All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/26/2017

Cory Booker, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matt Mackowiak, Patrick Svitek, Jamie Raskin, Anna Galland

Show: All in with Chris Hayes
Date: January 26, 2017
Guests: Cory Booker; Katrina vanden Heuvel; Matt Mackowiak, Patrick Svitek,
Jamie Raskin, Anna Galland 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARBALL HOST: – Chico Marx in duck soup. Who you
going to believe, me or your own eyes? Well, that`s HARDBALL for now.
Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes start right now.


registered in two states.

HAYES: A voter fraud investigation -

TRUMP: None of them come to me.

HAYES: That began as a game of telephone with a professional golfer.

TRUMP: Then why did he write the report?

HAYES: Tonight, why the President just abruptly canceled the kickoff of
his voter fraud probe. And what we`ve learned from his first big

TRUMP: This goes all the way down here. All the way down.

HAYES: Plus, today`s diplomatic meltdown with Mexico.

TRUMP: The American people will not pay for the wall.

HAYES: And a political firestorm after the White House floats a 20 percent
tax hike to pay for the wall. Then the resistance takes aim at executive
orders. And new alarms from the military about the Commander in Chief`s
explicit endorsement of torture.
TRUMP: Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. During his first week in
office in speeches, tweets, and now his first interview, President Trump
has shown himself to be a man consumed by questions about his own
popularity and legitimacy operating in a world governed not by facts and
information but by rumors, falsehoods and whatever helps to bolster his
vulnerable self-image. As a case in point, the Washington Post just broke
the story that in a Saturday phone call, this is the first morning that the
president was President of the United States, Trump personally ordered
acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds to produce
additional photographs of the previous day`s crowds on the National Mall.
That`s according to three individuals with knowledge of the conversation.
The President believed the photos might prove the media had lied in
reporting that attendance had been no better than average. Today, Trump
took his first trip as President, flying to Philadelphia in Air Force One
to address a republican congressional retreat. He began by revisiting his
election victory.


TRUMP: Nice to win. Do we agree? It`s been a while.

The state of Pennsylvania is very special to me for lots of reasons,
especially from a couple of months ago, remember? Pennsylvania cannot be
won, remember? Pennsylvania cannot be won, right, congressman? There is
no path to victory for Trump in Pennsylvania. Except we won.


HAYES: While the President was inside speaking, hundreds of people took to
the streets outside to protest the new administration and republican
efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. President Trump remains at this
moment historically unpopular. His approval rating now somewhere between
46 percent according to the Gallup poll and 36 percent according to
Quinnipiac. Numbers like those seem to haunt him, frankly, as does the
size of his inauguration crowd and his loss in the popular vote by a margin
of three million. Those fixations were on display in Trump`s first big TV
interview as President which aired last night. He was asked why he chose
to make his first full day in office all about his inauguration turnout.


DAVID MUIR, ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT ANCHOR: Does that send a message to the
American people that that`s more important than some of the very pressing

TRUMP: Part of my whole victory was that the men and women of this country
who have been forgotten will never be forgotten again. Part of that is
when they try and demean me unfairly because we had a massive crowd of
people. That was some crowd. When I looked at the numbers that happened
to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in
history of inaugural speeches.


HAYES: The biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. That is
false. Trump was pressed about his speech Saturday at the CIA delivered in
front of a wall commemorating fallen officers where he drew criticism for
continuing to harp on crowd size.


TRUMP: That speech was a home run. That speech if you look at Fox, OK?
I`ll mention and you`ll know. Read - see what Fox said. They said it was
one of the great speeches, they showed the people applauding and screaming.
I got a standing ovation.

MUIR: You would give the same speech if you went back in front of that

TRUMP: Absolutely. People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a
standing ovation for a long period of time.


HAYES: The interview was edited down, but ABC released a full transcript.
The rest of Trump`s response there is worth reading out loud. “I got a
standing ovation, in fact they said it was the biggest standing ovation
since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I
got a standing ovation, it lasted for a long period of time. What you do
is take out your tape, you probably ran it live, I know when I do good
speeches, I know when I do bad speeches, that speech was a total home run,
they loved it.” In regards to the Peyton Manning reference, I have no idea
what the President is talking about but the President of the United States
has not just been making stuff up about his adoring crowds, he spent his
first days in office repeating dangerous lies about voter fraud, which he
blames for his popular vote loss. Earlier this week, President tweeted
that he plans to launch an investigation into supposed voter fraud. In the
ABC interview, he was asked why he continues to raise the issue even though
there`s no evidence widespread voter fraud actually exists.


TRUMP: Millions of people agree with me when I say that. If you would
have looked on one of the other networks and all of the people that were
calling in, they`re saying we agree with Mr. Trump, we agree. They`re very
smart people.

MUIR: Let me just ask you. You did win, you`re the President.

TRUMP: That`s true.

MUIR: You`re sitting across from me right now.

