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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 4/10/2017

Guests: Rick Wilson, Kori Schake, Cory Booker, Leon Wolf, Tara Dowdell, Dave Weigel

Show: All in with Chris Hayes Date: April 10, 2017 Guest: Rick Wilson, Kori Schake, Cory Booker, Leon Wolf, Tara Dowdell, Dave Weigel

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: - winning writer. I love the radio, I love to know where your heart is on Saturday morning, my Favorite time of the week. And though we never vote the same, certainly not the same, consistently, you teach me, better yet, you remind me. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We`re not just going to become the world`s policeman running around the - running around the world.

HAYES: Dueling visions.

SPICER: If we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action.

HAYES: As a White House struggles to define the Trump doctrine, the President scraps a key campaign policy.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It is a very special thing and a very special happening.

HAYES: Senator Cory Booker responds to Trump`s first 80 days, the Syria strikes and the law and order push.

PEYTON GRINNELL, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF: We are coming for you, run.

HAYES: Plus, the disturbing scene aboard an over booked united Flight.

And with the first test of the Trump era tomorrow, why Republicans are suddenly pouring money into special elections.

TRUMP: These fools that are running our Country, they`re fools.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. There`s no formal designation for President`s first 100 days, merely a symbolic period to measure his early successes or failures. But it`s hard to imagine a President who`d care more about how he`s judged on the one currently occupying the White House. According to Politico, White House staffer on edge, as judgment day approaches, 100 days is the marker and we`ve got essentially two-and-a-half weeks to turn everything around said White House official. This is going to be a monumental task. Noting the timing, the President took credit today for the one big ticket item so far to get crossed off the republican checklist. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch who took the oath of office to become the newest Supreme Court Justice.


TRUMP: It`s something so special. In fact, I`ve always heard that the most important thing that a President of the United States does is appoint people, hopefully, great people like this appointment to the United States Supreme Court. And I can say, this is a great honor. And I got it done in the first 100 days, that`s even nice. You think that`s easy?


HAYES: While the President did nominate Gorsuch, credit for his confirmation surely belongs to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who rammed it through the Senate, blew up the filibuster, after freezing out President Obama`s nominate Merrick Garland, adopting an entirely historically unprecedented posture of refusing to even hold hearings for Garland, the President`s nominee. Besides Gorsuch though, every major effort undertaken by this White House has fallen into some kind of disarray. Take the recent attack on Syria in response, according to the White House, the Assad regime`s use of chemical weapons, a move that directly contradicted just about everything the President has said in the past about foreign intervention in general, and Syria in particular.

Now in the aftermath, it`s impossible to tell just where he stands on the broader conflict in Syria, arguably, the biggest source of current and global instability. With top members of his own foreign policy team directly contradicting each other on the record about whether the administration supports toppling Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.


REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES, SECRETARY OF STATE: We can navigate a political outcome in which the Syrian people, in fact, will determine Bashar al-Assad`s fate and his legitimacy.

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: There is no political solution that any of us can see with Assad at the lead.


HAYES: His lack of coherence is not an exception. It is the rule. Just look at the on-going civil war in the White House, a battle of ideologies within Jared Kushner`s New York-based establishment faction and Steve Bannon radical ethno-nationalist. According to New York Times, the President has warned his son-in-law and Chief Strategist, to quote, "work this out." Today, Business Insider reports editors at Breitbart, the Web site formerly run by Bannon told staffers to stop writing stories critical of Kushner.

But even if Bannon and Kushner managed to kiss and makeup, it will not resolve the larger ideological battle for control of the administration`s entire domestic agenda. Because at the core, there is no agenda. Not with a man who seems to lack any interest of substance of policy occupying Oval Office. He may have campaigned on certain issues but now it appears, they`re entirely expendable. According to the A.P., the President has scrapped the very Tax plan he campaigned on going back to the drawing board in a search Republican Consensus behind legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax system. He`s reportedly even considering unorthodox proposal like a drastic cut to payroll tax aimed at pleasing democrats. The president was similarly all over the place on the healthcare bill.

First, happy to abandon it after installed in the House then pledging to work with democrats to fix the system then announcing republican efforts were back on. And now, after a string of setbacks, including the healthcare bill, both travel bans being held up in court, the on-going Russia scandal which turns on day by day and very public and ugly White House in fighting. Members of the administration are reportedly looking to quote "rebrand." According to Politico, staffers at a recent communications meeting were broken into three groups complete with white boards, markers and giant butcher block-typed paper to brainstorm list of early successes. When the subject turn to foreign policy, Communications Director Mike Dubke diagnosed a deeper problem in the remark that reportedly stunned the room quote, "there is no Trump doctrine." Joining me now former RNC Chairman Michael Steele now MSNBC Political Analyst and Rick Wilson, Republican Media Strategist and Political Consultant. And Michael, I`ll start with you.


