Nation reeling from domestic terror. TRANSCRIPT: 10/29/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 29, 2018
Guest: Adam Serwer, Chuck Diamond, Brendan Boyle, Masha Gessen, Ryan
Costello, Nate Silver, Cornell Belcher
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that we as a society are better than this.
HAYES: The mourning and the fear and the anger continue as the President
keeps on attacking.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I called the fake news the
enemy of the people.
HAYES: Tonight Steve Schmidt on America`s moral crisis.
TRUMP: I said maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad
HAYES: And Masha Gessen on the hatred fueling the right here and around
the world. Plus, as the bigoted violence continues, how does this guy
still have a job?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody
Then, Nate Silver on the state of the race eight days out. and what
happened with Jeff
Sessions was confronted by a preacher.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist, I call upon
you to repent.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, the nation is
in mourning and in the midst of a profound moral crisis. It is not the
first time we found ourselves here during the president – presidency of
one Donald Trump but it feels like the worst. There is, of course, the
body count. Eleven people murdered in their sanctuary on Saturday morning
while celebrating at their synagogue in Pittsburgh. Gunned down
authorities say by a man filled with anti-Semitism, hatred, and the worst
ideologies that human beings have ever produced.
Those murders coming just a day after the apprehension of a man authorities
say was driven by his own obsessive hatred to send improvised explosive
devices to those who dare criticize the President. And that coming just
two days after a white man in Kentucky stands accused of killing two black
people in a Kentucky grocery store in an apparent hate crime after he was
unable to get into a predominantly black church nearby.
And in the midst of this moral crisis of yet another wrenching national
record – reckoning over just who we are and who we want to be, the leader
of the political coalition that controls all levels of the federal
government is continuing to stoke the fires of resentment, fear and hatred
that led us to this moment. In Miami today say Cesar Sayoc, of course, the
Trump worshiping Florida man authorities say sent at least 14 bombs to the
President`s critics made his first court appearance. Law enforcement
sources now telling NBC News Sayoc had a list of over 100 potential
Also in court for the first time today the man officials say shouted all
Jews must die before he murdered eleven innocent people in their synagogue.
Robert Bowers showing no emotion as he was charged with 29 felony counts.
The President insists that all of this is entirely unrelated to him,
unrelated to his ceaseless demonization of his critics and perceived
enemies, unrelated to his defense of the white supremacists who chanted
Jews will not replace us in Charlottesville, one of whom drove his car into
a crowd of counter-protesters and murdered 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the
other side that was also very violent.
Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those
people were white supremacist by any stretch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now that rhetoric has really not changed. And even in the wake of
last week`s violence the President and his allies continue to stoke anger,
fear, and suspicion to cultivate dark conspiracy theories about those they
cast as the enemies of the people like the liberal Jewish activist George
Soros with a characterize as an evil puppet master, and the desperate
migrants, women and children that Trump describes as an invading horde, and
the Free Press the President insists over and over is hell-bent on
destroying the real America.
With me now MSNBC Contributor and now former Republican Strategist Steve
Schmidt, Co-Host of the Words Matter podcast which is an apt title. How do
we get here?
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, however, we got here we`re here
and where we are is at an unprecedented place in American history. We have
never had a President of the United States do what this president is doing.
He is stoking a cold civil war in this country and it has turned hot on the
periphery. This man Bowers, what he said was when he went in he said, I
can`t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw the optics, I`m
going in. And he went in to kill Jews. The Jews he believed that were
financing the caravan. The invading army like a Panzer Division that is
threatening the southern border, an army that is rack and riddled with
disease. The same type of rhetoric, the same type of propaganda that you
would have seen in Germany in 1938, the dehumanization, turning people into
What Trump is doing is stoking and inciting for the purposes of political
power the worst amongst us to take action in his name. We have a situation
where but by for the grace of God, the largest mass assassination attempt
in American history was avoided that targeted amongst them two former
Presidents of the United States. Every one of those people was a target of
Donald Trump`s. And this man a fanatic was radicalized by Fox News, by
talk radio, by a right-wing propaganda machine that is as sophisticated as
it has turned deadly.
HAYES: How do you we end up in these situations sometimes of you know,
this false equivalency, this sort of – it`s hard to get your arms around
the asymmetry in American political life at this moment. And I imagine you
have lots of people, you`ve spend a career on Republican politics, right?
How do you communicate about the abnormality of what has formed on the
right at this particular moment? Because people say well, you know, the
left, they`ve got this and that and it`s – sure you know you can
criticize, we criticize Sheldon Adelson, you can – there`s all sorts of
ways to criticize George Soros, there`s all sorts of ways to make your
contentions American politics it`s rough-and-tumble. There`s something
distinct going on the American, right? How do you communicate that to
people that exist on the American life?
