CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: She promised to hold it for Charlie Brown to make his kickoff. And every year, she pulls it away and lets poor Charlie Brown fall on his butt. In the case of gun safety, it`s Trump who promises to hold up a bill and then lets the whole country down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are talking about a lot of different things but at the same time we have to protect our Second Amendment very strongly and we will always do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
TRUMP: They made that little piece of a green place. It`s called Alabama.
HAYES: New details on the length the administration went to protect the President`s Alabama obsession.
TRUMP: I know that Alabama was in the original forecast.
HAYES: Tonight, the threat to fire NOAA officials and the new push for impeachment as Democrats returned to the Hill.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): I would say we are in an impeachment investigation.
HAYES: Plus, Trump`s plan to host the Taliban at Camp David then torpedoing his own peace deal.
TRUMP: Actually, in terms of advisers, I took my own advice.
HAYES: And the special election North Carolina that has the President running scared. When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. It was even worse than we thought. We all watched as the president appeared to descend into a kind of madness with a stunt so bizarre it`s been dubbed Sharpie Gate.
At the time it just looked like you know, an incredibly bullheaded narcissist who`s so diluted and prideful that he just can`t admit he`s wrong. But the thing you have to remember about this individual is that he is the head of the United States federal government and that matters. It matters to millions of Americans where a hurricane goes.
So when Donald Trump tweeted Alabama will most likely be hit much harder than anticipated about incoming Hurricane Dorian, the Washington Post reports that the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service got a flurry of calls into their office.
And why wouldn`t they? The people of Alabama, a vast majority of whom support President Trump fairly believed that the president was warning them that a hurricane was heading towards them. In order to convey accurate information to the people of Alabama so they didn`t start doing things like boarding their windows or evacuating or abandoning their pets, the Birmingham Weather Service office put out a statement strongly contradicting the president in the interest of the citizens because that was the independent truth.
And that action started a domino effect that led to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly threatening to fire people at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, a report he denies.
NOAA then putting out an unsigned statement supporting the President`s claim undermining its weather experts. Let me think about this. This is a present saying that what the weather is even when that`s not the weather. We`re either a country that has an independent weather service or we are living in the kind of country in which the great leader tells us what the weather is the truth the front of our eyes be damned. It`s one or the other.
When you think about the scale the federal government, the whims of the man on top and the incentives that he creates, the possibility for abuse and corruption are so broad even when petty and trivial it`s hard to get your head around it.
Yesterday, we learned that the Air Force has ordered an investigation into Airmen staying at Trump`s Scotland hotel on the public dime. The grand scheme of things not a ton of money but why are we paying for airmen to stay at Trump`s hotel? They shouldn`t stay in Trump`s hotel. they shouldn`t be public dollars spent on the President`s businesses end of story.
We just saw the Vice President direct public money to the President`s Ireland hotel. The House Oversight Committee is now looking into that. Right now we have no idea how much public money has been spent at Trump properties.
The federal government is to operate with some degree of integrity and independence from the winds of the man on top and President Trump is undermining and corroding that at every turn. The core concerns the Founders have of the office of the presidency were abuse of power and corruption.
Those are still the core concerns and we have so much evidence of both, everything from obstructing justice, directing public funds into his own pocket. Today, Congress returned from August Recess and the House Judiciary Committee announced it will vote this week on procedure is for an impeachment investigation.
The first things the committee says it is investigating are "alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his administration.
And joining me now, one of the Congresspeople leading this impeachment inquiry Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a number of the both the Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Congressman, maybe you can explain to us what this vote is and what these procedures mean.
RASKIN: Well, we`re voting on procedures that formalize the impeachment investigation. It gives the chairman of the committee the power to denote a particular hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry and it also gives him the power to say the particular subcommittee hearing is part of the general impeachment inquiry.
And other than that, the big part that I took away from it is that after all of the members conduct their traditional five-minute questioning, both the Democrats and the Republicans would have a half-hour more of questioning by staff available. So it formalizes what we`re doing as we enter into a new season here.
HAYES: OK. So that -- so that means there`s going to be a full house on that? Is this right?
RASKIN: No, this is just in the Judiciary Committee.
HAYES: Just in the committee. So the committee is going to vote on this. It`s going to formalize these procedures. Is it your understanding at the conclusion of that vote there will formally in a constitutional sense be an impeachment inquiry underway?
RASKIN: Well, look, the Constitution doesn`t define when an impeachment inquiry is underway.
HAYES: No, I know that, but I`m asking you.
RASKIN: Well, look, I think we`re in it now but I think it`s great that the committee will formalize it with this procedure. But look, we`re being hit on a daily basis inundated with new high crimes and misdemeanors.
