tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 23, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
cuba. anti-castro forces bitter for the same reason, and finally pro castro elements angry because of the kennedy brothers' campaign to remove castro from the scene. the question is whether he acted alone or with help from havana or moscow. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for beings with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> the president said that he knew what he signed up for. >> la david johnson's widow speaks out as the president disputes her account. >> he couldn't remember my husband name. >> tonight new reporting on pentagon documents that contradict trump's claims on gold star families as the calls for a john kelly apology grow. >> he owes an apology to the american people. then -- >> caution. >> gabe sherman on the latest sexual harassment scandal at fox news. >> the silencing of them after
the fact, it has to stop. and today's bill o'reilly explosion. >> we have physical proof that is bull [ bleep ]. plus, as the gop's civil war continues -- >> the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur. >> president trump's war on government inside the epa. >> if you look at these cabinet appointees, they were selected for a reason. and that is the deconstruction. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. this probably could have been predicted sadly a week ago, the moment donald trump took a press conference question about an ambush of u.s. troops in niger and turned it into a debate about the treatment of gold star families. but here we are. today the president of the united states is in a feud with the pregnant widow of a fallen american soldier. two days after burying her husband, 25-year-old army sergeant la david johnson, this morning myeshia johnson
responded publicly for the first time to reports she felt disrespected by a phone call from the president last week. >> what he said was -- >> the president? >> yes, the president. he said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. and i was -- it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband name. and that were hurting me the most. because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? and that would make me cry even more. because my husband was an awesome soldier. >> within an hour of that interview, the president of the united states took to twitter to contradict myeshia johnson's account of their conversation. quote, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation. the president making it a
question of credibility, pit his word against that of a grieving pregnant war widow. this is after the white house spent days attacking the congresswoman friend frederica wilson who was with the family and first told the reporter about the family's dismay what he said and how he said it. chief of staff john kelly from the white house podium called wilson selfish and an empty barrel, smearing her with an entirely unrelated story about an event they both attended in 2015. video of the event revealed kelly's account to be completely false. over the weekend the president tweeted wacky congresswoman wilson is a gift that keeps on giving for the republican party. a disaster for dems. you watch her in action and vote r. today myeshia johnson defended the congresswoman for speaking out last week. >> she is well connected with us because she has been in our family since we were little kids. >> the president said that the congresswoman was lying about the phone call. >> whatever miss wilson said was
not fabricated. what she said was 100% correct. >> almost three weeks since the attack that killed her husband and three other u.s. soldiers, johnson says she knows next to nothing about the circumstances of his death, including why he was missing for two days before his body was recovered. >> i want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband. why couldn't i see my husband? every time i asked to see my husband, they wouldn't let me. i don't know how he got killed, where he got killed, or anything. i don't know that part. they never told me. and that's what i've been trying to find out since day one, since october 4th. >> johnson is not alone in her frustration. lawmakers, including senior republicans are increasingly questioning what u.s. troops were doing in west africa, why we still know so little about the attack. >> we don't know exactly where we're at in the world
militarily, and what we're doing. but i didn't know there was a thousand troops in niger. >> we get different stories of what actually happened. we had some stories that said our soldiers actually engaged in a battle that actually pursued them. we had others that said no, they actually attacked us. >> americans should know what is going on in niger. >> yes. >> should know what caused the deaths of four brave young americans. one of the fights i'm having right now with the administration is that armed services committee is not getting enough information. >> today the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general joseph dunford briefed reporters on the operation in niger. but he acknowledged that key questions remain unanswered. >> the questions included did the mission of u.s. forces change during the operation, did our forces have adequate intelligence, equipment and training, there was there a premission assessment of the threat in the area accurate? how did u.s. forces become separated during the engagement, specifically sergeant johnson. and why did it take time to find and recover sergeant johnson.
