Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 26, 2017 Guest: Cory Booker, Josh Marshal, Michael Eric Dyson, Luis Gutierrez
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- silence what is in another man`s heart. Do we? That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wasn`t preoccupied with the NFL.
HAYES: The Trump show continues.
TRUMP: I was ashamed of what was taking place.
HAYES: As the President congratulates himself on Puerto Rico.
TRUMP: We`ve had tremendous reviews. The governor said we`re doing a great job.
HAYES: Tonight, Donald Trump`s division and distraction as the Republican push for a repeal goes down again and a humanitarian crisis deepens in Puerto Rico.
TRUMP: This is -- you know, a thing called the Atlantic Ocean, this is tough stuff.
HAYES: Plus --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the President should fire Bob Mueller?
ROGER STONE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Yes.
HAYES: The one question Roger Stone refused to answer before Congress today. And is a man waving a gun at a political rally about to go to the U.S. Senate?
ROY MOORE, CANDIDATE, ALABAMA SENATE SEAT: I believe in the second amendment.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Polls have just at this moment closed in the state of Alabama in the Republican runoff to fill Jeff Sessions old Senate seat where the front-runner former Judge Roy Moore seen here on his way to vote today, campaigned as a relentless culture warrior appearing at a rally last night with none other than Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty`s Phil Robertson and waving the gun around on stage to show off his love for the second amendment. We`ll have more on that race later in the show plus the results of Alabama as they come in which we`ll be monitoring. Now, the President actually endorsed Roy Moore`s opponent. That would be Luther Strange, big Luther, tall guy, as the President is fond of saying. But with his sustained attack on protesting NFL, the President is leaning hard into precisely the same divide and conquer politics that have boosted Moore and of course propelled his own successful campaign for the White House.
Donald Trump is at this moment, programming the Presidency like you`d program a right-wing talk radio show. Whatever keeps the switchboard lit up and the phone calls keep coming in. His callers don`t want to talk about marginal tax rates or the third version of the travel ban or the crisis in Puerto Rico. They certainly don`t want to talk about the latest Republican health care bill which finally collapsed earlier today. Now, the callers want to talk about the American flag and those "spoiled athletes" who won`t stand up for the National Anthem. After taking to Twitter yet again this morning, in response to another demonstration last night, the President was asked if the NFL controversy, about which he`s tweeted two dozen times, is distracting from more pressing matters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s some concern that you`re preoccupied with the NFL instead of dealing with Puerto Rico. Why isn`t that a fair assessment?
TRUMP: Well, I wasn`t preoccupied with the NFL. I was ashamed of what was taking place because to me that was a very important moment. I don`t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem. Many people have died, many, many people. Many people are so horribly injured. I was at Walter Reed Hospital recently and I saw so many great young people and their missing legs and their missing arms and they`ve been so badly injured and they were fighting for our country. They were fighting for our flag. They were fighting for our national anthem. And for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem, I think it`s disgraceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We should, of course note that before the President was invoking fallen and wounded service members to press an issue he views is politically advantageous, he was, of course, insulting a prisoner of war, essentially calling himself a loser for getting himself captured and repeatedly attacking the parents of a soldier killed in the line of duty in Iraq. Now the President is attempting to reframe what started as protests over specifically police brutality and racial injustice into an issue of patriotism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This has nothing to do with race. I`ve never said anything about race. This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You`ll notice, of course, the President keeps talking about this issue and that`s because there`s every indication he knows exactly what he`s doing by inflaming this controversy. According to the New York Times, after his attack on Quarterback Colin Kaepernick last Friday who went unnamed, the President told the people it was a huge hit with his base making it clear he did not mind alienating his critics if it meant solidifying his core support. And last night at a dinner with conservative leaders of the White House, the president reportedly told attendees, "It`s really caught on, it`s really caught on. I said what millions of Americans were thinking." As one person in the room reported, "you could really tell he was satisfied." Senator Cory Booker is a Democrat from New Jersey. Senator, the President thinks this issue is good politics for him. Is he right?
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, I don`t know about his politics but I know this is a time when we should have leaders trying to pull our country together and you mentioned some of the crises people in Florida and Texas still recovering, still dealing with lack of power. We`re on the brink of a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico that is of a proportion we have not seen in a long time in the United States of America where more people live than in states like Montana, North Dakota and Alaska combined. And on top of all that, we`ve got issues that are real. And we`re in a situation right now because of the destabilization of the health care markets that he is responsible for, insurance companies in my state and others are talking about raising prices yet again because we`re not doing bipartisan fixes necessary to bring stability to the marketplace.
