Trump says nothing will ever satisfy Democrats. TRANSCRIPT: 4/2/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Raja Krishnamoorthi; Olivia Nazzi, Heidi Przybyla, Valerie Jarrett

CHRIS MATTHEWS, ANCHOR, MSNBC:  The Democratic primaries is not the same,

it`s going to the country. And that`s hardball for now. It really is, “All

In” with Chris Hayes starts right now. 


CHRIS HAYES, ANCHOR, MSNBC (voice over):  Tonight on “All In.” 





covered the oranges how it started.  The beginning. 




HAYES (voice over):  The White House gets squirrely on the Mueller report. 




TRUMP:  Take a look at the oranges – the oranges of the investigation. 




HAYES (voice over):  As Democrats demand its full release. 





will never be satisfied.  They`re sore losers. 




HAYES (voice over):  Tonight, the White House stonewalling Congress. 





unprecedented situation here. 




HAYES (voice over) :  Amid the first subpoena votes on the new house





REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK:  Really, what is next putting

nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? 




HAYES (voice over):  Then the administration lies about Puerto Rico. 





$91 billion it was always done in that country. 




HAYES (voice over):  The Mayor of San Juan joins me tonight to respond to

Donald Trump. 




CARMEN YULIN CRUZ (D), MAYOR OF SAN JUAN:  Just when you think he has gone

the lowest, he could go – he still goes lower than that. 




HAYES:  And with a President who lost the popular vote. 




TRUMP:  The Republicans have a tremendous disadvantage in the electoral

college, you know that. 




HAYES (voice over):  The new constitutional amendment to get rid of the

electoral college when “All In” starts right now. 


HAYES (on cam):  Good evening from New York.  I`m Chris Hayes.  Nine days

after Attorney General Bill Barr wrote his famous four-page letter

extensively clearing the President.  The White House has recently started

to get a little more squirrely, a little more weird about the Mueller

report. Remember this from last week? 




TRUMP:  There was no collusion with Russia.  There was no obstruction and

none whatsoever.  And it was a complete and total exoneration. 




HAYES:  But in fact, it was not a complete and total exoneration as

evidenced by the fact that Mueller explicitly said it was not an

exoneration.  But what was a total vindication that everyone should see is

now – it`s time to move on. 




SANDERS:  We know by the actions that we`ve seen from Nadler and other

Democrats in Congress, is that the President`s right, they will never be

satisfied.  They`re sore losers, that some point they have to decide that

they`re ready to move on like the rest of the country. 




HAYES:  Following and intense series of tweets claiming Democrats would

never be satisfied, President Trump complained today, the Mueller report

didn`t look at the quote, oranges of the investigation. 




TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges – the oranges of

the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.  You look at the

origin of the investigation, where it started, how it started, who started

it, whether it`s McCabe or Comey or a lot of them.  Where does it go?  How

high up in the White did it go?  You will all get Pulitzer Prizes, okay,

you can all get Pulitzer Prizes. 


You should have looked at it a long time ago.  And that`s the only thing

that`s disappointing to me about the Mueller report.  The Mueller report, I

wish covered the oranges, how it started – the beginnings of the

investigation, how it started.  It didn`t cover that. 




HAYES:  He couldn`t quite get there with that one word.  But also, does

Trump know for sure the Mueller report doesn`t cover the origins of the

investigation.  He supposedly hasn`t seen it.  Someone brief him on it? 

Anyway, we don`t know what`s in the report. 


It could be even better for the President that anyone can possibly imagine. 

Who knows, possibly maybe, I don`t know. 


But there are some in the White House beginning to doubt that.  New York

Magazine`s Olivia Nuzzi writes, “As the excitement waned `cooler heads`

emerged in the White House a brand-new anxieties about a President inclined

to inflict self-harm by taking things too far.” 


“There will be plenty of unfavorable things about the President in the full

report, which we think will eventually come out, so let`s not go overboard

so there`s no wrongdoing. Let`s move on.  One senior White House official

told me.” 


Meanwhile, today is the deadline that House Democrats have already set for

Bill Barr to turn over the complete Mueller report to Congress, a deadline

he is blowing through.  There`s still a few hours left but Barr himself

said this is unlikely. 


House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says his committee will vote then

tomorrow, on whether to authorize a subpoena for the report.  Just tonight

we have breaking news that four subpoenas from the House Oversight

Committee about White House security clearances and the 2020 census have

been served.  He`s filed a contentious hearing today where Republicans and

Democrats accused each other playing politics with a White House

whistleblower who came forward to tell Congress about administration

officials systematically overriding security clearance recommendations time

and time again and 25 different cases. 




JORDAN:  Almost I don`t know where to begin. Ten days ago on a Saturday,

you scheduled a transcribed interview with Miss Newbold on a Saturday and

didn`t tell the Republicans until the day before.  I`ve been on this

committee 10 years, I`ve never seen anything like this.  I`ve never seen

anything like this. 


CUMMINGS:  Oh please. 


JORDAN:  I haven`t. 


