Skip to main content

tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 13, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST

12:00 am
always, for being here with us, and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. tonight on "all in" -- >> obviously tough time for him. >> the white house digs a deeper hole. >> he said very strongly yesterday that he is in. >> and the press secretary tries saying what donald trump will not. >> why haven't we heard the president say that he takes domestic violence very seriously? >> tonight the president, his lawyer, and his chief of staff under increasing fire for how they handle domestic abuse allegations, and the growing concerns over national security gap inside the white house. plus as the president declines to release the democratic response, is devin nunes obstructing justice in the mueller probe? why the man in charge of rail safety in america just resigned in scandal.
12:01 am
and the return of the obamas. >> we miss you guys. [ applause ] >> "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the white house can try to put words in his mouth all they want. but the president of the united states himself has made it very clear how he views the domestic abuse allegations against former top aide rob porter. the president tweeted over the weekend, people's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. some are true and some are false. some are old. some are new there is no recovery for someone falsely accused. life and career are gone. is there no such thing any longer as due process? that came a day after the president publicly expressed sympathy for porter, declining to even go so far as to even mention the two women who say porter terrorize and assaulted them. >> hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.
12:02 am
but it was very sad when we heard about it. and certainly he is also very sad. now, he also, as you probably know, he says he is innocent. and i think you have to remember that. he said very strongly yesterday that he is innocent. >> the president's eagerness to take porter at his word could have something to do with the fact that he said his own word against almost 20 different women accusing the president of sexual harassment and groping and other harassment. the white house has sent out numerous surrogates to proclaim just how seriously the president takes domestic abuse. but they could not explain why the president himself, never one shy to opine on issues of the day, was unable to send that message himself. >> the president has been clear multiple times through myself and others within the administration that we condemn domestic violence in all forms.
12:03 am
>> he has not said it. why has he not said it? >> i'm the spokesperson for the white house and the president and i'm saying it to you now. >> why didn't he say it? >> i'm not sure how i can be any more clear. i think the president has espoused his views on. this he literally dictated that statement to me. and so i'm not really sure how that's not the president speaking on that. >> now, many people have pointed out how hypocritical it is for this president to take a stand for due process. he, after all, the guy who called for the central park five to be executed. doubling down on that, after, after they were exonerated by dna evidence. he of course is the man who led "lock her up" chants against hillary clinton. but here is the thing. it's the wrong way to understand. because the president actually has been remarkably consistent about his view on these matters. punishment is for other people. members of his team probably construed get the benefit of the doubt, always. and that, that appears to have been the same logic followed by chief of staff john kelly who
12:04 am
last week mused about lazy dreamers who failed to sign up for daca, while almost at the same time showering praise and character testimonials on an alleged serial abuser. and now unable to explain how the white house responded to claims about porter or how he was allowed to remain in his job for so long without full security clearance, the white house is sinking under the weight of its own obvious lies. and that is not a word we use lightly here on the show. according to john kelly, he acted immediately upon learning the extent of the allegations. >> can you clarify to us exactly there's been a lot of reporting about the timeline and when you found out about things. you kind of just clarify that? >> tuesday night. >> you found out tuesday night? >> that the accusations had been proved. 40 minutes later he was gone. >> we know that is not true because it is a matter of public record. last wednesday, a day after kelly says porter was, quote, gone, the white house was still defending him. and kelly himself standing by
12:05 am
his statement and calling porter a man of true integrity and honor. it's as flagrant a lie as sean spicer's whopper about the inauguration crowd. which may be why today the white house changed its story yet again. >> we learned of the situation involving rob porter last tuesday evening. and within 24 hours his resignation has been accepted and announced. we announced a transition was going to happen, and within hours it did. and in terms of timeline, i don't have anything else to add. i can tell you that a conversation took place within 40 minutes. and beyond that, i really don't have anything else to add that. >> account is still full of holes. according to "the new york times," for example, by thursday morn, well beyond 24 hours, porter was still in his office clearing out his things and had to be nudged to leave. tonight the white house will not explain why over a year after claims against porter first surfaced, not mere allegations, but claims by two women who furnished their evidence to the fbi, why he was still on the job
12:06 am
handling the most sensitive classified information produced by the u.s. government. they insist they were following the normal background check process. but according to sean patrick maloney who held the same job in the clinton white house, this was anything but. >> on that desk there are a stack of red folders marked top secret. every day our nation's highest secrets are seen by the staff secretary there is a burn bag under the desk because when you're done, you incinerate those materials. the idea that someone without a security clearance was allowed to be there in the first place despite these allegations and was allowed to stay there with no plan for getting him clearance is not the normal process. >> steve schmidt is a republican strategist. jill wine-banks, former watergate prosecutor and an msnbc legal analyst. and steve, let me start with you. let me just start with the second part of this, which is the lie, the lie that they were telling about what happened. what do you make of the fact that they are attempting essentially to just tell us we didn't see what we saw?
