Humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Bahamas. TRANSCRIPT: 9/9/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Jamie Raskin, Chris Lu, Elizabeth Holtzman, Monica Medina, David Graham, Wendy Sherman, Rukmini Callimachi
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  She promised to hold it for Charlie Brown to

make his kickoff.  And every year, she pulls it away and lets poor Charlie

Brown fall on his butt.  In the case of gun safety, it`s Trump who promises

to hold up a bill and then lets the whole country down.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We are talking about a lot

of different things but at the same time we have to protect our Second

Amendment very strongly and we will always do that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEWS:  “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

 

TRUMP:  They made that little piece of a green place.  It`s called Alabama.

 

HAYES:  New details on the length the administration went to protect the

President`s Alabama obsession.

 

TRUMP:  I know that Alabama was in the original forecast.

 

HAYES:  Tonight, the threat to fire NOAA officials and the new push for

impeachment as Democrats returned to the Hill.

 

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

investigation.

 

HAYES:  Plus, Trump`s plan to host the Taliban at Camp David then

torpedoing his own peace deal.

 

TRUMP:  Actually, in terms of advisers, I took my own advice.

 

HAYES:  And the special election North Carolina that has the President

running scared.  When ALL IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  It was even worse than

we thought.  We all watched as the president appeared to descend into a

kind of madness with a stunt so bizarre it`s been dubbed Sharpie Gate.

 

At the time it just looked like you know, an incredibly bullheaded

narcissist who`s so diluted and prideful that he just can`t admit he`s

wrong.  But the thing you have to remember about this individual is that he

is the head of the United States federal government and that matters.  It

matters to millions of Americans where a hurricane goes.

 

So when Donald Trump tweeted Alabama will most likely be hit much harder

than anticipated about incoming Hurricane Dorian, the Washington Post

reports that the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service got a

flurry of calls into their office.

 

And why wouldn`t they?  The people of Alabama, a vast majority of whom

support President Trump fairly believed that the president was warning them

that a hurricane was heading towards them.  In order to convey accurate

information to the people of Alabama so they didn`t start doing things like

boarding their windows or evacuating or abandoning their pets, the

Birmingham Weather Service office put out a statement strongly

contradicting the president in the interest of the citizens because that

was the independent truth.

 

And that action started a domino effect that led to Commerce Secretary

Wilbur Ross reportedly threatening to fire people at the National Oceanic

and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, a report he denies.

 

NOAA then putting out an unsigned statement supporting the President`s

claim undermining its weather experts.  Let me think about this.  This is a

present saying that what the weather is even when that`s not the weather. 

We`re either a country that has an independent weather service or we are

living in the kind of country in which the great leader tells us what the

weather is the truth the front of our eyes be damned.  It`s one or the

other.

 

When you think about the scale the federal government, the whims of the man

on top and the incentives that he creates, the possibility for abuse and

corruption are so broad even when petty and trivial it`s hard to get your

head around it.

 

Yesterday, we learned that the Air Force has ordered an investigation into

Airmen staying at Trump`s Scotland hotel on the public dime.  The grand

scheme of things not a ton of money but why are we paying for airmen to

stay at Trump`s hotel?  They shouldn`t stay in Trump`s hotel.  they

shouldn`t be public dollars spent on the President`s businesses end of

story.

 

We just saw the Vice President direct public money to the President`s

Ireland hotel.  The House Oversight Committee is now looking into that. 

Right now we have no idea how much public money has been spent at Trump

properties.

 

The federal government is to operate with some degree of integrity and

independence from the winds of the man on top and President Trump is

undermining and corroding that at every turn.  The core concerns the

Founders have of the office of the presidency were abuse of power and

corruption.

 

Those are still the core concerns and we have so much evidence of both,

everything from obstructing justice, directing public funds into his own

pocket.  Today, Congress returned from August Recess and the House

Judiciary Committee announced it will vote this week on procedure is for an

impeachment investigation.

 

The first things the committee says it is investigating are “alleged

obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by

President Trump, his associates, and members of his administration.

 

And joining me now, one of the Congresspeople leading this impeachment

inquiry Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a number of the

both the Judiciary and Oversight Committees.  Congressman, maybe you can

explain to us what this vote is and what these procedures mean.

 

RASKIN:  Well, we`re voting on procedures that formalize the impeachment

investigation.  It gives the chairman of the committee the power to denote

a particular hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry and it also gives

him the power to say the particular subcommittee hearing is part of the

general impeachment inquiry.

 

And other than that, the big part that I took away from it is that after

all of the members conduct their traditional five-minute questioning, both

the Democrats and the Republicans would have a half-hour more of

questioning by staff available.  So it formalizes what we`re doing as we

enter into a new season here.

 

HAYES:  OK.  So that – so that means there`s going to be a full house on

that?  Is this right?

 

RASKIN:  No, this is just in the Judiciary Committee.

 

HAYES:  Just in the committee.  So the committee is going to vote on this. 

It`s going to formalize these procedures.  Is it your understanding at the

conclusion of that vote there will formally in a constitutional sense be an

impeachment inquiry underway?

