Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 1, 2018 Guest: Angelo Carusone, Dan Kanninen, Lisa Green, Rebecca Traister, Ted Lieu, Mickey Edwards, Sam Biddle (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A letter was given to me by Kim Jong-un. It was a very interesting letter.
HAYES: President Trump agrees to meet an adversary without precondition. I haven`t seen the letter yet. I purposely didn`t open.
HAYES: While spurning America`s allies.
TRUMP: They`re our allies but they take advantage of us economically.
HAYES: Tonight, how Donald Trump is turning America`s relationship with the world upside down. Then --
SCOTT PRUITT, ADMINISTRATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: It`s important that it`s serving this capacity that everyone is a good steward of taxpayer money.
HAYES: The new propaganda push to save Scott Pruitt.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP: Scott Pruitt is standing strong in his job.
HAYES: Plus new evidence of a Russian attempt to hack state voter systems. And Rebecca Traister on the glaring difference between Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr.
SAMANTHA BEE, COMEDIAN: Americans are finally paying attention.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. With two big foreign policy moves just today, the President is turning away from the Western democracies that have for decades been America`s closest allies aligning the U.S. instead with autocrats and strongmen who practiced the type of leadership that this president admires. In the process, he is fundamentally reshaping our relationship to the rest of the world. The President announced today that his June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un is back on fulfilling a long time goal of the North Koreans, a meeting with a U.S. President without securing any solid concessions in return. The announcement came after the President welcomed a top aide to Kim Jong-un at the White House later bragging to the press corps about their strong relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It was actually very interesting because this was literally going to be the delivery of the letter and it ended up being a two-hour conversation with the second most powerful man in North Korea. I think the relationship we have right now with North Korea is as good as it`s been in a long time. They had no relationship under the previous administration. It was -- there was nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s a slightly strange attitude it might seem to have about one of the world`s most oppressive authoritarian regimes, but if you paid attention during the campaign you know the President has a certain respect for Kim Jong-un.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This guy, this -- I mean he`s like a maniac, OK. And you got to give him credit. How many young guys, he was like 26 or 25 when his father died, take over these tough generals and all of a sudden you know, it`s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that even though it is a culture and as a cultural thing, he goes and he takes over? He`s the boss. It`s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean, this guy doesn`t play games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Boom, boom, he`s killing everybody. You got to tip your hat to him. The President has expressed similar regard for autocrats like Vladimir Putin, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, China`s Xi Jinping, Turkeys Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Saudi Arabia`s Mohammed Bin Salman, even Saddam Hussein who`s got a frequent shout-out on the campaign trail. At the same time, he`s embracing closer relations with dictators, the President is systematically eroding United States most important alliances. At midnight last night, new steel and aluminum tariffs went into effect against our closest foreign allies Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To be honest with you, they cannot believe that they`ve gotten away with this for so many decades. They`re our allies but they take advantage of us economically. But I think we have a good chance of doing some great trade deals that will make America great again, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: U.S. allies have strongly condemned the move and announced plans to retaliate raising the prospect of a damaging trade war. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the tariffs in a new interview with NBC`s Chuck Todd.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: The idea that you know our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II on the -- and the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world that are always there for each other somehow this is insulting to them. The idea that the Canadian steel that`s in military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat. The fact that -- I mean next week we`re hosting at the G7 summit of world leaders and the airfield, the military base that Air Force One is going to land in was put there in World War II to protect an aluminum smelter that was providing to the military effort. The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The new tariffs come exactly one year since the President announce plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The U.S. is now the only nation on earth to reject the climate pact. The tariffs also come just a few weeks since the President pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal a major break with Europe`s closest allies in Europe.
Days later, the President of the European Council wrote looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies. To help break down the President is changing America`s role in the world, I`m joined by Congressman Ted Lieu Democrat from California and a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. First, I guess your reaction to what these tariffs do to America`s relationship with some of its closest allies?
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Thank you, Chris, for your question. It`s very clear that Donald Trump is much more comfortable with autocrats and non-democracies such as Russia and China or the same time offending our own allies such as Canada, Mexico in the entire European Union. But what`s really disturbing is there doesn`t seem to be any sort of long-term strategic policy. The President wakes up one day and says he`s going to do tariffs, then a few days later he says you should exempt all these countries, and now we learned he`s not going to exempt those countries so it`s very erratic and it`s making these allies think we are unstable partner and that is not helpful to the United States.
