Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 23, 2016 Guest: Jason Johnson, Randi Weingarten, Tim Carney, Nina Turner, Michelle Goldberg, Rula Jebreal
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I become president, I couldn`t care less about my company. It`s peanuts.
HAYES: The historically unprecedented opportunity for self-dealing with a businessman as president.
TRUMP: In theory, I can be President of the United States and run my business 100 percent.
HAYES: Plus, the latest cabinet picks, a governor for the U.N., a school voucher advocate for education, and Dr. Ben Carson under consideration for HUD?
BEN CARSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I know that I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there.
HAYES: Then, the prospects for minority rule as Clinton passes a 2 million popular vote lead. The fight between the president and progressives for the Democratic Party, and fact-checking Donald Trump`s latest tilt at windmills.
TRUMP: The wind is a very deceiving thing. We don`t make the windmills in the United States.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In his interview with The New York Times yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump described the type of people he wants to work in his administration, quote, "We`re trying very hard to get the best people. Not necessarily people that will be the most politically correct people, because that hasn`t been working. So we have really experts in the field. Some are known and some are not known, but they`re known within their field as being the best. That`s very important to me." So, Trump says it`s very important to get experts in their field, people known to be the best. That is what he told The New York Times.
Here`s what he did today, Trump tapped as his Ambassador to the United Nations, someone with virtually no experience in international diplomacy, South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who said in the statement that she had accepted the position, out of quote, "A sense of duty." Haley was long critical to Trump, even urging republicans to reject him at the GOP response to the State of the Union Address earlier this year. Trump, of course, as is want hit back, tweeting in March, quote, "The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!" The appointment of Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, will help Trump quiet critics who noted the first five picks for his top jobs in his administration were white men. It`s also a gift to one of Trump`s most loyal backers.
South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster, who nominated Trump for president at the Republican National Convention and who will now be promoted to governor, not a bad career break for him. Yesterday, Trump tweeted that he was quote, "Seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD, Department of Housing and Urban Development." Today, Carson suggested Trump had made the offer, writing on Facebook that an announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again. There has been no announcement yet, but the Carson campaign is now knocking down reports Carson has accepted the position. But, if Trump were to tap Carson for HUD, it would be a pretty remarkable choice and not just because Trump once compared Carson, quote, "Pathological temperament to that of a child molester."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t want a person who`s got pathological disease. I don`t want it. No, I`m not saying he`s got, he said it. This isn`t something that I`m saying, "Oh, he`s a pathological liar, he got -- I`m not saying it. He said he`s got pathological disease.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: They all worked that out. But much like Nikki Haley, Carson a retired neurosurgeon has zero relevant experience to the job Trump is eyeing him for, in fact, he was pressed on yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO HOST: What would steer you to take a job for which a lot of folks say, "Hey, you have these ample medical degrees and one of the nation`s top neurosurgeons, what do you know about doing this?"
CARSON: Well, I know that I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there and have dealt with a lot of patients of from that area, and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As having spent time in the, quote, "Inner cities", you growing up there, qualifies Carson to HUD, there are literally millions of people who are equally qualified for the job. And then there`s this, crucially, last week, when reports surfaced that Carson was being considered to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, his business manager, Armstrong Williams, who tends to sort of speak for him, told NBC News that Carson simply doesn`t have the experience to run a federal bureaucracy, and believes it would be, and I`m quoting here, a "Disservice to try to do so." Williams added in the interview with The Hill, quote, "The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."
Despite that, Carson could soon lead an agency with 8,400 employees of budget of $48.9 million, one that enforces fair housing laws or doesn`t sometimes, and overseas funding for 1.2 million household and public housing among many, many more responsibilities.
Joining me now, our Morgan State University Professor, Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root; and MSNBC Contributor Josh Barro, Senior Editor Business Insider. Jason, I`ll start with you. I got to say like, you know, this feels like he was maybe going to get HHS, his own spokesperson says he is not qualified to run a federal agency, and now, he`s being floated for HUD, which just seems like a blatant humiliation of the department, frankly.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR FOR THE ROOT AND MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: You know, Chris, I have to go back to last fall when Ben Carson cared so much about his campaign that he took two weeks off to go on a book tour, this is not a man who has ever cared about being president. This is not a man who has ever cared about government. This is a man who earlier this campaign season said, "Well I`m kind of endorsing Trump because he offered me the best deal." He`s grotesquely unqualified for this position, it is an embarrassment that he would possibly accept it. But I think even more problematic is, this also speaks to the mind of Donald Trump. Well, let me just stick the black guy over in housing and urban development, regardless of what his actual skill set may happen to be. But I guess that`s fitting for someone who picked a white supremacist to be his senior counsel.
