CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It will then mean beating Donald Trump who have tried to scare moderate Democrats into believing they`re better off with the devil they know. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something.
HAYES: The President awaits instruction from the orb.
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia pays cash.
HAYES: Tonight, is the president outsourcing his duties as Commander in Chief to Saudi Arabia and what is he getting out of them.
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million.
HAYES: Plus, why Adam ship is raising alarm bells over an Intelligence Community cover-up.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think it`s fair to assume this involves either the President or people around him or both.
HAYES: Then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our livelihood.
HAYES: Michael Moore on the massive UAW strike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you stand with the Auto Workers in the strike against GM?
HAYES: As the world gathers for a climate action summit, Naomi Klein on her burning case for a Green New Deal when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. The President of the United States, the Commander in Chief of America`s armed forces stands ready to dispatch the U.S. Armed Forces at the behest and direction of a foreign prince.
He has over the weekend via Twitter essentially pledged the entirety of American military might in the service of a man where he seems devoted to almost above any other world leader in stiff competition with Vladimir Putin.
The man, of course, is Saudi Arabia`s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman known as MBS. In the wake of the news that two major Saudi oil facilities were attacked over the weekend, the Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility. The U.S. and the Saudis say it was Iran behind it.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump basically announced on Twitter you tell us what to do my crown prince and we shall do it for you. Now, to be clear, the U.S. has had a close relationship with the Saudis for decades upon decades under Republicans and Democrats. But what has happened under this administration is on a whole other level.
Let`s just review for a second. The very first international trip that Donald Trump took as president was to Saudi Arabia breaking with decades of precedent in which the first trip is usually Canada or Mexico. And you remember on that trip, do you remember the orb and the sword dance? I mean, who else would Donald Trump willing to do that with?
President Trump has issued in his entire time as president, he`s issued five vetoes and four of them have been to protect the Saudis. He has bumped up weapons sales to the Saudis. He has defended the Saudis as they`ve created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen. United Nations says ten million Yemenis are "one step away from famine."
Members of Trump`s administration have defended them and praised and laughed and smiled with them after they hacked to death a columnist for an American newspaper. A murder the CIA says was personally ordered by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two countries that Trump will bend over backwards for are Russia and Saudi Arabia. Why? Well, here`s one obvious reason.
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TRUMP: Saudi Arabia -- and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me, they spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like him very much.
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HAYES: He told you right there, back when he`s running for president. He told you what it`s about. They give lots and lots of money to Donald Trump`s businesses. There it is. You know, thanks to some great reporting, we also know little snapshots about how Saudis have helped runs bottom line since he became president like when they rolled into town and spent enough money the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan to boost the hotel`s revenue for the entire quarter, or the time a Saudi funded lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at Trump`s D.C. hotel.
But those are just little snippets we`ve caught here thanks to reporting and whistleblowers. We don`t know much else. It would be helpful to have the President`s tax returns which have been requested by the house representatives under U.S. law but are being blocked by the White House and being fought in court.
Today, another avenue was opened with the Manhattan district attorney demanding Trump`s tax returns the last eight years. What else is there? What are the financial arrangements with Jared Kushner who is so close to the Crown Prince that when Kushner visited Saudi Arabia after MBS, had just locked up dozens of political rivals. "The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4:00 a.m. several nights swapping stories and planning strategy."
Today the United States, our country, who finds itself at the point where the president is threatening war, threatening to put American lives, the lives of American servicemembers, American blood, American treasure on the line for the guy who hacked Jamal Khashoggi to death, for a regime that spends lots of money at his hotels.
Joining me now, Ben Rhodes former Deputy National Security Adviser under President Obama. He was also an advisor on the Iran deal that President Trump withdrew from last year. He is now an MSNBC Political Contributor.
I guess let`s start with just where we are right now over the weekend. Drone strikes on these -- the Saudi oil refineries, the Houthis, the rebels in Yemen who are fighting with the Saudis and Yemen say it was them, the U.S. and Saudis saying it was Iran. What do you make of this situation?
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Chris, first of all, we have to be very clear. We would not be at this point were it not for Trump`s foreign policy, pulling out of the Iran deal, piling sanctions on the Iranians, giving a blank check to Mohammed bin Salman to wage his war in Yemen against the Houthis.
It is logical that it would follow from that and was predicted by many of that if he follows that course the Iranians would escalate in kind. So whether it was the Houthis or some people suggest this as a more sophisticated weapon that can only come from the Iranians, this is the logical endpoint of Trump`s own escalation.
And we have no interest in going to war on behalf of an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure. We have no interest on going to war on behalf of Mohammed bin Salman who would like nothing more than the United States to do his bidding in taking out the Iranian regime. That has been what he has wanted since he became the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
So we see before our eyes the corruption of American foreign policy. We are being asked to do something that is not in our interest that the American people would not support.
