IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 8/2/17 AP: Kelly & Sessions

Guests: Maria Hinojosa, Jennifer Rubin, Ted Lieu

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 2, 2017 Guest: Maria Hinojosa, Jennifer Rubin, Ted Lieu

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: 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: This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English.

HAYES: A downward spiral continues, and the Presidency in crisis plays the hits.

STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP`S SENIOR ADVISOR FOR POLICY: The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.

HAYES: Tonight new record low poll numbers for the President and today`s attempt to halt the slide with an anti-immigration barrage.

MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you`ve ever said.

HAYES; Plus, new Russian sanctions signed into law against the President`s will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, why are the Russia sanctions seriously flawed?

HAYES: The Boy Scout back checked the White House.


HAYES: And Trump takes on the world.

AL GORE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: He has surrounded himself with a rogue`s gallery of climate deniers.

HAYES: Former Vice President Al Gore on an inconvenient sequel, and how the Trump White House is starting to feel like Westeros.

GORE: It was like the red wedding in Game of Thrones.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. On a day that saw the lowest approval rating of his entire Presidency, President Trump is catering to his shrinking base by spotlighting an issue that has animated his core supporters from absolutely day one, immigration.


TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best. They`re bringing drugs. They`re bringing crime. They`re rapists. And some I assume are good people.


HAYES: The President today holding a photo op to Trump at a month`s old immigration bill with not that much support in Congress throwing his support behind a RAISE Act which would cut in half the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S.


TRUMP: This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy.


HAYES: Very few of the Senators who spoke to NBC News today other than the bill sponsors were even familiar with the RAISE Act. Those who were, well, let`s just say they weren`t big fans.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina`s economy, the number one is agriculture, number two is tourism. So, my farmers, my hotel owners, my restaurant owners have a hard time finding labor. It`s not that Americans are lazy, these are jobs that are just hard to fill. And when you can`t find an American worker, you can get a legal Visa so win-win. You take that and cut it in half, it will destroy South Carolina`s economy. Other than that it`s a good idea.


HAYES: Of course today`s photo op wasn`t so much about getting a bill through Congress as it was an opportunity for the President to play to the anger and the resentment of his anti-immigration supporters.


TRUMP: The RAISE Act prevents new migrants and new immigrants from collecting welfare and protects U.S. workers from being displaced. And that`s a very big thing. They`re not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare. That doesn`t happen under the RAISE Act. They can`t do that.


HAYES: In order to amplify the message, the White House trotted out a guy we haven`t seen much lately, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, who was Trump`s bomb throwing warm-up act on the campaign trail. Miller strode into the White House Briefing Room today to push the RAISE Act to raves from the Breitbart base. Anne Coulter tweeting, "we need to clone Stephen Miller and appoint him to every cabinet position." Miller seems to relish the chance to spar with reporters at one point battling with the New York Times reporter who pressed him for statistics to back up his claims.


MILLER: Let`s also use common sense here, folks. At the end of the day, why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers and why historically -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not asking for common sense. I`m asking for specific statistical data.

MILLER Well, I think it`s very clear, Glenn, that you`re not asking for common sense, but if I could just answer - if I could just answer your question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, not common sense. Common sense is fungible. Statistics are not

MILLER: I named the study -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just finish the question. Tell me the specific -

MILLER: Glenn, Glenn, I named the studies-I named the studies -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked for a statistic. Can you tell me how many -

MILLER: Glenn, maybe we`ll make a carve-out in the bill that says the New York Times can hire all the low-skilled, less-paid workers they want from other countries, and see how you feel then about the low-wage substitution. This is a reality that`s happening in our country.


HAYES: Miller one of the architects of the Trump Travel Ban at one point took issue with the reference to a poem written on the statue of liberty.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Statue of Liberty says "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." It doesn`t say anything about speaking English -

MILLER: Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world. It`s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you`re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This whole notion of "Well, they could learn - you know, they have to learn English before they get to the United States, are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain or Australia?

MILLER: Jim, it`s actually -- I have to honestly say I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It`s actually -- it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind -

No, this is an amazing - this is an amazing moment. This is an amazing moment.


