Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 6, 2017 Guest: Joseph Bernstein, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Goldberg, Lin-Manuel Miranda
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you say the alt-right, define alt-right?
HAYES: President Trump`s Steve Bannon and the movement to unite the alt- right.
TRUMP: These are people that have not been heard for many years and now they`ve been heard.
HAYES: Tonight, blockbuster new reporting on the man who ran Donald Trump`s campaign and the plan to court white nationalist. Then, more fallout from the moron report.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATES, UNITED STATES: Let me tell you what I`ve learned about this President.
HAYES: As the Rex, Tillerson watch continues. Plus, the smoking gun on President Trump`s personal sabotage of ObamaCare and my conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the President.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, AMERICAN COMPOSER: I`ve never seen the President attack the victims of a natural disaster.
HAYES: On Puerto Rico.
MIRANDA: There are futures on the line.
HAYES: And his new song for relief.
MIRANDA: I was trying to write the catchiest song I ever wrote.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. And if you want to find out the center of gravity, the Republican Party in the Donald Trump era, look no further than next week`s value voters summit kicking off a week today in Washington and headlined by two of the parties leading light, Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist to the President and current Breitbart Chairman and Roy Moore, the Republican Senate Candidate in Alabama.
Now Roy, despite being the Enemy of the establishment of the primary, now has the full backing of the President, the Vice President, Congressional Leadership and the Senate GOP`s official political arm, all of this despite a well-documented record of saying things like, homosexual conduct should be illegal and only thing I know that the Islamic faith has done in this country is 9/11. Today, Talking Points Memo reports that one of Moore`s top backers is an actual honest to goodness secessionist who has argued that the more Christian self-needs to secede and form a new biblical nation one run by, and I`m quoting here, "an Anglo-Celtic elite." That revelation comes on the heels of a blockbuster report from BuzzFeed exposing how Steve Bannon and his Breitbart underlings actively smuggled ideas from Nazis and white nationalists into the mainstream. In one internal e-mail obtained by BuzzFeed, Bannon shared his thoughts about the mosques where Muslim citizens worshiped, by the way, they are all factories of hate.
Bannon went on to serve inside the White House as President Trump`s Chief Strategist, one of his most trusted advisers, pushing policies day in and out. Things like the President`s Muslim Ban. BuzzFeed has also got its hand on the video of Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart`s former Check Editor and Chief Provocateur singing America The Beautiful at a Dallas bar while white nationalists like Richard Spencer give the Nazi salute. Yiannopoulos says he couldn`t see the salutes due to his, and I quote, here again, severe myopia. A bartender saw them, she told the Dallas Observer, she immediately kicked out the whole group after seeing about 15 arms giving Nazi salutes during the song. This is the Republican Party in the age of Donald Trump. It`s just a hop, a skip and a jump from Sieg Heil to the beating heart of the White House. And those ties help explain the President`s own allegiances, how he could see this, an angry mob chanting blood and soil and Jews will not replace us and say this.
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TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides, you had people in this group -- excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue.
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HAYES: Joseph Bernstein is a Senior Technology Reporter for BuzzFeed who wrote the explosive expose on Breitbart`s ties to white nationalists. Phenomenal piece of reporting.
JOSEPH BERNSTEIN, SENIOR TECHNOLOGY REPORTER, BUZZFEED: Thank you.
HAYES: So the mock review that I took away from this is Bannon oversaw an effort that was extremely strategic and intentional about what it was doing, which was to kind of cultivate the energy that was emanating from the nastier parts of the internet and use them to his own purposes.
BERNSTEIN: I think that`s exactly right. And how crazy is that? The guy who is the Chief Strategist to Donald Trump was overseeing a Web site that was sort of explicitly courting white nationalists, people who want a nation just for white people.
HAYES: Like literal -- something like, these are explicit. I mean, that`s what`s so crazy. You to do one checker hop in all of these different parts of the story. I mean, you even have someone who`s you know, wrote -- writes for American Renaissance which is a sort of a racist publication explicitly. I think it`s fair to say and you know, in which (INAUDIBLE) says, Bannon, as you probably know is sympathetic to much of it.
BERNSTEIN: Right. And surely some of that is speculation. I don`t think Steve Bannon has ever met this guy or even knows who he is. But the point is, he puts someone in a position of influence and power, Milo Yiannopoulos who knew exactly who these people were, who cultivated them and who ultimately put their ideas into Breitbart and into the mainstream.
