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Democratic candidates battle over healthcare. TRANSCRIPT: 7/29/19, All In W/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Alec MacGillis, Sherrilyn Ifill, Tim Wise, Adam Serwer, Abdul El-Sayed, Ezra Klein, Katherine Clark

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He told his party at the outset of World War II, we shall find, we lost the future.  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  Infested, it sounds like vermin.  It sounds subhuman.

HAYES:  The President launches a racist attack on an American city.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE:  This is what the President does.

HAYES:  As the constituents he promised to save continued to suffer.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Don`t sell your house.  Do not sell it.  We`re going to get those values up.

HAYES:  Tonight, the inherent political weakness in Donald Trump`s racist politics.

TRUMP:  We`re going to get those jobs coming back and we`re going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build brand-new ones.

HAYES:  Then, the wave of Democrats calling for impeachment swells.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD):  I would say we are in an impeachment investigation.

HAYES:  The highest-ranking Democrat in leadership calling for impeachment joins me live.  And two years after Republicans failed to kill ObamaCare, why new changes to healthcare could shape the Democratic debate.  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  The General Motors plant in Warren, Michigan, just ten miles from this week`s Democratic debates in Detroit is shutting down on Thursday.  It`s the story of the Trump economy that Donald Trump desperately does not want told because it is not the first story like it.  It is one of five GM plants being closed in North America by the end of the year.  In fact, the company plans to lay off as many as 14,000 workers.

There`s also, of course, the Lordstown plant in Ohio.  That`s the one Trump actually visited in 2017 and he literally told people not to sell their homes.


TRUMP:  I was looking at some of those big wants incredible job-producing factories, and my wife Melania said, what happened?  I said those jobs have left Ohio.  They`re all coming back.  They`re all coming back.  Don`t move.  Don`t sell your house.  Don`t sell your house.


HAYES:  Don`t sell your house, they`re all coming back.  Well, in March, GM idled that plant eliminating well over 1,000 jobs.  That is the soft underbelly of Trumpism.  Yes, undoubtedly unemployment is low.  Yes, the stock market has, by and large, continued to thrive.  But the reality of people in communities particularly in the greater industrial Midwest has not tangibly improved that much.  Growth is concentrated in the same areas it was concentrated in before.

A new poll shows only 36 percent of likely voters in Michigan say their own economic situation has improved in the last three years.  48 percent think it`s the same, 16 percent say they`re worse off.  That`s not great.

Trump`s trade wars have of course hammered large parts of rural America that constitute his base.  Republicans passed $1 trillion tax cut for corporate America that has had little impact on most of the working population.

Congress still hasn`t ratified Trump`s rebranded NAFTA and there`s little reason to think a Democratic House will pass it.  Children are still being separated from their families as immigrants are being locked in cages like so much livestock.  But what are the tangible material improvements the President has delivered for those folks in places like Michigan who voted for him?

That`s not what they`re getting though.  They`re getting what they got during the 2016 campaign, the President`s racist rants.  That is what he`s providing to them.  He hasn`t delivered much tangibly for those communities who have been sledge-hammered by automation, globalization.

And now every time the President says something racist, his advisors all anonymously run to the nearest reporter to talk about how it`s a great strategy.  And that`s because he and his advisors both agree that they think so little of his supporters, they think all they want is racism.

So instead of actually helping Americans for the second time in two weeks, the President is off on yet another racist rant.  This time it`s about the great city of Baltimore, a city of hundreds of thousands of Americans that Trump says no human being would want to live in whose constituents Trump is supposed to represent just as much as Congressman Elijah Cummings.

But lest you think that this is some highly developed strategy, some evil genius attempt to control the conversation, it is worth just considering the far more likely explanation we just simply that the president is a raging racist and this is just how he sees the world.

This weekend, I spoke to someone who just happened quite randomly to have a conversation with Trump way back in December 2015 when he was the improbable front runner in that large GOP field.  And in this conversation, then-candidate Trump actually endorsed the idea a stricter gun control in a city like Chicago because -- and here`s a quote, according to the person I spoke with, "we have to stop those animals there from killing each other."

Animals, that`s who this president is and he just keeps trying to tell us.  Joining me now ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis.  He lives in Baltimore, has written, reported on the city.  He broke the story about Jared Kushner`s involvement as a derelict but vindictive landlord in that city.  He also spent a ton of time traveling around the industrial Midwest in the run-up to the 2016 election.

And I want to begin on that angle, Alec.  The plant closing in Warren, the one in Lordstown, because you spent a lot of time documenting the genuine angst in a lot of parts the industrial Midwest, the ways in which Trumpism appealed to that angst racialized and otherwise, and I wonder what your read is on where things stand now because I think there is a perception that the economy is good as a top-line figure that doesn`t quite capture the reality.

