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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 4/20/2017

Guests: Brian Schatz, David Jolly, Ro Khanna

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ALL IN HOST:  - be this way, always stirring things up now, never letting anything settle down, always trying to keep the heat on.  Again, you look for trouble, pretty soon you get it.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  The press sort of reported there was like a give up.  There`s no give up.

HAYES:  Trumpcare rides again.

TRUMP:  The plan gets better and better and better, and it`s gotten really, really good.  And a lot of people are liking it a lot.

HAYES:  Tonight the President`s new desperate push to reverse the greatest failure of his first 100 days.

Plus -

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  We have a contest on  Guess where Bill`s going?

HAYES:  Gabe Sherman on the jaw-dropping payout for Bill O`Reilly as a new accuser speaks out.

PERQUITA BURGESS, O`REILLY`S ACCUSER:  I`m just sitting there minding my business, and he walks past and says, hey, hot chocolate.

HAYES:  Then -

JASON CHAFFETZ, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM UTAH:  I`ve got to find the right balance in my life.

HAYES:  New questions over the sudden retirement of Jason Chaffetz.

And the world according to Trump.

TRUMP:  We are sending an Armada, very powerful.

HAYES:  As the Armada backlash continues in South Korea, why the President today is lashing out at Canada after praising a strongman in Turkey.  When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  The President of the United States is historically unpopular.  His campaign is under federal investigation for potential collusion with Russia`s interference in the election, and he`s failed to get any major legislation through Congress.  And now with the 100-day mark of his Presidency fast approaching, it`s April 29th, a week from Saturday, the President is growing increasingly desperate to put something in the win column.  The first 100 days is an artificial milestone derided by the Obama White House as a hallmark holiday and observed primarily by the media.  That means it`s likely to hold extraordinary importance for a President who watches as much cable news as the one currently in the White House.  His favorite network even as a whole show every weekday dedicated solely to tracking his first 100 days and the President seems to be very much aware of the countdown.  Here he was trying to puff up his record earlier this week.


TRUMP:  No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days that includes on military, on the border, on trade, on regulation, on law enforcement.  We love our law enforcement.  And on government reform.


HAYES:  That specific claim received four Pinocchios, the very first rating from The Washington Post fact checker.  The White House has come under mounting pressure to promote the President`s alleged accomplishments ahead of the deadline next week.  Last week Politico reported on a tense planning session for the 100-day mark, where staffers were broken into three groups complete with white boards, markers and giant butcher block paper to brainstorm lists of early successes.  But asked yesterday to identify the President`s greatest legislative achievement thus far, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had a hard time coming up with an answer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Looking ahead to the 100-day mark and setting aside executive orders, can you say what a single piece of legislation that you are proudest that you got through Congress that was on the President`s agenda?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Well, a few things on that.  Number one, we`re not done.  We`ve got a little ways before we hit the 100- day mark.  So, I think what you`ve seen out of this White House is a very robust agenda of activity.  There`s a lot of executive orders that I think the President`s been pleased with not only what they`ve done or what they will do, but what they`ve done.


HAYES:  Notice he went back to the executive orders.  Now, in a last-ditch attempt to eke without a win before the 100-day mark and with few other options, the White House is turning back to the effort that produced its most humiliating failure, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.  It had been, of course, republicans` main goal for seven long years.  A central campaign promise by the President himself, and he couldn`t even get it to the floor of the GOP-controlled House for a vote.  According to new polling, 65 percent of voters disapprove of the President`s handling of the republican health care bill, and 60 percent now say his party should just move on. 

Instead, they appear to be trying again with members of the hard right freedom caucus and the more moderate Tuesday group proposing a new deal that would allow states to opt out of protections for people with pre- existing conditions and channel them instead into high-risk pools.  The deal does nothing to address the 24 million people projected to lose their insurance under the initial GOP plan.  Politico reports the White House is pushing for a vote next week to coincide with the President`s100-day milestone.  But at this point, there`s not even legislation yet, and at least one republican congressman is already skeptical.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you ready to vote on health care, and what do you make of the compromise bill that`s circulated around?

MIKE COFFMAN, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM COLORADO:  Well, I`m certainly not ready to vote for it.  Look, pre-existing conditions are extremely important to me. They`re important to my constituents.  And so I think I`ve only seen an outline.  I haven`t seen any details.  And so the outline is that in a state, in lieu of pre-existing conditions, could do a high-risk insurance pool.  We had one of those in Colorado, and so it`s a question of how robust is it?  Where does the funding come from?  Is it sustainable?  I think there`s a lot of questions.

HAYES:  Coffman, we should note, supported the first GOP bill, but he is quite vulnerable in 2018 and has been facing angry Town Hall crowds worried about changes to their health care.  The White House is now attempting to forge ahead despite the long odds.  According to Politico, administration officials are feeling inordinate pressure to pass the legislation because of the President`s impatience.  And this part is key.  And fears that his failure to repeal the health care law will dominate coverage of the administration`s first 100 days.  The President was asked about the new efforts today at the press conference with the Prime Minister of Italy.  This is what he said.


