CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The sermon on the mount was not a case for assault rifles, multi-round magazines, and silencers, it was about love, not lock and load.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The hotel opened about two weeks ago and it`s been -- it`s been amazing.
HAYES: Brand new revelations about military spending at Donald Trump`s luxury resort.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think today we can finally say we made Turnberry great again.
HAYES: Plus, the Director of National Intelligence is now openly defying Congress over an urgent whistleblower complaint that may involve the president. Then --
GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: I don`t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists.
HAYES: Senator Brian Schatz on the climate movement taking Congress by storm. And brand-new polling from Iowa that could shake up the Democratic race when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from Washington D.C. I`m Chris Hayes. We now have a dollar figure for how much money from the Department of Defense budget has been funneled into the President`s business. It`s not a small amount by any stretch.
The United States Department of Defense using money that we pay in taxes has transferred almost $200,000 of that money into Donald Trump`s pocket. Politico reported last week the House Oversight Committee was investigating why an Air National Guard crew stayed at Trump`s Turnberry Golf Resort in Scotland.
Yesterday, they reported Air Force crews stayed at Trump`s Resort at taxpayer expense for several days at a time, even taking the opportunity to play golf at the resort. Now, the House Oversight Committee has given us a better idea of the scope of the U.S. military`s systematic commitment to Trump Turnberry as well as an asked to estimate the cost to taxpayers, and both of those things are quite staggering.
In a public letter to the Department of Defense, House Democrats say that based on the limited documents provided to them by DOD, "it appears that US taxpayer funds were used to purchase the equivalent of more than 650 rooms at Trump Turnberry since August 2017 or the equivalent of one room every night for more than one and a half years.
A letter signed by Congressman Elijah Cummings and Jamie Raskin says unspecified charges to government travel cards "boost total military spending at Trump Turnberry to more than $184,000," while the average cost of a room at Turnberry for military service members was $189 a night.
According to House Oversight, "The materials provided by the department reflect numerous charges at rates that are higher than the average rates cited in the letter." The Department does not explain the basis for the higher amounts. For example, on November 11th, 2018, the department paid $668, $639, and $611. Those are pretty high costs.
Perhaps the most concerning part is that all this was revealed in only 21 pages of material. Half of which the House Oversight Committee says was already publicly available. The committee has not seen any underlying invoices or travel records. They don`t know the exact number of rooms booked. And they say, "the department is refusing to produce any e-mails other communications relating to Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport.
Instead, the department stated it referred the committee`s request to these documents -- for these documents to the White House. But that`s kind of weird, right? It seems pretty straightforward. If there`s nothing wrong with the situation, why not just turn over the rest the documents. And why would the White House need to be involved in a Congressional request for military travel records? What is in the rest of those documents?
Joining me now one of the congressmen who signed that letter to the Department of Defense, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He is a member of both the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. So what is the scope of what we know about this now?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): We know that around $200,000 has been spent at that one resort in Scotland since Donald Trump took office. That`s just one resort. Of course, there`s the one in Ireland where the President sent the Vice President to go stay. There`s Mar-a-Lago, there`s New Jersey, there`s Virginia, there`s D.C. There golf courses and hotels all over the place.
This president has spent one out of every three days since he`s taken office at a Trump resort, hotel, or property. And there`s a very clear legal principle that comes right out of the Constitution which governs all of this. The President is limited to his salary in office. It cannot be neither increase nor decrease by Congress and he can receive no additional compensation from the U.S. government, from the taxpayers.
Every time the taxpayers are hit up for another weekend, it costs about $75,000 or $100,000 at Mar-a-Lago for the Secret Service and the Department of Defense, and the White House officials or every time the money flows to Scotland for this military stopover and all of the other properties that were just learning about now, that is a violation of the Constitution.
No other resident in the history of the United States has come close to doing what this president is doing in terms of trimming the presidency into an instrument of self-enrichment.
HAYES: In terms of Turnberry, what`s striking to me is that no one appeared to know this. I mean, am I right that no one on the committee knew about this, no one -- no one had reported. This has been just going on. There`s this little airport there and American service members have been driving the 45 to this property which -- knowing how this usually works and knowing a lot of people that work for the federal government or in the services, that`s not usually the kind of place you`re getting sent.
RASKIN: Right. Well, I mean, the Prestwick Airport is necessary for the survival of the Trump resort. And so the hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing to the hotel is one thing, but the other is the millions of dollars that has been flowing to the airport which is what keeps the whole local economy alive there.
And the question is, is that money that`s being well-spent. It`s been redirected there by the Trump administration. It`s like the president saying to the Vice President, well, we know that your meetings are in Dublin but we want you to stay 180 miles away.
That`s like you`ve got meetings at the White House and you stay in Asbury Park in New Jersey for your meetings. It just makes no sense.
