Southeast bracing for Dorian’s arrival. TRANSCRIPT: 9/4/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Gina McCarthy, Stephanie Murphy, Ari Berman, John Sopel




for now.  Thanks for being with us.  “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right







UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We need help.  We need help.


HAYES:  Rescues continue in the Bahamas as major East Coast cities evacuate

and the president shows off a sharpie altered hurricane map.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That map that you showed today lead looked like it

almost had a sharpie.



I don`t know.


HAYES:  Tonight, what we know about where Dorian is headed and the

President`s latest action that will exacerbate the climate crisis.  Then,

are Democrats about to pull off a special election stunner in North

Carolina, my interview with a Florida Congresswoman who is tired of keeping

secrets about Russian election interference in her State, and making sense

of the latest explosive developments in the Brexit crisis.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When will the prime minister finally apologize for his

derogatory and racist remarks>


HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  At this hour Hurricane

Dorian is moving out the southeastern coast after having devastated and

leveled parts of the Bahamas.  By the latest count, there are now 20

confirmed deaths and the Health Minister says they expect the number to



The National Hurricane Center saying the category two storm has gained some

strength and issuing warnings of a potential life-threatening storm surge

for hundreds of miles from Florida, to North Carolina, to the very border

of Virginia.  There`s one place that definitively will not be hit by this

hurricane and that is the state of Alabama.


Today, President Trump did one of the things that he clearly loves the most

about the job he has which is to play weatherman.  Here he`s in the Oval

Office with his weather maps.  And if you look at that right there, did you

notice something odd about that map?


It turns out the hurricane advisory that he`s showing right there today is

from last week which is weird.  Why would he use an old map from last week

that the storm changes its tracking?  Well, because that`s the one that

came closest on the map to Alabama which the President famously said was at

risk and that was famously smacked down by the National Weather Service.


And oh, by the way, let`s zoom in on Trump`s hurricane track, shall we,

where it appears that someone, gosh who knows who, drew with the hand a

sharpie bubble on this dated official hurricane advisory map to save the

face of a president who wrongly said Alabama was in its path.


Today, people are actually having to evacuate, and flee, and prepare, and

board up for up and down the East Coast and the president refused to back

down on his Alabama claim.




TRUMP:  The original path that most people thought it was going to be taken

as you know was right through Florida where on the right would have been

Georgia, Alabama, etcetera.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And that map that you showed today looked like, almost

like a sharpie –


TRUMP:  I don`t know.  I don`t know.  I don`t know.




HAYES:  He doesn`t know.  As for the most current non-altered maps here

back in the real world, there are hurricane watches and warnings issued for

hundreds of miles on the southeastern coastline with Dorian predictions to

tracked closely to Charleston, South Carolina.  The governor issuing a

mandatory evacuation of Charleston County which has a population of



Joining me now, I`d like to bring in Ali Velshi, MSNBC Anchor who is in

Charleston South Carolina at the moment.  It`s empty there, Ali.  My sense

is that city is completely evacuated at this point.


ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR:  There are some people around here.  There`s

actually one bar where people are having a bit of a party.  It doesn`t feel

that serious here at the moment.  You can see there`s clearly wind blowing

but there`s some vehicles out here.  They tend to be work vehicles and

official vehicles.  The problem here is that it`s going to be a lot of

flooding, right.


It`s going to be a category two hurricane by the time it gets as close to

Charleston as it`s going to get which will be tens of miles off the shore. 

Right now the hurricane is 120, 130 miles south of where we are.  It`s

going to be east of where we are.  But this place floods at the best of



I`m right here on Market Street in the historic center of the city, and you

can see (INAUDIBLE) here.  It`s boarded up and you see the sandbags.  Well,

the city ran out of sandbags at some point today.  They`ve opened up the

garages in downtown so that people who have you know, they`ve got multi-

story garages, people can bring their cars in and park them here.


Flooding is going to be the danger.  And by the way, flooding is always the

danger in these things, right?  Most people can have figured out building

code to prevent the wind from blowing their places apart if they can when

the winds are not relatively as high as they were in the Bahamas.  There`s

very little you can do about that kind of winds.  But the flooding is going

to be the issue and that`s what we`re expecting to happen.


We should actually hit our peak floods by about 11:00 or noon tomorrow here

in Charleston, Chris.


HAYES:  You know, you`re standing in Charleston which is a city that is

sort of right at the confluence of these different trends.  It`s a city

that has grown remarkably.  It has become a kind of tourist destination, a

pop-cultural destination, of food destination.  It is also in a peninsula

extremely exposed to this.


And my understanding is that they are flooding more and more often and now

working out how even without hurricanes, how to deal with the fact that

they`ve brought all these people to a city that is as climate exposed as

this one is.


VELSHI:  Which by the way is the story of America, it`s the story of much

of the settled world, right?  We settled to these places that nature might

tell us aren`t the best places to settle.  They`ve had five serious flood

type emergencies in the last five years here in Charleston.  It`s a

serious, serious matter.


