All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 1, 2014
Guest: Stephen Lynch, Steve Atkiss, Rajiv Shah, Tom Colicchio, William
Barber, Montel Williams
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president concluded
that new leadership of that agency was required.
HAYES: The head of Secret Service resigns as we learn the White House
wasn`t even told about the latest security breach.
EARNEST: The White House first learned of that incident yesterday
HAYES: Then, did a Dallas hospital drop the ball on this country`s
first Ebola case?
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: We have the health care professionals and
the institutions that are second to none.
HAYES: Tonight, the administrator for USAID is just back from Liberia
and he joins me live.
Plus, Top Chef`s Tom Colicchio on his call to defeat the Republican
Senate candidate in Arkansas.
And Montel Williams is here to explain his impassioned plea to
MONTEL WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: To me, this is an abomination about.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
After a barrage of security lapses both recent and recently revealed
and after a congressional hearing that was full of bipartisan outrage, the
director of the United States Secret Service has resigned. The Department
of Homeland Security, with the clear backing of the president, has ushered
in a potentially wide-ranging critical assessment of how the Secret Service
protects the president and his family.
This afternoon, the first woman to lead the Secret Service, Julie
Pierson, tendered her resignation to the secretary of homeland security,
Jeh Johnson, and to President Obama, after an 18-month tenure that was born
itself in the wake of a Secret Service sex scandal that she was brought in
to clean up.
Pierson`s tenure began well after one of the major incidents now under
close scrutiny, the 2011 of the White House exterior, but she was at the
helm of two key security-related incidents, including the White House fence
And while the White House press secretary relayed President Obama`s
gratitude for Pierson`s years of service, it was also clear the president
believes her resignation is necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EARNEST: Over the last several days, we`ve seen recent and
accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency
and the president concluded that new leadership of that agency was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Joseph Clancy was named as the interim acting director
of the Secret Service. Clancy was formerly a special agent in charge of
the presidential protective division of the Secret Service. Mr. Clancy`s
most recently served as the director of the corporate security for Comcast,
which, of course, is MSNBC`s parent corporation.
Also today, the deputy secretary of homeland security was, along with
general counsel, placed in charge of the ongoing inquiry into the September
19 fence-jumping incident.
It didn`t stop there. Homeland Security Secretary Johnson also
announced that a panel of independent experts will assess the fence jumping
incident and related issues and submit recommendations. Those related
issues have begun to mount hours after the testimony yesterday.
"The Washington Post" published a story about a security contractor
with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery having been
allowed on an elevator with the president during a September 16th trip to
Atlanta violating Secret Service protocols -- probably did not help matters
that President Obama was unaware of that incident until yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did Director Pierson brief the president on that incident?
EARNEST: Jim, I can tell you that the White House first learned of
that incident yesterday afternoon, shortly before it was reported by --
before it was publicly reported by a news organization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Shortly before publicly reported. Indeed the issue of whether
the president himself is apprised of apparent security lapses was a
recurring line of questioning at yesterday`s hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Now, I asked you what percentage of
the time do you inform the president if his personal security is in any
way, shape or form been breached?
JULIA PIERSON, SECRET SERVICE: Percent of the time, 100 percent of
the time we would advise the president.
CHAFFETZ: You would advise the president?
CHAFFETZ: In calendar year 2014, how many times has that happened?
PIERSON: I`ve not briefed him with the exception of one occasion for
the September 19th incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Congressman Stephen Lynch, Democrat of
Massachusetts, a member of that House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform that held the hearing yesterday.
Congressman, the straw that broke the camel`s back is that last report
yesterday about the private contractor with a gun in the elevator with the
president and the fact the president or his staff didn`t know about it
until shortly before the article published?
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Right. And also the fact that
Director Pierson did not disclose that at the hearing when she was asked
nor did she disclose it at the classified briefing following the public
hearing. So, yes, it all -- it all fell apart.
HAYES: You weren`t told about -- this incident was not discussed even
in the executive, the private classified session you went into yesterday
after the public session, this incident was not discussed then either?
LYNCH: Right. And the director gave a misleading answer, as you`ve
shown already, to Representative Chaffetz` questions and Representative
Gowdy`s questions about prior breaches of security involving the president.
So, you would think that, you know, once she got into a private setting,
classified briefing, she would have had the opportunity to clarify her
statement, and she chose not to.
So the fact that we had multiple breaches and then multiple efforts by
her to -- to mislead us or failure to disclose, that all just indicated
that it was no not going to go well for her at the end. I think it was a
good decision for her to resign. I think we can move on.