HAYES: Josh, you - you know, one of the things here I`ve actually - I know a lot of people in the housing world, OK, that`s sort of world I`m familiar with. And in weird - in a weird way, I think there`s this fear - there`s this idea that like, maybe we better have Carson who doesn`t know anything and has no qualifications than someone who is super qualified to destroy public housing or to like wage war on the department.
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR AND SENIOR EDITOR BUSINESS INSIDER: Maybe, although the thing I find weird about this, is Frank Trump made his fortune, building, subsidized, middle class housing. Donald Trump complained In "The Art of the Deal" about the withering away of federal subsidies for apartment construction. It doesn`t - I actually would not --
HAYES: You can imagine if anyone can actually find someone they know who`s competent and qualified for the job, it would be the first real estate developer president in history.
BARRO: Right, exactly. And then the other thing is, I would not expect Donald Trump of all people to think of HUD as a through away department. HUD does all sort of things related to housing, it`s not just managing housing projects. I would think that Donald Trump would think that this was an important position and one that he -
HAYES: It is an important position.
BARRO: It is but I would also expect him to think that it is. There are other things that are important that I would say he wouldn`t care about. I find this weird, I want to wait and see if he actually gets named for it. And then the other thing is, I wonder if he would get confirmed if he was named because --
HAYES: I think he would have a problem.
BARRO: He`s so obviously unqualified, and then the other this is, if you`re a republican senator, think a lot of these senators resent people like Ben Carson who run these scam campaigns. That, I mean, especially resent to Donald Trump who then won the nomination with one.
HAYES: And is going to be President of the United States.
BARRO: Right, exactly. So, I mean, if you`re - if you`re one of - if you`re Ben Sasse or some other republican senator who doesn`t care for Donald Trump and doesn`t care for the certification of the Republican Party, this seems like a place where you might just vote no on the confirmation.
HAYES: Jason, in the Nikki Haley pick, which again, I mean, you know, in the - in the category of plausible republicans to take positions in an administration doesn`t seem like a terrible pick. She`s a republican, she has some experience, but also, just a little out of nowhere from the experiential standpoint, and I love the fact that this is a huge promotion for one of his earliest backers who now gets to take the throne.
JOHNSON: Yeah, it`s amazing. President-elect Trump has managed to pay off so many different people already in two weeks of being made President- elect. This is - this is what I think is really important and somewhat problematic about Nikki Haley. It`s not just that she has absolutely no international experience, one way or another, she`s had a few meetings with sort of Indian business people, you know, giving her family connections. But it`s not as if she even has a large amount of foreign investment as governor in South Carolina. She knows nothing about this particular area she`s being put in. And given the fact that Donald Trump was pretty much said, "I want to tear up NATO. I want to get rid of the Iran - the Iran deal. I want to get out of the Paris agreement." It actually would matter to have someone at the U.N. who knows the job.
HAYES: Yes, I mean -- or given the fact that I think it is not and I don`t - I do not think it is an overstatement to say in many ways the world feels as unstable and precarious right now as at any time in the last 60 years. I mean, and the U.N. is a key body to navigate that in.
BARRO: Yeah, although, I mean, I`m trying to prioritize my outrage over this --
HAYES: Yeah, sure. Yes.
HAYES: Like John Bolton.
BARRO: Right, exactly. You could have someone who knew a lot about foreign policy when -
HAYES: Who is also -
BARRO: -- ideas about it. My sense is that - is that -
HAYES: That`s right.
BARRO: -- Nikki Haley is sort of within the mainstream of the Republican Party. She seems to be a smart talented person who - I mean, South Carolina has an especially nasty politics that she has navigated and I would say, diplomatic way, that suggesting that she might have at least have a raw skill set that would differ at the U.N. even if she doesn`t have direct foreign relations experience. As for why she`d want the job, I assume she - I mean, Nicky Haley probably wants to run for president. She doesn`t have any foreign policy experience to take this job -- she will have foreign policy experience.
HAYES: You know, you have a -- I want to -- before we leave, I want you -- there was someone floated for treasury today, that you were freaking out about.
HAYES: Someone white, sort of, vaguely familiar with.
BARRO: His name is John Allison. He was the former CEO of the regional bank BB&T. He also used to run the libertarian Cato Institute think tank. John Allison is a real libertarian ideologue on banking, we`ll get rid of the - of the FBI (INAUDIBLE), get rid of the Federal Reserve. Get rid of most bank regulation --
HAYES: It would rid of deposit insurance, just to be clear.
BARRO: Yes. On the other hand, he says that banks should be required to have much more capital with much less leverage. He says, you know, get rid of all these complex rules, just make them have lots more cash. And so the -- I think it would be quite a bad pick. He seems like a sort of person who would have told the president in 2008, "Just let it all fail."
HAYES: Let it all fail, yeah.
BARRO: On the other hand, I think that Wall Street would not like his nomination.