ALEC MACGILLIS, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA:  No, it doesn`t it all caps the reality because we still have this extraordinary regional divergence in our economy with so much of the growth concentrated in certain places in so many places that are left behind.

As you know, I was definitely one of the people who believed coming out of the 2016 election, even before the election that the rise of Trump was connected to economic elements.  Of course, there was race involved.  Of course, there was racist appeals involved but there was -- there was no accident that those appeals were most effective in places that were economically left behind.

And so that now, as you see these plant closings, as you see these unfulfilled promises, it`s got to hurt them in these places because there was a promise made.  What I saw in 2016 in Ohio was actually that the trade arguments, his trade arguments about China and whatnot resonated just as much as the immigration arguments.

So to the extent that you still see these plant closings now in Warren, Michigan in Warren, Ohio it`s got to be a vulnerability for him.

HAYES:  But what`s interesting about that is that the president and his advisors` own theory of the case which they keep telling reporters is no, what our supporters like is racism.  What will drive them out is racism and we`re going to keep being super racist so that they will come to the polls.  That is -- that is -- I`m not saying that`s my theory of the case, that is what they tell every reporter who will listen about how they model the views of their own voters and supporters.

MACGILLIS:  It`s true and that -- but the obvious sort of limitation to that -- to that theory is where are the new voters you`re going to draw with those racist appeals.  It`s not enough for Trump this year just to get everyone to come back who voted for him last time.

You are going to have more energized Democratic vote than you had last time around.  You`re going to have -- you`re going to have lost a whole bunch of your voters in 2016, suburban voters who have drifted away from you since then.  Where are these new people you`re going to bring out with racist appeals beyond what you already got in 2016?

HAYES:  I want to talk for a moment about the Kushner reporting you did because it`s gotten a lot of attention obviously.  The President -- and we didn`t put the tweets up because they`re just -- they`re not really about Baltimore in any way and they`re not really about the city and they`re not really about anything other than the fact that he`s yelling a racist rant at the television.

But to the extent that he talks about infestation, you have some really damning reporting on Kushner`s role in Baltimore as a landlord.  What did you find?

MACGILLIS:  Oh well, Jared Kushner, his family has about 8,000 units here in the Baltimore area.  They`re huge landlord.  They have these massive apartment complexes all around the edge of the city.  They`re these very sorts of downscale, very humble working-class apartment complexes that have all sorts of problems including a lot of water damage and leaks, and black mold, and a lot of mice and rats.

I talk to one mother who had -- was so overrun with mice in her apartment that she had to move her bed away from the wall, had to start putting the laundry into a tote bag instead of the hamper because the mice kept jumping in and her daughter`s asthma was getting worse because of all the allergens and the mice droppings.  This is the reality of Jared Kushner apartments.

So when Trump is talking about the infestation in Baltimore, to extent that that exists, it`s in part at his son-in-law`s apartments.

HAYES:  I guess the last question is your reaction to someone as someone who lives in Baltimore, is very proud of the city, is also document in detail many of the challenges it faces, and also someone who reported out in the industrial Midwest to watch the city you live in be used as this kind of racist stand-in to be whacked about as a pinata for those folks out there in Michigan because he thinks that`s going to work to get their votes.

MACGILLIS:  It`s so immensely disheartening.  I can`t even express it really.  We`ve been going through a terrible time here in Baltimore in the last few years.  We had a real resurgence of violence.  We`ve had 300 homicides in the last four or five years.  We`re about to hit 200 for this year and it`s not even the end of July yet.

We have more homicides than New York City.  It`s been horrible.  We`ve had massive corruption in the Police Department, in City Hall.  We`ve had a complete failure of leadership here.  Those things are all true.  But to then to have the president, instead of saying, hey, what can we do to help your city?  What can -- what can I do as the president in federal government to lend a hand here?  Instead of turning around and just using those troubles as a way to stoke racial division is just -- it`s really awful.

HAYES:  Alec MacGillis, thank you very much.

MACGILLIS:  Thank you.

HAYES:  The President`s open racism towards African Americans did not start this weekend.  Remember his very first appearance in The New York Times paper record was because the DOJ was investigating him for discriminatory housing policies.  And here`s what he said during a 2016 campaign stop in Michigan.


TRUMP:  Look how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic control.  To those I say the following: what do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?  What do you have to lose?

I say it again, what do you have to lose?  Look, what do you have to lose?  You`re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.  58 percent of your youth is unemployed.  What the hell do you have to lose?


HAYES:  Join me now Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director of Council of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a longtime resident of Baltimore, joined us when we did a special on that city a few years back.

Charles Blow had a column today in the New York Times saying I don`t like having to keep reminding everyone that this is utterly horrific racism by the president but yet it must be done.  I`m wondering what your reaction is on this Monday.

SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR, COUNCIL OF THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND:  Well, I`m very torn, Chris.  I feel very much like Charles Blow feels.  I wish I didn`t have to respond to this.  I do feel that this is a manipulation from the president, but we do have to respond to it because it is flagrant racism.  It denigrates the dignity of African American people.  It denigrates our communities.  It denigrates the city of Baltimore.  It denigrated people of color all over the country.

And we have to speak up because Donald Trump has moved the line and the standard of what is decent, what is acceptable in public life and among leaders and we have to fight to keep that line.  At the same time, we have to be mindful of what he is trying to distract us from and to really focus on the issues that we work on in places like Baltimore and the failure of this administration to actually grapple with the challenges that are faced by working-class people all over this country not just in places like Baltimore.

HAYES:  You know, it`s striking that what precipitated this of course was a Trump T.V. segment essentially along lines of the tweet focusing on Elijah Cummings who was the chair of the Oversight Committee, whose subpoena Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in pursuit of one of his investigations, and just today put out an incredible report about the Trump ministration being shot through by foreign agents including submitting drafts of an American first energy speech, an America first energy speech to the UAE for edits.

This is what`s been uncovered by Chairman Elijah Cummings.  It`s worth remembering why Cummings is the target.  It has nothing to do with the people of Baltimore

IFILL:  That`s exactly right.  And that`s why I`m of two minds because as soon as it starts to get hot, the President falls back on what he knows is tried-and-true for him.  And I think, Chris, that`s where we should be focusing.

Why does this appeal to so many Americans?  And I don`t think that this is about economic anxiety.  I think this is about racism in American society.  When we called it out and talked about it in 2015 and 2016, you know we were told that it was all about economic anxiety.

There is a strong strain of racism in this country.  It`s not just struggling people, its well-educated people.  Those comments that he makes resonate.  And that`s why we have to push back against them and we`re going to continue to do that but at the same time the organization I lead fights on the ground in Baltimore for you know, economic mobility, for education, for constitutional policing, and we`re not gonna stop that fight as well.

And so we just have to fight on multiple fronts.  He`s coming at us with two fists.  We`re coming back with at least two as well.  And we`re just going to stand flat-footed and fight this out.

HAYES:  Let me ask you this.  I mean, in some ways, the struggles the folks face in Baltimore are distinct to that city and there`s been a whole bunch of things having to do with the policing of that city and the governance of that city but also not that different than challenges people face all over the country.

Did the Trump economy feel like a boom economy in the city of Baltimore?  Does it feel like some magical wand has been waved delivering on the promise of that really vile speech that we played?

IFILL:  Well, I`ve been really waiting for an economic analysis that looks at places like Baltimore.  Somehow when we talk about the stock market and interest rates, we somehow seem to forget some of the other actions this administration has taken.

Let`s take for example payday and car title lending that decimates places like Baltimore and other places around the country.  It`s this administration that has delayed the rule that was supposed to stop the predatory practices of payday lenders and they are now proposing to repeal the rule.

Let`s talk about for-profit colleges which African Americans attend at five times the rate of whites.  Let`s talk about the rules that were put in place to ensure that for-profit colleges could not allow people to run up debt and not actually prepare them for the job market.  That rule has been repealed by Betsy DeVos, Trump`s education secretary.

When we start to really go into the kinds of decision-making that actually affects working-class people, we find a very different economy.  And that is true in Baltimore, it is true in rural places around Maryland and other states.  And that economy has to be lifted up and talked about and looked at and not papered over by talk about the stock market and about interest rates.

And on that scale, when we look at that analysis of the economy, this administration has failed terribly.

HAYES:  All right, Sherrilyn Ifill, it`s always a pleasure to get to hear you talk.  Thank you very much.

IFILL:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  Next up, the case that Democrats avoiding Donald Trump`s bigotry is a mistake but the man who helped defeat David Duke in the 1990s, Tim Wise and Adam Serwer join me in two minutes.


HAYES:  Admittedly, it is always a bit hard to tell when the president engages in an outburst the degree which he`s simply and emotionally incontinent Fox News viewer who likes to talk back to the television versus how much he`s attempting some kind of political strategy.

But one tendency I think that has developed among Democrats and not complete without reason to be clear is a worry that engaging Trump on the fights he picks is "playing on his turf."  For that reason, it`s really important to stress that the racist invective we see from him is not broadly popular with American voters.

A recent Fox News poll found that registered voters massively disapprove of Trump`s handling of race relations with Trump 25 percentage points underwater.  It`s also important not to allow the vileness of his racism to go on challenge.

Last week anti-racism educator and activist Tim Wise wrote about his time working to defeat David Duke when the former KKK Grand Wizard was running for Senator and Governor of Louisiana on the GOP ticket in the early 1990s.

