
Puerto Rico. Gadi, what`s it like there?
GADI SCHWARTZ, NBC NEWS: Hey, Chris, you were just talking about the lack
of power out here, so I have got to apologize, the picture might get a
little bit pixelated, because we`ve been having trouble with the cell phone
signals, with power. Obviously it is out all around us. It`s very dark.
We just got out of the hurricane shelter where we spent 24 hours bunkered
down. This is some of the first devastation we are seeing here.
So this is a classroom, and I want to show you this, this is basically
wrought iron windows
that were boarded up and the frame just blew out from the strength of these
In fact, over there there is a cooler, some type of swamp cooler that is
hanging on by a
couple of wires, a very dangerous situation. Inside of this classroom, we
can see things just tossed all
about. In fact, that`s a little kid`s cubby, it looks like his name is
But this, fortunately, no one was inside. This is the type of devastation
that we`re seeing just less than a mile away from the shelter where we were
hunkered down throughout the storm and we expect to see more of this in the
next coming days. Chris?
HAYES: Alright. Gadi Schwartz, thanks for joining us and please stay safe.
Still to come, HHS Secretary Tom Price, champion of fiscal responsibility,
reportedly spent around $60,000 on private jets in just three days.
That story and Tom Brokaw on what counts as a scandal in the age of Trump.
Plus, a geography lesson from the president in Thing 1 and Thing 2 next.
HAYES: Thing 1 tonight, every now and then Donald Trump likes to go on
about his knowledge of Africa. He made quite a name for himself suggesting
that his predecessor was born there.
And around that same time he let us know that he really, quote, “likes
Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is waiting to
Thanks, Mr. Trump.
African leaders didn`t appear too impressed by the president`s speech at
the United Nations yesterday. Today at a U.N. lunch with some of those same
African leaders, the president suggested the
U.S. could benefit from teaming up with nations on the African continent
and then he praised the
health care system of an African country that does not exist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Uganda has made incredible
strides in the battle against HIV/AIDS. In Guinea and Nigeria you fought a
horrifying Ebola outbreak.
Nambia health system is incredibly self-sufficient.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nambia, who`s health system is apparently increasingly self-
sufficient. Nambia doesn`t exist. It`s possible the president meant Namibia
or Zambia, both of which have the virtue of being actual extent countries.
Now, as I can personally attest to, reading mishaps do happen all of the
time from a teleprompter. What doesn`t happen all the time is the other
thing President Trump told African leaders
today and that`s Thing 2 in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Before President Trump flubbed the name of an African nation at a
U.N. lunch today
with African leaders, he appeared to marvel at Africa`s business
opportunities while giving what New Yorker journalist Philip Gourevitch
summarized as, “European colonialism in 140 characters.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends
going to your countries trying to get rich.
I congratulate you. They`re spending a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congratulations. Now, the president tends to view places on the
globe in terms of
business opportunities and opportunities for profit, so it`s really only a
matter of time until someone tries to pitch him on a Trump Tower in Nambia.
Many people are saying it`s getting recognized more and more.
HAYES: As the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom
Price has defended proposed cuts of more then $1 trillion from Medicaid, $6
billion to National Institutes of Health, and 18% in cuts to his own
department, and he loves, loves to stress his commitment to
fiscal responsibility, as he did back in 2009. In an effort to buy private
jets to transport members of the
military and government officials, including members of Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I think we`ve
made it halfway where we ought to, and that is cut it from eight to four
jets. Now we need to cut it from four jets to zero jets.
This is just another example of a fiscal irresponsibility run amok in
Congress right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Private jets, fiscal irresponsibility run amok. That was Tom Price
This is tom price now. You`re looking at the 30-seat private jet that Price
and Kellyanne Conway took last week from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia
and back at a cost of around $25,000.
and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Tom Price`s private jet problem right after this.
HAYES: According to some incredible reporting from Politico, Health and
Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a man who pushes for massive spending
cuts to federal programs to benefit the poor, spent around $60,000 in
taxpayer money on private jets during just a three-day period last week.
That included a flight from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and back on a
30-seat private charter at a cost of – this is really astounding –
Here`s the things. D.C. and Philly are less than 150 miles apart and
there`s no lack of options to get from one to the other. Price spent
$25,000 of taxpayer money to charter the private jet.
Even at the last minute, a round trip flight which itself is a bit much,
just $150 apart, would
cost at most $725. That`s a lot less than $25,000.
The most expensive train from D.C. to Philly and back today, which is
comfortable, you know it`s the Acela. You can sit there. When we looked at
it this afternoon, it was $544 per person. The cost to drive there and back
between gas and tolls comes in at $92.
Which means, Price could have saved taxpayers over $24,000 if he just drove
2 1/2 hours there
Asked to explain, HHS told Politico that, “When commercial aircraft cannot
reasonably accommodate travel requirements, charter aircraft can be used
for official travel.”
But, as Politico noted, “Price`s charter left Dulles airport at 8:27 and a
United Airlines flight
departed for Philadelphia at 8:22.”
