All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/28/2017

Guests: Jackie Speier, Matthew Miller, Maxine Waters, David Jolly, Charlie Pierce, Ed Markey

Show: All in with Chris Hayes Date: March 28, 2017 Guest: Jackie Speier, Matthew Miller, Maxine Waters, David Jolly, Charlie Pierce, Ed Markey

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from San Francisco, I`m Chris Hayes and we have a big show tonight, including my interview with a senator who says the President today signed a declaration of war on the environment. The new federal probe into who the President is hosting at Mar-a-Lago and who he`s paying for it. and Congresswoman Maxine Waters on why she doesn`t trust the house Russia probe.

They begin with news on that front. Eight days since the FBI confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee it`s investigating possible links between Russia and the President`s campaign, the work of that committee has been effectively halted. Its subsequent meetings cancelled, and its Chairman Devin Nunes under a cloud of suspicion concerning his relationship to the White House that he`s supposed to be investigating. All this comes amidst a whole host of new questions about Trump campaign associates, their financial activities and ties to Russian oligarchs, including one individual on particular, Paul Manafort who had offered to be interviewed by the Committee. NBC News Reports tonight that a bank in Cypress, investigated accounts associated with President Donald Trump`s former Campaign Manager -- Chairman for possible money laundering. That`s according to two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses. Manafort the was associated with at least 15 bank accounts, and ten companies on Cypress, dating back to 2007, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally according to court documents. The accounts have since been closed, a. spokesman said they were all used for legitimate purposes, meanwhile, it`s been just over a week since, of course, FBI Director James Comey`s historic revelation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election. And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia`s efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Today, there was supposed to be yet another open hearing before that House Intelligence Committee, with testimony from three former Obama administration officials. Former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney Sally Yates. Now Yates was of course briefly held over and then fired by the White House, the Trump Administration, for refusing to enforce the President`s original travel ban. And she was expected to testify about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced out last month after being revealed to have lied about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador. Weeks earlier, it was Yates who had warned the White House that Flynn was lying and might be vulnerable to Russian black mail. According to the Washington Post, Yates had made clear to government officials that her testimony to the committee probably would contradict some statements that White House officials had made. But Yates was not ultimately called to testify today. And according to documents obtained by the Post, the Trump administration may not have wanted her to. In a letter dated last Friday, March 24th, a Justice Department official notified Yates` attorney her testimony would likely be covered by executive privilege. As such, quote, "she needs to consult with the White House before appearing in front of the committee." Yates` attorney then wrote a letter to the White House also dated March 24th asking if they did in fact intend to evoke executive privilege. That very same day, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes called off the hearing, claiming he was being pushed back to make room for a second private session with Comey and the NSA Director. That hearing, however, did not happen today either. And ranking member Adam Schiff was not buying it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: It was very apparent from the beginning that was a dodge. The whole idea of having a second hearing, with Comey and Rogers was designed to camouflage the real object, which was cancellation of the hearing which Sally Yates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A spokesman for Nunes denied coordinating with the White House on the schedule, while White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back on the Post`s reporting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I hope she testifies. I look forward it to. It was never -- let`s be honest, the hearing was never -- was actually never notified, if they choose to move forward, great. we have no problem with her testifying. And that`s why the Washington Post should be ashamed how it handled this story. It was 100 percent false.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All this comes amid the continued firestorm over Nunes announcement last week that he had seen incidentally collected surveillance on members of the President`s team. Information he communicated to the President and the public before even sharing it with his colleagues on the Intelligence Committee. After Nunes admitted yesterday, his information came from a source he met with on the White House grounds, democratic lawmakers calling the Chairman to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia`s interference in the election, they`re now joined by at least one republican, Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina. Nevertheless, Nunes is still defying now bipartisan pressure to come clean about what he learned and how he learned it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your critics say you`re just too close to the Trump administration to lead this investigation.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I don`t know they actually said that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you share your source, familiar source to the committee?

NUNES: We will never reveal our sources and methods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even to the other members of the committee?