HAYES: Yes. There`s this -- a while ago there was an onion article on John Bolton when those tankers were hit in the Gulf that said an attack on two Saudi oil tankers an attack on all Americans. But I feel like I`m losing my mind watching people talk about this.
Obviously, like you don`t want this to escalate, you certainly don`t want a hot conventional war between the Saudis and Iran and there are steps that should be taken. But like what the heck is the U.S. interest in defending the Saudi government from drone attacks on their oil facilities?
RHODES: And well, first of all, Chris, they have to think about this from the perspective of Middle East. There has been a war that has been going on in Yemen.
HAYES: Yes. They just haven`t seen it.
RHODES: Exactly. So, the way people need to think about this or watching this is this is not the first strike on the Saudi infrastructure in a new war. This is part of a word that has been an ongoing for since Mohammed bin Salman became Crown Prince against the Houthis in Yemen that has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people, famine that puts millions of lives at risk.
When we were at the end of the Obama administration, what were we trying to do? We had an Iran deal in place to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and provide a foundation for some capacity at diplomacy with Iran.
We also went to the Saudis and urged them to open the channel with the Iranians. We said you do not want this proxy war to escalate all across the region in part because it could draw us in, and part because you can`t win that proxy war. Nobody can win. Everybody will lose if this escalates.
And what did they do? They said, no, Mohammed bin Salman had recently become the crown prince and the defense minister. He wanted to show how tough he was. The place he wanted to do that was in Yemen. And here we are, this is the logical endpoint of Trump and Mohammed bin Salman`s completely wrong handed approach to the conflict with Iran.
HAYES: You know, the President today sort of came out and said a little bit of what he`s thinking is about this, and he basically made the argument that essentially the Saudi -- bin Salman keeps oil prices low for me. I can personally adjust the price of oil, ergo I owe him. This is -- this is what he said today in the White House. Take a listen.
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TRUMP: Saudi Arabia pays cash. They`ve helped us out from the standpoint of jobs and all of the other things. And they`ve actually helped us. I would call and I would say listen, our oil prices, our gasoline is too high. You got to let more go. You know that I would call the Crown Prince and I`d say you got to help us out. You got to get some more.
And all of a sudden, the oil starts flowing and the gasoline prices are down. No other president can do that.
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HAYES: What do you make -- I mean --
RHODES: First of all, Chris, the instability that Trump is causing in this region by pulling out of the Iran deal is a factor in driving up oil prices, right. So, let`s be very clear, Donald Trump is part of the reason why your prices are going up whatever Mohammed bin Salman is telling him.
The other thing is nothing -- people talk about the Iranians and they`re right. The Iranians destabilize and meddle in other countries, so do the Saudis. Right now, the Saudis are meddling in Yemen, they`re meddling in Libya, they`re meddling in Iraq.
They are doing the same things that people complain about the Iranian doing. All of which could contribute to a rise in oil prices, a risk of conflict, destabilizing the region. What do we know? We also know that the Saudis spend enormous amounts of money at Trump hotel properties. We don`t know --
HAYES: They own the 45th floor of Trump Tower.
RHODES: Well, what we also don`t know, Chris, is what is happening in these conversations between Jared Kushner and the sound Saudi Crown Prince. What promises are being made about potential investments after the Trump presidency?
So it seems to me that the corruption at the heart of the Trump presidency, the Trump farm policy can be seen in Saudi Arabia. And it doesn`t get the same attention as the domestic issues that we`re all concerned about because we`re Americans.
But we should care that we could end up in a war because we have a Saudi crown prince who is a murderer who killed and brutally chopped up a journalist for The Washington Post in another country who now wants us to do his bidding. He wants a return on his investment in Jared Kushner and Donald Trump.
Saudi Arabia pays cash. That`s what the president said in the White House today in justifying why he would maybe go to war on behalf of the Saudis. Ben Rhodes, thank you very much.
RHODES: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now for more, Rula Jebreal, journalist, foreign policy analyst who specializes in Middle Eastern affairs and has been reporting on the Saudis and the conflicts in the region. I think there`s real fear about this getting very out of hand. What do you think the meaning of this sort of latest 72 hours is?
RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: The meaning is very clear. The Saudis want to fight the Iranians to the last American and --
JEBREAL: -- America`s foreign policy since Donald Trump was elected is about how much cash I can get. So he`s selling America`s foreign policy exactly like he`s selling oil, crude, and he`s selling apartments. It`s the same thing. It`s the same kind of transaction for him except if you are dealing with murderer`s thugs like MBS and others.
These people are -- Mohammed bin Salman rule has been an unmitigated disaster. Think of this. Four years ago, he became defense minister. His signature policy was the war in Yemen. He starts bombing to oblivion the poorest country in the Middle East. He started bankrolling when he understood he cannot win.
