tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 27, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT
you recall two capitol hill police officers were wounded in the gunfire, and police in alexandria bravely ran toward tonight -- >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. >> the president continues his attack on his own attorney general and now his acting fbi director. >> i think the president is disappointed. >> tonight donald trump's latest assault on the rule of law. growing fears of a slow motion saturday night massacre. then did the president just ban
transgender service members so he could pay for a wall with mexico? plus, mitch mcconnell's final push to bait-and-switch his own caucus. >> i think you're going to have a great health care. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. it is beginning to look like to borrow a phrase from the watergate scandal, a saturday night massacre. president trump is bullying the people in his own administration connected in any way to the russia investigation amid the looming threat of the investigation directed by robert mueller. today in what one congressman called an insulting and inappropriate waterboarding, the president yet again attacked jeff sessions for the third day in a row. as the white house refused to say when the president still has confidence in its own attorney general. >> does he fully have confidence
in the attorney general to carry out his duties from this day forward? >> the president wants the attorney general to focus his duties as attorney general. and i think we've spoken about that pretty extensively and i don't have anything else to add in today's tweet attack, he went after the fbi director saying why didn't ag sessions replace mccabe, a comey friend who was in charge of the clinton investigation but got big dollars and her representatives. drain the swamp of it mangles the time line and the money which did not come from clinton. it is in line with the president's other attacks on anyone with ties to the investigation which boiled down to this. everyone involve in the investigation is compromised so whatever they eventually tell you, no matter what evidence they find, it must all be a lie. which is a pretty astounding claim in light of who he is going after. rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, a career department of justice employee,
once nominated to the department of appeals by george w. bush. trump questioned his integrity by stating wrongly that he is from baltimore adding, there are very few republicans in baltimore. james comey who was of course fired by this president, attacked repeatedly afterward. also robert mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation. almost universally hailed as man with impeccable credentials and integrity. trump said he can't be trusted because he interviewed the fbi director and didn't get job. then there's mccabe. he spent his entire career in the fbi and has no known political affiliation. and of course we come the jeff sessions. he was famously the very first senator to endorse trump and became a key member of his campaign. these are the people who the president is bullying and attacking and they have one
thing in common and only one thing really, other than they might literally all be republicans, is that they're all tied to the russia investigation. have in turn all had their integrity questioned by the president. sessions of course, is no longer actively involved in the investigation, having recused himself in march from mueller's appointment which is precisely why the president is so furious at it. >> he should not have recused himself. if he was going on recuse himself he should have told me prior to taking office and i would have quite sill reply picked somebody else. >> only the president knows whether the political damage from trying on kill the russia investigation would be worse than what that investigation might discover. no question he is trying under99 credibility of those working the case including mueller. the president says would be committing a violation if he
looks into trump family finances. on capitol hill today, sheldon white house, questioned on whether investigators would need examine financial records to make a russian foreign influence case. >> are individual tax returns, often obvious investigation material. >> a variety of financial records pertaining to any of the individuals, or entities involved, could be of importance. >> including tax returns. >> including tax returns. >> joining me now, member of the house intelligence committee which is one of the entities investigating the matter. it struck me reading the president's statements, particularly about andrew mccabe, in any other time and administration, the president of the united states going after the acting fbi director while that fbi director was involved in the investigation of the campaign, would be seen as a massive scandal and possibly have people start talking about
peemt. >> you know, i've pen saying for a while now. if this were all reversed, if hillary clinton were in the white house and chelsea clinton had had that trump tower meeting where chelsea clinton says i love it around the possibility of getting from the russian government, compromising information from donald trump, not only would we be consumed with impeachment proceedings but we would have right wing militias with torches in their hands. it is starting where we are today. the president has attacked his own attorney general. i'm not a huge fan of jeff sessions. here's a guy who i think is trying to do a job in the tradition of attorneys general in terms of keeping the justice department, being an independent, donald trump has gone to, he went to clapper and comey. all the top officials and begged them to say this is a sham investigation. even though we know it's not.
