Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 19, 2016 Guest: Jane Mayer, Charlie Pierce, Rick Wilson, Michael Moore
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: No more pussyfooting around.
HAYES: Donald Trump gets a thrilla from Wasilla.
PALIN: He is the master at the art of the deal.
HAYES: Sarah Palin picks Donald Trump for president.
PALIN: Are you ready to make America great again?
HAYES: Tonight, what this means for Iowa and the last ditch Republican effort to stop this endorsement.
PALIN: This is going to be so much fun.
HAYES: Then, state of emergency. As Michigan`s governor addresses a state in crisis. Tonight, my exclusive interview with Flint`s favorite son Michael Moore on the manmade disaster in his hometown, and where he stands on Hillary versus Bernie.
And the hidden history of billionaires and the rise of the radical right. Jane Mayer on her new book "Dark Money," when ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
With 13 days until the Iowa caucuses, the fight for Iowa is extraordinarily tight. But Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were effectively tied in the latest polling from the Hawkeye State, lobbing increasingly nasty insults at each other as they scramble for advantage.
Today, the most loved and the most loathed figure in modern Republican politics stepped into that fight. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate and self-described mama grizzly, showing up in Ames, Iowa, to officially offer her support to Donald J. Trump and throw a huge wrench into Cruz`s best laid plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: This is going to be so much fun. Are you ready to make America great again?
He is beholding to no one but we the people. How refreshing. He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again. Are you ready for that, Iowa?
No more pussyfooting around. Our troops deserve the best. You deserve the best.
Are you ready for a commander in chief?
Are you ready for a commander in chief who let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS` ass?
Look what`s happening today. Our own GOP machine, the establishment, they who would assemble the political landscape, they`re attacking their own front-runner.
It`s amazing. He is not elitist at all. Oh, I just hope you all get to know him more and more as a person and a family man and what he`s been able to accomplish with his -- it`s kind of this quiet generosity.
God bless you, God bless the United States of America and our next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The endorsement from Palin who will also attend rallies tomorrow is a major coup for the GOP front-runner who Cruz has been casting an as a fake conservative, a Johnny-come-lately on issues like immigration who will too easily capitulate to the left.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump just yesterday said that the problem with me is that I wouldn`t go to Washington and make a deal and go along and get along with the Democrats. Well, if you`re looking for someone who is a dealmaker who will capitulate even more to the Democrats who will give in to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, then perhaps Donald Trump is your man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The speculation that Palin could endorse Trump kicked off Sunday night when Trump teased a major announcement and a very special guest to today`s rally. Then, last night, a conservative message board posted records showing a private jet traveling from Anchorage, Alaska, arriving into Des Moines, Iowa.
Asked about Palin potentially endorsing Cruz -- a Cruz spokesperson asked about Palin potentially endorsing Trump, a Cruz spokesperson lashed out, telling an interviewer that if Palin backed Trump, it would hurt Palin`s brand as a conservative champion.
You can perhaps understand why the Cruz campaign was taking the news so hard. Palin had endorsed Cruz in his Texas Senate run back in 2012 and Cruz cut ads with Palin and lavish compliments on her, even crediting her with his eventually victory in that race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Let me tell you something: I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Governor Sarah Palin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: By this morning, the Cruz/Palin relationship turned sour. After Cruz`s spokesperson cast doubt on Sarah Palin`s conservative cred, Bristol Palin, Sarah`s daughter went hard after Cruz in a blog post that Sarah Palin herself would later tweet out. Headlined, "Is this why people don`t like Cruz?" The post reads in part, "Cruz`s flip-flop turning against my mom who has done nothing but support him and help him when others sure didn`t, shows he`s a typical politician."
Cruz out in the campaign trail then went into damage control mode.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Listen, I love Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is fantastic, without her friendship and support, I wouldn`t be in the Senate today. And so, regardless of what Sarah decides to do in 2016, I will always remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Amazingly, Palin`s endorsement of Trump wasn`t the only bad news that Cruz got today. At the Iowa renewable fuels summit today, Iowa`s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, says he wants to see Cruz defeated in Iowa, citing Cruz`s position on the renewable fuel standard which sets the amount of ethanol on the nation`s fuel supply a huge issue to Iowa agribusiness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: I believe that would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him. I know he`s ahead in the polls. But the only one they that counts is the one they take on caucus night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Unlike Cruz, Trump was at that renewable fuel summit where he did his very best to pander to Iowa voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The RFS, which is renewable fuel standard, is an important tool in the mission to achieve energy independence for the United States. I will do all in my power as president to achieve that goal. So far, you agree with me, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump`s busy day actually began with another big endorsement. He was at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa, where a wax sculpture of Wayne was Trump`s backdrop.