Al-Qaeda, the extremist element of al-Qaeda in Yemen are fighting with Mohammed bin Salman. So our allies, U.S. allies in Yemen are actually hardcore Jihadists. If this does not scare you, it should scare you even more than ever. Because Donald Trump while inviting the Taliban a week before 9/11, he is actually using, selling the Saudis weapons that actually they are transferring to al-Qaeda elements in Yemen to fight on their behalf.
And now he wants America`s airpower to be basically the airpower for al- Qaeda who is operating on the ground in Yemen. Look at this picture. If that doesn`t remind you of Afghanistan on the 80s, what does?
HAYES: There`s -- people will say and I think rightly that U.S. has -- the U.S. foreign policy has always sort of bent over backwards to the Saudis. Obviously, the key strategic interest is how much of the world`s oil supply they control. That`s a fact from the days when FDR first made his pact with the sort of House of Saud through the Bush administration to now.
As someone who covers this region, what is different about this administration`s treatment of the Saudis versus previous?
JEBREAL: It`s totally different. It`s not anymore about America`s interests. It`s not anymore about oil because America itself has sufficient oil and gas now that it can be independent from the Middle Eastern market.
However, our relationship is about Donald Trump and Jared Kushner and how much money personally they are getting from MBS. MBS is very clear his -- as transactional, as thuggish as it can be, he can butcher Jamal Khashoggi, then he get advice from Jared Kushner, he`s telling -- he`s basically dictating America`s foreign policy.
It was the other way around. We were dictating to the Saudis what they needed to do before whether it came -- whether in the issue of the Palestinians, whether on the issue of radicals and others. Everything President Obama was tough.
And when they start -- something happened in the Middle East where the idea of regime change, it starts being exported to the other way to the rest of the world. So they imported -- they exported their regime change, the Saudi, to the American system.
So now what we are seeing is a sitting president in the White House who is beholden to a Saudi Crown Prince. It was the other way around. There were our client states. Now, the American -- the United States of America is a client to the Middle East. We are doing what they want.
We`re doing what a dictator who murder journalists, activists, who torture people, who basically send 15 goons the butcher and dismember a journalist, but also you know, hang from ceilings women right activists while pretending to be a reformist. We`re beholden to that kind of guy. This guy that is so instable.
There`s rumors around the Middle East that he wants to have an open war with Iran whatever it takes. That kind of open war will destabilize the world, not only the Middle East. It`s worse -- Iraq war would look like a walk in the park.
HAYES: Rula Jebreal who`s been reporting on this and the reporting I`m following, thank you very much. Thank you.
JEBREAL: Thank you. Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the whistleblower within the Intelligence Community whose complaint of misconduct could involve the President. So why is the Director of National Intelligence potentially breaking the law to keep it under wraps? What Congress is doing to get the answers in two minutes.
HAYES: There`s a whistleblower inside the Intelligence Community who has information about misconduct possibly involving the president. It appears the White House is not letting this person talk. Now, we know this whistleblower exists. Last month, he or she came forward inside the Intelligence Community, proper channels, filed a complaint.
We know the whistleblower met the bar to get official whistleblower protections. The Intelligence Community Inspector General determined the complaint, quote here, satisfied the statutory definition of an urgent concern according to the House Intelligence Committee.
Now, under the law, the Congressional House Intelligence Committee is then entitled to see what the whistleblower contains entails. Nevertheless, the Acting Director of National Intelligence is withholding the complaint from Congress saying you can`t see it.
According to the House Intelligence Committee, the acting DNI told the House Intelligence Committee the complaint "involves confidentially and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the intelligence community.
That phrase privileged communications set national security experts on fire this weekend because that only pertains to a very tiny circle of people including the president and a few folks around him which would seem to indicate that the misconduct is within that small group. Here`s how Congressman Adam Schiff, the Chairman of House Intelligence Committee described it.
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SCHIFF: No DNI, no Director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint. And here, Margaret, the significance is the Inspector General found this complaint to be urgent, found it to be credible that is they did some preliminary investigation, found the whistleblower to be credible. That suggests corroboration and that involved serious or flagrant wrongdoing.
And according to the Director of National Intelligence, the reason he`s not acting to provide it even though the statute mandates that he do so is because he is being instructed not to, that this involved a higher authority, someone above the DNI. Well, there are only a few people above the DNI.
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HAYES: In response, Congressman Schiff wrote to the Acting Director of National Intelligence. "The Committee can only conclude based on this remarkable confluence of factors the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or administration officials." That letter came with a subpoena for that whistleblower complaint.
Here with me now, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California who serves on the House Intelligence Committee. Good to have you here.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Thanks for having me back.
HAYES: So this is a little complicated. First, let`s start with just the basic principle here that there is in the law legal statutory protections for whistleblowers inside the Intelligence Community. How does that work?
