All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 19, 2015
Guest: Lawrence Wilkerson, Angus King, Ted Lieu, Barney Frank, Mike Honda,
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Paris. I`m Chris Hayes.
The man who authorities say was the coordinator of the attacks that
killed 129 people in Paris is dead. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who many believed
was in Syria, was identified today by the French prosecutor as one of the
two dead bodies from the Saint-Denis raid two nights ago.
The Belgian national had reportedly gone to Syria last year to fight
with ISIS, according to the French interior minister and at some later
point returned to Europe.
Authorities have now identified the female suicide bomber in the
Saint-Denis raid as Hasna Aitboulahcen. Police have now arrested a total
of nine people, seven of them related to that raid, seven known attackers
dead, and the eight suspects linked to that attack, Salah Abdeslam remains
The dailymail.com has security video from inside one of the cafes that
the terrorists hit. It shows customers run for cover the moment a gunman
Today`s parliament`s lower house in France voted overwhelmingly to
approve a three-month extension of the national state of emergency, which
includes increased capacity to block websites and social media sites they
say encourage terrorism. Also the power to immediately place people under
house arrest if they are considered by t the state a sufficient risk. Also
provisions not yet activated to ensure control of the press and radio.
As the French political system processes the attacks and France takes
a notably hard line on security, back home in the U.S., the combination of
the attacks and the GOP campaign has ratcheted up the rhetoric to new
The candidate who`s been the most vocal in his fear-based rhetoric,
Donald Trump, seems to have benefited the most. Trump is now up by 19
points over his nearest rival Ben Carson in a national tracking poll,
widening his lead by four points since a week ago. Trump leads in the two
latest New Hampshire polls.
The candidate today was asked by a reporter a variety of ideas, from
closing mosques to special ID cards for Muslims, which Trump would not rule
out. "We`re going to have to -- we`re going to have to look at a lot of
things very closely. We`re going to have to look at mosques. We`re going
to have to look very, very carefully."
And less than two hours ago when asked several questions about a
database to track Muslims, Trump said he would implement that.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Ben Carson today compared refugees
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For instance, you know, if
there`s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you`re probably
not going to assume something good about that dog and you`re probably going
to put your children out of the way. It doesn`t mean that you hate all
dogs by any stretch of the imagination. By the same token we have to have
in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs
are quite frankly, who are the people who want to come in here and hurt us
and want to destroy us. It`s foolish for us to accept people if we cannot
have the appropriate type of screening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of
staff for the State Department under General Colin Powell. But currently,
a distinguished visiting professor of government and public policy at the
College of William and Mary.
Colonel, your reaction to the kind of rhetoric that we`re hearing from
the GOP field. Trump talking about -- well, not ruling out data bases or
special ID cards as comparison to rabid dogs, talking about only letting
Christian refugees in. What`s your response to all that?
LAWRENCE WILKERSON, VISITING PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY
AT THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY: It doesn`t surprise me, Chris,
especially coming from the more or less right-wing palaver of the
Republican Party and the people who are speaking to that wing.
But it does disturb me. It`s very dangerous talk. It`s the kind of
talk that surrounded the internment of the Japanese, who were loyal to a
fault to this country at the beginning of our participation in World War
II. We put them in concentration camps essentially.
It`s the kind of talk that`s extremely dangerous. It`s the kind of
talk that plays right into the hands of people like al Baghdadi and Ayman
Zawahiri and al Qaeda and al-Nusra and so forth, because that`s what they
want us to do. They want us to overreact. They want us to -- in a sense,
they want us to bring about our own suicide.
HAYES: Colonel, George W. Bush made a real effort in the days after
9/11 to make sure that the rhetoric around what he called the "war on
terror" did not target Muslims. There was him saying the word "Crusades"
and a tremendous backlash to that. And after that a real kind of
rhetorical emphasis placed on not using terms like radical Islam, which are
terms the Republican Party has seemed very eager to use. What`s changed?
WILKERSON: We stayed away from terminology like that because of
people like Dr. Rice and Colin Powell and even the president himself, who
realized that that kind of language exacerbated the situation, it didn`t
help it at all.
