All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/28/17 Tom Price and his Private Flights
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 28, 2017
Guest: Josh Dawsey, Sam Seder
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with
us. ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have not taken a
deep dive on every comment that the Senator or the Senate Nominee has made.
HAYES: Republicans desperate for a win on taxes roll out the welcome mat
for Roy Moore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`ll make a good Senator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I celebrate when a Republican wins an election.
HAYES: Can Tom Price save his job by paying a fraction of the cost of his
private jet travel?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tom, you`re fired!
HAYES: And as Twitter faces Congress, what we`re learning about the scope
of Russian involvement on social media. When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. If there were any
lingering doubts today, the Republican Party officially became the party of
Roy Moore. Party elites rallied around the anti-gay birther after he
handily beat their preferred candidate in Alabama`s GOP primary this week.
And today from the podium, the White House Press Secretary declined to
condemn some of Moore`s inflammatory views.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Moore says homosexuality should be illegal. He
said that Sandy Hook was some sort of divine retribution. He said Keith
Ellison should not be permitted to serve in Congress because he`s a Muslim.
So without asking about the specifics of the race, does President Trump
share any of those views that I just mentioned? And if not, why does he
think this person is fit to be a U.S. Senator?
SANDERS: Not that I`m aware of. I have not taken a deep dive on every
comment that the Senator or the Senate Nominee has made. But I certainly
know where the President stands on this those issues and wouldn`t see any
parallel between the two of them on that front.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Following Moore`s victory on Tuesday, defeating the candidate
backed by the president, Vice President, and Senate Majority Leader, the
President`s political capital is now arguably at its lowest point to date.
He was defied by his own base voters in Alabama. His poll numbers are back
down again after he picked a fight with the NFL and his party`s latest
attempt to repeal ObamaCare just crashed and burned. Things may be however
even worse for that man, Mitch McConnell, who is now facing a wholesale
rebellion from the GOP`s grassroots.
According to McConnell`s own super PAC, OK, the one he pays for, raises
money for the Senate Leadership Fund, the Republican Congress has replaced
President Obama as the bogeyman for conservative GOP primary voters. Just
look at – yes, that chart – just look at McConnell`s net approval among
2016 trump Voters which peaked at more than plus 30 points in early March
before pummeling to minus 40 points. He is now, 40 points underwater with
Trump voters with almost no legislative accomplishments to show from eight
months of unified Republican government. McConnell doesn`t just risk
losing control of his conference to insurgents like Roy Moore, he risks
losing control of the Senate altogether. Senator John Thune, McConnell`s
number there in the Senate put it to Politico, “We got to start producing
legislative results or we`re going to end up in the minority two years from
Which brings us to tax cuts, the last remaining big-ticket item on the
Republican agenda and the party`s last real chance to reward its donors and
give the base a win before the end of the year. As it did with healthcare,
Republicans are trying to sell their tax framework as a populist
initiative, a strategy that could backfire as it did with health care once
the public learns what it actually does. With tax cuts on the table, the
GOP is apparently willing to stomach just about anything to get legislation
passed. White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, who is Jewish, agonized in
public over the President`s response to Charlottesville, reportedly
threatening to quit. Today he finally explained what made him stick
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY COHN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: Why am I here? I`m here
just for this reason. Think about the opportunity that I`m involved in
with the President Trump, and being able to rewrite the tax code, something
that hasn`t been done for 31 years. The amount of impact that we can have
on the U.S. economy and U.S. citizens in changing the forward outlook of
the United States, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would
never miss this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That logic explains why Roy Moore, who`s called for criminalizing
homosexuality, has earned support from the likes of, say, Ohio Senator Rob
Portman, who`s frequently described as a moderate, and who in 2013 made a
heartfelt endorsement of marriage equality after revealing his son is gay.
As about Moore by Politico, Portman responded, “he`s going to be for tax
reform, I think.” Senator Chris Murphy is a Democrat from Connecticut.
Are you surprised that your Republican colleagues seem so eager to embrace
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: I am surprised, I`ll be honest because
only a few years ago this was a party who was creating distance between it
and Todd Akin, who said that there were forms of rape that were legitimate.
They called for him to drop out of the race, they refused to give him
money. And so, it wasn`t that long ago when Republicans realized that
sometimes the end doesn`t always justify the means. I guess the difference
now is that they are truly desperate and they`re desperate because the end
that they`re trying to achieve is deeply, deeply unpopular.
Nobody wants the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Very few people, other
than Gary Cohn and his friends, want another big tax cut for the rich. And
so they have to go to rather unique and extraordinary lengths, like
endorsing people like Roy Moore, in order to get the numbers to pass
something that nobody in the public wants. So, yes, I guess, I can say
that I was surprised at the level of enthusiasm for a guy who essentially
said that Sandy Hook deserved it because our community had stopped
following God. I was – I was a little shock that they would rally to his
cause so quickly.
