NBC News fires Matt Lauer Transcript 11/29/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Jonathan Chait, Jill Wine-Banks, Chris Murphy, Joyce Vance, Bernie Sanders

Date: November 29, 2017
Guest: Jonathan Chait, Jill Wine-Banks, Chris Murphy, Joyce Vance, Bernie Sanders

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: – nuclear threat from North Korea with a
Commander-in-Chief measurably incapable of deciphering reality. That`s
HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes
starts right now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something is unleashed with him lately. I don`t know
what`s causing it. I don`t know how to describe it.

HAYES: New reporting on a President losing his grip on reality as he
spreads conspiracy theories and racist propaganda.

video, the threat is real.

HAYES: Tonight, Senator Chris Murphy on the growing concerns over
President Trump as the North Korean threat escalates.

Plus new reporting on the firing of “TODAY SHOW” Anchor Matt Lauer for
inappropriate sexual behavior. Why Roy Moore is apparently rebounding in
Alabama and the desperate rush for the Trump tax bill.

tomorrow or the next day.

HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders on why Republicans are racing towards a

TRUMP: This is going to cost me a fortune.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. North Korea is now,
according to experts, a nuclear power, apparently capable of striking
anywhere on the globe with a nuclear warhead and at a time when this
country and the world and allies are depending on stable, steady and clear-
sighted American leadership, the President of the United States genuinely
appears to be losing his grip on reality. In the 24 hours since North
Korea tested its longest-range missile to date, the President has retreated
further and further back into the fever swamp from which his political
career first emerged tweeting conspiracy theories about his own government,
about the people that worked for him, the so-called deep state, launching
unfounded personal and reckless attacks against executives and employees at
this very network. This morning the President started his day by promoting
anti-Muslim fascist propaganda, retweeting videos posted by the leader of a
British hate group called Britain First which purports to show Muslims
committing acts of violence. At least one of the videos is a fake. It
said to show a Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. But the
Dutch Embassy was forced to correct the U.S. President saying, “Facts do
matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and
raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under
Dutch law.” British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the President`s
elevation of a far-right fringe group. This is the conservative Prime
Minister of the U.K., a far-right group which is accused of harassing and
promoting violence against Muslim citizens in Britain. The White House
defended the President`s tweets arguing it doesn`t matter if the videos
were fake.


SANDERS: Whether it`s a real video, the threat is real and that is what
the President is talking about. That`s what the President is focused on,
is dealing with those real threats. And those are real no matter how you
look at it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it doesn`t matter if the video is fake?

SANDERS: Look, I`m not talking about the nature of the video. I think
you`re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that`s what the
President is talking about.


HAYES: Of course, Donald Trump has been performing this kind of unhinged
shtick for years. There`s mounting evidence it`s not an act that behind
closed doors the President appears to be succumbing to his own delusions.
According to reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post, the
President no longer believes it was his voice on the infamous Access
Hollywood tape. “He says, it`s really not me. I don`t talk like that
according to someone who`s disgusted with him.” Never mind of course he
admitted it was – it`s him after the first tape first came out or that
everyone who has watched the tape heard him bragging about getting away
with sexual assault. That`s apparently not the only delusion that the most
powerful man in the world is clinging to. Lawmakers and the President`s
own advisers – own advisers told the New York Times the President
continues to claim he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread
voter fraud, a claim for which there`s not a shred of evidence, a false
claim, a delusional claim.

And despite having publicly renounced the racist birther controversy on the
campaign last year under great pressure, the President reportedly used
closed-door conversations to once again question the authenticity of Barack
Obama`s birth certificate. Meaning the President of the United States is
still at this moment privately pushing the racist lie that the country`s
first Black President was illegitimate. And only now he`s doing it from
the Oval Office. And more on the high stakes of an unhinged President,
let`s bring in Jonathan Chait, a Writer from the New York Magazine and Jill
Wine-Banks, former special water – Special Watergate Prosecutor, also a
counselor at the DOD. Jonathan, today felt – there are many days in the
Trump Presidency that feel unhinged. Today felt particularly unhinged.

same response that you had. And before these stories came out I would have
very confidently said we understand who Trump is. He`s a con man. He says
whatever he has to say to get ahead financially or politically. But these
stories indicate the possibility that he`s actually fooled by his own lies,
that he actually believes these things, that he`s saying things on subjects
and in context from which he has no advantage. He has no reason to lie to
his own advisers about these subjects. And so it`s very disturbing and I`m
disturbed by the exact same things that you are. Maybe we misunderstood
who he was or maybe he`s become someone different, someone, who has just
lost his grip on reality.

