Democratic candidates battle over healthcare. TRANSCRIPT: 7/29/19, All In W/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Alec MacGillis, Sherrilyn Ifill, Tim Wise, Adam Serwer, Abdul El- Sayed, Ezra Klein, Katherine Clark
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He told his party at the outset of World War

II, we shall find, we lost the future.  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.

 

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  Infested, it sounds like vermin. 

It sounds subhuman.

 

HAYES:  The President launches a racist attack on an American city.

 

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE:  This is what the

President does.

 

HAYES:  As the constituents he promised to save continued to suffer.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Don`t sell your house.  Do

not sell it.  We`re going to get those values up.

 

HAYES:  Tonight, the inherent political weakness in Donald Trump`s racist

politics.

 

TRUMP:  We`re going to get those jobs coming back and we`re going to fill

up those factories or rip them down and build brand-new ones.

 

HAYES:  Then, the wave of Democrats calling for impeachment swells.

 

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD):  I would say we are in an impeachment

investigation.

 

HAYES:  The highest-ranking Democrat in leadership calling for impeachment

joins me live.  And two years after Republicans failed to kill ObamaCare,

why new changes to healthcare could shape the Democratic debate.  When ALL

IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  The General Motors

plant in Warren, Michigan, just ten miles from this week`s Democratic

debates in Detroit is shutting down on Thursday.  It`s the story of the

Trump economy that Donald Trump desperately does not want told because it

is not the first story like it.  It is one of five GM plants being closed

in North America by the end of the year.  In fact, the company plans to lay

off as many as 14,000 workers.

 

There`s also, of course, the Lordstown plant in Ohio.  That`s the one Trump

actually visited in 2017 and he literally told people not to sell their

homes.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  I was looking at some of those big wants incredible job-producing

factories, and my wife Melania said, what happened?  I said those jobs have

left Ohio.  They`re all coming back.  They`re all coming back.  Don`t move. 

Don`t sell your house.  Don`t sell your house.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Don`t sell your house, they`re all coming back.  Well, in March, GM

idled that plant eliminating well over 1,000 jobs.  That is the soft

underbelly of Trumpism.  Yes, undoubtedly unemployment is low.  Yes, the

stock market has, by and large, continued to thrive.  But the reality of

people in communities particularly in the greater industrial Midwest has

not tangibly improved that much.  Growth is concentrated in the same areas

it was concentrated in before.

 

A new poll shows only 36 percent of likely voters in Michigan say their own

economic situation has improved in the last three years.  48 percent think

it`s the same, 16 percent say they`re worse off.  That`s not great.

 

Trump`s trade wars have of course hammered large parts of rural America

that constitute his base.  Republicans passed $1 trillion tax cut for

corporate America that has had little impact on most of the working

population.

 

Congress still hasn`t ratified Trump`s rebranded NAFTA and there`s little

reason to think a Democratic House will pass it.  Children are still being

separated from their families as immigrants are being locked in cages like

so much livestock.  But what are the tangible material improvements the

President has delivered for those folks in places like Michigan who voted

for him?

 

That`s not what they`re getting though.  They`re getting what they got

during the 2016 campaign, the President`s racist rants.  That is what he`s

providing to them.  He hasn`t delivered much tangibly for those communities

who have been sledge-hammered by automation, globalization.

 

And now every time the President says something racist, his advisors all

anonymously run to the nearest reporter to talk about how it`s a great

strategy.  And that`s because he and his advisors both agree that they

think so little of his supporters, they think all they want is racism.

 

So instead of actually helping Americans for the second time in two weeks,

the President is off on yet another racist rant.  This time it`s about the

great city of Baltimore, a city of hundreds of thousands of Americans that

Trump says no human being would want to live in whose constituents Trump is

supposed to represent just as much as Congressman Elijah Cummings.

 

But lest you think that this is some highly developed strategy, some evil

genius attempt to control the conversation, it is worth just considering

the far more likely explanation we just simply that the president is a

raging racist and this is just how he sees the world.

 

This weekend, I spoke to someone who just happened quite randomly to have a

conversation with Trump way back in December 2015 when he was the

improbable front runner in that large GOP field.  And in this conversation,

then-candidate Trump actually endorsed the idea a stricter gun control in a

city like Chicago because – and here`s a quote, according to the person I

spoke with, “we have to stop those animals there from killing each other.”

 

Animals, that`s who this president is and he just keeps trying to tell us. 

Joining me now ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis.  He lives in Baltimore,

has written, reported on the city.  He broke the story about Jared

Kushner`s involvement as a derelict but vindictive landlord in that city. 

He also spent a ton of time traveling around the industrial Midwest in the

run-up to the 2016 election.

 

And I want to begin on that angle, Alec.  The plant closing in Warren, the

one in Lordstown, because you spent a lot of time documenting the genuine

angst in a lot of parts the industrial Midwest, the ways in which Trumpism

appealed to that angst racialized and otherwise, and I wonder what your

read is on where things stand now because I think there is a perception

that the economy is good as a top-line figure that doesn`t quite capture

the reality.

