Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 27, 2017 Guest: Mickey Edwards, Ashley Parker, Charlie Savage, Bernie Sanders
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.
HAYES: The Sessions revolt grows. The Pentagon defies the President`s tweets and the boy scouts apologize for his behavior.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I say, Tom, you`re fired.
HAYES: Tonight the growing backlash to President Donald Trump. Then Republicans give up the game.
GRAHAM: The skinny bill as policy is a disaster. The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud.
HAYES: Hours before the vote, Republicans admit their last-ditch effort to kill Obamacare is a fraud but they`ll vote for it anyway. And the White House devolves into reality show chaos.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this President.
HAYES: The stunning new Scaramucci assault on the President`s Chief of Staff.
SCARAMUCCI: The fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don`t stink.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The incoming Director of Communications to the White House Anthony Scaramucci has been on the job for less than a week and he believes he has made a startling discovery.
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SCARAMUCCI: There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this President. OK, that is not their job. Their job is to inject this President he into America -
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HAYES: If Scaramucci wants to rout those people out and he is already threatening on fire the entire White House Communications staff, well, he`s got a lot of work to do. There`s a revolt going on against this President and not just from within this administration, it is coming from the military chain of command, from Republicans in Congress, even the Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts of America who released a statement today apologizing for the President`s campaign style speech Monday before the National Scout Jamboree. I quote here, "I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting Program."
Meanwhile, tonight, Congress is sending the President a bill passed with overwhelming veto proof majorities who voted in the Senate just a short time ago. It was 98-2 that places new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. And also, crucially curtails the President`s power to waive Russia sanctions without first getting permission from lawmakers. There are other examples of Senators bucking this President after Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski voted Tuesday against moving forward on the GOP health care bill, angering the President. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called both Murkowski and her fellow Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan with a threat, telling the Republican Senators that as retribution for Murkowski`s vote, Trump`s government could use federal policy the punish the people of Alaska. Sullivan responded not by trying to pressure Murkowski but instead by embarrassing the White House by going public with Zinke`s call.
Now, Zinke faces a prospect of investigations and lawsuits over the blackmail attempt. Even more remarkably, military leaders are now standing up to the Commander in Chief in response to his tweets yesterday that he would reinstate ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Dunford said today there will be no changes to current policy until "the President`s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance." Pointedly adding, "In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect." A sentiment echoed by the Army Chief of Staff Mark Miller.
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MIKE MILLEY, ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: The entire force, the entire chain of command, will always has, will today and will tomorrow and always should treat every single soldier, sailor, airman, marine, coast guard, with dignity and respect for their service and the cloth of our nation. Bar none!
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HAYES: And there are Senate Republicans who are up in arms about the President`s treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions their former colleague who the President has attacked repeatedly this week and who is reportedly considering firing and trying to replace via a recess appointment.
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BEN SASSE (R) NEBRASKA: If you`re thinking of making a recess appointment to push out the Attorney General, forget about it. The Presidency isn`t a ball and this country isn`t a china shop.
GRAHAM: This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the Attorney General is not going over well in the Senate. If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.
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HAYES: Senator Lindsey Graham also says he is drafting legislation to prevent the President from improperly firing the Special Counsel leading the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller.
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GRAHAM: Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump Presidency unless Mueller did something wrong. I am working on legislation that I will introduce next week with Republicans and some Democrats. I think you have all the Democrats. I hope I can get a good number of Republicans that`s will say the following. A Special Counsel cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the President or his team unless you have judicial review of the firing.
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HAYES: I`m joined now by former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma now Lecturer at Princeton University. You know, there`s been so much waiting for, anticipation of Republican to breaking with the President, it hasn`t really happened substantively yet. But it does feel like things are changing at this moment. Is that what you`re feeling about what we`re seeing.
MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Yes, you know, one of the things that has been wrong Chris, for a long time is that the Republicans in the House and in the Senate have acted as though the President was their boss. And the President has finally gone a little too far I think and now you see not just Lindsey Graham who has done this in the past but other Senators standing up to him. And I think especially what Graham is saying now about putting in provisions that would stop the President from being able to fire Mueller, that`s an important step of the Congress reasserting its authority.
HAYES: You know, you also have this from Chuck Grassley who`s been quite supportive, I mean, really down the line in sport of the President of the United States, we should note. He said, "Everyone in D.C. should be warned that the agenda for the Judiciary Committee set for the rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet second, AG now way," basically telling the White House we won`t confirm someone if you fire the AG.