SCHMIDT: William F. Buckley`s great contribution to America and to
American conservatism was to kick the crazies out of the conservative
movement. Probably a longer discussion that we have time for tonight but
unfortunately looking back that the word liberal became an epithet because
liberalism, small-l liberalism, right, conservatism is a root branch of it
and the Democratic parties and the Republican parties both liberal parties
compete in the arena of ideas to move the country –
HAYES: Of an open democratic society.
SCHMIDT: – to move the country forward. What we are seeing is the co-
option of the conservative project, the Republican Party in a cult of
personality which is fundamentally unconservative led by Donald Trump that
is authoritarian in nature, that is antithetical to the orthodoxies of the
Republican Party and the conservative movement if they – as they have
existed over the last 40 years but it is something more. It is the
incitement. Imagine, after a bomb was sent to CNN, the President of the
United States goes and says the press the free press, is the enemies of the
people. And then he says the anger in the country is caused by the press
who reports critically of him.
What he is saying to the next sick person on the – on the end of the
transmission is if you take an action, it`s because they deserve it. What
we are seeing just as we saw young, displaced, evil, or sick, or just plain
losers be radicalized by Isis, we are seeing the same thing in the United
States right now, these two losers, these two sick people, these two evil
people, three evil people being radicalized by this right-wing propaganda
industry and that`s exactly what it is.
This whole Caravan in the last week of the election is a giant lie. This
is Trump`s Reichstag fire. It is a lie. And that the United States
military, the most powerful armed force in the world would be deployed at a
brigade-size unit level to the southern border to stop this caravan which
is a thousand miles away and made up of women and children. The
insinuation says filled with terrorists and Middle Easterners. 40 percent
of the country has opted into an alternate reality.
We have to wake up in this country and understand the danger that this
presents to all of us. We can`t put our heads in the sand. Kellyanne
Conway despicably today goes on national television as she said well, this
shooter`s motives were because there`s an anti-religious sentiment. No,
ma`am. The propaganda industry that she commands with the vile president
that she serves abetted by Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart,
and NewsBusters, and Judicial Watch in all the rest them have blood on
their hands for the incitements that they have made that have triggered and
radicalized these crazy people.
It is deliberate in intent. He scapegoats minority populations, he alleges
conspiracies, he creates a sense of shared adverse victimhood positions
himself as the avenger and there is no cost too high so long as it benefits
his narcissism, so long as it benefits him politically.
HAYES: Let me ask you this final question. There`s a memory hole that
keeps happening. Everything you just said there has been echoed in the
past at different moments by Mitt Romney, by Lindsey Graham, by Marco
Rubio, by Rick Perry, I mean on and on. Ben Shapiro wrote about this.
There was times when the – when the confrontation with Trumpism was new to
conservatives were they called it what it was, they saw it for what it was.
And then slowly but surely the (INAUDIBLE) assimilates them. And what I
find so unnerving is that you`ve watched one after another after another no
longer able to muster the obvious clarity of that diagnosis.
SCHMIDT: All of these people we`re happy to stand and assert that they
believed in the American idea and ideal when the American idea and ideal
was not being tested, when it was not under assault, when it was not being
contested. What we see is a crisis of profound cowardice in what I would
argue is the worst generation of political leadership the country may have
ever had. We don`t see very many Teddy Roosevelt Juniors using his
privilege you have to fight to be the first man off the first landing craft
on D-day, to lead the men ashore. We don`t see very much of that in
American life anymore.
The capitulation to this, the cowardice in the face of the evil that we saw
at this past weekend, the willful blindness and ignorance about the threat
that is growing in the question this week isn`t who`s going to keep control
of Congress or get control of Congress, it`s will there be more blood in
this country this week heading to an election and this is what we used to
see around the world in banana republics, in emerging democracies, but not
We don`t settle our political disputes and elections with guns and knives.
We don`t have presidents in this country until now who stoked the American
people to be at each other`s throats. And after two years of this, this is
the deadly consequence. Any Semitic attacks in America rose sixty percent
last year. As was pointed out by a writer in the Atlantic magazine whose
name I can`t recall in the moment, do we have 60 percent more any Semites
or what has happened? Causally, what has happened?
And so when Trump says I`m a Nationalist, white supremacist neo-Nazis,
Klansmen celebrate. They are ecstatic. There are people who say that you
shouldn`t mention the daily storm or on a show like this. But you know
what, not mentioning them on a show like this doesn`t mean they`re not
HAYES: It`s true.
SCHMIDT: They are there and they are emboldened, and they are excited, and
they feel that they have been mainstreamed by this President in his winks
and nods and dog whistles and outright near endorsements. And what a
signal he sends on a day where we see the largest mass killing of Jews in
American history, incited by this propaganda machine where his reasons in
his final tweets are the exact talking points that spew forth in this vile
toxic sewage from talk radio, from the dark corners of the internet, from
Fox News, from Sinclair Broadcasting. It`s exactly the same message. And
anybody who sits there and says that there is not causality between these
events and the incitements is as dishonest as they are blind.
