Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 10, 2018 Guest: Mark Demaria, Craig Fugate, Michelle Goldberg, David Jolly, Olivia Nuzzi, Jonathan Cohn, Irwin Redlener, Hayes Brown
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. An unexpectedly powerful storm Hurricane Michael which savaged the Florida Panhandle just shy of a Category Five is now quickly moving through Southwest Georgia as a Category Two storm. Even now hours after landfall, it is the strongest storm to hit Georgia in 120 years.
Also, tonight is the President campaigns right now in the state of Pennsylvania. There is new push back on the wild claims being made by the president and his party as they try and retain power. And there are new questions about the Washington Post contributor who disappeared in the Saudi consulate. We`ll get to all that more ahead, but first hurricane Michael which made landfall this afternoon near Mexico Beach Florida just 20 miles southeast of Panama City is a Category Four hurricane with winds that reach 155 miles per hour. Again, just two miles per hour short of a category five.
Those winds the fourth most powerful ever for a storm hitting the continental U.S. The Hurricanes the strongest to cross the Florida Panhandle even recorded history. The fast-moving storm carved a dangerous path of destruction, ripped roofs off homes, downed trees, and has left 388,000 people without power. There is one confirmed death thus far. More than 300,000 people were under evacuation orders and at least 6,000 made it to area shelters according to the Red Cross.
The National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges throughout the day and vast swaths of the Florida coast are still threatened with storm surges of up to 20 feet. Flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of Georgia and Alabama. The water level set records in Apalachicola, Florida with a storm surge of over seven feet. Localities across the Florida Panhandle are only beginning to assess the damage by both flooding and high winds.
Michael is now the sixth major hurricane in just two seasons to hit the U.S. where its citizens of Puerto Rico and arrives just days after a dire United Nations climate change report that was immediately met with dismissive skepticism by the Trump administration. NBC`s Tammy Leitner is an Albany, Georgia tonight was just trying to feel the effects of the hurricane right now. What`s it like there now Tammy?
TAMMY LEITNER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, we are really starting to get hit. And I am standing here with Ashley. I am holding on to her because these winds are very strong. She literally wandered into our live shot after a tree came crashing down through her apartment moments ago. Ashley, tell me how your how are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m fine. I`m just a little scare, shaken up.
LEITNER: And what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were -- I was at home and we were chilling. The tree just came through the roof so we evacuated as soon as possible. And the power line came down so --
LEITNER: And the police told you to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they told us that someone would be there as soon as possible but I didn`t want to take a chance because the roof was already leaking and I just didn`t want to get hurt or anything like that.
LEITNER: Well, we are so glad you`re OK. Thank you so much. We`re going to get you in out of this wind here in just a moment. Chris, I`m going to toss it back to you but the winds are really kicking up and you know we`re still about three hours out from the eye of the storm passing over Albany where we are so the worst is still to come here, Chris.
HAYES: All right, Tammy, I hope you guys can get in and get some safe and some shelter. I`m glad you guys are doing OK. For the very latest on the Hurricanes path, let`s go to NBC News Meteorologist Bill Karins. Georgia is not Florida in terms of how acclimated or used to this to be getting hit with a hurricane so this is new for a lot of folks there right now.
BILL KARINS, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: And the trees haven`t been thinned in decades from a storm like this. And that`s the story in Georgia with you know, stories like that poor lady we just saw, that`s happening all through southern Georgia and through Central Georgia right through the middle of the night. They all -- where they`re located, they just had a wind gust in Albany, Georgia 70 miles per hour.
Notice that we are down to a Category One hurricane but that`s still plenty strong enough to knock down these trees and with it they could fall on cars, they could fall powerlines, they could fall on homes as we just saw. So we may not be done with our deadly portion of this storm. Yes, the most destructive winds are done but you know, it`s still going to be a scary night through much of (INAUDIBLE) Georgia.
As it get ahead over Macon, Georgia overnight it`ll begin to weaken. Notice the areas that were really hit hard this morning and into the afternoon, Tallahassee included all the way down towards the Mexico Beach, Panama City they`re done. Everything`s getting better there and dramatically improving. But we still have tropical storm force warnings all the way up through the Carolinas so we`re not even close to completely done with this. The winds are now at 90 miles per hour, so that`s good. I also like this, 17 mile-per-hour winds. Let`s get rid of as fast as we can and weaken it as fast as we can. Try to spare people more miseries as we go throughout the night.
So as we go through 2:00 a.m., the eye just south of Macon, what`s left of it, the center of circulation, then over Augusta as the Sun comes up, and then it`s going to rain through the Carolinas. And we still have isolated power outages with winds about the 40 to maybe 50 miles per hour. It`s really not a huge impact here. We do have flood watches up the East Coast so we could some minor problems with that also.
Yes, but once again, you know, that rain shields from Atlanta all the way down to the south. And Chris, we just had so many crazy numbers with this storm. Strongest hurricane that strikes since Andrew in 92, it was the fourth -- third lowest pressure. It was the fifth strongest winds that we`ve ever had at a landfall in recorded and our records go back to the 1800s. I mean just so many mind-boggling things.