HAYES: The anti-immigrant push comes at the lowest point of the Trump Presidency. His legislative agenda is in tatters after the failure of the GOP Health Care effort. Every day seems to bring a new revelation on the Russia investigation. (INAUDIBLE) Republicans are not turning their backs on President Trump, and then there`s this, today. Quinnipiac University released a survey showing the President with the lowest approval rating he has ever had in a major national poll. Just 33 percent of Americans, one- three saying they approve his performance, while 61 percent disapprove. Remarkably, his approval rating is now underwater, even among one of his core groups of supporters, white voters without a college degree.

Only 43 percent of whites without a college degree now approve of the President`s performance, according to Quinnipiac, while 50 percent disapprove. Joining me now, John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC, Political Writer for the New York Times. John, you covered administrations and I wonder what you made of it today because it struck me as it looked a lot like an administration in year eight, when - with a deadlocked Congress, when they`re kind of trying to do things symbolically more than actually get stuff through because this bill is not really going anywhere. There is no big push. It was a really strange thing to see from an administration in month six, I thought. What do you think?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I agree. And look, this bill would take 60 votes to pass. They`re not going to get Democrats to support it. They`re not even going to get all the Republicans to support it, as that clip from Lindsey Graham showed. What we`ve seen from President Trump as he gets under increasing stress is that he retreats to trying to please his base. He did that with the speech in Long Island last week to those police officers. He does things that try to rile the - rile the visceral reactions and the applause they got on the campaign trail.

His problem, as you pointed those Quinnipiac numbers is his base is shrinking. He - not only was he underwater with those white non-college voters, if you look at the strong approve and strong disapprove, it was way lop sided in a negative direction. And so the combination of lack of legislative success and the continual set of embarrassments that Donald Trump has visited upon his administration and himself has taken a big toll.

HAYES: You know, it strikes me that - how big - I guess how big a role do you think the health care implosion last week played? Because to me, that was a really significant turning point in how both the perception among the public and among other politicians in Washington about the political potency of this President.

HARWOOD: I agree 100 percent. In fact, I wrote a piece today about the fact that increasing numbers of officials, both in the executive branch, as well as in the Congress have taken to in essence ignoring the President, acting as if his words don`t mean very much. So he comes out of the health care defeat having not done very well in trying to push that legislation, not showing any significant command of the legislation. He comes out and says, well, you`re not going to vote on anything until you take up, again, the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Well, not only did the Senate go on to take up other business like the confirmation of his FBI Director, but they`ve also scheduled hearings on a much smaller bipartisan fix to ObamaCare. And it`s not what the President called for but increasingly, people don`t care what the President says.

HAYES: Yes. Today was interesting also because we got to see Stephen Miller who in many ways is really a kind of crucial voice for this President. He I think channels the world view of the President`s campaign, if not the President himself more than anyone. And you got to see a dynamic that I think they really enjoy that they seek out, which is the kind of us versus the cosmopolitan media posture essentially.

HARWOOD: I think, Chris, that the White House was thrilled that Stephen Miller and Jim Acosta, Stephen Miller and Glenn Thrush got into it the way they did. But here is the problem, the Republican Party is not just the Trump blue collar base, it`s also business and business does not like this immigration proposal. Why? Because for the reasons that Lindsey Graham indicated, there is a tremendous need for labor within this economy in multiple sectors. We`ve got an aging population, increasing number of people who are going to be dependent on government retirement programs. We need taxpayers for economic growth and also the solvency of those programs and the RAISE Act would - by cutting illegal immigration would endanger the ability to deal with both of those issues.

HAYES: All right, John Harwood, thanks for being here. I`m joined now by Jennifer Rubin, Columnist for the Washington Post and Anchor and Executive Producer for NPR`s Latino USA. What was your reaction to what we saw on the White House today?

MARIA HINOJOSA, NPR`S LATINO USA ANCHOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Oh my God. I mean, where do I start? It`s been a - it`s been a sad couple of days, to be honest with you, Chris. So, when I think about it, I think my God, my father who came from Mexico, who, OK, seriously, he was a bit of a genius. He helped to create the cochlear implant that some in the deaf community choose to have, to use. My father became a U.S. citizen almost immediately when he got his job at the University of Chicago. But he spoke English like this. It was very - and I used to make fun of my father. Daddy, don`t speak, you know. So when you think about what he is saying, everybody now has got to speak English. I`m like, who`s making that decision? Are we going to have places where they`re going to say no, no, it`s ah, it`s a. Would Melania Trump be allowed into the country? Would her English be acceptable enough? And that`s what I want us, you to realize. That is where we`re going.

