tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 5, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
neighbors, 50 miles from america's shores. and to our fellow citizens along the atlantic coast of our country tonight. and with that, that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you so much for being here with us. tonight on "all in" -- >> we need help. we need help. >> rescues continue in the bahamas as major east coast cities evacuate, and the president shows off a sharpie-altered hurricane map. >> that map you showed today looked almost like a sharpie. >> i don't know, i don't know, i don't know. >> tonight, what we know about where dorian is headed and the president's latest action that will exacerbate the climate crisis. then, are democrats about to pull off a special election stunner in north carolina? my interview with a florida congresswoman who is tired of keeping secrets about russian
election interference in her state. and making sense of the latest explosive developments in the brexit crisis. >> when will the prime minister finally apologize for his derogatory and racist remarks? >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. at this hour, hurricane dorian is moving up the southeastern coast after having devastated and leveled parts of the bahamas. by the latest count, there are 20 confirmed deaths and the health minister says they expect the number to rise. the national hurricane center saying the category 2 storm has gained some strength and issuing warnings of a potential life-threatening storm surge for hundreds of miles from florida to north carolina to the very border of virginia. there is one place that definitively will not be hit by this hurricane, and that is the state of alabama. today president trump did one of the things that he clearly loves the most about the job he has,
which is to play weatherman. here he is in the oval office with his weather maps. if you look at that right there, did you notice something odd about that map? it turns out the hurricane advisory that he is showing right there today is from last week, which is weird. why would he use an old map from last week? the storm changes its track. well, because that's the one that came closest on the map to alabama, which the president famously said was at risk, and that was famously smacked down by the national weather service. and oh by the way, let's zoom in on trump's hurricane track, shall we? where it appears someone, gosh, who knows who? drew with a hand a sharpie bubble on this dated official hurricane advisory map to save the face of a president who wrongly said alabama was in its path. today people are actually having to evacuate and flee and prepare and board up for -- up and down the east coast, and the
president refused to back down on his alabama claim. >> the original path that most people thought it was going to be taking as you know was right through florida where on the right would have been georgia, alabama, et cetera. >> and that map you used today looked almost like a sharpie -- >> i don't know, i don't know, i don't know. >> mm, doesn't know. as for the most current nonaltered maps back here in the real world, there are hurricane watches and warnings issued for hundreds of miles of the southeastern coastline with dorian expected to track closely to charleston, south carolina, the governor issuing a mandatory evacuation of charleston county, which has a population of 400,000. joining me now, i'd like to bring in ali velshi, msnbc anchor who is in charleston at the moment. it's empty there, ali. my sense is that city is completely evacuated at this point? >> there are some people around here. there is actually one bar where people are having a bit of a party.
it doesn't feel that serious here at the moment. you can see there is clearly wind blowing, but there are some vehicles out here. they tend to be work vehicles and official vehicles. the problem here is it's going to be a lot of flooding. it's going to be a category 2 hurricane by the time it gets as close to charleston as it's going to getably be tens of mileses off the shore. it's going to be east of where we are, but this place floods at the best of times. i'm in the historic city. ruth chris here is boarded up. the city ran out of sandbags at some point today. they've opened up the garages in downtown so people -- they've got multistory garages, people can bring their cars in and park them here. flooding is going to be the danger. and by the way, flooding is always the danger in these things. most people with figure out building codes to prevent the wind from blowing their places apart when they can, when the winds are not relatively as high as they were in the bahamas. there is very little you can do about that kind of wind. but the flooding is going to be the issue.