12:07 am
>> of course. it's just a continuation of the dishonesty we've seen from day one of this administration, chris. it's extraordinary. but, look, it tells us a couple of things about the west wing. first, it shows the abject incompetence of this white house. second, it shows the complete recklessness involved. that the nation's highest secrets are being entrusted to people who seemingly cannot pass fbi security clearances. they cannot obtain the top secret clearances required to work in the west wing of the white house and handle classified information. of course the aforementioned dishonesty. but lastly, also i would say the cruelty. the cruelty of the administration towards these abused women, these credibly abused women. and so when we look at the totality of it all, you see a white house that is just melting down. and, again, this is an office where life-and-death decisions are made.
12:08 am
and god help us, if we have a real crisis in this country with this cast of characters around the most seat of power in this country and one of the most powerful offices in the world. >> jill, it strikes me that the lies they're telling about this timeline are in some ways of tacitly acknowledgment of the fact they screwed up. it's sort of evidence of consciousness of guilt. that's someone who was once general counsel for the army. what do you think about don mcgahn and john kelly's actions here, about what they knew and when they knew it? >> i think they are fireable offenses. as general counsel of the army, i had the security clearance that i can't even tell you the name of because it's a code word protected clearance. and no one should see those documents who doesn't have it. they knew from the very beginning that he could not get cleared, and they knew why. so the question from watergate is what did the president know and when did he know it? i want to know what mcgahn knew
12:09 am
and when he knew it. i want to know what kelly knew and when he knew it. and i want to know what the president knew. and i want to know why he was allowed -- he, porter, was allowed to have documents. why jared kushner, who still doesn't as far as i know still have a security clearance, why are they looking at our top secret documents. >> steve, there is a little bit of rhetorical gamesmanship happening from the white house where they say well, they're on a temporary security clearance, and the permanent hadn't come back yet. but that's probably not true. what probably is happening is a recommendation is being made that they cannot get, they cannot achieve that level security clearance. so they keep them on a temporary so the president doesn't have to go out on a limb and issue a personal waiver for them, right? >> a couple of things, chris. when i served in the bush white house i hell held a top secret sci clearance. for officials as high-ranking as jared kushner and others, the security clearing process, the vetting process literally would have begun the day after the
12:10 am
election to get those clearances into place. some 13 months after the inauguration, some 15 months after the election that they don't have permanent security clearances would suggest to me that they're unable to clear the fbi full field background investigation in the white house security office will not grant a permanent top secret sci code word level clearance that is necessary to operate in these positions. anybody who cannot pass that background check has no business handling, seeing, being privilege to the nation's most closely guarded secrets. it threatens our intelligence cooperation with friendly company ace broad. it threatens the security of the american people. it is an abomination. >> there is also the fact, one of the most remarkable things i've seen in the first year of this white house is you have the
12:11 am
president publicly defending this individual twice. once in person and one on twitter. and then his aides have to scurry out and give anonymous quotes assuring everyone that, and i quote here, behind closed doors the president told multiple people the president believes the accusations against porter and finds them sick. anonymous aides attaching their -- trying to assure the country or tell the country actually in private, the president doesn't like domestic violence, contrary to what you may have gleaned from this public message. >> absolutely. and that's the same question that sarah sanders was asked as to why he, donald trump, hasn't come out and spoken against domestic violence. he needs to be the voice of this, not speaking through her. and i want to just comment on her on the due process issue. because i believe in due process. i just apparently have a different definition than the president does. because when someone is accused and investigated by the fbi, that's due process. and as the boss, you should be firing that person. you should not enable them and you should not give them secret documents.
