tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC August 24, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
what an interesting thing. christian, thanks for the work that you do and thank you for joining us tonight. watch the premier of the latest episode of "breaking hate" this sunday at 9:00 p.m. right here on msnbc. that's tonight's last word. i'm ali velshi. "the 11th hour" begins now. trader don. let's play hardball. good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump is roiling financial markets today around the world, escalating his trade war with china and attacking the chair of the federal reserve. all this as he heads off to herald the strength of the u.s. economy at the g7 summit this weekend in france. responding to a retaliatory move by china early today, the president tonight declared that he's hiking u.s. tariffs on beijing, raising existing rates as well as those set to kick in next month. it comes after china announced
this morning that they were imposing a new round of tariffs on $75 billion worth of american goods. the news was met with outrage at the white house where the president took to twitter and attempted to order all american companies to cut their ties with china, all american companies, no more trade with china. of course that's ridiculous. trump tweeted, we don't need china and frankly we would be better off without them. our great american companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for alternative to china including bringing your companies home and making your products in the usa. that's the president this morning, trumpeting powers he doesn't possess. ho however "the washington post" points out the president doesn't have the power to enforce such directives as that. the united states has a $380 billion trade deficit with china in 2018. that deficit appears to be increasing this year. look at those numbers. trump's tweeting ignited a rapid sell-off on wall street, the
dow, which was in positive territory going into today, closed down 623 points just today. earlier today the president appeared to joke about the market's decline, saying, the dow is down, perhaps on the news that representative seth moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. wow, what a card. all this comes after fed chair jerome powell said this morning the trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing a role in the global slowdown. his speech prompted an attack from the president. quote, as usual, the fed did nothing. it is incredible that they can speak without knowing or asking what i am doing which will be announced shortly. we have a very strong dollar and a very weak fed. and then in a stunning move, the president added, my only question is, who is our big enemy, jay powell or chairman xi of china? i'm joined by ben rhodes, former national security adviser for
president obama. a white house reporter for "the washington post" and a vice chairman of mastercard and former u.s. trade republican in the obama administration. thank you all. this will be very powerful. let's talk about -- i'm a big believer that the trade deficit with china has to be dealt with because china keeps making money off us which they do by selling us some great goods, there's no doubt about it, we love their stuff, especially their cotton goods and all that stuff but there's all that exchange they get from us to buy the rest of the world, especially africa, i don't like it, ben, your thoughts about what should we be doing if not this, but let's start with trump, what's he doing, what's he up to? >> the problem is he doesn't really know what he's doing, chris. he's gotten into this and the only play he's had is to escalate this trade war with the chinese. nobody knows where this is leaving. the chinese have decided to dig in, match him move for move. he's not only raising prices on americans, hurting american sectors like the agricultural
sector, but he's dragging down the entire global economy. the way to do this, if you wanted to stand up to china's unfair trade practices, if you wanted to stand up for american workers and businesses, is not to alienate the united states from the rest of the world and take on the chinese alone, it would be to rally all of our allies, the people he's seeing at the g7, the countries we negotiated with, that mike froman negotiated with in the obama administration, so we would have a united front to go to the chinese and say you need to cut out your theft of intellectual property and your unfair trade practices. >> has any president, including obama, been able to do that? >> well, chris, unfortunately we were building up to that type of capacity. the trade agreement that we negotiated, the trans-pacific partnership with a number of the leading asia pacific economies, was meant to give the president of the united states greater leverage for that type of confrontation. i think what you need --
>> but hillary wouldn't go along with it. >> and that was a mistake by hillary. frankly i think the democrats have to learn too, chris. it's not just about free trade, it's about trade agreements that can work for american businesses and workers that are more progressive. if voters are looking for someone who's going to tear up trade agreements and have trade wars, they have that candidate in donald trump. and it's not delivering good results. i think the democrats can put forward a different alternative that is about rallying the world to our side. >> ben, you're the rest. bill clinton, i was in tokyo when he said he thought it was a fabulous agreement, the tpp. you know politics in this country, hillary came out against it, i know how politics work. you're with the associated press. tell me, does trump just get petulant or does he have a strategy to really take on china? somebody's got to take on china. >> the president has been saying now for decades that china has been ripping the u.s. off. >> well, they are. >> he stood there on the south
lawn today and summoned the sky and said he had been appointed are he was the chosen one, to take on china. he feels china has been ripping us off. >> no, no, does anybody disagree with that premise, that somebody has to do it? >> even as the tpp agreement was trying to address, absolutely. it makes sense for him to risk some potential economic hardship in order to get that done, in order to seem strong. but the problem is that the way that he's been doing this, has created these members ripple effects across the global that really are now threatening his reelection chances. >> early this morning trump's director of trade policy, peter navarro, says china's latest round of tariffs shouldn't affect financial markets. >> $75 billion worth of tariffs in terms of, what, a combined $30 trillion economy, is not something for the stock market to worry about. and we're cool here. >> how can you beat the chinese? it's a command economy, a command society. xi is the boss.
