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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/16/2017

Guests: Tom McClintock, Tom Perez, Susan Hennessy, Doug Chin, Anne-Marie Slaughter

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 16, 2017 Guest: Tom McClintock, Tom Perez, Susan Hennessy, Doug Chin, Anne-Marie Slaughter

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST:  - and the Speaker of the House, all good republican men, say this whole thing about President Obama wiretapping Trump is nothing but trumped up nonsense.  As I said, we`ve been here before and here we are back again to the troubling Trump reality.  The man in the White House is demonstrably capable of making up claims that have no reality.  He`s no better than the weirdo in the basement who calls in the fire alarm just to hear the sirens going past.  Well, that`s HARDBALL for now, thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



HAYES:  President Trump now admitting the bait-and-switch.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Counties that voted for you would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for Hillary - -

TRUMP:  Yes.  I know.  I know/

HAYES:  As Trumpcare puts Trump voters in the crosshairs.  Plus -

SPICER:  There`s this assumption in Washington that if you get less money, it`s a cut.

HAYES:  DNC Chair Tom Perez on the President`s plan to defund climate science and more.

MICK MULVANEY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR:  We`re not spending money on that anymore.  We consider that to be a waste of your money.

HAYES:  Then the President stands by his baseless wiretap claim despite public rejections from GOP leaders.

DEVIN NUNES, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFRONIA:  Are you going to take the tweets literally and, if you are, then clearly the President was wrong.

HAYES:  Hawaii`s Attorney General joins me on his lawsuit against Trump`s new travel ban and a Mac Attack on the fast food President

TRUMP:  What`s your secret?

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  At his inauguration, President Trump promised his voters, who he called the forgotten men and women of our country that he would fight for them and never let them down.  55 days later that looks like a very hollow promise.  The Trump administration has repeatedly unveiled policies that almost seem designed to brutalize his core constituencies.  The older blue-collar rural Americans who make up a key part of his base.  And amazingly the President himself is now copping to that fact.  Today the White House released as 2018 budget proposal which boost defense spending by $54 billion and that`s billions to pay for the boarder wall while slashing a range of programs including the Appalachian Regional Commission which invests in economic opportunities in in infrastructure Appalachian communities like McDowell County, West Virginia, where Town Hall attendees told me earlier this week, they are desperate for both jobs and infrastructure investment.  These are the forgotten men and women who power Trump`s victory.  The people that President Kennedy promised not forget in 1960 and who President Trump promised to find jobs for today.


TRUMP:  We`re going to take care of a lot of years of horrible abuse, OK?  We`re going to take - and you can count on it.  You can count on 100 percent.


HAYES:  Trump`s proposal slashes $4.7 billion in the Department of Agriculture including cuts to Rural Water and Waste Infrastructure Programs and the Rural Business Cooperative Service.  It cuts federal support for rural airports.  At the White House briefing today, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was asked about cuts to programs that fund anti-poverty initiatives like the very popular Meals on Wheels which provides food for older impoverished Americans.


MULVANEY:  Meals on Wheels sounds great. Again, that`s a state decision to fund that particular portion, to take the federal money and give it to the states, and say look, we want to give you money for programs that don`t work.  I think it`s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do to actually -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  To cut programs that help the elderly and kids?

MULVANEY:  You`re only focusing on half of the equation, right?  You`re focusing on recipients of the money.  We`re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place.


HAYES:  For the record, National Peer-reviewed Research says Meals on Wheels works.  In a statement responding the budget, the group said quote "we fear that millions of seniors who rely on us every day for a nutritious meal, safety check and visit from a volunteer will be left behind."  Mulvaney also took aim at federally funded afterschool programs including programs that provide meals to poor children making the case we need to cut aid to kids in order to boost military spending and build the wall.


MULVANEY:  They`re supposed to be educational programs, right?  That`s what they`re supposed to do.  They`re supposed to help kids who can`t - who don`t get fed at home get fed so they do better in school.  Guess what?  There`s no demonstrable evidence they`re actually doing that.  There`s no demonstrable evidence they actually helping results, to helping kids do better in school.


HAYES:  Just to be clear, the demonstrable evidence he`s talking about is whether the kids are testing better not whether or not they`re getting fed.  Then of course, there`s the White House-backed bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare which would force a low earning 64-year-old to spend more than half his income to get health insurance.  It almost seems designed to deliver the most staggering blow precisely to Trump voters.


PAUL RYAN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The President is playing a very constructive role on this and literally hand in glove every day we talk, we compare notes our teams are fused in working together and I`m very excited about that.


HAYES:  Last night, a Fox News host asked the President about the bill and the President sure didn`t sound quite as excited.


CARLSON:  This bill has as one of its centerpieces a tax cut for investors that would primarily benefit people making over $250,000 a year, already done pretty well in the past ten years, as you know. 

TRUMP:  Yes.