12:12 am
>> and let's be very clear here what happened with the fbi. the fbi was furnished evidence. this was not just people saying things. a photograph, a restraining order for the police in which he had broken a window. so this was substantiated allegations to some extent. this was not just out of nowhere. steve schmidt and jill wine-banks, thank you both. i'm joined now by someone whose personal experience of white house chief of staff john kelly's dishonesty, frederica wilson. congresswoman, in case folks do not recall, a constituent of yours, her husband was killed in action. you are very close to him and her. you had talked about their response and the response in the white house, the president's call and what he said to her during that call. and john kelly came out to defend the president. and he had this to say about you at the time. take a listen. >> and a congresswoman stood up. and in the long tradition of
12:13 am
empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned. >> i should say that later the video of the event he was talking about came out, he was not characterizing it in any way accurate what was said. what is your reaction to watching kelly maneuver this situation? >> this is classic kelly. he lied on me. and now he is lying every day on the nose. and the sad part about it is this is a four star general, retired. who i suppose was an honorable man. and he wakes up every morning watching tv as he loses each one of those stars.
12:14 am
each one he has lost for lying. and he has gotten himself into a situation where the entire body of people surrounding him are willing to lie for the president of the united states. this is crazy. why would he put his wonderful career on the line for donald trump, who will throw anyone under the bus and is just biding his time before he throws him under the bus. it's awful. it's awful. >> do you think he can continue to do his job given what you just said? hi, is going to get beat up every day. people are not going the forget that he tried to take up or defend a wife beater, someone
12:15 am
who didn't have a security clearance to work in the white house. and i believe the president knew too. i believe they all knew months ago that this gentleman beat up his wife, two of them, and it's my understanding that a girlfriend came forward. i don't think people will forget that and just move on. they're going to continue to speak about it. because that's wrong. and it's painful. and he has not even expressed one ounce of sympathy to those poor victims who had the courage to come forward and tell of their experiences. and when you have a security clearance, the fbi questions you, and they know. and they say this gentleman didn't pass his security clearance. so why is he still there?
12:16 am
why are they protecting him? because they don't respect women. >> congresswoman frederica wilson, thank you for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, did devin nunes obstruct justice when he created the memo? and while the president refuses to release the democratic response, can congress overrule him? we'll talk about that in two minutes.
12:17 am
12:18 am
we're going to sit down with the fbi and go through any concerns they have. and any legitimate concerns and resources we will redact. >> did you do that before you submitted the memo, congressman? >> yes, we did. but what's really going on here, major, the president doesn't want the public to see the underlying facts. >> congressman adam schiff, top ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee says he is ready to meet again with the fbi to redact any possible secrets in his memo defending the fbi from accusations of bias in obtaining a surveillance warrant on a former trump campaign adviser. if that means the president will actually release it.
12:19 am
on friday the president decided not to release the democratic memo, citing concerns from the fbi and doj, even though he did release the memo it rebuts, the one written by republicans in his own party, despite the concerns of his own top intelligence officials. members of both parties have called for both memos to be released. they voted that way now. the president refused. the president sent a very political and long response because methods and more would have to be heavily redacted where they would blame the white house for lack of transparence circumstances send them throw do and send back in proper form. the president was careful to not make promises about ever releasing the memo. this morning his legislative affairs director did. quote you clean it up, you work with the fbi and send it back to us. there is another option. the full house could vote to override the republican allowing the house to release the memo themselves. with mekong man joaquin castro with me from texas. what is your response to what the president had to say this
12:20 am
weekend? >> i think the president has basically been playing a game, a political game. the republicans wanted to get their side of the story or their memo out and have a week or two weeks and many news cycles to basically let it sit there and let their narrative be the only narrative out there. and remember, as democrats, first of all, we didn't want to release a republican or a democratic memo, most of all because the american people can't see the underlying source material that these memos are written about. but once the republicans put out a memo that was false and inaccurate in so many ways, then of course we wanted to put out our own which rebuts a lot of those inaccuracies. unfortunately but not surprisingly, the president has not released it yet. >> how important is it the memo comes out? it's not like the new memo has altered the trajectory of public opinion or changed a lot of minds or impacted the russia
12:21 am