he can do this stuff that trump thinks he can do, tell companies you can't trade with them. how do you beat them? >> you can organize the major economies that put pressure on china. that's what we were doing at the end of the obama administration. you organize countries in the region to set higher standards and rules for trade that china will be forced to compete with. then you use all the tools at your disposal to hold china to account. >> do you think china can be beaten in this war? this is the 21st century. the way they're going, they will beat us. >> they have a strategy they're executing on very well. it's important for us to also have a strategy including a domestic strategy that's around investing in research and technology, lifelong learning, portable benefits, all the things we'll need, whether it's trade or technology, that will affect the american worker. we have to make sure the american worker can succeed in a rapidly changing economy. >> are we better than they in innovation? can we win that war that way?
we can't win in population, they out-populate us, obviously. >> we are a leader in innovation. but they are also catching up quite a bit in a number of areas. and according to some, they're ahead of us in some areas. we shouldn't be complacent about it. we haven't invested in the same way domestically as they have. >> why don't we buy everything from vietnam? >> we are buying a certain amount. >> wouldn't that screw the chinese? >> china is the second largest economy in the world, the first largest consumer economy in the world. it's important for our exporters, our companies, our workers, our farmers, to have access to that market. getting market access, leveling the playing field, having fair trade with them, is important. and i think the president has created a certain amount of leverage in his initial threatening of putting tariffs on. but you have to translate that leverage into actual agreements. that's the hard part, because it's easy just to impose tariffs. it's hard to take them off. once tariffs are in place for while, people get used to them.
>> let me get back to the politics of this thing, ben. i think trump may be doing it the wrong way, the culture is so long term. their indifference curve is so long, it will take eons to get what they get what we're thinking about friday night, what movie we're going to. why is he attacking his fed chair so publicly? does he think he can get lower rates and help the economy get some more soup in it if he just bashes this guy every day on television? >> no, chris, here's what i think is going on, right? we are potentially heading into an economic downturn, potentially recession, because of the reckless leadership of donald trump. the tools that you would have in place to try to stimulate an economy, we don't have those in place, because donald trump gave away $1 trillion in his tax bill, largely in corporate tax cuts, tax cuts to the wealthy. the fed already has low rates. donald trump is looking for other people to blame if the
recession comes, the downturn comes before his election. so he's set up the fed, he's set up xi jinping, anyone but himself, the chosen one as he says, anyone to blame. >> it sounds biblical. let me ask you about something that i don't understand. i know keynesian economics. a big tax cut, a lot more money to spend, they spend a certain percentage of it and you get economic growth. you have increased growth. but what happened this time, the zillion dollar tax cut, why didn't it work? is the money just being used to buy back stock by corporate leaders? where did it go to, all this money, or is it sitting somewhere? ben? it's a tough question. why did it not work? >> because it wasn't designed, right, to -- it was designed to go to the wealthy and to corporations. it was not designed to put money in people's pockets.
