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All In with Chris Hayes,Transcript 9/14/17 Michael Moore interview

Guests: John Podesta, Lanhee Chen, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Moore

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 14, 2017

Guest: John Podesta, Lanhee Chen, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Moore

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It`s one that will clearly remind the country that it was the Democrats who had it right after Charlottesville and the Republican President who had it wrong, wrong morally. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say to people calling you Amnesty Don?

HAYES: Mutiny on the far right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has the wall almost become symbolic?

HAYES: As Chuck and Nancy ride again.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: He likes us. He likes me anyway.

HAYES: Tonight, talk of impeachment and primary challengers from his base.


HAYES: After the President`s latest dalliance with Democrats.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they`re unable to stick together, then I`m going to have to get a little help from the Democrats.

HAYES: Then, Michael Moore on whether Chuck and Nancy should trust the President. New reporting on the President`s humiliation of Jeff Sessions in the wake of the Mueller appointment. And the Treasury Secretary`s new excuse for asking the government to subsidize his honeymoon.

TRUMP: They had to give up a lot to take these jobs.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The most prominent voices of the Trump base discovered today what many of his business associates and customers learned long ago. If you`re in business with Donald Trump, eventually you`re going to end up on the wrong side of the deal. This afternoon in an off-camera session with reporters on board Air Force One, the President defended his decision to work with Democrats on a deal to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children in exchange for increased border security.


TRUMP: I`m a Republican through and through, but I`m also finding that sometimes to get things through, it`s not working that way. And, you know, we got very poorly treated on the health care plan. We have to get things passed. And if we can`t get things passed, then we have to go a different route.


HAYES: Since last night when Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi -- Chuck and Nancy -- emerged from dinner with the President, announcing they`d struck an agreement to extend DACA, the Obama-era deferred action for childhood arrivals program which the President recently moved to end. There`s been an extended back and forth between the White House and Capitol Hill over what exactly was agreed to if anything. The President tweeting this morning, no deal was made last night on DACA, massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent, would be subject to vote.

But then minutes later, he went onto advocate for the Democrats` position tweeting, "does anybody really want to throw out good, educated, accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in military, really?" Well, yes, actually, really. For instance, his own Attorney General who wants to do just that argued without basis that DACA recipients disadvantaged native-born workers. Candidate Trump himself said DACA recipients should stay with their families but they all have to go. Today, the President told reporters he would agree to protect DACA recipients even if he doesn`t get his border wall in exchange.


TRUMP: The wall will come later. We`re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections making it brand-new. We`re doing a lot of renovation. We met last night with, as you know, Schumer, Pelosi, and a whole group. And I think we`re fairly close but we have to get past the border security. Mitch is on board, Paul Ryan is on board. Ryan and McConnell agree with us on DACA. We`re very much -- we`re very much on board.


HAYES: The reactions from Ryan and McConnell themselves were considerably more circumspect, however. McConnell saying in a brief statement, we look forward to receiving the Trump administration`s legislative proposal as we continue our work on these issues. Ryan today said the President and chief of staff told him there was no agreement. But among the anti-immigrant right-wing which rallied around Trump`s campaign from day one, when you`ll remember he said that Mexico was sending criminals and rapists, word of potential DACA deal set off a full-blown panic.


REP. STEVE KING (R) IOWA: I think something`s going to have to be reversed here with this President`s policy or it will just blow up his base. I mean, this was a straight-up promise all the way through his campaign.

LIMBAUGH: Is he this tone deaf? Is he this ignorant? Does he not know what got him elected? Does he not? I mean -- and I`m telling you, some of the staunchest Trump supporters are out there and they`ve jumped ship.

LAURA INGRAHAM, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He`s going to get creamed on this. And he -- this -- if this goes down the way I fear it will go down, mark my words, this will be an electoral nightmare for Republicans.


HAYES: Even Ann Coulter, author of a book literally called In Trump We Trust, tweeted, at this point who doesn`t want Trump impeached? If we`re not getting a wall, I`d prefer President Pence. John Podesta was the Chairman of Hillary Clinton`s Presidential campaign 2016, a Counselor to President Obama, who issued DACA in 2012. Are you surprised by the developments in the last 24 hours?

JOHN PODESTA, FORMER COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, of course, I think everyone`s a little bit surprised. But I -- Chris, I think we got to get out of the politics to this a little bit and remember what`s at stake here. 800,000 young people, as President Trump himself, tweeted this morning. Good kids, hardworking, in school, in jobs, in the military. And I think that last night he met with the two leaders, they struck a deal, and he should push forward with it. More border security in exchange for making DACA permanent. And that will be good for those young people. It will be good for the country. And I think a majority of the public would support that.

