Senator Cory Booker unveils climate plan. TRANSCRIPT: 9/3/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: September 3, 2019
Guest: Cory Booker, David Leonhardt, Igor Volsky
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
HUBERT MINNIS, PRIME MINISTER, BAHAMAS: We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of northern Bahamas.
HAYES: Historic devastation off America`s shores.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please pray for us. Pray for Abaco.
HAYES: Tonight, the untold destruction in the Bahamas as America braces for Hurricane Dorian, and how the Trump administration keeps leading us toward more climate catastrophe. Then the growing political pressure on guns as Walmart announces new restrictions in the wake of yet another massacre.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walmart leadership is stepping up to the vacuum they see from Washington leadership.
HAYES: And Congresswoman Maxine Waters on the charges that the President is pickpocketing American taxpayers by way of a Mike Pence visit to Ireland.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: If you have a chance to get to do and beg, you find it`s a fairly small place.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. We`re getting our first real look at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas where it looked like a bomb went off. This is aerial footage from the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas where houses are leveled, cars and boats are scattered, much is underwater, total destruction in every direction.
The hurricane basically stalled over the Bahamas for over two days starting as a category five storm. And so far there are at least five reported deaths with search-and-rescue missions still underway. The storm has finally left the Bahamas and now the people in the ground are left assessing the devastation left by the storm.
Dorian is now a category two hurricane. It is working its way up the southeast coast. We don`t quite know exactly where it is going to make landfall or even if it will. But hurricane watches warnings or advisories have been issued from parts of Florida through Georgia and the Carolinas.
Late last week, the president canceled his trip to Poland to monitor the hurricane. That happened on Thursday. On Monday as the storm just basically destroyed parts of Bahamas and threatened the U.S., he took a helicopter to his private golf course in Sterling, Virginia.
Over the weekend, he tweeted more than 100 times about everything from The Apprentice to actress Debra Messing including telling the people of Alabama to prepare themselves for hurricane. The storm was never going to hit Alabama.
So just for one second imagine the scene at the National Weather Service, people in a room discussing whether to fact-check the president or not and then deciding actually it`s their job that people know the actual truth about the hurricane.
The National Weather Service issued a strong factual rebuke. “Alabama will not – all caps – see any impacts from Dorian.” But all that was probably better than when Trump actually talked about the hurricane. On Sunday, went to a visit FEMA`s National Response Coordination Center and said he was not sure he had “ever even heard of the category five.”
There have in fact been several category five storms since he has been president including Hurricane Maria, a mega-disaster in which 3,000 American citizens died. And for that huge disaster, there has never to this day been a formal official U.S. government federal official inquiry or report what exactly went wrong there and why.
Increasingly, the basic question of the fitness of this president is exacerbated by the question of his fitness in the era of climate disaster. And he has shown himself not up to the task. In fact, he has been taking steps at every turn to accelerate said disaster, to roll back regulations that would reduce carbon emissions in the auto industries and power plants, opening up Alaska`s national forests, straggling the centers of science that are to tell us how to deal with the problem.
He is moving us in literally the wrong direction at the moment when we most need climate leadership. It is the sad and tragic state of affairs in American politics in the year 2019 that there are two political collisions. And only one is debating what to do about these civilizational crises before us. That is the core truth of American politics at this moment. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas words of desperation show just what the stakes are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MINNIS: It`s disheartening. It`s as if we`re fighting war with the enemy having all the weapon at its disposal, the greatest weapon that you can think about and we have absolutely nothing. We`re hopeless. The only thing we have to is God. So we can pray to God and ask God to bring us through.
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HAYES: And joining me now 2020 presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who`s today released his $3 trillion plan on climate change and environmental justice. The prime minister of the Bahamas there talking about the devastation in that set of islands. This comes actually you know, years after Hurricane Maria.
But it does feel like a matter of time – just a question of when, of how many climate disasters we`re going to see increasingly here in the mainland of the United States.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tragic fires and the increase of those fires, the flooding in the Midwest, these horrific storms, this is something that is coming at us. It`s really barreling towards civilization and we must act with a much graver sense of urgency or else the cost of inaction now is measuring for our economy and trillions of dollars can – they`re predicting in the next – by 2100 it could shrink the U.S. economy by more than 10 percent if we do not act.
HAYES: By 10 percent. Do you – what is your understanding of – I mean, the fundamental problem here, and I want to talk about your proposal is that it`s an issue where there`s one political coalition having a debate about it and one political coalition not, right? Like it is just a one-sided conversation right now.
BOOKER: I mean, in terms of human species it`s bigger than that. There`s only one major political party on the planet Earth that is – that is denying that this is a problem with the sense of urgency. I mean, that`s how singular what a small handful Republicans because let`s not paint each other with broad brushes, Republicans polling them.