CUMMINGS:  Yes, you`ve done it. 


JORDAN:  I haven`t.  I`ll tell you what else I`ve never seen. 


CUMMINGS:  This lady`s scared.  Do you hear me, she`s scared.  She`s small

in stature and she`s already seen what is going on in the White House.  She

was scared to death.  And she was afraid, sadly of our republican





HAYES:  Joining now for more on this, the first round subpoenas Democratic

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.  He sits in the House

Oversight Committee and was in that hearing earlier. 


Today.  I want to – a follow-up on that, the whistleblower interview, our

Republicans were very angry about this.  They said it was sprung on them. 

Do they have a fair complaint? 


REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: No, basically we were following

whistleblower protocol in this situation.  She wanted to make sure that the

interview happened on a Saturday because she quite frankly didn`t want to

take time off and then be subject to further retaliation. 


HAYES:  Right. 


KRISHNAMOORTHI:  She`s already alleged that she was suspended without pay

for two weeks for bringing up the various concerns that she has brought

forward about irregularities in the process by which various people have

been vetted for security clearances at the White House. 


HAYES:  I want to play a little bit in the interview.  She did with our own

Peter Alexander Her name is Tricia Newbold, this is what she had to say,

take a listen. 




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why is this issue so important that you felt the need

to speak out? 



security is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue.  It`s an American

issue.  And we as security professionals owe it to make all our

recommendations in the best interest of national security.  I am always

concerned but it`s important that we stand up to do the right thing no

matter what. 




HAYES:  Am I correct that your committee has now issued subpoenas on

exactly this question of security clearances inside the White House?  What

are those subpoenas seeking? 


KRISHNAMOORTHI:  Basically, this specific subpoena with regard to security

clearances, seeks the testimony of an individual named Carl Klein.  He was

the supervisor for Miss Newbold. 


Now as you know, Miss Newbold alleged that 25 individuals had cases in

which the career civil servants denied security clearances, and then were

overturned by the White House.  And they basically granted access to

potentially top secret materials.  And so, one of the irregularities that

really stands out is that she says, for instance, that credit checks have

been stopped with regard to applicants.  Why somebody should get access to

top secret materials when they can`t pass a credit check is beyond me. 


HAYES:  There is a security headline that I wanted to get your thoughts on,

given the area investigation going into.  Which is that, a Chinese woman

who entered Mar-a-Lago with malware, talked her way past Secret Service. 

Apparently she had some USBs and some stuff.  We don`t know what she was

doing there but she was federally charged.  What do you make of that? 


KRISHNAMOORTHI:  Well, I think this is all the more reason why we have to

make sure that we vet people very carefully for access to top secret

materials.  We don`t know what this person`s intentions were going into

Mar-a-Lago.  But what we do know is that we have to have a vetting process

that`s much more secure than what they use at Mar-a-Lago to allow people

into their club.  And that is a process that is ironclad that makes sure

that people with financial vulnerabilities are underreported for in

context, don`t get access to our crown jewels of national security, which

is potentially what has occurred. And that`s why the investigation has to



HAYES:  All right, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.  Thank you so much. 




HAYES:  Joining me now, Olivia Nazzi, who is a Washington correspondent for

New York Magazine.  Her most recent story is the aforementioned Trump Aids

Fear He Is Overselling His “Exoneration”.  And Heidi Przybyla, NBC News,

national political correspondent. 


HAYES:  Olivia, let me start with you.  Those quotes really jumped out at

me.  I mean, I think it did seem to be the White House and Barr together

did a very good job of spinning the first 36,48, even 72 hours after the

Barr letter.  Things do seem to change to me a bit recently.  What is the

thinking inside White House about that? 



that there are some people who, like the President, felt very comfortable

saying this is a total and complete exoneration.  Even though as you noted

earlier in the show, the letter or the Mueller report explicitly states

that it is not an exoneration as quoted by Barr. 


And I think that there are other people in the White House and in the

administration, who are a little bit more cautious, if you can believe it. 

I don`t know how much influence they will have, but who are a little bit

more cautious and don`t want the President to continue to overstate the

meaning of this letter. 


And if you noticed today, both the President and members of the White House

staff have been kind of saying, “Oh, we don`t need the full report now.” 

They seem to be striking in different tone than they were at least in the

initial wake of the Barr letter.  


HAYES:  Yes, Heidi, I noticed that too, right.  I mean, the beginning –

first of all, you have majorities across ideological lines and partisan

lines.  Vast majorities want to see the full report.  I do, I think

everyone thinks, “Yeah, we should see it, whatever it says, even though

it`s super exculpatory with the President. Let`s see it.” 


And it does seem to me, to Olivia`s point, that the White House and

Republicans have changed the tune a little bit over the last few days about

how enthusiastic they are about that. 



changed a lot actually, Chris, because they`ve said all along, even the

President has said he wanted to see the full report.  We had a unanimous

resolution passed in the House, that the American people deserve to see the

full report.  Now we`re splitting hairs over what the definition of that



Their definition, apparently, is that this four-page summary that Barr put

out with only a few partial quotes suffices.  But the position, really, in

recent history – very recent history of everyone in Congress is that we

should see the full report. 


