All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 05/04/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Great work on the part
of a whole lot of people. We`re taking another step forward.
HAYES: The president addresses the unrest in Baltimore as more
violence is reported and then retracted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That officer drew his weapon and fired and struck
the individual who was running away.
SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS: We were wrong. Our people on scene were
HAYES: Tonight, what it looks like when Baltimore returns to normal.
Then, the latest from Texas where two gunmen are dead after shooting
at an anti-Islam gathering.
Plus, bridgegate gets a court date.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an innocent man.
HAYES: And fire up the fantasy draft board.
A flurry of 2016 activity including announcement by Ben Carson by way
of a gospel choir singing Eminem.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
A very tense moment today in Baltimore on that city`s first full day
after the curfew had been lifted. With the National Guard demobilizing and
with city life, quote, “getting back to normal.” At the main intersection
of last week`s protest, there it was a report that Baltimore police had
shot a black man. In fact, a FOX News reporter happened to be on the scene
where the event occurred. Fair warning: much of this reporting was later
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What has happened, Mike?
MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS: Well, at about 2:45, we saw a guy running from
the cops here right at the intersection of North and Pennsylvania where –
which has been the epicenter of the unrest here. And as he was running
away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who
was running away.
And he ran right in front of us and I never saw the individual turn
and do anything I would consider an aggressive act, but we did see the
officer draw his weapon, and I counted one gunshot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: FOX News was not alone in this reporting. As word spread
across social media about a possible shooting, there were definitive-
sounding tweets like this one from RT`s Manuel Rapalo. Quote, “I just saw
a guy get shot. Police are clearing the scene and using pepper spray. I
have no idea what`s going on.”
From “McClatchy”, quote, “Shots fired by police in Baltimore outside
On our network, a speech by President Obama in New York about a
program to help young man of color turned into a split screen with aerials
from Baltimore and the banner, President Obama speaks amid new reports of
new Baltimore shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If they aren`t involved in the criminal justice system and
aren`t suspended while they`re in school, we know they have a chance of
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We got about ten minutes from
this location, and we`re informed there may have been a police-involved
shooting. There is a big line of police who have lined up along
Pennsylvania Avenue and down North Avenue. They`ve declared this a crime
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A similar scene played out on CNN, split screen of the
president speaking with police mobilizing on the streets of Baltimore
banner underneath him.
Then came the pushback from Baltimore police, which tweeted, quote,
“The reports of a man being shot at North and Pennsylvania Avenue are not
true. Officers have arrested a man for a handgun at the location.”
About 36 minutes after the initial report, FOX News, Shepard Smith,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Baltimore police say reports of a man being shot at North and
Pennsylvania are not true. Again, this is crossing on national wires right
now. The reason they`re saying this is because we`re alone on this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure.
SMITH: Our people happened to be right there when this incident,
whatever it turns out to be, happened.
It sounds to me like what`s happened is – what`s happened is we
screwed up, is what it sounds like. I can tell you one thing, Mike Tobin
would never have been through this. Mike Tobin said he thought he saw
somebody get shot. And there was a gun, and there was a patient on a
stretcher, and there was a woman who said she saw the cops gun him down and
there`s going to be violence and all the rest of that.
And what we have is nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But as uncertain minutes ticked by, a crowd gathered at the
scene and what we saw could have been another wave of grief and
President Obama`s speech today acknowledged the challenges faced by
police but also said, quote, “a sense of powerlessness and unfairness,” end
quote, which can fuel protests and unrest.
What happened today in Baltimore, on the first day of the return to
something that looks like normal suggests how tenuous that normalcy is,
that facts can be so hard to definitely determine and it is easy to see how
distrust can fill in those gaps.
Joining me now, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid live in
And, Joy, that was a very strange, unsettling and uncertain scene.
What do we know definitively now? What`s established at this hour?
REID: Well, I can tell you, Chris, first of all, just to go back for
a second to what you were saying – this was probably the most tense and
angry that I saw the corner of Penn and North in four days. I mean, people
were immediately angry, as you said.
But when we pulled up to that intersection, as soon as we got right to
the intersection right after it had happened, I spoke with the sister of
the young man who was frantically on the phone calling her mother, and she
was saying, they`re saying that they shot him in the back. People were
walking up and down the street saying they had shot him in the back. There
was a lot of anger, real, deep-seated anger, palpable anger at the police.
People were filming with their cell phones, taking pictures. Video was
getting uploaded to social media as this accusation was sort of flying
around among the crowd.
The police, as your report said, fastened themselves along
Pennsylvania Avenue, blocked off the street. They very quickly called a
press conference and put it together to set the record straight.
So, what we know as of now is that the young man was in fact arrested
and was accused of having a gun. There are these security cameras that are
up at Penn and North in different parts of the city that reportedly caught
sight of a gun. According to police, they said there was a brief foot
chase. The man was taken down.
