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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 2/16/2017

Guests: Elijah Cummings, Tim Carney, David Jolly, Cristina Jimenez, Jim Manley

Show: All in with Chris Hayes Date: February 16, 2017 Guest: Elijah Cummings, Tim Carney, David Jolly, Cristina Jimenez, Jim Manley 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: -- to help them get the Trump administration story straight instead of damning their right under the first amendment to tell it. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake.

HAYES: The President finally meets the press.

TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.

HAYES: The stunning cross-examination of an American President over his campaign`s reported ties with Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you`re not aware of any contacts during the course of the election?

TRUMP: Look, look, look --

HAYES: And explosive new reporting that the President`s former National Security Advisor misled the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian Ambassador?

TRUMP: No, I didn`t.

HAYES: Tonight, the top democrat on Oversight, Elijah Cummings, on President Trump and the Russians. Plus, a look at today`s east room attack on the truth.

TRUMP: I inherited a mess. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.

HAYES: Then, why Democrats are being locked out of meetings with ICE, as immigration raids escalate. And with ObamaCare repeal slowed and a travel ban stalled, the case the resistance is winning.

TRUMP: This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. And we have some Breaking News this hour. NBC News confirms retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down President Trump`s offer to replace Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, yet another setback for an administration that has had its full share of them this week. We`ll have more on that shortly. Meanwhile, a mid-mounting questions about his administrations and campaigns connections to Russia and Russian Intelligence officials. President Trump today, held a press conference ostensibly to introduce his new pick for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, that man tapped after the withdrawal yesterday of Trump`s first pick for that job, fast food executive, Andrew Puzder.

What ensued, however, was a dizzying 76-minute spectacle in which the President lashed out at the media and insisted his administration is running like a quote, "fine-tuned machine." As reporters pressed him over and over about his links to Russian Intelligence. Among the Trump allies who reportedly spoke to the Russians during the campaign was the President`s now former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seen here leading a chant of "lock her up" at the Republican National Convention. Flynn is confirmed to have spoken to the Russian Ambassador during the transition period and he resigned Monday following revelations he lied about that conversation, falsely claiming he did not talk to the ambassador about the Obama administration`s sanctions against Russia. In fact, the sanctions were reportedly a main subject of Flynn`s conversation.

And now, another bombshell, The Washington Post reporting that Flynn denied discussing the sanctions in an FBI interview. As the Post points out, lying to the FBI is a felony, though the Trump Justice Department can choose not to prosecute. Now, before we get into the President`s remarkable comments at today`s press conference, it is important to set a baseline for his truthfulness. In his opening remarks, before he was even asked a single question from the press corps, the President claimed his Electoral College victory was the biggest since President Ronald Reagan. Watch what happens when our own NBC News Peter Alexander just a few minutes later points out that claim is simply and demonstrably false.


PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS JOURNALIST: Very simply, you said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan with 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365 -

TRUMP: Well, I`m talking about republican.

ALEXANDER: But President Obama 333 and George H.W. Bush 426 when he won as President so why should Americans trust -

TRUMP: Well, no, I was - I was given that information. I don`t know. I was just given it. We had a very, very big margin.

ALEXANDER: I guess my question is why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive of being fake when you`re providing information that`s not accurate.

TRUMP: Well, I don`t know, I was given that information. I was given -- actually, I`ve seen that information around but it was a very substantial victory.


TRUMP: "I was given that information." "I`ve seen that information around." It is, of course, not true information. There was one question the President was asked three times in today`s press conference. Did the President of his aides have contact with the Russians during the campaign, a period when, according to U.S. Intelligence Agencies, the Russians were actively working to help candidate Trump win through electoral subterfuge and sabotage? Intelligence Officials say that Trump`s aides did, in fact, have repeated contacts with Russian intelligence. The President, however, refused to give a straight answer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I was just hoping that we could get a yes or no answer on one of these questions involving Russia. Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?

TRUMP: Well, I told you, General Flynn obviously was dealing. So that`s one person. But he was dealing, as he should have been.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the election?

TRUMP: No, no, nobody that I know of. Nobody that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re not aware of contacts during the course -

TRUMP: Look, look, look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: - of the election?

TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just say yes or no.

TRUMP: Russia is a ruse. I know you have to get up and ask a question. It`s so important. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.


HAYES: The President claimed the entire Russia story is "fake news" put out by the media, but he perhaps inadvertently made some news when he said - when asked if the leaks that have driven that story are in fact real.


TRUMP: Well, the leaks are real. You`re the one that wrote about them and reported them. I mean, the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.


