Purdue pharma declares bankruptcy. TRANSCRIPT: 9/16/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It will then mean beating Donald Trump who
have tried to scare moderate Democrats into believing they`re better off
with the devil they know. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with
us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Saudis are going to have
a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something.
HAYES: The President awaits instruction from the orb.
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia pays cash.
HAYES: Tonight, is the president outsourcing his duties as Commander in
Chief to Saudi Arabia and what is he getting out of them.
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, and I get along great with all of them. They buy
apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million.
HAYES: Plus, why Adam ship is raising alarm bells over an Intelligence
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think it`s fair to assume this involves either
the President or people around him or both.
HAYES: Then –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our livelihood.
HAYES: Michael Moore on the massive UAW strike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you stand with the Auto Workers in the strike
HAYES: As the world gathers for a climate action summit, Naomi Klein on
her burning case for a Green New Deal when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. The President of the
United States, the Commander in Chief of America`s armed forces stands
ready to dispatch the U.S. Armed Forces at the behest and direction of a
He has over the weekend via Twitter essentially pledged the entirety of
American military might in the service of a man where he seems devoted to
almost above any other world leader in stiff competition with Vladimir
The man, of course, is Saudi Arabia`s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
known as MBS. In the wake of the news that two major Saudi oil facilities
were attacked over the weekend, the Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed
responsibility. The U.S. and the Saudis say it was Iran behind it.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump basically announced on Twitter you tell
us what to do my crown prince and we shall do it for you. Now, to be
clear, the U.S. has had a close relationship with the Saudis for decades
upon decades under Republicans and Democrats. But what has happened under
this administration is on a whole other level.
Let`s just review for a second. The very first international trip that
Donald Trump took as president was to Saudi Arabia breaking with decades of
precedent in which the first trip is usually Canada or Mexico. And you
remember on that trip, do you remember the orb and the sword dance? I
mean, who else would Donald Trump willing to do that with?
President Trump has issued in his entire time as president, he`s issued
five vetoes and four of them have been to protect the Saudis. He has
bumped up weapons sales to the Saudis. He has defended the Saudis as
they`ve created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen.
United Nations says ten million Yemenis are “one step away from famine.”
Members of Trump`s administration have defended them and praised and
laughed and smiled with them after they hacked to death a columnist for an
American newspaper. A murder the CIA says was personally ordered by the
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two countries that Trump will bend over backwards for are Russia and
Saudi Arabia. Why? Well, here`s one obvious reason.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia – and I get along great with all of them. They buy
apartments from me, they spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to
dislike them? I like him very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He told you right there, back when he`s running for president. He
told you what it`s about. They give lots and lots of money to Donald
Trump`s businesses. There it is. You know, thanks to some great
reporting, we also know little snapshots about how Saudis have helped runs
bottom line since he became president like when they rolled into town and
spent enough money the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan to boost the
hotel`s revenue for the entire quarter, or the time a Saudi funded lobbyist
paid for 500 rooms at Trump`s D.C. hotel.
But those are just little snippets we`ve caught here thanks to reporting
and whistleblowers. We don`t know much else. It would be helpful to have
the President`s tax returns which have been requested by the house
representatives under U.S. law but are being blocked by the White House and
being fought in court.
Today, another avenue was opened with the Manhattan district attorney
demanding Trump`s tax returns the last eight years. What else is there?
What are the financial arrangements with Jared Kushner who is so close to
the Crown Prince that when Kushner visited Saudi Arabia after MBS, had just
locked up dozens of political rivals. “The two princes are said to have
stayed up until nearly 4:00 a.m. several nights swapping stories and
Today the United States, our country, who finds itself at the point where
the president is threatening war, threatening to put American lives, the
lives of American servicemembers, American blood, American treasure on the
line for the guy who hacked Jamal Khashoggi to death, for a regime that
spends lots of money at his hotels.
Joining me now, Ben Rhodes former Deputy National Security Adviser under
President Obama. He was also an advisor on the Iran deal that President
Trump withdrew from last year. He is now an MSNBC Political Contributor.
I guess let`s start with just where we are right now over the weekend.
Drone strikes on these – the Saudi oil refineries, the Houthis, the rebels
in Yemen who are fighting with the Saudis and Yemen say it was them, the
U.S. and Saudis saying it was Iran. What do you make of this situation?
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Chris, first of all, we
have to be very clear. We would not be at this point were it not for
Trump`s foreign policy, pulling out of the Iran deal, piling sanctions on
the Iranians, giving a blank check to Mohammed bin Salman to wage his war
in Yemen against the Houthis.
It is logical that it would follow from that and was predicted by many of
that if he follows that course the Iranians would escalate in kind. So
whether it was the Houthis or some people suggest this as a more
sophisticated weapon that can only come from the Iranians, this is the
logical endpoint of Trump`s own escalation.
