Trump urges VA nominee to fight on. TRANSCRIPT: 04/24/2018. All In with Chris Hayes
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: April 24, 2018
Guest: Sherrod Brown, Mimi Rocah, David Ignatius, Elie Mystal
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Some just split. If you can`t make judgments
about who to hire, how does he make judgments about Vladimir Putin or Kim
Jong-un? We`ve already answered that question, haven`t we? That`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes
starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said to Dr. Jackson, what
do you need it for?
HAYES: President Trump suggests the man he picked to head the V.A. should
TRUMP: I really don`t think personally he should do it.
HAYES: As questions swirl about Ronny Jackson`s past.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying those are categorically untrue?
RONNY JACKSON, NOMINEE, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: I`m saying I`m looking
forward to the hearings.
HAYES: What it says about how Trump is picking his best people.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The cabinet is turning
into a sad game of musical chairs.
HAYES: Then –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what about Michael Cohen, are you
considering a pardon for Michael Cohen?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s go.
TRUMP: Stupid question.
HAYES: The latest on the Michael Cohen investigation and what role Jeff
Sessions is playing. Plus, we now know Mueller`s team sought evidence from
the Trump Tower meeting when they raided Manafort`s home.
TRUMP: I think that`s pretty tough stuff.
HAYES: And –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean he had to be in sport but he wasn`t in sport.
HAYES: Meet Mr. Utah. When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. It has been a
remarkable day of news even by the standards of the Trump administration.
Yet another high profile Trump appointee now fully mired in scandal and the
President who earlier today publicly on camera coached his pick to lead the
V.A. to drop out, is now saying he should stick it out and fight. The
White House today alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, President
Trump today heaped praise on his now embattled nominee to lead the
Department of Veteran Affairs, that would be White House Physician Ronny
Jackson. But at the same time, he encouraged Jackson to drop out of
consideration for the V.A. job because Trump said it`s really just not
worth the hassle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I told Admiral Jackson just a little while ago, I said what do you
need this for? This is a vicious group of people that maligned and they do
and I lived through it, we all lived through it, you people are getting
record ratings because of it, so congratulations. But I said, what do you
need it for? He`s an admiral. He`s a great leader and they questioned him
about every little thing. But I told him, I said you know what, Doc,
you`re too fine a person, his son`s a top student at Annapolis. He`s a
high-quality person. I said, what do you need it for? So he`ll – it`s
totally his decision but he`ll be making a decision. But here`s a man who
has just been an extraordinary person. His family, extraordinary success,
great doctor, great everything and he has to listen to the abuse he has to
– I wouldn`t – if I were him, actually, in many ways I`d love to be him.
But the fact is, I wouldn`t do it. I wouldn`t do it. What does he need it
for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren`t thinking nicely
about our country? I really don`t think personally he should do it. But
it`s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. Now Trump tapped Jackson for the job after firing the previous
head of the V.A., you remember, David Shulkin who came on this very show
after his firing and told me that Trump`s political appointees at the
agency had conspired against him because he refused to move quickly to
privatize the V.A. Jackson does not have the sort of resume that would
prepare him to lead the V.A. with its more than 375,000 employees. Before
his nomination, he was most famous for his remarkably rosy assessment of
the President`s health which included references to Trump`s “incredibly
good genes” and the claim with a better diet, Trump could live to be 200
years old. Jackson was supposed to have a confirmation hearing this week
before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee but the hearing was postponed
this morning as reports surfaced concerning allegations of misconduct in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Jackson, can you say anything at all about these
allegations that have come out against you in the last few days?
JACKSON: No, I`ll just say that I was looking forward to the hearing
tomorrow. I`m kind of disappointed that it`s been postponed but I`m
looking forward to get it rescheduled and answering everybody`s questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve seen the allegations, hostile work environment,
allegations about potentially drinking on the job, overprescribing
medications, are you saying those are categorically untrue?
JACKSON: I`m saying I`m looking forward to the hearings so we can sit down
and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the Senator`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Two sources told NBC News that allegations against Jackson include
over prescription of medications as well as workplace environment issues,
although they added that prior internal White House reviews, they found
nothing out of ordinary. Then, appearing on national public radio this
afternoon, Democratic Senator Jon Tester, who`s the Ranking Member of the
Veterans Fairs Committee detailed the allegations.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of prescription drugs are we talking about.
SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: Well, most of them are the ones that make
you want to sleep and then make you wake up. And by the way, we had 20
military folks and retired military folks tell us these stories. These
were – these were doled out on overseas trips where there`s a lot of time
zone changes. In the previous administration, we were told the stories
where he was repeatedly drunk while on duty where his main job was to take
care of the most powerful man in the world. Some of the exact words that
were used by the folks we talked to were abusive toward staff, very
explosive personality, belittles the folks underneath him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: So, Dr. Jackson yet to address those specific allegations that
Republican Senator Jerry Moran said today that Jackson denied allegations
of creating a hostile workplace, and claimed he had “never had a drink
while on duty.” Speaking to NBC News today, Jackson claimed there had
never been an Inspector General report about those allegations but a short
time after he said that, after those comments, the A.P. then reported that
well, actually, a 2012 watchdog report ordered up by Jackson found that
both he and a rival physician exhibited unprofessional behaviors as they
engaged in a power struggle over the White House Medical Unit. According
to Bloomberg News, Jackson decided after meeting with Trump today he will
not withdraw his nomination. Administration source told NBC News Jackson
feels the allegations against him are false and he wants them to — he
wants t0 air them out in a hearing. For more on the controversy
surrounding Dr. Ronny Jackson is Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio,
a Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Senator, do you have
access to the same information that Jon Tester has and what are your
conclusions, have you drawn based on it?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH), SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Yes, I
talked to Senator Tester a number of times since last late last week when
people started coming forward. And as he said, more than 20 people, many
of them active duty, all of them either veterans or active duty have come
forward and told these stories in enough detail that makes it credible. I
mean, these are not – these are people that you know, they`re not willing
to put their names out there yet because they know there`s been – there
can be a vindictive Commander in Chief but these are people who have
credibility, who have worn the country`s uniform, who had no reason at all
to come forward except that they know that the Secretary of the V.A. is
responsible for the health care of 9 million people and 9 million men and
women who have served our country. And that`s a pretty awesome
responsibility. That`s why Senator Tester and I take this vote so
seriously. It`s why when I met with Dr. Jackson, I pushed him really hard
on the whole issue of privatization because every veterans group I talk to
from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, to VFW, to the Legion, the AMVETS,
the, DAV, they all are very concerned about Shulkin`s firing as you showed
in your show, Chris, that he was fired because he pushed back against
privatization. In what position might Jackson take on that when Jackson`s
record clearly is to be very nice to his superiors and his, “equals” and
treat those that he considers inferior in a pretty bad way? So we want to
know more about this. The Republican Chairman is the one that delayed the
meeting so it`s not – the hearing, I mean, President Trump can blame
Democrats like he always does but I would encourage people to come to
sherrodbrown.com and say to President Trump look out for veterans. Don`t
do the bidding of the Koch brothers because that`s what this is all about
in the end.
HAYES: Well, so let me – let me see if I can understand this. I mean,
before these allegations happened, there was a real question about just at
a basic level of resume if Ronny Jackson`s qualified for the position. I
mean, what was – what`s your feeling about that independent of what we`re
BROWN: Well, I don`t – I don`t think we knew. I was – you learn a lot
of leadership training by becoming an admiral in the United States Navy.
However, this is an agency that`s the most complicated one of the two or
three most – agency that`s most complicated to run in the United States
government, so we all had questions Republicans and Democrats alike to see
how the management skills. What I honed in on with him is what are you
going to do when the President – the political people in the White House
push so hard for privatization, do the Koch Brothers bidding? That`s what
they`re all about. To the point that I was going to ask at the hearing,
how hard are you going to fight, are you willing to be fired making that
fight for veterans because I don`t know any veterans organizations or
individual veterans, the hundreds of veterans I talking to pretty regularly
in Ohio, I don`t know of any that think that privatizing the V.A. does
anything except enrich the owners of the new privatized V.A. and compromise
the care of veterans. I mean, that`s why we`re building a whole campaign
including on sherrodbrown.com to say sign this petition and make sure that
we fight against privatization. If Jackson withdraws or we don`t confirm
him, I`m equally concerned about the next one, maybe more qualified, may
not be have a toxic work environment but I`m still concerned that they`re
going to do what every veteran I know doesn`t want and that is to privatize
because that`s coming straight out of the White House.
HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown, I appreciate your time tonight.
For more on what the Ronny Jackson fiasco reveals about how this President
governs, I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor Jennifer Rubin, Conservative
Columnist from the Washington Post, and MSNBC Contributor Sam Seder, Host
of the Majority Report Podcast. Jennifer, this seems part of a larger
pattern. What do you make of it.
JENNIFER RUBIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, you think? You know, you could
throw darts at a board and come up with better people than this. And this
is going on mind you at the same time Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of
the EPA is immersed in scandals. This comes after HHS Secretary Tom Price
was fired. This comes after there have been incidents of misuse of
taxpayer funds by the Treasury Secretary, by the Interior Secretary. This
is pandemic in this administration. And I think there are two problems.
