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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/9/2017

Guests: Steve King, Leonard Lance, Karen Bass

Show: All in with Chris Hayes Date: March 9, 2017 Guest: Steve King, Leonard Lance, Karen Bass

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: Purpose of undermining our public institutions. These questions are not rhetorical sadly they are obvious, that smile of Trump`s tells you the answer. He`s dancing with the one that brung him and doesn`t mind a lick, that we know it. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: This will be a plan where you can choose your plan. And you know what the plan is? This is the plan.

HAYES: The hard sell gets harder.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We`re not jamming this down people`s throats.

HAYES: As the Republican calls to slow down and start over mount, Trumpcare, takes two steps forward in the dark of night.

PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SPEAKER: The closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

HAYES: Tonight, are staunch conservatives starting to wobble? Plus -

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Crooked Hillary Clinton, leave this race now!

HAYES: The stunning news that Michael Flynn was a literal foreign agent while he was working to elect Donald Trump.

SPICER: I don`t believe that that was known.

HAYES: Was the Trump campaign guilty of pay for play?

TRUMP: It`s called pay for play.

HAYES: And never mind Bannon, Miller, and Flynn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The era of the pajama boy is over. And the alpha males are back.

HAYES: From dozens of lobbyists, to professional survivalists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prep-ers would smash it up.

HAYES: Propublica`s exhaustive new report of the 400 Trump hires you`ve never heard of, when ALL IN starts, right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Republicans today, continued their shock-and-awe strategy to slam Trumpcare through Congress, today. Despite massive pushback, the approach is getting results for now.


RYAN: This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare. The time is here, the time is now. This is the moment, and this is the closest this will ever happen.


HAYES: When Paul Ryan says the time is now, he is not kidding. Trumpcare proponents are rushing headlong to pass the bill through Congress at an unprecedented pace. Prompting objections, even from many Republicans, among them Senator. Tom Cotton who tweeted today, "too my friends in House, pause, start over, get it right, don`t get it fast."


TOM COTTON, UNITED STATES SENAOR FROM ARKANSAS: Senator McConnell and every other Senator is well aware of where I stand, and frankly, where many Republican Senators stand who are troubled by the breakneck pace at which the House is operating. And the fact, that this bill as written today, simply would not pass the Senate.


HAYES: In 2009, the passage of Obamacare took more than a year - a time frame that was far too fast for Republicans who complained the law was being, as they liked to say, jammed down their throats.


MITCH MCCONNELL, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY: We`re being told, we must rush to pass this legislation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to slow down, and get it right. Like mom used to say, you rush, and you make mistakes.

MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: I have never seen greater evidence, that Washington, D.C. is out of touch with the American people. Than the fact that Democrats, are going to continue in their head long rush to pass a government takeover of healthcare.


HAYES: That was in November. Now, House Republicans say, they`ll pass their bill in the next few weeks. Today, just three days after introducing the bill, they passed it through a pair of committees on party line votes after a pair of all night sessions moving forward. Despite the fact that, Congressional Budget Office has yet to score the plan. So, we don`t know, nor have an estimate, of how much it will cost, or crucially, how many millions of Americans will lose their healthcare. Today, the Brookings Institution said, the CBO will likely estimate that at least 15 million people will lose coverage if Trumpcare passes. The White House, is already playing the estimate down.


SPICER: The irony of the score is that the CBO was way off the last time. If you`re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you`re looking in the wrong place.


HAYES: The reason Trumpcare proponents are moving so quickly is simple. With each and every day that passes, the list of people and institutions opposed to their bill, which already includes the AARP, every Democrat on the record, and many Congressional Republicans, gets even longer.


CHUCK SCHUMER, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM NEW YORK: Look, no one likes this bill. Hospitals, Doctors, Governors, Conservatives, Liberal, non- partisan groups and, most of all, the people who will no longer have affordable health care.


HAYES: This graphic shows just some of the non-partisan groups that have come out against the bill. In a remarkable move, the Chief Medical Officer for Medicaid has come out against it as well. Andrey Ostrovsky tweeting: "Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Associations in the opposition to the American Healthcare Act."

Some huge insurers also skeptical to the GOP`s Obamacare replacement objecting to two critical components, the tax credit structure, and changes to Medicaid expansion funding. Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan, used a power point presentation in an attempt to win over the skeptics. Again, pushing the false claim one central, to make to make a case for a piece of legislation that few seemed to like, that Obamacare is collapsing.


RYAN: This law is in the middle of a collapse, and people are quickly losing their choices. Here is what is happening under a law that is collapsing. It`s not working, that`s why it`s in a death spiral. It`s a death spiral. It`s collapsing.


HAYES: Now, more on that death spiral claim and its dubious province, later in the show. And as for President Trump, he`s also in what the White House calls "full sell mode on the bill." Meeting today with key members of congress, to talk budget and healthcare. He tweeted this afternoon: "Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end, in a beautiful picture."

