ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 17, 2014
Guest: Sherrod Brown, Diane Guerrero, David Zirin, Sally Jenkins, David
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
REPORTER: Did you mislead Americans about the taxes, about keeping
your plan, in order to get the bill passed?
HAYES: Year two for Obamacare and the president reacts to the latest
assault on the law already in progress.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was not a
provision in the healthcare law that was not extensively debated.
HAYES: Tonight, inside the Grubergate hysteria with the president`s
former chief political advisor, David Axelrod.
Then, the shutdown machine is officially cranked up.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s time for the Republicans to
HAYES: The latest on the immigration fight as the human toll mounts.
Plus, the National Guard is activated in Missouri.
What was the DEA looking for when they raided three NFL locker rooms
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
The president of the United States has finally responded to a set of
controversial remarks made by an academic paid to help get Obamacare
through Congress. That consultant is Jonathan Gruber. He`s an MIT
economist who advise on the construction of Romneycare, the Obamacare
precursor in Massachusetts, and lent his expertise to the creation of the
Affordable Care Act.
In a series of videos unearthed by conservatives and now being played
on almost constant loop on FOX News, Gruber is seen describing key parts of
the legislation essentially as a grand bait and switch, designed to deceive
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN GRUBER, FORMER ADVISER ON ACA: This bill is written in a
tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If the
CBO score the mandate as taxes, the bill dies, OK? So it`s written to do
In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that
healthy people are going to pay in -- you made explicit that healthy people
pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.
Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you
know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but
basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The constant drum beat of anti-Obamacare coverage on FOX,
combined with weeks of negative ads in the midterms have made their mark on
public opinion. The new Gallup poll showing approval of the Affordable
Care Act at a record low of only 37 percent.
Speaking to reporters from Australia, where he is participating in the
G-20 Summit, President Obama responded for the first time the firestorm
surrounding Gruber`s comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The fact that some adviser, who never worked on our staff,
expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the
voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run. We had a
year-long debate, Ed. I mean, go back and look at your stories. The one
thing we can`t say is that we did not have a lengthy debate about health
care in the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It may strike you as strange, that here in 2014, with the open
enrollment of the health care exchanges having just started for a second
year, the president is being forced to address a controversy related to
comments that pertain to the construction and drafting of the Affordable
Care Act way back in the early days of his first term.
But it is no fluke, because it is the legislative process that
produced the law in the first place that is the heart of what many
conservatives now see as their last best hope to kill the Affordable Care
Act once and for all. It`s a Supreme Court case called King versus Burwell
and it alleges that, according to a single phrase in the nearly 1,000-page
text of the law, lawmakers did not intend for insurance tax credits to be
available in the States that rely on the federal healthcare exchange.
That`s 36 states right now.
Significantly, the Supreme Court did not have to take up this question
at all. It was already scheduled for review by a lower court, but instead
of allowing the judicial process to play out, the high court did something
unusual. They reached down into the lower court to pull the case into
their own jurisdiction, against the expectations of many legal observers.
Like the controversy over Jonathan Gruber, King versus Burwell is all
about the original mindset and intent of the people who wrote the law, and
all about using that mindset to destroy the law`s legitimacy and ultimately
if the law`s opponents get their way to take health insurance away from the
more than 10 million people newly understand under the Affordable Care Act.
And if the Supreme Court agrees with the law`s opponents, it could
precipitate a chain of events that causes the entire structure of the
entire law to come crashing down in an ugly implosion.
So, in short, I tell you this -- it is no accident that right now, in
2014, conservatives are gleefully debating a legislative process that took
place almost five years ago in broad daylight, because what is their
alternative? Think about this.
They could instead be attacking the existing Affordable Care Act,
which is no longer just a thousand page bill or some kind of looming future
abstraction. But rather, the actual law of the land.
They could, for instance, be wailing against a federal exchange Web
site that is a complete and utter mess. That is, after all, what they did
a year ago when the original debut of Healthcare.gov turned into a debacle.
But they can`t do that now, because when open enrollment begin this
weekend, the Web site was able to handle a million visitors, and 100,000
applications, a far cry from the disaster of a year ago and, in fact,
enough of a success story to make the Web site a nonstory.
Conservatives could be attacking the Affordable Care Act for failing
to accomplish a main goal: covering the uninsured. But they can`t do that
because the number of Americans without health insurance has gone down 25
percent in the last year. And almost six in ten of the people buying plans
for the exchanges were previously uninsured.
Or they could be scaring insurance companies away from the health care
market, but they can`t do that because more insurers are offering more
plans on the federal exchange this year than they did last year.