HAYES: I was thinking about this today. I feel like I knew what the Trump agenda was -


HAYES: - once upon a time. If you ask me what it is now, I absolutely could not tell you.

STEELE: Well, you know, I think let`s start with this idea of a doctrine. I think people kind of forget that George Bush didn`t have a formal doctrine in place to nearly the beginning of his second term. It wasn`t like, you know, week After 9/11, there was a Bush doctrine. These things take time. The administration is getting its footing in terms of how It`s going to engage on a number of these big sticky foreign policy issues. So this idea that there`s some doctrine emerging is a little bit premature, I think.

HAYES: Well that - let me - let me say two things on that. A, I agree with you, B, no doctrine is better than a bad doctrine. So, I don`t think that there`s should be some rush to make a doctrine that`s a terrible one, which is what I think frankly the Bush doctrine was. But to me, Rick, it`s - I agree with Michael on this idea of doctrine. I`m just talking agenda. I just mean like what is up? What are you trying to do, what are you trying to do to the country? What in particular, legislatively, it`s like, what do you want to do? What is your vision and how are you making decisions to get there? And I could not tell you right now what that is.

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST AND POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Chris, this is a President with a stalking gigantic case of ADHD. He cannot focus for 30 seconds on anything. Every bright and shiny object distract him. He doesn`t believe anything in his heart. There`s no ideological north star for the sky, there`s nothing he truly cares about except for his own ego. Everything has drawn irresistibly into the event horizon of his ego. And he is not a guy who has thought about issues, thought about policies beyond what he thinks gets a good applause line at his rallies. You know, the fact that this is a guy with a - with a famous slogan on a red hat is not a legislative or political or governance agenda at all. He is a guy who is - everything is contingent. He doesn`t believe anything and that`s why he`s going to have a really tough time either getting republicans on board with a legislative plan or democrats to bring them over. There`s no path there where they trust this guy to be consistent.

HAYES: Well that - and Michael, Rick had a piece today and I`ve seen several variations of it. The trouble with Trump`s White House is Donald Trump.

STEELE: Right.

HAYES: And what I think is, particular at this moment, for this White House, it`s not that there`s infighting at the White House, there`s always infighting at the White House. It`s not about factions, there`s always factions. But, Generally, there`s a sense that the person at the center of it has some - isn`t just an empty vessel who the winner of the faction could convince to support anything. But when you read the reports, that`s coming from the White House, it`s like maybe you`ll get a carbon tax. Or maybe we`ll deport everyone. Who knows.


STEELE: Well, no, I think - I think Rick gets out of the park in terms of where the anchors of the moorings of this administration are. That`s why Bannon and all of the conversation about Bannon being relegated to some other regions of the administration is just not holding water because he has, in many respects, come to represent that mooring, that ideological mooring that Trump has not expressed an interest in. He`s open to all ideas and then he`s open to none. Whereas you`ve got to have - and this is where everybody else is starting to play a role, which is why you see the tensions rising in the west wing, they - the way they are, because it`s now nut cutting time. You`ve got to - you`ve got to settle down on a budget, which sets out priorities. You have now these conflagrations in the middle East, that`s got to be formed and shaped into something that resembles a foreign policy. And that`s where this real sticky part of governing is coming to a head.

HAYES: And that`s where also - I mean, in terms of the sort of Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson directly contradicting each other, Rick. You know, a big part of what a White House has to do is just move the entire ship of state in one direction which is difficult because there`s always different factions and different voices and different policies.


HAYES: But that is - that is proven to me evidently been a huge failing of the White House thus far. Even just - it`s not even just the policies are good or bad, but before you even get to that level of analysis, is there a policy?

WILSON: Look, every President benefits from having a strong effective Chief of Staff. Reince Priebus is a nice man, a good administrator in some ways, but he is not adult supervision for this man-baby President. He`s not able to say to Trump stop tweeting, shut up, read your speeches, go to these events, do these things, make these calls, stop having 47 people rush in and out of your office and change your mind on things every 30 seconds. You know, there`s a lot of talk about whether Reince Priebus will leave or stay. The question is would you even notice at this point. This is a President who manages himself.

HAYES: Right.

WILSON: He is not managed by a Chief of Staff and every President needs one. It`s an iron law of Washington.