The stuff that we found out about the Vice President`s trip to Ireland, about the redirection of the you know the Air Force crews to go to the Trump Hotel in Scotland, that`s just amazing stuff. The President has converted the government of the United States into an instrument of self- enrichment. And this is the original sin of the Trump administration.
It was the main thing that the framers were trying to prevent. They did not want the government being used as a for-profit enterprise by the President.
HAYES: What is the timeline here? I want to play for you a little bit of your colleague Jerry Nadler who`s the chair of this can be talking about his understanding of the Trump administration`s view of the timeline on this and then get your response to it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Well, the President clearly is trying to run out the clock. The President has been -- said he would deny all subpoenas -- possible subpoenas. That was article three of the Nixon impeachment that the President opposed subpoenas, and that Nixon wasn`t foolish enough to say in advances he`s going to oppose all subpoenas. That itself I think is a high-crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution that you`re obstructing the work of Congress in investigating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: How do you get around that and what is the timeline here?
RASKIN: Well, in an ordinary presidential administration, 16 months left to go would be something like very near the end of the you know, fourth quarter, but in Trump time that`s an eternity. Can you imagine the damage that he can inflict on the country in the next 16 months?
And I think that more and more of our colleagues have come around to the view that we need to be on a constitutional high alert. We need every tool in the constitutional toolkit on the table. And so we`re going to -- you know, the problem with Trump, of course, is that there are too many impeachable offenses.
With Bill Clinton, they basically had one thing on the guy. He lied about sex. With Donald Trump, we`re just overwhelmed with the domestic emoluments clause, the foreign government emoluments clause, the federal election campaign finance violations, and so on.
HAYES: So Byron York is a conservative reporter and pundit who was trying to make the case that because there`s a scope now that`s wide, it includes the look into the President`s involvement in the illegal conspiracy to hide those hush money payments as well as other things, that this is a tacit acknowledgment the Mueller report itself is not sufficient for the beginning of an impeachment inquiry. What`s your response to that?
RASKIN: I mean, I think that`s totally wrong. I mean there were dozens of criminal indictments that came out of the Mueller investigation. There were seven guilty pleas and criminal convictions. And we learned of nine or ten different episodes of presidential obstruction. It`s just that that`s a very narrow snapshot of all of the lawlessness taking place in the Trump administration and it happens to be one that is not the most intuitive to the public.
I think that the public understands that the president is essentially a businessman, be it a failed and corrupt businessman, but that`s what he is. And he has turned the government into a for-profit enterprise and he`s eluding the assets of the people.
Every time that they go down to Mar-a-Lago, it`s costing the federal taxpayers $75,000 or $100,000 for the FBI, and the Secret Service, and the Department of Defense and so on going right into the coffers of the Trump industry. And that is precisely what the Founders warned us against. And that`s why they said in that case, Congress can`t even approve of it.
In the case of foreign government payments, theoretically we could approve of it but I hope within the next few weeks we will formally disapprove of every foreign government payment he`s pocketed.
HAYES: That`s very interesting. Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so much.
RASKIN: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Joining me now are Chris Lu former White House Cabinet Secretary of the Obama administration as well as Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Oversight Committee, and Elizabeth Holtzman former New York Congresswoman who served on House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard Nixon.
What do you think -- they seemed to me always very careful to kind of not - - they don`t want to put pressure on their front line members to have to say take a floor vote, right? They`re trying to sort of move this thing along and put it on sounder constitutional footing that it might have been otherwise while not doing it. Is that your read of what`s going on here?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN (D), FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW YORK: Yes. I think the Speaker whom I respect enormously is still very, very cautious about the impeachment process but I think there`s still a lot of misunderstanding. Just because you have an impeachment inquiry doesn`t mean you have to impeach the president or impeach the president of all possible items.
I mean, during the Nixon impeachment which is the only successful impeachment process, we the committee rejected two articles, proposed articles against the president -- actually three. So it doesn`t mean that you`re going to get there but I think --
HAYES: Right. You`re going to investigate the various strands and then you whittle them down to what you think you can make a case.
HOLTZMAN: Right. And we started the idea also that constitutionally you have to have a vote of the House of Representatives before the House Judiciary Committee can proceed is also not true during the Nixon process. We started the impeachment inquiry basically right after the Saturday Night Massacre --
HAYES: Through the committee.
HOLTZMAN: Through the committee and we didn`t have a vote until February. That was from October to February we proceeded without any House vote.
