Acting DNI will testify publicly. TRANSCRIPT: 9/18/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The sermon on the mount was not a case for
assault rifles, multi-round magazines, and silencers, it was about love,
not lock and load.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. “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 hotel opened about two
weeks ago and it`s been – it`s been amazing.
HAYES: Brand new revelations about military spending at Donald Trump`s
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think today we can finally say we made Turnberry
HAYES: Plus, the Director of National Intelligence is now openly defying
Congress over an urgent whistleblower complaint that may involve the
president. Then –
GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: I don`t want you to listen to me. I
want you to listen to the scientists.
HAYES: Senator Brian Schatz on the climate movement taking Congress by
storm. And brand-new polling from Iowa that could shake up the Democratic
race when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from Washington D.C. I`m Chris Hayes. We now have a
dollar figure for how much money from the Department of Defense budget has
been funneled into the President`s business. It`s not a small amount by
The United States Department of Defense using money that we pay in taxes
has transferred almost $200,000 of that money into Donald Trump`s pocket.
Politico reported last week the House Oversight Committee was investigating
why an Air National Guard crew stayed at Trump`s Turnberry Golf Resort in
Yesterday, they reported Air Force crews stayed at Trump`s Resort at
taxpayer expense for several days at a time, even taking the opportunity to
play golf at the resort. Now, the House Oversight Committee has given us a
better idea of the scope of the U.S. military`s systematic commitment to
Trump Turnberry as well as an asked to estimate the cost to taxpayers, and
both of those things are quite staggering.
In a public letter to the Department of Defense, House Democrats say that
based on the limited documents provided to them by DOD, “it appears that US
taxpayer funds were used to purchase the equivalent of more than 650 rooms
at Trump Turnberry since August 2017 or the equivalent of one room every
night for more than one and a half years.
A letter signed by Congressman Elijah Cummings and Jamie Raskin says
unspecified charges to government travel cards “boost total military
spending at Trump Turnberry to more than $184,000,” while the average cost
of a room at Turnberry for military service members was $189 a night.
According to House Oversight, “The materials provided by the department
reflect numerous charges at rates that are higher than the average rates
cited in the letter.” The Department does not explain the basis for the
higher amounts. For example, on November 11th, 2018, the department paid
$668, $639, and $611. Those are pretty high costs.
Perhaps the most concerning part is that all this was revealed in only 21
pages of material. Half of which the House Oversight Committee says was
already publicly available. The committee has not seen any underlying
invoices or travel records. They don`t know the exact number of rooms
booked. And they say, “the department is refusing to produce any e-mails
other communications relating to Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport.
Instead, the department stated it referred the committee`s request to these
documents – for these documents to the White House. But that`s kind of
weird, right? It seems pretty straightforward. If there`s nothing wrong
with the situation, why not just turn over the rest the documents. And why
would the White House need to be involved in a Congressional request for
military travel records? What is in the rest of those documents?
Joining me now one of the congressmen who signed that letter to the
Department of Defense, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He
is a member of both the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. So what
is the scope of what we know about this now?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): We know that around $200,000 has been spent at
that one resort in Scotland since Donald Trump took office. That`s just
one resort. Of course, there`s the one in Ireland where the President sent
the Vice President to go stay. There`s Mar-a-Lago, there`s New Jersey,
there`s Virginia, there`s D.C. There golf courses and hotels all over the
This president has spent one out of every three days since he`s taken
office at a Trump resort, hotel, or property. And there`s a very clear
legal principle that comes right out of the Constitution which governs all
of this. The President is limited to his salary in office. It cannot be
neither increase nor decrease by Congress and he can receive no additional
compensation from the U.S. government, from the taxpayers.
Every time the taxpayers are hit up for another weekend, it costs about
$75,000 or $100,000 at Mar-a-Lago for the Secret Service and the Department
of Defense, and the White House officials or every time the money flows to
Scotland for this military stopover and all of the other properties that
were just learning about now, that is a violation of the Constitution.
No other resident in the history of the United States has come close to
doing what this president is doing in terms of trimming the presidency into
an instrument of self-enrichment.
HAYES: In terms of Turnberry, what`s striking to me is that no one
appeared to know this. I mean, am I right that no one on the committee
knew about this, no one – no one had reported. This has been just going
on. There`s this little airport there and American service members have
been driving the 45 to this property which – knowing how this usually
works and knowing a lot of people that work for the federal government or
in the services, that`s not usually the kind of place you`re getting sent.
RASKIN: Right. Well, I mean, the Prestwick Airport is necessary for the
survival of the Trump resort. And so the hundreds of thousands of dollars
flowing to the hotel is one thing, but the other is the millions of dollars
that has been flowing to the airport which is what keeps the whole local
economy alive there.
And the question is, is that money that`s being well-spent. It`s been
redirected there by the Trump administration. It`s like the president
saying to the Vice President, well, we know that your meetings are in
Dublin but we want you to stay 180 miles away.