So, the video you saw of him on the ground, he was definitely on the
ground. There is video of it. He was taken away in an ambulance. He did
not want to go in the ambulance. But he was taken away in an ambulance out
of an abundance of caution to check him to see if he was healthy enough for
Police were insisting nobody was shot, that no officer discharged
their firearm, and when the gun was recovered from the ground, it was
missing one bullet in the chamber.
Now, I am standing here with State Senator Catherine Pugh.
If you could come on over, State Senator.
And State Senator Pugh actually went to the hospital where the young
man was taken and had an opportunity to actually speak with him.
So, Senator, first of all, because I think a lot of people who have
been tweeting about this and talking about this on social media who were
concerned that he was shot, when you saw him, what was his physical
condition, and could you determine had he been injured or shot?
STATE SEN. CATHERINE PUGH (D), BALTIMORE: Let me just say I`m on the
board of the University of Maryland medical system so I did go in, I did
see the young man. He was fully examined. There was no physical injury
from a gunshot. He was not shot.
He was in tears, and I held him and asked him if he was OK, and he
said he was worried. He wanted to see his mother. And that he was visibly
upset. He said he was scared. The police were very gentle.
And so I asked them if they would take him out so he could see his
mother, and they let him out to see his mother. She hugged him. She
wanted to know if he was OK, and he was OK.
Again, very upset, and so I asked him what was next, and they said
that he was under arrest, and so they took him into the paddy wagon. I
actually walked back with him from him being with his mom, walked back with
the police officers. They strapped him into the van.
Before they strapped him in, they took off the metal handcuffs and put
plastic handcuffs on him, told him what they were going to do. Put him in
the van, and then made sure he was strapped in, and I told him that I would
meet them at central booking. I went back out and I spoke to his mom and
told her that I would go down to central booking to make sure that he
And he did. And they told me that he is there and waiting to be fully
booked at this point.
PUGH: But, you know, again, visibly upset. And the thing that really
bothered me about most of this is that rumors fly very quickly, and I did
like the way the police handled the crowd that came out. They subdued the
crowd and they left. And I think you saw that when the police left, the
crowd sort of dissipated.
But I think what Baltimore and the nation needs to know is that people
are protesting all across the country, and we still have some visitors here
in our town.
I was in the senior building because we stopped by there just to make
sure that they are feeling comfortable, and one of the things they were
saying was that we were glad that folks protested and expressed their
feelings, but we really want to get our community back.
And as I said earlier, it`s not about returning to normal, because we
want a new normal in that part of the city.
PUGH: But at the same time, I think people feel better about hearing
REID: About hearing the truth.
Chris, you`ve now gotten the definitive story about the senator who
represents the area in question. And, indeed, it was a tense day but
things are returning to normal, and as the senator said, things did calm
down almost immediately once the police pulled out. That`s what we know.
HAYES: All right. MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, thank you.
Thank you both.
Joining me now, Joe Crystal. He`s a former detective with the
Baltimore Police Department.
Joe, we talked to you on Friday night while down in Baltimore because
you were someone who, in Baltimore, you were kind of a rising star. You
were a detective, if I`m not mistaken. You had several promotions in a
short span of time. And then you ultimately testified against a fellow
officer who had beaten up (INAUDIBLE) and you say essentially run out of
That`s your basics of your experience with the BPD, right?
JOSEPH CRYSTAL, FORMER BALTIMORE POLCIE DETECTIVE: Yes, sir. That`s
HAYES: Can you tell me what the mentality of that police department
was? You`re still a police officer, you like being a police officer, my
sense is. What was the mentality you encountered the culture of the
Baltimore Police Department in the context of what we`ve got to imagine is
a place just brimming with tension right now?
CRYSTAL: Well, Chris, for one, I`ve said it plenty of times, I
believe most cops are good and want to do the right thing. What happened
in Baltimore was, unfortunately, that from the top down, you know, our
commissioner, Commissioner Anthony Batts, he comes from Long Beach,
California, where he ultimately had a documented history of not protecting
officers to come forward and speak about police corruption.
So, he brought that mentality over to Baltimore City, and basically
the blue wall of silence, as you like to call it, was very strong. And as
a result of that, because I spoke and testified about police brutality, I
was ultimately run out.
HAYES: What do you mean by that and how do you know that it was Batts
that that was sort of setting the tone for that?
CRYSTAL: Well, sir, like I said, there were other people in the
middle, but I mean, for one, the commissioner was on the news talking about
how he wanted to ensure I had a fruitful career and things of that nature,
and ultimately, to this day, we still don`t know whatever happened with the
It took – you know, Anthony Batts came in in 2012, and I was told
that they were going to get to the bottom of it back then. They never took
a statement from me until the end of May 2014, after the statute of
limitations ran out on the individuals who harassed me and stuff like that.
I mean, so you have to think about it. When you`re in a situation chasing
a felony drug suspect blocks away from the CVS that burned, and you call
and you have a felony foot chase with an individual selling drugs, then you
don`t get backup from your own squad, what kind of message does that send?
