Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 18, 2017 Guest: Sharon LaFraniere, Natasha Bertrand Carrie Cordero Olivia Nuzzi, Asawin Suebsaeng
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Seattle, I'm Chris Hayes. Breaking news tonight on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's case against Paul Manafort, the President's one-time Campaign Chairman. According to the New York Times when federal agents executed a search warrant on Manafort's Virginia home, two months ago, which was reported more recently, the Special Counsel followed up with a warning. His prosecutors told Manafort they plan to indict him, said two people close to the investigation. And that's just one of the aggressive tactics employed by Mueller and his team in pursuit of the Russia probe according to the Times which report that agents picked the locks on Manafort's front door, they took binders stuffed with documents and copies computer files, even photographed the expensive suits in the closet.
Meanwhile, according to another new report tonight, Manafort was already under government surveillance before and crucially after the election. CNN reporting, he was wiretapped under secret FISA warrants which requires convincing a judge of probable cause. According to that report, the government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump. Sharon LaFraniere is an Investigative Reporter at New York Times who broke the Manafort story tonight. And she joins me now by phone. Your reporting indicates that Mueller's people communicated to Manafort that they plan to indict him. How common is something like that?
SHARON LAFRANIERE, NEW YORK TIMES INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (via telephone): That's actually is not that uncommon that a prosecutor would say you know, we don't believe your story, you know, you're not really cooperating with us. We're going to indict you. The difference here, I think, might be, as my colleagues Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman found out is that they threatened an imminent indictment. Of course, this was in the summer and we haven't seen it.
HAYES: One of the themes of the piece is the approach of Mueller and how it differs in some ways from the normal course of things particularly in white color criminal investigations. The reporting says it's more like a mafia investigation. Explain what that means.
LAFRANIERE: Well, I think what we're seeing that they're trying to create a kind of sense of fear, right, that look, we're a bunch of SOB's and don't try to play the usual white-collar game with us and stretch this out because we're not -- we're not playing by those rules. And typically, in a white-collar case, the attorney would -- the defense attorneys would say, OK, let's spell this out, you know, is my client a witness? Is my client a subject, who might be -- might, in the future, face charges? And there's this kind of song and dance that might goes on. The attorneys might agree to talk to the prosecutors privately.
There's all kinds of ways you can write these proffers but it seems that -- it seems that in a number of cases, Mueller's team is skipping that kind of preliminary back and forth and just saying, you know, here's your client's subpoena, bring him to the grand jury. And like one person who got one of these subpoenas said, you know, I didn't need a subpoena. They could have given me an e-vite and I would have showed up. I didn't need to be ordered to show up. But it's part of what (INAUDIBLE) who was the former Deputy Counsel under Ken Starr said is it's setting a -- it's setting a tone, like striking terror in the heart of Washington. And like, we're just not going to -- we're not being nice about this.
And they actually don't have -- you know, you think they have all these resources right there. They have 17 prosecutors, but they don't -- time is really not on their side because if they carry on and they don't produce results like an indictment of Manafort or -- that would take the pressure off. But if they go on -- go on for some period of time, then people don't see results, then they're going to start asking like, why are we spending all this money? And you know, they're all over the place, money laundering, obstruction of justice, what do they have? You know, is this just a fishing expedition?
HAYES: All right, Sharon LaFraniere of the New York Times, thank you.
LAFRANIERE: OK, thank you. Bye.
HAYES: Natasha Bertrand is a Senior Reporter for Business Insider who has been very closely following the Russia investigation with particular attention to Paul Manafort, and she joins me now. First Natasha, your reaction to the Times report that he's -- he had been informed by Mueller's people they plan to indict him?
NATASHA BERTRAND, BUSINESS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's huge news. I mean, to be honest, I'm a little bit more surprised by the CNN report that Paul Manafort was actually wiretapped because that implies that the FBI was able to get a FISA warrant, which is extremely difficult for them to do. They are multiple layers on that process. They had to prove to the Department of Justice and then to a you know, a federal court that they thought there was reason to believe that Paul Manafort was working on behalf of a foreign agent. And Paul Manafort is not the only person on the Trump campaign that they did this with, right? They also got a warrant for Carter Page, who if you remember in the infamous Trump-Russia Steele Dossier, it said that Carter Page was actually working as a liaison, being managed by Paul Manafort as kind of a go-between. So these pieces are all starting to come together and it's really alarming.