>> tonight three u.s. officials briefed in the matter tell nbc news an emerging theory is that the soldiers were ambushed in niger and set up by isis-linked militants who were tipped off in advance about a meeting in a village sympathetic to the local isis affiliates. democrat from congress, one of the women from the congressional black caucus who wrote a letter demanding an apology from john kelly for his comments last week. let me start with that why do you think an apology is needed here? >> well, chris, first, my heart goes out to mrs. johnson and to her family at the loss of her brave husband and all of the brave men who lost their lives. this is really a moment to grieve and to mourn their loss, but also i just have to say, it is just so sad that the chief of staff, general kelly, would say that congresswoman frederica
wilson told a lie. excuse me. he told a lie. and it was really unconscionable to hear him, to see him and what he called her. and i have to say congresswoman wilson is a respected member of congress. she has a life of fulfillment in terms of making sure that young people have access to opportunities. her integrity is impeccable. and so why would he lie on her? this is just disgusting. and he should apologize. and i think that the members of the congressional black caucus, the african american women, we're demanding an apology because this is about respect and it's about apologizing for something that just was not true. >> the president today disputing on twitter ms. johnson's characterization of his tone. her interpretation and the feeling she had, which almost seems sort of not miss spdisput.
she felt the way she felt in that moment. were you surprised? dismayed? your reaction. >> i believe ms. johnson, congressman wilson. this president needs to stop it. but this is who he is. he has a pattern of disrespecting women, especially women of color and african american women. and we're saying to this president and to general kelly that they need to apologize, and they need to stop these attacks on women. and especially african american women and congresswoman wilson. she is a respected member of congress. and they cannot impugn her character or her integrity. >> do you feel that there has been obviously general dunford today giving a briefing, somewhat incomplete of the facts, although obviously it's a confusing scenario and they're trying to ascertain what exactly happened. do you feel there has been sufficient transparency, forthrightness from the administration on what actually
did happen? >> no, there has not. and we need a thorough investigation. but also, chris, one of the issues i've been dealing with for the last 16 years is repealing the 2001 authorization to use force, and debating these new wars that we're in and forcing congress to vote, yes or no. many members of congress did not even know that we had a thousand soldiers in niger. we don't know where this administration has sent our brave young men and women. so it's about time that congress stop being missing in action and do its job. it's our job to authorize the use of force. and, again, we've been missing in action. i tried to, you know, repeal this with bipartisan support this year. unfortunately, speaker ryan once again undemocratically stopped the bipartisan effort to repeal the 2001 authorization. >> that authorization for use of military force was passed just
several weeks after 9/11. it was interesting to me that senator lindsey graham said this weekend he didn't know we had a thousand troops in niger. and i think a large amount of members in congress are probably in the same boat. congresswoman barbara lee, thanks for being here tonight. michael steele and conservative columnist for "the washington post." i went back and forth about using the word feud. it's a word that gets used with the president a lot. but it tends to be unilateral. a feud implies that there are two sides that are feuding or prone to feuding. but when you list all the people that the president has gone after, you know, he went after steelworkers union boss, meryl streep, the house freedom caucus, kim jong un, the musical "hamilton." there has been a wide variety of people the president has again after there is one thing in common in that category. it's the president. it's not any of the other people on the other side of the feud. >> yeah. listen, donald trump here is just doing what he does which is
being a bully. as you say, a feud not only implies that it's going both ways, but there is some kind of moral equivalence, that either both sides are being equally disingenuous, or both sides are being equally honest. that's never the case with donald trump. he doesn't have his fax. he doesn't have any sensibility about what other people's emotions are. to attack a pregnant war widow, how low can you get, really? >> it seems to me, michael, that this is actually a profound issue about the constitution of the president and his fitness for the office. which is that he just seems constitutionally incapable letting something drop. even when grace or even just tactical self-interest would argue in that direction. he genuinely seems like a constitutional personal problem that he cannot stop himself. >> no, i'd agree with that. it is very much an internalization of all things that he disagrees with.
everything becomes a personal attack. the most benign subject or issue when directed at him with any degree or level of criticism is internalized personally. whether or not constitutionally, meaning the makeup of the man, plays out for the voters will be determined in the 2020 election when the president's name is back on the ballot. where potentially play out in 2018 is that the ballot box around the country in those states where, you know, democrats, republicans, and independents do a midterm assessment. and want to send a message to the president that he's got to change his game. that they're not excited nor pleased by the behavior of the president in the presidency, not just the lack of policy prescriptions that have been out there all over the place.