Wise wrote that mainstream Democratic consultants urged the anti-Duke PAC that he worked for not to focus primarily on Duke`s racism, saying that doing so played into Duke`s hands, allowed him to set the agenda.

The lesson that Tim drew was that focusing on the racism was the best way to beat Trump in 2020 the same way he helped beat Duke in 1991.  Tim Wise joins me now along with Adam Serwer, Staff Writer at the Atlantic who`s written about the particular unique and unprecedented danger to the very core of American democracy that`s presented by the president`s racist rhetoric in this moment.

Tim, I want you -- if you could sort of describe the sort of thinking strategically -- again, it`s not a moral choice.  I think everyone was very clear about who David Duke is, right?  So the question is how do you beat David Duke in the state of Louisiana?  What kind of race you run against him and the sort of tactical decisions that were made when you were working on that race?

TIM WISE, ACTIVIST:  Well, the key is when you`re running against somebody or when you`re working against somebody whose entire politic is a politic of racial scapegoating and prejudice, to talk about things that are not directly connected to that racism and prejudice is to normalize it and treat him like a normal candidate.

And unfortunately in 1990 when Duke ran for the Senate, we did have these consultants and some conservatives within our own coalition that were uncomfortable calling out the modern racism.  We could talk about the Klan, yes, the Nazi stuff, yes, but we weren`t supposed to talk about how he was scapegoating black and brown folks for problems they didn`t create because that would somehow spur a backlash.

And so the first election, we didn`t push hard enough on that.  We mixed up the messages with other things.  In the governor`s race in `91, we drilled down much more clearly, talked about this as a moral choice, talked about Duke-ism as an existential threat to the state and the values that we held dear.  And as a result, we`re able to get the kind of coalition, the base voters for Democrats, absolutely, their turnout went through the roof, but so did reasonable Republicans, moderates, and independents.

That`s what`s needed because it isn`t enough to just beat Trump, the man.  Trump-ism is an ideology has to be dealt a repudiation.

HAYES:  Adam, I feel like there`s -- you know, you see these sort of savvy -- the savvy takes about like oh this is actually smart strategy which I think is a little beside the point, but there is this question, right, about like does this work or not.  Is this -- is this effective to do what he wants to do.

And I`m curious what you think about that because in some ways, what you`re right about is the history of American politics is this often is quite effective.

ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC:  Well, I mean, I`m not a political strategist.  Historically it`s been effective and it`s been effective for a reason that Duke himself identified in the `90 campaign.  So what Dukes used to tell his voters, he used to say, remember, when they call me racist, they`re really talking about you.

And that`s important because that`s what Trump is banking on.  Trump is inviting these accusations of racism because he believes that his voters will take it as an attack on them and then turn out in the numbers he needs to overwhelm his weaknesses, and I think that`s a real danger.

But I also want to point out that the one person who really closely watched that `90 Duke campaign was Donald Trump.  And he said at the time you know, you could say what you want about David Duke but this -- the kind of things he`s talking about appeal to a lot of Republicans, and if he ran for president, he`d get a lot of votes.  And then you know, 30 years later, he`s pretending he doesn`t know who David Duke is.

HAYES:  Yes.  There was a remarkable moment where he was asked to sort of denounce Duke and he on cameras said, who is this David Duke?  I don`t know this David.

SERWER:  He knows exactly who David Duke was because he`s running his `90 campaign and he`s going to do it again in 2020.  And he`s going to count on the injured feelings of his voters who --

HAYES:  That`s a great point.

SERWER:  He`s going to -- he`s counting on them feeling under siege from criticisms from Democrats on Trump`s record on race to power them to the poll.

WISE:  But they already did.  They already did.

SERWER:  I mean, they already do, it`s true.  So I can`t tell you -- I can`t tell you whether this strategy is going to work.  I can tell you that it`s not magic.  It`s not -- it`s not genius.  It is the type of politics in American history.

HAYES:  It`s -- yes, it`s literally the like the oldest kind of politics in the country has.  And there`s a question, Tim, I mean -- I mean, again, we don`t know, right?  We don`t know what it does.

WISE:  Right.

HAYES:  But it also is -- it is the case that like it does turn some people off, and not just people of color, like there are -- like it is -- it is a way of juicing turnout among some folks but there are costs to it.  And I feel like sometimes the strategic takes lose sight of that which is something that your -- you know, your experience in the Duke campaign suggests is a real thing.

WISE:  Right.  I mean, here`s the thing.  Those of us who are progressive never tire of telling people that this is a center-left nation mostly progressive.  Well, let`s put that to the test.  I believe that, but what could be a more progressive value than pluralism, and multiracial, multicultural democracy?

