Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 10, 2017 Guest: Gabriel Sherman, Dan Donovan, McKay Coppins, Betsy Woodruff, Gloria Allred, Kurt Bardella, Irin Carmon, Jess McIntosh
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you undercut the Secretary of State today with the I.Q. comment?
HAYES: The President floats an I.Q. test.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Bob Corker called the White House an adult day care center --
HAYES: Tonight multiple new detailed reports supporting the adult daycare method of managing the President and what it means for the country.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Senator Corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion.
HAYES: Then blockbuster new assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, FILM PRODUCER: Please come in. I`m everything, I`m a famous guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m feeling very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now.
HAYES: Why some of the most famous women in the world are coming forward. And in the age of Ailes and Cosby and Weinstein --
TRUMP: Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.
HAYES: Why some men pay a price and others don`t.
TRUMP: It`s like unbelievable.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chis Hayes. Since a Senior Republican Senator referred to the White House as an adult day care center, it has become increasingly clear that top officials in the White House view their job as taking care of the President of the United States. After the New York Times released audio of Senator Bob Corker, Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, telling the reporter the President`s volatile behavior could land us in World War III, the President responded this morning, where else but on Twitter, the one platform where aides can`t restrain his message. "The failing New York Times set little Bob Corker up by recording his conversation, was made to sound a fool and that`s what I`m dealing with." Like so many statements made by this President, that claim is false. According to audio released by the Times, Corker knew the phone interview was on the record and had a couple of aides on the line making a recording of their own.
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SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I know they`re recording it and I hope you are too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I am.
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HAYES: According to Reporter Jonathan Martin, after they got off the phone, Corker`s aides made sure he had recorded the call. Like the Senator, they wanted to ensure his extraordinary charges were precisely captured. As the President`s retaliatory tweet today demonstrates Twitter remains one of his few unsupervised activities and it`s apparently one he relishes. According to Politico, the President has on several occasions walked down to the Oval Office in the morning and told aides he knew they didn`t like the tweets he sent earlier. They`re not Presidential, I know, he said, with a mocking tone on the word Presidential. It`s just one example of how the President chafes against efforts by his aides and advisers to restrain his impulsive outbursts and defuse the ticking time bomb in the Oval Office.
Politico reports today in the various indirect method used by White House official including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to coax the President away from a disastrous decision. Delaying the decision would give Priebus and others a chance to change his mind or bring in advisers to speak with Trump, and in some cases to ensure Trump would drop the idea altogether and move on. It`s the exact dynamic around the President that Senator Coker described in his interview with the Times. "I know for a fact every single day at the White House, it`s a situation of trying to contain him." Current Chief of Staff John Kelly already implemented new systems to control what the President reads, who he sees in the Oval Office.
Now, he`s reportedly moving to lock things down on the President`s own turf. Vanity Fair reporting that Kelly has a new strategy to contain Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort he likes to call the winter White House where the President has been known to mingle freely with guests and occasionally discuss matters of the absolute highest national security at dinner. But amid rumors of increasing tension between Kelly and the President, that plan could backfire. We`ve seen how this President responds to being reined in. In an interview with the Washington Post, one Trump confidant likened the President whistling teapot saying that when he does not blow off steam he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode. I think we`re in pressure cooker territory, the confidant said. Gabe Sherman broke the story on John Kelly`s Mar-a-Lago strategy for Vanity Fair and he joins me now. What have you learned about -- even the fact that there is a Mar-a-Lago strategy, says something about where things are right now.
GABRIEL SHERMAN, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, VANITY FAIR: Yes, I think you put it really well. I mean, this is -- we`re in uncharted waters. We have a White House where the staff views the President, let`s be blunt, almost as a national security risk. And their job as Senator Corker said on the record is to prevent World War III. And I`ve heard people at the highest levels talk about how General Kelly and Secretary Mattis and others you know, really view their job as keeping Trump from putting us into some sort of conflagration.
HAYES: I want to take a moment to just absorb how insane all this is.
SHERMAN: It is, it`s mind-blowing.
HAYES: I mean, you have almost an open secret in Washington that Bob Corker`s now saying.
SHERMAN: Yes. I just want to you know, sort of put into context the conversation I had with a prominent Republican today who literally was saying that they imagine General Kelly and Secretary Mattis have had conversations that if Trump launched for the nuclear football, what would they do, would they tackle him? I mean, literally physically restrain him, from putting the country at sort of perilous risk? And that is the kind of situation we`re in so yes --
HAYES: Wait, that`s the conversation you had with a very senior Republican musing about what would --
SHERMAN: Who knows that -- who is talking about these are the conversations that they have very good authority, are taking place inside the White House. And now, what I would say is that this Mar-a-Lago strategy is a sort of emblematic of how General Kelly does not want the President to be out of his sight. And I think that`s a very serious story that all of us should be talking about.
HAYES: The idea being that -- I mean, this is one of the recurring themes, that there -- that the President who is -- it`s not crazy to say the most powerful person in the world.
HAYES: And has the authority to precipitate nuclear war.
SHERMAN: Of course.
HAYES: Order first strikes. That there`s this fear that like the wrong impulse --
SHERMAN: Of course.