EDWARDS: Well, I mean, one of the stories that`s out Chris, of course, is that the President may be considering a recess appointment. But the courts have already decided that the Congress decides when it`s in recess, not the executive. And all they have to do is just not declare a recess. Just, they don`t have any votes.
HAYES: And that`s interesting to me here because to me, that`s actually in some ways beneath the rhetoric which we`ve gotten from time to time. That`s something substantive. I mean, they`re going to stay in pro forma recess precisely appears to prevent the President from a recess appointment which is somewhat remarkable from the context of a Republican Majority Senate and a Republican President.
EDWARDS: Well, it is and it is a sign of the Republican Congress. And I think it is true in the House too, although now we`re talking mostly about the Senate. The Republican Congress saying, we`re not a china shop. You`re not in the - you`re not our boss. You know, we`ll stand up to you when you do something wrong. And I think that`s a big step forward.
HAYES: There`s also - I find the Department of Defense and the -- and the Service Chief of Staff have done here pretty remarkable as well. I mean, this is obviously an institution that lives and dies by the chain of command. The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief. He issued a public statement and they`re basically saying we`re not going to listen that until we`re told directly that you have to do that. Are you surprised by that reaction?
EDWARDS: Well, they went beyond that. They didn`t just say Chris, that you know until we`re told directly. It`s also until the Secretary of Defense implements - you know, the procedures for carrying it out which he can take his time doing. So, I`m a little surprise because the military is trained you know, that when the Chief Executive says we`re going to do this, they say yes, sir. And I think Scaramucci is - you know, he`s right. There are a lot of people in the White House who are looking at what`s happening. They either see it as three-ring circus in which all the performers are clowns or more scarily, they see it as Hobbs talking about war against all against all which seems to be the story of what`s happening in the White House. And I think that there is going to be pushback not just from people in the Congress but in the administration who believe that this President does need to be protected against.
HAYES: As someone who served under several presidents - under -
EDWARDS: Sorry, I serve with.
HAYES: With, the co-equal branch of government, of course.
HAYES: How would you assess this President`s political capital and power at this moment relative to the others that you`ve served with?
EDWARDS: Well, I think he`s got much less than any President. Jimmy Carter did not have a lot of sway in the Congress and I think he had a lot more than Trump has. And that`s because of things - well, you just told the story about the threats to Murkowski and Sullivan. You just don`t do that. I mean, these are United States Senators. Members of the House and the Senate are the first branch of government. And when the President starts threatening them, especially at the same as he`s pursuing policies that`s are hurting the very people who voted for him, he doesn`t have a lot of clout. I think right now, the Democrats are feeling pretty good about the chances to pick up quite a number of seats in the next election.
HAYES: All right, Mickey Edwards, thanks for your time.
EDWARDS: OK. Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now MSNBC Contributor Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize Winning National Security and Legal Reporter at the New York Times, MSNBC Political Analyst Ashley Parker, White House Reporter for the New York Times. It does seem to me like things have changed a little bit actually in the last week and part of that seems to be on the Sessions part of this because that`s someone who the President is going after who really has a lot of support among the sort of hard right base of both his supporters, conservative media and the Republican party.
ASHLEY PARKER, WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That`s exactly right. I mean, he`s going after someone who sort of in a way was maybe a less charismatic or less effective Trump before President Trump, someone who is very aligned with him ideologically in that sort of nationalist, populist base. So you`re seeing some blowback in the conservative media certainly. But also even among Senators on the Hill, his colleagues and it`s not that Senator Sessions, he was respected and well liked but not particularly a popular Senator. But I think there is a sense that A, this is just not a way you treat a human being. And B, a sense of, if you will treat Jeff Sessions this way who was the first Senator to endorse him and for a while the only Senator to endorse him, you know, who won`t he throw under the bus? Who won`t he treat poorly? And I think Republicans also find that very troubling.
HAYES: Charlie, you know, there`s an underlying structural issue here, something that you documented in your - in your stellar reporting over the years which is the the growth of the power of the executive institutionally which has grown - you know, in every Presidency since Gerald Ford, I think it`s fair to say. And now, this President has inherited that. It does seem that there is a point now where we could begin to see the contours of the beginning of Congress taking back some of that power. Do you think it`s possible?