HAYES: One point. The border security funding, we should say. It`s unclear whether that will actually produce more border security. Those two things always go together. But in terms of the underlying truth of this, I mean, I agree with you. I think, you know, 800,000 actual individual human beings with lives and -- but that`s been the case throughout. I mean, it`s not like the politics are a side show. The reason Barack Obama had to issue DACA as an executive order is because the votes weren`t there with the Republican Congress to do it statutorily.

PODESTA: I think -- you know, I agree with that. And I think that the Republicans have been reluctant to do it. But now they have a Republican President hopefully who will be pressing them to do it. He`s gone a little bit back and forth on it through the course of the day. But he seems to settle in the evening again on the idea that these young people need relief. And he`s promised to give to it them. And I think that if that means, you know, angering a couple of Breitbart readers and some talk radio hosts, then he should go ahead and do it because these people need that relief. I think as I said, he made the deal. Now we can see if he is a person who, you know -- it surprises me to say this, but we`ll see whether that when he sits across the table from the Democratic Leaders and makes a promise, whether he`ll make good on it.

HAYES: Well. Yes, I mean, I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t bet too much on that, given his history. But here`s a question. You know you were in that White House with President Obama. You watched him work on a variety of issues and get stonewalled. You were the Campaign Chair for Hillary Clinton. And had she been elected President likely, I think you would have worked in the White House, perhaps the Chief of Staff, or something like that. You and I both know there`s no way there would be a single Republican vote for a DREAM Act to be cemented into law if Hillary Clinton were President. You know that Ryan and McConnell would never bring that to the floor. How do you understand that? How do you understand the fact that in that universe, the same bill would be a non-starter, but if Donald Trump signs on, they can probably pass it?

PODESTA: You know, I was with -- in the White House with President Obama in 2014 when he tried to get comprehensive immigration reform. And there was clearly a majority of votes in both Houses. There were Republicans who favored it, there was a solid --the entire Democratic Caucus would have voted for it. But at that time, Congressman Boehner, the Speaker of the House, couldn`t bring it forward because he was afraid of the right wing in his party. I think the same thing was probably true of Senator McConnell.

Now, that President Trump is pressing them and saying, look, I will take the flak from the right if you push this forward. And we`ll see if he`s got the gumption to go forward with it. I certainly hope that he does because as I said, at the end of the day the politics are sort of -- you know, sometimes the White House looks a little bit like a clown car, you`re never sure who`s getting out the door. But at the end of the day, he said he would provide relief to these people. They need it. And he should make good on that.

HAYES: I raise the Hillary question, Hillary Clinton, of course, will be a guest of Rachel`s just later on after this show. She has a new book out. How do you understand what would be different in this country if she were President right now?

PODESTA: Well, I think everything would be different. I think we`d have a different foreign policy, a different domestic policy. She certainly put forward an economic program that was focused on providing -- trying to focus on raising wages for the -- for working people, for the middle class, to raise the minimum wage, et cetera. Instead, we have a White House that really has been dominated up to this point by special interests, people who are really more interested in getting favors for his friends in the business community. There`s been essentially nothing passed through Congress.

And on the foreign policy side, I think we`ve had an erratic foreign policy in which our allies are really confused about where the President wants to go. He thinks that`s like keeping everybody guessing. I think mostly it keeps people off-balance in knowing how to deal with the major threats from Russia, from North Korea, et cetera. So I think she would have been a steady hand in foreign affairs. But I think most importantly, she would have been fighting for the working people that he claimed to argue for in the campaign, but has been really I think abandoned since he`s gotten to the Oval Office.

HAYES: All right, thank you, John Podesta.

PODESTA: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: For more on the backlash of potential DACA deal, let`s bring in Jennifer Rubin, Conservative Columnist of the Washington Post and Lanhee Chen, who serves as a Senior Adviser on Marco Rubio`s 26 presidential -- 2016 Presidential Campaign. A few of my favorite reactions is, this is Hannity blaming Congressional R`s for this. "If the report`s true 100 percent, I blame R`s. They caused this. If they wanted him to fail and now pushed him into the arms of political suicide -- all caps -- if true." Breitbart calling him Amnesty Don. Jennifer, what do you make of the reaction there?

JENNIFER RUBIN, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I`m having a wonderful time, I must say, Chris. Listen, the Republicans made a deal with the devil and now they`re getting bit. This man they knew was unreliable, they knew was a narcissist, who had no principles, and now he`s pulled the rug out from under them. So listen, Donald Trump will say yes to whoever is in front of him and whoever he thinks is going to give him the most applause. So this is where he is. Poor Jeff Sessions who was called an idiot but stayed on so he could deal with illegal immigration and legal immigration -- how`s that going, Jeff? At any rate, I think what`s happening now is actually something very positive and that`s kind of beneath the surface.