HAYES: Now, I want to go back to the incident that sparked this. You
were in the western district, which is, of course, where Freddie Gray was
arrested, where the CVS was burned is. The original incident is you
basically chased a suspect who broke into the home of a woman who is
actually the girlfriend of an officer on the force, and after that guy was
apprehended in her house, what happened next?
CRYSTAL: Actually, sir, it was in East Baltimore. But after he was
apprehended – but after he was apprehended, Chris, he was ultimately taken
to the paddy wagon. At that time the sergeant and the off-duty officer,
Anthony Williams, they had started to speak.
I wasn`t paying attention to the conversation, I just heard Sergeant
(INAUDIBLE) shake his head and acknowledge, and say something to Anthony
Williams along the lines of, OK, I`ll take care of it. At that time, he
called the wagon back, the suspect was brought back in that house. It was
clear that the suspect didn`t want to go into the house, and from where I
was at, I could hear the scuffle, I could here that incident going on.
Later, he`s brought out. His shirt ripped open. He`s visibly
limping. I found out later on that he had a broken ankle.
The report was authored saying that they brought him back into the
house so he could apologize. Anybody that was there, anybody that was in
Baltimore knows, A, that type of thing doesn`t happen, and, B, Chris, that
it doesn`t even pass the smell test. It was just horrible that they would
HAYES: This suspect was put in the paddy wagon, he`s being taken to
booking presumably and then called back – brought back into the house
where in another room, you heard him you think being beaten by the officer
who was the boyfriend of the woman whose house it was.
CRYSTAL: That`s right, sir. And that officer was found guilty in
court, along with the sergeant for misconduct in office.
HAYES: Now, Anthony Batts was the commissioner at the time. You say
you didn`t feel that he set a tone at the top, a culture that would protect
whistleblowers. Were there officers there who came up to you and said, I
think you did the right thing?
CRYSTAL: There was some. One of my best friends still works there,
and there were officers that did support me. But even one of my friends
ended up ultimately having to be moved because he was – they were trying
to track him down to find out where I was moved after they put a rat in my
So, it wasn`t just me that was affected. It was my friends, my wife.
It wasn`t just me that was affected by these incidents.
HAYES: In New York City, the tragic news of the death of Brian Moore.
He was a New York police officer who was shot in the head. He has died. A
reminder, of course, of some of the dangers that police officers face day
How much do you think this sense of being in a, quote, “war zone”, of
being in danger at all times, how much did that suffuse the Baltimore
Police Department? How much was that part of the mentality and culture of
CRYSTAL: Well, first of all, the officer that lost his life. I mean,
that`s horrible and that breaks my heart to see any person, cop or anybody,
ever lose their life.
But like to answer your question, sir, I think sometimes that
officers, they somewhat, I guess, you know, become enthralled in the area
they`re working in and they kind of bring themselves down to the
individuals that they`re trying to protect the citizens from.
I`ve spoken before about the chief – I`m sorry, the president of the
FOP telling me that this is blood in and blood out.
Another thing I remember, in 2012, I was involved in a use of force
scenario where I had to use force. Now, I`ve never received an award for
any great thing I`ve done in the department. After my use of force, I had
a sergeant come up to me and tell me it, hey, Joe, give me that information
about your case. I`m going to put you in for an award.
I told him, I said, I appreciate that, sir, but I don`t need an award
for hurting somebody. There`s a million things I`ve done to get an award.
I think sometimes that we almost sensationalize violence in the use of
force. And I think that`s just a mantra that we need to get away from.
That should be the last thing we do.
HAYES: Joseph Crystal, former Baltimore police detective – thank you
for your time again tonight. I really appreciate it, sir.
CRYSTAL: Thank you again, Chris. I`ve enjoyed being on.
HAYES: All right. Still ahead, the latest from Garland, Texas where
two gunmen attacked an anti-Islam event showcasing caricatures of the
Stay with us.
HAYES: Every day here at ALL IN, we share things we`re really proud
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when you do that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to move y`all into the auditorium
here in just a minute. I just need everybody to remain calm, be kind of
orderly, and we`re going to take you into the auditorium, a little further
away from the front of this building, all right?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Were the suspects Muslim?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Law enforcement officials have identified the two suspects
shot dead last night in Garland, Texas, outside an event where people were
invited to display caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
Pictures obtained by the NBC affiliate in Dallas-Ft. Worth, identified
35-year-old Elton Simpson who was convicted five years ago of lying to FBI
agents about his alleged plans to travel to Somalia and 34-year-old Nadir
Soofi. Law enforcement officials said that he and Simpson were roommates.
FBI agents searched a Phoenix apartment as part of the investigation into
And last night`s event was hosted by the New York-based American
Freedom Defense Initiative which the Southern Poverty Law Center has
called, quote, “an active anti-Muslim group”.
The event was set to culminate with a $10,000 art contest for the best
cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. Depictions of the prophet are considered
offensive in many interpretations of Islam.