That`s like you`ve got meetings at the White House and you stay in Asbury
Park in New Jersey for your meetings. It just makes no sense.
HAYES: How forthcoming has the Department of Defense been in terms of
documentation? Are you confident that you actually know everything there
is to know about it?
RASKIN: No, it`s been pathetic. We`ve gotten like 20 pages. We
originally wrote them back in June. I think you reported about that. We
had to write them another letter just last week in order to tell them we`re
getting serious. They finally produced about 20 pages. About half of that
was already publicly available, and then they`re saying they`re waiting for
the White House to review some documents.
The President says he has nothing to do with it and he doesn`t know about
it. The legal point is clear. Whether or not the President is commanding
them to go stay at all the resorts and hotels and commanding the military
planes to stop there or he`s trying everything in his power to stop it, it
doesn`t make any difference. He can`t receive the money. He can`t take
HAYES: Also, the way the corruption works if you`ve covered corruption in
either domestic AND international context is that messages are sent down
the chain that like it would be good to kick some money upstairs to the
HAYES: I mean, you – that`s just how corrupt environments operate. I
mean, it`s striking to me that this was going on and no one inside the
chain of command inside DOD is saying to themselves whether this is done
totally for perfectly good logistical reasons. This does not look good.
RASKIN: Why was there a policy shift made? We want to see all of the
accounting. We want to see all of the invoices and we have a right to see
it. And it`s not up to Donald Trump, we have a right to see that. And
that of course, gets us into the whole obstruction of our congressional
HAYES: So I want to read. There`s a Washington Post article. This is
broader. This has to do with Corey Lewandowski. It has to do with the
fact that they have turned over almost no documentation in your impeachment
inquiry. You`re fighting them in court on a number subpoenas.
They`ve asserted the broadest privilege assertions I think we`ve ever seen
any modern president make. They even seem to think that they have the
absolute right to stop anyone they want to from testifying. Josh Dawsey
wrote up this reporting from the Washington Post.
He says, White House aides say they have a few advantages in this battle.
Pelosi isn`t behind Nadler, many of the hearings have fizzled, time is
running out. They say they`re not feeling the heat by not responding for
interviews or documents. Democrats split. This is their latest on the
inquiry. Is he right?
RASKIN: No, I don`t think he`s right. I think that our caucus is more
unified every single day to stop the lawlessness and the criminality of
this administration. We have a responsibility to defend the Constitution
and defend the people. It`s a completely –
HAYES: All that is true, but the Speaker of the House – I have watched
Nancy Pelosi operate. I covered her on Capitol Hill when I worked across
the street from the Capitol during the ACA fight. Nancy Pelosi is one of
the most adept legislators of our time. When Nancy Pelosi wants something
that happened, it happens.
I watched her drag the ACA across the finish line and make 40 members walk
the plank knowing she was sending them to the doom. If something – she
wants something to happen, it happens. If she doesn`t want something to
happen, it doesn`t happen.
It is very clear from the outside observing congressional behavior the
Speaker of the House does not want to impeach the president and you guys
can do whatever you want to do but she is not going to pick a fight over
RASKIN: Well, first of all, we have moved contempt citations against
William Barr, the Attorney General of the United States. I have a
resolution to specifically disapprove and to reject every foreign
government payment Donald Trump has pocketed since he came into office and
I am very hopeful that we move on that in – by early October at the
And we tell the President, turn over all of your ill-gotten gains from
foreign government or face Congress. So –
HAYES: But face what? This is the problem is you are meeting procedural
maximalism with procedural normalcy. The President steps outside the
bounds of tradition, he asserts new powers, and he says let`s see them in
court. And he`s been doing this for 40 years.
He tells a piano tuner he`s not going to pay him the $3,000 that it cost to
tune the piano in the lobby of his hotel. So what? Sue me. He is
treating you the way he treated the piano tuners and the painters and
you`re doing the same thing. It`s like, well, we`ll see you in court.
Well, that`s not going to be good enough.
RASKIN: Well, you`re right. We are defending the rule of law and we`re
defending the Constitution. But here`s the thing. Let`s not start at the
end of this story. The media always wants to jump to well, you know,
Pelosi is against impeachment, Nadler is for impeachment. I`m not positive
Nadler is for articles of impeachment. I`m not positive she`s against
All I know is that she is not going to prejudge the process because she`s
got a big caucus to govern and he`s got to keep us moving forward in the
HAYES: That`s – that may all be true. But all I`m saying is that what it
looks like from the outside is you – the caucus is not united in wanting
to pick the fight, that you are – you have someone that is acting in ways
that are sort of intransigent, aberrant, even lawless arguably.
HAYES: Yes, that there is not the stomach to pick the fight. It`s
basically we`re going to do what we can where we can do it. We`re not
going to just let him do it. We`re going to sort of raise our objections,
we`re going to march through our resolutions, we`re going to have our
hearings, but we`re not going to escalate this into a kind of cataclysmic
battle between the branches.