I think what`s changed is we have -- and I`m sad to say this because
it`s a low moment in our republic as far as I`m concerned. We have this
circus. And that`s what it is. A circus called the Republican campaign
for the presidency in 2016.
We have entertainers. We have neurosurgeons. We have former
governors. We have people pretending to be Joe McCarthy.
We have all sorts of characters in this. And they`re trying to outdo
each other with outlandish rhetoric. And, frankly, it`s funny to watch in
a sense but it`s also pathetic.
And when it takes on these kind of proportions in response to
something like what we`ve seen in Ankara, what we`ve seen in Beirut, what
we saw today in Nigeria. How many people know today that 49 people died in
suicide bomb attacks in Nigeria in towns called Kano and Yaho (ph). These
are things that we don`t need to be exacerbating in the world, and this
kind of rhetoric does just that.
HAYES: Jeb Bush yesterday gave an address at the Citadel, and he
talked about his vision for essentially a third war in Iraq and in Syria,
and he said this to the Citadel audience. I`d like you to take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some of you in this room will
serve on the front lines of that fight against ISIS and against radical
Islamic terrorism. You will sign up for an uncertain fate on foreign
fields of battle because your country and the cause of freedom are calling
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Colonel Wilkerson, what is your reaction to watching a Bush up
there telling America`s servicemen and women that they`re going to be on
the front lines fighting in the Middle East again?
WILKERSON: Frankly, I can`t believe that a Bush would say anything
about another war in Southwest Asia because that`s clearly what he`s
But my passion really gets up when I think about, it isn`t going to be
those people who are putting their boots on the ground in Syria, should it
come to that.
It`s not going to be the Bushes. It`s not going to be the Trumps.
It`s not going to be the Rubios. It`s not going to be the Clintons. It`s
not going to be any of those people. It`s going to be the poor kids from
West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine, Oklahoma. That`s who it`s going to be.
HAYES: All right. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, it`s always a
pleasure. Thank you, sir.
WILKERSON: Thanks, Chris. Enjoy Paris.
HAYES: Meanwhile there, were new raids across Brussels today. A
spokesperson for the Belgian prosecutor said Thursday afternoon that police
had taken seven people in for questioning, mostly friends and relatives of
one of the Paris suicide bombers. Also today the Belgian prime minister
said the country would implement additional anti-terrorism measures.
Joining me now from Brussels, MSNBC foreign correspondent Ayman
Ayman, what is the latest on the manhunt across Europe for Abdeslam
Salah who does remain at large?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: It is still very much
an active manhunt, an international manhunt to be precise, and there is a
lot of stepped up activity here across Brussels. Today, as you mentioned,
there was two sets of raids, a total of nine searches and raids across
districts of Brussels.
Now, the first six raids happened overnight in the early hours of the
morning, targeted one of the attackers who was involved in blowing himself
up at the Stade de France on last Friday night. Now, that raid actually,
believe it or not, was scheduled to take place -- or those raids rather
were scheduled to take place, part of the investigation into Bilal Hafdi,
several months ago. This is something that`s been in the works.
And it was only accelerated after last Friday`s attacks. And
certainly a lot of folks are going to have questions as to whether or not
there was a lack of moving quickly, if you will, by Belgian security forces
that could have prevented this individual from participating. Another set
of raids, three raids took place this afternoon. Those raids were
specifically launched in the wake of the attack that happened on Wednesday.
Perhaps British -- perhaps rather Belgian intelligence was given some
type of tipoff about these individuals. Nine people have been taken into
custody. They`re being interrogated. No charges have been filed against
But as you mentioned, these are close associates or people who may
have been involved and that is why they`re being questioned. But also,
today, the Belgian prime minister put forth a proposal to parliament really
asking for a whole new set of measures to gift government an upper hand in
trying to deal with the terrorism that has become a major cause of concern.
Among these measures -- doubling the security budget, increasing
security and intelligence personnel. They want to add about 520 security
personnel across the country and they want to set up checkpoints and
tougher police control points along the border between Belgium and France.
So, this measure is expected to pass. It has been in the works for
some time. Really since "Charlie Hebdo," back in January, when there was a
loose connection to Belgium and now it has emerged that three of these
attackers have close ties to this country. One has Belgian citizenship.