HAYES: How do you feel about that comment particularly, as someone who
cares deeply about the folks there and who represents the State of
MURPHY: It brings tears to my eyes. I mean, the idea that the Republican
Party is wrapping their arms around someone who got up in front of a large
audience and said, as people can watch, it`s on video, that the people of
Sandy Hook, because they stopped following God, prompted a divine
intervention which led to the murder of 20 kids, is abhorrent. And the
idea that he is being brought into the mainstream infrastructure of the
Republican Party when of course, that is just one of a myriad of outrageous
things he said, it is – you know, I mean, it`s really bone-chilling to
those of us who come from Sandy Hook.
HAYES: I want to pivot to something else just because I have you here and
the story is breaking, which is Tom Price and from multiple angles. We`re
going to cover a little bit what was he`s been doing on the travel front
with his itinerary now going up to $1 million. But he`s also very clearly
sabotaging ObamaCare. And this is a remarkable response that HHS gave to
Vox today when asked about the fact that he`s pulling regional
administrators out of enrollment events. And I want to read it for you and
get your response. “ObamaCare has never lived up to enrollment
expectations despite the previous administration`s best efforts. The
American people know a bad deal when they see one and many won`t be
convinced to sign up for Washington Knows Best health coverage they can`t
afford. As ObamaCare continues to collapse, HHS is carefully evaluating
how we can best serve the American people who continue to be harmed by
ObamaCare`s failures.” Your reaction?
MURPHY: It`s really a disgusting statement from HHS and one that sounds
like it comes from the campaign. I mean, we are not in the campaign any
longer. They actually are running government. And when you`re running
government, that includes administering the parts that you don`t
particularly like. I don`t care if they don`t want ObamaCare to be the law
of the land, the Congress of the United States and the people of the United
States have decided that it will be. And by pulling out of any kind of
marketing, pulling out of any state-based efforts to try to tell people
what ObamaCare is, you are hurting Americans.
And so this is I think as troubling as it gets. But as you know, it`s part
of a pattern here. They pulled out 90 percent of the advertising money,
they won`t pay the insurers more than a month ahead of time, they`ve told
the IRS to stop enforcing the individual mandate. They are intentionally
sabotaging in every way, shape and form they can the Affordable Care Act,
hurting Americans. And listen, Republicans better put a stop to this,
because ultimately even if they don`t care about the policy here, the
politics will come back to haunt them. People know what Trump is doing and
they are going to hold Republicans accountable.
HAYES: That`s – I mean, that`s sort of an open question, I guess, right?
I mean, it seems to me, to the extent there`s a strategic imperative here,
and I guess if you give him the most good faith charitable interpretation,
they think the law is harmful and so they`re not enforcing it to stop that
harm but in a strategic sense, the idea that they can cause a lot of
collapses and that will force in a kind of a crisis moment their ability to
MURPHY: Yes, and we`ve told them from the beginning that that won`t be the
case, that you are not going to essentially put a gun to the heads of our
constituents and Congress and force us to act. And I hope that better
angels are going to prevail. We are very close to a deal in the Senate to
try to keep the parts of the Affordable Care Act that are working and
stabilize the parts that aren`t. And my hope is that some of these actions
by the Trump administration actually push Republicans in the Senate to work
with Democrats to stabilize these markets.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, thank you as always.
HAYES: For more on Republicans Faustian bargain, let`s turn to Maddie
Duppler, a Senior Fellow at the National Taxpayers Union, a Conservative
lobbying group, not a labor union and MSNBC Contributor Sam Seder, Host of
The Majority Report podcast. I guess, Maddie, let me start with you. And
I know you`re a tax person and work the on tax issues. I guess the
question that I have for Conservatives is like, what is it worth, tax
reform, to you? Is Roy Moore worth it, basically?
MATTIE DUPPLER, SENIOR FELLOW, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: All right, as you
said, I`ve been neck-deep in the tax framework since its release yesterday,
so I haven`t been following every Senator`s response about Roy Moore.
HAYES: You sound like a United States Senators and Sarah Huckabee Sanders
who all just have not gotten around to reading the Roy Moore cleavers.
DUPPLER: So here`s the thing. I will dispute your characterization that
Republicans are giving some warm overwhelming bear hug to the senator, that
the entire establishment opposed in his primary. It`s been 48 hours since
he has become the Republican – the Republican Nominee for that race. So I
would say there`s been tepid maybe discussion about him, but this notion
that he is somehow the crown prince for the Republican Party is just simply
HAYES: Well, I mean, just as point of fact, he was embraced by Ted Cruz,
who welcomed him, Vice President Mike Pence had gushing words about him.
