Dramatic evidence of republican election fraud. TRANSCRIPT: 02/18/2019, All In w. Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 18, 2019
Guest: Ted Lieu, Natasha Bertrand, Pat Rynard, Caitlyn Byrd, Nanette
STEVE KORNACKI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is a tough
decision for anybody. It`s no wonder Joe Biden is taking his time here.
And 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.
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, FBI: Intelligence officials in the
briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the
intelligence our government possesses to which the president replied I
don`t care, I believe Putin.
HAYES: The man who launched the investigations into Donald Trump speaks
out for the first time.
MCCABE: A crime may have been committed. The President may have been
engaged in obstruction of justice.
HAYES: Tonight, what we`re learning from Andrew McCabe and how the FBI
viewed Donald Trump as a national security threat.
MCCABE: The Deputy Attorney General offered to wear a wire into the White
HAYES: Then nationwide protests as Democrats in Congress begin the process
to undo President`s emergency declaration. Plus, as 2020 candidates hit
the primary states –
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Let`s start by changing the
rules in Washington.
HAYES: A look at what`s working on the ground.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: American values are under attack and
it is time to change course.
HAYES: And today`s stunning hearing on North Carolina`s election fraud.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe the evidence that we will provide today
will show that a coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resource absentee
ballot scheme operated in the 2018 general election.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from Los Angeles, I`m Chris Hayes. The man who first
opened investigations of the President which would later become the Mueller
probe is now speaking out for the first time revealing just how alarmed
senior Justice Department officials have been by the President`s disturbing
and potentially criminal conduct.
Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the President`s abrupt firing of
James Comey in May 2017 after having pressured him over the Russia probe
set off a week-long crisis inside the Justice Department. McCabe telling
60 Minutes senior officials were so concerned about the President`s basic
fitness for office that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a longtime
Republican personally appointed by Trump raised the possibility of trying
to remove the president under the 25th Amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCABE: The Deputy Attorney General was definitely very concerned about
the President, about his capacity, and about his intent at that point in
time. He was discussing other cabinet members and whether or not people
would support such an idea, whether or not other cabinet members would
share his belief that the president was really concerning, was concerning
rather at that time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether
there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?
MCCABE: That`s correct. Counting votes or possible votes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: McCabe also confirmed previous reports that Rosenstein had offered
to wear a wire into the Oval Office to collect evidence on the President
telling 60 Minutes the idea was never pursued. McCabe told a previously
undisclosed story about the President`s trust in Vladimir Putin, one
relieved to him by an FBI official after a meeting at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCABE: Essentially the President said he did not believe that the North
Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the
United States and he did not believe that because President Putin had told
him they did not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And U.S. intelligence was telling the president what?
MCCABE: Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not
consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses to which
the President replied I don`t care. I believe Putin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to McCabe, that comment which echoes many others the
president made in public was part of a pattern of dubious behavior which
prompted the FBI to start investigating the sitting president of the United
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCABE: All those same sorts of facts caused us to wonder is there an
inappropriate relationship, a connection between this president and our
most fearsome enemy, the government of Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In almost two years since that time, the President has allies in
Congress and the media have done all they can to discredit McCabe and any
other career official known to have played a role in the investigation.
Now, McCabe is promoting a new book and he was fired last year after the
Justice Department`s internal watchdog criticized his lack of candor under
But the thing is that we don`t have to just take McCabe`s word for.
McCabe`s account or the president`s behavior and the alarm bells is set off
among the people around him looks a lot like the one James Comey gave in
sworn testimony in his book. It looks a lot like the account of the senior
administration official who wrote an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times
basically warning the country the man that person worked for was completely
unfit for the office.
It looks a lot like the reports that we read every single day in the paper
filled with blind quotes from people who work in close proximity the
president. Meanwhile, two years since the events McCabe described, the
President still in office and if anything he`s only gotten more volatile.
For more on McCabe`s revelations, I`m joined by Democratic Congressman Ted
Lieu of California, Member of the House Judiciary Committee. It`s good to
be here, Congressman. How are you?
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: I`m great. Thank you, Chris. What`s your
reaction to what this really remarkable account McCabe gives of the way in
which the President`s firing of Comey triggered this kind of crisis in the
LIEU: Andrew McCabe gave a number of very disturbing statements about the
behavior of Donald Trump. To me, one of the most alarming was that Donald
Trump believed Putin over our intelligence officials. No president of the
United States should ever believe is former KGB operative over career U.S.
intelligence officials. And it makes you really wonder what does Putin
have on Trump that would make him behave this way. And it`s consistent
with Trump`s behavior over the last two years with his bizarre relationship
HAYES: You know, the president has reacted all this and he and his allies
on from T.V. and other places have had a narrative for a long time that
essentially these are rogue elements of the deep state who didn`t like the
results the election are sort of plotting a coup with the president, I
think even use the word treason today. What`s your reaction to that
framework for understanding these events?