 

ALEC MACGILLIS, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA:  No, it doesn`t it all caps the

reality because we still have this extraordinary regional divergence in our

economy with so much of the growth concentrated in certain places in so

many places that are left behind.

 

As you know, I was definitely one of the people who believed coming out of

the 2016 election, even before the election that the rise of Trump was

connected to economic elements.  Of course, there was race involved.  Of

course, there was racist appeals involved but there was – there was no

accident that those appeals were most effective in places that were

economically left behind.

 

And so that now, as you see these plant closings, as you see these

unfulfilled promises, it`s got to hurt them in these places because there

was a promise made.  What I saw in 2016 in Ohio was actually that the trade

arguments, his trade arguments about China and whatnot resonated just as

much as the immigration arguments.

 

So to the extent that you still see these plant closings now in Warren,

Michigan in Warren, Ohio it`s got to be a vulnerability for him.

 

HAYES:  But what`s interesting about that is that the president and his

advisors` own theory of the case which they keep telling reporters is no,

what our supporters like is racism.  What will drive them out is racism and

we`re going to keep being super racist so that they will come to the polls. 

That is – that is – I`m not saying that`s my theory of the case, that is

what they tell every reporter who will listen about how they model the

views of their own voters and supporters.

 

MACGILLIS:  It`s true and that – but the obvious sort of limitation to

that – to that theory is where are the new voters you`re going to draw

with those racist appeals.  It`s not enough for Trump this year just to get

everyone to come back who voted for him last time.

 

You are going to have more energized Democratic vote than you had last time

around.  You`re going to have – you`re going to have lost a whole bunch of

your voters in 2016, suburban voters who have drifted away from you since

then.  Where are these new people you`re going to bring out with racist

appeals beyond what you already got in 2016?

 

HAYES:  I want to talk for a moment about the Kushner reporting you did

because it`s gotten a lot of attention obviously.  The President – and we

didn`t put the tweets up because they`re just – they`re not really about

Baltimore in any way and they`re not really about the city and they`re not

really about anything other than the fact that he`s yelling a racist rant

at the television.

 

But to the extent that he talks about infestation, you have some really

damning reporting on Kushner`s role in Baltimore as a landlord.  What did

you find?

 

MACGILLIS:  Oh well, Jared Kushner, his family has about 8,000 units here

in the Baltimore area.  They`re huge landlord.  They have these massive

apartment complexes all around the edge of the city.  They`re these very

sorts of downscale, very humble working-class apartment complexes that have

all sorts of problems including a lot of water damage and leaks, and black

mold, and a lot of mice and rats.

 

I talk to one mother who had – was so overrun with mice in her apartment

that she had to move her bed away from the wall, had to start putting the

laundry into a tote bag instead of the hamper because the mice kept jumping

in and her daughter`s asthma was getting worse because of all the allergens

and the mice droppings.  This is the reality of Jared Kushner apartments.

 

So when Trump is talking about the infestation in Baltimore, to extent that

that exists, it`s in part at his son-in-law`s apartments.

 

HAYES:  I guess the last question is your reaction to someone as someone

who lives in Baltimore, is very proud of the city, is also document in

detail many of the challenges it faces, and also someone who reported out

in the industrial Midwest to watch the city you live in be used as this

kind of racist stand-in to be whacked about as a pinata for those folks out

there in Michigan because he thinks that`s going to work to get their

votes.

 

MACGILLIS:  It`s so immensely disheartening.  I can`t even express it

really.  We`ve been going through a terrible time here in Baltimore in the

last few years.  We had a real resurgence of violence.  We`ve had 300

homicides in the last four or five years.  We`re about to hit 200 for this

year and it`s not even the end of July yet.

 

We have more homicides than New York City.  It`s been horrible.  We`ve had

massive corruption in the Police Department, in City Hall.  We`ve had a

complete failure of leadership here.  Those things are all true.  But to

then to have the president, instead of saying, hey, what can we do to help

your city?  What can – what can I do as the president in federal

government to lend a hand here?  Instead of turning around and just using

those troubles as a way to stoke racial division is just – it`s really

awful.

 

HAYES:  Alec MacGillis, thank you very much.

 

MACGILLIS:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  The President`s open racism towards African Americans did not start

this weekend.  Remember his very first appearance in The New York Times

paper record was because the DOJ was investigating him for discriminatory

housing policies.  And here`s what he said during a 2016 campaign stop in

Michigan.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  Look how much African-American communities have suffered under

Democratic control.  To those I say the following: what do you have to lose

by trying something new like Trump?  What do you have to lose?

 

I say it again, what do you have to lose?  Look, what do you have to lose? 

You`re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.  58

percent of your youth is unemployed.  What the hell do you have to lose?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Join me now Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director of Council of

the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a longtime resident of

Baltimore, joined us when we did a special on that city a few years back.

 

Charles Blow had a column today in the New York Times saying I don`t like

having to keep reminding everyone that this is utterly horrific racism by

the president but yet it must be done.  I`m wondering what your reaction is

on this Monday.