They have a couple of lakes here.  They`ve actually been working over the

last couple of days the lower the level of the lakes because as we saw in

Hurricane Florence which is in the same vicinity last year, these places

flood and then there`s even nowhere for the water to go.


HAYES:  Right.


VELSHI:  But when you keep building places up – in fairness, Charleston

has been here for a long time, but when you build up and build up and you

have more concrete, you`ve got less place for the water to drain.  So a

problem that`s becoming more serious because of climate is exacerbated by

our development.


I will say the one good thing in the last few years, Chris, because you and

I whenever there`s a hurricane talk about climate and there used to be

people who said this isn`t the time to talk about climate, it`s actually

exactly the time to talk about climate.


HAYES:  And that is I think increasingly the case.  In terms of the

evacuation, there`s an evacuation for that entire county for folks able so

far to get out of there and into early fashion.  I mean, it`s one advantage

of a storm moving as slowly as it is.


VELSHI:  Totally right.  Yes, the one advantage of a slow-moving storm is

you have lots of time to get out.  The disadvantage of a slow-moving storm

is if you get a fatigue in hearing about it, you`re not really sure it`s

coming, you stop believing authorities.


HAYES:  Right.


VELSHI:  Which is why that whole thing about maybe somebody drawing in a

map of where the storm is going to go that it`s not going to, it just

contributes to this fatigue and this lack of trust people have both in

authority and the media.


You know, reporters get in trouble when they – when they make us further

look more serious than it is, and they should because we have to be as

accurate as we can be.  And the accuracy says, if they say evacuate, maybe

it`s good to evacuate.  If it doesn`t, things don`t go too badly, at least

you evacuated.


When the other way – when the other thing happens where you don`t trust

the reports and you don`t go and then this flooding which happens sometimes

a day after or two days, think about Jacksonville, think about Houston, and

then you can`t get out.


HAYES:  All right, Ali Velshi who is down there in Charleston.  It`s great

to have you down there.  And you and I are in a few weeks are going to be

hosting a climate forum that I`m really looking forward to.  Thank you for

your reporting and all your work on this, Ali.  Stay safe.


It`s not enough the president`s leadership is comically narcissistic and

factually incorrect in these moments of climate crisis.  It`s not enough

that his absent from the need to lead on the issue.  It increasingly

appears that the Trump administration just has a list of ways to make the

climate crisis worse.


And that they are just ticking off down their way through that list no

matter how insane the idea is, no matter how little actual public support

it has, or even support from the industry.  And when we talk about the

fact, they`re trying to block clean power plant rules that would reduce

carbon emissions.  They`re trying to override the auto industry, not the

greenest of folks in the world, to make cars pollute more.


They`re trying to override the major oil industry companies in order to

release more methane in the air.  They`re trying to open up the biggest

national forests to logging and mining.  And now, get this, they`re coming

for the light bulbs.  The Trump administration is trying to weaken federal

rules that have forced Americans to use more energy-efficient light bulbs.


The George W. Bush administration introduced and passed legislation for

more energy-efficient light bulbs with broad bipartisan support back in

2007 12 years ago.  And it is true.  Compact fluorescent light bulbs were

kind of crappy back then, but then they got better.


And by the time of the Obama administration, some of the right we`re really

getting themselves worked up about it.





you`re supposed to use.  That`s why I introduced the light bulb freedom of

choice act.  President Bachmann will allow you to buy any light bulb you

won in the United States of America.


You just can`t be trusted to make decisions for yourself.  Not about your

health insurance, not about your gas mileage, not even about your light



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it.  You

can`t go around your house without being told what to buy.




HAYES:  OK.  So all that was like seven or eight years ago, and then we`ve

all just moved on with our lives.  We`ve just gone on to think about other

things.  Light bulbs are now much more energy-efficient, they save people

lots of money, the definition of a win-win.  There is no movement in

America to go back to crappy light bulbs.


I buy light bulbs all the time and they`re awesome now.  You can get all

different kinds of light bulbs.  You can get light bulbs you don`t have to

replace for ten years.  And now the Trump Administration is saying no, we

need the energy-wasting crappy old light bulbs back because it will make

the climate crisis worse.


For more on the perils posed by an administration in denial, I`m joined by

Gina McCarthy who served as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency

under President Obama.  She`s now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy

School.  All right, I would like to just think that I`m missing something

here.  There is some reason – honestly, this one is of all of them.


Someone described this that I saw online today as eco-nihilism.  And it

seems almost nihilistic to me.  Like what possible rationale is there for

walking away from the light bulb standards?


GINA MCCARTHY, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, EPA:  Boy, you`re asking me this,

Chris?  It`s good to be here with you.  I`m not sure I can answer that

question.  It`s certainly not an enlightened idea, pun intended.  Look,

they are just doing everything in the world first to deny that climate

change is real.  They`re trying to stop real science from happening and

being discussed.


