VF: advisers fear trump is "unraveling" Transcript 10/11/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Ben Rhodes, Jennifer Rubin, Lawrence Wilkerson, Al Green, Tom Steyer

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 11, 2017

Guest: Ben Rhodes, Jennifer Rubin, Lawrence Wilkerson, Al Green, Tom 




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now we have so many nuclear weapons, I want them in perfect condition, perfect shape.

HAYES: The President threatens a free press.

TRUMP: It`s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write what they want to write.

HAYES: Amid new reports of an absolute meltdown in the White House.

GABE SHERMAN, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, VANITY FAIR: He said, I hate everyone in the White House, you know, really just lashing out.

HAYES: Tonight the nuclear dangers with the President on the edge.

TRUMP: My attitude is the one that matters.

HAYES: And what to make of his threats to challenge the license of NBC News.

TRUMP: That was just fake news by NBC.

HAYES: Then --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump.

HAYES: The billionaire donor who wants Democrats to pledge they will impeach the President. And an NBC News exclusive interview with the latest Weinstein accuser to come forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said I have contracts for my next three films here and I will sign them today but I want you to have a threesome with me and my assistant.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Unstable, losing a step and unraveling, those are words used by the President`s own confidant to describe his state of mind according to Vanity Fair`s Gabe Sherman echoing the grave concerns of Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, that the President`s temperament and current disposition could pose a threat to national security. Sherman`s source says the White House reached a new level of crisis in recent days as the President fumes and lashes out over the stalled legislative agenda and his preferred candidate`s embarrassing loss in the Alabama Senate primary.

According to two sources, the President vented to his longtime Security Chief Keith Schiller, who recently left the administration telling him, I hate everyone in the White House. There are a few exceptions but I hate them. A White House official denies this. Things have gotten so bad that according to one source, Steve Bannon, the President`s former Chief Strategist has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term. This isn`t the first time the President`s conduct has raised concerns among his advisers.

According to an exclusive report from NBC News, the President told national security leaders he wanted what amounts to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a meeting at the Pentagon over the summer. That`s according to three officials who were in the room. Now, the President`s comments they said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown charting the steady reduction of nuclear weapons in the U.S. since the 1960s. According to NBC News, that was the same Pentagon meeting that prompted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call the president, and I quote here, "moron." The President today disputed NBC`s reporting.


TRUMP: That was just fake news by NBC which gives a lot of fake news lately. And it`s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it. We won`t need an increase but I want modernization and I want total rehabilitation. It`s got to be in tiptop shape. When they make up stories like that, that`s just made up and the generals will tell you that. And then they have their sources that don`t exist in my opinion, they don`t exist. They make up the sources. There are no sources.


HAYES: Defense Secretary James Mattis said in response -- in a statement, "Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false. "But importantly, NBC News reported that the President took the step for calling for an increase, just that he talked about it in that meeting. There are no plans to follow through. This is something the President has talked about before twitting last year before his inauguration, "The United States most greatly strength expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." That`s exactly the kind of off the cuff tweet Senator Corker warned about in his explosive interview with the the New York Times earlier this week.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I don`t think he understands that the messages that he sends out, especially when you take into account they`re being received in other languages around the world --


CORKER: What that does, I know he`s hurt, in several instances, he`s hurt us in relation to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out.


HAYES: Corker may have been referring to an incident less than two ekes ago when Tillerson announced the U.S. is now in direct communication with North Korea over its nuclear program which drew a public rebuke from the President, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State that he`s wasting his trying to negotiate with little Rocketman. Save your energy Rex, we`ll do what has to be done." Engaging the North Korea may be the only way to avoid a disastrous bloody confrontation but it`s not clear that`s an approach the President supports.


TRUMP: I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your secretary?

TRUMP: And I listen to everybody but ultimately my attitude is the one that matters isn`t it? That`s the way it works. That`s the way the system is. But I think I might have a somewhat different attitude and a different way than other people. I think perhaps I feel stronger and tougher on that subject than other people.


HAYES: Ben Rhodes serves as the Deputy National Security Adviser to former President Barack Obama. Ben, that last line, tougher, strong on nuclear weapons around North Korea, what do you make of the reporting that we`re getting and the President`s statements?

BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, first of all, if you have to go around telling everybody how tough you are, you`re probably not. I think that this is an incredibly dangerous moment. We already have a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. We have the threat of Trump initiating a second nuclear crisis by pulling out of the Iran deal. And frankly, he seems to approach issues of nuclear weapons the same way he approaches tweeting about fake news or the NFL. But the consequences are much, much more severe. And I think, we should all be concerned at which direction he`s going to lead us in both the Korean Peninsula and in Iran.

HAYES: As someone who worked in the White House, who dealt on the Iran deal, and I want to talk about that in a second, and also had to deal with North Korea, I wonder what are the conversations like at the highest levels of the White House when you`re talking about nuclear weapons because it`s something that must hang over and weigh on everyone that is involved in making decisions in the White House?

RHODES: Well, Chris, first of all, the entire post-war architecture that was built after World War II, essentially exists to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. And the United States at the center of that architecture works to prevent both the spread and use of nuclear weapons. So everything that you`re doing any day has as a backdrop the desire to present -- prevent that catastrophic outcome. With respect to Iran, that meant looking at what the options were, a diplomatic agreement like the one we reached to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Knowing that absent a diplomatic agreement, the options that you`re left with are potentially a war with Iran or potentially Iran obtaining the nuclear weapon.

Similarly, on the Korean Peninsula, they had tested their first nuclear device in 2006 before we took office. So the entire time that we`re in office, we were dealing with a North Korean regime that had the nuclear capability. Mindful of that, we worked to isolate and pressure North Korea but were very careful about the types of bluster and threats that he`s engaged in that could risk a conflict that could immediately get out of control and prove catastrophic. So these are things that you have to be very careful in addressing and frankly speak about as Senator Corker said in very careful language because around the world people listen very closely to every word the President of the United States says as relates to the nuclear weapons. And they`re all making their own decision based off of what the U.S. President is saying there.

HAYES: There`s an announcement that the President will decertify the Iran deal this week which is a procedure that is open to him because of the compromise that was added sort of the last minute after the deal was negotiated under Barack Obama. And he`s doing this despite the fact that people in his own government and Republicans in his own party say they`re abiding by the terms of the deal. What do you make of that?

RHODES: First of all, it is completely and utterly dishonest. It`s a lie. Iran is complying with the deal. The Trump administration has certified that twice. The Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has said that they`re complying with the deal. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Dunford has said that they`re complying with the deal. He says he likes to listen to generals and now he`s ignoring them. So first of all, by decertifying this, he`s going against the views of our allies and the views of his own government and administration. It`s counteract, Iran is complying. They`re rolled back their nuclear program.

Second, he`s punting this issue to Congress who then has to make the decision about what to do about this. If he really wanted to kill the Iran deal he could do it himself by not waving the sanctions relief that we give to Iranians under the deal. He`s punting this to Congress and leaving them with nothing but bad options Chris, because if Congress passes new sanctions, Europe won`t go along with it, China won`t go along with it and Russia won`t go along with it. Iran will be emboldened, we will be isolated, we`ll be left with a choice as to whether or not to sanction Europe, and China, and Russia, thereby causing great calamity in the global economy and again, further isolating us and not the Iranians which is what he said their intent is. And the worst case scenario is Iran says we`re violating the deal and they restart their nuclear program, and then we`re left with exactly the choice we don`t want, war or nuclear Iran.

HAYES: Well, and then we also have North Korea and Iran, a sort of doubled the amount of the nuclear crises the country faces with President Trump help. Ben Rhodes, great to have you.

RHODES: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Jennifer Ruben is a Conservative Columnist for the Washington Post, a vocal Trump critic. Sam Seder an MSNBC Contributor and Host of Majority Report. Jennifer, I want to ask you about the Iran deal, but first Sam, I want --so here`s to me the irony peril and paradox of this moment is that at one level, Ben is describing the President as weak. He`s not tough, he`s blustery. Today he threatened this network with rescinding its broadcasting license which he can`t even do as an SCC Commissioner tweeted, "It`s disgusting, people (INAUDIBLE) this. These are impotent threats by the President. At the same time, he`s currently navigating two different areas of nuclear diplomacy in which he is the President of the United States.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, it`s a strange paradox. I mean, the guy is the President. And you know, the real question to me about all of what we`re hearing about the leaks that you hear you know, from Gabe Sherman`s piece and Bob Corker just coming out and saying this thing --

HAYES: That`s not a leak. That`s on the record.