>> do you believe the president in his public actions, we don't know what he is saying behind the scenes. he is actively trying to influence, curtail or quash an investigation into his campaign. >> and he's been saying it from day one. and guys like me who spend time in a classified environment know it even more. the thing that's remarkable about this, there's huge damage to all sorts of institutions. the dignity of president, the independence of the fbi, the sense the justice department is about justice rather than being a protect ofrt president. the thing that is truly shocking about this, if the president, right after his inauguration, had come to realize this could in fact be a story that would be dragged out for a long period of time of make him look bad. he would have on day two said, hey, everybody who had any
contact whatsoever with russia, any kind of contact, any sort of back and forth. it comes out today. if that had happened, guys like me would be sayinger there's the actions of a smart and innocent individual. instead he took the opposite tack which raises real questions about what is hidden. >> we don't know if it is true. we don't know what actually happened. it could be if he had come clean the first day, it may have been incredibly shocking. >> that's a fair point. we don't know. none of these investigations of run their course. let's take the single piece of information that's most conclusive that there might have been some link. that's not some fake news "washington post" "new york times" amazon. there is president's own son releasing his e-mails saying i
went to a meeting with russians to get information that was compromising. this is president's own son. if that had come out on day. two it would have been compromising but we would be on to -- you point out. we don't know what else is there. >> do you worry about what you and your colleagues will do if this keeps being pressed? he seals to be sending a signal. he appears to want jeff sessions out of there. he could fire him. he appears to want mueller done. at a certain point, congress will be the check. >> that's right. i think you're seeing something interesting. why out of nowhere does the president fire jim comey? he does that because he thinks he can. he can get away with it politically. he got away with it politically. but look where we are today. just this morning, the president out of nowhere, without telling the pentagon, decides he's changing policy for 15,000 transgender armed service
members. joni ernst, john mccain, all coming out saying that's not okay. the republicans here are in a different place than they were four months ago. and i think that the president worries, is at least told to worry, if he fires jeff sessions, he might not get another attorney general. confirmed by the senate. this will really push the republicans over the edge on capitol hill. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> the former white house press
secretary under president obama and nick ackerman. the form he u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. the tikes sessions, aside from being humiliating and unseamly and bizarre, they are also, they strike me as an attempt to get him to quit so he doesn't have to fire him. what is your understanding of why he is doing this? >> well, i had the same reaction. he is acting like somebody who
doesn't have the nerve to follow his attorney general. he is being as mean as he can in the most passively aggressive way possible. to try to get him to quit. what is interesting to me is the strategy to the extent there is one. it does not appear to be the conventional strategy that would you recommend to someone. ordinarily what you would do is marshal evidence, find validators on the other side of the aisle who would back up your story. you go the great lengths to demonstrate what you're doing the cooperate with the investigation or releasing reams of e-mail. reams of pages of documents and e-mail. agreeing to all sorts of questioning. to have the opportunity to tell your story. that's not at all what they're doing. instead, you see president trump throwing in elbows and trying to basically incite a melee to call into question who is telling the truthful that's why it is so important. what you're hearing from democrats is not that bob mueller should really put the screws to the trump administration. what democrats are saying, let's just have a fair and impartial investigation and get to the bottom of what is going on here. let's have one place that can be our true north here in determining what exactly happened. >> two issues here. there's the sort of status of
the investigation. and what that will do. but i feel like we're just getting closer every day. some very fundamental, constitutional and institutional questions about the nature of american governance and democracy and executive power. can the president do whatever the heck he wants and the law be damned some. >> he can't. >> is it just restrained under the practical realities of the moment and time we're in politically. >> no. there's all those things. there's constitutional checks. the department of justice for years has been in a sense, an independent agency. the president doesn't tell the attorney general whether or not to prosecute hillary clinton, for example. or whether to bring charges or what kind of charges to bring. that's not his job. he doesn't do that. no one has ever done that. >> first of all no, one has ever done a lot of things. you say that now. to me that's the question. he is on twitter instructing jeff sessions to open a criminal case against hillary clinton. >> and he's telling jeff spegss even though he took ethical path to recuse himself, that he shouldn't have done that. not only does he instruct the attorney general on what to do ethically, which is unethical, on who to prosecute, and then he