we should hit our peak floods by about noon tomorrow here in charleston, chris. >> you know, you're standing in charleston, which is a city that is sort of right at the confluence of these different trends. it's a city that has grown remarkably. it has become a kind of tourist destination, a pop cultural, food destination. it is extremely exposed to this, and my understanding is that they're flooding more and more often, and now working out how even without hurricanes how to deal with the fact they have brought all the people to a city that is as climate exposed as this one is. >> which by the way is the story of america. it's the story of much of the settled world, right? we settle these places that nature might tell us aren't the best places to settle. they've had five serious flood type emergencies in the last five years here in charleston. it's a serious, serious matter. there are a couple of lakes here. they've been working over the last couple of days to lower the level of the lakes because as we saw in hurricane florence, which was in the same vicinity last year, these places flood and
there is nowhere for the water to go. when you keep building places up, to be fair, charleston has been here a long time, but when you have more concrete, you have less place for the water to drain. a problem that is becoming more serious because of climate is exacerbated by our development. the one good thing in the last few years, you and i whenever there is a hurricane talk about climate. there used to be people who said this isn't the time to talk about climate. it's exactly the time to talk about climate. >> this is increasingly and evacuation for that entire county. are folks able so far to get out of there in an orderly fashion? it's one advantage of the storm moving as slowly as it is? >> totally right. the one advantage of a slow-moving storm is you have a lot of time to get out. the disadvantage is you get a fatigue in hearing about it, you're not really sure it's coming, you stop believing authorities which is why that whole thing of somebody maybe drawing in a map where the storm is going to go, it contributes to this fatigue and lack of trust people have in the
authority and media. reporters get in trouble when they make a storm look more serious than it, and they should, because we have to be as accurate as we can be. and the accuracy says if they say evacuate, maybe it's good to evacuate. and if it doesn't, at least you evacuated. when the other thing happens where you don't trust the reports and you don't go and then this flooding, which happens sometimes a day after or two days, think about jacksonville, think about houston, then you can't get out. >> ali velshi who is down there in charleston, it's great to have you down there. in a few weeks you're going to be hosting a climate forum i'm really looking for. >> yep. >> thanks for your reporting and all your work. stay safe. it's not enough the president's leadership is cosmically narcissistic and incorrect. it's not enough that he is absent from the need to lead on the issue. it increasingly appears that the trump administration has a list of ways to make the climate crisis worse, and they are ticking off down their way through the list, no matter how insane the idea is, no matter
how little public support or even support from the industry. we've talked about the fact that they're trying to block clean power plant rules that would block emissions. they're trying to override to make cars pollute more. they're trying to override the major oil industry companies in order to release more methane in the air. they're trying to open up the biggest national forest to logging and mining, and now get this. they're coming for the light bulbs. the trump administration is trying to weaken federal rules that have forced americans to use more energy fish light bulbs. the george w. bush administration passed legislation for more energy fish light bulb with broad support back in 2007. 12 years ago. it is true, compact fluorescent light bulbs were kind of crappy back then, but then they got better. some in the obama administration were really worked up about it. >> what light bulbs you're supposed to use. that's why i introduced the
light bulb freedom of choice act. president back man will allow you to buy any light bulb you want in the united states of america. >> you just can't be trusted to make decisions for yourself, not about your health insurance, not about your gas mileage. not even about your light bulbs. >> light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. you can't go around your house without being told what to buy. >> okay. so all that was seven or eight years ago. and then we've all moved on with our lives. we've gone on to think about other things. light bulbs are much more energy efficient. they save people lots of money. the definition of a win-win. there is no movement in america to go back to crappy light bulbs. i buy light bulbs all the time. and they're awesome now. you can get all different kinds. you can get light bulbs you don't have to replace for ten years. but now the trump administration is saying, no we need the energy-wasting crappy old light