HAYES: How forthcoming has the Department of Defense been in terms of documentation? Are you confident that you actually know everything there is to know about it?
RASKIN: No, it`s been pathetic. We`ve gotten like 20 pages. We originally wrote them back in June. I think you reported about that. We had to write them another letter just last week in order to tell them we`re getting serious. They finally produced about 20 pages. About half of that was already publicly available, and then they`re saying they`re waiting for the White House to review some documents.
The President says he has nothing to do with it and he doesn`t know about it. The legal point is clear. Whether or not the President is commanding them to go stay at all the resorts and hotels and commanding the military planes to stop there or he`s trying everything in his power to stop it, it doesn`t make any difference. He can`t receive the money. He can`t take it.
HAYES: Also, the way the corruption works if you`ve covered corruption in either domestic AND international context is that messages are sent down the chain that like it would be good to kick some money upstairs to the boss.
HAYES: I mean, you -- that`s just how corrupt environments operate. I mean, it`s striking to me that this was going on and no one inside the chain of command inside DOD is saying to themselves whether this is done totally for perfectly good logistical reasons. This does not look good.
RASKIN: Why was there a policy shift made? We want to see all of the accounting. We want to see all of the invoices and we have a right to see it. And it`s not up to Donald Trump, we have a right to see that. And that of course, gets us into the whole obstruction of our congressional fact-finding function.
HAYES: So I want to read. There`s a Washington Post article. This is broader. This has to do with Corey Lewandowski. It has to do with the fact that they have turned over almost no documentation in your impeachment inquiry. You`re fighting them in court on a number subpoenas.
They`ve asserted the broadest privilege assertions I think we`ve ever seen any modern president make. They even seem to think that they have the absolute right to stop anyone they want to from testifying. Josh Dawsey wrote up this reporting from the Washington Post.
He says, White House aides say they have a few advantages in this battle. Pelosi isn`t behind Nadler, many of the hearings have fizzled, time is running out. They say they`re not feeling the heat by not responding for interviews or documents. Democrats split. This is their latest on the inquiry. Is he right?
RASKIN: No, I don`t think he`s right. I think that our caucus is more unified every single day to stop the lawlessness and the criminality of this administration. We have a responsibility to defend the Constitution and defend the people. It`s a completely --
HAYES: All that is true, but the Speaker of the House -- I have watched Nancy Pelosi operate. I covered her on Capitol Hill when I worked across the street from the Capitol during the ACA fight. Nancy Pelosi is one of the most adept legislators of our time. When Nancy Pelosi wants something that happened, it happens.
I watched her drag the ACA across the finish line and make 40 members walk the plank knowing she was sending them to the doom. If something -- she wants something to happen, it happens. If she doesn`t want something to happen, it doesn`t happen.
It is very clear from the outside observing congressional behavior the Speaker of the House does not want to impeach the president and you guys can do whatever you want to do but she is not going to pick a fight over it.
RASKIN: Well, first of all, we have moved contempt citations against William Barr, the Attorney General of the United States. I have a resolution to specifically disapprove and to reject every foreign government payment Donald Trump has pocketed since he came into office and I am very hopeful that we move on that in -- by early October at the latest.
And we tell the President, turn over all of your ill-gotten gains from foreign government or face Congress. So --
HAYES: But face what? This is the problem is you are meeting procedural maximalism with procedural normalcy. The President steps outside the bounds of tradition, he asserts new powers, and he says let`s see them in court. And he`s been doing this for 40 years.
He tells a piano tuner he`s not going to pay him the $3,000 that it cost to tune the piano in the lobby of his hotel. So what? Sue me. He is treating you the way he treated the piano tuners and the painters and you`re doing the same thing. It`s like, well, we`ll see you in court. Well, that`s not going to be good enough.
RASKIN: Well, you`re right. We are defending the rule of law and we`re defending the Constitution. But here`s the thing. Let`s not start at the end of this story. The media always wants to jump to well, you know, Pelosi is against impeachment, Nadler is for impeachment. I`m not positive Nadler is for articles of impeachment. I`m not positive she`s against them.
All I know is that she is not going to prejudge the process because she`s got a big caucus to govern and he`s got to keep us moving forward in the investigation.
HAYES: That`s -- that may all be true. But all I`m saying is that what it looks like from the outside is you -- the caucus is not united in wanting to pick the fight, that you are -- you have someone that is acting in ways that are sort of intransigent, aberrant, even lawless arguably.
HAYES: Yes, that there is not the stomach to pick the fight. It`s basically we`re going to do what we can where we can do it. We`re not going to just let him do it. We`re going to sort of raise our objections, we`re going to march through our resolutions, we`re going to have our hearings, but we`re not going to escalate this into a kind of cataclysmic battle between the branches.