SWALWELL: Yes. If you see something that is unlawful, you are protected if you say something. Meaning, you can`t be fired and also after about seven days, Congress will be notified and we`re able to take you know, our own measures.
And if it`s, you know, classified, it goes through you know, a classification review to make sure that you know, it`s nothing that is secret or top secret is disseminated and that we can you know, take action you know, and still protect our secrets.
HAYES: And my understanding of this -- I mean, obviously, you know, post the Church Committee in the 1970s, their entire structure of intelligence oversight that this is sort of part of that, right? I mean, the idea is that if you have a whistleblower, you need -- the Congress serves this really key role in overseeing the Intelligence Community because it`s someone they can go to that isn`t in their sort of direct chain of command.
SWALWELL: That`s right. You have these abuses going on during the Nixon administration and part of the cleanup, the reform in addition to campaign finance was the Church Commission. And they -- one of the reforms they put in place was to protect people who would see something because before that there wasn`t an incentive to say something because you would probably lose your job or you know, politically be punished or even imprisoned.
And so here, that protections put in place. Now, this is one, of course, unprecedented. Two, we can deduce that it very likely involves the President or senior people around him. Three, is the chilling impact that would have on future whistleblowers that if they -- if people come forward and see -- future whistleblowers may look at this and say, I don`t know if I want to come forward if it`s not even going to make its way to the people who need to know.
HAYES: Is the conclusion that it`s likely the President or small circle from that letter from ODNI where they basically say like privileged communications which is just not a big group of people?
SWALWELL: Two parts, one that it`s outside the Intelligence Community. So it`s not -- you know, someone of the CIA, NSA, FBI --
SWALWELL: And then second is that yes, the person who it also involves has or may have a privilege that they could assert. Now, mind you, this White House will go to great lengths to assert a privilege. For example, tomorrow on the Judiciary Committee, we`ll hear from Corey Lewandowski and they`re trying to assert privileges for someone who never worked at the White House.
So, you know, this could be you know, someone of the President`s family who doesn`t work at the White House. I mean, that`s you know, the lengths they`ll go.
HAYES: Well, here`s -- here seems to be the problem. I mean, they have now -- you`re going to issue a subpoena. And I have seen this play out a ton of times. Congress tries to do its oversight role, the White House says no, you can`t have it, and then you go to court, and then Lord knows where it ends up in court.
SWALWELL: I think empty chairs should mean empty pockets. You know, we should seek fines because the President benefits from this. You know, what he does is he tells them not to cooperate, don`t go in. They don`t go in and there`s just this public confusion that`s created because you know, we`re just relying on you know, letters that we send back and forth and we`re trying to say look, this is really bad, it`s never happened before, but we can`t tell you anything about it. That`s just -- he wins because he overwhelmed us.
HAYES: So then, what`s the question here? I mean, how do we think this is? What -- do you have any inkling of what this is about?
SWALWELL: Well, it`s almost like it`s a double whistleblower, right? You have the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community coming forward to say you guys should have heard about this, you didn`t. If he was so moved to tell us that, to me that said that`s pretty important.
HAYES: OK. So you`ve got the whistleblower and the I.G. of the Intelligence Community is the one sort of flagging this like this person should be talking to Congress.
SWALWELL: Yes, because we never would have heard about it unless he came forward.
HAYES: So it`s the I.G. who sort of alerts you to this issue?
SWALWELL: A couple of weeks go by when we should have known -- we don`t -- he figures out that we don`t know so he sends -- you can see in Mr. Schiff`s you know, back and forth that there`s a footnote to the letter that the I.G. sent to Mr. -- to Mr. Schiff.
HAYES: So this is then like really waving a red flag in front of you saying like something untoward, possibly law-breaking is going on here, right? I mean, they have a legal requirement to make this person available to you.
SWALWELL: Yes. I see, you know, the red light is flashing for Congress to know. And now it`s, you know, how do we find out otherwise? You know, again -- and is this was whistleblower in peril?
HAYES: How do you find out? I mean, what is the answer to that question?
SWALWELL: You know, so we`re demanding that the DNI come in you know, and produce this information by Thursday. So you know, he`s got a couple days to do this. And if he doesn`t, you know, we`re going to go through -- you know, I`ll believe it`s Mr. Schiff, but we`re going to go through you know, all the means that we have.
Chris, if we were in the minority, we would be so powerless. This just shows why it was so important to win the House.
HAYES: When you say all the means you have like, a filing of contempt against ODNI or some sort of court order for him to turn this over? I mean, those are the -- that`s the remedy, I guess.
SWALWELL: That`s the remedy. And we`ve done that with you know, the Attorney General, we`ve done that with the Secretary of Commerce, and then it just gives you tools when you go to court. It doesn`t happen as fast as you`d like but again, we`re not powerless. A year ago, we wouldn`t been able to do anything.