HAYES: Here`s the distillation of everything to me. The most important part of this article is that they are -- because they are aware of what they`re doing, they`re constantly dealing with the line and where it is. Editing at 2016 September Yiannopoulos speech, Marlow, his editor, approved a joke about shekels but added that you can`t even flirt with OKing gas chamber tweets asking for such a line to be removed. It`s like shekels joke, OK, gas chamber no. And that`s not like an accident. They know exactly what they`re doing.
BERNSTEIN: Yes, and imagine being an editor of like a publication with a readership of millions who`s like taking a red pen and like, yes shekels, like, no gas chamber. It`s insane.
HAYES: With the readership of million overseen by the man who would run President`s campaign and be one of his close advisers in the White House.
BERNSTEIN: It`s disturbing when you put it that way, Chris.
HAYES: Do you connect this -- I mean, what I thought about when I read this and was the President`s comments after Charlottesville -- because it seems like he was doing a kind of parallel thing.
BERNSTEIN: I think my impression from reading these e-mails is that Bannon and Milo and people of their ilk really see this as two sides. And --
HAYES: That`s right.
BERNSTEIN: I mean, that extend to all of their coverage. And that came through again and again in the e-mails. And the #War which is what you know, what he sort of the way he exhorts the troops, you know, engaging war on Twitter and in the media and in every possible sort of realm of American life.
HAYES: Yes, it`s interesting that the term they use fellow traveler, and that`s an appropriation of a sort of left-wing term. And the idea being that there is a war and there`s only two sides and the Nazis and the racists are on our side because it`s a popular front against our enemies.
BERNSTEIN: Right. And then, you know, sort of another aspect of that is Breitbart has this incredibly aggressive PR operation whose sort of entire job vis a vis Milo was to go to outlets and police their language around him, you know, as a white nationalist or white supremacist.
HAYES: Yes, they`re -- while he`s getting edited about shekel jokes are OK but other jokes aren`t, and he`s making a password that has like, crystal mocked references, neither right, neither wrong now is his references now. You have lawyers going out and be like, how dare you call him.
BERNSTEIN: Yes, that`s exactly right. I mean, that`s hypocrisy.
HAYES: BuzzFeed`s Joe Bernstein who just is one of the best-reported piece of the year I would say. Thanks for your excellent reporting.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Correspondent for the Atlantic and author of the new book which is out right now, We Were Eight Years In Power, An American Tragedy which is a phenomenal read that you should definitely pick up. You`re -- I`m looking at your facial expression while watching me recounting this. What`s going through your head?
TA-NEHISI COATES, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTIC: I am literally speechless. I`m not speechless from the fact of learning the information. I`m speechless that we needed this. And I`m not trying to -- the reporting, which was excellent, needed to be done but is this really surprising? They are who we thought they were. This accords with everything else we knew about Donald Trump and everything else we knew about Steve Bannon. I think there`s a group of people who have tried to willfully delude themselves about the nature and want to tighten -- you know, have really thin conversations about what is white supremacy and what is not. I don`t know what else we need. I don`t know if we need Steve Bannon to actually lynch somebody on the White House lawn to get the message but it seems pretty clear to me.
HAYES: One of the things that comes through in this article, and I thought about it in reference to the first white president essay that you published recently, which is one of the essays that`s collected in the book. Is their awareness that there is power in the thing they`re cultivating?
COATES: And they`re right. They`re correct.
HAYES: They know there are clicks, there`s audience, there`s energy, there`s passion, there`s some fuel and that`s part of why they`re going to it because that`s where the energy is and at the same time they recognize they`re playing a dangerous game,
HAYES: Which is getting -- trying to channel that fuel but make sure that you can stay disassociated enough for plausible deniability.
COATES: Right. Because there`s you know, another section of Americans, obviously, some of them within the Republican Party who you know, would be completely appalled at the explicit you know, alliance with racism and white supremacists. But it`s been pretty clear. I mean, when e was a candidate, the President of the United States said of a judge officiating over his case, he`s a Mexican.
HAYES: He can`t judge me.
COATES: He can`t because he`s a Mexican. You know what I mean? I just don`t know how more explicit we can get here.
HAYES: You know, one of the things -- one of the themes in the essays and in your writing is about sort of white supremacy and racism in terms of anti-blackness, specifically the way it was built up. And there`s a whole sort of political history of the ways in which that played out in crime and the way we dealt with crack epidemic and really (INAUDIBLE) that and things like that. What do you make of the fact that blackness is not the primary target of this kind of politics these days or often if not if it is a primary, it is along with Muslims and immigrants who are also very much the target?
COATES: I don`t know how different that is. You know, Al Smith ran for president and he went, you know, into the -- obviously at least white by our terms. I mean, they burnt crosses. You know, it is always --
HAYES: Because he was Catholic.