RASKIN: We`re going to stand tough for the rule of law. And I believe
that the original sin of this administration is converting the white house
into a for-profit enterprise. It`s unfortunate to my mind that all of the
Russia stuff came out first. The way to understand the Russia stuff is
this is a president –
HAYES: It`s very clearly related.
RASKIN: Yes. Because this is a businessman who went bankrupt six times,
no self-respecting American bank would lend money to him and he found the
Russian oligarchs. That`s how Vladimir Putin and the Russian autocracy got
their claws into him, and that`s the way of understanding it.
When he got into office, he was perhaps as stunned as anybody else but he
decided to get right back to work on making money. He said he would not
divest himself, he would not do a blind trust. He was going to keep
everything going. And he has and it`s unconstitutional and we`re going to
And this is the Achilles heel of this administration. You watch, Chris.
Mark my words.
HAYES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you. It`s great to talk to you in
RASKIN: Great to talk to you.
HAYES: Joining out for more on the corruption exhibited by this President,
Elizabeth Holtzman former Congresswoman who sat on the House Judiciary
Committee during impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon and Walter
Dellinger former Assistant Attorney General, head of the Office of Legal
Counsel and Acting Solicitor General.
Liz, let me start with you. On the constitutional principle stated by the
congressman which I don`t think I was quite familiar with that, how do you
read the idea? If – let`s put the facts aside and just have a thought
experiment. A president is essentially running the presidency solely as a
for-profit in operation.
Let`s say even that he owns a defense contractor and he`s just funneling
tens of billions of dollars a year into his pocket. Is that a violation
the Constitution? Is that a violation of the law? Is that impeachable?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN FROM NEW YORK: It`s a violation
of the Constitution. If you go back and read what the framers were worried
about, they were very worried about two things with regard to the president
in terms of corruption. They were worried that foreign governments would
bribe the president. They`d saw a king of England being bribed by King of
France, they said this is not going to happen here.
But what we – and so it was a prohibition. Congress could say yes, but
this president has never gone to Congress to ask for Congress`s permission
even though governments from Saudi Arabia, from Romania, other countries
have funneled tens of thousands if not millions of dollars into his hotel.
Now, the problem with that is not only that he`s being corrupted in the
abstract, what we now see that Saudi Arabia which has spent untold amounts
of money at his hotel has not been held liable in any way for the killing
of Khashoggi, a journalist who was living in the United States.
Do we know that this was done because of the money going into the
president`s pocket or do we know whether it was done because of some other
reason? So the corruption is there, the Framers didn`t want it. And for
the same reason, they explicitly prohibited and Congress can`t even approve
it, any extra money going to the president aside from his salary from any
State of the Union or from the United States itself.
So it`s crystal clear. And this president has thumbed his nose at the
Constitution and has allowed the basics of government to be corrupted
because people obviously want to get help from the president maybe. The
military wants to get pay increases or change some kinds of protocols. And
if they`ve given money into his pocket, they`ll think that he`s going to do
the right thing.
So we never know when you have a corrupt president, whether he`s acting in
the interests of the United States or his own personal interest. And that
is what the framers wanted to stop dead in his tracks.
HAYES: Walter do you – Walter, do you agree?
WALTER DELLINGER, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: I agree with all of
that. You know, I think this is very serious matter. There`s a clause in
the Constitution that says that the President`s compensation shall be
stated and it shall be neither increased or decreased while he`s in office.
And then he shall receive no other emoluments from any part of the
government because it would – it might influence him to favor the navy
over the army if they were funneling money to him. And that`s what`s
happening with Turnberry.
You know, I think Congresswoman Holtzman is right about the foreign
influence. The Framers of the Constitution were obsessed that we would be
the plaything of European politics and that foreign princess would corrupt
– with all their wealth would corrupt our officers in our new modest
And you know, it`s hard to say what is the President`s clearest
constitutional violation but I think it`s a foreign emoluments clause
because it is so clear and so sweeping that the president simply has to
report to Congress and get Congress`s approval for having any business
dealings with a foreign government. Not just the president, any officer of
Imagine if – imagine if John Kerry, while he`s negotiating the deal with
the Iranians, was receiving valuable sums of money from Iran without
telling anybody. Imagine that the trade representative with China is
receiving a valuable of intellectual property, trade licenses the way for
his own personal businesses without informing Congress or receiving
It`s a sweeping clause and intended to be so. It`s not just the corruption
that`s at issue here, but the corrosion of the Constitution. If we`re
simply going to tolerate a violation of the Constitution of these clauses,
what about the rest of the Constitution? Why should we obey any of it?
You know, Congress could define the office of the White House, the
president`s executive office and leave him with one secretary if all of
these people wouldn`t testify when it passed a budget and have a showdown
with the president.