LIEU: I`m a former prosecutor. These are law enforcement personnel.
They`re looking at facts trying to determine if crimes are committed.
Rosenstein is a Republican and he`s looking at the same thing we all saw
which is the President fired the FBI Director. And then went on national
T.V. a couple days later said I did it because of the Russia investigation
that looks like textbook obstruction of justice and it makes you really
wonder what is this president doing which is why it`s not surprising they
may have had these discussions about the 25th Amendment.
HAYES: What does it say about the status to your mind constitutionally of
Justice Department which seems to be kind of the core question here right?
It`s part of the executive, it`s under the article powers of the president
but in some level we want it to be independent. And here you see – I
mean, the McCabe account is people wrestling in real time with their where
their responsibilities and loyalties lie.
LIEU: Yes. So this president raises all sorts of different constitutional
issues that we never encountered because no one`s ever broken this many
norms from this fake national emergency to the actions he`s taken to really
attack the Justice Department, attack law enforcement. And when you look
at the Constitution, nothing in there says you can`t indict a sitting
president and the whole lesson Watergate to me is that the American people
said no one is above the law and the DOJ is charged with enforcing the law
and prosecuting people who committed crimes.
HAYES: And so you think that – and you`ve made this clear before in
hearings that you think that the – one of the ways to resolve this
inherent contradiction is just to say formally to the DOJ you do have the
power to indict a sitting president.
LIEU: Absolutely. Because if you say you don`t, essentially the president
is above the law because what you`re saying is none of the laws in America
can be enforced against the President and there`s no way the American
people would accept that. It`s not in our Constitution. And I`m very
proud of what the FBI and the DOJ have done so far as well as their
prosecutors out of the Southern District of New York as well as state
attorneys generals, everyone`s taking their oaths to Constitution
HAYES: There`s something interesting about McCabe saying with the thing
that precipitated this is the firing of Comey, right? They sort of – they
sort of thought what they might be seeing is a cover-up in plain sight of
the Russia investigation. At the same time, you have the man who is now
the Attorney General the United States William Barr on the record having
written a memo saying the president firing Comey because it was exercising
the constitutional duties almost by definition cannot be obstruction of
justice. What do you think about that?
LIEU: It`s very interesting what Barr said later which is basically he
didn`t have all the facts the time he wrote that memo. It`s also very
interesting to look at his actual testament before the U.S. Senate. He
does concede yes, there are lots of different cases where the president can
obstruct justice. And just because Trump does this in public, in full view
and brazenly, doesn`t mean it it`s not a crime. And that`s something the
House Judiciary Committee on which I sit is going to investigate when I
hold hearings and were to look at obstruction justice, abuse of power as
well as witness tampering.
HAYES: Finally, I guess my question to you is where do you see – how
confident are you right now in the independence and protection inside that
that building, Department of Justice with Barr now at the top and
Rosenstein being widely reported moving out that that they`re going to be
able to continue to do the work they need to do.
LIEU: So none of this is OK. It`s not OK that career FBI officials really
struggling with what do we do with a president that looks like he`s
violating a law. It`s not okay for the President to routinely attack law
enforcement. But I have more help than I think some of my colleagues
because even before the midterm elections last November, we still had a
Republican-led investigation of a Republican president from the Department
of Justice. That`s very impressive and that investigation is still going
I`m not sure a lot of countries would have allowed this to happen. The
fact that Robert Mueller still has this job I think is a testament to how
strong our institutions still are.
HAYES: You think they`re holding so far?
LIEU: I do.
HAYES: And you don`t think William Barr changes that by walking into the
offices of the Department of Justice.
LIEU: I hope he doesn`t but American people voted to give Democrats
subpoena power last November so we still had that option.
HAYES: All right, Ted Lieu, a congressman here from Los Angeles. Thank
you very much.
LIEU: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: For more on Andrew McCabe and what to do about an unfit president,
I`m joined by Natasha Bertrand, Staff Writer for the Atlantic covering
national security and MSNBC Legal Analyst Nick Akerman, a former Watergate
Prosecutor. Natasha, the stories that McCabe tells largely line up with
some previous reporting we had about the sort of air of crisis but it is
somewhat remarkable to hear this individual say what he`s saying about the
reaction inside that building to the president firing Comey.