They could attack Obamacare for costing the taxpayers tens of billions
of dollars more than lawmakers anticipated. But they can`t do that because
the overall price tag is coming in $104 billion less than the Congressional
Budget Office previously projected.
Of course, they could attack the law for driving up health care
inflation, accelerating the increase in how much we as a country spend
collectively on health care, but they can`t do that because healthcare
inflation has dropped to at the lowest rate in a decade.
They can attack it based on the fact that premiums are skyrocketing
across the board and everyone buying insurance on the Obamacare exchanges
will now by paying through the nose. But they can`t do that because while
some premiums are going up it`s on par with employer based insurance and on
average, Obamacare premiums are lower than anticipated.
Or they could go after the law based on outcry from the angry,
frustrated, disappointed people, who have actually bought insurance through
the Obamacare exchanges. But, of course, they can`t do that because the
latest polling shows that seven out of 10 people enrolled in Obamacare are
happy with their coverage.
In fact, if you take all those different pieces of law and put them
together, they add up to a remarkable and improbable legislative success
story, possibly one of the greatest of our time. It`s a legislative
success story about as likely as landing a tiny rover on a moving comet
hurtling through space hundreds of millions of miles airplane from Earth.
And it`s all the more remarkable because the criticism of the
legislative process that brought us Obamacare is not off-base. It was
messy and often ugly.
I covered the creation of the Affordable Care Act back when Jonathan
Gruber was consulting on Capitol Hill, and I thought I was witnessing the
construction of a Rube Goldberg machine to deliver health care that in
order to avoid political pitfalls had been so baroque (ph), so impenetrable
and so complex that when the time came to turn the thing on, it would
collapse before everybody`s eyes.
And a year ago, when the healthcare exchanges did turn on for the
first time and it usually looked like it might implode, I was worried.
Maybe the whole thing was too complex, maybe the critics were right, and
maybe as Charles Krauthammer said, it showed that liberalism doesn`t work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We have not just Obamacare
unraveling, not just the Obama administration unraveling, not just the
Democratic majority in the Senate, but we could be looking at the collapse
of American liberalism. Obamacare is the big thing for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I will say this to you, Charles. If two months of Web site
failure shows that liberalism didn`t work, then a year later, all the
evidence suggests the opposite -- that liberalism does, in fact, work,
because what is happened in the last year is that more people got access to
health care that`s for affordable and decent, and they`ve been relieved of
the uncertainty and cruelty of a system in the richest country on Earth
throws people to the wolfs to fend for themes when they suddenly get cancer
and don`t have the good fortune of being employed.
And now, armed with some tapes of an MIT professor saying stupid
things and a few potentially sympathetic Supreme Court justices,
conservatives are looking to destroy all of it. To blow it up, to grind it
into dust and raised the Affordable Care Act to the ground on based on no
principle other than their implacable ideological opposition to project of
providing health insurance partially through the government.
To metaphorically show up at the doors of millions of Americans and
knock on it and enter into their houses and rip their health insurance up
in front of them and return them to the tyranny of fear under which they
lived before the act`s passage.
And that is where we stand. And those are the stakes.
Earlier today, I spoke with David Axelrod. He was senior adviser to
President Obama during the legislative battles over the Affordable Care
Act, and who tweeted yesterday, quote, "As one who worked hard to make ACA
and its benefits clear, let me say, if you looked up stupid in the
dictionary, you`d find Gruber`s picture."
I asked him of Jonathan Gruber`s comments that it made him angry.
DAVID AXELROID, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, my tweet
was in a sense in anger, which is bad way to send a tweet. But I sent it
because so many people worked so hard, including John Gruber, on this law,
because they believed in it, they believed in reforming this healthcare
system, making health care available to all Americans, making health care
affordable and doing all the things, giving people greater protection vis-
a-vis the insurance industry, and we have accomplished those things.
And now, there are people who have been fighting a four year rear-
guard action to unwind all of that and to give them comfort by -- with a
kind of throwaway equip to amuse a bunch of academics, just really bugged
But I also know that this guy`s committed his life and dedicated his
life to the cause of health reform, and so that`s why I sent a second
tweet. I want to separate out the issue. What he said was stupid. He
certainly is not.
HAYES: Right. So, let me sort of say what the strongest version of
whatever case there is by conservatives about these comments, which is
basically this was a very complicated bill, it was so complicated that a
lot of people didn`t actually understand what they were working on or
passing, and when you reveal the actual sausage making of the legislation,
there was a lot of duplicitous-ness and a lot of bait and switch, and no
one really had a handle on what the thing was and this is evidence of that,
ergo, the law should be struck down or repeal because it was illegitimate
in some fundamental sense.
