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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/11/17 Irma triggers flooding in Florida's largest city

Guests: Charlie Sykes, Olivia Nuzzi, Jeff Goodell, Michael Grunwald

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 11, 2017

Guest: Charlie Sykes, Olivia Nuzzi, Jeff Goodell, Michael Grunwald

Hurricane Irma; Disasters; Budget; Texas; Florida>

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Tonight in Lower Manhattan, two vertical columns of light are shining into the sky at the site of the World Trade Center in memory of those who were lost this day 16 years ago.



GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: We`ve got downed power lines all across the state. We`ve got roads that are impassable still across the state.

HAYES: Hurricane Irma`s path of devastation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This debris field extends all the way down.

HAYES: Tonight the scope of Irma`s destruction as Florida starts to pick up the pieces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know we got a lot of work to do but I`m happy to be alive.

HAYES: Plus Florida Republicans on the climate discussion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott Pruitt said now is not the time to talk about this.

HAYES: And Steve Bannon unleashed.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: You couldn`t be more dead wrong. America was built on her citizens.

HAYES: What we learn from the man who was Trump`s Chief Strategist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Steve Bannon warn the President that firing James Comey would be the biggest political mistake in modern history?

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from Naples, Florida, I`m Chris Hayes. Irma may have been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it continued to wreak havoc as it crawled up the gulf coast of Florida today, bringing flash floods to downtown Jacksonville, Florida, where storm surge and high tide pushed the St. John`s River to record levels. But most of Florida bore the brunt of the storm yesterday as Irma came ashore with triple-digit winds and torrential rainfall, knocking out power to 6.5 million customers across the state, around a third of the state`s population. Here on the west coast of Florida, where we are, the damage thankfully fell short of the worst forecasts, but it`s still expected to take months, if not years for the area to recover fully. Up in Washington, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert laid the next steps for relief efforts.


TOM BOSSERT, WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: What we have now is a large scale area of operations. What we`re trying to do is marshal the resources where they are needed. And so, it`s a prioritization effort. We are worried about flooding, housing, debris, and power restoration. Well, will have to clear debris from roadways so that people can gain re-entry. Right now though, the message is not rushing reentry. There are still dangerous conditions, downed electric lines, flood conditions, problems that would be compounded by your reentry. And so, listen to your local officials, not about evacuation, but then about when and how to stagger your reentry.


HAYES: Well, mainland Florida was largely spared the worst. The same cannot be said for the Florida Keys where Irma made landfall yesterday morning as a category four hurricane and where today, residents remained largely cut off from help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no water, no power, no electricity, no internet. And I have land lines especially for this and the land lines went down.


HAYES: Damage reports are still coming in from across the Caribbean where Irma had the strongest impact. Cuba was especially hard hit with catastrophic flooding expected to last into tomorrow. As of today, 38 people in total have died as a result of this storm, a number that`s expected to keep rising as relief efforts -- relief effort progress. Let`s go to NBC`s Catie Beck who is up in Jacksonville, Florida. Catie, what`s it look like there?

CATIE BECK, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I am actually in a low-lying neighborhood where obviously all of the storm surges has collected. The entire neighborhood is basically under water at this point. But what`s interesting about this is the water levels keep changing as the tide goes in and out. This is probably actually the lowest the water level has been all day. But that could change around 2:00 a.m. when the tide comes back in. So what people are dealing with here is storm surge, record storm surge and rainfall and wind that has all found its way to these low-lying areas.

The St. John`s River is at the end of this street, and that is where all that water has been pouring in and will soon be pouring out. As I walk through the streets, you can obviously tell all of the houses are pretty much evacuate and dark. But interesting enough, I see small fish swimming in the streets. And that is just a sign of the fact that all of this is water that came from somewhere else, and hopefully will go back to somewhere else in the near future. As you heard the mayor saying there, it could be several weeks before all of this is cleaned up, before all of the tides has been pushed out and these streets returned to normal. Chris?

HAYES: All right, Catie Beck, thanks. MSNBC Weather Contributor Sam Champion joins us live from Miami. And Sam, it`s interesting talking to Catie up there in Jacksonville and you down in Miami, which are two areas when you look at the path of the storm you don`t think are going to get it the worst. But when you look at flooding implications, it does seem like those are the two spots that did get it the worst.