Before this storm, the strongest landfall in October hurricane had winds of 130. This was a 155. It`s not even close. It was like out of the park different than any other storm we`ve had in October. And you know, the poor little communities in a very unpopulated area in Florida were the ones that were just crushed. They`re the ones that are going to have to maybe decide if they were going to rebuild their towns or not, Chris.
And you know, as you mentioned with the report that came out the other day, you know, that was kind of buried with all the other news. You know, what people ask me is well, will the storm have happened if it wasn`t for climate change? Maybe. It probably would have happened. Would have been this bad? Doubtful.
KARINS: And that`s how you have to answer and that`s how you have to go about this conversation.
HAYES: Well, and there`s just one point on that. One of the is that that gulf water that it`s moving over was abnormally warm. And one of the things people kept saying to me was this one felt like it came out of nowhere because it got so intense so quickly as it was moving over that gulf water.
KARINS: Our computers poorly analyzed the atmosphere and how much the strong winds up in the air where the jets fly would interrupt it. We knew how warm the water was. Our satellites can tell us that. Three days ago, the Hurricane Center set a landfall of a Cat One so yes, our intensity forecasting is not great. We have a lot of work to do. It so hard to model the atmosphere especially over -- the water areas that we don`t have a good sampling.
We don`t -- you know we have balloons that we release all over our country to help us get better information. You can`t do that over the open ocean and open water so there`s still a lot of work to be done with that and obviously a lot of work to be done battling the climate change.
HAYES: All right, Bill Karins, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. For more details on this historic hurricane, I`m joined now by Dr. Mark Demaria of the National Hurricane Center. And on that point, Doctor, why did this storm get so bad so quickly as it approached the Panhandle there?
DR. MARK DEMARIA, BRANCH CHIEF, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: The water in the Gulf of Mexico was particularly warm. Although it was not so abnormal that the -- a lot of times the ocean temperature actually peaks later in the season that the atmosphere does so a lot of times the ocean can maintain its heat well into October even into early November.
HAYES: What have we seen in terms of a storm surge and an inland coastal flooding on top of the sea level rise we`ve already got?
DEMARIA: Yes. It takes a while to sort out the storm surge values. Again we need to send surveys in there and there`s really a little not a lot of instrumentation in there so that`ll be sorted out over the next week or two. But we actually still do have a storm surge warnings up for the coastal areas. The water really hasn`t receded from the areas that were pushed up particularly into the Apalachicola River area and a St. Mark`s area. So the storm surge threat is not over yet.
HAYES: In the last few storms we`ve seen, we`ve seen a real focus on the on the sheer amount of water dropped in flooding. This one`s moving rather quickly. It seems like wind damage, particularly in those areas that haven`t had storms like this before, is that is the biggest threat now.
DEMARIA: Yes, that`s correct. It`s actually as a latest advisory still we`re seeing 90 mile per hour winds in a small area near the center and -- in South Georgia there where there`s -- it`s a heavily wooded area, they don`t really get high winds very often there so it doesn`t take a lot a lot of wind to get a lot of tree damage so that`s still a big hazard.
HAYES: All right, Dr. Mark Demaria, thank you very much.
DEMARIA: You`re welcome.
HAYES: NBC News -- NBC`s Kerry Sanders is in Panama City Florida where several buildings have reportedly collapsed after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. And Kerry I`ve seen some images of Panama City that are pretty upsetting.
KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, they are. And this really is a tale of the eastern and the western portion of the storm. So of course, to the east of the storm about 43 miles from here is Mexico Beach. When the eye came up sure that was to the east and that`s what drove in the water. The winds of it 155 miles per hour wall up to that small community. In fact, trying to get to that community is very difficult right now for emergency officials and anybody else.
Meantime, as you come this side of the storm, west of the eye, the damage is not so much the water driven storm surge but rather the wind damage. The wind damage just a short distance from here about a 15-minute drive, one of the marinas a good portion of it collapsed. and I got to tell you. I was out in the winds today and 150 some odd miles an hour, I didn`t have a wind gauge but I`ll tell you it took me off balance. I was wearing a protective helmet, it blew it right off my head.
So what the folks who are doing now is determining how bad the damage is before they allow people back on to this barrier island. The three bridges remain closed because you can see the wind is still blowing. Chris, the real concern of course also a lot letting people back on tomorrow because everybody always wants to come home, is those downed power lines and there are down power lines here. The power is mostly out on this beach area but that doesn`t mean that there might be a live wire still down.
So anybody planning on returning if they fled as they were asked to do that mandatory evacuation they might want to just give themselves a little day or so before they actually consider coming back to get a true read on whether they can actually come back rather than driving back getting to Panama City being unable to make it to Panama City Beach which is a separate city and then finding out while we`re in Panama City aside for bunking at some friends house there`s nowhere to stay because all the hotels there are full, many of the people who evacuated from here.