One is President Trump doesn`t have any ethical standards for himself and
that message has clearly gone out. So that his – the people who work for
him don`t feel like they have to behave themselves either. And the second
is that Trump really doesn`t know anything about the government. He
doesn`t know what these people do. He doesn`t know what it takes to be a
good head of the V.A. So he hires people because he like him or because he
says nice things about him or because he says he passed the mental test.
You know this is nonsense. But it has very serious ramifications because
these are real people`s lives. Everyone knows the stories about veterans
dying, waiting in line to get medical services so it`s really an atrocious
abuse of his power to appoint people. And frankly, the Senate for one
should stand up to him and reject this candidate. They are really serious
about going through with him.
HAYES: To Jennifer`s point, this is just a list of a few of the people
that had to step down when prior misconduct or statements that was on. You
got the Chief of External Affair at AmeriCorps, you`ve got the President`s
personal assistant remember who was escorted off the White House. It was a
one day story. Secret Service has escorted him out of the White House. Of
course, you`ve got Rob Porter who was accused by both of the ex-wives of
domestic abuse. So there`s a pattern here. There also, it seems to me,
Sam, you know, the President talks a lot about veterans and how important
they are. What do you – what conclusion can you draw about the importance
of them to him based on this process?
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, look, he has no governing
agenda. And to the extent that we`ve heard one come out of this
administration, deconstruction of the administrative state has been – has
been – and there`s no reason to believe that`s not still operative. And
when you don`t have agenda, if they don`t have a positive agenda that you
want government to do, if you are a member of a party that has had espoused
and still maintains a philosophy that government is an obstacle as opposed
to something a force for good that can do things, the idea of putting
people in who are going to do their job well is not even – it`s not
something that contemplated. They are there to act as a conduit to
privatize, to basically strip the government of its services. I mean, you
see this in agency after agency whether it`s the DOJ which is run fairly
well relatively speaking but still, you have you know, a guy like Sessions
who is essentially pulling back on many of the functions we anticipate for
a DOJ. You see the same thing with the Environmental Protection Agency
which is almost a joke to call it a protection agency at this point. You
see it across the board. And so, this is part of the agenda. The idea of
installing someone who is actually going to operate the V.A. as opposed to
figure out how to dole it out to private interests, we`re operating on two
different planes here when we criticize them for incompetent because we`re
assuming that they have the same agenda that people who actually have a
faith in government do.
HAYES: Right, Josh Marshall at TPM has this phrase dignity race to refer
to the President and here`s Josh Dawsey at Washington Post, Jennifer,
saying this, that Jackson besieged by all sorts of accusations offered to
drop as V.A. nominee this afternoon. Trump said no, to fight. The White
House aides say the nomination has been handled disastrously, allegations
are overblown. Can it be saved? You know, what is Ronny Jackson supposed
to make of this?
RUBIN: Oh my goodness. You know, within the same sentence, Trump
contradicts himself. He certainly sounded like he was telling him to step
down earlier in the day. So Dr. Jackson is entitled to be very confused,
maybe he wants to rethink his analysis of the mental acuity of the
President. But I don`t know if he is serious. This is Trump not wanting
to admit he made a stupid pick, not wanting to admit that this person is
not going to get through. So goodness knows whether tomorrow Trump will
wake up and start tweeting something else or not. But this is exactly why
it`s so dangerous to have a Senate that is so obsequious –
HAYES: Good point.
RUBIN: – so subservient to the President because they don`t act as they
should, which is a check on a president who really doesn`t give a darn
about who he appoints to in some cases as with judges a lifetime
SEDER: And like we saw with Shulkin where he was supposedly calling
Shulkin to fire him and then got off the phone and Shulkin just thought it
was just a normal conversation.
HAYES: He said it on my show the next day. He said I got off, I didn`t
realize that there was anything wronging.
SEDER: He clearly – when he has one to one contact with a person is
afraid to deliver the bad news. And so, he was hoping he would show up at
HAYES: Take the hint.
SEDER: Yes. And he would have heard Trump with Macron and said, look, I
heard what you said. You`re right. I don`t need this. And then Trump
would have been like, I`m really sorry to hear that and that`s it. But he
clearly is afraid to raise it with him when he`s there in person. It`s
HAYES: And Jennifer, to your point, I mean, I think this nomination if
they want to fight this out and forge ahead, this is taking on a lot of
water and they were in very serious trouble of just having it voted down in
RUBIN: Absolutely. And this is not an instances in which ideology
although Sherrod Brown made a passion plea against privatization is going
to be the driving force. It`s going to be basic competency and misconduct.