investigation. does it matter if your memo comes out? >> well, i would still like to see it come out to correct the record officially. if for no other reason than posterity. but to correct the record. and i hope the white house will ultimately cooperate with us and do that. >> classification is something that is undertaken by the executive branch and its executive designation. and it guards how members of that branch can use that information. congress is not under that system there are house rules that would allow the full house to override the president where he to block the memos. that something you're considering? >> it's not something we've talked about, at least i haven't been in on those discussions. but we also are waiting for the president to go ahead and release it. if we get to the point where it looks like the president is not going to release it, or simply leaves it in limbo for a long time, certainly we'll consider all options. >> am i right the fbi has not expressed any public hesitancy about releasing the memo where they did with the republican memo? >> i know there was a letter that they basically said they
12:22 am
want to make sure that sources and methods are not compromised and so forth. but we've already agreed to that. we want to make sure of the same thing. now it is deeply hypocritical that the president used the advice of the fbi and the doj to withhold the democratic memo, but basically ignored them completely and left the republican one unredacted and it came out as is. >> where is your committee at right now? >> that's a great question. you know, obviously the investigation continues. but we've not had witnesses in a while. and most of all, chris so, that the american people understand this, the biggest fault, or one of the biggest faults of this investigation is that it has been a take them at their word investigation. we have these witnesses come, in sit down for two or five or seven hours or even longer sometimes. we listen what they have to say. but then the majority, the chairman is unwilling to issue a
12:23 am
single subpoena to go verify anything that any of these witnesses are saying. so whatever they tell us, this committee is basically unfortunately, the majority of them at least taking them at their word. >> the one exception to that is steve bannon there has been some back and forth. do you think you're going to get him there under oath? >> i hope so. i sense that ultimately we will. i think they beat him up more to be honest because he is a man with no country right now. >> right. >> because should it of favor with the white house and donald trump. he is out of favor with the hard right. so they feel like they can beat him up more, and they've subpoenaed him. but i certainly hope we get the truth out of him. >> congressman joaquin castro, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. it's entirely possible that devin nunes, the chair of the house republican committee has opened himself up and his staff to possible charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice that is provocative thesis of an op-ed today in "the new york times." with me caroline frederickson. i was skeptical when i read the headline. i'm not sure i'm sold by the piece. make the case.
12:24 am
>> well, look, the involvement in releasing writing and releasing the memo and working with the white house in a coordinated way certainly puts mr. nunes and his staff right in the middle of mueller's investigation. if what they were doing was trying to impede the investigation and working with the white house to do so, that constitutes a conspiracy. at least it's a plausible argument that i think mr. mueller be investigating. >> it is the case that nunes has always been somewhat cagey about the fact that he, whether or not he was coordinating with the white house. do you think that's why he has been unclear on that point? >> well, he was asked by congressman quigley directly whether or not he had coordinated with the white house. he demurred to that. but when he was asked whether his staff had coordinated with the white house, he refused to answer. when mr. trump was asked about
12:25 am
what the point of this memo was and whether or not it might be used as a basis to fire rod rosenstein or -- and otherwise interfere with the mueller investigation, he said basically, that's pretty likely. so i think all of these things point to a very important thread of mr. mueller's investigation in whether or not devin nunes was involved in coordinating the production of this memo deliberately to interfere with the investigation. >> you know, your op-ed clarified something for me, which has been part of the twilight zone we're in with this administration, particularly the obstruction investigation, which is things that might be normal politics under other circumstances have this added veilance which is to say there is all sorts of things the president might do, take actions against people in justice department, hire people, fire people, that suddenly take on this active dimension because there was an obstruction of justice. >> i wish it were the twilight zone. it's real america right now in
12:26 am
2018. we have these deep worries. the president is not doing anything to dissuade us from having those worries. the things he says and does that indicate that he is interested in cleaning house at the department of justice and enabling the end to the investigation, that he sees as a threat to his presidency. and let's just remember what this was originally about. this was about whether or not russia interfered with our elections. some thing that we would wish we had a president who would embrace getting to the bottom of that question. >> finally, do you worry about the danger of a kind of downward spiral of criminalization or accusations of criminal conduct? one of the things we saw in the campaign was the idea there is an fbi investigation of hillary clinton, lock her up, lock her up there. is now an investigation of the trump investigation you. wrote an op said saying maybe devin nunes, his staff exposed the white house to criminal
12:27 am
sanction. is that a sign of something really on the wrong track of our democracy? >> let me just remind you and the viewers that we had all of our intelligence agencies found that there was a very strong evidence that russia had interfered with our election. >> yes. >> and so i think what's really dangerous is that the investigation to get to the bottom of that, to figure out what happened, how it happened, and how to stop it from happening again, that that investigation is being impeded. and i think that's where our worries should be. >> all right, caroline frederickson, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, after it's discovered, he still had another job on the side. that unbelievable story of the man in charge of america's train safety who was moonlighting, after this quick break.