HAYES: All right, Kerry Sanders, thank you for joining us. And joining me now from Gainesville, Florida Craig Fugate whose former FEMA Administrator under Barack Obama. Craig, what are the biggest priorities in the aftermath of something like this particularly a place like Panama City?
CRAIG FUGATE, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, FEMA: Getting back in those areas doing the initial search, getting debris picked up, power back on, really we break it into life-saving and life safety and then life-sustaining and then starting the recovery. But I think the real challenge is just those communities east of Panama City is just being able to get in there. That`s part of reason why the Florida National Guard had helicopters brought in, their cruiser ready, Coast Guard ready to Fly, started some response tonight but I think the big push will be tomorrow morning.
HAYES: How do you assess the sort of effectiveness or the lessons we`ve learned. We`ve now had six hurricanes in two years. There`s a long period where we didn`t have a lot. We`ve had a lot of experience in the last two years. How much are we learning, how are we getting better at recovery and relief -- and relief in the wake of them.
FUGATE: Well, that`s a problem. We`re getting good at it. And the question is why. So the climate report points out is the threat continues to increase. We got to start asking herself why are we always focused on response recovery, why aren`t we building better in the first place? Where we build, how we build, it has a big impact on generating these responses. We`re very fortunate this part of coast was not hopefully populated. But if we continue to allow growth unfettered in high-risk areas, ultimately you`re getting the point where you just can`t respond to these big storms every year. You got to start building and developing in ways that`s sustainable. And when we go to rebuild, we can`t rebuild in the past. We have to rebuild at the future risk.
HAYES: You mentioned future risk. In the IPCC report I want to play you a bit of sound and exchange to the State Department. Obviously, that report coming out earlier this week very dire picture, a huge amount of scientific data marshaled to sort of look at what kind of window we have, what the effects might be. The White House rather dismissive of it. This is an exchange that the State Department. I want to get your reaction to it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT PALLADINO, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE: That report that they produced and its contents that remains responsibilities of its authors. Governments do not formally endorse specific findings presented by the authors. There are inherent limitations of trying to assess projected impacts and costs of warming at a specific temperature and time period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What? You know that there`s a hurricane that is smashing into the Florida Panhandle right now that a lot of people say where it was exacerbated by climate change. The ice is -- the Arctic melting -- the Arctic ICE is melting at record paces and you`re not sure?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: My question to you is can you run an effective FEMA in the 21st century if you are not building climate risk into every part of the organization?
FUGATE: Well, when we work for President Obama with Hurricane Sandy hit he said Craig, I think the debate about climate change is over. We got to start talking about adaptation. So we tried in our administration to increase the federal floodplain management standard. I continue to work on this now that I`m out of government. And quite honestly, if the financial markets are now paying attention to climate change, last year Moody`s sent out an advisory from there research firm to tell advisors that you know, investing in state and local bonds, you better be cautious because the increasing cost of what it`s going to cost to mitigate the risk of climate change and responding to disasters could affect local governments and states abilities to service their bonds.
So the private sector is paying attention. And again, I think time is running out. Talking about climate change is not action and I don`t think we can stop what`s been started. We really need to start talking about how are we going to adapt our communities to these increasing impacts.
HAYES: All right, Craig Fugate, it`s always a great pleasure to have you. Thank you very much.
FUGATE: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll continue the coverage on Hurricane Michael ahead and update you with the latest. Plus, as the hurricane bears down in Florida and Georgia, the President attacks Democrats in Pennsylvanian. That`s next.
HAYES: As Hurricane Michael is bearing down on Florida today, NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell asked Donald Trump if it was appropriate to hold his planned campaign rally tonight. Trump insisted he had little choice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I hear there are thousands of people lined up, and so we are in a little bit of a quagmire. I don`t want to disappoint people. They`ve gotten there -- some people were saying they got there last night. I believe it starts at about 7:00 going to Pennsylvania so we`ll probably go. Because what are you going to do, tell thousands of people that have been waiting there all night that we`re not coming? That`s not fair either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s not fair. For the record NBC News today could not find anyone who waited in line overnight and there was no line outside the arena as of 11:00 this morning. But anyway, Trump did indeed go to the rally and the storm does not seem to have temperate his tone very much. He has, for the most part, held a typical campaign event full of boasts attacks one not unlike last night rally in Iowa where Trump supporters called for the imprisonment of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMERICAN CROWD: Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now David Jolly, former Republican Congressman from Florida who joins me from Tampa. Also with me New York Times Columnist Michelle Goldberg, Co-Host of the new podcast The Argument which debuts tomorrow. If you ever wanted explicit advertisement of what locked her up was about, I feel like the crowd --
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Right, it`s just women in general.
HAYES: Yes, women with power that we don`t like. I was -- I mean, again, you stopped being shocked to these moments but like he raises Diane Feinstein in the crowd shouting --
GOLDBERG: Right. And the crowd knows what to do, right?