CARLSON:  A Bloomberg analysis showed that counties that voted for you, middle-class and working class counties, would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for Hillary -

TRUMP: Yes.  I know.  I know. 

CARLSON:  It seems like maybe this is inconsistent with the message of the last election?

TRUMP:  No.  A lot of things aren`t consistent but these are going to be negotiated.


HAYES:  And joining me now, Republican Congressman Tom McClintock who is a member of the House Budget Committee.  And Congressman, it`s good to have you with me.  I want to play for you how the OMB Director Mulvaney described the kind of decision procedure for what stays and goes in the budget.  Take a listen.


MULVANEY:  When you start looking at the places that will reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs.  The answer is no.  We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can`t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


HAYES:  Do you agree with that as the way to evaluate what should be cut in the budget?

TOM MCCLINTOCK, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA:  Sure, I think it`s a very important way to evaluate it because it`s those families that are bearing the burden of all of these programs.

HAYES:  So let me ask you this.  The average cost of the President`s trips to Mar-a-Lago are about $3 million a weekend.  He`s gone basically every weekend.  That would be $150 million a year.  Should we ask a coal miner in West Virginia to pay for the President to golf every weekend?

MCCLINTOCK:  Well, I`ve never criticized Presidents - democrat or republican - for the security arrangements that are necessary to move them about the country.  But I do think that it`s very helpful -

HAYES:  But that`s a - that`s a simple question, isn`t it?

MCCLINTOCK:  I think a helpful rule of thumb - I think it`s very helpful rule of thumb is every billion dollars we talk about here in Washington is about $8 from an average family`s budget so that`s a good way of -

HAYES:  Right.

MCCLINTOCK:  - putting these figures into family-sized numbers that have - actually have a reference point in the real world.

HAYES:  But to go back to the - to the way of thinking about this that you just endorsed, should we be asking a coal miner in West Virginia or single mom in Detroit to pay for the President to choose to play golf at his resort every weekend?

MCCLINTOCK:  Well, again, we`ve done that for many, many years with Presidents of both parties and that is one of the costs -

HAYES:  They don`t -

MCCLINTOCK:  - of the modern Presidency -

HAYES:  Respectfully Sir -

MCCLINTOCK:  -and I`ve never begrudged - and I`ve never begrudged to President the cost of security as he moves around the country.

HAYES:  Respectfully, Sir, they have not all flown to their private resort every weekend at the cost of $3 million nor have they kept a separate resident in Trump tower which cost about -

MCCLINTOCK:  Come on now.

HAYES:  $183 million a year.

MCCLINTOCK:  Pardon me, but I remember of the cost of Obama trips to Hawaii, they were enormous.  I never criticized them -

HAYES:  They are far below the current projected cost of this President.  Let me ask you this.  If you think the Presidential travel is a moot issue.  Do you honestly think that, say, a single mother in Detroit would choose to pay $1.37, which is what it costs her for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for Sesame Street or choose to say pay the salaries of all the members in Congress.

MCCLINTOCK:  I think Sesame Street is a very commercially viable enterprise and can more than stand on its own two feet.

HAYES:  But which do you think she`d rather pay for?

MCCLINTOCK:  I think she would - I don`t think she`d rather pay for either.  I think she would rather see a frugal government that spends its money as wisely and carefully as she spends what`s left after we take her money.

HAYES:  So we`ve got - we`re going to - we`re going to cut the budget on these discretionary items, right?  But there`s going to be an $800 billion tax cut that happens through the repeal of the ACA, about $600 billion of that goes to the top 2 percent, right?  Those are households that have been doing best as Donald Trump and other conservatives have said over the last ten years.  What`s the justification for that?

MCCLINTOCK:  Well Chris, you may have missed the budget hearing today where I carried an amendment that actually got bipartisan approval - not an amendment but actually a motion requesting the rules committee to look at that.  I don`t think it is defensible or sustainable for us to be giving massive tax cuts to investors while we have not assured that the tax system is supporting low-income families as they try to reach out for healthcare insurance in the new market we`re creating.  So I tend to agree with you on that.  I just wish you`d keep up with the budget committee hearings.

HAYES:  So what specifically in that - in the ACHA, what part of those tax cuts would you like to repeal?  There`s the tax cut on dividends and investment on households over $250,000.  Well, that`s a small percentage of the total $800 billion figure, right?

MCCLINTOCK:  Well, no, it`s actually - with all of the tax cuts it`s about $250 billion.  That doesn`t include the tax penalties we`re getting rid of for people who simply are right now paying the tax penalty because they don`t want to buy the ObamaCare policies.

HAYES:  Right.

MCCLINTOCK:  That mandate is gone but you still have several hundred billion dollars of other tax cuts in that bill that I think need to be retooled to assure that first and foremost we`re not leaving any families in the lurch as we shift from government-run healthcare system to a consumer-driven system where people have the widest variety of choices available to them.  We have to have the tax system support their ability to at least reach out to a basic health plan and that was the nature of the motions I made today and that carried on a bipartisan vote in the House Budget Committee.

