The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/23/2017
Show: The Rachel Maddow Show
Date: January 23, 2017
Guests: Malcolm Nance; Norman Eisen, Cecile Richard, Linda Sarsour, Gloria
Steinem, Norm Eisen
CHRIS MATTHEWS MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: No one questions the fact. OK, Mr.
President, size matters. But, please tell us you think it`s not the only
thing that does. That`s HARD BALL for now. Thanks for being with us. “ALL
IN” with Chris Hayes starts now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ALL IN HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP ADVISER: You`re saying it`s a falsehood,
and they`re giving Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts
HAYES: The Trump White House sets the tone.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Our intention is never to lie to
HAYES: Tonight on working day one.
SPICER: It`s day one. Working day one here.
HAYES: What we know about what President Trump has already done. And what
we learned today about the ability for this White House to tell the truth.
TRUMP: It looked – honestly, it looked like a million and a half people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any other conversations between General Flynn and
Russian members of the government?
SPICER: Not that I`m aware of.
HAYES: New reports of an investigation into Trump`s National Security
Adviser. A lawyer behind a new Trump ethics lawsuit joins me live. And
about that Women`s March.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is not America.
HAYES: Tonight Cecile Richards, Linda Sarsour and Gloria Steinem on what
may have been the largest protest in American history and what this
movement does next.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This can`t end today.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes on what the White House called
Donald Trump`s first working day on Trump`s fourth day as President of the
United States, new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he is not
in the business of lying to the American people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: I believe that we have to be honest with the American people. I
think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. There are certain things
that we may miss – we may not fully understand when we come out, but our
intention is never to lie to you, Jonathan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Spicer felt the need to make that claim after he came under heavy
criticism for his bizarre appearance on Saturday where he berated the White
House press corps for its inauguration coverage before storming off without
taking questions. At that appearance, Spicer said nothing about the
historic Women`s March that was taking place as he spoke, which might well
have been the largest demonstration in U.S. history, 538 estimating at 3.2
million people took to the streets in the U.S. alone. Instead Spicer made
false claims about fairly trivial matters including inauguration day
ridership on the D.C. metro while suggesting without evidence that Trump`s
was the most watched inauguration ever. The next day, Trump adviser
Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer using a – let`s just say, novel argument
in an interview with our own Chuck Todd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: You`re saying it is a falsehood and they`re giving Sean Spicer,
our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains
that there is –
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC MEET THE PRESS DAILY HOST: Wait a minute, alternative
facts? Alternative facts, four of the five facts he uttered,
CONWAY: Hey, Chuck. Why - hey, Chuck.
TODD: The one thing he got right was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts
he uttered were not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They`re
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Whether or not the White House accepts an objective reality we can
all agree on, a reality in which facts are facts has, of course, massive
implications. Consider something like the unemployment rate, it is
undeniably an imprecise measure and is also an extremely useful bed rock, a
way to gauge how Americans are doing overall, how the economy is doing.
And during the campaign, Trump dismissed the unemployment rate as “totally
fiction”, at one point claimed it was actually 42 percent.
TRUMP: I`ve seen numbers of 24 percent. I actually saw a number of 42
percent unemployment. 42 percent! And it could be.
HAYES: For the record, unemployment, the most commonly used measure, there
are several measure by the government, stands at 4.7 percent. As in light
of those comments for this question, what is the national unemployment
rate, Spicer today refused to state the new President`s position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: He`s not focused on statistics as much as he is on whether or not
the American people are doing better as a whole. I think for too often in
Washington, we get our heads wrapped around a number and a statistic, and
we look at and we forget the faces and the families and businesses that are
behind those numbers. And so, I think that`s where his head`s at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: With that logic, Trump, of course, does not need to lower the
unemployment rate to prove he`s fulfilling his promises about putting more
people to work, he can just decide whether or not it has happened. When
Conway was asked yesterday to respond to a White House petition that calls
the immediate release of the President`s full tax returns, which has
garnered more than 276,000 signatures, she said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: The White House response is that he`s not going to release his tax
returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn`t care.
They voted for him. And let me make this very clear, most Americans are
very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump
is in office, not what his look like.
HAYES: After taking heat for stating flat out Trump would not release his
returns, Conway tweeted that she meant he is still just waiting for that
audit – we`ve never seen evidence that it exists – to be completed. As
for the rest of her statement, it`s just not true. I mean, the issue
wasn`t litigated in the election since the Trump camp punted with those
audit claims. And as for the notion people don`t care, well, statistics –
those pesky statistics, say otherwise. On a recent poll found that 74
percent of Americans want to see Trump`s tax return. So, you know, if you
believe that, they do in fact care.
And let me suggest that the gravity of the White House would change Trump,
the President. But he and his team have comported themselves the same way
they did during the campaign, giving virtually no ground while making
pronouncements that are either do mostly untrue or sensually unverifiable.
