Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 13, 2017 Guest: Nick Akerman, Adam Schiff, Mattie Duppler
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Lock her up. That`s right.
HAYES: Another major development in the Mueller investigation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What report is that.
HAYES: Tonight, the NBC News exclusive on Michael Flynn`s son becoming a subject of the Mueller probe and Congress Adam Schiff on why he`s calling for Facebook and Twitter to testify in his Russia probe.
Then, why the White House is calling for the firing of an ESPN Anchor who criticized the President.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.
HAYES: The growing danger for Hurricane Irma victims stranded without power. And Democrats launch a push for Medicare for all.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Healthcare in America must be a right, not a privilege.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. There`s yet another person, a new person to add to the growing list of subjects in Special Counsel Robert Mueller`s Russia investigation. Four current and former government officials tell NBC News that investigators are now examining Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the President`s former National Security Adviser as part of their probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents in the 2016 election. We already knew that the elder Flynn is under investigation for a number of activities, including crucially allegedly lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador and failing to disclose his financial ties to both Russian and Turkish interests.
Now the younger Flynn was intimately involved in the Flynn Intel Group. That`s his father`s lobbying firm. He served as his chief of staff and traveling companion. Flynn Jr. accompanied his dad on a trip to Moscow in 2015 where Flynn Sr. gave that paid speech at the gala for RT, the state sponsored T.V. network and famously sat next to Vladimir Putin at dinner. Flynn Jr. also served his father as a kind of conduit to the digital fever swamp, using Twitter to promote racist and sexist memes and absurd, even dangerous conspiracy theories. Like for instance, one of them, Hillary Clinton`s supposed ties to the mother Muslim brotherhood.
And last December he was on his way to a security clearance and a job working for his father in the National Security Council when a man chasing a ludicrous and false conspiracy theory, one that alleges that Clinton allies were engaged in a child sex trafficking ring out of a D.C. pizza parlor, someone who believed that opened fire at that very pizza parlor. Do you remember that? Well, that day, Flynn Jr. tweeting hours after this terrifying incident, until Pizza-gate, the short hand for the conspiracy theory proven to be false, it will remain a story. After initially denying any connection to the younger Flynn, and you can understand why they would do that, the President`s transition team eventually admitted it had to let him go.
Today Flynn Jr. tweeted, "#FakeNews media. We`re done covering those pesky hurricanes right? Back to Russia. #Nothingburger." The revelation about Michael Flynn Jr. comes of a news of yet another one more, a new one, yet another failure by his father to disclose ties to foreign interests, ties that may have continued into his very brief tenure at the White House.
Consider before we get to that, everything we`ve learned about Michael Flynn over the past nine months. There were his conversations during the transition with the Russian Ambassador which he lied about to senior officials, costing him his job as National Security Adviser. There was his undisclosed lobbying during the campaign on behalf of Turkish government interest to the tune of half a million dollars which prompted him to register months later retroactively as a foreign agent. Then there were the (INAUDIBLE) payments he received from Russian entities including RT, which he seems to have omitted from Security Clearance Forms under penalty of perjury.
Earlier this summer, Newsweek revealed another foreign project that Flynn was involved in. A "grand scheme" to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East with help from Russian firms. Now two House Democrats, Elijah Cummings, and Eliot Engel have been investigating Flynn`s work on that specific project. And today they announced they`ve pass ds on their finding to the Special Counsel. It turns out that work may not have stopped when Flynn said it did in December of last year before inauguration. Because the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Flynn actually promoted the Nuclear Plant Project while he was in the White House, while he was overseeing the President`s National Security Team.
According to POLITICO, he did not publicly disclose that backers of the plan had paid him at least $25,000. Carol Lee is an NBC News National Political Reporter who broke the story about Michael Flynn Jr. First, what do we know about what this means that Michael Flynn Jr. is now a subject of the Mueller investigation?
CAROL LEE, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, it`s just another clue that Robert Mueller`s investigation is in full swing and that its tentacles are stretching beyond what we initially thought they were focusing on. It also suggests, you know, there`s a number of legal experts who think that Mueller is aiming to try to flip certain subjects of the investigation, particularly of Michael Flynn Sr. and get -- compel him to cooperate. And if you talk to those folks they`ll tell you that this is you know, having someone`s son in the crosshairs of an investigation could be a really compelling reason to get Michael Flynn to do something that he otherwise might not have done, like cooperate with this investigation.
So it`s -- you know, we`re -- this is something that we, you know, have a little window into and we`re starting to see more and more pieces out of what`s going on in this investigation. And all of it points to that this is really heating up and it`s moving really quickly, more quickly than before.
HAYES: You know, one thing that I think I learned -- I think I maybe knew before but had forgotten or I learned for the first time reading your story was that Flynn Jr. was on that trip.