stroukts who should be fired and not fired. all of those things are not the job of the united states. and there will be pushback within the congress. i think if he takes ultimate step of firing sessions, you're going to see a lot of people in congress and a lot of people on the other side being the conservative republicans, really starting to turn against him. it would be the archibald cox sxhoemt the delano roosevelt moment when he tried to pack the supreme court. there are certain elements of fairness that people will not put up with. >> that's a great example. you can put in 40 people if you can confirm them. and this goes to the point about pressure. he's doing it by his play book which is pressure. to get people to knuckle under. to dominate and insult. you have jeff sessions announcing that he will announce
leak investigations. >> maybe it is effective. to the extent there is one, it is all rooted in the idea that trump can sow so much chaos and confusion, he can start a melee in the bar at 2:00 a.m. such that people are beer bottles over each other's heads. in trump's world, if a few guys get hurt it's worth it. i hope nick is right that there is intestinal fortitude. if we do see him firing bob mueller or even firing his attorney general so he can fire bob mueller, that there will be a check on that power in the legislative branch. thus far we've seen president trump take engage in a litany of unprecedented actions. and we've not seen republicans do it thus far. i hope they have the will to do it. >> all right.
thank you both. >> next, the president announce as new ban in the military on transgender service members in a series of tweets. a move coming as a surprise to many including the pentagon. why it might have been a tradeoff to help fund the border wall. of this... with the lighter feel... of this. try listerine® zero alcohol™. whuuuuuat?rtgage offer from the bank today. you never just get one offer. go to lendingtree.com and shop multiple loan offers for free! free? yeah. could save thousands. you should probably buy me dinner.
that's why at comcast we're continuing to make4/7. our services more reliable than ever. like technology that can update itself. an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. out of nowhere, today president trump announce ad new military policy twitter banning transgender people from serving in the u.s. military. he wrote, after consultation with my generals, please be advised the united states government will not allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military. our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming --
>> the department of defense was so blind sided by the tweets that pentagon officials release ad statement admitting the defense department has no plan to deal with the policy reversal and will provide guidance in the near future. it drew strong opposition from civil rights groups, from democratic lawmakers, and also republicans like senator joni ernst and senator orrin hatch. >> people who are transgender, they don't choose to be transgender. they're born that way. why should we hold that against them? they're human beings. many of them are extremely talented human beings. we should be open to everybody. >> that's the 83-year-old republican senator from utah. so why did the president decide to reverse this policy?
according to politico, it threateneded his border wall. they report that republicans wanted trump to stealth issue since the disagreement was holding up the republican budget that included funding for his wall. that's the one that he said hundreds of times mexico would pay for. president trump went far than he was being asked for, to ban transgender people from the military. one senior house republican aide telling politico, this is like someone told the white house to light a candle on the table and the white house set the whole table on fire. joining me now, the political reporter covering congress who co-authored the snap decision to ban transgender troops. my understanding, there's a fight in the budget bill about whether the pentagon will pay for gender reassignment surgery
which is a considerably narrower issue than whether transgender individuals can serve at all. they asked the president to do something and out of the blue, he just announce this is entire ban. >> not quite out of the blue. they want to pass this bill this week. and they're having trouble getting it through. basically, house republicans have the suspending package that's supposed to be a menning bill for trump. it includes money for the wall, a pentagon close-up, money for veterans. but there are a bunch of republicans who threaten to derail it unless they inserted a provision banned the pentagon from using medical insurances that pay important transgender health care services such as sex changes, hormone therapy treatments. they couldn't get it passed in the house. moderate republicans basically banded together to block this on the floor. however, they went to the white house and said, listen. if you can't help with us this, this could tank, which would be another headline of something that had failed when repeal has stuck in the senate. and you know they're dealing with the russia scandal right now as well. >> so this is a sticking issue.