Now, think about what happens if and when, for instance, the President and
republicans in congress kicked 20 million people off Healthcare, and then
say they didn`t, or they massively cut rich - taxes for rich people and
then say, actually, we raised them, don`t worry about it.
Right now, this moment is when the parameters of that debate are being set,
whether we are establishing a baseline for whether there is actually some
collective set of facts and objective reality we can agree on or whether
the White House can get away with offering up those alternative facts when
they don`t like the real ones. Joining me now, former RNC Chairman Michael
Steele, now an MSNBC political analyst; and Richard Stengel, former Deputy
Undersecretary for Public Information at the state book department and an
MSNBC analyst. And Michael, you know, I guess I want to ask you this.
Let`s distinguish between whether this matters politically or not. OK.
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: OK.
HAYES: Because it may not matter. I mean, I think basically the President
fighting with the press, people don`t care about. OK. Let me stipulate
that to you.
HAYES: My bigger concern is what information the President is getting and
what he believes, what he actually in his heart believes. Does he - is he
reliant on actual information? Just now, we got a report that in the
meeting with congressional leaders, the President broke up - brought up the
debunked claim there were millions of fraudulent votes cast in the
election. I am led to believe that he actually believes that, which to me,
is more worrisome than if they were lying about believing it, if that makes
STEELE: No, it does make sense. And I think it does go to how these
things are sourced for him. What - where is he all going on the internet
to get this information? Who is he talking to, whether it was in the
campaign, the transition, and now the west wing, that`s providing him with
this information? But I think a more important question though is who then
goes to him and go, Mr. President, that`s not right, that`s not correct.
STEELE: That is not the truth that you thought it was. And that to me –
that person is the most important person in the White House in my view.
HAYES: That is a great point, for Michael. And Richard, one of the things
that always struck me when I`ve been reported on government, and
particularly the federal government, particularly the high level of the
federal government and the White House is, a huge amount of what the
federal - what a government does is process information and pass it up to
people to make decisions. And let`s be clear, sometimes that information
is wrong, right?
RICHARD STENGEL, STATE DEPARTMENT FORMER DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY: Yes.
HAYES: I mean, and it has huge consequences when it is, weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq, but it is also the project of the government
bureaucracy like the State Department, for instance, to intake and process
information and get it to the people that are running the government, to
make sure they can make the best, most informed decisions.
STENGEL: Yes. In fact, Chris, when I was in the State Department, I
barely had time to go on the internet to look for anything because the
inflow of information was so gigantic. And that is litigated, too, as
well. I mean, words matter in government, right? So everything, every
word that comes out of a principle`s mouth is litigated over and over.
There`s a gigantic difference between saying we`re concerned about affairs
in South Africa as opposed to we`re deeply concerned or we`re very
concerned. And people litigate those things and struggle over those
things. And the fact is the words that come out of a President`s mouth
then influence the entire government and the entire world, and those are
the most desperately fought-over words. And the fact that the President
seems to not have even talking points when he`s speaking is a - is a scary
HAYES: I want to – Michael, I want to come back to you in a sec, but I
want to follow up on that with you, Richard. Because the President said
something when he appeared in the CIA Saturday where he muse about, we
didn`t take Iraq`s oil, maybe we`ll get another chance. And we`ve got
5,000 American service men and women who are imbedded with the Iraqi army.
A statement like that can have some real consequences. The reporting
indicating it does. Here Sean Spicer being ass about that today. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you unequivocally state this administration will
not send more troops into Iraq to - as the President has put it, “to take
SPICER: I`m not going to talk about what we may or may not do. I think
the President has been very clear that he hasn`t telegraphed forward what
taking options off the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STENGEL: I think Barack Obama, who had probably the most meticulous filter
of any human being who ever lived, whenever he was talking about Iraq or
HAYES: You could watch it - You could watch in real-time. It was like -
it was like a spinning ball.
STENGEL: And he - and he was talking from a teleprompter too often because
he wanted to be so precise. And to have this thing where you`re just kind
of, freelancing verbiage, where he`s not the world`s most articulate
person, can change what`s going on in foreign policy overnight.
HAYES: Part of Michael, what`s happening here, strikes me, too, is in
media environment – the informational environment in which we live, and
given the levels of polarization there are, it is the case that the
President can assert something or the President`s spokesperson can assert
something and there`s a very significant portion of the population who if
chosen - if they have to choose between the New York Times and the
President or even the President and a photo they saw, they`re going to
choose the President.
STEELE: Right, yes.
HAYES: That`s part of what is happening here.
STEELE: Yes. That`s a big part of what is happening here. And it has
become over the course of the last 18 months the justification for the
entrenchment that Donald Trump himself personally will take and certainly
members of his now administration will take. We`ve seen that on Putin,
we`ve seen it on the e-mails, we`ve seen it on a number of things, where
that convention - where that unconventional wisdom or thinking has become
the convention. And that`s largely because they get that reinforcement
from those supporters out there who don`t care whether or not it`s true,
factual or whatever.
