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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 18, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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face a terrible time finding the patriotic unity, the heart of our national strength. that's "hardball" for now. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> they're going to cut me off so i want to ask you some questions. >> jeff sessions meets the senate. >> mr. chairman i don't have to sit here and listen to his -- >> you're the one who testified -- >> -- charges. >> attorney general grilled for the first time in months over the russians, obstruction, and the mueller investigation. >> have you been interviewed by them? >> senator amy clob shar was there and she joins me tonight. then -- >> didn't say what that congresswoman said. didn't say it at all. >> the new jaw dropping report that president trump aurved a grieving military father $25,000 and didn't follow through.
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and meet the far right trump whispering inside the white house. >> am i the only one who is sick and tired of being told to pick up my trash when we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us? >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. it has been nine months since attorney general jeff sessions came before the senate judiciary committee in his confirmation hearing. it was his own testimony that led to his recusal in the russia investigation and the appointment of robert mueller. sessions has become key to questions about president trump's possible obstruction of justice and today senators were loaded with questions. sessions were evasive, we markably, even about the simple question of whether he had been interviewed by robert mueller. >> were you request -- have you
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been interviewed or been requested to be interviewed by the special counsel either in connection with director comey's firing, the russian investigation or your contact with russian officials? >> you'll have to ask the special counsel that. >> no. i'm asking you. >> repeat the question then. >> have you been interviewed or been requested to be interviewed by the special counsel either in connection with director comey's firing, the russia investigation or your own contact with russian officials? >> well i'd be pleased to answer that. i'm not sure i should without clearing that with the special counsel. what do you think? >> i'm just asking, have you been interviewed by them? >> no. >> you haven't been interviewed by if special counsel in any way, shape or manner? >> the answer is no. >> what's so funny.
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who knows. and then there was his rematch with senator al franken whose question in the january hearing was the first domino that led to sessions mueller's appointment. >> the goal post has been moved. first it was i did not have communications with russians. which was not true. then it was i never met with any russians to discuss any political campaign. which may or may not be true. now it's, i did not discuss interference in the campaign, which further narrows your initial blanket denial about meeting with the russians. >> yes, you can say what you want to about the accuracy of it. but i think it was a good faith response to a dramatic event at the time. >> and even though president
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trump has not yet invoked executive privilege to bar sessions from testifying on certain matters, sessions will still essentially unilaterally saying what he does and doesn't have to answer before a congressional committee. >> did the president ever mention to you his concern about lifting the cloud on the russia information? >> senator feinstein, that calls for a communication that i've had with the president and i believe it remains confidential. >> but you don't deny that there was a communication? >> i do not confirm or deny the existence of any communication between the president that i considered to be confidential. >> but even sessions could not agree with the president that the russia investigation was a witch hunt. >> the president has characterized this special counsel's investigation as a witch hunt. do you share that view of the
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special counsel's work and do you still have confidence in the special counsel as you stated before the intelligence committee in june? >> well, people are quite free in this country to express their views about matters of that kind. i'm just all prosecutor who just says the process has to work its will. >> joining me now, senator amy cloeb shar. a member of the senate judiciary committee. did you feel that the attorney general was sufficiently forthcoming before your committee today? >> there is clearly a lot of unanswered questions here, for instance, the firing of jim comey which is critical for the judiciary committee when you have an fbi director fired when the president says it's one thing and then a few days later says no, it's actually about russia. so those questions obviously unanswered. a number of us, this is our first time to be able to ask the