HAYES: Jill, you know, you worked on the Watergate prosecution and of
course the end to that President Nixon wasn`t actually – he wasn`t
actually impeached. He resigned before it could be. And part of the
concern then was that he had grown unfit, that he had sort of spiraled into
a place in which it was dangerous, dangerous to the world and dangerous to
the U.S. for him to have his hand on the button. Do you feel that way now?

I think that you and Jonathan have really laid out some of the things that
happened just today that are reason for concern. And you know, the 25th
Amendment may be the thing that we need right now. It may be time. I
don`t know that the Republicans have the courage to stand up and use it,
but it actually was used during the Nixon administration, although it was
the Vice Presidential Clause that was used because Spiro Agnew, the Vice
President, was indicted and had to stand trial and was convicted and went
to jail so there was a vacancy in the vice-presidency and the 25th
Amendment was use today fill that vacancy. Now I think that the cabinet
needs to say we`re looking at him and he is delusional, he is believing his
own lies, and we cannot trust him to execute the duties of the office and
he needs to be removed from office.

HAYES: I want to play something Richard Blumenthal said because to your
point nothing can happen without Republican buy-in and there is not. I
mean, people – you know, Orrin Hatch today said the President, that`s the
best president under which he served and people should take Orrin Hatch his
word and believe Orrin Hatch is telling the truth about his own subjective
judgment of this President. This is what Richard Blumenthal said about the
moral responsibility that the Republicans will bear. Take a listen.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: The Republican Party will bear a
moral responsibility and political accountability for their failure to
stand up and speak out against this kind of absolutely abhorrent use of the
public media, and it is a disgrace.


HAYES: But by and large, Jonathan, there`s no daylight here. I mean, you
got Jeff Flake saying he`s going to give some speeches but aside from that
there really has not been a ton of movement on that front.

CHAIT: Unless as time goes on, not more, Republicans were much more
nervous about Trump, much more distance between him and them during the
campaign and even at the beginning of the presidency and they just seem to
have gotten tighter and tighter and they`re more and more intimidated and I
think what Steve Bannon is doing with his outside group targeting members
of the Senate especially is he`s trying to identify anyone who`s not going
to stand behind Trump, anyone who might raise a 25th amendment challenge if
he grows erratic enough and try to knock them out and make the party
complete fall in line with him and I think it`s working.

HAYES: One of the delusions that the President appears to believe in Jill
is that the Russia probe is wrapping up and the reason I think this is
important is because at some point reality will overtake that delusion.
Maybe he`s not diluted, maybe he knows and I`m wrong and everyone else –
this is wrong. But one outside adviser to Trump warned the President would
blow a gasket if there`s no statement of exoneration by year`s end. How
likely do you think that will be?

BANKS: It is probably very likely, but I guess the definition of delusion
is that it makes no sense and it certainly makes no sense to hold out the
promise that this will be over by the end of the year when at the end of
the year it will be proven not to be over and everyone will see the lie for
what it is. And I think to the point that was just made, it reminds me of
the Vietnam era where people were saying you will be accountable for what
you did or didn`t do. Someday your grandchildren are going to ask what did
you do to stop this war. And I think the same thing is going to be true
for Republicans. What did you do to stop the insanity that is going on and
the danger to our democracy to allow the threat of North Korea to be
answered in the way that it`s now being answered instead of a more
diplomatic and sensible approach?

HAYES: This is an important point which is we do not know what`s on the
other side of the hill called history and that is true of every war that`s
ever been entered into and every catastrophe where these moments to moment
may seem absurd or unhinged and then someone makes a decision that has
profoundly catastrophic consequences. I want to just give people an
update. The President is twitting again and has tweeted at Theresa May to
not focus on him, to take care of her own backyard because he – the first
tweet was at the wrong handle. He tagged a woman who has six followers,
just a private citizen. That seem to be correct. He`s then tweeting about
deep state again, big stuff. He`s clearly watching Fox News because he`s
tagging them. Jonathan, you wrote this about the President`s tweets about
the British fascist group basically today that Trump continues to cultivate
the Republican Party alliance with fascism. What do you mean by that?

CHAIT: Well, what I mean is that this kind of fascist authoritarian openly
racist groups used to be basically outside of Republican Party politics and
now he`s brought them inside of it. He`s cultivated alliances with them.
They`re not at the center, they`re not Paul Ryan but they`re part of the
party. They`re inside the tent. They`re people he listens to and honors
and elevates. That`s a really new change and that`s a huge change in the
whole makeup of American politics that Trump has enact and I don`t see that
changing even after he`s gone.

