tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 11, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
. if you want to list things to worry about, he said his father the president is surrounded by 37 appeasers. yes, he means people who just tell trump what they think he wants to hear, where the family gives him the right direction. what a perfect definition of a country run by a royal family, again, on the russian model, the romanovs, a bad example of having it all and blowing it. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> you had a, you know, someone as despicable as hitler, who didn't even sink to the -- to using chemical weapons. >> communication breakdown. >> to draw any comparison to the hol oh cost was inappropriate. >> from foreign policy to the basics of governing, new signs of confusion and chaos in an understaffed white house. then --
[ booing ] >> republicans face their constituents. >> you lie! >> the energized resistance as kansas republicans fight to defend a congressional seat. plus, why a top white house adviser -- >> the era of the pa ja ma boy is over and the alpha males are back. >> has made a pro-nazi group proud. >> number one, i am the least anti-semitic person. >> and the stunning tally of days trump has ditched the white house for the golf house. >> golf, golf, golf. more, more. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from washington, d.c. i'm chris hayes. breaking news tonight from "the washington post," which is now reporting that the fbi obtained a court order last summer in the midst of the campaign to monitor the communications of none other than carter page, an adviser to
donald trump, as part of an investigation into potential links between russian intelligence and the trump campaign. more on this story coming up. but this comes as the trump administration is reeling from yet another self-inflicted wound tonight. you know it's bad when the president's press secretary is standing in front of the white house apologizing for what he said about hitler earlier in the day. this episode just the latest evidence of an administration that does not appear at a very basic level to know what it's doing. and as the president has been inserting himself into some of the most high-stakes global issues, launching an attack on syrian government forces and tweeting about the solving the problem of a nuclear north korea, trump's administration is having trouble getting out of its own way. the sean spicer fiasco began with comments he made at today's press briefing about syrian dictator bashar al assad's use of chemical weapons. >> we didn't use chemical weapons in world war ii. you know, you had a -- you know,
someone as despicable as hitler who didn't even sink to the -- to the -- to using chemical weapons. >> shortly after, spicer was asked to clarify his hitler comparison. >> i think when you come to sarin gas, there was no -- he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that assad is doing. i mean there was clearly -- i understand your point. thank you. thank you. i appreciate that. there was not -- he brought them into the holocaust center, i understand that. but i'm saying in the way that assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns. so the use of it, and i appreciate the clarification there. that was not the intent. >> within the hour, the press secretary tried to clarify yet again in a written statement. this time, quote, in no way was i trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the holocaust. however, i was trying to draw a contrast to the tactic of using
airplanes to drop chemical weapons on innocent people. perhaps realizing the implications of contrasting innocent people with victims of the holocaust, spicer released another statement just minutes later. using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. not long after that came yet another statement with the new line at the end, any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable. he later made a complete apology to nbc's peter alexander. >> obviously i was really trying to make sure we talked about assad's actions and some people using chemical weapons. to draw any kind of comparison to the holocaust was inappropriate and insensitive, and obviously especially during a week like this, regret that. >> first of all, did the president ask you to make that -- >> absolutely not. no. >> what was the intention? >> it doesn't matter because it was -- it was -- it was a mistake to try to make any kind of comparison. assad has done bad things, and to try to make any kind of comparison is a mistake. >> to be clear, you recognize
that hitler obviously did kill -- >> i'm well aware of what he did. but, again, it was a distinction that didn't need to get made. they both did horrendous, heinous things to innocent people. and to make any kind of comparison is really regrettable and a mistake. >> nancy pelosi says you should be fired. is your job safe? >> i -- i -- well, you know what? i made a mistake. i'm owning up to it. and, you know, this is -- obviously i would expect or i would hope that everyone understands that we all make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. >> this is jt the latest evidence of an administration that does not have its act together. hundreds of high-level jobs have not been filled. a 553 key positions requiring senate confirmation, just 22 have been confirmed. 53 are awaiting confrmation and a whopping 478 do not even have a nominee presented. even on the low-stakes stuff like the white house easter egg roll, this white house is apparently way behind. it's an annual tradition that draws tens of thousands of
people to festivities on the south lawn. this year, according to "the new york times," the white house is struggling to pull it off. the event is this coming monday. but according to the times, washington area public schools that normally receive blocks of tickets for as many as 4,000 children have yet to hear from the white house. likewise, several groups representing military families who have also accounted for as many as 3,000 guests in recent years, the same group of people doing a shoddy job of running the administration, it is those same people that are conducting foreign policy in overseeing the most powerful military in the history of the world. today the kmantder in chief took to twitter to address north korea's nuclear program. quote, i explained to the president of china that a trade deal with the u.s. would be far better for them if they solved the north korea problem. north korea is looking for trouble. if china decides to help, that would be great. if not, we will solve the problem without them. usa. this comes as north korean state media warn the nation would carry out a nuclear strike if pro-voekzed by the u.s.