TRUMP:  This is a great bill.  It`s a great plan, and this will be great health care.  It`s evolving.  You know, there was never a give-up.  The press sort of reported there was like a give-up.  There`s no give-up.  We started.  Remember, it took ObamaCare 17 months.  I`ve really been negotiating this for two months, maybe even less than that because we had a 30-day period where we did lots of other things the first 30 days.  But this has really been two months, and this is a continuation and the plan gets better and better and better, and it`s gotten really, really good.  And a lot of people are liking it a lot.  We have a good chance of getting it soon.  I`d like to say next week, but it will be - I believe we will get it, and whether it`s next week or shortly thereafter.


Hayes:  And joining me now, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat from Hawaii.  Senator, do you think the President knows what the plan is?

BRIAN SCHATZ, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM HAWAII:  No.  I think he has no idea what he`s doing generally but specifically, on health care, I think he - you know, he wings it specifically when he`s asked a question about ACA, he sort of never gives up except that the legislative branch has given up on this.  But the problem that you pointed out, Chris, is that House members are about to walk the plank on intensely unpopular ideas for a second time on behalf of an intensely unpopular President. 

They`re going to do I guess, some negotiations again in secret and then drop the bill on the floor and present to the rest of the Caucus.  I am - you know, on the one hand, I`m concerned because I don`t want this thing to pass into law.  On the other hand, I think they have a really, really small chance of being successful.  So I don`t mind if they go through this again because every time they go through this, the public gets angrier and angrier, and democrats do better and better.

HAYES:  Yes.  Do you get a sense - I mean I think what`s striking here too is do you have a sense of the order of operations here of what exactly the domestic legislative agenda is because I remember with Obama in 2009 and different circumstances, larger majorities in both Houses makes it easier to get things passed, but there`s a very clear kind of order of operations.  You knew that these things were going to happen.  The tax bill, unclear.  It seems like they`re doing this because that`s the thing that they can do.

SCHATZ:  Yes, I don`t know, but I mean, you`re right.  They said health care, then tax reform, then infrastructure.  Health care has already failed, and it will fail if it doesn`t fail next week, it will be a couple of weeks from now.  I hope they take it back to the floor because I think it`s going to be disastrous for them.  But, you know, the thing is their infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan.  It`s another wealth transfer to Wall Street, and now Mnuchin and others are talking about tax reform not being even realistically done by the end of the year. 

And so their legislative cupboard is bare in both the House and the Senate.  They are having to cook up things to vote on.  They`ve actually called upon their chairmen and women to report out measures so they can start voting on something.  But that is the problem is that these folks have no idea how to govern, and the leader of the republican party, the President of the United States, really doesn`t recognize that there are three separate co-equal branches of government, and that`s the reason that you`re looking at an unprecedentedly unsuccessful first 100 days.

HAYES:  You mentioned three co-equal branches of government.  Senator, since you`re from Hawaii, and I have you here, I have to ask you about something the Attorney General of United States today said in an interview.  The context was speaking about court - Federal Court blocks of the second attempt at the travel ban, Federal Judge in your home state of Hawaii, in the Ninth Circuit.  And this is what Attorney General Sessions had to say about that decision issued by that Judge.  Take a listen.


JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL:  We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit.  So this is a huge matter.  I really am amazed that a Judge sitting on an island in the pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.


HAYES:  A Judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.  I did not know that Hawaii statehood was up for debate.  What do you make of that, Senator?

SCHATZ:  Well, it`s just, you know, Jeff Sessions - first of all, they`re wrong on the Muslim ban.  It is unconstitutional and racist, that`s number one.  Number two, this is part of a pattern of Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump.  I don`t know what`s in their heart, but I can tell you that they, both through their words and their actions, seem to target communities of color.  And Hawaii is the only state that is majority non-Caucasian.  That`s something we`re proud of.  That`s something that we - that makes us a special place, and it`s something that Jeff Sessions clearly doesn`t understand.  Again, I don`t know what`s in his heart, but the sort of disparaging tone, the sort of dripping sarcasm when he`s describing an island in the Pacific - I live on that island in the Pacific.  It is a pretty great place.  It is the 50th state.  It is the home of Pearl Harbor.  It`s where Barack Obama was born.  It`s where Dan Inouye represented all of us for almost 50 years.  We`re very proud to be the 50th state, and we`re very proud to be, I think, an example for the rest of the country.  So Jeff Sessions doesn`t get it.  I think what`s really disturbing is that he seems to want to follow his boss`s lead in attacking the judiciary and demeaning communities of color and people who disagree with him.

HAYES:  All right, Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii.  Thanks for joining me.

SCHATZ:  Thank you.

HAYES:  I`m joined now by Former Congressman David Jolly, Republican from Florida, and current Congressman Ro Khanna, Democrat from California.  Are they going to - Congressman Khanna, are they going to really do this again?