RASKIN: We`re going to stand tough for the rule of law. And I believe that the original sin of this administration is converting the white house into a for-profit enterprise. It`s unfortunate to my mind that all of the Russia stuff came out first. The way to understand the Russia stuff is this is a president --
HAYES: It`s very clearly related.
RASKIN: Yes. Because this is a businessman who went bankrupt six times, no self-respecting American bank would lend money to him and he found the Russian oligarchs. That`s how Vladimir Putin and the Russian autocracy got their claws into him, and that`s the way of understanding it.
When he got into office, he was perhaps as stunned as anybody else but he decided to get right back to work on making money. He said he would not divest himself, he would not do a blind trust. He was going to keep everything going. And he has and it`s unconstitutional and we`re going to stop him.
And this is the Achilles heel of this administration. You watch, Chris. Mark my words.
HAYES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you. It`s great to talk to you in person.
RASKIN: Great to talk to you.
HAYES: Joining out for more on the corruption exhibited by this President, Elizabeth Holtzman former Congresswoman who sat on the House Judiciary Committee during impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon and Walter Dellinger former Assistant Attorney General, head of the Office of Legal Counsel and Acting Solicitor General.
Liz, let me start with you. On the constitutional principle stated by the congressman which I don`t think I was quite familiar with that, how do you read the idea? If -- let`s put the facts aside and just have a thought experiment. A president is essentially running the presidency solely as a for-profit in operation.
Let`s say even that he owns a defense contractor and he`s just funneling tens of billions of dollars a year into his pocket. Is that a violation the Constitution? Is that a violation of the law? Is that impeachable?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN FROM NEW YORK: It`s a violation of the Constitution. If you go back and read what the framers were worried about, they were very worried about two things with regard to the president in terms of corruption. They were worried that foreign governments would bribe the president. They`d saw a king of England being bribed by King of France, they said this is not going to happen here.
But what we -- and so it was a prohibition. Congress could say yes, but this president has never gone to Congress to ask for Congress`s permission even though governments from Saudi Arabia, from Romania, other countries have funneled tens of thousands if not millions of dollars into his hotel.
Now, the problem with that is not only that he`s being corrupted in the abstract, what we now see that Saudi Arabia which has spent untold amounts of money at his hotel has not been held liable in any way for the killing of Khashoggi, a journalist who was living in the United States.
Do we know that this was done because of the money going into the president`s pocket or do we know whether it was done because of some other reason? So the corruption is there, the Framers didn`t want it. And for the same reason, they explicitly prohibited and Congress can`t even approve it, any extra money going to the president aside from his salary from any State of the Union or from the United States itself.
So it`s crystal clear. And this president has thumbed his nose at the Constitution and has allowed the basics of government to be corrupted because people obviously want to get help from the president maybe. The military wants to get pay increases or change some kinds of protocols. And if they`ve given money into his pocket, they`ll think that he`s going to do the right thing.
So we never know when you have a corrupt president, whether he`s acting in the interests of the United States or his own personal interest. And that is what the framers wanted to stop dead in his tracks.
HAYES: Walter do you -- Walter, do you agree?
WALTER DELLINGER, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: I agree with all of that. You know, I think this is very serious matter. There`s a clause in the Constitution that says that the President`s compensation shall be stated and it shall be neither increased or decreased while he`s in office.
And then he shall receive no other emoluments from any part of the government because it would -- it might influence him to favor the navy over the army if they were funneling money to him. And that`s what`s happening with Turnberry.
You know, I think Congresswoman Holtzman is right about the foreign influence. The Framers of the Constitution were obsessed that we would be the plaything of European politics and that foreign princess would corrupt -- with all their wealth would corrupt our officers in our new modest country.
And you know, it`s hard to say what is the President`s clearest constitutional violation but I think it`s a foreign emoluments clause because it is so clear and so sweeping that the president simply has to report to Congress and get Congress`s approval for having any business dealings with a foreign government. Not just the president, any officer of the government.
Imagine if -- imagine if John Kerry, while he`s negotiating the deal with the Iranians, was receiving valuable sums of money from Iran without telling anybody. Imagine that the trade representative with China is receiving a valuable of intellectual property, trade licenses the way for his own personal businesses without informing Congress or receiving Congress`s consent.
It`s a sweeping clause and intended to be so. It`s not just the corruption that`s at issue here, but the corrosion of the Constitution. If we`re simply going to tolerate a violation of the Constitution of these clauses, what about the rest of the Constitution? Why should we obey any of it?
You know, Congress could define the office of the White House, the president`s executive office and leave him with one secretary if all of these people wouldn`t testify when it passed a budget and have a showdown with the president.