HAYES: And I want to just be clear for one second -

HINOJOSA: I don`t want to put too much importance on it because it is a lot of me.

HAYE: I know. I just want to be clear just so far for the policy here. What they`re - the change would be a preference for people that spoke English already, right? So when you go through the citizenship process, obviously, the citizenship interview is in English, for instance, right? But this would be a change to that. You would - you know, we would only be taking people in who already spoke English before coming to the country which would be a big shift and would exclude maybe people like your father, maybe people like Melania Trump. Jennifer, it was - it was striking to me to watch Miller`s performance today because it just felt to me that this - we know what part of the sort of Republican coalition that`s targeted to. And it`s a pretty narrow part, even if actually the politics of the issue could be on their side if presented differently.

JENNIFER RUBIN, THE WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Well, I`m not even sure if presented differently it could be on their side but you`re right. The Republicans in the Senate want no part of that, they made very clear that there is no room on the schedule for this. Listen, this was introduced in April and went nowhere fast. This is just a revival. They brought back the rerun because the initial launch didn`t go that well. So you`re right. He is grasping for straws. He` trying to energize his base. And what the Santa Monica born California born, Stephen Miller from cosmopolitan of Santa Monica does is he plays like he is the working man`s friend.

And what we really saw there was someone who`s not interested in any of the facts, not interested in any of the answers, not interested in really helping people, he just wants to get into a fight with the media, because that`s what these people do. It`s no longer enough and that`s what you see in Quinnipiac, that`s what you see in Congress. John Harwood who was just on is exactly right. They`re ignoring him. You can`t get votes, you can`t get things done simply by yelling at Glenn Thrush. And I think they`re badly mistaken if they think this is going to help them get out of the hole.

HAYES: Now, one thing - one thing that`s striking tome in watching this is, and I`m in touch with a lot of folks who work in immigration law and immigrant communities, and the one place that they have delivered in some ways on the Trump agenda, right? A lot of stuff has been stonewalled, they really - things have really changed if you`re an immigrant in this country if you`re related to an unauthorized immigrant. I mean -


HAYES: It`s really changed.

HINOJOSA: Oh, yes.

HAYES: So, this may be performance, but what is happening on the ground is quite dramatic and they are delivering on what they said they`re going to deliver.

HINOJOSA: They`re delivering in terms of the attitude. The ICE agents feel completely unshackled. They`re delivering on the detentions, right? They`re not necessarily delivering yet on the massive deportations but Chris, Latino USA this weekend, we`re going to feature a whole hour on ICE. And well start with the story of a guy who I met because he worked at a plant store here, who has DACA, he`s coming back from Upstate New York back to his home in Manhattan, have DACA. Every person getting on a bus in Upstate New York is being asked now by agents what`s your citizenship? What`s your citizenship? And he had DACA, and they still detained him because they were like, well, no, but you didn`t have the letter.

HAYES: So here is my question. This - we`ve been hearing stories like this. And I guess a question for you, Jennifer, is whether you think - I mean, I want to be clear about this. This administration, parts of it really do believe in this as a project. This isn`t just performance, right, because, I don`t think even think that stories like that are they`re - they`re doing that for political reasons. I mean, this actually is a core feature of the kind of ideological movement that brought this President into power. I think that`s also part of what you saw today.

RUBIN: Absolutely. They are xenophobes, they are nationalists, they think that America needs to be frozen or taken back to the 1950s. They think our identity is like those right wing parties in Europe say about blood and soil. And this is what they believe in. It`s deeply biased. It`s deeply prejudicial. It`s deeply exclusionary. And it is not going to solve any of our problems. It`s going to make them worse. And I think along the way, maybe we`re seeing in the polls that the people that they`ve been playing to are getting the idea that this is not really helping them all that much, that they`re not really getting what they bargained for. I would hope that is true.

In terms of the ICE raids and the immigration crackdown, you know, here`s where someone like Jeff Flake, who just came out and is bashing his party really needs to step up to the plate. He`s not only a libertarian, but he is pro immigration. Where are the hearings and the oversight on ICE? So, why isn`t Jeff Sessions - why is it -excuse me. Why isn`t Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, those folks holding oversight hearing because the abuses really are reprehensible?