HAYES: That`s true. That`s true. Rank and file folks and –
BOOKER: Just everybody kind of understand it. And by the way, open your window. Most Americans are seeing wacky weather. The hottest months ever recorded in the – in the last month that we`ve had. So this is – this is no longer up for debate in most Americans hearts and minds except for a narrow group of leadership that is doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industries and other massive corporate lobbyists who were trying to stop us doing action.
And meanwhile, the consensus of global scientists are saying if we do not act with a sense of urgency in about an eleven-year window, the catastrophic effects when humanity – in fact, read the military reports. Those are things are scary to me when you – when our own U.S. military is saying we better plan for planetary crisis migratory problems, extremism, famines, the kind of things that if we do not act that we will see on the planet Earth.
HAYES: So if this is urgent, before we get to the details, to me there`s two questions about a climate plan. What`s in the climate plan and how high is it in the list of priorities. So my question you is, is that – if you were elected president of the United States and you have a unified Democratic governance, let`s say –
HAYES: Is climate the first thing you move on? It`s that the first domestic –
BOOKER: So this is the thing about my plan that I`m excited about. It`s what I did when I was mayor. When we had another Republican president who then refused to join the Kyoto accords, I turned to my city and I said, OK, climate will be the lens through which we view everything that we do.
So I was a guy that said, hey, our prisoner re-entry programs are going to be putting people to work on urban farms because in our city we need to pull the more of that carbon out of the air. We said that our job training programs are going to be about environmentally retrofitting buildings, union jobs.
So as president, it`s the same thing. There`s nothing we can do anymore that`s not viewed through that lens, and that`s changing the practices how we procure things. It`s where we invest. It`s our R&D. It`s our AG bills. Everything has to now be about meeting this crisis. Because if not, by the time my second term is over, our planet will be slipping into a crisis.
HAYES: And you`re specific in the plan like – Elizabeth Warren also did this and a few others have broken outright, where there`s – where you can take executive actions, right, as president and where there`s legislative need. But we`re talking about the amount of money you`re talking about here. And we`re talking about a kind of fee and dividend system, right, on some of the biggest polluters, right? You put a fee on carbon. The dividend is giving back to households. That needs legislation.
HAYES: So like the question again is, is that the first thing you legislate on?
BOOKER: Yes, because it`s tied to a lot of other things. Look, there`s many Americans calling out for a massive infrastructure program. This is in line with what infrastructure looks like. I`m an environmental justice guy. It`s a guy that lives in a city that has a massive lead problem right now. Well, most people don`t know this. There are 3,000 communities, 3,000 jurisdictions that have – where the children have more than twice the blood lead level of Flint, Michigan.
We should get rid of all the lead pipes that are going into residential area, schools. This should be something that should have been done decades ago, frankly, but we haven`t done it. So, so much of what I`m doing relates to other aspects whether it`s R&D, whether its infrastructure, whether it`s jobs. Boosting the economy, our plan would create millions of jobs in this country.
HAYES: So you see that as a priority like a package together?
BOOKER: I see a package together that will touch on a lot of other priorities. Again, climate has to be the lens through which everything that we do.
HAYES: I want to ask you another issue which is obviously front of mine right now after the shooting in West Texas, a horrible massacre there. There`s really interesting polling on gun control right now, gun safety measures that is showing higher levels of support than there have been for a while.
And one thing jumped out of me was this from Quinnipiac poll. Do you support requiring a license to purchase a gun? 82 percent which it`s a very polarized country. You don`t get a lot of 82 percent in polling. That is part of your campaign platform. What do you think of that number?
BOOKER: Well, first of all, when we came out on this, a number of people in the Democratic field took potshots at me calling for licensing. It is something that works. This is evidence-based. Connecticut did it. They saw their shootings drop 40 percent, suicides drop 15 percent.
It is common sense. Someone who needs a license to drive a car, shouldn`t you need a license to own and to buy and possess a firearm?
HAYES: You think it`s constitutional.
BOOKER: Absolutely. And again, even –
HAYES: Even with the court`s post tell our jurisprudence do you think though?
BOOKER: I absolutely think so. Look, we have – most people – we have restrictions on our First Amendment rights.
BOOKER: Common-sense restrictions like this. Law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about in purchasing a gun. This will dramatically stop the ability for people who want to do horrendous things to get weapons.
HAYES: 82 percent polling. I don`t think – I don`t know how many votes would be in the U.S. Senate if you call this for vote tomorrow, 30 maybe. I mean, there`s a gap right now between what the public is telling pollsters and what the institutions of our various political leadership views as the frontier of the possible.