CHARLIE SAVAGE, THE NEW YORK TIMES NATIONAL SECURITY, AND LEGAL REPORTER: It`s possible. But also, you have to look for actions and not words, you know. So it`s interesting those clips you saw - you showed of Lindsey Graham (INAUDIBLE) saying, you`d better not do this and rattling the saber a little bit. But this is also the same Congress where just the other day, Senator McCain comes in and makes all these headlines with the speech about how he`s never going to vote for this health care bill and then votes for the health care bill. It`s a - it`s a place where there`s a gigantic gap between rhetoric and action. And so it would probably be an important thing for our democracy, for Congress to serve regain itself sense of dignity and self-respect in its role as a co-equal branch of government which has been eroding for a long time. But it seems to come fix (INAUDIBLE) and not endure.
HAYES: Ashley, do you think White House senses that they have a different footing now than they were say a few months ago?
PARKER: I think that`s a - it`s a good question. I think we first - the real problem here basically is that a lot of people increasingly do not fear this President and we sort of first saw this when the health care bills in their various incarnations began to go down and it turned out bringing these people to the White House and wining and dining them and threatening them and going after them on Twitter didn`t actually make much of a difference. And again, that was because a growing of number of people, and to be clear this is not all Republicans but don`t fear the President and don`t necessarily respect the President. And I think when you began your show, you sort of offered a litany of all these other things that just again, fall into that basket which is if you don`t fear the President, you`re willing to stand up for him, you`re willing to push for more legislation, as Charlie said, I don`t know how far the action will really go but it does seem to be a tipping point of things ling up.
HAYES: And to Charlie`s point, I mean, Charlie, part of what we`ve seen is not just the growth - the power of the executive but we`re seeing now something inside the executive that I think is new and worrisome from the sort of constitutional structure of perspective, which is the erosion of the independence of the Department of Justice. I mean, the President is very actively, in ways that violate all sorts of norms and traditions, and in some ways, some of the things Anthony Scaramucci (INAUDIBLE) done the letter of regulations attempting to explicitly control the Department of Justice as a kind of tool of the White House.
SAVAGE: You see this also with Trump calling for criminal investigations into Hillary Clinton all over again, and all kinds of discussion of context between political people and the White House and the Justice Department that clearly violates long standing Justice Department policies and norms that are supposed to keep those two institutions at arm`s length to protect the sense that federal law enforcement is something that is supposed to exist apart from politics and not be an instrument of partisan advancement.
It`s a trend that provokes backlashes, that provokes that sense of what Scaramucci was talking about pejoratively in his point of view, people inside the executive branch thinking that maybe they need to take some steps to protect the country from what is happening right now. I don`t know that I would consider that pejorative. I think the whistle blowers, in particular, are a good thing for democracy but this - you do have a sense that things are escalating here and cascading. And I would add one more element to this theme of pushback that you`ve been outlining throughout this segment from various sectors within both inside the executive branch and in the military and in Congress and conservative media and so forth.
One thing we`ve seen about this President is that he really doesn`t like to be told not to do something. If you tell him, don`t push that button, he`s going to push that button to just to show you that he can, right? And we`ve seen these reports from aides recently, anonymous aides saying, we think that Jeff Sessions is safe. The President has taken the advice that he`s going to back off and we`ve seen those kinds of stories before. We`ve seen the stories where anonymous aide say the President is not going to use Twitter anymore because he`s been persuaded that it is not in his interest to do so and then he goes out and tweets just to show he can. So I`m not sure at all that I believe those kinds of stories anymore that aides put out.
HAYES: That`s a good point. Mr. President, if you`re watching, do not fire Jeff Sessions. Charlie Savage and Ashley Parker, thanks to you both for being here.
SAVAGE: Thank you.
HAYES: Anthony Scaramucci has made a lot of headlines today. Many that cannot be read allowed in polite company. The absolutely bizarre way, House reality show is ahead. And next, Republican Senators admit on camera, the health care bill they`re about to vote on is a fraud. That`s their word but they just might vote for it anyway. Senator Bernie Sanders, his thoughts, his coming up in two minutes.
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GRAHAM: The skinny bill as policy is a disaster, the skinny bill as replacement for Obamacare is a fraud. And I`m not going to tell people back in South Carolina that this product actually replaces Obamacare because it does not. It is a fraud.
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HAYES: A disaster and a fraud. That was the Senator Lindsey Graham`s own description of the script down Health Care Bill Senate Republicans are trying to pass, though we haven`t seen it yet. Now, Graham wasn`t alone. He spoke with Senator John McCain of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana by his side. The Republican Senators lambasted the bill, hastily written over lunch today, -- I`m not making that up today - which keeps changing so quickly, most Senators don`t seem to know what`s in it though currently, it appears to repeal the ACA`s individual and employer mandates.