SEDER: Yes, that`s not a leak, but my point being you know, why? Like obviously somebody is trying --

HAYES: Something is happening now.

SEDER: -- to send the public a message and the question is, you know, why do we know about what he was talking about in July now?

HAYES: That`s a good point. Fair point.

SEDER: This -- you know, why were there officials in that room?--

HAYES: Three people in that room.

SEDER: Three people in that room who are willing to tell the story about the President.

HAYES: And why? What is your theory? What --


SEDER: -- people who are concerned and want the public no know what`s going on because I can`t imagine they think --

HAYES: That`s a very good point.

SEDER: -- that this is going to change the President`s behavior. I think the idea is we need to change the behavior of the people around the President.

HAYES: Jennifer, do you agree with that?

JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I do. And you know, the Washington Post is reporting tonight that one reason that Trump is going forth with this decertification strategy, which is not exactly coterminous with wrecking the JCPOA is that he "threw a fit" when he was asked to and told to certify the deal the last time.

HAYES: Right.

RUBIN: So they have been scrambling around looking for a mechanism not to embolden us, not to help our allies but to satisfy a person who has become unhinged, who is a screaming toddler. So now we`re taking action in the international realm that could damage our relationships with Europe, that could embolden Iran, that could isolate the United States, why because the President of the United States has a temper tantrum? I think this is what we`ve come to and what is so dangerous.

HAYES: We`re making nuclear diplomatic policy because of a desire to avoid a fit of pique from the President who doesn`t like the fact that he had to certify the deal. And there`s a sense -- I mean to get back to your warning idea, this is interesting, one of the things in Vanity Fair is that Bannon telling Trump that he thinks that he`ll -- you know, he (INAUDIBLE) out his term. Seven months ago, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told Trump the risk to his Presidency wasn`t impeachment but the 25th amendment. When Bannon mentioned the 25th amendment, Trump said, what`s that, which is an interesting tidbit. What`s also interesting about that is Ben is stoking the idea that like you don`t have anyone loyal around you, you`re being circled, you`re enclosed and all of this reporting suggesting that he is more volatile on that situation.

SEDER: Well, you know, there was a report that you know, when Bannon left, he said, I`m going to be fighting for the President on the outside. I`m not quite convinced that frankly, that`s what Bannon`s agenda is. I`m more convinced that Bannon is using the President from the outside and that really unbeknownst to Donald Trump that he`s fighting for Bannon`s agenda which I think is probably very different than any of the other players involved here. And I think he`s more interested in more chaos. He doesn`t care which way this goes as long as it`s in a chaotic way. I mean, so I don`t know who those three officials are, I have no way of knowing but if they`re in the room as the President of the United States is asking about our nukes and they`re going out and telling reporters about it, they want, not necessarily me, but us as a society to understand something that they think it`s important for us to understand. So that`s -- that is -- it`s disturbing and certainly in a lot of different ways.

HAYES: Yes. Jennifer, I mean, I guess, to sort of play devil`s advocate for a moment, you know, there have been reports like this all a lot, right? There have been moments the President see seething, or is brooding, he doesn`t like doing this, he doesn`t like doing that. Do you feel like there`s a qualitative difference here that to Sam`s point, there`s some sort of like signal that`s trying to be sent, some smoke signal coming from the White House about the stability frankly of the President of the United States which when you get to -- when you read the Gabe Sherman piece, when you read other piece, there`s a lot of euphemisms being used about essentially the fitness of the man.

RUBIN: Yes, and I think there is a quality of difference. Gabe Sherman`s piece if accurate -- and I have no reason to doubt it. He`s a very strong reporter -- is that he has gotten worse, that he is unraveling, that this is deterioration of the President`s mood and ability to function in the job. Yes, I do think, first of all, his behavior is worsening and secondly, I think the concern of people around him is certainly worsening. And that`s why you have people in the military who you could never imagine in any other circumstances leaving what is called the tank where these very high-level discussions take place and going to the media with their concerns about the President. And the questions that I have are first, where are the rest of the Republicans? Why are they shushing?

HAYES: Other than Corker.

RUBIN: Poor Bob Corker, telling him just to make nice with the President. And secondly, where is the Vice President of the United States.

HAYES: Good question.