it wasn't designed for the middle class. it wasn't designed to boost consumer spending in this country. it was designed to reward, frankly, corporations and wealthy backers of this president who put that money away. >> to use sanders' accent, what are the pimillionaires and billionaires doing with it all? who got the money? >> you know more than i do. >> where did all those zillions of dollars that we gave away from the federal treasury, basically, to soup up the economy so trump would get a good reelection, he's not the only loser here. the american people have lost with the money going out the door. >> i think we're very fortunate that the economy is actually quite resilient and we're ten years into a recovery and consumer spending continues to be fairly strong. economists will generally say -- >> are we facing two quarters of declining gdp, which is a recession? >> we don't know yet. the question will be what
triggers it if it happens. the kind of trade tensions we're seeing could be one of those factories. >> despite co-dependence by the companies that make you want global economy the president gloated the u.s. economy is doing well when the others are not. he said on twitter, the economy is strong and good where is the rest of the world is not doing so well. "the washington post" describes that despite signs of a home-grown slowdown, trump maintains the u.s. is immune to the economic trends rattling other countries. then the president said, quote, despite this, the fake news media together with their partner the democrat party, that's partisan talk, are working over titime to convince people that we are going into a recession. i don't know what to say about that. you're not political, you're not political. i have to go back to ben on this. first of all, i think there's a point there that the press likes to be ahead on this story, nobody wants to be behind on this story. the story right now is could there be a recession. trump says that's beating down
the economy. your thoughts? the press is beating down the economy. >> again, chris, he's just looking for someone to blame. what he's getting some of this data, he's seeing the writing on the wall. his actions have brought this about a. h his leadership of the markets, his rattling of the markets, the tax bill that did nothing to address fundamental problems in the economy, whether that's the stagnation, whether it's the investments that should be made in the research and innovative base of this country. he's looking for scapegoats, he's looking for people to blame. for the democrats it's a simple message. this guy didn't take care of you. he said he was going to look out for you, chris, the people you're always talking about in pennsylvania. instead he looked out for the wealthiest americans, he looked out for corporations, and meanwhile you're the one getting hit, your wages aren't going up. your student loans are going up. the price of health care is going up. so even though he spent $1 trillion on this tax bill,
things are not getting better for the people who are struggling in this economy. and i think the democrats need to be making that message forcefully. >> i wish he was making a forceful message like you just did, he should be pushing the people who are swirling in cash, use it to build plants and equipment, to be at optimistic on the economy as trump talks, as he talks. thank you, ambassador mike froman, for your service to the country. ben, thank you as well. you and jill are sticking with us. next, trump versus the world. i'll fight anybody in the house for a dollar. remember this photo from the last g7, this is like one of those pictures you see in bar windows, like one of the republican presidents sitting there with his arms crossed defiantly in front of other world leaders. i would put my money on merkel. here we go again, america's allies are bracing for another contention summit, a stormy one other there in france and trying to figure out how to keep trump from blowing it up.
that's their concern. presidential contender beto o'rourke joins us live tonight. his strategy to win the nomination, he's going after trump. we've got much more to get to. stay with us. e got much more to. stay with us [ soft piano music playing ] mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget. flo has it, i want it, it's a whole thing, and she's right there. -yeah, she's my ride. this date's lame. he has pics of you on his phone. -they're very tasteful.