COATES: Because he was Catholic. He`s always an anti-semantic element to white supremacy. You can you know, go back into -- you know and find cartoons from the 19th century just after enslavement and see the simian images of Irish-Americans equated with black people. That`s not to diminish you know the fact that -- but there`s always been you know, other folks, other groups that were along with black people in terms of being the victims and the targets of white supremacy.
HAYES: One of the things that I think of is what`s taboo and what`s not, right? So the Sieg Heil salute is taboo, right? I mean, I just can`t -- I mean, they get -- my favorite part of that story is they get kicked out of the bar in Dallas.
HAYES: You can`t go around. That`s not -- you know, you see that in your bar, you say get the heck out of my bar, right? Saying is the only good thing that Islam has done for the country is 9/1 1 or the only thing that Islam has done is 9/11 or that all Muslim -- all mosques are a factory of hate. That is -- the uncomfortable truth is that it decidedly less taboo in American life.
COATES: it`s acceptable. You know, it`s a different line. And I don`t know if that has to do with the relationship between, you know, our criminal acts and history, or is just the holocaust is not on the guilt. You know, it`s not on the conscience of Americans and so we have a much easier time finger waving about that as opposed to the proximity of history with you know, 9/11. So that`s a different thing. People feel for justified in their bigotry, you know, perhaps. But it`s quite clear that`s not a line that, you know -- there`s no line in terms of, you know, forbidding folk to use that sort of language.
HAYES: One of the -- one of the arguments I think you made is, you know, the taboos have been knocked away, the subtext has become the text, the quiet part is said loud in the era of Trump and that`s his power. What do you make of the people who say I am a never Trumper and I condemn him when he says about Mexicans and condemn him what he does about Judge Curiel and condemn him with Charlottesville but I remain a Republican and I`m a conservative?
COATES: Well, I applaud the condemnation. I would say it`s a little late. I don`t think Trump emerged out of nothing. I would ask where these people were when Barack Obama was forced to hold up his birth certificate. I would ask where these people were when you know, just hate mongers like Pam Geller was spewing absolute nonsense about the mosque, and you know, the 9/11 mosque. I would ask where these people were during -- when this whole idea of sharia law was being made some sort of issue. This is built on a long history. Donald Trump didn`t come out of nowhere.
I mean, I could take it all the way back and say, you know, where were these people during the day of Willie Horton. Because the Republican Party has been playing with the fire. There`s some sort of synergy in watching or some sort of synchronicity in watching how Steve Bannon is sort of playing, you know, with these haters who are beyond the line and how the Republican Party has historically played with racism trying to you know, to saddle right up to the line.
HAYES: And also the way that he stick it against him. In some ways, the data point I think is interesting. You got Bannon, you got Moore and then you got the race in Virgina with Ed Gillespie. Now, Ed Gillespie was in the opposite side. For Roy Moore was the insurgent candidate, and he ran against Luther Strange and he beat him. Ed Gillespie was the establishment guy and he was running against the wingnut who is Corey Stewart who is Mr. Confederate heritage. And Ed Gillespie won and I want to take -- this is the kind of ad that Ed Gillespie is now running as the establishment Republican candidate. Take a look.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MS-13 motto is kill, rape, control. This violent gang has been tied to brutal murders across Virginia. Ralph Northam`s policy, Northam cast the deciding vote in favor of sanctuary cities that let illegal immigrants who commit crime back on the streets increasing the threat of MS-13. Ralph Northam, weak on MS-13, putting Virginia families at risk.
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HAYES: (INAUDIBLE) control and then you`ve got the President today saying Rolf Northam who is running for Governor is fighting for -- fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs in sanctuary cities, vote Ed Gillespie.
COATES: Yes, it looks really familiar. And the need to place this kind of racism, this kind of bigotry, this kind of white supremacy solely on the shoulders of this insurgent alt-right ignores the fight that the table was prepared you know, over years by the mainstream establishment Republican Party.
HAYES: What about the Democratic Party?
COATES: Well, the Democratic Party has its history too. There`s a long history which I`ve outlined in my work, you know, certainly going back to Roosevelt. And so, no one is immune to it. You know what I mean? It`s just at this moment of politics right now, and have been you know, at least since the, you know, the civil rights movement. One party, in particular, has decided to run towards that and decide to extract its energy from that. That doesn`t make the Democratic Party immune to iniquity.
HAYES: How important -- I know that you have -- you have a sort of view of the power of this force, white supremacy and American politics that sort of has continuity. How important is it for someone who runs a campaign like this to lose?
COATES: I`m only pausing on the question because I have -- and I`m not -- I`m just going to confess that I`m not sure about this because I haven`t decide -- obviously I would like that person to lose. But I`m not sure whether the problem is that the actual candidate that decides to siphon off the energy or the fact that the energy is there in the first place.