bulbs back because it will make the climate crisis worse. for more i'm joined by gina mccarthy who served as the head of the environmental protection agency under president obama, is now a professor at the harvard kennedy school. all right. i would like to just think that i'm missing something here. there is some reason, honestly. this one, of all of them, someone i described online as eco nihilism. it seems almost nihilistic to me. what possible rationale is there for walking away from the light bulb standards? >> boy, you're asking me this, chris? it's good to be here with you. i'm not sure i can answer that question. it's certainly not an enlightened idea, pun intended. look, they are just doing everything in the world first to denight that climate change is real. they're trying to stop real science from happening and being discussed. they're trying stop every rule and regulation of the obama
administration, even though the industries themselves want to keep those rules. it's just an amazing intent to role back the world and recreate it like it used to be in the '80s. i can't figure it out. >> so what are the stakes of that? what does that all add up to in terms of what it does to america at this very perilous moment in terms of global leadership. we've withdrawn from paris and the fact that we've got a window here where we need to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions. >> yeah. that's the biggest problem is the time we're losing. you know, we know we need to get down to zero by 2050, and we need to make tremendous progress if we're going to make that trajectory. and if they deny the science and continue to sow doubt, then we're not going to make that happen. if they continue to roll back rules that are about moving us forward in a reasonable and cost-effective way, about shifting markets like light bulbs to ones that are not only
saving us billions of dollars, but millions of carbon tons every single year, then we're going have to do much more later. and the struggle is going to be worse. look, you are seeing what's happening along the coastline. right now this administration is telling scientists, our scientists not to worry about what happens after 2040. let's just look at before 2040, because after that, it looks way too scary. well, what are we going to do with infrastructure investments? are we going to keep building homes that we know in 2040 won't be inundated, but are very likely to be in 2050 or 2060? are we going to spend all our road and bridge money to be resilient when that resiliency gets us to 2040 and not beyond? the whole thing is ridiculous. we used to lead on this issue. we're not just holding ourselves back. we're making the world look at us like we are an absolute laughingstock. >> that, just to be clear folks
don't know there is the political appointees. i don't know if it was across agencies or in the epa made a directive, right, that they should foreshorten the window of analysis to cut off at 2040 as opposed to going past that, is that right? >> that's right. it was actually a across the entire federal government who has been having scientists come together every year and create a national climate assessment. and they just said don't worry about 2040. that's too far away. it's too uncertain. now i understand the farther that you go, the more uncertain it is. but do you really want to not look at it? do you not want to use the best scientists from nasa and from noaa and from epa? do you really want to close your eyes to it and pretend it doesn't exist? is that how the united states operates now? is that what we define as leadership? >> of these various -- i think "the new york times" has been tracking i think there is 84 environmental rules that they have, it might be 85 today after the light bulbs, if i'm not mistaken.
what stands out as the highest stakes? you were one of the people who oversaw the clean power plant rule. which one matters the most of what they've done here? >> you know, maybe it's more the tenor of the whole thing, the instability it's bringing to not just to the agencies, but to the regulated industry. you know, the clean car rule was one of the ones they wanted to attack right out of the gate. the interesting thing is this is the first time in my recollection that california is the place where the car industries want to go for relief. >> right. >> as opposed to stick with this administration who is trying to tear it all down. and then you have mercury and air toxic standard, which to me is a really personal issue because it's about toxics that are really damaging to our children and to fetuses. and that rule has already been done, and the industry itself said don't look at this rule. it's fine. it's done. you'll make us have stranded assets. we want to do this.
we're fine. and they just went ahead and did it anyways. don't they care about any human lives? don't they care about our future and our kids' future? what is going on in their mind that makes them think that we're moving in the future towards coal instead of understanding that there are wonderful innovations now, lots of solutions we can embrace. if they just embrace those, they'd move us ahead and they can embrace it just because it protects health. they don't have to worry so much about embracing climate, but we all know they go hand in hand. >> i guess the final question is what does it do to the trajectory and your own sense of pessimism versus optimism about the era of crisis we're now in and going to enter into even more intensely? >> well, you know, i think it's hard to remain optimistic, but i'll tell you, when you look at what's going on in states and in cities across this country, they are stepping up big-time.