HAYES: Input will set him off?
SHERMAN: Of course, I mean, whether it`s an errant tweet or who knows what it is, something he saw on cable news. I mean, this is a very volatile man and the staff around him is trying to contain him. And General Kelly, thankfully, has been able to keep the wheels on the train. But the risk is that General Kelly, and you see it on his face, whether he was facepalming during Trump`s U.N. speech. I mean, this is a man who shows up to work every day really -- he`s doing this for the duty of the country. He`s not enjoying his job, people around him tell me. And so, how long this relationship can stay together, I think is a big question. And something that everyone in both Washington and the country should care about.
HAYES: Well, let me -- let me play skeptic here for a second. I wonder sometimes like, are we being spun by people close to the aides of the President as a kind of like covering maneuver, to be like, well, it`s not us, believe us, it`s the -- you know, we`re trying to keep this guy in line.
SHERMAN: Well, I mean, that -- everyone around Kelly speaks to his character and his stature and his integrity. So I don`t think this is the case behind the scenes they`re sort of egging him on. I genuinely think they are trying to a daily basis to do the right thing. That said, we`re in a situation where the President thinks of himself as someone you know, someone who is not beholden to advisers. I mean, this again is uncharted water. I think the question will be is you know, going into the sort of pressure cooker of trying to get tax reform and others. You know, if the President seems like he has nothing to lose, what does he do next? I mean, if he can`t get any legislative agenda coming up on the one-year deadline of his first year in office, what happens?
HAYES: Do they feel that, you think in the White House?
SHERMAN: Oh, clearly, without question, they know the clock is ticking. That`s why you`re seeing the drumbeat of stories. The pressure inside is ratcheting up.
HAYES: All right, Gabe Sherman, amazing reporting, thank you for sharing that.
SHERMAN: Yes. Thank you.
HAYES: Congressman Dan Donovan is a Republican from New York representing Staten Island and Brooklyn. I don`t know where to start. Let me start with this. Do you agree with Senator Corker`s characterization of the White House as an adult day carry center?
REP. DAN DONOVAN (R), NEW YORK: No, not at all, Chris. I mean, listen, the American public elected one person to be leader of the free world, that`s Donald Trump. And he surrounds himself with great advisers like John Kelly. I knew General Kelly when he testified before my Homeland Security Committee. The President has great trust in General Mattis. He surrounds himself with leaders. He takes their advice. But let`s face it. They advise the President of the United States, but it`s the President`s choice. He sets the agenda. He sets the policy. And it`s up to the people around him to carry that out.
HAYES: So when Bob Corker says he knows for a fact they`re trying to contain him, on when he says that the majority of the caucus agrees with Corker, the President essentially has to be contained. Do you think Corker is lying?
DONOVAN: I`m not saying he`s lying, I don`t know where Senator Corker gets his information from. All I know is I`ve known Donald Trump for 20 years. And he`s very frustrated that nothing`s getting done during -- on his agenda. He set out a very ambitious agenda, Chris. He want to do health care, he wanted to do tax reform, and he want to do infrastructure all in the first year of his Presidency because he realized that in a two-year election cycle like we run in the House, you get more things done in the first year than you do in the second year. So I think he`s getting frustrated. He`s using the bully pulpit to try to push his agenda forward. And you -- as you have seen, Chris, he`s even talking to Democrats to see if he can make deals to get more --enough people on board that he can get some of these things passed to the American public. He promised the American public he would make America`s interests first and he would make America great again and I think he`s just getting frustrated.
HAYES: So you think -- you think the reporting, you the on the record statements by a senior member of your party in the Senate, Bob Corker, and the constant drumbeat of reporting in which aides to the President speak about him in terms of someone who has to be controlled, a wayward toddler, volatile, you think all of that is wrong and invented, the whole corpus of that is just people with bias or making it up?
DONOVAN: I think no, I think you said it before, Chris. Are we getting spin from insiders or people around? Are we getting accurate information? You hear people saying that. You hear people saying that the President wants to move the agenda forward. So, Chris, you`re getting different interpretations and you said before about his tweets. The President does that so he can get his message unfiltered out to the public without anybody interpreting --
HAYES: But then when -- what do you think? I mean, honestly, it`s just -- what do you think? When you wake and up and you see that he called Bob Corker little Bob Corker and he said the New York Times set him up, and that`s clearly not true, that`s an untrue statement. It`s belied by tape, we can agree on that. I just wonder what`s your reaction as a Republican member of Congress?
DONOVAN: Well, the President has always had nicknames to a lot of people. And today everybody`s making a big deal about how he`s comparing his I.Q. to other people. Those things are the President`s way of making some things -- just making them down to earth. And so I think he`s not getting the credit he deserves for trying to get this country moving forward --
HAYES: Right, but ultimately -- I`m not -- I understand you want to talk about the agenda and the items that you agree with him on that agenda. He has no tangible legislative achievements. Ultimately the buck does stop with the President, right?