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plus get $250 back when you buy a new samsung note. click, call or visit a store today. welcome back to "hardball." after escalating the trade war with china and inciting chaos here at home, president trump now takes his road show across the atlantic. tonight the president departs for france and the g7 and our allies brace for a stormy summit. french president emmanuel macron now wonders how to handle trump. "the washington post" reports france's main objectives as host of this weekend's group of seven summit is to minimize the chances that president trump will blow it up. there may be troubles ahead as world leaders talk global trade, iran, and climate change, including the fires raging right now in the amazon rainforest which is really scary. on top of all that, president
trump is pushing for russia to be added back into the group, once again acting as an agent for russia. does the conspiracy go on? you have to ask yourself how did he get the job of lobbyist or ambassador for russia. he's still doing it. macron, by the way, says it's not going to happen unless russia gets its hands off the ukraine, which is likely. here again, the past is prologue. look at this picture from last year's summit in canada. it displays the diplomatic discord. look at him. president trump visibly surrounded and opposed by all the other world leaders. of course john bolton is there at his side. trump left that summit early. he left early and announced in a tweet from air force one that he would not be signing the official communique, the end of meeting communique, because he was angry with canadian prime minister trudeau. french president macron is making sure that won't happen in france because he's saying there
will not be an end of meeting communique for the first time ever, because he says trump won't agree, it's pointless. joining me is eugene robinson, along with jill colvin and ben rhodes. he's the bull in a china shop who hauls the china shop with him. why does he have to play john mcenroe wherever he goes? >> number one, he thinks it's his brand, it's his brand to be a nationalist, it's his brand to be i am america against the world, we don't need the rest of the world, we don't need these cheese eaters. that picture that we showed, he's loving it. he's the center of attention. he's loving that moment. they're all having to appeal to him to do something and he's saying no. he eats that up. i think he gets satisfaction out of that. >> except for one guy, he loves boris johnson, the other guy with the hair. the other story, the other wild picture.
he wants the other wild man. >> he's not going to love boris quite as much as he thinks. they're going to get along. boris is a performer like trump, i knew him a little bit when i was in london, he was a journalist then. >> he wasn't reliable on facts, was he? >> no, he wasn't reliable on facts. >> i didn't think. >> he's a performer, a politician/performer elike trum. >> you know who else was a journalist and started that way, benito mussolini. same guy. >> so things can go wrong. boris johnson is still basically a european. he's not going to agree with trump on a lot of things. he doesn't agree with him on bringing russia back in, for example, he knows about this little unpleasantness in ukraine, he's read history, you know -- >> he wrote history, he wrote a great book on churchill. >> if trump thinks he's going to be the mini me, boris is not
exactly going to be that. >> the guy down in brazil is that. ben, this is your line. i have to tell you, trump acts like if they don't have the dossier of him, if they don't have video of the hotel scenes, why is he acting like this? why is he going over to france with the number one goal of getting russia back in, why does he have this lobbying job for russia? >> chris, it's absolutely mystifying. >> or not. >> well, yeah. i was there when we kicked russia out of the g8 and i can tell you that was a unanimous decision of all the other countries because they had been baited by the annexing of crimea and ukraine. you go to the g8 to strategizing with your allies and fixigure o how to solve problems. russia would be a spoiler in that mix. he's doing exactly what putin wants, to try to divide the
west, divide the democratic world so russia can take advantage of that division. he's eager to meet with putin. he invited him to the white house and couldn't go through with that because he had so much political blowback. he makes fun of reporters while sitting next to vladimir putin even though vladimir putin has had reporters killed. he's eager to get russia into another meeting so he has another chance to meet with vladimir putin. the thing is we need this g7 really badly. look at all the international crises, trade war with china, the amazon on fire, north korea firing off missiles. these are the things that you want to talk to those countries about. and instead of thinking about those things, our allies are thinking about how do we prevent the united states from blowing up the summit. it's a sign of just how far the united states has fallen in terms of our standing in the world. >> president trump is again criticizing our allies. at a rally last week the president said this about the european union. >> the european union is worse than china.
just smaller. it treats us horribly. barriers. tariffs. taxes. and we let them come in. >> and last month the president threatened to place tariffs on french wine in response to the country's new tax affecting technology companies. here is what trump tweeted. i've always said american wine is better than french wine. the question there, and it's a legitimate one, he doesn't drink. >> but he said the labels on the bottles look prettier and that's what makes it good. he also happens to own a vineyard in virginia, of course. >> why does he make statements that don't mean anything? >> this is just a fascinating pattern. in addition to that mic drop moment the president did in canada while he was leaving, i don't know why he does this -- >> this is a generational thing, you're doing, the joke, the mic drop. that's new. >> he does this thing where every time he goes to visit one of these summits, he goes to an ally nation -- >> what is it, you cover this guy, what's his psyche?
