All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 11/15/2016
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 15, 2016
Guest: April Ryan, Charlie Pierce, Sherrod Brown, Antonio Garcia Martinez
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ALL IN ANCHOR: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got these hats at conference today.
HAYES: MAGA hats on the hill on a Trump transition in turmoil.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANGER: We`re filled with questions in
the Trump transition, and that`s just very logical.
HAYES: Tonight, new questions about Rudy`s business ties, the quote,
“Stalinesque purge” of Chris Christie allies, why Ben Carson suddenly
bailed and the mounting conflicts for Trump`s children.
Plus, Rachel Maddow on the global implications of a President-elect not
having his act together. Senator Sherrod Brown on the democrats` first
real fight to remove Steve Bannon.
And the Facebook effect, Mark Zuckerberg denies fake news on Facebook
affected the election. Tonight, my interview with a former employee who
disagrees. When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. During the
presidential campaign, Paul Ryan described comments by Donald Trump as
racist and decried Trump`s Muslim ban as un-American. Today, House
Republicans unanimously nominated Ryan, the serve as speaker under the new
president, and Ryan made clear he has put his misgivings about Trump
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are on the same page of
our President-elect. I talk with Donald Trump virtually every single day.
I spoke with Mike Pence this morning. We are on the same page, we`re
working hand in glove and we`re going to make sure that this is a very
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Promising a new dawn, that wasn`t the only sign republicans were
falling in line. This was the scene before the House Republican meeting
where Ryan was nominated today. Those are “Make America Great Again” hats
on every chair. House Majority whip Steve Scalise, was so excited about
his new swag that he proudly waited around for the cameras. But while
House Republicans appear organized, unified, and energized to carry out the
agenda of the man who successfully executed a hostile takeover of their
party or perhaps their own agenda pre-existing him, there`s one big
problem, the man whose agenda they are going to be working hand in glove
with, a man with exactly zero experience in government, for first time in
the history of the republic appears, as of right now, to be botching the
job of building the team a president needs to actually run the country.
After he unceremoniously dumped Chris Christie as the head of his
transition team on Friday, Trump turned to Vice President-elect Mike Pence
to the job, but Pence, or someone on his team was required by law to sign a
document in order to work with the White House on the transition, and
nobody signed the document until late today. That`s four days of working
with the White House wasted and there are only 73 days between election
Inauguration Day, to set up the new government. A process that involves,
among many other tasks, the monumental job of vetting and hiring and
getting cleared 4,000 political appointees. And that`s far from the most
worrying news, Mike Rogers, a former Congressman who led the house
intelligence committee and was handling now for security matters for the
transition team, was removed today in what a source, quote, “to Rogers told
NBC News, was part of,” – and I`m quoting here, a “Stalinesque purge” of
people close to Chris Christie.
Another report says Rogers was ousted because in 2014, his committee
released a report on Benghazi that did not fit with the right-wing
narrative about the events on that night. The weekly standard reporting
that CIA officers objected to the report`s claim, that no CIA officer on
the ground in Benghazi was told to stand down from a rescue attempt, a
story that you encounter in conservative media quite often. In addition to
getting rid of Rogers, “The New York Times” reports that Trump had removed
a second senior defense in foreign policy official from his transition
team, Matthew Friedman. And then there`s former State Department Staffer
Eliot Cohen, who`d oppose Trump, but after his victory, encouraged
republicans to join the administration. Cohen says a Trump transition aid,
ask for recommendations for Trump`s National Team, but “The Times” report
that Mr. Cohen suggested the caveat that many foreign policy hands would
enlist only if there were credible people leading national security
agencies and departments. He said he received a vituperative e-mail in
response. That prompted Cohen to tweet, “After exchange with Trump
transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They`re angry,
arrogant, screaming “you LOST!” Will be ugly.”
Even before that tweet, there were reports the transition team was
struggling to find qualified people to take posts in the Trump
administration, and yet, another troubling sign the state and defense
department say, they have not yet even been contacted by the Trump
transition team. As for the Secretary of State job, the Trump camp has
suggested it is down to either Rudy Giuliani, whose astounding conflicts of
interest we will detail shortly, or John Bolton, whose extreme hawkishness
is so out of step, with much of the Trump campaign`s rhetoric that many
Washington are bewildered he`s even in the conversation. Another possible
appointee, Ben Carson had been floated as possible Secretary of Health and
Human Services. I mean, obviously, the man is a neurosurgeon, celebrated,
widely seen as one of the best in the business, and that job would likely
entail rolling back Obamacare, but Carson today took himself out of the
running his business manager, saying that despite seeking the presidency,
Carson does not believe he is qualified for the job. Doesn`t know how to
run a federal agency.
Trump this morning, received his first top secret president`s daily
briefing at Trump tower, NBC News has learned that in an unprecedented
move, Trump`s campaign has asked that Jared Kushner, Trump`s son-in-law,
also had top secret clearance, so he can join those briefings.