HAYES: Chris, one of the themes here emerging is this idea of personal enrichment across a variety of categories. We have snapshots thanks to some great investigative reporting by David Fahrenthold and others of how money is flowing into the Trump enterprises, from foreign governments, and foreign states, and their backers.
We have some reporting about how government money, American public money is flowing into there. We also know that there was a big business deal with Russia overhanging the entire shenanigans of 2016. What is your view of that both the politics and sort of law of that, the centrality of that?
CHRIS LU, FORMER CABINET SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Well, that`s exactly right. What we`re talking about here is not only a legal case and a political case as well. And what this opening of this inquiry does is it strengthens the House`s hand when it goes into court to try to force documents, to try to compel witnesses that can answer a lot of these questions.
As you know, courts are reluctant to get in the middle of disputes between the legislative and the executive branch. But when Congress is acting pursuant to its impeachment powers, it has much more a prerogative in that respect.
And the theory in all this is that if you can get these documents, in particular, the grand jury materials as part of the Mueller investigation, you can actually hold hearings, public hearings, frame them with an impeachment and that then builds the political case.
And so we`ve seen different strands along the way about abuse of power but this is a way to grab those documents and particularly the tax returns which we`ve been unable to get our hands on so far.
HAYES: One of the arguments the Department of Justice argued before court in one of these cases about turning over documents that Congress -- the courts can enforce a congressional subpoena and that only DOJ can.
But if Congress wants documents and they want that subpoena in force, they have to go ask DOJ to enforce it against the President of the United States. That`s an audacious claim.
HOLTZMAN: Well, but you have an audacious Attorney General.
HAYES: We certainly do.
HOLTZMAN: There nothing other than a total puppet for the President of the United States. I mean, the nerve of having him have a $30,000 party at Trump`s property -- Trump`s hotel, just -- he`s looking in the ground for Trump. It`s disgusting to see Attorney General with no independence here.
But by the way, it`s not just that the money is going into the Trump Organization. The money is going directly whether it`s immediately or in the future to Trump himself.
HAYES: His pockets.
HOLTZMAN: Because he is the sole beneficiary of the trust. And I think we can`t forget that. This is money that`s enriching him personally --
HAYES: He`s being paid. He`s being paid. And --
HOLTZMAN: -- against the Constitution. And by the way, in the discussion of the ratification of the Constitution, what was the remedy for violating the Emoluments Clause, impeachment.
HAYES: And keep in mind this. We don`t have a window into the various flows of money that goes into the President`s pocket.
HAYES: So if you divide them into three categories, foreign states, we have some reporting on that. Taxpayer dollars, right, we have some reporting on that but not comprehensive accounting. And then, Chris, there`s this. This is the New York Times looking at FEC filings. $5.6 million has been spent at Trump properties by political candidates or party organizations including by Trump`s own political operation.
In the four years before Trump`s bid for president, these same hotels and other venues collected a total of only $119,000 in federally regulated payments from political groups. So he is being essentially bribed by these campaigns and political relations which is a different issue than it is for the government but that`s -- we only know that because that money is all transparently documented by the FEC.
LU: Right, exactly. I mean, this is the case of really vigorous reporting that`s getting our arms around all these things, but we`re going to know a lot more if the House Democrats are able to get their hands on these financial documents.
But it`s important to separate this out. It`s one thing we`re talking about the Trump Hotel when it`s private money going to him, but it`s another thing when he`s pushing the G7 to hold yes their next meeting at Doral which then puts not only U.S. government money but foreign government into his money into his pocket.
And then when he`s diverting planes to the Scottish airport, and then it`s military funds that are being diverted into his back pocket. I mean, that`s a whole different level of seriousness.
HAYES: I should note that we don`t know if the planes have been explicitly diverted to Prestwick Airport because of the President of the United States. That`s a subject of the inquiry. We only know for sure that Airmen were staying at the Trump Hotel which itself, of course, should be barred just flat out as a simple matter of ethical conflict of interest.
HOLTZMAN: Yes, but I think if the President stymies any inquiry into where these moneys --
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point.
HOLTZMAN: -- where the money went to and how they were used and his role in it, there should be a complete inference that he himself is guilty here because this is like taking the Fifth Amendment if he`s covering this up.
HAYES: Chris Lu and Elizabeth Holtzman, thank you both. Next, more on the reporting that Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top NOAA officials for a statement contradicting the President`s tweet about Hurricane Dorian. The details in two minutes.
HAYES: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA is an incredibly important part of the federal government. As an agency, they do a huge amount of our climate science. They monitor the state the oceans, coastal marine environments, they also run one of the most trusted parts of the entire federal government, the National Weather Service which is the agency tasked with warning us about dangerous weather like say hurricane.