HAYES: They know exactly --
GOLDBERG: They say the name of a woman they don`t like and they know exactly how to respond. And of course obviously there`s a tweet for everything, right? There`s a bunch of tweets of Donald Trump complaining about Obama doing campaign events during national disasters. Obviously, nobody expects him to join a sort of consistency. But what I think is -- I mean, and I also don`t think it`s not like he would be doing any good if he was in D.C. trying to respond to manifold natural disasters and foreign policy disasters, possible economic disasters, but at least --
HAYES: Yes, he would -- he would just be watching cable news, right? No, I mean, that`s honestly what --
GOLDBERG: Yes, that is true. But it`s worth I think at least pointing out that his administration seems to be kind of manifestly understaffed and unable to address, right? There`s like tons of missing personnel at FEMA including a deputy director. We don`t have -- there`s a huge foreign policy crisis unfolding with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two countries to which we don`t have ambassadors, right? So there`s like you know, I think that it`s always been clear with the Trump administration that eventually this jerry-rigged scam right, like kind of man behind the curtain thing was eventually going to fall apart. Who knows if this is the moment when that starts that happen, but it`s always been called that it`s going to happen.
HAYES: And it`s also true to me, David, and from your perch, in Florida, I can imagine this is close to home that it already has fallen apart in Puerto Rico. I mean, I continue to be astounded by the fact and this is directly relevant to what`s happening now which is that you learn from disasters and you learn from disasters more importantly and there were 21 hearings about Katrina by a Republican-controlled Congress when that happened because it was important to get to the bottom of what happened. And 3,000 Americans died under this administration`s watch and we don`t know anything about why.
DAVID JOLLY, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: And that would suggest the President is interested in accountability which we know he`s not nor is he interested in decency, Chris. Listen, the contrast tonight with him in Pennsylvania is going to require a lot of Floridians to temper their anger. We have people still fighting for their lives. We`ve learned in the last ten minutes about the first fatality of this storm. We know there will likely be more. We have people who are suffering from water and wind. South Georgia is still undergoing a hurricane. The President is in Pennsylvania entertaining chance of lock her up and making a joke about the MeToo Movement in his remarks tonight. There is no decency in what this president is doing.
And listen, we saw it in the state level in the past. Politicians in Florida would step back during a storm. The only person who truly stepped back in this storm to do his job was Andrew Gillum. Ron DeSantis, the Republican Party of Florida kept an ad up attacking Andrew Gillum about his management of hurricanes. Both Senator Nelson and Rick Scott kept ads up. The one moment of bipartisanship was when we saw Andrew Gillum and Rick Scott on a phone call together. That comedy if you will, but the tea is and is in stark contrast to what we`re seeing from the Donald Trump tonight.
HAYES: One of the things that`s also interesting about this is he loves being on his own, clearly. I mean his sort of insatiable thirst and need for attention is watered by it. He`s in Pennsylvania right now. He`s very much wanting to make the midterms about him even in places where I don`t think it`s helpful like Pennsylvania right now for instance.
GOLDBERG: Right, and it`s definitely not helpful for him to go to Pennsylvania and make the midterms about him and a referendum on the MeToo movement in a state where you have you know, kind of a lot of female candidates, a huge amount of female energy. But this isn`t really about what will help the Republican Party. I mean, thankfully I`m glad that he`s not being super strategic about what will help the Republican Party, right? This is about his own extreme narcissism and need for gratification, you know, as his kind of poll numbers and prospects decline.
HAYES: David, there was -- there`s a piece in the -- in the remarkable Olivia Nuzzi piece in New York Magazine which we`re going to get to in a second where he`s telling her that he thinks her poll numbers are going up because he`s doing so many rallies. And I think he did -- someone`s telling him that and he`s going to be doing those as much as he can from now until Election Day.
JOLLY: And look, in terms of House districts he`s going to, he`s going to deep red districts and it`s and it`s confirmation bias. But look, he`s in Pennsylvania tonight. That Senate race is over. Bob Casey leads that race by double digits. There is nothing about tonight in Pennsylvania other than stroking the President`s own ego.
And listen, I think the good people of Pennsylvania would have understood if the president said I`m sorry there`s a natural disaster. We`re going to pass on tonight. It`s not a critical rally tonight for the U.S. Senate candidate for Republicans but that never was. This is about Donald Trump.
HAYES: Let me ask you one more follow-up question. Do you think this matters to Floridians right now? I mean, a lot will depend on how bad this is and what the after-effects are like. But I just wonder what your sense of how that plays down there is.
JOLLY: Yes, because people are still trapped in their home. I mean, I heard of a friend -- from a friend tonight who`s trapped in their home. They think their cars totaled. They can`t get out to see it. And understand last year in Irma, the aftermath, the weeks of lost power. Recall we saw the nursing home where 12 residents died because a result of lost power. It was ruled a homicide. This tragedy is just beginning. And if you turn on the news and you see political ads like we`re seeing from candidates in Florida, or you see Donald Trump having a rally in Pennsylvania, it shows the disconnect that we know he`s always suffered from.