>> he likes to create these moments of conflict. he thinks it generates attention. he doesn't really like spending time at these summits, he finds it quite boring, he often asks staff to try to get him out of it because he doesn't want to go so he creates all this drama before he arrives. this week he threatened to release isis prisoners into the european nations, into the country's allies. he had this spat with denmark where he's furious -- >> does he hate the very idea of equality, of him sitting at a table with six other leaders? >> the president certainly prefers trips where he is sort of hailed as this glorious figure, there's all the pomp and circumstance, countries like china that roll out the red carpet. >> he's scripting an episode, we should be used to that by now. every day, every meeting, every encounter, like an episode of a reality show. and that gets old, but we should expect that. >> to your point, jill, the g7 also comes on the heels of the
president's feud with denmark this week. the president pulled out of a state visit out of denmark's prime minister called trump's desire to purchase greenland absurd. the other g7 leaders have surely taken notice. according to "the new york times," quote, most of the other leaders of the group of seven powers will no doubt save their eye rolling for when he is not looking, but they have come to see the mercurial behavior as the new norm by the president. ben. greenland. i sometimes think -- i'm not a trump hater, i disagree with most of what he does, but there's a part of him that's simply an 8-year-old, some people say an 11-year-old. gee wiz, i'm playing the board game, and i see this acquisition, park place or whatever it is, i will buy greenland. they're never going to sell it. what do you make of this, this strange behavior? it's not going to happen. >> this one's particularly crazy. here's the thing, though, chris, as someone who had to work on
foreign policy and think about our relationships around the world, we're kind of laughing at this stuff here. they're not around the world. they're thinking like, what happened to america? how did they elect this person? who is this person? i should add, too, it's true, he likes to create drama at these summits. no when he's going to see dictators, he sees kim jong-un, he tries to see vladimir putin every time he's with him. he's a nationalist, he's a man with authoritarian tendencies. he's more comfortable with people like that, xi jinping, vladimir putin, kim jong-un. he's comfortable in their company, not in the company of our allies, justin trudeau or shinzo abe from japan. >> gene, world war ii, with all its horror, 50 million dead,
created something good called the world order. before that, little companies didn't matter, germany could gobble upzechoslovakiaczechoslo. the little countries had to live with it. it seems like trump wants that back. >> he wants a sphere of influence, world of great powers, where you have the united states and you have china in a lesser role over there and you have -- you know, who cares about europe. i mean, it's a tragic mistake, i think the institutions and alliances created after the second world war were spectacularly successful. and, you know, at keeping the peace, at generating prosperity. it's a system that worked very well. not perfectly, but very well. >> it was bipartisan too. >> it was bipartisan. donald trump doesn't understand any of that, he certainly doesn't believe in it. ben is absolutely right, he's much more comfortable with kim
jong-un and vladimir putin. >> who knew that germany would be a great democracy, japan would be a great democracy, and europe would be united. jill colvin, thank you, from the associated press, eugene robinson, one of our great colleagues. up next, beto o'rourke is ready to play "hardball." i hope i said it right. and the french president calls the amazon a global crisis. trump doesn't understand what this is, the lungs of our planet down there. don't go anywhere. we're back after this. down there don't go anywhere. we're back after this. u need in. but it's not really something you want to buy. it's not sexy... oh delicious. or delicious... or fun. ♪ but since you need both car and home insurance, why not bundle them with esurance and save up to 10%. which you can spend on things you really want to buy, like ah well i don't know what you'd wanna buy cause i'm just a guy
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welcome back to "hardball." today the democratic field of 2020 candidates shrunk by one as massachusetts congressman seth moulton ended his presidential campaign, the fourth candidate to drop out so far following swalwell, hickenlooper and inslee. many the remaining candidates spent the day take summit meeting in san francisco. former congressman beto o'rourke was in texas with former congresswoman gabby giffords who was severely wounded at a mass shooting in tucson in 2011. visiting with victims of the recent shooting in el paso. there they are at the hospital. in an interview with "the new york times" last week, o'rourke said he would detach his calendar and plan his future on