HAYES: Yes. And in fact – I mean, what is becoming clearer I think is
there will have to be some kind of procedural escalation on the part of
Congress. Because right now they`re being stonewalled in almost every
direction and unless you do something that makes them sit up and take
notice, they`re going to keep doing it and that`s been the M.O. for the
president for his life. Liz Holtzman and Walter Dellinger, thank you both
HOLTZMAN: Thank you.
DELLINGER: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, breaking news tonight about the Intelligence Committee
whistleblower whose complaint is being withheld from Congress. The
subpoena, the hearings, and what happens tomorrow in two minutes.
HAYES: The Trump administration is now an outright defiance of
congressional subpoena by refusing to hand over a material that it “shall
provide as mandated by law.” Now, the material in question is a complaint
from whistleblower that the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community
found to be “credible and urgent.”
And despite being required by law to hand over such a complaint to Congress
– that is what the law says they have to do, Donald Trump`s Acting
Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is refusing to do so,
which is, let`s be clear, unprecedented, something House Intel Committee
Chair Adam Schiff recently pointed out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): No DNI, no Director of National Intelligence has
ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, there`s late word we may get more answers. The Acting
Director of National Intelligence has agreed Adam Schiff`s requests to
testify in public before the Intelligence Committee next Thursday.
Joining me now to help explain what exactly is that stake here, Greg
Sargent Opinion Writer for The Washington Post whose piece today is
headlined Mystery of Adam Schiff and Whistleblower Takes Dangerous New
Turn. Let`s start at the sort of macro level. What why is it – what are
the stakes here involved in this showdown?
GREG SARGENT, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, the stakes really
come down to the – to the way this statute was drafted, right. There`s a
reason that it was drafted the way it was. Congress set up this process so
that whistleblowers could talk about – could tell Congress about
wrongdoing in a way that would protect them and protect the material, and
also protect them from retaliation and interference by agency heads.
So the way it`s set up is the whistleblower goes to the Inspector General
who`s theoretically independent of the brass of the agency right and it`s
the Inspector General who independently decides whether this material is
urgent and is credible.
HAYES: So the statute creates a sort of pipeline where if you`ve got – if
you see something bad, you can go around the bosses in the org chart and
even the person at the very top of the whole thing and go to the I.G. And
the IG`s determination sees it and says yes, this is bad.
HAYES: Then it goes to Congress. The whole point is that you sidestep the
bosses because they`re the ones who might retaliate.
SARGENT: The DNI has to forward it.
SARGENT: And that`s partly because of classification and other purposes.
It can`t just be handed straight from I.G. to Congress.
SARGENT: But the point is that the statute was constructed this way so
that Congress could exercise oversight.
HAYES: There`s also the fact that – well, I mean, this – you know, as
Schiff said, I mean, it seems to be about either the President or someone
in his circle. It`s not someone in the Intelligence Community and they`re
asserting privilege. There`s a tiny little circle of people that could be.
SARGENT: Well, that`s right. It`s – in fairness, the big quote from Adam
Schiff from this weekend when he said that the DNI had said that he`s doing
this because he`s being instructed to by a higher authority. If you read
the actual correspondence, it`s a little tough to figure out exactly what
the DNI is arguing. But it`s – basically what they`re saying is that it`s
– that they`re – that they`re exercising some form of privilege.
Now, legal experts I talked to today said they didn`t think it was a direct
assertion yet of executive privilege but that`s where it was going, and the
legal experts couldn`t quite make sense of it yet. But that`s what they
mean by higher authority.
In other words, the higher authority here is the sacrosanct nature of the
communications between this other mystery person who has communications
that are privileged and the DNI.
HAYES: What it seems to me and from the sort of national security experts
that I`ve talked to you about this, they`re all sort of freaked out by
this. I mean, they think it`s a very big deal that it hasn`t happened
before. It`s yet another example of a showdown, right?
The executive just says no, screw you. Go take a long walk off a short
pier. What are you going to do about it? There seems to be some
accommodation that`s made now which is that the Acting DNI is going to go
testify publicly in front of Schiff`s committee. What do we know about
SARGENT: Well, I don`t know anything about that yet. I`ve been trying to
get Schiff and I think a lot of us have, and he`s been – and in fairness,
he`s trying to work this out. And so it`s a little hard to – I do want to
address what you`re talking about in terms of the larger context here.
Previous presidents including Clinton and Obama actually asserted that they
had some control over this type of – this type of process. And you know,
in fairness, executive branches always do that. They`ll say they get to
control what gets the sent to Congress. That`s what executive branches do.
But the larger context here is that this president has adopted this sort of
use of presidential prerogative in a blanket way as part of a strategy of
absolute and maximal resistance to any and all oversight on every single
And so when they invoke presidential prerogative to you know, yet again, in
a case, that`s incredibly clear-cut like this one, at some point their
level of bad faith has to matter. And we have to say you know, no. This
is nonsense and turn it over.