12:28 am
12:29 am
like the person who until recently was in charge of rail safety. heath hall, who became the federal railroad acting administration's chief in june, it's an obscure both, but an pant important one. it has a $1.7 million budget and hall is responsible for the safety of millions of passengers. last year was the worse record for rail safety in a decade. since december alone, there have been at least five fatal amtrak crashes, including one in washington that killed three people. one last month carrying a train carrying republican lawmakers and one just last week that
12:30 am
killed two in south carolina. those crashes did not apparently have heath hall's undivided attention. hall resigned over the weekend after politico reported that while running the agency, hall appeared to be simultaneously working as a public allegations consultant in mississippi? amazingly, while he was running the fra, hall appeared in at least two news stories as a spokesperson for the madison county, mississippi sheriff's department. the guy in charge of rail safety for the entire country, millions of people, had a side gig as a spokesman for a county sheriff's department. this is just one example of what we're seeing out of this administration there is also epa administrator scott pruitt and his fondness for first class airfare and luxury hotels paid for with public funds. that incredible story coming up.
12:31 am
12:32 am
from the very beginning ... it was always our singular focus, a distinct determination. to do whatever it takes, use every possible resource. to fight cancer. and never lose sight of the patients we're fighting for. our cancer treatment specialists share the same vision. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. specialists focused on treating cancer. using advanced technologies. and more precise treatments than before. working as hard as we can- doing all that we can- for everyone who walks through our doors.
12:33 am
this is cancer treatment centers of america. and these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. treating cancer isn't one thing we do. it's the only thing we do. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now.
12:34 am
some rare good news tonight in the trump administration's immigration crackdown. baronas has lived in the u.s. since he was brought here as a 1 1/2-year-old and is the sole breadwinner for his family. also, his 5-year-old son jaden is battling leukemia and undergoing chemotherapy right now. when he was 19 years old, baronas was caught driving with fake license, which is something that happens to people who don't have legitimate papers and deported. he then reentered the country. president obama granted him a
12:35 am
stay of removal under his son's illness. but under president trump he was told he would be deported to mexico, leaving his pregnant wife and five kids behind. in response he took refuge at the church of christ in phoenix, one of hundreds of so-called sanctuary churches that seeks to protect those facing deportation. i.c.e. relented and allowed him to remain with his family, at least for now. many undocumented immigrants aren't so lucky. arrests by immigration and customs enforcement officers surged 40%. under trump, the homeland securities operated under new guidelines that allowed i.c.e. to target immigrants who were previously saved from deportation because they had done nothing wrong. i.c.e. made 37,734 noncriminal arrests in the government's 2017 fiscal year, more than twice the previous year. joining me cecilia wang from the
12:36 am
aclu where he works on immigration issues. what is the big difference now, as someone who worked on the issue with the bohm administration, the trump administration and how i.c.e. is approaching its job? >> well, i think the big differences, chris, are that the trump administration has deliberately set out to employ fear tactics to strike terror into the hearts of immigrant communities, into communities that have said they want to welcome immigrants and integrate immigrants into society. and when you see the trump administration doing is instilling dragnet type police state type tactics that are really shredding all of our constitutional rights. you gave the example of mr. baronas who thankfully was granted a stay of removal after public attention was put on the trump administration's tactics. but time and again we've seen a systematic effort to do raids against communities in northern
12:37 am
california because state and local officials have spoken out against trump administration policies. you've seen the trump administration repeatedly just in january of this year threaten to criminally prosecute mayors, county officials or state officials who said we don't want to participate in the trump administration's policies. you've seen retaliation against immigrant activists like reva and jean montreal in new york just like the trump administration did last year with daniela vargas, the young woman who spoke at a rally against the trump administration and then found herself arrested and put in deportation proceedings. and the overall message, chris, the biggest message we've seen a striking change with the trump administration is the president has all but announced as president of the united states that he wants to go backwards to pre-civil rights era white nationalist immigration policies. and i don't say that lightly.