There are real issues we should be talking about. I don`t care about his politics. He`s elected to be the leader of the United States America over all of us and what he seems to be doing is trying to pitch towards petty divisive politics as opposed to calling us to come together despite our differences to answer the call of our country right now, which should be focusing on places like Puerto Rico and other places of humanitarian crisis due to hurricanes or talking about something that is affecting every American, which is the cost of our health care and the potential lack of access for millions.
HAYES: Your colleague said this, Senator John Kennedy. He said I think to some extent this all an all end effort by the professional left to ultimately prohibit the national anthem from being sung at football games. Do you think that`s a widely shared view?
BOOKER: I`m -- that -- I didn`t hear that comment but that makes me really, really angry. I mean, there are generations of American who literally were fighting in our wars and then coming home to this country, women, and African-Americans who fought and died for that -- for our flag and for our country and then came home and be denied basic rights of citizenship. And here are people who love their country so much but understand that protest is patriotism. But nonviolent protest is important and has always been to advancing our nation. And for Muhammad Ali to artist entertainers who participated in movements from the Women`s Rights Movement to the Civil Rights Movement, this is a noble tradition in our country. And to focus just on the protest and miss entirely the purpose of the protest, you have to understand, these folks are not just taking a knee because they want to disrespect the flag. They`re doing this because of real issues in this country that even the former head of the FBI gave a speech talking about implicit racial bias and policing.
This is something that Rand Paul has talked directly about. This is something that my Republican colleague Tim Scott went to the White House to confront and address with the President of the United States. And so, for him to have harsher words for people who are trying to be patriotic, to move this country forward, have harsher words and vulgar words for them than the so-called "very fine people" that were marching with white supremacists and Nazis is outrageous to me. And don`t -- as soon as someone tries to tell an American in this country that I`m more patriotic than you or to look down on your loyalty to this country, please understand that says much more about that person`s patriotism than theirs because their patriotism is a shallow patriotism that seeks more to divide, demean, degrade others and lift themselves up than do what a real patriot should be doing in America, is finding ways to advance our country and unite this nation to greater understanding and a more courageous empathy.
HAYES: All right, Senator Cory Booker, appreciate you making time tonight.
BOOKER: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on the President`s embrace of the cultural war, let me bring in Josh Marshall, Editor and Publisher of Talking Points Memo and Michael Eric Dyson, Professor at Georgetown University, Author of The Tears We Cannot Stop, A Sermon to White America. To Cory Booker`s point, Josh, I mean, you know, I was -- I was going back through copies of the book called Nixonland by our mutual friend Rick Perlstein about Nixon`s campaign. I mean, Donald -- what Donald Trump wants to do is run against Colin Kaepernick, Antifa, and undergraduates. I mean, it`s -- it is absolute and it`s not just a think on top of the thing he`s doing --
JOSH MARSHALL, EDITOR, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Right.
HAYES: -- while he`s trying to get health care passed. It`s the thing he`s doing.
MARSHALL: That`s what -- that`s what he feels. Like, health care, I will -- it`s hard -- when he talks about health care, it`s hard for me to even think he`s like lying about the policies. I really don`t think he knows even what is in these bills. It`s irrelevant to him. But this stuff really matters to him and it really is primal with him and you see the way -- your analogy about talk radio is exactly right because he`s zooming in on --
MARSHALL: Yes, these intense feelings, people. You know, look, people see wounded soldiers, it`s horrifying. People feel admiration, they feel guilt, they feel the vicarious fear and then he points at these people, the players. These people don`t care.
MARSHALL: They`re making fun of it. They`re not respecting it. That enrages people. And so he is a master at taking those feelings that have all sorts of, you know, positive and negative feeling and weaponizing them and turning them against his enemies. That`s his politics.
HAYES: So, Michael, I want to -- I want to hear your response to this. So, when I say that he wants to run against Colin Kaepernick and Berkeley undergrads, right, conservatives say yes and the Democrats are going to give him exactly that. You idiots on the left, you know, speaking to people on Twitter or whatever, you`re going to give him what he wants to fight about this. What do you make of that argument?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, it`s as if -- as what everything else with Trump, it`s the confusion of means and ends. On the one hand, he wants to talk about you know, the ability to have freedom of speech. On the other hand when people exercise it peacefully, gesturally, symbolically, they are just disparaged. He calls people snowflakes and others who see safe spaces on college campuses where they want to at least be protected in part from the vicious consequences of the exercise of free speech by rightwing bigots who then, you know, foment not only rhetorical resistance but foment literal violence against the bodies of black or lesbians or gays and so on. So the reality is, on the other hand, he does that but on the other hand, he wants to make the entire country of safe space for his political ilk. So, I think the irony here is, even as he attacks the identity politics and the politics of confusion on college campuses where he thinks political correctness is running amok, there is no more politically correct stance than to try to beat up on ball players and other people who are protesting their right to protest, as Martin Luther King Jr. said than the President of the United States of America. This is the political correctness run amok.