HAYES: All right, Greg Sargent, thank you so much for joining us. Next,
the 16-year-old activist has taking lawmakers to task. Senator Brian
Schatz on that amazing scene on the Hill today and the growing climate
HAYES: On Friday people across the country will be walking out of their
schools, and homes, and jobs for something called the global climate
strike. The idea is to raise the alarm, pressure politicians, and
policymakers to take action to combat climate change.
And the run-up to this worldwide climate strike it`s happening all over the
place. And the increasing tensions over climate change the international
climate activist who helped spark this global movement 16-year-old Greta
Thunberg was on Capitol Hill today where she politely but firmly told
lawmakers they are failing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): Ms. Thunberg, let me ask you a question. If
you`re sailing across the ocean and you`re picking up trash along the way,
and for every one piece of trash that you pick up there`s a boat right next
to you dumping out five pieces, how would that make you feel?
THUNBERG: First of all, we were going so fast there wasn`t time to pick up
GRAVES: All right, well, if you were a slow sailor like me, how would that
make you feel?
THUNBERG: Well, first of all, if you use that logic, then I am also
dumping a lot of trash in the ocean and then I would – I would stop
dumping my trash in the ocean and tell the other boat to stop dumping their
trash in the ocean as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It remains the case that when Thunberg was sitting there at the
hearing today, she was facing the only major party in the entire developed
Democratic world that continues at this late stage to deny climate change
which has left – which has left it entirely to Democrats to try to talk
about or find a solution.
Democrats in the Senate have actually created a committee to work on
climate change issues on their own. The chairman of that subcommittee
Brian Schatz of Hawaii is here with me now. What do you think about this
moment, all the mobilization you`re seeing this week?
We`ve got a climate forum tomorrow I`m doing with the candidates. There
was a climate forum already. There`s going to be big emphasis on the
climate goals and Paris goals at U.N. Does it mean something in the – in
domestic American politics?
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, (D-HI): It does. There`s a movement building. It`s
global. It`s more diverse than ever, which I think is really important and
it`s being led by young people. I used to be one of those young climate
activists, but now I`m in the senate. And these people…
HAYES: That`s depressing, by the way.
SCHATZ: Well, it`s true.
HAYES: It`s depressing in the sense that like enough time has gone by of
young people being like we need to do something that you are now a U.S.
SCHATZ: I was 19. I read Al Gore`s book and I decided to devoted my life
to this. Now that`s a neat story, except that…
HAYES: That`s how you got into politics?
SCHATZ: That`s right.
But the fact is that we`ve been failing for more than 20 years. And these
young people are demanding that we do better, even among climate activists,
even among climate hawks in the senate and elsewhere, they`re saying, look,
whatever you`re doing is not satisfactory, it`s not getting the job done.
And here`s what I think about the political situation we`re in: there is no
bill, there is no clever tweet, there is no way of framing the climate
issue that is going to cause Mitch McConnell to change his mind. There is
no way to do this other than to swamp the legislative branch with an
election. And so if young people in America feel…
HAYES: Yeah, you just have vote out – you`re saying you have to vote out
SCHATZ: And look, there are some people who are starting to get curious
about is there an opportunity…
HAYES: Climate curious.
SCHATZ: Climate curious. Can we do some bipartisan work and I`m all for
that. But make no mistake we just have to beat them. And the way we beat
them is that all these young people who are fired up about climate have to
become not just climate activists but climate voters and that I think
is our main task in 2020.
HAYES: You know, it was interesting in that I`m starting to see the
rhetoric of reaction shift, to quote Albert Hirschman, the rhetoric of
reaction shift from climate change isn`t happening to it`s happening but
humans aren`t causing it, to it`s happening, humans are causing it, but
we`re only 20 percent of the global emissions. And as you saw in that
exchange, China and India are going to swamp it all out, so who cares?
SCHATZ: Yeah, and I think the Koch Brothers and the fossil fuel industry,
they carefully test their messaging, and then they basically create a
permission structure for some of the members of congress to kind of evolve
on the issue without actually getting to anywhere that`s meaningful.
You`re right, they were climate deniers and then they were sort of, like
well it`s unclear. And now they`re saying yes it is, I am not a climate
denier, however, I`m not for the Green New Deal, I`m not for a carbon fee,
what we should do is a pilot program for conservation and efficiency.
And so this is the new safe place for these people to land, especially
people who are running purple states.
HAYES: This is slightly off topic and somewhat existential, or personal,
but does it drive you insane to be in the U.S. Senate as this happens? I
really mean it, like James Inhofe is one of your
colleagues, like, the gap between the things that people the other party
are saying about this and what the happening is so wide I just don`t know
how I would like go to work every day.
SCHATZ: Or get in the elevator with these people and say how is your
family, how is your weekend?