DONOVAN: The President sets the agenda. He needs help from Congress. We have to do tax reform. And we`re in the process of doing that. Nobody`s reporting that. It took Reagan five years. He did tax cuts in `81, he did tax reform in `86. And even when he put out his tax plan, it took 18 months to pass. The President made his speech about tax reform and the framework of that two weeks ago --
HAYES: But Congressman -- right -- but Congressman, I mean, we`re -- tax reform, sure. That`s the newest thing but there was infrastructure before that as you noted, there was health care which was a failure, there`s been talk about the wall which still isn`t funded. I mean, the entirety of the President`s legislative agenda is stalled you would admit?
DONOVAN: No, we passed the budget that includes the funding for the agenda. The other -- includes funding for the wall --
HAYES: Right. (INAUDIBLE) though.
DONOVAN: Chris? Yes, but these are movements. And certainly health care, I don`t know that the president --
HAYES: See, I just -- but you just think -- so you just fundamentally don`t -- you don`t buy this whole notion that Kelly and Tillerson and Mattis and all these people are just sitting there trying to mind this man that they fundamentally think is so volatile they might have to tackle him if he goes for the nuclear football?
DONOVAN: I don`t think so. I think Rex Tillerson, General Mattis, and General Kelly, are advising the President using their years of experience to give him the best advice that they could give him, and that they`re going to carry out his mission.
HAYES: Well, I hope -- I hope you`re right and the reporting`s wrong. Congressman Dan Donovan of Staten Island, I appreciate you being here tonight.
DONOVAN: Good to be with you, Chris. Always. Thank you.
HAYES: McKay Coppins is a Staff Writer at the Atlantic, Betsy Woodruff is a Politics Reporter of the Daily Beast. I mean, McKay, it seems like we`ve sort of turned a corner. I don`t know whether it`s because more things are coming out or because the Tillerson battle with the President has gotten so intense or it`s because Corker finally said this thing on the record. But I feel like this perspective is essentially an open secret in Washington among lobbyists, Hill aides, and people who report on politics.
MCKAY COPPINS, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Anybody, any reporter, Betsy would agree with this, I`m sure, who has spent time talking to Republicans on the Hill this year, has heard the sentiments expressed by Corker and in much more vivid terms. You know, it is an open secret in Washington. It has been for a long time. I think that a couple of things are happening. One of the reasons we`re talking about it now is that Corker does seem genuinely alarmed or at least a lot of people on the Hill I know are genuinely alarmed about Trump`s battle with Rex Tillerson and the implications that could have on North Korea and the threat of, as he says, World War III.
The other thing that`s happening is that a lot of Republicans, you`ll recall this during the election, said that Donald Trump was going to be different as a President than he was as a candidate. And I think not everyone believed it but at least some of those Republicans believed it because they had gone through the same trajectory. They had said outlandish things on the campaign trail, promised an anti-establishment insurgency, gotten into office and then kind of conformed somewhat to the norms of Washington. They`re seeing that Trump hasn`t done that and I think it`s alarming a lot of people.
HAYES: To the Tillerson point about you made in about the stakes here, just to give people the context in case they hadn`t seen this quote, and Congressman Donovan referred to it with Forbes asked about the moron comment that was reported here at NBC and confirmed by other people. "I think it`s fake news but if he did that, I guess we`ll have compare -- I.Q. tests and can tell you who is going to win" which the White House later said it was a joke. He also said he didn`t undercut anyone. And Betsy, that to me is the thing that I think it`s easy to lose sight of the stakes here. And the reason Corker is speaking out is that you heard what Gabe Sherman said. I mean, ultimately he`s threatening North Korea over Twitter. He`s about to decertify the Iran deal. You`ve got two massively high-stakes nuclear issues on the table. The President is treating the way that he treated running against Ted Cruz in the primary.
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICS REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Right. These are extraordinarily consequential issues and it`s kind of easy to talk about the language that`s being used. You know, Corker`s tweet about adult day care and treat this like it`s a situation that`s kind of amusing. But many of the top-level, long-term Republican operatives that I talk to about this Presidency don`t treat it like it`s funny. I get a sense of grief, right?
HAYES: No, they`re scared. They`re literally scared.
WOODRUFF: Grief and deep concern, exactly. Yes. And I think it`s important that people recognize that. When it comes to looking at what happened between Trump and Corker, I had a number of conversations over the course of the day with people familiar with his thinking. And the sense that I get from those conversations is that Charlottesville was a really important moment for Corker in terms of shifting how he talked about Trump. Now, he hadn`t been shy about criticizing Trump prior to that but when that happened, that`s when Corker first said that he thought Trump hadn`t yet evinced the stability to be President. He really went after Trump as an individual in terms of his character, in terms of whether or not he as a human being was able, at that particular moment, to lead this country.
And then the Tillerson piece of this is also really important. Corker is one of the few people on Capitol Hill to actually have a close, productive working relationship with Tillerson. He Chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. When the President goes after Tillerson, when he tweets, said, he`s wasting his time, when he sort of pooh-poohs the work of the State Department, my understanding is that`s something that very much rankles Tillerson -- rankles Corker. Corker and staff have put a lot of time and energy into trying to help Tillerson, trying to help him manage these really complex issues, including Iran and North Korea. For Corker to watch the President turn around and just torch all that can`t be easy.