Remember, the $60,000 that Price spent on private jets came during just a
Current and former staffers tell Politico, “He`s been taking private jets
Someone who knows exactly how unusual this kind of behavior is, former
White House Cabinet
Secretary Chris Lu, who is also Deputy Secretary for the Department of
Labor under President Obama. He joins me now.
Chris, did you take a lot of private chartered jets – you were the person
in the White House that was liaising with various cabinet heads.
Was this a standard thing that you guys would do?
CHRIS LU, FMR WHITE HOUSE CABINET SECRETARY: Absolutely not. This was not
a standard thing.
I guess Tom Price probably didn`t want to ride on a plane with the people`s
whose health care he`s taking away. But seriously, leaving aside the cost,
who thinks the fastest way from D.C. to Philadelphia is taking a plane? You
could have driven it much faster.
HAYES: You can not pay me to drive to Dulles in any iteration. The idea
you would drive to Dulles to take a charter jet is insane.
LU: But Chris, literally every single day, I can point to something that
the Trump administration is doing that would have gotten us fired in Obama
And you`ll remember back in 2011 there was this whole controversy about
muffins that might have cost $16 at a Department of Justice Conference.
That turned out not to be the case, but you had Senators like Chuck
Grassley and Jeff Sessions in uproar and I haven`t heard that kind of
uproar from Republicans now.
HAYES: I had forgotten the $16 muffin, but it was a thing for a week.
LU: That actually was a thing. And we`ve had week after week. And it`s not
just Price`s jet. Last week we were talking about Mnuchin wanting to get a
government jet for his honeymoon. He took the jet to Kentucky to see the
This is part of a broader pattern. When you`ve got a president who doesn`t
take ethics seriously, this flows down to his cabinet.
Absolutely not. We did not take private jets. I will say this, the rare
exception is when you are going to very remote place, like you are seeing
tornado damage or you have to make multiple stops
within the same day. You could make the request but you have to go through
a detailed cost justification, and this is not something we did regularly
in Obama administration.
HAYES: Now it is their prerogative right? Different administrations have
their own budgets.
Money is appropriated by Congress right? So, if the HHS in Trump
administration wants to allocate
millions of dollars so that our Secretary flies around on chartered jets
they can do that legally right?
It`s just a question of priorities.
LU: Chris, that`s exactly right. You`ve pointed out that Price is
supporting a budget that cuts medical research. HHS is already cutting
advertising for Obamacare, they are already cutting budgets for the
navigators to help people sign up.
I`ll defer to ethics experts on whether it`s allowed or not, but this is a
poor use of government resources that could go to people who really need
HAYES: Yeah, I`m expecting a story that he flew from one quadrant of D.C.
to the other on a charter jet as the next story.
Chris Lu, thanks for being with me tonight.
LU: Thank you.
HAYES: Back in 1991, President Bush`s Chief of Staff, that`s H.W. Bush,
John Sununu resigned due in part to his improper use of government
NBC News Tom Brokaw brought viewers the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Tonight, the president`s Chief of Staff is out,
saying that he resigned so he wouldn`t be a drag on the president`s
NBC`s John Cochrin is at the White House now – John.
JOHN COCHRIN, NBC: Although Sununu liked to joke that he was just a
pussycat, it was his personality invariably called abrasive that rubbed
Washington`s power brokers the wrong way. He could have survived that, but
George Bush began losing confidence in him during the Flap Over Air Sununu,
his use of government transportation for personal travel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Air Sununu.
Joining me now is former Nightly News anchor, Tom Brokaw, now a special
correspondent for NBC News. It`s such a pleasure to have you here with me.
BROKAW: When I first read the story about the Secretary I was immediately
reminded of the Monday night ESPN crew. I wanted to say come on man. I just
couldn`t believe that they would be that brash and that brazen and that
tone deaf about what they`re up to.
I`m a peripatetic traveler. I travel a lot. And I always look at the
Now look, I like to go on charter planes as much as anybody else does. But
if I`m going from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, I don`t want to make the
drive to Dulles, what I want to do is hire a car and driver and get on the
through-way and get to Philadelphia and be there in the center of the city
in a lot more efficient fashion then they are.
These are the people who came and said we`re going to drain the swamp.
We`re outraged by what`s been going on here.
Remember at the beginning of the Obama administration he brought Michelle
to New York on kind of a dinner date and he got blown up for that, and he
learned his lesson in a hurry, with good reason by the way.
This is is outrageous example of arrogance. This is the same secretary who
is a member of Congress, however, charge of health care in America and the
committee was trading health care
stocks at the time.
HAYES: I`m glad you brought that up. It`s really quite remarkable, with
Price in particular. He really had some serious ethical questions in that
confirmation hearing, if not perhaps legal ones.
There was some reporting that the U.S. Attorney for Southern District,
Preet Bharara, who was then fired by Trump was investigating it. But he was
pretty clearly trading in stocks that he had regulatory of as a member of
And now you`ve got this story. The thing I thought about Price was that in
another iteration he would have a harder go even being confirmed. Do you
think that`s true?