HAYES: There`s also the sense that -- first of all, we should note this, he`s fundraising off of it, right? So just in a literal sense, this is a fund raising. The just got to stand -- this is from Richard Painter, a former Bush lawyer -- just got a "stand or kneel" e-mail from POTUS with a push poll and ask for support. He`s using our national anthem to raise cash. You know, how -- there`s also the fact that -- I remember that first week. I remember reading, you write about it when he said what he said about John McCain, which was just a shocking thing to say about a person. I mean, whatever your politics for any (INAUDIBLE), like, I like people that don`t get captured. What kind of a -- what kind of a thing is that to say? The ability for the people who support him in this fight to square that is kind of remarkable.
MARSHALL: You know, I think with Trump, we get too hung up on the military and the flag -- there`s enemies and there`s allies. There`s his people and there`s them and that is the thing. I think -- I think his base, people who really support him and he gets this about them, they know who the enemies are. They know who they are and who the other people are.
HAYES: Right. And so it`s not about the particularities about what you say about John McCain or what you say about (INAUDIBLE).
MARSHALL: You know, because it`s disrespecting Trump. That`s all that matters.
HAYES: Right. Michael, do you think -- I wonder what you think about this in the context of the news cycle we had a few weeks ago about like, Trump dealing with Democrats, right? There was like a mini news cycle where he makes a deal with the Democrats to extend the continuing resolution and then you have this piece in the New York Times of him worried that the bipartisan deal hurts him with the base, the President deeply worried his recent show of bipartisanship on the budget and DACA with two Democratic leaders endangering his standing with the base. How cynical or calculated do you think this is?
DYSON: I mean, he wants his fake and get too. So he wants to be able to pretend on the one hand that he`s you know, forging these connections with people reaching across the aisle. Remember, he`s the beat up on Obama all the time for not even interested in doing so. So he wants to make as he`s doing that but at the same time he wants to deny the substance thereof. He doesn`t want to really do it because if he really does it if there`s a real consequence to sitting down with Pelosi and Schumer and getting a deal done, that then undercuts his legitimacy. But there`s something else at stake here that we can never underestimate when it comes to Donald Trump. It is the centrality of narcissism. If I`m not the guy doing the thing, then it doesn`t count. It doesn`t make a difference because I didn`t have a hand in doing it. If I don`t see my reflection in the water, the water is horrible. It has to be poured out, looking for the new freshly you know, self-reflection that I can find. That`s the -- that`s the central deal with Donald Trump, I think.
HAYES: And there`s something else, too, which is boredom. He made that deal with the Democrats. This is my favorite detail of that. He made the deal with the Democrats because the meeting was going too long and got bored and said I don`t want to hear about this anymore. Let`s just do the three months. And what you are seeing right now when you look at what he is twitting about, he is bored by dealing with taxes or Cassidy-Graham or getting diesel fuel to the people of Puerto Rico.
HAYES: This is what he finds not boring.
MARSHALL: I think it`s in that Times article that you`re -- that you referenced before that -- and a lot of people have said this in the past. When things are calm -- I mean, most of us in confrontation, that`s unnerving, that`s uncomfortable, we avoid confrontation. When things are calm, he gets restless and he gets uncomfortable.
HAYES: He starts to have a feeling that other people feel in the midst of confrontation which is that they`re anxious and they need something to calm them. It`s like an indoor --
MARSHAL: Yes, it`s sort of like a bad guy who`s like, killing finger gets a little itchy, right? And they have to go after someone. That`s -- I think that`s what`s really driving this.
HAYES: Michael, do you think he is turning this issue -- I feel like he`s taking an issue that in the abstract would actually be a 60-40 issue in his favor for the reasons that Josh I think identified, right? In terms of people`s broad-brush feeling about the anthem and the flag but I think, because of the language he used and the people he`s attacked in the NFL, that he`s actually managed to make it a 60-40 issue on the other side.