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attorney general questions about this really e more nous change in policy on anything from criminal justice to the immigration, refugees. there were a lot of questions about those where i think people would like to dig deeper into this enormous shift in policy from this justice department. >> there seems to be a central question here about the role the attorney general may or may not have played in the firing of james comey and the possibility that amounts to obstruction of justice as special prosecutors looking at it. are you confident that you can say that the attorney general did not collude with the white house to obstruct justice in. >> i don't know the answer to that question because we didn't get all of the questions answered. but what i do know is that i asked him specifically about whether he still believes that this investigation should be allowed to continue. i specifically said, do you agree with the president that this is nothing but a witch
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hunt. he pretty much implied he did not agree it was a witch hunt and that you should allow these investigations to take place. i thought that was very important because you know, chris, this summer it seemed as though the attorney general was close to being fired by the president simply because of this investigation that would have set off these dominos to the deputy rosen stein and others and really the entire senate stood up and said no, this is not going to be another saturday night massacre. >> you had an exchange with him about journalists and the press and the doj's posture toward prosecuting them. i would like to play that and get your reaction. >> would you commit to not putting reports in jail for doing their jobs? >> i don't know that i could make a blanket commitment to that effect. but i will say this. we've not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point. but we have matters that
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involved the most serious national security issues that put our country at risk and we will utilize the authorities that we have legally and constitutionally if we have to. >> what did you make of at this point? >> well, i really ask that question because that's exactly what attorney general holder said, that you don't put reporters in jail for doing their jobs when it's news gathering. and what's happened with this administration is they're starting to review their subpoena process regarding the media back in august. i am concerned about this and we have him now on the record saying they haven't taken a major change in action but we're concerned about it. and the second thing i asked him about, of course, was something to do with nbc and that was the threats by the president to revoke licenses over content. we now have been able to get chairman pie of the fcc on the record saying that no, they
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would not be doing something like that. part of our jobs now. we're emergency break. stress test every day for the constitution. and one of the major things we need to do is protect the first amendment right for news gathering. my dad was a reporter his whole life and i care a lot about this issue. i don't want you to go to jail, chris. >> thank you, senator. i appreciate that. there's a piece of legislation that pertains to the russia efforts and the russia efforts to disrupt. you have introduced legislation along with senator warner, to essentially require a transparent labelling of advertising by platforms like facebook, so that you can stamp out foreign advertising influence. what is the idea here? >> this is a really big deal and we are unveiling this tomorrow. and it is a bipartisan bill with senator warner and senator mccain. what this is about, it's a
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national security issue first of all. we've now learned that at least $100,000 in rubles for spent to buy ads to influence the american election. last time i checked we're supposed to be self governing and our democracy shouldn't be influenced by foreign powers. 's also an issue of fairness. we have $1.4 billion spent onion line ads in the last election. money is migrating over there and yet nbc or cnn or any of the networks, when you buy an ad on there as a politician or even an issue ad, you've got to register the ad. it's in a public file. people can look at it. not true about this online ads. we're simply taking the rules and applying them online. it's hard for people to object to this but i'm sure they will. it's the right thing to do for our democracy and we don't have much time to get it done before the next election. >> thank you, senator. i appreciate you making time tonight.
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>> thank you. our msnbc contributors are both former assistant watergate prosecutors. they join me now to review. let me start with you, nick. someone who hasn't been before the committee for so long. the oversight committee and they've dodged and delayed. you could tell the senators were loaded to bare. what struck you? >> this whole hearing in his appearance there, what he said was exhibit a as to why he should not be our chief legal officer. it's absolutely disgraceful. first of all, he gets up there, they ask him questions about his conversations with trump regarding comey. he was asked that four months ago in another committee hearing. he was put on notice he would be asked the same thing. he asserted the same kind of vague confidentiality clause, i don't know where that comes from. >> what is the legal -- i mean, what is he citing there that
