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Trump says nothing will ever satisfy Democrats. TRANSCRIPT: 4/2/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Raja Krishnamoorthi; Olivia Nazzi, Heidi Przybyla, Valerie Jarrett

CHRIS MATTHEWS, ANCHOR, MSNBC:  The Democratic primaries is not the same, it`s going to the country. And that`s hardball for now. It really is, "All In" with Chris Hayes starts right now. 

CHRIS HAYES, ANCHOR, MSNBC (voice over):  Tonight on "All In." 


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The Mueller report, I wish covered the oranges how it started.  The beginning. 


HAYES (voice over):  The White House gets squirrely on the Mueller report. 


TRUMP:  Take a look at the oranges -- the oranges of the investigation. 


HAYES (voice over):  As Democrats demand its full release. 


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRES SECRETARY:  The President`s right.  They will never be satisfied.  They`re sore losers. 


HAYES (voice over):  Tonight, the White House stonewalling Congress. 


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MA), CHAIRMAN OF OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE:   We have an unprecedented situation here. 


HAYES (voice over) :  Amid the first subpoena votes on the new house majority. 


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK:  Really, what is next putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? 


HAYES (voice over):  Then the administration lies about Puerto Rico. 


HOGAN GIDLEY, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY:  They have not come to $91 billion it was always done in that country. 


HAYES (voice over):  The Mayor of San Juan joins me tonight to respond to Donald Trump. 


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ (D), MAYOR OF SAN JUAN:  Just when you think he has gone the lowest, he could go -- he still goes lower than that. 


HAYES:  And with a President who lost the popular vote. 


TRUMP:  The Republicans have a tremendous disadvantage in the electoral college, you know that. 


HAYES (voice over):  The new constitutional amendment to get rid of the electoral college when "All In" starts right now. 

HAYES (on cam):  Good evening from New York.  I`m Chris Hayes.  Nine days after Attorney General Bill Barr wrote his famous four-page letter extensively clearing the President.  The White House has recently started to get a little more squirrely, a little more weird about the Mueller report. Remember this from last week? 


TRUMP:  There was no collusion with Russia.  There was no obstruction and none whatsoever.  And it was a complete and total exoneration. 


HAYES:  But in fact, it was not a complete and total exoneration as evidenced by the fact that Mueller explicitly said it was not an exoneration.  But what was a total vindication that everyone should see is now -- it`s time to move on. 


SANDERS:  We know by the actions that we`ve seen from Nadler and other Democrats in Congress, is that the President`s right, they will never be satisfied.  They`re sore losers, that some point they have to decide that they`re ready to move on like the rest of the country. 


HAYES:  Following and intense series of tweets claiming Democrats would never be satisfied, President Trump complained today, the Mueller report didn`t look at the quote, oranges of the investigation. 


TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges -- the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.  You look at the origin of the investigation, where it started, how it started, who started it, whether it`s McCabe or Comey or a lot of them.  Where does it go?  How high up in the White did it go?  You will all get Pulitzer Prizes, okay, you can all get Pulitzer Prizes. 

You should have looked at it a long time ago.  And that`s the only thing that`s disappointing to me about the Mueller report.  The Mueller report, I wish covered the oranges, how it started -- the beginnings of the investigation, how it started.  It didn`t cover that. 


HAYES:  He couldn`t quite get there with that one word.  But also, does Trump know for sure the Mueller report doesn`t cover the origins of the investigation.  He supposedly hasn`t seen it.  Someone brief him on it?  Anyway, we don`t know what`s in the report. 

It could be even better for the President that anyone can possibly imagine.  Who knows, possibly maybe, I don`t know. 

But there are some in the White House beginning to doubt that.  New York Magazine`s Olivia Nuzzi writes, "As the excitement waned `cooler heads` emerged in the White House a brand-new anxieties about a President inclined to inflict self-harm by taking things too far." 

"There will be plenty of unfavorable things about the President in the full report, which we think will eventually come out, so let`s not go overboard so there`s no wrongdoing. Let`s move on.  One senior White House official told me." 

Meanwhile, today is the deadline that House Democrats have already set for Bill Barr to turn over the complete Mueller report to Congress, a deadline he is blowing through.  There`s still a few hours left but Barr himself said this is unlikely. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says his committee will vote then tomorrow, on whether to authorize a subpoena for the report.  Just tonight we have breaking news that four subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee about White House security clearances and the 2020 census have been served.  He`s filed a contentious hearing today where Republicans and Democrats accused each other playing politics with a White House whistleblower who came forward to tell Congress about administration officials systematically overriding security clearance recommendations time and time again and 25 different cases. 


JORDAN:  Almost I don`t know where to begin. Ten days ago on a Saturday, you scheduled a transcribed interview with Miss Newbold on a Saturday and didn`t tell the Republicans until the day before.  I`ve been on this committee 10 years, I`ve never seen anything like this.  I`ve never seen anything like this. 