NATASHA BERTRAND, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: It is. And when I was
speaking to him last week, and we have an interview being published with
him tomorrow morning, when I was speaking with him last week about all of
this, it just struck me that we actually had not heard an FBI official, a
top FBI official, let alone the official who had actually launched the
investigation into the president confirmed that this investigation had
indeed been launched.
And so he was kind of talking about the process that the officials went
through in order to determine whether or not this unprecedented decision
was going to be made. He emphasized that this was not something that was
precipitated only because the president decided to fire Jim Comey. He told
me that concern about the president had been building for months and that
is consistent with what we`ve heard from other people who were having those
discussions at the time.
So obviously, I don`t want to give away too much about the interview before
tomorrow, but I will say that that is one of the biggest takeaways from
this is that this is not something that was perceived by people at the FBI
as something that occurred in a vacuum. And that is why it`s kind of
disingenuous for people to say well, the President had the constitutional
authority to fire Jim Comey. No. It`s why did he fire him. It`s
obstruction being equivalent to a national security threat in this
HAYES: Nick has the Department of Justice had to face this before or was
this completely uncharted territory?
NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: It`s really somewhat uncharted
territory. I don`t think this has happened before. I mean I have been
involved in a situation when Archibald Cox who was the first Watergate
special prosecutor was fired by the President, President Nixon. And I
remember having long torturous meetings among the staff about what to do.
I mean people would say all kinds of crazy things just like you heard about
the 25th Amendment and about wearing a wire, things that people really
couldn`t act on. I mean, at the end of the day we decided to tough it out,
continue the investigation. I spent a lot of time talking to Washington
columnists giving them the pitch that would – it was extremely important
to have an independent special prosecutor investigating the president.
So you go through a lot of turmoil. I mean, what McCabe described the
other night on 60 Minutes, I pretty much identified with and I could see
where people would have different reactions. But yet at the end of the
day, we toughed it out. I called my senator at the time Ed Brooke,
explained to him what was going on, the importance of having an independent
special prosecutor. And by simply staying there, the investigation
continued just as the investigation here is continued and things worked out
and I think the same has happened here.
HAYES: You know, part of what is striking about McCabe`s account, Natasha,
to me is – and this sort of sinks up what you`re just saying, in some ways
I think there`s a narrative again that the President and his allies have
spun of these sort of rapidly anti-Trump forces who are trying to get the
president. And rather the sort of opposite of that which is to say a bunch
of people who don`t want to think the unthinkable essentially the president
has conspired with a foreign adversary and is compromised, very slowly
being dragged against their will to a conclusion that looks a lot like
BERTRAND: Exactly. And let`s remember that this was not revealed during
the election right? The thing that was revealed during the election was
the fact that there was a reopening of Hillary Clinton`s e-mail
investigation. So the idea that there was a deep State out to get the
president while he was running for – during the election and trying to
make him you know, not become president is just absolutely ridiculous on
its face when you think about how hard they were trying to keep this
investigation a secret from the broader public because they just didn`t
know what they had.
But when you start to see things like you know, perhaps the classified
intelligence that they were receiving about the conversations that were
going on between the campaign and between Russians, when you see how the
president was you know cozying up to Putin during the election and saying
things out loud like hack my opponent, things like that, it just became
really untenable for them to just sit there and say is there really nothing
going on here.
And that I think is one of the biggest takeaways also from my conversation
with Andy – with Andy McCabe is that they did not feel like they had a
choice here. They felt like they would have been derelict in their duties
if they had not investigated the president. I mean if he`s telling his own
federal law enforcement officials that he believes Putin over them, then
what is Putin filling his ear with when he`s in meetings with him over the
last two years? I mean, it`s just – it`s a really serious question that
needs to be answered.
HAYES: And it`s also clear from McCabe`s account, Nick, of just how
decisively – how decisively the firing of Comey backfired. I mean, that
is the inflection point for all of this because that`s what essentially
precipitates the concern and elevates into formal investigations in the
Special Counsel appointment.
AKERMAN: That`s exactly right. But keep in mind in the context of
everything else that was going on before Comey was fired and before Obama
left office. I mean the New York Times was reporting in March of 2017 that
members of the Obama administration were trying to maintain all of this
evidence, all of this information so that it could be kept and looked at
later on by congressional committees or investigators.
And it also has to be viewed in the context just as Natasha said. You`re
dealing with the number two man in the FBI who has access to the most
sensitive intelligence information that this country had on what happened
during that election. So whatever he`s saying, whatever facts he`s giving
you know this is just the tip of the iceberg.