RO KHANNA, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA:  It`s shocking to me.  I mean, after all the Town Halls and what they`re coming back with is a plan that`s not going to just give 24 million people less insurance.  It`s actually going to even make that number bigger because all of the folks with pre-existing conditions are not going to have that health care.  So it`s really appalling.

HAYES:  Congressman Jolly or David, I can`t imagine - I mean I saw a tweet today that was very funny about the distance between what they were hearing from the White House, a reporter was saying, which is desperate, desperate for a win.


HAYES:  And the House members who actually would have to whip the votes and get this thing passed, and they were pretty skeptical.

JOLLY:  Look got a lot infuriated republican members right now.  Look, Chris, it is remarkable how hard this White House works to really screw things up, OK?  At some point, republicans will pass a republican health care bill, and it probably will provide a state waiver.  But what we`ve seen this week is nothing more than an exercise in Trump`s vanity and ego going into 100 days.  We saw two things in the President today, ignorance and incompetence.  Ignorance, when he was asked a question about the bill and all he could say was better, better, better.  Why didn`t he say we`re working on state flexibility? 

HAYES:  That`s a good point.

JOLLY:  But more importantly incompetence.  Listen -

HAYES:  Right.  That`s not - that`s not incredibly wonky when you say state flexibility.

JOLLY:  It is not wonky and look, we`re looking at a government shutdown next week.  I have lived through dozens of them as a member, as a staffer.  What you do in the week before a government shutdown is you try to remove contentious issues.  You try to clear the deck of anything that could lead to a shutdown.  This President in sheer incompetence just threw a healthcare bill onto the agenda next week.  It is stupid.

HAYES:  That - well, that is a great point from David.  That Friday, I believe the 28th, if I`m not mistaken is the deadline, right?  That`s when the funding runs out.  And he makes a good point.  You put this ahead of time; you have a big, ugly, contentious fight over it.  Does that imperil this must-pass bill on the CR?

KHANNA:  Well, I think, look, the republicans don`t want to vote on this and I mean they don`t.  You talk to them, and they`ll tell you that they want to move on.  They want to deal with jobs.  They want to deal with the stuff he actually campaigned on.  That`s the shocking thing about his Presidency.  He campaigned as a populist, and he`s governing on what heritage foundation is telling him to do, and he doesn`t understand even what he`s proposing.

HAYES:  Do you think he gets that?  You see, I think that`s a very good point.  I think it was always really interesting to see to me, were you going to get - you know, where are you going to get basically Paul Ryanism?  Where are you going to get the heritage foundation?  Where - all of the things that were on the shelf for President Rubio if it were him?  Were they just going to take that off the shelf and do it?  And so far, that`s what it`s been in Congress.  It`s really been that.

KHANNA:  And it`s shocking because here`s someone who recognized, he said that Paul Ryan was one of the worst picks for Mitt Romney.  It`s why Mitt Romney lost.  And here he was trying to say, look, I`m not going to --

HAYES:  That`s right.  It was the Ryan budget.

KHANNA:  Right.  I`m not going to do that.  I want more health care benefits.  I want to have prescription drugs be allowed to be imported.  I`m not going to get into the Middle East.  And everything he campaigned on, he`s broken those promises.  And he was astute enough as a campaigner but he`s been incompetent as a President.

HAYES:  That point to David to me is key.  I always thought - my feeling on the first day was there`s an opportunity for Donald Trump to confound political categories in a way that will make a lot of democrats squirm and uncomfortable. 

JOLLY:  Exactly right. 

HAYES:  And - or he can go with essentially the doctrine air orthodoxy of the republican party, which he smashed and destroyed on his way to becoming the nominee and President.  And I think Congressman Khanna was right about what choices has been made so far.

JOLLY:  Listen, there are a lot of republicans since 2010, since the tea party wave, that were looking for a candidate to bring the party back towards the middle.  I was a Jeb Bush guy because of exactly that.  Donald Trump is not a conservative, not a republican, but he`s surrounded himself by this nationalist team.  Listen, he`s worried about his first 100 days.  He needs to be worried about the first two years because Donald Trump might single-handedly be responsible for losing the House of Representatives for republicans next year.

HAYES:  Do you - I don`t want to get too far ahead of us, but since David brings it up, we`ve had these - we`ve had these special elections.  And I think those are really germane to what is in the head of your colleagues.

KHANNA:  Right.

HAYES:  You guys follow this.  You know what`s happening.

KHANNA:  Absolutely.  And they`re scared.  I mean they see that someone in Kansas came within seven points in a district that was 27 points.  And they understand that the momentum is with people who are upset at Trump`s agenda.  But here`s the thing, do you remember, Chris, when President Obama led with health care, and everyone said, you know, the problem is he`s not talking about jobs.  The problem is no jobs.

HAYES:  Right.  No, remember, he did the recovery act first.

KHANNA:  He did the stimulus.

HAYES:  But for $800 billion.  Right.

