tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC March 16, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
all the top republicans have said today it just isn't true. the chairman of the house and now the senate intelligence committees and the speaker of the house, all good republican men, say this whole thing about president obama wiretapping trump is nothing but trumped up nonsense. we've been here before and here we are back again to the troubling trump reality. the man in the white house is demonstrably capable of making up claims that have no reality. no better than the weirdo in the basement who calls in the fire alarm to hear the sirens going past. that's "hardball," thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> everybody's got to be covered. >> president trump now admitting the bait-and-switch. >> counties that voted for you would do less well under this bill than the counties that voted for hillary. >> i know. >> as trumpcare puts trump voters in the cross hairs.
plus -- >> there's this assumption in washington that if you get less money, it's a cut. >> dnc chair tom perez on the president's plan to defund climate science and more. >> we're not spending money on that anymore. we consider that to be a waste of your money. >> then the president stands by his baseless wiretap claim despite public rejections from gop leaders. >> are you going to take the tweets literally and, if you are, then clearly the president was wrong. >> hawaii's attorney general joins me on his lawsuit against trump's new travel ban and a mac attack on the fast food president when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris heys. at his inauguration, president trump promised his voters, who he called the forgotten men and women that he would fight for them and never let them down. 55 days later that looks like a very hollow promise.
the trump administration has unveiled policies that seem to brutalize his core constituencies -- the older blue-collar rural americans who make up a key part of his base the president is copping to that fact. today the 2018 budget was released it asks billions to pay for the border wall and slashes a range of programs including the appalachian regional commission which invests in economic opportunities in appalachian communities like mcdowell county, west virginia, where town hall attendees told me they are desperate for both jobs and infrastructure investment. these are the forgotten men and women who power trump's victory. the people that president kennedy promised not forget in 1960 and who president trump promised to find jobs for today. >> we're going to take care of a lot of years of horrible abuse, okay? and you can count on it.
you can count on 100%. >> his proposal slashes $4.7 billion the department agriculture including cuts to rural water and waste infrastructure programs and the rural business cooperative service. it cuts federal support for rural airports. at the white house briefing today, budget director mick mulvaney was asked about cuts to programs that fund anti-poverty initiatives like the very popular meals on wheels which provides food for older impoverished americans. >> meals on wheels sounds great. again, that's a state decision to fund that particular portion. to take the federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we want to give you money for programs that don't work. i think it's probably one of the most compassionate things we can do to -- >> reporter: to cut programs that help the elderly and kids? >> you're only focusing on half of the equation. you're focusing on recipients of the money. we're trying to focus on the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. >> for the record, peer-reviewed research says meals on wheels works.
the group said "we fear millions of seniors who rely on us everyday for a nutritious meal, safety check and visit from a volunteer will be left behind." mulvaney took aim at programs that provide meals to poor children making the case we need to cut aid to kids in order to boost military spending and build the wall. >> they're supposed to be educational programs, right? they're supposed to help kids who can't -- who don't get fed at home get fed so they do better in school. guess what? there's no demonstrable evidence they're doing that. there's no evidence it's helping kids do better in school. >> just to be clear, the evidence he's talking about is whether the kids are testing better not whether or not they're getting fed. then there's the white house-backed bill to repeal and replace obamacare which would force a low earning 64-year-old to spend more than half his income to get health insurance. it almost seems designed to deliver the most staggering blow precisely to trump voters. >> the president is playing a very constructive role on this
and literally hand in glove everyday we talk, we compare notes our teams are working together and i'm very excited about that. >> last night, a fox news host asked the president about the bill and the president sure didn't sound quite as excited. >> this bill has as one of its centerpieces a tax cut for investors that would primarily benefit people making over $250,000 a year, already done pretty well in the past ten years, as you know. a bloomberg analysis showed counties that voted for you, middle-class and working class counties, would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for hillary. >> i know. it's very preliminary. >> is this consistent with the message of the last election? >> a lot of things aren't consistent but these are going to be negotiated. >> joining me now, republican congressman tom mcclintock who is a member of the house budget committee. it's good to have you with me. i want to play for you how the omb director mulvaney described the kind of decision procedure for what stays and goes in the
