All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/6/17 Tillerson’s “moron” quote infuriates the President
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 6, 2017
Guest: Joseph Bernstein, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Goldberg, Lin-Manuel
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you say the alt-right,
HAYES: President Trump`s Steve Bannon and the movement to unite the alt-
TRUMP: These are people that have not been heard for many years and now
they`ve been heard.
HAYES: Tonight, blockbuster new reporting on the man who ran Donald
Trump`s campaign and the plan to court white nationalist. Then, more
fallout from the moron report.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATES, UNITED STATES: Let me tell you what
I`ve learned about this President.
HAYES: As the Rex, Tillerson watch continues. Plus, the smoking gun on
President Trump`s personal sabotage of ObamaCare and my conversation with
Lin-Manuel Miranda on the President.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, AMERICAN COMPOSER: I`ve never seen the President
attack the victims of a natural disaster.
HAYES: On Puerto Rico.
MIRANDA: There are futures on the line.
HAYES: And his new song for relief.
MIRANDA: I was trying to write the catchiest song I ever wrote.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. And if you want to
find out the center of gravity, the Republican Party in the Donald Trump
era, look no further than next week`s value voters summit kicking off a
week today in Washington and headlined by two of the parties leading light,
Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist to the President and current
Breitbart Chairman and Roy Moore, the Republican Senate Candidate in
Now Roy, despite being the Enemy of the establishment of the primary, now
has the full backing of the President, the Vice President, Congressional
Leadership and the Senate GOP`s official political arm, all of this despite
a well-documented record of saying things like, homosexual conduct should
be illegal and only thing I know that the Islamic faith has done in this
country is 9/11. Today, Talking Points Memo reports that one of Moore`s
top backers is an actual honest to goodness secessionist who has argued
that the more Christian self-needs to secede and form a new biblical nation
one run by, and I`m quoting here, “an Anglo-Celtic elite.” That revelation
comes on the heels of a blockbuster report from BuzzFeed exposing how Steve
Bannon and his Breitbart underlings actively smuggled ideas from Nazis and
white nationalists into the mainstream. In one internal e-mail obtained by
BuzzFeed, Bannon shared his thoughts about the mosques where Muslim
citizens worshiped, by the way, they are all factories of hate.
Bannon went on to serve inside the White House as President Trump`s Chief
Strategist, one of his most trusted advisers, pushing policies day in and
out. Things like the President`s Muslim Ban. BuzzFeed has also got its
hand on the video of Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart`s former Check Editor and
Chief Provocateur singing America The Beautiful at a Dallas bar while white
nationalists like Richard Spencer give the Nazi salute. Yiannopoulos says
he couldn`t see the salutes due to his, and I quote, here again, severe
myopia. A bartender saw them, she told the Dallas Observer, she
immediately kicked out the whole group after seeing about 15 arms giving
Nazi salutes during the song. This is the Republican Party in the age of
Donald Trump. It`s just a hop, a skip and a jump from Sieg Heil to the
beating heart of the White House. And those ties help explain the
President`s own allegiances, how he could see this, an angry mob chanting
blood and soil and Jews will not replace us and say this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides, you
had people in this group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures
as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the
taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joseph Bernstein is a Senior Technology Reporter for BuzzFeed who
wrote the explosive expose on Breitbart`s ties to white nationalists.
Phenomenal piece of reporting.
JOSEPH BERNSTEIN, SENIOR TECHNOLOGY REPORTER, BUZZFEED: Thank you.
HAYES: So the mock review that I took away from this is Bannon oversaw an
effort that was extremely strategic and intentional about what it was
doing, which was to kind of cultivate the energy that was emanating from
the nastier parts of the internet and use them to his own purposes.
BERNSTEIN: I think that`s exactly right. And how crazy is that? The guy
who is the Chief Strategist to Donald Trump was overseeing a Web site that
was sort of explicitly courting white nationalists, people who want a
nation just for white people.
HAYES: Like literal – something like, these are explicit. I mean, that`s
what`s so crazy. You to do one checker hop in all of these different parts
of the story. I mean, you even have someone who`s you know, wrote –
writes for American Renaissance which is a sort of a racist publication
explicitly. I think it`s fair to say and you know, in which (INAUDIBLE)
says, Bannon, as you probably know is sympathetic to much of it.
BERNSTEIN: Right. And surely some of that is speculation. I don`t think
Steve Bannon has ever met this guy or even knows who he is. But the point
is, he puts someone in a position of influence and power, Milo Yiannopoulos
who knew exactly who these people were, who cultivated them and who
ultimately put their ideas into Breitbart and into the mainstream.
HAYES: Here`s the distillation of everything to me. The most important
part of this article is that they are – because they are aware of what
they`re doing, they`re constantly dealing with the line and where it is.