The President called him a great guy and called him to congratulate him and
also put him on Twitter. Corey Gardner who runs, of course, the Republican
Senatorial Campaign said that he`s happy to have him to make America great.
I mean, so it`s not – I`m not making this up. Now, maybe you think that
they`re not being truthful and I guess the question for you, Sam, is, are
they basically just faking it?
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It doesn`t matter.
SEDER: I mean, look, this is the same story with Donald Trump too, right?
I mean, we saw the –
HAYES: Exact same story.
SEDER: – Republican establishment had big problems with Donald Trump
until they thought, this is going to be our way to repeal the Affordable
Care Act, this is going to be our way to get a conservative Supreme Court,
and this is going to be our way to finally get some type of tax reform
overhaul that`s going to last more than ten years, permanent like they did
during the Reagan administration. And I would add just to the list that
you made. Mike Pence works with Roy Moore over ten years ago on the
constitution restoration act, which said that judges – Congress should
fire judges that don`t admit that our law is based on the word of God. So
Mike Pence might have a little sense of a background of Roy Moore, didn`t
have to go back and check his quotes that he`s had over those years.
HAYES: Here`s my other question to you, Mattie. I get the sense, and I`ve
– all the Republicans I`ve talked to, it`s like this is it at the end of
the rainbow. Like, they want tax – this tax bill so badly. I`ve been
hearing about it from – since the President was elected. The President
went into a restaurant the night after he was elected and shook people`s
hands and said, I`m going to cut your taxes at an expensive New York
restaurant. How badly do Republicans on the Hill want this?
DUPPLER: Chris, if you`ve only been hearing this since January you haven`t
been listening to me for years, which is that tax reform is the number one
priority for most people who believe in free enterprise and pro-growth
economics. So I think that it`s no – it`s not really a radical departure
HAYES: No, not at all.
DUPPLER: – to get tax – to get tax reform done. And I think that with
the framework that was released yesterday, you`re going to start to see a
lot of pressure on Democrats, in particular, the three that did not sign
the Senate Democrats letter saying they wouldn`t support tax reform that
didn`t raise taxes on the rich. There`s going to be a lot of difficult
decisions for those Democrats. And Republicans, I think, are in a good
space to move forward on the framework they released yesterday.
HAYES: That I think is a question. It`s an open question. But one thing
on the other side is, if we don`t have all the details, but it`s going to
raise some people`s taxes and it`s going to raise people`s taxes who are
some at the bottom of the scale and some in the upper middle class, some of
the sort of like, somewhere between the upper middle class and middle
SEDER: Well, I mean, there were two things that struck me this week. One
is, you had Mnuchin and Gary Cohn both say on national television, well, we
never promised that taxes wouldn`t go up on middle-class people. But look,
this is going to be one of those situations where the details of the tax
plan are fairly easy to understand. You`ve got $1.5 trillion worth of tax
cuts that are going mostly to wealthy people. And you know, there`s
another story here and it starts and ends in Kansas.
Now, they have taken Sam Brown back and they`ve jettisoned him into the
ether in some type of like ambassador to religion I think at this point for
the Trump administration. But the fact of the matter is, everything
they`re doing in Washington, everything they`re proposing right now, was
done. There was a five-year experiment in Kansas. It destroyed the Kansas
economy. It destroyed their educational system. This story is going to
get out. So if they don`t do this super quick, they`re going to have a
similar problem they had with the Affordable Care Act.
HAYES: The problem, Mattie, do you think that the Republicans are in a
situation similar to the ACA? It struck me in the ACA, Republicans were
trying to sell repeal and replace sort of on liberal`s terms, right? So
they were saying, like, lower premium, more coverage even though the bill
wasn`t going to do that. And here you have Republicans saying, as opposed
to making a supply-side argument about why you have to cut taxes on capital
and why people at the top of the income distribution need to pay less in
taxes. They`re making an argument fundamentally saying, like, this is
populist, this is not going to help people at the top, this is going to
help people in the middle class when the numbers aren`t going to bear that
DUPPLER: So I think it`s interesting that both you and Sam somehow have
been able to score a framework that none of the bean counters here in
Washington have been able to do because there`s not enough details. I
don`t think it`s clear at all that this is not going to be a framework that
doesn`t deliver relief for the middle class and for lower income earners.