But the fact that, you know, you`re fighting and you`re moving in a certain
direction, we`re behind you with that, that`s what matters. Well, what I
think the President learned this weekend, and certainly Sean Spicer did,
was it`s a little bit more complicated than that, and it does matter what
you say, how you say it, when you say it. To Richard`s point, words do
mean things and the precision that comes out of the White House matters
HAYES: And there`s also a credibility issue here. Because I was thinking
about this, too. You were talking about the unemployment rate in that
intro, but there`s also – you know, let`s say conditions under a national
emergency and the President`s spokesperson comes out and starts saying
things about what the government is or isn`t doing, what areas have been or
not been evacuated. That`s just the simple relaying of information, but
there has to be a basic repository of trust in that pronouncement.
Otherwise, it`s a terrifying thought to see what you do in the absence of
STENGEL: Pat Moynihan used to say you`re entitled to your own opinions,
but not to your own facts. The spokesperson though has a lot of different
audiences, he has the President, he has the White House but he also has the
American people. People need to trust what he is saying is a fact and has
been verified, and even though every administration tries to create their
own narrative –
SPICER: Yes, let`s be clear about that.
STENGEL: Right. But when things like - as you mention, Chris, in a
national disaster, I mean, that spokesperson is speaking for the nation.
He`s not just speaking for the President.
HAYES: All right. Michael Steel and Rick Stengel, thanks for your time
tonight. Really appreciate it. Great to have you both. Still ahead, the
first day of Donald Trump`s Presidency was met with record-breaking protest
across the country, around the world. Gloria Steinem, Linda Sarsour and
Cecile Richards are all here. You do not want to miss them. It`s going to
be amazing. And hours after Michael Flynn is sworn in as National Security
Adviser, news that he has been under investigation for contact with Russian
officials. That story is after just this two-minute break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE-PRESIDENT: And I will well and faithfully
SENIOR WHITE HOUSE STAFF MEMBERS: And I will well and faithfully discharge
PENCE: – the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
SENIOR WHITE HOUSE STAFF MEMBERS: – the duties of the office on which I
am about to enter.
PENCE: So help had me, God.
SENIOR WHITE HOUSE STAFF MEMBERS: So help me, God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As Vice President Mike Pence yesterday swearing in Senior White
House staff members including former Breitbart publisher turns Chief
Strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the new National
Security Adviser there on the right, retired General Michael Flynn. Near
hours after he took that oath of office, the Wall Street Journal reporting
that Flynn has been investigated by U.S. counterintelligence officials
examining his contact with Russian officials. That was followed up today
by a similar report from CNN, there have been previous reports of a long-
term investigation led by the FBI into ties between Trump associates in the
Kremlin. But this is the first time it may go all the way to the new White
House. This particular probe appears to center on a series of phone calls
first reported earlier this month between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador
to the U.S. Multiple calls were reported to have taken place on December
29th, and that day is significant because it`s the exact same day then
President Obama announced new sanctions against Russia in response to its
alleged interference in the 2016 election.
Just one day later Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he would not
retaliate. Now Trump`s team has repeatedly changed its story about these
calls, first insisting all contact between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador
had taken place on December 25th and 28th before the announcement, then
later conceding the two men had in fact spoken on the 29th following a
series of exchanges by phone and text. Today, White House Press Secretary
Sean Spicer changed the story yet again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: There`s been one call. I talked to General Flynn about this again
last night. One call talked about four subjects. One was the loss of life
that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir. Two was
Christmas and holiday greetings. Three was to facilitate - or to talk
about a conference in Syria on ISIS, and four was to set up a – to talk
about after the inauguration, setting up a call between President Putin and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As the President Donald Trump might intervene to block the
investigation, Spicer stop short of ruling about definitively, listen
closely to his language.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: I don`t believe he has spoken to anyone specifically about that,
and I don`t know that we - he has not made any indication that he would
stop an investigation of any sort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now former U.S. intelligence officer Malcolm Nance,
author of “The Plot to Hack America: How Putin`s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks
Tried to Steal the 2016 Election”. And Malcolm, let me start with this. I
mean, what - I don`t know what it would mean to have the National Security
advisor of the United States under a counterintelligence investigation.
What does that mean to you? I mean presumably we have to clear up FBI
background check to get security clearance, and how would you even get
security clearance if an investigation was happening?