Editing at 2016 September Yiannopoulos speech, Marlow, his editor, approved
a joke about shekels but added that you can`t even flirt with OKing gas
chamber tweets asking for such a line to be removed. It`s like shekels
joke, OK, gas chamber no. And that`s not like an accident. They know
exactly what they`re doing.
BERNSTEIN: Yes, and imagine being an editor of like a publication with a
readership of millions who`s like taking a red pen and like, yes shekels,
like, no gas chamber. It`s insane.
HAYES: With the readership of million overseen by the man who would run
President`s campaign and be one of his close advisers in the White House.
BERNSTEIN: It`s disturbing when you put it that way, Chris.
HAYES: Do you connect this – I mean, what I thought about when I read
this and was the President`s comments after Charlottesville – because it
seems like he was doing a kind of parallel thing.
BERNSTEIN: I think my impression from reading these e-mails is that Bannon
and Milo and people of their ilk really see this as two sides. And –
HAYES: That`s right.
BERNSTEIN: I mean, that extend to all of their coverage. And that came
through again and again in the e-mails. And the #War which is what you
know, what he sort of the way he exhorts the troops, you know, engaging war
on Twitter and in the media and in every possible sort of realm of American
HAYES: Yes, it`s interesting that the term they use fellow traveler, and
that`s an appropriation of a sort of left-wing term. And the idea being
that there is a war and there`s only two sides and the Nazis and the
racists are on our side because it`s a popular front against our enemies.
BERNSTEIN: Right. And then, you know, sort of another aspect of that is
Breitbart has this incredibly aggressive PR operation whose sort of entire
job vis a vis Milo was to go to outlets and police their language around
him, you know, as a white nationalist or white supremacist.
HAYES: Yes, they`re – while he`s getting edited about shekel jokes are OK
but other jokes aren`t, and he`s making a password that has like, crystal
mocked references, neither right, neither wrong now is his references now.
You have lawyers going out and be like, how dare you call him.
BERNSTEIN: Yes, that`s exactly right. I mean, that`s hypocrisy.
HAYES: BuzzFeed`s Joe Bernstein who just is one of the best-reported piece
of the year I would say. Thanks for your excellent reporting.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Correspondent for the
Atlantic and author of the new book which is out right now, We Were Eight
Years In Power, An American Tragedy which is a phenomenal read that you
should definitely pick up. You`re – I`m looking at your facial expression
while watching me recounting this. What`s going through your head?
TA-NEHISI COATES, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTIC: I am literally
speechless. I`m not speechless from the fact of learning the information.
I`m speechless that we needed this. And I`m not trying to – the
reporting, which was excellent, needed to be done but is this really
surprising? They are who we thought they were. This accords with
everything else we knew about Donald Trump and everything else we knew
about Steve Bannon. I think there`s a group of people who have tried to
willfully delude themselves about the nature and want to tighten – you
know, have really thin conversations about what is white supremacy and what
is not. I don`t know what else we need. I don`t know if we need Steve
Bannon to actually lynch somebody on the White House lawn to get the
message but it seems pretty clear to me.
HAYES: One of the things that comes through in this article, and I thought
about it in reference to the first white president essay that you published
recently, which is one of the essays that`s collected in the book. Is
their awareness that there is power in the thing they`re cultivating?
COATES: And they`re right. They`re correct.
HAYES: They know there are clicks, there`s audience, there`s energy,
there`s passion, there`s some fuel and that`s part of why they`re going to
it because that`s where the energy is and at the same time they recognize
they`re playing a dangerous game,
HAYES: Which is getting – trying to channel that fuel but make sure that
you can stay disassociated enough for plausible deniability.
COATES: Right. Because there`s you know, another section of Americans,
obviously, some of them within the Republican Party who you know, would be
completely appalled at the explicit you know, alliance with racism and
white supremacists. But it`s been pretty clear. I mean, when e was a
candidate, the President of the United States said of a judge officiating
over his case, he`s a Mexican.
HAYES: He can`t judge me.
COATES: He can`t because he`s a Mexican. You know what I mean? I just
don`t know how more explicit we can get here.
HAYES: You know, one of the things – one of the themes in the essays and
in your writing is about sort of white supremacy and racism in terms of
anti-blackness, specifically the way it was built up. And there`s a whole
sort of political history of the ways in which that played out in crime and
the way we dealt with crack epidemic and really (INAUDIBLE) that and things
like that. What do you make of the fact that blackness is not the primary
target of this kind of politics these days or often if not if it is a
primary, it is along with Muslims and immigrants who are also very much the
COATES: I don`t know how different that is. You know, Al Smith ran for
president and he went, you know, into the – obviously at least white by
our terms. I mean, they burnt crosses. You know, it is always –
HAYES: Because he was Catholic.