HAYES: Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Were you satisfied by the President`s answers today to those questions about Russia?

ELIJAH CUMMINGS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM MARYLAND: No, not at all. As a matter of fact, the President left more questions to be answered, to be frank with you. And I think we`re going to have to some kind of way get Lieutenant General Flynn in a room, swear him in, and try to get to the bottom line of certain questions. Clearly, the President did not address the question of whether he talked to Lieutenant General Flynn about sanctions. He - as a matter of fact, he went on to say that if it were - if Lieutenant General Flynn had not had discussions with the Russians, he would have told him to -

HAYES: Yes. Let me - Congressman, I want to -- ,

CUMMINGS: (INAUDIBLE) very interesting.

HAYES: Yes, Congressman, I actually have that bit of sound, which I found to be one of the strangest moments. I want to play it and get your response to it. Because it`s very odd, he`s asked directly, "Did you direct Michael Flynn to talk to the Ambassador on sanctions day?" Here`s what he had to say.


TRUMP: No. I fired him of because of what he said to Mike Pence, very simple. Mike was doing his job. He was calling countries and his counterparts. So it certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn`t doing it.


HAYES: Do you understand that?

CUMMINGS: No. Unfortunately our President says quite often contradictory statements within a minute of each other. And so - but we - that`s why we need to have this Bipartisan Committee somewhat like the 9/11 committee of distinguished citizens, no congressmen, no senators, but bipartisan, to really get into how all of this happened, what was the relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russians and try to figure out how to make sure that this does not happen again. And by the way, we - our bill, Congressman Swalwell and my bill, which is a bill to create that commission for the first time today, got our first republican sponsor - co-sponsor. We already had all of the democrats, so hopefully, this is going to open the door and some republicans will begin to join us on that.

HAYES: I want to be clear on this. You`re saying that you now have a republican co-sponsor and a bill to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Russian hacking?

CUMMINGS: That - we got the person -

HAYES: Who is that?

CUMMINGS: That is a congressman from North Carolina. I won`t get into his name right now. But he`s already agreed to do it.

HAYES: He`s agreed but it hasn`t been made public.

CUMMINGS: No, he`s - no, he`s - it will be public tomorrow.

HAYES: OK. Well, we`ll make a - make a little news tonight.

CUMMINGS: Oh, yes.

HAYES: There is - there is seemingly more interest from your colleague across the aisle, Jason Chaffetz on your committee in investigating leaks than what has been revealed by those leaks. And I understand this is something that is of great -- obviously classified information important, the transmission of that. Chaffetz saying in a letter, he asked the DOJ Inspector General to investigate the Flynn leaks, he sent a letter to that aspect. The President himself has said, "The spotlight has finally been put on low-life leakers. They will be caught." And New York Times reporting that there`s going to be an intelligence review possibly by billionaire private equity, a guy named Steve Feinberg to sort of maybe hunt through the intelligence agencies. Is there a war being declared on the Intelligence Community?

CUMMING: Sadly -- and I say it very sadly, I think there is. One of the things that is bothering - let me be clear, I don`t like the leakage of information, particularly classified information, but you got to understand what`s happening here, Chris. We have a group of agents, some in CIA, some in the FBI, they don`t know who the President is. They don`t know whether Bannon is making the rules, they don`t know whether this 31-year-old fellow named Miller is making the rules, and they don`t know whether President Trump is running the country. They don`t know. So they don`t have any - they have - a lot of them have lost faith. And so, what they`re doing now is going to the media and trying to get their stories out.

Chris, this reminds me so much of what Chaffetz and I did with the Secret Service. The Secret Service had similar types of problems. They couldn`t - they couldn`t - the Secret Service Agents were coming to us because they couldn`t go to their higher ups. And so - and so, they were fearing retaliation, they didn`t know - they were - they were fearing that nobody would really listen to them and they didn`t know where to go. So what did they do? They come to us. And it`s not necessarily, Chris, a thing of partisanship, it`s people who are fighting for their democracy. Period.

HAYES: So, you don`t - so you - I want to - I want to get to something that President actually said about you, a story he told about you in just a moment.


HAYES: But one more question on this line here.


HAYES: There are people who say, and I think - across the ideological spectrum, there`s something dangerous about (AUDIO GAP) Community sabotaging elected President by putting these (AUDIO GAP) control back from the - from the White house. You (AUDIO GAP) defense of democracy, is what you`re saying?

CUMMINGS: I think it is a defense of democracy, but at the same time, I also think it`s dangerous. We - what President Trump needs to do is sit down with the Intelligence Community. Keep in mind that he beat up on them pretty bad early on and - but he needs to talk to them because they - I think they don`t trust that if they give them the information, that it`s going to be effectively dealt with.