They`re trying to stop every rule and regulation of the Obama

administration even though the industries themselves want to keep those

rules.  It`s just an amazing intent to roll back the world and recreate it

like it used to be in the 80s.  I can`t figure it out.


HAYES:  So what are the stakes of that?  I mean, what is that all add up to

in terms of what it does to America at this very perilous moment, in terms

of global leadership on climate.  We`ve obviously withdrawn Paris and from

the fact that like we`ve got a window here where we need to dramatically

reduce our carbon emissions.


MCCARTHY:  Yes.  That`s the biggest problem is the time we`re losing.  You

know, we need – know we need to get down to zero by 2050 and we need to

make tremendous progress if we`re going to make that trajectory.  And if

they deny the science and continue to sow doubt, then we`re not going to

make that happen.


If they continue to roll back rules that are about moving us forward in a

reasonable and cost-effective way, about shifting markets like light bulbs

to ones that are not only saving us billions of dollars but millions of

carbon tons every single year, then we`re going to have to do much more

later and it`s – the struggle is going to be worse.


Look, you`re seeing what`s happening along the coastline.  Right now this

administration is telling scientists, our scientists not to worry about

what happens after 2040.  Let`s just look at before 2040 because after that

it looks way too scary.


Well, what are we going to do with infrastructure investments?  Are we

going to keep building homes that we know in 2040 won`t be inundated but

are very likely to be in 2050 or 2060?  Are we going to spend all our road

and bridge money to be resilient when that resiliency gets us to 2040 and

not beyond?


The whole thing is ridiculous.  We used to lead on this issue.  We`re not

just holding ourselves back, we`re making the world look at us like we are

an absolute laughingstock.


HAYES:  That – just to be clear for folks who don`t know, there`s the

political appointees – I don`t know it was across agencies or in the EPA,

made a directive, right, that they should shorten the window of analysis to

cut off at 2040 as opposed to going past that.  Is that right?


MCCARTHY:  That`s right.  It was actually across the entire federal

government who has been actually having our scientist come together every

year and create a national climate assessment.  And they just said don`t

worry about 2040, that`s too far away, it`s too uncertain.


Now, I understand that the farther you go the more uncertain it is.  But do

you really want to not look at it?  Do you not want to use the best

scientists from NASA and from NOAA and from EPA?  Do you really want to

close your eyes to it and pretend that doesn`t exist?  Is that how the

United States operates now?  Is that what we define as leadership?


HAYES:  Of these various – I think the New York Times has been tracking. 

I think there`s 84 environmental rules that they have pledged to roll back. 

It might be 85 today after the light bulbs if I`m not mistaken.  What

stands out to you as the – as the highest stakes?


I mean, you were – you were one of the people who sort of oversaw the

clean power plant rule.  Like which one matters the most of what they`ve

done here?


MCCARTHY:  You know, maybe it`s more the tenor of the whole thing, the

instability it`s bringing to – not just to the agencies but to the

regulated industry.  You know, the clean car rule was one of the ones they

wanted to attack right out of the gate.


The interesting thing is that this is the first time in my recollection

that California is the place where the car industry`s want to go for relief

as opposed to stick with this administration is trying to tear it all down.


And then you have a mercury and air toxic standards which to me is a really

personal issue because it`s about toxics that are really damaging to our

children and to fetuses.  And that rule has already been done and the

industry itself said don`t look at this rule.  It`s fine.  It`s done. 

You`ll make us have stranded assets.  We want to do this.  We`re fine.  And

they all – they just went ahead and did it anyways.


Don`t they care about any human lives?  Don`t they care about our future

and our kids future?  What is going on in their mind that makes them think

that we`re moving in the future towards coal instead of understanding that

there are wonderful innovations now, lots of solutions we can embrace, if

they just embrace those that move us ahead, and they can embrace it just

because it protects health?  They don`t have to worry so much about

embracing climate, but we all know that they go hand in hand.


HAYES:  I guess the final question is what does it do to the trajectory and

your own sense of pessimism versus optimism about the era of crisis were

now in and going to enter into even more intensely?


MCCARTHY:  Well, you know, I think it`s hard to remain optimistic but I`ll

tell you when you look at what`s going on in states and in cities across

this country, they are stepping up big time.  When you look at individuals

across the United States which Ali mentioned in his coverage.


People get that climate change is real.  So I think I`m discouraged about

time lost, but I am not at all going to rule out the ability of this

country to step up and do what it needs to do for our children, for a

health, for their future, and our ability to innovate to make good things



HAYES:  All right, Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the EPA under

President Barack Obama.  Thanks very much.


MCCARTHY:  Thanks, Chris.


HAYES:  Next up, the Florida congresswoman who says she`s tired of keeping

the details of Russian interference in her state a secret because the same

tactics could work in 2020.  She joins me in two minutes.




HAYES:  Do you remember this weird thing that happened back in May when the

Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis came out and said that the FBI and the

Department Homeland Security told him that to county voting systems in his

state of Florida have been compromised by Russian hackers in the 2016

presidential election.