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stops you from being able to answer. >> himself. and he knows that the republican chairman of the committee is not going to go before a federal district court and ask for a contempt citation and force him to testify. he has no right to do that. it's wish ya washy. and then he goes on, they asked me -- senator feinstein asked him what justification he has to represent donald trump in these emolument cases. there are three of them where donald trump has basically been getting money from foreign countries in violation of the emoluments clause in his hotel in d.c. this is his own personal stuff. >> and he's marshalled the justice department as the legal entity of the united states to defend him in those suits. >> because he's too cheap to hire his own lawyer. that's what's going on here. >> jill, what struck you watching sessions today? zbli thi . >> i think the same things that were bothering nick bothered me. i think it's outrageous that the
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congress will let him continue to say, well i can't answer because of confidentiality. there is no such thing. there's executive privilege and that has to be invoked by the president. and if the president doesn't invoke it, he can't refuse to answer questions. and the president hasn't. someone needs to force the president to say he can testify or i'm invoking executive privilege. but even executive privilege is not unfettered. it does not apply if they were discussing something that's criminal. and in this case that's quite a possibility. >> that's what struck he as i was reviewing the transcript and the questions about comey's firing, and he gave the same cover story that's been shown to be in bad faith, that he was too hard on hillary clinton. you have here the chief legal officer of the country, it's an open question whether he was embroiled in a conspiracy to criminally obstruct justice. and that stuck out to me, jill,
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how much we've put that in the become of our heads >> well, you know, the president does something almost every day to divert our attention from yesterday's bad news. it's hard to keep on with the old bad news when he does new bad news. it would be really interesting to have an hour long program with this is the worst week ever and then look at the week before when we said this is the week before and the week before that that was the worst week ever because he keeps doing things that are outrageous. it's not just in connection with russia but in how he streets our servicemen and the families of deceased servicemen. he has shown absolutely no respect. and this is a man who is complaining that people who are protesting racial injustice are not showing respect when they kneel in front of the flag when he won't call the parents of deceased service members. that is outrageous. we keep getting lost in the bad
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news every day. >> we have more on that story in just a bit. the reminder today of watching sessions because the sort of parallel investigation of mueller obstruction and the possibility of collusion. the facts on the obstruction case are essentially all known. >> pretty much. that's right. >> when i watched him, everything entered into the record from all parties on what was going on here. >> and i think there's more. that's why sessions isn't telling the whole truth. >> do you think he has legal exposure? >> he could. he wouldn't be the first attorney general to go to prison. there is no question that he at least at a minimum was involved as an eyewitness to an obstruction of justice. he was there when donald trump gave him all kinds of crazy reasons why he was going to fire comey. gave him the pretext. he was the pretext to use initially with the letter and then donald trump finally had to come clean saying no, i wasn't the letter.
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i wanted to get rid of him because of the russia investigation. >> the answer that we played where sessions tells senator leahy that he had not been connected by mueller. that's surprising to me. i imagine he's telling the truth because he's not going to purger himself >> i'm not willing to say he wouldn wouldn't purger himself. >> fair enough. >> it's not surprising. mr. mueller has to take witnesses in a logical order and i don't know what the investigation is showing and where sessions would be in terms of when he wanted to interview him. he clearly is someone that if i were mueller i would want to be interviewing because he has been a participant in so many episodes that relate to obstruction of justice. and i think you were right when you said the facts are pretty clear and when i was asked in may whether i could make an obstruction of justice case, i said i think i could. and if you asked me that today,
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i'm sure i could. >> and you are not alone in that. brookings institution published something on this. a lot of lawyers i've spoken to think that there is a case on its face. and i predict that will be a bomb that will drop at some point from the mueller team, if i had to bet. jill and nick, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. next, the shocking new reporting the president offered the grieving father of a fallen soldier $25,000 and then he apparently didn't follow through. when i received the diagnosis, i knew, whatever it takes, wherever i have to go...i'm beating this. breast cancer treatment is continuing to evolve. ctca is definitely on the cusp of those changes. we really focus on taking the time with each individual patient so they can choose the treatment appropriate for them. i empower women with choices. it's not just picking a surgeon. it's picking the care team, and feeling secure where you are.
