Trump and advisers downplay economic concerns. TRANSRIPT: 8/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Robert Reich, Asawin Suebsaeng, Kirsten Gillibrand, Nikole Hannah- Jones, Carol Anderson, Julian Brave Noisecat, Cornell Belcher
Transcript:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

 

KELLYANNE CONWAY, ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT:  The fact is the fundamentals

of our economy are very strong and you know it.

 

HAYES:  The White House insists there is nothing to see here.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I tell you what, I sure don`t see a recession.

 

HAYES:  As the President all but demands emergency action.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I don`t see a recession.

 

HAYES:  Tonight Robert Reich on Donald Trump and the R-word.  Then, why

Senator Elizabeth Warren was apologizing today.

 

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I know that I have

made mistakes.  I am sorry for the harm I have caused.

 

HAYES:  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on what appears to be a presidential

retreat on background checks.

 

TRUMP:  People don`t realize we have very strong background checks right

now.

 

HAYES:  And the conservative backlash to the 1619 project on the impact of

slavery in America.

 

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The whole project is a lie.

 

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  Donald Trump and the

Trump administration understand that there is one thing that could do what

nothing else has done so far and that has diminished Trump support among

his bedrock and devoted base.

 

Not encouraging Russia`s attack on our election, not Charlottesville, and

fine people on both sides, not to “send her back” tweets and the chants,

not the kids in cages, not the ripping babies from their mother`s arms. 

There`s one thing I think that could crack that support, that could make

his base actually disappear and that is if the economy goes south.

 

I think they know that too in the White House.  They had the rabid devotion

of a certain percentage of the country that will never leave the president

no matter what world grotesquery he presents.  But we were also in month

122 of the longest recovery in the country history.  That would be clear.

 

The Trump economy is an economy that trumpet heritage.  And just like his

family inheritance, he seems to be going out of his way to squander it. 

The Trump economy was actually rebuilt by the previous administration of

Barack Obama.

 

But average job growth per years has been lower than under Barack Obama,

the stock market under Trump grown at a slower rate actually than under

Obama.  We do a very low unemployment there are a bunch of macroeconomic

indicators including wage growth at the bottom that are genuinely really

positive.

 

The problem is we`ve got very good reason to think the booming economy is

not long for this world.  The White House may be right to panic.  And

that`s why the President is once again publicly bullying the Federal

Reserve Bank in violation of a long-held norm of independence.  You don`t

do that kind of thing really.

 

The problem is when you`re berating the Fed to take dramatic Great

Recession level steps to shore up the economy like an enormous rate cut the

President is calling for, it`s also hard to then sell people an idea that

the same economy is an amazing shape, that there`s nothing to worry about. 

And the administration also risks entering into the very dangerous

territory of infamously tone-deaf politicians.

 

Today Kellyanne Conway offered a now-iconic phrase made famous by President

Herbert Hoover when he said the fundamental business of the country that

his production, distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous

basis.

 

Four days after he said that, the Stock Market crashed assuring in the

Great Depression.  And that was then either wittingly or unwittingly it`s

still unclear echoed by then-Senator John McCain in the fall of 2008.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOHN MCCAIN (R), FORMER SENATOR FROM ARIZONA:  You know that there`s been

tremendous turmoil in our financial markets in Wall Street.  And it is –

it`s – people are frightened by these events.  Our economy I think still

the fundamentals are – of our economy are strong but these are very, very

difficult time.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Say that phrase.  It`s like – it`s like talking about a perfect

game of the eighth inning, just don`t say it.  Less than two months later,

McCain lost his bid for the White House.  As you may recall, the U.S. saw

its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  And then here was

Kellyanne Conway earlier this morning.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CONWAY:  It`s nice to see the media finally cover the Trump economy.  You

seem to cover it only when you can use the Sesame Street word of the day

Recession.  And so you`re using a tweet here, a report there, or an

economist`s words here and there.  The fact is the fundamentals of our

economy are very strong and you know it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Never fear.  If there is a recession on the horizon, the person who

will steer the White House`s response is the Director of National Economic

Council Larry Kudlow.  Now, Kudlow has a remarkable almost comically

admirable record of being consistently wrong about everything for years. 

He told the National Review back in 2007 “there`s no recession coming.  The

pessimists are wrong.  It`s not going to happen.  Take it to the bank.”

 

As The Washington Post documented last year, Kudlow predicted a declining

deficit this year.  The rate of growth is actually increased.  Last year

Kudlow predicted GDP would grow between three and four percent.  Since then

has grown by only 2.5 percent.  Yesterday, Kudlow gave this – let`s call

it less than reassuring performance on trump T.V.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is your message up from the White House now there is

no recession coming and we are just calling to assure you that we think the

economy is on firm footing and no additional measures are needed?

 

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL:  I don`t

think additional measures are needed.  Now, hang on.  I want to talk about

the ongoing China negotiations.  We`ll get to that in a moment perhaps.  We

are looking at the USMCA, NAFTA 2.0 trade deal.  That would be very

important.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Based on that, it`s not hard to see why the President would be

concerned about what would happen if the economy took a turn for the worse. 