HAYES: And part of the -- I mean, part of the stakes here, to Betsy`s point McKay about this sort of -- the kind of policy vacuum, and whether it`s DACA, which Stephen Miller is basically destroying by himself on the Hill, like you just get the sense that there`s just total vacuum about what the agenda is and what the -- what the government`s going to do, and it`s filled by the impulsivity of the man at the top who at any moment could careen off course based on whatever stimulus he receives.
COPPINS: Well, this is I think also one of the reasons that you`re starting to see Republicans like Corker more willing to speak out. I mean, also let`s be clear here. Corker is also retiring. That`s a big reason that he`s able to speak out.
COPPINS: But that doesn`t mean the substance of his critique doesn`t matter. I think the thing that`s happening, though, as you mentioned it earlier, the legislative agenda is a disaster. The -- we`re -- it`s entirely possible that we`ll get to the end of this year without a single legislative accomplishment from the -- from the Trump Presidency and this Republican Congress. And Republicans on Capitol Hill who were willing to hold their nose, bite their tongue, for months when it came to Donald Trump, because they wanted their tax cuts, because they wanted their ObamaCare repeal, are starting to say, look, if we`re not going to get anything done, then I have a lot less incentive here to hold my -- hold my criticism to myself.
HAYES: McKay Coppins and Betsy Woodruff, thank you.
WOODRUFF: Sure thing.
COPPINS: Thank you.
HAYES: Tonight the explosive sexual assault and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the audio recording of a police sting, and the household names that are now coming forward. Attorney Gloria Allred`s client said she left the industry after encountering Weinstein. I`ll talk with Allred herself about that story more next.
HAYES: One week ago Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in all of Hollywood, one of the most powerful men Hollywood has ever known. Today, he`s being condemned by everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to President Obama, he`s been fired from the company he founded after a series of just absolutely stunning published reports. Weinstein now stands accused of decades of sexual harassment, assault, and according to three women, rape. The New York Times first reported last week that eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, accused Weinstein of harassment, including appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself.
Then today, Ronan Farrow reports in the New Yorker, about more than a dozen accusations against Weinstein, three that go beyond sexual harassment to allegations of rape. Farrow who`s also NBC News Contributor, calls Weinstein`s behavior well-known among colleagues writing 16 former and current executive and assistants at Weinstein`s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associates with Weinstein`s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models.
One of the women is Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. She was 22 when she first met Weinstein in 2015 and went to the NYPD after she says he groped her in his office. The following audio obtains the by the New Yorker and published was reportedly recorded the next day as part of the sting operation. Ambra agreed to meet Weinstein and spoke with him in the hallway of his Hotel as he tries to pressure her to go to his room as she repeatedly refuses.
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WEINSTEIN: I`m not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. I`m everything. I`m a famous guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m feeling very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now, and one minute, and if you want to leave, when the guy comes with my jacket --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why yesterday you touch my breast.
WEINSTEIN: Please, I`m sorry. Just come on in. I`m used to that. Come on. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re used to that?
WEINSTEIN: Yes. Come in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I`m not used to that.
WEINSTEIN: I won`t do it again. Come on. Sit here. Sit here for a minute, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t want to.
WEINSTEIN: If you do this now you will (INAUDIBLE). Bye. Never call me again. OK? I`m sorry, nice to have --I promise you I won`t do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. But yesterday was too much for me.
WEINSTEIN: The guy is coming, I will never do another thing to you. Five minutes. Don`t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.
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HAYES: No criminal charges were ultimately filed in that case. A spokesperson for Weinstein denies -- says he denies any allegations of non- consensual sex and says he never retaliated against women who rejected his advances. But it does not stop there. In yet another blockbuster story today, the New York Times revealed, even more, accusations against Weinstein, now including on the record a-list Oscar-winning Hollywood actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
A number of outlets, more than 20 women have now accused Weinstein of everything from harassment to flat-out rape. The women range from Paltrow and Jolie to women who left the entertainment industry entirely, in some cases they say because of Weinstein. Attorney Gloria Allred is representing one of Weinstein`s accusers, former Actress and Screenwriter Louisette Geiss. She`s also the mother of Attorney Lisa Bloom, who had been advising Weinstein before resigning from that role on Saturday. Miss Allred, your client is someone --tell me what the accusations she has against Weinstein.
GLORIA ALLRED, REPRESENTS LOUISETTE GEISS: Well, what she reported in her news conference today was that he invited her to pitch a screenplay that she had done to him, that they started out in the restaurant, that the restaurant then said, well, they`re closing, and that he indicated that she should come up to his office and the office was in the hotel. This was at the Sundance Film Festival, Chris. And that -- and that she had heard rumors and she said that she asked Mr. Weinstein in front of a camera at the hotel to promise and swear that he would not do anything, essentially, to her, if in fact, she went up to his office in the hotel room.