He came out and announced this but then said he could not tell the public

which two counties were hit because he made a promise to the FBI.  “I`m not

allowed to name the counties.  I signed a nondisclosure agreement.  They

asked me to sign it so I`m going to respect their wishes.”


That was weird and a lot of people thought the secrecy was odd including

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy who represents parts of Orlando.  She also

requested a briefing along with Republican colleague Congressman Michael

Waltz on those attacks on Florida back in May.


And today she has an op-ed in the Washington Post about – written about

what she learned and how there is much she is still not allowed to tell us. 

Joining me now is Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida.


Let`s start with what was your reaction to being told that two counties

have been penetrated by Russian hackers but you couldn`t know which?  Like

how did that scan to you?


REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL):  Well, they did tell me which counties they

were once we asked for a briefing.  But it took us three years from the

moment that the Russian packed our elections in 2016 to the briefing that

we had to request in order for the FBI and the Department of Justice to

reveal to us that in fact two counties had been hacked in Florida.


And now just as of a month or two ago with the Senate Intelligence

Committee report, it appears that Florida might be state two.  And in that

report, it indicates that the number might be up to four counties that were

hacked.  You know, the drips and drabs of information that are coming out

about this very serious attack on our democracy is not helpful in helping

us prepare to respond to it.


HAYES:  OK.  So do we not know if it was two counties or four counties or

someone knows and we just don`t know as the public?  Is that right?


MURPHY:  I, as an elected official still not certain based on the

information I received from the briefing compared to the information that

appears to be in the Senate report.  But Chris, let me tell you why it`s so

important that not only do we as officials know but also that the public



We are engaged in a different type of conflict.  I used to work at the

Pentagon under a Republican administration.  And at that time, we were

worried about kinetic warfare.  But what we`re dealing with today is cyber

aggression.  It is information operations, information warfare.


And the way that you combat information warfare is to be able to have a

whole of society approach and that involves inoculating the public, giving

them the tools so that they can discern what has happened, and then protect

themselves against future attacks.


HAYES:  Well, this is – this is sort of gets to the nub of the issue,

right?  I mean, I`ve now read multiple reports and an official

pronouncements that say something along the following, that Russian hackers

probed all of the different systems, they were able to sort of penetrate

and gain entrance into them and even possibly achieve the ability to change

data but did not do any changing.


And I guess my question is like are we a hundred percent sure about that

last point?  Is that a definitive thing that we know established?  And even

if it is how can you convince people that that`s the case if we don`t get

more information?


MURPHY:  The way you could probably convince people that their information

wasn`t changed is to let the voters know which counties were affected and

allow voters to go verify for themselves that their information wasn`t

changed.  We are watching the lack of information, the shroud of secrecy

undermine our – the voters confidence in our systems.


HAYES:  What is the justification?  What is your understanding of this

somewhat strange arrangement that`s coming from the Trump administration

vis-a-vis their protectiveness around this information that seems to me

like it should be in the public domain? 


MURPHY:  The two reasons they give is one, to protect sources and methods,

and then the other is that they view the victims to be the election

officials.  And let me just say that on the first reason.  Sources and

methods, the Russians know that we know which counties they hacked.  So I`m

not sure that releasing the name of those two counties to the voters would

be revealing anything that our adversaries don`t already know.


And then secondly on the issue about who is the victim.  I think it`s wrong

to see the election officials as the victims.  The voters are the victim in

this case.  They`re the ones whose information has been accessed.  And you

know when it comes to their credit card information or their social media

information, if their information has been breached there is a

responsibility to notify.


And yet here, in this case, there seems to be no accountability or a sense

of responsibility to notify voters.


HAYES:  So it`s – on the final point here.  The counties themselves know

if they have been penetrated, correct?


MURPHY:  That`s correct.


HAYES:  OK.  Are you confident that all counties that have been penetrated

across the country or all systems know A, and B that the necessary steps

have been taken on election security grounds or cybersecurity grounds to

make sure that can`t happen again?


MURPHY:  I think we need greater transparency and oversight –

congressional oversight to ensure that we are – we know that everybody –

the full extent of the interference in 2016, what defenses have been put up

by those local election officials to prevent this from happening in the



And then also there needs be – to be a broader public understanding that

we are under constant attack, that we are engaged in an information war

with aggressors like Russia and that what there are things that as

individuals we can do to protect ourselves against these attacks.


HAYES:  All right, Congressman is Stephanie Murphy from the State of

Florida, thank you so much for making time.


MURPHY:  Thanks for having me.


HAYES:  Ahead, judges throw out North Carolina voting maps so gerrymander

they say violated the state constitution.  Ari Berman on the massive

implications right after this.




HAYES:  The North Carolina Republican Party has really gained quite a

reputation for itself in voting rights circles.  Republican state

legislators drew some of the nation`s most aggressively gerrymandered maps

along racial and partisan lines.  And in 2017, the Supreme Court struck

down the Republican-drawn Congressional Maps because they were racially



Then last year, during the midterm elections, a Republican congressional

candidate Mark Harris hired a campaign worker who allegedly committed

widespread election fraud.  And that man Leslie McCrae Dowless has since

been indicted along with several others for what they did.