meanwhile secretary of state rex tillerson was at a foreign ministers where he asked a question that left his colleagues befuddled. quote, why should u.s. taxpayers be interested in ukraine? i'm joined by colonel wilkerson. colonel, let's start with the hitler comment, which we don't have to talk about the sort of trajectory of the historical clumsiness and apology. but, to me, what was striking is that this was pretty clearly a talking point. the president himself in interviews talking about the worst mass murderers haven't used chemical weapons in this way, which is the kind of rhetoric you normally association with justifications for escalation into a military conflict. >> i'm very concerned by that very aspect of it. let me just say that i think scott spicer is kept around because he makes donald trump look good. i wouldn't expect him to depart on that basis alone. the white house is looking so bad that scott spicer actually
makes our president look good. with regard to some of the remarks about the more visible threats in the world, north korea being preeminent perhaps right now, from what secretary tillerson has said, from what the president has said, from what allegedly transpired in florida with president xi, i see so much rank amateurism at work here, just your remarks about the easter ceremony and no one being notified, it's clearly indicative of a white house that not only is low on people, it's low on experience and talent. they can't seem to even manage the grounds of the white house let alone such significant issues as russia and syria and north korea and on and on. >> one challenge has been just simple coordination on what acy the syria policy is, and it does seem today that they approached something closer to a consensus. you had secretary of state mattis saying this was about
chemical weapons and reinforcing the sort of taboo and norm and international law against them. the president sort of basically saying something like that as well. do you feel like they've arrived at some coherent policy on syria? >> i certainly hope so. but let's just look at some of the things they've been saying, chris. they've been trying to blame russia, for example, for irresponsibility in the disruption of syria's chemical weapons stocks. i'm sorry. the united states army and its contractors destroyed 600 metric tons in 42 days of cw stocks. the opcw and the united nations were responsible for that. as far as i can tell, they did a pretty thorough job. so why blame russia? they don't even know their facts. now, syria might have kept some sarin, some vx, or some other chemicals aside. there's no doubt they could have done that. but this is ridiculous. the inexpertise, the amateurism,
and the lack of fact-checking that's going on even with people like jim mattis. >> yeah, jim metattis also had sort of apologize today because he said we took out 20% of the fixed-wing planes that they had, which was not true. >> took out 20, yes. >> right, which is different obviously unless the denominator is a hundred. but here's my question to you. we also have this tillerson question about ukraine, right? at the meeting of foreign ministers. and, again, this real sense that the foreign policy of this government is essentially up for grabs for whoever sort of moves first or most strongly in the public eye. and what that means for other states that are attempting to make strategic judgments about how to interact with us. >> it meanshathey're terribly confused, including o most prominent allies in the world. we don't know. they don't know exactly what's going to happen at any given time.