TRUMP: That`s true.

MUIR: Do you think that your words matter more now?

TRUMP: Yes. Very much.

MUIR: Do you think that talking about millions of illegal votes is
dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?

TRUMP: No, not at all. Not at all because many people feel the same way
that I do. And -

MUIR: You don`t think it undermines your credibility? Because -

TRUMP: No, not at all because they would - they didn`t come to me, believe
me. Those were Hillary votes.


HAYES: The President was supposed to sign some kind of executive order,
launching his voter fraud investigation at the White House today. That
signing was abruptly delayed without an explanation late this afternoon.
As for where, the President of the United States got the investigation he`s
using to start a White House investigation, we got a sense from the New
York Times which reported that when he met with congressional leaders early
this week, according to witnesses, Trump said he was told a story by the
very famous golfer Bernhard Langer who he described as a friend. According
to the President, Langer, a German national, was standing in a line at a
polling place near his home in Florida on election day when an official
informed him he would not be able to vote. Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer
were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr.
Trump said, according to congressional staff members, but they were
nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots.

Witnesses said the President threw out the names of Latin American
countries that the votes – voters might have come from. Now, no longer
quoting here, obviously there are plenty, tens of thousands, millions of
American citizens and registered voters from Latin American countries, even
if the President thinks they are inherently suspicious. In a statement
today, Langer himself had to clarify things, saying quote, “The voting
situation reported was not conveyed from me to President Trump but rather
was told to me by a friend. I then relayed the story in conversation with
another friend who shared it with a person with ties to the White House.”
In other words, a game of telephone. A game of telephone that is driving
decisions by the most powerful man in the world. Decisions that are at
this moment, poised to actively undermine the basic confidence in the most
fundamental part of our American democratic institutions. Joining me now,
Senator Cory Booker, democrat from New Jersey. Are you confident, Senator,
that the President is making his decisions based on sound information.

motivating him, but I know that there are - many things troubling. Number
one, we have the President of the United States that - only seven days in
office has proved himself to be a repeated liar and propagandist about
facts. Number two, he`s dangerously attacking some of the fundamental
institutions that make us a great democracy. And number three, we`re
having a conversation about crowd size when really some of the most
powerful people on the planet earth, Secretary of State, Attorney General,
Head of the EPA are being pushed through a process that they`re going to
send to seats where they`re going to have a chance to affect policy in very
dramatic ways, in my opinion, very dangerous ways.

And so this is this has probably been a seven-day stretch where all
Americans should be outraged by a propagandist and someone who is
repeatedly lying as opposed to talking about the issues that are really
going to affect every day Americans. Like the efforts to repeal the
Affordable Care Act and not replace it with something, which will
destabilize, according to the congressional budget office, millions of
Americans` health insurance. All the way to the fact that we have real
issues with voting in America, not these manufactured made up ones but the
ones that independent civil rights organizations, federal judges are saying
is going on which is not in-person voter fraud which is more likely to be -
you`re more likely to be struck by lightning than to experience that.

But by voter suppression, laws being pushed in America right now that as
federal judges have said, or at least in North Carolina case, are narrowly
tailored to affect specific populations. So I am outraged. And America, I
don`t care if you`re on the right or left, to have a President lie to you
repeatedly, distract you from the real issues of health care, of jobs, of
our fundamental freedoms is unacceptable and demands that we as a people

HAYES: To that end on the voting standpoint, I mean, the President - there
might be an executive order, he said he`s going to order an investigation.
Presumably that would be done by the Department of Justice. Your
colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions, who you testified against in an
unprecedented step. Do you believe that he is going to get democratic
votes, Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States. Do you
believe - you obviously believe he should not be confirmed?

BOOKER: So I don`t know about the heart and votes of my colleagues but I
know that there is a massive movement amongst democrats and others who
believe that the Justice Department should be investigating voter
suppression. Who believe that the Justice Department should be protecting
women, LGBT rights, should be fighting to make sure that there`s greater
accountability and policing in this country. All the things that Jeff
Sessions has spoken against, whether it`s laws, regulations or activities
at the Justice Department, there`ll be many of us that would be trying to
stop him from ascending to that seat.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. You`ve had strong words about - right now,
we`ve seen a barrage of executive orders. Some of which have been signed
by the President. We know what the texts are. Others are circulating as
drafts, they`ve been leaked. I know you`ve had some strong words about one
that`s circulating as a draft that we don`t know precisely what state it`s
in about refugees.

I was struck by the fact that White House canceled or postponed an
executive order today. Do you think there is political pressure
effectively being brought to bear on this White house even this early on
something like the final text of these executive orders?