As reported today you have both the House bill and now a Senate bill championed not by two gangs of eight Republicans, not two rhinos, but people like Jim Lankford of Oklahoma and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. These are rock-solid Republicans. They have a bill. It`s a little tougher than the DREAM Act, but it`s within the parameters that Chuck and Nancy talked about. They`re going to be dropping that next week and this is going to go forward. The question is will Paul Ryan balk and get paralyzed and frightened by his Freedom Caucus or is he going put something on the floor? So I think despite himself, we`re probably going to get through with Amnesty Don and get something for the dreamers.

HAYES: Well, Lahni, here`s -- my thesis is this. Sure, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and all those folks will be upset but I think the Trump base, actual voters, will be fine with it. And here`s some evidence. Sean McElwee is a Policy Analyst at Demos, a great analyst, you should check out. He cited some research from BYU saying, telling Republicans Trump supports liberal immigration policy makes them support liberal immigration policy. Like he could transubstantiate things into being you know, a tough populist Trumpian position by virtue of him advocating it.

LANHEE CHEN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO MARCO RUBIO: Yes Chris. I think you`re absolutely right. I`m not convinced at all that this really hurts Trump`s standing with those who supported the President. Look, here`s the thing. You look back to 2013. Donald Trump met with a bunch of Dreamers in his office. I remember working during the 2016 campaign for Marco Rubio. This was an issue during that campaign. Ted Cruz and others brought it up in an effort to discredit Donald Trump.

But I actually think at core this idea of helping dreamers, this is probably something that Donald Trump has always at core wanted to do. The challenge is now. He`s facing some political headwinds because there are a lot of Republicans who don`t want to do it. Well, look, the Republicans at this point politically are in a very, very difficult position. And Donald Trump is the one who`s put them there because they`re going to have to basically support this thing if Donald Trump supports it, certainly. And even if he flips at this point, the Republicans have been put in a very tenuous position. It`s the right policy by the way to help these Dreamers.

HAYES: Right. Which brings me back to Chuck and Nancy, which is that no one here should have any illusions about how -- whether this deal happens, how long this rapprochement is going to last. I feel like I`m a little skeptical of the -- you know, any new Trump story seems to me suspect, Jennifer.

RUBIN: Yes, I don`t think they trust him one with. I think they snookered him. I think they put him in a box on this and he trapped up -- tripped up himself and the Republicans. I think -- listen, Chuck and Nancy did not just fall off the turnip truck. They know exactly what they are dealing with. And they are trying to figure out ways to, first of all, increase the divisions within the Republican Party, and boy did they succeed in doing that today. And secondly, see if there are ways, big ways, little ways in which they can get something that they want. And if they get Dreamers, these people would be heroes. They control nothing and they would save the Dreamers without a wall? That would be remarkable.

HAYES: Lanhee, where do you think this goes next?

CHEN: Yes, you know, I`m not quite sure where it goes next. I mean, as with anything in the Trump Presidency, who knows what`s going to happen tomorrow. But I do think Republicans at this point -- you know, it`s a very difficult situation because there is this base pressure. And while Chris, to your point Donald Trump may not face that base pressure, guess what, Congressional Republican do.

HAYES: That`s right. Which is why they`re so squeezed, right? Because if he puts them in position to sort of abandon their principles or go against him, there`s like no daylight for those folks which is what makes it so fascinating. Jennifer Rubin and Lanhee Chen, thank you, both.

CHEN: Thank you.

HAYES: I wrote some more thoughts on DACA that couldn`t fit in the show. You can find them on our Facebook page at All In with Chris.

We`re monitoring some breaking news tonight as well. North Korea fired a ballistic missile eastward. Japanese government said the missile flew over the island of Hokkaido. This is the second missile fired by North Korea over Japan in just three weeks. Both projectiles landed on the Pacific Ocean. The launches came as North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. Pacific Territory of Guam. The White House says President Trump has been briefed on this latest episode.

Don`t go away, Michael Moore is coming up and the incredible story about the time President Trump called Jeff Sessions an idiot to his face. That`s next.


HAYES: New details emerging tonight about the Donald Trump outburst that prompted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to tender his resignation in May. New York Times reporting today the President angered by Sessions` decision to recuse himself in the Russia probe and by the appointment of a Special Counsel, "told Mr. Sessions that choosing him to be Attorney General was one of the worst decisions he had made, calling him an idiot, and said he should resign." Mr. Sessions would later tell associates the demeaning way the President addressed him was the most humiliating experience in decades of public life.

According to the Times, administration officials convinced the President not to accept the resignation and Sessions decided to stay on for the chance to crack down on immigration which he got earlier this month when he, to great fanfare, announced the end of DACA. An achievement that might be short-lived, considering the President and Democrats are now reportedly hammering out a deal to make DACA permanent. Glenn Thrush (INAUDIBLE) White House for the New York Times, is working on a book about the President. Ashley Parker has notched a series of White House scoops at the Washington Post. Both join me now. Glenn, this is operate great reporting here. The humiliation seems a particular recurring theme in the lives of Trump subordinates.

GLENN THRUSH, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think if you sign on with Donald Trump, you got to wear a flak jacket, to say the least, maybe even a cup and a helmet. Look, I think the issue with Sessions is once Trump sours on somebody, and my colleague Maggie Haberman and I reported I think earlier in the spring that Trump had been infuriated with Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation, which by the way was a no--brainer and virtually no one else, apart from Donald Trump, thought that Sessions did anything wrong with that.

Once you have established yourself on the wrong side of Donald Trump, that`s the first ingredient. The second ingredient is once you have not stood up for yourself in a sufficiently stout way, he will push you around. And I think this story extends to the present. Jeff Sessions, every time he goes out on a limb, as he did with DACA, when he stood there and made the announcement himself, he heard behind him the sound of Donald Trump sawing the tree limb out from under him.

HAYES: Well, and that`s actually -- I got to think that it`s not coincidental. I mean, I remember thinking to myself, when Sessions was made the point person for this. This is weird. I mean, people commented. It is very weird the President`s making one of the most consequential decisions of his administration and he is not the public face for that. instead, it was Jeff Sessions. And now it doesn`t seem so accidental.

ASHLEY PARKER, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, on this decision especially, it was the decision that the President told friends and confidants that really he wanted to get out of. He sort of wanted to not make a decision at all because he really does sort of see both sides of the Dreamer issue. And keep in mind, this is a President especially who understands imagery. And he understands that taking these young people, many of whom as you tweeted this morning served in the military, are valedictorians, are sort of upstanding members of society, does not play well in terms of a narrative, if nothing else. And so I think part of the reason he sent Sessions out there was, you know, as Glenn said, to sort of saw off the limb of the tree, also because it wasn`t something he was comfortable with and he and his aides understood him standing up there, he would not be able to make the forceful case. And indeed, he undercut it this week.

HAYES: Right. Right, and I mean, it was notable that Sessions didn`t make just the legal case but the sort of substantive case. Basically that it`s bad to have these people taking American jobs. There`s a question, Glenn - - I mean, one of the interesting things here is, there`s sort of I think a unanimous view among folks that the Comey firing was catastrophic. And someone convinced him when Sessions tenders his resignation, and I think they gave him the correct advice. If you fire Sessions, that is absolutely nuclear. And he listened this time, apparently.

THRUSH: Well, look, Donald Trump has a very acute sense of self- preservation. It`s one of the reasons we see his new Chief of Staff, John Kelly, gaining some traction. Trump will push things up to the edge and if he makes the determination very rationally that the action will boomerang on him in an unacceptable way, he won`t do it. As you said Chris, one of the really interesting things about the Comey issue was that was a catastrophic decision. Steve Bannon himself said it was one of the -- one of the dumbest moves in modern political history, most damaging moves. And the reverberations to that are extreme.

What`s very interesting is, one of the few people who counseled him to do it, remember, was his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who thought Democrats of all people were going to come around and support Trump because in defense of Hillary Clinton. So I think what you`re seeing over time, at least, is a progression where his sense of self-preservation at least has become better. So the decisions that he tends to be making seem to be more rational.

HAYES: There`s also -- I mean, my theory often is that it`s like forcing air into the balloon and eventually the pressure overwhelms it. So, we`ve seen times of, Ashley, relative kind of -- I remember down the stretch of the campaign, it was prompter Trump and it was about how Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon have one, one, one message. And it did last for at least three or four weeks. But I guess my question to you as someone who covers this intimately like, there`s no -- is there a fundamental alteration in how that White House is functioning?

PARKER: No, I don`t think there`s a fundamental alteration. And even General Kelly, new Chief of Staff went in saying, I`m trying to control the things I can control. The information flow to the president, the people he sees, how he interacts with them, but not the President himself. So there isn`t that fundamental shift, although we are seeing stuff in the margins. But to your other question about sort of the way we can see Trump scripted and then going off-script, I always think that`s exactly right. And I think of him as sort of needing a release valve. And so, when you see him give a teleprompter speech, then he goes wildly off-script at a rally or sends out a tweet, it`s as if he sort of needs that release.

HAYES: Yes, to that point, I should say, the President basically went back to his very controversial Charlottesville comments again today where he essentially took time to blame the other side, meaning the not-Nazi side, which is a sort of retrenchment yet again. Ashley Parker and Glenn Thrush, thanks for being here.

PARKER: Thank you

HAYES: Coming up, Michael Moore is here. Don`t go away.



MICHAEL MOORE, AMERICAN FILMMAKER: This is going to grow larger than anything that we`ve seen in recent memory. It`s going to grow from last night to tonight, into tomorrow night and the next night. So phase one right now is just people, get up out of the chair, go out into the street. Be peaceful but be heard. This is -- this is -- I predict this is going to be a very large thing.


HAYES: That was Michael Moore three nights after Donald Trump was elected, ten months ago and a whole lot has happened since then. There`s a case to be made the resistance as it`s called has been more powerful and more successful than anyone could have imagined immediately after the election when everything looked so bleak for so many. The documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore now has a Broadway Show The Terms Of My Surrender about resisting President Trump and he joins me now. It`s good to have you here in person.

MOORE: Thank you very much.

HAYES: You`re working just a few blocks away.

MOORE: Yes, in a Broadway theater. Actually, I learned recently, and tell me if this is true. You directed Lin-Manuel Miranda`s --

HAYES: First musical.

MOORE: First -- in high school.

HAYES: Yes, as a senior high school member --

MOORE: You were his director.

HAYES: I was his director. I brought to life the vision.

MOORE: The man who gave us Hamilton, you were his first director. That`s impossible.

HAYES: I know. It was amazing. Actually, it`s funny, I can still hum -- I can still hum the tunes of that show, which was a 20-minute musical that featured a maniacal fetal pig in a nightmare that he had cut up in biology class. But -- that`s --

MOORE: Bob, let`s go to a clip right now if we can.

HAYES: That is -- here -- I want to start with this. You and I talked -- we talked that first -- I think it was a night or two after the election.


HAYES: People are in the streets. We`ve talked since then. There`s two arguments to be made about what`s happened. One is that the resistance really has achieved more than people thought it possibly could have when you go back ten months.

MOORE: Right.

HAYES: And the other is that people are still punching themselves out in the same way they were during the election. Which of those do you think is more accurate?

MOORE: Oh, the first is more accurate. You mean the punching out? You mean, between the Bernie people and the Hillary people?

HAYES: No, I mean -- I mean, that there`s people who still say, the base is still with them and you`re making all these arguments you tried to make in the election that didn`t work and they like the fact that he is -- he is who he is, blah, blah, blah.

MOORE: Right, No, I think the base is probably still with him. I think that`s true. And we have a lot of work ahead to remove him because the Republicans in Congress have already polled their gerrymandered districts. They already know. They think they have a pretty good chance of coming back next year regardless of what Trump does.

HAYES: They really do.

MOORE: Yes. So impeachment is not around the corner here. People are hoping that Bob Mueller can somehow indict him but there`s a lot of constitutional questions about that. And he can indict him after he`s a civilian after Trump`s a civilian, then we can indict him. And then I think our only question is going to be, do we try him as an adult? That will be -- that will be the only thing yet to be determined.

HAYES: But in terms of -- when you look at these big fights, and you look at the fight over the Muslim ban, you know, held up in the courts, going to be appearing before the Supreme Court, the ACA repeal fight, my read on the situation is, the activists and the organizers and the politicians and the legal -- you know, the ACLU and folks like that have provided a friction against him that has been stronger than I thought it would have been.

MOORE: Yes. And that is in part because our opponent is not well. So we`ve taken advantage of that. We feel bad as liberals because you want to be nice to people who are not well. But you can`t let someone behind the wheel of the car, you know if they`re intoxicated. And you have to pull them out. And so what we`ve done is we`ve obstructed him and we continue to do that. All the legal groups are going to continue to take him and his people to court. The resistance will be in the streets, will be at town halls. We are recruiting people in Congressional Districts and State Assembly and State Senate districts for next year. People are going to win.

HAYES: This year I should note, this year the state -- there`s a challenger, I think, in every state delegate district in Virginia, which has --

MOORE: Exactly.

HAYES: Which I think is --

MOORE: Exactly. And we`re not -- we, the people are not leaving it up to the Democratic Party, God bless them, to actually come up with a stellar list of candidates because a lot of the Poobahs of the Democratic Party believe that they should be running more moderate or more conservative candidates. And that is the wrong way to go and that is exactly how we`ll lose.

HAYES: Well, I want to -- I want to return to that. But I want to ask you about Chuck and Nancy, as the President calls them.

MOORE: Yes, Chuck and Nancy.

HAYES: You know, they have -- they have these dinners, they`re coming --

MOORE: I had them over for dinner last week.

HAYES: Did you?

MOORE: Yes. They actually have never have paid for a meal. They just --

HAYES: Did you sign a deal with them too?

MOORE: I`m trying -- they`re going to go straight for me on my new T.V. series.

HAYES: Did you actually just have dinner with Chuck and Nancy?

MOORE: No, I don`t. I have had --

HAYES: That would have been plausible.

MOORE: I have been in the room and I`ve watched them eat, does that count?

HAYES: Yeah, sure.

MOORE: OK. All right.

HAYES: There`s -- you know, when we watch this -- the last week or two, there was the debt ceiling deal, and now there`s this talk of this possible DACA deal. What`s your read on this? First reaction?

MOORE: First of all, I of course believe Pelosi and Schumer that Trump told them that he would, you know, not hurt these DACA kids and they didn`t -- and we`re not going to build the wall. Of course he said that. And I`m sure he said something different 20 minutes later. Again, not well. All right?


HAYES: Is that your -- I want to be serious for a second, is that your genuine read on him? Because people talk about this and I -- there`s no -- I really personally shy away from sort of remote diagnosis.

MOORE: Yeah, not me, though.

HAYES: No, I know that. I`m making sure to be clear about attribution here.

MOORE: You are not qualified, though, Chris to do that, and I am.

HAYES: That`s my question -- that`s your read on this? You mean that in a jokey way?

MOORE: I don`t mean a jokey way. I mean, that`s part of the problem.

The other part of the problem is, is that in my show every night, one of the first things i ask the audience to do is repeat after me, "Donald Trump outsmarted us all." And there`s a little throw-up in everyone`s mouth at that moment.

HAYES: That`s a good bit. That is a good bit.

MOORE: Well, because, you know, he did figure out how to convince 8 million Obama voters to vote for him, the majority of white women to vote for him. He figured out, get this, where the state of Wisconsin is.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: And go there. All right?

So he wasn`t -- so I do think that there`s this kind of, you know, kind of mad genius...

HAYES: Cunning.

MOORE: Cunning, there`s clever.

HAYES: Hold that thought, because you just mentioned the show. I was walking in the neighborhood the other day. I saw that you had the show. But I saw the marquee and I was overwhelmed with envy.

MOORE: Oh, oh, envy, oh.

HAYES: Yes, that you have a show on Broadway. Stick around, can we talk about that after the break?

MOORE: You`re on NBC, dude.

HAYES: Correct. We`re going to talk about that after the break.


HAYES: We are back with Michael Moore who`s got a show on Broadway called The Terms of My Surrender. What`s the show?

MOORE: The show is two hours every night of me telling stories. We do some fun stuff on the stage. There`s a game show every night where people can win prizes. And - - but I talk about some of how -- some of the things I`ve been through in my life, stories that nobody knows about. And then I talk about people who make a difference, just how one person -- nobody`s from nowhere, as we`re called, can come out of that, none of us are nobodies, and we don`t live in nowheres.

And so so the show, it`s funny, it`s very pointed politically, and by the end of the show, I`m handing out armbands and machetes and we head over to Trump Tower. No, not really. It`s a joke. It`s a joke.

But what we -- I believe that I belong to the majority in this country, and I think that people are still in despair since the election. So they come to this show, by the end of it, hopefully less despair and more ready to give them some of the things that we`re all going to do.

HAYES: One of the things I`ve always found interesting about you, from the time I first saw Roger and Me, and I`ve read a bunch of books and seen your movies. You have this very self-identification with where you`re from, and I think that there`s this certain critique of the kind of liberal elite from the right that can be very caricatured and wrong-headed and sort of unfair.

But there`s such a thing as this sort of bubble, right? I mean, Broadway audiences kind of epitomize that.

MOORE: Well, that`s why I`m here.

HAYES: Right. I`m curious. What are you trying to tell that audience that`s paying to see you?

MOORE: Well, I`m in the capital of liberal America here, and liberal America and the Democratic party didn`t get us in the White House. Even though we`re the majority, even though we have 3 million more votes, we hold no power tonight.

So therefore, I`ve come to the place where our liberal establishment exists, as a voice from the midwest, and also I come to the city that gave us Donald J. Trump. And every night --

HYAES: Just a few blocks away.

MOORE: Yes. I`m a few blocks from the Trump Tower, where he grew up in Queens, and I asked this New York audience, what the -- hm --

HAYES: Did you do?

MOORE: Because if Trump had come from Flint, Michigan, I don`t think I could even show my face on this show. I`d be so embarrassed that I didn`t stop that years ago.

Why didn`t New Yorkers stop this?

HAYES: You know, it`s funny you say that because one of my theories about Donald Trump is that you actually can`t understand him unless you understand the racial politics of New York City specifically, and the racial politics of crime in the `80s and `90s, and the idea the city was being destroyed, wilding and the Central Park Jogger.

That is the crucible he was formed in. It`s interesting you talk about that. People think, he`s very much a New York figure and a New York politician.

MOORE: Yes, and grew up in the same borough as Archie Bunker.

HAYES: That`s right.

MOORE: That`s where All in the Family was set, over there.

HAYES: Exactly right.

MOORE: So, you`re right about the racial element of this, where it took -- to Trump, it`s "those people". "Those people", you know. And it`s --

HAYES: And New Yorkers like to tell themselves, we`re in the most tolerant city in the world. That`s not New York politics but it very much, there`s a real tradition of that.

MOORE: No, this is the city that gives us Fox News, The National Review, Rush Limbaugh started here, WABC. I can go down the whole list of how much redneck, conservative, right-wing politics has come out of New York City.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: So -- but I mean, I --

HAYES: You mean redneck ironically?

MOORE: Yes, yes, of course.

HAYES: I want to be clear.

MOORE: No, I`m saying that -- yes, but they -- yes.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: That`s what I`m saying.

HAYES: Michael Moore, The Terms of My Surrender, here in New York. How long`s it running?

MOORE: It`s running until October 22nd, and I made a deal with the Schubert Organization that the balcony is $29, because you know how Broadway is.

HAYES: That`s fantastic.

MOORE: I wanted people to come, come to the show.

I have a surprise guest that appears every night. If you would come on one night after the show --

HAYES: It`s no longer going to be a surprise, but yes.

MOORE: Oh, that`s right.

HAYES: I`ll run over after the show.

MOORE: Yes. If you`ll do that, I would love you there.

It will be your Broadway debut.

HAYES: I`ll be there. That`s also true.

MOORE: You can show Lin-Manuel what a real actor does!

HAYES: Michael Moore, thanks so much for being here. Still to come, President Trump`s millionaire treasury secretary is explaining why he wanted the federal government to subsidize his honeymoon.

And tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing One tonight, Graydon Carter announced last week he`ll retire after 25 years of editing the magazine Vanity Fair.

Before that in the 80`s, Carter founded another publication called Spy Magazine, where he famously referred to Donald Trump as a quote, "short- fingered vulgarian."

Now this has bothered Trump so much that for years he would send Carter pictures of his hands to prove they weren`t small. And decades later when it came up during the campaign, he spoke at length about his hands, even spending four minutes telling The Washington Post how he has zero issues with his hand size.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I mean, people were writing, how are Mr. Trump`s hands?

My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You chose to raise it during a debate. Can you explain why you had no choice?

TRUMP: Yeah, because I don`t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem.

I`m telling you, Ruth. I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me, every time I`d shake people`s hands, oh, you have nice hands. You have good hands.


HAYES: But that was then when he was merely a six-time bankrupted businessman running for office.

Now that he`s president, he can`t still be insecure about his hands, can he?

That`s Thing Two in slightly less than 61 seconds.



TRUMP: Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands, if they`re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there`s no problem. I guarantee you.


HAYES: For a guy who has no qualms whatsoever about the size of his hands, Donald Trump sure talks about his hands a lot.

Today in Florida the president struggled to slip on gloves while helping serve meals, eventually giving up on the glove.


TRUMP: Too small.


HAYES: We assume he was referring to the gloves being too small, because two weeks ago while slipping on the gloves in a Houston shelter, he was loud and clear.


TRUMP: My hands are too big.


HAYES: President Trump and Vice President Pence today traveled to South Florida to meet with local officials and tour the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma.

After speaking to first responders in Ft. Myers, the president traveled to Naples, Florida, where he helped hand meals out to Irma victims at a mobile home park.


TRUMP: A couple of questions. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was Obama in the last hurricane? He was playing golf.

TRUMP: This guy voted twice. Don`t report it, though, that`s good news, don`t report it.


HAYES: As hard hit as Florida was, though, the damage was even worse in the Caribbean islands in Irma`s direct path, including the British Island of Tortola where the devastation was staggering and survivors have no access to electricity or running water.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels like we`re in Armageddon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just waiting for the zombies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, we`ve kept our sense of humor through this. We have nowhere to go but building up. When you get to the bottom, you have nowhere to go but up. But it`s one board, one stick, one log, one brick at a time.


HAYES: Remember Louise Linton, she`s the actress and new bride of Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sacks banker, Steve Mnuchin. There they are in their wedding in June flanked by the president, the vice president who officiated the ceremony.

Well, last month you`ll remember Linton came under fire after posting this Instagram picture of the couple getting off a government plane in Kentucky where they watched the solar eclipse from Fort Knox atop billions of dollars in gold.

In addition to tagging luxury clothes and accessories, "#TomFordSunnies, #HermesScarf, etc", Linton condescendingly ripped into commentor who criticized her, writing in part, "Adorable, do you think the U.S. government paid for travel? LOLOLOL"

But apparently, it wasn`t for lack of trying. We have now learned that Mnuchin asked for a government plane for his lavish honeymoon with Linton to Scotland, France and Italy. He later withdrew the request, but it lead to an inquiry by the treasury department`s office of inspector general.