SAM CHAMPION, MSNBC WEATHER CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And Chris, the one thing, even though this storm certainly did wobble from one side to other, the thing that was true, that was forecast to be true is that this is an all Florida storm. Every bit of Florida was impacted by this storm. From the tip of Miami with the very strong winds and the tough wind damage here and the heavy rain and the flooding, right off our shoulder here in Biscayne Boulevard, to the actual hit on the southwestern tip to that flooding that goes on in North Florida. We wanted to give you a shot of downtown Miami tonight, the normally bright lights because about -- well, the largest percentage of those, more than six million power outages in the State of Florida are right here in Miami-Dade county.

About 74 percent of the customers in Miami-Dade county do not have power tonight. So it`s normally bright. Tonight it`s about kind of bright. Some of these areas, downtown areas are kind of looking toward the building Brickell, the Financial Center. Some of those areas do have power. Let`s go to some numbers here tonight, just because I know a lot of people are talking about it. Big questions are who has water, who has power, who has gas, and what`s open? Where can we get some food? So what we`ve been able to say right now is FPL has one of the largest, and they control most of the power in the southern part of Florida. They have amassed they say, one of the largest armies ever put together in American history to put the power back on in South Florida. About 30,000 people are coming in to do that. And they started in earnest, they said, today.

They first have to look at the situation, then they`ll try to do it all. They are saying, though, that it may be weeks for some customers, and that`s weeks with an "S" for some customers. As we saw some people coming out of the shelter and trying to get in, we did a big survey today to look at the damage. A lot of trees down across roads, power lines down. We were told gas lines were open in some areas in the Beach, but we didn`t feel that smell of gas or notice that smell of gas. But it was a mess, chaos on the causeways, where people were trying to get their cars across the beach. And police officers were saying you can`t come on the beach.

Now the Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine now says that they hope to open it Tuesday by noon, if not sooner so that residents can get on the Beach. But let me tell you, Chris, what`s waiting for them when they get there. We know because we drove every bit of it today. Most of the buildings have no power. Most of the buildings have no water. Most of the buildings really have no connection to anything.

So you don`t have internet, you don`t have elevators, you don`t have -- stores aren`t open. So there is not a lot to go home to. And that`s why they`re hoping people really don`t head in that direction right away. It`s just going the take sometime before they can get that power back on. Again, we are comforted a little bit here in Miami by the shot of the dancing girl. She is a fixture here in Miami at the Intercontinental Hotel. And to see that backup and running just kind of lifts your spirits, to let you know that this is day one of Miami`s recovery, as it is the State of Florida`s recovery from Irma. Chris?

HAYES: All Right, Sam Champion, thank you for that. The Florida Keys were among the worst hit parts of the state. And NBC`s Miguel Almaguer made it there today to survey the damage.


MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is one of our very first looks at some of the damage and it really does stretch neighborhood to neighborhood, homes in the water, boats in the water.

Tonight this is the way into the hardest hit islands in the Keys, Irma`s path of destruction obliterating homes, swamping neighborhoods and likely taking lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a nuclear bomb went off.

ALMAGUER: Brian Holly rode out the storm among the 10,000 who refused to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to take months, maybe years to get this cleaned up.

ALMAGUER: Irma made landfall here Sunday. Her eye swirling right across the Keys packing 130-mile-per-hour winds, waves up to 15 feet high.

With such widespread damage below, some of the Keys are only accessible by air. There are so much debris in the ocean, even reaching this location by boat can be dangerous.

Tonight the National Guard deploying search-and-rescue missions into the Keys. Local officials say a humanitarian crisis is looming in the lower islands. Big Pine and Cudjoe Keys among those hardest hit. No water, no food, no phones.

There`s a lot of shenanigans going on here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They need fresh water, they need gas, mostly they just need manpower to get clear passage through their yards.

ALMAGUER: It`s not just homes damaged across the Keys, so is vital infrastructure, roads, and bridges. Repairs could take weeks, even months.

Irma hitting with fury and now it`s left a sea of destruction.


HAYES: That was NBC National Correspondent Miguel Almaguer from the Florida Keys.

I want to bring in Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands who joins me now. And Congresswoman, I have to say that I have read some very, very dire first person dispatches from the U.S. Virgin Islands. What can you tell us about the situation there?