HAYES: Yes. That just – you can`t shake this feeling of you – when you
watch him and again I understand why people have attacked his credibility
and he was fired for lack of candor, but this sense that you get from him
and others of just these alarm bells going off blinking more and more
urgently as time goes on. Natasha Bertrand and Nick Akerman, thank you
We have breaking news coming up. Sixteen states tonight just in the last
few minutes have joined together to file a lawsuit against Donald Trump`s
emergency declaration. That breaking news is just ahead. And next, Andrew
McCabe`s indictment of the Trump administration extends beyond criticism of
the president. Ben Wittes on McCabe`s allegations about both Donald Trump
and Jeff Sessions in two minutes.
HAYES: Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe`s new book is making
headlines for what it says about the president but it may be even more
brutal on Jeff Sessions. According to review of the book by The Washington
Post Greg Miller, then-Attorney General Sessions comes off as a racist who
has trouble keeping more than one thought in his head at a time. Someone
who didn`t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with
what he had seen in newspaper clips, and he blamed immigrants for nearly
every societal problem.
Sessions also believe that Islam inherently advocated extremism and
ceaselessly sought to draw connections between crime and immigration.
Where is he from was his first question about a suspect. Then next where
are his parents from? Then there were his thoughts on FBI employee
Sessions said the bureau was better off from “You all only hire Irishmen,
they were drunks but they could be trusted not like all these new people
with nose rings and tattoos. Who knows what they`re doing?”
Joining me now Ben Wittes, MSNBC Legal Analyst, Editor-in-Chief of the
Lawfare blog. One thought that comes to mind, Ben, is the bullet that was
dodged in Sessions having to recuse himself early on given the account
McCabe gives of Sessions behind the scenes.
BEN WITTES, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, yes, except that you know, since
Sessions appears to hate foreigners and Russians are not domestic and he
seems to be an incorrigible racist, maybe he would have been fine as head
of the Russia investigation.
HAYES: Yes, right. Yes, out of – out of sheer sort of –
HAYES: Exactly, serious xenophobia. You know, you wrote something about
the investigation about the sort of nexus between obstruction and collusion
and the moment that Comey is fired and one of the things I think that has
come into view with McCabe`s recounting is just what that connection is.
What is it to your mind?
WITTES: Right. So I mean, I think that one of the things that interested
me about McCabe`s interview is you know, the extent to which it validated
that analysis that I did you know, back when that New York Times story
about the obstruction and collusion investigations came out. You know,
what McCabe describes is that they – when they looked at the fact patterns
surrounding the firing, they – and the constellation of activities around
it, they look at it and they say on the one hand well this may be an
They also look at it and they say the obstruction crime itself may be a
form of collusion. That is why would somebody want McCabe asks, why would
the president want to shut down this investigation designed to protect the
national security of the United States unless there were some untoward
relationship between him and the Russians.
And so, you know, we have this idea that has really permeated a lot of the
way we talk about the Russia investigation that there`s an obstruction side
of the investigation and a collusion side. And I think the point I was
trying to make in that article and I think that McCabe`s interview really
bears out is that from the FBI`s point of view, those questions were not
distinct from one another.
HAYES: What is your takeaway about Rosenstein? I mean, that the DOJ has
pushed back a bit on the account although they haven`t really explicitly
denied any of the – of the particulars. What conclusions are you drawing
about Rosenstein and what role he`s played throughout here?
WITTES: Well, look, I mean if Rosenstein could deny the essential
allegations that McCabe is making or the claims, factual claims. They`re
not even really allegations. If he could deny them, he would. But it
seems like McCabe is telling the truth that A, the Deputy Attorney General
offered to wear a wire in conversations with the president and that it was
actually the general counsel of the FBI who said no, no, that`s a bridge
too far. We`re not there yet.
And secondly, that it was the Deputy Attorney General who floated the idea
and mentally started counting votes about whether he – they could get the
cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Now, I want to say in Rosenstein`s
defense, neither of these ideas is completely crazy. I mean, given the way
Trump was behaving at the time, they are ideas that you know, are I would
say I would you know tend to think that was probably wise not to pursue
either of them, but I`m not sure they should have been utterly beyond the
realm of conversation.
That said, Rosenstein when these stories floated in the New York Times a
few months ago, Rosenstein really you know tried to pretend one, was it
just an issue of sarcasm, and the other he kind of threw shade at. And I
think that you know, he`s got some candor questions to answer for at this
HAYES: Well, I think and – I think that the facts as established by
McCabe and I think you`re right essentially undisputed by Rosenstein in the
particulars lead to two possible interpretations with not a lot of space
between them. One, which is the President and his allies interpretations
which is that there`s this deranged you know, fifth column, this coup of
folks that have it out for the President attempting to subvert the will of
the voters and take down the president.