Now, Pam Geller, president of the FBI, told the “Associated Press”
before the event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free
speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad.
And in the wake of deadly attacks at “Charlie Hebdo” in January, the
satirical paper that often printed the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad,
there were concerns last night about safety. “New York Times” reports the
security included uniformed Garland police, school district officers and
SWAT team and bomb squad officers and representatives of the FBI and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives.
All of that did not stop the men from opening assault rifles outside
the event. According to a Garland police spokesman, the two suspects
started shooting at a police car that was blocking the parking lot
entrance. A school district security officer was shot in the ankle and a
Garland police traffic cop returned fire, managing to kill both suspects.
Now, around the time of the attack, Twitter message appeared under the
name Sharia is light. It read in part, quote, “May Allah accept as
mujahedeen. #texasattack.” The account has since been suspended.
Joining me now, Art Spiegelman, author of the graphic novel “Maus”,
which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, and Francoise Mouly, editor for “The
It`s really wonderful to have you here.
ART SPIEGELMAN, AUTHOR: Nice to be here, Chris.
HAYES: Two people that have talked a lot about the cartoons and their
political power, relationships to “Charlie Hebdo” – I first want to get
your response to this news from last night.
SPIEGELMAN: Well, that sigh is about right, because, you know, the
thing about free speech is it`s the right to be an absolute idiot. So,
now, I have to support absolute idiots where I already was dealing with
partial idiots at Penn. You see, Penn International had a bunch of writers
bowing out of their gala fund-raiser because they were unhappy about
“Charlie Hebdo” receiving a Courage Award.
HAYES: That event is here in New York tomorrow night, if I`m not
HAYES: And a bunch said, look – and obviously, it relates to what`s
happening here, right? A bunch said, obviously, no one should be killed
for any active speech. Obviously, we abhor that, but we don`t want to
affirmatively praise the actual publication at issue and we are withdrawing
from this gala that`s meant to celebrate.
SPIEGELMAN: And what upset me –
FRANCOISE MOULY, THE NEW YORKER: And I think to some extent, it was
also the fact that Penn is a writers organization, and some of the writers
might not have felt that cartoonists are –
SPIEGELMAN: Yes, there`s a –
HAYES: A lesser form of expression.
MOULY: It seems to be. In the U.S. you hear it. I don`t know if
this kind of protest would have been launched about publishing some
university`s writing or any writer`s writing. I think –
SPIEGELMAN: It doesn`t (INAUDIBLE)
SPIEGELMAN: I think that Pam Geller`s group is sort of the bizarro
anti-matter, as to opposite of all earthly things bizarro superman
They are opposite of “Charlie Hebdo” that is not a racist
organization, that is doing these things without an alternative agenda
other than mocking all religions.
SPIEGELMAN: But being very supportive of secularized Muslims and
their role in society, whereas this group is a bunch of rabid ideologues
HAYES: Who I think genuinely and I think by their own admission,
think that Islam is bad. They think it`s bad religion –
SPIEGELMAN: The religion is evil.
And they`re kind of pro-Zionist settlers and they`re making as much
mischief as they can in a way different from “Charlie”. So, I`m part
between the two different kinds of –
HAYES: Right. So, here`s the point, right? I mean, I think a lot of
people said – I even had this feeling about “Charlie Hebdo” when it
happened which was the attack itself seemed to me to almost kind of
retroactively kind of ennoble the speech, right? If you`re staring down
the barrel of a gun, as we learned “Charlie Hebdo” very much was, that lent
this kind of gravitas, of course, to what they did. But I don`t
necessarily want to say the same thing when I look at stuff spewed by Pam
SPIEGELMAN: Yes, they`re different things.
MOULY: The cartoonists and editors that were there are equal
opportunity offenders. I mean, they do not discriminate and they certainly
were not publishing cartoons just about Islam. So, a proportion of
cartoons about Islam is actually minute. They had more about anti-Catholic
cartoons and some far more anti-political cartoons –
SPIEGELMAN: Well, anti the national front and –
MOULY: The motto is to be stupid and mean. That`s how they define
themselves. So, yes, they are provocateurs of a dialogue.
HAYES: But I guess what my point is, we`ve had these conversations
about freedom of speech, right, and we want to make some distinction
between the principle of I will defend your speech no matter what it is,
right? But they always end up – we always end up at some place where
we`re rendering substantive judgments about the speech. I mean, once you
get past the idea that no one should be murdered for anything they draw,
MOULY: Right, yes.
SPIEGELMAN: That`s what upset me about the fair – whatever it`s
whatever it is. Pam Geller`s thing, whatever it is –
HAYES: That`s right.
SPIEGELMAN: Movement for dissing Muslims. But whatever it is,
there`s is done with a really awful intent, the very intent that the
protesting writers at Penn attributed to “Charlie”.
SPIEGELMAN: So that`s why it has to be parsed.