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GRAHAM: You`re going to have increased premiums most of Obamacare stays in place if the skinny bill becomes law. Not only do we not replace Obamacare, we politically own the collapse of health care.
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HAYES: He is correct about that. That`s the gospel truth. Now, none of that is stopping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from trying to salvage GOP bill anyway but even as Graham has repeatedly called the so called skinny bill a fraud, he still said he would vote for it. As long as Speaker Paul Ryan promises, promises that the House won`t also pass the bill. In other words, promise not to make the bill law, but instead, would go to a conference committee to hammer out something completely entirely different.
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GRAHAM: I need assurances from the Speaker of the House and his team, that if I vote for the skinny bill, it will not become the final product. It will be the vehicle to have a conference between House and Senate where we consider - can consider a true replacement.
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HAYES: Just to be clear, if the Senator believes this bill is a disaster, he and his colleagues could just vote no on the bill in front of them to start with but instead, he and others are looking for someone to save them from being responsible for their own votes. Much like in the days of Obama, see back then, they could vote to repeal the ACA knowing President Obama`s veto would save them from ever having to formulate real policy of their own. With me now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Have you - I watched today in awe as Senator after Senator got up to say, I will only rote for the bill in front of this august body if you guarantee and assure me, it does not become law. Have you ever seen that before?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D) VERMONT: You know, I was just thinking, Chris, hearing your description of the process here is that Congress now I think has a 12 percent positive rating. I think we`re going be in low single digits after this abomination. We have this situation here where as you`ve indicated, Republican members have said, this is a fraud, this is a disaster. Oh, yeah, we may vote for it if it goes to conference. And then you hand them over to the House side, you`re having over on the House side, Ryan saying, well, actually, it may go to the Conference Committee.
So what we have here though is not laughing matter. It`s a disastrous piece of legislation which would raise premiums. This is the CBO, Congressional Budget Office. 20 percent this year, 20 percent on top of that, and 20 percent on top of that. In other words, premiums will soar in this country. 16 million people will lose their health insurance, Planned Parenthood will be defunded. This is in a sense - it may be pathetic but this really is not a laughing matter.
HAYES: And I just want to be clear, in case - you know, this is not just Senator Sanders is saying or the CBO, I mean, this is - what you`re describing is essentially uniformly understood by the actual participants. I mean, what Lindsey Graham and John McCain and Ron Johnson and Bill Cassidy got up there to say was, yes, this is a disaster. This is unworkable policy by every sort of unanimous understanding. Now Paul Ryan comes out with a statement where he basically says he doesn`t offer the assurance, OK. He does not say under no circumstances, he basically says, if you need us to, we will. Are they going to go for this? Are they your colleagues going to allow themselves to conned in plain daylight?
SANDERS: Chris, what I would say simply say is stay tuned. What`s going on here is pretty crazy. I don`t think anybody knows the outcome. But I`ll tell what you the American people want. The American people understand that the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect. Deductibles are too high, co-payments are too high, premiums are too high and we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and those prices are soaring every single day. What virtually all of the American people want is for a start for us to improve the Affordable Care Act. Lower deductibles, lower premiums, lower co-payments, lower the cost of the prescription drugs.
As you know, I believe we got to go further in the future and pass a Medicare for all single payer program guaranteeing health care to all people. But right now, the American people want to us approve the Affordable Care Act. You have a process here, this is so crazy. Where there has not been one public hearing, not one doctor has been able to testify in Committee about the impact of this legislation on his or her patients. Not one hospital administrator, not one representative of the disability community. We have every major national health care organization. The AMA, the American Hospital Association, opposed to this legislation. And these guys are going forward with legislation that has 12 percent support of the American people.
HAYES: I want to ask you. You mention a single payer. Something sort of interesting thing happened today because as all of this is happening, right, I think this is back - in the back ground is, what happens if they pass this and what are the next steps and how is this going to work? And Steve Danes, a Republican Senator sort of attempted to kind of call Democrat`s bluff where he offered an amendment that Democrats could vote for that would be Medicare for all. I think it was John Conyers` bill. Now, you - am I correct, you voted present on that and if so why?
SANDERS: Absolutely. I`ll tell you why.
