GOP tries to energize base. TRANSCRIPT: 10/9/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 9, 2018
Guest: Maxine Waters, Davis Weigel, Beto O`Rourke, Franklin Foer, Natasha
Bertrand, Mehdi Hasan
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It`s a stirring thing to watch. We`ve seen a
bit of it before from people who turn out to be our leaders. That`s
hardball for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes
starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You cannot be
civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.
HAYES: Drawing the battle lines.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don`t give power to an
angry left-wing mob. And that`s what they`ve become.
HAYES: Tonight, as the party of Trump paints the majority of Americans as
an angry mob, new evidence their campaign is not working. Plus –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Cruz tough as Texas.
HAYES: Why today could be decisive for Beto O`Rourke`s quest to unseat Ted
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stick a finger in their chest and give them a few
HAYES: Then, new questions about a Russian bank`s connections to Trump
Tower. And as Nikki Haley leaves –
NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATION: Now, the United
States is respected.
HAYES: Just how respected is America in the world?
TRUMP: As Nikki said, the world is really respecting the United States
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. We are now 28 days
from the Midterms and Republicans and Trump T.V. have their message. They
are not running on tax cuts or health care or really anything they`ve done
while they`ve had unified control of government. What they are running on
is that they are the last line of defense against you, the angry mob,
otherwise known as the majority of the country that disagrees with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The far left mob is
not letting up.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: They
have encouraged mob rules.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyone who`s a Trump supporter, we`re all targets of
SEBASTIAN GORKA, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: There is only
one party that has normalized violence in America in the last two years and
it`s not the Republicans.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: That is a mob rule.
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: With this mob rule.
Mob rule? That`s a mob rule.
HANNITY: Basically mob rule. No law and order. Do you want mob rule?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the average citizen, if you`re on the right,
should be concerned and in danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: How do you keep the base fired up when you`ve just won again? Play
it like you`re the victim and constantly under attack. It`s essentially
the mission statement over at Trump T.V. where Tucker Carlson spends a
truly remarkable amount of time each and every night trying to scare his
viewers with warnings of an out-of-control and violent left, occasionally
plucking out random tweets to illustrate it. And look at those Chiron`s,
it`s kind of his thing.
But don`t be mistaken it`s because they see this strategy as a political
winner in the wake of the Kavanaugh protests. Take this scene as reported
by The Washington Post when thousands of furious screaming protesters march
towards the Capitol. As Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, Republican staffers
peered out at the scene from the windows above. They were not alarmed but
elated. There has been some evidence that the Kavanaugh fight energized
the GOP base, at least in the short term but there`s also evidence that
when people get really, really mad at you, you`re probably losing.
Remember back in 2009 spurred by lies about ObamaCare death panels and
pulling the plug on grandma, the Tea Party angrily protested and invaded
town halls to confront even yell at scream at Democratic lawmakers. This
was incidentally before the right suddenly became so concerned about “mob
rule.” But here`s the thing. In the subsequent Midterm Election,
Democrats lost 63 seats on their way to losing the House. All that right-
wing anger had consequences and it looks at least at this point like this
anger just might as well.
According to a new poll, Democrats now have a 13-point edge in the generic
House ballot 54 to 41. Republicans seem to think that their last best hope
to limit the damage is to convince their base that if they don`t vote they
will find themselves at the mercy of an angry mob of pitchfork-wielding
liberals. Joining me now someone very familiar with these tactics,
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat of California who`s being a target of
Trump T.V. and the President this summer when she encouraged supporters to
push back on the Trump administration officials in public,
Congresswoman, you`ve seen Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley and others in
the wake of all these protesters in the Senate saying basically this is mob
rule, we`re being literally assaulted in the words of Mitch McConnell.
What do you think about that?
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I think it`s absolutely
ridiculous and it is not believable. As a matter of fact this country was
built on peaceful protests and those of us who were part of the civil
rights movement who understood the power of protests taught by Dr. Martin
Luther King and others know that we cannot allow Donald Trump in anybody
else to take protests away from us and to deem it to be violent and to try
and make us look like a mob.
It is because of peaceful protests not only in the civil rights movement
but the labor movement was able to get better wages, able to get better
working conditions, able to get better pay, everything because they learn
to March and protest and they still do it today. We know that protest is
guaranteed to a Democratic Society. We know that this is guaranteed to us
by the Constitution. They`re trying to change the description of protest
and call it a mob.
Well, this president is the poster boy for what a mob protester looks like.