BOOKER: So I don`t know. This White House has been doing things against
what it even said it would do, Trump said he would do during campaign.
He`s going after - to go after literally cost people on their mortgage
reduction - a principle reduction like they had, to sign an executive order
that`s going to cost the average American hundreds of more dollars. Those
things, I can`t explain it. There`s no understanding what`s going on from
the White house right now, and I think a lot of folks are confused and
frankly, I think a lot of us should continue to be outraged and be

But let`s put it this way. The drafts I`ve seen of his executive orders
affecting people based solely on either religion or country of origin
violate our fundamental principles as a nation. This idea that America
whose Statue of Liberty literally is called the mother of exiles, this
nation that has made a name for itself to helping persecuted people, the
fact that Donald Trump would do something in violation of these core
fundamental values in the name of fear, I believe that a nation as strong
as us, when we`re being attacked, we shouldn`t abandon our values, we
should be doubling down on them. These are the kinds of things that I
intend to mounting a serious challenge and fight to. And I hope he hears
these things from all of us before he signs his name to such anti-American
executive orders. I hope he`s feeling the pressure, but at this point,
given who he`s putting up as cabinet secretaries, what`s coming out of his
mouth as well as the executive orders he`s signing, I don`t have confidence
that this relentless assault on our values, on the truth, this relentless
propaganda, I do not see it abating at all.

HAYES: All right. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Thanks for your
time. I appreciate it.

BOOKER: Thank you.

HAYES: I`m joined now by Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of
The Nation and republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. Matt, the President
of the United States spent the first morning as president calling up the
acting Director of Park Service demanding he produce more photos that would
show that there`s a bigger crowd. Between that and the - and the - and the
interview last night, do you look at that as a republican and say, yes,
this guy - this is good. This is a man with the proper temperament for the
job and I`m happy he`s there?

MATT MACKOWIAK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, you know, I`d focus more on
the actions he`s taken that are directly affecting people. I wish he would
had - you know, decided to be a little bit more disciplined. I think he`s
- look, part of this is that he`s learning how to do this job, he`s an
outsider. He had never - I think even been in the Oval Office until he was
there after he won the election. So, look, there`s a lot that he`s
learning very quickly. He only has four cabinet secretaries in place.
Obama had seven the first night, you know, he - when he became President.
They get 11 or 12 by now.

So part of the reason why I think Senator Booker is frustrated to some of
these executive orders may not be making sense is that they`re not really
working with cabinet secretaries on some of these things. But look, I
think we got to put the crowd size debate behind us. I don`t see why that
matters to regular people. But this executive orders that you know –

HAYES: Matt, I couldn`t agree more. I don`t care and literally I don`t
think – I`m trying to think -no it`s true. There`s nothing I care less
about them, the crowd size at the inauguration. I just checked in with
myself. And that`s definitely the case. What I care about is what the
present priorities are, how the President parses information particularly,
because information is very key. And I want to talk about these executive
orders in a second. Katrina, your reaction to this?

that Trump and White House advisers like Steve Bannon, I think, have
decided that this administration is going to be run as a permanent campaign
and that means constant distraction, constant chaos, constant diversion
from the real issues. It means trying to delegitimize the institutions
that can hold his administration accountable like Steve Bannon today saying
the media is the opposition. I think this is a radically different kind of
Presidency. I think the media needs a radical rethink. I would simply
say, I know it`s tough, but let`s not cover Donald Trump`s temperament and
character as much as the gap between what he has promised those forgotten
men and women and what he`s actually producing and the danger, the
collateral - not the collateral, the direct hit and damage his policies
will cause to this country, seem to me, a focus for the media. Not the
hyper coverage of his tweets which tend to drive the news coverage.

HAYES: So – right. No, I agree. So –

VANDEN HEUVEL: It`s a very tricky - but the media has to be fearless and
fair, and I think it`s important to demonize – if we`re going to demonize,
it`s to - not demonize, but to cover those policies and what they mean for
people in Kentucky and Detroit.

HAYES: Right. Now, you just said something, though, that`s important.
You said the sort of gap between his promise, right? So there`s two
narratives immerging, right? Trump said he would, you know, drain the
swamp, and his filled it with swamp creatures.

VANDEN HEUVEL: With bottom creatures.

HAYES: You know, he said he was going to help working people and he`s
helping billionaires et cetera. Matt, you just wrote a column saying the
opposite. Basically that he`s keeping all his promises, and I think in
certain ways, at least the initial executive orders, they essentially all
line up with things you could see coming on the campaign trail.

MACKOWIAK: Yes, I think so. I mean, I`d love to hear more from folks
about what they think he`s doing that`s so different from what he promised
to do as a candidate. If you look at these major executive orders, these
are all things he`s talked about for over a year. So you know, I think,
you can - you can like or dislike the executive orders, but ultimately he`s
doing what he said he would do, and I think that`s why his voters are very
pleased with what he`s doing and in fact republicans on the Hill right now,
are not that surprised by what he`s doing.

HAYES: Oh, no. They love it.

MACKOWIAK: Obviously there`s a comment

HAYES: No, of course, they love it.