The situation was so bad the apparent fraud so egregious and widespread the

state had to take the remarkable step of just throwing the election out and

calling a new one which is happening Tuesday.  And then on top of all that,

yesterday, the Republican-drawn state legislative district maps were also

thrown out by a state court for being an extreme partisan gerrymander.


Here with me now someone who`s been following what Republicans have been up

to in North Carolina, Ari Berman, Senior Reporter of Mother Jones, author

of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.


So there`s a lot to go through here.  Let`s start with the significance of

a state court in North Carolina throwing out the assembly in Senate maps

for the state?  What was the justification and what was behind this fight?



because you remember back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court said, we`re not

going to review gerrymandering on a federal level.  Not only are we not

going to review it but the federal courts can`t review partisan

gerrymandering at all.


HAYES:  Right.  So the Supreme Court jurisprudence is you cannot racially

gerrymander, I mean, you know, to diminish the power of voters of color,

right.  That`s not constitutional and the court can look into those maps

and strike them down and in fact has.  Then they had a test case being like

what about partisan gerrymanders?


Wisconsin was one of the tests, right.  And in federal courts, 5-4 decision

in the Supreme Court  said, nope, we can`t do anything about that.  So it

looked like these maps are good to go, and then…


BERMAN:  And that kicks the ball to state court.  And so this is the first

major opinion in state court to strike down partisan gerrymandering.


HAYES:  Ah, I see.


BERMAN:  And it did it in a very thorough bipartisan, 357-page opinion with

a lot of smoking gun evidence. 


And so now what we see is even if the federal courts aren`t going to act to

strike down partisan gerrymandering, the state courts can still act.  And

now the states are really the battleground when it comes to gerrymandering

going forward.


HAYES:  Let`s take a step back.


I mean, this North Carolina GOP, when they got control of the government I

think it was post

2010 election, right, where they got the sort of triumvirate.  Would you

say they have they been the most aggressive in the entire country in terms

of the way they have drawn maps?


BERMAN:  Probably.  I mean, I think they have to be in the Republican

gerrymandering hall of fame at this point.


I mean, they`re the only state where federal courts have thrown out both

the congressional and the state legislative maps, first for racial

gerrymandering and then for partisan gerrymandering.  Remember…


HAYES:  So these are – I just want to be sure, because I`ve lost track of

all the court cases.  These are the replacement maps that got thrown out?


BERMAN:  These are the replacement maps, exactly.


HAYES:  Wait a second…


BERMAN:  The scabs got fired basically.


HAYES:  OK, so they had one set of maps and the court threw them out and

said these are racially gerrymandered, even at the state level.


BERMAN:  Yes, exactly.


HAYES:  And now the state has said no, these are also too aggressively

partisan gerrymandered.


BERMAN:  Yeah, so they basically told – the courts told the North Carolina

Republican Party you had drawn maps that were clearly aimed to

disenfranchise and diminish the voting power of

African-Americans, so you need to redraw the maps.  Then they redrew the

maps and then they said what you clearly did was draw maps to diminish the

power of Democrats, and that`s also unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court

might not review it, but state courts can still do it.


And they found very clear evidence that basically no matter what happens in

North Carolina, Republicans will be in control of the legislature because

of gerrymandering.


HAYES:  And this is not that dissimilar from the Wisconsin map that was

also tested, right, which a federal court said was fine in which you`ve got

these crazy situations where a statewide election in which Democrats get

55, 56 percent of the vote don`t get a majority in like say the state



BERMAN:  Well, the federal courts in Wisconsin didn`t say it was fine, they

said it was  unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court said it was fine.


And I think what it underscores is the fact that in North Carolina you have

a better state court system where Democrats and liberals have actually made

gains.  In Wisconsin, Republicans have

taken over the local courts. 


And so I think this underscores, to me, the need for the Democrats and for

progressives to pay more attention to the states and to pay more attention

to state legislative races and to pay more attention to state courts, which

we never talk about absent a decision like this.


HAYES:  All right.  So now you have this race – this is distinctly related

in some ways, right.  You have covered this sort of great voting fraud myth

that has been perpetuated from the president

to Kris Kobach to others.  Here you have got one election tainted by fraud

in 2018, as far as I can tell, one federal election, so badly tainted by

fraud because the Republican candidate hired a guy who went around

allegedly and apparently paying people to go collect absentee ballots and

stuff – essentially stuff the ballot box on behalf of his candidate.


They`re now having to rerun that race, and it is polling 50-50.


BERMAN:  Yeah, the election is next week.  I mean, it`s incredibly ironic

that Republicans have been running around talking about voter fraud, voter

fraud, voter fraud for over a decade now and the  only clear case of

election fraud in the past election was by Republicans in North Carolina.