BROKAW: Well, I think there`s no question about that. The fact is he`s got
a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. They were coming in
at a time when there was an immediate feel of good will that they were
going to get things done and we are the people that can do that.
You also have the Secretary of Treasury, Mnuchin who has been using a lot
of the government checks and talking about it like it`s his entitlement.
I don`t know where that all comes from. I don`t know if it`s just arrogance
or because, the case of Mnuchin, he came out of the private sector. He`s a
very wealthy guy that could call up and get his airplane.
But in Price`s case, he`s been in Congress for 14 years now, and no one has
a lot of these issues.
HAYES: Yeah. Members of Congress I should note here, they all basically
fly commercial all the time. I mean if you are ever going in and out of
D.C. airports you see them because they have got to go back to their
districts and their states and they`re used to it.
I think the question I had and one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you
after we were looking at that clip is, there`s this question of what
constitutes a scandal. That was a huge deal. That was a multi-day story.
That guy was the Chief of Staff for the President of United States and he
got bounced essentially for using government jets too much.
BROKAW: Well, not just government jets, but fact is he didn`t go as far as
Secretary Price did.
He got a government car to drive him from Washington to New York.
HAYES: That was big one right? Drive 4 1/2 hours.
BROKAW: Because he was looking at rare coins up here and he was driven
And so, there is that sense, when they get to Washington, have enormous
power, they push a button, they get whatever they want, that they think
they`re immune, but these are the people who are going to change the rules.
Stop and think if any member of the Obama administration had done something
like that, where
social media would be, Fox News would be aflame with what is going on.
So there are abuses across the board in government, no question. But this
is prima facie. I just don`t know how they can defend it in any fashion. I
HAYES: Do you think our standards – one of the things that`s happened in
the era is it`s hard to keep up with the different stories.
Scott Pruitt is under investigation, there are calls for investigation
because he is flying back to
Oklahoma so much, and that story barely rated a mention.
I guess my question to you, do you think the standard for what we identify
as scandal has
changed over time or just this particular administration is such a barrage
of news it`s hard to pull out individual things?
BROKAW: Well, I think a lot of people in the Republican administration
come from wealth
and privilege and they extend that when they come to government. They`ve
gotten used to.
As the case as to what was going on in Oklahoma. I can`t say but probably
had a lot of access to planes whenever they wanted it.
But I do think the administration that comes in going to drain the swamp,
we`re going to change
things, we`re going to represent the populace out there, we`re going to
break up the old gang in Washington, and they`re going to be more
responsive to your values can`t turn around and do this.
The president, for example, and the amount of time that he is spending at
Mar-A-Largo and golf
courses, that`s also an issue. I can`t think of president in recent years
could have gotten away with it.
When Ronald Reagan first took office he liked to ride. But he would be out
there with his pants and long boots but they knew it was terrible image
because they knew he was riding at that point. So they dialed it down for
him and said you can`t do that anymore Mr. President, it`s an image and
it`s very symbolic in way that we don`t want to be symbolic.
HAYES: You know it`s interesting you bring that up because the one
concession they have made was in the beginning when you had Melania Trump
and Barron living in Trump Tower in New York City and the president in
Washington, D.C. for that first period of time. And again, I`m respectful
of the fact that you want continuity of the school year so I didn`t
actually judge this in any way.
But that was very expensive to the Secret Service, and what`s interesting
to me is that`s the one concession they made that that regime did come to a
close. It`s not that they are entirely immune from the critiques.
BROKAW: No, and sometimes you make a hard transition from having
everything you want
as president had, in terms of planes and landing anywhere he wanted to.
I was going in and out of West Palm Beach on some business during that time
when he was first
going to Mar-A-Largo, those are people who has the same kind of wealth that
he does, they were furious because they couldn`t move in the airport. He
was tying up an entire section of the airport and lot of the freeways with
There is adjustment that needs to be made when you come to the country and
say I`m going to
change things, that`s really the test of this one.
HAYES: You know, the ultimate check it seems to me is ultimately public
If people read this story about Tom Price and say it`s fine with me,
ultimately that`s the thing
that – there`s ethical and legal restraints but that`s biggest one.
BROKAW: Well, I think there is something to that, but in any sensible
mainstream America, if you say here are the numbers – for example picked
Philadelphia because it`s easy one, but he went to a resort in middle of
Maine, a little harder to get to.
If I were getting there at this time I would have flown to Boston
commercially and then hired a car and driver to drive me the extra two
hours. That would have made – even if someone else was paying for it, not
comfortable with that. It`s lot better for me.
Now, having said that. I get it. I like charter planes, no question about
that. But at the same time there`s a tick that goes off.
HAYES: There should be a tick in your head even if someone else is paying
and not the tax payer.
Tom Brokaw, it`s always a pleasure to have you on the show.
BROKAW: Thanks so much, Chris.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts
Good evening, Rachel.
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