Joining me now, MSNBC Political Analyst Robert Costa and national political
reporter for “The Washington Post”, and Robert, your reporting all along
suggested that Kushner is possibly the most important person in Trump`s
circle. There, you can`t just give security clearance to anyone you want
because you like them. I mean, there is – there is a kind of need to know
basis here, right?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: There`s a power matrix that`s
developing around the President-elect, it includes Kushner, who is working
closely with Steve Bannon, the Chief Strategist. Kushner also gets along
with Reince Priebus, the incoming Chief of Staff. These are the people who
are in the President-elect`s ear, highly influential. Kushner was on the
plane with Trump throughout the campaign.
HAYES: Is Kushner going – is your reporting suggests that Kushner would
actually join the administration?
COSTA: Because of the laws around Bobby Kennedy, it`s unlikely that he may
get a formal role, but what we`re looking at, based on NBC`s reporting and
my own conversations with those close to the Trump transition, is that
Kushner could be part of the presidential daily briefings who could get a
security clearance but he may not yet have a title.
HAYES: So, this is the key point, there`s anti-nepotism laws that would
appear to ban family members from getting federal jobs, and that includes
in the White House where there`s a greater degree of latitude and less
civil service protection, but include the White House. What you`re saying
is – what could happen is, even though the law bars him from working
formally in the White House, he could still get security clearance and
essentially just be an unpaid adviser.
COSTA: Yes, there`s an important distinction here. Some of the Trump
children are looking to run the Trump organization to have some kind of
separation from the presidency, but Jerod Kushner, though he is in real
estate, has become a political adviser, a senior political adviser to the
President-elect. It`d be almost unfathomable to perceive how the
President-elect Trump would work without Kushner at his side based on how
it worked throughout the campaign.
HAYES: I just want to be clear about what kind of situation we look like
we may be getting into, and which the son-in-law of the President-elect
would be sitting in on the presidential daily briefing and then would also
be married to a woman who is part of running the President-elect`s business
COSTA: One important job will likely be White House counsel, to look at
all of these entanglements.
HAYES: Yes, what else did your reporting suggest about the level of
preparation? I know firsthand, I`ve worked – I`ve talked to people, I
know people that worked on presidential transitions that start even before
the election happens. Huge amounts of work. No one can possibly get their
hands around the scope of it, until they`re confronted with it. Are these
COSTA: There`s a sea change happening within the transition. There`s been
a coup of sorts. Christie had the transition – a lot of the Christie
people are being purged. They`re seen as just not the right fit. It`s the
Jeff Sessions people, from the Alabama Center orbit who really matter
working with Kushner and Bannon. It`s the hardline conservative populist
right that`s coming into this White House, though Mike Pence, the vice
President-elect, is the name at the top the transition right now. It`s
really Sessions, Kushner, Bannon, Trump himself, who are working together
to try to fill this White House.
HAYES: All right. Robert Costa, thanks for your time, I appreciate it.
COSTA: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now Charlie Pierce, writer-at-large for Esquire, and
April Ryan, Washington Bureau Chief from American Urban Radio Networks, the
author of the new book ” At Mama`s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and
White.” Charlie, you wrote about this today, so let me start with you on
this Sam Stein reporting that the – about the sort of freeze that set in
where Department of Energy, Department of Transition, Justice Department,
all still waiting to hear. Just – I mean, we`re not talking about
anything ideological here. We`re talking about the most basic nuts and
bolts, blocking and tackling, of the monumental organizational task that is
now being undertaken. And it does not appear to be even being done at this
CHARLIE PIERCE, WRITER-AT-LARGE FOR ESQUIRE: No, we have drifted into what
can be fairly called terra incoherent. I have no idea who`s running
things. Robert Costa just explained it probably as lucidly as anybody in
the business can, and I still don`t know what`s going on. I don`t know
who`s running things. You`ve got Mike Rogers and Eliot Cohen, running
around the National Security establishment, like Kevin McCarthy in
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” You`ve got Ben Carson, rumored for
everything and then taking himself out of the thing. You`ve got Rudy
Giuliani, who apparently has his pick of any federal office he wants and lo
and behold, today, we learn that there actually were people loyal to Chris
Christie, who aren`t testifying against him.
HAYES: April, you`ve covered the White House for some time.
APRIL RYAN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF FROM AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS:
HAYES: Can you try to – I mean, I think that it`s very hard to
communicate just how complex – what a buzz saw it is to walk into when you
are told you are now taking over the most powerful office in the world.
Here`s what you need to do.
RYAN: Well, bottom line, what he needs to do is quicken the pace, and it
looks like he`s going to walk into the Oval Office, and he may not have all
of his posts, all of those 4,000 posts filled. That`s not, you know,
anything surprising. Some – that has happened before in the past, you
know, it continues to build, the appointments happen, but his key people
need to be in place very soon. But what I will tell you is in going back
to the Jerod Kushner and the children issue, you know, he`s floating that
idea he really wants Donald – President-elect – we still have to get our
minds around that – President-elect Donald Trump, wants his children to
have a security clearance.