HAYES: Yes, it`s a good question. Ta-Nehisi Coates, always a pleasure.
COATES: Thanks for having. It`s a pleasure. All right.
HAYES: His new booked called We Were Eight Years In Power, An American Tragedy. I would absolutely recommend you go caught that. Thanks a lot.
After the break, Rex Tillerson and the man he called a moron. New reports the Secretary of State is at a breaking point. Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda on his new song for Puerto Rico and what he says is jaw-dropping about the President`s reaction to humanitarian crisis there. You do not want to miss it.
HAYES: From all accounts, it appears that there is now a cold war between the President and the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. As our own reporting has shown, Tillerson referred to the President as a moron, something Tillerson did not specifically deny when he held that last minute news conference expressing his support calling the President smart. But today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted once again that Tillerson`s status is secure.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you continue to say the President remains confident in him as Secretary of State?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: He does. As he said yesterday, or two days ago, as I said yesterday, nothing has changed despite what you may read in the media or watch on T.V.
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HAYES: Michelle Goldberg, a Columnist from the New York Times and joins me now. What do you make of this?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: I mean, what I make of it is that he can`t get rid of him because there is basically nobody running this administration. We have multiple foreign crises, his Chief of Staff John Kelly would freak out. At the same -- and you know, at the same time it`s a completely untenable relationship. Where I`m torn is that on the one hand, Tillerson has been in abysmal, near catastrophic Secretary of State. He`s hollowing out the State Department. He`s eviscerating the foreign diplomatic corps. But he`s also, I think, you know, I really strongly agree with him on the important issue of not cavalierly starting a nuclear war with North Korea.
HAYES: Yes, I`m almost a single issue voter on the no nuclear war. I think you can put me down on that. Well, right, and I think that what you point to which I find is sort of frustrating about making sense of all of this -- and again, we`re dealing with all those palace intrigues. NBC News` reporting I think has held up incredibly well despite the fuse launch against it, other outlets had confirmed that he did call him a moron.
GOLDBERG: Right. Well, he called him something else moron.
HAYES: Yes, I should probably he called him something else a moron but it`s also the case that there is also this reputational management happening from folks like Kelly and Mattis and Tillerson of like we`re the grownups, we`re standing between the President and chaos. And I`m not quite sure that I`m sold on that.
GOLDBERG: You know, neither am I. But partly it`s because we haven`t seen, you know -- I mean, we don`t know, right? Could it be worse? Presumably, it could be even worse. I mean, look at what Trump`s complete disinterest and incompetence has done to Puerto Rico. And so, you know, I mean, it does seem like they`re trying to steer him away from military confrontation with North Korea, possibly trying to steer him away from escalating tensions with Iran. At the same time, here`s what I think. you know, there`s been rumors of some kind of suicide pact, right? That if one of them leaves, they`re all going to leave.
HAYES: There`s been -- yes -- there`s been reporting to that exactly, more than rumors. And Washington Examiner and BuzzFeed have both reported there`s like an access of Mnuchin, Mattis, and Kelly I believe or Tillerson that -- yes.
GOLDBERG: If they do that, I think they need to tell -- stand up and tell the country if they leave that this has to stop. I mean, I understand that the Republicans are not going to do anything. But when you have someone like Tennessee Senator Bob Corker saying these officials are the only things standing between the U.S. and chaos.
HAYES: I think he repeated multiple times on camera.
GOLDBERG: Right. So he understands that this President is not fit, is endangering us and on one hand, it seems naive asking the Republicans to try to step and save the country because obviously, they`re not going to. But I think that if these men who have a said we`re the only thing standing between you and chaos if they -- if they are forced out and chaos is on the loose, then they should do their patriotic duty --
HAYES: To be public about it is what you`re saying.
GOLDBERG: And demand that somebody -- this man should not be there.
HAYES: Right. That if -- that is well said. If the rumors are true about the view that the cabinet secretaries have of their own boss, the Commander in Chief, if those rumors are true, if they have a suicide pact, if they view themselves as standing in the way of chaos, that should it ever come push to shove, they owe it to the public to be explicit and public about that.
GOLDBERG: Right, exactly. As Bob Corker owes it to if public that to be explicit about the President who`s party -- you know the President and his party is still protecting.
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg, thank you for your time.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Tonight, the seven-year streak of job growth is over under President Trump. How the Trump administration is undoing President Obama`s work in more ways than one after this quick break.
HAYES: When Barack Obama was President, Donald Trump simply did not believe the federal government`s jobs numbers. In March, the Washington Post noted 19 different times Trump called those job numbers fake. But after a strong February jobs report, the President changed his tune.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the President believe that this jobs report was accurate and a fair way to measure the economy?