Joining me now, Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa. And Congressman, a lot of your colleagues, particularly the more conservative colleagues in the House and Senate are in open revolt at the pace and process with which this bill is being considered. Are you one of those individuals?

STEVE KING, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM IOWA: I`m not an open revolt, but I am concerned about us not being able to get some of our conservative principles plugged into this legislation. So, I`m with those folks on the policy side of this thing, but not on the revolutionary side.

HAYES: Well, let me ask you this - I mean, did you feel that the Affordable Care Act was passed too quickly?

KING: We fought it for a long time but in the end, it was jammed through us. And these are the words that I`ve longed use by hook, by crook, and by legislative shenanigan. And the Democrats will admit that, I borrowed those words from them. But these considered analysis of the public is what we really need to have. It needed to happen then under Obamacare, it needs to happen now. And we shouldn`t be in such a hurry that the public doesn`t get a chance to weigh in, examine this, and make their recommendations.

HAYES: Right. So, the House version of that ACA bill was introduced by Nancy Pelosi in mid-July 2009. It got voted on the floor in November. So, it was six months. Does six months seem like an adequate or more proper framework to go through hearings? Have public airing of this?

KING: Well, that seems like a plenty long time when we look back on that. I didn`t realize it was six months before we go to that November 7th vote. I remember that exact date.

HAYES: That`s right.

KING: So - but, you know, if we had - if we had four or five weeks to work this through, that would I think to be an appropriate amount of time. The country is much more attuned to health insurance policy than they were then. I don`t know if it takes as long to examine these things. Plus, the public`s experienced, they know what they don`t want. And I don`t think we`ve come to a consensus on what they want.

HAYES: Yes. When you say, we know what they don`t want, what do you make of the fact that polling shows majority approval for the Affordable Care Act?

KING: Oh, gosh, I`d say that`s a surprise to me. And it`s - I`m surprised because the other data that I`ve seen along the way - I haven`t checked it in most recently. I wouldn`t think my colleagues would be as eager to repeal Obamacare, if the polling show that people want to keep it. But I`m eager to repeal it, of course, you know that.

HAYES: Yes. Well, that`s what`s interesting, right? I mean, it is the case this bill was unpopular for a long time, you know, 45 percent, 40 percent support. It now is majority support and 63 percent want to see it kept or expanded. You want to see it essentially, repealed? Done away with?

KING: I want it - I want it all ripped out by the roots. I want to repeal every word of it. I wrote the repeal bill in the middle of the night, March 23rd, 2010. Those 40 words end with "as if it had never been enacted." And that`s the bill that I`d like to see go from the House which is passed in the past, over to the Senate, and set it on Mitch McConnell`s desk. So, we start fresh. I say we have a bad foundation, we need to start fresh and rewrite this thing from a fresh start without being encumbered by some of the base work in Obamacare. And if there are good pieces of that, we can put them back in by consensus rather than try to save something.

HAYES: How many - how many people in your district are on the exchanges, Congressman?

KING: I don`t know that number. You may have that in front of you, Chris, but I don`t know that number.

HAYES: It`s about 11,000 or so. Do you know what`s going to happen to them under this replace bill? Have you talked to constituents? Particularly, in rural areas who are going to be paying more on out of pocket under this plan?

KING: Well, of course we don`t have that data because - first of all, we just got a look at this bill that`s been offered. And I have a whole series of proposals that I think we should do. But I will say on balance, if the American people had to decide between continuing with Obamacare the way it is and trying to subsidize it, and supplement it so it doesn`t go under; or going back the way we were? I`d be for going back the way we were, and then start the process of the reform of the existing healthcare system. And I think more people are better off that way.

HAYES: I just want to get you on the record here. So, you think the healthcare system before the Affordable Care Act with no changes, just right back to that, is superior to the one we have now?

KING: Absolutely, I believe that.

HAYES: Let me ask you this -

KING: And it left us a foundation where we can start to improve our healthcare and delivery system.

HAYES: Let me ask you this, the bet that Steve Scalise and Paul Ryan and others in leadership are making, is that everyone will roll over? That they`re going to basically make you walk the plank on this. They`re not going to listen to anything you say. They`re not going take any changes, and McCarthy was clear about that today. They`re going to make you vote for this bill, whether you like it or not. Are you going to vote for it?

KING: Well, I have a lean no today. And I owe my constituents, and everybody in this country, my best effort and my best judgement. And I think that we ought to have an opportunity to bring amendments to this legislation. They`ve got ways to go before they can say they`re close enough to have enough votes to, let`s just say, make the pitch that it`s the only train, and it`s leaving town. That`s what I think we`ll soon hear out of the whips team. But here`s what I said, that we need - we should not be advancing refundable tax credits. In the end, you`re borrowing money from China, and Saudi Arabia, and the American people, to put that money out front. We`re better off to make everybody`s premiums tax deductible. That`s one.