And this is the problem with getting into Trump`s orbit. A guy who did
have a nice career, people said nice things, you know, had a good career as
a doctor, suddenly is put in a position he is no way qualified to hold and
his life comes part at the seams. This is Trump. Anything he touches as
my good friend Rick Wilson says, dies and this is the problem.
SEDER: I would also add that anybody who makes the sort of I guess
positive choice to join this fiasco, you have to – immediately is suspect
in terms of their judgment at this point. I mean, who is going to follow -
- who is going to follow this fiasco?
HAYES: I will say David Shulkin had a sterling reputation, got unanimously
confirmed to this role before he ended up with his reputation in tatters.
There`s a very strong pattern here. Jennifer Rubin, Sam Seder, great to
have you both. Next, the President snaps at a reporter who dared to ask
him about pardoning Michael Cohen in the Oval Office but he could be
getting some important backup in the New York investigation of his lawyer.
The story of Jeff Sessions and his no-recusal in two minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what about Michael Cohen, are you
considering a pardon for Michael Cohen?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s go.
TRUMP: Stupid question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. The President wasn`t in the mood to answer that but he might
be happy to see this headline from Bloomberg News saying his Attorney
General Jeff Sessions has declined to recuse himself from the investigation
into Michael Cohen. Bloomberg adds Sessions will consider stepping back
from specific questions tied to the probe according to a person familiar
with the matter. To help put this in perspective, I want to bring in Mimi
Rocah, she`s a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern
District of New York which is of course in charge Michael Cohen`s case at
the moment. Good to have you here.
MIMI ROCAH, FORMER ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
NEW YORK: Thanks.
HAYES: So, I guess first the reaction to the source saying that Sessions
has declined to recuse from the entire Michael Cohen case. Is that
surprising or unsurprising?
ROCAH: I think it`s not surprising at this moment and here`s why. Right
now, the Southern District has not identified what statutes – publicly
identified what statutes are you know, being investigated with Cohen.
Cohen knows that was on the search warrant. But in the briefs that they
filed and in court, they`ve actually blacked out what statutes. So nowhere
is it listed that you know, they`re investigating the campaign finance
laws. That would be the basis for recusal right now. The recusal would be
if Sessions, you know, if we know that this investigation is going to
campaign finance violations and Sessions obviously had a major part in the
campaign, then he should recuse himself. He has a little wiggle room right
now I think. You know, the problem with this is that so you know, he`s not
saying I`m not recusing myself forever as I understand it. I mean, I`m
going by the reports. He`s saying right now and I`ll look at it later. So
maybe he`s just buying himself some time. Maybe there`s some wiggle room
but it looks bad. I mean, the point is it looks bad because of what Trump
has said in the past, pressuring and badgering Sessions about recusing him
HAYES: It also feels like you`re possibly inviting the President to lobby
ROCAH: Yes. I mean, it`s going to put Sessions in an unbelievable
uncomfortable position because I mean, Donald Trump, you know, we know he
called Cohen the next day. He`s not going to be able to control himself
from asking sessions what`s going on. The other point I think is worth
making here is you know, now that this is in the Southern District of New
York, I realize this is an extremely high profile unusual you know,
investigation because it was referred from the special counsel. But the
Southern District of New York has high profile cases all the time.
HAYES: Yes, they do.
ROCAH: I mean, WorldCom, Martha Stewart terrorism investigations, there
are certain consultation requirements where you have – for example, they
consulted with the office of enforcement operations on the search warrant.
That`s something you`d have to do anytime you`re seeking a search warrant
for a lawyer. They don`t have to consult with the Attorney General on
really much of anything. Now, again, it`s high profile. They might want
to. He may want to have a some say. But at the end of the day, most of
the calls, in this case, should come from the Southern District of New
York. And if they don`t, that`s a sign to me that`s something`s wrong.
HAYES: Well, that`s interesting. I mean, I guess one thing I`m having a
hard time figuring out is the reporting, in the beginning, was this was
referred out of the investigation, the Mueller investigation because there
were stuff that didn`t have to do with Russia. But now we`ve got some more
information saying that for instance, the Eastern District of Virginia
executed the search warrant on Paul Manafort and maybe that – I guess it
doesn`t have to necessarily be either or, right? That Michael Cohen is
either being investigated for things pertaining to Mueller or something
ROCAH: Well, I mean, it may all lead back to Russia and people have to
asked, you know, I think we`ve talked about the evidence if it is tied to
Russia could be referred back to the special counsel. I think we just
don`t know yet which I think may be part of what`s going on here in terms
of him saying he`s not recusing himself. There`s something here that we`re
not allowed to know yet. I don`t know what that is, right? It`s blacked
out. There`s something going on we aren`t supposed to know.