He is, as a matter of fact, he`s the one who has been violent in his
speech. He`s the one in his rallies have said things like this: I`d like
to punch him in the face. Trump said that at one of his rallies. He said
knock the crap out of them, would you and seriously OK, just knock the
hell. I mean, I promise I will pay the legal fees. That`s the kind of
talk that he is done. That`s violent talk. We don`t have that kind of
talk that has come from the women who are protesting.
As a matter of fact, this country is past due for the kind of protests that
we have seen women do in the last few days as we have gone through this
confirmation process of Kavanaugh. It is time for women to say that we`re
tired of being disrespected. We`re tired of being you know, called out of
our names etcetera, etcetera. And of course, this sexual assault that so
many have gotten away with for so long is over.
The MeToo Movement have gotten us started, the marches that we`ve been
doing. We`re not going to back down. You`re not going to intimidate us.
You`re not going to frighten us. You`re not going to take away our right
to stand up for ourselves. And guess, what while they`re trying to say to
families, you got to be worried about your boys. Families know, families
know, first of all, they`ve got to be worried about all of their children
but they also understand if their daughters are to grow up and to have
careers and to have confidence and to be able to realize their full
potential, now is the time to embrace them and stand with them as they push
back on the abuse of power by people like the President of the United
States and McConnell.
They have abused their power. I`ve never seen anything like this before.
They have run over us. They have refused to respect Dr. Ford. They refuse
to bring forth the witnesses that are knocking down the doors of the FBI
saying let me come and tell you about what was happening with Kavanaugh not
only in high school but in college. And so we`re not going to allow them
to take this false message that they`re trying to carry to the American
people trying to make them believe that we`re an angry mob.
We`re not going to let him get away with that. This president will try
anything and he will change the conversation if we allow him. But now we
know we can push back on it.
HAYES: Let me – let me ask you as something – I want you to respond to
something that Hillary Clinton said that I thought was notable. And she`s
someone obviously who has a reputation in the United States Senate as a
first lady for bipartisanship. She`s worked with people across the aisle.
This is what she had to say about the Republican Party right now and
civility. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy
what you stand for, what you care about. That`s why I believe if we are
fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that`s when
civility can start again. But until then the only thing that the
Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that?
WATERS: Well, I like that. And listen, I understand and I know what
protest is all about. Of course, it will make others feel comfortable but
you don`t go around saying, may I please protest you? No. You gather your
strength and you take it to where it has to go and you will make people
uncomfortable. That`s what changes is all about.
HAYES: But people – I want to be clear on this because there are people
who hear that and they think what you`re calling for is physical
intimidation, things that fray at the social fabric that then make people
cower the possibility of violence, of setting someone off who is perhaps
unwell. I want you to respond to that concern.
WATERS: Well, that is absolutely untrue. If they would like to take and
redefine somehow protest and call it something else, they`ll try and do
that. They`ll try and get away with that. But that is not absolutely
true. You don`t hear us talking about hitting anybody, punching anybody,
killing anybody. You have one of the Trump supporters that said you bet I
liked it knocking the hell out of them, big mouth. The next time we see
him we may need to kill him. You don`t hear us talking like that.
When we protest yes we`re shouting out, we have signs, we`re saying what we
think will get to the public and we are not saying we`re going to kill
anybody we`re going to hit anybody or we`re going to cause anybody in a
harm, that`s a lie in the way that they`re trying to redefine protest.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you as always for
making some time.
WATERS: You`re welcome.
HAYES: For more on the political landscape ahead the Midterm Elections I`m
joined by by MSNBC Contributor Betsy Woodruff, Political Reporter at The
Daily Beast and Dave Weigel National Political Correspondent at the
Washington Post. And David, I wanted to talk to you because I remember
when you and I were both covering the Tea Party back in 2009 and 2010, it`s
a crazy kind of inverse image, lots of angry people. I remember people
shouting at members of Congress right in their faces, and this was
massively celebrated and stoked. There were big Fox news shows all about
it, and times seem to have changed.
DAVE WEIGEL, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: I was
flashing back to the exact same stuff. I was also flashing back a little
bit to two years ago and changed when Hillary Clinton used a line she`d
been using different versions up and said that half of Trump supporters
were in the basket of deplorables. And what the Trump response was
immediately was to take that on to still – they still use it. I remember
that rally the next day were they made that the theme of the rally, that
they were the deplorables. They embraced the idea that they were scary and
And Hillary Clinton`s campaign made this I think attitudinal error that
swing voters who weren`t comfortable with her we`re going to – we`re going
to jump over because they couldn`t stand the thought of an – of an angry
group of people taking over. And not that every election is going to be a
mirror version of the last one but there`s this fatal conceit with I think
the entire Trump presidency that the president who won 46 percent of the
vote only needs to get his base angry and active and they can minimize
everybody else. I think that`s just not been true over the elections,
special elections we`ve seen in the last year. It`s not true in the House
polling that you pointed to now.