NUNES: Nope, never.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It wasn`t just the Yates that got the ax. According to democratic members of the Intelligence Committee, all the committee`s business this week has been canceled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: The first day back, which was yesterday, we have a 5:00 meeting to review the events of the previous week. Meeting canceled. Opening meeting tomorrow canceled. We were to have a meeting on Thursday to go over something totally separate, canceled. So not only -- you know, not only is this investigation sort of had a shadow cast on it, but the committee has been put into suspended animation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining us now, Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, a member of the House Intelligent Committee. Do you agree with your colleague? Are you -- has the Chairman essentially pressed pause frozen your committee?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: The committee is ground to a halt. And it`s a -- it`s a great offense. I think the American people, for all of us who serve on the Committee, I think we`re deeply perplexed by the actions by the Chair and we need some accounting of what`s really going on.

HAYES: The Chair keeps -- on the Sally Yates for just one example, he keeps giving explanations that seem a little sketchy or it`s easy to imagine that they`re not the real truth. Do you think the Chair of your Committee is lying to you right now?

SPEIER: Chris, I can`t go that far. But I think he spelled out very specifically how over the course of the last eight days and it all starts with Director Comey`s statement, where he doesn`t just say, we`re looking into the potential involvement by the Russians since the election. When he starts making the link with Trump associates, of the campaign, and their coordination with Russia, that was brand-new news to all of us. And it really sent shock waves through the Committee that day and everything came to a halt after that pronouncement. After that hearing, everything started unraveling. And I really believe that what`s happened is that President Trump has won, once again with distraction. I mean, we`re not talking about the connection by Russia and Trump associates, we`re not talking about their actual involvement in the election process, we`re talking about alternative issues that are unrelated to what is the crux. I mean, Russia is our adversary, and they keep doing things that are provocative like violating the INF treaty. And not a word comes out of the White House. It is really astonishing.

HAYES: So I want to come back to this question one more time because you said you wouldn`t go that far. And I`ve noted that this is a committee that has worked in an uncommonly bipartisan fashion. A lot of business is done behind closed doors which perhaps facilitate that. You said you wouldn`t go that far when I asked you if the Chairman was lying to you. Let me ask you this, when he says this was a logistical reason that I canceled Sally Yates, we want to have her testify. Is he telling the truth?

SPEIER: Well, I think it was very clear that they did not want that public hearing to happen. And so they used obfuscation, they use another excuse that they wanted a closed hearing to create kind of a plausible excuse for why it didn`t take place. but I would -- I would be very surprised if this public hearing takes place. I`m going to demand it. but I don`t think there`s an interest in wanting to have disclosed the kinds of statements that will come out by all three of those witnesses.

HAYES: So, can this committee do anything? I mean, it`s just -- I find -- I`m having a hard time imagining how this is a functioning body. Every day, there`s some action taken by the Chair of this committee who may in every other course of business he does be tremendously effective. But in this particular area, he seems inexplicable or covering something up. Can this committee ever be reconstituted on this investigation the way that anyone can have trust in?

SPEIER: A good question, you know, his behavior and conduct is so different from what I have seen over the last two years. It`s a very different Devin Nunes. So I can`t begin to tell you how much I think the White House is behind all this. I really think they want to shut down this investigation in the House.

HAYES: You think they`re calling the shots? Do you think -- do you think they`re --

SPEIER: I do. I absolutely do.

HAYES: And you think they`re reaching out. You think they have direct contact and they are literally telling him what to do and how to protect them?

SPEIER: I am not saying they`re doing that. But I think they are very engaged in this whole really strange and aberrant behavior.

HAYES: Aberrant, that is a pungent adjective and appropriate in the setting. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, thank you very much.

SPEIER: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC Political Analyst Robert Costa, National Political Reporter to the Washington post and Matthew Miller former Spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder, former Director of the Office of Public Affairs at Justice Department. Bob, let me start with you. Let`s say you assume that there`s nothing untoward at the bottom of all of this, and let`s say you hope to see the President`s people cleared and your republicans believe that. Doesn`t it still, isn`t it still the case that Nunes` behavior is not helping your case?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: There is such deep partisanship in Washington, Chris. I just stepped over here from the Capitol. I spoke with Chairman Nunes today and he told me that he -- no one`s asking him to step down within his party except for Walter Jones who`s kind of an outsider within the party from North Carolina. So you see the wagons being circled, everyone is rallying to Nunes` side. Though there are some questions being thrown privately in the republican cloakroom Nunes` way, some congressman are saying, maybe he should have a better explanation. But no one is really calling on him en masse to quit.