REP. STACEY PLASKETT (D), UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS: Well, thank you so much for having me on the show. You know, I`m back here in the Virgin Islands and have been to St. Thomas. Today I was on the island of St. John as well. We`re really in a very difficult situation here. FEMA is on the ground. Our governor, Governor Kenneth Mapp along with the -- our local emergency management agency are doing a tremendous job along with the National Guard. And FEMA has been working with Coast Guard, DOD, others we have, you know, a number of Marines here. The Navy has sent three vessels to this area. But Irma, of course, hit us as a category five, and it was almost a direct hit on the island of St. Thomas and St. John. And because of our isolation as an island, the recovery is much slower and is going to be quite a bit of work for both the local people and the engagement of the federal government.

We`ve lost practically 70 percent of our infrastructure in terms of utility systems on the island of St. Thomas and all of the utility systems on the island of St. John. And so the rebuilding that`s going to have to occur is not only for building for homes. Many of the homes on the island had their roofs, homes were lost, but also vital infrastructure. The roof came off of our hospital on the island of St. Thomas. We`ve lost fire stations, police stations. Our airport, while it appears from above to really look great, if you look inside of the terminal, it would appear as if a bomb has gone off on it. Irma just literally sheared off the metal on the -- and ripped it to shreds at the terminal and wrapped it around poles. So there is some enormous amount of work that has oh to occur here on the island for us to come back on board.

HAYES: Are people there able -- the people that have been on the island, it`s a very hard place to evacuate. It took a bad hit. It was almost about a week ago, I think that it made landfall there. Are people there able to get the access to the basics, things like food and shelter at this point?

PLASKETT: Well, along with the military, FEMA, and our own local government, I just got off of a call with private sector individuals, we have, you know, more than the amount of Virgin Islanders that live on this island live in the United States. So Virgin Islanders in Atlanta, Houston, New York, the Metropolitan D.C. area, other areas have banded together and are bringing goods down, as well as Virgin Islanders that are in St. Thomas and elsewhere that are working with the private sector to bring relief efforts to the islands as well. We had quite a challenge because our Coast Guard had to clear out the port for a number of days, sunken debris, vessel in the port that was making it difficult for those things to come down as well.

But we`re beginning to have aircraft making continual landings here. People are being allowed to leave, you know, evacuated as much as are willing to go. I have to give you an example. Today I came from the more distant island of St. Croix, and I went over on with a private person in their fast boat that was going over there. And I have to tell you, it looked like a flotilla of boats that were making their way. And these are private individuals. These are Virgin Islanders from the island of St. Croix that are making their way across the island to St. Thomas, St. John, bringing generators, bringing baby food, diapers, basic supporter to the people on those islands as well. We`re all family here and so people are really banding together and working as hard as possible to get the relief and the basic needs to the people on those islands.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Stacy Plaskett, thank you for your time tonight.

PLASKETT: Thank you. And just letting you know, I want to thank MSNBC once again for really bringing to light what`s happening here in the Virgin Islands. We`re very concerned that although the federal government is doing its part, the national news is not really taking note of what`s happening in another part of the United States. So thank you.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen joins me now by phone, Congresswoman from Pine Crest, Florida. And Congresswoman, you and I spoke before the storm and it does seem that the track of the storm that missed Miami, and yet for all the reasons that you and I discussed and that we reported on the show and because of the exposure of South Florida, Miami still took some pretty significant damage.

REP. CONGRESSWOMAN ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: Well, it sure did. But (INAUDIBLE) -- we just heard from her, what a dire report about what is going on in the smaller islands like the Virgin Islands. So we`re in no mood to compete against that misery. Yes, we`re without power, some of us who are on -- not connected to the city and county system, we don`t even have running water, but boy, what she paints is a really dire situation because they got hit, direct hit by category five. Miami was spared most of the wrath but still, when you look around this darkened neighborhood all around me, it`s pretty dire as well, but not as bad as some of the folks have it.

So you compare -- you have a misery index like a la Jimmy Carter and boy, you know, some people are really worse hit than others. And we can`t complain. But everybody is so anxious about the lack of electricity, the lack in some places of running water in our homes. So it`s a problem, Chris, but it`s not an insurmountable problem. And it`s just going to take us along time to get our juice back, back at the FP&L. They have a lot of trucks they have lined up down Dixie Highway by the University of Miami. We count 25 trucks that are just in that little location ready to service but -- you know, 70 percent, although the State of Florida is without power, we can`t complain when you compare the misery to what is going on in other places.