 

RASKIN:  Well, look, the Constitution doesn`t define when an impeachment

inquiry is underway.

 

HAYES:  No, I know that, but I`m asking you.

 

RASKIN:  Well, look, I think we`re in it now but I think it`s great that

the committee will formalize it with this procedure.  But look, we`re being

hit on a daily basis inundated with new high crimes and misdemeanors.

 

The stuff that we found out about the Vice President`s trip to Ireland,

about the redirection of the you know the Air Force crews to go to the

Trump Hotel in Scotland, that`s just amazing stuff.  The President has

converted the government of the United States into an instrument of self-

enrichment.  And this is the original sin of the Trump administration.

 

It was the main thing that the framers were trying to prevent.  They did

not want the government being used as a for-profit enterprise by the

President.

 

HAYES:  What is the timeline here?  I want to play for you a little bit of

your colleague Jerry Nadler who`s the chair of this can be talking about

his understanding of the Trump administration`s view of the timeline on

this and then get your response to it.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY):  Well, the President clearly is trying to run out

the clock.  The President has been – said he would deny all subpoenas –

possible subpoenas.  That was article three of the Nixon impeachment that

the President opposed subpoenas, and that Nixon wasn`t foolish enough to

say in advances he`s going to oppose all subpoenas.  That itself I think is

a high-crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution that you`re obstructing

the work of Congress in investigating.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  How do you get around that and what is the timeline here?

 

RASKIN:  Well, in an ordinary presidential administration, 16 months left

to go would be something like very near the end of the you know, fourth

quarter, but in Trump time that`s an eternity.  Can you imagine the damage

that he can inflict on the country in the next 16 months?

 

And I think that more and more of our colleagues have come around to the

view that we need to be on a constitutional high alert.  We need every tool

in the constitutional toolkit on the table.  And so we`re going to – you

know, the problem with Trump, of course, is that there are too many

impeachable offenses.

 

With Bill Clinton, they basically had one thing on the guy.  He lied about

sex.  With Donald Trump, we`re just overwhelmed with the domestic

emoluments clause, the foreign government emoluments clause, the federal

election campaign finance violations, and so on.

 

HAYES:  So Byron York is a conservative reporter and pundit who was trying

to make the case that because there`s a scope now that`s wide, it includes

the look into the President`s involvement in the illegal conspiracy to hide

those hush money payments as well as other things, that this is a tacit

acknowledgment the Mueller report itself is not sufficient for the

beginning of an impeachment inquiry.  What`s your response to that?

 

RASKIN:  I mean, I think that`s totally wrong.  I mean there were dozens of

criminal indictments that came out of the Mueller investigation.  There

were seven guilty pleas and criminal convictions.  And we learned of nine

or ten different episodes of presidential obstruction.  It`s just that

that`s a very narrow snapshot of all of the lawlessness taking place in the

Trump administration and it happens to be one that is not the most

intuitive to the public.

 

I think that the public understands that the president is essentially a

businessman, be it a failed and corrupt businessman, but that`s what he is. 

And he has turned the government into a for-profit enterprise and he`s

eluding the assets of the people.

 

Every time that they go down to Mar-a-Lago, it`s costing the federal

taxpayers $75,000 or $100,000

for the FBI, and the Secret Service, and the Department of Defense and so

on going right into the coffers of the Trump industry.  And that is

precisely what the Founders warned us against.  And that`s why they said in

that case, Congress can`t even approve of it.

 

In the case of foreign government payments, theoretically we could approve

of it but I hope within the next few weeks we will formally disapprove of

every foreign government payment he`s pocketed.

 

HAYES:  That`s very interesting.  Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so

much.

 

RASKIN:  Thanks for having me.

 

HAYES:  Joining me now are Chris Lu former White House Cabinet Secretary of

the Obama administration as well as Deputy Chief Counsel of the House

Oversight Committee, and Elizabeth Holtzman former New York Congresswoman

who served on House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard

Nixon.

 

What do you think – they seemed to me always very careful to kind of not -

- they don`t want to put pressure on their front line members to have to

say take a floor vote, right?  They`re trying to sort of move this thing

along and put it on sounder constitutional footing that it might have been

otherwise while not doing it.  Is that your read of what`s going on here?

 

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN (D), FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW YORK:  Yes.  I think

the Speaker whom I respect enormously is still very, very cautious about

the impeachment process but I think there`s still a lot of

misunderstanding.  Just because you have an impeachment inquiry doesn`t

mean you have to impeach the president or impeach the president of all

possible items.

 

I mean, during the Nixon impeachment which is the only successful

impeachment process, we the committee rejected two articles, proposed

articles against the president – actually three.  So it doesn`t mean that

you`re going to get there but I think –

 

HAYES:  Right.  You`re going to investigate the various strands and then

you whittle them down to what you think you can make a case.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Right.  And we started the idea also that constitutionally you

have to have a vote of the House of Representatives before the House

Judiciary Committee can proceed is also not true during the Nixon process. 

We started the impeachment inquiry basically right after the Saturday Night

Massacre –

 

HAYES:  Through the committee.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Through the committee and we didn`t have a vote until February. 