confronting trump on his terms. >> if i don't connect the dots, then i am in part culpable for the next mass shooting animated by the president's racism. so we've got to call that out. and we've got to make those connections clear to our fellow americans who themselves may have not understood how the president's rhetoric, his language, his laughter when somebody at one of his rallies says "shoot them" when talking about how we stop the invasion he's been warning of us when it comes to immigrants in this country. >> the president has been all over the place on gun control, of course, promising action on background checks right after the shootings in el paso and dayton, only to later retreat on that promise. earlier this week he seemed more focus on whether or not the el paso victims liked him than what they wanted from him on gun control. >> i did. i went to the hospitals. i will tell you this. i went to the hospitals.
it was totally falsely reported. frankly, you want to know the truth, they love their president. and nobody wrote that. nobody wrote that. you didn't write the truth. "the new york times" doesn't like to write the truth. they love -- they totally love our country and they do love our president. nobody would meet with me. not only do they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room. >> last night trump tweeted, i hope congress will engage with my team to pass meaningful legislation that will make a difference and most importantly, save lives. i'm joined now by former texas congressman and presidential candidate beto o'rourke. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. you've been saying the president's words have animated this violence. explain the connection between words and shooting people. >> when he was making his case to the country, announcing his candidacy for the presidency, he talks about mexican immigrants
as rapists and criminals, repeatedly warned of invasions from mexico and central america, called asylum seekers animals, killers, and predators, put their children in cages, deported the parents back to the countries from which they fled. you talked about this in the run-up to this interview, at the rally in may in florida when he's warning of this invasion and he says, how do we stop these people, someone yells out "shoot them," the crowd roars their approval, and he smiles, he says this is okay. in the case of gun violence that's claimed 40,000 lives in the last year, he's done nothing. he's complicicomplicit, actuall corrupted by the nra. i want to make clear, racism in america did not start with donald trump. but he's given it new life, he's welcomed it into the open, and along with that the violence that drove somebody literally 600 miles from allen, texas to el paso to kill somebody in the
city. we've got to connect those dots or we're not going to stop at the next mass shooting or the next act of domestic terrorism inspired by white supremacy. >> what do you think he's up to when he does this? because the president is not stupid. he knows how words work. he knows how to rev up a crowd, when he says hit 'em on the way out, remember that, he did that th at a protester, yelling rough them up, he tells police officers not to stop suspects from hitting their head on the roof of the car. he almost prescribes violence. >> the genius of this country is more or less we're able to settle our differences peacefully. i got a lot of hell for going to his inauguration in 2017. i said, i go not to celebrate the man but the fact that we can still pull this off more than 240 years later. and yet he's going to fundamentally destroy this
ability for us to disagree in an agreeable manner, inviting that violence, telling people of color to go back to their own country, though they were born here, though they're u.s. citizens in america. the day he signs his ban on muslim travel to the u.s., the mosque in victoria, texas, burned to the ground. the gunman walks into the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh raving about caravans financed by wealthy jewish americans, the president of the united states raving about caravans, when asked if george soros is funding them, he says, who knows, maybe he is. this guy knows exactly what he's doing. what he's doing is ripping apart an already divided country and inviting violence into our politics and into our communities. latinos here in el paso, throughout america, now feel like they have a target on their back in large part thanks to donald trump. >> let's talk about the primary, you moved up a bit, you're getting a little break from the lower pack, you're in a category of your own, in the third tier,
you may not like to hear it, but you are moving up. my question is this. if this all ends at the end of next may and the democrat, seth moulton who just dropped out of the race, he says he fears this will happen, and the democratic nominee appears very far left and the voters, who are centrist, have to choose between president trump and a democrat who is so far left, are you worried about that, like seth moulton is worried when he quit the race today? >> chris, i'm so focused on being that nominee, on being able to carry texas and its 38 electoral college votes, revving up not just democrats but bringing in independents and republicans as well who no longer have a home in the party of donald trump -- >> will you carry texas? if you get the nomination, will you carry texas? >> absolutely. >> beto o'rourke, thank you for joining us. thank you so much. that is one hell of a plan.