SANDERS: What I said is, to Senator Danes, thank you for being a Republican who understands that our dysfunctional health care system needs fundamental change and we need to join the rest of the industrialized world in guaranteeing health care to all people. Thank you very much, Senator Danes, who is a very conservative Republican. And then I said, Senator Danes, you get four or five other Republicans to vote for this and you vote for it. I think we can pass this thing. Well, needless to say, Senator Danes, the guy who offered the bill didn`t vote for it. No Republican voted for it. So my response is we will offer a Medicare for all single payer system when we are ready to do that and that will be sooner than rather than later. Not respond to a Republican with no intention of voting for this in the first place.
HAYES: I mean, I`ve been going back and forth with reporters I`ve been talking to staff and texting. And there`s just sort of outstanding questions, real questions for real people with real people`s lives on the line which is, can they be so reckless that they end up actually signing into law something they all agree is bad and reckless and will essentially blow up insurance markets for millions of people? It seems incomprehensible they`ll do that but I`m not so sure that they won`t?
SANDERS: And I`ll agree with you. And I`ll tell you why Chris. The Republican Party is now, in fact, a right wing extremist party dominated by the Koch brothers ideology. And as you know, Koch brothers do not want to see cuts to Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. They want to eliminate those programs. They want to eliminate every federal program passed in the last 80 years that was designed to protect working families or children or the elderly or the sick or the poor. That is their agenda.
And this is beginning of their agenda. If they are successful in whatever this thing turned out to be, cutting Medicaid, et cetera, mark my words, mark my words, they will be back to privatize Medicare within a few months, and then they will go after Social Security and the veteran administration. And they have behind them, what they have behind them are hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires who basically want to destroy the federal government`s effort to protect the middle class and working families. That is what this is about.
HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for joining me tonight.
SANDERS: Thank you.
HAYES: A quick note in our last segment, we inadvertently identified Ashley Parker of the Washington Post is being from New York Times, her former employer. This days that`s a huge error, and they don`t take kindly to it on either side of that incredible journalist, a competition happening right now. We`re sorry for that. Ashley is doing great work at the Washington Post. Please read her there, follow her on Twitter @ashleyrparker.
Still to come, the Trump administration tactic of threatening the citizens of Alaska over their Senators` health care vote, that story just ahead.
HAYES: Tonight, Anthony Scaramucci, the man who is in-charge of Communications to the White House has taken to Twitter to apologize for some of his communication. "I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for real Donald Trump`s agenda. #MAGA. Now, what pray tell is that apology for? If you haven`t heard already, you`ll have a hard time believing me when I tell you. But first, maybe take a moment to clear young children from the room. Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and tonight`s X-rated turn in this White House reality show is sadly coming up.
HAYES: The Trump administration is threatening the citizens of Alaska over one of its senator`s health care votes. Today, we learned that after one of Alaska`s senators voted against a motion to begin debating the GOP health care bill, members of the Trump administration responded with threats, not against her, but against residents of the state.
After the president`s tweet yesterday that Senator Lisa Murkowski of the great state of Alaska the senator of the great state of Alaska really let the Republicans and her country down. Murkowski and fellow Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan got a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska`s future with the administration in jeopardy.
Sullivan told the paper he feared, quote, that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop.
Murkowski confirmed the call to reporters.
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SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI, (R) ALASKA: I did have a conversation with the secretary and he told me what I already knew, which was that the president wasn`t pleased with the -- sorry, I`m looking for which room I`m going to - - wasn`t pleased with the vote I had taken. And I knew that. I had had a conversation with the president.
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HAYES: Now Interior Secretary Zinke threatening calling a senator to threaten her constituents over a health care vote is highly irregular, so much so that the top Democrat on the House natural resources committee is calling now for an investigation.
Joining me now is Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat from Hawaii. My first thought when I saw this was...
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, (D) HAWAII: Hello, Chris.
HAYES: It`s good to see you.
My first thought when I saw this was, well, you know, there are all these legendary talks about how presidents, or majority leaders, or different people, try to get votes and whip votes and twist arms. Is this normal for someone from the administration to basically threaten federal treatment of a state over a vote like this?
HIRONO: This is the kind of thing that we`ve come to expect from this administration and President Trump, bullying tactics, threats, it`s really ham-fisted. And, in fact, if anything when we are threatened, as (inaudible) by being namby-pamby, you know, it just raises our hackles. So, I talked with Lisa last night, and I said, hang in there. She said, you know what, she learned to stand up to bullies from the get go, because if you don`t stand up to them, they`ll going to keep on coming.