HAYES: The infamous RT trip which has given birth to the photo which made me realize I think, in a concrete way, that this isn`t just a father-son relationship, they were -- he worked for his dad.
LEE: Yes, he was -- in some ways his right-hand man. He would (INAUDIBLE) his chief of staff. He traveled with him. You know, he was -- when Michael Flynn Sr. finally disclosed the -- some details about the Russia trip, there were -- there were documents that were turned over that we relearned that, you know, the Russian-backed media organization, RT, paid for not just General Flynn but also his son, Michael Flynn, the younger Michael Flynn to fly to Moscow, like, put them up in a luxury hotel. So he was there that whole time. And there`s actually images of him at a different event while they were in Moscow. And so he worked very closely with his father and the two are still very close.
HAYES: One more thing about Michael Flynn Jr. that I`d like to get your perspective on. I mean, this is someone who -- you know, he tweets -- his tweet stream is there. You can follow him on Twitter and he is you know, hard core in what you might call the fever storms. I mean, he`s really in this world of sort of Alex Jones and memes from the sort of alt-right. And he called CNN worse than terrorists at one point. I mean, obviously, that`s not criminal. It`s -- you can believe whatever you want. But it seems -- I wonder what we know about the link -- the Michael Flynn`s politic to his son`s politics.
LEE: You know, we don`t know that much about the younger Michael Flynn. We know he was registered as a Republican. We know that he`s 34 years old. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He has a young son and he`s married. But we don`t really know that much detail about him except for what we`ve all seen on Twitter. And as you mentioned -- and those, you know, during -- the other piece of this is that Michael Flynn, the younger Michael Flynn was around during the campaign and he was around in the transition. And that is potentially interesting to investigators because it could be some -- you know, who knows what any link there are. And so -- but he made Trump officials very uncomfortable. If you remember, after pizza-gate, he -- you know, the Vice President went on and said he had absolutely no role whatsoever in the transition. They wanted to distance themselves from him.
HAYES: Yes, Carol Lee, thanks for joining me, great reporting.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on the Mueller investigation, let`s bring in former Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman. This is a piece from Carol Lee`s piece, her story, there`s a quote. And she just said, for any potential criminal liability from Michael G. Flynn, the son could put added pressure on his father.
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: There`s no question about that. I mean, if he wound up, you know, his son wound up being indicted for anything, obviously Michael Flynn, the father would try to do everything he could to save him presumably. And if Michael Flynn ultimately cooperates, which he is not saying is, who does he have to cooperate against. There`s really only a couple of people. It`s Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and the President of the United States. That`s what we`re talking about in terms of Michael Flynn`s cooperation.
HAYES: It`s important to make a distinction here, I think between the subject of an investigation which is the terminology used in the reporting that we`re bringing you today, and the target of the investigation. What is the difference between those two?
AKERMAN: Those are defined terms by the Department of Justice. I mean, it starts off with a witness. A witness is somebody who just happens from their standpoint to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From the government`s standpoint is in the right place at the right time. And just happens to see something or hear something. A subject though is somebody who is within the scope of the Grand Jury`s investigation. It means that the Grand Jury is looking at them. It doesn`t mean they`ve committed a crime. It doesn`t mean they`ve done anything wrong. It simply means that the Grand Jury is looking at them. A target, on the other hand, is somebody against whom the prosecutor has developed sufficient evidence to indict that person of a federal crime and is basically a punitive defendant. I think --
HAYES: That`s true. Even so, I just want to be clear on that. So, when we call someone a target of an information or when it`s reported that someone is a target which comes from anonymous leaks from people close to the investigation, that means that even though they`ve yet to be indicted, that the prosecutors are looking to indict them.
AKERMAN: Not only looking, but they have enough evidence to indict them.
HAYES: Already. OK.
AKERMAN: Already. Now, Michael Flynn, I would argue is probably a target. The guy lied all over --
HAYES: He lied -- we almost are -- we`re essentially 90-plus percent certain that he lied to FBI investigators about his call with --
AKERMAN: Right. Now, that`s a felony.
AKERMAN: He lied on his National Security Form multiple times. We`re finding out more and more lies that he was involved in just today about this whole business about selling nuclear plants in the Middle East even when he was National Security Adviser. I mean, you know, what`s wrong with this administration. You got the President trying to build Trump Tower in Moscow and you got Michael Flynn trying to start a business of his own building nuclear plants in the Middle East.
HAYES: While he`s -- I mean, let`s -- while he is the single most, in some sense is the single most powerful (INAUDIBLE) connected National Security Official in the White House.
AKERMAN: Absolutely. I mean, this is right in his bailiwick. It is such a conflict of interest that it doesn`t come close to being you know, being normal.