BOOKER: So, as the one guy in the Senate that lives in a neighborhood where people get shot, that had – someone last year get killed with an assault rifle on the top of my block. The reason why I came out so early with a bold plan that includes things like licensing which split my own party on notice that you should not have to wait until a mass shooting comes to your state, your community, your neighborhood to feel this sense of urgency.
I wanted to move the national conversation. And so, I – when you say only getting 30 something votes, I`m telling you right now that our party needs to – needs to get on board with bold vision on what`s going to protect our country because governments are formed for the common defense.
We have lost more people in the last 50 years to gun violence in our country than in every single war in America combined. The carnage is going up. We see – the terrorist attacks that we`re now having, the majority of them since 9/11 have been right-wing extremist groups, the majority of those white supremacist groups.
We have to understand that we are in a dangerous, perilous time. And if our party is not leading with a vision to protect our country, then what the hell are we – why are we forming? And again, as a guy who`s coming from a community – remember, the majority of people murdered in our country are black men and this to me is not something – there should be moral clarity on this and that`s why he came out with the kind of bold plan that I have.
HAYES: All right, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, nice to have here this evening. Come back soon.
BOOKER: Thank you.
HAYES: Thanks so much. For more on the urgency of dealing with hurricanes in an age of climate change denialism, I`m joined by New York Times Opinion Columnist David Leonhardt, writing today that hurricanes are getting worse. Why are so many people afraid to talk about climate change?
David, you write about the sort of ways to think about storms like the one that`s off the coast of the southeastern U.S. right now that just devastate the Bahamas in the context of the warming climate. How do you think about it?
DAVID LEONHARDT, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: For a long time, we in the media and experts have been really, really afraid to talk about climate change when we`re talking about extreme weather because of the idea that you can`t blame anyone storm on climate change.
And I just think that`s misplaced. I think it`s like refusing to talk about drunk driving when you`re talking about traffic deaths. You can`t blame any single traffic death on drunk driving alone, but we talk about drunk driving when we`re talking about traffic deaths.
And similarly, we now know that climate change is making storms more severe in all kinds of ways and so we should be talking about it when we`re talking about these horrific storms that produce the devastation that you showed at the top of the show tonight.
HAYES: You know, what – some of the data I thought was interesting that you included a chart in the piece you wrote over at The Times, you know, there was some thinking early on and some of the modeling we would have more frequent storms. That has not born out actually. Instead what the modeling appears to show and what the data has shown, and again, it`s worth the front edge of this warning is less frequent but more severe.
So you know, instances of four and fives going up over the 20 year moving average from about one to two which is quite significant.
LEONHARDT: That`s right, yes. So hurricanes have not become more frequent as you said. What`s become more frequent are these category four and five, the category that our president has said he`s never heard of until this week. And so we used to have about one of these extreme storms a year in the Atlantic and over the last 20 years, we`ve had about two. You see similar patterns with extreme rain.
The big risk now for the southeast is going to be these storm surges. And so one of the things that happens is that warmer air and warmer seawater not only makes hurricanes more intense but it causes them to produce much, much more rain. And so there – the climate – climate change doesn`t change everything about the weather but it does change a lot about the weather.
That`s the about climate change. It changes the climate. And so we see more extreme hurricanes and we see hurricanes that produce much more rain than they used to.
HAYES: There`s also – there`s a sort of global justice aspect to this that is sort of front of mind right now as I look – we look at those pictures of devastation of the Bahamas. You know, places like the Bahamas are extremely exposed, places like the Dominican Republic, places like Bangladesh.
There are places that are poorer than countries like the U.S. and Western Europe that have done most of the emitting that are the most exposed to what`s going to happen. And there`s going to have to be some reckoning for that. I mean, look at those pictures. Like – that`s – there`s going to be a lot of that. And those folks are going to need their needs taken care of.
LEONHARDT: That`s right. And so, you have a lot of poorer parts of the world that are both more exposed to climate change. And then you also have – it`s exacerbated because any given storm in those places tends to create more destruction –
LEONHARDT: – because the buildings aren`t as strong, the infrastructure is not as strong. And so we are all now suffering the effects of climate change from heat, from increased storms. But to say that we`re all suffering from, it is not at all to say that that we`re all suffering equally because we`re not. And this is going to essentially in certain ways increase global inequality.
HAYES: And we`ll do it within the U.S. as well. It`s remarkable how much – I mean, if you talk to people in coastal communities, it`s striking. Every time I have a conversation with someone – I was talking to someone, a friend of mine from Charleston, everyone is already dealing with it.
Like on the ground, everyone is already dealing with it. It`s not even a thing that people debate. It`s well, what do we do about the flooding. Oh well, now we have to evacuate the peninsula around Charleston twice a year or twice hurricane season. That stuff is already here.