Here with me now for more on the Trump economy Robert Reich, former

Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, author several books including

The Common Good.

 

As someone who has been through a number of business cycles, has watched

this administration and watch the sort of last administration working

through recovering from Great Recession, where do you see us right now?

 

ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR:  Well, the fundamentals are

actually, Chris, a little bit fragile.  And I was listening to Larry Kudlow

just now as I have for years, I have a Kudlow meter.  Whatever he says the

direction of the economy is going in, I bet in the opposite way.  And I`ve

actually made quite a lot of money.  I mean, you know based on a small

basis.

 

I mean, the economy right now is fragile for really very, very clear

reasons.  One has to do with the China trade war.  That is causing

businesses all over America and other countries to pull back on investment

because they are so unsure about the future, they don`t want to make

investments.

 

Why make investments in your supply chain?  Why make investments in new

jobs?  Why make investments at all if you just don`t know what is going to

happen to the global economy?  When the first the biggest and the second-

biggest economy are at loggerheads, you just don`t know.

 

The other big problem is the Trump tax cut.  It was a sugar high for the

stock markets.  That sugar high is over and the stock market knows it, and

that`s why the stock market is slumping.

 

HAYES:  You know, the Trump tax cut it`s really remarkable.  I mean, it is

the signature of domestic policy achievement not just to Donald Trump but

the Republican Party in total.  Unified governance, they tried the ACA

repealed, it didn`t work.  They got the tax cut.

 

What is the score on this thing right now?  I mean, as far as I can tell,

the only good-faith argument about it was that it would increase business

investment and that hasn`t seemed to borne out at all.  And other than

that, it seems like a huge transfer to wealthy shareholders and

corporations.

 

REICH:  Well, I think that it not only has been a huge transfer to wealthy

shareholders and corporations, Chris, but also it could have been predicted

that that was going to be the case.  I mean, businesses will not take the

savings from a tax cut and invest those savings unless they think they`re

going to be consumers out there enough to actually absorb whatever those

investments generate.

 

But there was no way in this case.  I mean, although you see a little bit

of wage growth at the bottom, basically American wages have been stuck in

the mud.  There is no reason to suppose that foreign markets are going to

enlarge, in fact, if anything they are contracting right now.  So you –

and then, of course, you`ve got the China trade problem.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

REICH:  So you took all of those factors together and businesses are going

to say, Oh, terrific we`ve got a big, big savings here.  Let`s buy back our

own shares of stock so we can create the impression that the stock market

is pretty good for a while.

 

HAYES:  There`s also this hypocrisy – it`s not even hypocrisy I think,

it`s sort of deeper than that.  But Donald Trump was one of the people

along with folks like Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore in The Wall Street

Journal editorial page we`re basically saying during the Barack Obama that

Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke were turning the U.S. into Zimbabwe, that

they were ramping up the printing press over the Federal Reserve doing

what`s called quantitative easing.

 

That`s buying a bunch of securities enlarging the balance sheet trying

desperately to backstop global financial markets, that this was reckless

socialism and the deficits were too high and there was too much spending. 

And you are now watching them point by point call for the exact same recipe

of things with an unemployment rate of four percent as opposed to the wake

of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

 

REICH:  Exactly.  And Barack Obama remember never said to the Fed you have

got to reduce interest rates.  The reason that presidents don`t do that is

you don`t want to make the market worried that what the Fed does is

political.  The minute the markets start worrying that the Fed is

politicized, the Fed has less credibility.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

REICH:  So you just don`t want to do that.  And what – you know, the cries

that you hear from Republicans about socialism have been turned upside

down.  We do have socialism for the rich and for big corporations.  We have

very, very harsh capitalism for everybody else under the Trump

administration especially.

 

HAYES:  All right, Robert Reich, thank you so much your time.  Joining me

now for more on the Trump Administrations responsible for recent economic

red flag, John Harwood Editor-at-Large for CNBC, and the host of CNBC

digital series “SPEAKEASY” with John Harwood, and Asawin Suebsaeng White

House Reporter for The Daily Beast.

 

You know, Asawin, one thing that strikes me as we look at this

administration at this moment is there`s not a lot of folks left there.  I

mean, the amount of turnover and churn, you`ve got Pete Navarro who I think

would cheer to be described as a heterodox and dissenting voice among

professional economists.  You`ve gone Larry Kudlow, and it just seems like

there`s not a lot of people minding the stores at just general staffing

matter.

 

ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST:  Well, you got a

whole bunch of senior aides and senior officials in Trump world right now

who`s number one priority seems to be backing up what the President of the

United States thinks is the current reality.

 

Obviously, that might not actually jibe with what actually is the current

reality, but among President Trump`s personal reaction and ongoing strategy

to the bad economic news, it appears he has a sort of two-tiered strategy

at the moment and it`s very much so a com strategy not necessarily an

economic strategy per se.  It`s blame the media and blame Fed Chairman

Jerome Powell.