He picked up the support of the Wayne family with Wayne`s daughters saying John Wayne would have backed Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: John Wayne represented strength. He represented power. He represented what the people are looking today because we have exactly the opposite from John Wayne right now in this country. He represented real strength and an inner strength that you don`t see very often. That`s why with this endorsement, it meant so much to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We should note that Wayne also represented something else, quote, "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility," Wayne told "Playboy" in 1971. "I don`t believe in giving authority and positions in leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
As for Ted Cruz, he`s hoping he doesn`t end up haunted by what he said about Palin in 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Governor Sarah Palin drives the mainstream media bat crap crazy. It shakes up their entire world view, and you know what? She can pick winners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, Charlie Peirce, writer at large for "Esquire" Magazine, and Republican media consultant Rick Wilson.
Well, well, well, Joy, let me start with you. OK, what did we see today? What was that?
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I have to tell you, I think we`re going to look back at today as sort of the quintessentially perfect day in the Republican primary -- in the sense that we found out what I`ve always called this legged stool of conservatism, where you got the elites, you got the evangelicals, and you got the sort of meat and potato blue collar wing of the party, we discovered there`s actually four wings of this party. You essentially have the intellectual movement conservative wing, which is what Ted Cruz represents.
I`ve been in a worm hole of been reading "Red State" and reading a lot of conservative sort of publications that are about movement conservatism and intellectual conservatism. That`s who Ted Cruz is, right?
HAYES: They love Cruz.
REID: They love Ted Cruz. He`s hanging with "Duck Dynasty", but that`s not who he is. He`s the Harvard guy. He`s the Ivy League.
HAYES: He`s both, that`s why he`s great.
REID: Right. Then you`ve got the sort of real meat and potatoes base which isn`t necessarily ideologically conservative. They want more stuff. They want Medicare. They want their ethanol subsidies. They want their life to be made comfortable by the government if that`s what happens.
They just want that feeling of power that America use today have when their parents were young, right? So, he represents that fourth wing of the party, i.e., people think of these two as the same way. I actually don`t think they are.
We also saw briefly there`s a celebrity conservatism element, too. It`s perfect you have John Wayne, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, reality show conservatism. That is what was seen today.
HAYES: Well, Rick, I mean, obviously, the subtext of what Joy said I think is exactly at the heart of the issue, because what`s setting up, what`s happening is Trump and Cruz go after each other, is Cruz is pointing to all the apostasies of Donald Trump, right? And the fact he used to support single-payer and he gave money to the Clintons.
You know, X, Y, Z. This question about what is conservatism? Really, what does it come down to? Sarah Palin comes into vouch and say, all these elitists are telling you what this is. We know what it is. It`s making America great again.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN MEDIA CONSULTANT: Look, there`s a thing I`ve described as the troll party which Trump is sort of energized and activated over the last six months. And what`s happened with the troll party element of this, is they are very driven by the celebrity of Trump and Sarah Palin is a reality TV star, celebrity, as well. She transformed from a political figure to a reality TV show figure.
This is sort of the singularity of the entertainment wing of the Republican Party where there`s not a firm ideological underpinning about it anymore. Sarah Palin was always a populist who was seated in limited government conservatism but, you know, she`s managed to flip that on its head in one day and essentially walk away from all the limited government part of her background and just embrace the Trump populism and the yell louder, yell longer, be madder, be more furious division of the party.
Look, I think Joy`s right. This was one of those like crystal moments of the whole campaign where you had all these elements coming together at one time. I mean, every TV camera in country was on that event and there`s a reason for that. It`s great show. It`s a great entertaining spectacle.
And there`s nothing else like it going on in the field. I think Ted Cruz`s attacks on Trump would have had more credibility and a little more heft and a little more weight if he hadn`t spent the last six months serving as the pilot fish to Donald Trump`s shark and following him around and wagging his tail every time Trump said something absurd, Ted Cruz was sitting in the background with his thumbs up.
So, it would have had more credibility and more oomph this recitation of Trump`s complete lack of conservative credentials of which he has none, it would have been a much more effective argument if he hadn`t been Trump`s fan boy until yesterday.
