Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 12, 2017 Guest: Maxine Waters, Ben Howe, Lanhee Chen, Andy Slavitt, Xeni Jardin, Max's Read, Molly Crabapple
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will not rest until that job is done.
HAYES: Three weeks into the disaster in Puerto Rico, why is the President now threatening to pull federal support?
TRUMP: We will be there all the time to help Puerto Rico recover.
HAYES: Plus --
TRUMP: Where`s John Kelly? Stand up, John.
HAYES: A "unraveling President" sends his Chief of staff To go after the media.
JOHN KELLY, CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: One of his frustrations is you or maybe develop some better sources.
HAYES: Then --
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President, you need to sign it.
HAYES: Understanding the effects of the President`s executive order to Undermine ObamaCare. And Facebook meets the press.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Facebook owe the American people an apology?
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Days after a senior Republican Senator referred to the White House as adult day care, the man that many believe is in charge of supervising the President, Chief of Staff John Kelly, was sent out before the press to shoot down reports that the President`s tantrums are causing big problems. The day began as it often does with a Presidential outburst on Twitter. This one aimed at the struggling people of Puerto Rico who three weeks after Hurricane Maria are still suffering through an acute deadly crisis, many lacking access to safe water and food, and urgent medical care. We`ll have the latest from the island coming up later this hour.
Today, the President appeared to blame Puerto Rico for its current situation, threatening to cut off federal recovery efforts. I quote him here. "Electric and all infrastructure were disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend, we cannot keep FEMA, the military, and the first responders who have been amazing under the most difficult circumstances in P.R. forever." That drew an implicit rebuke from FEMA itself. An agency spokesperson tweeting this, FEMA will be with Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, every state and territory impacted by disaster every day, supporting throughout their response and recovery. Asked about Trump`s tweets, the Chief of Staff put a kinder, gentler spin on the President`s core message.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does President Trump believe that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- who deserve the same access to federal aid as people who live in Texas and Florida?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is his tweet about, then?
KELLY: Which tweet?
TRUMP: The tweet where he says we can`t be in Puerto Rico forever.
KELLY: I think he said the U.S. military and Fema can`t be in there forever, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did, yes, first responders --
KELLY: First responders. This country, our country, will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But the tweet about FEMA and DOD, read military, is exactly accurate. They`re not going to be there forever. And the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and then transition to the rebuilding process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kelly went on to deny a series of reports this week suggesting his efforts to contain the President, as Senator Bob Corker put it, are cut putting Kelly`s own job in jeopardy. According to the L.A. Times, he and the President have engaged in shouting matches in recent days while Vanity Fair reported Kelly is miserable in his job, isn`t remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. None of that is true, Kelly said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Although I read it all the time, pretty consistently, I`m not quitting today. I don`t believe, and I just talked to the President, I don`t think I`m being fired today. And I am not so frustrated in this job that I`m thinking of leaving. I would tell you this is the hardest job I`ve ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I ever had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The chief of staff adopted the President`s latest attacks on the press directed specifically at NBC News over a couple of damaging report in the last week, first that the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson openly disparaged the President, referring to him as a "moron.," and then that the President wanted a ten-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. And the President reacted with what was even, for him, a fairly astonishing assault on the core concept of the first amendment, threatening to revoke the network`s broadcast license, which doesn`t exist by the way, and shut down unwelcome coverage. Today his own Chief of Staff took his own swipe at the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: My only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said or people who are going to be fired or whatever, I think -- and it`s just not true. It is astounding to me how much is misreported. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. But I would just offer to you the advice, I`d say -- you know, maybe develop some better sources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And amid looming confrontations with both North Korea and Iran and growing concerns about whether the President`s aides can restrain him from lashing out, Kelly insisted the President doesn`t need babysitting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: I was not sent in or was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our President so that he could make the best decisions. I have found that Mr. Trump, from the day I met him, does not -- is a decisive guy, he`s a very thoughtful man I should say. Again, I was not sent in or brought in to control him and you should not measure my effectiveness as a Chief of Staff by what you think I should be doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Heidi Przybyla an MSNBC Political Analyst who covers the White House for USA Today was at the briefing today. What did you make of that today, Heidi?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: We have had a brutal cycle, he being the President, and John Kelly. Because if you remember, when Kelly came in, the headline was that all that`s leaks were going to go away, that he would instill discipline in this White House. And yet you have all these stories coming out about shouting matches, about Kelly possibly even leaving. And so just like they did when NBC`s story came out about Rex Tillerson, immediately he`s pushed out to talk to the press and to shoot it all down and to deny it. And he can do that. He can deny it because these sources are on background.