i remember very vividly how this happened with the bush administration in the first term when dick cheney was more or less running everything, and no one knew what was going to come out until dick had made up his mind. this was very disconcerting for our allies. well, at least mr. cheney was competent, experienced, and an extremely good bureau craft. this is amateurism, and amateurism looks to the world just like what it is -- amateurism. >> colonel, do you think that there's any danger now of escalation in syria if, for instance, there's evidence of more chemical weapons attacks, that essentially a line's been drawn that has to now be backed up no matter what? >> i think we can take mr. putin at his word. there are going to be, i think he said, more fake chemical attacks. i don't take that as disingenuously as maybe other americans do because i have seen no intelligence that convinces me that the provenance of those
attacks in idlib province was in fact the syrian government. so i'm really worried about this. and i know, chris, that we're already committing forces in syria that the we weren't committing before. the rules of engagement have changed. you may have seen above the faux left side, washington post front page this morning, you had active duty army actually saying that the changed rules of engagement are killing more civilians around mosul and other places. again, i don't see any coherence developing here even though i understand the military is in charge of the strategy. i really don't see coherence yet. >> conel lawrence wilkerson, thank you. >> thank you. joining me now, katrina vander hooven, and former congressman david jolly. katrina, you know, there's this line that eric trump said, and i've now seen conservatives repeat it, which is, well, look, the syria strike proves that trump is not tied or overly
sympathetic to russia. and one wonders whether they now perceive that there's political upside in increasing escalation with russia as a sort of means of producing some sort of domestic political effect with regards to the ongoing investigation there. >> let me flip that if i could. colonel wilkerson made a very important point about the importance of the 2013 diplomatic agreement to dismantle chemical weapons in syria, chris. you've been tweeting about that. i think it's important because president obama spoke of the playbook in washington among the foreign policy establishment. that playbook assigns credibility to use of military force. president obama pushed back against a discredited foreign policy establishment. but now that diplomatic agreement is being castigated, dismissed, by even obama supporters. i think it's unhealthy. i think lawrence wilkerson also made a good point that what was the rush? we've seen horrific, heinous chemical weapons attacks in syria before. why not an independent investigation of the source of
those attacks? why not a present to congress or the united nations? in terms of russia -- >> let me stop you there because lawrence wilkerson said this. i have seen people calling into the question whether the chemical weapons were in fact from the assad regime. afp was on the scene fairly quickly after the first reporters that i saw get there who had pretty consistent eyewitness accounts of an airplane flying over. >> i'm saying there should have been an independent investigation before the rush because what you're witnessing is -- and put aside what the trump sons are saying. i do think there could have been a targeting of domestic critics. what we're faced with tonight is that we are probably closer to war than we have been since the cuban missile crisis. the prime minister, who is the most pro-western in that putin government, said after the syrian strikes, we are on the verge of military clashes. i think this country needs to wake up. we're talking about sean spicer
and his ahistorical -- i mean he's on the wrong side of a history he doesn't know. we need to remember our history that we are in a very, very dangerous moment. and those foreign ministers at the g7, germany and italy's foreign ministers, and this is not reported in the united states, said, we need iran and russia if we are going to have a political solution in syria. that is not reported. there is a different stance in parts of europe. it is not all about nato expansion and poking russia in the eye. >> david -- well, david, let me ask you this. do you trust that the team is in the white house can navigate something like what the next step in syria is or what appears to be an increasingly fraught possible confrontation with north korea? i don't even want to use that word, but that's how it looks. >> syria is a hard question, and if it was easy, obama would have solved it and, he was unable to respectfully. we have an historically unpopular president with a credibility gap and an