SEAN SPICER, FORMER PRESS SPEAKER, WHITE HOUSE: Yes, I talked to the President prior to this and he said to quote him clearly. They may have been phony in the past but it`s very real now.
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HAYES: Well today we got new jobs numbers and don`t tell the President but it looks like they might be phony again. This chart shows monthly job totals dating back to 2008. Here you have jobs lost due to the financial crisis, first under George W. Bush, and then Barack Obama which he inherited, and after September 2010, we saw seven straight years of job growth. The longest streak on record which took place mostly under Obama. This month Donald Trump broke that streak. The U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September versus the 90,000 job increase they have been expected.
Now, here`s the important thing. The job loss can be attributed a large part if not entirely to the impact of those enormous hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida last month which is something that I`m sure Donald Trump would have noted in a measured and responsible way if Hillary Clinton were President, don`t you think? When we come back, the smoking gun that proves just how far the President is going to undermine ObamaCare to raise your premiums. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: When people in Iowa begin to lose their health care, when their premiums shoot up, they`re going to be told blame ObamaCare. It is failing. It`s all Obama`s fault. And that would be a lie because we now know that President Trump personally intervened to stop Iowa`s own efforts to stabilize its markets and lower prices. The Washington Post reporting for months officials in Republican control Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. Trump`s message in late August was clear, tell Iowa no. I`m joined now by one of the Architects of ObamaCare, one of the administrators of it early on. Don Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. First I just want to start with your -- from your perch, how anomalous is it for the President to make a phone call to personally say do not grant a waiver.
DON BERWICK, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: Well, that`s meddling with the proper administrative processes for granting a waiver. It should be done under the procedures that are housed in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It`s really meddling. It`s technically wrong. He can`t have the information that the department would have about what`s truly going on, and it`s a terrible way to make regulations.
HAYES: Did Barack Obama ever do that with you?
BERWICK: Not to my memory. There were policy ideas, you know. Make sure that people who are at risk were covered. Make sure that the Affordable Care Act is faithfully implemented. But no, not at the level of an individual decision about a waiver or a state plan amendment or some of the procedures that should be housed within the department.
HAYES: What`s remarkable here is you`ve got a Republican state, and it`s also happened in Oklahoma, a Republican state saying, hey, we`re Republicans, you guys are Republicans. We`re maybe not crazy about the Affordable Care Act. You`re not crazy about the Affordable Care Act. But here`s what we do to here in the state of Iowa, in the state of Oklahoma, to make sure we smooth things out so premiums don`t go up. And they`re getting nagged by the White House.
What is the plausible policy reason?
BERWICK: It`s the administrative way to try to shoot down the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has a few problems with it that can be fixed. This is a very clear one. We know.
We know exactly how to make the exchanges function with proper administration, but having failed to pass a statute to repeal the Affordable Care Act, this administration has very systematically using administrative tools and intervention from the White House to take shots at it and try to dis-articulate the Affordable Care Act.
It is very threatening.
HAYES: What do you mean by that? Dis-articulate? What do you mean by that?
BERWICK: Piece by piece. In order to properly implement a law like the Affordable Care Act, you need energy, you need diligence so that the regulations are properly followed, you need interpretation of the regulations that honor the spirit of the law. You need the very fine bureaucracy, the people that really know what they`re doing to make those interpretations.
It`s possible and it`s happening from the White House to make it more and more difficult to do that.
For example, to make these exchanges work, we have to market them. We have to have well people, for example, sign up. The administration has cut the funding for marketing the exchanges by 90%. That`s a terrible way to undercut the success of the exchanges.
They`ve decreased the time that people have to enroll in Medicaid and Medicare and the open enrollment period by 50%, and they`ve just announced that they`re going to shut down the enrollment software for 12 hours a week during the open enrollment period.
This is impeding the proper administration of a law.
HAYES: Alright. Don Berwick, who knows from where he speaks. He was overseeing this in the earlier days. Thanks for your time tonight.
BERWICK: You`re welcome.
HAYES: Tonight my interview with Lin Manuel Miranda on his new song for Puerto Rico and why he says the president`s response was the definition of adding insult to injury.
Plus, Steve Mnuchin`s $800,000 tab in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it was just one week ago that Tom Price resigned after reports he had wracked up more than a million dollars in private charter and military jet flights.
But the seven days since Tom Price`s departure have brought the arrival of new charter jet scandals involving Trump cabinet secretaries.
On Monday, the inspector general of the Interior Department opened up an investigation into Ryan Zinke`s use of several charter planes on the tax payers dime.