it is like whether the pentagon, essentially, the pentagon is going to pay for this. the people who want to put a provision in to stop them. when he said he's consulted the generals, that was not true. >> that's correct. he went around this one. i am told by a number of house republican that's they are trying to get mattis on this issue for a while. they were calling him. he hadn't called back. when he finally called back last week, he said give me suffice maneuver on this.
it affects between 2,000 to final,000 active military personnel. he wanted to think about this for a time and figure out the best policy the move forward. but trump went around him, never one for political correctness. he basically overrode mattis on this. >> he didn't just override him. he was not truthful. he said this was process of consultation when it was not, according to your sources. >> we are told that mattis took himself out of, this seeing where it was going. it is not that he didn't know it was coming but he obviously didn't agree with it and he was going to let the white house do what they were going to do. >> thank you.
>> thank you. >> joining me now, senator tammy duckworth. the president said this morning that this was an issue of cost and readiness and distraction. do you think that's true? >> no. it's baloney. you want to talk about cost? studies have shown if 2016, the d.o.d. spent with $5.6 million on health care for transgendered service members. they spent $21 million on viagra alone. 84 until for erectile dysfunction, medication and treatment. if they want to cut costs, i don't think this is place to look. >> what about readiness? that it emanated from consultation with the folks at dod? >> my understanding is that this tweet caught the four service chiefs completely off guard. in fact, the dod has come out in the past and said they can certainly work this issue. we have had transgender americans serving with honor in the military. it did not affect unit readiness. and this is completely not the issue. this is an issue of the president appealing to his base. or a handful of people. my understanding is they reached out to him through steve bannon because they couldn't get through to the pentagon leadership who oppose this. bottom line. the tweet from the commander in chief, the united states military, is disruptive. if somebody is averting readiness, it is president trump and tweets like this. >> what do you think is going through the minds of active service members, particularly those overseas today?
>> well, i'll sure they're wondering who the heck is their commander in chief? a guy who nerve served in military, a guy who obviously doesn't understand the military. what you need to improve readiness is to invest in training and equipment to do their jobs. to pass defense budget and make sure that our men and women have all the support that they need to do their jobs. and instead, we have a commander in chief who instead of working on things like an authorization for the use of military force in the middle east, is talking about transgender issues. it is simply boggling the mind that this is what he's spending his time on at a time when he should be coming up with a strategy on how to defeat isis. >> there are interesting responses this morning. >> john mccain, who came out against it. no reason to force service members to leave the military regardless of their gender identity. senator joni ernst, a veteran like you as a veteran, she said she served alongside veterans from all different parts of the country. she believes the military should not cover the cost but all americans qualified should be afforded the opportunity. were you surprised by the responses? is this what you would have expected to hear from your colleagues across the aisle? >> i think this is what i would have expected to hear. i think that if anyone who served in uniform understands the preciousness of americans will to lay down their lives to defend the constitution and the values that we hold dear. and those men and women are the true national treasure he of this country. if you want to serve this country and you want to risk your life to pre serve our democracy, then you should be allowed to serve. in fact, diversity is what makes our military the greatest military on the face of the
earth. we have female service members that they were able to have female engagement teams in afghanistan and collect intelligence from afghani women. that we have arab americans serving means we have language abilities in the middle east. and having transgendered servicemen and women willing to share the load and the dangers, it is as important as anyone else. we cannot afford to waste a single patriot willing to wear the uniform. she believes the military should not cover the cost but all americans qualified should be afforded the opportunity. were you surprised by the responses? is this what you would have expected to hear from your colleagues across the aisle? >> i think this is what i would have expected to hear. i think that if anyone who served in uniform understands the preciousness of americans
will to lay down their lives to defend the constitution and the values that we hold dear. and those men and women are the true national treasure he of this country. if you want to serve this country and you want to risk your life to pre serve our democracy, then you should be allowed to serve. in fact, diversity is what makes our military the greatest military on the face of the earth. we have female service members that they were able to have female engagement teams in afghanistan and collect intelligence from afghani women. that we have arab americans serving means we have language abilities in the middle east. and having transgendered servicemen and women willing to share the load and the dangers, it is as important as anyone else. we cannot afford to waste a single patriot willing to wear the uniform. and as a person who got four or five deferments. >> thank you. coming up, even with republican president, republican congress, and seven years to prepare, republicans are still uneven to agree on the basics.
one day after republicans voted to take the bill, republicans such as senate majority leader mitch mcconnell have made repealing and replacing obamacare an absolutely existential central issue for years. >> we believe it is important to do in office what you said you would do. we said we would have
a straight up or down vote to repeal this health care law.