I`m willing to bet everything on the idea there are more of us than there are them.  So let`s start acting like it and let`s demand a repudiation of Trumpism as a result.

HAYES:  And that`s -- and that`s the question I think the sort of dilemma in some ways from -- for the Democrats right, Adam.  And you saw even in Sherrilyn`s I thought very thoughtful like of two minds, right, this idea of him controlling the conversation.  So the president says something disgusting and racist and I`m seeing like fact checks about like the city of Baltimore.  It`s like that`s not -- it`s not the point what he`s saying.

SERWER:  Well, the issue here is really that -- I mean, if you look at 2016 and 2018, a majority of the country rejected this.

HAYES:  Yes, correct.

SERWER:  Trump went hard on it in 2016 and most Americans voted for the other candidate.  He went even harder on it in 2018 and he lost the House.  The problem is that his coalition is ideally geographically distributed which makes it difficult because Democrats have to appeal not to -- it`s not so much that the people on the coast that they have to win, it`s these people in the middle who might be more inclined to feel insulted depending on how Democrats approach the issue.  That`s what they`re for.

HAYES:  It`s a great -- it`s a really important point from the Electoral College standpoint, the Coalition is -- has this sort of added wind at its back because it`s sort of mathematically over-represented in the -- in the Electoral College.

SERWER:  But they are not a majority.

HAYES:  No.  Tim, I want to just play just to give you like sort of two examples of ads that you helped us sort of find which I think sort of show the difference in approaches at Duke which I thought were sort of illuminating, clarifying when you think particularly about what 2020 will look like to degree the President is going to keep ramping this up.  Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you and welcome back to Jabberwocky, the game show all America loves to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Paul, I`ll try tax cheats for 200.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He failed to file state income taxes from 1984 to 1987.  Allen!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was David Duke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In 1969, David Duke said I am a national socialist.  You can call me a Nazi if you wish.  In 1976, he organized a meeting of a Nazi group which called for the release of all Nazi war criminals.


HAYES:  On the one hand, he didn`t file tax returns for three years, on the other hand, he`s literally a devotee of Hitler.  Like you can see -- you could see which one was made more powerful.

WISE:  Let me say, even that first ad, that there were references in the course of that one-minute ad to his Nazism, but it was an example of how we had to compromise to sort of not tread too heavily on race.  And I think it confused people.  I think people looked at it and said, if he`s a Nazi, why are we talking about taxes, exactly?

And I think if your politic is one of division and racism, let`s stay focused on that and let`s call people to actually stand up for American values and what we know to be the better angels of our nature as a country.

HAYES:  All right, Tim Wise and Adam Serwer, thank you both for being with me.

SERWER:  Thank you for having me.

HAYES:  Coming up, the number of House Democrats in favor of impeachment proceedings reaches triple digits.  The highest-ranking member on that list, a member of Speaker Pelosi`s leadership team will join me right after this short break.


HAYES:  The conventional wisdom in Washington D.C. following the Mueller hearings has been that all in all they were a bit of a dud.  And that narrative, of course, was pushed very hard by the President and his allies who sought to link the former Special Counsel`s testimony with the end of a push for impeachment, like it`s over, we`re done, we`re moving on. 

Well, here`s the thing, exactly the opposite is happening, at least right now.  In the days since Robert Mueller testified, 16 additional Democrats have come out in favor of opening an impeachment  inquiry against the president, seven in the last three days alone.  In total, 109 Democrats now support an inquiry, which is nearly half of the House Democratic caucus.

We`ve seen signs of movement from Democratic leaders as well.  NBC News reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told her caucus they should decide on impeachment based on their constituents and their own conscience.  House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said he personally believes the president, quote, "richly deserving impeachment."

Neither Nadler nor Pelosi are on the list of the 109 Democrats explicitly calling for an impeachment inquiry, but my next guest is.  In fact, she is the highest ranking House Democrat who has called for an impeachment inquiry, Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, also the vice- chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joins me now.

Congresswoman, thank you.  What tipped you over?

REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS:  Oh, thank you for having me, Chris.  I can tell you exactly what it was, it was watching Robert Mueller describe how the Russians are planning every day to steal our election, and at the same time we had a bipartisan report come out of the senate saying that the Russians had tried to attack every single state`s election system.  And what did we see the GOP do?  The very same day of Mueller`s testimony, you know, Mitch McConnell blocked two bills that could provide security and make sure that every eligible voter in this country can cast that vote free of foreign interference.

And for me that took me to saying we need to use every tool that we have to get the facts out before the American people and let the truth be exposed.

HAYES:  So I want to ask you an internal caucus question, which I would love if you could answer as honestly as possible.  When Nancy Pelosi told the caucus the other day you can make up your own mind, I`m not whipping this essentially, does she really mean that?  Because it has seemed very clear from both the conversations I have had with folks on the Hill and in the Democratic caucus and the reporting that she`s been trying to keep tight reins on it, that she worries about the politics of it.