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if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. they have made the ultimate sacrifice. so generally i would say that i
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like to call. >> president donald trump on monday tried to use the deaths of soldiers killed in action to score points. four american servicemen were killed earlier this month and the president was responding to criticism and questions about contacting the families more quickly. his false statements about the practices of his pred sayser saying he didn't think they ever called has now invited scrutiny of his own methods of offering condolences in these wrenching cases. the washington post spoke with families of 13 americans killed in action this year. some families had spoken to the president and were grateful to him. others were upset. and one man told an entirely different soldier. this corporal was killed in january. and the president called the father and the conversation too a bizarre turn. according to the post president trump in a personal phone call to a grieving military family
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offered him $25,000 and said he would direct his staff to establish an online fundraiser for the family. said i was going to write a check out of my personal account for $25,000. i was floored and i wish i would have recorded it. he said no other president has done something like that and i'm going to do it. when the codo lens letter came i opened it up and read it, i was hoping to see a check. was farfetched thinking but damn it's a letter saying i'm sorry. >> the white house said the check has been sent. it's disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture made privately by the president and using it to advance the media's biassed agenda. the white house tells nbc news that the check was sent recently. but the check has not been received. iraq war veteran, the chairman of the advocacy group vote je
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jets.cojets jets.o jets.org. i don't know where to start. your reaction to the story that we just told. >> about the $25,000. very clearly that doesn't surprise me at all. we've been here before. we were here during the presidential campaign. donald trump up at a campaign, assaulted megyn kelly and during the next fox debate he doesn't want to go because she's there. he's going to boycott and give a million dollars to veterans groups so he didn't go. that was the big fight. then we had the conversation of who are the groups he's going to give to and finally months later they find out he never gave the money. after he's exposed by the washington post he gives the money. he has a long history of thinking that money is an answer to show his support for the armed forces. and it's par for the course for him. and this is very consistent with behavior that we saw last year when he ran for president. >> the reason that we're trapped
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in this hellish news cycle and i have to say i find it almost too awful to really talk about. we have the situation which at the center of it are going through unimaginable grief who have lost loved ones, whose politics run the gamut from people who oppose to president to support him, who are being invoked now at the white house's precipitation, frankly, in this kind of political battle. and it really started with these four service members who were killed in niger. sarkt johnson was called by the president yesterday and i want to play what the congresswoman in the car during that car says happened and the president and get your reaction to it. take a listen. >> sarcastically he said but you know he must have known what he signed up for. i'm like, how could you say that to a grieving widow. >> didn't say what that
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congresswoman said. didn't say it at all. she knows it and she now is not saying it. i did not say what she said. and i'd like her to make the statement again because i did not say what she said. >> congresswoman i should say said i will stand by my account of the call between real donald trump and ms. johnson, that's her name, mr. trump, not that woman or the wife. what do you make of this in. >> it's infuriating. that's a man who didn't go to vietnam because he has bone spurs. it's appalling. more importantly he thinks these kids are his toy soldiers. there's not a person who has signed up tonight or just die. no one says i'm going to the recruiter today because i want to go die in a foreign country. they sign up to fight for the constitution and protect the constitution of the united states against all enemies. and a real commander in chief recognizes that the people in
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the armed forces don't serve him. he is our commander in chief in this country and that's a basic principle that you learn when you serve in the armed forces. it's frightening looking forward. you can watch the army chief of staff's comments about the situation in korea. there are kids fighting and dying all over the world right now, niger, iraq, syria, yemen and libya under president trump and where is congress in this scenario. if he thinks kids sign up to fight and die, you're going to have a lot more kids die. half of this army is concerned about being sent to north korea because he can't control himself on twitter. that's his attitude, tens of thousands of americans die in conflicts during his term if congress doesn't step in and tlim his authorities. >> i want to play for you a remarkable interview that my colleague did with a gold star family earlier today and goat your response to it. take a listen. >> this is what happens, when
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our young people go over there to fight for a country they love so much. we're the aftermath, the casualties of war. my daughter-in-law, my son, my grandchildren, they're the casualties of war. young people, the soldiers coming back with ptsd, they're the casualties of war. it's not really about whether or not a person called or did something more than the previous one. it's about what are you doing now to help those who are left behind. if that letter or that phone call could bring my son back, i would run from here on foot to washington, d.c. to get that letter. but right now it really doesn't matter who did the greatest thing. what matters right now is that people remember my job. >> to your point, john, and i thought that was just so sort of powerfully stated, that what she's focused on is people remembering her son and thinking about the consequences of what
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we're doing and where we're fighting. >> yeah. i don't -- you know, the people who serve in the war, they don't win or lose and their families don't win or lose. nations can win and states can win and politicians win. but the people who serve in the confli conflict, no matter whether you're on the winning side or the losing side, they always pay the price forever and their families too. people's interaction with gold star families. it was difficult for me. i didn't go to arlington section 60 until last year. i didn't have the courage to go because i think anyone who's been in a conflict knows that the difference between life and death for them was a mortar round here within ai-80. but the sacrifice that these families make, it doesn't end for them. it can end for the president but it doesn't end for them. >> thank you. up next, the man who stands between roy moore and the u.s. senate. will alabama elect a democrat? a tight race right after this. m.