AXELROD: Yes. Well, let me tell you what I think. What I think is
when you tell the American people what is in the bill, when you focus on
the fact that kids under 26 can be covered, people with preexisting
conditions can now get insurance at a rate they can afford, that there are
no more lifetime caps or annual caps, so that insurance companies can`t
deny you coverage when you get seriously ill, when you tell them how the
rate of health care inflation has been stemmed in part by this, and the
whole array of other things that happened as a result of this law.
That`s what people don`t yet have -- haven`t fully absorbed and that`s
what the opponents of the law, the conservative voices fear, that the
longer it goes, the more people realize, hey, this thing is working, and
we`re never going to turn it back. I don`t think they will turn it back
because, you know, as you saw even today in the Gallup poll, you know, the
law is reduced the uninsured by some 6 percent.
I mean, it`s astonishing in just a year, the progress that has been
made, and you know and I know that the progress would be even greater if
you didn`t have a whole bunch of governors who are denying their citizens
the right to coverage today.
HAYES: So, when you think back -- I mean, I basically agree with
you`ve about the merits of the law substantively. When you think back to
David Axelrod working on the White House 2009 and 2010 on this, if I went
back and told that David Axelrod, that the law would have been fully
implemented for a year, and be at 37 percent approval, would that have
surprised that David Axelrod?
AXELROD: Well, it wouldn`t have if you told me that -- by the way,
there`s going to be hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of ads
run, misleading people and attacking this law, and there was going to be a
rear-guard action that the governors will fight. And, yes, that the
healthcare Web site which should have run well didn`t run well coming out -
- if you had given me those facts, I would say I don`t expect to make much
The truth is, the Gallup poll has always been on the low side. Most
of the polls I see have approval somewhere in the mid-40s but it hasn`t
moved up. And it hasn`t moved up despite all this progress because there`s
been a campaign waged against it.
HAYES: Yes, David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama -
- thank you very much, David. Appreciate it.
AXELROD: Good to be with you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio.
And, Senator, let me ask you the same question I just asked, David.
Back during those contentious days on Capitol Hill in the early parts of
this administration`s first term, when this thing was being debated day and
night constantly, if I went back and traveled back to you, Senator, at the
time, I told you what would all the facts I listed in the opening of the
show and the 37 percent approval rating.
How would you have reacted back then?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Not -- I wouldn`t have been pleased, of
course, but I`m not terribly surprised for a couple reasons.
One, for five years, as David suggested, for five years, Republicans
have run against this, talking about Obamacare, talking about death panels,
not telling the truth, while Democrats moved on to other things. Democrats
moved on, for instance to Dodd-Frank and a whole bunch of other issues.
I`d also, Chris, put it in historical perspective. I carry this
letter with me. It`s a letter from a vice-president of Pennsylvania Gas
and Electric Company to a vice -- to a grandfather of an employee (AUDIO
GAP) this letter it was dated 1936. And it`s a letter from the vice-
president to all the employees at this utility company saying, beginning in
January, we`re going to take 2-1/2 percent of your income, then the next
year we`ll attention a higher percent, because it`s called Social Security.
The employee didn`t really know in 1936 when they got this letter what
that meant. Then after -- then we`ll send this money off to Washington and
you turn 65, you`ll get this check called Social Security.
Understand, many of those employees that got this letter, they didn`t
even have family members that lived to 65. They knew nothing about this.
Yet, look how our popular Social Security is today. It took awhile until
people understood it and accepted.
1965, when Medicare passed are the same year or within a couple years
that Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts passed Congress, the vice
president of the United States was instructed by President Johnson to get
on the phone and call mayors and governors in Georgia and Mississippi and
Louisiana, saying, if you want Medicare dollars, you`re going to have to
integrate your hospitals -- huge opposition to that.
Every time there`s a new social insurance program, which it`s Social
Security, whether it`s Medicare, whether it`s the Affordable Care Act -- of
course, there`s opposition because that`s change. But today there are
600,000 -- almost 600,000 Ohioans that have insurance, didn`t have twice
years ago. Another 100,000 people were on their parents` health plan,
people in their 20s. A million Ohio seniors are now getting prescribed by
the doctor, getting checkups and getting screenings for diabetes and
osteoporosis, all those kind of things, at no cost, because of the
Affordable Care Act.
So, the question, Chris, ultimately is, so, to Republican in the House
and Senate -- why are you taking these benefits from me? When here panel
dressed like this with great titles like congresswoman and senator, all
getting health insurance from taxpayers, taking these benefits away from
hundreds of thousands of people in my state, it`s just not going to sell.
They`re going to -- this is going to move forward. People are going to be
increasingly satisfied with what this law is all about.
HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, thank you so much.