so i think there is a lot that is going to be in play coming in to next year that speaks to very point that you raise. how the voters look at this president could be reflected in how they respond to republican candidates next fall. >> but i think part of it too is there is a part of this that is political. but there is a part that is just kind of dread that i think i feel a lot of people feel as we watch something like this unfold. because at some point there is some desire for some moment of grace, some showing of grace. just at the human level. i'm not talking about politics, what you think. and it's just like we're crawling around the desert, jennifer, knowing that's not going to come. it's just not in his sort of emotional vocabulary to do that. and so then we find ourselves, it just feels like it will always go to a yet more debased darker place. >> that's exactly right there. is never an apology. there is never a moment even of
qui quietude. if he would just shut up after the widow had her say on television, that would have been something. but you're right. he has so little character so, little decency, so little to offer the country as a person that we feel that loss. for better or worse, the president not only has a political role, but a moral role and a leadership role head of state and head of government. and with this president, we never get any sense of the magnificence of the office, of the country. and it is always, as you say one bad thing following another. >> and michael, you know the place where the river hits the road on this for me that i think about a lot is how the president will conduct military affair, particularly in situations of escalation. because to the extent that he seems to need to get the last word, to the extent that he is a deep and keening sense of his own need for superiority, that can really produce catastrophic consequences in certain dynamics with other states like, say,
north korea. >> no, it can. which is why you have i think an inordinate reliance on the generals in this administration, from kelly to mattis to others who are really standing on that wall. they are the difference between this thing tipping into insanity and staying at some level of civil normal course of action. and the president resents that, quite honestly. i've heard from various sources inside and outside the white house that he's very resentful of this idea that these generals are there to sort of prevent him or watch him from going off the deep end. but the stories are there. they're there for a reason. and the problem is that individuals like donald trump don't step back in that moment and go, so why are these generals having to, why are the story there's? what is behind this narrative? and realize it's your actions, your words, your tweeting that's
causing this to rise the way it is. >> i also just kept thinking about -- i kept thinking about the intensity of ms. johnson's words about the name, that he couldn't seem to remember the name that maybe she's recalling that in a way through the refracted through the presidential brief. >> sure. >> but let's say that's the case. that's like the most basic thing in the universe. it's also something mark knoller long time white house correspondent said has been a problem nor president. which made scratch my head as well. michael steele and jennifer rubin, thanks to you both. >> all right. just ahead, more on the president's feud with a widow showing what happens when the president lies and his staff tries to cover for him. former white house press secretary josh earnest joins me after this short break. yes. technical wizards. who, with the visionary engineers at ge, developed predix- giving plane engines the ability to self-diagnose problems,
with staffers scram scrambling to cover for the president's untruths. last week the president said he contacted nearly all of the families of fallen service members. >> i don't know what obama's policy was. i write letters, and i also call. now sometimes, you know, if you had a tragic event, it's very difficult to be able to do that. but i have called i believe everybody, but certainly i'll use the word virtually everybody where during the last nine months, something has happened to us all. i've called virtually everybody. >> but the new previously unreported e-mail exchange, quote, shows that senior white house aides were aware on the day the president made the statement it was not accurate, that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, giving the gathering controversy. not only has the president not contacted virtually all the families and military personnel killed this year, the white house didn't even have an up to date list of those who had been killed and were scrambling to get that information from the pentagon. the atlantic reported the white
house was rush shipping condolences to military families. one man whose son was killed in august heard nothing from the president until a ups package dated october 18th arrived. the white house later said bureaucratic reasons had held up some letters. the president says something inaccurate, off the cuff. his staff know it's not true. in private they scramble to catch up. in public they slander anyone who says otherwise. thursday it was general kelly's turn, but he deepened the fight and lied about a member of congress. as a former white house secretary, msnbc analyst josh earnest knows exactly what it's like to face a room full of reporters from behind that podium. josh, you know, if you look back at sean spicer, he sort of -- the credibility of that podium was gone the first day, literally the first day when he lied to penal what they had seen with their own eyes the day before the inauguration. kelly, though, was repository of some kind of reputation capital and credibility that i feel as a journalist almost is just gone after that performance.