HAYES: And they don`t -

CUMMINGS: They don`t think so.

HAYES: They also appear to believe, some of them, that he is possibly implicated or compromised which is part of what the commission that you`re proposing would investigate. I want to - I want to play a bit of the press conference that revolved around you, sir, today. The President told a story about what he said was a sort of canceled meeting between two of you. I`d like to play that and get your side of things.


HAYES: Take a listen.


TRUMP: I (AUDIO GAP) with Congressman Cummings and he was all excited, and then he said, "Oh, I can`t move, it might be bad for me politically, I can`t have that meeting." I was all set to have the meeting. You know, we called him and called him, and he was all set. I spoke to him on the phone, very nice guy.

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO, CORRESPONDENT: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.

TRUMP: He wanted it, but we called, called, called, called, they can`t make a meeting with him. Every day I walk in I said, I would like to meet with him, because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight, he was probably told - he was probably told don`t meet with Trump, it`s bad politics. And that`s part of the problem of this country.


HAYES: Is that an accurate characterization of what happened?

CUMMINGS: No. It`s not accurate. We never - the meeting was never scheduled. As a matter of fact, we were working on a meeting and I - his staff fully understands that we were meeting about the high price of prescription drugs, and they know that I was working with Bernie Sanders who I`ve been working on the high price of prescription drugs for the last three or four years. And Bernie and I are putting together a bill and I wanted to go in, Chris, whenever I met with the President to present the bill to him, because he knew that`s what I wanted to meet with him about. But I wanted him to sign on and say, "You know what, I`m going to convince the Republicans and the Senate in the House to help me with this bill, so we can get it through, so that we can help Americans (AUDIO GAP) so that`s what it`s all about.

HAYES: So for the record, you would - my understanding, (AUDIO GAP)

CUMMINGS: (AUDIO GAP) forward to meeting with the President.


CUMMINGS: I can hardly wait.

HAYES: Let me ask you - one more question I have here, and that`s about April Ryan who is the - who the reporter who asked that question who you saw in that clip.


HAYES: I would just like you to respond to the interaction she had, a question she asked about the Congressional Black Caucus and his response. Take a listen.



RYAN: Are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda, your intercity agenda as well as -

TRUMP: Am I going to include who?

RYAN: Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional spectacle -

TRUMP: Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting?

RYAN: No, no, no.

TRUMP: Are they friends of yours?

RYAN: I`m just a reporter.

TRUMP: Go, get up. Set up the meeting.

RYAN: I know -


HAYES: What do you make of that?

CUMMINGS: That was interesting.


CUMMINGS: Well, I mean, first of all, I don`t think he knew what the CBC was. And then, I think, Chris, the young lady, Miss Ryan, cleared it up and basically knew what it was. You know, I think, you know a lot of people assume that all black people know (AUDIO GAP) I mean, and then they appear to the President (AUDIO GAP) would ask somebody in the press pool to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, he`s the President of the United States of America, he can make that phone call himself. So, you know, I mean, I kind of laughed it off, but it`s consistent what we`ve - what we`ve seen from President Trump all along.

HAYES: And the very least he did not ask Frederick Douglass to set that meeting up.


CUMMINGS: That`s right.

HAYES: Congressman Elijah Cummings, thanks for joining me. I appreciate it.

CUMMINGS: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up next, can we talk about what we witnessed today? How to deal with the President of the United States whose words and statements cannot be taken at face value. That is after this two-minute break.



TRUMP: You`ll have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that`s right. I don`t know. Peter, is that one right? Because, you know, I think they have lower - I heard lower than Congress. The public doesn`t believe you people anymore. Then maybe I had something to do with that, I don`t know. But they don`t believe you.


HAYES: There`s more to Donald Trump`s war on the media than simply using them as Expedia, a political foil to replace having an actual opponent in an election. It`s a battle, really, over the truth and who controls it. For this President, it seems, objective facts aren`t even really part of the equation. Instead, truth is the reality defined by whomever commands power and public opinion. We saw that play out in the President`s attempt to the weird Jedi mind trick over his inauguration crowds which were observably smaller than President Obama`s. We saw it today in his description of the travel ban which produced chaos that played out live on social media and the news.


TRUMP: Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban but we had a bad court. We had a bad decision. That`s the only thing that was wrong with the travel ban. Very bad for the safety and security of our country. The rollout was perfect.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist of the Washington Examiner. Do you - Tim your - do you recognize a sort of special category of untruthfulness from this President that`s distinct from, like, the mundane and normal untruthfulness of politicians in general?