HAYES: The Missouri National Guard is on standby and there`s
officially a state of emergency in Missouri ahead of a grand jury decision
about whether officer Darren Wilson will be charged with the fatal shooting
of an unarmed 18-year-old. All the latest developments on the ground,
HAYES: Why are federal drug agents crushing NFL games? I`ll tell
Plus, big news to report tonight from Ferguson Missouri, next.
HAYES: Tonight, the Missouri is officially in state of emergency
after Governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order activating the National
Guard preparation for, quote, "the possibility of expanded unrest." This
as everyone in the area waits to hear whether or not Darren Wilson, the
officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown over the
summer, will be indicted. Schools are awaiting advance notice and
protesters are continuing to keep the pressure on ahead of the decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter. But the state of affairs in
St. Louis is that black lives don`t seem to matter to the powers could be.
A young boy was murdered. The halls of justice have refused to arrest the
man who murdered him. And so, now, we have to keep raising our voice.
We`re going to keep making things uncomfortable, keep disrupting until
there`s some justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As the St. Louis metro area awaits, we`re learning more about
the timeline of events that led to Brown`s death. Audio recordings
obtained by "The St. Louis Post Dispatch" show the incident that left Brown
dead was very brief, roughly 90 seconds. "Post Dispatch" also published
audio recordings from radio calls relating to a search for a robbery
suspect in the area around the same time. Surveillance video previously
released by police appeared to show Michael Brown committing that robbery.
However, it is not clear from the newly published audio whether
Officer Wilson ever suspected Brown of being tied to the robbery. "The
Post-Dispatch" cites unnamed sources who say that after his initial
encounter with Brown, Wilson, quote, "realized Brown matched the
description of the suspect in the stealing call."
"St. Louis Post-Dispatch" also published police surveillance video
showing Officer Wilson with his union representative and other officers,
leaving the station to go to the hospital a full two hours after his
encounter with Brown.
Meanwhile, over the past week, law enforcement officials have been
doing their best to assure the community they have a plan. Notably absent
from those appearances, Ferguson police chief, Tom Jackson. On Friday, a
report from the NBC affiliate KSDK paraphrased Jackson as saying, "If the
grand jury does not indict Wilson, he will immediately return to active
duty. If the grand jury returns an indictment, Officer Wilson will most
likely be fired." He later clarified his comments to MSNBC saying, quote,
"I`m not saying that I want Officer Wilson to return or that I don`t want
him to return. Legally speaking, if he is not indicted, he can return to
his job. If he`s indicted on felony charges, which these would be, he will
Joining me now is MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee.
Trymaine, my understanding is that Governor Nixon made this
What was -- did we know this was coming and how normal is it for a
state of emergency to be declared in advance of an event?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: It is relatively odd, but if
you go back to the press conference that Governor Nixon had last week,
where he kind of outlined preparations and planning around law enforcement,
around possible unrest related to the grand jury decision coming up, he
said that the National Guard would be part of that.
So, the expectation all along was that the National Guard would come
in. Again, is it a matter of hoping for the best and planning for the
worst? Or is this just another step to kind of exacerbate the situation
People on the ground depending on who you speak with are either
fearful of riots and protesting and disrupting life and damaging property,
or they fear that law enforcement will be heavy handed, show up with the
big tanks and big guns. And now, that the National Guard is here,
depending how they`re being deployed, could be seen that they cavalry is in
town in this gear up for what could be a very bad situation on either side.
HAYES: After that announcement, or signing the executive order this
morning, Governor Nixon had a press phone call. I want to play part of
that to you. Here`s one of the questions he got and his response. Take a
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REPORTER: Given that you declared the state of emergency and you`ve
put the highway patrol on the unified command, does the buck ultimately
stop with you when it comes to how any protests are policed?
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: You know, it -- it -- you know, it --
our goal here is to keep the peace and allow both voices to be heard, and
in that balance, attempting -- I am using the resources we have to marshal
to be predictable for both those pillars. I don`t -- I`m more -- I just
have to say I don`t spend a tremendous amount of time personalizing this
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Trymaine, something of a tortured response to that question.
LEE: The least.
I mean, the idea that when asked directly where does the buck stop,
who is in charge here, after you signed the executive order, to stumble and
stammer through it and then defer back to the unified command only adds
that kind of fuel to the fire that people have been saying has been
spreading all along, that who is in charge here? Who is gong to push the
button if there`s tear gas back in the crowd? Who is in charge here?
And so, again, that`s kind of another example of this environment
we`re living in. Every step we move forward, it seems to be something to
muck it up and clutter it up. So, here we are again.
HAYES: Trymaine Lee in Ferguson, thank you very much.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: President Obama`s next big battle is here. I`ll tell you what
it is after this.