DYSON: Well, absolutely right. And what he`s done in fact is done a favor to those who oppose him by making explicit that which can only be implicit and therefore was difficult to get to. In other words, it`s a sophisticated argument to get to some of the more subtle nuanced interpretation of the flag can never be readily identified only with the veterans, that those veterans who are nonetheless heroic are not the exclusive bearers of a tradition of American heroism. That`s a little bit more sophisticated and dynamic but this guy has made it easy because he`s gone after them with a kind of, you know, vulgarity and a kind of assault that really puts his heart -- you know, put his heart right there on the sleeve and people can see that ugliness for themselves.
HAYES: Josh Marshall and Michael Eric Dyson, thank you for being here.
MARSHALL: Thank for having me.
HAYES: Coming up, you can`t spell McConnell`s without two L`s. it`s been a rough week, Senate Majority Leader, and it`s only Tuesday but first, the President gives himself rave reviews of Puerto Rico over and over while millions still suffer without food, water, power. Congressman Luis Gutierrez is here after this two-minute break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Governor Rossello just told me this morning the entire federal workforce is doing great work in Puerto Rico. And he further went on and said through the Trump administration`s leadership, the relationship between FEMA and my team is very, very strong.
The governor of Puerto Rico is so thankful for the great job that we`re doing.
It`s out in the ocean. You can`t just drive your trucks there from other states, and the Governor said, we`re doing a great job. We have had tremendous reviews from government officials. This morning, the Governor made incredible statements about how well we`re doing. The Governor has been extremely generous and I appreciated it. The Governor has been so incredible in his statements about the job we`re doing. We`re doing a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President repeatedly, repeatedly congratulated himself and his administration for its handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico today, even though the situation on the ground is absolutely desperate. Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria laid waste to the territory, the island is still mostly without power as temperatures rise and food and water run out. According to the Pentagon, 44 percent of the population is without drinking water. OK. And while just 11 of 69 hospitals have fuel or power. The President says he plans to get a firsthand look when he visits the island next Tuesday and promises the government is sending "massive loads of water and food supplies to Puerto Rico." But Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois whose parents are Puerto Ricans took the House floor today to question whether the federal government is really doing all it can and that Congressman Gutierrez joins me now. Congressman, is the federal government doing all it can?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: It`s not. it`s not. And here`s why. We have the capacity to our military to set up a telecommunication system overnight all over the island of Puerto Rico. Just think of deployment of tens of thousands, hundreds and thousands of our soldiers in foreign countries and they communicate. We can do it. We have the sophistication. I sit on the -- on the Intelligence Committee. It can happen. We can send purification boats down there. We can send medical teams. Look, there is no reason all those hospitals aren`t up and running. Chris, understand something, many of the hospitals aren`t functioning at all, right, even if you did have fuel. And the fuel that are -- and what you have -- so there`s been this fleeing from Puerto Rico for like the last seven years. About 5,000 a month, people fled the island of Puerto Rico. So you know what you`re left with? What you`re left with is an older population, right, that stays there. And so I just want you to think, everybody`s that has got a mom, and she`s 75, she`s 80, she`s old and you know if there`s electricity, if there`s air conditioning, if she has her insulin, if she has her medicine, if she`s comfortable, she`s OK. But just think what it takes to cause a crisis in the elderly and then think of children who need formula, who need formula, who need milk, who need clean drinking water and then I want you to think of Katrina which is what I think of. I think of the thousands of people trapped at that Superdome and we watched them day in and day out and the federal government didn`t do enough. Let`s not let them leave behind 3.5 million people and not do enough. We`re not doing everything we can and notwithstanding what the President said today, the Governor of Puerto Rico understands that this is a humanitarian crisis. We are in contact with elected officials throughout the island. They are pleading with us to send water purification. They said we cannot keep our first responders on the street because we don`t have fuel to put in the vehicles and to keep our operations alive.
HAYES: All right. So this is -- I wanted to be clear and concrete here. Telecommunications infrastructure that you think that the U.S. has the capacity to deploy there. Water purification boats, I mean, potable water is -- I`ve been in contact with people around the island. I keep hearing about potable water, diesel generators to keep even freezers and refrigerators going because people are running out of food as well. So diesel, water, here`s another thing I want to get you to -- your opinion on. There`s something called the Jones Act which is a piece of legislation that essentially requires boats that go between U.S. ports to be U.S. flagged. That was waived in the wake of Harvey, it was waived in the wake of Irma so that oil ships could come in. The waiving expires September 22nd and there are many people who think it`s vital that would be waived now. Today DHS said they`re not doing it. Do you agree with that decision?