TIM CARNEY, WASHINGTON EXAMINER SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST: It`s true. All politicians - well, almost every politician lies. Politicians as a class lie. Donald Trump lies more and in a different and sometimes more baffling way than the average politician. But I think that what you were getting at there, that he`s sort of fighting over the idea of the truth. I think he`s aided in that by the fact that the media, which messes up when covering every politician, messes up also different in degree when covering Donald Trump.

HAYES: This is -- this is the line that I`ve heard from the not pro-Trump but the kind of anti-anti-Trump right, which I would -I would put you sort of in, right?

CARNEY: Maybe.

HAYES: Which is the idea of, I don`t like Trump but his enemies are also bad or his -- the people who are -

CARNEY: Well, what I -

HAYES: - covering him and they`re screwing up and that gives him credence.

CARNEY: Well, so, yes. I believe firmly in the media and I believe that Donald Trump lies more than most politicians and that we are in that first amendment because we are a crucial check on the power. And when you look at the sort of behavior of the media, there - the sobriety has been lacking in the coverage of Donald Trump. We had a Muslim woman detained, thanks to the Trump travel ban, as the - as the Time Magazine headline, when she was detained in December. The MLK bust removed when it wasn`t.

HAYES: Right.

CARNEY: The name of - you know, I could go on for the rest of the sentence.

HAYES: There - Right. But -- OK. But the MLK bust I think is a great example. Because the MLK bust has come up multiple times from the President of the United States from Sean Spicer. That was a mistake, it was - it was a mistake. I think, maybe in generally good faithful but a mistake, it was corrected. And you`re right, it was wrong and it was - you know, I can understand that if I were the subject of that error, I would be mad. But they like having that mistake. And here`s the thing that I think is happening. I wonder if you agree. I think they like the press screwing up. I think they take steps to essentially lay land mines where other administrations would essentially try to do hand hold. The executive order is a great example. The Obama administration, whether the substance was right or not, would have had essentially an on-the-record briefing, they would have tried to communicate what they thought the legal case was for it. They wouldn`t have dropped it and then - and let people run with it and that does induce higher errors, but I think they want people to screw up.

CARNEY: I - I mean, you`re creating a conspiracy theory which I`m not saying that`s wrong. Conspiracy theories are often right.

HAYES: No, no, no. I just -


CARNEY: But - what you - I`m going to -

HAYES: Why? I just think that they don`t want the press -

CARNEY: - remove the intention and it`s easier to mess up while covering Trump because the administration is so much less careful. That is absolutely true.

HAYES: Yes. Right. That`s my point, yes.

CARNEY: Which is another reason why more sobriety is called for. Jack Shaffer had a great piece where he said, you know, "All these journalists saying, `Oh we`re going to gird our loins, it`s time to fight against the Trump administration`. How about its time sort of buckle down a little bit more?" You know very well Chris, the serious work of journalism -

HAYES: Totally.

CARNEY: - is boring. It`s checking facts.

HAYES: And I totally agree that there is - there is a certain kind of - there is - I mean, part of it, too, is plausibility, right? So, part of what is screwing with the thermostat of journalists is that there are certain kinds of things that an administration might do that would - that would not scan as plausible, and you would say, well, they`re not going to take the MLK bust out. You know, something like that. Right? And then, it`s like - well - but then your plausibility - and you know this as a journalist. Right? You got this kind of gut check sense.

CARNEY: Right.

HAYES: Like, does that story seem like it scans? And I think everyone`s judgment of that has gone a bit haywire precisely because there are so many things that shouldn`t scan that they are doing.

CARNEY: That`s right but it tells us as much about Trump as it does about sort of the makeup of the media. That - and with Trump you`ve got two factors, one he`s a Republican and that`s - that is a foreign species to much of the media. You know that. That`s the newsroom in every - the story in every newsroom.

HAYES: I disagree with that, but continue.

CARNEY: Two, Trump is just such an erratic character. He is so different from every politician. His relationship with the truth is so much more casual. He`s so much more likely to say untruths. So you combine those two factors and it`s impossible for the average journalist I think, to sort of say, "Oh, well, that`s not - that`s not plausible."

HAYES: And also, the casualty of the truth also doesn`t care if he`s a -- caught in a lie. That moment when Peter Alexander; it was hilarious. Because he just said, it`s not a huge deal that he said - that he was wrong about this in a high stand.


HAYES: Lies one might tell. I mean, it was -

CARNEY: It was sort of, that Emoji where it`s like, "Hey, what the heck?"