The question here is over what the precedent is, Chris, and Barr is arguing

that because he`s operating under a different statute than previous special

counsels have, like Kenneth Starr did with the Starr Report that he only

has to give so much. 


The Democrats point is, “Let`s look at some of the most consequential

documents in American history because that is what this is and look at what

the precedent is.”  And the precedent for the Starr Report. the precedent

for Leon Jaworski`s roadmap on Watergate was that Congress gets the full



We the American people may not see everything that`s classified and

shouldn`t.  We, the American people may not see the grand jury information. 

But Congress and the people`s representatives should see that.  That is the

Democrat`s position and it looks like this is going to come to blows.  That

this may even end up in court because if you talk to Chairman Adler, he

will tell you that Barr told him he will not commit to getting a

perfunctory court order for Congress to see that grand jury information. 

And that Barr, not Congress, will be making those classified redactions. 


HAYES:  You know, there`s also a question, Olivia, I mean, one thing we`ve

seen with the President in the last 48 hours, his inability to let anything

go, right?  I mean, he`s got a sick and weird vendetta against the people

of Puerto Rico, who made him look bad by dying in such large numbers after



He has an obsession now with healthcare.  After that gave him his most

resounding political defeat in his term.  And I wonder if he`s going to let

this go.  He talked today about getting at the origins of this, about

whether – 


NAZZI:  Did he?  That`s not what I heard. 


HAYES:  No, we`re talking about the oranges, which is a really weird moment

that I`m trying to let go of, but will they keep going at that?  I mean,

you know, Lindsey Graham talks about a special investigation into the

origins of the investigation.  Are they going to keep going at that? 


NAZZI:  Yeah, I assume.  I mean, this is a man who is still talking about a

republican primary that, remember started in 2015, which is a lifetime ago,

especially by Donald Trump`s standards of time.  He`s still talking about

the general election.  He`s still talking, as you said about healthcare. 

He can`t let anything go.  He`s still talking about, you know, Rosie

O`Donnell and Time Magazine, and these things that were relevant decades



And so no, I don`t expect him to let it go.  And I expect actually, as we

move forward, as the Democratic primary really gets underway, he will

continue to harp on this and then he will continue to attack the media

using this to do so. 


And I think the reality whatever the report ultimately says, I think the

reality of this will not change his rhetoric one bit.  I think, if

anything, it`ll give him just some more color to add into to his attacks. 

But I can`t imagine the White House and the President really changing what

they`ve been saying now since last Sunday 


HAYES:  You know, how do you just said, come to blows over the – in a

metaphorical sense, or the Mueller report.  But it`s broader than that, we

got subpoenas that went out tonight, there`s about to be an escalation over

a legal battle over document production.  Essentially, about testimony

that`s going to span a whole variety of areas.  It will be interesting to

see how the White House plays it. 


PRZYBYLA:  Well, we`re already seeing how they`re playing it, Chris, and

they`re not giving up paperwork, and they`re not giving up witnesses unless

they`re forced to.  For instance, in the case of the security clearance

expert, who is now – said he`s going to come voluntarily. 


Well, that was only after several letters and this whistleblower coming

forward.  And if you talked to Chairman Cummings, he`ll say that, “Of all

of the letters that they`ve sent, they`ve gotten zero paperwork and zero

witnesses.”  And this, like you said, spans a host of topics. 


And I think this is an important point, Chris, that is lost in a lot of us. 

Chairman Cummings specifically started his investigations with those that

had bipartisan support in the last Congress, including this security

clearance issue.  This is something that he had written a bipartisan letter

to the White House about. 


Same thing goes with on the immigration question.  The census, not so much

but across many of these inquiries, these are things that Republicans, who

very recently also supported. 


HAYES:  Yes, this they started in the Venn diagram, which by this person`s

word evaporated quickly. Olivia Nazzi, Heidi Przybyla, thank you both. 


Coming up the new constitutional amendment being proposed, under which

there would have been no President Trump today.  Senator Brian Schatz

introduced an amendment to abolish the electoral college and he joins me in

two minutes. 






TRUMP:  The Electoral College is almost impossible for a Republican to work

very hard.  Because you start off at such a disadvantage. 


The Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know

than it is to Republicans. 


The Republicans have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College,

you know that. 


The Electoral College is a big advantage for Democrats not for Republicans. 




HAYES:  Like so many, the obviously false claims the President makes

routinely, that one has no basis.  In fact, on the contrary, the truth is

closer to the opposite.  Over the last three decades in American politics,

Republicans have only won the popular vote twice.  First in 1988,  again in

2004.  But thanks the Electoral College, Republicans keep getting elected

President anyway. 


In Donald Trump`s case, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 2.9

million votes, in a parallel universe that would be a pretty resounding

defeat.  We know that bothers the President because he repeatedly lied

about it claiming falsely he quoted, “I won the popular vote, if you deduct

the millions of people who voted illegally,” that he made up. 