NOAA weirdly is part of the Commerce Department which is run by that gentleman Wilbur Ross. And today we found out through some pretty remarkable reporting in the New York Times that Secretary Ross reportedly threatened to fire top employees at NOAA after that agency`s office in Birmingham contradicted the President`s false tweet claiming that hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama.
I should tell you the secretary denies this. The whole controversy has absolutely been an earthquake in the world of people who have worked for NOAA past or present and who viewed their scientific independence is absolutely sacrosanct.
While NOAA meteorologists told The Washington Post "this is the first time I felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast. The Director of the National Weather Service Louis Uccellini spoke today at a major weather industry conference in Huntsville, Alabama, and he made a point to single out the Birmingham office for praise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS UCCELLINI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: When the phones and the social media lit up at around 10:00 a.m. Central time on September 1st, they did what any office would do. With an emphasis they deemed essential, they shut down what they thought were rumors.
They quickly acted to reassure their partners, the media, and the public with strong language that there was no threat. They did that with one thing in mind, public safety. And they responded not knowing where this information was coming from. Only later, when the retweets and the political-based comments came into their office, did they learn the source of this information.
So let me be clear, the Birmingham office did this to stop public panic, to ensure public safety. So, I`d like to close by asking (INAUDIBLE) and Birmingham employees that are present to please stand and be recognized.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here with me now, someone who understands NOAA from the inside Monica Medina who`s a former Principal Deputy Undersecretary at NOAA and former general counsel of the agency, also the Co-Founder of environmental news site Our Daily Planet.
Let`s start with that. I mean, that is such an amazing snapshot of the ethos of the folks that work as civil servants in this agency to produce factual information for the public.
MONICA MEDINA, CO-FOUNDER, OUR DAILY PLANET: And they do it every day, day in day out. They are true-blue public servants. They fly through hurricanes. They worked round the clock during this storm to deliver the most accurate information that every single other weather forecast works from. And to have them be undermined that way was just really abhorrent.
HAYES: What do you -- so there`s two things that happen here, right. I mean, that there`s Wilbur Ross according to their reporting threatening to fire folks at NOAA because of the contradiction. And then a statement, an unnamed statement put out by the NOAA Communications Office essentially disassociating themselves with the tweet of the Birmingham National Weather Service Office and basically saying the President was not wrong.
HAYES: Why does that matter?
MEDINA: It matters because the forecasters need to know that the political leadership at NOAA will back them up, and now they don`t. They will think twice. It could take them time to get that correction out. And it could be just misinformation that came from anywhere.
But now they`ll worry that they shouldn`t make those corrections and that time that they lose in getting the clearance to put the correct information out is critical, critical. And I honestly think what Ross did was beyond - - you know, to save the president and his thin skin and his fragile ego, it`s not more important than saving the lives of Americans. It`s just not.
HAYES: Do you think he should resign?
MEDINA: I do think you should resign?
HAYES: Do you think it`s that serious?
MEDINA: I think it`s that serious.
HAYES: I mean, he denies it, I should also say.
MEDINA: It`s a basic public trust agency. It runs on the trust within the agency that the leadership will allow them to do their job, and it runs outside the agency on the trust that the public has that the forecast is right. And now Trump`s supporters may think it`s wrong.
HAYES: Right, that like it`s some liberal -- it`s a bunch of libs there. You can`t trust them when they tell you that there are tornados coming for you.
MEDINA: Yes. And every day at our Daily Planet we tried explain why these stories matter. And this is not the only time when the public`s trust has been violated because they`ve undermined scientific integrity within an agency. But this time the public`s safety in the immediate time frame was put at risk by this.
HAYES: We should say that NOAA`s chief scientists can investigate why the agency back Trump over its experts on Dorian.
MEDINA: Yes, he should.
HAYES: There`s also a broader question here which you just referred to which is this is an agency that aside from the National Weather Service does a ton of climate work.
MEDINA: A ton.
HAYES: And there has been from the moment the Trump administration took over worries about precisely this. Would they be able to maintain their scientific integrity and independence amidst pressure from this administration and we`ve already seen them start to do things with EPA at the USDA where they moved a bunch of climate scientists out of Washington to kind of get rid of them? Like does this concern you about what it means for the future of NOAA?
MEDINA: Absolutely, absolutely. And these storms are getting more and more severe. We`ve seen five category 5s in the last three years. This is critical that we have this climate information that we need that we actually need to grow the weather service to be able to handle this kind of a stress.