RUBIN: He has a constitutional obligation to the country. He shouldn`t be running around to football stadiums making political gestures. He needs to get in there and satisfy himself that the President is incapacitated or capacitated, whichever, and then we need to proceed from there. So I would like Republicans both inside and outside the White House to take this seriously and perhaps that`s why we`re hearing from people inside the White House.

HAYES: I should note, the President just tweeting, "Network news has become so partisan distorted and faked that licenses should be challenged and if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!" That at 8:09. Mr. President if you are watching right now, that`s not the way it works. Jennifer Rubin and Sam Seder, many thanks to you both.

Next, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on the dangers of having a President described as unstable and unraveling in possession of the nuclear codes. That, in two minutes.


HAYES: Do you know Donald Trump`s position on nuclear weapons? No? You`re not alone. Try to decipher this.


TRUMP: It is an absolute last stance. And you know, I use the word unpredictable. You want to be unpredictable. I would be a very slow trigger with nuclear --

MATTHEWS: Can you tell the Middle East we`re not using nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off of the table.

MATTHEWS: How about in Europe, we won`t use it in Europe?

TRUMP: I`m not going to take it off of the table.

MATTHEWS: You might use it in Europe?

TRUMP: No, I don`t think so.

North Korea has nukes, Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with it. Maybe they would, in fact, be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea. Maybe we would be better off --


TRUMP: Including with nukes, yes.

I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it`s over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can`t take anything off of the table.


HAYES: Here to discuss the President`s understanding of nuclear weapons and the actions that the top Republican says it put us on this path of World War III, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. Colonel, do you feel confident that the structures in place are holding as this President navigates both North Korea and now moves to decertify the Iran deal?

LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO SECRETARY COLIN POWELL: I certainly hope they are, Chris, because both moves are extremely dangerous and his recent comments on nuclear weapons, which you`ve highlighted, are extremely disturbing to me. Because when President George W.Bush, whom I served, as you know, withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, Colin Powell had to rush off to Paris, and Berlin, and London, and ultimately Moscow and placate all of those people who thought that things were turning really dangerous. The result of that was the Moscow Treaty and a really huge slash in both the Soviet Union then Russia`s stockpile and our stockpile.

So the trend was positive. The trend was downward. To hear a President talking about not only modernization in security and all the things we talked about all the time, but actually increasing the number of nuclear weapons is very disturbing, especially in light of the fact that you`re looking at a China that might be trying to develop a second strike capability and you`re looking at Russia since essentially looking at us and saying, OK, fine, all bets are off, let`s go after our nuclear stockpile too. That`s very dangerous.

HAYES: What would the consequences be for the world if the U.S. -- if the President moves to decertify and Congress essentially pulls us out of the deal or stops the Iran deal. What do you see as the consequences of that action?

WILKERSON: The first consequence is we become as Angela Merkel hinted at earlier this year, even more trustworthy. The second consequence is all of the talks that are going on now, secret or otherwise with North Korea or that might go on will have a huge impediment because North Korea will look at that and look at other things and think that we`re totally untrustworthy. The third outcome is I can walk you through Chris, a very likely scenario for ultimate war in the region with Iran and I think that would be a disaster, as General Anthony Zinni said, that would make Iraq a disaster there in 2003 and on look even pale by comparison. Iran is much bigger, much more homogenous population, 70 million plus, 51 percent of which are Persian. And we would turn all of those young people in Iran, which is probably half of the population, we would turn them all immediately against the United States. But that`s the outcome of things like what John Bolton and other neoconservatives want, is war.

HAYES: As someone who has operated at some of the highest levels of the American government and in diplomacy and in the U.S. Armed Forces, there is a kind of trope you see, this hope that Mattis and Kelly and McMaster, the generals are going to essentially protect the country from the President. Do you think, A, that`s credibly how they view their -- view their roles and, B, what do you make of that as the posture of the men around the President?

WILKERSON: I don`t think that was the way any one of the three viewed their roles in the beginning. I think that with varying degrees with each of them, it`s becoming their view. I think that we have a real problem with three of the national security establishment`s most important people being general officers. When you put that together with the fact that apparently, we have a President who is willing to do and say almost anything at any given point in time, I`m really worried. It looks like a dangerous situation. I`m waiting for one of those individuals to wake up one morning, have a cup of coffee, grab himself and say why am I here and what am I doing? I think we might be close to that with at least one of them.

HAYES: What do you mean by that? Elaborate further. You mean quitting?