HAYES: You know, it`s striking to me, Betsy, that here – the successes
and the victories don`t seem to provide the emotional motivating force that
Republicans feel that their base needs. So the Kavanaugh win or the tax
cuts, it`s like it has to be that you`re under threatened, under peril is
the means by which you get people invested which is why we`re seeing this
sort of rhetoric.
BETSY WOODRUFF, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s a fact with which the Trump
campaign is intimately acquainted. If you talk to people in Ted Cruz`s
orbit who are close to Cruz`s 2016 presidential candidacy, some of them
will tell you that the moment when they saw Trump`s poll numbers really
break away from Ted Cruz`s, when they saw Trump`s numbers go up and Cruz`s
go down was the night in March of 2016 when protesters in Chicago mobilized
and kept Trump from being able to have a rally in that city.
Cruz folks will tell you that when that protest happened, a number of
Republican primary voters saw it, Fox News covered the whole saying live
wall-to-wall coverage, Republican primary voters saw it and they decided
whoever these people are protesting must be doing something right and
that`s a big part of the reason. It`s obviously not the whole reason. But
it`s a really important moment for understanding why Trump did as well as
he did with Republican primary voters. And that`s part of the reason that
people in Trump`s orbit right now are surprisingly delighted to see some of
It`s a really interesting paradox that the protests we`re seeing from
people who are deeply concerned about the Trump presidency simultaneously
bring a lot of – a lot of a heartening and enthusiasm to the left but also
perplexingly enough give Trump potentially an opening to go after his
HAYES: Yes. I think there`s always a sort of bank-shot reasoning right.
Well, if the people I don`t like are angry, then the thing they`re angry at
must be good and I think that that can apply in lots of places. But
there`s also the fact, Dave, I think you`ve covered grassroots politics as
well as anyone in the country honestly. It`s flying around tons of
different races, talking to tons of organizers. I saw you do with the Tea
Party and I`ve seen you do it now. And one of the lessons I`ve learned
from your reporting is anger equals activation and organizing. Like, it`s
not just people are angry. There is a lot going on among people in
opposition to the Trump administration in the Republican Party.
WEIGEL: There is. And everything Betsy said was right. I`d emphasize
again that was a Republican primary electorate and that`s been an issue
with this administration is that they are intimately concerned with whether
Republicans are excited to vote and thinking a little bit less about adding
independence on to that. The idea that independence be alienated by these
protests, it`s something they`ve been trying for 18 months.
When Jon Ossoff was running for Congress in Georgia, he was running up
about the most mellow campaign you could imagine. And a lot of the attack
ads focused on how you know, Antifa and group – J20 groups have protested
the inauguration. So they had footage people throwing bricks in the
windows, setting things on fire. That was going to be part of the message
into this election. And I`ve seen – I`ve seen it in direct mail all the
time. So it was going to be part of the message.
What I think was striking about the protest last week is I think some of
them looked a little bit ridiculous from – if you`re a – if you`re
neutral in this, you see somebody banging on the door of the Supreme Court
yelling, no. That feels a bit like a tantrum. They were not violent.
There`s no – there was no car set on fire. There was no one punched.
There were some people made fun of in ways that were – that were mean but
this was not the collapse of order. It was just a lot messier what we see.
There`s a lot like the 2011 protests in Wisconsin which I know Betsy and
you – and you both covered very well. Republicans remember that as the
moment that they took back the state. They energized the party. They did.
They also lost Wisconsin two years later and only picked it up with Donald
Trump. Those – the dynamics of having a lot of angry people in the
streets. Now if they`re all doing something violent in this and
counterproductive, that`s one thing.
The people I know at this protest and I know if I`ve been covered them
really literally flew back from D.C. to their States to go knock on doors
and they were 10 times as energized they were.
HAYES: That to me is the big question.
HAYES: And part of the – part of the story I kept hearing from
Republicans was if Kavanaugh goes down, you will – you will deflate the
Republican base, Betsy. But it`s also the case that I just feel like the
way the news cycle is right? Like, the election 30 days from now, like
something`s got to sustain that activation and that seems to me what the
message mongers on the right are trying to find that will keep people
WOODRUFF: I was chatting with a well-connected Republican political
operative a little bit earlier this who said that generally speaking the
view from Republicans in Washington is that the Kavanaugh confirmation just
is not any sort of major game changer when it comes to the midterm
elections. I don`t think any serious Republicans who are familiar with
good data are under the impression that it`s making things substantially or
statistically significantly easier for them. And that`s part of the reason
that we`re now seeing so many Republicans as you`re video montage showed
almost unofficially highlight the fact that people on the Left are really
mobilized and protesting in ways that are extremely visible.