KHANNA:  I mean after that it was all - here`s Trump saying, I`m going to bring jobs.  I`m going to bring manufacturing.  Where has been a proposal on apprenticeships, on manufacturing?  They`re proposing budgets that`s cutting that and it`s mind boggling.  Where are all the people who are saying republicans are supposed to care about jobs?

HAYES:  You could also just - I mean, you can anything a jobs bill.

KHANNA:  Right.

HAYES:  Just put - just put - I mean that`s the other thing.  It`s like they could just say we`re going to do a jobs bill.  That`s a - we`re moving on to a jobs bill.  You know, they could put whatever they want in it.  I mean people will sniff it out then will cover it but, right, there`s no - there`s no sense that that - the thing that was sort of the center of this campaign is anywhere to be found in the - in the legislative agenda.

KHANNA:  Here`s my theory of it.  I think Trump has so wanted mainstream acceptance.  I mean, he`s wanted this since he was a New York developer who wasn`t accepted by Wall Street finance folks.  He got to the Presidency -

HAYES:  Yes.

KHANNA:  - rejecting it.  And since he`s got there, now he loves it that the foreign policy establishment is praising him.  Gary Cohn is praising him.  And he`s forgotten what got him elected.

HAYES:  I think that is an extremely persuasive theory of things.  David Jolly and Congressman Ro Khanna, thank you, both, gentlemen.

JOLLY:  Good to be with you.

HAYES:  Still to come, a Bill O`Reilly accuser speaks out.  Her firsthand account of what she says happened between her and the now ousted Fox News host.  This as we learn just how much money O`Reilly could get as a payout.  Gabe Sherman joins me to talk about that after the two-minute break.



BURGESS:  I`m just sitting there minding my business, and he walks past and says, hey, hot chocolate.  But he didn`t look at me when he said it.  And I was like - I didn`t - I didn`t respond.  I was mortified because not only did he go - was it sexual, I took that as a very plantational remark.

Such a blatant person with such a high profile making me feel uncomfortable but then not acknowledging - even acknowledging me as a human.


HAYES:  Perquita Burgess, a former temp worker at Fox News detailed her accusation of racial and sexual harassment against Bill O`Reilly this morning.  On the view, Burges is just one of several women who have accused O`Reilly of harassment leading to yesterday`s announcement that Fox and O`Reilly agreed he will not return to the network after over 20 years on air. 

Today, we learned how much O`Reilly will get paid as he leaves.  Two sources confirm to NBC News O`Reilly will exit Fox News with up to $25 million, one year of his salary.  Fox News parent company, 21st Century Fox has now spent more than $85 million on payouts related to sexual harassment allegations according to The New York Times.  More than three-quarters of that, $65 million, has gone to the two men who were the subject of those allegations, Roger Ailes and Bill O`Reilly.  Ailes and O`Reilly have denied all allegations.  O`Reilly said yesterday in part, "it is tremendously disheartening we part ways due to completely unfounded claims." 

Joining me now, Gabe Sherman, National National Affairs Editor at New York Magazine, MSBC Contributor, he`s the author of the Loudest Voice In The Room, How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News--and Divided a Country and no reporter, no reporter has worked this beat harder over the last several years.  You should win some sort of lifetime journalism award.


HAYES:  I honestly mean that.  You`re - it`s incredible work you`ve done.  We should note the great work by the New York Times reporters who broke the story that was sort of precipitated this.  All right.  The money, let`s start there.  At a certain point, A, the sort of justness of these two men, who are accused of this pattern, getting the biggest chunk of the money. But, two, can you move all this money around to pay for these claims without running afoul of the law in terms of disclosure of a public company?

SHERMAN:  Well, there`s two things.  On the payouts, you know, what I find fascinating is that Fox News sign Bill O`Reilly to a new contract in March, fully knowing the New York Times had this major -

HAYES:  Was working on this story.  This was being chatted about.

SHERMAN:  As a very senior person inside the company told me, they went in this with eyes wide open.  They knew that Bill O`Reilly`s baggage but he was too good for business and their philosophy was let`s see how this plays out.  Maybe the Times story will blow over and then we have Bill O`Reilly in the chair.  It didn`t work out that way, so then contractually they were obligated to pay him out.  All these terms as I understand it were predetermined that there was an exit provision in his contract, so this $25 million golden parachute was already pre-ordained.

HAYES:  In terms of the second part of this, which is there has been - this is the New York Times, that there was a U.S. Attorney`s office looking into the way that Fox News handled payments related to sexual harassment cases to determine whether the company misled investors.  Do we know anything about what`s going on there?

SHERMAN:  I`ve done a lot of reporting on this.  And this investigation is ongoing.  Prosecutors, as we speak in the Southern District in Manhattan are looking at this.  FBI agents are looking at it.  Now, these settlements, what they`re looking at pre-dates O`Reilly.

HAYES:  Right.

SHERMAN:  This is more about Rogers Ailes` pattern of serially paying off women, moving money around the Fox News budget, hiding money in other parts of the budget so that they wouldn`t trigger any kind of disclosure.  They`re also looking at the way Ailes used Fox News` budget to fund his dirty tricks, boiler room operations, you know, basically - the Fox News is a lot like the Nixon White House.  This was a public company with investors, but Roger Ailes was running it as his personal fiefdom.