HAYES: This issue in "The Washington Examiner", this was about that
incident when the president was visiting the Centers for Disease Control
after it was discovered that this contractor had a loaded weapon in the
elevator with the president, which is a no-no. Secret Service managers
told agents in Atlanta not the file a written report after discovering that
a convict with a gun rode in an elevator with President Obama during his
visit to the CDC. According to two sources familiar with the case, there`s
two issues it seems to me here. Are they doing a good job protecting the
president and are they being truthful? I mean, there seems to be a lot of
dissembling, covering up, selective information, that really has to worry
anyone, including the people tasked with oversight.
LYNCH: Right. We need to really shake things up. You`re absolutely
Remember, the director actually at first issued a release that said
the fence jumper was not armed. Upon further review, he had a knife with a
3 1/2-inch blade.
The director issued a statement to the press and to Congress that they
had stopped the intruder at the north portico when in fact the intruder ran
through several of the rooms and, you know, and had a deep breach of the
White House mansion. There are just countless instances where the
information that we got from Secret Service was false.
HAYES: And what do you -- what is your understanding of the
institutional problem we`re confronted with here? Because, of course,
Pierson herself was brought in in the wake of this incredibly embarrassing
scandal -- a scandal I would add that came to light after agents tried to
cover up the fact that someone had discharged a service revolver, the fact
that we have agents who appear to be up to no good and also trying to cover
it up. That all preceded Pierson as did the 2011 incident with the seven
bullets lodged in the White House. It seems to me there`s a deeper issue
than just Pierson.
LYNCH: All right. Well, with most of our intelligence and security
operations there is sort of a mind-set of opacity, lack of transparency.
It`s very difficult as a member of the oversight committee to get answers.
Often we have to resort to subpoenas. But there is a culture there that is
even beyond the pale here, where not only is there incompetence in
providing that protection, as you mention, but there`s also a blatant
disregard for the truth and for informing -- you know, sharing information
that could be very, very important in, you know, addressing the larger
HAYES: Congressman Stephen Lynch, thank you.
Joining me now is Steve Atkiss. He`s partner at Command Consulting,
former special assistant to the president for operations. You worked in
the bush administration as a staff liaison with the Secret Service. After
these revelations, it seemed like Pierson had to go.
Are you surprised by the avalanche of revelations we`ve seen coming
out of "The Washington Post" these last few days?
STEVE ATKISS, COMMAND CONSULTING: No, I mean, I think ever since the
Cartagena incident a couple years ago, there`s been blood in the water and
we`ve been on a downward spiral from a public affairs and public perception
since then. It just created this environment where the Secret Service,
which to its credit, and I think very important to the mission that they`re
trying to accomplish, is used to operating in an environment where details
about incidents are kept confidential. And, unfortunately, this has
created an environment where any time anything goes wrong, no matter how
large or small, people are rushing out to get it on camera, to talk to
reporters and tell folks about why it represents a security breach.
HAYES: Wait a second, do I understand this correctly? You think the
problem here that this stuff is coming to light?
ATKISS: Well, I think that creates a challenge. Part of the issues
over the past several weeks have been, frankly, that the Secret Service has
placed a value traditionally on individuals and on organizational
capabilities that`s focused on being able to do their job and protect the
president, protect the White House and other facilities and people.
It`s not one that has really focused their attention on building
people who are good at going up in front of the house oversight committee
and giving good testimony. And so they generally like to keep their heads
down, do the best job that they can, they`re not really oriented towards
how will we explain this to Congress, how are we going to explain this in
HAYES: Steve, there was a guy running around the first floor of the
White House stepping away from the steps up into the family`s residence
with a knife and 800 rounds of ammunition in his car after getting arrested
with a hatchet a month earlier. I mean, this is substantively, right, this
was a major screw-up. This isn`t just a case of an agency that is, you
know, the 20th century in terms of its pr relations, right? There`s a real
chain of substantive problems here.
ATKISS: Look, I haven`t heard anyone coming out and saying that that
wasn`t a huge mess up. OK? That there aren`t problems with that, that
there were protocol that was not followed. Everyone, including the
director yesterday, the former director now, that was first thing she said.
I think the problem that we`re having right now in explaining this to
the general public and that members of Congress have had in understanding
this is equating those mess-ups to the president`s life actually being in
jeopardy or the president`s family`s life actually being in jeopardy.
That`s the error.
Look at the November 11, `11 incident, what was the screw-up that
we`re really all jumping over that? Well, the fact that after the incident
happened, no one went up and swept the Truman balcony to discover that the
bullets had actually hit that and what they hit, but nobody`s talking about
the fact that it was actually a huge success story that the Secret Service
years before that had anticipated the possibility that someone from a
quarter mile or a half mile away on Constitution Avenue could fire a rifle
at the White House.