WILKERSON: Well, you`ve got a situation where you have a choice. You can either stay and continue to try and convince yourself that you are the person between the bomb and reality or you really aren`t helping that much and you`re going to have a problem convincing yourself that you should stay. I mean, to a lesser degree, I went through this with both Richard Armitage and Colin Powell. And you know, you convince yourself that you`re essential, that whoever comes in after you will be worse than you and so you stay. And I`m sure that John and Jim and H.R., yes, have that -- have that conversation with themselves. I hope they do, anyway because as one of your (INAUDIBLE) earlier said, this is becoming apparent that this President has something loose somewhere.

HAYES: All right, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, thank you for your time.

WILKERSON: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, an NBC News exclusive, Harvey Weinstein accuser Dawn Dunning on the time she said she had to flee from Weinstein`s hotel room. Her first ten account coming up.


HAYES: The worst wildfires in California`s history are raging out of control tonight causing a stunning degree of destruction even for a state that tends to suffer from wildfires this time of the year. Thousands of people are being evacuated. The fires wipe out entire neighborhoods in northern California. 21 people have died, hundreds of people still unaccounted for, more than 500 in Sonoma County alone. No officials caution, many of those people may be safe but without communication. And while the firefighters deal with the catastrophe in California, the full scope of the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico is coming to focus. 45 deaths have been officially reported but the ongoing reporting at this very moment is dire.

According to the New York Times, medical workers impatient saying that intense medical crisis persists, that communication and electrical difficulties have obscured, the true number of fatalities directly related to the hurricane. Only 15 percent of the island have electricity and full restoration of power is months away while the availability of drinking water is still at dangerous levels. Now later this Congress is expected to pass a $36 billion aid package for U.S. states and territory affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and by the recent wildfires. And while part of that will go to Puerto Rico, as the Intercept notes, the massive relief bill also cancels $16 billion in debt but not for Puerto Rico. No. The debt relief instead goes to the national flood insurance program which has been in the red for a while in which covers homeowners who build in flood zones.

But Puerto Rico which is already more than $70 billion in debt and under (INAUDIBLE) will get zero debt relief. Instead, get this, they will get a nearly $5 billion loan, which means Puerto Rico gets more debt as it struggles for survival. In other words, both parties, Republicans, and Democrats are currently poised to essentially punish the Americans of Puerto Rico for being victims of disaster even more than we`ve done that through government incompetence and forced austerity, they`re going to charge them a leasing fee for the life raft as they drown. Can you imagine telling Texas or Florida the same? No. Well, it shouldn`t be OK for Puerto Rico either.


HAYES: More than 20 women have now come forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of predatory sexual behavior and assaults, allegations that Weinstein denies.

Dawn Dunning, who attended New York University to study theater and dance in the early 2000s is one of those accusers. And today, she told MSNBC Stephanie Ruhle what happened in 2003 when she showed up to what was supposed to be a lunch meeting with Weinstein at a Manhattan hotel and was sent up to his hotel room by his assistant instead.


DAWN DUNNING, WEINSTEIN ACCUSER: I get to the room and he opens the door and he has a open bathrobe on and there`s this coffee table with all of these papers and we had been talking about his next films, and you know, some roles that he had for me in these films. And so he said I have contracts for my next three films here and I will sign them today, but I want you to have a threesome with me and my assistant.

And you know, he had kind of a, kind of a rough like sense of humor, you know, like a very dry kind of dark sense of humor. And so I laughed. Obviously he must be joking, right? Well when I laughed he got angry and then he said you`ll never make it in this business. This is how this industry works. How do you think so and so, so and so, so and so got to where they are today? And just started yelling at me.

And so at that point I fled from the room. I was scared at that point, because he is a very domineering man, very large domineering man, very loud.


So at that point I left, took off, went to the elevator. And -- sorry.


DUNNING: His assistant called me a couple of times after that, that night. And I didn`t respond because I was just devastated, you know.


HAYES: MSNBC`s Stephanie Ruhle conducted that interview, a great interview, and joins me now. It`s incredible work. And incredible for her to come on camera and tell that story.

RUHLE: She doesn`t have to tell her story.

HAYES: Right. Yeah.

What happened to her desire to be an actress in the industry?

RUHLE: She believed him. If you`re a 24-year-old girl and one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, who when you watch the Oscars, is thanked by the most famous men and women in Hollywood and this guy propositions you for sex and says this is how Hollywood works, or you`ll never make it in this town. Someone like Dawn gives up and she then changed career aspirations.