STEELE: Can I, real quick, just state that is the core point right there, what Rick has said. It is - it is a part in parcel why the administration is where it is because Donald Trump basically manages himself.

HAYES: And I should say this, you Know, I mean, there are lots of things that are happening in executive in the agencies that are going to produce real tangible results. And I don`t want to downplay that, particularly on things like climate and Pruitt. But to me, the big thing that`s teed up. When you - when you get sworn in as President of the United States and you have both houses in your party, that doesn`t happen that often, you basically get to take a run at one or two, maybe three big legislative items and you get - you don`t get a lot of bites at the apple. And It is hard to get that done. And right now, if I am, you know, if I am betting on tax reform, to me, or healthcare, or anything big legislatively, to me, the odds go down every day. What do you guys say, quickly?

WILSON: Chris, listen, a lot of members of Congress were saying, to me, in November and December, hey, we`ve got a year, where we`re going to have all of the stuff we`re going to accomplish.

HAYES: Right. Exactly.

WILSON: We`ll bring him to heel. It`s going to be great. Everything`s going to go smoothly. Really? Because right now, I think nothing is going smoothly. And there`s a bleak prospect for any real big successes in the coming months.

STEELE: I think the dogs still has a little instinct to hunt on some of those big issues. I know infrastructure and the wall, for example, are going to be hot button items but there are some things where the administration can begin to carve out some legislative success. We`ll see if they`re able to do it.

HAYES: All right. Michael Steele, Rick Wilson, thank you, both.

STEELE: All right.

WILSON: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: I`m joined now by Kori Schake, Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a member - former member of the National Security Council under George W.Bush. One of the things that I`ve seen - people say about the Syria Strike is that all sorts of people who don`t like Donald Trump like that he did that. And I wonder if it makes someone who - if makes people question their views if he did the thing that you like.

KORI SCHAKE, GEORGE W. BUSH`S FORMER MEMBER OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: It`s a good question. I do think that what the President did was surprising. Not only because it was 180 degrees out from what we thought his policy was on Syria, but also because in the President`s own words in describing the strike, he defended it as not just advancing American interest, but being willing to enforce the norm in the international order against chemical weapons use. That is not just taking action in support of our interest, but also in support of big broad norms. And that, too, sounds very different than the President campaigned on.

HAYES: I have a theory about this, and as someone who`s a veteran of the Bush administration, I would love to - for you to tell me what you think of this theory. I think that anyone who gets elected President have a little bit of God complex. It`s not so normal everyday people are going to be elected President. You got to have outside stupendous ego. And then you become President, you`re the most powerful person in the world, and people starts telling like you can save humanity, you can save the world. With your might, you can intervene and you could help these people and these people and it`s just psychologically incredibly seductive to be told that and then to act on it.

SCHAKE: Yes. That sounds plausible to me. I actually think having the - having the discipline not to act on a provocation like watching pictures of children killed with sarin gas, but that is the challenge that terrorism poses, right? Because it`s always a temptation to redirect and respond to provocations like this, even when it`s not consistent with your strategy. And discipline has not been the Hallmark of President Trump`s political career.

HAYES: Do you - do you - it`s interesting you use the word "terrorism" to describe this attack. Is that - I mean, I think of it as a war crime, and to the extent that we know that it was Assad, which it seems to be the case, although it`s hard to be definitive about all of this, it was a state actor that pulled it off. What do you mean by "terrorism."

SCHAKE: Yes. I mean terrorizing a population by using weapons of mass destruction. So you`re right, it`s not, technically, a terrorist organization because it`s a state government. But it was unquestionably an act of terror, designed either to try and break resistance of the population to what -

HAYES: right.

SCHAKE: - Assad is trying to impose on them or just to kill a lot of people.

HAYES: I really interpreted the primary, the central foreign policy issue that got litigated in the republican primary was the Bush doctrine was vision of sort of neo-conservatism. American military might married to some vision of regime change in transformation that definitively lost in the primary, definitively rejected by republican. And I wonder the extent to what you, as someone who is in the world more than I am, whether the people around the republican foreign policy establishment still do adhere to that and ultimately are going to carry the day because they`re just the people around to staff this President.

SCHAKE: Well, most of the republicans who believe those - who support those principal positions aren`t actually staffing this President, right?

HAYES: right.

SCHAKE: Because it was all of the signers of the never Trump letters. So that`s what makes so surprising, what looks like a Migration towards those same policies by the President himself. So it`s not just that sensible members of the cabinet that help all of us sleep better at night, despite the President`s erratic behavior, but it`s the President himself made a surprisingly Wilsonian speech about the strikes in Syria, Right?