COATES: Because he was Catholic. He`s always an anti-semantic element to
white supremacy. You can you know, go back into – you know and find
cartoons from the 19th century just after enslavement and see the simian
images of Irish-Americans equated with black people. That`s not to
diminish you know the fact that – but there`s always been you know, other
folks, other groups that were along with black people in terms of being the
victims and the targets of white supremacy.
HAYES: One of the things that I think of is what`s taboo and what`s not,
right? So the Sieg Heil salute is taboo, right? I mean, I just can`t – I
mean, they get – my favorite part of that story is they get kicked out of
the bar in Dallas.
HAYES: You can`t go around. That`s not – you know, you see that in your
bar, you say get the heck out of my bar, right? Saying is the only good
thing that Islam has done for the country is 9/1 1 or the only thing that
Islam has done is 9/11 or that all Muslim – all mosques are a factory of
hate. That is – the uncomfortable truth is that it decidedly less taboo
in American life.
COATES: it`s acceptable. You know, it`s a different line. And I don`t
know if that has to do with the relationship between, you know, our
criminal acts and history, or is just the holocaust is not on the guilt.
You know, it`s not on the conscience of Americans and so we have a much
easier time finger waving about that as opposed to the proximity of history
with you know, 9/11. So that`s a different thing. People feel for
justified in their bigotry, you know, perhaps. But it`s quite clear that`s
not a line that, you know – there`s no line in terms of, you know,
forbidding folk to use that sort of language.
HAYES: One of the – one of the arguments I think you made is, you know,
the taboos have been knocked away, the subtext has become the text, the
quiet part is said loud in the era of Trump and that`s his power. What do
you make of the people who say I am a never Trumper and I condemn him when
he says about Mexicans and condemn him what he does about Judge Curiel and
condemn him with Charlottesville but I remain a Republican and I`m a
COATES: Well, I applaud the condemnation. I would say it`s a little late.
I don`t think Trump emerged out of nothing. I would ask where these people
were when Barack Obama was forced to hold up his birth certificate. I
would ask where these people were when you know, just hate mongers like Pam
Geller was spewing absolute nonsense about the mosque, and you know, the
9/11 mosque. I would ask where these people were during – when this whole
idea of sharia law was being made some sort of issue. This is built on a
long history. Donald Trump didn`t come out of nowhere.
I mean, I could take it all the way back and say, you know, where were
these people during the day of Willie Horton. Because the Republican Party
has been playing with the fire. There`s some sort of synergy in watching
or some sort of synchronicity in watching how Steve Bannon is sort of
playing, you know, with these haters who are beyond the line and how the
Republican Party has historically played with racism trying to you know, to
saddle right up to the line.
HAYES: And also the way that he stick it against him. In some ways, the
data point I think is interesting. You got Bannon, you got Moore and then
you got the race in Virgina with Ed Gillespie. Now, Ed Gillespie was in
the opposite side. For Roy Moore was the insurgent candidate, and he ran
against Luther Strange and he beat him. Ed Gillespie was the establishment
guy and he was running against the wingnut who is Corey Stewart who is Mr.
Confederate heritage. And Ed Gillespie won and I want to take – this is
the kind of ad that Ed Gillespie is now running as the establishment
Republican candidate. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MS-13 motto is kill, rape, control. This violent
gang has been tied to brutal murders across Virginia. Ralph Northam`s
policy, Northam cast the deciding vote in favor of sanctuary cities that
let illegal immigrants who commit crime back on the streets increasing the
threat of MS-13. Ralph Northam, weak on MS-13, putting Virginia families
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: (INAUDIBLE) control and then you`ve got the President today saying
Rolf Northam who is running for Governor is fighting for – fighting for
the violent MS-13 killer gangs in sanctuary cities, vote Ed Gillespie.
COATES: Yes, it looks really familiar. And the need to place this kind of
racism, this kind of bigotry, this kind of white supremacy solely on the
shoulders of this insurgent alt-right ignores the fight that the table was
prepared you know, over years by the mainstream establishment Republican
HAYES: What about the Democratic Party?
COATES: Well, the Democratic Party has its history too. There`s a long
history which I`ve outlined in my work, you know, certainly going back to
Roosevelt. And so, no one is immune to it. You know what I mean? It`s
just at this moment of politics right now, and have been you know, at least
since the, you know, the civil rights movement. One party, in particular,
has decided to run towards that and decide to extract its energy from that.
That doesn`t make the Democratic Party immune to iniquity.
HAYES: How important – I know that you have – you have a sort of view of
the power of this force, white supremacy and American politics that sort of
has continuity. How important is it for someone who runs a campaign like
this to lose?
COATES: I`m only pausing on the question because I have – and I`m not –
I`m just going to confess that I`m not sure about this because I haven`t
decide – obviously I would like that person to lose. But I`m not sure
whether the problem is that the actual candidate that decides to siphon off
the energy or the fact that the energy is there in the first place.