But I will tell you, and you know this already, Chris, that there`s no way we would get this reporting unless these sources were speaking on background because they would be fired for talking like this. It doesn`t make that information untrue. In fact, it`s-highly unlikely that the information is untrue and I guess it`s good at least that Kelly said, I give you the benefit of the doubt that you have sources instead of like his boss who just calls it all fake.
HAYES: His boss actually, the President of the United States, his -- the theory that he says is that it`s entirely made up. He accuses the press of totally fabricating this when he`s not threatening to shut them down or revoke the licenses of newspapers, which also don`t exist. We should note here, I mean, Kelly is also doing, it strikes me, a similar job to what Sean Spicer had today on the first day -- had to do on the first day of the administration, which is to come out in the face of a set of circumstances people can see pretty clearly and essentially deny the evident right in front of their face.
PRZYBYLA: He did. But I would say at least he didn`t go so far as to say outright untruths. And he was actually quite charming in his engagement with the press in terms of at least keeping a pleasant demeanor, not coming out there angry and scowling at us, calling us the disgusting media, and essentially threatening the first amendment. He basically, you know, is I think trying to make a bridge to a certain extent with the media. It was also interesting today that I was in this health care executive order announcement with the President and he actually turned around and thanked us all. Which I guess is not usual. So I think there is a certain part of this that they`re trying to immediately address some of these stories when they come out and put these people out in front of the media.
HAYES: You know, one of the things that Kelly said says, he called the President very thoughtful. And it struck me that there`s so many things you could say about the President, many adjectives. And even if you wanted to praise the President there`s lots of things you could say, he`s canny, he has great political instincts, he has an incredible way of capturing people`s attention, he`s not a very thoughtful person by basically the determination of every single person around him who`s ever talked about him.
PRZYBYLA: Well, that`s an opinion. And he`s welcome to his opinions. And I guess after having dealt with some of the previous individuals who have come out there and actually said outright untruths, like verifiably untrue things that are not factual, at least he`s not going --
HAYES: You`re going to say that`s in the -- that`s in the territory of a characterization, as opposed to just like you know, it was the most-watched inauguration. Heidi Przybyla, thank you for joining me.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a Democrat from California. And Congresswoman, there`s been a story that Kelly is a sort of restraining force, that he -- that people should be happy that he`s there if they`re worried about the President`s temperament or worried about the President`s current condition, and that he`s -- it`s good to have him there. Is that your opinion?
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: My opinion is it won`t last for long. This President will not get along with him for very long. This President has the kind of disposition that would cause him to confront, argue with, fight with, shout at, those people around him. And they`re only going to take it for so long. If you notice what Kelly was saying, he was saying he was not fired today. He was not leaving today. And I don`t know if he was qualifying that or not, but I think that was instructive. That even he knows it can`t last very much longer.
HAYES: At some point, Kelly said something about the views of Democrats on security and what he called open borders. And I wanted to play that for you and get your response to it because he was characterizing the immigration views of folks like yourself and members of your party, take a listen.
WATERS: All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: I believe that honest men and women can disagree on anything, politically or otherwise. The one thing I draw a little bit of a line to is on the security of the nation. There are certainly people in our country that have the opinion that open borders, near open borders, are fine, people should be able to come and go. There are others, myself included, you can bet the President, but I think the majority of Americans feel as though security on the borders is important.
HAYES: Do you think that`s -- open borders is an accurate characterization of a large view of folks in Washington, for instance, on immigration?
WATERS: Oh, absolutely not. And if he`s truly concerned about security, he should be concerned about the way the President is goading with the North Korea situation. He and Kim Jong-un are basically talking to each other in ways that Corker has said could lead us into third world war. And so if he`s really concerned about security, he should be concerned about whether or not this President is going to continue the kind of talking and goading that he`s doing that would cause this Kim Jong-un, who we consider to be unstable, to launch a very devastating missile into our country with perhaps a nuclear war ahead.
HAYES: There`s reporting indicating that the President, the decision which we`re expecting forthcoming tomorrow in which he decertifies the Iran Deal, that was essentially born of a kind of fit of pique. The President was angry that he felt cornered, that the experts had come to him and told him, no, they`re actually complying with the terms of the deal, we should certify it because that`s the truth of the matter. And then the Washington Post reporting he threw a fit, he was furious, really furious, it`s clear he felt jammed and that`s why the White House Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, and others, (INAUDIBLE) this plan to kick it to Congress. What do you make of that? What are the consequences of making policy on something like this in this fashion?