SCHAKE: Closing off, not just saying God bless America -

HAYES: Everyone.

SCHAKE: - but everyone.


SCHAKE: And there were - he cast his nets very widely in that speech, I thought.

HAYES: All right. Kori Schake, thanks for your time.

SCHAKE: Thanks.

HAYES: After the break, Senator Cory Booker joins me to assess the Trump administration. The quote "law and order policies and policing approaches" like this new video out of Florida. Cory Booker here, just after this two- minute break.


HAYES: Donald Trump pledge he`d be a law and order President and yesterday, we got yet another glimpse of what that will mean. In a piece titled "How Jeff Sessions Wants to Bring Back the War on Drugs", the Washington Post highlighted a man name Steven Cook, former cop who became a Federal Prosecutor who Sessions has appointed one of his top Lieutenants to help undue the criminal justice policies from Obama and a former Attorney General Eric Holder. Cook has called organizations that are against mandatory and minimum sentences, quote "anti-Law Enforcement Groups" and has argued the Criminal Justice System which has produced the most incarcerated society on earth, is working just as it should.


STEVE COOK, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I`ve been in the system, I`ve been in a federal prosecutor since 1985, seven years before that, I was on the street dealing with these thugs. What we did beginning in 1985 or long in there is put these laws to work. What we did by putting them to work, is we started filling the Federal Prisons not State Prisons, Federal Prisons with the worst of the worst.


HAYES: I sat down with Senator Cory Booker, a democrat who`s worked with republicans to try to reform our Criminal Justice System. We talked about whether the justice department that wants to roll back some of the Obama era progress, such as the desire to end federal oversight of local Police Departments that had been seen abusing their authority.


CORY BOOKER, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY: This one is really one that disturbs me, the time that you have so much discontent in this country about police-community relations. I was one of these folks that when I was mayor of a big city, I was skeptical of consent decrees.

HAYES: Were you?

BOOKER: But - I was, really. Absolutely. They came into Newark, and I was like, wait, what are you -

HAYES: Because you don`t want - want control.

BOOKER: Yes, I didn`t want just the control. But I was like why? You know, we`re working really hard on these issues. But what most people don`t understand about this consent decrees, it`s not the justice department coming in and tell you what to do, they actually do a real analysis. And for me, it was like getting millions of dollars` worth of consulting to help us understand how to best and more effectively run our Police Department, to the point now that my - we have great Police Director in New Jersey - in Newark, rather, Italian cop from the - you know, who grew up in the department who is raving about having this partnership. And so people get this wrong, they think it`s like, police morale versus community relations, public safety, no. They`re not mutually exclusive, they`re intrinsically linked to each other. It`s not the (INAUDIBLE) this is liberation at the end. You can have - the way to have effective public safety, the way to have a great morale on the Police Department is to power the police to do their job well. Because most cops, pretty much all of them actually want to be really effective on their job and want to have connections with the Community.

HAYES: So there is, I think, there is this foreign bipartisan consensus about some of the failures of the war on drugs and the approach to crime that produced mass incarceration. You`re someone who`s been very outspoken on that. And there`s a question now about, now that we`re dealing with this opioid epidemic, it is predominantly in white areas if we`re going to get a different approach. And I want to play this video. It`s been going around online.

BOOKER: Please.

HAYES: It indicates to me, that people think, well, now its white communities. we`re going to see a lot of more empathy and treatment, but I`m a little unsold on that because I think the punitive impulse is strong. Take a look, this is Lake County, Florida. This is the local Police Department warning to drug dealers in their community. Take a look.


GRINNELL: To the dealers that are pushing this poison, I have a message for you. We`re coming for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight wondering if tonight is the night our SWAT Team Blows your front doors off the Hinges. We are coming for you. If our agents can show the nexus between you the pusher of poison and the person that overdoses and dies, we will charge you with murder. We are coming for you. Run.


HAYES: Now, I get people feeling like they`re in the midst of a crisis and emergency and something must be done. But I ask you, how much of the - how much have we learned our lesson about what we did wrong the first time?

BOOKER: Well, that`s very disappointing sort of messaging to me to deal with a crisis that, in many ways, the whole way we approach the drug war, most Americans don`t realize we were pretty much the same as globally when it comes to incarceration rates. Once you declare the war on drugs, it has massive spike incarceration, 800 percent increase in incarceration on the federal level, 500 percent increase on the - on the state level. Again, we know the racial impact of this because there`s no difference between blacks and whites for using drugs or selling -

HAYES: In fact, white people --- good evidence that white people use drugs at a higher rate actually.