HAYES: The FISA warrant, which is -- which CNN is reporting, my understanding -- and this is a sort of key part of this and one of the more fascinating aspects is that it may or may not pertain to the fact that there's investigation before the Trump-Russia investigation opens up in the FBI. There's actually a Manafort investigation that precedes that, right? Is that correct?
BERTRAND: Right. So, the FBI actually opened an investigation into Paul Manafort's lobbying activities in 2014. He was lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch -- the Ukrainian President at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, and the FBI thought that you know, some of his activities that he was doing in Washington D.C. were a little bit suspect. Paul Manafort's lobbying activities overseas have been kind of subject to a lot of scrutiny. It's not really clear who he was paid by, you know, where his funds came from and then what he did with them. He's been known to put a lot of his money in shell companies and then you know, buy real estate across the United States using those shell companies.
So it's really trying to mask the source of his funds allegedly. So this is something the FBI was looking into in 2014, and then according to CNN, they closed their investigation in early 2016 because they just couldn't find any more reason to continue looking into him. And then all of this Russia you know, stuff started to happen and hen said, well, maybe we should start to take another look because we know that Paul Manafort has these deep ties to Russian oligarchs to pro-Russian entities in the Ukraine, and he was, of course, Donald Trump's Campaign Manager.
HAYES: And to reiterate what you said before, just to zoom in on it because it seems important. FISA warrants, we know FISA courts give them out almost 100 percent of the time, so they're not difficult in the sense of getting the court to agree to it. But in terms of the standards you have to meet, it's particularly not just that there's a crime being committed, but that you are a foreign agent is the probable cause bar that would have to be clear to get that FISA warrant.
BERTRAND: Right. So according to experts that I've spoken to, the reason why these FISA warrants are usually granted almost 100 percent at the time is because of the process leading up to actually getting to the court and presenting the evidence that you have that would -- that would then allow them to give you -- to grant you a FISA warrant, it's a very, very difficult process. So once you actually get to the final stage, which is presenting the evidence before these nine judges -- these nine federal judges, it's pretty much already managed to pass all these phases where you've proven you have enough evidence to show that you might be able to find evidence that a crime was committed or that this person had you know, conspired with a foreign entity.
HAYES: And in terms of Manafort, he and Flynn -- Michael Flynn -- we got some news today, is starting a fund -- a legal defense fund essentially to raise money for his criminal defense. Is there anything in the reporting of the last 24 hours to suggest that these two people -- I mean, it seems that these two people are the biggest targets. Is that your understanding from what we've learned in the last 24 hours?
BERTRAND: Definitely. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have always been at the center of this Russia investigation. Michael Flynn, of course, drew scrutiny when it came to light that he was communicating with the Russian Ambassador and telling him that they look at lifting sanctions after Trump came into office. Now, Michael Flynn is extremely vulnerable in other senses because he did not register as a foreign agent for a lobbying work that he did last year. He registered belatedly but there are of course questions surrounding you know, who he was working for, where those funds came from, and why he didn't register as a foreign agent immediately with the Justice Department. And I have a feeling that Mueller is really going to try to hone in on these vulnerabilities that both Manafort and Flynn have, in terms of their financial histories in order to get them to talk more about what they know about the Russia interference in the election.
HAYES: All right, Natasha Bertrand, thank you.
BERTRAND: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Let's turn now to Carrie Cordero, a former Attorney who is Justice Department's former National Security Division and Matt Miller, former Chief Spokesman at Justice Department and now and MSNBC Justice and Security Analyst. And Carrie, let me start with you to sort of jump off of what Natasha was just saying about the significance of this FISA warrant news if it, in fact, bears out.
CARRIE CORDERO, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT NATIONAL SECURITY LAWYER: Right. So first, I have to say, Chris, the release of FISA information, this is really highly sensitive national security information. And so I think it looks like we're in another situation where classified information has been leaked. And leaks of FISA information if in fact, this reporting is originating from current or former government officials, it's a significant fact that that information is out there now and this is some of the most lye highly sensitive type of information. So I just have to the start off noting that fact and this probably will trigger another l -- yet another leak investigation. That being said, if this reporting is correct, it gives us another window into the investigation that the FBI and now the Special Counsel's Office have been conducting of Manafort.