HAYES:  And that`s - there are - you can run afoul of the law if you do that.

SHERMAN:  Yes.  And there are FCC rules.  They`re looking at possible mail and wire fraud.  I mean, this could mushroom into a real investigation.

HAYES:  O`Reilly - I mean there`s some amazing irony here, which is how O`Reilly in some ways really made his first mark - the first big story that put him on the map was what?

SHERMAN:  Well, so I reported this extensively in my book.  In 1998 when O`Reilly led the charge on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, going after Clinton night after night, his ratings exploded 400 percent.  And this is the grand irony of this whole thing.  This is a guy who made its career on outrage and going after, you know, someone`s sexual activity and is brought down by the same thing.

HAYES:  That - this was - the Monica Lewinsky story was the story.  I mean, this guy - he`d been on air for a few years but the thing that made him -

SHERMAN:  Floundering on air.

HAYES:  Floundering on air.  The thing that made him the titan was night in, night out this kind of moral - he was the moral presence calling to carpet the President for his sexual impropriety.

SHERMAN:  And what I`m so shocked by, and actually not shocked but just you know, I can - I think about it, is the Fox News audience remains incredibly loyal.  If you just think about the headlines over the last year, just how toxic of a culture that place is, and yet every night their viewers tune in.  It`s like what could their viewers learn about what goes on behind the scenes at Fox News that would cause them to turn off the channel?  And I was like, almost nothing.  It`s like what Trump said.  You could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York, and his people would still vote for him.

HAYES:  That`s a really well said.  Gabe Sherman, thanks for joining.

SHERMAN:  Yes.  Thank you.

HAYES:  And thanks for your great work.

Ahead, four months into a tumultuous Presidency, is the Republican House Oversight Chairman about to quit Congress?  The extremely curious case of Jason Chaffetz next.


HAYES:  It was the day when it became absolutely clear to everyone that Donald Trump, as a Presidential candidate, was toast.  October 7th, 2016.  That, of course, the day that an Access Hollywood hot mic recording of Donald Trump surfaced from 2005, featuring Trump bragging about sexual assault.  And finally, people like Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah could come out of the shadows and make the courageous move to retract their endorsement of candidate Trump.  In fact, Chaffetz went on a really long, un-endorsement tour.


CHAFFETZ:  I`m out.  I can no longer, in good conscience, endorse this person for President.  My wife and I, we have a - we have a 15-year-old daughter.  And if I can`t look her in the eye and tell her these things, I can`t endorse this person.

I`m out.  I - it`s sad really, but I can`t endorse Donald Trump for President after those comments and the way he said them.  He`s put us in a terrible, terrible position.  But I - I can`t look my 15-year-old daughter in the eye and tell her I endorse this person to become the President of the United States.  I just - I just can`t deal with it.

I`m out.  I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for President.  My wife, Julie, and I, we`ve got a 15-year-old daughter.  Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorsed Donald Trump for President when he acts like this?

You know, my wife and I, we have a 15-year-old daughter.  How in the world could I look my 15-year-old daughter in the eye and say, honey, you know what, your dad endorses Donald Trump for President?  I can`t do that.


HAYES:  Can`t do it.  But Congressman Chaffetz wasn`t quite done because, well, it turned out Trump wasn`t done either.  So by November, Chaffetz was making a distinction between defending or endorsing and voting for Donald Trump.


CHAFFETZ:  Well, my wife and I did vote for Donald Trump last week.  I think we`re doing and going through a lot of the discussions that people all across this country are doing.  We are never going to support or endorse or condone any sort of action or verbs or words or anything about sexual harassment.


HAYES:  Then once Donald Trump became the President, Congressman Chaffetz, who`s the Chairman of the ostensibly Independent House Oversight Committee, was put in position of essentially carrying water for the President, which he`s more or less done although the cost of increasingly personal humiliation.  And Congressman Jason Chaffetz has a surprise now, and that is next.


HAYES:  House oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz shocked the political world yesterday by announcing he will not run for re-election in 2018.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH:  I just turned 50.  I`m sleeping on a cot in my office.  I`ve spent more than 1,500 nights away from my family and you know what?  I happen to love my wife and adore our kids.  My life has changed over the last year.  Two of my three kids are now married, and we`re soon going to be empty nesters.  And I really, really like the work in congress.  I really do, but I love my family more.

And people may try to make it more than that, but it`s really that simple.


HAYES:  OK. In his Facebook post announcing his decision, Chaffetz said for those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear, I have no ulterior motives.  I`m healthy.  I am confident I would continue to be reelected by large margins.

By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a  successful run.  That, according to The Atlantic`s McKay Coppins, left the political class reeling in Utah.

Then today, Chaffetz said he might not even finish his current term?  "My future plans are not yet finalized, but I haven`t ruled out the possibility of leaving early.  In the meantime, I still have a job to do and I have no plans to take my foot off the gas."