when you look at individuals across the united states, which ali mentioned in his coverage, people get that climate change is real. so i think i'm discouraged about time lost, but i am not at all going to rule out the ability of this country to step up and do what it needs to do for our children, for our health, for their future, and our ability to innovate to make good things happen. >> all right. gina mccarthy, former administrator of the epa under president barack obama. thank you very much. >> thanks, chris. next up, the florida congresswoman who says she is tired of keeping the details of russian interference in her state a secret because the same tactics could work in 2020. she joins me in two minutes. ♪
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he then said he could not tell the there will be which two counties were hit because he made a promise to the fbi. quote, i'm not allowed to name the counties. i signed a nondisclosure agreement. they asked me to sign it so i'm going to respect their wishes. that was weird. a lot of people thought the secrecy was odd. she requested a briefing along with michael walt on those attacks on florida back in may. and today she has in an op-ed in "the washington post" written about what she learned and how there is much she is still not allowed to tell us. joining me now is congresswoman stephanie murphy, democrat from florida. let's start with what was your reaction to being told that two counties had been penetrated by russian hacker, but you couldn't know which. how did that scan to you? >> well, they did tell me which counties they were once we asked for a briefing. but it took us three years from the moment that the russians
hacked our elections in 2016 to the briefing that we had to request in order for the fbi and the department of justice to reveal to us that in fact two counties had been hacked in florida. and now just as of a month or two ago with the senate intelligence committee report, it appears that florida might be state two. in that report it indicates that the number night be up to four counties that were hacked. you know, the drips and drabs of information that are coming out about this very serious attack on our democracy is not helpful in helping us to prepare to respond to it. >> do we not know if it was two counties or four counties, or does someone know and we don't know as the public? is that right? >> i as an elected official am not certain based on the information i received from the briefing compared to the information that appear nobs the senate report. but chris, let me tell you why it's so important that not only do we as elected officials know,
but also that the public knows. we are engaged in a different type of conflict. i used to work at the pentagon under a republican administration, and at that time we were worried about kinetic warfare. but what we're dealing with today is cyber aggression. it is information operations, information warfare. and the way that you combat information warfare is to be able to have a whole of society approach. and that involves inoculating the public, giving them the tools so that they can discern what has happened, and then protect themselves against future attacks. >> well, this -- this is sort of gets to the nub of the issue. i've read multiple reports, and official pronouncements that say something along the following, that russian hackers probed all of the different systems. they were able to sort of penetrate and gain entrance into them and possibly achieve the ability to change data, but did not do any changes. and i guess my question is like are we 100% sure than last point?
is that a definitive thing that we know established and even if it, how can you convince people that that's the case if we don't get more information? >> the way you could probably convince people that their information wasn't changed is to let the voters know which counties were affected. >> right. >> and allow voters to go verify for themselves that their information wasn't changed. we are watching the lack of information, the shroud of secrecy undermine our -- the voters's confidence in our systems. >> what is the justification? what is your understanding of this somewhat strange arrangement that's coming from the trump administration vis-a-vis their protectiveness around this information that seems to me like it should be in the public domain? >> the two reasons they give is one to protect sources and methods, and then the other is that they view the victims to be the election officials. and let me just say that on the first reason, sources and methods, the russians know that
we know which counties they are hacked. so i'm not sure that releasing the name of those two counties to the voters would be revealing anything that our adversaries don't already know. and then secondly, on the issue about who is the victim, i think it's wrong to see the election officials as the victim. the voters are the victim in this case. they're the ones whose information has been accessed. and, you know, when it comes to their credit card information or their social media information, if their information has been breeched, there is a responsibility to notify. and yet here in this case, there seems to be no accountability or a sense of responsibility to notify voters. >> so on the final point here, the counties themselves know if they have been penetrated, correct? >> that's correct. >> okay. are you confident that all counties that have been penetrated across the country or all systems know, a, and b, that the necessary step have been taken on election security
grounds or cyber security grounds to make sure that can't happen again? >> i think we need greater transparency and oversight, congressional oversight to ensure that we are -- we know that -- the full extent of the interference in 2016, what defenses have been put up by those local election officials to prevent this from happening in the future, and then also there needs to be a broader public understanding that we are under constant attack, that we are engaged in an information war with aggressors like russia, and that there are things that as individuals we can do to protect ourselves against these attacks. >> all right. congresswoman stephanie murphy of the state of florida, thank you so much for making time. >> thanks for having me. ahead, judges throughout north carolina voting map so gerrymandered, they say it violated the state constitution. ari berman on the massive implications, right after this.