 

SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR, COUNCIL OF THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE

AND EDUCATIONAL FUND:  Well, I`m very torn, Chris.  I feel very much like

Charles Blow feels.  I wish I didn`t have to respond to this.  I do feel

that this is a manipulation from the president, but we do have to respond

to it because it is flagrant racism.  It denigrates the dignity of African

American people.  It denigrates our communities.  It denigrates the city of

Baltimore.  It denigrated people of color all over the country.

 

And we have to speak up because Donald Trump has moved the line and the

standard of what is decent, what is acceptable in public life and among

leaders and we have to fight to keep that line.  At the same time, we have

to be mindful of what he is trying to distract us from and to really focus

on the issues that we work on in places like Baltimore and the failure of

this administration to actually grapple with the challenges that are faced

by working-class people all over this country not just in places like

Baltimore.

 

HAYES:  You know, it`s striking that what precipitated this of course was a

Trump T.V. segment essentially along lines of the tweet focusing on Elijah

Cummings who was the chair of the Oversight Committee, whose subpoena Jared

Kushner and Ivanka Trump in pursuit of one of his investigations, and just

today put out an incredible report about the Trump ministration being shot

through by foreign agents including submitting drafts of an American first

energy speech, an America first energy speech to the UAE for edits.

 

This is what`s been uncovered by Chairman Elijah Cummings.  It`s worth

remembering why Cummings is the target.  It has nothing to do with the

people of Baltimore

 

IFILL:  That`s exactly right.  And that`s why I`m of two minds because as

soon as it starts to get hot, the President falls back on what he knows is

tried-and-true for him.  And I think, Chris, that`s where we should be

focusing.

 

Why does this appeal to so many Americans?  And I don`t think that this is

about economic anxiety.  I think this is about racism in American society. 

When we called it out and talked about it in 2015 and 2016, you know we

were told that it was all about economic anxiety.

 

There is a strong strain of racism in this country.  It`s not just

struggling people, its well-educated people.  Those comments that he makes

resonate.  And that`s why we have to push back against them and we`re going

to continue to do that but at the same time the organization I lead fights

on the ground in Baltimore for you know, economic mobility, for education,

for constitutional policing, and we`re not gonna stop that fight as well.

 

And so we just have to fight on multiple fronts.  He`s coming at us with

two fists.  We`re coming back with at least two as well.  And we`re just

going to stand flat-footed and fight this out.

 

HAYES:  Let me ask you this.  I mean, in some ways, the struggles the folks

face in Baltimore are distinct to that city and there`s been a whole bunch

of things having to do with the policing of that city and the governance of

that city but also not that different than challenges people face all over

the country.

 

Did the Trump economy feel like a boom economy in the city of Baltimore? 

Does it feel like some magical wand has been waved delivering on the

promise of that really vile speech that we played?

 

IFILL:  Well, I`ve been really waiting for an economic analysis that looks

at places like Baltimore.  Somehow when we talk about the stock market and

interest rates, we somehow seem to forget some of the other actions this

administration has taken.

 

Let`s take for example payday and car title lending that decimates places

like Baltimore and other places around the country.  It`s this

administration that has delayed the rule that was supposed to stop the

predatory practices of payday lenders and they are now proposing to repeal

the rule.

 

Let`s talk about for-profit colleges which African Americans attend at five

times the rate of whites.  Let`s talk about the rules that were put in

place to ensure that for-profit colleges could not allow people to run up

debt and not actually prepare them for the job market.  That rule has been

repealed by Betsy DeVos, Trump`s education secretary.

 

When we start to really go into the kinds of decision-making that actually

affects working-class people, we find a very different economy.  And that

is true in Baltimore, it is true in rural places around Maryland and other

states.  And that economy has to be lifted up and talked about and looked

at and not papered over by talk about the stock market and about interest

rates.

 

And on that scale, when we look at that analysis of the economy, this

administration has failed terribly.

 

HAYES:  All right, Sherrilyn Ifill, it`s always a pleasure to get to hear

you talk.  Thank you very much.

 

IFILL:  Thank you, Chris.

 

HAYES:  Next up, the case that Democrats avoiding Donald Trump`s bigotry is

a mistake but the man who helped defeat David Duke in the 1990s, Tim Wise

and Adam Serwer join me in two minutes.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Admittedly, it is always a bit hard to tell when the president

engages in an outburst the degree which he`s simply and emotionally

incontinent Fox News viewer who likes to talk back to the television versus

how much he`s attempting some kind of political strategy.

 

But one tendency I think that has developed among Democrats and not

complete without reason to be clear is a worry that engaging Trump on the

fights he picks is “playing on his turf.”  For that reason, it`s really

important to stress that the racist invective we see from him is not

broadly popular with American voters.

 

A recent Fox News poll found that registered voters massively disapprove of

Trump`s handling of race relations with Trump 25 percentage points

underwater.  It`s also important not to allow the vileness of his racism to

go on challenge.

