Russia probe moving into Trump’s inner circle Transcript 11/20/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Leonard Lance, Donna Edwards

Date: November 20, 2017
Guest: Leonard Lance, Donna Edwards

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Let`s not forget him especially now. That`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes
starts right now.




the votes in the Senate to get this tax – this tax bill through.

HAYES: The White House effectively backing an alleged child molester
because of tax cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe Roy Moore`s accusers, Mr. President?


HAYES: Tonight, why won`t the President drop Roy Moore even as more of his
accusers tell their stories?

LEIGH CORFMAN, ROY MOORE`S ACCUSER: I was a 14-year-old child trying to
play in an adult`s world, and he was 32 years old.

HAYES: Then the long winter of the Russia investigation. Mueller asks for
documents related to possible obstruction of justice.

Plus, the candidate who assaulted a journalist and got elected to Congress
lied to the police.

REP. GREG GIANFORTE (R), MONTANA: I`m sick and tired of you guys. The
last guy that came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of
here! Get the hell out of here.

HAYES: And how the Republican tax plan sticks to it the middle class.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: Where do you think the $300 billion
is coming from? Is there a fairy that`s dropping it on the Senate?

HAYES: Michael Moore is here to talk about that when ALL IN starts right


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The White House spent
ten days studiously avoiding taking a clear stance on alleged child
molester and GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore. That changed today.
Kellyanne Conway going on national television to effectively argue that the
people of Alabama should stand with the man accused of sexually assaulting
a 16-year-old.


CONWAY: Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don`t be fooled. He`ll be a vote
against tax cuts. He`s weak on crime, weak on borders. He`s strong on
raising your taxes. He`s terrible for property owners, and Doug Jones is a
doctor and a liberal which is why he`s not saying anything and why the
media are trying to boost him.


CONWAY: I`m telling you, we that we want the votes in the Senate to get
this tax – this tax bill through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the RNC has withdrawn the support for Roy Moore,
Mitch McConnell has withdrawn support, so has the young Republicans vote
withdrawn support for Roy Moore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And a lot of women.

CONWAY: Right. And you know what? The – I just want everybody to know,
Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name.


HAYES: OK. Message here is not ambiguous, it is unmistakable. Kellyanne
Conway, Counselor to the President says that at December 12th Alabamians
should vote for a man who currently stands accused of molesting a 14-year-
old girl, sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, groping a 28 year old
woman and dating or attempting to date five more teenagers including
calling one while she was in trigonometry class when he was more than 30
years old. Moore denies the allegations. That person should be elected
according to Kellyanne Conway so that Republicans can pass a massive tax
cut that overwhelmingly benefits corporations and the wealthy. Now it`s a
very different message than Kellyanne Conway herself was pushing just last


CONWAY: Whatever the facts end up being, the premise is, of course, the
principle, the incontrovertible principle is that there`s no senate seat
that`s worth more than a child.


HAYES: No Senate seat worth more than a child. It`s profound. So what
changed? Well, according to new reporting of the Daily Beast over the past
week, the White House and President Trump`s top allies have gone from
laying the groundwork to ditch Moore, to laying the groundwork to celebrate
his possible victory next month. Multiple sources in and out of the west
wing telling the Daily Beast that Trump being told not to criticize Moore
by many of his closest advisers including both Kellyanne Conway and
Breitbart Chair Steve Bannon, Trump`s former Chief Strategist who of course
aggressively championed the now accused child molester Moore in the

President Trump has been accused on the record and of course, we should
note of unwanted physical contact by at least 15 women. He denies all
their accounts, called them liars, said they were not attractive enough for
him to assault. On Friday, the President criticized Al Franken over sexual
misconduct allegations and then over the weekend, he found time to attack a
black football player and the father of a black college basketball player.
But for some reason, for some reason, the President, who has opinions about
nearly everything under the sun, continues to simply have nothing to say
about Roy Moore.


TRUMP: To the media, to the press, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your thoughts on Roy Moore, Mr. President, do you
believe his accusers?

TRUMP: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe Roy Moore`s accusers, Mr. President?

TRUMP: Thank you very much.


HAYES: At the White House press briefing today, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was
asked about Conaway`s comments.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that the position of this White House that voters
are better off voting for someone accused of assaulting teenaged girls than
a Democrat?

SANDERS: Look, as I`ve answered, I think even for the third or fourth time
just today, as well as 10 or 15 times on both Thursday and Friday of last
week, the position of the White House hasn`t changed. We feel like the
people of Alabama should make the determination on who their next Senator
should be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But she made a clear suggestion over who they should
vote for.

SANDERS: And I`m telling you – I`m giving you the answer of the position
of the White House.