incoherent foreign policy strategy. he said obama shouldn't have gone in. then trump did. now he's saying he wouldn't have had to if obama had gone in. the question is what is next, chris, to your point because, listen, it does make a statement to say you will not use chemical weapons on your own people, and erefe there's retribution. the question is does he escalate? perhaps not. perhaps this is saying there is a line, and we will stay out of the civil war as trump has said he wanted to during the campaign. >> although that line about chemical weapons, thement himself talking about barrel bombs, which have killed far, far, far, far more children in syria than chemical weapons. sean spicer himself appearing to enunciate a barrel bomb red line, which would obviously be much more expansive, katrina, even though the moral logic of it is actually pretty impeccable to my mind because either way you have dead innocents. >> secretary tillerson and nikki haley at the u.n., there's either a severe incoherence or a
factionalization in this administration, which is surfacing and is very difficult to understand. we're witnessing an escalation in yemen, in somalia, an escalation of counterterrorism strikes, an escalation of killing of civilians, and i'm worried about a catastrophic collision course this administration. and think of those who are applauding the syria strike, chris. to me, a disastrous presidency, one of its worst acts possibly was syria strikes and you heard these pundits applauding. sanity is needed. common sense. >> david, that brings me to this question. one of the things in the republican party, there was a central civil war about this posture towards foreign intervention, particularly along the lines of, say, enforcing a chemical weapons ban. and donald trump won by repudiating the bush legacy. >> he did. >> very explicitly. i think -- and you tell me. i think that's still where the base of the republican party is in their heart. >> i think they're conflicted,
yes. look, the president has zero credibility. nobody is suggesting that he has credibility on this issue. but the question as to whether or not he made the right dis, i would push back a little bit on katrina. it did receive both affirmation of both democrats and republicans. chris, i went down to the syrian border. i visited a refugee camp from the children to the adults. families wanted to go home. there was a father before i left who said, how are you going to help? how are you going to help? chris, i didn't have an answer. >> but, david, it's not through bombs. think of the hypocrisy of a president saying he's anguished looking at those civilian casualties when he won't even let those -- >> listen to the father who had to bury his twins. explain to the father who had to bury his twins why we shouldn't intervene and try to prevent that from happening. >> i mean let me just say this. two things. one, there is no answer to that father, whether that airfield is struck or not. so let's be clear about there's no incremental progress made for
that father. and as for answering that question, which is a very difficult moral one, there are a lot of fathers in a lot of other places including in yemen right now who would like to see the u.s. play a role different than the one it is. katrina and david, thank you. >> you got it. still ahead, more on that breaking news i mentioned earlier. the fbi was granted a fisa warrant to monitor the communications of trump adviser carter page last summer as part of an investigation into possible ties to russian agents. more on that development after this two-minute break. i would always answer hispanic. so when i got my ancestry dna results it was a shocker. i'everything. i'm from all nations. i would look at forms now and wonder what do i mark? because i'm everything. and i marked other. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com. a heart attack doesn't or how healthy you look.
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now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount breaking news tonight. "the washington post" is reporting that the fbi obtained a fisa warrant last year to monitor former trump adviser carter page. quote, the fbi and the justice department obtained the warrant targeting carter page's communications after convincing a foreign intelligence surveillance court judge there was probable cause to believe -- this is the key part -- page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case russia, according to officials. this appears to be the first
confirmation that a fisa warrant was in fact approved to investigate contacts between russian intelligence and trump associates. joining me now, phillip rucker and julian sanchez, a senior fellow at the kaddo institute. julian, let me start with you and then i'll come to you, phillip. fisa is intended to spy on or surveil foreign intelligence? so there's supposed to be a fairly high bar to actually target an american citizen and not just incidentally sweep them up, that right? >> there's actually two different sets of standards for getting a warrant that depend on whether the target is a u.s. person or not. if it's a foreigner, essentially if they're working for a foreign government, that's more or less enough. for a u.s. person, it's not enough to show that they're in the employ of a foreign government. you have to show they're engaged in clandestine intelligence