HAYES: The other thing about that news, and to pivot for a second from the Flynn Jr. news to the Flynn news, which is that you know, he had been involved in this deal, he`d taken money from these interests who were trying to put together this Russian backed nuclear power plant. He`s advocating for it in the White House. I mean, you`re starting to see this just habit of his, A pattern of taking money from foreign interests, advocating on their behalf. He wrote on Op-Ed defending the Turkish government on election day.
HAYES: That`s right. Later, it turned he`s taken money from Russian government.
AKERMAN: He`s been lying about it, and then lying about it.
HAYES: It adds up to a picture of someone who does seem ripe for manipulation by foreign interests just based on this pattern of behavior.
AKERMAN: And somebody ripe to be turned by the government because they`ve got enough evidence to convict him on a number of serious felonies.
HAYES: Why do you say that?
AKERMAN: Because they`ve got him lying on that security form. I filled out the exact same security form around the same time. It is not a simple process. It is very clear on that form that if you do not tell the truth, you are committing a serious felony. After you fill out the form, an FBI agent visits you at your office, spends four or five hours with you going through every question that`s asked and asks you the same question multiple times in multiple ways. The idea that Flynn made some kind of mistake and left off all of this information by mistake is ludicrous.
HAYES: You also got to imagine that there is -- beneath the iceberg, are e-mail correspondences, text messages things like -- I mean, that`s the thing that I always keep wondering about, right? So, we`re hearing all this but it`s like presumably there`s text messages and e-mails from his son to his father who he was working for. He was staffing him. Is that the kind of thing Grand Juries can get their hands on?
AKERMAN: Absolutely. They`re going to get all of that stuff. And all of that, I think, is not going to be very helpful to either one of them.
HAYES: To me, that`s the most concrete stuff and I keep telling myself that we`ve seen such a small blip of them. Presumably, there`s e-mail traffic and text traffic of Michael and his son when he`s serving as his father as chief of staff that says a lot about what was going on at that time. Nick Akerman, always good to have you.
AKERMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: There`s been big, another big development on the Russia investigation today. Bloomberg reporting that the Mueller probe -- and this actually surprised me, I have to say -- has a red hot focus on Russia`s efforts to influence American voters through social media. We`ve been learning more about those efforts over the past week since Facebook announced that a likely Russian operation spent $100,000 over divisive issue ads over the course of the 2016 campaign. The company says it`s cooperating with investigators but it`s already meeting with frustration from lawmakers who claim they`re being stonewalled. Congressman Adam Schiff is one of those lawmakers, a Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee. What is your frustration with what information you`ve gotten from Facebook?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, I haven`t described the situation with Facebook that way. We have been in discussions with them for some months now and I think it`s very important that they did the internal review that they have. But there`s still a lot of unanswered questions and I think it`s going to be important to have not only Facebook but other social media companies also come before our committee and answer questions about the extent of the internal investigations they`ve done, what platforms the Russians used, what further, in addition to the paid advertising, the pushing of fake and false accounts, the amplification of these stories like pizza-gate. What we know about these Russian modalities and how they used social media to influence our election. So there`s a lot of unanswered questions but I wouldn`t say -- I wouldn`t describe it as stonewalling in any way.
HAYES: Do you anticipate that you`re going to need further cooperation from them? Can you imagine, for instance, Mark Zuckerberg coming before the Committee or anything like that?
SCHIFF: You know, I would love to have an open hearing with several of the social media companies because I think it`s important that the American people understand how foreign countries, in this case, Russia, are in a position to manipulate the information that we see, the advertising that we see, they can target us very specifically. Obviously one of the questions that we want to get to the bottom of is, was there involvement of U.S. persons in this. Was there any kind of coordination between the data analytics part of the Trump Campaign and this Russian effort to use paid advertising and to use you know, their social media trolls and their bots to push particular stories into people`s social media feeds. So we have a lot of unanswered questions. I think it would be productive for a lot of those to be answered in public. But whether it`s in public or private is still something that`s a matter of internal committee discussion.
HAYES: I want to lay out a constitutional concern and get your reaction to it. When we`re talking about the hacks, it`s unambiguously criminal activity. It is legal to break into someone`s inbox, to take their information and then you know, use it however you use it, right? But when we`re talking about the things on Facebook, it does seems like we`re in some pretty unclear waters constitutionally. I mean, we`ve got a first amendment. Different people can run different ads even if they`re foreigners. Doesn`t -- you know, it doesn`t stop at the water`s edge. You can pay money to run ads. And I worry about where this is going with respect to what the government starts to do in this sort of speech area. What can you say to allay those fears?