LEONHARDT: Oh yes. I mean, Miami now floods all the time. A lot of the places that are in the line of potentially being hit with the rain from this storm have been dealing with flooding recently even before this storm hit.
HAYES: That`s right.
LEONHARDT: And so, what – it`s really hard to predict where – how markets react, but it feels – and this is by no means the most important thing going on. But it feels that when you think about real estate prices and all kind other things in these communities, it feels like we actually have not yet sufficiently reacted to this.
HAYES: I agree.
LEONHARDT: And what`s going to happen is people are going to wake up over the next couple years. It`s not going to be linear either. It`s going to happen, right? And people are going to realize, oh my goodness. A lot of these places just aren`t as pleasant to live.
HAYES: Yes. I think there`s going to be a real economic, very tangible economic material loss. It`s going to be right in front of people`s faces already starting. David Leonhardt, thank you.
LEONHARDT: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, the growing political pressure on guns as Walmart announces new restrictions on the week of yet another mass shooting. What that might signal in two minutes.
HAYES: It would be easy to overlook two little announcements from the Trump administration with Hurricane Dorian devastating the Bahamas over the weekend and making its way towards the east coast and the President once again livetweeting the weekend away.
It would be easy to overlook two things that just happen that indicates something profound about the Trump era that political gravity still does exist. He so much – the president is worried about his base, all he cares about is his base, and his base doesn`t care about this, his base doesn`t care that as if that base has veto power over everything.
And it is true, the president is uncommonly attuned to and obsessed with his base. But it is also the case that political pressure does affect the Republican Party. It affects them in Congress. We saw that in the midterms. It affects the president`s decision making.
This administration has had to walk things back. They`ve had to climb down. They have had to retreat. The most notable example of this, the child separation policy which they had to walk away from amidst a widespread national outcry. They walked away from it before a court enjoined it.
And then yesterday they have to climb down on another policy that was just too disgusting and cruel and indefensible which is that they were going to start deporting people who were dying. Last week, the New York Times reported that under a new Trump policy, stick migrants undergoing life-saving care can now be deported.
The Boston Globe reported on children at Boston hospital stays facing deportation. “I feel like I`m signing my son`s death warrant.” Now, maybe the base like that. But you know what, people outside the base sure as heck didn`t. And now, look at this. The Trump administration has reverse course.
And this was not policy per se but here`s another tiny victory. It has to do with immigration also. We brought you the story last week of this Palestinian kid, this brilliant kid, Ismail Ajjawi who got a scholarship to Harvard University from a refugee camp in Lebanon. And he shows up in Boston to start school but was sent back because the customs official searched his devices and found, according to him, social media posts by his friends that the officer didn`t like. They send him back.
Guess what, some more good news. He is back in the U.S. He is starting at Harvard. So someone climbed down on that too, someone had to walk away from that indefensible position. Two things are true once. It`s true that Trump GOP is obsessed with the base in part because the constitutional structures, the Electoral College and the Senate that currently give that base outside political power relative to the population.
It is also the case that pressure matters and public opinion matters and that base is not indestructible. So let`s talk about guns. We`ve been told forever the public opinion on guns doesn`t matter, that nothing can move Republicans in Congress even another outbreak of gun violence like the one we saw this very weekend in Texas where a mass shooter left a trail of destruction killing seven people, injuring more than 20 in one of the most gun-friendly states in the union which is an increasing access to handguns left and right.
Investigators say the gunman bought the gun he used from a private seller not a licensed dealer. A private sale does not require a background check. So, a law enforcement official is telling NBC News, he failed a background check in 2014 because he had disqualifying mental health issue.
So here`s a test, does gravity exist here? I`m joined now by Igor Volsky, Founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America, one of the groups which successfully pressured Walmart to change its policy on gun sales. He`s the author of Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns.
Also with me, Betsy Woodruff, politics report of The Daily Beast and MSNBC Contributor who broke a number of stories last week about the ongoing chaos at the National Rifle Association. Igor, let me start with you. This question of whether gravity matters, political pressure matters. Walmart today responded to it. This is not an elected body but it`s one of the largest stores in America. What was their announcement and what do you think the significance of it is?
IGOR VOLSKY, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GUNS DOWN AMERICA: Well, Walmart announced today that they`re dramatically reducing the kind of ammunition they`re going to sell all over the United States. And this is really huge because, Chris, as you point out, they are actually reacting to where the public is. They`re reacting to their customers. They`re reacting to their employees who after the El Paso shooting told us and then told the media that they don`t feel safe working in their stores.
And so what Walmart did was really establish a new standard that if you`re a business and you`re interested in keeping your employees and your customers safe, you have to do everything you can to help pass gun reform to help build safer communities. And the largest retailer in the world, the largest retail in America taking that step and also saying that they`re going to push Congress to pass gun reform. I think that`s really a big, big step forward for us.