The storms are coming out as the floods, the fires. We don`t even have the ability to do the kind of fire forecasting that we have for tornadoes and floods and hurricanes. We need to expand the weather service, strengthen them, empower them. Give them more resources to take on this incredible challenge that we ahead of us.
HAYES: What does it mean for this sort of -- for everyone else throughout the federal government not just in NOAA who are functioning civil servants who are working on all sorts of things that have to do with climate or other independent scientific findings to watch this all play out in public?
MEDINA: I think it`s an earthquake. I`ve heard from people at NOAA myself who say they`re devastated and they`re worried that the agency won`t be able to recover. And surely all their colleagues, they work with other agencies every single day, people talk. They understand the threat here.
It`s wonderful that Louis Uccellini is willing to speak up and that Craig McLean the head of science at NOAA is willing to investigate. And I hope that empowers the civil servants to keep trying to do their job every day. But I worry that the chilling effect has already set in.
HAYES: Does it have an effect?
HAYES: I mean, people don`t want to lose their jobs.
MEDINA: People don`t want to lose their jobs and they don`t want to have to worry and make those second-guessed --
HAYES: Right. It`s the second -- it`s the second beat in your heart.
MEDINA: Yes. And in fact, sometimes that time is critical. In Alabama in 2015, there was a storm that came through. There was a regatta going on. And the locals didn`t really heed the forecast. Six people died. Six people died in the course of a day. As the forecast changed, six people died because they were in harm`s way because they were having fun sailing in the Mobile Bay. And instead, now we`ve got the president undermining that local forecast office.
HAYES: Right. That`s a great point. Monica Medina, thank you so much for being here.
MEDINA: Thank you, Chris, for having me.
HAYES: I should say that Monica`s group Our Daily Planet is one of the co- sponsors for our 2020 climate forum that`s next Thursday and Friday. My colleague Ali Velshi and I will be asking presidential candidates about their climate change plans. They will be fielding questions from young voters on climate issues.
The forum is live on NBC News now. We`ll feature parts of it here on ALL IN. Again, September 19th and 20th. We hope you`ll join us.
Next, a year after they were caught committing election fraud, North Carolina Republicans are desperately trying to hang on to their ninth congressional district. What we know about tomorrow`s big special election after this.
HAYES: Tomorrow is election day in a race that will decide the final congressional contest of 2018 and the first real bellwether of the 2020 political field. It`s a crazy story about a congressional race in North Carolina we`ve covered here extensively. North Carolina 9 is a strong Republican district. Donald Trump carried it by 12 points in 2016, Romney also wanted by 12 points four years earlier, so reliably red.
Last November, the Republican candidate Mark Harris appeared to squeak out a very narrow victory over Democrat Dan McCready. But it quickly became clear that Harris had hired an ex-felon named Leslie McCrae Dowless who allegedly ran a widespread fraud operation that involves sometimes paying people to illegally collect, fill out, and forge absentee ballots. The fraud was so statistically anomalous and so widespread that the election board took the very rare step of just invalidating the results and unanimously ordered a new election.
In disgrace, the Republican, Mark Harris, eventually gave up his fight for a congressional seat. The man he hired that allegedly did the fraud, Leslie McCrae Dowless, was indicted on felony charges, accused of, quote, obstruction of justice and illegal possession of absentee ballot.
And he is not alone, quote, seven other people we re also indicted in connection with the election fraud inquiry. But this new election tomorrow has Republican`s panicked, because polling shows it to be neck and neck in a plus 12 Trump district, which is why the president is down there tonight.
Joining me now to talk more about why this race is a cause for concern for Republicans David Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic based in North Carolina who has been writing about this race.
David, this -- you can sort of sea how intensely the Republican Party and the president and the vice president are focused on this race. Why? And what do we know about where it looks going into election day?
DAVID GRAHAM, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I think they`re very focused on it because if they lose it`s embarrassing. As you say, this is a district that Trump carried by a wide margin. Republicans have historically carried it. There hasn`t been a Democrat in the district for at least 56 years.
And so if this is a loss, I think it looks very bad for the president, not only for the symbolic reasons but also because Charlotte is where the Republicans are holding their convention in 2020. He wants somebody to greet him when he gets off the plane.
We don`t know what the result is going to be. Both sides think it`s going to be very close. I know it`s a cliche, but it really looks like it will come down to turnout, which is going to be low because it`s a special election.
HAYES: Who are the two candidates here? Dan McCready on the Democratic side is the one that ran the first time, and then Dan Bishop is the one who replaced Mark Harris who, after a lot of bluster and taking offense and indignation that anyone would suggest his campaign had anything to do with election fraud, had to admit that his campaign probably did have something to do with election fraud and step away.