HAYES: Steve Schmidt, thank you very much for being here.
SCHMIDT: My pleasure.
HAYES: With me now for more, hard to follow, MSNBC Contributor Michelle
Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times and Adam Serwer Staff Writer at
the Atlantic whose latest headlined Trump`s Caravan Hysteria Led To This.
And Adam, I wanted to pick up on something that Steve was saying before.
You wrote this, the apparent spark for the worst anti-Semitic massacre in
American history was a racist hoax inflamed by a U.S. President seeking to
help his party win a Midterm Election. There is no political gesture in a
public statement and no alteration rhetoric or behavior that will change
this fact. What do you mean by that?
ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I mean, that this is written in
stone. These people are gone. These people were killed because a crazy
man believed what the President was saying that there was an invasion in
our southern border, you know, from thousands of people who are weeks away,
who will probably – the caravan will probably be much smaller by the time
it gets here if it gets here, and those people will either have an asylum
claim and they`ll be able to stay or they won`t and they`ll be turned away.
There is no national emergency.
The President invented a national emergency in order to scare his base to
the poles and the result was that a crazy person or a person who was
unstable or an ideologue took him seriously and decided to take matters
into his own hands. You`ve heard what Steve said. He said screw your
optics I`m going in, (INAUDIBLE) brings in invaders that kill our people.
You know, the gunman didn`t like the President, he didn`t think Trump was
Trumpy enough that he certainly took his rhetoric on the caravan seriously.
And now we see what the consequences are.
HAYES: We have been here before. I can`t let this even go without
pointing out that we have these –
SERWER: Oh yes, I mean, Andrew Johnson right there.
HAYES: And – but even I mean in American history we have been in these
moments of moral crisis and of course, there have been elections decided my
terrorism in the 1870s, but I will also say in Trump right, I mean we see
Charlottesville. We saw the kidnapping of 2,000 children. These moments
with the country – you see this moment where sort of breaks through and
people like what are we watching happen in this country that we love and
then the sort of ebbing that comes afterwards to me is the most upsetting
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think it`s hard for people to
sustain clarity about just how bad our kind of moral and political crisis
is. You know, people want to return to some sort of equilibrium. They
want to feel normal. They can`t exist in a constant state of you know, of
utter horror. And so it`s like every so often, the blinds drop and you
realize once again where we are and what a kind of civic abattoir we`ve
been plunged into.
And what I think is unique right now is the degree to which Trump has not
only created this big lie about the caravan that has inspired mass murder
but also you know, is now shifting the resources of government to kind of
instantiate his lie. Something that Hannah Arendt wrote in the origins of
totalitarianism is that you know, totalitarian government won`t simply say
that unemployment has been eliminated, they`ll get rid of unemployment
benefits to you know, to kind of make that manifest. And you see that with
him sending the United States army against a non-existent threat. I mean,
that is so shocking even though we`ve lost the capacity to be shocked.
SERWER: You send – you send the army to kill the enemy. That`s what the
army does. The army kills the enemy. So when you send 8,000 troops to the
border to stop thousands of people who actually won`t even be there for
weeks, what you`re saying is these people are the enemy and we may need to
kill them. I mean it`s just – it`s an – it`s a gesture of – and Fox was
practically goading the Homeland Security Secretary to say that they`d
shoot. She said, well, you know, we don`t have any plans to do that right
now but they – I mean the agree to which this thing which is a is a non-
emergency has been inflamed into a national security crisis is truly
frightening. And the degree to which people – people simply do not want
to hear that it`s not a crisis. What they want to do is they want to be
afraid so that the next thing that they do as a result of being afraid,
they can justify to themselves.
HAYES: This meme, is I just wanted to show. This is the murderer or the
alleged murderer in Pittsburgh. This is a meme that he had posted
multiculturalism equals genocide, feminism is somewhat cancer, white lies
matter, Confederate flag, a swastika, a red pill shirt, like that world is
GOLDBERG: Right. You can easily imagine Donald Trump Jr. retweeting that
HAYES: I mean –
GOLDBERG: Right. I mean, it is kind of – the Venn Diagram those two –
HAYES: I think he would not because of the swastika but –
GOLDBERG: OK, except for the swastika right, but the Venn Diagram of the
imagery, the rhetoric, the worldview, I mean it`s almost completely
HAYES: And it is that, Adam, that – the ideology that is pictured in that
image creeps ever closer to the basically the mainstream pipeline of
American two-party politics.