Now, if you think about giving a security clearance, you know, they would
have to be named advisers. And they can`t be just named advisers for
something like the ACA, or something else, they would have to be named
advisers to specific issues dealing with the security clearance. Let`s say
they wanted to deal with issues of Israel, they would have to be an adviser
for Israel to get a security clearance. So, they can`t just be willy-nilly
thing saying adviser getting that. So, that`s part of the piece – that`s
one piece to this complicated puzzle right now.
HAYES: You know, Charlie, one of the things that I think has gotten lost a
little bit in the last week, with everyone now singing off the same hymnal,
is that, you know, Eliot Cohen said something about the Trump people think
jobs are lollipops for good boys and good girls. And you know, the
Republican Party may all be saying on “The Hill” we love – “Make America
great again. We love Donald Trump. We`re all unified behind him.”
Something goes (INAUDIBLE) the Trump people have not forgotten who they
felt was insufficiently loyal to them, and there`s going to be – I mean,
if there`s one thing we know about Donald Trump, it`s how much he values
retribution, grievance and revenge.
PIERCE: Oh, I think – I think – I think he`s made his list and checked
it twice already. You know, what genuinely makes me uneasy with the way
things are going are not – is not really that he`s going to do everything
he said he was going to do, it`s that he has no idea of this job. Plus,
the people who have been up close and realized that he has no idea how to
do this job are leaking like sieves.
HAYES: I mean, let me just be clear here about no idea of this job,
because let`s assume that Donald Trump was the most brilliant, gifted
individual in human history. Let`s assume that you view him as that, if
you`re watching this and you`re one of those people, even if that were the
case, in the country`s history, no one has ever been elected with less
experience. The job itself is very hard. He has no experience.
PIERCE: No. And every president learns on the job because nobody`s really
HAYES: That`s right.
PIERCE: – for the kind of – for the kind of decisions that cross your
desk every day. No one`s prepared for that. No vice president who has
ascended to the presidency has ever truly been ready for that. Certainly,
no vice president who`s assumed the presidency in extremis, like Harry
Truman, has been ready for that. But this guy doesn`t seem to be ready for
a career in government.
PIERCE: Chris, and that`s a very good point. And just – was it
yesterday, President Obama said you`re continuing to learn. There`s always
a learning curve, but you`re continuing to learn. And I talked to someone
who is being vetted for a counselor`s position – a counselor`s position in
this new administration, and they said to me, you know, I`m thinking about
not taking it. I said, why? And they said because my issue is not the
position itself, but to be able to talk directly to the president,
(INAUDIBLE) who`s right now President-elect, to be able to talk to
President Trump. And then someone else said to me, he said, that may not
be a wise decision because he will need a White House whisperer to help him
understand the inner workings, and that within, is a big problem right
HAYES: You know, in a funny way, in this sort of perverse way, there`s
that, you know, people say they are going to bring change to Washington,
they are going to drain the swamp in this case, of course, there`s
lobbyists crawling all over this, Charlie, but institutional knowledge goes
a long way in Washington, D.C. I`ve seen it up close, I`ve seen how the
folks, who know how things work become very important very quickly.
PIERCE: Oh, no question, and the other – the obverse of that, which goes
back to my late mentor George Reid`s great book, “The Twilight of the
Presidency,” somebody in the White House has got to be there to tell the
president he`s wrong.
PIERCE: Right now, we don`t have anybody in this administration that I can
see, who can tell the president anything.
PIERCE: The President-elect, I mean.
HAYES: Must be – might be the most important role. Charlie Pierce and
April Ryan, thank you both. I appreciate it.
RYAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, stick around because Rachel Maddow is here to talk about
the global reverberation for President-elect, more potential conflicts of
interest and his phone call with Putin, and democrats call for Donald Trump
to rescind Steve Bannon`s White House appointment. Ohio Senator Sherrod
Brown is leading the charge, and he will join me live later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I do believe,
separate and apart from any particular election or movement, that we are
going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or
ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You can see Barack Obama, the President, thinking hard about what
he wanted to say right there, on the first day of his final trip to Europe,
as President Barack Obama warned against crude nationalism, but avoided
criticizing his successor. Instead, without mentioning his name, he sought
to reassure world leaders, in the wake of Donald Trump`s election,
promising the NATO alliance, for one, will remain vital, despite whatever
the now President-elect said on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The strong NATO relationship, between the United States and Greece,
is of the utmost importance. It is something that provides significant
continuity, even as we see a transition of governments in the United
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Despite the president`s assurances, the fact remains Donald Trump
is heading into the White House with a foreign policy that is based on his
rhetoric and very few proposals, pretty much anybody`s guess. Since the
election, here are a few things that have happened, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called, and spoke with President-elect Trump, on a range of
issues. That conversation reportedly happened before Trump or anyone from
his team spoke to the State Department or the Pentagon. And there`s
General Michael Flynn, whose name has been bandied about for National
Security Adviser, even Defense Secretary, though that might be difficult, a
report from the conservative website, “The Daily Caller”, claims General
Flynn was recently hired of lobby for a company with ties to the Turkish
government. And Rudy Giuliani, who is reportedly being considered for
Secretary of State, possibly even the front runner, allegedly took money
from Qatar, Venezuela and Iranian exiles, during his consultung work,
according to POLITICO which and I`m quoting here, “Would present conflicts
of interests, as the nation`s top diplomat that would make the Clinton
Foundation look trifling.” Joining me now, Rachel Maddow, Host of the
Rachel Maddow Show. It`s great to have you here.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST OF THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Putting the trifle back in
HAYES: Well, what`s amazing too, is how much particularly down the
stretch, they hit this line of, like selling out to foreign interests,
selling out to foreign interests, selling out to foreign interests, that`s
what the Clinton campaign is doing, and now we hear that it might be Rudy
Giuliani at state.