 

When it comes to the media he has said for years going back to at least

early 2017 according to the people I spoken to who have spoken to Trump

about the economy and recessions in the abstract going back to the first

year of his presidency, that he does believe in self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

When it comes to economic news, he believes if economic news bubbles up in

the media and more cable news and more radio and more T.V., invite

economist and pundits on to talk about it, he believes that it could

actually create a self-existing cycle that could drive down the economy. 

So that explains why he`s blaming the media so much nowadays.

 

And when it comes to someone like Jerome Powell I was speaking to Steve

Moore the other day and he`s an informal economic advisor of the President

and a conservative economist says the Heritage Foundation, and he mentioned

that he was at the White House a month ago for a meeting with President

Trump and several other people, and it wasn`t to talk about the economy,

it`s about a hodgepodge of topics.

 

But President Trump unprompted went out of his way to privately bash

Chairman Powell and repeatedly call him “a golfer who has no feel for the

green.”  So whether it`s in private or publicly you can expect the

President to do a lot blaming to Powell and a lot of blaming to the media. 

That`s the strategy right now.

 

HAYES:  John, the palace stuff is really quite remarkable on two fronts. 

One is you`ve covered this longer than I have, but I don`t think I`ve ever

seen a president do this even public at least.  There`s been behind the

scenes buttonholing.  There`s a famous picture of LBJ with the Fed chair. 

He`s trying to get him to lower rates where he`s basically assaulting him

essentially.  But there`s – this is just in another universe, right?  This

doesn`t happen?

 

JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC EDITOR-AT-LARGE:  Well, look Donald Trump doesn`t have a

strategy for any particular policy including the economy.  He has a

strategy for what is good for Donald Trump in the immediate moment.  And so

the things he says one day may have no relation to the things he says the

next day because he has a different impulse.

 

So we`ve seen this with aides like Anthony Scaramucci who he praises when

they say nice things about him and he eviscerated them when they criticized

him, the same with Jay Powell.  Jay Powell has done a very competent job I

think in the estimate of most economists.  He`s somebody who had a policy

that`s fairly similar to what Janet Yellen was conducting under – who had

been appointed by President Obama.

 

I think there`s a lot of confidence in the markets in Jay Powell.  And the

president is lashing out because he`s scared and believes that negative

developments in the financial markets and the economy are going to have a

negative effect on him so he`s got to reach out to smack somebody.

 

It`s not because he has a considered judgment of Jerome Powell.  Obviously,

during the Obama administration, he said the opposite of all the things

that he`s saying now.

 

HAYES:  Well, here`s my question for you.  My sense is you know, the famous

“I can shoot people on Fifth Avenue” and we`ve seen like no matter what he

does basically, there`s been a few moments where his approval ratings dip

down to 35 percent or so during the shutdown but it`s cold studied this

like 40 percent.

 

I think Trump and the Trump administration things correctly that the one

thing that could break that would be an actual recession.  Is that your

read of how the White House understands this win?

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

HAYES:  Asawin, go ahead, and then you, John.

 

SUEBSAENG:  No, absolutely.  You talked to the senior officials in Donald

Trump`s West Wing or his White House about this and of course, they`ll say

that.  I mean, most of them again, unfortunately speaking privately and

off-the-record would be more than happy to be self-aware about that.

 

It`s just that the leader of the free world who they`re all taking their

public cues from and which determines how they act not just in terms of

public messaging but also in private policymaking are reflecting the views

the impulses, stratagem, and the policies of a man who seriously believes

that his economy is perfect.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

SUEBSAENG:  The best America has ever had and couldn`t possibly –

 

HAYES:  Or says he believes that.

 

SUEBSAENG:  Exactly.

 

HAYES:  John.

 

HARWOOD:  Well, look, what I would say is President Trump has – his

numbers have been held down even in a good economy because a lot of people

who like how the economy`s done do not like his behavior.  His danger now

is that people who do like his behavior all of a sudden see that the

economy that`s been propping him up isn`t there anymore, they`re going to

turn.

 

In our NBC Wall Street Journal poll this weekend, white women without

college education who supported him by 20 – margin of 27 percentage points

over Hillary Clinton in 2016 favor a generic Democrat by six percentage

points.  That is the place to look for erosion in his base as people get

more and more anxious about where this economy is headed.

 

HAYES:  That is – that number, I want to say it again that Hillary Clinton

lost that group of white women without college degrees by 27 percent.  They

favor generic Democrat by six percent in the latest NBC polling.

 

And to me, that also speaks the fact that he promised all these things

about how the structural nature of the way the American economy hadn`t

worked for a while was going to be fixed and it hasn`t.  Even if the

cyclical news has been good and there`s some part of that I think that`s

eroding with those folks.  John Harwood and Asawin Suebsaeng, thank you

both.