SERWER: Look, I have no doubt that if Trump could, if he could protect
Jewish people from the hatred that is bubbling up that is inspired by his
nativism he would, but he can`t. And he`s not actually going to stop doing
the things that are provoking those feelings even though – even though he
might want to spare Jewish people from the results of that – of that
vitriol but it is what it is. And you know, when you say these things and
you deliberately inflame people to scare them, to frighten them you know,
you bear a degree of responsibility for what they do as a result.
HAYES: I want to end on one note. You were just in Georgia which again
this campaign is so bizarre because this horrendous news, an awful mass
murder, bombings of political enemies, you were just in Georgia. We`re
reporting on the Stacey Abrams campaign. I want to show this image of Will
Ferrell knocking on doors in Georgia because I think it`s a good civic
antidote. Whatever your candidate is, you should go knock on doors, talk
to your neighbors, tell them about politics, whatever you believe. It`s
the opposite of the sort of vile hatred we see. What did you see there?
GOLDBERG: Right. In the Stacey Abrams campaign particularly, I mean, this
sort of – this inflection point that we`re at in this country is very
stark in Georgia because you have this you know, extremely accomplished,
progressive person who`s possibly going to be the first African-American
governor in the United – in the United States history and in a state, in
the old Confederacy, running against a sort of white nationalist candidate
in the Trump mode, right? So there are two paths for this country and you
see you know, Georgia is the nexus of them.
HAYES: On stark display.
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg and Adam Serwer, thank you both for being with me
SERWER: Thanks for having me.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, more on the growing extremism with the United States
and around the world as Pittsburgh recovers from its own strategy at the
hands of right-wing violence. A former rabbi at the Tree of Life joins me
to talk about that next.
HAYES: The Pittsburg community of Squirrel Hill is still reeling from the
hateful violence that ripped apart The Tree of Life Synagogue. Saturday`s
shooting left 11 people dead, fixtures of that community like Bernice and
Sylvan Simon, a married couple known for their kindness, Dr. Jerry
Rabinowitz who helped treat AIDS patients in the 80s, and 97-year-old Rose
Mallinger, the oldest of the victims among others. The White House
announced today the President will visit Pittsburgh tomorrow while the
current rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue says the president is certainly
welcome, a group of progressive Jewish leaders wrote a letter to the
president saying you`re not welcome in Pittsburgh “until you fully denounce
white nationalism, stop targeting, endangering all minorities and cease
your assault on immigrants and refugees.
With me out talk about how his community is beginning to heal tonight,
Rabbi Chuck Diamond who served as a rabbi at Tree of Life for seven years.
And rabbi, first I just want to give my most profound condolences for what
you and the community there has gone through and how are you guys holding
CHUCK DIAMOND, FORMER RABBI, TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE: Well, we have a very
special community here and I`d like to thank you Chris for having me and
for your words of comfort. The response from around the city, from the
Jewish community, and the non-Jewish community, from around the United
States of people wanting to help and from around the world has been
overwhelming and of great comfort to us. The first funerals are tomorrow
and we have to begin the mourning period, the grieving period, and the
comforting period, and then after the seven-day Shiva which we call the
mourning period after the funeral, we have to start rebuilding and looking
out for each other. That`s when the tough times really start.
HAYES: What kind of community is it?
DIAMOND: Well, I grew up here, I have to say, and I`m proud to be a
Pittsburgher. I believe black-and-gold like everyone else. I raised my
kids here. I live near the synagogue. I`ve worked here for a number of
years as a rabbi, so it`s a wonderful community. Pittsburgh is a beautiful
city. I don`t know if you have ever been here –
HAYES: That`s a great town.
DIAMOND: It`s a great town, it`s very friendly, very welcoming, very
supportive of each other. I believe the Islamic Center has raised more
than $70,000 already to help these synagogues. Money is pouring in from
all over. People gathered at all hours of the day at the corner placing
flowers and crane. It really is a beautiful community.
HAYES: You know, there`s been a lot of talk about American Jews looking at
this moment and feeling shaken by it obviously the long history of the
Jewish Diaspora throughout the world here, violence, pogroms, Holocaust,
etcetera. There`s a special and deep and profound historical resonance to
what happened in that sanctuary on Saturday morning. What are your
thoughts on that?
DIAMOND: Well, certainly. You know, the life of the Jewish people and the
rise of anti-Semitism that we see around the country that people are more
emboldened by the rhetoric that`s around. You know, there was a gentleman
who was usually there at that time who happened to be a few minutes late.
He`s 80 years old and he`s a Holocaust survivor and that`s sort of that
imagery when he arrives at the synagogue and there`s gunfire, it`s a sad –
it`s a sad state.
HAYES: There`s – the President will be coming tomorrow. I know that the
current rabbi welcomes him and I understand. Obviously, it`s the President
of the United States and he`s coming to pay his respects. There are other
Jewish leaders who want him to more hoarsely denounce some of the rhetoric.
What are your thoughts?