VANDEN HEUVEL: They love it. And Matt, I`ve been -

HAYES: There`s nothing - aside - sorry, let me just say this, aside from
transpacific partnership, there`s nothing he`s signed that I think is out
of the norm for GOP.

VANDEN HEUVEL: What I mean about failing to fulfill his promises is he`s
put together a cabinet of billionaires, of ideologues, these are not you
know, they`re even reactionary populists. So you`re going to have three
branches of government. Put aside the Supreme Court. You`re going to have
a congress which is essentially run by the heritage foundation in many
ways. You have a White House which is run by economic and cultural
nationalists and you have a cabinet which is you know, run by Goldman Sachs
and you know, it`s like a Davos. It`s got economic - it`s like a Goldman
Sachs executive retreat. And so, where that comes out - it`s you know -
and let`s be honest, with all the talk of forgotten men and women – and
all power to that, because I believe in an inclusive populism of
solidarity. What we`re witnessing is our policies, Matt, that are going
to, you know, roll back the human civilizing reforms of this country.

HAYES: Well, this is a question, right, about, like say, for the
Affordable Care Act, of course, right? So one thing that they did
unilaterally today, they withdrew from the final ads for enrollment, even
though that money has been spent and cannot be (INAUDIBLE). By the way,
that`s images you`re seeing of Philadelphia where there`s some live
protests, as of this moment. That`s the site of the GOP retreat. Matt,
let me ask you this. Is there - are you uncomfortable with the President
wielding the pen in this way? I remember if I`m not mistaken an enormous
amount of ink being spilled and cable news minutes being spent on President
Obama essentially being a tyrant for using executive orders. What I have
seen from liberals in their resistance in these executive orders is on the
substance as opposed to formal. Are republicans fine with all this now?

MACKOWIAK: That`s a great point. It`s a great question. Look, I think
President Obama was really aggressive using executive orders, particularly
as it pertained to things that really mattered, that were effectively laws.
And I saw there was a study today that released that showed he was
overturned by the Supreme Court more than any modern President. So I think
when Trump begins to pull back on many of President Obama`s executive
orders that to me, I think is definitely fair game, but all Presidents use
executive orders. Trump is doing what he can do now. He`s going to be
moving a legislative agenda forward in the first 100 days. We`ll see what

VANDEN HEUVEL: But, you know, voting rights shouldn`t be a matter of left
and right. It`s about right and wrong, and I think we`re going to see a
rollback of participatory democracy and just to note, Chris, you mentioned
some of these are just drafts, these executive orders, and they`re getting
driven back. Resistance matters. We saw last Saturday. Resistance
matters and take it from marches and protest to action. That is our
mandate and mission.

HAYES: Well, the other thing we`ll be talking about later in the show.
The President - you know, one of the things the President did on the first
day? He closed Guantanamo with the strike of a pen.

MACKOWIAK: Right, right.

HAYES: So we`ll see if the wall meets the same fate. Katrina vanden
Heuvel and Matt Mackowiak, thanks for your time.


HAYES: Ahead, the diplomatic and then political meltdown after the White
house floated raising taxes to pay for the President`s wall in the Mexican
border. They actually did that today. Plus, as protests mount in the
streets like tonight in Philadelphia and Tempe, Arizona, democrats are
plotting to attack those executive orders in court. And up next, the vast
implications of President Trump`s endorsement of torture as American policy
after this two-minute break.


TRUMP: I`m going with General Mattis. I`m going with my secretary because
I think Pompeo is going to be phenomenal. I`m going to go with what they
say. But I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the
highest level of intelligence and I asked them the question. Does it work.
Does torture work? And the answer was yes. Absolutely. I want to do
everything within the bounds of what you`re allowed to do legally but do I
feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works.

HAYES: The President of the United States last night explicitly endorsed
the idea the U.S. might bring back torture. While claiming that he would
stay within the bounds of what you`re allowed to do legally, Trump
repeatedly praised torture. Now, to be clear, even when the Bush
administration called torture enhanced interrogation techniques, it was
still torture. Trump, however, didn`t bother renaming it. He called it
torture. He used the word torture either unaware or unconcerned torture is
by definition a war crime as well as a federal crime. And Trump made those
statements on a day when both the New York Times and Washington Post
published what appeared to be draft of an executive order entitled
“Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants”.

It would lift a ban on CIA black site prisons which are detained and
tortured carriers suspects during the Bush administration in which
President Obama had ended. Now, while Press Secretary Sean Spicer first
claimed the draft was not a White house document, today he tacitly
acknowledged the document could have been circulate by White house staff.
Torture is not the only thing the President appears to be advocating that
would violate the Geneva Convention while increased the tangible danger
that our service members face, and we`ll talk about that as well with MSNBC
National Security analyst Jeremy Bash who served as Chief of Staff at both
the CIA and the Defense Department. And Jeremy, first this. The President
talking about senior intelligence officials in the last 24 hours who told
him torture works. I have the concern, should be really concern that
there`s still this day a pro-torture caucus that exist within the National
Security state and particularly the CIA which carried out the torture in
the first place.