Joining me now, Leon Wolfe, managing editor of Blaze.

I find all of this bewildering, Leon.  Do you?


You know, I keep thinking about, you know those pictures that used to be a big deal like back in the `90s.  They were garbage, but if you looked at them at the right angle, they made this 3D picture that made sense.  I haven`t yet found the angle to look at this story to where any sort of anything but a mess shows up.

HAYES:  I completely agree with that.  And again, I always want - I love the idea of people saying, I`m making a career move because I have to devote more time to my family.  I have been burned by that so many times.  I`ve even tried to will myself to believe it when certain politicians have said it, because I wanted to believe it`s possible, but it`s basically never been the case that that`s  what`s happening.

WOLFE:  No.  It`s absolutely nonsense.

Look, every politician on both sides of the aisle has this hokey line about I`m never happier than when I`m at home with my constituents or with my family.  The reality, as you know, Chris, 530 at least of the 535 members of congress are never happier than when they`re in D.C., being important people in congress and in the senate.  And that`s just the reality.

I mean, you look at - maybe a guy like Ben Sasse is like one of the few exceptions to the rule, that you really get the sense he is happiest at home in Nebraska.  But most of the rest of them -- and I never got that sense from Chaffetz, but I don`t know.  I don`t know.  Maybe there`s something we just don`t understand yet.

HAYES:  Well, here`s the other part of this that I find really strange.  So he says -- so first of all, keep in mind he said the reason he`s announcing so early is so that there`s enough time for other candidates to mount campaigns.  Now he`s saying he maybe might resign early.  Someone was saying as early as next day, someone reported that.  He said, no, not tomorrow.

But then he says this to Jake Sherman of Politico, "I`ll take a little bit of time to sort it out.  I`d be thrilled to have a television relationship.  There`s a number of things I`d like to do."

He also said he was like pursuing private sector jobs now.  And then he says, asked if he`s resigning because of yet to be revealed scandal, Chaffetz said absolutely, positively not, not in any way, shape, or form.  I`ve been - and I`m quoting here.  This is not me misquoting this.  I`ve been given more enemas by more people over the last eight years than you can possibly imagine.

So he clearly is worried that people will think that there`s some deep, dark secret about to be uncovered.

WOLFE:  Well, I mean definitely that`s what everybody is trying to analyze today.  And I mean, look, if a guy says, I`m going to go take some time to spend with my family, you look at a guy who had three kids at home when he showed up in Washington, and by the time this term is done, he`s going to have zero.

You know, so I don`t know.

HAYES:  Also, really, that`s a great point.  The empty nest point is really -- here`s my question to you.  I mean, you wonder how much this has to do with -- it does strike me that being the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee in the Trump administration is a politically impossible position to be in in many ways, because there are so many things that call for investigation, but all of the partisan gravity essentially pulls you away from it.

WOLFE:  It`s a difficult position I think unless you`re Jason Chaffetz, right, because one of the things that he said that`s right is that he wins re-election with 75 percent of the vote every single time.  And while a lot of people -- even if the Republicans are facing a 1932-style whitewash coming up in 2018, some of them are going to survive, and Jason Chaffetz would be assumed to be one of those people almost no matter what.

So for him politically, he`s in a position that even if he goes after Trump aggressively, I don`t think that would cost him re-election.  And if he doesn`t, I don`t think it would either.

HAYES:  That`s a great point that he could be aggressive because of, a, his popularity at home, and, b, the fact that Trump is unpopular in Utah.  It was the state where there was the biggest move from Romney -- you know, from Romney to Hillary basically.  And he could go after him if he wanted to.

WOLFE:  Well, I saw a poll I think three weeks ago in the Salt Lake City Tribune, that show that Trump - and that was at the lowest point of his popularity nationwide, but he was still 54 percent approval in Utah. 

That having been said, while he has approval in Utah, definitely there is tolerance in Utah for people who hold Trump accountable, especially on some of the personally distasteful stuff.  You know, it is a heavily Mormon state.  They do tend to look upon public decency as being a much more important thing perhaps than any other electorate in the country.

So, I think that there are ways that Chaffetz could, you know, address that.  And you know, if you look at your opening montage to this segment, you know, if it really is the case that he can`t look himself in the mirror anymore while he`s expected to carry water for Trump, wouldn`t the thing to do be, look, I`m going to go up to the Hill and I`m going to spend these next two years, follow my conscience.  I"m going to pursue Trump aggressively on all these things, and then I`ll face the voters and let the chips fall where they may.  That would be the move that makes sense to me.

HAYES:  Solid advice from Leon Wolfe.  Thank you.

Coming you up, the president takes another shot at one of our allies today, calling Canada a disgrace.  We`ll tell you why ahead.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starting next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, remember that time President Trump seemed to suggest a 19th Century abolitionist leader might still be alive?


TRUMP:  Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more I notice.


HAYES:  Today, President Trump met with the Italian prime minister,and after an interesting  handshake in the Oval Office, the president offered this rather interesting ad-lib during their joint news conference.