HAYES: So there`s a statement on this by the NRA, of course, Betsy. And the NRA – you know, the NRA are just maximalists on everything. Like this is the way they react to everything. They say, it`s shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans.
Here`s my question to you. Does the institutional chaos happening there have an effect on the contours of the debate and who has political power at this moment?
BETSY WOODRUFF, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: There`s no question that the NRA`s internal financial problems generated in part by the fact that according to a claim as former president Oliver North made, they`ve been spending upwards of $100,000 a day just on legal bills, is informing the NRA leadership`s calculus when it comes to how to handle this particular moment in the history of the gun control conversation in this country.
Right now, the NRA is facing very real measurable money problems and historically the NRA is able to really juice its fundraising anytime there are serious and meaningful discussions on Capitol Hill about changing gun laws.
HAYES: That`s interesting.
WOODRUFF: They go to their supporters and they say there`s going to be gun-grabbing. There`s going – you`re going to lose your Second Amendment rights. Only the NRA can protect you. They send out tons and tons of e-mail and direct mail fundraising solicitations and historically it works pretty well.
It will not work if the NRA reaches out through its donors and says hey, actually, what Walmart did is pretty reasonable and we can live with some slightly tighter gun laws. They don`t make any money off that, and right now what they need is money.
HAYES: That`s interesting point. There`s a political – there`s something happening at the polling, Igor, that I`ve watched for a while. I really do think it`s changing recently. I mean, it`s a little like climate conversation we had in the previous block where the public opinion is shifting. Here – I talked to Cory Booker about the gun licensing getting 82 percent which is a shocking result for me.
Universal background checks 93 percent support, six percent opposed. Of course, that appears to be extremely germane in the case of the West Texas shooter who failed one and then used the loophole to get around it, and even mandatory buybacks of assault weapons.
I mean, this would read like requiring people to sell back their weapons is at 46 percent to 49 percent. That is – that is something that is very far from the American political conversation among leaders and elected officials and even activists like yourself that is getting an essentially a split decision from the public.
VOLSKY: Yes – no, I think you`re exactly right. And what you`re putting your finger on is that the middle has really shifted on this issue because particularly after Parkland, I think we passed a tipping point where American families, many of whom have been living in areas with high gun violence and had to deal with this for years, but many more became afraid about sending their children to school, about sending their children to a movie theater, or to a playground, and I think that`s really the reaction.
And the fact that, by the way, you see such high numbers for licensing and for buybacks without real – a real national legislative push for them, right –
VOLSKY: It`s astonishing. I mean, look at the way the fact that Cory Booker has led on this issue and so many of the folks running for president have led on this issue. That shows that the further we go the more the tide is going to move in this direction.
HAYES: Betsy, the other indicator to me of the politics here are the fact that Trump and McConnell had this kind of bit that they`ve developed where Trump kind of molds it and sort of says he`s in favor of something, and then McConnell says well, if he definitely is, then we`ll bring it to vote.
And everyone wants to kill it but no one wants to be – to admit that they`re the person killing it partly I think because they recognize the politics. What do you think?
WOODRUFF: And that`s a dynamic that is no mystery to the senior leaders of the NRA. I obtained a letter last week that one of their top officials sent to the board members. The letter announced that the NRA had moved the location of its mid-September board meeting. Initially it was scheduled for Alaska, and in the 11th hour they moved it to Northern Virginia close to D.C. specifically this letter said because they want their senior leadership to be in close physical proximity to the White House and the Capitol building because they expect the upcoming gun control debate to be really serious and to potentially be something that impacts their members and their equities.
HAYES: That is very, very interesting. We will see what happens when Congress reconvened shortly. Betsy Woodruff, Igor Volsky, thank you both for being with me. Next, the growing scandal about the Vice President`s use of his boss` Irish resort at the suggestion of his boss and at the expense of you the American taxpayer. Congresswoman Maxine Waters joins me on that next.
HAYES: You might have heard that vice president Mike Pence went to Ireland, and there has been a little controversy, rightly so, about where he chose to stay. Pence`s meetings were located here in Dublin, but Pence was staying way over here, that`s on the other side of the country in a quaint little spot called Trump International Golf Links and Hotel. It is more than a three-hour drive without traffic. But do not worry, Pence shuttled back and forth on Air Force 2.
Pence`s location was partly for security reasons. It is worth noting that President Obama was able to stay in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, when he visited despite being the president.
I should note the vice president says he will be paying for his stay out of his own pocket. That does not account for the somewhere between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer public money being spent on things like Air Force 2, the Secret Service, and lodging for
the vice president`s retinue and entourage, and they all stayed at the president`s hotel. They paid the president.