 

SUEBSAENG:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  Next after appearing to support tougher background checks in the

wake of two deadly shootings, it took just two weeks for the President to

cave.  Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand on the President`s return to NRA

talking points in two minutes.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  When it comes to guns, Donald Trump is very clearly and somewhat

interestingly I think, cross-pressured.  He has favored some kinds of gun

control in the past for much of his sort of public life.  He clearly also

has enough political instinct to understand that some forms of government

gun control such as universal background checks are overwhelmingly popular

right now.

 

He also knows the NRA helped him get elected.  They spent 30 million

dollars in 2016, more than all of its spending for every candidate combined

in 2008 and 2012.  So you can see Trump caught between the two positions,

and what you get from that is a series of incoherent pronouncements, hand-

waving, yadda, yadda, yadda, and sentences the loop back on to and

contradict each other.

 

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, he said that

there`s very strong appetite for background checks, expressed his support

for a background check bill.  Then, he got several calls from Wayne

LaPierre.  I wonder what those went like.  And now, well, he`s reiterating

NRA talking points about gun violence being a mental health issue and

walking back his support of background bills.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  People don`t realize we have very strong background checks right

now.  You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up.  There are a lot of

background checks that have been approved over the years.

 

HAYES:  I want to bring someone who has spent a great deal of time

considering the gun crisis, 2020 Presidential Candidate Senator from New

York Kirsten Gillibrand.  Senator, what do you think of the president sort

of back and forth on this?  Is there any possibility of this White House-

backed by the base that it is backed by and with Mitch McConnell and the

Senate breaking through the opposition?

 

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don`t see it. 

He`s been unwilling to stand up to the NRA, unwilling to stand up to

special interests in Washington.  And we all know that the center of

corruption in Washington is the money and greed that runs Washington.

 

And you know, we`ve seen enough gun death in this last decade.  It`s absurd

and outrageous that Congress refuses to act.  It`s absurd that Mitch will

not call Republican senators back to Congress so that we could actually

vote on the measures that were passed in the House.  It`s just a lack of

leadership.  And this president is beholding to the NRA as any Republican

right now.

 

HAYES:  You were – you`ve had an interesting trajectory in this issue. 

You were – you had an A rating at the NRA as a Democratic member of

Congress up – in Upstate New York and I think your views have changed

quite a bit on gun and gun policy.  I guess my question to you is, is

persuasion possible on this issue?

 

I mean, it does seem quite polarized, it also seems like for the reasons

you know both in fundraising and sort of the organizational muscle in NRA

that there isn`t a lot of like back and forth, people listening to

arguments on this, but maybe people are persuadable.  What do you think?

 

GILLIBRAND:  I believe they are.  I`ve had a proud F rating for a decade

now, and I can tell you common sense gun reform like universal background

checks, banning large magazines and military-style assault weapons, and

having a federal anti-gun trafficking law.  Those are common-sense ideas

that most NRA members support.

 

And so you can go into a red part of a state or into a red or purple state

and talk to hunters, Second Amendment supporters, and say why should a

four-year-old child die on a park bench in Brooklyn because an illegal

weapon was sold out of the back of truck directly to a gang member?  That`s

what happens in New York every day.  That`s what happens in Chicago every

day.

 

And so they can understand that this is something we have to deal with. 

They can understand that in America today we shouldn`t be willing to live

in a world where you can`t go to a Walmart to do your back-to-school

shopping with your kids because there could be a shooter.  You can`t go to

a church service or a Bible study.  You can`t go to a concert with friends. 

That`s not the America we want to live in.

 

And so you can go to those white ladies in the suburbs and say very

directly to them, do you want to live in that kind of world or do you want

to make it much harder for people who shouldn`t have these weapons make it

harder for them to actually get access to it.  I think we can find common

ground and agreement.

 

HAYES:  But that`s common ground, an agreement on the on the voter basis

which I agree with you.  I guess the question is like a political like

senator to Senate – I guess I`m trying to ask do – is there a space in

the U.S. Senate in which you have exchanges with your colleagues on

something like this where there is an actual active set of arguments and

back and forth and give-and-take that`s happening or on this issue does

that just space not exist?

 

GILLIBRAND:  No, I think it does exist.  In fact, after Sandy Hook, one of

the bills I wrote was an anti-federal gun trafficking law.  And we got 58

votes.  That`s just too shy of the 60 that we needed.  And I knew exactly

how to get those votes.  And if we had that vote today, I believe it would

pass.

 

I also believe our universal background checks bill would pass today.  I

think people are tired of it.  And the fact that the Parkland kids started

a nationwide March marching out of school, marching on Washington, I think

it`s changing people`s perspectives.  And if not members of Congress yet,

certainly the mothers and grandparents and fathers of these kids and they

live in all 50 states.

 

And so I believe that the nature of this debate has changed because we have

such fearlessness coming from the next generation.  And I think they`re

demanding that we hold members of Congress accountable who won`t stand up

to the NRA.  And it`s one of the reasons why, Chris, as a presidential

candidate, the first bill I introduced as a candidate was getting money out

of politics.