But it is going to take a long time. I was participating in a press conference with Governor Scott and Marco Rubio was there, et cetera. So they`ve been all over the state. And it`s pretty bad all over. I`m glad that your excellent reporter Sam talked about what`s going on with Miami Beach. The bridges are going to open tomorrow. People want to go home. They want to see how their place fared. But when they get there, what are they going to do? You have very few stores that are open, and they don`t have electricity. And I`m afraid that the rush to get back to their homes is not going to lead to much satisfaction.

HAYES: Congresswoman, let me ask you this question. You know this is the period after disasters for folks that weren`t injured in it or didn`t have loved ones that were injured that can sometimes be the most difficult for all the reasons you say no power, no gas. You`re very constrained in what you can do. Are there protection for people who may not be able to go to work from say, being fired from their jobs or for protections for folks that are struggling to recoup to make sure they`re essentially not going to be penalized by their employer for having to miss work to pick up the pieces?

LEHTINEN: Excellent point. And that`s really something that we should be keying in on. When I was in Miami Beach right before Irma struck, the cashiers at the supermarket were saying, can we go home? We have families too. We want to get our places fixed. But if we leave, we`re going get fired. There`s a lot of anxiety with the working class and restaurants want to be open but if they don`t have folks to be working there.

HAYES: Right.

LEHTINEN: But they can`t get out of their homes. There is literally no gas in Dade County. I haven`t found one gas station that is open and that is available for filling up your tank that doesn`t have a line of three blocks and is -- and is manned by the Florida National Guard to make sure that nobody shoots one another. So what about the workers? How can they get to their jobs? And should they be fired because they`re unable to get to their work or employment? That`s really too sad.

HAYES: All right. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, thank you very much.

LEHTINEN: Thank you, Chris, we appreciate it. Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Much more to come tonight from Naples, Florida, where we will cover both what`s happening here in the wake of Hurricane Irma as well as what`s going on in D.C. Stick around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we`re going to continue to update you out down by the --


HAYES: We are back live from Naples, Florida, with our continuing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. After the break, we`ll have my interview with a Republican local official here who literally burst out laughing at the claim by EPA Chief and oil and gas industry darling Scott Pruitt from right before Irma hit that it is, "Very, very insensitive to talk about climate change."

And later on, the White House is once again playing defense after another high-level dismissal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said to me that you described the firing of James Comey. You`re a student of history, as the biggest mistake in political history.

BANNON: That would be probably -- that would probably be too bombastic even for me, but maybe modern political history.


HAYES: More from that interview, and much more from here in Florida as the state continues to deal with the devastation brought by Irma, right after this.


HAYES: Ahead of the hurricane, the Trump administration`s EPA Chief Scott Pruitt said that now was not the time to talk about climate change. "To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm versus helping people who are actually facing the effect of the storm is misplaced. To use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to the people in Florida." But today, I spoke with the Chair of the Collier County Commission here, Penny Taylor. She is a Republican who accepts the scientific consensus on climate change. She said that once NOAA undertook $1 million study on how Collier County will be affected by sea level rise, people there became more open to the issue. And then Hurricane Irma happened.


PENNY TAYLOR, COLLIER COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIR: The folks that say oh, you know, it ebbs and it flows and whatever, well, it does. But this ebb might be longer than we have ever experienced. And so to me, there`s much more openness, there is much more willingness to work. And as horrible as this event has been, what an extraordinary opportunity to gain data. In fact today we`re flying over the county, mapping where the flooding is. There is still flooding in a lot of areas. So we`re doing that today. And that, you know, all of the sudden, oh, you mean you live on a hill, you don`t flood, that doesn`t always hold true.

HAYES: So how -- I mean, how do you talk to fellow Republicans about this issue? I mean, you`ve got the President of the United States, you know, sort of dismisses it. Scott Pruitt said, now is not the time to talk about this. You think that`s not true?

TAYLOR: You know, we -- where is this man? Get him here! There has never been a storm acting like Irma did in the Atlantic. We`ve never had such a strong storm acting like Irma. The scientists say, our storms are going to get stronger. They`re going to come at us more, with more frequency. There is more water pushed in. The water is going to come up. There will always be the doubters, you know, but I think rational people in quieter moments will understand that this isn`t the end of the world, but my gosh, we have to prepare. There has to be an adaptation technologically to accept the fact that the sea level is going to get higher.