Chris, I don`t think that the case it - and I don`t know which intelligence
professionals he`s spoken to and I think the reality is that the leadership
of the intelligence community, there`s consensus, there`s unanimity which
is we don`t need to go back to the tactics that were ended in the mid-
2000s. We`ve been able to keep our country very safe, safe from
international terrorism over the last decade without them. And it`s
totally unnecessary and to order our intelligence professionals to go out
and violate the law, to subject themselves to criminal prosecution and do
things that would actually assist the enemy in its recruitment efforts
would not only endanger our people but it would endanger our national

HAYES: I want to follow up on that on criminal prosecution. There is a
case some make that the lack of criminal prosecution for what were clearly
criminal acts in some sense, even if they were sort of defined by the OLC
at the time as not criminal acts that that lack of prosecution has meant
the possibility of going back to the bad old days still remains in place.
Do you agree with that?

BASH: No, I don`t. And Chris, you and I may disagree here. I think the
individuals who did things that the Justice Department told them were
approved and lawful should never be prosecuted for that. That would
basically be totally unfair to our National Security professionals.

HAYES: But, why can`t -

BASH: However, it`s important to note that since that happened the law has
changed. Congress overwhelmingly voted to state that those interrogation
techniques may never be used and Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan
validated they want to keep that law there place.

HAYES: Ii want to play for you another - something else I found troubling
in the interview which is about taking the oil, which has been a refrain of
the President during his campaign and to now. Take a listen.


TRUMP: We should have taken the oil.

MUIR: You`ve heard critics who say that would break all international law,
taking the oil. But I want to get to the word –

TRUMP: Can you believe that? Wait a minute, can you believe that? Who
are the critics that say that? Fools. I don`t call them critics, I call
them foolish.

MUIR: Let me talk about your words.

TRUMP: We should have kept - excuse me. We should have taken the oil and
if we took the oil you wouldn`t have ISIS, and we would have had wealth.

HAYES: My understanding is about 5,000 U.S. service members currently
embedded with the Iraqi army fighting ISIS. Do you believe it tangibly
increases the risk to them to have the President of the United States say
something like that?

BASH: Yes, and here`s something Chris, I don`t say this lightly, I think
ISIS was absolutely thrilled to hear those words come from Washington
because it frankly validates the narrative, the propaganda that they`re
trying to spread around the middle east and they`re very good at it. They
use social media, they use innovative propaganda techniques and for us to
hand them on a silver platter the notion that America is there to steal the
oil from the people of the middle east, that`s a big win for ISIS tonight.

HAYES: The - and react to some who is a former U.S. Deputy assistant to
the Secretary of Defense said that Trump`s careless words bind his own
military`s hands. The fear many have is that once the Islamic state is
defeated Iraq, the Iranian back militias in Iraq will be tempted to turn
their attention toward the U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Is there a
way for the President to declare unequivocally this is not something the
U.S. is going to be - do and have it be believed?

BASH: Well I think that it will be important for General Mattis, Secretary
of Defense now Mattis, to make clear in his initial engagements with his
counterparts both in Europe, in Asia and the Middle East that this is in no
way America`s intention. And I think Secretary Mattis would be the first
to stand up and agree that.

HAYES: All right, Jeremy Bash, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate

BASH: Thanks Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the new idea floated by the White House about just how
to pay for Trump`s proposed border wall. A new tax. That`s right. How
that unfolded ahead.


HAYES: An important update to a story that we first reported for you
yesterday about the President using an unsecured phone and possibly also
violating the Presidential Records Act - though we don`t know. Now today
we learned that not only is the President potentially using an unsecured
android phone for official business, but as recently as this morning the
official POTUS twitter account was linked to a Gmail account and did not
have two-factor authentication. Meaning they had not even taken the most
basic step any twitter user would to protect the account from being hacked.

Now, thanks to TV Guide`s Alex Alban, nice work Alex who first discovered
the Gmail link, we also know that sometime after it was made public someone
added to White House e-mail addresses as to the account and removed the
Gmail address though it appears that they still have not enabled two factor
authentication and I just want to say this here to whoever is watching,
please do that. Now, we hear at ALL IN reached out to the agency who
oversees Presidential record keeping to ask about whether or not all
personal devices and Gmail accounts and other accounts being used by the
President and his aides are in compliance with the Presidential records

And as of this broadcast we have not heard back. But think about that, the
security implications of this for a second. If a hacker were able to break
into the twitter account of the President they could do anything from drive
down the stock price of a major U.S. company to provoking a conflict with a
foreign adversary all with the push of a button. The use of a private
device for official White House business would also seem to be sort of a
slap in the face to the many, many Trump supporters who voted against
Hillary Clinton precisely because they believed she had been too careless
with her own digital security.