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alright, looks like we've got chips, ppretzels!retzels? plain, sourdough, spicy, sesame, chocolate covered, peanut butter filled, plain. great. so what are we gonna watch? oh! show me fall tv. only xfinity x1 brings you the best hand selected picks this fall. a new poll out of alabama has people taking another look at the special election to fill jeff sessions old senate seat. the final showdown on november 12 pits republican roy moore, removed twice from office for defying a law, said haum sexuality should be illegal and muslims should not be allowed to serve in congress, that guy against democrat doug jones, former u.s. attorney, prosecuted klan members. now in deep red alabama moore is heavily favored to win but the race may be closer than he would like.
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according to a surprising fox news poll the two candidates are dead even, tied at 42%. if jones were able to pull this upset off, a democratic victory in alabama would be the biggest special election upset since skrot brown's shocking win in 2009 when he took the seat previously held by ted kennedy, the liberal lion of the senate in the blauest of the blue massachusetts. republicans across the country for swept into power in those 2010 midterms, what president obama referred to as a shellacking. moore has faced ethical questions, including a new report that it took a donation from an outrate senate zi group. his opponent raised $1 million since entering the ways race in may and if the democrats can win, there's a good choice it would redraw the map entirely heading into 2018.
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my next guest is able to beat him on election day. joining me is doug jones. mr. jones, to people who look at a state that donald trump won by 28 points that's at deep red as can be, what is your elevator pitch to them that this is not an entirely fool'ser rand that you're on? >> i ask them to look at the issues, the kitchen table issues, the issues of health care, jobs, the economy. it's the things that people talk about every day. we have seen that from one end of the state to the other and i think the health care debate really got people focused on issues. they saw that their health care was about to be taken away. it was going to be emasculated by the bills pend in congress. they road up to talk about it. and i think that people are now looking at issues rather than parties and i think that's real important to us and it's going to help us win in december. >> would you have been a no vote on repeal and replace when it came before the senate? >> absolutely.
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any bill that i saw that came out would have really hurt the people of alabama. i mean, look, we're a very poor state. we're an unhealthy state. we need to make sure that we keep medicaid. we need to make sure that preexisting conditions stay in. and i would have been a no vote. i want people to start talking to each other, reaching across the aisles to work together to get the health care system fixed. >> i know your most recent ad is about working with republicans. there was a short lived looked like bipartisan fix from lamar alexander and patty murray which the president went back and forth on. would you support that based on what you've seen? >> based on what i was seeing it with , it was at least a good step, a republican and a democrat talking to each other because they understood how bad the executive order was going to hurt people. it was a start. i didn't know the details. it was so short lived that it
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appears that the details didn't get out. that's the kind of efforts that need to take place in washington. >> roy moore is well known to the folks in your state. a long career. he's famous and infamous. when you talk to people in alabama about what it would mean for him to represent them in the u.s. senate, what do they tell you? >> well they're telling me that they're tired of a career politician who really can't hold a job. that's number one. he's had a career but it's sbn interrupted twice because he was removed from office as a judge, chief office. they've seen his extreme views and they don't like him. that's not what alabama is about. not what our people are about. we're a caring people. we care about each other. i think people are looking at issues. they don't want more chaos in washington. they see a dysfunctional congress. they don't like it. they want someone to bridge the gaps. that's what people in alabama are looking for. >> do you think roy moore has
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said things that should disqualify him essentially from being a united states senator? >> well, you know, that's up to the electorate. i don't think in pure qualifications that's not the case. i think the electorate is going to vote to disqualify him. they're not going the like those extremist views. they're not going to like the fact hi's taken money from a charity when he says one thing and does another. they don't like the fact it's a personal agenda. i think it's the electorate that's going to disqualify him rather than a legal standard. >> thanks for making time. >> thank you. tell ahead, what you need to know about stephen mill wer to be hard right adviser with the ear of the president. plus with the fastest way to the president's heart in thing 1 and thing 2 next.