MALCOLM NANCE, FORMER US INTELLIGENCE OFFICER AND AUTHOR OF “THE PLOT TO
HACK AMERICA: HOW PUTIN`S CYBERSPIES AND WIKILEAKS TRIED TO STEAL THE 2016
ELECTION”: Well, General Flynn probably was maintaining his security
clearance, but he`s now working at the pleasure of the President of the
United States. The President can order him to be cleared. But in this
certain circumstance with regards to a counterintelligence investigation,
you might have caught me as I was coming on camera, that last statement was
As of right now we don`t know what the FBI`s counterintelligence forces are
actually asking about General Flynn. It was very suspicious - and I use
the word suspicious, that on the day that we are kicking out 35 Russian
spies and diplomats from this country in retaliation for a cyber-warfare
attack on the fundamental democratic system of the United States that
General Flynn would actually either take calls or make calls to the Russian
Ambassador to the United States. Now, we don`t know what was said, but,
believe me, the Russians have a version of what was said, and it had better
job with what General Flynn is telling the counterintelligence officers who
will be interviewing him.
HAYES: Well that`s - I mean, that is also – there is sort of a factual
matter here, did he make the calls, how many calls were there. This is
from CNN`s report. They said the calls were captured by routine U.S. eaves
dropping targeting the Russian diplomats according to the intelligence and
law enforcement officials. And that`s plural. I should say three outlets
now have this story and they all have multiple sources. Here is my
question to you. It strikes me as everything - the substance aside, a
really brazen kind of leak from these officials basically saying, we are
monitoring your phone calls to the man who is now the National Security
Adviser to the United States.
NANCE: Well, General Flynn would know from all of his great experience as
Director of Defense Intelligence and as an officer coming up in the
military ranks, there is something called own-force monitoring where
government systems and people who are related to high levels of government,
for security purposes they do monitor phone communications, you know,
particularly for counterintelligence purposes, to make sure that someone is
not an agent of a hostile intelligence agency. So, General Flynn would
know that. But in this particular call, he might feel that he had a secure
communications with the Russians. I don`t know what would make him feel
secure, and that of course is suspicious in itself. And that`s why we now
have spy hunters going through these phone communications.
HAYES: Well, I mean, at least it appears so far from the reporting that we
have from those three different outlets, you had some strong feelings about
the - one of the first appearances of the new President on Saturday, he
went to the CIA.
HAYES: It`s been a sort of a controversial appearance. It was referred to
as despicable by John Brennan, head of the - ex-head of the CIA. Ex-head
of the CIA Leon Panetta said he forgot he was President. He stood in front
of what`s called the “Wall of Honor”, honoring I believe the 117 members
who gave their lives from the agency. He talked about crowd size, his war
with the media. There was a lot of whooping and hollering and it is
unclear whether that came from Trump staff and partisans or actually the
members of the agency. And afterwards he said, “I had a great meeting at
CIA headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long
standing ovations, amazing people, WIN.” Your response to that event?
NANCE: Well, I would like to say that I beat John Brennan by calling that
event despicable by one hour. I think I was pretty vehement when I went on
CNN the other day and said it was actually a disgusting act. I`ve been in
that hall. I have three friends on that Wall. I have put my hands on
their sTars. I read their names in the book of those who were lost. I
know how big that room is, and it is not very big. There`s enough space
for about maybe 40, 50 people inside the actual hall with the podium. But
there`s an upper atrium, there`s upper hallway that`s a T-hallway with two
columns down the middle past the security check point that you can get a
couple hundred people into.
CIA officers or CIA staff knowing what that hall means would never start
initiating wild shouting and clapping. And I have spoken to many officers
in the last couple of days, and the only thing I can say is they are all to
a person, man and woman, disgusted at the behavior of Donald Trump at that
site. It is - and he only said eight words about those who were lost and
never discussed the Intelligence Community at all. Absolutely disgusting
really. Just disgusting.
HAYES: All right. Malcolm Nance, thanks for your time tonight.
NANCE: My pleasure.
HAYES: Coming up, the ethics lawyer suing President Trump for allegedly
violating the constitution on day one. What it means to sue the President
of the United States, ahead.
HAYES: Today, the Trump White House took – undertook what they called a
“day of action”, a day devoted to doing the things Trump said he would do
on day one of his Presidency. Well, day four of his Presidency at this
point. Now, the President made more than 30 different promises about
things he would do the moment, even the minute he got into office, most of
which he still has not acted on, we should be clear.
Here are the things he actually did do today. The President signed an
executive order officially withdrawing the United States from the Trans-
Pacific Partnership, at the multi-lateral trade deal that President Trump,
along with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, all said they would oppose
in office. He also signed another executive order reinstating what`s
called the “global gag rule” in abortion. We`ll have more on that later,
with Planned Parenthood`s own Cecile Richards.
In addition to those executive orders today, we learned the official
language of the executive order the President signed on Friday proclaiming
January 20th his inauguration day, be National Day of Patriotic Devotion.
Presidents have - only have the power to declare one-time holidays for
executive order. So if you were hoping to celebrate the National day of
Patriotic Devotion, too late. You already missed it.
Trump White House took two big steps forward today in confirming two of
their cabinet appointments. Senate voted 66 to 32 to confirm Congressman
Mike Pompeo to be head of the CIA. And the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee took the first step in confirming Rex Tillerson, ex CEO of Exxon,
Secretary of State. That falls Senator Marco Rubio`s decision not to block
his nomination despite his previous very public reservations. A protester
held a spine prop behind Rubio as he announced his support for Tillerson.