MADDOW: Or Michael Flynn, anywhere in the administration. I mean, there`s
the (INAUDIBLE) right, so Turkey have this coup, what appeared to be a
coup. It was a little bit weird because the President of Turkey called it
a gift from god when it happened. And then he announced that he was
building 174 new prisons to lock up tens of thousands of people.
Everything, from professors to baklava sellers to the military, everybody.
And then they decided afterwards, they were going to blame it on this
Turkish cleric who is a legal resident of the United States, telling the
United States, we must hand that guy over, because he`s the one who
orchestrated the entire coup with the help of the United States.
On Election Day, Michael Flynn wrote an op-ed in The Hill, saying “we ought
to hand that guy over. Screw our extradition processes, screw our
independent judicial review of this, and then, I guess, hand that guy
over.” It was like, “On Election Day?” You`re the top military
intelligence adviser to one of the candidates in this election and your
priority on this day is to do something that we really shouldn`t do that
Turkey wants from us. Now, we know based on this new reporting, that
Michael Flynn runs a consulting group, they have one foreign client
relatively recently hired who is Turkey.
He`s being paid by the government of Turkey. And at his first presidential
daily brief today, Donald Trump had that guy, whose firm is being paid by
Turkey, sit in on the presidential daily brief.
HAYES: And that is – that is – and that is – I mean, that gets to the -
- that gets to the sort of broader point, which is, you know, look, there`s
a lot of things about American foreign policy at any moment that are – I
disagree with, I don`t think are great. But when you`re talking about the
most powerful nation on earth, there`s a certain kind of like continuity,
stability that is just necessary, just a practical matter about how all
these different players are angling. No one knows what`s in the black box
right now. I mean, it could be Bolton who said we should bomb Iran or
won`t be Bolton. Flynn who apparently –
MADDOW: Who`s paid by?
HAYES: – paid by the Turkish government. And so, everybody right now,
like, what does it mean to have every other actor in the world looking at
this wondering what`s in the black box?
MADDOW: And to have the Russian government come out a day after the
election and say, by the way, we were in touch with the Trump campaign
throughout the election while at a time when the U.S. intelligence agencies
say Russia was actively trying to intervene in the election in ways to hurt
Hillary Clinton. So, I mean, what we`ve got here is not, you know,
appearances of conflict of interest. What we don`t have here is
allegations of shady ties. We have admitted, reported, undisputed really
inappropriate foreign ties at the highest level of the Trump campaign and
now the Trump transition. And the question is whether or not, I think
honestly, whether or not the political system outside the Trump campaign,
including the press, can recognize that as abnormal as it is.
MADDOW: It`s really abnormal. It`s really shocking. And there isn`t an
immediate legal correction for it, but it`s not something that has ever
happened before by a mile.
HAYES: And this extends across the spectrum, right? I mean, conflicts are
the sort of theme of theme of the week in the last week. I mean, Jared
Kushner, the son-in-law, may be getting security clearance to sit in the
presidential daily briefing.
MADDOW: The other person who Trump asked to be in tonight.
HAYES: Right. And then maybe – and then he and Ivanka go hangout and
they talk about like what Trump organizations (INAUDIBLE) all of this again
off the map, off the map, off the map. We`ve never been in this territory
before. And we`re a week in and we have never been in this territory
MADDOW: And, you know, one of the things that people who have been through
this, people take a very like, you know, 50,000-foot view of this, that
they say. And I`ve been thinking a lot about recently is that transitions
are very vulnerable time for us in terms of national security.
MADDOW: You really do. Apparently, the Trump campaign was surprised to
learn, but you really do lose the entire left-wing staff and bring in all
brand new people. There isn`t a carry-over staff that makes sure things go
well. It`s handing off the baton and one of the runners stops.
And so, to see Russia today massively stepped up its bombing campaign in
Aleppo. Whatever you think about Aleppo, whatever you think about the
Syrian Civil War and our involvement in it, like, that is something that
has been a real point of contention between the United States and the
Russian government around Syria. And today, they just put the pedal to the
metal thinking that boy, are we not something they have to worry about
anymore in terms of getting what they want in the world. And that is –
HAYES: That point about this sort of – I mean, I`ll tell personal
stories. My wife reported for the office the first day of the inauguration
2009 in Barack Obama`s White House. And literally, it was like, how do we
get the phones to work? People – really, it`s hard to get in your head,
this is – all of these are all just human beings starting a new job.