DIAMOND: Well, I`ve been asked this question all day and I agree with the
mayor who was on. He`s a great mayor, Mayor Peduto. Please Mr. President,
if you`re watching this, wait a week. Come next week. The focus this week
is on the funerals. The focus needs to be on honoring the victims and
taking care of the families of the victims and giving the community a
chance to heal. Any president who would come at this time would be a huge
distraction and probably even more so because of the strong feelings on
both sides about our presidents. So like Rabbi Meyers from Tree of Life, I
would just urge – I would welcome the president, but please reconsider and
wait till next week.
HAYES: You know, you mentioned that the Islamic Center raising money and
we`ve seen this sort of remarkable solidarity from different faith
traditions, from secular people, from all kinds of people, and we know that
the shooter targeted the synagogue in part because of the work of a Jewish
relief agency working with refugees. How central is it in this moment to
you and your faith to think about the things that bind us together?
DIAMOND: Oh, it`s central to my faith, in my belief system, who I am as a
rabbi and who I am as a human being that some of the things that are going
on that go against our principles and values as Americans, things that
we`ve stood for for years.
You know, look, all Jews, most of their relatives came over to this country
at some point. Many Americans were immigrants at some point. You know, as
I was listening to your show, Chris, I`m thinking we shouldn`t be sending
soldiers down to the border, we should be going down to the border to
welcome these people with open arms. And perhaps that`s where the wall can
be built, a wall of people to stand between the soldiers and these poor
refugees and to protect them and welcome them into our country.
And I wish we were really at that point in our history, because otherwise
bad things happen.
HAYES: Chuck Diamond, we all wish you strength and comfort and grace in
the days ahead. Thank you for joining us.
DIAMOND: And, Chris, I want to thank you and all your colleagues for what
you do. It`s very important, and I appreciate it.
HAYES: That really means a lot. Thank you.
DIAMOND: Thank you.
AYES: Ahead. Masha Gessen on the rise of hate and extremism here and
around the world. She joins me next.
HAYES: United States isn`t the only country lurching dangerously towards
authoritarianism. It is happening all over, indeed. Just yesterday, for
example, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency, a man who
praises the country`s military dictatorship, advocates torture and spouts
homophobia and misogyny among other things. A Harvard professor told The
New York Times, quote, “I can`t think of a more extremist leader in the
history of democratic elections in Latin America who has been elected.”
Now, Donald Trump has not called many of the people in his own country who
received bombs in the mail this month. He did make time for a
congratulatory call to Bolsonaro.
Here to talk about what is going on here in America and beyond, New Yorker
staff writer Masha Gessen, author of the great book “The Future is History:
How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.”
MASHA GESSEN, NEW YORKER: Hi, Chris.
HAYES: You have been thinking about and writing about sort of
retreat and decline in the Russian context, in the American context.
GESSEN: I can become a universalist.
HAYES: Well, it does seem like there is a moment in the world right now
where all of the trends that you put your finger on are on the rise.
GESSEN: Right. And, you know, what we know – and I know people cringe at
this comparison, right, but what we know from the 1930s is that there are
moments in world history when the world seems unstable and the world is
scared of its own future to willingly sort of give itself over to these
kinds of demagogues.
AYES: And what is your theory about this moment and the cultivation of it
in so many different
GESSEN: I don`t have my own theory about this moment. I am familiar with
some other theories. There is the great social psychologist Eric Fromme in
his wonderful book, “Escape From
Freedom,” which is very thin. Anybody can read it. It`s very accessible.
He has this theory that there are times when instability and uncertainty
are so great, and it has a lot to do with displaced people, right? So, in
a sense – you know, Trump`s fixation on migration is not accidental, is
not accidental to this moment.
And, of course, globalization, people`s understanding that they can`t
imagine what work will look like, what the world will look like in their
children`s generation, even in 10 years. That`s so frightening. You know,
the burden of the freedom to invent that future is so huge that people
would rather go back to an imaginary past which is how you get make America
great again and make Brazil great again.
HAYES: And we should say that the context in Brazil is massive refugee
crisis in huge parts of the country because Venezuela. There had
(inaudible) been incredibly politically polarizing issue. We`ve seen huge
moves of people through Europe as the anti-immigrant right has risen there.
I mean, this idea of they`re coming for us, they`re coming for us is sort
of a central note in all this.
GESSEN: And we get so taken with that. And we get so taken with sort of
trying to argue more humane way to thinking about the same thing, which is
them and us, that we forget that we inhabit a world together. And it seems
to leave no room for a different kind of imaging, to imagining that there
couldn`t be a world in which people have – most people have a safe place
HAYES: And, you know, we`re at this moment in the wake of this horrible
mass murder in the synagogue, partly targeted because of the work of HAIS,
which brings every Russian Jew that I know that I`m friends came through
HAIS, that has committed itself to the movement of people in desperate
GESSEN: So, HAIS is an extraordinary organization. It`s – I would say so
because I probably wouldn`t be here if it hadn`t been for HAIS. When I
immigrated to this country in 1981, they were the organization processed
all of our paperwork and they had been doing it since 1881, when the
program began against Jews in the Russian empire.