 

We`ve got to go to the root of the corruption which is the greed in

Washington and you got to take out political corruption by publicly funding

elections, clean elections.

 

HAYES:  You were just at a reproductive freedom forum I believe in Missouri

if I`m not mistaken.  You have been someone who`s spoken a lot about

reproductive choice and about the judiciary particularly and its

importance.  I want to read you this.  Preet Bharara tweeted this and it`s

not a novel insight on his part, but I thought it was well said.

 

He said, given the makeup of the court in Trump`s explicit promise, if he`s

re-elected, Roe is gone, choice is gone.  Dem candidates might consider

repeating us like a mantra every day.  First of all, do you agree with that

as a descriptive of where things stand and do you think there has been a

sufficient emphasis on that point in the campaign so far?

 

GILLIBRAND:  Yes, President Trump has had an all-out attack on women`s

rights and he`s emboldened 30 legislatures around the country to pass anti-

choice legislation with the intention of overturning Roe.  I think

President Trump will try very hard right now to try to put forward a case

to overturn Roe.  It`s why he chose Gorsuch, it`s why he chose Kavanagh.

 

And so as president, I will only nominate judges and justices that see Roe

as the (INAUDIBLE) that it`s been.  It`s provided a constitutional right

for 40 years to a right to privacy.  And one of the reasons why I want to

make that September debate stage, Chris, is because candidates aren`t

raising this issue.  They`re not being asked about it.  It`s why I went to

the frontlines in Missouri.  It`s why I went to the frontlines in Georgia.

 

So I hope your viewers will go to KirstenGillibrand.com and help my

campaign.  Send a dollar so they can make the September debate stage

because these are the issues that we have to be addressing, because

President Trump is literally starting a war with America`s women.  And if

it`s a war he wants, it`s a war he`s going to have and frankly it`s a war

he`s going to lose.

 

HAYES:  All right, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, thank you so much for

sharing your time.

 

GILLIBRAND:  Thanks, Chris.

 

HAYES:  Coming up, the 1619 project published in the New York Times is

changing the conversation on the legacy of slavery in America.  It`s

causing a bit of – a little bit of a meltdown on the right.  That`s ahead.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Senator Elizabeth Warren has been in a slow and steady ascent in

the Democratic primary.  Just last week a Fox News poll had her in second

place with 20 percent of the vote, although she`s also polled as third

place in a lot of polls as well behind Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

Still, she continues to be shadowed by questions about for an “

electability” or perceived political weaknesses.  The biggest of which

appears to be tied to the question of her ethnic background to one having

once identified as a Native American during her career as a law professor. 

Warren says she based that on an ancestral claim, on stories that were

passed down by her family.

 

Now, Trump turned that into a racist trope to mock her.  In fact, just last

week in New Hampshire, the President was once again ranting that he was

going to bring that racist trope back because it`s a silver bullet to

destroy Elizabeth Warren in the general election.

 

The following day, Warren released a detailed plan on how to aid Native

communities and today appeared at a presidential forum in Iowa on Native

American issues ten months after she released a DNA test trying to put that

ancestry issue to rest, A test which rubbed a whole lot of people in those

very communities the wrong way.

 

Today she apologized for her handling of the issue and talked about her

plans to help indigenous communities.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

WARREN: I know that I have made mistakes.  I am sorry for harm I have

caused.  I have listened, and I have learned a lot.  And I am grateful for

the many conversations that we have had  together.

 

It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian country, and that`s

what I`ve tried to do as a senator and that`s what I promise I will do as

president of the United States.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Joining me now, journalist Julian Brave Noisecat, who was present

at today`s forum and who works with the MDM collective, which advocates for

indigenous communities.  Also with me Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster

and strategist and an MSNBC political analyst.

 

Julian, I saw you tweeting about the event today.  And I`m just curious

what the atmosphere

was like in the room, what the event was like and what the reception for

the senator was like.

 

JULIAN BRAVE NOISECAT, JOURNALIST:  The atmosphere in the room, Chris, was

wonderful.  Indian Country is on the rise, and we are trying to hold the

candidates to account.  Our votes matter.  Our tribes are strong advocates

on Capitol Hill.  And we received the candidates warmly, and I think that

that included Senator Warren, who came out front and apologized for the

mistake that she made in the roll-out of her campaign with regards to the

DNA test.

 

So I think it was a really positive day for Indian country and a positive

day for the candidates.

 

HAYES:  Cornell, you know, part of – there`s sort of two things happening,

right?  So substantive issue here about – well, there are three things,

right?  Substantive issue that a lot of indigenous communities, I think

particularly members of Cherokee Nation felt like this was – the way she

handled this DNA which has this really ugly history and how appropriation

has happened in the past, that that was a sort of substantive critique with

it.  And then there is a sort of broader issue for

the senator about like what that means for her electability.  And I wonder

how you think about the second order thinking of Democratic primary voters

about, like, will other people care about this thing?