HAYES: Yes. I just want to - is it important to see what the scoring - you`re talking about the deficit there, right? Deficit spending. Is it important to see what the CBO scoring is?

KING: Well, that is important, yes. And, but we know that the CBO scoring was way off on Obamacare. And so, we`re confidents since CBO scoring isn`t so great -

HAYES: Yes, it wasn`t good.

KING: But we should get a sense, of at least, what they think. Now, we should get a sense of what they think.

HAYES: OK. Representative Steve King, thank you for being with us. I appreciate it.

KING: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Joining me now, Congressman - Republican Congressman Leonard Lance, of New Jersey, Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which advanced the healthcare bill this afternoon. Congressman, you`re a yes on this bill I take it?

LEONARD LANCE, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM NEW JERSEY: I was a yes in committee today, based upon the bill as it exists today. And we`ve just completed a 27-hour marathon committee hearing.

HAYES: Why are you rushing so fast?

LANCE: I don`t think we`re rushing. It came out of Energy and Commerce, and out of ways and means. But now, Chris, it goes to the Budget Committee, and it has to go through the Budget Committee, and then the Rules Committee, and then of course it`s put on the floor. And whatever we do, then goes to the Senate.

HAYES: Right. How many hearings - open hearings with witness testimony and the like, have you had on this bill?

LANCE: We`ve had a series of hearings over the last several years on the Affordable Care Act --

HAYES: No, in this Congress, though. How many hearings in this Congress on this bill?

LANCE: We have gone to the American people with Paul Ryan`s better way. And we campaigned on the fact that we were going to improve the system. And I think that`s what we`ve done.

HAYES: Right. No, I totally get that. But, right. No, I get that. But there`s legislative language now. I`m just curious, how many hearings has your committee had on this bill?

LANCE: We had a 27-hour marathon session, and I think all of the issues were vetted. And I was very proud of the committee in our bipartisan capacity.

HAYES: The one that went through the night. But how many hearings with witnesses called to offer their expert testimony, whether that`s doctors, people from the insurance industry, other folks. How many hearings has your committee had on this bill?

LANCE: We`ve had a series of hearings over the last several years on the issue. And we campaigned, Chris, on this matter over the course of the election cycle.

HAYES: But in this Congress - in this Congress - I`m sorry, I don`t want to belabor this. But in this Congress, in my understanding in this Congress on this legislation, there have been zero hearings but for the 27- hour marathon markup that went through the night. Is that correct?

LANCE: And also, the marathon in the ways and means committee. And also, the fact, that we have explained our position and it was completely transparent over the course of the 27 hours. And I think - thought it was an excellent discussion on both the Republican and the Democratic side.

HAYES: Congressman, you`re talking about a fifth of the American economy. You`re talking about maybe 15 million people losing health insurance, and you`re saying that 27 hours going through the night is sufficient?

LANCE: I think that we have to move forward. I suspect, that when it gets to the Senate there will be discussion there. But I do think the American people, Chris, want us to reform Obamacare and I am committed to doing that.

HAYES: How many people in your district are on the exchanges?

LANCE: I would say roughly 5,000 or so, Chris?

HAYES: My understanding from Kaiser Family Foundation is it`s as much as four times that, I think it`s much more like 20,000. Have you talked to them about what would happen to them? Particularly, say, a 60-year-old who makes $20,000 to $40,000, who could be looking at $7,000 to $9,000 or more out of pocket?

LANCE: Yes, I`ve had a series of town hall meetings as I`m sure you`re aware. At one town hall meeting we had 1400 people, and then at a second town hall meeting we had 900 people. And so, yes, I`ve tried to discuss these matters with constituents in the district.

HAYES: Yes, and this is - and this is genuinely commendable, we`ve lauded you on it for this program; many colleagues did not. Those town halls happened before the bill legislation was introduced? Am I correct?

LANCE: These matters with constituents in the district.

HAYES: Yes, and this is genuinely commendable. We`ve lauded for you on it for this program, many of your colleagues did not. Those town halls happened before the bill legislation was introduced. Am I correct?

LANCE: Certainly we had our principles -

HAYES: Not, but that -

LANCE: But yes it was - yes, it was before the bill was introduced.

HAYES: So, if I were in your district say, and I were on the exchange in 60 years old in making $20,000 and saw that my out-of-pocket cost were going to go up by $7,000, I didn`t know that when you had the town halls. Now that the bill actually exists, I do know that. Do you see why it might be important to have hearings or some exchanges with constituents on that fact?