HAYES: That`s right. And yet at the same time, what it might – I`ve
seen some people say about the Pam Geller. And again, Pam Geller is
someone that I really find odious, is an odious figure, right? But it
comes down to why would you have this event, you know, to this provocation.
My feeling in the wake of what happened last night is that it is important
that they be able to have this event, right? I mean –
SPIEGELMAN: I would not give them the Courage Award.
HAYES: That`s right.
SPIEGELMAN: But I would protect their right to do this because free
speech is a right –
HAYES: We have to be a place where people can do this.
SPIEGELMAN: It`s the right to be an idiot. You have to be able to
get it wrong and say it.
MOULY: And it needs to be shown. The drawings have to be shown. You
know, we are talking yet again, after the attacks on Danish newspaper, yet
again after the attacks on “Charlie Hebdo”, nobody shows the cartoon.
Everybody talks about it, but, you know, there is a subscription here, the
power of the cartoons.
And if you look at the drawings, a lot of people who are talking about
it may not have looked at the images.
HAYES: Tomorrow night will be the gala. You are participating in it.
Some people have withdrawn. You will be there and I believe the current
editor, “Charlie Hebdo,” will be there to accept this Penn Award.
MOULY: And from critics as well.
SPIEGELMAN: Yes, we signed on after other people signed off.
What is your hope about where this conversation goes next, I guess?
Because now it has become almost this trope, right, because of what
happened to Danish cartoons, because of what`s happened to “Charlie Hebdo”,
last night, if this button that people could push for easy provocation,
“draw the Prophet Muhammad”, right, without actually doing anything
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
SPIEGELMAN: I would say one thing Francoise said that`s worth noting,
if the news media had shown these cartoons and just said, it`s not a
problem for us to show them, we don`t mean any disrespect, there`s news
values to these pictures, we have to understand them, then it wouldn`t have
kept escalating. It just would have just been a given.
HAYES: That`s interesting.
MOULY: You know, I always want to see artists to be a dissent of the
cultural (INAUDIBLE). Not, because they can actually pierce through all of
this ambiguous bell, and in the images, let`s talk about it. Let`s
actually discuss it.
HAYES: We have to show this in order to be able to do it, although in
this case –
SPIEGELMAN: It`s complicated.
HAYES: Yes, it is.
Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, thank you both. Really appreciate
SPIEGELMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: As two of the accused in bridgegate plead not guilty, what
their impending trial means for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. That`s
Stay with us.
HAYES: Today brought us a major step closer to a federal trial in the
Bridgegate scandal, one
in which the New Jersey governor and potential 2016 hopeful Chris Christie
could be called to testify.
Two principals in the scandal: Bill Baroni who was a top Christie
appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget
Kelly, Christie`s former deputy chief of staff, pleaded not guilty today to
nine counts of conspiracy fraud and other charges in connection with the
closure of access lanes from Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington
bridge back in September 2013.
Kelly, of course, sent the infamous email that helped blow open the
scandal, “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” And the recipient
of that email, David Wildstein, another former Christie appointee at the
Port Authority has admitted to plotting with Kelly and Baroni to close the
access lanes in retaliation against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee who
had declined to endorse Christie in his reelection bid.
Wildstein pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of conspiracy.
Now, Baroni and Kelly both maintain they`re innocent and dispute
Wildstein`s account. And, after his arraignment, they`re headed for a trial
set to start on July 7th. We have a date.
According to a Monmouth University poll release today, more than two
thirds of New Jersey residents think Governor Christie has yet to be
completely honest about what he knew about Bridgegate, and now we may very
well have the opportunity to see him try to convince New Jersey residents
otherwise. In open court, under oath, sitting on the witness stand.
We`ll have much more coverage of Bridgegate ahead on the Rachel Maddow
show. You don`t want to miss that.
HAYES: On Friday, I got a chance to sit down with one of the top
Democratic lawmakers in the Senate, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. In a
wide-ranging conversation covering everything from the growing consensus in
Washington on criminal justice reform to Hillary Clinton`s 2016 hopes and
the roll Elizabeth Warren could play even from the sideline, to a
bipartisan bill now being debated in the
Senate that can empower congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran, which
Republicans are struggling to get moving amid a slew of poison pill
I even asked Senator Durbin of rumors of a feud between him and fellow
Senator Chuck Schumer who is in line to take over from Harry Reid as the
number one Democrat in the senate after Reid retires. Here is my extended
interview with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
HAYES: Hillary gave a speech where she basically said we incarcerate
too many people and we need to choose a new path. Do you think it is
becoming a kind of a central Democratic Party belief that we need to bring
the era of mass incarceration to a close?
SEN. DICK DURBIN, (D) ILLINOIS: The good news is it is a central
belief that is bipartisan. Two years ago, I introduced the Smarter
Sentencing Act which Secretary Clinton made reference to, to give judges in
a specific category of cases – drug offenses with no guns, no gangs, no
violence, no terrorism, give the judges more authority to have lesser
sentences, and I think that makes sense.