 

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER:  You know, on the first issue, look,

she – to those who are in fact would be most offended by this, she

apologized and she`s trying to make amends.  I don`t take – I don`t put a

lot of credence in this idea that like if he`s attacking her on

Pocahontas, something clearly that is racist, if he`s making – if he`s

attacking her as Pocahontas, that means she`s losing.

 

Let`s be clear, if Donald Trump`s best line against her is, you know,

Pocahontas, she`s probably going to be doing quite well.  I mean, and who

is this – who is this voter that is going to be on the fence?  I`m

thinking about Trump or I`m thinking about Elizabeth Warren, but if she had

just been more  transparent about the whole Indian thing, so I got to vote

for Trump.   That voter does not exist.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

How do you –  Julian, how do you – as Cornell says that, I always wonder

– I`ve been

reading a lot of – I`ve been reading some Cherokee writers who have been

critical of Senator Warren.

Rebecca Naegel (ph) who has been tweeting about this, you retweeted her

today, who is still critical.  Felt that she has not done enough.

 

How do you sort of conceptualize the sort of good faith objections

obviously by people in indigenous and native communities and like this

monstrously racist bad faith hammer that the president

is wielding against her.  How do you think about that?

 

NOISECAT:  Look, I think that there are two issues here.  The first is that

native people are grossly underrepresented and misrepresented by the media

and American culture.

 

HAYES:  Yep.

 

NOISECAT:  And, unfortunately, I don`t think that this was the senator`s

intent, but the original handling of the DNA test added to that long

history of underrepresentation and misrepresentation.  You know, whether

that will matter to voters who are not native, you know, I can`t say, but I

do think that this is an important learning opportunity for people to

understand the complexity of identity, especially for indigenous peoples,

and what it means to firstly claim tribal citizenship, which is standing

within a tribe, and then the distinguish between that and having some form

of ancestry that many people in the United States can say they have.

 

HAYES:  Let me – one more follow-up.  And then I`ll come back to you,

Cornell.  What were top issues today at this forum?

 

NOISECAT:  So the top issues for Indian Country are treaty rights.  There

are over 300 treaties, which are the supreme law of the land, signed

between the United States and federally recognized tribes.  Those treaties

are founding documents in the same way that the constitution is a founding

document, because this country could not exist without those treaties. 

Those are first and foremost on  people`s minds.

 

Other issue include things like missing and murdered indigenous women and

girls.  Native people, and particularly native women, suffer from

abnormally and grossly high rates of gendered violence.  That`s another

huge issue for our people.

 

And thirdly, there are sort of the meat and potatoes issues for Indian

Country, which include things like funding for essential services on Indian

reservations often get shut down alongside that, and that is a major issue

for tribes who feel like they have a special relationship with the United

States that deserves to be upheld whether or not congress is functioning.

 

HAYES:  Cornell, it seems to me that also one of the things this has

highlighted for me, and Julian just said this, is just like, again, the

coalitional politics of the Democratic Party are just more complicated in

some ways.  In a good way, right?  Like, you`re putting together this

coalition of lots of different people, lots of different backgrounds and

distinct experiences.  And in some ways the doing of that in the primary is

a real – is the ultimate test for this question of electability.  Like,

can you get different people from all walks of life and different

experiences to back you?

 

BELCHER:  That is spot on, Chris.  And, quite frankly, the most important

thing.  And it`s why I say time and again if you can`t compete for the

votes of minorities, which Sanders struggled with against Hillary, you

can`t be the Democratic nominee.  But this is a good thing for the Native

American community that we have candidates going there and talking about

their issues.  It`s a good thing that  candidates are competing for the

Hispanic and African-American vote in ways that they haven`t before.  I`ve

never heard a Democrat talk about systemic racism before.  These are good

things that are happening and that these candidates are in this space and

competing for these votes speak well about how strategic it is for them to

win the primary, but they can`t win the general election, they can`t

rebuild the Obama coalition without doing it.

 

HAYES:  All right.  Cornell Belcher and Julian Brave Noisecat, who I

learned a lot from today.  Thank you both very much for being with me.

 

Still ahead, the conservative backlash to the 1619 Project.

 

Plus, some news about this program we`re pretty excited about.

 

Then there is probably the most important thing we`ll do today, the return

of Thing One, Thing Two next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, Congressman Steve King is in his home state of

Iowa facing his  constituents just days after questioning whether there

would be any population of the world left if we, quote, just pulled those

people out that were products of rape and incest.  Okay.

 

King has faced a massive backlash in the wake of those remarks – I was on

vacation while he was – from members of both parties, including House

Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney who called on his to resign and a

lot of King`s constituents are not so happy with him either.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you still stand by your defense of your rape and

incest comments by saying that no one can argue with the factual basis?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We`ve on seen, heard and read all the comments that

you`ve made from saying that we have calves the size of watermelons from

smuggle marijuana, from the quote that you said in 2006 about installing

electric fences along the border, because, hey, they use them on cattle, it

will work on immigrants.  And all those other things that you`ve said that

have been very demeaning towards people of my color.