And the other is the behavior the President was so screamingly alarming
that all these people are running around saying what if this man is
WITTES: And in Rod Rosenstein`s defense and my enthusiasm for his – for
him is altogether under control, I assure you. But in his defense, the
president had just done something quite awful to him, right, which was to
sort of use him as his set piece for something he meant to do other –
anyway and to kind of use him as a pretest for this. And Rosenstein had
fallen into this trap and had let himself be used this way.
And I think you know, quite understandably in – you know looking back on
it within this terrible week that followed is trying to figure out you
know, oh my God, what have I done and what have I done among other things
to myself. And so he`s you know, trying to figure out how to put things
right. He thinks he may have destroyed his reputation forever and he`s
And so I think these are things that happened in the context of this
chaotic environment that emerges out when this thoroughly evil person and
you know, manipulates the people around him somewhat wittingly and somewhat
unwittingly on their parts and they`ve kind of discovered what a whole
HAYES: All right, Ben Wittes, thank you so much for making some time.
HAYES: Next, there is a new lawsuit to block Donald Trump`s emergency
declarations. That breaking news and the fight in Congress to stop Trump
HAYES: Breaking news tonight, a coalition of 16 states have filed suit in
federal court, calling Donald Trump`s emergency declaration
unconstitutional and seeking a preliminary injunction, that is for the
court to step in and put it on pause.
The attorney general of California announced the lawsuit in just the last
hour saying President Trump, quote, “knows there is no border crisis. He
knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted. And he admits he will
likely lose this case in court.”
Joining the state of California are the attorneys general of Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan,
Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
This, as protesters from just about all of those states, and others, were
out in the streets today as a show of force in opposition to the so-called
And that is not all, the president`s decision will also face a challenge
head on from congress. Under the National Emergencies Act from 1976,
lawmakers can introduce a resolution to block the order. House Democrats
have already said they plan to introduce such a measure soon.
Here to talk about what could happen from here, Democratic Congresswoman
Nanette Barragan of California. Good to have you here, congresswoman.
REP. NANETTE BARRAGAN, (D) CALIFORNIA: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Let`s start with the breaking news, your state one of those suing
the president. What do you think happens now?
BARRAGAN: Well, there are two ways to stop the president and one of those
is lawsuits from
California, other states and organizations. So I fully support that effort
by California to do that.
The second way is for congress to act. And that is what we are going to
do. There is a joint resolution that has been drafted by Congressman
Joaquin Castro who is also the chair of the Hispanic caucus. And he is
asking members of congress to sign on to that. I`ve signed on. We have
seen other members through social media indicate they are going to sign on.
And so that will be introduced.
It will then go to a committee of jurisdiction. It will go to the House
floor for a vote. And it has to get a simple majority.
It will go to the Senate side, and the Senate will be forced to take a vote
HAYES: This is key, because we know that there are any number of pieces of
legislation – for instance, HR1, that – which, you know, has to do with
voting rights and the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, that Mitch
McConnell can just kill, right. You can pass something out of the House.
He doesn`t have to do it.
In this case he has to take it up?
BARRAGAN: Yes, he does. That`s the way that the law is written, the way
the joint resolution is. He has to take it up.
So, that is going to put a lot of pressure on Republicans and Democrats,
although the Democrats I think are to make a decision on what they are
going to do. Are they going to side with the president? Are they going
to decide with giving away power that congress has? And a lot of these
in districts that are very red, military projects where he`s going to plan
on taking money from.
HAYES: There was a – FiveThirtyEight was doing some whip counting, and
just to your point on the Republican side. You know, you have got Lamar
Alexander, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben
Sasse, Thom Tillis, and Pat Toomey have all said they oppose a
national emergency declaration. Now, that and 2.75 gets you on the subway.
We`ll see if they actually vote against it.
But he is starting out without the votes in the Senate to stop it from
passing it looks like.
BARRAGAN: Right, but even if it gets through the House and the Senate, the
president can veto it. And this is where it gets complicated, because we
need a super majority, two-thirds to override his veto.
BARRAGAN: Do you see – you know, it is interesting to have these two
parallel tracks, right. So, one of the things I think people have been
very critical of is the ways in which over the last 30 years, particularly,
we have seen more and more power move from congress to the executive. If
you have a choice between having congress sort of rebuke the president or
having the courts strike it down, which would you like to see?
BARRAGAN: Well, I would like to see congress do it. It`s a co-equal
branch of government., that`s the separation of powers, it`s a balance, but
we have had the court to be our saving grace in recent times, and so it
needs to be there.