HAYES: This is such a key part of this story to me, and there`s so many parts of it, but lots of stories of that. I mean, this is a way in which systematically women -- he said you`ll never work in this town and he convinced young women who may have gone on to incredible careers, or fulfillment of their talent, to leave.

RUHLE: This is an industry where a big, giant guy like Harvey Weinstein could make your dreams come through.

HAYES: Or crush them.

RUHLE: Or crush them. But think about it, who was she going to go to, right? Was she going to go to her agent? She didn`t have an agent. And even if she did, her agent probably would have said well I`d love a meeting with Harvey Weinstein. Would she go to the police? Well, he didn`t rape her. She didn`t know who to go to. Who was going to believe her. She was a 23, 24-year-old girl who was an aspiring actress.

Now they`ve got power in numbers. Now this extraordinary reporting by Ronan Farrow by The New York Times have all come out and now Harvey Weinstein says I`m going to go into therapy?

HAYES: The -- one of the things that`s come through in the reporting of Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker and also Megan Twohey and Jody Canter (ph) of The New York Times, all three of them have done just remarkable work.

Is the sameness of the M.O. -- I mean, when you listen to her story it`s like, oh wait, which one was that? Oh, right, I`ve now read that account 15 times. And the fact that he had created a kind of factory -- he employed his -- organization that he ran, its business -- to become a factory to produce for him opportunities to do this to women.

RUHLE: And the industry allowed it, OK, just think about it. The fact that there was a joke at the Oscars about it, the fact that 30 Rock made jokes about it, to you and I might be stunning because it`s an industry that maybe is near us but we`re not a part of. But imagine when she first met Harvey Weinstein, she viewed his assistant as her aid and a buffer. When she met him she`s like, well, I knew he was a predator and I knew he had that casting couch reputation.

So she thought if his assistant is always going to be there, she`ll be my safety net. Meanwhile, the assistant was helping him. She was the honey pot all along. And in retrospect I said would you call his assistant now? She had the assistant`s phone number in her phone. And she goes, no, in retrospect the assistant is a victim of the system too.

HAYES: Well, that, to me, I think is the important part here is that this is someone with tremendous power who is essentially implicating (inaudible) people and implicating everyone in this.

So like everyone has a little piece of the guilty as a means almost of protecting himself, because who could turn him in. If the assistant turns in anyone, the assistant is implicated.

RUHLE: To who? His name is on the door. What human resources department are you going to go to?

And for the board to say this is inhuman, we`re aghast. I`m sorry, Chris. The board...

HAYES: You don`t think they didn`t know?

RUHLE: Look at what 21st Century Fox is going through. They`ve got shareholders who are saying, hole on, you made settlements, millions of dollars of settlements? How come we didn`t know? The board knew.

How does a company, a private company as small as Weinstein and Company, how did the board members not know?

HAYES: When they`re making payments.

Stephanie Ruhle, excellent reporting, and thank you for making time tonight.

HAYES: All right, coming up, the House of Representatives came this close to voting on whether to impeach the president of the United States. What happened coming up.

Plus, Alabama`s Roy Moore rides again in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, typically when we think of a charity, we think of an appeal to our better instincts, like the forestalling of selfishness and greed. And I mention this because Alabama`s Republican nominee for the Senate, Roy Moore, the guy who said, quote, "homosexual conduct should be illegal", who said Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the Congress. He has a charity called the Foundation of Moral Law.

In fact, on their website it was announced that Moore would take the title of President Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law. A grandiose term.

Now, it`s not unheard of, and often it`s typical for top executives at a nonprofit to collect a salary, but allegedly not Roy Moore. Despite the fact that the charity has employed at least of Moore`s children and Moore`s wife, Kayla, who is now president and was paid a total of $195,000 over three years through 2015.

The Washington Post reports that Moore once said publicly he did not take a regular salary from the small charity he founded. You`ll never guess who was paid over $1 million from that charity. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: Republican Senate nominee from Alabama, Roy Moore, said he didn`t take a charity from his -- a salary from his charity, but that is not true. Far from it. Turns out Moore pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his tax exempt 5013 C public charity.