CUMMINGS:  Oh please. 

JORDAN:  I haven`t. 

CUMMINGS:  Yes, you`ve done it. 

JORDAN:  I haven`t.  I`ll tell you what else I`ve never seen. 

CUMMINGS:  This lady`s scared.  Do you hear me, she`s scared.  She`s small in stature and she`s already seen what is going on in the White House.  She was scared to death.  And she was afraid, sadly of our republican colleagues. 


HAYES:  Joining now for more on this, the first round subpoenas Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.  He sits in the House Oversight Committee and was in that hearing earlier. 

Today.  I want to -- a follow-up on that, the whistleblower interview, our Republicans were very angry about this.  They said it was sprung on them.  Do they have a fair complaint? 

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: No, basically we were following whistleblower protocol in this situation.  She wanted to make sure that the interview happened on a Saturday because she quite frankly didn`t want to take time off and then be subject to further retaliation. 

HAYES:  Right. 

KRISHNAMOORTHI:  She`s already alleged that she was suspended without pay for two weeks for bringing up the various concerns that she has brought forward about irregularities in the process by which various people have been vetted for security clearances at the White House. 

HAYES:  I want to play a little bit in the interview.  She did with our own Peter Alexander Her name is Tricia Newbold, this is what she had to say, take a listen. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why is this issue so important that you felt the need to speak out? 

TRICIA NEWBOLD, WHITE HOUSE WHISTLEBLOWER:  The protection of national security is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue.  It`s an American issue.  And we as security professionals owe it to make all our recommendations in the best interest of national security.  I am always concerned but it`s important that we stand up to do the right thing no matter what. 


HAYES:  Am I correct that your committee has now issued subpoenas on exactly this question of security clearances inside the White House?  What are those subpoenas seeking? 

KRISHNAMOORTHI:  Basically, this specific subpoena with regard to security clearances, seeks the testimony of an individual named Carl Klein.  He was the supervisor for Miss Newbold. 

Now as you know, Miss Newbold alleged that 25 individuals had cases in which the career civil servants denied security clearances, and then were overturned by the White House.  And they basically granted access to potentially top secret materials.  And so, one of the irregularities that really stands out is that she says, for instance, that credit checks have been stopped with regard to applicants.  Why somebody should get access to top secret materials when they can`t pass a credit check is beyond me. 

HAYES:  There is a security headline that I wanted to get your thoughts on, given the area investigation going into.  Which is that, a Chinese woman who entered Mar-a-Lago with malware, talked her way past Secret Service.  Apparently she had some USBs and some stuff.  We don`t know what she was doing there but she was federally charged.  What do you make of that? 

KRISHNAMOORTHI:  Well, I think this is all the more reason why we have to make sure that we vet people very carefully for access to top secret materials.  We don`t know what this person`s intentions were going into Mar-a-Lago.  But what we do know is that we have to have a vetting process that`s much more secure than what they use at Mar-a-Lago to allow people into their club.  And that is a process that is ironclad that makes sure that people with financial vulnerabilities are underreported for in context, don`t get access to our crown jewels of national security, which is potentially what has occurred. And that`s why the investigation has to continue. 

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.  Thank you so much. 


HAYES:  Joining me now, Olivia Nazzi, who is a Washington correspondent for New York Magazine.  Her most recent story is the aforementioned Trump Aids Fear He Is Overselling His "Exoneration".  And Heidi Przybyla, NBC News, national political correspondent. 

HAYES:  Olivia, let me start with you.  Those quotes really jumped out at me.  I mean, I think it did seem to be the White House and Barr together did a very good job of spinning the first 36,48, even 72 hours after the Barr letter.  Things do seem to change to me a bit recently.  What is the thinking inside White House about that? 

OLIVIA NAZZI, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE:  Well, I think that there are some people who, like the President, felt very comfortable saying this is a total and complete exoneration.  Even though as you noted earlier in the show, the letter or the Mueller report explicitly states that it is not an exoneration as quoted by Barr. 

And I think that there are other people in the White House and in the administration, who are a little bit more cautious, if you can believe it.  I don`t know how much influence they will have, but who are a little bit more cautious and don`t want the President to continue to overstate the meaning of this letter. 

And if you noticed today, both the President and members of the White House staff have been kind of saying, "Oh, we don`t need the full report now."  They seem to be striking in different tone than they were at least in the initial wake of the Barr letter.

  HAYES:  Yes, Heidi, I noticed that too, right.  I mean, the beginning -- first of all, you have majorities across ideological lines and partisan lines.  Vast majorities want to see the full report.  I do, I think everyone thinks, "Yeah, we should see it, whatever it says, even though it`s super exculpatory with the President. Let`s see it." 

And it does seem to me, to Olivia`s point, that the White House and Republicans have changed the tune a little bit over the last few days about how enthusiastic they are about that. 