HAYES: It also seems like it is likely that you will get one of these
lower courts issues a
preliminary injunction. And that kind of lets everybody kind of wriggle
out of the vote, right? I mean, do you worry about that, right? It seems
to me that it is important that you call the question will Democrats still
go forward no matter what the courts do?
BARRAGAN: I think that the Democrats should go forward. We need to have
record. This is a critical defining moment in time for congress and
lawmakers to step up and put
what is right and the constitution above party. And I think that is
critical in this situation.
HAYES: You know, there is also public opinion, which plays a big role in
all of this, and public mobilization. Polling from before this was
actually announced, it was running about 66 percent against. We may see
some movement after the president`s announced, because people who like the
president tend to like whatever he does. But you were out at protests
today here in Los Angeles. Why did you do that?
BARRAGAN: Well, I thought it was important for people to come out and
speak up and protest. A lot of them are out there saying we have got to
make sure to protect democracy and stop this
power grab from happening. And so I want to be supportive.
And we saw a good number of people in Los Angeles. We saw protests
Washington and across the country. I think it is a sign that people are
going to stand up. We`re going to hold this president accountable. And
they want members of congress to do that, too.
HAYES: You know, two things seem to be happening in public opinion. One,
the president is forcing a kind of backlash against him on issues on
immigration, where you see support for increasing immigration, support for
undocumented immigrants rising in polling, but I saw a piece in The Daily
Beast last week that made the argument based from immigration rights
advocates, the president was
still winning the debate in how it was being framed, that by putting the
border and security at the center of things, he is moving the conversation
in his direction. Which do you think it is?
BARRAGAN: Well, you know, the congress just passed compromise bill. And
in that bill a lot of money was put into border security. So, Democrats
and Republicans alike are for border security.
Now, there is a humanitarian crisis happening at the border, and that was
created by the president`s, you know, just cruel policies. I saw it first-
hand when I went down there investigating the
death of the kids down there. We just passed a bill that is going to put
money into that. And I think…
HAYES: So that meaning the sort of humanitarian aspect in terms of undoing
some of the blockage that`s happened there because they are over capacity.
BARRAGAN: It is to make sure that there is medical procedures in place,
medical equipment in place, it is to address that children actually have
food before they were getting, you know, noodles that were not even warm.
HAYES: That is all in the bill text.
BARRAGAN: It`s in the bill text. And that was a huge win that we got in
to have humanitarian
money going to the border.
And so there are lots of things in the compromise bill that are going to
help the border security aspect. I represent a port of entry. You can
have more technology. You can have more opportunity to catch more drugs
Now, the irony is under the emergency declaration the president is going to
take money away from drug interdiction. And the very thing he says he is
trying to stop is going to be taking away in funding because he wants to
build this wall that we know is not the most effective way to stop what he
says he is trying to stop.
HAYES: Congresswoman Nanette Barragan of Los Angeles, thank you for
BARRAGAN: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Still to come, as the campaigns start taking shape, a look at how
the candidates working to defeat Trump are honing their appeals to the
voters who will decide their fate the earliest.
Plus, how President Trump was maybe nominated for the Nobel Prize? Maybe?
That`s tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, after declaring a national emergency on Friday
the president headed to the classiest place on Earth, Mar-a-Lago, for a
long weekend on the golf course. Luckily, the ongoing emergency didn`t
effect any critical club systems, and we can report that the omelet bar was
up and running.
This photo was posted to social media. You can see the president in his
very beige outfit and a bright red cap making what we must assume is his
first and only trip to the omelet bar that day.
Now, like any top not country club omelet bar, it is well stocked with a
squeeze bottle of ketchup and a backup squeeze bottle of ketchup. You can
also see behind the bar a framed Walgreens
ad that Trump once did, which is a good reminder of the schlock, which can
be hanging on the walls if you`re fortunate enough to be a member of one of
Trumps clubs, including a portrait of himself, which he bought with charity
money from the Trump Foundation and then reportedly hung at his golf club
in Miami. Or most famously the fake Time magazine covers that The
Washington Post says Trump apparently had PhotoShopped and framed and then
hung in at least five of his clubs from south Florida to Scotland.
It makes you wonder, where will he hang his pretend Nobel Peace Prize?
That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: During his bizarre Rose Garden performance last week, Donald Trump
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a
letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel
Prize. He said I have nominated you, or respectfully on behalf of Japan, I
am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yeah, a little thing called the Nobel Peace Prize, maybe you`ve
heard of it.