12:38 am
this is a key difference between the trump administration and all the previous administrations we've seen in modern history going back to the 1960s. >> there is a few things there you mentioned i want to follow up. one on this dragnet idea there has ban lot of reporting on this. this comes from the houston chronicle. this is an advocacy group file in houston. it is increasingly common federal practice to target predominantly hispanic complexes and then questioning bystanders without any evidence they are illegally here. that something you're hearing them do? is that a new practice that has really flourished in the last year? >> it's something that the federal government experimented with during the obama administration and actually gave up. i think what's new with the trump administration is that they are encouraging joe arpaio type tactics like the one texas example that you just gave. they want to unleash both federal i.c.e. agents and border patrol agents as well as state
12:39 am
and local officials who want to participate. and they want to pressure state and local officials who don't want to participate into doing. this and we've seen the result. we saw the result during the obama administration when sheriff joe arpaio, who has since been disgraced but then pardoned by donald trump really started racially profiling latinos or others who appear to be foreign. what we have learned time and again in the recent history is that when you tell a police officer, a sheriff's department go out and do immigration enforcement you will see a pattern of race discrimination in traffic stops. and that's part of the dragnet effect. that is why all of these policies of the trump administration is trying to roll out target immigrants but really hurt all of our communities, everyone in our communities. >> all right, cecilia wang, thank you for being with me tonight. >> thank you. still to come, reporting with another trump official with taste for expensive travel. and the obamas are back in thing 1, thing two, next.
12:40 am
12:41 am
12:42 am
12:43 am
thing 1 tonight. the smithsonian unveiled its portraits of former president barack obama and former first lady michelle obama today. and just to be clear, because there has been some confusion about this, there are two sets of portraits that are typically commissioned for president. the official white house portrait like the one at the left of george w. bush, which tends to be stately and traditional, and the one for the national portrait gallery, the smithsonian, which often take morse artistic license like with one of bush lounging on the sofa. now this sympathetic version of president nixon. elaine dekoenig painted this abstract of john f. kennedy and even a few sculptures like this unusual mask of ford and this of a gangly george w. bush tossing horseshoes. but even against that backdrop, the portrait of barack obama created quite a stir.
12:44 am
the former president's account of how that came to be and the artist's own surprising take, that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
12:45 am
so the portraits of the first african american president and first lady, barack and michelle obama were revealed today at the smithsonian national portrait gallery by two renowned artists. amy sherald painted the first lady and kehinde wiley. president obama had expressed his concerns. >> his initial impulse may be in the work was to also elevate me and put me in these settings with partridges and sceptors and thrones and robes, mounting me on horses.
12:46 am
and i had to explain that i've got enough political problems without you making me look like napoleon. we've got to bring it down just a touch. >> the artist, however, disagreed with president obama's version of events. >> so how do you explain that a lot of that is just simply not true? >> while reaction to the unconventional portrait is mixed, i personally love it, i have to say. the reaction to just seeing barack obama again was pretty unanimous. >> michelle and i are so grateful for the friends and family and former staff and current staff who have taken the time to be here and honor news this way. we miss you guys. and -- [ applause ]
12:47 am
12:48 am
12:49 am
there is new reporting today about more ways scott pruitt is spending the resources of the travel budget. his penchant for taking first class flights in contrast to previous administrators. in fairly remarkable example a just to travel between washington, d.c. and new york and back. that does not account for costs of pruitt's round the clock security detail which have nome not been disclosed. that's the 24/7 security he added for himself, something no previous epa chief has ever had before. if surrounded by bodyguards didn't give him enough privacy, almost $25,000 of public money
12:50 am
to build himself a soundproof phone booth. pruitt's travels have garnered attention before today. epa inspector general is investigating his frequent trips back to oklahoma also on the public dime. travels have garnered attention before today. the president promised he would hire only the best people and those so-called best people have not turned out so great over and over again, why is that exactly and where does the riot begin in this administration? we'll discuss up next.