You can set up a whole commission, like a whole little play thing and like

to try and reverse engineer some evidence for that claim.  Remember that? 

Didn`t work. 


Now a growing number of Democratic presidential candidates support getting

rid of the electoral college all together and a group of Democratic

senators are introducing a constitutional amendment to do just that.  The

senator behind that effort joins me now, Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii. 


Senator, it would be a big change.  Obviously, this is something that stood

in constitutional structure since the ratification of the document itself. 

Why do you want to get rid of it? 


SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ (D), HAWAII:  Well, it`s a basic principle.  We ought to

count all of the votes.  All the votes ought to count equally.  And the

person who gets the most votes ought to be President.  It`s the way we do

it for mayor, or congressman, for united states senator, for governor, for

the state house, for the county council.  The person who gets the most

votes gets the office and only with the office of the presidency, is it`s

sometimes the opposite. 


HAYES:  The people I guess, that are good in their side, right?  There`s a

bunch of arguments.  They use a lot of them and are sort of really bad, but

I guess the best version is, that people are concentrated in very few

areas, and that if you got rid of Electoral College just in popular vote,

then they would just focus on people or areas where people are concentrated

and vast swathes of the country wouldn`t get to see any candidates and

wouldn`t get any attention paid to them. 


SCHATZ:  Yes, a couple of thoughts on that.  First of all, as a practical

matter, in the waning weeks and even couple of months of every general

election for President, by the end of it, you`re only talking about six,

maybe eight, maybe 10 states that are in play and presidential campaigns

literally pull their financial resources, their human resources – the most

valuable resource, which is the candidates time and physical presence. 


They pull out of all those other states.  So 40 or more states get totally

ignored, the territories get totally ignored, and then eight or 10 states

get all of the attention.  And so, if we change it to a national popular

vote, everybody`s vote counts the same.  And you would be in no position to

ignore anyone. 


The other part of this, this idea that a presidential candidate is going to

park himself or herself in LA and Chicago and sort of try to run up the

score there, that would be a really good way to lose.  United States

senators are also popularly elected.  They all have states with some urban

center and some rural neighborhoods, and everybody would be unwise to park

themselves in the main city and never get out across the state.  That is a

recipe for losing an election. 


So it`s just I mean, look, they`re uncomfortable with this position,

because they have to defend this idea that the person who gets the most

votes is not necessarily going to be the president of the United States. 


HAYES:  Well, there`s another aspect to it too.  You know, I`ve seen the

coverage of this in the conservative media and on Trump TV, that it`s a

sort of takeover by some scary mob of Democrats.  And I thought, a former

Maine Governor, Paul LePage sort of articulated the fear,  he most

succinctly.  Take a listen to what he had to say in February. 




PAUL LEPAGE, FORMER GOVERNOR, MAINE:  What would happen if they do what

they say they`re going to do, white people will not have anything to say. 

It`s only going to be the minorities that would elect.  It would be

California, Texas, Florida. 




HAYES:  What do you think of that? 


SCHATZ:  I don`t know how to respond to the former Governor LePage.  But I

will tell you that, if their main spokesperson against this kind of reform

is former Governor LePage, I think we`re in pretty terra firma. 


Listen, this is a very simple proposition.  The majority of the American

public are for this change. I don`t underestimate the difficulty of

amending the Constitution.  But you know, we used to appoint our United

States senators based on what each individual legislature used to think. 

And we decided about 100 years ago, to change that to popularly elect our

United States senators. 


Women weren`t allowed to vote and then we changed the United States

Constitution.  So I don`t take this lightly.  I understand amending the

constitution is a very serious matter.  And certainly, as it relates to

changing the way we choose a President, it`s a big deal.  But I believe

that once we make this change, it would be looked back upon as though it

was obvious.  It was intuitive, and it was a continued evolution of our



HAYES:  You know, there`s an irony you`re talking about running – there`s

an irony which is that the current jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, one

person one vote, would strike down anything that looks like the Electoral

College if a state tried to do it for the way it ran elections, right.  So

if you try to elect the governor based on, you know, county by county, how

many counties they racked up, the Supreme Court would be like, “That`s

nonsense and violates the spirit of the Constitution.” 


Electoral College gets in under the wire, obviously, because it`s written

into the document.  Final question for you.  You`ve got a bit you do on

Twitter that`s pretty funny about – you know, you`ll talk about the news

of the day and be like, “This is crazy.  But remember the Presidents trying

to take away protections for people with pre existing conditions.” 


What do you make of the President deciding that the 2020 elections should

be a referendum on healthcare? 


SCHATZ:  Well, listen, I`m pleased and the reason that I`m pleased is not

because the Republicans continue to try to take away our healthcare, they

are.  They are doing that they did it for, you know, six years, when

President Obama was President. They did it when they were in charge of both

chambers of the legislative branch.  They did it administratively and now

they`re trying to do with through the courts in terms of invalidating the

whole healthcare law. 