HAYES: Yes. He just didn`t care.

CARNEY: I don`t know - I don`t know if that`s true.

HAYES: If someone gave it to me, I don`t care. The last thing here is, I wonder if you agree with me on this, because I`ve watched through the way the conservatives and republicans are sort of processing this Trump administration. There`s a huge spectrum. One of the things I think is, he really does feel like there`s a desire to replace Hillary Clinton with the media. Hillary Clinton was not particularly trusted. He won a sort of forced choice between him and her. She went away, the democrats are a minority power in both Houses of Congress. There`s an active choice to make the media the new Hillary Clinton.

CARNEY: Yes. You have to have an enemy. This is something all politicians know. This is why in, you know, the 2010 election when democrats had all of congress, they tried to make it be the Chamber of Commerce or Charles Koch or something like that and they`re - and they`re tuning in on the media. And I think the danger is that we are very incapable of judging how that`s playing. We get very sensitive about the attacks and I`ve seen lots of reports from my colleague like Salena Zito, that a lot of people out there - I don`t know if it`s most of them, they think Trump is beating us.

HAYES: There is -

CARNEY: They think Trump is running against the media.

HAYES: - 100 percent a certain - there is a certain proportion of the electorate, I don`t know how large it is that enjoys it. And I think actually the point that he made about how - you know, your trust is low, that is a sort of undergirding statement of fact that sort of drives all this. Tim Carney -

CARNEY: And he wants to make the trust lower.

HAYES: Well clearly. That`s the whole agenda. Tim Carney, thanks for your time.

CARNEY: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Coming up. Why were some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus locked out of a meeting on Capitol Hill with officials from ICE? That remarkable scene and what happened inside, next.


HAYES: On Capitol Hill today, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were shut out of a meeting between a bipartisan group of lawmakers and Immigration Officials including the acting director of ICE. The Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus attended the meeting as well as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but Congressman Luis Gutierrez and others from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who said they wanted to participate because the stories they are hearing from Immigrant Communities right now are terrifying were prevented from entering.


LUIS GUTIERREZ, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM ILLINOIS: They`re in there fighting for us, we`re very proud of Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership. They`re in there fighting for us. We sent them in there. Whip Hoyer and all of us sent them in there to fight for us.


HAYES: Inside that room, ICE officials briefed members on what one Congressman described as a mass deportation plan, in which all 11 million undocumented people in this country, are now subject to arrest and deportation. We`ll tell you a story of just what that looks like on the ground. It is a shocking one after this short break.

HAYES: A Democrat who was at today`s meeting with immigration officials, Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham told NBC News that they were informed by ICE that President Trump`s immigration executive order, that`s not the travel ban, it`s another one he signed, opens all 11 million undocumented immigrants to arrest and deportation.

And congressman Joaquin Castro said after meeting - after attending the ICE meeting, it`s hard not to conclude President Trump has started his mass deportation plan. Castro said he thought about how to describe it. Families are scared. But it must be called what it appears to be.

It`s already clear ICE has been doing things differently. There is the story of a woman reportedly detained after her domestic abuse hearing in El Paso, Texas, in the hallway outside the courthouse. She was the victim at that hearing. And the count county attorney suspects it was her alleged abuser who tipped off ICE agents.

Think about that for a moment. There`s a story of men being detained after exiting the Rising Hope Mission Church`s hypothermia shelter in Fairfax County, Virginia. Oscar Orlando Ramirez said the agents eventually allowed him to go free after verifying he was in the country legally, others from that homeless shelter corroborated the story. They say they saw multiple Latino men taken away in a van at a nearby shopping center. It`s unclear if those men left the shelter.

And perhaps most controversially, a DACA recipient arrested. A young man, brought to the country without documentation as a minor, shielded from deportation, and who twice cleared government background checks, immigration advocates dispute the man was a gang member now as alleged by ICE.

Today, President Trump addressed the change in enforcement tactics.


TRUMP: Some people are so surprised that we`re having strong borders. Well, that`s what I`ve been talking about for a year and a half, strong borders. They`re so surprised. Oh, he having strong borders. Well, that`s what I`ve been talking about to the press and everybody else.


HAYES: In cities across the country today, stores were shuttered, protested mounted in a day without immigrants coordinated action.

Joining me now, Cristina Jimenez, co-founder of executive director of United We Dream.

And Christina, I wonder if you can talk about what kind of ripple effect these stories anecdotally about these specific ICE detentions are having amongst folks both documented and undocumented.