budget. take a listen. >> when you start looking at the places that will reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we continue to ask a coal miner in west virginia or a single mom in detroit to pay for these programs. the answer is no. we can ask them to pay for defense but not the corporation for public broadcasting. >> do you agree with that as the way to evaluate what should be cut in the budget? >> sure, i think it's a very important way to evaluate it because it's those families that are bearing the burden of all of these programs. >> so let me ask you this. the average cost of the president's trips to mar-a-lago are about thr$3 million a weeke. that's $150 million a year. should we ask a coal miner in west virginia to pay for the president to golf every weekend? >> well, i've never criticized presidents -- democrat or republican -- for the security arrangements that are necessary to move them about the country. but i do think that it's very helpful -- >> that's the question, though, isn't it? >> i think a helpful rule of
thumb is every billion dollars we talk about here in washington is about $8 from an average family's budget so that's a good way of putting these figures into family-sized numbers that have a reference point in the real world. >> but to go back to the way of thinking about this that you just endorsed, should we be asking a coal miner in west virginia or single mom in detroit to pay for the president to choose to play golf at his resort every weekend? >> well, again, we've done that for many, many years with presidents of both parties and that is one of the costs of the modern presidency and i've never begrudged a president the cost of security as he moves around the country. >> respectfully, sir, they have not all flown to their private resort every weekend at the cost of $3 million nor have they kept a separate resident in trump tower. >> oh, come on now. >> $183 million a year. >> pardon me, but i remember the cost of obama trips to hawaii, they were enormous. i never criticized them --
>> they are far below the current projected cost of this president. let me ask you this. if you think the presidential travel is a moot issue, do you honestly think that, say, a single mother in detroit would choose to pay $1.37, which is what it costs her for the corporation for public broadcasting for "sesame street" or choose to pay the salaries of all the members in congress. >> i think "sesame street" is a commercially viable enterprise and can more than stand on its own two feet. >> which do you think she'd rather pay for? >> i think she would -- i don't think she'd rather y for either. i think she would rather see a frugal government that spends its money as wisely and carefully as she spends what's left after we take her money. >> so we've got -- we're going to cut the budget on these discretionary items but there's going to be an $800 billion tax cut that happens through the repeal of the aca, about $600 billion of that goes to the top 2%. those are households that have been doing best as donald trump and other conservatives have
said over the last ten years. what's the justification for that. >> chris, you may have missed the budget hearing today where i carried an amendment that got bipartisan approval, not an amendment but a motion requesting the rules committee to look at that. i don't think it is defensible or sustainable for us to be giving massive tax cuts to investors while we have not assured that the tax system is supporting low-income families as they try to reach out for health care insurance in the new market we're creating so i tend to agree with you on that. i just wish you'd keep up with the budget committee hearings. >> so what specifically in the acha, what part of the tax cuts would you like to repeal? there's the tax cut on dividends and investment on households over $250,000. that's a small percentage of the total $800 billion figure, right? >> it's actually -- with all of the tax cuts it's about $250.
that doesn't include tax penalties we're getting rid of for people who simply are right now paying the tax penalty because they don't want to buy the obamacare policies. that mandate isone but you still have several hundred billion dollars of other tax cuts in that bill that i think need to be retooled to assure that first and foremost we're not leaving any families in the lurch as we shift from government-run health care system to a consumer-driven system where people have the widest variety of choices available to them, we have to have the tax system support their ability to at least reach out to a basic health plan and that was the nature of the ploegs that i made today and that carried on a bipartisan vote in the house budget committee. >> so do you think we can see as this bill sort of speeds its way towards a repeal -- and obviously it's a little hard, right, because this budget doesn't have the revenue side so we're matching up the acha and
this outline of the budget which doesn't have stuff on the revenue side. but if you stitch them together do you think you can get republican support to get rid of some of those tax cuts? >> again, in the context of the health care bill, yes, i think we have to. because the way it's currently written, it's neither defensible nor sustainable. i don't think it will pass the senate and if it were enacted i don't think it would last very long. >> congressman, i want to ask you finally about the wall. and obviously in the context of what the federal government does, these are small parts of it, i want to be clear here. most of what the federal government is social insurance and defense. everything else is about a quarter of the entirety of it. but the wall is going to cost about $4 billion over two years. there's a $2.6 billion request. the president, i watched him do it 100 times on the campaign trail where he said "who's going pay for the wall? mexico." do you feel taken in, bait-and-switched by the fact