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS:  Well, it`s changed a lot actually, Chris, because they`ve said all along, even the President has said he wanted to see the full report.  We had a unanimous resolution passed in the House, that the American people deserve to see the full report.  Now we`re splitting hairs over what the definition of that is. 

Their definition, apparently, is that this four-page summary that Barr put out with only a few partial quotes suffices.  But the position, really, in recent history -- very recent history of everyone in Congress is that we should see the full report. 

The question here is over what the precedent is, Chris, and Barr is arguing that because he`s operating under a different statute than previous special counsels have, like Kenneth Starr did with the Starr Report that he only has to give so much. 

The Democrats point is, "Let`s look at some of the most consequential documents in American history because that is what this is and look at what the precedent is."  And the precedent for the Starr Report. the precedent for Leon Jaworski`s roadmap on Watergate was that Congress gets the full documentation. 

We the American people may not see everything that`s classified and shouldn`t.  We, the American people may not see the grand jury information.  But Congress and the people`s representatives should see that.  That is the Democrat`s position and it looks like this is going to come to blows.  That this may even end up in court because if you talk to Chairman Adler, he will tell you that Barr told him he will not commit to getting a perfunctory court order for Congress to see that grand jury information.  And that Barr, not Congress, will be making those classified redactions. 

HAYES:  You know, there`s also a question, Olivia, I mean, one thing we`ve seen with the President in the last 48 hours, his inability to let anything go, right?  I mean, he`s got a sick and weird vendetta against the people of Puerto Rico, who made him look bad by dying in such large numbers after Maria. 

He has an obsession now with healthcare.  After that gave him his most resounding political defeat in his term.  And I wonder if he`s going to let this go.  He talked today about getting at the origins of this, about whether -- 

NAZZI:  Did he?  That`s not what I heard. 

HAYES:  No, we`re talking about the oranges, which is a really weird moment that I`m trying to let go of, but will they keep going at that?  I mean, you know, Lindsey Graham talks about a special investigation into the origins of the investigation.  Are they going to keep going at that? 

NAZZI:  Yeah, I assume.  I mean, this is a man who is still talking about a republican primary that, remember started in 2015, which is a lifetime ago, especially by Donald Trump`s standards of time.  He`s still talking about the general election.  He`s still talking, as you said about healthcare.  He can`t let anything go.  He`s still talking about, you know, Rosie O`Donnell and Time Magazine, and these things that were relevant decades ago. 

And so no, I don`t expect him to let it go.  And I expect actually, as we move forward, as the Democratic primary really gets underway, he will continue to harp on this and then he will continue to attack the media using this to do so. 

And I think the reality whatever the report ultimately says, I think the reality of this will not change his rhetoric one bit.  I think, if anything, it`ll give him just some more color to add into to his attacks.  But I can`t imagine the White House and the President really changing what they`ve been saying now since last Sunday 

HAYES:  You know, how do you just said, come to blows over the -- in a metaphorical sense, or the Mueller report.  But it`s broader than that, we got subpoenas that went out tonight, there`s about to be an escalation over a legal battle over document production.  Essentially, about testimony that`s going to span a whole variety of areas.  It will be interesting to see how the White House plays it. 

PRZYBYLA:  Well, we`re already seeing how they`re playing it, Chris, and they`re not giving up paperwork, and they`re not giving up witnesses unless they`re forced to.  For instance, in the case of the security clearance expert, who is now -- said he`s going to come voluntarily. 

Well, that was only after several letters and this whistleblower coming forward.  And if you talked to Chairman Cummings, he`ll say that, "Of all of the letters that they`ve sent, they`ve gotten zero paperwork and zero witnesses."  And this, like you said, spans a host of topics. 

And I think this is an important point, Chris, that is lost in a lot of us.  Chairman Cummings specifically started his investigations with those that had bipartisan support in the last Congress, including this security clearance issue.  This is something that he had written a bipartisan letter to the White House about. 

Same thing goes with on the immigration question.  The census, not so much but across many of these inquiries, these are things that Republicans, who very recently also supported. 

HAYES:  Yes, this they started in the Venn diagram, which by this person`s word evaporated quickly. Olivia Nazzi, Heidi Przybyla, thank you both. 

Coming up the new constitutional amendment being proposed, under which there would have been no President Trump today.  Senator Brian Schatz introduced an amendment to abolish the electoral college and he joins me in two minutes. 



TRUMP:  The Electoral College is almost impossible for a Republican to work very hard.  Because you start off at such a disadvantage. 

The Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know than it is to Republicans. 

The Republicans have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College, you know that. 

The Electoral College is a big advantage for Democrats not for Republicans. 


HAYES:  Like so many, the obviously false claims the President makes routinely, that one has no basis.  In fact, on the contrary, the truth is closer to the opposite.  Over the last three decades in American politics, Republicans have only won the popular vote twice.  First in 1988,  again in 2004.  But thanks the Electoral College, Republicans keep getting elected President anyway. 