up next, the amazon rainforest which has been called the lungs of the earth for all kinds of environmental reasons, it's important to the whole globe, it's burning up. foreign leaders are calling it a global crisis, saying it should be a top priority at the g7 this week. but the president of brazil who is sort of mini trump, tells everybody to mind their own business. what happens next? you're watching "hardball." hap? you're watching "hardball. great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you? maybe you could free zoltar? thanks, lady. taxi! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ is it to carry cargo or to carry on a legacy? its show of strength or its sign of intelligence?
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welcome back to "hardball." tonight in what looks like a scene from an apocalyptic movie, fires are ravaging thousands of acres of forest in the amazon. the amazon is home to a tenth of all species of plants and animals on the earth. also home to a million indigenous people. the amazon helps absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide which helps combat the rise of global
temperatures. since january almost 73,000 acres have been ravaged by fires, an 83% of increased damage since last year. there is a new fire in the amazon every minute. the cause of the fire is unclear but a research institute has stated that the increase is directly related to deliberate deforestation. the intense fire sent smoke and soot thousands of miles away, plunging sao paulo into midday darkness. if that's not climate change, what is? brazilian president jair bo bolsonaro has accused, quote, left wing, nongovernmental organizations of setting the fires and claims the media is trying to undermine his government. who does he sound like?
french president emanuel macron called the wildfires an international crisis, tweeting, our house is burning, literally. the amazon rainforest, the lungs which produce 20% of our planet's oxygen, is on fire. bolsonaro responded by accusing macron of trying to seek personal gain from brazil's internal matters and accused macron of engaging in colonialist mentality. but scientists warn of dire consequences for brazil and the world if the brazilian government doesn't get control of the fires very soon. that's coming up next. you're watching "hardball" oming. you're watching "hardball" but allstate helps you. with drivewise. feedback that helps you drive safer. and that can lower your cost now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? ♪ corey is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread
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welcome back to "hardball." after initially telling reporters that the government lacked the resources to fight the fires in the amazon rainforest, and now under increasing international pressure, brazilian president bolsonaro late today signed an order deploying federal troops finally to battle the fires. this comes amid dire warnings from scientists that say losing just 20% of brazil's rainforest could accelerate global warming. as "business insider" reports, these fires coupled with deforestation losses, could destroy so many trees that they trigger a doomsday scenario for the world's largest rainforest, called a dieback, the tropical trees would disappear, releasing up to 140 billion tons of stored
carbon into the atmosphere and causing an uptick in already rising global temperatures. my god. for more, i'm joined by david walsh wells, deputy editor at "new york magazine." david, tell us, as bad as it looks to you, because we don't know, the american viewer watching right now wants to know why this is so dire. >> it just undermines everything we want to do to stabilize the planet's climate. every tree that's on the planet sucks carbon out of the atmosphere and produces oxygen which means it's basically our best tool in combating climate change. the amazon is the biggest collection of that plant life out there. it's doing the most photosynthesis and sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere. that means even before we get to a dieback scenario where the amazon collapses into a savannah, which is still a ways away, all of those trees which store carbon are today burning, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. it's as though we're having huge