HAYES: Yes. And in fact -- I mean, what is becoming clearer I think is there will have to be some kind of procedural escalation on the part of Congress. Because right now they`re being stonewalled in almost every direction and unless you do something that makes them sit up and take notice, they`re going to keep doing it and that`s been the M.O. for the president for his life. Liz Holtzman and Walter Dellinger, thank you both so much.
HOLTZMAN: Thank you.
DELLINGER: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, breaking news tonight about the Intelligence Committee whistleblower whose complaint is being withheld from Congress. The subpoena, the hearings, and what happens tomorrow in two minutes.
HAYES: The Trump administration is now an outright defiance of congressional subpoena by refusing to hand over a material that it "shall provide as mandated by law." Now, the material in question is a complaint from whistleblower that the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community found to be "credible and urgent."
And despite being required by law to hand over such a complaint to Congress -- that is what the law says they have to do, Donald Trump`s Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is refusing to do so, which is, let`s be clear, unprecedented, something House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff recently pointed out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): No DNI, no Director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, there`s late word we may get more answers. The Acting Director of National Intelligence has agreed Adam Schiff`s requests to testify in public before the Intelligence Committee next Thursday.
Joining me now to help explain what exactly is that stake here, Greg Sargent Opinion Writer for The Washington Post whose piece today is headlined Mystery of Adam Schiff and Whistleblower Takes Dangerous New Turn. Let`s start at the sort of macro level. What why is it -- what are the stakes here involved in this showdown?
GREG SARGENT, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, the stakes really come down to the -- to the way this statute was drafted, right. There`s a reason that it was drafted the way it was. Congress set up this process so that whistleblowers could talk about -- could tell Congress about wrongdoing in a way that would protect them and protect the material, and also protect them from retaliation and interference by agency heads.
So the way it`s set up is the whistleblower goes to the Inspector General who`s theoretically independent of the brass of the agency right and it`s the Inspector General who independently decides whether this material is urgent and is credible.
HAYES: So the statute creates a sort of pipeline where if you`ve got -- if you see something bad, you can go around the bosses in the org chart and even the person at the very top of the whole thing and go to the I.G. And the IG`s determination sees it and says yes, this is bad.
HAYES: Then it goes to Congress. The whole point is that you sidestep the bosses because they`re the ones who might retaliate.
SARGENT: The DNI has to forward it.
SARGENT: And that`s partly because of classification and other purposes. It can`t just be handed straight from I.G. to Congress.
SARGENT: But the point is that the statute was constructed this way so that Congress could exercise oversight.
HAYES: There`s also the fact that -- well, I mean, this -- you know, as Schiff said, I mean, it seems to be about either the President or someone in his circle. It`s not someone in the Intelligence Community and they`re asserting privilege. There`s a tiny little circle of people that could be.
SARGENT: Well, that`s right. It`s -- in fairness, the big quote from Adam Schiff from this weekend when he said that the DNI had said that he`s doing this because he`s being instructed to by a higher authority. If you read the actual correspondence, it`s a little tough to figure out exactly what the DNI is arguing. But it`s -- basically what they`re saying is that it`s -- that they`re -- that they`re exercising some form of privilege.
Now, legal experts I talked to today said they didn`t think it was a direct assertion yet of executive privilege but that`s where it was going, and the legal experts couldn`t quite make sense of it yet. But that`s what they mean by higher authority.
In other words, the higher authority here is the sacrosanct nature of the communications between this other mystery person who has communications that are privileged and the DNI.
HAYES: What it seems to me and from the sort of national security experts that I`ve talked to you about this, they`re all sort of freaked out by this. I mean, they think it`s a very big deal that it hasn`t happened before. It`s yet another example of a showdown, right?
The executive just says no, screw you. Go take a long walk off a short pier. What are you going to do about it? There seems to be some accommodation that`s made now which is that the Acting DNI is going to go testify publicly in front of Schiff`s committee. What do we know about that?
SARGENT: Well, I don`t know anything about that yet. I`ve been trying to get Schiff and I think a lot of us have, and he`s been -- and in fairness, he`s trying to work this out. And so it`s a little hard to -- I do want to address what you`re talking about in terms of the larger context here.
Previous presidents including Clinton and Obama actually asserted that they had some control over this type of -- this type of process. And you know, in fairness, executive branches always do that. They`ll say they get to control what gets the sent to Congress. That`s what executive branches do.
But the larger context here is that this president has adopted this sort of use of presidential prerogative in a blanket way as part of a strategy of absolute and maximal resistance to any and all oversight on every single front.
And so when they invoke presidential prerogative to you know, yet again, in a case, that`s incredibly clear-cut like this one, at some point their level of bad faith has to matter. And we have to say you know, no. This is nonsense and turn it over.