Earlier today, the vice president`s chief of staff, Mark Short, went in full cover for your boss mode and laid the idea at the foot of President Trump. This is really something. Here is how he explained to it print reporters on Air Force 2.
Question, to help taxpayers, is the president letting the vice president stay for free?
Mark Short, no, this is following the normal procedures that we usually have because it has, again, the size that can we think can accommodate us and Secret Service can protect us.
So the taxpayers are paying for the stay?
Short, as with almost all of our travel, it`s official business, Bob.
Did President Trump ask Vice President Pence to stay at the property?
Short – this is the best – I don`t think it was a request like a command, Bob. I think it was a suggestion.
What does that mean?
Short, it`s like when we went through the trip, it`s like, well, he is going to Doonbeg because that`s where the Pence family is from. It`s like well you should stay at my place.
You should stay at my place. But the president is charging him.
So the money is going into the president`s pockets. He is literally just diverting public dollars into his pocket.
Here is how Vice President Pence explained his decision today. Just watch the wheels spin as he tries to come up with the correct answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats have criticized you today for staying at the Trump
property in Doonbeg. They say you`re enriching the president. What is your response to that criticism?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s wonderful to be back in
Ireland. It was important for me. Before our original trip plan, to at least spend one night in Doonbeg – and I understand political attacks by Democrats, but if you have a chance to get to Doonbeg, you`ll find it`s a fairly small place, and the opportunity to stay at Trump National in Doonbeg, to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel made it logical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, can I just say if you say to someone stay at my place, a thing that I think we have all done in our lives, whether it`s a friend passing through town or, hey, I`m going to be out of town, I`ll leave the key for you, stay at my place always means for free. It never means I will charge you and
your entire security detail.
Joining me now for more on the president`s use of public dollars to enrich himself, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California. She is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee and has called for the president`s impeachment.
Congresswoman, do you think it is defensible, legitimate, fine for the vice president to stay
at the president`s property in Ireland?
REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA: Absolutely not. And I`m listening to his response based on the question that he was asked, and it doesn`t make good sense. He was fumbling because he was trying to come up with a reasonable explanation and it just did not work.
The president suggested, told him, whatever you want to call it, to stay at his place, and he did
it. And this is all about the president using his presidency to make money, to have the taxpayers paying for anything, anybody he can get living at his hotels, his golf properties. And we`ve seen that.
I asked my staff to go back and take a look at what this president has done in terms of encouraging people to use his properties or himself using his properties as he goes on his golf trips. First of all, what we discovered was when we took a look was that Donald Trump, of course, again canceled his planned state visit to Poland, allegedly to deal with Hurricane Dorian, instead, he went golfing. And according to NBC`s tracking data, Trump has spent a little under one-third of the days of his presidency visiting his own properties.
Take a look at this, 956 days in office, 295 visits to Trump properties, including 99 days at Mar-a-Lago, 22 days at Trump International Hotel, 13 days at Trump Towers, and 227 days at Trump golf
properties, including 90 days at Trump National Bedminster, that`s in New Jersey. On and on and on.
HAYES: Let me ask you this question, though.
HAYES: Matt Yglesias at Vox had a piece that I thought was interesting. Shouldn`t – you control – Democrats control the House. Would you pass a law that says he can`t do that? I mean, or certainly the vice president can`t? I mean, you can`t tell the guy he can`t go to his own house, obviously, but it does seem to me that the Democrats could pass some kind of legislation that just explicitly says not directed at Donald Trump name per se, but just that you can`t spend public dollars on the president`s private business.
WATERS: Well, you know, there is a law called the emoluments law.
HAYES: A clause of the constitution.
WATERS: And we have – yes, in the constitution.
HAYES: Wait a second, the emoluments is about foreign money. I`m saying – I mean, we`re talking about the American public dollars are being spent right now in that property in Ireland for the vice president`s trip. And what I`m saying is couldn`t you, the Democrats in the house majority, pass legislation to make it explicitly not OK to do that?
WATERS: That`s a possibility. I don`t know. That`s a possibility that it could be done. And I have to agree that this president has gotten away with the most outrageous kinds of profiteering that he`s done on the backs of the American taxpayers, and we have not done enough about it.
I tried to get this president impeached. I started early on saying that he is a con artist, that he is a sleaze bag, that he is profiteering. I said all these things because of the research that my staff had done even before he was elected to office. He has a reputation for being this kind of individual. And he has gotten away with more than anybody would ever dream he has gotten away with.
He has a lot of protection going on for himself. He has Mitch McConnell over on the senate side, who is protecting him. He`s got Kavanaugh now up in the Supreme Court. He`s got Barr who is acting like his personal attorney. He`s tried to stack the court all the way up to the Supreme Court. He`s done everything that he can, including firing people, in order to get done what he wants to get done. It is outrageous. We could go on and talk about this president all day and all night.