BARRO: So, my hope is that there would be a coalition of republicans and democrats that would kill the nomination if he were put in.
HAYES: The term we have for that back in the era of depression is "liquidationists".
BARRO: Yes, liquidate it all.
HAYES: Jason Johnson and Josh Barro, thanks to you both.
BARRO: Thank you.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Trump`s other big announcement today, was his choice to be the next Secretary of Education, Koch Brothers aligned Republican mega-donor Betsy DeVos, a hard-right conservative activist who heads up an advocacy group focused on expanding charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools at the expense of traditional public education. Trump has proposed spending $20 billion on so-called "School choice initiatives", which Politico reports, "Is almost as much as the country now invests in schools serving poor kids and special education programs combined."
DeVos has been described as the driving force behind the expansion of school voucher programs in her home state of Michigan. And thanks in large part of her efforts, Detroit. Now, with a higher share of students in charter schools than any other city of any city other than New Orleans. Those schools have far fewer regulations and charters in many other states, and as New York Times reported in June, "Many Detroit students feel they have lots of choice with no good choice, as half the charters perform only as well or worse than Detroit`s traditional public schools." Joining me now, Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers. OK. Well, I`m guessing the AFT is not super psyched about this pick.
RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: No, I mean, look, if Trump wanted somebody who was the big destroyer of public education, that`s exactly what he got, and that`s what he look for, you know, he says that he`s -- there`s no regulation he likes and, frankly, there`s no public that he likes. And, you know, we were concerned about this when he raised the $20 billion because frankly, that is more money than goes to every single poor kid from the federal government for education in America right now, and it`s actually more money than goes to every single special needs kid in America right now. So, at the end of the day, what we see and is that he picked somebody who will destabilize or who will attempt to destabilize and defund public schools.
HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. So -- I mean, you represent the teachers union, a large one, right. I mean, is there any one that a republican president, if it were Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney or anyone else, is there -- can you imagine a republican president choosing a Secretary of Education that you would be happy with?
WEINGARTEN: Yes. I mean --
HAYES: Really? Do you -
WEINGARTEN: -- ultimately you can see a Secretary of Education that actually came from a state because think about this, we created a coalition with a lot of conservative groups including Lamar Alexander and John Kline on the - on the change of Federal Education Policy to bring that policy back to the local communities to let teachers and parents actually run their own schools. And to make sure that the federal government did the equity work but to let people actually focus on children not on testing. And what we saw, Chris, is that in Detroit where I spent a lot of time this year, the business community, the faith community, the labor community, parents, teachers, the mayor, we all came together on a rescue plan for Detroit schools, which passed the republican senate in Michigan.
The one person who hated it was Betsy DeVos. And she spent $1.4 million -- think about draining the swamp in about six weeks to stop that plan. The labor rights continued. What did she want to stop? That plan required charters to be accountable, that plan require charters to plan the same playing field and require the same things for kids as public schools. She wanted none of it and that`s why she stopped it.
HAYES: She is also someone - I mean, this is in some ways the first pick that`s the most connected to the kind of Koch Brothers billionaire donor class, ideological wing of the republican movement. I mean --
HAYES: -- they give lots of money, they are very -- she`s very clear about the fact that they would like to get rid of public education. They should call it government education, I mean, this is a very hard-edged agenda.
WEINGARTEN: And they don`t, and this is what`s so ironic because remember Donald Trump last few weeks said, "Drain the swamp, drain the swamp." This is someone who uses her money to buy influence. Let me give you a quote. "I know a little something about soft money as my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. I have decided now to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point." That is who she is. And what she`s peddling are things that for 25 years, hasn`t worked. We have had voucher plans for 25 years. What they have done is drained funding out of public schools. 31 states pay less for public schools than they did before the recession and then these cities, this drains money and it doesn`t help kids.
HAYES: In an era in which - in an era in which Arne Duncan was at the Department of Education for a long time in which putatively center-left think tanks have gotten behind charter schools, in which many liberals have endorsed charter schools. Is the ideological difference between what she represents and say, what Arne Duncan represented, that large?
WEINGARTEN: Yes, because there is a difference between having charters -- look, I don`t like what Arne did about testing.
HAYES: Yes, you guys are very critical.
WEINGARTEN: -- about things and about trying to make, as you heard me say, common core, make it about testing as opposed to about teaching. There are a lot of excesses that were reined in in the new Federal-Aid Policy. I gave the president a lot of credit because he saw the excesses and he worked at it. But this is the difference, Arne Duncan never wanted to destabilize and defund the schools and use vouchers and charters that way.
I run a charter in the South Bronx. We have a 100 percent graduation rate. It`s a union-represented charter. It got one of these new Blue Ribbon awards.
WEINGARTEN: The point is charters were supposed to have a role in a bigger system to help ensure that all kids get a descent education.