HAYES: All right, Greg Sargent, thank you so much for joining us. Next, the 16-year-old activist has taking lawmakers to task. Senator Brian Schatz on that amazing scene on the Hill today and the growing climate movement.
HAYES: On Friday people across the country will be walking out of their schools, and homes, and jobs for something called the global climate strike. The idea is to raise the alarm, pressure politicians, and policymakers to take action to combat climate change.
And the run-up to this worldwide climate strike it`s happening all over the place. And the increasing tensions over climate change the international climate activist who helped spark this global movement 16-year-old Greta Thunberg was on Capitol Hill today where she politely but firmly told lawmakers they are failing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): Ms. Thunberg, let me ask you a question. If you`re sailing across the ocean and you`re picking up trash along the way, and for every one piece of trash that you pick up there`s a boat right next to you dumping out five pieces, how would that make you feel?
THUNBERG: First of all, we were going so fast there wasn`t time to pick up the trash.
GRAVES: All right, well, if you were a slow sailor like me, how would that make you feel?
THUNBERG: Well, first of all, if you use that logic, then I am also dumping a lot of trash in the ocean and then I would -- I would stop dumping my trash in the ocean and tell the other boat to stop dumping their trash in the ocean as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It remains the case that when Thunberg was sitting there at the hearing today, she was facing the only major party in the entire developed Democratic world that continues at this late stage to deny climate change which has left -- which has left it entirely to Democrats to try to talk about or find a solution.
Democrats in the Senate have actually created a committee to work on climate change issues on their own. The chairman of that subcommittee Brian Schatz of Hawaii is here with me now. What do you think about this moment, all the mobilization you`re seeing this week?
We`ve got a climate forum tomorrow I`m doing with the candidates. There was a climate forum already. There`s going to be big emphasis on the climate goals and Paris goals at U.N. Does it mean something in the -- in domestic American politics?
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, (D-HI): It does. There`s a movement building. It`s global. It`s more diverse than ever, which I think is really important and it`s being led by young people. I used to be one of those young climate activists, but now I`m in the senate. And these people...
HAYES: That`s depressing, by the way.
SCHATZ: Well, it`s true.
HAYES: It`s depressing in the sense that like enough time has gone by of young people being like we need to do something that you are now a U.S. senator.
SCHATZ: I was 19. I read Al Gore`s book and I decided to devoted my life to this. Now that`s a neat story, except that...
HAYES: That`s how you got into politics?
SCHATZ: That`s right.
But the fact is that we`ve been failing for more than 20 years. And these young people are demanding that we do better, even among climate activists, even among climate hawks in the senate and elsewhere, they`re saying, look, whatever you`re doing is not satisfactory, it`s not getting the job done.
And here`s what I think about the political situation we`re in: there is no bill, there is no clever tweet, there is no way of framing the climate issue that is going to cause Mitch McConnell to change his mind. There is no way to do this other than to swamp the legislative branch with an election. And so if young people in America feel...
HAYES: Yeah, you just have vote out -- you`re saying you have to vote out Republicans.
SCHATZ: And look, there are some people who are starting to get curious about is there an opportunity...
HAYES: Climate curious.
SCHATZ: Climate curious. Can we do some bipartisan work and I`m all for that. But make no mistake we just have to beat them. And the way we beat them is that all these young people who are fired up about climate have to become not just climate activists but climate voters and that I think is our main task in 2020.
HAYES: You know, it was interesting in that I`m starting to see the rhetoric of reaction shift, to quote Albert Hirschman, the rhetoric of reaction shift from climate change isn`t happening to it`s happening but humans aren`t causing it, to it`s happening, humans are causing it, but we`re only 20 percent of the global emissions. And as you saw in that exchange, China and India are going to swamp it all out, so who cares?
SCHATZ: Yeah, and I think the Koch Brothers and the fossil fuel industry, they carefully test their messaging, and then they basically create a permission structure for some of the members of congress to kind of evolve on the issue without actually getting to anywhere that`s meaningful.
You`re right, they were climate deniers and then they were sort of, like well it`s unclear. And now they`re saying yes it is, I am not a climate denier, however, I`m not for the Green New Deal, I`m not for a carbon fee, what we should do is a pilot program for conservation and efficiency.
And so this is the new safe place for these people to land, especially people who are running purple states.
HAYES: This is slightly off topic and somewhat existential, or personal, but does it drive you insane to be in the U.S. Senate as this happens? I really mean it, like James Inhofe is one of your colleagues, like, the gap between the things that people the other party are saying about this and what the happening is so wide I just don`t know how I would like go to work every day.
SCHATZ: Or get in the elevator with these people and say how is your family, how is your weekend?
HAYES: No, I sort of understand that, because you`re human beings and you work together. And I get that part of it. I just think that like when you look at the United States Senate and then you compare the United States Senate to the problem of climate change...