The fact of the matter is he has disrespected all of us. He has used this president for his own advantages and his family`s advantages. And he should have been impeached, that`s what should have
happened. The American people are sick and tired of this president who has a reputation, not only for being a con artist, but who has disrespected women, talked about grabbing women by their private parts.
One of his best friends, who supposedly committed suicide in prison, was a pedophile. And he knew it because he even said he knew that he liked young girls.
Who is this awful, terrible man?
HAYES: I don`t know if…
WATERS: It`s the president of the United States.
HAYES: I don`t know if it`s been established that he was a best friend with Mr. Epstein, just to be clear.
WATERS: I beg your pardon?
HAYES: I`m just saying in the matter of Jeffrey Epstein you`re referring to, I don`t know it`s
been established he was the president`s best friend or that he knew specifically…
WATERS: Oh, but he was, he was. He was one of his friends. And we`ve let him off the hook on that.
We`re talking about Clinton and Prince Edward and everybody else. All of them need to be called to respond to this, including the president of the United States.
Yes, that was his friend. Let him deny it. That was his friend.
HAYES: They were definitely friends.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you very much.
WATERES: Well, you`re very welcome.
HAYES: All right.
Ahead, President Trump goes after the head of a key voting bloc, one that helped deliver his 2016 victory. What would it mean if he lost that constituency coming up?
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, I`ve been thinking about a new spy novel, like a Tom Clancy style international espionage thriller, in which the U.S. is in possession of a super secret high-tech spy satellite, and it`s way better than anything we`ve ever seen before. Way better than Google Earth. It produces such high quality detailed images, more like the Hubble telescope but pointed at Earth.
And in this novel there is a spy within the U.S. government, a spy who wants to alert our adversaries that we have this top secret technology, the ability to see almost anything happening on the ground in their countries in sharp detail.
So the spy goes about getting proof, and so gets ahold of a photo taken by the spy satellite
and then releases it in a way the whole world can see.
Thing Two is totally unrelated to this, and that`s in 60 seconds.
HAYES: It`s the man we made our president sent more than 100 tweets over the long weekend, but there is one that stands out in which the president taunted, I guess, the Iranians, tweeting that oh,
the U.S. was not involved in the, quote, catastrophic accident at an Iranian rocket launch site along with a high resolution photo of the aftermath of that incident, a photo that was far more detailed than anything seen from commercial satellites.
So people started to wonder, where did he get that image? Of course the president would have access to top secret classified photos from spy satellites, but there is no way he would have just taken one of those and tweeted it. No, of course, that`s apparently exactly what he did.
Officials told The New York Times the photo bore all the markings of a spy satellite image. Former DNI James Clapper said, quote, “you can bet every adversary is going to school on what has been exposed.” I can`t see what the point was other than to make fun of the Iranians.
HAYES: It is the day today after Labor Day. Traditionally, it`s a day to turn the page, go back to school, say something different, say good-bye to summer Fridays. But here at ALL IN we aren`t quite ready for that last one, because we have one more ALL IN, all live, all studio audience show this Friday. It is our last one of these shows for now. Tickets for the studio audience went fast, but do not worry, you can still tune in this Friday live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern to watch it.
But if it`s live audiences you are interested in, I have some exciting news for for you. Our podcast, Why is This Happening? is going on a fall tour. We will be in four cities, Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and then back here in New York.
First in Austin, I`m going to interview Senator Ted Cruz as part of the Texas Tribune festival. That will be on Saturday, September 28. You can find out how to get tickets at MSNBC.com/WITHpodtour.
Then in October, I`ll be in Los Angeles to interview Adam McKay, former SNL head writer, acclaimed director of the Big Short and Vice, and Omar El Akkad, who wrote a phenomenal Science Fiction novel about an American civil war as a result of climate change. He`ll talk about the power of creating art to influence culture, how he can do that in the climate crisis. That event will be October 21. We will let you know as soon as those tickets become available, along with a date and guest for Chicago and New York, which are still in the works. We`ll make sure to keep you posted on those, so watch this space for updates.
And, since today is Tuesday, we also have a new episode of WITHpod out today. Chase Strangio is a lawyer at the ACLU, an absolute powerhouse figure in the fight for trans rights in America. I had the great fortune to sit down with him to talk about this moment in the movement, the battle for trans rights and equality, and the case that he is preparing that will go before the Supreme Court in just a month. And it`s up now available wherever you get your podcasts.
HAYES: The president spent Labor Day attacking the labor movement and labor leader Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.
Now, in the president`s defense, it was just one of the least 122 tweets he managed to fire off this holiday weekend, so, you know, there`s a lot of takes flying around.