GRAHAM: Right. So McCready is a Democrat who is running again. He`s a marine veteran, went to Harvard Business School, started a solar energy company. He`s now been running for the seat for about three years, it`s very sort of by the book moderate dude.
Dan Bishop, his opponent, is a state senator, a fairly conservative presence. He was the sort of genius behind HB2, the bathroom bill, that was very controversial a couple of years ago. And, you know, he`s a sort of presence in state politics as well.
HAYES: You know, there`s been a lot of spending from both sides on this race, because there aren`t a lot of special elections this year. What do you think it ultimately says -- I mean, it`s our first read of a non-polling read about what actual voters are doing in this environment.
I mean, I think one question is does this sort of -- we will protect your health care and we`re not going to rock the boat message that a lot of Democrats in suburban districts used in 2018 still work. Can that work in 2020?
That`s what McCready is running, so I`m curious to see that.
I`m also curious to see what kind of...
HAYES: Yeah, Dan Bishop seems to be running a very like I`m basically Donald Trump`s emissary in your district, vote for me.
GRAHAM: Right. It`s a litmus test for Trump, whether the voters who went against Trump in 2018, but maybe are having second thoughts about Democrats, or if they really don`t like Trump. And it`s interesting, because McCready isn`t hammering the Trump connection himself, he`s kind of trying to stay away from the national political angle.
Voters I talk to seem angry about Trump and angry about Bishop when they`re supporting McCready.
HAYES: So you think -- I mean, it`s also sort of a test of where the kind of temperature of these sort of metro area suburban district, relatively well educated, as this district is, as I understand it, are in 2019 as opposed to 2018 -- we know the story in 2018, because we had a much bigger data set. This is the first time we`re kind of running an experiment eight months later, nine months later.
GRAHAM: That`s right. And, you know, the real difference for McCready is going to be where his numbers are in Mecklenburg County, so in sort of inner ring suburbs of Charlotte. If he gets a lot of voters there, he has a good chance. The outer ring suburbs in the next count over, Union County, are very Republican. So, if Bishop can get a lot of people out there they`ll come out. And I think we`ll start to see something about what the electorate might be like and what they care about most in 2020 from these results.
HAYES: I will just say, I just note this for the record, the president was down in North Carolina. He`s doing this rally essentially for this reason on election eve. And he once again told this really insidious and spurious lie about millions of people voting illegally in California when he`s at a rally for the race in which the only election fraud that we know is documented that impacted a race and got a guy elected and had to be thrown out is the race that he is at a rally for.
GRAHAM: You know, it`s interesting. North Carolina Republicans have been talking for a long time very strictly about voter ID and the importance of stopping election fraud. After this election I think things have been a little bit quieter on that front.
HAYES: Right. David Graham, thank you so much for joining us.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, the president invites the Taliban to Camp David and managed to undo months of careful diplomatic negotiations, the details ahead.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, British politics has been almost as wild as ours lately as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to navigate Brexit before the end of October deadline to leave the EU, but at least they`re getting a break with parliament formally shutting down tonight, also known as prorogation. It`s an official end to a parliamentary session before a new one begins, this time lasting an unusually long five weeks and it involves a ceremony full of fun British pomp and circumstance.
This is how it usually goes. First, there`s the royal commission of privy counselors appointed by the queen who will enter the chamber in some seriously over the top robes and hats. Then comes this character carrying a big stick who is called, I kid you not, Black Rod. And the privy counselors, the red robe and black hat people, tell Black Rod to go summon the House of Commons. Off he goes.
And then they get down to business. The lady in the wig, the clerk of the crown, reads out all of the acts that have been passed in the parliamentary session. And the guy in the wig has to reply to each one.
And that process is happening in London right now. Here`s how it went last time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Neighborhood planning act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: La ren la vote (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bus services act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: La ren la vote (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If you cannot understand that, it`s not your fault or your hearing. What he is actually saying is the queen wishes it in Norman French, because why not.
But there`s also a very sad element to the closing of this parliamentary session, we`re going -- not going to get to hear this guy anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order. Order. Order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, known on this side of the pond as the guy who yells order a lot, announced today he will step down by October 31, the day the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.
Bercow tried to keep order at a time of absolute disorder in Parliament and became a somewhat controversial figure in the process as the Telegraph describes it, Bercow used the usually impartial office of speaker to frustrate Brexit, inevitably irking the Brexiteers.
Whatever you think about Brexit, it`s hard not to be thankful for these memories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERCOW: Order. Order. Order. Order, I say to you chancellor of the duchy (ph) that when he turns up at our children`s school as a parent, he`s a very well behaved fellow. Don`t gesticulate, don`t rant. Spare us the theatrics. Behave yourself. Be a good boy, young man. Be a good boy.