Is there some change now in the leadership`s position towards impeachment?

CLARK:  I think she did mean it because there is no one who wants to hold Donald Trump accountable more than Nancy Pelosi, but she also understands that we have to be responsive to our constituents, and she always is keeping that balance.  How do we legislate?  How do we work for the American people, move forward on health care, on infrastructure, on getting corruption out of politics and at the same time have the hearings and the oversight necessary to rein in a lawless president?

She is striking that balance every day and I think she`s encouraging us to think for ourselves, be  responsive to our constituents as we head home for a work period in our districts and hear what they have to say and take the action we feel is appropriate.

HAYES:  So when you decided that you want to call publicly and formally for an impeachment inquiry, like, did you tell the speaker and the leadership team and say, look, this is what I`m going to do and here is my rationale?

CLARK:  I did tell the speaker.  And I don`t believe in surprises for someone who I work that closely with, and I wanted her to know ahead of time.  And she said exactly what we were just talking about, that, you know, I have to do what I feel is the best for my constituents and the country.  And we are united as a caucus.  We want to get the truth to the American people.  We want to get the facts on the table.  And we are being met with our oversight, with our constitutional obligation to provide that oversight with unrelenting obstruction from this administration. 

So we`re going to come at it with all ways.  We`re going to do the great work that committees have been doing and holding hearings.  And when these witnesses won`t come forward, using the courts to support that, and also keep working on what we said the American people are going to do. 

There`s no greater contrast than the vote we took just a few weeks ago giving Americans a raise for the first time in a decade by raising the minimum wage.  And contrast that with what the Republicans did last year in their tax scam on the American people, giving away a trillion dollars -- trillions of dollars -- to the very wealthiest and to the largest corporations. 

That`s why the American people sent us to congress, gave us the majority, to work on health care, to work on these issues that they talk about around their kitchen table.  And we`re going to do both.

HAYES:  I get that.  I get that as both a substantive matter, a moral matter, a political matter and a messaging matter, but it is also the case that part of the issue is like I see people say, well, why should we impeach the president?  He`s going to be acquitted in the senate, right.  It`s not going to actually change. 

But that`s true of the $15 minimum wage bill, it`s still basically every piece of legislation that the House passes that Mitch McConnell kills, particularly the sort of big priority progressive issues like a $15 minimum wage, which Mitch McConnell is never going to bring up for a vote in the Senate, right?

CLARK:  Well, we can`t simply say, oh, Mitch McConnell`s going to obstruct everything that we try and do.  Our president`s going to use racist bullying to get us to change our minds or be quiet or  shrink back from our oversight duties.   We have to remember who were there to work for, and that`s American families.  And we are going to be their voice.   And we are going to be clear, and we`re going to be loud about it, and we`re not going to back down. 

And if they won`t pass the bills on raising the minimum wage, on gun safety reform that is  supported across the political spectrum in this country -- and we`ve seen once again play out tragically in Gilroy, California with the loss of life there at a food festival -- if they`re not going to support the Violence Against Women Act, the Equality Act, all this legislation that we`re doing to protect health care and people with pre- existing conditions, then we will take that to the polls and the American people in 2020.

HAYES:  All right.  Congresswoman Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, thank you for joining me.

CLARK:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  Ahead, as Democratic candidates prepare for debate week why the fight over what  comes after Obamacare shaping the whole race.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, the former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after almost a year in hiding has been quoted a bit here and there lately courageously portraying himself as a kind of Ivanka-like figure, helping prevent the mad king from acting on his worst impulses.

In the new book American Carnage, Ryan says, quote, "I told myself I got to have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right.  I`m telling you, he didn`t know anything about government.  I wanted to scold him all the time."

Did you, though?  Did you really?


REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN:  Something this big, something this generational, something this profound could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership.  Mr. President, thank you for getting us over the finish line.  Thank you for getting us where we are.


HAYES:  Yes!  There was a time when Paul Ryan loved Donald Trump exquisite leadership, and was not only for giving giant permanent tax cuts for corporations, it was also for trying to help Ryan fulfill a small but very important part of that longtime journey.


RYAN:  Imagine for a moment if you could file your taxes on the form the size of a postcard.  Wouldn`t that be something?


HAYES:  Paul Ryan imagined it.  Trump brought it to life.  And now it`s dead.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.



IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S DAUGHTER:  I`m really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has, both with on the process of filling out their taxes, the vast majority will be doing so on a single post card.