SCHIFF: Well, no, I think you`re absolutely right. This is going to be very tough at several different levels because we do have reverence for our first amendment and we should. We don`t want to government to play sensor. It`s also a big job for the technology companies, the social media companies, are they going to be arbiters of what`s true and what`s false in terms of what they`re users post. These are tough questions. You can add to that frankly that fact that in this new environment people can search out and live in a bubble, an information bubble where they believe there`s a child sex predator ring under a pizza parlor and they`re surrounded by other people that believe in light conspiracy theories. So these are tough questions.
I do think that one thing that the federal government and the Intelligence Community ought to do is when it can, arm the American people with information. Here`s what Russia is doing. Here`s how they`re trying to influence us. One of the bills that I`m working on was suggested by Directors Clapper and Brennan is one that would require the Director of National Intelligence at some suitable period before an election to disclose to the American people of what we know about what the foreigners are trying to do to influence us. That`s one thing that I think we can play a constructive role in doing.
HAYES: All right. Congressman Adam Schiff, thanks for your time tonight.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next President Trump now says he wants his tax cuts fast because hurricanes. The President returns to say anything more after this two- minute break.
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TRUMP: We`re looking at a 15 percent rate and we want a 15 percent rate because that would bring us low, not by any means the lowest but it would bring us to a level where China and other countries are and we will be able to compete with anybody.
And by the way, and lower for individuals, much lower than that for individuals. I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are, pretty much where they are. If we can do that, we`d like it. If they have to go higher, they`ll go higher frankly. We`re looking at the middle class and we`re looking at jobs.
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HAYES: Donald Trump is promising a tax plan everyone will love, benefitting the middle class instead of the rich. And if that sounds familiar, it should because it`s the same approach the President used to sell repealing ObamaCare. Now, remember, he promised that premiums would go down, coverage expanded and Medicaid wouldn`t see cuts. In contrast, the actual Republican plan that he supported and pushed for prompted months of protest over estimates of higher premiums, shrinking coverage, and staggering transformational Medicaid cuts. And the same thing will probably happen with tax reform. Despite his populous promises, the tax outline he releases back in April suggested half the plans of tax cuts could go to the top one percent. Tonight, the President is pushing his tax effort over dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
And of course, he`s taking to his favorite medium Twitter to urge Congress on writing this morning, "With Irma and Harvey devastation, tax cuts and tax reform is needed more than ever. Go Congress, go." Mattie Duppler has argued against tax increases of any kind for years including as part of (INAUDIBLE) request Americans for tax reform. Now, a Senior Fellow at the National Taxpayers Union, Sam Seder is an MSNBC Contributor and Host of the Majority Report, Sam Seder. Mattie, let me start with you. There is no way, we can agree whether --put aside the benefits or not. Donald Trump is not going to sign a tax plan that raises taxes on wealthy people, correct?
MATTIE DUPPLER, NATIONAL TAXPAYER UNION SENIOR FELLOW: Well, Chris we can always agree on something. I`m not sure if this is the one. But if you`re looking at what Trump has been saying about his tax plan, I would think there is something here for most everyone to agree on. That is a good policy moving forward. You know, a lot of what he`s talking about sounds very similar to what we`ve heard from Democrats for a number of years now, more fairness in the tax code, eliminating loopholes, making sure that the tax code works for the middle class.
HAYES: Right. But that`s exactly the point because that`s the thing that people always say when talking in brilliant minds about the tax plan because those are the things that sound good. The same way that covering everybody sounds good. Like make it fair, get rid of the loop holes. But I just -- like, can we make a bet or something that he is not going to sign a tax bill that increases taxes for the wealthy. It`s not going to happen. It won`t get votes. Like, you agree, right, that`s not going to happen?
DUPPLER: I wouldn`t agree quite yet and there`s a reason why. It`s because the Trump administration has been clear now that they want the House and Senate to hammer out the details on this plan. Which I think is great. House Republicans have been working on tax reform for eons before Trump became President.
HAYES: But wait a second. But there --are House Republicans going to raise taxes on the wealthy?
DUPPLER: I think House --
SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No, no they`re not. I mean, look, I`m old enough to remember when President Trump was President-Elect Trump and walked into that restaurant, I think it`s the 21 Club in New York.
HAYES: It was the first night that he was President-Elect.
SEDER: The first night he was President and he went up to everybody in those tables and I don`t know how much --
HAYES: At the place that only serves rich people.
SEDER: A very expensive place is my understanding and said hey, don`t worry about it, I`m going to cut your taxes. And that`s probably the most truthful thing I think he`s said since that election, at least in terms of what his agenda is. I don`t think there is a chance he will raise taxes on the wealthy people. Of course not, of course not.