HAYES: The idea of waking up today in America as a Muslim American or in
the U.K. to what the – what the President tweeted, it`s truly shocking.
It`s sort of hard to find the words for how vile that is and what a vile
use it is of the power that he holds. Jonathan Chait and Betsy Woodruff,
thank you, both.

Senator Chris Murphy is a Democrat from Connecticut, a member of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee. Senator, how worried are you about the
President`s fitness and grasp of reality at this moment?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, listen, I think that the
President previewed pretty effectively during the campaign what his style
of governance was going to be like. He never advertised to the nation that
he was going to pay very close attention to detail. I`ve been worried
since the very beginning of his campaign about whether he could be an
effective Commander-in-Chief. What makes me even more worried is that he
has not hired people into the top positions who can compensate for his lack
of attention or his lack of stability. He`s got a Secretary of State, a
Deputy Secretary of State who have no experience in negotiating big deals
across the country. He hasn`t hired people into other positions that could
keep the Middle East, places in Asia safer. So it`s worried me from the
very beginning, his style of governance. It worries me even more that he
doesn`t have people around him who can help.

HAYES: But I want to zero in. It`s more than style of governance. I
mean, part of what has been presented in the reporting and the evidence is
the President at a fundamental level seems incapable if you believe the
reporting and I don`t know if you do of distinguishing between fact and
fiction, between delusion and reality. And given what`s happening on the
Korean Peninsula among other places, that seems problematic.

MURPHY: Well, and you have to go back to think about how wars have started
in the past. Let`s go back to the Gulf of Tonkin, a moment in which there
were a number of reports about whether the United States had been fired
upon and it was left to the President to decide whether or not those
reports were credible. Often the way you get into a military conflict is
through an interpretation about what your adversary`s intent is or what set
of facts has occurred. And so, when you have a President like this who
seems to show such blatant disregard for the facts, it makes it even more
likely that there`s going to be a big miscalculation when you get into that
muddy area that tends to occupy the beginning of military hostilities.

HAYES: Well, that segue way to last night`s missile test from the North
Koreans and you`re someone who spend a lot of time thinking about and
working with foreign relations on the committee and elsewhere, what is your
takeaway from what happened last night?

MURPHY: Well, my takeaway is that the President`s strategy has not worked
and his strategy has been to throw a lot of braggadocio and rhetorical
bluster at the North Koreans without much of a true pathway to diplomatic
talks. And if I`m the North Koreans and I`m watching the President
desperately try to pull out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, it gives me
absolutely no confidence that were I to start talking to the Americans or
the Chinese or a group of multi-national nations that any agreement I made
would be held to, so I just don`t think the President has a credible
pathway to get to a deal with the North Koreans and I think they may see
that which is why they`ve restarted these missile tests.

HAYES: I talked to someone last night who`s an expert in this area and
said last night was basically the nail in the coffin about preventing
anything, that we have to reconcile now with the capability of a nuclear
North Korea that can deliver a nuclear payload. Do you agree with that?

MURPHY: I haven`t been briefed on the details of last night`s test. What
we know is that they are far ahead of where our initial intelligence told
us they were. Now, they probably still don`t have the ability to deliver a
nuclear-mounted ICBM to the United States but the fact that they can get it
this far is very concerning. We have to take the pace of their program
very seriously.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, thank you.

MURPHY: Thank you.

HAYES: A quick apology there to Jill Wine-Banks, my guest earlier in the
segment who I mistakenly called Betsy Woodruff, another frequent guest on
the show, my bad about that.

Still ahead, the President claims the new GOP tax plan would cost him a
fortune. It`s not true of course. Senator Bernie Sanders will be here to
discuss. But first, new reporting on the allegations against Matt Lauer,
fired today from NBC News. That`s coming up in two minutes.



SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Just moments ago NBC News Chairman Andy
Lack sent the following note to our organization. :”Dear colleagues, on
Monday night we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about
inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It
represented after serious review a clear violation of our company`s
standards. As a result, we have decided to terminate his employment. And
we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past
few weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation
that they have behaved badly and I don`t know the answer to that?


HAYES: That`s how the day started here at NBC News with that revelation
followed by a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack which added,
“While the first complaint of his behavior in over 20 years he`s been in
NBC News, we were also presented with the reason to believe this may not
have been an isolated incident. Matt Lauer who was terminated after the
complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior has yet to release a statement.
However, the lawyer for the woman who made the complaint to NBC released a
statement which reads in part, my client and I met with representatives
from NBC`s Human Resources and Legal Department at 6:00 p.m. on Monday.
Over the course of several hours, my client detailed egregious acts of
sexual harassment and misconduct by Mr. Lauer. In fewer than 35 hours, NBC
investigated and removed Mr. Lauer.

Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly as
all companies should when confronted with credible allegations about sexual
misconduct in the workplace.” Then, this afternoon, this headline from
Variety, Matt Lauer is accused of sexual harassment by multiple women based
on what it describes as a two-month investigation with dozens of interviews
with current and former staff and includes allegations that Lauer expose
himself with employees in office and invited women employed by NBC to his
hotel room late at night while covering the Olympics. Quoting that
publication, variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as
victims of sexual harassment by Lauer. Their stories have been
corroborated by friends and colleagues they told at the time.

Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network
about Lauer`s behavior which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative
advertising surrounding today. NBC News spokesperson tonight says few more
accusers have come forward since the news broke this morning. And in
quote, we could say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC
News management was never made aware of complaints about Matt Lauer`s
conduct. MSNBC Anchor Stephanie Ruhle joins us now and you`ve been
covering this day. And we should just say, these situations for any news
organization are awkward situations because we work for NBC News and this
is a story about NBC News and we have been very committed I think here
today to covering this story because this is a news story.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC ANCHOR: It`s without a doubt a news story. But
it`s also important to remember, we don`t necessarily know the lines and we
need to reboot because there is a big difference between sexual assault,
sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment. And if you look at what`s
happened in the last few months, what has corporate America done?
Remember, big bad corporate America that nobody likes, Matt Lauer got
fired, Charlie Rose got fired, Mark Halperin got fired. President Trump
who`s been accused by over 12 women is in office. President Trump dint
believe Bill O`Reilly accusers. And Bill O`Reilly got fired and settled
with a woman, one woman for $32 million and Roy Moore is still running. So
it`s stunning that the moral compass here is corporate America.

HAYES: OK. That – well, yes, but let me sort of push back a little bit,
right? This is happening – I mean, the problem is this is happening on
the back end. This seems to me the issue with all these cases. So we have
this sort of tally that keeps growing every day. Garrison Keillor was
fired today. I mean, you have people that in every – you have people in
academia, you have people in tech, in Hollywood, right?

RUHLE: Wait until it hits the medical industry. And think about this. We
hear over and over, women didn`t come forward or they sort of did and it
fell on deaf ears. I don`t doubt that any of these companies didn`t get
formal complaints, but they didn`t get formal complaints because those
women and maybe in some cases men didn`t think they could come forward
because there`s this idea when you`re a star you can do anything. Do you
remember who said when you`re a star, you can do anything?

HAYES: They let you do anything.

RUHLE: It was President Trump who said it on the Access Hollywood tape.
So think about the juxtaposition. I worried when I heard that Access
Hollywood tape as somebody who cares so much about the advancement of women
and girls. When I heard that tape, I thought, what was this is going to do
to us? Are we going to go backwards? And my God, we`ve gone the other
direction. This is a time for real change.

HAYES: Right. But here`s the thing. So you`ve got this situation with
Lauer today. So Matt Lauer was fired today, he`s fired very quickly for
someone as important to an organization as he is to NBC News. It`s sort of
remarkable how quickly it happened. At the same time what has been
revealed is retroactively a huge failure across industries, institutions,
companies that all this behavior was happening, right? We`re having this
Weinstein moment but it`s revealed something that has to be dealt with in a
far more systematic way than choosing or deciding the punishments for the
individual malefactors.

RUHLE: That`s what`s so important and while you could look at this Matt
Lauer moment as massively important, it`s not. It`s what are we going to
do going forward. If this has been happening which it has across
industries since the dawn of time, this is the time to change it. You and
I both know –

HAYES: To stop it, to prevent it. That`s the key to me.

RUHLE: Yes, you and I both know people in the workplace get together,
people in the workplace sleep together. We need to make it clear where
this is acceptable. And if it is a senior person and their subordinate or
a senior person who can influence the career of someone below them, that
isn`t appropriate.

HAYES: Right. Well, that – I mean, that`s part of it. Part of it seems
to me also is having more women in senior positions.

RUHLE: If there was more diversity, you wouldn`t have a boy`s club. It
was just seven years ago I was – when I was an investment banker and –

HAYES: Where there`s no – I just want to be clear, there`s no sexual

RUHLE: Are you kidding me? It`s the mother ship. It is the mother ship.
And Deutsche Bank had their first conference for senior managing director
women and the CEO of the company, the chairman of the company stood before
all of us and he was coming from an honest place and this is how absurd it
is. He said, well of course when I go on trips abroad – it was Josef
Ackermann, and I`m in let`s say Brazil. If I bring a woman with me, what
will people think, I`m dancing with her at night? And we all sat there
gobsmacked. Women you know –

HAYES: Meaning I can`t bring a woman with me on this business trip because
it would look bad.