MADDOW: Right. And that was one of the most seamless transitions ever.
HAYES: And the job is running the country, and in terms of the
vulnerability, I mean, particularly (INAUDIBLE) like, this is where things
are very – you know, this is – this is where, particularly from the
standpoint of international actors or international actors who want to test
the United States or want to find out through incursions of whatever kind,
how the new president will respond, that is what`s –
MADDOW: Particularly when those interests are the kinds of people who have
much longer horizons than we have in our system. Like Putin has been in
office since – right? Putin has been in office –
HAYES: That right. That`s a great point.
MADDOW: – forever, right? And so –
HAYES: As is Erdogan, Recep. Yup.
MADDOW: As is Erdogan in turkey, as is the Chinese communist party in its
various iterations in China. And so you look at the – you look at
competing powers in the world, especially ones who see us as real rivals,
see us as in a zero sum fight with – see themselves as being in a zero sum
fight for us for resources, for influence, for spheres of influence with
other countries both economically and militarily.
And those countries that don`t turn over in a leadership role – don`t
turnover their leadership roles as rapidly as we do, they are perfectly
positioned and already acting to capitalize on what we`re having in this
strange moment of disorganization. And a shock electorally in the country,
but on the Trump side, real disorganization, what appears to be a total
lack of capacity to pick up and run with what the Obama administration is
trying to leave them.
HAYES: Quickly, then I`ll let you go do – prepare for the show that you
have to do. But interesting debate among Never-Trumpers in this sort of
circles about whether they should go in or not with the administration or
not. What do you think of that debate? What do you –
MADDOW: And people who had no position one way or the other in the
campaign. People who would be professionals, you know? People who would
be on the, you know, sort of, in a junior lawyer side of things. I think
it`s a very, very, very hard decision. I mean, I think that there is a
strong civic minded case to be made that you go – you go work for your
HAYES: Your country needs you literally. I mean, literally.
MADDOW: Your country needs you, and get good people in there. And there`s
this sort of like – the sort of character-driven part of it, which is, you
know what, if nothing else, if you got the
credentials, get in there so you`re in a position to resign and make a big
HAYES: Right. If and when something could happen, yeah.
MADDOW: If and when something happens. On the other hand, maybe they`ll
enable this stuff. It`s a – this is a – I don`t envy anybody who`s
making them – this decision. I think it`s a – I think it`s a hard call
either way. Civic-minded folks are going to have a hard time making this
HAYES: All right. Rachel Maddow, so great to have you here.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend. Thanks. Appreciate it.
HAYES: See you in a little bit.
HAYES: Just ahead democrats staged their first real fight in the era of
President-elect Trump, calling for the removal of Steve Bannon as Chief
White House Strategist. Senator Sherrod Brown is here to talk about it.
HAYES: The peculiar dynamic of a businessman with a brand name becoming
President of the United States is already becoming clear. The Monday after
the Sunday broadcast of 60 Minutes` Trump family interview, Ivanka Trump`s
fine jewelry company sent this style alert to journalists, pointing out the
bracelet she was wearing in the interview is available for purchase at the
retail price of $10,800. Following criticism, the company might be trying
to make money off of a future first daughter`s interview, Abigail Klem,
president of the company, said in a statement to NBC News, the style alert
distributed to fashion journalist after the “60 Minutes” interview was sent
by a well-intentioned marketing employee of one of our companies who was
following customer protocol, and who, like many of us, is still making
Yes, we`re all adjusting to the new reality because the spectrum of
conflicts created by this particular situation has never been encountered
in the nation`s history. Every day, there will be opportunities for the
Trump organization to profit from the fact that the person who`s name on
the business is also the leader of the free world. But such potential
conflicts of interest aren`t the Trump team`s only problem.
Today, The Daily Beast`s Betsy Woodruff reports a campaign watchdog group
has made a complaint to the Federal Election Commission claiming a Trump
super-PAC illegally paid a company of Steve Bannon so that the Trump
campaign itself could avoid paying Bannon a salary. We do not yet have an
official response on this matter from Trump folks. But we can expect that
the complaint filed with the FEC in October will be met with a legal
Ahead, the bigger problem the president-elect is facing with Steve Bannon
at his side.
HAYES: Today, Senate Democrats united in their first fight with President-
elect Donald Trump over his appointment of Steve Bannon as a senior
counselor and chief White House strategist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ED MARKEY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: President-elect Trump will forever
poison the well with congress and the American people by appointing figures
like Steve Bannon whose stock and trade is hate and violence.