HAYES: Right. As opposed to replace. Randi Weingarten, thanks for your time. I appreciate it.
WEINGARTEN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Coming up, only two weeks in Donald Trump`s time as president-elect, there are already ominous signs about his potential conflicts of interest including his own suggestion he could run his business from the Oval Office. He actually said that. What this means to the country, after this break.
HAYES: To whom does he owe money? To whom does he owe favors? With whom is he secretly partnered? Who is holding an economic gun to his head as he is poised to potentially become the single most powerful person in the world? We don`t know his creditors, his sources of income, his potential conflicts of interest. We don`t know the things that really matter, and we aren`t going to know.
One of the things we said on this show during the campaign repeatedly and kept stressing, was that people, the media, political world were generally underappreciating the scope of possible conflicts of interest should Donald Trump actually become president and allow his children to run his real estate empire as he claimed he would.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have Ivanka and Eric and Don sitting there. Run the company, kids, have a good time. I`m going to do it for America, OK? So, I would - I would be willing to go.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NEWS MORNINGS WITH MARIA HOST: So, you`ll put your assets in a blind trust?
TRUMP: I would put it in a blind trust. Well, I don`t know if it`s a blind trust if Ivanka, Don, and Eric run it. But is that a blind trust? I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Again, no, that is not a blind trust. In his first interview after winning the election, Trump indicated his business was peanuts compared to the big league importance of running the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is big league stuff. This is - this is our country. Our country is going bad. We`re going to save our country. I don`t care about hotel occupancy. It`s peanuts compared to what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But now, in an interview with The New York Times, here`s Trump himself, essentially bragging that he could run his business out of the Oval Office if he wanted to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: According to the law, see I figured there`s something where you put something in this massive trust, and there`s also -- nothing is written. In other words, in theory, I could be President of the United States and run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business. I could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly. And there was never -- there`s never been a case like this where somebody`s had - like, if you look at other people of wealth, they didn`t have this kind of asset and this kind of wealth, frankly. I mean, it`s just a different thing. But there is no -- I assumed that you`d have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you know. And I was actually a little bit surprised to see it.
So, in theory, I don`t have to do anything. But I would like to do something. I would like to try and formalize something, because I don`t care about my business. So, I don`t have to do anything, but I want to do something if I can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The totally historically unprecedented opportunity as Trump notes, first the corruption or hypocrisy in self-dealing that comes from having a president with such a large business enterprise is now here. Joining me now, Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist of Washington Examiner whose latest piece is titled "Trump`s Conflicts will be Crippling".
And Tim, interesting to me because I feel like this is something that is not really ideological in any real sense. It`s not about Obamacare repeal, it`s not about public education, it`s just about whether you can trust that the president is doing the people`s business and not Trump org`s business.
TIM CARNEY, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST OF WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, and this is right. So, you can posit Trump as some evil guy who`s in this just to get himself even richer, but that`s totally unnecessary. The normal measure we use when measure - when looking at these things, a conflict of interest, do their financial interests and their supposed serving of the national interests, does that conflict? And obviously, yes. And even if it happens on a subconscious level, that`s something we have to be worried about. The example I used in my Examiner column, was his tenant, the industrial and commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world, and it`s a state-owned enterprise by the communist government of China.
That`s a problem, because a lot of our foreign policy clashes with China having these state-owned enterprises. So, even if he`s not trying to enrich himself, the fact that he has one pull which is what his - where - how his company would profit and another pull serving the public interest, that`s problematic.
HAYES: Yeah. And it seems to me, you know, one of the things about this that that example which I hadn`t even thought of, which is that bank is a tenant in Trump Tower, I believe, right?
HAYES: They rent space. He collects checks from them as, you know, every landlord, presumably.
CARNEY: Every (INAUDIBLE)
HAYES: Right. Is that part of this also is that it just always seem - it seems like if I were politically advising him and I wanted his agenda to succeed, it does seem like something that`s going to be a pain. I mean, in the same way that you saw before the election, a lot of people are saying they`re going to have to shut down the Clinton Foundation, because whatever you think of it, and I tended to think that the conflict stuff was overblown, but the perception was real, you don`t want to deal with this every day. And if I were advising President-elect Trump, I think I would probably be telling him the same thing.
CARNEY: No, that`s exactly right. That Elijah Cummings and MSNBC are going to come after Trump for every apparent conflict of interest.
HAYES: We care about the people`s business being done and conflicts, Tim.
CARNEY: And that it makes it easier for him to get done what he says he`ll get done if he clears it away. And another part of it, I think, is Trump`s personality. And this is the part that worries me. We know how sort of impressionable he is, that a lot of people think, "Oh, he`s a hardline right-winger. No, that`s all - that`s all bogus. He`s very impressionable. And when you ask him, "Oh, what do you think of this person, Chuck Schumer?" "Oh, well, Schumer was good when I had this real estate deal and he helped me out (INAUDIBLE) how people treat him affects how he sees them. We kind of laughed when George W. Bush said that he looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and saw his soul.