HAYES: All right, Eric Swalwell who is on both judiciary and the House Intelligence Committee, great to have you here.
SWALWELL: Yes, same here. Thanks.
HAYES: Next, workers across the country today unites to stage the largest national strike in over a decade. Michael Moore is here to talk about the implications. Don`t go away.
HAYES: If you know as you know, we like to keep ourselves busy here at ALL IN. And there are a lot of exciting things coming up in our world. First, it`s climate week here at NBC News. I`m going to be moderating a presidential climate forum with my colleague Ali Velshi this Thursday and Friday during the day. And then we`ll be featuring parts of that forum on our two nights of special shows which will be all about climate called Climate In Crisis on Thursday and Friday night.
Those shows will also include reports on the effects of climate change from Greenland to Guatemala. We have also just announced the live with pod fall tour. It starts in Austin, Texas, with Sen. Ted Cruz in the 28th and making stops in L.A., Chicago, back here in New York. We got more details about that on our Web site, msnbc.com/withpodtour.
I`m also doing event with one of my intellectual heroes Eric Foner on his great new book about reconstruction. That is in Brooklyn on Sunday the 29th. Tickets available on Eventbrite. That`s going to be a great conversation.
And finally, we keep a lot coming. We have a new podcast episode coming out with Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, war correspondent, harsh critic of American foreign policy who then became a maker of American foreign policy. Renowned to serve on the National Security Council and ultimately as U.N. Ambassador under President Barack Obama.
It`s a really fascinating conversation about what it`s like to go from the outside to the inside, and I think it`s particularly relevant as we watch this President maybe tweak his way into another war without a national security adviser. That episode goes live at 3:00 a.m. Eastern. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts.
HAYES: Today is day one of the biggest nationwide strike in 12 years. At midnight, close to 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers hit picket lines against General Motors. The Associated Press points out workers shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S. as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses.
The last time GM went on strike was back in 2007 before, of course, the financial crisis and the bailout. This time around, the union says a strike could have been avoided had GM made their latest offer sooner.
Some of the big sticking points here, the car maker wants workers to pay more of their health care costs while the union is pushing for pay raises and to reopen closed plants like the one in Lordstown, Ohio.
As of 5:00 this evening, a spokesperson for the auto workers said that only 2 percent of the contract terms had been agreed upon. Quote, "when you have 98 percent of the agreement to go, it`s going to take a while."
One of the places affected by the strike Flint, Michigan where 1,200 workers walked off the line at GM`s assembly plant at the stroke of midnight last night.
To help us understand the impact and stake of the strike, Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, whose landmark documentary "Roger and Me" about the closing of GM plants in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, debuted 30 years ago.
Michael, welcome. Good to have you here.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: It`s a very big strike. And labor action of this size is not that common, particularly outside the -- you saw the sort of teacher uprising. What do you think sort of Americans watching this happen should think about, know about, as they watch this unfold.
MOORE: Well, let`s give credit to the teachers. A couple of years ago, West Virginia, they started this. And I think people watched those strikes in other states and thought, yeah, why aren`t we using the power that we have? There`s all these givebacks -- we have to cut our wages, we have to give back our health benefits or we have got to pay more, we have the deductibles going -- you know, when they have the debate, the presidential candidates they talk about people want to keep their health insurance.
You know, no, nobody -- which candidate, I forgot who said it, they don`t like their private health insurance companies. And this is a good example of how you have private insurance until the company decides, yeah, you know what? We don`t really want to pay that much.
HAYES: Or you should pay more.
MOORE: Or you should pay more.
MOORE: Or you`ve got to work this many extra days or months before you have full benefits, et cetera, et cetera. And you see that you are -- the system, if we keep the system we have, we will be beholden to that 1 percent forever. That`s why it has to change with this election.
I`m personally honored and proud that this is happening with General Motors and with the UAW. My uncle was in the sitdown strike in 1936 that founded the UAW. So my family has been part of this for a long time.
HAYES: Well, and one of the things that strikes me here -- you just talked about the teachers. So, in 2018 there were 20 major work stoppages involving 485,000 workers. That`s the highest number since 1986, so in 22 years. And when you look at -- this chart to me tells me a lot you need to know about the balance of power between owners and workers, right?
Those are strikes of more than 1,000 workers year by year by year by year. And what you see is this very powerful tool just falls off a cliff and then 2018 a little bit of an uptick.
MOORE: And then when it falls off the cliff, that`s when people`s wages stop going up. They stop meeting inflation. And right there -- and in fact I can see on that chart the various strikes my father was in at General Motors actually see -- and at each one -- on that first tall one is when all health care was covered. Free health care for all workers. The next one, then we got dental. Then we got eye care in the next tall one. And then it just went on and on just like that until all of a sudden every factory worker had four weeks paid vacation just like the people who have the better jobs get to have, the workers got to have that.