HAYES:  Oh, wait, really?  You may remember Ivanka jumped the gun there.  The thing was not ready for another year and now it`s dead.  Because as Bloomberg reported today, after one year the IRS -- this is amazing -- has ditched the idea permanently, partly because outside groups and tax professionals who complained it created unnecessary complications.  One conservative tax lobbyist saying the postcard was a mess.

Paul Ryan`s dream card done in by conservative lobbyists and the Trump kiss of death.


TRUMP:  I didn`t know I was going to be given a picture (ph).

UNIDENITFIED MALE:  Don`t lose it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s yours.  It`s yours.

TRUMP:  It`s beautiful.  Thank you.




ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS:  We have some breaking news, the White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.



COATS:  OK.  That`s going to be special.


HAYES:  That moment at last year`s Aspen Security Forum tells us a lot about the relationship between the president and the intelligence community represented there by the soon to be former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.  It`s been both awkward and acrimonious to say the least,  from the then president-elect comparing U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis, literally, to Trump`s very first day in office when he stood in front of the CIA`s memorial wall and boasted about his intellect and inauguration crowd size, to most infamously taking Vladimir Putin`s word that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election over his own intelligence community`s assessment.

In spite of all that, Dan Coats often said things the president didn`t want to hear, like when he testified before congress earlier this year and contradicted Trump on issues, including the threat of ISIS in Syria, the possibility of North Korea denuclearizing, and whether Iran cheated on the nuclear deal.

And just earlier this month, Coats appointed a new election security czar countering the president`s apparent lack of concern on the subject.  As The New York Times puts it, to Mr. Trump, Mr. Coats had come to represent the disapproving Republican elite that he scorned.

So now Dan Coats is leaving and the person who Trump wants to replace him with is pretty much exactly what you would expect.  Do you remember this guy from the Mueller hearings?


REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, (R) TEXAS:  I agree with the chairman this morning when said Donald Trump is not above the law.  He`s not.  But he damn sure shouldn`t be below the law, which is where volume II of this report puts him.


HAYES:  That`s Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe.  It turns out it was basically an audition for the director of national intelligence job.  Ratcliffe met with the president a few days before the hearings and then went out and essentially performed a Sean Hannity monologue for an audience of one on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ratcliffe has a long history of promoting Trump TV propaganda, especially on alleged anti-Trump bias at the FBI, the investigation into Hillary Clinton emails and the origins of the Russia investigation.  And for the president, all that apparently outweighed his lack practically any real relevant experience for DNI. 

Ratcliffe has served on the House Intelligence Committee for all of seven months.  And as Democrat Ron Wyden of Senate intel said today, quote, "he is the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve as DNI." 

And we have already watched the top of the Department of Justice come to the control of the Trump loyalist who clearly sees his job as protecting the president above all else.  Now, imagine the entire intelligence apparatus of the United States government doing the same.


HAYES:  Clearly one of the main issues at tomorrow night`s Democratic  debate will be health care policy.  Joe Biden, who favors a public option added to the Affordable Care Act, has been attacking the Medicare for all single-payer plan being pushed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren  among others.

Biden says, more or less correctly, that it would eliminate private insurance, but he says much more dubiously that it would, quote, get rid of Obamacare.  Sanders has been attacking Biden for what his campaign says is scare mongering, while Kamala Harris has kind of attempted to thread the needle between the two with a new plan announced today that would transition to Medicare for all, but retain some private insurance, like Medicare Advantage currently functions.

Joining me now, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, chair of the progressive PAC South Paw Michigan, former health commissioner for the city of Detroit; and Ezra Klein, editor at-large at Vox, whose new piece asks why voters aren`t more willing to abandon a health system that`s failing.

I want to start with that, Ezra.  The big sort of issue here in the center of this, and we`re seeing it in the politics, is the kind of fear voters have about a new system, even when the current system isn`t working or has holes.  What`s your understanding of what that comes from and how big a challenge that is?

EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR AT-LARGE, VOX:  It`s a big challenge.

So you`ve seen a lot of different reform plans crash on the shoals of people not wanting to see what they have taken away, even if what they have is quite bad.  So, one of the signal moments in this, Obamacare promised, or Obama promised that Obamacare would let you keep your health insurance if you liked it, and then turned out it canceled about 3 million plans which isn`t that many in the scheme of things, and these plans were bad plans.  They were the worst of the worse, and there was still a massive political backlash.

So, there tends to be a real fear that people have, not about being allowed to transition over to something, to choose something they want, but being told that they can`t have the thing they currently have and they`re going to be put on something new.  And that`s always a challenge for those who have to balance between people`s risk aversion, but also if you want to create something better, you often have to change what you currently have.

HAYES:  Yeah, how do you see -- Abdul, you and I had a whole Why is This Happening podcast conversation about single payer, which you favor.  But how do you see that the sort of politics, or the very real politics of telling people that you`re going to do something new that`s going to be a big, bold change, but that they will end up better off?