the north carolina republican party has really gained quite a reputation for itself in voting rights circles. republican state leglatures drew some of the nation's most aggressively gerrymandered maps along racial and partisan lines, and in 2017 the supreme court struck down the republican-drawn congressional maps because they were racially biased. then last year during the midterm elections, a republican congressional candidate, mark harris, hired a campaign worker who allegedly committed widespread election fraud, and that man, leslie mcrae dallas has been indicted along with several others for what they did. the situation was so bad, so egregious and widespread the state had to take the remarkable step of throwing the election
out and calling a new one, which is happening tuesday. and on top of all that, yesterday the republican-drawn state legislative district maps were also thrown out by a state court for being an extreme partisan gerrymander. here with me now someone who has been following what republicans have been up to in north carolina, ari berman, senior reporter of mother jones. so there is a lot to go through here. let's start with the significance of a state court in north carolina throwing out the -- it's the assembly and senate maps for state. what was the justification? and what was behind this fight? >> it's a huge deal, chris, because you remember back in june, the u.s. supreme court said we're not going to review gerrymandering on a federal level. not only are we not going to review it, but the federal courts can't review partisan gerrymandering at all. >> the supreme court jurisprudence is you cannot racially gerrymander to diminish the power of voters of color, right? that's not constitutional.
and the court can look into those maps and strike them down and in fact has. then they had a test case what about partisan gerrymanders? >> yes. >> wisconsin was one of the tests. and the federal courts said no, we can't do anything about that. so it looks like these maps are good to go. and then -- >> that kicks the ball to the state court. this is the first major opinion in state court to strike down partisan gerrymandering. >> i see. >> it did it in a very thorough bipartisan, 356-page opinion with a lot of smoking gun evidence. and so now what we see is even if the federal courts aren't going to act to strike down partisan gerrymandering, the state courts can still act. and now the states are really the battleground when it comes to gerrymandering going forward. >> let's take a step back. this north carolina gop, when they got control of the government i think it was post 2010 election where they got -- have they been the most aggressive in the way they have drawn maps?
>> hall of fame at this point. they're the only state where federal courts have thrown out both the congressional and the state legislative maps, first for racial gerrymandering and then for partisan gerrymandering. >> i just want to be sure, because i've lost track of all the court cases. these the replacement maps that got thrown out? >> these are the replacement maps. the scabs got fired basically. >> they had one set of maps and the court through them out at the state level. now the state said no, these are too aggressively partisan gerrymandered. >> the courts told the north carolina republican party you had drawn maps that were clearly aimed to disenfranchise and initiative the voting power of african americans. you need to redraw the maps. then they redrew. what you clearly did is redraw the map lower the power of democrats. they found very clear evidence that basically no matter what
happens in north carolina, republicans will be in control of the legislature because of gerrymandering. >> and this is not that dissimilar from the wisconsin map that was also tested, right, which a federal court said was fine in which you've got these crazy situations in a statewide election in which democrats get 5, 56% of the vote don't get a majority in the state assembly. >> the federal courts in wisconsin didn't say it was fine. they said it was unconstitutional. the supreme court said it was fine. and i think what it underscore is the fact that in north carolina you have a better state court system where democrats and liberals have actually made gains. in wisconsin, republicans have taken over the local courts. so i think this underscores to me the need for the democrats and for progressives to pay more attention to the states and to pay more attention to state legislative races and to pay more attention to state courts which we never talk about absent a decision like this. >> all right. so now you have this race -- this is distinctly related in some ways. you covered this great voting fraud myth that has been
perpetuated from the president to kris kobach to others. you have one election to fraud in 2018. one federal election so badly tainted by fraud because the republican candidate hired a guy who went around allegedly and apparently paying people to go collect absentee ballots and stuff -- essentially stuff the ballot box on behalf of his candidate. they're now having to rerun that race, and it is polling 50-50. >> the election is next week. it's incredibly ironic that republicans have been running around talking about voter fraud, voter fraud, voter fraud for over a decade now and the only clear case in the past election was by republicans in north carolina. and it had nothing to do with voter id or early voting or foreigners voting illegal. all of those boogiemen had nothing to do with that. what they did was illegal under north carolina law, and the only reason they didn't catch it is because republicans told prosecutors look away. look away here. and then their response to this was let's enact a new voter id bill. >> which had nothing to do. >> nothing to do with the fraud that was committed and will l do nothing to stop it from happening again.