And it only came about because of those strikes, it only came about because they were willing to fight for it.
And this is the last thing that corporate America and Wall Street want people to see right now. If they are successful, the workers are successful -- and they`re not asking for a lot here. We`re talking about a company that made almost $12 billion in profits.
HAYES: Well, and there`s also of course the case with GM as there is with the banks, right. They`re in a sort of special category.
MOORE: Yes, they are. Because why is that?
MOORE: You and i...
HAYES: Americans came together...
MOORE: And everybody watching.
HAYES: I think, you know, rightfully in the case, particularly the automakers, rightfully in the case of the automakers came together with a rescue plan. But it was a public activity.
MOORE: No, it had to happen. There were tens of thousands of jobs at stake.
The mistake I think that was made is that for a short time President Obama was essentially the de facto CEO of General Motors. He said you have to leave the board, that other executive has to go. They were making real decisions. It sounded like socialism to me, but I don`t want to get into that.
But it was -- I wish he had not returned the company to them because...
HAYES: Oh, he should have just kept it?
MOORE: Well, not forever.
I mean, let`s face it, the government should not -- one of the jobs of government is not to build cars.
HAYES: Right, yeah, I don`t know we need a state automaker.
MOORE: How about this? If I had been his advisor I would say to him, Mr. Obama, Barack, hang onto the company a little bit longer, because you know what we can do here? We can make it a 21st Century transportation company. The internal combustion engine is not going to be here at the end of the century or the planet will not be here, one or the other. So, this has got to end.
And we could be building mass transit, light rail, bullet trains, buses, things that are less harmful to the planet. Could have made this shift.
They made the shift with our factories in Flint and Detroit, they made that shift in World War II in the matter of a month or two. You know, one day they were building Buicks and about 45 days later, you know, I don`t know the exact number of days, but it was very quick, they were building B-29s.
MOORE: And one of the plants that was building the -- in the car factory plants there was a plane coming off the assembly line every 61 minutes. They built a plane every 61 minutes. It was that fast, it was that efficient. They could do that to improve this planet...
MOORE: ...but he didn`t do that. He gave it back to the company and then they just went about, let`s just make more money. Let`s keep building these cars that are killing the planet and where are we now?
HAYES: Well, one of the things that we`ve seen also is that the -- 2007 gas prices low, SUVs go up. And then they go back down, although GM right now is interestingly on the wrong side of the Trump administration and the right side on this climate fight on fuel standards. They`ve teemed up with the other automakers and California has higher fuel standards.
HAYES: ...to fight the Trump administration on this.
I want to play what the president -- I was interesting to me, I wondering today if Trump would say something about the strike, because he`s so attuned, understandably -- he understands the 77,000 votes who made him president of the United States across the greater...
MOORE: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.
HAYES: Right, across the greater industrial Midwest. And I thought to myself, I wonder what he`s going to say on this, because it`s a little bit of a dilemma for him. And he sort of punted, but take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you stand with the auto workers in the strike against GM?
TRUMP: Well, I have a great relationship with the autoworkers. I got a tremendous number of votes from the autoworkers. My relationship has been very powerful with the autoworkers, not necessarily the top person or two, but the people that work doing automobiles -- nobody has ever brought more companies into the United States.
You know, I have Japan and Germany and many countries in bringing car companies in and opening plants and expanding plants and big things are happening in Ohio, including with Lordstown. Very positive things are happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So he doesn`t say he supports the workers in the strike, which I`ve -- but I couldn`t believe the hubris in saying very positive things are happening, including with Lordstown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: Yeah, it`s looking up there.
HAYES: Where they just closed a plant.
MOORE: Yeah, but of course we don`t have to get into this. He know that if he says it, he believes and knows, maybe, that about 60 million people are going to believe it`s true, because he said it`s true.
But here`s the real truth, though, the auto workers in Michigan, where the GM plants are -- they`re in in Genesee County, they`re in Wayne County, Oakland County, Lasing, all of these counties, except for one over on the west side that have a GM factory voted for Hillary Clinton. They didn`t vote for him.
HAYES: That`s interesting.
MOORE: The auto workers did not vote for him. And this has been a real thing -- and I said this a few weeks ago, when you think working class, he and the pundit class and Joe Biden all talk about the working class like it`s lunch bucket Joe. And that`s who we`ve got to win next November. But the majority of working class are women, and they`re of color, and they`re young. They are of the lowest wages in our economy. And so when you think working class, every time you hear that term, you need to think it`s a 30- year-old black woman, that`s really what the working class is.
HAYES: There`s also the case that if you spend a lot of time around car country, in Detroit and Flint, and other places, you know what the UAW has built over the course of the years as an organization, as a union, as a political force, is a fascinating look of how you put together -- stitch together the kind of multi-racial coalition that is the very thing that the Democratic Party and the center left are always thinking about.