An air force spokesman told ABC News, which first broke the story, that Mnuchin ask was unusual and could have cost taxpayers about $25,000 per hour.

Asked about the request today, Mnuchin insisted he done nothing wrong.


MNUCHIN: My staff wanted to make sure that I was constantly had access to secure communication and secure information, so they put in a request to consider the use of an aircraft, not so much just for flying, but effectively it was a portable office so that I could be available.

And ultimately we withdrew the request.


HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC legal analyst, former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, and Chris Liu, former White House cabinet secretary and assistant to President Barack Obama.

And Chris, you interfaced with cabinet officials as your job. Do you buy the idea that Steve Mnuchin`s concern for national security was so great that his staff was concerned it would be a threat to national security if the government didn`t pay for his honeymoon plane?

CHRIS LIU, FRM. WHITE HOUSE CABINET SECRETARY: I absolutely don`t buy Steve Mnuchin`s explanation. There are plenty of times where cabinet members, even ones that need to stay in communication, are allowed to fly on personal airplanes.

There are other accommodations that can be made along the way. So, this is just a continuation and the mockery of the ethics standards that`s begun from day one of this administration.

HAYES: Jill, they did withdraw the request, one has to note, but the thought I had was if it going to cost $25,000 an hour for you to work to fly around for your honeymoon, you can just not take the honeymoon.

You were the general counsel for the department of defense. What advice would you have given in that situation?

JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I certainly wouldn`t have been flying on a government plane for my vacation. No question about it.

I think we need to look at the laws that govern our people in top jobs, and we need to have laws that contribute to the safety of America but that protect the American taxpayer. And that should apply to President Trump as much as to his cabinet.

HAYES: There is another story today about the swamp that really bowled me over.

The acting director of the office of government ethics, the Trump ethics watchdog moves to allow anonymous gifts to legal defense funds, okay? So Chris, this is a move to allow anonymous anonymous, unlimited contributions to legal defense funds, which are into the pocket, the bank account of individuals who are paying for legal expenses.

What do you think of that?

LIU: I`ll say that, Chris, this is a little foreign to me, no pun intended.

I worked in the Obama White House for four years. I never hired a lawyer. I never knew anyone that hired a lawyer. I ran the 2008 transition. I never met with Russian officials. I don`t know what it`s like to have to hire a lawyer.

That being said, I`m sympathetic to people in the White House, but there are ways to do this. You need to have sunshine, you need to have disclosure, you need to ensure that the people that are making these contributions don`t have any business before the government or this becomes sanctioned bribery.

HAYES: Yeah, Jill, the idea that someone could give -- write a $10 million check to the legal defense fund, and we don`t know who that person is, seems to be problematic.

WINE-BANKS: It is. The question still remains, if they have done nothing wrong, why do they need $1,000 an hour lawyer? If all they are is a witness to an event, if all they are is testifying to a conversation they over heard, they should be able to go in and testify without any legal representation.

HAYES: I think I disagree with that. I disagree with that. If my friend said to me, "I`m working -- go back to the Clinton administration, and Bill Clinton and his folks would say that there are a lot of people that didn`t do anything wrong that needed to lawyer up.

If your friend said to you, I`ve been called before Muller, or I`ve got to go talk to investigators, wouldn`t you as an attorney yourself tell them to get a lawyer?

WINE-BANKS: I`m not sure I would. Depends on what they have done and if they just over heard something, or if they have actually participated in it. I might seek counsel to find out whether what I did was illegal, but I don`t need to have somebody with me when I`m testifying to protect me if I haven`t done anything.

I mean, I think it`s great that Donald Trump has given so much work to defense lawyers and now it looks like to ethics lawyers and possibly conflict of interest lawyers. So, lawyers are definitely benefiting from this administration.

HAYES: Chris, are you confident that we know the full details of the possible vectors of undue influence that are functioning in this White House right now?

LIU: No, not at all. Every day there is a new way this administration is trying to erode the ethics standards. And it is not just the White House staff, it`s the example this president or lack of example that he sets, and that`s why all of these different issues and stories that you are flagging all come together.

When you have a president that doesn`t take ethics seriously, this is what happens.

HAYES: Yeah, I think there is really a question, when you talk about ethics and it sounds like not strong enough, right? Ethics sounds like a thing like oh, you should do that. You should be a boy scout.

But ultimately, ethics are going to bleed into laws, and I think the concern if you are in the White House is what the legal exposure that folks may have as this all develops forward.

Jill Wine-Banks and Chris Liu, thank you both for being here.

LIU: Thank you.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.

Good evening, Rachel.


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