LANCE: I certainly have a series of exchanges with constituents and will continue to do so. And I hope that we are improving the system because the system needs improving. So, many of my constituents have come into our offices in New Jersey indicating that the -- it`s unaffordable for them under their healthcare plans and that their deductibles have increased dramatically, their co-pays have increased dramatically, and I think we can do a better job. And I think this is a step in the right direction.

HAYES: So, is that the benchmark for you? Because it seems to me that I hear that problem identified by members of Congress across the aisle, all right. High deductibles, high co-pies, premiums going up, right? That`s the main complaint. The question on that is --

LANCE: That is one of the complaints.

HAYES: Is that the benchmark by which the solution should be judged? Which is to say, are you saying your constituent, we will bring those costs down and can you look them in the eyes and promise that will happen?

LANCE: I certainly believe that is the goal and I certainly think we have to improve the system that exists now because the system that exists now has really been so difficult for those who have been under healthcare coverage through their employment. And their deductibles have increased dramatically, their co-pays have increased dramatically and I think we have to do a better job. I also think Chris, that we should maintain portions of what occurred under Obamacare, pre-existing conditions, for example, young people on their parents` policies until they`re 26. And I have argued internally that we should at least, to some extent, continue the Medicaid enhancement.

HAYES: I want to ask you about that Medicaid enhancement. Final question for you. You have hospitals in your district, I would imagine? LANCE: Yes, of course.

HAYES: OK. What will be the effect on most hospitals and about the folks who are dependent on Medicaid when the Medicaid expansion is phased out? LANCE: The Medicaid expansion is not being phased out. It`s that the percentage that will be paid by the federal government will be at the regular Medicaid match. Not at the --

HAYES: Right, but they`re going to cut off - they`re going to cut off new enrollees which is ultimately going to sort of set it on the glide path to zero.

LANCE: States will have the ability to continue with new enrollees so long as the match will be at the regular match, not at the enhanced match.

HAYES: Right.

LANCE: I would prefer the enhanced match but -- HAYES: What is the affect going to be for the hospitals and for the poor folks in your district who depend on Medicaid? LANCE: I think that they will be able to continue to have Medicaid because I believe that New Jersey will continue the program. New Jersey is one of those states, of course, that expanded Medicaid and I hope and expect that, that will continue to be the case. And privately within my caucus, I have indicated that I think that this should be a continuation of Medicaid expansion and that was contained in our bill today. HAYES: That`s quite a roll of the dice. Congressman Leonard Lance, I appreciate it as always. Thank you, Sir. LANCE: Thank you very much.

HAYES: Still to come today, we learned the President`s former National Security Adviser worked as a foreign agent during the Trump campaign. And I do not mean that metaphorically. I mean he was literally registering -- he registered as a foreign agent. The stunning details on what it means for the on-going cloud of suspicion around the President ahead. Plus, the death of the death spiral talking point. Debunking the Republicans` favorite fear-mongering over the imminent demise of Obamacare in two minutes.



MARK BERTOLINI, AETNA CEO: So, there isn`t enough money in the ACA today as it`s structured, even with its fees and taxes to support the population that needs to be served?

DENNIS BERMAN, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FINANCIAL EDITOR: So that says to me -- what you`re saying there is Obamacare functionally is dead because financially it`s not sustainable?

BERTOLINI: It is in a death spiral.


HAYES: The CEO of Aetna on February 15th, saying Obamacare was in a death spiral. And that was welcome news for republicans who want to kill Obamacare and who jumped on the death spiral talking point.


RYAN: The CEO of Aetna, another large insurance carrier, said that Obamacare is in a death spiral, his words.

GREG WALDEN, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM OREGON: The CEO of Aetna said it`s in a death spiral. Those aren`t our words, those are his words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The head of Aetna says we`re in a death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CEO of Aetna said that Obamacare is in a death spiral.

WALDEN: The CEO of Aetna said it`s in a death spiral.

RYAN: Obamacare is in a death spiral. It is not getting any better, it`s getting worse. That`s the CEO of one of America`s leading health insurance companies, Aetna, said this just a couple weeks ago.


HAYES: Here is what they are not telling you, which is that the context in which the Aetna CEO said that. You see, Aetna had been trying to merge with rival Humana, and they threatened to pull out of the exchanges if the Obama Justice Department did not approve the merger. Don`t take my word for it.

A federal judge, in blocking that merger, pointed out Aetna`s actions and its motives. I quote here, "Aetna tried to leverage its participation in the exchanges for favorable treatment from DOJ regarding the proposed merger. Aetna`s CEO Bertolini`s deposition, Aetna`s counsel stated that if Aetna was not `happy` with the results of an upcoming meeting regarding the merger, we`re just going to pull out of all of the exchanges." The judge even pointed to a smoking-gun letter from Aetna`s CEO to the Justice Department Antitrust Division, quoting Aetna CEO "We believe it is very likely we would need to leave the public exchange business entirely and plan for additional business efficiencies should our deal ultimately be blocked."