HAYES: Well, it`s very funny to watch both of them go after each other. They spend six months saying nothing but nice things about each other. Now, they`ve discovered how secretly liberal the other one is.
I want -- Charlie, I think we`re getting down to here it, all politics, I want to be clear on this, because I don`t want to say this is just about conservatism. I mean, I think it is. All politics are emotional. All politics are about who you identify with.
We use this term identity politics which is always used to talk about people usually people of color. But all politics are identity politics which is what we`re seeing in this campaign. And to me the moment that sums up this campaign so far was this moment of Trump chanting "USA, USA" into a microphone. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump -- Charlie, that is the Trump campaign. That`s it. That`s the Trump campaign in ten seconds. That`s what this campaign has been.
CHARLIE PIERCE, WRITER AT LARGE, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE: I`m glad he did that because if he farmed out to governor Palin, I`m not sure she would have been able to spell it.
Look, I refuse to look upon then whole event today as anything besides spectacle. If it is a pivotal moment in American politics, then this country is screwed from hell to breakfast. OK, you`ve got -- I`m sorry.
You have a not particularly bright person auditioning as court jester to a clown basically. That`s the sum total of what happened today. I mean, with all due respect to Rick, the Republican Party is forcing -- has been forcing its presidential candidates to look ridiculous for two cycles now.
I mean, Marco Rubio is talking about having bought a gun for Christmas because he wanted to defend his family against ISIS as the pickup trucks come up Biscayne Boulevard. Chris Christie is out there today talking about how he`s going to undo Michelle Obama`s healthy food and let kids in middle school eat whatever they want for lunch. Jeb Bush is just ridiculous on the face of it.
This is just the quiescence (ph) of it. I don`t think you have to be born a cynic, although I was, to wonder exactly how much this endorsement cost.
REID: But at the end of the day, though, Chris, you know, it`s interesting because for decades, you`ve had Rush Limbaugh and the sort of conservative entertainment complex holding together these various wings of the party as if there was a core belief in a set of specific conservative values among the base. When it turns out what the base wants is a feeling that can be delivered by Rush but some policies that are apostasy to movement conservatives.
HAYES: So, Rick, this is, Mike (INAUDIBLE) wrote this piece today in "The Week" where he looked at this Samuel Francis, who was a white nationalist, white supremacist, who sort of started out main street conservative who was an advisor to Patrick Buchanan, basically said your best path is get rid of all the conservatism stuff, all the limited government deficits, markets, all that stuff, and just go whole hog at essentially ethno-nationalism and Michael writing about the Trump campaign says what so frightens the conservative movement about Trump`s success is he reveals just how thin their support for their ideas really is. His campaign is a rebuke to their institution.
It says the Republican Party doesn`t need all these think tanks or supposed policy expertise. It says look at these people calling themselves libertarians and conservatives, the one in tassel loafers and bow ties. Have they made you more free? Have their endless policy papers and studies and books conserved anything for you? These people are worthless. They are defunct. You don`t need them and you`re better off without them.
What do you think of that, Rick?
WILSON: Well, look, first off, I think that`s absurd. I think there is definitely still a very significant portion of the party that is a limited government conservatism based faction of the overall coalition.
Now, the screamers and the crazy people on the alt right as they call it, you know, who love Donald Trump, who have plenty of Hitler iconography in their Twitter icons.
HAYES: They sure do. I can back that up.
WILSON: Who think Donald Trump is the greatest thing, oh, it`s something. But the fact of the matter is, most of them are childless single men who masturbate to anime. They`re not real and political players. These are not people who matter in the overall course of humanity.
What`s really driving the Republican Party, though, is still a limited government conservatism that is still a structure built around a government that`s less invasive, less intrusive, less taxes, less government, more freedom.
We don`t always get there by a straight line path. We don`t always get there in a direct way. But that is still what drives this party. And there`s also a major part of the party that is still trying to sort itself out on what the balancing test is between the limited government side, the national defense side, the social conservatism side. And I don`t think this other stuff Trump is toying with is really a part of the mainstream conservative movement by any stretch of the imagination.
HAYES: I know, you know, Rick, I think the question to me is this is all going to be tested, right? I think -- which is to say I agree with you. There are large parts of people who are avowed Republicans and conservatives who really genuinely care about limited government. But what we`re seeing this sort of electoral test. And that`s what makes today so fascinating, this fight so fascinating, what happens -- we are dealing with this sort of seismic question about what exactly we`re looking at as a 21st century Republican Party.
Joy Reid, Charlie Pierce, and Rick Wilson, thank you all.