HAYES: Just to be clear, but you`re saying that Michael Cohen knows.
ROCAH: He should. Well, he knows the statutes, right? So he`s given a
copy of the actual search warrant, the one-page document. He probably
hasn`t seen the affidavit yet is my guess though I don`t know. The
affidavit is likely still under seal. That`s the one with all the meaty
facts. But you know, maybe it`s been unsealed for purposes of them. Maybe
it`s been given to them in a blacked out fashion. I mean, that I just
obviously don`t know. But the search warrant itself is going to lay out
the criminal statutes. It has to do that.
HAYES: That at least he knows.
ROCAH: Yes, yes, so he would know whether it`s – you know, obviously
Sessions knows. But I just think there`s – you know, it almost increases
the mystery to me because well, maybe this isn`t about just campaign
finance, maybe there`s more to the story but it`s not about Russia.
HAYES: Right. It`s all this black box stuff that we`re trying to sort of
figure out based on the – on the sort of publicly observable actions.
Mimi Rocah, thank you for clarifying that.
ROCAH: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, we now know that when FBI agents raided Paul Manafort`s
home, the other person who was raided, they were searching for evidence of
Russian collusion, specifically documents about that very infamous Trump
Tower meeting. That`s just one revelation from a new court filing by the
special counsel. We`ll discuss that right after this break.
HAYES: Robert Mueller just dropped another tantalizing hint about the
investigation into potential collusion between the Trump Campaign and
Russian interference in the 2016 election. Late last night was actually
after we got off the air, Mueller`s team entered three new filings in the
case against the President`s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort who is
facing two criminal trials related to his prior work in Ukraine. In one of
the filings defending a search warrant executed on Manafort`s apartment
last summer, prosecutors revealed the warrant specifically authorized them
to seize “communication records, documents and other files involving any of
the attendees of the June 9th, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower as well as Aras
and Emin Agalarov. For more on this other bread crumbs on Mueller`s latest
filing, I`m joined by Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius whose latest
piece is “We know an awful lot about Manafort and Russia, Trump can`t make
it disappear.” Elie Mystal, Attorney, and Editor of Above the Law Blog and
David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief from Mother Jones, Co-Author of the
bestseller Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin`s War on America and
the Election of Donald Trump. And David Ignatius, I`ll start with you and
your column. What are you driving out in that piece?
DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: I wanted to make a couple
points. First, even if Donald Trump were to fire Special Counsel Robert
Mueller, there is so much evidence that`s already been introduced about
Russian activities involving members of the Trump campaign. You can get
rid of the special counsel, you can`t get rid of the evidence. Second, I
was astonished as I spent many, many weeks looking at this material by the
complete failure of the Trump campaign to even ask questions about the man
they were hiring as Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort who it turns out had
been interviewed by the FBI about his Ukraine activities back in 2014.
This information was known to the FBI, would easily have been obtainable by
anyone from the Trump campaign. That`s one of the things outlined in these
latest court filings from Mueller that you alluded to in the beginning.
HAYES: Elie, in terms of the evidence, some of the stuff we see from last
night`s filing that there`s the application for the warrant was based on a
41-page affidavit describing potential violations of approximately ten
criminal statutes arising from three sets of activities. But the page
describing the affidavit looks like this, totally and completely redacted.
What – so what can you conclude from what we can see?
ELIE MYSTAL, EDITOR, ABOVE THE LAW BLOG: Well, what`s happening right now
is that Manafort`s plan of I shot the sheriff but totally didn`t shoot the
deputy is just completely backfiring right now, OK? Because what Manafort
is doing is saying like, oh, Mueller exceeded his scope by coming after me
on my bank fraud, which I probably did, when he`s supposed to be looking at
Russia which forces Mueller to say no, no, no, we are looking at Russia.
And that`s how the Trump Tower meeting comes back into play.
HAYES: And David, I feel the White House has really been trying to steer
everyone into this sort of – this kind of I shot the sheriff idea, that
like, yes, there might be some stuff in the president`s personal business.
That`s not the Russia stuff. It`s not the main stuff. And do you feel
that`s been an
effective line for them?
CORN: Well, I think what Trump has done, I`m not sure it`s conscious, but
he`s created a straw man by saying there was no collusion, no collusion, by
which he seems to mean that he sat down with Russian agents and decided
which DNC emails to hack himself.