HAYES:  So do you think we can see as this bill sort of speeds its way towards a repeal - and obviously it`s a little hard, right, because this budget doesn`t have the revenue side, right?  So we`re matching up the ACHA and this outline of the budget which doesn`t have stuff on the revenue side.  But if you sort of stitch them together, do you think you can get republican support to get rid of some of those tax cuts?

MCCLINTOCK:  Again, in the context of the - of the healthcare bill, yes, I think we have to.  Because the way it`s currently written, it`s neither defensible nor sustainable.  I don`t think the way it`s written it going to pass the Senate and if it - and if it were enacted in the law, I don`t think it would last very long.

HAYES:  Congressman, I wonder do you thing - I want to ask you finally about the wall.  And obviously again, in the context of what the federal government does, right?  These are fairly small parts of it.  I want to be clear here, right?  Most of what the federal government is Social Insurance and Defense.  Everything else is about a quarter of the entirety of it.  But the wall is going to cost about $4 billion over two years.  There`s a $2.6 billion request.  The President, I watched him do it 100 times on the campaign trail where he said "who`s going pay for the wall?  Mexico."  Do you feel taken in, bait-and-switched by the fact that the President is now going to come to congress and ask for $2.6 billion?

MCCLINTOCK:  Well, I never thought that Mexico would pay for the wall, so I don`t think I was taken in by that.  But I do think the wall is a necessary national security project of history project.  History is screaming this warning at us that countries that either cannot or will not defend the integrity of their borders simply aren`t around very long.

HAYES:  But you`re OK with the $2.6 billion appropriation?

MCCLINTOCK:  Yes.  For a vital national security (INAUDIBLE) absolutely.

HAYES:  Even though he said Mexico was going to pay for it?

MCCLINTOCK:  Absolutely.  It`s a national security issue and I`ve always agreed with Ronald Reagan on that.  To national - defense is not a budget issue, you spent what you need to spend to defend the country.  And at the moment, we have a desperate need to secure the integrity of our borders.

HAYES:  And you want to see it run the 4,000 miles, take all that rancher land, if we have to use eminent domain?

MCCLINTOCK:  The President was elected on that - on that issue partly.  And I believe that he needs to fulfill that promise and that`s important for the security of our country.

HAYES:  All right.  Congressman McClintock, thanks you for talking with me today.  I appreciate it.

MCCLINTOCK:  My pleasure.  Thanks for having me.

HAYES:  We should be clear it isn`t just Trump voters who take it on the chin.  The new White House budget proposal, the White House is proposing massive cuts to the environmental protection agency, the State Department, Labor and Agriculture Department, the Education Department and Housing and Urban Development among other areas.  And today`s White House briefing, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was asked about cuts to science funding and climate change research.


MULVANEY:  Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward, we`re not spending money on that anymore.  We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.


HAYES:  I`m joined now by DNC Chair Tom Perez, former Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration.  Good to have you here.


HAYES:  I guess, first, the reaction to the skinny budget, as it`s called, outlined by the White House today.

PEREZ:  Budgets are moral documents, they represent the values of the community and the nation.  And when you dramatically reduce investments in, for instance, work force development programs, that steelworker who loses his job or his job and we invest in them, we upskill them and we put them back to work in advance manufacturing, that`s what punching your ticket to the middle-class is about.  And these programs are at risk.  The Appalachian Regional Council, I mean, this is the heart of rural America.

HAYES:  I thought that was pretty - yes, what does that mean?  I mean, I guess there`s some - there some sort of eye glazing that happens where people think the Appalachian Regional Council, workforce development.  Like, do those actually do things?  Do they actually work?

PEREZ:  Well, you know, every dollar we spend of federal money in apprenticeship has a $27 return.  That`s real money.  I was out in Coal Country, Kentucky, not far from where you were recently.  And we were out there looking at an investment we made.  It`s a company called Bit Source, it was a startup, they do computer coding and there were about a dozen displaced coal miners and my feeling about that is anybody who is working hard we`re going to fight to make sure they have the skills to compete.  They all lost their jobs, they weren`t coming back and rather than making a promise we couldn`t keep, we invested in them.  "Coal to code", that was their motto.  And that was - we subsidize their wage for a period of time and then, it`s up to the company to decide whether to keep them.  This investment has a 90 percent return.  And what I mean by that is over 90 percent of employers at the end of that probationary period keep those workers on.

HAYES:  And that`s money -- I just want to be clear to trace this.  You`re saying that`s the money that comes from the Department of Labor Work Force Program that is under the knife right now in this budget?

PEREZ:  Correct.

HAYES:  What can democrats do in response to this?  It does seem to me like there is tremendous unity on the ACA, right?  I mean, do you have a sense that you`re going to - the democrats are going to lose any votes on ACA repeal and replace?