And what did they do as a result of that? They put in place extensive
protective measures to make sure that couldn`t actually pose a threat to
first family as they were in the building. It was successful in preventing
that from happening.
HAYES: OK, that may be true, but don`t you think it`s the case that
people should know if the White House is hit by bullets?
ATKISS: Of course, of course. And look, the Secret Service is an
organization that has always spent a great deal of time and placed a lot of
value on post-event analysis, red teaming what they do and how they do it
and what can we learn from this incident to do something a little bit
better. So, what did they do as a result of that? Well, they changed
their protocols for when there`s an event at the White House, they`re going
to do a sweep of the property, they`re going to investigate what the actual
damage was in a more thorough way, in a more immediate way.
But the problem again is that we`re taking that and conflating that to
be that the president`s life was in danger and that the Secret Service is
incompetent. I think that`s an irresponsible leap to take.
HAYES: Well, I don`t know if they don`t think the president was home,
so his life wasn`t in danger.
ATKISS: Nor was he home when the fence jumper came over the fence.
HAYES: The daughter was home, which is problematic. But the issue
ATKISS: Not when the fence jumper came over.
HAYES: No, no, but when the gunshots were fired at the residence when
the bullets lodged in the protective glass, which, yes, thank God was
installed from foresight from an earlier Secret Service agent. But the
issue here to me it strikes me, is right in that name, Secret Service,
secrecy is intention with competence and performance when you do not have
sunlight or oversight coming in, and I think part of what we`re seeing now
is sunlight oversight coming time for the first time and hopefully this
means the institution gets reformed.
Steve Atkiss, thank you very much.
ATKISS: You bet.
HAYES: The other big story in the news today, we`re learning more
about the man being treated in a Texas hospital tonight for Ebola. His
name and how he might have gotten the virus and who he may have exposed to
it, details ahead.
Plus, Tom Colicchio is not happy with a certain U.S. Senate candidate.
He will join me to explain.
HAYES: Breaking news out of Ferguson, Missouri, the grand jury
hearing evidence about the shooting death of Michael Brown by police
officer Darren Wilson is now being investigated itself for misconduct
according to "The Washington Post." Meanwhile, a jury down in
Jacksonville, Florida, has set an example for the rest of the nation. That
story, coming up.
HAYES: We now know the identity of the man diagnosed with Ebola at a
Dallas hospital, the first case of the deadly virus detected in the U.S.
The man is Thomas Eric Duncan, a resident of Monrovia, Liberia, who
traveled to Dallas on September 19th to visit family.
A relative told NBC News Duncan worked for a shipping company in
Monrovia until his contract ended in early September, at which time he got
a U.S. visa to visit his family. Duncan is now listed in serious but
stable condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where he`s been
under isolation since Sunday. CDC director said there was, quote, "zero
risk of transmission" to the other passengers on Duncan`s route to the U.S.
-- Brussels to Washington, D.C. to Dallas -- because he wasn`t just
symptomatic and thus not contagious.
They are, however, keeping tabs on at least 12 to 18 people they
believe he came into contact with after starting to experience symptoms,
including five children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Today, we learned that some school-aged children have been
identified as having had contact with the patient and are now being
monitored at home for any signs of the disease. I know the parents are
being extremely concerned about that development, but let me assure these
children have been identified and they are being monitored and the disease
cannot be transmitted before having any symptoms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Duncan was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, but officials
in Dallas revealed today they had missed an earlier opportunity to isolate
him and limit the risk to other people. The patient had initially sought
medical care two days earlier on Friday, only to be sent home with some
antibiotics. This despite the fact he told a nurse he had just come from
Liberia. Somehow that key piece of information wasn`t taken into account.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MARK LESTER, EVP, TEXAS HEALTH RESOURCES SYSTEM: Regretfully,
that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team. And
as a result, the full import of that information wasn`t factored into the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, a new report in "The New York Times" sheds light on
the conditions under which Thomas Eric Duncan departed for the U.S. two
weeks ago. According to "The Times", just four days before he left
Liberia, Duncan had direct contact with a woman who was sick with Ebola,
his landlord`s daughter.
Quote, "The family of the woman, Marthalene Williams, 19, took her by
taxi to the hospital with Mr. Duncan`s help on September 15th after failing
to get an ambulance. She was convulsing and seven months pregnant."