HAYES: All right, Michelle Goldberg and David Jolly, thanks to you both. Coming up, what happens when the President wants to get rid of the story about White House chaos, just ask Olivia Nuzzi the New York Magazine Reporter who was pulled into an astoundingly bizarre Oval Office interview with the President and some of the nation`s top officials. She joins me to talk about how it happened just ahead.
HAYES: If you`re wondering what`s it`s like to sit down across from the President as he tries to convince you there`s no chaos in the White House only to be joined in the Oval Office by chief of STAFF JOHn Kelly, Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo all playing along with the President to convince you the same thing, then you have to read Olivia Nuzzi`s new piece in New York Magazine.
It started off simple enough. Nuzzi writing yesterday she was on my way out of the White House after a series of meetings in the West Wing reporting on how John Kelly managed to keep his job in spite of convincing and persistent rumors and reports the president is unhappy with him when she got a call saying that Trump wanted to speak to her. What follows one of the most transparent examples the President trying to convince the journalists who publish his narrative.
And we know that because reporter Olivia Nuzzi published the transcript of everything that happened. And joining me now is Olivia Nuzzi, Washington Correspondent for New York Magazine. It`s a wild piece. So, take me through what happened.
OLIVIA NUZZI, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, I was leaving the White House. I was there yesterday morning for a series of interviews. As you said, I was trying to report a story about the Chief of Staff, John Kelly.
And as I was leaving I bumped into a friend, another reporter, and I was having a cigarette which is why I was out for a fairly long time before I would`ve been walking out at the gate to leave.
And then, as I was leaving I saw I had this missed call. It was Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I - she asked me to come back inside, and I went in. She brought me to the Oval Office. And what ensued was just a completely surreal series of events, basically, where the president was speaking to me about why my story was incorrect, my story which I had not written yet at that point, which I was still reporting.
And he was answering questions that I had asked to various officials in the White House that day, but that I did not directly ask him. He was, sort of, going through a list of items that he must`ve been briefed on. And then, Chief Kelly came into the room. The vice president came into the room.
Mike Pompeo came into the room. He was scheduled to have a lunch with the president. So, I - I think he was probably confused, I`m guessing, about what was happening in there. But it was very - very strange. It was one of the more surreal experiences I`ve had covering this White House.
HAYES: What`s greater - to me it was a little bit of pulling back the curtain about his method because, clearly, you`re in there. It`s sort of an intimidating setup. It`s him and all of these people. You`re sitting there. He`s trying to work you over on what the narrative is. And he`s just sort of plowing ahead with the stuff that you would hear at a rally like everything is the best, the greatest it`s ever been.
But it also seems like the whole thing was coordinated. Like, this was all about intervening in the New York Magazine`s story about some John Kelly --
(CROSSTALK) NUZZI: Right. I don`t know whether or not it was totally coordinated. It seemed that way, especially because the president kept saying, look, we didn`t plan this. I think at one point he said, "This is not set up."
And, you know, usually--
NUZZI: -- if somebody says this is not setup, it`s like I`m sure that`s true. So, I kept remarking sort of sarcastically when he would say that. I would say "Oh, yes this seems very spontaneous."
And, you know, it was very strange. I think that it might be that sometimes people are just in and out of the Oval Office. Obviously, that was something that General Kelly worked very hard to change when he was came onboard, the fact that there was sort of this open-door policy.
And that has been in various reports over the last year, something that the president is allegedly upset about. He misses, sort of--
HAYES: The free willing (ph).
NUZZI: -- how free it felt, exactly. And we talked a little bit about that yesterday.
HAYES: He gives - he gives you it tough when he gives you a list of accomplishments - the Trump administration accomplishments, their - their jobs numbers, executive orders, promises to fix the tax reform bill. You`ve - I think we`ve got some images of what those look like.
On the second page, Republicans want strong borders and no crime. Democrats want open borders which equals massive crime. But I guess my question to you is, he just seems inordinately focused on this. Like - and it also seems like this is the thing he really gets into. That`s what you - that was my takeaway from this whole exchange.
NUZZI: Right. Yes, I mean, I said this in the piece and even when it comes to John Kelly, it - it seems unbelievable to think that somebody like John Kelly who has had the kind of career that he has had would care about something like this, a story about, you know, basically palace intrigue.
I think it`s very important because it has implications for policy with this White House. It explains why they can get things - certain things done. Why they can`t get most other things done if you understand the way that it works inside.
But it - it seemed like an awful lot of time to spend with, sort of, the - some of the most important people in our government, talking to a magazine reporter about how they get along with each other. I mean, it was bizarre.
HAYES: There`s a lot of, sort of, performative amity that`s happening --
NUZZI: I`m in favor of it. Don`t get me wrong. Like I hope it happens --
HAYES: Yes. No, obviously.
NUZZI: -- more often.
HAYES: Of course.
NUZZI: But it was highly unusual.
HAYES: Let me ask you something. Did he - he goes of the record at one point?
NUZZI: I wrote that in the piece, yes.