That was from October to February we proceeded without any House vote.

 

HAYES:  Chris, one of the themes here emerging is this idea of personal

enrichment across a variety of categories.  We have snapshots thanks to

some great investigative reporting by David Fahrenthold and others of how

money is flowing into the Trump enterprises, from foreign governments, and

foreign states, and their backers.

 

We have some reporting about how government money, American public money is

flowing into there.  We also know that there was a big business deal with

Russia overhanging the entire shenanigans of 2016.  What is your view of

that both the politics and sort of law of that, the centrality of that?

 

CHRIS LU, FORMER CABINET SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE:  Well, that`s exactly

right.  What we`re talking about here is not only a legal case and a

political case as well.  And what this opening of this inquiry does is it

strengthens the House`s hand when it goes into court to try to force

documents, to try to compel witnesses that can answer a lot of these

questions.

 

As you know, courts are reluctant to get in the middle of disputes between

the legislative and the executive branch.  But when Congress is acting

pursuant to its impeachment powers, it has much more a prerogative in that

respect.

 

And the theory in all this is that if you can get these documents, in

particular, the grand jury materials as part of the Mueller investigation,

you can actually hold hearings, public hearings, frame them

with an impeachment and that then builds the political case.

 

And so we`ve seen different strands along the way about abuse of power but

this is a way to grab those documents and particularly the tax returns

which we`ve been unable to get our hands on so far.

 

HAYES:  One of the arguments the Department of Justice argued before court

in one of these cases about turning over documents that Congress – the

courts can enforce a congressional subpoena and that only DOJ can.

 

But if Congress wants documents and they want that subpoena in force, they

have to go ask DOJ to enforce it against the President of the United

States.  That`s an audacious claim.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Well, but you have an audacious Attorney General.

 

HAYES:  We certainly do.

 

HOLTZMAN:  There nothing other than a total puppet for the President of the

United States.  I mean, the nerve of having him have a $30,000 party at

Trump`s property – Trump`s hotel, just – he`s looking in the ground for

Trump.  It`s disgusting to see Attorney General with no independence here.

 

But by the way, it`s not just that the money is going into the Trump

Organization.  The money is going directly whether it`s immediately or in

the future to Trump himself.

 

HAYES:  His pockets.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Because he is the sole beneficiary of the trust.  And I think we

can`t forget that.  This is money that`s enriching him personally –

 

HAYES:  He`s being paid.  He`s being paid.  And –

 

HOLTZMAN:  – against the Constitution.  And by the way, in the discussion

of the ratification of the Constitution, what was the remedy for violating

the Emoluments Clause, impeachment.

 

HAYES:  And keep in mind this.  We don`t have a window into the various

flows of money that goes into the President`s pocket.

 

HOLTZMAN:  No.

 

HAYES:  So if you divide them into three categories, foreign states, we

have some reporting on that.  Taxpayer dollars, right, we have some

reporting on that but not comprehensive accounting.  And then, Chris,

there`s this.  This is the New York Times looking at FEC filings.  $5.6

million has been spent at Trump properties by political candidates or party

organizations including by Trump`s own political operation.

 

In the four years before Trump`s bid for president, these same hotels and

other venues collected a total of only $119,000 in federally regulated

payments from political groups.  So he is being essentially bribed by these

campaigns and political relations which is a different issue than it is for

the government but that`s – we only know that because that money is all

transparently documented by the FEC.

 

LU:  Right, exactly.  I mean, this is the case of really vigorous reporting

that`s getting our arms around all these things, but we`re going to know a

lot more if the House Democrats are able to get their hands on these

financial documents.

 

But it`s important to separate this out.  It`s one thing we`re talking

about the Trump Hotel when it`s private money going to him, but it`s

another thing when he`s pushing the G7 to hold yes their next meeting at

Doral which then puts not only U.S. government money but foreign government

into his money into his pocket.

 

And then when he`s diverting planes to the Scottish airport, and then it`s

military funds that are being diverted into his back pocket.  I mean,

that`s a whole different level of seriousness.

 

HAYES:  I should note that we don`t know if the planes have been explicitly

diverted to Prestwick Airport because of the President of the United

States.  That`s a subject of the inquiry.  We only know for sure that

Airmen were staying at the Trump Hotel which itself, of course, should be

barred just flat out as a simple matter of ethical conflict of interest.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Yes, but I think if the President stymies any inquiry into where

these moneys –

 

HAYES:  Yes, that`s a great point.

 

HOLTZMAN:  – where the money went to and how they were used and his role

in it, there should be a complete inference that he himself is guilty here

because this is like taking the Fifth Amendment if he`s covering this up.

 

HAYES:  Chris Lu and Elizabeth Holtzman, thank you both.  Next, more on the

reporting that Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top NOAA officials for a

statement contradicting the President`s tweet about Hurricane Dorian.  The

details in two minutes.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA is an

incredibly important part of the federal government.  As an agency, they do

a huge amount of our climate science.  They monitor the state the oceans,

coastal marine environments, they also run one of the most trusted parts of

the entire federal government, the National Weather Service which is the

agency tasked with warning us about dangerous weather like say hurricane.