>> you have you dan mcreedy against dan bishop, a republican who replaced mark harris who at first we should be very clear the state gop and the state gop spokesperson who came on this program were like how dare you question the integrity of our election? how dare you say that we hired someone, and of course they all had to walk that back and some kind of put their tail between their legs well, actually, yes, that does look like what has happened. but this is the sort of marquee special election of this cycle right now. >> it is. the election is next week. this is also by the way a very heavily gerrymandered district. that just underscores the fact -- >> this is part of -- this is a district that was drawn by the same north carolina state republicans to be a republican district? >> exactly. and this was the same district that would have been struck down had the supreme court said we can't review the congressional maps. so there is probably going to be a new lawsuit now challenging the congressional maps in north carolina in state court. so no matter what happens. >> oh, i see. the federal government says we can't touch these state maps,
the supreme court says we can't touch them. partisan gerrymandering doesn't violate the constitution or it's not a matter for us to look into. >> yes. >> and now there might be a suit on the congressional maps which would have huge implications. >> exactly. there could be another lawsuit about this district and the other congressional districts in north carolina coming soon. >> so they run this election. that i have to throw out the election. they have to call a new one. they're now having a special like nine months into the new year. they haven't had a congress person in this district the entire time. >> yeah. >> what you're saying is the person could win only to find out that the very boundaries of his district along with everyone's else is challenged in court. >> it's going to take a while. remember in pennsylvania where they struck down the pennsylvania maps, that happened in state court as well. so you very likely could have a challenge brought to strike down the congressional maps not just in north carolina, but in other states in state courts now. i think a lot of people are going to be looking at arcane parts of state constitutions to figure out what losses they could file next based on this
north carolina decision. >> just to keep people's eyes on the prize here, this is the power, this is the power to control the government or not, right? these lines end up being the lever by which partisan power is wielded, and sometimes counter majoritarian power. it's a means by which you can create a situation by which your party has less votes in the state and you still run the state. >> that happened in north carolina in the last elect. 54% of the seats, 58 in the senate. that's so undemocratic. you're right. the state legislatures in most states draw the districts, not just for themselves but for congress as well, for the u.s. house as well. and elections in 2020 are going to determine who draws the maps for the next decade. that's a story i don't think is getting nearly enough coverage, so i'm glad we're talking about it now. >> all right. ari berman, great to see you. what boris johnson's failures in parliament mean for brexit. we'll talk about tonight's head spinning developments ahead. plus tonight's thing 1, thing 2 is next.
thing 1 tonight. even just a brief stint working for donald trump can do wonders for one's career trajectory. and since more people were fired or quit his administration in his first year than in any other in modern history, it's a virtual post-trump career fair of things you can do. like joining the cast of "dancing with the stars," become
a trump tv contributor, write a tell-all book blasting your former boss, join the board of a company that detains migrant children, cooperate with the feds, go to federal prison. that's a popular one. or you can make a few bucks hawking fish pills on tv. >> sebastian gorka here. i have never before endorsed a pain reliever. but when pete and seth talbot asked me to endorse their 100% drug-free product, i absolutely couldn't say no. >> i mean, how could you say no? the real money to be made after leaving trump world is right back in the trump swamp, and that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
there is a swift moving revolving door from the trump administration right back into the trump swamp. according to the center for responsible politics, 37 former members of the administration now work as lobbyists. today "the washington post" revealed a new swamp jumper, former interior department assistant secretary joe balash.