HAYES: Matthew, what do you make of this Sally Yates situation? The assertion of a possibility of a privilege over an official of the Justice Department seems to me a novel legal theory at the very least?

MATTHEW MILLER, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER`S FORMER SPOKESMAN: Yes, it`s novel. And that`s what Sally Yates` lawyer said in the -- in the response to the Justice Department and the White House. I think it`s clear what was happening, the White House was trying to prevent Sally Yates from testifying about her meeting with Don McGahn, when she warned him about Mike Flynn not being candid about his calls with the Russian Ambassador. But they were trying to do it in a way they didn`t get caught. And like every other piece of this cover-up, both from the White House and from Chairman Nunes, they did it in a way that was completely incompetent. And they got caught. You know, they were trying to send a signal to the Justice Department, look, if you go up and testify, you will violate your - - you know, the privileges to which you are obligated. Executive privilege, maybe attorney/client privilege, and Sally Yates called their bluff and put it on the record saying, "look, if you`re going to block me from testifying, you`re going to have to send me a letter, the White House, we want a letter from you that says you can`t testify." And obviously, that`s an uncomfortable thing for the White House to do. It would have looked really nasty, and I think that`s why you saw Chairman Nunes go ahead and canceled hearing.

HAYES: I see.

MILLER: Possibly they didn`t want her to testify.

HAYES: Right. So the idea is if you -- if you could send a warning letter, get them to back away without them actually asserting executive privilege, then you sort of solved your problem without looking like you`re getting -- trying to get someone not to testify so that you`re covering it up. She called their bluff. Next thing you know, it gets canceled.

MILLER: That is exactly right. If you look at the chronology in these letters, it is clear, Sally Yates` lawyer had a conversation, maybe a couple of conversations, a meeting with the Justice Department before any of these letters were sent. And was told by the Justice Department there are various privileges that you could be violating if you go up and talk. And to be clear, it wasn`t just that you go up and talk (INAUDIBLE). It`s that if you go up and talk about this meeting you had where you warned the White House about Mike Flynn, it was that thing they didn`t want her to talk about this committee.

HAYES: Bob, you got really good sourcing in the republican caucus, particularly in the House, but on both sides. And I wonder, are they worried about this? I can see two ways. I can see them thinking, "it`s fine, and no one really worries about this and we`ll be fine." Or I can see them start to -- start to think, "well, we got sessions recuse, calls for Nunes, possibility of things moving forward in the Senate Intelligence Committee. This may start to get serious.

COSTA: So I was outside of votes about an hour ago at the House, talking to a lot of republicans. And their basic view is this. Whatever Nunes has seen, whatever the Chairman has seen at the White House from his source that he will not reveal, there is a real urgency within the GOP ranks to get that information out. Because if Nunes says he has information that counters all this other information out there, well, and the consensus is that there was not kind of under surveillance of the Trump campaign associates, that these people weren`t actually named, then publicans in the House and in the Senate want that information to be revealed because they think it would in their words vindicate Trump. But they don`t have that information. All they have is a statement from Chairman Nunes saying he`s seen it. But they don`t know what it is --

HAYES: Right.

COSTA: -- and they don`t know who the source is?

HAYES: We got this situation, Matthew. Every day it gets more surreal. You know, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee basically saying I hold in my box everything you wanted to see and asked for, and believe me, I checked inside, it is all those things, you have to trust me. It just seems like that. A tough thing -- a tough fa‡ade for him to maintain for very long.

MILLER: It`s really tough because none of the answers add up. Starting with the fact about where he got this from. You know, he has admitted now. He got this from someone in a meeting on the White House grounds. You know who can clear you into the White House grounds? Someone that works in the White House, no one else in Washington. Not someone that works at the CIA, not someone that works at the DNI. Only someone that works at the White House. So it`s pretty clear, although he doesn`t want to admit it yet, that whatever information it is he has, he got from the White House.