SENATOR-ELECT CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: It`s easy to look at the TV
camera and tell people to stop the hate, but when you say that and look at
the TV camera and then in the next moment the action you take is to appoint
Steve Bannon, then you`re sending a very different and stronger message in
the opposite direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Democrats called on Trump to rescind the Bannon appointment as the
only way for Trump to make a clear break from the more – well, let`s say
divisive aspects of his campaign and showed he was serious about bringing
the nation together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: We have a responsibility to say it is not
normal for the KKK, Ku Klux Klan, to celebrate the election of a president.
If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is
rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon. As long as a champion of racial
division is a step away from the Oval Office, it will be impossible to take
Trump`s efforts to heal the nation seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For elected Republicans on Bannon, it was a different story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Look, I would just simply say that the president is going to be
judged on his results. This is a person who helped him win an incredible
victory, an incredible campaign. The president is going to be judged on
the results of this administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It may turn out to be the case there is no political traction for
Democrats in fighting Steve Bannon, but it is also true they see it as
absolutely crucial as both substantively and morally correct.
And our next guest has joined that fight. Senator Sherrod Brown saying
today, “President-elect Trump told us he wants to be a president for all
Americans. He cannot do that while empowering bigotry that targets and
threatens many of them. Steve Bannon must be removed from his position
Joining me now, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Senator, what do you say to people that say, look, Donald Trump won this
election and, you know, this is not a Senate-confirmed position. They get
to dance with the ones that brung them.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Well, of course he can appoint whomever he
wants to those kinds of positions, but that was either his first – I`m not
sure – his first or second appointment he`s made of any consequence. And
he has said earlier, he looked in the camera during “60 Minutes”
and said stop, stop the hate, stop however he said that, and then he
appoints a guy to a number one or number two position. He`s kind of a Karl
Rove whispering in the ear of the most powerful person on Earth. And he`s
clearly a racist, he`s clearly a misogynist, he`s anti-Semitic. And it`s a
moral question to me.
I don`t know if this is good politics or bad politics to criticize him, but
you`ve got to call out, just like people in communities when people say
racist things and feel it`s OK now to be a sexist or a racist
or a misogynist or a bigot, individuals have to call them out, I have to
call them out when I see it. You have to call out this president when he
engages, when he hires somebody that makes people even more uncomfortable.
I mean, it`s not a difference in policy. People in this country, the fear
levels are higher than I can ever remember. I mean, I remember Reagan`s
election, I was pretty devastated.
But you didn`t have the fear like this that so many people of color and so
many disabled people and gay people and people who aren`t Christians have.
And this is just making it worse. And Trump needs to try to heal. And you
don`t do things like this to heal.
Yeah, I mean, it strikes me, right, from the Trump perspective, from the
political calculation here is that whatever – and my understanding is your
case against Bannon here is the kinds of things Breitbart has run, the fly
the Confederate flag proudly just a few weeks after the massacre in
Charleston, the really nasty things that have been written about women and
calling Gabby Giffords the
human shield for the gun control movement, things like that.
You know, the Trump campaign, though, Donald Trump said a lot of terrible
things and he got
elected president. I mean, it does seem like they`re taking the lesson of
this election to heart in that respect.
BROWN: Well, there`s a great difference of running for president and being
president. I think that deer in the headlights look in President-elect`s
Trump face when he was going in and out of a meeting with our president
said that, that he does see it`s different now, but he doesn`t seem to
think it`s different enough.
And I`m incredulous that he would bring a guy like that. I mean, the
president`s job is to bring
people together, to heal people. I mean, I know my job after an election
is, you know, I listened to Republicans, I work with Republicans, I find
ways. But you don`t do this kind of thing…
HAYES: Senator, but look, I hear you where you`re coming from
substantively, but it just seems to me like this is them sending a signal
about how they feel they got there, what they won on and also communicating
to everyone on Capitol Hill, yourself, colleagues on both sides of the
aisle, this is who we are and this is who we will be as an administration.
BROWN: Well, I mean, that`s why we fight back. And I mean, on election
night David Duke,
the imperial wizard of the KKK said this is one of the best nights of my
life. And when you have people saying that about you, you have to do
something to heal the country. I mean, that`s why we fight back.
I asked people to come to SherrodBrown.com, sign our petition to fire
Bannon. It`s essential that we build a grassroots movement and we say to
Trump to the president-elect, stop, you can`t go over this line again.
You`ve got to work to heal and not to continue to fan the flames of racist
and xenophobic and anti-Semitic talk, period.
HAYES: The raw numbers of the vote total in Ohio would indicate that there
are tens of
thousands, probably more than that, actually, probably north of hundreds of
thousands of Sherrod Brown Donald Trump voters in the state of Ohio. What
is your message to them as their senator, them as constituents of yours in
this next period?
BROWN: Well, my message – I was in Trumbell County(ph), which was a 65
and 73 percent county for me, I believe, in the two times I ran and Trump
won that county. It`s about 85 percent white working class, a lot of union
members, a lot of non-union working workers. They know I`m on their side
on the auto rescue. They know I`m on their side on trade.