HAYES: Yes, it`s a good question. Ta-Nehisi Coates, always a pleasure.
COATES: Thanks for having. It`s a pleasure. All right.
HAYES: His new booked called We Were Eight Years In Power, An American
Tragedy. I would absolutely recommend you go caught that. Thanks a lot.
After the break, Rex Tillerson and the man he called a moron. New reports
the Secretary of State is at a breaking point. Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda on
his new song for Puerto Rico and what he says is jaw-dropping about the
President`s reaction to humanitarian crisis there. You do not want to miss
HAYES: From all accounts, it appears that there is now a cold war between
the President and the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. As our own
reporting has shown, Tillerson referred to the President as a moron,
something Tillerson did not specifically deny when he held that last minute
news conference expressing his support calling the President smart. But
today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted once
again that Tillerson`s status is secure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you continue to say the President remains
confident in him as Secretary of State?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: He does. As he said
yesterday, or two days ago, as I said yesterday, nothing has changed
despite what you may read in the media or watch on T.V.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg, a Columnist from the New York Times and joins me
now. What do you make of this?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: I mean, what I make of it is
that he can`t get rid of him because there is basically nobody running this
administration. We have multiple foreign crises, his Chief of Staff John
Kelly would freak out. At the same – and you know, at the same time it`s
a completely untenable relationship. Where I`m torn is that on the one
hand, Tillerson has been in abysmal, near catastrophic Secretary of State.
He`s hollowing out the State Department. He`s eviscerating the foreign
diplomatic corps. But he`s also, I think, you know, I really strongly
agree with him on the important issue of not cavalierly starting a nuclear
war with North Korea.
HAYES: Yes, I`m almost a single issue voter on the no nuclear war. I
think you can put me down on that. Well, right, and I think that what you
point to which I find is sort of frustrating about making sense of all of
this – and again, we`re dealing with all those palace intrigues. NBC
News` reporting I think has held up incredibly well despite the fuse launch
against it, other outlets had confirmed that he did call him a moron.
GOLDBERG: Right. Well, he called him something else moron.
HAYES: Yes, I should probably he called him something else a moron but
it`s also the case that there is also this reputational management
happening from folks like Kelly and Mattis and Tillerson of like we`re the
grownups, we`re standing between the President and chaos. And I`m not
quite sure that I`m sold on that.
GOLDBERG: You know, neither am I. But partly it`s because we haven`t
seen, you know – I mean, we don`t know, right? Could it be worse?
Presumably, it could be even worse. I mean, look at what Trump`s complete
disinterest and incompetence has done to Puerto Rico. And so, you know, I
mean, it does seem like they`re trying to steer him away from military
confrontation with North Korea, possibly trying to steer him away from
escalating tensions with Iran. At the same time, here`s what I think. you
know, there`s been rumors of some kind of suicide pact, right? That if one
of them leaves, they`re all going to leave.
HAYES: There`s been – yes – there`s been reporting to that exactly, more
than rumors. And Washington Examiner and BuzzFeed have both reported
there`s like an access of Mnuchin, Mattis, and Kelly I believe or Tillerson
that – yes.
GOLDBERG: If they do that, I think they need to tell – stand up and tell
the country if they leave that this has to stop. I mean, I understand that
the Republicans are not going to do anything. But when you have someone
like Tennessee Senator Bob Corker saying these officials are the only
things standing between the U.S. and chaos.
HAYES: I think he repeated multiple times on camera.
GOLDBERG: Right. So he understands that this President is not fit, is
endangering us and on one hand, it seems naive asking the Republicans to
try to step and save the country because obviously, they`re not going to.
But I think that if these men who have a said we`re the only thing standing
between you and chaos if they – if they are forced out and chaos is on the
loose, then they should do their patriotic duty –
HAYES: To be public about it is what you`re saying.
GOLDBERG: And demand that somebody – this man should not be there.
HAYES: Right. That if – that is well said. If the rumors are true about
the view that the cabinet secretaries have of their own boss, the Commander
in Chief, if those rumors are true, if they have a suicide pact, if they
view themselves as standing in the way of chaos, that should it ever come
push to shove, they owe it to the public to be explicit and public about
GOLDBERG: Right, exactly. As Bob Corker owes it to if public that to be
explicit about the President who`s party – you know the President and his
party is still protecting.
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg, thank you for your time.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Tonight, the seven-year streak of job growth is over under
President Trump. How the Trump administration is undoing President Obama`s
work in more ways than one after this quick break.
HAYES: When Barack Obama was President, Donald Trump simply did not
believe the federal government`s jobs numbers. In March, the Washington
Post noted 19 different times Trump called those job numbers fake. But
after a strong February jobs report, the President changed his tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the President believe that this jobs report was
accurate and a fair way to measure the economy?