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thing 1 tonight, flattery will get you every with respect the quickest way to the
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president's heart, tell him how grate he is. his staff hands him a folder of positive news about himself twice a day. it's also that "the new york times" reported that foreign officials have adopted certain rules with engaging with the president, compliment him on his electoral college victory. that's why we saw that incredible scene at the first full cabinet meeting when attendees took turns praising president trump. >> i want to thank you for getting this country moving again and also working again. >> i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me, the leadership that you've shown. >> on behalf of the entire senior staff around you, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda and the american people. >> the flattery tactic is about more than keeping the president happy. it's a key strategy to persuade him to come around to your side.
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thing 2 is 60 seconds.
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the 24 hours after news broke that a bipartisan health care deal has been struck by lamar alexander and democrat senator patty murray, the president said he was forit, then against it, then for it, then against it again. so this morning one of the deals that the architects tried to get the president to flip back for it and lamar alexander thought he knew how to do it. appeal to the president's deal making ego and flatter him. >> he called me this morning, the third conversation we've had. i said i'm about to go into a meeting to give you a lot of credit. some people think you don't know what you're doing about washington. i think you do, particularly on health care. because you clear the way in september for us to have a vote on repeal and replace by the agreement that you made with the speaker and mitch mcconnell. and then now you've caused us to create a bipartisan option for the short term and you've reserved for yourself the right to continue to advocate repealing and replacing
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obamacare. >> did it work? unclear. largely depends on who was in line to flatter trump next. americans, 83% try to eat healthy, yet up to 90% fall short on getting key nutrients. let's do more. one-a-day 50 plus. complete with 100% daily value of more than 15 key nutrients. one-a-day 50 plus.
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it is a fact and you will not deny it that there are massive numbers of noncitizens in the country who are registered to vote. that is a scandal. top the presses. and as a country we should be agha agha aghast. >> at the moment the people first met 232-year-old stephen miller was back in february when he made instantly infamous appearances on all four sunday shows. >> that's the story we should be talking about. i'm prepared to go on any show and repeat it saying that the president of the united states is correct, 100%. >> after that miller did not go on any show anytime ever again basically. well, except for fox news. but just before miller was largely out of the public eye doesn't mean he wasn't a
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powerful force behind the scenes. even as steve bannon and trump aides have been given their pink slip, miller endured where he pushes hard right policies on immigration and helps craft some of the president's speeches. how did stephen miller get to that point? well, the story starts back in high school. >> am i the only one who is sick and tired of become told the pick up my trash when we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us. >> as a high school student in left leaning santa monica, california, stephen miller delighted in provoking his classmates. >> i only hope that many of my peers and people who will be leading this country will appreciate the value and respect toward other cultures. >> in editorials and on conservative talk radio, miller railed against what he saw as political correctness. classmates and counselors say he
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was particularly incensed at hearing spanish being spoken. >> he seemed to feel that the growth of the countries diversity was the downfall of the country. he really did believe that. >> later at duke university miller became a defender of lacrosse players falsely accused of rape. >> we hahite nationalists richa spencer said he became a mentor to miller during their time together at duke. something miller denies. after graduation miller would go on to write speeches for then senator and future attorney general jeff sessions. >> it's becoming more and more clear that we have chaos at the border. >> he had also become a regular on steve bannon's bright part radio show. >> when you look and there's 61 million, 20% of the country is immigrants, is that not a massive problem?