HAYES: Maybe you guy can engineer your way out of four feet of sea level rise, but maybe not eight.

TAYLOR: Right.

HAYES: Like, at a certain point, do you feel we need to be doing something on the cause side?

TAYLOR: Oh, my gosh, yes. It`s a duet.

HAYES: Right.

TAYLOR: You can`t just say oh, we can handle this. Bring it on. We can do it. You know, that`s not --

HAYES: We`ve got some good engineers here.

TAYLOR: Yes, you know, if it`s a question of engineering, that`s never going to happen. No, no, no. We have to make changes. And it`s so difficult with people to make changes to understand that they need to adapt to the changing times. And that`s part of the challenge we have. And that takes time, but you have to be persistent. You can`t go and then, you know, pretend like, you know, it doesn`t exist.

HAYES: But you`re -- so you`re a rare Republican office holder who has this set of beliefs. I mean, it`s true. I mean, you know -- and I just wonder like, when you talk to other people, like, you know, you`re running a county here. So I get the feeling that you`re not involved in particularly brutal partisan fights down here.

TAYLOR: Right.

HAYES: Right? I mean, I imagine the politics here have to do something much more of kind of local and municipal issues --

TAYLOR: Yes, yes, yes.

HAYES: -- than big blue versus red issues.


HAYES: But I guess like -- do you feel like -- does it frustrate you that the leaders of this party are just whistling past the grave on this?

TAYLOR: Yes. Frankly, yes. It`s nonsense. And I think that you know, I think they say oh, no, we can`t say this because people will be afraid to come. You know, I`ve heard this. People will be afraid to be here or you know, it will take care of itself. Well, maybe if you`re 88 and you know, and you have another 20 years in your life, if you`re lucky, it might take care of itself. But we`re looking for our children and our grandchildren to be able to live in a place that we love and cherish, and we want to work with the climate. And we want to be able to master -- not master, but adapt to the change. Because you know, it`s an old story. Mother Nature bats last. Hello, Irma!

HAYES: Right.

TAYLOR: We really need -- this is a wake-up call I think for everyone here. And I think it`s a wake-up call for the state of Florida. And I think as we move, you know, hopefully, we don`t have to have too many of these wake-up calls to make those adjustments but gosh.

HAYES: Well, does it -- will it wake up -- you have a Governor who literally said and told people not to use the phrase "climate change" in the state`s planning apparatus, right?


HAYES: Is it going to wake him up?

TAYLOR: You know, that might have been -- I don`t know why that was said because he is a highly intelligent man. And what he has done in mobilizing for this storm and how --

HAYES: Yes, it seems like he`s done a very impressive job.

TAYLOR: extraordinary we have, and you know, I think it`s part of that mindset that, oh, gosh, if we talk about climate change, it`s going hurt our economy. People aren`t going to come. I think nothing is further from the truth. I mean, we`re here on the beach. It`s sunny. People love this weather. They can kind of put it out of their mind. They`re going come.

HAYES: Right.

TAYLOR: I`ve been told -- you know, and my -- and the way I look at it is, oh, they`re not going to come? Oh, that`s pretty good. But right now, we have to build for them. And when we build, we have to build for the future. And it`s very, very difficult, but it`s not impossible to make this happen. We just have to be persistent.


HAYES: My great thanks, Penny Taylor for taking a bit of time to talk to me today. And as rebuilding begins here, as it is in Texas, who that work often depends -- who does that work often depends on who is available? That may surprise you. That after the break


HAYES: As Houston and Florida now begin to rebuild, there`s a question of who will do the rebuilding. After Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, as Vox pointed out, quote, "unauthorized immigrants were crucial to building New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina."

And they are likely to be desperately needed as Texas rebuilds to clean street, demolish buildings, reconstruct homes and offices. Undocumented workers made up about a quarter of the construction workers after Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Now it`s Houston`s turn to pick itself up after a massive hurricane. And in Florida, the work has already begun.

But as one undocumented immigrant in Texas said to The Washington Post, "if they deport all of us, who will rebuild?" It`s a good question, particularly if the Trump administration has its way.

Last night as Hurricane Irma was hitting Florida, the man President Trump brought to the Oval Office with him was telling the country that immigration had nothing to do with the building of America in the first place.