SEAN SPICER, FORMER PRESS SPEAKER, WHITE HOUSE: Yes, I talked to the
President prior to this and he said to quote him clearly. They may have
been phony in the past but it`s very real now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well today we got new jobs numbers and don`t tell the President but
it looks like they might be phony again. This chart shows monthly job
totals dating back to 2008. Here you have jobs lost due to the financial
crisis, first under George W. Bush, and then Barack Obama which he
inherited, and after September 2010, we saw seven straight years of job
growth. The longest streak on record which took place mostly under Obama.
This month Donald Trump broke that streak. The U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in
September versus the 90,000 job increase they have been expected.
Now, here`s the important thing. The job loss can be attributed a large
part if not entirely to the impact of those enormous hurricanes that hit
Texas and Florida last month which is something that I`m sure Donald Trump
would have noted in a measured and responsible way if Hillary Clinton were
President, don`t you think? When we come back, the smoking gun that proves
just how far the President is going to undermine ObamaCare to raise your
premiums. That`s next.
HAYES: When people in Iowa begin to lose their health care, when their
premiums shoot up, they`re going to be told blame ObamaCare. It is
failing. It`s all Obama`s fault. And that would be a lie because we now
know that President Trump personally intervened to stop Iowa`s own efforts
to stabilize its markets and lower prices. The Washington Post reporting
for months officials in Republican control Iowa had sought federal
permission to revitalize their ailing health insurance marketplace. Then
President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the
federal director weighing the application. Trump`s message in late August
was clear, tell Iowa no. I`m joined now by one of the Architects of
ObamaCare, one of the administrators of it early on. Don Berwick, former
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. First I
just want to start with your – from your perch, how anomalous is it for
the President to make a phone call to personally say do not grant a waiver.
DON BERWICK, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
SERVICES: Well, that`s meddling with the proper administrative processes
for granting a waiver. It should be done under the procedures that are
housed in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services. It`s really meddling. It`s technically
wrong. He can`t have the information that the department would have about
what`s truly going on, and it`s a terrible way to make regulations.
HAYES: Did Barack Obama ever do that with you?
BERWICK: Not to my memory. There were policy ideas, you know. Make sure
that people who are at risk were covered. Make sure that the Affordable
Care Act is faithfully implemented. But no, not at the level of an
individual decision about a waiver or a state plan amendment or some of the
procedures that should be housed within the department.
HAYES: What`s remarkable here is you`ve got a Republican state, and it`s
also happened in Oklahoma, a Republican state saying, hey, we`re
Republicans, you guys are Republicans. We`re maybe not crazy about the
Affordable Care Act. You`re not crazy about the Affordable Care Act. But
here`s what we do to here in the state of Iowa, in the state of Oklahoma,
to make sure we smooth things out so premiums don`t go up. And they`re
getting nagged by the White House.
What is the plausible policy reason?
BERWICK: It`s the administrative way to try to shoot down the Affordable
Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has a few problems with it that can be
fixed. This is a very clear one. We know.
We know exactly how to make the exchanges function with proper
administration, but having failed to pass a statute to repeal the
Affordable Care Act, this administration has very systematically using
administrative tools and intervention from the White House to take shots at
it and try to dis-articulate the Affordable Care Act.
It is very threatening.
HAYES: What do you mean by that? Dis-articulate? What do you mean by that?
BERWICK: Piece by piece. In order to properly implement a law like the
Affordable Care Act, you need energy, you need diligence so that the
regulations are properly followed, you need
interpretation of the regulations that honor the spirit of the law. You
need the very fine bureaucracy, the people that really know what they`re
doing to make those interpretations.
It`s possible and it`s happening from the White House to make it more and
more difficult to do
For example, to make these exchanges work, we have to market them. We have
to have well people, for example, sign up. The administration has cut the
funding for marketing the exchanges by 90%. That`s a terrible way to
undercut the success of the exchanges.
They`ve decreased the time that people have to enroll in Medicaid and
Medicare and the open enrollment period by 50%, and they`ve just announced
that they`re going to shut down the enrollment software for 12 hours a week
during the open enrollment period.
This is impeding the proper administration of a law.
HAYES: Alright. Don Berwick, who knows from where he speaks. He was
overseeing this in the earlier days. Thanks for your time tonight.
BERWICK: You`re welcome.
HAYES: Tonight my interview with Lin Manuel Miranda on his new song for
Puerto Rico and why he says the president`s response was the definition of
adding insult to injury.
Plus, Steve Mnuchin`s $800,000 tab in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it was just one week ago that Tom Price resigned
after reports he had wracked up more than a million dollars in private
charter and military jet flights.
But the seven days since Tom Price`s departure have brought the arrival of
new charter jet scandals involving Trump cabinet secretaries.