HAYES: One thing here, just to be clear on this. The reason that -- Justin Trudeau reference this and I think it`s important for people to understand what`s going on here. The reason that the executive, the White House, the Article 2 branch of Constitution can unilaterally impose these tariffs is under a national security provision. And so the logic that must follow is that there might be a war with Canada in which we couldn`t use their steel and aluminum and is there any person in the world who think that`s true?
LIEU: Not at all. And in fact, the law was put in place to deal with situations that look nothing like this one. Canada is one of America`s oldest and strongest allies. And by the way, the President just makes things up. The President keeps saying somehow Canada`s taking advantage of United States. The U.S. actually has a $13 billion dollar trade surplus with Canada. We wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative who actually says the U.S. has a trade surplus for Canada and we asked the trade route sort of to say that`s not true. He has not done that so we`re going to assume that that is still a true fact.
HAYES: So -- right. So, first of all, we have a trade surplus with Canada, we`re not going to go to war with them and not use their aluminum and steel and I guess the question is Congress should just wrench back the power. I mean, honestly, this seems an obvious abrogation of congressional power here.
LIEU: Yes and you actually have bipartisan outrage against what Donald Trump is doing. Speaker Ryan, Mitch McConnell, a number of Democrats have all said that this is just stupid the way that the President is doing this. And we know it`s really quite insane when both U.S. Steel companies and U.S. Steel Workers oppose the tariffs on Canada. And then the Aluminum Association opposes Trump`s tariffs on aluminum against these other countries. So there is literally no one that`s supporting these tariffs.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a good point. We had a Leo Gerard who is the head of the Steel Workers Union who`s a supporter of the idea of tariffs on imports of metals from China, even he who`s one of the terrorists strongest supporters opposes tariffs on Canada. There is no one as far as I can tell aside from literally the President of the United States is making the case for that.
LIEU: Absolutely true. And something else to consider, I don`t think the President understands that the world order that was created as dominating the world in the economy benefits the United States. We`re at the center of it as our Western democracies. When we don`t work with our allies, countries like Russia and China are very happy about that and it`s already pushed other countries who were our allies to work with countries like China and Russia. So for example, Japan and China have now held their first trade talks in over eight years precisely because Japan views America is an unreliable partner.
HAYES: I should note, Putin critic Garry Kasparov tweeting in January 2017, I gave Putin`s wish list to explain what he most wanted from Trump, lifting sanctions is number one but Flynn got caught and blew it up. A trade war with NATO allies was number two. Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you for joining me.
LIEU: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on the president`s turn away from American allies I`m joined by Ambassador Wendy Sherman, MSNBC Global Affairs Contributor, from Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and former Congressman Mickey Edwards who represented Oklahoma as a Republican. And Wendy, I want to get your reaction to watching what happened at the White House today where the President rolls out the red carpet for a representative of North Korea which again peace talks in North Korea are seem like substantively might be the right thing to do, on the same day he`s sort of declaring a trade war against our closest allies.
WENDY SHERMAN MSNBC GLOBAL AFFAIRS CONTRIBUTOR: Well indeed Chris. I just returned this afternoon from Europe. My last stop was in Paris and we`ve heard from the French Finance Minister that the G7 that comes up the 8th and the 9th of June is really a G6 plus one with the U.S. being the outlier and I would not be surprised at all if the President does not go to the G7 in Canada but sends Vice President Pence instead. He`ll probably say he`s getting ready for the Singapore summit. And how can he face all of these folks in Canada? I`ve got to tell you I was in Europe as I said as these tariffs came through and people were just gobsmacked and ready to retaliate because they`ve just had enough.
HAYES: That`s interesting. There`s also, Mickey, it seems to me a kind of dispositional aspect to this which is the President really has affection for strong men. This is a consistent part of his personality. I want to play a little bit of sound of him praising them and get your reaction to how that`s orienting American policy. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin and I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia. The man has very strong control over a country. Now it`s a very different system and I don`t happen to like the system but certainly, in that system, he`s been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.
China is great and Xi is a great gentleman. He`s now president for life. President for life. No, he`s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it`s great. Maybe we`ll have to give that a shot someday.
Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well, he killed terrorists. He did that so good they didn`t read him the rights, they didn`t talk, they were a terrorist, it was over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that, Mickey?
MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Well, he killed terrorists. He also killed his own people. You know, Donald Trump has a love for authoritarians because he`s an authoritarian. That`s the way he thinks. He thinks you`re supposed to have a strong man at the top and that strongman makes decisions and you`re supposed to carry them out or who knows what will happen. He seemed very happy with the way the people who were not on board got dealt with in North Korea. But you know the problem, Chris, is not just what the President is doing.