The simple answer is that the government must comply with the humble address passed by the House. That is the reality of the matter.
Order. Order. Order. Order.
If we have to go on longer because people sitting on the trenchery bench are yelling to try to disrupt, so be it.
It really is very, very unseemly. There is a procedure to statements of this kind, a very long-established procedure.
And I`m setting out the position and no one be he ever so high is going to tell me what the procedures in the Chamber of the House of Commons are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I just got a call from CBP and CBP told them that everyone who doesn`t have a U.S. visa and who is traveling on police record has to come off.
BRIAN ENTIN, WSVN REPORTER: And normally you can travel, right, with a police record.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, normally you can use police record. We have airplane at least here.
ENTIN: So you have to take your baby off?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have to take her off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how do you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the last minute like this, you know, it`s kind of disappointing. It`s hurtful, because watching my daughters cry, but, yeah, it is what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Chaotic scene this weekend on a ferry from the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This is one of the videos tweeted out last night by investigative reporter Brian Entin from Miami Fox affiliate WSVN. These are desperate people from the Bahamas attempting to get to the United States after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian being told that unless they had a visa they had to leave the ferry that was supposed to transport them to safety.
Now, this is not normal U.S. policy. Normally, as Vox reports, requirements including having no criminal record, valid passport and a police certificate issued within the last six months.
That same South Florida reporter Brian Entin tweeted that the ferry company was told by U.S. customs officials that people without visas would not be accepted, but Customs and Border Protection denied that it was their doing and instead blamed the ferry company.
Late today, the ferry company issued another statement reading, in part, "we boarded these passengers with the understanding that they could travel to the United States without visas only to later having been advised that in order to travel to Ft. Lauderdale they required prior in person authorization from the immigration authorities in Nassau."
We don`t know who advised them, but amidst all this confusion, between the CBP and the ferry company today, the president swoops in to take credit essentially for turning away desperate, devastated storm wrecked survivors saying we`ve, quote, "had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren`t supposed to be there. I don`t want to allow people that weren`t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come to the U.S."
Who is he talking about? Who was not supposed to be there? They went there to sneak in after the storm?
He then goes on to characterize those individuals as, quote, "very bad people," including, quote, "very bad gang members" and, quote, "very, very bad drug dealers."
He`s talking about people who are trying to get off storm ravaged islands to go to safety.
Climate emergencies are going to hit this earth with vastly unequal force and unequal effect, and the places most exposed to storms and sea level rise and extreme heat, and those places that are poorest are going to be sent fleeing.
And there are going to be increasing calls from the most reactionary elements of our society and government and others to shut the door and leave them to their fate. And we cannot allow them to get away with that.
HAYES: The president this -- this weekend the president made a startling announcement, he was canceling a secretly scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan at Camp David three days before the 18th anniversary of September 11.
Trump claimed the cancellation was due to the latest Taliban attack in Afghanistan, which killed 12 people, including an American earlier last week. But it doesn`t totally square with the subsequent reporting, which instead strongly suggests the president looking for a big photo op basically insisted on a completely unworkable summit and then abandoned it when it became clear it was unworkable.
Quoting from The New York Times, "Mr. Trump didn`t want it the Camp David meeting to be a celebration of the deal, Mr. Trump wanted to be a deal- maker who would put the final parts together himself or at least be perceived to be."
And so in the process, Donald Trump appears to have short-circuited ten months of careful negotiations that his own Afghanistan point person had been working on.
Here to explain further, New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, also an MSNBC contributor; and former undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Obama administration, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, also an MSNBC global affairs contributor.
Rukmini, let`s start I guess with the context here of what the situation on the ground in Afghanistan looks like and the subject of these talks.
RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, NEW YORK TIMES: So let`s back up a bit. The reason that the United States is in Afghanistan at all is because on 9/11 we learned that Osama bin Laden was given safe haven by the Taliban. We went into Afghanistan because of al Qaeda`s presence. The problem with these talks is that al Qaeda remains in Afghanistan, the last four United Nations Security Council reports all state this.
HAYES: Meaning, they`re harboring -- there are active al Qaeda groups in Taliban-controlled territory where they`re doing, you`re saying, essentially the same thing they were doing back then?
CALLIMACHI: Exactly. The leadership is there. You can see this in the July report at the UN`s Security Council. They have trainers. They have advisers. They`re fighting alongside the Taliban.