I mean, we have a long list of contacts between the Trump campaign and
Russians, including Manafort. And I commend people to read David
Ignatius`s piece today. We covered this extensively in our book, Michael
Isikoff and myself. But then you also have this happening while the attack
is under way. You know, Trump signaled to the Russians again and again and
again with many different actions that he didn`t mind the Russian attack on
the American election.
And even early when Manafort is hired to be his campaign manager, my
colleague Michael Isikoff, my co-author reports, that he`s in debt $18
million to a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin. Did that cause any
pause on the Trump campaign? None at all. It`s mysterious.
MYSTAL: What I still can`t figure out what Manafort`s end game is here,
Look, saying that the warrant was over broad and the search was bad, that
is a – you`re not even trying if you`re a defense lawyer if you don`t say
the search is bad.
HAYES: Of course, that`s the first thing you do. You move to throw it
MYSTAL: So, they`ve got to say that, right. And that forces Mueller`s
team to say this. Once the judge says no, no, no, the search was good, and
99 percent chance the search was good, once the judge says that Mueller did
not exceed his scope, 99 percent chance Mueller did not exceed his scope,
what`s then? Like is that setting us up for him to finally take a plea
deal or does he actually want to go into open court and have to defend all
of these blacked out lines?
HAYES: What do you think, David Ignatius?
IGNATIUS: Well, I think that it`s absolutely right that Mueller is trying
to squeeze Manafort into a plea deal. They`re throwing everything at him.
You read the indictments in two courts, the superseding indictments, the
degree of detail they have, the corroborating witnesses who have already
made plea agreements. I mean, they have Paul Manafort every which way.
And clearly they`re trying to push him into cooperating. Manafort is
resisting. Every time the president suggests he might end up pardoning
people, that obviously makes it easier to contemplate not making a deal.
But the wealth of evidence that exists, as David Corn was saying earlier,
in this case that`s already been made public is astonishing.
HAYES: David, what do you think of the theory David Ignatius just
mentioned, and David Corn, the theory of the idea of the pardon of Scooter
Libby and floating the pardon as essentailly some kind of communication to
Michael Cohen or to Paul Manafort or both?
CORN: You know, Trump in previous years showed no interest in the Scooter
Libby case. Scooter Libby, important to note, was convicted, prosecuted
successfully, for lying to the FBI and obstructing justice. And now here
comes Trump to say, you know, it doesn`t bother me so much if people lie to
the FBI and obstruct justice to protect people in the White House, which is
what Scooter Libby did.
I mean, it seems to be not a dog whistle but a bullhorn to people that, you
know, I may have your back. But there`s a lot of issues. You still have
to accept guilt if you do this. There are state laws that might not be
reached by a pardon from the president. And I think Manafort`s doing all
he can to stay out of jail for as long as he can.
And you know, is he counting on a pardon? I don`t know, anyone who counts
on Trump for
anything is playing a risky game.
HAYES: Let me ask you a tactical question, Elie, finally here, in the
Manafort filing he omits three categories of items subject to seizure,
right. So, items subject to seizure, the warrants say, it included but
were not liminted to, records falling with 11 specific categories. So,
he`s got eight of those listed, three of of them.
The stuff he`s holding back is that Mueller unilaterally deciding to do
that? And what is the rationale by which you can redact or hold back
MYSTAL: Well, it could just be that he didn`t – that he could have seized
from 11 categories but he only seized from these four categories. I think
that`s the most kind reading, right?
There could be something else. There could be an entire category of thing
that Mueller doesn`t want us to know he`s looking at. And that`s possible.
But I think the most kind reading is that Mueller just included in the
affidavit the categories from which – from which he actually seized things
HAYES: All right, David Ignatius, Elie Mystal, and David Corn, thank you
for joining me.
Still to come, why Democrats are closely watching a special election
tonight in a deeply Republican district. That`s ahead.
And Mitt Romney enjoys some sport. That is tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two
HAYES: Thing One tonight, if there`s one thing we know about Mitt Romney
it`s that he loves to talk sport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, UTAH: I met a guy yesterday.
Seven feet tall. Yeah. Handsome, great big guy, seven feet tall. Name is
Rick Miller, Portland, Oregon. And he started a business. Of course, you
know, it was in basketball, but it wasn`t in basketball. I mean, I figured
he had to be in sport, but he wasn`t in sport.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And that wasn`t a one off. If you search Romney`s 2004 book Turn
Around, you`ll find more than 30 results for the word sport, singular, most
of them in phrases where you would normally write sports.
Romney also likes to engage in sport, like the time he fought heavyweight
Hollyfield in a charity boxing match, looking for the good thre.
He likes to oversee sport, as he did at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics.