HAYES: New reports indicate President Obama may act as early as this
week to protect as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from
deportation. Republicans are scrambling to figure out a strategy to
respond. Many Republicans claim to be against a government shut down, but
some conservatives want the party to do just that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, FRM. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think there have
got to be more productive ways for us to be able to impress on the
president the need to work for a permanent solution, as opposed to a
temporary stop-gap solution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Republicans, Chris, are looking at
different options about how best to respond to the president`s unilateral
Shutting the government down doesn`t solve the problem
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don`t think that anyone wants to shut down
the government, because that doesn`t solve the problem.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Should government shutdown be
on the table?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not. It`s an inappropriate weapon, in
I think the president wants a fight. I think he`s actually trying to
bait us in to do some of these extreme things that have been suggested. I
don`t think we will.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO HOST: It`s time for the
Republicans to man up. They were sent there to deal with these kind of
lies and this obfuscation, these con games. They were sent there to stop
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Funding for the government expires after December 11 unless a
new funding bill is passed. And as the National Journal reports, the House
could attach a rider prohibting enforcement of the president`s coming
order, or it could not provide money to departments that would respond to
executive action. But bear in mind, that would essentially be a government
shutdown, because President Obama would never sign such a bill.
If Republicans don`t go for a government shutdown, their recourse is
limited. They might pursue a legal challenge for the courts, but that`s
unlikely to prevail. They might refuse to confirm the president`s nominee
for attorney general. They might even try to impeach the president as a
few have suggested.
But if you look at this issue just in terms of Washington politics,
then you miss the real story of why we have gotten here. Why is it that the
president would take such a big, frankly risky action, a move that is
already drawing a great deal of political backlash, that could very
conceivably backfire. As the Washington Post has reported with an
estimated 1,100 immigrants per day being deported from the United States,
advocates say Obama has a moral obligation to stop breaking up families.
And that was in May of last year, calls for the president to act have
only increased since then. Activists who live and breathe this issue have
been making the case that our country`s current immigration policy is just
And my next guest knows that better than anyone, because she lived it.
Joining me now actress Diane Guerrero. She plays Maritsa Ramos (ph)
in Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Her parents and older brother were
deported when she was 14 years old. It`s great to have you here.
DIANE GUERRERO, ACTRESS: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Your story is remarkable. You were born in the United States,
GUERRERO: I was. Yes.
HAYES: So you are a citizen.
GUERRERO: I am.
HAYES: And both your parents came over from Colombia.
HAYES: And what happened next?
GUERRERO: We were -- I mean as far as I can remember, I remember my
parents trying to get legal status and get documented and be here legally.
And I remember just that failing them every time through faulty lawyers and
-- I mean, we spent so much money trying to be here and not be scared and
not live in fear.
HAYES: And you were aware. I mean, you knew that you were a citizen,
but were you -- was this something that hung over your household?
GUERRERO: Absolutely. Every day. Every day my father was talking
about you know paying close attention to the news and seeing that there was
no relief being given, you know, outdated system. I knew about all that
growing up. And I knew that my parents were trying to fix their problem,
but time and time and again they would be disappointed. And so I knew that
every day growing up.
HAYES: There was a risk?
HAYES: And then what happened when you were 14?
GUERRERO: So I came home and my fears were realized and my parents
were gone. They were taken away. And neighbors came and told me what had
happened and I just knew they were gone and I couldn`t do anything about
HAYES: You`re a 14-year-old coming to an empty house?
GUERRERO: Yeah, I was coming home from school.
HAYES: From what your parents have been taken?
GUERRERO: Yes. Yeah. I like found -- I was like by myself
HAYES: So then what was that -- I mean, what did you do?
GUERRERO: Well, immediately, I just called my friends and their
parents who were close to the issue and they knew what was going on
surrounding my family`s troubles and I just knew that I could just call
them and see if they could me. And they did. They came over immediately
and they said I could stay with them temporarily until my parents called
them and we kind of figured out what to do.
My mother thought about taking me with her, but I think that -- I
mean, I remember crying to her and telling her that I needed to stay here,
because I wasn`t going to get the same opportunities that
I would have here.
HAYES: And you were American, too. I mean, Colombia was a foreign
GUERRERO: Absolutely. What was I going to go do there? I mean, I
wanted to stay in my country.
HAYES: Where are your parents now?
GUERRERO: They`re in Colombia.
HAYES: They are in Colombia.
HAYES: One of the things I think that important for folks to
understand is that the biggest chunk of people if this executive order is
being discussed in your situation -- immediate family of American citizens.
HAYES: And we are deporting people like that every day and doing to
those families what was done to your`s.