The family told "The Times" they were turned away from a hospital who
had no more space. Quote, "Mr. Duncan then helped carry Ms. Williams who
was no longer able to walk back to the family home that evening." She died
later that night, the family told "The Times", and her brother was helping
alongside Duncan fell ill and died about a week later.
Joining me is Dr. Rajiv Shah, who is head of the U.S. Agency for
International Development, USAID, which is the main agency coordinating
U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa.
And, Dr. Shah, you just had your staff in Liberia, that "Times" piece
about Mr. Duncan might have contracted this gives a window into how bleak
things are in Liberia right now where you`ve got a guy who -- a family`s
trying to get their loved one -- they can`t get an ambulance, they get to
the hospital, they`re turned away. That little snapshot makes you think no
wonder the disease is out of control.
DR. RAJIV SHAH, ADMINISTRATOR, USAID: Well, thank you, Chris, and it
is true that there have been more than 7,000 cases in West Africa, more
than 3,000 deaths. This is a public health emergency that is an epidemic
in three Sub-Saharan African countries. And that`s why President Obama
noted this is a national security threat to the entire world and has put
the United States in a position where we`re able to put significant
resources into a strong coordinated strategy to turn the tide in West
HAYES: Let`s talk about what that looks like, OK? We`re now seeing
what this looks like on the ground here in Dallas, right? You got to go,
you have to contain the individual, you have to treat the individual, you
have to treat that individual in such a fashion that health care workers
themselves don`t get sick, which require special equipment, special
facilities. You then have to identify the people who might have come in
contact with. You then have to monitor those people. You then have to
possibly treat and contain them should they manifest symptoms.
And we are talking about one single case in the richest country of the
world. And you can imagine -- I imagine million of dollars literally will
be spent on this one case. You think about trying to do that in Liberia,
and I can`t even imagine where you start.
SHAH: Well, that`s right. And that`s why we have started by working
with our international partners to craft a clear strategy. We`re in the
process of building out 2, 800 beds so there`s significant Ebola treatment
unit treatment and isolation capacity. We`ve seen new units come online
just in the last few days, the largest unit to date, 150 beds in the clinic
But that`s not the only part of the strategy. It`s also important to
get into literally every community, help people understand that the way you
handle dead bodies, the way you manage your contacts and the way you
identify patients with fevers who need to go get diagnosed to know whether
or not they have Ebola, that requires a lot of community education. In the
last months and weeks we have dramatically scaled up the effort to make
sure that every community people get text messages on their mobile phone,
they have songs and community mobilization efforts to ensure that people
understand the risks and are actually able to protect themselves from the
risk of infection.
HAYES: Well, this strikes at the heart of what I think a lot of
people are reacting to when they read the story of Mr. Duncan. At one
level, the description of what he did for his landlord`s daughter is
remarkable, a remarkable act of courage and grace to just ride in the taxi
with this woman, to hold her up as she`s dying and can`t walk. So, what he
did in that context is incredible and selfless.
At the same time, I think people are having a hard time imagining
going to hospital having watched someone die of Ebola and not saying to
people, I just watched someone die from Ebola a few days ago.
Can you explain maybe the sort of background context for why that
might not have been something he said in that environment?
SHAH: Well, I can plain the context in the sense that there are so
many cases, you know, a few thousand active cases on the ground and it
outstrips the capacity for people to be in current existing treatment and
isolation settings. And that`s why we`ve worked to get hundreds of
thousands of protective equipment kits into countries so people have that
That`s why one of the most effective things we`re doing right now is
actually in addition to treatment, just having what we call safe burial
teams and we`ve funded and built out more than 45 safe burial teams. They
go to communities and they identify patients who have died from Ebola and
they isolate them, putting them in a safe body bag, talking to the family,
making sure people aren`t washing the body or kissing the body, which is
sometimes local custom and which is highly transmissive.
So, right now, we`re in the midst of building an all hands on deck,
strong, coordinated effort to break the transmission of this disease. It
will, as you point out, require everyone participating, everyone telling
people when they`ve been exposed and why they might have been exposed, much
more access to diagnosis and treatment and importantly that community
mobilization that reaches really every household so people know what to
tell others when they`ve been put at risk.
HAYES: Right. Yes, you see in this case how important information,
awareness about what`s happening is in terms of preventing transmission.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, thank you so much.