that the president is going to come to congress and ask for $2.6 billion? >> well, i never thought mexico was going to pay for the wall so i wasn't taken in but i do think the wall is a necessary national security project of history screaming the warning at us that countries that cannot or will not defend the integrity of their borders simply aren't around very long. >> but you're oka with the $2.6 billion appropriati? >> yes. >> feven though he said mexico was going to pay for it? >> absolutely. it's a national security issue and i've always agreed with ronald reagan on that. defense is not a budget issue, you spent what you need to spend to defend the country and we have a need to secure the integrity of our borders. >> and you want to see it run that full thousand miles, take the rancher land, use eminent domain? >> the president was elected on that issue partly and i believe he needs to fulfill that promise and that's important for the
security of our country. >> congressman mcclintock, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> it isn't just trump voters who take it on the chin. the new white house budget proposal, the white house is proposing cuts to the environmental protection agency, the education department and housing and urban development among other areas. mick mulvaney was asked about cuts to science funding and climate change research. >> regarding the question as to climate change, i think the president was straightforward, we're not spending money on that anymore. we consider that to be a waste of your money to do that. >> i'm joined by dnc chair tom perez, former secretary of labor in the obama administration. good to have you here. >> always good to be with you, chris. >> first the reaction to the skinny budget, as it's called, outlined by the white house today. >> budgets are moral documents, they represent the values of the community and the nation and when you dramatically reduce investments in, for instance, work force development program,
that steelworker who loses his job or his job, we upskill them and put them back to work in advance manufacturing, that's what punching your ticket to the middle-class is about and these programs are at risk. the appalachian regional council, this is the heart of rural america. >> what does that mean? i guess there's some sort of eye glazing that happens where people think the appalachian regional council, do those do things? do they work? >> every dollar we spend of federal money in apprenticeship has a $27 return. that's real money. i was in coal country, kentucky, not far from where you were and we were looking at an investment we made. it's a company called bit source, it was a startup, they do computer coding and there were about a dozen displaced coal miners and my feeling about that is anybody who is working hard we're going to fight to make sure they have the skills to compete. they lost their jobs, they
weren't coming back and rather than making a promise we couldn't keep, we invested in them. we subsidize their wage for a period of time and it's up to the company to decide whether to keep him. this investment has a 90% return. over 90% of employers at the end of that probationary period keep those workers on. >> that's money, i want to be clear, that comes from the department of labor work force program under the knife right now in this budget? >> correct. >> what can democrats do in response to this? it does seem like there is tremendous unity on the aca. do you have a sense that the democrat will lose votes on aca repeal and replace? >> i think the democrats are remarkably united because we understand the affordable care act is a lifesaver and people -- it's not just democrats that have pre-existing conditions. it's not just democrats that have their son or daughter
living in the basement and they're 23 on their parents' health insurance in the same way that we have been able to mobilize the aca, we have to do the same thing around the budget. i care about clean air and clean water and lead paint and lead in my drinking water and when you cut the epa by 30% you are not going to keep our water safe. >> is there a way to -- it's been interesting to watch the amount of mobilization around the aca. it's become very front of mind, very high stakes. is there a way to do that with a budget night? >> define it through real people. i'll never forget the folks i met in coal country who -- one guy cold me, chris, i got a call from my old job at the coal mine, they offered me my job back, i told them no because i believe i have the future in coding and the folks i met down there, their resilience was inspiring and i was proud to
invest in them because i believe in the mesh worker and we need the real faces of the american people just like the folks who talk about how the affordable care act saved my life. >> what do you say to mulvaney's line that we can't ask a single mom in detroit or a coal miner in west virginia to pay for something like the coalition for publ public broadcasting? >> folks, let's look at the line item. look at the defense budget and what they're trying to do there and by the way our military right now is the world's most effective military around so let's start with that. you order one less plane and you are funding legal services, you're funding so many other issues. budgets are moral documents and this budget reflects a total abdication of responsibility to train workers, to invest in
workers, to make sure that people who are so vulnerable, whether you're in appalachia or whether you're in urban america have access to basic opportunities and that's what our nation has always been about. >> tom perez, thanks for being here. >> always a pleasure. coming up, president trump still standing by his baseless wiretap claim. today his press secretary spent 20 minutes trying to convince reporters that the president is the subject of an fbi investigation. weird. the wiretap wild goose chase after this two-minute break. we have seen the glory come, go, and come again. but a cadillac is no trophy. what you see is our future and it will inspire every car that follows. ♪ ♪
both congressional committees looking to the president's completely unsupported allegation of wiretapping by president obama have found no evidence of it. today, the senate intelligence committee released this statement from its republican chairman and democratic vice chairman. "based on the information available to us, we see no indication that trump tower was the subject of surveillance by any element to the united states government, either before or after election day, 2016."
which is basically what we know that from the beginning, particularly when we found out the president probably got the idea from a breitbart write up of a conservative talk show rant. the breitbart report circulated among trump's senior aides. the president refuses to admit that. he now says he saw something on fox news and in a remarkable exchange yesterday in which a fox news host basically asked him doesn't he have better information than fox news, the president referred back to fox news. >> but you're the president. you have to ability to gather all the evidence you want. >> i do. but i think that, frankly, we have a lot right now and i think if you watch -- if you watched the bret baier and what he was saying and what he was talking about and how he mentioned the word "wiretap" you would feel very confident that you could mention the name. he mentioned it. and other people have mentioned it. >> the president also continued on a wild goose chase. >> but wiretap covers a lot of different things. i think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to to the forefront over
the next two weeks. >> today white house press secretary sean spicer was asked about the senate intelligence committee statement about no evidence of the wiretapping claims and what transpired was a lengthy spekctacle in which he was more combative than usl. >> where was your passion and where was your concern whe they all said there was no connection torussia? you choose not to cover that, you don't stop the narrative, you can't to perpetuate a false narrative. >> reporter: i'd like you to respond -- >> and i'm trying to answer your question, jonathan, if you can calm down. >> reporter: does the president stand by the allegations? >> he stands by it but you're mischaracterizing what happened. >> spicer led a long list of anonymously sourced report which is can only be characterized as "purporting to be in the ballpark of what the president was alleging without any grain of evidence of the president's actual claims. later senator mark warner, the vice chairman of the senate intelligence committee made
clear spicer was wrong in suggesting the statement was less than definitive. >> we're 1213, days, almost two weeks from his tweet, we've seen no evidence. there's been no evidence from anybody in the intelligence community. that has validated that tweet. if he has more information, share it with at least the intelligence committee or retract his statement. joining me now, susan hennessey, former attorney in the office of general counsel in the national security agency at the brookings institution. susan, i've been sort of following your commentary on this. what do you make of all this? >> i think it's remarkable now that we've seen both the republican and democratic leadership of both the house and senate intelligence communities come forward and say they haven't seen any evidence. this is in addition to comments by attorney general sessions, former intelligence officials and even reports o of the fbi
that all indicate that those people don't have reason to believe this stuff is true. that's significant because if president trump's claims are in fact accurate, that kind of behavior or conduct would have produced lots and lots of evidence. there would have been court orders, investigatory files, communications among the interagency. and of course the actual intercepted communications themselves. so if people with access to highly classified information are saying we don't see anything, that's a strong indicator that it actually didn't happen. >> doesn't occam's razor suggest that this entire thing is a dog chasing its tail and this the president watched cable news and tweeted or read an article and tweeted? and isn't there something -- i guess at one level it's like i discounted the claim from the beginning because very clearly there was a reporting on the source but there's also something about one president accusing his predecessor we
essentially an illegally conspiracy that is now proving to be baseless. >> right. so certainly it's -- it seems highly unlikely or improbable at this point that these claims are, in fact, accurate. president trump himself is shifting from, oh, wiretapping or surveillance or maybe sort of incidental collection. i think at this point the most important thing is that the president ofv levied very serio allegations not just against the former president but against the fbi, potentially the intelligence community, he's accused our closest intelligence ally in britain of violating an agreement is that itself is sort of the story here. if he's making these claims, if he's not willing to back that up, what are the implications of that? >> i want to talk about british intelligence. there is a report -- judge neapolitano on fox news said he had an explosive claim, which is
that the president of the united states asked british intelligence to do the spying and sean spicer from the podium reiterated this. take a listen. >> last on fox news on march 14, judge andrew nolitano made the statement "three ielligence statements have informed fox news that president obamaent outside the chain of command, he didn't use the nsa or the cia, he didn't use the fbi and he didn't use the department of justice, he used gchq." what is that? the initials for the british intelligence spying agency. >> this is gchq's response. "recent allegations made by media commentator judge andrew thnapolitano are nonsense, theye utterly ridiculous and should be ignored." this seems to be a big deal that the president's own spokesperson reiterated the claim of our closest ally being used to spy on an american presidential candidate. >> of course it's not that significant that a political or television pundit would speculate about something if the press secretary is then
repeating it, that's another matter entirely. >> so we have a relationship with flat is part of an intelligence agreement where we basically agree not only to share large amounts of important intelligence but not to spy on one another and so what the accusation here is of our closest ally sort of violating a really core agreement. i think you can tell from the strength of their response how sort of out of line that accusation is. >> susan hennessey, thanks for your time. still to come, after trump's new travel ban was blocked by a federal judge, the president is vowing to take the case to the supreme court. the hawaii attorney general whose challenge led to that temporary restraining order is my guest ahead. i can stay. i'm good.
new revelations about michael flynn's tied to russia in particular his appearance at the state sponsored tv network rt appearance. >> were you paid for that event? >> you'd have to ask my -- the folks at -- that went over there to -- >> well, i'm asking you. you'd know if you were paid. >> yeah, i went over there as a speaking event. it was a speaking event. what difference does that make? does somebody go "oh, he's paid by the russians"? >> well, donald trump has made a lot of the fact that hillary clinton has taken money from wall street. >> i didn't take money from russia, if that's what you're asking me. >> well, then who paid you? >> my speakers bureau. ask them. >> well, that's exactly what the house oversight committee did and his speaker's bureau complied sending the committee documents showing not only was
michael flynn paid nearly $34,000 for his speech at the rt anniversary nner, the documents show flynn got two payments of $11,250 from a russian cargo airline company and a russia-based cyber security firm. the cyber security firm, kaspersky labs and its founder was educated as a kgb sponsored cryptography school and worked as a russian intelligence agent. congressman elijah cummings wants the trump administration to share information on flynn's security clearance, considering the payment he received from state-sponsored rt writing in a letter "today i cannot recall any time in our nation's history the president selected as his national security adviser someone who violated the constitution. by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from the agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy. up next, trump is 0 for 2 on his attempt to ban visitors from certain muslim majority
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develop different federal judges have now ruled against the trump administration's second attempt to ban visitors from certain muslim majority countries. in maryland today, u.s. district judge theodore schwang barred part of the executive order by citing the president's own comments. "the history of public statements continues to provide
a convincing case that the purpose of the second executive order remains the realization of thlong-envisioned muslim ban." while hawaii yesterday, u.s. district judge jarrett watson grand add temporary restraining order for the same reasons. writing "a reasonable objective observer enlighted by the specific historical context, contemporary public statements and specific sequence of its events leading to its issuance would conclude the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion." trump's reaction inadvertently or not provided further evidence of the intent of his second travel ban. >> this new order was tailored to the dictates of the ninth circuit's, in my opinion, flawed ruling. remember this, i wasn't thrilled, but the lawyers all said, let's tailor it, this is a watered-down version of the first one. this is a watered-down version
and let me tell you something, i think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way which is what i wanted to do in the first place. joining me now is hawaii's attorney dug chin woug chin. attorney general, let me ask you about something you cite in your court filing. you cite a comment rudy giuliani made which has become legendary which is basically that the president asked him to explain on television how the executive order came to be. he said "when mr. trump first announced it, he said muslim ban, put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally." why is that legally relevant? that doesn't strike me as having legal force, what adviser the president says he says at a private conversation with the esidt of the united states. >> here's our argument. it was that context matters and essentially what sufficient that is one of the legal issues going on in this case which is that the u.s. department of justice was really trying to limit the court to justice the four corners of the second executive
order and just the text that was in there saying this is all neutral now so let's just go along this. there is no discriminatory intent there. the judge saw otherwise. we argued that there is supreme court case law that indicates that courts ought to look at the context behind the text in order to be able to find a discriminatory intent, particularly if the intention is to mask what is that discriminatory intent. so that's what was going on here. rudy giuliani's statement was one of them. >> the case here as i understand it going through the filings, it does hang on this question of intent, right? essentially is the intent so rotten, so sort of deeply unconstitutional in its desire to disfavor a single religious group in violation of the establishment clause that any iteration of it, no matter how it's dressed up, would be senate to that's the case you're making. >> right, exactly.
and what the judge actually said yesterday in his order is he said we actually don't need to take the time to look into president trump's veiled psyche in order to be able to determine his intent. instead what we have is statements made in 2015, in 2016, and even when he was president and, heck, as you just showed on the tape there we go again, there's president trump making statements last night. >> i watched that live sitting at this desk and it struck me in the moment having just read the judge's decision which focused specifically on presidential speech as a register of intent. for him to say i want to go back to the first one it does seem to lend your argument more credence than the first utterance. >> that's not going to help his case and that's one more statement that's made and he is the president. there is an attempt to draw a distinction between statements he made as a candidate which are supposedly ones we're not
supposed to take seriously versus what he said as the president. we're saying entire context matters. courts out to look at that. >> one thing that i thought was interesting that was in your filing, the government wanted to make the case, look, this isn't pretextural, we're not reversing this around a muslim ban to pass muster and cabinet secretaries, the attorney general and secretary of dhs wrote a letter to the president to urge him to solve this urgent problem and you note that the government refers repeatedly to a letter for the secretary of dhs, the letter is dated march 6, the day the revised order was announced and purpose ports to propose the policy embodying the order, "it is hard to imagine clear evidence of pre-text." >> when we were researching this case, one of the things i learned is that there's an executive order on executive orders. there's one that tells people this is how an executive order comes about. it starts off with agencies that gather data and make a recommendation and then eventually it gets to the
president's desk and the president issues an order that's based upon that information. here it's backwards. what you have is -- you have the president making a promise that he's going to ban muslims from the united states and making all the statements that he made and then what you have is him trying to fill in the blanks by now saying i have a neutral document and my cabinet secretaries told me that it was going to be okay. >> yeah, the timing on that would seem to lend credence to that interpretation. doug chin, attorney general of hawaii, thanks so much. >> thank you. still to come, where in the world is rex tillerson? the secretary of state is in hiding from the media while the white house aims to cut nearly a third of the department's bud t budget. plus, turmoil in a decades-long relationship, that's thing 1 thing 2 after this break. >> together, grimace, we could own this town. ♪
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morning, president trump may have questioned his long time love for the golden arches. a fast food affection he's never been shy about, tweeting photos of his mcdonald's dinner during the campaign and gleefully rattling off his go-to meals. when you roll up at a mcdonald's, what does donald trump order. >> a fish delight sometimes. the big macs are great, the quarter pound we are cheese but i think the food is good and i eat it very carefully. i do as good as -- as well as i can. >> for a brief time in 2002, trump was even the face of mcdonald's. >> i don't know how you do it. i put together some really impressive deals, but this thing you've pulled off, it's amazing. a big and tasty for just a dollar? how do you do it? what's your secret? together, grimace, we could own this town. >> beamed from an alternate universe. why did the mcdonald's corporate return trump's years of loyalty
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glad i had a v8. the original way to fuel your day. fast food aficionado donal trump may have been surprised to see this tweet posted at 9:16 a.m. to the mcdonald's corporate account. "donald trump, you are actually a disgusting excuse of a president and we would love to have barack obama back, also you have tiny hands." which is pretty bold and then it was pinned at the top of the page about 20 minutes later, mcdonald's corporate deleted that tweet and wrote ""notified us that our account was compromised" adding tonight "our twitter account was hacked by an external source." it didn't specify who that external source might be so at this point everyone is a suspect. >> how do you do it? what's your secret? a 401(k) is t sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? -i would. -i would indeed.
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don't like the state department and they want to curtail its power. president trump's budget proposes a 29% cut to the state department, the secretary of state rex tillerson is on board for the slashing as he made clear today answering the very first question he's publicly taken from a reporter since assuming office. >> the level of spending that the state department has been undertaking particularly in this past year is not sustainable. i'm confident that with the input of the men and women of the state department that we are going to construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient and be able to do a lot with fewer dollars. >> rex tillerson appears to have gone from being one of the most powerful non-elected officials in the entire world to bag spectral presence. his stature is so diminished that when the top diplomat from
mexico arrived earlier this month, he didn't meet th his counterpart and the state department said they didn'tknow he was in town. tillerson has kept such a low profile for a top cabinet official that reporters have resorted to chasing him around the world. more on that after this break. boost it's about moving forward not back. it's looking up not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition.