SCHATZ: Yeah, but I think the fight has to be conducted, right. And I certainly am working on legislation with Republicans where that`s possible. But I`m clear than I`ve ever been that the way to solve this problem is to vanquish them in 2020.
We just got to beat them. There is no clever framing -- lots of people come in and say here`s how you should talk about climate change.
HAYES: This will get Mitch McConnell on board.
SCHATZ: This will get you from 65 percent popularity on this issue to 68 percent -- it`s not about that, it`s about the structural aspects of politics and we just have to beat them.
HAYES: OK, another thing that Republicans have been fairly intransigent on, but maybe waffling a little, which is on guns -- and this is something you`ve been outspoken on, so Chris Murphy, who I know is a good friend of yours, and you guys tweeted each other very adorably a lot, he has been working with the White House and Joe Manchin on some sort of background check.
This thing happened today where there was a draft of it circulating on the Hill. And then Hogan Gidley tells me that just because White House legislative director Eric Ueland is among those pushing this on the Hill. It does not mean Trump himself has signed off on it, not even close. Where are we on this?
SCHATZ: We`re nowhere. Look, I hope I`m wrong, I really hope I`m wrong, and I talk to Chris personally about this, and if we`re wrong and there`s a background check bill, there`s a meaningful gun safety measure to vote on, I`ll be thrilled, and I`ll announce that I was wrong and Chris will be gracious about it. It`ll be great.
HAYES: You`ll come back on the show.
SCHATZ: But there`s plenty of evidence that the president sort of play acts in the direction of doing something popular and meaningful and right, and then once the special-interest groups yank his chain he gets right back into line. This happened at least two or three times during the presidency on the question of guns and it happened two or three times on the question of immigration.
He`s not to be trusted on this. And I believe -- I hope I`m wrong, but I believe that the way to get something done that`s meaningful on gun safety is also just to beat him in 2020.
HAYES: See, what you`re describing to me is a structural analysis of the United States Senate that to me is generationally different than the people 20, 30 years older than you. Because the way it used to work was not that.
I mean, Ted Kennedy supported George W. Bush`s first big domestic legislative priority, right, the No Child Left Behind Act. And that was kind of the deal, Tim O`Neil, Ronald Reagan. The idea was like you work out these bipartisan deals, you get all the stakeholders together and they all jump together and that`s how big things happen. That`s no longer how things happen.
You seem to understand that, but do you think there`s a generational divide between your understanding of you need to beat them and people that are senior to you?
SCHATZ: I don`t know if it`s generational, but I certainly think that people are imagining a senate that no longer exists. And I consider myself an institutionist. I love the United States Senate still for all its dysfunction, I love it. But I think when we imagine a functional Senate, we imagine a functional Senate in the future, not how we`re going to go back to 1977.
And one last point about that old Senate that worked so well, it mostly worked really well for powerful white men. And one of the reasons there was bipartisan comity, because lots of people across the world were getting screwed.
HAYES: Cut out. Yes, that`s right.
Senator, Brian Schatz, this was fun. You should come by any time in New York or in D.C.
SCHATZ: Thanks very much.
HAYES: Just are reminder, you can hear more about climate change during our two-part special climate crisis starting tomorrow night. Continuing on a Friday, we`ll have an exclusive interview with Al Gore, plus global reports about what climate change is doing to the world around us, and highlights from our presidential candidate climate forum moderated by my colleague Ali Velshi and me at Georgetown University. Do not miss it.
Ahead, the Warren campaign strategy, the genius of the four hour photo line and the latest polling that can shake up the race. Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it has become clear in the last three years that when you go to work for Donald Trump among the things you must be ready to sacrifice is your dignity, if you had any in the first place.
Now, after one leaves the Trump White House one can either begin the process of attempting to repair that dignity or continue down the career path of publicly humiliating one`s self for money.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders left her jump lying for the White House to do it on Trump TV. And there`s just no irony in appearing on a Trump propaganda outlet masquerading as news to complain about the integrity of the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think all the media really needs to take a good hard look at how they put the news out. It`s gotten so much where there`s no process, there`s no accountability, no check and balance. And I think that we have to start taking so much of the opinion out of the news. It`s a good news story if you can read it and you have no idea which side the journalist is on, and it`s very hard to find that.
There`s a big difference between commentators and news, and we have blended those so that there is no difference anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I wonder if Sarah Huckabee Sanders can figure out which side Lou Dobbs is on, on that same channel?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS: Have a great weekend. The president makes such a thing possible for us all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Absolutely insane thing to say.
But it`s tough out there for a Trump propagandist and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Sometimes it feels like there`s a competition over Trump TV to see who can be the most shameless toady for the man in the White House watching on TV, and now I`m a little worried that that competition may be straining the relationships between the good friends hosting the shows over there.