HINOJOSA: Yes. So, the other thing Chris that kind of stood out for me, which is again, if you look at kind of political strategy and feeding that base - and I remind people that I do not represent NPR. They distribute my show, but this is me, is the discussion around people of color and them being the primary victims of this notion that immigrants are coming in with green cards and this whole notion that Steve Miller has which is just like where are you coming from? But the fact that they`re saying we are here to protect you, African-American worker, you Latino son of immigrant workers. We`re here to protect you. And that, that kind of racial divisionary politic is a very dangerous thing. But I agree with you, whether or not the base is actually - because also people are opening their eyes.

HAYES: Well, and a certain point, you know, you got to deliver - you got to deliver for the people you said you were going to make lives better for. Independent (INAUDIBLE) is happening with the guys getting on the bus in Upstate New York. Jennifer Rubin, Maria Hinojosa, thank you, both.

Ahead, the President signs what may be the most significant legislation he signed yet. And against his own will with no cameras present, how the Congress forced the President`s hand on Russia sanctions and what that means going forward with Representative Ted Lieu in in just a few minutes.


HAYES: Today the President of the United States finally did something he did not want to do. After days of delay, he signed a package of new sanctions on Russia, along with Iran and North Korea, which Congress had passed with veto-proof majorities. In what now looks like a successful effort to tie the President`s hands. Well, the President has frequently paraded his executive orders and other bill signings in front of the TV cameras with an audience present to watch him perform his Presidential duties, the signing of the Russia sanctions bill today was quite different. No cameras, no press, no nothing.

The White House did release a Presidential signing statement criticizing the bill. Actually released two different documents. The official signing statement and what they later explained was press statement from the President which ends on the following Trumpian note, "I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress." In that statement, the President accused Congress of essentially usurping his constitutional power to set U.S. foreign policy, and he sounded what seems like a conciliatory note towards Russia, "It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States.

We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary." Russia, however, was unimpressed after President Vladimir Putin already ordered the U.S. to cut 755 diplomatic staff from its missions in Russia. Today Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev unleashed a social media tirade aimed at President Trump. "The U.S. President`s signing of the package of new Russia sanctions ends hopes for improving our relations. The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way."

The U.S. establishment fully outwitted Trump. The President is not happy about the sanctions, yet he could not but sign the bill. I`m joined now by Congressman Ted Lieu of California, Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Congressman, the signing statement sort of made a constitutional argument that this was an incursion on to the President`s constitutional power to set foreign policy. Do you, why is that not the case?

REP. TED LIEU (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you, Chris, for that question. Let me first say today is an example of a U.S. Congress imposing its will on the President, unlike authoritarian regimes in America, Congress is a co-equal branch of government. And when I read that signing statement, actually both of them, the second was particularly bizarre. He references ObamaCare and other issues and I don`t really buy his constitutional argument. Everything in the sanctions bill which is now law, is constitutional, Legislative Counsel has looked at it and no President wants his hands tied, but in this case, we thought it was important. In bipartisan bases, we did that today.

HAYES: Can you make - the sanctions bill, this sanctions bill particularly has ended up having this great symbolic significance because of the context of the investigation into Russia`s interference in the election, the possible collusion between the President`s campaign and Russia in that activity. But can you make the affirmative argument on the merits for why this bill will make things better?

LIEU: Absolutely. First of all, it will make it better because it hopefully will dissuade Russia from attacking us again with the massive cyber-attack in the next set of federal elections. This was a bipartisan rebuke to the President saying Mr. President, the American people and Congress do not trust you to do the right thing when it comes to Russia. And it`s a rebuke to Russia, saying do not try to influence our elections again because you`re going to get consequences worse than if you had tried.

HAYES: So, you those - you think the consequences, these mostly target oil and gas, there`s a little bit of the legislation as I understand it as is somewhat Magnitsky Act ask in so far as individuals associated with the actual penetration can also be targeted. You think that acts as a deterrent?

LIEU: It does. And one of the most important parts of this legislation is it prevents Donald Trump from lifting sanctions on Russia without Congressional review and approval because we want to make sure that he doesn`t take actions that favor the Russian government without Congress knowing about it.