SHAH: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. There`s been a verdict in the case of a white man
who killed an unarmed black teenager in the parking lot of the gas station
after accusing the 17-year-old of playing his music too loud. The details,
HAYES: Michael Dunn was found guilty of first degree murder in a
Florida courtroom today in the killing of unarmed black 17-year-old Jordan
(BEGIN VIDEO CLP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Florida versus Michael David Dunn
verdict -- we the jury find the defendant guilty of first degree murder as
charged in the indictment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This was the second trial for Dunn who on November 23rd, 2012,
argued with a group of teenagers including Davis over loud music they were
playing from their car at a gas station. Dunn testified that Davis
threatened him and pulled out what he thought was a gun. Dunn then fired
ten shots into the teen`s car, ultimately getting out of his own car and
down on one knee to continue not shooting as the teens` car fled. Then,
Dunn drove to a motel where he and his fiancee ate pizza, neither called
There was no weapon found in the teen`s car or on surrounding area,
and no witnesses reported seeing the gun. The first trial resulted in a
hung jury on Dunn`s first degree murder charge. However, that jury did
convict him on three counts of attempted second-degree murder and shooting
into an occupied vehicle. Today`s verdict comes in his retrial.
And after the verdict was read during Davis` parents expressed relief
at a press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCIA MCBATH, MOTHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: We are very grateful that
justice has been served. Justice not only for Jordan, but justice for
Trayvon and justice for all the nameless faces and children and people that
will never have a voice.
RON DAVIS, FATHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: I wanted Jacksonville to be a
shining example that you can have a jury made up of mostly white people,
white men and be an example to the rest of the world to stop the
discriminatory practices. And hopefully this is a start where we don`t
have to look at the makeup of the jury any more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The spectre of distrust is what loomed over the Jordan Davis
trial. It`s what looms over the Michael Brown trial -- or Michael Brown
currently taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, where just today we got word
that grand jury is being investigated for misconduct. Jordan Davis` father
words there were profound. Maybe sometimes the system works.
HAYES: Control of the U.S. Senate could very come down to Arkansas,
which is one of the most hotly contested political battles this year. It
pits Democratic incumbent Senator Mike Pryor, the son of a senator whose
name is practically a brand in Arkansas politics.
Against the great conservative hope, his challenger, Republican
Congressman Tom Cotton who is a Harvard law school grad and a veteran of
the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
As Mark Pryor struggles to hold on to the seat his father once held,
one of the more fruitful lines of attack against his opponent Cotton has
been that Cotton was the only member of the entire Arkansas delegation to
vote against the farm bill.
This is in the home state of Tyson Foods, a state where agri business
is a key industry. For his part, Cotton released this ad seeking to
explain that vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When President Obama hijacked the farm bill,
turned it into a food stamp bill with billions more in spending, I voted
no. Career politicians love attaching bad ideas to good ones, then the bad
ideas become law and you pay for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Right, beyond the fact that the farm bill has also been a food
stamps bill for literally longer than Tom Cotton has been alive, the
congressman give us a lot to digest in this ad.
In addition to being discredited by fact checkers far and wide, the
Cotton ad provoked a searing response from none other than top chef`s Tom
Colicchio calling the ad, quote, "A classic example of what`s wrong with
the political discourse around food in this country."
Accusing Cotton of misleading voters and misconstruing the facts and
concluding, quote, "Today`s voters deserve better. We`ll never be able to
improve food policies in this country if our leaders distort and distract
instead of discuss and debate."
Joining me now is Tom Colicchio, board member in Policy Action, and
chef and owner of Craft Restaurants. Good to have you here, Tom.
TOM COLICCHIO, CHEF AND OWNER, CRAFT RESTAURANTS: Chris, thanks for
HAYES: All right, you sent me this ad, you send me a DM on Twitter
saying check this out. What got you so frustrated with this?
COLICCHIO: It`s factually incorrect. As you pointed out, since 1933,
food stamps were a part of the farm bill and it was made permanent in 1973.
So it`s factually incorrect --
HAYES: The idea that the president hijacked this --
COLICCHIO: The president`s been called a lot of things, but now he`s
a time traveler apparently. So many reasons this bothered me. Number one,
when Tom Cotton was able to vote against farm subsidies, government handout
to farmers, he voted for those subsidies.
COLICCHIO: And at the same time, every year since 1995 with the
exception of one year, his family farm has received farm subsidies.
HAYES: Wait a second, wait a second, the Cotton family farm that is
the gorgeous, lush and pastoral background to the down home message in that
ad, that`s a farm that`s actually getting checks from the government?
COLICCHIO: That`s exactly right, yes. In all that time when you have
poverty in Arkansas, 20 percent of the population is on food stamps,
200,000 children rely on SNAP for food in their households. And he voted
to cut $31 billion out of the SNAP program.
HAYES: So let`s be clear about what happened here. The House did
this unprecedented thing and Tom Cotton serves in the House, that`s why he
was voting on it. We`ve got this kind of interesting piece of legislation
that unites urban and rural America by sort of the food stamps are in with
the rural subsidies. The House split it up.