STEVE BANNON, BREITBART: You couldn`t be more dead wrong. America was built on her citizens.

CHARLIE ROSE, 60 MINUTES: We`re all immigrants.

BANNON: America was built on her citizens.

ROSE: Except the Native Americans were here.

BANNON: Don`t give me -- this is the thing of the leftist. Charlie, that`s beneath you. America is built on our citizens.


HAYES: More from that Bannon interview next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a reaction to Steve Bannon`s comments on 60 Minutes saying that the firing of James Comey was the biggest political mistake in modern history?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly I think it has been shown in the days that followed that the president was right in firing Director Comey. Since director`s firing, we`ve learned new information about his conduct that only provided further justification for that firing.


HAYES: That was White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders today responding to Steve Bannon`s comments to 60 Minutes that President Trump`s decision to fire Comey was an error of historic proportions.


STEVE BANNON, FMR WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: I don`t think there is any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel, yes.

ROSE: So we would not have the Mueller investigation?

BANNON: Would not have the Mueller investigation. Would not have the Mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going.


HAYES: Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart chairman is reportedly now plotting primaries against a slate of GOP incumbents, and last night on 60 Minutes, he targeted the Republicans who support the president needs.


BANNON: They`re not going to help you unless they`re put on notice they`re going to be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States. Right now there is no accountability.

They have totally -- they do not support the president`s program. It`s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in the city knows it.

ROSE: And so therefore, now that you`re out of the White House, you`re going to war with them?

BANNON: Absolutely.


HAYES: With me now to digest all this, Olivia Nuzzi, she`s the Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, an MSNBC contributor and radio host, Charlie Sykes, author of How the Right Lost Its Mind.

Charlie, let me start with you. There are two ways you can think of the primary threat. One is that he is basically talking trash like the primary threat to Paul Ryan that Breitbart backed in which Ryan won by 58 points.

Or, you could look at David Brat and Eric Cantor in Virginia in which right wing media got behind Brat and they knocked him off.

Which do you think it is?

CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC: I think it`s a combination of the two. But look, this is what he does. This is what Breitbart does. This is what Steve Bannon does.

This desire to sow discord within the Republican party is in the DNA of the Trump campaign and the Trump administration.

But it is interesting. We talk about how little governing experience Donald Trump had when he came into the office. But think about it, that Steve Bannon, the guy whispering in his ear until recently, what was his experience in governing, In actually getting things done.

The guy ran a website and I think is more interested in chaos and getting clicks than actually getting anything done.

HAYES: Yeah, Olivia, my big impression from the entire interview was okay, all right, this is your persona, your braggadocios. You`re bombastic. I guess I sort of don`t understand why this sells and to whom it does sell.

OLIVIA NUZZI, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Right. If you look at Breitbart today, they had the 25 best quotes from Steve Bannon`s interview on 60 Minutes.

They`re very proud of it. I think they believe that their readers care. I think it`s -- Steve Bannon is aware perhaps that there have been people trying to discredit this idea that he was in fact the great manipulator, that he was in fact somebody who was sort of pulling the strings behind Donald Trump. And I think it`s important to Breitbart`s future strength that that kind of prevails, that narrative about Steve Bannon being all powerful does prevail.

So I think doing these interviews is maybe a strategic way to try to keep perpetuating that narrative.

But he is taking steps to, you know, sow discord in the Republican party beyond the rhetoric. Sarah Huckabee Sanders today sort of just dismissed what he said as just being typical Steve Bannon bombast, but he is taking steps. There is a Super PAC. He is working with the Mercers to perhaps challenge people in the midterms.

So I think there is reason for people to be concerned, and Politico has the story out right now where they talk to some Republican senators who do sound quite worried about what Steve Bannon is potentially going to do in the midterm.

So I don`t think it`s right to dismiss it all as just rhetoric, but it is a little bit silly to listen to him talk that way now outside of White House.

But he does really believe that he will be more powerful outside of the White House than he was inside of it. He said as much last night.

HAYES: I just would say that he talks a very big game for a guy who got canned after eight months at the White House. Usually you get fired after eight months in your job, you sort of slink away a little bit.

Let me ask you this, Charlie, the comments on immigration I just felt were notable and worth substantively engaging with. Here is what he had to say, some further bit about the immigration response when Charlie Rose was going back and forth. Take a listen.


BANNON: Economic nationalism is what this country was built on, the American system, right?