CRISTINA JIMENEZ, UNITED WE DREAM: Thanks, Chris, for having me. I mean, this is clear terror in our communities. Chris, there were raids in Brooklyn, New York, the borough right next to mine. I grew up undocumented. My parents are undocumented. My brother, Jonathan, is a DACA recipient. That means that I fear that my family could be next, like Guadalupe, who is a mother that has who has been here over 20 years with children that were born here who was deported. Jeanette who had to seek refuge in a church. And you have DACA recipients that even though the program is still current, are also getting detained.

And so this is unfortunately the impact that the executive orders that Trump signed in the first week as president that is basically criminalizing all of us and putting all of us at the risk of deportation.

HAYES: What do you say to people who say you are here in violation of the country`s immigration laws and this is an enforcement of that law?

JIMENEZ: What I say to people that think like that, Chris, is my parents are my heroes. My parents and I came to this country over 16 years ago, fleeing poverty and violence in Ecuador where I was born and all we have done is worked here, raised our family here and try to fulfill dreams like me being the first person going going to college. And that presents no threat to this country. And that`s what I will tell to these people.

HAYES: You said your brother is a DACA recipient. Are you DACA eligible?

JIMENEZ: I am not. I`m not a DACA recipient.

HAYES: OK, so your brother is. And the president was asked specifically about DACA. This is, of course, the executive action the president, former President Obama took to essentially protect a category of people who has been brought here as children from deportation. This is what the president brought here today.


TRUMP: To me, it`s one of the most difficult subjects I have, because you have these incredible kids, in many cases, not in all cases. In some of the cases they`re having DACA and they`re gang members and they`re drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids. I would say mostly. They were brought here in such a way, it`s a very, very tough subject.

We are going to deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don`t forget, and I have and to convince them that what I`m saying is right.


HAYES: Do you believe that? Was that encouraging to you?

JIMENEZ: No, Chris. If Trump, or anyone in his administration, including General Kelly, who is leading the Department of Homeland Security now, if they cared about young people, if they cared about people like my brother Jonathan, who is DACA recipient, they wouldn`t be terrorizing us and they wouldn`t be terrorizing our families and deporting in less than two weeks over 600 people.

So no we don`t believe him. And it needs to be clear to them that if they want to claim that there is some sort of, as he says heart, on this situation and dealing with our communities is that, one, they need to leave the DACA program in place and they need to stop terrorizing our communities from deportation, which means get rid of the executive orders that you signed the first week.

HAYES: All right, Cristina Jimenez, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

JIMENEZ: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, another setback from the Trump administration as the grass-roots resistance continues to grow stronger. More on that ahead. Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two. You know, it`s my favorite moment in the show and it comes right after this break.


HAYES: Thing One tonight. Toward the end of President Trump`s press conference today he said, quote, "I want to find a friendly reporter." Judging by the president`s response, the question he received next, one might think he was the victim of a severe verbal attack.


TRUMP: Let me just tell you something that I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question.


HAYES: Can you guess what question President Trump was asked, which he called repulsive. Here`s a hint. It`s related to last night`s Thing One, Thing Two. And we`ll play you that question in 60 seconds.



TRUMP: Let me just tell you something that I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question.


HAYES: A reporter asked a question at today`s presidential press conference that Donald Trump called repulsive. Here is that question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven`t seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or any of the - anyone on your staff of being anti-Semitic. We understand that you have Jewish grandchildren, you are their grandfather.

TRUMP: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: However, what we are concerned about, and what we haven`t heard being addressed, is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it. There have been reports out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks.


HAYES: For the second day in a row, the president was asked about rising anti-Semitism, that report of threats being called into Jewish centers. As you heard, the reporter began by saying members of his community do not view President Trump or his staff as anti-Semitic, simply asked what government plans to do about the uptick of anti-Semitism.


TRUMP: OK. Sit down, I understand the rest of your question.

So here`s the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you`ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people as a Republican...


TRUMP: Quiet, quiet. Quiet. See, he lied about -- he was going to get up and ask a straight simple question. So, you know, welcome to the world of the media.

But let me just tell you something that I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me -- and you heard the prime minister, you heard Netanyahu yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said I`ve known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said forget it.

So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.



HAYES: By this time eight years ago, 28 days into the Obama administration, the president had already signed an equal pay law that has been languishing in congress. He signed a major health care bill expanding insurance to millions of low income kids. He was on the verge of signing a $787 billion stimulus package to try and save the economy and the Senate had confirmed 28 members of his team.