HAYES: I mean, that`s what the UAW is. Go talk to UAW workers, like it`s a diverse group.
MOORE: Right. Well, you`ve shown that on your video here today that you have all -- first of all, UAW is one of the first unions that demanded during negotiations and strikes that the assembly line be integrated. African-Americans had to use -- they have to work down in the foundry in the worst jobs, the hardest jobs, the ones who had the lowest life expectancy. And they integrated the line way before we had integration in schools or anything else. That was just a -- that was a priority of the Reuther Brothers. They were socialists.
If it weren`t for them and those who came from New York to help organize those strikes in the `30s and `40s, you know we wouldn`t have the middle class that we have today. And so I know my family, they were grateful for those who held these positions and led the way.
But I think this is a really important week, and people need to get behind this strike. People should be vocal about it on social media, get people to -- encourage your friends and neighbors to be supportive of this, and think about doing it yourself. That`s the scariest thing. If everybody just went out there and said, you know what, I`m done giving back. I`m done for the deductibles going up. Quit telling me I love my health care. This whole rotten system sucks and it`s time for a change.
HAYES: Michael Moore, a succinct message for the workers of America. Thanks for making time.
MOORE: Put that on the bumper sticker, yes.
HAYES: Still ahead, new polling shows a growing consensus on climate. How to turn that consensus into change ahead.
And Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, files for bankruptcy. What that means for the thousands of lawsuits that they face and the family who`s behind it all next.
HAYES: If you saw the news over the weekend that Purdue Pharma, the notorious maker of the opioid Oxycontin, was declaring bankruptcy, you might think, well, just deserts. I mean, here`s this company that multiple independent reports and investigations have shown used a variety of tactics to put pressure on the entirety of the medical system, up and down the chain of care, from hospitals to doctors, not just to ensure that the opioid the company produced for pain got prescribed, but that the entirety of American medicine reconceptualized the importance of pain and pumped opioids into its patients.
It was extremely lucrative as an undertaking, more than $35 billion in sales since it launched in 1996, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And the company was extremely successful in pushing prescriptions. Opioid sales sharply rising in the critical years from the late `90s onward.
It was also devastatingly destructive to America. Opioids were involved in more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 along, according to the CDC. Nearly 218,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids between 1999 and 2017, that`s just prescription opioids.
Purdue Pharma is not the only manufacturer of opioids by any mean, but it is arguably one of the key precipitating causes of the opioid epidemic. And because of this, Purdue Pharma is now facing thousands of lawsuits. And the announcement that they are filing for bankruptcy is in response to that.
The big settlement that was announced, would pay out about $10 billion over time, which sounds like a lot of money, justice served, but if you scratch this deal it starts to look worse and worse.
For one, at least 25 state attorneys general have not signed onto the settlement because they think it lets Purdue Pharma off too easy. Number two, members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, hired former Alabama Republican Senator Luther Strange to go around and get Republican state attorneys general to sign onto it.
Number three, by Purdue Pharma declaring bankruptcy they have now put all of the other lawsuits on hold, essentially protecting their assets, and the Sackler family, the ones that own Purdue Pharma, well they are not claiming bankruptcy. Yet today, Purdue Pharma asked a judge to basically extend the bankruptcy shields of the assets to the Sacklers, one of the wealthiest families in the country.
Right now the family`s assets and the billions of dollars they have made off misery and destruction, well, that`s still theirs. And we learned on Friday they moved a billion dollars out of the country over the course of many years, according to documents filed by the New York attorney general.
So far, this is where it stands: this family, basically, dealt drugs to America at an almost previously unseen scale, made billions off it, and are going to try to walk away while street dealers rot in jail and everyone else in America is left to clean up the mess they made.
That does not sound like justice to me.
HAYES: This is a week of international attention to the climate crisis. On Friday, there will be enormous global student walkout ahead of the UN climate action summit. I`ll be hosting our climate forum with Ali Velshi on Thursday and Friday, which will be followed by climate in crisis special programming those nights right here in this hour.
On the eve of this big week of international focus on climate change, new polling shows that people`s opinions are moving and changing. It is happening in front of our eyes, people are noticing.
We`re used to seeing polls that show an even partisan split on so many issues, similar to polls along the lines of do you like Trump or not, basically. And what`s interesting about these polls is that they are not that. A new CBS/Yougov poll finds 71 percent think human activity contributes a lot or some to climate change, 64 percent think climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, and 67 percent believe humanity can either stop it or slow it. There`s more consensus on the climate than there is in other parts of our politics, which is somewhat remarkable to imagine.
As the amount of organizing and attention and movement in public opinion sufficient to mobilize the American public behind the scale of the solution that`s probably necessary?
Joining me now, author Naomi Klein, whose latest book is on this topic. It`s called "On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal," who`s been doing a lot of work on this recently. How are you?