So, she`s not afraid of these kinds of threats. People in Alaska know who she`s fight for and she`s fighting for them.
HAYES: She`s in an interesting position, because, of course, won her race when she lost a primary challenge and ran as an independent. It seems to me that the party doesn`t hold as much over her as they might other Republican senators.
HIRONO: Exactly. And any of us worth our salt will stand up to these kinds of ham-fisted bullying tactics.
HAYES: You know, you`re someone right now who,like your colleague John McCain, is in the midst, if I`m not mistaken, of treatment for cancer.
HAYES: Obviously, your colleague got the big warm ovation yesterday before voting for that motion to proceed two days ago. You`re right now undergoing treatment for stage four cancer, and also considering this health care legislation. How is that impacting the way that you think about it?
HIRONO: Well, I`ve certainly been a big voice for health care for all as a right, not a privilege. But being diagnosed with a very unexpected stage four kidney cancer only a couple months ago, has definitely focused on how critical health care is for everybody. And I give the example that John McCain and I are examples of how all of us are just one diagnosis away from a serious illness, which I thought only happened to other people, but obviously that is not the case.
I am now joined the ranks of people with pre-existing conditions, of which there are some half a million in Hawaii and millions all across the country who will be hurt drastically by whatever Mitch McConnell comes up with.
HAYES: Well, and that -- the twists and turns -- the New York Times just ran a story I thought it was quite moving, and others have written about this, too, is interviewing people that are in the midst of very extreme health care situations, receiving treatment on the individual market, receiving subsidies maybe on the Medicaid expansion who are watching every twist and turn of this legislative process as a life or death matter. And you must have some incite to that. I mean, your health care probably won`t be affected by what`s passed but I imagine you`ll have some insight into how it must feel to watch this while under treatment.
HIRONO: Well, believe me, Chris, I was really grateful when I was diagnosed and confronting treatment that I could focus on the appropriate treatment as opposed to how the heck am I going to pay for treatment, because as you can imagine I`ve already undergone two pretty major operations for my kidney cancer, and these are very expensive.
And so I`m totally aware of how millions of people in our country will be hurt by what the Republicans are putting forward. And I just can`t understand how people who should have some sense of the importance of health care for everyone that they can vote for this kind of bill that is really going to knock millions of people off health care. It`ll probably bring back higher costs for those with pre-existing conditions if we can even afford that kind of coverage. It will eliminate the individual mandate, the employer mandate. Basically they will repeal the Affordable Care Act that supports and helps millions and millions of people in our country.
And how they can do that is beyond me. So we`re going to fight it every step.
HAYES: Senator Mazie Hirono, thanks for joining us.
HIRONO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, the man in charge of White House communications gives us a taste his, well, communication style. The shocking, profane comments from Anthony Scaramucci coming up. Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two is next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, NBC`s Andrea Mitchell went on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night and Seth gave her colleague a little ribbing about her quest to get answers from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
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SETH MEYERS, HOST, LATE NIGHT: You`ve tried very hard, a very noble effort. Here you are asking him some questions at the end of a photo op. Let`s take a look real quick.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Mr. Secretary, China has said there will be consequences for the deployment now of anti-missile defenses in South Korea. Mr. Minister, are you sure the Trump administration will be strong against Vladimir Putin?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys.
MITCHELL: Can you assure us that Russia will not be able to move further in Ukraine?
We haven`t had any time in here.
MEYERS: You know what?
MITCHELL: I mean, that is humiliating.
MEYERS: That. Yeah. You look like woman who was lost in a shopping mall at the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was fun, but there was a story Andrea told that none of us had heard before, which we will bring you. And parental discretion is advised. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
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MITCHELL: Tomorrow, plant officials will be told to recheck their equipment and operating procedures so that what happened at Three Mile Island doesn`t happen at their reactors.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.
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HAYES: That was NBC News veteran Andrea Mitchell days after the partial meltdown after the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania.
Last night, Andrea told Seth Meyers a remarkable story about her experience covering that disaster and being a woman journalist in 1979.
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MEYERS: What happened when you tried to do report from Three Mile Island?
MITCHELL: Well, a very kindly paternalistic bureau chief, a lovely man, said when I noticed that five days in, I was the only correspondent not going in and covering this thing. I went and said, how come I`m the only one who is not going to Three Mile Island? And he said because you`re a woman of child bearing age.
MITCHELL: And I said, has it occurred to you that men`s balls are as vulnerable to radiation as women`s ovaries?
MEYERS: It`s very...