BOOKER: Even selling of drugs of some evidence that smaller degree for white men, but the realities is African-Americans almost four times more likely. But worse than that, it`s only sort - this sort of police racial bias and manifestation of that where these - where the things are targeted. But not only we filling our prisons with people of color, but it`s poor folks, as one of my heroes says, Brian Stevenson, we have a justice that will treat you better if you`re rich and guilty than poor and innocent. But it`s also on top of that we`re incarcerating mentally I`ll people and addicted people at rates that are unconscionable. The way you deal with this crisis is not just locked them up, lock them up. The way you do with this crisis is treating the Opioid addiction. Treating the demand.

HAYES: Is there - I mean, is that a sellable message.

BOOKER: It is. Look, I`m not saying you don`t hold people accountable who are doing this. But, you know, I - the tactics we`ve used have proven so dramatically wrong in terms of dealing with the drug crisis in this country. But there are so many great models of showing of what to deal with this, how to deal with this crisis. And so, I - when I hear that Nixonesque language, when I hear people harkening back to law and order, there`s a word that`s forgotten in that, which is justice. We need justice in this country. And I don`t care if you`re black or white, we all want safe neighborhoods. We all wanted an empowered community. And right now, we`re creating this dynamic - when I see things like that, that`s not as constructive as creating a really - a police-community relationable partnership to deal with this crisis.

HAYES: So, since I have you here, there`s been two big stories lastly that I want to get your thoughts on. First is the strike in Syria on Friday. I`ve read some of your statements which seemed - I would characterize them as ambivalent. Do you support the strike?

BOOKER: Well, look, I`m waiting for - I`m sorry, you interpreting it as ambivalent. I just believe that there are very -

HAYES: I don`t think that`s indefensible, by the way. It`s complicated territory.

BOOKER: Well, I`m not one of these people that are going to come out and celebrate this. I have some questions about was this a justifiable use of Presidential power. Clearly, this was a heinous, heinous act. And I`m actually believing that America should respond, but what I haven`t heard is, what was the legal justification for this unilateral -

HAYES: Have they provided one, to your knowledge?

BOOKER: No. So I went to classified briefing where we sat with incredible military leaders that we all should have a lot of pride and great gratitude to. But nobody showed me what the legal reason why. And I think this is a terrible drift. If we`re using the authorization of military force from 2001 to justify this, that is not an attack on sovereign state, which is what we did, we went after sovereign state, we went after I think it`s legitimate leader, but we - it`s way off of the rails. And if - for us not to be asking these constitutional questions, and for me as a member of Article One branch of the constitution for me not calling that out, is irresponsible.

So I`m waiting to see what a legal justification is and I`m going to say that this is not - as I see it right now and waiting for an administration response, what is your legal justification for doing what is a very serious strike on a sovereign country. Now again, heinous act, I don`t believe this - and by the way, I`m relieved that we`re talking about Assad suddenly like we should, like he should be removed from power. But this is an administration that showed no overall strategy and mine would say they`re playing footsie with Russia. I mean, I`ve seen more criticism of Nordstrom than I have seen of Putin. If we`re - if we`re - if this is a - if this is an administration not even willing to criticize Russia was attacking United States in cyber-attacks, but this is important point.

This is somebody that`s empowering Assad in doing what his thing. This is someone that represented to the previous administration that they were working with Assad to get rid of those weapons that were then just used in this attack. So this is administration I don`t see having a coherent strategy. This is an administration that I don`t think it has least produced justifiable reason and I worry that we`re going to be continuing to wait into a (INAUDIBLE) without an overall plan on how we`re going to deal with what I think is one of the greater humanitarian crisis of our lifetime.

HAYES: All right. Senator Cory Booker, thanks for making the time.

BOOKER: Thank you very much. Thank you.


HAYES: Still to come how to get elected with President Trump in the White House. Why the republicans are spooked about tomorrow`s election in a district that hasn`t gone blue in decades. That after this quick break.


HAYES: Tomorrow marks the first Congressional Election of the Trump era. If the special election in Kansas` Fourth District for the seat formerly occupied by Mike Pompeo who is now Director of the CIA. Now, you might not have heard a lot about the race because frankly nobody really expected it to be competitive. The district hasn`t gone democratic in more than two decades. And President Trump won that district by 27 points in November. But National Republican Congressional Committee seems a bit spooked. It`s running ads like this against democratic candidate James Thompson, the Civil Rights Attorney and Army Veteran, an ad that Thompson campaign says it`s outright false.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just plain wrong. James Thompson supports late term abortions even using your tax dollars to pay for abortions. It gets worse, James Thompson supports abortion even if the parents don`t like the gender of their Baby. James Thompson, too extreme for Kansas.