And it had nothing to do with voter ID or early voting or foreigners voting

illegally, all of those bogeymen had nothing to do with that.  What they

did was illegal under North Carolina law.  And the only reason they didn`t

catch it was because Republicans told prosecutors look away, look away



So – and then their response to this was let`s enact a new voter ID bill,

which of course had nothing to do with the fraud that was committed and

will do nothing to stop it from happening again.


HAYES:  You have got Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate, running

against Dan Bishop, who is a Republican who replaced Mark Harris who at

first we should be very clear the state GOP and the state GOP spokesperson

who came on this program were like how dare you question the integrity of

our election?  How dare you say that we hired someone, and then of course

they all had to walk that back and kind with their tail between their legs

say, well, actually yes, that does look like what has happened.


But this is the sort of marquee special election of this cycle right now.


BERMAN:  It is.  I mean, the election is next week.


This is also, by the way, a very heavily gerrymandered district.  So, that

just underscores the

fact that…


HAYES:  This is part of – this is a district that was drawn by the same

North Carolina state

Republicans to be a Republican district?


BERMAN:  Exactly.  And this was the same district that would have been

struck down had the Supreme Court said we can`t review the congressional



So, there is probably going to be a new lawsuit now challenging the

congressional maps in North Carolina in state court, and so no matter what



HAYES:  Oh, I see.  So, the federal government says we can`t touch these

state maps – the Supreme Court says we can`t touch them.  Partisan

gerrymandering doesn`t violate the U.S. constitution or it`s not a matter

for us, the judiciary, to look into.




HAYES:  And now there might be a suit on the congressional maps, which

would have huge implications.


BERMAN:  Exactly.


So, no matter who wins…


HAYES:  Oh, my goodness, that`s hilarious.


BERMAN:  …next week there could be another lawsuit about this district

and the other congressional districts in North Carolina coming soon.


HAYES:  Wait, so they run this election.  They have to throw out the

election.  They have to call a new one.  They`re now having a special like

nine months into the new year.  They haven`t had a congressperson in this

district the entire time.  What you`re saying is the person could win only

to find out that the very boundaries of his district, along with everyone`s

else, is challenged in court.


BERMAN:  Yeah, it`s going to take a while.  But remember in Pennsylvania

where they struck down the congressional maps, that happened in state court

as well.


HAYES:  Right.  I forgot about that.


BERMAN:  So you very likely could have a challenge brought to strike down

the congressional maps not just in North Carolina, but in other states in

state courts now.  So, I think a lot of people are  going to be looking at

arcane parts of state constitutions to figure out what lawsuits they could

file next based on this North Carolina decision.


HAYES:  But just to keep people`s eyes on the prize here, I mean, this is

the power – this is the power to control the government or not, right?  I

mean, these lines end up being the lever by which partisan power is

wielded, and sometimes counter-majoritarian partisan power, which is it`s a

means by which you can create a situation which your party has less votes

in the state and you still run the state.


BERMAN:  That happened in North Carolina in the last elect, state

legislative candidates in North Carolina got 49 percent of the votes, but

54 percent of the seats in the house, 58 seats in the senate, and that`s so



But, you`re right.  The state legislatures in most states draw the

districts, not just for themselves but for congress as well, for the U.S.

House as well.  And elections in 2020 are going to determine who draws the

maps for the next decade.


That`s a story I don`t think is getting nearly enough coverage, so I`m glad

we`re talking about

it now.


HAYES:  All right.  Ari Berman, thanks so much for being here.  Great to

see you.


Coming up, what Boris Johnson`s failures in parliament mean for Brexit. 

We`ll talk about tonight`s head spinning developments ahead.


Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.




HAYES:  Thing One tonight, even just a brief stint working for Donald Trump

can do wonders

for one`s career trajectory.  And since more people were fired or quit his

administration in his first year than in any other in modern history, it`s

a virtual post-Trump career fair of things you can do, like joining the

cast of Dancing With the Stars, become a Trump TV contributor, write a

tell-all book blasting your former boss, join the board of a company that

detains migrant children, cooperate with the feds, go to federal prison –

that`s a popular one – or you can make a few bucks hawking fish pills on





SEBASTIAN GORKA, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER:  Sebastian Gorka here for Relief

Factor.  And first of all, let me say that I have never before endorsed a

pain reliever. But when Pete and Seth Talbot, the father and son owners of

Relief Factor, asked me to endorse their 100 percent drug-free product, I

absolutely couldn`t say no.




HAYES:  I mean, how could you say no? 


The real money to be made after leaving Trump world is right back in the

Trump swamp, and

that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  There is a swift moving revolving door from the Trump

administration right back into

the Trump swamp.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 37

former members of the administration now work as lobbyists.  Today The

Washington Post revealed a new swamp jumper,

former Interior Department Assistant Secretary Joe Balash.


Balash just resigned from his position where he oversaw oil and gas

drilling on federal lands on Friday – oh, you`re never guess what he is

doing now – and confirmed to The Post last night he`ll be joining a

foreign oil company that is expanding operations on Alaska`s North Slope.