HAYES: That`s right.

MILLER: And so, the whole thing is a little bit of a farce. I said earlier, it was -- it is incompetent. I mean, this is one of the most incompetent cover ups I think in history. It`s almost silly.

HAYES: All right. Robert Costa and Matthew Miller. Thanks, for making time.

MILLER: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She called for the Russia- Trump investigations to be taken outs of that House Intelligence Committee weeks before the currently unfolding Nunes debacle. She joins me to talk about that and why Hillary Clinton is coming to her defense after an attack from Fox News after this two-minute break.

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REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: I think we have to do everything that we possibly can, to take the investigations out of the House and even out of the Senate. Even though I have more feelings about it being in the House and not thinking that it can really be incredible than I do in the Senate. I do think that we have some opportunities --

HAYES: I want to -- I want to make sure I`m understanding that. You trust the Senate more than you trust the House in terms of the relative the two committees now working on it? The intelligence --

WATERS: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A few weeks ago on this show, Congresswoman Maxine Waters was ahead of the game when she conveyed a lack of trust for the House investigation into the President`s possible connections to Russia`s interference in the election. Then in a statement last week, before it was revealed House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes had a secret White House meeting, and before it was learned that Nunes briefed the President on intelligence reports, without talking to fellow committee members, Waters said quote, "it is clear to me the House Intelligence Committee under the leadership of Chairman Nunes cannot be trusted to thoroughly investigate this matter." And perhaps the reason the Congresswoman has been ahead of the game on all this is because she`s determined to be a bull work against the President`s agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATER: When we fight against this President and we point out how dangerous that he is for this society and for this country. We are fighting for the democracy. We are fighting for America. We`re saying to those who say they`re patriotic but they turn a blind eye to the destruction that he is about to cause this country. You are not nearly as patriotic as we are. And my mission and my goal is to make sure that he does not remain President of the United States of America.

HAYES: Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters, democrat from California. And Congresswoman, it was that clip that was played earlier today on another cable news program on Fox, in which Bill O`Reilly had a really disparaging thing to say about you. He apologized but then proceed apparently to attack you again on his program tonight. And I wondered if you to respond to that.

WATERS: No, I`m not responding to him. First of all, let me thank Hillary Clinton for standing up for all women, and in particular for black women. And let me just say this, I`m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be a friend of Bill O`Reilly or anybody. And I`d like to say to women out there everywhere, don`t allow these right wing talking heads, these dishonorable people to intimidate you or scare you, be who you are, do what you do, and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country. Bill O`Reilly and Roger Ailes have no credibility. They have been sued by women. They have had to pay millions of dollars out in fines for harassment and other kind of things. And so we know about that checkered past. And we also know that when a woman stands up and speaks truth to power that there will be attempt to put her down. And so, I`m not going to be put down, I`m not going to go anywhere. I`m going to stay on the issues. And the issues are basically these. We have a President of the United States, who does not deserve to be President. We have a President of the United States who has wrapped his arms around Putin and Russia and the Kremlin and I believe --

HAYES: Let me --

WATERS: -- that if we do credible investigation, particularly if we have independent investigations, that they will find that there was collusion. This President has come into this office, he`s disrespected our allies, across the world. He has tried to dismantle comprehensive healthcare for everybody under the ObamaCare. This is the President who won`t even show his taxes. And I know what they are trying to do. They are trying to distract. That`s a tactic that they use. When you talk about them, when you pin them down, when you are able to unveil all that they`re doing, they`ll try to shut you down. I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on message. I`m going to fight for the people of this country. I`m going to fight for comprehensive healthcare and I don`t care about Bill O`Reilly or Ailes or Trump or any of them. We have a responsibility as elected officials to do good public policy in the best interest of all the people. That`s what I`m going to do. I`m not going to stop.

HAYES: Let me -- let me ask you this

WATERS: Yes.

HAYES: That sentence, he doesn`t deserve to be President. I mean, you`ve been incredibly outspoken.

WATERS: Yes.

HAYES: You have used really pointed language on this program about the people around him, well, what does that mean that he doesn`t deserve to be President, what do you mean by that?