And I think Congresswoman Waters made a very important point to you a few
moments ago which is that these kinds of protests make people
uncomfortable. And for Conservatives, for people on the Right, for people
in Trump`s orbit looking not necessarily to court independence but solely
to mobilize their base voters, that discomfort can be politically
weaponized and that`s what we`re seeing Trump and his associates try really
hard to do as we go into the final weeks before the midterms.
HAYES: All right, Betsy Woodruff and Dave Weigel, thank you both for being
WOODRUFF: Sure thing.
WEIGEL: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, I`ll talk to Beto O`Rourke about his fight to unseat
Ted Cruz and why today a month before the midterms could be decisive in his
attempt to turn Texas blue. Beto O`Rourke joins me in two minutes.
HAYES: The state of Texas has not elected a Democrat to statewide office
since Forrest Gump was the number one movie in the country. Senate
candidate Bet0 O`Rourke is trying like hell to change that. And if he
does, you might look back on today as the moment that made it happen. And
that is because today is the last day to register to vote in the State of
Texas. This year has seen a surge in registered voters, a jump of 1.6
million since the last time Texas held a midterm election in 2014.
O`Rourke now trails Ted Cruz by just five points in the latest polling
though some have him closer. And a super PAC has released this ad directed
by Oscar Nominee Richard Linklater attacking Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody left something on my door the other day. It
said Ted Cruz tough as Texas. I mean come on if somebody called my wife a
dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn`t be
kissing their ass. You stick a finger in their chest and give them a few
choice words or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass,
Ted. Come on, Ted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Texas Congressman and Democratic Senate Candidate
Bet0 O`Rourke. And Congressman I should be clear that you do not approve
that message. That is an independent group spending on your behalf.
REP. BET0 O`ROURKE (D), TEXAS: Yes. That`s not our stuff. I`m not down
with super PACs. We`re running this one with people. No PACs, no special
interests, no outside interests, go into every one of the 254 counties of
Texas. Today at Texas Southern University here in Houston, after that at
Rice, yesterday at Lone Star Community College. We are with people
especially people who`ve been counted out or written off. Young people who
aren`t expected to vote. We`re there with them so that their stories
become part of why we`re campaigning and what we deliver on.
And I tell you what, when we win, they`re going to be a big part of the
reason that we do. They are the leaders of this moment and they`re showing
up and they`re registering as you just said and they`re making a commitment
to vote on October 22nd, our first day of early voting in Texas.
HAYES: So you just did this college tour. So part of the problem for
Democrats is that Texas, when you look at it from a sort of 30,000-foot
view, it seems like the vote should be there to win statewide for Democrat.
But turnout in Texas has been among the worst in the country. This is a
Washington Post analysis. If you look at 2006, 2010, and 2014, it`s at the
very bottom with voter turnout in midterms around 30 percent. What is your
understanding of why that is?
O`ROURKE: So don`t take my word for it. The courts four times last year
found that people have been drawn out of their congressional districts
based on their race and ethnicity, drawn out of a reason to vote, drawn out
of their democracy. Now, the onus is on us to transcend that, give
everyone a reason to vote, hence, showing up in every county and showing up
within every community, within every county, write nobody off, taking no
one for granted, giving everyone a reason to vote and help to set the
expectations to which I`m going to perform in the Senate.
And you see that on these college campuses, you see that in the third ward
or cashmere garden here in Houston. You see it in every community we go
to. Going to the Rio Grande Valley where you`ve been, in Edinburgh, and
Weslaco, and San Benito, and McAllen, Brownsville listening to those who`ve
been taken for granted for too long and hence haven`t shown up to vote.
We`re showing up for them right now in this – go ahead.
HAYES: Yes, let me just – because those are places – the places you just
mentioned are actually some of the lowest turnouts in the State of Texas
which is already a low turnout state, right? Those places you just
mentioned particularly round the – around the border of the Rio Grande
Valley, what do you tell them about why it matters for them to vote for you
to send you to Washington and not Ted Cruz that is tangible to deliver back
O`ROURKE: A couple of things that have come up in these town hall meetings
especially along the border. Ted Cruz has promised to deport every single
DREAMer. I say, free DREAMers from any fear of deportation by making them
U.S. citizens. Let`s keep families together. Let`s never take another
child from another parent at their most desperate and vulnerable moment.