On Monday, the inspector general of the Interior Department opened up an
investigation into Ryan Zinke`s use of several charter planes on the tax
Politico reporting the office has received numerous complaints about
Zinke`s travel. One $12,000 trip from Las Vegas to his hometown in Montana
and another trip in the Caribbbean.
EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt was already under investigation for his
frequent travel to his home state of Oklahoma, but today the EPA inspector
general announced it was expanding that existing probe to include all of
Pruitt`s travel after recent disclosures that Pruitt had taken at least
four non commercial and military flights, costing taxpayers more than
And then there`s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin. Remember this photo?
Him and his wife stepping off a government jet in Kentucky. Well, we now
know Mnuchin has run up an $800,000 tab on government planes, and that is
Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So we found out last month that Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin
requested a government plane for his honeymoon to Europe this summer, a
request that was later withdrawn.
But even without the honeymoon charter, the Treasury Department Inspector
General now reports that Mnuchin has run up an $800,000 tab for seven
flights on military jets.
The inquiry found that he broke no laws in the use of the military
aircraft, but lamented the loose justification provided for such costly
flights. the infamous kentucky flight
Case in point, the infamous Kentucky flight cost nearly $27,000. Mnuchin`s
team they needed a military plane quote, “In the event that the secretary`s
participation on a call during travel arises.”
The IG`s report also noted this tidbit, while a $434,000 military jet to
Miami in June was approved, the Treasury Department`s travel office sent a
note to Mr. Mnuchin`s assistant that a round trip commercial flight would
cost just $680.
HAYES: It`s been 16 days since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and
remains to this day and at this hour in a state of crisis. Nearly 90% of
the more than 3 million Americans that remain without electricity, almost
half still don`t have access to clean drinking water. P
President Trump`s visit to the island this week was widely criticized as
One of the critics over the weekend before he made the trip was composer,
play write and actor Lin Manuel Miranda. But Lin has done more than
criticize. He`s also raising funds for Move On, and now, through a new
single he wrote and recorded with an all star cast of performers, and that
song and the story behind it, next.
HAYES: That`s the new single out today written by Lin Manuel Miranda,
recorded with a who`s who of Latino singers and entertainers. The song is
part of a relief effort for Puerto Rico which is
still struggling after the destruction of Hurricane Maria more than two
I had the chance to ask Lin Manuel how his family in Puerto Rico is coping
with the state of the island.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, COMPOSER: They`re okay. They`re you know, they`re –
gritted teeth smiles is the way I describe it.
You know, the – I have – I have three cousins who I love more than
anything who are on that island. My uncle and aunt are on that island. I
have another great uncle on that island. One of my cousins was in the D.R.
when it happened and could not go back home and she is staying with us here
with us in New York. Everyone else is down there.
And you know, it`s – what they put on a brave face for us, but at the same
time I also know my
cousin Kevin waited 12 hours in line for gas only to be told he could only
take out $20 worth, which is barely enough to get back home.
Those are the stories that we`re hearing and those are the first hand
accounts we`re hearing on
the island of just – everything is scarce. Water is scarce, food is
scarce, supplies is scarce.
HAYES: And there`s a total lack – I mean, from the people that I`ve been
talking to on the island, or have come back from it, there is this total
lack of normalcy, which is the most important thing to reestablish after
MIRANDA: Absolutely. My cousin, Camilla, who I mentioned is living with us
now. She was studying for the MCATS before this thing. They`re not hosting
the MCATS on Puerto Rico right now. Everyone is trying to stay alive and
stay focused and keep their friends and loved ones alive.
We`re still very much in a crisis.
HAYES: First, tell me how the song came about. How did the set of events
sort of – we saw the hurricane was coming, and then it hit, and then what
MIRANDA: Yeah. I was on vacation. I was on a long planned family reunion
with my wife`s mom`s side of the family. They`re Austrian.
HAYES: In Austria, right?
MIRANDA: Yeah. I was in Austria.
HAYES: I was like, why are you in Austria.
MIRANDA: Yeah, my wife is half Austrian. We were at a big family reunion.
And I experienced what every Puerto Rican who has ties to the island
experienced, which was waiting for landfall, and then a horrible silence.
Some family members are still going through that silence. Many people are
still waiting to hear –
HAYES: So no news in that first period?
MIRANDA: No news. I don`t think I heard from them until the weekend and
the hurricane hit on Wednesday.
But anyway, a couple of things emerged. One, I have really – feel very
helpless as to how to help. Immediately I start writing music. Two, my
Facebook feed and my Twitter feed, with all of my
friends who have family on the island was filled with the names of towns.
My grandmother is there, my son works in San Juan. Has anyone heard
anything? There was a roll call of towns.