The standard to get FISA is higher for an American or a U.S. person. The standard, as you mentioned, is probable cause that the individual is an agent of a foreign power. That could be a foreign government for example. And when it's an American or a U.S. person, as the statute calls Americans, and other individuals resident and aliens. The surveillance has to be necessary to protect the national security of the United States. So the court has to make a number of findings and there is an extensive process as Natasha obviously has some good sources described, that the government has to go to both at the FBI and at the Justice Department and ultimately to an independent federal judge to get the surveillance or search approved.
HAYES: And Matt, it's somewhat mind-blowing to conceive of the fact that the President of the United States, as president-elect, possibly was part of communications that were being intercepted by the U.S. government as part of its FISA warrant as a U.S. person who was in communication with the target of that surveillance.
MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It shows an incredible amount of recklessness and carelessness on the President-elect and maybe the President's part. We don't know when those conversations of Paul Manafort actually stopped. I think the thing that's interesting about this FISA warrant, is that there actually were two of them. There's one that expired -- that began the night in August in 2014 and was pulled down in early 2016. And it was pulled down because the Justice Department had found -- had found no evidence that Paul Manafort committed a crime. Something changed them for them to go back and get another FISA warrant late in 2016 after he had left the campaign.
Clearly, they saw evidence -- new evidence that led them to believe that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power. We don't know what that is, there have been reports that they overheard intercepts of Russian officials talking to each about Paul Manafort and Paul Manafort cooperating with them. And so they found new evidence that led them to go back and get another FISA warrant that continues you know, probably until this day or until very recently.
CORDERO: Just to have a little bit different take on that though, Chris, the purpose of the FISA surveillance is to collect foreign intelligence information. So the fact that the ongoing surveillance wouldn't necessarily produce evidence of a crime, would not necessarily be the reason that the surveillance would have to be shut down. There would have to be continued demonstration of probable cause that the target is an agent of a foreign power and as long as that standard is met, the surveillance can continue, but it would have to be re-approved by the court every 90 days.
HAYES: Carrie, can I ask you about the sort of takeaway from the Times reporting of the sort of posture of Mueller. I think it's fascinating because it's sort of you know, contrasted against the way these normally work at high-level white-collar investigations which is that white collar lawyers -- criminal defense lawyers are very good at sort of selling themselves as allies, essentially, the prosecutors, right? We're all on the same team here. What can we help you with? We're going to be very cooperative. And Mueller is taking this very kind of hard and fast approach. What do you -- what do you make of that?
CORDERO: Well, so, there's two possibilities at least. One is that in the early stages of the Special Counsel investigation or maybe even earlier in the FBI investigation before there was a Special Counsel, we don't know, that prosecutors or FBI agents tried to work with Manafort, tried to have him be a cooperator and he rebuffed any of those efforts. We just don't know, but I think that that is a possibility. And so then if they passed that transom, now he's in a very adversarial position. The second piece I know some other observers think the execution of the search warrant was extraordinary for example in a white collar case, I think there's a lot of aspects in the Manafort angle of this investigation that feel quite similar to a very large public corruption investigation, a very large criminal enterprise investigation. And so, I don't think that the tactics that are being used feel that unusual for big enterprise criminal white-collar investigations.
HAYES: How much, Matt, do you think the psychology here is -- matters in terms of how all the various players throughout both the Trump campaign in its previous iterations, the current administration are making calculations about how to act.
MILLER: I think it's a big part of it. I think Bob Mueller has been sending clear messages to everyone involved which is I'm going to -- I'm coming as aggressively as I possibly can and you better cooperate or you're going to find yourself in a grand jury, you may find my agents in your house. One thing that was interesting about the raid on Paul Manafort's house, you know, usually those things, they're very public events and you know, oftentimes neighbors will call reporters and you'll see them you know, show up instantly.
I'm sure Muller's team expected that to become news quickly as it did. It sends a very clear signal to everyone else involved that look, I am conducting one of the most serious investigations in the history of the Justice Department. If you want -- if you have any legal jeopardy at all, if you're Paul Manafort, if you're Mike Flynn, sure, but if you're anyone else who for example has been talking to Paul Manafort over the last year and now knows that your conversation has been intercepted, you need to talk to the Special Counsel and you might cut a deal.
HAYES: Right. Carrie, finally, I want you just to weigh in on this somewhat bizarre story that was published earlier today by the New York Times in which White House Attorney Ty Cobb, who is an outside lawyer who is brought it is talking about John Dowd which is an outside attorney for the President, in which the two of them are arguing and wrestling over the fight that he's having with White House Counsel Don McGahn over basically how cooperative to be and how to navigate this legal thicket and they're having this conversation loudly in a restaurant with a reporter listening in.