You can imagine this has now become a major policy issue for this current
government of Belgium -- Chris.
HAYES: Ayman, I want to make sure I understand one of the first
things you said. One of the raids today which was conducted at an
apartment that was associated I guess with one of the people who blew
themselves up outside Stade de France, you`re saying that authorities knew
about that person and had scheduled a raid before the attacks and just did
MOHYELDIN: That is correct. The Belgian prosecutor`s office put out
a statement saying that there was an open investigation into Bilal Hafdi.
He is one of the individuals who blew himself up.
Now, that investigation has been ongoing for some time, ever since the
authorities here have learned that he traveled to Syria. So, as we
understand it, there was an ongoing investigation into his associates, into
his network here in Belgium that was opened now, as we understand it, for
It was only after the attack -- and again, according to the Belgian
prosecutor, that these raids and these searches were accelerated and that`s
why they took place today. The three remaining raids and searches that
took place later on this afternoon, that was based on information that only
emerged since Friday`s attack.
So, the total nine raids and searches that took place today can be
categorized into those different groupings. One based on an individual
that was known to authorities given the fact he had traveled to Syria. An
open investigation that had been in the works for some time but the raids
and searches only took place today, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you very much.
Still to come, the Republican-controlled House passes a bill some
Democrats say is a product of anti-refugee hysteria. And after the mayor
of Roanoke, Virginia, cites Japanese internment camps in relation to
refugee policy, Representative Mike Honda, himself placed in an internment
camp as a nine-month-old boy, speaks out. He`ll join me ahead.
HAYES: Today in New York, the presidential candidate with the most
foreign policy experience of anyone running on either side laid out her
strategy for defeating ISIS. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations,
former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined her plan for combating
jihadism, rejecting calls for expanded use of U.S. ground troops in the
Middle East, Clinton urged a new phase in the fight against ISIS, including
more special operations forces and a broader air assault.
Clinton also used her speech to respond to the growing backlash
against Syrian refugees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America`s open, free,
tolerant society is described by some as a vulnerability in the struggle
against terrorism, but I actually believe it`s one of our strengths. It
reduces the appeal of radicalism and enhances the richness and resilience
of our communities. This is not a time for scoring political points.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There were a lot of political points being put on the board
today. The ongoing political frenzy over refugees is next.
HAYES: This afternoon, in defiance of President Obama`s veto threat,
the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation that would
establish new barriers to entry for refugees fleeing the horror of war and
violence in Syria and Iraq. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 289-137. And
despite White House officials lobbying Democrats to oppose the measure, 47
Democrats sided with the vast majority of Republicans in supporting the
bill, giving it the 2/3 needed to possibly override a presidential veto.
The two dissenting Republicans, Steve King and Walter Jones, felt the
bill didn`t go far enough.
(BGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If our law enforcement
and intelligence community cannot verify that each and every person coming
here is not a security threat, then they shouldn`t be allowed in. Right
now, the government can`t certify these standards. So, this plan pauses
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Opponents of the bill consider it`s the product of anti-
refugee hysteria, pointing out the U.S. already has in place a stringent
vetting process for refugees lasting between 18 and 24 months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Of course, we want
to keep terrorists out of our country. But let`s not punish the victims of
ISIS for the sins of ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Senate is expected to take up the legislation after its
Thanksgiving recess. Harry Reid today vowed the Democrats would keep the
bill from getting to the president. The Republicans smelled blood. As
Democrats blocked the billion, a senior House GOP aide told the Hill,
"We`ll crucify them."
Also in the Senate today, GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and
Rand Paul tried and failed to pass anti-refugee bills of their own. Cruz,
who just last year supported allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., tried
to introduce a bill to bar all refugees from Iraq and Syria, which included
an exception for groups that are identified victims of genocide including
Cruz also took the opportunity to try to score some political points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president refuses
to say the words "radical Islamist terrorism". Hillary Clinton refuses to
say the words "radical Islamic terrorism". But not only do they refuse to
say the words, but they are supporting a policy of bringing tens of
thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees into this country, knowing full well
that we cannot vet them to determine who is coming here to wage jihad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rand Paul, meanwhile, pushed legislation to ban new refugees
from 34 countries or territories from getting any taxpayer benefits. He
explained his thinking in a floor speech yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My amendment says this
-- that we`re not going to bring them here and put them on government
assistance. When the poem beneath the Statue of Liberty says, "Give me
your tired, give me your poor," it didn`t say come to our country and we`ll
put you on welfare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now independent Senator Angus King of Maine, member
of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Armed Services
Senator, there`s a lot to pick through here. I guess first of all, is
there any evidence that the refugees are coming to, quote, "wage jihad," as
Senator Ted Cruz said?