In Donald Trump`s case, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes, in a parallel universe that would be a pretty resounding defeat.  We know that bothers the President because he repeatedly lied about it claiming falsely he quoted, "I won the popular vote, if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," that he made up. 

You can set up a whole commission, like a whole little play thing and like to try and reverse engineer some evidence for that claim.  Remember that?  Didn`t work. 

Now a growing number of Democratic presidential candidates support getting rid of the electoral college all together and a group of Democratic senators are introducing a constitutional amendment to do just that.  The senator behind that effort joins me now, Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii. 

Senator, it would be a big change.  Obviously, this is something that stood in constitutional structure since the ratification of the document itself.  Why do you want to get rid of it? 

SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ (D), HAWAII:  Well, it`s a basic principle.  We ought to count all of the votes.  All the votes ought to count equally.  And the person who gets the most votes ought to be President.  It`s the way we do it for mayor, or congressman, for united states senator, for governor, for the state house, for the county council.  The person who gets the most votes gets the office and only with the office of the presidency, is it`s sometimes the opposite. 

HAYES:  The people I guess, that are good in their side, right?  There`s a bunch of arguments.  They use a lot of them and are sort of really bad, but I guess the best version is, that people are concentrated in very few areas, and that if you got rid of Electoral College just in popular vote, then they would just focus on people or areas where people are concentrated and vast swathes of the country wouldn`t get to see any candidates and wouldn`t get any attention paid to them. 

SCHATZ:  Yes, a couple of thoughts on that.  First of all, as a practical matter, in the waning weeks and even couple of months of every general election for President, by the end of it, you`re only talking about six, maybe eight, maybe 10 states that are in play and presidential campaigns literally pull their financial resources, their human resources -- the most valuable resource, which is the candidates time and physical presence. 

They pull out of all those other states.  So 40 or more states get totally ignored, the territories get totally ignored, and then eight or 10 states get all of the attention.  And so, if we change it to a national popular vote, everybody`s vote counts the same.  And you would be in no position to ignore anyone. 

The other part of this, this idea that a presidential candidate is going to park himself or herself in LA and Chicago and sort of try to run up the score there, that would be a really good way to lose.  United States senators are also popularly elected.  They all have states with some urban center and some rural neighborhoods, and everybody would be unwise to park themselves in the main city and never get out across the state.  That is a recipe for losing an election. 

So it`s just I mean, look, they`re uncomfortable with this position, because they have to defend this idea that the person who gets the most votes is not necessarily going to be the president of the United States. 

HAYES:  Well, there`s another aspect to it too.  You know, I`ve seen the coverage of this in the conservative media and on Trump TV, that it`s a sort of takeover by some scary mob of Democrats.  And I thought, a former Maine Governor, Paul LePage sort of articulated the fear,  he most succinctly.  Take a listen to what he had to say in February. 


PAUL LEPAGE, FORMER GOVERNOR, MAINE:  What would happen if they do what they say they`re going to do, white people will not have anything to say.  It`s only going to be the minorities that would elect.  It would be California, Texas, Florida. 


HAYES:  What do you think of that? 

SCHATZ:  I don`t know how to respond to the former Governor LePage.  But I will tell you that, if their main spokesperson against this kind of reform is former Governor LePage, I think we`re in pretty terra firma. 

Listen, this is a very simple proposition.  The majority of the American public are for this change. I don`t underestimate the difficulty of amending the Constitution.  But you know, we used to appoint our United States senators based on what each individual legislature used to think.  And we decided about 100 years ago, to change that to popularly elect our United States senators. 

Women weren`t allowed to vote and then we changed the United States Constitution.  So I don`t take this lightly.  I understand amending the constitution is a very serious matter.  And certainly, as it relates to changing the way we choose a President, it`s a big deal.  But I believe that once we make this change, it would be looked back upon as though it was obvious.  It was intuitive, and it was a continued evolution of our democracy. 

HAYES:  You know, there`s an irony you`re talking about running -- there`s an irony which is that the current jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, one person one vote, would strike down anything that looks like the Electoral College if a state tried to do it for the way it ran elections, right.  So if you try to elect the governor based on, you know, county by county, how many counties they racked up, the Supreme Court would be like, "That`s nonsense and violates the spirit of the Constitution." 

Electoral College gets in under the wire, obviously, because it`s written into the document.  Final question for you.  You`ve got a bit you do on Twitter that`s pretty funny about -- you know, you`ll talk about the news of the day and be like, "This is crazy.  But remember the Presidents trying to take away protections for people with pre existing conditions." 

What do you make of the President deciding that the 2020 elections should be a referendum on healthcare? 

SCHATZ:  Well, listen, I`m pleased and the reason that I`m pleased is not because the Republicans continue to try to take away our healthcare, they are.  They are doing that they did it for, you know, six years, when President Obama was President. They did it when they were in charge of both chambers of the legislative branch.  They did it administratively and now they`re trying to do with through the courts in terms of invalidating the whole healthcare law. 