I was listening to the segment with Ted where you were talking about it he was talking about the fact that the President is unpredictable and it`s not a good policy and all these people are against it including Republicans as well, but that`s not the point. You know the Constitution very clearly says, Article 1, Section 8, Subsection 3, the Congress is in charge of regulating foreign commerce, we are -- all of our commerce with other nations. So it`s Congress not doing its job, it`s not just Donald Trump.
HAYES: And Wendy, you know Matt Yglesias made this point and I keep thinking about it which is there`s a fundamental problem which is Democratic policies in the G7 nations for interest -- for instance have to respond to domestic public opinion which is opposed to Donald Trump. They don`t like Donald Trump. Places like Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Russia or China don`t have to do that. So there`s like a structural advantage to non-democracies in sort of bribing and flattering this president.
SHERMAN: Indeed and I think people have seen that if you just give them a little sugar, it goes a very long way. I think the other thing we`re seeing here, Chris, is that he`s really trying to do a little bit of a kamikaze kind of act here. I think he believes that if he puts pressure on Europe, that Europe will then follow through on sanctions on Iran, but what he doesn`t understand is Europe has leverage as well. He`s not the only one who has leverage. I think the Europeans will retaliate.
And the next time he needs Europe, Europe will be slow to come forward. It`s interesting as much as he hates multilateralism and the OECD meeting which just happened in Paris. Indeed the U.S. said, don`t want that word anywhere in the communique. He is using multilateralism in this summit in Singapore. It wouldn`t be happening without South Korea. It wouldn`t be happening without China. It wouldn`t be happening without Japan.
HAYES: Mickey, there`s also the fact that there`s going to be economic effects of this if this has escalated. CNBC did an analysis of the ways in which the savings from the tax cut which for working people is already quite, quite slender will become entirely eaten up if the retaliatory tariffs go into effect.
EDWARDS: Chris, in 1930 we imposed the Smoot-Hawley tariff. They resulted in cutting U.S. exports to other countries by more than half and they made the Great Depression even worse. And you know these other countries aren`t going to just sit there and take it. So they may be our allies, they may be our friends, you know, but they also care about their own citizens and their own economy and they are going to retaliate and it`s not going to be you know, Donald Trump`s is going to get hurt, it`s Americans who work in factories all across this country. It`s Americans who have to buy product.
HAYES: Yes, every politician across the world has their own Youngstown and their own factories, Ambassador Wendy Sherman and former Congressman Mickey Edwards, great to have you both.
SHERMAN: Thank you, Chris.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, the audacious piece of propaganda rolled out of local news stations across the country to save Scott Pruitt, but first a look at new evidence showing exactly how Russia tried to hack into actual voting systems in 2016. We`ve got the actual e-mail here in two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and I sent a letter to the Secretaries of State before the election saying heads up, be on the watch out, something is happening. Guard your data. So we all knew this before the election. We all knew Russia was trying to meddle with our election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Consensus view of party leaders and the U.S. Intelligence Community for some time now has been that Russia was determined to interfere in the 2016 election. Now we have an example of exactly one what one of those attempts looked like. Here`s an actual e-mail published by the Intercept that Russian hackers used to try to break into state voting systems. It purported to be from an election vendor called VR systems and it came with a word attachment packed with malware that when opened would give Russian hackers remote control over the computer in question.
Whether they succeeded in actually changing any data inside the voting systems, well that`s a question for the person who broke the story. Joining me now is Reporter Sam Biddle whose story was published today in the Intercept, also with Malcolm Nance, MSNBC Terrorism Analyst and author of The Plot to Hack America. So first, Sam, talk about what you found and what its significance is.
SAM BIDDLE, REPORTER, INTERCEPT: So right off the bat the e-mail is amazingly simple. It`s only a couple lines of text. It came from a Gmail account which isn`t exactly the most devious smoke-and-mirrors approach but I think most troubling was the response from the company VR Systems. They aren`t really sure who opened this e-mail and whether it worked which is two years after the fact not what you want to hear.
HAYES: Meaning this got sent out to a bunch of state election system?
BIDDLE: Correct. Yes.
HAYES: And we know that for a fact?
BIDDLE: The NSA assessed that it was yes, I mean well over a hundred.
HAYES: OK, and we don`t know who opened it.
HAYES: So like I guess -- I keep coming back. I want some definitive ruling, right? There`s always this -- the reporting on this where like they attempted to gain entry into state voter files. And I always want some definitive ruling like were they successful? Did they get in there? Did they change data? Like do we have a definitive answer that?