PEREZ:  No.  I think the democrats are remarkably united on this because we understand that the Affordable Care Act is a lifesaver.  And people --it`s not just democrats that have pre-existing conditions.  It`s not just democrats that have their son or daughter living in the basement and they`re 23 and they`re on their parents` health insurance.  And so, in the same way that we have been able to mobilize the ACA, we have to do the same thing around the budget.  I care about clean air and clean water and lead paint and lead in my drinking water and when you cut the EPA by 30 percent you are not going to keep our water safe.  And you`re not going to keep our air safe.

HAYES:  Is there a way to - I mean, it`s been interesting to watch the amount of mobilization there is around the ACA.  Suddenly it`s become very front of mind, very high stakes.  Is there a way to do that with the budget night?

PEREZ:  Define it through real people.  I`ll never forget the folks I met in Coal Country who - one guy told me, Chris, you know, I got a my - I got a call from my old job at the coal mine last week, they offered me my job back.  I told them no because I believe I have the future in coding.  And the folks I met down there, their resilience was inspiring and I was proud to invest in them because I believe in the American worker.  And we need the real faces of the American people just like the folks who talk about how the Affordable Care Act saved my life.

HAYES:  What do you say to Mulvaney`s line that - you know, we can`t ask a single mom in Detroit or a coal miner in West Virginia to pay for something like the Coalition for Public Broadcasting?

PEREZ:  Folks, I mean, let`s look at the line item.  If you - if you have - look at - look at the defense budget and what they`re trying to do there.  And by the way, our military right now is the world`s most effective military around, so let`s start with that.  You order one less plane and you are funding legal services, you`re funding so many other issues.  Budgets are moral documents and this budget reflects a total abdication of responsibility to train workers, to invest in workers, to make sure that people who are so vulnerable, whether you`re in Appalachia -

HAYES:  Right.

PEREZ:  - or whether you`re in urban America have access to basic opportunity.  And that`s what our nation has always been about.

HAYES:  All right.  Tom Perez, thanks for being here.

PEREZ:  Always a pleasure.

HAYES:  Coming up, President Trump still standing by his baseless wiretap claim.  Today his Press Secretary spent 20 minutes trying to convince reporters that the President is the subject of FBI investigation.  Weird.  The wiretap wild goose chase after this two-minute break.


HAYES:  Both congressional committees looking to the President`s completely unsupported allegation of wiretapping by President Obama have found no evidence of it.  Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee released this statement from its Republican Chairman and Democratic Vice Chairman.  "Based on the information available to us, we see no indication that Trump tower was the subject of surveillance by any element to the United States government, either before or after Election Day 2016."  Which is basically what we knew that from the beginning, particularly when we found out the President probably got the idea from a Breitbart write up of a conservative talk show rant.  The Breitbart report circulated among Trump`s senior aides.  The President refuses to admit that.  He now says he saw something on Fox News and in a remarkable exchange yesterday in which a Fox News host basically asked him doesn`t he have better information than Fox News, the President referred back to Fox News.


CARLSON:  But you`re the President.  You have to ability to gather all the evidence you want.

TRUMP:  I do.  I do.  But I think that, frankly, we have a lot right now and I think if you watch - if you watched the Bret Baier and what he was saying and what he was talking about and how he mentioned the word "wiretap" you would feel very confident that you could mention the name.  He mentioned it.  And other people have mentioned it.


HAYES:  The President also continued on a wild goose chase.


TRUMP:  But wiretap covers a lot of different things.  I think you`re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.


HAYES:  Today White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the Senate Intelligence Committee statement about no evidence of the President`s wiretapping claims and what transpired was a lengthy spectacle in which Spicer was more combative than usual.


SPICER:  Hold that -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee is saying point blank -- they say no evidence of surveillance.

SPICER:  I understand that Jonathan.  And where was your passion and where was your concern when they all said that there was no connection to Russia?  You choose not to cover that, you don`t stop the narrative, you continue to perpetuate a false narrative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`d like you to respond -

SPICER:  Hold on.  Hold on.  Let me - and I am trying to answer your question, Jonathan, if you can calm down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does the President still stand by the allegations?

SPICER:  He stands by, but again, you`re mischaracterizing what happened today.


HAYES:  Spicer even read a long list of anonymously sourced report which can only be characterized as "purporting to be in the ballpark of what the President was alleging without offering a grain of evidence of the President`s actual claims."  Later, Senator Mark Warner, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee made perfectly clear that Spicer was wrong in suggesting the community statement was somehow less than definitive.


MARK WARNER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE VICE CHAIRMAN:  But we`re 12, 13, days, almost two weeks from his tweet, we`ve seen no evidence.  There`s been no evidence from anybody in the Intelligence Community or from law enforcement that has validated that tweet.  Then, if he`s got more information, share it with at least the Intelligence Committee or retract his statement.