And let`s insist that every child who`s in a foster care home in Michigan
who`s in a tent city and Tornillo be reunited with their parents
Let`s rewrite our immigration laws in our own image to reflect what we know
to be true. Those cities of the border cities like El Paso my hometown,
one of the safest in United States of America. Not in spite of but because
of the fact that we are cities of immigrants. Nothing to wall off or
militarize or be defensive about or apologize for. It`s the example that
we have set that can help lead this country in the right direction. I tell
you what, never a better time to be on or from the border. The people on
the border want to lead. But we need to show up and make sure that their
leadership is included in this campaign and then in our service.
HAYES: You know, I think the Ted Cruz play here and I`m curious what you
think this campaign is about, right, if you were to say what the one issue
is. It seems to me that he thinks that he can kind of get you on cultural
issues, that Texas is a Conservative state, and he`s a Conservative and he
can kind of push you away like that. On the issues, what do you see is the
top issues in this race in terms of substance between the two of you,
things you stand for, things he opposes?
O`ROURKE: Healthcare is a great example because I hear about that in every
single county no matter how red or how blue. We`re the least insured state
in the United States of America, number one provider of mental health care
services, the county jail system. Ted Cruz has insisted that we repeal
every single word of the Affordable Care Act including protections for pre-
existing conditions. I want to expand Medicaid, offer Medicare as a choice
on the exchanges. Get to universal guaranteed high-quality health care for
every single man, woman, and child. There could not be a greater
difference than that one.
On immigration, he wants to deport the DREAMers. I want them here as U.S.
citizens. I want to make sure that we have a legal path to citizenship for
those who want to come out of the shadows and be with their families.
Criminal justice reform, I know that we have a school to prison pipeline
that begins as early as kindergarten. I want to make sure that we have
equity and education, that we end the war on drugs, that we end the
prohibition on marijuana, that we expunge the arrest records for those who
served time for possession of a substance that`s legal and so much of the
rest of this country so they can get on with their lives, work a job, go to
school, better themselves. These are the issues of substance that people
are asking me about wanting us to lead on.
HAYES: Let me get you on the record on Judge Kavanaugh. Would you have
voted to confirm him?
O`ROURKE: I would not have. We`re 50th in the country as you said and
voter turnout by design, on purpose. Some people not intended to vote. We
need a Supreme Court Justice who believes in voting rights. In a state
where you can be fired for being gay, a Supreme Court Justice who believes
in civil rights. A state that`s the epicenter of the maternal mortality
crisis, a Justice who believes in a woman`s right to make her own decision
about her own body and have access to the healthcare that ensures that she
He fails the bar on each and every single one of those tests so the next
justice to be nominated can only be confirmed if he or importantly she can
meet those qualifications. I`m going to make sure that we hold the
President to that bar for each and every single one of those issues.
HAYES: Congressman Beto O`Rourke whose voice shows you just how hard he`s
working. Thank you very much for making time.
O`ROURKE: Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.
HAYES: Coming up, renewed questions about connections between a Russian
bank and the Trump Org. I`ll talk to one of the reporters that originally
uncover that story about the latest updates to it right after this.
HAYES: About a week before the 2016 election, journalist Franklin Foer
published an explosive story in Slate on suspicious web traffic between a
domain tied to the Trump organization and a major Russian bank.
The bank and the Trump campaign both neither report (ph) which was so
provocative and the data behind it so murky that a lot of people, including
us at All In, decided to keep our distance. It did not help that on the
same exact day Slate published that story the New York Times printed this
misleading and now infamous headline “Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees
No Clear Link to Russia”.
Now almost two years later with the mystery of whether the Trump campaign
criminally conspired with Russia still unsolved, “The New Yorker” is
revisiting the story with and extensive investigation into that cryptic web
traffic, consulting with experts who ruled out almost every benign
explanation for context between a Trump server and a Russian bank.
And after a group of computer scientists analyzed the data, one of them
told the magazine, quote, “We decided this was a covert communication
channel.” Franklin Foer originally broke that story back in 2016. He`s
now National Correspondent of The Atlantic. Natasha Bertrand is a staff
writer for The Atlantic covering national security and the Muller
Frank, let me start with you. You wrote a great piece sort of assessing
The New Yorker piece and reflecting back on two years ago. And I remember
that piece. I was like this is crazy but also I don`t know what to make of
it and also everyone`s denying it. What did you learn? How has this story
advanced in the two years since you first wrote about it?
FRANKLIN FOER, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: Well, it`s only
marginally advanced. So when I wrote about it, I said, “Look, we have this
data. It`s incredibly suspicious.” A lot of computer scientists whose job
it is to protect the Internet from hacking were looking at this data in
real time and they said, “There`s something really funny here that this
bank in Moscow is communicating with the Trump campaign.” And there was a
whole series of suspicious, very circumstantial pieces of evidence and data
that suggested that it was a covert communication channel, but it was just
And we`ve had this scandal - this big scandal, and there`s so many plot
points in the scandal it`s hard to keep track of all the different stands.
So I wrote this article and it kind of disappeared in this haze in the week
before the election when everybody thought Hillary Clinton was going to be
And nobody really returned to it until except for the fact that behind the
scenes there were other teams of computer scientists, other investigators,
other people in the Senate who were saying, “This data is suspicious. We
need to interrogate the data more.” And unfortunately it`s two years
Dexter Filkins, a great reporter, has revisited. He`s ruled out other
innocuous explanations for the communication between these servers, but we
still don`t know a lot of the fundamentals about the story.
HAYES: Yes, that part of it - I mean, there`s a lot of stuff. There was a
response saying, “Oh, it could be this. Oh, they were pinging. It was a
mass marketing email.” It was this. It was that.
HAYES: Which I think I remember at the time I was sort of persuaded by.
Again, this is all technical like, I don`t know, the DNS lookups. Filkins
does a pretty good job of knocking that down, and there is this one detail
that to me is so mysterious, Natasha.
So there`s the Trump domain. It had been shut down after - so The New York
Times is reporting on the story. They contact the Alpha Bank, which is a
Moscow bank. The domain gets shut down after the Times contacted Alpha
Bank`s representatives but before the newspaper contacted Trump.
Max, who`s one of the computer scientists - it`s an alias - says that shows
a human interaction. That is pretty weird.
NATASHA BERTRAND, STAFF WRITER FOR THE ATLANTIC: I mean, what more
evidence do you need? It`s very, very obvious, and it`s really Occam`s
razor here. The fact that we still have not been able to rule out the idea
the idea that this was a covert communication channel two years after the
fact, the fact that no one has come forth with a plausible explanation for
why this was happening, for why Alpha Bank was one of three organizations
communicating with the Trump server in those months leading up to the
election is just completely remarkable.
And I think the fact that Frank`s story got overlooked or criticized as
much as it did and the fact that now it`s being revisited and you have the
editor of “The New York Times” saying that there was a story there just
shows the lack of imagination really that we were operating with in the
months leading up to the 2016 election.
I mean, at that point to see Frank`s story come out on October 31st, to see
the story about the steel dossier which was also published on October 31
and which no one paid attention to because they just could not believe that
this actually had any merit I think is - you know, and the fact that we now
are still revisiting those two things, the steel dossier constantly over
and over again and these questions about the Alpha Bank-Trump organization
communication, it just shows how far we`ve come and far our - how much our
imaginations have grown with regards to what the Trump campaign and Russia
both were capable of in the elections.
HAYES: And yet Frank, to your point also about how much we don`t know
HAYES: I mean, that`s what`s sort of maddening abut the whole thing,
right? There`s just tantalizing detail after tantalizing detail. There`s
all sorts of ways we know that the Russians were trying to get to the Trump
HAYES: There`s all sorts of ways we know the Trump campaign was receptive.
There`s all kinds of connections. You can map them out, and yet it still
feels the fundamental truth of what transpired is not presently known.
FOER: Right, so we have all this evidence, this deep, rich evidence about
the motive of the various characters in the saga.
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
FOER: We have the motives of the Trumps and the people around the Trumps
who were willing to collaborate with the Russians, wanted to collaborate
with the Russians. We have the Russians who had this massive campaign to
active try to influence the election, and everything suggests that they
should have met in the middle and colluded with one another. Yet when we
look for specific evidence of collusion it doesn`t quite add up to what it
seems like it should be.
FOER: And so, you have this kind of missing middle in the story, this
great, gaping hole in the center. What happened there during the campaign?
And really journalism has been struggling for the last two and a half years
to try to get to that point.
FOER: And we make incremental advances, but we really just haven`t been
able to get to that point. That`s why the Mueller investigation is
ultimately so important and that all these enigmas should be answerable
given what he`s got to work with including Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.
HAYES: Finally, Natasha, do you expect that they are still doing their
thing over the Mueller team and we will hear from them more after the
BERTRAND: Oh, absolutely. I think the consensus now among people who are
familiar with Mueller`s kind of MO is that he is keeping a low profile
before the election because he doesn`t want to commit the kind of, you
know, grave sin that Comey committed before the election with the Hillary
Clinton email investigation.
So I think that this investigation is far from over, and I`ll just add with
regard to the idea that we really don`t know still what`s going on between
the Trump organization and Alpha Bank. Alpha Bank has a real knack for
making reporters feel like they are the crazy one.
So if there - and trust me, I`m saying that from personal experience. They
are very litigious. And so, the reason I think - part of the reason why
there`s been such a delay and so many obstacles to reporting this story out
is because Alpha Bank has made a consorted effort to preserve their image
here in the United States and in the West, and that`s a big problem for
journalists trying to uncover the truth.
HAYES: All right, Franklin Foer and Natasha Bertrand, thank you both.
Still to come as Nikki Haley suddenly resigns as U.N. Ambassador, new
polling shows just how little the world trusts President Trump. Some
pretty alarming numbers ahead. Plus tonight Thing One, Thing Two starts
HAYES: Thing one, tonight on Twitter yesterday, the #HimToo was trending
nation wide for hours. But it was not because there was some new movement
starting. It was our reaction to a single tweet.
A photo of a sailor posted by his mother quote, “This is my son, he
graduated number one in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was
number one is A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won`t go
on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by
radical feminists with an axe to grind. I vote. #HimToo.”
The online reaction was swift and hilarious, and that`s Thing two in 60
HAYES: The good people of social media love a good meme. And boy did they
get a gift yesterday with the this is my son #HimToo tweet, featuring the
handsome sailor. Supposedly too afraid of false accusations to date, the
memes came fast and furious. These are my sons, this is my son, he won`t
go on solo dates even though he never gave up, let you down, run around, or
This is my son he graduated number one from the university of flavor town.
He was awarded three banging fajitas poppers. He was number one in flaming
hot crunch. This is my son, he wont go on dates with girls because it`s a
giant mass of incandescent gas and therefore too hot to handle. There`s a
Donald Trump Jr. addition, and this one featuring the ever lovable Steven
Miller. The best reaction tweet of them all hands down was this, a
recreation of the original photo by Peter Hanson, the actual Navy vet
pictured in the original tweet, and he explains quote ” That was my mom,
sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us with out realizing it.
Let`s turn this around. I respect and #believewoman. I never have an
never will support #HimToo. I`m a proud Navy vet, cat dad, and ally. Also
Twitter your meme game is on point”.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Look at the two years.
Look at what has happened in two years with the United States on foreign
policy. Now, the United States is respected. Countries may not like what
we do, but they respect what we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Part of the job or being the Trump Administration is telling
obvious ridiculous lies. So, U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, in announcing
today she will be leaving her post at the end of the year, spoke of how
respected we are after the Trump Administration`s amazing two years.
Well, a new research poll shows how America`s international image has
actually taken a beating. Confidence in Trump stands at just 27 percent,
no confidence at a whopping 70 percent. A (inaudible) says the U.S. is
doing less to help address major global problems and 70 percent say the
U.S. does little or nothing to take into account the interests of other
You know who is feeling good about the Trump Administration, the (death
spots) of the world, who have been given an explicit green light to do
whatever they want, including our close allies and friends, the Saudi`s,
who the Trump Administration has completely, thoroughly embraced, basically
giving them carte blanche even as the go about starving the people of
And now the Saudi government, it appears they have murdered and possible
dismembered a Saudi dissident and U.S. resident who writes for the
“Washington Post,” named Jamal Khasghoggi. He disappeared from the Saudi
Consulate in Turkey a week ago and has not been seen since.
For more on that, I`m joined by Mehdi Hasan, who`s a columnist, senior
contributor to “The Intercept,” host of “The Intercept” podcast,
Deconstructed. And Mehdi, you interviewed Khasghoggi just a little while
ago. Tell me about him.
MEHDI HASAN, BRITISH JOURNALIST: So this is a Saudi journalist, Chris,
this is not some Democrat opposition member dissident, he was a Saudi
journalist, respected in Saudi Arabia, a former advisor to the Saudi royal
family, a member of the Establishment, Chris.
And he started writing articles critical of MBS of Mohammad Bin Salman ,the
Crown Prince, Defector ruler of Saudi Arabia and he felt he had to leave,
because he was being told he couldn`t write certain things. He was told he
couldn`t tweet certain things, he was worried about his freedom, so he left
Saudi Arabia and moved to the U.S. and became a “Washington Post”
I interviewed him a few months ago on my show that I do on Al Jazeera
English. We kind of joked in the green room, Chris, beforehand, about his
personal security and MBS was in town at the time, if you remember. And I
was joking about, how safe would he be with the Crown Prince around in the
And what`s happened in recent days is horrific. This idea that he was
murdered, maybe, killed in a premeditated deliberate fashion by a Saudi hit
team in Istanbul is still hard to get your head around, but that seems to
be what happened.
HAYES: He – the details are that he went into the Consultant in Turkey
for what appeared to be a visa issue with his wife and his – or his
fianc‚. His fianc‚ waited for him, he never emerged. The Saudi`s say
they`re investigating it, but all of the circumstantial evidence seems to
be that they did something with him.
HASAN: Indeed. And the Turkish police and authorities are investigating
the CCTV of him going in but not coming out. They have 15 Saudi`s arriving
on that day and heading for the Consultant. They have a convoy of cars
heading for the airport. There`s two jets, we learned today, two private
jets came into the country carrying Saudis, that then flew to Egypt and the
U.A. and then on to Saudi Arabia.
And, of course, the Saudi`s are saying, well you know what, he left. And
then you say, well, do you have video footage of him living, CCTV? Oh,
CCTV wasn`t working. We don`t have the tapes. Oh, that`s convenient.
“The Guardian” is reporting today, Chris, that Turkish Consultant staff
were told to go home that day. The CCTV has disappeared. I mean it does
point in one direction.
The MBS, notoriously thin skinned, Chris, took out this critic. A very
mild critic, which means if you can do this to a Saudi national, a mild
critic of his on foreign soil, what hope does that leave for people at home
who are trying to protest for freedom in Saudi Arabia?
And you know, ask the Canadians`, Chris, the Canadians did a mild tweet a
few weeks ago about releasing political prisoners. The Saudi`s lost their
minds, kicked out the Canadian Ambassador, cut off all commercial ties. He
cannot stand any criticism, this guy, and he`s been emboldened, as you say,
by Donald Trump.
HAYES: This is someone who came to the U.S., Tom Freeman wrote essentially
a love letter to him, he`s this amazing reformer –
HASAN: It was nauseating.
HAYES: All of American – the American elite, I mean everyone from the
Rock is having dinner with him and tweeting about him. He`s given this
sort of heroes welcome, this is the guy who`s going to remake Saudi Arabia,
the Trump Administration has clearly backed him foursquare, this is just
part of what appears has been a real crackdown that he`s been undertaking
even before this ghastly murder that he is now accused of overseeing.
HASAN: It`s not just, as you say, this is going on – he rounded up
women`s rights activists and detained them. He`s rounded up scholars,
clerics, businessmen, economists, he rounded up his only fellow princes and
basically did a shakedown, extorted them for money, billions of dollars,
and yet, he comes to the U.S., as you say, and you have Jeff Bezos, owner
of “The Washington Post,” where Jamal Khashoggi wrote, laughing around and
taking pictures with him.
You have Oprah and Zuckerberg and the heads of Google and all the Silicon
Valley chiefs and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Michael Bloomberg, Tom
Freeman, all just sucking up him and I`ve not heard a word from any of
Forget the conservatives, liberal American media and political idiots,
where is the outcry from them. I`m still waiting to hear any outcry from
the about the crackdown or now about this alleged murder.
He came to the United States and was treated as if he was the JFK of the
Middle East, when it turns our he`s really the new Colonel Gaddafi of the
HAYES: Well, and here`s what strikes me about this, this is a very brazen
thing to do. I mean, they know that this – they`re not going to get –
they know that the people will notice this, right?
I mean there`s CCTV, the Turks are furious about this, for obvious reasons,
this was done on Turkish soil, even though it was in Consultant, it strikes
me that this is – you don`t do this unless you think you have the running
room to do this kind of thing and not hear any consequences from your sort
of most important ally, the United States.
HASAN: And this, Chris, you`re exactly right and these things, of course,
when he did the roundup of his cousins and the princes. I mean this guy
took power in basically a palace coup. He knocked off the former crown
prince, his relative, and took over from him. He then rounded up other
princes and took money from them.
You don`t do that in a key ally of the United States without getting the
green light from Washington, D.C. Many would argue that his friendship
with Jared Kushner has provided him with a direct line to Donald Trump,
Donald Trump likes strong men. Just last week in West Virginia, he said
the Saudi king, I love him, he`s a friend of mine.
He loves these – don`t forget Chris, where did Donald Trump go first, when
he was elected president? The very first president not to go to Canada or
Mexico, he went to Saudi to do a sword dance with the Saudi royals. He
loves these guys.
So, of course, they will have gotten a green light for the crackdown, for
the purge and now for this alleged murder. I can`t believe, and you look
at the comments coming out of Washington, D.C., Mike Pompeo saying, the
Saudi`s should conduct a thorough investigation. What? They`re going to
investigate the murder they carried out, how does that make any sense?
HAYES: Yes, he disappeared in the Consultant. I keep seeing people saying
there should be an investigation. It should be unhand the man –
HASAN: And there`s no CCTV. There`s now CCTV.
HAYES: Yes. Produce him or you are guilty. Mehdi Hasan, thank you so
much. I really appreciate it.
HASAN: Thanks Chris.
HAYES: That is “All In” for this evening. “The Rachel Maddow Show” starts
right now. Good evening Rachel.
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