RUHLE: It would look bad.

HAYES: So like good luck coming on this business trip –

RUHLE: And you know, it would look bad so of course I`m surrounded by men
and we all sat there going this is what`s in the mind of these people, how
are we possibly going to break through? So we have to make sure this is an
important moment to change things and we don`t want to go too far because
we don`t want to be in a situation where suddenly men in power say if I
look at a woman cross-eyed, I`m going to get in trouble, let`s get them
further out of the picture.

HAYES: Well, right. I guess, what seems important to me is that there`s
some again, some sort of systematic change here about what procedures are
put in place and also some kind of – you know, what we have is there`s so
much wrongdoing that has built up for so long that is pouring forward in
these sort of individual adjudications of penalty that it obscures the fact
that, A, this is happening in places that aren`t very prominent. It`s
happening in insurance companies, it`s happening in fast food chains, it`s
happening to maids in hotels, right?

RUHLE: It happens whenever there is a power paradigm. In Wall Street when
someone makes loads of money to the bank, that let that man run rough shot
over the place. And as soon as he starts losing money, then they shoot him
in the back. In Hollywood, if you`re a star, they let you do anything, the
rules start to bend around you.

HAYES: Right. Stephanie Ruhle, thank you for making time.

RUHLE: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, the Senate Candidate from Alabama accused of sexual
misconduct and abuse of teenage girls and the prominent Republicans who are
edging back towards supporting him, including a sitting U.S. Congressman.
That`s next.


HAYES: In the wake of Donald Trump`s victory last year, it seemed the bar
for which should be disqualifying and normally had been for a political
candidate was forever lowered. But here to see if it could be lowered
further, Coal Baron Don Blankenship, when WCHS in Charleston, West Virginia
is reporting he will run as a Republican for West Virginia Senate Seat next
year. Blankenship is hardly popular there. Last year Public Policy
Polling wrote “He`s the most hated figure in the state with only 10 percent
of voters seeing him favorably to 55 percent who have a negative opinion of
him. And why is Don Blankenship so hated? Well, maybe because he served a
year in prison after a 2010 explosion in one of his mines killed 29 people.
Authorities had accused Blankenship of pumping up profits at the expense of
worker safety, said he ignored health and safety rules, lied to inspector
and investors.

And the explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia
was the worst U.S. mine disaster in 40 years. As the New Yorker reported
at the time, facing 30 years in prison, he maintained the explosion was an
act of God. To this day Blankenship denies he did anything wrong. On his
blog he calls himself an American political prisoner and in a Thanksgiving
post he wrote, I`m still considering whether running for U.S. Senator for
Joe Manchin`s seat will benefit our truth campaign. There`s another
election Blankenship might look to for inspiration, the December 12th
Alabama race where Roy Moore could win a U.S. Senate seat despite credible
accusations of molesting a 14-year-old girl he picked up outside a custody
hearing years ago. The latest on that race next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe Roy Moore?

REP. MO BROOKS, (R) ALABAMA: I believe that the Democrats will do great
damage to our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you still believe Roy Moore?

BROOKS: I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country
on a myriad of issues.


HAYES: Two weeks ago, Republicans were literally running away from
reporters asking questions about the allegations of child molestation,
sexual misconduct and sexual assault against Roy
Moore. That`s starting to change. Take, for instance, Alabama Congressman
Mo Brooks, the man seen here running away from cameras in a capital
stairwell, with less than two weeks to election do, Mo Brooks is coming
home to Roy Moore.


BROOKS: There are only two that have asserted that Roy Moore engaged in
unlawful conduct. One of those is clearly a liar, because that one forged
the love Roy Moore part in a yearbook in order to try to, for whatever
reason, get at Roy Moore and win this seat for the Democrats.

So now you`re down to one witness who says that Roy Moore engaged in
nonconsensual sexual contact, OK? Well that one witness`s testimony is in
direct and stark contrast with that of the other seven ladies who said
that he acted like an officer and a gentlemen.


HAYES: No, the other seven ladies didn`t say that. One said he called her
in her trig class while she was a high school student.

Also, the yearbook that he is talking about there that he claims is forged
belongs to a woman named Beverly Young Nelson who say Moore assaulted her
when she was 16.


trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I
was twisting and I was struggling and I was begging him to stop. I had
tears running down my face. At some point he gave up. And he then looked
at me and he told me, he said, you`re just a child, and he said I am the
district attorney of Etowah County.