GUTIERREZ: Two things. We should waive the cost sharing, right? Because, when we send FEMA in there, there`s a cost to the state. Puerto Rico`s bankrupt. Forget about cost sharing. Save lives. Number two, the Jones Act. It means that you add an inordinate new cost to anything you receive on the island of Puerto Rico. Let`s get the ships that are closest to the materials that are needed and that are cost-effective and get them. Let`s lift it and, you know something, Chris, it can`t be for a couple of weeks. This is a reconstruction of the island of Puerto Rico. The ports, the infrastructure and I want to just add one thing. For those of us who understand the island of Puerto Rico, the light routinely go out. The water routinely doesn`t come out of the faucet. Just think of the damage to the infrastructure. If it didn`t work before the hurricane, what is it going to take to re-establish it today? Let`s build the infrastructure so that those wonderful people on that island can live. I`m thankful, Chris, my mom is in Chicago and my dad is resting in peace. But god, anybody else that has moms and dads out there and children and brothers and sisters, it`s just agonizing not getting any information and knowing how much they`re suffering.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Gutierrez, thanks for making the time.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
HAYES: Special Counsel Mueller is reportedly going to start interviewing White House personnel this week. So guess who has just lawyered up? That`s ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been the first to say, we`ll say again right here on your show, it was a dumb mistake but it was a dumber scandal. Now we have this story about Kushner and apparently others in the White House and I am waiting to see the outrage on the part of the Republican members of Congress about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While we were playing Hillary Clinton`s reaction last night to reports that Jared Kushner used personal e-mail for White House business, the New York Times broke the news that at least six White House advisers used private e-mail accounts to discuss government business. That includes not just the President`s son-in-law and Adviser Jared Kushner but also Steve Bannon, the President`s former Chief Strategist, Reince Priebus, former White House Chief of Staff and Ivanka Trump, the President`s Senior Adviser, and daughter. And we were only learning about these private e- mail accounts for one reason. Special Counsel Robert Mueller who`s requested documents and e-mails from the Trump administration as part of his ongoing investigation into the Trump`s campaign`s possible ties to Russian interference in the election. And more revelations could be on the way. A source telling NBC News tonight that Mueller`s team could begin interviewing members of the President`s team as early as this week which could explain why there are reports that yet another Trump associate has lawyered up. The Daily Beast reporting that Sean Spicer just hired a brand-new high-powered criminal defense attorney, who specializes in white collar criminal defense and congressional investigations, to handle issues related to the special counsel Robert Mueller`s probe.
Thus joining Vice President Mike Pence, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, White House Counsel Don McGahn, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and many others in the president`s orbit who have all retained legal counsel.
Now, Robert Mueller is expected to start interviewing some of those associates as early as this week. Today, the house intelligence committee interviewed a key witness of its own in its investigation of Russia in the 2016 election.
The nearly four-hour interview with Trump confidante Roger Stone was conducted in private, but afterwards Stone told the media he denied any collusion with Russia and in statement before the meeting, he also denied having direct contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, even though last August after WikiLeaks posted DNC emails, Stone tweeted quote, "trust me, it will be soon the Podesta`s time in the barrel."
Weeks later, WikiLeaks began releasing hacked emails from the account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton`s campaign chairman.
While he denied the WikiLeaks connection, Stone did reaffirm that he communicated with an online persona known as Guccifer 2.0, a suspected Russian agent who has taken credit for hacking the DNC. And he took the opportunity after his commitee interview, to denigrate the whole premise of the Russia investigations and to attack the special counsel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the president should fire Bob Mueller?
ROGER STONE, TRUMP CONFIDANTE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is that?
STONE: Because he auditioned, or I should say, interviewed for the job of FBI director the day after Mr. Comey resigned or was fired, pardon me, was passed over for that job. That, to me, constitutes a conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman Eric Swalwell was one of the members of the interviewed Roger Stone today. He joins me now.
Did you learn anything new today?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) CALIFORNIA: Good evening, Chris.
Yes, we did. But it was very frustrating that one of the central questions for Mr. Stone was who was he communicating with? He told the public he had been in contact with Julian Assange and then he changed that story probably when he realized hos controversial that was and said he worked through an intermediary. And then when asked to reveal who the intermediary was, he invoked a privilege that is not legal or his to assert.
And so he refused to answer any questions about, which is interesting, Chris, because he has gone after Hillary Clinton and the DNC for not turning over the DNC server and not being forthcoming and we really needed him to be forthcoming on that point. So, maybe we`ll need to bring him in on a subpoena.