Politico reporting the office has received numerous complaints about Zinke`s travel. One $12,000 trip from Las Vegas to his hometown in Montana and another trip in the Caribbbean.
EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt was already under investigation for his frequent travel to his home state of Oklahoma, but today the EPA inspector general announced it was expanding that existing probe to include all of Pruitt`s travel after recent disclosures that Pruitt had taken at least four non commercial and military flights, costing taxpayers more than $58,000.
And then there`s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin. Remember this photo? Him and his wife stepping off a government jet in Kentucky. Well, we now know Mnuchin has run up an $800,000 tab on government planes, and that is Thing Two in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So we found out last month that Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin requested a government plane for his honeymoon to Europe this summer, a request that was later withdrawn.
But even without the honeymoon charter, the Treasury Department Inspector General now reports that Mnuchin has run up an $800,000 tab for seven flights on military jets.
The inquiry found that he broke no laws in the use of the military aircraft, but lamented the loose justification provided for such costly flights. the infamous kentucky flight cost $20,000.
Case in point, the infamous Kentucky flight cost nearly $27,000. Mnuchin`s team they needed a military plane quote, "In the event that the secretary`s participation on a call during travel arises."
The IG`s report also noted this tidbit, while a $434,000 military jet to Miami in June was approved, the Treasury Department`s travel office sent a note to Mr. Mnuchin`s assistant that a round trip commercial flight would cost just $680.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: It`s been 16 days since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the island remains to this day and at this hour in a state of crisis. Nearly 90% of the more than 3 million Americans that remain without electricity, almost half still don`t have access to clean drinking water. P
President Trump`s visit to the island this week was widely criticized as tone deaf.
One of the critics over the weekend before he made the trip was composer, play write and actor Lin Manuel Miranda. But Lin has done more than criticize. He`s also raising funds for Move On, and now, through a new single he wrote and recorded with an all star cast of performers, and that song and the story behind it, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: That`s the new single out today written by Lin Manuel Miranda, recorded with a who`s who of Latino singers and entertainers. The song is part of a relief effort for Puerto Rico which is still struggling after the destruction of Hurricane Maria more than two weeks ago.
I had the chance to ask Lin Manuel how his family in Puerto Rico is coping with the state of the island.
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LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, COMPOSER: They`re okay. They`re you know, they`re -- it`s gritted teeth smiles is the way I describe it.
You know, the -- I have -- I have three cousins who I love more than anything who are on that island. My uncle and aunt are on that island. I have another great uncle on that island. One of my cousins was in the D.R. when it happened and could not go back home and she is staying with us here with us in New York. Everyone else is down there.
And you know, it`s -- what they put on a brave face for us, but at the same time I also know my cousin Kevin waited 12 hours in line for gas only to be told he could only take out $20 worth, which is barely enough to get back home.
Those are the stories that we`re hearing and those are the first hand accounts we`re hearing on the island of just -- everything is scarce. Water is scarce, food is scarce, supplies is scarce.
HAYES: And there`s a total lack -- I mean, from the people that I`ve been talking to on the island, or have come back from it, there is this total lack of normalcy, which is the most important thing to reestablish after disasters.
MIRANDA: Absolutely. My cousin, Camilla, who I mentioned is living with us now. She was studying for the MCATS before this thing. They`re not hosting the MCATS on Puerto Rico right now. Everyone is trying to stay alive and stay focused and keep their friends and loved ones alive.
We`re still very much in a crisis.
HAYES: First, tell me how the song came about. How did the set of events sort of -- we saw the hurricane was coming, and then it hit, and then what happened?
MIRANDA: Yeah. I was on vacation. I was on a long planned family reunion with my wife`s mom`s side of the family. They`re Austrian.
HAYES: In Austria, right?
MIRANDA: Yeah. I was in Austria.
HAYES: I was like, why are you in Austria.
MIRANDA: Yeah, my wife is half Austrian. We were at a big family reunion. And I experienced what every Puerto Rican who has ties to the island experienced, which was waiting for landfall, and then a horrible silence.
Some family members are still going through that silence. Many people are still waiting to hear --
HAYES: So no news in that first period?
MIRANDA: No news. I don`t think I heard from them until the weekend and the hurricane hit on Wednesday.
But anyway, a couple of things emerged. One, I have really -- feel very helpless as to how to help. Immediately I start writing music. Two, my Facebook feed and my Twitter feed, with all of my friends who have family on the island was filled with the names of towns. My grandmother is there, my son works in San Juan. Has anyone heard anything? There was a roll call of towns.