So I thought okay, if I could write something that would – we could use to
raise funds, that`s
the lyric. Because anytime a Puerto Rican meets another Puerto Rican, they
go okay, where are you from? And you say your town, because there are 78
towns in Puerto Rico.
And so my task as a song writer immediately became, okay, can I write a
lyric that fits all 78 towns into a pop song, and then the other sort of
component at the same time was I knew that Maria, the name would forever
have this horrible connotation. This was the worst natural disaster in
Puerto Rico`s history. So I began thinking of Maria from West Side Story
because I`m in musical theater and that`s how my brain works.
And so, I kept thinking about the line, “Say it soft and it`s almost like
praying,” and that became the hook.
So my first call was to the Bernstein Estate for permission to use the song
for Hurricane relief.
To their incredible credit within an hour, they said yes. And so I started
writing the song. And then I burned up my Rolodex –
HAYES: An incredible who`s who.
MIRANDA: A who`s who that really was the telephone chain. I mean, I`m
recording with Rita
Moreno and she said is Gloria Estefan on this song? And I go, I don`t have
Gloria Estefan`s phone number. That`s not the thing people have. And she
whips out her phone and Gloria is with us in the studio the next night.
It really was – I mean, from idea to execution, it was about two weeks,
which is an incredible testament to all of the artist involved who all said
yes without having heard the song. They just said yes, we`ll do whatever we
can, and some of them I knew very well. I`ve worked with Jennifer Lopez
before, I`ve of course worked with Rita Moreno and some of whom I cold
called on Twitter or in DMs and everyone just said yes.
HAYES: The 17-year-old was most excited about Fat Joe being on it.
HAYES: I know. My first thought was like, I bet you Lin is like –
MIRANDA: I mean, just incredible and really, you know, stepped up and did
his bit and again, this – one of the most heartbreaking things I read
this weekend, and there is no shortage of heartbreaking things this week,
Chris, was this article.
There was an article in Times, the headline is in Puerto Rico many towns
feel forgotten, and
this song will hopefully raise a lot of money for the much needed
rebuilding that is going to happen. And not just rebuilding, getting out of
crisis mode, but also make sure these towns never feel forgotten again.
HAYES: Forgotten, now you know, there is a sense in which, I think, Puerto
Rico is part of the
United States, but something like 45% of Americans don`t realize Puerto
Ricans are American citizens, and then there is the conduct of the
President of the United States.
I – you and I have known each other a long time. I know you grew up in a
household where your dad was in politics. You are a person that knows about
politics and thinks about politics. If people seen Hamilton, they know
But your public profile is not particularly pointedly political.
MIRANDA: I mainly post audio snippets of my son making up songs and my dog
HAYES: There is also sort of relentless positivity. You`re not like a –
HAYES: You`re not a critic and you`re not an insult monger –
MIRANDA: No – and there are people that do that very well, and I see my
role as, you know,
stay focused, stay aware. Stay engaged. But at the same time, come over
here if you want to see a cute
HAYES: But then it was like I watched the president break you because it
was like he had this outburst, you know, just this outburst. It was
targeted against the San Paul mayor, it was targeted against the Puerto
Rican people who aren`t doing things for themselves, and you had this,
“You`re going straight. No lines for you. Someone will say right this way,
sir, they will clear a path. About the mayor, she`s been working 24/7,
you`ve been golfing. You`re going straight to hell. Fastest golf cart you
There is something arresting about it to me because it is not the way that
you generally are.
MIRANDA: Yeah, that`s the only reason it made news, right?
HAYES: It was the cover of a local tabloid.
MIRANDA: Yeah, I don`t talk like that and at the same time, I`ve never
seen the president attack the victims of a natural disaster. I`ve never
seen a president attack the elected officials on the front line of a
disaster. What other words can you say in the face of this thing?
HAYES: Do you feel like –
MIRANDA: Those weren`t impulsive tweets on my part. They were just all I
HAYES: Do you feel that the president`s response to this has been
insulting to Puerto Rico and
MIRANDA: It`s the definition of adding insult to injury, and at the same
time, it`s – it`s jaw dropping. This has been an unprecedented disaster
and it deserves an unprecedented response with two
other hurricanes that have also ravaged the United States of America.
Puerto Rico is part of the USited States of America and the logistical
challenges mean we need to be more ready when something – not we`re so
surprised at how hard this is turning out to be.
HAYES: And also – to loop back to what you said about your cousin, right,
it`s like you`ve got the supply chain problem and you`ve got a hard time
getting things out. It`s like, well people – so you wait online for 12
hours to get $20 worth of gas that gets you enough to drive back, so, you
know, if you drive a truck, where are you getting that gas from? The
people on the island are prisoners of the conditions of the island.