She indicated that he did do that and that she went up to the hotel room, to the office, and they continued to discuss her pitch for her screenplay. And then she reported in the news conference this morning, she alleged that he came out in a bathrobe. In her words, she said "buck naked." And her allegation was that he wanted her to watch him masturbate which she did not want to do. She was able to get out of there but that was a very disturbing situation for her, very upsetting. And that she spoke out today because she knows there are many others still who have allegations against Mr. Weinstein but who do not want to go public because it may be that they`re afraid of retaliation, or for other reasons having to do with the industry.
And so she felt that she wanted people to know that we have a process that we`ve invited Mr. Weinstein to participate in. Because you know, in addition to the therapy that he indicated he would be getting and the pain that he has acknowledged that he has been responsible for, for some women, we`d like to invite him to help to provide justice for any person who is alleging that she`s a victim of Mr. Weinstein. And so we`re inviting him to waive, in other words, give up and agree not to assert the statute of limitations which is an affirmative defense, in other words, saying it`s too late to file a claim if this happened years ago.
ALLRED: And to agree with us on a retired judge who could then conduct a trial, that`s an arbitration. And then decide after the alleged victims can present their evidence, Mr. Weinstein can present his defenses, who the judge finds should prevail. If they find that the victims have presented a preponderance of the evidence and should prevail, then the judge can decide damages according to proof at trial. If, in fact, the judge finds in favor of Mr. Weinstein, then, in fact, he can announce that publicly. So he`ll have due process. The alleged victims will have due process. And then that`s a fair system to be -- have these allegations resolved, not the court of public opinion only but in an actual legal process.
HAYES: He seems like he has retained attorneys and is going to fight this. Even if he expressed contrition in that first statement and had retained your daughter, who has parted ways with him, I know you were asked about that this morning and said you guys have different decisions on different cases. But that doesn`t -- it seems to me like he`s going to fight this tooth and nail. Is that your expectation?
ALLRED: Well, my daughter is with a separate law firm and so she`s not representing the accusers, I am. And I love her and respect her and she can represent whomever she wishes because that`s her own law firm, not mine. But -- and I know she`ll make good judgments about that. What do I expect him to do and through his lawyers? Well, this is actually a very reasonable process, as far as we`re concerned, very fair --
ALLRED: -- to everyone involved. And I think it would help him to restore his reputation because I think, Chris, it`s likely that Harvey Weinstein is going to want to come back and produce films in Hollywood even if it`s not through the Weinstein company. And so this will be an important positive step forward where he can reach, we hope, a positive outcome on these numerous claims against him. And it`s good for many of the alleged victims too because some of them don`t want to speak out publicly. Some of them just would like to have access to justice and this help.
HAYES: Well, I anticipate we`re going to hear from more of them. Gloria Allred, thanks for joining me.
ALLRED: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Still to come, Kellyanne Conway and others are bizarrely trying to score political points on the Harvey Weinstein scandal but have they forgotten who was elected President? Irin Carmon and Jess McIntosh join me ahead.
HAYES: Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, and Breitbart website chairman, went on Fox News last night to level threats against, well, pretty much the entire Republican Party. On the heels of a Senate primary victory in Alabama, backing the theocrat Roy Moore, Bannon now says he`s going to support primary challenges to almost every single Republican Senator next year with one very notable exception.
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STEVE BANNON, CHAIRMAN, BREITBART: Remember, I said I`m going after the Republican establishment. And we`re going to go after them. We`re going to challenge as a coalition...
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Give me the states.
BANNON: There`s a coalition coming together that`s going to challenge every Republican incumbent except for Ted Cruz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Huh, except for Ted Cruz. Why does Ted Cruz get an exception? And why incidentally are you once again wearing two button-down shirts under a blazer? You mean this Ted Cruz?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Lyin` Ted. You`re a liar. Bible high, bible high. Puts it down and then he lies.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: Donald, you`re a sniveling coward, leave Heidi the hell alone.
This man is a pathological liar. He doesn`t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.
(END VIDEO CLPI)
HAYES: So, why is Ted Cruz, of all people, getting the gloves-off treatment? Well, people familiar with Bannon`s plans told Bloomberg that Cruz is considered conservative enough and is thought to be moving toward the populist approach Bannon favors, maybe.
But there`s something else you need to know. You see, Bannon and Cruz share a patron, someone who Bannon, despite all his bravado, appears utterly unwilling to cross: the reclusive conspiracy-mongering billionaire behind Ted Cruz, Steve Bannon, and the Trump agenda right after this.
HAYES: Steve Bannon says he`s going to target every Senate Republican running for re-election next year except Ted Cruz. And if you`re wondering why that might be, it helps to know that Ted Cruz and Steve Bannon have a mutual friend. This guy, reclusive hedge fund billionaire named Robert Mercer who is now probably the single most important donor in all of GOP politics, and possibly all of all politics.
Mercer gave Bannon $10 million to make Breitbart what it is today, gave another $11 million to a super PAC backing Ted Cruz during the GOP presidential primaries, which means both men effectively answer to him. When Cruz dropped out of the presidential race, Mercer and his daughter Rebecca redirected the super PAC, which incidentally was being run by Kellyanne Conway, to support Donald Trump instead.