So al Qaeda remains there. This is one of the key elements of this deal. The Taliban is supposed to renounce al Qaeda, but there`s no -- as far as we know, there`s monetary mechanism that can possibly work once the U.S. withdraws and leaves.
HAYES: Wendy, there`s also the issue of the delicacy of this in which the negotiations that were happening in Doha and working their up through various folks in the U.S. side and the Taliban side didn`t involve the Afghan government, and then they were like cc`d on the email I guess at the last minute to come to Camp David.
It`s sort of a -- it`s a tough thing to pull off a deal with the Taliban if the Afghan government hasn`t bought in.
WENDY SHERMAN, FRM. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Indeed, and the Taliban was not forswearing going after the Afghan government, which the Taliban hates completely. And I can`t say there`s any love loss by Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan for the Taliban. It is true that the American people, and even the Obama administration, wanted to look for an exit strategy out of Afghanistan, Zal Khalilzad is a very capable professional. He was doing the very, very difficult work of these negotiations, but not including the Afghan government.
And I`m sure Rukmini will well understand the most searing, searing meeting I had back when I was counselor to Madeleine Albright in the Clinton administration, the second Clinton administration, was at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan where women had been driven out of Afghanistan by the Taliban, and I had to listen to young girls who were my daughter`s age at the time, talk about watching their sisters being raped, being thrown out the the window, teachers who could not teach, doctors who could not do medical services, and so women were not included in negotiations at this point either.
There was enormous amount of work yet ahead. The president thought he could short-circuit it, but these kind of complex negotiations need persistence, need detail, need attention, need an interagency process. None of that existed here.
HAYES: You`re talking about the Taliban`s record, which has been awful and brutal and bloody in every possible way during its reign. And you`re talking about the fact they`re harboring al Qaeda. It`s also 18 years we`ve been there. At a certain some point, some American president is going to cut a peace deal with the Taliban. The Taliban will be there after the U.S. leaves. They know that, and they`ve known that since day one. That`s why their -- that`s why this is still going. So it`s going to have to happen at some point, right?
CALLIMACHI: We gave up our leverage when the president -- when this president, and the last one, announced that we are going to leave Afghanistan.
This is a terrorist group. They are in it...
HAYES: But even if we didn`t announce it, they would no that?
HAYES: America is not going to be in Afghanistan forever?
CALLIMACHI: Yes. We have been in Japan forever. We have been in Korea forever. These are the examples that people on the flip side of it point out.
But I think that the way that this is shaping up, either we leave Afghanistan with really no deal in place, or no deal that is...
CLLIMACHI: That is enforceable, right, or we stay there forever.
So we are in an impossible situation. Both options are pretty bad.
HAYES: But here`s what`s so perverse about this, Wendy, when you think about the politics. People want the Afghanistan War to end. It is the longest war in the history of the American Republic. Think about that, we have fought a lot of wars and it`s the longest one, OK.
I really think the only person who could in some way sell a deal to 40 percent of the country is Donald Trump, because if the shoe were on the other foot and Barack Obama was hanging out at Camp David with the Taliban, the right would absolutely lose its mind. We saw of them lose their mind when we got a soldier back from the Taliban and did a deal with them to get Bowe Bergdahl back.
HAYES: So, in some ways, there is a Nixon and China aspect here which is I don`t know how this ends literally unless Donald Trump somehow finds a way to end it.
SHERMAN: I agree with you in the sense that Donald Trump certainly has the chutzpah to try to get this deal done no matter what. But remember, even the deal, as it has been leaked out to the press, would leave some American troops there for a substantial period of time. So it`s not like getting every last soldier out.
And I think the tell on this particular secret summit is that although our hearts break for the family that lost the American soldier and the other civilians that were killed in this latest attack, 16 Americans have died in this year alone, so this wasn`t just about American soldiers dying, this was the president of the United States confronting the fact that he was not going to get a deal at Camp David in the of any kind finale that he likes to look for and so it couldn`t happen.
HAYES: He clearly wanted the Nobel Peace Prize-like photoshoot. That`s is clearly what happened and he swooped in and said, oh, we`re going to do it at Camp David.
Final question, though, is -- and we`ve seen 16 American service members killed this year, a much higher pace of violence. And there have been hundreds of civilian casualties, including just grisly strikes on wedding parties. What is the -- I don`t understand, is this the Taliban showing off their muscles, them exerting leverage in the midst of the talks?
CALLIMACHI: I think it`s the Taliban being the Taliban. And once again, we played our hand when we said that we are leaving, right? And so once they know this, there`s no leverage that we have.
HAYES: Rukmini Callimachi and Wendy Sherman, thank you both.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END