WATERS: Well, first of all, let`s take a look at the campaign, and I`ve said over and over again, I`ve never seen a grown person dishonor a disabled person in the way that he did. He mocked him, and he mimicked him. And I was struck by that. I just thought that that was so inhumane that a President, someone wanting to be President, could not possibly think that way. I don`t like the way he talked about women and grabbing women by their private parts. I don`t like the way that he treated Hillary Clinton and the way that he kind of stopped her in a debate and got in her face and called her crooked. I don`t even like the way that he treated some of his own colleagues and so, he came to the Presidency with the kind of character and background that made me distrust him or not honor him and not respect him. And, of course, he got the Presidency because he was able to get those votes from those few states that put him, made him the winner rather. And so he`s the President of the United States, people are still talking about he`s going to change, he`s going to become Presidential. He has not changed. He is not Presidential. As a matter of fact, he is worse now than even he was in the campaign. And I think that he does not deserve to represent us in the world. We are being disrespected all over the world and if he wants to continue talking about how great Putin is, and how bad the past President was, then I know something`s wrong with this person. And he doesn`t deserve to be President.

HAYES: Do you -- do you think that your colleagues, I mean, particularly after the debacle that was their attempt at healthcare, do you think that your republican colleagues behind closed doors might be more inclined to agree with you about the, at least the ability and confidence of the man occupying the White House than they were say 60 days ago?

WATERS: Well, you know, I think they should be getting nervous by now. I think they should be getting nervous by now, because every day, we wake up to a new potential scandal or something that has taken place that doesn`t make good sense. Nunes and going up to the White House, a day before the announcement, that he tried to make about the under surveillance, trying to give cover to the President, because the President lied and said that Obama had wiretapped him, all of this is crazy. And I don`t think they`re going to be able to stand with him. But in the final analysis, I don`t think that they can stand with him because of the way that he is embracing Russia and the Kremlin and Putin. What is it about Putin that makes him think that he`s such a great leader as he has said? Did they and his people collude with the Russians when they undermined our democracy? In fact, our intelligence agency have told us that they wanted Trump to be President of the United States. And they wanted Hillary to be defeated. They said that --

HAYES: Right.

WATERS: -- our intelligence people know that information. And now all we`ve got to do is do credible investigations, so we can find out whether or not there was collusion and if there was collusion, he deserves to be impeached and I`m not going to stop saying it.

HAYES: All right. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you for joining us.

WATERS: You`re welcome.

HAYES: Ahead, President Trump seals his climate legacy with the stroke of a pen in the name of a promise he cannot keep. The executive order Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, they called a declaration of war on green energy next.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will put our miners back to work. Today I`m taking bold action to follow through on that promise. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal and have clean coal. Really clean coal.

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HAYES: President Trump today putting himself squarely on the wrong side of history, signing an executive order that does little for coal miners while handing a gift to coal industry executives, as part of his ongoing effort to roll back President Obama`s landmark actions to combat climate change. The executive order which scrapped six Obama area climate change actions rescinds a temporary band on new coal leases on federal lands and instructing Environmental Protection Agency to review Obama`s clean power plan to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. Despite being called the Energy Independence Executive Order, the order does not reflect a serious effort to achieve domestic energy independence. There is no mention of domestic wind power or solar power or biofuels despite the fact the coal industry is now responsible for less than 75,000 American jobs, while wind, solar and biofuels, are renewables, now employ more than 650,000 people. The President`s order may help the coal industry a bit in the short term, but regulation isn`t what`s killing coal. Mechanization has been driving job losses in the mines for decades, in the recent years, the industry is in a sharp decline amid the rise of cheap natural gas and renewable energy sources, a trend that will only continue.

As a spokesman for one utility told The Wall Street Journal today, going forward, we anticipate an increase in renewable generation capacity and declining utilization of coal. The president may be pretending coal jobs are coming back, but the very people of McDowell County, West Virginia, said otherwise during our town hall earlier this month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The president of the United States is not going to wave some magic wand and he`s not going to pass legislation that is going to reopen the coal mines here in McDowell County. That`s not happening?

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HAYES: When we come back, Senator Ed Markey on what he sees as an environmental declaration of war by the president after this break.