We go back to that. We look after our own. We look after our citizens. We look after our manufacturing base and guess what? This country is going to be greater, more united, more powerful than it`s ever been.


HAYES: Okay. That`s all well and good. He`s sort of had this bizarre, he is talking about Polk and he is talking about Hamilton, and that`s fine as far as it goes.

The idea that America was built by its citizens, is completely ahistoric, right?

SYKES: Remember when John Dean said that Watergate was a cancer on the presidency? Steve Bannon and the alt-right and this hyper nativism is a chancre sore on this presidency and on the conservative movement.

Though of course it`s ahistorical. He is literally being nostalgic for the economy of the 19th century. I want you to think about that. He is talking about the 19th century and the way the world was operated.

But also, this notion that we are not a nation of immigrants is ludicrous. Just look around. Look around any office. My great grandfather came here from Russia and started the family and built a business.

You know, who doesn`t have a story like that in this country? I`m guessing even Steve Bannon does. So it`s not only narrow minded and bigoted, it is ahistorical.

HAYES: Yeah. Just to make this clear, the reason that it was built by citizens, we basically had open borders until the 1880s at which point we shut things down to the Chinese and kept open border until the 1920s.

So anyone who came was a citizen, so yes, they were citizens, but they were citizens because we basically had the nightmare scenario for Bannon which is that anyone could come and you would basically become a citizen.

Olivia, it also it seems to me that the economic nationalism thing, I think he believes it, but there is sort of more shtick than substance to it. In terms of what we`ve seen from this president, it`s been nothing. There is no there there.

NUZZI: Right. He said in the interview he thinks his approval rating is so low because he hasn`t built the wall.

I don`t think that that has any basis in reality. The fact is that they haven`t really gotten anything done period beyond the wall. And even if they were to build the wall now, which, you know, we can debate whether or not that makes any sense at all, I don`t think it does, I don`t think it would result in his approval ratings improving at all.

HAYES: All right. Olivia Nuzzi and Charlie Sykes, thank you both for taking some time tonight.

SYKERS: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, we talk to some folks at a shelter up in Lee County just a bit north of here which had to get creative when they ran out of food.

Plus, witness what we saw as the hurricane passed over us last night. Stick around.


HAYES: Floridians are returning to their homes and assessing the damage from the powerful Hurricane Irma which left six million people without power in the state.

I spoke with some folks who waited out the storm in the Germain Arena near Naples, which was pressed into service as a shelter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10:00 a.m. we opened up as a shelter, and we run the food and beverage for the arena, so we were notified last night and had to break into the food and pretty much play Iron Chef to figure out how we were going to feed all these people that were coming in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Threw everything in the car. Went to one shelter, couldn`t get in. They sent us down here. The line was three, three and a half hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was very proud of my people of Florida. I was very, very proud of my neighbors. Because, I mean, we all just came from everywhere. We`re not everybody of Naples. Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, you name it.



HAYES: I was here in Naples over the weekend as Hurricane Irma was approaching. On Saturday, shelters in the area were already beyond capacity. Authorities and citizens alike were worried about the damage the storm surge was going to do, particularly the huge amounts of saltwater pouring over all of gulf coastal Florida from Naples all the way to Ft. Myers.

Now come Sunday around noon, was basically the proverbial calm before the storm as the eye wall was about five hours away. A little after three the wind continued to pick up and the conditions grew increasingly more dangerous.

Then the eye wall passed through Naples and the storm reached its peak intensity, which was pretty crazy to watch.

As the storm moves out of Florida the residents are beginning rebuilding efforts in an area of the country uniquely inhospitable to the project of modern human civilization.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re already seeing architectures and engineers start to struggle with the reality on the front edge of climate change of maintaining a society in the civilization in a place that is under constant assault from water and waters whose levels we are every day through carbon pollution increasing the levels of.



HAYES: We`re here about three quarters of a mile from the beach in downtown Naples. We rode out the storm here in Naples. You can see the massive downed trees. That`s a big cypress tree. There has been a lot of that down here.

I was talking to a resident, almost a mile from the beach there was water from the storm surge up to his knees yesterday. Luckily, that water got sucked back out and the storm surge wasn`t the 15 feet we fear but rather around 6 feet.

If the people of South Florida, coastal Florida as well, share one common enemy, it`s water. The area had long been a swamp, it was susceptible to flooding. You couldn`t farm it. You couldn`t build on it.