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you were with jeff sessions for many many many years. is that not the beating heart of the problem? >> it's mind-boggling and something that obviously i have talked about before at some length on your program. >> soon after joining the trump campaign in early 2016, helping write the candidate's speeches, serving as bombastic warm-up act. >> everything that is wrong with this country today, people opposing donald j. trump are responsible for. >> trump took miller with him to the white house, made him a key architect of the travel ban. when blocked before the courts, miller went before the cameras. >> our opponents, media and whole world will soon see as we take further actions that powers of the president to protect our country are substantial and will not be questioned. >> it wasn't just the travel ban. miller was face of the president's entire immigration
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agenda. at one point famous s questioning the value of the poem on the statue of liberty. >> symbol of american liberty lighting the world. poem you're referring to, added later, wasn't part of the original statue of liberty. >> so much more to know about this. author joins me next. we come into this world needing others. ♪ then we are told it's braver to go it alone.
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i am shocked at your
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statement that you think that only people from great britain and australia would know english. it reveals your cosmopolitan bias so a shocking degree. >> joining me now to discuss white house senior adviser stephen miller's rapid ascent, annan and reporter matt flaggenhiemer. what did you hear from folks that know him? >> i think you hear this as continuation of a life lived. on the fringes of republican life. aide to jeff sessions in the bannons early on at brietbart and these are the people who have become prominent voices for president at this moment. >> he's also an adolescent troll. his shstick is, in liberal places, in your face, you guys
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are wrong. doing that and sharpening that knife whole life. >> in high school and duke. prominent defender of the players in the duke lacrosse case. only person willing to go on cable television before the case crumbles. he was eagerly telegenic face of that on campus. >> there's one detail, want to get your opinion, about the track meet. tell us that detail? just really worth 1,000 words. >> stephen miller was tennis player in high school but there was day -- this is more high school prank, not conservative ideology. there's a race going on, think a different high school according to the white house participating. he charges in rosie ruiz style at last minute to race the girls. >> so show they're inferior?
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>> can't get inside his mind as 16 or 17-year-old but sort of kind of prankster provocateur shtick that's part of his thing. >> and central part of american conservative. conservatism as trolling is central part of what it's about. >> and not just him and your profile connected him to trump and bannon and other. these are men, overwhelmingly men who clearly have profound neurosis about sinking in a world in which women and minorities are powerful who project anxiety into hatreds that aren't even real hatreds. they're phony. many people jewish in the administration are playing with anti-semitic fire. people who grew up in diverse places like him who -- you know,
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donald trump is from manhattan. a manhattan democrat. >> something connecting that too. steve bannon is goldman sachs, harvard and hollywood and he's the voice of middle america. >> to the people who felt entranced by these people, they are playing you. they are fantasizing about your racism, projecting racism on to you to animate a grievance to protect their rich friends. >> yet he's a true believer. that's true i think but also a true believer in that this is his deal. >> and going back some time. early on, going into high school he was reading ayn rand, a true believer whether shtick at times in high school, he's teenager. >> all shtick when you're 16. >> and supporters do see him as
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foremost ally now that steve bannon is gone. >> and this individual, reporting suggests almost single-handedly killed daca deal, fate of 800,000 people in his hand and helped reduce by tens of thousands the amount of refugees that have come to this country. >> and striking, his family came as immigrants in early 20th century. all of these people have desire to destroy very things that allowed them to have good lives in this country. take pleasure pulling up that ladder. that kind of sadism, it exists in every society, it is so disheartening. someone like me who deeply loves this country, to see it in highest levels of leadership in this extraordinary country. >> particularly, one of the other striking things about this guy, this was not a power player in washington, doesn't have
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developed sense of he expertise. but in the policy vortex that is the white house, you end with stephen miller, that guy from your high school leading the fate of people fleeing war in syria. this is where we end up. thank you both. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. thanks my friend and thanks to you at home. february 1850, abraham and his wife mary todd lincoln lost their son, eddie, he was not yet four years old but died in illinois, february of 1850, died of illness. later that same year, december of 1850, another son born to the lincolns. william wallace lincoln, willie. december

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