And we have no interest in going to war on behalf of an attack on Saudi oil
infrastructure. We have no interest on going to war on behalf of Mohammed
bin Salman who would like nothing more than the United States to do his
bidding in taking out the Iranian regime. That has been what he has wanted
since he became the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
So we see before our eyes the corruption of American foreign policy. We
are being asked to do something that is not in our interest that the
American people would not support.
HAYES: Yes. There`s this – a while ago there was an onion article on
John Bolton when those tankers were hit in the Gulf that said an attack on
two Saudi oil tankers an attack on all Americans. But I feel like I`m
losing my mind watching people talk about this.
Obviously, like you don`t want this to escalate, you certainly don`t want a
hot conventional war between the Saudis and Iran and there are steps that
should be taken. But like what the heck is the U.S. interest in defending
the Saudi government from drone attacks on their oil facilities?
RHODES: And well, first of all, Chris, they have to think about this from
the perspective of Middle East. There has been a war that has been going
on in Yemen.
HAYES: Yes. They just haven`t seen it.
RHODES: Exactly. So, the way people need to think about this or watching
this is this is not the first strike on the Saudi infrastructure in a new
war. This is part of a word that has been an ongoing for since Mohammed
bin Salman became Crown Prince against the Houthis in Yemen that has led to
the deaths of tens of thousands of people, famine that puts millions of
lives at risk.
When we were at the end of the Obama administration, what were we trying to
do? We had an Iran deal in place to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear
weapon and provide a foundation for some capacity at diplomacy with Iran.
We also went to the Saudis and urged them to open the channel with the
Iranians. We said you do not want this proxy war to escalate all across
the region in part because it could draw us in, and part because you can`t
win that proxy war. Nobody can win. Everybody will lose if this escalates.
And what did they do? They said, no, Mohammed bin Salman had recently
become the crown prince and the defense minister. He wanted to show how
tough he was. The place he wanted to do that was in Yemen. And here we
are, this is the logical endpoint of Trump and Mohammed bin Salman`s
completely wrong handed approach to the conflict with Iran.
HAYES: You know, the President today sort of came out and said a little
bit of what he`s thinking is about this, and he basically made the argument
that essentially the Saudi – bin Salman keeps oil prices low for me. I
can personally adjust the price of oil, ergo I owe him. This is – this is
what he said today in the White House. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia pays cash. They`ve helped us out from the standpoint
of jobs and all of the other things. And they`ve actually helped us. I
would call and I would say listen, our oil prices, our gasoline is too
high. You got to let more go. You know that I would call the Crown Prince
and I`d say you got to help us out. You got to get some more.
And all of a sudden, the oil starts flowing and the gasoline prices are
down. No other president can do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you make – I mean –
RHODES: First of all, Chris, the instability that Trump is causing in this
region by pulling out of the Iran deal is a factor in driving up oil
prices, right. So, let`s be very clear, Donald Trump is part of the reason
why your prices are going up whatever Mohammed bin Salman is telling him.
The other thing is nothing – people talk about the Iranians and they`re
right. The Iranians destabilize and meddle in other countries, so do the
Saudis. Right now, the Saudis are meddling in Yemen, they`re meddling in
Libya, they`re meddling in Iraq.
They are doing the same things that people complain about the Iranian
doing. All of which could contribute to a rise in oil prices, a risk of
conflict, destabilizing the region. What do we know? We also know that
the Saudis spend enormous amounts of money at Trump hotel properties. We
don`t know –
HAYES: They own the 45th floor of Trump Tower.
RHODES: Well, what we also don`t know, Chris, is what is happening in
these conversations between Jared Kushner and the sound Saudi Crown Prince.
What promises are being made about potential investments after the Trump
So it seems to me that the corruption at the heart of the Trump presidency,
the Trump farm policy can be seen in Saudi Arabia. And it doesn`t get the
same attention as the domestic issues that we`re all concerned about
because we`re Americans.
But we should care that we could end up in a war because we have a Saudi
crown prince who is a murderer who killed and brutally chopped up a
journalist for The Washington Post in another country who now wants us to
do his bidding. He wants a return on his investment in Jared Kushner and
Saudi Arabia pays cash. That`s what the president said in the White House
today in justifying why he would maybe go to war on behalf of the Saudis.
Ben Rhodes, thank you very much.
RHODES: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now for more, Rula Jebreal, journalist, foreign policy
analyst who specializes in Middle Eastern affairs and has been reporting on
the Saudis and the conflicts in the region. I think there`s real fear
about this getting very out of hand. What do you think the meaning of this
sort of latest 72 hours is?
RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: The meaning is very clear. The
Saudis want to fight the Iranians to the last American and –
JEBREAL: – America`s foreign policy since Donald Trump was elected is
about how much cash I can get. So he`s selling America`s foreign policy
exactly like he`s selling oil, crude, and he`s selling apartments. It`s
the same thing. It`s the same kind of transaction for him except if you
are dealing with murderer`s thugs like MBS and others.
These people are – Mohammed bin Salman rule has been an unmitigated
disaster. Think of this. Four years ago, he became defense minister. His
signature policy was the war in Yemen. He starts bombing to oblivion the
poorest country in the Middle East. He started bankrolling when he
understood he cannot win.
Al-Qaeda, the extremist element of al-Qaeda in Yemen are fighting with
Mohammed bin Salman. So our allies, U.S. allies in Yemen are actually
hardcore Jihadists. If this does not scare you, it should scare you even
more than ever. Because Donald Trump while inviting the Taliban a week
before 9/11, he is actually using, selling the Saudis weapons that actually
they are transferring to al-Qaeda elements in Yemen to fight on their
And now he wants America`s airpower to be basically the airpower for al-
Qaeda who is operating on the ground in Yemen. Look at this picture. If
that doesn`t remind you of Afghanistan on the 80s, what does?
HAYES: There`s – people will say and I think rightly that U.S. has – the
U.S. foreign policy has always sort of bent over backwards to the Saudis.
Obviously, the key strategic interest is how much of the world`s oil supply
they control. That`s a fact from the days when FDR first made his pact
with the sort of House of Saud through the Bush administration to now.
As someone who covers this region, what is different about this
administration`s treatment of the Saudis versus previous?
JEBREAL: It`s totally different. It`s not anymore about America`s
interests. It`s not anymore about oil because America itself has
sufficient oil and gas now that it can be independent from the Middle
However, our relationship is about Donald Trump and Jared Kushner and how
much money personally they are getting from MBS. MBS is very clear his –
as transactional, as thuggish as it can be, he can butcher Jamal Khashoggi,
then he get advice from Jared Kushner, he`s telling – he`s basically
dictating America`s foreign policy.
It was the other way around. We were dictating to the Saudis what they
needed to do before whether it came – whether in the issue of the
Palestinians, whether on the issue of radicals and others. Everything
President Obama was tough.
And when they start – something happened in the Middle East where the idea
of regime change, it starts being exported to the other way to the rest of
the world. So they imported – they exported their regime change, the
Saudi, to the American system.
So now what we are seeing is a sitting president in the White House who is
beholden to a Saudi Crown Prince. It was the other way around. There were
our client states. Now, the American – the United States of America is a
client to the Middle East. We are doing what they want.
We`re doing what a dictator who murder journalists, activists, who torture
people, who basically send 15 goons the butcher and dismember a journalist,
but also you know, hang from ceilings women right activists while
pretending to be a reformist. We`re beholden to that kind of guy. This
guy that is so instable.
There`s rumors around the Middle East that he wants to have an open war
with Iran whatever it takes. That kind of open war will destabilize the
world, not only the Middle East. It`s worse – Iraq war would look like a
walk in the park.
HAYES: Rula Jebreal who`s been reporting on this and the reporting I`m
following, thank you very much. Thank you.
JEBREAL: Thank you. Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the whistleblower within the Intelligence Community
whose complaint of misconduct could involve the President. So why is the
Director of National Intelligence potentially breaking the law to keep it
under wraps? What Congress is doing to get the answers in two minutes.
HAYES: There`s a whistleblower inside the Intelligence Community who has
information about misconduct possibly involving the president. It appears
the White House is not letting this person talk. Now, we know this
whistleblower exists. Last month, he or she came forward inside the
Intelligence Community, proper channels, filed a complaint.
We know the whistleblower met the bar to get official whistleblower
protections. The Intelligence Community Inspector General determined the
complaint, quote here, satisfied the statutory definition of an urgent
concern according to the House Intelligence Committee.
Now, under the law, the Congressional House Intelligence Committee is then
entitled to see what the whistleblower contains entails. Nevertheless, the
Acting Director of National Intelligence is withholding the complaint from
Congress saying you can`t see it.
According to the House Intelligence Committee, the acting DNI told the
House Intelligence Committee the complaint “involves confidentially and
potentially privileged communications by persons outside the intelligence
That phrase privileged communications set national security experts on fire
this weekend because that only pertains to a very tiny circle of people
including the president and a few folks around him which would seem to
indicate that the misconduct is within that small group. Here`s how
Congressman Adam Schiff, the Chairman of House Intelligence Committee
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: No DNI, no Director of National Intelligence has ever refused to
turn over a whistleblower complaint. And here, Margaret, the significance
is the Inspector General found this complaint to be urgent, found it to be
credible that is they did some preliminary investigation, found the
whistleblower to be credible. That suggests corroboration and that
involved serious or flagrant wrongdoing.
And according to the Director of National Intelligence, the reason he`s not
acting to provide it even though the statute mandates that he do so is
because he is being instructed not to, that this involved a higher
authority, someone above the DNI. Well, there are only a few people above
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In response, Congressman Schiff wrote to the Acting Director of
National Intelligence. “The Committee can only conclude based on this
remarkable confluence of factors the serious misconduct at issue involves
the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or
administration officials.” That letter came with a subpoena for that
Here with me now, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California who
serves on the House Intelligence Committee. Good to have you here.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Thanks for having me back.
HAYES: So this is a little complicated. First, let`s start with just the
basic principle here that there is in the law legal statutory protections
for whistleblowers inside the Intelligence Community. How does that work?
SWALWELL: Yes. If you see something that is unlawful, you are protected
if you say something. Meaning, you can`t be fired and also after about
seven days, Congress will be notified and we`re able to take you know, our
And if it`s, you know, classified, it goes through you know, a
classification review to make sure that you know, it`s nothing that is
secret or top secret is disseminated and that we can you know, take action
you know, and still protect our secrets.
HAYES: And my understanding of this – I mean, obviously, you know, post
the Church Committee in the 1970s, their entire structure of intelligence
oversight that this is sort of part of that, right? I mean, the idea is
that if you have a whistleblower, you need – the Congress serves this
really key role in overseeing the Intelligence Community because it`s
someone they can go to that isn`t in their sort of direct chain of command.
SWALWELL: That`s right. You have these abuses going on during the Nixon
administration and part of the cleanup, the reform in addition to campaign
finance was the Church Commission. And they – one of the reforms they put
in place was to protect people who would see something because before that
there wasn`t an incentive to say something because you would probably lose
your job or you know, politically be punished or even imprisoned.
And so here, that protections put in place. Now, this is one, of course,
unprecedented. Two, we can deduce that it very likely involves the
President or senior people around him. Three, is the chilling impact that
would have on future whistleblowers that if they – if people come forward
and see – future whistleblowers may look at this and say, I don`t know if
I want to come forward if it`s not even going to make its way to the people
who need to know.
HAYES: Is the conclusion that it`s likely the President or small circle
from that letter from ODNI where they basically say like privileged
communications which is just not a big group of people?
SWALWELL: Two parts, one that it`s outside the Intelligence Community. So
it`s not – you know, someone of the CIA, NSA, FBI –
SWALWELL: And then second is that yes, the person who it also involves has
or may have a privilege that they could assert. Now, mind you, this White
House will go to great lengths to assert a privilege. For example,
tomorrow on the Judiciary Committee, we`ll hear from Corey Lewandowski and
they`re trying to assert privileges for someone who never worked at the
So, you know, this could be you know, someone of the President`s family who
doesn`t work at the White House. I mean, that`s you know, the lengths
HAYES: Well, here`s – here seems to be the problem. I mean, they have
now – you`re going to issue a subpoena. And I have seen this play out a
ton of times. Congress tries to do its oversight role, the White House
says no, you can`t have it, and then you go to court, and then Lord knows
where it ends up in court.
SWALWELL: I think empty chairs should mean empty pockets. You know, we
should seek fines because the President benefits from this. You know, what
he does is he tells them not to cooperate, don`t go in. They don`t go in
and there`s just this public confusion that`s created because you know,
we`re just relying on you know, letters that we send back and forth and
we`re trying to say look, this is really bad, it`s never happened before,
but we can`t tell you anything about it. That`s just – he wins because he
HAYES: So then, what`s the question here? I mean, how do we think this
is? What – do you have any inkling of what this is about?
SWALWELL: Well, it`s almost like it`s a double whistleblower, right? You
have the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community coming forward to
say you guys should have heard about this, you didn`t. If he was so moved
to tell us that, to me that said that`s pretty important.
HAYES: OK. So you`ve got the whistleblower and the I.G. of the
Intelligence Community is the one sort of flagging this like this person
should be talking to Congress.
SWALWELL: Yes, because we never would have heard about it unless he came
HAYES: So it`s the I.G. who sort of alerts you to this issue?
SWALWELL: A couple of weeks go by when we should have known – we don`t –
he figures out that we don`t know so he sends – you can see in Mr.
Schiff`s you know, back and forth that there`s a footnote to the letter
that the I.G. sent to Mr. – to Mr. Schiff.
HAYES: So this is then like really waving a red flag in front of you
saying like something untoward, possibly law-breaking is going on here,
right? I mean, they have a legal requirement to make this person available
SWALWELL: Yes. I see, you know, the red light is flashing for Congress to
know. And now it`s, you know, how do we find out otherwise? You know,
again – and is this was whistleblower in peril?
HAYES: How do you find out? I mean, what is the answer to that question?
SWALWELL: You know, so we`re demanding that the DNI come in you know, and
produce this information by Thursday. So you know, he`s got a couple days
to do this. And if he doesn`t, you know, we`re going to go through – you
know, I`ll believe it`s Mr. Schiff, but we`re going to go through you know,
all the means that we have.
Chris, if we were in the minority, we would be so powerless. This just
shows why it was so important to win the House.
HAYES: When you say all the means you have like, a filing of contempt
against ODNI or some sort of court order for him to turn this over? I
mean, those are the – that`s the remedy, I guess.
SWALWELL: That`s the remedy. And we`ve done that with you know, the
Attorney General, we`ve done that with the Secretary of Commerce, and then
it just gives you tools when you go to court. It doesn`t happen as fast as
you`d like but again, we`re not powerless. A year ago, we wouldn`t been
able to do anything.
HAYES: All right, Eric Swalwell who is on both judiciary and the House
Intelligence Committee, great to have you here.
SWALWELL: Yes, same here. Thanks.
HAYES: Next, workers across the country today unites to stage the largest
national strike in over a decade. Michael Moore is here to talk about the
implications. Don`t go away.
HAYES: If you know as you know, we like to keep ourselves busy here at ALL
IN. And there are a lot of exciting things coming up in our world. First,
it`s climate week here at NBC News. I`m going to be moderating a
presidential climate forum with my colleague Ali Velshi this Thursday and
Friday during the day. And then we`ll be featuring parts of that forum on
our two nights of special shows which will be all about climate called
Climate In Crisis on Thursday and Friday night.
Those shows will also include reports on the effects of climate change from
Greenland to Guatemala. We have also just announced the live with pod fall
tour. It starts in Austin, Texas, with Sen. Ted Cruz in the 28th and
making stops in L.A., Chicago, back here in New York. We got more details
about that on our Web site, msnbc.com/withpodtour.
I`m also doing event with one of my intellectual heroes Eric Foner on his
great new book about reconstruction. That is in Brooklyn on Sunday the
29th. Tickets available on Eventbrite. That`s going to be a great
And finally, we keep a lot coming. We have a new podcast episode coming
out with Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, war
correspondent, harsh critic of American foreign policy who then became a
maker of American foreign policy. Renowned to serve on the National
Security Council and ultimately as U.N. Ambassador under President Barack
It`s a really fascinating conversation about what it`s like to go from the
outside to the inside, and I think it`s particularly relevant as we watch
this President maybe tweak his way into another war without a national
security adviser. That episode goes live at 3:00 a.m. Eastern. Check it
out wherever you get your podcasts.
HAYES: Today is day one of the biggest nationwide strike in 12 years. At
midnight, close to 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers hit picket
lines against General Motors. The Associated Press points out workers shut
down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S. as well
as 22 parts distribution warehouses.
The last time GM went on strike was back in 2007 before, of course, the
financial crisis and the
bailout. This time around, the union says a strike could have been avoided
had GM made their latest offer sooner.
Some of the big sticking points here, the car maker wants workers to pay
more of their health care costs while the union is pushing for pay raises
and to reopen closed plants like the one in Lordstown, Ohio.
As of 5:00 this evening, a spokesperson for the auto workers said that only
2 percent of the contract terms had been agreed upon. Quote, “when you
have 98 percent of the agreement to go, it`s going to take a while.”
One of the places affected by the strike Flint, Michigan where 1,200
workers walked off the line at GM`s assembly plant at the stroke of
midnight last night.
To help us understand the impact and stake of the strike, Michael Moore,
Academy Award-winning filmmaker, whose landmark documentary “Roger and Me”
about the closing of GM plants in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, debuted
30 years ago.
Michael, welcome. Good to have you here.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: It`s a very big strike. And labor action of this size is not that
common, particularly outside the – you saw the sort of teacher uprising.
What do you think sort of Americans watching this happen should think
about, know about, as they watch this unfold.
MOORE: Well, let`s give credit to the teachers. A couple of years ago,
West Virginia, they started this. And I think people watched those strikes
in other states and thought, yeah, why aren`t we using the power that we
have? There`s all these givebacks – we have to cut our wages, we have to
give back our health benefits or we have got to pay more, we have the
deductibles going – you know, when they have the debate, the presidential
candidates they talk about people want to keep their health insurance.
You know, no, nobody – which candidate, I forgot who said it, they don`t
like their private health insurance companies. And this is a good example
of how you have private insurance until the company decides, yeah, you know
what? We don`t really want to pay that much.
HAYES: Or you should pay more.
MOORE: Or you should pay more.
MOORE: Or you`ve got to work this many extra days or months before you
have full benefits, et cetera, et cetera. And you see that you are – the
system, if we keep the system we have, we will be beholden to that 1
percent forever. That`s why it has to change with this election.
I`m personally honored and proud that this is happening with General Motors
and with the UAW. My uncle was in the sitdown strike in 1936 that founded
the UAW. So my family has been part of this for a long time.
HAYES: Well, and one of the things that strikes me here – you just talked
about the teachers. So, in 2018 there were 20 major work stoppages
involving 485,000 workers. That`s the highest number since 1986, so in 22
years. And when you look at – this chart to me tells me a lot you need
to know about the balance of power between owners and workers, right?
Those are strikes of more than 1,000 workers year by year by year by year.
And what you see is this very powerful tool just falls off a cliff and then
2018 a little bit of an uptick.
MOORE: And then when it falls off the cliff, that`s when people`s wages
stop going up. They stop meeting inflation. And right there – and in
fact I can see on that chart the various strikes my father was in at
General Motors actually see – and at each one – on that first tall one is
when all health care was covered. Free health care for all workers. The
next one, then we got dental. Then we got eye care in the next tall one.
And then it just went on and on just like that until all of a sudden every
factory worker had four weeks paid vacation just like the people who have
the better jobs get to have, the workers got to have that.
And it only came about because of those strikes, it only came about because
they were willing to fight for it.
And this is the last thing that corporate America and Wall Street want
people to see right now. If they are successful, the workers are
successful – and they`re not asking for a lot here. We`re talking about a
company that made almost $12 billion in profits.
HAYES: Well, and there`s also of course the case with GM as there is with
the banks, right. They`re in a sort of special category.
MOORE: Yes, they are. Because why is that?
MOORE: You and i…
HAYES: Americans came together…
MOORE: And everybody watching.
HAYES: I think, you know, rightfully in the case, particularly the
automakers, rightfully in the case of the automakers came together with a
rescue plan. But it was a public activity.
MOORE: No, it had to happen. There were tens of thousands of jobs at
The mistake I think that was made is that for a short time President Obama
was essentially the de facto CEO of General Motors. He said you have to
leave the board, that other executive has to go. They were making real
decisions. It sounded like socialism to me, but I don`t want to get into
But it was – I wish he had not returned the company to them because…
HAYES: Oh, he should have just kept it?
MOORE: Well, not forever.
I mean, let`s face it, the government should not – one of the jobs of
government is not to build cars.
HAYES: Right, yeah, I don`t know we need a state automaker.
MOORE: How about this? If I had been his advisor I would say to him, Mr.
Obama, Barack, hang onto the company a little bit longer, because you know
what we can do here? We can make it a 21st Century transportation company.
The internal combustion engine is not going to be here at
the end of the century or the planet will not be here, one or the other.
So, this has got to end.
And we could be building mass transit, light rail, bullet trains, buses,
things that are less harmful to the planet. Could have made this shift.
They made the shift with our factories in Flint and Detroit, they made that
shift in World
War II in the matter of a month or two. You know, one day they were
building Buicks and about 45 days later, you know, I don`t know the exact
number of days, but it was very quick, they were
MOORE: And one of the plants that was building the – in the car factory
plants there was a plane coming off the assembly line every 61 minutes.
They built a plane every 61 minutes. It was that fast, it was that
efficient. They could do that to improve this planet…
MOORE: …but he didn`t do that. He gave it back to the company and then
they just went about, let`s just make more money. Let`s keep building these
cars that are killing the planet and where are we now?
HAYES: Well, one of the things that we`ve seen also is that the – 2007
gas prices low, SUVs go up. And then they go back down, although GM right
now is interestingly on the wrong side of the Trump administration and the
right side on this climate fight on fuel standards. They`ve teemed up with
the other automakers and California has higher fuel standards.
HAYES: …to fight the Trump administration on this.
I want to play what the president – I was interesting to me, I wondering
today if Trump would say something about the strike, because he`s so
attuned, understandably – he understands the 77,000 votes who made him
president of the United States across the greater…
MOORE: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.
HAYES: Right, across the greater industrial Midwest. And I thought to
myself, I wonder what he`s going to say on this, because it`s a little bit
of a dilemma for him. And he sort of punted, but take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you stand with the auto workers in the strike
TRUMP: Well, I have a great relationship with the autoworkers. I got a
tremendous number of votes from the autoworkers. My relationship has been
very powerful with the autoworkers, not necessarily the top person or two,
but the people that work doing automobiles – nobody has ever brought more
companies into the United States.
You know, I have Japan and Germany and many countries in bringing car
companies in and opening plants and expanding plants and big things are
happening in Ohio, including with Lordstown. Very positive things are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So he doesn`t say he supports the workers in the strike, which I`ve
– but I couldn`t believe the hubris in saying very positive things are
happening, including with Lordstown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: Yeah, it`s looking up there.
HAYES: Where they just closed a plant.
MOORE: Yeah, but of course we don`t have to get into this. He know that
if he says it, he believes and knows, maybe, that about 60 million people
are going to believe it`s true, because he said it`s true.
But here`s the real truth, though, the auto workers in Michigan, where the
GM plants are – they`re in in Genesee County, they`re in Wayne County,
Oakland County, Lasing, all of these counties,
except for one over on the west side that have a GM factory voted for
Hillary Clinton. They didn`t vote for him.
HAYES: That`s interesting.
MOORE: The auto workers did not vote for him. And this has been a real
thing – and I said this a few weeks ago, when you think working class, he
and the pundit class and Joe Biden all talk about the working class like
it`s lunch bucket Joe. And that`s who we`ve got to win next November. But
the majority of working class are women, and they`re of color, and they`re
young. They are of the lowest wages in our economy. And so when you think
working class, every time you hear that term, you need to think it`s a 30-
year-old black woman, that`s really what the working class is.
HAYES: There`s also the case that if you spend a lot of time around car
country, in Detroit and Flint, and other places, you know what the UAW has
built over the course of the years as an organization, as a union, as a
political force, is a fascinating look of how you put together – stitch
together the kind of multi-racial coalition that is the very thing that the
Democratic Party and the center left are always thinking about.
HAYES: I mean, that`s what the UAW is. Go talk to UAW workers, like it`s
a diverse group.
MOORE: Right. Well, you`ve shown that on your video here today that you
have all – first of all, UAW is one of the first unions that demanded
during negotiations and strikes that the assembly line be integrated.
African-Americans had to use – they have to work down in the foundry in
the worst jobs, the hardest jobs, the ones who had the lowest life
expectancy. And they integrated the line way
before we had integration in schools or anything else. That was just a –
that was a priority of the Reuther Brothers. They were socialists.
If it weren`t for them and those who came from New York to help organize
those strikes in the
`30s and `40s, you know we wouldn`t have the middle class that we have
today. And so I know my family, they were grateful for those who held
these positions and led the way.
But I think this is a really important week, and people need to get behind
this strike. People should be vocal about it on social media, get people
to – encourage your friends and neighbors to be supportive of this, and
think about doing it yourself. That`s the scariest thing. If everybody
just went out there and said, you know what, I`m done giving back. I`m
done for the deductibles going up. Quit telling me I love my health care.
This whole rotten system sucks and it`s time for a change.
HAYES: Michael Moore, a succinct message for the workers of America.
Thanks for making time.
MOORE: Put that on the bumper sticker, yes.
HAYES: Still ahead, new polling shows a growing consensus on climate. How
to turn that consensus into change ahead.
And Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, files for bankruptcy. What
that means for the
thousands of lawsuits that they face and the family who`s behind it all
HAYES: If you saw the news over the weekend that Purdue Pharma, the
notorious maker of the opioid Oxycontin, was declaring bankruptcy, you
might think, well, just deserts. I mean, here`s this company that multiple
independent reports and investigations have shown used a variety of tactics
to put pressure on the entirety of the medical system, up and down the
chain of care, from hospitals to doctors, not just to ensure that the
opioid the company produced for pain got prescribed, but that the
entirety of American medicine reconceptualized the importance of pain and
pumped opioids into
It was extremely lucrative as an undertaking, more than $35 billion in
sales since it launched in 1996, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And the company was extremely successful in pushing prescriptions. Opioid
sales sharply rising in the critical years from the late `90s onward.
It was also devastatingly destructive to America. Opioids were involved in
more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 along, according to the CDC.
Nearly 218,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to
prescription opioids between 1999 and 2017, that`s just prescription
Purdue Pharma is not the only manufacturer of opioids by any mean, but it
is arguably one of the key precipitating causes of the opioid epidemic.
And because of this, Purdue Pharma is now facing thousands of lawsuits.
And the announcement that they are filing for bankruptcy is in response to
The big settlement that was announced, would pay out about $10 billion over
time, which sounds like a lot of money, justice served, but if you scratch
this deal it starts to look worse and
For one, at least 25 state attorneys general have not signed onto the
settlement because they think it lets Purdue Pharma off too easy. Number
two, members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, hired
former Alabama Republican Senator Luther Strange to go around and get
Republican state attorneys general to sign onto it.
Number three, by Purdue Pharma declaring bankruptcy they have now put all
of the other lawsuits on hold, essentially protecting their assets, and the
Sackler family, the ones that own Purdue Pharma, well they are not claiming
bankruptcy. Yet today, Purdue Pharma asked a judge to basically extend the
bankruptcy shields of the assets to the Sacklers, one of the wealthiest
families in the country.
Right now the family`s assets and the billions of dollars they have made
off misery and destruction, well, that`s still theirs. And we learned on
Friday they moved a billion dollars out of the country over the course of
many years, according to documents filed by the New York attorney general.
So far, this is where it stands: this family, basically, dealt drugs to
America at an almost previously unseen scale, made billions off it, and are
going to try to walk away while street dealers rot in jail and everyone
else in America is left to clean up the mess they made.
That does not sound like justice to me.
HAYES: This is a week of international attention to the climate crisis.
On Friday, there will be
enormous global student walkout ahead of the UN climate action summit.
I`ll be hosting our climate
forum with Ali Velshi on Thursday and Friday, which will be followed by
climate in crisis special
programming those nights right here in this hour.
On the eve of this big week of international focus on climate change, new
that people`s opinions are moving and changing. It is happening in front
of our eyes, people are noticing.
We`re used to seeing polls that show an even partisan split on so many
issues, similar to polls along the lines of do you like Trump or not,
basically. And what`s interesting about these polls is that they are not
that. A new CBS/Yougov poll finds 71 percent think human activity
contributes a lot or some to climate change, 64 percent think climate
change is either a crisis or a serious problem, and 67 percent believe
humanity can either stop it or slow it. There`s more consensus on the
climate than there is in other parts of our politics, which is somewhat
remarkable to imagine.
As the amount of organizing and attention and movement in public opinion
sufficient to mobilize the American public behind the scale of the solution
that`s probably necessary?
Joining me now, author Naomi Klein, whose latest book is on this topic.
It`s called “On Fire:
The Burning Case for a Green New Deal,” who`s been doing a lot of work on
this recently. How are you?
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR: I`m good.
HAYES: So, I guess we`ll start with the polling, because it`s good to
start with good news. Like, I am sort of pleasantly surprised almost to
the point I`m not sure I believe it. But the polling has changed
KLEIN: And it`s been consistent. And I think the biggest shift is the
HAYES: Yeah, I agree. Totally agree.
KLEIN: Because you have a pretty broad partisan split, although that is
starting to shift
generationally. So younger Republicans do recognize that this is real and
happening and they want to do something about it. But the biggest
difference is that among the people who believe in it, they want to do
something about it a lot and are ranking it very high, like right alongside
health care as a top priority. And that`s the biggest shift, because for
many years it was always like, yeah, I care about climate change, but if
you ask people to rank it, which I personally think is a bizarre thing to
do – it`s like do you care more for a job or having a habitable planet.
It`s such a weird question. All issues are inside of the planet.
But that said, people would reliably rank climate last and now they`re
ranking it first/second.
HAYES: So that`s the thing that has been most striking to me about even
the last six months and the rate of acceleration of it is this
prioritization question. And I agree with you that like asking it is
HAYES: But it`s also the case that, like, political movements, like,
presidents have to prioritize,
legislators, you know, they`re going to move some bill first and not some
bill second. And it is really striking to me how effective I think a lot
of organizers, grassroots groups, all sorts of people, normal citizens,
have been in pushing that priority urgency question.
KLEIN: Pushing the priority. Also, there is lived experience. There are
a lot of Americans
whose lives have been personally touched by wildfires, by megastorms, by
KLEIN: There`s that – yeah, there`s the fact that scientists have started
speaking in very
plain language saying things like you 12 years, now 11, to change
everything. That tends to get people`s attention.
But absolutely, I think, and speaking of ranking, I think the biggest
change is that we have a
framework with the Green New Deal on the table that actually says, you
don`t have to rank, we can – we can radically lower emissions and create
millions of great jobs in the process and we`ll even throw health care in
there as well because actually it`s linked to climate change, it`s low
carbon work, we can talk about how those are connected, but I think the
real shift is that we rather than just carving out climate, as an issue
apart from all these other issues, it`s now being treated like the
framework for the next economy and everything else fits inside of that.
HAYES: Right. And I keep thinking about this, this thing that David
Wallace Wells, who wrote a great book on the climate crisis, said to me,
that, like, similar to what you just said, like everything happens in the
climate. It`s the one totalizing thing there is, almost by definition.
KLEIN: Well, it is…
KLEIN: It is the big tent.
HAYES: Right, it`s like literally nothing outside of it except for space.
Like, that`s the only issue that doesn`t happen. And I think that – I
wonder how much you think that is happening this sort of coalition is also
being built globally. Because I know that you spent a lot of time talking
to, reporting on, folks that aren`t here in the U.S., that are involved in
these sort of struggles in other countries. It does seem to me like there
is a movement that has a sort tremendous global reach as well.
KLEIN: Absolutely. And there has been, but it`s…
HAYES: For a long time.
KLEIN: For a long time, but Greta Tunberg (ph) arrived by sailboat a
couple weeks ago. And she is part of a global movement of children, of
young people, who are really not interested in, you know, who emitted what
in which country. They`re fighting for each other`s futures. They have
tremendous sort of international solidarity in the way they`re organizing.
They`ve had these mass days of action.
In March, there were 1.6 million young people they estimate walking out of
school going on
strike and saying we`re not – why should we study for a future that our
leaders are not – are betting against when they build new fossil fuel
infrastructure. And now on the 20th where there`s going to be another wave
of climate strikes, which is global, around the world.
And , yeah, the Green New Deal framework is being talked about in the UK,
it`s being talked about within the European Union, it`s been talked about
in Canada. And the idea, itself, actually comes from Latin America. You
know, in this book, I quote a Bolivian climate negotiator 10 years ago
calling for a Marshal plan for planet Earth, which is a different
historical analogy, but the same idea of this has to be about technology
transfers, this is the next economy.
HAYES: Do you feel the – do you feel like there`s more of a match between
public opinion, political will, and political organizing and the scale of
the solution than there was before, but how far – they seem very far
apart, still, to me.
KLEIN: Well, I don`t know. I think it`s catching up, and I think the more
people hear concrete ideas about how we deal with this crisis that fly in
the face of the sort of Fox News version of it`s all about…
KLEIN: …sacrifice, taking away your stuff, right? There are things that
are going to change. There are sacrifices, but there are all kinds of
things that are going to get better. We`re going to have better public
services, better transit, better quality of life in all kinds of ways.
HAYES: I think replacing the sort of doom vision and abnegation vision
with like a vision of like – an exciting future of bounty has been sort of
one of the most important conceptual turns that has happened in the last
six months to a year.
Naomi Klein, the book, it`s called “On Fire: the Burning Case for Green New
KLEIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the