 

NOAA weirdly is part of the Commerce Department which is run by that

gentleman Wilbur Ross.  And today we found out through some pretty

remarkable reporting in the New York Times that Secretary Ross reportedly

threatened to fire top employees at NOAA after that agency`s office in

Birmingham contradicted the President`s false tweet claiming that hurricane

Dorian would hit Alabama.

 

I should tell you the secretary denies this.  The whole controversy has

absolutely been an earthquake in the world of people who have worked for

NOAA past or present and who viewed their scientific independence is

absolutely sacrosanct.

 

While NOAA meteorologists told The Washington Post “this is the first time

I felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast.  The

Director of the National Weather Service Louis Uccellini spoke today at a

major weather industry conference in Huntsville, Alabama, and he made a

point to single out the Birmingham office for praise.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

LOUIS UCCELLINI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE:  When the phones and

the social media lit up at around 10:00 a.m. Central time on September 1st,

they did what any office would do.  With an emphasis they deemed essential,

they shut down what they thought were rumors. 

 

They quickly acted to reassure their partners, the media, and the public

with strong language that there was no threat.  They did that with one

thing in mind, public safety.  And they responded not knowing where this

information was coming from.  Only later, when the retweets and the

political-based comments came into their office, did they learn the source

of this information.

 

So let me be clear, the Birmingham office did this to stop public panic, to

ensure public safety.  So, I`d like to close by asking (INAUDIBLE) and

Birmingham employees that are present to please stand and be recognized.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Here with me now, someone who understands NOAA from the inside

Monica Medina who`s a former Principal Deputy Undersecretary at NOAA and

former general counsel of the agency, also the Co-Founder of environmental

news site Our Daily Planet.

 

Let`s start with that.  I mean, that is such an amazing snapshot of the

ethos of the folks that work as civil servants in this agency to produce

factual information for the public.

 

MONICA MEDINA, CO-FOUNDER, OUR DAILY PLANET: And they do it every day, day

in day out.  They are true-blue public servants.  They fly through

hurricanes.  They worked round the clock during this storm to deliver the

most accurate information that every single other weather forecast works

from.  And to have them be undermined that way was just really abhorrent.

 

HAYES:  What do you – so there`s two things that happen here, right.  I

mean, that there`s Wilbur Ross according to their reporting threatening to

fire folks at NOAA because of the contradiction.  And then a statement, an

unnamed statement put out by the NOAA Communications Office essentially

disassociating themselves with the tweet of the Birmingham National Weather

Service Office and basically saying the President was not wrong.

 

MEDINA:  Right.

 

HAYES:  Why does that matter?

 

MEDINA:  It matters because the forecasters need to know that the political

leadership at NOAA will back them up, and now they don`t.  They will think

twice.  It could take them time to get that correction out.  And it could

be just misinformation that came from anywhere.

 

But now they`ll worry that they shouldn`t make those corrections and that

time that they lose in getting the clearance to put the correct information

out is critical, critical.  And I honestly think what Ross did was beyond -

- you know, to save the president and his thin skin and his fragile ego,

it`s not more important than saving the lives of Americans.  It`s just not.

 

HAYES:  Do you think he should resign?

 

MEDINA:  I do think you should resign?

 

HAYES:  Do you think it`s that serious?

 

MEDINA:  I think it`s that serious.

 

HAYES:  I mean, he denies it, I should also say.

 

MEDINA:  It`s a basic public trust agency.  It runs on the trust within the

agency that the leadership will allow them to do their job, and it runs

outside the agency on the trust that the public has that the forecast is

right.  And now Trump`s supporters may think it`s wrong.

 

HAYES:  Right, that like it`s some liberal – it`s a bunch of libs there. 

You can`t trust them when they tell you that there are tornados coming for

you.

 

MEDINA:  Yes.  And every day at our Daily Planet we tried explain why these

stories matter.  And this is not the only time when the public`s trust has

been violated because they`ve undermined scientific integrity within an

agency.  But this time the public`s safety in the immediate time frame was

put at risk by this.

 

HAYES:  We should say that NOAA`s chief scientists can investigate why the

agency back Trump over its experts on Dorian.

 

MEDINA:  Yes, he should.

 

HAYES:  There`s also a broader question here which you just referred to

which is this is an agency that aside from the National Weather Service

does a ton of climate work.

 

MEDINA:  A ton.

 

HAYES:  And there has been from the moment the Trump administration took

over worries about precisely this.  Would they be able to maintain their

scientific integrity and independence amidst pressure from this

administration and we`ve already seen them start to do things with EPA at

the USDA where they moved a bunch of climate scientists out of Washington

to kind of get rid of them?  Like does this concern you about what it means

for the future of NOAA?

 

MEDINA:  Absolutely, absolutely.  And these storms are getting more and

more severe.  We`ve seen five category 5s in the last three years.  This is

critical that we have this climate information that we need that we

actually need to grow the weather service to be able to handle this kind of

a stress.

 

The storms are coming out as the floods, the fires.  We don`t even have the

ability to do the kind of fire forecasting that we have for tornadoes and

floods and hurricanes.  We need to expand the weather service, strengthen

them, empower them.  Give them more resources to take on this incredible

challenge that we ahead of us.