I`ll give you this step. I do think in the framework it was interesting
that it said the plan will be at least as progressive as the current tax
code. That certainly is a departure from what we`ve seen in years past. I
do think that it also shows a learning curve from Republicans. It shows
conservatives looking at the tax code and looking at what they want to
accomplish and asking themselves, how do we communicate what these values
are and how they impact real Americans? I think we`re with the framework,
with the idea that this will actually deliver for average income earners.
We`re starting to learn that.
HAYES: Right, so in terms of the scoring, people are taking a bunch of
rough estimates because some of the details haven`t been filled in. We`ll
have you back on the program when the actual data is there and the numbers.
I`m confident that rich people will get a big tax cut. I`d be willing to
bet. We could make, like, a donation to charity over it or something which
you`re still going to be able to itemize, I hear.
SEDER: Well, I mean, look, I`m just repeating what Mnuchin and Cohn said
on national television. But I mean, the bottom line is, we know what
happens when you get rid of the estate tax. Maybe they`re not doing it.
We know what happens when you cut taxes on high-income earners. It doesn`t
spur the economic growth that we`ve been sold. We don`t hear much of the
laugher curve that much unless you`re on like a Fox News Business Channel
anymore because this has all been debunked. And so they have a problem.
They`re trying to make it about an easy form fitted on a postcard. But
look, that`s not really that much of an issue. Three levels of taxation
versus seven. It`s not that big of a deal.
HAYES: All right, Mattie Duppler and Sam Seder, thank you both.
DUPPLER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, after his apology earlier today, the Tom Price private jet
scandal just exploded again. This time international flights, the total
spent now for his private travel topping $1 million from taxpayers. That
breaking report in two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you still have the President`s
TOM PRICE, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We`re going to – we`re
going to work through this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to be fired?
PRICE: I think we`ve still got the confidence of the President, and we
continue to work on important issues like flu vaccination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s been a painful day for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom
Price after getting a flu shot to try to promote vaccinations, he was
besieged with questions about his job security following weeks of
revelations about his use of private charter flight on this the taxpayers`
dime. And the White House refused to defend him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Look, as the President said yesterday, he`s not thrilled,
certainly not happy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Secretary Price expect to keep his job in this
SANDERS: I think the President`s addressed this yesterday. We`re going
through this process. We`re going to conduct a full review and we`ll see
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Late this afternoon, Tom Price finally made a qualified apology
after the HHS insisted for a week everything was above-board. And in a
statement which reads in part, “I regret the concerns this has raised
regarding the use of taxpayer dollars, I will take no more private charter
flights as Secretary of HHS, no exceptions. I will write a personal check
to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter
planes. The taxpayers won`t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.” My
seat. Turns out that, yes, Price plans to just pay for his lone seat of
his chartered flights, not the entire bill. HHS says he will write a check
for $51,887, out of the reported$400,000 charter flight bill. That`s just
one-eighth the cost of 26 charter flights he kept taking even after
Politico started reporting on his private jet expenses.
And tonight, things just got even worse for Secretary Price. Politico
reporting that the White House approved the use of military aircraft for
multi-national trips by Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia
in the summer at the cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. The overseas
trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of price`s travels to more than $1
million since May, according to Politico review. Politico Healthcare
Reporter Dan Diamond coauthored that incredible piece of reporting. He
joins me now. $1 million sounds like a lot of money. Is it a lot of money
in context and in comparison, right? That`s the sort of – what`s the
apples to apples here?
DAN DIAMOND, REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, it`s a lot of money in comparison
to what other cabinet secretaries have spent or at least has been reported.
I think Tom Price is well out in front when it comes to his frequent flier
travel. We`ve over the past week, Chris, I`ve talked about it with you,
you`ve covered it quite well. We`ve seen first a report of more than
$50,000 up and down the east coast ballooned to $300,000, then $400,000,
now we`re over $1million in terms of his travel in just four months. And
this is a guy who as a Congressman railed for years about government waste.
But now is using the government for what many would say is wasteful
HAYES: I want to break this down into two parts. Let`s talk about his
apology today. Given that you`ve been reporting going back and forth with
HHS, and they`ve been insisting he`s busy, this is all above-board and it`s
warranted and justified, what did you make of Price`s apology today?
DIAMOND: Well, I would say that it caught us a little by surprise, Chris.
My partner Rachana Pradhan and I have been talking with HHS for a few days
about this specific story. The international travel piece, it`s a little
more nuanced than domestic travel, the White House signed off on it, it`s a
little more clear maybe that a cabinet secretary needs a plane to get to
Africa in a way that they don`t need a commercial or need a private jet to
get to Nashville. But HHS knew the number was going to be big. They went
very quiet on us. And we heard about the apology at the same time as
everyone else. We haven`t actually gotten the confirmation from them that
price is going to pay $52,000. They seem to have told every other news
outlet in town except for Politico.