Today, we also got the first evidence action is being taken on something
Trump promised to do before he took the oath of office. On Friday,
inauguration day, ProPublica reported the Trump organization did not appear
to have filed the necessary paperwork in order to transfer management of
the business to Trump`s sons. But the White House insisted that Trump had
resigned from his companies but the documentation was simply not public at
Today, we have documented evidence that at least some of that paperwork has
been filed in the state of Florida. All of the documents, we should note,
are dated Monday, January 23rd. But even if those papers have been filed,
ethics experts are saying it doesn`t go far enough and are taking the
unprecedented action of suing the President, claiming he`s violated the
constitution. I`m going to talk to one of those experts next.
HAYES: Today Washington D.C. watchdog group filed a lawsuit in federal
court against the President of the United States. The group citizens for
responsibility and ethics in Washington are crew, is led by a group of
prominent lawyers and ethics experts who let - by allowing his hotels and
other businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, Trump is
violating the emoluments clause, the U.S. constitution. A cause that bars
the President from accepting gifts from foreign governments.
And his now infamous press conference prior to the inauguration, Trump`s
lawyer said they did not consider payments to Trump businesses to be a
violation of the Emoluments clause, but they would voluntarily donate
profits from foreign governments who use his hotels to the federal
treasury. But experts say that`s not nearly good enough. Their suit is a
novel attempt to getting the President to comply with long standing ethics
laws and norms. But will it actually work?
Joining me now on the ethics experts bring that suit, former Chief White
House council - ethics council of President Obama, former U.S. Ambassador
to Czech Republic, Norman Eisen. Let`s start with this, Norm. Can you sue
presidents? This is actually – this is a little unclear, right? What you
can and cannot sue the president for is unclear. And obviously if anyone
could sue the president at any time all of the – any president would ever
be doing would be batting away lawsuits.
So, why do you think this – you legally have standing to sue the president
of the United States?
NORM EISEN, FRM. AMBASSADOR TO CZECH REPUBLIC: Well, Chris, this is a
country of laws, not of men. No man, not even the president of the United
States, is above the law. And it is well recognized that when the
president acts in violation of the constitution, you can bring a cause of
action against him, and that`s what we`re doing today.
And it makes sense, three co-equal, equally powerful branches in our checks
and balance American system – the legislative branch, congress; the
executive branch where the president sits; and
the courts. And the way you activate the courts to do their job is by
bringing these actions.
Of course, President Trump can`t flout the constitution as he is doing by
accepting foreign payments and benefits directly prohibited by the
HAYES: OK. But what would this – OK, so let`s say some district court,
some judge finds in
your favor. What would it mean for an article three judge to say, yes, the
president of the United States is in violation of the constitution, like,
what is the remedy there? Has anyone ever done that before? Has a federal
court ever declared a president in violation of the constitution?
EISEN: Chris, we`ve had – we have a long and very distinguished history
in the United States of the courts standing up to executive branch
officers, including the president, when they act out of line.
In the Bush administration, there was a tremendous amount of litigation
against the executive branch under the president`s direction relating to
Guantanamo, to holding on to prisoners. This is just as un-constitutional.
There is a direct prohibition on what President Trump is doing. And it is
true that no court has ever directly ruled on an emoluments clause case,
they haven`t had to because no president had dared to do anything like this
in the whole history of our country.
HAYES: So you can imagine – so if you were – if a court were to grant
standing, which I
would imagine is going to be the first thing they challenge you on, and
this were to get to the merits and you can find – and you won, right, you
can imagine this working its way through the courts and actually some –
eventually probably go to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, you know, having a finding basically says you need to
divest or you need to – you are in breach of the constitution and need to
do x, y and z. That would be the ultimate end result here.
EISEN: That is the remedy that we are seeking, an order from the court
that President Trump cannot receive these emoluments. The president has to
abide by the court`s dictates. This was established by John Marshall at
the beginning of our country.
The judicial review of the constitution is supreme, and the president is
going to have to follow that. It is a clear constitutional violation,
EISEN: ..and he`s going to have to – if the court rules, he`s going to
have to follow.
HAYES: I saw – quickly, I saw a report today that the Department of
Justice will be defending in this case, is that – I mean I guess it makes
sense as you are suing him as the president of the United States. Is that
the appropriate entity to defend the president here?
EISEN: It is. That`s what you do when the president is sued in his
official capacity. It is a terrible waste of taxpayer money. It is really
adding insult to injury, but that is the way the system works, and the
Department of Justice is thoroughly professional, wonderful lawyers. I
with them when I worked in the White House. And I know they will do a very
professional job. But I think we have the better of the case.
