Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 1, 2016 Guest: Bill Burton, Betsy Woodruff, Michael Wolff, Peter Mansoor
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s "HARDBALL" for now. Thanks for being with us. ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts right now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
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HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, we`re learning about another scam, the so-called Trump University.
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HAYES: New Trump University revelations bolster the Clinton line of attack.
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CLINTON: This is just more evidence that Donald Trump, himself, is a fraud.
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HAYES: Tonight, how Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio laid the ground work for Clinton`s case and how the Trump campaign is responding.
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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At Trump University, we teach success. That`s what it`s all about, success. It`s going to happen to you.
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HAYES: The president used the word rattled when he talked about world leaders with respect to Donald Trump. Trump responded by saying, "It`s good, it`s good they`re rattled."
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We`ll this -- we`re not doing a Trump hotel business deal.
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HAYES: My exclusive interview with Secretary of State, John Kerry and Donald Trump`s puzzling takes on Peter Thiel wrecks it and what book he says he`s reading right now. Author Michael Wolff on his illuminating new Trump profile when "All In" starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, new and potentially damaging revelations about Trump University, the unacredited for profit educational venture started by Donald Trump in 2005.
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TRUMP: At Trump University, we teach success. That`s what it`s all about, success. It`s going to happen to you. If you don`t learn from me, if you don`t learn from the people that we`re going to be putting forward and these are all people that are hand picked by me, then you`re just not going to make it in terms of the world of success. I think the biggest step towards success is going to be sign up at Trump University.
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HAYES: A far less flattering portion emerges in newly unsealed testimony that is part of the federal lawsuit against Trump University by some former students. One former employee cast Trump University as a fraudulent scheme, one that preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their. Another said students were encouraged to open up as many credit cards as possible to pay for classes that many of them could not afford.
A Trump University playbook and internal manual instructed employees on how to pressure students into classes that cost as much as $35,000 telling recruits that money is never a reason for not enrolling in Trump University. If potential really students believe in you and your product they will find the money. If potential students really believe in you and your product, they will find the money. If potential students were reluctant to finance courses using their credit cards, recruiters were told to ask, "Do you enjoy seeing everybody else put yourself in their dream homes and driving their dream cars with huge checking accounts? Those people saw an opportunity and didn`t make excuses like you are doing now."
According to Trump University former president, Trump did not just stamp his name on the school, and appear on promotional videos, Trump was personally involved in devising the marketing strategy for Trump University even vetting potential ads. Trump acknowledged in a deposition he did not, as he had claimed, hand picked the Trump University instructors, the one former employee described as largely unqualified to teach people about real estate investing.
Now, Trump and his lawyers staunchly deny allegations of fraud and predict victory in the class action suit. One Trump lawyer said that much of this newly unsealed information, quote, demonstrates the high level of satisfaction from students and that Trump University taught valuable real estate information. The Trump campaign has pointed to what it says are highest rates of student satisfaction releasing a video today highlighting students who say they were happy with their experience.
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KENT MOYER, FORMER TRUMP UNIVERSITY STUDENT: The courses that I took were outstanding. They were excellent in terms of the quality of the content. In fact, I still have them on my iTunes and on my cell phone and listen to them every once in a while.
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HAYES: The Clinton campaign is, shall we say, not convinced and it sees a big opportunity. "Rubio`s strongest moment was when he called Trump a con man based in part on Trump U," Clinton`s press secretary, Brian Fallon tweeted this morning. "Rubio wasn`t around long enough to make the case, we will." Fallon is referencing one of the few times in the GOP primary fight that Trump seemed genuinely rattled.
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SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I don`t know anything about .
TRUMP: You know what?
RUBIO: . starting a university
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: One at a time.
RUBIO: That was a fake university.
TRUMP: First of all .
BLITZER: One at a time.
RUBIO: A fake university.
TRUMP: . that`s called a .
RUBIO: There are people that borrowed $36,000 .
BLITZER: Hold on. One at a time, Mr. Trump.
RUBIO: . to go to Trump University and they`re suing him now, $36,000 to go to a university .
TRUMP: And by the way .
RUBIO: . that`s a fake school.
TRUMP: And by the way .
RUBIO: And you know what they`ve got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump.
TRUMP: And by the way, I`ve won most of the lawsuits.
RUBIO: That`s what they got for $36,000.
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HAYES: ON the campaign trail in New Jersey this afternoon, Clinton pointed to the Trump University revelations to push what seems to be emerging the Democrat`s main message against the presumptive Republican nominee, that Donald Trump is, above all else, a fraud.