WATERS: Well, it`s just unseemly that the President of the United States would be making policy on his own. He`s been advised by everybody, Republicans, and Democrats, that he should not be undoing the Iran Deal. We have other nations, six other nations, that are involved with us in this deal. And so for him to have America look as if it wants to undo the deal, people want to decertify them, he basically is saying he knows better than anybody. But of course, during the campaign, he said he knows more than the generals. He really believes that and it`s dangerous. And for members of Congress to sit back and watch what he`s doing and watch the damage that he`s doing in this country and to watch him just guide us into a possible war, and not speak up because they`re concerned about their re-election, is not responsible. I believe it is time for Republicans especially to walk over to the White House and tell him enough is enough. As a matter of fact --
HAYES: What do you mean by that though?
WATERS: I think he should be impeached
HAYES: Yes, well, Al Green was going to introduce a resolution yesterday, I was going to ask you if you would vote for impeachment just knowing what you know now. But when you say Republicans go in over and say enough is enough, what do you mean by that tangibly?
WATERS: What I mean is Republicans should step up to the plate and confront the fact that this President appears to be unstable that he appears to be taking us into war, that he has openly obstructed justice in front of our face, and that increasingly we`re finding that there`s more and more lies about the connection with Russia. I believe that there really has been collusion and I do think that our Special Counsel Mueller is going to connect those dots. But I think there`s enough now that we all know, and we all see, and we all understand that we should be moving on impeachment.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, always a pleasure.
WATERS: You`re welcome. Thank you.
HAYES: Ben Howe is a Writer for RedState conservative political blog, and Lanhee Chen, an Adviser for Marco`s 2016 Presidential Campaign. Lahnhee what did you make of Kelly`s performance today?
LANHEE CHEN, ADVISER TO MARCO RUBIO`S 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: You know, I thought that it was a sincere performance. You know, I think he did fine. But I thought the most interesting thing Chris, about the exchange was, you know, this is a guy who has commanded large forces of soldiers. This is a guy who`s been in war multiple times. He`s been shot at no doubt. And he said the hardest job he`s ever had, the hardest job is being the White House Chief of Staff. That to me is indicative, I think, of the challenges that face this Presidency and this White House. And the fact that Kelly`s still in there, I think is a testament to John Kelly.
HAYES: Ben, the sort of going after the press which has been a kind of constant theme here. There`s an exchange where Senator Ben Sasse sort -- of Nebraska rapped the President for his you know, decertification, de- licensing. Do you think there`s broad conservative revulsion at that or do they generally feel like yes, these people are our enemies?
BEN HOWE, WRITER, REDSTATE: It`s been interesting to watch, actually because I think a lot of conservatives in previous administrations, if a President was going to go after the press, one of the first things -- after their license specifically -- I think they would have said, why is the government involved in licensing media anyway? And they`d talk free markets and things like that. I mean, that`s what I would have done. But instead, they seem to play by what a lot of them call the new rules which is the liberals made the rules and now we`re going to play by them. So even though it might conflict with what should be their conservative point of view, they`re going to end up taking the position, yes, let`s take their license away because we`re just following their new rules anyway.
HAYES: There is a great story, Lanhee that to me epitomized part of the -- part of the problem that`s to the core of this Presidency and particularly in domestic politics (INAUDIBLE) of Republican Party which is this. The President is trying to get this tax proposal done, he`s been sort of working on that while this sort of awful news cycle has swirled hem with Corker comments. And this is what Bloomberg reported. Months after the White House proposed ending a tax break for people in the high-tax states, President Donald Trump grew angry when he learned that the change would hurt some middle-income taxpayers. He keeps finding out what the actual substantive agenda is and keeps getting angry about it. What do you make of that?
CHEN: Well, tax reform is complicated and as it turns out health care is complicate too. I mean, look, all of these issues have multiple dimensions. There`s a reason why we haven`t done a big tax reform since 1986. And it`s going to be challenging in any situation. You know, when the White House has had to answer this question about the impact of their tax plan on middle-income taxpayers, they`ve had to say, look, we can`t guarantee that every middle-income taxpayer is going to get a tax cut and we can`t guarantee that there won`t be a single middle-income taxpayer that won`t see a tax increase. But that`s the reality. These are really tough issues and I think now as they dig into it they`re finding out how difficult that could be.
HAYES: Well, but Ben, Ross Douthat made this point that I thought was very good. He said, Trump is a terrible President who nonetheless has sounder political instincts than anyone from the GOP leadership, which is him responding to the story from Bloomberg. You`ve got Trump at one level who does have in some ways political instincts about this stuff that I think is sounder than, say, Paul Ryan`s. But you`ve still got the Ryan agenda at the core but -- and they cannot make the whole thing work.