>> look, chris, he certainly did give up lot of his integrity. when he launched his personal attack at the florida congresswoman. aside from sort of the basic fact that he criticized her for listening in on the call when general kelly did exactly the same thing, he was listening in on the call himself. so it was a pretty good example, chris. i think where there can be a situation particularly in that briefing room, where emotions are fraught, where the stakes are high, where you might be seized with the zeal and the determination to defend your boss. and that is clearly what general kelly entered that room to do, to go and defend his boss. >> all reporting indicates he wanted to go throughout. he was not sent out there. that was of his own volition. >> and the reason for that, chris, may be, when he was retelling the story what president trump said in the phone call, general kelly indicated that president trump actually said exactly what general kelly recommended that he say. >> right.
>> and you'll recall in that time president trump was being criticized for what he said in that call. it may be a situation that general kelly didn't just feel as if he needed to defend president trump, he also needed to defend the advice that he had given president trump to try to justify the advice that he had given the president of the united states. look, chris, we have -- when i was in the white house for president obama, there were a number of occasions where there were american families who had lost their loved ones. a couple of different times where there had been american hostages taken who had been killed by their hostage takers, and at least one incident an american counterterrorism strike. and those families were publicly critical of the u.s. government, of the obama administration, and in some cases of the united states military. but we worked hard in each of those situations to try to help people understand publicly exactly the decisions that the obama administration had made and why we had made them, and why in some cases they hadn't worked out. and in some cases had actually
been a mistake. but what he we had also tried to do behind the scenes, chris, is try to answer the questions of the families, to try to soothe their grief, and to be honest with them and give them answers about what had happened. there is still does not seem to be a commitment by this white house to be honest about what had happened. and i'm not just talking in this case about the ongoing military investigation in niger. i think that the johnson family is also in a situation where they deserve an explanation about what the white house has been doing over the last week. they deserve an explanation about why we've heard these differing accounts between the staff and the president himself about what the president said in those calls. that's what those families who have -- who have made such a significant sacrifice for this country, they deserve that honesty and that truth at a minimum. >> there is also just the issue of what the -- the fact that you cannot default trust anything. and there is a certain degree to which journalists shouldn't just
trust things. they should default be skeptical of anything that comes from that podium, anything that comes from the government. >> sure. >> that's sort of the proper perspective. but then there is small little trivial logistical facts about the world that is part of the relationship between a white house and the press that you come the say well, we sent the letter today. oh, they probably sent it. but all of that is up for debate now. you cannot rely it seems to me as a journalist, what does that mean for trying to communicate to the american people? >> well, chris, i'll tell you, that when you're standing behind that podium and you face that skepticism head-on in front of the cameras for all the world to see, that can be a pretty frustrating experience. but that goes with the territory. when you are given as much responsibility and as much influence and power as people who work in the white house have, what comes along with it is accountability. and we rely on members of the white house press corps to assert that accountability, to demand transparency and to demand accountability. that's an important part of the
job that comes with the territory. and that's a part of what being the press secretary is all about. that's why i think so many people were taken aback when sarah sanders noted that it was unwise to engage in a debate with a four star general that is actually the point of the white house briefing is to make sure that the boss of all of the four star generals in this country are -- is held accountable and is subjected to questioning. >> yeah. we have a democratic republican in this country and civilian rule. nothing to sneeze at. i agree with you. that's sort of the point. josh earnest, thanks for joining me. >> thank you, chris. coming up, bill o'reilly's profanity-laden rant in response to reports he paid a $32 million settlement. that's right after that break. >> we have physical proof that this is bull [ bleep ], bull [ bleep ], okay? this is horrible. it's horrible what i went through. ♪
we approve that weinstein's behavior towards women was not a secret in hollywood, yet people did not come forward and stop it all from happening. >> most people are saying how shocked they are. please. they all knew. >> those trump hating sorrows loving socialist condescending hollywood glitter rati for thei silence and cover up of one of their own? >> that's a good bit. fox news has been savaging hollywood and everyone associated with harvey weinstein for their complicity associated with his alleged actions, which by all means, go to it. but it might be a little awkward given what has taken place