HAYES: What do you mean he invoked aprivilege that is not his to assert?
SWALWELL: He said this in his public statement afterwards -- after addressing the committee, he that he was speaking to a journalist, the intermediary, and that it was a two-way off-the-record conversation. The journalist has not invoked any journalistic privilege, and Roger Stone was invoking it for him.
HAYES: I want to get your reaction to a few things that have happened. First of all, Sean Spicer has retained counsel. What do you make of the fact that so many people in the White House have retained counsel?
SWALWELL: That Bob Mueller and his team are moving at a pretty fast clip. And it looks like they will be interviewing, just from the reports we`ve been seeing, people in the White House with respect not just to the collusion investigation, but whether the president obstructed justice with the firing of James Comey.
I hope, though, Chris, that that inspires us on the House intelligence committee to be just as determined and dogged as Bob Mueller is.
HAYES: Yeah, about that, I want to read something that someone on your committee said. This really -- I`ve been thinking about this for a few days. This is Democratic Rep Mike Quigley of Illinois. He sits on your committee. Here`s what he said. "I`m there as we`re questioning witnesses and some day these transcripts will be made public," he said. "Many are going to say, what the hell are they doing? They seem to be taking over the role," I think he means his Republican colleagues, "of a second attorney for the witness testifying before us and it`s conflicting and it`s difficult. As difficult enough as it is to do this job when you`re running into all of these obstacles."
Is that your feeling as well?
SWALWELL: It`s frustrating, Chris. There is a sense that they aren`t understanding or stepping up to the duty of just protecting our country from another attack. There`s a lack of curiosity.
And I will credit, when Mike Conway came on board, we have made tremendous progress. But we still need them to be curious. We still need them to determined. And this should be a bipartisan effort to understand what happened. And I`m not giving up hope that we can find that, because the more we find out about whether there was a working relationship with the Russians, the more we`re going to have to step up to the plate to make sure that this doesn`t happen again.
And also, we find out, Chris, you know, through Roger Stone`s own public statements that he had a working relationship with who our intelligence committee identified as a Russian. He was asking this individual to retweet his posts. That individual was doing that. And later, that individual was exposed as being a product of the Russian intelligence service.
So that was a working relationship, whether it was witting or unwitting, that Roger Stone had.
HAYES: When you said that you might have to bring him back under subpoena, today was this sort of informal questioning.
The subpoena power would be issued by the chair, subpoena power lies in the hands of the chair, of course, a Republican. In this case, it would be Conway, because Devin Nunes has removed himself.
Do you have confidence that say, if you got together and said, yeah, we should bring him back under a the subpoena that that is a thing that would happen?
SWALWELL: Well, I don`t understand how we could proceed and bring witnesses in under a voluntary arrangement and then can just say, those questions are off limits because you didn`t subpoena me, and then we don`t subpoena them when they do that.
This is a test for us. If we`re serious about getting to the bottom of this, we`ll have to bring him under subpoena if he doesn`t produce the information.
Otherwise we are just telling witnesses, you set the rules. We don`t.
HAYES: Alright, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you for your time.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
HAYES: What are the chances of a man`s whose rival warns will be, quote, "an anchor around the neck of the party", will win the Republican Senate primary in Alabama tonight? That is coming up.
But first, tonight`s high-flying, very exciting, very luxurious, Thing One, Thing Two right after this break.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, we`ve been telling you about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price`s ballooning charter jet scandal. It`s led to an investigation by the HHS inspector general.
Intrepid reporting by Politico`s Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan identified more than $400,000 of taxpayer money spent by Secretary Price on private planes.
Now Price reportedly took at least 26 charter jets in just the past four months. According to former HHS staffers who spoke with Politico, just one charter plane was taken in eight years by HHS secretaries who served under Obama.
Even after Politico broke the story about Price`s private plane problem, Price continued to take charter jets. The cost of his trips this past week was $56,500, according to a federal contract.
Now, a spokesperson responded saying that the plane had been prebooked.
On Saturday, Secretary Price said he would stop using private planes until the internal review is completed and we`ll see if the inspector general finds the flight violated federal travel regulations.
But, at the very least, you`d expect Price only use those charter jets for official business, not say, to fly to a resort island of Georgia where he owns private property, right?
Well, that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: All right, so there are new, jaw-dropping details about HHS Secretary Tom Price`s use of private charter jets paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Politico reports tonight, Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simon`s Island, an exclusive Georgia resort, where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended.