HAYES: What do you make of both - there was a sort of strange kind of smoke signal it felt in the run-up to this with the President sort of dithering. There was some - there was lack of clarity about whether he would sign it. He said was going to sign it. He signed it quietly and then the Russians sort of leaping at the chance to sort of troll and bait the President but also conceding that he didn`t want the sign it. The message had been sent to Moscow that this was not his idea.

LIEU: It`s very clear the President didn`t want the sign this legislation. And I think the Russians are realizing what Republican members are realizing now, which is we have a weak President. Donald Trump is weak, not just because there`s been White House chaos, but also because he has historically low approval ratings, and he has very low influence over Republican and Democratic legislators. That`s why he couldn`t get ObamaCare repeal passed and that`s what we`re seeing now, a weak President with a surging more confident Congress.

HAYES: What`s the next step in - to your mind in U.S.-Russia relations? If they - if they respond with some sort of retaliatory action of their own in response to these, where does this go?

LIEU: I don`t have any problem with having - United States having closer relations with other countries, including with Russia. I have a problem when a President looks like he is beholden to the Russian government and that`s in part why Congress sent this powerful bipartisan message. But there`s many issues we deal with on Russia other than cyber issues. There are issues relating to foreign affairs, issues relating to trade and commerce. We can work with Russia on a number of issues. And keep in mind, Russia is part of the Iran deal as well. So there`s many areas where the U.S. does cooperate with Russia and will continue to do so.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Ted Lieu, thanks for your time tonight.

LIEU: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, the signs the President is struggling to control his own administration as Republican lawmakers begin openly ignoring his demands. Who is breaking ranks with the President and why, just ahead.


HAYES: Some breaking news. The AP reporting that John Kelly in one of his first acts as White House Chief of Staff called Attorney General Sessions "to reassure him that his position is safe despite the recent onslaught of criticism he has taken from President Donald Trump. That was just the most recent rebuke of President Trump from within his own administration. According to the Wall Street Journal, for example, the Acting DEA Chief recently wrote a staff memo disavowing the President`s remarks last week endorising police brutality. Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg said that "I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That`s what law enforcement officers do." Even the Coast Guard is now defying the President.

As you`ll recall last week, the President announced via Twitter he was banning transgendered people from serving in the military. And on Tuesday, the Coast Guard Commandant told a Washington audience the service "will not break faith with transgendered members." The Hill reporting that Admiral Paul Zukunft said that, "and so that was the commitment to our people right now, very small numbers but all of them are doing meaningful coast guard work today." This after the Pentagon already made clear it would do nothing to enforce the ban until the White House did more than just tweet. Even more striking, though, is the reaction among lawmakers in his own party. The president`s vanishing influence on Capitol Hill, next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeff Flake in a Politico magazine article said the President was -- he suggested the President was a carnival barker and had eroded conservatism. Is the President still thinking of helping to fund a $10 million challenge against Senator Flake? And does he have any response to Senator Flake`s comments?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I`m not sure about any potential funding of a campaign, but I think that Senator Flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the President and passing legislation.


HAYES: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responding to a piece from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, criticizing what he has called his party`s, quote, "Faustian bargain to support President Trump".

Flake is up for reelection next year. Normally he would be courting the President`s support, but Republican lawmakers and particularly Senators are making it clear they no longer fear the President politically.

Yesterday, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said, quote, "We work for the American people. We don`t work for the President."

And Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the health committee tweeted this week would soon hold hearings on how to stabilize and strengthen the individual health care market despite the President`s repeated insistence that Republicans repeal and replace Obamacare immediately without input from Democrats.

Joining me now is Tim Carney, he`s the commentary editor of The Washington Examiner, visiting fellow of the American Enterprise Institute.

What do you think the perception on Capitol Hill of the President, their relationship to him in the Republican party has changed notably of late?

TIM CARNEY, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Absolutely. At The Examiner we would have Republican lawmakers come in and ask them, and there would be no strong party unity like in the Bush era, or they criticize Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, or the other chamber.

And we`d try to get them to criticize Trump. And for months we couldn`t get them to. This would go from the moderates to the House Freedom Caucus to Mike Lee, these guys with these clear differences with Trump, and they didn`t want to pick a fight with him.

Flake was always different, but now that Flake has stepped down, maybe guys like Scott are feeling a little bit liberated to do it.

And Lindsey Graham has always been interesting, because he, Rubio, McCain had this little caucus that was very reticent about Trump, but their votes would always line up with him.