 

HAYES:  What does it mean for this sort of – for everyone else throughout

the federal government not just in NOAA who are functioning civil servants

who are working on all sorts of things that have to do with climate or

other independent scientific findings to watch this all play out in public?

 

MEDINA:  I think it`s an earthquake.  I`ve heard from people at NOAA myself

who say they`re devastated and they`re worried that the agency won`t be

able to recover.  And surely all their colleagues, they work with other

agencies every single day, people talk.  They understand the threat here.

 

It`s wonderful that Louis Uccellini is willing to speak up and that Craig

McLean the head of science at NOAA is willing to investigate.  And I hope

that empowers the civil servants to keep trying to do their job every day. 

But I worry that the chilling effect has already set in.

 

HAYES:  Does it have an effect? 

 

MEDINA:  Absolutely.

 

HAYES:  I mean, people don`t want to lose their jobs.

 

MEDINA:  People don`t want to lose their jobs and they don`t want to have

to worry and make those second-guessed –

 

HAYES:  Right.  It`s the second – it`s the second beat in your heart.

 

MEDINA:  Yes.  And in fact, sometimes that time is critical.  In Alabama in

2015, there was a storm that came through.  There was a regatta going on. 

And the locals didn`t really heed the forecast.  Six people died.  Six

people died in the course of a day.  As the forecast changed, six people

died because they were in harm`s way because they were having fun sailing

in the Mobile Bay.  And instead, now we`ve got the president undermining

that local forecast office.

 

HAYES:  Right.  That`s a great point.  Monica Medina, thank you so much for

being here.

 

MEDINA:  Thank you, Chris, for having me.

 

HAYES:  I should say that Monica`s group Our Daily Planet is one of the co-

sponsors for our 2020 climate forum that`s next Thursday and Friday.  My

colleague Ali Velshi and I will be asking presidential candidates about

their climate change plans.  They will be fielding questions from young

voters on climate issues.

 

The forum is live on NBC News now.  We`ll feature parts of it here on ALL

IN.  Again, September 19th and 20th.  We hope you`ll join us.

 

Next, a year after they were caught committing election fraud, North

Carolina Republicans are desperately trying to hang on to their ninth

congressional district.  What we know about tomorrow`s big special election

after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Tomorrow is election day in a race that will decide the final

congressional contest of 2018 and the first real bellwether of the 2020

political field.  It`s a crazy story about a congressional race in North

Carolina we`ve covered here extensively.  North Carolina 9 is a strong

Republican district.  Donald Trump carried it by 12 points in 2016, Romney

also wanted by 12 points four years earlier, so reliably red.

 

Last November, the Republican candidate Mark Harris appeared to squeak out

a very narrow victory over Democrat Dan McCready.  But it quickly became

clear that Harris had hired an ex-felon named Leslie McCrae Dowless who

allegedly ran a widespread fraud operation that involves sometimes paying

people to illegally collect, fill out, and forge absentee ballots. The

fraud was so statistically anomalous and so widespread that the election

board took the very rare step of just invalidating the results and

unanimously ordered a new election.

 

In disgrace, the Republican, Mark Harris, eventually gave up his fight for

a congressional seat.  The man he hired that allegedly did the fraud,

Leslie McCrae Dowless, was indicted on felony charges, accused of, quote,

obstruction of justice and illegal possession of absentee ballot. 

 

And he is not alone, quote, seven other people we re also indicted in

connection with the election fraud inquiry.  But this new election tomorrow

has Republican`s panicked, because polling shows it to be neck and neck in

a plus 12 Trump district, which is why the president is down there tonight.

 

Joining me now to talk more about why this race is a cause for concern for

Republicans David Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic based in North

Carolina who has  been writing about this race.

 

David, this – you can sort of sea how intensely the Republican Party and

the president and the  vice president are focused on this race.  Why?  And

what do we know about where it looks going into election day?

 

DAVID GRAHAM, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC:  I think they`re very focused on

it because if they lose it`s embarrassing.  As you say, this is a district

that Trump carried by a wide margin.  Republicans have historically carried

it.  There hasn`t been a Democrat in the district for at least 56 years.

 

And so if this is a loss, I think it looks very bad for the president, not

only for the symbolic reasons but also because Charlotte is where the

Republicans are holding their convention in 2020.  He wants somebody to

greet him when he gets off the plane.

 

We don`t know what the result is going to be.  Both sides think it`s going

to be very close.  I know it`s a cliche, but it really looks like it will

come down to turnout, which is going to be low because it`s a special

election.

 

HAYES:  Who are the two candidates here?  Dan McCready on the Democratic

side is the one that ran the first time, and then Dan Bishop is the one who

replaced Mark Harris who, after a lot of

bluster and taking offense and indignation that anyone would suggest his

campaign had anything to do with election fraud, had to admit that his

campaign probably did have something to do with election fraud and step

away.

 

GRAHAM:  Right.  So McCready is a Democrat who is running again.  He`s a

marine veteran, went to Harvard Business School, started a solar energy

company.  He`s now been running for the seat for about three years, it`s

very sort of by the book moderate dude.