HAYES: For his part, Moore gave a radio interview this weekend in which he
suggested that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is part of the
conspiracy to discredit him.


heart that Mitch McConnell and the establishment are in cahoots with the
Democrats to stop this campaign.


HAYES: His Democratic opponent Doug Jones has surged in the polls in the
wake of the Moore allegation but the race remains close. Yesterday, the
three largest newspapers in Alabama ran identical front-page editorials
arguing that Alabamians must show themselves to be people of principle,
reject Roy Moore and all that he stands for. This morning on NBC`s “TODAY
SHOW,” Leigh Corfman who says Moore molested her when she was 14 offered
her first on-camera account of what happened.


CORFMAN: He basically laid out some blankets on the floor of his living
room and proceed to seduce me I guess you would say. And during the course
of that, he remove mid clothing. He left the room and came back in wearing
his white underwear, and he touched me over my clothing, what was left of
it. And he tried to get me to touch him as well. And at that point, I
pulled back and said that I was not comfortable and I got dressed, and he
took me home. But I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult`s
world and he was 32 years old.

GEORGIE GARDNER, NBC NEWS HOST: Roy Moore denies these allegations and
further says he does not even know you.

CORFMAN: I wonder how many times he doesn`t know.


HAYES: With me now, Republican Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey.
Congressman, do you believe Leigh Corfman?

REP. LEONARD LANCE (R), NEW JERSEY: Yes, I do and I think that Mr. Moore
should not be elected to the United States Senate.

HAYES: Do you think Alabamians should vote for Doug Jones?

LANCE: No. I`d like to see a write-in, and I would suggest Martha Roby,
my colleague from Alabama who is a conservative Republican and I think a
very fine member of the House and would be a fine member of the Senate.

HAYES: So – but you think unlike the White House, you`re willing to take
that a stand and say that you should – that he should not be in the race
and that people should not vote for Roy Moore based on what you know about

LANCE: Correct.

HAYES: Do you find it astounding that the President who has opinions on so
many things where he shares them with all of us all the time has no opinion
about a man who stands credibly accused and you believe the accusation of
molesting a 14-year-old girl whose bear his party`s imprimatur, who still
has the endorsement of the president as far as we know, that the president
has nothing to say about that. do you find – what do you make of that?

LANCE: I hope the President speaks up on it and of course he had endorsed
Senator Strange in the primary and I wish that the Senator had been

HAYES: Do you believe the women that have accused Donald Trump of touching
them –

LANCE: I have no reason to disbelieve them. I think in both the Bill
Clinton case and the Donald Trump case, it was a behavior before they were
president and President Clinton got into trouble based upon behavior while
he was president and I hope this President conducts himself in office in a
higher standard.

HAYES: So your idea is that it was before Election Day, that`s just
bracketed it away.

LANCE: With regarding presidents, I think that we`ve elected these men as
President, recognizing their faults. And let me say that I try to lead by
example and I certainly have tried to conduct myself in an honorable
manner, and certainly as well regretting the office I run.

HAYES: How do you feel about being – let me ask you this. There are many
people who thought – Republicans who thought that Roy Moore was unfit to
be A United States Senator before these allegations. This is a man who has
been kicked off the Supreme Court twice. This is a man who said one of
your colleagues, Keith Ellison should not be allowed to serve in Congress
because he is Muslim, in direct contradiction of the ban on religious test
for office as found in the United States Constitution. Do you share that
belief that this is a man who is unfit before these accusations?

LANCE: Yes and I think that there should be no religious test in holding
office in this country and Keith Ellison and have I different political
views, but he is a colleague and a friend, and he has a right to serve in
the Congress of the United States.

HAYES: What do you think about when you think about Roy Moore possibly
winning this election, you and he serving in the same party in Congress?

LANCE: He`ll be over in The Senate if that were to be the case and I hope
that he`s not elected.

HAYES: Let me tell you something. You`re running in New Jersey Seventh
District. It`s going to be a very competitive district. You know that.
Obviously, and we can talk about your vote on the – on the tax bill in a
moment. They`re going to run ads about Roy Moore in your district. If I
was a Democratic consultant and Roy Moore was a sitting U.S. Senator, I
would say this is what the – this is what the Republican Party stands for.
Donald Trump in the White House and Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate who`s
credibly accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl. Is this the party you
want the give power to?

LANCE: I represent a very sophisticated district, and I`m sure the voters
in the district I serve will reelect me based upon my views and any such
campaign, of course, would be demagogic.

HAYES: You voted against the tax bill?

LANCE: I did.

HAYES: You were one of 13 no votes. They say this won`t raise taxes on
anyone in the middle class. Is that true when they say that?

LANCE: I don`t think it`s completely true. I`ve been fighting for what is
known is SALT, the continuation of the deductibility of state and local
taxes. That`s very important for New Jersey because we have the highest
property taxes in the nation.

HAYES: You – I mean, just to be zero in on this, they`re saying no one is
going to see a tax hike. No one in the middle class is going to see a tax
hike. What you`re saying and I think is borne out by the analysis is that
is not true.

LANCE: I think there will be some who will see a tax hike. There will be
some who will not.

HAYES: Of course.

LANCE: And there will be more who will not but certainly there will be
some who will and that`s why I have been fighting on this SALT issue.

HAYES: All right, Leonard Lance from New Jersey Seventh District, thank
you for making some time. Have a great Thanksgiving if I don`t see you.

LANCE: You as well.

HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC Political Analyst Joan Walsh, National
Affairs Correspondent for the Nation and former Democratic Congresswoman
Donna Edwards of Maryland, Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Joan, since you`re right here, let me start with you. This morning when I
saw Kellyann Conway, I thought to myself, wait a second, is she freelancing
or is this now they`re turning the ship towards an endorsement. And the
Daily Beast reporting Trump world wanted distance from Roy Moore, then key
allies lobby the President to reconsider. In the span of a single week,
the White House and President Donald Trump`s top allies have gone from
laying the groundwork to ditch Roy Moore to possibly celebrating his

JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, that`s what she did this
morning. And I have to say, I mean, last week – excuse me – even Steve
Bannon was saying that, you know, he`d kill him himself. You know, Hannity
was going after Roy Moore. And then something changed over the weekend.
And I don`t know what it is but Kellyanne, having said what she did last
Thursday, this morning I think even the Fox folks were kind of like what?

HAYES: You could see that they were not anticipating and they were
confused as to what the actual line was.

WALSH: Is this what you`re really saying? Yes. Wait, this is what we`re
supposed to be saying for the rest of the day? OK.

HAYES: Donna how much – I was just talking to the Congressman here and
you served in Congress and one of the things that happens to Democrats for
instance and I`m not comparing the two situations but from the political
perspective. Like they`ll say you know, they`ll run against Nancy Pelosi
when you`re running against a Democrat in Kentucky. I do wonder like, this
figure of Roy Moore, this is – I don`t think you can unring this bell, but
maybe I`m wrong. You`ve been on the front lines of politics. What do you

could see for myself traveling around the country of course that the
Republican Party ran against Nancy Pelosi in a very effective way to take
control of the House of Representatives. And I have to tell you, I mean, I
think that this is really an albatross around the Republicans` necks. I
mean, you look at the defense of Donald Trump, which was indefensible, and
now you add to that Roy Moore. And they become the party that is, you
know, a party that`s about pedophiles and sexual predators. And I don`t
think it`s defensible anymore. And I think you can see the tightrope that
my friend Leonard Lance was walking both on the tax issue but also on this
question of sexual assault, sexual harassment. You know, it`s a very bad
look for the party, the supposed party of family values.

HAYES: I should note this is a broader issue than Roy Moore, and I don`t
want to make apples – I don`t want to aggregate everything together as all
incidents are the same. So I want to be clear that what he stands accused
of is incredibly serious, and the other things I`m about to introduce are
in different grades of that. But as to no party having a monopoly on this,
today there`s a second allegation against Al Franken. There`s reporting
about Glenn Thrush, New York Times Reporter, I should also note, full
disclosure an MSNBC Contributor, and Charlie Rose.

Now, this is the Washington Post, our friend Irin Carmon co-bylined on
this. Eight women have told the Washington Post longtime television host
Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances towards them including lewd
phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, groping their breast,
buttocks or general area. I should read Charlie Rose`s response and then I
want to get your response, Joan. “It is essential these women know that I
hear them and I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am
greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times and I accept
responsibility for that. Although I do not believe all of these
accusations are accurate. I always felt I was pursuing shared feelings
even though I now realize I was mistaken.”

WALSH: I`m supposed to say what? People are learning. Men are learning,
you know. We`re all learning together here. I mean, it`s kind of amazing.
But we do have a to put what Roy Moore is accused of in a separate category
because it was preying on young women, including a couple of juveniles.
But these other things, Chris, they keep – they keep coming out and there
are people of different ages and we can say some are old school and some
are newer school. But we have – we just have to keep talking about this.
And, you know, I`m glad you`re not asking me what we want to do with

HAYES: Well, that`s the – I mean, in some ways that`s a difficult
situation. I mean, in the case of Roy Moore, it seems to me an open and
shut case. Whether whatever party you were part of, these are obviously
disqualifying. No question. In the case of Al Franken, it`s a much more
open question, and there is real Democrats wrestling with that right now.

WALSH: Right, including myself. But you know, what kind of troubling to
me right now is that women are having this stuff thrown back into our laps.


WALSH: OK, there are all these allegations, there are all these guys
who`ve done things wrong. Well, what should we do? You know, should Bill
Clinton have been –have resigned, blah, blah, blah. I mean, I think we`re
– I don`t know. I actually don`t know. These are all –

HAYES: I think that`s – a lot of people feel that way.

WALSH: Yes. These are all different situations. So when you turn it
around to ask me or Donna what should happen, you`re not doing that, but
it`s happening all the time. It`s kind of like we all need to get together
and decide, and we all need to figure out why are men doing this.

HAYES: Yes. What should happen is that people shouldn`t do this in the
first place.


HAYES: Is the first answer and that should be prevented. And Donna, the
point of Roy Moore in a sort of separate category, it is just astounding to
me that the White House would even flirt with continued support. I mean,
it just seem to me – I just can`t imagine going back in any moment that
I`ve covered politics, someone being really credibly accused. We`ve got
say credibly accused because this is something that she shared with people
contemporaneously throughout her life. Credibly accused of molesting a 14-
year-old girl that he picked up outside a custody case when her mama went
inside for that custody case, that would be a career-ender in any universe
I think I`ve lived in, right?

EDWARDS: Well, and, you know, I think that that is true. But I mean,
let`s really be clear here because I don`t want to reach back you know, 20,
30 years ago with people who were in office. I want to talk about people
who want to hold office now, about people who were in every single
workplace, sometimes for women who really don`t have anywhere to turn. And
I have to tell you, whether or not Leigh Corfman had shared her story or it
had been corroborated, I listened to her and I know her words to be
truthful. And we have to start trusting women. We have to start believing

And they shouldn`t have to stand in groups and blocks of women making
accusations in order to be believed. And I feel like that`s the kind of
environment that we`re in right now and that`s not acceptable. As to the
what we should do, we should do different things with different people
because they`re accused of different things. And you`re right, where Roy
Moore is in a completely separate category than some of the other things
that we`ve discussed. But frankly, I have to tell you, starting with the
President of the United States that we knew all along, this has got to

HAYES: Joan Walsh and Donna Edwards, thank you both for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thanks.

HAYES: Ahead, Michael Moore joins me to talk about the state of the
Republican Party and why the GOP is jamming through a tax hike on low and
middle-income Americans. Plus, the President`s lawyers are assuring him
the investigation will be done by the end of the year but others are
preparing for a long winter. Amazing new reporting on the (INAUDIBLE) of
the west wing after this two-minute break.



TRUMP: – recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no
good time to do it. And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to
myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a
made-up story. It`s an excuse.


HAYES: The President`s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey in
the midst of the Russia investigation is now widely regarded, include big
Trump allies like Steve Bannon as a catastrophic error which triggered, of
course, the appointment of a special counsel and a probe into possible
obstruction of justice. So for the President`s lawyer, how do you keep him
from lashing out again and creating another potentially disastrous self-
inflicted wound? The answer, according to a new report from the Washington
Post, you convince him it will all be over soon. The Post reporting that
Ty Cobb, it`s really his name, the outside lawyer handling the Mueller
probe for the White House had initially said he hoped the focus in the
White House would conclude by Thanksgiving but adjusted the timeline
slightly in an interview last week saying he remains optimistic it will
wrap up by end of the year, if not shortly thereafter.

The President had warmed to Cobb`s optimistic message, according to the
Post. There is just one problem. Witnesses, legal expert, even Republican
allies consulted by the post all say Mueller is still a long way from
wrapping up his investigation, which is expected to continue well into
2018. On top of that, “witnesses questioned by Mueller`s team warn that
investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that
have not yet become public and to expect a series of new revelations.” As
one Republican operative told the Post, it`s going to be a long winter.
I`m joined now by one of the reporters on that story, Pulitzer Prize
Winning Journalist Carol Leonnig. Carol, what is the – what`s pitch from
Ty Cobb to the President to try to keep it – keep him cooling his heels?

who`s been on the job since this summer basically have said to the
President and everyone in the White House we are turning over records, we
are providing in a cooperative manner all of the needs of the Special
Counsel Bob Mueller. We are providing him with interviews with former and
current staff. And all of that will be completed by Thanksgiving or
December or the end of the year.

And in truth, that stage of the process could very well end by the end of
this year. But probe is going to go on for some time and remember every
prosecutor is looking at a big wide circle of people on the outside to get
closer and closer to the inside. And we just don`t know what we don`t
know. We don`t know what`s going to happen as a result of lower level
aides and even Paul Manafort, Former Campaign Chairman who has been
indicted, Rick Gates, another campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, another
Foreign Policy Adviser to the campaign being charged. We just don`t know
all of the things those people are going share with prosecutors, and that
their information is going to lead and point to others.

HAYES: There`s a great quote in here that I wanted to get your response
to. A person close to the Trump administration to the Washington Post,
“this investigation is a classic Gambino style roll-up. You to anticipate
this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.” That`s got to be
a terrifying thought for people in the White House.

LEONNIG: Well, it is kind of scary because, I mean, a lot of them have not
had any up-close and personal experience with a white collar criminal
investigation. This is a bit of a hybrid in a way though, Chris, because
remember Bob Mueller`s original charge is investigating Russian
interference in the 2016 election. Almost everyone accepts as a fact that
the Russian government tried in multiple ways to both tilt this election
and to sow discontent in our country and lack of confidence in our
institutions, and also tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign in some ways,
multiple soft touches to various aides. So you know, there`s a serious
criminal probe into the hacking, the stealing, the crime that`s there. But
this is a white-collar probe too. What kinds of crimes, conspiracies were
campaign advisers and friends and others involved in that might have helped
the Russians?

HAYES: Does everyone have their own legal representation?

LEONNIG: A lot of people have lawyered up and it`s actually a source of
the grim discontent inside the White House because some people really do
face legal bills that would be three and four times their annual salary at
the White House.

HAYES: All right, Carol Leonnig, thanks for joining me.

LEONNIG: You bet.

HAYES: Next, a huge development in the story of Greg Gianforte. Remember
him? Then-candidate now Congressman who assaulted a reporter for asking a
question during the campaign. That update after this quick break.


HAYES: Remember that time a Republican Congressional Candidate assaulted a
reporter, lied about it and still won the election? We`ve just learned
that Greg Gianforte who is currently serving as the sole Congressman from
Montana not only lied to the public and to the press about that assault, he
lied to police. The incident unfolded on May 24th, that was the day before
a special election in Montana when Guardian Reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted,
“Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses.” The Gianforte
campaign almost immediately blamed the incident on Jacobs himself.
Gianforte`s Spokesman Shane Scanlon released a statement which read in
part, “Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face.
Jacobs grabbed Greg`s wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to
the ground. It`s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal
journalist created this scene.” But the audio record by Jacobs painted a
much different picture.


BEN JACOBS, REPORTER, GUARDIAN: – the CBO score. Because you know, you
were waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill
and it just came out –

GIANFORTE: We`ll talk to you about that later.

JACOBS: Yes, but there`s not going to be time. I`m just curious –

GIANFORTE: OK. Speak with Shane, please. I`m sick and tired of you guys.

JACOBS: Jesus –

GIANFORTE: The last guy who came in here did the same thing. Get the hell
out of here!

JACOBS: Jesus!

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here! The last guy did the same thing.
You with the Guardian?

JACOBS: Yes and you just broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: The last guy did the same damn thing.

JACOBS: You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: You`d like me to get the hell out of here. I`d also like to call
the police. Can I get you guys` names?


HAYES: The Gianforte campaign through its spokesperson Shane Scanlon who
attached his name to the statement lied and they also slandered reporter
Ben Jacobs. The next day Montana voters, many of whom had already voted
early elected Gianforte to Congress. He later pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor assault and in his June 7th apology to Jacobs wrote
notwithstanding anyone`s statements to contrary, you did not initiate any
physical contact with me and I had no right to assault you. He also, the
Congressman promised to give an on the record interview to Ben Jacobs which
he has yet to do. And now nearly six months later, we find out that
Gianforte lied to the cops.

According to the newly released Gallatin County police report, Gianforte
told the sergeant, “I probably shouldn`t do it, but I reached out for the
phone. He grabbed my wrist. We – he spun, we ended up on the floor so he
pulled me down on top of him.” Gianforte also said the liberal media is
trying to make a story. Now, Gianforte`s current spokesman Travis Hall
told the A.P. no one was misled, which is, of course, an obvious and
demonstrable falsehood, which also means that Travis Hall`s word is worth
what Shane Scanlon`s was before him, which is nothing. And Gianforte`s lie
to the police mirrors the lie his campaign put out the night of the
incident. Gianforte apparently hoped it would fall down the memory hole
which for the most part it has. Something you can be sure is not lost on
Roy Moore`s campaign.

HAYES: There is movement on special counsel Robert Mueller`s
investigation, specifically on
possible obstruction of justice. Mueller is reportedly asking the Justice
Department for thousands
of documents. A source telling ABC News that in particular Mueller`s
investigators are keen to obtain
emails related to the firing of FBI director James Comey and the earlier
decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the
entire matter.

Natasha Bertrand is a political correspondent for Business Insider who has
covered the Russia investigation extensively, just wrote about this latest
push by Mueller`s team.

Natasha, what do you make of this development?

NATASHA BERTRAND, BUSINESS INSIDER: Well, legal experts that I have spoken
to have said that it is a very strong sign that Trump himself is under
investigation, is under federal investigation. No matter how much the
White House wants to convince us otherwise, the fact of the
matter is that all signs point to Mueller is really homing in on whether or
not Trump had corrupt intent when he fired FBI director James Comey in May,
because, of course, Comey was leading the investigation into Russia`s
interference in the election. And importantly, whether or not Trump`s
campaign colluded with Moscow.

So by obtaining all of these documents from the Justice Department, what is
happening is
he is really trying to get at Trump`s state of mind. And that is the
biggest hurdle that Mueller is going to have to clear if he wants to make a
persuasive obstruction of justice case.

What – you know, I thought about this a lot in terms of what that case
would look like. So, in the case of George Papadopoulos, who has already
pleaded guilty or Paul Manafort who has been charged, you know, they open
up the federal criminal books and they charge people with chargeable
crimes. They indict them. They go through the normal process.

In the case of a president of the United States who you believe is guilty
of obstruction of
justice, presumably they`re not going indict them in the courthouse. It
would have to be essentially a kind of public finding, right?

BERTRAND: Right. And this is why ultimately the result of Mueller`s
investigation is going to be a little matter. He is going to have to
present his findings to congress because it`s very murky still whether or
not you can indict a sitting president. Some people say yes, some people
say no. But ultimately Mueller is going to have to go to congress and say
we have evidence that Trump acted improperly, that he acted corruptly. And
these are the reasons why he should be impeached or removed, if it comes to

So, ultimately if he finds that Trump did try to obstruct justice in this
investigation, it is very unlikely that unless Trump resigned or was out of
office for some reason that he would be indicted
with a crime. But until then we really have to see what Mueller digs up.

HAYES: It speaks to the scope of this that Mueller – I mean, Mueller has
got this team that is
going through these very complicated and baroque financial transactions
that Paul Manafort`s people are running, but also making what it appears a
pretty – he would have to make a pretty sophisticated
constitutional argument about obstruction were he actually to come against
the president.

BERTRAND: Right. He would have to – I mean, the rules would have to kind
of rewritten. I don`t know about the constitution, but there is a lot of
legal theory out there that argues against the idea that a sitting
president can be indicted.

When it comes to whether or not there was actual wrongdoing by people like
Paul Manafort and
Michael Flynn, of course that`s much easier. And that`s why he is going
after them, it`s because they are very vulnerable legal targets just given
their financial histories, their business dealings, alleged money
laundering, you know, violations of the FARA, which is the Foreign Agent
Registration Act. So, these are targets that you take on, you know, legal
experts have told me that you take on when you`re trying to make a case
about the entire organization.

So, he is essentially right now shooting fish in a barrel. And whether or
not it reaches Trump
himself, that remains to be seen.

HAYES: Quickly, some new revelations that Carter Page had some fairly high
level meetings in Hungary, which are being looked into. It appears he did
not tell the truth under questioning to Adam
Schiff. What is the significance of those meetings?

BERTRAND: It just solidifies Carter Page as someone who was clearly some
kind of high level player. We don`t really know what he was doing
throughout the election, but every time he makes a statement, it seems he
has to walk it back. Every time he says that this didn`t happen, as you
know from doing many interviews with him, if you push him hard enough, he
will eventually say well, I may have spoken to this person.

The fact that he was meeting with high level Hungarian officials, it`s very
questionable, especially given Hungary`s connections with the Russian
government. There is a lot of organized crime there. There is a lot of –
essentially there are arguments that have been made that the Kremlin
essentially has its entire intelligence apparatus in Hungry right now.

So the fact that he was meeting with these officials just before the
election raises many more questions.

HAYES: Natasha Bertrand, thank you very much.

BERTRAND: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Still could come, while the Trump administration claims their tax
reform won`t hurt the middle class, Michael Moore joins me on why it does
just that.

Plus, a stadium demolition and the bus that stole the show in tonight`s
Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, the thousands of pounds of explosives the
massive clouds of dust, there is just something oddly satisfying about
watching a building implode.

These events are catnip for local news stations. But like the implosions
themselves, covering them requires careful planning to avoid mistakes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bridge is about to be imploded this morning to make
room for a new bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we`re going to stay with this. I think it`s
supposed to happen right at 7:00 here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, while we`re stalling, go ahead and show the
picture. But today as you get going, we have temperatures that are into
the 30s around here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You kidding me! Who did that!




HAYES: Today, hundreds of people turned out in Atlanta to watch the
implosion of the Georgia
Dome. In fact, it was such a big deal this morning, even the Weather
Channel was there with a camera
crew staked thought the perfect spot. What they didn`t account for was the
local bus schedule. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.



HAYES: For 25 years, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta was home to the Atlanta
Falcons, even hosted a couple of super bowls and the Olympic games. This
morning it succumbed to 4,800 pounds of explosives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is. Oh, man.






HAYES: Over on the Weather Channel`s Facebook Live feed, they had their
camera rolling 40 minutes ahead of time waiting for big moment. And if you
were watching that, well, you also watched an emotional implosion.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Bus! (EXPLETIVE DELTED), get out of the way, bus!
Are you, agggh! What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).




HAYES: Tonight with the fate of the Trump tax cuts hanging in the balance,
the president and his White House are pulling out all the stops to get a
bill that will raise taxes on middle class Americans through congress.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN: So I guess the big question is how can Republicans and
the White House propose a bill that would simultaneously cut taxes for the
wealthiest Americans while effectively creating more of a financial burden
for Americans earning less than $30,000 a year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Well, the bottom line is that the White House,
the president is
not going to sign a bill that raises taxes on the middle class, period.


HAYES: OK. But here is the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center saying something
very different. Quote, some taxpayers would pay more in taxes under the
proposal in 2019 and 2025. About 9 percent of taxpayers in 2019, 12% in
2025. In 2027, however, taxes would increase for 50%, that`s half, of

And who would get their taxes hiked? I quote again, in the middle income
quintile, that`s folks right in the middle, 28% would receive a tax cut and
66% would face a tax increase. In other words, 2/3 of people in the middle
of earners would see a higher tax bill. Taxes up. Raising your taxes.

In contrast, the tax policy center notes that 98% of the top 0.1%, which
would be the richest
of the rich, would of course get a tax cut. And Democrats and progressive
groups are now using the Republicans` own tax plan in an effort to win back
white working class voters.

Here is part of an ad from one group named Not One Penny.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For middle class Mainers, their plan raises taxes on
people paying for student loans, medical expense and mortgages. It raises
taxes on 124,000 Maine families.


HAYES: Coming up, filmmaker and activist Michael Moore on what the Trump
tax plan means for the middle class, and what people can do about it, next.



CLAIRE MCCASKILL, SENATOR: So in order to save these poor people, 43
billion, you`re cutting 364 billion.

ORRIN HATCH, SENATOR: Senator McCaskill, if you would yield for a second.
There are no cuts to Medicaid in this bill.

MCCASKILL: I beg your pardon. This is the CBO score, Mr. Chairman. I`m
reading right off of the CBO score. 179 billion in reduced Medicaid
subsidies. That`s where the money is coming from.
Where do you think the 300 billion dollars is coming from? Is there a fairy
that`s dropping it on the Senate?


HAYES: That`s Senator Clair McCaskill educating Senator Orrin Hatch in
just one of the ways Republican tax proposal would hurt Americans. Michael
Moore, Oscar winning film maker and activist, just got done with his
Broadway show. It`s great to have you here.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILM MAKER: She was educating him about the fairy that
drops the scores, the CBO scores, that he didn`t know about.

HAYES: That was such a great moment to me because well, here is what I
want to ask you.


HAYES: We saw this incredible mobilization around the ACA, I mean people
sitting in
offices, shutting down switchboards. I think a lot of people who fought
hard feel the same way about this tax bill. Do you think it`s harder to
mobilize around this? How do you assess where folks are in terms of
organizing around that?

MOORE: It`s been clear the public is very much opposed to it. From what
I`ve heard, members of Congress, the switchboards continue to be melting
down every day. People are calling. They should continue to call 202-225-
3121, by the way.

HAYES: Put it in your phone.

MOORE: Please, put that – it`s your number. You pay for it as citizens of
this country. So, so, you know, I`m not pessimistic about this. I think
that, you know, the Senate – enough people worrying
about reelection are going to do the right thing. But it won`t happen on
it`s own and people are going to have to speak up.

HAYES: It strikes me, it`s sort of remarkable this bill. It so explicitly
hoses people. It`s weird for Republicans party to come up with a 1.5
trillion dollar tax cut that also hikes taxes on people. There is a bait
and switch thing that`s happened time and time again and I got to think if
this were passed, people know how much taxes they will pay. Do you think
there – this is the thing that would break a

MOORE: Well, I hope so. Look, this should be called what it is. It`s the
Trump tax increase. And it`s not a tax cut, it`s a tax increase. It`s the
Trump tax increase, and it`s – in a way, I`m finding
some pleasure in the fact that so many Republicans think that this is going
to help them when this is going to be the death of them next year at the
ballot box. So have at it.

[ laughter ]

For now.

HAYES: You can see a lot of them are actually pretty scared of it.

MOORE: Yeah.

HAYES: What do you make of – we haven`t gotten a chance to talk since the
election night, which is a big night for the Democratic party for a lot of
people that felt disspirited. What did you make of that night?

MOORE: I don`t know if it was such a big night for the Democratic party,
because when you say the party, the party, the DNC didn`t get behind some
of the people that won.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: In fact, it was a victory for the people, for average everyday
citizens that decided to run, whether it was an African refugee in Montana,
or transgender citizen in Virginia. All throughout these states and these
cities, people who didn`t have the backing of the local establishment
Democratic party.

This is is critical for us to win next year. If people are sitting around
waiting for the DNC to come up with the right candidates to run, I`m very
worried that we are not going to be able to flip Congress or the state
houses, but if every day average Americans will decide to run, and this is
of the things, I spoke to your producer before coming on here that I really
wanted to say tonight, is that we`ve got – it`s New Year`s Day is six
weeks from today. Okay. We have got six weeks. By the end of this year,
people have got to be running or at least decide to run.

What I want to have happen is for people watching this show right now
sitting there thinking
about why don`t I run, you should run. You should run. I really…


MOORE: Why not? I mean, what Tuesday two weeks ago taught us is that
people could just decide to run and get elected, especially right now
because so many people are upset with what is going on.

HAYES: And particularly, we should say, I think people think about
flipping Congress and, you know, there are state House races decided but
with this special election in Oklahoma in which…


HAYES: 20 something out lesbian won a district that Trump had won by 30
points, she won by 34 votes. There is below the congressional level, there
is state, local offices…

MOORE: Which are critical.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: No, no, in fact, there was Debra Gonzalez in Georgia won a seat
there, state seat.
She spent $55,000. The Republican spent $250,000. That was a Republican
seat that I believe the Republican decided not to run and she won by
spending one-fifth of what the Republicans spent.

I want to say to people, think about running. You don`t need a lot of money
to do this. That was proven, and you don`t need – you would be surprised
to run for a state house or state senate in many states, in Maine and
Alaska and Iowa – in Iowa you need 100 signatures to run for state senate
and I think 25 for the state house. That`s it. You don`t need a lot. You
don`t – some of these filing fees in states are $10.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: No, I`m serious.

HAYES: 100 signatures and $10.

MOORE: And you`re on the ballot. I think over Thanksgiving, what I would
like people to do,
as you`re sitting around the table, like last year you had to deal with the
right wing and he`s happy
and Trump just got elected. Put him at the kids` table on Thursday. Let him
eat there with the kids. Don`t bother him. Let him have his turkey.
Everybody else will sit around the table and talk about who do we know that
can run here in this town? You got to run locally. If we don`t flip these
state houses this year and 2020 when they take the 2020 census, we`re going
to get gerrymandered again and we`ll be stuck with that gerrymandered
district until 2032.

So, next year in 2020, we`ve got to get these state houses and state
senates in the hands of
Democrats or we`ll get screwed with the gerrymandering in 2020.

HAYES: What do you think stops people – one of the things –

MOORE: Because they think they can`t do it. Who am I? I`m not smart
enough. You`re a citizen of this country. By the way, if you`re watching
this show right now, you`re a good person already. I mean, just –

HAYES: I wouldn`t go that far. I would generalize –

MOORE: I`ll make this general – if you`re watching Chris Hayes and you`re
watching MSNBC, that automatically tells me that your heart, if not is in
the right place, you`re curious for the truth, and that`s what has brought
you to this channel. If you wanted something else, you would be watching
Dancing with the Stars now or you`d be taking –

HAYES: You`re the source of a running bid in your Broadway show.

MOORE: Yes. But right now you`re watching this show. So why not run? Why
not – say to your partner, say to your spouse and friends, damn, I was
watching Chris Hayes last night and I just got this idea, why don`t I run
for state senate? Because the person we have there now is not doing us
Look at the Republicans that were defeated two weeks ago.

HAYES: One of the things that strikes me every time that I go into the
ballet box to vote is a, how many uncontested positions there is are.


HAYES: That goes for both parties. There are a lot of unchallenged, if you
happen to live in a
a Democratic stronghold, New York City, there is people who probably use a
challenger, you know what I mean? To make the system work.

MOORE: The nationwide average I believe is 41% of all of those offices you
go to vote are not contested. There is just one name on there, which means
it`s a soviet style election. The candidate Chris. Right here. Just vote
for that one candidate.

No, that`s 41 – we live in a democracy. That`s why first of all, think
about running because you don`t have any opposition in your party, you can
at least get through the primary. There is 6,000 state, house and senate
seats up for election. 6,000 nationwide. All right? 1400 of them because of
limits don`t have an incumbent. So there is 1,400 seats.

HAYES: 1,400 seats ripe for the picking.

MOORE: Right there and you watch Chris Hayes, which shows that you –

HAYES: Depending on your district I wouldn`t lead with that in the ads.
It`s Michael Moore –

MOORE: I would put that on the yard sign. I watch MSNBC.

HAYES: Good luck. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show
starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.


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