CORDERO: Yes. It's pretty unbelievable for any Washington lawyer to think that that type of conversation when your client is the President of the United States and you're discussing it at a D.C. steakhouse. So that aspect aside, I think what the results of that conversation as they've been reported reveal, is that this is a broken legal team. And the difficulty is that lawyering requires trust. It requires trust between the client and the lawyers. It requires trust amongst the lawyers and the team themselves. And if there is not trust between those different components, the legal team can't function effectively.
HAYES: That's a great point. Carrie Cordero and Matt Miller, thank you, both.
MILLER: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, more on that story we're just talking about. Is someone inside the White House wearing a wire for Robert Mueller? Tonight, we know the President's lawyers are worried about just that. More on that incredible story in just two minutes.
HAYES: We are following two late-breaking stories tonight on the Russia investigation. A report that prosecutors told Paul Manafort they plan to indict him, according to two people close to the investigation. And a report that U.S. investigators obtained court orders to wiretap Manafort before and after the election under the FISA statute. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation continues to pick up steam, the President's lawyers are feeling the pressure and it is apparently making them paranoid and sloppy.
Last week, the President's personal attorney John Dowd, picture on the left and Ty Cobb, the outside counsel hired to work within the White House met for lunch in at a Washington D.C. steakhouse and openly discussed the internal response to the probe, a conversation that was overheard by New York Times Reporter Ken Vogel. What Vogel overheard was Cobb's account of a contentious behind the scenes feud with White House Counsel Don McGahn over how much to cooperate with the Special Counsel. "The White House Counsel's Office is being conservative with this stuff," Cobb told Dowd. "Our view is we're not hiding anything." Referring to McGahn, Cobb asked, "He's got a couple of documents locked in a safe."
As that last quote suggests, the conversation also revealed how little the President's staff have come to trust each other as the investigation progresses. Discussing the White House legal team, Cobb reportedly told Dowd, "I've got some reservations about one of them. I think he's like a McGahn spy." According to the Times, the uncertainty has grown to the point that White House officials privately express fear that colleagues may be wearing a wire to surreptitiously record conversations for Mueller.
I'm joined now by two reporters who are well sourced inside this White House. Olivia Nuzzi, she's a Washington Correspondent from New York Magazine and Asawin Suebsaeng who's the Politics Reporter at the Daily Beast. Olivia, have you heard -- I mean, as someone who reports on these folks every day, are you getting the sort of palpable paranoia off the folks there as well?
OLIVIA NUZZI, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. And that's been there since the very beginning. It was there during the campaign. Obviously with now what was a different group of people. But I cannot overstate the level of incompetence here for members of the President's legal team to very loudly discuss these things near the New York Times at a restaurant a few doors down from the New York Times in Washington or any restaurant in Washington very loudly. I mean, that's just something that if you're familiar with how things work here, you don't do. You don't want to be overheard saying anything sensitive. So it's very difficult to overstate how incompetent this entire operation seems to be right now and then a really difficult time for the President, right? I mean, it couldn't going worse when it comes to this story right now for this White House.
HAYES: Asawin, I can't quite put my head around the incompetence here because I mean, these are people that in other contexts are very high powered and a very highly compensated attorneys, John Dowd and Ty Cobb. Don McGahn who's sort of specialty is election law from a sort of conservative think tank perspective. But I don't quite get if there's some kind of like vortex of incompetence that when you get within an orbit of it in the White House and you start acting like that.
ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, THE DAILY BEAST POLITICS REPORTER: Well, there might actually be something to that theory. The senior Trump aids in the White House who I've been talking with and messaging with earlier today and e yesterday regarding the New York Times story what Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb were doing. One of the White House officials likened it to me to having the President being represented by a side of the highway mall lawyer. Having said that, this White House staff or anybody working in the White House right now, accusing this legal team of being rather JV might want to the look in the mirror as you were pointing out earlier. Like people and senior officials around President Trump being incompetent isn't exactly breaking news.
HAYES: Yes. And there's also the added layer, Olivia, of the fact that now everybody -- everyone is lawyered up, including White House Counsel, Don McGahn who has his own lawyer for this -- for this inquest. You've got sort of layers of legal representation. And there is this kind of you know, prisoner's dilemma kind of dynamic one has to imagine in which people have both the interest of the President of the United States, who they work for, the executive branch in a constitutional sense but also their own interest in terms of how they're going to come out in all this.