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>> thank you, we're leaving. >> reporter: excuse me, mr. secretary, can you respond? we haven't had any time in here. >> i'm sorry, you're going to have to lead. let's go, guys. >> reporter: do you think you'll have a deputy any time soon, sir? when do you think you might have a deputy? >> this way, this way. >> as you can see, our own andrea mitchell has been relentlessly trying to get simple answers out of secretary of state rex tillerson ever since he took office in january. tillerson has so far been the least transparent secretary of state in the modern era. under his tenure, the state department got rid of daily briefings for nearly seven weeks and he broke with decades of tradition this week not taking the usual pool of reporters with him on his first foreign trip to asia. there is one reporter who's been allowed to travel with the secretary. her name is erin mcpike, she's from a semiobscure conservative outlet called the independent
journal review and she happened to have published a highly complimentary piece about the secretary earlier this month. joining me, anne-marie slaughter, president and ceo of the think tank new america. i've been obsessed with this press aspect of the story because it's hard to communicate why it matters but it does matter that the secretary of state has briefings everyday they that they let reporters in. >> it's the way checks and balances works. the state department talks about what we're doing and reporters ask tough questions and citizens get to make up their minds but it's also important for the world. this is what leading or simply being an enormously important power in the world is about. you have foreign policy and other countries get to sort of see what that is and ask questions, too. >> in fact, john kirby, who is the spokesperson in the last few years of the obama administration, i remember him
telling me while preparing for the briefing and haow hard it i because there was a reporter from malaysia who once asked you a very specific question about u.s. bilateral relatnshi with maysia and you have to know that sff. it's to say to the rest of the world we believe in a free press and we take questions and put our officials out to talk to them. >> that's a model for what we think other countries ought to do but it's part of a tradition of diplomacy that we have followed for a good century plus. woodrow wilson used to talk about secret agreements, secretly arrived at. the point was we were not going to do everything in public but we were going to be as transparent as possible to citizens on foreign policy just like domestic policy. >> so you have a book out now about sort of how you think about international relations and diplomat any this age, in this very networked age in which there's a sort of non-hierarchical institutions and categories all over the police and, you know, how important is state and how
important is diplomacy right now when you think about an administration that really seems to want to boost up the kind of war-making ability and decrease the investment in diplomacy? >> well, i mean, the military or r t are the first people to tell us that is a mistake from a military angle. secretary mattis said "if you defund the state department you have to buy me more bullets" even then we can't win wars militarily so it's hurtful. it's destructive from a military point of view but much more importantly there are things we have to do diplomatically. we have to work with russia. we have to talk to them. we have to talk to north korea. north korea could put us on the edge of a nuclear crisis. we need to be engaged in diplomacy so that is very impoant. >> it strikes me as hard to sell diplomacy. even myself, i find it all opaque and ambiguous and frustrating and there's an
entire set of euphemisms which in some sense is the stock in trade but i find it maddening. like what do you mean? part of the problem is we know what war means and war looks like and what effective diplomacy is. it seems like a more difficult thing to communicate. >> if you and i had a free and frank exchange of views, that means we nearly came to blows. >> that's right, exactly. >> will there's an entire protocol for describing how you talk. that's right. it is hard to sell but it is essential. what i'm arguing is now is that's state craft, that's this very closed formalized world that is foreign minister to foreign minister. particularly if the -- this administration is not going to invest much in state craft but even if it had we also need what i call web craft. so, frankly, rex tillerson as ceo of exxonmobil or other -- any ceo of a business, any head of a big civic group or of a
charity, any university president, even news people, we are all part of global webs of communications, of action, of business. we can actually ourselves network in ways that can help solve global problems. >> it's interesting. i remember reading posts by folks in the mooeiddle east in e of the seven countries in the original ban talk about how the pictures of the protests at the airports served a diplomatic purpose that in some ways even surpassed the diplomatic damage of the actions of the government it. sort of an ampexample, ann-mari slaughter whose new book comes out soon. thanks for joining me. appreciate. >> it thank you. speaking of books, my new books "a colony in a nation" is out in five days available for pre-order and you can join me on the book tour starting next week. i'll be out across the country for two weeks. the schedule and details are on our facebook page, facebook.com/allinwithchris. some of them are selling out.
don't wait. that's "all in," the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening. >> thank you my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us at this hour. in 1980, the summer olympics was held in moscow. even if you were an old person like me and you were an old enough person in the year 1980 to conceivably have memories of those olympic games, if you're an american, there's a reason why you don't have memories of those olympic games. and it's because the united states boycotted those olympics in protest of the soviet invasion of afghanistan. u.s. president jimmy carter let a boycott of the moscow olympics in 1980. it wasn't just us. it l matly the u.s. led a coalition of 65 countries that did not go to the olympics in moscow that year. and then, incidentally, it was pitiful four years later the olympics were held in los angeles four years later in