I believe they`re offended by hiring Steve Bannon, too, that`s why I say
come to SherrodBrown.com and sign this petition, because they have a
decency to them. They just thought Hillary wasn`t going to stand up for
them. They know I will. I`ll win there in two years. They thought Trump
But they want to see us work together. They don`t want to see – but I`ll
work with Trump on getting out of TPP. I`ve already told his – the head
of his transition on trade, count on me on renegotiating NAFTA and count on
me on TPP – pulling out of TPP and trade enforcement, but don`t count on
me when you engage in racist and bigoted kind of behavior, don`t count on
me wth tax cuts for the rich and going after Social Security and Medicare.
And if he throws in with the Republican establishment, those voters in
Trumpbull County, they`re no longer Donald Trump voters within days. Count
HAYES: That is the open question of the political terrain in which we`ve
now driven into, Senator Sherrod Brown, it`s always a pleasure. Thank you,
BROWN: Good to be with you, Chris. Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, did fake news on Facebook have anything to do with
Donald Trump`s improbable election? Mark Zuckerberg says absolutely not.
I`ll talk to one of his former Facebook employees who disagrees.
But, first, Hillary Clinton`s popular vote lead reaches seven figures. It
is getting under the president-elect`s skin. Thing One, Thing Two starts
right after this break.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, President-elect Trump is now losing the popular
vote by over
a million votes. According to the Cook Political report, Hillary Clinton`s
popular vote lead stands at 1,001,616 votes and millions of ballots are
still being counted. By some estimates, Clinton`s lead could grow to more
than 2 million. That`s far greater than Nixon`s lead in 1968, greater than
JFK`s narrow lead when he won in 1960. So no wonder someone is feeling a
little insecure about the popular vote margins. President-elect Trump
tweeting out this morning, if the election were based on total popular vote
I would have campaigned in New York, Florida and California and won even
bigger and more easily.”
Adding, the electoral college is actually genius in that it brings all
states, including the smaller one, into play. Campaigning is much
It`s not a terrible point. It`s true. And things probably would be
differently if it was run differently.
The president-elect didn`t always feel this way, though. How he used to
feel about the electoral college versus popular vote is Thing Two in 60
HAYES: To quote an epic election night tweet storm, “he lost the popular
vote by a lot and won the election. The phony electoral college made a
laughing stock out of our nation. The loser won. Our country is now in
serious and unprecedented trouble like never before. The electoral college
is a disaster for out democracy.”
Those are all quotes from one Donald J. Trump, some of which have since
been deleted but all of which appeared on his Twitter feed late on election
night 2012 after the network called the election for Barack Obama even
though Mitt Romney was still leading by a couple hundred thousand votes in
the popular vote totals with about two-thirds of the votes counted.
He went on to lose the popular vote by nearly 5 million votes, but while
Romney was still slightly ahead, Donald Trump declared the electoral
college a disaster for democracy.
Four years later after he himself won the electoral college he called it
genius, though given that Trump also maintains he would have won even
bigger and more easily without an electoral college if the election was
decided on the popular vote alone and he`d campaigned to win that instead.
Given that sentiment, surely President-elect Trump will throw his
wholehearted support behind
Senator Barbara Boxer`s new bill to abolish the electoral college in favor
of the popular vote.
HAYES: Did you hear Denzel Washington endorse Donald Trump? The shocking
news Monday, especially for Denzel Washington, that`s because the fake news
story was shared over 22,000 times on Facebook by a slew of fraudulent
websites posing as news organization. The publicist for Denzel Washington
confirmed to BBC today the story is 100% complete fabrication.
When we talk about fake news, we`re not talking about fringe websites
pushing an agenda or distorting information, we`re talking about actual
fake websites made to look and sound like news outlets posting completely
Take for instance this story that made it way around Facebook just days
before the election. FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead
in apparent murder-suicide.
It was posted on a fake site called The Denver Guardian, which has also
posted fake stories claiming President Obama issued Clinton a blanket
pardon. All of that is not true.
Or that Islam studies was added to the Common Core curriculum, also not
If you go to the website, every other link takes you to an error page. And
it claims to be headquartered by this tree in Denver in a parking lot to
the right of an abandoned building.
Now Facebook and other media companies are facing questions about their
role in spreading this kind of disinformation. After the break, I`ll be
joined by a former Facebook employee who says the problem maybe bigger than
Mark Zuckerberg wants to admit. That`s next.
HAYES: All right, we`ve got some strange breaking news at this hour. The
president-elect of the United States Donald Trump going to eat a steak here
in Manhattan. You can see him entering the
The reason this is news – it`s not news that he went to do it – the news
is that he broke the so-called protective pool. There`s a pool in place
for the president of the United States and also the president-elect. And
the norm and institution of it is that they cover the doings of the most
powerful person in the world – in this case the second most powerful
person in the world or about to be. So, that if a crisis were to happen at
any point there is a certain transparency and accessibility.
We know that when the president-elect first made his trip to the White
House, he broke that tradition with the protective pool. And here he is
breaking the tradition again, essentially escaping the protective pool,
going into the motorcade to go get a steak.