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: No. But I think we have to start, Chris,
by acknowledging people are rattled particularly by what they saw in Paris
over the weekend. I`m getting lots of calls in Maine about Syrian
But as I got back to town, I started to dig into it and found out that
since 2011 just over 2,000 Syrian refugees have come into this country but
they`ve been through a process that lasts 18 months to two years. If a
terrorist wants to come to the United States, going as a refugee would be
about the hardest way to get in here.
The problem is, Chris, and I don`t know if you talked about it earlier
this evening, but the real issue that I`m concerned about is the visa
waiver program whereby people from 38 countries around the world, including
most of those in Western Europe, can come to this country with no visa, no
check, no vetting whatsoever. It takes 24 months for a Syrian refugee and,
you know, 24 hours to come from Belgium or France or Germany into this
country under the visa waiver program.
And guess how many people used -- how many entries there were under
the visa waiver program last year, 20 million. So, we`re talking about
passing a bill, about 2,000 people in the last three years. And I think
the real threat is under the visa waiver program. That`s where I think we
should be directing our attention.
HAYES: We should note here, and this gets at something I think key
here. As everyone identified involved in the attack has been a European
national, they`ve had European citizenship whether in Belgium or in France.
Those two countries qualifying for the visa waiver program, they could fly
Why do you think that so much emphasis has been placed on refugees as
opposed to, say, Western European nationals?
KING: Well, I think part of it was that the way the story unfolded
over the weekend, one of the guys had a passport and they said he may have
been a Syrian refugee that came through Greece, we`re not even sure of
that. But I think that sort of caught hold and then it just -- it just
became a firestorm.
But you know, going after the refugees instead of the visa waiver
program is like us attacking Brazil after Pearl Harbor. I mean, it`s a
vigorous response, but it`s the wrong target.
HAYES: What is your reaction to watching the rhetoric that is being
employed by some of your colleagues in the Senate? I mean, talking about,
you know, these people who are fleeing what is by all accounts one of the
most awful places in the world, punishing and violent as people, quote,
"wanting to wage jihad or people seeking welfare". What`s your response to
that kind of language?
KING: I think it`s disappointing. And the fact is if you want to
radicalize people, leave them in a refugee camp somewhere. That`s where
the radicalization will take place.
Now, I do think it`s sensible that if people are coming here from
Middle Eastern countries that have been involved in this kind of conflict,
that come under the influence of this radical ideology, it makes sense to
really be careful about it. But, you know, I think the idea -- in fact of
those 2,000 people I mentioned, something like 3/4 are women, children and
So, you know, I think we`ve got to try to stick to the facts here.
It`s disappointing to see this kind of, you know, who can be more anti-
refugee, you know? A lot of the same people, last year it was kids coming
across the border from Mexico and before that it was some other group, and
100 years ago, it was Catholics. And, you know, that`s the kind of thing
that we`ve got to worry about.
HAYES: All right. Senator Angus King, great thanks.
Joining me now, Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, who
voted against that House refugee bill today.
And, Representative Lieu, my understanding is you actually had some
firsthand experience with Middle Eastern refugees fleeing war back in the
early `90s during the first Iraq war and Kurds who were being taken as
refugees by the U.S.
What was your experience with that?
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you, Chris. And let me
first say my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrific
attacks in Paris.
But we do have a robust vetting process in the United States for
refugees. I was in operation Pacific haven when I was active duty with the
Air Force in Guam. We extracted thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq
because Saddam Hussein was going to slaughter them.