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR: I`m good.
HAYES: So, I guess we`ll start with the polling, because it`s good to start with good news. Like, I am sort of pleasantly surprised almost to the point I`m not sure I believe it. But the polling has changed considerably recently.
KLEIN: And it`s been consistent. And I think the biggest shift is the urgency question.
HAYES: Yeah, I agree. Totally agree.
KLEIN: Because you have a pretty broad partisan split, although that is starting to shift generationally. So younger Republicans do recognize that this is real and happening and they want to do something about it. But the biggest difference is that among the people who believe in it, they want to do something about it a lot and are ranking it very high, like right alongside health care as a top priority. And that`s the biggest shift, because for many years it was always like, yeah, I care about climate change, but if you ask people to rank it, which I personally think is a bizarre thing to do -- it`s like do you care more for a job or having a habitable planet. It`s such a weird question. All issues are inside of the planet.
But that said, people would reliably rank climate last and now they`re ranking it first/second.
HAYES: So that`s the thing that has been most striking to me about even the last six months and the rate of acceleration of it is this prioritization question. And I agree with you that like asking it is weird.
HAYES: But it`s also the case that, like, political movements, like, presidents have to prioritize, legislators, you know, they`re going to move some bill first and not some bill second. And it is really striking to me how effective I think a lot of organizers, grassroots groups, all sorts of people, normal citizens, have been in pushing that priority urgency question.
KLEIN: Pushing the priority. Also, there is lived experience. There are a lot of Americans whose lives have been personally touched by wildfires, by megastorms, by droughts.
KLEIN: There`s that -- yeah, there`s the fact that scientists have started speaking in very plain language saying things like you 12 years, now 11, to change everything. That tends to get people`s attention.
But absolutely, I think, and speaking of ranking, I think the biggest change is that we have a framework with the Green New Deal on the table that actually says, you don`t have to rank, we can -- we can radically lower emissions and create millions of great jobs in the process and we`ll even throw health care in there as well because actually it`s linked to climate change, it`s low carbon work, we can talk about how those are connected, but I think the real shift is that we rather than just carving out climate, as an issue apart from all these other issues, it`s now being treated like the framework for the next economy and everything else fits inside of that.
HAYES: Right. And I keep thinking about this, this thing that David Wallace Wells, who wrote a great book on the climate crisis, said to me, that, like, similar to what you just said, like everything happens in the climate. It`s the one totalizing thing there is, almost by definition.
KLEIN: Well, it is...
KLEIN: It is the big tent.
HAYES: Right, it`s like literally nothing outside of it except for space. Like, that`s the only issue that doesn`t happen. And I think that -- I wonder how much you think that is happening this sort of coalition is also being built globally. Because I know that you spent a lot of time talking to, reporting on, folks that aren`t here in the U.S., that are involved in these sort of struggles in other countries. It does seem to me like there is a movement that has a sort tremendous global reach as well.
KLEIN: Absolutely. And there has been, but it`s...
HAYES: For a long time.
KLEIN: For a long time, but Greta Tunberg (ph) arrived by sailboat a couple weeks ago. And she is part of a global movement of children, of young people, who are really not interested in, you know, who emitted what in which country. They`re fighting for each other`s futures. They have tremendous sort of international solidarity in the way they`re organizing. They`ve had these mass days of action.
In March, there were 1.6 million young people they estimate walking out of school going on strike and saying we`re not -- why should we study for a future that our leaders are not -- are betting against when they build new fossil fuel infrastructure. And now on the 20th where there`s going to be another wave of climate strikes, which is global, around the world.
And , yeah, the Green New Deal framework is being talked about in the UK, it`s being talked about within the European Union, it`s been talked about in Canada. And the idea, itself, actually comes from Latin America. You know, in this book, I quote a Bolivian climate negotiator 10 years ago calling for a Marshal plan for planet Earth, which is a different historical analogy, but the same idea of this has to be about technology transfers, this is the next economy.
HAYES: Do you feel the -- do you feel like there`s more of a match between public opinion, political will, and political organizing and the scale of the solution than there was before, but how far -- they seem very far apart, still, to me.
KLEIN: Well, I don`t know. I think it`s catching up, and I think the more people hear concrete ideas about how we deal with this crisis that fly in the face of the sort of Fox News version of it`s all about...
KLEIN: ...sacrifice, taking away your stuff, right? There are things that are going to change. There are sacrifices, but there are all kinds of things that are going to get better. We`re going to have better public services, better transit, better quality of life in all kinds of ways.
HAYES: I think replacing the sort of doom vision and abnegation vision with like a vision of like -- an exciting future of bounty has been sort of one of the most important conceptual turns that has happened in the last six months to a year.
Naomi Klein, the book, it`s called "On Fire: the Burning Case for Green New Deal."
KLEIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: 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