>> only one
way to truly fix obamacare. on one way. that's a full replay. >> what i can tell you is that we're 100% committed to repeal and replace obamacare. >> obamacare will be gone. >> we're preparing to repeal and replace the disaster known as obamacare. >> it is a pretty hot item. you're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost and it will be so easy. >> for all the talk, they never apparently bothered to come one a workable plan. instead, they are now at this very moment, debating what the basic framework for their health
care bill should be. already, two proposals have failed. a repeal and replace strategy, voted down. a repeal only, voted down. putting off the question of replacement for the time being. even the republicans are confused about what the heck they are doing. here's senator john mccain today. >> you're a smarter guy than i am. maybe you've detected a path forward. >> if you think of any other major bill -- >> the republican end game on health care just after this break.
is in the past hour, this one, the so-called skinny repeal, the scaled down version. it would leave 16 million more americans uninsured by 2026 and crucially, also increase premiums by 20%. and it is far from a comprehensive health plan. this partial repeal bill is designed to get republicans just something to pass. a piece of legislation essentially a place holder that then they can take to a conference committee with the house where the real work of crafting a bill would happen. but here's the thing. as democratic senator points out, a skaltd back repeal bill just so they can get to conference equals unconditional surrender to the bill. since senate would go effectively, would it act as default for negotiations.
and negotiations would be minimal. the senate gop would have lost all power to repeal it. it would increase the number of people of uninsured people. trump celebrated the passage of the house version in may before later calling it mean, mean, mean. but if the senate in the next day, truly abdicates responsibility, if they pass the bill, it might be very close to what becomes law. with me now, brian shots of hawaii. okay. the repeal or replace failed. clean repeal failed. here's what i'm understanding. it seals like mitch mcconnell is saying sign this check and i promise, i won't deposit it until you tell me it's okay. >> i think that's right. i think he has no idea to you ho to you cobble together 51 votes. so he's asking they will to believe the final product will be whatever they want. if you're coming from a medicaid expansion state, you're being reassured that medicaid won't be harmed. if you're mike lee or ted cruz or rand paul, you're being
i think he has no idea to you ho to you cobble together 51 votes. so he's asking they will to believe the final product will be whatever they want. if you're coming from a medicaid expansion state, you're being reassured that medicaid won't be harmed. if you're mike lee or ted cruz or rand paul, you're being promised this is massive medicaid cuts and with the possibility of repealing most of the taxes and the affordable care act. where they end up is what they're calling skinny repeal. i'm worried that what will end up happening is that they will get 51 votes. then they will to go conference committee, fail, and then the house will swallow this so-called skinny repeal. we can't treat it as a weigh station on the way to the conference committee. we have to treat this seriously as something that might be federal law. when cbo tells you that your back-up plan takes 16 million people out of health care, maybe it is time to start over. have some hearings and work through a bipartisan process. >> that's an excellent point.
what you're saying, i was saying this is a place holder to get a conference. no. this actually becomes law. this is where the train stops. this is what they can get to. they then force the house. and it would raise premiums. are you concerned, it would blow up insurance markets? at least there's a chance would it do that. >> i think it is a certainty. would it eviscerate the markets. to the extent that people recognize that there is a real problem with the affordable care act in that we have these, what they call exchange deserts. there are parts of the country, counties and even some full states that have zero, one or two insurers and it is very expensive. and there's a way to solve that problem pretty straightforwardly with premium subsidies. that's a real problem in the affordable care act. if you're worried about that, you should be really worried that the thing they're trying to enact this week.