CARNEY: Now, if Vladimir Putin or if Erdogan in Turkey or if somebody treats one of his businesses well, is that all it takes to convince Trump to say this person is a great person.
HAYES: Right. To curry favor, right.
CARNEY: That`s where I`m worried that Trump is very impressionable, even with no bad intent, his businesses make him susceptible to that sort of personal -
HAYES: You know, that`s a great point, too, because you don`t even have to posit this sort of dark profit motive, right, that he`s going to use the office to - for profit. All you have to say is if Erdogan starts steering business or regulatory favors to Turkish properties or the same thing happens in another place, right, does that essentially end up currying state favor with the most powerful person in the world when they`re having relations with that country?
CARNEY: No, and that`s right. And then you see it on a dozen other levels, where the international stuff is the stuff that worries me. On the domestic stuff, I think this is where my conservative free market stuff, I think, clears up a lot of the corruption where you say if you`re not handing out subsidies and that sort of thing, it`s not as big of a deal.
CARNEY: But on the global international stuff, those conflicts are always there.
HAYES: All right. Tim Carney, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
CARNEY: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, a boorish real estate billionaire turned head of state. Look, at the world leader who perhaps most resembles Donald Trump. How that can be a preview of Trump`s style of governance. That`s coming up.
HAYES: Here`s something American voters maybe, probably, definitely should have known about before the election. Wall Street Journal reported today that Donald Trump, Jr. held talks on Syria with pro-Russian supporters at an event in Paris on October 11th that focused in part on finding a way to cooperate with Russia to end the war in Syria. Here`s the front page of the think tank that hosted the event now proudly showing Don, Jr. with founder Fabien Baussart who along with his wife has worked closely with Russia and Syrian - in the Russian-Syrian conflict.
At the election, Baussart`s wife, Randa Kassis posted on Facebook, "There is hope that Russia and the U.S. will reach accord on the issue of the Syrian crisis because of Trump`s victory. Such hope and belief is the result of my personal meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. in October. I succeeded to pass Trump through the talks with his son, the idea of how we could cooperate together."
Now, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway confirmed Don, Jr. attended the meeting but downplayed his interaction because he`s saying, "Don was addressing a roundtable in Paris, and she was present for that talk and a group dinner for 30 people."
Now, the timing of this meeting matters. It took place just one week after the U.S. suspended talks with Russia over the Syria ceasefire, and John Kerry called for war crimes investigation of Russia and the Assad government for bombing civilians and targeting hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo, which the U.N. said resulted in at least 376 civilian deaths over two weeks. So, it was just days after the U.S. called out Russia for potential war crimes that Donald Trump, Jr. spoke with pro-Assad Russian supporters. One of them wrote, "I succeeded to pass Trump, through the talks with his son, the idea of how we can cooperate together."
Last week, following Trump`s election, there were already signs of involving Putin, airstrikes in Aleppo resumed as Russia begins new offensive in Syria. We don`t normally expect that being a child of nation`s future president is enough to qualify you for key matters of state craft, not to mention if you`re running an international business that might have interest in irrelevant countries, but, of course, we`re in a whole different world now.
After the break, the world leader who may be most analogous to Trump, who won three elections in Italy.
HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump came to power from business rather than politics. He boasted to reporters yesterday that he, quote, be the president of the United States and run my business 100 percent.
And we`ve learned his children, who will be directly running his international business, and domestic business are reportedly conducting statecraft by holding talks on Syria with Russian supporters, participating in diplomatic meetings with foreign heads of state. It feels like America has entered a new system of governments in just these last two weeks. But if you`re looking for global comparisons, look no further than another businessman turned politician: Italy`s Silvio Berlusconi. And as Berlusconi himself said of Trump, quote, there are some obvious similarities.
Berlusconi is a billionaire who made his first fortune as a real estate developer. As a politician he catered to the right and indulged in racist and misogynistic rhetoric and his critics not only disagreed with him, but saw him as categorically unfit to lead the country.
The end result, Berlusconi is Italy`s longest serving prime minister. He served as prime minister for nine years until 2011when EU leaders forced him to resign. And while the parallels are apt, there are some key differences. For instance, while Trump seemed to steamroll the Republican Party on his way to victory, Berlusconi literally founded his own political party. Or perhaps the most crucial distinction here, as one writer Matt Iglesias recently pointed out on Twitter, Berlusconi analogies compelling in many ways, but Italy doesn`t have nuclear weapons and the U.S. doesn`t have EU institutions as a check.