balash just resigned from his position where he oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands friday. you'll never guess what he is doing now, and confirmed to the post last night he'll be joining a foreign oil company that is expanding operations on alaska's north slope. balash says he will abide by the pledge barring appointees from their agencies for five years, although senator udall isn't taking any chances. he sent a letter to ethics officials asking the department to provide copies of all filings made by balash. even if he was to deal with conflict of interest accusations, i've got to say it does beat hawking fish bills. >> and of course, i only said yes, because after years of my personal lower back pain, i am now pain-free. ms of cybercrime every second. when a criminal has your personal information, they can do all sorts of things in your name. criminals can use ransomware, spyware, or malware to gain access to information like your name,
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the courts are now deciding the legality of the president's attempt to redirect funds that congress explicitly did not allocate to build a wall on the southern border that, remember, mexico was going to pay for. in the meantime, the trump administration is moving ahead with plans to take $3.6 billion in pentagon funding to fund construction of a portion of the wall. defense secretary mark esper says he is moving the $3.6 billion out of over planned projects meaning one of two things. either those projects were truly necessary and are now not going to be funded, or there was $3.6 million of extra money lying around the pentagon they didn't really need, which means they had $3.6 billion too much. but the projects are real projects. there are 127 of them. the daily beast reports the money was meant for the construction of elementary schools, hazardous waste warehouse facilities and fire stations, among other department of defense issues. igor bobbic notes that $62 million was supposed to go
toward building a middle school at ft. campbell. whoops, too bad. now it's headed to build the wall. in arizona republican senator martha mcsally at first told people, don't worry, it's just $30,000 being diverted. her spokesman then said the president will actually divert $30 million, not $30,000. quote, army provided documents listing it in thousands. we didn't catch the short hadn't. whoops. it was off by a factor of a thousand. the pentagon is saying everything will be fine so long as, get this, congress agrees to back fill the funds. wait a second. that just means that congress is going to fund the wall. if you take the money out of the accounts and put into it the wall and fund the accounts, voila, you have funded the wall. now the courts are working this out. the aclu said it would seek a court order blocking use of the funds as part of its lawsuit challenging the president's abuse of emergency powers. but remember, congress has power of the purse, article i power under the constitution. if they want to retain article i
power, they can stop this, which is to say they can pass a one-sentence piece of legislation out of both houses and explicitly say you cannot build new wall, and they can override trump's veto. republican senators mitt romney and mike lee have joined with democrats to raise red flags about trump's attempt to circumvent congress, as they should, because he is trying to take their most powerful important job away from them. if congress, both parties is serious about protecting its constitutional rule, lawmakers need to come together across-party lines and pass legislation that says you can't do this. they have that power. it's their power to use, and use it or you lose it.
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go beyond the expected, to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. it's been a rough few weeks. boris johnson came in to save the tory party from theresa may. he has in lost the conservative majority in parliament when a member switched parties while johnson was speaking. you can see him walking across
to go sit with another party. johnson saw 21 members defy him in a critical vote. all that happened yesterday. johnson is facing a parliament in revolt that he is the head of but no longer controls. they are yanking his hard brexit agenda out from under him. he tried to turn the tables on the opposition by calling for a snap election. he was overwhelmingly defeated on that today. that makes boris johnson the first prime minister in the history of the uk to lose his first three votes in the house of commons. it's confusing what happens next. joining me, bbc north america editor john sopul. we are having trouble tracking this. here is my understanding of the way your system works. i would like you to tell me why this is done. the prime minister, by definition, has a majority of parliament.
they don't lose votes by definition because it is their party that's running the place. what is going on now? >> he has been rather careless in losing his majority rather quickly. the one mp that you spoke about who crossed the floor and sat with the centrist liberal democrats and the 21 who voted against him he booted out of the party all together, which means there are more people to vote against him. as you say, he lost successive votes. he lost his majority. he lost a lot of credibility. are they weeping in 10 downing street, where the prime minister lives? i suspect not. they have this strategy. they want to show the people that different from may. he doesn't care if he is defeated. he is going forward. he is marching to the sound of gunfire. let anyone try to step in his way. that's the plan. whether it works or not is another question.