See, last night there was a bit of an incident. And you can tell their still good TV friends because they keep smiling as they saw awful stuff to each other.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Laura Ingram is standing by -- Laura.
LAURA INGRAM, FOX NEWS: Hannity, fantastic show.
HANNITY: Can I lodge a complaint, am I allowed?
INGRAM: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
HANNITY: OK, so I`m watching the rest of the president`s speech in New Mexico last night. I wanted to see the ending. You cut to your debate early, and it was just at the end.
INGRAM: Is that the White House speaking or is that you?
HANNITY: No, that`s Sean Hannity speaking. I went down to watch the rest of it.
INGRAM: I couldn`t tell. I`m just teasing you.
Well, the point is we were right at the crescendo. Imagine a great work of Bach or Mozart...
INGRAM: Got it. Got it.
You know what we used to say in the courtroom, I`ll take that under advisement.
INGRAM: But I got an idea, you handle your hour, I`ll handle my hour.
HANNITY: Oh, now Laura is going to take it personally. Don`t take it personally.
INGRAM: Don`t try to boss me around in my hour, Hannity. I don`t boss you around in yours.
HANNITY: I was -- oh -- I was watching, and it was three minutes left in the speech.
You always have a great show.
INGRAM: Yeah, well, it was good to see you. All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are 20 candidates still in the race for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. And there are basically three categories. There are three who have consistently polled as the front runners. Then there are the folks struggling at the bottom of the polls not getting any traction. And then there is the group in the middle, the group that has a pulse in the polling. And the most surprising member that has a pulse club is this guy.
HAYES: Yes, that is the Rocky theme there on the steps in Philadelphia. Andrew Yang, what everyone thinks about his politics or whether he should be the president of the United States,. he certainly seems to be enjoying himself whether it`s at a rally in Philadelphia as he was yesterday or doing a little crowd surfing at an Asian-American forum in California last week, a bunch of polls this week have shown him with, granted, still small numbers, 3 to 4 percent, but he exists in this race very much so.
The take away, he has not been a media darling. He hasn`t not gotten a lot of ton of press and coverage, but he`s running a good campaign. And it highlights, again, that as we learned in 2016, there are many different channels of political information that people get and Yang has tapped into something. Beneath the surface of the major dailies and cable news, there`s an ecosystem that he is present in and has strong advocates and it is turning into real world support like those people at the rally.
In some ways, it`s a testament to the fact that campaigns matter. They really do. People running good campaigns versus bad campaigns. And right now the person who`s made the most gains is the person whose campaign seems to be firing on all cylinders. We`re going to talk about her campaign next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: I have to ask you about the selfie line thing. I realize that this is now a thing you do at every event, every town hall. You stay afterwards, you take pictures with everybody who wants a picture taken with you. Last night at that gigantic event, it was like four hours?
MADDOW: A little over.
WARREN: Yeah, i was there four hours, but I`ll tell you what, so was the last guy in line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Senator Elizabeth Warren with Rachel last night, talking about the many innovations Warren has brought to this race. She stays and takes pictures with attendees after her speeches and townhalls no matter how long it takes, no matter how long the line lasts.
We saw her do this at the town hall we held with her back in June. There she is in the background while I was chatting with Rachel well after the town hall. Her staffers snapping pictures until every single person who wanted one had gotten a picture with the candidate.
People remarked that this is a brilliant piece organizing and viral marketing because everyone posts the pictures on social media and you see it from your friends and everyone comes away feeling invested.
But the other thing about it is, there is no shortcut to do it, it is just her putting in the work. If she`s going to take four hours of photos, that means she stands there for literally four hours after giving a speech to what her campaign estimated was 20,000 people.
In some way that sort of embodies the spirit of that campaign so far. Warren has an almost Terminator like ability that is clearly working for her. She just keeps taking pictures and rolling out plans and steadily rising in the polls.
When she declared her candidacy back in February, she was polling at 6 percent. She rose to nearly 12 percent by June, was averaging about 17 percent at the start of this month. IN the newest NBC poll she`s at 25 percent, just 6 points behind Joe Biden.
Joining me now, Dave Weigel who has been all over the country covering the campaign as a national political columnist for The Washington Post; and MSNBC contributor Michelle Goldberg, who is a columnist for The New York Times.
Dave, I think you`ve probably put in more hours watching Democratic campaign events than almost anyone at this point. What strikes you about what is working for her so far with Democratic primary voters?
DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think one thing that goes under marked on is her positivity. She does not talk a lot about what`s wrong with Donald Trump. It is assumed. You saw in her speech in New York -- and that`s kind of the rhetoric she`s been using that a country that could get to this point had some structural problems, so it`s not tweet of the day, it`s not controversy of the day. With the exception of her embracing impeachment early on, people leave these events feeling in a pretty good mood.