coal plants going out of control in the amazon in a place that used to actually absorb carbon. so we're -- we don't have to wait for this to impact our climate change hopes, it's already undermining them quite dramatically today. >> put it all together. when we see these giant icebergs breaking off from the arctic, we look at the warfare going on in the horn of africa, we see it all. isn't this the sign from god or whoever that this is happening, it's all happening, it's not scientific theory, we're watching it? >> i think the last couple of years have showed us exactly that. every summer now we're having record heat waves. europe is about to have its third record heat wave this summer. they set records, a week later they set records again, now a month later we'll set records again. they're extreme heat records now being set in china. we're having in places like mozambique historic storms followed a month later by storms that are just as bad. we're having unprecedented
wildfires, not just in the amazon, as we are talking about, but california, the arctic circle. in siberia there were fires that burned through an area the size of austria a few weeks ago. a few years ago, something we could only read about in predictions and projections, now we're seeing it every night on our tv screens. that's because the world is now, at just 1.1 degrees of warming, hotter than it's ever been in ha all of human history. we're almost certain to get twice as much warning as we have today. if we don't do anything about it, perhaps three or four times as much warming which would produce truly cataclysmic outcomes for the planet, 260 feet of sea level rise, a global gdp by the end of the century 30% smaller than before, which would be permanent, and many more impacts besides. those impacts are a century away and there's a lot we can do to
avoid them. but the impacts that are closer are just as scary. at just 2 degrees, likely where we'll be in 2040 or 2050, many cities in the southeast will be too hot, you won't be able to go out in the summer without dying. we could have 200 million climate refugees by 2050, as many as a billion, which is as many people as live in north and south america combined. even if you take the low end figure, divide it in half, it's still literally 100 times as big as the european refugee crisis that was produced by the syrian civil war which has totally scrambled the politics of that continent. that's one of the interesting emerging stories we're seeing in this amazon rainforest news cycle but also more broadly, which is how global geopolitics is playing into this crisis. not just how will politics respond but how will climate force the hand of our leaders and perhaps push us into
directions we never anticipated. the kinds of pressure that macron is talking about will probably be applied at the g7. this is something that no leader has contemplated just a few years ago, imposing sanctions or suspending trade deals in order to push leaders into lying on climate. i think personally it's necessary but it's also a completely different world politically than we were living in even just a few years ago with the signing of the paris accords. >> let's talk about politics. we have so-called populist leaders like bolsonaro in brazil, trump in the united states. we have nationalist right wing leaders in hungary and places like that in europe. they're fanning the flames, literally, the reason for immigration. >> it's a really toxic tendency, all around the world, especially
tragic in terms of climate change. if you have to imagine a global threat that was big enough, all-encompassing enough and serious enough to call the world into coordinated global action, climate change would be it. that's how big it is, that's how dangerous it is. yet we're facing this catastrophe, this crisis, precisely at the moment when so many of the world's leaders are retreating from those arrangements and alliances, pulling back into nativism and xenophobia and a sort of narrowly-defined sense of self-interest, which is exactly what bolsonaro is doing with the amazon. his country can benefit by exploiting the resources of that region in part because of trade deals with countries in the eu and the u.s. who are essentially paying brazil to deforest the amazon. but it's also the case that brazil is only going to have to shoulder a very small slice of the burden for what happens. the rest of the world will have to deal with most of it. we need a kind of a system to evolve in which we line up these incentives to each individual
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i'll pass. that's "hardball" for now. up next, a special edition of "all in with chris hayes" in front of a live studio audience. that starts right now. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> america's prisons. dangerous. often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day is a battle to survive and to maintain order. >> down on your feet! down! >> among the nation's toughest, california's state prison, corcoran, severely overcrowded and plagued by racial tension. we spend months inside, where officers try to maintain order in an institution with a notoriously violent past. this is "lockup: corcoran, extended stay."