28 days into the Trump administration, the Senate has only confirmed 13 members of his team. The president has signed only two significant pieces of legislation, one repealed a law requiring oil companies to be transparent about payments to foreign governments, the other signed today as coal miners looked on in hard hats in the White House allows coal companies to dump debris in streams.

There`s still no sign of the much-vaunted plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, though today President Trump insisted it will happen next month and defended his administration.


TRUMP: I turn on the tv, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. There has never been a presidency that`s done so much in such a short period of time. There`s zero chaos. We are running - - this is a fine-tuned machine.


HAYES: That is completely at odds with what certain Republicans in congress are saying about this administration on the record, one of whom is in full maverick mode. It`s worth sticking around to hear that quote next.


HAYES: As the Flynn scandal unfolded this week, Senator John McCain told reporters "it`s a dysfunctional White House. Nobody knows who`s in charge and nobody knows who`s setting policies."

Then he added this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Who`s making the decisions in the White House? Is it the 31-year-old? Is it Mr. Bannon? Is it the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff? I don`t know.


HAYES: That sentiment was echoed by Republican congressman Charlie Dent on our own air last night.


REP. CHARLIE DENT, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: I believe that the White House must be much more clear in terms of its policy agenda. I feel if you`re a president of the United States and if you want to deal with health care reform or tax reform it`s an imperative that the president present a proposal to congress in bill form. That`s the ideal way to do it. Then congress will chop on it. That`s just - that`s a function of leadership.

So, I would - I certainly think that the White House does need to become more engaged on the policy specifics or the proposals that they`re advancing. That has not happened yet. And I hope it does happen soon.


HAYES: And because the White House isn`t taking the necessary steps to get bills to congress, their legislative agenda at the moment is floundering while the opposition is growing. Hundreds of people showing up to Republican town halls to protest the repeal of the ACA, prompting other Republicans to avoid them all together.

Vice News reporting that the first two months of the new congress, 292 Republicans have scheduled just 88 in-person town hall events, 35 of those sessions are for Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin who does a lot of them apparently.

According to a tabulation conducted by Legistorm, in the first two months of the previous congress, 2015, by contract, Republicans held 222 in-person town hall events.

Joining me now, Jim Manley, former chief spokesman for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and former Republican congressman David Jolly who represented Florida`s 13th district from 2014 until this year.

And I want to talk about the town halls. I want to talk about the legislative agenda, but I want to start, Jim, with the latest news about Harward. This is an individual who I`ve been talking to folks for the last two days, widely admired, Obama people like him a lot, Republicans like him a lot, highly respected, offered the job it appears to succeed Michael Flynn and turned it down.

One reporting saying a friend said that he called it a "S sandwich." What`s your reaction to that, Jim?

JIM MANLEY, FRM. SPOKESMAN FOR HARRY REID: A word that I can`t use on TV or my mother is going to get mad at me.

It`s just another example of the gang that can`t shoot straight. You know, I am in a weird position where I am desperately hoping that someone with good judgment and character is actually going to take this job because what we`ve seen so far is really, really scary and it`s only going to get worse.

HAYES: You know, the Obama people I was talking to yesterday were desperately hoping he would take the job or encouraged by it.

David, let`s talk about political capital. In normal terms, the last week would be seen as a disaster if this was another administration they would be viewed as hemorrhaging political capital. There would be fear that Republicans in congress starting to get nervous looking at both the sort of disasters, the setbacks and also approval ratings.

But we`ve been here before. I`ve covered a Trump implosion half a dozen times, a dozen times. What do you think the psychology a Republican member of congress watching this right now is?

DAVID JOLLY, FRM. CONGRESSMAN FROM FLORIDA: Listen, today is a turning point. Today was historically bad not just for President Trump, but also for the office of the presidency.

Look, it`s obvious to the nation the emperor has no clothes. Our boy president has surrounded himself by a team that tells him his coat is beautiful and he`s not wearing one.

But before the left takes vindication from that, before they take a victory lap, let`s recognize as a country the heartbreak in this and what we saw today, the anxiety that we might be faced with a president who today is not up to the task of the office he ran for. And what do we do with that?

And I think what we do with that is, listen, for the last eight years Republicans in congress have suggested rightfully that the constitution says congress is a co-equal branch. Well, just as we tried to assert our authority during an Obama administration, now is the time for a Republican congress to own the Article I authority of the congress, stand up and lead the country and let the president find his footing as he will, but lead it from Capitol Hill.

HAYES: So, that`s an interesting idea

And it gets to this interplay, now, about what this domestic legislative agenda is going to be, because we haven`t even had the big fights yet. The big fights haven`t happen.