But what I loved about what happened over the last couple of days, is they`re admitting it.  That they`re not going to stop.  They cannot help themselves and despite the punishment that they received electorally in 2018, despite the fact that this is the most unpopular thing that could possibly do, this is their project.  They are committed to it and they`re not going to let go of it. So I`m pleased at least they`re admitting it and that we can litigate this over the next year and a half. 

HAYES:  All right, Senator Brian Schatz.  Thank you very much. 

Schatz:  Thank you. 

HAYES:  Next, the President`s utter disdain for Americans struggling to recover from a hurricane that claimed thousands of lives.  The mayor of San Juan responds directly, next. 



TRUMP:  I`ve taken better care of Puerto Rico than any man ever.  We have $91 billion going to Puerto Rico.  We have $29 billion to Texas and $12 billion to Florida for the hurricane.  Puerto Rico has been taken care of better by Donald Trump than by any living human being. 


HAYES:  The President today continued his gross shameful vendetta against the people of Puerto Rico, working behind the scenes to reduce aid from Congress and lying over and over again in the most egregious way possible about the money the island has been given. 

So to be clear, so far, Puerto Rico has received $11 billion in aid, not the $91 billion figure the President keeps repeating.  In a tweet rant this morning, he raged about a senate aid package that failed to advance yesterday pitting the Americans in Puerto Rico recovering from a disaster that killed 3,000 people against the capital F farmers, who are somehow going to suffer if Puerto Ricans get assistance. 

Hours later, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, went on our air to see the quiet part loud about "that country". 


GIDLEY:  We have not come to $91 billion when all we`ve done in that country, we have had a systematic mismanagement of the goods and services we`ve sent to them. 


HAYES: Well, that country is our country.  And the people there don`t get to vote for President but they do have to endure the one that we have. 


TRUMP:  You do have a mayor of San Juan that, frankly, doesn`t know what she`s doing.  And the Governor - they got to spend the money wisely.  They don`t know how to spend their money and they`re not spending it wisely. 


HAYES:  And joining me now is that Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, the Democratic Mayor of San Juan, who joins me now.  Mayor Cruz, good to have you on.  First let`s start with just the basic facts here about what kind of a Puerto Rico has gotten and what kind of aid and assistance and support Puerto Rico needs. 

YULIN CRUZ:  First of all the President lies when he says Puerto Rico has received $91 billion.  That is not true.  It is more in light of $11 billion to $13 billion, but of course this was a devastation like we had never seen before, close to one year without any electricity, a loss of 3,000 lives, currently, today, there is about 30,000 homes which don`t have appropriate roofs, they either have the tarp or the blue roof.  Suicide rates have gone up.  There are the roads and bridges that people are -- they are traveling on that are not good for our population. 

And right now -- and what we are talking about a $600 million that are needed to feed the Puerto Rican people.  1.3 million Puerto Ricans out of the 3.2 million total population receive some sort of nutritional assistance or food stamps.  So, what the president is doing right now with this huff and puff, you know, because he has been unable to get the job done, is that he is literally delaying people`s ability to put food on the table.

HAYES:  The president has long sent a lot of insults your way since the days after the storm.  He called you crazed and incompetent just today.  Do you think he has it out for the Puerto Rican people, does he have a vendetta against the people of the island?

CRUZ:  You know, the president had a golf course here, which many people may not remember, and it went bankrupt.  I don`t know if that is the root of his vindictive behavior towards Puerto Rico, but it`s also insensitive and he is also prone to classic Donald Trump temper tantrums.  If he doesn`t get what he wants, he will try to put people out and take away the most basic thing, that happened to 800,000 federal workers when a couple of weeks ago he just literally said I`m shutting down the government.  Why?  Because I don`t get what i want.

And now he is doing something that is also classic Trump, rather than bring people together, trying to pin people against one another.  You know, aid should not be weaponized, it should not be used to divide, it should put people against each other.

There is a reservation, Pine Bridge Reservation (ph), which also is in dire need of federal  assistance, and they`re not getting it.  My question is, why does it seem like it`s always people of color, people that are in states or cities that are run by Democratic incumbents or people that just don`t think alike. 

You know, an insult from President Trump is a badge of honor.  Why?  Because it shows that I am nothing like him.

HAYES:  There is an argument that`s been made by the White House, but I think also across the ideological spectrum about some of the more structural problems with governance in Puerto Rico, and administration, particularly true of PREPA, which is the utility company.  There has been questions about the oversight board which essentially has a kind of veto over policy, because of the Puerto Rican debt.

What do you say to people that say, look, more aid won`t help unless there are structural changes that create a sort of logistical capacity that make lives better for Puerto Ricans?