REID: Thank you.
WILSON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Still to come, my interview with documentary filmmaker, author and Flint, Michigan native Michael Moore about the public health crisis in his hometown and what he thinks of the 2016 race.
But first, that was heart breaking news from the campaign trail today for one of Ben Carson`s campaign volunteers in Iowa was fatally injured after the van he and three others were riding in hit a patch of ice, flipped over, hit by another car. According to a statement from a local hospital, 25-year-old Braden Joplin died following an auto accident on slick roads near Atlantic, Iowa. Three other passengers in the van were treated and released.
Ben Carson seen here with Joplin has temporarily suspended his campaign and traveling to meet Joplin`s family tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before, I am sorry and I will fix it. No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. Government failed you. Federal, state, and local leaders by breaking the trust you placed in us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan remarking on the lead contamination the city of Flint`s water supply just moments ago, during his annual State of the State address. Snyder announcing he will release his e-mails on the matter from 2014 and 2015, said he`s requesting from the state legislature $28 million more in assistance for the city.
This as anger over his leadership on the public health crisis reached a boiling point. Snyder acknowledged in an interview with "The National Journal" this loss of public trust and conceded his administration`s response to the matter has been akin to the response to Hurricane Katrina.
"It`s a disaster", Snyder admitted. It`s clearly a negative on what we`ve accomplished since I`ve been governor. My next guest thinks Snyder should be in jail for his role in the crisis. Filmmaker and son of Flint, Michael Moore will join me next.
HAYES: President Obama met with the mayors of Flint, Michigan, at the White House today, as the White House widened its response to the lead contamination in the city`s water supply. The administration naming an official from the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate federal efforts to help Flint deal with the crisis. Dr. Nicole Lurie will travel there tomorrow.
As for President Obama who is expected to attend the Detroit Auto Show tomorrow, the White House says there are no plans for him to travel to Flint. The President has already declared a federal emergency in Flint which allows for up to $5 million in aid. Mr. Obama however has denied a federal disaster declaration which would free up more money. The head of FEMA, Craig Fugate, noting that Flint`s water contamination does not meets the legal definition of a disaster under federal law.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announcing at the State of the State address today, just an hour ago, he will appeal that decision. In the meantime, the two leading researchers on this water crisis who are sounding the alarm for months say they believe a Legionnaires` disease outbreak in the area which sickened over 80 people and killed ten is related to the city`s water contamination crisis.
This as NBC News reports e-mails made public through records request show that officials from the federal environmental protection agency knew as far back as 2015 that the residents may be drinking water with high levels of lead. When NBC News contacted the EPA today, the federal agency admitted authorities had not moved quickly enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: In April 2014, Flint switched from Detroit`s water supply to save money. Immediately, there were complaints about its taste and smell. In February, 2015, the first tests showed elevated lead levels. Officials insisted the water was safe but that June, an EPA official wrote a report warning that the lack of any treatment for lead is of serious concern. Officials discussed those concerns but took no action, while children and others continued drinking the water.
In September, 2015, independent researchers discovered alarming levels of lead in children`s blood. Six days later, the governor publicly acknowledged the problem. It wasn`t until this month nearly two years later that the governor declared a state of emergency and asked for federal help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just moments ago in his State of the State address, Governor Snyder called for accountability on the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNYDER: For those whose mistakes contributed to this disaster, we are fully cooperating with the investigations and will hold those individuals accountable. And let me be perfectly clear to all of state government, in situations like this, they must come to my desk immediately no delays, no excuses, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now a man who called for Governor Snyder`s arrest, filmmaker and son of Flint, Michael Moore.
It is a great pleasure to have you here. I wish it was under better circumstances for your hometown. MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, thanks for having me on here, Chris. And the governor just now listening to that, he -- he`s appealing, he wants it declared a disaster area, and it should be. And who should know better than this governor because he created the disaster.
He admitted today -- I said on Saturday I said, this is his Katrina. But actually, I was wrong in saying that. Because today he admitted it is his Katrina. But Bush didn`t create the hurricane. HAYES: Yeah, I mean, there was, in the sense of Katrina, there was an actual storm that was mismanaged. There was no storm -- MOORE: There was no storm here. This was clean water we were drinking since I was the age of 10 in Flint. We were drinking this water in Genesee County. It came from Lake Huron.