We took them to Guam, and we had a very robust vetting process. Most
of them were Muslim. Most of them came to the United States. And our
vetting process has only gotten better. It`s 18 to 24 months before a
Syrian refugee enters the United States. And any terrorists we`re going to
catch through that vetting process.
HAYES: What do you say to someone who says, look, maybe it`s good and
maybe it isn`t good, but I don`t trust the federal government and, frankly
-- you know, it`s a tough world out there, we can`t solve everyone`s
problems, all we can do is keep ourselves secure and minimize our risks?
LIEU: Well, I think Congress needs to focus on how we can prevent an
attack in the United States such as that in Paris. That`s why I voted no
on the House Republican bill today, because it`s the wrong solution to the
There`s not been a single act of terrorism committed by a refugee on
American soil. And as you noted, Chris, the Paris attacks were perpetrated
by French and Belgian nationals. So under the Republican logic we ought to
be banning travel from French and Belgian citizens to the United States.
If you think that idea is ridiculous, then so is scapegoating Syrian
orphans, widows, and senior citizens fleeing a war-torn country.
And the facts show that of the Syrian refugees that have come to the
United States, half are children, a quarter senior citizens, many are
women, they are the victims of is, they are not is.
HAYES: Is it striking to you, Congressman, that the House is able to
get this bill together on the floor and voted in such a short period of
time, 16 months into the bombing campaign against ISIS there is as yet no
authorization for use of military force from the Congress?
LIEU: The Paris attacks I think delivered an emotional response for
many people but we in Congress have to be rational. And the problem with
this bill is it also directs our intelligence agencies to focus on the
wrong problem. You have a director of national intelligence, the FBI
director and the secretary of homeland security who under this bill would
have to personally certify each and every file.
So, last year, over 14,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees came to the
United States. If they just spent half an hour on each file, that would be
essentially 7,000 hours, 300 days a year. They could not do their jobs.
They`d just be reviewing whether Syrian orphans should be coming to the
United States. That is an inappropriate use of resources, and it makes us
HAYES: That`s an excellent point. I`ve not heard that yet.
Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you.
LIEU: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, a man`s message to -- a man who lost his wife in
Friday`s attacks and his incredible first-person address to ISIS. It`s one
of the most moving tributes you`ll ever see. We`ll bring that to you next.
HAYES: 129 people lost their lives in last week`s deadly attack
in Paris. One of those people was Alain Leiris (ph), a 35-year-old wife
and mother, who was murdered in the assault on the Bataclan Theater.
On Monday, her husband Antoine took to Facebook to address his wife`s
death and he read that post for the BBC for the BBC in a video that has now
been watched over 40 million times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTOINE LEIRIS: On Friday night, you stole away the life of an
exceptional being. the love of my life, the mother of my son. But you
will not have my hatred.
I do not know who you are, and I don`t want to know. You are dead
souls. If the god for whom you killed so blindly made us in his image,
each bullet in my wife`s body would have been a wound in his heart.
Therefore, I will not give you the gift of hating you.
You have obviously sought it, but responding to it with anger would be
to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are.
You want me to be afraid? To cast a mistrustful eye on my fellow
citizens? To sacrifice my freedom for security? You lost. Same player.
I saw her this morning, finally after nights and days of waiting. She
was just as beautiful as she was when she left on Friday evening, as
beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago.
Of course I`m devastated with grief. I will give you that tiny
victory. But this will be a short-term grief. I know that she will join us
every day. And that we will find each other again in the paradise of free
souls, which you will never have access to.
We are only two, my son and I, but we are more powerful than all the
world`s armies. In any case, I have no more time to waste on you. I need
to get back to Melvil, who is waking up from his afternoon nap.
He`s just 17 months old. He`ll eat his snack like every day, and when
we`re going to play like we do every day. And every day of his life, this
little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom, because you
don`t have his hatred either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This moment politically and rhetorically that we`re seeing in
the States right now in which a group of refugees fleeing violence has
faced fear and
discrimination from the American public and American leaders is one that
we`ve sadly seen before.
As The Intercept points out the anti-Syrian Muslim refugee rhetoric we
hear today mirrors calls to reject Jewish refugees during the Nazi era,
when refugees were derided as communists or anarchist infiltrators intent
on spreading revolution, part of a global Jewish capitalist conspiracy to
take control of the U.S., and Nazis in disguise.