 

Last week anti-racism educator and activist Tim Wise wrote about his time

working to defeat David Duke when the former KKK Grand Wizard was running

for Senator and Governor of Louisiana on the GOP ticket in the early 1990s.

 

Wise wrote that mainstream Democratic consultants urged the anti-Duke PAC

that he worked for not to focus primarily on Duke`s racism, saying that

doing so played into Duke`s hands, allowed him to set the agenda.

 

The lesson that Tim drew was that focusing on the racism was the best way

to beat Trump in 2020 the same way he helped beat Duke in 1991.  Tim Wise

joins me now along with Adam Serwer, Staff Writer at the Atlantic who`s

written about the particular unique and unprecedented danger to the very

core of American democracy that`s presented by the president`s racist

rhetoric in this moment.

 

Tim, I want you – if you could sort of describe the sort of thinking

strategically – again, it`s not a moral choice.  I think everyone was very

clear about who David Duke is, right?  So the question is how do you beat

David Duke in the state of Louisiana?  What kind of race you run against

him and the sort of tactical decisions that were made when you were working

on that race?

 

TIM WISE, ACTIVIST:  Well, the key is when you`re running against somebody

or when you`re working against somebody whose entire politic is a politic

of racial scapegoating and prejudice, to talk about things that are not

directly connected to that racism and prejudice is to normalize it and

treat him like a normal candidate.

 

And unfortunately in 1990 when Duke ran for the Senate, we did have these

consultants and some conservatives within our own coalition that were

uncomfortable calling out the modern racism.  We could talk about the Klan,

yes, the Nazi stuff, yes, but we weren`t supposed to talk about how he was

scapegoating black and brown folks for problems they didn`t create because

that would somehow spur a backlash.

 

And so the first election, we didn`t push hard enough on that.  We mixed up

the messages with other things.  In the governor`s race in `91, we drilled

down much more clearly, talked about this as a moral choice, talked about

Duke-ism as an existential threat to the state and the values that we held

dear.  And as a result, we`re able to get the kind of coalition, the base

voters for Democrats, absolutely, their turnout went through the roof, but

so did reasonable Republicans, moderates, and independents.

 

That`s what`s needed because it isn`t enough to just beat Trump, the man. 

Trump-ism is an ideology has to be dealt a repudiation.

 

HAYES:  Adam, I feel like there`s – you know, you see these sort of savvy

– the savvy takes about like oh this is actually smart strategy which I

think is a little beside the point, but there is this question, right,

about like does this work or not.  Is this – is this effective to do what

he wants to do.

 

And I`m curious what you think about that because in some ways, what you`re

right about is the history of American politics is this often is quite

effective.

 

ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC:  Well, I mean, I`m not a political

strategist.  Historically it`s been effective and it`s been effective for a

reason that Duke himself identified in the `90 campaign.  So what Dukes

used to tell his voters, he used to say, remember, when they call me

racist, they`re really talking about you.

 

And that`s important because that`s what Trump is banking on.  Trump is

inviting these accusations of racism because he believes that his voters

will take it as an attack on them and then turn out in the numbers he needs

to overwhelm his weaknesses, and I think that`s a real danger.

 

But I also want to point out that the one person who really closely watched

that `90 Duke campaign was Donald Trump.  And he said at the time you know,

you could say what you want about David Duke but this – the kind of things

he`s talking about appeal to a lot of Republicans, and if he ran for

president, he`d get a lot of votes.  And then you know, 30 years later,

he`s pretending he doesn`t know who David Duke is.

 

HAYES:  Yes.  There was a remarkable moment where he was asked to sort of

denounce Duke and he on cameras said, who is this David Duke?  I don`t know

this David.

 

SERWER:  He knows exactly who David Duke was because he`s running his `90

campaign and he`s going to do it again in 2020.  And he`s going to count on

the injured feelings of his voters who –

 

HAYES:  That`s a great point.

 

SERWER:  He`s going to – he`s counting on them feeling under siege from

criticisms from Democrats on Trump`s record on race to power them to the

poll.

 

WISE:  But they already did.  They already did.

 

SERWER:  I mean, they already do, it`s true.  So I can`t tell you – I

can`t tell you whether this strategy is going to work.  I can tell you that

it`s not magic.  It`s not – it`s not genius.  It is the type of politics

in American history.

 

HAYES:  It`s – yes, it`s literally the like the oldest kind of politics in

the country has.  And there`s a question, Tim, I mean – I mean, again, we

don`t know, right?  We don`t know what it does.

 

WISE:  Right.

 

HAYES:  But it also is – it is the case that like it does turn some people

off, and not just people of color, like there are – like it is – it is a

way of juicing turnout among some folks but there are costs to it.  And I

feel like sometimes the strategic takes lose sight of that which is

something that your – you know, your experience in the Duke campaign

suggests is a real thing.

 

WISE:  Right.  I mean, here`s the thing.  Those of us who are progressive

never tire of telling people that this is a center-left nation mostly

progressive.  Well, let`s put that to the test.  I believe that, but what

could be a more progressive value than pluralism, and multiracial,

multicultural democracy?

 

I`m willing to bet everything on the idea there are more of us than there

are them.  So let`s start acting like it and let`s demand a repudiation of

Trumpism as a result.

 

HAYES:  And that`s – and that`s the question I think the sort of dilemma

in some ways from – for the Democrats right, Adam.  And you saw even in

Sherrilyn`s I thought very thoughtful like of two minds, right, this idea

of him controlling the conversation.  So the president says something

disgusting and racist and I`m seeing like fact checks about like the city

of Baltimore.  It`s like that`s not – it`s not the point what he`s saying.

 

SERWER:  Well, the issue here is really that – I mean, if you look at 2016

and 2018, a majority of the country rejected this.

 

HAYES:  Yes, correct.

 

SERWER:  Trump went hard on it in 2016 and most Americans voted for the

other candidate.  He went even harder on it in 2018 and he lost the House. 

The problem is that his coalition is ideally geographically distributed

which makes it difficult because Democrats have to appeal not to – it`s

not so much that the people on the coast that they have to win, it`s these

people in the middle who might be more inclined to feel insulted depending

on how Democrats approach the issue.  That`s what they`re for.

 

HAYES:  It`s a great – it`s a really important point from the Electoral

College standpoint, the Coalition is – has this sort of added wind at its

back because it`s sort of mathematically over-represented in the – in the

Electoral College.

 

SERWER:  But they are not a majority.

 

HAYES:  No.  Tim, I want to just play just to give you like sort of two

examples of ads that you helped us sort of find which I think sort of show

the difference in approaches at Duke which I thought were sort of

illuminating, clarifying when you think particularly about what 2020 will

look like to degree the President is going to keep ramping this up.  Take a

look.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you and welcome back to Jabberwocky, the game

show all America loves to watch.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Paul, I`ll try tax cheats for 200.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He failed to file state income taxes from 1984 to 1987. 

Allen!

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was David Duke.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In 1969, David Duke said I am a national socialist. 

You can call me a Nazi if you wish.  In 1976, he organized a meeting of a

Nazi group which called for the release of all Nazi war criminals.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  On the one hand, he didn`t file tax returns for three years, on the

other hand, he`s literally a devotee of Hitler.  Like you can see – you

could see which one was made more powerful.

 

WISE:  Let me say, even that first ad, that there were references in the

course of that one-minute ad to his Nazism, but it was an example of how we

had to compromise to sort of not tread too heavily on race.  And I think it

confused people.  I think people looked at it and said, if he`s a Nazi, why

are we talking about taxes, exactly?

 

And I think if your politic is one of division and racism, let`s stay

focused on that and let`s call people to actually stand up for American

values and what we know to be the better angels of our nature as a country.

 

HAYES:  All right, Tim Wise and Adam Serwer, thank you both for being with

me.

 

SERWER:  Thank you for having me.

 

HAYES:  Coming up, the number of House Democrats in favor of impeachment

proceedings reaches triple digits.  The highest-ranking member on that

list, a member of Speaker Pelosi`s leadership team will join me right after

this short break.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  The conventional wisdom in Washington D.C. following the Mueller

hearings has been that all in all they were a bit of a dud.  And that

narrative, of course, was pushed very hard by the President and his allies

who sought to link the former Special Counsel`s testimony with the end of a

push for impeachment, like it`s over, we`re done, we`re moving on. 

 

Well, here`s the thing, exactly the opposite is happening, at least right

now.  In the days since Robert Mueller testified, 16 additional Democrats

have come out in favor of opening an impeachment  inquiry against the

president, seven in the last three days alone.  In total, 109 Democrats now

support an inquiry, which is nearly half of the House Democratic caucus.

 

We`ve seen signs of movement from Democratic leaders as well.  NBC News

reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told her caucus they should

decide on impeachment based on their constituents and their own conscience. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said he personally believes the

president, quote, “richly deserving impeachment.”

 

Neither Nadler nor Pelosi are on the list of the 109 Democrats explicitly

calling for an impeachment inquiry, but my next guest is.  In fact, she is

the highest ranking House Democrat who has called for an impeachment

inquiry, Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, also the vice-

chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joins me now.

 

Congresswoman, thank you.  What tipped you over?

 

REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS:  Oh, thank you for having me,

Chris.  I can tell you exactly what it was, it was watching Robert Mueller

describe how the Russians are planning every day to steal our election, and

at the same time we had a bipartisan report come out of

the senate saying that the Russians had tried to attack every single

state`s election system.  And what did we see the GOP do?  The very same

day of Mueller`s testimony, you know, Mitch McConnell blocked two bills

that could provide security and make sure that every eligible voter in this

country can cast that vote free of foreign interference.

 

And for me that took me to saying we need to use every tool that we have to

get the facts out before the American people and let the truth be exposed.

 

HAYES:  So I want to ask you an internal caucus question, which I would

love if you could answer as honestly as possible.  When Nancy Pelosi told

the caucus the other day you can make up your own mind, I`m not whipping

this essentially, does she really mean that?  Because it has seemed very

clear from both the conversations I have had with folks on the Hill and in

the Democratic caucus and the reporting that she`s been trying to keep

tight reins on it, that she worries about the politics of it.

 

Is there some change now in the leadership`s position towards impeachment?

 

CLARK:  I think she did mean it because there is no one who wants to hold

Donald Trump

accountable more than Nancy Pelosi, but she also understands that we have

to be responsive to our constituents, and she always is keeping that

balance.  How do we legislate?  How do we work for the American people,

move forward on health care, on infrastructure, on getting corruption out

of politics and at the same time have the hearings and the oversight

necessary to rein in a lawless president?

 

She is striking that balance every day and I think she`s encouraging us to

think for ourselves, be  responsive to our constituents as we head home for

a work period in our districts and hear what they have to say and take the

action we feel is appropriate.

 

HAYES:  So when you decided that you want to call publicly and formally for

an impeachment

inquiry, like, did you tell the speaker and the leadership team and say,

look, this is what I`m going to do and here is my rationale?

 

CLARK:  I did tell the speaker.  And I don`t believe in surprises for

someone who I work that

closely with, and I wanted her to know ahead of time.  And she said exactly

what we were just talking about, that, you know, I have to do what I feel

is the best for my constituents and the country.  And we are united as a

caucus.  We want to get the truth to the American people.  We want to get

the facts on the table.  And we are being met with our oversight, with our

constitutional obligation to provide that oversight with unrelenting

obstruction from this administration. 

 

So we`re going to come at it with all ways.  We`re going to do the great

work that committees have been doing and holding hearings.  And when these

witnesses won`t come forward, using the courts to support that, and also

keep working on what we said the American people are going to do. 

 

There`s no greater contrast than the vote we took just a few weeks ago

giving Americans a raise for the first time in a decade by raising the

minimum wage.  And contrast that with what the Republicans did last year in

their tax scam on the American people, giving away a trillion dollars –

trillions of dollars – to the very wealthiest and to the largest

corporations. 

 

That`s why the American people sent us to congress, gave us the majority,

to work on health care, to work on these issues that they talk about around

their kitchen table.  And we`re going to do both.

 

HAYES:  I get that.  I get that as both a substantive matter, a moral

matter, a political matter and a messaging matter, but it is also the case

that part of the issue is like I see people say, well, why should we

impeach the president?  He`s going to be acquitted in the senate, right. 

It`s not going to actually change. 

 

But that`s true of the $15 minimum wage bill, it`s still basically every

piece of legislation that the House passes that Mitch McConnell kills,

particularly the sort of big priority progressive issues

like a $15 minimum wage, which Mitch McConnell is never going to bring up

for a vote in the Senate, right?

 

CLARK:  Well, we can`t simply say, oh, Mitch McConnell`s going to obstruct

everything that we try and do.  Our president`s going to use racist

bullying to get us to change our minds or be quiet or  shrink back from our

oversight duties.   We have to remember who were there to work for, and

that`s American families.  And we are going to be their voice.   And we are

going to be clear, and we`re going to be loud about it, and we`re not going

to back down. 

 

And if they won`t pass the bills on raising the minimum wage, on gun safety

reform that is  supported across the political spectrum in this country –

and we`ve seen once again play out tragically in Gilroy, California with

the loss of life there at a food festival – if they`re not going to

support the Violence Against Women Act, the Equality Act, all this

legislation that we`re doing to protect health care and people with pre-

existing conditions, then we will take that to the polls and the American

people in 2020.

 

HAYES:  All right.  Congresswoman Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House

Democratic Caucus, thank you for joining me.

 

CLARK:  Thank you, Chris.

 

HAYES:  Ahead, as Democratic candidates prepare for debate week why the

fight over what  comes after Obamacare shaping the whole race.

 

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, the former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after

almost a year in

hiding has been quoted a bit here and there lately courageously portraying

himself as a kind of Ivanka-like figure, helping prevent the mad king from

acting on his worst impulses.

 

In the new book American Carnage, Ryan says, quote, “I told myself I got to

have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right.  I`m

telling you, he didn`t know anything about government.  I wanted to scold

him all the time.”

 

Did you, though?  Did you really?

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN:  Something this big, something this

generational, something this profound could not have been done without

exquisite presidential leadership.  Mr. President, thank you for getting us

over the finish line.  Thank you for getting us where we are.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Yes!  There was a time when Paul Ryan loved Donald Trump exquisite

leadership, and was not only for giving giant permanent tax cuts for

corporations, it was also for trying to help Ryan fulfill a small but very

important part of that longtime journey.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

RYAN:  Imagine for a moment if you could file your taxes on the form the

size of a postcard.  Wouldn`t that be something?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Paul Ryan imagined it.  Trump brought it to life.  And now it`s

dead.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S DAUGHTER:  I`m really looking forward to doing

a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has,

both with on the process of filling out their taxes, the vast majority will

be doing so on a single post card.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Oh, wait, really?  You may remember Ivanka jumped the gun there. 

The thing was not ready for another year and now it`s dead.  Because as

Bloomberg reported today, after one year the IRS – this is amazing – has

ditched the idea permanently, partly because outside groups and tax

professionals who complained it created unnecessary complications.  One

conservative tax lobbyist saying the postcard was a mess.

 

Paul Ryan`s dream card done in by conservative lobbyists and the Trump kiss

of death.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  I didn`t know I was going to be given a picture (ph).

 

UNIDENITFIED MALE:  Don`t lose it.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s yours.  It`s yours.

 

TRUMP:  It`s beautiful.  Thank you.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS:  We have some breaking news, the White House has

announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in

the fall.

 

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE:  Say that again.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

COATS:  OK.  That`s going to be special.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That moment at last year`s Aspen Security Forum tells us a lot

about the relationship

between the president and the intelligence community represented there by

the soon to be former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.  It`s

been both awkward and acrimonious to say the least,  from the then

president-elect comparing U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis, literally,

to Trump`s very first day in office when he stood in front of the CIA`s

memorial wall and boasted about his intellect and

inauguration crowd size, to most infamously taking Vladimir Putin`s word

that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election over his own

intelligence community`s assessment.

 

In spite of all that, Dan Coats often said things the president didn`t want

to hear, like when he testified before congress earlier this year and

contradicted Trump on issues, including the threat of ISIS in Syria, the

possibility of North Korea denuclearizing, and whether Iran cheated on the

nuclear deal.

 

And just earlier this month, Coats appointed a new election security czar

countering the president`s apparent lack of concern on the subject.  As The

New York Times puts it, to Mr. Trump, Mr. Coats had come to represent the

disapproving Republican elite that he scorned.

 

So now Dan Coats is leaving and the person who Trump wants to replace him

with is pretty much exactly what you would expect.  Do you remember this

guy from the Mueller hearings?

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, (R) TEXAS:  I agree with the chairman this morning

when said Donald Trump is not above the law.  He`s not.  But he damn sure

shouldn`t be below the law, which is where volume II of this report puts

him.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That`s Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe.  It turns out it was

basically an audition for the director of national intelligence job. 

Ratcliffe met with the president a few days before the hearings

and then went out and essentially performed a Sean Hannity monologue for an

audience of one

on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Ratcliffe has a long history of promoting Trump TV propaganda, especially

on alleged anti-Trump bias at the FBI, the investigation into Hillary

Clinton emails and the origins of the Russia investigation.  And for the

president, all that apparently outweighed his lack practically any real

relevant experience for DNI. 

 

Ratcliffe has served on the House Intelligence Committee for all of seven

months.  And as Democrat Ron Wyden of Senate intel said today, quote, “he

is the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve

as DNI.” 

 

And we have already watched the top of the Department of Justice come to

the control of the Trump loyalist who clearly sees his job as protecting

the president above all else.  Now, imagine the entire intelligence

apparatus of the United States government doing the same.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Clearly one of the main issues at tomorrow night`s Democratic 

debate will be health care policy.  Joe Biden, who favors a public option

added to the Affordable Care Act, has been attacking the Medicare for all

single-payer plan being pushed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren 

among others.

 

Biden says, more or less correctly, that it would eliminate private

insurance, but he says much more dubiously that it would, quote, get rid of

Obamacare.  Sanders has been attacking Biden for what his campaign says is

scare mongering, while Kamala Harris has kind of attempted to thread the

needle between the two with a new plan announced today that would

transition to Medicare for all, but retain some private insurance, like

Medicare Advantage currently functions.

 

Joining me now, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, chair of the progressive PAC South Paw

Michigan, former health commissioner for the city of Detroit; and Ezra

Klein, editor at-large at Vox, whose new piece asks why voters aren`t more

willing to abandon a health system that`s failing.

 

I want to start with that, Ezra.  The big sort of issue here in the center

of this, and we`re seeing it in the politics, is the kind of fear voters

have about a new system, even when the current system isn`t working or has

holes.  What`s your understanding of what that comes from and how big a

challenge that is?

 

EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR AT-LARGE, VOX:  It`s a big challenge.

 

So you`ve seen a lot of different reform plans crash on the shoals of

people not wanting to see what they have taken away, even if what they have

is quite bad.  So, one of the signal moments in

this, Obamacare promised, or Obama promised that Obamacare would let you

keep your health

insurance if you liked it, and then turned out it canceled about 3 million

plans which isn`t that many in the scheme of things, and these plans were

bad plans.  They were the worst of the worse, and there was still a massive

political backlash.

 

So, there tends to be a real fear that people have, not about being allowed

to transition over to something, to choose something they want, but being

told that they can`t have the thing they currently have and they`re going

to be put on something new.  And that`s always a challenge for those who

have to balance between people`s risk aversion, but also if you want to

create something better, you often have to change what you currently have.

 

HAYES:  Yeah, how do you see – Abdul, you and I had a whole Why is This

Happening podcast conversation about single payer, which you favor.  But

how do you see that the sort of politics, or the very real politics of

telling people that you`re going to do something new that`s going to be a

big, bold change, but that they will end up better off?