CRUZ:  Three things.  One, Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States, calling it a territory, it`s a euphemism, that is what allows the president to speak the way he does.  Number two, yes, there are structural situations that we have to deal with, but this is kind of one of those times when you have to fix the plane and fly it at the same time.  If there is a plane that on mid-air is going wrong, the pilot just doesn`t say, you know, there are some structural problems on this plane that we have to fix, no, you have to make sure that it gets into the safe port. 

Now, the fiscal control board is colonialism at its most raw way of looking at things.  It can actually -- and, look, I don`t see eye to eye with the governor of Puerto Rico, but he was elected by the people of Puerto Rico.  And this fiscal control board is putting austerity measures that are reducing the ability of our students to be educated, which in turn will feed more of the cycle of poverty in Puerto Rico. 

It is threatening to reduce pension, and also it is moving our PREPA, which was very, very sick and very ill-structured before the storm, it is moving it in terms of putting it into private hands, making a monopoly out of it.  So, there are structural things that need to be changed, but we need to move along and make sure that people don`t die and that there is a population to deal with this.

HAYES:  All right, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, thank you so much for joining me.

CRUZ:  Thank you so much.

HAYES:  Ahead, my interview with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett on what she called the most painful realization during her time in the White House.  That`s coming up.

And next, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two featuring Trump`s poor grasp of his own family history,  that`s next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, President Trump is no great student of history, but you would think he would have his own family history down, especially if he`s going to just bring it up unprompted like he did today.


TRUMP:  I mean, Germany, honestly, is not paying their fair share.  I have great respect for Angela and I have great respect for their country.  My father is German, right, was German, and born in a very wonderful place in Germany and so I have a great feeling for Germany.


HAYES:  No, no, that`s not true.  Donald Trump`s father, Fred Trump, was born in New York City in the United States of America.  Now, if that wasn`t the third time he`s been recorded telling that specific lie, it might be easier to believe that Trump just could be mixing up his father with his grandfather, Fredrick Trump (ph), who was actually born in Germany.  He left at the age of 16 to come to here to the U.S.

He actually tried to return to his  native country, but he was kicked out for skipping military service.

Now, you can understand why the president might be confused.  Fred Trump, the president`s father, pretend he was of Swedish ancestry for years in an effort to not offend his Jewish customers, according to a Trump cousin and family historian, a lie that was repeated in Trump`s own 1987 best-seller, "The Art of the Deal," where he claimed his German dad, who was born in the Bronx, was actually Swedish and born in New Jersey.

The president`s ancestral family "oranges," weren`t the only thing giving him trouble today, and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  There are a few words this president has a really hard time saying, sorry, I denounce white supremacy, and anonymous.


TRUMP:  The latest act of resistance is the op-ed published in the failing New York Times by an a nominous (ph) -- really an anominous (ph), gutless coward.


HAYES:  Now, there are lots of people who might have trouble reading the word anonymous off a teleprompter.  I get stuff wrong on the teleprompter all the time.  It`s certainly not a disqualifier to be president any more, but to prove the point, here`s the president today talking about the fruits of the Mueller investigation.


TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation. 


HAYES:  Oh, the beginnings, I could have sworn he said oranges, but I think he actually meant origins.  Luckily, he went on to fully explain what origins means.


TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.  You look at the origin of the investigation, where it started, how it started, who started it, that`s the only thing that`s disappointing to me about the Mueller report.  The Mueller report I wish covered the oranges, how it started started.



HAYES:  Here on All In, we have been closely following the events in North Carolina where the state Republican Party likes to fearmonger about voter fraud and where a Republican campaign which is caught committing election fraud.

About six weeks ago, the North Carolina State Board of Elections threw out the electoral victory of GOP congressional candidate and evangelical minster Mark Harris, ordering an entirely new election amid evidence that Harris`s campaign had financed an illegal ballot tampering operation and orchestrated by a local political operative named McCrae Dowless who was indicted on seven felonies.

It turns out this was not an isolated incident for North Carolina Republicans running into trouble with the law.  One of the nation`s most aggressive state parties when it comes to gerrymandering, power grabs, voter suppression, today brought the indictment of North Carolina State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes -- no relation -- a former congressman, for his role in an alleged bribery screen.

That may not be all, North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Walker, who is a member of the House Republican leadership, is also entangled in the probe.  Walker is reportedly identified as public official A in the indictment, which suggests the Republican congressman played a role in the bribery scheme.

Now, Walker has not been indicted, and he denies any wrongdoing, but perhaps, maybe, North Carolina Republicans should spend a little less time worrying about voters simply trying to vote, and a little more time worrying about their own members allegedly committing crimes.


HAYES:  Democratic voters were recently polled on how they identify themselves as Democrats.  And the most common answer, which I thought was interesting, was Obama Democrat.  And what this does it shows the degree to which Barack Obama has a hold on the party`s imagination even a few years after he finished his term in office.