I just want to point out, when they say Detroit water, we are under Detroit water, that`s just because it`s filtered through the plant in Detroit. HAYES: Right. It comes from a water system, but it`s coming from a lake. MOORE: It comes from a glacial lake that`s been there since the Ice Age. It was created during the Ice Age 10,000 years ago. It`s a pure body of water. It`s the third largest body of fresh water in the world. That`s what we have access to in Michigan.
The fact that this would -- the irony, it`s not -- irony isn`t even the right word. It would be happening to us in Michigan is just so outrageous. And the thing is that the governor knew about this, the governor, his office, his people, his so-called environmental office all packed with cronies, not real scientists or real environmentalists. They did this to the people of Flint.
And I have I been calling for Attorney General Lynch to investigate, arrest, prosecute him for a crime that was committed. A crime of both fraud, of covering up, and of polluting the water. You`ve got to understand this. People of Flint were drinking this clean water from Lake Huron. He wanted to save money. He removed the mayor and the city council because the town had gone bankrupt. And then -- HAYES: And he did this to a bunch of municipalities throughout Michigan -- MOORE: Throughout Michigan. HAYES: -- using a very controversial emergency manager law. MOORE: You guys here at MSNBC and especially Rachel -- Rachel has covered this so-called emergency manager thing from the beginning. She`s covered this story from the beginning. She could literally get elected to anything in Flint right now, because people are so grateful because nobody in the national media was covering this in the way that you guys have covered this. So, now, here we`re at this impasse. He sent in the National Guard last Wednesday. We`ve heard that on the news. But I was there in Flint this week. He sent seven National Guard. Seven. And they were all from Flint. He just activated seven people from Flint -- HAYES: To hand out water bottles. MOORE: Seven people who were already poisoned because they`ve been drinking the water for the last two years in Flint to hand out bottles of water to their fellow poisoned citizens. There`s been no big movement to do anything about in this. They`ve had a few state police handing out these bottles. This is -- this is all PR. The speech tonight he gave was PR. And President Obama, I just don`t know what I could do to convince him. He`s going to be walking through the Detroit Auto Show tomorrow looking at all the bright shiny cars, all the futuristic cars that the automakers are planning to put out there in the next few years. And we`re like a ten- minute helicopter ride from Detroit. If he would just come to Flint, you know, don`t fly into Detroit and fly out of Detroit and over and have that George Bush moment of looking out the window at Flint. We need his presence there. Not just his doctor that he`s sending -- and we`re grateful for that from the Health and Human Services Department. But we need his active presence, and they need to declare it a disaster area. HAYES: Flint has been a sort of afterthought in a lot of ways for a lot of people for a long time in this sort of process of deindustrialization. It`s been hit by a million different troubles and problems visited upon it since the car jobs left. It was striking to me, Marco Rubio was asked on the campaign trail about this issue, which is now, it`s on the nightly news. It`s no longer like a niche -- you know, everyone`s writing on it. It`s on the front page of "The New York Times." Here was Marco Rubio responding. I want you to take a listen. MOORE: OK. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I`m not -- that`s not an issue right now we`ve been focused on. For me to give you a deeply detailed answer on what the right approach should be on it other than to tell you that in general, I believe that the federal government`s role in some of these things are largely limited unless it involves a federal jurisdictional issue. So I`d love to give you a better answer on it. It`s just not an issue we`ve been, quite frankly, fully briefed or apprised of in terms of the role the governor`s played in the state and Michigan on these sorts of issues. (END VIDEO CILP)
HAYES: As a...
MOORE: Let me fully brief Marco Rubio about Flint.
This is the town where the UAW was born. The great sitdown strike of 1936, 80 years ago, created, according to historians, the middle class. It was created in Flint, Michigan because my uncle and others who were in that strike beat General Motors and created a middle class that didn`t exist before Flint.
This was our gift to the world that working people could actually own a home, send the kids to college, have a car, get a vacation, see a doctor, all of these ideas came from that strike in 1936.
And the city built General Motors into the world`s largest and richest corporation. In return for that, GM, beginning about 30 some years ago, started moving jobs out of Flint and moving them elsewhere, mostly to third world countries but also to nonunion states down south. And in doing so, wrecked the lives and the livelihoods of the people who built that corporation.
And that was the first blow. And it`s been one blow after another decade after decade now. Wall Street came in and did their job on Flint. The government has done it. And now it`s like it was 200,000 people there before I made Roger and Me, now there`s 100,000 left. 100,000 people got out.
HAYES: And 8,000 children under 6 who have lead poisoning because their own government poisoned their water supply.