Price reportedly arrived on the island by charter jet Friday afternoon, 40 hours before his speech on Sunday, while a connecting commercial flight still would have gotten him there on Friday.
That wasn`t the only trip on a luxury aircraft to visit a city where Price owns property. On June 6th, HHS chartered a jet to fly Price to Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns a condominium and where his son resides.
Price spent less than 90 minutes combined between his two schedules events, and the three hours in between those events, he reportedly had lunch with his son, which was nice of him.
Commercial airline tickets with government discounts would have cost between $102 and $333 per person round trip, with nearly identical flight schedules. But for that day trip with 90 minutes of government work, Price took a Leer Jet 55, a $17,760 round trip flight. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CASSIDY, (R) SENATOR OF LOUSIANA: We`ve made the decision since we don`t have the votes, we`ll postpone that vote.
Am I disappointed? Absolutely.
MITCH MCCONNEL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE: We haven`t given up on changing the American health care system. We`re not going to be able to do that this week, but it still lies ahead of us and we haven`t given up on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate Republicans today gave up on their latest effort to pass a health care bill, any health care bill, at least for now. That`s after three GOP senators announced their opposition to the bill known as Graham/Cassidy. The decision prompting an expression of frustration President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were very disappointed by a couple of senators, Republican senators, I must say. We were very disappointed that they would take the attitude that they did.
We don`t know why they did it. At some point, there will be a repeal and replace, but we`ll see whether or not that point is now or will it be shortly thereafter.
But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This latest failure is another defeat for Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell who is having one bad week.
Today, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, close ally of McConnell, announced he would not seek re-election after 2018, a decision that both increases Democrat`s ability of flipping the seat, and perhaps more probably, opens the door to a Trump-like replacement who refuses to play nice with Republican leadership.
We are already seeing what that latter option looks like at this very moment in Alabama where anti-gay theocrat and unrepentant birther, Roy Moore, was leading in the polls entering today`s special GOP primary election for Jeff Sessions` old Senate seat, that`s despite a Mitch McConnell affiliated Super Pac spending millions of dollars to boost appointed Senator, Luther Strange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, SENATE CANDIDATE: If they can`t beat me, then there`s a crack in the dam. Then the whole thing falls. Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The republican Civil War playing out in Alabama, including a moment that Steve Bannon suggested that Republicans who backed Luther Strange view Alabama citizens, and I quote him here, as "a pack of morons" next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: Polls closed a little less than an hour ago in the GOP special primary election in Alabama, where appointed Senator Luther Strange entered election day trailing challenger Roy Moore in the race for Jeff Sessions old Senate seat.
This, despite Strange having the backing of almost the entire Republican establishment, including the president and the vice president, both of whom traveled to Alabama in an effort to boost Strange, as well as Mitch McConnell, whose aligned Super Pac has dumped millions into the race.
Among those on the other side remarkably, Trump`s former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon. Remember that guy?
Last night he spoke at a ruckus rally in Alabama on behalf of Roy Moore, though he was most adamant when targeting Moore`s political enemies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FMR WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Mitch McConnell and this permanent political class is the most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals in this country.
They took out 30-second TV spots. You know why? Because they think you`re a pack of morons. They think you are nothing but rubes. All the instruments to try to destroy Judge Moore and his family, your day of reckoning is coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For the record, that`s two shirts, one jacket there.
If Moore win`s today`s primary and defeats Democrat Doug Jones in the general election, it`s fair to say that he`ll become the most extreme senator in modern U.S. history. That`s not an overstatement.
And Moore, seen here waving a gun around at last night`s rally, is birther who`s pushed for criminalizing homosexuality conduct, falsely claimed Sharia Law is alive and well in America, and he has twice, twice been removed as Alabama Chief Justice, first for refusing to remove a massive Ten Commandment statute from the Supreme Court steps, and then for just flat out defying the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
As Politico points out, Bannon has argued that a Moore win would open the flood gates anti incumbent primary challengers across the map, a potentially disastrous outcome for McConnell, whose majority could be ungovernable if Republicans even manage to hang on to the Senate.
Joining me now is an expert on the state of the modern GOP conservative, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin. Someone well-versed on what is actually happening in Alabama for U.S. attorney and University of Alabama law professor, Joyce Vance.
I`m going to start with the sort of national part of this and go to the local.
Jennifer, to you. This is from the Daily Beast. Team Trump prepares the Shiv for Mitch McConnell, he needs to go. And this is Donald Trump, this is a remarkable moment at the rally. So much happened at that Strange rally. This was overlooked.