At one level you can understand why you want to get a steak without the
press around. But the protective pool is there for a reason. It`s a means
by which the American public and the media have their eyes essentially on
the leader of the free world at all times more or less when he could be
doing anything in his official business.
It seems like they`re making an early departure from that tradition and
maybe the first of many.
Now, since the election, Facebook, the largest social media network in the
world, has been criticized for allowing an influx of fake political news –
made up stories such as the Pope endorsing Donald Trump, which shared
hundreds of thousands of time, despite being entirely false.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was a pretty crazy idea
that Facebook fake news helped Donald Trump win. That`s provoked some
backlash, including as reported by BuzzFeed from renegade Facebook
employees who formed a task force to battle fake news. One saying, and
honestly, what`s crazy is for Zuckerberg to come out and dismiss it like
that when he knows and those of us at the company know that fake news ran
wild on our platform during the entire campaign season.
Yesterday, Facebook clarified a policy that fake news sites aren`t allowed
on its advertising network saying our team will continue to closely vet all
prospective publishers and monitor existing ones to ensure compliance.
What`s unclear is whether that`s enough to curtail the spread of fake news
or if Facebook believes they should even have a role monitoring this type
Zuckerberg wrote in a post over the weekend, I believe we must be extremely
cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.
Joining me now, former Facebook employee Antonio Garcia Martinez, he was
Facebook`s first product manager for ad targeting, worked at the company
during the 2012 election, also author of the book “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene
Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.”
All right, you guys saw this developing. What did it look from the inside?
What were the concerns as you watched this new kind of genre of viral
totally fabricated stories go wild through the
ANTONIO GARCIA MARTINEZ, FRM. FACEBOOK EMPLOYEE: Well, you know, in 2012,
the fake news thing wasn`t as big a factor.
But the reality that Facebook could actually throw an election has been
well known for years. I mean, we used to joke internally – and of course
it was only a joke, but if Facebook, for example, only showed those little
reminders to vote that you see inside Facebook, if it only showed it to a
certain subset of counties and certain swing states, it could totally throw
the election, right?
So, this is a well known thing that Facebook has known about and been aware
of for years now. And so it`s a little bit weird that Zuck is acting
surprised in 2016 that it could possibly have influenced the election.
HAYES: I mean, if 44 percent of results get their news from Facebook, I
cannot tell you how many stories I`ve heard – people I`ve interviewed,
people I`ve talked, people – other journalists have talked to talk about
the centrality of this platform. It`s the biggest most important media
platform in the world right now and it`s exercising essentially zero
standards over its content.
MARTINEZ: Yeah, I mean, look, here`s the real hypocrisy of it. Facebook
has hundreds of sales people with a huge office in Washington, D.C. and
they are literally going to tell political advertisers, look, Facebook is
the most influential platform in the world. We will win you an election
and then Zuck turns around and says, no, no, no, no there`s no possibly way
that Facebook can influence the election.
I mean, it`s really disingenuous of him to sort of claim this. And I think
on the face of it really false.
HAYES: Is there something they can do. I mean, I understand his desire to
not create essentially create an editorial infrastructure, although I think
ultimately if you want my prediction, they will get sucked into doing just
that because of this issue. But he doesn`t want to do that.
But it does seem like there`s low hanging fruit here. There is a genre,
it`s essentially a kind of spam or a Nigerian email scam, it`s one of those
things that gets thrown off in the maelstrom of the internet where people
exploit a vulnerability. It does seem Facebook has got the engineers and
the smarts to stamp this out.
MARTINEZ: Yeah, I mean, look the immediate reaction after Zuck says hey
only 1 percent of content is fake. The next question is, well, why didn`t
you just delete it? If you can actually hone in on the 1 percent, why
HAYES: If you know what it is.
MARTINEZ: Why didn`t you just get rid of it?
I mean here`s the bigger story about media, right. For years, companies
like Google and Facebook have hidden behind the excuse that, look, we just
use math. We don`t have the position of an editorship function, right. We
don`t decide what we show you, it`s just math. We optimize for engagement.
We show you stuff that we know you are going to – comment and like on and
that`s it. And I think when the stakes become American democracy, that
excuse just isn`t good enough. And as you just said, I think in the future
they will have to assume those responsibilities of editorship because they
are kind of a media company, they`re not just a tech company.
HAYES: Yeah, we should note that SnapChat has done that, right. I mean,
SnapChat is a platform, too, but they`ve actually hired some editorial side
employees largely I think because of dealing with this issue.
MARTINEZ: Right. I think the problem there is that culture of
responsibility of engagement with your readership is really foreign to the
culture engineering first culture of Facebook, and there`s – I think
they`re kind of allergic to becoming sort of The New York Times for the
HAYES: It`s terrifying to them, but it turns out when you build a platform
with a billion people on it, you get some responsibility. Antonio Garcia
Martinez, thank you for your time.
HAYES: All right, that is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW” starts right now. Good evening again, Rachel.
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