Now, it`s also true Aetna had been losing money in the new exchanges, but it must have been expecting that to change as late as July 19, 2016, the company was still planning to expand its footprint to as many as 20 states. But, after the Justice Department sued Aetna to block the merger with Humana, Aetna announced it would cut its participation in the exchanges from 15 states down to 4. And that`s when its CEO subsequently unleashed the death spiral remark.

Joining me now, Congresswoman Karen Bass of California. And, Congresswoman, your colleagues across the aisle have been making a lot of the death spiral. They`ve quoted the Aetna CEO particularly; they keep saying that Obamacare is collapsing. What is -- what is your response to that?

KAREN BASS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: Well, you know, especially coming from the State of California which is one of the reasons why Obamacare has been successful nationwide, because California, the population is so large. I just think that that is the fear-mongering that they are using to justify what they`re getting ready to do, which is potentially cut 15 million people off of health care coverage.

I don`t believe there`s a death spiral. I don`t believe that it`s getting ready to collapse. That`s certainly not the case in California.

HAYES: I mean, you`re a congressperson, and you -- you`re going to have to vote on this at some point. I mean, do you have insurance company lobbyists for instance coming to you saying, "This isn`t a death spiral, it`s exploding, you need to bail us out, you need to do something?"

BASS: No, I don`t. You know, the insurance companies have not been lobbying us. I mean, this has been a big win for the insurance companies. Requiring everybody to have insurance coverage? You know, it`s definitely been a big win. You know, in California, we certainly attempted to pass a couple of ballot measures that would give our insurance commissioner more control over keeping the premiums lower. But the insurance companies put in tens of millions of dollars and defeated those initiatives.

So, a lot of the problems that people say are because of Obamacare, they`re not necessarily because of the Affordable Care Act, it`s because there`s not enough control on the insurance companies themselves.

HAYES: So, how long have you been in Congress, Congresswoman?

BASS: I`m in my seventh year now and I have voted over 60 times against the repeal.

HAYES: So let me ask you this, your seventh year now. Have you ever seen a piece of legislation of this magnitude and being moved this quickly in your congressional career?

BASS: No, absolutely not. And ironically, isn`t this the same thing the republicans accused the democrats of doing a year before I got here? You know, they -- we are voting on this bill and it hasn`t even been scored by the CBO.

Now, we`re expecting the CBO score in the next couple of days, but right now, we believe the CBO is going to show that about 15 million people will lose their coverage.

HAYES: Do you think there is any way to stop this in the house? I mean, it is sort of remarkable to watch leadership go to work. And I`ve spoken to some of your republican colleagues, obviously, to basically ram this through. What are your options in the minority there?

BASS: Well, hopefully that there will be enough republicans that refuse to vote for it. You know, there weren`t enough in committees, but listening to my colleagues that are in those committees, I heard that the speaker himself, personally had to come to the committee and twist some arms. So, I don`t know if they have the capacity to twist as many arms as would be needed to pass it off the floor, but we`ll certainly see.

HAYES: One of the arguments that your colleagues are making across the aisle, republicans, is that -- Paul Ryan called this an act of mercy. I mean, his argument is it`s -- the whole thing is floundering, it`s imploding; what we`re doing is going to be best for people, and in fact, we`re doing this to look out for the least of these, in biblical terms.

BASS: Oh, yes. And it`s absolutely not the case because it`s going to be the least of these who lose coverage, especially people who come from expensive states like California or like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

So, older people, low income who live in high-income areas are definitely going to be the losers and, you know, much respect for the speaker, but this is the person who wants to, in my opinion, take Medicare and turn it into vouchers. This is going to be an extremely deep cut to Medicare.

And so, the consequences of this, I think, are going to be very severe. It`s going to remind me back to the days when I worked in the emergency room in Los Angeles county, when people would come into the emergency room extremely ill. And that, ironically, of course, is what cost so much money when people come in ill.

HAYES: Right. All right. Congresswoman Karen Bass, thank you.

BASS: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Still to come, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn admits to acting as a foreign agent while working with then-candidate Trump during the presidential campaign. Those details, ahead.


HAYES: The Trump administration`s revised travel ban is facing mounting opposition. Today, several states joined Hawaii`s lawsuit against the new executive order and the State of Washington maintaining that the court injunction on the first travel ban should apply to this one as well.

Meanwhile, the other executive order the administration issued on immigration, one which expanded the categories eligible for deportation continues to be implemented across the country day by day. And this is what it looks like on the ground.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immigration authorities arrested a 22-year-old dreamer shortly after she participated in a pro-immigrant news conference in Jackson, Mississippi. There, Daniel Vargas, who was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child, asked President Trump to protect her from deportation because her deferral expired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A veteran faces the fight of his life. Miguel Perez, Jr., was born in Mexico but grew up here in Chicago. He served two tours in Afghanistan. Now, Perez faces a deportation hearing because of a non- violent drug offense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez who was apprehended by ICE agents the last Tuesday. Romulo has lived in the U.S. for more than 25 years. ICE agents took him as he was dropping off his 12 and 13-year-old daughters at school.