But why that`s the case, the conduct of the Republican Party, in terms of the nomination of Merrick Garland, and since the election of Donald Trump, has shaken for a lot of people their mental models of how politics works.

So as we enter 2020, the question becomes, how do you think about the Obama legacy and the politics that we have now post-Obama?

A great person to discuss that with is one of President Obama`s closest advisers and friends,  Valerie Jarrett, who has a new memoir out today called "Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward."  Good to have you here.

VALERIE JARRETT, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Thank you, Chris.  Delighted to be here with you.

HAYES:  This book talks about your life, and you -- which is fascinating.  You were born in Iran.  Your parents have a fascinating story.  And it talks about your trajectory through Chicago  politics and then in the West Wing.  What is the -- what is your big takeaway?  What was the thing that you walked into those eight years thinking and you came out being like, I was not -- I was wrong about that?

JARRETT:  That`s easy.  My biggest mistake was not appreciating how willing the Republicans were to put their short-term political interests ahead of our country. 

I mean, just remember, Chris, when President Obama took office, we were in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, losing 750,000 to 800,000 jobs a month, we had two wars going on, we had a crisis in terms of housing, a crisis -- people losing their homes, millions of people losing their homes, losing their jobs, no safety net of affordable health care.  We had a lot going wrong in this country.  And I thought it would be a time where Republicans would come to the table and work with President Obama for the greater good.  And it took me a while to realize, no, they just weren`t going to do that, they were going to time and time again just say no.

HAYES:  What was that realization like in real-time?

JARRETT:  It was painful, because we tried everything.  You know, we tried intimidating them, we tried wooing them, we tried taking them out to dinner, we tried coming up with plans that had traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, every possible thing.  And what I did not appreciate, naively was, no, they didn`t actually care about that. 

And I think it probably came to a head for me when we were dealing with the fiscal crisis and whether or not to go the fiscal cliff and default for the first time in our nation`s history on the full faith and credit of our currency, which obviously affects the world economy.  And I heard members of the then Tea Party saying, oh, it would be good for the United States to default, teach us a lesson.

Really?  Shake up the entire world economic system to teach us a lesson?  And what would be the lesson?  We had already approved the budget to use those funds.  All they were doing was simply  allowing us to have the debt that supported that budget.

HAYES:  So then I guess the question becomes, so that`s a big lesson.  I think a lot of people follow the trajectory.  There are other people who out in front who are like, don`t -- the Republicans are never going to work with you.  They were saying that from day one.

JARRETT:  Yes, but we had to get caught trying.  I thought it was really important that we got caught trying.

HAYES:  So you don`t think it was a mistake.  It wasn`t -- there are people who say, for instance, that the months that were put in trying to get Max Baucus to work with Republicans to try to get something out of committee out of the ACA, there are people who say that was wasted time, that was a mistake.  You don`t see it as a mistake?

JARRETT:  The way I look at it, at a that time, what we thought, is it was very important that once you`re president, you`re president of the United States of America, and that means all of America. and the people with whom you have to work are those who have been dually elected by Americans, and that in this case is the Republicans.

And we thought it was important to try to have a bipartisan bill.  Anything you do something this big and this bold, optimally, you would want it to be bipartisan.

HAYES:  Is that a political calculation or is that a first principles calculation?

JARRETT:  I think it`s a first principle of governance, of the entire country.

HAYES:  Is it a defeatable first principle?  You see what I`m saying?  Meaning, if that`s your first principle, are the -- do the facts on the ground after a certain period of time change that?  Like if Valerie Jarrett were hired as the senior most strategic adviser to the next Democratic president coming in, say, were to be elected, big first domestic policy legislation, you have been in there, you`ve been in the trenches before, do you say, yeah, let`s go get a meeting with Tom Cotton and see if he`ll work with us on this climate bill?

JARRETT:  Well, I think you do have to try.  The question is, how long do you go at it?

And ultimately, we did go it alone.  We did make the political calculus that government practice that it was more important to get affordable health care for all of America than to get a bipartisan bill.

But it was important for us to try and to try every way possible, because I think that`s what`s  fair for the American people to expect of us. 

I think to do it again, we probably spent so much time trying to get the policy right, I wish we would told a story earlier to the American people.  Now they appreciate the Affordable Care Act and all of the benefits in it.  And I think at the time, it just seemed like sausage in Washington.  And so I wish we had gone outside of Washington and told the story earlier in the process, so that they could have put pressure on their elected representatives, because now it does enjoy bipartisan support.

HAYES:  Is there anything that Donald Trump does, that you think to yourself, as someone who spent eight years, right, if I`m not mistaken, in that White House.

JARRETT:  Eight years to the day.

HAYES:  That`s a long time.

JARRETT:  It is a long time.

HAYES:  Is there anything Donald Trump does that you think, I wish we`d done that.

JARRETT:  No, actually, no.

HAYES:  Not a single thing?  There`s nothing he does?