HAYES: Are they sending you a message, do you think? OK, take it off.
I`ll just interpret that. So here`s my question for you. That – it also
was a little misleading I thought when he said taxpayers won`t pay a dime
“for my seat.” And just to be clear here, those flight that is you`ve
reported on, they weren`t – they weren`t chartered for someone else and
Tom Price was like, hey, can I get a ride? They were chartered, the whole
plane, so that Tom Price could go to a place, right?
DIAMOND: They weren`t chartered for his 25-year-old Press Secretary or
body man. Those planes wouldn`t have taken off if not for Tom Price and
HHS saying that he needed them. And all week, even this morning, Chris, I
was being told by HHS these were necessary, these were defensible, and
something changed to the point where he felt the need to not only apologize
but very carefully apologize, but say that he would pay 11 percent,
roughly, of the total cost of his domestic travel. I haven`t heard
anything on the international travel yet. Though again, a little more
nuanced, other cabinet secretaries take these planes too. It`s just he was
taking them, again, Berlin to Geneva, Beijing, and Tokyo, these are cities
where there are lots of commercial options for a lot less.
HAYES: I want to play one clip of the President who sort of jokingly
threatened to fire Tom Price if ObamaCare repeal went down. I want you to
look at that clip and give your sense of where his job security is, take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He better get him. Oh, he better – otherwise I`ll say, Tom,
you`re fired! I`ll get somebody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What`s his job security situation at this – at this moment?
DIAMOND: He`s in – he`s in hot water. My colleagues, Josh Dawsey, Andrew
Restuccia have reported quite carefully about how annoyed the White House
is with this story for a couple reasons. First, it`s impossible to defend
when it comes to the domestic travel. Second, there are some communication
miscues between HHS and the White House. HHS has thought this would be
essentially a one-day story, it has turned into much more than that. So
while the White House has been more defensive or more willing to defend on
the international piece, the domestic travel in just the sheer total, $1
million plus is a lot for anyone, especially a cabinet secretary who`s only
been in office for a handful of months.
HAYES: More than the total of suggested budget cuts the travel budget of
HHS suggested by Tom Price himself, I would note. Dan Diamond, fantastic
reporting, again, many thanks.
DIAMOND: Thanks to Rachana Pradhan too. Thank you.
HAYES: Former Watergate Prosecutor Jill Banks has seen firsthand the
limits of government abuse and she joins me now. You were at DOD, I
believe you`re General Counsel there. What do you make of this incredible
bill that Tom Price has racked up?
JILL WINE BANKS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It`s interesting that the White House
approved it but it`s something that would have never been approved in most
administrations. I would have never thought of taking a military flight or
a charter flight when at commercial option was available at a cost
reduction. The money should be spent on protecting the health and human
services that the Department offers, not on flying the secretary even to
HAYES: What do you make of the offer to sort of reimburse for 11 percent
of the total cost of those domestic travel flights, after defending them as
BANKS: I would say it`s too little and too late. The cost of the flight
is not the cost of his seat. The sum costs are the pilot, the gas, use of
the plane, and it doesn`t matter whether the pilot flies one person or ten.
And he can`t pay for just one person when the entire airplane went
somewhere. So that isn`t, to me, a very acceptable offer. He ought to
reimburse for the full price of what he paid, particularly on the domestic
flights where he did not have White House approval. And the White House
should be held accountable for its approving the international flights.
HAYES: Yes, we should note there`s some distinctions in the international
flights and that some of the places are areas that it`s difficult and long
to reach through commercial travel, some destinations in Africa, some of
them not difficult, for instance, Berlin. Places like that where
commercial air travel works fine. Right?
BANKS: Yes. That would be true. But even to – there`s none of the
places I saw listed are places you could not go commercially. And yes, the
Secretary is a busy and important person and deserves to have some ability
to work while he`s flying. I agree to all that. But I think this has
gotten at $1 million to be totally excessive and unacceptable.
HAYES: All right, former Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, also the
General Counsel of the DOD, thank you very much.
Still to come, new details on the scope of the Russian-bought propaganda on
Facebook and Twitter and how the Russian troll farms haven`t slowed down a
bit. That story next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: I wish I could tell you that we`re going
to be able to stop all interference, but that just wouldn`t be realistic.