Now, that would be special. Everyone immediately wondered what is he
talking about? Is that really true or was it, like much of his press
conference, something he pulled out of thin air?
Well, NBC News has the answer. We can now report Japan did, in fact,
nominate Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize after he asked them to
nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seen here
falling down into a sand trap at Mar-a-Lago last year, acceded to what
multiple Japanese government sources described as the U.S. government
informally asking them to nominate Trump.
It turns out that two Norwegian lawmakers have also nominated Trump,
according to Reuters.
We are not sure if Trump asked them to, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He said I have nominated you, or respectfully on behalf of Japan, I
am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize. I said thank you, many
other people feel that way, too. I will probably never give it, because
that`s OK, they gave it to Obama. He didn`t know what he got it for. He
was there for about 15 seconds and got the Nobel Prize. He said, oh, what
did I get it for?
With me, I probably will never get it. So Prime Minister Abe, gave me – I
mean, it`s the most beautiful five page letter. Nobel Prize, he sent it to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For the very first time we finally have official factual findings
in the crazy case of
potential election fraud in North Carolina`s ninth congressional district.
You might remember more than three months after election day they finally
began the state election board hearing today and
it is extremely damning for the campaign of Republican Mark Harris.
Here is how the executive director of the North Carolina State Board of
Elections laid it all out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM STRACH, NORTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: We
believe the evidence that we will provide today will show that a
coordinated, unlawful and substantially resource absentee ballot scheme
operated 2018 general election in Bladen and Robeson (ph) Counties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: State investigators found at least 1,000 ballots were illegally
requested by a man
named McCrae Dowless or his employees, well over the 905 vote margin that
decided the race.
Dowless`s step-daughter, Lisa Britt (ph), a convicted felon on probation
who admitted to illegally voting in the 2018 election, testified she was
among the people who collected unsealed ballots from voters for Dowless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was unsealed and the ballot was not completed
voted, and you can fill in the other offices?
LISA BRITT, STEP-DAUGHT OF MCCRAE DOWLESS: Yes, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who would have directed you to do that.
BRITT: I was directed by Mr. Dowless. Basically what we would do, or what
I would do would be just about vote whoever was a Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you hear that? They were collecting ballots and filling them in
for people for whoever was the Republican.
Investigators say after Republican Mark Harris`s campaign hired Red Dome
Consulting (ph), the consulting firm then paid McCrae Dowless more than
$130,000 for one congressional race. Harris had admitted to directing Red
Dome (ph) to hire Dowless, but denies any wrongdoing.
Despite this, the North Carolina GOP is still saying that their guy, Mark
Harris, should be seated as a U.S. Congressman. In a tweet today that in
the best light is still pretty damning, they wrote, quote, “I think you`ve
got one innocent person in this whole thing, and he`s the one getting the
really bad end of the deal here, and that`s Mr. Mark Harris.” That
statement the GOP picked to convince the country of their candidates
innocence was set at today`s hearing by none other than Lisa Britt, the
felon who had moments before admitted to illegally collecting and filling
in stranger`s ballots.
So, a consulting firm hired by a Republican candidate, paid someone that
engaged in the worst, most aggressive and egregious documented electoral
fraud of the entire cycle, and the party that likes
to scaremonger about voter fraud thinks their guy should still get to be
seated in congress.
The hearing continues tomorrow. And the State Board of Elections will
decide whether or not disqualifies the fair election in the state of North
Carolina or whether another election is needed.
HAYES: We are less than a year from the Iowa caucuses and the battle for
the Democratic presidential nomination is fully underway. Many of the
candidates are already on the campaign trail, particularly in the key early
states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and they`re meeting voters
and honing their stump speeches, testing out what works and what doesn`t,
like a stand-up comedian who tries out material in a small club before
embarking on a national tour.
This is the laboratory for these candidates to sharpens their message,
establish what makes them
different. As President`s Day weekend was the most active in the 2020 race
so far, as candidates garner big crowds and voters and local reporters
started to form opinions about which – what each of the candidates have to
Joining me now are a pair of reporters who have been on the ground with
those candidates, Pat Rynard, who runs a political news site Iowa Starting
Line; and Caitlyn Byrd, political reporter at the Post and Courier in
Charleston, South Carolina.
Pat, let me start with you in Iowa, which is obviously the place, the first
contest you are a true Iowa caucuses nerd. You worked on it in the past.
You have been documenting it carefully. What does it look like just from
the crowd standpoint in terms of the enthusiasm, turnout, those kinds of
things so far?
PAT RYNARD, IOWA STARTING LINE: Well, that`s one of the most fascinating
things so far,
Chris, is, you know, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, they are
getting crowds of 500 to 800 people out already.