that would essentially lighten the individual market on fire. and there are not sort of two public policy sides to this argument. there's nobody credible in america thinks, if you just repeal the mandate, that anything positive will happen to the individual market. so this is a reckless policy all on its own. i'm worried that people are characterizing it as sort of moderate weigh station. 16 million people losing their insurance logical instantaneously. insurance rates going up by almost 20% and insurance deserts across the country and that's the back-up plan. you're saying it is the solution. just to blow up the individual health insurance markets across the country. starting immediately. >> right. and go hole for the delegation trips and the family vacations. it is really bad. i think the only reason it hasn't totally sunk in is that has the new proposal. we have an awful proposal every 24 or 42 or 72 hours. this is latest. it takes time for policy people and cbo and others to analyze and get word out. this is a very frightening plan. i guess it is true that it is not as bad as 23 million people lose go their health care. but 16 million is unacceptable. we don't have to do this to
ourselves. i understand that they have an imperative to fulfill their promise. but i will tell you that people across the country are terrified about what will happen. and even people who thought they wanted the affordable care act repealed are terrified on what will actually happen. now that we are on the precipice. >> thank you for joining me. >> thank you. ahead, follow a bruise go cycle for the president, he retreats back to his base. ramping up ugly rhetoric. we don't have to do this to ourselves. i understand that they have an imperative to fulfill their promise. but i will tell you that people across the country are terrified about what will happen. and even people who thought they wanted the affordable care act repealed are terrified on what will actually happen. now that we are on the precipice.
>> thank you for joining me. >> thank you. ahead, follow a bruise go cycle for the president, he retreats back to his base. ramping up ugly rhetoric. and it is payday. chances are, the last time you got a home loan, you got robbed. i know-- i got a loan 20 years ago, and i got robbed. that's why i started lendingtree-- the only place you can compare up to 5 real offers side by side, for free.
five times on a friday when he took job as white house communications director, anthony scaramucci stated that he loves this president. and that from what he has seen the american people feel that way too. today in the first televised press briefing since friday, press secretary sarah huckabee sanders, began with a tribute of her own the president trump. >> i've spent a lot of time around the president over the last year and i know exactly why he's here. he's tough, a fighter, a strong leader and he is someone who deeply loves this country. he loves his people and he wants to make america great again. >> if that was not enough, she announced every once in a while they'll be starting with a letter or an e-mail.
starting today. >> my name is dylan but everybody calls me pickle. i'm 9 years old and you're my favorite president. i like you so much that aid birthday about you. my cake was the shame of your head. >> but that was not the only thing that happened in the day's briefing. it is time for a novelty check. that's thing two in 60 seconds.
today the president once again donated his salary, this for the second time of 2017. >> on behalf of the president of the united states to present a check for $100,000. >> that's all there is to it. >> that's all there is to it. a winner! >> we've add someday sound effects there. as peter alexander pointed out,
there is a pretty stark other side. >> to the department of education. clearly you must care about education. why is he calling for $9.2 billion in spending cuts to the department of education in the next budget? >> i think that oftentimes you have a lot of duplicative efforts and they want to streamline the process. conservative commentator anl coulter met weeks ago with donald trump.
president has called a great read. that one titled, adios, america. the last plan to turn our country into a third world hell hole. with the arrival of the new white house communications director anthony scaramucci, the president appears to have rediscovered a kind of rhetoric that electrified his core supporters on the campaign trail. speaking in ohio last night, the president talked about need to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities specifically because of foreign criminals. he appeared to reference a recent crime in which gang members killed four members of a rival gang. >> you've seen the stories about some of these animals. they don't want to use guns because it is too fast and it is not fast and it's not painful enough. so they'll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife. because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. and these are the animals that
we've been protecting for so long. well, they're not being protected any longer, folks. >> animals. what can we expect from a president who is increasingly under siege. that's next. ♪ ouch! new band-aid® brand skin-flex™ bandages. our best bandage yet! it dries almost instantly. better? yeah. good thing because stopping never crosses your mind. band-aid® brand. stick with it™ i feel it every day. but at night it's the last thing on my mind.