MOORE: And can I just say, when we say that number 8,000 under 6, the total number of kids under 6 in Flint is 8,000. All the kids have been poisoned by this governor.
HAYES: Listen, we, this has become a campaign issue as well on the other side Democratic primary is very contested. I want to ask you a question about that primary if you`re willing to stick around.
MOORE: Sure, sure. Yeah.
HAYES: Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be right back with Michael Moore.
HAYES: I`m back with Michael Moore.
So, you are -- you`re a long time supporter of single payer, in fact made a movie about it called Sicko, which is a great film. And single payer, somewhat improbably, I think, has become this sort of -- one of the central axis points in this primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Do you have a -- are you going to make an endorsement? Is there a candidate you are supporting in this?
MOORE: Well, I haven`t said publicly yet because I haven`t been on TV till right now. But let me say this, I flew to Burlington, Vermont in 1990 the year after I made Roger and Me, Bernie asked me to come up there and I endorsed him and did a rally for him in Burlington when he first ran for congress.
And so I was, I`m probably the first endorser of Bernie and have endorsed him all these years.
Having said that, while I have obviously many disagreements with Hillary about her vote on the war and her relationship with Wall Street, whatever, I also in my first book back in 1996, I wrote a chapter called "My forbidden love for Hillary." And I really...
HAYES: I remember that chapter actually.
MOORE: I`ve always really liked her, and not just in a, you know...
HAYES: Right. In a forbidden way.
MOORE: In a forbidden way, but also -- yes, and I have this -- I thought earlier this year, if she actually is the nominee, I mean I think whoever is the Democratic nominee is going to win and that`s why people should vote for who they think the best person is.
HAYES: You don`t buy the like Bernie Sanders will be a Goldwateresque electoral disaster for the Democrats.
MOORE: Oh, no, the opposite actually. I think you could make the case -- look at the polls that actually Bernie has a better chance of beating Trump than Hillary does. I personally believe that.
But I also think that whoever has that D by their name is going to be the next president unless people don`t come out to vote.
And so you need the Democrat on the ballot to be the one who is going to inspire people to get out, really inspire people.
And I think the problem for Trump is the math, not just the fact that he can`t do math, but the fact -- and by the way, that endorsement from Sarah Palin, I really thought I had turned on Comedy Central and was looking at Darrell Hammond and Tina Fey in an old sketch, but that was beautiful.
And actually what she was wearing, I have one of those at home but I don`t go out in public in it. But anyways, she -- listen, Trump, 81 percent of the eligible voters in this country are either female, people of color, or young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. That`s 81 percent of America.
He has essentially upset and offended all three of those groups.
HAYES: And yet, at the same time, I remember your book "Downsize This," and I remember reading it. And the last chapter has you going to talk to the Michigan militia. And basically you make this argument in that -- these people who are in our politics, reactionaries, are basically part of this disaffected white working class ha has been hammered by deindustrialization, et cetera.
In some ways you see that a bit in the Trump phenomenon, right.
MOORE: Yes. And I think Sanders is right to try and appeal to some of those disaffected lost souls. But remember the angry white guy over the age of 35 only makes up 19 percent of the population. So, Trump can`t get to the White House with that.
And I think -- listen, I`ve decided by the end of this week, I`m in the middle of writing something right now in terms of who I`m going to.
HAYES: So, you`re not going to make news here.
MOORE: I -- is there another gift I can give you? Obviously, my politics line up very closely with Bernie`s. We have a historic moment where we could elect the first woman president of the United States. And you know, I got invited to the White House by the Clintons back in the day and they were really nice to me. And I got to eat what I wanted to eat and it was all very friendly.
HAYES: There`s a million lefties tearing their hair out right now as you say that.
MOORE: Yeah, it was really -- you know, we were going through the reception line. And Bill goes I`m your number one fan. And she grabbed his hand and goes no, I`m your number one fan.
HAYES: Good politicians.
MOORE: Politics, yes.
HAYES: So you`re going to write an endorsement that will be coming out this week or soon.
MOORE: Yes. I am.
HAYES: One more thing, the Oscars this year not a single African-American nominee. There are calls for a boycott. You`ve been very vocal about the Academy and its problems. I want to ask you what you think of that, if you will stick around one more break. Will you do that?
MOORE: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. Maybe I`ll finish my endorsement during the break.
HAYES: Stick around.