HOWE: I think he`s got great salesman instincts. And being a good salesman works well with the American people if you go past the media, go straight to Twitter and things like that. I really think this whole administration would do a lot better if the people like Kelly wouldn`t come out and try to translate for him and make it seem as though he`s just this reasonable guy and has all these reasonable positions, when we`ve all got eyes, we can see how he is. And you know, if they would just be a little more honest and -- when they say he`s a straight talker, I mean, he is a straight talker, so embrace that and just say, look, I wouldn`t have said it but I`m not the President.
HAYES: Well, he`s -- I would say he`s a weird mix of a sort of shockingly honest in some moments and then just like incredibly, incredibly in your face deceptive in others. They`re sort of all mixed -- all mixed together.
HOWE: I think some people call that diarrhea of the mouth but yes.
HAYES: So, Lanhee, do you think -- you know, the Kelly is clearly out there because of the Corker comments and because of the kind of reporting about the background and because of Tillerson, et cetera. I mean, do you think Republicans are behind closed doors saying, like where`s this guy going and concerned about that?
CHEN: Well, I think Republicans feel like there are a number of folks in the administration who are playing very important roles. I think Rex Tillerson is one of them, Jim Mattis is another, certainly, John Kelly and the question becomes if those individuals end up leaving the administration for some reason, then what? So I think there is certainly concern about the future of those individuals because I think a lot of folks feel like they`re the people who are there promoting -- you know, in some ways I guess more traditional conservative viewpoints on a lot of these issues. Without them, the question is, well, what comes next? There`s more uncertainty and that worries people.
HAYES: All right, Ben Howe and Lanhee Chen, thank you both.
HOWE: Thank you.
HAYES: Tonight, fed up with Congress, the President signs an executive order as part of a continued and sustained effort to dismantle ObamaCare. What his latest effort actually accomplishes in two minutes.
HAYES: After nine months of being thwarted by his own party in the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, President Trump today decided to sign an executive order to undermine the law. Except when the time came to sign the order, he forgot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will have great health care in our country. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it, thank you. Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you, everybody.
PENCE: Mr. President, you need to sign it.
TRUMP: Oh, the most important thing. I`m only signing it because it costs nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After that momentary lapse, the President did get around to signing the order which allows skimpier plans in some circumstances and could erode health care exchanges by drawing away healthier enrollees. The new order only part what was has been a brought campaign against the ACA. With Congress repeatedly trying and failing to pass repeal and replace legislation, the administration has worked to chip away at the law however it can. That includes gutting the advertisement budget for enrollment, slashing outreach funds to help people navigate health care exchanges and enroll, shutting down the ObamaCare sign-up site for 12 hours and almost every Sunday of open enrollment, and cutting that open enrollment period. My next guest calls Donald Trump`s actions synthetic repeal has been tweeting extensively to how the new executive order is yet another sabotage campaign, Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Good to have you here.
ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICE: Great to be here.
HAYES: You`re a must follow for me on all this. You got -- you know this inside and out. Let`s start with what do you mean by -- I love the term synthetic repeal, what`s that mean?
SLAVITT: Look, the Republican Party and Trump ran seven years of raising nine figures of money on a promise that they would very simply repeal and replace the ACA. So going back as we go into 2018, an election year and telling their donors, oh, we can`t do it, it`s just not a possibility. So I think left to his own devices, they`re coming up with everything they can do to say, forget John McCain, you know, he`s a rhino. We are going to be able to do everything that we promised to do through this executive order and by cutting some Medicaid through the tax bill.
HAYES: So I guess what does that mean for people, right? So the executive order today combined with what they`ve been doing, like, what does that mean for the landscape of health care?
SLAVITT: Well, think about the major pieces of repeal. One of them was that they were going to remove the federal protections against pre-existing conditions. According to the American Academy of Actuaries who looked at the executive order as it came out today, that`s exactly what this does. The other thing they`re going --
HAYES: So it removes protections for pre-existing conditions?
SLAVITT: Well, and it does it by essentially creating a second plan as you -- as you described to your viewers earlier, and that plan sitting alongside the ACA essentially, with no rules, no regulations, is basically designed to allow young, healthy people -- so this is great by the way for 28-year-old males, 28-year-old males can find cheaper policies as long as they don`t get sick, (INAUDIBLE) for everybody else. It brings their costs up and if you have a pre-existing condition, that not only mean it brings your costs up but according to the actuaries they think many insurers are going to leave entirely and there may not be the availability of coverage.
HAYES: So, I saw a wide variety of health care groups today across the sort of spectrums of interests and stakeholders coming out against this. You`ve talked about a few. There`s a question how long this will take and if they`ll actually do it. They have had a record of issuing executive orders and Dave Dayen of the Intercept did a great job of tracking this, where they issue an executive order and then no one does anything on it, it just sits there.