There will always be bad actors in the world and we can`t prevent all
governments from all interference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`re getting a clearer picture of the scope of Russian social
media propaganda efforts in the last election. Today, Twitter told
Congressional investigators it has shut down 201 accounts that were tied to
the same Russian operatives who posted thousands of political ads on
Facebook. Facebook having previously reveal that it had identified more
than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issued purchased by a
shadowy Russian company link them to the Kremlin. Now Facebook shut down
470 Russia-linked accounts that have purchased those ads and is turning
them over to Congress. The shuttered pages were generating content like
this from the Facebook page Secured Orders which masqueraded as an American
Another Kremlin-linked page Being Patriotic promoted pro-Trump rallies
during the campaign. Another Heart of Texas tried to generate support for
the state to secede and sought to organize anti-Clinton rallies across
Texas. And then there`s United Muslims of America which the Daily Beast
reported was neither united Muslim nor American, where Russians pushed
means that claimed Hillary Clinton admitted the U.S. created and funded and
armed al-Qaeda. And here`s the thing, there`s still at it. The fake tweet
supposedly from Boston ANTIFA, which actually came from Vladivostok, Russia
right after this.
HAYES: On Tuesday, there was a tweet sent out purporting to come from
Boston ANTIFA in support of more gender inclusivity with NFL fans, which
including the hashtag #takeaknee. Only the folks behind the post, as
Naveed Jamali pointed out, forgot to remove the geotag revealing that it
had originated in Vladivostok, Russia.
This is not an isolated case. The Russians who use social media to boost
Donald Trump during the campaign did not stop after election day.
According to the New York Times, researchers have been publicly tracking
600 Twitter accounts they have linked to Russian influenc operations, which
lately have been pushing opposing messages on the NFL and the national
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD, (R) OKLAHOMA: We`ve watched even this weekend the
Russians and their troll farms and their internet folks start hash tagging
out #takeaknee and also hash tagging out #boycottnfl. They were taking
both sides of the argument this past weekend and pushing them out from
their troll farms as much as they could to try to just raise the noise
level in America and to make a big issue seem like an even bigger issue as
they`re trying to push divisiveness in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, form FBI double agent and MSNBC intelligence
analyst Naveed Jamali, author of How to Catch a Russian Spy, and MSNBC
terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance, author of “The Plot to Hack America.”
So, we`re getting a clearer picture, or the beginnings of a clearer
picture, of this part of what the
Russians have been up to in American politics. What are your sort of big
takeaways from what we`re
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, the biggest takeaway is that
the Russians have completely weaponized the internet, and they certainly
have used Twitter with great
effectiveness. I know the Senate intelligence committee is just starting
to take a look at Twitter and their ads during the campaign. I can
personally tell you there were thousands of Russian Twitter bots putting
out the exact same data every day. And it was no surprise that the
#takeaknee hash tag was being used as well as #boycottnfl, but they weren`t
putting out different messages. They were using an anti-NFL, anti-take a
knee stance even when they were using the take a knee hash tag.
So all they were doing right there was harnessing our campaign and the
information that was going out about the opposition to the anthem and
weaponizing that for their own purposes, not to create chaos, but to
actually push one side of that argument, which was the pro-Trump side.
HAYES: Naveed, I know you`ve worked in tech as well along with the work
that you`ve done at the FBI. And there`s some sense, I think that I can`t
tell whether folks like Twitter or Facebook are essentially being obscuring
what they know, or they don`t actually know what their own platform is
NAVEED JAMALI, FORMER FBI DOUBLE AGENT: Well, that`s a great question.
And it`s a great point, Chris. I think that what we`re relying on is for-
profit corporations to essentially self-regulate. That`s what we`re asking
for. I mean, Facebook and Twitter are not necessarily in the business of
stopping a foreign intelligence service, that`s the short of it.
Now, there are clearly things that both can do. You saw the change with
Facebook. Facebook essentially moved away from anonymous accounts.
Everyone should have two factor authentication on their account.
When it comes to Twitter, there`s a mismatch here, there`s a problem where
essentially it`s easy to register for an account. You can do an anonymous
account. You don`t have to use a phone number, which anyone in the
intelligence community can tell you is a big part of this. If you actually
have a phone number tied to an account, it makes it harder to replicate.
You can only use one phone number per account.
These are things that clearly – they`re not – Twitter`s not motivated to
do that, because they want a higher user base, because impacts their bottom
line, which impacts their corporation.