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CLINTON: Trump and his employees took advantage of vulnerable Americans encouraging them to max out their credit cards, empty their retirement savings, destroy their financial futures all while making promises they knew were false from the beginning. This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.
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HAYES: Joining me now, Bill Burton who served as the Deputy White House Press Secretary under President Obama. And Bill, you were involved in the super PAC in 2012 that was going after Mitt Romney and sort of crafting this message about Bain. What is your perspective on the effective or the damage that this kind of revelations do to the Trump campaign?
BILL BURTON, SERVED AS THE DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it`s similar in the sense that, you know, we didn`t do anything that was rocket science, right? I think that we ran an effective strategy against Romney which was show the impact that he had already had on middle class Americans and let the American people know that there isn`t a mystery behind, you know, how he`s been towards those folks.
Now, Rubio launched the Trump attack during the primary. In 2012, it was Gingrich who did it in the primary, and to great effect, he won South Carolina and Rubio did it to great effect to Trump. And so in this case, I think what`s interesting is that it`s a real challenge for Trump to try to knock this down because the data points against him are all very, very tough. The question is, is this the sort of thing where Democrats can set the table right now for something to come out, you know, later on in the fall like Romney`s 47 percent tape and really capitalize on what has been a disaster of an experience with Donald Trump and Trump University for many, many Americans.
HAYES: How -- Romney sort of played the -- he sort of looked and looked and sounded like a plutocrat in certain ways and there was that iconic photo of him and his Bain buddies like showered under dollar. And then he said the 47 percent things and all these things seemed to confirm a story that the Obama campaign, from day one, was telling about him. Trump is cut from a different cloth. There`s a more sort of roguish, populist element to what -- how he presents. What is the story, ultimately, you see Democrats telling about him?
BURTON: Well, I think it`s tough and, you know, I talk to a lot of democrats who are pretty involved in trying to figure out what that story ought to be because there`s so many ways you can go at it. You can go at Donald Trump the con man, Donald Trump dangerous for American, Donald Trump awful human being. Look at what he said about immigrants, what he said about women, what he said about any number of groups in this country. So I think that that`s something that folks are still trying to figure out.
But, again, if you look at 2012, the thing that was -- that made the Bain attack so effective was that, yes, we ran good ads, but also, we spent a lot of time setting the tables for what turned out to be a huge event when that 47 percent tape turned out. And I think that what`s going to be important for Democrats this time around is thinking, well, what`s the -- what do -- what can we expect is going to come out about him. And you can expect that there`s going to be more information about Donald Trump conning lots of people to make lots of money for himself. So I actually think that this is a very effective way to go at him because you know that there`s going to be new information about this as the time goes on in this campaign.
HAYES: Greg Sargent has been doing some interesting reporting over the Washington Post about the perspective of folks on Trump`s domination of the news cycle. And there`s sort of two different ways people think about this. One is that Hillary Clinton has to do more to pull the news cycle away, draw attention to herself, not let him dominate. There`s another line of thinking that says, "Look, if he is stepping all over himself with Trump University on a week that might otherwise have been the State Department`s I.G. report, that`s all to the good. What`s your perspective on that?
BURTON: Well, you know, I think different people have different opinions on whether or not this stuff hurts him. But ultimately, if you look at his approval rating, the positive, negative ratings that are out there on him, people do not like Donald Trump. Yes, what he has done is run an effective campaign in this primary to become the Republican nominee and the polls from the beginning suggested that that was going to be the case.
But now, he`s got to appeal to more people than just the core of the Republican base. He doesn`t even appeal to all Republicans at this point. And while there has been a lot of consolidation, not enough for him to win the presidency.
BURTON: So, you know, I think that all these attacks are having an impact and I think that, you know, once Democrats pick a lane or different Democrats pick different lanes and figure out how to attack him, it`s going to be real trouble for him in the fall and fall Republicans` down ticket as a result.
HAYES: All right, Bill Burton, thanks for being with me tonight. I appreciate it. Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst, Hugh Hewitt, host of "The Huge Hewitt Show", Betsy Woodruff, political reporter from "The Daily Beast". What is your cent? I mean the Trump folks say that the following about this case and maybe they`re right. They said, "We`re confident we`re going to win this case." Do we have evidence that there were people that were satisfied? And to me, that`s a separate thing whether they win the civil case which maybe they will, maybe they have the stronger argument here than just the basic details about what exactly this enterprise looked like.
HUGE HEWITT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, I`ll tell you, I`m astonished that Secretary Clinton used the word fraud today because while Donald Trump has a civil lawsuit against him for money damages, she deflected your question last night. They played it all morning on my radio show when you asked her, "Have you been contacted by the FBI?" She said, "No, I haven`t agreed to an interview."
HAYES: Agreed to.
HEWITT: Yeah, that -- it was a total refusal to answer a very straightforward tough question from you, Chris, which tells me she has been contacted by the FBI. So Donald Trump has a civil lawsuit from which depositions have been released, which have cherry picked, that tells me more about the New York Times than it does about the merits of the lawsuit because any lawyer in the world can write a story. I`ve been practicing a lot in30 years. Give me a bunch of depositions and I can make one side of the argument really bad.
But that`s a civil lawsuit for money damages. Hillary Clinton has got a federal criminal investigation swirling around her. And the same day that the story comes, the Wall Street Journal has a story of 1030 immigrants from Libya, they left from Libya on mostly air trans who drowned in the mud in Hillary`s fail state of Libya. Right now, hashtag Hillary`s Libya versus Trump University, I think the former is much more devastating than the latter.
HEWITT: Well, there`s a lot there to respond to but let me just say that let`s say whatever happens with the FBI process, I think it will be big news if and when there`s something public about that. And we will certainly cover that when and if that happens because you are right, should something happen there, but what we have right now are these documents, right? I mean those are the things in front of us.
HAYES: All we have this afternoon. This afternoon, Brian the I.T. guy for Hillary Clinton invoked the Fifth Amendment .
HAYES: . and the judicial lawsuit. So that`s this afternoon. That`s actually a much more significant .
HEWITT: But here`s my question actually. So the issue here is this, right, that Donald Trump, no major party has nominated someone with less experience in public service than Donald Trump since kept for Wendell Willkie with the exception of General Eisenhower who defeated the Nazis. I don`t think anyone thinks that whatever Donald Trump has done, his successes and failures are on par with that. Betsy, what you end up with the situation is because there is no budget that he signed, no veto that he`s offered, no vote on any piece of public legislation, no policies implemented, no deal that he`s negotiated, from a State Department perspective, this is a essentially the stop of the record of Donald Trump, right?
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICAL REPORTER FROM "THE DAILY BEAST": Without a doubt. And look, another thing that came to light today from this fascinating USA Today report is that the only story -- the one big deal story today is the fact that he`s been involved or named in upwards of 3500 lawsuits more than just about any other elected official possibly ever in the United States, more than five other top real estate tycoons combined. And in fact, he settled in 100 lawsuits, where in many cases, people were injured in his facilities on sort of when they were participating in something that he offered. And he paid them up because he didn`t want to deal with going through the lawsuit problem.
So the reality is, yes, Hillary Clinton benefits significantly from focusing on Trump University because we know she has a trustworthiness problem, we know she has like ability problem. And if she can say, "Look, Trump also has a character issue. Trump also has a trustworthiness issue," at least something that she can make that case, of course, that`s helpful to her.
That said, yeah, Trump hasn`t been elected before. He hasn`t signed bills. What we know about him is based on his report. And the reality is Trump University is part of his record and these depositions were so fascinating. There was so much that was just dark. You know, the fact that they suggested salesman tried to get money out of people who couldn`t afford food, I think from a reporter`s standpoint covering this was a major news. It`s an important story. It tells us a lot about his character and I think it`s totally fair, guys.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, Hugh. Clearly, when you evaluate who you want to vote for who you think we`ll be a better president in this election, Clinton has a long record that I think you find wanting on almost every single conceivable aspect. When you evaluate Donald Trump, right, what is the metric you`re applying? Is it the business success that he`s had? I mean what -- since there is not the same sort of corollary public service record.
HEWITT: Well, I had Mitch McConnell on for a couple of hours yesterday and I asked him the same question. He said, "Well, the Supreme Court matters a lot to me and Donald Trump is going to appoint to the Scalia seat a trusted conservative." That`s a metric. That`s the most important metric. And then I look at Foreign Fffairs where Hillary Clinton has failed in Egypt and Libya .
HAYES: Wait, why do you trust -- wait a second, let me ask you this, why do you trust him to appoint someone to that Scalia Seat who is a trusted conservative?
HEWITT: Well, here`s -- all I have to do is trust him more than Hillary. I don`t have to trust him completely. I know that Hillary Clinton will appoint a far-left activist.
HAYES: And that`s someone you want. Right. So you can roll the dice because you have certainty on the other side.
HEWITT: Yes. I can lose. But I do want to go back to the important thing. She`s giving a Foreign Affairs speech tomorrow. I want to see if the media covers her Foreign Affairs record in concert with her speech because the way they jump on the Trump University thing because there`s a very pronounced double developing.
HEWITT: The sever story is pushed aside very quickly. We ignore the Fifth Amendment taking today by the I.T. person. We do not point out the fact that -- I mean, you had a scoop last night, Chris. The Secretary of State avoided your hard hitting question. That`s a big deal. The media did not pick up on that. Instead, they run after old depositions and cherry picked the. They`re clearly out to get Donald and they`re clearly protecting Hillary.
HAYES: Well, I don`t know. Maybe some of the people who had their money taken from Trump University feel differently. Hugh Hewitt and Betsy Woodruff, thanks to you both. I appreciate it.
WOODRUFF: Sure, thanks.
HAYES: Still to come, the contingency of Republicans for Hillary which now includes the former top aid for General David Petraeus. I`ll speak with the retired army colonel Peter Mansoor about why for the first time in his life he`s picking a Democrat for president. Plus, my exclusive interview with Secretary of State John Kerry and his reaction to Donald Trump`s promise to tear up the Paris Climate Accord.
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KERRY: It would, in the end, be an act of ignorance, an utter, unbelievable contemptuous ignorance.
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BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: The Republican nominee for president has already said he`d dismantle all these rules that we passed. That is crazy.
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HAYES: Today, President Obama dipped into the 2016 race saying that many of Donald Trump`s proposals were crazy. But it`s not the first time he`s waided into the election. He remarks last week that foreign leaders are rattled by Donald Trump`s candidacy, something Trump perhaps unsurprisingly said was a good thing.
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TRUMP: I love that word. He used to be at work because he knows nothing about business. When you rattle someone, that`s good because many of the world, as you know many of our -- the countries in our world, our beautiful world, have been absolutely abusing us and taking advantage of us. So if they`re rattled in a friendly way, we`re going to have great relationships with these countries. But if they`re rattled in a friendly way, that`s a good thing, John, not a bad thing.
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HAYES: Earlier today, I went to Washington, D.C. and sat down with the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, for an exclusive interview. I asked him about those comments and about Trump`s vow to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement if elected.
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HAYES: Secretary, it`s great to have you here.
KERRY: Thank you very much.
HAYES: It`s good to be here. You are one of a tiny handful of people that have ever been a major party nominee to be president of the United States, small club, a rarified experience.
KERRY: One time.
HAYES: What do you make of the election that`s happening?
KERRY: You`re going right for it. Look, you know that I`m not permitted to get in the middle of the election and I don`t want to. But I can`t help but say that as I meet with my counterparts all around the world and as I engage with other countries, they are very concerned about the quality of what`s happened to America, and it`s a clarity of leadership, if you will. And I think the bombast and the dividing language is very hard for some people to digest even as we are working to undo sectarian divisions and old religious overtones to different conflicts. We need our voice to be above reproach and I think, right now, people are really wondering about where we`re heading.
HAYES: The president used the word rattled when he talked about world leaders with respect to Donald Trump. Trump responded by saying, "It`s good. It`s good they`re rattled."
KERRY: Well it`s -- we`re not doing a Trump hotel business deal. These are dealings between nations based on precedent, based on understandings, based on the trust from one administration to another. This is an ongoing relationship. And when you`re dealing with nuclear weapons and you`re dealing with war and you`re dealing with the life and death choices that the president of the United States have to make everyday, seeking to rattle people is not objective, number one, most of the time.
HAYES: Climate has been a huge part of your work here in the State Department between the bilateral deal with China and, of course, the Paris Accord. What would it mean for the Paris Accord were America to elect someone who promises to rip it up?
KERRY: Well, ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counter productive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path that would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issues as well as the actual policies that we need to implement and it would, in the end, be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio and recognizing the evidence that we have today.
Last month, April, was the hottest month in the history of our recording weather. The month before that was the hottest month. In fact, every month of last year was hotter than its previous months of any time in history. The last decade was the hottest decade in the history of the world. The decade before that was the second hottest. The decade before that was the third hottest. Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening. Much more intensive storms, billions of dollars we are spending to clean up after these storms, much larger rainfalls, much changed patterns of drought, of rain, much greater heat, crops that are migrating, species that are migrating, refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water or fights over food or the fact that they have to move from where they live today.
I mean, to talk about just casually without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up, would be one of the most reckless, irresponsible, historically wrong acts I could think of. And I think that, you know, people are waking up now to the fact that the solution to climate change is actually energy policy, energy policy which creates jobs, which makes you healthier, which lives up to environmental responsibility, which saves all kind of environmental assets that we have, and which ultimately fulfills our responsibility to future generations.
So I just think that -- I hope this is very much a part of the debate over the course of the next months. It should be. And I fully anticipate that the American people understand this issue and are committed to finding leadership that understands it also.
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HAYES: As you can see there, John Kerry has a genuine passion about climate change. It`s been a central issue of his 10 year at the State Department. My discussion with him on that very subject will air in full during an "All In Climate Special" that we`re planning to run later this month. Definitely going want to check that out.
Later in this show, I`ll play another part of that same interview where I ask the secretary a question I don`t think anyone else has asked him. Stay tuned for that.
Still to come why a former top aid, General Petraeus, a life long Republican says he`s not just never trump, he`s with her. Retired army colonel Peter Mansoor joins me. Good to have you.
HAYES: We`re learning much more this week about Donald Trump and his money. His million dollar donation to a veteran`s charity made four months late only after reporters asked questions. And his educational venture, Trump University, the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging it defrauded students to make a point. Now a former reality star billionaire is weighing in on the state of Trump`s finances. In a radio interview today, entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, the star of "Shark Tank" and owner of the Dallas Mavericks questioned Trump`s business savvy in the extent of his fortune.
MARK CUBAN, STAR OF "SHARK TANK" AND OWNER OF THE DALLAS MAVERICKS: I`m not so sure Donald knows what he`s not good at. So he`s what -- you know, what he`s done well is put his name on big buildings, right? He appears to have done well putting his name, you know, through a licensing arrangement on hotels and buildings, and he`s good at that. Now, whether or not that`s made him a billionaire, I don`t know. They -- you know, he`s not transparent enough for us to really know.
HAYES: As to his more money, Cuban responded it`s not even close I do, pegging Trump`s net worth about $165 million and criticizing some of his lesser known ventures.
CUBAN: I don`t think he`s very good at brands for non-real estate products. And to me, it`s more of a reflection of desperation. So when you`re putting your name on steaks and you`re putting your name on water, you`re putting your name on playing cards, you`re putting your name on all this nonsense, right, you`re not going to make big bucks no matter what. And I asked him, I`m like, "What the hell are you doing, you know? Are you that desperate for money?"
HAYES: Cuban offered a theory for Trump`s willingness to put his name on everything.
CUBAN: There are some products you`re going to think, "There`s no way I`m going to read this stuff." And he just doesn`t have that ability to say no if someone is going to write him a check and I think that`s a huge problem.
HAYES: That`s one theory. A new profile on the Hollywood Reporter provides another take on the psyche of Donald Trump, what actually motivates him and makes him tick. Later in the show, my interview with the author of that piece who spent some quality time with the Donald over ice cream at this Beverly Hills mansion and have the great idea to ask Trump a simple question, what is he reading. Stick around for the answer.
HAYES: Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton`s campaign has announced Clinton will be giving a major speech in San Diego, that according to Washington Post will be, quote, focused both on her ideas and leadership credentials and on what she will describe as the threat Trump poses to national security.
That last bit depicting Trump as a threat to national security seems to be aimed not only at persuading independent voters half of whom say Trump would make the country safer and more secure, but it disaffect Republicans, particularly a small cadre of GOP national security leaders like the ones who signed an open letter back in March saying a President Trump, quote, "would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe and poses a threat to civil liberty in the United States."
These are the same Republican leaders who, like the rest of us, have watched candidate Trump say stuff like this on the trail.
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TRUMP: Not since Medieval times have people seen what`s going on. I would bring back waterboarding. And I`d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.
You have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.
When I said somebody should run against John McCain who has been in my opinion not so hot. He`s not a war hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a war hero. Five-and-a-half years in a POW camp.
TRUMP: He`s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren`t captured okay.
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HAYES: Joining me now retired army colonel Peter Mansoor who signed that open letter against Trump and told The Washington Post that Hillary Clinton wil lbe the first Democratic presidential candidate I voted for in my adult life.
Mr. Mansoor, I saw you shaking your head, actually as we were playing those clips, particularly starting with the bringing back waterboarding and a lot worse. What`s your reaction to that?
COL. PETER MANSOOR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): You know, I wrote an op-ed in the blog site War on the Rocks about that Trump statement. At the time I was doing research -- I`m a military historian -- and I was doing research at Carlisle barracks and I was looking at what Japanese torturers did to people captured American service members and Filipino guerrillas in World War II. And they had a list of ten different things. At the top was waterboarding and then they worked their way down through electrical shock and pulling out fingernails and so forth.
And I said, OK, Mr. Trump, you want do worse than waterboarding, then tell me -- which of the other nine things here you are going to add to the menu. I just can`t believe that we`re going down that road. It is immoral and unconscionable.
HAYES: How did you. You say that you`re -- my understanding is you`ve obviously been in the armed forces for your career in a nonpolitical capacity, but as a citizen you`ve been a Republican and this is the first time you`re going to vote for a Democrat.
How did you come to that -- the not just the never Trump conclusion, or I`m going to abstain, but I`m going to vote for Hillary Clinton?
MANSOOR: Well, I could lay out the reasons why I don`t think Trump should be president, we could do that later, but since I don`t think he should be president it`s my duty to make sure that I do something to make that outcome less likely. And the only way we can do that is to vote for the Democratic candidate.
A third-party candidate has no chance, to not vote is exactly what Donald Trump`s team wants. They think they can win the election in a low turnout election so they want people to stay on the sidelines. And so the only recourse I have is to vote for the Democratic nominee.
HAYES: Colonel, I can`t help but notice how visceral your sort of feelings about this are. I mean, is this about -- to you is this about ideology, about what you would think -- particularly from a perspective of national security he would do on the job -- or temperament and personality?
MANSOOR: You know, it`s all of that.
So let`s start with the fact that he would alienate many of Americas allies around the world and unravel our alliances like NATO that are the source of American power overseas.
His finger would be on the nuclear trigger and this is a man who doesn`t know what the nuclear triad is. He was asked a question about it in the debates and completely flubbed it.
You know, someone who has that lack of knowledge has no business being president of the United States.
He lacks the character and the foundation of knowledge necessary to be president. By his own admission he gets his information through the shows, not through serious reading of books and journals and prominent journals.
He`s opposed to free trade, which is a standard conservative economic principal. And then finally he would diminish America`s moral standing around the world with his statements about banning Muslims from the United States, his statements against Mexicans, his misogynistic statements against women and his calls for torture and killing of terrorist families all of which are war crimes.
HAYES: There`s a divide I`ve seen emerge among -- in sort of the conservative world. The neoconservatives are a group that has tremendous amount of influence in circles in the sort of in which policy gets crafted, but are not particularly popular with the base and there`s a lot of people who think that actually Donald Trump would be less interventionist military than Hillary Clinton. I don`t necessarily subscribe to that. Do you think that`s true?
MANSOOR: Well, we don`t know what Donald Trump would be. Many people think he would be a neoisolationist. On the other hand, he said he would bomb the blank out of ISIS. He changes his policy from one day to the next. Hillary Clinton says he would be a loose cannon, I think more accurately he would shoot from the hip. He would rely on gut instinct.
And clearly, this goes back to his foundation of knowledge and his lack of character he says he`s going to surround himself with great advisers, but in the end he has to decide and on what basis is he going to make his decisions, the last person who comes in the room, his gut instinct, it certainly won`t be on any sort of deep knowledge of foreign affairs and national security because he doesn`t have any.
LU STOUT: What would you say to someone like say Hugh Hewitt who was just on the show who says, look -- but look at Hillary Clinton`s foreign policy in Libya and her email server and a long list of their sort of bill of particulars about her?
MANSOOR: You know there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is not the perfect candidate. I would have voted for a lot of the other Republican candidates but they`re not the ones that rose to the top and Donald Trump was.
Hillary Clinton made a bad call in Libya. She made a bad call in Benghazi. She`s made bad calls in other places, but she`s made good calls, too. Early in the Syrian civil war she grouped together with General Petraeus who at the time was director of the CIA and Bob Gates who was secretary of defense and argued that we should armed that we should arm the moderate Syrian rebels before the situation spiraled out of control
She was overruled by the president of the United States. There`s only so much she could control in her position as secretary.
I think she would be an experienced president. She has the judgment to do the job. She would surround herself with a great team, all of the Democratic foreign policy, national security experts support her. They would agree to serve in her administration. I know many of these people and while I might not agree with their policies I think they are very good, competent people.