12:51 am
12:52 am
12:53 am
12:54 am
the president has been clear multiple times through myself and with others in the administration that we condemn domestic violence in all forms. >> why has he not said it? >> i'm the spokesman for the white house. >> president trump defended rob porter but has not said anything about porter's ex wives, the women that physically and were verbally they say. the biggest problem lives in the residence at the white house. washington correspondent for new york magazine and political analyst jason johnson is the editor at "the root." they seem caught in this story in a way they skate out of others, why is that? >> when you look at the facts, the first story that the daily mail published was bad.
12:55 am
the details were not something they should have been defending outwardly as the way they were, anyway. i think when it was followed up with those photos that were now unfortunately are so familiar with, they realized there is not a way to spin it out. you see sarah huckabee sanders spin her way out. she's so mundane the way she talks, monotone, it never reaches comedy in how ridiculous it is and today it did because it was unbelievable she thought -- she didn't seem to believe she could take her way out of it but was trying nonetheless. >> one thing i find striking, jason, you have an administration with huge positions open. rachel brand who left number three doj, reporting here is part of the reason she left is because she didn't have enough people under here to fill the
12:56 am
basic dutys of the government and one of the arguments that don mcgahn made for keeping rob porter is look, here is a guy that has ivy league pedigree, can we afford to let him go? >> here is the problem, the members of this administration behave as if you can't find a guy out there that doesn't beat women. i think you can. i think there are plenty of people in washington dc who haven't beaten their wives and girlfriends, who haven't threatened people and haven't grabbed reporters. the fact this administration continues to hire people like this and pretend they can't find anyone else is an indicator they are comfortable with the attitude and believes and want to continue justifying that behavior and what makes it so problematic in all honesty, it isn't just the president, it isn't just kelly but women. we have hope hicks coming up with the communications about porter. we hear about kellyanne conway and the white house spokesperson sarah huckabee sanders.
12:57 am
the women are just as convict in protecting domestic abusers as many of the men. >> there is also the fact that this is a white house that runs the country, right? the president sitting at the top, we know he likes to take executive time and watch "fox and friends." when you go through the departures, there is a lot of people run out by scandal. i mean, the head of the cdc was buying and selling tobacco stocks on the first day of the job, maybe a two-hour story but there is people dying of the flu every day. these jobs, what is broken in the white house in terms of the president? why are they unable to do this? >> you have to ask yourself, the people that are there, why are they there? compels somebody to work for donald trump and what compels them in the white house? the answer differs from staffer to staffer. there are people that are professionals and don't want to be associated with this administration.
12:58 am
people that maybe could do these jobs confidently. if you look at the press shot, that explains why there is no messaging on this rob porter story, why they are in complete conflict with each other, the different officials. there is no cohesive this is what the white house is saying today. i have no idea what the white house is saying because they said so many conflicting confusing things and i think surely i've missed something. surely, there is something they said that would explain what is happening here and there isn't. there are all these questions left unanswered. >> i have that, am i crazy, am i misunderstanding when we mind out 45 minutes later. i was sick last week. it's not that. the other problem here is fund mentally jason is anyone that works in the white house, works in the administration has to work for donald trump and ultimately that permanent truth will filter who is going to work in the administration.
12:59 am
>> you have to be someone loyal to donald trump. we talked about this, you can be accused of being a pedophile and beating women and accused of using your position to enrich yourself and keep a job and get publicly defended. if you got caught writing a critical article about donald trump during the campaign, you're gone. it's attracting men and women that go along with the regime. those capable and qualified don't want the stitch of this administration on them and you are seeing everybody flee and it's going to get worse. >> is it going to get harder or easier for people? >> it will get difficult. they keep running out of people. people are resigning. they may run out of new people to bring in at a certain point. time will tell. seems like it will get more difficult. >> thanks.
1:00 am
that is "all in" for this evening. >> tonight the president's spokesperson says he takes domestic violence seriously, he won't say it publicly. and they struggle for a time line of who knew what when. a new report on why the number three at justice is leaving. the reporter who broke the story is here tonight. as questions mount on security in the white house, all eyes on the hill where the nation's top intelligence chiefs make an appearance in a few hours from now. "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening from our nbc news headquarters in new york. a new week brings day 389 of the trump administration. and fallout over the high level aide's departure over allegations of dom