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but now you're mellow. and you're cool. and you're not nearly as vicious or violent. right? because we won. right? >> the president last december, part of his so-called thank you tour talking to his base. betsy woodruff, and senior editor at business insider. it does seem -- the president's entire political strategy is to cater to his base. it seems in the last little bit that he's been doing that with renewed intensity. >> also, i think this is a little weird. because when you talk about catering to his base, it was very different from social conservatives in 2004, on immigration and policing and issues that appealed to non-religious northern white voters in whom the president had big improvements over past republican nominees. it's not clear to me this issue is a winner with him. in north carolina, the governor's race was basically about this. ran behind donald trump.
a poll a few months ago, they said if accepting the transgender of people helped this country. 42% said it didn't matter either way. what that adds up to is the median voter doesn't want a big fuss about this stuff. if you kick thousands of people out of the military, you're making a big fuss about it. >> what do you think about, betsy, the coulter visit, and bannon bringing coulter in to say, remember your base. the boy scout event, then last night really felt -- that rif about the animals that are slicing and dicing people, that was pretty intense demagoguery. it was as intense as i've seen it as the president of the united states. >> exactly. you can't understand the comment
that he made last night without putting it in the context that he's been going after his attorney general who has been the heart and soul of his immigration policy. no coincidence, in my view, that the president has presented himself over the last 24, 48 hours as hawkish as ever on immigration, when the one member of his cabinet who really genuinely in his heart of hearts agrees with the president on immigration is also the member the president has been threatening to fire over twitter over the last couple of days. those two pieces are very much connected. i think part of this is probably the president trying to compensate for the fact that a lot of folks in his base are pretty concerned. i spoke to chris crane, president of the union that represents i.c.e. agents responsible for detaining, arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants. when i talked to them a couple of days ago, he said he was hesitant to criticize the president but said, look, sessions is the best friend law enforcement agents have right now.
we don't want there to be any daylight between sessions and trump. we're here for sessions. we want him. so when trump starts demo going toing about gangs, that's an important piece. >> the sessions thing is the one thing he's doing right now that is entirely out of line, right? >> right. >> at one level there's a sort of bunker mentality. he's having trouble on capitol hill right now. he's got this swirling investigation that keeps growing. you know, his approval ratings still around 39% or whatever. at the same time he's fighting with the guy that's the troop unity. >> it was so explicit this morning. you get the tweets announcing out of the blue, the transgenders in the military, and then about jeff sessions and the justice department. making explicit that the bannon wing is going to get to make policy and the kushner wing will get the rule of law to keep themselves out of prison. which i don't obviously think is a great trade for the country. >> bad trade, yeah.
>> the other question is, can he sell that to his base. what has he really delivered on immigration? he's had i.c.e. be nastier, which i think is an important deliverable. >> yes. >> there haven't been significant broader policy changes in terms of legal immigration. we've had the -- they've issued extra guest worker visas, that will be used at mar-a-lago. he's delivered on stepping up enforcement on illegal immigration, he hasn't delivered on broad changing immigration policies. >> betsy, it's always been the case that it would be easier to hurt the people that he said he would hurt than to help the people he said he would help. there are tangible deliverables. >> additionally, a number of those deliverables are due to the policies and the changes that jeff sessions has made at the justice department.
he said every single u.s. attorney's office in the united states, including offices and districts that are completely land locked, pick one person to be the border security liaison, every u.s. attorney's office. he's encouraged federal prosecutors to prioritize, prosecuting people for just illegally reentering the country maybe twice. federal prosecutors who said this is not why they decided to become federal prosecutors. that's a change that sessions has made, and additionally, of course, a lot of the enforcement stuff, that's coming from the dhs, from kelly. these are changes that are happening from his administration, from these two cabinet officials. there hasn't been the public tension, with trump and kelly, but with trump and sessions, when you talk about immigration, you have to talk about session also. it's just key. >> that is "all in" for this tonight, the trump/sessions drama continues with more presidential tweets aimed at the attorney general and at this hour, is the ag safe in his job or closer to being fired? a new report tonight says trump