HAYES: For three days in a row now, ever since he gave a scripted policy
speech in an aluminum factor, the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee Donald Trump has been focusing more than ever on one issue --
trade. Pretty clear the Trump campaign thinks this is the best issue they
have. Trump has criticized Hillary Clinton for being married to the man
who signed NAFTA and for being less than convincing in her opposition to
And Trump explicitly says he agrees with Bernie Sanders on trade, trying to
drive a wedge between Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to say one
thing about Bernie, and he -- you know, he`ll be nasty and say, "Oh, I`d
never vote for Trump," but that`s OK. I know what he thinks inside. He
hates her. He hates her.
You wouldn`t think this, but there is one thing that Bernie Sanders and I
are in complete accord with, and that`s trade. He said we`re being ripped
off, I say we`re being ripped off. I`ve been saying it for years, he`s
been saying it for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And who better to respond to that than Senator Bernie Sanders,
Democratic candidate for president.
All right, Senator. Two claims made there. I`ll take them in order.
Number one, Donald Trump says, whatever you say, you hate Hillary Clinton.
Is that true?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know, he
has read my mind. What a man, what a genius.
No, the answer is, of course, Trump is lying as he always does. No, I do
not hate Secretary Clinton. I`ve known her for 25 years. I have a lot of
respect for her. We`ve worked together.
We have disagreements on issues, but to say that I hate her is absolutely
HAYES: OK. The second thing, though, and I -- it`s been -- I can only
imagine how interesting you find this, given that how interesting I find
it. All of a sudden, Donald Trump, great crusader for better trade
practices, the great hope for working America, he says he`s just picking up
your mantel, you guys agree entirely, what say you to that?
SANDERS: Well, is this before or after his companies manufacturing
clothing in Bangladesh and in China and in other low-wage countries? He`s
now come to the conclusion that our trade policies are failing.
The truth is, you know, for many, many years, what I have understood, what
I think most workers in this country have understood, what
environmentalists have understood is that, in fact, our trade policies,
from NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, to the TPP -- these are not policies
that benefit the middle class and working families. What they have done to
a very significant degree have enabled large corporations to shut down in
this country, throw American workers out on the street and move to low-wage
And, by the way, Chris, in addition, it`s led to a race to the bottom,
where workers are often given the choice of taking cuts in pay or health
care or seeing their factories move abroad.
So, I think we have to rethink in a fundamental way, our unfettered free
trade policies and move toward fair trade policies.
HAYES: I want to talk about TPP, particularly as it pertains to the
platform. Before we get to that, though, we have this tweet from Rachel
Martin of NPR, who said in an interview conducted with Vice President
Biden, he just said, "I`ve talked to Bernie. Bernie is going to endorse
her." Her being Hillary Clinton.
Is this true?
SANDERS: I talked to Joe, I think it was three weeks ago.
Look, on that issue, we are trying to work with Secretary Clinton`s
campaign on areas that we can agree on, where the people who supported me,
we`ve got 12 million, 13 million votes. And what they want to see, whether
it is on making moving toward making public colleges and universities
tuition-free, or moving very aggressively in terms of health care and
moving toward a universal health care system, significantly expanding
primary health care, those are the issues that we`re working with Secretary
Clinton on now and I hope we can be successful.
HAYES: But there is a difference. You`ve made a distinction between
voting and endorsing, right? And we`ve seen, for instance, Elizabeth
Warren, who did not endorse during the primary. She has endorsed.
And that endorsement isn`t just "I`m going to vote for Hillary Clinton".
She`s been on the stump. She`s been affirmatively praising her.
Is that something you can see yourself doing, or is it just the case that
you`re never going to come to enough policy agreement with Hillary Clinton
that you will ever be in that position?
SANDERS: Well, Chris, let me back it up, by saying, I`m going to do
everything that I can to defeat Donald Trump. I think for a variety of
Number one, he`s a pathological liar. That`s not a good quality to have in
a president. Number two, he wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars
in tax breaks to the top 2/10 of 1 percent by repealing the estate tax. He
thinks that climate change is a hoax.
And maybe most importantly, we cannot have a president who goes around
insulting Mexicans, and Latinos, and Muslims, and women and African
Americans. I mean, that`s outrageous.
So, I`m going to do everything that I can to see that Donald Trump is
defeated. I --
HAYES: What if "everything I can" means going to rallies and doing -- I
mean, doing the kind of thing that is standard part of endorsing a party
nominee? Is that in that category of "everything you can"?
SANDERS: Well, I think -- as I`ve just said, I mean, it`s not great
secret. We`re trying to do everything we can right now to make the
Democratic platform, the most progressive platform in the history of the
And, by the way, we`re having good success. I want to see that continue as
the full committee meets in Orlando. We are working. I mean, as we speak,
we are working with the Clinton campaign, trying to be able to come forward
and say to my supporters out there, you know what, here`s the progress that
we have made. Hear what Secretary Clinton is saying on this issue and that
issue that means a whole lot to you.
So I hope we can reach that goal. We are not there at this moment.
HAYES: OK, one issue outstanding and here`s -- what I`m hearing from you
is basically the platform is very important to you, substantively. It`s a
substantive commitment of where the Democratic Party`s at. You feel that
you`ve made progress. There are a number of things. For instance,
opposition to the death penalty, which hasn`t gotten a lot of attention but
is a pretty big change for the Democratic Party.
SANDERS: That`s right. Wall Street, we got language in there that would
call for the break-up of banks and the re-establishment of Glass-Steagall.
That`s a pretty big deal.
HAYES: Right. So, there`s been -- there have been some very significant
substantive victories. One area that was defeated was an anti-Trans
Pacific Partnership plank in the platform. And I want to read to you the
account from "The Washington Post" which seems to be credible but would
like to get your response.
They said, "According to the people with knowledge of the platform
negotiations, Sanders used his post-primary meeting with the president to
say he would push for the party to officially oppose TPP. The president
said he would not allow it. And since then, the White House has leaned on
key Democrats to make sure the platform did not include a rebuke."
Is that an accurate characterization of what happened between you and the
SANDERS: Well, I don`t want to talk about a discussion that I had with the
president. It`s not great secret that President Obama who I am very fond
of, I have worked with him and supported him on so many issues and I think
this country will owe him a deep debt of gratitude when he leaves office
for all that he has accomplished.
On this issue, we have a fundamental disagreement. I think TPP is a
continuation of disastrous trade policies of the past and I`m not just --
this is not just Bernie Sanders, this is every trade union in America,
virtually every environmental group, groups like Doctors Without Borders,
who understand that TPP will mean higher prescription drug costs for some
of the poorest people in the world, who will die because they can`t get the
generic medicine that they need.
So I am very strongly opposed to the TPP. And in a democratic society,
people can have differences of opinion. That`s kind of, you know, a United
States senator can disagree on an issue with the president.
HAYES: I`m going to ask you just one more time on this Biden quote. He
said you talked to him and you said you would endorse Hillary Clinton. Is
that accurate? Is Joe Biden telling the truth, or is this a loose
interpretation of what you said?
SANDERS: Wait -- well, Joe and I talked about three weeks ago and as I
said, right now, my hope is that we can reach an agreement on some very
important issues and I can go forward to the millions of people who
supported me and say, look, this is the progress you`ve made, this is where
we`re going to go as a country.
So I hope it happens. As of this moment, we`re not there quite yet.
HAYES: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for your time
tonight. I appreciate it.
SANDERS: Thank you, Chris.