So I thought okay, if I could write something that would -- we could use to raise funds, that`s the lyric. Because anytime a Puerto Rican meets another Puerto Rican, they go okay, where are you from? And you say your town, because there are 78 towns in Puerto Rico.
And so my task as a song writer immediately became, okay, can I write a lyric that fits all 78 towns into a pop song, and then the other sort of component at the same time was I knew that Maria, the name would forever have this horrible connotation. This was the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rico`s history. So I began thinking of Maria from West Side Story because I`m in musical theater and that`s how my brain works.
And so, I kept thinking about the line, "Say it soft and it`s almost like praying," and that became the hook.
So my first call was to the Bernstein Estate for permission to use the song for Hurricane relief. To their incredible credit within an hour, they said yes. And so I started writing the song. And then I burned up my Rolodex --
HAYES: An incredible who`s who.
MIRANDA: A who`s who that really was the telephone chain. I mean, I`m recording with Rita Moreno and she said is Gloria Estefan on this song? And I go, I don`t have Gloria Estefan`s phone number. That`s not the thing people have. And she whips out her phone and Gloria is with us in the studio the next night.
It really was -- I mean, from idea to execution, it was about two weeks, which is an incredible testament to all of the artist involved who all said yes without having heard the song. They just said yes, we`ll do whatever we can, and some of them I knew very well. I`ve worked with Jennifer Lopez before, I`ve of course worked with Rita Moreno and some of whom I cold called on Twitter or in DMs and everyone just said yes.
HAYES: The 17-year-old was most excited about Fat Joe being on it.
HAYES: I know. My first thought was like, I bet you Lin is like --
MIRANDA: I mean, just incredible and really, you know, stepped up and did his bit and again, this -- one of the most heartbreaking things I read this weekend, and there is no shortage of heartbreaking things this week, Chris, was this article.
There was an article in Times, the headline is in Puerto Rico many towns feel forgotten, and this song will hopefully raise a lot of money for the much needed rebuilding that is going to happen. And not just rebuilding, getting out of crisis mode, but also make sure these towns never feel forgotten again.
HAYES: Forgotten, now you know, there is a sense in which, I think, Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but something like 45% of Americans don`t realize Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and then there is the conduct of the President of the United States.
I -- you and I have known each other a long time. I know you grew up in a household where your dad was in politics. You are a person that knows about politics and thinks about politics. If people seen Hamilton, they know that.
But your public profile is not particularly pointedly political.
MIRANDA: I mainly post audio snippets of my son making up songs and my dog being cute.
HAYES: There is also sort of relentless positivity. You`re not like a --
HAYES: You`re not a critic and you`re not an insult monger --
MIRANDA: No -- and there are people that do that very well, and I see my role as, you know, stay focused, stay aware. Stay engaged. But at the same time, come over here if you want to see a cute dog video.
HAYES: But then it was like I watched the president break you because it was like he had this outburst, you know, just this outburst. It was targeted against the San Paul mayor, it was targeted against the Puerto Rican people who aren`t doing things for themselves, and you had this, "You`re going straight. No lines for you. Someone will say right this way, sir, they will clear a path. About the mayor, she`s been working 24/7, you`ve been golfing. You`re going straight to hell. Fastest golf cart you ever took."
There is something arresting about it to me because it is not the way that you generally are.
MIRANDA: Yeah, that`s the only reason it made news, right?
HAYES: It was the cover of a local tabloid.
MIRANDA: Yeah, I don`t talk like that and at the same time, I`ve never seen the president attack the victims of a natural disaster. I`ve never seen a president attack the elected officials on the front line of a disaster. What other words can you say in the face of this thing?
HAYES: Do you feel like --
MIRANDA: Those weren`t impulsive tweets on my part. They were just all I had to offer.
HAYES: Do you feel that the president`s response to this has been insulting to Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans.
MIRANDA: It`s the definition of adding insult to injury, and at the same time, it`s -- it`s jaw dropping. This has been an unprecedented disaster and it deserves an unprecedented response with two other hurricanes that have also ravaged the United States of America. Puerto Rico is part of the USited States of America and the logistical challenges mean we need to be more ready when something -- not we`re so surprised at how hard this is turning out to be.
HAYES: And also -- to loop back to what you said about your cousin, right, it`s like you`ve got the supply chain problem and you`ve got a hard time getting things out. It`s like, well people -- so you wait online for 12 hours to get $20 worth of gas that gets you enough to drive back, so, you know, if you drive a truck, where are you getting that gas from? The people on the island are prisoners of the conditions of the island.