HAYES: At a news conference, Nelson showed reporters her yearbook complete
with a message from Roy Moore reading, quote, “to a sweeter more beautiful
girl I could not say Merry Christmas.”

Moore`s accusers are defending themselves as they`re called liars. Leigh
Corfman, who says Moore molester her when she was 14 years old wrote a
letter to Moore she released to AL.com. She wrote, “where does your
immorality end? I demand you stop calling me a liar and attacking my
character. I am telling the truth, and you should have the decency to
admit it and apologize.”

Joyce Vance understands all that from the ground up. She is a former
attorney from the northern district of Alabama, and a University of Alabama
law professor.

What is it like down there right now?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, Alabama certainly is not enjoying
its moment in the public spotlight. This is in many ways a painful
election, it`s as painful for Republicans
as it is for Democrats. There are new polls today that suggest that Doug
Jones, the Democrat, has fallen behind Roy Moore in the polls and it`s
beginning to sink in that Alabama may actually send Roy
Moore to the senate.

HAYES: Yeah, we should say Emerson poll has Moore up by six points. There
seems to be some movement back in Moore`s direction partly because it seems
people have been able to be convinced that all of these women are liars.
What do you hear when you talk to Republicans down there?

VANCE: You know, Republicans down here are simultaneously embarrassed by
Moore`s conduct, but very concerned about holding the majority in the
United States Senate. And it`s safe to say that in Alabama there are one-
issue voters on both sides of the abortion issue. Republicans tend to feel
very strongly about the abortion issue, but by the same token, many
Republicans, particularly younger ones, have backed away from supporting
him. So we have young Republican groups in Birmingham and other parts of
the state that have withdrawn their support, whether that means they`ll
stay home or vote for Doug Jones remains to be seen.

HAYES: There are reports that Steve Bannon who sort of supported Moore in
that primary got in there a little late and sort of took credit for the
victory and then has stuck with Roy Moore even as he was accused of
molesting a 14-year-old he picked up outside a custody hearing. He`s going
to come down and stump for Moore. Does that make a difference down there
one way or the other?

VANCE: So one thing that the polls this morning showed was that Moore was
performing well among voters who had supported Trump.

If Bannon is perceived as being the personification of Trump in Alabama,
then his presence down here may well help to sway more of those voters and
convince them to turn out and vote for Moore rather than sit it out.

HAYES: Yeah, we should say it`s a state that Donald Trump won by something
like 33 points, and when this all started no one thought that Doug Jones
had much of a chance.

If he does have a chance, what is the path right now for him?

VANCE: The path for Jones is the path of turnout. You know, Chris, so
it`s real interesting, most of these polls today are land line polls. And
that tends to over-perform for older voters. And the polls also indicate
that among voters who are 65 and older, Moore is leading. In every other
demographic, Jones has more support.

So it`s possible that if Jones can turn out his base, turn out folks in the
large cities, turn out African-Americans, turn out civil rights-based
communities where he`s known for his work on behalf of the four little
girls who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church, that turnout may
give him the edge at the end of the day.

HAYES: I want to play a little bit of Roy Moore was heckled tonight at an
event he did. This is someone who was twice kicked off the Supreme Court
in Alabama, twice by fellow Republicans. Today, some news that he co-
authored a textbook which in 2011 says women shouldn`t run for office.
What would it mean for the state of Alabama to have this man, who is
already a polarizing and controversial figure, in that state be
representing the state in the United States Senate?


MOORE: We can stop and get them out or we can keep going?


VANCE: So Moore had a spokesperson speak on television today in Birmingham
and that person indicated that you can never believe a woman in the absence
of a witness. That`s a very difficult position, I think, for Moore to be
in because district attorneys and prosecutors in this state don`t want
victims in cases to feel like they can`t come forward, they`ll never be

HAYES: All right, Joyce Vance, thank you for joining me.

Still ahead, the massively unpopular tax cut bill for the rich clears a big
hurdle in the Senate. Where it stands right now coming up.

But first, a very merry Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s the Christmas tree lighting celebration
here at Rockefeller
center tonight, a telltale sign the holiday season is officially upon us.
In past years, our president has
even been spotted here at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting with Melania
and their son Baron. This week, First Lady Melania Trump tweeted out video
of the holiday decorations going up at the White House, including this
scene from the Grand Foyer as ballerinas performed a piece from the

Today, her husband spoke before a backdrop of Christmas trees in Saint
Charles, Missouri, and you`ll never guess the first words out of his mouth.



TRUMP: I told you that we would be saying Merry Christmas again, right?