HAYES: Yes. That`s - that - I was glad you wrote that in the piece, because what he said - one thing that I got from this is the president has been talking to reporters since he was 25 years old. He has been working reporters. He`s been working them over for decades and decades.
HAYES: Most of his adult life. And I just felt like I got to see what that looks like from this piece.
NUZZI: You know I`ll be honest with you. Initially, I did not have that in the piece, but we realized it was confusing the way that I had initially phrased it. And so, we changed it, I think, a few minutes after publication. But I think you`re right, and I - you know, I remember the first time that I ever interviewed him back in 2014, I was really struck by, kind of, the ease with which he would--
NUZZI: -- say off the record. And then he would say, now back on the record.
And most people are not that skilled, but as you`ve said, he has been doing this for a very long time and I`ll be honest with you, even today in this White House, there are officials, there are press officials who do not know what off the record versus background, versus deep backgrounds means, even to this day given the problems that they have had in the past with people like Anthony Scaramucci, they still don`t know. And I --
HAYES: But, the president knows.
NUZZI: -- that`s remarkable. The president certainly knows. He`s very savvy about the press.
HAYES: Olivia Nuzzi, thank you so much for joining us.
NUZZI: Thank you.
HAYES: After break, the president writes an op-ed in which nearly every sentence was misleading or flat out wrong, which is proving to be the Republican midterm strategy in the era of Trump. We`ll talk about that next.
HAYES: The biggest newspaper in the country is "U.S. Today," and today that newspaper ran an op-ed that named, as its author, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.
It was all about healthcare and it was fact checked by "The Washington Post," which found that almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood. In fact, you don`t have to be "The Washington Post" to know that, you could just read it, it`s plainly not true.
Now, that has got to be a first for the nations largest newspaper, it is certainly nothing new for the president of the Republican -- for the Republican Party, which has realized that healthcare is actually number one issues for voters this year, and so they`ve embarked on a coordinated midterm strategy to ridiculously and flagrantly lie about healthcare in ads and speeches.
Joining me now, "HuffPost" Senior National Correspondent, Jonathan Cohn, who`s been tracking GOP healthcare rhetoric and who wrote today about Trump`s rambling, dishonest op-ed.
I guess we`ll start with the Trump op-ed, two big, obvious flagrant lies. We say we`re going to protect preexisting conditions and we`re going to bring down premiums and we`re doing both, but those aren`t true.
JONATHAN COHN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, HUFFPOST: No. I mean, look we all remember 2017, right? President Trump got elected. The first priority of his Administration was to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and that`s what he spent most of the year trying to do.
And the legislation that he was pushing would have gutted protections for people with preexisting conditions. And he kept pushing it and he kept pushing it and eventually the bill failed. Barely. One vote in the Senate different and it would have become law. But, since that`s happened, he`s basically done whatever he could to undermine those same protections using his own authority.
I mean, right now, there is a case in Federal Court in Texas where the Federal Government is asking a judge to throw out the protections for preexisting conditions. That is -- his name is on his -- his Justice Department is supporting that lawsuit, and yet, he`s walking around sayings, whoa, we`d always protect -- protect -
HAYES: Yes, they`re literally suing in Federal Court to blow the whole thing up, and not just them, State Attorney`s General, including State Attorney General of Missouri, a guy by the name of Josh Hawley, who also happens to be running for Senate.
With this ad, he is -- literally, his name -- he is named on that suit to blow up the ACA and destroy protections for preexisting conditions and this is the ad he`s running in his Senate race right now. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH HAWLEY, MISSORURI ATTORNEY GENERAL: Earlier this year we learned our oldest has a rare chronic disease, preexisting condition. We know what that`s like. I`m Josh Hawley. I support forcing insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, then take yourself off the lawsuit. Stop suing.
COHN: It`s preposterous. I mean, this is as straight up a lie as you will see in politics. He is on that lawsuit, he as supported repeal, it is simply not true to say that he thinks it`s important that he would fight to protect people with preexisting positions, but he`s saying it, because he knows that`s what the voters want to hear.
HAYES: The other big lie that I keep seeing and I`ve seen it in ad after ad, I spend a lot of time on YouTube, like looking at targeted races and looking at the ads there, is Republicans running with the idea that, whichever Democrat they`re running against is support single payer Medicare For All, even when they haven`t. Even when they have explicitly said they haven`t, they have chosen to basically say, every Democrat, everywhere is single payer Medicare For All and that will steal your Medicare forever.
COHN: Right. And I mean and this was Trump was writing today in the op- ed. Everybody -- everybody wants to endorse Medicare For All and that`s what every single Democrat wants.
Now, there are some Democrats who want that, Bernie Sanders has proposed that, a number of democratic senators, including some who will run for president, have supported.
But, one of the things you learn about Medicare For All, is when you explain it to people it`s actually pretty popular.
COHN: People like the idea of saying, "Gee, you mean I wouldn`t have to worry about co-payments and deductibles? You mean, I wouldn`t have to worry about networks? You mean it might be less expensive?"