HAYS: Now, defenders of this new far more aggressive deportation stance will tell you that the people being handcuffed and carted off all broke the law. And this all part of the president`s way of making good on his promise of law and order.


TRUMP: When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country. In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate.


HAYES: Over the past year and a half, I`ve been working on a book about law and order called The Colony in a Nation. What I`ve come to realize, what I argue in the book is that law and order as defined by Richard Nixon all the way through Donald Trump really isn`t about law, it`s about order.

Because if it were about law, well, then how can you explain a president who admitted to and boasted about repeated sexual assault and was accused by multiple women of the same? A president whose company, according to recent reporting in The New Yorker, very well could have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a president whose own attorney general stands accused of perjury by a U.S. senator for deceiving a senate committee under oath.

Heck, if you want to be literal about breaking immigration law, there`s even pretty decent evidence that the First Lady of the United States herself was paid for work while in the U.S. on a tourist visa which is, you guessed it, against the law.

So don`t be confused. It`s not about law. What it`s about is order and promising his most ardent supporters their place in that order. And if that means deporting veterans and snatching fathers on their way to drop off their kids, well, then so be it.


HAYES: Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has now admitted that while working as a top campaign adviser to the Trump campaign, he was also working as a foreign agent. The Associated Press reported that just this week Flynn filed paperwork with the Justice Department to retroactively register as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work that, quote, "could be construed to have principally benefited the republic of Turkey."

You see, Flynn used to have a company called Flynn Intel Group, which was registered with congress as a lobbying organization and from August through November of last year -- meaning during the campaign and even after the election -- Flynn`s consulting firm was hired by a Turkish businessman with ties to Turkey`s President Erdogan. And, according to the paperwork Flynn filed with the Justice Department, part of his lobbying contract including pressuring U.S. officials to take action against a political opponent of Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen, a man who lives here in America.

On election day, The Hill published an op-ed written by Flynn calling on the United States to extradite Gulen writing, quote, "we should not provide him a safe haven."

Flynn`s final payment of $145,000 came on November 14, 2016, six days after the election.

Mind you, all of this was happening while Flynn was working as a topped adviser for Donald Trump, and while that campaign was accusing Hillary Clinton of engaging in pay for play with foreign governments.


TRUMP: One of the main things that Hillary Clinton was hiding she was hiding her pay for play scandal as secretary of state.

Hillary is the one who engaged in a corrupt pay for play scheme at the State Department.

We`ve just learned she tried to get $12 million from the king of Morocco for an appearance, one appearance, more pay for play.

Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large for Esquire.

I have to say, honestly, honestly, it`s stunning. I mean, the guy was -- he was working as a foreign agent without anyone knowing apparently -- Sean Spicer today saying the campaign didn`t know it - while he was a top adviser in the campaign.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIE: Well, I don`t believe for a second that the current president of the United States didn`t know. I mean, for a long time it was just he and Michael Flynn on the campaign trail.

See that`s what I think what people have forgotten given the fact that he actually won the election, is that at the beginning, very similar to what`s going on with the cabinet now, he couldn`t get many people to work for him. He was running that campaign on a skeleton crew.

Jeff Sessions came aboard early and Michael Flynn was there from -- Michael Flynn was present at the creation. And, you know, I mean, he`s surrounded by a bunch of people who seem very comfortable working in the universe of kleptocracies, so I`m sure he just found -- you know, he found a way to get paid and he took it.

HAYES: Well, and the question I have here -- I mean, first of all, there`s two avenues of this. One is to me it shows the importance of legislation that requires disclosure, right. We know this now confirmed because of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. You know, we don`t know the president`s tax records. We don`t know his foreign business interests. Like, all of the same things that may apply, lord knows what is out there.

This happened under everyone`s noses. There was some reporting - Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller, Michael Isikoff at Yahoo! But we know about this because of disclosure requirements and we don`t have them as they pertain to the president of the United States.

PIERCE: No, we absolutely don`t. And at this point, would you be surprised if Michael Flynn had announced today that he was a registered agent for one of the moons of Neptune? We don`t know a lot about a lot of people in this administration. And as I think you mentioned at the top of the show, we`re just now finding out the people they are hiring under the radar maybe a little bit wilder even than Michael Flynn was.