HAYES: Yes. I can`t even believe Mattie that you`re not conceding this because I feel that it`s your position and Grover Norquist`s position that tax raised of any kind are bad ergo. Like it would be the -- I know you don`t work for Grover anymore, you`re in the National Taxpayer`s Union -- which is not a real union by the way just to be clear, in case there`s some weird labor offshoot that`s pushing for tax reform -- that it`s a bad idea to raise taxes on the wealthy, ergo, it`s bad and we trust that the policy makers involved aren`t going to do it, right? Isn`t that the --
DUPPLER: Chris, you`re pointing at me from all angles today but I will once again, reiterate what I believe the mischaracterization of the conservative principle position for tax reform. And that`s not simply preserving the tax code as it is for the upper echelons of income earners right now. In fact, it`s the opposite. It`s flattening out tax rates, it`s getting rid of the obscurity that we have now that only the elite benefit from. And all this has been in plan that as I mentioned before, House Republicans have been working on for years. Senate Republicans have been working on for years. All of this fits very neatly into exactly what the Republicans and Conservatives have been saying for some time, which is that the tax code is broken and it only benefits the elite and well connected.
HAYES: This is something that I`ve been saying for a while, though I will say flatten was the word you use there. You know, if you take down the top rate right now it`s 39 percent at the marginal income rate. The President today said the corporate rate is 15 and I want to bring it lower than that for individuals. So definitionally, if you were to bring the top bracket from 39 to 15, people who make a lot at money are going to see a big income tax.
SEDER: To be fair, I don`t think the President has any idea of what he`s talking about.
HAYES: That`s a good point.
SEDER: I mean, I honestly think that it`s fool`s errand to actually take what he`s saying seriously. He`s buying time. But the idea that the Republican Party is not interested in cutting taxes on the rich goes against every single principle that that have espoused for as long as I`ve been alive. And that`s actually probably longer than most might think. It`s been a long time.
HAYES: Sam is 67. Mattie, last thing. The person selling this is Steve Mnuchin, the great tribune of the sort of American working class and populous ethos. And today, news that he requested a government jet for his European honeymoon. Do you think that`s going to help on the tax sell?
DUPPLER: I can`t comment on what requests are being made at the White House. I would simply say that if you don`t want to take President Trump at his word, look at what Secretary Mnuchin is saying, Adviser Cohn, the leaders in the House and the Senate, they have been very clear about where this tax plan is headed. Maybe not so much on debts but --
HAYES: We have some numbers and distributional impacts, we`re going to have you back on to look -- to look at the bar graphs that shoot off of the page for the top 1 percent which I guarantee will be there. But we`ll see. Maybe I`m wrong. Mattie Duppler and Sam Seder thank you both.
SEDER: Thank you.
HAYES: An all-star roster of Democrats come out to support a health care push that would have been unimaginable ten years ago. Senator Bernie Sanders joins me to talk about his Medicare for all launch ahead.
HAYES: Florida Power and Light and other companies were racing today to restore access to electricity in Florida where as of late this afternoon, almost one-third of the state was still without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. As we saw it first hand when we were in Florida just a few days ago, having power can really be a life and death matter. Today brought the tragic news that eight people lost their lives at a Hollywood, Florida nursing home after the power outage led to sweltering temperatures. Emergency personnel evacuated more than 100 people from the nursing home this morning. In the hard hit Florida Keys, most (INAUDIBLE) without power and in many cases, running water. About 1/4 of homes in the Keys were destroyed by the storm. Another 65 percent sustain serious damage according to federal officials.
Now, the situation is even worse than the Caribbean islands that were struck by Irma and the devastated U.S. Virgin Islands where bark was stripped clean off of the trees. There is no as of now, (INAUDIBLE) cell service, electricity is not expected to be restored for months. President Trump plans to travel tomorrow to Naples, Florida where we were just on the ground during tour of the damage. And right now 78 percent of Collier County r where Naples is situated remains without power.
HAYES: A last ditch effort to kill Obamacare today in the Senate, Lindsey Graham and a handful of fellow GOP Senators introducing a new bill to kill the health care law before they hit a crucial September 30 deadline after which Republicans will no longer be able to repeal the law with a simple majority vote.
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SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: If you believe repealing and replace Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen.
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HAYES: Hear that, only chance. Meanwhile, Democrats have shifted from playing defense on health care to going on the offensive. Bernie Sanders today introducing a bill to establish Medicare for All, aka government health care coverage for every American, and crucially 17 Democrats signed on to the bill as cosponsors, including many senators who were seen on potential top tier Democratic presidential candidates in 2020.
President Trump lauded Canada`s single payer system, which is similar to the Sanders plan in a 2015 primary debate. And in a book back in 2000 he actually wrote this, quote, "the Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than America. We need, as a nation, to examine the single-payer plan as many individual states are doing."