TRUMP:  Through the ages, your country has been a beacon of artistic and scientific achievement.  That continues today.  From Venice to Florence, from Verdi to Pavarotti, a friend of mine, great friend of mine.


HAYES:  Pavarotti passed away a decade ago, and Trump`s last interaction with his family doesn`t appear to have been friendly.  Back in July, Pavarotti widow told Trump to stop using his music at campaign events, writing along with three of the late opera singer`s daughters, "we remind you of the values of brotherhood and solidarity that Luciano Pavarotti upheld throughout his artistic career are incompatible with the world vision of the candidate Donald Trump."

Now, the Pavarotti family aren`t the only people in or around Italy to criticize Trump`s world view.  What the president said about the pope is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  Today, President Trump discussed his upcoming trip to Italy for the G7 next month and said he very much is looking forward to meeting the pope. 

Now, there`s reason to believe that might be an awkward meeting.  Remember last year, the pope criticized trump following a trip to Mexico, saying, a person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges is not Christian.

Trump spent 15 minutes of his rally that afternoon attacking the pope.


TRUMP:  The pope.  The pope was in Mexico.  Do you know that?  Does everybody know, right?  He said negative things about me, because the Mexican government convinced him that Trump is not a good guy.

See, the pope was in Mexico.  The leadership -- oh, Donald Trump is a bad guy.  So they met with the pope, and they obviously got to the pope, and they`re telling him what a bad guy Donald Trump is.

He doesn`t know me.  The pope is being told that Donald Trump is not a nice person, OK.  Donald Trump is a very nice person.

For a religious leader to question a person`s faith is disgraceful.  They see the pope, and they tell the pope bad things about me.  So they tell the pope, Trump is bad, and the pope says something negative about me.

Now it`s going to be all over the world.  Who the hell cares, OK?  I don`t care.  I don`t care.


TRUMP:  After today`s presser, Sean Spicer told NBC a potential meeting between President Trump and the Pope is not definite and hasn`t been set up yet.



TRUMP:  I wasn`t going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day, and I want to end and add by saying that Canada, what they`ve done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace.  It`s a disgrace.  And our farmers in Wisconsin and New York State are being put out of business, our dairy farmers.


HAYES:  The president of the United States, in a completely unprompted moment today, attacked Canada over its dairy industry policies, calling it a disgrace.  Of course he launched his attack on Canada`s protectionist measures regarding dairy while announcing his own potentially protectionist executive order on steel.

But that aside, the sudden broadside against one of our closest allies is part of a pattern from the 45th president.  There was his non-handshake with Germany`s chancellor, his reportedly combative phone call with the leader of Australia that ended eraly, his gaffe-ridden brinksmanship on the Korean peninsula.  He confused North Korea`s leader with his father and grandfather.  He said South Korea was once part of China.  It was not.  And he said an armada was heading for the Korean Peninsula, but then it was revealed that the aircraft carrier group was actually thousands of miles away and heading in the opposite direction, prompting a South Korean newspaper to call it, quote, Trump`s lie over the Carl Vinson.

And when it comes to the president and his tough talk with nuclear-armed North Korea, the Associated Press reports that many South Koreans have just three words to describe him: unpredictable, unhinged, dangerous.

Donald Trump on the world stage next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. prime minister, you talked just a moment ago about your commitment to NATO.  President Trump would like to see all NATO members contribute 2 percent of their GDP to NATO.  Your contribution is slightly less than 1 percent.  Will you commit to committing 2 percent of your GDP to the alliance going forward?  Thank you.

TRUMP:  Well, first of all, I love the question you asked the prime minister.  I look forward to his answer because I`m going to asking him that same question very soon.


HAYES:  This afternoon, Trump used his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to continue his campaign to get NATO allies to play, quote, their fair share, a theme he`s sure to revisit next month when he travels to the NATO summit in Brussels.

Joining me now, Jess McIntosh, executive editor at Share Blue and former senior adviser with Hillary Clinton`s campaign; and Nayyera Haq, whose former State Department spokesperson and former White House senior director.

Nayyera, let me start with you, since you had the position, the very fraught position, I have to say, being a State Department spokesperson.  You can`t screw that up.

Devil`s advocate that the blunt talking sort of swaggering bullying language, maybe is effective as a negotiating tactic and gets written off and sort of brushed off the shoulders by allies anyway.  What do you think of that case?

NAYYERA HAQ, FRM. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON:  Well, there`s certainly people who that approach, and they tend to be the Putins and the Erdogans of the world, and not necessarily the types of leaders that we would like to see representing the United States when standing up for things like human rights, religious freedom, and freedom of the press.

Our alliance do know exactly what is going on in this situation.  I mean, we saw with Angela Merkel.  She got a good reading on President Trump and realized that it`s going to be probably a frosty relationship at best.

But what we do end up seeing in these situations is the bluster is followed up by things that provoke our allies and provoke the bad guys at the same time.