Now, the Mercer`s family`s connections to Trump, the Breitbart movement, and the alt-right go very deep. They reportedly funded alt-right provocateur and former Breitbart staffer Milo Yiannopoulos last seen by All In viewers singing America the Beautiful at a Dallas bar while white nationalists gave Nazi salutes.
According to the New Yorker, Mercer also invested some $5 million in Cambridge Analytica, that`s a Bannon connected voter research firm that worked for the Trump campaign. And Mercer, Robert Mercer himself, is shall we say, quite the character.
The New Yorker reported that people who know Mercer say that he believes Bill and Hillary Clinton have been involved in murders and that black people are better off economically before the civil rights movement and that humans have no inherent value other than how much money they make.
According to one former employee, Bob thinks the less government the better. He`s happy if people don`t trust the government. And if the president`s a bozo, he`s fine with that. He wants it to all fall down.
I`m joined now by the former spokesperson for Breitbart News, Kurt Bardella.
Kurt, how instrumental are the Mercers as sort of the force behind Breitbart?
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER BREITBART NEWS SPOKESPERSON: Well, they`re the life blood of it, really. Because at the end of the day what matters in politics are outcomes of elections. And the way you get there is with resources and money.
The reason why people are taking Steve Bannon`s attack and assault against the Republican establishment so seriously is because they know it`s not just Steve Bannon, it`s Steve Bannon with a benefactor that has very deep and unlimited pockets and resources to put into these type of elections and races and make them at the least competitive, if not to outright have enough money on win them.
So, it`s one thing when you just have a lunatic like Steve Bannon and Breitbart at the fringes putting up ridiculous headlines, it`s another when they have enough money to build an entire political action network that can be incredibly effective in the political process.
HAYES: Well, and there`s also the fact -- I mean, going back through the sort of reporting today, I guess I didn`t quite grasp, or I did but had sort of forgotten, how crucial they were financially to Breitbart going from essentially a collection of blogs to being a media company. I mean, they were the sort of -- they staked it, the money and capital it needed to become the platform that it would become.
BARDELLA: Right. But remember, in the wake, in the immediate aftermath of Andrew Breitbart`s passing, there was a lot of questions: what would happen to Breitbart? Would it survive? Is it really a viable platform without their namesake behind it and active? And all of a sudden, here come the Mercers with their deep pockets really giving Breitbart that second lease on life, and in fact giving them the resources that made them even more impactful having even more of an audience, being able to use social media to grow their following.
They are so much more impactful because of this money. And we`re seeing now them deploy that. They`re not just a media company really functionally. Now they`re a political action network.
HAYES: Well, that`s -- and I think that`s the key point here. I mean, this is the -- the Mercers have made a variety of investments. They have a variety of properties they`ve invested in that are all sort of working in concert.
I mean, you`ve got reporting that Rebecca Mercer would call up someone at Breitbart and say she wants them to do a story on a conservative whose app has been kicked out of the iTunes store, and lo and behold there it is, and Bannon writes an email being like this is a victory.
So, they have these sort of avenues for their political intervention, whether it`s a super PAC, it`s Bannon, it`s Breitbart, it`s money the candidates, Cambridge Analytica, it`s a pretty diverse portfolio.
BARDELLA: Right. And it creates basically this self-sustaining echo chamber where they can go from crazy on the fringe conspiracy theory, to putting it on the pages of Breitbart, to reaching the president of the United States. I mean, one of the most terrifying anecdotes so far in the new Kelly regime at the White House is Trump had asked, where`s my Breitbart News?
Think about that. The commander-in-chief wants to get his information from platforms that are basically self-sustaining propaganda machines. That`s terrifying.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. I followed your career for a while, and watched you go through various iterations. The way you`re talking about Breitbart right now is hard to square with you working there. I mean, how do you come to -- you`re talking about this place as sort of this contemptible hornet`s nest of conspiracy theories and deleterious actions to the country, like when did you realize that?
BARDELLA: So I`m sure a lot of your audience right now is wondering, how can Chris have this guy on who worked at Breitbart. And the truth is this: when I first came across Breitbart, it was after Andrew had died, and Steve had talked about wanting to build a platform that told and chronicled the story that was going on on the center-right. And there was a lot going on there and I felt, yeah, that story should be told, that`s interesting.
What I didn`t sign up for, and didn`t realize I was getting into, was someone that was as frankly crazy as Steve is, who also had this political agenda and wanted to build this ecosystem to prop up someone like Donald Trump.
And when I saw that happening that`s when I decided I need to get out of this, this isn`t right for me. I don`t want to be a part of this. I don`t feel good about this. And so I made the decision to resign and become a -- to speak out and tell as much of the truth as I can about who these people really are.
HAYES: Do you view -- do you view Bannon and Breitbart and the sort of Trump world as essentially a kind of united front from -- backed by the Mercers?
BARDELLA: Yes. And I think the key thing is they have -- Bannon has said this -- his goal is to destroy the establishment, to destroy the pillars of the establishment that keep this republic going. And the fact that it goes from Bannon to people that are as funded with Mercers and the resources all the way to the White House, that is an incredibly dangerous alliance that can do a lot of damage to this country.
HAYES: All right, Kurt Bardella, thanks for being with me tonight.
BARDELLA: Thanks for having me on, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up next, a very quotable Thing One, Thing Two. You don`t want to miss it.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the president`s use of punctuation. You may have seen the president tweet that he launched at Bob Corker this morning in which he called the Tennessee Republican Little Bob Corker. You may have also noticed in addition to the nontraditional spelling of little, there`s a spray apostrophe after the "e" there. Now, that`s not a big deal, but we spotted another Trump trend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You have Lyin` Ted Cruz. I call him -- I nicknamed him Lyin`. I say lyin`. How would you spell that? L-Y-E-N with a big apostrophe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: All right, one of our favorite internet things are sites that collect unnecessary quotation marks seen out in the world. Some examples, a sign written please use "caution" on the stairs. Smart lipo by a "real" plastic surgeon. If you are "pregnant" please inform the technician.
So, good for what laugh, no harm done. But if you are looking for unnecessary quotation marks, we found the mother lode: the Twitter feed of the president of the United States. Donald Trump quoted "just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower. There`s absolutely no need to put the phrase "wires tapped" in quotes marks unless he meant something else by wiretapped?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And don`t forget, when I say wiretap, those words were in quotes. That really covers, because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff, but that really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that`s a very important thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m not sure that`s what quotation marks are for. But wait, there`s more. If the ban were announced with a one-week notice the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there. If the press would cover me accurately and honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." And intelligence agencies should never allow this fake news to, quote, "leak" into the public.
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TRUMP: So with all of the people coming in, we`re going to have problems like you wouldn`t believe. You just watch. And she wants 550 percent more coming in from Syria than the thousands and thousands that our "president," quote, "president" has coming in.
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HAYES: Over the past year, arguably the most powerful men in media, in Hollywood, and in politics, have all been accused by multiple women of various degrees of predatory sexual behavior. Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO Fox News channel, was forced out after multiple accusations of misconduct, which he denied.
Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own company over the weekend after further accusations surfaced, which he denies. And then there`s the President of the United States, almost exactly one year ago the famous Access Hollywood was released, which we don`t need to play because everyone remembers that tape and what transcends in it.
But what is not always remembered is what happened right after that tape was released. Woman after woman came forward, nearly a dozen in all, accusing Donald Trump of inappropriate behavior and sexual assault. The New York Times spoke with accusers like Jessica Leeds who said Donald Trump groped her during a flight in the early 1980s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA LEEDS, TRUMP ACCUSER: It wasn`t until they cleared the meal that somehow or another the armrest in the seat disappeared, and it was a real shock when all of a sudden his hands were all over me.
I hesitate to use this expression, but I`m going to and that is he was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms. He was all over the place. When he started putting his hand up my skirt and that was it. That was it. I was out of there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The other thing we seem to have collectively forgotten is the way the presidential candidate, who denied all the accusations, attacked the women who accused him.
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TRUMP: When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said I don`t think so. I don`t think so. Whoever she is, wherever she comes from, the stories are total fiction.
I was sitting with him on an airplane and he went after me on the plane.
Yeah, I`m going to go after you. Believe me, she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you. Man. You don`t know. That would not be my first choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here is what Trump said about other women who accused him of sexual assault.
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TRUMP: She`s right. She`s a liar. She is a liar. She`s writing a story. Check out her Facebook page. You`ll understand.
Hey, one came out recently where I was sitting alone in some club. I was sitting alone by myself like this. And then I went wah to somebody.
Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Irin Carmon is a contributing writer to the Washington Post Outlook and Jess Mcintosh, a senior adviser back in the day to 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, currently the executive editor for Shareblue.
What do you -- how are you processing or thinking about the Weinstein story a year after that story about the president?
JESS MCINTOSH, FMR HILLARY SENIOR ADVISOR: Yeah. Watching those clips was tough. I haven`t seen those since --
HAYES: They`re pretty bad.
MCINTOSH: I remember that week on the campaign. That was, I think, the hardest week psychologically on the campaign. And it was funny because you would watch SNL that night and they would cut to us partying and popping champagne. That was not the mood.
There was a lot of women in that office and listening to the cheers as that man suggested that these women were too unattractive to assault. There was no political upside to that. The fact that -- we didn`t even know he was going to win at this point, but the fact that somebody had come that far with that kind of backing making that kind of statement already showed that we were much farther gone as a country than I had previously realized.
I think at this point aside from the perpetrator`s, for the most part we believe -- there are decades of women who all come forward with the same story at this point, thank god, we tend to believe them as a society.
And I think that people believe that this happened, they just didn`t care enough to not elect him.
IRIN CARMON, THE WASHINTON POST: When he said in that Access Hollywood tape, he said something like when you`re a star, they just let you do it. The women, the 53% of white women, the majority of men who voted for him, proved that right. They proved that there would be no consequences for it, and that`s why I think it`s so extraordinary that we see these latent consequences now finally.
HAYES: For Weinstein. But do you think they -- Jess said that they believed him but didn`t care. Do you think that that`s true or that they didn`t believe it?
CARMON: I think for the most part that they believe that that is how men behave.