Today, of course, the White House chose instead bash both Senator Sanders and the plan he supports.
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SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can`t think of anything worse than having government be more involved in health care instead of less involved.
Not only does the president not support it, but America doesn`t support it or Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now. He pushed these ideas forward during the campaign. They were rejected not just by America, but Democrats. He didn`t make it through the primary. He didn`t make it into the Oval. I think that`s a pretty clear indication of what America wants to see and it`s not a single payer system.
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HAYES: Joining me now, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
You know, senator, it`s interesting to me, I was reading conservative coverage of your announcement today, along with other senators. And watching the White House, Republicans and conservatives like to talk about single-payer. They think they have the better part of the argument. They think it will scare them. Why are they wrong?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: They`re wrong because more and more Americans understand that our health care system is dysfunctional, that health care should be a right, not a privilege, that there`s something wrong when we are the only major country on Earth, the only major country, not to guarantee health care to all people. And not only do 28 million Americans have no health insurance, but even more are underinsured with high co-payments and high deductibles. People understand there`s something fundamentally wrong when we pay outrageous prices for prescription drugs, far and away the highest prices in the world and that is something that a Medicare for all single-payer system would lower.
So, bottom line is we have a dysfunctional health care system that spends enormous sums of money. Health care outcomes are not particularly good, and people increasingly want to move toward a Medicare for all system.
HAYES: So I think that the argument that you`ve laid out from a sort of policy perspective is pretty rock solid. It is just the fact that we spend more per capita --
SANDERS: We spend twice as much, not more. Twice as much.
HAYES: But here`s my question to you. Your bill would basically -- it gradually phases in over time.
SANDERS: Four years.
HAYES: But it would mean changing the system in significant ways, right? I mean that`s the idea, right? Change it to make it better.
One of the things that I have seen in both of the health care fights that I`ve covered very closely, I`ve covered the ACA fight and then the fight to preserve the Obamacare this summer, is that as much as people agree, man this system is screwy, I don`t like it, they are personally scared of change. They think to themselves I don`t trust that you guys aren`t going to screw this up.
How do you get over that hump?
SANDERS: Well, because the system is already screwed up. It is screwed up with thousands of people die each year because they can`t get to the doctor when they need to get to the doctor. It is screwed up when we`re spending $10,000 per person on health care, almost 18% of the GDP and the projection is that we don`t make real changes, we`re going spend $49 trillion over the next ten years, 20% of our GDP which will have very negative impacts on our economy.
So, you`ve got a screwed-up system now.
The point to be made, and I know there`s a lot of disinformation getting out there, but a point to be made is what this is not government takeover of your health care system. We have a Medicare system right now. It is a good system. Senior citizens like the system. It works very well for people 65 and older.
Senior citizens can go to any doctor that they want. They go to the hospital they want to get the medical care they want. It`s a program that works, it`s cost effective, let`s expand that program to every man, woman and child.
It`s not a scary proposition. You already have the Medicare system providing health insurance for over 40 million Americans.
HAYES: You know, you point out to -- you point to other countries like Canada and other advanced, industrialized countries and it`s true, there`s a universal health care regime of some kind. But what you`re proposing in this legislation which has been signed onto is significantly passed out what even the Canadian system does.
You`re talking about vision and dental, and prescription drugs, none of which single payer covers in Canada. You`re talking about no co-pays, which is also something that --
SANDERS: No co-pays is what exists in Canada.
You go to the doctor, you go to the hospital you don`t have to pay.
HAYES: But they don`t have dental and vision.
SANDERS: That`s correct. But what we are looking at and listening to are seniors all over this country. I cannot tell you how many seniors in Vermont I have talked with that said, Bernie, I`ve got a problem with my teeth, I need dentures. Can`t get it.
Point is, let`s make this point very clear, because there`s going to be a lot of misinformation about it. What this proposal does, what this legislation does is it eliminates your private insurance payments.
So you got the average family now paying $5,000 in co-payments and deductibles, you`ve got families in America paying 10 to 15 to 20,000 if they`re self employed. That is all gone.
Yes, people may have to pay a bit more in taxes, but they`ll be in better shape financially as a result of the legislation.
Further more, people say, well, we are afraid of change. We`re not telling you to go to a different doctor. You go to the same exact doctor. What changes is the color of the card you have in your wallet.
HAYES: That is a key thing thought, right? You`re making a version of the infamous promise from President Barack Obama. And he made that promise for a reason. I think both because he wanted it, it was actually a goal. I don`t think he was trying to con people. I think they really wanted it to be the case. If you like your doctor, you can keep it.
You`re making that -- you`re saying at the end of what is going to be a radical transformation of the American health care system, let`s be clear, that if you like your doctor you can keep it.