So, this is the problem here is that we need to look – as Malcolm is
saying, the Russians are here. They`re going to continue to use. And we
need – as I said back in April to HiPC, there needs to be a reboot of our
HAYES: Malcolm, you use a word effective. And I want to sort of play
devil`s advocate on that, or express my own skepticism, frankly – it`s not
devil`s advocate, which is, you know, I`m looking at these things, $100,000
spent on Facebook ads, $175,000 spent on some Twitter ads. Those are
relatively big numbers in the world of digital ad buys. But in the scope
of the American conversation, they`re tiny. I mean, I guess my question
is, it`s very clear that the Russians are doing this and have an intent to
use it in some way, but I`m not sold that it`s particularly effective given
just the vast ocean of content that is sort of circulating around in the
NANCE: Well, I would challenge that. I think that the Russians to a
certain extent, if you look at the Twitter buy they`re now finding out was
around $260,000. If you were to translate that effectiveness just within
the ocean that was the pro-Trump world, they were pretty much the salt in
the ocean. That was an enormous buy. And that buy translates, could
possibly translate, to the equivalence of $100 million, $500 million in
But you have to understand, on Facebook, Facebook is the largest social
media platform. And there were these small hubs of followers who were out
there propagating this information. But they were getting their leads
coming from these Russian bots who were making up these images and ads that
were patently pro-Trump. And these people were taking them and propagating
them for them.
We call this marionetting, because they were manipulating these people,
real humans in the
Inited States, through these fake bots coming from a foreign intelligence
agency`s propaganda warfare divisions. That`s significant. And it can`t
Twitter has done a good job and Facebook has done a good job of going after
ISIS media. Now foreign intelligence services actively doing propaganda,
they`re going to have to treat them like ISIS propaganda.
HAYES: Naveed, quickly, do you think what we see right now is the tip of
the iceberg? Is the scope of this as we learn more going to be revealed to
be far larger than just the part that we`ve seen?
JAMALI: Absolutely. I mean, $100,000 for an intelligence operation is
measured in minutes. It`s nothing. The Russians clearly put – we have to
look at this bigger. The intent of the Russian operation here was not to
go after anything other than our democracy. And they did it both in the
United States, they did it in Germany, and they did it France.
And when you start thinking about the scope of that, you realize that
$100,000 is less than a percent, so it`s a bigger operation here.
HAYES: All right, Naveed Jamali and Malcolm Nance, thank you both for
being here tonight.
Coming up, the White House has launched a probe of private email use by
Jared Kushner and others, that breaking story ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Republicans have been trying to kill the estate
tax for years, and for years they`ve been disingenuously claiming that
you`ve got to kill it for the farmers. And Donald Trump is pushing the old
line like we`ve never heard it before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer, we
are finally ending the crushing, the horrible, the unfair estate tax, or as
it is often referred to, the death tax.
The farmers in particular are affected. They have wonderful farms, but
they can`t pay the tax, so they have to sell the farm so that death tax is
a disaster for this country and a disaster for so many small businesses and
We will protect our farmers, our ranchers, and our small businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s a good line, and also patently false. The USDA says the
number of farms that would owe estate tax is less than .5 percent.
Now, there is one farmer`s family who would definitely benefit from the
repeal of that tax.
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will
protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-
I`m doing the right thing, and it`s not good for me, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Donald Trump selling his tax plan as a boost to the middle class
and says he`s calling for the repeal of the estate tax not because it would
help him, because it would massively help
America`s farmers and small businesses.
Not true. The tax policy center noted that only an estimated 80, the total
number, small farms and closely held businesses will pay any estate tax in
On the other hand, the Trump family would almost certainly benefit
massively if the tax were to go away.
Last year, Donald Trump himself claimed a net worth of more than $10
billion. If that`s true, with a top rate of about 40%, abolishing the
estate tax could save Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, Tiffany and Barron literally
HAYES: Eight days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Press
Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a tweet the president waived
the Jones Act which would lift shipping restrictions in and out of ports of
the U.S. territory and aide in relief efforts.
Up until today, the administration insisted it would not waive the Jones
Act like it did for the people of Houston after Hurricane Harvey and
Florida after Hurricane Irma, but Tom Bossert, the administration`s
Homeland Security Adviser said this afternoon he would have kept the Jones
Act in place himself.
Bossert also pushed back on the criticism that the federal response has
been slow, appearing to suggest the situation in Puerto Rico eight days ago
did not warrant the military.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why has it taken eight days to get a three star general
on the ground to start organizing this? We know the island situation, etc.
But why eight days?
TOM BOSSERT, HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: It didn`t require a three star
general eight days ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A short time after that exchange, NBC`S News National Security
Reporter Ken Delaney tweeted that U.S. officials privately acknowledged the
Trump administration was too slow to involve the military in Puerto Rico
Up next, breaking news from the White House. A new e-mail investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In regards to the private e-mails that have gone out,
has the president his staff on that? Is he concerned about them using
private e-mails for public business?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The White House has
been clear and instructs all staff to fully comply with Presidential
Records Acts. All staff has been briefed on the need to preserve those
records and will continue to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the wake of reports that senior members of the president`s team,
daughter and son-in-law have used private emails to conduct official
business, the White House is taking pains to assure the public the staff
haven`t broken federal record laws.