activities and doing so knowingly. so it wouldn't be enough even if he had been unwittingly recruited as an asset. so the obvious question is what is the evidence they had that he was engaged in that kind of conduct and then how did someone who might have been engaged in that conduct end up as one of a relatively small number of foreign policy advisers to the trump campaign? >> that's key here. phillip, the reason this reporting is so important is we've had stories floating around about possible fisas, and two different british outlets have both had the story. this is the first sort of big american outlet to nail down this story and nail down a target for it. >> that's right, and it only nails down one target. it's this gentleman carter page who was an adviser for some time on the trump campaign. the trump officials would contest that and say he wasn't a formal adviser but he did play a role in helping shape the
foreign policy. >> i should also note that when he sat down with your fine paper and the now president of the united states was asked to name foreign policy advisers, out of his lips came the name carter page, comma, phd. >> that's correct. and the significance here is carter page is somebody who has a long history in russia. he lived in moscow. he worked in business in russia, and the u.s. government felt strongly enough that there was some suspicions there that they were worried he was acting on behalf of russia in dealing with the trump campaign and dealing his communications back and forth, that it was enough to warrant this warrant. >> this is also the individual, we should note, who recently was revealed in fbi charging documents in the southern district of new york had contact with foreign intelligence officials who were being charged in that court. >> exactly right. >> julian, the second part of this, right, so it's not just that -- because part of the thing that's hard about evaluating the evidence on this story is how should i be thinking about what has been shown here? and to me what's striking here is that they were able to get
this fisa warrant and that wasn't just a unilateral decision. that does have to go before a judge, again with this relatively high standard in the context of fisa. >> that's right. i mean there are in a way two different ways to read this, either of which is sort of a big deal. one is they had in fact had probable cause to believe this guy was acting as a foreign agent and in ways that either do or may involve violations of u.s. criminal law. the narrative i'm sure that page would prefer is, the alternative is that this is an adviser to a presidential campaign and, you know, the other possibility is that there wasn't very strong evidence. then wow hayou would have quest about how scrupulous the fisa court is being in evaluating evidence. sort of two sharply contrasting possibilities but it's a big deal either way. >> i saw a writer for breitbart saying, see, surveillance on
trump campaign officials although i then saw another trump associated person say, well, he was never an adviser even though he was talked about. this will now -- i mean this now, talk about fuel on the bonfire of this story. >> exactly. it makes it a bigger story. we have so many more questions here that need to be answered. one thing that's important, though, is this is not evidence of what donald trump accused president obama of having done back then, which was personally authorizing wiretapping of trump tower. this is just a carter page situation. >> right. and also julian, it comes from the federal bureau of investigation. you've probably heard of it. it's called the fbi. it's run by a guy named james comey, who we now know was supervisoring fisa warrants on this possible investigation, which he has now confirmed in open congress when he wrote the letter about hillary clinton's e-mails. >> yeah, i know. it is striking. i think what comey would probably say is, well, that was a closed investigation although then the question is what were they continuing to look at, and this was an open one.
so there's a weird irony there in that the more genuine suspicion they continued to have or the extent to which they hadn't resolved the question of whether there was wrongdoing involved, they were less able to speak publicly about it. >> that is a great point, right? like, well, this was quite serious. we didn't want to say anything. the other thing that we publicly announced, that was basically case closed, hence writing that letter. thanks for joining us. coming up, town halls are back, and the resistance is as strong as ever. lawmakers getting some face time with some very unhappy constituents ahead.