 

ABDUL EL-SAYED, CHAIR, PAC SOUTH PAW MICHIGAN:  Look, the best way to muddy

a message is to start to give the message of your opponent.  And we saw

during the debates with respect to the ACA about how private health

insurance corporations were driving a message about how you were going to

lose your health care.  It`s sad to see Democrats driving that same message

because they want to fearmonger to win a primary.

 

The fact of the matter is is that any solution that does not include

addressing the fact in this country, we still rely on a system of corporate

health insurance that raises the cost for all of us and excludes many of

us, it`s not going to solve the problem.  Medicare for all, single payer,

does that thing.

 

So, we have to keep driving the conversation about what we ought to do

rather than hold ourselves hostage to an insecurity of a few driven by

folks who stand to make a lot of money on the other side of this.

 

HAYES:  But let me push back on that a second.  I want to get Ezra`s

response.  Let`s bracket substantively the best plan, right, whether single

payer is that or not.  But just – I just feel like the idea that people`s

resistance to something new, or their distrust or fear about it, is some

concocted thing by the health insurance industry, feels a little bit like

didn`t actually square with reality.  Like, people are scared of big new

things vis-a-vis health care.  In fact, Canada phased in their single-payer

system province by province for basically that reason.

 

EL-SAYED:  Well, I tell you this…

 

KLEIN:  Well, it`s hard every single time.  The thing you end up in here,

you have on one hand the industry and then you have the public.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

KLEIN:  And there`s a convergence there, the public`s very real fears are

the material the industry can plan with.  So, if you have a big reform plan

that is activating public fear and the industry spends a billion dollars

making people afraid, well that`s something very powerful to work with.  It

doesn`t make those public fears not real.  You can`t just not pretend

they`re not real.  You cannot pretend that people don`t have them.  People

in this country do not trust the government.  They just don`t. 

 

When you take Medicare and you poll it and you say Medicare for anybody who

wants it, it polls 71 percent.  When you say it will abolish private

insurance, it goes down to 41 percent.  So, that`s a real thing that that

you have to step around.

 

HAYES:  But, on the flip side – go ahead, Abdul.

 

EL-SAYED:  to push back, right, since when did we as Democrats start with

the other argument in frame, people don`t trust government?  Our whole

point has always been that government aught to be a part of important

solutions to important problems that people face.

 

When 5 percent to 10 percent of your population still doesn`t have health

care,   We pay more in health care than any other country in the world and

we`re still in a position where those costs are increasing, we`ve got to

stand up and say this is the solution that we have to push.

 

This notion that we`re putting the cart before the horse starting with the

politics, rather than the policy, that`s never been how we moved it. 

 

One more point, there have been many, many, many reformers who tried to

move an idea of a national health insurance, and every single time, the

polling on the issue was strong until you had a junta of corporate

executives come together, put a whole bunch of money into changing public 

opinion.  We`ve got to start with our arguments to say that the policy

should lead and we need to be people focused on addressing what will

actually solve health care crisis in this country.

 

HAYES:  To me, Ezra, let me just – because you said something about the

sort of people trust

the government, to me it`s less about whether they trust the government,

more about what`s new or old.  Like, what`s remarkable to me about the ACA,

having covered it, was it was under water when it passed.  It was under

water for a very long time in the early parts of, you know, its

implementation.  Now it`s, like, plus 10 percent, plus 12 percent.  People

don`t – they couldn`t even get it repealed.

 

Like, the tangible thing, if you try to repeal Medicare tomorrow, you lose

95 votes in the Senate,

right?  Like, it`s less about government, more about, like, the

concreteness of the thing that people have.

 

KLEIN:  I think that`s right, I think it`s primarily status quo bias.

 

One other just big point I want to make about this, I think Democrats have

gone off in a  very weird direction of making this entire debate about

private insurance.  You can reform the health care  system to have

universal health insurance and to have lower costs and to have more

comprehensive coverage in a dozen different ways, some of them have private

insurance included, some of them don`t.  You just saw Kamala Harris come

out with one that would have a long transition, which I don`t fully 

understand, but would eventually have a private option within a public

system.

 

The idea that it all has to be revolving around this question of do you

abolish private insurance seems to me if you look at international systems,

many of which do this better in all kinds of ways, to be wrong.  I think

the fundamental question is how do you guarantee universality?

 

I think the second question is, how do you make sure the pricing in the

American health care system goes down, which you can do either through

using Medicare rates or extending them. 

 

And then I think you have to look at what people actually want.  I don`t

agree with Adbul that you can totally take the politics out of politics.

 

HAYES:  I`m now up against another show, so Abdul, I`m going to tell the

people to listen to the hour-long podcast you and I did on Why is This

Happening in which you make a case in the other direction instead of giving

you the time now, because I`m now 15 seconds over.

 

Abdul El-Sayed, Ezra Klein, thank you both for being with me.

 

That is ALL IN for this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts now with

Roy Reid in for Rachel. 

 

Good evening, Joy.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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