That`s a marker you`re laying down?
SANDERS: The answer is yes, but the truth is right now there are millions of people who cannot go to the doctor they want because their doctor is not in their health care network. This will give people real freedom of choice as to the doctor.
Also, you know, today at the event we had a businessman from Pennsylvania, and he was talking about the huge amounts of money he has to pay for each of his employees, which puts him at a competitive disadvantage with businesses all over the world. This would be a tremendous boom for businesses who no longer have to spent incredible time and energy figuring out how they can provide health insurance to their employees.
Also Chris, this will be a major step forward for workers in the sense that we have millions of people in this country today who are in jobs they would rather not be at but they`re there because they get decent health insurance. If you free those people up to do the work they want, not only will it make people happier and more productive, it will create a real significant step forward for our economy.
HAYES: Alright, Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for joining me.
Still to come, President Trump`s press secretary today called criticizing the president a fireable offense. A story of an ESPN anchor, Jemele Hill, and why the White House wants her fired.
And plus, tonight`s Thing One and Thing Two starts next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the unfortunate mistake at the end of President Trump`s oval office meeting with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.
The White House seemed to be looking for a reset of sorts on the president`s explosive Charlottesville comments a few weeks ago, and in fact today`s oval office meeting between President Trump and South Carolina`s black Republican Senator, Tim Scott, garnered headlines like this one, "Tim Scott on meeting with President Trump, I made clear my issues with how he handled Charlottesville."
"Black GOP Senator Says Trump Was `Receptive` During Race Talk".
And the White House sent out a photo of the meeting with the caption, "President Donald J. Trump meets with U.S. Senator Tom Scott."
Tom Scott. Not the best way to cap off that particular meeting, but it is far from the first glaring and embarrassing White House typo over the past eight months.
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: After President Trump`s meeting today with Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the White House official photo of the meeting printed Senator Scott`s first name as Tom.
Now, let`s be clear here. We`re all guilty of typos, including on this very show. But this young presidency has already racked up a slew of pretty awkward mistakes, and it is the White House.
There was the time the White House schedule repeatedly misspelled British Prime Minister Theresa May`s name, accidentally confusing the prime minister with a British adult actress.
Or the time the Department of Education misspelled the name of W. E. B. Du Bois. Or the time the Snapchat post about the secretary of education misspelled the word education. Or the president`s last trip to Israel last May, a press statement with this bullet point, quote, "Promote the possibility of lasting peach."
And even more sublime, the White House sent multiple e-mails about President Trump`s travel to Houston on "Air Force Once".
HAYES: An extraordinary moment at the White House this afternoon when the Press Secretary for the President of the United States called publicly for a private citizen, a journalist no less to be fired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to read a comment from an influential African-American sportscaster from ESPN yesterday who said, "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. He`s unqualified and fit to be president."
Why do you think -- Do you have a reaction to that? Is the president aware of that comment>
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I`m not sure if he is aware but I think that`s one of the most outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a series of tweets on Monday night, ESPN Sport Center host, Jemele Hill, said that the president is, quote, "a white supremacist who is largely surrounded himself with other white supremacist." She said, quote, "His rise is a direct result of white supremacy."
And for this, the White House is calling for Jemele Hill, an African- American woman, to lose her job.
Now yesterday afternoon ESPN responded with a statement, "The comments on Twitter from Jamele Hill regarding the president do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jamele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate."
Now, it is unclear if ESPN is dinging Hill for violating its policy on taking positions on, and I quote here, "... taking positions on political or social issues, candidates or office holders." Or, if it`s suggesting that calling the president a white supremacist is just out of bounds.
But, in this context it is worth noting that the latter sentiment is not necessarily fringe at this point. This was the cover of The New Yorker magazine for the week following President Trump`s equivocation in the wake of Charlottesville, and it is literally the thesis for an article this month written by one of the country`s most celebrated writers in one of the country`s oldest magazines.
"It is often said that Trump has no real ideology," Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in the latest issue of The Atlantic, "which is not true. His ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power."
Ta-Nehisi Coates will be our guest on Friday, but next Jemele Hill right? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: Brittney Cooper, Professor of African Studies at Rutgers University and Jason Johnson, Professor of Political Science at Morgan State University join me tonight.
Your reaction to the president`s spokesperson calling for Jemele Hill to be fired.
BRITTNEY COOPER, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Just appalling. One of the problems that we have in this country is that we still think that the people -- the problem with racism is the people who call out racism rather than racists themselves or rather than racist behaviors.
Jemele Hill is really -- is in a tradition of black women in this moment who are saying white supremacy is the problem and we should take every opportunity to name it for what it is.
