Southeast bracing for Dorian’s arrival. TRANSCRIPT: 9/4/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That`s HARDBALL
for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
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.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t know. I don`t know.
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When will the prime minister finally apologize for his
derogatory and racist remarks>
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELE BACHMANN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: – what light bulbs
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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
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
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
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
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?
ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: It`s a huge deal, Chris,
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
HAYES: All right. Ari Berman, thanks so much for being here. Great to
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORKA: And of course, I only said yes, because after years of my personal
lower back pain, I am now pain-free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the