NUZZI: Certainly. And I think the latter probably matters a lot to most of the people in this White House, more than any other point. I mean, there's a certain type of person who tends to work for Donald Trump, they tend to I think, be you know, out for themselves, be trying to further their own careers, further their own reputations. And I think, you know, we can expect that that's one of the main concerns right now for most of the people surrounding the President. But I mean, you can't -- I cannot think of something you know, less attractive to Donald Trump than having to deal with more of this story this week.
You know, they're trying so hard to try to get something, anything done that he can tell as some kind of accomplishment. And instead never being sidetracked again by Russia and by news that perhaps indictments are going to be coming. This is not how they wanted to spend the first year, certainly, and the first couple months of this administration, but they are. And it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon. And you know, Paul Manafort, as Austin and I reported back in November I believe at the Daily Beast, was still advising Donald Trump during the transition. You know, he fires people. They don't tend to go away. They tend to stick around his orbit.
NUZZI: And I think that's going to continue to be a problem. You know, as we get deeper into this investigation, as we learn more as it continues to broaden its scope, I think we're going to see that that kind of habit that Donald Trump has of keeping people around who do have problematic things about them is really going to be detrimental.
HAYES: Asawin, what is -- the posture of the folks that you talk to in the White House around this investigation, I can see it going sort of a number of different ways. One is that, OK, this is a witch hunt and there's nothing there, we're all going to be fine and it will blow over. And the other -- at the other end of the spectrum is, the shoe is going to drop any day and someone is going to show up at my condo and pick the locks. I mean, which -- how are folks thinking about this inside the White House?
SUEBSAENG: Well, in terms of public posturing, it's very much the former. In terms of what's going on in their own individual heads and hearts is very much the latter. And Olivia was bringing up Paul Manafort earlier. He's a very interesting case within Trump's inner circle and in terms of Senior White House officials who are currently working there because they greatly resent Mr. Manafort and many of them actually blame, whether fairly or unfairly Paul Manafort for the widening scope of the current investigations into the finances of the President and his family. They kind of consider Mr. Manafort a patient zero in that sense.
And at the same time, even though he headed the campaign for several months, there was never a feeling within Trump's family and inner circle and closest advisors, that Paul Manafort was really one of them. So they would throw him under the bus even harder than they are right now if they could and if they knew exactly what he knew. But there is the prevailing notion that what if Manafort snitches? And the problem is they don't know what he would be snitching about.
HAYES: Well, that is a great point, Asawin, that they're ready -- they're ready to deliver him up or to throw him under the bus, they don't know what he knows. And to Olivia, to your point, the other problem is maybe the case that people around Trump never, you know, thought of him as in the inner circle but like you said, the President himself kept talking to the guy, and lord knows what they talked about and what is on the transcripts of the intercepts that apparently they were being surveilled by the U.S. government.
NUZZI: Right. I mean, the fact is that no matter how his family or close advisors feel about any individual, Donald Trump is going to do what Donald Trump wants to do. And so he will continue to speak to people who have been a problem for him. He will continue to call them late at night and ask you know, what do you think of this or what do you think of this person? And you know, I think that's going to be a problem with Paul Manafort. It might be a problem with other people who are implicated in this investigation as well.
HAYES: All right, Olivia Nuzzi and Asawin Suebsaeng, thank you, both.
NUZZI: Thank you.
SUEBSAENG: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Tonight Senate Republicans again trying to push repeal and replace while no one is paying attention, and this time they might be able to do it. Senator Brian Schatz says that the new bill is even worse than the one that failed and he joins me ahead.
HAYES: Tonight, protesters are back out in the streets of St. Louis for the fourth state night following the acquittal on murder charges of white former Police Officer Jason Stockley who killed Black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith following a high-speed chase in 2011. Prosecutors alleged Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after killing him. Yesterday, protests were peaceful throughout the day but after organizers announced the daytime protest has ended, a group that the Mayor Lyda Krewson described as agitators. Destroyed properties, broke windows and sprayed chemicals at officers according to police, leading police to make 123 arrests.
The Associated Press reporting that officers in riot gear gathered alongside a city boulevard were chanting, whose street? our street after clearing the street of demonstrators and onlookers.