HAYES: Well, it is day four, and this strikes me that there will be many,
many more of these to come in various hues, of course, during this
Norm Eisen, thank you for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
EISEN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, how the Women`s March on Washington turned into a global
phenomenon, taking over cities all over the world and all around the
country. Cecil Richards, Gloria Steinem and march organizer Linda Sarsour
will be here to talk about women`s rights in the Trump era ahead.
Plus, a bizarre state of emergency is tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two
starting just after this break.
HAYES: Thing one tonight, this past November election day on the day
Donald Trump was elected president, voters in South Dakota passed an
interesting new law, the anti-corruption act called measure 22 which made
extensive changes to the state`s campaign finance and ethics law. The
initiative approved by 51.6 percent of voters lowers contribution amounts
to political action committees, political parties and candidates for
statewide legislative or county offices.
It imposes limits on contributions from candidate campaign committees,
political action committees and political parties. It creates a publicly
funded campaign finance program for candidates who choose to participate
and agree to limits to contributions and expenditures.
It even has an ethics commission to administer the publicly funded program
and to enforce campaign finance and lobbying laws, prohibits certain state
officials and high level employees from
lobbying until two years after leaving government, and it places
limitations on lobbyists gifts to certain state officials and staff
members. Now that, that all sounds pretty good, right, a swamp draining
measure approved by voters in a red state that overwhelmingly supported
Donald Trump`s campaign against insider politics. So, how, you might ask
has the Republican led legislature of South Dakota responded? They are
declaring a state of emergency. I`m not kidding. That`s Thing 2 in 60
HAYES: So South Dakota voters in a ballot initiative approved an anti-
corruption initiative on
election day to overhaul campaign finance and ethics in their state
government, which, by the way, ranked 47th in the nation for integrity in
the center for public integrity`s 2015 assessment.
Republican lawmakes in the home of Mount Rushmore were not pleased with the
new rules imposed by their uppity voters, so much so they are planning to
declare a state of emergency to repeal the initiative. A state of the
emergency will would all the repeal to take effect immediately and deny
voters their right to another vote on the measure through a veto
And for voters who wanted to drain the swamp, well, it does seem that the
alligators are identifying themselves.
HAYES: It is believed to be the largest coordinated protest in the history
of the American republic. It appears, as of now, that one out of every 100
Americans was in the streets on Saturday in protest on the first full day
of the Trump presidency.
Crowd estimates, of course, not an exact science, but even with a cautious
approach, 538 estimated the aggregate crowd size at 3.2 million people
among the roughly 300 U.S. march sites.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALICIA KEY, SINGER: Ladies and gentlemen, are we here! Are you ready to
march? Say yes!
AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: Its it`s been a heart wrenching time to be both
a woman and immigrant in this country. Our dignity, our character, our
rights have all been under attack.
LINDA SARSOUR, EVENT ORGANIZERA: You can count on me, your palestinian
muslim sister to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the streets, keep my
head held high!
GLORIA STEINEM, FOUNDER, MS. MAGAZINE: this is an outpouring of energy and
true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Those last two speakers will be joining me at this desk just
ahead. And it wasn`t just record breaking crowds in big cities like
Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and Chigao, it was 8,000 to 9,000 in
Lansing, Michigan, 1,000 in Fargo, North Dakota, marching through the snow
downtown Anchorage. All 50 states in the country and in countries around
the world in the streets
of Paris and London and Sydney. It was organized by women, it was called
the Women`s March as a rebuke to this president.
But today, in one of the president`s first act in that capacity, Donald
Trump reinstated the global gag rule. The president, as you`ll note in
this photo surrounded by men, banning federal funding for any organization
anywhere in the world that even discusses abortion as part of family
Joining me now, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation
of America. Thank you for being here.
At some level, you have to see this coming, this is how it has gone.
Clinton got rid of the global
gag rule, reinstated by George W. Bush. It was rescinded by Barack Obama,
reinstated by Donald Trump. This is part of what comes with having a
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA: I
think there`s two things different though. One is, of course, this happened
the first day in office after, as you say, the largest women`s march that
has happened in our history. The second is this gag rule, and actually
what was signed by President Trump today is so much more expansive than
anything we have ever seen, because this actually impacts HIV/AIDS
programs, maternal health
programs. It literally will mean shutting down programs all around the
world that provide far more than family planning, and it is – the results
are going to be devastating.
HAYES: So, this actually goes out past what had been operational during
the Bush administration?
HAYES: How so?
RICHARDS: Because it expands beyond family planning services. I mean, it
HAYES; So, any organization, not just ones that are doing family planning?
RICHARDS: It includes programs that are doing now HIV/AIDS programs, it
includes programs that are doing Zika programs, maternal health programs.
And this is so disturbing, of
course, because we have made so much progress over the last eight years,
Chris, in reducing maternal mortality from unsafe abortions. In fact had
cut the rate in two-thirds.
During this last period, in the eight years of President Obama because of
better family planning access, we`ve made huge progress in the U.S., but we
have made huge progress globally.