But what I loved about what happened over the last couple of days, is

they`re admitting it.  That they`re not going to stop.  They cannot help

themselves and despite the punishment that they received electorally in

2018, despite the fact that this is the most unpopular thing that could

possibly do, this is their project.  They are committed to it and they`re

not going to let go of it. So I`m pleased at least they`re admitting it and

that we can litigate this over the next year and a half. 


HAYES:  All right, Senator Brian Schatz.  Thank you very much. 


Schatz:  Thank you. 


HAYES:  Next, the President`s utter disdain for Americans struggling to

recover from a hurricane that claimed thousands of lives.  The mayor of San

Juan responds directly, next. 






TRUMP:  I`ve taken better care of Puerto Rico than any man ever.  We have

$91 billion going to Puerto Rico.  We have $29 billion to Texas and $12

billion to Florida for the hurricane.  Puerto Rico has been taken care of

better by Donald Trump than by any living human being. 




HAYES:  The President today continued his gross shameful vendetta against

the people of Puerto Rico, working behind the scenes to reduce aid from

Congress and lying over and over again in the most egregious way possible

about the money the island has been given. 


So to be clear, so far, Puerto Rico has received $11 billion in aid, not

the $91 billion figure the President keeps repeating.  In a tweet rant this

morning, he raged about a senate aid package that failed to advance

yesterday pitting the Americans in Puerto Rico recovering from a disaster

that killed 3,000 people against the capital F farmers, who are somehow

going to suffer if Puerto Ricans get assistance. 


Hours later, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, went on our

air to see the quiet part loud about “that country”. 




GIDLEY:  We have not come to $91 billion when all we`ve done in that

country, we have had a systematic mismanagement of the goods and services

we`ve sent to them. 




HAYES: Well, that country is our country.  And the people there don`t get

to vote for President but they do have to endure the one that we have. 




TRUMP:  You do have a mayor of San Juan that, frankly, doesn`t know what

she`s doing.  And the Governor - they got to spend the money wisely.  They

don`t know how to spend their money and they`re not spending it wisely. 




HAYES:  And joining me now is that Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, the Democratic

Mayor of San Juan, who joins me now.  Mayor Cruz, good to have you on. 

First let`s start with just the basic facts here about what kind of a

Puerto Rico has gotten and what kind of aid and assistance and support

Puerto Rico needs. 


YULIN CRUZ:  First of all the President lies when he says Puerto Rico has

received $91 billion.  That is not true.  It is more in light of $11

billion to $13 billion, but of course this was a devastation like we had

never seen before, close to one year without any electricity, a loss of

3,000 lives, currently, today, there is about 30,000 homes which don`t have

appropriate roofs, they either have the tarp or the blue roof.  Suicide

rates have gone up.  There are the roads and bridges that people are –

they are traveling on that are not good for our population. 


And right now – and what we are talking about a $600 million that are

needed to feed the

Puerto Rican people.  1.3 million Puerto Ricans out of the 3.2 million

total population receive some sort of nutritional assistance or food

stamps.  So, what the president is doing right now with this huff and puff,

you know, because he has been unable to get the job done, is that he is

literally delaying people`s ability to put food on the table.


HAYES:  The president has long sent a lot of insults your way since the

days after the storm.  He called you crazed and incompetent just today.  Do

you think he has it out for the Puerto Rican people, does he have a

vendetta against the people of the island?


CRUZ:  You know, the president had a golf course here, which many people

may not remember, and it went bankrupt.  I don`t know if that is the root

of his vindictive behavior towards Puerto Rico, but it`s also insensitive

and he is also prone to classic Donald Trump temper tantrums.  If he

doesn`t get what he wants, he will try to put people out and take away the

most basic thing, that happened to 800,000 federal workers when a couple of

weeks ago he just literally said I`m shutting down the government.  Why? 

Because I don`t get what i want.


And now he is doing something that is also classic Trump, rather than bring

people together, trying to pin people against one another.  You know, aid

should not be weaponized, it should not be used to divide, it should put

people against each other.


There is a reservation, Pine Bridge Reservation (ph), which also is in dire

need of federal  assistance, and they`re not getting it.  My question is,

why does it seem like it`s always people of color, people that are in

states or cities that are run by Democratic incumbents or people that just

don`t think alike. 


You know, an insult from President Trump is a badge of honor.  Why? 

Because it shows that I am nothing like him.


HAYES:  There is an argument that`s been made by the White House, but I

think also across

the ideological spectrum about some of the more structural problems with

governance in Puerto Rico, and administration, particularly true of PREPA,

which is the utility company.  There has been questions about the oversight

board which essentially has a kind of veto over policy, because of the

Puerto Rican debt.


What do you say to people that say, look, more aid won`t help unless there

are structural changes that create a sort of logistical capacity that make

lives better for Puerto Ricans?