HAYES: Michael Moore has a new documentary coming out nationwide on February 12th called "Where to Invade Next." In it, he visits countries like Italy and Iceland to steal their good ideas and bring them back to this country as examples for the U.S. to learn from, ideals like places like schools, workplaces, hospitals and even prisons.
For example, here`s some of what he found out while visiting a prison in Norway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: How many times have you been beaten up here by other prisoners?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, never.
MOORE: How many times you`ve been raped in the shower?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never. It`s not going to happen because you got your own shower.
MOOORE: I`m going to have exam after summer, so I want to work with community programs and things like that, might be politics later on. So.
MOORE: That`s not a bad idea.
Go to prison first, then become a politician.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Michael Moore`s previous films like "Bowling for Columbine" looks at at gun safety, "Capitalism: A Love Story," which focuses on economic inequality, and "Sicko" which examines our health care system. All are topics that have been front and center in this Democratic race.
Still with me, Academy Award-winner Michael Moore.
So there was this #Oscarsowhite. There was real disgust I think frankly of the fact these nominations came out, there`s not a single African-American. This has been a persistent issue in the Academy.
Jada Pinkett called for a boycott. Spike Lee said he was going to join her. And you said -- you tweeted I think that you`re also going to boycott.
MOORE: I said I stand with Spike and Jada. This is wrong, not just in terms of the Oscars, but really it`s the industry.
I mean, I just served a term recently on board of governors a couple years ago an the Oscars representing the documentary branch. And I know that amongst the board of governors and amongst the people that run the Academy, they are absolutely disgusted with this all white nature that keeps happening every year.
I think they`re going to fix it. I think -- and I think I and others who symbolically stand with Spike and Jada will help this along.
But it`s the industry, Chris. It`s an industry that`s an all -- it`s an industry that`s so white and so male, it.
HAYES: And the Academy, too. I mean, demographically is incredibly -- the actual voters.
MOORE: Because they work in this industry. Literally, I can go to L.A. for two or three days, let`s say if I got to take some meetings for my next movie or whatever.
HAYES: Something so hilarious about hearing Michael Moore utter the phrase take some meetings.
MOORE: That should be filmed, actually. That is a documentary I should do, just like me going around Hollywood. But I literally can go there, they put me in a West Hollywood Hotel. I can go to a meeting in Century City, a meeting in Burbank, a meeting in Santa Monica and three days later, I`ve not encountered a single African-American in any position of any decision making power or authority.
It is stunning how segregated the town is, how the industry is. You know, it`s the General Motors of that town, yet, you couldn`t go to General Motors in Detroit and for three days at GM not encounter a black American who has some power there.
So it`s a real problem. It`s got to get corrected within the industry itself. And as Spike said today, there needs to be real affirmative action with this. And with race, with gender, you know. I ended up actually with this film coming out right now 11 of my people who have a producer title on it of the 11, eight are women. That`s a very rare thing. It`s rare -- I`ve never had that many actually been able to -- you`ve got to really work at it if you want to have that sort of diversity in your crew.
HAYES: It`s called "Where to Invade Next." I can`t to watch it.
Michael Moore, what a great pleasure. Thank you very much for coming.
MOORE: Oh, geez, thank you for having me. And thank you wherever she is...
HAYES: Just down the hall.
MOORE: She`s already been elected to something in Flint.
HAYES: Thanks a lot.
Don`t go anywhere. More to come.
HAYES: They are some of America`s most famous billionaires and arguably most powerful. The Koch Brothers are at the helm of a vast business and political empire. A reporter who took them on faced blowback and pushed forward to publish and exhaustive book on the billionaire billions joins me next. You don`t want to miss it.
HAYES: It`s already one of the most talked about political books of the 2016 season, a five-year investigation into the secretive Koch Brothers and their vast business and political empire by a journalist who tangled with them before. It`s called "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right."
The author is New Yorker staff right Jay Mayer who says she became the target of a private investigation and an attempted smear campaign after publishing a 2010 expose on Charles and David Koch`s political operations.
No direct link to Koch`s was ever established.
Critical coverage like Mayers later led the Kochs to overhaul their press strategy, courting public opinion by giving more interview, launching an ad campaign and working on bipartisan issues like criminal justice reform.
In the meantime, however, they`ve continued to grow their campaign war chest amazing a reported $889 million to spend on the 2016 cycle, more than double what the Republican National Committee spent nationwide in 2012.
Mayer`s new book, which grew out of her work at the New Yorker, has already generated huge amounts of buzz and advance press, including a New York Times article on one of the book`s most eye catching claims that the Koch`s father, Fred, helped construct a Nazi oil refinery that was crucial to the Third Reich`s pre-war buildup.