MITCHELL: I mean, I got there the next day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A spectacle is unfolding in the White House unlike anything we`ve ever seen and that`s really saying something. A newly hired person who reports directly to the president, White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, has entered the scene like the bad guy in the second season of reality TV show. He is not here to make friends.
Last night, Scaramucci appeared to try to get the FBI to criminally investigate White House chief of staff Reince Priebus because Scaramucci`s financial disclosure form was a subject of a Politico story. Scaramucci tweeting, "in light of the leak of my financial disclosure info, which is a felony, I will be contacting the FBI and the Justice Department #swamp @Reince45." More remarkably, perhaps, the Justice Department responded favorably, releasing a statement which reads in part, "we agree with Anthony. These staggering number of leaks are undermining the ability of our government to fuction to protect this country. Like the Attorney General has said, whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail."
Now, Scaramucci later deleted the tweet and conceded that his financial disclosure form wasn`t leaked in the first place, and that`s because it is a public document. But Scaramucci also called Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker furious that his dinner with President Trump and Sean Hannity had also apparently been leaked and spoke to Lizza on the record.
He told Lizza he had called the FBI and Justice Department, which is an apparent violation of White House policy, and then engaged in a profanity laced diatribe. They`ll all be fired by me, he said. I fired one guy the other day. I have three or four people I`ll fire tomorrow. I`ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus. if you want to leak something, he`ll be asked to resign very shortly.
Continuing, "Reince is a bleeting paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac, Scaramucci said." And he wasn`t done. Also targeting the president`s chief strategist, "I`m not Steve Bannon. I`m not trying to suck my own (EXPLETIVE DELETED)," he said. I`m not trying to build my own bland off the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) strength of the president."
Scaramucci has been calling a lot of reporters lately. And there`s still more. And that`s next.
HAYES: It sounds like White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has been workshopping some catchphrases.
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ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: As you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don`t stink, OK, and that`s me and the president. I told the president this morning when the iceberg hits the boat, the rats start flying up from steerage, right, because the water comes in in steerage. Because I know knee knockers when I see them and their knees will start knocking.
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HAYES: Joining me now, Joy Reid, host of AM Joy on MSNBC, and Charlie Pierce, writer at-large at Esquire.
All right, Charlie, maybe I`ll start with you. So, let`s put aside the profanity and the colorful language, which I like, is funny, and people that know me know that I`ve been known to engage in that. This -- have you ever seen anything remotely like this?
CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Well, you know, Chris, constitutional democracies had a good run here in America. You know, it`s done a lot of good, produced a lot of good music. Maybe it`s time to switch over to Deadwood or something.
We`ve got Al Swearingin (ph) running the White House communications shop all of a sudden.
No, I mean, at least people like -- well, Nixon had it on tape, which was kind of embarrassing. At least Lyndon used to do this privately when nobody was watching. No, this is extraordinary to me.
The White House communications director, who has been on the job for about 11 minutes, is completely at war with the White House chief of staff who is apparently entirely friendless and the president seems to like this, which is I think the scariest thing of all.
HAYES: That part of it -- I mean, so there`s two things to me. The most worrisome, substantive -- the thing worrying me is him calling the FBI, the Department of Justice`s press person, Sarah Isgur Flores, putting out a statement basically saying attaboy Anthony.
I mean, we are in really bad territory when you are invoking the FBI as a political tool to investigate not just your enemies like Hillary Clinton, your rivalries within the White House. Think of what that would mean for the rule of law in this country.
JOY REID, MSNBC: Right. And also the fact that Scaramucci should not even be having conversations with Jeff Sessions, or the FBI at all. He shouldn`t be talking to them at all.
But I think it`s just one more way in which they`ve just exploded all of the norms. I mean, I think the sad part of it is Donald Trump is only having fun being president when`s either destroying some norm of American life or something about the presidency or when he`s watching other people be cruel.
He`s sort of -- he`s the stadium, the Roman Coliseum stadium seat holder who just wants to see the lions eat Christian in that parlance, and that`s the only way he can be happy is to see them fight.
HAYES: You know, McKay Coppins wrote a piece awhile back, great reporter for The Atlantic, frequent guest of the show, about how people that work for Trump become mini Trumps, that -- and, you know, the fish rots from the head down, which I think is a German expression. But, you know, there is a degree to which the leadership approach really does characterize the folks -- and Scaramucci does seem to be an extremely Trumpian figure in every conceivable way.