What is amazing about HAIS is that especially since the 2000s, they really
devoted themselves to helping displaced people all over the world. I don`t
know of another organization whose mission is as pure and clear and morally
solid as HAIS, which in a sense makes it not a surprise that the person we
understand to be the shooter, Robert Bowers, seems to have been obsessed
with them, seems to have been very much sort of part of this rhetoric of
the immigrants are going to take all that belongs to us so they`re the
biggest threat we`ve ever seen.
The HAIS helps refugees, HAIS equals all Jews, I`m going to kill Jews.
HAYES: There is also something deep about the connection between anti-
Semitism, Judaism, the cliche or the stereotype of the rootless – the
rootless Jews are wandering…
GESSEN: The wandering Jew.
HAYES: …that does not have a home, that like the movement of people from
place to place is the threat. And Jews are the center of that threat and
that worldview has been in existence for centuries.
GESSEN: Well, and Jews also have, I think, a special relationship to
immigration. I think every person who was brought up Jewish, whether
secular or religious, has a kind of mythology about being in a safe place
and having to leave when it gets unsafe and looking for another safe place.
But also welcome the stranger, that`s very much part of Jewish story. The
Jewish story is the story of displacement, the story of looking for a safe
haven, but also the story of providing safe haven.
HAYES: Do you think there is a kind of canary in the coal mine aspect to
anti-Jewish sentiment and its connection to these right wing authoritarian
movements. Obviously in Russia that has been part
of the story in the past. I don`t know if it is now.
GESSEN: You know, I think for the purposes of canary in the coal mine,
minorities are almost interchangeable. There is always a way to other
somebody, whether it`s a Jew or a trans-person or another kind of queer
person, or a Roma or just somebody who is from somewhere else.
HAYES: Oh, yeah. In Italy right now they are – the right wing is
targeting the Roma as we speak right now, one of many right wing
governments implementing its ideas in Europe right now.
Masha Gessen, thank you for your time tonight.
GESSEN: Thank you.
HAYES: Amid a surge in right wing nationalist violence. Is there anyplace
in the House of Representatives for a white nationalist congressman? Why
donors are turning away from Steve King next.
HAYES: Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa is is a white
nationalist. I don`t think he`d argue that point with me. In fact, he`s
been on this show and others espousing those views quite openly. In the
wake of this weekend`s horrific anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh, there
is a renewed focus on Steve King. It was building even before the events
of Saturday and a growing call for the Republican Party to do something
Already, the tech company Intel has said it will no longer donate to King`s
campaigns because of his previous statements. That is not likely to hurt
his reelection chances next week, but what about his colleagues in the
House of Representatives, those who do not share his view that white
western civilization is under attack?
There, the pressure is building on Democrats and Republicans to expel Steve
King from congress. Joining me now are at least two of those colleagues,
Democratic congressman Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania and Republican
Congressman Ryan Costello also of Pennsylvania. Good to have you here.
REP. RYAN COSTELLO, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: Great to be here.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. The – let me first start with this, your
reaction to what happened
in your home state this weekend.
REP. BRENDAN BOYLE, (D) PENNSYLVANIA: Well, the same as everyone, just
completely tragic. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in two
different vigils one at a synagogue in Philadelphia and the other in the
suburbs. And I was really struck by the raw emotion of people who I knew
in the crowd. These are my fellow Americans who happen to be Jewish who I
got the sense from a few of them felt threatened in a way that they never
There was a piece Sam Stein wrote that I thought captured their feelings as
well. And to me, as someone who believes in this country that`s probably
one of the most disheartening pieces I`ve ever read.
COSTELLO: I would say in a word, sad. We know we`re in a very politically
toxic environment, but when you start seeing violent actions take the lives
of citizens and you start asking
yourself, how do we get beyond this, it makes you really sad for where we
are as a country.
HAYES: You know, I think about South Carolina and Dylann Roof murdered
those people in that church, and one of the responses was they took the
Confederate flag down from the capital. Now, that Confederate flag didn`t
cause Dylann Roof to kill those people, but it was a way of symbolically
like we want to stand against this ideology.
Keep that in your head.
Should you expel Steve King from congress?
COSTELLO: My answer would be no. He`s going to be – he`s either going to
win or lose an election and the constituents this his district will either
vote him in or vote him out. But when he says something that is
inappropriate, he should be called out for it.
I believe in the past when he has said things that are inappropriate, there
have been public statements made by the speaker. I`ve said in the past,
when he says things that are inappropriate, that I disagree with him or I
take issue with him.