Joining me now from Rome, Rula Jebreal, professor of international affairs at the American University of Rome. In a piece from September 2015 entitled Donald Trump is America`s Silvio Berlusconi she wrote it would be a terrible mistake for America`s political establishment to dismiss Trump`s populist appeal and presume him unelectable.
All right, Rula, start I think by explaining where you see the parallels is most important between these two figures.
RULA JEBREAL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ROME: Hi, Chris. Thank you for having me. First of all is, we see it all over the place. The conflict of interest, the fact that they are not only businessmen but they want to continue with their transactional way of doing business even when they`re in office.
Trump and Berlusconi alike continue doing businesses even after they were elected. Berlusconi had the parliament approve or tried to approve 13 laws to help his business or to shield him from indictment. I mean, the smell of corruption is all over the place since the moment Donald Trump was elected. His daughters and his sons participated in meetings that he had with dignitaries, heads of states, let`s talk about the Japanese meeting, the Indian partner meeting, even the phone call with Argentina president, where after the next day all his businesses were approved and suddenly he had full access everywhere.
So, he`s not even trying to hide that he`s trying to enrich himself. I think in The New York Times meeting that he had yesterday he said something like, yeah, obviously his name is becoming hot. He used that word, meaning we will do business all over the place.
The problem with that, governments around the world will smell corruption and will think that actually the only way to please the president of the United States is to allow his businesses to grow in their own country. So you have the biggest case of conflict of interest, and I would say borderline corruption.
HAYES: One of the things about Berlusconi who also mixed his official role in business and he ran a media empire essentially out of -- as head of state, was also his sort enduring popularity in the face of both corruption scandals and all kinds of behavior -- public feuds with his wife, parties with sex workers, extremely crass and offensive comments, all sorts of behavior that people thought would be disqualifying, and yet he had an appeal that persisted past that. Talk about that.
JEBREAL: It`s exactly what happened with Trump because anyone who looked at what Trump was doing, he was deflecting from the real issues. We never knew what his policies would be, what he would do regarding -- we knew what he would do to minorities, obviously that was appealing to certain hate groups, and xenophobic and Islamphobic and these kind of groups. And I would say neo-fascists who are using Trump as an avatar to get back into power and exclude all the minorities.
On the other side, we never knew what he would do on the economic sides, or what would he do about education and other -- but his way we kept talking about his insults to Megyn Kelly, to this and that and we basically fall into the trap of talking about Trump all the time. He personified politics, exactly like Berlusconi.
So the politics in Italy was, I would say, dominated by Berlusconi because he was the center of politics. They kept talking about his scandals, his insults, his gaffes here and there. And he kept giving them that and basically he dominated Italian politics for so long because he decimated the opposition, the opposition couldn`t come up with any formula to appeal to the public opinion.
He sold the public opinion a dream -- become rich like him and have beautiful women around him. He even bragged about seducing some heads of state who wasn`t good looking and he said that he had to seduce and sacrifice himself. He used to say that he`s the Jesus Christ of politics.
You know, trump is saying that he will create millions of jobs, this is exactly what Berlusconi did. He promised to create millions of jobs.
By the time he left office, people were more poor and he didn`t create any jobs. And the only person that got rich was himself. The problem with that in America, I think sooner or later when reality will hit and it usually hits, it`s like gravity. People will wake up to a disastrous foreign policy, a disastrous economic policies and above all the smell of corruption all over the place.
HAYES: All right. Rula Jebreal from Rome, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.
Still to come, while Hillary Clinton`s popular vote lead continues to grow, it highlights a major dilemma for the Democratic Party. I`ll explain ahead.
And tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You got all these windmills all over the place going, driving you loco when you look at them, right?
The wind is very tough because those windmills are very, very expensive and they kill the birds and they look very terrible.
The wind turbine that kills all the bald eagles all over -- that`s OK with them.
The wind kills all your birds, all your birds killed.
Windmills are great but a lot of times the wind doesn`t blow, folks. And a lot of times it`s killing your eagles and your birds and you know, things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump has never been shy about sharing his dislike for wind power. And he wasn`t about to start yesterday during his on the record conversation with The New York Times. Instead, when pressed about reports that he pushed an effort to keep off shore wind farms away from one of his Scottish golf courses during a meeting with British politician and Brexit instigator Nigel Farage, Trump pivoted away from the question about a possible conflict of interest to criticize wind power instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Was I involved with the wind farms recently? Not that I know of.
I mean, I have a problem with wind...
MICHAEL BARBARO, NEW YORK TIMES: But you brought it up in the meeting, didn`t you?