We want to keep America safe, but we are not safer because we filled
our prisons to a level that rivals any other nation in the world.
This bill that I`ve introduced is a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by
Mike Lee of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz
of Texas. So it is not a partisan measure, it has become a bipartisan
effort. I hope we can get it enacted.
HAYES: What changed? I mean, I remember in 1992, Bill Clinton went
off the campaign trail to fly back to Arkansas to watch a man who had an IQ
of, I think, about 80 be executed. He ran on being tough on crime, `94
crime bill, three strikes and you`re out, new categories of offenses. Was
that the wrong thing to do back then?
DURBIN: It was an overreaction. We wanted to end the threat of crime
in our neighborhoods for our families and overreacted.
Now we know better. Now we`re going to be smarter in the way we do
Yes, bad people should be incarcerated, and they should be. And they
shouldn`t be released until we`re confident that they are going to be safe
in terms of their own conduct.
But we`ve overdone it. We have filled our prisons at great expense,
at the expense of prevention, at the expense of trying to eliminate
poverty, dealing with education, so I think we`re trying to right the
balance here and overcome the overreaction of years gone by.
HAYES: One thing that`s been notable to me is that even before she
had a challenger, Hillary Clinton has been running like she had a primary
challenger from the left.
DURBIN: It`s a lesson she learned eight years ago. She was the
frontrunner. And along came this senator from Illinois, and ultimately was
the winner. I don`t think Hillary is going to take anything for granted.
The fact she hired John Podesta to manage her campaign I think shows that
she is determined to put the right kind of leadership in this campaign.
The fact that she took a van to Iowa was a small thing to many people,
but a big thing in terms of the symbol of this campaign, that she`s getting
down to ground level.
HAYES: The primary process, the presidential primary process is a
really useful moment in which a political coalition and a political party
sorts out what it`s going to stand for, right? And we saw that in 2008.
Huge debates about really small areas of policy – will there be a mandate
or not a mandate, right, what kind of tax cuts are we going to have, are we
going to do in Afghanistan. Are you confident we can have the same process
in 2016 without what appears to be something quite as competitive as what
we had then?
DURBIN: It remains to be seen who is going to get into this race.
Elizabeth Warren said she will not be in the race. But I guarantee
that she`ll be a factor in the development of issue positions whoever the
Democratic nominee might be, most likely Hillary Clinton.
We are going to have voices from the left, Bernie Sanders and others,
Elizabeth Warren in congress, and others challenging our nominee to speak
out on the critical issues about consumer rights and family opportunities
in America. That`s the positive thing about a political campaign and I
think is likely to bring us closer to the position where many voters will
say well maybe this election might make a difference in my life.
HAYES: My understanding is you`re about to meet with the foreign
minister of Iran?
DURBIN: Yes sir.
HAYES: First of all, where is – I mean, it`s your job to count
votes. It`s one of your jobs in
leadership. What is your sense of what the Senate is going to do in terms
of the preliminary deal that`s been struck with Iran.
DURBIN: The Republicans have proposed 67 amendments to our Rand
legislation that came out unanimously out of the foreign relations
(inaudible). Virtually all of them are designed to torpedo this effort, and
to try and stop the negotiations.
The first three votes were encouraging. They showed there were a
substantial number of
Republicans who had joined the Democrats in keeping the process moving
forward in a consistent
and stable way.
I feel good about the outcome here, but I hope it ends soon so we
don`t have to go through 67 amendments from every would-be Presidential
candidate on the Republican side.
We need to work to find a negotiated situation with Iran that
guarantees, as best we can, that they`ll never be a nuclear weapon in that
HAYES: Senator Tom Cotton has emerged as one of the most outspoken
critics of both this and, I would say, broadly the President`s foreign
policy. And there was a pretty remarkable moment this week in which he got
into essentially a Twitter beef with the foreign minister of Iran. He was
saying that he acted cowardly during the Iran Iraq War and, sort of
challenging him to a debate. The former
minister responding, sort of demurring a bit.
I mean, what did you make of that? Is that appropriate behavior of a
sitting U.S. Senator?
DURBIN: It is pretty easy in my business to be provocative and to say
things that might catch public attention. It takes a lot different person
to try to negotiate through some dangerous and challenging issues, like the
nuclear weapons in Iran. I think we need the kind of steady hand at the
Presidential level and support at the Congressional level to reach that
Ultimately, Mr. Cotton, Senator Cotton has said that he envisions the
possibility of a military attack and accepts it. That the United States
would attack Iran. I hope to God that never happens.
And, if cooler heads prevail, I hope that negotiations lead to the
right outcome without U.S. military action.
HAYES: Are you and Senator Schumer beefing right now?
DURBIN: No, we get along just fine.
Listen, we`ve been in congress together 32 years. We lived under the
same roof for 22 years.