HAYES: Because of course `tis the season for more ridiculous lies about
the prior president, Barack Obama, who apparently caved to political
correctness and never uttered the words Merry Christmas. Or did he?
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.



TRUMP: I was the one when I was here last time I said we`re going to have
Christmas again. I was the one that said you go to the department stores
and you see happy new year and you see red and you see snow and you see all
these things, you don`t see Merry Christmas anymore.

With Trump as your president, we are going to be celebrating Merry
Christmas again.


HAYES: Ahead of his first holiday season in the White House, Donald Trump
is declaring victory in the war on Christmas. He promised rally-goers
America will be celebrating Christmas again because we stopped.

But as we approach the end of the year we got to thinking did Donald Trump
really bring Merry
Christmas back to the White House?



We want to say merry Christmas to everybody.

A very, very merry Christmas and a holiday filled with joy.

I want to wish every American a merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

CHILDREN: Merry Christmas!

OBAMA: So merry Christmas, everyone.


B. OBAMA: Merry Christmas, everybody.

M. OBAMA: Merry Christmas.

OBAMA: Merry Christmas, everybody.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Mele Kalikimaka, everybody. Mahalo.



HAYES: You might remember that a few weeks before that big Brexit vote in
the U.K. a British
politics, Jo Cox, was brutally murdered by a man with links to neo nazi
groups who repeatedly shouted the words, Britain first, during the attack.
Britain first. It`s a phrase that has been embraced by Britain`s far right,
the moniker of a fringe far right political party founded in 2011 that is
decried as an
extremist hate group.


BRENDAN COX, WIDOWER TO JO COX: So this group is at the forefront of
driving hatred
against Britain`s Muslim communities. The type of hatred that frankly has
been used by people. There are currently court cases going on in this
country where people have attacked Muslims and killed
Muslims who are also followers of this group.


HAYES: The deputy leader of Britain First is this woman, her name is Jayda
Fransen. Last year Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated
harassment after hurling abuse at a Muslin woman wearing a hijab in front
of her four young children.

Today, the President of the United States declared publicly common cause
with Jayda Fransen.
Donald Trump retweeting three videos that were tweeted out by Fransen that
purported to show Muslims engaged in outrageous acts. As Politifact noted,
the veracity of videos is dubious. One claimed to show a Muslim migrant
beating up a Dutch boy, but as the Dutch government noted, the child was
not a migrant. He was born and raided in the Netherlands and was convicted
for the attack.

Videos like this are staples of the absolutely most vile, racist,
disgusting and monstrous corners
of the internet, posted by people who want to demonize Muslims or African
Americans or other groups.
The president`s decision to broadcast them to his 43 million followers were
celebrated, not surprisingly, by none other than noted white supremacist
David Duke, who took to Twitter to proclaim that Trump is quote, “condemned
for showing us what the fake media won`t. Thank god for Trump. That`s why
we love him.”

Three months ago the president quite famously refused to take sides between
the white supremacists who marched with tiki torches in Charlottesville,
would end up killing a woman, and the anti-racist protests who were there
to reject their message.


TRUMP: Yes, I think there`s blame on both sides. You look at – you look
at both sides, I think there`s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt
about it and you don`t have any doubt about it either.
You have some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that
were very fine people on both sides.


HAYES: On both sides. Doesn`t want to take sides. With his retweets today
the president did take a side. He took the same side as Britain First. He
took the same side as David Duke.

Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, one of two Muslims serving in Congress
responded to Trumps tweets bluntly telling the Guardian, “The president is
racist, there`s no doubt about that in my mind.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations condemned what they called
incitement to violence against American Muslims.


it`s designed to start is a conversation of hatred, bigotry and white
supremacy, and it`s the same conversation that Donald Trump and his people
around him have been pushing for years now.


HAYES: And then this. After starting the day retweeting racist propaganda,
the president went to Missouri to do what? To push a tax bill that
overwhelmingly benefits corporations and wealthy heirs.
It`s the Trump presidency in a nutshell, the base gets racist red meat, the
donor class gets its payoff.

Bernie Sanders on that, right after this.


HAYES: The Senate is now poised to vote on the GOP`s tax bill as early as
tomorrow, after Republicans voted today to move to final debate over the
legislation, even though there is still very much making changes to try to
win over some GOP skeptics.

Now, people really don`t like what Republicans are trying to do. It`s best
we can tell from the polling. Quinnipiac poll this month found that just
25% approve for the Republican tax plan. Keep in mind, this is supposed to
be a big tax cut, so it should be easy to sell, while 52% disapprove.