But through the marvel of engineering and the desire to make a buck, developers and army corps of engineers made a way and eventually we got the Miami, for instance, that we see today.

The problem is, the water still comes and as we just saw over the weekend, South Florida is still in harm`s way.

Journalist Michael Grunwald writes about this in a remarkable piece for Politico titled, A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise that Should Never have Been. He joins us from Orlando and in New York, Jeff Goodell, contributing writer for Rolling Stone. He has a fantastic new book out that I just got done reading called The Water Will Come, Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.

Michael let me start with you. You live in Miami-Dade, you evacuated to Orlando, and it`s fascinating because, you know, Miami did not get hit by the hurricane in this direct way that people feared and yet, you see precisely what you talk about, which is the susceptible it has to flooding.

MICHAEL GRUNWALD, POLITICO: Well, when you build in a floodplain, sometimes it gets wet. We talked about this last week how they are called floodplains because it`s plain that they flood.

It wasn`t that long ago people thought it was absurd that anybody would want to build a house, much less civilization in Southern Florida.

HAYES: Yeah, to follow up on that, I was saying to someone today as we drove around in the wake of the storm. It`s in the wake of the storm where you can see very clearly what the land wants to be, which is that it wants to be a marsh. It wants to be a swamp, because after a storm, you can watch where all the water settles down and you can imagine without pumps and without dredges and without canals and without everything, this is what its natural state would be. You`ve got to do a lot of work to make it not be that way.

GRUNWALD: That`s right. Back when they declared the closing of the Western frontier in 1892 there was still just about nobody in South Florida.

The U.S. Army soldiers who came down here in the 19th century chasing the Seminole Indians, they were just appalled by the entire region. They called it hideous and monstrous and god forsaken, and didn`t understand why they were fighting. They said we should leave it to the mosquitoes and the Indians.

But now of course, half the Everglades is gone. The other half has been sliced and diced and engineered so that it`s really an ecological mess, and we`ve made a very nice place. You know, for the four people in my family and 20 million of our friends now live in Florida. And it really is an awesome place to live except in those occasions when it isn`t.

HAYES: Jeff, in your book you`ve got a chapter on Miami where I learned a lot how it was developed.

But one thing the book communicates, it`s just not a Miami issue. The threat posed by climate change and rising sea levels it will produce is intensely global and we`re talking hundreds of millions of people in harm`s way.

JEFF GOODELL, THE ROLLING STONE: Yeah, I mean, every city has it`s own challenges, but it is every coastal city in the world.

Sea level rises is a global phenomenon. It`s different in different regions. Sea level rise is different in South Florida than it is in the Marshall Islands or something like that, the rate of sea level rise.

Miami is in a really tough spot because it`s very low topography. The average elevation of Miami-Dade county is only about six feet above sea level. It was built on porous limestone as you know.

It`s difficult to build defenses against this rising sea. When you think about what the projections are, you know, NOAH, the top science agency in the U.S., you know, their top sea level rises eight feet by 2100. When you think about when a place like Miami would look like with eight level of sea level rise, that`s a scary scenario.

HAYES: It was interesting talking to that one Penny Taylor today, she accepts the scientific consensus, the NOAH has a million dollar study here for Collier County.

I do think,Jeff, you`re going to see more and more people approach the architecture and the engineering problem of this. I wonder whether they will disconnect from that causal element, the idea we`ll engineer our way out of eight feet of sea level rise but if we keep doing what we`re doing, the sea rise will get even higher, right?

GOODELL: Right. Sea level rise not like you can put a number on it. If we knew that we were going to have three feet of sea level rise, that`s what we were dealing with, can we build a city to deal with three feet of sea level rise? That`s something engineers can deal with.

The problem is nobody knows.

There is evidence in the geologic history of, you know, 13 feet of sea level rise in a single century, and dealing with something like that that, you know, could happen, no one knows.

So there is this question of the economics of this. So when you -- the City of Miami is a good example. They are spending $500 million on pumps and drainage and trying to elevate the city. What level do you do that to? Do you do it to two feet, one feet? What are you engineering for?

And so it becomes a very expensive process if you have to keep rebuilding and rebuilding.

HAYES: And nature bets last as Penny Taylor said. Michael Grunwald and Jeff Goodell thank you both for joining us tonight.


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