COLICCHIO: They tried.
HAYES: They tried, right? And they had two bills. One was just the
subsidy side, the stuff that the Cotton farm is getting.
COLICCHIO: Right and that he approved.
HAYES: And he voted for that.
COLICCHIO: He voted for that.
HAYES: So he`s in there voting to say keep giving the Cotton family
farm federal money for their farm.
HAYES: And then he also votes for the House version of the food
stamps bill which cuts what --
COLICCHIO: It`s $31 billion.
HAYES: At $31 billion and then votes against the final thing that
comes from the Senate because there is not enough food stamps.
COLICCHIO: And if the president hijacked that bill they still cut
$8.9 million out of that bill. If the president hijacked that he didn`t do
a good job of hijacking that. You pointed out all these fact checkers said
this is factually incorrect, yet he doubled down and took out the same ad
HAYES: And he not only took out the ad, he dismissed the liberal fact
checkers. They haven`t been to the Cotton family farm, which has been
getting federal money.
COLICCHIO: Apparently they haven`t been there to see that. That`s
HAYES: This also strikes me as in some ways a sign of defensiveness,
this attack against voting against the farm bill and why the farm bill can
often be a kind of hideous monstrosity in certain ways is how unviable it
is in these communities.
COLICCHIO: He knows that. The other thing that sort of is somewhat
disingenuous here is that Arkansas didn`t receive any of those cuts. Those
snap cuts only affected, I think, 15 different states.
HAYES: Here in New York and the northeast.
COLICCHIO: And the Pacific Northwest.
COLICCHIO: Because it was part of the --
COLLICCHIO: -- program, so Arkansas wasn`t affected by it. This is
disingenuous on so many different levels. Something you scratch your head.
HAYES: And he`s going to say the fact checkers are liberal.
HAYES: There`s a congressman, Republican congressman in Tennessee
whose family, Steven Fincher.
COLICCHIO: Steven Fincher, yes.
HAYES: His family has $3.2 million, who has also done the same thing.
The ideological contortions and hypocrisy bound up in this particular
issue, which the government is sending checks to farmers while trying to
cut people that are hungry.
COLICCHIO: On top of that, look at the economical gains. Every
dollar that goes into the SNAP program gets spent and it stays mostly
instate. It`s a boon to local farmers. He should be trying to find ways
to help people use food stamps in farmers markets to really help the
farmers in Arkansas. And help people purchase food for their families.
HAYES: Tom Colicchio, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
All right, why is Montel Williams testifying before Congress? I`ll
ask him ahead.
HAYES: State offices in North Carolina are being inundated with phone
calls from confused residents after hundreds of thousands of people
received a mailer littered with bad voting information.
A public information officer told us by phone that by conservative
estimates 2,000 North Carolina residents have called the state board over
the last two weeks confused about voter registration mailers they received
in the mail.
It turns out the mailers confusing thousands of North Carolinians were
sent by Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Part of Americans for
Prosperity, which is largely funded by the Koch Brothers.
And the mailers are just a small part of the millions AFPS spent in
the state this election cycle to defeat Democratic Senator Kay Hagan. And
the reason for the confusion, the flyers were riddled with errors about
voting that included the wrong deadline for voter registration, incorrect
information about which the agency to send registration to and inaccurate
information about who to call if you have questions.
In a letter to the State Board of Elections, AFPS sent in part, "Our
mistake was in taking our Arkansas form and applying it to North Carolina
without re-vetting every detail."
In a statement to ALL IN they said in part, quote, "We apologize to
those who received our mailings in error our intention is not to
inconvenience or cause distress, but to encourage more people to
participate in the electoral process."
They also said, they, quote, "We are stunned and disappointed by the
response of some partisans to attempt to silence AFPF`s voter registration
But in addition to being fooled with wrong information, the flyers
were in many cases sent to the wrong people including children who had
passed or in one case a cat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH LAWSON, NC BOARD OF ELECTIONS SPOKESMAN: And the voters have
been self-reporting how bad the list really is. We did have a call from
one individual saying that their cat received a mailer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: North Carolina State Board of Elections is currently
investigating. This voter registration drive comes just over a year after
conservatives in North Carolina passed what is arguably the most
restrictive voting law since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1955.
Today, two key parts of that law were struck down by a federal appeals
court. Court ruled that North Carolina must reinstate same day voting
registration and must allow ballots cast outside of voters` assigned
precinct to be counted.
Small victory for advocates in the North Carolina voting orders. And
joining me now is Reverend William Barber, president of the North Carolina
NAACP. Reverend, it`s good to see you again.
REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA NAACP: Always good
to be with you, Chris.
HAYES: So let`s talk about the federal ruling today. How significant
is this? What is it? It reinstates two key provisions. What remains in
BARBER: Well, the voter I.D. wasn`t an issue because that`s to 16 and
we`ll litigate that in court. Same-day registration has to be brought back
and out of precinct voting. So the two parts of that bill were designed to
suppress the right of African-Americans.
HAYES: Now voting outside of precinct. Precincts are tiny, right so
if you think that your elementary school three blocks away is the place and
the new location is a block away and you go to the old one, the idea under
this law was that vote would just be thrown out.
BARBER: They would count them up and throw them away. The reality is
because of the apartheid type redistricting it increased the change in
HAYES: So precincts have actually moved around.
BARBER: Moved around. We have districts that this legislature drew
with if line right through a house where the person in the front of the
house went to one precinct and the other person went to the other.
HAYES: Is that true really?
BARBER: Yes, that is true. That`s part of our redistricting court
case that they`ve still not let out of the Supreme Court. But Chris,
here`s the point, this was designed for voter suppression. It clearly
shows that these laws were targeted at African-Americans. The middle court
got it wrong, as long as people have a place to vote.
The district court said no, this is intentional, it will have a
disproportionate effect on African-Americans and undermine the right vote
and that was a violation of Section 2 and the right -- not only can you not
deny the right to vote, you cannot abridge the right to vote.
HAYES: This is a big deal, a federal appeals court striking down this
state law, which many called the kind of cutting edge of voting
BARBER: This is first case after Shelby. So this is the first
victory after Shelby. This is big stuff. This is when the movement
chooses to fight in the courts, in the street and in the suites. It is not
just the court striking down the state, but the federal bench, the circuit
four striking down the middle district. In other words, saying that
another federal judge got the law wrong.
HAYES: So they were reversing -- this had gone to the middle
HAYES: Just so folks understand. There`s three levels in the court.
There`s district, circuit then Supreme Court. The middle district judge
said that`s fine.
BARBER: He said it was a preference and therefore, it did not create
irreparable damage. But he also said in the same ruling that the laws that
put these laws in place disproportionately affected African-Americans. You
have a disproportionate but not illegal. The court says he got the law
HAYES: You`re getting rid of two of these, two are being struck down
and being reinstated. The precinct thing is nuts. If you make a mistake,
there`s no reason not to count those votes.
BARBER: The question is why don`t they want people to vote? Just
like this Tea Party mailing. They lie about fraud, now they lie in the
mailer about the proper way in which you can engage in vote.
HAYES: They say it was an innocent mistake.
BARBER: Well, it could be innocent, but they study everything else.
They claim to know everything about our movement, who is partisan. Amazing
how they can be so right on everything and so wrong on the main thing.
HAYES: So what obstacles do you have left? With 40-some days until
the election or is it even closer?
BARBER: What we`re doing now, we don`t know what the Supreme Court
will do. They may say no now to the circuit. That`s the possibility with
the 5-4 up there. But this is a major victory. We`ll use that to continue
to say to people you must turn out.
There are 286,000 African-Americans that didn`t vote in 2010. They
voted in 2008 and 2012. There are 400,000 white women that voted in 2012,
2008 that didn`t vote in 2010.
HAYES: These are folks that are voting in the presidentials 2008,
2012 but didn`t show up in 2010 when the state went wild.
BARBER: Exactly. We`re saying you should understand you must be
powerful if folks are fighting this hard to keep you from voting. So what
you can`t do is give it to them. You must turn out. We must fight in the
courts, we must fight in the street. We must fight in the legislative
hall, but we must battle at the ballot box.
HAYES: Reverend William Barber, thank you very much.
BARBER: Thank you, my friend.
HAYES: All right, former talk show host, Montel Williams, will be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONTEL WILLIAMS, RETIRED LT. COMMANDER, U.S. NAYV: Sergeant
Tahmooressi`s time in this prison has been worse than his time in both
combat situations. He`s going to come back to the United States and have
to be treated for his combat PTSD, but also his incarceration PTSD.
To me this is an abomination. Six months. He didn`t hesitate to say
aye, aye, sir, to go off and serve. How dare we, how dare we as a nation
hesitate to get that young man back?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Talk show host and retired lieutenant commander of the U.S.
