Purdue pharma declares bankruptcy. TRANSCRIPT: 9/16/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Rula Jebreal, Eric Swalwell, Michael Moore, Naomi Klein
Transcript:

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

Community cover-up.

 

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

against GM?

 

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

foreign prince.

 

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

Putin. 

 

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

planning strategy.”

 

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

presidency?

 

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

Donald Trump.

 

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 –

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

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

behalf.

 

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

Eastern market.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

community.

 

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

described it.

 

(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

the DNI.

 

(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

whistleblower complaint.

 

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

own measures.

 

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 –

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

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

White House.

 

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

they`ll go.

 

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

overwhelmed us.

 

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

forward.

 

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

to you.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

conversation.

 

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

Obama.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

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?

 

HAYES:  Americans…

 

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

stake.

 

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

that.

 

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

building B-29s.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

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…

 

HAYES:  Well…

 

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.

 

MOORE:  Yeah.

 

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.

 

MOORE:  OK.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you stand with the auto workers in the strike

against GM?

 

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

happening. 

 

(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.

 

MOORE:  Right.

 

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

next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

its patients.

 

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

opioids.

 

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

that.

 

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

worse.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

polling shows

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

considerably recently.

 

KLEIN:  And it`s been consistent.  And I think the biggest shift is the

urgency question.

 

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

weird.

 

KLEIN:  Yeah.

 

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

droughts.

 

HAYES:  Flooding.

 

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…

 

HAYES: Like…

 

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…

 

HAYES:  Sacrifice.

 

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

Deal.”

 

KLEIN:  Thank you, Chris.

 

HAYES:  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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