And as we see with Syrian refugees today, many rejected Jewish
refugees simply because they weren`t Christian.
That is not the only historical parallel now being drawn. Yesterday
as we`ve discussed on the show, the Democratic mayor of Rroanoke, Virginia
David Bowers explained his opposition to allowing Syrian refugees in his
city by pointing approvingly to the internment of Japanese-Americans
following the Pearl Harbor attacks when anti-Japanese hysteria broke out
among the American public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNUONCER: It was that hysteria in the months following December 7
that led to the forced evacuation of 120,000 Japanese-Americans and their
parents from the West Coast. They were ordered from their homes, sent
first to assembly centers and then on to ten camps away from the coast on
desolate federal lands far from military installations.
120,000 people put behind barbed-wire simply because of the color of
their skin and a hysteria that grew from ignorance, fear, and racism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Actor George Takei spent four years in the internment camps
and he released a blistering response to the Roanoke mayor`s statement,
quote "there never was any proven incident of espionage or sabotage from
the suspected enemies then, just as there has been no act of terrorism from
any of the 1,854 Syrian refugees
the U.S. has already accepted. We were judged based on who we looked like,
and that is about as un-American as it gets."
Joining me now, Democratic Representative Mike Honda of California,
who was sent to an internment camp when he was nine months old and lived
there from 1942 to 1945, and Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat of New
Congressman Honda, let me begin with you. What was your response when
you saw this statement that was put out by the mayor of Roanoke?
REP. MKE HONDA, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, I was very, very saddened by
what he had said. And the things that he said was very inaccurate. First
of all, he called the Japanese-Americans Japanese foreign nationals, and we
were actually U.S.-born citizens, 120,000 of us, two-thirds of us were
natural-born citizens, and the rest of us could not become naturalized
citizens because there were federal laws prohibited that.
And so, you know, so it was either a comment that was out of ignorance
and just needed more information or he`s just not well informed.
HAYES: Congressman Nadler, there`s been a lot of discussion about how
the U.S. reacted to the possibility of accepting Jewish refugees, and
particularly around `38 and `39. You know, there`s generally this rule of
thumb, it`s called Godwin`s Law, right, that you shouldn`t be invoking the
Nazis to make arguments in present day. Is this a fair parallel to draw at
this point in time?
REP. JERRY NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: Well, I think it is a fair parallel
to draw. It has nothing to do with the Nazis, it has to do with the
reaction of Americans to refugees, in that case from the Nazis, in this
case from ISIS.
And the hysteria was similar. These were people in desperate,
desperate need, and people wanted to reject them on the grounds that maybe
they were in
this case terrorists, in that case communists or whatever.
In 1940 President Roosevelt proposed a bill to admit 20,000 Jewish
children who might otherwise perish in the -- in Europe over quota. It was
rejected by the Congress after a congressman from Mississippi got up on the
floor of the House and said there may be 20,000 cute kids now but in 15
years there will be 20,000 damn kikes. And that was his direct quote, and
it defeated the bill. And so it`s the exact same hysteria.
HAYES: Congressman Honda, you know, it seems like the rhetoric in the
and on the campaign trail has gotten really, really ugly, if I can say
HAYES: Are you having conversations with your colleagues over there
about are you sure you want to say what you`re saying? Do you recognize
how history might judge some of the things that are being said in the
people`s house right now?
HONDA: No, I haven`t had a lot of conversations with those who`ve
been saying that, but there`s been a lot of talk among our own colleagues
who of the same mind. You know, today we have 14 Asian-Americans in
congress where in 1942 there was zero. And so we`re talking among
ourselves about how we`re going to approach this situation. And I think
that we have colleagues like Jerry Nadler who
understands the situation.
And you know, Jerry is very, very correct that in 1939 this country
rejected 900 Jews who were coming here as refugees. And we turned them
away. That is just as today we`re trying to turn away Syrian refugees from
This is not what America is about. This is not what our character is
about. and also our constitution is also one that we have to be cognizant
The fact that 120,000 Japanese were put into camps was a breach of the
constitutional protection. And that created a lot of discord in the
Japanese-American community just within ourselves, because there were some
of us who wanted to prove that we`re 100 percent Americans by responding to
the draft and there was those who said I will respond to the draft if you
release my parents from an unconstitutional incarceration. And then if you
do that, I will respond to the draft.