RYNARD: I mean, those are turnouts that you would be happy to have like a
month out from the Iowa caucus, much less than a year out. And what is
fascinating to me personally, you know, I`ve worked in this state a lot. I
know who these activists are. What is interesting is who is turning out to
So, right now, you have got a lot of different candidates from different
ideological backgrounds, but the people who I see coming out to these
events don`t necessarily fit those. I`ve seen core Bernie Sanders
activists out to see John Hickenlooper, even though they`re not going to
end up caucusing for him. I`ve seen county party folks out at Elizabeth
Warren`s events, even though they think she`s too far to the left.
But the interesting and nice thing is they are all finding something that
they like about these candidates early on, because right now it`s all still
pretty nice out there.
HAYES: You know, yeah, so far there`s – it`s been very positive. There
are no one attacking each other at this point.
That video we just showed, which we`ll show again, is Kamala Harris today
making I think her first official campaign stop in New Hampshire, this
enormous line snaking out of this church there, and
Caitlyn, Kamala was down there – Senator Harris was down there this
weekend in Charleston and had an enormous turnout, if I`m not mistaken,
CAITLYN BYRD, THE POST AND COURIER POLITICAL REPORTER: It was huge. We
saw numbers more than 1,000 was the crowd estimate that we got. They had
to open up the second floor of the life center where we were, which was
located inside of a very well attended black church in North Charleston.
They had to actually open that second part. People were even sitting on
closed up bleachers to try and make sure that they had a good line of sight
to the senator.
Everyone was just very curious that I talked to about hearing more from her
HAYES: Yeah, so that`s one thing I think that seems clear in the early
states from the sort of voter standpoint – enthusiasm, huge turnout, very
big crowds. I mean, Pat, you made this point, you know, at this point
people are talking in living rooms usually of 20 folks. You`re getting
500, 800, 1,000 people.
What are you hearing from the crowds and the question and answer periods of
these, Pat? How focused on different issues, electability, Trump, are the
questioners in these events?
RYNARD: Yeah, so there hasn`t been too many questions about Trump. I
mean, the folks who are turning out to these places are already riled up
about him. They don`t need to hear more about him. They are asking the
candidates about their own personal background, mostly questions about
domestic policy, that type of thing.
You know, most interesting, a lot of the folks are coming out that I`m
starting to notice are
people new to the process.
RYNARD: At Cory Booker`s event, I saw a lot of younger people who told me
they knew about him through SnapChat, a lot of younger public
schoolteachers at Elizabeth Warren`s events.
HAYES: Caitlyn, have you noticed differences in the ways in which the
candidates coming through South Carolina have been kind of distinguishing
themselves or focusing their pitch?
BYRD: Absolutely. We`re already starting to see some candidates making it
clear to voters that they are doing their homework, doing things like going
to Mother Emanuel AME Church here in Charleston, which as we all know is
the site of the very tragic hate shooting where nine black African -
Americans were gunned down while going to bible we`re also hearing pitches
that should sound very familiar to voters here especially in the first
congressional district where I am in Charleston, hearing lines about things
about offshore drilling, haven`t heard Kamala Harris talk as much about
offshore drilling, but when she was in South Carolina, she made that a very
She also talked a lot about – yeah, she also talked a lot about the idea
that we have more in common than we do that separates us, that also echoes
Congressman Joe Cunningham who was recently election who talked about low
country over party. That was his sort of selling pitch to voters here.
So, it`s been very interesting to hear how especially Senator Harris has
been on the trail that she`s been echoing some talking points that did test
and prove effective here as a political petri dish, if you will.
HAYES: And Pat, to that point about this sort of – to over simply
dynamics of kind of populism versus sort of unifying uplift, what have you
been seeing in terms of the messages from candidates there?
RYNARD: They are really varying, which is fascinating. It`s a lot more
enjoyable to be
covering this this year as opposed to the Bernie Sanders versus Hillary
Clinton establishment versus outsider fight, which the Democratic Party is
way more complex than that.
And so they are coming at it from different angles. You know, Cory Booker,
his stump speech is essentially like a big pep talk, an inspiration-type
rally. There are other candidates like – I guess going back to
Hickenlooper who talk much more heavily about policy, Delaney as well, who
talked about artificial intelligence. They are all highlighting – every
candidate is highlighting different parts of the progressive message.
HAYES: Pat Rynard and Caitlyn Byrd, who are in those early states where
the folks are coming through, thank you for being with me and sharing what
you guys learned. Really appreciate it.
That is “ALL IN” for this evening.
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