MIRANDA: And that`s been – that`s the challenge because, you know, what
I`ve seen and the images coming out of the island is nothing but the Puerto
Ricans doing for themselves. It is this – it has been an incredible
effort and anecdotally the stories from my family of everyone sort of
chipping in – and, by the way, I have to say despite this weekend`s tweets
by me, I`ve never believed more in the American people. I mean, go look at
my Twitter feed. It`s kids breaking their piggy banks to donate. It`s
people saying we decided to forgo our vacation and send our vacation money
to Puerto Rico. It`s employers matching employees` funds and donations.
If the response of the government the response of the people. We would be
well on the road to recovery and that`s what we`re hoping for.
HAYES: And there is, you know, Puerto Rico was in dire straights in many
ways before the hurricane hit. You can I have talked about the PROMESA
Act, which was a way of sort of restructuring debt and appointed this
board. It was necessary at the time to get it out of what was…
MIRANDA: Yeah, and did a lot of damage, as well because austerity – you
know, what is austerity to a bunch of kids who are trying to graduate
college, you know, it`s – I spoke up because the thought of lawsuits on
top of the debt looming debt crisis was sort of too much to bear, but at
the same time, the solution is not starving the Puerto Rican people.
And so it`s – this hurricane then comes over and smashes on top of all of
the looming infrastructure.
HAYES: And there is going to have to be – there is going to have to be a
sustained solution from fellow Americans that`s broader than just getting
the grid working.
MIRANDA: Yeah. And we have to be very careful in the recovery that those
same people saying we`ll chip in help and to further – and we can`t go
further into debt. I mean, that`s a huge problem. You can feel them
circling in the air.
HAYES: They have been floating the idea of loans.
MIRANDA: Right. Insane. Insane. Insane. The answer to this is not more
debt. And it`s a humanitarian crisis and we need all hands on deck.
HAYES: Tell me the money goes to the Hispanic Federation.
HAYES: And what is that so people know where their money…
MIRANDA: HispanicFederation.org. And it`s been around for 28 years. I
have a great relationship with them. I worked with them previously after
the shooting tragedy in Orlando when I worked with them before. That was
for the victims of the family. And I – what I like about it – and again,
don`t let the options paralyze you from giving. If UNICEF is your bag,
great. Hispanic Foundation is mine, because I know where the money goes
and they use their money very intelligently. They`re a very well rated
non-for profit. And they work directly with local organizations. They`re
in contact directly with the mayors. So, they go…
HAYES: So, they are sort of key figures. They have been getting what I
feel like the most sort of intense ground eye view. It has often been
through the mayors.
MIRANDA: Absolutely, the mayors who are – I could tell you, the mayor of
Agalpa (ph), he knows his constituents by name. He was my Aunt Jamila`s
classmate. So, it`s that level of connection with your constituents, and
that understanding of where the aid is going and how to get it there.
So, that`s why I work with them. And – but again, there are many options.
I`m not here to yuck anyone`s yum when it comes to giving when it comes to
HAYES: Doing this project, I`ve watched you sort of work on it – you`ve
been working on it basically night and day is my understanding.
What is next after this?
MIRANDA: I can`t think past this. No, I honestly can`t. It`s – every
creative project have is on hold until we get through this crisis until
there is some – until there is power, until there`s electricity, until
there`s food, until there is the feeling that there is calm.
There is not a feeling of calm yet, and that`s the other thing that you
want to encourage this feeling of calm so that there isn`t panic on the
HAYES: You know, Chris Christie – actually I interviewed him sitting
right there a few weeks ago and he was talking about post-Sandy. And he
was just talking about normalcy. And one of the things he said and I`ve
been thinking about this a lot is you`ve just got to get kids – for
instance, kids need to go back to school as soon as possible. That doesn`t
strike me as a thing that`s going to be
happening on the island of Puerto Rico for awhile. And it also strikes me
that the sort of Puerto Rican diaspora in the States and fellow Americans
who are not necessarily familially (ph) connected to the island should be
thinking about how we are – on the mainland – are going to provide for
people that want to leave the island or can`t send their kids to school
there to welcome them in.
MIRANDA: Absolutely. Yeah, no. That`s all future chapters, but they are
all worthy of talking
about and considering because there are – there are futures on the line
and there is a generation – there are generations of people on the island
who deserve the same future as any other American citizen.
HAYES: What`s the song called and where can people find it?
MIRANDA: It`s called “Almost Like Praying.” And it will be available –
it`s available wherever music is. The music goes – the money goes – they
are faster if you buy it, but if you stream it, there is an opportunity to
donate and, you know, it`s spread it far and wide.
HAYES: Almost like praying. Lin, great to see you.
MIRANDA: Great to see you. Thanks.
HAYES: Some of the outlets where you can now buy or stream “Almost Like
Praying” include YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and more.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now
with the winner of not one, but two TV news Emmies last night.
Congratulations. Well deserved, Rachel.
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