in kansas's forth district to replace former congressman mike pompeo, who is now the cia director. it is the first congressional election since donald trump became president of the united states. with less than 1% of the votes tallied, the democrat is leading. it may be a while before the full results are in. what we do know is that it never should have been this hard for republicans to defend this seat. it's a district that has not gone democratic in more than two de deca decades. the president recorded this robocall for gop candidate ron estes. >> on tuesday, republican ron estes needs your vote and needs it badly. ron is a conservative leader whose going to work with me to make america great again. we're going to do things really great for our country. our country needs help. ron is going to be helping us big league. but i need republicans like ron estes to help me get the job
done. this is an important election. there's really few very much more important, and i need your vote for ron estes on tuesday. >> not a whole lot of clues about what ron estes stands for or would fight for in congress although the president attempted to raise some actual issues with today's tweet. ron estes is running today for congress in the great state of kansas. i need his help on held care and tax cuts. a victory for the democratic candidate, james thompson, is a very long shot. the level of enthusiasm among democrats is clear, both in kansas in that district and across the nation. for instance, at a town hall in south carolina, congressman joe wilson, infamous for his "you lie" outburst at president obama's 2009 address to congress found himself on the receiving end of that same charge. [ audience chanting "you lie" ]
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so that -- [ audience booing ] >> obamacare is denying services, delaying services. [ audience booing ] [ audience chanting "you lie" ] >> it's not just town hall meetings getting flooded by outraged voters. "the wall street journal" described a surging wave of activists who are pouring money and energy into anti-trump causes wherever they can find them. town hall crowds are still vocal in support of the affordable care act act and a range of issues as congressman ted yoho of florida discovered at his town hall meeting in gainesville. >> i am not going to support planned parenthood. [ audience booing ] my fight's not with planned parenthood. my fight is with no taxpayers'
money going to any organization that does abortions. [ audience booing ] >> i don't believe the federal government should have a role in providing health care for everybody. [ audience booing ] >> i stand with the second amendment. my job is to defend the second amendment. [ audience booing ] >> joining me now, msnbc contributor who has recently traveled toeveral red states and discussed ideas about resifltance and reconciliation. i was thinking about you because a lot of what we're seeing, whether it's in this kansas district, the georgia district, or even those town halls, those are hard core republican districts this stuff is happening in. it's a reminder that it's a big enough country that when you've got hundreds of thousands of people in a place, a congressional district, there's going to be some critical mass of people even if they're not the majority, who don't support theme the president. >> that's true. i think for someone like me, frankly, who finds this
president to be profoundly dangerous, there's something thrilling about the videos you just showed. people are stepping up. people are getting activated. people are resisting. let me say i also find something a little disturbing about those videos and the thousands of others you could have played, which is that we're not talking to each other. it's very helpful to resist dangerous power, which is what i think this president represents. but i think we're doing less of a good job at being mindful of the circumstances in our unhealthy body politic that allowed someone like this to win. and i think the resistance is actually doing much better than the reconciliation. >> you know, i think that's interesting although i also think that it's a question of how much you learn from the tea party, right, because the tea party was not real into reconciliation. they were into activation, mobilization, strenuously protesting and saying, no, no,
no. and it was politically effective, at least in aort of sht termtical sense, and it seems to me that'she model right now for the folks on the other side. do you think that model is incomplete? >> i don't think it was a brilliant long-term strategy. i don't think they won the future. i don't think the america of the next 50 years is the america they wanted. so i actually think they're probably not a great example to follow, but they are parallel in that i think movements like this have a choice about whether they want to be kind of purist and exclusionary or whether they want to be inclusive. i think, you know, i am probably as strident as you can get about this president being dangerous. but when i'm in a lot of these conversations and circles about what to do, i find there's an exclusionary tone, and there's actually a lack of interest in poaching 5% of the other side. >> i think there's probably less of that, though? don't you think there's less of that in places like the kansas