So, you know, we`re risking nuclear warfare with North Korea.  We`re threatening a trade war with our five largest trading patterns? How is this actually at the end of the day going to benefit the U.S. public?  That`s the part that we end up missing as we look at these theatrics on the international stage.  

HAYES:  Yeah.  And yet I can`t help but feel that like all in terms of -- it`s one of these dangerous things because I do think there is an audience for this in domestic political consumption.

HAQ:  For sure.

HAYES:, I`m being tough, I`m being tough.  You know, first he`s going like bring a tax to the avocados from Mexico, now we`re going to go after Canada on the dairy.  That there is - that that plays, that stuff does play.

JESS MCINTOSH, SHARE BLUE:  It`s posturing which is why it worked in the campaign and  doesn`t work in government.  You can`t govern via posturing, you have to govern via some sort of coherent ration strategic policy that`s built to benefit domestic bottom lines, which he doesn`t have.

I think that there are people who respond to that, who respond to that posturing, but because  they think he`ll be a strong man to help them.  And when that does not materialize, they`re going to turn very quickly.

HAYES:  Well, and you`ve got this situation - by the way, the five largest trading partners, Nayyera, which she just said - Austan Goolsbee had a tweet today, said that complete it, we`ve now threated trade war with all five of America`s biggest trading partners.

The one place where the bluster was going to mean something concrete was on China.  And it`s been interesting for me to follow the coverage from reporters in China talking about how Chinese media understand Xi`s visit to Mar-a-Lago where basically he rolled President Trump, came away, and Donald Trump with all the tough talk for 15 months on China, was like no they`re not a currency manipulator anymore.

HAQ:  Right.  There`s a subtlety to diplomacy that unfortunately is lacking in our current moment, not least because we actually don`t have many diplomats in place in our key posts around the world, and even here in Washington, D.C.  But that subtlety is not well matched by somebody who`s a blunt talker and doesn`t necessarily look at the details in depth of information.

And so of you somebody like Xi who`s like let me share with you and explain to you exactly why North Korea is a problem.  And now suddenly in the role of educating the president of the  United States, which is awkward at least, and certainly going to be a challenge going forward.  Trade is just the latest example of something that`s very, very complicated.  You have experts there for a reason.  These agreements take multiple years to negotiate.  And to go in with saying, OK, we`re just going to walk away if we don`t like this one aspect of agriculture, which is just one small part of the deal, what`s the best alternative to the negotiating position?  I mean that is a fundamental principle of negotiation.  You have to know what the alternative is.

Unfortunately, our alternative is always - it seems to be in this administration we`re just going to get rid of everything, build walls.  And we don`t have any actual policy to follow up.

HAYES:  Well, the NAFTA, I want to play what he said back in January about reworking NAFTA, because again 100 days, you know this sort of benchmark which doesn`t matter in any larger sense, but does to the president.  Take a listen.


TRUMP:  We`re also meeting with the prime minister of Canada, and we will be meeting with the president of Mexico, who I know.  And we`re going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA.  Anybody ever hear of NAFTA?  I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA.


HAYES:  It`s really interesting to me they have not taken any action on NAFTA, something they could do without congress, right.  They could say we`re announcing a new negotiating team.

MCINTOSH:  Right.  Well, hopefully when he sits down with Justin Trudeau, Trudeau can explain to him how NAFTA works, and what`s happening with agriculture policy, and maybe he`ll understand having sat down with another world leader to get it.

I think we are seeing the confluence of two really sad things in a president.  One is that he is ignorant of domestic and foreign policy, and, two is that he lacks any intellectual curiosity, which is why you wind up with these awkward moments like explaining how the Chinese president had educated him on North Korea and how difficult that was.

And he doesn`t actually realize what he`s doing when he says out loud, and I spoke to him for ten minutes and he told me how crazy it was and now I believe him and China is our friend.  He doesn`t realize what that communicates to the country and to the world when he admits that kind of ignorance in front of world leaders.

HAYES: Quickly Nayyera, on the question of Turkey, there`s was a question - the Italian prime minister who was calling for the release of an Italian journalist who`s been imprisoned by Erdogan, this is the same man that our president called to congratulate on what was seen as a massive assault on Turkish democracy.

HAQ:  Yeah, and this is part of the problem is the - you have essentially democracies that we`ve relied on in the Middle East, key partners on counterterrorism that are now moving closer towards authoritarianism in some really scary ways with the underpinnings we see even in our own country right now with the attacks on freedom of the press from the White House podium, with the lack of transparency about who`s going into the White House.  You now can`t even walk on the sidewalk outside the White House anymore.

So, you have these types of tendencies that Trump has.  He then calls and congratulates a foreign leader for going far more further than we can conceive right now at the same time that his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is now a West Wing official says, oh, thank you for showing up for the opening of the Trump Tower.  So, there`s -- the collusion here is not even -- it`s --

HAYES:  I should note, that was back in 2012.

Jess McIntosh, Nayyera Haq, thanks for joining me tonight. 

That is "ALL IN" for this evening.