I mean it sounds very -- look, it`s a complicated idea. It`s got pluses and minuses, there`s lots of reasons you might like or not like it, but it`s not at all clear to me that when you say the Democrats are going to give you Medicare For All, that people are going to run away screaming. I think a lot of people would say, "Hey, that sounds pretty good."
I mean, we`ve seen polls on this, it actually polls -- it polls pretty well among Republicans too.
HAYES: Yes. And we should note, that over half of the democratic ads have been featuring healthcare because I think they sense they have a winning hand to play on this. Jonathan Cohn, thanks for being with me tonight.
COHN: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Ahead, "The Washington Post" is reporting tonight that they Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman himself ordered an operation to lure a "Washington Post" columnist back to Saudi Arabia in order to detain him. That breaking news ahead.
HAYES: Hurricane Michael is a category one storm now as it moves through Georgia. It roared on shore as a Cat 4, fueled by unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, just days after the world`s top authority and climate science issued a report warning that we have about 12 years to stave off the most dire consequences of climate change, including more of these kinds of intense storms.
I`m joined now by Dr. Irwin Redlener. He`s Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. Are we doing enough, are we getting better for prepare for disaster and cope and deal with it in the era of climate change we`re in?
IRWIN REDLENER, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Not really, unfortunately. We keep calling these things wakeup calls and we treat it more like snooze alarms. We get all aroused in the drama and then we hit that button and then we`re back into a state of complacency.
Things have been -- some things are better. FEMA`s better than it was during the old Michael Brown days, but we have a lot of work to do and I`m especially worried about the upstream issues, like climate change, like we still have vulnerable people living in poverty in very high risk areas, like we still keep building in the most vulnerable parts of our country. It`s a little progress and a lot backsliding.
HAYES: It seems to me that if you took this seriously, if you do take it seriously, you`re talking about something very comprehensive and ambitious in how you conceptualize everything from flood insurance, to zoning, to building, to preparedness, to where we do what we do and how we deal with the built environment.
REDLENER: Yes, we have -- everything about it -- we just went through Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, it just wrecked the country. We just rebuilt the electrical system exactly the same way it was before the storms.
HAYES: Is that really true?
REDLENER: Yes, it`s true and it`s just as fragile as it was before, because the money didn`t show up, these very grandiose plans that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers had presented -- I was at a press conference in San Juan 10 days after the storm, big PowerPoint presentation, I`ve got to bury the cables and microgrids and solar power and it turns out nobody did that and we have now --
HAYES: There was not the money for it? There was not the will for it?
REDLENER: -- not the money, it`s hard to say. And the Governor of Puerto Rico just set up a commission that I`ll be on, sort of looking into what the issues were, but --
HAYES: You`re going to be on that commission?
REDLENER: I`m going to be on the commission.
HAYES: Is it as stunning to you as it is to me that we have not done more to figure out what happened that killed 3,000 Americans?
REDLENER: It`s an unbelievable situation and these searing images of the president throwing a roll of paper towels like it was football to people suffering from the effects of that storm, there are so many issues involved here.
Where was the military for many, many weeks? They finally showed up with one of the big hospital ships. They basically languished in the harbor there for a couple of months, didn`t see any patients to speak of and then they left. The whole thing was horrendous from top to bottom. We do need to get to the bottom of this.
So, we have issues to do with the preexisting conditions that put us in that situation, the lack of resilience, the lack of resources and the other thing that happens is, once these -- the cameras are gone and the focus is gone, and then especially with Puerto Rico, which doesn`t really have representation in Congress, they`re just struggling like crazy.
On the other hand, Chris, Hurricane Harvey reeked incredible damage in Texas; people in Port Arthur and Beaumont are still suffering there too.
CHRIS HAYES: Right.
REDLENER: One into the other, you know.
HAYES: And after the cameras gone, I remember reporting the aftermath of Sandy here in the metro area, both in New Jersey and also out in the Rockaways. I mean for a year afterwards peoples lives were spun around like tops.
HAYES: And not really ever recovered after that.
HAYES: And it sounds to me like what you`re saying is, we do not have the resilience in place to deal with that as we think about what`s going to happen with these folks, particularly in some rather poor areas in the state of Florida who are getting pounded by Michael right now.
REDLENER: Absolutely. There`s - we`ve done some mapping, if you put the - if you map the impoverished areas along that coast, and look at the storm trajectory, it`s like oh my god. And by the way, it`s a 60 square mile superfund site right in harms way there that people haven`t even recognized as an old army base - air force base, totally contaminated, who know what`s going to happen with that.
There`s like 19 hospitals and 100 and something nursing homes and so on, so we have really big problems. None of those are as resilient as we would like them to be. We`re going to have a really big problem trying to recover that community, and I`m afraid potentially a lot of loss of life.
HAYES: All right, Dr. Irwin Redlener, thank you so much for being here.
HAYES: Just ahead, it`s been eight days since journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and has not been seen since. Tonight we have breaking news on his disappearance and that`s next.