HAYES:  Joining me now, Susan Hennessey, former Attorney in the Office of General Counsel in the National Security Agency and a fellow National Security and Governance studies at the Brookings Institution.  Susan, I`ve been - I`ve been sort of following your commentary on this.  What do you make of all this?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY FORMER COUNSEL:  Well, I think it`s really remarkable now that we`ve seen both the republican and democratic leadership of both the House and Senate Intelligence Communities come forward and say they don`t - they haven`t seen any evidence.  This is in addition to comments by Attorney General Sessions, former intelligence officials and even reports out of the FBI that all indicate that those people don`t have reason to believe this stuff is true.  That`s significant because if President Trump`s claims are in fact accurate, that kind of behavior or conduct would have produced lots and lots of evidence.  There would have been court orders, investigatory files, communications among the interagency.  And of course the actual intercepted communications themselves.  And so, if people with access to highly classified information are saying we don`t see anything, that is a pretty strong indicator that it actually didn`t happen.

HAYES:  I mean, isn`t it - doesn`t Occam`s razor suggest that this entire thing is a dog chasing its tail and that the President watched cable news and tweeted or read an article and tweeted?  And isn`t there something - I mean, I guess at one level it`s like I discounted the claim from the beginning because very clearly there was a reporting on the source but there`s also something about one President accusing his - you know, his predecessor with essentially an illegal conspiracy that is now proving to be baseless.

HENNESSEY:  Right.  So certainly it`s - it seems highly unlikely or improbable at this point that these claims are, in fact, accurate.  And President Trump himself is sort of shifting from, wiretapping or surveillance or maybe sort of incidental collection.  I think at this point, sort of the most important thing is that the President of the United States has levied very, very  serious allegations not just against the former President but against the FBI, potentially the Intelligence Community, now he`s actually accused our closest intelligence ally in Britain of violating the Five Eyes agreement.  And so, that itself is sort of the story here.  If he`s making these claims, if he`s not willing to back that up, what are the implications of that?

HAYES:  I want to talk about British Intelligence.  So, there is a report - Judge Napolitano on Fox News said that he had sources that made an explosive claim, which is that the President of the United States asked British Intelligence to do the spying and today, Sean Spicer from the podium reiterated this.  Take a listen.


SPICER:  Last on Fox News on March 14, Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement, "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command, he didn`t use the NSA, he didn`t use the CIA, he didn`t use the FBI and he didn`t use the Department of Justice, he used GCHQ.  "What is that?  It`s the initials for the British Intelligence Spying Agency.


HAYES:  OK.  This is GCHQ`s response.  "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct wiretapping against the then President Elect are nonsense.  They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored."  This seems to be a big deal that the President`s own Spokesperson reiterated the claim of our closest ally being used to spy on an American Presidential candidate.

HENNESSEY:  Right.  So, of course it`s not that significant.  That sort of a political or television pundit would speculate about something if the Press Secretary is then repeating it, that`s another matter entirely.

So we have a relationship with Britain.  That is - that is part of the Five Eyes Agreement.  And so, this is an intelligence agreement where we basically agree not only to share large amounts of important intelligence but also not to spy on one another.  And so, really what the accusation here of - here is of our closest ally sort of violating a really core agreement.  I think you can - you can tell from the strength of their response how sort of out of line that kind of accusation is.

HAYES:  All right.  Susan Hennessey, thanks for your time

Still to come, after Trump`s new travel ban was blocked by a federal judge, the President is vowing to take the case to the Supreme Court.  The Hawaii Attorney General whose challenge led to that temporary restraining order is my guest ahead.


HAYES:  New revelations tonight about President Trump`s first National Security Adviser ties to Russia.  In particular, Michael Flynn`s 2015 paid appearance at the 10th anniversary party of the state sponsored TV network RT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Were you paid for that event?

MICHAEL FLYNN, TRUMP`S FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  You`d have to ask my - the folks at - that went over thereto -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I`m asking you.  You`d know if you were paid.

FLYNN:  Yes, I mean, I went over there as a speaking event.  It was a speaking event.  What difference does that make?  Does somebody go "He`s paid by the Russians"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, Donald Trump has made a lot of the fact that Hillary Clinton has taken money from Wall Street.

FLYNN:  Yes.  I didn`t take money from Russia, if that`s what you`re asking me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, then who paid you?

FLYNN:  My speaker`s bureau.  Ask them.


HAYES:  Well, that`s exactly what the House Oversight Committee did and his speaker`s bureau complied sending the committee documents showing not only was Michael Flynn paid nearly $34,000 for his speech at the RT anniversary dinner, the documents also show Flynn got two payments of $11,250 from a Russian cargo airline company and a Russia-based cyber security firm.  Cyber security firm Kaspersky Labs has documented ties for Russian Intelligence Agencies.  The company`s founder Eugene Kaspersky, was educated at a KGB-sponsored cryptography school and worked as a Russian intelligence agent.  Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, now wants the Trump administration to share information on Flynn`s security clearance, particularly considering the payment he received from state-sponsored R.T. (ph), writing in a letter, "Today, I cannot recall any time in our nation`s history the president selected as his national security adviser someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a  global adversary that attacked our democracy." 