And he certainly, definitely likes to watch sport. There he is, cheering
on the Utah Jazz last night in his personalized jersey worn over a button
down shirt, a hometown fan if ever there was one, rooting for the team that
he loves, no, no, not that one. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, the former governor of
Massachusetts, who currently owns houses in three other states, is making
it very clear that Utah is his real home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I
can help bring
Utah`s values and Utah`s lessons to Washington.
Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Utah, the state is called Utah, that`s where he`s running from.
Now Romney has been working overtime to brand himself as Mr. Utah. He
changed his Twitter home location from Massachusetts to Holiday, Utah. He
invited an AP photographer to snap these epic shots of himself just hanging
out, chilling – oh, oh, are you there looking at me? I just happened to
be here in Arches National Park last month.
And just last night he traded in his Boston Celtics fan gear for a Utah
Jazz jersey. When Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook got in foul
trouble with four fouls, well, Mr. Romney showed everyone just how
passionate he is about Utah sport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES SHAW JR.: WRESTLED GUN AWAY FROM SHOOTER: When I first heard the
gunshots, so immediately it was like what`s going on type of feeling. And
then I looked back and I saw
a gentleman near the entrance door of the Waffle House. When I saw the
barrel down, I just saw my opportunity and I attacked. And I took it, and
it worked out for myself. It worked out for myself and others that were
actually in the Waffle House at the same time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On Sunday, James Shaw Jr., the man you see there, rushed the gunman
who had already killed four people at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.
He grabbed the man`s AR-15 and
wrestled it away from him and then threw it over the counter saving
people`s lives who were in that Waffle House. And then, after he had done
that, after he had saved these people`s lives, he started a Go Fund Me
campaign to raise money for the other victims of the shooting. As of this
afternoon, he has already raised more than $100,000. You can see it right
His home state of Tennessee recognized his valor today with a standing
ovation at the state house. Also, a joint house resolution reading in
part, his modest protestations to the contrary, James Shaw Jr. of Nashville
is most decidedly a hero. If a hero is a person noted for courageous acts
of nobility, of character then James Shaw Jr. is a hero twice over, for he
has demonstrated both his courage and character in a manner few would ever
attempt to emulate.
After the break, the Arizona special election that has Republicans worried
a little bit. And the under the radar issue that is driving people to the
polls there and around the country next.
HAYES: Polls will be closing in just less than an hour in the special
election for Arizona`s eighth congressional district. And for Democrats,
the outcome of tonight`s race is perhaps less important than the margin,
where it should be a shoe-in for Republicans, a district that Trump won by
21 points and Romney carried by 25. That does not mean Republicans are
taking things for granted, evidenced despite $1 million they poured into
To get a better idea of what`s happening on the ground, I`m joined now from
Phoenix by New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, whose most recent
piece is called “Hope in Arizona;” and activist Ady Barkan who we first met
during the fight over the Republican push to repeal Obamacare and who just
got back stumping for the Democrat Hiral Tipirneni who is up against the
Republican Debbie Lesko in that district.
And Michelle, let me start with you there in Phoenix, what are you seeing
on the ground?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: I think you are seeing the same thing
that frankly I have seen in Georgia and many other places, this phenomenon
of middle class women who voted, but weren`t particularly politically
engaged, you didn`t know what congressional district they were in woke up
the day after Donald Trump was elected and felt so terrified and degraded
and immediately and kind of spontaneously turned to local politics.
And it`s just this fascinating phenomenon that you see all over the
country. These women for whom activism and organizing has suddenly become
their entire lives, their entire social worlds. And so if – and to be
honest, Hiral Tipirneni is herself one of these women who woke up the day
after the election and thought – you know, was talking to her daughters.
And her daughter said, mom, if not you, who when they were talking about
more women need to run for office.
And so I`m not sure – I think it`s unlikely it`s enough in this district
to push things over the
edge. The district is substantially made up of very conservative white
retirees. But the reason that it`s even close is because you have these
women who night and day are working to turn this state blue.
HAYES: What did you see there, Ady, in terms of what the issue terrain
this is being fought on are?
ADY BARKAN, FOUNTER, THE CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY: I definitely agree
with Michelle. Health care is number one. It`s a bargain in the group
home and talk to voters of the doors. People don`t want their Medicare and
Medicaid to be taken away.
You know I also joined the teaches on the picket lines. I mean, incredible
to see them upsurge mobilization not just for the teachers, but for the
support staff, for other public employees, and for investing in our kids,
even in deep red Arizona, we ever saw (inaudible) we`re underdogs. Maybe
we can`t win, but certainly it portends very good things for November.