And so even to this day we have discussions among our own communities
about what happened to us, by the government in 1942.
So, we really have to be vigilant about what it is that we`re all
about. And the constitution`s our basic anchor.
NADLER: We have a history in this country...
HAYES: Congressman Nadler.
NADLER: We have a history in this country in times of war and in
times of crisis of reacting in panic. The Japanese incarceration was one
panic. We usually end up apologizing about 30 years later. Congress
formally passed an apology and compensation in 1988 to the Japanese
internment 40 years later.
We had the alien and sedition acts. We rejected refugees. We passed
the racist immigration act in 1924 designed to cut off Jewish and Greek and
Italian and eastern European immigration.
The almanac of American politics wrote that if a racist xenophobic
congress had not passed that act in 1924, maybe 2 million of the 6 million
Jews who were murdered by the Nazis would have been in the United States
So we have a history, and we should learn from that history. Right
now we should look where the threat is. You know, seven of the eight
culprits in Paris were French and Belgian nationals who can come to this
country without even a visa. The danger is from people like that or people
here who are radicalized, not well vetted refugees.
Refugees are fleeing the people that we`re against. They`re fleeing
the tyrants and the murders. Then we should help. We vet them. We make
sure nobody is dangerous among them.
The danger is people who can come here without any vetting.
HONDA: I think Jerry`s right in pointing out that acts of terrorism
precipitates this fear against people that we`re not familiar with. Pearl
Harbor precipitated the incarceration of Japanese-Americans just as the
bombing in Paris
had -- has precipitated in this country a response, a negative response
against Syrian refugees in this country.
And I think that that`s got to stop. And our system`s working in
vetting the Syrians that are here. They`ve been here -- since 2011 we`ve
been receiving the Syrian refugees, and not one has performed any acts of
HAYES: All right, representative Mike Honda and Representative Jerry
thanks to you both.
HONDA: Thank you.
NADLER: Thank you.
HAYES: Congressman Nadler just spoke about panic. I want to read
this quote before we move ahead. Truman said, "when we have these fits of
hysteria, we are like the person who has a fit of nerves in public, when he
recovers he is very much ashamed and so are we as a nation when sanity
Harry Truman his diary writing about the red scare.
All right, still ahead how the suggestions of databases and
similar to the political rhetoric we heard after September 11 and a
reminder what that rhetoric led to. That`s ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: These are not radical extremist ideas. I am not coming
before the American people and say, look, I am this radical, wild-eyed
socialist crazy ideas, but listen to me. You know, that`s not the issue.
Look at the issues.
If we are serious about reinvigorating American democracy, we need to
develop a political movement which once again is prepared to take on and
defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A packed auditorium at Georgetown University today. Bernie
Sanders laid out his vision for America as a democratic socialist. At one
point during his speech in which Sanders spoke about what democratic
socialism means to him, the Vermont senator went off script, calling out a
leading presidential Republican candidate for rhetoric Sanders called
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: People can have honest disagreements about immigration or
about anything else. That`s called democracy. But people should not be
using the political process to inject racism into the debate.
And if Donald Trump and others who refer to Latinos as -- people from
Mexico as criminals and rapists, if they want to open that door, our job is
to shut that door and shut it tight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Coming up, Barney Frank on the virulent rhetoric on immigrants
we`ve been hearing from the right. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s time to
wake up and smell the falafel, something isn`t going right in this open
immigration policy. We are importing terrorism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m waiting for this president to call Eric Holder
out of retirement to lead a new movement, jihadi lives matter.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: The widows and orphans I
remember are the ones after 9/11 and I don`t want to create a new
generation of those.
DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nobody wants to
shut down religious institutions or anything, but you understand it. A lot
of people understand it. We`re going to have no choice.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: Who in their right mind would want to bring
over tens of thousands of Syrian refugees when we cannot determine, the
administration cannot determine who is and who isn`t a terrorist?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As we`ve been chronicling over the past several days the
rhetoric surrounding Syrian refugees, Islam, and Muslims in general has
been ratcheting up
at home since attacks in Paris last week.