 

You have also said, though, we cannot rebuild our civilization with other

people`s babies?  What does that mean?  So, like, my baby`s not good enough

to rebuild a civilization?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You, Mr. King, cannot do anything about immigration,

because you have no significance in congress.  It is now time for us to

elect J.D. Scholten who will represent our community.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  But if you thought that town hall was rough, just wait until you

hear about this one.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Congressman Steve King has faced a wave of criticism following his

remarks last week on rape and incest, but he carried on with scheduled town

halls in his home district in Iowa this week regardless, including this one

in Grundy County on Saturday where only one single constituent showed up. 

Her name is Jessica Birch.  She`s 21 years old.  She`s a student at the

University of Northern Iowa.

 

She told a local news outlet that she felt a civic duty to attend the town

hall despite being hungover the morning. 

 

She says she initially sat at the back of the room, but after the

congressman entered and greeted her, she moved up to the front near the

only other member of the audience who was a Steve King intern.

 

Birch describes the experience as, quote, “awkward” and, quote, “weird.” 

And says, quote, “part of me wanted to leave, but it would be rude to leave

and the Midwestern part of me couldn`t do that.”

 

Congressman King went through his whole policy agenda with the audience of

one.  He started with the view on trade policy, then he turned to issues

important to Birch, like affordable housing, reparations, and student loan

debt.  After an hour, King`s staff encouraged Birch to take a photo with

the congressman.  Birch says she politely declined, mostly because I plan

to run for office, and I

don`t need a picture of Steve King and I shaking hands in the future.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA:  You`re the best audience I`ve ever had.  Not

one person has ever individually contributed so much to a town hall meeting

as you, Jessica.  And if I had a certificate I`d bring you up here and give

you an award today.

 

JESSICA BIRCH, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA STUDENT:  It`s fine.  It`s…

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  All right.  So I`m back from vacation with some very exciting news. 

We are going to try something new here at All In.  Trying something new is

one of my favorite things to do in the  world, though sometimes it can be

hard in life and in the business of cable news.  Starting this Friday, we

will be doing a limited edition run of three summer Fridays in a row where

we will be doing this

show, All In with Chris Hayes, that`s me, in front of a live studio

audience.

 

We`ve had some fun doing live events for my podcast Why is This Happening,

like the time we had Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on.  We

really enjoyed that.  And so now we want to take that same spirit and bring

it to you, the cable news viewer.  We`re going to be doing this thing in a

very cool theater here in 30 Rock, it was once home to Conan O`Brien and

David Letterman, and now it`s ours.

 

The exciting part of it all is that you can come join us live.  The tickets

for this Friday`s show are available now.  They are free.  That`s Friday,

August 23.  Go to allin23.eventbrite.com.   You see it right there written

on the bottom.  More details about Friday`s big show as the week

progresses.  Go get your tickets so you can be part of our live studio

audience right here in New York.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  So if you get The New York Times or you read it online, you may

have noticed this incredibly ambitious project that they`ve undertaken and

have been unveiling over the course of the last week, and particularly this

weekend.

 

It`s called the 16191 Project.  And it is done as a commemoration,

investigation of, the 400th anniversary of the first 20 enslaved Africans

that were brought to Point Comfort in the British Colony of Virginia.  The

project spans all different parts of the paper.  There are different essays

and writing and reporting on the legacy of this most insidious and

particular American institution whose existence and legacy has defined so

much of American history even after its legal abolition.

 

Now, lots of people across the political spectrum, including conservatives,

have found the

project, as I have found it, illuminating.  Among them, Cato Institute`s

Matthew Feeney, writing about the 1619 Project today “what is clear is the

United States has yet to fully come to terms with its history of racial

violence and oppression.”

 

But the Time`s project has also provoked a backlash among some on the

right.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The whole project is a lie. 

Look, I think slavery is a terrible thing.  I think putting slavery in

context is important.  We still have slavery in places around the world

today, so we need to recognize this is an ongoing story.  This is a tragic

decline of The New York Times into a propaganda paper worthy of Pravda or

Ezvestia (ph) in the  Soviet  Union.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  It`s always nice to see former speaker giving us his anti-slavery

bona fides.

 

Other conservatives, including The Washington Examiner`s chief political

correspondent, Byron York, Fox News contributor, said it`s really part of

The New York Times agenda to target Trump.

 

All which prompts the question, what are they so afraid of?  What is it a

bout a deep and sustained study of one of the most important foundational

institutions in the country that scares and offends them.

 

Joining me now, Nikole Hannah-Jones, domestic correspondent for New York

Times magazine, focusing on racial injustice, who conceived this massive

1619 Project and produced it at The New York Times.  She also wrote the

lead piece on black Americans` fight to make our country`s founding ideals

true.

 

Also with me, Carol Anderson, chair of African-American studies at Emory

University, author of One Person, No Vote, among other works.  It`s great

to have you both.

 

What,  I mean, I guess there is some party that was prepared for some kind

of backlash.  What do you make of it?