PIERCE: Yeah. Either in this operation you either become a mini-Trump or you get devoured. There`s no third option. There`s no putting your head down and doing a job in this White House.
And you know, I think you`re right. I think Scaramucci has natural bread in the bone Trumpian tendencies, which will make him a great favorite around the West Wing until of course he gets more famous and gets his own Saturday Night Live character and then the president will turn on him like a rabid wolverine and he`ll be out the door.
HAYES: That point is so true. I think it was Maggie Haberman or someone else that said today it`s a fine line between amusing the president and outshining the president. In the beginning, when everyone was watching Sean Spicer`s daily briefings, the trainwrecks though they were, all of the reporting indicated the president got a kick out of the fact that everyone was paying attention. And there is a fine line between amusing this president and outshining him.
REID: And also that he finds it amusing that you`re getting attention until you`re being ridiculed and then he sees that a reflection of himself.
I think we`re going to test the extent to which Scaramucci is a sycophant. And he showed that he can be quite a sycophant with his opening statements to the press.
Can he be sycophant enough to shrink back into the shadows when Donald Trump thinks he`s getting too much attention and taking the attention off the only person that matters to Donald Trump, which is Donald Trump.
Look, he is already exhibiting that he understands what the job is. The only job in Donald Trump`s mind, whether you`re the attorney general, whether you are Ryan Zinke and you`re running Interior, it doesn`t matter what your job is, your only job is to protect the king, to surround him, to praise him, to love him, to laud him and to protect him from his enemies, including enemies within the administration.
HAYES: There`s also -- I mean, again, it all seems so redundant, but there`s just the trivial lying here, right. So, he tweets this thing out, Charlie, that is clearly pointed at Reince Priebus. He then calls Ryan Lizza and confirms that. And then later tries to just roll everyone, and be like make fun of the fake news, wrong. I was just saying that Reince and I were working together against leaks. Like, that`s not true.
And this is him now. I made a mistake in trusting a reporter. It won`t happen again. So, it`s everyone`s fault but his own.
PIERCE: Yeah, I mean, what are you, 5? You call up a reporter and you unburden yourself and you don`t tell him it`s off the record? You don`t think the guy is going to print it? My lord. Come on.
And not only that, but I mean, I`ve been sitting through three days of this incredible farce on Capitol Hill. Chris, government by absurdity can only go on for so long and things start to crack. And I think when you`ve got the uniformed heads of the military services essentially ignoring the president, the crack is getting deeper and moving into very, very dangerous territory in terms of the structure of the whole government.
HAYES: What do you think?
REID: Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things I think is becoming clear is that we`re all living in a giant video game and Anthony Scaramucci is just the avatar Donald Trump has chosen to play, right, because he sort of is what Donald Trump, as one person said, thinks he sees when he looks in the mirror and his attitude is just what Donald Trump wants.
The problem is while all of this ridiculous show is going on, while this reality show taking place, they are literally abrogating every norm that has made the United States of America a functioning democracy. We can no longer trust the basic data coming out of public officials. We can no longer tell whether a president`s statement on Twitter is an official state of policy or just him having a bad morning, nor can his own departments...
HAYES: ...has chosen to ignore what was quite clearly a policy directive from the president of the United States.
REID: Right. And so you have a nonfunctional presidency, a nonfunctional congress that still sees itself as the lackeys and stewards of this nonfunctional president and we have an almost ungovernable state where the whole world is watching the United States of America become this.
HAYES: Charlie, to your point, too, I have talked to a bunch of people and a lot of veterans of previous administrations, all they obsess over is some day you`re going to come to work and there`s a crisis, some day you`re going to come to work and there`s something you can`t control, whether it`s something like Deepwater Horizon, or Ebola or Katrina. And, man alive, what is going to happen then?
PIERCE: Well, right before we came on the air there was a statement that the State Department has ordered the family members of the embassy officials in Caracas, in Venezuela to leave the country. And the first thing I thought of was, at least there`s somebody in the State Department to give the order.
PIERCE: That`s the kind of thing that`s not tenable right now.
And I mean, as I said, I`ve been in the middle of this health care thing for three days. The White House is completely absent from this. There is absolutely no White House input on this issue at all.
REID: Because they don`t care what is in the bill. They just want a win.
HAYES: And you`re sort of seeing how that`s playing out.
You can catch Joy Reid weekends at 10:00 a.m. right here on MSNBC.
Reid, Charlie Pierce at Esquire.com, you will not regret either of those. Thank you both.
That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END