HAYES: That does not foreclose the possibility of even more vicious
DURBIN: That`s not the case. We get along fine, and I`m looking
forward to working with him.
I told him I would support him to be the Democratic leader. I`ve checked
with our caucus. I have strong support within that caucus.
HAYES: To retain your position?
DURBIN: To continue as well.
HAYES: That was part of my interview with Senator Dick Durbin of
Two big announcements in the 2016 field can mean only one thing.
It is time to check in on our draft picks. That`s up ahead.
HAYES: Two new candidates have entered the Presidential race,
including one who put out a
video, drawing a link between himself and none other than Abraham Lincoln.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to revive the exceptional spirit that
built America. First we must heal, and healing requires a leader with calm,
unwavering resolve. Someone more concerned about the next generation than
the next election.
HAYES: Meet the newly minted candidate to release that video,
complete with soaring bald eagle footage, next.
CARLY FIORINA, FORMER HEWLETT PACKARD CHIEF EXECUTIVE: I`m getting
ready to do something, too. I`m running for President.
Our founders never intended us to have a professional political class.
I`m Carly Fiorina, and I`m
running for President.
HAYES: Former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive, Carly Fiorina,
announced she`s running for
President today, with an announcement video that opened, oddly enough, with
Fiorina watching Hillary Clinton`s Presidential announcement video from
It was, I think, an acknowledgment of one of Fiorina`s comparative
advantages in this
race. She is the only woman in the race for GOP nominations so far in a
field that could soon include as many as 18 men. And she can attack Clinton
without contributing to the optics problem that comes with a large bill of
male candidates throwing darts at a woman who would be the first female
Now, if you need a quick refresher on Fiorina, allow me to refer you
to our All In Fantasy Candidate Draft Show.
HAYES: Number 8, doing the diagonal. Number 8.
Well, it`s a letter for Josh Barro. He needs it, he definitely needs
it. He`s got Sarah Palin (inaudible).
UNIDENIFIED MALE: Carly Fiorina. She was the CEO of a company that
makes printers, and now she`s ready to take on the paper jam in Washington,
D.C. Don`t sleep on the demon sheep. It`s Carly Fiorina.
JOSH BARRO, JOURNALIST: You know, I said in the break I was hoping
for Carly Fiorina. I was joking, but apparently I was taken seriously.
But you know, she`ll be good. I think her first act as President will
be to overpay for Compaq, and we`ll go from there.
HAYES: Great, nerdy mergers and acquisitions joke from Josh Barro.
Now, Carly Fiorina was not the only candidate entering the
Presidential race this week. Thus, not the only candidate generating points
for our Fantasy Draft contestants.
Former neurosurgeon – well, I guess he`s still a neurosurgeon – but
former practicing neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, also jumped into the race with
an event in Detroit.
HAYES: Who are you going to get? Ben Carson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ben Carson. He`s a retired world class
neurosurgeon, recipient of the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, and says Obamacare is the worst thing since
slavery. He`s Dr. Ben Carson.
Don`t applaud that. There`s no need to applaud that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last time that Republicans had this people in
their primary field, everybody got to run up and take a turn in the
spotlight, and I am hoping Ben gets to do that.
HAYES: That`s the big question.
There are now a bunch more points on the board in our Fantasy Draft.
We`ll have three of our contestants right here to discuss the state of the
race and the state of the rosters. That`s next.
HAYES: Yes, that was a gospel choir rendering the Eminem song, Lose
Yourself, at the opening event for Ben Carson, GOP Presidential primary
Joining me now are three contestants from our All In Fantasy Candidate
Draft to discuss the latest in the presidential race.
MSNBC political analyst and former RNC chair Michael Steele, MSNBC
contributor, New York Times national correspondent Josh Barro, MSNBC
contributor, host of the Majority Report Sam Seder.
All right, let`s go to the board before we do anything else. Most
importantly, Josh Barro, I believe within like a second of someone leaking
theory he was going to announce, emailed me and someone else on the staff
saying, give me my points. I want my points.
See Josh is laughing right now, but viewers at home should know he is
taking this very seriously. This is not ironic participation in the
fantasy candidate draft.
BARRO: Why wouldn`t I take it seriously?
BARRO: I take issue with you putting that line through Bob Corker. I
know he says he is not going to run, but that – you know, he can always
change his mind later and run for president. And I think he is going to.
HAYES: It`s true. Warren could always change her mind as well.
So, you`ve got 200 points.
Let`s look at Michael Steele`s current standings. You`ve also got
200, but you`ve also got O`Malley basically rumored reports say that
O`Malley is going to actually formally getting in in a few weeks. So, your
And of course I think clearly the frontrunner, Sam, let`s look at
Sam`s points here – he only – Sam is trailing. He`s trailing.
But we also – we know Graham is going to get in and Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush might declare he`s actually running a day before the first
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: I`m running the same campaign. I
am holding my cards back so I can continue to fundraise and not be caught
up in any type of election – fair election law.
HAYES: Yes, Michael?