Balash says he will abide by the Trump ethics pledge barring appointees

from lobbying their former agencies for five years, although Senator Udall

isn`t taking any chances, he sent a letter to Interior`s ethics officials

asking the department to provide copies of all ethics filings made by



But even if he was to deal with some conflict of interest accusations, I`ve

got to say it does beat hawking fish pills.




GORKA:  And of course, I only said yes, because after years of my personal

lower back pain, I am now pain-free.






HAYES:  The courts are now deciding the legality of the president`s attempt

to redirect funds that congress explicitly did not allocate to build a wall

on the southern border that, remember, Mexico was going to pay for.


In the meantime, the Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to

take $3.6 billion in Pentagon funding to fund construction of a portion of

the wall.  Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he is moving the $3.6 billion

out of over planned projects, meaning one of two things, either those

projects were truly necessary and are now not going to be funded, or there

was $3.6 million of extra money lying around the Pentagon they didn`t

really need, which means they had $3.6 billion too much.


But the projects are real projects.  There are 127 of them.  As The Daily

Beast reports, the  money was meant for the construction of elementary

schools, hazardous waste warehouse facilities and fire stations, among

other Department of Defense initiatives.


Igor Bobic notes that in Mitch McConnell`s Kentucky, $62 million was

supposed to go toward building a middle school at Ft. Campbell.  Whoops,

too bad, now it`s headed to build the wall.


One of the projects is in Arizona where Republican Senator Martha McSally

at first told people, don`t worry, it`s just $30,000 being diverted.  Her

spokesman then said the president will actually divert  $30 million, not

$30,000, quote, “army provided documents listing it in thousands.  We

didn`t catch the shorthand.” Whoops.  Sorry, it was off by a factor of a



Now, the Pentagon is saying everything will be fine so long as, get this,

congress agrees to, quote, backfill the funds.  Wait a second, wait a

second, but that just means that congress is going to fund the wall,

because if you take the money out of the accounts and put into it the wall

and fund those accounts, viola, you have funded the wall.


Now the courts are working this out.  The ACLU said it would seek a court

order blocking use of the funds as part of its lawsuit challenging the

president`s abuse of emergency powers.  But remember, congress has power of

the purse, Article I power, under the constitution.  If they want to retain

Article I power, they can stop this, which is to say they can pass a one-

sentence piece of  legislation out of both houses and explicitly say you

cannot build new wall, and they can override Trump`s veto.


Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee have joined with Democrats to

raise red flags about Trump`s attempt to circumvent congress, as they

should, because he is trying to take their most powerful important job away

from them.  If congress, both parties, is serious about protecting its

constitutional role, lawmakers need to come together across-party lines and

pass legislation that says you can`t do this.  They have that power.  It`s

their power to use, and you use it or you lose it.




HAYES:  Well, it`s been a rough few weeks for the new UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson.  He is the guy came in to save the Tory Party from former

Prime Minister Theresa May`s indecision.


And he has in a matter of just a few days, lost the Conservative majority

in parliament when a

Conservative member switched parties while Johnson was speaking.  You can

see him literally walking across Parliament to go sit with another party.


Johnson then saw 21 members of his own party defy him in a critical vote,

undermining his Brexit plans.  All that stuff happened yesterday.  Boris

Johnson is facing a parliament in revolt that he is nominally the head of,

but no longer controls, a parliament who is yanking his hard Brexit agenda

out from under him and responds, he then tried to turn the tables on the

opposition by calling for a snap election.  He was overwhelmingly defeated

on that score today.


That makes  Boris Johnson the first Prime Minister in the history of the UK

to lose his first three votes in the House of Commons.  Yikes.


But it`s confusing to everyone what happens next.  Joining me now to help

make sense of all this, BBC North America editor John Sopel.


John, we are having trouble tracking this.  So, here is my understanding of

the way your system works, I would like you to tell me why this is done. 

You know, the prime minister, by definition, has a majority of parliament,

that`s what makes said person the prime minister.  They don`t lose votes by 

definition because it is their party that`s running the place.  I don`t –

like what is going on now?


JOHN SOPEL, NORTH AMERICAN EDITOR, BBC:  Yeah, he has been rather careless

in losing his majority rather quickly.  The one MP, the member of

parliament that you spoke about who crossed the floor and sat with the

centrist Liberal Democrats, and then the 21 who voted against him, he is

booted out of the party all together, which means there are more people to

vote against him.


Now, he`s – as you say, he`s lost successive votes.  He lost his majority. 

He lost a lot of credibility.  Are they weeping in 10 Downing Street

tonight, which is of course where the prime minister lives?  I suspect not. 


I think they have gone in for this kind of masochism strategy of shock and

awe.  They want to show the people that Boris Johnson different from

dithering Theresa May.  He`s the tough guy.  He`s not going to – he

doesn`t care if he is defeated.  He is going forward.  He is marching to

the sound of gunfire and let anyone try to step in his way.  That is the



Whether it works or not is another question.


