Trump and advisers downplay economic concerns. TRANSRIPT: 8/19/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
(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
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
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
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
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
(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
(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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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.
SUEBSAENG: The best America has ever had and couldn`t possibly –
HAYES: Or says he believes that.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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)
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
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.
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
Like how much does history, the basic teaching of history in America have
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
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
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
Good evening, Rachel. I`m sorry, I`m 30 seconds late.
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