HAYES: But it`s stronger than that, right? I mean, what do you think?
BOYLE: Well, the best way would be to vote him out in eight days.
But let me be clear on this, and I don`t say this lightly or throw around
the racist word or white nationalist. Steve King is by, his own words, a
white nationalist. And I think he is someone who should be unquestionably
repudiated by Speaker Ryan. I have not heard that to date. It certainly
would be comforting, at the very least, if the speaker were to say that
Unfortunately, in the Trump era, there`s been too many people who will say
they`re disappointed, or use some sort of vague words like that and not
actually follow it up with any action.
And I`ll say this, too, my biggest concern is not so much Steve King today,
it`s the Steve Kings of the future. There is a whole group of Republican
aspiring politicians coming up that see the Trump
play script, see the Trump playbook, and they want to follow it.
COSTELLO: Well, and I would add to that, Brendan, that leaving aside the
aspiring Republican political class, I think that for those that are
teenagers and even younger to just be exposed on a daily basis to the kind
of rhetoric and – listen, the biggest threat in the last month was not –
is not the caravan, all right, it`s the IPCC report that came out. And we
start focusing on things that – with these ethnic tinges on them, like, it
will end up in a bad place for our country irrespective of politics.
A respect what you just said. And I think tat that as leaders, as elected
leaders, that`s where I think we all have to be focused because this is a
cultural thing that is generational in its projection, and that`s why we
have to rein it in and speak out.
HAYES: I totally agree with that.
BOYLE: I don`t think there is any disagreement.
HAYES: No, I totally agree. I just want to say, I mean, to me, the thing
about Steve King is – like, here`s the thing, is there a view that you can
have that`s too odious to be a member of the Republican caucus, right?
This is the question. And to me it`s like someone has to draw the line
somewhere. I mean, I think the views he has cross that line.
Now, that`s my humble opinion. And they`re worth what I`m charging you for
it. But Donald Trump is one thing. Put aside Donald Trump. Someone has
to say – it`s not enough to say, well, he said this, he retweeted this
Nazi, then he retweeted this Nazi again, then he praised this other Neo-
Nazi. Then he also said, we can`t replenish our civilization with other
people`s babies. And then he also gave a far-right interview. Yadda,
yadda, we know what he is.
Someone in the Republican Party at the leadership level has to say, like,
this is not acceptable and not what the Republican Party stands for.
COSTELLO: I believe that there have been statements in the past by Speaker
Boehner and by Speaker Ryan. But ultimately, the voters of a congressional
district are going to vote for one candidate
or another. If that candidate gets elected to office, if the new barometer
for whether they can then serve is, well, we didn`t like what you said so
we`re going to expel you. I mean, I don`t think that`s how our
republic works. That doesn`t mean that you don`t repudiate someone when
they speak out of line.
HAYES: Or you recruit someone to primary them and give them lots of money.
BOYLE: By the way, let`s not sleep on the Democrats` chances in that
HAYES: I`m not. JD Shelton has been on the show. He`s been to all 39
BOYLE: I have seen him on the show, even though it is an R+8 or about a 10
point Republican district, I think particularly in this climate, he has a
real chance. And this is an opportunity for Republicans of good
conscience, people who are, say, devoutly pro-life conservatives who don`t
agree with Steve King when it comes to the racism, nationalism stuff, to
take a stand and at least for this election vote for the Democrat.
HAYES: Should they vote against him, Republicans of good conscience?
COSTELLO: I`m not going to tell people who to vote for. But at the same
point in time…
HAYES: You`ve probably done it before. You`re a politician.
COSTELLO: Let me just say this, we got to be careful – I know we don`t
like to do what aboutism, but there have been Democrats in the past that
have said things that are highly offensive. And if we`re going to start
kicking people out of office because we`re going to assert someone is an
HAYES: If someone – believe me, if someone had – if someone had –
whatever the left version of Steve King`s views were on the Democratic
Party, then I think we could talk that. The problem is – I mean, the
facts is there`s no one likes Steve King in the United States congress.
There just isn`t. And he has made that very clear. I mean, that`s where
we are at this moment.
And to me that`s like the question about what lines the Republican Party
are going to draw around what`s accept to believe their brand and what is
COSTELLO: Look, I mean, I just saw what he said today at the top of your
show. My biggest frustration, which he would wear as a badge of honor, is
that we aren`t able to get immigration reform done, which is permanently
provide a solution for DACA, give some border security, fix our visa reform
program and a couple of other in the immigration space, because the most
conservative elements of the Republican Party are unwilling to cut a deal.
And candidly, I get frustrated with the most liberal Democrats because
they`re unwilling to cut
the same deal.