inside their own glass house. and the latest shocking report from "the new york times" that in january, bill o'reilly, you remember him, used to have a show on fox news, settled a previously undisclosed harassment claim for $32 million, and that the very next month after that settlement, fox news extended his contract for four more years at $25 million a year. quoting the times, it was at least the sixth agreement made by either mr. o'reilly or the company to settle harassment allegations against him. 21st century fox said while it was aware of the statement when it renewed o'reilly's contract that the terms were confidential and his new contract added protections for the company specifically aimed at harassment. 21st century fox is taking specific action to transform fox news. the company added that it did let o'reilly go after further allegations came to light. and bill o'reilly has defended himself, contesting the figures in "the new york times" article, in an interview on the "new york times" podcast daily. >> we have physical proof that this is bull [ bleep ], bull
[ bleep ]. okay? so it's on you if you want to destroy my children further, all right, because it's all crap. this is horrible. it's horrible what i went through, horrible what my family went through. this is crap! and you know it. it's politically and financially motivated, and we can prove it shocking information. >> o'reilly released a statement saying that the person involved in that settlement had repudiated allegations against him, and he painted fox news harassment claims as well par for the course. quote, here are the fax. after the chairman of fox news roger ailes was fired in july 2015, dozens of women accused scores, that's 20s, of male employees of fox news of harassment. o'reilly also said he had never had one complaint filed against him by a coworker to human resources. but megyn kelly lodged a complaint. and today she described it. and that's next.
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today former fox news anchor megyn kelly who now hosts megyn kelly today on nbc said when she was working at fox news she lodged a complaint about another prime time host, bill o'reilly. in an e-mail to shawn and jack abernathy, she wrote perhaps he didn't realize his exact attitude of shaping women into shutting up women about harassment. it's in part how fox news got into the decades long roger
ailes mess to begin with. >> bill shine called me in response to my e-mail promising to deal with o'reilly. by 8:00 p.m. that night, o'reilly had apparently been dealt with. and by that i mean he was permitted with management's advance notice and blessing to go on the air and attack the company's harassment victims yet again. >> msnbc contributor dave sherman is a special correspondent at vanity affair who exposed roger ailes. the big news is the allegations of repeated harassment, nonconsensual sexual relationship, a term i'm having a hard time getting my head around, sending of gay pornography to lis wheel who is a former fox news legal analyst. everyone's reaction to this is what the heck kind of settlement is $32 million? >> it's a shocking figure on its face. just for comparison, we look at the number gretchen carlson got $20 million to settle her claim with roger ailes.
and as part of that settlement, there were audiotapes of that harassment. so it begs the question of what kind of physical evidence did this claim have to merit a settlement that was 30 or 40% greater than what gretchen carlson had. >> i thought it was incredibly revealing that in response, that o'reilly's lawyers issue a statement saying you got to understand the context here, man. they're -- scores, scores of men have been accused of sexual harassment over fox news. and i couldn't tell if they were trying to say oh, everyone is accusing everyone of everyone. or hey, this is just the kind of workplace it was. >> it's a little bit of both. at its root, bill o'reilly's defense is he was a victim. he is saying i'm a powerful guy, people are going to come after me. i think the evidence speaks for itself. he over the years has spent according to "the new york times" more than $45 million of his own money and the company's money to settle claims with women. i mean, bill o'reilly, this just a point of comparison. people who have worked with him tell me he is one of the cheapest guys they know. when he would travel on the road and his producers would go out
to dinner, he would make them split the bill. >> is that really true? >> that's just a little window into the way he thinks about spending his money. so the idea that he would willingly fork over millions of dollars because there was not a valid claim doesn't ring true to the people who know him. >> there is also this awful, awful sort of part of this which is that eric bolling was accused by i think 12 sources having post of sexually harassing women in the workplace. he left. he departed from fox. his son later died. it's unclear whether he took his own life or not. but what o'reilly was trying to do in that times interview is basically try to say it seems to me if you listen to the tape, if you publish this, you will hurt my kids. you might have that hanging over you. bowling today responded that he i believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son eric chase bolling. and i agree with him there. >> again, this is o'reilly's
playbook, play the victim. basically use whatever means necessary to try to shift the blame on to the reporters who -- we should point emily steel and mike schmidt have done a great job on the story. one of his claims that falls the most flat is the idea that no one reported the claims to hr at fox news. as i've report over the years, roger ailes ran hr like his internal state security. >> keep in mind the guy who is running the network. >> a sexual predator. and he has basically set up a system in place through the media relations department to silence victims. so o'reilly is basically shaming victims who were too scared to come forward in saying it's their fault they didn't file through the proper channels. >> do we have a full accounting yet of everything that happened there, at fox news? >> no. i think, again, this is the story roger ailes provided over a toxic culture which is now coming into the light. someone again who has covered this, it's shocking to me that we are seeing this, someone like megyn kelly coming forward on the record.