So now, we get this Russia sanctions bill passed, so the question for me going forward, will they vote against Trump?

HAYES: And that`s what is interesting. I think folks don`t recognize just what`s coming down -- what`s barreling down on Capitol Hill. They`ve got to do a bunch of stuff when August recess is over, and all that rubber is going to hit the road at that point, right?

CARNEY: We got to keep the government funded. They`ve got to raise the debt limit, and the plan is to take up -- to take up tax reform.

HAYES: Right.

CARNEY: And that`s sort of a heavy lift, and the truth is, though, on the details of that, Trump doesn`t have sort of a strong point. So I don`t see that necessarily as a clash point.

I do think on immigration, where you`ve got the -- as John Harwood was saying earlier, the business community really doesn`t want to restrict illegal immigration. And the Republicans, like the Democrats are very cozy with the business community. So that`s where you could really see a big split between Trump and his party.

HAYES: But one of the things that has to me sort of characterized this first period as we head towards the August recess, I`ve watched a few administrations come in, and there is a general way it works, particularly in the united government. The president syncs up a legislative priority with Congress and they go out and they sell it together.

George W. Bush did that with Social Security privatization back in 2005 back with reelection. We saw the President do that with ACA, President Obama. That did not happen at all here, and you got believe people are scratching their head here with what is the role of the President in all of this?

CARNEY: It was totally different world. Back then, Tom Delay was a very powerful house leader for the Republicans, and he saw his job -- this is what Delay`s inner would tell me, I was pretty close with them. He saw his job as, we`re going to pass President Bush`s agenda.

It was sort of a jar to me, because I was this conservative young reporter. I was like, what about the conservative agenda? No, our job is to pass President Bush`s agenda. It`s a very different relationship here where both Trump and Paul Ryan sort of saw, Trump is going to make America great again. He is going to grab policies off the shelf that Paul Ryan put on the shelf.

HAYES: We will give them to him --

CARNEY: Right. But, that whole game was lot more complicated I think than Trump thought it was going to be. This whole thing was a lot harder than Trump thought it would be. He thought the problem was that we had stupid people in power.

HAYES: That`s right and he`d replace them.

So then the other part of this, if you see Senators drifting away, you saw a hint of this as health care went down, you know, perhaps temporarily of the President thinking well, why am I grabbing the off the shelf agenda of Paul Ryan? I felt sort of the Raise Act today, maybe I`ll go back to this Bannon vision of what I could be.

You wonder if he might try wedge himself against the Republican party at some point if he finds that advantageous.

CARNEY: One, he turns a thousand times. He doesn`t talk about Republicans as we.

HAYES: No, it`s they. They`ve been trying this.

CARNEY: Right. It`s like, I always call the Mets we, and, if I started calling them they, that would mean something. And from day one, he has called them they. And so will he actually --

HAYES: Act as they?

CARNEY: I think that might happen after the midterms, but for now he is trying to be one of them.

HAYES: He is calling them they. That`s a very good point.

Tim Carney, thanks for joining me.

CARNEY: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, the Boy Scouts of America are once again forced to do damage control over comments made by the President, you don`t want to miss this story.

Plus, tonight`s Thing 1, Thing 2. It`s a good one. Next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing 1 tonight. President Trump`s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, currently an informal adviser to the President, my colleague Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, and offered this unprompted bizarre comment during a discussion about the new Chief of Staff John Kelly.


COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think the General should re look at firing Richard Cordray, the CFPB. He is now a person who is now all but running for governor in the state of Ohio, and he is sitting in federal office right now.

CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: I have to say, Corey, that was sort of a random thing you just introduced there.

What -- what`s with the focus on Mr. Cordray? How is that at the top of the agenda?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I think there`s three things on the agenda. It`s tax reform, it`s building a wall on the Southern border, it`s repeal and replace of Obamacare, which didn`t get done.

But, I think Richard Cordray is campaigning for governor of Ohio. He is sitting in an office right now at the CFPB. It`s my recommendation to the President of the United States to fire Richard Cordray. If he wants to run for governor of Ohio, go do it.

TODD: I have to ask this, considering you brought up this. Do you have any business interests here? Do you have a client that wants to see this happen?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.


HAYES: Okay, got that? Corey Lewandowski is super passionate about the man running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but denies having any client pushing that interest.