MIRANDA: And that`s been -- that`s the challenge because, you know, what I`ve seen and the images coming out of the island is nothing but the Puerto Ricans doing for themselves. It is this -- it has been an incredible effort and anecdotally the stories from my family of everyone sort of chipping in -- and, by the way, I have to say despite this weekend`s tweets by me, I`ve never believed more in the American people. I mean, go look at my Twitter feed. It`s kids breaking their piggy banks to donate. It`s people saying we decided to forgo our vacation and send our vacation money to Puerto Rico. It`s employers matching employees` funds and donations. If the response of the government the response of the people. We would be well on the road to recovery and that`s what we`re hoping for.
HAYES: And there is, you know, Puerto Rico was in dire straights in many ways before the hurricane hit. You can I have talked about the PROMESA Act, which was a way of sort of restructuring debt and appointed this board. It was necessary at the time to get it out of what was...
MIRANDA: Yeah, and did a lot of damage, as well because austerity -- you know, what is austerity to a bunch of kids who are trying to graduate college, you know, it`s -- I spoke up because the thought of lawsuits on top of the debt looming debt crisis was sort of too much to bear, but at the same time, the solution is not starving the Puerto Rican people.
And so it`s -- this hurricane then comes over and smashes on top of all of the looming infrastructure.
HAYES: And there is going to have to be -- there is going to have to be a sustained solution from fellow Americans that`s broader than just getting the grid working.
MIRANDA: Yeah. And we have to be very careful in the recovery that those same people saying we`ll chip in help and to further -- and we can`t go further into debt. I mean, that`s a huge problem. You can feel them circling in the air.
HAYES: They have been floating the idea of loans.
MIRANDA: Right. Insane. Insane. Insane. The answer to this is not more debt. And it`s a humanitarian crisis and we need all hands on deck.
HAYES: Tell me the money goes to the Hispanic Federation.
HAYES: And what is that so people know where their money...
MIRANDA: HispanicFederation.org. And it`s been around for 28 years. I have a great relationship with them. I worked with them previously after the shooting tragedy in Orlando when I worked with them before. That was for the victims of the family. And I -- what I like about it -- and again, don`t let the options paralyze you from giving. If UNICEF is your bag, great. Hispanic Foundation is mine, because I know where the money goes and they use their money very intelligently. They`re a very well rated non-for profit. And they work directly with local organizations. They`re in contact directly with the mayors. So, they go...
HAYES: So, they are sort of key figures. They have been getting what I feel like the most sort of intense ground eye view. It has often been through the mayors.
MIRANDA: Absolutely, the mayors who are -- I could tell you, the mayor of Agalpa (ph), he knows his constituents by name. He was my Aunt Jamila`s classmate. So, it`s that level of connection with your constituents, and that understanding of where the aid is going and how to get it there.
So, that`s why I work with them. And -- but again, there are many options. I`m not here to yuck anyone`s yum when it comes to giving when it comes to Puerto Rico.
HAYES: Doing this project, I`ve watched you sort of work on it -- you`ve been working on it basically night and day is my understanding.
What is next after this?
MIRANDA: I can`t think past this. No, I honestly can`t. It`s -- every creative project have is on hold until we get through this crisis until there is some -- until there is power, until there`s electricity, until there`s food, until there is the feeling that there is calm.
There is not a feeling of calm yet, and that`s the other thing that you want to encourage this feeling of calm so that there isn`t panic on the island.
HAYES: You know, Chris Christie -- actually I interviewed him sitting right there a few weeks ago and he was talking about post-Sandy. And he was just talking about normalcy. And one of the things he said and I`ve been thinking about this a lot is you`ve just got to get kids -- for instance, kids need to go back to school as soon as possible. That doesn`t strike me as a thing that`s going to be happening on the island of Puerto Rico for awhile. And it also strikes me that the sort of Puerto Rican diaspora in the States and fellow Americans who are not necessarily familially (ph) connected to the island should be thinking about how we are -- on the mainland -- are going to provide for people that want to leave the island or can`t send their kids to school there to welcome them in.
MIRANDA: Absolutely. Yeah, no. That`s all future chapters, but they are all worthy of talking about and considering because there are -- there are futures on the line and there is a generation -- there are generations of people on the island who deserve the same future as any other American citizen.
HAYES: What`s the song called and where can people find it?
MIRANDA: It`s called "Almost Like Praying." And it will be available -- it`s available wherever music is. The music goes -- the money goes -- they are faster if you buy it, but if you stream it, there is an opportunity to donate and, you know, it`s spread it far and wide.
HAYES: Almost like praying. Lin, great to see you.
MIRANDA: Great to see you. Thanks.
HAYES: Some of the outlets where you can now buy or stream "Almost Like Praying" include YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and more.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now with the winner of not one, but two TV news Emmies last night. Congratulations. Well deserved, Rachel.
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