JARRETT:  Nothing pops to my mind.  What do you think?  Does something pop to your mind that he did right that we did wrong?

HAYES:  I think -- I will tell you, Barack Obama was an incredible campaigner and incredible in public settings and rallies, and going along with what your point is about sort of the inside strategy of legislation.  I do think there was a sort of bully pulpit, particularly in those first six to 12 months where you didn`t see him out in the trail, you didn`t see him out doing -- you know, this president has never stopped doing that, right.  I mean, it`s probably his favorite part of the job is part of the reason.  And I do wonder sometimes whether that would have made an effect.

JARRETT:  Well, that was the point I was making earlier.  And I think that there has to be some symmetry between the substance and the rallies, but I do wish that we had spent more time traveling around the country explaining the substance of what we were trying to do that the folks who understood that it would be important in their lives would have put some pressure on, and that, perhaps, would have brought Republicans to the table.

Although I`m not sure.  Because I think that at that point, they just felt like saying no to every single thing we tried to do was their political strategy.  But it`s not a strategy for good government.

HAYES:  But there`s a question, right, about how much that`s a permanent structural feature now of American politics.  I mean, I think...

JARRETT:  Well, I hope not.  I hope what will happen is that the American people will say, you know what, I don`t like that.  I don`t think compromise is a bad word.  I do want the people who were elected to represent me to be keeping me top of mind. 

When you start talking about not passing the Affordable Care Act or now repealing it, really?  Really?  One in two Americans has a pre-existing condition and you want to take that away?  You want women not to have preventative care?  You want young people not to be able to stay on their parent`s  plans?  You want senior citizens to go back to not being able to afford their prescription drugs or everyone reaching like lifetime or annual caps, is that what you want for America?  I don`t think so.

HAYES:  But they are saying that`s what they want.

JARRETT:  But it hasn`t...

HAYES:  ...word, right?

JARRETT:  Well, you know, it`s interesting, though.  You say that`s what they want, but they haven`t repealed it.

HAYES:  Yeah.

JARRETT:  At a time they had control of congress, they could have and they didn`t.  Why? Because people showed up at those town halls and they said, no, I have a pre-existing condition.  I`m counting on the ACA.  20 million people had health care, many for the first time, were saying, no, don`t repeal it.

And when that happens, I think the elected representatives respond.  And so that`s what I wish we had done.  At the same time as we were trying to fix the economy and end two wars and capture Osama bin Laden and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve our education system -- we had a lot going on, but telling the story is very important, keeping people -- understanding that you`re fighting for them is really important.  You can`t just know it in your own heart, you have to communicate it to them.

HAYES:  I have seen reports that President Barack Obama, who is working on his own memoir right now, has had meeting -- taking meetings with various folks that are running for the Democratic nomination for president.  I think he`s open about that.  He`ll meet with people and talk to them and give them his advice.  If you were doing that...

JARRETT:  I have done that.

HAYES:  So you have done that?  What is your big advice?  Like what do you tell people?

JARRETT:  Well, a few things.  Generally, what I say is this: be authentic, figure out what you stand for and communicate it openly and honestly to the American people.  They can sniff it out if you`re fake.  And so, don`t be busy trying to figure out what poll tests the right answer, tell them what you think and give them the reason why they should trust you, which means they have to get to know you.

President Obama used to say, you know, when he was in Iowa, I`ve got to lift up my hood and let people kick the tires and really understand who I am as a person and what kind of a president I will be for them.  And I think candidates need to do that.

The other thing I think they have to do is have an affirmative message for what they`re for, particularly right now in the Democratic Party, what I would not want to see them do is to be so busy beating each other up that they go into the general election in a weakened position, because that`s actually what the party needs to do, is to win the general election.

And so those are the two big pieces of advice that I have given everybody.

HAYES:  Final question, you know, you were part of the Obama`s social circle and lives sort of as they were on this crazy trajectory, that there`s been nothing like it, I think, probably since Abraham Lincoln, basically, right, in terms of state senator to senator to president of the United States so quickly.

How did it -- how did it change you?  How did it change them?

JARRETT:  Well, I think Michelle Obama said this really well during the Democratic convention in 2012. She said, people often ask me, has being president changed my husband, and I say, no, it hasn`t changed him, it`s revealed who he is.  And I think it tested all of us.  We found out whether we could take a punch.  We found out whether or not we could keep focused on what was important, and that was long-term solutions to the challenges that we have, or whether we would succumb to  politics.

I think we all mature, we all grow, we all learn from the experience, but I think your basic core  values are pretty well set by the time you reach adulthood.

HAYES:  All right, Valerie Jarrett, the book is called "Finding My Voice."  It`s out today.  It`s a great pleasure to have you here.  Thank you so much.

JARRETT:  My pleasure.  Thanks for having me on, Chris.

HAYES:  That is All In for this evening.  The Rachel Maddow show starts right now.