Well, you guess what Thing 2 is?

That`s in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Corey Lewandowski denied a business client is behind his passionate call to fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, but of course vocal opponent of Cordray is, in fact, paying Lewandowski tens of thousands of dollars.

As The Times reports, among the first clients of Lewandowski`s strategic advisers is an Ohio based company called Community Choice Financial. High interest pay lenders have energetically fought efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to limit loan practices that consumer advocates have called abusive. Community Choice Financial`s chief executive once referred to the bureau as the great Darth Vader of the federal government.

So I will just leave this right here.


LEWANDOWSKI: It`s my recommendation to the President of the United States to fire Richard Cordray.

TODD: I have to ask this, considering you brought this up. Do you have any business interests here? Do you have a client that wants to see this happen?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, no. I have no clients whatsoever. (END VIDEO CLIP)


HAYES: The Boy Scouts of America yet again are having to distance themselves from the President of the United States.

You`ll remember they had to issue an apology for the political remarks Donald Trump made at their national jamboree last month.

Well, in a newly released transcript of an interview with The Wall Street Journal, conducted the day after speaking to the Boy Scouts, the President said according to a transcript interview, and I quote, "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful."

The Boy Scouts responded in a statement, quote, "we are unaware of any such call" and went on to point out that neither of the organization`s top leaders had placed such a call.

When asked about that discrepancy today, along with a phone call, Donald Trump said he got from the President of Mexico, which according to the Mexican government also never happened, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to admit the President was lying.


SANDERS: In terms of the Boy Scouts, multiple members of the Boy Scout leadership following his speech there that day congratulated him, praised him, and offered quite -- I`m looking for the word -- quite powerful compliments following his speech and those were what those references were about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he specifically said that he received a phone call from the President of Mexico --

SANDERS: They were actually direct conversations, not actual phone calls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So he lied, it wasn`t a phone call?

SANDERS: I wouldn`t say it was a lie. That`s a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place, they simply didn`t take place over a phone call, that he had them in person. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: In those first months after he won the presidency there was hope in some quarters that despite his campaign rhetoric, perhaps Donald Trump could be persuaded to do the right thing when it came to climate change. And that is what brought former Vice President Al Gore to Trump Tower to speak with then President-elect Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, to somehow convince the incoming administration not to ditch President Obama`s climate policies.

Turns out, that hope was displaced.

Almost immediately, the Trump White House website deleted nearly all mentions of the phrase climate change. And then in June the President announced the United States was pulling out of the historic climate change agreement.

But regardless of President Trump`s decision, Vice President Al Gore is still trying to move the need on climate issues, exploring them in his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power, a follow-up to his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

And today I got a chance to talk with Vice President Gore. The first time I managed to speak to him since the day of his first meeting with Trump, all the way back in December, back when he still felt good about his chat with President Trump on climate change.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: It was a very intelligent exchange. It was a search for common ground. And, in answer to your question, I felt good about the meeting. Of course, we`re in this wait-and-see period, but I was very -- I was happy to have the opportunity, and happy with the exchange of views.


HAYES: So, Mr. Vice President, the last time you and I spoke was December, it was a transition, there was a sort of head-snapping time for everyone. I think it`s fair to say.

GORE: Yeah.

HAYES: You went down to Trump Tower. You met with Ivanka Trump and the President I think at some point.

GORE: The President-elect.

HAYES: At the time.

GORE: And that conversation continued after he went into the White House.

HAYES: So you said this to me, you said, Ivanka Trump is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world. The conversation was meaningful and productive. Do you still feel that way?

GORE: Well, I had reason to believe that there was an excellent chance that the President would stay in the Paris Agreement, that he would come to his senses, but I was wrong. Because he has surrounded himself with rogue scholarly of climate deniers.

And, even though there are those in his inner circle who wanted him to do the right thing on climate, they were outweighed, out-talked by the climate deniers. And, the truth about the climate crisis still inconvenient for the large carbon polluters, and they have a huge amount of influence with this administration.

HAYES: You were someone who is very associated in, I would say your public profile, with a certain approach to governance that might be called data driven, technocratic.

GORE: Reason based.

HAYES: Right. I just wonder, you were in an administration for eight years. You served in the United States Senate. You were a son of a United States Senator. You`ve been around governance. You`ve been around public service. What is it like to watch the way this White House functions? And your perspective, there are a lot of people who watch and say I`ve never seen anything like this, you heard the phrase this is not normal.