CRUZ:  Three things.  One, Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States,

calling it a territory, it`s a euphemism, that is what allows the president

to speak the way he does.  Number two, yes, there are structural situations

that we have to deal with, but this is kind of one of those times when you

have to fix the plane and fly it at the same time.  If there is a plane

that on mid-air is going wrong, the pilot just doesn`t say, you know, there

are some structural problems on this plane that we have to fix, no, you

have to make sure that it gets into the safe port. 


Now, the fiscal control board is colonialism at its most raw way of looking

at things.  It can actually – and, look, I don`t see eye to eye with the

governor of Puerto Rico, but he was elected by the people of Puerto Rico. 

And this fiscal control board is putting austerity measures that are

reducing the ability of our students to be educated, which in turn will

feed more of the cycle of poverty in Puerto Rico. 


It is threatening to reduce pension, and also it is moving our PREPA, which

was very, very sick and very ill-structured before the storm, it is moving

it in terms of putting it into private hands, making a monopoly out of it. 

So, there are structural things that need to be changed, but we need to

move along and make sure that people don`t die and that there is a

population to deal with this.


HAYES:  All right, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, thank you so much for joining



CRUZ:  Thank you so much.


HAYES:  Ahead, my interview with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett on what she

called the most painful realization during her time in the White House. 

That`s coming up.


And next, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two featuring Trump`s poor grasp of

his own family history,  that`s next.




HAYES:  Thing One tonight, President Trump is no great student of history,

but you would think he would have his own family history down, especially

if he`s going to just bring it up unprompted like he did today.




TRUMP:  I mean, Germany, honestly, is not paying their fair share.  I have

great respect for Angela and I have great respect for their country.  My

father is German, right, was German, and born in a very wonderful place in

Germany and so I have a great feeling for Germany.




HAYES:  No, no, that`s not true.  Donald Trump`s father, Fred Trump, was

born in New York

City in the United States of America.  Now, if that wasn`t the third time

he`s been recorded telling that

specific lie, it might be easier to believe that Trump just could be mixing

up his father with his grandfather, Fredrick Trump (ph), who was actually

born in Germany.  He left at the age of 16 to come to here to the U.S.


He actually tried to return to his  native country, but he was kicked out

for skipping military service.


Now, you can understand why the president might be confused.  Fred Trump,

the president`s father, pretend he was of Swedish ancestry for years in an

effort to not offend his Jewish customers, according to a Trump cousin and

family historian, a lie that was repeated in Trump`s own 1987 best-seller,

“The Art of the Deal,” where he claimed his German dad, who was born in the

Bronx, was actually Swedish and born in New Jersey.


The president`s ancestral family “oranges,” weren`t the only thing giving

him trouble today, and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  There are a few words this president has a really hard time saying,

sorry, I denounce white supremacy, and anonymous.




TRUMP:  The latest act of resistance is the op-ed published in the failing

New York Times by an a nominous (ph) – really an anominous (ph), gutless





HAYES:  Now, there are lots of people who might have trouble reading the

word anonymous off a teleprompter.  I get stuff wrong on the teleprompter

all the time.  It`s certainly not a disqualifier to be president any more,

but to prove the point, here`s the president today talking about the fruits

of the Mueller investigation.




TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of

the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation. 




HAYES:  Oh, the beginnings, I could have sworn he said oranges, but I think

he actually meant origins.  Luckily, he went on to fully explain what

origins means.




TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of

the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.  You look at the

origin of the investigation, where it started, how it started, who started

it, that`s the only thing that`s disappointing to me about the Mueller

report.  The Mueller report I wish covered the oranges, how it started







HAYES:  Here on All In, we have been closely following the events in North

Carolina where the state Republican Party likes to fearmonger about voter

fraud and where a Republican campaign

which is caught committing election fraud.


About six weeks ago, the North Carolina State Board of Elections threw out

the electoral victory of GOP congressional candidate and evangelical

minster Mark Harris, ordering an entirely new

election amid evidence that Harris`s campaign had financed an illegal

ballot tampering operation and orchestrated by a local political operative

named McCrae Dowless who was indicted on seven felonies.


It turns out this was not an isolated incident for North Carolina

Republicans running into trouble

with the law.  One of the nation`s most aggressive state parties when it

comes to gerrymandering, power grabs, voter suppression, today brought the

indictment of North Carolina State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes –

no relation – a former congressman, for his role in an alleged bribery



That may not be all, North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Walker, who

is a member of the House Republican leadership, is also entangled in the

probe.  Walker is reportedly identified as public official A in the

indictment, which suggests the Republican congressman played a role in the

bribery scheme.


Now, Walker has not been indicted, and he denies any wrongdoing, but

perhaps, maybe, North Carolina Republicans should spend a little less time

worrying about voters simply trying to vote, and a little more time

worrying about their own members allegedly committing crimes.




HAYES:  Democratic voters were recently polled on how they identify

themselves as Democrats.  And the most common answer, which I thought was

interesting, was Obama Democrat.  And what this does it shows the degree to

which Barack Obama has a hold on the party`s imagination even a few years

after he finished his term in office.