SLAVITT: Well, that`s a really great point. Because if this scratches the President`s itch to have done something, and then these orders go to Treasury and to Human Services and Labor and they -- and they take their time and put out some regs and they water them down from here, we could actually -- and let the country move on to other issues, that would actually be a good thing. I think what people are fearful of, if you listened to his press conference today, what Trump said was, this is the beginning of the dismantling of the ACA. And I think we`re going to have to figure out whether he means it or whether this is just his rhetoric.
HAYES: So the theme here for all this stuff is that the ACA sort of tried to create this marketplace where you had healthy people and sick people and old people and young people, everyone pooling the risk together, you smooth out the risk, and you can charge premiums that are acceptable, subsidized by the government. The theme it seems to me, everything they`ve done on this legislation in terms of what they`ve done at the executive level is hiving off those healthy people, right, stopping the outreach to get them in, giving them other options.
SLAVITT: Right. And I think that`s just a function of it just not being the ACA. I don`t think that`s actually his political philosophy. I don`t think that`s anyone`s political philosophy.
HAYES: There`s no political philosophy.
SLAVITT: Right. I think you`re going to do conservative think tank. In 1993 when they`re battling Hillary Care, they said hey, why don`t we create an exchange with one risk pool? That would be the best idea possible. So I think you`ve just got essentially a man who feels like he needs to deliver something and hopes his donors forgive.
HAYES: And there`s this fundamental also conceptual you know, sort of promiscuousness here where you know, Cassidy-Graham, three weeks ago, the bill they`re going to pass which would be 50 different state regimes, which is the opposite of like take the lines off around the states, which is different from what the E.O. is today. There`s no like, unifying principle here.
SLAVITT: Right, you know, I think if they would have given Graham another few months, he`s so good at the Sunday shows, he might have come up with kind of a unifying sounding theme. The problem is in reality when they say we`re going to give states more authority, and you look at what happened, Oklahoma, Minnesota, they submitted waivers to the Trump administration and they didn`t get them approved.
HAYES: They didn`t even get answers.
SLAVITT: They didn`t even get answers.
HAYES: Because they would like -- they literally wrote to them and said, what`s up, and got nothing.
SLAVITT: It`s only federalism. I mean, you know, that`s really what we`re dealing with.
HAYES: All right, Andy Slavitt, thanks for joining me.
SLAVITT: Still to come, as desperation mounts on the numbers of Americans dying on the island continues to rise, why on earth did the President of the United States threaten to pull federal emergency response out of Puerto Rico? That story is next.
HAYES: Three weeks after Hurricane Maria ripped apart Puerto Rico, the government puts the official number of people dead at 49. But two Democratic members of Congress want a federal audit on that number citing recent reports suggesting the death toll is much higher than is being officially acknowledged. And while hundreds of people remained unaccounted for, the President implied that he`s already ready to abandon the federal recovery effort saying in a statement released on Twitter, "We cannot keep FEMA, the military, and the first responders who`ve been amazing under the most difficult circumstances in P.R. forever." White House Chief of Staff John Kelly later explained the comment was "exactly accurate," which in a certain sense is correct. FEMA and the U.S. military won`t be in Puerto Rico doing disaster recovery for literal ever. But that also seems to miss the point.
And the President suggested this 22 days after the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico to put that in some context, FEMA was present in New Orleans for six years after Hurricane Katrina. And if the President does pull recovery effort on 3.5 American million -- 3.5 million American citizens, he`ll be leaving more than 85 percent of the island still without power, roughly 40 percent without clean drinking water. a Few days ago, a CBS reporter captured images of cars lining up in the town of Montai (ph) Puerto Rico to get fresh water from a PVC pipe that tapped into a hillside stream.
And here`s a picture of a FEMA flyer instructing resident of Punta Santiago (ph), Puerto Rico, an area without internet or cell phone coverage, to call or register online for disaster assistance.
The journalist who snapped that picture joins me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON MADDY, FRM. ARMY CAVALRY SCOUT: We`re currently in Nasci (ph), Puerto Rico. We have an urgent message to get out about what`s really going on here in western Puerto Rico.
Right now we`re only giving out to the people in the mountains one small meal and six bottles of water per family. That is all they`re getting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was former Army Cavalry Scout Jason Maddy on the ground in Nasco, Puerto Rico, a town of about 30,000.
Molly Crabapple is a contributor for BuzzFeed and contributing editor at Vice, just got back from Puerto Rico and joins me now.
It`s good to have you here. I know your dad is from the island. You have friends there.