You`ve been around, you`ve been in these meetings. Do you feel the same way watching this White House function the way that it does?

GORE: Oh, yeah. I think in the process, the President has been isolating himself from the rest of the country. You see Republicans in the House and Senate now moving to separate themselves in increasing numbers from the dysfunction and distractions, constant distractions in the White House.

Last week somebody said it was like the red wedding in the Game of Thrones, with people coming and going and firing everybody, it was really wild.

HAYES: But I want to stop you there. Do you watch that like everybody else does and say, what the heck is going on?

GORE: You`re talking about Game of Thrones or the White House?

HAYES: Both, but the White House in this case.

GORE: Yeah, sure. No, it`s deeply troubling. And for me, the most troubling part of it is that it serves as a set of constant distractions from the problems we should be addressing. Nothing`s getting done. That`s why the congress is now moving on its own, or beginning to.

One of my senators in Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, I give him a lot of credit. I think Democrats, Republicans, independents, think thank god somebody is now he`s working with Patty Murray to try to fix the problems with health care and move in a rational way. Thank you, Senator Alexander. And other Republicans.

We`re now seeing mayors, like the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, in the reddest city, in the reddest county in Texas, he saw he could save his citizens money in the heart of oil county by going 100 percent renewable. And the citizens are seeing lower electricity bills, the air is cleaner, and it`s kind of a side benefit that we`re saving the future human civilization.

HAYES: I think there`s a connection between climate denialism and Trumpism in this respect that people talk about Trump as being this sort of outlier of Republican Party or the conservative movement, and he is for many reasons he is, partly. But you know you have an entire movement and political party that rallied around a preposterous conspiracy theory which was that there was a coordinated conspiracy driven by multiple scientists and institutions around the globe to deceive people about the basic science of this matter.

And if you can believe that, it`s not surprising to me that you would produce a president like this. Do you feel like there`s a connection there?

GORE: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think that Donald Trump is the most extreme form of a trend that actually started earlier. You mentioned my personal experience watching the American democracy as a kid, when my father was in it. And then I was first elected in the mid-70s. And throughout the -- my whole life, I`ve watched this trend. And it`s been -- I`ll tell you the break point in my observation, was when television began to dominate the media space.

HAYES: The worst, isn`t it?

GORE: Your show is certainly one of the exceptions, Chris. But listen -- hear me out on this, when our founders created the American experiment, it was a printing press which gave individuals a chance to use logic and reason and the best available evidence, and discourse with others. It enabled us to harvest the wisdom of crowds. And we made better decisions than any other country for a century and a half. And that`s what really fueled the rise of America as the most admired nation.

In the last third of the 20th Century, when television eclipsed the printing press, I saw this happen, 30-second TV commercials became the currency of politics. When I first ran in the mid-`70s, I didn`t have a single fund-raiser. By the time I ran for the Senate, the 30-second TV ads were dominant. And by the time I left government, involuntarily, the average congressman was spending, and is still spending, four to five hours every single day begging special interests and lobbyists for money to buy the 30-second ads.

Now, that really is what shifted the operations of democracy toward an emphasis on the big money contributors. They hacked our democracy before Putin hacked our democracy.

HAYES: The fundamental issue to me seems that we can`t -- we`ve so sort of balkanized in this moment, it gets back to this culture war. It`s not just culture war about values, it`s culture war about everything, about the totality of reality, that people just live in entirely, totally different realities. And there`s this one problem that looms over the planet that requires a level of consensus that we do not seem to have the cultural political wherewithal to marshal.

GORE: Well, we have to clear a higher bar now for the people to regain control of our democracy. But we`ve seen evidence now that we can do that. Look at what the indivisible movement did on health care at these townhall meetings. They`re partnering with us in the launch of this movie this weekend.

It is possible for the people to reassert their dominance in American democracy. All hope is not lost. We do have the capacity to restore and redeem American democracy.


HAYES: All right, Vice President Al Gore and I actually got a long amount of time to speak. We spoke at length about the challenges of a warring planet, the efforts of climate denialists, the rocketship that is solar installation, the hopes he lays out for the future in his new film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. We will bring you much more of that conversation later in the week.

That does it for All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now with Joy Reid in for Rachel.