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TRUMP: The action I`m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, fellas. It`s been a long time.

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HAYES: President Trump today shortly before signing an executive order rollback President Obama`s efforts to combat climate change by gutting regulations designed to reduce carbon pollution.

I`m joined now by Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a member of the Senate environment and public works committee, a long time proponent of clean energy and environmnental protection.

Senator, you called it a declaration of war. What`d you mean by that and is it really that bad?

SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Yeah, it`s a declaration of war. It`s not an executive order. It basically looks at every one of President Obama`s actions and it tries to strip them off of the books.

This is basically an attack on science, on climate, on the clean energy revolution, which has been creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in our country because of Obama era policies.

And so, yeah, this is just another promise that he made to almost take a luddite-like approach to new technologies and so this is the battle. We`re going to now basically deal with a guy who will be, refuses to accept the reality that the planet is running a fever. There are no emergency rooms for planets. And we have to engage if preventative care to reduce the temperature before it causes catastrophic consequences, not just for the United States but all across the planets, and today he just basically said he`s going to deny, he`s going to defund, and for us that means a disaster is now possible.

HAYES: So it also seems that he`s making promises -- I read a really interesting interview with a the coal executive who cautioned the president to perhaps bring expectations down on the coal job front just because he was saying we`re not going to get a bunch more new coal jobs.

He is setting himself for a sense of betrayal in those places like McDowell County and other parts of coal country.

MARKEY: Ultimately, that coal executive is correct. In 2016, there were 14,000 new megawatts of solar, there were 8,000 new megawatts of wind, there 8,000 new megawatts of natural gas, which has half of the greenhouse gases of coal. How much new coal was there last year in America? Zero. How much new coal is going to be brought online there year in America? Zero.

Wind, solar, and natural gas at half the pollutants of coal, that`s the generation capacity of choice for energy executives. Basically, what`s happening is that there is not a war on coal, there is a clean energy revolution that is taking place in our country and it`s a false promise to the coal miners.

HAYES: So if that`s the case, if that is the case, right, if there is a lot of sunk costs, there`s already a lot of investment capital driving that direction, there`s utilities and others working on 10, 15, 20-year timescales, I guess the question is, is the market going to take a signal from this that`s really going to be deleterious to the development of renewable energy or will it be able plow past this kind of thing?

MARKEY: Well, that will depend upon whether or not he now turns to the solar tax breaks, to the wind tax breaks.

HAYES: Uh-huh, right.

MARKEY: To the kinds of -- let`s admit it, the private sector investment in companies like Tesla that were reliant upon the fuel economy standards going to 54.5 miles per gallon in the year 2025. He now says he`s going to take a new look at that.

The clean power rules that we`re going to have a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by the year 2030. He is now going to take those off the books.

So if they look at the tax brakes, if they look at some of these other regulations that were driving innovation, then, in fact, he could do some damage.

But at the same time, as you pointed out, Chris, there is a longer-term trend here towards innovation that is going to be absolutely impossible for him to stop. And, if we don`t continue to pick up the pace, the Chinese will create the jobs in their country. The Indians will create the jobs in their country. The Germans will create the jobs in their country and then the rest of the world will import the technologies from their countries rather than from our country.

We invented the internet era, the dotcom boom, the broadband revolution. We are the beneficiaries. We branded Google and eBay and Amazon and Hulu all across the planet. We`re in danger of losing that branding of the United States as the energy innovation capital of the planet.

HAYES: All right. Senator Ed Markey, thanks for being with me tonight.

MARKEY: You know what, thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, a White House constantly embroiled in the scandal, now a probe into the so-called winter White House, and whether it`s even secure enough for the president to be doing official business there.

But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

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HAYES: Thing One tonight, in the days since President Trump tried and failed to overturn President Obama`s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, he suffered another setback. President Trump now has a lower approval rating than President Obama ever had.

For two days straight, President Trump`s job approval has sat at just 36 percent. And that is less than 100 days in when president`s typically enjoy a kind of honeymoon, inflated public approval. President Trump`s approval right now, however, is lower than President Obama`s approval ever was over eight years.

President Obama dipped to 38 percent three years into his first term in 2011, again if 2014. There is one area in which President Trump might be able to best his predecessor, but today he declined to even try. And that is Thing Two in 60 seconds.