fourth district where folks are living and working and hanging out all the time with folks that did vote for trump. i think the way that got sculpted there is different. >> totally. that's what i learned going out to these play places. western michigan, i was in an area that's betsy devos country. the interesting thing is people's lives and families and communities are much more divided and mixed politically than ours are here in new york. it's very common to go to dinners in new york and washington and it's going to be all anti-trump people or maybe all trump people. but out there, people don't have the luxury of being so purist. and i think we can actually learn from them because this resistance will fail if it is a movement of the already woke. and it's not interested in expanding and poaching and drawing people in who may be on the fence. >> yeah. thanks so much for your time. still to come, meet sebastian gorka, a
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thing 1 tonight, if there's one thing that donald trump was adamant about on the campaign trail, it was how much time a president should spend at the white house rather than a lf course. >> i love golf, but if i were in the white house, i don't think i'd ever see turn berry again. i don't think i'd ever see dor ral again. i don't think i'd ever see many of the places i have. i don't think i'd see anything. i'd just want to stay in the white house and work my ass off, make great deals, right? who's going to leave? >> there won't be time to go on vacations. there won't be time to go golfing all the time. >> i'm not going to play much golf because there's a lot of work to be done. >> you need leadership. you know, you can't fly to hawaii to play golf. >> i don't know where the
president was. he wasn't very far away. maybe he was playing golf. >> obama, it was reported today, played 250 rounds of golf. >> obama went golfing every day. >> did obama go play golf every day? >> obama plays more golf than professional players on the pga tour. >> he's played more than most pga touring professionals. >> more than a guy who plays on the pga tour plays. >> plays more golf. >> pga tour. >> pga tour. >> i mean this guy, golf, golf, golf, golf. more, more. learning how to chip, learning how to hit the drive, learning how to putt. oh, i want more. >> if you become president and you go to the white house, why would you want to leave the white house? >> when you're in the white house, who the hell wants to play golf? >> who wants to leave the white house? how the hell do you leave for three weeks to play golf? >> if i get elected president, i'm going to be in the white house a lot. i'm not leaving. >> i'm going to be working for you. i'm not going to have time togo play gov, believe me. >> i think you know what thing 2 is going to be.
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well, this weekend president trump is heading back to his luxury golf resort in florida at considerable cost to his neighbors. according to the orlando sentinel, the county is debating a special tax on mar-a-lago to offset the cost of the presidential presence. right now palm beach county spends more than $60,000 a day when the president visits, mostly for law enforcement overtime or almost $2 million since january. this will be the president's seventh trip to mar-a-lago since he took office. according to "the new york times," trump has spent half of his weekends at mar-a-lago, and he has spent 17 days, over 20% of his presidency, on a golf course. breaking a key campaign promise. >> if i get elected president, i'm going to be in the white house a lot. i'm not leaving. >> i'm going to be working for you. i'm not going to have time to go play golf, believe me. woooh!
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you know, the message i have, it's a very simple one. it's a bumper sticker, shaep. the era of the pajama boy is over january 20th, and the alpha males are back. >> meet sebastian gorka, top trump counterterrorism adviser and former breitbart editor, a naturalized american citizen born in london too hungarian parents. gorka is an ally of steve bannon who, before coming to the white house, showed up regularly on fox news to argue the threat of terrorism is fundamentally tie to the religious offis islam. here he is talking about president obama's refusal to use the phrase, radical islamic terrorism. >> is he an imam? is he an islamic theoloejen? what are his credentials for saying whether or not what isis does is islamic or not? he says it's a perversion of islam. based upon what? >> gorka isn't just a run of the mill anti-islamist. gorka wore the honorary medal of a hungarian nationalist
organization to trump's inauguration. now, the organization was previously listed by the state department as, and i quote here, under the direction of the nazi government of germany, its founder once said, i have always been an anti-semite throughout my life. a spokesman told them the group was proud gorka had worn his medal and he was a well-known member of vitezi. an investigation by the jewish newspaper found that gorka workedith the openly racist groups and public figures in hungary. gorka's involvement includes co-founding a political party with former members of jobbik, known for anti-semitism, repeatedly publishing articles in newspapers known for anti-semitic content. gorka says he was unaware of his
former ally's connection to the far right and only wore the medal to trump's inauguration to honor his father. gorka continues to work in a trump administration that has, let's say, struggled a bit on jewish issues from president trump's apparent reluctance to denounce threats on jewish centers, to the white house not mentioning jews in its holocaust remembrance tribute to today's bizarre, astounding comments from sean spicer about holocaust centers. we'll look more closely at what is going on when it comes to the trump white house and judaism. that's next.