HAYES: Breaking news from the Washington Post tonight on the disappearance of their columnist Jamal Khashoggi after he wanted into a Saudi consulate in Turkey eight days ago.
The paper reporting tonight that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered an operation, quote, "To lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him," according to U.S. Intelligence Intercepts of Saudi Officials discussing the plan.
We do not know yet what really happened to Jamal Khashoggi last week, seen there in front of the Turkish Consulate, but Turkey authorities seem convinced the journalist was murdered inside that building that you`re seeing there.
An outlet such as the "New York Times" and the "Associated Press" reported allegations that Khashoggi was also dismembered. It`s unclear what the U.S. Government might have known as head of time, and it`s unclear what the government is doing now, beyond apparently trusting Saudi Arabia to investigation themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) are you demanding an investigation (ph)?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, we are. We`re demanding everything. We want to see what`s going on here. That`s a bad situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here to help me understand just want is going on, Hayes Brown, deputy World News editor of Buzzfeed News, whose been writing about Khashoggi`s disappearance and Donald Trump`s response.
So first thing is, there has been a pressure turned up by United State Senators in the White House a bit. Mike Pence and Pompeo and the president, but it seems to me it all sort of buy the Saudi line that there`s an investigation ongoing.
HAYES BROWN, DEPUTY WORLD NEWS EDITOR, BUZZFEED NEWS: Right and we haven`t really seen anything to back that up. We have seen no evidence by the Saudis that Khashoggi ever actually left the building, like they claim. If you believe the Saudis, he`s wondering around in Istanbul somewhere, or has gotten on a plane to somewhere else.
HAYES: And by the way, an extremely surveilled city and extremely surveilled nation, with CCTV everywhere.
BROWN: Exactly. So the fact that there is no footage, apparently, of Khashoggi leaving the building is extremely suspect, and the fact that the Trump administration seems to be called on Saudi Arabia to cough up whatever evidence it has without making any real pressure on them seems dubious.
HAYES: Yes. There`s also to me -- there`s a little bit of an unreliable narrator problem here, which is a lot of the information we`re getting, which are to be clear, extremely upsetting (inaudible) details, are coming from Turkish security officials who aren`t necessarily trustable carte blanche.
BROWN: Right and the reporters who have been reporting on this are doing a great job with the information that they`re given, but the fact is, all the narrative is coming from Turkish police, Turkish officials, Turkish security services, who were not sure what sort of influence geopolitics would have on a story like this. We don`t know whether the claim that first came out on Saturday that he was killed in the consulate is true or not. We just don`t know that, but the Turkish officials are really pushing this forward and to be fair, it does advance their rivalry with Saudi Arabia.
HAYES: And they also have named the 16 officials. They said one of them was an autopsy doctor who was brought in there. If "The Washington Post" story is right, what I think is so explosive about that is the idea that this is Mohammed bin Salman personally ordering, perhaps, this operation. This is a guy who is - you can see pictures of him with Jeff Bezo`s and Richard Branson and sitting down, and he and Jared Kushner are buddies.
"The Intercept" reporting the Saudi Crown Prince posted that Jared Kushner was, quote, "In his pocket:. It really makes you wonder, what did the U.S. Government know about this ahead of time?
BROWN: Right. That`s still unclear. We see senators talking about the fact that they had intelligence briefings. We see this report from Shane Harris at "The Washington Post", but what his story doesn`t say was that he ordered this specific operation in Turkey. It says that they wanted to lure him from his home in Virginia where he had been living for the last year, away from the clutches of the Saudi regime, back to Saudi Arabia so he can be detained. Where the Istanbul consulate comes into this is still very unclear.
HAYES: That`s a great point, and we don`t know if its part of the same operation. What we do know is though, if they did in fact either kidnap him, apprehend him, or murder him inside that consulate, that is a remarkably provocative move, and it only happens, I think, if they think they can get away with it because they`ve been given such a green light by this administration.
BROWN: I would have to agree with that. The fact is, ever since Mohammed bin Salman became Crown Prince, he came to the U.S. he did a tour - a PR tour where people hailed (ph) him as reformer and he`s really gotten a lot of people on his side, and this Trump administration from day one has been extremely poor on calling out regimes with poor human rights records.
So that fact that the Saudis possibly can even think that they would be able to get away with this is a terrible sign for how the relationship is going between Saudi Arabia and D.C. Like if they think the relationship is valuable, so important that they can do whatever they want carte blanche that says a terrible thing about the balance of power between D.C. and reality (ph).
HAYES: And I also wonder what message it sends to every other regime in the world that wants dissidents or journalists who are walking around aboard, killed. What you can get away with is you get away with this, right?
BROWN: On one hand we see Russia acting in the United Kingdom with the Skripal poisoning, et cetera. But this is Saudi Arabia acting inside its region. Both countries that are friendly to the U.S., so the fact if our allies think they can get away with this, what does it say about our adversaries?
HAYES: That`s a great point, Hayes Brown, thank you very much for your time.
That is all for tonight (ph), 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