ABDUL EL-SAYED, CHAIR, PAC SOUTH PAW MICHIGAN:  Look, the best way to muddy a message is to start to give the message of your opponent.  And we saw during the debates with respect to the ACA about how private health insurance corporations were driving a message about how you were going to lose your health care.  It`s sad to see Democrats driving that same message because they want to fearmonger to win a primary.

The fact of the matter is is that any solution that does not include addressing the fact in this country, we still rely on a system of corporate health insurance that raises the cost for all of us and excludes many of us, it`s not going to solve the problem.  Medicare for all, single payer, does that thing.

So, we have to keep driving the conversation about what we ought to do rather than hold ourselves hostage to an insecurity of a few driven by folks who stand to make a lot of money on the other side of this.

HAYES:  But let me push back on that a second.  I want to get Ezra`s response.  Let`s bracket substantively the best plan, right, whether single payer is that or not.  But just -- I just feel like the idea that people`s resistance to something new, or their distrust or fear about it, is some concocted thing by the health insurance industry, feels a little bit like didn`t actually square with reality.  Like, people are scared of big new things vis-a-vis health care.  In fact, Canada phased in their single-payer system province by province for basically that reason.

EL-SAYED:  Well, I tell you this...

KLEIN:  Well, it`s hard every single time.  The thing you end up in here, you have on one hand the industry and then you have the public.

HAYES:  Right.

KLEIN:  And there`s a convergence there, the public`s very real fears are the material the industry can plan with.  So, if you have a big reform plan that is activating public fear and the industry spends a billion dollars making people afraid, well that`s something very powerful to work with.  It doesn`t make those public fears not real.  You can`t just not pretend they`re not real.  You cannot pretend that people don`t have them.  People in this country do not trust the government.  They just don`t. 

When you take Medicare and you poll it and you say Medicare for anybody who wants it, it polls 71 percent.  When you say it will abolish private insurance, it goes down to 41 percent.  So, that`s a real thing that that you have to step around.

HAYES:  But, on the flip side -- go ahead, Abdul.

EL-SAYED:  to push back, right, since when did we as Democrats start with the other argument in frame, people don`t trust government?  Our whole point has always been that government aught to be a part of important solutions to important problems that people face.

When 5 percent to 10 percent of your population still doesn`t have health care,   We pay more in health care than any other country in the world and we`re still in a position where those costs are increasing, we`ve got to stand up and say this is the solution that we have to push.

This notion that we`re putting the cart before the horse starting with the politics, rather than the policy, that`s never been how we moved it. 

One more point, there have been many, many, many reformers who tried to move an idea of a national health insurance, and every single time, the polling on the issue was strong until you had a junta of corporate executives come together, put a whole bunch of money into changing public  opinion.  We`ve got to start with our arguments to say that the policy should lead and we need to be people focused on addressing what will actually solve health care crisis in this country.

HAYES:  To me, Ezra, let me just -- because you said something about the sort of people trust the government, to me it`s less about whether they trust the government, more about what`s new or old.  Like, what`s remarkable to me about the ACA, having covered it, was it was under water when it passed.  It was under water for a very long time in the early parts of, you know, its implementation.  Now it`s, like, plus 10 percent, plus 12 percent.  People don`t -- they couldn`t even get it repealed.

Like, the tangible thing, if you try to repeal Medicare tomorrow, you lose 95 votes in the Senate, right?  Like, it`s less about government, more about, like, the concreteness of the thing that people have.

KLEIN:  I think that`s right, I think it`s primarily status quo bias.

One other just big point I want to make about this, I think Democrats have gone off in a  very weird direction of making this entire debate about private insurance.  You can reform the health care  system to have universal health insurance and to have lower costs and to have more comprehensive coverage in a dozen different ways, some of them have private insurance included, some of them don`t.  You just saw Kamala Harris come out with one that would have a long transition, which I don`t fully  understand, but would eventually have a private option within a public system.

The idea that it all has to be revolving around this question of do you abolish private insurance seems to me if you look at international systems, many of which do this better in all kinds of ways, to be wrong.  I think the fundamental question is how do you guarantee universality?

I think the second question is, how do you make sure the pricing in the American health care system goes down, which you can do either through using Medicare rates or extending them. 

And then I think you have to look at what people actually want.  I don`t agree with Adbul that you can totally take the politics out of politics.

HAYES:  I`m now up against another show, so Abdul, I`m going to tell the people to listen to the hour-long podcast you and I did on Why is This Happening in which you make a case in the other direction instead of giving you the time now, because I`m now 15 seconds over.

Abdul El-Sayed, Ezra Klein, thank you both for being with me.

That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now with Roy Reid in for Rachel. 

Good evening, Joy.