HAYES; And you`re -- it should be just said again, an American
I mean, this is something that in some ways your government did to
GUERRERO: Yeah. I mean, I was very disillusioned. I didn`t know
what to do. I myself felt very disconnected from my country. I mean, I
knew I was American. I grew up that way. And I believe in my country. I
love my country. So when that happened, I didn`t know where I really
belonged. Sometimes I still feel that way.
HAYES: Diane Guerero, it`s an incredible story. And thank you very
GUERRERO: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: It`s great to have you.
All right. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: The embarrassing, bizarre saga known as Pointergate just keeps
getting more embarrassing and more bizaree.
It all began earlier this month with a story aired by KSTP, a local TV
station in Minneapolis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a photo of Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges
arm-in-arm with a man flashing what law enforcement agencies tell us is a
known gang sign for a northside gang.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The man photographed with the mayor, Navell Gordon is a
canvaser for a local community group. And he and Mayor Hodges were
participating that day in a get-out-and-vote effort, that`s when the photo
as taken. You can see it right there.
But that didn`t stop the president of the local police union from
questioning the mayor`s loyalties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DELMONICO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE UNION REPRESENTATIVE: When you
have a mayor of a major city with a known criminal throwing up gang signs,
that`s terrible. Is this something that could incite gang violence in the
city? And for as critical as she can be with the cops, is she going to
support gangs in this city or cops?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The story was quickly met with widespread outrage and mockery
from across the country. But KSTP refused to back down issuing a statement
pointing to multiple sources from several law enforcement agencies who had
told the station the photo had the potential for undermining the work they
are doing on the street, because of, you know, the pointing.
But that didn`t do much to stop public outcry. KSTPs owner Stanely
Hubbard was greeted by protesters at a speech he was given at a local
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANLEY HUBBADR, KSTP OWNER: If you want people to invest in you
ideas, you have to have integrity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Integrity:that was the word that ignited the
HUBBARD: All right, we`ll cover that right now. Let`s say for a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people demanded Hubbard apologize for the
He said, no. He said this about the sources in the story, those that claim
the pointing by the man and Hodges were gang signs.
HUBBARD: Safety of the people who told us this is the case. We said
they said it. We didn`t say it. We reported what they said. We stand by
the sorry. I`m very sorry if you didn`t like it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That same day KSTP aired a followup to their original report
focusing not on Mayor Hodges, but on the man she took the photo with,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our story has provoked a wave of criticism with
allegations ranging from sloppy journalism to racism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMAEL; So, tonight, we respond to the demand for
answers and uncover new details on the man who has put himself in the media
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now KSTP`s original story was not about Naell Gordon, it was
about the mayor, pointing. Pointing.
Yet the follow up report dug into Gordon`s arrest record and his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And as for the hand gesture that sparked all the
outrage, he has shown displaying it repeatedly, the same sign we previously
identified as being associated with a local gang.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As for Mayor Hodges, she kept silent on the matter until last
Thursday, the same day Hubbard defended the station and the same day KSTP
aired the followup story.
On her blog, Hodges released an incredible statement, a long, spirited
at times sarcastic defense that criticized the president of the police
union, accusing him of trying to prevent her from working to raise the
standards of police culture and accountability.
There`s a critical between our good offices who have had a bad day on
and officers, however few, who have a standing habit of mistreatment, poor
judgment relating to the public, particular people of color.
I am as concerned with the negative effects of this conduct on the
police department as a whole as I am with his effects on our community.
And I am convinced we can change it even if it takes yeasr.
The next day, Mayor Hodges appeared on the local PBS station
questioning the merits of KSTP`s reporting on the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETSY HODGES, MAYOR OF MINNEAPOLIS: If it`s really a story about my
judgment, why are there stories about Navell Gordon? If it is really a
story about my judgment, it`s not actually a question about my judgment
pointing, because as I said there are so many pictures of me pointing. And
so at that point, it becomes the judgment -- you know, it`s a judgment
about whether or not I should have been using stereotypes to assess whether
or not I should have been standing with a young African-American man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is David Brauer. He`s columnist or the
Southwest Journal in Minneapolis, former media columnist at (inaudible).
All right, David, this story is really something. Let`s start with
this. KTSP seems to think that they could redeem the original story if
they just go ake the hammer to the reputation of Navell Gordon, but that
was not what the original story was about.
DAVID BRAUER, SOUTHWEST JOURNAL: Right, they made a big deal at the
beginning, as your sum-up said, of not showing Navell Gordon.
And one of the things they didn`t show in their original report was
that he had a badge for KNOCK (ph), which was the group that was doing
canvasing. If they would have shown that badge, it might have -- it would
have been, you know, very much let Hodges off the hook, because it shows
what they were doing.