HAYES:  OK, so here is my understanding the strategy as articulated by

Boris Johnson, so there is this idea that there`s a no-deal Brexit, which

is just the UK just vanishes out of the European Union with no sort of side

agreements made to figure out a whole bunch of other things about how trade

relations and the passage of people who work, and that Johnson wants to

bluff that he is willing to do that in order to get a better deal for how

Brexit would be managed, is that right?


SOPEL:  Yes, that`s sort of right.  But, you know, shock horror, spoiler

alert, in politics what  people say is not always what they mean.


There are very much people who think that Boris Johnson actually wants a

no-deal Brexit.  And just let me detain that for 30 seconds.


HAYES:  Yes, please.


SOPEL:  No-deal Brexit means that food stuffs that would be coming into the

UK from France, from Belgium, will not be cleared.  It will get held up at

customs because suddenly there is no longer free movement.  It`s like a

state in the middle of the U.S., Nebraska, suddenly decides it wants to

secede, it`s got no agreements whatsoever, for any goods to move in one

direction or another, and suddenly pharmaceutical products, food stuff –

they were talking about food shortages in supermarkets.


And now that is why you`ve got a lot of members in Parliament saying we

must do everything we can to stop this.  Boris Johnson says I need to have

that threat in my back pocket if I`m going to get the European Union to



But there are those who think he would like a no-deal Brexit, because that

will solidify support among all the people who want Brexit and who feel

frustrated that three years on, the pain continues.  And no fish oil

tablets will end the pain.


HAYES:  Oh, that`s a nice callback.


So, OK, that actually is clarifying to me.  So, the things that he is

losing these Tory members and votes on is the basically he wants to keep

the party behind him saying, we`re going to get a no-deal Brexit.  and

that`s what they are losing votes on, right.  I mean, they are losing that

because people are like, that`s insane, we`re not going to have toilet

paper and pharmaceuticals and all these food stuff, but you think he

actually might – I mean, that sounds nuts to me, like everyone says that`s

going to be a disaster.  Why would Boris Johnson want to invite that



SOPEL:  Because there are those people – because he says, look, there are

free trade deals to be had.  And also, let me put this in a slightly U.S.

context, if I can, Chris, I mean, you have got Boris Johnson who thinks

that actually Westminster Parliament is the swamp.  I am the envoy of the

people.  Sound familiar?  He has got a special adviser, let`s call Dominic

Cummings, who is bit Bannon-esque, who wants to kind of fight this as hard

as you can go.  And, yes, there may be pain.  But he believes he is the

person to sort it out.  And with free trade deals, with a free trade deal

with America, that you may have a few months of turbulence but you will be

better off in the long run, and that`s the argument that Donald Trump would

make and that`s the argument that Boris Johnson is making, and that is what

is dividing the British people as painfully as they were three years ago

when they voted  narrowly for Brexit.


HAYES:  But here is the problem, he is the prime minister without a

majority in parliament.  So, he can`t do any of these things.  And he also

can`t get a new election.  Like, I don`t understand how the  government is

running right now.


SOPEL:  Yeah, I`m sorry, this is kind – it`s head spinning and eye rolling

and stomach churning all at the same time.  I think what the strategy is –

I think what the strategy is, that Boris Johnson will get his general

election.  The constitutional crisis comes if parliament votes to say there

must be a no-deal Brexit, which is what happened today and will go through

it`s final stages in the next couple of days and will become law.


Now, just as in the U.S., a law passed by congress has to go to the

president to be signed.  Now, that is less of a formality – in the U.S.,

you have got discretion.  What happens in the UK, because we`re Britain and

archaic, is it goes to the queen for what is called royal assent.  Any bill

passed by parliament should go to the Queen for royal assent.  What happens

if Boris Johnson doesn`t present the bill to her majesty to sign?  It

doesn`t become law.  And then you have a full-scale constitutional crisis.


And the other way this gets resolved is Boris Johnson somehow gets a narrow

majority in Commons for a general election and then this is the dividing

line.  Do you want Brexit?  Do you want more dither?  Vote Boris Johnson,

you get decision.


HAYES:  This is perfect.  I love the fact that the House of Windsor is like

Chekhov`s gun in the first act, that`s been sitting there the whole time in

your constitutional monarchy.  Oh, yeah, we have gotten rid of that.  She`s

just symbolic.  Don`t you worry about it.  We are essentially a republic. 

I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, symbolic.  That like that ends up being the thing

that comes back for a  constitutional crisis, that is really wild if that



SOPEL:  And that is what people are terrified about, that the queen, who

has got this unimpeachable record of this…


HAYES:  …is getting drawn into this.


SOPEL:  …is going to be drawn into a political process where there are no

winners.  And I think that there are very many people who think that must

be avoided at every single cost.


But, as I say to you, it`s shock and awe.  It`s the blitzkrieg strategy.


HAYES:  It`s going to be very hard to avoid that.


John Sopel, thanks you so much for your time tonight.  Appreciate it.


That is ALL IN for this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right

now.  Good evening, Rachel.







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