If you hang out at the edge of the door in Iowa where people are signing caucus cards, you see people more interested signing up. You see them a little bit more glum at other events, and not that the candidates are going in there to make everyone depressed, but Warren has come out with this you can leave the room thinking this is possible attitude that I think other people have struggled to capture. In the case of Joe Biden, who is still ahead of her in the States, you leave kind of sad about where the country has gotten with a couple of ideas a work ago, and it`s very different -- I think it`s been potent because of the attitude Democrats wake up with and live with every day contrasted with what they want from their candidates.
HAYES: You know, Michelle, one of the things -- and you`ve written about Warren and her campaign, the polling numbers that keeps jumping out at me is the ruled out portion, right. So, when you ask voters like would you be OK with this person for second choice, or is there a person you ruled out? And, you know, Elizabeth Warren right now is very low on the ruled out, like if you look at the polling recently, only 21 percent have ruled her out, other people have much higher numbers than that, which sort of makes it higher for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to grow.
All this, I should say, is extremely fluid. And if one of those were the nominee, I think people would unrule them out, but that to me is a key number to keep watching as this goes on.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: Right. And so before I talk about Elizabeth Warren, I have to say full disclosure, my husband is working for this campaign or is consulting for this campaign, so I`m not completely dispassionate. But that`s not the only poll that`s showing the same thing, there was another poll asked would you be disappointed if this candidate was the nominee. And the lowest number of people said they would be disappointed by Elizabeth Warren.
And so she`s emerging as the consensus candidate for a lot of Democrats. You know, she, in some sense, is the only one, I think, that can span the Bernie/Hillary divide, right, because she gets not those entire coalitions, but she gets a lot of people from both of those coalitions very, very excited.
And I think that one of the keys to her appeal,. or at least her rising appeal, is this sentence that you`ve heard her say at the debate and then you heard her say it again at the Washington Square speech which is I am not afraid, right, because people out there, Democrats, are terrified. They`re demoralized. And they feel like there`s no leadership anywhere. And so she is stepping up and saying she can see past this horrible moment into a better future.
HAYES: And I should say the point Michelle made there about sort of bridging the Sanders/Hillary camps from the last time, I do think she is helped by the fact that because of Sanders` presence, because Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, because he has a very strong, committed following -- and, by the way, is not going anywhere in polling, like he is in the top tier of this race, no question, that she could be like not the furthest left candidate, which sort of helps her in this almost triangulating way.
WEIGEL: Yeah. I wish Democratic voters were reading and memorizing everything I wrote, I wish they were reading and memorizing all this data. People don`t go in with hard ideologies to a lot of these. The average voter does not. And the way that Warren has presented herself is that she is less of a revolutionary, she`s more of a person interested in what can be done and how you break through the logjam in congress.
Building on what Michelle said, I think she also has benefited from frustration that Democrats who lead congress are, to use a high and might word, wimpy and they`re not opposing the president the way they could, that they took power, they`re not doing everything they could with it. I think she`s benefited from that.
But in a way that seems tough without seeming furious -- and I don`t want to get too touchy-feely and theater criticy about it -- but I think that presentation has been helpful for her. And having Sanders -- Sanders has more plans than her, he has more bills than her that have been introduced. She has has -- he has been for years. But he`s tended to one-up her with something that is more expensive, that is more comprehensive, that doesn`t always work with the voter who is worried that Donald Trump would run against big spending socialists. They want somebody who is tough, but they don`t necessarily need somebody that far left to be satisfied.
HAYES: I think there`s now -- in the beginning I think there was a lot of criticism the way she handled her previous claims about having indigenous heritage, there was the DNA test, which I think was panned widely both by indigenous communities and others, and then I think the campaigns made people forget that, and there`s a little bit of Donald Trump is going to hit her with one note and that`s gone away.
But I`ve seen resurfacing people being like, OK, let`s look at the data about how appealing she has been to say white working class voters in Massachusetts, how effective she has been. And you`re seeing that like there are arguments people are making that she does have some political liabilities.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, and I certainly worry about that, too. But it`s very interesting that what people are worried about is not I don`t like Elizabeth Warren. I`m worried about Elizabeth Warren. It`s always I think that these other people aren`t going to like Elizabeth Warren. I`m worried that she`s not electable, whereas I might not like Joe Biden or I might not be excited about Joe Biden, but I think other people are going to like him.
And so when people`s I think reservations about Elizabeth Warren are based in them kind of playing pundit as opposed to any lack of real excitement or enthusiasm.
HAYES: All right, Michelle Goldberg, Dave Weigel, thank you for being with me. That is ALL IN 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