HAYES: No, I sort of understand that, because you`re human beings and you
work together. And I get that part of it. I just think that like when you
look at the United States Senate and then you compare the United States
Senate to the problem of climate change…
SCHATZ: Yeah, but I think the fight has to be conducted, right. And I
certainly am working on
legislation with Republicans where that`s possible. But I`m clear than
I`ve ever been that the way to solve this problem is to vanquish them in
We just got to beat them. There is no clever framing – lots of people
come in and say here`s how you should talk about climate change.
HAYES: This will get Mitch McConnell on board.
SCHATZ: This will get you from 65 percent popularity on this issue to 68
percent – it`s not about that, it`s about the structural aspects of
politics and we just have to beat them.
HAYES: OK, another thing that Republicans have been fairly intransigent
on, but maybe waffling a little, which is on guns – and this is something
you`ve been outspoken on, so Chris Murphy, who I know is a good friend of
yours, and you guys tweeted each other very adorably a lot, he has been
working with the White House and Joe Manchin on some sort of background
This thing happened today where there was a draft of it circulating on the
Hill. And then Hogan Gidley tells me that just because White House
legislative director Eric Ueland is among those pushing this on the Hill.
It does not mean Trump himself has signed off on it, not even close. Where
are we on this?
SCHATZ: We`re nowhere. Look, I hope I`m wrong, I really hope I`m wrong,
and I talk to Chris personally about this, and if we`re wrong and there`s a
background check bill, there`s a meaningful gun safety measure to vote on,
I`ll be thrilled, and I`ll announce that I was wrong and Chris will be
about it. It`ll be great.
HAYES: You`ll come back on the show.
SCHATZ: But there`s plenty of evidence that the president sort of play
acts in the direction of doing something popular and meaningful and right,
and then once the special-interest groups yank his chain he gets right back
into line. This happened at least two or three times during the presidency
on the question of guns and it happened two or three times on the question
He`s not to be trusted on this. And I believe – I hope I`m wrong, but I
believe that the way to get something done that`s meaningful on gun safety
is also just to beat him in 2020.
HAYES: See, what you`re describing to me is a structural analysis of the
United States Senate that to me is generationally different than the people
20, 30 years older than you. Because the way it used to work was not that.
I mean, Ted Kennedy supported George W. Bush`s first big domestic
legislative priority, right, the No Child Left Behind Act. And that was
kind of the deal, Tim O`Neil, Ronald Reagan. The idea was like you work
out these bipartisan deals, you get all the stakeholders together and they
all jump together and that`s how big things happen. That`s no longer how
You seem to understand that, but do you think there`s a generational divide
between your understanding of you need to beat them and people that are
senior to you?
SCHATZ: I don`t know if it`s generational, but I certainly think that
people are imagining a senate that no longer exists. And I consider myself
an institutionist. I love the United States Senate
still for all its dysfunction, I love it. But I think when we imagine a
functional Senate, we imagine a functional Senate in the future, not how
we`re going to go back to 1977.
And one last point about that old Senate that worked so well, it mostly
worked really well for
powerful white men. And one of the reasons there was bipartisan comity,
because lots of people across the world were getting screwed.
HAYES: Cut out. Yes, that`s right.
Senator, Brian Schatz, this was fun. You should come by any time in New
York or in D.C.
SCHATZ: Thanks very much.
HAYES: Just are reminder, you can hear more about climate change during
our two-part special climate crisis starting tomorrow night. Continuing on
a Friday, we`ll have an exclusive interview with Al Gore, plus global
reports about what climate change is doing to the world around us, and
highlights from our presidential candidate climate forum moderated by my
colleague Ali Velshi and me at Georgetown University. Do not miss it.
Ahead, the Warren campaign strategy, the genius of the four hour photo line
and the latest polling that can shake up the race. Plus, tonight`s Thing
One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it has become clear in the last three years that
when you go to work for Donald Trump among the things you must be ready to
sacrifice is your dignity, if you had any in the first place.
Now, after one leaves the Trump White House one can either begin the
process of attempting to repair that dignity or continue down the career
path of publicly humiliating one`s self for money.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders left her jump lying for the White House to do it on
Trump TV. And there`s just no irony in appearing on a Trump propaganda
outlet masquerading as news to complain about the integrity of the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think all
the media really needs to take a good hard look at how they put the news
out. It`s gotten so much where there`s no process, there`s no
accountability, no check and balance. And I think that we have to start
taking so much of the opinion out of the news. It`s a good news story if
you can read it and you have no idea which side the journalist is on, and
it`s very hard to find that.
There`s a big difference between commentators and news, and we have blended
those so that there is no difference anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I wonder if Sarah Huckabee Sanders can figure out which side Lou
Dobbs is on, on that same channel?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS: Have a great weekend. The president makes such a
thing possible for us all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Absolutely insane thing to say.