The Washington Post reports that privately Moore had arranged to receive a salary of $180,000 a year for part-time work at the Foundation for Moral Law, and he collected more than $1 million as president from 2007 to 2012. Compensation that far surpassed what the group disclosed its in public tax filings most of those years.

But that`s not all. The charity also gave him health care coverage, covered his travel expenses. What happened when the charity ran out of money and couldn`t continue to pay Moore`s salary? Moore in 2012 was given a promissory note for back pay eventually worth $540,000.

Keep that that mind when you watch Moore say things like this.


ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN SENATE NOMINEE: It`s been very hard for my wife and myself to weather two, nearly three months of negative ads that we couldn`t answer with money because we didn`t have it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Today an elected member of the House of Representatives took to the floor of Congress to declare enough is enough, it is time to impeach this president.


REP. AL GREEN (D), TEXAS: Resolved that Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, has undermined the integrity of his office with impunity and has brought disrepute on the presidency with immunity.

Has betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the American people, and is unfit to be president, and is impeached pursuant to Article 2 Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States of America.


HAYES: Representative Al Green has called for impeachment before, but this time was a bit different. Green planned to introduce his impeachment measure as a so called privileged resolution, which would have required a full house vote within two days. But then something strange happened, Green pulled the resolution. And not because of Republicans, but apparently thanks to pressure from fellow Democrats.

I`ll ask Al Green to explain what went down right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


GREEN: Donald John Trump, by betraying his trust as president, warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office with honor, trust or profit under the United States of America.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Democratic representative Al Green of Texas who moved to force a house vote to impeach the president before ultimately pulling the measure. Why did you ultimately pull the measure and not go through with it?

GREEN: Well, thank you for having me on, Chris.

With a few facts you usually have much speculation. Much speculation has caused us to make these comments that I`m about to make. No one asked me to pull anything. I went to the floor intending to do exactly what I did. I did this because I wanted the American public to have the opportunity to understand what impeachment is all about and what these articles of impeachment are all about.

The rules allow a person presenting a privileged resolution to have the opportunity to have it heard that day or within the next two days. I chose not to do this because I want people to know what is going on.

At some point in the future I`ll come back for a vote.

HAYES: So, I just want to be clear on this. There is reporting -- basically the reporting says that I`ve read that Democratic leadership, including Nancy Pelosi, didn`t like the idea, they do not want every Democrat to go on the record about impeachment, they don`t think it is tactically smart.

Politico reporting, "Democratic leaders privately pressured Green not to force the vote at this time."

You`re denying that`s true?

GREEN: That`s absolutely not true, Chris. I`m sure that you are shocked to know that sometimes things get published that are not true, but this is one of those rare occasions.

I assure you that speaker Pelosi did not ask me to pull anything, neither did anyone else in leadership. This was a decision I made before I went to the floor.

HAYES: But wait a second. It is your belief, as I watched your speech today and I read the article, you believe this is genuinely clear and present danger. The president genuinely is unfit. You seem sincere in that belief. It is something you have articulated before.

If that`s the case, why do the windup and not actually go through with it today? Why not force the issue?

GREEN: Because impeachment is a process that takes place from the ground up, and the American people have to get involved. And the American people hearing us tonight will know that this can be done. And they also need to know, Chris, that impeachment can take place without the president committing a crime. That`s been put into the minds of the public and we have to deal with that.

This is an opportunity to educate people so that they`ll know what impeachment really entails. When Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868, one of the Articles of Impeachment, Article 10, did not allege a crime.

When Judge John Pickering was impeached, he was the first person to be impeached, he was impeached for things other than committing a crime. Most of the people who have been impeached were impeached for things that didn`t involve committing a crime.

So my point to you is, this is a chance to educate the public which we must do because there is a lot of misinformation out there and I am grateful to you for allowing me to give the clarity.

HAYES: So, the phrase that everyone knows is high crimes and misdemeanors, as it is in the United States Constitution, but you`re right that there`s precedent that that doesn`t necessarily mean a crime in the sense that we think about in the courts.

Article 10 for Andrew Johnson, if I`m not mistaken, was that the Congress didn`t like the way Johnson talked about Congress. That he insulted them and ran them down.

GREEN: Exactly.

HAYES: So there`s precedent there, but it also seems to me that the modern understanding of it is that it`s crime, and that to reach for that particular tool threatens a kind of unwinding of the basic political norms that are happening in the country.

What do you say to people who say that?

GREEN: Well, most of the people who say that probably have rationales other than original intent.