 

Dan Bishop, his opponent, is a state senator, a fairly conservative

presence.  He was the sort of genius behind HB2, the bathroom bill, that

was very controversial a couple of years ago.  And, you know, he`s a sort

of presence in state politics as well.

 

HAYES:  You know, there`s been a lot of spending from both sides on this

race, because there aren`t a lot of special elections this year.  What do

you think it ultimately says – I mean, it`s our first

read of a non-polling read about what actual voters are doing in this

environment.

 

GRAHAM:  Right.

 

I mean, I think one question is does this sort of – we will protect your

health care and we`re not going to rock the boat message that a lot of

Democrats in suburban districts used in 2018 still work.  Can that work in

2020? 

 

That`s what McCready is running, so I`m curious to see that.

 

I`m also curious to see what kind of…

 

HAYES:  Yeah, Dan Bishop seems to be running a very like I`m basically

Donald Trump`s emissary in your district, vote for me.

 

GRAHAM:  Right.  It`s a litmus test for Trump, whether the voters who went

against Trump

in 2018, but maybe are having second thoughts about Democrats, or if they

really don`t like Trump.   And it`s interesting, because McCready isn`t

hammering the Trump connection himself, he`s kind of trying to stay away

from the national political angle.

 

Voters I talk to seem angry about Trump and angry about Bishop when they`re

supporting McCready.

 

HAYES:  So you think – I mean, it`s also sort of a test of where the kind

of temperature of these sort of metro area suburban district, relatively

well educated, as this district is, as I understand it, are in 2019 as

opposed to 2018 – we know the story in 2018, because we had a much bigger

data set.  This is the first time we`re kind of running an experiment eight

months later, nine months later.

 

GRAHAM:  That`s right.  And, you know, the real difference for McCready is

going to be where his numbers are in Mecklenburg County, so in sort of

inner ring suburbs of Charlotte.  If he gets a lot of voters there, he has

a good chance.  The outer ring suburbs in the next count over, Union

County, are very Republican.  So, if Bishop can get a lot of people out

there they`ll come out.  And I think we`ll start to see something about

what the electorate might be like and what they care about most in 2020

from these results.

 

HAYES:  I will just say, I just note this for the record, the president was

down in North Carolina.  He`s doing this rally essentially for this reason

on election eve.  And he once again told this really insidious and spurious

lie about millions of people voting illegally in California when he`s at a

rally for the race in which the only election fraud that we know is

documented that impacted a race

and got a guy elected and had to be thrown out is the race that he is at a

rally for.

 

GRAHAM:  You know, it`s interesting.  North Carolina Republicans have been

talking for a long time very strictly about voter ID and the importance of

stopping election fraud.  After this election I think things have been a

little bit quieter on that front.

 

HAYES:  Right.  David Graham, thank you so much for joining us.

 

GRAHAM:  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  Ahead, the president invites the Taliban to Camp David and managed

to undo months of careful diplomatic negotiations, the details ahead.

 

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

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Thing One tonight, British politics has been almost as wild as ours

lately as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to navigate Brexit before the

end of October deadline to leave the EU, but at least they`re getting a

break with parliament formally shutting down tonight, also known as

prorogation.  It`s an official end to a parliamentary session before a new

one begins, this time lasting an unusually long five weeks and it involves

a ceremony full of fun British pomp and circumstance.

 

This is how it usually goes.  First, there`s the royal commission of privy

counselors appointed by the queen who will enter the chamber in some

seriously over the top robes and hats.  Then comes this character carrying

a big stick who is called, I kid you not, Black Rod.  And the privy

counselors, the red robe and black hat people, tell Black Rod to go summon

the House of Commons.  Off he goes.

 

And then they get down to business.  The lady in the wig, the clerk of the

crown, reads out all

of the acts that have been passed in the parliamentary session.  And the

guy in the wig has to reply

to each one. 

 

And that process is happening in London right now.  Here`s how it went last

time.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE:  Neighborhood planning act.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  La ren la vote (ph).

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Bus services act.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  La ren la vote (ph).

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  If you cannot understand that, it`s not your fault or your hearing. 

What he is actually saying is the queen wishes it in Norman French, because

why not.

 

But there`s also a very sad element to the closing of this parliamentary

session, we`re going – not going to get to hear this guy anymore.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS:  Order.  Order.  Order.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, known on this side of

the pond as the guy who yells order a lot, announced today he will step

down by October 31, the day the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.

 

Bercow tried to keep order at a time of absolute disorder in Parliament and

became a somewhat controversial figure in the process as the Telegraph

describes it, Bercow used the usually impartial office of speaker to

frustrate Brexit, inevitably irking the Brexiteers.

 

Whatever you think about Brexit, it`s hard not to be thankful for these

memories.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BERCOW:  Order.  Order.  Order.  Order, I say to you chancellor of the

duchy (ph)  that when he turns up at our children`s school as a parent,

he`s a very well behaved fellow. Don`t gesticulate, don`t rant.  Spare us

the theatrics.  Behave yourself.  Be a good boy, young man.  Be a good boy.

 

The simple answer is that the government must comply with the humble

address passed by the

House.  That is the reality of the matter.

 

Order.  Order.  Order.  Order.

 

If we have to go on longer because people sitting on the trenchery bench

are yelling to try to

disrupt, so be it. 

 

It really is very, very unseemly.  There is a procedure to statements of

this kind, a very long-established procedure.

 

And I`m setting out the position and no one be he ever so high is going to

tell me what the procedures in the Chamber of the House of Commons are.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think I just got a call from CBP and CBP told them

that everyone who doesn`t have a U.S. visa and who is traveling on police

record has to come off.

 

BRIAN ENTIN, WSVN REPORTER:  And normally you can travel, right, with a

police record.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yeah, normally you can use police record.  We have

airplane at least here.

 

ENTIN:  So you have to take your baby off?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I have to take her off.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And how do you feel?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  At the last minute like this, you know, it`s kind of

disappointing.  It`s hurtful, because watching my daughters cry, but, yeah,

it is what it is.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Chaotic scene this weekend on a ferry from the Bahamas to Ft.

Lauderdale, Florida.  This is one of the videos tweeted out last night by

investigative reporter Brian Entin from Miami Fox affiliate WSVN.  These

are desperate people from the Bahamas attempting to get to the United

States after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian being told that unless

they had a visa they had to leave the ferry that was supposed to transport

them to safety.

 

Now, this is not normal U.S. policy.  Normally, as Vox reports,

requirements including having no criminal record, valid passport and a

police certificate issued within the last six months.

 

That same South Florida reporter Brian Entin tweeted that the ferry company

was told by U.S. customs officials that people without visas would not be

accepted, but Customs and Border Protection denied that it  was their doing

and instead blamed the ferry company.

 

Late today, the ferry company issued another statement reading, in part,

“we boarded these passengers with the understanding that they could travel

to the United States without visas only to later

having been advised that in order to travel to Ft. Lauderdale they required

prior in person authorization from the immigration authorities in Nassau.”

 

We don`t know who advised them, but amidst all this confusion, between the

CBP and the ferry company today, the president swoops in to take credit

essentially for turning away desperate, devastated storm wrecked survivors

saying we`ve, quote, “had some tremendous problems with people going to the

Bahamas that weren`t supposed to be there.  I don`t want to allow people

that weren`t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come to the U.S.”

 

Who is he talking about?  Who was not supposed to be there?  They went

there to sneak in

after the storm? 

 

He then goes on to characterize those individuals as, quote, “very bad

people,” including, quote, “very bad gang members” and, quote, “very, very

bad drug dealers.”

 

He`s talking about people who are trying to get off storm ravaged islands

to go to safety. 

 

Climate emergencies are going to hit this earth with vastly unequal force

and unequal effect, and the places most exposed to storms and sea level

rise and extreme heat, and those places that are poorest are going to be

sent fleeing.

 

And there are going to be increasing calls from the most reactionary

elements of our society and government and others to shut the door and

leave them to their fate.  And we cannot allow them to get away with that.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  The president this – this weekend the president made a startling

announcement, he was canceling a secretly scheduled meeting with Taliban

leaders and the president of Afghanistan at Camp David three days before

the 18th anniversary of September 11.

 

Trump claimed the cancellation was due to the latest Taliban attack in

Afghanistan, which killed 12 people, including an American earlier last

week.  But it doesn`t totally square with the subsequent reporting, which

instead strongly suggests the president looking for a big photo op

basically insisted on a completely unworkable summit and then abandoned it

when it became clear it was unworkable.

 

Quoting from The New York Times, “Mr. Trump didn`t want it the Camp David

meeting to be a celebration of the deal, Mr. Trump wanted to be a deal-

maker who would put the final parts together himself or at least be

perceived to be.”

 

And so in the process, Donald Trump appears to have short-circuited ten

months of careful  negotiations that his own Afghanistan point person had

been working on.

 

Here to explain further, New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini

Callimachi, also an MSNBC contributor; and former undersecretary of state

for political affairs in the Obama administration, Ambassador Wendy

Sherman, also an MSNBC global affairs contributor.

 

Rukmini, let`s start I guess with the context here of what the situation on

the ground in Afghanistan looks like and the subject of these talks.

 

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, NEW YORK TIMES:  So let`s back up a bit.  The reason

that the United States is in Afghanistan at all is because on 9/11 we

learned that Osama bin Laden was given safe haven by the Taliban.  We went

into Afghanistan because of al Qaeda`s presence.  The problem with these

talks is that al Qaeda remains in Afghanistan, the last four United Nations

Security Council

reports all state this.

 

HAYES:  Meaning, they`re harboring – there are active al Qaeda groups in

Taliban-controlled territory where they`re doing, you`re saying,

essentially the same thing they were doing back then?

 

CALLIMACHI:  Exactly.  The leadership is there.  You can see this in the

July report at the UN`s Security Council.  They have trainers.  They have

advisers.  They`re fighting alongside the

Taliban.

 

So al Qaeda remains there.  This is one of the key elements of this deal. 

The Taliban is supposed to renounce al Qaeda, but there`s no – as far as

we know, there`s monetary mechanism that can possibly work once the U.S.

withdraws and leaves.

 

HAYES:  Wendy, there`s also the issue of the delicacy of this in which the

negotiations that were happening in Doha and working their up through

various folks in the U.S. side and the Taliban side didn`t involve the

Afghan government, and then they were like cc`d on the email I guess at the

last minute to come to Camp David.

 

It`s sort of a – it`s a tough thing to pull off a deal with the Taliban if

the Afghan government hasn`t bought in.

 

WENDY SHERMAN, FRM. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS:  Indeed,

and the Taliban was not forswearing going after the Afghan government,

which the Taliban hates completely.  And I can`t say there`s any love loss

by Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan for the Taliban.  It is true

that the American people, and even the Obama administration, wanted to look

for an exit strategy out of Afghanistan, Zal Khalilzad is a very capable

professional.  He was doing the very, very difficult work of these

negotiations, but not including the Afghan government.

 

And I`m sure Rukmini will well understand the most searing, searing meeting

I had back when I was counselor to Madeleine Albright in the Clinton

administration, the second Clinton administration, was at a  refugee camp

in Peshawar, Pakistan where women had been driven out of Afghanistan by the

Taliban, and I had to listen to young girls who were my daughter`s age at

the time, talk about watching their sisters being raped, being thrown out

the the window, teachers who could not teach, doctors who could not do

medical services, and so women were not included in negotiations at this

point either.

 

There was enormous amount of work yet ahead.  The president thought he

could short-circuit it, but these kind of complex negotiations need

persistence, need detail, need attention, need an interagency process. 

None of that existed here.

 

HAYES:  You`re talking about the Taliban`s record, which has been awful and

brutal and bloody in every possible way during its reign.  And you`re

talking about the fact they`re harboring al Qaeda.  It`s also 18 years

we`ve been there.  At a certain some point, some American president is

going to cut a

peace deal with the Taliban.  The Taliban will be there after the U.S.

leaves.  They know that, and they`ve known that since day one.  That`s why

their – that`s why this is still going.  So it`s going to have to happen

at some point, right?

 

CALLIMACHI:  We gave up our leverage when the president – when this

president, and the last one, announced that we are going to leave

Afghanistan.

 

This is a terrorist group.  They are in it…

 

HAYES:  But even if we didn`t announce it, they would no that?

 

CALLIMACHI:  Yes.

 

HAYES:  America is not going to be in Afghanistan forever?

 

CALLIMACHI:  Yes.  We have been in Japan forever.  We have been in Korea

forever.  These are the examples that people on the flip side of it point

out.

 

But I think that the way that this is shaping up, either we leave

Afghanistan with really no

deal in place, or no deal that is…

 

HAYES:  Enforceable.

 

CLLIMACHI:  That is enforceable, right, or we stay there forever.

 

So we are in an impossible situation.  Both options are pretty bad.

 

HAYES:  But here`s what`s so perverse about this, Wendy, when you think

about the politics.  People want the Afghanistan War to end.  It is the

longest war in the history of the American Republic.  Think about that, we

have fought a lot of wars and it`s the longest one, OK.

 

I really think the only person who could in some way sell a deal to 40

percent of the country is Donald Trump, because if the shoe were on the

other foot and Barack Obama was hanging out at Camp David with the Taliban,

the right would absolutely lose its mind.  We saw of them lose their mind

when we got a soldier back from the Taliban and did a deal with them to get

Bowe Bergdahl back.

 

SHERMAN:  Absolutely.

 

HAYES:  So, in some ways, there is a Nixon and China aspect here which is I

don`t know how this ends literally unless Donald Trump somehow finds a way

to end it.

 

SHERMAN:  I agree with you in the sense that Donald Trump certainly has the

chutzpah to try to get this deal done no matter what. But remember, even

the deal, as it has been leaked out to the press, would leave some American

troops there for a substantial period of time.  So it`s not like getting

every last soldier out. 

 

And I think the tell on this particular secret summit is that although our

hearts break for the family that lost the American soldier and the other

civilians that were killed in this latest attack, 16

Americans have died in this year alone, so this wasn`t just about American

soldiers dying, this was the president of the United States confronting the

fact that he was not going to get a deal at Camp David in the of any kind

finale that he likes to look for and so it couldn`t happen.

 

HAYES:  He clearly wanted the Nobel Peace Prize-like photoshoot.  That`s is

clearly what happened and he swooped in and said, oh, we`re going to do it

at Camp David.

 

Final question, though, is – and we`ve seen 16 American service members

killed this year, a much higher pace of violence.  And there have been

hundreds of civilian casualties, including just grisly strikes on wedding

parties.  What is the – I don`t understand, is this the Taliban showing

off their

muscles, them exerting leverage in the midst of the talks?

 

CALLIMACHI:  I think it`s the Taliban being the Taliban.  And once again,

we played our hand

when we said that we are leaving, right?  And so once they know this,

there`s no leverage that we have.

 

HAYES:  Rukmini Callimachi and Wendy Sherman, thank you both.

 

That is 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.

END   

 

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