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who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp. work with the highest standard. we didn't use chemical weapons in world war ii. you had a -- someone as despicable as hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. >> it was a mistake to make any comparison. assad has done bad things. i'm absolutely sorry, especially during a week like this. >> joining me to discuss the trump administration's strange struggles with judaism, michelle goldberg and david k. johnson. michelle, i don't -- what do you make of all of this? i don't think the president is anti-sitic. famously, his daughter converted to judaism, but it just seems this constant thing he can't get
this thing totally, perfectly correct. >> don't wear nazi collabist medals to the inauguration. i agree with you. i also think it's unlikely that donald trump is a vicious anti-semite. i think that he and certainly parts of his administration get their ideas from the gutters of the old anti-semitic and kind of unabashedly racist far right. sometimes what you see them doing is repeating classic anti-semitic language and classic anti-semitic tropes, just not talking about jews per se. particularly when they talk about the global financiers that are -- >> the globalists. >> bleeding the working class people of this country dry. so when you see an administration with a lot of people who have clearly been influenced by anti-semitic thinkers and anti-semitic world
views, and i think this thing with sean spicer, i think, is not that. this was just buffoonish, accidental holocaust denial. but this is why nobody wants to give them the benefit of the doubt because they haven't earned it. >> david, spicer today called up sheldon adeleson to apologize. i love this as a designated jewish person to whom one apologizes. spicer reached out to adelson's office and apologized for the offensive, per adelson's spokesman. something weird about that, too. >> let's keep in mind, donald trump is a man who has a long and well documented history of discriminating against various people. not jews but blacks, women, asians, in employment, in housing. earlier today, trump himself made some comments that were consistent with sean spicer's awful comments. let's give spicer credit for one
thing. unlike the politicians and business leaders who come out and say if i offended, i apologize. spicer demonstrated that he has good manners. he just apologized. >> yes, he did. and michelle, to me, the -- it gets back to the idea of the sort of, when you, at the sort of -- when you move out from the center of the actual administration, you get to a very strange and dark place on the far right pretty kwuk quickly. and you don't have to play that many dot connecting which is why you end up in this place. >> it's not six degrees of separation. it's one degree of separation. >> sebastian gorka. >> when you have this person who his exact connection to this nazi-aligned group is disputed but he admits that he wears their medal. he's adopted members of his group adopt a lower case "v" as a middle initial, which he has done. he said he inherited his membership from his father and didn't actually pledge a
lifetime oath of loyalty as members of the group claim he did. i'm old enough to remember 12 weeks ago when even just kind ofof that degree of association with nazism would be enough to get you drummed out of the white house. >> you wonder whether we'll see that. gorka is a part of a wing of the white house that has not been faring particularly well including mcfarland and flynn and others in the orbit. >> donald will keep him around as long as he thinks it's useful to him. he demand s 100% loyalty from everybody. the luminosity of white skin on the people who work in this white house blinds them to many, many things. >> yeah, and that's a good point. it has not been a particularly diverse place generally in the early days here. and it does -- we see it all the time in every institution whether it's the media, whether it's politics. it does matter who is in the
room. michelle goldberg, david k. johnston, appreciate it. that's "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> thanks to you at home for joining us. a lot going on in the news. tonight there's a bunch of developing stories. we're waiting right now on news out of kansas where counting is under way in what appears to be an unexpectedly close congressional election. i say this is an unexpectedly close race because this is a deep red district in deep red kansas. this is a district that donald trump won by nearly 30 points in november. this is the sort of race that should be called immediately when polls close. this is something where it shouldn't be hard at all for the republican party to hold onto this seat. this is a seat so partisan that you might expect the democratic party wouldn't even run someone in a district like this. but the democrats are running someone, and we're watching these results come in tonight. polls close at