HAYES: All right, retired army Colonel Peter Mansoor, it was a great pleasure to have you, sir, thank you.
MANSOOR: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, more of my interview with Secretary of State John Kerry. Plus, this, perhaps the most elaborate and bizarre ribbon cutting ceremony, that story starts right after the break.
HAYES: Today, history was made in more ways than one when the Gotthard Base Tunnel opened in Switzerland making it at 35 miles, the longest and deepest rail tunnel in the world.
It runs under the Swiss Alps, over a mile beneath a mountain at its deepest point, linking northern and southern Europe.
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, joined Swiss and Italian leaders to celebrate the achievement, which took, get this, 17 years to build at a cost of $12 billion.
An interfaith blessing was held today inside the tunnel to celebrate the construction and outside fireworks marked the opening, but that celebration pales in comparison to the absolutely jaw dropping spectacle that took place at the main ceremony, which made headlines worldwide and spawned the caption flying Death Baby. That`s in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Today Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland became the world`s longest tunnel, but that wasn`t the only reason it received international news coverage. There was this opening ceremony which featured dancers dressed as construction workers who performed before 1,100 guests and 300 members of the media, according to Buzzfeed News. But then things got really strange. What can only be described as the underwear people regaled the audience next, part of a performance created by German theater director Voelker Hess (ph). The ceremony was meant to represented different aspects of Swiss culture, including creatures that are native to the Alps, but its multiple bizarre moments spawned headlines that nearly eclipsed the tunnel itself.
The world`s longest rail tunnel had a very creepy opening ceremony. And World agog at bizarre Gotthard Base Tunnel opening.
What seemed to get the most attention was this, a figure which was desribedby the BBC as, quote, a topless woman decked as a bird. That same figure was described quite different in a tweet, "I spent lots of time in Switzerland, but hte flying death baby motif for this tunnel opening ceremony beats me.
It`s gut us beat as well.
HAYES: While almost no one in American politics has been paying much attention, the United States has been quietly aiding Saudi Arabia in a devastatingly destructive conflict in Yemen. It`s a conflict that has killed thousands of civilians, including children. A civil war between forces loyal to the Yemeni government and those who support Shia levels who are known as Houthis.
And Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Houthis from the air and racking up a massive civilian toll. And they`ve been doing that thanks to American weapons.
Essentially no one has asked American policy makers to defend it, and so today I asked the secretary of state to defend it in my interview.
HAYES: The administration has decided to essentially stop transfer of cluster bombs in Saudi Arabia that were being used in Yemen. Why should Americans be arming Saudi Arabia for what many view as essentially pursuing a proxy war in Yemen?
KERRY: Well, I don`t think it is a proxy war. I made -- many may view it that way, but Saudi Arabia was literally threatened by virtue of the Houthi placing missiles along the Saudi border aimed at Saudi Arabia and there were cross boarder incidents taking place and Houthi were clearly moving in a way that threatened Saudi Arabia and they together with other countries in the region and ourselves felt it was important -- by the way they were supported by -- the missiles didn`t come from nowhere, they came from Iran, and so there was a reason for a coalition to respond to that.
Now, they would like to have progress at the peace talks and these talks need to produce something. Nobody is seeking to extend a, quote, proxy war. And Is don`t think the Iranins are. I think the Iranians would like to see a resolution in which the Houthi have a role to play within government, that they`ve come together, there`s a new government that is shaped out of these talks and you can hope for peace.
Regrettably in the last days it has turned more the other way and the conflict appears to be in some cases resuming. And I hope in the next days that we can get it back on track so that there could be progress at these talks.
HAYES: Is the move on cluster bombs an acknowledgment of the fact that the Saudis have been not sufficiently careful in the way that they have pursued war in Yemen. There have been lots of civilian casualties.
KERRY: There have been a lot of civilian casualties, and clearly civilian casualties are a concern.
I think the Saudis have expressed in the last week their desire to make certain that they`re acting responsibly and not endangering civilians. The Houthi have a pretty good practiced way of putting civilians into danger depending on where they attack from and where they shoot and where they hide and we`re seeing that played out not just there, but in Iraq, in Syria. This is not a good moment for folks who are weaponless and who are caught in these sectarian divides.
HAYES: That was just part of my interview today with Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. As I mentioned earlier, much more of what we discussed will air later this month during an All In special on climate change.
Up next, the author of an amazing new profile on Donald Trump. He had a late night chat with the presidential candidate, had some stories from their time together that you cannot make up. Stay with us.