This morning, peaceful protesters were back on the streets in St. Louis, walking out of at least two high schools as protesters locked arms and marched silently to city hall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as we're still dying in the streets, as long as the system disproportionately affects people of color and minorities, we'll be out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, some business owners were boarding up business out of fears of more property destruction tonight. At this hour, protests on the street are peaceful. We will continue to monitor the scene throughout the hour.
HAYES: Republicans are right now mounting one last sneak attack against Obamacare. And this time they could actually succeed. Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans are now attempting to rush through a bill that would overhaul one-sixth of the nation's economy in less than two weeks. Even the Congressional Budget Office says it won't have enough time to figure out what would happen if the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill were put into law, how it would affect Americans and their health care coverage in time for the expected vote next week.
Republicans need to hit that September 30 deadline in order to pass the law on a straight majority vote without a filibuster. And nowhere near enough time for substantive discussion or hearings.
Nevertheless, the bill is already showing signs of momentum among Republicans. Senator John McCain, who of course provided the dramatic thumbs down back in July that helped kill the last Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act said that the support of his state's governor would be key to his vote on this legislation.
Well, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey today might have given McCain the cover he needs to vote for the bill, tweeting that he's in favor of it.
Democrats are sounding the alarm, saying the new bill would gut Medicaid and hurt people with preexisting medical conditions.
Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii tweeting today, "what's crazy is this bill is much more radical and harmful than skinny repeal."
Senator Schatz was the leading voice in that last Obamacare fight, the skinny repeal fight. And he's been ringing the alarm bell for Democrats on this new repeal attempt. He joins me now.
Explain what you mean when you say this was worse than the so-called skinny repeal, which was what they were trying to pass when John McCain gave that thumbs down along with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins?
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, (D) HAWAII: So, there were two or three or four bills over the last seven months and all of them did awful things, but not all of them did all of the awful things in one piece of legislation, and that's what we have in Graham-Cassidy.
It eliminates protections for people with preexisting conditions, it eliminates all of the essential health benefits that are part of the Affordable Care Act, it, again, lifts the prohibition on charging people more as they get older. It lifts the prohibition on charging more than 15 percent as an administrative expense as opposed to for health care. And it also guts Medicaid as we know it and it eliminates Medicaid expansion, oh, and it also defunds Planned Parenthood.
Most of the bills that we looked at did about two-thirds of that in various sort of iterations, this is a bill that has decided to do all of that in one radical piece of legislation.
And what is really scary is they are pretty close. They are at -- you know, it depends who you ask, but they're certainly very, very close to enacting this into law. And we are going to need people who were with us in this fight over the last six to eight months to fire up those phone lines, to get online, to knock on doors at district offices and make sure that we kill this thing again.
But I have to say, I was trying not to sound the alarm until it was absolutely necessary. And now we are really in an extreme situation. We have got to try to kill this bill in the next 10 days.
HAYES: There's just something sort of bonkers going on, which has been the case every time they try to do this. And it's the case in the House and the Senate where there's no regular order. There's no deliberative process, there's no committee hearings with -- you know, there's none of that, it's just like keep it closely held and then break in like it's a heist of a bank and see if you can get in and get out.
They don't have enough time -- am I correct on this, they've given it to the CBO to score, for basics about like would premiums go up, would people to lose coverage? And there's not enough time for the CBO to actually give a full score in time to get the vote. Is that correct?
SCHATZ: That's right, CBO just got back to us and said the only thing they can do is assess the fiscal impact of this legislation. So they will know whether or not there's any, quote, unquote savings. Now, remember savings usually comes out of the hide of the American people, so let's be careful using the word savings when we're talking about harm to individuals. But basically said, look, they need a another couple of weeks to analyze the impact that this bill will have on coverage in everyone's home state.
And so we are heading towards is people are going to vote yes or no on a piece of legislation to restructure one-fifth to one-sixth of the American economy to probably throw 20 to 30 million people off of their health care, but we're not going to know the impacts until after we vote.
What is so shocking to me is so many people talk about the regular order. And all that means is that the Senate acts like a Senate. It has hearings. It hears from experts. We have a proper debate. But now we're not even going to be able to listen to expert analysis on what the impact is.
But here's what we know, because it has all of the elements of the previous bills, which have awful CBO reports, 23 million off coverage, 26 million, 32 million, this will be as bad if not worse of that.