It`s clear what the bill is, it is a massive tax cut for corporations,
wealthy and the wealthy heirs in particular, and a possible tax hike for
millions in the middle class. Senate Republicans are now rushing to try and
pass the bill before it can become even more unpopular. And the president
is doing his part in going to Missouri today to make the case that well,
left is right, up is down and the tax bill isn`t really just a handout to
the rich.


TRUMP: Wait until you see what finally comes out in what I call the mixer.
The beating heart of our plan is a tax cut for working families. That`s
what it is. With Trump as your president, we`re going to be celebrating
Merry Christmas again. It`s going to be done with a big, beautiful tax cut.


HAYES: Joining me now, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont,
ranking member of the budget committee. Senator, the Republicans were able
to get the bill passed and motion proceeded. It`s now into debate. Is this
thing happening?

BERNIE SANDERS, SENATOR: I think there is a strong likelihood they will
get it past
Senate. They will go to conference committee, where they will have some
difficulties reconciling the two bills, bringing together conflicting
interests. Our job now, Chris, and I`m going to be going to Kentucky, Ohio
and Pennsylvania in the next few days, our job is rally the American
people. To make them understand what a disaster this bill is, and it`s
unacceptable that Senate bill, 62% of all of the tax benefits at end of ten
years going to top 1%. That 87 million middle-class families in this
country will be paying more in taxes and that run up a $1.4 trillion
deficit, which will be paid for, mark my words, by cuts to Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid.

HAYES: Senator Marco Rubio indicating that a lot of people have been clear
that`s where they`re headed. It doesn`t seem to me based on the polling
that people are that confused about the bill.
It`s not very popular. In fact it`s polling in the 25, 30s, that doesn`t
seem to be stopping them.

SANDERS: You`ll recall that the health care bill polled even worse. And
that takes you to corruption of the American political and campaign finance
system. The American people don`t want
this legislation. The American people don`t want to throw 30 million people
off of health care, but the Koch brothers and the billionaire class do want
these tax breaks. That`s what this is about.

HAYES: Well, this connects to something I think has been under covered
which is the bottom line of the actual members of the U.S. Senate who are
voting for this piece of legislation and the president himself who might
sign it. The president made a claim today about the affect of this
legislation on his bottom line.

I want to play it for you and get a response. Here`s what the president


TRUMP: This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing. Believe me, believe
– this is not good for me. Me, it`s not – I have wealthy friends, not so
happy with me, but that`s okay.


SANDERS: I mean that really is laughable. Of course, believe me. I am sure
all the American
people believe Donald Trump. This is a man who never tells a lie. What he`s
saying is once again total nonsense. The vast majority of the tax breaks
are going to the very wealthiest people in this country.
If they repeal the estate tax, that will benefit Trump`s family
significantly as well as top .2 of 1%. This is a bill written for corporate
America and for the billionaire class, they benefit and working class will
be hit hard.

HAYES: We should say, NBCs own evaluation of the little bit of tax
information we have says that Trump and his family could save more than a
billion dollars under the house side of this bill, that`s not the Senate

There`s also a question to me, right now, we know the major parts of this,
the estate tax repeal, the cooperate tax cut, a lot of stuff in flux.
Things are flying around. I guess my question is, are you confident that
they understand, your colleagues, the Republicans voting for this, actually
know what they`re voting for?

SANDERS: No. Of course they don`t. But what they do know is their
employers, not the people of their states but campaign contributors want
it. What do you have to understand. If the Koch brothers – recall, you
have members of Congress honestly coming forward saying look, if we don`t
pass this,
they`re going to cut off the spigot of campaign contributions.

HAYES: They did say that.

Here`s an example. You had an exchange on Twitter and this is slightly
technical but I think worth talking about. You said on Twitter about how a
certain single mother making a certain amount of
money would fare under the bill. And you tweeted one thing and John Cornen,
very high up in leadership tweeted response. He said she`d pay zero income
tax, receive a doubling of standard deduction and a $2,000 child tax credit
under the Senate bill. My understanding is that`s just factually
inaccurate. She would not get that tax credit, which makes me think they`re
either are lying or don`t
understand the bill.

SANDERS: I think it`s a combination of both. I think there are a lot of
lies that are being thrown about and I think a lot of them don`t understand
the legislation.

But here again, this is the bottom line, which is talked about and
researched by all the major independent tax organizations, not partisan
groups. 62% of the benefits at end of ten years go to top 1%. Corporations
will make out like bandits. There will be many corporations in this country
to best of my knowledge who will end up paying zero in federal taxes.

HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for joining me tonight.

SANDERS: Thank you.

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


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