But the interesting thing about him sounding off on one of the country`s top union leaders is that Trump did really well for a Republican in union households in the last election.
In 2016, Trump only lost voters in union households by 8 points. In fact, that was the best performance by a Republican among union households since Ronald Reagan back in 1984, which makes you wonder about Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, parts of the country that gave Trump, famously, his 80,000 vote margin and pushed him over the top, and have relatively high levels of union
intensity and strong labor movements.
So where does that union support stand after three years of Trump?
To talk about that, I`m joined by Michelle Goldberg, columnist for The New York Times and
MSNBC political analyst, and Sara Nelson, the president of the Association for Flight Attendants, a union representing 50,000 workers at 20 airlines.
Sara, let me start with you. What do you think about this president`s relationship to two categories, like workers generally, and the labor movement as an institution, particularly after he went after Trumka.
SARA NELSON, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Well, that Trump was – that tweet by Trump was really shameful.
You know, Richard Trumka went to work in the coal mines. He knows what it`s like to fight the coal operators for basic safety and health protections at work because he lived it. He experienced the collapse of a coal mine. He had to look workers in the eye and tell them that they had to go on strike just to get a fair deal from the boss. This is a guy who spent his life fighting for workers and the guy who was tweeting about him is a guy who spent his life figuring out how to shirk workers so that he could make more money.
And when he really didn`t want to pay them, he`d just go into bankruptcy and get rid of any obligations he had to people. He thinks that only the little guy is the only one that has to pay his bills.
So this was really shameful. And I think that also it was a pretty masterful tweet. It looks exactly like what management would do. It`s something that he has practiced clearly over and over in his career because it looks exactly like something management will do when we are in contract
negotiations and they want to distract from their bad proposals by talking about the conversations that they`re having with union leaders behind closed doors and misrepresenting that.
HAYES: That`s very interesting.
There`s also, to me, there`s a real question here, right? I mean, there is all this like economic anxiety talk. I think that`s rightly been rightly kind of lampooned.
HAYES: There really is really a question, to me, about Democratic messaging and labor unions as part of the Democratic sort of coalition.
The degree to which they concede the economy to Trump, which is like, OK, the economy`s good but – and the degree to which they say, no, like there`s still lots of problems with the Trump
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right. Let`s remember the last time that Trump was attacking unions – or actually I shouldn`t the last time. The last time that I mean that Trump was attacking unions was when a jam plant was closing in Ohio and he basically blamed it on high union dues, right.
So, we see a lot of, you know, the kind of – the idea that the jobs are coming back to these areas of the Rust Belt – they`re not. The manufacturing sector is now in a contraction, right. It`s not just, you know, not growing anymore, but is actually shrinking. And so there is obviously a case to be made about the claims that he was kind of fighting or that his policies were benefiting this new constituency that he thought that he was going to bring solidly into the Republican Party.
Whether or not – you know, I do think that in some sense this realignment that his election signified of more upscale college educated white voters, traditional Republican voters going to the Democratic Party and on the flip side the Republican Party becoming more downscale, at least with white working class voters, you know working class voters of color are still with the Democratic Party.
So, I think that that realignment is probably there to stay. But they – but obviously the Democratic Party – the Democrats should be attacking him on his broken and failed promises.
HAYES: Yeah, do the policies, I mean, do the policies matter, right, in terms of what the
Department of Labor has done, what the president has done, the person that he`s trying to put at the
head of the Department of Labor who is sort of famously anti-labor, does that matter to your membership? And is that something that labor is going to fight on? Because Trumka was interesting on that Sunday show, he was quite – he had a lot of equanimity about the president. He was not coming out swinging towards him. What`s your view?
NELSON: Well, my view is that workers – the people who decided to vote for Trump, who are also union members, took a chance because neither party really has really been working for working people. The spread of income inequality has continued. And that`s because we`ve had less collective
bargaining in this country.
And so they took a chance. And they took a chance on a guy who really is – has been in an all-out assault on workers.
And so workers are not necessarily so focused on who he`s appointing, but they are focused on the policies that are not good for them. Take this building trades policy where he wants to get rid of the
apprentice program that is the foundation of our building trades in this country, that is the foundation of our infrastructure, our safe infrastructure, safe workplace, and good union jobs. People get this. And there were over 300,000 comments that were submitted to the DOL in a very short period of time.
So workers are getting the picture and they`re turning on him.
HAYES: It`s amazing that he`s picking those fights. I mean, honestly, there was a world in which he could have gone the other way.
GOLDBERG: Right. And that would have been the worst-case scenario for Democrats, the world in which he pursues infrastructure is the world in which he gets above 50 percent.
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg and Sara Nelson, thanks for joining us. That`s ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.