HAYES: Well, that`s exactly right. And we also have the problem of, you know, this is him coming -- first of all, by the way, the timing on the hill op-ed is amazing. It`s election day in America. This guy is the most prominent national security adviser, everyone`s heading to the polls, what`s going to happen to america and he`s publishing an op-ed being like we should extradite the dissident opponent of the guy who is paying my paycheck to lobby for, because I think he did it on that day because he thought Trump was going to lose and he was at peak influence on election day.

PIERCE: Well, either that or he thinks there are a lot of Erdogan fans in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

HAYES: That`s right, the huge Fetullah Gulen...

PIERCE: There clearly aren`t any in Pennsylvania, because that`s where this guy is, right?

So I think he was definitekly pitching for the Erdogan vote in Okana- Milwaukee (ph).

HAYES: And then you have got the fact that we still don`t know a lot about the allegations of collusion with Russia, whether they happened or not. And this is yet another revelation of essentially contact, collusion with a foreign government in this case, you know, documented in front of our faces that we did not know about before.

PIERCE: Right. I mean, obviously the ethics of dealing with foreign governments within the Trump campaign were not the conventional form of ethics of dealing with a foreign government. Pretty much it seems like it was get it while you can from whomever you can.

HAYES: Charlie Pierce, thanks for joining us.

PIERCE; Thanks, Chris. Hey, Chris, good luck with the book.

HAYES: Thank you.

Still to come, if you liked having Michael Flynn in the White House, then you`re going to love your new special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Labor. The incredible investigation into all the hires you have not heard about coming up.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, all week Press Secretary Sean Spicer has been forced to defend the GOP health care bill before the White House press corps. And yesterday, he found himself making this promise.


SPICER: This was a full effort to reach out to members in the House and the Senate. It`s going through regular order in the House. Every member of the House and the Senate will be able to have their opportunity to have amendments offered through the committee process and on the floor.


HAYES: So, taking heat over the Republican health care bill, Spicer says everyone gets to offer amendments, which sounds pretty good, right? Democrats thought so.


REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER, (D) NEW YORK: The White House indicated today we would have an open rule on the ACA repeal bill.

And Mr. Spicer said "every member of the House and Senate will be able to have their opportunity to have amendments offered well through the committee process and on the floor." We are very excited to hear this news because he said every member so that translates to an open rule.


HAYES: But not everyone on Capitol Hill was very excited by Sean Spicer`s comments. Actually, the chairman of the House rules committee, Pete Sessions, was absolutely not very excited. And that`s Thing 2 in 60 seconds.


HAYES: How did Pete Sessions, the Republican chair of the House rules committee react to the White House claim that every member of congress can offer amendments to the health care bill? Well, watch for yourself.


REP. JIM MCGOVERN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Under your definition of "every member" would Democrats be included in that?

REP. PETE SESSIONS, (R) TEXAS: I`m sorry, my definition?

MCGOVERN: I mean, in the rules committee? I mean...

SESSIONS: Let me ask you this, are we in reference to what the press secretary...

MCGOVERN: Yeah, the press secretary said that...

SESSIONS: Well, that is an entirely different article of the constitution.

MCGOVERN: Would you be saying that the press secretary was wrong in making the declaration that we would essentially have an open rule?

SESSIONS: You know what, I will just point blank say that I would encourage Mr. Spicer if he thinks he`s going to start talking about my business give me a darned call.

MCGOVERN: I`ll pass that on.


SESSIONS: I try not to get in his business and I don`t appreciate him getting in my business.


HAYES: OK. But that`s not all, Congressman Sessions couldn`t resist adding one more little comment about the new press secretary.


SESSIONS: I`ve known Sean and his parents. I think he`s from Rhode Island. Fine young man.




CURTIS ELLIS: The fact is that the people are dying, the jobs have gone overseas and back in the 1960s this plan was hatched, the plan to eliminate the white working people, eliminate the blue-collar working people from positions of power in the Democratic Party.


HAYES: Last May, a guy named Curtis Ellis was a guest on Steve Bannon`s radio show. He had written a column titled "The radical left`s ethnic cleansing of America" for a fringe web site World Net Daily, which popularized the theory that Barack Obama wasn`t born in the U.S.

Well, fast forward a few months and Curtis Ellis is now an employee of the United States government serving as special assistant to the secretary of labor in the Trump administration, that`s according to a new report from ProPublica which obtained a list of more than 400 new political appointees to the federal government. We`ll tell you about some of the other new appointees, including a survivalist at the Treasury Department next.



UNIDENIFIED FEMALE: Who do you envision as your end consumer?

JOHN PURDUE: I thought 14-year-old boys that want to go plink out in the backyard would snatch this thing up, preppers would snatch it up because of the other things we have added to it.


HAYES: That`s John Purdue, a self-described guerrilla warfare expert, author of "The War of All the People: the Nexus of Latin american Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism" and inventor of the pack bow featured on CNBC`s make me a millionaire inventor.

It`s a bow and arrow that doubles as a compass, tent pole,walking stick, spear fishing rig, and water purification tablet receptacle.

And according to a list of Trump administration hires obtained by ProPublica, Purdue now works at the Treasury Department.

There`s also Danny Tiso, newly hired to the Department of Labor. According to ProPublica, Tiso`s his LinkedIn page says he just graduated from high school in 2015. A local New Hampshire paper reported he made honor role in 2010 when he was in sixth grade.

I`m joined now by Justin Elliot, investigative reporter for ProRublica and MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of the majority report.

Justin, let me just say, this is great reporting. You`ve got a database folks can go check out of 400 political hires at the agencies. Normally you would haven`t to go through a lot of effort to find this out. Normally administrations tell you who they`re hiring.

JUSTIN ELLIOTT, PROPUBLICA: Right. And the other thing that`s different here is that Trump is not nominating people for roles that require Senate confirmation. He actually said the other day that he thinks that a lot of these jobs like deputy secretary of X don`t need to be hired. And so these people on the so-called beachhead teams in different federal agencies in many places are the only representatives of the White House in these agencies. So that`s what this list represents.

HAYES: I mean, so you`ve got these folks like John Purdue who wrote this pretty kooky book, I actually went through a little bit of it, about the nexus between jihadis and Latin American radicals. This guy is basically there in Treasury we think as sort of the White House`s, like, eyes and ears.

ELLIOTT: Right. I mean, we`re not sure what many of these people are doing. I mean, as you mentioned, some of them seem to be like 23-year-old Trump campaign staffers who like ran the campaign in Kentucky, some of them are like real Washington people.

HAYES: Lobbyists.

ELLIOTT: Right, we found around 36, at least 36 registered -- former registered lobbyists. This is not a swamp-draining group of people.

HAYES: 36 lobbyists now working in the agencies, including a guy from a Palantir, which is a huge defense contractor on the tech side now at the Department of Defense.

ELLIOTT: That`s right.

There`s a guy named Jeff Burr who is the head of government relations through the construction industry trade association who is now at the Department of Labor and Trump by the way during the campaign -- this doesn`t get brought up a lot, but he actually told several interviewers that he would haven`t a problem banning lobbyists from his administration. So there are many lobbyists. A lot of campaign people, former hill staffers and then some of these sort of fringe types.

HAYES: Sam, I want to talk to you about a guy who`s actually not in the agencies, he is the White House, a guy named Sebastian Gorko. We played a little clip of him at the top of the show.

This guy is quite a colorful character. He is associated friends with Frank Gaffney who is a sort of notorious anti-Muslim bigot. What should we know about Sebastian Gorka?

SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: Dr. G., as I think he refers to himself. He -- I mean, he is the guy who was a Breitbart writer, I think that had Donald Trump not won the election he would be lobbying to get on World Net Daily television or internet television which is, you know, just gives you -- it`s not a criticism of World Net Daily television, just an indication of where he slots in in terms of his idea set.

He is both a self-proclaimed counterterrorism expert and an anti-SJW alpha male.

HAYES: He`s like a real Breitbart dude. He`s got - been criticized by actual terrorism experts who have - he`s called one of them and berated them because he was getting attacked on Twitter.

SEDER: Yes, and that audio leaked?

HAYES: He is very high up in the White House.

SEDER: He`s very high up in the White House.

We should also say to be fair to him he carries around a medal that his father received for his anti -- well, it depends on -- I mean, the history is, frankly, it`s a medal that is widely associated with anti-Semitism from Hungary. He argues that he can`t possibly be a neo-Nazi because he`s not a communist. He`s done that on Hannity.

So, he`s an odd figure, but he`s highly placed in the administration. And I can tell you, you can go back and look at some of things that he`s said on television and Donald Trump repeats those phrases.

HAYES: He is a Trump whisperer.

The point I mean with Gorka and with this guy who was on the honor role in sixth grade, there is an entire sort of level of the professional government that isn`t in there right now, right?


HAYES: The key point here is these people we`re talking about are there, the whole level of, like, well, I served in previous administrations, I kind of know what I`m doing, I can be confirmed by a Senate to be a deputy, that doesn`t exist in the government right now.

ELLIOTT: Right. I mean, as we`ve seen even with these cabinet nominations that have to go through the Senate, you have a public debate, you have scrutiny by congress, you get to have a discussion about is the policy of the administration on X.

The concern of some people is that by installing these beachhead teams who wouldn`t even tell us their names, we had to file FOIA requests, these are people that have not been exposed to the scrutiny of the senate. It`s hard for journalists to report on them. In many cases we still sdon`t know what they`re doing.

HAYES: We only learned about them because of you guys FOIAing them and putting them on the public database which you can find at ProPublica, which is a tremendous public service. Justin Elliott, Sam Seder, thank you both.

That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.


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