You got outside San Juan. Where were you?
MOLLY CRABAPPLE, CONTRIBUTOR, BUZZFEED: I was in Barrio Mariana, which is a small village in the municipality of Umacao (ph), which is the first place on the island that the hurricane hit.
HAYES: And what was -- how much federal presence did you see there in terms of military or FEMA or federal officials?
CRABAPPLE: I personally saw zero presence. When I was there, the only aid that people in Mariana had received was a municipal truck that gave people two small bottles of water, a pack of tropical-flavored Skittles, a Nutrigrain bar, and a pack of Virginia sausages.
I do know that the military and the FBI came about three weeks after the hurricane and they did distribute MREs and water, but that was pretty much it.
HAYES: And in terms of how people were living their lives there, I`m assuming there was no electricity.
HAYES: And how were people -- how are people getting the basics, which is water, electricity, and food?
CRABAPPLE: Some people had generators. But if you have a generator, your life becomes an endless wait on six-hour lines for diesel. To get water, you either waited for hours and hours at Costco using your scarce reserves of gasoline, or you went to a creek on the side of a mountain and you collected it in a jug.
HAYES: So people were just getting rainwater off a creek?
CRABAPPLE: Yeah -- or the spring water off a creek, that`s what I did. And then we would -- I brought a filter, and we`d purify it.
But this is very dangerous because disease is spreading on the island, because there were all of these animal corpses that were left to rot, and it`s getting into the water.
HAYES: So, I mean, how -- it sounds to me like a nonfunctional situation. So it`s like -- it sounds like what`s happening is people`s days are taken up with the basics of survival. There`s nothing -- no one`s going to work or doing the things that you would normally do.
Communication is so bad that even pharmaceutical companies, which are the biggest industries there, are calling into the one radio station to tell their workers whether or not they should come to work.
So people, most people don`t have the ability to get to their jobs. Their credit cards don`t work. Their EBT cards don`t work. Huge lines to access the ATM. And you have a $200 maximum. And you know that cash will run out.
So it`s the struggle for survival. But the thing about Puerto Ricans is that this is a very, very close-knit culture, this is a culture of family, it`s a culture of friends, it`s a culture of barrios, of neighborhoods. And so people are taking care of each other. It`s not the federal government that`s taking care of people ,and it`s not FEMA, it`s people taking care of each other.
In Barrio Mariana, the couple that I stayed with, Christine Nedez (ph) and Luis Rodriguez Sanchez, actually set up a community kitchen that`s currently feeding hundreds of people. And these community kitchens are happening all over the island. As people give up on help from FEMA and decide to take caring for themselves and their neighbors into their own hands.
HAYES: How aware will people of this sort of -- the president`s comments, the president`s perspective towards Puerto Rico, over the feelings about the federal government and its involvement?
CRABAPPLE: One older woman I spoke to said, oh, Trump came into the richest town in Puerto Rico and threw toilet paper at people`s heads. He`s trying to humiliate us.
In general, it`s viewed as an extension of the same sort of racist, colonialist, and stereotypical thinking that America has had for Puerto Rico since it colonized it in 1898.
HAYES: Do you think -- do folks have hope that things are going to change in the short-term? Or is there this sense that this -- adjustments we`ve made to just eke out survival, which is food, water, electricity, diesel, that that is going to be the status quo for a while?
CRABAPPLE: Some people have accepted that that will be the status quo for a while and are trying to build on it with these community efforts. Other people are just sort of hanging on. One woman that I met, her mother who has Alzheimer`s and dementia and can`t speak, was -- she is kicked out of her nursing home because there was no electricity and doesn`t have access to medicine. And she`s trying to keep her mother alive in this crushing heat with no access to clean water. Someone like that needs help as soon as possible. They can`t just adjust.
HAYES: All right, Molly Crabapple, thank you for your reporting. Thank you for joining us.
CRABAPPLE: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Still to come, why a senior Facebook executive says they owe the American people an apology ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, it`s a good one next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Senator Lindsey Graham gave a 33-minute interview to Golf magazine to defend his claim that during a round of golf on Monday, President Trump shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions. That contention raised plenty of eyebrows because it would mean the 71-year-old president would rank among the best senior golfers in the entire world.
For some context, consider hall of fame golfer Hale Irwin, who turned 72 in June, has a scoring average of just over 73 in the seven champions tour events he`s played this year.
But in the course of attempting to justify his claim, the president shot a 73, Lindsey Graham perhaps inadvertently gave away Trump`s secret for success on the course -- he cheats. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: In defending his implausible claim that President Trump shot a 73 on the golf course Monday, Senator Lindsey Graham admitted to Golf magazine the president likes to take gimme putts instead of finishing out the hole. But we know what the president considers a gimme and it is, shall we say, generous. Sports Writer Rick Riley told The Washington Post that Trump once called a gimme on what should have been a chip shot, adding when it comes to cheating he`s an 11 on a detail 1 to 10.
Indeed, the president seen here driving his golf cart onto the green is a notorious cheater on the course. And there are plenty of stories illustrating just how he does it. Reportedly, Trump will sometimes respond to a shot he duffed by simply playing a second ball and carrying on as if the first shot never happened.
TMZ reporting in 2006 that after Trump shanked his shot from the tee out of bounds he drove down the course, then turned his golf cart to block him as he took a ball out of his pocket, looked over at his partners to make sure the bat into the rough.
Trump has been called a cheater by rockstar Alex Cooper, actor Samuel Jackson, and boxer Oscar de la Hoya, who said Trump hit a ball into the bushes and then just dropped another one three feet from the hole like it was there the whole time.
The president denies all this, of course. And in February he forced former GE CEO Jeff Immelt to tell a very different story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Jeff actually watched me make a hole in one, can you believe that? Should you tell that story? Actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people, to be exact.
JEFF IMMELT, FRM. GE CEO: That`s what you said.
TRUMP: So, it was sort of cool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You`ve probably heard about the Russian-linked Facebook ads purchased to influence the presidential election. But what did that actually look like?
Here`s one from a group calling itself Defend the Second. And you can see there a woman holding a gun. The question, why do I have a gun? It is one of at least 3,000 ads believed to be linked to a particular Russian troll farm. And reporting indicates the ads were targeted to certain groups, often focusing on hot-button issues like gun rights or border security.
If you look carefully at this ad, there`s an immediate clue it may have been sponsored by a Russian-linked account, quote, "why do I have a gun? Because it`s easier for my family to get me out of jail than out the cemetery." The New York Times notes the spelling often a mistake by Russians speaking English.
With 3,000 Facebook ads believed to be linked to these reportedly reaching 10 million people in the run-up to the presidential election, Facebook`s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg went to Washington this week to meet with the House intelligence committee and the Congressional Black Caucus to address mounting concerns about these ads and how they were used.
The House Intelligence Committee plans to release the 3,000 ads to the public after the tech companies Facebook, Google, and Twitter testify before congress in the coming weeks.
But it`s increasingly clear that Facebook, in particular, has created a system it`s struggling to control. And for the first time Sandberg addressed it. What she said after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARA SWISHER: Everyone in the Silicon Valley, everything is a benign platform. We`re just making these tools. We don`t know how they are used. If you sit with them, it`s exhausting to talk to them about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s a genuine and serious question about whether something as big as Facebook can ever be, as Kara Swisher called it, the nine platforms, today Facebook`s Sheryl Sandberg spoke with Axios` Mike Allen for the first time since revelations about Russian-linked ads on Facebook in the run-up to the election.
While she offered an apology for the way Facebook handled Russian interference, the benign platform defense was also on full display.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK: We are a platform where people express themselves every day and keep our platform as free of abuse as possible. We`re a new kind of platform. In our heart, we`re a tech company, we hire engineers. We don`t hire reporters. No one`s a journalist. We don`t cover the news. But when we say that, we`re not saying we don`t have a responsibility. In fact, we`re a new kind of platform. With our size, as our size grows, we think we have more responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Xeni Jardin is co-editor of BoingBoing, it`s a platform in some ways, Max Red, senior editor of New York magazine and they join me now.
This is the fundamental conundrum, I think. It`s like, what are you? What are you? What is Facebook?
MARK READ, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: It`s a platform, sure. It`s also a community about 2 billion people. It`s also a publisher. It`s also an advertising company. It`s also the most advanced surveillance system on the entire planet, and it`s all of these things at once. And some of these things have very mutually exclusive incentives and responsibilities.
HAYES: Well, Xeni, it strikes me that one of the things Max said there is key, which is that it`s an advertising platform. I mean, the way that they make money is through surveillance and advertising, which is they figure out who you are and then they sell ads to target you, and whatever they`re going to do is they are not going to want to do anything that cuts into that.
XENI JARDIN, BOINGBOING: Bingo. I mean, more than anything, Facebook monetizes your attention and mind, the users. There was a time on the Internet when we didn`t have to go to these walled gardens to connect with our friends when we had websites and blogs and stuff that were -- they were just sort of more independent. But we all know that half of Americans are so -- get their news through Facebook.
What people don`t know is that news publishers, in order to get the news to you, or to get their political campaign to you, typically have to pay Facebook. And that`s -- when we talk about ads in this context, which Sheryl Sandberg mentioned, even as she brought up a red herring with Twitter`s handling of Marsha Blackburn`s campaign ad, remember she mentioned that in this Axios interview, she talked about how Twitter made a bad call in essentially banning a political ad.
But what she said right after that was a big tell. She said Blackburn and everybody else, essentially people know -- everyone knows that in order to reach your audience on Facebook, you have to pay. My site Boingboing.net, if we want to ensure that we`re going to reach a certain number of eyeballs, MSNBC, BuzzFeed, anyone, you have to pay.
So, here`s the thing, Sandberg said in that interview that it was traceable, that the Russian psy ops campaign, the active measures that Russia blitzed our internet with during the last election, so that was paid ads as well and they were paid for in rubles. So like show me the receipts. If they`re in rubles, it shouldn`t be that hard to track down. And why not have Facebook return that money, like everybody`s saying that Hillary Clinton ought to do with Weinstein`s money and everybody talking about the donations that Harvey Weinstein made, and that the political beneficiaries of those donations should return it.
I say Facebook ought to return that, because Facebook is profiting off of this and they knew it when it was happening.
HAYES: Did they know it when it was happening? I mean, that`s the question, right? Like, I think a lot about the parallel -- because I`ve spent a lot of time covering the financial crisis. And there`s a big question about the financial crisis was like were they dumb or avaricious, like did they not realize what they were doing? Was it hubris or was it avarice. And it was, of course, both.
Here with Facebook, it`s like, do they not know? Do they not care? Do they just want to make a lot of money?
READ: I think it`s all three. I think they`ve created a system that`s so big and so widespread and also so automated that they don`t -- they can`t look at all of it all the time.
HAYES: This is the key. It`s like buying an ad on Facebook is like getting a candy bar off a vending machine, you know what I mean? It`s like you just go and you fill out the form and then you`re running ads.
READ: You don`t have to talk to somebody for it. And that`s been great for small businesses and small groups that need it, but it`s also great for Russians, for example, who might want to buy ads on Facebook and not have anybody know that they are Russian.
HAYES: Do you think that the platform in its current incarnation, at the current size, can continue in this way with the changes that someone like Sandberg promises? Xeni?
JARDIN: Sorry -- absolutely not.
I think -- look, I think what we`re seeing right now is Sheryl Sandberg on the most earnest charm offensive, crisis PR tour of all time.
I think Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg both know that what they are staring at is the possibility of government regulations. And they`d very much like to avoid that.
As I heard yesterday earlier today on MSNBC, this is not about re- litigating the 2016 elections alone, although the result of that election is something that feels very unstable and very scary to a lot of us adults.
JARDIN: But this is also about moving ahead. So if Facebook, as I believe they did, was essentially identified by Russian intelligence as having some big, gaping security holes that could be exploited by Russia for their own purposes, that has to be addressed in a much bigger way than just this sort of super well rehearsed PR event that happened today.
It`s not like questions were even rehearsed. And I didn`t hear an answer. I didn`t hear real answers, for instance, about she was asked by Mike Allen at Axios, is it possible that the Russian ad buy targeting and the Trump campaign ad buy targeting overlapped? She didn`t answer it. She deferred to the government releasing that information in due time. It just felt seemed so disingenuous so not genuine and like a real insult to a lot of Americans who have trust in Facebook as a platform that doesn`t profit off of pushing misinformation at us.
And that`s the thing, it`s not -- this is not about free speech in the way that Sandberg kept punting to in that interview. They are not a nonprofit, and this is about constitutional or first amendment issues alone, this is about are you free to profit off of something that harms America when you know it`s harming America?
HAYES: The free -- they want -- the free speech argument seems like sort of almost imbued in a lot of the kind of tech culture...
READ: Yeah, absolutely.
HAYES: ...at Silicon Valley and very present at Facebook, too.
READ: Yeah, and they like the free speech argument because it`s one that we all sort of intuitively understand and support.
But it`s important to recognize that Facebook is not a government, you know, it might sort of seem like a state or like a government, but free speech works in the United States because we have a very lengthy history of judicial body of law and judicial rulings and ways to hold the government accountable and to fight back and to appeal rulings, and Facebook is a giant black box with a few people at the very top and their ideas about what should be allowed and what shouldn`t be is somewhere in there and sort of filtered out into a bunch of moderator contracts that live in Bangladesh and the Philippines and wherever else.
And that`s not -- they`re not like the U.S. government where we can say, yes, we have a right to free speech on this.
HAYES: Xeni Jardin and Max Read, thank you both.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2017 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.