when i did my book, getting sources to speak freely was something people were terrified of. it's now like post catholic church scandal. all of these stories are coming out. and we're going to continue to see a drumbeat of really what happened over the 20 years that roger ailes ran fox news. >> i'm sure we'll get in-depth reporting from tucker and sean. thank you. john mccain appears to go after the president. why he is not at all worried about threats from trump. but first of all more alternative facts in thing 1, thing 2, after the break. i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms.
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thing 1 tonight. sean spicer began his first day on the job as white house secretary blatantly lying. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. these attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong. >> sean spicer's willful bending of reality became a hallmark of his tenure in the white house. the obama crowd was obviously
bigger, as anyone can see with their own two eyes. donald trump did not win the most electoral votes by any republican since reagan, as spicer claimed. paul manafort played more than, quote, a limited role in the campaign as spicer claimed. i can go on and on and on, be you get the idea. now that spicer has a new job at the institute of politics at harvard university, he's gone from being paid by the public to tell lies to getting paid by one of the world's most prestigious universities to, well, tell more lies. and there is another crowd shot photo to prove it. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. oh, that's really attached. that's why i rent from national. where i get the control to choose any car in the aisle i want, not some car they choose for me. which makes me one smooth operator. ah! still a little tender. (vo) go national. go like a pro.
last month harvard university brought sean spicer aboard as a fellow at its kennedy school of politics, where part of his job is to engage students and inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service. some of those students spoke with having opposed about what they're learning at their august educational institution from spicer. like it's claimed an alternative fact is 3 plus 1 equals 4 or 4
plus zero equals 4, while lie, 3 plus 2 equals 4. okay. here is another lie. according to huff post, spicer is also telling students that reporters had a chance to go and knock on my door and see me any time, be they would only ask questions during the white house press briefing so they could be on camera. we know that's a lie because over the weekend yahoo's reporter hunter walker posted this photo from march of at least one dozen reporters standing outside sean spicer's office. >> have you ever lied to the american people? >> i don't think so. >> you don't think so? >> no. i don't cheat on my taxes. >> unequivocally you can say no? >> look, again, you want to find some thing. i have not knowingly done anything to do that, no. i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am.
the president in a newly released interview with c-span about the vietnam war. >> we drafted the lowest income level of america and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. >> president trump, a child of privilege, was granted five deferments to avoid the vietnam war, including one for bone spurs. mccain, who said today his comments on bone spurs were not directed at the president, was of course tortured during his five and a half years of prisoner of war in vietnam. trump said in 2015 that mccain was not a war hero because he had been captured. >> do you consider him a draft dodger? >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger as i feel that the system was so wrong that certain americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country. >> in a speech last monday, mccain appeared to be referencing trump when he
lamented the rise of half baked nationalism, prompting a threat from the president. >> you heard what he said yesterday, senator mccain. >> yeah, well, i hear it. people have to be careful because at some point i fight back. >> you know. i'm being very nice. i'm being very, very nice. but at some point i fight back, and it won't be pretty. >> mccain could not contain his amusement when asked about the threat today. >> he said he would fight back. >> yeah. >> and it wouldn't be pretty. are you scared? [ laughter ] >> does he look scared? >> the president has not yet responded to mccain's bone spurs comment. but on friday his self-described wing man attacked at a speech at the california republican party. >> john mccain deserves our respect. however, as a politician, john mccain is just another senator from arizona. the speech was nothing but happy talk. and we live in a dangerous world. it's time we started treating
our fellow countrymen like adults. >> bannon has said he is engaged in a season of war against the republican establishment in washington, but reality is in donald trump's washington, the bannonites are already running the government. senator cory booker is here with me next to talk about how he is trying to fight back. don't go away. a good time sir. [don't stop me now by queen] ♪