BIDDLE: No, and it`s been two years since this happened, by the -- almost two years. It`ll be two years in November.
HAYES: Malcolm, that strikes me as sort of remarkable.
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Yes, it`s remarkable because everyone refuses to do an audit on their systems after that election. Look, I got into an exchange with the former Florida State Secretary of State when I made the assertion that Florida`s subcontractor had apparently been one of these systems that was you know, penetrated, and they denied it. I mean, hard. But so long as you`re denying it, you will assume nothing is wrong. We have to assume from an counterintelligence and a counter cyber warfare perspective that something happened and it needs to be checked.
HAYES: Yes, so I guess the other issue here is like, this is just -- this is just a phishing e-mail basically am I right?
BIDDLE: This is the same kind of phishing e-mail someone would use to try to get your you know, YouTube or Netflix login or your bank account. It is --
HAYES: Right, pretty simple stuff.
HAYES: We should say that pretty simple stuff could have big effects. This is the, of course, the John Podesta phishing e-mail which is just, hi John someone just used your password to try to sign your Google account. Google stopped the sign-in attempt, you should change your password immediately. Best the Gmail team like that that`s what led to --
BIDDLE: The simple ones work. Simple e-mails work.
HAYES: Right, which is another reason to think that like someone clicked on that malware.
BIDDLE: We`d like to know the answer.
HAYES: I just -- I guess I feel like this is a more urgent question that it`s been treated, Malcolm, from a policy perspective which is, were state voter file systems compromised? Were they compromised and by who? Do people still have access to them? Was any data within them changed? There are no answers to that definitively?
NANCE: There are no answers and they really don`t want to have answers. We`re about to go into an election season with the exact same systems in place with also you have got to remember, you have half a country that does not believe any of this took place and has no legitimacy. So we`re in trouble.
BIDDLE: Yes, I think something that was really telling was that when I went to VR Systems, the vendor in question --
HAYES: Their vendor services election software.
BIDDLE: Yes, did they service a handful of states including swing states like Virginia and North Carolina. When I went to them to ask about this e- mail, they put me in touch with basically a P.R. person. I think there`s a lot of face-saving going on and that`s maybe why we`re not getting any answers here because I mean VR Systems is a business first and foremost. They`re not accountable to voters.
HAYES: Well that`s a question, right? Is -- have -- like is there oversight in place from a sort of computer and tech security standpoint to make sure -- Malcom use the word audit. Like is there some protocol in place? Have states implemented something, where they will --, are going to check to make sure the security on these systems meet some set of standards? There is nothing nationally that has been done in a rigorous manner. You know, I think a lot of this is left to the states, the individual counties to sort of do their best on a county-by-county basis but that`s clearly lacking because we still don`t have answers in June 2018.
HAYES: There`s also, Malcolm, it seems to me that the vulnerabilities here are pretty obvious just because the way American voting works is if you want to help one side or the other you kind of can know which precincts to go after and mess with.
NANCE: Well, that`s true. But you also have to understand that the American system of voting is actually very, very difficult to get to hack in one particular space. I mean, there are systems that are used you know, every county, every precinct, can use a very different system. But you notice they went after voter registration and we first heard this story about 20 months ago immediately recognized the threat. They don`t have to actually hack the voter tallies, they can disqualify people from coming to the polls and disenfranchise tens of thousands of people if they wanted to by simply changing your zip code.
HAYES: You`re shaking your head.
BIDDLE: No it`s -- that`s completely right. I think a lot of people think of the great cyber threat to voting as you know ballot stuffing, digital ballot stuffing.
HAYES: Right, or like changing yeses to noes, right?
BIDDLE: All they have to do is make it hard to get in -- you know, to actually cast your ballot. If your name is on the list inexplicably you know, the whole the whole system`s going to get gummed up and you not -- may not get to vote that day.
HAYES: And the point -- I mean, the point that I was making, right, is that the way American voting works is you could just pick a hundred precincts in Virginia where you know if you knockout 10 percent of the names you`re knocking out Republican voters or knocking out Democratic voters because of the clustering of voters.
BIDDLE: And that could be just as effective as actually changing votes that have been cast. It`s preventing votes from being cast in the first place.
HAYES: What would you -- if you could wave a magic wand, Malcolm, what would you do here?
NANCE: Oh, well I would have a giant national public-private partnership where we took the threat seriously, where we use the 2016 model and extrapolate that all of those little probes scans and attempts are part of a large-scale foreign adversary active measure and then we would attack it directly.
HAYES: Sam Biddle, and Malcolm Nance, thanks for joining us.
BIDDLE: My pleasure.
HAYES: Up next, the Trump world defense of Scott Pruitt the local news stations were forced to run.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRUITT: These distractions, these issues that we`ve dealt with largely I think have emanated from the great work that we`ve been doing.
EPSHTEYN: Here`s the bottom line. Scott Pruitt is standing strong in his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A crazy bit of breaking news this evening. Scott Pruitt is still employed. He remains in his position as administrator of the EPA despite 12 separate federal investigations and an almost comical mountain of evidence of corruption and shady dealing. The President who campaigned of course on a message to drained the swamp because he said the crowds really liked it when he said that now says Scott Pruitt has his full confidence. And this week Sinclair Broadcasting stepped in to help. Former Trump Campaign aide Boris Epshteyn conducted an interview with Pruitt so propagandistic it would almost be hilarious if so many television stations hadn`t been forced to run it. Here`s a portion of that two-minute piece.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EPSHTEYN: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has dealt with his share of controversies in his time at the agency. The criticisms have centered on issues such as pay raises for his subordinates and alleged misuse of taxpayer funds to pay for travel and security. Here`s what Administrator Pruitt had to say.
PRUITT: Look, I care so much about taxpayer money. It`s what I`ve done historically when I served at the state level. It`s important that it`s served in this capacity that it`s a good steward of taxpayer money. But these distractions, these issues that we`ve dealt with largely I think have emanated from the great work that we`ve been doing. So I`m trying to learn from this process and make sure that the Agency applies different checks and balances in the future but continued focus on getting results at the same time.
EPSHTEYN: You`re looking at some of those changes to make sure --
EPSHTEYN: -- that there`s more --
PRUITT: Absolutely, and we should.
EPSHTEYN: Here`s the bottom line. Scott Pruitt is standing strong in his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You got that everyone? According to Media Matters, the interview was aired in two short segments. The first segment at least 35 of Sinclair`s local T.V.s news stations in at least 20 states. The second segment will also be shown on Sinclair stations around the country. Angelo Carusone, President of Media Matters, Dan Kanninen former White House Liaison at the EPA under President Obama and Attorney Lisa Green join me now.
And Angelo, first let`s start with -- I mean, it really is, like there`s a way in which it`s propagandistic aesthetically that feels extremely heavy- handed and throwback, but this is going out all over the place, right?
ANGELO CARUSONE, MEDIA MATTERS: That`s exactly right. And that`s why -- you know, I think everyone should beware of Sinclair, because of the reality is that most people still trust their local news. And so it`s insidious when they`re out there running segments like that.
The consumers of it, in particular, are not assuming that Boris Epstein is somehow connected to the Trump campaign. And in many ways that could actually be their first exposure to Scott Pruitt or their most significant exposure to Scott Pruitt`s sort of long history of scandals. And that`s why it`s so insidious and damaging.
HAYES: Dan, as a former person who worked in this space in the Obama administration, what -- I mean, what do you -- what goes through your mind when you read about Scott Pruitt?
DAN KANNINEN, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WHITE HOUSE LIAISON: Well, I wish I could say it was surprising when the $1,500 fountain pens and, you know, stay in a lobbyists` home, but it`s par for the course for Scott Pruitt and this administration.
But what`s really terrifying, not just about the Sinclair piece, but about the fact that AP reporters were kicked out of a Safe Drinking Water summit while the pay raises that were mentioned in that story were given to employees who were supposed to be experts in the field, positions given to the EPA as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, and instead they`re used to give $30,000 and $40,000 raises for his folks from Oklahoma, because he wants to the reward his political people to help him advance his own political agenda and career. It`s pretty troubling when Flint drinking water is still not available and safe now.
HAYES: To the Dan`s point, the mention of the fountain pens, there another FOIA request on another 12 silver fountain pens and personalized journals that came in at the cost of the low, low price of $1,560 for the 12 fountain pens. It`s about 130 bucks a pop. I`m not doing that in my head, I wrote that down.
There`s also, Lisa, it seems to me, there`s a connection between the president and Pruitt. And Pruitt sit kind of a mini-Trump in this respect. What Trump is showing is that you just, if you`re shameless enough and you just stay at it, political, legal, and media problems can just be staved off.
LISA GREEN, ATTORNEY: If you repeat your message often enough to a friendly outlet, the truth starts to dissipate.
But I`ll tell you something about the pens, right. They were $1,300 pens. And you might think as I do what a waste of taxpayer money. But what Pruitt could use them for really ably is to hand them to his friends, like the lobbyist whose wife rented him the apartment, who needed to -- his firm needed to update their disclosure forms, because in fact he had lobbied the EPA. Take a pen and write that down.
Or the staffer who Pruitt arguably ought to pay for working on government time, your taxpayer dollars and mine, to help him with real estate. And three senators have now asked the inspector general to take a look into that.
So, you know, pens are more practical than you might think.
HAYES: Yes, he should hand it to Steven Hart. By the way, this came out today, that Steven Hart, whose wife notoriously rented a condo to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and who said no business before the agency, no business before the agency, no business before the agency, swore up and down. Everyone swore up and down. Everyone told us they released statement after statement after statement saying no business. Well guess what? You`ll never guess what. they had business before the agency.
Scott Pruitt -- they lobbied the agency for three clients last year, apparently contradicting his claim he hadn`t represented clients at the EPA during the Trump administration.
And Angelo, a la Trump who has not given an interview to a non-friendly outlet since Lester Holt, Pruitt never has to answer a question on that, because he will only go to friendly outlets.
CARUSONE: And exactly it. And that actually underscores not only how corrupt Scott Pruitt is, but just how propagandistic this Sinclair segment was, because to your point, in his first year, Scott Pruitt did 16 interviews with Fox News. 16. Seven with on cable on all the other cable news channels and broadcast combined. So, more than twice as much as anywhere else, and then he did an interview at the beginning of April with Ed Henry.
And all Fox News did was ask him about the -- in some of the 42 scandals and instances of ethical corruption led him there, and he didn`t do any news media for two months and then pops up on Sinclair because that`s the only place that`s actually willing to do the kind of sanitizing for him. They`re the only ones that actually won`t even ask him the ver basic questions about his scandals. He`s too toxic for even Fox.
HAYES: Dan, do you have -- yeah, it`s true. Ed Henry actually did go after him a little bit. Dan, do you have faith? There`s a bunch of these investigations, there`s some happening at the congressional level, and some at the IG`s office. It`s clearly that people in the building have turned against him. Do you have faith that we`ll see some accountability?
KANNINEN: Well, I think there might be for a couple of reasons. One, the IG there is excellent. That staff is excellent. The career staff at EPA are driven by science and the law. And I think that will continue to be a problem for Scott Pruitt.
The biggest problem he has, I think, with Trump -- and he is a mini-Trump, and I think that protects him to a great degree, but the fact that he`s not advancing the agenda as much as perhaps the interests of the oil and natural gas industry wanted, they`ve been sort of bumbly on some of their rollbacks on regulations, and more of an incompetent villain than you would have expected, that could become a problem for him down the road if Trump feels like he`s not delivering the chip shots that they thought would be easy to get done.
GREEN: Yeah. I mean, -- and there`s something about quantity, Chris, isn`t there? For all of Pruitt`s attempt to be a mini-Trump, scandal caused by left wing attention to now outdated, unnecessary regulations that would protect our environment, because as he also points out in the propagandistic interview, you know, we`re doing a great job protecting the environment and spending taxpayer money wisely. 12 investigations is not bean ball, right, and it`s not just the IG, but congress in its own way is sticking on the plan, these three senators who now want to look at the staffers` use of government time. The drum beat is continuing.
HAYES: Yeah, and I also think there`s possible legal exposure in some of the disclosure forms on the lobbyist side, which may also catch up to him.
I will say that to cap off this day, that there`s now a plan circulating in the Trump administration -- acutally comes out of the Department of Energy -- to mandate the government to buy energy from coal companies to keep them afloat, to bail out coal, like Solyndra for coal, basically, that is possibly going forward, which is basically the apotheosis of all the kind of policy rationales that someone like Pruitt still has the job he has.
Angelo Carusone, Dan Kanninen, and Lisa Green, thank you.
All right, still to come tonight, Rebecca Traister, the one and only, says the difference between Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee is that Samantha Bee was right. She`ll be here -- well, doesn`t quite say that, kind of says that -- coming up.
But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two is next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, President Trump is on a nonstop crusade to discredit the Mueller investigation. And today he introduced a new line of attack tweeting AP has just reported the Russia hoax investigation has now cost our government over $17 million and going up fast. It`s actually $16.7 million, but rounding up is fine.
That is a big hunk of change. You could do a whole lot with $17 million. You could buy this nice private jet, still have a few million left over, or this luxury estate in the Bahamas, boat not included, or if you`re President Trump could you golf like a handful of times. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump loved to attack Barack Obama about his golfing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You need leadership. You can`t fly to Hawaii to play golf. Obama, it was reported today, played 250 rounds of golf.
Obama went golfing every day.
Goff, golf, golf, golf. More, more. Learning how to chip, learning how to hit the drive, learning how to putt. Oh, I want more.
If you become president and you go to the White House, why would you want to leave the White House?
When you`re in the White House, who the hell wants to play golf?
If I get elected president, I`m going to be in the White House a lot. I`m not leaving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, now Trump`s hypocrisy on this issue has been well documented on the show, for one. As much as they try to pretend he`s been working, there have been 56 confirmed outings since he was elected. That`s mostly fine, but while you`re complaining about the costs of the Mueller investigation, consider that every time Trump zips down to Mar-a-Lago for a golf weekend, it costs the government an estimated $1 million. Every time.
And don`t forget all the incidentals, like the nearly $150,000 the Secret Service has to pay to rent golf carts from Trump`s clubs. That money is going straight into Trump`s pocket, which is offensive to the public trust.
Also, he drives his cart on the greens, which is offensive to the game of golf.
It`s almost like he didn`t mean anything he said in that campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Waste, fraud and abuse all over the place. Waste, fraud and abuse. Waste, fraud and abuse. We will cut so much your head will spin.
HAYES: You remember, I`m sure, when four American citizens died in Benghazi, Libya in September, 2012. And congressional Republicans, and really members of both parties, pursued not fewer than eight different investigations, and that included a special committee that was convened that lasted two-and-a-half years, longer than the Watergate committee, and as long as almost any special committee in American history. That was over those four American deaths.
After almost 3,000 people died on September 11th in those attacks, 2001, an independent commission produced an exhaustive compelling report on what happened. It took testimony. The nation watched transfixed. The final report was a bestseller.
After 2005`s devastating Hurricane Katrina, a bipartisan committee investigated the government`s preparation for and response to the storm that killed thousands.
And so here`s my question for you, and really for everyone in congress and in the U.S. government, is there any conceivable reason whatsoever that the U.S. government should not immediately impanel a special commission to investigate the horrifying catastrophe that was the U.S. response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico?
As you may have seen this week, a new Harvard study estimates nearly 5,000 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of that hurricane, 4,645 people.
We`ve been told all this time, by the way, that it was 64. So why were we told 64 people had died when more people have died than in 9/11 or Katrina or plausibly any other American natural disaster since 1900? It would be criminal for our government not to get to the bottom of what happened.
Now, we know part of the story. The hurricane wreaked havoc on an island that was ill-prepared for this kind of natural disaster, leaving thousands without power or clean water, with homes destroyed, streets flooded and shortages of vital supplies.
And we know that Harvard study found that, quote, "interruption of medical care was the primary cause of the high number of deaths after Maria, deaths that could have perhaps have been prevented if only basic utilities had not taken, in some cases, months to restore.
An impartial, factual accounting of what happened, of why almost 5,000 of our American citizens died is urgent and necessary. Every single congressional representative, Democrat, Republican, independent, should endorse it immediately as soon as they return from recess, not least because today is the first day of hurricane season. And how, one has to ask, will Puerto Rico fare if another storm strikes? How many more people will die if we do nothing?
HAYES: On Tuesday, Roseanne Barr`s racist tweet got her show immediately canceled. One day later, comedian Samantha Bee used a vulgarity to refer to Ivanka Trump, prompting the White House to condemn Bee in the strongest terms, even as they largely gave Barr a pass, not surprisingly.
In a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, quote, "the language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling. Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network."
Joining me now, Rebecca Traister, a writer at-large at New York magazine, who wrote about her very different opinion from the White House on this subject.
Rebecca, what is the thrust of your feeling on this entire thing?
REBECCA TRAISTER, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, I mean, this is an administration that is always seeking to portray itself as being persecuted, right? And so in Sarah Huckabee Sanders, I liked her dramatic rendition of it in her sort of, you know, all of the fulminating about, you know, the injury that has been done to Ivanka Trump and to this administration. There is the seeking to portray themselves as the powerless entity, when in fact the bit that Samantha Bee was doing on "Full Frontal" was very sharp, and yes, very vulgarly worded critique of the Trump -- the horrific, vile, vicious, to use some of Sarah Huckabee Sanders` adjectives, policy of separating immigrants from their children, in many cases asylum seekers, from their young children, from often their babies.
It was an incredibly powerful critique of Ivanka -- of that policy and of Ivanka Trump`s social media performance around that policy, which involved her posting a picture of her happily embracing her young son, a total sort of horrifying contrast to the kinds of images that were in the press in the same time period.
That was Ivanka Trump`s choice to post that -- the social media picture -- and it was Samantha Bee`s choice to go after her for it very hard. And she did use a word that has misogynistic roots, that is often used, you know, as a sort of -- in a way to disparage and diminish women and insult them. But she used it actually to critique a woman who herself is working in support of the kind of white patriarchal power that is causing actual grievous physical emotional, familial, economic harm to women and their families and their children, of course many of whom are not white.
HAYES: Am I wrong, though, that -- I mean, my feeling on this is basically I hate that word generally, I really think it was a bad idea to use that word. I`m glad that she apologized. It`s bad. You`re bad, throw a flag, penalty, apologize for your use of the word.
Or do you think that`s just justifiable in context?
TRAISTER: Well, you know, here`s the thing, I actually have some personal affection for that word, but I try not to use it because I understand that it offends people, and that it has been wielded to do damage to women. I understand a feminist critique of that word, a feminist objection to Samantha Bee using it, and I think she`s acknowledged that.
By the way, let me just say, that is a word that Donald Trump is alleged to have used --
HAYES: Oh, yeah.
TRAISTER: -- three times that we know of. Right, once again Sally Yates, once against a reporter who was reporting on his financial dealings, and then once, according to the woman who came forward and said that he groped her on a plane many years ago, when he saw her later at a party, he said oh, you`re that C word from the plane, right?
So as long as he`s out there tweeting this morning, by the way, about how that language was so vulgar and it should get Samantha Bee fired, which by the way as the president is a first amendment violation --
HAYES: Yeah, creepy and authoritarian.
TRAISTER: -- to suggest the firing -- right, so talk about a power abuse.
But this is also a word and language that he has reportedly trafficked in many times before, and again, in service of exactly how that word has been used to do damage historically, the misogynistic and sexist reading of it.
TRAISTER: Which is patriarchal power used to diminish and hurt women, that`s how Donald Trump has reportedly deployed it in the past against women who`ve challenged him or rejected him.
Samantha Bee, a feminist comedian, was using it to attack a power abuse, a woman who was participating in that patriarchal and racist power abuse that is being undertaken via the policies of her father`s administration. And it`s not just her father, she works in the administration. She has full security clearance. This is not -- I see people online saying, oh, if it were Chelsea. If Chelsea had full security clearance and was working as an adviser in her parents` administration, then there would be a comparison. Ivanka Trump is a representative of Donald Trump`s administration.
And so when she is posting that image in the midst of a news cycle about his incredibly barbaric and horrifying immigration practices. She is subject to critique.
HAYES: Oh, yes.
TRAISTER: And yes, the word may have gone too far. It is a word that has been used on that show before. Samantha Bee has used it before. No one has gone nuts about it.
HAYES: that`s interesting. Yeah, I guess my only point is precisely what you said, the fact that Donald Trump is the kind of person who deploys that word about women is precisely the reason that I have the feelings about that word, like for exactly the reasons you`re saying, right? Like, that is exactly why.
And obviously, it`s being used differently here, it`s just -- that is the reason why that word I just feel like, ugh.
TRAISTER: Right. And of course there is a history, in fact, of people who take language, reappropriate it, people who have been damaged, representatives, people who`ve been damaged by words taking them, reappropriating them, deploying them in sort of transgressive ways rather than oppressive ways. And that`s part of what Samantha Bee was doing, not just the other night, but has done in the past by reappropriating that word.
Again, she`s used it before.
HAYES: That`s a good point.
TRAISTER: And she is a known feminist comedian who is operating on behalf of women challenging patriarchal and racist power abuses. That doesn`t -- I`m not saying good on her for using the word. I agree with you that it was a mistake. In part, as she herself said, there were reports of a speech she gave, I believe last night, in which she said, look, we spent this whole day talking about this bad word and not about the terrible policy. So I think strategically it was an error. And I understand why some people feel that it was, you know, a feminist error too. You know, but that`s part of what she`s doing.
There is a history of taking words that have been used as weapons against less powerful people and wielding them against the powerful who have used them. And that`s part of the tradition that Samantha Bee was working in.
HAYES: Rebecca Traister, thank you so much.
TRAISTER: Thank you.
HAYES: Before we go, a reminder our new podcast Why is This Happening? is live and available wherever you get your podcasts. It makes for some good weekend listening. Lots of really fun, interesting episodes already posted, and a great new one, a really important new one, about the issue we were just discussing, child separation happening at the border with Mexico. It`s coming soon. Stay tuned to subscribe away.
That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END