They left the impression that she was standing with a black criminal
and you know for no apparent reason.
HAYES: Just throwing up gang signs -- her chief of staff was like hey
I`ll roll by in a little bit and we can throw up some gang signs.
BRAUER: Right and they didn`t show the fact that the chief of police
was at the same event standing just off camera in the case of the tightly
cropped blurred photo that they chose to show.
HAYES: OK. So that`s the context here I think that`s so crucial.
And I thought that Mayor Hodges` response was remarkable. I mean, she just
goes hard, hard at the police union in a way you almost never see a mayor
do, because police unions tend to have a lot of power. What the heck is
going on between the police department and the mayor that they came after
her with this hit piece to begin with?
BRAUER: Well, there`s a lot of things going on. Politically, one of
the things you need to know about the police union is they haven`t
supported a winning mayoral candidate since 2001. So it`s been 13 years.
And by the way the crime rate was higher than.
They have been against Betsy Hodges since she was a councilperson who
led a fight to combine their pension fund -- they had an ill-run pension
fund that was eventually was combined with a more solid state fund. Since
then she has not increased the police force as fast as they want. There`s
been a wave of retirements.
The other thing to know about Betsy Hodges is, whatever you think of
her in Minneapolis, she is a tough person. She has stood up well before
she was elected mayor for the rights of felons to regain their voting
rights, for voting right. This is not something she`s been a shrinking
violet on. And it`s not something that she`s ever shown any backup on. If
anything, it`s forward.
So that all sort of came together in her statement. I think it`s her
deep beliefs in the issues. I think there`s some belief in redemption, as
well. And I think the public has shared that largely.
HAYES: David Brauer, thank you very much.
BRAUER: My pleasure.
HAYES: The D-Day cracks down on the NFL. Why they were inspecting
teams that were on the road. I`ll explain ahead.
HAYES: After their games ended Sunday afternoon, at least five NFL
teams got surprise inspections from none other than the Drug Enforcement
Bags were searched, team doctors questioned as part of a DEA
investigation into prescription drug abuse and potential violations of the
Controlled Substances Act, which permits only licensed physicians and nurse
practitioners to dispense prescription drugs, and only -- this is key -- in
states where they are licensed, which is why yesterday`s surprise
inspections happened to teams that were on the road preparing to fly back
The San Francisco 49ers confirmed they were part of random DEA
inspections as did the Seahawks, the Cincinnati Bangels, the Detroit Lions
and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who sent out this tweet, "regarding, DEA
inspection story, authorities checked in with our travel party at BWI. And
after a five minute delay, we proceeded onto our plane without incident."
NFL official acknowledged yesterday`s raids and said, quote, our teams
cooperating with the DEa today. We have no information to indicate that
irregularities were founding.
Those raids were reportedly prompted by a class action lawsuit filed
by hundreds of players back in May, which claims that team doctors
routinely dispense Percocet, Toradol, Novacain and other drugs to energize
players before games and relieve pain afterwards.
A lawyer representing the player said the NFL knew of the debilitating
effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the
player`s long-term health and its obsession to return them to play.
The NFL has asked the federal judge to toss the suit out. And while
the league would not comment on specific cases in June, he told the Today
Show we are very confident professionals and commitment -- professionalism
and commitment of our team of medical staffs combined with the protection
of an experienced labor union ensures that NFL players receive timely
expert and appropriate care.
Joining me now, Sally Jenkins, sports columnist for the Washington
Post, Dave Zirin, sports editor for the Nation.
Sally, this is -- am I wrong? Is this a big deal?
SALLY JENKINS, WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, it`s a big deal. It`s a big
deal because it`s unprecedented for the DEA to do this to the NFL.
HAYES: The DEA was searching bags of NFL teams.
JENKINS: Well, they`ve looked at individual NFL teams before.
They`ve investigated teams before. They`ve never investigated the entire
league to this degree. It`s a months-long investigation. It`s not just
the DEA, it`s also the Department of Justice via the U.S. attorney`s office
in New York, which is a very heavy hitting prestigious prosecutorial arm.
HAYES: Dave, this appears that this gets its start with the civil
suit. A nd I want to read one part of that civil suit, which is just jaw-
dropping. This is Jim McMahon, of course Bears Superbowl-winning
"Jim McMahon discovered for the first time in 2011 or 2012 he had
suffered a broken neck at some point in his career. He believes it
happened during a 1993 playoff game when after a hit his legs went numb.
Rather than sit out, he received medications and was pushed back on the
field. No one from the NFL ever told him of this injury."