Up next, Trump is now over two on his attempts to ban visitors from certain Muslim majority countries.  The attorney general who successfully argued to stop the latest travel ban going into effect joins me live next.  


HAYES:  Two different federal judges have now ruled against the Trump administration`s second attempt to ban visitors from certain Muslim majority countries.  In Maryland today, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang barred part of the executive order by citing the president`s own comments, quote, "The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the second executive order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban."

While in Hawaii yesterday, U.S.  District Judge Derrick K. Watson granted a temporary restraining order on the ban for similar reasons writing in his opinion, "a reasonable objective observer enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements and specific sequence of its events leading to its issuance would conclude that the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion."  And President Trump`s reaction to that ruling inadvertently or not managed to provide further evidence of the intent of his second travel ban.  


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT:  This new order was tailored to the dictates of the 9th Circuit`s, in my opinion, flawed ruling.  Remember this, I wasn`t thrilled. 

But the lawyers all said, oh, let`s tailor it.  This is a watered-down (ph) version of the first one.  This is a watered-down (ph) version. 

And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I want to do in the first place.  

Joining me now -- now is Hawaii`s Attorney General, Doug Chin, who`s successfully argued to block Trump`s second travel ban. 

Attorney General, let me -- let me ask you about something that you cite in your court filing.  You cite a comment.


HAYES:  .Rudy Giuliani made, which has become somewhat legendary, right, which is basically that the president asked him to explain on television how the executive order came to be.  He said, "When Mr. Trump first announced it, he said Muslim ban.  He called up, he said, put a commission together. 

Show me the right way to do it legally."  Why is that legally relevant?  That doesn`t strike me as having any legal force, what adviser to the president said -- he says at a private conversation with the president of the United States.

CHIN:  Here is our argument.  It was that context matters.   And essentially, what you have is that -- that is one of the legal issues that`s going on in this case, which is that the U.S. Department of Justice was really trying to limit the court to just the four corners of the second executive order and just the text that was in there and -- and saying, this is all neutral now. 

So let`s just -- let`s just go along with this.  There is no discriminatory intent there. 

The judge saw otherwise.  We -- we argued that there is Supreme Court case law that -- that indicates  that courts ought to look at the context behind the text in order to be able to find a discriminatory intent,  particularly if the intention is to mask what is that discriminatory intent. 

So that`s what was going on here.  Rudy Giuliani`s statement was one of them.  

HAYES:  So the -- the case here, as I understand it, and going through the filings, it really does hang on this question of intent, right?  I mean, essentially, is the intent so rotten, so sort of so deeply  unconstitutional in its desire to disfavor a single religious group in violation of the establishment clause that any iteration of it, no matter how it`s dressed up, would essentially be moved?

  I mean, that`s sort of the case you`re making. 

CHIN:  Right, exactly.  And -- and what the judge actually said yesterday in his order is he said, we actually don`t need to take the time to look into President Trump`s veiled psyche in order to be able to determine his intent.  Instead, what we have is statements made in 2015, in 2016 and then even when he was president. 

And heck, as you just showed on the tape, there we go again, there is President Trump making statements last night.  


HAYES:  Well, that`s -- that`s -- I watched that live sitting at this desk.  And it struck me in the moment having just read the -- the judge`s decision, which focused specifically on presidential speech as a -- as a sort of register of that intent.  For him to say, I want to go back to the first one, does seem to lend your argument more credence than it had before he made that utterance.  

CHIN:  Sure.  That`s not going to help his case.  And -- and of course, that`s just one more statement that`s made. 

And now, he is the president.  I think there was even an attempt to try to draw a distinction between statements that he made as a candidate, which are supposedly ones we`re not supposed to take seriously versus what he said as the president. 

We`re saying the entire context matters.  The courts ought to look at that.  

HAYES:  So one thing I -- I thought that was interesting that -- that was in your filing, the government wanted to sort of make the case.  Look, this isn`t just pre-textural (ph), right? 

We`re not reverse-engineering this around a Muslim ban to pass muster (ph).  And in fact, cabinet secretaries, the attorney general and secretary of DHS wrote a letter to the president to urge him to solve this urgent problem. 

And you note that the government refers repeatedly.

CHIN:  Right. 

HAYES:  .through a letter from attorney general, secretary of DHS, the letter is dated March 6, the very day the revised order was announced and purports to purpose the policy embodying the order, it  is hard to imagine clear  evidence of pre-text.

CHIN:  Right.  You know, when -- when we were researching this case, one of the things I learned is that there`s actually an executive order on executive orders.  There`s one that actually tells people this is how an executive order comes about. 

It starts off with agencies that -- that gather data and then make a recommendation.  And then eventually, it gets to the president`s desk and the president issues an order that`s based upon all that information. 

Here, it`s backwards.  What you have is -- you have the president making a promise that he`s going to ban Muslims from -- from the United States and making all the statements that he made. 

And then what you have is him trying to fill in the blanks by now saying, I have a neutral document.  And my -- my cabinet secretaries told me that it was going to be OK. 

HAYES:  Yes, the timing in that would seem to lend credence to that interpretation.  Doug Chin, Attorney General of Hawaii, thanks so much.  

CHIN:  Right.  Thank you.  

HAYES:  Still to come, where in the world is Rex Tillerson?  The secretary of state is in hiding from the media while the White House aims to cut nearly a third of the department`s budget. 

Plus, some turmoil in a decades-long relationship -- that`s tonight`s thing 1 and thing 2 after this break.  


HAYES:  Thing 1 tonight for around 20 minutes this morning, President Trump may have questioned his long-time love for the Golden Arches, a fast food affection he`s never been shy about, tweeting photos of his McDonald`s dinner during the campaign and gleefully  rattling off his go-to meals. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When you roll up at a McDonald`s, what is -- what does (ph) Donald Trump order?

TRUMP:  Fish delight sometimes.  The -- the Big Macs are great, the quarter-pounder with cheese.  But I think the food`s good. 

And I eat it very carefully.  You know, I do as good as -- as -- as well as I can.  


HAYES:  For a brief time in 2002, Trump was even the face of McDonald`s.  


TRUMP:  I don`t know how you do it.  I put together some really impressive deals. 

But this thing you`ve pulled off, it`s amazing.  A big and tasty for just a dollar? How do you do it?

What`s your secret? Together, Grimace, we could own this town.  


HAYES:  Beamed (ph) from an alternate universe.  So why did the McDonald`s corporate -- corporate return Trump`s years of loyalty with a tweet this morning calling him a disgusting excuse of a president?  That`s thing 2 in 60 seconds.             


HAYES:  Fast food aficionado, Donald Trump, may have been surprised to see this tweet posted at 9:16 a.m. to the McDonald`s corporate account, quote, "Donald Trump, you are actually a disgusting excuse of a president.  And we would love to have Barack Obama back. 

Also, you have tiny hands," which is pretty bold.  And then it was pinned at the top of the page about 20 minutes later.  McDonald`s corporate deleted that tweet and wrote, "Twitter notified us that our account was compromised," adding tonight, "Our Twitter account was hacked by an external source." 

It didn`t specify who that external source might be so at this point, everyone is a suspect.  


TRUMP:  How do you do it?  What`s your secret?



HAYES:  The White House made official in their budget blueprint today something that`s been clear for a while.  They don`t like the State Department very much.

And they want to seriously curtail its power.  President Trump`s budget proposes a 29 percent cut to the State Department. 

The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is on board for the slashing as he made clear today, answering the very first question he`s publicly taken from a reporter since assuming office.  


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF STATE:  The level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking particularly in this past, in particular, in this past year, is simply not sustainable.  I`m confident that with the input of the men and women of the State Department, that we are going to construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient and be able to do a lot with fewer dollars.  


HAYES:  Rex Tillerson appears to have gone from being one of the most powerful non-elected officials in the entire world to being a kind of spectral presence, making no discernible impact.  His stature is so diminished that when the top diplomat from Mexico visited Washington earlier this month, he didn`t even bother meeting with his counterpart. 

And the State Department said, they didn`t even know he was in town.  Tillerson has kept such an incredibly low profile for a top cabinet official as secretary of state, that reporters have resorted to chasing him around the world, more on that after this break.              



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mr. Secretary, China has said there will be consequences for the deployment now of anti-missile defenses in South Korea. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Can you -- can you respond to.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  .can you respond to our.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, can you respond -- we haven`t had any time in here. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m so sorry.  But we`re going to have to leave. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Andrea (ph), we need to go and the gentleman, too. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let`s go.  Let`s go, guys. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you think you`ll have a deputy anytime soon, sir? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you.  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When do you think you might have a deputy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Andrea (ph), let`s be quick (ph) please.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Come on, guys.  Let`s go.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This way.  This way.  Thank you (ph). 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Out (ph) please.  Out.


HAYES:  As you can see, our own Andrea Mitchell has been tenaciously, relentlessly trying to get simple answers out of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, ever since he took office in January.  Tillerson has so far been the least transparent secretary of state in the modern era. 

Under his tenure, the State Department got rid of daily briefings for nearly seven weeks.  And he broke with (ph) the decades of tradition again this week not taking usual pool of reporters with him on his first foreign trip to Asia. 

There is one reporter who`s been allowed to travel with the secretary.  Her name is Erin McPike.  She`s from a semi-obscure conservative outlet called the "Independent Journal Review." 

And she just happens to have published a highly complimentary piece about the secretary earlier this month.  Joining me now, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of Policy Planning at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, now the president and CEO of the think tank, New America. 

I`ve been obsessed with this press aspect of the story because it`s hard to communicate why it matters.  But it does matter that the secretary of state and the State has briefings every day that they let reporters in. 

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, CEO, NEW AMERICA:  Absolutely.  I mean, it is the way checks and balances works.  The State Department talks about what we`re doing. 

And reporters ask tough questions.  And citizens get to make up their minds about whether they agree what we`re doing.  But it`s also important for the world, right?

I mean, this is what leading or simply being an enormously important power in the world is about.  You have foreign policy and other countries get to sort of see what that is and ask questions, too.  

HAYES:  And in fact, John Kirby, who was the spokesperson in -- in the last few years of the Obama administration, I remember him telling you while preparing for the briefing and how hard it is, right, because there`s a reporter from Malaysia.


HAYES:  .who once asked you a very specific question about  U.S. bilateral relationships with Malaysia.  And then -- and you have to know all that stuff. 

A part of it is to sort of say to the rest of the world, like, we believe in a free press.  And we take questions that we put our officials out to talk about. 

SLAUGHTER:  Exactly, exactly.  And -- and indeed, that`s a model for what we think other countries ought to do.  But it`s also -- it`s part of a tradition of diplomacy that we have followed for a good century plus. 

I mean, Woodrow Wilson used to talk about secret agreements, secretly arrived at, right, that -- that the point was we were not going to do everything in public.  But we were going to be as transparent as possible to citizens on foreign policy just like domestic policy. 

  HAYES:  So you have a -- you have a book out now about sort of how you think about international relations  and diplomacy in this age, right.


HAYES:  .in this very sort of networked age in which there`s a sort of non- hierarchical institutions and categories all over the  police.  And, you know, how important is state and how important is diplomacy right now when you think about an administration that really seems to want to boost up the kind of  war-making ability and decrease the investment in diplomacy?

SLAUGHTER:  Well, I mean, the -- the military are the first people to tell us that is a serious mistake from a military angle.  I mean, indeed, Secretary Mattis said a number of years ago, "If you defund the State Department, you`ve got to buy me more bullets." 

And even then, we can`t win wars only militarily.  So it`s -- it`s -- it`s very hurtful.  It`s -- it`s destructive from a military point of view. 

But much more importantly, you know, there are things we have to do diplomatically.  We have to work with Russia. 

We -- we have to talk to them.  We have to talk to North Korea.  North Korea could put us on the edge of a nuclear crisis. 

We need to be engaged in diplomacy.  So that`s very important.  

HAYES:  It always strikes me as hard to sell diplomacy, like even myself, I just find it all kind of like opaque and ambiguous and sort of frustrating.  And there is this entire set of euphemisms, which is in -- in some sense, is the stock in (ph) trade but just sort of I find it maddening, like what do you actually mean, like it is hard.  I think part of the problem, right, is like we kind of know what war means and war looks like and what effective diplomacy is. 

It seems like a more difficult thing to communicate.  

SLAUGHTER:  Yes.  If you and I had a free and frank exchange of views, that means we nearly came to blows.  

HAYES:  Right.  That`s right.  That`s right, exactly.  

SLAUGHTER:  There is an entire protocol for describing how you talk.  That`s right.  It is hard to sell. 

But it is essential.  But what I`m arguing now is now is that`s state craft.  That`s this very closed formalized world that is generally foreign minister to foreign minister. 

Particularly, if the -- this administration is not going to invest much in state craft but even -- even if it had, we also need what I call web craft.  So frankly, Rex Tillerson as CEO of Exxon Mobil or other -- any CEO of a business, any head of a big civic group or.

HAYES:  Yes. 

SLAUGHTER:  .of a charity, any university  president, even news people, we are all part of global webs of communications, of action, of business.  We can actually ourselves network in ways that can help solve global problems.  

HAYES:  You know, it`s interesting because I remember reading posts by folks in the Middle East in some of the seven countries in the original.


HAYES:  .ban talk about actually how the pictures of the protests at the airports.


HAYES:  .served a diplomatic purpose that in some ways even surpassed.


HAYES:  .the diplomatic damage of the actions of the government itself, sort of an.


HAYES:  .example, that Ann-Marie  Slaughter, whose new book, "The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World" comes out soon.  Thanks for joining us. 

Appreciate it.  

SLAUGHTER:  Thank you.

HAYES:  All right.  Speaking of books, my new book, "A Colony in a Nation" is out in just five days.  It`s available right now for pre-order. 

And you can also join me on the book tour starting next week.  I`m going to be out across the country for two weeks. 

The schedule and details are on our Facebook page,  Some events are selling out. 

So do not wait.  That is "All In" for this evening.  "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thank you, my friend. 

HAYES:  All right.