But this is hardly the first issue from the campaign that Trump has
reversed himself on. In fact, just today Sean Spicer suggested that Trump
might be about to renege on what was by far his most notorious campaign
promise. That story is next.


HAYES: The newly inaugurated Republican president of the United States
apparently wants
to raise taxes on Americans by 20 percent. That sounds weird but that
seems to be what is happening. Today, aboard Air Force One, Press
Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about how Trump planned to pay
for his notorious border wall, the one he has repeatedly claimed Mexico
will pay for. And this is what the press secretary said in response to


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If you tax that 50 percent –
$50 billion at 20 percent of imports, which is is, by the way, a practice
that 160 other countries do right now, our country`s policy is to tax
exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous. But by doing
it that way, we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall.


HAYES: Now, if you tax imports at 20 percent you can easily pay for the
wall. I guess that`s true but it wouldn`t be Mexico who pays for it. That
tax would of course fall on American consumers
who would by necessity pay higher prices on those imported goods. Things
like food, clothes,
consumer electronics and things like that.

And because lower income Americans spend a larger chunk on consumer goods
than rich people do, it would essentially mean that poor and middle-class
Americans get hit the hardest.

Now, the Trump campaign later walked back their statement trying to suggest
that the 20 percent tax was not a policy proposal per se, simply an
example of one option of how to pay for the wall. But then NBC`s Peter
Alexander asked the president himself about the tax and he replied, and I`m
going to quote here, “we`re going to tax people coming in. Look, we cannot
lose our companies to Mexico or any other place and then have them make the
product and just send it across our borders free. We`re going to put a
substantial tax on those countries.”

Democrats and Republicans alike have already started criticizing the
proposal on the merits. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham succinctly put
it on Twitter saying “any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona,
tequila or margaritas is a big time bad idea, mucho sad.”

Joining me now, Patrick Svitek, who is a political reporter with the Texas
Tribune. Patrick, you know, one of the things I find fascinating is the
way all of this so much is about the border and the way the border plays
nationally is so different than how it actually plays along the border so a
20 percent import tax on Mexican can products, how would that be for Texas
and particularly those areas along the border?

PATRICK SVITEK, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE: It really remains to be seen. There
was a lot of confusion today, as you pointed out, whether this is a real
proposal or something that Trump is actually pushing for.

I personally didn`t hear much support for it from Texas Republicans. Our
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had some remarks on this today. He was a
major Trump supporter. And he seemed to suggest that he doesn`t view this
as something that is actually going to happen, but maybe just a negotiating
tactic that Donald Trump is using as he tries to kind of take a stuff
stance toward Mexico.

But again as you pointed out, a lot of uncertainty, especially in these
past several hours, about whether this is actually a serious policy
proposal or just something that`s being floated.

HAYES: You know, as to the wall which there`s insistence is going to be
built. You know, I`ve talked to a lot of Texans and a lot of Texas
Republicans who basically said what Congressman Willy Hurd said, building a
wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border.

Is that your sense that there are a lot of – even if they`re not saying
publicly, privately Republicans in Texas who think the idea of building an
actual physical barrier over every inch of the boarder is crazy?

SVITEK: Well, you`re right that Will Hurd is kind of the lone Republican
in Texas who is willing to say that publicly, all others since the election
have in their public statements at least tried to appear like team players,
tried to appear like they`re generally supportive of the idea of a wall,
but you know, obviously, once you press them on those details, including
how you`re going to pay for it. You either get silence or pretty vague

I do think some other Texas Republicans have maybe a more nuanced view on
it. Our governor, for example, has said it doesn`t make sense to build a
wall in some parts of the border, including Big Bend National Park, which
is an area that Will Hurd represents.

And so, you know, there are some Republicans who have a more nuanced view.

But like I said, I mean, a lot of them, especially since the election, you
know, have kept their statements on this generally supporting and pretty
vague or silent when you get pressed on the details.

HAYES: What would an increasing trade war and diplomatic standoff with
Mexico, say a set of tariffs exchanged in a kind of tit for tat fashion and
– or negative economic – like a recession or economic shock to Mexico,
what would that do for the state of Texas?

SVITEK: Well, I think it would obviously hurt the economy in some ways,
but I think when we talk about politics it would further kind of deepen the
schism that we`re seeing between parts of the
Republican Party in Texas and the business community.

The business community in Texas, at least certain corners of it, have been
alarmed by Donald
Trump`s proposals, especially when it comes to trade. The Texas
Association of Business just minutes ago, actually put out a statement
making clear that they believe that this proposed import tax would hurt the
Texas economy. And so I think you would see a further distancing, at least
in the political realm, between parts of the Republican Party that have,
you know, generally been very pro-business and the actual business
community in Texas.