But it turns out that`s not all they are doing. Politico reports tonight
the White House has launched an internal probe of private e-mail use,
pulling batches of emails from the White House server to and from private
accounts of senior aids.
The reporter who broke that story, Josh Dawsey of Politico joins me now by
phone and Josh, what do we know about what they are doing in the White
JOSH DAWSEY, POLITICO: Sure. We know in recent days, White House lawyers
have started pulling batches of e-mails from the server that are to and
from White House officials, particularly those who are believed to have
used private e-mail accounts.
The revelation that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were using them, along
with Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus and Gary Cohn, among others, using the
private e-mail accounts, has rattled the White House counsel`s office by
all regards and a number of other senior aids.
And the office is trying to make sure that they are compliant with the
document request from Capital Hill, Special Council Bob Mueller, and they
are compliant with the Presidential Records Act.
So we know that aids inside the White House have begun pulling batches of
emails out of these accounts to figure out what is in them, how wide spread
is this and is there anything that poses a particular vulnerability for the
President of the White House.
HAYES: There was a report earlier today that Kushner had not told the
Senate Intelligence Committee when he testified before about his private e-
DAWSEY: Right. the committee sent a bipartisan letter to Jared Kushner`s
lawyer saying that they were concerned that he had not disclosed this e-
mail account. They wanted to know if any relevant documents were on this
email account and they also wanted to know if he was using any other
messaging apps or private services to communicate and if so, what those
were and they want to see the documents, as well.
His lawyer responded saying that there was nothing on the private e-mail
account relative to the
investigation and that`s why they didn`t disclose it. It`s unclear where
this goes from here.
HAYES: Alright, Josh Dawsey, thanks.
Let`s bring in MSNBC`s Sam Seder, host of The Majority Report pod cast.
I don`t care much personally about whether Jared Kushner was using private
e-mail or not, as long as he`s compliant with the Presidential Records Act
and obviously not hiding things from a legal inquiry.
But it is just astounding based on the campaign they were in.
SAM SEDER, THE MAJORITY REPORT: It really is astounding. Look, I fully
believe that they came in. They have been incompetent since day one, that
incompetence could explain this.
They certainly didn`t comply with ethics requirements and waivers. There
seems to be a host of things that went out the window.
But the campaign, the percentage of the campaign that was founded upon the
idea of e-mails –
HAYES: The primary argument against Hillary Clinton –
SEDER: Was that she should be locked up.
The campaign was very aggressive about this.
You know, on one level, I don`t want to be in any way surprised by this
level of hypocrisy and
on another level it is stunning.
HAYES: There is more of a through line here, though, which is this basic
posture of the entire administration which is the rules don`t apply to us.
Which was of course the case they prosecuted against Hillary Clinton. That
to me is what`s so remarkable. The case against Hillary Clinton was, she
thinks the rules don`t apply to her. Whether it was what the Clinton
Foundation was doing, what the emails – a lot of, but that was the case.
And here you have an administration that is – apparently everyone is using
private e-mail. Whose cabinet secretaries are running up million dollar jet
SEDER: I heard. While you were on air, there was a third doing the same
HAYES: With private jets, charter jets to domestic locations.
SEDER: I don`t know the details. It literally just broke moments ago.
There is a culture, I think, in this administration that is the rules don`t
apply to us, and it sort
of runs contrary to the theme that they have been espousing.
The amazing thing is, I`m not convinced that this information is actually
making it to the people
who bought that notion. They weren`t elites and that they didn`t proceed
themselves above the law. Because you can turn to rival networks right now
and I can assure you they are not covering any of
HAYES: Well, let me say this. The Tom Price story, I think, reaches
outside. The Tom Price story will get to people and I think the reason that
Tom Price would be fired by the President of the United States is precisely
because it does.
Because for all the rule breaking, I think there is a difference between
what they expect of Trump and the people around him, and I think for that
reason, my prediction, and I don`t like to make predictions, is that he
will saw that limb off.
SEDER: I`ll add to the prediction that Tom Price goes from one of the, you
know, one of the anti establishment to immediately part of the
establishment. One of –
HAYES: In terms of the way he`s represented by –
SEDER: Exactly. Trump just cut loose another member of the establishment,
and now he can
finally get the health care reform that he wants. This is the way they
And people have to remember it`s not just Fox News, it`s not just Sinclair
Media, it`s still Talk Radio, you have the Talk Radio president. There are
millions upon millions of Americans out there
who are living with one very ideological media in varied forms and that`s
all they hear and it`s a completely different story than the rest of the
HAYES: Alright, Sam Seder. Thank you.
SEDER: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening.
The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good Evening, Rachel.
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