And it`s particularly egregious that we are mincing words about white supremacy after Charlottesville. What will it take for us as a country to say we have a problem with racism. We have a president who made it into office by stoking the worst and most based racial impulses of white folks in this country, not only in the working class but also middle class white folks.
And if we don`t want this to destroy our country, then we`re going to have to tell the truth about it. If we don`t tell the truth about it, it`s a problem we can`t confront.
HAYES: Jason, two issues here. There`s the what Jemele said, and then there`s the idea of the White House saying from the podium, a private citizen committed a fireable offense by critiquing the president, which really I thought was quite something. That is not something you see every day.
JASON JOHNSON, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, it`s something we see from this administration, Chris. And I also see a problem with ESPN.
From the White House standpoint, I`m not surprised. Donald Trump is a white supremacist sympathizer. We know that. We have seen that and black women are the kryptonite to this administration. I don`t care if it`s April Ryan, or Susan Rice, or Maxine Waters, they are terrified of black women. Whenever a black woman says something about this administration, they`re quaking in their boots.
But I also have some problems with how ESPN handled this by reprimanding Jemele Hill. Let`s be honest, ESPN just brought back Hank Williams Jr. for Monday night football. This is a guy that compared Obama to Hitler. So, it`s not just an issue of having a white supremacist --
HAYES: Right, but they also -- I just want to say that they also parted ways with Curt Schilling when he --
HAYES: Over essentially offensive right wing political opinions that he expressed in a none ESPN capacity where they basically said, we`re going to part ways with you because of the content of what you said.
JOHNSON: Right. Here is the difference, though, Chris. Where did she lie? I mean, nothing -- as you mentioned, Ta-Nehisi Coates, it`s standard, lots of people say this about the president now. She didn`t say that -- she didn`t lie about him. She didn`t say he wasn`t born in this country.
HAYES: That`s a good point. I should also note while we`re having this conversation that NBC did not sever ties with Donald Trump when he was running around the country accusing the president of being born in Kenya and manufacturing a birth certificate.
One should note that that was not a fireable offense in this context.
Part of it to me has to do with these terms, white supremacist in the wake of Charlottesville, and Nazi. I see people using that a lot.
I`m not trying to play devil`s advocate here, but I`m trying to be genuine about how you police the boundaries of the label. Because I see lots of people now being like, oh, so and so is a Nazi. And it`s like well, no, they`re not -- they have bad views.
There has to be -- I guess what I want to say is there has to be a space for people that have bad views who aren`t Nazis, or a space for people whose race views aren`t good or politics that aren`t good that aren`t white supremacists.
COOPER: Sure. I mean look, I think precision is right, but here is the point. Jemele Hill was precise. She is right in this instance. She is not a marker of folks who are using this moment around what we`re calling identity politics in this way to dismiss people who -- and to ma line them because we don`t agree with them. This is not the same thing.
This is calling to conscious and saying -- look, this is also Ta-Nehisi Coates argument and people aren`t coming after him for the same thing.
HAYES: That`s the irony here.
COOPER: It`s literally the same argument, that there`s something distinct and unique about what Donald Trump did to get into office that we haven`t seen in 150 years, that we have to name that because we don`t want to go backwards.
HAYES: But part of this also, it strikes me to Jason`s point about ESPN, is that this is a business calculation. I mean, ESPN is trying to get people to watch highlights and trying to get people to watch sports.
And there`s this fascinating thing that`s happening, right, which is that terrain that was politically unclaimed or whose politics were sort of invisible in a kind of hegemonic way, right? They might have had a politics but it wasn`t in your face, like that`s now Colin Kaepernick is the biggest story in the NFL right now, and there`s nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide when the culture war comes calling.
JOHNSON: Exactly. And Chris, here is the catch. There`s a silliness here about, well, we`re making a business decision because we don`t want to offend sports fans.
You`re offending just as many sports fans by reprimanding here.
HAYES: That`s my point. Part of my point is, if you`re ESPN, you`re damned if do, damned if you don`t because this is the way the works right now.
COOPER: Look, if you don`t stand for something you`ll fall for anything. What it really means is that you can`t please anyone so you might as well take a stance on the side of the truth.
History is judging and will judge who said what in this moment. And there`s a way that we keep letting white racists off the hook because no one wants to offend them.
Look, if there`s anything that we shouldn`t equivocate about, it`s white supremacy.
HAYES: Alright, Brittany Cooper and Jason Johnson, thank you so much for that.
That is All In for this evening. Remember to tune in on Friday with my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, who will be here to talk about that piece.
And a reminder, tomorrow night Hillary Clinton joins Rachel Maddow live, live. These things are usually pre-taped, they`re usually taped in a hotel room. So this is live in studio, which is fascinating. Make sure to be there for that.
The Rachel Maddow show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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