HAYES: I didn`t know that.
RICHARDS: This is such a turn to the right, and, again, women are going to
suffer and thousands of programs around the globe are going to suffer as a
HAYES; Marie Stopes International, which is one of USAID`s biggest family
planning partners, they estimate the global gag rule will lead to an
additional 2.2 million abortions worldwide, meaning there will be more
abortions because groups that would counsel women and find different
alternatives for them, if they`re in the midst of pregnancy, will not be
able to do any of that and that will actually lead to more abortions.
I mean this is what we`re saying, too, in the U.S., just to use this
example. So, we now have 55 million women under Obamacare that get
coverage for family planning, and they can go to Planned
Parenthood, they can go to other providers. We have the lowest – we had
the lowest unintended pregnancy rate in 30 years, the lowest teenage
pregnancy rate in our entire history in the U.S.
So, if you want to increase unintended pregnancy and the need for
abortions, you should
do these kind of programs. And that is really crazy.
HAYES: Abortions themselves have been on decline, it`s my undrstanding,
along with that, in the United States.
RICHARDS: Exactly. It`s all connected, right. If you help women get
better family planning, better access at lower cost or no cost, then
actually women can birth control and prevent unintended pregnancy. It
doesn`t – this is basic women`s healthcare. I think that`s part of what
you saw women marching in the street about on Saturday.
HAYES: This – what does it say to you about the direction of this
RICHARDS: Well, it is very disturbing that they would do something even so
much more extreme than anything that happened under President Bush. I
don`t even know if they fully understand the impact on women`s lives around
the globe. Of course, it is a cautionary tale because, because as you say,
this is only going to increase women who die from unsafe abortions and is
going to increase unintended pregnancy across the world.
I don`t think that`s – that`s not what the American people want. And
obviously, I think as you said earlier, Chris, you know, this president was
elected because he was going to create jobs for people and drain the swamp.
And yet this is what he does first day in office.
HAYES: Cecile Richards, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
RICHARDS: As I mentioned, stick around, Gloria Steinem, Linda Sarsour here
to talk about how to translate the enormous, in fact truly stunning turnout
this weekend into sustained political action. Don`t go away.
HAYES: After a day of protests Saturday unlike anything of its kind,
really, the question is where does it go now. And joining me now, Linda
Sarsour, national co-chair of the Women`s March on Washington, and
executive director of the Arab-American Association in New York, and Gloria
Steinem, founder of Ms. Magazine, also addressed the rally in D.C. on
Saturday. Great to have you here.
Linda, let me start with you. As someone who was one of the organizers of
this, were you
surprised by the turnout?
SARSOUR: I was extremely overwhelmed. As much as I knew there were people
talking about it, but to come to Washington, D.C. and not be able to see
the end of the march and then to be watching on Twitter Chicago, L.A.,
HAYES: Helena, Montana, Fargo, North Dakota.
SARSOUR: Everywhere, Chris. I am overwhelmed. And we really, the women
really showed and came up and showed up and we are showing our power.
HAYS: Why? What`s your – so, you are an organizer. And I want anyone
watching this who has never tried to organize anything like this to know
that it is really harder than it looks. I can say that knowing, having
come from a family of organizers.
What is your understanding of why it exceeded expectations in terms of
SARSOUR: Because we were able to speak to the values of people. You know,
we came together in solidarity to stand with the most marginalized people.
And we were also intersectional. People found an entry point, it wasn`t
just about reproductive rights, but it was climate justice and racial
justice, and immigration and immigrant rights, and everyone found a place
to be there.
We also diversified the leadership, three of the four national co-chairs
were women of color, of the most directly impacted communities – black,
Latina, Mexican and a Muslim woman.
And we also were speaking to people`s inner frustrations. We are just as
devastated and frustrated as people are with the current election results
that we had. And we went from Friday devastation to Saturday inspiration,
motivation and galvanization.
HAYES: Gloria, you obviously have been through marches and have a
tremendous career in activism.
STEINEM: Nothing like this.
HAYES: Yeah, I was going to ask you – where, yeah, as someone who is…
STEINEM: In my very long life I have never seen anything that is as
contagious – I mean, it is partly the web, but this was the perfect use of
the web because it was people showing up in person, not just pressing send,
and all over the world. I mean I was getting calls from Berlin where they
said, we want you to know – they had a huge rally in Berlin.
SARSOUR: Yes, they did.
STEINEM: We want you to know that walls do not work.
I mean it was – I have never seen anything this big and this contagious.
HAYES: So, there`s a question. You know, I was looking at – I went to
watch the march in
New York because I was very curious to see who would come out and what it
would look like. And my first thought was the last thing I had seen like
that in New York was March of 2003 when there was a huge anti-Iraq war
march. There was huge turnout. I mean, enormous, right.
STEINEM: I remmeber.
HAYES: But ultimately, politically that did not stop the war in Iraq,
So the question I think a lot of people have, OK, huge turnout for this
march, how do you understand this building political power?