HAYES: That`s just part of the national GOP effort to boost Republican candidate Ron Estes, the Kansas state treasure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan`s fund-raising on his behalf, Vice President Mike Pence has recorded a robocall to boost his chances. This afternoon in Wichita, Senator Ted Cruz made a campaign appearance on Estes`s behalf. And now even President Trump himself, has recorded a robocall saying he needs Estes to help him get the job done.

That`s a lot of GOP effort for a race that`s suppose to be easy win. And Kansas is not the only red state where Republicans are sweating.

In Georgia, Democratic candidate staffer has raised a staggering $8.3 million over the past three months in his race for the sixth district seat, formerly held by HHS Secretary Tom Price.

In 2012, Mitt Romney won the district by 24 percent. But President Trump only won there by a narrow 1.5 percent margin last year. And Osoff has been polling above 40 percent, putting him solidly atop the 18 person field in an open primary.

Now, if Ossoff can get 50 percent in next Tuesday`s vote, he`ll win the seat out right. If not, the top two candidates go to a runoff in June. Ossoff is explicitly saying a victory for him would mark a message of resistance to Trump and the race has conservative groups very worried. They`ve spent nearly $5 million dollars already on attack ads against the 30-year-old Ossoff, including, and I`m not making this up, one featuring YouTube videos of Ossoff from college.

These races will send a message to Republican member of congress who are making decisions every day abouts what policies are going to pursue, who they`re willing to defend and how much political capital the White House really has. When we come back, we`ll bring you a report from the ground in Kansas, that`s next.


HAYES: Joining me now from Wichita, Kansas, where voters go to the polls tomorrow in a special election to replace CIA director Mike Pompeo in the House is Dave Weigel, national political correspondent for The Washington Post.

And Dave, this race has not gotten nearly as much attention as the Georgia race because people didn`t think it would be competitive at all. It`s still, I think, clearly Republican is heavily favored. But what`s your sense on the ground there?

DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I would amend one thing you said in the introduction, voting has begun already. There`s been early voting. It just ended at noon today. That`s one reason why Democrats got optimistic and Republicans got panicked, because Democrats had - or people that they know are voting Democratic are turning out a much higher rate than Republicans. I mean, Republicans confident there are more of them in this district than Democrats, but they are struggling to get their voters out in a way Democrats simply aren`t.

HAYES: That`s really interesting. Because we`ve also been looking at the early voting in Georgia`s Sixth. And we`ve seen a similar trend.

Both of which, I think -- I think it`s fair to say are empirical measures to the degree to which all of the kind of anxiety, frustration, rage, backlash that`s been channeled by people that are in the resistance as they fashion themselves are showing up in some demonstrable way.

WEIGEL: I think that`s a good point. And more to I think, false signals that the Democrats heart in, in 2016, good reports of early voting from place to place. What`s different now is just without Barack Obama in the White House and without Hillary Clinton as a nominee it is clear that Republican really haven`t figured out what the issue, or subject it`s going to be that`s going to bring people out to the polls. And in lots of places, Donald Trump is not popular.

In Kansas, what makes it really interesting is that Sam Brownback, the governor, is terribly unpopular. The Republicans nominated the state Treasurer, the kind of person who usually walks into a race like this and wins.

The fact that he is signing off on Sam Brownback`s budgets and tax cuts, et cetera has been a drag on him. And you meet a lot of moderate Republicans in the district who, you know, they will plan to vote for a Republican presidential nominee next time, they really don`t want to endorse a Brownback candidate here.

And that`s they`re having from district to district. I mean, for all the bench building that Republicans have done, they`ve got a pretty weak field for these special elections.

HAYES: That is a really interesting point. I mean, I should note that the Democrat in that race started the first time I saw his web site when he put it up was about Brownback. And he basically has been running again Brownback the entire time more than Trump.

In Georgia, you`ve got a very different dynamic in which Trump is very unpopular in the district even though it`s kind a been a rockbed Republican district. And to your point about what is the Republican message in the era of Trump. That`s I think what really distills it down here, like what`s your tack? What`s the line of attack about why us Republicans versus those bad Democrats when you don`t have Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton anymore?

WEIGEL: They don`t know yet.

I mean, Ted Cruz at this rally that I just came from referred to the Obama economy and how it was holding people back. And in April Barack Obama is not president. And also there are Trump super PACs talking about how great the economy is.

So, it`s not terribly coherent yet. There`s - beyond the fights between the Trump faction in the Republican Party and the other factions, there`s not a really positive please send us back to Washington so we can do more of this message, especially because Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court now, and people like Cruz admit that is one of the issues that drove out voters who were not terribly comfortable with Trump, but wanted to cast a blow against liberalism.

And by contrast - I mean, one thing that has made progressives excited about Kansas, the Hillary Clinton theory of how she`d win the presidency was in places like Georgia`s Sixth district where more educated voters - what James Thompson the Democrat here is trying to do is run a very Bernie Sanders populist working class message to a district that has been rejecting that and voting for Republicans and see if it works.

So, the fact that they`re closed in this district I think is more exciting for Democrats for the long -term. If they can build here the way they frankly - they built in the `70s and 80s places like Oklahoma, places like Nebraska, if they can have a winning message here that has better dividends for the long run than doing well in Georgia.

That`s the way a lot of progressives see it.

HAYES: And Rob Quest, I should mention, who is running statewide in Montana, who is a singer, for the Democrats that`s going to be in about six weeks, I think, a very similar kind of recipe there. Bernie Sanders might be out campaigning with him.

Dave Weigel, thanks for being with us tonight.

WEIGEL: Yes. Single payer endorser. Thank you.

HAYES: All right.

WEIGEL: Still to come, the shocking video of a man ripped from his seat, dragged down the aisle of a United Airlines flight. We`ll have the details coming up.

Plus, the return of the Trump tug hand shake is tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, starting right after this break.



TRUMP: It is a very special thing and a very special happening. And it`s worth taking just a minute to remember what it all means.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, Judge Neil Gorsuch is now a Supreme Court justice. He took the oath twice today, the first privately administered by Chief Justice Roberts at the Supreme Court itself, the second publicly administered by Justice Kennedy in Rose Garden ceremony with President Trump very proudly looking on.

Now, the last time that -- well Justice Gorsuch and the president were out in public together, it ended with a meme-worthy Trump yank and pull power play hand shake.

So how did today`s outing compare? Well, let`s just say the president hasn`t lost his touch. That`s Thing Two, in 60 seconds.


HAYES: President Trump`s signature hand shake and aggressive yank followed by a vigorous, often lengthy shake with multiple hand pats and extra tugs, has been suffered by many a dignitary from the prime minister of Japan who had to suffer an agonizing 18 seconds of presidential squeeze.

Trump`s nominee for Supreme Court who was almost jerked off his feet when the president announced his candidacy.

Well, today Neil Gorsuch was back in public with President Trump for the first time since that arm pulling incident, this time at his swearing in ceremony in the Rose Garden. And Trump grabbed the opportunity for not one but two more shakes of his hand.

The first was pretty mild by Trump standards, a little bit of grab and pull, an edict to go get em, before a fairly quick release.

But by the second handshake, well Trump was back to form, yanking Justice Gorsuch forward, gripping his hand enthusiastically and not letting go.

Looking through the public records, the average Trump Gorsuch handshake lasted about 5 seconds. This morning`s grab and yank and squeeze lasted nearly twice as long, that`s just the data, a full 10 seconds reach to release.

At least Justice Gorsuch can take comfort in the fact that as a now sitting member of the Supreme Court, it is highly unlikely the president will break unspoken protocol and get that grabby with him in public again, although, really, who the heck knows with this guy.


HAYES: Today, an incident on a United Airlines plane grabbed the nation`s attention. On an overbooked flight scheduled to depart from Chicago`s O`Hare airport to Louisville on Sunday, a passenger was dragged from his seat by security personnel from the Chicago Department of Aviation.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Come on. Come on.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: No, this is wrong. Oh, my god. Look at what you did to him. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good work, guys. Good work. Way to go.


HAYES: The airline had asked for four volunteers to make room for airline employees. When no one volunteered, four passengers were randomly chosen. The man in this video was one of the four, but he was refused saying he was doctor who could not be delayed, according to the man who shot this video, Tyler Bridges.

Shortly after being dragged off, the man reboarded the plan and ran to the back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to go home. I have to go home. I have to go home. I have to go home. I have to go home.


HAYES: His face was bloodied and he appeared disoriented.

The United Airlines CEO released a statement, which reads in part, this is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to reaccommodate these customers.

United Airlines spokesman, Charlie Hobart, referred to this as a, quote, involuntary deboarding situation.

The Chicago Department of Aviation also released a statement, I`ll quote them here. "The incident was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure. And the actions of the aviation security officers are obviously not condoned by the department. That officer has been placed on leave effective today, pending a thorough review of the situation."

But before that statement was released, the Chicago Police Department, which was not involved in the incident, released its own statement, which reads in part, "a 69-year-old male Asian airline passenger became irate. Aviation officers attempted to carry the individual of the flight when he fell. His head subsequently struck an armrest, causing injuries to his face. The man was taken to Lutheran General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The news affair officer of the Chicago Police told All-In, the statement was based on information its officers gathered at the airport. And that the CPD subsequently referred all inquiries to the Department of Aviation.

Today, I have to say, I saw people of different political persuasions discussing this, but one of the most striking responses came from a conservative who wrote, news flash "your local police department is a much bigger threat to your personal liberty than the big, bad feds. And he joins me next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was tried to. Can`t they rent a car for the (inaudible) and...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god! Oh, my god! Oh, my god! No!

Please, my god, what are you doing?

No, this is wrong. Oh, my god, look at you are doing to him.


HAYES: Joining me now, Leon Wolf, managing editor of The Blaze and Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell.

And Leon, I thought your thoughts today, what you tweeted was really interesting. What was your reaction to the video?

LEON WOLF, THE BLAZE: Well, the series of tweets was actually directly in response to the incident in Colorado with the young woman who got body slammed, but I think it applies with equal force to the situation in Chicago, because if you look in reality what happened on that plane in United was a situation that we have all created and done to ourselves.

For years, we as Americans have happily ceded power to the airlines to take increasing levels of control over our freedom on airplanes to the point where now they`re totally immune from liability from almost anything that they do. Disobeying orders from flight staff is a federal crime. And we essentially acceded to that because we said, oh, well all want to get where we`re going on time, and we want the airlines to be free to remove unruly passengers quickly.

And it does - it applies to the same thing with what, you know, we saw happen in Colorado last night, which was disturbing to me and many other incidents. You and I have talked about the thing in Ferguson last year. It disturbs me when people see things like this and they say a thing like, "wow, why didn`t he just comply and none of this would have happened?" And my response is thank was, I mean, god the guy didn`t comply, because if he had, we would not be talking about this today. And we would not have an opportunity to change some of what`s going on.

HAYES: And I thought -- I looked at this and I thought to myself, man, first of all this tremendous amount much outrageous, it`s extremely upsetting the use of force. But also, I thought, man, this is the kind of glimpse of the kind of the policing that all kinds of communities are experiencing day in, day out in cities and towns across this country. And you see it in that context. And it`s like, it`s a real wake up call.

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It`s particularly communities of color. Black and brown communities, most specifically. This is something that people grapple with all the time as you pointed out. And here`s the thing, why are we constantly seeing these videos where it goes from zero to assault every single time.

As a police officer or a security officer in this situation, you are a public servant number one. Number two, you are in the position where you should be deescalating a situation, not being the person that`s the aggressor in this sort of situation.

HAYES: And Leon, I mean, here`s - I want to read this because now there`s the letter from - United seems to be choosing to play this in a shocking away, frankly. This is the CEO saying the situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. While I deeply regret the situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you.

I cannot imagine that they think the way they handled this was proper.

WOLF: No. And my reaction to this initially was, well, I really hope that some of the bad apples that we saw in this - some people, you know, get fired. But after reading that statement, which to me the most incredible part of the statement was where he said, well, we`re curious as to why the guy deified Chicago Aviation Security in that way. We`ve got to really, you know, investigate. It`s just bizarre how a guy wouldn`t want to be thrown off a plane that he bought a ticket for. You know, that to me was the astonishing.

I`m at the point where I kind of hope United goes under over this, because clearly it`s a corporate culture that goes all the way to the top.

HAYES: We know note this, right, about United has had some issues of late.

DOWDELL: Right. United was involved in pay-to-play with the Port Authority chairman, David Sampson, who was appointed by Governor Chris Christie. They were actively involved in pay-offs to help secure what they wanted. So...

HAYES: It created custom flight for him to go to his country house. That was called the chairman`s flight.

DOWDELL: Exactly. So this is a cultural, corporate culture issue within United.

And I can go on to several other examples beyond just that.

HAYES: I want to just say one more thing. And I think this is an important part for anyone who is watching this and anyone across the political spectrum, because something will happen and the police will give their account of it. And what I would just say is, always just maintain a healthy skepticism, because that Chicago Police Department statement today which they put out after everyone has seen the video, which they put out even though it`s not their own police, saying that the thing you saw happen didn`t happen.

That is not an anomaly. We have dealt with this in our reporting about situations and they`re chaotic, but that this guy fell. The Chicago Police Department felt the need to put out statement saying this guy fell after everyone had seen the video tells you a lot about that department.

Leon Wolf and Tara Dowdell, thank you both.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.



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