If you want to talk about original intent, what the framers of the Constitution intended, probably the actions that took place close to the time when they were there, in fact many of them were alive when John Pickering was impeached, that would probably be where you get your best indication of what original intent is.

And by the way, a good many people also don`t understand. A good many people will conflate what can happen in the judicial aspect of a crime, meaning you have to go to court, you have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That`s not what happens with impeachment. Impeachment is a political process.

HAYES: It is a political process, that is a constitutional fact.

GREEN: Solely the process of the House.

HAYES: That`s absolutely correct. Representative Al Green, thanks for being with me tonight.

GREEN: Well, thank you very much, Chris.

HAYES: Alright, Representative Green`s not the only prominent liberal pushing Democrats to go on the record for impeachment.

The single biggest liberal donor in the last elections, a man who spent more than $91 million supporting Democrats in the 2016 cycle, has sent a letter to his fellow Democrats calling for impeachment and insisting the public deserves to know where every Democrat stands on the issue before the 2018 elections.

I`m joined now by the man who sent that letter, billionaire philanthropist, climate activist, Tom Steyer.

There is an argument that this is tactically short sided or fool hardy because if you turn the election into an impeachment election, you will strengthen the president`s base and you will also become radio active if that`s what`s on the ballot in the midterms.

TOM STEYER, ACTIVIST CALLING FOR IMPEACHMENT: But that`s not the question we`ve been asking ourselves. Because the question we`ve been asking ourselves, is this president a clear and present danger to the American people? And if he is, which we absolutely believe he is, and if he`s violated the public trust, then in fact don`t we have to take action and do the right thing. Not do a political calculation for what is going to happen 14 months from now?

We`re trying to do is say it`s time to step up and do the right thing, not do political polling and figure out what the smart thing to do for the next election cycle when the health and safety of American citizens are at risk.

HAYES: Okay, I have to ask you this, because there are people who theorized the following, so I want you to respond to it. That you`re planning to run for Senate, Diane Feinstein`s Senate seat. She`s going to be running again, and it`s jungle primary system in California, this will give you wedge issue to use against her as incumbent Democrat.

What do you say to that?

STEYER: If you go back and check the record, we called for impeachment several months ago. What we`re saying now is, it`s time for Democrats to step up and say where they stand on this, whether this president has to go now.

In fact, we`re saying it to every elected member of Congress and the Senate. Go on the record and say whether we can afford to let this president stay in power longer or isn`t it time for him to go. So that absolutely poses the question to Senator Feinstein, where does she stand on this? And it poses the question to every other elected Democrat. Isn`t it time for us to oppose a president who presents a clear and present danger to the American people?

HAYES: Let me ask you this directly then. Are you going to run for that Senate seat?

STEYER: I have said I am going to try to figure out how to have the most positive impact in the crisis that we`re in. I haven`t ruled anything out, including running for office. But the fact of the matter is, what we`re talking about today is to try to protect the American people from a president who is clearly dangerous to them, unfit to hold office and which every Democrat will say privately that that`s true.

The question is, when are we going to go on the record and start pushing the country towards where we know we have to go, which is to remove the man from office.

HAYES: So, I guess the question becomes, do you think it`s a political possibility? Can you imagine that happening before the midterms? I guess the idea is, a lot of people would think that the only thing that would allow that to happen would be a Democratic majority in house and Senate, and there are those who think that going on the record would hurt or help those efforts.

Are you saying you think that`s a possibility within the next whatever, 14 months?

STEYER: I see this differently from the way that those calculations imply. What I see is this, we have 14 months between now and midterm elections.

And the assumption in all those calculations is that the world will be essentially static and safe. And that just not true.

The fact of the matter is, I don`t believe we can stand pat for 14 months, cross our fingers and toes and help like heck that the world is going to be okay. The fact of the matter is, we`re in grave danger and it`s time for us to act, not sit there and hope it turns out okay because that works for us politically.

HAYES: Tom Steyer, whose home state of California is ablaze right now and has been working on climate issues for years, I would love to have you back on to talk about that if you would be amenable to that.

STEYER: Oh, my gosh, that`s one of the clear dangers to the people of America that this administration is not just ignoring but is working their heads off to exacerbate and make more dangerous.

HAYES: Alright. Tom Steyer, thank you very much.

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

Good evening, Rachel.



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