TRUMP: I might have brought it up, not having to do with me, just, I mean, the wind is a very deceiving thing. First of all, we don`t make the windmills in the United States, they`re made in Germany and Japan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We don`t make the wind mills in the United States. An All In America fact check is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: According to Donald Trump when it comes to renewable wind powered energy, quote, "we don`t make the windmills in the United States." That is categorically untrue, and the reason we know it`s categorically untrue is because two years ago as part of our all In America cities we literally followed American made wind turbine blades from a North Dakota factory in a wind farm in South Dakota. The technology to make the turbines came from GE, an American corporation. Here`s some of what we reported back in October 2014.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We invest in a lot of technology to be able to develop new controls that allow you to operate the turbine in those conditions.
HAYES: Those designs are made into reality in factories like LM Wind Power in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Business is good. The plant employs 630 workers and runs seven days a week and they expect to produce 1,800 blades this year alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About six blades are coming out, sometimes five, are coming out every single day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last month GE announced plans to purchase LM Wind Power, which now employs 960 people in Grand Forks, North Dakota. And LM Wind Power is not alone. According to the wind energy association, 88 percent of the wind power capacity installed in the U.S. during 2015 used a turbine manufacturer with at least one U.S. manufacturing facility.
That`s exactly the kind of manufacturing jobs President-elect Trump has vowed to save.
HAYES: In the two weeks since the election, electoral history is quietly being made in precincts around the country. In some of the most populous parts of the U.S., the counting of ballots goes on well past election day. And as of today, Hillary Clinton`s popular vote margin now exceeds 2 million votes, that`s almost as big as the population of Houston, America`s fourth largest city. As a share of the total vote, that translates to a margin of 1.5 percent, a historic popular vote edge for a candidate who lost the electoral college, and it`s much bigger than John F. Kennedy`s winning margin over Richard Nixon in 1960 and bigger than Nixon`s margin over Hubert Humphrey eight years later.
While Clinton`s loss initially looked like the result of a big drop in turnout among Democratic voters, her overall vote total is now closing in on President Obama`s from 2012. It`s a pretty unprecedented split between the popular vote and the electoral college, the product of a highly polarized electorate increasingly sorting itself along geographic line.
This is the standard electoral map showing which candidates won each state`s electoral votes, Trump 290 to Clinton`s 228. Now compare that to county courtesy of The New York Times, it`s a sea of red across most of the country surrounded by a ring of blue along the outer edges and around Chicago.
Now, many of those red areas got redder this year while the blue areas got bluer.
And check out this map showing how the vote changed from 2012 also from the times. All those red arrows show where Donald Trump did better than Mitt Romney. The longer the arrow, the more he outperformed. The blue arrows show where Clinton outperformed Obama. There`s a lot more red than blue.
But Clinton made significant gains in metropolitan areas around the country. For example, Harris County, Texas, which is home to Houston, in 2012, President Obama barely eked out a win in Harris, beating Obama by .08 percent. This year Clinton blew Trump out of the water by more than 12 points. Again, this isn`t Austin we`re talking about, it`s Houston: George W. Bush country.
Now, geography is just one of the many ways the electorate divided itself up in 2016, another corresponding one, identify the Brookings Institution, economic activity. Clinton won fewer than 500 counties overall, but those counties supplied 64 percent of America`s gross domestic product in 2015. By contrast, Trump`s more than 2,600 countries produced just 36 percent of GDP.
The metropolitan areas Clinton won are where most of the new jobs in this country are being generated. There are also where more people of color tend to live, where new with immigrants often settle down, where college graduates increasingly move after getting their degrees. More and more the different lines of division in this country are mapping onto the same geographic distribution we see in the map of election votes results by county.
What this means is that the overall demographic bet made by the Clinton campaign was, in terms of sheer numbers, the correct one. There are more Clinton voters in this country.
But in 2016, the demographic coalition is so geographically concentrated, Clinton still lost the electoral college by at least 62 votes. And now it`s up to the Democratic Party to figure out how to change that.
Up next, the fight for the future of the party.
HAYES: It is fair to say Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, now the front-runner to be the chairman of Democratic National Committee with public support from Chuck Schumer the incoming Senate minority leader and from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, whom Ellison supported for president during the primary.
But according to a report by The New York Times, Ellison may not have the backing of the top Democrat in the country. The Times reports that President Obama`s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Mr. Ellison have begun casting about for an alternative, and setting off another battle in the ongoing democratic civil war.
Joining me now, Mmichelle Goldberg, columnist at Slate and MSNBC political analyst Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator.
And Nina, I would imagine the fact that you spent a lot of time in the trail as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders and know Keith Ellison, you`re behind his candidacy. My question is how you reacted to all these anonymous quotes from the Obama circle basically saying he is not the man for the job.
NINA TURNER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I`m surprised, Chris, that they`re taking that kind of interest. Maybe I shouldn`t be surprised, because Democrats have been losing ground in this country since 2010 and 2014 we got handed both times. So I wished that the people who are listening to such concern about the possible leadership of congressman Keith Ellison would have had that same concern as Democrats has started to erode our connection the people have been eroding, especially on the state level of government and governor`s mansions.