The final point, I saw you making it on Twitter. I think we will have anywhere from literally by rule 90 seconds to two 2 minutes of debate on this legislation. Now that is an abomination. That is legislative malpractice.
HAYES: I want people to be clear on this, and Senate procedure can be arcane and it is arcane in this case because you're dealing with reconciliation. But, by rule, I want people to understand this, there are essentially 90 seconds, seconds, everyone just clock that in your head, there's 90 seconds of debate left for this entire legislation before the Senate. Is that accurate?
SCHATZ: That's accurate. And this is just, there's no reason to do it this way.
I think the really encouraging thing that happened over the last month, which was as a result of John McCain's heroic moment on the Senate floor is that Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee and Patty Murray, the top Democrat on that committee have been working together in a bi partisan process. That's what people want to see all along.
Democrats, Republicans and Independents, they are blowing this thing up so they can shove it down the American people's throat, and it is all because they have no political wins this year so they're going to inflict pain on their constituents just to notch a win for Donald Trump.
HAYES: 90 seconds of debate, America. Senator Brian Schatz, thanks for joining me.
SCHATZ: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, while candidate Trump labeled the United Nations as weak and incompetent, how did President Trump handle his first appearance at the U.N. headquarters today.
Plus, tonight's Thing One, Thing Two starts next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: Thing One tonight, former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer made a surprise appearance at last nights Emmy Awards, where he joked about presenting to the largest Emmy's audience ever, and almost word for word recounting of the comments, well, lies about Donald Trump's inauguration crowds.
Today Spicer told the New York Times he regrets those remarks over the inauguration crowds, but although the crowd size at this years presidential inauguration was not unprecedented, the $107 million dollars raised for the ceremony, double what Barack Obama's then record, $53 million dollars in donations in 2009.
President Trump's inaugural committee, the folks that raised all that money, had committed to give whatever was left over at the end of it to charity. But according to investigation by the Associated Press, nearly eight months later, the group has helped to pay for redecorating of the White House and the vice president's residence in Washington, but nothing has yet gone to charity.
So where did the rest of the money go? That's Thing Two in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: So President Donald Trump inaugural committee raised a record $107 million for the festivities surrounding his swearing in ceremony way back in January and they promised that the money left over after everything was paid for would go to charity, but the charitable donations would, quote, "would surely exceed any previous inauguration".
Yet, eight months later nothing has gone to charity, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile leaders of previous inaugurations started giving money away within three months of inauguration day. So where all the money go? The answer seems to be part mystery and part mismanagement.
For instance, Donald Trump's pre-inaugural concert at Lincoln Memorial came with a $25 million price tag. Compare that to Obama's 2009 concert that cost less than $5 million.
And for that price Obama was able to get Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and U2.
For a stunning five times that amount, President Trump was able to headline the show with Toby Keith and Three Doors Down, and feature a cover of the song by One Direction performed by this group of YouTube fame, The Piano Guys.
HAYES: Yet another extremely dangerous hurricane, Maria, is now on path to make a direct hit on areas battered by Hurricane Irma, and this new storm just became a category 5 according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Maria just recently upgraded to a dangerous category 5 storm only hours after becoming a category 4, is currently approaching Martinique and is expected to remain a major hurricane for the next five days on a trajectory that makes a direct hit possible for both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Now, if Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico, it would be the first category 4 or 5 hurricane to do so in more than 80 years. High winds, excessive rain and storm surge could be all be an issue, especially if Maria remains a category 5 when it makes landfall.
Puerto Rico is preparing. It was a little more than a week ago that it was spared the worst from Irma, which past just north of the island, but still managed to cause widespread power outages.
The Virgin Islands, both the U.S. Virgin Islands and British and Turks and Caicos have the greatest chance of being hit hard by both Irma and now Maria, according to the NBC News Weather Unit.
Many Caribbean Islands, including the Virgin Islands, were absolutely devastated by Hurricane Irma and hardly in a position at this point to sustain another direct hit.
We'll watch the storm in the days to come.
Next, President Trump talks North Korea following another missile launch by Kim Jong Un. We'll discuss this administrations escalating threats with Ambassador Wendy Sherman, one of the highest ranking members with Obama's State Department, just after this break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: President Trump today made his first appearance at the United Nations headquarters in New York where he criticized the U.N. for excessive bureaucracy and mismanagement. Albeit in far less harsh tones than he spoke about the group on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Which brings me to my next point, the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations. The United Nations is is not a friend of democracy. It's not a friend of freedom. It's not a friend even to the United States of America whereas you know, it has it's home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Over the weekend, the president taunted the leader of nuclear armed North Korea, Kim Jong Un, tweeting, "I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how rocket man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad."