MICHAEL STEELE, FRM. RNC CHAIRMAN: Hey, Chris, I just want to know is
there a waiver wire? Can I go to the waiver wire, please?
HAYES: That would be great. We should do a waiver wire.
STEELE: Yes, we should do a waiver wire.
HAYES: Yeah, we should do a waiver wire and a trading deadline.
Michael, can I ask you, what – why – I`m a more than merrier kind of
person. I particularly feel that way about the Democratic field. Like run
for president. It`s great. I`d love to see a lot of people run for
But Carly Fiorina rationale here is a little elusive to me.
HAYES: Because she`s never successfully won an election – she is
STEELE: You don`t have to successfully have won an election in order
to do this.
HAYES: Yes, you do. Do you think – yes, you do, actually. Running
for president is hard and you have to have won elections before.
STEELE: It helps. It does help to actually know how a campaign
works, we know that.
No, I think the rationale is beyond the typical Washington, you know,
pro forma. You`ve run for office before, you haven`t et cetera.
I think what you`re seeing – and I`m surprised you don`t see this on
the Democratic side, quite honestly, I think you are seeing an opportunity
here for people who are really trying to establish something with their
base and be driven to this opportunity by their base. This is not an
establishment based campaign. And the base doesn`t really look at that as
Now will it be a factor in a year`s time? Probably.
HAYES: Same, but who is…
SEDER: First off, there`s two ways you can answer the question,
what`s the rationale for this
election? One is because I have a vision for the country, et cetera, et
cetera. The other rationale works on the right far more than it does on
the left, which is this is a great way to make money. I mean, it has
been shown time and time again that when you run for president on the
right, you build an e-mail list, you go around, you start a speaking tour.
You go around…
HAYES: I don`t think that`s why Carly Fiorina is running for
SEDER: But also it`s feeding the ego. I mean, it`s the same reason
why Donald Trump sort of toys with the idea. He understands that from a
business standpoint, this is building out his brand. So, she`s building a
brand. Maybe she`s trying to run for senate again.
HAYES: Building a brand, building a list, building an organization.
But here`s my question for Josh is, and I agree with what Michael is
saying about sort of the base, right, like cultivating a base. And that`s
a really important asset that`s somewhat portable after an election, right.
You`ve got those names. You`ve got those lists. You`ve cultivated those
I don`t know, who is Carly Fiorina`s base?
BARRO: In some way she is like Mitt Romney, right, except that Mitt
Romney managed to win a governor`s race and she didn`t manage to win a
senate race. but I think like…
HAYES: And he also governed the state. I mean, that`s a big
BARRO: Right. But like a lot of people who reach high positions in
business, Carly Fiorina I think believes I was a successful business leader
and therefore I could be a successful leader of a country.
Now first of all it`s a matter of significant debate whether Carly
Fiorina was in fact a successful business leader. Her tenure at HP was
very controversial and she ultimately got fired. But that also, you know,
it`s not at all clear that those skills are directly transferable.
That said, she`s far from the first person who made a lot of money in
business to get the idea that that`s a qualification for the president.
SEDER: Well, sure, I mean, Ross Perot I mean was also another one of
HAYES: Right. And Ross Perot is a good example because I`m sitting
here being like Carly Fiorina has never been elected to office. I mean,
Ross Perot really came out of nowhere and was genuinely in the running.
SEDER: 20 percent.
STEELE: What about what`s his name on the left who runs – ran
perennially, the advocate for environmental and…
HAYES: Ralph Nader?
STEELE: Ralph Nader is another one who ran.
SEDER: But what is the issue that Carly Fiorina is trying to – what
is she trying to promote? I mean, she – I think it makes sense if like
she wants to get that email list, she wants to meet some donors, she wants
to go back to California and try and run for senate again. I mean from
that standpoint it makes sense.
BARRO; I think it`s exactly the same set of issues as every other
HAYES: Which is part of the problem, which is what Michael said the
last time we had – we talked about this race, was actually – no, Michael
made the point which I thought was one of the sort of best things someone
said is that peel it all away and the fact is there is not a lot of policy
differentiation happening as this – as the amount of contestants
BARRO: No, but I think it is – I think you identified correctly that
Carly Fiorina has an attacking Hillary Clinton schtick that plays well with
the conservative base.
HAYES: And she`s uniquely inoculated, I think.
BARRO: Right, as Jess McIntosh pointed out in that clip, if everybody
gets their turn as “flavor of the month,”that should be the thing that
Carly Fiorina can ride into that.
STEELE: But she also has vice presidential possibilities as well.
HAYES: I guess that`s a fair point.
STEELE: You`re thinking – when you are thinking about the ultimate
battle against Hillary, to have someone who essentially inoculates your
nominee who can actually doggedly go after her, that`s a good spot to be
HAYES: That is a very good point. There is a little bit of that
probably going on.
Michael Steele, Josh Barro, Sam Seder, well, the race continues.
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