Several Republican presidential candidates have suggested a religious
test for Syrian refugees. And GOP front-runner today wouldn`t rule out ID
Muslims in the U.S., special id cards.
The mood of the country, as many people have been noting in terms of
the political discussion, the media coverage, is strikingly similar to the
years after 9/11, the years that gave us a war on terror and brought us
into the Iraq war.
And joining me now, former congressman, CNBC contributor Barney Frank,
who voted against the resolution authorizing military force against Iraq in
And Congressman Frank, the reason I wanted to talk to you is because I
am struck by the fact that I have not heard the American sort of political
rhetoric sounding like this in 13 years. How does it strike you?
FRANK: Oh, it`s much worse than it was back then, Chris. There was a
degree of racism and viciousness. Give George Bush credit. You and I were
supporters. But he, right after 9/11, said this is not all Muslims. He
spoke out in defense of mosques.
This is far worse. Look, it`s part and parcel of the general
deterioration in the rhetoric in general but particularly in the Republican
The Republicans made a decision, sadly, when Barack Obama got elected
that they were going to go to demonization. And they`ve succeeded I think
far beyond what some of the more reasonable ones wanted to see.
But this is worse. As a matter of fact, I would cite the experience
of the past 13 years as a refutation of this. This argument that the
American government is somehow incapable, that we as a people coming
together are capable of protecting ourselves is totally contradicted by the
In the 14-plus years now since 9/11 we have not had these incidents.
We have not had these mass killings. We`ve had lone wolf crazy Americans
who`ve done that, some of them have been Islamists, more of them have been
white Americans who have randomly shot and killed other people as in
Charleston and out in Oregon.
But we have not had this organization of terrorism. We have some
capacity to protect ourselves.
And what you have here is a kind of hysteria that`s born of somehow --
I don`t understand what it is that drives these people so to denigrate our
country, people on the conservative side used to be proud of America and
pro-American. They`re now describing a country that has lost all capacity
to protect itself, which is inaccurate.
And by the way, I`ll tell you one other analogy to this, which
fortunately got headed off, that occurred to me. It was the hysteria after
Ebola when you had Republicans demanding that the president shut off all
immigration from Africa. When you had Chris Christie, who you just had on,
talking about quarantining people.
In fact, Barack Obama oversaw a very rational response to Ebola that
helped put an end to the disease in parts of Africa, only one American
died, and that`s an American who brought it there.
And there is this fact we have to address. There`s a racism here. In
all of the incidences we have, Ebola even more, the Jews in Germany 80
years ago, the
Japanese-Americans, the Syrians today, it`s an otherness. It is apparently
a view on the part of many Americans not that we need to worry more about
American lives and the lives of others, that`s a natural factor, this
chilling thing about this
equation is these are people who say any one American life is infinitely
more valuable than thousands, tens of thousands of others.
There`s no balance at all. Any harm that might come to other people,
people who have that otherness, who aren`t like us, no matter how much
damage will be done to people, the overwhelming majority of whom everybody
agrees are innocent, that`s irrelevant if it`s going to put even one
American slightly at risk.
That is a wholly immoral calculation.
HAYES: Barney Frank, thank you so much for joining me.
My final thoughts from Paris next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The local Islamic community has outgrown this
building, and it`s proposing to build a mosque nearby on property they own,
but at last night`s presentation things turned ugly fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now when we`re looking at this, this is
evil. I`ll do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen.
We don`t want it.
Because you`re terrorists. Every one of you are terrorists. I don`t
care what you say. You can say whatever you want. But every Muslim is a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans` favorite line about terrorism and their
critique of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton particularly is that you need
to use the right words, that words matter and they`re not using the right
Well, I agree, words matter. And the rhetoric that we`re seeing from
some people right now is creating the conditions for scenes like that in
Spotsylvania, Virginia where a man trying to help build a mosque to expand
is being screamed at and called a terrorist.
Words do matter, and the people that are fomenting that right now are
going to be looked at very unkindly in the future. That is All In for this
evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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