Here`s, I thought, Jim - and you are -- you have battle scars to show for all the time that you`ve spent in the majority, in the minority on Capitol Hill with these fights. Here`s a Wahsington Post article about House Speaker Ryan, to David`s point, meeting with the White House. "Early January, House Speaker Ryan met on the issue of tax reform and the delegation with president-elect, attending were future chief stategist senior counselor Stephen Bannon, future chief of staff Reince Priebus, future senior adviser Jared Kushner, future counselor Kellyanne Conway and future senior policy adviser Steven Miller, or as John McCain calls him, the 31-year-old. As the meeting began, Ryan pointedly asked "who`s in charge?" Silence."

How much does it matter that they do not have their ducks in a row in the White House to weather an agenda to get pushed through by the Republicans in congress?

MANLEY: It makes an enormous amount of difference. The fact of the matter - if only because there`s differences not only within the House Republican caucus on tax reform and Obamacare and there`s also differences between the House and Senate Republicans.

So the fact of the matter is that both on tax care and Obamacare repeal, that is, they`re floundering right now. and the only way they`re going to get something done is with leadership from the president. And I seriously doubt they`re going to get much of that, if anything, out of this guy in the weeks and the months to come, if only because he`s so consumed by his antipathy towards the press and he`s raging, jerking from one direction to the other everyday and he can`t simply focus on trying to move a basic legislative agenda.

It`s hard. It takes work. You need to spend the time trying to put together coalitions necessary to get something out of the House and the Senate. And he`s demonstrated a complete lack of ability to do that.

HAYES: To that end, David, there`s a problem right now when you scratch the surface even about Obamacare repeal where you have got the House Freedom Caucus saying we want something similar to 2015, which is a no-go for a lot of so-called moderate members. There`s 20, 22 Republican members in districts Hillary Clinton won. You have got to think they are looking over their shoulder. They`re looking at the town halls. They`re looking at their switch board. The mobilization happening towards them is going to be making a difference in how they vote.

JOLLY: But I love the fact we`re talking about a congress and whether or not they can pass something, because listen, Donald Trump`s most sincere moments, personally, are when he is lying. He cannot be trusted. So Paul Ryan has the ability as Speaker of the House to push a Republican agenda.

Look, who knows what...

HAYES: But he can`t do it. He cannot do it with a...

JOLLY: Who knows what the Obamacare replacement will look like.

HAYES: Can he do it with the president of the United States not on board?

JOLLY: Put it on his desk.

You know what we used to say as Republicans in congress, pass our legislation, put it on Obama`s desk and dare him to veto it.

This is a moment. Let President Trump figure out how to get his sea legs underneath him. He`s not going to do it wit this current team. But that doesn`t mean that we should have an ineffective congress to day. Congress needs to do it`s job. Push a Republican agenda. That`s what the voters asked for and congress is capable of doing that. Put it on the president`s desk.

HAYES: You know what I think part of the problem with that is, David, to Jim, I don`t know if the voters wanted that in this sense. Voters -- I don`t know if -- no, I`m serious. I don`t think this election...

JOLLY: I`m with you, Chris, I got you.

HAYES: I don`t think this election was won on tax reform. Can we agree, the three of us, that whatever happened in this election in terms of what it ratified and what the electorate chose it`s not like the Paul Ryan vision of America was what won this election.

Part of the problem that strikes me, Jim, is that Trump`s appeal doesn`t even bear that much relationship to the kinds of things that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan want to get done.

MANLEY: It bears no relationship, I guess, depending on the days, sometimesit does, sometimes it doesn`t. Yeah, I mean, he`s an empty vessel. And the speaker is desperately trying to carve out something for him, throwing around his weight to try and advance an agenda. But he was on - the speaker was on another network tonight saying that the Obamacare repeal is on track to try and get done. I mean, that`s simply not true.

And the idea that tax reform is going to get done any time soon is absolutely ridiculous. Again, given the divisions that are within the Republicans, not only within the House Republican caucus but between the House and the Senate as well. And there is no - there is no presidential leadership.

HAYES: David...

MANLEY: Sorry to interrupt. One more. I mean, the only thing, you and I both have been looking at numbers that show how tight House and Senate Republicans are holding towards the president right now. What`s going on simply is they`re desperately afraid of getting on the wrong side of a Trump tweet storm.

HAYES: And I think that`s going to continue until something else - town halls, organizing, calls, polling in their own district, the mobilization that we`re seeing taking place every day that is building, that - it`s going to be a question, ultimately, for them of which they`re more afraid of, which is what a lot of politics come down to.

Jim Manley, and David Jolly, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

All right, that is All In for this evening.