HAYES: Several weeks ago in late April, Donald Trump was campaigning in Wilkesbarre ahead of the Pennsylvania primary he would go on to win. But he got a chance to meet with a very special guest backstage, Mattao Salvini, he`s the leader of Italy`s right wing, anti-immigrant, Northern League Party.
Now, Salvini is known to speak at rallies wearing a black t-shirt, reference to Italy`s old fascist militia. And he apparently had a heck of a time at the Trump event. According to an Italian news service, Trump meet with Salvini for about 20 minutes. People who were at that meeting telling the news service Trump said Matteo I hope you become prime minister of Italy soon.
So, it`s a bit perplexing that Trump told Michael Wolff, a columnist for the Hollywood Reporter that, in fact, he did not meet with Matteo Salvini, and furthermore he doesn`t see much in common between Salvini`s nativist politics and his brand of nationalism.
It`s just one of the striking details in Wolff`s incisive new cover story in this week`s issue of the magazine. And it`s my pleasure to welcome Michael Wolf here.
MICHAEL WOLFF, COLUMNSIT, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Thank you.
HAYES: Let`s start with the Salvini thing, because it`s such a perfect example of this kind of thing where it`s like there`s small lies, there`s big lies, but this insistence on just things that are just demonstrably false. And I think if he took a lie detector test he would pass.
WOLFF: And I cannot tell you -- you might say, OK, he doesn`t want to admit to this because this is a right wing guy and that would be bad to be associated with and that would be a sort of logic. But I can`t tell you if that`s his motive or if the motive -- and I think this is just as strong is I don`t want to be bothered with that now. I want to talk about that right. I want to talk about me right now. Why bring this up? It doesn`t interest me.
The thing that really -- the thing most interests Donald Trump...
WOLFF: Clearly, is just Donald Trump and the campaign, but not the campaign as in terms of a campaign of issues, it`s just the campaign as a campaign of largeness, bigness, of numbers of the phenomenon.
You know, the Salvini thing was interesting. It was just this moment in which you saw that the guy just lives right now in the moment. The reality is here and all other reality, the things that have happened before, the things that might be happening somewhere else, are of no concern to him. It`s his world to mold as he sees it.
And at that moment in time Salvini, poor Salvini, who has had to explain himself all day in Italy...
HAYES: He created quite a stir in Italy.
WOLFF: ...didn`t exist.
HAYES: You asked him about the UK obviously is going to have a referendum to leave the EU. It`s called Brexit is the sort of annoying term that we use for it.
This is you saying, "and Brexit, your position I ask.
WOLFF: I mean, huh? And I`ve got to say it`s not just huh, I didn`t hear you, it`s huh? And I was kind of, you know, I mean, panicked for him. I felt that, you know, here`s a big piece of information...
HAYES: I hate when I get that feeling as a journalist. Seriously, I have to squelch the human empathic desire to save someone.
WOLFF: Totally, completely, and then I -- so I went -- I finally had to explain and when I said the Brits leaving the EU, okay he got that, but Brexit is -- you cannot have been -- have any access to this whole discussion if you don`t know the Brexit. Brexit is it. it`s probably the word most frequently used in certainly in the British press over the last six months. Nothing. Blankness.
HAYES: And then he said, this is the best part, oh yeah I think they should leave.
So from blankness I don`t know what you`re talking to, to an extremely controversial...
HAYES: Geopolitical fraught.
WOLFF: No explanation. And the important thing is he wasn`t interested in giving an explanation. He was interested in moving off that topic to talk about himself.
HAYES: Right. You asked him as he`s leaving the interview and going to bed, what are you reading. What does he say.
WOLFF: You know, he was -- it was sort of one of those interesting moments, because that is asked of every presidential candidate at some point.
Republicans all say the bible and they`ve all been prepped on it, but clearly he had not been prepped on it and he had that look, oh, yeah, you got me and then he tried to answer and he said he`s reading this book that Ed Kline wrote, a hatchet job on Hillary Clinton, which I`m sure he`s not reading, but I`m sure they`ve taken -- you know, they`ve digested the hell out of this thing.
Then there was a book about Nixon, which he couldn`t remember exactly.
But then he said All Quiet on the Western Front. And you realized immediately this was the book he remember, perhaps the only book he read in high school.
HAYES: That popped in.
WOLFF: He did the paper on that book...
HAYES: He`s reading All Quiet on the Western Front.
Michael Wolff, it`s a great piece. Check it out. Thanks for being here.
WOLFF: Thanks, appreciate it.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END