Navy, Montel Williams, testified earlier today for a House committee on
foreign affairs focusing on the case of 25-year-old Marine veteran, Andrew
Tahmooressi was apprehended on March 31st of this year driving across
the Mexican border with three loaded weapons and more than 400 rounds of
ammunition. He`s now on trial in Mexico for the possession of those
And if convicted faces up to 21 years behind bars. Tahmooressi says
he missed the last exit on Interstate 5 and accidentally crossed the
Mexican border. His mother, a nurse has said that Tahmooressi suffers from
PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, following two tours of duty in
According to the "San Diego Tribune," two Mexican psychiatrists who
have individually examined Tahmooressi for the defense and prosecution
concurred this week that he suffers from combat-related PTSD.
Since being in custody, Tahmooressi has tried to escape by climbing
over a gate and tried to kill himself when he grabbed a light bulb and
stabbed himself in the neck.
This case has become a kind of cause celebre in the conservative media
particularly during Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl controversy. As you may recall
Sergeant Bergdahl was released from a Taliban was secured by the Obama
administration in June after working with the Qatari government.
In the case of Andrew Tahmooressi, he is not active duty and was
apprehended under normal criminal circumstances in a neighboring country.
Both the Mexican and U.S. governments say he`s being held under due process
of Mexican law.
Joining me now is Montel Williams. Great to have you here.
WILLIAMS: Great to be here.
HAYES: OK, so first of all, this case is heart breaking, it`s
horrible to imagine what this guy`s going through. It seems to me -- I`m
not a lawyer -- the best result would be released back to the U.S., it
didn`t seem he did anything horrible, no one got hurt, he said he made a
That said the U.S. government will say we visited him 22 times. He`s
being charged under the Mexican judiciary system. We can`t bust into a
Mexican prison and break him out.
WILLIAMS: Very funny that we can say this. I want to correct you on
one thing. The U.S. government has declared and diagnosed him with PTSD.
They did so the week before he was arrested, they did so the day he was
He was flown to San Diego under military auspices even though he`s not
active duty, he served two tours in Afghanistan. He`s being treated in his
reserve status right now, but that reserve status was where he was
WILLIAMS: So we got to get that part clear. Now you say, I don`t
want to U.S. government to go and bomb anybody. That`s not what the point
is. The point is that we have an ill soldier who crossed the line. As did
you the description of how this happened.
It didn`t happen that way. He was in Mexico. He left Mexico and came
a parking lot, which is right outside the border, and there have been
multiple people including a congressmen who have gone down and followed the
exact same path.
This young man is diagnosed by our government, diagnosed by the
Mexican government for PTSD. He served with honor in Afghanistan. Let me
tell you about PTSD. He left, he said to his mother, he got freaked out a
little bit while he was in Mexico. He knew he had to get out of there.
And why? Because, you know, people suffering from PTSD have a
hypersense of awareness around them. They have a trigger point. If he was
in Mexico and got in his car, he probably didn`t even see the signs.
He turned in and the evidence is correct and clear because they put it
in the court last week in Mexico, they showed the tape of him pulling up to
HAYES: Say that`s all true, right.
HAYES: That this was a horrible accident.
HAYES: That he shouldn`t be there, right? Isn`t it the case there`s
still a Mexican judicial process? If we had a Mexican national who we had
grabbed for something.
HAYES: And he`s in an American prison, the Mexican government doesn`t
get to come in and say, look, give him back. We`re going to try him, go
through the normal procedure. We hopefully achieve the right first end.
WILLIAMS: What`s the first thing we`ve done to 60,000 illegal
children who come in this country? We give them medical care, we`ve
treated them no matter what their illness is. If we arrest someone and
they have cancer, they go to a cancer ward. This is a person being held by
one of our closest allies.
WILLIAMS: And refuses to give him the commensurate medical treatment.
HAYES: Part of the issue is he`s not receiving what he needs
WILLIAMS: The issue here is among peers and friends and neighbors and
countries who have treaties.
WILLIAMS: You do not treat a mentally ill person this way. We`ve got
to stop acting like this guy is just a soldier who ran amok. He`s been
diagnosed with combat PTSD. I`ve been trying to make this point all day
because people don`t understand. This is not a guy sitting around
HAYES: He clearly has issues.
WILLIAMS: He tried to commit suicide in prison, tried to escape
because the people there had him at one point tied to a bed, four post to
tying, and the guards were betting against each other who could beat him
So, we have a U.S. soldier being held, a marine, I`m a marine, I went
through boot camp in 1974. This is the real deal right here. And this is
a guy a troop that should not be left behind. The government has to do
everything they can to get him back.
HAYES: Montel Williams, thank you so much for your time.
WILLIAMS: Thank you so much.
HAYES: That is "ALL IN" for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now, with Steve Kornacki sitting in for
Good evening, Steve.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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