On top of that, according to the book, Fred Koch expressed sympathy for fascist ideology, writing in a 1938 letter, "although nobody agrees with me, I am of the opinion the only sound countries in the world are Germany, Italy and Japan simply because they`re all hard working hard and working hard. When you contrast the state of mind of Germany today with what it was in 1925, you begin to think that perhaps this course of idleness feeding at the public trough, dependence on government, et cetera, with which we are afflicted is not permanent and can be overcome."
The Kochs declined to participate in Mayer`s book, but a spokesman told the New York Times if the content of the book is reflective of Ms. Mayer`s previous reporting, the Koch family, Koch Industries, or Charles and David Koch`s political involvement, then we expect to have deep disagreements and strong objections to her interpretation of the facts and their sourcing."
We of course reached out to the Koch Brothers and invited them or their reps join us tonight. We have yet to hear back.
But coming up after the break, Jane Mayer takes us inside the Koch empire.
HAYES: All right, joining me now New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book Dark Money. Jane, it`s great to have you here.
JANE MAYER, AUTHOR: Good to be here.
HAYES: OK. So, let`s start -- I mean, look, I read the you know, Koch Brothers dad built Nazi oil refinery, right, and then that quote in there and you think to yourself, whoa. But, you know, at some level no one is responsible for their parents` politics anywhere in the world, right, so...
MAYER: Absolutely true.
HAYES: It`s not on them that he had these sympathies.
What is the -- why is it germane? What is sort of connection in terms of how the political lineage goes from the father to the sons?
MAYER: Well, I mean, a couple things have gone on here. One is it`s a hidden chapter of the Koch Industries history. It`s the second largest private company in America. And it`s very secretive. They have a website of their history. Their chapter is missing having to do with the father`s role in the Third Reich. And so it`s.
HAYES: So, this was actually the same company. I mean, was Koch Industries or...
MAYER: Yeah, I mean it was -- I mean, the father made his fortune really in a process he developed for refining oil and first he did it for Stalin and then he did it in for Hitler. Hitler literally green lighted this refinery and it was very important to the Nazi war effort.
And so it`s not to say that he`s a Nazi, but the other thing is that the Kochs have kind of set themselves up most recently as kind of experts on corporate morality and Charles Koch and Charles Koch has a book out called "Good Profit" and so they need to grapple I think with the entire history of how they made their money and this is just part of it.
So -- but you know, then there`s another thing which is finally the father comes back after his adventures abroad and particularly after working with Stalin, he becomes an absolutely just one of the most anti-Communist people in America. He helped start the John Birch Society. And it`s those views that he hands down to his sons. And he helps indoctrinate them. He brings them up.
HAYES: The big question I think, the Kochs will say, look, we believe these things and we believe them genuinely and we want to see a smaller government. And it`s not just a sort of convenient excuse for our economic interests, right? Even if they happen to align.
What is your sot of reporting bear out about the sort of this ideology they have?
MAYER: Well, I mean, I think you have to believe that they are true believers themselves. I think they`re very ideaologically extreme. They`re fanatics about it, particularly Charles.
But the thing is I find it kind of a useless argument about what`s the difference because their ideology, which they really believe in, is what`s good for their company is good for America. They create jobs, as they see it. They are good businessmen and that`s what`s good for America. So, they don`t really -- there`s to daylight between the two. So, I don`t find it that useful in argument.
There are times, though, I mean and I spent a lot of time reporting on this book, it took years. And what you do see sometimes is they will follow self-interest at the expense of sort of pure libertarian idealism. And one example that very few people know about is that when Obama -- when the TARP plan was presented very early on in the Obama administration, putting money into bailing out the banks, most conservatives and all the Tea Party sort of people turned against it saying you know, why is the government helping.
HAYES: Crony capitalism.
MAYER: Crony capitalism, and the Kochs have talked a lot about crony capitalism. But you know what happened? They originally were against TARP until the stock market crashed. You might remember it dropped something like 400, 500 points in one day. Do you remember this?
HAYES: After it got voted down the first time.
MAYER: And when that happened, their main political organization switched sides.
HAYES: You know, that is interesting lost chapter. There are a lot of fascinating revelations in this book. Jane Mayer, a phenomenal reporter. Dark Money. Thank you for being here.
MAYER: Glad to be with you.
HAYES: All right, that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END