BOYLE: I will say this, not the most disappointing but one of the most
disappointing things about a Steve King type is how little he knows about
American history. He happens to be a Catholic
BOYLE: Ironically. I wish he would learn the history of…
HAYES: He and I have gone back and forth on this. I don`t think I`ve
Congressman Brendan Boyle and Congressman Ryan Costello, thanks for being
BOYLE: Thank you.
COSTELLO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, Nate Silver and Cornell Belcher on the state of the election
just eight days
out. That`s next.
HAYES: With all the ugly rhetoric coming from the president and his
administration, it`s easy to lose sight of the fact that they represent the
views of a minority of Americans. What really matters now is whether the
majority can transfer their values into votes.
Joining me now is Cornell Belcher, MSNBC political analyst and former
pollster for President Obama`s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and Nate Silver,
editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight.
You know, Nate, I was thinking about this piece of public opinion data,
which I always think about in the context of Trump, which is that a record
high, 75 percent of Americans, say immigration is a good thing.
There have been many ways in which there is so much focus on the sort of
culture warring that the president is doing, it loses sight of the fact
that it has produced a very profound and widespread backlash.
NATE SILVER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Which is a long-standing phenomenon in
public opinion, and I think Obama had a recognition of that, that`s why he
was careful about which issues he would push on. So, yeah, whenever the
president gets in power, the public starts to move the other way. They say
I want to counterbalance. I want to counteract maybe what the president is
doing. Obviously, one way you can do that is by voting potentially.
But all the things that Trump stands for, he may shift against him within
three or five years, but we`ll see. I mean, if you can`t translate into it
actually winning elections, then maybe it doesn`t matter that much.
HAYES: Cornell, what do you think about this election eight days from now
and the kind of
existential mood that hangs over it among many people who are watching it
CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: I think they have to vote. I mean,
to your point.
HAYES: Oh, yes.
BELCHER: I mean, to your earlier point, you do have a majority of
Americans on a number of issues that are not where Donald Trump is, and
this current Republican Party. But it is where their base is.
And, look, I think if we have the 2010 or 2014 electorate, Republicans are
going to do very well. If we have a different kind of electorate, I think
Republicans are going to struggle. So those moderate middle of the road
voters, along with young voters who are turning out at less than half the
rate that boomers and the greatest generation voters are turning out at,
they`re allowing them to dictate their future if in fact we can have a
different kind of profound turnout, I think we change this country.
There is like two electorates, one is older, less diverse and afraid of the
changes, fighting against a younger more diverse electorate. And that
older, less diverse electorate is winning in the midterms.
I think there are signs that this could in fact change from the turnout
patterns and the excitement levels you see among younger voters.
HAYES: How much can we glean from whatever data we have now about turnout,
SILVER: I mean, I`m a little skeptical of the early voting data. But what
seems pretty clear from all indicators is that turnout will be very high.
HAYES: Yeah, that`s the one thing that – all the arrows point in the same
SILVER: It might be halfway between almost a midterm turnout and a
presidential year turnout. So, in some ways that makes it tougher for
pollster. They`re making guesses about will these new or irregular voters
show up. And that`s why you have a lot of various in our forecast, right.
We have Democrats having scenarios where they win 55 seats and somewhere
they fail to
take the house at all. And it is a cliche, but, look, only 40 or 45
percent of people who are eligible to vote typically show up for midterms,
maybe there will be 50 percent this year. But if it`s only 50/50 if you`re
going to vote or not, ten it`s not a cliche to say that turnout will
determine everything on November 6.
How nationalized do you think – I mean, one thing I`ve seen, Cornell, is
that like you`re seeing the president. He is going to go to all these
Senate – red Senate seats. They clearly think they can sort of
nationalize the race and get their vote out. I think they`re kind of
throwing in the towel in the House to a certain extent, to the extent they
can control it, because they think that nationalizing the race cuts their
losses. What do you think about that strategy?
BELCHER: I think they need more people. I think if we – listen, as a
pollster, I think one of the things I`m going to caution, as Nate just
talked about is I think a lot of our horse race numbers are going to be
BELCHER: Because we don`t know what the electorate is going to be. We`re
not going to have a typical midterm electorate, and so a lot is going to be
like – in Virginia, you know, we had the governor`s race in an off year,
a tie sort of or a toss-up. And the Democrat won running away because we
didn`t know who the electorate was. I think you`re going see some of that
this time around.
And ultimately, in some of those red states – take Texas for example. We
have no idea what the turnout looks like in Texas. So, you know, Cruz
maybe up two or three points or he may be down three or four points. I
think it`s really, really tough to predict because of the turnout patterns.
HAYES: Yeah, there are going to be some races on Tuesday night, next
Tuesday night where they`re just like – there were big misses. And they
are going to be shocking. And that`s going to be interesting.
Cornell Belcher and Nate Silver, thank you both for joining me.
SILVER: Cool, thank you.
BELCHER: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In in for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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