That was followed by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley suggesting that U.S. had run out of diplomatic options for dealing with the rogue nation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR: We have pretty much exhausted all the things we could do with the security counsel at this point. I said yesterday, I'm perfectly happy taking this to General Mattis because he has plenty of military options.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tomorrow the president will make his first ever remarks to the U.N. general assembly, with North Korean diplomats sitting front and center for the speech.
With me now, someone who knows a lot about both diplomacy and North Korea, Ambassador Wendy Sherman who's served as Undersecretary of State for Political Fairs, the State Department under President Obama, and crucially, Special Adviser to President Clinton and Policy Coordinator on North Korea.
I want to start on North Korea.
WENDY SHERMAN, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: Sure.
HAYES: Let's -- well, let's start with the tweet which was strange for a variety of reasons, but one of the most concerning things to me was that it seemed to show the president's mental model of the North Korean society was completely wrong.
The idea that there would be long gas lines just seemed bizarre. What did you make of that?
SHERMAN: Well, you know, I think it's very typical of the kinds of things we hear from the president unfortunately, which is really to sort of be dismissive of the seriousness of what is going on in the world.
I don't think there are long gas lines forming in North Korea because quite frankly they aren't thousands and millions of cars traveling the streets of North Korea.
Yeah. Here is the dynamic that I'd like you to sort of illuminate because you were there -- the closest the U.S. came to real sustained diplomatic engagement, you were there for that. You were with the, I believe if I'm not mistaken, with Madeleine Albright.
HAYES: The only U.S. Secretary of State to actually visit. There was the possibility the president might actually come, President Clinton before the election happened in 2000.
Right now you have this sort of threat and counter threat ratcheting up between the two nations.
What is your read on where this is headed and what we should be doing to move it maybe in another direction?
SHERMAN: Well, I certainly think there is a strategy here at the United Nations General Assembly to say to everybody that we might move to military action so they should do more.
This is a little difficult because neither President Putin nor President Xi Jinping of China are at the U.N. General Assembly, but their delegations are. I think some of the orchestration we're hearing in this language is to say we're tough, we're serious.
The Senate just increased the Defense Department tremendously. Secretary Mattis has been quoted as saying we have some military options that wouldn't devastate Seoul.
So I think this is all to ratchet up pressure. I'm all for ratcheting up pressure, but in a very disciplined whole of government way. It's not clear to me that we have that whole of government strategy, which uses the threat of force and service of diplomacy.
Quite frankly, as you have discussed on this program before, Chris, we don't have a lot of diplomacy going on because we don't have ambassadors in positions. We don't have a team at the State Department, and Secretary Tillerson is sometimes in the picture and sometimes out of the picture. And that is very concerning when you have to do something that is this complex and this difficult.
HAYES: So here is the question I feel like I don't understand as someone watching all this play out, which is can North Korea successfully be co-horsed through pressure into abandoning the nuclear weapons program?
It seems that's the fundamental question, right? At one level to them they view it as essentially a matter of the regime's survival they hold on to them and pressure won't help. Or maybe they will make some calculations at a certain point, the pressure is great enough and hurts them enough they can move on to a different track.
Which of those do you think it is?
SHERMAN: Well, what I think everybody needs to understand is that sanctions never stop a country from their bad behavior. What sanctions are meant to do is to force a choice about coming to the negotiating table in seriousness.
When we began negotiations with Iran and when Europeans did in 2006, they had centrifuges. By the time the Obama administration got into deep negotiations, they had 19,000 centrifuges and we had on some of the strictest, toughest, including economic secondary sanctions on Iran.
So these sanctions, which should be ratcheted up, need a team to enforce them all over the world. It will take a little time. They will not stop Iran's program -- sorry, they are not stop -- they didn't stop Iran's program. They won't stop North Korea's program. The idea is to put pressure on them to come to the negotiating table in seriousness, but this is a much, much tougher problem than even Iran was.
HAYES: Alright. Excellent point.
Ambassador Wendy Sherman, who has been working on these issues for quite sometime.
Thanks for being with me tonight, I appreciate it.
SHERMAN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening.
The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good Evening, Rachel.
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