But why that`s the case, the conduct of the Republican Party, in terms of

the nomination of

Merrick Garland, and since the election of Donald Trump, has shaken for a

lot of people their mental models of how politics works.


So as we enter 2020, the question becomes, how do you think about the Obama

legacy and the politics that we have now post-Obama?


A great person to discuss that with is one of President Obama`s closest

advisers and friends,  Valerie Jarrett, who has a new memoir out today

called “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path

Forward.”  Good to have you here.



you, Chris.  Delighted to be here with you.


HAYES:  This book talks about your life, and you – which is fascinating. 

You were born in Iran.  Your parents have a fascinating story.  And it

talks about your trajectory through Chicago  politics and then in the West

Wing.  What is the – what is your big takeaway?  What was the thing that


walked into those eight years thinking and you came out being like, I was

not – I was wrong about that?


JARRETT:  That`s easy.  My biggest mistake was not appreciating how willing

the Republicans were to put their short-term political interests ahead of

our country. 


I mean, just remember, Chris, when President Obama took office, we were in

the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, losing 750,000 to

800,000 jobs a month, we had two

wars going on, we had a crisis in terms of housing, a crisis – people

losing their homes, millions of people losing their homes, losing their

jobs, no safety net of affordable health care.  We had a lot going wrong in

this country.  And I thought it would be a time where Republicans would

come to the table and work with President Obama for the greater good.  And

it took me a while to realize, no, they just weren`t going to do that, they

were going to time and time again just say no.


HAYES:  What was that realization like in real-time?


JARRETT:  It was painful, because we tried everything.  You know, we tried

intimidating them, we tried wooing them, we tried taking them out to

dinner, we tried coming up with plans that had traditionally enjoyed

bipartisan support, every possible thing.  And what I did not appreciate,

naively was, no, they didn`t actually care about that. 


And I think it probably came to a head for me when we were dealing with the

fiscal crisis and whether or not to go the fiscal cliff and default for the

first time in our nation`s history on the full faith and credit of our

currency, which obviously affects the world economy.  And I heard members

of the then Tea Party saying, oh, it would be good for the United States to

default, teach us a lesson.


Really?  Shake up the entire world economic system to teach us a lesson? 

And what would be the lesson?  We had already approved the budget to use

those funds.  All they were doing was simply  allowing us to have the debt

that supported that budget.


HAYES:  So then I guess the question becomes, so that`s a big lesson.  I

think a lot of people follow the trajectory.  There are other people who

out in front who are like, don`t – the Republicans are never going to work

with you.  They were saying that from day one.


JARRETT:  Yes, but we had to get caught trying.  I thought it was really

important that we got caught trying.


HAYES:  So you don`t think it was a mistake.  It wasn`t – there are people

who say, for instance, that the months that were put in trying to get Max

Baucus to work with Republicans to try to get something out of committee

out of the ACA, there are people who say that was wasted time, that was a

mistake.  You don`t see it as a mistake?


JARRETT:  The way I look at it, at a that time, what we thought, is it was

very important that once you`re president, you`re president of the United

States of America, and that means all of America.

and the people with whom you have to work are those who have been dually

elected by Americans, and that in this case is the Republicans.


And we thought it was important to try to have a bipartisan bill.  Anything

you do something this big and this bold, optimally, you would want it to be



HAYES:  Is that a political calculation or is that a first principles



JARRETT:  I think it`s a first principle of governance, of the entire



HAYES:  Is it a defeatable first principle?  You see what I`m saying? 

Meaning, if that`s your first principle, are the – do the facts on the

ground after a certain period of time change that?  Like if Valerie Jarrett

were hired as the senior most strategic adviser to the next Democratic

president coming in, say, were to be elected, big first domestic policy

legislation, you have been in there, you`ve been in the trenches before, do

you say, yeah, let`s go get a meeting with Tom Cotton and see if he`ll work

with us on this climate bill?


JARRETT:  Well, I think you do have to try.  The question is, how long do

you go at it?


And ultimately, we did go it alone.  We did make the political calculus

that government practice that it was more important to get affordable

health care for all of America than to get a bipartisan bill.


But it was important for us to try and to try every way possible, because I

think that`s what`s  fair for the American people to expect of us. 


I think to do it again, we probably spent so much time trying to get the

policy right, I wish we would told a story earlier to the American people. 

Now they appreciate the Affordable Care Act and all of the benefits in it. 

And I think at the time, it just seemed like sausage in Washington.  And so

I wish we had gone outside of Washington and told the story earlier in the

process, so that they could have put pressure on their elected

representatives, because now it does enjoy bipartisan support.


HAYES:  Is there anything that Donald Trump does, that you think to

yourself, as someone who spent eight years, right, if I`m not mistaken, in

that White House.


JARRETT:  Eight years to the day.


HAYES:  That`s a long time.


JARRETT:  It is a long time.


HAYES:  Is there anything Donald Trump does that you think, I wish we`d

done that.


JARRETT:  No, actually, no.


HAYES:  Not a single thing?  There`s nothing he does?