HAYES: Yeah, I mean, Michelle, the point I just made about the map, it`s such a crazy one to think about right, that like the Obama team put together this incredible thing that no Democrat had done since FDR, which was two consecutive elections with a majority of the country. It has been since FDR. That`s an unbelievable, monumental...
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: And now we`ve had three consecutive elections with the majority of the country.
HAYES: That`s right. It`s an unbelievable political achievement. And at the same time, the Democratic Party at state level, state legislature, state houses, and we saw in the electoral college in this race has completely desiccated.
GOLDBERG: Well, right. I mean, part -- this is because the geographic sorting of the country is coupled with systems at both the state level and obviously at the national level that completely -- they`re completely prejudiced against people who live in urban areas, right. There is over representation of rural interests at a every single level of our government. And it`s now kind of metastasized into a system in which a rural minority is going to essentially rule the urban majority that has now no say in their national government.
HAYES: But there is also the fact, Nina, that that is -- that`s true right. So, there`s this structural problem that is intersected with the combination of the senate and the electoral college.
But there is also the fact that you got to build democratic power. I mean, the job for this next chairman is build democratic power at the local level, state house by state house, legislative district by legislative district. And you`ve seen it up close in Ohio. I mean, it strikes me, when you look at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, those three states. You know, those are three states that elected Republican governors in the great Tea Party backlash whose governors hammered organized labor, who hammered the interests of the left, who did everything they could do disempower, and look what that ended up producing in this election.
TURNER: That`s right, Chris. And Democrats have to take some responsibility for this there. Again, there`s an African proverb that says that one should never build their shield on the battlefield. Well, it was shield building time for the Democrats after 2010, and no party wants to lose, but of all the times to lose, you lose right before the redrawing of lines.
I was in the Ohio senate when we were redrawing those lines, and Democrats again being decimated, because when it comes to the systemic ways in which the power of politics work we have been losing elections. And so we have to reconnect with the people so that we are elected to office so that we are in those positions to make the difference.
HAYES: So what is the answer here, Nina? And I`ll come to you in a second, Michelle.
You know, in some ways this is shaping up a sort of interesting proxy battle in which like Sanders loses the primary but kind of wins the battle for the party.
HAYES: Partly because I think people look around and think well, the Clintons aren`t going to run the Democratic Party. Obama is leaving. Bernie Sanders at least had this kind of grassroots vision. But what exactly is that message, what does that programatically mean?
TURNER: I mean, first it starts with making sure that we -- you remember the Republicans did an autopsy in 2012 that they didn`t really follow.
TURNER: But I`m hoping that the Democratic Party will do an autopsy in 2016 to figure out what went wrong, how it went wrong, and how we can recapture, have robust conversations is have the coming to Jesus meeting and it`s making sure we never lose sight of the grassroots and that when people outcry, especially about the income and wealth inequality in this country that disproportionately hurts people of color, but don`t forget about our poor white sisters and brothers too that when they say they`re hurting, we got to say we get it and not tell them that they`re nuts.
And we`ve got to listen more, Chris. I think that is the beginning of this change is to listen to the people.
HAYES: It`s interesting she mentions the autopsy. What do you want the say?
GOLDBERG: Oh, I just wanted to say that although it`s a proxy war, I actually think that Keith Ellison is perfectly positioned to bridge at least part of that gap.
HAYES: Yeah, I agree.
GOLDBERG: Because on the one hand, you have Bernie Sanders out there saying the Democrats need to ditch identity politics.
HAYES: He didn`t quite say that.
TURNER: He didn`t say it that way. He didn`t mean it that way.
GOLDBERG: I think that there is a fear among some people that in this move, that kind of a curly class-based politics will throw women and people of color under the bus in this attempt to win back the culturally conservative white working class. And I just Keith Ellison on the one hand, he has the Sanders movement behind him, but he also is never going to work with Donald Trump.
GOLDBERG: Right. He is as invested in the resistance as anybody in this country who -- you know, his -- I think that he will never, ever forget that Donald Trump is an existential threat to his future in this country. And so he is not going to be a deal maker, he is someone who is, again, he is going -- I think would approach this job as leader of the resistance.
HAYES: Yeah, it is interesting that he does -- he is the sort of the middle of a lot of Vinn diagrams, which is part of why that Times story was fascinating to me, because I thought, oh OK, we`re seeing all these different parts of the Democratic coalition come together behind Congressman Ellison, and now maybe a little bit of a wrench in the works.
Michelle Goldberg and Nina Turner, thank you very much.
All right that is ALL IN for this evening. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And, you know, everyone, let`s try to be good to each other. OK.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END