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TRUMP: (SINGING)

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HAYES: We are less than a week from baseball`s opening day, but President Trump will not be heading out to the ball game. Today, the president declined an invitation from the Washington Nationals to throw out the first pitch on opening day on Monday, which means, he will pass up a rare opportunity to show up his predecessor who`s toss in 2010 was just a bit outside.

Now, Trump has thrown out a first pitch before. In August 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston, although we don`t have video of the attempt, which is somewhat remarkable in and of itself, the photos appear to show a rather unconventional throwing motion. Maybe he got it in there for a strike.

But to be fair, no one said throwing 60 feet from a major league mound was easy. The best just make it look easy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome former Chicago resident and lifelong Cubs fan Chris Hayes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Scrutiny of President Trump`s frequent use of his Palm Beach golf resort Mar-a Lago is about to reach a whole new level. The Government Accountability Office, the official government watchdog, will now review a host of possible issues, including whether classified information is being properly protected, the security measures taken to screen guests and visitors, measures taken to ensure that fees charged by Mar-a Lago are fair and reasonable and whether the U.S. Treasury has gotten payments from hotels owned by the president.

That last point refers to the Trump organization`s vow to donate profits from foreign entities, using his properties to the U.S. Treasury in an attempt avoid conflicts of interest.

Trump organization now says such donations will be made at the end of the calendar year, Senate Democrats had requested the GAO review.

Democrats are also pushing a bill to require the release of visitor blogs at Mar-a-Lago.

But the concern about Mar-a-Lago are part of a long list of controversies facing the White House with ongoing Russia investigations in the forefront. Charlie Pierce and former Congressman David Jolly join me on the Trump administration`s constant state of scandal next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: At the White House briefing today, Press Secretary Sean Spicer took issue with the words and expression of April Ryan, a White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Two-and-a-half months in, you got the (inaudible) story today, you got other things going on. You`ve got Russia, you`ve got wiretapping, you`ve got...

SPICER: No, we don`t have that. You`ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that`s a Russian connection, but every single person...

RYAN: That`s not...

SPICER: No, I appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is -- no, hold on. At some point, report the facts. The facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion, Republican, Democrat, so I`m sorry that that disgusts you. You`re shaking your head.

RYAN: I`m listening and I`m trying to...

SPICER: OK. But understand this, but at some point the facts are what they are. It seems like you`re hell-bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays because at the end of the day...

RYAN: The (inaudible) called for that name. I am just reporting...

SPICER: But you know what you asking me a question and I`m going to answer it which is the president -- I`m sorry, please stop shaking your head again. But at some point the reality is that this president continues to reach out to individuals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Just to be clear, despite Spicer`s efforts to dismiss connections to Russia, the FBI has confirmed in an open hearing from its director that it`s currently investigating ties between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Joining me now, former Congressman David Jolly of Florida and Charlie Pierce, writer-at-large for Esquire, latest piece titled "Sean Spicer looks like a bigger fool today than he did yesterday."

Charlie, do you want to talk about that moment in the briefing room there, because that seemed -- I don`t know what the right way to characterize it is, but it seems to me that the Russia stuff and the sort of questions swirling around this White House are getting to everyone -- Spicer, the president in his tweets last night as well.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Yeah, I mean -- I don`t have to explain to you, Chris, why I feel a certain bond with April Ryan since we all shared a stage with an epic moment in the history of Steve King at the Republican National Convention.

Yeah, if you are going to get up there and tell people not to shake their heads, first of all, you look like a fool. And second of all, you`re just asking for other less polite gestures. It`s only a matter of time before somebody in that audience flips him off.

HAYES: Yeah, I just -- you know, I should say April Ryan was going to come on the show tonight. She had to cancel for scheduling reasons. She`s obviously a friend of the show. She`s been on a lot. And the temperature in that room, obviously, Spicer there got extremely heated.

And I wonder, David, part of -- there`s a theory about sort of political capital and particularly legislatively that it`s kind of a bank account that you draw down on.

FMR. REP. DAVID JOLLY (R), FLORIDA: Sure.