JARRETT:  Nothing pops to my mind.  What do you think?  Does something pop

to your mind

that he did right that we did wrong?


HAYES:  I think – I will tell you, Barack Obama was an incredible

campaigner and incredible in public settings and rallies, and going along

with what your point is about sort of the inside strategy of legislation. 

I do think there was a sort of bully pulpit, particularly in those first

six to 12 months where you didn`t see him out in the trail, you didn`t see

him out doing – you know, this president has never stopped doing that,

right.  I mean, it`s probably his favorite part of the job is part of the

reason.  And I do wonder sometimes whether that would have made an effect.


JARRETT:  Well, that was the point I was making earlier.  And I think that

there has to be some

symmetry between the substance and the rallies, but I do wish that we had

spent more time traveling

around the country explaining the substance of what we were trying to do

that the folks who understood that it would be important in their lives

would have put some pressure on, and that, perhaps, would have brought

Republicans to the table.


Although I`m not sure.  Because I think that at that point, they just felt

like saying no to every single thing we tried to do was their political

strategy.  But it`s not a strategy for good government.


HAYES:  But there`s a question, right, about how much that`s a permanent

structural feature now of American politics.  I mean, I think…


JARRETT:  Well, I hope not.  I hope what will happen is that the American

people will say, you know what, I don`t like that.  I don`t think

compromise is a bad word.  I do want the people who were elected to

represent me to be keeping me top of mind. 


When you start talking about not passing the Affordable Care Act or now

repealing it, really?  Really?  One in two Americans has a pre-existing

condition and you want to take that away?  You want women not to have

preventative care?  You want young people not to be able to stay on their

parent`s  plans?  You want senior citizens to go back to not being able to

afford their prescription drugs or everyone reaching like lifetime or

annual caps, is that what you want for America?  I don`t think so.


HAYES:  But they are saying that`s what they want.


JARRETT:  But it hasn`t…


HAYES:  …word, right?


JARRETT:  Well, you know, it`s interesting, though.  You say that`s what

they want, but they haven`t repealed it.


HAYES:  Yeah.


JARRETT:  At a time they had control of congress, they could have and they

didn`t.  Why? Because people showed up at those town halls and they said,

no, I have a pre-existing condition.  I`m counting on the ACA.  20 million

people had health care, many for the first time, were saying, no, don`t

repeal it.


And when that happens, I think the elected representatives respond.  And so

that`s what I wish we had done.  At the same time as we were trying to fix

the economy and end two wars and capture Osama bin Laden and reduce our

dependence on foreign oil and improve our education system – we had a lot

going on, but telling the story is very important, keeping people –

understanding that you`re fighting for them is really important.  You can`t

just know it in your own heart, you have to communicate it to them.


HAYES:  I have seen reports that President Barack Obama, who is working on

his own memoir right now, has had meeting – taking meetings with various

folks that are running for the Democratic

nomination for president.  I think he`s open about that.  He`ll meet with

people and talk to them and give them his advice.  If you were doing



JARRETT:  I have done that.


HAYES:  So you have done that?  What is your big advice?  Like what do you

tell people?


JARRETT:  Well, a few things.  Generally, what I say is this: be authentic,

figure out what you stand for and communicate it openly and honestly to the

American people.  They can sniff it out if you`re fake.  And so, don`t be

busy trying to figure out what poll tests the right answer, tell them what

you think and give them the reason why they should trust you, which means

they have to get to know you.


President Obama used to say, you know, when he was in Iowa, I`ve got to

lift up my hood and let people kick the tires and really understand who I

am as a person and what kind of a president I will be for them.  And I

think candidates need to do that.


The other thing I think they have to do is have an affirmative message for

what they`re for, particularly right now in the Democratic Party, what I

would not want to see them do is to be so busy beating each other up that

they go into the general election in a weakened position, because that`s

actually what the party needs to do, is to win the general election.


And so those are the two big pieces of advice that I have given everybody.


HAYES:  Final question, you know, you were part of the Obama`s social

circle and lives sort of as they were on this crazy trajectory, that

there`s been nothing like it, I think, probably since Abraham Lincoln,

basically, right, in terms of state senator to senator to president of the

United States so quickly.


How did it – how did it change you?  How did it change them?


JARRETT:  Well, I think Michelle Obama said this really well during the

Democratic convention in 2012. She said, people often ask me, has being

president changed my husband, and I say, no, it hasn`t changed him, it`s

revealed who he is.  And I think it tested all of us.  We found out whether

we could take a punch.  We found out whether or not we could keep focused

on what was important, and that was long-term solutions to the challenges

that we have, or whether we would succumb to  politics.


I think we all mature, we all grow, we all learn from the experience, but I

think your basic core  values are pretty well set by the time you reach



HAYES:  All right, Valerie Jarrett, the book is called “Finding My Voice.” 

It`s out today.  It`s a great pleasure to have you here.  Thank you so



JARRETT:  My pleasure.  Thanks for having me on, Chris.


HAYES:  That is All In for this evening.  The Rachel Maddow show starts

right now.








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