I mean, if this is true this is pretty nuts that they are drugging
people to the point where they don`t know they`ve broken their neck.
DAVID ZIRIN, THE NATION: Yeah, Chris, but that`s not what this is
about. I mean there have been stories about NFL locker rooms handing out
prescription drugs like M&Ms dating back to the early 1970s.
The real story here is that this raid happened at all. mean, the NFL
employees 26 full-time lobbyists and spends roughly $1.5 million per
election cycle to keep the federal government off of their backs.
But currently the relationship between the federal government and the
NFL is like the relationship between a vegetarian and a pork chop. This
isn`t just about the DEA, this is about the FCC overturning the blackout
rules on the NFL, threatening to sanction the Washington football team and
ban the use of their name. This is a big story about hostility between the
feds and the NFL.
HAYES: Do you buy that, Sally, that the kind of reputational cap of
the league has so ebbed that they are now vulnerable from all these
JENKINS: I do. I think it`s a real sign that the NFL has enjoyed a
very friendly relationship with law enforcement, sometimes too friendly as
we`ve seen in some cases lately.
OK, so what happened yesterday, not friendly.
That`s the DEA showing up and saying show us your bags.
ZIRIN: And -- oh, go ahead, Sally.
Oh, just to say that in September, another tea leaf in this is that
the NFL hired a new chief lobbyist and that was Cynthia Hogan who is a big,
Democratic Party operative in this town. It`s because they feel like their
relationship with the Obama administration -- and, of course, the president
appoints the FCC and obviously has a lot of sway over the actions of the
DEA is that there is just a ton of hostility and bad feelings. And this
has to do with the political and cultural capital of the NFL, which is not
in a good place right now.
HAYES: It`s been a rough year for Roger Goodell and the NFL from a
reputational perspective, Sally.
JENKINS: It has. But I also think that you have to go back to that
lawsuit that was filed. My understanding -- our information at the
Washington Post is that there are people in the federal government who find
the material in that lawsuit compelling.
HAYES: And that means compelling that if what is asserted in this
civil suit is true, that is evidence of something that is perhaps
criminally actionable, and ergo you have this criminal investigation.
JENKSIN: Right now our understand is that it`s with civil people, but
they`re not ruling out that if they find some kind of major violations it
could be criminal.
HAYES: And you have reporting that indicates the U.S. attorney`s
office here in New York in the southern district? Is that right?
JENKINS: Yes, the U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York,
which is the biggest muscle in the Justice Department.
HAYES: Of the U.S. attorney`s...
And Dave, I think you`re right that we have seen a kind of a sea
change in the way that the league, which has gotten away with a lot of
things for a long time and thrown its weight around. We are seeing a sea
change in how the league has handled. It`s going to be very interesting to
keep monitoring this and see how this all plays out.
Sally Jenkins and Dave Zirin, thank you both.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA KASSIG, MOTHER OF ABDUL-RAHMAN KASSIG: Our hearts are battered,
but they will mend. The world is broken, but it will be healed in the end.
And good will prevail as the one god of many names will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Abdul-Rahman Kassig, born Peter, lived an extraordinary life.
Born in Indiana, Kassig became an army ranger in Iraq after graduating
high school. He came back after medical discharge and upon his return he
enrolled in college and trained as an emergency medical technician.
In 2012, Kassig found his calling after encountering Syrian refugees
while on vacation in Lebanon. He skipped his flight home.
"With only hours left before my scheduled flight back to the U.S. I
watched people dying right in front of me," Kassig wrote in an email to
friends and family. I had seen it before and I had walked away before.
I`m just not going to turn my back this time."
Kassig spent months providing volunteer medical care at a refugee
hospital before founding an aid organization to help Syrians impacted by
their country;`s brutal civil war.
He donated his own money to the cause. And, in October of last year,
Kassig was captured while heading to eastern Syria to deliver much-needed
While in captivity, he converted to Islam, though his parents say his
embrace of the religion had begun much earlier.
Yesterday, the militant group ISIS released a video showing that
Kassig had been killed. He was 26 years old.
Kassig wrote a letter to his parents while in captivity which was
smuggled out by a former fellow prisoner. He wrote that he knew the
militant`s claims that his parents had abandoned him were lies. His father
read from the letter last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED KASSIG, FATHER OF ABDUL-RAHMAN KASSIG: Don`t worry, dad. If I go
down, I won`t go down thinking anything but what I know to be true: that
you and mom love me more than the moon and the stars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kassig`s parents, who you saw at the top of this segment,
contributions in their son`s honor be sent to the Syrian American Medical
Society. It helps Syrians displaced and injured by war. It is a cause
worthy of his memory.
Rest in peace.
That is "All In" for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts now.
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ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES