Review of the new tax plans Transcript 11/27/17 All In with Chris Hayes
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 27, 2017
Guest: Michael Schmidt, Gyasi Ross, Sherrod Brown, David Cay Johnston, Stephanie Kelton
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Lock her up. That`s
HAYES: Is Michael Flynn cutting a deal?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General Flynn is a wonderful
HAYES: Tonight, as Flynn`s lawyers meet with the Special Prosecutor, the
mounting evidence that President Trump`s Former National Security Adviser
could be cooperating with Robert Mueller.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s something the White House should be very concerned
HAYES: Plus –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it appropriate for the President to use a
racial slur in any context?
HAYES: The White House defends the President`s racial slur during an event
honoring native Americans.
TRUMP: They call her Pocahontas.
HAYES: Then why two different people today claim they`re running the
Consumer Protection Bureau and why one of them wants it shut down.
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: It turns up
being a joke. And that`s what the CFPB really has been.
HAYES: And as the President memory holds the Access Hollywood tapes –
TRUMP: I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.
HAYES: Why Republicans are thrilled to talk about anything but their tax
TRUMP: I think the tax bill is going very well.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight more evidence
that Michael Flynn may be negotiating a plea deal with the Special Counsel
conducting the Russia probe. ABC News reports that the former National
Security Adviser`s lawyer met earlier today with members of Robert
Mueller`s team at their offices in Washington. It`s the latest indication
Flynn may be cooperating with the Special Counsel. After the New York
Times broke the news that Flynn`s legal team ended an agreement it had to
share information with lawyers for President. Defense attorneys often
share information during investigations, but they are compelled to stop if
it becomes a conflict of interest, which would certainly be the case if
Flynn moved to testify against his old boss. Flynn is arguably the most
central figure in the Russia investigation. A close campaign adviser to
the President who once led calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLYNN: That`s right, lock her up! If I, a guy who knows this business, if
I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Flynn`s deception about his Russia ties cost him a job at the White
House just three weeks into the administration. An incident that was in
many ways the first domino to fall in the ongoing Russia related
revelation, recalled he was revealed to have talked on the phone during the
Trump transition with the Russian Ambassador – that`s that man there,
Sergey Kislyak – at the same time that the Obama administration, still in
power at the moment, was announcing new sanctions against Russia for
interfering in the 2016 election. Flynn denied discussing the sanctions
with Kislyak in his multiple contacts, but he turned out to have been
lying. And not just to senior White House officials, including the Vice
President, as the V.P. himself claims, but to FBI agents who questioned
Flynn four days after the President`s inauguration. To this very day, we
do not know exactly what Flynn discussed with Kislyak, only that Russia
opted not to retaliate with sanctions of its own. Flynn`s deceit was
alarming enough to the Justice Department that it prompted then acting
Attorney General Sally Yates to warn the White House Flynn could be
vulnerable to blackmail. Not only did that incident force Flynn to resign
after just 24 days of National Security Adviser, a record for the shortest
tenure in that job, it ultimately led to what is now by all accounts an
obstruction of justice probe involving the President of the United States
himself. It was the investigation of Flynn after all, the President
allegedly urged former FBI Director James Comey to drop in that private
meeting last February. Comey testified under oath about that meeting after
he was fired months later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I took it as a direction. This is the
President of the United States with me alone saying I hope this. I took it
as this is what he wants me to do. Now, I didn`t obey that but that`s the
way I took it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When it comes to Flynn`s potential legal exposure, we`re only
scratching the surface. We know he has been under scrutiny according to
the Wall Street Journal for playing a possible role in efforts by a
Republican operative to obtain Hillary Clinton`s e-mails from Russian
hackers. We know Flynn initially failed to disclose payments received in
connection with a 2015 trip to Moscow where he dined at the elbow of
Vladimir Putin. We also know he failed to disclose his involvement in a
nuclear project in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interest.
Then there`s Flynn`s work as a paid agent for the government of Turkey
which he neglected to report until months after signing a contract
(INAUDIBLE) to the campaign.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn and his son were at one point
offered $15 million to kidnap a Turkish cleric living legally in the U.S.
whose a political foe of the Turkish President and deliver him into Turkish
hands. Flynn`s lawyer denied that report but according to former CIA
Director James Woolsey, a Trump campaign adviser who sat on the board of
Flynn`s consulting firm, “It became clear to me they were seriously
considering a kidnapping operation and I told them then it was a bad idea.
It was illegal.” Just this past weekend, that same man, former CIA
Director James Woolsey was spotted in the dining room at none other than in
Mar-a-Lago having a lengthy conversation with the President. Michael
Schmidt is a Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, one of the
reporters who broke the story on Flynn`s possible cooperation with Mueller.
What has changed in the legal posture of Michael Flynn?
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, his
lawyers had been cooperating with Trump, sharing different types of
information. But the day before Thanksgiving, his lawyers called up
Trump`s lawyers and said we can no longer do that. We can no longer talk
about the Special Counsel`s investigation. For legal experts, this is a
sign of either one of two things that Flynn is cooperating or he plans to
take a plea. It was a pretty significant development considering the fact
that you know, Flynn had sort of been on the same side as Trump but there
was a real break here, and that they were no longer going to be working
HAYES: Now, you – I mean, there is a kind of unexplained loyalty or
interest the President has in Flynn`s case going back to obviously talking
to Comey, right? You know, taking extraordinary step to appear to
intervene in an ongoing investigation.
SCHMIDT: So Flynn was fired on February 13th and the following day is when
Comey`s in the Oval Office and Trump asks him to end the investigation. So
this was clearly something on the President`s mind and clearly something
that concerned him. And you know, it`s sort of hard to believe why would
the President go to such great lengths to interfere in an investigation.
The other thing that is interesting is that Flynn was interviewed at the
White House in the first week of the presidency, and it was that Friday
that the President had Comey over to the White House and asked him to
pledge his loyalty to him. So there are these different sort of weird
coincidences around Flynn and Trump`s interaction was Comey.
HAYES: There has been some question about whether Flynn will cooperate for
a long time. And in fact, the Wall Street Journal reported back in March
that Flynn was actively seeking cooperation. What are we to make of the
fact that he essentially put this flag out back then, it appears that it is
only now that that may have happened?
SCHMIDT: I`m not sure if he was – that was his posture back in April. I
think this is something more recent. And I think that one of the largest
motivating factors here is the fact that Flynn`s son was essentially
involved in the same things that he was, and that they did everything
together and his son faces the same criminal exposure, and that at this
point, Flynn`s lawyers understand and Flynn Jr.`s lawyers understand the
amount of evidence the government has, the type of case that they have, and
they understand the severity of it. And I think that`s why we`re seeing
the things moving in place at this point in time.
HAYES: Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, thanks for your great
SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Nick Akerman is a former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor and
an MSNBC Legal Analyst. Let`s start with Michael`s point there about their
exposure. One of the things you noted to me is that the Manafort
indictment depends on a lot of stuff that you don`t have to go to witnesses
for, lots of documents.
NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right. It`s a documents case.
HAYES: Is there a similar situation with Flynn?
AKERMAN: Pretty close. I mean, you`ve got him lying to the FBI. It`s his
word against two FBI agents. You`ve got him lying on his national security
form. There`s tons of documents that make out that lie. People he dealt
with, places he went, individuals he was doing business for, these are easy
to prove lies.
HAYES: And those are all criminal – there`s criminal exposure for all?
AKERMAN: Yes. They`re all at least five-year felonies. So, and then you
take on top of it what he was doing without disclosing being an agent for
the government of Turkey, without disclosing what he was doing going in
cahoots with the Russians to try and sell nuclear plants in the Mid-East.
There are a whole series of things that he has put himself out there for
that he did not disclose, he did not file the proper forms, and he lied
about them. So all of those add up to a lot of years in prison.
HAYES: What did you make? It`s funny. I had never encountered this idea
of sort of information sharing between different attorneys and then the
kind of pivot away from that at a crucial moment. As someone who has a lot
more experience in this area, what did you make of that?
AKERMAN: I do this all the time. These are joint defense agreements. I
mean, normally what you do is you get all the lawyers and all the clients
in one room and you discuss what the facts are and what your defense is
going to be. I mean, you can imagine this situation. Donald Trump, Jared
Kushner, Donald Jr. and Michael Flynn sitting in the same room discussing
the facts of the case. That`s what lawyers and clients normally do in
HAYES: So they will do that. They`ll get everyone together and say – I
mean, it sounds a little suspect, I have to say, right? It sounds a little
like you`re saying, well, let`s – well, gentlemen, let`s get our stories
AKERMAN: Well, it`s kind of a legal obstruction of justice. I guess
that`s one way to put it. But it is a way that you can share information
and fashion your defense, whatever that might be.
HAYES: And then the requirements from a sort of ethical standpoint are
AKERMAN: Well, it really comes down to this. It`s usually a written
agreement. I know there are reports out there that say this agreement is -
- joint defense agreement that Flynn was involved in not in writing.
Knowing Donald Trump, it probably wasn`t because he doesn`t want to be a
party to something –
AKERMAN: – where he`s in a defense but it be done informally, as long as
everybody says the right words at the beginning of each meeting and during
each discussion. Because what you`re trying to do is to preserve the
attorney-client privilege in the course of these discussions.
HAYES: While also sharing information.
AKERMAN: While sharing information. But the moment that your interests
become adverse to everybody else is the moment that you have to leave that
joint defense agreement. In fact, if you look at a standard joint defense
agreement, there is a provision in there that once that happens, you leave,
you to notify people. But the conversations that occurred during the
course of that joint defense agreement still remain privileged.
HAYES: Oh, that`s interesting. They`re locked in a box.
AKERMAN: They`re locked in the box but it doesn`t mean that Flynn can`t
testify to the facts of what happened.
HAYES: Right because you can`t lock away the facts.
AKERMAN: You can`t lock away the facts but you can lock away the strategy
and what people said during the course of that joint defense agreement.
HAYES: So seeing the news that Michael Schmidt reported in the New York
Times and others now have appeared to confirm, do you have the same
inference that between that and the meeting today between Mueller`s
attorneys and Flynn`s attorneys that there`s a – there`s new phase that`s
been entered here?
AKERMAN: Yes, I wouldn`t make too much of the meeting here today. I think
he already decided to cooperate a while ago. There`s usually a ritual that
goes through here. It`s not something that Michael Flynn just doesn`t walk
into the prosecutor`s office and says I`m ready to cooperate. What
normally happens is the lawyers go in, they make what is called the
proffer. They basically let the prosecutor know what it is their client
can testify to. The prosecutors size that up. They look at the evidence
they have. They look at what kind of information this person is providing,
and then they decide whether the person is telling the truth. Because the
last thing you want is a witness who`s going to be a liar. And then based
on that, you have the client or the defendant, in this case, Flynn come in
and they let him give a proffer himself, usually under a proffer agreement,
which is also known a queen for a day.
HAYES: Right. Basically, I`m telling you, but this goes back into the
vault after I`m done telling you so you can make your evaluation.
AKERMAN: Right. But it`s not – it doesn`t necessarily totally go back
totally in the vault. They can`t use what he says against directly –
HAYES: Right. That`s what I mean.
AKERMAN: – but they can take leads from that and pursue those leads. So
once you sign a queen for a day, you`re basically –
HAYES: You`re in.
AKERMAN: You`re in. You`re in for the full course.
HAYES: Thank you, Nick Akerman. Michael Flynn is not the only member of
the Trump inner circle to face legal exposure. The President`s son-in-law
Jared Kushner is under scrutiny from the Special Counsel appears to be
affecting his work at the White House. Ashley Parker is an MSNBC
Contributor and a White House Reporter for the Washington Post where she`s
got the story on Kushner`s shrinking profile. First, start with that.
What has happened to Jared Kushner`s role in the White House?
ASHLEY PARKER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So Jared Kushner`s role in the White
House has been deeply minimized down to its original scope. And you have
to understand this in the context of General Kelly, the newish now Chief of
Staff. Basically, when this White House started, it was sort of chaos.
And anyone could do anything. They could walk into the Oval Office. And
Jared Kushner was first among equals and he had utter free rein. In his
portfolio sort of even became a punch line on Capitol Hill.
He was solving peace in the Middle East. He had China, he had Mexico, he
had Canada. He had this American innovation group. General Kelly came in
and he imposed discipline and order and basically said to Jared, one of the
terms of my working here is that you work through me, you report through
me. So Jared still has his original portfolio but he can`t just call the
President, his father-in-law to do something that has nothing to do with
his area of expertise. You may recall at the beginning he was even sort of
functioning as a shadow secretary of state. That is all largely over under
HAYES: So there`s also – so you have this sort of diminished role and a
kind of organizational story there. But there`s also the fact that a lot
of things you can say about Michael Flynn, you can say about Jared Kushner
which is there seems to be a fair amount of exposure, particularly in the
sort of sense of forms and the SF-86, what he has told Congress lining up
with the facts. How much is that weighing on this White House, the degree
to which Jared Kushner himself is exposed?
PARKER: Sure. So as I said at the outset that Jared`s people and his
lawyers maintain that he did nothing wrong and he is cooperating with
Congress, cooperating with the probe. But there are people inside the
White House and outside of the White House in the President`s inner orbit
who are very worried about this. And they say that Jared Kushner there, he
does have this exposure. At the very best, he`s sort of a distraction to
the President. And in a very worst case, quite frankly, he`s dangerous.
HAYES: What do you mean by dangerous?
PARKER: Well, I think the concern of people, and again, these are people
who are more speculating. But the concern is that if Jared gets embroiled
in this, and we`ve seen that Mueller`s probe is not necessarily looking at
actions inside the White House, but it will go to people`s financial
dealings or with Jared in particular understanding Mueller is interested in
contacts he had with Russians during the transition and also in his role in
firing Comey. Basically, that if Jared gets in trouble, he is very close
to the President. At the beginning, he was walking in and out of the Oval
Office sort of unfettered, that it might come back and hurt the President.
HAYES: All right, Ashley Parker, thanks for your time tonight.
PARKER: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, the White House defending the President`s use of a racial
slur during an event honoring Native Americans. The fallout from the
President`s latest cheap shot at Senator Elizabeth Warren in just two
TRUMP: – honoring Native American code talkers during National American
Indian Heritage Month is just something that Presidents do. President
Obama honored these men in 2010. President George W. Bush did the same
back in 2001. And today it was President Trump`s turn to honor the men who
risked their lives during World War II, who used their indigenous language
to create a secret code to help the U.S. Marine Corps transmit messages
that could not be intercepted. The ceremony took place in the Oval Office
under the watchful eye. The portrait of President Andrew Jackson whose
forcible removal of Indians from their land became a death march for
thousands known infamously as the trail of tears. And then our current
President opened his mouth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people.
You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a
Representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They
call her Pocahontas but you know what? I like you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President was once again derisively referring to Senator
Elizabeth Warren who has cited her Oklahoma family lore to claim partial
native American ancestry, even though investigations have never turned up
definitive proof one way or the other on the matter nor has it ever been
proven she gained anything professionally from those ancestral claims. But
that has not stopped the President from obsessively attacking her. Senator
Warren responded earlier on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It is deeply unfortunate that
the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony
honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And just in case you thought this was just Trump alone, a short
time later Sarah Huckabee Sanders made it clear the official position of
the White House is one of nastiness and cheap shots.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the event that the President just did with the
Navajo Code Talkers, he referred to Pocahontas being in the Senate. Why
did he feel the need to say something that is offensive to many people
while honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, these genuine American heroes?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: I think what most
people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance
her career. Steven?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said it was a racial slur. She said it was a
racial slur. What is your response to that?
SANDERS: I think that`s a ridiculous response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: With me now Gyasi Ross who is an Attorney as well as a member of
the Black Feet Nation. Your response to that scene in the White House
GYASI ROSS, MEMBER, BLACK FEET NATION: Well, you know, I want to push back
just a little bit that this wasn`t an insult to Elizabeth Warren. This was
an insult to the descendants of Pocahontas. This was an insult to native
people generally. This was an insult to native women. I would like to
paraphrase my elder, my esteemed elder Faith Spotted Eagle by saying Donald
Trump, his filthy, nasty, lying deceitful lips do not deserve to utter
Pocahontas` name. And moreover, he certainly doesn`t deserve to do it
while he is honoring these men who fought and were willing to use their
heritage, use every single resource that they had to leverage to bring
victory to the United States. He certainly doesn`t deserve to utter those
words at that time.
HAYES: I want to play for you, and I take your point about the object of
the insult here is not Elizabeth Warren. He is obsessed with this idea,
this particular slur, particularly attached to her. It is an ongoing
theme. I`m going to play what he said about her in the past and ask you to
– what you make of this obsession. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You`ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you`re going
to say no, sir, no thank you. No, ma`am, perhaps ma`am. It may be
Pocahontas. Remember that.
Crooked Hillary wants far-left activist judges forced over there by Bernie
and by Pocahontas.
And Massachusetts is represented by Pocahontas.
So now we`ll only have Pocahontas to think about because I think, you know
– I think maybe it could be Pocahontas. I hope so. I hope it`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you make of this?
ROSS: I think that he has a very long history that far precedes Elizabeth
Warren of being derisive toward native people going to 1993 when he was
trying to protect his own interests and keep the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
from gaming and using any sort of competitive edge, including alleging that
there would be more Mafioso than since John Gotti or something like that.
And so it goes back long ways, specifically in regards to Elizabeth Warren.
I think he found something that plays to his largely insensitive and base
that doesn`t really seem to, you know, play well with niceties and/or with
a lot of people refer to as political correctness. So he finds a group
that has a pretty small voting base and just picks on it.
HAYES: Do you think – are you surprised – well, the reaction to it, it
does seem to me that this is a slur. People understand that. Do you think
that this sort of way in which this plays throughout the public
conversation recognizes this sort of offensiveness of it?
ROSS: Yes, you know, the thing is that the word Pocahontas is not a slur.
That`s a person`s name. And it was absolutely – I`m not suggesting that
you said that. But you know, it was a historical person. But obviously,
he`s using this to play – to be entertained and to entertain other people
who find our community, native people to be funny or to be novel. And
Chris, let me just tell you really quick, you know, for our community, for
native people, if you go to a Pow wow, a Pow wow is a Native American
celebration where there`s dancing and where there`s – where there`s music.
And if you go there, the two groups that we absolutely revere, just like
anybody else, there is no unanimity of native thought. But the two groups
that we revere are veterans and elders. And somehow this dimwitted
completely mush-mouthed fool managed to offend the two groups with which he
said he was honoring at this time in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson,
who as you pointed out, signed the Indian Removal Act and killed thousands
of native people.
HAYES: Yes, that was – that was a particularly incredible cherry on top
of this entire scene that we got to see today.
ROSS: It`s horrible.
HAYES: Gyasi Ross, thank you for joining us.
ROSS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Next you might recognize the Trump appointee now leading an agency
he calls a sick, sad joke. And on top of that, there is a person claiming
the job is already theirs that incredible story after this quick break.
HAYES: OK. If you sell a toaster or you`re a company that sells a
toaster, and 50 out of the 100 those toasters you sell catch fire,
something has gone wrong. And luckily there is something called the
Consumer Product Safety Commission that will very likely recall the toaster
and prevent future sales of it. And it makes sense because you do not want
companies selling unsafe products. But until recently, there was nothing
like that for financial products like say credit cards or mortgages which
as we have learned candidate do way more damage than a toaster. So
lawmakers led by Democrats under President Obama created an agency to do
just that, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Wall Street and
Republicans have absolutely hated it from the start.
At one point Republicans hated it so much they said they would refuse to
confirm anyone to run it, whoever it was, despite the fact the agency`s
very existence had been you know, made into law. So there was always this
question about what a Republican President might do with that agency the
Republicans have hated so much. And what President Trump did today was
install an acting director of the CFPB who said he wanted to destroy the
bureau when he was still a Congressman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MULVANEY: It`s a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if
it has no accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke. And that`s
what the CFPB really has been in a – in a sick, sad kind of way. Because
you have an institution that has tremendous authority over what you all do
for a living. Some of us would like to get rid of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Talking to a representative of the banking industry there. And now
that man, that guy who wants to get rid of it is running that very agency.
Or is he? Because today another person claimed to be the director of that
agency. And she is suing President Trump. And that`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT: My opinion
of the structure of the CFPB has not changed. I still think it`s an awful
example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong. And I told him look, I`m not
here to shut the place down because the law doesn`t allow me to do that.
That being said, we`re going run it differently than the previous
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Trump`s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, who already has a
job on his first
day of his new second job as acting director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau with emphasis on acting because it is still not entirely
clear if Mulvaney is actually the acting director.
You see when CFPB Director Richard Cordray resigned Friday, he named
Leandra English as the acting deputy director, which according to the law
that established the bureau, would indeed make Leandra English, upon
Cordray`s resignation, the acting director. It means she gets to run the
place temporarily, which is why she sent an email to the CFPB staff this
morning thanking for them for their service and signing it Leandra English,
But about the same time this morning, Mick Mulvaney did her one better and
showed up to work with a bag of donuts. And his communication`s director
tweeted a picture of Mulvaney, quote, sitting in director`s office already
hard at work as acting director at CFPB.
And Mulvaney sent his own to the staff, instructing them to please
disregard Ms. English. Mulvaney imposed a temporary freeze on all new
hiring and regulations. And he said the vacancies reform act, another
piece of legislation, actually gives President Trump the power to name him
as acting director.
So Acting Director English, anticipating the standoff with Actor Director
Mulvaney, filed a lawsuit yesterday against both the president and
Mulvaney claiming that the position he is currently occupying is legally
Mulvaney, as you might imagine disagrees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MULVANEY: It`s the president`s right. So my guess is the court will hear
the same arguments from capable folks. If the court decides to issue a
temporary restraining order, order me not to come in the building, I will
absolutely follow the law. I want to make that perfectly clear. We follow
I`m going forward tonight and tomorrow assuming that I`m here, and I`ll be
here until either the court or the president tells me otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is a member of the finance committee
and he joins me now.
All right, senator, what the heck is going on down there?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Good question. The swamp is not being
to start with. I mean, you see the president putting one of his most
trusted far right special interest hates consumer protections in Wall
Street`s pocket cabinet members over at the consumer bureau like
it`s a coup d`etat telling Ms. English, the new director that she can`t do
anything and nobody should respond to anything she said.
I mean, it really is a case where in the end politics is whose on your
side, and clearly this administration over and over when it comes to
financial rules, they`re always on Wall Street`s side every single time.
HAYES: All right, so I understand substantively you are on one side, the
president and Mick Mulvaney, most of the Republicans and most of Wall
Street are on the other about this bureau and what it does.
But in a sort of process question in terms of government, it does not seem
crazy to me that the president can direct who is going to run essentially a
BROWN: Well, play it out, though. If the president can put somebody in as
an interim director or an interim cabinet member, as an interim anybody
like they did at the office of the comptroller of the currency, you bring a
total special interest person in whose interests are Wall Street, never
main street`s, that main street centrist, that person stays in six or eight
months. No senate confirmation. No advise – I`m not a lawyer, but I know
the constitution talks about advise and consent.
So you can put the special interest people in like Mick Mulvaney. There
are no ethics rules around them because they`re interim. So that`s what
the president can start doing over and over. It`s a total violation of
what we used to do or what we stand for. But these guys play hardball.
Look at how he did this today. And that`s the way they are going to behave
on agency after agency. It`s clear.
If they win this one, it`s Katie bar the door. That`s what they`re going
HAYES: So you met – am I correct you met with Ms. English today?
BROWN: I did.
HAYES: What was that meeting like? And what is her game plan going
BROWN: Well, I really can`t talk about the meeting per se, because it was
private meeting. But I can say she is clearly qualified. She believes
that the consumer bureau should actually look out for consumers. I can see
that she is troubled by the Trump administration`s actions. She is
troubled that they brought a guy in.
One of the first things Mulvaney did was stop the payments that were due to
veterans, to service members, to consumers who were wronged by any number
of financial institutions. I mean, they were going to have to pay out, pay
these consumers. They stopped payment. You can see whose side he is on.
HAYES: Wait. They did that today?
BROWN: They did – that`s one of the first things Mulvaney did today.
So you can see that`s who they are. That`s what – that`s what Trump
wanted there. That`s what the White House wanted there. That`s who Wall
Street wanted there. You can see on case after cas ,
that`s what they`re doing.
The same of the office of the comptroller of the currency that regulates
the big national banks. I mean, that`s what they are set to do by allowing
– you`ve heard me say before on this show that the
White House now looks like a retreat for Goldman Sachs executives. And now
so does the consumer
bureau even, not just the comptroller of the currency or the Fed, but the
HAYES: Are you concerned that they are in the process of recreating the
conditions that precipitated one of the worst global financial crisis in 70
BROWN: Well, I am concerned in this way. I think Dodd-Frank was a huge
success. I think the financial system is a lot stronger. I think we`ve
had some pretty good – not all of them, pretty good regulators in over the
last decade. I`m concerned, though, that there is a bill about to move
through congress that weakens some of these rules and rolls back some
consumer protections and weakens some of the stress tests and some of those
very successful tools that Dodd-Frank called for. I`m concerned that the
regulate terse president has put in that they could undermine and undercut
So I don`t expect there to be terrible problems in the next year or two.
But, you know, Connie and I live in Cleveland. We live in zip code 44105.
My zip code had more foreclosures than any zip code in the United States of
America in 2007. I still see the blight from that. I know what it means
to families. That`s why I urge people on this consumer bureau to come to
Sherrodbrown.com, Sherrodbrown.com, my website, and sign a petition saying
don`t undermine the consumer bureau. Stand up for consumers in telling the
administration to do the right thing there.
HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thank you.
BROWN: Thanks, as always.
HAYES: Still to come, why Republicans are desperately rushing to pass tax
increases for middle class this week.
Plus, the greatest cell phone of 2017. Trust me you do not want to miss
tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, since accusations broke of sexual misconduct and
abuse by Roy Moore, there have been attempts to discredit the accusers and
the journalists. The original Washington Post report was a result of
extensive fact checking, interviews with 30 sources and four on-the-record
accusers. And those reporting standards are part of what makes the story
credible, methods designed to verify facts and prevent false stories from
Case in point, a woman approached the post with a dramatic and false tale
about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of an undercover sting operation.
While fact checking the woman`s story, The Post found several inaccuracies
so they interviewed her again and told her it was being recorded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still do mortgage work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, a little bit of an issue there. And I just
want to ask you to explain it, because when we called the company that you
said you worked for, they said they didn`t have – that you didn`t work
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you talk to the corporate office?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beth made the phone call. And I know she said that
you – they didn`t have an employee your name there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was one of several inaccuracies and big red flags, including a
GoFundMe page bearing the woman`s name claiming I`ve accept a job to work
in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceit of the
It now appears this is part of a James O`Keefe scam. And that`s Thing Two
in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Remember James O`Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, which attempts
to discredit liberal groups and news publications by using selectively
edited covert video recordings. Videos are normally posted on Breitbart.
He has received funding from none other than the Trump organization. And
back in 2010 O`Keefe was convicted of a misdemeanor for a scheme that
involved entering a Democratic Senator`s office while posing as a telephone
repairman and wearing hidden cameras.
Well, now he has been busted yet again. It appears the woman who contacted
The Washington Post with a false Roy Moore accusation works for O`Keefe.
This morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of
Project Veritas. Afterward, the post approached O`Keefe for comment.
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Jamie Phillips work for Project Veritas? Did you
guys send her to pose as a victim of Roy Moore to The Washington Post?
JAMES O`KEEFE, FOUNDER, PROJECT VERITAS: I`m 15 minutes late for this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
O`KEEFE: So I got to run. But I will – we will get in touch with you,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamie Phillips, does she work for The Washington
Post? Does she work for Project Veritas?
O`KEEFE: I`m not getting into…
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: …is doing very well. And I think Republicans are going to be
very proud. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you decide to not go to Alabama? Alabama?
Mr. President will you go to Alabama?
Will you go to Alabama, Mr. President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was President Trump, who is not normally at a loss for words,
once again ignoring shouted questions about Alabama senate candidate and
accused child molester, Roy Moore.
The situation has gotten increasingly awkward. The White House told the
Associated Press today that Trump will not travel to Alabama to campaign
for Moore. The president has made clear he
is backing the man accused of molesting a child he met outside her custody
hearing. Stressing to reporters last week that Moore has been accused of
misconduct by nine women, quote, totally denies it.
And yesterday tweeting a long attack on Moore`s opponent Doug Jones that
ended with the claim, quote, Jones would be a disaster.
The president himself of course has been accused of unwanted physical
contact by 15 women, all of whom he says are liars. He has reportedly told
multiple people he also doubts Moore`s accusers, and this weekend Times
reporting that Trump sees parallels between the calls for Moore to step
and the reaction to the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump
boasted about sexual assault.
Trump apologized for those comments in October, but now he is amazingly
suggesting he never said them in the first place. The Times reporting that
Trump suggested to a senator earlier this year the Access Hollywood tape
was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism for her comments about
Conyers, who has been accused of sexually harassing staffers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, MAJORITY LEADER: John Conyers is an icon in our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe John Conyers` attackers?
PELOSI: I don`t know who they are. They have not come forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don`t know if you believe the accusations?
PELOSI: That`s for ethics committee to review.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Conyers, who denies the allegations, has announced he would step
down from his
leadership position in the judiciary committee as the ethics investigation
It`s pretty clear at this point that almost nobody in Washington wants to
talk about sexual
misconduct allegations against members of their own party. But for
Republicans, the scandals do have a big upside. They have shifted focus
away from the massive, wildly unpopular tax bill they`re
trying to get through the Senate this week. A bill that takes from the poor
and gives to the rich, and
explodes eight long years of yelping about the deficit. A huge news about
the tax bill you might have missed this weekend, right after this.
HAYES: Over the Thanksgiving weekend the news broke that the tax plan
being pushed by Senate Republicans is somehow even worse than we knew.
Congressional budget office finding the bill hurts the poor more than
originally thought. By 2027 most people earning less than $75,000 a year
would be worse off, while millionaires and those earning $100,000 to
$500,000 would be big beneficiaries.
It almost defies logic. In order to satisfy their donors and be able to say
they did something this
year, Senate Republicans hope to raise taxes on tens of millions of
Americans and add $1.4 trillion to the deficit.
That may sound like political suicide but Republicans say they have no
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get this accomplishment. This is a goal that
for a long time. The tax code in this country needs to be changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll get there because failure is not an option when
it comes to the Republican party and cutting taxes to every Republican
senator. The fate of the party is in our hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Assuming no Democrats work for the bill, Republicans can only lose
two votes and still get a pass and at least nine Republican senators have
expressed some level of skepticism.
Mitch McConnell is rushing ahead anyway and plans to hold a vote by the end
of the week. The reason is next week Congress has to focus on averting a
looming government shut down, and Republicans are absolutely desperate to
avoid having to explain to their wealthy donors why they haven`t gotten the
tax cut they were promised.
I`m joined now by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Cay Johnston,
author of the forthcoming book, It`s Even Worse Than You Think, What the
Trump Administration is doing to America. Also joining me is Stephanie
Kelton, professor at Stony Brook University and former Chief Economist for
the Democrats who are on the Senate budget committee.
David, I`ll start with you. It`s amazing they will push this thing through
that`s a $1.4 trillion tax cut that looks like it`s going to raise people`s
taxes at the end of a ten-year window. My question to you is, are people
going to notice next year if they pass this?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, JOURNALIST: Well, they won`t notice in the first year,
but they will over time. If the Republicans pass this however, you know, we
should start calling this the his and her jets act of 2017 or the idiots`
tax act because one of the things we`re going to do is tax graduate
students and the children of people who have jobs at universities like
cafeteria workers who get free tuition. We`re going to tax that, because,
you know, the real problem here is clear, rich – sorry, Chris. The rich
don`t have enough money and the Republicans are determined to make sure
they have more.
HAYES: To get this straight, they have this phase and what you`re saying
is the way it works next year is, people could see a tax cut. They pushed
all this stuff to the out years but it could work in the short term?
JOHNSTON: Well, yes, however, let`s assume you make $100 a day, $36,500 a
year. Your income is going to, after tax, go up by 20 cents a day. On the
other hand, if you make 12 million a year, your after tax income will go up
by $1,000 a day. That`s what this bill is about. The rich don`t have enough
and we`ve really got to get them more.
HAYES: All right. You`re very – Stephanie, you`re very outspoken on
deficit politics and the ways in which people talk about deficit in
Washington, and the ways they get it wrong in your view.
One of the sort of hopes right now and people trying to stop this is that
the deficit hawks and Republican party stop it because it blows up the
budget deficit, and as someone who has watched Republicans be extremely
sanctimonious about budget deficits, what do you make of watching them push
STEPHANIE KELTON, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY: It`s a complete 180. As you
said, for the last eight years we`ve heard Republicans do little but
complain about government spending, the size of the deficit, the looming
debt crisis and all of the other stuff they like to talk about, and now
they are in control and run the table, the first thing they want to do is
put through a massive tax cut that will explode the size of the deficit.
So you`re looking at a party that now says, you know what? Actually, we
think it`s okay to add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the next ten years
provided that it does some good to the broader economy.
That`s what they are telling us, right? That`s why they need to do this and
as Mick Mulvaney said, you know, these are his words, he said, we need
bigger deficits. If we`re going to get the kind of growth that we promise -
HAYES: Through the looking glass –
KELTON: We have to have deficits to achieve the broad job creation and the
growth that this economy really needs. Now that`s where they are. We`ve
laid down a marker. We`re the party that says we need deficits in order to
achieve growth, and in order to create jobs, and in order to build a better
economy. This is our plan to do it.
HAYES: And part of what they`re doing, too, is they are pushing this
through before they can model out what they think the effects are.
Binyamin Applebaum made this point, he said, “Republicans and Democrats
have long touted opposing analysis of the economics of taxation. People
could look and judge the difference. It cannot be overstated how radical it
is for Republicans to simply refuse to present an analysis.”
They are trying to get this voted on before the joint committee on taxation
sort of issues it`s full report about what it thinks will happen.
JOHNSTON: Well, and this fits a larger pattern. This is a bill crafted by
Republicans with the lobbyists they let into their offices. No Democrats
were involved in this whatsoever. There were no public hearings before it
was written and the minimal public hearings we`ve seen were for show.
This is not the way we should be doing business. Taxes are the first power
we grant our Congress because taxes are central to our democracy.
HAYES: You sort of lived through some intense austerity years. There was
this push by Republicans successful, to impose austerity and there was the
sequester and the Budget Control Act. There`s a lot of people who worry
that should this happen on this side, right, it`s like okay, you either get
tax cuts, that that`s the next move. As someone that worked on that
committee, is that what you see
KELTON: I think it`s the likely outcome. You see the likelihood of these
tax cuts not doing what it is the Republicans have promised they would do,
which is ultimately create so much prosperity that there is so much new
revenue they they essentially pay for themselves.
When that doesn`t happen because the tax cut are so heavily skewed to the
people who are less likely to spend the wind fall, the economy isn`t going
to improve. The deficits will be there and
Republicans are going to say we got to do something to deal with deficits.
HAYES: So as soon as you get a recession they`re going to be like, oh, no,
the debt crisis is back.
KELTON: Yeah. They aren`t going to say we got to reverse the tax cuts.
They are going to say, what do we have to do? We have to cut spending in
order to deal with the deficits.
And so, here likely, I think, to see that scenario play out where
Republicans go after things like
entitlements and other public programs that help primary middle class and
HAYES: And Mick Mulvaney has already sort of been signaling that and Paul
Ryan has been signaling that.
David Cay Johnston and Stephanie Kelton, thank you both.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening Rachel.
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