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because the people currently running the epa have something else in mind for the agency. a new expose in the "new york times" tells how a top trump appointee insisted on writing a rule that makes it harder to track the health consequences of a cancer chemical agency and therefore regulate it. why would an agency in charge of the environment want to do that? we don't know. a spokeswoman did respond like this, no matter how much information we give you you wouldn't write a piece. the only thing inappropriate sbl b . if that seems like an overheated statement coming from a spokesperson it helps to know she has only been at the epa for six months. before that worked for the
american chemical council. she's not the only one. nancy beck was worked there. trump's pick to lead the environmental office of chemical safety is michael dorson, an industry researcher who spent decades working to stave off laws. and then the leading advocate runs the epa. it's being run by people the agency used to protect the environment from. i'm joined by cory booker of new jersey he's a member of the city and environmental. he's introducing a new bill
tomorrow. this epa -- all epa labor departments go back and forth between republican and democrat. how do you classify it under scott prut. >> it goes back to what donald trump said he was going to drain the swamp. to make sure the large corporation lobbyists were going to stay out of washington. but what he's done is the exact opposite of that. if you look at the people he is nominatiing they have deep connections to the industries they are supposed to be regulating. that is a roip that's not just problematic it's a life and dep death issue for millions of americans who are going to be exposed to chemicals that these folks are supposed to protect us from. so this is a cynical and sad and dangerous reality we're seeing.
you mentioned michael dourson, i sat in his confirmation hearing as stunned senator after stunned senator -- we even heard skepticism from one republican senator from west virginia who understood the damage this man was causing by advocating for or working for many of these chemical companies. this is a despicable reality we have, that it's being filled with folks that don't represent the people but have histories of repping the the corporations that are outsourcing their toxins on our nations. >> this is trivial compared to stopping the the power plant by president obama. but as a journalist and citizen the tone of the epa i find troubling, these are public
servants and you have liz bow man, this is her when the epa went around and looked at super fund sites in texas. one again, in an attempt to mid lead americans, they would then go on to attack that reporter saying that it was incredibly misleading story from the comfort of washington. it seems to me there's some requirement that the agency of the federal government have some respect for the constitutional work of the fourth estate. >> more than that. first of all this is a pattern from the president on down to attack the press, attack the press. but the epa, i've travelled around our country through rural areas, most recently in alabama, louisiana, places with nicknames like cancer alley, i stood in poor communities where folks fill churches with anger and vile, but also not understanding why the federal government isn't on their side when they can show
the data, where there are people standing up talking about the losses in these communities to cancer. this is an issue for communities like mine in newark where you have water that's toxic, air that's toxic, led poisoning and knowing we have an epa not holding bad actors account able. everybody wants to talk about flint, michigan but there are more communities that have twice the led level than flint. the agency we should trust or believe in is being filled with people whose agenda is not to protect people from environmental injustice but to do the bidding of corporations. this is really a sad reality in our country that's going to be
dangerous and life threatening. >> let me ask you this, to what extent is this distinct? there's questions about how distinct this administration is. your colleagues that sit, do they have an issue with the epa or is scott pruitt seen as what the agenda looks like? >> scott pruitt and agendas long ago would have not gotten 60 votes but since that was upended he was able to get into this position. there are a lot of folks who are concerned -- at least i don't believe he would have gotten 60 votes. but there are a lot of folks that are concerned that we created an environment we can't stop bad people from being appointed. so you have people that can very extreme from a lot of departments and agencies that can get confirmation. >> thank you very much. i want to put up liz bowman's
picture one more time. she worked for you. taxpayers pay her salary. she's a representative of the united states government, which is voted in by the citizens and the people, she's not working for a campaign. just keep that in mind. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening. >> thanks, chris. prfrtd it. thanks for joining us at home this hour, we have a live interview, former attorney general eric holder is here with me in studio tonight. this will be his first live tv interview since the election. eric holder has a role in history as the the tenure of the nation's first african-american attorney general. now that he has been succeeded in office by a man who, let's be