>> here is my understanding of the strategy as articulated by johnson. there's an idea of a no deal brexit. the uk vanishes out of the european union with no sort of side agreements made to figure out a bunch of other things about how trade relations and the passage of people will work and johnson wants to bluff that he is willing to do that in order to get a better deal for how brexit would be managed, is that right? >> yes, that's sort of right. spoiler alert, in politics what people say is not always what they mean. there are very much people who think that boris johnson actually wants a no deal brexit. let me detain that for 30 seconds. no deal brexit means that food stuffs coming into the uk from france, belgium, will not be cleared. it will get held up because suddenly there's no longer free movement. it's like nebraska decides it
wants to cut away. suddenly they are talking about food shortages. that's why you have a lot of members of parliament saying we must do everything we can to stop this. johnson says, i need that threat in my back pocket if i'm going to get the european union to move. there are those who think he would like a no deal brexit. that will solidify support among people who want brexit and who feel frustrated that three years on the pain continues. no fish oil tablets will end the pain. >> that's a nice callback. that actually is clarifying. the things that he is losing these votes on is the basic -- he wants to keep the party behind him saying, we're going to get a no deal brexit. that's what they are losing votes on. they are losing that because people are like, that's insane, we're not going to have toilet paper and pharmaceuticals. but you think -- that sounds nuts. everyone says that's a disaster.
why would boris johnson want to invite that catastrophe? >> because there are -- he says, there are free trade deals to be had. also, let me put this in a u.s. context if i can. you have johnson who thinks that actually westminster parliament is the swamp. i am the envoy of the people. he has a special adviser who is bit bannon-esque. yes, there may be pain. he believes he is the person to sort it out. with free trade deals with america, you may have a few months of turbulence but you will be better off. that's the argument that donald trump would make and that's the argument that johnson is making. that's what is dividing the british people. >> here is the problem. he is the prime minister without a majority in parliament. he can't do any of these things. he can't get a new election.
i don't understand how the government is running right now. >> this is kind -- it's head spinning and eye rolling and stomach churning. i think what the strategy is -- i think what the strategy is, that boris johnson will get his general election. the constitutional crisis comes if parliament votes to say there must be a no deal brexit, which is what happened today and will become law. just as in the u.s., a law passed by congress has to go to the president to be signed. that is less of a formality. in the u.s., you have discretion. what happens in the uk is it goes to the queen for royal ascent. any bill passed by parliament should go to the queen. what happens if boris johnson doesn't present the bill to her majesty to sign? it doesn't become law. then you have a full-scale constitutional crisis.
the other way this gets resolved is johnson gets a narrow majority for a general election and then this is the dividing line. do you want brexit? do you want more dither? you get decision. >> this is perfect. i love the fact the house of windsor is like a gun that's been sitting there. we have gotten rid of that. she's symbolic. we are essentially a republic. that ends up being the thing that comes back for a constitutional crisis. that's really wild if that happens. >> that is what people are terrified about. the queen, who has got this unimpeachable record -- >> is getting drawn into this. >> is drawn into a political process where there are no winners. i think there are very many people who think that must be avoided at every single cost. >> that's going to be hard -- >> it's shock and awe. >> it's going to be hard to
avoid that. thank you for your time tonight. that's "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight an and apparently with the stroke of a sharpie an attempt by the white house to rewrite weather history as we all look on. but as we say about so much of what we cover around here, we've never seen anything like this. that also goes for the exhausted professionals at the national weather service. plus, after a summer off, house democrats are demanding the administration turn over documents about the president dangling pardons to officials who break the law in the border crackdown. and the house republicans heading for the exits. two more today, including a 40-year veteran. what do they think might be on the way in 2020? all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on this wednesday night. well good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 958 of the trump administra