But it`s tough out there for a Trump propagandist and that`s Thing Two in
HAYES: Sometimes it feels like there`s a competition over Trump TV to see
who can be the most shameless toady for the man in the White House watching
on TV, and now I`m a little worried that that competition may be straining
the relationships between the good friends hosting the shows over
See, last night there was a bit of an incident. And you can tell their
still good TV friends because they keep smiling as they saw awful stuff to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Laura Ingram is standing by – Laura.
LAURA INGRAM, FOX NEWS: Hannity, fantastic show.
HANNITY: Can I lodge a complaint, am I allowed?
INGRAM: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
HANNITY: OK, so I`m watching the rest of the president`s speech in New
Mexico last night. I wanted to see the ending. You cut to your debate
early, and it was just at the end.
INGRAM: Is that the White House speaking or is that you?
HANNITY: No, that`s Sean Hannity speaking. I went down to watch the rest
INGRAM: I couldn`t tell. I`m just teasing you.
Well, the point is we were right at the crescendo. Imagine a great work of
Bach or Mozart…
INGRAM: Got it. Got it.
You know what we used to say in the courtroom, I`ll take that under
INGRAM: But I got an idea, you handle your hour, I`ll handle my hour.
HANNITY: Oh, now Laura is going to take it personally. Don`t take it
INGRAM: Don`t try to boss me around in my hour, Hannity. I don`t boss you
around in yours.
HANNITY: I was – oh – I was watching, and it was three minutes left in
You always have a great show.
INGRAM: Yeah, well, it was good to see you. All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are 20 candidates still in the race for the Democratic
nomination for president of the United States. And there are basically
three categories. There are three who have consistently polled as the
front runners. Then there are the folks struggling at the bottom of the
polls not getting any traction. And then there is the group in the middle,
the group that has a pulse in the polling. And the most surprising member
that has a pulse club is this guy.
HAYES: Yes, that is the Rocky theme there on the steps in Philadelphia.
Andrew Yang, what everyone thinks about his politics or whether he should
be the president of the United States,. he certainly seems to be enjoying
himself whether it`s at a rally in Philadelphia as he was yesterday or
doing a little crowd surfing at an Asian-American forum in California last
week, a bunch of polls this week have shown him with, granted, still small
numbers, 3 to 4 percent, but he exists in this race very
The take away, he has not been a media darling. He hasn`t not gotten a lot
of ton of press and coverage, but he`s running a good campaign. And it
highlights, again, that as we learned in 2016, there
are many different channels of political information that people get and
Yang has tapped into something. Beneath the surface of the major dailies
and cable news, there`s an ecosystem that he is present in and has strong
advocates and it is turning into real world support like those people at
In some ways, it`s a testament to the fact that campaigns matter. They
really do. People running good campaigns versus bad campaigns. And right
now the person who`s made the most gains is the person whose campaign seems
to be firing on all cylinders. We`re going to talk about her campaign
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: I have to ask you about the selfie line thing. I
realize that this is now a thing you do at every event, every town hall.
You stay afterwards, you take pictures with everybody who wants a picture
taken with you. Last night at that gigantic event, it was like four hours?
MADDOW: A little over.
WARREN: Yeah, i was there four hours, but I`ll tell you what, so was the
last guy in line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Senator Elizabeth Warren with Rachel last night, talking
about the many innovations Warren has brought to this race. She stays and
takes pictures with attendees after her speeches and townhalls no matter
how long it takes, no matter how long the line lasts.
We saw her do this at the town hall we held with her back in June. There
she is in the background while I was chatting with Rachel well after the
town hall. Her staffers snapping pictures until every single person who
wanted one had gotten a picture with the candidate.
People remarked that this is a brilliant piece organizing and viral
marketing because everyone posts the pictures on social media and you see
it from your friends and everyone comes away feeling invested.
But the other thing about it is, there is no shortcut to do it, it is just
her putting in the work. If she`s going to take four hours of photos, that
means she stands there for literally four hours after giving a speech to
what her campaign estimated was 20,000 people.
In some way that sort of embodies the spirit of that campaign so far.
Warren has an almost Terminator like ability that is clearly working for
her. She just keeps taking pictures and rolling out plans and steadily
rising in the polls.
When she declared her candidacy back in February, she was polling at 6
percent. She rose to nearly 12 percent by June, was averaging about 17
percent at the start of this month. IN the newest NBC poll she`s at 25
percent, just 6 points behind Joe Biden.
Joining me now, Dave Weigel who has been all over the country covering the
campaign as a national political columnist for The Washington Post; and
MSNBC contributor Michelle Goldberg, who is a columnist for The New York
Dave, I think you`ve probably put in more hours watching Democratic
campaign events than
almost anyone at this point. What strikes you about what is working for
her so far with Democratic primary voters?
DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think one thing that goes under marked
on is her positivity. She does not talk a lot about what`s wrong with
Donald Trump. It is assumed. You saw in her speech in New York – and
that`s kind of the rhetoric she`s been using that a country that could get
to this point had some structural problems, so it`s not tweet of the day,
it`s not controversy of the day. With the exception of her embracing
impeachment early on, people leave these events feeling in a pretty good
If you hang out at the edge of the door in Iowa where people are signing
caucus cards, you see people more interested signing up. You see them a
little bit more glum at other events, and not that the candidates are going
in there to make everyone depressed, but Warren has come out with this you
can leave the room thinking this is possible attitude that I think other
people have struggled to capture. In the case of Joe Biden, who is still
ahead of her in the States, you leave kind of sad about where the country
has gotten with a couple of ideas a work ago, and it`s very different – I
think it`s been potent because of the attitude Democrats wake up with and
live with every day contrasted with what they want from their candidates.
HAYES: You know, Michelle, one of the things – and you`ve written about
Warren and her
campaign, the polling numbers that keeps jumping out at me is the ruled out
portion, right. So, when you ask voters like would you be OK with this
person for second choice, or is there a person you ruled out? And, you
know, Elizabeth Warren right now is very low on the ruled out, like if you
look at the polling recently, only 21 percent have ruled her out, other
people have much higher numbers than that, which sort of makes it higher
for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to grow.
All this, I should say, is extremely fluid. And if one of those were the
nominee, I think people would unrule them out, but that to me is a key
number to keep watching as this goes on.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: Right. And so before I talk about
Warren, I have to say full disclosure, my husband is working for this
campaign or is consulting for this campaign, so I`m not completely
dispassionate. But that`s not the only poll that`s showing the same
thing, there was another poll asked would you be disappointed if this
candidate was the nominee. And the lowest number of people said they would
be disappointed by Elizabeth Warren.
And so she`s emerging as the consensus candidate for a lot of Democrats.
You know, she, in some sense, is the only one, I think, that can span the
Bernie/Hillary divide, right, because she gets not those entire coalitions,
but she gets a lot of people from both of those coalitions very, very
And I think that one of the keys to her appeal,. or at least her rising
appeal, is this sentence
that you`ve heard her say at the debate and then you heard her say it again
at the Washington Square
speech which is I am not afraid, right, because people out there,
Democrats, are terrified. They`re demoralized. And they feel like there`s
no leadership anywhere. And so she is stepping up and
saying she can see past this horrible moment into a better future.
HAYES: And I should say the point Michelle made there about sort of
bridging the Sanders/Hillary camps from the last time, I do think she is
helped by the fact that because of Sanders` presence, because Sanders is a
Democratic Socialist, because he has a very strong, committed following –
and, by the way, is not going anywhere in polling, like he is in the top
tier of this race, no question, that she could be like not the furthest
left candidate, which sort of helps her in this almost triangulating way.
WEIGEL: Yeah. I wish Democratic voters were reading and memorizing
everything I wrote, I wish they were reading and memorizing all this data.
People don`t go in with hard ideologies to a lot of these. The average
voter does not. And the way that Warren has presented herself is that she
is less of a revolutionary, she`s more of a person interested in what can
be done and how you break through the logjam in congress.
Building on what Michelle said, I think she also has benefited from
frustration that Democrats
who lead congress are, to use a high and might word, wimpy and they`re not
opposing the president
the way they could, that they took power, they`re not doing everything they
could with it. I think she`s benefited from that.
But in a way that seems tough without seeming furious – and I don`t want
to get too touchy-feely and theater criticy about it – but I think that
presentation has been helpful for her. And having Sanders – Sanders has
more plans than her, he has more bills than her that have been introduced.
She has has – he has been for years. But he`s tended to one-up her with
something that is more expensive, that is more comprehensive, that doesn`t
always work with the voter who is worried that Donald Trump would run
against big spending socialists. They want somebody who is tough, but they
don`t necessarily need somebody that far left to be satisfied.
HAYES: I think there`s now – in the beginning I think there was a lot of
criticism the way she handled her previous claims about having indigenous
heritage, there was the DNA test, which I think was panned widely both by
indigenous communities and others, and then I think the campaigns made
people forget that, and there`s a little bit of Donald Trump is going to
hit her with one note and that`s gone away.
But I`ve seen resurfacing people being like, OK, let`s look at the data
about how appealing she has been to say white working class voters in
Massachusetts, how effective she has been. And you`re seeing that like
there are arguments people are making that she does have some political
GOLDBERG: Yeah, and I certainly worry about that, too. But it`s very
interesting that what people are worried about is not I don`t like
Elizabeth Warren. I`m worried about Elizabeth Warren. It`s always I think
that these other people aren`t going to like Elizabeth Warren. I`m worried
that she`s not electable, whereas I might not like Joe Biden or I might not
be excited about Joe Biden, but I think other people are going to like him.
And so when people`s I think reservations about Elizabeth Warren are based
in them kind of playing pundit as opposed to any lack of real excitement or
HAYES: All right, Michelle Goldberg, Dave Weigel, thank you for being with
me. That is ALL IN this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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