SARSOUR: This was just the beginning of a building an infrastructure
that`s going to complement the work that has already been done by many
organizations and many groups. And these women that came out to march and
their family, they`re ready to act. They want to know what is next.
And we had 400 organizers across the country who helped put on these sister
marches. And we are meeting tomorrow morning 10:30 a.m. because we have a
plan set up.
So, the women are coming…
HAYES: All of those organizers?
SARSOUR: Well, first the national steering committee.
SARSOUR: And then getting together with our national organizers. And we
are coming, Chris.
we are organized. We have vision. You saw what we were able to do in less
than eight weeks. We organized 600 marches across the world. And to have
1.2 million people in Washington, D.C. that came out in solidarity to stand
together is absolutely remarkable.
And we are not just a march, and we are going to go sit home. We have work
to do. And our women are ready to do that work.
HAYES: You know, it struck me a lot of the signs, they were about all
different kinds of issues and it was sort of interesting to see that, but
there were a lot of signs about the infamous comments that the president of
the United States made on that Access Hollywood tape. And one of the
things striking me when he talked about – he sort of bragged about sexual
assault, how easy it was to get away with it when you`re a celebrity, was
that there was this moment in the campaign where that happened and everyone
thought, oh my god, you had Republican members of congress running to every
microphone to say I can`t look my daughter in the eyes about this. And
then it just sort of disappeared down the memory hole. And – how
important was this march…
STEINEM: It didn`t disappear, because I think people felt, women felt, and
men on behalf of women felt, sexually assaulted by his language and his
And there is a common theme here of bodily integrity. You know, we get to
control our own bodies. The power of the government stops at our skins,
and that has to do with reproductive freedom, it has to do with sexual
assault, it has to do with all kinds of other issues, of testing and so on.
I mean it is fundamental, bodily integrity, and I think that`s what his
ridiculous attitude tapped into.
HAYES: What do you say to people that are saying – I thought it was an
interesting piece, I
think it was in The Washington Post, it sort of went out to rural areas and
asked folks that were sort of deep in Trump country about this march and
they said, I don`t know, I haven`t heard of it. Folks who say this is just
rallying a base of folks who are already there or who are preaching to the
choir. What do you say to that?
SARSOUR: I mean, the pictures, the the aerial shots speak for themselves.
This is the largest protest in U.S. history. We made history, Chris, all
together here in 2017.
Those people are riled up, they`re galvanized. We created the beloved
community. We had had no arrests anywhere around the country during these
protests. These are people who came out with their families. They are
against this new administration. They are prepared to stand against this
administration. And they`re prepared to stand with the most marginalized
communities. The fact that they agreed to follow women of color who are
leading this march, who are putting out messaging on race and class and
immigration and they still showed up, that tells me something.
HAYES: I want to ask you before I go to you, Gloria, you were the target
of some sort of attacks today, people accusing you of being anti-Semitic.
I think it is somewhat preposterous image of you holding up the finger one
and claiming somehow that this was related to ISIS in some way.
Do you want to respond to those? Do you want to say something about the
folks that were sort of saying that you were out of the mainstream where
you have hateful views?
SARSOUR: I just think about history and what gives me solace is that
every effective organizers and leader in our history has been vilified, and
now the right wing is coordinating attacks against those they see that can
mobilize and resonate with the masses. I am proud of the leadership that I
have brought to this march, and to the movements that I`m a part of. And
I`m not afraid of the right wing and I`m not afraid of the attacks. They
are preposterous. They are baseless. And anyone who does very simple
research can know that these people and who these people are, they are all
HAYES: I will also testify to the fact that I have seen you work across
every religion, ethnicity and denomination in just in the time that I have
SARSOUR: I supported the first Jewish man for president for god`s sakes.
Come on, people.
HAYES: Gloria, there was this talk about intersectionality. And there`s
this big fight in the left about class politics, identity politics. And to
me it was a little bit of the proof was in the pudding at this march,
right. I mean, whatever was happening there, seems like it is working.
And it also seemed to me to kind of transcend some of these intramural
debates that we have seen.
STEINEM: Well, of course it does.\ I mean, it sort of drove me crazy
actually that people were saying, well I was – The New York Times, why was
the women`s march concerned about racism? Are you kidding me? I mean, you
know, wherever there is race or caste as in India or class, that means you
have to control reproduction in the long-term and who has children with
whom in order to perpetuate it. There`s no such thing as being a feminist
without being an anti-racist and vice versa.
HAYES: All right, Linda Sarsour, and Gloria Steinem, those images we saw
It was really an amazing thing that happened from just even a news…
STEINEM: And I just want to say I was a – I`m a supporter, I was not an
HAYES: Yes, no, right. Very clear about who organizers are here.
Not easy to organize America. If you are watching this Linda Sarsour and
Gloria Steinem. Keep that in mind.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.