HAYES: And that different things you do you kind of draw out of the account, right. So, when you make a big legislative push and it either succeeds or fails, that can take money out. When you have scandals swirling around, investigations and that all sort of lowers your ability to get things through congress.

As someone who served in congress, is that a plausible theory of how this all works?

JOLLY: Of course it is.

But even the April Ryan moment. Listen, that was a moment my wife and I were watching on TV today. And you knew, you just saw a live moment that defines this administration. It was a disgusting moment.

Sean Spicer personally, I don`t believe would have treated a white male journalist the way he treated April Ryan. And we can have that debate later. But Republicans continue to get in their own way during this first 100 days, be it talking about crowd sizes, being it Russia and Nunes, be it today`s event, and they never have the opportunity to have a contest of ideas.

Listen, the Devin Nunes thing right now is complicating the first 100 days, it`s complicating health care. Devin Nunes needs to go to Paul Ryan and say for the good of the country, for the good of the country, I should no longer be chairman of this committee.

And Paul Ryan should say for the good of the country, let`s appoint an independent counsel who frankly will get to the bottom of this and subpoena Trump`s taxes.

HAYES: That, I mean, I admire your honesty on that issue. Charlie, I think the fear on Capitol Hill has to be that if that advice were taken, that was only going to expand the capacity of inquiry on Capitol Hill and make it impossible for them to get the tax cuts they want through tax reform.

PIERCE: Yeah, I believe -- and one of -- I don`t have many basic principles in politics, but one of them is that the United States of America is the greatest country ever devised to make a career out of being completely out of your mind. But this administration is pushing the boundaries of American absurdity at this point.

I mean, sitting through the Neil Gorsuch hearings where nobody wanted to talk about Merrick Garland and everybody pretended that Neil Gorsuch was being roasted on a spit in front of that committee. I mean, the whole week -- last week was filled with this sense of unreality. And I think that, you know, I thought for a long time that if Paul Ryan was allowed to get the tax cuts he so rosily dreams of, he was willing to put up with almost anything from the White House.

Now, I`m tending towards what Congressman Jolly says which is basically, nobody is going to get anything because everybody keeps getting in each other`s way.

HAYES: And that, you know, congressman, David, that strikes me as what the contract implicit or even explicit always was, was we`re going to look the other way for all these million different reasons of things the White House does, the possible conflicts of interest, the Russia stuff, because we have this legislative agenda that we`ve got this shot to pass.

And to the degree that it doesn`t look like the White House can credibly steward that, you wonder if that makes that implicit contract fall apart.

JOLLY: But I`m taking a totally different approach, Chris, and I`m a former Republican member of congress who is frustrated with the party I don`t recognize right now.

The reason I say Trump should say give it to an independent counsel, the reason that we should see Republicans say let`s have a contest of ideas, is we either believe in a conservative agenda or we don`t. And when Republicans continue to get in their own way, we never have that contest of ideas. And so if the first 100 days are defined by a Watergate-like investigation into Russia and a president who continues to lie, if it`s defined by a budget that says we`re going to cut meals from the elderly, we`re going to fire Elmo and Big Bird, we`re going to cut medical research, Republicans never have the credibility with the American people to actually push for changes to Obamacare and push for tax reform.

My advice to the president is get out of your own way and let`s have a contest of ideas, and be the adult in the room. But he hasn`t done that yet, and Republicans are going to lose in `18 because of it.

HAYES: I will say this as a closing thought just that those are the things you listed are ideas. I mean, that kind of budget, the things embodied in AHCA, those are ideas. They just have so far not proven...

JOLLY: Those are Trump ideas.

HAYES: Right, well that`s true. David Jolly and Charlie Pierce, thank you very much for your time tonight.

I want to say thanks again to everyone that`s been coming out to my events for a Colony in a Nation, which is out now. Today was especially awesome because I got to meet Rachel Maddow`s dad, that`s us right there selfie style.

Tomorrow, I`m in Seattle. And on Friday I`ll be in Chicago with a couple of different stops there. Details are on our Facebook page. Take a look and you can see if I`m in your area. And please stop by.

That`s All In for this evening and the aforementioned Rachel Maddow show starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END

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