HAYES: All right, Patrick Svitek, who is part of the excellent team down
at The Texas
Tribune, that I rely on for a lot of Texas-based coverage. Thank you very
much. Appreciate it.

Still to come, President Trump has signed a flurry of executive orders
since his first day in office but there are new questions if they were
properly vetted to ensure they are even legal. We`ll look at that ahead.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two. And I say this every night, but this
one is a good one. Starts right after this break.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump is calling for a major
investigation into what study
after studies show is non-existent voter fraud. It was a big theme for the
new president on his sixth day in office. Yesterday sending out a couple
tweets on the subject specifically calling out, quote, “those
registered to vote in two states.” And he talked about in the an interview
with ABC News.


TRUMP: You have people registered in two states. They`re registered in
New York and in New Jersey. They vote twice.

We`re going to launch an investigation to find out and then the next time -
- and I will say this, of those votes cast, none of them come to me, none
of them come to me. They would all be for the other side, none of them
come to me.

But when you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal, and two
states and some cases maybe three states? We have a lot to look into.


HAYES: The president keeps harping on this example of what he claims is
voter fraud. Voters registered in more than one state.

Now, it`s true, there are people in this country who are registered to vote
in multiple states. 2.75 million of them, according to one study. Usually
it just happens when people move and their old registration is never
deactivated, but it`s not illegal to be registered in more than one state,
and it`s not
the same thing crucially as committing voter fraud even though the
president seems to think it is.

And if he convinced that`s the case, well, we have five voter fraud
suspects who will be very easy for him to start investigating. We`ll tell
you who they are in 60 seconds.


HAYES: Donald Trump is so concerned about voter fraud he`s planning a
major investigation on the subject. He is particularly upset about people
registered to vote in multiple states, although that`s not fraud nor is it
illegal as long as they`re not actually attempting to cast ballots in
multiple states.

But it must have come as a shock to the president when NBC News confirmed
his own
daughter Tiffany is registered to vote in Pennsylvania and New York. White
House counselor Kellyanne Conway called the report, quote, “flatly false”
on the Today show this morning, but that`s not true. Tiffany is listed on
public voter records in both states and the Pennsylvania elections
officials confirmed her active registration to NBC News.

But here`s the thing, Tiffany isn`t the only one. The president`s son-in-
law and adviser Jared Kushner is registered to vote in both New Jersey and
New York. Steve Bannon, Trump`s chief
strategist and senior counselor was registered in New York and Florida
during this election.

Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin is registered in New York and California,
and even the
president`s press secretary, Sean Spicer, is registered in both Virginia
and Rhode Island

So it looks like the president`s investigation should start very close to


HAYES: Breaking news tonight. NBC News has learned from one source in the
administration familiar with the planning that President Trump will speak
with Vladimir Putin – President Vladimir Putin – Russian President
Vladimir Putin by phone this weekend. Also there are reports an executive
order to roll back sanctions placed on Russia under the Obama
administration could also come as early as this weekend.

The news coming 24 hours after the president`s first sit down interview as
president of the
United States in which he talked about a whole range of things from
building his famous wall to his opinion that torture works to the size of
his inauguration crowds to his false claim of widespread voter fraud. But
what he didn`t talk about was Russia, neither the intelligence community`s
assessment that Russia tried to influence the election in his favor nor the
multiple reports amid ongoing investigations by several different U.S.
intelligence agencies into possible links between Russian officials and
members of Trump`s presidential campaign.

There`s also an ongoing Senate intelligence committee investigation into
Trump`s campaign tries to Russia as part of its inquiry into Russian
efforts directed against the 2016 U.S. elections.

Now, the House intelligence committee has lunched a similar investigation.
So perhaps it
doesn`t matter if Trump doesn`t talk about Russia. Between the
intelligence agencies and both chambers of congresses, there are enough
people – Republicans and Democrats and everyone in
between – doing it for him. We will stay tuned.


HAYES: Donald Trump spent the first week as president signing a flurry of
executive orders. It turns out, though, those executive orders, some of
them at least, may not be worth the paper they
are written on. That`s because as Politico pointed out, Trump neglected to
consult with federal agency lawyers or lawmakers, meaning he could be
looking at flawed orders that be unworkable, unenforceable or even illegal.

Some of these orders contain manifest internal contradictions or, like
Trump`s executive order on the Keystone Pipeline, which was reportedly
drafted without guidance from the State Department, it turns out the
company that wants to build the pipeline is suing the U.S. for $15 billion.
For that reason, that executive order could actually end up bolstering the
company`s case in court, because Trump`s executive order seems to have
excluded the review process involving federal agencies, congressional
committees and lawyers and had reportedly been written by Stephen Miller,
Trump`s senior White House adviser of policy, and Steve Bannon, Trump`s
chief strategist, they appear to be as much communications documents as
they are legal orders.

Joining me now is Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat from Maryland; and
Anna Galland, executive director at MoveOn Civic Action.