I want you to listen to the way the president talked about the majority leader from his own party in the Senate at this rally.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As you know, Mitch is not polling-wise the most popular guy in this country, and they like to label him because he happened to be there for a number of months with, you know, in the Senate.
They like to label him as Mitch`s best friend but he`s not, and he hardly even knows him.
He`ll be fighting Mitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sorry, that was from the Rick and Butler Show where he repeatedly called him Ray Moore.
But I have never heard anything like that in the time that I`ve heard politics.
JENNIFER RUBIN, WASHINGTON POST: No, this is exactly what the Republicans deserve.
Listen, they sold their party and their souls to this guy who has no loyalty to them, to any ideas , to any principals, and now they`re discovering that oh, gosh, maybe it`s not good to have a president that doesn`t believe in anything and is out only for himself.
So they have made their bed and now they are going to rest in it probably in Alabama tonight.
HAYES: Well, Joyce, to that point, the sort of conventional wisdom of the race has been that Moore has the upper hand, that Luther Strange is seen as corrupt, partly because he`s tied to the former Governor Bentley, who had a bunch of scandals and appointed him.
From your perspective, is that about what the contours of the race has been?
JOYCE VANCE, U.S. ATTORNEY: You know, a lot of people that voted in Alabama today are characterizing it as having to make a decision between two bad choices.
Luther Strange, who probably would have had a much easier race had he not accepted a temporary appointment to the Senate from a governor he was investigating, you know, really I think stumbled when he accepted that appointment, and sort of ran a race where he looked like a lap dog, just repeated Trump, Trump, Trump, over and over, without offering people of Alabama anything.
Folks down here don`t like to vote for a lap dog.
Moore`s beliefs are certainly very peculiar, but he appears to hold to them steadfastly and people have reacted to what they believe is his authenticity in someways.
HAYES: On that point, I don`t want to undersell the extremism represented by Roy Moore, who, we use the term before, theocrat to describe him which gets thrown around in American politics. I think applies, you know, explicitly in a sense to Roy Moore. Two times he`s been removed from his perch as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for being essentially lawless, for thumbing his nose at the rule of law.
VANCE: And I think theocrat is a good word because he has shown a tendency to plant the rule of law, the law as issued to us by Congress and by the Supreme Court with his own moral and religious judgments, and that`s obviously dangerous territory to be in in a democracy.
HAYES: Yeah. One of the dynamics Jennifer here in this race is not just well, you`ve sort of laid down with Trump and now this is what happens.
It`s watching the Republican establishment tend to stuff the genie back in the bottle by trying to run a race against Moore that`s saying, well this guy is nuts. He has no business being a Senator. He`s terrible. He said all these terrible things.
It`s like, that`s a tough sell when the President of the United States is Donald Trump.
RUBIN: It sure is. And it`s hard to say that we believe in the rule of law after you pardon Joe Arpaio of Arizona who defied a court order.
They are dummying down and defining down deviance in the party, and there is no bottom here.
I think in this case, the rubes are not necessarily the voters from the eyes of Mitch McConnell, it`s Mitch McConnell and the rest of them who thought that they could get away with this. Who thought that they could just put someone up there who would happily stamp the bills and assemble the majority for them, and he`s proven entirely incompetent, entirely destructive, and he`s essentially destroying the Republican party as we know it.
HAYES: Do you think, Joyce, I wonder how much the failure once again of repeal and replace, I mean, I can`t imagine that helps the case for Luther Strange. Because it`s not like Luther Strange can say, send me back there to keep doing the work we`re doing there.
I got to imagine that`s part of the dynamic in the race.
VANCE: You know, voters in Alabama really want to drain the swamp, wherever else they are in the Republican party. Strange once lost a race in Alabama, race for lieutenant governor because he was portrayed as a country club tennis whites kind of guy.
That legacy comes back to haunt him here with the do nothing Congress and with rural hospitals closing in Alabama.
HAYES: Jennifer, if in fact Strange were to win tonight, obviously, if Vance -- if Strange wins, then he goes on, but if Moore wins, what does that mean?
RUBIN: I think it means that the seat in Tennessee, which seems to be opening up with Bob Corker`s decision that really stunned people not to run for reelection, that that seat becomes another battle ground...
RUBIN: Between the right and far, far right. It means that Nevada may not have Heller as the nominee but may have someone more extreme.
HAYES: My first thought today of the Corker news was, who is the Roy Moore of Tennessee?
Jennifer Rubin and Joyce Vance, thanks so much.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2017 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.