 

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE:  I`m not that surprised.  The

whole reason we did the project in the first place is because our society

has been unwilling to grapple with the legacy of slavery with the

centrality of slavery, to the development of the United States, so this

isn`t that shocking to me.

 

That anyone would call this, though, a propaganda tool or that somehow I

spent, you know, since February working on this to commemorate the

anniversary because The New York Times wanted to get at Trump is, of

course, ridiculous.

 

We didn`t plan the anniversary to happen in August of 2019 just so, you

know, it would coincide with Trump`s issues with being called a racist. 

But I`m really not surprised.  I mean, this is a project like this

excavates our true nature and is in direct opposition to our founding

myths.

 

HAYES:  And this – Carol, that sort of gets at I think why there is some

resistance, right?  That the complexity that is required to think about the

nature of the country in sort of with respect to slavery is difficult,

right.  Like, there is not – it requires a lot of very hard thinking and

wrestling that I think makes people uncomfortable.

 

CAROL ANDERSON, EMORY UNIVERSITY:  Very uncomfortable, Chris, very

uncomfortable, because you are trying to deal – you are trying to

reconcile, “we hold these truths to be

self-evident.”  We are trying to reconcile the “one nation.”  We are trying

to reconcile with “liberty and justice for all.”

 

But it`s like life with an asterisk and that asterisk then requires us to

really interrogate why are we still dealing with issues of high infant

mortality rates and maternal mortality rates?  Why are we dealing with mass

incarceration?  Why are we dealing with police violence?  Why are we

dealing with the kind of massive disparities in wealth? 

 

And when we cannot lock it down into our very narrowed pat sound bytes

about well this is the land of equal opportunity.  When we have to really

understand that it`s not equal opportunity and begin to really delve deeply

into that, that history becomes, I believe, more rich, more complex, but it

really just blows away the kind of folks who want to sit there in that nice

little cocoon of just everything is fine.

 

HAYES:  You write, when to what Professor Anderson is talking about, you

said the United States is founded on both an ideal and a lie.  And I keep

thinking when I was reading your essay the Frederick Douglass “What to the

Slave is The Fourth of July” where he sort of does the whole thing, right. 

He starts out by being like, listen white people, great job.  I`m happy for

you.  But here`s where things look like for us. 

 

And like that`s – that can`t – that`s never going to go away.

 

HANNAH-JONES:  Yeah, I mean, you can`t deny the fact that when Thomas

Jefferson is writing these words, “we hold these truths to be self-

evident,” which are some of the most famous words in the English language,

but there is – that his enslaved brother-in-law sitting right next to him,

there to answer his beck and call and who will enjoy none of those rights.

 

HAYES:  Literally in the room.

 

HANNAH-JONES:  Literally in the room, was brought amongst the 130 people

that Jefferson owned on his forced labor camp that we call Monticello. 

 

You can`t remember 1776 and not think about 1619.  And I think what a lot

of conservatives want is they want to choose which parts of our past we

remember and which parts of our past we forget.  And I don`t understand

what people are so afraid of if we`re simply revealing the truth about our

country.

 

My essay is actually probably the most patriotic thing I`ve ever written.

 

HAYES:  Yeah, it`s all about how you came to love the flag.

 

HANNAH-JONES:  Yeah, it`s a story of redemption.  And I think what people

are uncomfortable with who the people who are redeeming this country are

the people who we`ve always considered to be a problem and on the bottom.

 

HAYES:  Do you think that we were – part of what has brought us to this

point, professor, is that there was a concerted effort of a historiography,

particularly after the end of the Reconstruction

and the rise of the white supremacist Redemption governments of the south,

the entire nation, north and

south, would learn history that essentially exculpated a lot of the people

involved in slavery, exculpated a lot of the Confederacy, and it`s

remarkable to me how widespread that was and how contemporary and modern

that is.

 

Like how much does history, the basic teaching of history in America have

to change?

 

ANDERSON:  Oh, it has to be systematically transformed.  One of the things

that we didn`t

have happen here, we didn`t have our own version of a de-Nazification

program, we didn`t have a

de-Confederization program.  Instead we had mass amnesty.  And then we had

– we get these kind  of monuments coming up during the rise of Jim Crowe,

and particularly after the Brown decision.  And so we get this heralding of

and this narrative of southern heritage, without really asking what does

that mean.

 

We get this narrative of that, well the problem was just the south, without

figuring out, OK, so

what happened in Oakland?  What happened in Chicago?  What happened in New

York?  And by not having that kind of history, then we have so many

Americans walking through wanting this very – believing in this kind of

very nice, pat sanitized narrative, that then doesn`t get at the kinds of

structural issues.

 

HAYES:  Yeah, and people just don`t know a lot of it, just at the basic

factual level is amazing to me how little people know about this.

 

Nikole Hannah-Jones, Carol Anderson, thank you both.

 

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

now. 

 

Good evening, Rachel.  I`m sorry, I`m 30 seconds late.

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

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