HAYES: But Ady just mentioned this, theteacher fight in Arizona, and
that`s something that, yeah, you wrote about. You said on Thursday, public
school teachers in Arizona, among the lowest paid in the country, are
planning to walk out. Well, the walk out and the surprising viability of
Tipirneni`s campaign are manifestations of the explosive activist energy,
particularly among women set off by the catastrophe of Trump`s election.
How much is that – that`s going to be I think the fourth state where
you`ve seen something like this. How much is that teacher walk out playing
on the ground there?
GOLDBERG: You know, it`s very hard to say, because unlike, say, West
Virginia, Arizona is a very racially and socioeconomically stratified
state. And so you do have I think a fair amount of conservative hostility
to the strike. And I think to be honest, teachers don`t know what they`re
walking into. And they`re worried about public opinion, and I was at a
meeting last night where people were
talking about going to canvass their neighborhoods and just knock on doors
and explain to them what the strike is all about.
You know, but – I think we`ve seen across the country that there is fairly
broad support for raising teachers` salaries. And the shortage that
teachers are contending with here are so staggering. I was in a classroom
today with a teacher who makes less than the average baby-sitter in New
York City and who had bought not just her books, but most of the furniture
in the room. I mean, it`s amazing what is – you know, and who had
actually had to quit her second job after she had kids.
And so what these teachers are giving is so astonishing. And I think if
they can communicate
that to people, and communicate to people what it is that they are fighting
for, which is not just
it`s salary increases for themselves but also higher per capita funding for
their kids, they will be able to get the public on their side. The
question is, are they able to get the message out when you have Republicans
out there saying that they`re just greedy puppets of the teachers` unions.
HAYES: Ady, you were very instrumental in the fight against the AHCA and
both attempts to repeal Obamacare. And I wonder, you know, the news cycle
can have a sort of amnesia, right. Like, oh, that happened a while ago.
Does that – has it been your experience voters still remember that, that
that still looms large in voters` minds?
BARKAN: Yeah, I think people are worried about health care, and like why
are they worried about losing it? Because like that was the drum beat all
year long. The Republicans promised that they would continue in 2018.
They continue to promise that they`ll take it away from us next year.
That`s why, you know, I learned through this week, a week ago, the Be a
Hero Fund to urge people like me to stand up, tell their stories, confront
the elected officials who are perpetrating these crimes against us and say
the way we retake our democracy is by telling our stories and demanding
better from our government.
HAYES: You also have been – I know that you have been on the road –
you`ve been doing grass roots organizing in a bunch of places. You were in
Georgia with Stacy Abrams. You have been in other places. Are there sort
of through lines that you are seeing in these local races?
BARKAN: I mean, I see that people are scared of Trump`s assaults on our
democracy. People are looking for leaders who appeal to their humanity and
try to help them build a more dignified life. We are looking to have the
freedom to thrive in this country. And that`s what the Be a Hero Fund is
going to be pushing over the coming year, demanding government policies
that give us all whether it`s a guaranteed good job, or free college
education, or health care, or child care. The freedom as Americans to
And our asking both to go to BeaHeroFund.com and pledge to vote in
November, to get your friends and families to vote, and to really reclaim
democracy, which is under severe threat.
HAYES: Michelle, there is a lot of – if you spend time online – in sort
of press accounts, there is a lot of sort of factualism and fights among
the center left, the Democratic Party, progressives. Does it look that way
in the district you are in, other places you reported on?
GOLDBERG: No, it really doesn`t. And I think that a lot of these newly
minted activists are
only scarcely aware of these kind of factional fights and re-litigating the
2016 election. I mean, obviously, the teacher`s movement is something that
has has significant support – or not significant support, it`s been really
championed by the social democratic wing of the Democratic Party, at the
time one of the groups that`s been really instrumental in supporting the
teacher strike and helping to organize kind of in support of it is a group
called Save our Schools Arizona, which is an outgrowth of
Stronger Together Arizona, which in turn is an outgrowth of Pantsuit
Nation, the pro-Hillary group.
And so, you really see, I think – because – and I think one of the
reasons is because there is something constructive to do. And that`s
something that people who are stuck raging against Trump
on Twitter, and often I include myself in that category, are really
missing, you know. But here there is real work to be done, and that allows
you to kind of sublimate all of the rage and frustration into something
BARKAN: Yeah, I know. I think being in opposition. Oftentimes in life,
the opposition party, but articulating an ambitious agenda that says, yes,
of course we`ll of course, we`ll oppose all of Trump
policies, but here`s where we are for. And that`s what is so exciting
about Bernie and Booker and Gillibrand coming out for the good jobs again.
That we`re starting to articulate a policy that can really win over all
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg and Ady Barkan, thank you both for joining us.
BARKAN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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