And congressman, I`ll start with you. There`s a feeling many people have
about this kind of tsunami, because there have been all these executive
orders. It remains deeply unclear just how many of these will stand up in
court and just how much power they have.

What is your plan as a member of congress to find that out?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN, (D) MARYLAND: Well, all of them are politically
problematic and are
vulnerable to different kinds of objections on funding grounds, as is the
case with the building of the wall at the Mexican border, but a number of
them appear to be unconstitutional.

The one I spent a little time with today was the one about sanctuary
jurisdiction which is almost certainly unconstitutional for two reasons.
One is it`s basically a godfather offer presented to the states – either
you do what we say or we`re going to cut off all federal funding to your

The first problem with that is that the Supreme Court has been very clear
that where there`s a quid pro quo like that it has to be explicit and
unambiguous in the original statute, so if a state were to be collecting
money from the Department of Education, for example, or the Department of
State it would have to say right there this money is conditioned on your
cooperating with us in terms of
being basically part of the administrative apparatus dealing with
immigration. And none of the laws say that. So, that`s problem one.

And problem two is that the law itself basically tries to reduce the states
and the localities into administrative cogs in the machinery of the federal
government. And the Supreme Court said in the 1997 case dealing with the
Brady handgun violence prevention act that you can`t – the federal
government cannot commandeer the resources and the bureaucracies of state
and local governments.

HAYES: Yeah, in fact, this is an abiding belief of conservative justices.

RASKIN: That one I think is going to be out the window.

HAYES: Yeah, the abiding belief of conservative justices, including John
Roberts, of course, the reason we don`t have Medicaid in a lot of states is
because the court struck down in a 7-2 vote the way that that was
structured in the Affordable Care Act.

You`re looking live images of Tempe, Arizona, protesting the president.

Anna, you were at MoveOn. There`s different ways that things like this can
be opposed, right.

So, there`s congressional action. There`s things in the court. And
there`s popular mobilization. How do you see the last of those?

ANNA GALLAND, MOVEON CIVIC ACTION: We are seeing an unprecedented,
certainly in our lifetimes and probably in U.S. history, resistance
movement where people are in the streets in shocking numbers really in the
aftermath of the women`s march, which was clearly just the beginning,
MoveOn held a conference call on Sunday night. And we expected a couple of
thousand people to show up.

We had 60,000 people join a national conference call to talk about how to
fight back. We had rallies on Tuesday in front of senate offices with some
partners. And, again, 15,000 people showed up to literally senate offices
that said that they had never had a rally in a decade.

So you are seeing this massive overwhelming unprecedented resistance
movement hit the
streets and in many cases you`re seeing local and state mayors, governors,
secretaries of state, attorneys general stand up and take principled
stands, standing with that resistance movement and I think that combination
is going to be very potent and powerful in days to come.

HAYES: How do you see this connecting? So, one of the things we saw was
there was tremendous mobilization against the Obama presidency by people on
the right and the Tea Party and it
manifested in all kinds of ways. And one of them was, for instance,
electing attorneys general who promised to essentially use their office to
legally – to sue the president.

This was the – they bragged about that. Is that something that you
imagine taking shape as this sort of coheres more?

GALLAND: I mean, I think you`re going to see that this resistance
movement, which is so powerful and so visible in the streets already is
going to take a number of next steps. We`re going to keep showing up on
the streets. We`re going to keep showing up in front of congressional
offices. There`s something called resistance Tuesdays that`s already
taking shape where people are going to commit to show up week after week
after week because this is a long road. We`re going to prevail in the end,
but it`s a long road.

And then you`re also going to see people running for office and we`re going
to see elected officials standing up and fighting with that resistance

Again you`re seeing that on the state and local level. We`re going to see
it increasingly on the
federal level as well.

HAYES: Congressman, what role do you have in a congressional minority in
the House, which is often not particularly empowered. The House gives a
lot of power to the majority. It`s not like the Senate where there`s sort
of procedural elements that every Senator has access to.

What do you see as your role as you watch these executive orders being
issued and the ones you substantively don`t agree with. How you oppose

RASKIN: Well, we`re increasingly empowered by the massive popular
resistance that Anna was describing. The more people that get out and
protest and manifest their opposition, the stronger we are in congress.

But, look, I think that the opposition to Trump`s agenda is already
starting to be bipartisan in nature. Representative Will Hurd, with whom I
serve on the House oversight and government reform
committee expressed his opposition to the Trump wall today and he
represents the district that has
the moist territory that would be covered at the border with Mexico. And
he`s a Republican congressman.

And so we`re starting to see big cracks in that Republican coalition as a
lot of the Republican leaders increasingly want to distance themselves from
what the Trump administration is doing.

GALLAND: And they`re hearing from their constituents, right.

RASKIN: To file briefs when we can and to fight on the floor wherever we

HAYES: All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Anna Galland of MoveOn, thanks
for joining us. Appreciate it.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.