CARMON: Even Harvey Weinstein, no one would say it`s okay to do what he`s alleged to do which is rape three women. But what did people say about Harvey Weinstein all those years. They knew he was a creep. They knew he liked pretty girls.
This is such an entrenched part of the culture that this is the way men behave towards women that I think that we`ve normalized it.
HAYES: So the Weinstein story sent me back to a GQ profile of Ted Kennedy, right, because I`ve been thinking about this. There`s on the record accusations of him sexually assaulting a waitress there. She`s called up into a room. She is tackled on to a table. This is published in GQ, and for years conservatives have screamed bloody murder about Ted Kennedy, and there was some part I think of people who think, but I like Ted Kennedy and I like his politics and I`m willing to look the other way.
I feel like when I think about Trump, there is some impulse to be like, wait, but he`s -- no. It can`t be true about him.
CARMON: Excuse away the worst parts of it but then say well, fine, nobody is perfect. This is not about the moral character. This is about the positions that he takes. I mean, that`s the classic Bill Clinton conundrum, and ironically the only person who really paid the price for that was Hillary Clinton.
HAYES: Right, which is one of the most gross parts of that.
MCINTOSH: Obviously, systemic misogyny is not a party line issue. It`s not even a male female issue, that`s why you call it systemic. But there is in fact a partisan point that I think needs to be made. When we talk about Roger Ailes or Bill O`Reilly or Donald Trump, these men who have these values who treat women this way have become somehow the bloodstream of the modern Republican party and it is seen in the policies that they enact that are also intended to make women feel powerless.
HAYES: But the argument from conservatives about Weinstein, and they have been running with the Weinstein story because I think they think it validates them, is that this guy gave a hundred thousand dollars to Planned Parenthood --
MCINTOSH: Weinstein gave a few million dollars to Democratic causes over the course of a decade. Roger Ailes became the architect of the modern Republican party, the most important piece of infrastructure that they have is Fox News.
CARMON: I would also invite these conservatives over to feminist land, where in this universe we`ve been critiquing --
HAYES: 100%, yes.
CARMON: Right? So, it`s not the same to say that liberals have excused Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. If you look hard enough and you actually listen to what feminist are saying, present company included, you can hear there is a critique.
It`s not a male female thing, but in a society where men have the monopoly on power and especially in television, in entertainment where very few people have the power to decide whether somebody gets work or not, and it`s a very subjective assessment where looks are a part of the game --
HAYES: People talk about casting couches like this cartoonish --
CARMON: That`s going to happen. But the question is, again, the commonality here is male abuse of power, male monopoly on power. And maybe one party has policies to address that, but no party is immune from that kind of abuse.
HAYES: That`s very well said. I should say that the sort of feminist writers that I follow, no one is apologizing for Harvey Weinstein or anything. I think part of the conservative anger is the sanctimony of Hollywood.
There is a core to a fair point there, right? Which is like, there is a lot of people implicated in this in Hollywood, who knew what was going on and who can be very self-righteous about --
MCINTOSH: I just want to make sure that we turn to the men in Hollywood.
HAYES: Yes. That`s right.
MCINTOSH: Because I`m hearing all of this, where is the actresses that he`s worked with, why haven`t they said anything.
I don`t want to hear from women about the abuse of male power. I want to hear from the men that are the most complicit in allowing that kind of thing to happen.
HAYES: I want to get your reaction to Kellyanne Conway. It was sort of bizarre to watch. My first thought was this was a year ago, I remember when the tape came out. I remember the accusations on the record of the President of the United States, person after person, which again, he is accused of sexual assault. He boasted about sexual assault.
This is Kellyanne Conway, "It took Hillary about five minutes to blame NRA for batman`s rampage, but five days to sort of kind of blame Harvey Weinstein for his sexual assault."
MCINTOSH: Yeah, sister, you are working for a sexual predator. I don`t know where you can get off criticizing anybody for anything in this realm and still look at yourself in the morning.
It`s just not -- it`s so far beyond the pale. I can`t even imagine the kind of mental shutting down that she has had to do to be able to comments on a story like this while working in a White House for that man.
CARMON: Well, this is the thing. Nobody does this in a vacuum. We shouldn`t be focusing on the actresses but we should also realize the one reason why so many people didn`t come forward is because they owed Harvey something, they wanted something from him, or they blamed themselves.
HAYES: Or they thought would happen to them is what happened to the women who accused the President of the United States.
CARMON: The woman who went to the police, she wore a wire, right. The woman who went to the police on the Harvey Weinstein case, they declined to prosecute despite the fact that he basically admitted on tape that he assaulted her.
MCINTOSH: She did everything that you ask of a victim. Why didn`t you go to the police? Why didn`t you do everything they said? She did.
HAYES: She went back to him wearing a wire.
MCINTOSH: She went back to him wearing a wire and his legal team smeared her so badly that the cops wouldn`t prosecute the case that they understood that they already had.
HAYES: We went back to look at those rally tapes of the President of the United States, these women are liars, they are unreliable. It was the exact same playbook that you`ve seen time and time again.
Irin Camon and Jess Mcintosh, thank you for making time today. I really do appreciate it.
All right. That is All In for in evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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